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OIL FLOWS IN GHANA

After over a century of frantic search for oil, the flow of the black gold in commercial quantity from the bosom of the earth has begun , off the shores of Cape Three Points in the Western Region.

The inaugural ceremony was performed by President John Evans Atta Mills, with former presidents Jerry John Rawlings and John Agyekum Kufuor in tow.

The original arrangement was for the sitting President to perform the ceremony, to be assisted by Mr. Kufuor and former junta head Jerry John Rawlings. At a point in time , indications were that the founder of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) might not make it to the function.

Mr. Kofi Adams, Deputy Secretary of the party and official spokesman of former president Rawlings, told a number of radio stations that his boss arrived in the country yesterday, after a long trek, and that he needed to verify with him before making any categorical statement about whether or not the former leader of this country would honour the invitation from the state.

At the time of going to press, it was confirmed that former president Jerry John Rawlings would honour the invitation after all.

Ex-president Kufuor, on the other hand, was on an Accra FM station to acknowledge receipt of the invitation, with an assurance to all Ghanaians that he would be at the event.

Exploration for oil in the then Gold Coast began in 1898, and by the end of a hundred years in 1989, over one hundred wells had been dug, according to official literature on oil exploration in Ghana.

In 1970, Mr. Reginald R. Amponsah, Minister of Lands and Mineral Resources in the Progress Party regime of Prime Minister Kofi Abrefa Busia, took a can of oil to the old Parliament House in Accra, and announced to cheering members of the House that Ghana had struck oil off the shores of Saltpond, the capital of present day Mfansteman Municipal Assembly.

Initially, the Saltpond Oil Field was to produce 5,000 barrels of crude per day. But that estimate proved to be over-ambitious. Production of oil from Saltpond has been erratic ever since, barely averaging 1,000 barrels a day.

With crude oil purchases on the international market taking a chunk off the nation’s resources for development, various governments, since the 1980s, have intensified the search for the black gold.

In 1983, the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) administration established the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), with the mandate to promote the exploration and production of crude oil.

In June 2007, Kosmos Energy, Anadarko Petroleum and Tullow Ghana Limited, simultaneously, announced the discovery of oil in commercial quantities, 40 miles west of Cape Three Points.

Kosmos made the announcement in Accra, while Tullow and Anadarko made their announcements in London and New York respectively.

Ex-president Kufuor, who was the constitutional Head of State at the time, expressed appreciation to God about the discovery, saying the news should embolden and encourage all Ghanaians to be optimistic of the country’s future.

“We pray that Kosmos will be successful, so that our country would not become a beggar in the energy sector anymore.”

Mr. Kwamena Bartels, Minister of Information at the time, said the Government had reached an agreement with the oil exploring companies on how to share the ‘spoils’ of the new oil find.

“The agreement had already been signed for the exploration to begin, and for us to be in a position to, not only get 10 percent carried interest, but GNPC which is representing the Republic of Ghana, would have the option to acquire an additional two and a half percent,” Mr. Bartels explained.

“But the real source of revenue for the country is the revenue income tax of 35 percent of whatever they earn from the production of crude oil. And that is what we would be looking at, in addition to a total of about 12.5 percent, apart from royalties of five percent, to be able to develop our nation.”

In 2008, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration gave the contract to a Singapore firm to construct a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel to begin exploration. The ship was converted from an existing tanker in Singapore.
When Prof. John Evans Atta Mills and his National Democratic Congress took over power in January 2009, much hot air was blown over the 3.5 per cent shares in Kosmos owned by the EO Group. Eventually, peace returned to the exploration field.

On May 1, 2010, the First Lady, Naadu Mills, commissioned the FPSO, and it was named after Kwame Nkrumah, first president of independent Ghana.

Explaining how the floating vessel was named after the first President of Ghana, Prof. Atta Mills stated: “The Government and good people of Ghana have, after series of consultations with important stakeholders, decided to christen the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah, a name which inspires both young and old, politicians and non-politicians, scholars and ordinary people. The presence of the oil in Nzemaland in Western Ghana is God’s gratitude to Dr. Nkrumah.”

