Gollywood Controversy: If There’s No Structure, Actors And Producers Will Suffer – Lydia Forson

 

Multiple award-winning Ghanaian actress Lydia Forson has said that the problems in the Ghanaian movie industry can only be fixed when there is a working structure. 

Lydia who also doubles as a movie producer made this comment while weighing in on the controversial issue about some producers not paying actors after they have done a movie.

Only recently, veteran actor Kofi Adjorlolo in an interview lashed out angrily at some movie producers in the country for not paying him anytime he is cast in their production.

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Adjorlolo’s interview generated some buzz, with many debating what could be wrong in the industry and what should be done to ensure that all involved in movie productions within Ghana get what they deserve.

Lending her voice to the debate, Lydia who was in Nigeria to promote her latest work ‘The Perfect Picture Ten Years Later’, noted that it is not fair for anyone to be owed any money.

Lydia further stated that when there is no system put in place, then the breakdown affects all involved be it the producers or the actors.

She was of the opinion that “if we have great structure, better distribution, better finances, and people are getting paid for their works, and executive producers invest money knowing that they are going to make returns,” then everyone in the industry will be satisfied and no one will be owed any money.

The movie producer said the issue is multi-layered but has been ‘messed-up’ by sentiments. She urged all involved to push for fixing the system, arguing that once the system is fixed, then the industry will be fixed.

‘The Perfect Picture Ten Years Later’ is a movie that has been widely received in Ghana and Nigeria. Lydia urged all her fans and lovers of African movies to go watch the film, saying it promises to be a highly enjoyable motion picture.

We Shut Borders Due To Influx Of Arms, Hard Drugs, Buhari Tells Akufo-Addo

President Buhari with Ghanian President Nana Akufo-Addo during a bilateral meeting at the sidelines of the Uk-Africa Summit on 20th Jan 2020

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has continued to defend the closure of the nation’s borders.

According to him, the partial closure of the borders was not caused solely because food products, particularly rice, were being smuggled into Nigeria, but also because arms and ammunition, as well as hard drugs were being ferried into the country.

The president said this on Monday at a bilateral meeting in London, on the sidelines of the UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020 with President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana.

He said he could not keep his eyes open, and watch youths being destroyed through cheap hard drugs, and compromised security caused by unbridled influx of small arms.

“When most of the vehicles carrying rice and other food products through our land borders are intercepted, you find cheap hard drugs, and small arms, under the food products. This has terrible consequences for any country,” President Buhari said.

He said it was regrettable that the partial border closure was having “negative economic impact on our neighbours,” but added that “we cannot leave our country, particularly the youths, endangered.”

Speaking further, the President said the Sahel region was awash with small arms, which accounts for severe security challenges in Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso, Niger and Nigeria.

“We are in fact the biggest victims,” he lamented.

On the time frame for reopening the borders, President Buhari said it would not happen till the final report of a committee set up on the matter was submitted and considered.

“We will get things sorted out. Our farmers, especially those who grow rice, now have a market, and are happy, and we are also concerned about hard drugs and weapons. Once the committee comes up with its recommendations, we will sit and consider them,” the President said.

President Akufo-Addo, while showing understanding of the need for Nigeria to protect her citizens, pleaded for “an expedited process, because the Nigerian market is significant for certain categories of business people in Ghana.”

34 Killed In Ghana Bus Crash

Ghana Flag

 

Thirty-four people died on Tuesday when two buses collided in central Ghana, officials said.

Police and the fire brigade said the accident occurred early Tuesday in the town of Dompoase, about 200 kilometres (125 miles) from the Ghanaian capital Accra.

“Several people sustained injuries and have been rushed to the hospital. Twenty-nine died on the spot while five others died at the hospital,” Fire service spokesman Abdul Hudu Wasiu told AFP.

The victims included 20 men, 11 women and three children, one of whom was only a year old.

Around 40 survivors are being treated in hospital.

There were 13,877 road accidents in Ghana last year, resulting in 2,284 deaths and 14,397 injuries, according to official statistics.

They are mainly caused by human error or due to bad and often unlit roads and malfunctioning traffic lights.

