Friday, 25 November 2016

LOCAL ELECTRICAL POLES MANUFACTURERS ASK FOR INCREASED GOVT ASSISTANCE


Some of the street light poles produced by the company ready to be exported to  Benin
Mr John Kwame Borbordzi explaining the production processes at the company's premises 
By: Benjamin Xornam Glover, ASHAIMAN
THE Chief Executive Officer (CEO), of Borbordzi Argon Aluminum Welding and Fabrication Company, Mr. John Kwame Borbordzi has urged government to increase support for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), to ensure the country’s economic growth.

Borbordzi Argon Aluminum Welding Company located in Ashaiman are manufacturers of street light poles and metal products in Ghana.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic in Tema, Mr. Borbordzi, lamented that many of the poles that are used by contractors in the country are imported

CHEAP IMPORTS

According to him, a careful examination of these street lighting poles would reveal that these poles are not galvanized but are rather coated. As a result they do not do not last long.

He lamented that that local aluminum electricity pole manufactured right here in Ghana are not being patronized.

While urging government to increase support for SMEs, also echoed the need for local consulting firms who advise municipal and district assemblies (MMDAS) and other governmental agencies to begin to trust the indigenous companies and recommend them in the award of contacts.


KEEP THE PROMISE

Mr. Borbordzi said successive governments have preached the need to support the local manufacturers but, they seem to be facing unfavorable competition from foreign imports.
He bemoaned the fact that the contractor working in the main Ashaiman Highway dual carriage road spent millions dollars to import street lighting poles when they could have used the quality ones produced here in the country.

Mr Borbordzi pointed out that  what was imported for the project were mine steel poles which are not favorable to the weather conditions here in Ghana.

He called on government to support local manufacturers to expand and create job avenues for the teeming unemployed youth especially those within the Ashaiman community.


RECOGNITION
Borbordzi Argon Aluminum Welding Company recently bagged an award from the Institute for Government Research Leadership Technology, Abuja, Nigeria.
The award was in recognition of the company’s innovation and excellence in aluminium, telecom mast, electric poles and gate construction.

Mr. Borbordzi who exports his products to countries such as Togo, Benin and Nigeria, said he was delighted that their effort has been recognised among competitors from several African countries.

He said the award has challenged his company to continue producing quality products that can compete favorably in any part of the world and they will not relent in that direction.

Mr Borbordzi said small and medium-scale enterprises in the country were contributing significantly to the revenue generated by the assembly and it is only when they are supported that they will enhance their outputs and grow.

The company has 20 permanent workers and also employs a number of casual workers. According to the Chief Executive Officer, the company could do more if it received the required support.
END
Writer’s email: benjamin.glover@graphic.com.gh

@glovben

Journos trained on the use of new digital tools to enhance local governance in the Ashaiman Municipality


Participants and facilitators in a group photograph at the end of the workshop


By Benjamin Xornam Glover, TEMA

The drive towards improving the local governance processes, alleviating poverty, promoting gender equality and strengthening institutional and technical capacity in the Ashaiman Municipality has received a major boost following the official launch of a new project “Enhancing grassroots civic participation in governance using digital tools”.

The project, funded by the Canadian Fund for local Initiative, seeks to empower citizens through digital tools to effectively participate in the local government decision making processes and promote better public service delivery especially in health, education and sanitation.

The projects seeks to promote the use existing digital tools by citizens to engage with their assembly in the comfort of their homes or work places to access information or request for one.

Through this civic engagement, it is expected that local governance processes would have improved while duty bearers and public officials would be more responsive to citizens’ needs
.
ROLE OF MEDIA

Recognizing the role of the media as an effective watchdog in holding duty bearers account in public service delivery, Penplusbytes with funding from the Canadian Fund for local Initiative has organised a 2-day media workshop to train selected journalists from the Ashaiman/Tema area on the project.

The aim of the workshop was to equip the selected journalists with the necessary skills and knowledge to develop compelling citizen engagement stories in their communities.

 A total of 14 media practitioners within the Tema and Ashaiman corresponding for various media outlets took part in the workshop.

NEW DIGITAL TOOLS

The participants were schooled on how to use technology and the opportunities it provides to empower citizens in their quest to demand transparency and accountability from their local assemblies.

