Ghana Owes Nigeria $160m For Gas Supply

Ghana is said to be owing a total of $160m for gas supplied to its largest power producer, Volta River Authority, from Nigeria through the West Africa Gas Pipeline.

N-Gas Limited is a company owned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Chevron and Shell, and buys gas from oil companies in Nigeria and transport it to Ghana through the $1bn WAGP.

The pipeline, which is operated by the West Africa Pipeline Company Limited, was built to distribute gas from Nigeria to customers from and in  Benin, Togo and Ghana.

N-Gas has an off-take agreement with Ghana to supply 120 million standard cubic feet of gas per day to the VRA. But supply to the country had fallen short of the contractual volume in recent years.

“There is a current arrangement between the gas suppliers and the off-taker that the volume will be 60mmBtu,” the General Manager, Corporate Affairs, West Africa Gas Pipeline Company Limited, Harriet Wereko-Brobby, told our correspondent in response to questions sent via a text message.

She said the off-taker (VRA) had established a payment security arrangement for gas consumed to halt “debt accumulation going forward.”

“There is still an outstanding debt of around $160m to be paid to the supplier, N-Gas, and it is expected that about $30m will be paid shortly,” Wereko-Brobby added.

GhanaWeb recently reported that the volume of gas supplied to Ghana from Nigeria for power production had reduced by about 50 per cent.

It said the situation had been attributed to the inability of Ghana to settle its long-standing debts as stipulated in the gas supply contract, and vandalism of gas pipelines in Nigeria.

The Board Chairman, VRA, Kweku Awotwi, was quoted to have said, “We are at about half of what we have been contractually promised, which is not good enough. There are many reasons for that: the vandalism of pipelines and the fact that we have not paid our bills. We owe them about GH180m; what do you expect them to do?

“Now, we are getting the gas because the VRA is pre-paying for that gas. We are putting in Letters of Credit to get the gas.”

In 2016, Nigeria saw a resurgence of militant attacks in the Niger Delta that caused the nation’s oil production to plummet to a near 30-year low and disrupted gas supply to power plants.

Commenting on the debt owed by Ghana for the supply of gas through the pipeline in May last year on the sidelines of an event in Badagry, the Managing Director, WAPCo, Mr. Walter Perez, told our correspondent, “We are delivering gas now because we have put arrangement in place for Ghana to prepay for the deliveries that they receive, and so that is working. We have every expectation that this will continue to work.”

Six Killed In Ghana Gold Mine Accident

At least six construction workers have died as a result of an accident at Newmont’s Ahafo gold mine in Ghana.

This accident according to reports has forced the surface mine to suspend its operations, a local Newmont manager said on Sunday.

The workers died after a tunnel roof collapsed on them at the construction site of an expanded gold processing plant on Saturday.

Two others who sustained minor injuries are out of hospital, Agbeko Azumah, external relations and communications manager, said.

Newmont operates two mines in Ghana, including Ahafo, which began commercial production in 2006 and is located some 300 km (190 miles) northwest of the capital, Accra. Its second mine, Akyem, in Ghana’s eastern region, poured its first gold in 2014.

“Operations at Ahafo have been temporarily shut and Newmont Ghana has notified families of the deceased. All other employees working in the area have been safely relocated and the scene of the accident secured,” Azumah told Reuters.

He said Ghana’s mining inspectorate had begun investigations into the accident but he could not say immediately when operations will resume.

“Our focus at this time is to provide support to the families, co-workers and employees,” Azumah added. Ghana’s mine minister Peter Amewu visited the facility and bereaved families on Sunday

 

Ghanaian Monarch Returns to Gardener Job in Canada

Eric Manu, a Ghanaian Monarch of Akan, in the village of Adansi Aboabo has returned to his landscaping career in Canada after ruling his subjects briefly, in order to raise money to provide health care for his 6000 people back home.

After living and working in Canada foe three years, Manu became king when his 67-year-old uncle, Dat, passed away in 2016.

He told CTV News, “Sometimes, we go to the (job) site and they say, ‘You are the chief. I saw you on TV.

“Why are you doing the landscaping?’

“This is humility, you understand? Anytime I’m in Canada, I’m proud to work for my boss.”

When Manu first moved, his boss, Susan Watson, started a foundation called ‘To The Moon and Back’, which sent the young king off with a shipment full of school supplies, clothing, laptops and medical supplies.

The money Manu hopes to raise from his several months’ stay in Canada will be invested in improving health care, with the aim of returning with another shipment of equipment.

