Monday, December 23, 2013


Franklin Cudjoe - IMANI Ghana

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By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, December 23, 2013

Founding President & CEO of IMANI Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe has announced his resignation from the government’s committee on the sustainability of the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP).

He cited “needless intervention” from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning on the committee’s work as his reason to quit.

In recent times, Mr. Cudjoe has been very vocal in his criticism of the government’s handling of the economy and other related government business especially the fight against corruption, a move that has ruffled the feathers of the government’s communication machinery who often respond to him in a likewise manner and tag him as an apologist of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Mr. Cudjoe, who has contributed significantly in shaping the country’s pension reforms, sent his resignation to the committee copied to its chairman Paul Victor Obeng, Minister of Employment and Labour Relations Nii Armah Ashittey and the CEO, Fair Wages and Salaries Commission George Smith-Graham.

The Decision
He said in the release: “I have taken this decision in the best interest of my personal convictions that whilst unfettered power is recipe for absolutism, all checks and balances within government must be orderly especially when professional jealousy, integrity and one’s ability to execute mandates are at stake.”

He said that he was invited by the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations to be a member of the 16-man committee following the successful National Forum on Single Spine Pay Policy held in Ho in August adding “I believe my invitation was due in part to the pre-implementation analysis of the predictable repercussions my think tank, IMANI did on the wholesale implementation of the pay policy.

Mr. Cudjoe said that the terms of reference for the Post-Forum Implementation Committee on the SSP) were hinged on ‘’sustainability of the pay policy” and added that An important resolution reached at the National Forum on Single pine Pay Policy in Ho in August 2013, was that “Subvented agencies (of government) which can be on their own should be identified and weaned off government subvention without delay”

He said currently, there were over 130 of such agencies and counting and together with the CEO of the FWSC, the Lawyer for the Commission, two senior representatives of the Public Sector Reform, and a senior representative of the Ghana Employers Association, “we had began meeting the subvented agencies who were eager to discuss the modalities for a phased parting from government’s payroll.”

Subcommittee’s Work
He said the subcommittee had started meeting and engaging the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), Forestry Commission, Food and Drugs Authority, Security and Exchange Commission, Vice-Chancellors, Polytechnics, Standards Authority, Environmental Protection Agency, Korle Bu and Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospitals among others.

Mr. Cudjoe said “unfortunately, the subcommittee has been asked by the Finance Ministry as communicated to the CEO of the FWSC that we stop our meetings until further directives are issued.”

“It may be possible that the Finance Ministry is concerned about compensation, possible retrenchment and unemployment that may result from the sub-committee’s work. However, we had our work cut out as we were guided by the Subvented Agencies Act, Act 706 and in particular by the urgency of reducing the wage bill.”

“I consider this intervention as needless; a usurpation of the authority of the Ministry of Employment Labour Relations, will crucially affect the successful completion of the sub-committee’s work and ultimately delay the much needed reforms to reduce the burden of the public workforce on the wage bill.”

He thanked P.V. Obeng, the Ministers of Employment and Labour Relations, Finance Ministry, the CEO and Staff of the FWSC and fellow Committee Members for their support and wished them success in the years ahead.

Nevertheless, Mr Cudjoe offered some tips to the government for a successful rationalization of wages and salaries to meet national productivity requirements that aligns with policy reforms that are urgently needed.

They include a total skills rationalization needed within the public service since he says the findings that 75% of all public sector workers are classified as semi-skilled and unskilled “is worrying.”


Isaac Bampoe-Addo, Executive Secretary of CLOGSAG

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By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, December 23, 2013

Civil and Local Government Staff Association of Ghana (CLOGSAG) has accused the government of allowing private companies to take over the functions of some state departments.

To add salt to injury, they said the private companies use facilities of the state as well as government workers to execute their contracts.

Isaac Bampoe-Addo, Executive Secretary of CLOGSAG made the complaint at the association’s Thanksgiving Day held in Accra on Friday to round off activities of the year.

“CLOGSAG has observed with dismay, the current practice of virtually allowing private companies to take over the legitimate functions of some state departments, while using their facilities and workers. This approach is really tantamount to giving a dog a bad name and hanging it.”

