Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

People, Places and Events


'Use media to benefit all'

The fourth biennial meeting of the African Council of Communication Education (ACCE) has ended in Lome, Togo, with a call on African media practitioners to use communication to facilitate "self- realization, self-reliance, social justice and economic growth".

The final communique issued in Lome recommended a commitment to use the media to collaborate with governments to promote rural development.

The conference also called for the use of ACCE expertise in the field of research to focus upon utilizing indigenous channels of communication.

Participants recommended further that the Ministries of Information in Africa should make media resources available to their professional departments so that officers may have the opportunities to use them.

The week-long conference was attended by 33 delegates from 15 countries and 19 member institutions.

ECOWAS in financial crisis

ECOWAS secretariat is facing a serious financial crisis due to non-payment of contributions by member states. The organisation's executive secretary, Dr Aboubacar Quattara, said this in Lome, Togo while presenting his annual report to the 16th session of the ECOWAS council of ministers. Dr Quattara said that inadequate resources had made it impossible for the secretariat to implement community cooperation programmes planned for 1983/1984.

Free movement within ECOWAS

An amendment to the protocol on the free movement of persons contained in the ECOWAS treaty was proposed by the Council of Ministers of the organisation at their meeting in Lome..

The ministers recommended that the period for the implementation of the first stage of the protocol the right of residence and establishment of community citizens within member-states, be extended by two years.


Cereal deficit in Sahel countries

The cereal deficit in West Africa's Sahel countries for this year increased to 1.75m tons against 1.5m tons in 1983, it was officially announced in Niamey at the end of an extraordinary meeting of Ministers of Agriculture of the permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (ICDCS).

The ministers, who met in the Niger capital at the initiative of the current ICDS chairman, Niger's President Seyni Kountche, felt that livestock production in the eight member countries also gave cause for concern that losses this year could be higher than those of last year.

Faced with this unprecedented situation, the participants made an appeal to the international community to continue to support efforts of the ICDCS, notably by facilitating the long-term food aid planning so that the funds, generated by the aid, will be well planned within the framework of the policy of production stabilisation.

At the end of the meeting, Saibou Sabally, Gambia's Minister of Agriculture and co-ordinator of the ministerial council, said that considering the outcome of the meeting, President Kountche will undertake an action within various international multilateral organisations - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OPEC, FAO and World Bank and UNICEF- to make them aware of the urgent need to respond to the food needs of the affected populations.

Given the urgency and magnitude of the needs, the ICDCS ministers stressed the need to improve the organisation, in the short term, the flow of cereals to the Sahel so that all the affected zones would get their supplies in time.


Chinese loan

The visit of the President and his delegation to China resulted in a 10.3 billion CFA franc loan agreement with the PRC. This was disclosed by the Minister of Commerce and Supplies, Alain Koeffe at a news conference. The loan will be paid back over a period of 10 years.

The money will be allocated to the agricultural sector as a matter of priority since the development strategy is based on agriculture.

The Chinese will carry out three dam projects, supply light agricultural machinery, assist in the development of market gardening, and send experts to assess these projects.

Visit to gold fields with North Koreans

Mr Henri Zongo, Minister of Economic Promotion, has ended a mission to the Seno region. He was accompanied by a North Korean delegation comprising the Vice- Minister of Foreign Trade, the Ambassador and many other Korean officials. The two delegations visited the gold fields of Tafarou, Guiro and Bahniaga, in the Selba division.

Following the visit Mr Henri Zongo said that he had no more doubt that, in this area, Burkina Faso had real interests to safeguard. He said the country's future in the field of mining was promising.

Closure of Canadian embassy

Canada's decision to close its embassy has been commented upon by Sidwaya. "On November 13, 1984, the Canadian Ambassador to our country resident in Abidjan, Mr John Bell, announced the closure of the Canadian representation bureau in Ouagadougou. The reasons given were economic ones. But why in Ouagadougou and nowhere else?

Since the August revolution, relations between our two countries have not changed and Burkina is determined to maintain good relations with that country whose co-operation has always been exemplary in Africa. But for some time now signs of tiredness could be seen on the Canadian side.

Economic reasons do not hold; other reasons must be found. The Burkinabe revolution does not seem to suit Canada. Canada belongs to a political camp that does not hide itself. Has a masked economic war been launched against the August revolution. There is every reason to believe this."