In his welcoming speech, the Programmes Director of Penplusbytes, Mr. Jeremiah Sam underscored his organization’s commitment in equipping journalists with skills in using new digital technologies in order to enhance traditional journalism.
He emphasized the role of new digital tools stressing that it offered creative opportunities and urged the participants to put the knowledge gained into
practice.

MAKE A DIFFERENCE

The Programme Manager, New Media Innovations at Penplusbytes,
Precious Ankomah charged the participants utilise the knowledge gained to tell stories that will compel duty bearers to change the manner in which they feel, think, and act towards the greater good of their community.


A facilitator at the workshop and programme manager for Governance and Technology at Penplusbytes, Mr. Cosmos Akorli said civic engagement aims at making a difference in our communities.

He added that it focuses on developing knowledge, skills, and promoting motivation to make that difference.

Therefore, constant information about citizens' satisfaction with service provision serves as a basis for improvement.

At the end of the session, participants were presented a certificate of participation.


@Glovben





Thursday, 24 November 2016

Corpus Christi Catholic Church celebrates silver jubilee





By Benjamin Xornam Glover, Tema

The Corpus Christi Parish of the Catholic Church in Sakumono Estates founded in 1991 has celebrated its Silver Jubilee anniversary in Accra on the theme: “25 years as a United Family, Knowing, living and sharing the goodness of God.”

The Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra, Most Rev. Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle who was the main celebrant congratulated the entire membership of the Church, especially their support to the Archdiocese in various ways including time, talents and generosity.

He particularly commended the Parish for helping to construct a permanent a chapel the St. Anthony Catholic Church in Old Ningo to ensure that Catholics living in that part of the country have a place to celebrate Mass.   

The establishment of the Corpus Christi Church dates back to 1989 when the first residents arrived to occupy newly constructed housing units at Sakumono-Estates  

Among the residents were a sizeable number of Catholics. They continued to attend Holy Mass in their previous communities of residence but agreed that there was the need for the establishment of a Catholic church in the new residential community.

The pioneers eventually sent a delegation to meet with the then Catholic Bishop of Accra, Bishop Dominic Kwodwo Andoh to discuss the possibility of starting a new Church community at the Sakumono Estates.
The Bishop gave his consent and the first Catholic community was established at the Sakumono Estates and placed under the pastoral jurisdiction of the Good Shepherd Catholic Church at Tema Community Two.

On the 10th of February 1991, the late Rev, Father Patrick Twi, celebrated the first Holy Mass with the new church community in a small open yard attached to the SNNIT Estate Manager’s office.

From there the new church community continued to grow and soon found the open yard of the SSNT Estates Manger’s office inadequate for Sunday worship.

A couple in the group, the late Mr. Emmanuel Comla-Otabil and Mrs. Comla-Otabil, allowed the church community the use of their house for the celebration of Holy Mass on Sundays. The community continued to grow and soon the residence of the Otabils was also unable to accommodate the fast growing numbers of worshippers.

It then moved into the Bethel Nursery School at the Sakumono Estates, for Sunday worship. Eventually, the group now with hundreds of members, resolved to build a church house.

Being the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy in the Catholic Church, Most Rev Palmer-Buckle called on Christians in general and Catholics in particular to  open wide the doors of their hearts to forgive others in other to obtain the mercy of God.

He said like Zacchaeus in the bible, Christians must recognise their sins and ask for forgiveness.

The Parish Priest, Very Rev. Fr. Joseph Henry Mensah paid homage to the founding members of the church who laid the foundation, saying their toils had not been in vain but fruitful.

He expressed the hope that in the coming years, the church will continue to stamp its foot in the community and beyond through evangelism and preaching the world of God as well as providing social services including education.

Tema Metropolitan Assembly inaugurates school block for Manhean Anglican Junior High School



The Tema Metropolitan Assembly in the Greater Accra Region, in its quest to create a conducive environment to promote quality education at the basic level, is tackling the issue of educational infrastructure deficit.

The Assembly, under its Industrial City Basic School initiative has constructed six modern educational infrastructure aimed at preparing the grounds for the assembly to abolish the implementation of shift system in the metropolis.
Four of the schools have been completed and ready for use while two are at various stages of completion.

The Assembly its quest to totally end of the shift system in the Tema Metropolis has commenced a number of emergency projects to abolish the shift system because the practice creates room for most pupils become truants.


