Monday, 20 February 2017

Robbers attack journalist at Ashaiman

Mr Micheal Afful, with bandage on his bullet wounds
Armed robbers last Friday dawn shot a journalist and robbed him of money and property worth thousands of Ghana cedis. The armed gang wielding guns and knives shot Mr Michael Cregg Afful, a correspondent of Accra-based Oman FM, in the left knee at his residence at Ashaiman Official Town.
His wife and children who were in the room with him were not harmed.
The robbers made away with a sum of GH¢1,300 and CFA3,000.
They also stole mobile phones and a flat screen television set after ransacking the victim’s room and three other rooms in the compound house.
He was rushed to the  Tema General Hospital where the pellets were removed and an X-ray conducted. He has been discharged.
Speaking with the Daily Graphic, Mr Afful said at about 2 a.m., he was awakened by an unusual noise in his room.
He said when he woke up, he saw one of the robbers in his sitting room.
The robber, Mr Afful said, ordered him to lie on the floor and later told him to surrender all his money.
He said in the course of walking out, he was shot in his left knee and hit violently on his mouth until he lost two teeth.
Meanwhile, the Ashaiman Municipal Police Command has initiated investigations into the incident.


Thursday, 16 February 2017

TMA swears in government appointees amid drama

BENJAMIN GLOVER                          08 FEBRUARY 2017

Metropolitan Assembly.
Fifteen newly selected government appointees to the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) have been sworn into office.The appointees, made up of 11 men and four women, were sworn in by Mr Joseph McAli Junior, a Tema District Magistrate.
Mr Joseph McAli Junior,(back to camera), a Tema District Magistrate swearing-in the newly constituted government appointees for the Tema Metropolitan Assembly.

The swearing-in of the new government appointees into the assembly followed the revocation of the appointments of government representatives in the wake of the election of President Nana Akufo-Addo.
The assembly, made up of 32 elected members and the 15 newly sworn in government appointees, also elected Messrs Joseph Korto and Charles Yaw Amoah as its representatives to the Greater Accra Regional Electoral College to elect the region's representative to the Council of State.
Prior to the swearing-in ceremony, an argument broke out between the assembly members about the eligibility of one of the government appointees, Mr Antonio Jose D. Matos Fernandes.
An Assembly Member for the Adjei-Kojo Electoral Area in the Tema West Constituency, Mr Romeo Akahoho questioned whether Mr Fernandes was eligible to become a government nominee because he was born in Portugal.
The arguments, which lasted for about 10 minutes, ended when Mr Fernandes, on the orders of the Presiding Member, Mr Richard Fiadomo, produced his Ghanaian passport, Voters ID card and gazette dated June 2, 2006 in which Ghanaian citizenship was conferred on him.
The presiding member of the assembly urged the newly sworn in assembly members to study the standing orders and other rules of procedure of the assembly to guide them in the deliberations of the house.
He asked members to serve their respective sub-committees diligently and offer selfless and dedicated services for the accelerated development of the Tema Metropolis.
Present at the swearing-in ceremony were the former Mayor of the Tema Metropolis, Mr Samuel Evans Ashong Narh, and Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, MP for Tema West.
In a related development, eight out of the nine newly nominated government appointees to the Kpone Katamanso District Assembly were also sworn into office.
The assembly also selected Mr Anthony Nukpenu, Presiding Member of the KKDA, and Nana Simpim to the Electoral College to elect the Greater Accra Region's representative to the Council of State


Tema General Hospital sets up inquiry into confiscation of corpse incident

By Benjamin Xornam Glover, TEMA   February 15, 2017 

The Management of Tema General Hospital has instituted an enquiry last Saturday's incident at the Community 9 public cemetery where the burial process of a male adult was disrupted by an alleged mortuary staff of the hospital.
A statement signed by the Medical Director of the TGH, Dr. Kwabena Opoku-Adusei sighted by the Daily Graphic said management takes a serious view of the incident and has set up processes to look into the case of the individual involved.
"We want to reiterate the fact the management has out in place official and formalised way of depositing dead bodies at the Hospital morgue and retrieving same. Any other unofficial arrangement become personal." The statement said.
Dr Opuku-Adusei also implored the general public as part of customer care processes, to honour and respect agreements made between parties be it official or unofficial.
He assured the general public that any staff who brings the name of the hospital into disrepute would be disciplined in accordance with the Code of Conduct and Disciplinary procedures of the Ghana Health Service.
The statement also cautioned that the general public that any patients who absconds or attempts to abscond from the hospital after recovery would be handed over to the police for proper legal action.
It would be recalled that mourners who had gone to the Tema Community 9 Public Cemetery to bury a deceased relative had the shock of their lives when an undertaker reportedly stormed the graveyard to demand an outstanding debt of Gh¢40 from relatives of a deceased for services he rendered.
The undertaker had prepared the body of the male elderly man at the Tema General Hospital Mortuary for burial and after family members failed to pay the balance, he stormed the cemetery to demand his money.
After a failed attempt to collect the balance owed him, the undertaker  confiscated the body of the deceased from family members who had gone to the cemetery and with the help of an assistant, carried it shoulder high with the intention of returning it to the morgue.
After a series of pleadings of the mourners and family of the deceased, the balance was paid to pave way for the burial.

