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The Convention Peoples’ Party (CPP) has suspended its General Secretary, Nii Akomfrah and National Youth Organiser, Ernesto Yeboah after they publicly condemned President John Mahama for accepting a gift. Communications Director Abdul Kadiri explained to Joy News Thursday the two were suspended for "acts of indiscipline".

 

The National Executive Committee took the decision Thursday afternoon. The suspension comes 48 hours after CPP flag bearer, Ivor Greenstreet suggested that there is a price for taking individual positions.Mr Yeboah leads the CPP Youth League which has petitioned Commission on Human Right and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to investigate the President after he took a Ford Expedition from a Burkinabe contractor in 2012. But his position contradicted the flagbearer Ivor Greenstreet who told Joy News it did not "feel wrong" for the President to accept a gift from a businessman although it contradicts a code of ethics for the Executive. Ernesto Yeboah has told Joy News he does not intend to challenge his suspension but vowed to continue his fight against corruption."I wonder how a party of integrity would suspend members for fighting corruption", he said.

 

More soon…

 

 

Source: myjoyonline.com

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton rolled up a series of wins on Tuesday, as the two presidential front-runners took a step towards capturing their parties' nominations on the 2016 campaign's biggest day of state-by-state primary contests.

Trump and Clinton turned their sights on each other after their Super Tuesday wins, with Trump promising to "go after" Clinton and the former secretary of state decrying what she called Trump's divisive rhetoric.

U.S. networks projected Trump won six and Clinton seven states on Super Tuesday, when 12 states were voting. Trump won Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee and Virginia, while Clinton won Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

Trump's rival Ted Cruz, a U.S. senator from Texas, won his home state and neighbouring Oklahoma, bolstering his argument he had the best chance to stop the controversial Trump. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, the favourite of the Republican establishment, had yet to register a win but was leading in Minnesota as the votes were counted.

Clinton's rival Bernie Sanders, a democratic socialist U.S. senator from Vermont, also won his home state along with Oklahoma and Colorado and vowed to pursue the battle for the nomination in the 35 states that had yet to vote.

Super Tuesday was the biggest single day of state-by-state contests to select party nominees for the Nov. 8 election to succeed Democratic President Barack Obama. Voting stretched from eastern states to Texas and Minnesota.

Opinion polls heading into the voting had shown Trump leading in most of the 12 states up for grabs, raising the possibility of a big night that would intensify worries among Republican leaders who fear the billionaire could inflict long-term damage on the party.

"I am a unifier," Trump told reporters in Palm Beach, Florida, dismissing concerns that his nomination would rip apart the party. "Once we get all this finished, I'm going after one person - Hillary Clinton."

Exit polls and early results showed Vermont was still too close to call for Republicans, networks said. Alaska Republicans and both parties in Minnesota were holding contests with results expected later.

Clinton had Trump on her mind in her victory speech, although she never mentioned him by name.

"The stakes in this election have never been higher and the rhetoric we’re hearing on the other side has never been lower," Clinton, 68, told supporters in Miami. "Trying to divide America between us and them is wrong, and we’re not going to let it work."

Sanders won his home state of Vermont and Oklahoma, two of five states he was targeting for victory on Tuesday. He lost to Clinton in Massachusetts, another state he was hoping to win.

Sanders thanked cheering supporters in his hometown of Burlington, Vermont, and assailed the Republican front-runner.

'DONALD TRUMPS OF THE WORLD' 

"We are not going to let the Donald Trumps of the world divide us," said Sanders, 74, adding that he expected to pile up "hundreds" of convention delegates in voting on Tuesday.

Trump, 69, has worried many in the Republican establishment with proposals such as building a wall along the U.S. southern border with Mexico, deporting 11 million illegal immigrants and slapping a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country.

Even as Trump advances, many Republican Party leaders do not support him and worry that he would be easily defeated in November if Clinton becomes the Democratic nominee.