Inauguration

The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), for Tema, Mr. Isaac Ashai Odamtten who made this known on Wednesday,  at the inauguration of a three storey 12 unit classroom block with ancillary facility including ICT Laboratory,. Well stocked library, Home Economic block and washrooms at the Anglican Junior High School at Tema Manhean explained that the assembly has been investing into the provision of sufficient classrooms, as a means of finding antidote to the problem.

The school  was constructed with funds from the District Assembly’s Common Fund was to help end the shift system which was being practiced in the school due to the non-availability of classrooms to accommodate its growing population .

According to him, due to inadequate class rooms, most schools in the Metropolis have been on the shift system, which is not helping to attain the desired quality education. Hence, the Assembly has started the construction of a six-unit classroom block at Baastona and Mexico Basic School at Community 2.

Other structures to help end the shift system being constructed are a two-storey 12 unit classroom block at Lashibi and Adjei Kojo and two-storey 12-unit classroom block at the Republic Road Primary School in Community Four.

“We are confident that these projects will to a large extent not only improve the human and educational well-being in the Manhean Township but also help produce brilliant students who will be worthy future leaders.” He said.

He further disclosed that to build the capacity of teachers, the Assembly recently sponsored three teachers to visit the United Kingdom as part of an international exchange programme to enhance their experience.

INTERVENTION

The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr. Joseph Nii Laryea Afotey-Agbo commended TMA for the intervention put in place to improve education in the community.

He said as the Regional Minister for Greater Accra, he will continue to promote education in the region by ensuring that all the assemblies under his jurisdiction utilize their resources efficiently and judiciously to expand and improve infrastructure for the benefit of all.

CHALLENGE

The Tema Metropolitan Education Directorate’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Azeriya G. Ayeriga who deputized for the Metropolitan Education Director said the Assembly’s investments in new school infrastructure represents a challenge  to teachers and managers of the sector  to improve on quality delivery of educational services delivery in the Metropolis.

He was optimistic the new environment will impact student learning and outcomes and help Tema produce good students.

The Paramount Chief of Tema, Nii Adjei Krakue II commended the TMA for taking steps to help improve education in the Metropolis and was optimistic the edifice will raise the overall quality of education service delivery in the area.
-END-
Writer’s email: benjamin.glover@graphic.com.gh

NRSC observes Remembrance Day to honour road crash victims

The National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) has called on political parties to help intensify road safety campaigns to ensure that the coming general elections records minimal or no road fatalities.

The Director of Planning and Programmes at the NRSC, Ing. David Osafo Adonteng who was speaking in an interview in Tema as part of the World Day of Remembrance to honour road crash victims, noted with concern the shear indiscipline and reckless driving which is a contributory factor to the surge in road fatalities in every election year.

He said as at the end of October this year, 1,700 people have lost their lives through road crashes in the country and worried that if care is not taken and with the elections and festive season fast approaching the death toll on the country’s roads will soon increase.

Surge

Ing. Adonteng said every election year has recorded an increase in the number of gruesome road accidents.  Some factors accounting for high fatalities in election years were the mass movement people, high speed, driving under the influence of alcohol and convoy movements.



This unfortunate situation, he said, required commitment from all political parties to champion the cause of road safety and help control road crashes in the country.

The World Remembrance Day is a global initiative that is intended to respond to the great need of road crash victims for public recognition of their loss and suffering.


Staff of the NRSC in the Greater Accra Region and their stakeholders, namely Puma energy and S.O.Frimpong Transport Limited joined the congregation of the Tema Joint Church to pray and thank God for the lives of accident victims both living and dead.

They also visited the accident centre of the Tema General Hospital, (TGH)where they donated assorted items including, wheels chairs, stretchers, walking aides, bandages, clutches, disinfectants and food items to support the facility.

Safety measures

He also called on all road users including drivers and pedestrians to speak up against reckless driving- over-speeding and drunk-driving. He further cautioned motorists against drunk driving and riding motorcycles without crush helmets.



Ing. Adonteng also appealed to the government to resource the Tema General Hospital, with the needed logistics to enable the facility handle trauma and orthopaedic cases that is recorded in that facility.


