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Govt injects GH₵30m into phase one of rent scheme



Rent, Newscenta, NRAS, low income households, youth,

The much awaited National Rental Assistance Scheme (NRAS) to provide rent loans to both formal and informal sector workers with verifiable and regular income has officially been launched.

GH₵30m injected into phase one

The first phase of the scheme to be implemented with GH₵30 million will provide eligible Ghanaians with a mechanism to pay low monthly rent.

6 beneficiary regions

This effectively removes the need for rent advance payment within six regions – Greater Accra, Ashanti, Western, Eastern, Bono East and Northern before being extended to the remaining 10 regions.


Qualification criteria

The eligible person must be a Ghanaian, possess a valid Ghana Card, be an adult of 18 years and above, have verifiable employment and earned income, verifiable bank statement or mobile money statement, and rent payable must not exceed 30% of the household income.

GH₵100 application processing fee

The eligible person is expected to identify a property of his or her preference and notify the NRAS of same through a formal online application, pay GH₵100 application processing fee, present two forms of Identity Cards and have the application verified within five to 10 business days.

Rent to be paid directly to landlady or landlord


The rent will then be paid directly by the Scheme Managers into the bank account of the landlady or landlord who would also have to register with the Scheme.

Rent to paid back to govt monthly

These loans will be repaid on a monthly basis by the beneficiary, not exceeding 30% of his/her household income, to match the tenure of the rent.

Management of the Scheme outsourced private company

The management of the Scheme has been outsourced to Rent Masters Ghana Limited, a private sector entity, which is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Scheme.


Duties of the private company

The company will, among other things, handle customer application processes, disbursement of rent advance directly to landlords, as well as the preparation and submission of periodic reports on the implementation of the Scheme to the Project Management Committee.

Bridge between landlords and tenants

It will also serve as a bridge between landlords and tenants to satisfy the interest of both parties.

Past policies geared towards increasing access


Launching the Scheme, Vice-President Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia said successive governments had instituted housing policies geared towards increasing access to various housing options.

Concentration on ownership services

However, he observed that those efforts were mainly concentrated on home ownership services and did not achieve the desired impact in addressing the market imbalances of the rental housing market.

Providing meaningful shelter to citizens

The Vice-President said the Akufo-Addo-led Administration, as a people-focused Government, had been working towards providing meaningful shelter to citizens, which formed a significant part of government’s developmental goals to address the problems associated with the housing sector, especially rental housing.


Visit to Rent Control Department in July 2020

He recalled visiting the Rent Control Department in July 2020 where he noted the overall importance of the rental housing market in the country’s quest to increase access to housing options.

Landlords demanding two years rent advance

He said the problem of landlords demanding two years rent advance deprived many people, especially the youth, access to rental housing.

Planning started in 2020


Vice-President Dr Bawumia said in 2020, government started planning to introduce a new programme to bridge the information and financial gap between tenants and landlords.

Captured in NPP’s 2020 Manifesto

He explained that the ideas were captured in the 2020 Manifesto of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), and subsequently in the national budget.

Policy intervention to resolve the challenge

Therefore, the Government, acting through the Ministry of Works and Housing, established the National Rental Assistance Scheme as a policy intervention to resolve the challenge.



 Enhancing tenants’ creditworthiness

According to him, the measures will enhance tenants’ creditworthiness and reduce the large rent advance requests by landlords.

Dr Bawumia stated that government has made significant strides as far as the housing sector and rent management of the country is concerned.

New Rent Bill before parliament


Government has submitted to Parliament for consideration and passage of a Rent Bill, to replace the existing Rent Act 1963 (Act 220).

When passed into law, it will enhance the service delivery standards of the Rent Control Department.
Rent cannot exceed  one year

The Bill seeks to ensure that a landlord who demands the payment of rent “in advance for more than one month in a monthly tenancy, or a tenancy which is shorter than one month, or more than one year in a tenancy which exceeds one year, commits an offence” clearly identified in the Bill.

Protection for vulnerable tenants out-priced

It will also ensure that the rights of “vulnerable tenants” who have been out-priced by the uncontrollable hikes in the cost of renting accommodation are safeguarded.

Dr Bawumia commends Asenso-Boakye


The Vice-President commended Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Francis Asenso-Boakye, for his leadership in ensuring the roll-out of the initiative.

Data to improve collection of rent tax

He is hopeful that the data produced from the implementation of the Scheme will facilitate government’s efforts at expanding   revenue stream through the improved collection of rent tax.

Rent Scheme made possibly by digitization

Dr Bawumia said the introduction of the NRAS was made possible because of the national identification system, a digital property address system and mobile money interoperability, which had practically given a bank account to all eligible Ghanaians.


According to him, these systems addressed, to a large extent, the gap between landlords, tenants and credit providers.

