First lady urges officers’ wives to prioritise mental health

The First Lady, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu, has advised wives of officers and airmen of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to prioritise their mental health while discharging their domestic responsibilities.

Tinubu gave the advice on Saturday at the Mental Health Awareness Walk and TalK in commemoration of NAF@60 celebration 2024, organised by the Nigerian Air Force Officers Wives Association (NAFOWA) in Abuja.

She was represented by the wife of the Minister of State for Defence, Hajiya Aisha Matawalle.

The first lady said that as wives of officers, there were unique demands placed on their shoulders between supporting their families, managing households and navigating the uncertainties of their husband’s careers.

‘It is easy to let our well-beings fall by the wayside. So, we have to be very deliberate about our health and mental well beings.

‘Therefore, the theme: ‘Step by step Embracing Mental Wellness Through Movement’, is timely.

‘Regular exercise does not just tone our muscles and boost energy levels. It is a t
ool for mental well being.

‘By prioritising our well being, we become not just healthier individuals but better wives, mothers and role models.

‘We can handle challenges of life with greater resilience and radiate poor positive energy that uplifts those around us.

‘Taking care of ourselves is not selfish, it is essential to our general well-being,’ she said.

Tinubu congratulated NAF on attaining 60 years of service and dedication to protecting the nation’s skies and ensuring national security.

She also described the wives of NAF personnel and NAFOWA as the true heroes behind the scenes, serving as pillars of strength for their families and championing the well being of their spouses and wider community.

The President of NAFOWA and Wife of Air Chief, Mrs Rakiya Abubakar, said the event was organised to raise awareness on mental health as well as embrace and promote conversation around the issue.

Abubakar said the theme was coined to buttress the pertinence of mental health and advocate for mental wellne
ss through fitness.

She said the event was to also commemorate the 60? Anniversary of NAF.

She added that the association deemed it necessary to remind them that mental health and wellness remained a critical part of living a healthy and fulfilling life.

She said that it impacts on their relationship, work and daily activities, ad ding that ‘it remains one of the most under-discussed and undervalued aspects of our lives.

‘Our walk and the talk we are about to have is an amazing opportunity to change the narratives and start important conversations about mental health.

‘We hope this event provides the avenue to de-stigmatise mental health concerns and to rally together in support of those who may be struggling with their mental health,’ she said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the highlights of the event include free medical test, health walk and talks by medical professionals.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Make tourism a local currency stability enabler – Sector players urged

Tourism and hospitality players have been encouraged to make the sector more attractive and promote it as a go-to destination for domestic and intra-African leisure and business activities.

This would be a game changer in terms of generating domestic revenue, promoting economic growth and stability, creating more job opportunities for youths, and strengthening the Cedi and other African currencies.

This was the outcome of the second quarter edition of the Chief Executive Officers’ (CEOs) Breakfast meeting, held by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) in Accra last Thursday.

The forum was on the theme: ‘Regulatory framework for tourism infrastructure and its growth.’

The call comes at a time when Ghana and many other African countries have been excluded from accessing the international credit market, necessitating the exploration of domestic financing options.

The forum emphasised the sector’s potential to generate revenue and help strengthen local currencies, create more jobs, boost cultural exch
anges, and preserve national heritage.

According to the World Tourism Organisation, international tourism receipts reached US$1 trillion in 2022 due to a rebound in travels, marking a 50 per cent increase in real terms from 2021.

Africa regained 75 per cent of its pre-pandemic revenues, and in Ghana, inbound visitors spending totalled US$2.5 billion, with around 914,892 international arrivals in 2022.

In 2023, the expenditure by inbound visitors increased to US$3.8 billion, while arrivals reached 1,148,002.

Speaking at the event, Dr Stephen Amoah, a Deputy Minister of Finance, said the demands of the times necessitated that countries look inward for finance, including prioritising tourism and hospitality sectors.

‘We need to build homegrown policy tools that specifically address our needs… and make sure that we all repent. Let us begin to show that high level of patronage and keep the money here.

‘We always talk about Cedi depreciation, but if we change the Cedi into Dollars and go there [outside the co
untry], won’t the Cedi suffer,’ the Deputy Minister quizzed.

Dr. Amoah advocated for an increase in local patronage, stating, ‘If you stay here, the dollar people will come, and they will demand our currency,’ adding that the country must work to make tourism a key element of economic growth and stability.

He advised the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) to create programmes to allow workers from various Ministries, Agencies, and Departments (MDAs) to explore the country’s attractions.

Mr Yoofi Grant, CEO of GIPC, applauded industry players for their contributions to reinvigorating the sector through events such as the ‘year of return and the beyond the return.