Cruz told supporters at his victory party in Texas that Trump was a "Washington dealmaker, profane and vulgar, who has a lifelong pattern of using government power for personal gain."

The crossfire between Trump and establishment Republicans threatened to tear the party apart at a time when it will need to generate momentum behind a prospective nominee.

"If Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination, it will split the Republican Party and it will basically, I think, split the conservative movement," Rubio told CBS News.

But while Trump's campaign has confounded many Republican leaders, the New York real estate developer cites his high poll numbers and big primary wins as proof he is not dividing the party but grown its ranks.

"We have expanded the Republican Party," he said in Florida.

With his string of victories on Tuesday, Trump extended his lead in convention delegates over Cruz, Rubio, Ohio Governor John Kasich and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

On the Democratic side, Clinton took advantage of her strong performance with black voters to cruise to big wins in several Southern states, where blacks make up a big bloc of the Democratic electorate.

While some Democrats have begun to question whether Sanders should continue his challenge to Clinton, he said he had no intention of dropping out anytime soon.

"At the end of tonight, 15 states will have voted, 35 states remain," Sanders said in Vermont. "And let me assure you that we are going to take our fight for economic justice, for social justice, for environmental sanity, for a world of peace to every one of those states."

 

 

 

Source: Reuters

Wednesday, 02 March 2016 10:55

Gov't taxing us to death - Bawumia

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The Mahama administration has “recklessly mismanaged” the economy to an extent that it is “desperately” resorting to “burdening” businesses and ordinary citizens with a plethora of taxes, which it sees as its only hope of getting out of a self-created mess.

This is the assessment of the economy by Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, running mate to the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Akufo-Addo.

Dr Bawumia, who says a future Akufo-Addo government will build the most people-friendly and most business-friendly economy, said Wednesday March 2, that: “The tax issue is a major issue because if you are so fixated on revenue, you’ll essentially end up hurting your production. If you go back into history, [and] you study the economic history of the US, Germany, England, all of them have used the tax policy to encourage production.

“Today you have an unbelievable situation in Ghana where businesses are out on strike; businesses, which should be selling, are out on strike. Why are they on strike? Because they’ve been overburdened by taxes! And if you don’t take care, you’d be chasing the tax revenue and killing businesses and when you kill businesses, it means you are causing unemployment and, so… this is why Nana Akufo-Addo is saying we need to mobilise financial resources. So, why are you going to be imposing VAT on financial services? It doesn’t make sense in a country which has got a very large unbanked population and we want people to bank,” Dr Bawumia told Kojo Yankson on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show on Wednesday, adding that: “We’ll abolish them. We will abolish import duties on all raw materials because that has been a policy that will help production.”

The former deputy governor of the Bank of Ghana said it was important for the government to create an enabling environment through tax incentives to spur business growth, a situation that will, in turn, have a domino effect on job creation, and, thereby, get more people to pay income taxes while simultaneously serving as a shot in the arm to corporate tax earnings by the government, since businesses would have grown – by virtue of the tax incentives – to an extent that they could meet their tax obligations effortlessly.

“Let the businesses produce, let them make profit and when they make profit and employ people, we will get income taxes and we will get corporate taxes, so, you don’t go ahead to kill the businesses; no! Let them bring in the raw materials, let them produce, then you will tax at the end of the day and, so, [in] our approach – and this is why we’re going to bring down corporate taxes – we’ll put incentives [in place] for real estates, tax incentives for the real estate sector, a special levy on imports, the 1 to 2 per cent, we’ll abolish it and this is all to ginger up production and ginger up the economy.”

In his view, the government’s anxiousness to dig itself out of a self-dug hole has led to the Mahama administration adopting desperate measures such as higher taxes towards fixing a self-imposed problem, which, according to Dr Bawumia, rather keeps being counterproductive, thus spirally worsening the situation.

