Council of State elections: Fraga Oil boss Nyonyo retains Volta slot

Francis Albert Seth Nyonyo, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Fraga Oil has retained his position as the Volta Region’s Representative on the Council of State.

The 53-year-old petroleum magnate retained his seat after beating off competition from eight other contenders in the election held in Ho, the Volta Regional Capital on Friday, February 12, 2021.

Of the eight, one contender; Robert Castro Mediale, also 53 years; gave Mr. Nyoyno who was the incumbent a fierce contest.

Out of the 36 votes from the electoral college made up of two assembly members drawn from each of the 18 Municipal and District Assemblies in the region who were delegates, Mr. Nyonyo secured 19 votes while Mr. Mediale of Cash Oil secured 17 votes.

The remaining contenders including the Paramount Chief of the Avatime Traditional Area, Osie Adzatekpor VII and former Hohoe MP, Dr. Bernice Grace Adiku Heloo had no votes.

After being declared winner by the Volta Regional Director of the Electoral Commission, Selormey Adukpo Dogbey, the re-elected Council of State Member, Mr. Nyonyo expressed gratitude to the delegates for the confidence reposed in him.

He stressed that the interest of the region will be his utmost priority.

He also pledged to work with all and sundry to promote development of the Volta region, which he described as a well-resourced region.

The Council of State is a statutory body established by Article 89 of the constitution, with the mandate to advise the President in the discharge of his duties as the President and the Commander-In-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces.

The Council of State membership includes a former Chief Justice of Ghana, former Chief of Defense Staff, a former Inspector General of Police, the president of the National House of Chiefs, one elected representative from each of the 16 Regions of Ghana and 11 appointees of the President of the Republic.

Volta Regional Hospital now Ho Teaching Hospital

Volta Regional Hospital now Ho Teaching Hospital. The Ho Teaching Hospital will also serve as a research facility into the prevention of diseases.

The Volta Regional hospital, known as Trafalgar, has been upgraded to a teaching hospital and will be called Ho teaching hospital.

This makes the hospital a tertiary health facility and the supporting-teaching-facility for the University of Health and Allied Sciences, UHAS.

According to the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, the hospital has met all regulatory requirements and has also been accredited as a teaching hospital.

The Minister also noted that the Ministry of Health has recognized the shortfalls in human and infrastructural resources of the facility and has made plans to fill such gaps.

“I’m also happy to inform you that this hospital has been assessed by all the relevant regulatory bodies of the health sector, for the purpose of accreditation and development in appropriate human resources for quality service delivery as a teaching hospital. Various recommendations have been taken into consideration and the ministry is doing everything possible to address all the gaps/lapse. The ministry is also aware that there are infrastructural gaps and is working towards closing such gaps”.

With its new status, the Ho teaching hospital will be expected to serve as research facility into the prevention and treatment of diseases and also a major referral hospital for the Volta and Oti regions as well as for hospitals in neighbouring Togo and Benin.

Agyemang-Manu also noted that the University of Health and Allied Sciences may soon start offering health service support programs like health service administration among others.

This according to the Minister will help fill up the existing gap in health service administration.

The Volta Regional Directorate of the Ghana Health Service is expected to name a new regional hospital which according to the Minister of Health has already been selected.

“As we convert this hospital to a teaching hospital, the Director General of the Ghana Health Service will soon announce a new regional hospital and we have identified one already,” the Minister added.

Graduation Ceremony of Skillful Training Programme



The Vikings Vacation Campus Course(V.V.C.C)initiative was born out of the idea of the Alumni President of the Mensah Sarbah Hall; His Eminence Francis Albert Seth Nyonyo who also fully financed the programme through his reputable N.G.O;  Nyonyo Foundation. Organized by the Mensah Sarbah Hall Alumni Association, the Vikings Vacation Campus Course (V.V.C.C) aims to address the need for practical learning to complement the theory taught in various institutions. A total number of 57 students registered for the program of which 48 were students from the University of Ghana (Mensah Sarbah Hall). The remaining nine (9) participants however, were not students from the University of Ghana. The programme lasted for a period of one (1) month, commencing on 20th December 2018 and ending on 20th January 2019.