Meanwhile, chiefs in the Western Region have fired the first salvo, in what is expected to be a long drawn-out battle for oil revenue throughout the country. The traditional leaders are asking for 10 percent of the oil revenue as development funds for the Western Region promised them by the Mills administration during his campaign for presidency.  The request has divided opinion in the country down the middle. It is the hope of many Ghanaians though, that revenue from the oil exploration will unite, rather than divide the nation.

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Swine flu “false pandemic” seems to be the biggest pharma-fraud of the century

Swine flu “false pandemic” seems to be the biggest pharma-fraud of the century

Watch This

The Council of Europe will launch a probe into pharmaceutical companies after reports that vaccine manufacturers pressured the World Health Organization into declaring swine flu pandemic seeking increase in profits.

It was supposed to be a deadly pandemic, but is so far is nothing more than a serious cold.

And it has left a lasting headache as a debate rages over whether pharmaceutical companies deliberately misled governments about the seriousness of swine flu to make them stockpile vaccines.

The legal standards organization, the Council of Europe, will gather the arguments.

“Britain has spent a fortune on preparations,” says Paul Flynn, Vice Chairman at the Council of Europe Health Committee. “We have caused a great deal of stress to the population, people are very anxious about it, and we’ve distorted the priorities of our health service. I believe when we have a thorough investigation, and we look at this, we’ll discover that’s the story – the world has been subjected to a stunt for the own greedy interests of the pharmaceutical companies.”

European countries bought billions of dollars worth of vaccine from pharmaceutical companies including Baxter, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi-Pasteur. Some of the contracts included a clause where governments could get out of buying the drugs if they were no longer needed. But some, notably ones with GlaxoSmithKline, did not.

“We continue to support governments in managing the H1N1 influenza pandemic. This includes ongoing discussions about existing orders for our pandemic vaccines,” reads the officials statement from the company.

Governments all over Europe are now saddled with billions of dollars worth of unnecessary swine flu vaccine. They are trying to sell it, but supply now far exceeds demand. So because governments wanted to be seen to be acting decisively, the European taxpayers have found themselves seriously out of pocket.

Health expert Gawain Towler says pharmas will be pharmas, and it’s governments who should have been less gullible.

“Pharmaceutical companies of course have a huge economic interest in encouraging concern over health,” Towler says. “I think you have to blame the governments for going along with it, for not having natural scepticism of the claims of someone who has a financial interest. The government itself wanted to be seen to be doing something. And in that way, they encouraged the fear that then forced them to act.”

At the height of the pandemic, it was predicted that around 65,000 people in Britain would die. So far, there have only been 360. Critics of the World Health Organisation, which dubbed swine flu a pandemic, say it was clear from early on that the illness wouldn’t be as serious as first thought.

Also, it was initially believed that two vaccinations would be needed to protect against the virus. Later, it was found that one was enough. Now European governments are coming under fire for wasting billions of dollars on vaccines that would never be used.

“This does seem to be a massive waste of money of course. It’s the responsibility of the government to look out for these kinds of crises as they’re approaching,” says Mark Wallage, campaign director at Taxpayers’ Alliance. “And of course, governments around the world were ordering vaccines and so on, but no one seems to have gone as over the top as much as Britain has. Yet again, Britain has led the world in wasting taxpayers’ money on a threat that either hasn’t materialized, or has turned out to be very different from the way it was anticipated.”

Council of Europe Health Committee Chairman Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg also says the declaration of a swine flu pandemic was a false alarm.

“There are many signs that there is close cooperation between the WTO and pharmaceutical companies. We have to find out whether there was pressure or whether there was money given as an incentive to the WTO to have this pandemic declared,” Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg adds.

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Man-made super-flu could kill half humanity

Man-made super-flu could kill half humanity

 

A virus with the potential to kill up to half the world’s population has been made in a lab. Now academics and bioterrorism experts are arguing over whether to publish the recipe, and whether the research should have been done in the first place.

The virus is an H5N1 bird flu strain which was genetically altered to become much more contagious. It was created byRon Fouchier of the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, who first presented his work to the public at an influenza conference in Malta in September.