“I think that when you have a government where you have cutlasses being taxed, condoms being taxed, and even savings [being taxed] – there was a one per cent imposition on investments, which was later suspended – …to think about it, it just questions who are making these policies.

“When you become desperate, this is what happens; when you mismanage the economy into this hole, then anything sounds great to you because you don’t have any option… and this is the problem, anything that is taxable, that can visibly be taxed, they are trying to impose taxes on it, including taxes on withholding and so on. 

All of these are hurting the economy, these taxes are hurting, and, therefore, you are not going to get the growth, and when you don’t get the growth, you will not get the revenue, and when you don’t get the revenue, you’ll go back to increasing taxes to get the revenue, and then you are in a cyclical downward spiral, and, so, they have it wrong, and we will change that particular policy. We will use the tax incentives to grow this economy and you will get the revenue. We reduced taxes on corporates from 32 to 25 per cent and we increased revenue, but because of this recklessness, they keep thinking that this is going to be the solutions: more taxes, more borrowing, more spending, which results in more taxes,” Dr Bawumia said.

Just about a week ago, Pastor Mensa Otabil expressed concerns about businesses being stifled with high taxes.

"For a nation to be great, its laws have to facilitate growth. You cannot overtax businesses and kill them and hope them to survive at the same time; it doesn’t work that way," the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) founder told an audience of young entrepreneurs on Saturday February 27 in his keynote address at the grand finale of the Springboard road show organised by Albert and Comfort Ocran.

"If we want businesses to survive and to thrive, we have to create an environment for businesses to thrive," he said.

In his view, some of the most successful entrepreneurs and businesspeople in the world would have found it difficult to achieve the laurels they are currently famed for, had they found themselves in a stifling and “poisonous” atmosphere like Ghana’s.

"I asked this question some time ago on this same platform: If Mark Zuckerberg was a Ghanaian and had the idea of Facebook, would his idea have thrived? If Steve Jobs had the great idea of Apple and was a thriving computer engineer in Kokomlemle, would he have built that world class brand? I don't know. But it seems to me all of us are [in agreement] it would have been extraordinary for them to have succeeded. So, what's the difference between Mark Zuckerberg and you [audience], Steve Jobs and you? It's not brains, it's the Sulphur, it's the environment," he answered.

"That is why for most of you young men, don't just focus on your dreams, demand for the right environment to be created also, and the right environment is not NPP or NDC; parties don't govern nations, laws and policies govern nations. 

Go beyond party names and start examining policies and demanding policies that will make you thrive, so that if you want to set up a business, your business can thrive. Because if we don't do that we'll waste our talents, we'll waste our gift; we'll be world class but play at the village level. 

And it has nothing to do with your dreams or your talent; it has all to do with the environment. We have to force the politicians to think of us, and to think of our lives, and to think of our future, and to think of our dreams. 

And the only way to do that is for you to start thinking, not in party terms, but in policy terms and making sure that the laws that govern your industry favour you because if that doesn't happen, dreamers will die with their dream unrealised.

 

 

 

Source: classfmonline.com

A planned rerun of polling station election for some 170 disenfranchised New Patriotic Party (NPP) voters of Manhyia North turned bloody last Monday when a group of machomen alleged to have been hired by the Regional Chairman, Mr Bernard Antwi-Bosiako, brutalised the hapless voters.

But Chairman Wontumi, as the regional party chairman is fondly called, has refused to comment on the issue as tension continues to mount ahead of the scheduled March 7, 2016 delayed parliamentary primary.

Per a road map agreed late last year November by all feuding parties, the disenfranchised voters were to be properly registered and duly assigned to enable them to cast their ballot to either elect the incumbent, Collins Owusu Amankwah, or his challenger, Nana Osei Banfo.

However, the Constituency Secretary, Mr Felix Ibrahim, alleged to the Daily Graphic that after voters had converged on an agreed venue for the exercise to take place last Monday, the chairman invited them to the regional party office on grounds that there had been a change of venue.

