Press Review of Fri, 16 Jan 20040

Print Media Monitoring

DAILY GRAPHIC – FRIDAY, 16TH JANUARY, 2004

1. “GOVT. WILL ADDRESS CONCERNS OF BUSINESS COMMUNITY” – PG. 16

Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, has disclosed that government will address the concerns and suggestions raised by the business community.

According to him, these will be taken care of in this year’s budget.

He was speaking at a dinner dance hosted by the Senior Minister, Mr. J. H. Mensah, for the business community in Accra.

He said this would make the 2004 budget more acceptable and pragmatic in terms of implementation to achieve the required targets.

Mr. Osafo-Maafo said it had always been the wish of the government to listen to and work hand in hand with the business community to ensure growth and indicated that, “just like we always do, we would address their concerns.”

2. NEW YOUTH POLICY READY FOR STUDY – PG. 17

According to the paper, the National Youth Council (NYC) has submitted the revised National Youth Policy, which is aimed at streamlining and further energizing the activities of the youth to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports for study.

The move had become necessary owing to wide-spread public concerns that the existing policy was incapable of meeting the interest and aspirations of the youth and ultimately the national interest.

The policy document would be presented to Parliament after its approval by the Cabinet.

This was made known by the National Co-ordinator of the NYC, Mr. Joe Mantey at a press briefing in Accra.

3. PRESBY MODERATOR CAUTIONS CLERGYMEN – PG. 13

Rt. Rev. Dr. Sam Prempeh, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, has advised pastors and other religious leaders not to dabble in partisan politics by way of the pulpit.

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According to him, even though all Ghanaians had the right to vote, pastors should not allow their party affiliations to override their zeal to transform the society for the better, since that could undermine the confidence their members had in them.

He was interacting with newsmen in Sunyani at the beginning of a week-long working visit to the Brong Ahafo Region, during which he would identify the progress and challenges of all the 34 districts of the church in the region.

4. RESERVOIR UNDER THREAT. FROM ILLEGAL STONE WINNERS – PGS. 1 & 3

The paper reports that, illegal activities of some stone winners at Asofaa, near Amasaman, are seriously threatening a newly-built water reservoir meant to serve the people in the Ga District and parts of Accra.

The stone winners have virtually dug for stones around the base of the reservoir such that it is feared it could collapse when put into operation.

The reservoir, which has a capacity of 165,000 gallons, was built as part of the Weija Water Works Rehabilitation project in 2002 to supply potable water to the people.

Mr. Michael Agyemang, Public Relations Director of the GWCL, described the situation as most unfortunate and a threat to the foundation of the reservoir.

“We continue to mount sign posts to ward off the stone winners but they remove the posts and continue with their illegal activities,” he stressed.

THE GHANAIAN TIMES – FRIDAY, 16TH JANUARY, 2004

1. NHIS LAUNCH POSTPONEMENT CAUSES CONFUSION – PG. 1

The paper reports that, unaware of the sudden postponement of the slated launch of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) by President Kufuor, hundreds of people yesterday trooped to the park of the Nungua Traditional Authority”, venue for the widely publicized launch.

Patrons who started arriving at the venue for the launch as early as 7.30 a.m., included parliamentarians, members of the diplomatic community, chiefs and media practitioners. The launch was to begin at 10 a.m. but was later found to be postponed.

A belated press statement issued by the Ministry of Health yesterday said the launch of the NHIS was postponed “due to unforeseen circumstances.”

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The paper’s attempt to speak to the Minister of Health and the Minister of Information proved futile as both of them were at a meeting.

2. EC RELOCATES POLLING STATIONS – PGS. 1 & 3

Reports say the EC has started relocating polling stations to more suitable places and creating new ones where necessary in readiness for this year’s Presidential and Parliamentary elections.

The programme falls in line with the EC’s policy of realigning its polling stations from time to time but takes on added importance in view of the proposed 230 constituencies and the fact that new districts have been created.

Dr. Kwadzo Afari Djan, Chairman of the EC, announced this at the opening of a two-day inaugural planning meeting for Election 2004 in Accra yesterday.

The meeting organized by the EC with support from KAB Governance Consult (KGC) and USAID, was to afford the commission an opportunity to interact and share ideas with its stakeholders towards free and fair elections this year.

3. MATERNAL MORTALITY RATE IN UW TOO HIGH – PG. 1

The paper reports that, about 800 maternal deaths per 100,000 births were recorded in the Upper West Region last year.

This was revealed by Dr. Erasmus Agongo, Upper West Regional Director of Health Service.

He said, in effect, out of every 100 women who gave birth in the region, eight lost their lives, adding majority of the death occurred in the Lawra district.

Dr. Agongo said apart from being highly unacceptable, the high maternal mortality rate was tantamount to “the slaughtering of women.”

He was giving an overview of the health status of women in the region during the launch of a week-long Safe Motherhood Programme in Lawra yesterday.

“The mortality rate in the region is highly unacceptable”.

He called for collaboration and collective decision from the Ghana Health Services, Regional Coordinating Council among others to help save mothers.

