The foreign affairs ministry has said it is yet to purchase the new Ghana mission building in Oslo, Norway. In a statement, the ministry said discussions are still underway towards the planned purchase of the said House. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not signed any agreement to purchase the said properties; that is the Chancery and the Ambassador’s Residence. ” The Ministry expressed interest in two properties in Oslo and as required by the Public Procurement Act commenced due diligence on the properties with the assistance of a property Valuer and a reputable Lawyer with expertise in the acquisition of properties for Diplomatic Missions. 3. As of now the Ministry has not entered into any binding agreement with the owners of the properties,” the statement said. It comes after the minister was engaged in heated exchanges with the Minority in parliament Monday over the price of the facility. Below is a statement from the ministry The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has taken notice of events emerging out of parliament where a section of the minority is alleging corrupt motives into plans by government to acquire a chancery in Oslo, Norway. The Ministry takes very strong exception to the Minority’s vigorous attempt to impugn corruption into the said transaction by claiming that the price of the Chancery has been inflated by 8.5million dollars. For the avoidance of doubt here are the facts; 1. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not signed any agreement to purchase the said properties; that is the Chancery and the Ambassador’s Residence. 2. The Ministry expressed interest in two properties in Oslo and as required by the Public Procurement Act commenced due diligence on the properties with the assistance of a property Valuer and a reputable Lawyer with expertise in the acquisition of properties for Diplomatic Missions. 3. As of now the Ministry has not entered into any binding agreement with the owners of the properties. 4. The Ministry wishes to categorically state that no payment has been made towards the purchase of the properties therefore there has been no financial loss to the State. 5. The Ministry strongly rejects the unfounded claims by the Ranking Member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa and a section of the Minority that seeks to give the erroneous impression that the Ministry was engaged in some fraudulent transaction with the owners of the two properties. 6. Such uninformed allegations and hasty judgement involving a Diplomatic Mission could damage not only the image of the country but jeopardize relations between our two countries. 7. In response to the publication in a Norwegian newspaper, alleging the inflation of the price of the Chancery by the owner, the Hon. Minister directed on 12th December, 2018 that all due diligence activities relating to the acquisition of the two properties be discontinued. 8. This directive was immediately communicated to the parties involved. The Ministry wishes to assure the public that it would not engage in any transaction that lacks transparency or does not conform to proper procurement standards, ensuring value for money. Accra, 17th December, 2018.

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Former President John Dramani Mahama has reiterated his intention to abolish the double track system if elected as President in the 2020 general elections.

The government adopted the temporary system, which began in some 400 Senior High Schools in the country to cater for increased enrollment under its flagship free Senior High School programme, due to a deficit in infrastructure.

Mr. Mahama, however, said the NPP administration hurriedly implemented the policy without engaging thoroughly enough with stakeholders.

“I will also work hard to abolish the double track system in the shortest possible time. We will do this by investing massively in the expansion of school infrastructures such as additional classroom blocks and dormitories and the completion of 200 Day schools popularly known as E-blocks that we started to enable our children to attend school at the same time and have adequate contact hours with their teachers,” said the former President.

The President made this comment while addressing party supporters at the Trade Fair Centre after submitting his nomination forms at the party’s headquarters.

2018 Christmas under NPP ‘will be the driest for Ghanaians’

The former President was also pessimistic this year’s (2018) Christmas will be exciting for Ghanaians, given what he described as the “excruciating economic difficulties” they are battling with under the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration.

“Most Ghanaian families will go through the driest Christmas they have ever experienced in the history of Ghana,” the Flagbearer aspirant said.

The former President was however quick to add that the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) will “continue to put pressure on this government to push back on their insensitive economic policies” which it has put in place despite assurances of “better times under the NPP administration.”

Three other candidates submit forms

Three other aspirants, Joshua Alabi, Sylvester Mensah and Alban Bagbin also filed their nomination forms at the party’s headquarters today [Monday] with a fee of Ghc300,000 each.

Mr. Bagbin’s form was received by a team of national executives led by the party’s National Chairman, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo and General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketsia.

After receiving the forms, Mr. Asiedu said: “On the surface, everything appears to be in order so I will proceed to sign to indicate that the party has officially received the forms.”

Mr. Bagbin assured that he will abide by the party’s rules during his campaign.

“As a presidential aspirant, I assure you that with your support and prayers and our message of grassroots empowerment and commitment to the ending of the cycle of neglect that has plagued those who have served party and country, victory will be ours in 2020,” Mr. Bagbin said.

Mr. Alabi, after submitting his forms called on the party’s leadership to find alternative ways of funding the party rather than charging aspirants exorbitant fees.

He also indicated that he will make Nana Addo a one-term President if elected as the party’s Flagbearer.

“I am afraid for our party. For those of us who supported the amount, there will be a time, if we do not take care, they will be charging branch Chairman GHC1,000. We have to work and find innovative methods of rebuilding our country. Innovative methods to find employment for our teeming unemployed youth.”

“We are getting to a place in our country where we need to give hope to our people, and I am here to tell you that as a Flagbearer of the NDC, I am going to give Nana Addo one term. If my name is announced as Flagbearer of the NDC, Nana Addo will start packing from the Flagstaff House,” said Mr. Alabi.

The deadline for the filing of nominations for the presidential aspirants was extended to December 18, 2018, after some pressure from the contestants, who petitioned and got the filing fee reduced to Ghc300,000 from an initial figure of Ghc400,000.

The vetting of the aspirants will be on the 21st and 22nd of December, 2018, with balloting to follow immediately after that.

Any appeals from the aspirants will be permitted between the 22nd and 24th of December, 2018.

Source:Ghana/Dinpafm.com/91.3




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