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Minority accuses Lands Ministry of blowing over ¢10m on national dialogues on ‘galamsey’

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The Minority in Parliament has alleged that the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry has used over ¢10 million to organise a national dialogue on the government’s fight against small-scale mining also known as galamsey.

With the challenges posed by illegal mining to the mining industry, the Ministry organised a National Consultative Dialogue in Accra, Tamale and Kumasi on small-scale mining to solicit views, proposals and suggestions on how to deal with the threat of ‘galamsey’ in the country.

But speaking on the floor of Parliament on Tuesday, the Deputy Ranking Member on the Lands Committee, Alhassan Suhuyini argued that the budget for the dialogue is outrageous, insisting misappropriation of funds by the ministry.

According to the Tamale North MP, the Ministry spent an amount of ¢2,140,000 on the national consultative dialogue in Accra, another ¢3.7 million on the dialogue held in the Northern and middle belt and another ¢5.4 million on Regional tours on illegal mining by the Ministry.

“All of these put together Mr. Speaker we are talking about more than ten conferences and dialogue and this is a document from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources during the consideration stage of the 2022 Budget statement. Mr. Speaker ¢10 million just on conferences and dialogue on how to fight Galamsey in this country. How does this impact the fight against Galamsey?” he quizzed.

The Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor in an interview on GBC’s Breakfast Show in January this year said it requires more than a decade’s effort for Ghana to be free of ‘galamsey’.

“We are not out of the woods yet. We have not gotten to a satisfactory stage yet. We have not gotten to a situation we can say that we have a full grip on the issue of illegal small-scale mining in our country.

“I’ll be the first to admit that it wouldn’t take 4,5, 8 or 10 years to rid our country of illegal scale mining completely,” he said on GBC Breakfast Show.

During the interview, Mr. Jinapor noted that despite the many challenges posed by illegal small-scale mining, the government has chalked some success in the fight against illegal small-scale mining in the country.

“We will also have to admit that we have made considerable gains and we have gotten to a point where we can reasonably be encouraged that a better framework and the building blocks have been put in place to deal with this menace.

“I’m talking about matters to do with how you acquire licenses, whether you do that online, the whole issue of community mining, inspectorate division of the Minerals Commission, issues to do with exploration for mineralized concessions.,” he said.



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GPHA congratulates Director-General on his election as IAPH Vice President, African region

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The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) has sent a congratulatory message to its Director General, Michael Achagwe Luguje on his election as the Vice-President (Africa Region) of the International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH).

IAPH is the global alliance of Ports and Harbours, with membership of over 160 Ports and 120 port-related businesses from 87 countries.

GPHA is member of the IAPH, and it is significant that its Director General now holds the position of Vice-President for Africa Region.

Polling 13 votes out of 14, Mr. Luguje, in line with Article 21 of IAPH Constitution, assumes the responsibility until next annual general meeting at the IAPH World Ports Conference in 2023.

From the humble beginnings in Pong-Tamale L.A. Primary School, Tamale and Navrongo Secondary Schools, through the University of Ghana, the World Maritime University and others, Mr. Luguje, has risen through the ranks from the office of the Special Assistant to the then Director General of GPHA to become the West and Central African Regional Coordinator of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), United Nation’s specialised regulatory agency for global shipping and maritime transport.

GPHA congratulates Director-General on his election as IAPH Vice President, African region

He also served as one of the longest Secretary-Generals of the Ports Management Association of West and Central Africa (PMAWCA).

In 2017, Mr. Luguje mobilized member ports from the Africa region towards the successful election of Ms. Hadiza Bala-Usman, Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, to the office of Vice-President, Africa Region of the IAPH.

Further to the congratulatory note from the Board, Management and Staff of GPHA, the Chiefs, Elders and Good People of the Kasena-Nankana Traditional Areas, and the Savelugu-Nanton District have expressed pride and joy for this noble son of theirs.



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MSMEs are key to economic growth in the CommonWealth – CWEIC CEO

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The Chief Executive of the CommonWealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC), Rosie Glazebrook, has noted that Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) are key to the development of many economies in the Commonwealth.

This, in her view, underscored the CWEIC strategy to work with partners in key CommonWealth markets to foster MSME growth.

Ms. Glazebrook made these comments when she paid a courtesy call at one of the CWEIC’s key partners in Ghana, UMB (Universal Merchant Bank).

This formed part of Madam Glazier official tour of Ghana, this week. The bank structured the visit to enable Madam Glazebrook get a first-hand view of Ghanaian MSMEs, by hosting the CWEIC delegation at its “Centre for Businesses” within the Madina market enclave.

Chief Executive of UMB, Nana Dwemoh Benneh, in his remarks noted “a number of significant economic reports argue that MSMEs account for over 70% of all economic activity in Ghana. As a Bank, we have been focused on Ghanaian MSMEs and their growth since 1972, and thus we share this passion for MSMEs with the CWEIC.”

MSMEs are key to economic growth in the CommonWealth - CWEIC CEO

“Indeed, we are proud to have been selected by the CWEIC to partner the University of Coventry programme to build capacity for African SME’s and look forward to rolling out the programme this year, especially to MSMEs with female leadership”, he added.

Ms. Glazebrook in her remarks said, “UMB is Ghana’s oldest Merchant Bank, and I dare say the CommonWealth is one of Ghana’s oldest international relationships. Central to our work at the CWEIC is the COMMONWEALTH ADVANTAGE- the fact that overall its 21% cheaper to do business across the CommonWealth. We are thus very passionate about bring this advantage to bear on businesses and I am excited that one of our key partners is doing this in lock-step with us here in Ghana.”

Ms Glazebrook and her party were escorted around the market by Nana Dwemoh Benneh and other officials of the bank. This was followed by a presentation by the Head of Strategy on UMB’s MSME programme and the intergation with CWEIC, Roland Akafia.

UMB is a leading indigenous bank reputed for bringing a uniquely Ghanaian perspective to banking, since 1972. Headquartered in Accra and licensed by the Bank of Ghana, the bank operates out of 35 branches across Ghana.

The CWEIC is a commercial, not-for-profit membership organisation with an official mandate from the Commonwealth Heads of Government to facilitate trade and investment throughout the 54 Commonwealth member nations. The role of CWEIC is to use the convening power and trusted network of the Commonwealth, which is led by Her Majesty The Queen, to drive trade and investment.



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GRA and Finance Ministry engage Information Services Department on E-Levy implementation

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More than 200 staff of the Information Services Department across the country are undergoing a special training in Kumasi to help intensify public education on the implementation of the Electronic Transfer Levy (E-Levy).

This is part of measures by the Ghana Revenue Authority and the Ministry of Finance to address misconceptions about the E-levy and its implementation.

Deputy Information Minister, Fatimatu Abubakar, is positive the ISD will use the various local languages to properly disseminate the right information and clear the misconception about the e-levy.

The passage and implementation of the electronic transfer levy have come with diverse concerns and misinformation.

This has compelled authorities to engage officers of the Information Services Department across the country to help with the education.

Deputy Finance Minister, Abena Osei Asare, says it is crucial for the ISD to employ the various local languages to better address the misinformation on E-levy.

There have been concerns about logistical constraints often associated with the work of the Information Services Department.

Fatimatu Abubakar insists the Department is well equipped enough to carry out the education.

The initiative is expected to empower the Information Service Department on the e-levy mechanics.



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