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I never canceled Okomeng Kissi’s mining licence – Asomah-Cheremeh

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A former Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh has denied cancelling the mining license of Kingston Okomeng Kissi, a former Board Chairman of the Precious Minerals and Marketing Company (PMMC).

In a radio interview on Accra based Oman FM, also aired on Net2 TV on the May 5, 2021, Mr Okomeng Kissi alleged that Mr Asomah-Cheremeh when he was the sector Minister canceled his mining license.

Responding through his lawyer, Kwabena Asare Atuah a statement dated May 28, 2021, Mr Asomah-Cheremeh denied the allegation against him.

“My client wants to state emphatically that he has never cancelled nor taken away Kingston Okomeng Kissi’s licence as he (Kingston Okomeng Kissi) claims.”

The true facts are rather that my client met with Kingston Okomeng Kissi at the office of the Chief of Staff once to discuss Kingston Okomeng Kissi’s claim of ownership of that site.

My client tasked the Minerals Commission to look into the matter. The report from the Minerals Commission revealed that the area was encumbered and belonged to someone else who had already secured all necessary documentations.

We therefore ask Kingston Okomeng Kissi to produce whatever documents he (Kingston Okomeng Kiss) has showing that the area belonged to him (Kingston Okomeng Kissi) for which he (Kingston Okomeng Kissi) claims my client took away. As a miner, Kingston Okomeng Kissi has to know that a legitimate claim to a lease of licence can only be proved by a valid mining lease. Also, the law enjoins the regulatory body to ensure that mining is done in accordance with the terms of the lease or licence.

Attached below is a copy the statement by the Counsel for Mr Asomah-Cheremeh

28TH DAY OF MAY, 2021

SETTING THE RECORDS STRAIGHT. Respectfully, I act as Counsel for Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh (hereinafter referred to as my client) upon whose instructions I write this statement.

My client’s attention has been drawn to an audio circulating on social media and other media platforms where the former Board Chair of Precious Minerals and Marketing Company (PMMC) and the Eastern Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, Mr. Kingston Okomeng Kissi in an interview on Oman Fm and aired on Net2 TV on the 5th day of May, 2021 where he (Kingston Okomeng Kissi) stated that, my client Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh then Minsiter for Lands and Natural Resources cancelled and took away the renewal of the mining lease of Kingston Okomeng Kissi and gave it out to other persons/entities.

Kingston Okomeng Kissi further claimed that when the documents were done, it was posted or pasted on the Nkawkaw Municipal Assembly’s notice board. The MCE wrote to the Minerals Commission that the said particular area on the documents belonged to someone so it cannot be given to another person. Kingston Okomeng Kissi further stated that he (Kingston Okomeng Kissi) went to the office of my client with a petition and documents purporting that he (Kingston Okomeng Kissi) owns the said area. The NDC could not take that particular area from him (Kingston Okomeng Kissi) but rather my client has taken away his (Kingston Okomeng Kissi) mining lease.

Kingston Okomeng Kissi further stated that the matter appeared before the Chief of Staff and same was deliberated upon for about ten (10) times and the Chief of Staff asked my client to give back the licence to Kingston Okomeng Kissi but my client refused.

My client wants to state emphatically that he has never cancelled nor taken away Kingston Okomeng Kissi’s licence as he (Kingston Okomeng Kissi) claims.

The true facts are rather that my client met with Kingston Okomeng Kissi at the office of the Chief of Staff once to discuss Kingston Okomeng Kissi’s claim of ownership of that site.

My client tasked the Minerals Commission to look into the matter. The report from the Minerals Commission revealed that the area was encumbered and belonged to someone else who had already secured all necessary documentations.

We therefore ask Kingston Okomeng Kissi to produce whatever documents he (Kingston Okomeng Kiss) has showing that the area belonged to him (Kingston Okomeng Kissi) for which he (Kingston Okomeng Kissi) claims my client took away. As a miner, Kingston Okomeng Kissi has to know that a legitimate claim to a lease of licence can only be proved by a valid mining lease. Also, the law enjoins the regulatory body to ensure that mining is done in accordance with the terms of the lease or licence.