Below listed are the training courses covered:

  • Journalism (Print and Electronic)/Public Speaking/Acting
  • Online Marketing
  • Lightening
  • Make-up; Special effects, Beautification
  • Video Editing/Photography/Graphic Design/Animation

During the one month period, His Eminence Francis Nyonyo twice (2) met the students to interact and find out what they had learnt so far; thus the knowledge and skills they had acquired from the program and to also encourage them to keep working hard. 

A graduation ceremony was duly held on Friday, January 25, 2019 for the fifty-seven (57) Graduands of the Vikings Vacation Campus Course (VVCC) at the premises of the Mensah Sarbah Hall.                                                                                 

The Dignitaries present were;

  • His Eminence Francis Nyonyo; President of the Mensah Sarbah Hall Alumni Association,
  •  Professor Dan Bright; Mensah Sarbah Hall Master;
  •  Mr. AlhajiSaddick; Programme Coordinator,
  •  Mrs. Ruth; Mensah Sarbah Hall Secretary,
  •  Mr. AselikAgoba; Programme Supervisor. 

Mr. Saddick gave an opening speech to introduce His Eminence Francis Nyonyo and to welcome the students to the ceremony.

His Eminence Francis Nyonyo addressed the gathering briefly after which the Hall master and Mr. Saddick joined to present the certificates to the graduands.


Municipal and District Assemblies “broke”

Many Municipal and District Assemblies in the Volta Region have accumulated bank overdrafts over and above their expected revenue rendering them “broke”.

Mr Joseph Z. Amenowode, Volta Regional Minister on Friday disclosed this at a special session of the Kpando District Assembly to endorse Mr Francis Ganyaglo, as nominee for District Chief Executive.
He said the situation was visiting untold hardship on the finances of the municipal and district assemblies in the region, in addition to misdirection and misappropriation of funds.
Mr Amenowode noted that certain Assemblies expended as much

as 30,000 Ghana cedis on footballs and jerseys when records of distribution are non-existent.
He added that, a whooping 40,000 Ghana cedis was spent in the procurement of roofing sheets between November and December, 2008, lamenting that the procurement deal only existed on paper.

The Regional Minister said colossal statutory funds were already being deducted at source rendering the actual funds that comes to the Assemblies for development purposes meagre with the overdrafts diminishing the value of such resources.

Mr Amenowode noted that the assembly members have failed woefully in their demand for accountability of how resources were utilized urging members to demonstrate vigilance and dedication to work as the President Mills-led government would not countenance unilateral development decisions.
He announced that a five-year Volta Region Development Plan was being fashioned, which would be a blue-print around which development would revolve in a coordinated and harmonized manner for an accelerated socio-economic development.

Mr Amenowode expressed optimism that the blue-print would have inputs from major actors irrespective of political colour, religion, creed or status, would place the region the first or among the best in the country.

NPP Would Transform Volta -Minister

The Volta Regional Minister, Dr. Archibald Letsa, has assured the chiefs and people of the region that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government, led by President Akufo-Addo, would complete development projects started by the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration, to ensure smooth continuity, in terms of the development of the region.

The Minister mentioned the Eastern Corridor road, the Ho aerodrome, and the regional library projects started by the previous administration among others, as projects they would pursue.

Dr. Letsa, who was addressing members of the Volta Region House of Chiefs at a general meeting of the House in Ho, stressed that all the development promises made by the NPP would be tackled.  He mentioned the “one district, one factory; as well as one village one dam projects.”

He pointed out that the government was mindful of the development needs of the people in the region, and that a modern sports stadium would be built in Ho, and, therefore, called for strong collaboration between chiefs in the region and the Volta Regional Coordinating Council (VRCC) and the Municipal and District Assemblies, for the effective implementation of the project.

