Thursday, May 29, 2008


THE General Manager of Diamond FM a private radio station in Tamale, Mr Edward Ameyibor, has urged media practitioners not to concentrate on political issues to the detriment of highlighting problems of rampant child trafficking and exploitative labour in rural communities.
“The media need to tell in vivid terms, the story of the poverty levels of the rural people; we must talk about teachers and assembly members who have become agents for child traffickers because of akpeteshie bills they owe women from the south,” he stated.
Mr Ameyibor made the call at a stakeholders meeting on child trafficking and exploitative labour in Tamale.
The meeting was aimed at promoting media advocacy on issues relating to child trafficking and exploitative labour as well as sensitising the public to avoid such dehumanising practices that were prevalent in the rural areas.
Diamond FM and the Chocolonely Foundation, a non-governmental organisation started by the Consumer Intelligence Agency, a media and research organisation in the Netherlands, jointly organised the meeting.
“The media must move away from the cities to the rural areas to concentrate on the new slave trade where poverty is encouraging people to give their children to unknown people to be taken to unknown places for exploitation”, Mr Ameyibor stressed.
He expressed regret that valuable livestock holdings had been depleted in exchange for alcohol while children were also being used to settle debts.
The media must create awareness of these problems and make politicians and security agencies answerable; the issue of child trafficking and exploitation is an issue of good governance, which must always remain on the front banner of public discourse,” the manager emphasised.
The Northern Regional Director of the Department of Children, Mr Sumani Nayina, called for a “strong political will” to tackle the issue of child trafficking and its attendant problems.
According to him, children were not supposed to do hazardous work, such as working in the mines, quarries and firms that produce chemicals.
“I have seen children breaking stones and engaging in other menial jobs that are hazardous and exploitative,” he stated.
The acting Regional Commander of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Mr Baba Salami, mentioned high levels of poverty, harmful cultural practices, low education levels, high school drop-out rates, unemployment and irresponsible parenthood as some of the causes of child trafficking and exploitative labour.
He, therefore, called on stakeholders to support efforts to address those issues.
The Project Partner, Mr Nelson Adanuti Nyadror, announced that the organisers and sponsors of the meeting would hold community durbars next month to formally launch activities of the organisers.
“We will also use testimonies, music and drama and capacity building to realise our goals,” he noted.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Story: Vincent Adedze, Tamale

ONE person died on the spot and 13 others sustained various degrees of injury when the 33-seater Benz bus, on which they were travelling from Kumasi to Walewale, ran into a kerb near the Tamale Airport Junction and fell on its side in the process.
The body of the deceased, Sadia Yidabila, 15, has since been deposited at the Tamale Teaching Hospital morgue, while those who sustained injuries are currently receiving treatment at the hospital.
The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Northern Regional Police Command, Inspector Albert Johnson, told the Daily Graphic in Tamale that the driver of the bus lost control of the steering wheel as the bus approached the junction, and subsequently hit a kerb and fell in the middle of the road, killing a passenger instantly.
According to the PRO, the driver, Muntari Ali, is currently assisting the police in investigations.
In another incident, an articulated truck with registration number 11 JJ 35 BF knocked down a 30-year-old man at Savelugu last week. The truck was conveying some perishable items from Burkina Faso to the Tema Harbour when the incident occurred.
The victim, Ahmed Mohammed, sustained various degrees of head injuries and was rushed to the Savelugu District Hospital for treatment. The driver of the truck, Fidel Djeswende, 30, deaf and dumb, who hails from Burkina Faso, is currently in police custody and will soon be arraigned before court.
Commenting on the spate of road accidents in the Northern Region, Inspector Johnson stated that a survey conducted by the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) of the Ghana Police Service and the Public Affairs Unit of the Regional Police Command showed that 90 per cent of motorbike riders involved in accidents are road traffic offenders.
According to him, it was on record that 95 per cent of deaths resulting from motorbike accidents are attributed to fracture of the skull.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Story: Vincent Adedze, Tamale

