We are not increasing fares over towing fees – GPRTU

The Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) has debunked reports that it will immediately increase transportation fare if the mandatory towing levy is implemented by the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC).

Even though the transport operators admit that the implementation of the policy will increase their operational costs, they do not anticipate a rise in transportation fares anytime soon.

“We are not saying we will push for any increment as of now but in the future when we are considering the fare increment that will be factored into it,” National Vice Chairman of the GPRTU, Robert Sabah stated.

Effective July 1, this year, vehicle owners and motorcyclists will be compelled to pay compulsory annual fees, tied to the acquisition of road worthy certificate, to cater for towing services.

The move has been met with stiff opposition from commuters and vehicle owners.

Some have argued that the move will also increase the burden of drivers or vehicle owners.

Already transport fares have been increased by 15 percent early this year.

The transport unions cited the rise in fuel prices and other operational cost as basis for the upward review.

Mr. Sabah is also confident that the margin of increase in transport fares will only be determined by the margin of increase following the implementation of the compulsory towing fees.

“When this law becomes operational, then any amount that we pay becomes part of our operational cost and therefore when there is the need for any transport fare increases, this will be considered.”

“Because we always take into consideration all these operational costs; that is, the DVLA registration, insurance, spare parts, district assemblies’ stickers, among others before fixing transport fares. So if this becomes an additional operational cost, that will also be considered,” he asserted.

Meanwhile some Ghanaians have expressed disapproval at the compulsory towing levy which is to be commenced on the first of July this year.

Citi Business News’ checks have revealed that majority of car owners believe the new levy will only add to the already burdened Ghanaian car owner.

A tax consultant, Abdallah Ali-Nakyea of Ali-Nakyea and Associates had described the levy yet as improper, hence must be scrapped.

“The towing levy is arbitrary and not participatory enough…it will rather increase the hardships that Ghanaians are already facing,” one vehicle owner opined.

Another remarked, “What is the essence of the road worthy for the vehicles while we pay insurance on our vehicles with commercial vehicles also paying toll to the Accra Metropolitan Assembly.”

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Ghana sinking into anarchy – Nunoo-Mensah

The lawlessness being witnessed in Ghana will plunge the West African nation into anarchy, a former National Security capo Brig. Gen. (Rtd) Joseph Nunoo-Mensah has warned.

“Ghana is sinking into anarchy,” the outspoken ex-military officer told host of Morning Starr Francis Abban Monday, referring to instances of mob lynching which resulted in the deaths of a young military commander Major Maxwell Adam Mahama and an alleged witch a few weeks ago.

According to Brig. Gen. Nunoo-Mensah, lawlessness is on the ascendency because of the high level of unemployment in Ghana.

“We need to work to put people to proper work. They are idle and the Devil finds work for the idle hands,” the former national security advisor said.

Asked how lawlessness could be curbed, Nunoo-Mensah said people in leadership positions should “live by example.”

“Ghana is sinking into anarchy. Nobody cares. Society is gradually driving into anarchy. The policeman seeing a man breaking traffic rules must be dealt with. People must not get away with little crimes.

“Everybody has a job to do. Every assembly must engage in farming. You go to Winneba and all the people are doing nothing… all of us have to wake up and do something.

“Because we have not been handling indiscipline properly, Ghana is becoming a lawless country. There is so much hopelessness and unemployment,” Nunoo-Mensah noted.

Kwesi Botchwey makes 8 recommendations for NDC

The 13-member Professor Kwesi Botchwey Committee probing the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) 2016 election defeat on Monday (June 19, 2017) presented a 455-page report to the National Executive Committee of the party.

Professor Botchwey handed over the voluminous document titled “Listening To The Voice Of The Grassroots” to the national chairman of the NDC, Mr Kofi Portuphy at the party’s headquarters in Accra.

The Deputy General-Secretary of the party, Koku Anyidoho insisted that the report would not be made public and the closest journalists would get to it was at the ceremony.