Mr. Bampoe-Addo also said that undue politicization of the service, intimidation of workers by political figures as well low key attention paid to the Public Sector Reforms Programme “are disturbing the structure of civil and local government services.”

He said for instance that the ‘proceed-on-leave’ situation without recourse to their conditions of service as well as the open declaration by some newly appointed politicians that they would not work with some members of the association was not helping matters.

Mr. Bampoe-Addo said some of their members had faced intimidation and had to endure extreme hardship.

He said the outsourcing of revenue collection to private companies without proper supervision and accountability had led to significant revenue losses.
“We believe in public-private partnership that enhances growth of public institutions but not the type that is collapsing public establishments, departments and agencies.”
CLOGSAG members praising God

CLOGSAG urged the government to take a sober reflection of the Public Sector Reform Programme and the benefits saying “if priority is given to the sector and the reforms are pursued it will serve as catalyst in the public private partnership being touted.”

Very Reverend Henry Ampaw-Asiedu, Superintendent Minister of the Kokomlemle Circuit of the Methodist Church of Ghana underscored the need for workers to “unlock” their potential for national development.


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By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, December 23, 2013

The Local Government Workers Union (LGWU) has resolved to work patiently with the relevant institutions to conduct the labour survey as announced by the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning in the 2014 budget to determine the right category of Ghanaian workers entitled to the market premium.

They therefore appealed to National Labour Commission, the Chief Labour Officer, to call to order, workers associations “which have changed their names as a ploy to lure members of the LGWU, to desist from that practice.”

A Christmas and New Year Message issued in Accra and signed by Godfred Nyarko Okyere, Deputy General Secretary of LGWU said “this is because that practices, if not checked, has the potential to create confrontation among labour organizations.”

According to, LGWU it had cause to bring to the attention of the relevant agencies certain action of Civil Servants Association of Ghana (CLOGSAG)   that created the impression that “it was the labour group mandated to organize employees of MMDAs and some departments.”

“The situation got to a stage where members of the LGWU were being forced to join strikes by CLOGSAG in the latter’s agitation to be paid the market premium.”

The LGWU commended the workers of the MMDAs for remaining resolute and focused in the wake of labour agitations in 2013, by some workers associations “including CLOGSAG which have tried to lure the union members to go on strikes to demand market premium.”

The union appealed to the government through the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, the Local Government Service Governing Council, the Civil Service Council, “to prevail on CLOGSAG to stay within its jurisdiction and organize workers who fall under the civil servant categorization.”

“The LGWU takes strong exception to the attempt by CLOGSAG to organize workers at the MMDAs as the association is fully aware that such category of workers come under the Local Government Service and therefore belong to the union. The LGWU says as a law abiding labour organization, it does not see itself going to organize employees of Ministries who are civil servants because it appreciates the fact that, that category of workers come under CLOGSAG.”

“The action by CLOGSAG has largely contributed to LGWU members having to suffer double deduction by the Controller and Accountant General’s Department, which the leadership of the union has been working frantically to resolve. The union assures members that it has had fruitful deliberation with officials of the Controller and Accountant General’s Department to tackle that problem once and for all hopefully in 2014.”

The LGWU also promised to ensure that its members at the MMDAs tasked with mobilizing revenue, take the necessary measures in 2014 to achieve the projected revenue target towards the execution of development projects and programmes.

“The leadership of the LGWU wishes to commend the patience and dedication to duty of Ghanaian workers, especially employees of the Metropolitan, Municipal, District Assemblies, MMDA’s for playing their respective roles in the national development agenda in 2013.”

In the view of the LGWU, the areas of revenue mobilization and improving sanitation are critical for the assemblies to continue to make qualitative impact on the lives of the people at the grass root level, adding “the LGWU notes that since the workers of MMDA’s are at the grass root level, any lapses on their part in discharging their duties can have dire consequences for development at the local level.”

Friday, December 20, 2013


Fire tenders in front of Old Parliament House

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By William Yaw Owusu
Friday, December 20, 2013

Old Parliament House, one of Ghana’s historical landmarks housing the Judgement Debt Commission has been completely destroyed by fire, rendering the place uninhabitable.

The building, located on the High Street Accra, also houses the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the Economic and Organized Crime Organization (EOCO).

