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Dan Botwe: Files theft accusation is punctuated by desire to cling to power

The Member of Parliament for Okere, Dan Kweku Botwe has chastised officials of the Mills-administration for what he claimed was their interference in the work of state institutions.

While the Police Service conduct investigations into various wrongdoings, he said, persons working at the Castle intercept and reveal details of those investigations to the public.

Contributing to discussions on Kokrokoo, a news analysis programme on Peace FM Tuesday, Mr Dan Botwe condemned Deputy Information Minister Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa for saying that some critical documents had been ‘stolen’ by past officials and thereby making it impossible for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government to take some decisions.

Mr Ablakwa had accused former Chief of Staff Kwadwo Mpiani and former Minister of State at the Finance Ministry, Anthony Akoto Osei, of taking away vital files, but the two have denied it.

Dan Botwe who sounded irritated by the allegation said the officials of the Mills administration were reducing governance to pettiness.

He claimed the allegation “was punctuated by an unnecessary desire to cling on to power and corruption” and urged government officials to take governance seriously and stop taking Ghanaians for granted.

He said if this was a ploy to divert attention from the Woyome saga, then the NDC has failed.

Meanwhile, an aide to former President Rawlings, Mr Kofi Adams, who was also a panelist on the show, noted it was a common phenomenon to hear of files getting missing in most state institutions. He said it was time for the nation to set up a computerized data collating system to avoid future recurrence of the issue.

Kwesi Pratt Jnr, Editor of the Insight newspaper, on his part encouraged public officials to be honest in their handling of public documents since they form part of the nation’s heritage.

Source: myjoyonline.com

Bagbin looks to Mills, cabinet to resolve capitation wahala

Subscribers of the National Health Insurance Policy in the Ashanti Region would have to wait a while longer as president John Mills and his cabinet take a decision on the way forward on the controversial capitation policy.

A meeting between the Health minister Alban Bagbin and the Society of Private Medical and Dental Practitioners (SMPD) ended in a deadlock with the Minister deferring to the President for the way forward.

The Private Healthcare providers have pulled out of the National Health Insurance Scheme in protest over the capitation programme which is being piloted in the Ashanti Region.

The Capitation system was introduced by the current administration as a way of checking waste and inefficiencies which existed in the old system.

The system is to enable accredited healthcare providers receive advance payment at a pre-arranged fixed rate and to provide defined package of services to each subscriber.

Per the new system, subscribers are expected to choose three health facilities of their choice, where they would receive medical care, anytime they intend to visit the hospital.

But the SMPD has vehemently resisted the implementation of the policy, saying, the policy in its current form will adversely affect the quality of healthcare delivery in the country.

They have pulled out of the NHIS scheme and operating a cash and carry system until their concerns are addressed.

Patients, especially those on the NHIS have been put in a precarious situation with little or no option but to endure the crippling cash and carry system gradually resurfacing.

The sector Minister after a meeting with the SMPD told Joy News’ Evans Mensah that “inputs from the president and his cabinet will inform the way forward.”

According to him all stakeholders are in favour of the capitation policy but disagree on its implementation.

He said the government will take into consideration the recommendations that have been made which will be incorporated into the capitation policy.

For now though, the status quo [capitation policy] albeit with its challenges will be implanted until the present and his cabinet proffer a way forward, the minister noted.

Deputy Corporate Affairs Director of the NHIA agrees with the sector minister.

He said the authority is an agency under the Ministry and takes policy directives from it.

“I Will not dilate any further on the position by the minister,” he told Evans Mensah.

Source: myjoyonline.com

Bosomtwe MP rallies constituents to patronise biometric exercise

Mr. Simon Osei-Mensah, Member of Parliament (MP) for Bosomtwe, has called on all qualified voters in the area to put premium on the upcoming biometric voters’ registration exercise by making sure that their names are in the voters’ roll.

It should not be lost on them that this was the only way they could exercise their franchise in the December presidential and parliamentary elections, he said.