AFP

Navy Arrests Seven Sri Lankans, Two Ghanaians For Illegal Activities

The Sri Lankans were paraded on Friday, January 3, 2020.

 

The Nigeria Navy has apprehended seven vessels and their crew members, including seven Sri Lankans, two Ghanaians, and over 50 Nigerians.

The Navy said its ship, Beecroft, made the arrests during the festive period for illegal activities on Nigerian waters.

The Commander, NNS Beecroft, Commodore Ibrahim Shettima on Friday said the cases are being handed to the relevant agencies for prosecution.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and officials of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) have also been invited to collect data that would aid them in carrying out their jobs.

MV Zebrugge was one of the seven vessels intercepted. The vessel, carrying seven Sri-Lankans, had petroleum products without proper documentation.

READ ALSO: Nigerian Navy Seizes Wooden Boat Laden With 144 Drums Of Petroleum Product

Meanwhile, the captain of the vessel, said he was only contracted to transport the product to Ghana.

MV Zeebrugge was one of the vessels apprehended.

 

Similarly, MT Jonko was arrested on December 21, with 11 Nigerians onboard and 1077 metric tonnes of crude oil.

Samples of the product have been collected from various compartments of the tanker for further analysis.

The Captain also claimed he is only a transporter meant to deliver the goods to Togo.

Ghana Govt Reveals Plan To Adopt New Single West African ‘Eco’ Currency

 

The Government of Ghana has said that it will ‘soon’ adopt the use of the new Eco common currency which was declared by the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) for introduction in 2020.

Eight Economic Community of West African (ECOWAS) countries agreed to change the name of their common currency to Eco and discontinue the use of the CFA franc’s linked to former colonial ruler France.

The development was announced by the President of the UEMOA, his Excellency Alassane Ouattara President of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire on December 22 during a visit by French President Emmanuel Macron to Ivory Coast.

RELATED: West African Nations Rename Common Currency, Sever Its Links To France

According to a statement by the Ghanaian government, signed by the Director of Communication, Eugene Arhin, the decision is a good testimony to the importance that is being attached not only to the establishment of a monetary union but also to the larger agenda of West African integration.

“This is a welcome decision, which Ghana warmly applauds. It is a good testimony to the importance that is being attached not only to the establishment of a monetary union but also to the larger agenda of West African integration.

“We, in Ghana, are determined to do whatever we can to enable us to join the Member States of UEMOA, soon, in the use of the ECO, as, we believe, it will help remove trade and monetary barriers, reduce transaction costs, boost economic activity, and raise the living standards of our people.”

The Ghanaian government urged other Member State of ECOWAS to work rapidly towards implementing the decisions of the authorities, including “adopting a flexible exchange rate regime, instituting a federal system for the ECOWAS Central Bank, and other related agreed convergence criteria, to ensure that we achieve the single currency objectives of ECOWAS, as soon as possible, for all Member States.

“We have a historic opportunity to create a new reality for the peoples of ECOWAS, a reality of general prosperity and progress. So, let us seize it,” it stressed.

Senate Investigates Alleged Discrimination Against Nigerian Businesses In Ghana

 

The Senate on Tuesday mandated its Committees on Foreign Affairs and Trade and Investments to interface with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to investigate the status of Nigerian businesses in Ghana.

This decision was reached during plenary following the consideration of a motion on “the need to investigate alleged ill-treatment and injustices suffered by Nigerian Traders and Businesses in Ghana”.

Senator Ifeanyi Ubah who sponsored the motion informed his colleagues that many Nigerian businesses were established in Ghana following the desire of the Ghanaian Government to promote trade relations with Nigeria under former President John Kufour.

According to him, the presence of Nigerian businesses created thousands of jobs and contributed to the growth of the Ghanaian economy.

The lawmaker said, “As at the end of 2010, Nigerian businesses accounted for 60 per cent of foreign investments in Ghana from the African continent.”

He added, “Of recent, the once flourishing economic relations between Nigeria and Ghana have come under repeated threats as a result of recent hostile posture of Ghanaian authorities and indigenous Ghanaian Traders Union towards Nigerian traders through the adoption of discriminatory regulations aimed at frustrating Nigerian traders and businesses such as the passage of the Ghana Investment Promotion Commission (GIPC) Act.”