Cost of capital, and rising cost of building materials

Mr  Asenso-Boakye, , cited limited land supply, cost of capital, and rising cost of building materials as having contributed to the difficulty in rising buildings in the country.

In view of this, he stressed the urgent need to provide support to lower income earning households and the youth to access the minimum standards of accommodation could not be over-emphasised.

Short to medium term market challenges in rental failures


According to him, it has become imperative to address the short to medium term market challenges in rental failures where landlords demand years of rent advance payments.

Consideration for selecting beneficiary regions

Mr Asenso-Boakye explained that the beneficiary regions were selected following data gathered by the Rent Control Department, indicating that they had a higher percentage of rent advance challenges.

Expected relief 

He is confident that the scheme will bring a lot of relief to many Ghanaians.


Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr. Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, said what often comes to mind when determining a minimum wage is feeding, clothing and accommodation.

Welfare of pensioners

Apart from workers, he said, another area that is often ignored although equally important is the welfare of pensioners.

Plea to consider vulnerable pensioners

He pointed out that pensioners are very vulnerable and it is at this stage that they suffer a lot of difficulties and appealed to those in charge of the scheme to give serious consideration to pensioners during the implementation of such schemes.


Pensioners earn below GH₵600

Mr Awuah said a study conducted showed that many of the pensioners in the country earned below GH₵600 a month, saying “So just imagine a person earning this money and asked to pay a rent advance of two years”.

General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) Dr Anthony Yaw Baah, urged the implementing agency and the sector ministry to extend the scheme to the other regions soon to enable them to benefit from it.

He also appealed to them to prioritise women especially single mothers in the scheme and appeal that the houses be located at places where the children can have access to education

Mr Frederick Opoku, the General Secretary, National Tenants’ Union of Ghana, tasked Government to establish a statutory body called “The National Rental Housing Taskforce Group” to protect the scheme and ensure the enforcement of rent advance payment not exceeding one year when the Rent Bill is passed into law.


He called for a fair, transparent and credible application process and with no political colours to make it easier for the ordinary Ghanaian to access it.

Mr Richard Acheampong, the Scheme Manger, Rent Masters committed to a fair and just implementation

Interested persons can apply online to the Scheme for support through ( and send more enquiries on the scheme to


National honours conferred on COVID-19, ITLOS champions



National awards 2023, Newscenta, COVID-19, ITLOS team members, Order of the Volta,

Individuals, institutions and partners who distinguished themselves in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, have been honoured by the State at the National Honours and Awards 2023.

Other awards receivers are members of the legal team of men and women, who were charged with ensuring that the maritime boundary dispute with Cote D’Ivoire, ended favourably for Ghana.

Apart from these two main categories of awardees, that is the COVID-19 and International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) awardees, there was a third category of awardees of a few individuals whose work deserve the plaudits of the nation.

They are the late great philosopher, Prof. Johnson Kwame Wiredu, by common consent one of the outstanding philosophers of global repute of the modern age, who will be given a befitting posthumous award, Order of the Volta – Companion.

The rest are Ms. Margaret Sophia Darkwah, the first female Commissioner of Police; Prof. Akwasi Osei, former Chief Executive of the Mental Health Authority; and Dr. Veronica Agartha Martinson, former Executive Director of the Cocoa Research Institute, Ghana.


In all, some 19, 557 frontline health workers received certificates and plaques for their dedicated services in the line of duty.

Additionally, about 50 individuals and entities also received the Order of the Volta – Companion awards, comprising Members of the National COVID-19 Taskforce, Trustees of the Ghana COVID-19 Private Sector Fund, and ITLOS Technical Team and Legal Advisors.

The national awards are presented to persons who have made immense and recognized contributions in sectors such as the civil service, military, prisons service, education and public health, agriculture, commerce and industry, the judiciary, scientific and other research, sports, culture and the arts, and the financial sector.

The country received many commendations for the measures it put in place to contain the viral disease, after it recorded the first two cases in March 2020.

“Ghana is indeed indebted to you,” President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo saluted the awardees.


The selflessness and commitment demonstrated by the health workers helped saved many lives, the President noted, citing the difficulties the nation went through at the height of the pandemic.

These ranged from the imposition of a three-week lockdown in some parts of the country, and social distancing to the adherence to safety protocols.

President Akufo-Addo stated that the Government instituted some one billion Ghana Cedis as a relief package to alleviate the plight of the people in the wake of the pandemic.

Additionally, personal protective equipment worth several millions of Ghana Cedis were also procured for the safety of the citizenry.

The President lauded the ITLOS main legal team for their effectiveness and able manner in which they handled Ghana’s maritime dispute with its immediate western neighbours.


“This ensured that our western maritime resources remained legitimately in our possession,” he said.

