A memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the government and the China Civil Engineers Construction Corporation (CCECC) for the construction of the Kumasi to the north section of the country’s railway project.
The Korean government is ready to share its development experience in the cooperative system to help improve the livelihood of Ghanaians.
The Korean Ambassador to Ghana, Sungson Kim stated this at the launch of a 6.18 million dollar project aimed at strengthening farmer cooperatives in Tamale in the Northern Region here yesterday.
The project seeks to improve the livelihood of the rural farmers and is being funded by Korean government under the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).
A fire outbreak on Friday afternoon has destroyed shops and other property along the commercial streets of the Bolgatanga Township in the Upper East Region.
The fire which burnt down about five shops including; a mini-restaurant started around noon time and lasted close to one and half hours before it was brought under control.
Though the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) responded swiftly to the urgent call and about four fire tenders were deployed to have the fire quenched, nothing was able to be saved as the fire burnt every to ashes leaving charred empty metal containers.
Government has said it is implementing a road map toward the establishment of a Development Board by 2024 to help revamp the shea industry.
Deputy Food and Agriculture Minister, Kennedy Nyarko Osei, told Parliament that the roadmap consists of three key milestones.
It includes establishment of the Shea Unit and National Steering Committee on Shea, and the graduation of the Shea Unit to a subsidiary status by end of 2019 as a semi-autonomous institution under the COCOBOD, but with an increasingly independent source or stream of funding.
Then the subsidiary will be converted into a Board, after a guaranteed self-funding scheme is put in place.
According to the Deputy Minister, the first stage has been completed – the Shea Unit being created, with an office in Accra, and the National Steering Committee on Shea also established.
The Shea Unit has opened a branch office in Tamale and is well on course to open another office at Wa in the Upper West Region, he explained.
The Shea Unit, together with the National Steering Committee, formulated a 15-year development strategy called the Shea Development Strategy (SHEDS 2014-2030), which will serve as the blueprint for implementation of programmes to develop the Shea sector.
The minister also stated that COCOBOD is expected to present the document through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to Cabinet in August 2018.
The core areas of the policy document include: research, extension, plantation development and conservation, strategic stakeholder partnerships and product development, marketing and quality standards.
COCOBOD is also expected to move the head office of the Shea Unit to Tamale in 2019, to begin full operations as a Subsidiary drawing on other sources of funding outside COCOBOD.
“The Subsidiary will also generate revenue from its operations, and by 2024 become adequately equipped to operate as a full-fledged Shea Development Board, as laid out in the roadmap,” he added.
Mr Alhassan Andani, Chief Executive of Stanbic Bank Ghana, says going cashlite may be a way out of the recent spate of robberies apparently fueled by the presence of cash.
According to the President of the Ghana Association of Bankers, only some 20 to 25 per cent of total payments in Ghana are currently done by other means apart from cash.
“Cash is still king and this covers all the physical notes and cheques that are given to individuals and many smaller companies on a daily basis to complete most transactions in the economy,” he said, adding that, cash has always been a source of attraction to robbers.
Some residents of Tamale and parts of the Northern region who patronise the services of chemical sellers may be doing so at their own risk as some of the chemical shops are operating without authorization.
The Northern regional capital is said to be choked with chemical shops, with some of them rendering services they are not mandated by law to do.
The Pharmacy Council has closed down some chemical shops for operating without license, selling unapproved drugs, admitting patients among other infractions.
The Northern regional Manager of the Pharmacy Council, Michael Anim Ameyaw said owners of the chemical shops which were closed down either used the back of their shops or rented single rooms close to their shops and rendered medical services to people against the law.
“In the course of our duty we came across a few shops that the office did not authorize them to open. Some were operating in areas where they are not supposed to and others were doing things that they’ve not been licensed to do such as admitting patients, giving injection, we even met people on live infusions. Some are even accused of doing abortions in or behind their shops,” he disclosed.
A chemical seller who spoke to radiotamale.com off record and on condition of anonymity admitted to these infractions, but said they risk collapsing their businesses if they operate strictly by the regulations of the Pharmacy Council. He admitted he does abortion and render other services reserved for trained medical practitioners.
“You see abortion? There is no drug store in Tamale that does not sell drugs for abortion but you have to do it secretly. We are just helping people out because if they go to a doctor, they cannot afford the cost of abortion. Me for instance, there is no way I will help a woman to do abortion if the pregnancy goes beyond three months. My range is one to three months so if a woman comes to me and says she is three months pregnant then I know she is four months pregnant so I will send her away,” he said.
In Tamale and other communities in the Northern region, it is not uncommon to see drug peddlers with chop boxes tied at the back of their bicycles or motorbikes selling drugs to unsuspecting customers.
In Nyankpala and some rural communities, drugs are displayed on tables during market days, under the scorching sun and sold to people who patronise them without the slightest idea the harm they are causing to themselves.
Mr Ameyaw said the council is stepping up efforts to deal with the problem once and for all. He however mentioned interference from people in authority including politicians and traditional leaders as a major hurdle to dealing with perpetrators of the act.
He therefore appealed chiefs, politicians and opinion leaders in the region to give the council the needed support to rid the metropolis of illegal chemical sellers.
“I will make a passionate appeal. It is not easy dealing with the individuals themselves. There are instances where some of our staff have been attacked. Dealing with the people is not easy so we don’t expect our opinion leaders to make things worse for us. So I will just appeal to our chiefs especially that when somebody commits an offence, at least the law must be made to work,” he pleaded.
He also advised the general public to go to the hospital for treatment when they are not well rather than resort to chemical shops.