Dr. Letsa also disclosed that as part of government’s development plan for the Volta Region, a bridge would be built across the Oti River in the Krachi East District, to put a stop to the challenges and inconveniences confronting the people.

This, he said, would also promote socio-economic activities that would eventually transform the lives of the people.

He said a number of investors had already shown interest in the building of the bridge across the Oti River at Dambai, as a number of investors had approached the VRCC on the project, and hoped that very soon the necessary documents would be prepared for the commencement of work towards the building of the bridge.

The Regional Minister also drew the attention of the House on the intention of the NPP government to create a new region for the northern part of the Volta Region, which, he stressed, has been the request from chiefs in that part of the region over the years.

According to him, the NPP government has considered the request as relevant to the promotion of development in the northern part of the region.

Dr. Letsa remarked that both the erstwhile NDC administration and the current NPP government all have it in their manifestos to create this new region at the northern part of the Volta region saying this was purely a development issue.

Another area the Minister touched was the promotion of the numerous tourism potentials in the region saying the Volta region abounds in many tourism potentials but unfortunately these potentials have not been developed to the benefit of the people as roads to many of these tourist sites still remained poor.

He said government through the VRCC would collaborate with the Municipal and District Assemblies as well as chiefs to develop these tourism potentials.

Dr. Letsa admonished incoming Municipal and District Chief executives to adopt more effective ways to mobilize internally generated funds.

According to him, they must work closely with the traditional authorities in their respective areas to help ensure harmony.

The Regional Minister admitted that for any meaningful development activities to be carried out in the region peace and unity ought to be the watch word of the people since peace was a prerequisite for development.

The Krachiwura, Nana Mprah Besemuna III, commended the Regional Minister for his elevation to the high position as the regional Minister and drew his attention to the abandoned portions of the eastern corridor road between Kpeve and Peki.

The Paramount Chief of Avatime, Osie Adzatekpor VII  advised the Regional Minister to regularly brief chiefs and seek their opinions on matters bothering on the development of the region and should not only wait for the Regional House of Chiefs to meet before addressing them. “You see this is the best way you can get inputs on development from chiefs,” he stressed.

JHS Bock In Deplorable, Deadly State

At the time that the government of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) is shouting from the rooftops to have successfully cleared all schools sitting under trees across the length and breadth of the country, one school that goes beyond sitting under trees, considering the dilapidating structure of its building is the Wassa Manhyia D.A. Junior High School, located in Amenfi Central in the Western Region.

The school is believed to be the only educational institution that serves Junior High School (JHS) 1-3 students from about six communities and villages dotted around Wassa Manhyia.  But the sorry and sordid state of the school has led to parents withdrawing their wards from for farming activities instead.

In fact, considering the dilapidated structures of the school, parents have no option than to withdraw their wards for farming activities, for the simple reason that the lives of their wards were at risk, a teacher told this paper.

Information available to The Chronicle indicates that for the last four years since government officials cut the sod to renovate the school, the project had been abandoned, as the contractor could not be traced.  Considering the dangerous-looking structure of the school, the authorities are left with no other option than to close for lessons when the rain begins.

“In rainy seasons, we do not open for school at all, because our roofing is bad and porous,” the teacher told with this paper.  The Assembly Member for the Srae Eyeayie Electoral Area, Raphael Messiah Akuebilla, in whose jurisdiction the dilapidated school structure sits, confirmed the situation in an interview with The Chronicle.

He told this reporter that he was a worried man because the future of the children of his electoral area was being toiled with by this government. To him, every children of school-going age deserved to have a conducive environment and structure to sit in to study.

However, the opposite was the case in his electoral area. “In fact, in my electoral area, the education of the pupils is being toiled with, and this makes me a worried Assembly Member.”  Assembly Member Akuebilla told this reporter that his worry stemmed from the fact that parents were withdrawing their wards from school for farming activities for fear that the structure housing the students could, at anytime, collapse on them.

