Ghana Business News » General News https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com The first place for your business news Tue, 30 Jun 2015 14:24:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Public office holders must publish declared assets – Consortium https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/06/30/public-office-holders-must-publish-declared-assets-consortium/ https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/06/30/public-office-holders-must-publish-declared-assets-consortium/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 12:39:14 +0000 https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/?p=144955 The Ghana Integrity Initiative, the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition and SEND-Ghana form the consortium. According to the consortium, “Ghana’s Public Office Holders-declaration of assets and disqualification-Act, 1998, (Act 550) represents the…

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Vitus Azeem
Vitus Azeem

The Ghana Integrity Initiative, the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition and SEND-Ghana form the consortium.

According to the consortium, “Ghana’s Public Office Holders-declaration of assets and disqualification-Act, 1998, (Act 550) represents the single most inconsistent piece of legislation” in the country’s statute books.

“This is because it [Ghana’s Public Office Holders Act] preserved a public officer’s right to conceal where they are envisaged by the parent law to disclose their assets before assuming a public office,” a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency, on Monday, and signed by Mr Vitus Adaboo Azeem, the Executive Director of Ghana Integrity Initiative, explained.

Section One of the Act provides that a person who holds a public office shall submit to the Auditor General a written declaration of – all properties or assets owned by him as well as all liabilities owed by him, whether directly or indirectly.

“The sad development, which renders this law needless in its present state is that the assets, if declared, are not ever known to members of the public who are expected to report of new acquisitions or undeclared ones, which might have been procured through acts of corruption, ” the consortium pointed out.

“The bill merely invites any person who alleges that a public officer has contravened a provision of the Act to make a report or complaint.”

The Act also makes the Assets declared and kept with the Auditor General confidential information, which must be so kept.

But the group queried, “If there is no verification by the custodian and publication of such assets, for example, in the gazette how would members of the public get to know what is declared in order to complain when it becomes necessary”?

“The principles of transparency and accountability require nothing less than both verification and publication of the declared assets of public officers if the intended mischief the law seeks to cure is to be achieved,” it stated.

Ghana’s Constitution states that the State shall take steps to eradicate corrupt practices and the abuse of power, but governance experts say there is lack of political will to sanction public office holders who mostly fall foul of corrupt acts.

The Constitution Review Commission, in part, also states that, “Though the constitution attempts to curb the menace of corruption through the assets declaration regime, the absence of compulsion and the lack of transparency in the exercise defeats the very purpose of the regime.”

The consortium, however, expressed satisfaction that Parliament has begun consideration of two related laws – the Conduct of Public Officers’ Bill and the Right to Information Bill.

Source: GNA

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Corruption needs to be stamped out – Rev. Prof. Agbozo https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/06/30/corruption-needs-to-be-stamped-out-rev-prof-agbozo/ https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/06/30/corruption-needs-to-be-stamped-out-rev-prof-agbozo/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 12:18:41 +0000 https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/?p=144953 The leader of the Ghana Evangelical Society (GES), has held that corruption and malfeasance must be stamped out as a matter of urgency, with diligent rules of conduct, reward and…

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Rev. Enoch Agbozo
Rev. Enoch Agbozo

The leader of the Ghana Evangelical Society (GES), has held that corruption and malfeasance must be stamped out as a matter of urgency, with diligent rules of conduct, reward and punishment.

Reverend Professor Immanuel Amanor Agbozo, said corruption was a disease more dangerous and aggressive than Ebola, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

Rev Prof Agbozo, who was speaking on the theme: “Let us work together to heal the land,” urged the media to assist in calling the nation unto definite and concerted efforts for the “healing of the nation” in all sectors of the economy, including national affairs.

Rev. Prof. Agbozo recalled that God in January promised to fulfill his promise to rescue the nation, build and establish Ghana in divine redemption, restoration establish divine heritage of glory.

He said to maintain the integrity of the “New Ghana Divine Heritage of Glory” God would bring judgment upon the wicked in the nation, in order to rid it of iniquity and evil works.

“The Lord mentioned flood and fire upon the nation before and prior to his call for confession and repentance of corruption, evil ways and wickedness in the land” he informed.