The huge fire is reported to have started inside the building at around 4am early hours of yesterday but what actually sparked the conflagration is still unknown even though the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) is on record to have arrived at the scene a few minutes after the outbreak.

The firefighters could not salvage any useful items from the inferno, at a time they are said to have been well resourced, as always trumpeted by the Fire Service Board Chairman, Amadu Sorogho.

Firemen had been helpless in recent fire outbreaks including market fires where little or nothing is salvaged.

The extent of damage has rendered the CHRAJ, some departments of EOCO and as well as the Judgement Debt Commission without offices.

This particular outbreak appeared to have ruffled the feathers of the security agencies as almost all heads of the various agencies were at the scene to lend moral support to the firefighters.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Vice Admiral Matthew Quashie, Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Ahmed Alhassan, Deputy Chief Fire Officer Albert Brown Gaisie and Greater Accra Regional Police Commander, Christian Tetteh Yohuno all trooped to the scene.
The chamber
Also visiting the scene were the Chief of Staff Prosper Douglas Kweku Bani, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong, CHRAJ Commissioner Laureata Lamptey, Sole Commissioner Justice Yaw Apau and a host of other dignitaries.

Awaiting Disaster
Interestingly, even before the cause of the fire is made public, the warning signs had been there for a couple of years but nothing was done about them.
CHRAJ staff in particular have been complaining about faulty electrical gadgets and other obsolete equipment in the building without any official intervention.

For instance on two occasions including last Monday when the Sole Commissioner sat, smoke was detected in some of the offices within the building but it was hurriedly stopped to prevent a disaster.

GNFS Analysis
Mr. Gaisie said “we had a running call this morning at 4:01 from a security of this facility reporting that the Old Parliament House was on fire. We responded swiftly and realized that the fire was well alight so other reinforcement also came in from some stations.”

He said the GNFS brought nine appliances comprising four multi-purpose water tenders, two turn-table ladder tenders, three water tankers, and another tanker from the Human Security Office of the National Security headed by Gen Joseph Nunoo-Mensah as well as a tender from the Ghana Armed Forces.

“Operationally, our concern was to confine the fire and check it from spreading to the eastern and western periphery of the building. For now we are still conducting some salvaging to find out if some valuables are there.”

Mr. Gaisie said “we will not be able to tell you until we finish the full salvaging. Investigation is still ongoing together with the police and other relevant agencies. It will be premature now for us to tell you the exact cause of the fire.”
The chamber
Police View
Regional Commander CDOP Yohuno said “we got information about the fire outbreak at around 4am. Luckily for us we had most of our men on night patrols so they came in to cordon off the place.”

“Our intention was to provide security for the firefighters and also to prevent intruders from entering the scene.

He said they deployed more than 200 police officers together with Crime Scene officers to monitor the situation.

Military Concern
Chief of Defence Staff Vice Admiral Quashie said per the analysis of the GNFS “there are some cracks in the building so the building has to be assessed as to whether it is safe to go in so we are saying nobody should go in.”

He said “we are bringing the 48 Engineers to do proper assessment of the structural situation of the building before we issue our report.”

Attorney-General’s Promise
According to Mrs. Appiah-Oppong, the building houses three very important institutions: CHRAJ, EOCO and then Sole-Commissioner and they were going to make sure they resume work immediately.

“We are assuring the public that this is not going to affect the work of these three institutions. The Chief of Staff is here to make sure that whatever these institutions need to continue working almost immediately will be done,” she said.

Chief Of Staff
We have received briefings from the police, fire service, military and the AG. Investigations are ongoing. There is every confidence from the government that the anti-corruption drive will continue. The President and his vice have been briefed so I would ask that you continue with your media work and leave the investigations to the relevant authorities to a diligent work and at the appropriate time they will brief you.
Old Parliament House in ruins

Later, the Judgement Debt Commission issued a news release through its Public Relations Officer, George Dove saying the fire incident was ‘severe’; it was not going to affect the commission’s work.

He said the commission will relocate and the new location will be announced soon.


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By William Yaw Owusu
Friday, September 20, 2013

About 21 clients of the US Group of Companies have filed a joint suit against the company at an Accra Fast Track High Court for allegedly failing to pay back money invested in the company.

The group, led by Alexander Obuobi, wants the court to recover a  sum of GH¢1,167,928.00 as the total indebtedness owed to the plaintiffs by the company.

