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News Headlines-December 18 2015

BY MR LARRY ®

NOC CHICKEN FOR XMAS AS BIRD FLU CAUSES SHORTAGE

Bird flu which rocked the country some months ago and led to the destruction of thousands of birds in the Greater Accra, Volta, Eastern and Ashanti regions has affected the population of birds on various farms for the sale at this Christmas.

PARLIAMENT APPROVES $300M COCOA BILLS REFINANCING LOAN

Parliament has approved an agreement between the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and seven financial institutions for a $300 million loan facility for the refinancing of cocoa bills.

ACCRA METRO ASSEMBLY MEMBERS EXCHANGE BLOWS OVER SITTING ALLOWANCE

Some members of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly on Thursday, December 17, punched each other after a decision on sitting allowances degenerated.

NPP PICKS TEAM FOR 2016

The New Patriotic Party appears to be battle ready for the 2016 general elections, with the composition of a campaign team to be managed by the party’s former chairman, Peter Mac Manu.

DANGER: 3 MILLION WEAPONS IN HANDS OF CIVILIANS

An estimated 3 million illegal arms and ammunitions are said to be in the hands of civilians across the country, Today newspaper reports.

CHIEF OF STAFF DIRECTS AG TO INVESTIGATE MMT REBRANDING SAGA

The Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, has waded into the controversy over the spraying and rebranding of 116 new intra-city buses, and directed the Attorney General ”to review the contract and associated payment(s).”

EX-PRESIDENT KUFUOR TO COACH NPP CAMPAIGN TEAM

Ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor will play an active role in the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) Flagbearer, Nana Akufo Addo’s campaign team for the 2016 general elections, the party has revealed.

GHANA FOLLOWS NIGERIA’S EXAMPLE: EC TO USE PROFESSORS AS RETURNING OFFICERS IN 2016

Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Charlotte Osei says the EC would consider the use of lecturers and professors as returning officers in the 2016 general elections.

POLICE WARN AGAINST ABUSE OF SIRENS, HAZARD LIGHTS

The Police Administration has cautioned all persons who have fixed sirens and hazard lights in their vehicles without authority to remove them within two weeks or face prosecution.

WE CHARGED GHC1,600 TO BRAND MAHAMA BUSES NOT GHC3.6M

The company which branded the 116 public buses with pictures of President Mahama and other former heads of states has expressed shock as the “outrageous” figures being quoted by government.

NPP CONFERENCE: WE DON’T HAVE TIME TO DISCUSS AFOKO – AKOMEA

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has dismissed attempts by suspended National Chairman, Paul Afoko, to stop aspects of their Sunyani National Conference that will discuss his chairmanship.

MINORITY TO SUE MAHAMA FOR SETTING UP JUDGEMENT DEBT C’SSION

The Minority in Parliament is threatening to drag President John Mahama to court over the setting –up of the Judgment Debt Commission, an act they believe was calculated to hide corruption.

GOVT PAID GHC15M FOR AMERI CIVIL WORKS

ClassFMonline.com has unearthed that the Government of Ghana did pay GHS15,144,563.85 for civil works done at Aboadze in the Western Region in connection with the 250MW AMERI plants.

EC BOSS GOES ‘MAD’ IN PARLIAMENT OVER BUDGET CUT

The Chairperson of Ghana’s Electoral Commission (EC), Charlotte Osei lamented to Parliament on Thursday about how her Commission has had their budget for the conduct of the 2016 election hugely cut down by the Finance Ministry.

MMT BUS RE-BRANDING COULD HAVE COST UNDER GHC1 MILLION

An Accra-based advertiser, Casey Amese, believes government massively overpaid for the re-branding of the 116 buses per his professional opinion.

AIRTEL REFURBISHES KWABENYA ATOMIC M/A 5 PRIMARY SCHOOL LIBRARY

Airtel Ghana, Best Company for CSR in Education, has refurbished the Kwabenya Atomic M/A 5 Primary School library and stocked it with assorted books to enhance teaching and learning in the school.

BUSINESS HEADLINES

ECONOMY’S PROSPECTS HANG ON OIL PRICE FALL

The economy’s bright prospects, largely anchored in the expectation of an expansion in the oil sector, appears to be in jeopardy as crude oil prices continue their downward trend, the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) has warned.

PARLIAMENT APPROVES $300M COCOA BILLS REFINANCING LOAN

Parliament has approved an agreement between the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and seven financial institutions for a $300 million loan facility for the refinancing of cocoa bills.

GHANA NEEDS $23 BN FOR CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION, MITIGATION

Ghana will require at least $23 billion to embark on climate change adaptation and mitigation to build resilience to the global environmental threat.

PETROLEUM PRICES FALL SLIGHTLY

Consumers of petroleum products have been handed an early present as importers and marketers of the commodity reduce prices.

PARLIAMENT APPROVES €160M GPHA LOAN

Parliament has given the country’s seaports operator, Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), the go-ahead to secure a €160million facility to finance additional civil and dredging works at Takoradi Port.

