Press highlights travel ban on members of the military junta in Guinea, others

The travel ban imposed on members of the military junta in Guinea and their immediate family members by the Economic…

The travel ban imposed on members of the military junta in Guinea and their immediate family members by the Economic Community of West Africa States and the phasing out of the National Health Insurance Scheme card at the end of the year are some of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Friday.The Graphic reports that the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) has placed a travel ban on all the members of the military junta in Guinea and their immediate family members.

In addition, the regional political and economic bloc has placed a freeze on the financial assets of the coup makers and their immediate family members.

This was disclosed last night by the President of ECOWAS, Mr Jean-Claude Kassi Brou at a news conference after the Second Extraordinary Summit on the political crisis in Guinea at the Kempinski Gold Coast Hotel in Accra.

Furthermore, Mr Brou said ECOWAS was demanding an unconditional release of the deposed Guinean President Alpha Conde.

Conde was detained on Sunday September 5 by soldiers led by Col. Mamady Doumbouya, who announced the coup on state television.

Addressing the nation on Guinea’s public broadcaster RTG, the junta leader said the ousted President was safe and in custody.

“We have taken all measures to ensure that he has access to health care and he is in contact with his doctors. Everything will be fine,” Col. Doumbouya said.

The newspaper says that the National Health Insurance Scheme card will be phased out at the end of the year, with the function to be transferred to the Ghana Card.

Nearly half of the Ghanaian population have registered onto the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), enabling them to access healthcare services in public facilities and some private outfits.

In line with the process, the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has intensified its public education on the imminent transition to make the effort a seamless exercise for both the institution and the public.

The Ashanti Regional Director of the NHIA, Mr Kwadwo Tweneboa-Kodua, announced this at the authority’s mid-year review meeting in Kumasi yesterday.

He said linking NHIS cards to the Ghana Card would save the authority the cost of printing its own biometric ID cards.

“In line with the government’s agenda on digitisation, the NHIA has deployed a number of digital solutions to bring about efficiency and effectiveness in its service delivery to all Ghanaians.

“I would, therefore, challenge management and staff of NHIA district offices to intensify education on the use of the mobile renewal service code of *929#, so that NHIS members can easily renew their membership at their convenience and comfort,” Mr Tweneboa-Kodua said.

He called on healthcare providers to be educated to renew their credentialing, using the online credentialing portal, while taking advantage of the “claim-it” electronic platform to submit their claims for reimbursement.

The Ghanaian Times reports that about 7,000 Ivorian refugees in the country are in line to receive alternative legal status by 2022.

This follows the commencement of processes for the invocation of Ceased Clause to Ivorian refugees who fled the country, due to violence between 2010 and 2011 by countries hosting Ivorian refugees, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

At an inauguration ceremony of the Governing Council of the Ghana Refugee Board (GRB) in Accra yesterday, Minister of the Interior, Ambrose Dery, urged the members to ensure that Ghana follows the adopted roadmap for the exercise to be able to meets all the timelines set for effective transition process.

He asked the Council to ensure that the GRB applied the lessons learnt from the implementation of Cessation for Liberians, to avoid having a situation like what pertains at GomoaBuduburam Refugee Camp.

“It is critical that the transition takes place fully. We must not end up with a refugee-like situation where persons who have for instance been locally integrated, continue to enjoy free accommodation and other services unavailable to Ghanaian nationals living in surrounding communities,” Mr Dery added.

The Council has Professor Kenneth Attafuah as its Chairman with TettehPadi, GRB; Pat Danso-Abeam, representative of the Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice, Senalor K. Yawlui, representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and Divine Ayidzoe of the Ministry of Education as other members.

The rest are Assistant Commissioner of Immigration (ACI) Samuel BasintaleAmadu, Ghana Immigration Service; Anthony Ayensu-Asare, National Intelligence Bureau and Georgina Mensah, Department of Social Welfare.

The newspaper says that former President John Dramani Mahama has maintained that the perception of hardships in the country is not the creation of him and his National Democratic Congress government.

“The perception that the creation of hardships in the country was in the era of my administration is wrong but the current administration,” he stressed.

Former President Mahama criticised the current administration for the hardships and his government should not be blamed because his government did not mismanage the economy.

He asked the government to organise an economic forum just as he did with the Senchi Forum to come out with prudent socioeconomic policies and programmes to alleviate the plight of the citizenry.

Chastising some economic experts who were unable to criticise the Akufo-Addo-led administration for what he described as the mismanagement of the economy, the former president bemoaned “these same experts were vocal during my tenure but have suddenly kept mute under the Akufo-Addo-led administration.

“These experts have created the impression that the hardships that Ghanaians are saddled with at the moment are my creation but it is a wrong perception and our people are galled by the hypocrisy of so-called economic experts. They asked my government in 2016 to forget about economic statistics and look at the escalation of prices of cement and other products on the market.

“Today, we are hearing the same experts in government hold-up statistics, inflation and other economic jargons to say that life is better for them than in my era which is unfortunate since my government and I should not be held responsible but bad policies and programmes has led to mismanagement of the economy,” former President Mahama fumed.

Responding, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo wondered how a former president could accuse his government of mismanagement when comparing both performances whether he (Akufo-Addo) was offering economic mismanagement to citizens.

He described former President Mahama’s stewardship as an unmitigated disaster because economic growth rate in 2016 stood at 3.4 percent, the lowest in two decades; with all other macroeconomic indicators pointing in the wrong direction.

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