Mr Ibrahim further alleged that on arriving at the regional office, a group of thugs descended on the party faithful with all kinds of weapons to physically brutalise them.

The injured, according to other eye witnesses, included two old men who had a deep cut on the forehead and a fractured knee respectively.

The chairman is said to have unilaterally rescheduled the exercise to tomorrow, ahead of the March 7 voting for no apparent reason.

The Manhyia North election has been stalled due to a number of alleged irregularities and litigation.

People loyal to Mr Banfo alleged last November that the incumbent failed to meet the deadline for filing the nomination forms and, therefore, was not eligible to stand.

That allegation was, however, denied by party executives who eventually gave the two candidates the green light to contest the primary.

But that decision has been challenged by then Banfo group who alleged that the incumbent was being favoured.

Manhyia North is one of the new constituencies created by the Electoral Commission ahead of the 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections.
It used to be part of the Manhyia constituency and key to the NPP's parliamentary victory in the region.

In the last election, the incumbent, Collins Owusu Amankwah, polled 36,775 votes representing 69.57 per cent of the entire votes cast. 

The National Democratic Congress’ Samuel Bofa Donkor polled 13,439 votes, representing 25.42 per cent, Justice E. Ofori of the NDP had 2,342, representing 4.43 per cent, while Richard Acquah of the PPP polled 306, representing 0.58 per cent.

Owusu Amankwah is touted as the key man to increase the party's presidential votes from 37, 853, representing 71.41 per cent in 2012, to at least 40,000 in the next elections according to the party's estimation, and maintain the party's seat in Parliament.

 

 

 

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Wednesday, 02 March 2016 10:55

Mahama running Ghana like a supermarket – PPP

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“Ghana is sick, we are really sick. That is the state we are in now as a nation,” – PPP’s Divine Nkrumah said on NEAT FM’s 'Ghana Montie' programme to describe the state of the nation.

According to him, President Mahama’s State of The Nation Address last Thursday – “Was just to throw dust in our eyes” adding that “If we [Ghanaians] want to hear the true state of the nation address, then it shouldn’t come from Mahama. It should come from us, we are feeling the hotness of his mess.” 

The president last Thursday, February 25, 2016 told parliament about the achievements his administration have chalked during his tenure in his last State of The Nation Address.

Aftermath of his address has generated some cacophonies – the NPP on Monday also presented what they called the "Real State of the Nation Address" 

The National Youth Leader of the Progressive People's Party (PPP), Divine Nkrumah however noted that – “Mahama [President] is running Ghana like a supermarket. What he said during his address were all rubbish.”

 

Wednesday, 02 March 2016 09:49

Short-term loans killing SMEs - UT boss

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Chief Executive Officer of UT Bank Stephen Antwi-Asimeng has called on small and medium enterprises (SME) owners to explore other financing schemes beyond banks’ credit and desist from prioritising loans as the only major factor to grow their businesses.

He said: “Having pioneered SME financing, we have come to understand that SMEs usually need a lot more than financing.

“Many times what SMEs require goes beyond what a bank can provide. For a company that is heavily indebted that looks at growing and looking forward long-term planning, they would usually need a partner or long-term financing; and many times banks are not well-structured to provide this, hence the availability of a complementary array of finances,” Mr. Antwi-Asimeng added.

He said this at an SME clinic organised by the bank in Accra last week to educate SMEs on various financing schemes available, and offer them the opportunity to learn more about practices that will make their business attractive on the market.

According to him SMEs need to properly structure their operations, respect corporate governance, put in place book-keeping and accounting records, and also invest in their own succession to become more attractive in the current challenging economy.

Experts have indicated that the success of a country’s development is closely linked to development of the SME sector, hence the sector’s relevance to the economy. Further statistics also show that in Ghana over 70 percent of the country’s annual GDP is contributed by SMEs.