1Akuebilla confirmed that since four years ago when government officials, including the Amenfi Central District Assembly, cut the sod to renovate the structure, the contractor of the project could not be traced.  He said that he followed up to the District Assembly and lodged a formal complaint on the need to hurriedly save the dilapidated school structure from collapsing on the students.

The District Assembly, according to the Assembly Member, told him the same story – that the contractor could not be found.  Worried over the dilapidated structure, Assembly Member Akuebilla, also known as ‘RAM’, told this paper he followed up to the District Education Directorate, but there was no help coming from there.

DCE contracts local soap producers to produce soap for election activities

The Akatsi North District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr. James Gunu, says the Assembly is prepared to promote locally made products in the district, in line with the government’s policy to encourage the private sector to contribute meaningfully to national development, which would also help in reducing the issue of the unemployment problem facing the people.dsc04427

Mr. Gunu said, he, as the political head of the district, was satisfied about the willingness of the youth to acquire employable skills, and appealed to private investors to take advantage of sound business environment in the area to establish businesses in the district.

The Akatsi North DCE, who was speaking at the graduation ceremony of 52 fire volunteers, drawn from the district and trained in soap-making at the capital, Ave-Dakpa, commended the sponsor of the training programme, Mr. Richard Awudza, Managing Director of Cent-Rich Enterprise, and the organisers, the District branch of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO).

Mr. Gunu observed that the efforts being made by NADMO to empower the youth with skills was commendable.

The Akatsi North DCE, therefore, urged the newly-trained fire volunteers to take their new skills seriously, and produce quality and adequate soap to enable them create wealth for themselves, and to build confidence among the people to depend more on locally made products, as compared to the use of foreign goods.

Mr. Gunu, who pledged his personal commitment to the promotion of locally made goods, urged the people to develop the habit of using products made locally which was cost effective, and would help in building the local economy.

He, however, advised the beneficiaries of the training programme to form two groups, and register a name that would become synonymous with its brands, to ensure that their products would be accepted and patronised across the country, and even outside.

The DCE assured the people that the assembly would promote the use of the soap in schools, the various institutions and communities.

Mr. Gunu, therefore, contracted the two groups to be formed to start commercial production of different kinds of soaps, and produce 1,000 bars of soap each for the assembly to be distributed to the various polling stations for hand washing.dsc04429

The sponsor, Mr. Richard Awudza, commended the trainees for demonstrating much commitment to the training programme.

Don’t rely on gov’t work alone to make a living

From Samuel Agbewode

A 63 year old retired Civil Servant, Mr. Eric Tetteh, has called on civil servants to invest in agriculture, especially cocoa farming, which would serve as the foundation for a better life when they finally retire from government work.

He further cautioned them against depending on government work until they retire.

Mr. Tetteh observed that many people retired from government work, only to start a new life full of hardship, due to lack of planning towards their retirement period.

They only depended on their salaries without investing in any lucrative business such as cocoa farming, to enable them to lead healthier and economically viable life.

The 63 year old man, who retired as a civil servant from the Ghana Cocoa Board, said it was time civil servants prepare adequately towards the future, stressing that he (Mr. Tetteh), as soon as he was employed in the government sector, he bought farmland, where he went into cocoa cultivation, and as at the time he went on retirement, he could boast of 10 acres, which generates income for him in addition to his salary.

Speaking to the media at Akpafu-Kokoame, where his 10 acres of cocoa farm is located, he said farming should be seen as a serious business, which was more lucrative than any other activity, with its additional health benefits.

He stated that saying cocoa farming seemed to be more economically viable than any other work, and encouraged those in the government sector to invest in agriculture to enable them to live a more comfortable life upon retirement.

Mr. Tetteh said, even though he initially started benefitting from the proceeds of his cocoa farm, he had recognised that it served a more important purpose for him after retirement, by helping him address economic and health needs.

He noted that without active involvement in agriculture, which served as major income generation after retirement, life would have been more difficult.