He said the waters that would flood the land would also serve as a process of healing and restoration of the land, which would bring forth great harvest and economic resurgence for the nation as the end result.

He said the flood and fire were not yet over, since the land needed to be purged of all its filth.

The GES leader said the negligence of duty, corruption, irresponsible and deliberate systems of abuse of office, trust and loyalty in many places, was weakening the nation.

He proposed the establishment of national initiatives to inculcate punctuality and productivity, efficient performance and output, rules of conduct, diligence and excellent performance in every human endeavor.

Rev. Prof. Agbozo noted that God would raise up new citizens dubbed “The New Ghanaian” for the country.

“They are people born anew, disciple and nurtured in the love and light, grace and truth, righteousness and humility in the divine nature inherent in Jesus Christ, the Holy Scriptures and the knowledge of God” he said.

He said corruption would not be the nemesis of the new Ghanaian, as well as unrighteous and wicked ways of men and spirits.

He urged the Media Commission and the Ghana Journalists Association to join hands to set the ball rolling with a “National Initiative of Decade of Glory,” for corrective and healing measures against corruption to ensure efficient and ethical conduct in the Ghanaian media industry.

Source: GNA

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USAID Ghana to build new CHPS compounds in Volta, Northern regions https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/06/30/usaid-ghana-to-build-new-chps-compounds-in-volta-northern-regions/ https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/06/30/usaid-ghana-to-build-new-chps-compounds-in-volta-northern-regions/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 11:22:16 +0000 https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/?p=144949 The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Ghana has pledged to build 55 new Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) and renovate 150 CHPS in the Volta and Northern…

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USAIDThe United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Ghana has pledged to build 55 new Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) and renovate 150 CHPS in the Volta and Northern regions.

The Agency explained that statistics showed that health care delivery in those regions were not encouraging, therefore, there was the need to improve quality health care for all of its citizens.

Ms Oren Whyche-Shaw, the Deputy Assistant Administrator for African Bureau for USAID, said this in Accra when with her entourage, she toured the Teiman CHPS Centre, and the ‘Barack Obama School of Excellence’ at Mamprobi, funded by the USAID, at Mamprobi.

USAID supported the Ghana Health Service to construct and strengthen CHPS across the country to treat malaria and diarrhoeal diseases, screen and refer anaemic and stunted children to requisite clinics, and give immunisations to reduce to infant and child mortality.

Ms Whyche-Shaw said the US Government shared Ghana’s goal of bridging the access gap using a multi-sectoral approach to improving health care based on the principles of equity, which targeted the most vulnerable in society.

She said the CHPS presented an opportunity to deliver life-saving and life-improving health services by the use of community-based health resources to increase access to quality integrated health services.

“USAID believes that through effective partnerships with Ghana and the private sector, Ghanaians will experience more equitable improvements in their health status and improved governance and accountability in the health sector,” she explained.

Ms Whyche-Shaw stated that USAID would continue to support the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Services’ efforts at ensuring a high-performing financially sustainable health system that was responsive to the needs of Ghanaians.

She expressed her satisfaction with the visit, saying the tour provided an opportunity to appreciate the results of shared efforts and collaboration between USAID and the Ministry of Health to improve the health of young children and pregnant mothers.

Ms Pricilla Anima Siaw, the Municipal Health Director of the Madina La-Nkwantanang Assembly, said some of the services rendered by the Teiman CHPS included family planning, school health education, immunization and home visitation.

She mentioned some of the challenges facing the CHPS centre as lack of accommodation for the nurses, lack of logistics such as computers, and BP equipment.

At the ‘Barack Obama School for Excellence’, Mrs Whyche-Shaw said she was excited about the strides Ghana has made in bolstering education not only in Accra but all over the country.

The school is a three-storey block with an 18-unit primary and Junior High School classroom facilities. There are Science and computer laboratories, supported by the US Government and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly.

She said from 2011 to 2013, USAID Ghana provided 2.3 million dollars to the AMA to build and furnish four school complexes to help increase access to basic education and eradicate the shift system in the Accra Metropolitan area.