Speaking at the seminar, Managing Director of InvestCorp - an investment Banking and Asset Management firm -- Sampson Akligoh also advised SMEs to desist from taking short-term loans from banks to develop long-term projects.

He challenged SMEs to learn about different financing options, as loans are the most expensive among others available -- such as equity and securitised debt wherein a customer is not required to pay interest immediately at the end of every month.

Mr. Akligoh further noted: “Very high interest expenses resulting from loans is a reason many SMEs do not grow.

“Many times when small businesses talk to bankers or financiers, they raise only one issue --money. But after carefully going through the issues and discussing the true needs, one will find that money is either not the important thing they need or just one of several,” he added.

 

 

 

Source: B&FT

General Secretary of the incumbent National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia, has dismissed assertions by NPP flag bearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, that achievements enumerated by President Mahama in his State of the Nation Address, particularly on the construction of the Salaga Hospital were false.

The President in delivering what he termed evidence-based state of the nation address, listed several achievements in various sectors of the economy including health, where he mentioned some ongoing infrastructural projects to improve access to healthcare.

The President mentioned for instance, that work is progressing on the 60-bed District Hospital at Salaga in the Northern Region.

“Additionally, work is at various stages of completion on 13 district hospitals to bring health services closer to our people. These include 120-bed facilities at Dodowa, Fomena, Kumawu, Abetifi, Garu-Tempane, Sekondi and in Takoradi where the old European hospital is being refurbished. We are also constructing 60-bed hospitals at Tepa, Nsawkaw, Konongo, Madina, Salaga and Twifo-Praso,” said the President.

But speaking at the opposition New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) version of what it called the ‘Real State of the Nation Address’, Nana Addo said the Salaga Hospital project had been abandoned contrary to the President’s claims.

“…Far from the work progressing on the 60-bed district hospital in Salaga as the President claimed, those who live in that community describe the site as “fenced, locked and abandoned,” Nana Addo said.

The NDC’s General Secretary who’s not enthused about Nana Addo’s claims described the NPP’s address as merely a propaganda exercise to score cheap political points.

According to him, he visited the Salaga Hospital project site on Monday together with the MP and some other officials, while they were in the town for a funeral, and that the project was indeed progressing.

Mr. Asiedu Nketia proved his point by making available to journalists at a news conference, pictures of his visit to the site to show that the construction is indeed on course.

“I went there because I wanted a proof of the fact that the site was just fenced and there was a heap of sand there as Nana Addo was claiming …I went there with the MP of Salaga, with the Regional Minister and with the Police Department that was escorting the Regional Minister and we filmed the whole place and that is the story we put out for people to know and for Nana Addo to know that if they are relying on information by his propagandists then he is threading on dangerous grounds; because what we saw there was an exact opposite of what he sought to portray in his true state of the nation’s address and what we saw vindicated the President’s assertion that there was a 60-bed hospital construction in Salaga.” 

“Some parts of the hospital have progressed to roofing stage, it is a massive project site and I am surprised anybody will describe that place as just abandoned with just a heap of sand; because actual construction has taken place” he insisted.

 

 

 

Source: citifmonline.com

Wednesday, 02 March 2016 09:47

Mahama running Ghana like a supermarket – PPP

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“Ghana is sick, we are really sick. That is the state we are in now as a nation,” – PPP’s Divine Nkrumah said on NEAT FM’s 'Ghana Montie' programme to describe the state of the nation.

According to him, President Mahama’s State of The Nation Address last Thursday – “Was just to throw dust in our eyes” adding that “If we [Ghanaians] want to hear the true state of the nation address, then it shouldn’t come from Mahama. It should come from us, we are feeling the hotness of his mess.” 

The president last Thursday, February 25, 2016 told parliament about the achievements his administration have chalked during his tenure in his last State of The Nation Address.

