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Parliamentary Committee calls on Zoil to pay wages of workers

The Parliamentary Select Committee on Lands and Forestry on Thursday called on Zoil Services, auxiliary waste management company Zoomlion Limited, to pay wages of their workers in the Upper East Region.

Zoil Service has been contracted by the Ministry of Lands and Forestry Commission to undertake the National Forestation Programme and it in turn recruited workers to carry out the exercise.

Mr Albert Abongo, the Member of Parliament for Bongo, said this at separate functions at Tangara and Bongo Feo when he and the committee members visited the sites.

He said it was bad for people to work for more than six months without being paid and added “this programme is very dear to the government and every attention must be given to the project to ensure that it succeeds.”

The workers, who are cultivating 700 hectares out of the 800 hectares originally targeted, complained of lack of logistics such Wellington boots, rain coats, bicycles and cutlasses.

“About five of my workers have been beaten by snakes because of lack of Wellington boots. We also have to commute long distances to the farm and this is affecting our work”, Mr Malik Agongo, the supervisor in charge of Bongo Feo community, told the Parliamentary Committee.

The Committee assured the workers that their concerns would be addressed and urged them to continue to work whilst their concerns were being addressed.

Mr Andrew Adjei–Yeboah, a Member of the Committee, appealed to the workers to see the project as their own since they stood a good chance of reaping benefits from it.

He told them that it could help them draw firewood and improve upon farming and also reverse the environmental degradation of the area.

Mr Adjei–Yeboah expressed disappointment about the way the programme was being implemented by Zoil and said there was the need for the Forestry Commission to review the contract and to make amendments if need be since the government attaches importance to it.

The Paramount Chief of Bongo, Baba Salifu Aleemyaruum, commended the government for initiating the programme and said it would help reduce desertification associated with the three northern regions.

He said he was also addressing the environmental degradation in the area through his NGO, the “Green Bongo for Sustainable Development.”

Baba Salifu Aleemyaruum said he together with sub chiefs had mounted advocacy programmes against desertification and passed by laws on bush burning.

He suggested to the Parliamentary Committee to introduce what he called ‘Food for Work Programme’ in communities to encourage them to engage in more tree planting.


Nkwanta South MP donates cocoa, cashew seedlings to assembly

Cocoa and Cashew farming in the Nkwanta South District has received a major boost following a presentation made to farmers in the area by their Member of Parliament, Gershon K. B. Gbediame.

The MP, donated 5000 cocoa seedlings and 5000 cashew seedlings from his share of the common fund to enable the farmers improve their yield at the time of harvesting the produce.

The presentation to a large extent would help in the revamping of the cocoa and cashew production in the area which had dwindled.

Cocoa farming in the area had virtually become non-existent in the area following the outbreak of the black pot disease which attacked several cocoa farms destroying the pods in the process.

The disease unfortunately destroyed most of the farms which led to most of the youth who were engaged in cocoa farming to desert the area in search jobs elsewhere.

Speaking to Ghanadistricts.com, the Nkwanta South District Chief Executive Joseph Nyofam Ninkab expressed gratitude to the MP for his kind gesture.

He was optimistic that most of the youth in the area who had vacated the place due to the destruction of the cocoa farms would return to their various farms to cultivate the land which would serve as employment for them.

Meanwhile that the Savana Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) has donated 7,000 bags of fertilizer to help farmers in the area improve on their productivity.

Kwadwo Anim/ghanamps.gov.gh

Parliamentary Committee visit Sui Forest Reserve

The Parliamentary Select Committee on Lands and Forestry in its bid to stop the spate of illegal mining in the various forest reserves has paid a visit to the Sui River Forest Reserve to ascertain the extent of illegal farming and encroachment in the forest.

The five member team was made up of Albert Abongo, Albert Kwasi Zigah, Andrews Adjei-Yeboah, Ofosu Asamoah and Dr Joses Asare-Akoto.

The leader of the delegation Mr Abongo, advised the communities around the reserve not to go beyond the boundaries allocated to them.

He appealed to them to desist from felling trees without the necessary permit from the Forestry Service Division of the Forestry Commission.

He said he was unhappy that the communities were expanding into other areas of the reserve not allocated to them.

Mr Abongo urged the Forest Services Division to frequently interact with the settlers and educate them to do the right thing.

Mr Adjei-Yeboah said the visit of the committee was the result of petitions against encroachment by civil society organizations.

He appealed to the courts to speed up proceedings on the numerous cases of encroachment of forest reserves pending before them.

Mrs Linda Opoku, Western Regional Forestry Officer, proposed the establishment of environmental courts to handle cases of encroachment and illegal farming in forest reserves.

She said re-settlement of communities on the fringes of the reserve would be the best method to check encroachment.