Mrs Lucy Harnu-Annih, the outgoing Headmistress of the School, said the school had helped in ensuring that children were given the foundational skills to read with understanding in the early grades of primary school.

Source: GNA

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Upper East, West Regions have no dentists – GHS https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/06/30/upper-east-west-regions-have-no-dentists-ghs/ https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/06/30/upper-east-west-regions-have-no-dentists-ghs/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 11:03:27 +0000 https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/?p=144946 Dr Constance Addo-Yobo, the Chief Dental Officer of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has revealed that there are no dentists in the Upper East and Upper West Regions. She has,…

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DentistDr Constance Addo-Yobo, the Chief Dental Officer of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has revealed that there are no dentists in the Upper East and Upper West Regions.

She has, therefore, appealed to young dentists to accept postings to the two Regions to help bring dental services closer to the people.

Dr Addo-Yobo made the appeal over the weekend in Koforidua at the 24th Annual General Meeting of the Ghana Dental Association (GDA).

She said only 72 out of the 270 districts in the country had dentistry services, and explained that efforts to extend dental care to all districts was often hampered by the frequent change of Health Ministers.

Dr Addo-Yobo called for the establishment of a Dental Board to help find solutions to the challenges in dentistry, especially in the training of dentists.

She said the two dental training institutions in the country were faced with numerous challenges.

The President of the GDA, Dr Gilbert A. Ankrah, complained about the high cost of establishing dentistry, and called on the members of the association to collaborate with financial institutions in the efforts of funding the establishment of private dentistry.

He said it was time the Dental Association became independent of the Ghana Medical Association, and urged the members to work towards achieving that goal.

Dr Ankrah called on dentists to listen more to their clients and develop more creative prescriptions to make dental practice more attractive to their clients.

Mr George Andah, a marketing consultant, who was the guest of honour for the ceremony, called on members of the association to look at how to use marketing and branding to reposition the association and oral health practice in the health delivery system.

He urged members of the association to consider how to make chewing sticks and chewing sponges relevant in the development of products for oral health.

Source: GNA

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USAID sponsored cowpea seed improvement project begins https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/06/30/usaid-sponsored-cowpea-seed-improvement-project-begins/ https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/06/30/usaid-sponsored-cowpea-seed-improvement-project-begins/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 10:49:12 +0000 https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/?p=144943 A project, “Taking Cowpeas to Scale in West Africa,” aimed at improving the cowpea seed sector in the three Northern Regions has taken off. The three-year project (2015 – 2017)…

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CowpeaA project, “Taking Cowpeas to Scale in West Africa,” aimed at improving the cowpea seed sector in the three Northern Regions has taken off.

The three-year project (2015 – 2017) being sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will focus on a series of best-bet cowpea production technologies, reflecting input from International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), USAID Missions, and other key partners in the country.

Its goal is to improve the lives and livelihoods of dry-land farmers in 38 districts in the three regions, and increase the sustainability of the cropland on which they depend through greater reliance on performance by cowpea as a key component within their farming systems.

It is being implemented by the Savannah Agricultural Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR – SARI) in partnership with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, IITA, Crop Research Institute, Catholic Relief Services, Management for Development, Heritage Seeds Company amongst others.

Speaking at the project implementation workshop in Tamale, Dr Stephen Nutsugah, Director of CSIR – SARI said it would improve seed planning and connect actors along the cowpea seed value chain, strengthen capacity of cowpea seed value chain actors, and encourage the use of certified and quality declared seed by cowpea farmers.

The workshop was to enable the implementing partners of the project to reach a common understanding of the goals and the milestone as defined by the project document and implementation strategy, as well as agree on their various roles and responsibilities under the project.

Dr Nustugah said the government was focused on partnering with the private sector, to eliminate constraints limiting agricultural investment in the country,  citing the National Seed Policy as one of the interventions to tackle the challenges in the seed sector.

He mentioned actors along the cowpea value chain that would benefit from the project, which include farmers producing cowpea and fodder, seed producers(community-based and small and medium enterprises), manufacturers and distributors of bags for hermetic storage of cowpea seeds and grains.

