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“Government has never abandoned any health facility that was started by the previous government,”-Health Minister

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“Government has never abandoned any health facility that was started by the previous government,”- Health Minister


The government has strongly denied claims that it has abandoned some health infrastructural projects started by the previous government.

“Government has never abandoned any health facility that was started by the previous government,” Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman-Manu stated Tuesday.

The Akufo-Addo government has recently been criticized by some Ghanaians and groups, particularly from the National Democratic Congress, for allegedly abandoning the construction of some hospital facilities across the country which were started under the Mahama administration.

Some critics have questioned why President Nana Akufo-Addo has announced to build some 94 new hospitals across the country when ones already started with taxpayers’ money have been left to rot.

But at a news briefing in Accra, Mr. Agyeman-Manu said it is not true that the Akufo-Addo government has abandoned infrastructural projects in the health sector inherited from the previous government.

According to him, “nothing has been abandoned” indicating that some of those inherited projects have been completed by the Akufo-Addo government while others are currently progressing steadily with some challenges on a few.

He said construction work on some 10 clinics in the Central Region which was started in 2016 has been completed and commissioned.

Phase two of the upgrade of the Tamale Teaching Hospital Phase which started in 2015 has also been completed, he said.

Work on phase 1 of the 500-bed capacity University of Ghana Medical Centre  (UGMC), he noted, has been completed with phase 2 said to be nearing completion.

“We have completed phase 1. As I speak, phase 2 is getting closer to completion” Mr. Agyeman-Manu said, noting the hospital is currently at 70 percent operationalization.

“We anticipate completing the entire facility and operationalize fully by October this year,” he said.

Also, the construction of the Ministry of Health offices which he said they inherited and did some modification to, “has also been completed fully”.

On the expansion of the radiotherapy at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital “had been abandoned before we assumed office”.

He said a loan facility that had been arranged for the project had issues but indicated, “We’ve managed to clear the challenges we had with the project implementation and as I speak work is ongoing on these two projects…Hope to finish by close of the year”.

Touching on the construction of two regional and six district hospitals, the Minister said these were projects that were designed and loans looked for under President John Kufuor’s administration.

“Work actually started on some of the sites between 2009 and 2016. None of these 8 projects got completed. There were challenges” he stated.

The Wa Regional Hospital, he said, has been commissioned and in use, adding “We have completed the Ga East District Hospital” which he said is now being a major treatment center for COVID-19.

“All other sites like Twifo Praso, Konongo Odumase, Nsawkaw, Tepa, and Salaga are seeing progress,” he said, noting the government is expecting to complete the Tepa and Nsawkaw ones by close of June.

“The rest will be completed around October or November,” he added.

On the construction of seven district hospitals and integrated IT systems in Boha, Fomena, Kumawu, Abetifi, Garu-Tempane, Sekondi and Takoradi, the Minister said there were challenges with the project.

According to Mr. Agyeman-Manu, in the first quarter of 2017, he wrote to the finance minister to renew the expired LC to enable the contractor to secure funds to complete the projects.

“The previous government for some reason refused to renew the LC to enable the contractor to asses funding as far back as July 2016 so the projects were abandoned before we assumed office,” he explained.

He added: “The only one that had been completed and in use was the Dodowa project, others were at various stages of completion”.

Mr. Agyeman-Manu said he has for the past three years to get the contractor to get back to work on the projects to complete same but without success despite several correspondents and engagements.

“On assessment, we realize that if you compare money left sitting down as balance in the account and work left undone, you could easily see that the money couldn’t complete the project so there was the need for some audit to be done,” he said.

That audit, he said, was conducted and the report advised that the contract was terminated yet he continued to use dialogue to get the contractor back to work while they resolve issues around the project.

But the Minister said the contractor has been evasive and declined to even provide the government with some documentations including a bill of quantities which they requested for.

“We have decided to terminate the contract, look for another contractor who has the capacity to come in to do the work”

He was optimistic that once the government is able to resolve the issues on time, the projects could be completed by the end of the year.