THE Ghana Telecom (GT) is to extend its services to the northern part of the Western Region, where there are no services.
The project, which starts within the next two months, will cover Aowin, Wassa and Sefwi areas which have been described as virgin areas.
Those areas will be provided with both voice and data services. The project is expected to be completed by the end of the year or early next year.
The Western Regional Manager of GT, Mr Emmanuel Adusei-Essel, announced this at a media interaction as part of activities marking the “World Telecommunications Day” in Takoradi.
He said plans had been drawn to extend services close to customer service points to give customers value for money.
“We want to give them quality service,” he said.
According to Mr Adusei-Essel, extension and expansion of the company’s services had been the biggest challenge, especially the extension of services to the northern part of the Western Region.
He said telephone equipment at Enchi and Axim, which had become outmoded, would be modernised to be able to provide services to customers’ requirements.
“There are certain areas we have services, which cannot serve the customers properly,” Mr Adusei-Essel stated, adding “we are moving from service providers to solution providers.”
“In doing all these, we face opposition from criminals destroying our service by cutting our cables indiscriminately,” he stressed.
Mr Adusei-Essel said six cable thefts were recorded within two months, covering 1.5 kilometres on the Ketan and Bakado area near Sekondi.
He said the irony of the situation was that cables and other materials meant for the expansion programme were used to replace the stolen cables.
The Commercial Manager of GT for the Western Region, Mr Joseph Kwasi Kyei, said the region now had 19,000 fixed telephone lines.
He said a lot of customers in the region were coming back to fixed lines, adding “interest in the fixed lines is growing.”


Story: Vincent Adedze, Tamale

THE Northern Regional Director of Health Services, Dr Akwasi Twumasi, has entreated mothers in the Tamale metropolis to take advantage of the numerous cost-effective interventions provided by the government through the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to help reduce the high infant mortality rates in the area.
“We have cost-effective interventions such as the immunisation programme and exclusive breast feeding but mothers are not taking advantage of these interventions,” the director noted.
Dr Twumasi stated this at a press briefing on this year’s Child Health Promotion Week in Tamale.
The briefing was aimed, among other issues, at increasing awareness about pertinent child health problems facing communities in the metropolis, particularly in areas where key child health indicators were critical.
He stated that the Northern, Upper East and Volta regions had the worst child health indicators in the country.
In the Northern Region for instance, 49 per cent of children under five years are malnourished while the region further recorded 150 infant mortality rates per 1000 live births last year.
Dr Twumasi further noted that “our key health indicators in the region is bad; in 2007 for instance the region recorded 115 maternal deaths per 1000 live births”.
The National Child Health Co-ordinator, Dr Isabella Sagoe-Moses, in a paper delivered on her behalf, mentioned diarrhoea, pneumonia, malaria, measles, AIDS and malnutrition as some of the causes of the high infant mortality rates.
According to her, mothers should ensure that they completed “their children’s immunisation before one year, ensure that the children sleep under insecticide treated nets every night and take in vitamin A supplements”.
Dr Sagoe-Moses entreated media practitioners to support current efforts at reducing malnutrition and other issues that affected child health in communities.
The National Programme Manager of Vitamin A, Madam Esi Amoaful, observed that a number of surveys conducted over the years had proven that vitamin A supplementation and exclusive breastfeeding were good for the health of children between the ages of one and two.
The Regional Director of the Department of Children, Mr Sumani Nayina, said “stakeholders must place a lot of emphasis on education campaign particularly among men to support efforts at promoting child health”.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Story: Vincent Adedze, Tamale

