Friday, December 14, 2007


Story: Samuel Duodu, Sunyani

The Chief Executive Officer of former premiership side, Bofoakwa Tano F/C, Mr Apreku Tuffour, has filed a writ at a Sunyani Circuit Court against Kumasi Asante Kotoko for failing to pay a difference of ¢85 million in respect of players Bofoakwa transferred to Kotoko during the off-season.
Also added in the suit is the CEO of Kotoko, Mr Sylvester Asare Owusu.
The suit claimed that Bofoakwa, based on an agreement with Kotoko, transferred some players to Kotoko in the off-season.
Kotoko made part payment in respect of transfer of the two players — David Sarkodie and Owusu Poku — leaving a difference of ¢60 million to be paid by the end of October, 2007.
In the other transfer involving a player called Kwesi Owusu, Kotoko again made a part payment, leaving a difference of ¢25 million which Kotoko had failed to pay despite repeated demands.
In all, Kotoko is indebted to Bofoakwa to the tune of ¢85 million.

Monday, December 10, 2007

JOSEPH AGYEMAN GYAU ...Football legend, traditional ruler and businessman (NSEMPA, Page 8)

By Samuel Duodu, Sunyani

ONE Ghanaian soccer legend in the early 60’s who continues to be a living testimony and an inspiration to his peers and the present generation in both football and other life endeavours is Mr Joseph Agyeman-Gyau a former Black Stars player from 1960 to 1968.
Traditional ruler
Mr Agyeman-Gyau, now a traditional ruler who was enstooled on May 24, 1999, as the Akrofrohene of the Berekum Traditional Area, in the Brong Ahafo Region, under the stool name of Nana Kwasi Gyau Gyan III and popularly known as Agyeman-Gyau, in football circles, has stated that it is by dint of hard work, patience, dedication, discipline, humbility and the fear of God that one will achieve real success in life.
Nana Gyau Gyan III, who is also a consultant and holds an Executive Masters degree in General Administration from the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, United States of America (USA), made the statement when this reporter called on him to find out what has been the secret behind his success during his days as a player, and now as a businessman par excellence and a traditional ruler.
The former Black Stars player further mentioned that the youth must learn the usefulness of natural laws and take their time in life if they want to succeed.
Nana Gyan III who now owns the Farmer’s Supermarket at the ground floor of the Cocoa House, in Sunyani, reputed to be one of the most popular supermarkets in the municipality has urged Ghanaians to come out with their best in whatever they undertake to do.
He noted that there were a lot of talented players in the country, but they do not take their time to harness their potentials and cited some players such as Awudu Issaka, Alex Opoku and other stars, who after rising to fame at the youth level, did not take their time, but rushed into professional soccer and asked, “where are they now?
Nana Gyan III currently the Chairman of the Retired National Footballers Association of Ghana (RENFAG) said he was a member/player of the Real Republicans Football Club from 1962 to 196 and served as a player, captain and coach of the Brong Ahafo (BA) United Football Club referred to as the Apostles of Power Soccer from 1960 to 1968.
Professional football
The former national star said after playing for the local side, he decided to go professional and found himself with the Washington Whips Professional Soccer Team, USA from 1968 to 1969 when he joined the Washington Diplomats/Darts Professional Soccer Team from 1970 to 1973.
He was also with the Baltimore Bays Professional Soccer Team from 1974 to 1975 when he became a member and a referee for the Washington Metropolitan Soccer Referees Association from 1979 to 1987.
Nana Gyau Gyan III, explained that apart from playing soccer he had time for his education and according to him he attended the St. Patrick’s Catholic School, Sunyani from 1950 to 1954 where he obtained the Middle School Leaving Certificate.
He did not rest on his laurels but furthered his education by obtaining a diploma in basic accounting from the Institute of Commerce, Dublin, Ireland and the Universal Academy, Sunyani in 1963.
Nana Gyan III got another diploma from the Lear Siegler Institute of Computers, Silver Spring, USA. The soft-spoken Atipimhene said while pursuing his professional football career, he went on to obtain a High School diploma from the Armstrong Adult High School, Washington DC from 1970 to 1973, a diploma in Bank Management, diploma (Advance Level Graduate), basic and intermediate certificate at the AIB Washington, DC from 1970 to 1976.
Work experience
He took other courses culminating in the award of a master’s degree in 1985.
Apart from playing football, he had worked with the Public works Department (PWD), Sunyani as a Book-Keeper/Typist from 1959 to 1962, and Cocoa Marketing Board (CMB) Sunyani as Deputy Regional Accountant from 1963 to 1968, Reliable Delivery Service, Landover Maryland, USA as a computer operator from 1969-1970, National Savings and Trust (Crestar Bank), Washington DC as Head Note Teller from 1970 to 1973, United National Bank of Washington, DC as Vice President from 1973 to 1978, Universal Bank of Maryland, Glenarden Maryland USA as President/Chief Executive Officer from 1978 to 1987 and the President of Gyampech/STBA-International Business and Financial Management Company, New York from 1993 till date.
Nana Gyau Gyan has also served on several boards both local and international and mentioned some as member of the Board of Directors, National Investment Bank, Board of Directors, National Bankers Association, Washington DC, Mayor’s Advisory on Economic Development, Glenarden, Maryland, USA among others.
A devout catholic, Nana Gyau Gyan III also sought to develop his spiritual life and played an active role in the Catholic Church as a chorister from 1949 to 1954, Church President, St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Fiapre-Sunyani from 1994 to 1997, member, Finance Council, Catholic Diocese of Sunyani, member, National Planning Committee, Catholic University College of Ghana, Fiapre, Worthy President, Knight of St. John International, Commandery, 393 from 1997 to 1999 and Grand Board Member, Cape Coast Grand Commandery, Knights of St. John International, 1999 to present.
Nana Gyau Gyan during his soccer career won many awards such as the Sportsman of the Year (Ghana) in 1962, played in the Africa Cup in 1963, 1965 and 1967, played in the Olympic Games and the World Cup Qualifying series all in 1964.
The former Black Star player was decorated with the Order of the Volta (Member) State National Award, Public Service and Traditional Ruling by President J A Kufuor on July 2007 and crowned a National Sports Hero in 2006, by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports and had Apostolic Blessings from His Holiness John Paul II.
Nana Gyau Gyan was born in Sunyani, the capital of Brong Ahafo Region on June 3, 1936.
He is married to Mrs Mary Agyeman Gyau and they have four children made up of two boys and two girls.


