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Start voter registration exercise in places not under lockdown – Lawyer Sam Okudzeto to EC

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Start voter registration exercise in places not under lockdown – Lawyer Sam Okudzeto to EC


Sam Okudzeto, a senior legal practitioner and former President of the Ghana Bar Association, has urged the Electoral Commission (EC) to start the voters’ registration exercise in places outside the partial lockdown.

The Electoral Commission suspended its planned compilation of a new voters’ register over the ban on public gatherings imposed on Ghanaians as part of efforts to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus disease that has bedeviled the country.

The exercise was initially scheduled for April 18, 2020, but no new date has been announced following the suspension.

The Greater Accra Metropolitan Area including Tema and Kasoa as well as the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area are currently under lockdown in a bid to check the spread of the disease.

The EC has said it wants to ensure that the voters’ register that will be used for the 2020 election is more credible and efficient than the existing one hence the need for a new Biometric Voter Management System (BVMS).

Sam Okudzeto, who is also a member of the Council of State, in an interview on Eyewitness News said the EC can compile the voters’ register in batches.

“Our cases of the Coronavirus is not as dramatic as it is in many countries which means that we only have few pockets in the two big municipalities and few of the smaller ones. So since the lockdown is not the whole of Ghana, the EC should start the registration in areas where there is no lockdown,” he said.

EC and the new voters’ registration

The Electoral Commission is supposed to organize the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections on December 7.

The Commission is seeking to replace its biometric machines to better address verification challenges that could occur during the elections.

A key new feature the EC cited is the introduction of a facial recognition option in addition to fingerprint verification.

It also plans to make the Ghana Card and passport the only acceptable identification for the upcoming voter registration, but the announcement was received with mixed reactions from Ghanaians.

Opposition to the new register

The move for the new register has been met with opposition from key political stakeholders, including the main opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

The opposition party called on Ghanaians to reject the EC’s plans because it felt the commission was yet to present a compelling argument for the compilation of a new register.

Over the course of deliberations, its officials even walked out of a meeting with the EC

 


–: As reported by Citinewsroom.com/ACC/GH/04152020

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General News

Speaker Alban Bagbin travels again to Dubai for medical checks

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Alban Bagbin

Speaker Alban Bagbin travels again to Dubai for medical checks

The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin is scheduled to travel to the United Arab Emirates (Dubai) again for his due medical review.

In a letter to President Akufo-Addo, the Speaker explained that his trip for another medical review was due on January 7, 2022.

“I am writing to inform you of my absence from Ghana from Friday, 7 January 2022 till Sunday 23, 2022 in order to honour an appointment for a medical review in the United Arab Emirates.”

“It is also important to bring to your attention that the House will resume its sittings for the First Meeting of the Second Session of the 8th Parliament on Tuesday 25 January 2022,” the letter from the Speaker’s Office noted.

Speaker Bagbin also informed the President that “prior to the resumption of the House, Parliament intends to undertake a Covid-19 (booster) vaccination exercise for Members of Parliament and Officers of the Parliamentary Service.”

Copy of the Speaker’s letter to Prez. Akufo-Addo;

alban bagbin's letter to Akufo-addo

Alban Bagbin was in UAE in November 2021, for similar medical check-ups.

Meanwhile, Parliament will be resuming the controversial debate on the 1.75% Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy) which has divided the House and caused massive uproar amongst Ghanaians.

The E-Levy approval is expected to rake in a little above ¢6 billion in tax revenue for the country.

This month [January 2022] we will go back to the floor of Parliament with the E-Levy and ensure that it gets passed by the end of the month,” Minister of State at the Finance Ministry, Charles Adu-Boahen said during the investiture of the newly elected president of the Association of Ghana Industries, Humphrey Anim-Dake.