Eagles Defeat Ghana, Qualify For WAFU Semi-Finals

The Super Eagles yesterday stunned the Black Stars of Ghana with two quick goals in the early minutes of the second half of the WAFU Cup last group game held at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium.

Tony Okpotu and Peter Eneji were the heroes as the Salisu Yusuf led team put up a gallant fight to leave the hosts gasping for breadth.

Nigeria showed their intention early in the game when they took the attack to the hosts, but the Ghanaian defence, marshaled by Emmanuel Ampiah, Amos Frimpong, Sarfo and Atinga ensured that goalkeeper Joseph Addo was not troubled too much by the ambitious Nigerians.

Before the game, Nigeria knew that they needed to win the game to be sure of making it to the semifinals and when the news came that Mali was leading Guinea 1-0 in the other game of Group A being played simultaneously, it became even clearer to the Eagles that they had to do everything possible to subdue the Black Stars.

Ghana had another script though, as they ensured that the Eagles were limited to potshots from afar in the first half.

However, the complexion of the match changed in the early minutes of the second half with Okpotu and Eneji scoring two quick goals in the 53rd and 56th minutes to steady the Eagles’ flight to the semifinals.

Nigeria took the lead when Okpotu showed great strength to hold his marker off to get on the end of a through ball and hit the top of the roof with a thunderous shot.

Three minutes later it was 2-0 through another thunderous 20-yard strike from Eneji.

With Mali and Guinea ending the other Group A game 1-1 at the Nduom Sports Stadium, it leaves Ghana top of the standings with six points, followed by Nigeria with five points.

Guinea and Mali ended with two points apiece in third and fourth place respectively.

 

Buhari Receives Ghanian President At Aso Villa

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday met behind closed doors with Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Newsmen report that the Ghanaian President, who is on an official visit to Nigeria, arrived the Presidential Villa at about 3.28p.m.

The closed door meeting was holding at the new Banquet Hall in the State House as at the time of filing this report.

The Ghanaian President was received by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo when he visited the country on Aug. 1 to deliver a lecture at the National Defence College.

Akufo-Addo won the country’s 2016 presidential poll against the incumbent, John Mahama, by a margin of 9.45 per cent.

NAN

Ghana Cocoa Board Debt Reaches $2.2 Billion as Prices Slump

Ghana’s cocoa regulator said it is 10 billion cedis ($2.2 billion) in debt after the nation missed its production target in the previous season and as a slump in prices is weighing on revenues from the current crop.

Ghana Cocoa Board didn’t meet revenue targets for the 2015-16 season as the total output of 778,000 metric tons of beans fell short of an earmarked 850,000 tons, Noah Amenyah, a spokesman for the regulator in the world’s second-biggest grower, said by phone on Thursday. The board so far suffered $1 billion in revenue losses in the current season that started in October as future contract prices fell by more than a third since the middle of last year, Amenyah said.

Last year, the regulator undertook projects, assuming costs would be covered by output and price assumptions that didn’t materialize. At the same time, it exceeded its usual annual spending of $150 million on roads in cocoa growing areas by almost five times, Amenyah said.

On ICE Futures U.S., cocoa for September delivery rose 0.3 percent to $1,989 a ton on Thursday in New York. The price has declined 6.4 percent this year.

Farmer Pay

While the board is facing mounting debts, the regulator is ruling out cutting farmers’ pay even as global cocoa prices have fallen on forecasts for oversupply. The government of President Nana Akufo-Addo, who came to power in January, appointed Joseph Boahen Aidoo as chief executive officer of the cocoa regulator in the same month after dismissing former head Stephen Opuni and other top officials.

“Certain things will have to be delayed because of the liquidity problem,” Amenyah said.

Bloomberg

Ghana Declares War On Illegal Miners

President Nana Akufo Addo of Ghana has declared war against illegal miners following reports many of them were destroying the environment.

The government had substantially received complaint against Chinese illegal miners, with the help of their local collaborators.

Illegal mining has reportedly caused massive river pollution, destruction of arable lands, farms, cocoa plantations and forest reserves compromising sustainable development in the West African country.

Speaking at the coronation of one of the traditional rulers, Nana Effah Opinamang of Kwahu Obeng in the Easter Region on Saturday, Nana Akufo-Addo told the gathering that Ghana would continue to have a cordial relationship with the Chinese.

However, the government would ensure full enforcement of law and order without fear or favour toward any group of people.

