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President Alassane Ouattara Begins Two-Day Visit To Ghana Today

The President of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, His Excellency Alassane Ouattara, will from today begin a two-day official visit to Ghana.

The purpose of the visit is to deepen further the already strong relations that exist between the two countries, as well as explore other areas of co-operation to their mutual benefit.

This visit is a reciprocal one to the visit made to Cote d’Ivoire by the President of the Republic, Nana Akufo-Addo, in May this year at the start of his tour of the countries of West Africa.

The two presidents and their respective teams are expected to hold bilateral discussions at the Flagstaff House on Monday, October 16, 2017, after which the two leaders will address a joint press conference. President Akufo-Addo will, later that evening, host his Ivorian counterpart to an official dinner.

Prior to President Ouattara’s departure on tomorrow, October 17, 2017, the two countries will sign a bilateral agreement and inaugurate a joint commission for the implementation of the recent judgement passed by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) on the delimitation of the maritime boundaries of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.

May 5 visit to Cote d’Ivoire

It will be recalled that earlier this year, from May 5, 2017 to May 7, 2017, President Akufo-Addo paid a three-day visit to Cote d’Ivoire at the commencement of his tour of the countries of West Africa.

During that visit, President Akufo-Addo revealed that the close co-operation between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire will be facilitated by a new initiative, dubbed ‘An Agreement for a Strategic Partnership”, that will be signed by the two countries.

This agreement, according to President Akufo-Addo, will bind Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire “in even closer intimacy and go beyond the bounds of the concept of the Permanent Joint Commission, which is the conventional tool for co-operation.”

President Akufo-Addo noted that one of the areas of focus of this agreement will be in the cocoa industry.

President Akufo-Addo was also decorated with the Highest National Award of Cote d’Ivoire, La Grande Croix dansl’ordre National Ivorien, at a State Dinner held in his honour by President Alassane Ouattara.

No Room For Compromise – Prez Nana Addo

President Akufo-Addo says nothing will let him and his government go against the full implementation and enforcement of the new set of regulatory measures for handling Liquefied Petroleum Gas, issued by Cabinet Thursday evening.

The assurance was given after a meeting yesterday with the Ministerial Co-ordinating Committee he has set up to ensure the strict implementation and adherence of the regulatory measures, and depart from the era of non-compliance which has been the status quo in recent years.

The Ministerial Co-ordinating Committee, which is chaired by the Minister for Energy, Boakye Agyarko, comprises the Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation; the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development; the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations and two Deputy Ministers for Energy.

It is to be supported by a Technical Implementation Committee chaired by the Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Hassan Tampuli.

Other members of the Committee are the Chief Fire Officer of the National Fire Service; the CEO of Standards Authority; the CEO of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); the Director of the Land Use and Spatial Development Authority and the Director of the Department of the Factories Inspectorate.

President Akufo-Addo therefore, gave the assurance that his government does not intend to follow the practice in recent years – where the political will to enforce measures protective of the citizenry had not been present.

“I do not intend to have that as a feature of my government. The people of Ghana are looking up to us to protect them. I want to emphasise that beyond the statement that was issued yesterday, there is a strong political will that something will be done about it. I have a clear mandate to change things in this country,” President Akufo-Addo pointed out.

To members of the Committee, President Akufo-Addo noted that the measures rolled out by his government “cannot work and will not work if those of you implementing it are not on board, dragging your feet or not adhering to its implementation.”

He urged them to co-operate and co-ordinate fully, and “get out of the practice I found, since coming into office, that the right hand and left hand don’t know what is going on in the same issue.”

On their part, members of the Committee assured the president of their determination to enforce fully the measures rolled out by government, to forestall the occurrence of any more gas explosions, and to co-ordinate effectively their actions.

The CEO of the NPA, Mr Hassan Tampuli, said with effect from Friday, October 13, 2017, his outfit had commenced the immediate inspection of all gas stations and the vigorous enforcement of existing regulations.

Additionally, his outfit had begun reviewing safety protocols and, from Monday, October 16, would begin the deployment of a taskforce to assess the risk that the current LPG infrastructure poses in terms of public health and safety.

So far, Mr Tampuli revealed, 21 high risk stations had been closed down, in accordance with the relevant law and without regard to any political or special interests.

The National Fire Service has since assured the president that a full report of the Atomic Junction gas explosion in Accra would be ready in two weeks’ time.

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