SMEs urged to take advantage of upturn in the economy

By Benjamin Xornam Glover, TEMA                  February 14, 2017 

Small Scale and Medium Enterprises(SMEs) have been urged position themselves to take advantage of the upturn in the economy  or face falling behind their competitors.
Professor. John B. K. Aheto, Professor in Accounting and Finance at GIMPA who gave the advice in an interview with the Daily Graphic on the sidelines of a capacity building workshop organised by the Tema chapter of the Ghana Chamber of Commence and Industry chamber said with an  improved confidence level of businesses in the country's economy,  there is the need for business to take advantage of the prevailing conditions to drive their businesses.
He noted that 2017 is already showing signs of being a strong year of growth and thus urged businessmen and women to invest for growth or face going under.
Economic cycle
"For the last two to three years, we have had serious problems with the economy. Depression and recession is part and parcel of every economy no matter what. It happened in the USA, Germany etc but business people should not be discouraged because no matter how long it takes, it will be better" Prof. Aheto admonished.
Prof. Aheto who is also a SME Consultant  said with the improvement in power supply to domestic and commercial users over the past few months  after the debilitating effects of the energy situation and assurances that the country would  soon witness excess capacity, it was essential for SMEs  to take advantage of a resurgent economy to boost their businesses.
He said the current political administration have indicated that it was pro business and more especially, it was pro small scale business hence the the need for SMEs to  see that as an opportunity to grow their businesses and become major players in the economy.
Training is key
The Ghana Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GCCI) is an association of business operators, firms and industries with interests spanning every sector of private enterprise in Ghana.
The Vice Chairman of the Tema Chapter of the GCCI, Mr Cosmos Victor Bondzie explained the workshop, the maiden one for its members for this year was aimed at building their capacity in order to better position them to take advantage of the opportunities available in the new political administration of the country to expand businesses and create more jobs.
"With the change of administration, the business climate is looking good and the expectations are very high and the only thing that members of the GCCI can do is to  prepare themselves. If the system has prepared itself already and you are not prepared, you cannot take advantage of the opportunities, so the best is to prepare yourself first to grab any opportunity  that comes your way." he said.
Other speakers at the workshop were Mr Samuel Agyemang, Senior Principal Public Relations Officer,Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and Mrs Teki Akuetteh Falconer, Executive Director, Data Protection Commission who took participants thorough the benefits of media and media placement strategies and data protection principles respectively.

Redemption Presby church clebrates Silver Jubilee

By Benjamin Xornam Glover, TEMA   February 9, 2017 

The Redemption Congregation of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana! (PCG) at Tema Community 9 Calvary has climaxed  Silver Jubilee celebration with a thanksgiving service.
The anniversary, which was on the theme: “25 Years of God's goodness, this far by faith" was attended by the Moderator of the  PCG, Rt. Rev, Prof. Cephas N. Omenyo, the Chairperson of the Ga Presbytery of the PCG. Rev. Victor Okoe Abbey, the Clerk of the Ga Presbytery of the Church, Rev. Dr. William Quaye and the Tema North District Minister of the PCG, Rev. Isaac K. Fokuo among other dignitaries.
The Moderator of the PCG,  Rt. Rev, Prof. Omenyo in his sermon expressed gratitude to the Almighty God for how far He had brought them together as a church.
He asked Christians to be obedient and work hard to serve God’s purpose for humanity, stressing that in response to the goodness of God, Christians must turn away from their ingratitude and unbelief and rather repent. "It behoves Christians radiate God's goodness and continue to work in faith with God for generations after us and the entire society to also benefit,” he added.
The Moderator further praised the leadership of the Redemption Congregation for their efforts over the past 25 years and charged them evangelise more to advance the kingdom of God. "Being a congregation set in an Industrial city, you have the opportunity for diverse mission activities. As we look into the future, let us begin to think about some of the things we can do to advance the Kingdom of God,something to show for that indeed we have experienced a move by the Holy Spirit."
He said the church will be better off if it sees traces as mission to factories and companies, chaplaincy to workers, discipleship and mentoring of the large migrant communities and a consideration of Sunday evening divine services to meet the needs of shift workers.
Being a metropolis with the largest concentration of professionals, Rt. Rev. Prof. Omenyo urged the leadership on the congregation to tap into these diverse experiences to help with church growth and development by creating a platform to bring these experiences  to bear on the development of the church and the society.
The Resident Minister, Rt Lt.Col. Abraham L.A. Hammond (Rtd), said the Redemption Congregation has achieved a lot in the past 25 years both physucalky and spiritually and is looking forward to becoming more relevant to the society by intensifying the evangelism programmes and reach out to more people with the gospel of Christ.
Awards were presented congregants who have played significant roles in the 25 years of the congregation with the highest honour going to Mr. Andrews Odamtten who offered his house to be used as a worship place during the early years of the congregation.