The plaintiffs also want interest at the agreed default rate of 4 per cent per month, legal cost, damages and any  order that the court might deem it fit.

In their statement of claim, the plaintiffs said they were private individuals doing business with customers/clients of US Group of Companies.

According to the plaintiffs, the defendant has registered offices in the Volta, Eastern, Ashanti and Greater Accra regions and was engaged in tilapia farm projects, tilapia investments and money lending, among others.

The plaintiffs averred that the farming project of the defendant enabled it attract funds from clients who wished to invest in the Tilapia Project and the investment monies later invested or saved into an account of US Money Lending.

“On or about January 2012, the plaintiffs, acting on the strength of the defendant representatives and personal assurances of re-payment with exorbitant interests, invested money into the defendant’s group of companies and provided all the necessary documentations to the defendant personally to enable them profit from their various investments.”

They claimed that it was “expressly agreed or alternatively implied by the course of dealings between the parties that the defendant shall take steps to pay plaintiffs proceeds after the harvesting period, and also after the duration of the loan agreement either in bulk or individually.

According to the plaintiffs, the defendant had unfortunately made no efforts to settle its outstanding liability.

By the terms of the agreement, the plaintiff said cost of a full cage was GH¢6,000 and it covered the construction of the cage and stocking with 6000 fingerlings. It also provides that an investor who could not afford to purchase full cage could go for up to 1/25th of the full cage and enjoy amazing profit margins.

The plaintiffs also claimed that the cost of feeding for the first 12 months was GH¢7,020.00 at the current feeding fee of GH¢780.00 per month and it added up to a total cost of GH¢13,020.00.

They said the above-mentioned amount “goes to cover maintenance and any other matters related to the cage and its content for the first years.”

According to the plaintiffs, after the first 12 months, harvesting will take place every six months implying that an investor will get double of the total amount they get in the first year.

The plaintiffs averred that by the terms of the investment contract with the defendant, it was agreed that plaintiffs should enjoy interests of between 96 and 120 per cent over six to 12 months period and a 4 per cent default interest per month on any amount outstanding.

They said that when payments were due, the company issued some of them cheques but they all bounced at the counter.

The plaintiffs averred that several attempts to get their money had proved futile and unless the court intervened, they might never get their money.
The defendant is yet to file their response to contest the case.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Victoria Hammah

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By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The probe committee set Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood to investigate the nine-member Supreme Court Justices who sat on the 2012 Presidential election petition over the allegation of influence may be winding up its activities without the active cooperation of Victoria Hamah, the person at the centre of the controversy.

The sacked deputy Minister of Communications even though formally invited DAILY GUIDE learnt did not make any appearance as she was said to have called for an extension to allow her to prepare adequately.

But the Committee which has two weeks to submit its report after its first sitting as at yesterday had not heard from Ms Hamah who was relieved of her ministerial appointment because of the damming private conversation secretly recorded and later played on radio.

The Date-Bah committee started sitting two weeks ago and was expected to have submitted its report by now.

However appearing before the committee yesterday, Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister Nana Oye Lithur who was alleged to have influenced the justices parried the allegation.

 Sir John Questions
 And appearing for the second time before the Justice S.K. Date-Bah chaired committee, Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie aka Sir John, General Secretary of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) who had petitioned the Chief Justice posed questions to Nana Oye that out of the many women in cabinet why was the only person that Vicky Hamah would linked her to the election petition.

Sir John asked her how many women are in cabinet which Nana Oye answered that they are about eight and further asked why would Ms Hamah singled her out among the lot for allegedly influencing the justices.

The NPP General Secreary asked whether it was not surprising that of the eight women she was the only one capped with the allegation wondering if the Gender Minister had problem with Vicky.

Nana Oye said she was not in a position to tell except the conveyor of the allegation, Ms Hamah who incidentally had not appeared to clear the cloud on the horizon.

Sir John had asked the Chief Justice to investigate claims made by sacked Ms Hamah that Nana Oye played influential role including meeting the justices who sat on the landmark petition to secure victory for President John Mahama on August 29.

The committee which is sitting in camera met Nana Oye, wife Tony Lithur, President John Mahama lawyer  around 10 am and the meeting was said to have been smooth.