However, Prof Botchway who led the fact-finding committee on their journey across the country gave an insight into some of the recommendations at the press briefing.

He said he was hopeful that the recommendations when implemented, would win the NDC party the 2020 polls.

Eight recommendations contained in the Kwesi Botchwey report

1. That the party puts together a group of credible and eminent members of our party to undertake a peacebuilding and healing of the country.

2. That the party takes steps to restore the integrity of the biometric register and the expanded electoral college.

3. We recommend that steps be taken to restore the capacity and effectiveness of the party’s organs especially at the branch level where we believe these organs are the most critical because they are the party’s immediate connection to the people, we are afterall a truly mass party.

4. We also have recommendations on ways we can and must improve the collation of election results.

5. We also believe that steps ought to be taken by the party to reconnect itself properly to our social democratic roots and the principal actors in these social democratic roots.

6. We recommend that steps ought to be taken to strengthen research and intelligence in the party. This should involve crowding in a larger body of the party’s intellectual base which has not been particularly active in the past, this will help to support the party’s research capacity.

7. There are recommendations that the party will scale-up and re-invigorate its work in the area of youth organisation.

8. The organisation of women, we note that significant changes have taken place in the country’s demographic profile and that the party ought to take notice of this and all the implications of these changes.

No one must develop Africa for us – Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo has noted that the new crop of African leaders have come into office at a critical time where old alliances are having to be reshaped.

Therefore, he said, the continent has to look for new sources and new areas of committing the development of the continent.

“The most important thing is to recognise the need for us to stand on our own two feet and resolve African problems with African resources and African personnel,” he said during a visit to Burkina Faso.

“We cannot and will not accept that other people can come and develop the continent of Africa for us. It will not happen, and the sooner all of us work together and recognise the necessity of collaborating on a platform that will lead to the prosperity of our peoples, the better,” he added.

Touching on the fight against terrorism, President Akufo-Addo assured President Kaboré that “in Nana Akufo-Addo and in his government, the people of Burkina Faso have a strong and steadfast friend.”

He expressed the appreciation of the peoples of West Africa for “the sacrifices the Burkinabe people, who are in the frontline of the fight against terrorism, are making to guarantee the peace and security not just of their own country, but the region as a whole.”

To this end, he reiterated Ghana’s commitment to “standing beside you in that fight and want you to know that whatever, within our modest means, we can do to promote the success of that struggle, you can count on us.”

With relations between the peoples of Ghana and Burkina Faso dating back to several centuries, President Akufo-Addo stressed that “even though there has been a change in direction and leadership in Ghana, our fundamental commitment to a close and sustaining relationship with the people of the Republic of Burkina Faso remains unchanged. Ghana continues to be by your side and continues to seek a relationship of intimacy and friendship.”

