Ghana: Press highlights 3 months extension of mandatory wearing of nose masks, others

The Graphic reports that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has by an Executive Instrument extended the mandatory wearing of nose…

The Graphic reports that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has by an Executive Instrument extended the mandatory wearing of nose masks by another three months.The Executive Instrument was issued on Monday, September 14, 2020.

The President, in his 17th update on Ghana’s Enhanced Response to the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) said until December 14, 2020, the wearing of the nose masks remained mandatory.

He asked the law enforcement agencies to ensure that the directive was respected by all.

He indicated that the wearing of masks had proved effective in the fight against the COVID-19 and, therefore, urged each and every one to wear them.

The newspaper says that the new Ghana Premier League and Division One League season are set to return next month after President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo gave the green light for the resumption of football competitions after a six-month suspension following a ban on social gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Sunday, President Akufo-Addo announced that after consultations with the Ghana Football Association (GFA), it had been decided that the elite league and the second tier competition would restart on Friday, October 30, with a full regime of testing of the players, technical and management staff.

However, unlike the situation pertaining in Europe and other parts of the world, spectators would be allowed at football matches when competitions resume, but seating at all stadia will be limited to 25 per cent capacity to ensure social distancing with the wearing of masks by spectators at stadia mandatory.

Football competitions and other sporting events were suspended on Sunday, March 15 at the time the Premier League was at the halfway mark. Subsequently, the GFA cancelled the entire season.

On March 15 the GFA suspended the elite division and the second tier competition in compliance with the government’s directive to ban all sporting activities. And after its meeting on June 30, the GFA Executive Council announced cancellation of the entire season with all records associated with the season expunged.

The Graphic also reports that the Electoral Commission (EC) has debunked assertions by some persons that it is using exorbitant filing fees to raise money for its activities and also prevent smaller political parties from contesting elections.

Rather, the commission said its budget for the current electoral process had been ready. Besides, the country’s electoral laws debarred the electoral body from using proceeds from the filing fee for its business.

The Director of Electoral Services at the EC, Dr. Serebour Quaicoo, who stated this in an interview with the Daily Graphic last Saturday, said the commission had only acted in compliance with the electoral laws, with the intention to protect the sanctity of the electoral process.

“The EC cannot and does not use the filing fees of candidates for anything; so if some people are saying that the commission is using it as a means to raise funds for its activities, it is not true because the money is not for us; it belongs to the state and are paid into the Consolidated Fund,” he stressed.

The Times reports that the Secretary General of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) Ghana, Dr. Yaw Baah, has reiterated the union’s calls on the government to rectify the “unfairness and discrimination” in the implementation of the three-tier pension scheme and adjust upwards the low lump-sum benefits of pensioners.

The TUC said pensioners were being shortchanged in terms of the lump sums they received, adding that the situation, including the miscomputation of Past Credit by the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), was worrying and would not be allowed to continue.

He indicated that workers who retired from January 2020 were worse-off as they were receiving lump sums way lower than what they would have received from SSNIT had they retired under PNDC Law 247 – which required SSNIT to pay 25-per cent lump sum to contributors.

Dr. Baah, who was speaking at a regional forum on pensions in Tema, called on the government to engage stakeholders to address the anomaly and make the pensions scheme more sustainable.

The newspaper says that Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) and Physician Assistants and Certified Registered Anaesthetics have threatened to embark on nationwide strike today, over government’s inability to fulfill the association’s demands over conditions of service.

 According to the association, the government has not fulfilled its demands over conditions of service for over 82,000 of its members, and also failed to show enough commitment to meeting the terms and conditions agreed upon.

Among some of the demands are, clothing allowance,  call credit  to be increased and extended to nurses as done for some of their staff   and risk  allowances.

The national president of the association, Perpetual Ofori-Ampofo, also denied knowledge of any court injunction slapped on it by the National Labour Commission (NLC), saying, “We have not been served.”

The NLC last Friday obtained an interlocutory injunction to restrain the association from embarking on their proposed strike beginning today, September 21.