4. ASUOGYAMAN SETTLEMENT THREATENS VRA – PGS. 1 & 3

According to the paper, the people of Adjina, a VRA Resettlement Community in the Asuogyaman District of the Eastern Region, are on a collision course with the VRA.

They have threatened not to pay their electricity bills unless the VRA pays them compensation for the lands it acquired from them some forty years ago to construct the Akosombo Dam.

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According to them, no compensation has been paid to them since they were resettled by the VRA in 1964.

Mr. Francis Nsonowa, 40, a farmer of Adjina, stated their case amidst thunderous applause at the people’s Assembly held on Wednesday in Akosombo.

Reacting to the threats, the Asuogyaman DCE, Dr. G.K. Siaw, appealed to the landowners to exercise a little bit of restraint considering the nature of the issue at stake.

Meanwhile, the DCE has said that, at a meeting with the VRA management sometime ago, it came to light that some landowners were paid their compensation and that it was therefore, not wholly true that no compensation had been paid for lands acquired for the construction of the dam.

THE STATESMAN – FRIDAY, 16TH JANUARY, 2004

ATTA MILLS DISMISSES NRC “IT’S ALL HEARSAY” – PG. 1 & BK. PG.

The paper reports that, the one-time former Vice-President and Presidential candidate for the NDC in the forthcoming elections, Prof. J.E.A. Mills, in a rare television interview on “Good Morning Ghana” on Metro TV yesterday, gave a sharp dismissal of the year-old NRC, that it “is hearsay”.

Asked how he feels about joining the cadres to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the bloody coup d’etat that overthrew the constitutionally – elected government of Dr. Hilla Limann, especially when gruesome incidents of the PNDC atrocities are replayed weekly at the NRC by victims and perpetrators alike, the Professor gave a short, sharp but shocking answer that what was happening at the NRC “is hearsay.”

Rather, Prof. Mills told Ghanaians he prefers to focus on the positive aspects of the 11-year PNDC regime.

The former Vice-President comment comes ahead of moves by the NRC to order his mentor, former President Rawlings, to appear before it when he returns to the country after his holidays abroad.

DAILY GUIDE – FRIDAY, 16TH JANUARY, 2004

NUGS SAYS SORRY TO PRES KUFUOR – PG. 1 & BK. PG.

The paper reports that, the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) has rendered an unqualified apology to His Excellency President Kufuor and the entire Nation about the manner in which the leadership presented some grievances of Ghanaian students at the 3rd Peoples Assembly on the 7th January, 2004.

They also appealed to government to re-open fresh negotiation on the GETFund to demystify the confusion shrouding the fund, by way of reconciling the accounts, so as to foster cordiality and partnership between government and NUGS in National development.

THE EVENING NEWS – THURSDAY, 15TH JANUARY, 2004

1. RAWLINGS TO FACE NRC … HIS SUBPOENA IS READY – PG. 1

The Executive Secretary of the NRC, Dr. Ken Attafuah, has given the assurance that former President Rawlings will be subpoenaed to appear before the Commission in due course.

Giving an overview of the Commission during the one-year of its existence in an interview with the “Radio Gold”, Dr. Attafuah said the Commission had already prepared the subpoena and had wanted to serve it on him as far back as November last year, to appear before it.

He said the ex-President was to have appeared before the Commission on December 4, last year, but unfortunately he travelled out of the country.

“It was not his fault and we have not been able to serve it on him. But as soon as we know that he is in the country, we will try and effect a service of subpoena on him,” he said.

2. DON’T UNDERMINE OUR DEMOCRACY - AYIREBI-ACQUAH – PG. 1

The paper says a former Deputy Minister of Defence under the PNDC/NDC regime, Dr. E. Ayirebi-Acquah, has urged the NPP and the NDC to guard against “antagonism and adversarial politics”.

In an interview with the paper in Accra, Dr. Ayirebi-Acquah regretted the lack of tolerance in the country’s political scene and appealed to the two leading parties to desist from all actions that tend to undermine the country’s emerging democracy.

“If we toy with our democracy, which we are gradually building, we will be spelling our doom to the detriment of future generations”, he cautioned. Dr. Ayirebi-Acquah however commended the present government for taking steps to salvage the ailing economy from total collapse.

He also praised the government for creating an enabling environment for the private sector to participate in growth and development, but added that much more remained to be done in that direction.

NETWORK HERALD – FRIDAY, 16TH JANUARY, 2004

KPONE WANTS RECOGNITION ON NAMING OF GAS PIPELINE – PG. 1 & 3

The Kpone Traditional Council (KTC) has appealed to the West African Gas Pipeline Project Company to re-examine the naming of the site for the construction of the Regulatory and Metering Station (RMS) to reflect it proper location at Kpone.

The council proposed that the site for the project be named “Sega Gonno”, which is the ancestral settlement of the Kpone in the Tema municipality.

The appeal was contained in a letter signed by Nii Otu, Chief of Kpone and President of the Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs.

Source: ISD

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