GOVERNMENT OWES US 80 MONTHS TIER TWO PENSION – GNAT CRIES OUT

The acting president of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Philippa Larsen has called on government to speed up the process in paying 80 months of arrears of Tier two pension funds owed them.
According to madam Larsen, arrears from January 2010 to august 2016 have not been paid , a situation she says has affected the activities of the association and the teachers at large . Addressing the Quadrennial (52nd) delegates conference of the Ghana National Association Of Teachers Ketu District Chapter at Dzodze in the Ketu North District , she pleaded with the new government to consider the issue as an urgent one by taking practical steps in paying the fund early enough .
She said although the association was informed by the previous NDC government that the money was lodged in a Temporary Pension Fund Account (TPFA) at the Bank of Ghana, GNAT thinks the real essence of the money was for the welfare of members of the association and not to be kept in account an action she described as unlawful. Madam Larsen added that though his excellency the vice president Alhaji Dr. Mamoud Bawumiah has promised to pay all arrears due them, she pleaded with him to speed up the process
In a welcome address by the ketu district chairman of GNAT, Akpavor Mickson Kwame, elaborated on the achievements of the association in the Ketu District but called on the various education directorates to co-operate effectively with the association in dealing with matters such as documentation processes of newly trained and posted teachers, delay in transfer processing and promotional issues that needs more than talking but actions in trying to curb the various unfounded obstacle teachers have to go through and also help to reduce the labour hours lost by a teacher at the expense of the children in the classroom within the district.
The Volta regional secretary of GNAT Mr. Lare Kitonname in his address cautioned teachers who take advantage of girls under their care to desist from the act of sexual abuse, a phenomenon which has plagued the association in recent times tainting the image of the association in effect.
He warned that the association shall not be ready to defend or plead with any authority with regards to such deviant behaviors should any member be found culpable. He used the opportunity to advise and appeal to female teachers not to look too much outside the teaching arena for husbands since many of their male counterparts possessed the qualities needed in good husbands. This he thinks will serve as a check and balance in the teaching profession.
The District director of education commended the teachers for the good work done during the past academic year’s examinations where the results were excellent within the district but warned that the directorate will not be ready for any acts that will lower the standard of education especially unfounded absenteeism from school during teaching hours, indiscipline, and the worse is taking advantage of girl under the care of male teachers sexually .
In a joint solidarity message by the members of parliament for Ketu North and South constituencies, Hon. James Avedzi, and Hon Fifi Fiavi Kwetey respectively, called on teachers to do everything possible to rebuild and rebrand what he described as the fallen image of the teaching profession which they observed has brought the name of the profession into disrepute in recent times
Hon James Klutsey Avedzi, who is also the deputy minority leader in parliament defended the previous government’s decision to deposit the Tier Two pension fund in the Temporary Pension Fund Account (TPFA) at the Bank of Ghana since the NDC government believes that was the best way to secure the fund.

Stop calling yourself Paramount chief of Somey traditional area – Torgbi Sape Agbo V warns

The Waklasuga (war lord) of Somey Traditional area and Dufia of Hedzranawo, Torgbi Sape Agbo V has called on individuals calling and caring themselves as the Makorsoror or paramount chief of the Somey tradition area to stop with immediate effect.
According to him, no individual have been installed yet as the Makorsor because he is the only person who has the prerogative as the Awaklasuga(war lord) to installed the Somey Markosor according to the traditional process.
Speaking at a news conference in his palace, he said there is the need for the truth be told and to inform the public to ignore and beware of any such person carrying themselves as the Somey Markorso of Somey traditional Area.

He further explained that no such chief exist because currently there is a case pending at the regional house of chiefs with regards to the installation of a successor to Torgbi Hor II, the late Makorsor Of Somey traditional area whose final funeral right is yet to be performed . sighting a letter from the regional house of chief.

Torgbi Sape Agbo V the Awaklasuga also used the opportunity to commend the minister for Lands and natural resource and the Volta regional minister for their timely intervention and assured them of there support in resolving the Adina salt mining crisis.

Meanwhile some youth of Adina- kpegeakope in a similar press briefing appeal vehemently with the minister to speed up the process of stopping what they described as negative environmental effect the operations of the salt mining company is having on their livelihood. according to the youth, the company seems to disregard the welfare of the community they operate with impunity hence an urgent step my the ministry to solve the issue before things get out of hands.

Interior Ministry reviews curfew on Alavanyo and Nkonya

The Ministry of the Interior has slapped a curfew on the Alavanyo and Nkonya following a renewed clash between the two communities.

The curfew hours take effective Sunday, April 23, 2017 from 8:00pm to 5:30am.

The decision by the Interior Ministry was upon the advice of the Volta Regional Security Council.

Mr. Ambrose Dery, the Minister of the Interior, had earlier on Wednesday renewed the curfew hours imposed on Alavanyo and Nkonya townships from 11:00 pm to 5:00 am.