“It is important to state that today’s awards ceremony is a purely national event, devoid of partisan, ethnic or religious considerations, and organised solely in recognition of the services offered by its recipients to the growth, development, progress and prosperity of Ghana.

“I, as the President of the Republic, the Fount of Honour, act as the Head of State, and not as Head of Government, in the distribution of awards.

“I can happily say that I am not aware of the political sympathies or views of the overwhelming majority of today’s awardees. Their politics is of no moment to me, only their exploits in favour of Mother Ghana, he said.













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Misinformation undermining democracy, eroding gains in Ghana



Misinformation, Newscenta, ISD, website, Ghana Today, Information Ministry,

Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has expressed grave concern about the rising spate of false publications and misinformation within the Ghanaian media landscape.

According to him, the phenomenon is gradually undermining the democracy of the country and eroding the gains made over the years.

With a significant section of the Ghanaian population now relying on online platforms and other social media platforms for information, he noted that some unscrupulous persons had resulted to using those channels to propagate falsehood and misinformation.

Speaking at the launch of a website for the Information Services Department (ISD) of the Ministry of Information in Accra, Oppong Nkrumah stated that “This phenomenon is gradually undermining our democracy.”

23.05m internet users


The state of digital in Ghana in 2023 report indicates that there are 23.05 million internet users in Ghana at the start of 2023, when internet penetration stood at 68.2%.

6.6m social media users

Ghana is home to 6.6 million social media users in January 2023, equating to 19.5% of the total population.

43.88m cellular mobile connections

A total of 43.88 million cellular mobile connections are active in Ghana in early 2023, with this figure equivalent to 129.8% of the total population.


68.2% internet penetration

Ghana’s internet penetration rate stood at 68.2% of the total population at the start of 2023.

Ghana Today

The platform which is a website called Ghana Today is a reliable news portal that provides accurate information on government projects, programmes, communications and positions.


The website,, has been created with the aim of combating public misinformation, a phenomenon that has been on the ascendancy, with the establishment of multiple private media outfits and blogs.

Objective of the portal

The main objective of the portal will be to disseminate information directly from the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies, about the works of Government and becoming a repository of all happenings in government.

Oppong Nkrumah in his address stressed that the launch of the news website forms part of the Ministry’s duties of supervising ISD and supporting Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to communicate regularly.

The portal, the Minister noted, will provide facts about government projects and programmes, as well as full texts of all speeches by heads of MDAs, official communications and publications, and policies and programme documents to reduce the level of misrepresentations and misinformation online.


Re-organization and retooling Programme

Oppong Nkrumah indicated that the launch of this project by the ISD forms an integral part of the re-organization and retooling Programme, and is aimed at equipping the Department to serve more audiences with its work even as the times and media consumption patterns change.

He said, “a significant section of our population now relies on online platforms and other social media platforms for information. It is also important to note that some unscrupulous persons have used many of these portals and social media platforms to propagate falsehood and misinformation. This phenomenon is gradually undermining our democracy.”

Fight against misinformation

He continued, “the rollout of this website will, therefore support the department in the fight against misinformation.”


Repository of all happenings in govt

He further indicated that it will provide “direct information from Ministries, Departments and Agencies about the works of government and become a repository of all happenings in government.

Sensitisation of the public

He said, over the years, the ISD had played critical role in the sensitisation of the public on major issues of national interest, including the construction of the Akosombo dam; re-introduction of the 17 per cent VAT after a previous failed attempt; introduction of the new Ghana cedi in 2007 and most recently, the creation of the six new regions and the E-Levy.

Those, he said, the Department had done through the use of various Public Education Campaign strategies and the deployment of Public Relations professionals and Regional and District Information Officers to MMDAS and MDAs.


Keeping up with ever-changing media landscape

However, he noted that, the Department had lost some steam in recent years, mostly due to the inability of successive administrations to equip it as well as keep up with the ever-changing media landscape and the advancement in technology.

In response to these challenges, Oppong Nkrumah stated that Cabinet has approved a Programme for the Department to undergo vigorous re-tooling and re-organization to meet the needs of the present day.

He indicated that the launch of the website formed an integral part of the re-organisation and retooling programme of the Department, aimed at equipping it to serve more audiences with its work even as the time and media consumption patterns changed.

He urged the staff to work quickly and accurately to ensure that the citizenry was reached with all the facts and the necessary documentation as soon as possible.


The Minister tasked ISD to “get to work with speed to ensure that the information and the documents reach ISD Media Today, so they are published. The regular delays in getting materials to your colleagues at ISD media will only undermine the potential efficacy of this very useful tool.”

He urged the general public who want to validate the information about Government works that they may come across, to visit the new website for the information they need.

On his part, the Acting Chief Information Officer of the ISD, Mr. David Owusu-Amoah urged Ghanaians to make use of the Ghana Today platform and to be vigilant in their consumption of online content.

