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Showing posts from August, 2016

KASA Camp 2016 ended

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong

The Youth Ministries of the Merry Villas District and the Adabraka District (Merry Villas Zone) of the Church of Pentecost have organized a four day zonal camp meeting (KASA Camp 2016) at Abuakwa State College at Kibi in the Eastern Region of Ghana.

The camp meeting which brought together over 300 youth from the two districts was under the theme: “Called to hear and obey God’s voice as a Youth” (1 Samuel 3:9-10).

In his address to welcome the youth to the camp meeting, the La Area Youth Leader of the Church of Pentecost, Pastor Samuel Yaw Asare encouraged the youth to avail themselves to all the activities of each session.

“Commit yourself and your future, prayerfully to God and have a deep intimacy with Him,” he added. As December 7 polls get closer, Pastor Yaw Asare urged the participants especially the Christian youth of this country to pray for peace for the country. “Let remember Ghana in our prayers as we encounter with God,” he added.

The Zonal Youth Leade…

Govt. has not introduce new tax for casual workers-MoF

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
Ministry of Finance has stated that the government has not introduced any new tax for casual or temporary workers in the country, especially for those working in oil and gas, mining and other companies.
According to the Ministry, the 5% tax which casual and temporary workers are require to pay is not a new tax but it’s rather an existing tax.
The Ministry said under the repealed tax Act (2000), Act 592 wages of casual and temporary workers, especially for those in oil and gas, mining and other companies are required to pay 5% tax.
A statement from the Ministry said the current 5% tax replaced the existing 15% or 7.5% casual or temporary tax.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the 5% in the Regulation L.I 2244 is therefore a reduction in rate and not a new tax on casual and temporary employees,” the statement said.
The Ministry issued the statement to settles the anxiety that some sections of the public have expressed concerning the implementation of the 5% tax for casual l…

PHF receives US$126.41 million in first half of 2016

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong

Semi-annual report for the first half of 2016 suggests that an amount of US$126.41 million was received into the Petroleum Holding Fund (PHF), the Bank of Ghana has said.

This comprised of US$114.40 million being proceeds of the 30th 31st and 32nd liftings of crude oil from the Jubilee Field undertaken by the Ghana Group.

According to the report, about US$12.00 million was also coming from gas sale, taxes, royalties, surface rentals and interest earned on undistributed lifting proceeds held in the PHF.

The report mentioned that out of this amount, corporate tax totaled US$2.29 million and interest on undistributed funds was US$0.04 million, surface rental of US$0.38 million and gas sale proceeds amounted to US$9.30. “A total amount of US$ 0.30 million received in first of half 2016 will be distributed with the proceeds of the 32nd lifting in second half 2016,” it added.

“Total amount distributed from the PHF in first half of this year was US$87.15 million, includ…

Work resumes on Gbawe Police post

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
The Ga South Municipal Assembly (GSMA) has allocated GHc122,873.85 from the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) to renovate the Gbawe Police Post.
The construction of the Gbawe Police post started some years ago but due to lack of funds the project was put on hold until the GSMA allocated funds to complete it.
According to the Assemblyman for Gbawe Electoral Area, Hon. Robert Nii Armah Tagoe the Police will serve seven communities formed the Gbawe Electoral Area.
He mentioned them to be included Top Base, Gbawe Township, Bulemli, Zero, Telecom Area, Gonse, Sonitra and some part of Anyaa.
He told the Daily Express that together with the Chiefs of Gbawe and some other sub chiefs they have had meetings with the Ga South Municipal Chief Executive, Hon. Jerry Acquaye Thompson over the completion of the project.
“After we had the meetings the MCE has been here to inspect the station. Based on our discussions work is currently going on at the site,” the Assemblyman assured t…

Fishermen insurance scheme in the offing

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
President John Mahama has announced that the government will soon introduce insurance scheme for fishermen in all the fishing coastal across the country.
According to him, the insurance scheme is to assist fishermen in case of any emergency which will affect the operations.
He announced this at Axim in the Western Region when is started his 2016 campaign towards the December 7 election.
President Mahama mentioned that the Ministry of Fisheries has started writing the names of all fishermen and their canoes as well as the Landing Beach Communities (LBC) they operates. He denied the allegation that they are writing the names of the fishermen in order to tax them. “There is no tax in fishing as alleged by some Ghanaians,” he added.
He stated that the government has secured funds for the construction of toilet and bathrooms facilities in all the coastal communities across the country. “This is to curb the defecation in and around landing beaches in the country,” he mentione…

Stakeholders calls for proposal for tree tenure and benefit sharing scheme

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong

Stakeholders in the forestry sector in Ghana have asked for proposals to cater for the tree tenure and benefit sharing scheme in the country.

A draft report from a consultant tasked by the Forestry Commission (FC) to assess the benefit of sharing trees stated that concerning naturally occurring trees on reserve, the dominant view was that the existing arrangement be maintained.