Samia Nkrumah donates to hospital

The Member of Parliament for Jomoro, Madam Samia Yaba Nkrumah has presented hospital equipment worth 20,000 dollars to the Half Assini Government hospital.

The items include one carton Alcohol and detadine each, 2 cartons scrub brushing and skin prep Kits, 20 carton Epitural and spinal needles, one carton sutures nutritional supplement fomala and 2 fluids.
The rest were 2 canes, three walkers, two pair of crutches, two wheel chairs, one carton bed linens, towels and non-sterile exam gloves.

Madam Nkrumah said the items were donated by the Vergual Foundation, a non governmental organisation in the United States of America for women in parliament.

She said the donation by Vergual was to encourage women in parliament with their work hence the gift to be given to any public institutions in their constituencies.

Madam Nkrumah who is the newly elected National Chairman of the Convention Peoples’ Party (CPP), used the opportunity to thank the NGO for its kind gesture and appealed to authorities of the hospital to use the items judiciously.

She promised to provide the hospital with a mechanized bore-hole, an ambulance and a shed before the end of her tenure of office.

Mr Godswill Domie, Administrator of the hospital who received the items on behalf of the hospital, thanked Madam Nkrumah for coming to the aid of the hospital.
Nana Ackah Azane Etwebewu, Omankrado of Half Assini who deputized for chief of the town, appealed for the fencing of the hospital to prevent animals from entering its environs.

Source: GNA

Rawlings presence at JAK Foundation is victory for democracy – Gyetuah

Minister of State and Member of Parliament for Amenfi West John Gyetuah, has described Ex President Jerry Rawlings presence at the launch of former President Kufour’s foundation in Accra on Tuesday as victory for democracy.

According to him, despite the two statesmen’s political differences and personal attacks against each other sometimes, the decision by Mr Rawlings to attend the event is evidence of Ghana’s democratic growth and political maturity.

Most of the people who attended the launch of the John Agyekum Kufour Foundation were surprised to see Ex President Rawlings who was perhaps the most unlikely guest to attend the programme walking side by side former President Kufour as they entered the Greater Hall of the University of Ghana to start the event.

The sight of both of them drew loud applause from the seated guests who were obviously surprised to see Rawlings who is considered as a political foe of Mr Kufour.

However speaking on Adom FM’s Dwaso Nsem show on Thursday 22nd September 2011, the Member of Parliament for Amenfi West John Gyetuah commended the bold move by Mr Rawlings inspite of his constant criticisms of Ex President Kufour over the years .

He stated that Ghanaians especially political activist should learn from the exemplary move by the two statesmenand begin to be accommodative to others from opposition political persuasions.

“As a country our democracy is growing and we must learn how to live side by side our political opponents, we should not allow politics to divide us, it is important that we live together as Ghanaians irrespective of our political colours’’ Hon. Gyetuah said.

Kwadwo Anim/ghanamps.gov.gh

Alban Bagbin pledges support for a talented visually-impaired writer

Mr Albert S.K. Bagbin, Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, on Wednesday pledged to finance the education of a young talented visually-impaired writer, Master Luri Abdus Samad Baduongkorikori.

The 23-year-old native of Wellembelle in the Sissala East District of Upper West Region, has written a number of novels and poetry including the recently published “Hell on Earth,” one of Mr Babgin’s favourite.

Mr Bagbin made the pledge at the maiden Ghana Book Festival organised by Ghana Association of Writers (GAW) in Accra.

It was a fair organised to provide stakeholders in the industry to interact, share knowledge and experience as well as suggest solutions to sustain creative writing.

Mr Bagbin, who is a member of GAW, an avid reader and writer, said he acknowledged the significant contributions made by creative literary writers to shape the attitude and behaviour of society as well as unlocking the potential of individuals for development.

He expressed worry that writers were not properly remunerated and supported.

Mr Bagbin recounted that he met Master Baduongkorikori in Wa after an impressive literary performance.

He said he was impressed by the youngman’s talent that the pledged to support the lowly and unassuming Baduongkorikori to complete his education.

Mr Bagbin invited Master Baduongkorikori to read a portion of chapter two of his novel “Hell on Earth.”

The young writer thereafter treated the enchanted audience to a poetic recital.

The poem is an expose of some hypocritical, ungrateful and greedy politicians who used the electorate to achieve their aim.

Master Baduongkorikori called for support to talented writers to enable them to contribute their quotas to national development.

Master Baduongkorikori born on January 1, 1988, became visually-impaired when he was 12 years old.

Determined to be educated and stand tall among his peers, enrolled in Wa School of the Blind in 2000 and thereafter pursued further studies in Wa Senior High School in 2008.

Master Baduongkorikori had participated in and enviably distinguished himself in a number of literary writers’ competition including Upper West Regional AIDS Essay Competition and National Spelling Bee competition.