THE Northern Regional branch of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has expressed grave concern about the establishment of an unaccredited journalism training institute in the Tamale metropolis.
The GJA further expressed worry that the “so-called Northern Institute of Journalism” had the potential to churn out mediocre products who could pose real danger to society, as the institute did not have the qualified personnel to teach journalism.
A statement signed and issued in Tamale by the Regional Chairman of the GJA, Mr Alidu Baba, and copied to the General Secretary of the GJA, at the national headquarters in Accra, equally cautioned the public and prospective applicants “not to take the school serious since it has no accreditation”.
The statement further noted that “a group of untrained journalists within the metropolis have established what they term Northern Journalism Institute; this group is reported to be in the process of recruiting lecturers and making radio announcements to that effect, while distributing brochures to prospective applicants to enroll”.
It further warned that neither the GJA nor the National Accreditation Board had any knowledge about its existence and called on “the appropriate authorities to investigate the matter and ensure that the proper thing is done”.
“Media liberalisation does not mean giving license to unqualified people to indulge in acts that continue to drag the name of journalism in the mud; the regional GJA therefore advises those interested in becoming journalists to seek proper training from accredited journalism schools” it pointed out.
The statement also deplored “the invasion of the profession by unqualified and untrained journalists who have been employed by some media houses and are causing a nuisance and indulging in unethical practices, including the extortion of monies from event organisers”.
It further stated that the regional branch of the GJA had received “reports from public officials, particularly district chief executives in the region about people parading as journalists and harassing them for money”.
The statement equally expressed regret about the establishment of similar private journalism schools in other parts of the country, particularly in Accra and Kumasi that were turning out journalism graduates of a questionable calibre.
“Journalism is a noble profession but unfortunately, some groups or individuals are now making a mockery of the profession by recruiting junior and senior high school leavers who do not have any journalism training as correspondents” it stressed.
The statement also reminded the media of their role to responsibly ensure fair and balanced reportage as well as help maintain national cohesion before, during and after the 2008 general elections.

Monday, May 12, 2008


STORY: Vincent Adedze, Nyankpala

THE Northern Regional Manager of the Credit Union Association (CUA), Mr Samuel Anyigba, has entreated management of the University for Development Studies (UDS) Staff Co-operative Credit Union, to guard against delinquency in the operations of the union.
He noted that such acts had the tendency of crippling credit unions as “it denies them of vital interest income and makes less money available to lend to deserving members, thereby making them lose confidence in the system”.
Mr Anyigba stated this during the annual general meeting of the union at Nyankpala in the Tolon-Kumbungu District of the Northern Region.
The meeting enabled both members and management of the union to take stock of its activities during the 2006/2007 financial year.
Mr Anyigba expressed concern about the relatively low percentage of total average assets being recorded by the union as compared to the CUA standards.
“By CUA standards, credit unions are supposed to record at least 20 per cent of their total average assets as interests on loans, but your society recorded 17.7 per cent, which shows that some borrowers failed to repay their loans on schedule,” he stated.
According to him, the union’s profitability ratio should have been six per cent minimum of its total average assets “but you scored 4.80 per cent of your total average assets”.
Mr Anyigba was, however, happy that the union’s savings balance had increased from GH¢181,737 to GH4262,620 for the year under review.
“Ideally, it is expected that members will keep building up their savings figure to enable them to contract heavy loans for productive purposes,” he noted.
The manager urged the union to ensure a sound capital base for its sustenance.
“You must, therefore, be guided by a growing membership rate of at least 25 per cent, regular savings by members, prompt loans repayment, operational cost efficiency, creation of reserves payment of attractive interests on members’ savings and appreciable dividend on shares,” he stressed.
The Board Chairman of the union, Mr Thomas Azuure, announced that more than GH¢200,000 was given out as loans to its members in 2007 while its membership grew from 337 in 2003 to 662 in 2007.
He stated that acquisition of land at Chang-Naa-Yilli was a top priority.
Mr Azuure, however, urged all UDS staff to join the union, adding that “we have more than 1,000 names on the payroll”.
“There has been a continuous demand from members for bigger loans that could enable them to undertake productive ventures but rampant and unplanned withdrawal of savings has reduced our lending ability,” Mr Azuure further noted.
According to him, the board had increased the minimum monthly savings from GH¢5 to GH¢10.


