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Gov’t will not renege on promises to Ghanaians – Kuntu Blankson

The Member of Parliament for Mfantseman East, Mr George Kuntu Blankson has given the assurance that the Government of President John Evans Atta Mills would not renege on promises made to Ghanaians.

He said all promises would be fulfilled either in President Mill’s first term of office or during his second term.

“What is needed is patience and loyalty,” Mr Kuntu Blankson said when he addressed a durbar at Immuna in the Central Region. He was invited to explain why the Government had not reconstructed the road to the town.

The MP appealed to Ghanaians not to allow detractors of the Government to deceive them in order to destroy their loyalty to the Government.

“Some of these detractors had ruled the nation for eight years without doing anything for you. If they now come to you to vote for them, ask them why they did not do what they promised to do for you in the eight years that they were in office,” he stated.

Mr Kuntu Blankson assured the people that the Adansi-Immuna road would be reconstructed and that the project had been already awarded on contract.

He noted that all road networks in the Ekumfi Traditional Area were in bad state and it had become necessary for the Government to source funds to do them one after another.

He assured that all roads in the area would see improvement before President Mills leaves office.

The MP said in the mean time, the Municipal Assembly would mobilise a grader to reshape a portion of the road that was in a very bad state to allow bigger trucks to ply on it during their festival this weekend.

Nana Odwir VI, Chief of the town, was not happy with the reshaping of the road and asked the Government not to wait till the election year before coming to reconstruct the road.


O.B Amoah chides gov’t over poor handling of SHS admissions

The Member of Parliament for Aburi/Nsawam Osei Bonsu Amoah, has criticized government for its poor handling of the placement of students into Senior High Schools (SHS).

According to him, could have handled the issue in a better way such that students will not have to continue sitting in their various homes when they are supposed to be in school by now.

A lot of controversy has surrounded this year’s SHS placements as students who successfully passed the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) last year were supposed to have been admitted to senior high schools before the end of September, but have been delayed due to some anomalies encountered by the Computerized Schools Selection and Placement Center (CSSPC).

Most of them as at now, do not even know the schools they have been admitted to even though they were made to purchase a scratch card to verify their various schools.

The CSSPC is yet to furnish the various schools with the master list of students’ admitted to particular school, an exercise which should have been done by now.

However speaking on e.tv’s Breakfast TV show over the weekend, Hon. Osei Bonsu Amoah urged government ensure that the placement center is made to speed up its work as most parents are growing anxious by the day as they have no clue as to what is delaying the admission of their wards while almost half of the first term has been wasted by the students at home.

“Most of the schools are about to go for mid-term holidays while the first year students still remain at home, are they going to be made to pay for a full term when they have spent almost half of the term at home’’ he asked.

He noted that continues stay of the students at home will increases the financial burden of most parents while some indisciplined students’ who idle about may also resort to engaging in some social vices which may impact negatively on the society.

Kwadwo Anim/ghanamps.gov.gh

Ministries will strengthen sector institutions – Namoale

Nii Amasa Namoale, Deputy Minister of Agriculture in charge of Fisheries, has assured Institutions under the various Ministries that the Government would strengthen them to enable them to live up to expectation.

Nii Amasa gave the assurance when he paid a familiarization visit to the Ghana Protein Company Limited (GPL) at the Industrial Area in Tema to acquaint himself with the operations of the Company.

He assured the Management of GP that everything possible would be done to remove the bottlenecks and impediments in the way of the company to facilitate its smooth operations.

Mr Anthony Adu-Nketia, Accountant of the Company, said its 360 tonnes per day capacity fish meal plant, which started commercial production in January 2008, converted fish waste and unwholesome fish meal to Animal Feed.

The Plant, he said, could also treat and convert unwholesome boneless meat into animal feed, particularly for the piggery industry.

Mr Adu-Nketia disclosed that GPL was in the process of installing a 72-tonne per day fish pellet plant to produce feed for the Aquaculture Industry.

He appealed to the various governmental agencies and institutions to consider the company’s huge investment and capacity of its plant, and give the necessary assistance to ensure that the plant operated at full capacity.

Mr Adu-Nketia said even though the company was operating at just about 10 per cent of its installed capacity, it had been able to employ 50 workers.

He said the major constraint of the company was its inability to secure the needed raw materials for its operations.


Ghana will no longer be dumping ground for frozen meat – Tia

Dr Alfred Sugri Tia, a Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture, on Saturday gave the assurance that government would use all legitimate means to discourage the importation of frozen meat in the country.

He said: “First, we shall empower the local poultry farmers by providing cheaper feeds to enable them to step up their production and secondly to implement both tariffs and non-tariffs means to make their products competitive in the domestic market.”

Dr Tia who gave the assurance in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra, said government had increased investment in the production of corn and soya beans for supply to poultry farmers.

“The Vision of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture for the poultry and livestock industry is to reduce our dependence on the importation of poultry and livestock products by stepping up local production.”