Doe and Buhari call for self reliance

Nigerian Head of State, Major General Muhammadu Buhari and General Samuel Doe have emphasised the importance of self-reliance among African countries as a means of strengthening the economic independence of the continent.

They have, therefore, expressed their determination to encourage collective efforts in finding solutions to African economic problems.

This was contained in a statement issued in Lagos at the end of bilateral talks between General Buhari and General Doe They noted that many African countries were facing serious economic problems and suggested that these countries should forma common front in solving the problems. The Nigerian Head of State also briefed the Liberian leader about efforts being made by the Military Government to revamp Nigeria's economy.

He said that Nigeria had no problems with her long-term loans but that the short- term trade arrears were a cause for concern. General Doe had expressed his country's willingness to expand areas of co-operation with Nigeria. He commended the role played by General Buhari at the last OAU summit saying that it represented a true display of leadership in Nigeria.

NDP granted political status

The National Democratic Party of Liberia (NDPL) has been granted legal political status. The public court judge has registered and probated the documents of the NDPL, giving it legal right to function as a political party in the country.


Don't ignore Qadhafi

The French Foreign Minister, Claude Cheysson, has said no cooperation between Paris and Tripoli was possible without a total withdrawal of Libyans from Chad. However, it would be a political error to ignore Qadhafi and it was necessary to negotiate with him.

The French agency, AFP, also reported "official sources" as saying that France was giving Libya "one or two weeks" to leave Chad. Meanwhile, the Chad Informa- tion Minister has expressed confidence that if France were firm enough a military confrontation was avoidable.

Meeting of Council of Ministers

The Council of Ministers have met under the chairmanship of President Hissein Habre who informed the Council of the current implication and consequences of the Franco-Libyan agreement of September 16 1984. The Council strongly condemned the violation of that agreement by Libya and warned Tripoli against the consequences that might follow.

The Council also observed that the regime of Tripoli had not only failed to recall its troops from occupied territory but was currently reinforcing its positions in the north and repeatedly engaging itself in aggressive acts. The Council called on national and international public opinion to bear witness to this grave fact. The Council also condemned the brain- washing campaign launched recently by humanitarian organisations against the Government. This campaign in reality, diverted the attention from the aggression and destablisation policy of the regime of certain elements of the press and so-called Tripoli.

France will defend Chad

French opposition leader Jacques Chirac has said in Cairo it would be necessary for independence of the Chad government if to safeguard the Libyan troops in Chad did not withdraw. French troops

"If the Libyan forces do not withdraw, then it becomes necessary for French forces whether air-lifted or on land to be in a position to defend the independence of the Chad government, Chirac the Mayor of Paris, said.

Chirac, leader of the Rassemblement Pour La Republizue (RPR) was speaking to reporters after an hour of talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. French troops were sent to Chad last year to help President Hissene Habre fend off an advance by Libyan-backed troops in the north.


PNDC buys 20 year old tanker

A Greek shipping company, Tsakos shipping have succeeded in dumping on Ghana a twenty year old tanker which the company was about to discard. The PNDC has purchased the tanker Takis E at a cost of 5 million US dollars to lift Ghana's oil purchases from Nigeria.

The owners of the Greek tanker, Tsakos Shipping based in Athens, will, however, continue to manage the vessel on behalf of Ghana government.

The outright purchase of the tanker which has a contract to lift oil to several West African countries on a yearly basis has meanwhile set many informed sources in the oil and shipping industry wondering why the PNDC should purchase this exceedingly old tanker at $5 million and whether expert advice was sought from the national shipping line, Black Star Line, on the deal.

Foreign exchange shop, profitable

The foreign exchange shops in the country generate a monthly revenue of about three thousand dollars. According to Miss Leonora Agyarko, solicitor-secretary of the Ghana Tourist Development Company Limited, the setting up of the shops was not part of the company's major developmental projects as has been the impression of most Ghanaians but that "the shops have only gained prominence because of the shortage of sugar, milk, soap and other essential goods in the country."

She said that the shops were originally meant to serve diplomats in the country but added that "It's an open secret that many Ghanaians with relatives abroad are remitted some foreign money."