Aftermath of his address has generated some cacophonies – the NPP on Monday also presented what they called the "Real State of the Nation Address" 

The National Youth Leader of the Progressive People's Party (PPP), Divine Nkrumah however noted that – “Mahama [President] is running Ghana like a supermarket. What he said during his address were all rubbish.”

 

 

 

Source: peacefmonline.com

Wednesday, 02 March 2016 09:47

I'm not the smartest economist in Ghana - Bawumia

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The 2016 Vice Presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has rejected the often repeated accolade “smartest economist in Ghana” accorded him.

The renowned economist believes Ghana is endowed with a lot of smart economists and hence it would be suicidal for anyone to be tagged the best or the smartest.
The NPP Vice Presidential candidate has for some years now persistently attacked the government for its poor management of the country’s economy.

His assessment of the state of the Ghana economy and his suggestions to government on how to improve it has been touted as sound by his peers.

Despite all the reverence accorded to him with regards his economic insights, Dr Bawumia will not accept the tag that he is the smartest economist in Ghana.
Speaking in an exclusive interview on the Super Morning Show on Joy FM with host Kojo Yankson Wednesday, the former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana said the country is endowed with very great economists.

“There are many more economics out there. That’s why people research all the time, the more you research the less you realise you know. You have to keep researching. it’s a learning process that we all do.”

“I will never present myself as being the smartest economist,” he explained.
He notes that there are many enlightened economists out there who don’t get the chance to articulate their views.

 

 

 

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Wednesday, 02 March 2016 09:47

Babies killed for rituals in northern Ghana

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Audience at the just-ended MTN Heroes of Change grand finale could not believe their ears of what they heard that severely malnourished children are killed in the Northern Ghana for rituals. 

The event, which was its second edition by MTN, was held on Friday, February19, 2016 at the Accra International Conference Centre. And it rewarded hard working Ghanaians in various human endeavours.

This startling revelation came to the fore when the winner of the Economic Empowerment category of the MTN Ghana Heroes of Change, Mr. Nayina Karim, a social entrepreneur from Karaga District in the Northern region, mounted the podium to share chilling stories of the predicament of such victims to highlight the high incidence of child malnutrition in the district.

In a documentary, Mr. Karim revealed that the malnourished children were often sold to some spiritualists in villages including Teng and Gaa in the Karaga District to be “killed” for rituals.

According to him, these malnourished children were considered as “evil children” and parents of these children for whatever reasons sell them (malnourished children) for rituals.

“I went to Karaga community as a licenced chemical seller but for the past few years that l’ve been staying in the area, I realised that children with malnutrition cases were being sold to the popular spiritualists in Tang and Gaa in the Karaga District to be killed,” he narrated.

According to him, he tried to consult the traditional authorities as well as key stakeholders at the district health directorate to find out the causes of malnutrition amongst the children which was making skins of newly born-babies to flake off.

That, he said, encouraged him to set up a centre for malnourished children in Karaga community.

“And in two years of existence, I was able to rescue the lives of a total of 1,453 children who were severely malnourished,” Mr. Karim revealed.

A citation accompanying his award read in part: “Your motivation to act proactively to help your fellow human beings confirms this description.”

“When you noticed that the high incidence of malnutrition in your community, you chose to make it your business to find a solution. You did not allow the lack of knowledge to hamper you, but took proactive steps to obtain education in child rehabilitation and established a rehabilitation centre for malnourished children,” it continued.

Recognising the importance of education to economic empowerment, MTN Ghana said, Mr. Karim went further to set up a school for the children.

In order to ensure enough food for the malnourished children, it said, Mr. Karim went further to set up a poultry farm, vegetable and herb farms with plans to do even more.

“By providing food, shelter and education, you have given 453 children a new lease of life; and you have done this at a cost to the parents of these children. For your generosity of heart and your commitment to ensuring a better life for helping children, MTN recognises you, Mr. Nayina Karim, as a “Hero of Change” for Economics Empowerment,” the citation read in part.

 

 

 

Source: Today Newspaper

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