The Deputy Minister said Ghana had over the years become the dumping ground for imported chicken and beef, and with government’s intervention programmes it would become convenient and cheaper for domestic consumers than their dependence on imported substitutes.

“Government has invested a lot in mechanization and expansion of production of grains and cereals and has stabilized the prices of animal feed ingredients for sometime now.”

Dr Tia expressed regret that despite Africa’s advancement, consumption of meat and protein foods was low due to high cost of the products on the continent.

He said that “Recent statistics indicate that the per capita consumption of meat for sub-saharan Africa is 13 kilogrammes per person per year, in comparison with 83 kilogrammes per person per year for North America.”

Dr Tia appealed to financial institutions to support the farmers to become financially independent to enable them to increase production for local and external consumption.

He said government would not ban the importation of frozen meat as that would contravene the rules and conditions of international trade, but would rather create a congenial atmosphere for local farmers to capture the West African sub-regional market with comparatively low-price wholesome meat.


Mills must intervene in Doctors strike – Nana Akomea

The Communication Director of the New Patriotic Party and Member of Parliament for Okaikoi South, Nana Akomea says it requires a decisive leadership from President Attah Mills to end the protracted strike by the Ghana Medical Association (GMA).

According to him, President Mills must personally intervene by calling on the doctors to resume work as he personally sees to the resolution of their grievances.

His comment comes on the back of the inconclusive meeting that was held between the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) and the Ghana Medical Association.

The impasse between the two bodies has resulted in the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) having to meet with the National Labour Commission (NLC) on Monday 24 October under a Compulsory Arbitration arrangement provided under Section 162 of the Labour Act to resolve their strike action.

The doctors have been on strike for a fortnight, a situation that has resulted in a number of deaths across the country.

Speaking on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana programme on Friday, Nana Akomea expressed displeasure about the lack of urgency of the government to tackle the strike action by the doctors.

He wondered why government could not find a way of still engaging the doctors in talks after the inconclusive talks yesterday only to wait for a compulsory arbitration to be called on Monday 24 October while the lives of patients are at stake.

Nana Akomea reiterated his call for the President to invite the leadership of GMA to impress upon them to resume work as he did in the case of the dismissal of Professor Frimpong Boateng.

“When doctors at the Cardiothoracic Center refused to render medical services to patients over the sack of their boss, the President personally intervened when he invited the doctors to a meeting, why can’t him do the same this time around when people are dying, whether you like him or not he’s the President and that office carries some honor ‘’ he said.

Kwadwo Anim/ghanamps.gov.gh

MP supports Children’s Hospital with equipment

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Subin, Isaac Osei, has given health delivery a boost with the donation of a medical equipment valued at GH¢35,200.00 to the Kumasi Children’s Hospital.

The chemical and haematology analyzers were bought with his share of the MPs’ National Health Insurance Fund.

The donation was in response to an appeal by the hospital to enhance health care delivery in the health facility which serves a lot of patients in the municipality.

Mr Osei at the presentation ceremony commended the medical personnel, especially the doctors, who in spite of the strike by the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) had the health of the people and were at their duty post treating patients.

He assured of his continued support to help the hospital achieve its goal of becoming a “centre of excellence”.

Dr (Mrs) Annie Opoku, the Medical Superintendent, who expressed gratitude to the MP for his kind gesture stated that the equipment would to a large extent improve clinical care and bring relief to patients.

Mr Osei further continued his donation exercise when he provided large quantities of electrical materials including bulbs, switches and photo cell and breakers, valued at GH¢17,100.00.

The beneficiary communities included; Asafo, Asem, Fanti-Newtown, Dadiesoaba, Dominase, Anloga-Fanti-Newtown and Amakom.

He also interacted with teachers and students of the Armed Forces cluster of schools to learn at first hand their challenges, and also encouraged the students to take their studies seriously to become successful people in the future.

Kwadwo Anim/ghanamps.gov.gh

Former MPs sue for gratuity

Forty-eight former Members of Parliament (MPs) under the Third Republic have rued a writ at the High Court to compel the government to pay them end-of-service benefits.

In a writ dated October 13, 2011 and filed by Alhaji Mohammed Sani Farl, who is himself one of the plaintiffs against the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, the former MPs demanded the payment of their end of service benefits, together with interest at the prevailing commercial bank rate from December 31, 1981 to date.

A statement of claim accompanying the writ said the plaintiffs had resorted to the court because successive governments had failed to honour the promise of paying them their end of service benefits.

It claimed that the plaintiffs had, since 2000, made several attempts and held many meetings at the highest level of government and been assured that their demands would be taken care of.

According to the statement, all efforts made by the plaintiffs for the past 11 years had been in vain because the government, in spite of all the promises made to them, actually did not intend to honour them and, therefore, the only option left was to seek redress in the law court.

The statement said per Article 94 (1) of the 1979 Constitution, MPs were supposed to serve for five years, after which Par1iament would be dissolved and fresh elections held.

