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Press focuses on government’s assurance to address #fixthecountry concerns, others

The assurance by Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, that the government will swiftly address some five concerns raised by the…

The assurance by Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, that the government will swiftly address some five concerns raised by the #fixthecountry campaign is one of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Monday.The Graphic reports that the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has assured that the government will swiftly address some five concerns raised by the #fixthecountry campaign.

Addressing a press briefing in Accra on Sunday, Mr Ofori-Atta said the government would in the coming days address concerns of the #fixthecountry campaign, including; unemployment, water shortage and congestion on major highways in the country.

He also acknowledged the concerns of the protest movement, calling for a collaboration “to solve the problems that face this country”. 

“Ladies and Gentlemen, In the coming days, we will move swiftly to address some of the issues that the #Fixtheeconomy have raised. First, I am working with the Minister for Water and Sanitation to immediately ensure potable water to areas with felt need, especially in the most urban areas,” Mr. Ofori-Atta said.

“Second, I am working with the Ministers of Roads and Highways, Transport and Interior to address congestion along the major highways.

“Third, we are fast-tracking the implementation of the US$200million Jobs and Skills Programme to enhance job creation significantly. This intervention is designed to facilitate new and expanded private sector businesses to employ a lot more people. This we believe is a more sustainable way to rebuild this economy instead of expanding Government employment schemes,” the Minister  added.

He also stated that the government will be rolling out eight interventions under the Ghana Cares “Obaatanpa” programme.

The newspaper says that the newly compiled 2020 voters register should be the last register to be compiled from scratch, participants in a high-level Post-Elections Stakeholders Review Workshop to assess the conduct of Ghana’s 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections have recommended.

They have subsequently urged the Electoral Commission (EC) to collaborate with the National Identification Authority (NIA) to create an integrated system for identifying current voters and also for registering qualified individuals who turn 18 years.

The three-day workshop, which was organised by the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), attracted representations from the EC, the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), the National Peace Council (NPC), the National Media Commission (NMC), the Ghana Police Service, the Judiciary, some political parties — the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and the Peoples’ National Convention (PNC), representatives from the media, civil society organisations (CSOs) and academia.

To achieve the objective of creating an integrated system, stakeholders agreed that the database of the NIA should be linked with that of the EC to create a harmonised system capable of replacing the process of compiling a new or limited voters register from time to time.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the workshop, the participants further suggested that to help build stakeholder trust, the EC should engage political parties and other key stakeholders, including CSOs, every step of the way towards the harmonisation of the EC and NIA systems.

“The EC should initiate the necessary legal processes to amend the regulations on the registration of voters to back the processes for the integration of the EC data with the NIA in adherence to Article 45 of the 1992 Constitution,” they said.

The Times reports that the Minister of Information, Mr. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has urged journalists in the Upper West Region to write positive stories about the area in order to attract investment opportunities for the region.

The Minister stated that producing stories that projected the economic opportunities and other endowments of the region would augment governments of efforts at wooing the needed investment for the region.

“We can obviously do this through the stories we tell by not limiting ourselves to gory and negative news only, but also focusing on other key areas that can project the region. People are interested in investing in well-endowed areas; not just resources but good prospects as well,” he stated,

Mr. Oppong-Nkrumah said this when he met with some media practitioners at Wa over the weekend as part of a day’s working visit to the region to interact with the practitioners on issues of national concern.

He defined balanced journalism as a practice that was geared towards promoting the good of an area by advancing its economic opportunities vis-à-vis reporting on usual occurrences and said both should be given equal attention in the media landscape as they both complimented government’s efforts at developing the nation.

The Minister reiterated that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had devastating effect on the economy of the country as well as other global economies and was therefore incumbent on Ghanaians to collectively work with government to offset the adverse effect of the pandemic in Ghana.

“The pandemic is real and has caused a strain on the Ghanaian economy; although we admit that it will take a while to recover, government will still need the collaboration of the citizenry to restore the nation’s fortunes and also deal with other things that bedevil us as a people,” he said.

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