The GIPC Act, according to Senator Ubah, raised the amount of money in registering businesses owned by foreigners – who are mostly Nigerians – in Ghana to $200,000 as well as restricted and prohibited foreigners from trading in particular markets in that country.

He decried what he called the “molestation of Nigerian traders” and other hostile acts directed against Nigerian businesses.

The lawmaker noted the recent closure of over 600 shops and businesses belonging to Nigerians by the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) on December 2.

He explained that the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act 865 of 2013 prohibits ECOWAS citizens from engaging in Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs).

Senator Ubah pointed out that among the many obstacles placed on the way of Nigerian entrepreneurs was the requirement of proof of importation of $1million into Ghana as applicable to citizens of non-ECOWAS member states such as China and India.

He recalled that Nigeria and Ghana had previously set up a joint task force from the trade ministries of the two countries to inspect business facilities of companies registered under the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS) to address threats to business interests of Nigerians in Ghana.

According to the senator, all measures and protection offered Nigerian traders under the ECOWAS framework have failed to address incessant threats to Nigerian businesses in Ghana, warning that “the situation may deteriorate into a serious diplomatic and economic crisis.”

In his contribution, Senator Abubakar Yusuf, said the allegation of discrimination against Nigerians was for the most part in the motion speculative.

Yusuf argued that the introduction of legislation by the Ghanaian authority was most likely aimed at insulating their economy and protecting the interests of local entrepreneurs.

He said, “I support the intendment of this motion, it is very good and the intendment is excellent. However, I differ from the procedure of achieving the intendment of this motion.

“Some few weeks ago, we passed a bill here on procurement, and we were trying to protect the interest of our local or indigenous companies.”

“I have read through the motion and I find that there are so many areas that are highly speculative, and I don’t think in this chamber we work on things that are speculative.

“To talk about the $200,000, I think they (Ghanaians) are trying to protect themselves, it is not targeted at Nigerians. In as much as they have come out with certain policies, I think we should be very careful in embracing the issue here and debating it,” the lawmaker added.

Senator Yusuf advised the Senate to handle the motion carefully to prevent a diplomatic row between Nigeria and Ghana.

Backing the position of the sponsor of the motion, the Senate Minority Leader Enyinnaya Abaribe explained that it was aimed at protecting Nigerians living in other countries.

He, however, pointed out that the drafting of the motion might have been done to raise the lawmakers’ emotions where they talked about the question of discriminatory acts among others.

Senator Abaribe said, “I think that we should just let this motion seek to make sure that we call attention to the fact of what is happening to our citizens outside of this country, and see a way of making sure that they are not unduly punished for reasons best known to the countries where they belong.”

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, believes the situation was another dimension of a lack of understanding or intervention and early engagement between the two countries.

He, therefore, stated that the time has come for Nigerian authorities to engage the Ghanaian government with a single mind of getting a solution to the problem.

“We need to know what is happening, and together with the executive arm of government, we have to find a solution to this,” Senator Lawan said.

Ghanaian FA Names New Head After Corruption Scandal

Newly elected President of Ghana Football Association (GFA) Kurt Okraku gives a speech after the GFA president’s election at the Physicians and Surgeons Centre in Accra on October 25, 2019. 
CRISTINA ALDEHUELA / AFP

 

The Ghanaian Football Association on Friday named a new president more than a year after a corruption scandal forced a major shake-up of the game in the West African nation.

Kurt Okraku — chief executive of local Premier League club Dreams FC — filled the position left vacant since Kwesi Nyantakyi stepped down after an undercover documentary showed him soliciting kickbacks worth millions of dollars.

Okraku got the nod from the 120 delegates after beating former FA vice president George Afriyie at a second round of voting.

The expose by journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas rocked football in Ghana and led to the creation of a “normalisation committee” to lead reforms in the FA before a new president could be chosen.

Ghana’s government said the  revelations in 2018 had exposed “gross malfunctioning… characterised by widespread fraud, corruption and bribery” at the country’s FA.

Nyantakyi was banned from football for life by the sport’s world governing body FIFA last October after being found guilty of bribery and corruption.