Northern Ghana afforestation

A three-man mission from the United Nations Sahelian Office (UNSO) was in Ghana to discuss a proposed programme on tree planting in the Northern part of Ghana. The afforestation programme which is estimated to cost 1.5 million dollars will involve the planting of Acacia Albida, a drought resistant tree. According to Dr B. W. Garbrah, acting Chief Executive of the Environmental Protection Council (EPC) the arrival of the mission follows the decision of the UN General Assembly and the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) that Ghana should benefit from the international assistance offered through UNSO to combat the effects of drought and desertification.

Dr Garbrah indicated that the team will discuss the preparation of a propsosed afforestation project which will have medium and long-term plans.

Teachers leave for Libya

The second batch of 150 Ghanaian teachers made up of university graduates and certified "A" holders have left Accra by air for Tripoli, Libya, where they have been offered teaching appointments by the Libyan Government.

The first batch numbering about 170, left two weeks ago.

About 500 Ghanaian teachers have been recruited by the Libyan Government for a two-year training appointment in the country.

ADB $14m credit for Ghana

The Abidjan-based African Development Bank (ADB) has granted Ghana's Agricul- tural Development Bank a credit facility worth 14 million dollars to expand its programme of assistance to small-scale farmers.

The facility would be used to purchase crop processing equipment and agricultural machinery. The loan is interest-free and repayable in 20 years with five-year grace period, he said.

£10 visa for Commonwealth citizens

Commonwealth citizens entering Britain will, as from next year, be required to pay a £10 charge for a visa. In addition, Britain's military assistance to other countries is to be cut.

The British Foreign Secretary, Sir Geoffrey Howe, told Parliament that the government would close 10 consular missions and reduce the BBC's inter- national services.

Sir Geoffrey also announced the country's decision to withdraw its membership of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) at the end of next year.

The actions, according to the foreign secretary, was to cut the foreign office budget to 1.9 billion pounds (about N1.7 million).

Agri-Petco-Ghana oil pact

The Government and the management of the Agri-Petco have concluded first round negotiations on a number of proposed modifications to the existing off-shore oil winning licence agreement under which production of crude oil is taking place in the Saltpond field in the Central Region.

A statement issued jointly by the Government of Ghana and Agri-Petco at the end of the talks said the talks were aimed at bringing the old agreement within the framework of Ghana's recent Petroleum Legislation.

The Mampong stool case

The elders and kingmakers of Mampong Ashanti led by the Krontihene have filed an order of injunction at the Supreme Court in Accra seeking to restrain the Mamponghene, Nana Attakora Amaniampong from acting as Mamponghene.

The National Chieftaincy Tribunal of the National House of Chiefs are joint respondents. Mr Tsatsu Tsikata is counsel for the petitioners. The application said Nana Amaniampong, having admitted before a committee of inquiry acts which brought the silver stool of Ashanti into public disrepute, ridicule and contempt, was unfit to continue to hold the high office.

Nana Amaniampong was disqualified by the Archer Committee which probed the affair of the Cocoa Marketing Board from holding any public office.

TUC political unit to raise productivity

The Trades Union Congress has created a Political Department whose duty will be to help raise the level of political consciousness of workers as a means towards raising productivity to carry on the struggle.

Mr A.K. Yankey, Secretary-General of the TUC, announced this when he opened a one-week union leadership seminar for the General Transport, Petroleum and Chemical Workers Union at the Labour College in Accra.

He said the TUC believed that the destiny of any country "depends upon the education of her people, and since education is a lifelong process, we have to learn more and more every day".

The labour movement would also organize a series of seminars for the rank- and-file to ensure the defence and protection of workers against unfavourable environment by getting them involved in efforts to improve their working conditions and living standards.

Azumah's fight to be seen live in Ghana

The Wilfredo Gomez-Azumah Nelson world featherweight title fight scheduled for San Juan, Puerto Rico, on December 8, will be viewed live on television in 30 countries. According to reliable sources, boxing experts expect the fight between Gomez, the Puerto Rican holder and Ghana's Azumah to rate among the most exciting this year, hence the high interest expressed in it by so many boxing-conscious nations.

Meanwhile, arrangements are afoot for the fight to be viewed live in Ghana. Sports and Youth Secretary, Amarkai Amarteifio, revealed on the eve of his departure for Moscow en route to the fight.

He said his Ministry in conjunction with the Ministry of Information, the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation and the P&T Corporation, was working feverishly to ensure that Ghanaians had the opportunity of watching the fight live.