President Akufo Addo does not hate the Chinese, but the laws governing foreign nationals in trade and business will be applied to the letter.

President Akufo Addo’s comments came days after officials at the Chinese embassy in Ghana, wrote a letter to the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources expressing their disgust about how the media were portraying illegal Chinese miners.

China also complained about a cartoon published by one of the newspapers, which allegedly defamed the Chinese President.

President Akufo Addo in the said speech reiterated that just like the law works for everyone in China irrespective of status, so will it be in Ghana.

Ghanaians are happy to hear him speak about ‘galamsey’ (illegal mining) because of its devastating nature, Akufo Addo went on, and urged all Ghanaians to unite and fight it to save the country’s future.

The devastation of the Ghana’s environment by Chinese illegal miners has attracted international attention, with Australia, cocoa producing countries, NGOs and other institutions all lending support to the government to rid the country of Chinese illegal miners and their local collaborators, so as to restore sanity in the mining sector.

Meanwhile, observers fear the enviable diplomatic and bilateral relationship, existing for almost 60 years, could be affected.

Ghana Road Accidents Claim 510 Lives in 2017

More than 500 persons were killed in 2,890 motor accidents in Ghana in the first quarter of 2017, according to reports.

Between January and March 25, Ghana recorded 2,890 road crashes in 2017 as against 2,830 recorded over the same period in 2016, state-run Ghana News Agency (GNA) said on Wednesday quoting the Police.

It said the number of vehicles involved in these crashes rose from 4,088 to 4,802, with 510 people deaths as against 485 deaths recorded in 2016.

It attributed 70 per cent of these crashes to lack of maintenance of vehicles and irresponsible driving such as speeding and wrongful overtaking.

DSP Alex Obeng, Director in-charge of Education and Training, the Ghana Police Service, confirmed this at the launch of Street Sense Organisation (SSO), a Non-Profit Organization, which champions road safety education.

He said that 2,971 people were injured within the period under review as against 2,576 in 2016, adding:“the statistics is scary and we need to come together to partner the government to address it.”

Obeng commended the SSO for its foresight and pledged the police’s preparedness in achieving the set targets.

Oswald Lavoe, Executive Chairman of the SSO, said in spite of some progress over the years, road safety still remained a great national concern that required collaborative and concerted efforts to promote.

“These statistics on road crashes in Ghana is startling and worrying, and we cannot just sit with folded arms and watch thousands of innocent souls perish through accidents without taking action.”

Buhari Congratulates Ghana’s President-Elect, Akufo-Addo

President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, on his historic win of the December 7 Ghana presidential election.
President Buhari also felicitates with the Government and people of Ghana, the National Electoral Commission, and candidates of political parties, for the decorum, maturity and peaceful conduct of the election that produced a winner from an opposition party, who was contesting for the third time.
“As a scion of one of the biggest political families in Ghana, and with the lessons learnt from previous unsuccessful attempts preceded by years of service to the country, most notably as foreign affairs minister, President Buhari believes Akufo-Addo is widely experienced and skilled in leadership to build on the legacies of President John Dramani Mahama,” the president’s spokesperson, Femi Adesina, said in a statement Saturday.
The Nigerian leader extolled the statesmanship and great leadership qualities of Mr. Mahama, who came into power at a trying period for the country with the passing away of former President John Atta-Mills, and kept pushing for a better life for all Ghanaians, and strengthening diplomatic relations with countries in the sub-region, especially Nigeria.
He commended the incumbent president for the great courage to call his opponent and concede defeat, stressing that leaders must always honour their pre-election pledge to accept the results of polls as the will of the people.
“President Buhari remains optimistic that the future of African development rests on building strong political, democratic institutions, ensuring free, fair and credible elections, and respect for the sanctity of the ballot,” the statement said.
He urged the president-elect and other winners of the parliamentary elections in Ghana to be magnanimous in victory while losers should explore peaceful and legal mechanisms to challenge the outcome of the polls where necessary.

Asoriba, Ghanaian-Made Application Wins “Best African Startup”

Asoriba, a Ghanian-made application, won “Best African Startup” Award at the Seedstars World’ SeedStars Africa Summit in Casablanca, Morocco.

The summit which was held on January 30th by StartupYourLife, a non-profit organization that empowers innovative entrepreneurs in Morocco, held the premier edition of the Seedstars Africa Summit.

Over 300 startup founders, investors, ecosystem players, leading corporations and successful entrepreneurs from Africa, Middle East, Europe and the US were at the event. Some of the other startups that pitched at the event were; InterShip from Uganda; SolarizEgypt from Egypt among others.