Mr. Tetteh who was a Chief Technical Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board, stressed that “there is money in the soil, but many people did not want to get money through farming,” and appealed to the youth to embrace agriculture.

He noted that the country was endowed with fertile land, but unfortunately, the willingness to use the land to help transform the socioeconomic wellbeing of the people was lacking, which had contributed to the increasing youth unemployment situation in the country.

He suggested that the only way to address the unemployment challenges was to make agriculture more attractive to the youth.

Mr. Tetteh continued that though the government was supporting agriculture, a lot more needed to be done to attract many people to the sector, with emphasis on the youth.

He stressed that farm imputes such as fertilisers being provided by the government to cocoa farmers ought to be commended, and appealed to the government to provide farmers, particularly cocoa farmers, with loan facilities, since the cultivation of cocoa was labour and capital intensive.

Mr. Tetteh mentioned motorised spraying machine on cocoa farm as being very expensive, and called for the government’s assistance.

He said, for example, the motorised spraying machine cost GH¢1,900, which was very difficult for many farmers to purchase, therefore, government’s support in that direction would be appreciated.

He added that a lot of the youth were interested in farming, but lack of money to embark on it was a major factor that discouraged many.

Mr. Tetteh said, as an experienced agriculture personnel, he and his colleagues on retirement were prepared to avail themselves to farmers to be educated on modern farming practices that would promote farming activities without any difficulty, and urged the youth to seek the relevant advice from agricultural experts to enable them go into commercial farming.

According to Mr. Tetteh, many farmers only practice subsistent farming, which did not have the capacity to address their financial problems, thereby making it more difficult for such farmers to recognise the economic viability of farming, and urged those interested in farming, particularly the youth, to go into commercial farming to enable them to derive its maximum benefits.

Mr. Tetteh noted that being a commercial farmer has many advantages apart from the financial benefits especially cocoa farmers, their children stand the opportunity of schooling on scholarship which also helped in relieving such parents of the payment of school fees as monies that would be used to pay school fees would be used to address other problems.

He however decried the situation where cocoa farmers smuggle cocoa to neighbouring countries such as the Republic of Togo, because the huge investment being made by government should be considered, and a stop put to the practice.

In a related development, another civil servant still in active serve, Mr. Stephen Kwesi Dogbe, a native of Santrokofi,  has also invested in 8 acres of cocoa farm at Santrokofi, also in the Hohoe Municipality, and has called on the youth to take advantage of available opportunities in agriculture, particularly cocoa farming, to create wealth for themselves.

Mr. Dogbe explained to the media at Santrokofi that he decided to go into commercial farming, in addition to the government work, because the salary alone was not sufficient to address the needs of his family, and asked people in active government work to invest in agriculture to enable them live meaningful lives, even upon retirement.

He explained that as a civil servant, he only works on the cocoa farm during weekends, and employs four labourers to support him.

He said the added proceeds from the cocoa farm was making it possible for him and the family to live a meaningful life, and stressed the need for government workers to put their skills into more productive areas than regular office duties.

Mr. Dogbe mentioned the periodic labour that cocoa farmers employ to work on the farms, which, he noted, was expensive, as well as the black pod disease that farmers had to face and deal with to save the farms periodically, as major problems facing farmers, and called for government’s support finically to aid farming activities, particularly in cocoa cultivation.

Akatsi North Strategises To Promote Rapid Development

From Samuel Agbewode
3The Akatsi North District has strategised to promote the rapid development of the area, as it celebrates the 4th anniversary of the creation of the district, which would be used to showcase achievements over the past four years.
The Assembly would also use the 4th Anniversary celebration to promote the rich cultural heritage of the people that has helped in the promotion of peace, unity, as well as improved socioeconomic activities.

It is also to market the tourism potentials in the district to attract investors and tourists to improve on the Internally Generated Fund (IGF) to enable the Assembly carry out more development projects.