Fishing agreement with Portugal

A fisheries protocol between Portugal and Guinea Bissau has been signed in Lisbon by the Secretaries of State of Fisheries of the two countries. It envisages the provision of grants for students from Guinea Bissau to attend a fisheries college in Lisbon, as well as scientific co-operation.


Lagos University opens

Lectures begin at the Lagos State University (LASU) on December 3. Registration and orientation of all students took place from Monday, November 26 to Friday, November 30.

Life sentence for Nigerian

A 25-year-old Nigerian woman, Mojibat Aoyka, has been sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labour by a Cairo high court for attempting to smuggle narcotics valued at about 7,751 Naira into Egypt.

Mojibat was arrested on April 1 when she arrived in Cairo International Airport.

Dilpomat's wife jailed for 7 years

Mrs Suzannah Adenike Madogwe, wife of a London-based Nigerian diplomat, has been jailed seven years in Lagos.

Her offence was the importation of N2,920 through the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja on April 30, this year.

She is also to forfeit her diplomatic passport to the Federal Government, the amount involved and also to pay a fine of N3,000.

The Currency Exchange (Anti-Sabotage) Tribunal, Port-Harcourt Zone, was told that the accused, who claimed to be a textile dealer in London, had sent the enveloped money through Mr Samuel Akinyemi Akeju, a manager with the Nigerian Airways, who was oblivious of the contents of the parcel.

Gloomy market for oil

Professor Tam David-West, Petroleum and Energy Minister has said that his government would continue adopting flexible measures to make her crude oil competitive in the world's oil market. Speaking to the visiting executives of the Business International Group of companies in Lagos Professor David-West predicted a gloomy market for Nigerian crude oil till the end of this decade. He said, "I have no illusion that the oil market will remain relatively weak to the end of this decade before we start to see a positive rise in the demand for our oil."

He added, until the expected rise in the demand becomes evident, Nigeria would continue adopting flexible measures to make her crude oil competitive in the world's oil market.

He said that a large number of non- tutorial staff have become redundant because fewer students now live in boarding houses.

According to him, it was such flexibility that could guarantee Nigeria, 'a reasonable level of oil revenue which would be adequate to see us out of the present economic predicament.'

The minister however, pointed out that Nigeria would continue to work within the OPEC.

"Difficult times not over"

Nigerians have been told to be prepared for further sacrifice because the difficult times are not yet over, Kwara State Governor, Group Captain Salaudeen Latinwo gave this warning while addressing newsmen in Ilorin after a two-week annual leave.

Plans to reduce staff

The Imo State Government plans to reduce the staff strength of its teachers and non- tutorial staff in the state schools by 30%. This was disclosed by the State Commissioner for Education, Professor A. Agigbo in an interview during an Imo Television current affairs programme.

The commissioner observed that there was lower school enrolment and a decrease in school population, as a result of increase in teacher/student ratio.

Abiola urges stoppage of project

Chief M. K. O. Abiola, Concord Group publisher, has called for the immediate suspension of the N600 million metroline project in Lagos State.

Speaking in Ilaro, Ogun State, Chief Abiola, maintained that the project should not constitute a priority for the state government.

The project was first mooted by the " defunct civilian administration under Alhaji Lateef Jakande "to solve the interminable traffic chaos within Lagos metropolis.

With the inception of military administration last December 31, Governor Gholahan Mudasiru ordered modifications on the project, through the establishment of a review commission headed by Mr Junji Abiyade.

But Chief Abiola said such preliminary expenses "could have finished third Mainland Bridge and ease, at least, for a decade, the flow of traffic in Lagos." He added: "By that period, Abuja would have materialised thereby ridding Lagos of most of the traffic of the Federal bureaucracy."

Teenage prostitution in Lagos

A school for training of teenaged boys and girls in criminal activities and prostitution has been uncovered in Lagos.

A report in the Concord said a man described as the director of the school was arrested during a police swoop at the Ikeja base of the school. The 23 teenagers including 10 girls were discovered at the premises during the raid. Police gave the age range of the "liberated" boys and girls as between 12 and 17 years.

Soldiers dismissed

14 soldiers attached to the Second Mechanised Division of the Army have been dismissed. In addition, they will go to jail for 12 months each with hard labour. These orders were given by the General Officer Commanding, Second Mechanised Division, Major-General Sani Abachi. The dismissed soldiers had been found guilty of fraud.