Parliament: It’s Now 251 Seats!

With barely 15 months to the 2012 presidential and legislative elections, evidence is emerging that the people’s representation in the legislature will be increased by 21 seats from the current 230 seats.

Though no official announcement has been made, The Chronicle can report authoritatively that the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana, the body that manages and conducts all public elections in the country, will begin the onerous task of demarcating the 21 additional constituencies any moment from now.

According to the EC, the distribution of the new constituencies will based on the 2010 Population Census on a regional basis, as enshrined in the 1992 Constitution.

Even before the new demarcation comes into force, some political parties have raised concern, challenging the EC to stick to the confines of the Constitution, and not import any conventions to aid it in the demarcation exercise.

Article 47 (1) of the Constitution states: “Ghana shall be divided into as many constituencies for the purpose of election of Members of Parliament as the Electoral Commission may prescribe, and each constituency shall be represented by one Member of Parliament.” It goes further to state in Article 47 (2): “No constituency shall fall within more than one region.”

Under 47(3) “the boundaries of each constituency shall be such that the number of inhabitants in the constituency is, as nearly as possible, equal to the population quota.”

Article 47 (4) states: “For the purposes of clause (3) of this article, the number of inhabitants of a constituency may be greater or less than the population quota, in order to take account of means of communication, geographical features, density of population and area, and boundaries of the regions and other administrative or traditional areas.”

According to 47 (5) “the Electoral Commission shall review the division of Ghana into constituencies at intervals of not less than seven years, or within twelve months after the publication of the enumeration figures, after the holding of a census of the population of Ghana, whichever is earlier, and may, as a result, alter the constituencies.

“Where the boundaries of a constituency established under this article are altered as a result of a review, the alteration shall come into effect upon the next dissolution of Parliament,” states Article 47 (6)

For the purposes of this article, “population quota” means the number obtained by dividing the number of inhabitants of Ghana by the number of constituencies into which Ghana is divided under this article,” according to Article 47 (7)

Per the EC’s proposal, the new demarcations will see the Western Region, which has a land mass of 9,236 square miles and a total population of 2,325,595 (based on the 2010 population census), having two additional seats added to the current 22 Members of Parliament representing the region.

The Central Region, which has a land area of 3,815 square miles and a population of 2,107,209, will also benefit from two additional seats, bringing the total to 21. The region, currently, is represented by 19 MPs, while the Greater Accra Region will get three additional representations in the august House.

At the moment the Greater Accra Region commands 27 seats. According to the 2010 Population Census, the Greater Accra Region is populated by 3,909,764 people, occupying a total land area of 995 square miles.

The Volta Region, with a land mass of 7,943 square miles and a current population of 2,099,876, is billed to have two new seats to the current 22 seats, while the Eastern Region, with land of 7,698 square miles, and a population of 2,596,013, will also have two additional seats. The Eastern Region has 28 Members in the House. This will increase to 30 after the 2012 elections.

The Ashanti Region, with a land area of 9,417 square miles and a current population of 4,725,046, is billed to have four new seats in Parliament, in addition to the 39 seats currently in the legislature.

The Brong Ahafo Region, with a current population of 2,282,128 and covering a land area of 15,273 square miles, will have two new seats aside the 24 seats currently in Parliament. This will raise the number of MPs from the Brong Ahafo Region to 26.

The Northern Region, with a land area of 27, 175 square miles and current population of 2,468,557, is also billed to have 2 new seats in addition to its 26 old seats in Parliament, while the Upper East, with a total land area of 3,516 square miles and a current population of 1,031,478, will have a solitary seat added to the 13 seats.

The Upper West Region, with a land area of 7,032 square miles and current population of 677,763, will also have one additional seat to the current 10 seats.

The country owes this formula to the Siriboe Committee of 1967 that examined constituency demarcation and other electoral issues. According to the Chairman of the EC, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan, the EC had found no better one to replace the formula set out by the Siriboe Committee.

However, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Manhyia, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, who appears unhappy with the creation of new constituencies, is challenging the EC to stick to the confines of the law during the demarcation exercise.

“The EC does not have the power to import any laws outside that of the Constitution to aid it in the demarcation of the new constituencies,” he stated.

He told The Chronicle that the conventions adopted by the EC in demarcating new constituencies do not ensure a fair exercise, in that some constituencies end up having more population than others.

“The problem is that if one constituency has 200,000 people and another 30,000 people, then it means that all votes are not equal. And all votes are sacrosanct; all votes are equal. So, if all votes are equal, and every vote should carry the same weight, when you translate the vote into representation, it should be almost the same, or else you have this perverted.”