He called for support and attitudinal change to boost the patronage of domestic tourism.

Mr Andrew Egyapa Mercer, Minister of Tourism Designate, said in a speech read on his behalf that the development of hotels, resorts, transportation networks, and recreational facilities had a significant impact on the tourism environment.

He did, however, acknowl
edge that a strong regulatory framework was essential for creating local employment, supporting small businesses, preserving cultural heritage, and alleviating poverty.

‘Let us work together towards a future where tourism serves as a force for good, enriching the lives of both visitors and host communities alike,’ he urged those in the sector.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Let’s support the establishment of traditional councils

Mr Harry Attipoe, the Registrar of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs, has called on the citizenry to support the establishment of traditional councils.

He said the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs had been mandated by the Constitution to streamline traditional leadership and administration in the various traditional areas, through the establishment of traditional councils.

The Registrar made the call at the inauguration of Councils in several traditional areas in the Volta Region.

Mr Attipoe was responding to some opposition to the establishment of the Councils, especially in areas with chieftaincy disputes.

Factions in some traditional areas had earlier tried to secure injunctions, expressing public opposition to the establishment of the new councils, which attracted police and other security intervention, to help keep watch over the inauguration ceremonies for their success.

The Registrar said the administrative and judicial functions of the traditional council remained under the auspices
of the Ministry and the House of Chiefs, to ensure the growth and development of the various areas, and opposing its realisation affected societal progress.

‘Traditional Councils are for the development of the traditional areas and would exist forever. A traditional council is not the property of any chief nor royal house. It is the Constitutional duty of the Ministry to establish traditional councils in every traditional area, so those standing against the formation of the council do not seek the progress of the community,’ he said.

Mr Attipoe said the councils would help anchor unity and collaboration for peace and development, ensuring that local arbitration of chieftaincy cases made justice more effective and affordable.

Executives from the Ministry led by Mr Evans Habada, the Head of Human Resource at the Ministry, attended the inaugurations, while gazetted rulers in the traditional areas were sworn in by court judges and magistrates.

Administrative offices for each council were commissioned after th
e inaugurations, with the Ministry promising to provide the needed staff and resources for their operations.

Mr Stephen Asamoah Boateng, the Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, called for unity among chiefs and the people to ensure that the essence of establishing the traditional councils was achieved.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Court denies man who shot soldier bail

The Achimota District Court has denied a bail application for Benlord Ababio, also known as Nana Barima Ababio, a self-proclaimed security operative accused of shooting Lance Corporal Michael Danso over a land dispute.

The court also denied bail to his accomplice, Nana Amo Kofi Kwakye, who was recently arrested by the police and arraigned.

Benlord, the self-proclaimed traditional ruler in Kasoa, is reported to have colluded with Kwakye to kill the soldier.

The two have been jointly charged with conspiracy.

Benlord has been charged with murder.

The court rejected their pleas, and they were remanded. They are scheduled to appear before the court on May 30, 2024.

At the district court hearing, Benlord’s attorney, Mr Nashiru Yussif, reiterated his application for bail until trial.

According to defence counsel, his client was not a flight risk, and he had persons of substance to stand as sureties when granted bail.

Mr Yussif told the court that Benlord had done nothing that suggests that he would jump bail
or interfere with police investigations.

He argued that the award of bail was based on the constitution, not the facts, and on whether the accused would appear for trial when granted bail.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (Retired) Baffour Appenteng Nyamekye, who represented Kwakye, also supported Benlord’s counsel.

He said that Kwakye was simply a victim of circumstance and should be granted bail by the court.

The prosecution, led by Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Lawrence Anane, was adamantly opposed to the accused receiving bail.

According to ASP Anane, under the law, the court could deny bail if it felt that the accused could interfere with police investigations.

The prosecution brought up the fact that the case at hand was murder, which is a first-degree felony with serious penalties if convicted.

It contended that granting bail would endanger the lives of the accused.

The prosecution told the court that on April 30, 2024, at around 1600 hours, Lance Corporal Michael Danso and two colle
agues, Lance Corporals Abdul Omar Rahman and Ametus Matthew, drove to Millennium City police station in a Toyota RAV4 to report a trespass.

They were informed that some encroachers were developing a parcel of land belonging to Lance Corporal Abdul Omar Rahman.

The accused appeared at the police station, and Benlord attacked and opened fire on Lance Corporal Michael Danso who driving the vehicle, killing him instantly.

Benlord was disarmed by the police and arrested for investigations.