Mr. Osei-Mensah, who was addressing the annual “Kohwe kose festival” of the people of Worakese in the Bosomtwe District, however, cautioned against double registration and said offenders would be prosecuted.

He said minors and aliens should also stay away from the exercise in order not to get themselves into trouble.

The festival is observed not only to showcase the rich culture of the people but to also promote purity among young girls through the performance of puberty rites.

The MP said it was incumbent on every Ghanaian to assist the Electoral Commission to compile a credible voters’ register to prevent electoral fraud and cheating.

Nana Amoah Amankwatia, Krontihene of Breman-Agogo, said it was important for the revellers to use the festival to plan and initiate development projects.

He said the community should take advantage of the large gathering of both resident and non-resident citizens to raise funds to support the provision of the needed social amenities and to give the area a face-lift.

Nana Agyei Kwame II, the Chief of Worakose, said the goal of the festival is to help the youth to appreciate and uphold the rich cultural heritage of the area.


Effutu MP advises youth against misuse of their exuberances

The Member of Parliament for Bosomtwe, Mike Hammah has called on the youth not to allow themselves to be used by some politicians to disturb the peace the nation is currently enjoying.

Mr. Hammah who is also the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, was addressing the 14th Anniversary Celebration of the Christ Faith Church in Winneba.

He said the nation needs pace for President Atta Mills to execute his Better Ghana Agenda to improve the lot of the people.

The MP indicated that the government was doing its best to ensure peaceful and fair elections in December, and appealed to Ministers of the Gospel to use their pulpits to sensitize their congregations who are supporters of the various political parties to tolerate each others’ views and to desist from the use of abusive language towards peaceful elections in December.

Mr. Hammah urged Ghanaians to continue to pray for change of minds of people who in their quest to win power wished to bring confusion in the country.
On the biometric registration, the Minister advised the people to go to their polling stations in numbers to register when it commences in March to give them the mandate to vote in the forthcoming Presidential and Parliamentary elections in December 2012.

Prophet James Nkansah, Head pastor of the Church, appealed to politicians to let the interest of the Nation be their top most priority than the power they want to have.

He spoke against politics of insults saying it could create confusion in the country.

The church later prayed for peace in the country before, during and after the elections.


Parliament endorses off-taker agreement between GNPC and UNIPEC

Parliament on Wednesday approved an off taker agreement between Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC) and UNIPEC Asia of China.

This will allow GNPC to sell Jubilee crude oil to UNIPEC Asia and to also lift from GNPC 13, 000 barrels of oil a day at a standard cargo size of 950,000 net US barrels.
The quality of the crude to be delivered is the normal export quality grade of Jubilee crude oil as available at the time of lifting at the Jubilee terminal.

The tenure of the agreement is fifteen and a half years but shall be terminated automatically at anytime prior to the expiration of the Master Facility Agreement (MFA).

All outstanding amounts under MFA are repaid in full and any commitments to provide financial accommodation are cancelled.

Whiles contributing to the debate, a section of the minority expressed concern that the agreement implies that government was using the state’s entire share of oil from the jubilee field to support the loan facility under the MFA.

However, the majority in response to the concern indicated that proceeds from the sale of the crude were to be paid into the Petroleum Holding Fund in accordance with section 3 (1) of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act 2011, Act 815.

After a heated debate between the 2 sides, majority voted in favour of the agreement, whiles the minority abstained.

Kwadwo Anim/Ghanamps.gov.gh

My wife got huge Govt contracts and so what – Kennedy Agyepong

The New Patriotic Party (NPP), Member of Parliament (MP), for Assin North in the Central Region, Kennedy Agyepong, has confirmed The Herald’s disclosure on Monday that he had been investigated by the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) over some multi-million dollar contracts awarded him and his wife by the Ministry of Energy (MOE) during ex-president Kufuor’s regime.

On various radio platforms since Monday, Mr. Agyapong shockingly disclosed that the two companies which executed the mouthwatering contracts are rather owned by his legally married wife, and insisted that there was nothing wrong with the award of the contract as his wife like any Ghanaian, was engaged in legitimate business.