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Undertaker confiscates corpse for unpaid services

he undertaker accompanied by an assistant, unscrewed the casket, removed the body and carried it shoulder high to take away but after some pleadings, the balance was paid to pave way for the burial.
There was a creepy incident at the Tema Community Nine Public Cemetery last Saturday when an undertaker reportedly stormed the graveyard to demand an outstanding debt of Gh¢40 from relatives of a deceased for services he rendered.
The undertaker had prepared the body of the male elderly man at the Tema General Hospital Mortuary for burial and after family members failed to pay the balance, he stormed the cemetery to demand his money.A

After a failed attempt to collect the balance owed him, the undertaker reportedly confiscated the body of the deceased from family members who had gone to the cemetery and with the help of an assistant, carried it shoulder high with the intention of returning it to the morgue.
The spooky moment reportedly sent mourners and bystanders running while the brave ones filmed the incident with their cell phones.
Photos and videos of the incident were later published on the internet.
An eyewitness, Madam Yaa Agyeiwaa, a trader at the Tema Community Nine Market, which is near the cemetery told Graphic Online that the undertaker was said to have charged Gh¢150 from the family members to prepare the body.
However, the family members who had earlier agreed to pay Gh¢150 refused to pay the entire amount and on the blind side of the undertaker, while he prepared another body, they sneaked the deceased out of the hospital and headed straight to the cemetery.
The situation was said to have forced the undertaker to storm the Tema Community Nine public cemetery where the burial was to take place to demand his money.
The eyewitness said when they initially failed to pay, the undertaker accompanied by an assistant, unscrewed the casket, removed the body and carried it shoulder high to take away but after some pleadings, the balance was paid to pave way for the burial.
When Graphic Online visited the Tema General Hospital Mortuary, the Morgue Manager as well as the head of security said the facility had nothing to do with it adding that it was a private arrangement between the undertaker and the deceased family.
Checks from the facility indicated that the body was picked from the hospital straight to the cemetery for burial after the undertaker had finished his duty of preparing the body.


Ishmael Ashitey accused of imposing personal choice as Tema MCE

Nene Ofoe Teye, Tema East NPP Constituency Chairman (In smock) addressing party members
Tension is brewing among the executives of the Tema East Branch of the New Patriotic Party, (NPP) over the choice of a candidate to occupy the vacant Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive position.
A section of the executives led by the constituency chairman, Nene Ofoe Teye has accused the Regional Chairman and Greater Accra Regional Minister designate, Mr Ishmael Ashitey of usurping the powers of the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and imposing his personal choice as a candidate for the position of MCE.