Source: Ghana News Agency

NCCE holds Inter-Party Dialogue meeting at North East Gonja District

The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has engaged stakeholders in the North East Gonja District of the Savannah Region to dialogue on ensuring violent free society, especially before, during and after the 2024 general elections.

Stakeholders, who were members of the Inter-Party Dialogue Committee (IPDC), included representatives of political parties and security services, religious and traditional leaders as well as opinion leaders in the area.

The IPDC meeting was undertaken under the Preventing and Containing Violent Extremism initiative implemented by the NCCE and funded by the European Union.

At the meeting at Kpalbe, participants were introduced to some legalities of elections, and what their rights and responsibilities were as citizens.

Madam Martha Bagbin, North East Gonja District Director, NCCE, speaking at the meeting, said it sought to promote responsible behaviour among citizens to prevent election-related violence.

Madam Bagbin said stakeholders, coming together for the dialogue
, would significantly promote peace during the elections, adding it encouraged citizens to accept the results without violently contesting them.

She advised participants to refrain from making statements and actions that could incite violence during the electioneering period as well as avoid registering minors for voter identification cards.

She said, ‘The people we consider as stakeholders should be able to control community members so that they do not take actions that will affect the peace of society.’

Mr Joshua Yeboah, North East Gonja District Director, Electoral Commission, said every individual had a role to play in ensuring peace in the country and entreated the participants to be weary of the consequences to their actions.

He said, ‘we as the Electoral Commission, will play our part to ensure the processes are free and fair’ urging citizens to resort to legal actions to address grievances rather than violence.’

Inspector Haruna Mohammed, Kpalbe Police Station Officer, described violence as a thr
eat to the smooth functioning of society and called on the youth to reject violence.

He stated that women, children and the aged were vulnerable in times of crisis and should, therefore, be considered in any action taken at any time.

Participants raised concerns about drug abuse as a primary cause of violence among the youth.

In responding to their concerns, Mr Braimah Iddi, a traditional leader in the Kpalbe community, who chaired the meeting, urged parents and guardians to protect their wards against drugs.

He warned parents against registering minors solely for the purpose of voting for a particular candidate, emphasising that such registration could have long-term negative effects on the minors.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Over 3,500 young agripreneurs trained to contribute to agriculture transformation agenda

About 3,500 young agripreneurs have been trained under the AgriTech Challenge programme to contribute to the transformative agenda of the country’s agricultural sector since 2016.

The training focused on innovation in the agriculture value chain to boost production while keeping in mind sustainability and building climate resilient.

Mr Benjamin Gyan-Kesse, Executive Director, Kosmos Innovation Center (KIC), said this at the opening ceremony of the two-day AgriTech Challenge Pro Final Pitch 2024 held in Accra.?

It was organised by KIC in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation.

The 2024 KIC AgriTech Challenge is a seven-month programme that identifies young people who are interested in setting up a business and provides them with a system of training, workshops, and support to develop their business ideas.

The programme uses coaching and market research tours to encourage participants to take a fresh look at the agriculture value chain and identify new areas with potential business opportunities.

Mr G
yan-Kesse said the journey towards building a successful business was not one that could be undertaken alone, but required collaboration, teamwork, and a shared vision, hence urged the participants to cherish and nurture the networks created.??

‘So, rally behind your business ideas, support one another through the challenges, and together celebrate the victories, both big and small,’ he added.

The Executive Director stated that this year’s edition had seen significant expansion, welcoming six additional academic institutions to the challenge.

He noted that the growth showed the relevance and impact of the AgriTech Challenge Pro, and was confident that it would create innovative solutions to support all actors along the agricultural value chain, improve livelihoods, and contribute to food security.

Mr George Sarpong, Board Chair, KIC, said each year, the event served as a showcase of the boundless potential and unwavering dedication of young entrepreneurs, and that this year was certainly no exception.

said what began as a seed of an idea to create impact for young people in this country, had blossomed into a thriving ecosystem of innovation, fuelled by the entrepreneurial spirit of the talented individuals who participated in the Programme.

The Board Chair said the challenges faced were vast and complex, but it was through the contributions of their ingenuity, determination, and sheer hard work that these solutions were needed to propel Ghana towards a brighter future.

Mr Gottfried Odamtten-Sowah, Head of Entrepreneurship, Mastercard Foundation, Ghana, stated that the core of the Foundation was influencing youth interest in entrepreneurship, especially agribusiness.

‘In fact, about 80 to 90 per cent of the Foundation’s portfolio in Ghana is centered around agriculture and agribusiness,’ he added.

The Head of Entrepreneurship said the Foundation was committed to unlocking three million dignified and fulfilling work opportunities for young women and men by the year 2030.