 


—: As reported by tv3news

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“My Government’s Record In Agriculture Is Impressive” – President Nana Addo

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Record In Agriculture Is Impressive

“My Government’s Record In Agriculture Is Impressive” – President Nana Addo

His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. President of the Republic of Ghana has described the record of his government in the growth and development of the agricultural sector as impressive. 

Speaking at the 35th edition of Farmers’ Day on Friday, 3rd December, in Cape Coast, President Akufo-Addo stated that his government, since 2017, has set out to transform Ghanaian agriculture through investment in integrated and mutually reinforcing measures, that are yielding positive results. 

With the central pillar of the Government’s transformative policy being the Programme for Planting for Food and Jobs, the President stated that “we have, through the Programme, achieved a yearly average growth of agriculture of 5.8%, from 2017 to 2020, compared to the 2.7% growth we inherited in 2016.” 

To date, according to him, “a total of 1.4 million metric tonnes of fertilizers, and some ninety-one thousand metric tonnes (91,000MT) of certified seeds have been made available to farmers since 2017, with the number of beneficiary farmers now hitting the 1.7 million mark, taking off from the initial number of two hundred and seven thousand (207,000) farmers in 2017.” 

Through Planting for Export and Rural Development, which was launched in 2019 to promote the rapid development of six (6) strategic tree crops, i.e., rubber, oil palm, cashew, mango, coconut, and shea, and, thereby, diversify and augment our export earnings, President Akufo-Addo revealed that some twenty-nine million (29 million) seedlings have been distributed to some two hundred and twenty thousand (220,000) beneficiary farmers. 

Rearing for Food and Jobs, aimed at expanding domestic meat production, and reducing the huge annual import bill for meat and meat products of some three hundred million dollars ($300 million), he said, has seen thousands of different livestock species being distributed to seven (7) national livestock breeding stations in one hundred and sixty-six (166) MMDAs across the country. 

“Vegetable production, under the greenhouse village concept, has also been promoted intensively, with three centres established at Dawhenya, Akumadan and Bawjiase for commercial production, and training of youth interested in establishing agribusinesses in the vegetable value chain,” he said. 

President Akufo-Addo added, “To improve the efficiency of farmer operations, a total of eight thousand, nine hundred and eighty (8,980) units of various types of machinery and equipment have been imported to enhance access to mechanization services by farmers. Sixty-three (63) out of the proposed eighty (80) one thousand metric capacity (1,000MT) warehouses have been completed.” 

This, he indicated, has increased the warehouse capacity owned by the Government to ninety-seven thousand metric tons (97,000 MT), with additional warehouses set to be constructed to handle the expected increased production of grains to enlarge storage, and reduce post-harvest losses. 

On irrigation, the President stated that “the result of significant investment by my government in the Ghana Commercial Agriculture Progamme has resulted in the availability of a total of thirteen thousand, one hundred and ninety (13,190) hectares of additional irrigable land, through the rehabilitation of Tono, Kpong Left Bank and Kpong Irrigation Schemes, for rice and vegetable cultivation.” 

To address the perennial challenges of access to credit for our farmers and fisherfolk, the President stated that the Ghana Incentive-Based Risk Sharing Agricultural Lending Scheme (GIRSAL), which was established in 2019, has approved and issued credit guarantees for agricultural loans to the tune of two hundred and seventy-three million cedis (GH¢273 million). 

On reviving Agricultural Extension Services, President Akufo-Addo noted that Government has increased the staff strength from of the Services from 1,580 in 2016, to 4,280, following the recruitment of 2,700 more extension officers in 2019. 

“I am happy to inform you that approval has been given by Cabinet for the recruitment of an additional number of one thousand, one hundred (1,100) veterinary officers into the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. Fifty percent (50%) of this number will be recruited in 2022, and the remaining fifty percent (50%) progressively taken on board over a two-year period,” he added 

Fisheries expansion, and cocoa pension schemes 

Construction works on fishing landing sites and harbour projects, located in the Greater Accra, Central and Western Regions, President Akufo-Addo said, are progressing steadily, with the projects expected to facilitate the transformation of the fisheries sector, by providing modernised berthing, handling, processing and mechanisation facilities to fisher folk. 