My client has not done what Kingston Okomeng Kissi is imputing to him as my client was very much aware it was unlawful and illegal to do that. This story is one of the unfortunate stories to tarnish the image of my client in the public domain. Kingston Okomeng Kissi’s claims are untrue and a total fabrication coming at a time my client is no longer in office.

The actions of Kingston Okomeng Kissi is just to paint my client black before government and the party. Kingston Okomeng Kissi should not forget that it took the collective responsibilities of party officers like Regional Chairmen to work tirelessly to bring the party into power. My client as a former Regional Chairman for the then Brong Ahafo Region cannot and will not treat Kingston Okomeng Kissi the manner he Kingston Okomeng Kissi is claiming against my client.

Thank you.

………………………………….
KWABENA ASARE ATUAH
COUNSEL FOR KWAKU ASOMAH-CHEREMEH

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NPP NEWS

Your biggest mistake was no reshuffle in your first term, same recalcitrant appointees neglecting grassroot members – NPP group to Akufo-Addo

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A pro-NPP group calling itself Movement for Justice and Equal Right is calling on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to call recalcitrant appointees in his government to order.

According to the group, some appointees in the second term of the President are neglecting party members and the grassroots.

They want President Akufo-Addo to immediately take action against such appointees in the party.

“I am worried that NPP leadership have decided to take some course that is totally new and unacceptable to the grassroots and I call upon the leader who is, in this case, the President of the Republic to intervene and call recalcitrant appointees to order,” Alhaji Ben Ali Seaman, Coordinator for the Movement for Justice and Equal Right group has said in a press release.

He continues, “the biggest mistake in the first term of this government was the absent of reshuffle and in this second term we are seeing almost the same set of appointees as we did in the first term and to me this only place an emphasis on the fact that our leader is not a listening President, unlike the former President Agyekum Kufuor.”

While calling on all party members to come together and work for the better of the NPP, the Movement for Justice and Equal Right group are also admonishing all government appointees to develop a habit of listening to the grassroots and attend to their party needs for the good of the party.

Below is the press release from the group:

PRESS RELEASE

MOVEMENT FOR JUSTICE AND EQUAL RIGHT.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am glad to meet you all today for another edition of our regular press conferences and as it has always focus on our great NPP, today’s meeting is not an exemption.

The government led by H.E Nana Addo have begun the processes of constituting governing bodies to aid the smooth running of his second term. We have seen the appointments and the subsequent approval of ministers, the ongoing vetting of deputy ministerial nominees and we will soon welcone the appointments of MMDCE’s. These categories of leaders to me are the major government machineries for any successful government. But let’s ask ourselves whether those who has been appointed are capable and ready to help the party members and can they lead the party to win elections in 2024?

Ladies and Gentlemen, this does not appear to be the case from my angle of view because barely four months into office some ministers have refuse to pick calls from some of us. I was at the office of one prominent party stalwart and he called a certain minister three times which the minister never answered or returned the call. This behaviour of appointees will drag the NPP to opposition if care is not taken and the needed attention given to the grassroots.

I am worried that NPP leadership have decided to take some course that are totally new and unacceptable to the grassroots and I call upon the leader who is, in this case, the President of the Republic to intervene and call recalcitrant appointees to order.

The biggest mistake in the first term of this government was the absence of reshuffle and in this second term we are seeing almost the same set of appointees as we did in the first term and to me this only place an emphasis on the fact that our leader is not a listening President unlike the former President Agyekum Kufuor.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are witnessing a repeat of the blunders committed by former President Mahama been committed by President Akufo Addo where he has surrounded himself with inexperience and immature young men and these young men are deceiving the President on the loyalty of some key party stalwarts who served under former President Kufuor. You see them tagging some party faithfuls as former President Kufuor boys and so they should not be given positions under President Akufo Addo forgetting that President Akufo Addo himself and Yaw Osafo Marfo and some other appointees under this government equally served under former President Kufuor.