$35 MILLION CAPE COAST WATER PROJECT STALLS

Work on the $35 million Cape Coast Water Project has stalled.
This is because custodians of a sacred groove near Sekyere Heman where the transmission lines are to be laid to the Brimsu Water Treatment site are demanding a GH¢15,000 compensation before they will allow the project to continue.

FINANCE MINISTRY LAUNCHES NATIONWIDE FINANCIAL LITERACY CAMPAIGN

The Ministry of Finance on Thursday launched a nationwide financial literacy and awareness campaign to complement government’s efforts towards the development of a comprehensive financial inclusion strategy.

GOVT EXTENDS INVESTOR SEARCH FOR NORTHERN STAR TOMATO COMPANY

Government has extended its search for an investor for the Northern Star Tomato Company.
The new date for the search avenue to close will now be 28th January, 2016.

GSE ATTRIBUTES MARKET’S POOR PERFORMANCE TO DIFFICULT ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT

Managers of the local bourse have attributed the poor performance of the Ghana Stock Exchange (GES) to the current difficult economic environment.
The Exchange has not witnessed much excitement for investors since the beginning of this year.

GHANA’S TRANSIT TRADE FORTUNES IN WEST AFRICA DIP

The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority says Ghana is losing significant revenue due to continued drop in transit trade between the country and her West African neighbours.

COMPANIES MUST ACCEPT TO OPERATE WITHIN THE LAW – ASANTEHENE

The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has urged the management of savings and loans companies to make sure that their activities are regulated by the law.

IMANI WANTS FULL DISCLOSURE ON $7BN ENI GAS PROJECT

The Government of Ghana must make full disclosure on the $7 billion oil and gas deal with energy firm ENI, local policy think tank Imani Ghana has demanded.

BANK OF GHANA TO SANCTION ILLEGAL FNGOS

The Bank of Ghana will soon crackdown on financial non-governmental organization operating without license in the country.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA’S COMMODITY EXPORT GAINS DECLINING – MOODY’

Despite efforts by Sub-Saharan Africa countries to diversify economies and accumulate buffers, their commodity exporters remain vulnerable to commodity price shocks, according to a Moody’s report.

INTERNATIONAL HEADLINES

AFRICAN UNION PROPOSES 5,000 PEACEKEEPERS FOR BURUNDI – DIPLOMAT

The African Union’s (AU) Peace and Security Council has proposed sending 5,000 peacekeepers to Burundi, invoking a rule which allows it to deploy a force without the consent of Burundi’s leader, said a diplomat who was at an AU meeting on the issue.

RWANDANS VOTE ON CONSTITUTION CHANGES TO LET KAGAME EXTEND RULE

Rwandans voted on Friday in a referendum on changing the constitution that would allow President Paul Kagame to extend his term in office, possibly until 2034, despite criticism of such an amendment by the United States and other Western donors.

W. AFRICAN LEADERS SEEK BAN ON FULL-FACE VEIL TO PREVENT ATTACKS

West African leaders said Thursday they were seeking to “forbid” women wearing full-face veils in an effort to curb the growing number of female suicide bombers unleashed by Boko Haram jihadists.

AFRICAN UNION WARNS IT WILL NOT ALLOW ‘GENOCIDE’ IN BURUNDI

The African Union said Thursday it would not allow genocide to take place in Burundi as the UN ordered a probe into widespread abuses and warned of looming civil war.

LIBYAN FACTIONS SIGN U.N. DEAL TO FORM UNITY GOVERNMENT

Delegates from Libya’s warring factions signed a U.N.-brokered agreement on Thursday to form a national unity government, a deal that Western powers hope will bring stability and help to combat a growing Islamic State presence.

BIG POWERS STRUGGLE TO AGREE U.N. RESOLUTION AHEAD OF SYRIA TALKS

The five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council were struggling to agree on a draft resolution endorsing an international bid to end the five-year-old civil war in Syria ahead of ministerial talks taking place in New York on Friday.

RUSSIA AND BRITAIN DISCUSS AVOIDING AIRSPACE, NAVAL ‘INCIDENTS’

The Russian Defence Ministry said late on Thursday that senior British military officials had met with their Russian counterparts in Moscow to discuss how best to avoid incidents between the two countries’ armed forces at sea and in the air.

ISRAEL AND TURKEY REACH PRELIMINARY DEAL TO RESTORE TIES – ISRAELI OFFICIAL

Israel and Turkey have reached a preliminary agreement to normalise relations, including the return of ambassadors to both countries, an Israeli official said on Thursday.

WORLD’S REFUGEES AND DISPLACED EXCEED RECORD 60 MILLION – U.N.

The number of people forcibly displaced worldwide is likely to have “far surpassed” a record 60 million this year, mainly driven by the Syrian war and other protracted conflicts, the United Nations said on Friday.

U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL PUTS SANCTIONS FOCUS ON ISLAMIC STATE

The U.N. Security Council warned on Thursday that some countries are failing to implement long-standing sanctions against Islamic State, as an unprecedented meeting of finance ministers put the global focus on cutting off the militant group’s funds.