The launching of the Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme by the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the donation by the ECOWAS Commission and the European Union, yesterday of Personal Protective Equipment to the Ghana Immigration Service for the protection of border personnel are some of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Wednesday.The Times reports that the Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme was yesterday launched here by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
In pursuit of Section 26 of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) Law, 1984 (PNDC L.81), which mandates COCOBOD to establish a contributory insurance for cocoa farmers, the government, in collaboration with COCOBOD and the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA), set up the scheme.
It is open to all cocoa farmers in the country to make contributions toward their retirement while COCOBOD makes a supplementary contribution on their behalf.
To ensure the successful roll-out of the scheme, COCOBOD has begun the collection of data of farmers for the Cocoa Management System, which would hold a database of all cocoa farmers in the country and track their contributions.
According to the President, the scheme was aimed at rejuvenation of diseased and overaged farmers and activities meant for productivity enhancement, including pruning, hand pollination and irrigation of cocoa farms.
He recalled making a solemn pledge to cocoa farmers in 2016 that if he won that election, he would establish the scheme.
The newspaper says that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission and the European Union (EU), yesterday, donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) for the protection of border personnel.
The PPE, including facemasks, thermometer guns, gloves and detergent worth £40,000 are part of a £200,000 COVID-19 support kit to five ECOWAS member states; Ghana, Niger, Nigeria, Benin and Togo, to contain the pandemic at their entry points.
The joint assistance was under a £26 million project dubbed “Support to Free Movement of Persons and Migration in West Africa (FMM West Africa), implemented by International Organisation for Migration and other partners.
Started in 2013, the project aims at maximising the development potential of free movement of persons and migration in the sub-region through the implementation of various ECOWAS protocols.
According to Pieter Van Gelder, Deputy Head of EU delegation to Ghana, the support was to complement measures already put in place by the various countries to manage the spread of the virus.
The Graphic repors that hordes of National Democratic Congress (NDC) supporters yesterday took to the streets of Accra to protest against what they described as corrupt activities of the government.
Dubbed: “Yegye yen sika”, to wit: “We are retrieving our money”, the demonstration started at the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, where hundreds of party supporters had converged, at about 8 a.m.
Clad in party colours, the supporters paraded through some principal streets of Accra, amidst singing and dancing to party songs.
They held placards with inscriptions such as: “Agyapa thieves”, “We want our stolen monies”, “PDS thieves”, “Ghana is not for your family” and “419 government”.
Some party executives were present to lead the demonstrators to ensure the success of the exercise.
The newspaper says that the United Front Party (UFP) has become the third opposition political party to endorse the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and its flagbearer John Dramani Mahama for the December 7 elections.
In a statement, the UFP said the decision to back Mr. Mahama and the NDC was made by its National Executive Committee after the party was disqualified by the Electoral Commission from the Presidential elections.
“Our party arrived at this conclusion at the just-ended National Executive Committee meeting. We are therefore calling on all our rank and file and all our party supporters to canvas for votes and also vote massively for HE JOHN DRAMANI MAHAMA in the presidential election,” the statement said.
The UFP joins the Every Ghanaian Living Everywhere (EGLE) Party and the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) as opposition parties who have directed their supporters to vote for Mr. Mahama in the Presidential election.
The statement which comes six days before the presidential poll, accused President Akufo-Addo and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) of mismanaging the economy, adding that former President John Dramani Mahama was needed to put the country back on track.