‘Our daily efforts are guided by
our vision that Ghana will be a continental demonstration of young people, especially women, harnessing opportunities to shape the future of work and to create an inclusive economy with enhanced resilience for the most vulnerable,’ he added.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Professional Network celebrates International Day for Women in Maritime with mentorship programme

Members of the Network for Professional Women in Maritime and Port Sector of West and Central Africa (NPWMP-WCA) have organised a mentorship programme to celebrate the International Day for Women in Maritime.

The members of the Ghana Chapter of the Network organised a workshop for 270 female students of the Tema Manhean Secondary Technical School.

The International Day for Women in Maritime, an initiative by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), has been observed on May 18 annually since 2021, to celebrate women in the industry and promote the recruitment, retention, and sustained employment of women in the maritime sector.

It is also to raise the profile of women in maritime, strengthen the IMO’s commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 5 on gender equality, and support work, to address the current gender imbalance in maritime.

Ms Abena Serwaa Opoku Fosu, the President of the NPWMP-WCA, Ghana Chapter, said the network was part of the Port Management Association of West and
Central Africa.

She said world trade thrived on the maritime industry as 80 per cent of global commerce in merchandise was carried by ships and handled in ports globally.

She explained that while ships sail across vast oceans, there was another journey underway involving breaking barriers and empowering women to chart their course in a traditionally male-dominated field.

‘Surprisingly, women represent only 1.2% of the global seafarer workforce. However, since 2015, there has been a 45.8% increase in female seafarers, a positive trend that we must accelerate,’ she said.

Ms Fosu said the maritime industry offered various career opportunities for women, such as seafaring, which was gradually seeing the bridging of the gap as women were now working as ship captains, deck officers, engineers, or crew members on ships, and the IMO’s Women in Maritime programme aimed to support them in their seafaring roles.

She indicated that women could also have carriers in port and shipping management, which included managi
ng port operations, logistics and supply chain management, and ship brokerage.

Ms Fosu, who is also the Marketing and Public Affairs Manager at the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), Tema Port, said women could also play administrative roles within maritime organisations, contributing to policy development and implementation, as well as in maritime law and insurance.

‘Apart from these maritime professions, there are a host of other fields. In the port industry, there is human resources, marketing, accounting and audit, civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering, among others,’ she said.

She said the maritime sector would thrive when diverse perspectives came together, stressing that gender balance was not just about fairness but rather about maximising potential.

She indicated that one of the core aims of the NPWMP-WCA was to create resource groups for mentorship and personal growth through cooperation, friendship, the exchange of knowledge, and the dissemination of information, and therefore a
im to share the success stories of women who have excelled in the maritime industry and encourage girls to pursue their passion, break stereotypes, and explore maritime careers.

She said the mentorship workshop was to stir up in the girls the desire to challenge themselves and embrace the waves of change with the confidence that there was no limit to what they could?accomplish.

She disclosed that 10 selected form-one female students had been given a mentor each to be mentored for two years to shape their future careers and guide them holistically in achieving higher education and excellence, indicating that those who would do well in their final exams would be supported in diverse ways at the tertiary level.

Mrs Bernice Ofori, the Tema Metropolitan Education Director, encouraged the girls to avail themselves for such mentorship programme to prepare them for the future, stressing that it was not only selling fish that was beneficial for women along the coast, but they could do more within the maritime secto

Source: Ghana News Agency

Plumber to serve 10 years for unlawful possession of narcotic drugs

A 25-year-old plumber, who allegedly possessed a waste bag containing 19 wraps of rocky substances suspected to be narcotic drugs without authority has been sentenced by an Accra Circuit Court to 10 years imprisonment.

The Court presided over by Mrs Evelyn Asamoah sentenced Gadawor after a full trial.

Prosper Gadawor also had in his possession 30 wraps of dry plant materials and 71 tablets of envelopes of dry plant materials without authority.

He was charged with unlawful possession or control of narcotic drugs.

The facts as narrated by Police Chief Inspector Benson Benneh were that the complainants in the case were Police Officers stationed at the Mamprobi Police Station while the convict was a resident of Camara.

The prosecution said on March 3, 2023, at about 1730 hours, the Mamprobi Police Command embarked on an operation to arrest drug peddlers and users within its jurisdiction.

It said when the team got to Chorkor, Santana, at a wee ghetto, the convict was met running away.

The prosecution said t
he convict was given a hot chase and was arrested.

It said the convict was taken to his room and a search conducted in his room uncovered a waist bag containing 19 wraps of rocky substances, 30 wraps of dry plant materials and 71 tablets of envelopes of dry plant materials, all suspected to be narcotic drugs without authority.

