General News of Sunday, 31 December 2017
President Nan Akufo-Addo literally made fun of the controversy that enveloped the Trade and Industry Ministry following claims that monies were extorted from expatriates, at the Ghana Expatriate Business Awards ceremony.
According to the Minority, expatriates were charged between $25,000 and $100,000 to sit by the President at the ceremony.
Speaking during the MUSIGA Presidential Ball on Friday, he jokingly said he hoped persons who sat close to him at the event did not pay to sit on the same table with him. “I hope that it will not be said that I asked people to pay GHc 1,500 to come and have dinner with me tonight. This is a MUSIGA presidential Ball and it should stay as such or I will be the subject of a parliamentary inquiry.”
President Akufo-Addo has already said the allegations were baseless following a query to the Trade and Industry Minister, Alan Kyeremanten, demanding answers from him over the allegations.
This was after the Trade and Industry Ministry, and the President of the Millennium Excellence Foundation, which organized the awards, had denied the allegations, which first came from the Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak.
The matter continues to unravel as the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, has summoned Parliament for an emergency sitting on Friday, January 5, 2018, after the Minority in Parliament called on the House to investigate the allegations.
Support for Arts
President Akufo-Addo also reiterated his government’s commitment to give the Arts and Entertainment Industry the needed push.
Among other other things, the President said the “government will protect and support anti-piracy laws for the industry to protect our musicians.”
“In 2018, we will, amongst others, continue with initiatives to improve the creative arts sector with the setting up of a fully functional creative arts secretariat and the commencement of feasibility studies to set up a creative arts fund all under the leadership of the dynamic Catherine Afeku, the Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture,” he added.