Friday, October 31, 2008


THE Volta River Authority (VRA) has donated a cheque for GH¢10,000 to alleviate the suffering of disaster victims in northern Ghana.
It is also envisaged that the gesture would help rehabilitate the victims, most of whom had lost their means of livelihood through the floods that occurred during the latter part of last year.
The Director in charge of Special Duties of the VRA, Mr Kofi Asante, who made the presentation in Tamale, expressed his outfit’s determination to partner the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and other institutions in managing flood situations in the three northern regions.
“We also want to demonstrate that we care for the communities that suffer from disasters,” the director stated.
He called for long-term strategic framework, including intensive public education campaigns to minimise the effects of floods.
Mr Asante stressed the need for the development of early warning mechanisms as a strategy to curb the devastating effects of floods.
According to him, the VRA and its counterpart in Burkina Faso, Sonabel, had evolved a long-term strategy to exchange information and intelligence on the rainfall pattern and its impact on the water level in dams.
Mr Asante observed that the effects of the spillage of the Bagre Dam in Burkina Faso had not been devastating on communities in the north this year because of early warning mechanisms and the intensive public education on the exercise in communities in flood-prone communities.
Earlier on, the director led a seven-member delegation from the VRA, including the Northern Area Manager of the Northern Electrification Department (NED), Mr Bukari Danladi, to call on the Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris.
Alhaji Idris who received the cheque on behalf of the beneficiaries, thanked the company for the gesture.
He commended the VRA for taking keen interest in ameliorating the suffering of the victims, and urged other public-spirited individuals and organisations to emulate the gesture.


THE quest for the creation of a conducive environment to mitigate land degradation and promote sustainable land management in northern Ghana depends to a large extent on the capacities of farmers in the area to understand and appreciate the nitty-gritty of land issues.
For that reason, agricultural scientists and researchers have teamed up and evolved effective strategies aimed at updating the knowledge and skills of farmers in the north as a way of building their capacities to help address land degradation so as to impact positively on agricultural biodiversity in the area in particular and the country at large.
It is gratifying to note that farmers in the northern part of the country have been given that opportunity to help address the challenges of land degradation through the implementation of the Sustainable Land Management for Mitigating Land Degradation (SLAM) project that was started in the country in 2005.
To date, the SLAM project has developed a methodology based on joint farmer-scientist perceptions for identifying and prioritising threatened lands, and criteria for identifying sustainable land management.
Other strategies developed under the SLAM project was educating farmers on good and best land management practices applied to recover degraded lands, protect those lands under threat, and enhance their ecological functions, agricultural production capacity and improve on rural livelihoods.
Major training for farmers in the north under the project include composting, weed management, nursery and plantation management, soil and water management, catchments protection and the identification of contours and construction of buns on the contours.
This training was followed by the planting of several thousands of seedlings in the Tolon-Kumbungu and Garu-Tempane Districts of the Northern and Upper East regions.
It is worthy to note that in the four years of its existence, SLAM has contributed significantly to sustainable ecosystem-based integrated land management for greater ecosystem stability, enhanced food security and improved rural livelihoods.
The project was based on research work in Ghana’s major agro-ecological zones.
It was funded mainly by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) executed by the government and implemented by a United Nations Development Programme-supported consortium of scientists from various institutions led by the University of Ghana, Legon in Accra and the University for Development Studies (UDS) in the northern Ghana.
At Nyankpala in the Tolon-Kumbungu District recently, farmers were sensitised to the best sustainable land management practices as part of the SLAM project.
The aim was, among other objectives, to discuss best land management practices identified by scientists, researchers and farmers.
The beneficiary farmers admitted at the end of the interaction that they had had fruitful discussions that enabled them to understand the issues involved in land management and pledged to contribute meaningfully to the realisation of the objectives of the SLAM project.
Undoubtedly, land degradation threatens the global environment and humanity, especially through deforestation, biodiversity loss and climate warming.
In Ghana, 70 per cent of the land experiences severe heat and gully erosion, which have become the major constraint on agricultural productivity.
Biodiversity lost through deforestation and land degradation amounts to four per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
At the national and local levels, accelerated degradation threatens livelihoods, especially through soil erosion.
Explaining the benefits of the SLAM project on northern Ghana vis-a-vis farmers’ role in reducing land degradation, the National Project Co-ordinator, Professor Edwin Gyasi, stated that it was imperative for farmers to plant more trees by applying such farm practices as mixed farming and mixed cropping.
He stressed that farmers must avoid applying the same practices every planting season as they had the tendency of degrading land resources.
“Climate change poses a lot of threat to the survival of mankind; that is why the natural ecosystem must be improved as well as modifying the way we manage land resources,” he noted.
Professor Gyasi further explained that improvement in the quality of land regarding soil fertility, bio-diversity, water condition and general vegetative cover would ultimately enhance agricultural productivity, increase income levels for farmers and improvement in their quality of life.
“The expected reduction in the loss of bio-diversity should also help make available more fuel wood, wildlife, medicinal plants and improvement in the aesthetic quality of the land,” he noted.
The co-ordinator indicated that the extreme dry season, excessive rainfall patterns, tidal waves and other extreme weather conditions could be reduced to the barest minimum if farmers and other stakeholders took land degradation issues seriously.


Life has bounced back at the offices of both the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) located at Sabondjida in Tamale after the scenes of suspected arson in September.
The two political parties have refurbished their offices, thanks to their respective party sympathisers. Sympathisers of both the NPP and NDC, used to gather at the two offices to interact with one another until that unfortunate incident occurred.
However, after the offices were put in shape by both parties, activities at both offices have returned to normal with members of both parties interacting as usual.
One fascinating thing about the offices is that they are places where sympathisers of both parties gather to eat together, chat, play Oware, draughts and super card, among other games.
Sympathisers of both parties go as far as supporting one another financially as brothers and not as enemies. So the pertinent question one could ask is, Why the arson on the offices?
The Chairman of Colba House and an NPP activist, Mr Nabal Abdulai, said all political parties often came to the NPP office to interact with them.
He alleged that the unfortunate incident that occurred was not perpetrated by people from the vicinity where the party’s office was located.
“This is where we all gather to take decisions to help turn around the party’s fortunes, but at the same time, we also interact with our brothers from all the other parties including the NDC”, he added.
According to Mr Abdulai, the party office had been in existence many years before the country’s democratisation and that socialisation among them, no matter their political affiliation, had been the status quo for a very long time.
“For me there is nothing wrong with people belonging to different political parties because it is their right but the issue is how best to comport ourselves so that we do not allow our emotions to override our reasoning”, he further asserted.
Touching on the renovation work, the chairman said that so far the party had spent GH¢3,500 to refurbish the office. He said they were able to raise the money through donations from party sympathisers in London as well as in Tamale. He made particular mention of the Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr Mohammed Amin Adam, who, he said, equally supported efforts in putting the office in good shape.
“We are left with the laying of carpets, tables and chairs, the ceiling work and extension of power to the office as well as procurement of a television set”, Mr Abdulai said.
The NDC office which was once the Northern Regional office of the NDC had virtually been turned into a warehouse for some of the market women who keep their wares there at the end of the day for safety.
However, after the incident activities there had returned to normal with people from all other political parties gathering there to interact and play various games. The office is now being used as an office for NDC Youth Coalition activities.
The NDC is putting finishing touches to its office and the embossment of party symbols on the building is yet to be done.
According to Alhaji Abukari Chendiba, an elder and overseer of the office, some of the building materials were procured on credit. He further stated that because both the NDC and NPP activists are “brothers and not political enemies”, some NPP activists extended a hand of support to them donating bags of cement.
Alhaji Chendiba said the NDC had procured a new 21-inch television set after the old one at the office got burnt in the suspected arson.
The arson at both offices left in its trail destruction of property running into several thousands of Ghana cedis. Twelve sewing machines, two deep freezers, a television set, chairs and tables, spare parts and other valuable items were damaged in the process.
No casualties were recorded in that incident and no arrests had been made in connection with the disturbances.
Both parties had accused each other for allegedly perpetrating the arson.
Activists of both parties have expressed optimism that the election would be peaceful in Tamale.
The beauty of such interaction among all political party sympathisers at the offices must be encouraged and translated into peaceful elections in the December 7 polls.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


THERE is a rift between final-year students and management of the School of Hygiene in Tamale over the non-payment of fees for the 2008/2009 academic year by the students.
In view of this, some students are alleged to have attempted to break into the dormitories to pack their belongings, because the management had prevented the affected students from gaining access to their respective dormitories when school re-opened.
It took the timely intervention of the police to bring the situation under control. The police also managed to prevail on the students to rescind their decision to embark on such illegal acts and rather make known their grievances.
The management, among other punitive measures, also prevented the students from writing their end-of-semester examinations and stopped processing forms for the payment of allowances to the affected students.
The Director of the school, Mr Philip Zori, told the Daily Graphic that the students who were expected to pay GH¢345 as their fees allegedly failed to do so, hence the management’s action.
According to him, the students were earlier informed through a letter, to pay their fees into the school’s account number 3943 at the Tamale branch of the National Investment Bank (NIB) on or before October 24, 2008.
Mr Zori said the continuous failure of students to pay their fees was affecting the smooth running of the school.
He noted that payment of allowances to students had delayed due to some problems, hence the management’s decision that parents and guardians should assist in the payment of the school fees, particularly the feeding fee of GH¢200 per semester.
“I printed letters and carried them to the regional offices of health administration; majority of the students got the letters but they still failed to pay their fees,” he stated.
As a result of the stringent measures put in place by the management, about 30 students had paid the fees.
The director further expressed regret that some of the students went to some FM stations in the metropolis and accused him of being unfair in his dealings with the students.
According to him, the school admitted 300 fresh students for the 2008/2009 academic year, adding that there were 402 final-year students in the school.
A final-year female student who pleaded anonymity said she was not aware of the said amount of fees they were required to pay and she had not received any letter from the school’s management on the deadline for the payment of such fees.
She, however, admitted that some of her mates had refused to pay their feeding fees for the past one year.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