The prosecution said the convict admitted the offence in his caution statement and the exhibits were sealed in the presence of the convict.

It said the exhibits were sent to the Police Forensic Laboratory for examination.

Source: Ghana News Agency

The border protection issue will have to change

Brigadier-General Zibrim Bawah Ayorrogo, Commissioner of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has said expanding surveillance at the nation’s borders would enhance national revenue.

He said border security remained a major challenge for the Customs Division as smugglers and other illegal traders continued to evade checks into the country, causing revenue losses to the State.

Brigadier-General Ayorrogo, who was briefing the media during a working visit to the Volta Region on Thursday, noted the persistence of unapproved routes along the borders, which he said must be addressed.

‘The border protection issue will have to change. The more we protect, the more money we will get. Indeed, there are individuals ready and willing to pay taxes and duties, but others will not be willing.

‘But if we are able to seal the borders to some extent, obviously you have to follow the rules and you will get money out of it,’ the Commissioner stated.

He mentioned the unavailability of customs checkpoints
in some border communities in the Region strategic to illegal trade, and said as part of his tour, challenges including personnel numbers were being taken note of.

‘The key issue is about the vulnerabilities in terms of the unapproved routes. They (Customs Officers) have a strategy of compelling the individual to use the approved routes and once that is done, it is obvious that the actual revenue or the target will be achieved.

‘It’s not an easy task but covering unapproved routes to much extent would yield a lot of dividends,’ he said.

Brigadier-General Ayorrogo spoke of the need to make active the marine unit of the Customs Division, adding that the nation’s water bodies were ‘almost uncovered.’

He said stakeholders would be engaged on issues including the nature of some roads and assured of his resolve to tackle challenges head on.

The Commissioner, who is on the first leg of a nationwide tour, earlier met officers at Aflao, and said the visit would provide firsthand appreciation of the working and li
ving conditions of the Officers as well as their grievances to achieve the mission and vision of the GRA.

‘So, there is a chain of issues and I think that by putting our heads together, we are likely to achieve our objectives.’

Brigadier-General Ayorrogo said he personally resolved to addressing challenges ‘instantly’ and assured Officers, ‘I will solve problems as much as they arrive.’

Accompanying the Commissioner of the tour were some other heads of the Customs Division, and the entourage is scheduled to be in the Eastern Region after visiting Hohoe.

Assistant Commissioner of Customs Felicia Azumah, the Ho Sector Commander, said several strategies were in place to address smuggling of goods particularly motor vehicles in the catchment area.

She said the Ho Sector was gaining ‘notoriety’ as a hub of uncustomed vehicles, and that with the assurance and support from the new Commissioner, revenue targets would be met.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Late Ejisu MP laid to rest ?

The mortal remains of the former Member of Parliament (MP) of Ejisu, Dr John Ampontua Kumah, was on Saturday laid to rest at Onwe, his hometown, near Ejisu, at a solemn ceremony amid glowing tributes.

Dr Kumah, who was also a Deputy Minister of Finance, died on March 7, 2024, after a short illness.

The Vice President, Dr Mohamudu Bawumia, who led a government delegation to observe the final funeral rites, eulogised the late lawmaker for his contribution to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and to national development.

He recounted the support he received from Dr Kumah in his bid to become the flag-bearer of the NPP.

‘True to his public pledge, John supported me strongly, when I finally announced my decision to contest as flag-bearer of the party, campaigning with me at every nuke and cranny of the country,’ Dr Bawumia said.

‘He desired to see me win the December election and I pray that God will grant his desires for me and the party and the country.’

Born on August 4, 1978 at Ejisu Odaho in the Ashanti Reg
ion, Dr Kumah attended Opoku Ware for his secondary education.

He obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Economics with Philosophy from the University of Ghana and a Professional Law Degree from the Ghana School of Law.

He earned an a Master’s of Business Administration in Finance from GIMPA in 2009.

Dr Kumah was admitted to the Ghana Bar as a solicitor and legal practitioner in 2013.

He was elected as MP of Ejisu in the 2020 General Election and appointed a Deputy Finance Minister in April, 2021.

Tears and heartfelt tributes flowed at the burial service as family, government functionaries, and constituents poured their hearts out to the former Deputy Finance Minister, eulogising him for his contributions to the welfare of humanity.

Many commented on his remarkable legacy and achievements, even at age 45.

Among the mourners were MPs, Ministers of state, chiefs, party members, friends and sympathisers.

He was survived by his widow, Lilian, and six children.

Source: Ghana News Agency