Story: Vincent Adedze, Kasuliyili

THE Tolon-Kumbungu District Assembly in the Northern Region has set aside GH¢16,258 to support malaria control, environmental health and sanitation programmes in the district this year.
The measure is to reduce malaria and other environmentally related diseases in the area to the barest minimum.
The District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Wahab Suhiyini Wumbei, made this known in a speech read on his behalf at a durbar at Kasuliyili to mark this year’s World Malaria Day celebration.
The event was on the theme: “Creating a malaria free home” and was aimed, among other objectives, at engaging communities as active partners in the fight against malaria.
The Ghana Health Service (GHS) organised the event, in collaboration with Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) and the Baptist Child Development Programme (BCDP), both non-governmental organisations.
Mr Wumbei announced that the assembly was also collaborating with the CCFC and other development partners to put up a health facility in the area under the government’s health for all programme.
“The district assembly, under its District-Wide Assistance Programme, will construct a 10-seater KVIP toilet for the area; it is my hope that all these projects and programmes will be successfully implemented before the close of the year,” he stated.
According to the DCE, the assembly and its development partners would soon embark on a “district-wide mosquito spraying exercise in order to control prevalence of malaria in the communities”.
The Country Director of CCFC, Mrs Sanatu Nangtoma, said a number of activities had been outlined in the seven-year strategic plan of the CCFC.
According to her, the plan would focus more on children in the years ahead and empower communities through sensitisation programmes to help control malaria and other diseases in the beneficiary communities.
Mrs Nangtoma further indicated that over the years, her outfit had embarked on residual spraying, distribution of treated nets to vulnerable children, anti-malaria drug therapy, and community clean-up campaigns, to ensure environmental cleanliness and prevention of malaria.
The Programme Co-ordinator of BCDP, Mr James Amadu Kinyakib, stated that with support from CCFC, his outfit had over the years been complementing the efforts of the GHS to help fight diseases, especially malaria, in the communities.


Story: Vincent Adedze, Tamale

THE Northern Regional Director of Education, Mr John Hobenu, has expressed concern about the rampant use of computers and Internet facilities to commit cyber crimes by the youth.
“It is common to see our youth engaged in unlawful acts such as child pornography, paedophilic activities, prostitution, credit card fraud and chat scam with computers and the Internet in all parts of the country; and these must be checked immediately,” Mr Hobenu stressed.
The director stated this at the 2008 Northern Region Heads of Schools Summit in Tamale at the weekend.
It had the theme, “Transforming schools through electronic learning”.
The summit was, among other objectives, aimed at exploring new ways of transforming schools in the modern technological world.
Participants, including Information and Communication Technology (ICT) experts, discussed such issues as electronic learning centres, schools management solutions, building a world-class school and financing school projects through leasing.
The Ministry of Education, the Ghana Education Service (GES) and e-toys and more, an organisation that is into providing technological solutions for the educational needs of children and schools, jointly organised it.
According to Mr Hobenu, “the spate of these crimes have the potential of breaking into the electronic learning programmes in schools, business organisations, and banking institutions, thereby derailing all the benefits of ICT”.
He suggested the institutionalisation of regional child development centres that should be equipped “with carefully selected equipment, computers, and other science-based teaching and learning materials in all regions to give meaning to the mainstreaming of kindergartens in basic schools”.
He, however, pointed out that the equipment, materials and the kind of training at these centres should be crafted in line with the country’s vision and policy direction, which should be scientific and technologically oriented.
“I, therefore, entreat all stakeholders, civil society, non-governmental organisations, corporate bodies and the government to influence positively our policy direction as a nation towards the production of a workforce in tandem with the contemporary world,” the director noted.
The Executive Vice-President of e-toys and more, Mrs Theresa Sackey, observed that “this year’s schools summit is taking place at a very important time when we expect our schools to use this platform in preparation for the electronic learning conference this month”.
According to Mrs Sackey, her outfit decided to help upgrade “our electronic learning centres with very powerful educational software and broadband Internet facilities for effective school management”.
She further observed that the summit provided a unique forum to help school gain access to the important global trends in education in order to help schools effect the necessary changes for better results in the education sector.
Touching on the declining performance of the Tamale metropolis in the national examinations league table, Mrs Sackey expressed optimism that the situation could be transformed for the better, if more pragmatic measures and policies were put in place.