The rest are farmers and traders engaged in storage and selling of cowpea for planting or use as food, processors engaged in transformation of cowpea grains to flour, food vendors who prepare popular dishes and snacks from cowpea for sale, and transporters who link production sites with markets.

Dr Nutsugah said the project had come at an opportune time to enhance food security, and increase incomes of smallholder cowpea producers, traders and processors through increased production of good quality cowpea.

He urged farmers and the other actors in the value chains to embrace the initiative, and make good use of the technologies to be introduced to improve productivity and quality.

Dr Ibrahim Atokple, Manager of the USAID Cowpea Project, mentioned the technologies to scale up, as part of the project, which include quality seed of improved cowpea varieties, integrated pest management, appropriate crop management practices, and improved postharvest and seed/grain storage.

Dr Atokple said dual purpose cowpea varieties with grain and fodder yields would be included as they would serve as sources of quality fodder for livestock especially in the dry savannah areas.

Source: GNA

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Ghana ready to set up Export and Import Bank – Mahama https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/06/29/ghana-ready-to-set-up-export-and-import-bank-mahama/ https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/06/29/ghana-ready-to-set-up-export-and-import-bank-mahama/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 19:50:22 +0000 https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/?p=144941 President John Dramani Mahama on Monday stated that the establishment of a Ghana Export and Import Bank (EXIM) would move the country from import-dependent to a large-scale exporter. He said…

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President John Mahama
President John Mahama

President John Dramani Mahama on Monday stated that the establishment of a Ghana Export and Import Bank (EXIM) would move the country from import-dependent to a large-scale exporter.

He said it would also bridge the imbalances that had over the years, been registered in the trade and infrastructural development.

President Mahama was receiving a report of a Special Task Force tasked to carry out feasibility studies for the establishment of the Bank four months ago.

The Task Force, which was inaugurated on February 11, was given three months to present its report for the establishment of the bank.

President Mahama commended them for diligently carrying out the road map for the establishment of the bank, adding that its establishment would take advantage of international trading partnerships, such as the African Growth and Opportunity Act, with the United States of America.

The President said the bank which would be independent would, however, be supervised by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, to undertake its funding processes to function accordingly.

He said Ghana EXIM bank would become the principal financing institution for both imports and exports when well harnessed.

Mr Steve Williams, Leader of the Task Force, commended President Mahama for giving them the opportunity to serve the country in that capacity.

He gave the assurance that their recommendations would be useful for the establishment of the bank, to propel the export sector.

The members of the Task Force were: Lionel Van Lare Dosoo,(who died before the conclusion of the report) Chairman; Steve Williams, Banker; and Simon Dornooo, Managing Director of Ghana Commercial Bank.

Other institutions represented on the Task Force were: Bank of Ghana, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Finance, Attorney Generals Department, Eximguaranty Company, Export Finance Company and Association of Ghana Industries.

The rest are Export Promotion Authority, Export Development and Agricultural Investment Fund, Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Federation of Ghanaian Exporters.

Source: GNA

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President Mahama intervenes in DKM Microfinance matter https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/06/29/president-mahama-intervenes-in-dkm-microfinance-matter/ https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/06/29/president-mahama-intervenes-in-dkm-microfinance-matter/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 19:46:32 +0000 https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/?p=144939 President John Dramani Mahama has directed the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to speed up processes and ensure that cash deposits of customers of the DKM Diamond Microfinance, a savings company in…

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DKMPresident John Dramani Mahama has directed the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to speed up processes and ensure that cash deposits of customers of the DKM Diamond Microfinance, a savings company in the Sunyani Municipality are paid them.

Barely two months ago, the Financial Intelligence Center, Ghana, a national anti-money laundering organization under the BoG, froze the accounts of the company, which has branches in Wenchi, Techiman, Nkoranza, Berekum, Wa, and Bolgatanga, for some operational lapses.

President Mahama gave the directive when he addressed a durbar of the chiefs and people of Ntotroso in the Asutifi North District, as part of his two-day working visit to the Brong-Ahafo Region.