However, Mr Ashitey has denied the allegation emphasising that he is not the appointing authority and that it was the duty of the President to select whoever he deems fit to occupy the position.
The irate constituency executives, led by the Chairman, Nene Teye at a press conference in Tema on Monday alleged that Mr Ashitey was stampeding the selection process "in total disregard of the voice of the masses, he is self-seeking, to say the least, a recipe for political instability which will disintegrate the party."
"His manipulative tactics are so glaring and we find it quite unfortunate how he is fast succeeding in manipulating some traditional figures in the constituency and the metropolis to push his disruptive agenda, the implications of which seem lost on these advisors," the constituency chairman said.
Nene Teye, flanked by other executives and scores of NPP supporters and clad in red head and arm bands, said the entire leadership of the party in Tema will not countenance acts that sought to take the mandate of the people for granted, adding "we cannot afford to douse their hope in us as a party and ignore their wishes."
According to him, they will fiercely resist the Regional Chairman and his associates and ensure that no candidate is imposed on them.
When contacted, Mr Ashitey debunked the allegation against him stressing it was only the President that has the constitutional and ultimate responsibility of selecting who becomes the MCE for the area.
He also flatly denied his non-involvement in the campaign process prior to the general elections in the Tema East Constituency.
Information available to Graphic Online indicates that 13 people have applied to contest for the vacant seat.
FLASHBACK: Mr Benjamin Ashitey Armarh, (3rd from left) one of the MCE contenders who has been accused of disloyalty joined the MP, Mr Daniel Titus Glover in one of the NPP campaign activities prior to the elections in December 2016.
Among those contesting the position are Mr Charles Boateng, Tema West Constituency Chairman, Mr Solomon Sackitey, who is allegedly being sponsored by the MP, Mr Titus Glover and Mr Benjamin Nii Ashitey Armah, who contested the current MP for Tema East during NPPs primaries last year.
The Constituency Chairman, Nene Teye and his faction questioned the loyalty of one of the contenders, Mr Ashitey Armah whom they accused for campaigning against the party after he lost out in the primaries.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Assemblies to reach citizens through new digital tools

A project aimed at  enhancing grass-roots  participation in  civic life  and  governance using  new digital tools such as online and offline platforms has started in the district assemblies.
This is to help connect  residents to their assemblies  and to  reverse the exclusion of citizens in the local governance process.
The project  is  being sponsored  by Penplusbytes, a not-for-profit organisation, with support from the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI).
Citizens’ engagement
 The project,  titled Citizens Engagement, was recently launched in the Ashaiman Municipal Assembly, (ASHMA) in the Greater Accra Region which was attended by representatives of civil society organisations and the media
At the Citizen Engagement  forum at Ashaiman, a  Senior Development Planning Officer of the assembly, Hajia Khadijah Osman, said the assembly had  approved a budget of G ¢22,198,447.20 to promote rapid development of the municipality for the year 2017.that would hinge on citizens’ participation
The assembly has also set aside a total amount of GH¢12, 470,443.57 as its investment budget for the year.
 Out of that amount, the assembly was committing about GH¢1,775,000 (14.3 per cent) of that budget this year to improve education service delivery.
Health issues
For this year, she said  the assembly was also committing GH¢2, 057,864.32  to tackle health issues in the municipality.
Hajia Osman enumerated some projects earmarked for the municipality for the year 2017 to improve the lives of the people of the area.
She said plans were underway to complete the first floor of male and female wards at the Ashaiman Polyclinic at an estimated cost of GH¢180, 821.25.
 Again, the assembly intends to build a 20-bed capacity isolation ward at the same health facility also estimated at GH¢800,000.00
Hajia Khadijah added that a CHPS Compound would be constructed at Tulaku while a health post with residential facility would also be constructed at Ashaiman Tsui-bleoo.
In the area of Education, she said the ASHMA, would this year construct a community library and also build a 12-unit classroom block at Tsui-bleoo, adding that the assembly had approved a budget for the supply of 360 mono-desk to a 12-unit classroom block also at Tsui-bleoo, among other initiatives.
She, however, stated that the assembly had challenges including inadequate funds, irregular flow of district assemblies’ common fund, poor attitudes of contractors, and non-availability of land.
The Programmes Director at Penplusbytes, Mr Jerry Sam, said  the citizens’ forum would provide an avenue for awareness creation among citizens of issues such as allocated budgets and development plans which would arm them with the requisite knowledge about the Ashaiman Municipality and thereby contribute meaningfully to the effective management of their resources for the benefit of all
Mr Sam expressed the hope that such engagement would help the assembly to plan better and meet the exact needs of the citizens
Mr Charles Zuttah, the Secretary of the Ashaiman-based Ghana Federation of the Urban Poor, a civil society organisation, lauded the initiative stressing that they had been empowered to effectively participate in the local governance decision-making process and promote better public service delivery especially in health and education.
The Ashaiman Community Development Officer, Ms Vera Allottey, said such engagement programmes with residents would help to educate the residents and to inform them of development projects being embarked on with their taxes and levies.

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Vice-President calls for uniformity of tariffs at ports

31 JANUARY 2017
Mr Jacob Adorkor (in reflective jacket), the Director of Port, taking Dr Bawumia, the Vice-President, round the facility.