Dr. Lawrence Ofori Boadu, Emergency Medicine Specialist at the TGH   indicated that the hospital due to its strategic location,  receives a lot of trauma cases, unfortunately due to the inadequacy of space and logistics, they are forced to referred them to either 37 Military Hospital or Korle-Bu.

The TGH is the major health facility serving about three municipal assemblies including the Tema Metropolis. The accident and emergency centre yet the emergency center is, most of the time, dysfunctional.

He said some of the challenges confronting the facility were the absence of specialists such as orthopedic and trauma surgeons and inadequate ambulances to help  evacuate victims were of major concerns and appealed to the government and stakeholders to equip the centre with a dedicated ambulance to enhance service delivery.



OKADA MENANCE
Dr Ofori Boadu also raised alarm over the sudden upsurge in motorcycle accidents especially in the Ashaiman area which is brought to the facility. This he attributed to reckless riding and called for sanity on the road to avoid needless accidents resulting in premature deaths.


The Manager of the Accident Centre at the Tema General Hospital, Mr Ernest Nuuf Awinimi disclosed that as at September this year, the unit recorded 937 cases. He indicated that out of those cases, 476 involved road accidents, 212 were domestic accisdents, 89 were related to industrial accidents, 148 were assault related while 12 were burns and abscess related.
-END-
Writer’s email: benjamin.glover@graphic.com.gh

Pix: Benjamin Xornam Glover
The Director of Planning and Programmes at the NRSC, Ing. David Osafo Adonteng, handing over the items to Dr. Lawrence Ofori Boadu, Emergency Medicine Specialist at the TGH  



NUMBER CRUNCH
1,700 -people passed away in road crashes as at October 2016.


QUICK READ
National Road Safety Commission observe Remembrance Day  to honour road crash victims

Business Desk TDC records drop in profits



Tema Development Corporation (TDC) has recorded a dip in its profit for the year 2015. The Corporation’s profit for 2015 declined by 15.1 percent.

TDC also saw its profit for 2015 drop to GH c 40.42 million from the GH c 47.59 million recorded in 2014.

The Corporation’s profit before tax dropped to GH c 8.78 million in 2015 as compared to the GH c 25.09 million it recorded a year earlier.

The Board Chairman of TDC, Mr. Emmanuel Oko Adjetey who disclosed this at the sixth Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Tema on Wednesday, said as a result of the dip in profits, the Corporation was unable to declare any dividend in respect of the 2015 operational year.

Mr. Adjetey explained that 2015 was a tough year for most business due to Ghana’s economic challenges and the Corporation was no exception.


INJUNCTION
The Corporation was hit with a law suit after some persons in the Community 24 area dragged TDC to court over a dispute on the Community 24 Site and Services Project.

This led to an injunction being placed against the TDC restraining if from carrying out any activity on the site which was expected to turn out over 1,400 fully serviced residential and commercial plots including 13 kilometers of internal road network, 27 kilometers of drainage system and 6 kilometers of storm water drains.

The Board Chairman explained that the court injunction caused a major setback for the Corporation and created serious liquidity challenges for the Corporation.

He also sited the in-filling project at Community 1 site 3 and the Community 2 offices and Shops Complex projects which he said were all financed solely from, TDCs internally generated funds as a contributing factor for the dip in the Corporation’s performance in 2015.

URBAN REDEVELOPMENT
Mr. Adjetey pledged the Corporation’s commitment towards the implementation of the redevelopment programme to ensure a successful regulation of Tema into a world-class urban environment as conceived 63 years ago by Ghana’s founding fathers he said the initial phase of the development programme will cover the Kaizer flats in Community 4, Sites 1, 2 and 3 in Communities 1 and 2

Shareholders of the Corporation passed a special resolution authorizing the directors to transfer GH 50 million from the income surplus account to stated capital as a way of restructuring the capital mix of the Corporation.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING
The Managing Director of TDC,  Mr Joe Abbey, said the Corporation made significant progress on the Kpone Affordable Housing Project. According to him, overall wroks progressed to 98.5 per cent on eight of the twenty-four blocks handed over to it by the government. He said work on the an additional eight blocks has began and when completed will provide 122 apartments.
Mr Abbey disclosed that the Corporation has started a project to deploy the Geographic Information System Technology to effectively digitise, map out and demarcate the Tema Acquisition Area enclave.