Story: Samuel Duodu, Sunyani

THE Poultry Development Board (PDB) and the Veterinary Services Council (VSC) are developing a legal framework that will help regulate hatchery practices in the country.
The guidelines, which are at the formative stages, when completed, will be presented to Parliament to be passed into a law.
The hatchery law has become necessary as some hatcheries in the country are producing poor and unhealthy day-old chicks for sale to poultry farmers, who are unwilling to change them because there is no law protecting the farmer.
The Executive Secretary of the PDB, Mr Nicholas Oteng, disclosed this in Sunyani at the launch of an advocacy programme by the Brong Ahafo Regional Poultry Farmers Association, aimed at campaigning for the passage of a hatchery law to regulate the activities of operators in the hatchery business.
The project, which was on the theme "Advocating Legal Framework for Production of Healthy Chicks from Hatcheries", was sponsored by the Business Advocacy Campaign Fund (BUSAC Fund).
Mr Oteng stated that since there was no legal framework for the hatchery sector, operators in the industry were exploiting the situation by producing poor quality day-old chicks for sale to poultry farmers, and that if something was not done to curb this practice, it would collapse the poultry industry.
The executive secretary disclosed further that in the 1980s some veterinary experts came together to develop some guidelines for hatchery practices in the country, but that could not be implemented, saying "it was that work done by the experts which the PDB is collaborating with the VSC to be upgraded into a law".
Mr Oteng commended poultry farmers in the Brong Ahafo Region for seeing the need to come together to advocate a legal framework to guide hatchery practices in the country, saying 'with a united front, farmers could achieve a lot that would go a long way to improve their lot and the poultry industry".
A retired Veterinary Surgeon and Poultry Consultant, Dr Valentine T.K. Agbeli, who spoke on the theme, stated that research had revealed that some hatcheries in the country sold day-old chicks to farmers, of which (the chicks) from 45 to 55 per cent turned out to be cockerels.
He stressed that all these happened because there was no law that protected the poultry farmer and, therefore, the hatcheries responsible also refused to replace these birds which died from preventable hatchery diseases.
Dr Agbeli, therefore, called on the government, as a matter of urgency, to enact a hatchery law to protect poultry farmers from these hatcheries who sold what he termed ‘undersized’ for underdeveloped weak day-old chicks.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, for his part, urged the poultry farmers to unite in order to attract big loans to establish their own hatchery and feed mills which would provide them with the quality raw materials.
This move, he said, would also save them from the overexploitation of the hatchery owners and feed millers in the poultry industry.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Secretary of the Poultry Farmers Association, Mr Anthony Abu, bemoaned the poor and unhealthy day-old chicks produced by some hatcheries for sale to farmers, an attitude that was gradually destroying the industry and affecting farmers’ income.
He stated that based on this unhealthy development, the association decided to come together in order to lobby the government for the passage of a law to guide hatchery practices in the country.