She is said to have spent not less than 30 minutes after which the smartly dressed Minister left in her Toyota Land Cruiser through the Ghana Law School exit.

Later, DAILY GUIDE met Sir John in the court’s premises and he said it appeared to him that the committee might be bringing its investigation to an end.

He said that to the best of his knowledge, Ms Hamah had not appeared before the committee and since the committee had no ‘coercive’ powers it was unlikely, she would attend the sitting.

Sir John again expressed satisfaction with the committees’ work and said “they handled the issues well.”

DAILY GUIDE also caught up with Justice Date-Bah who was about to leave the premises but he declined to make any comment and would not also tell if the committee had concluded its work.

Sir John’s View
Encountering the committee, Sir John is said to have argued that there must be some iota of truth in the infamous secret recordings of Victoria Hamah which has come to be known as ‘VikiLeaks’.

Sources say Sir John, a qualified lawyer pointed out that Ms. Hamah made the statement without being prompted; she was indeed alleged to have made the statement in the comfort of her car while having a conversation with her colleague with no gun pointed at her.

In the tape, the embattled former minister was heard telling her confidant that; “… I learnt even before (Supreme Court) verdict, Nana (Oye Lithur) was with the Justices and all that. You don’t know the role she has played for us to win the court case…”.

In the tape, Ms. Hamah specifically indicated that a night before the Supreme Court election petition panel headed by Justice William Atuguba would deliver their final verdict, Nana Oye-Lithur went to ‘see’ some of the Justices.
Incidentally, Mrs. Oye-Lithur is the wife of President Mahama’s Lawyer, Tony Lithur in the election petition and had denied the allegation.

Lawyer Lithur is said to wield too much influence in the Mahama administration as captured on the VikiLeaks, controlling three ministries.
The nine-member committee, include prominent legal brains such as Nana Dr. S.K.B Asante, Paramount Chief of Asokore Traditional Area in the Ashanti Region and an international arbitrator; a representative of the Attorney General; Frank Beecham, a legal practitioner and former President of the Ghana Bar Association, among others.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Colonel Edward Fiawoo leaves the witness' box

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By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said it is not aware of any payments as compensation to two families in Kpetoe in the Volta Region whose lands were taken by the government in the 1980s for the Ghana Armed Forces.

According to Colonel Edward Fiawoo, a staff officer at the Office of the Judge Advocate who testified on behalf of the Chief Director of MoD, there were no documents indicating the payment of compensation even though documents on the acquisition of the land were available.

Testifying before the Sole-Commissioner Justice Yaw Apau whose commission is investigating the payment of judgement debts Col Fiawoo said the land was 247.97 acres and was covered by E.I. 2 of 1983.

He said the value to be paid as compensation was had the value of ¢632 million as indicated by the Land Valuation Board and tendered in evidence all the documents covering the said land.

“We don’t have any records as to whether there were payments made to the claimants. We have have letters of acceptance by the claimants thanking the Land Valuation Board to commence payment of the amount.”
Kwesi Bensti-Entchill testifies
Col Fiawoo said that the government acquired the land for the border guards unit of the military at the time but since it had not been fully utilized, CEPS took a portion of it for use.

“The land is still in the name of the Ghana Armed Forces but a portion is being used by CEPS.”

New Twist
However, it turned out later that the usual bureaucracy in government business had ensured that payments were duly made by the claimants afterall by the Lands Commission without recourse to the military hierarchy.

Kwesi Bensti-Entchill, Chief Valuer in charge of Compensations at the Lands Commission who is a regular visitor to the commission admitted that payements were made in two installments to two affected families in Kpetoe.
Abubakari Millah represented Sky Consult
“Part payment of ¢400 million was made in October 1999 and in April 2000, another ¢232 million to the respective parties. I know that full payment was made,” he admitted.

He said “it has not been the usual practice to notify the beneficiary of the acquisition,” to explain the reason why the GAF was not notified when the compensation was paid.

Ghana Post Saga
Abubakari Millah, Chief Executive Officer of Sky Consult Limited which entered into an agreement with Ghana Post in 2005 to provide internal money transfer services also appeared before the commission.

He said in the four years that they executed the contract, they raked in GH¢6.3 million cash revenue after which they shared but not all the GH¢ 978,000 due them was paid and therefore had to resort to court action in 2009.