Friday, May 9, 2008


Story: Vincent Adedze, Tamale

VICTIMS of a recent rainstorm that occurred at Kantamanto, a peri-urban community in the Tamale Metropolis, have appealed to the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) in the Northern Region to urgently provide them with some relief items to ameliorate their difficulties.
The appeal followed the destruction of 16 houses by the rainstorm that hit the area last month, resulting in the displacement of the victims and their families who are currently staying with friends and relatives in other parts of the metropolis.
The spokespersons for the affected persons, Messrs Nasara Salifu and Muniru Abass, told the Daily Graphic in Tamale that they sent a report to the regional offices of the NADMO but till now nothing had been done about their situation.
“We would, therefore, like to send an SOS message to NADMO, non-governmental organisations, and public-spirited organisations to come to our aid”, they appealed.
They expressed regret that currently most of the affected persons had been “disorganised as they have no rooms to stay in”.
“Please we are making this passionate appeal through your medium to enable us get quick relief in order to help us rehabilitate our homes”, Messrs Salifu and Abass stressed.
When contacted, the Regional Coordinator of NADMO, Alhaji Alhassan Mahamoud, stated that his outfit had sent a report to Accra for the appropriate action to be taken to help bring relief to the people.
He assured the affected community that as soon as “we get the green light from Accra we will support and bring relief to you”.
Alhaji Mahamoud, however, advised the community to contact the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly (TAMA) to solicit for help while waiting for NADMO’s intervention.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Story: Vincent Adedze, Karaga

Healthcare providers and other stakeholders in the health sector have expressed concern over what they termed “the high infant mortality rates in the country”, describing it as unacceptable.
According to health experts, malnutrition among children under five years is a major contributory factor to the problem, which is equally preventable.
Stakeholders in the health sector have, therefore, advised parents and school authorities to, among other things, ensure that children take in foods such as beans, fish, eggs, meat, green leaves, yellow-coloured fruits and vegetables to enhance the health status of the children.
Continuous breast-feeding from zero to two years among children has also been advocated as a panacea to reducing malnutrition and infant mortality rates in the country to the barest minimum.
According to the Ghana Health Service, currently, more than half of all child deaths in Ghana have malnutrition as the underlying cause and that phenomenon contributes to the high under-five infant mortality rates of 111 per 1,000 live births in the country. Additionally, about a quarter of all children under five years are underweight while a third are stunted.
In view of the debilitating effect of malnutrition on child survival, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in collaboration with the Nutrition Unit of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has developed an evidence-based intervention under the Essential Nutrition Action (ENA) to help improve the lot of children.
According to the Field Director of the Tamale Office of the UNICEF, Dr Yasmin Hague, “It has been proven that the ENA helps to reduce mortality rates among children under five by at least 25 per cent”.
According to him, it was unacceptable for 65,000 children under five years to die every year in the country from preventable diseases and limited access to basic necessities of life such as good food, potable water and sanitation.
“UNICEF supports the introduction of ready to use therapeutic food for severely malnourished children in regions such as Northern, Upper West, Central and Greater Accra ,” Dr Haque stated.
The Minister of Health, Major Courage Quashigah(retd), in a speech read on his behalf at a durbar at Karaga to inaugurate this year’s national Child Health Promotion Week, said a new health policy had been developed to encourage low fat diet, eating of fruits and vegetable and exercising the body regularly to help develop the health of both adults and children.
The Week was instituted in 2004 to, among other things, reduce under five morbidity and mortality rates, increase awareness about interventions, as well as educate the public about pertinent child health issues. It had the theme, “Good nutrition: A key to child growth and development”, with a slogan, “You are what you eat” as part of the educational campaigns to increase awareness about the need for the communities to make nutrition a top priority.
Major Quashigah hinted that “the ministry of health will continue to provide funding for the Vitamin A Supplementation Programme in order to increase coverage and improve child survival”. He, however, expressed regret that after several decades of implementation of various interventions to help improve on child health in the country, children were still confronted with numerous social and health challenges.
He said the importance of exclusive breast-feeding could not be over-emphasised, since infants who were breast-fed show better responses to immunisation and the breast milk also protected them from diarrhoea and upper respiratory tract infections.
The minister entreated stakeholders to include regenerative health and nutrition messages in all interactions with the public.
The District Chief Executive for Karaga, Mr Baba Wahab, said field data on nutrition baseline survey conducted by the Karaga District Health Directorate revealed that 53.3 per cent of children under five in the district were malnourished and out of that, 7.8 per cent were severely malnourished.