THE scrap industry in the Tamale metropolis is one sector that has the potential to address youth unemployment in the metropolis.
However, those in that industry have little or no support to help boost the sector to address the unemployment challenges facing the youth in the area.
Majority of the residents who are into that business claim that they have not regretted for having ventured into that industry although some of them complain of lack of credit facilities from the banks and other financial institutions to boost their business.
For one thing, scrap dealers in the metropolis have indicated that there is the need for a factory to be located in Tamale to recycle the scrap materials into useful items like iron rods and burglar-proof materials.
This, according to the scrap dealers, would help expand the sector, offer employment to many of the youth and also avoid the reported cheating by their customers in Accra anytime they transact business with them.
Some of the scrap dealers also called on the government to promulgate laws that would regulate the activities of scrap dealers and help the industry to grow rather than allow a few people to destroy it.
Forty-year-old Mr Iddrisu Mohammed is one of the scrap dealers in the metropolis who has been in the business for the past 15 years and he admits that it is lucrative.
His business is located along the Water Works road in the metropolis and has six people working under him. His team comprises steel benders and welders who perform other related jobs.
Scrap dealing was not Mr Mohammed’s main profession. He started as a blacksmith and with time decided to venture into the scrap dealing business as well, since he saw that as more rewarding. He, however, combines his two jobs effectively.
What makes Mr Mohammed unique is the way he uses some of the scrap materials to produce cooking utensils, coal pots, iron rods, metal beds, buckets, watering cans, dustbins and rain water harvesting pipes.
Mr Mohammed told the Daily Graphic that he was living comfortably but stressed that one needed not less than GH¢10,000 to start scrap dealing business, as it is capital-intensive.
“The business has been good and over the years our sales have been increasing. I was selling my aluminium cooking bowls, for instance, for 6Gp each last year but now I sell one for GH¢1.00,” he said.
According to him, patronage of the scrap materials including the products he makes himself has been encouraging in the metropolis.
He said he spent between GH¢1,000 and GH¢1,200 to transport a full load of scrap materials on articulated trucks from Tamale to Accra.
On how he obtained his scrap materials, Mr Mohammed said he bought them from mechanics, construction firms, petrol stations and sometimes he travelled to villages to procure them.
“We do not have the requisite machines and factory here in Tamale to recycle the scrap materials into other products”, he bemoaned.
Mr Fatau Imoro, who is affectionately called “Busy Man”, is an assistant to Mr Mohammed who complained bitterly about the alleged cheating of scrap dealers by their customers in Accra during transactions.
“We therefore entreat our colleagues in this business to join hands with us to form a formidable association that would champion our cause and ensure that we have a fair deal on the job market”, he said.


THE Global Prayer Force, a non-governmental organisation, has inaugurated a public campaign on peace in the Tamale metropolis. It took the form of a video show depicting the negative impact of violence and wars on the development of communities and countries on the African continent.
A good number of residents converged on the central taxi ranks for the campaign that lasted close to two hours.
The founder and executive director of the organisation, Pastor Matthew Osei, called on residents, particularly the youth, to eschew all forms of violence in order to promote peace in the metropolis.
Pastor Osei entreated traditional rulers and residents to make the metropolis a safe haven for investment. He observed that the much talked about power sharing is not the best for our country’s democracy and peace.
According to the pastor, the organisation was made up of both Christians and Muslims and was established in the year 2000.
The founder said that the fact that Christians and Muslims worked harmoniously within the organisation was enough proof that residents could also co-exist peacefully no matter their political and religious backgrounds.
Pastor Osei further appealed to the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly (TAMA) and the Information Services Department (ISD) to formulate effective strategies to intensify the campaign on the need to promote peace in the sprawling metropolis.
“This city is so beautiful that we have to ensure that we protect it so that it develops rapidly,” he advised.


THE automobile industry is one vital sector that propels the economy of any society.
The Tamale metropolis is no exception to this development.
The sprawling city has for the past five years experienced rapid growth in the automobile industry with a growing passion for the latest and sophisticated vehicles among residents. Name any latest model of car found in Accra or Tema and you would be surprised that such vehicles are on the streets of Tamale although they are fewer in number compared to Accra.
Is it the stylish Murano or the VW Tuareg? The new Sports Utility Vehicle (SUVs) like the Ssangyong Actyon and the Toyota RAV4s are all conspicuous on the streets of Tamale. So also are the compact Multi-Purpose Vehicles (MPVs) like the diesel-powered Opel Zafira, Toyota Corolla, Nissan Primera, and Opel Astra, which all make up a significant number of the saloon hatchback and caravan types of vehicles owned by residents in the metropolis.
However, before the automobile industry can effectively drive the economy, much depends on effective maintenance and good motor mechanics.
For one thing, just as residents are now purchasing more and more sophisticated vehicles so are the car mechanics in the metropolis also updating their knowledge to be abreast of the rapid technological advancements in the automobile industry.
Indeed, a significant number of car mechanics in the metropolis have updated their knowledge more effectively now than they were doing some five years ago, but some of them too are lagging behind in keeping pace with the modernisation of the automobile industry.
Some customers and residents have admitted that a significant number of mechanics in the metropolis are now updating their skills in consonance with the rapid modernisation of the automobile industry.
They also acknowledged that some of the mechanics need to update their knowledge and skills to be able to repair some of the sophisticated vehicles owned by residents.
A car mechanic is one who specialises in the maintenance, repair and sometimes modification of automobiles. A mechanic may be knowledgeable in working on all parts of a variety of cars or might specialise either in a specific area or make of a car.
Before he repairs a car, the mechanic gives the customer a quotation or does so after inspecting the damaged part.
Preventive maintenance is also a part of the mechanic’s job but this is not possible in the case of vehicles that are not regularly maintained.
With the rapid advancement in technology, the mechanic’s job has evolved from purely what is mechanical to include electronics.
Because vehicles today possess complex computer and electronic systems, mechanics need to have a broader base of knowledge than was the case in the past.
In Tamale, a good number of mechanics have specialised in working on one part of a vehicle or another. There are mechanics who are specialists in repairing only the braking system of a vehicle, while others have specialised in fuel injector. Some of them have modern equipment to detect fault on injector systems.
Mechanics who specialise in the repair of diesel engine vehicles are also available while others specialise in the repair of petrol engine vehicles only. Another category of mechanics that can be found in the metropolis are those who specialise in Japanese made vehicles like Toyota and Nissan while others specialise in German cars like Benz, Opel and VWs.
There are yet others who do repair works on any model.
It is heart-warming to note that some mechanics in the metropolis have in their own small way been browsing the Internet to learn new things and broaden their knowledge on a wide range of vehicles, particularly the highly sophisticated ones.
A mechanic at Jisonayili, a suburb of Tamale affectionately called Dan by his customers, is one of the seasoned mechanics in the metropolis who repairs all kinds of vehicles, be they petrol engine or diesel. In other words this mechanic is “technologically alive”.
Recently, some of the customers told the Daily Graphic that they had impressed upon Dan to name his shop “The Last Stop Workshop”.
No matter the extent of damage on one’s vehicle this mechanic has the time and the know-how for diagnostics of very complex car problems and making sure they are resolved once and for all.
Dan told the Daily Graphic that anytime he had jobs he ensured that he completed all of them on schedule to enable him to have time for research.
“As for me, no matter the level of damage to your vehicle l will ensure that when l repair it you don’t keep coming back to my shop within a few days but to enjoy your driving for months,” he said.
One fascinating thing about this mechanic is that he takes his time to systematically assess the problem and not resort to “trial and error” as is usually the case with some mechanics.
There are mechanics who can tell when something goes wrong in an engine by simply listening to its sound. Sule, another mechanic whose shop is located around the Next Door Drinking Spot on the Kalpohini road, is very good at that. He has specialised in the repair of Opel cars. Those who patronise his services in the metropolis say he is sharp in detecting faulty engines by listening to the sound.
In spite of the significant strides made by most mechanics to be abreast of automobile engineering, others have been found wanting in this regard.
At present the greatest challenge facing most mechanics is the repair of diesel-powered vehicles.
Some mechanics have therefore suggested to public-spirited individuals and non-governmental organisations to organise workshops and other programmes to update their knowledge, since that would enable them to be more efficient in the repair of such vehicles to contribute their quota to the growth of the economy in the metropolis.
With residents now acquiring more and more sophisticated vehicles, the mechanics need to update their knowledge to make them more competitive on the job market as residents will keep changing their taste and preferences for as long as the manufacturers keep changing car models and technology.