Besides, it said, Article 79 of the 1979 Constitution provided for the mode of removal of MPs from office.

While Article 95 of the same constitution provided for end-of-service benefits or gratuity accruable to MPs at the end of the five-year term.

According to the statement, on December 31, 1981, about 27 months into their term, a coup d’etat brought to an abrupt ended their term as MPs and indicated that the coup makers subsequently formed the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC).

It said some of the former MPs were arrested and detained for various terms in prison without trial and maltreated, while others had to seek refuge or political asylum in other jurisdictions.

It said some of the former MPs died as a result of the torture and maltreatment they suffered in the hands of the coup makers.

After 11 years of military rule under Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings, the statement said, the Fourth Republican Constitution was promulgated.

It said the parliament of the Third Republic having been dissolved, the former MPs were entitled to be paid gratuity or end-of-service benefits just like their colleagues who served under the 1992 Constitution.

“All MPs under the 1992 Constitution to date have received their end-of-service, benefits,” it statement added.

Daily Graphic

Subin MP advises traders to take insurance policy

Mr Isaac Osei, Member of Parliament (MP) for Subin, has advised property owners and traders to take out insurance coverings to mitigate the pain and suffering in times of disaster and theft.

He has also appealed to insurance companies to design innovative policies that would be attractive to traders and property owners.

Mr Osei made the appeal when he interacted with some traders and landlords who lost their goods and property to fire and floods in the Kumasi Metropolis.

He said the recent disasters and reported cases of theft in some shops in the Central Business District should be a wake-up call to all to embrace insurance policies.

Mr Osei said insurance was the best way of protecting oneself from helplessness after disasters and thefts.

The MP encouraged the leadership of traders associations to educate their members on the importance of insurance.


Health Minister denies campaigning in his constituency

The Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for Wa West Joseph Yieleh Chireh who is currently on leave has refuted reports that he is in his constituency to campaign to be retained as Member of Parliament for the area.

The Minister has come under blistering condemnation from a section of the public for embarking on leave of duty at a time that his ministry is being criticized for poor handling of the ongoing strike by Doctors.

He stated in an interview on Peace FM on Wednesday that he was granted leave purely on medical grounds and that his doctors advised him to do exercises explaining that is the motive for his travel to his constituency, especially when he has not visited the his hometown for a while.

The government in a swift effort to clear the controversy that was created following the announcement of the President decision to grant him his leave issued a statement saying that “the President granted the Health Minister his request for leave on the 11th of October, 2011 purely on medical grounds.”

However today edition of the Chronicle newspaper is reported that Mr Joseph is busily campaigning in his Wa West Constituency of the Upper West Region.

According to the paper, “Mr Yieleh Chireh was at the Dabu Electoral Area in the Upper West Region on Tuesday, holding meetings with NDC executives in the constituency, in a bid to retain him to contest the [parliamentary] elections” next year.

But Mr Yieleh Chireh however maintained that he is on medical leave although he admited he has been interacting with his constituents.

He said he does not necessarily need to be personally present in Accra personal to resolve the doctors’ strike, stating the need for emphasis to be placed on institutional mechanisms which have the capacity to address the grievances of the striking doctors.

Kwadwo Anim/ghanamps.gov.gh

Kofi Jumah wants local bodies to grade MPs

The Member of Parliament for Asokwa, Maxwell Kofi Jumah is advocating for local Civil Society Organization who have knowledge in parliamentary work to periodically grade the performance of public office holders such as Members of Parliament.

According to him, institutions such as the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) and the Center for Democratic Development (CDD) have the capacity to rate performance of MPs rather than a media organization which lacks credibility conducting a rating exercise on Ghanaian Legislators.

His comment comes in the wake of the latest publication by the Africa Watch magazine in which the President, ministers and Parliamentarians have been graded based on their efficiency.

The publication has been met with lots of condemnation from a large number of MPs who are incensed by the report as some were scored unenviable score of F while other received D for the performance of their duty.

Speaking on Hot FM’s morning show, the Member of Parliament for Asokwa, Maxwell Kofi Jumah who was scored C+ rubbished the rating exercise which was not done based on any clear criteria.

“We are not clear which indices the magazine used in arriving at this conclusion, and which time frame their exercise was carried out, I was scored F which is fail, by my party at the constituency level as I was voted out during the recent primaries, but yet the African Watch magazine scores me C+ what does this tell you about the rating’’ he asked.

Hon. Kofi Jumah added that the MPs work cannot be judged only on the floor of Parliament, but must take into account the contributions at the committee level, constituency and other areas.

He added that local Civil Society groups and other institutions that have good track records with better understanding of the work of an MP, will be better placed to conduct a credible exercise on the performance of parliamentarians, more than a magazine which is based abroad with no known representatives in Ghana.

“We have the CDD and IEA that have conducted opinion polls on elections and other national exercise in the past, obviously these organizations can do a better job’’ he stated.

Kwadwo Anim/ghanamps.gov.gh