The Chief Director of the Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Alhaji Ziblim Yakubu commended TDC for contributing to the planning, developing, and managing the Tema Acquisition Area in the last 60 years.

He particularly commended TDC for consciously making the efforts to pay its dividends on yearly basis to the government and urged other agencies under the ministry to emulate the TDC to ensure more revenue to the government for accelerated development.

APPRAISAL
The Executive Chairman of the State Enterprise Commission, (SEC),  Dr Camynta Baezie while commending the TDC for its exceptional performance over the past six years disclosed that for the 2017 performance contract year, the SEC will introduce two additional performance measures  as part of its scoring.

These are the extent to which State Owned Enterprises (SOE) do business with each other and the incorporation of anti-corruption practices by the SOEs.
END-
Writer’s email: benjamin.glover@graphic.com.gh

Don’t give heed to election prophecies — Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra




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The Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra, Most Rev. Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle, has advised Ghanaians not to give heed to prophecies given by some so-called men of God about the outcome of the December 7 elections.
According to him, some of those men of God give prophecies just to gain popularity; hence, voters must not allow them to determine who and what to vote for.


“The only prophet you need to listen to lives in your heart. This is the time Ghanaians, especially Christians, should go down on their knees and pray for Ghana. Ghana belongs to all of us and each and every one of us must preach peace and work for the peace. We must live for peace and bring about reconciliation wherever we are,” he said.
Most Rev. Palmer-Buckle, who was delivering a homily at the 25th anniversary of the Corpus Christi Catholic Church at Sakumono-Estates near Tema on Sunday, advised the public to show maximum interest in the upcoming general election.
The anniversary was celebrated on the theme: “25 years as a united family, knowing, living and sharing the goodness of God.”
Charged atmosphere
The Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra said although the atmosphere was charged by “bad people who are pointing accusing fingers and insulting others, creating violence, this is the time for Christians to rise up and pray for the nation.”
He cautioned against violent behaviour and urged Ghanaians to counter violence with humility and forgiveness, bad language with generosity of heart and respect, disorder and negative attitudes with a positive attitude for the good of the nation.
Most Rev. Palmer-Buckle said exercising one’s voting rights was a responsibility, but there was no law in the country that compelled anyone to vote. 
“If you do not vote, God will hold you responsible because he has given us a country to build and keep. We are to make it a better place and your right to make it a better place is by showing your opinion through voting,” he stated.
He called on the Electoral Commission (EC) and all other stakeholders, including political parties, security agencies and the media, to understand the laws governing elections and the electoral process to avoid problems before, during and after the elections.
Year of mercy
As the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy in the Catholic Church, Most Rev. Palmer-Buckle called on Christians in general and Catholics in particular to open wide the doors of their hearts to forgive others in order to obtain the mercy of God.

