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Western region NPP MPs chide NDC colleagues

New Patriotic Party (NPP) Members of Parliament in the Western Region have described the Press conference held by the majority side as mischievous and intended to make them look bad in the eyes of the people of the Western Region.

The NDC MPs on Wednesday organized a press conference during which they urged their NPP colleagues to support a $3 billion Chinese loan agreement.

They contended that a substantial amount of the loan would be used in the development of the region, adding that the welfare of the people of the Western Region must be of paramount interest to them.

The NPP Western Region caucus in Parliament in response to the Majority’s press briefing on Thursday described the press conference by their colleagues as “childish” “ill-conceived” and a futile attempt to create animosity between the NPP MPs and residents in the Western Region.

The MP for Secondi, Papa Ankoma stated that “we on the minority side are very willing to support any good thing that will come the way of the people of the Western Region’’.

They expressed hope that their colleagues will rise above partisanship and seek the supreme interest of the country.

By : Kwadwo Anim/ghanamps.gov.gh

Debate on $3 billion loan on-going

Debate on the controversial $3 billion dollar loan has commenced on the floor of Parliament after the Minority MPs successfully blocked debate on the loan agreement yesterday, citing the need to meticulously read a revised version of the earlier agreement, which was laid yesterday.

This morning’s debate took off after Presiding Speaker, Hon Edward Doe Adzaho, shot down a veiled attempt by the Independent Member of Parliament for Bekwai, Joe Osei-Wusu, to arrest deliberations on the facility.

Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, opened the debate. He announced that the New Patriotic Party group still has very serious problems with the loan agreement in spite of yesterday’s amendment to the loan document.

Without mincing words, the Old Tafo MP called on the Mills administration to immediately withdraw the facility and do a more thorough due diligence job on the loan agreement.

However, Haruna Iddrisu, MP for Tamale South MP and Minister for Communications, disagreed. Making his submission, he described the $3 billion dollar loan as a very good initiative that must be lauded by all well meaning Ghanaians.

The debate is still on-going.

Parliament approves controvertial $3bn Chinese loan

Parliament has finally approved the controversial $3 billion Chinese loan agreement on Friday 26th August 2011 after heated debate on the floor of the House.

The opposition NPP who had raised issues with sections of the agreement on Thursday succeeded in blocking debate on the issue when government withdrew the earlier agreement and replaced it with an amended one.

After several arguments on the deal, the controversial agreement was approved by voice count with the minority abstaining. The majority shouted ‘yeeh yeeh to the question put on the floor but the minority kept mute enabling the Speaker to rule in favour of the majority.

The minority was not convinced with the explanation offered by the Finance Minister Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, especially, on the upfront and commitment fees. They contended that the explanation from the minister contained several contradictions.

However the Majority did not share the minority’s concerns. Following a marathon debate on the floor, the Majority approved the Master Facility Agreement, which sealed days of hot exchanges and allegations surrounding the $3 billion loan agreement.

An amount of $1.8 billion out of the total amount would be channeled to funding key developmental projects in the Western Region.

By : Kwadwo Anim/ghanamps.gov.gh

Ras Mubarak is a joker – Ablekuma North MP

The NPP Member of Parliament for Ablekuma North, Justice Joe Appiah, has described as “a joke”, a challenge thrown by known NDC activist Ras Mubarak to unseat him in the 2012 general elections.

Hon. Joe Appiah in an interview with Citi News described Ras Mubarak as a failure by his association with the NDC because in his opinion he will have no message to sell to the electorates in the Ablekuma North constituency.

The vociferous NDC activist revealed to Citi FM last week that he intends to challenge for the Ablekuma seat on the ticket of the NDC if given the nod by party delegates.

He picked up nomination forms for the party’s parliamentary primaries today in furtherance of his ambition.

However, Hon Joe Appiah has dismissed the threat, saying Ras Mubarak is nothing but a joker and must not be considered as a serious politician by the public.

“Ras Mubarak is a joker, tell Ras Mubarak that even if they bring President Mills to Ablekuma North I will beat him. The structures that I have put in place in Ablekuma are unprecedented in its history and I am telling the NDC that they should prepare”.

He added: “We want a government that creates employment, wealth and decent accommodation for the people of the country and this government has failed totally. So what is Ras Mubarak coming to tell the people of Ablekuma North?