THE management of Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) has expressed its determination to ensure fair and balanced reportage in the run-up to the December 7 polls.
It has therefore charged all regional correspondents and reporters to ensure that they meet those requirements as a way of contributing the company’s quota to a successful and peaceful election this year.
The General Manager (GM), Newspapers of the GCGL, Mr Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh, stated this during an interaction with the editorial staff of the company from the three northern regions in Tamale on Saturday.
The interaction formed part of management’s decision to sensitise the editorial staff to emerging issues in the political landscape as well as the need to adopt pragmatic strategies to deal with them.
Mr Boadu-Ayeboafoh said it was imperative for journalists in the region to uphold and promote multiparty democracy.
He noted that this year’s elections posed enormous challenges to regional correspondents and reporters since there were eight flag bearers vying for the presidency.
Mr Boadu-Ayeboafoh further entreated the editorial staff to focus on balanced and fair reportage.
“This therefore requires that we relate fairly to all the political parties and activists without pandering to the interest of any”, he further stressed.
According to him, much as political parties provided the needed platform for linking social groups with the government they must also be kept on their toes.
“Therefore, the electorate must be well-informed since an ill-informed, mal-informed or mis-informed electorate cannot hold their representatives accountable to their mandate,” he stated.
He equally advised the staff to ensure that they minimised the use of adjectives and colouring of stories, particularly describing the crowd and attendance of party rallies.
According to him, such reportage could give the journalist away and risked being tagged as biased or sympathetic towards a particular political party.
The Political Editor of the Daily Graphic, Mr Kobby Asmah, urged reporters and regional editors to contribute more meaningfully to the growth of the paper by reporting accurately and ensuring timeliness in the delivery of stories.
‘We must work with a sense of urgency and commitment to maintain our leading role in the newspaper industry not only in the country but also in the sub-region,’ he advised.
He equally stressed the need for reporters to report on issues that were peculiar to their respective regions in order to boost the circulation of the paper as well as attract front pages.
Mr Asmah indicated that henceforth regional reporters would be required to link up with the Editorial Department in Accra on their daily itinerary in order to meet set targets.
He entreated them to update their respective telephone directories as well as strengthen their news sources to facilitate their work.
“In view of the proliferation of newspapers we must adopt pragmatic attitudes towards our work in order to stay ahead of our competitors,” he stated.


A SUSPECT who has been on the wanted list for the past one and a half years in connection with the alleged murder of one Gazal Fuseini has been arrested by the Tamale Police.
Awal Abudulai, the suspect, was among seven others who were believed to be behind the murder.
He was said to have, however, escaped arrest in 2003 while his alleged accomplices were arrested, prosecuted, acquitted and discharged by the Tamale High Court.
The Northern Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ofosu-Mensah Gyeabour, who made this known to newsmen in Tamale yesterday, said the suspect would be arraigned soon.
According to Mr Gyeabour, the other suspects were acquitted and discharged by the court for lack of evidence. They were Yakubu Alhassan, Rufai Yakubu, Awal Mustapha, Musah Razak, Iddrisu Musah and Jafaru Abdul-Rahman.
Mr Gyeabour explained that in April 2003, there were some disturbances around the Assemblies of God vicinity in Tamale where the deceased lived.
He said that later led to the attack on the deceased by his assailants, compelling him to lock himself up in his room.
His attackers, however, set the room ablaze, leading to his death.
Mr Gyeabour indicated that the suspect would be charged depending on the evidence on the ground.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Kwame Adzagba, the player at the centre of controversy between Real Tamale United (RTU) and Zaytuna United FC over his alleged ineligibility to play for the former has been granted bail by the Police in Tamale.
Police sources say he was arrested and released a few days ago to report at the Police headquarters in Accra tomorrow to assist them in their investigations.
Last August, the Ghana Football Association (GFA) Disciplinary Committee dismissed a protest by Zaytuna against RTU over fielding Adzagba who allegedly played in their crucial last match of the One Touch Premier League without a valid international Transfer Certificate (ITC), residence and work permits as required by the GFA regulations.
Zaytuna further claimed the player was a Togolese national. RTU won the controversial 30th week fixture 2-1 at the Sunyani Coronation Park.
The disciplinary committee held that the player possessed a valid Ghanaian passport which proves that he was a Ghanaian and did not require an ITC as was contended by Zaytuna’s legal team at the hearing.
Zaytuna also claimed the player allegedly registered for two different national associations within the same season with forged documentation and illegal nationality switch.
The Chairman of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of RTU, Mr Kasim Abdallah, in a telephone chat with the Daily Graphic confirmed the story and said he would accompany the player to Accra for further investigation into the matter.
“Last Friday we were informed that Adzagba should be arrested, he was subsequently arrested by the Police but was bailed to appear in Accra on Tuesday for further investigations” Mr Kasim stated.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


AN UNIDENTIFIED man believed to be in his early 30’s was on Monday found hanging on a tree at Kalpohini, a suburb of Tamale.
Residents in the neighbourhood claimed they saw the body around 4:00a.m. when they woke up.
Some of the residents who had gathered around the body told the Daily Graphic that they had never seen the deceased in the area and neither did they know his friends or relations.
As of the time of filing this report, the deceased had still not been identified and the police in Tamale were still investigating the matter.
The Assemblymember of the Kalpohini-Fuo area, Mr Mohammed Awal, told the Daily Graphic that he and residents were still at a loss as to what could have made the man to hang himself.
According to him, he was earlier informed that a woman had claimed the deceased to be her son but when he (the assemblymember) asked her to accompany him to the police station to make a report the woman declined.
Mr Awal said he was later informed that the woman had denied being the deceased’s mother.
The assemblymember, however, observed that the deceased probably came from another area.

GOVT URGED TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE FUNDING ...To improve research in polytechnics (page 11)

THE Ghana Union of Polytechnic Students (GNUPS) has called on the government and the private sector to provide adequate funding to improve research and general development of polytechnics in the country.
The union said this would help bridge the technological gap between the country and developed ones in this “rapid scientific era”.
The President of the GNUPS, Mr Abass Salifu, made the call at the 31st annual national congress of the union in Tamale.
It was on the theme “Election 2008: The role of the polytechnic”.
The five-day congress discussed such issues as students leadership and politics, time management of polytechnic graduates, tribalism, nepotism and the effect on the country and an assessment of the quality of the Higher National Diploma (HND).
GNUPS is the legitimate mouthpiece for polytechnic students. With a student membership of 45,000 nation-wide, the union had a mandate to contribute meaningfully to issues of national concern.
Mr Salifu observed that improvement on infrastructure in the polytechnics without a corresponding adequate human resource base was not the best.
“While we appreciate the efforts of the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) in providing infrastructure in the polytechnics, we also call for greater attention of the government towards the provision of adequate resources for the institutions,” the president stressed.
Mr Salifu indicated that GNUPS had developed a five-year strategic plan for the union.
The plan, according to him, would review the approach of GNUPS to its challenges from strikes and demonstrations to negotiations and dialogue.
He said the plan also sought to pursue quality education in the polytechnics, adding that “We will also collaborate with external bodies in tackling global warming”.
The president intimated that efforts to dialogue and negotiate for the reinstatement of seven dismissed students from the Takoradi Polytechnic seemed to have proved futile and as such relations between the GNUPS and management of Takoradi Polytechnic were not encouraging.
The Rector of the Tamale Polytechnic, Alhaji Dr Seidu Yakubu Peligah, noted that products of polytechnics provided the needed middle level manpower for national development.
The Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, in a speech read on his behalf, called on the leadership of GNUPS to collaborate with the polytechnic authorities to flush out students who engaged in all forms of social vices.
He observed that the Tamale Polytechnic had benefited from nine GETFund projects including an administration block, a library and a four-storey girls hostel.


FOUR hundred conductors of the Metro Mass Transit Limited (MMT) have been dismissed for misappropriating funds of the company over the past one year.
The dismissals were part of management’s intensive campaign to halt such negative practices and other undisciplined behaviour among members of staff and management that were impacting negatively on the MMT’s image, revenue generation efforts and general operations.
The Managing Director (MD) of the MMT, Mr Hens Visschers, made this known to newsmen at a press briefing in Tamale yesterday as part of his duty tour of the Northern Region to acquaint himself with the challenges facing the sector in the area.
Mr Stephen Yeboah, the Human Resource Manager of the MMT, as well as Sheila Hammond and Patience Adaworoma, both at the communications department of the company, accompanied Mr Visschers on the tour.
He, however, could not tell so far the amount of money involved in the scandal but stressed that management would continue the “onslaught on theft until we nip these negative practices in the bud”.
According to the MD, as part of measures to halt “ticket malpractices in our operations, we have introduced mystery guests and inspectors and we have realised that theft has reduced to the barest minimum”.
Mr Visschers also enumerated some plans the company had drawn up for the Northern Region, which he said included the introduction of new buses, the development of a new bus terminal in Tamale, as a way of reducing the “tension between the Ghana Private Road Transport Union and my outfit”.
He explained that between now and next year, the company hoped to ensure, among other things, road safety, fuel efficiency, halt in theft cases, construction of destination bill boards, and reducing loading times.
He announced that management had introduced a Vehicle Tracking System (VTS) where the destination and speed of buses would be known by station managers through a computerised system, adding that for now the system had been installed in only three of its buses.
He further explained that management would soon introduce the system in 621 buses nation-wide as a measure to check speeding and other negative practices by both drivers and conductors.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Story: Vincent Adedze