He said their contract was suspended by Ghana Post in 2008 but they did not received official confirmation on the reasons for the action.

Ghana Post Officials led by their solicitor Kwasi Adjenim-Boateng and Bernard Yaw Atta-Sonno also appeared but said they need sometime to put their documents together.
Kwasi Adjenim-Boateng and Bernard Yaw Atta-Sonno both from Ghana Post

The ‘Commission of Enquiry into the payment of Judgement Debt and Akin’ under C.I. 79 to investigate the frivolous and dubious payments of huge monies to undeserving individuals and companies, was appointed by President John Dramani Mahama after public uproar over the payments in what has now come to be termed as Judgement Debts (JD).

Notable among them were payments made to CP (€94 million) and the never-ending case of GH¢51.2million parted to the self-styled National Democratic Candidate (NDC) financier, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, both of which many believed were dubious and frivolous.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Dr. Sulley Gariba - Senior Policy Coordinator at the Presidency launching the book on behalf of the President

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By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Former President John Agyekum Kufuor says the challenge of Africa has been how to overcome bad governance.

He said until the canker of bad governance is uprooted from the continent, its people would continue to live in despair.

“Everywhere, people talk about freedom and democracy but when you look at the situation critically, you find that in most of the countries, people are not allowed freedom and opportunity to choose their own leaders through genuine elections.”

The former President was speaking at a well-attended book launch on the African Peer Review Mechanism at the State House in Accra yesterday.

The book titled “The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) as Africa’s innovative thinking on governance: A decade of Ghana’s experience” was authored under the distinguished patronage of former President Kufuor by Professor S.K.B Asante, a member of the APRM Governing Council.

In the publication, special attention was given to a decade of Ghana’s APRM experience as the country has been Africa’s stabilizer and a shining example in the implementation of the APRM process and many see this effort as first academic study on the APRM and its impact on the governance landscape.

As the first President to submit himself for peer review, President Kufuor said that African governments should continue to pursue the strengthening of institutions for democracy and good governance to grow.

“You can write in constitutions fine institution but that will be paperwork if we do not have good people to fill the institutions to implement the policies that are enshrined in the constitutions.”
President Kufuor, Nana Dr. S.K.B Asante and Prof S.K.B Asante, author of the book

He said the APRM was enjoining the governments on the continent to promote good governance and also to voluntarily submit themselves to be peer reviewed so that they would deepen the democratic culture saying “I haven’t given up hope about the APRM because I know if my colleague Presidents pursue it we will make Africa a better continent for the people.”

He said he had always believed that it would be through good governance that “we would be able to accelerate democracy and development.”

Mr. Kufuor who clocked 75 years on Sunday, said until the APRM was designed it was a mere talk about Africa’s way forward as far as economic development and democracy was concerned but the process appeared to have brought some hope for the future.

He said “we have gained political independence but we still depend heavily on the developed world even though in terms of natural resources, we are second to none.”

“Throughout history, Africa has tended to be on the sidelines because the developed countries have been moving at a rapid pace through science and technology and have also given themselves accountable governance.

“We have to allow the people to choose their own leaders. Everybody wants freedom to explore and that is what African leaders should continue to afford the people. There should be a platform to channel the freedoms constitutionally so that the governance systems would be owned by the people.

Dr. Sulley Gariba, a Senior Policy Coordinator at the Presidency who represented President John Dramani Mahama commended the author, APRM Governing Council as well  as former President Kufuor for the visionary leadership that ensured that Ghana voluntarily submitted itself to be peer reviewed and promised President Mahama’s continuous support for the process.

“This book is the manifestation of the growing maturation for the very essence of our democracy,” Dr. Gariba quoted President Mahama as saying, adding “the book is about a pioneering initiative that is made in Africa, led by Africans, funded by Africa under the highest leadership of the Presidents, Heads of State.”

“We have come to an era when Africa needs to tell its own story but we cannot tell our story if we do not review our circumstances and this makes the APRM unique,” he said.

Prof. S.K.B. Asante, author of the book said the book assesses, in particular, the pioneering and innovative models which Ghana had commendably introduced and thus made the country a “Mecca” of democracy and good governance.