“The President cannot fulfill his promises; the NDC is dying so I don’t see why Mubarak should come to Ablekuma North to blow his horns. I am waiting for him”.

But in a sharp reaction, Ras Mubarak has accused the MP of rather failing to execute his mandate hence his reaction to the challenge.

Source: Citifmonline.com

Gov’t must not blame taxi drivers for gas shortage – Minority

The NPP Minority in Parliament has said government’s attempt to blame taxi drivers for the current shortage of Liquefied Petroleum Gas in the country is most dishonest.

Government officials have alluded to increasing LPG use by commercial vehicles as part of the reasons for the shortage of the product in recent times.

Yet at the Press briefing in Accra on August 23, the Minority Spokesperson on Energy and Member of Parliament for Navrongo Central, Hon Joseph Kofi Addah, told journalists that the Mills administration should admit that the NDC Administration’s incompetence is to blame for the prevailing LPG shortages.

“We in the NPP have no doubt in our minds that the two main factors of the acute gas shortage are as a result of the NDC government’s disruption of the production process by letting GNPC usurp the role of TOR in the lifting of crude oil. This no doubt has significantly reduced the domestic supply to the country through imports by the bulk distribution companies.

“The second was the fact that due to a two-year non-payment of under-recoveries to the bulk distribution companies, these distributors have withdrawn their services and thus currently, there is only one company, namely Fuel Trade, which is still active after they had recently been paid arrears, six months due.”

Hon. Addah warned the NDC not to mislead Ghanaians into believing that taxi drivers were to blame for the gas shortage.

The NPP also rejected government claims that part of the reason for the gas shortages is the previous administration’s failure to expand Ghana’s LPG storage capacity.

By : Kwadwo Anim/ghanamps.gov.gh

STX parnters to work togther

Embattled partners of the STX Engineering and Construction Ltd have resolved at a meeting yesterday to put away their differences and find an efficient way of constructing government’s publicized affordable housing projects.

The meeting has held at the instance of the chairman of the Works and Housing Committee of Parliament, David Tetteh-Assumeng who have expressed discontent about the recent impasse between the Korean and Ghanaian partners of the company.

The two partners have recently been engaged in a boardroom wrangling over who has the right to execute the project which resulted in both partners suing each other in court, a development that threaten the smooth execution of the project.

The company is to construct 200,000 housing units across the country at the cost of $10 billion. But the deal, since its inception has come under a barrage of criticisms from the opposition party and civil society who suspect Ghana will not get value for money if government goes ahead to execute the deal.

However, after a crunch meeting to settle the stalemate at the office of the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing with the partners, the Hon. David Tetteh-Assumeng who is also MP for Shai Osudoku stated that it has been revealed that “both parties agreed that we should continue to dialogue to resolve the issues”, adding that the main objective of two parties to work together was achieved at that meeting.

He was confident that the initial construction of 30,000 housing units for the security service would be realized, noting that there was “no cause for alarm” in that the “partnership is not over” yet.

“I am very, very confident, and I want to assure the people of this country that we are all confident and we are making sure that the project succeeds and will succeed by the grace of God.

By : Kwadwo Anim/ghanamps.gov.gh

Mills will need 16 years to better lives of Ghanaians – Kofi Jumah

The Member of Parliament for the Asokwa constituency, Maxwell Kofi Jumah has described President Mills’ first term in office as a waste of time since he has failed to make any remarkable impact on the lives of Ghanaians since coming into office.

According to him, at the current rate of developing the country, President Mills will need “16 years to accomplish what President Kufuor started.”

Speaking on Multi TV, the Asokwa MP explained that the Mills administration has so far failed to achieve its better Ghana agenda because the administration lacks the high caliber of Ministers the Kufuor administration had in its cabinet and accused the Mills administration of neglecting the good works started by his predecessor, John Kufuor.

But, a member of the National Democratic Congress’ Communications Team, Fred Agbenyo rebuffed the MP’s assertion that the NDC has failed to deliver on its better Ghana promise. He cited several instances of unfulfilled promises by the opposition New Patriotic Party when they were in government.

According to him, the NPP was also unable to fulfill most of its campaign promises including abandoning projects started by the previous NDC administration.

He said the NPP used their eight years in office to “enrich themselves, friends and cronies”. His comment provoked Mr. Jumah who walked off the set during the live show to go bring documents including the NDC’s 2008 manifesto to buttress his point.