The Vice-President, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, has hinted that the government may ensure some standardisation in the exchange rate within the ports to ensure uniformity of tariffs.

According to him, although we were in a free market, some level of standardisation ought to be put in place to ensure that port charges, using foreign exchange rates, did not put people out of business.
“We have heard several complaints about unstable exchange rates, and while we may want a free market, we want to see harmonisation, where some level of standardisation is applied to all the market,” Dr Bawumia said.
The Vice-President made this known when he paid a surprise visit to the Tema Port yesterday.
The visit, he said, was to make the government understand issues concerning port business and examine the processes, so that they could be taken on board for policy formulation.
Operational areas
Dr Bawumia toured the various operational areas, such as the Golden Jubilee Terminal (GJT), the Document Verification Centre, popularly known as the Long Room, and the Atlas Holding yard where confiscated vehicles are kept.
He also called on the management of the Meridian Port Services (MPS) to apprise himself of the ongoing Tema Port expansion project.
He was conducted round the facility by the Director of Ports at the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), Mr Jacob Adorkor, and some management staff of the authority.
Port improvement
Dr Bawumia indicated that Ghana’s ports were competing with other ports across the West African subregion, hence the need to ensure improved performance and efficiency across the board.
He pointed out that the importance of Ghana’s ports to its economy could not be underestimated.
Giving his impressions after the tour, the Vice-President indicated that the interaction with clearing agents, Customs officials, importers and other stakeholders suggested the need for improved performance.
“Customers are complaining about very high handling charges, import duties, duties on ambulances, outboard motors, among others, and we will work with stakeholders to ensure some level of comfort for the trading public,” he hinted.
He was of the view that the harmonisation of processes would ensure speedy port processes, hence the need to get first-hand information which would help the economic management team formulate policies in that direction.
Dr Bawumia expressed worry over the seeming congestion at the various holding terminals within the port.
“I have seen a lot of vehicles piled up, taking up space. There are also mattresses, used fridges, among other goods, and it is important that we make people understand what import duties are, so they don’t ship items into the country and leave them unclaimed at the port terminals,” he said.
He proposed the need for a common website where importers could periodically check on import duty costs to inform their shipping decisions.


Friday, 27 January 2017

Chemu SHS wins Tema Metro debate

The Chemu Senior High School in Tema has won an Independence Day inter-school debate with 78.7 points. Tema Senior High School and Tema Technical Institute placed second and third with 66 and 62.3 points, respectively.
The debate was organised by the Tema Metropolitan office of the Ghana Education Service (GES) for seven senior high schools in the metropolis to select the best second-cycle school for the Presidential Award competition during the 60th Independence Day Celebration in March.
A group photograph of the debaters from the participating schools with the panel of judges and other officials of GES at the event
Chemu SHS will, therefore, represent the Tema Zone at the Greater Accra Regional contest and seek to qualify for the national event.
The contest, which was held at the Tema Manhean Senior High Technical School, was on the theme: “Social Media, a blessing or a curse” had three students from each of the participating schools arguing for and against the motion after which the panel of judges awarded marks.
Masters Jonathan Agbetsomedo, Henry Adjetey and Miss Sandra Anani, the Principal Speaker, First Supporting Speaker, Second Principal Speaker, respectively for Chemu SHS, argued for the motion.
They maintained that social media aided in real time communication, allowed for instant messaging and helped in expanding businesses through advertising.
They further argued that social media platforms promoted representation and aided in improving security and offered relevant information to the public.
Contestants from the Tema SHS, represented by Seraphine Akua Dogbey, Donald Kwabena Sagoe and Cyndy Ohenewaa Abeasi, who held a contrary view, contended that social media were prime time wasters, contributed to poor academic performance by students, facilitated examination malpractices, infringed on the privacy of people, promoted cyber fraud and cyber bullying and hada toll on the health and psychological makeup of users.
They also stressed that the platforms were promoting pornography among the youth.
Tema Technical Institute placed third. It was represented by Francis Aggrey, Sulley Nartey Agborkey and Petia Fafa Ashiabi who also debated in favour of the motion.
The Tema Metropolitan Director of Education, Mrs Margaret Frempong Kore, advised students to make good use of the debating clubs and other extra curriculum activities in their schools to help boost their confidence.
The Chief Judge for the debate, Mr Azeriya Ayeriga, said the debaters were judged on their logical presentation, knowledge of subject matter, technical information, ability to rebut points from opponents, clarity and register, teamwork and referencing.

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