A Lecturer at the Animal Science Department of the University for Development Studies (UDS), Dr Herbert Dei, has called on students not to allow politicians to use them for their parochial interests.
He said the country’s body politic had, over the years, been polarised, at the detriment of fostering national cohesion, adding that students must not be part of that divisive tendency.
Dr Dei made the call during a special ceremony at Nyankpala in the Tolon-Kumbungu District of the Northern Region to welcome 40 fresh students into the UDS branch of the Volta Region Students Association of Ghana (VORSAG).
The occasion was also used to raise funds for the activities of the association.
Established in 2000, the UDS branch of VORSAG currently has a total membership of 220.
The lecturer pointed out that students who were the future leaders of the country must avoid “the politics of divisive tendencies” that was not good for the country’s democracy.
Dr Dei further stressed the need for residents of the Volta Region to unite for the accelerated development of their respective communities and the nation at large.
“The most important resource we have in the Volta Region is human and so I urge you to make use of every available opportunity you have and strive for excellence,” he stated.
A senior researcher at the Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI), Dr Kwasi Atokple, urged students to avoid apathy and ensure that they co-existed peacefully with students from other ethnic backgrounds.
The Patron of VORSAG, Mr Paul Adraki, entreated the students not to be discouraged in life, no matter the circumstances in which they found themselves.
The President of UDS-VORSAG, Mr Amekli Yayra, observed that VORSAG was the first regional association to initiate inter-campus week celebrations, saying this year’s event would be hosted by the Wa campus of the UDS.
He mentioned the refusal of members to attend meetings and programmes, as well as their failure to pay dues, as the major challenges facing the association.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


IT has been observed that operators of restaurants in the Tamale Metropolis can increase their daily sales and help boost tourism in the area, if they prepare more local and northern dishes.
Typical local dishes like Tubani (cooked bean flour cake), Tuo Zaafi, porridge (made from millet) with kose, guinea fowl and other dishes are potential sources of tourist attraction.
The Ghana Tourist Board (GTB) in the Northern Region identified the preparation of local dishes as critical to the development of tourism in the sprawling metropolis.
The Regional Manager of the GTB, Mr William Ayambire, told the Daily Graphic that tourists were not looking out for mighty structures depicting tourist attractions but little things like typical local dishes.
According to him, the tourists enjoyed local dishes more than the residents could imagine and so restaurant operators should capitalise on that opportunity to make more money for themselves and help boost the tourism industry.
Mr Ayambire further indicated that the hospitality of residents towards visitors, including tourists in the area, was a " in itself tourist attraction ".
He expressed gratitude that in spite of the numerous negative publicity about the metropolis, some tourists had, against all odds, ventured into the area only to realise that the situation was not as bad as it was portrayed in the media.
But come to think of it, some restaurant operators in the Tamale Metropolis have indicated that they are now facing stiff competition from wayside food vendors.
Although they contend that they prepare palatable and hygienic dishes that should attract high patronage, they are sometimes disappointed about their daily sales.
Madam Esther Konadu, a restaurant operator, who had been in the business in the metropolis for the past 15 years, told this reporter that all was not well with her and her colleagues in that industry.
According to her, operators in the business faced such challenges as high taxes compared to their income levels, high rent charges, utility tariffs and other commitments that had a negative impact on their businesses.
She denied that the discouraging patronage of their services was due to the fact that their dishes were too expensive to meet the pockets of some residents.
"Our businesses are taking a nosedive due to stiff competition; but we are trying to manage and keep our heads above water," Madam Konadu intimated.
Some food vendors, for their part, noted that the issue of attracting high patronage was not about how expensive the dishes were but how delicious the meals were.
They contended that most of the restaurants preferred preparing more intercontinental dishes for which Maggi cubes are used as spices, while the wayside food vendors used "dawadawa" to prepare their food, which they claim gives the food a natural and better taste.
"In any business endeavour, there is the need for healthy competition, which brings about efficiency," one of the vendors stressed.
Some residents, for their part, noted that there was no need for the restaurant operators to argue over that matter in a free market economy.
"I should be able to buy what I want at any given time; I must not be forced to eat food from the restaurants, whether I have enough money or not," one of them stressed.
According to the Ghana Tourist Board, there were 30 restaurants in the metropolis as of last year.
At a recent workshop on business management for women’s groups including restaurant operators, entrepreneurs and businesswomen, which was organised in Tamale, the participants admitted that they needed to update their knowledge and skills in their respective businesses.
The workshop was organised by the Department of Women (DOW) .The participants were taken through such topics as “What is business”; Business purpose and operations; Characteristics of a successful business owner; Basic record keeping; Costing; Pricing; Marketing; Working capital management; and Management in a small business environment.
The Regional Director of DOW, Mr Issahaku Patrick Seidu Zakari-Saa, told the participants to exhibit a high sense of discipline and commitment to enable them to achieve the desired results in their respective businesses.
He told them to consider failures as part of successes and that they should apply what they had learnt in their respective businesses.


THE Department of Rent Control of the Ministry of Works and Housing in Tamale has expressed concern about the alleged refusal of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the metropolis to support its activities including a proposed public education campaign on rent issues in the area.
It has also expressed regret that a proposal by the department to some NGOs for sponsorship to complement the government’s efforts at educating the public on rent issues earlier this year had not received any response.
The officer in charge of the department, Mr Mohammed Dawuni Abdallah, told the Daily Graphic that the situation had affected their quest for an intensive public education on the Rent Act 220 of 1963.
According to him, a significant number of residents were still ignorant about rent laws and the activities of the department.
"My outfit is doing a lot to foster peace between tenants and landlords in the metropolis but because we lack funding we are not able to publicise our activities," he lamented.
Mr Abdallah further expressed disappointment at the inability of the department to raise GH¢2,200 to help refurbish its offices and provide the necessary facilities like fans, office furniture and rewiring of the office building.
He said the lack of co-operation between some landlords and the rent control department, non-registration of vacant premises, disregard for the law on the part of some landlords and inadequate public education on the activities of the rent control department were some of the major challenges facing the department.
The officer cautioned landlords against "harbouring tenants who might turn out to be criminals in your houses without knowing their respective backgrounds including the jobs they do".
He further stressed that under the regulations, landlords were supposed to collect rent advance for a maximum period of six months and a minimum of three months except in cases where the tenant had agreed to pay more than the stipulated six months.
"However, rent advances are paid for newly constructed houses but that should be the first time a tenant is occupying a room after which the tenant should pay the rent on a monthly basis", the officer stated.
According to him, "if a landlord wants to take back his rented premises it must be based on the failure of the tenant to pay his or her rent or where a tenant engages in immoral acts and abuses the privileges given him or her.


THE Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale Central, Mr Inusah Fuseini, has said a government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) will avoid all forms of “selective justice” in its bid to eliminate the polarisation of the country’s body politic.
He noted that effective justice delivery had been relegated to the background for far too long, stressing that the December polls would be a test case for the country’s security agencies to either undermine or justify the confidence reposed in them by Ghanaians.
Mr Fuseini stated this in an interview with media practitioners shortly after he addressed a rally on Sunday to inaugurate the Tamale Central Constituency campaign of the NDC for the 2008 general election.
Teeming supporters of the party took to the streets along the Tamale Central Mosque area where the rally was held, chanting party songs while others rode on their motorbikes and cars draped in NDC paraphernalia.
The MP, who had filed his nomination on the NDC ticket. is contesting the parliamentary seat with six other candidates, including the Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr Mohammed Amin Adam, who is also contesting on the NPP ticket.
He noted that the NDC would win in at least 130 out of the 230 constituencies in the forthcoming general election.
Mr Fuseini intimated that said the party would fight poverty head-on and reduce it to the barest minimum while ensuring that there was peace and harmony among all Ghanaians, irrespective of their political affiliations.
He, therefore, urged the electorate not to do anything that would disrupt the forthcoming elections as their contribution towards a peaceful election. “We have struggled to bring peace to the Tamale metropolis; we are one people with a common destiny, let us all acknowledge that it does not pay to disturb the peace,” the MP stressed.
According to Mr Fuseini “the development projects that the NDC undertook during its tenure in office are there for all to see. The NDC believes in justice and the people know that when we come to power we would deliver effective justice as a prerequisite for peace”.
Touching on alleged stockpiling of weapons by some political parties in the area, the MP emphasised that as far as the NDC was concerned they had been co-operating with the police to nip in the bud such negative tendencies, adding that a lot more depended on the police.
The Northern Regional Propaganda Secretary of the NDC, Alhaji Oumar Farouk, called on the electorate to vote massively for the party’s flag bearer, Professor John Evans Atta Mills, in the general election.


