Friday, July 25, 2014

Ghana's rising utility prices worrying -- Gov’t Statistician

Government Statistician Dr. Philomena Nyarko this week expressed worry over the trend of rising utility prices as this has a drastic impact on the cost of living for households in the country. 
In October 2013, government announced major hikes in electricity and water tariffs after more than a year of subsidies. 

The hikes were followed by increases in January and July, causing power and water tariffs to jump by 96 percent and 72 percent respectively over nine months.

“It will really impact on households. The tempo at which utilities are rising is worrying, and we are hoping that policies will be put in place to arrest the situation,” Dr. Nyarko said.

Utilities inflation surged to 56.9 percent in June she told a media conference in Accra while announcing the annualised producer price index (PPI) for last month. 

She said annual producer inflation rose to a fresh four-year high of 33.1 percent, driven mainly by utility price increases.

The index has steadily increased this year after the government removed subsidies on power and water as part of measures to cut spending. The monthly inflation rate was 0.7 percent. 

After utilities, mining and quarrying inflation was the next highest at 37.3 percent. The manufacturing sub-sector recorded an inflation rate of 27.1 percent.

Manufacturing recorded a monthly inflation rate of 0.8 percent while mining and quarrying recorded 0.7 percent. 

The utilities sub-sector recorded the lowest monthly rate of 0.2 percent.
Five out of the 16 major groups in the manufacturing sub-sector recorded inflation rates higher than the sector average of 27.1 percent.

Manufacture of machinery and equipment recorded the highest of 76 percent, while producer prices in the manufacture of wood and wood products recorded the lowest producer inflation rate of 2.3 percent over the one-year period.

Polytank launches new tank

Polytanks Ghana Limited has launched a new type of economical tank to sustain its leadership in the plastic water storage manufacturing industry in the country.
The tank which uses modern technology called ‘Blow Moulded Tank Technology’ (BMT) can store over 1,000, 2,000 and 3,000 litres of water and also comes in a wide range of colours.

Commissioning the new tank at its premises on the Spintex Road in Accra, Mr. Ashok Mohinani, Executive Director of the Mohinani Group, said that introduction of the new range demonstrates Polytanks’ leadership and commitment to continuously invest in the latest technologies in its operations and in the sector.

“The new economical range of tanks makes Polytanks the pioneer company to introduce the BMT into the industry -- the first of its kind in the Ghanaian market,” he said.

Mr. Mohinani said Polytanks has over the past 20 years created products that have provided varied solutions to consumers, especially in the storage of safe, clean drinking water across West Africa.

He said Polytanks is the most recognized and trusted household name for water storage in Ghana because it continues to manufacture products that have proven to stand the test of time.

He added that Polytanks’ recognition is solely based on its quality standards and innovativeness in providing products that meet consumer needs.

 “Polytanks will continue to use pioneering technologies to constantly upgrade its product range, which includes water storage and septic tanks; dustbins; plastic pallets; poly-kiosks and many more,” he stressed. 

He said the new series of tanks “use a new technology that is fast catching-on”.
“This brings about savings in producing these tanks, which will be passed onto the consumer,” he remarked.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mfantsipim Flag Month

Memoriam of Reminder 

An annual “Dwen Hwe Kan“ lecture to provide a platform for renowned Old Boys of Mfantsipim School to discuss topical national and global issues that relate to leadership, among others, is to be instituted to mark the school’s Flag Month Celebrations.

Mr. J. K. A. Simpson, Headmaster of the school who made the announcement at the formal unveiling of the flag event, said the platform will also be used to discuss patriotism, governance, development, nationalism, service, loyalty and allegiance within the context of Mfantsipim values, creed and philosophy as defined by the founding fathers.

He said hoisting of the new flag that embodies the virtues, heritage, traditions and values of Mfantsipim also marks another historic occasion in the life of the great school; saying Mfantsipim, the soul of the nation, ticks and Ghana responds accordingly.

