Ghanaian press spotlights gas shortages, sale of MTN stake

The gas shortage in some parts of Ghana due to gas tanker drivers' strike last week and the sale of…

The gas shortage in some parts of Ghana due to gas tanker drivers’ strike last week and the sale of MTN stake in Jumia, one of Africa’s largest eCommerce firms are some of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Monday.The Graphic reports that gas tanker drivers who embarked on a strike last week resulting in a shortage of gas in some areas in Ghana have called off their strike.

This is expected to lead to an increase in Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) supply in various areas this week.

The report added that parts of the Greater Accra, Western and Central Regions were hit by an acute shortage of Liquefied Petroleum Gas.

The situation left consumers who depend on LPG for domestic, commercial and industrial purposes stranded.

The Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations held a crunch meeting with the leadership of the striking drivers at the weekend.

Members of the Gas Tanker Drivers Union laid down their tools on October 29, 2020, thus causing a nationwide shortage of LPG at the various filling stations.

The newspaper says that South African telecommunications giant, MTN Group on Friday, October 30, 2020, announced the sale of its stake in Jumia, one of Africa’s largest eCommerce firms.

MTN says it’s making a net proceed of $142.31 million from the sale.

MTN said in August it had filed with the New York Stock Exchange to prepare for a secondary sale of Jumia shares as part of a divestment plan aimed at simplifying its portfolio over the next three to five years.

“The group has now fully exited its 18.9% investment in Jumia,” MTN said in a statement.

“We are proud to have been a partner in the evolution of one of Africa’s pioneering online marketplace businesses and will continue our relationship with Jumia through ongoing operational partnerships in some markets,” it added.

But it has so far failed to make a profit, and its shares have since fallen by two thirds, also partly driven by a short-seller casting doubt on its sales figures.

MTN did not specify what the funds would be used for, but its divestment aims include paying down debt.

The Graphic also reports that the Upper East Regional Directorate of the Ghana Health Service has taken delivery of 22 tricycle ambulances and 73 Haemocue (blood testing) machines for distribution to six deprived districts in the Region.

The beneficiary districts are Bongo, Binduri, Nabdam, Kassena Nankana Municipality, Pusiga and Talensi.

The facilities were provided by the Ghana Red Cross Society (GRCS) with support from the Swiss Red Cross (SRC) at an estimated cost of GH¢ 1 million. The package includes the provision of communication gadgets and training for the riders of the Tricycles, midwives and other health staff in the beneficiary health facilities who would be using the Haemocue machines.

It was provided under the Maternal, New-Born and Child Health Project (MNCH) being implemented in the six beneficiary districts.

The tricycle ambulances would enable pregnant mothers and new born babies suffering from emergency health cases and referred to bigger health facilities to be conveyed to those health centres in a timely manner to prevent deaths and complications. On the other hand, the Haemocue machines would help improve on Haemoglobin (Oxygen carrying capacity of blood) testing of pregnant mothers suspected to be anaemic in health centres in the six beneficiary districts.

Addressing the handing over ceremony at Bolgatanga on Wednesday, October 28, 2020, the Swiss Red Cross Country Coordinator, Mr Thomas Okollah observed that since 2014, the organization had supported the MNCH project in the Upper East Region with the GRCS as the implementing agency.

The Times says that an academic has said that it is not sustainable for Ghana to dwell on political party manifestos and various promises to develop as expected.

He, therefore, noted that “Ghana will develop only if political parties align their manifestos to national development plan; stop the political talk and promises; only then can the nation enjoy continuity which will address the various socio-economic challenges bedeviling the country.”

Professor Kwame Boasiako Omane-Antwi, Chairman, Board of Governors, Accra Business School (ABS), made the observation at the 9th graduation of ABS held in Accra on Saturday on the theme, “Designing the Future.”