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Press highlights suspension of strike by Senior Staff Association of Universities, others

The suspension of the industrial strike action by the Senior Staff Association - Universities of Ghana (SSA-UoG) and the Federation…

The suspension of the industrial strike action by the Senior Staff Association – Universities of Ghana (SSA-UoG) and the Federation of Universities Senior Staff Association (FUSSAG) is one of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Tuesday.The Graphic reports that the Senior Staff Association – Universities of Ghana (SSA-UoG) and the Federation of Universities Senior Staff Association (FUSSAG) have, with immediate effect, suspended their industrial strike action which was declared on August 2, 2021.

This follows the National Labour Commission’s ruling on August 6, 2021, and various interventions made by the Minister of Education, Minister of Employment and Labour Relations and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission on behalf of Government, “culminating in a road map that serves as a guide to ensure sincere and fairness in a speedy resolution of all the impasse between us and Government”.

A letter signed by the Chairman of SSA-UoG, Mr Zakaria Mohammed said the two unions would continue to engage faithfully with government and other relevant stakeholders in their fight for justice, fairness and equity in the salaries and allowances administration of our members.

“I therefore, call on all Senior Staff across the Sixteen (16) Public Universities in Ghana to resume work without further delay,” the letter said.

It was copied to the Minister of Education, Minister, Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, the Director General, Ghana Tertiary Education Commission, Chairman, Vice- Chancellors Ghana (VCG) and the Executive Secretary, Fair Wages and Salaries Commission.

The newspaper says that Australian gold miner Resolute Mining has announced that it has agreed to sell the Bibiani Gold Mine in Ghana to Canadian gold developer Asante Gold Corporation for $90million.

In a statement issued on August 5, Resolute said both parties are committed to ensuring an orderly transition of ownership at Bibiani.

The deal will be financed as follows: US$30 million deposit (already received by Resolute to be applied upon completion); US$30 million on or before 6 months from completion; and US$30 million on or before 12 months from completion.

“Asante is dedicated to injecting the necessary capital to achieve the rapid restart of Bibiani, which is not expected to result in any immediate changes to employment or contract relationships,” Resolute said in a statement.

“Asante has strong ties to Ghana, with Ghanaian citizens holding a significant shareholding, and board and executive roles. Asante has announced plans to co-list its shares on the Ghana Stock Exchange”.

The agreement has been approved by Ghana’s Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and is expected to be completed in the next 10 days.

The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel A. Jinapor said: “I commend the recent approach of Resolute and Asante in their dealings with the Ministry for Lands and Natural Resources and am pleased to support the transition of ownership of Bibiani to Asante.”

Bibiani is owned by Mensin Gold Bibiani Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Resolute. Resolute currently owns 100% of Mensin Gold Bibiani Limited through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Resolute (Bibiani) Pty Ltd. The Government of Ghana is entitled to a 10% free carried interest in Mensin Gold Bibiani Limited.

The Graphic also reports that Ghana’s visa waiver agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is yet to take effect, Ghana’s Embassy in the UAE has said.

Although Parliament on Thursday, August 5, approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Ghana and the UAE on mutual exemption of entry visa requirements in respect of diplomatic, service/special and ordinary passport holders, the Embassy explained that the processes for its implementation were yet to be completed.

Even though the agreement has been ratified by the Parliament of Ghana, the processes for its implementation have not been completed,” a statement issued by the Embassy on Monday, August 9, said.

This comes on the back of some media reports suggesting that Ghana passport holders can now travel visa-free to the UAE.

The Embassy says it would officially communicate any changes to the current entry visa regime between Ghana and the UAE when the agreement comes into force.   

The Times says that the Ghana Health Service (GHS) will deploy the just received Johnson and Johnson single-shot vaccines to hotspot areas within the country where spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is prevalent.

Programme Manager of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation, Dr Kwame Amponsah-Achiano, who made the disclosure on Accra-based Joy FM in Accra yesterday, however failed to indicate when deployment would begin.

According to him, all necessary cold-chain equipment and personnel were in place for deployment and “we are ready to roll it out as soon as possible without any hitches.”

“For now, we will be focusing on the hotspot areas; else, what we have received won’t be enough for the larger populace. Because these vaccines are single-shot, we will be giving them to persons who haven’t taken their jabs at all.

We still haven’t changed our policy on taking the same vaccine for a second dose so those who have taken AstraZeneca and Sputnik should remain calm as we are working round the clock to get some vaccines for them. We expect that before the end of the month, we should receive some AstraZeneca,” he stated.

The Greater Accra and Ashanti regions have remained Ghana’s epicentre for the spread of COVID-19 since recording its first case in March 2020; however, following the detection of the new Delta variant in July this year, the GHS has named three regions as “emerging hotspots” for spread of the infection.

They include the Volta, Bono and Bono East regions which currently has cumulative active cases of 1,009 as of August 5, 2021.

Ghana now has 6,969 active cases of COVID-19 with the Greater Accra Region leading the infection rate with 3,286 followed by Ashanti; 1,468.

Some 87 persons and 36 others are in severe and critical conditions respectively in various treatment centres and the death toll stands at 874.

The GHS has warned that a third wave of COVID-19 is imminent as the Delta variant continues to drive a surge in the country.

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