ONE hundred and forty-one parliamentary candidates in the Northern Region have filed their nominations to contest in the 26 constituencies in this year’s election.
Out of that number,13 who are females, are contesting in ten out of the 26 constituencies.
The ten constituencies are Bole-Bamboi, Nalerigu, Damongo-Daboya, Chereponi, Gushiegu, Savelugu, Tamale North, South, Central and Walewale.
In the Kumbungu Constituency where there was an earlier misunderstanding among supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) regarding the alleged decision of the party’s hierarchy to field former vice presidential candidate of the party, Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni, the issue was resolved and the incumbent MP, Alhaji Imoro Yakubu, filed to contest on the ticket of the NDC.
The Regional Director of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mr Sylvester Kanyi, made this known to newsmen in Tamale on Sunday.
According to him, 16 of the aspirants filed as independent candidates.
Parties that fielded parliamentary candidates were the NDC, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the Convention People’s Party(CPP), the People’s National Convention (PNC), the Democratic People’s Party (DPP), the New Vision Party (NVP) and the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP).
He further indicated that Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo and Savelugu constituencies each recorded the highest number of eight aspirants, and added that the Yendi, Yapei-Kusawgu and Kpandai constituencies recorded seven aspirants each.
Mr Kanyi described the whole filing process as peaceful and called on the various political parties and their supporters to translate that into making the elections generally peaceful.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


THE chief of Mamprugu, Nayiri Naa Bohagu Mahami Abdulai Sheriga II, has commended the management and staff of the Baptist Medical Centre (BMC) at Nalerigu for the selfless services it is rendering in the area.
He pointed out that their dedication to duty had helped to save the lives of many patients within and outside the country.
The Nayiri made the commendation after paying his maiden visit to the hospital since he was enskinned about four years ago.
He toured the maternity, female, male surgical, medical and paediatric wards where he made cash donations and gave a quantity of smoked fish to the nutrition unit of the facility to supplement the feeding of children on admission.
Naa Sheriga also visited the Public Health Department of the hospital and wished patients on admission a speedy recovery.
The Nayiri’s visit was also in commemoration of the 50th anniversary celebration of the BMC.
He told the management of the hospital that it was the responsibility of God to give life while that of the BMC was to save lives.
The Nayiri, who is also the President of the Northern Regional House of Chiefs, noted that the hospital had contributed immensely to the improvement in the health status of people in its catchment area.
The Medical Superintendent of the BMC, Dr George Faile Junior, on behalf of management and staff, welcomed the Nayiri and his elders.
According to him, his outfit was happy to have the King and his elders as its guests, especially at a time when the hospital was celebrating its golden jubilee.


COMMERCIAL Agriculture in five districts of the Northern Region will see expansion in the next four years under the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA).
A total of 360 farmer-based organisations (FBOs) comprising 18,000 farmers, as well as 20 service providing entities, have been targeted to be developed within the four-year period to boost commercial agriculture in the beneficiary districts.
They are the Tamale Metropolis and the Tolon-Kumbungu, Savelugu-Nanton, Karaga and West Mamprusi districts.
The Regional Manager of the Northern Agricultural Intervention Zone, Dr Siegfried Kofi Debrah, made this known during the inauguration of the project offices for the Northern Regional Implementation Consultant (RIC) at Nyankpala in the Tolon-Kumbungu District.
The RIC has the overall responsibility for implementing the commercial development of FBOs to help achieve targets in the commercialisation of agriculture under the MCA.
The RIC is being implemented by the International Centre for Soil Fertility and Agriculture Development (IFDC), with support from the Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI), following a contract signed between the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) and the IFDC on March 3, 2008.
According to Dr Debrah, who is also the Country Representative of the IFDC, a five-member committee comprising northern implementation consultants from the IFDC and SARI, among others had been formed to make the project successful.
“We are tooled, ready and eager to go; the Central Management Consultants have developed training curriculum and provided hands-on training to our staff, as well as staff from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture,” he stated.
Dr Debrah admitted that “in all my 20 plus years of managing agricultural projects at the international and national levels, I have never been involved in a project that has generated more interest and more expectation than the Ghana Compact”.
The Project Manager of the Commercialisation of Agriculture of the MiDA, Mr Michael Asomani-Adem, stated that the agricultural programme had been allocated $241 million.
He added that the commercialisation of agricultural project would help train farmers to consider farming as a business entity rather than just for subsistence purposes.
Mr Asomani-Adem said the training included modules in productivity to enhance crop yields, adding that a total of 60,000 farmers would be trained.
Mr Asomani-Adem indicated that beneficiary farmers would be provided with post harvest and irrigation infrastructural facilities to enhance their farming activities.
The Regional Minister, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, in a speech read on his behalf by the Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr Mohammed Amin Adam, noted that most of the beneficiary farmers were running out of patience and wondered whether the MCA project was “not a mirage”.
“I understand this apparent delay occurred because for this very project, things had to be done differently to ensure its success and sustainability,” he observed.
Alhaji Idris expressed optimism that the ceremony and the subsequent events would therefore serve to dispel all fears and doubts about the project.
The Programme Leader of Agribusiness of the IFDC, Madam Marjatta Eilitta, expressed the preparedness of her outfit to make available the needed resources to enhance the smooth implementation of the MCA in northern Ghana.
The Director-General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Dr Abdulai Salifu, said his outfit through the SARI, was in partnership with the IFDC to ensure growth in the areas of crop, soil fertility, irrigation agronomy and post-harvest agriculture.


SUPPORTERS of the incumbent parliamentary candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Kumbungu Constituency in the Northern Region, Alhaji Imoro Yakubu Kakpagu, have protested against the alleged decision of the National Executive Committee of the party to allow Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni to stand as a candidate in the constituency.
Consequently, the supporters have entreated the party hierarchy to resolve the matter or they would advise the incumbent Member of Parliament (MP) to stand as an independent candidate.
The Kumbungu Constituency Secretary of the NDC, Mr Iddrisu Ibrahim, in a telephone chat with the Daily Graphic indicated that a letter signed by the party’s General Secretary reportedly stated that Alhaji Mumuni, a former vice-presidential candidate in the 2004 general election, should stand on the ticket of the NDC.
According to him, the content of the letter did not go down well with the supporters of the incumbent MP, hence their disapproval of Alhaji Mumuni’s candidature.
Mr Ibrahim said the regional executive of the party were liaising with the party hierarchy to resolve the matter before the close of nominations.
The Regional Director of the Electoral Commission, Mr Sylvester Kanyi, told the Daily Graphic that so far the NDC, NPP and CPP had fielded candidates in 12 constituencies out of the 26 constituencies in the region.
For Tamale North, the NDC’s Alhaji Abukari Sumani, had filed his papers as of yesterday while in Tamale Central Mr Mohammed Amin Adam, the Metropolitan Chief Executive, had filed his nomination on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The incumbent MP, Mr Inusah Fuseini, had also filed his papers for the NDC in the Tamale Central Constituency.
For Tamale South, the incumbent MP, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, was the only one who had filed as of yesterday.
According to the director, security had been beefed up in all the constituencies to avert any disturbances.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


INSURANCE companies in the Tamale metropolis have identified ignorance as a major contributory factor to the failure of most drivers and vehicle owners to insure their vehicles against any eventualities.
The companies, however, observed that a significant number of vehicle owners did not see the need to insure their vehicles, which eventually affected them in future, in case of any accidents, fire outbreak or loss of lives.
The Northern Regional Director of the National Insurance Commission (NIC), Mr Issahaku Yakubu, for instance, wondered why some commercial drivers refused to either obtain motor insurance or renew their insurance policies when they expired.
This was during a public awareness programme held at the Tamale Central Taxi Rank to educate both commercial drivers and vehicle owners on the need to insure their vehicles.
It was on the theme: “Making insurance work for you”, organised by the Ghana Insurers Association (GIA).
Mr Yakubu said the programme was a very laudable one, which would ultimately help check flouting of road traffic regulations.
The Tamale Branch Manager of the Quality Life Assurance Company (QLAC), Mr Labrine Braimah, mentioned quality investment, education, funeral support and loan protection plans as some of its life insurance policies.
He wondered why majority of the commercial drivers and their vehicle owners took insurance policies, particularly life insurance policies for granted.
Representatives of other insurance companies like the Enterprise Insurance, Vanguard Assurance, Metropolitan Insurance Company took turns to explain to the public the need for them to insure their properties.
They said insurance policies were necessary as they could help supplement their Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) pension schemes.
“Life insurance will, for instance, provide you with solutions to your medium to long-term financial needs,” they stressed.
They urged vehicle owners to apply for any of the three motor insurance policies, namely the comprehensive, third party-fire and death policies. The third party policy is among the cheapest policies.
Some of the drivers, for their part, complained that they were not aware of any discount that the companies gave in case a beneficiary did not get involved in an accident for a number of years.


THE long-standing misunderstanding and rivalry between the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) and the Metro Mass Transit Limited (MMT) in the Tamale metropolis will soon be over.
This is because the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly (TAMA) will by the close of this month conclude discussions with stakeholders on the allocation of a new site located behind the Aboabo Timber Market in the metropolis to the MMT for the construction of a new bus terminal.
When that is done, the MMT would relocate from its present place of operation within the Savelugu Lorry Station in the Central Business District (CBD) to the new site.
The GPRTU and the MMT operate from the Savelugu station.
Last May, members of the GPRTU threatened to go on strike over what they described as “unfair and unhealthy competition” from the MMT.
The GPRTU also gave a one-week ultimatum to the TAMA to resolve the matter and bring sanity into the transport sector.
Among the arguments advanced by the GPRTU was the need for the MMT to reduce the “relatively high number of its buses plying the routes in the area”.
At a meeting held last February between the GPRTU, the MMT and the TAMA, members of the two transport organisations gave a pledge to work closely devoid of any antagonism.
However, the GPRTU members held a press conference in Tamale a few months after the February meeting, during which they blamed the TAMA and the MMT for their failure to adhere to the resolutions passed at the meeting.
Currently, the MMT operates 40 buses between the metropolis and almost all the 18 districts of the Northern Region.
The MMT started operations in the Tamale metropolis in 2003 with an initial fleet of 10 DAF buses.
A transport owner and driver at the Savelugu Lorry Station, Mr Mohammed Jerico, in an interview with this reporter, alleged that “we most often ply the Tamale-Kumasi route once a month due to the unfair competition from the MMT; but for areas such as Yendi, it takes at least one week for one bus to ply that route all because of those issues we are talking about”.
The Regional Chairman of the GPRTU, Mr Amadu Lamusah, stressed that “a Memorandum of Understanding must be reached between the GPRTU and the MMT to help resolve all outstanding issues and define their operations in the region; but the assembly must speed up the processes to resolve this matter”.
The Officer in charge of the MMT Depot in Tamale, Mr Malik Ibrahim Gombilla, observed that apart from solving the problem of misunderstanding between his company and the GPRTU, the new site would enhance its operations.
He further said the Savelugu Lorry Station was congested as it affected departure time of the MMT buses plying the various routes.
“We currently ply 34 routes within the region and we would soon start plying the Nawuni and Voggu areas. We also intend to ply the Yendi-Kumasi, Tatale-Kumasi, Janga, Mpaha, Tibum as we are expecting new buses,” Mr Gombilla intimated.
According to the officer, the number of buses plying routes such as Bimbilla, Tatale, Chereponi and Saboba would be increased in the near future.
He said the poor road network in the region was a major challenge to his outfit.
Mr Gombilla said due to the increased patronage of its services, the number of staff had increased from 35 in 2003 to the current 162.
When contacted on the issue, the Metropolitan Co-ordinating Director (MCD), Mr Mohammed Baba, said the assembly was currently discussing the matter with the Department of Town and Country Planning, the Lands Commission and the Forestry Department to allocate the new site to the MMT “in the next two weeks”.
He, however, entreated the MMT management to operate in such a way that their operations would not ‘kill’ the businesses of other transport organisations”.