“When we go to Parliament, every one receives the same salary; when it comes to the Common Fund, we all get the same; National Health Insurance Fund, we all get the same; GETFUND, we all get the same; and everything for MPs are all the same. MPs are equal, and don’t have a senior MP and a junior MP, and we don’t have an MP who represents a bigger landmark and one who represents a smaller landmark. We don’t do that, because we are the people’s representatives.

“So, if there are two MPs, where one represents 100,000 people and another one represents 10,000, that is another form of electoral gerrymandering,” he added.

He told The Chronicle that the creation of new constituencies was not the best, since even wealthy economies around the world have put a stop to the creation of new constituencies, since it would have a heavy burden on the finances of the country.

“We have to decide on the upper limit of constituencies in the country,” he added.

He called for an early IPAC (Inter Party Advisory Committee) meeting to enable all the political parties partake in the process.

Source: Chronicle

I’ll floor Nii Lantey Vanderpuye… Boasts Odododiodoo MP

Jonathan Nii Tackie-Komme, MP for Odododiodioo constituency, has promised to floor castle-backed Nii Lantey Vanderpuye in the forthcoming parliamentary primaries.

Nii Lantey, an aide to President Atta Mills, had vowed to unseat Nii Tackie-Komme and had reportedly started clandestine campaign in the constituency.

This is in flagrant violation of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC)’s orders that there should be no campaigning in constituencies with sitting MPs until it is so declared. However, speaking to Daily Guide in an interview, the confident-looking MP said Nii Lantey would be no match for him in the primaries.

Nii Tackie-Komme, who won the Odododiodioo constituency seat for the ruling NDC during a bye-election and again in the 2008 general elections, said no amount of intimidation by and cash from the presidential aide would prevent him from retaining the seat.

The MP said, “I would win the seat by the grace of God because the good Book says horses and chariots are prepared for battle but victory comes from the Lord.”

A political showdown is anticipated in the forthcoming Odododiodioo constituency primaries as there has been simmering tension in the area in recent times.

Source: Daily Guide

Boakye Gyan’s decision to contest on NDC’s ticket is a joke -Jumah

The Member of Parliament for Asokwa Maxwell Kofi Jumah has pooh poohed the decision of the Spokesperson for the erstwhile Armed Forces Revolutionary Council, Osahene Boakye-Gyan, to contest the Jaman South National Democratic Congress (NDC) parliamentary primary in the Brong Ahafo Region.

He has described Boakye Gyan’s move as nothing but a mere political joke which is meant to bring some humour to the tension which is gradually building up in local politics prior to the upcoming 2012 elections.

Major General (Boakye Gyan) Rtd who once was the second most powerful person during the rule of the military junta in 1979, filed his nomination last week to contest the upcoming 2012 on the ticket of the ruling NDC party.

His decision has been met with mixed reaction from section of the public due to his continuous criticism of the NDC party on whose ticket he now wants to contest.

In 2008, Osahene vied for the seat as an independent candidate but lost to the incumbent MP Yaw Maama Afful, who was elected on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Speaking on Peace FM’s Krokrokoo on Tuesday 20th September 2011, the Member of Parliament for Asokwa, Kofi Jumah stated that should Boakye Gyan go ahead to contest on NDC’s ticket he would have done his little brother Kyeremeh Gyan who was killed allegedly on the orders of Ex President Rawlings a great injustice.

“How on earth can you have anything to do with a party whose founder reportedly gave instruction for your kid brother to be killed? I’m sure this man is just treating Ghanaians to a good joke with this announcement’’ he said.

Hon. Kofi Jumah was however confident that should Boakye Gyan receive endorsement from the NDC party he would not be able to wrestle the seat from the incumbent NPP MP who is doing a great job in the Jaman South constituency.

Kwadwo Anim/ghanamps.gov.gh

Clergy must sensitise the youth against immorality – Hammah

Mr Mike Hammah, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources has appealed to the clergy to use their pulpits to sensitise the youth to desist from anti-social vices.

He said as future leaders the youth should move away from drug abuse, internet fraud, premarital sex and concentrate on their education to enable them acquire the requisite knowledge that would enable them to perform creditably when the mantle of leadership is handed over to them.

Mr Hammah who is also the Member of Parliament for Effutu, made the call at a three-day healing and prayer session by Glory Church Ministry International in Winneba for the nation.

He explained that the billion- loan facility government secured from China was meant for the development of the country.

Mr Hammah said part of the loan would be used to embark on the Eastern corridor road project and the rehabilitation of railway lines.

He said in fulfilment of government’s vision to promote educational pursuit, he established Mike Hammah Education Trust Fund in September 2009 to support needy but brilliant students in his constituency.

The fund has since catered for more than 200 students.

Mr Hammah appealed to parents to invest in the education of their children.

Apostle Edward H. Goldman, Overseer of the Church, urged Ghanaians to let God be in the forefront of all their endeavours, “for with Him all things are possible”.