Asoriba is a web application for seamless church administration.

The four programmers who started the company were a part of the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) Class of 2015 whose passion drove the creation of the app to attend to the growing needs of the church today. Web application for administrators: captures detailed church member information, leader and church operations. This allows effective engagement with the congregation and administration. For more information about Asoriba and how to sign-up your church, visit their official site: www.asoriba.com

Pulse Ghana

How Social Protection Reduced Poverty In Ghana – Minister

Ghana’s Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur has announced that the poverty level in the country has been reduced from 51.7 per cent to 24.4 per cent as a result of a number of social protection measures and strategies introduced by the government.

Addressing a side event organized by her Ministry on the sidelines of the 54th session of the Commission on Social Development, taking place at the United Nations headquarters in New York, on Friday, (January 5, 2016) Nana Oye Lithur said that a social protection policy is being developed through continuous reform of structures, institutional arrangements, systems and processes that had resulted in the creation of a legal and policy framework.

State of Osun O'MEAL Staff Feeding the Pupils

Aside these, she mentioned that the development of an institutional and governance framework from the regional, district and community levels had led an efficient management in the implementation of social protection interventions in youth employment, school feeding, national health insurance among others.

In order to effectively and efficiently identify and select the beneficiaries of the various interventions, the Minister stated that a Ghana National Household Registry Database is being established to ensure that the actual beneficiaries are reached. The electronic disbursements to beneficiaries and service providers of social protection interventions are some of the other transparent and coordinated approaches that had yielded fruitful results.

For example, the Minister disclosed that the collaboration with the World Bank, European Union, Brazil, various Ministries and the private sector had helped the Ministry to target and register extremely poor households in 188 out of 216 districts taregeted onto the National Health Insurance Scheme(NHIS). In addition, more than 1.7million school children who benefit from the Ghana School Feeding programme in 5000 schools are being registered on to the NHIS.

The moderator for the programme, Ambassador Martha Pobee, Ghana’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, commended the Ghanaian delegation for sharing the best practices in the key components of Ghana’s Social Protection Policy, which had yielded impressive and encouraging results in meeting critical targets including eradicating poverty, hunger, improving education, health outcomes and other challenges in social development.

She lauded the presence of the MPs from the majority and minority sides and their collaboration with the Ministry to achieve its set objectives, an attestation that Ghana’s vibrant democracy is a model one.

Speaking on “the Role of the Ghana National Household Registry”, Mr. Robert E. Austin, National Coordinator, Ghana Social Opportunities Project said that Ghana has established a household registry, capturing the whole country and identifying the extremely poor people.

So far, he pointed out that it had helped to reduce undesirable duplication, increased transparency, accountability and himproved coordination, apart from assisting in the enrolment of social interventions.

On the school feeding programme, Mr. Felix Kwaku Logah, head of the Operations of the Livelihood Empowerment Against (LEAP)programme, said it had increased school enrolment, attendance, retention, reduced short term hunger and malnutrition among the kindergarten and primary school children aside boosting domestic food production. For the long term, it has also reduced poverty and increased food security, he stated. Mr.Logah said with the use of manual data in 2008 only 1654 households were captured, whereas in 2015 a total of 130,000 households were captured and 45,000 households qualified in the country. Currently, the use of electronic data has further enhanced the qualifications of the households resulting in 6064 households qualifying out of 8000 households targeted.

Mr.Richard Adjetey, acting director, Social Protection at the Ministry, speaking on “Institutional arrangement for consolidating social protection in Ghana: The Social Protection Policy and the Bill” said that community social protection committees had been formed in the communities to undertake sensitization on social protection, identify eligible households and assist enumerators in households identification, listing and test data collection.

Other institutional arrangements are the use of non-state actors as watch-dogs, advocates, partners, initiators, and validators such as chiefs, nongovernmental organizations and organized labour.

At her turn, Ms. Vidhya Ganesh, Deputy Director of the UNICEF, the chair for the function called for honesty and transparent partnerships if the SDGs, which are aimed at poverty eradication are to succeed. In this vein, she assured Ghana of the continuous support and collaboration of UNICEF in achieving the SDGs and for a brighter future. The chairman of the parliamentary committee on Employment, Social Welfare and Enterprise, Mr. Joseph Amenowode pointed out that Parliament and the Ministry had a joint objective of eradicating poverty, adding that this explains why most of the progammes of the Ministry has a by-partisan support.

GhanaWeb