THE development of five tourist attractions located in and around the Mole National Park in the Northern Region has been boosted further with the injection of $250,000 into the sector by the Sustainable Tourism Eliminating Poverty (ST-EP) Foundation.
The attractions are located at Larabanga, Mognori, Sonyor, Kulmasa and the Mole Park itself. It is envisaged that about 2,400 people in the tourist attraction sites would directly benefit from the project.
In that regard, a Savannaland Destination Management Team (SDMT) has been inaugurated in Tamale to ensure effective implementation and monitoring of the project.
Giving an overview of the project, the Tourism Advisor of the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV), Madam Cynthia Awuni, stated that ST-EP was providing funding for tourism development in the south-western parts of the Savannaland destination.
According to her, the ST-EP was a partnership of the World Tourism Organisation (WTO) and the SNV to help alleviate the poverty of a projected 20,000 people through direct employment and income earned in the tourism sector.
Madam Awuni stated that under the SDMT, the capacity of relevant stakeholders in planning and co-ordination of tourism development would, among other objectives, be strengthened.
She said the key implementing agencies were the Northern Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC), West Gonja, Sawla-Tuna-Kalba and Bole District Assemblies.
The rest were the Mole National Park, the Ghana Tourist Board, beneficiary communities, the private sector, A. Rocha, Ghana and SNV.
Madam Awuni said the SDMT would help plan, facilitate and create an enabling environment for the beneficiary communities and the private sector to manage and invest in tourism.
The Project Manager of A. Rocha, Ghana, a non-governmental organisation, Mr Daryl Bosu, for his part, expressed optimism that access to tourism destination areas would be improved in the near future, as well as increase tourist arrivals to the destinations.
According to him, that would be achieved through investment in infrastructure stimulated by tourism and tax or levy on tourism income or profit proceeds benefiting the poor.
The Regional Minister, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, observed, “This is a novelty initiative intended to market our tourism potential”.
He urged District Chief Executives to collaborate with the stakeholders to ensure effective implementation of the project.
Alhaji Idris stressed the need for the stakeholders to include traditional rulers and representatives of the security services in the management of the project to ensure its smooth implementation.
The Regional Manager of the Ghana Tourist Board (GTB), Mr William Ayambire, who lauded the project, said effective tourism development required a multi-sectoral approach.
The Bole District Chief Executive, Mr Jerry Yakubu Yahaya, commended the SNV for providing support to district assemblies in the region since 2005 for them to develop their tourism potentials.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


THE Medical Superintendents Group (MSG) of Ghana has called for a national disaster policy with a holistic approach to effectively deal with disasters and mass casualty incidents in the country.
It also advocated the introduction of a postgraduate programme in emergency medicine that would look at the entire system of disaster, instead of only emergency case management.
According to the group, the establishment of a strategic stockpile of medicines and equipment in at least two vantage points of the country was imperative for the effective management of disasters.
Making the call at the 7th annual general conference of the MSG in Tamale, its president, Dr George Acquaye, stressed the need for a well-organised system that would cover issues such as a review of land use, state funding and laws enhancing the mobilisation of resources to manage disasters promptly.
The conference had the theme, “Disasters here, disasters there. How prepared are we? Hospitals and emergency preparedness”.
The three-day conference discussed issues such as policy review on emergency preparedness in Ghana, experiences from the northern floods of 2007, an approach to handling disaster and mass casualty incidents, procurement under disasters, as well as identification and management of the critically injured patient.
Dr Acquaye noted that “a holistic national emergency response approach should involve individuals, communities, organisations, hospitals and public health institutions in an organised, well-established system of managing disasters and mass casualty incidents”.
He mentioned overcrowding in health institutions, with no available space to handle the initial upsurge of victims, obsolete equipment, inadequate staff and financial constraints as major challenges to ensuring effective disaster management in the health sector.
A Deputy Minister of Health, Mrs Gladys Norley Ashitey, noted that recently a gloomy picture of the country’s emergency preparedness was exhibited when a landslide occurred near Adukrom in the Akuapem North District of the Eastern Region.
According to her, such a situation was a wake-up call on stakeholders to ensure that emergency preparedness was taken to a higher level.
“The time has now come for us to move from conscientisation to policy action and implementation I, therefore, challenge my outfit and its partners to commit more resources and the political will to make emergency preparedness an easy task in healthcare delivery,” Mrs Ashitey said.
The Deputy Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr George Amofa, bemoaned the poor attitude to emergencies on the part of some health personnel.
“I am aware of the multi-faceted factors which prevent proper planning and especially the execution of an effective emergency preparedness system, but our major concern is the unacceptable part our poor attitude to work plays in all these,” he further stressed.
According to him, the apparent inaction and lack of a sense of urgency and concern by some staff were marring the dedicated work being done by the majority of the staff.
Dr Amofa equally expressed concern about the mal-distribution of health staff, especially doctors, in the country.
“We are particularly concerned about the manner in which housemen and specialists from the teaching and regional hospitals and the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons find their way to various hospitals after their training,” he stated.
The Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, urged health personnel to accept posting to the region to help improve on health indicators in the area.

CLAMPDOWN ON FIREARMS...To ensure peaceful elections — EU (LEAD STORY)

European Union (EU) diplomats in Ghana have joined the call for a clampdown on illegal firearms as a pre-requisite for peaceful elections in December.
For the effective mopping up of the illegal weapons in civilian hands, the ambassadors of EU countries in Ghana also recommended a strong collaboration between the various political parties and the security agencies.
At the end of a two-day tour of the Northern Region, the envoys noted that such a measure would ultimately help to ensure violence-free elections and encourage aggrieved parties to seek redress at the law courts, instead of resorting to the violent use of firearms to settle scores.
The French Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Francis Hurtut, stated this at a press conference in Tamale to round off the tour.
The visit afforded the delegation the opportunity to get first-hand information on political activities in the region, particularly the Tamale metropolis, in the run-up to the general election.
The eight-member delegation met with representatives of political parties, the Electoral Commission (EC), the Regional Security Council (REGSEC), religious leaders, chiefs and civil society groups.
It included the Ambassador and Head of the EU Delegation in Ghana, Mr Filiberto Ceriani Sebregondi; the British High Commissioner in Accra, Dr Nicholas Westcott; the Spanish Ambassador to Ghana, Madam Julia Olmo, and the Czech Republic Ambassador, Mr Miroslav Krenek.
Mr Hurtut, who is also the spokesperson for the ambassadors, urged the flag bearers and the parliamentary aspirants of the various parties to entreat all their activists to refrain from violence and intimidation to ensure free and fair elections.
“Irresponsible rhetoric should be avoided, as well as inflammatory language that usually exacerbates passions without gaining more supporters to one side or another,” he pointed out.
According to Mr Hurtut, the ambassadors “acknowledge the deep need for justice expressed on many occasions by our interlocutors and rules must be applied impartially”.
“Our objective is simply to support Ghana in having a peaceful and transparent election; a very encouraging sign in this respect is that all our interlocutors expressed the wish for an EU electoral observation mission to Ghana,” he stressed.
He urged political parties to assist the EC to ensure a clean voters register by entreating their supporters to check on their particulars and “deposit challenges, if necessary”.
“We had very fruitful exchange of views with the different actors in the electoral process and we are pleased to hear that all parties recognise that fraud and violence will be detrimental to the whole process, as well as Ghana’s image,” the ambassador intimated.
Mr Sebregondi, for his part, observed that the delegation had a fair idea of the security situation in the region and stressed that the illegal possession of firearms was a challenge to the area in its quest to ensure violence-free elections.
Mr Westcott commended religious leaders and civil society groups for their hard work and commitment to ensure peaceful elections.
“We also gathered that the stakeholders, particularly the political parties, acknowledge that peace is more important than the acquisition of power, since elections are not a question of life or death,” he stated.