As a united party with a common vision, we need to totally disregard such claims and come to the realization that former President Kufuor or President Akufo Addo or Alan Kyeremanten or Dr. Bawumia do not have boys and that it’s unfair to tag party faithfuls to these leaders. We are all members of the NPP so there’s the need for the leader of the party to grant audience and attention to whoever calls on him from the party.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I want to conclude by admonishing all government appointees to develop a habit of listening to the grassroots and attend to their party needs for the betterment of the party.

Thank you all.

Signed.

Alhaji Ben Ali Seaman Coordinator, Movement for Justice and Equal Rights.

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POLITICS

“GOV’T USING DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY TO STIMULATE GROWTH IN ECONOMY” – PRESIDENT AKUFO-ADDO

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The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says Government is employing the application of digital technology to stimulate the growth and transformation of the Ghanaian economy, and, thereby, help ensure that every Ghanaian derives maximum benefit from this process.

Speaking at the launch of the 25th anniversary of MTN, on Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, President Akufo-Addo stated that, since assuming office in 2017, his government has taken decisions that have provided the necessary impetus to stimulate the economy on several levels.

“We recognized that having a national database was one of the critical elements of a digital economy, and instituted that as a matter of priority by implementing the National Identification programme, and completing the first phase of the National Digital Property Addressing System, to support geolocation and the issuance of postal codes,” he said.

Addressing the gathering, the President noted that, in order to make the Ghana Card the primary source of identification to access services in the country, majority of Ghanaians have been enrolled onto the National Biometric Identity Card, adding that it will enhance coordination amongst state institutions, and provide significant benefits to citizens.

“Indeed, just last year, the National Health Insurance Card was integrated with the Ghana Card as part of the consolidation process. It has also been integrated with GRA to form the TIN number, and it will be used to verify all SIM registrations shortly. The overall objective of Government is to integrate all databases for effective administration of the country. Big data analytics, machine learning, and internet of things are becoming a reality in Ghana,” he added.

President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation is also embarking on an ambitious national broadband infrastructure development programme for the ICT Sector, with a special focus on providing total connectivity to the unserved and underserved communities in the country.

The Rural Telephony and Digital Inclusion Project, he indicated, is currently being rolled out, and construction of 2,016 solar powered cell sites across the country has begun in earnest, to provide voice and data connectivity to millions of rural dwellers and facilitate national roaming too.

In addition to this, he stressed that a Common Monitoring Platform (CMP), which monitors communication traffic and provides real-time verification of transactions in the telecommunications sector, has been established as a measure of transparency and accountability to build trust and improve the working relationship between government and players in the industry.

“Government is committed to ensuring efficiency in the delivery of public services, and has rolled out e-government services, including the introduction of paperless port operations, e-procurement, e-parliament, e-justice, e-registrar, and the use of the smart workplace virtual office application, amongst other initiatives,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo continued, “An electronic platform for the payment of all government goods and services, the ghana.gov.gh platform, has been established to promote efficiency and transparency in revenue collection, and improve upon the security of transactions in the public sector.”

Through the Accra Digital Centre, the President told the gathering Government is providing state of the art, commercial office spaces for ICT businesses and BPOs, and trains the youth in startup businesses.

Having established the mobile money interoperability platform to promote seamless flow of cash amongst the various networks, President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that he is “proud that Ghana is the first African country to introduce a universal QR Code, which has the ability to meet the needs of both banked and unbanked customers by facilitating payments from multiple funding sources, such as mobile wallets, cards or bank accounts, on any platform.”

With the digital revolution faced with security and data privacy challenges, he indicated that Government has put in place the right cyber security and data protection laws to sustain the quality of experience in the use of the digital services.

Following the coming into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), President Akufo-Addo was confident that digital platforms, systems and technology will play pivotal roles in the success of the AfCFTA.