Addressing the 2nd Ordinary Meeting of the Assembly at the district capital, Ave-Dakpa, the District Chief Executive for the area, Mr. James Gunu, noted that the creation of the district was one of the important developments in the history of the people, because it had helped in bringing the much-needed development to the people since its creation.

Mr. Gunu, who was very delighted at the numerous developments achieved over the past four years, commended the chiefs, assembly members, religious leaders and the staff of the Assembly for their hard work and cooperation that culminated in the current developments being experienced in the area, and assured the people that more development projects were being executed.

The DCE noted that the district was endowed with a lot of resources which could be harnessed to fully benefit the people, particularly, in the areas of tourism and agriculture, saying the necessary efforts would be made to ensure that local resources would be put to effective use to develop the numerous socioeconomic potential.

Mr. Gunu, at this juncture, stressed that one major tourism potential in the District was the crocodile pond at Ave-Dakpa, for which the Assembly was putting in place measures to develop.

He, therefore, proposed the formation of both male and female football teams with the names “The Forest Crocodiles” for the males, and “Crocodile Ladies” for the females to help in marketing the crocodile pond and the District.

The crocodile pond, which is being developed, according to the DCE, would be named after the late Prof. J. E. A Mills and would be called Atta Mills Crocodile Pond, as way of honouring the late President, because it was during his regime that the Akatsi North District was created.

Mr. Gunu continued that the Assembly would continue to play a leading role in development activities in the area, and that was the reason why the Assembly came up with “Operation One Project, One Month”, which was aimed at completing and inaugurating at least one project every month in its communities which was progressing steadily.

The DCE explained that the project to complete and inaugurate one project in a month was a development strategy, dubbed “triple jump” development skills and tools, which was ‘hop, step and jump’, to ensure that the development needs of the people were properly addressed, which was in the development plan of the District.

Mr. Gunu pointed out that, every Assembly, to achieve its development target, would largely depend on the support it receives from the people, particularly, in honouring their tax obligations.

He revealed that the Assembly budgeted to collect GH¢122,943 tax in 2016, and as at 31st May 2016, a total of GH¢48,344.53 was collected, which was a clear indication that the people were paying their taxes.

2He, therefore, commended the people for paying their taxes regularly, stressing that local governance largely depends on the internally generated funds for development, and that development at the local level would only become meaningful, if the people live up to their tax responsibilities, and asked those who have not been paying taxes to turn a new leaf and support ongoing development activities in the area.

The DCE said the taxes being paid were properly used to provide the development needs of the people, such as the building of health facilities, educational infrastructure, District Assembly’s own initiated School Feeding Programme, which he noted, was fast attracting more children to basic schools in the area, and urged parents to take advantage of the programme to send their wards to school.

Mr. Gunu said the Assembly had taken up the issue of agriculture in the District more seriously to ensure that it becomes very attractive to the people, especially, the youth, to enable them to produce enough to feed the people in the area and beyond, as well as generate more income for them.

He said, as part of efforts to promote agriculture, the Assembly has developed a programme to subsidise fertiliser for farmers to solve the problem of non-availability that characterises farming activities in the area and which would no longer be experienced during farming seasons.

1He announced that the District was promoting irrigation farming, through the use of a dam at Ave-Afiadenyigba, to encourage farmers to go into all-year farming, particularly, in the area of vegetable cultivation, which has an existing market, and would definitely boost the income generation of the people, and improve on their standard of living.

The Akatsi DCE announced that the District Assembly had established a Local Economic Development Fund (LED) to assist petty traders in the District to expand their business activities.

He also stated that the Management Committee formed to disburse the Fund has not started the disbursements, and when started would definitely help boost business activities in the district.

The Assembly, as part of its policy to promote local governance and to ensure transparency, invited chiefs and opinion leaders to the meeting, which saw a fruitful discussion that mostly bordered on how to promote the development of the Assembly rapidly in the near future, as it celebrates its 4th anniversary, and called for the strengthening of the existing cooperation between the various stakeholders and the Assembly.