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Press focuses on loss of over GH¢320m by Ghana Cocoa Board in 2019, others

The loss recorded by Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) of GH¢320.6 million in the 2019 financial year as compared with a…

The loss recorded by Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) of GH¢320.6 million in the 2019 financial year as compared with a loss of GH¢78.2 million registered in 2018 is one of the trending stories in the Ghanaian press on Monday.The Times reports that the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) recorded a loss of GH¢320.6 million in the 2019 financial year as compared with a loss of GH¢78.2 million registered in 2018, the 2020 Auditor-General (A-G) Report has revealed.

The loss represented a 310 percent decrease in the Board’s financial performance over the period, according to the audited financial statements of Board for the year ended September 30, 2019, captured in the report.

The A-G report on the Public Accounts of Ghana: Public Boards, Corporations and other Statutory Institutions was presented to parliament by the Acting Auditor-General, Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu, in June this year.

It said COCOBOD’s revenue increased by eight per cent from GH¢9.03 billion in 2018 to GH¢9.76 billion in 2019 and although the Board recorded 93,196 tonnes or 10.3 percent fall in cocoa production, the rise in revenue was largely due to a higher average sales price per tonne of USD2,265.

That, it said, was 5.25 percent higher than average price of USD2, 125 per tonne in 2018.

The report said the Direct Cost increased by GH¢8.2 million, from GH¢7.31 billion in 2018 to GH¢8.13 billion in 2019 representing 11.3 percent  increase as a result of  a reduction in Government Revenue support received to offset part of Direct Cost.

The newspaper says that all regional and district health facilities in the Ghana have been put on high alert following a confirmed case of the Marburg virus in neighbouring West African country of Guinea.

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) which issued the alert has asked all health facilities to initiate preparedness and response plan and include Marburg in its case definition.

“All regional and district public health emergency management committees should include Marburg on their agenda. Additionally, region, district health facilities and port health units at all border posts particularly along the Western border and all landing beaches are to heighten surveillance for Marburg using the standard case definition attached,” the Director-General of the GHS, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye directed in a statement.

He indicated that the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) had the capacity to confirm the Marburg virus and that samples from suspected cases could be transported there.

“We are to take note that under no circumstance should a public or private transport be used in transporting a suspected Marburg case.

They are to call for support from the District Director of Health Service of respective districts, municipalities or metropolis for the transfer of such persons to a health facility,” the statement charged.

Marburg virus is a haemorrhagic fever virus of the Filoviridae family of viruses and a member of the species, genus Marburg virus.

Health experts say the Marburg virus belongs to the same family as Ebola, and considered to be highly infectious.

The Graphic reports that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) and the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), has initiated a capacity development and certification programme in statistical data communications for journalists to improve their data storytelling skills.

The programme, which will be run by GIJ aims to equip journalists with the needed skills to interpret and report data accurately and position them to effectively advocate for policy and social change through data storytelling.

Speaking at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), Dr. Frederick Mugisha, the UNDP Economic Advisor in Ghana underscored the important role of the media in shaping the development conversation and in ensuring accountability through their reportage.

He said ‘’as we continue to produce evidence on various aspects of development to inform policy decisions, compelling data storytelling by the media will help bring about change that is desired, a transformative change, and a positive change in people’s lives”.

The Rector of GIJ, Professor Kwamena Kwansah-Aidoo, described the module outline of the certification programme as a comprehensive one that reflects the needs of data interpretation and storytelling. He expressed the institute’s commitment to ensuring quality teaching and learning.

‘’I can assure that because of our position within the media education and training space, we have qualified and experienced staff to deliver what is required.

Delivering this training programme is our priority”, Prof. Kwansah-Aidoo noted.

On her part, Mrs. Abena Osei-Akoto, Director of Census and Surveys at GSS commended the data communications programme and noted that, it will position journalists to help the GSS in telling a better story from data collected.

The newspaper says a labour consultant, Mr Senyo Adjabeng, has said that the National Labour Commission (NLC) needs to be resourced and strengthened to enable it to function effectively to deal expeditiously with issues that come before it.

He said for instance that the structures of the commission were so inadequate and weak that it had commissioners who were part timers who sat only a few times a week, thereby making it impossible for it to address issues quickly.

In an interview with the Daily Graphic, Mr Adjabeng noted that when the commission was well resourced, it would be able to prevent some of the labour disputes before they got out of hand.

The local labour front has been hit by series of industrial actions by some groups over the past few weeks.

The immediate ones are those by the University Teacher Association of Ghana (UTAG), the Senior Staff Association-Universities of Ghana (SSA-UoG) and the Federation of Universities Senior Staff Association (FUSSAG).

All these groups are demanding better remuneration and conditions of service for their members.

However, after the intervention of the NLC, both the SSA-UoG suspended their strike, while UTAG has sought to challenge the commission in court over the directive to call off its industrial action, which it began on August 2, 2021.

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