Story: Samuel Duodu, Sunyani

THE Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, has called on traditional rulers to use their unique position to help promote development in their respective traditional areas instead of engaging in litigations which could retard the progress of their areas.
He stated that leadership was about helping to improve the lot of the people, and urged traditional rulers to help fight against underdevelopment.
Mr Baffour-Awuah made the call at a grand durbar to climax the first anniversary celebration of the instalment of Oboaman Bofotia Boa-Amponsah II as Krontihene of the Sunyani Traditional Area in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The week-long celebration was aimed at rekindling the communal spirit of the people of Sunyani towards the rapid socio-economic development of the area.
Mr Baffour-Awuah stated that apart from chiefs using their position to fight under-development, they must also be able to mobilise their people to initiate projects that would go a long way to benefit them, as well as rekindle their communal spirit.
He observed that modernity had affected the chieftaincy institution in recent times and for the people to recognise and accord respect to the institution, traditional rulers must begin to redefine their roles so as to make the institution to reassert its relevance.
Mr Baffour-Awuah also stressed the importance of education to the development of communities, and therefore suggested to the Krontihene to set up an education endowment fund to support brilliant needy students from the area to pursue higher education.
Nana Bofotia re-emphasised the unique roles that traditional rulers played in the society and their ability to mobilise their people for communal labour.
He called for the revival of certain aspects of the country’s culture that were dying out, saying that the Centres for National Culture and other institutions of culture must be brought to the doorsteps of the people if they were to have any meaningful impact on society.
Nana Bofotia disclosed that he was going to launch a crusade for the planting of trees to promote ecological balance and wildlife conservation.
Among the dignitaries who graced the occasion were the Omanhene of the Sunyani Traditional Area, Nana Bosoma Aso Nkrawiri II, the Brong Ahafo Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) James Oppong-Boanuh, and Pastor Fredrick Adjei-Baah, President of the Mid-West Conference of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.


Story: Samuel Duodu, Sunyani

The Brong Ahafo Regional branch of the National Pensioners Association of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has called on SSNIT to review the 12-year maximum life expectancy age for SSNIT Pensioners to match with their counterparts under the CAP 30 scheme.
According to them, workers who started the SSNIT Pension Scheme and helped to make SSNIT what it is now still receive meagre allowances as compared with their counterparts whose salaries and allowances are consolidated.
They therefore called for a review of the pension allowance to favour non-consolidated pensioners.
In a nine-point resolution adopted at a meeting held in Sunyani recently, the association observed that the aim and purpose of establishing the SSNIT Pension Scheme had been defeated.
“We were promised and assured of affordable houses, better and secured monthly allowances but the authorities have not yet lived up to their promises,” it said.
The resolution stated that it was through pensioners’ instrumentality and agitation that the President, Mr J.A. Kufuor, appointed the Bediako Commission on Pensions, but unfortunately the white paper issued by the government did not meet the expectation of SSNIT pensioners.
“It is an undeniable fact that by the Implementation of Memorandum of Understanding between the Civil Servants Association and the government, the government’s pensioners allowances were increased by 50 per cent with effect from October, 2006. We humbly appeal to the government to plead with SSNIT to increase our allowances to match with our counterparts on government pension, as we all go to the same market and serve the same country in various capacities,” it stated.

Sunday, December 2, 2007


Story: Samuel Duodu, Jinijini

THE Nsoatreman Rural Bank in the Brong Ahafo Region has launched a new product dubbed: “Adesua Ahoboa”, which literally means, “Preparation Towards the Child’s Education”.
The product is aimed at helping parents and guardians to save the little money that they might consider as insignificant, and spend it towards the education of their children and wards.
A prospective client only needs as little as GH¢1 to open the savings account with the bank to benefit from the product, which has a high yielding interest rate.
Launching the product at Jinjini, a farming community in the Berekum District of the Brong Ahafo Region, Mr Philip Appiah-Mensah, the General Manager of the bank, said the decision of the bank to come out with such a product, was to help minimise the burden and frustration parents had to go through to raise money to pay the admission fees of their children after they had gained entry into senior high school (SHC).
He observed that apart from helping parents to save money towards the payment of admission and school fees at the SHS level, the savings could also be used to buy learning materials and pay for the West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) registration fees.
According to Mr Appiah-Mensah, most parents in the rural areas could not afford the payment of WASSE registration fees, thereby making their children to drop out of school.
He said some parents and guardians, in their efforts to raise money to pay for the school fees of their wards at the secondary school level, fell victim to the exploitation of money lenders, who charged high interest rates on the money they gave out as loans.
Mr Appiah-Mensah explained that the product was a trust account, which would be held by the parent in the name of the child and when the child attained the age of 18 they could operate the account on their own.
He stated further that unlike the normal current and saving accounts, a prospective client must save for about one and half years before the one could withdraw and also access loans from the “Adesua Ahoboa” account.
Mr Appiah-Mensah, however, stated that there was a window of necessity, explaining that an emergency situation might crop up which needed immediate attention, and therefore holders of the accounts could withdraw cash after six months to meet the emerging expenditure concerning the education of the child.
He further stated that children of those who held that accounts also had the opportunity to enjoy the scholarship scheme instituted by the bank.
Mr Appiah-Mensah said the product would help mobilise the excess liquidity outside the banking sector, as well as encourage the youth to cultivate the habit of saving.
He gave the assurance that the bank would continue to develop innovative products in order to bring banking service to the doorsteps of the public.
The Secretary to the Board of Directors of the bank, Mr Eghan Augustus, re-emphasised the need for parents to take the education of their children seriously.
He stated that the bank had introduced the product at a time most parents had not prepared towards the academic progression of their children especially when they had completed the junior high school and gained admission to the SHS.
Mr Augustus, who is also a director of the bank, urged parents to take advantage of the product by opening accounts with the bank in order to save money towards the education of their children from the SHS to the tertiary level, since it was the greatest legacy they could bequeath to their children.