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Accident in West Legon injures four firefighters on duty

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They were members of a Legon Fire Station team that was combating a fire at the commercial property when the tragedy struck. On Wednesday, Chief Fire Officer Julius Kuunuor paid a visit to the firefighters upon admittance and promised them of management's full support for their prompt and total recovery.

On Wednesday, January 24, the last level of a two-story structure fell on four firemen, two of whom are in serious condition.

Raymond Ansah and Joshua Kankam, two firefighters who suffered burn injuries and are now in serious condition at the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC) in Legon.

Ibrahim Anum and Prince Ofori, who had minor injuries, were treated and released.

They were members of a Legon Fire Station team that was combating a fire at the commercial property when the tragedy struck.

On Wednesday, Chief Fire Officer Julius Kuunuor paid a visit to the firefighters upon admittance and promised them management’s full support for their prompt and total recovery.

What exactly happened?

The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), Assistant Chief Fire Officer (ACFO) Timothy Osafo Affum, explained what happened at the site, saying two pillars holding the building fell as the guys were fighting the fire, causing the structure to fall in.

Although a safety officer was on the lookout throughout the firefighting to assure the building’s safety, he stated that the event occurred on the second level and that he saw the indicators from the ground floor.

No insurance coverage

When asked if there was insurance coverage for the injured firefighters, the PRO responded there was no particular insurance for such events.

However, he stated that there was a general policy known as workman’s compensation, which they would get when they recovered.

“This is why we are always calling on authorities to come up with an insurance cover that is suitable for the firefighting job,” Mr Affum said.

Preventing recurrence

To avoid such a catastrophe from happening again, he stated that the service will recall all safety officials for reorientation.

He explained that this was done to guarantee that they were especially cautious during fires and alerted the firefighters if they perceived any risk.

According to him, the government has allocated funding for the acquisition of new firefighting gear and trucks for the service this year.

“As for this one, I am aware that monies have been allocated to the acquisition of firefighting equipment to improve our operations.

Furthermore, the government has allocated funding to purchase cars for our commanders,” Mr Affum remarked.

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PURC defends power tariff reductions

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Dr. Ishmael Ackah, the PURC's Executive Secretary, emphasised that the reviews followed the Commission's Quarterly Tariff Review (QTR) Mechanism. This method monitors and includes changes in important uncontrollable variables such as the US dollar-to-Ghana cedi exchange rate, local inflation rate, energy generating mix, and fuel costs, particularly natural gas. Dr. Ackah stated that the QTR attempts to guarantee that utilities recover their revenues, which include allocations for operating and maintenance costs, capital expenditure, and other substantial regulatory costs.

The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) has stated the rationale for the tariff review in the first quarter of 2024.

On February 28, the commission announced a small reduction in home electricity tariffs, while keeping current rates for lifeline users (0-30 kWh) and residential consumers (0-300 kWh).

PURC stated that the small tariff reduction of 6.56% would benefit residential clients who use more than 301 kWh.

According to a March 5 announcement, the PURC assessed present energy and water pricing on February 27, 2024. The increased tariffs will take effect from April 1 to June 30, 2024.

Dr. Ishmael Ackah, the PURC’s Executive Secretary, emphasised that the reviews followed the Commission’s Quarterly Tariff Review (QTR) Mechanism. This method monitors and includes changes in important uncontrollable variables such as the US dollar-to-Ghana cedi exchange rate, local inflation rate, energy generating mix, and fuel costs, particularly natural gas.

Dr. Ackah stated that the QTR attempts to guarantee that utilities recover their revenues, which include allocations for operating and maintenance costs, capital expenditure, and other substantial regulatory costs.

Another main goal of the QTR for April to June 2024 is to cut existing residential tariff bands to eliminate cross-subsidies, to reduce non-residential class bands to two, and to lower industrial tariff bands to encourage productive power consumption.

Dr Ackah stated that these tariff band reductions will simplify the application and understanding of authorised tariff bands, thus making metres more inexpensive to customers.

He further stated that the QTR seeks to collect the complete income required for the period April to June 2024. Despite the expected Ghana Cedi loss against the US dollar in the quarter (December 2023 – February 2024), the projected inflation rate fell from 40.43% to 28.27%.

In the QTR for April to June 2024, the estimated hydro-thermal generation mix was modified from 31.91% to 34.81% for hydro and 68.09% to 65.19% for thermal.