He was responding to a plea by Barima Twireku Ampem, the Omanhene of the Ntotroso Traditional Area, to intervene for the customers of the company.

President Mahama advised the DKM customers to exercise patience, as the BOG and management of the financial company worked out modalities to resolve the issue.

He charged the BOG to be more proactive, and step up measures to ensure that situations where financial institutions duped unsuspecting customers, were brought under control.

Barima Ampem noted that the closure of the company had affected economic activities, because cash deposits of hundreds of people in the area and the region as a whole were locked up.

Source: GNA

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Court issues subpoena for witness to appear in Eric Amoateng case https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/06/29/court-issues-subpoena-for-witness-to-appear-in-eric-amoateng-case/ https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/06/29/court-issues-subpoena-for-witness-to-appear-in-eric-amoateng-case/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 19:40:59 +0000 https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/?p=144936 An Accra Circuit Court hearing the case involving Eric Amoateng, a former Member of Parliament (MP) for Nkoranza North, over a forged passport, has issued a subpoena for the fourth…

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Eric Amoateng
Eric Amoateng

An Accra Circuit Court hearing the case involving Eric Amoateng, a former Member of Parliament (MP) for Nkoranza North, over a forged passport, has issued a subpoena for the fourth prosecution witness to appear in court on the next adjourned date.

The court said Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) John Kweku Lodonu, of the Criminal Investigation Department, Headquarters, is to appear in court to explain his failure to appear on January 26, 2015, for cross-examination.

According to the presiding Judge, Madam Helen Amoah, ASP Lodonu was requested by the court to put in writing the reasons for his absence on the said date, but has failed to carry out the request.

She said “ASP Lodonu was not in court on January 26, someone represented him and told the court that he was ill, but he later came back to tell the court he was not ill and accordingly was ordered to put the reasons for his absence in writing but has refused to do so”.

Madam Amoah ordered that the subpoena be served through the Inspector-General of Police for ASP Lodonu to appear in court on the next adjourned date.

Earlier, the prosecutor DSP Aidan Derry, told the court that his outfit had forwarded the signature of the one who signed the passport to the crime laboratory and was yet to receive the report.

He promised the court that by the next adjourned date the report would be ready, saying he would get in touch with the investigator to follow up on the report as soon as possible.

The case was adjourned to July 16.

At the last sitting, the court was forced to adjourn the case when the prosecution said the forensic report of the signature of the alleged forged passport was not ready.

The court ordered that the verification of the signature of the passport should be done by a forensic signature analyst, and a copy of the order served on the Director of the Criminal Investigative Department at the Police Headquarters, as well as the Inspector-General of Police, with a proof of service obtained for the court.

The court made the order after the fifth prosecution witness; Mr Alexander Grant Ntrakwah, Director of Passport, gave evidence and was cross-examined by the defence counsel.

Mr Amoateng is alleged to have traveled to Ghana with a female Ghanaian Passport, after serving his conviction abroad.

He has pleaded not guilty, and has been admitted to bail in the sum of GH¢200,000.

The case for the state is that in December 2005, he went to the United States, and was arrested in the same month for possessing heroin, a narcotic drug.

He was jailed, and after serving his sentence, Amoateng was released from prison on July 30, 2014.

On August 7, the same year, the accused person arrived at the Kotoka International Airport on board a Delta Airline flight at 1420 hours, and while going through arrival formalities, it was detected that he had in his possession a Ghanaian Passport which was allegedly forged, with the bio-data page substituted.

Source: GNA

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President swears in two Supreme Court Judges https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/06/29/president-swears-in-two-supreme-court-judges/ https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/06/29/president-swears-in-two-supreme-court-judges/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 19:33:50 +0000 https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/?p=144934 President John Dramani Mahama on Monday urged Judges to make decisions that would stand the test of time, and be followed by common jurisdictions, international tribunals and other courts. He said…

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President John Mahama
President John Mahama

President John Dramani Mahama on Monday urged Judges to make decisions that would stand the test of time, and be followed by common jurisdictions, international tribunals and other courts.

He said there had been landmark cases that had been contrary to international law, and urged the Judicial system to engage in researches that could streamline it.