He, thus, urged MTN and, indeed, all players in the industry to continue to collaborate with Government, “as we roll out further initiatives to deepen digitalization in a more sustainable way”.

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POLITICS

PRESIDENT AKUFO-ADDO COMMISSIONS NATIONAL SECURITY MINISTRY BUILDING; LAUNCHES NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY

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The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has commissioned a newly-constructed building for the Ministry of National Security, and launched the National Security Strategy document, the first such document in the history of the country. 

Speaking at the ceremony on Monday, 7th June 2021, President Akufo-Addo expressed his satisfaction that the National Security Ministry “has decided to name this new building after one of its most hardworking leaders, the late National Security Co-ordinator, Joshua Kyeremeh, who died so tragically early whilst in office, and was laid to rest a few days ago”. 


Touching on the importance of the National Security Strategy, the President explained that the document necessary for the existence of Ghana’s National Security architecture, adding that the overarching vision of the National Security Strategy is to maintain Ghana as an open, tolerant, socially cohesive, peace-loving, people-centred, secure, united and prosperous constitutional democracy that upholds the rule of law. 

“The National Security Strategy also aims to establish Ghana as a land of opportunities, with the resolve and the capability to protect her people, her culture and her values, to spur growth, development and prosperity that inure to the well-being of her people, whilst positioning the country to play a meaningful and influential role at regional, continental and global levels,” he said.

The President continued, “Once operationalised, the Strategy will optimise the effectiveness of the security and intelligence sector, by revamping current systems and structures. The strategy will prioritise the effective use of resources to promote effective decision-making, through an institutional system that will ensure integrated and efficient co-ordination in all spectrums of national security.” 

The Strategy, President Akufo-Addo noted, will provide a new institutional structure, which will be equipped to confront threats through rapid, coordinated and comprehensive responses.  

He explained that the implementation of the National Security Strategy will be driven systematically, transparently and accountably to ensure that all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) achieve their expected outcomes, which would contribute significantly to enhancing the country’s cohesion, resilience and stability. 

With the National Security Council providing strategic direction for the implementation of the National Security Strategy, the President noted that the Minister for National Security shall be responsible, to the National Security Council, for the day-to-day coordination of activities geared towards the successful implementation of the National Security Strategy.

President Akufo-Addo revealed further that the new Security and Intelligence Agencies Act (Act 1030) has made provision for the creation of a Ministerial Security Coordinating Committee, which comprises the Ministers for National Security, Defence, Interior, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Justice and Communications and Digitilisation. 

“Indeed, the multifaceted nature of the National Security Strategy, which assigns different roles to the various Ministries and Agencies, underscores the need for extensive education and sensitisation on the content of the Strategy,” he said. 

He, thus, tasked the Minister for National Security to organise workshops for all Ministers, Regional Security Councils, the leadership and Members of Parliament, Members of the Judiciary, religious leaders, the National Peace Council, the National House of Chiefs, Civil Society Organizations, youth and women groups, and various educational institutions, to deepen their understanding of their roles in the implementation of the strategy.

“I acknowledge that, on matters regarding the implementation of strategies that are beneficial to the State, resource allocation and budgetary funding is key. Informed by this, the National Security Strategy requires the Minister for Finance to collaborate with the Minister for National Security to establish a Security Fund to support the implementation of the Strategy in emergency and crises,” he added. 

To enhance the implementation of the National Security Strategy, the President noted that the Ministries, Departments and Agencies, and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies are to make specific budgetary provisions for the allocation of funds in the national budget. 

“I have directed the Ministry of National Security to come up with revised timelines for all Ministries, Departments and Agencies to develop their specific strategies, frameworks, policies and action plans per the National Security Strategy,” he added.

President Akufo-Addo was certain that “if we set our hearts and minds to this, and focus our energies on implementing successfully the National Security Strategy, we shall succeed in creating a more chohesive, inclusive, peaceful, progressive, prosperous, stable and united Ghana”. 

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