Monday, May 5, 2008


STORY: Vincent Adedze, Tamale

THE Tamale Metropolitan Director of Education, Mrs Alexandra Sopimeh, has bemoaned the declining performance of the metropolis on the National League Table in examinations over the past five years.
“In 2003 the directorate was 29th on the national league table and went down to the 60th position in 2004, to the 62nd in 2005 to the 88th in 2006 and in 2007 the directorate took the 91st position; what is really happening?” Mrs Sopimeh asked.
Speaking at this year’s stakeholders’ forum of the Metropolitan Directorate of Education on the Annual Performance Report in Tamale, the director attributed the unsatisfactory performance of the metropolis to lack of conducive environment to enhance teaching and learning, inadequate infrastructure particularly office accommodation and classroom blocks, poor motivation for teachers among other issues.
The forum which was organised by the Metropolitan Directorate of Education and sponsored by ActionAid Ghana, a non-governmental organisation, discussed among other issues enrolment, state of infrastructure in schools, monitoring and supervision, as well as academic performance.
Mrs Sopimeh observed that “for the past five years teachers in the metropolis have not been motivated partly because the directorate had difficulties in the procurement of materials for the organisation of the annual best teacher/worker awards”.
“An officer needs a comfortable working environment to give of his or her best just like a pupil needs a spacious classroom to feel free to learn; unfortunately for us, office accommodation in the metropolis is a big problem”, she noted.
The director expressed regret that due to the lack of a conducive office accommodation, the directorate had been housed in 12 rooms in the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly office block with a workforce of 74.
“Nobody has a permanent sitting place or table while circuit supervisors have nowhere to write their reports; at best anybody takes any vacant seat. In other words, the situation has become first come first served”, Mrs Sopimeh stated.
She acknowledged that although the Northern Region generally lagged behind other regions in terms of education it was not acceptable for the metropolis to lag behind other districts in the region.
Presenting the Annual Performance Report, the Assistant Director of Planning and Budget of Education, Mr Samuel Awugah, stated that the number of trained teachers in the metropolis was “critically low compared to the enrolment”.
“Two hundred and forty-four out of the total 945 teachers at both the public and private kindergartens are trained; how best can we overcome this?” he asked.
Mr Awugah further noted that the pupil-teacher ratio had fallen from 19:1 in 2006/07 to 18:1 in 2007/08.
He attributed the situation to the influx of teachers into the metropolis due to the availability of basic social amenities in the area as compared to the nearby districts.


Story: Vincent Adedze, Tamale

Real Tamale United (RTU) yesterday tamed visiting Gamba All Blacks when they defeated them two goals to nil at the new Tamale Stadium in the ongoing Onetouch Premier League competition.
Although the visitors proved a hard nut to crack, particularly in the first department of the game, RTU took the lead in the 43rd minute through Andoh Wilson.
RTU’s Fatawu Mohammed fetched the leader in the 51st minute when he utilised a pass from Abdul Salam Alhassan and tapped it inside the net.
The introduction of Abdul-Gaani Yahaya and Abdul Salam changed the pattern of the game as they created perfect chances for RTU.
All Blacks’ offside traps worked to their advantage, particularly in the first department of the game, when they stopped the RTU attackers from utilising their chances.
Earlier in the first department of the game, RTU got some good chances but they failed to convert them.