Cabinet, according to the President, has granted approval for the procurement of a research vessel and four (4) patrol boats for the fisheries sector, with the four (4) patrol boats set to strengthen enforcement capacity, to help address the issue of overexploitation and overfishing, as well as help curb the pervasive incidence of Illegal, Unreported, Unregulated (IUU) fishing. 

On cocoa, President Akufo-Addo stressed that the sector has seen significant transformation since 2017. 

“From an average production of eight hundred and eighty thousand (880,000) tonnes, the country hit an all-time record production of one million, and forty-seven thousand, three hundred and eighty-five (1,047,385 tonnes) in 2021, being the highest ever yearly production of cocoa, since it was introduced into Ghana in 1879,” he added. 

This, he said, has been made possible by the introduction of productivity improvement techniques that ensure higher yields from the same acreage, the adoption of technology and practices that modernise cocoa production in an environmentally, socially and sustainable manner, the design of policies to address the inequalities in the international marketing system of cocoa by paying a Living Income Differential of four hundred United States dollars ($400) per tonne of cocoa to farmers, and the fostering of partnerships and collaborative actions of stakeholders towards greater investments. 

President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that the commencement of the provision of a pension scheme for farmers started in 2020 under his government, even though the law was promulgated in 1984, with successive governments being unable to bring it into being. 

“The pilot pension scheme has, initially, covered some two thousand, eight hundred (2,800) farmers in the New Edubiase Cocoa District of the Ashanti Region, and a nation-wide registration of all cocoa farmers is on-going under the cocoa management system to speed up the process,” he added.

 


Source: Presidency.gov.gh

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“You guys can go to hell” – Captain Smart charges after released from Police custody

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Captain Smart was arrested

“You guys can go to hell” – Captain Smart charges after released from Police custody

Fearless broadcast journalist Blessed Godsbrain Smart popularly known as Captain Smart has reaffirmed his resolve to fight the cause of the ‘New Ghana’ agenda, a campaign he is leading to uncover corrupt politicians.

Captain Smart was arrested last Thursday 2nd December 2021 by the Nima Police Command after a video he made attacking politicians on the rot going in the country on his ‘Onua Maakye’ morning show on Onua FM went viral. The Police arrested him with the charge that his unsavory comment was inciting violence and a threat to national peace and security.

On his show ‘Onua Maakye’ on Wednesday, Captain Smart, whilst voicing his displeasure about happenings in leadership, called for an uprising.

“Where we have reached, we require an uprising with positive defiance. I am even shocked at Ghana’s soldiers.

“You can enter Parliament when MPs are being sworn in but when MPs are fooling, you can’t enter Parliament to arrest them. Everybody is quiet in this country,” he said.

He was however released from the Police custody the same day.

Speaking on his Onua Maakye show on Friday 3rd December 2021 after his release, he reiterated his preparedness to fight until the country’s political leaders act well.

“You guys can go to hell for all I care. I don’t care about anything you want to do; I don’t care about anything you want to say.

“The New Ghana Agenda has come to stay and will forever remain in my heart. If I die today and the Church of Pentecost finishes overseeing my burial and I’m in a casket, ready to be buried, then I see the government in power abusing their authority, I will emerge from the casket, go and tell them my mind and then return to be buried,” he added

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Captain Smart Arrested by Nima Police Command

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Captain Smart Arrested

Captain Smart Arrested by Nima Police Command

Nima Divisional Police Command has arrested Captain Smart for using unsavoury pronouncements, inciting people to go on rampage whiles on live radio.

Blessed Godsbrain Smart popularly known as Captain Smart is a broadcast Journalist with Onua FM and TV, a subsidiary of Media General Limited.

A statement issued by the Divisional Police Command on Thursday 2nd December 2021, said Capatin Smart was arrested following some unsavoury pronouncements that hinge on peace and security.

“He has been cautioned on the offence of offensive conduct conducive to breaches of the peace as provided under section 207 of the Criminal Act,1960 (Act 29),” the statement added.

The Police said Captain Smart is currently in their custody assisting the investigations.

Police released arrest notice:

Captain Smart Arrested

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