Drivers unhappy with Tema roads



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So much ink has been splashed on the state of roads in the Tema Metropolis but it appears the problem is far from being addressed.
Save the recent asphaltic overlay project which began from the Community 12 roundabout, through the Hospital Road (the frontage of the Tema General Hospital which terminated at the road in front of the St. Paul Methodist Cathedral) and a section of the Sakumono coastal Road and Valco Roundabout to the Tema Oil Refinery Junction, most of the roads in the metropolis are in a dire state and in need of urgent rehabilitation.
The situation has been worsened by the recent rains which have further deepened the craters on most inner roads in the communities  making driving through the Harbour City and the Industrial areas a herculean task.
In February 2015, when the Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr Isaac Ashai Odamtten, cut the sod for the commencement of work on the 4.5 kilometre asphaltic overlay project from the Community 12 roundabout, through the frontage of the Tema General Hospital to the St. Paul Methodist Cathedral area, one assurance that echoed was the release of funds for an additional 23-kilometre asphaltic overlay in the metropolis.
Specific mention was made of the stretch of road from the Tema Development Corporation (TDC) offices area through to the frontage of Tema Senior High School to the Tema Polyclinic oval. There was also mention of the Community Two roads, Industrial Area roads, among others.
Tema was among four other metropolitan areas selected by the Department of Urban Roads (DUR) to benefit from more than 250 kilometres of asphaltic overlays, as captured by theDaily Graphic in November, 2014.  
The other cities mentioned in that publication were Accra, Kumasi, Cape Coast and Sekondi-Takoradi. Work on the selected roads was to begin in January, 2015 and scheduled for completion within six months.
The selected roads in these communities were to be asphalted and critical drainage systems provided. The stretch of roads was also provided with road furniture, among other facilities, to improve their conditions and ensure safety for road users.
Current state
Fast forwarded to June this year, and the works earmarked for the Tema Metropolis are yet to materialise.
The potholes and patches that were supposed to be fixed to ensure smooth surfaces have further developed into deep craters of varying sizes, shapes and depths.
Earlier this year, some captains of industry, in the face of frustration threatened to withhold the payment of levies and fees until the Assembly fixed the decrepit road network particularly in the industrial enclave.
Indeed, the road from the Tema Steel Works Junction through the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) junction to the Tema Oil Refinery Junction needs serious attention. Though some efforts had been made on that portion of road in the past including the stabilisation of the base course, a lot more attention is needed on that road to facilitate easy travelling.
The Metropolitan Chief Executive for Tema, Mr Isaac Ashai Odamtten, during a working visit to some factories in the Industrial enclave recently told the media that the assembly acknowledged that some of the road infrastructure in the enclave needed critical attention.
He gave the assurance that the Assembly was committed to collaborating with its stakeholders to fix the roads.
Mr Odamtten disclosed that as part of efforts to address the bad road network in the industrial area, the assembly had initialled what he termed a 50-50 accelerated infrastructure development programme, which was a collaborative plan with its stakeholders including industry to help fix the roads.
“By that, the assembly is calling on people who have immediate needs to team up with us with some cost-sharing arrangement for us to get the benefit of fixing those challenges.
The road network is one of such projects and we will put a team together to talk to the industries in order to execute the concept,” he explained
Shared responsibility
While acknowledging the fact that development of the metropolis was the responsibility of the assembly, he maintained that residents and business operators had a role to play by ensuring that they paid their rates promptly to cushion its finances to take up more projects.
Another challenge the MCE touched on was the emergence of squatter settlement and slums not only in the residential areas but also in the industrial enclave. The assembly takes a strong view of the situation and would soon deploy its security sub-committee on slum control to the industrial parts of the city to deal with the issue.
The assembly, he said, would also deal with security needs such as the provision of street lights in the industrial enclave and provide a police post to curb the incidence of crime.
Win-win
The Chief Executive Officer of Reroy Cables, one of the companies visited by the mayor, Mrs Kate Quartey-Papafio, welcomed the concept of collaboration with the assembly to rehabilitate the roads and other infrastructure but stressed that it must be a win-win situation.
“If they (Assembly) say we need to collaborate, we will, but at the end of the day, we will take it out of our taxes. Because we pay the taxes, salaries, etc. If the roads are not being fixed and we are being called to contribute a little to the kitty, which will require that we borrow from the banks  to contribute, then the only way out is that once we contribute, we are not going to pay taxes for some time to enable us pay back our loans”, she told journalists.
Nana Kwame Oteng-Gyasi, the Marketing and Business Development Manager of Tropical Cables and Conductors Limited, another factory the Mayor visited in an interview also bemoaned the state of the roads stressing that it was impacting negatively on the movements of products and raw materials to their premises.
To him, roads leading to the vital parts of the city such as the industrial enclave to facilitate the movement of goods and services to enhance production and generate more wealth deserve a better road infrastructure.  He called on the assembly and other agencies to pay attention to the roads.
Some of the drivers reiterated the need for the assembly to rehabilitate the roads in the metropolis in order to make travelling more convenient. Mr Joshua Fosu, a taxi driver, plying Tema Community One to Sakumono said driving on the deplorable roads, especially between Communities two and three was nightmarish and frustrating and urged the assembly to take action. 
It is the hope of many road users that the assembly will actualise its plans to tackle the challenge of poor network in the metropolis to help boost economic activities in the area.