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Data from SIM card re-registration is bogus; we advised them to stop – NIA Boss

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Data from SIM card re-registration is bogus

Data from SIM card re-registration is bogus; we advised them to stop – NIA Boss

Photos of letters signed by the Executive Secretary of the National Identification Authority (NIA) in response to the National Communications Authority (NCA) regarding the commencement of the SIM Card re-registration reveal NIA’s initial rejection of the move since September 2021.

The Executive Secretary of NIA, Prof. Kenneth Attafuah has described the so-called biometric data being collected by the various telecommunication companies in the ongoing SIM card re-registration as useless.

In the letter, Professor Kenneth Attafuah, and his outfit cannot confirm that the data being collected by the telcos “will meet the standard to enable successful verification against the National Identification System (NIS) database.”

The letter was in response to a request for information to ascertain the synergy between the NIA data collection and the exercise being conducted by the telcos as being championed by the Communications Ministry through NCA.

“NIA is unable to confirm that the biometric data to be collected by the NCA for the purpose described above will meet the standard to enable successful verification against the National Identification System (NIS) database,” portion of the letter stated.

“The use of an App that is not developed or certified by NIA to rend the Ghana Card using a two-step data collection and verification process is outside NIA’s control. NIA is, therefore, unable to guarantee the results of such a process.”

Data from SIM card re-registration is bogusData from SIM card re-registration is bogusData from SIM card re-registration is bogus

Scanned copies of the letters dated September 2021 were first shared by one Selorm Branttie, Vice President at Imani Center for Policy & Education who doubles as Global Strategy Director at mPedigree Network, on his Facebook timeline.

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Nigeria commits to pay off US$28.7 million capital arrears in Shelter Afrique

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Nigeria Finance Minister Dr Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed and Shelter Afrique MD Andrew Chimphondah

Abuja – January 11, 2022: The Federal Republic of Nigeria has pledged to pay the full capital arrear of US$28.7m in Shelter Afrique, Nigeria’s Finance Minister Dr. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed disclosed at a meeting with Shelter Afrique Group Managing Director and CEO Mr. Andrew Chimphondah in Abuja.

The Minister further disclosed that the payment will be made in four installments starting January 2022.

In September 2020, the pan African housing development financier received US$$9.4 million from Nigeria. The contribution moved Nigeria to become the second-largest shareholding in the organization with 13.27% of the shareholding, behind Kenya with 17.78%, and ahead of the AfDB at 12.83%.

Lauding the government of Nigeria for its show of confidence in the institution and a stamp of approval for the organisation’s financial turnaround, Mr. Andrew Chimphondah said, “This is a major milestone which is set to propel Nigeria to become the largest shareholder in Shelter-Afrique when the country meets its capital commitment. This is a strong testament of the strong shareholder commitment and support of the Shelter Afrique Board and Management.”

Housing Bond

Shelter Afrique is planning to raise 250 Billion Naira Bond (US$500million) in 2022 to support its affordable housing projects in Nigeria. The Company is set to commence the road shows with prospective investors in January 2022 and is expected to conclude fundraising by end of February.

Shelter Afrique has embarked on a defined strategy of developing and deepening local capital markets so that access to local currency which is competitively priced can be made available to Nigerian Developers from the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Large Developers and Tier 1 and Tier 2 Banks and Primary Mortgage Lenders. The significance of this is that Shelter-Afrique will have been successful in dealing with the foreign exchange exposure risks that have crippled many African countries caused by the weakening of local African currencies against hard currencies such as the United States Dollar and the British Pound Sterling,” Mr. Chimphondah said.

Thanking the Finance Minister Dr. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed for supporting the Bond Issue by the approvals received on critical waivers from the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Chimphondah noted that Nigeria was a critical and strategic market for Shelter Afrique, adding that the fund realized from the bond issue will go a long way in address the affordable housing shortage in the country, now estimated at 17 Million Units against the continent’s 56 million units.

“As a response to addressing this housing shortage, Shelter Afrique will implement a transformative strategy that will crowd in additional capital funding into the low cost large scale affordable housing market in a commercially viable manner,” Mr. Chimphondah concluded.

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