Ghanaian International Boxing referee Joshua Barnor has announced his resignation from the center of the ring from Thursday May 2, 2013. He attributed his hasty decision to complaints and comments made by journalists and some members of the general public, notably Professor Azumah Nelson.According to Barnor, he accepted doing some petty mistakes in his last fight involving Ghana’s Emmanuel Tagoe and Pontilas of the Philipines, but that did not warrant insults and threats.The 20 years experienced boxing referee / judge said he started officiating at the amateur level before graduating to the professional and did his first course with a few journalists who wanted to know much about the sport or increase their knowledge, but now most of the sports journalists do not know about the games they report on.He called on the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA) and the National Sports Authority (NSA) especially to run seminars and higher upgrading courses for stake holders in sports.“In fact it is sad that our pressmen do not know the rules and laws of boxing officiating. I am in the ring and I see more than those outside. It is true I was speaking to boxers. I told Tagoe in Ga to raise his head and not go to the slippery part of the ring because he does not understand English. I told Polinkas the same. So I do not see why they are accusing me of bias or helping the local boy” he explained.On Azumah Nelson, he noted that the boxing professor wanted to manage Tagoe, which the later declined so the former world champion has hated the rising champion and wants to frustrate him. He revealed that Emmanuel Tagoe has graduated from different boxing gyms in Accra, like the Black Panthers Gym to the Will Power Gym own by Napoleon Tagoe, to the Azumah gym and now being handled by Coach Emmanuel Tagoe of Black Pathers Gym at James Town. Roger Barnor, whom many connoisseurs of the game believe to be the hardest working referee in Ghana, said he has resigned as a referee, but would still be a boxing fan and may decide to become a match maker.“I have officiated over 1000 fights and I think I have paid my dues. Even when I deserved to be awarded by the Sports Writers Association (SWAG), they did not, so I am very sad for Ghana Sports. I think though many people see me to be young, I have done much” he said.Meanwhile, at the time of filing this report, executive members of the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA) led by President Peter Zwennes were meeting to decide on what sanction to award to referee Barnor as they felt he did not live up to expectation on the night of May 24, 2013.
After 2 years…Opposition calls for immediate disbursements…as Govt refuses to give date for paymentsAfter two long years of waiting for their monies, some 460 retrenched workers attached to the Wales Estate are to finally receive their severance before the end of this year as the National Assembly on Wednesday evening approved $2.4 billion in severance payments for over 4000, Wales, Berbice and East Demerara sugar workers who were thrown on the breadline when Government closed several sugar factories.Members of Parliament examining the supplementary funds request in the National Assembly on WednesdayThe monies were approved when all 62 Members of the Parliament on Wednesday evening voted in favour of $3 billion in supplementary funds under the Agriculture Ministry’s current expenditures.Government requested and received approval for a total of $7.5 billion in supplementary funds. This includes $4 billion in current estimates and $3.4 million in capital.Of the entire supplementary funds, the Agriculture Ministry requested $3,051,000,000 of which $2.451 billion is to meet final severance payments to some 4733 former workers of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo).Wales workersIn responding to questions from Opposition Parliamentarian Gillian Burton, Agriculture Minister Noel Holder disclosed that the monies being requested include funds to also pay the retrenched Wales workers.Wales ended operations in December 2016 and some 375 workers who refused to take up employment at Uitvlugt, West Coast Demerara, remain without severance payments, putting hundreds of families on the breadline and causing economic crisis to surrounding communities.The workers have been taking to the streets, protesting for their severance to be paid.According to Minister Holder, a total of 460 workers from Wales are to get their severance monies. However, despite being asked repeatedly by Opposition MPs, Burton, Komal Chand and Gail Teixeira, about when these payments will be made, the Agriculture Minister could only assure that the payments will be made before the end of the year.“[They] certainly will get it before the end of the year,” Holder posited, while adding that as soon as the money is available after approval by the House, efforts will be made to disburse same to the dismissed sugar workers.When the supplementary request was put up for voting, the Opposition members were silent when Speaker, Dr Barton Scotland asked if any oppose the additional monies. However, the Government’s side called for a division, which was allowed, the People’s Progressive Party MPs having to voting “yes”’ to the Government’s requests.On Wednesday the opposition called for immediate disbursement of payments. However, despite asking the Government seven times about date for payments non was fothcoming.Only month, President David Granger assured a gathering at Rose Hall, Corentyne, that those dismissed sugar workers will receive the balance of their severance payment when Parliament comes out of recess. The announcement came after months of protest by the workers, who are facing difficulties as a resulted of the closure of sugar estates.As part of its plans to bring the heavily indebted and cash strap GuySuCo back into profitability and efficiency, Government fired thousands of workers in an effort to downsize the sector leaving a mere three-estates – Albion, Blairmont and Uitvlugt – in operation.The Skeldon, Rose Hall and East Demerara (Enmore) estates were closed in December 2017 with no severance payments made to the workers. However, back in January, Government secured $.93 billion from the National Assembly to pay some of the ex-sugar workers from those three estates. Those dismissed workers whose severance packages are $500,000 or less were paid in full by January 31, 2018, while those entitled more than that amount were only paid 50 per cent, with the remaining half to be paid in the second half of the year.As such, since July, these workers and their families have been looking forward to the second tranche of the severance money from Government.Meanwhile, apart from the $3 billion current estimates, the Agriculture Ministry also got approval for another $70,738,198 under its capital estimates for the provision of additional inflows consequent on savings after the completion of original programme activities under the Japanese grant to facilitate the payments for the acquisition of an amphibious excavator, three double cab-vehicles and five desktop computers. (Vahnu Manikchand)