Press focuses on clearance for 3 ministries, security services to employ 11,840 personnel, others

The clearance given by the government for three ministries and security services to employ 11,840 personnel to augment their staffing…

The clearance given by the government for three ministries and security services to employ 11,840 personnel to augment their staffing and the abduction of nine crew members of Ghanaian-registered fishing vessels in separate attacks off the Gulf of Guinea by pirates are some of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Friday.The Graphic reports that the government has given clearance for three ministries and security services to employ 11,840 personnel to augment their staffing.

The ministries are Education, the Interior and National Security. The security services are the Ghana Police Service, Ghana National Fire Service, the Ghana Immigration Service and the Ghana Prisons Service.

The clearance was contained in six separate letters signed by the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, to the respective ministries, with the Interior Ministry receiving the letters on behalf of the four security services.

Dated June 21, 2021, the Finance Minister indicated the effective date for the recruitment as August 1, this year and that the clearance would expire on December 31, this year.

The Ghana Police Service would engage 5,000 personnel “to deal effectively and adequately with the issues of combating existing and emerging crimes and protect the citizenry.”

While the Immigration, Prisons and Fire services each would engage 2,000 personnel to augment their workforces across the country.

The Finance Minister said the emoluments of the personnel to be charged against the Compensation of Employees vote of the respective employing ministries and agencies.

“By a copy of this letter, the Controller and Accountant-General is requested to effect the payment of their salaries and make appropriate deductions of Social Security and Income Tax to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) and the Domestic Tax Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) respectively,” Mr Ofori-Atta stated.

The newspaper says that pirates have abducted nine crew members of Ghanaian-registered fishing vessels in separate attacks off the Gulf of Guinea.

Five abductees in the first attack have been freed after an undisclosed amount was paid from a negotiated $1 million ransom demand by the kidnappers.

Those released include a Korean, a Russian and three Chinese, who were all kidnapped on the tuna fishing vessel, Atlantic Princess.

Four Koreans of a second attack are however still being held captive in Nigerian with a one million dollar ransom demand for their release. They are crews of the Iris S, another Ghanaian fishing vessel.

A team of British consultants are currently in Nigeria to negotiate for the release of the four Korean captives.

A manager of Atlantic Princess, Mr Nicholas Papafio (not real name), told the Daily Graphic in an interview that the pirates, believed to be Nigerians, were seven in number and wielded AK47 rifles.

After shooting into the Atlantic Princess and damaging it, about eight pirates abducted the vessel’s Korean captain, three Chinese and a Russian.

“The vessel was said to have been approached and fired upon by a skiff boat, small fast boat, with eight armed pirates on board. The vessel then stopped and seven armed pirates with AK 47 boarded the vessel,” Mr Papafio recounted.

The Graphic also reports that the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, has described the challenges associated with the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines by developing countries as unfortunate and embarrassing.

He said even though the government had set aside about $150 million from its own resources for the procurement of the vaccines, it could not be achieved due to the prevailing challenges which the minister said was a drawback to the global efforts to contain the pandemic.

“I think that the vaccine supply issues have been quite embarrassing and you can see that the world is now moving very quickly to ensure that there is some vaccine equity, going forward,” he added.

According to Mr Ofori-Atta, the constraints had further slowed down efforts by developing countries, including Ghana, to reduce the spread of the pandemic which was also dragging the global economic recovery drive.

The minister was speaking to the media on the country’s effort to acquire vaccines independent of the philanthropic support by global and continental bodies to procure vaccines for developing countries in Accra last Monday.

The minister’s comments come on the heels of recent revelation by the Ministry of Health that the country was unable to procure Sputnik-V vaccines directly from Russia.

The sector Minister, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, said last month that the difficulty compelled the government to procure the vaccine through a middleman at a cost of $19 per dose, compared to the international price of $10 per dose.

The Daily Guide says that REDAVIA, a global market leader of cost-effective, reliable, and clean solar power for businesses, has launched its largest solar project with the installation of a 1.140MWp solar plant at Amponsah-Efah Pharmaceuticals, a Ghanaian-owned pharmaceutical company in the Ashanti Region of Ghana.

“I am thankful to the Redavia team for the tenacity and professionalism they showed leading a safe, successful installation and implementation,” said Mr. K. Amponsah-Efah, Managing Director of Amponsah-Efah Pharmaceuticals.

“I am looking forward to a good business relationship for years to come,” he said as he handed over the plant.

Amponsah-Efah Pharmaceuticals recently installed a new heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system to control the climate inside its factory at Fumesua, Kumasi, more than tripling the company’s energy requirements, and, consequently, operation costs.

Additionally, the company was concerned with maintaining its environmental management plan, under the approval of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Ghana.

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