18 Jun 2017

No Law In Ghana Bars Us From Showing Porn - Ice TV Management

General Manager of Ice TV, Samuel Owusu Asare says the channel will not kowtow to the petition presented to the National Media Commission (NMC) and Information Ministry by two renowned journalists and stop showing pornography films on their channels.
Image - Ice TV Ghana
Ice TV is a religious broadcast channel in Ghana which was recently accused of telecasting pornographic content.

Speaking to Agyemang Prempeh on GH Entertainment on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, the Manager said, he cannot set aside his business plan and serve the interest of the two aggrieved journalists who are not happy about their content. He quizzed how many Ghanaians have complained that they disliked the content on the television station and what study they two conducted to reach their decision to petition the NMC.

"I have insisted that until the NMC gives us a directive on what to do, we will not base on a mere report and stop showing the content." he told Agyemang Prempeh the host when he was asked whether they will continue showing the program.


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He confirmed receipt of a letter from the NMC to Ice TV to respond to the petition from the two journalists. According to him, there is no law that prevents them from airing the porn rather there is a guideline for TV channels to follow through, however, they [Management] cannot hang their necks with the guidelines.

When asked why they show the porn, he said, they have undertaken a business feasibility studies and from what they have gathered, showing the porn is highly patronised by viewers. He stressed, ‘’to stop or not to stop airing the porn will be premised on our laws.
 If the law which I am not above or my TV station and lawyer are not above it, bares me from doing what I am doing, I will stop it. But if we are going to use guidelines to ask me to stop doing that, then I am not ready to stop.’’ ‘’I want to emphasise that I have not decided to be adamant or stubborn but we want the right thing to be done.’’

He also admonished the petitioners not to use the means to discredit their work and rather focus on what rather can boost local content in the country.

He wondered why the petitioners have refused to focus on other important issues affecting the industry and rather using Ice TV to gain a mileage.

Two broadcasters, Tommy-Annan Forson and James Kwasi Oberko, have made a complaint against three television stations in Ghana for showing films with pornographic scenes on their channels.

The two, on Monday, 12th June, 2017, presented their complaint to the National Media Commission and the Ministry of Information against TV XYZ, Ice TV and Thunder TV, for showing these films to their audience.

But according to Mr. Asare, he respects the two, however, their action is in bad taste.

Court Remands 14 For Allegedly Vandalizing Somanya Police Station

One of the police vehicles vandalized by the mob

The Koforidua Circuit Court has remanded 14 people for allegedly vandalizing the Somanya Police Station on May 29, 2017.

Refusing them bail, the court, presided over by Mrs. Mercy Addei Kotei, remanded them to reappear on June 27, 2017.

The remanded people include the Assembly Member for the Sawer Electoral Area in Somanya in the Yilo Krobo Municipality, Ebenezer Jones Adamtey.
The pleas of the accused persons were not taken.

Facts

Adamtey has been charged with causing unlawful damage, demonstrating without recourse to the Public Order Act and provocation of riot, while the 13 others, mostly young people, are charged with conspiracy to commit riot, rioting, rioting with weapons, unlawful assembly and forcible entry.

It will be recalled that on Monday, May 29, 2017, some irate youth of Somanya went on a rampage and vandalized the Somanya Police Station and other property following Adamtey’s arrest.


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Adamtey is suspected to have led the irate youth to cause unlawful damage to the offices of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) on Friday, May 26, 2017.

The youth who vandalized the police station burnt the only police duty patrol vehicle, with registration number GP 2605, in the process.

They allegedly destroyed doors and windows, police diaries and computers at the station. Some policemen and their families had to run for their lives.

Standstill

Following the action of the youth, almost every economic activity in Somanya came to a standstill for more than eight hours.

Most stores were closed down and many residents ran for their lives, as the demonstrators took the town hostage.

Major roads were closed to traffic, a situation which created inconvenience for travelers who passed through Somanya.

It took reinforcement from the Eastern Regional Police Command and nearby police stations to control the demonstrators, who were more than 1,000.

From Graphiconline

16 Jun 2017

IMF Says Ghana at Risk of Debt Distress as Bond Planned

The International Monetary Fund said Ghana remains at a high risk of debt distress as the West African nation plans to clear arrears owed by energy utilities through the sale of a 10 billion cedi ($2.3 billion) local-currency bond.

Ghana and the Washington-based lender are in talks over the terms of a three-year debt-support program that is scheduled to conclude in April 2018 as the world’s second-biggest cocoa producer’s debt rose to 73 percent of gross domestic product at the end of last year. The government said last month that it may issue a bond through a special-purpose vehicle to clear the debts that the state-owned electricity company and petroleum service providers owe to banks and other credit providers.

