The granting of approval for a Turkish firm to partner with the Ghana Airports Company Limited and the resignation of the deputy Trade Minister are some of the leading stories in the Ghanaian newspapers on Friday.The Graphic says that President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has granted approval to the Ministry of Aviation to engage TAV-Summa Consortium from Turkey as a strategic partner for the management of the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL).
The newspaper recalls that the search for a strategic investor for the airport company, a move opposed by the local union of the company, started last year but was abandoned following some challenges.
It added that the Ministry of Aviation, on March 18, this year, wrote to the President, requesting for approval to facilitate the engagement of a strategic partner for the GACL to improve service delivery and expand infrastructure at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
According to the report, a March 24, 2020 letter in response to the request, signed by the Secretary to the President, Nana Bediatuo Asante, said: “The President has granted Executive approval for the Ministry of Aviation to facilitate the engagement of TAV-SUMMA Consortium as strategic partners to the Ghana Airports Company Limited for the improvement of service delivery and expansion of infrastructure.”
The newspaper also reported that a Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr. Carlos Ahenkorah, has resigned from his position, following his admission of breaching the COVID-19 protocols after testing positive for the virus.
A statement issued on Friday, July 3, and signed by the Director of Communications at the Office of the President, said Mr. Ahenkorah’s resignation was with immediate effect.
Mr. Ahenkorah, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tema West admitted that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was admitted at the isolation centre of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra.
He said in an interview on Accra-based radio station, Citi FM, on Thursday, July 2, that although he had tested positive and had been advised to isolate himself, he stepped out to monitor the ongoing voter registration exercise in his constituency.
According to him, he did not pose any harm to people who were present there since he was asymptomatic.
The Graphic also says that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Thursday paid surprise visits to five voters registration centres in the Greater Accra Region to get himself acquainted with the process.
On the tour with the President were the Director of Operations at the Presidency, Mr. Lord Commey, and the Director of Communications, Mr. Eugene Arhin.
The centres visited were the Kanda Cluster of Schools Registration Centre in Ayawaso East, the Abossey Okai Presby Centre in Ablekuma Central and the Ebenezer Funeral Parlour (1&2) centres in Weija-Gbawe.
Others were the Teshie Aboma Presby Church Centre in Ledzokuku and the Super Service Centre in Klottey Korle.
At each of the centres, President Akufo-Addo interacted with registration officials, who took him through the registration process.
The Times newspaper says that Ghana as at yesterday recorded 496 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, from 10 out of the 16 regions, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has said.
This brings the number of COVID-19 cases to 18,630 from the previous figure of 18,237.
The report added that the number of active cases has gone up to 4,467, while the number of deaths remained 117, with 14,046 patients recovering.
It said that Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Director General, Ghana Health Service (GHS), who announced this at a press briefing in Accra yesterday also stated that 22 people are in a critical condition and six on ventilators.
He said the active cases were being given the needed attention at various treatment and isolation centres, with other patients under home management.
The newspaper also reported that the government has granted amnesty to 794 prisoners serving in various prisons across the country to mitigate congestion and further spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The convicts comprise 772 first time offenders, 16 very old prisoners above age 70, four severely ill and two prisoners on death sentence who have been converted to life imprisonment.
A statement issued and signed by the Director-General of the Prisons Service, Mr. Patrick Darko Missah in Accra yesterday, said, the pardon was in line with Article 72 (1) of the 1992 Constitution.
According to the statement, the release of the prisoners takes immediate effect.