Source: Multi TV

Western Region NDC MPs court support from minority

The NDC Members of Parliament from the Western Region have urged their colleagues on the minority side from the same region to vote for the approval of the $ 3 billion Chinese loan facility from the China Development Bank.

According to the MPs, the Western Region stands to benefit immensely from the loan as its approval will ensure the execution of several developmental projects in the Western Region.

Government of Ghana is seeking a 3 billion US dollar Master Facility agreement between the government of Ghana and the China Development Bank to finance infrastructure development projects under the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA).

The addressing the media in Accra, the Member of Parliament for Elebelle, Armah Kofi Buah stated that several projects including: the Western Corridor Gas Infrastructure Project, Western Corridor ‘Petroleum Terminal’ Project, Western Corridor ‘Oil Enclave’ Toll Road Project, Western Corridor Railway Line Modernization Project- Takoradi-Kumasi, Dunkwa-Awaso Railway Line, Retrofit Phase 1, are some of the numerous projects to be executed with the loan facility, which to a large extent will improve the living standards of the people of Western Region.

He urged the minority MPs not to disapprove the loan simply because of the political gains the NDC government stands to gain from executing the projects but rather think of the wider interest of the ordinary people of the Western region.

However in a sharp rebuttal, the Member of Parliament for Takoradi, Kwabena Darko Mensah stated that the press conference by his other colleagues on the majority was done in bad faith because they (majority) failed to discuss the issue with those on the minority side.

“It would be absolutely wrong for anybody to think that Minority members from the Western Region do not approve of this loan, we support everything good that will come to our region provided it’s done in the right way’’ he said.

He added that the loan agreement has several begging questions that needs to be answered and it was important that the loan is not hurriedly approved.

By : Kwadwo Anim/ghanamps.gov.gh

Bekwai MP applauds Police for his arrest

The Former Chief Executive of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) and Member of Parliament (MP) for Bekwai, Joseph Osei-Owusu has applauded the East Legon Police for ‘arresting’ him, Tuesday morning.

The MP was stopped for questioning by personnel of the East Legon Police Divisional Command at about 9:30am for not wearing his seat belt whiles driving.

Mr. Osei-Owusu was using the tunnel under the Accra-Tema motorway towards East Legon when the Police stopped him, questioned him and cautioned him before allowing him to continue his journey.

Speaking on Adom TV’s morning show, BADWAM on Multi TV about his encounter with the Police, the former DVLA boss described the action by the Police as a laudable one which shows that the Police are indeed ensuring that road users observe the laws on road safety.

He expressed the hope that the action will serve as enough deterrent to other road users who are in the habit of not using their seat belt.

He also urged the Police to be on the lookout for persons who flout other road safety rules and ensure that the appropriate sanctions such as arrests, penalties and fines are duly applied.

The Bekwai MP also hinted of counterfeit DVLA stickers and reflectors which he said are currently flooding the market and called on the Police MTTU to look out for motorists who use such stickers and arrest them.

Source: Multi TV

Crunch meeting on STX deal today

The Chairman of the Works and Housing Committee of Parliament, David Tetteh-Assumeng will today 23rd August 2011 convene a crunch meeting with the feuding partners of the STX Engineering and Construction Ltd.

The meeting which will take place at the offices of the Ministry of Water Resources Works and Housing to settle all the differences that the housing project is encountering at the moment.

The sector Minister, Alban Sumana Bagbin and the Ghanaian and Korean partners are expected to take part in the meeting scheduled for this morning.

The meeting is timely in the wake of strong disagreement and mistrust among the partners which has threatened the success of the housing project which is expected to improve the country’s housing deficit and also provide the security personnel with adequate housing.

The STX Engineering and Construction Ltd was supposed to put up about 200,000 housing units across the country, where the first 30,000 units will been dedicated to the security agencies at a total cost of $10 billion.

Some civil societies and opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) have severally criticized the deal, arguing that it was a bad one and does not give Ghana value for money.

They have sustained a campaign for government to abrogate the contract, but government has remained adamant mounting a strong defence that the deal is good for the country.

Mr Tetteh-Assumeng, who is also the Member of Parliament for Shai Osu Doku, reassured the public of government’s commitment to ensure the project is executed.

By : Kwadwo Anim/ghanamps.gov.gh