President Mahama made the call when he swore in two Supreme Court Judges at the Flagstaff House, Kanda.

The Judges, Mr  Justice Yaw Appau and  Mr Justice Scott Puamang were administered to the the Judicial oath, and the  oaths of secrecy and allegiance, to officially begin their duties in the highest court of the land.

The new Judges would replace Justice Kwasi Dartey-Baah and Justice Rose Constance Owusu who retired from the court last year.

Also in attendance were Chief Justice Mrs Georgina Theodora Wood, Mr Julius Debrah, Chief of Staff, Judges from other courts and well wishers.

President Mahama advised them to ensure that their judgements constituted landmark cases that would be studied in other jurisdictions, lower  and international courts.

He said in good democracies, law was used in advancing society,  and urged them to use their judgements to advance the Ghanaian society,  and avoid other decisions that would retard the orderly progress of the country.

President Mahama also urged them to ensure that their judgements carried weight and influence, and without fear or favour, to serve as reference points in the years to come.

The President called on the Judiciary to be partners in the fight against crime and corruption, by exposing the ills of society through their fair and firm judgments at all times.

Government, he gave the assurance, would continue to play its role to ensure that the judiciary performed their duties without any hindrance.

Justice Appau on behalf of his colleague, commended President Mahama for appointing them to serve at the highest court of the land.

He pledged that they would discharge their duties with dedication, honesty, integrity, excellence and zeal.

Source: GNA

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Three northern regions top in marijuana consumption https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/06/29/three-northern-regions-top-in-marijuana-consumption/ https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2015/06/29/three-northern-regions-top-in-marijuana-consumption/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 16:47:48 +0000 https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/?p=144929 Ghana has been cited as being the number one consumer of marijuana in the world, a United Nations’ Report last year has revealed. Whilst the report cited Ghana as being…

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Smoking2Ghana has been cited as being the number one consumer of marijuana in the world, a United Nations’ Report last year has revealed.

Whilst the report cited Ghana as being the topmost consumer of marijuana, the three Northern Regions have also been cited as being the highest in terms of marijuana consumption in Ghana.

Quoting the report at a ceremony organized to mark this year’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking in Wa,  Mr.Issahaque Bakuri, Upper West Regional Director of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), said the three northern regions were the key players that propelled Ghana to that “dishonourable top”.

The day was on the theme: “Let us develop our lives, our communities, and our identities without drugs”.

Mr. Bakuri said it was worrying that the three regions which had been noted to be poverty endemic could be adding marijuana consumption to their predicament.

He said the issue of drugs had become a canker not only in the urban centres, but also in the rural communities.

Some youth had found solace in bringing hard drugs into the communities for local distribution thereby cultivating local consumers.

The NACOB Regional Director said many teenagers, young adults and middle-aged men in the society were not only using drugs, but were also trafficking them from down south to the rural communities for local consumption.

“This trend is having a dramatic, negative impact on society, bringing increases in violent crimes and armed highway robbery, kidnapping and raping of innocent girls including school pupils, fatal road accidents, eroding of values and degradation of society”, he noted.

Mr. Bakuri said the most challenging part of drug law enforcement in the region was in the area of prosecution of drug offenders.

He explained that NACOB had from last year, embarked on a massive sensitization campaign in the region, visiting schools, communities, lorry stations and market places among others, to educate people on the dangers associated with drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking of which 736,896 people benefited.

The NACOB Regiional Director called for a sectoral approach to fight drug menace in the region, which he said, needed effective collaboration of stakeholders, such as the district assemblies, traditional authorities, civil society and non-governmental organizations,  in educating the people, especially the youth,  on the harmful effects and inherent dangers of drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking.

Alhaji Amidu Sulemana, Upper West Regional Minister, said government was aware that illicit drug trade had resulted in increased violence, especially in the urban areas, and sometimes questioning of the legitimacy of the state due to the corruption caused by the trade.

In a speech read on his behalf, he appealed to the people not to stigmatize drug addicts, but rather see them as people who needed help,  and offer them healthcare assistance to regain their identities back into the society.

Source: GNA

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