Friday, October 10, 2008


THE President of the Northern Regional House of Chiefs, Nayiri Na Bohagu Abdulai Mahami Sheriga, has entreated the Regional Security Council and District Security Committees in the region to, as a matter of urgency, formulate effective strategies to stem violent conflicts in the area.
The region, he stressed, needed peace and, therefore, urged all stakeholders to join in the peace efforts to make the region a safe haven for investment and accelerated development.
“I register my displeasure at the recent political clashes in Tamale and Gushiegu, which resulted in the loss of lives and property,” Na Sheriga stressed.
The Nayiri expressed the concern at a meeting of the house in Tamale during which issues such as peace efforts, development challenges and chieftaincy matters were discussed.
He urged the police to act professionally by bringing the perpetrators of the heinous crime to book.
According to Na Sheriga, the media, political parties, the security agencies, the National Commission for Civic Education, the Electoral Commission, religious bodies, chiefs and the government had a stake in the peace process.
He noted that traditional rulers in the region would spare no efforts to help the government and the security agencies in the maintenance of peace.
“It is a truism that no meaningful development can take place in an area without peace and stability; we need development and must work to achieve peace to ensure progress,” he noted.
Na Sheriga stated that the seriousness he attached to peace in the region “propelled me to create a forum for discourse recently with some stakeholders, including political parties, the youth chiefs, the police, the Electoral Commission and religious leaders”.
He announced that the House had been able to dispose of one case this year, that is, the Buipe Skin issue, adding that there were seven other cases pending before it.
Na Sheriga, however, stated that funding for judicial committees was a major challenge to the House.
The Regional Minister, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, advised the chiefs to live above partisan politics and rather be development oriented.
“Na President, chiefs should unite their people to fight against the common enemies of poverty, ignorance and underdevelopment; in that regard, I would encourage the traditional rulers to serve as catalyst to identify their development needs and source funding to execute them,” Alhaji Idris stressed.
He urged traditional rulers to be judicious in land management, emphasising, “Our chiefs should be wary of the activities of quack surveyors who are contributing to the spate of disputes in land administration”.
Touching on the Dagbon chieftaincy issue, the regional minister made a passionate appeal to the two gates in the chieftaincy divide to exercise restraint and adhere to the road map to peace drawn up by the Committee of Eminent Chiefs.


THE Northern Regional Director of the Information Services Department (ISD), Mr Akamboe Ayierbasia, has said the department has intensified its activities of disseminating information on government policies and programmes.
He noted that in the past, the ISD could not perform its roles and functions effectively due to some operational bottlenecks, especially due to lack of logistics and personnel.
Mr Ayierbasia stated this at a two-day training workshop in Tamale for the staff of the ISD in the three northern regions.
The 44 participants, comprising mechanics, instrument workshop staff and mobile cinema operators, were trained in the handling of vehicles and technical equipment to prolong the lifespan of the vehicles given to the department.
The ISD and PHC Motors Limited, distributors of TATA, BMC trucks, Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles, organised the workshop.
Mr Ayierbasia further observed that “until recently, we were operational in only eight out of the 18 districts in the region but the situation is now different, as we are currently operating efficiently in all the districts”.
According to him, the use of information service vans distinguished his outfit from other media houses, hence the need to formulate effective strategies to handle the vans and other equipment very carefully.
“Frequent breakdowns as a result of improper handling of vehicles and equipment will only drain the nation's resources,” he emphasised.
Mr Ayierbasia, therefore, urged the participants to put into practice what they had learnt, stressing that “we do not want you to use the vehicles beyond official work hours or for your personal gains”.
Messrs Kwasi Aninagyei-Bonsu and Lawrence Lemaire, the Sales Officer, Government and Public Sector, and the Deputy Finance Manager of PHC respectively, said as part of their outfit's sales services requirements, the company was to provide training to staff of the ISD on the handling of their duty vehicles and equipment.
According to them, recently, the government purchased a total of 146 cinema vans from the PHC for the ISD through the Ministry of Information and National Orientation.


CULTIVATING the habit of saving and borrowing responsibly from financial institutions are some of the major challenges facing many rural dwellers in the Northern Region.
Most of the people, who are predominantly farmers, contend that their income levels are low due to the lack of market for their produce, hence their inability to make ends meet, let alone save with the banks. Others argue that even if they borrow, paying back is most often difficult because of their huge family responsibilities and natural disasters like floods and drought that negatively affect crop yield.
It is for these reasons that a non-governmental organisation (NGO) known as the Support Programme for Enterprise Empowerment and Development (SPEED) Ghana has taken it upon itself to sensitise rural people, through drama performances by the Abibigroma group, to the benefits of savings.
The educational campaign of SPEED, Ghana, dubbed: “The road show”, was instituted in December 2007 to encourage people to save towards a secure future.
The latest of such educational campaigns was held at Savelugu in the Savelugu-Nanton District of the Northern Region. It was organised by SPEED, Ghana, in collaboration with STRATCOM Africa, a consultancy firm.
Patronage of the campaign among residents of Savelugu was encouraging.
The staff of the Borimanga Rural Bank at Savelugu also brought their expertise to bear on the programme, as they explained their financial transactions to the people who, hitherto, did not understand the essence of borrowing money, putting it into good use and savings.
Indeed, the residents of Savelugu admitted that for the first time in their lives they had understood what it meant to save, since most of them had negative perceptions about banks.
According to the Micro Finance Advisor of SPEED, Ghana, Mr Ken Appenteng, the campaign was to, among other objectives, assist financial institutions, including banks, credit unions, savings and loan companies, to explain their transactions to the rural people and thereby encourage them to access credit facilities and to put them to good use.
“We also provide technical assistance for micro finance institutions such as rural banks to enable them to deliver their financial services more efficiently and with greater outreach to micro, small and medium enterprises,” he stated.
Mr Appenteng said the campaign consisted of three components — micro, consumer education and financial literacy.
“With the campaigns in place, it should now be possible for the financial institutions to engage customers in their transactions. The banks must know the needs of customers and provide answers to them,” he said.
According to him, it was imperative for rural dwellers to be educated on how best to secure their future through savings, adding, “Money is like food so you can decide to eat some or leave some for the next day. No matter how small your income is, you have to save part”.
The Assistant Micro Finance Advisor of SPEED Ghana, Madam Cynthia Odonkor, observed that some customers of banks were not aware of the difference between savings and current accounts.
“At the end of the day, we want to educate the people in the whole country that they can save, as it is the only way to solve emergency problems. They should also be aware that they have to pay back the loans they owe the banks and other financial institutions,” she stressed.
The Executive Director of the Northern Rural Development Association (NORDA), Chief Yusif Kunkundana, said the programme was beneficial to financial institutions, the economy and the beneficiary people.
The acting Manager of the Borimanga Rural Bank, Mr Abdallah Abdul Rashid, observed that the programme had afforded his outfit the opportunity to educate residents of Savelugu on its operations.
He assured the customers, especially residents of the area, that the bank would carry out outreach programmes to explain its operations to the people to boost the local economy.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Ambassadors of European Union (EU) countries in Ghana have expressed optimism that the December polls will not threaten and undermine the gains Ghana has made so far in its democratic dispensation.
They noted that although the nation had recorded a number of political incidents in some parts of the country in recent times, there was no “justification for us to worry about whether or not the elections will be successful”.
They further said that Ghana was “the shining star of Africa and should not allow this year’s elections to jeopardise the confidence reposed in it by both the international community and foreign investors”.
The Ambassador and Head of the EU Delegation in Ghana, Mr Filiberto Ceriani Sebregondi, and the French Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Francis Hurtut, stated this at a press conference in Tamale yesterday during a two-day fact-finding mission to the Northern Region by an eight-member delegation of EU ambassadors to ensure peaceful elections in the area.
The visit afforded the delegation the opportunity to get first-hand information on political activities in the region, particularly the Tamale metropolis, in the run-up to the general election.
The delegation met with representatives of political parties, the Electoral Commission, the Regional Security Council (REGSEC), religious leaders, chiefs and civil society groups.
They also visited some polling stations in Tamale and the Savelugu-Nanton District.
Mr Sebregondi stressed the need for transparent elections to ensure the success of the December polls.
According to him, the delegation would dialogue with stakeholders on the need to ensure peaceful elections, devoid of violence.
“We decided to come to this region because of the stiff political competition that exists here and more so we are already quite conversant with the electoral challenges that face the southern sector of the country,” Mr Sebregondi further intimated.
He announced that an EU electoral observer team was already in the country to support efforts at ensuring free and fair elections.
Mr Hurtut stated that the fact-finding mission was not directly linked to the recent political violence that occurred in Tamale and Gushiegu but to ensure peaceful elections.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


THE management of the Zoomlion Ghana Limited in Tamale has expressed its disappointment with the recent strike embarked upon by workers employed under the sanitation module of the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP).
It contended that although the workers had genuine concerns regarding inadequate allowances paid to them, such demands should have been placed at the doorstep of the NYEP authorities rather than blaming the company for any lapses.
The Northern Regional Manager of the Zoomlion, Mr Prince Alhassan, told the Daily Graphic that the management held four meetings with the workers to explain issues to them but that did not yield any fruitful results.
According to him, the concerns of the workers had already been communicated to the NYEP in Accra before the workers decided to lay down their tools.
Last week, some workers, most of whom were refuse collection tricycle riders, embarked on a strike to protest against the meagre allowances paid to them.
They further alleged that Zoomlion was responsible for their predicament and said the company had reneged on its promises to workers such as the regularisation of their employment under the Ministry of Health and the payment of their social security contributions.
Mr Alhassan, however, conceded that their monthly allowances of GH¢50 was inadequate but said they only worked for a maximum of three hours a day.
He maintained that Zoomlion was not responsible for the payment of those employed under the sanitation component of the NYEP.
“We believe in work and happiness and I must emphasise that management has been sending their concerns to the NYEP in Accra. I, therefore, entreat them to exercise restraint while their concerns are being addressed” he said.
He further indicated that in spite of the current problems the company was facing with regard to the strike of the workers, the company was poised to achieve its primary objective of managing waste in the metropolis.
Mr Alhassan said management had procured equipment to complete a landfill site project at Gbalahi, a suburb of Tamale, by the end of this year.
The manager said 700 tricycles, 70 motorised tricycles and 17 trucks were being used to help manage waste in the metropolis.
Zoomlion Ghana Limited started operating in the metropolis in October 2006 and has been complementing the efforts of the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly (TAMA) to manage waste in the metropolis.
TAMA spends on the average GH¢800,000 every year to manage waste in the metropolis.