He said it is important that “we all take responsibility for the information we consume and share and be mindful of the impact of false information on our society whiles working together to combat it.

“We all have a role to play in combating misinformation. We must all be responsible and verify information before sharing it. With this new tool, we hope to empower Ghanaians to take an active role in the fight against fake news.”


Mr Amoah, said that “at the inception of the ISD, there was no need to worry about misinformation.”

However, today due to the proliferation of news outlets, the struggle is against misinformation.”

Mrs Adiza Ofori-Adu, Head, Media Division, ISD, said the website would enrich dissemination of information on government’s projects and urged media houses to depend on it for authentic stories.

The ISD was established in the latter part of 1939, some 84 years ago, as a branch of the Colonial Government Secretariat dedicated to conveying news on the second World War to the people of the then Gold Coast through weekly journal.

























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Police nab 6 in connection with killing of soldier in Ashaiman



Soldiers, Ashaiman, Newscenta, 6 arrested, Trooper Imoro Sherrif, police investigations,

Six persons have been arrested on different dates and at various locations within Ashiaman and its environs in connection with the murder of Trooper Imoro Sherrif, a soldier.

A statement issued by the police indicates that on March 4, Police received information that a male adult had been found lying dead at Ashiaman-Taifa in the Greater Accra Region.

A team of Police officers proceeded to the said location and confirmed the incident.

Police immediately commenced investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of the victim.

The officers cordoned off the scene and called in the specialist Police Crime Scene team to process the scene for forensic analysis.


The Crime Scene Team retrieved a number of items, including a knife with blood stains on it and a backpack.

In the backpack, Police found a Samsung tablet, an Apple laptop, a military uniform with the name tag “Imoro”, eight other items of clothing, as well as a Ghana card and a Health Insurance card bearing the name Imoro Sherrif.

Judging from the contents of the backpack, the police suspected the victim could be a soldier, and in line with Police standard operating procedure for handling institution-based victims, the Military was accordingly notified of the incident and some military personnel came to identify the deceased to Police as Imoro Sheriff, a soldier.

The body of the deceased was thereafter conveyed to a hospital for preservation and autopsy.

As part of the investigation, an intelligence operation was immediately launched within Ashiaman and other strategic locations of interest to follow up on all relevant leads on the case.


On the same day, consistent with Ghanaian tradition and as part of the investigation process, a team of police officers after identifying the residence of the parents of the deceased, visited them, commiserated with them and assured them of a thorough investigation into the matter.

During the visit, the parents informed the Police that the deceased was stationed at Sunyani but had come to Accra on a course.

Investigations further revealed that on March 3, the deceased had visited a female friend at Ashaiman Newtown at about 10:30pm and left the place in the middle of the night at about 1:30 am, on March 4.

After almost a week of painstaking intelligence-led operations, on March 9, the police arrested suspects Safianu Musah alias Dayorgu and Ibrahim Abdul Rakib at their hideouts in Ashaiman.

Two other suspects, Samuel Tetteh alias Wiper and Abubakar Sadick alias Birdman were also arrested at their hideouts on March 10.


Two additional suspects, Yussif Mohammed and Abdul Gafaru Abdul Karim were arrested on March 11 and 12, respectively.

Further investigation has established that suspects Samuel Tetteh and Abubakar Sadick at about 1:45 am on March 4, 2023 attacked the deceased at Ashiaman-Taifa in an attempt to rob him of his phone and a backpack.

The deceased, however, resisted and struggled with the suspects. During the struggle, suspect Samuel Tetteh pulled out a knife and stabbed the deceased in the arm, snatched his phone and bolted leaving the deceased with the knife stuck in his arm.

A postmortem examination was performed on the deceased’s body on March 8, after which the pathologist gave the verbal cause of death as exsanguination and laceration of major vessels of the left arm consistent with the stabbed injury.

Investigations also revealed that suspects Samuel Tetteh and Abubakar Sadick sold the phone which they had robbed from the deceased to suspect Ibrahim Abdul Rakib who later sold it to suspect Safianu Musah.


Suspect Safianu Musah is being evasive as to the whereabouts of the phone and claims to have sold it to suspect Yussif Mohammed and later to suspect Abdul Gafaru Abdul Karim.

Both suspects have been arrested and are assisting in investigation to recover the phone.

On March 12, a team of police officers led by the Tema Regional Police Commander visited the family of the deceased and briefed them on the investigations done so far.

The Police commended all police officers at all levels of Command, especially the crack police intelligence and investigation teams as well as the Ashiaman District Police Command for their professionalism and meticulous dedication, working around the clock to unravel this case.

The Police assured the public, especially the family of the deceased, that all the suspects are in Police custody and will be put before the court on Monday, March 13, for justice.




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