The sting also saw a string of referees banned for life in Ghana and football officials in a number of other African countries sanctioned.

AFP

Border Closure: No Country Is Targeted, Nigerian Govt Tells Ghana

Photo: Twitter- @GeoffreyOnyeama

 

 

The Nigerian Government says there is no ulterior motive in its decision to close the nation’s borders.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, stated this during a meeting with two Ghanaian ministers on Thursday in Abuja.

He told Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Integration, Shirley Botchwey, and the country’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, that no country was targeted in the border closure.

READ ALSO: Buhari Orders Probe Of NDDC Operations From 2001

According to the minister, Nigeria, as a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), respects the rules of the regional body.

He gave assurance that free movement of persons and goods would continue, stressing that the border closure was targeted at criminal activities and not countries.

Onyeama also informed the Ghanaian ministers that the Nigerian government would ensure that issues raised by their country would be looked into and addressed as soon as possible.

Read the tweets by the minister below:

Ghana Arrests Suspects Over ‘Plot’ Against Government

Ghana Flag

 

Ghana’s security forces have arrested at least three suspects over an alleged plot to destabilise the government, the information minister said.

“The joint operation was to neutralise an elaborate plot targeted at the presidency, and with the ultimate aim of destabilising the country,” Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said in a statement Monday.

He said those arrested last Friday included a medical doctor whose premises –- Citadel Hospital, in the capital, Accra — were being used to manufacture weapons for the alleged plot.

The security agencies had been monitoring the activities of the suspects including their contacts with some soldiers over the past 15 months, he said.

“We also have in custody military persons and an officer in connection with these plots. We are not taking anything for granted in this case,” Nkrumah told AFP by telephone from Washington on Tuesday.

READ ALSO: At Least 20 Killed, Dozens Injured In Papua Unrest

He assured the public that “state security agencies remain vigilant, and will work to safeguard national security and public safety”.

Ghana is viewed as a bulwark of stability in a region characterised by insecurity and turbulence.

The West African nation has been run by democratically elected governments since 1992 and is gearing to hold fresh polls late next year.

Incumbent Nana Akufo-Addo looks set to face a challenge from former leader John Mahama for the top job.

The statement on the alleged plot sparked further questions in the country.

Security analyst Festus Aboagyehe called for more information and warned that the authorities appeared too quick to conclude the suspects were plotting to destabilise the government.

“I cannot put words in the mouth of government but the agencies involved are expected to be professional enough to explain exactly what this group was about,” the retired army officer told local media.

“I do not exactly understand what targeting the presidency means,” he added.

Ex-Ghanaian International Agogo Dies At 40

Ghana’s Junior Agogo celebrate his team’s victory against Namibia 24 January 2008 in Accra after their 2008 African Cup of Nations match. Ghana won 1-0. AFP PHOTO / ABDELHAK SENNA
ABDELHAK SENNA / AFP

 

Former Ghana international striker Junior Agogo has died at the age of 40, four years after suffering a stroke, the country’s football association said Thursday.

“The Ghana Football Association is saddened by news of the sudden demise of ex-Ghana star Junior Agogo,” tweeted the African country’s federation.

“On behalf of the Ghanaian football fraternity, we extend our sincere condolences to the family of our Black Star, Junior Agogo. May his soul Rest In Peace.”

Agogo won 27 caps and scored 12 goals for Ghana. He was also part of the squad which made the semi-finals of the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations.

Agogo played for a number of British clubs including Nottingham Forest, Bristol Rovers, QPR and Barnet.

He also featured for Egyptian club Zamalek and Apollon Limassol in Cyprus before ending his career at Hibernian in Scotland in 2012.

AFP

AFCON: Tunisia Goalkeeper Apologises For Action During Ghana Clash

Tunisia’s goalkeeper Mouez Hassen (L) reacts to being substituted during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) Round of 16 football match between Ghana and Tunisia at the Ismailia Stadium in the Egyptian city on July 8, 2019. JAVIER SORIANO / AFP

 

Tunisia goalkeeper Mouez Hassen apologised Tuesday for his furious reaction to being substituted ahead of a penalty shootout against Ghana at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Hassen, 24, was replaced by Farouk Ben Mustapha right at the end of extra time in Monday’s last 16 clash that Tunisia won 5-4 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in Ismailia.