Dr Ackah stated that these adjustments, together with steady petrol prices, imply that utilities would experience a revenue boost. As a result, the PURC used the expected surplus to combine several rate bands across different power customer classes.

Despite these revisions, he stated that the lifeline tariff customer group, as well as the Low Voltage (LV) and Mines customer groups, saw no changes to their pricing for the April to June 2024 tariff review period.

Dr. Ackah highlighted that only a few residential and High Voltage (HV) customers got their power costs reduced during the review period, whereas Steel Companies clients would see their bills increase by more than 30%. Other consumers saw small upward modifications.

He asked the public to avoid falsehoods that tariff reductions for a select consumer category will increase the energy sector’s problems. He guaranteed that the PURC is concerned with the financial viability of all utilities, as well as the well-being of paying customers.

He went on to say that higher tariffs do not always result in lower energy sector indebtedness or guaranteed payments to Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

Rather, the distribution businesses must collect the permitted rates before making payments to the IPPs.

READ THE FULL STATEMENT ON TARIFF ADJUSTMENT HERE_

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Meek Mill thinking about getting Ghanaian citizenship

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Meanwhile, other Ghanaians have turned to his comment area to express their views. Meanwhile, following talks and a lawsuit alleging that he has been sleeping with rapper P. Diddy, Meek Mill refuted the allegations and stated that he is being targeted racially. The lawsuit docs claimed that "Diddy had sexual relations with a rapper from Philadelphia who dated Nicki Minaj," narrowing the list to him. Since the news surfaced, the rapper has been quite active on social media, claiming that it is a campaign against him for being independent.

In a recent post on X, US rapper Meek Mill expressed interest in becoming a Ghanaian citizen.

In his most recent post, the “All Eyes on You” hitmaker, who visited Ghana for the Year of Return project, expresses his desire to naturalise in the nation for peace of mind.

He wrote, “I want to get citizenship in Ghana!!!” “If you don’t follow orders, America will tear down black men!”

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Meanwhile, other Ghanaians have turned to his comment area to express their views.

Meanwhile, following talks and a lawsuit alleging that he has been sleeping with rapper P. Diddy, Meek Mill refuted the allegations and stated that he is being targeted racially.

The lawsuit docs claimed that “Diddy had sexual relations with a rapper from Philadelphia who dated Nicki Minaj,” narrowing the list to him.

Since the news surfaced, the rapper has been quite active on social media, claiming that it is a campaign against him for being independent.

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Minority seeks investigation into GH¢68.5 million reportedly spent on photocopying WASSCE ‘Pasco’

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Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, Minister of Education, said in Parliament on Monday, March 4, that the government used the money to photocopy old questions for SHS students to enable them study sufficiently for the WASSCE. Mr. Adutwum informed Parliament that the government acquired the previous questions from Messrs Kingdom Books and Stationery at a unit price of GH¢78.00 during the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak to assist pupils ahead of the WASSCE.

The Minority in Parliament is pushing for an inquiry into an alleged GH¢68.5 million spent on photocopying old questions for WASSCE candidates in 2020 and 2021.

The Ministry of Education allegedly spent GH¢33.6 million in 2020 and over GH¢34 million in 2021 for this reason, both through single-source procurement.

Speaking to the media, Ashaiman Member of Parliament Ernest Norgbey urged the Special Prosecutor to thoroughly investigate what the caucus believes is a potentially corrupt practice.

“We cannot countenance this, and this is fraud. If this is not corruption, what else will be corruption? A photocopy costs GH¢78 per paper, and GH¢59.10 per paper, totalling GH¢68.5 million, what are we doing? And so, we in the Minority are taking strong exception to this, and we are saying that the Special Prosecutor must look into this matt
Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, Minister of Education, said in Parliament on Monday, March 4, that the government used the money to photocopy old questions for SHS students to enable them to study sufficiently for the WASSCE.

Mr Adutwum informed Parliament that the government acquired the previous questions from Messrs Kingdom Books and Stationery at a unit price of GH¢78.00 during the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak to assist pupils ahead of the WASSCE.


“To help prepare the final year Senior High School students for the 2021 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), the Ministry has procured 446,954 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) questions from Messrs Kingdom Books and Stationery at a unit price of GH¢78.00. The procurement will be funded from the Free Senior High School Account

“Mr. Speaker, in 2020, Government through its efforts to help students amidst COVID-19 to prepare for the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination procured 568,755 past questions for students to try their hands on before sitting for the actual exams.”

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