But in a statement released on Sunday, the Minister commended the Chiefs, elders, opinion leaders, youth and people of the area for their efforts in ensuring peace in the area and urged them to use the established mechanisms for the resolution of all their conflicts and disputes.

He reiterated the ban on all persons in the two towns and their environs from carrying arms, ammunition or any offensive weapons, stressing that any person found with any arms or ammunition will be arrested and prosecuted.

Two people are reported dead while others sustained various degrees of injuries in a renewed clash between Nkonya and Alavanyo last week.

The incident was reported to have occurred some few hours after the curfew imposed on the two communities were reviewed.

What triggered the renewed conflict was immediately not known.

The Kpando Divisional Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Prosper Ahlidza, who confirmed the renewed clash, said the incident occurred last around 7 to 8pm.

The perpetrators of the act, he noted, were alleged to have come from Alavanyo.

“Two people were shot dead and two injured at Nkonya Ahenkro around 7 to 8 O’clock in the evening. There are soldiers on the ground. They are monitoring events because the attack was coming from that direction,” the Police Commander was quoted as saying on Accra based Joy FM, Thursday morning.

The Volta Regional Minister, Dr. Archibald Letsa, when contacted said the situation calls for emergency meeting of all stakeholders to ensure that peace returns to the two communities.

Alavanyo, Nkonya Chiefs angry

Decision by the Volta Regional House of Chiefs (VRHCs) to suspend the paramount chiefs and queenmothers of Nkonya and Alavanyo traditional areas in the Biakoye District of the Volta Region has heightened tension between the two ethnic communities.

The aggrieved chiefs and queenmothers of the two traditional areas have described as “unfair” the Volta Regional House of Chiefs’ decision to suspend them indefinitely for failing to address the recurring conflict between the two towns.

Two persons were shot dead while two others who sustained severe gunshot injuries on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 are battling for their lives in hospital in a renewed conflict between the two feuding sides. A 15-year-old girl was also shot and killed on Saturday.

The renewed violence occurred barely hours after a curfew imposed on the area in view of the violence there was reviewed on the said Wednesday.

Alavanyo and Nkonya have been under a dusk-to-dawn curfew over a protracted land dispute spanning almost a century.

Volta Regional Minister, Dr. Archibald Letsa, told the media last week Thursday, April 20, 2017 evening that, the police were working to arrest perpetrators of the violence.

The decision by the regional house of chiefs was to force the two traditional authorities to take responsibility for the actions of their people.

But the Queenmother of Alavanyo, Mamagah Ametor II, in an interview with Accra-based Citi FM said it was “unfair” to hold the traditional leaders responsible for someone’s criminal offence.

“We don’t know why they are doing that because this is not conflict. This is a criminal act which individuals are doing it, so they should look for the individuals and not the chiefs.

…The chiefs are not in the town. Somebody went to do a criminal act, why should the chiefs be punished? This is not a fight between the Nkonyas and Alavanyos. Some individuals are doing this, so why should the chief be punished for that?

“Even in our various homes, your children, how many of them can you control and this is a community issue. Over 2000 people under your umbrella and then one person is doing some criminal act how could you identify that this is the person?

“This is not conflict. It is different from conflict. We’ve left conflict behind and so why should they be attacked. Even as of today, I called somebody from Nkonya, we spoke so there is nothing going on between us,” she stated.

For his part, Chief of Nkonya, Ahodwo, Nana Ampem Dako III, charged the police to arrest the culprits instead of blaming the traditional authorities.

Meanwhile, during a media briefing held last Thursday, the Volta Regional Minister and Chairman of the Council, Dr. Archibald Letsa, isolated the killings from the long-standing land dispute between the Alavanyo and Nkonya communities.

Average interest on car loans drops to 34.2% in March 2017

The industry average for vehicle loans has however dropped from 35 percent in February to 34.2 percent in March 2017, the latest Annual Percentage Rates and Average Interest report by the Bank of Ghana has shown.