“I want to come back on yesterday’s incident and I will start first of all by offering an apology to the coach, my teammates as well as the supporters of the national team,” Hassen tweeted, putting his “regrettable reaction” down to the “pressure of the match”.

READ ALSO: No Bid For Pogba, Solskjaer Dismisses Rumoured United Exit

The incident was reminiscent of this year’s English League Cup final when Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga refused to come off ahead of a shootout eventually won by Manchester City.

Hassen, however, begrudgingly made way for Ben Mustapha, whose save from Caleb Ekuban proved the difference as Tunisia prevailed to set up a meeting with surprise quarter-finalists Madagascar.

“I’m committed to having a positive attitude and cohesive spirit for the rest of my career with the Carthage Eagles,” he promised.

AFP

Tunisia Win On Penalties To End 54-Year Dominance By Ghana

Tunisia’s players celebrate their win during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) Round of 16 football match between Ghana and Tunisia at the Ismailia Stadium in the Egyptian city on July 8, 2019.
Giuseppe CACACE / AFP

 

Tunisia defeated Ghana 5-4 on penalties Monday with Ferjani Sassi converting the decisive spot-kick to end a 54-year Africa Cup of Nations losing streak against the Black Stars.

After a 1-1 draw following extra time in Ismailia, Tunisia scored from all five penalties while Ghana substitute Caleb Ekusan had his attempt saved by Farouk Ben Mustapha, who came off the bench especially for the shootout.

Victory was sweet for Tunisia as they had lost six times to Ghana in the African football showcase from 1965 after drawing the first meeting between the nations two years earlier.

On Thursday, the Carthage Eagles play giantkillers, Madagascar in a quarter-final in Cairo with the winners meeting Senegal or Benin for a place in the July 19 final.

Losing on penalties ended a Ghana run of six consecutive top-four finishes in the Cup of Nations and puts the future of coach Kwesi Appiah in doubt.

Four-time former champions Ghana changed two of the team that began a 2-0 win over Guinea-Bissau that enabled them to pip Cameroon for top spot in Group F on goals scored.

Both alterations were on the left side of a 4-3-3 formation with defender Nuhu Kasim and midfielder Afriyie Acquah replacing Joseph Aidoo and Owusu Kwabena.

Tunisia coach and 1980s France star Alain Giresse reacted to an embarrassing 0-0 draw with minnows Mauritania in their previous match by dropping four of the team.

Big Surprise

A big surprise was the exclusion of forward Wahbi Khazri, who had been the outstanding Tunisian attacker in the group phase and scored one of their two goals.

Bassem Srarfi, Naim Sliti and Karim Aouadhi were also relegated to the bench with Ghaylen Chaalali, Ferjani Sassi, Taha Yassine Khenissi and Anice Badri promoted.

After early yellow cards for Ghanaian John Boye, the first player to be red-carded in the group phase, and Tunisian Dylan Bronn, the first half became a cagey, even affair.

Ghana came close to scoring on 16 minutes when a Kasim header struck the post and Andre Ayew fired the rebound straight at goalkeeper Hassen Mouez.

Andre Ayew was convinced he had put the Black Stars ahead on 41 minutes when he backheeled a cross into the net, but the referee ruled that Thomas Partey handled in the build-up.

Replays showed the ball touching the chin of the Atletico Madrid midfielder rather than a hand and the disallowed goal infuriated the Ghanaians.

Midway through the second half Giresse had second thoughts about the composition of his attack, which was making little impression, and sent on Khazri in place of Badri.

Khazri needed just five minutes to make an impact with his brilliant backheel creating space for Wajdi Kechrida to cross and Khenissi scored with a shot that went in off the near post.

The woodwork foiled Ghana a second time when a Mubarak Wakaso shot from outside the box struck the far post 10 minutes from the end of regular time with Mouez beaten.

In the first minute of stoppage time, the Blacks Stars drew level with an attempted headed clearance by Bedoui looped over Mouez, who had strayed off his line.