TRADING between Tamale, Burkina Faso and other Sahelian regions will peak in the years ahead.
This follows the award of a GH¢100,000 contract for the establishment of the first phase of an ultra-modern livestock market at Guunayili, a suburb of Tamale.
The project, which is expected to be completed by the end of next year, comprises a loading area, rest room for traders and pens for animals.
It is being funded under a Canadian programme known as the District Wide Assistance Project (DIWAP).
When completed, Guunayili will become a transit point for livestock trading between Ghana and the Sahelian countries. In other words, traders from Southern Ghana can now stop at Guunayili and purchase their livestock instead of travelling all the way to Burkina Faso while those from Burkina Faso can also stop at the same place and buy what they want rather than travelling to the southern sector of Ghana.
The project was one of the many benefits of the Sister-city relationship initiated in October 2003 between the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly (TAMA) and the people of Fada N’Gourma in Burkina Faso.
The relationship was aimed at promoting socio-economic and cultural activities between the people of the two cities in particular, and Ghana and Burkina Faso in general.
In 2003, the Mayor of Fada N’gourma, Tandamba Iddrissa, led a four-member delegation to Tamale to finalise an agreement with the authorities of the TAMA on the relationship.
Another Sister-city relationship between Tamale and Louisville in the state of Kentucky in the United States of America (US), which was initiated as far back as 1979 is also yielding positive results.
The proposed establishment of a plant in the metropolis to process solid waste into gas for power generation, for instance, is one of the benefits of the Tamale-Louisville relationship.
The Tamale Metropolitan Co-ordinating Director, Mr Mohammed Baba, stated that contractors on the project could not move to the site now because of the rainy season which had made the area “marshy and heavy equipment cannot move in now”.
He said when completed, the project would increase employment opportunities for the youth, particularly women.
Mr Baba said it would also enhance the income levels of women in the metropolis, as most of them would be engaged in trading.
“Traders from countries like Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso would benefit immensely from the project; let us all support the assembly in this endeavour because Tamale has a lot to gain,” he intimated.


THE implementation of the Presidential Special Initiative on Distance Learning (PSI-DL) to facilitate the training of the inmates and officers of the Tamale Central Prisons in technical, vocational education and training (TVET), is on course.
The initiative was inaugurated eight months ago to enable beneficiaries of the programme to acquire skills in catering, block laying and concrete work, among others.
The programme afforded the over 290 inmates of the Tamale Prisons the opportunity to improve on their literacy and numeracy skills, as well as English and Mathematics.
A number of facilities have been provided to facilitate teaching and learning at the prisons. They include television sets, video compact discs (VCDs), digital videodisc players and lesson notes on English and Mathematics for Junior High and Senior High schools.
The Tamale Prisons has thus become one of the four learning centres of the open school (TVET) system under the PSI-DL programme introduced in a number of prisons in the country.
The PSI-DL was introduced in April, 2002 to co-ordinate and make operational, alternate models of education to complement the government’s efforts at ensuring that Ghana attained the target of “Education For All” by the year 2015.
The Northern Regional Prisons Commander, Mr Earl Adjei-Koreeh, told the Daily Graphic that the programme had come at the right time and that the inmates would start reaping its benefits by the close of the year.
He indicated that over the years, the Tamale Prisons had grappled with the problem of inadequate funding, overcrowding and lack of workshops to facilitate the training of the inmates in employable skills.
Mr Adjei-Koreeh further complained that a significant number of the staff at the Prisons had no decent accommodation.
He said inadequate funding for the maintenance and running cost of official vehicles needed to be critically addressed.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


WORK on a new nurses’ training college at Nalerigu in the East Mamprusi District in the Northern Region, will begin next month to help address the increasing health needs of the people in the area.
The President, John Agyekum Kufuor, announced this in a speech read on his behalf by the Deputy Minister of Health, Mr Abraham Dwuma Odoom, at the 50th anniversary celebration of the Baptist Medical Centre at Nalerigu.
Established in 1958 by the Baptist missionaries, the centre had over the years gained reputation for offering quality health services to the people of the area and neighbouring countries.
The idea for the establishment of the hospital was mooted in 1954 when Dr George Faile, a Baptist Church missionary, came to Ghana to attend the ninth annual session of the Gold Coast Baptist Conference.
With a current staff strength of 250, the hospital provides health care to 70,000 patients and carries out 1,200 major operations and 800 deliveries annually.
President Kufuor entreated health professionals to sacrifice a little for the improvement of healthcare delivery in the country.
According to him, the government was determined to improve the health sector through the training of its human resource.
He noted that the Baptist Church had left a very “good legacy” for the people of Nalerigu as well as the entire nation.
President Kufuor stated that the implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was part of the government’s strategy to ensure increased access to health care by the poor in society.
He said the government’s quest for increased intake of students in the health institutions was part of efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5.
The President deplored the recent political violence in Tamale and Gushiegu and therefore urged the people of the Northern Region to make the area a safe haven for investment drive. The Regional Minister, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, entreated residents of the region to come home and help in its development.
He expressed gratitude to the chiefs and elders of the area for solving the problem of encroachment that was affecting the smooth operations of the centre.
The Medical Superintendent of the centre, Dr George M. Faile III, expressed concern about the seeming discrimination against some members of the Christian Hospital Association of Ghana (CHAG).
“Recently it has come to our attention, for example, that visiting doctors and specialists providing volunteer services at their own expense, are being asked to pay $400 just to register to be allowed to work for one or two weeks in the country,” he reported.
Dr Faile noted that if that trend continued, it would be difficult for “us to get volunteers to help provide expert services in the country”.
According to him, the hospital needed more doctors and therefore entreated the Ghana Health Service to post new doctors to the area to augment the staff position of the health facility.

Monday, October 6, 2008


THE flag bearer of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Dr Edward Mahama, has said a PNC government will make agriculture the centrepiece of its development agenda in the northern part of Ghana.
This he said would create more job opportunities for the teeming unemployed youth in the area.
He has therefore called on the electorate to rally behind the PNC and vote massively for it during the December polls.
Dr Mahama said it was time for the people to realise that a vote for the PNC would also end the political tension in the country between the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) that had over the years engulfed the country’s body politic.
The flag bearer said this during an interaction with party supporters at Yilonayili, a suburb of Tamale as part of his four-day campaign tour of the Northern Region.
The National Chairman of the PNC, Alhaji Ahmed Ramadan, and the National Women’s Organiser, Hajia Hajara Ali, accompanied him on the tour.
Dr Mahama and his campaign team visited Kpendua in the Tolon-Kumbungu District, and Walewale in the West Mamprusi District where he interacted with the teeming supporters of the party.
He also visited Nalerigu in the East Mamprusi District, at the invitation of the management of the Baptist Medical Centre (BMC), a missionary hospital, during its 50th anniversary celebration.
Dr Mahama was the first Ghanaian doctor who worked at the BMC in 1974.
He served the hospital for three years before going for further training in the United States of America.
The presidential hopeful mentioned subsidising farm inputs as one of the strategies to make agriculture lucrative and attractive for the youth to venture into.
He indicated that it was time for the people of the northern sector to rally behind his party to ensure that the north produced a president instead of playing second fiddle to that important position.
Dr Mahama said he was touched by the plight of the rural poor, and stressed that it was unacceptable and constituted a violation of their rights.
Such people, he said, needed to be given equal opportunities with the rich and basic social amenities to enable them to live comfortably.

Friday, October 3, 2008


MINISTRIES, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the Tamale metropolis and the operational areas of the Volta River Authority (VRA) are honouring their outstanding bills they owe to the VRA.
The Northern Area Manager of the VRA-Northern Electrification Department (NED), Mr Bukari Danladi, told the Daily Graphic that although he could not readily disclose the amount of money paid by the MDAs, they had paid “a substantial amount of money to the company”.
He said, however, that 77 corn mills which were allocated power and prepaid meters could no longer be traced and this had made the company to incur some debts.
Also, the manager intimated that VRA had put in place a mechanism to document the serial numbers of all corn mills that had been allocated prepaid meters to forestall such negative practices.
“Our problem is with the corn millers, small industrial set-ups and residential customers, but as for the MDAs, we do not have a problem with them at all,” he further said.
Mr Danladi said so far, three persons had been put in jail in connection with the theft of copper wires, and that about 80 per cent of the company’s copper wires had also been stolen.
He said in August last year, the company had spent a total of GH¢38,200 to replace stolen wires in the metropolis and its environs.
The manager said there were about 4,000 “inactive” customers, who had not paid their bills for more than three months.
He stressed that most of the power outages in the metropolis and other operational areas of the VRA were as a result of a frequent tampering of its installations.
“Everyday, we process not less than 10 cases of illegal connections for court. So far, two persons have been jailed for tampering with prepaid meters. However, the process of prosecution is slow,” Mr Danladi lamented.