However, mechanisms have to be put in place to facilitate the effective and efficient implantation of Social Responsibility Agreement (SRA) and the disbursement of benefits. “A new preferred arrangement in relation to wildlife is the proposal for the institution of an SRA-like benefit flow for Wildlife areas to communities fringing the wildlife reserve,” the report mentioned.

On naturally occurring trees off-reserve with regard to trees on farms, the report said the general preference was for the State to keep off the benefits or revenue accruing from the sale of such trees.

It is proposed…

La Area to inaugurate Youth Pastor next month

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong

La Area of the Church of Pentecost will next month inaugurate Pastor Isaac Osei as the Youth Pastor of the Area and expected to take place at the Dr. Thomas Wyatt Assembly, New Town in Accra.

Pastor Osei replaced the immediate past La Area Youth Leader Pastor Samuel Yaw Asare who has been transferred to another area of the church.

At the inauguration of the Caprice Worship Center (CWC) which will serve as the residence place of worship for the La Area Youth Pastor, the Resident Minister for Burma Camp Worship Center, Apostle Benjamin Kumi-Woode tasked the incoming Youth Pastor, the new executives and all committee members of the newly created district (Worship Center), to build the church on the foundation that has already been laid by Christ.

He emphasized that, no one can lay any new foundation, because Christ, who is the head of the Church, has already laid the foundation, quoting from 1 Corinthians 3:11. Apostle Kumi Woode later prayed for Pastor Osei and fami…

GHc4 m as premium for cocoa farmers

By: Kofi Aduonum
Olam Ghana, a leading supply chain manager of agri-products and one of Ghana’s biggest cocoa buying agencies, has announced the payment of GHC4 million in premiums to cocoa farmers for the 2015/2016 season.

The amount represents a hundred percent increase over the total premium of GHc1.9 million paid to farmers last year.

The announcement was made at a cocoa farmers’ durbar at Mumuni, near Samreboi in the Amenfi West District of the Western Region which attracted over 1,000 cocoa farmers from all the cocoa growing regions in the country.

This season’s premiums are distributed to some 12,000 farmers across the country, each of whom would receive GHc15 as bonus on each bag of cocoa sold to the company.

Premium payment

The premiums, popularly known as bonuses, are paid to deserving farmers for selling certified cocoa beans to the company, based on premium grading by cocoa buyers on the international market.

General Manager of Olam’s cocoa Licensed Buying Company (LBC) business…

Report calls for amendment of FC act to provide more powers

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong- Daily Expres
A report on the review of the legislative proposals for the implementation of the 2012 forest and wildlife policy called for an amendment to the Forestry Commission (FC) Act 1999, (Act 571) to provide the commission the power to regulate broadly off-reserve areas.
The review of the final report was tasked by the Ministry of Lands & Natural Resources and was made available in June 2016.
The report argued that the Forestry Commission Act mandates the commission to manage the national forest reserves and protected areas. However, the Act does not extend that power to off- reserves areas.
The report said the Forest Commission has however fashioned a practice where it regulates the allocation of off-reserves resources thorough the grant of permits. “This is also in a draft state in the Off-Reserve L.I that has been presented to Parliament more than once, but it yet to be laid on the floor of Parliament and passed,” it stated.
The report also noted that t…

Call made for amendment of FC Act

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
A report on the review of the legislative proposals for the implementation of the 2012 forest and wildlife policy called for an amendment to the Forestry Commission (FC) Act 1999, (Act 571) to provide the commission the power to regulate broadly off-reserve areas.
The review of the final report was tasked by the Ministry of Lands & Natural Resources and was made available in June 2016.
The consultant argued that though the Forestry Commission Act mandates the commission to manage the national forest reserves and protected areas, it does not extend that power to off- reserves areas.
The report also said there should be continuous survey and inventories of all off-reserve potential timber production areas with active involvement of the local landowners.
It called for developing the capacities of decentralized local institutions including the, Metropolitan Municipal District Assemblies (MMDAs), Traditional Authorities, and Civil Society organizations in sustainable …

PIAC raises concern on development in the irrigation sector

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) has raised concern about little development that has gone on in the irrigation sector across the country.
“We have seen some dams in the country but they are not enough,” the Chairman of the committee Professor Paul Kingsley Boah-Bassuah told the Daily Express.
The committee visited some irrigation dams at Jirapa in the Upper West region and others dams across the country to ascertain whether petroleum funds which were allocated to rehabilitate some irrigation dams have been used for that.
“We realized much has not been done. For instance, in 2015 PIAC report, an amount more than GHc15,000 was allocated to rehabilitate some dams in Upper West region. Upon our visit we did not see much works here. The committee is not convinced on level of work done,” he stated. 
He said that the committee will intensify it monitoring role to ensure that petroleum revenues are utilize for it purposes.
He indicated that the areas wh…