“The part of the bond used to finance the debt and arrears accumulated by the state-owned enterprises themselves would increase the stock of government debt,” the IMF said Wednesday in an emailed response to questions. “Ghana remains at high risk of debt distress. Continued fiscal consolidation would be required to bring public sector debt on a clearly declining trajectory.”
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Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta didn’t answer calls seeking comment. Mustapha Hamid, a government spokesman, didn’t immediately answer calls or respond to a request for comment by text message.

Bank of Ghana Governor Ernest Addison, who was appointed in April, said last month that the bond sale wouldn’t add to the debt stock if the government issues it through a special purpose vehicle and uses energy sector levies to service it.

“If that is done, then it might not necessarily be part of the government’s debt,” Addison told reporters on May 22. “It depends on how that is handled.”

Discussions between the parties on how the bailout program’s objective of lower public debt can be achieved are continuing, and include the possibility of extending the debt program, the IMF said in the email.

“Any extension would have to be requested by the Ghanaian authorities, and we understand they are considering the matter,” the lender said.

Ghana to Tap Stabilization Fund for Cocoa Pay Next Season

Image - Ghana cocoa beans
Cocoa beans dry on a table in a village outside of Kumasi, Ghana. Photographer: Jane Hahn/Bloomberg

Ghana will probably start drawing from its stabilization fund to cover cocoa farmers’ pay during the season that starts in October as the second-biggest grower props up local prices in the face of a global slump.

While Ivory Coast, the largest producer, has already slashed the price it pays farmers for the smaller of two annual crops by 36 percent, Ghana’s Cocoa Board so far kept it unchanged and is ruling out any cuts for the upcoming main crop, despite its own mounting debt. The country is hoping that demand in Asia and the Middle East will increase to boost international prices, Deputy Chief Executive Officer Yaw Adu-Ampomah said in an interview.

Cocoa futures in New York have declined about 33 percent in the past year as analysts predict a large global surplus for the season ending in September.

“Right now the stabilization fund is being looked at in case it falls further,” Adu-Ampomah said. The government contributes to the fund during boom years and the money is available to support farmers when needed, he said, while declining to comment on the fund’s current balance.

Ivory Coast and Ghana are both expecting bumper harvests this season, and average cocoa prices aren’t seen rising more than about 10 percent over the next 12 months, according to the median of 18 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Ghana may not pay bonuses to farmers this season because of lower prices, CEO Joseph Boahen Aidoo told reporters last week.

“Considering the current level of prices, we believe we are paying $400 more per ton to our farmers,” he said.
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The two countries aren’t discussing production cuts as part of their efforts to cooperate on cocoa strategy and boost international prices, Adu-Ampomah said. The cocoa board and its counterpart in Ivory Coast are exploring partnerships in emerging markets such as India, China and Dubai to boost processing of the beans, as well as looking at ways to increase local consumption, he said.

The cocoa board is in talks with the Bank of Ghana about refinancing its debt, he said, without providing further details. Borrowing increased to 10 billion cedis ($2.3 billion) after the nation missed its production target in the previous season and as the slump in prices weighs on revenue from the current crop.

The board is also taking steps to reduce wasteful spending, Adu-Ampomah said. It has put contracts to build roads in cocoa-growing regions on hold while previous deals are audited and will better prioritize infrastructure projects and reduce social-responsibility spending, he said.

The board bought over 800,000 metric tons of beans in the 2016-17 main crop season and aims to purchase 80,000 to 100,000 tons in the light crop that began on June 9 and ends in September, he said.

7 Jun 2017

352 Chieftaincy Disputes Remain Unresolved In Ghana

The Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Mr. Samuel Kofi Dzamesi, has expressed concern about the high number of unresolved chieftaincy disputes.

He indicated that nationwide there were a total of 352 such disputes.
Image - Ghanaian chiefs
Traditional rulers in Ghana


He said his ministry was eager to deepen the engagement with the relevant stakeholders to amicably settle them to bring enduring peace the affected areas.

Mr. Dzamesi was speaking at the inauguration of the Asuboa Traditional Council at Asuboa in the Asante-Akim South District.

The Asuboa Stool was elevated to paramountcy by the late Asantehene, Otumfuo Opoku Ware II, but the opening of the Council to enable it to start exercising its official mandate was held back.

A High Court Judge, Justice Kofi Akrowia, was on hand to perform the ceremony on Wednesday.

The Minister, who was there to witness the event noted that chieftaincy conflicts had unwelcomed consequences for the lives of not only the local people but the entire nation.
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Resources that could otherwise have gone into the provision of health facilities, schools, water and roads, would often be diverted to maintain security in times of clashes.

He said this could not continue and outlined steps taken to reduce disputes.

These include making sure that traditional boundaries are clearly defined to avert potential disputes.

He gave the assurance that more registrars were going to be recruited for the traditional councils for effective administration of the chieftaincy institution.

Mr. Alexander Frimpong, the District Chief Executive (DCE), promised to work closely with chiefs in the district to bring development to the communities.

Baffour Kwaku Ofori II, Omanhene of Asuboa, pledged his unwavering commitment towards the progress of the area.

From GNA