Friday, May 2, 2008


STORY: Vincent Adedze, Tamale

THE acting Northern Regional Commander of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Mr Baba Salami, has entreated foreigners residing in the Tamale metropolis to regularise their stay and acquire the necessary work permit to avoid breaching the immigration laws of the land.
He stated that the enforcement unit of his outfit would leave no stone unturned to ensure that foreigners abided by immigration laws.
Mr Salami said this during a presentation of two motorbikes to the GIS at a short ceremony in Tamale. The bikes, valued at GH¢1,400, were provided by Motor King Limited, dealers in motorbikes and tricycles manufactured in China under the brand name “MK”.
The facilities are to support the GIS in its operations in the area. The director further indicated that the enforcement unit had drawn up a programme to sensitise the public as well as departments and other establishments to immigration laws.
According to him, “it is necessary that foreigners renew and acquire their work permits and regularise their business documents to facilitate their stay in Ghana and for that matter the north”.
The Head of the Enforcement Unit of the GIS, Mr Thomas Adjei, equally entreated foreigners to seek expert advice from the GIS regarding the regularisation of their stay in the country and their business operations.
He expressed gratitude to the company for the gesture and hoped other organisations in the metropolis would “emulate this shining example”.
The Managing Director of Motor King Limited, Madam Nong Gao, who donated the bikes, said the gesture was to reciprocate the co-operation and support that the GIS gave to her outfit that resulted in the smooth establishment and running of the company.
“We established this company since June last year and patronage has been encouraging; the motorbike industry in Tamale is brisk because most residents use this facility as transport,” she further noted.
Madam Gao appealed to prospective foreign investors to always seek advice from the Immigration Service regarding the acquisition of their work and business permits.
According to her, the company assembles the motorbikes in Tamale and sells them to individuals and companies in the three northern regions.
She equally expressed gratitude to residents including chiefs and opinion leaders for “tremendous support and hospitality accorded us in this area”.


Story: Vincent Adedze, Tamale

PARTICIPANTS at a day’s national consultative forum in Tamale on Oil and Gas Development have called for an integrated national policy on oil and gas to effectively regulate activities in the sector to ensure the rapid growth of the economy.
They equally stressed the need for the government to evolve strategies to put on hold any attempt to privatise the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) and to protect local oil companies from being overshadowed by their foreign counterparts.
“All political parties must also join in the discussions to make inputs into drafting a healthy national policy that would enhance the country’s fortunes particularly in the oil and gas sector,” the participants further pointed out.
The forum was organised by the Northern Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) and was aimed at involving stakeholders in discussions on oil and gas issues to facilitate the development of a comprehensive national policy for the sector.
Participants at the forum included oil and gas experts, parliamentarians,district chief executives, traditional rulers, politi-cians, representatives of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and technocrats.
They noted that issues such as payment of royalties and capacity building of personnel, must be critically looked at if the country was to derive maximum benefits from the sector to boost the economy.
The Member of Parliament for Tamale South, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, stated that local oil companies, as well as the Bulk Oil Storage and Transport (BOST), should be expanded and protected against giant foreign oil companies that had the tendency of ruining the future of “our local companies”.
A Member of the Council of State and the Paramount Chief of the Kpasinkpe Traditional Area, Naa Professor John S. Nabila, emphasised the need for proper vetting and screening of personnel that would be entrusted with various duties regarding the oil exploration.
“Let us not be self-centred but honest and selfless so as to ensure that we derive maximum benefits from the oil exploration in this country,” he stated.
The Regional Director of Food and Agriculture, Mr Sylvester Adongo, stressed the need for more capital to be injected into other sectors of the economy particularly agriculture.
“We need to diversify the economy and ensure that our quest for oil exploration and land use does not affect farming activities and the country’s resolve to increase food production,” he pointed out.
The Regional Minister, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, noted that the region had “almost inexhaustible deposits of lime from Buipe in Central Gonja all through to Daboya in the West Gonja District; Brazilians tried exploiting these but probably due to lack of investment capability they abandoned the site”.
“Various governments of Ghana since colonial times had made strenuous efforts to explore the possibility of discovering oil in the country including places like Yendi, Nasia and elsewhere in the north,” the minister further observed.
The Deputy Director in charge of Environmental Assessment and Audit of the EPA, Mr Ebenezer Appah Sampong, who briefed participants on the draft report on the national forum on oil and gas development, said there was the need for the establishment of a stabilisation fund to absorb possible shocks in case of donor funds withdrawal when oil revenues started accruing to Ghana.