He said while exploring ways of celebrating the annual Flag event as a memoriam of constant reminder for ourselves, the nation and humanity, the story of the Faithful Eight who had no teachers and headmaster but came together to help train themselves until Rev. Balmer arrived from Sierra Leone to head them should be an important lesson for us in school and out of school.

He rounded his speech with a quote by Rev. W. T. Balmer: “Let all undergrowths of superstition and suspicion be cleared away, so that the African character may grow in the clear sunlight of truth and sincerity. Then the fruits of African life will become more worthy and of more value than all her gold and merchandise”.

The Special Guest of Honour, Vice Admiral Mathew Quashie, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of the Ghana Armed Forces, in his keynote address themed “Energising Mfantsipim’s Esprit De Corps for Contemporary Challenges” said the age-old purpose of mounting or carrying a flag has been simply to identify a leader or group to which one is associated or is loyal.

One fundamental leadership principle every student is liable to pick up at Mfantsipim, he said, is the need to lead by example and set the standard for one’s peers and contemporaries.

“We may find the best example of this in the military, where if an officer’s men are living in harsh conditions he does not resort to privileged conditions or absolve himself from the hardships being endured by his men,” he said

“He stays in the trenches with his men and works with them to defuse any threats to their survival and improve everybody’s condition”. He added, “So as a leader, you need to demonstrate to your men that you do not expect them to do anything that you would not do yourself”.

Vice Admiral Mathew Quashie, a member of the MOBA 1970 Year Group, said a flag represents not just a unit but also its history and its future. It is the symbol of the Spirit of the Unit. Mfantsipim has a unique history and keeps making history, which is why we should all be proud of our alma mater -- adding that the Spirit of Mfantsipim is not about tribes or political parties.

It is about people, their local communities, their country and their continent in unity offering equal opportunities and shaping the thoughts, vision and energies of men of destiny toward unique contributions to enhance the quality of human life in every community and nation on the African continent and on the globe.

He noted that as a country we are gradually deviating so much from the old cultural norms which have held us together for years.  Today we have become so much individualistic, he said, an attitude that is gradually transforming into selfishness and giving vent to greed in all facets of our national life.

We need to generate a new and positive energy in ourselves and direct such energies for the benefit of our teams or groups. We need to identify with our broad objectives and contribute meaningfully to achieve them.

Esprit de corps, however, will not come easy. In our everyday management, there will be questionable workloads, inadequate support at various levels, lack of recognition of individual accomplishments, remuneration issues, and varied perceptions regarding the direction of a programme or activity. There will also be varied perceptions of individual roles within a programme, or mismanagement of personalities.

We all desire an environment of open communications, a relaxed environment that includes physical comfort, fair methods of assessment; a pathway for dissent, honest leadership; mechanics for change and/or development, and a prevailing spirit of concern for the individual as a human being.

He urged all to be innovative and always think outside the box. He also urged students and old boys to always press on regardless of difficulties.

He further urged all to go forth from here as leaders of this nation with their thoughtfulness and foresight in every human endeavour in character and thought; and in energy, initiative and resourcefulness.

Vice Admiral Matthew Quashie also urged all not to let the spirit of Mfantsipim elude them, imploring them to go forth and sell the Mfantsipim brand. “Kwabotwe Boys” must remain as one family and rally round the flag.  

He ended his speech with a quote from Prof. Adu Boahen’s “Mfantsipim and the making of Ghana”: “It is a greater privilege still to be an old boy of such a school, and it is an onus on all old boys to help the school continue to live up to its traditions, it’s achievements and its reputation; and to make even greater contributions still to the development of our country”.

Nana Kobina Nketsia V, Omanhen of Essikado Traditional Area (British Sekondi) and member of the MOBA 1969 Year Group who chaired the Mfantsipim Flag unveiling and raising ceremony, reminded all to be mindful of the exploits and philosophy of the founding fathers, the School Motto and meanings of the logo upon which the school was established to shape their own lives and destinies. 

 He added that each student and old boy’s life should always be in partial fulfillment of the Mfantsipim creed and ethos; and concluded that the rationale behind the design and colours of the Flag should be a constant reminder not only to the school but to the nation in driving its national development agenda.