Body wants importation banned

A recommendation has been made to the Federal Military Government (FMG) as a matter of policy to ban the importation of rice and maize with immediate effect. The government is also to hand over distribution of all agricultural inputs to private commercial concerns and embark on large scale production of fertilizers for the use by farmers.

These were made by a special study group, set up to evolve ways of boosting agriculture in the country. The experts, headed by Dr T. S. Aribisala, advised the government to give priority attention to small scale farmers, whom they said, formed the bed-rock of agricultural growth in the country. They recommended further that: private tractor hire-service should be encouraged, while government tractor hire should be phased out.

Four tractors now being produced locally should be standardised.

The Federal and State governments should spend at least 25% of their annual budget on agricultural development.

Solidarity with British miners

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has asked the Federal Government to halt the exportation of coal to Britain.

The decision is a mark of respect for 21 African coal miners killed and 55 others injured 33 years ago this month by British colonial police at Iva Valley Coal Mines in Enugu, and also a mark of solidarity with British coal miners who have been striking for the past 34 weeks.

Execution story is untrue

The press secretary of the Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, Maj-Gen. Tunde Idiagbon, has denied a report that the Chief of Staff had ordered the execution of 828 condemned prisoners all over the country. In a denial statement, the press secretary, Mr Tunde King, said the report was capable of portraying Maj-Gen. Idiagbon as a sadist. He said the publication was misleading since the decongestion of prisons, the alleged objective of the executions, was the responsibility of the Minister of Internal Affairs and not that of the Chief of Staff.

Compensation for crash victims

Families and dependants of the victims of the F.28 plane crash in Enugu are yet to be compensated by the Nigeria Airways almost one year after the crash. According to an investigation by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), an agreement is yet to be reached between Nigerian Airways, National Insurance Corporation of Nigeria (NICON) and lawyers representing the families of the crash victims on how much to pay as compensation.

At the signing ceremony, Dr Soleye urged the aircraft manufacturers to ensure adequate back-up services to facilitate their optimum utilisation by Nigeria Airways.

Full time Nigerian Queen

The new winner of the Miss Nigeria crown, Miss Rosemary Okeke, will be a full-time queen.

She will neither work nor go to school in the next one year, according to Daily Times officials.

Miss Okeke will be the second queen to wear the crown on such a basis. The 1983 queen, Miss Cynthia Oronsaye, was the first to work for the pageant on a full time basis.

Purchase of four airbus aircraft

Credit agreements valued at 206,087,107 US dollars about (£165.4 million) under which Nigeria Airways is to purchase four Airbus aircraft has been signed in Lagos.

The Minister of Finance, Dr Onaolapo Soleye, signed the agreements on behalf of the Federal Military Government while representatives of German, French and British banking consortium signed for their various organisations.

The export credits, repayable over a period of 10 years, includes provision for the financing of spare parts to the value of 18 percent of the total contract price.

The credits attract 10 percent interest rate per annum.

The agreements also take cognisance of price revisions and of changes in specifications.

They stipulate that the lenders and borrowers can, in good faith, negotiate the possibility of increasing the credit amount to meet market fluctuations.

Restrictions on two drugs

The Federal government has put two painkillers believed to have caused more than 1,000 deaths in the United Kingdom on restriction.

Both drugs, Butazolidin and Tanderil,made by a Swiss-based pharmaceutical company, Ciba-Geigy and restricted in many African and European countries have now been placed on "pre-import permit". By this, anybody intending to import the drugs has to apply to the Federal Ministry of Health which approves the quantity to be imported.

Contributions to save cancer patient

The husband of a breast cancer patient has written to his employees for a N6,500 financial assistance to settle bills incurred at a private hospital.

Mr A.O. Mafe who works in the person- nel planning and development division (Ground Training Division) of the Nigeria Airways, Ikeja, said the company should help save the life of a woman so dear to him.

But Nigeria Airways has in turn requested its staff to organise voluntary contributions in each division or department to help save the life of Mr Mafe's wife.

Omeruah in China

Minister of Information, Social Development, Youth, Sports and Culture, Group Captain Emaka Omeruah, is on a visit to China during which he will sign a cultural agreement with the Chinese Government. He will also explore other avenues for further co-operation between China and Nigeria. The Chinese Minister of Information and Culture paid a similar visit to Nigeria recently.

talking drums 1984-12-03 Ghana a government of part timers Nigeria press-government relations