Fouchier said the strain circulates in animals, particularly birds, but rarely affects humans.
In the ten or so years since bird flu first emerged in Asia, fewer than 600 cases have been reported in humans. But the H5N1 strain is particularly vicious, killing roughly half of patients diagnosed with it. What stops it from becoming a major threat to public health is that it does not readily transmit from human to human. Or at least it didn’t – until now.

Researchers in Fouchier’s team used ferrets – test animals which closely mimic the human response to influenza – and transmitted H5N1 from one to another to make it more adaptable to new hosts. After 10 generations, the virus had mutated to become airborne, which means ferrets became ill from merely being near other diseased animals.

A genetic study showed that the new, dangerous strain had only five mutations compared to the original one, and all of them were earlier seen in the natural environment – just not all at once. Fouchier’s strain is as contagious as the human seasonal flu, which kills tens of thousands of people each year, but is likely to cause many more fatalities if released.

“I can’t think of another pathogenic organism that is as scary as this one,”
 Paul Keim, a microbial geneticist who has worked on anthrax for many years, told Science Insider. “I don’t think anthrax is scary at all compared to this.”

Now Keim, who chairs the US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), and other members of the body, have a very difficult decision to make. Fouchier wants his study to be published. So does virologist Yoshihiro Kawaoka, who led similar research in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the University of Tokyo, and reached comparable results. And it is up to NSABB to give them the green light.

Many academics and biosecurity experts are naturally cautious about releasing information which could provide any bioterrorist with a ready recipe to hold the world to ransom. Some argue that such work should never have been done in the first place and call for international monitoring of potentially harmful research.

“It’s just a bad idea for scientists to turn a lethal virus into a lethal and highly contagious virus. And it’s a second bad idea for them to publish how they did it so others can copy it,” believes Dr. Thomas Inglesby, a bioterrorism expert and director of the Center for Biosecurity of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

However the very same data, if made available to the scientific community, could potentially allow humanity to prepare for an H5N1 pandemic, which Fouchier’s study has shown to be far more probable than was previously believed. Clamping down on freedom of information in the scientific domain may in the end leave us defenseless against the flu, should it arise naturally.

NSABB plans to issue a public statement soon, says Keim, and is likely to issue additional recommendations about this type of research. “We’ll have a lot to say,” he says.

 RT News

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The Plight Of The People In The Hands Of The Electricity Company Of Ghana -Nsawam District