Don’t underestimate NPP- Frm Prez Rawlings to NDC

By: Rapheal Apetorgbor Former President Jerry John Rawlings has strongly cautioned the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), not to underestimate the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) as the December 7 general election approaches.
According to him, this year’s general election won’t be that easy for the party [NDC] but rather very demanding and challenging.
“Let me just give you one point. The NPP cannot be underestimated, you know it and I know it. They’ve been in existence for a long time, and have been changing their names up till this day. The nature of who they are, and what they are and where they’ve come from, it’s something they are happy with and they will be there for a long time”, he noted.
He made this statement whiles speaking at the launch of the NDC campaign launch for the 2016 elections in Cape Coast on Sunday.
Former President Rawlings who is the founder of the NDC also advised the leadership and members of the party not to mimic the behavior of the largest oppo…

NDC to launch Manifesto in Sunyani

By: Rapheal Apetorgbor The General Secretary of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr. Johnson Aseidu Nketiah has announced that the party will officially launch its 2016 election manifesto in Sunyani, in two weeks’ time. He said the launch of the party’s manifesto in Sunyani falls in line with the party’s long-standing tradition since 1992. Mr. Asiedu Nketiah disclosed this at the launch of the party’s campaign in Cape coast on Sunday. Addressing party loyalists, Mr. Asiedu Nketiah said the NDC scored a very important victory when they decided to expand their decision-making structures which allowed every card-bearing member of the NDC to participate in the choice of our parliamentary and presidential candidates. He said the NDC is not scared about its opponents stealing ideas from its manifesto. “…We are not scared if they [opposition parties] want to take our whole manifesto” Mr. Aseidu Nketiah stressed The NDC is going into the polls with President John Mahama as its flag…

Election Fund advocated

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
An election fund that will cater for Electoral Commission’s (EC’s) budget towards general election period in the country has been advocated.
Dr. Isaac Owusu Mensah, Political Science Lecturer at the University of Ghana, Legon said if Ghana is able to establish this fund it will go a long way to boost Ghana’s democracy and also take away the complain of having huge budget coming from the Electoral Commission in every election year.
“As a country we must prepare to invest into good governance. If we see the EC’s budget to be very huge why don’t we have an election fund? We can make it in such a way that a quarter percent of the Value Added Tax (VAT) is channel into the fund with a proper managerial team in place,” he stated.
“The EC will go through the managers of the fund and request the amount they need for an election like the 2016 election, Parliament review that and approve it subsequently for the EC. This will go a long way in addressing EC’s budget especially whe…

About 25,000 hectares of forest plantations to be established annually

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong- Daily Express
A report on the Ghana Forest Plantation Strategy (GFPS) has revealed that an estimated average annual rate of 25,000 ha of forest plantations will be established between 2016 and 2040.
This includes 10,000 ha by public sector, public-private partnerships, public–community collaborations; and 15,000 ha by the private sector.
The report which is available to the public stated that it is expected that an annual average area of 5,000 ha of under-stocked and degraded forest reserves and community forests will be enriched using high value indigenous tree species over a 20-year period.
“An estimated 5 million forest tree seedlings will be provided annually to farmers across the country to incorporate within farming systems (especially cocoa and food crop farms),” the report noted.
According to the report, over the strategy period, an estimated 150,000 ha of farms will be targeted annually. “Additionally, the strategy targets the maintenance and rehabilitation o…

GIPC registered 51 projects valued at US$1.45 billion

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong-Daily Express
The Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC) recorded estimated value of 51 newly registered projects at US$1.45 billion between April 2016 and June, 2016.
The foreign direct investment (FDI) component of the total estimated value of the projects registered during the period under review was US$1.41 billion, representing 97.54% of the total estimated value, and a local currency component of US$35.71 million, representing 2.46%.
The total foreign equity was US$551.04 million and the initial equity transfer was US$59.12 million for this quarter.
Out of the 51 projects registered during the second quarter, 40 projects representing 78.43%, were wholly-foreign owned enterprises valued at US$391.17 million. This is 26.97% of the total estimated value of projects registered.
The remaining 11 (21.57%) were joint ventures between Ghanaians and foreign partners valued at US$1.06 billion which represented 73.03% of the total estimated value of projects registered…

Asian/Far East countries imported large volume of woods from Ghana

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
Statistics from the Forestry Commission (FC) revealed that Ghana’s wood export to countries in Asian and Far East was about 113,671.166 cubic meters of wood products Ghana valued at €65.35 million from January to May 2016, compared to €41.72 million recorded in the same period in 2015.
Export of timber products to these regions were mainly Lumber (Air Dried), Billet, Lumber (Kiln Dried), Poles, Processed L/Mouldings and Sliced Veneer in Rosewood, Teak, Papao/Apa, Wawa, Potrodum, Makore, Chenchen, Sapele, Denya and Gmelina and the major destinations were China and Indian.
Europe, Africa, America and Middle East were other regions which Ghana exported wood products to. Export to Europe accounted for €11.68 million from a volume of 18,971.509 cubic meters during the period. Last year exports accounted for €10.19 million.
Meanwhile, wood product exports to Africa (third topmost destination) yielded €6.75 million from an exported volume of 19,786.140 cubic meters.  
Major d…