Dr. Baffour Agyeman-Duah, a Member of the Board of Directors of Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) who reviewed the 270 page book praised Prof. Asante for sustaining the debate for good governance and democracy on the continent.

Reverend Prof. S.K Adjepong, Chairperson of the National APRM Council announced that 17 out of 33 countries covering a population of about 75 per cent on the continent had gone through the peer review mechanism.

Nana Dr. S.K.B. Asante, Omanhene of Asokore Traditional Area who chaired the function underscored the need for Ghana a continuous lead role in the APRM process for the sustenance of democracy.

Thursday, December 05, 2013


Posted on:
From William Yaw Owusu, Somanya
Thursday, December 5, 2013

It has emerged that the North Sea Pioneer, one of the drill ship acquired by the Tsatsu Tsikata-led Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) never worked for the corporation.

“It could not function as planned; it rather made the corporation to incur debt. It was towed from the United Kingdom to Angola where it was supposed to drill oil and later towed back to Ghana.”

According to a qualified Marine Engineer, M.K. Tawiah currently residing in Somanya in the Eastern Region and who has extensive knowledge of the rig, the North Sea Pioneer was decommissioned before the GNPC acquired it.

“It was originally a drilling rig which was semi-submersible and it was converted into a production platform. It is similar to the Osagyefo Barge,” he told Daily Guide exclusively.

“The situation with the North Sea Pioneer was similar to the Discoverer 511 which was a bulk carrier before it was converted into a drill ship.”

He said that with semi-submersible rigs, its long cylindrical legs can touch the sea bed and when you want to move it you tow it.

“We should be able to ask the reason why the GNPC at the time was interested in almost worn out or decommissioned ship.”

“This vessel was built in 1966 so in effect structural damages might have been done. Why did they have to acquire it? Probably it was because the GNPC went to acquire concession in Angola.”

According to the experienced Marine Engineer, the corporation “drill the oil, heat it and so they had to get a production platform to produce the oil.”

The Angola Voyage
He said that the North Sea Pioneer was towed from Aberdeen, Scotland to Angola adding “when they were coming, according to reliable sources, the Barge Master informed GNPC that they needed more anchor chains to dock and so he advised them to make the chains ready here at Tema Port so that as they pass by they could take them on board to be sent to location but the advise was ignored.”

“My source tells me that somebody who brought a ship to Tema Shipyard and could not pay, GNPC went and paid and they chartered that vessel and put the chains on the vessel to Angola.

“They went to a port called Soyo and dumped the chains there. This was the time the Angolan war was at its peak so the UNITA rebels led by Jonas Savimbi captured Soyo, drove the Dos Santos-MPLA away and took control of the area.

“The Ghanaian delegation which was mandated to open a GNPC office in Angola had to flee the area and came back to Ghana. As a result, the chains never got to the Barge Master who was waiting for the anchors.”

The U-Turn
He said that because the Angolan government wanted oil money for development they put pressure on the GNPC to operate or forfeit the concession and after waiting for sometime without hearing from them, the government contracted another producer who had a tanker “like our FPSO Kwame Nkrumah” to produce the oil for them.

“These was the reason why the North Sea Pioneer was there without any production and if they brought it back to Ghana what were they coming to tell Ghanaians?” he queried.

He said it was when there was a change in government that the new administration towed it back to the Takoradi Naval Base.

“I was going to Angola for maintenance on the engines because you cannot leave it in the darkness. I was running the North Sea Pioneer engines when it was in Angola.

Engineer Tawiah said that the GNPC had a supply vessel which was given to them by the Canadian company that did the Saltpond exploration and the vessel used to come and change the crew in Angola and Gabon where the corporation was operating another rig called Asterie.

“The North Sea Pioneer was a mess. We used to hear rumours that it will be sent to South Africa for dry docking but it never happened.

He produced his discharge book commonly used by Seamen and it indicated that his last engagement with the North Sea Pioneer was May 29, 2000 with his first being 3/7/1996.

According to him, the Asterie, a semi-submersible rig of the GNPC was managed in Gabon.

“I never worked on the Asterie. If I had been on it you would notice it in my discharge book like the Discoverer 511 and North Sea Pioneer book.”
“I want us all to interrogate fully the Asterie, whether it has been sold and who sold it.”