The Plight of The People In The Hands Of The Electricity Company Of Ghana -Nsawam District
MY PETITION:
Dear Ghana, our elected leaders, On behalf of the good people of  Pokuase and Amasaman (GA-West) townships and surrounding localities, we beg in demand of answers, to know the reasons why such collective punishments are being placed on us. From Pokuase, Abensu, Afiaman through to Mayera and its surrounding towns we are pleading hand in hand for quick and pragmatic measures to what we see as collective punishments on us.
With the issue of electricity supply we express the deepest displeasure over the continuous and constant interruption in power supply particularly in our area Abensu, which has resulted in slow pace of development, especially with regards to education in the community.
It became imperative for our schools to quickly emulate schools in advanced cities and countries if they were to remain relevant.
 In confronting this challenge, our schools first established ICT centres with computer and internet facilities. Their strategic purpose was to serve, among other things, for educating our students on the uses and relevance of ICT, as nerve centre for collating and preserving student and staff databases and other relevant researches by students on their assignments.
But the growth of ICTs on these campuses has been stalled by insufficient electricity supplied by Power Holding Company of Ghana, a state monopoly. Our schools as we all know are unable to resort to diesel-driven generators, which are highly expensive to run, moreover it is proven to be unhealthy for our environment especially its adverse effects on the student and the entire population due to its pollution as well as very expensive to maintain for institutions with limited resources, forcing them to declare as useless its ICT centres.
To describe the power situation in my locality for the sake of my readers it seems somehow almost impossible, however most irritating is during the peak hours of the day where business transactions and teaching is at its peak that is when the Electricity Company of Ghana the Nsawam Districts decides to strike.
During the evening hours in-between 7pm and 9pm there are always series of blackouts for more than 5 times repeatedly, it’s just on and off, on and off, on and off and on and off it goes. you can imagine how embarrassing that is, not ceasing, the power temporarily comes to stay for less than half an hour then off again until 2am the next day. This has been the case for almost a month now.
We have embarked on numerous attempts in speaking with the ECG- Nsawam District and all promises made by them to solve the problem have proved fatal.
We are pleading with the government to come to our aid from this shockingly incongruous and repulsively ugly unfriendly behavior exhibited by the E.C.G of the Nsawam District to the good citizens of Pokuase Abensu and its Environs of the GA-West Municipality. We humbly call on people in authority to personally come to our aid since all efforts by the youth and other high ranking members within our communities have proved useless.
Please have it in mind how these unfortunate incidences are affecting the way and life of these communities. Private classes and other remedial schools are forced to close at 6pm affecting education negatively in the district, internet café operators, cold store operators, salon and barbering shops which are providing employment for the youth, welding and Iron fabricators are all closing down due to these unfortunate occurrences.
The most unforgiving part is that whiles the very rich neighboring resident, the (A.C.P Estate) is constantly enjoying electricity regardless of the weather conditions we the people of the above mentioned towns are being trampled upon with impunity.
We are therefore appealing to the leaders who are mandated by the constitution of the republic of Ghana to see to it that the Nsawam District of the Electricity Company of Ghana listens to our appeal and upon that pressured to find pragmatic solutions to these problems. We urge our leaders to have our plight in mind and kindly come to our aid.
Until then we are highly assured that once our plight is before you quick and pragmatic solutions will be reached within the shortest possible time.
Thank you. Long Live Our Motherland Ghana. From
 Sultan Nuhu Mohammed a concerned citizen.
(Resident: Pokuase Abensu- GA-West Municipality).
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Advocates for the legalisation of small scale mining operators, otherwise known as ‘galamsey operators,’ as a means of providing jobs for the youth of Ghana Our Motherland.

It has now become obvious that there is no way the work of galamsey operators can be stopped, particularly, in the mining communities.
Therefore, there is the urgent need for the government to consider the promulgation of laws to streamline and back the activities of galamsey operators.
If you come to Tarkwa, Prestea, Bogoso and other areas in the country, galamsey is the backbone of the indigenes and the local economy, and there is no way it can be stopped. If you try to stop it, then it means you want to deprive the indigenes from having their daily bread, which they will not allow.
In this direction, pragmatic measures must be put in place by both government and stakeholders to make the work of what many had over the years termed ‘illegal mining’ legal, safe and secure.
Though some of the practices of galamsey operators are dangerous, it could on the other hand be streamlined by state institutions and stakeholders, if galamsey is seen as a major contributor to the economy.
For instance, galamsey operators could be coached on the best practices of local mining by state institutions to save lives which hitherto, were lost due to improper mining practices.
Rampant caving in of pits on galamsey operators leading to the loss of lives could be averted, if the government considers it necessary to promulgate laws to back the local activity.
What is more, the multi-national mining companies operating in mining communities should be challenged to set aside a portion of their mining concessions for use by the local economy, as a means of engaging the youth in employable ventures in the mining communities.
The call by the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) which in a statement states to declare war on the activities of galamsey operators in our regions is a huge and a very disastrous mistake, already the REGSEC has embarked on what they have vowed to do and invaded the sites of galamsey operators, arrested, and seized many of their personal belongings, set ablaze expensive equipments and other ceased items belonging to them on grounds that their activity was illegal.
This action by the REGSEC in my view is unwarranted and despicable, and one which deprives the youth of engaging in an employable venture.
I see these actions (unwarranted arrests, seizures and the destruction of galamsey equipment) by the REGSEC, of team military and police personnel as brutalities of no significance to the nation as a whole and it is only to terrorize galamsey operators.
The manner in which the joint military and police team has been unleashing mayhem on the arrested galamsey operators leaves much to be desired.