Writer’s email: benjamin.glover@graphic.com.gh

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Ashaiman Police make big drugs haul



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The Police at Ashaiman last Tuesday made a big drug haul with the arrest of four persons who were in the process of concealing 1,668 slabs of compressed dried leaves suspected to be Indian hemp in cartons labelled as fresh yam meant for export.
Two of the suspects, Ofori Malik, 35, and Richmond Atieku, 27, were initially arrested by the police in an uncompleted warehouse at Sebrepor in the Kpone Katamanso District, while repackaging the cartons of yam with the compressed parcels of Indian hemp.
Bribery attempt
In the course of their arrest, two other suspects, Kweku Bonsu, 47, a resident of Ashaiman but based in the United Kingdom and Edward Mensah alias Nana Yaw, 40, approached the police personnel and allegedly attempted to bribe them with of £1,900 cash in order to discontinue the arrest.
Items found on the suspects included a bowl of "Alata samina", a weighing scale, two compressors, binding tape, and the £1,900 meant to compromise the police.
The Public Relations Officer of the Tema Regional Police Command, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Ms Juliana Obeng, briefing the press, said the police at about 4 a.m. last Tuesday, June 21, 2016 received intelligence that the suspects were operating from the warehouse.
‘Alata samina’

                 Cartons of yam in which the compressed slabs of substances believed to be Indian hemp were concealed 
She said a swoop on the suspects revealed that the suspects were repackaging the large yam cartons with the slabs of the compressed substance suspected to be Indian hemp.
According to the PRO, each of the compressed slabs was wrapped in plastic and later smeared with “alata samina” and covered with plain paper to subdue the smell of the Indian hemp.
The police PRO said investigations were ongoing to arrest the other members of the syndicate after which the suspects would be arraigned.
Writer’s email: benjamin.glover@graphic.com.gh

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Tema Police locate training ground for armed robbers but residents dispute claims




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The Tema Regional Police Command has uncovered a shooting range that it suspects to be the training ground for suspected armed robbers.
This was exposed after the police shot dead a suspected armed robber and arrested two others who had engaged a police patrol team in a shoot-out at the Ramsar Site, Tema Community Three.


The one who was shot dead and his accomplices were alleged to have  set up the improvised shooting range in a swampy area where they were practising how to shoot.
The two were later arrested based on intelligence received by the police.  
 During a search conducted at the improvised shooting range, the police found one shot gun (Trust Super Halcon) and 72 triple “A” empty cartridges and several empty plastic bottles that were used as targets by the suspects.
An executive member of the ‘One Accord’ Residents Association at Tema Community Five (Church Village) has, however, disputed the claims by the police that the deceased and suspects arrested were armed robbers.
Ms Nana Ayea, secretary of the association, said the deceased was a taxi driver and former resident of the area who was attending to the call of nature but was shot by the police.
Briefing
Briefing the media in Tema yesterday, the Tema Regional Police command Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Ms Juliana Obeng, said at about 4 p.m. last Saturday, the Command received intelligence that a group of five persons had set up an improvised shooting range in the middle of the Ramsar Site where they were learning how to shoot.
She said a  police patrol team was dispatched to the area but the suspects were first to open fire upon seeing the police, thus compelling the peace officers to return fire. 
Ms Obeng said in the process, one of the robbers was killed. Two of his accomplices were arrested while two others escaped. The identities of the suspects are yet to be released by the police.
Meanwhile, the body of the deceased has been deposited at the Police Hospital morgue for autopsy.
Investigations
ASP Obeng said preliminary interrogation of those arrested revealed that the gang had earlier carried out a robbery operation on the premises of Santeo Steel Limited, a steal manufacturing company in the Tema Industrial Area, last Saturday morning. 
They made away with some items including an unspecified amount of money, mobile phones, iPads and laptops.
ASP Obeng appealed to the general public to assist the police to apprehend the other two suspects.
Reaction
Reacting to the claims, Ms Ayea said at about 2 p.m. last Saturday, she saw a team of policemen on an operation in the neighbourhood amidst sporadic sounds of gunshots.
She later learnt that someone whose name she gave only as Kwame had been shot in the process.
According to her, she was told Kwame who had just returned from a funeral at Klaggon was socialising with some of his friends at a joint where he subsequently excused himself to attend to the call of nature in the bush only to be shot by the police.
The chairman of the association, Mr Edward Papa Akorful, said as residents they did not condone crime and had always reported activities of criminals in the neighbourhood to the police.
He also denied knowledge of the presence of  a makeshift shooting range in the neighbourhood. 
His Secretary, Nana Akyea, and another executive member of the association, Mr Raph Haruna, however, confirmed that occasionally they heard some shots in the distance which they usually considered as fire crackers.

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