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Ghana: Press highlights government’s plea to engage stakeholders in minerals sector, others

The statement by the government that its doors are still open for more engagements with all stakeholders in the minerals…

The statement by the government that its doors are still open for more engagements with all stakeholders in the minerals sector and the promise by the Sports minister that the government will soon lift the ban on both individual and team contact sports are the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Friday.The Graphic reports that the government has said that its doors are still open for more engagement with all stakeholders in the minerals sector, in a bid to activate applicable portions of the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) ACT, 2018 as part of the implementation process of the Agyapa Royalties deal.

The report noted that the Agyapa Royalties deal has engaged a public debate with the Minority in Parliament and civil society organisations saying the deal is not in the best interest of Ghana

The minority at a press conference addressed by the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, on Wednesday, September 2, 2020 stated that the deal among other things has several short-comings in terms of constitutional requirements and reeks of corruption, an allegation government has refuted.

Addressing a media briefing on Thursday, September 3, 2020, the Deputy Minister of Information, Mr. Pius Enam Hadzide, negated the claims by the minority and stressed that the government will not engage in any practice that will come at a loss to the nation.

According to Mr. Hadzide, the government’s swift action to addressing the concerns of Ghanaians regarding the Agyapa Royalties deal is a clear testament of a listening government.

The Times says that the Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has advised managers of public universities in the country to complete all existing projects on campuses before initiating new ones.

The minister, according to the report, also urged the universities to have dedicated sources of funding before starting any infrastructural project.

Dr. Prempeh gave this advice when he accompanied officials of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), to respond to audit report query at the Public Accounts Committee sitting, in Accra, yesterday.

He said: “You can’t start something when you don’t know where the funding is coming from. Funding should be agreed on before you even commence and if it is a multi-year project, the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) can factor it into their budget.”

Dr. Prempeh stressed that “we have observed that the universities start their own project and send bills to the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) to pay unlike other levels of education where GETFund gives the approval before projects are started”.

The Auditor-General’s report on the UCC revealed that the university doubled the cost of a facility it was putting up without approval.

The newspaper reports that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) yesterday called on the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to show commitment to the fight against vigilantism by ensuring justice for Silas Wulo Chameh, the teacher trainee graduate who was murdered at Banda in the Bono Region, during the just ended new voters registration exercise.

According to the party, justice for Mr. Chameh was the surest way of banishing vigilantism and electoral violence from our country, and the President must demonstrate his commitment beyond the usual lip-service.

Addressing a news conference in Accra yesterday, the General Secretary of the NDC, Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketiah said, “The NDC will like to appeal to all peace loving Ghanaians to join the fight for justice for innocent Silas Wulo Chameh, who was brutally murdered by the NPP hoodlums.”

He explained that, the 2020 voter’s registration would be recorded as the most violent in the country’s history, stressing that two deaths were recorded during the process, as well as incidents of violence in some parts of the country.

Mr. Nketiah called on all Ghanaians and international bodies to ensure that measures were put in place to avoid any act of violence and injustice in the country to safeguard the country’s democracy.

 “Let me use this opportunity to invite the International Community to impress upon Akufo-Addo’s government and the relevant state institutions to take immediate steps to abandon any grand agenda of collusion with the NPP to perpetrate violence, intimidation and injustice on the people of this country,” he said.

The Times also reports that the Minister of Youth and Sports, Isaac Asiamah, has said that the government will soon lift the ban on both individual and team contact sports to pave the way for the resumption of football.

The Atwima Mponua Member of Parliament said this on Tuesday during the 26th ordinary session of congress of the Ghana Football Association at the Ghanaman centre of Excellence at Prampram.

“Let me commend you for the various steps you have taken in developing Ghana football after the Normalisation process. Indeed, the innovative and inspiring ‘BringBackTheLove’ campaign embarked on by the GFA showed clear signs that football was on ascendancy and fans were beginning to patronize domestic league matches again.

“Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic halted the momentum that the leagues were generating. It is our fervent hope that innovative steps would be put in place to ensure that when the game finally returns, which I know will be very soon, it will pick up from where it left off.

“With the positive results we are getting from the fight against the pandemic, Government is optimistic that soon it would be safe and appropriate to lift the restrictions on both individual and team contact sports activities in Ghana,” the lawmaker added.

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