The report however shows that GCB Bank offers the highest rate on vehicle loans at 40.3%.

Bank of Baroda however offers the lowest vehicle loan of 22 percent and 28 percent.

Of the seventeen banks that offer vehicle loans to customers, GCB Bank’s 40.3 percent is immediately preceded by Unibank, Omnibank and HFC Bank with auto loans of 39.836.9 and 36.7 percent respectively.

Bank of Africa, the Royal Bank and Cal Bank placed 5th, 6th and 7th with 35.6, 35.5 to 40.5 and 35.3 percent in that order.

At the 8th and 9th positions are Barclays Bank and Ecobank with interest rates on car loans at 35.1 to 39.1 and 34.1 percent.

Others are Prudential Bank with 33.6 percent, UBA and UT Bank with 33.1, Sahel Sahara with 33.0 and FBN Ghana with 32.8 percent.

However the cheapest rate for vehicle loans is offered by Bank of Baroda. Its rate is pegged at between 22 to 28 percent.

This is followed by Stanbic Bank with 28.3 percent.

Zenith Bank come in with 3rd with interest on car loans at 29 percent and GN Bank 4th lowest with 32 percent.

Meanwhile Access Bank, ADB, Energy Bank, First Atlantic Bank, Capital Bank, Fidelity Bank, First National Bank, GT Bank, NIB, Societe General, Sovereign Bank, Standard Chartered Bank SG Bank and UMB do not offer vehicle loans.

By: Jessica Ayorkor Aryee/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana

Chieftaincy Minister defends suspension of Nkonya, Alavanyo chiefs

The Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs Minister Samuel Ahiave Dzamesi has supported the decision of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs to suspend the chiefs of Nkonya and Alavanyo.

The Volta Regional House of Chiefs took the decision following a recent attack that left two persons dead. Many attributed the attacks to the almost century old feud over land between the two communities.
But the Paramount Chiefs and Queen Mothers are unhappy about the decision. According to them, they cannot take responsibility for what they say are the criminal acts of a few. But Speaking to Citi News, the sector minister justified the decision.

“The matter in Nkonya-Alavanyo is a very unfortunate one. It is something that has been going on for a very long time. I believe very strongly that the chiefs and queen mothers of Nkonya Alavanyo should continue to seek peace. I don’t understand why after all these years of trying to resolve this issue, it should come up again. So if the Regional House of Chiefs are taking a decision of that nature, I think I am in support of them. So that we understand that we understand that our chiefs are there to ensure that their subjects or citizens always live in peace. We cannot continue like that” he remarked.

The Volta Regional House of Chiefs suspended the Paramount Chiefs and Queen Mothers for their inability to maintain peace between the two traditional areas.

The President of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs, Nana Soglo Alloh, confirmed the suspension to Citi News after a closed-door meeting with the Volta Regional Minister on Thursday. He explained that, the House of Chiefs took the decision because they were not happy with developments in those areas.

“We are saying that, as far as we are concerned, even though we are not blaming them for their direct involvement, we think they have a responsibility of bringing peace in their traditional areas.”

Nana Alloh further explained that, the Nkonya and Alavanyo chiefs and queens have also been stripped off any privileges they enjoy including financial benefits “until a peaceful solution is attained and the issue is resolved.”

Nkonya killings will be treated as a criminal matter – Minister

Meanwhile, the Volta Regional Security Council has said it will handle the recent killing of the two persons at Nkonya Zongo on Wednesday evening as a criminal matter.

During a media briefing on Thursday, the Volta Regional Minister and Chairman of the Council, Dr. Archibald Letsa, sought to in the meantime, isolate the killings from the long-standing land dispute between the Alavanyo and Nkonya communities.

By: Caleb Kudah/citifmonline.com/Ghana
– See more at: http://citifmonline.com/2017/04/22/chieftaincy-minister-defends-suspension-of-nkonya-alavanyo-chiefs/#sthash.9E2l4S54.dpuf