Ghana: Press highlights exemption of security agencies from unified pension schemes, others

The exemption of the security agencies from the unification pension schemes and the inauguration of the committee for the reopening…

The exemption of the security agencies from the unification pension schemes and the inauguration of the committee for the reopening of schools are the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Friday.The Graphic reports that the Cabinet has given approval for the security agencies to be exempted from the unification of pension schemes.

The unification seeks to bring all pension schemes under the three-tier system by 2021.

The exclusion of the security services means they will remain on their existing pension programmes, such as the CAP-30. Per the National Pensions Act (766), passed in 2008, all parallel pension schemes are to be unified and brought under the three-tier system.

Under the CAP-30, which was set up in 1952, civil servants and the security agencies were not supposed to contribute towards their retirement benefits.

The Minister of Information, Mr. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, who announced this at a press briefing in Accra yesterday, explained that the exclusion of the security services from the unification of pensions was premised on the peculiar nature of their task and the risks they faced in their line of duty.

The newspaper says that the Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has inaugurated a 10-member committee in Accra to deliberate and advice on modalities for the reopening of schools in the pre-tertiary subsector for the President’s approval.

This follows the address by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to the nation on Sunday, August 16, 2020, which included the government’s intention to consider the reopening of schools after they had been shut down in March this year because of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The committee is chaired by the Chairman of the GETFund Board of Trustees, Prof. Dominic Fobih, with the other members being the Chairman of the Ghana Education Service (GES) Council, Mr Michael Nsowah; the Director-General of the GES, Prof. Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa; the Deputy Director-General of the GES in charge of Management Services Mr Anthony Boateng, and the Deputy Director-General of the GES in charge of Quality and Access, Dr Kwabena Tandoh.

The rest are the Director of Pre-Tertiary at the MoE, Madam Catherine Appiah-Pinkrah; a representative of UNICEF, Mr Madeez Adamu Issah; a representative of private schools, Mr I.K. Mensah; the Chairperson of the Parent-Teacher Association of Accra Girls’ SHS, Nana Kwasi Amoako, and the Director, Schools and Instructions, Mrs Patty Assan.

The committee is expected to report to the minister on Monday, September 21, 2020, with its recommendations.

The Graphic also reports that the National COVID-19 Trust Fund has presented GH¢6.8 million to the Ghana COVID-19 Private Sector Fund as its contribution to the Ghana Infectious Diseases Centre (GIDC).

The centre, the first of its kind in the country, is the initiative of the Ghana COVID-19 Private Sector Fund, was inaugurated in Accra last month for use as a treatment centre for critically ill coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients.

The ultra-modern 100-bed facility will later be used as a treatment centre for other infectious diseases such as Ebola and cerebro-spinal meningitis (CSM).

The Chairperson of the National COVID-19 Trust Fund, former Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo, who facilitated the transfer of the funds, said the donation was in support of the GIDC in recognition of the lead role the private sector played to help bolster the nation’s capacity to contain the COVID-19.

During a recent visit to the centre, Justice Akuffo commended the use of home-grown talents in the construction of the facility.

The Times reports that Ghana’s senior national team, the Black Stars, will return to action in November, 2020, following the approval of the resumption dates for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers and the 2022 World Cup qualifiers by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

This was communicated to member Associations on Wednesday.

CAF, in March, 2020, postponed all qualifiers indefinitely due to the Coronavirus pandemic. But the Executive Committee of the continent’s football governing body has now decided that the remaining four qualifying rounds for Cameroon 2021 will be cleared during the International football windows in November 2020 and March 2021.

The Stars were just two weeks away from locking horns with Sudan when CAF postponed the qualifiers.

The newspaper says that a new four-storey office complex for the Cantonment Divisional Police headquarters was yesterday inaugurated in Accra.

It has among others, a male and female cell, an armoury, conference hall for training officer and a kitchen to help boost operation duties at the Command.

The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, in a speech read on his behalf by the Minister of the Interior, Mr. Ambrose Dery, said the government was resolute in partnering with appropriate stakeholders in solving the accommodation and logistical constraints of the security services.

“Since coming into office, government has supplied over 700 vehicles to the Police Service with many more on the way,” he added

Dr Bawumia said the government had acquired three helicopters for police operations with six personnel currently undergoing aviation and flying training in South Africa.