He also confirmed appearing before the EOCO with his wife, Mrs. Stella Agyapong (Wilson) to assist with investigations into the award of contracts which The Herald is informed, were not fully honoured by the Agyapong family.

Details of the contracts awarded the two companies namely: Mina D’Oro Ventures and Messrs Imperial World Business Limited were to supply electrical materials to the Ministry of Energy (MOE) as part of the National Electrification Programme.

The ownership of Mina D’Oro Ventures and Messrs Imperial World Business Limited have hitherto been shrouded in mystery until Mr. Agyapong’s disclosure this week.

On the Tema-based Adom FM, the MP who is best and notoriously known for his insults, and chronic verbal diarrhea, as usual decided not to speak to the issues but resorted to making disparaging remarks about the Managing Editor of The Herald which was completely ignored by Mr. Larry-Alans Dogbey.

Mr. Agyapong also claimed that the Managing Editor is envious of his wealth.

Mr. Agyapong, known currently for his so called exposé on the unending Woyome Judgment Debt saga, admitted that although his wife did business with the ministry, which went beyond the previous administration, she did no wrong.

But our checks at the EOCO have it that even though the two companies – Mina D’oro Ventures and Messrs Imperial World Business Limited – got a total of US$6,825,000 Million from the Controller and Accountant – Generals Department, they failed to supply the correct amount of the electrical materials as stipulated in the contract.

He said that, unlike the National Democratic Congress (NDC) that has allowed Mr. Alfred Woyome, who has been doled out a whopping GH¢51 million as judgement debt, his wife committed no crime to warrant any arrest.

Mr. Agyapong dared anyone, especially the EOCO, to come and arrest him if they have enough evidence that he had been given money undeservedly.

It is not clear if EOCO will arrest the MP, who throughout his submission went on an insulting spree, including uncomplimentary remarks about President John Mills, daring the EOCO to come for him if they have enough information that he did something untoward.

On Asempa FM, he accused the investigators of trying to coach storekeepers at the MOE to implicate him and his wife for prosecution, and insisted that they were ready for anything that the Mills Administration would accuse them of, as they were not afraid.

The Herald last Monday reported that the Assin North MP had appeared before the EOCO for alleged dubious business deals, and had written a police statement to that effect, but it is unclear why prosecution has not yet been initiated when it is clear that he duped the nation.

Sources at the EOCO told The Herald that one officer called Mr. Justice Tsa, who is a deputy to Mr. Kweku Mortey, the EOCO boss is handling the case against Mr. Agyapong.

Using two ghost companies to collect nearly $7 million United States dollars from the Ministry of Finance, there are suggestions that the money was channeled through Mr. Agyapong to finance the NPP’s election 2008 campaign.

The identities of the companies are: Mina D’oro Ventures and Messrs. Imperial World Business Limited, who got a total of US$6, 825, 000 million from the Controller and Accountant Generals’ Department on the orders of Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei and Prof. Gyan-Baffour, who were then in the Finance Ministry as Minister of State and Deputy Minister respectively.

The case at EOCO, according to documents sighted by The Herald, reveal that Dr. Akoto Osei and Prof. Gyan-Baffour at various times authorized the release of the huge sums to the two phoney companies.

According to the documents, on July 23, 2008, August 7, 2008 and November 27, 2008 respectively, there was a release of US$1 million, US$650,000.00 and US$2, 175, 000.00 to Mina D’oro Ventures on the authorization of Mr. Christian Sotie, then the Controller and Accountant-General, who also bowed on the strict orders of Dr. Akoto Osei.

Subsequently, Prof. Gyan-Baffour, by a document dated November 18, 2008, directed the sacked Controller and Accountant-General, Mr. Sotie to pay Messrs Imperial World Business US$ 3 million.

Remarkably, although the two companies claimed to be suppliers of electrical materials for rural electrification projects, and are located within a building belonging to Mr. Agyapong’s Hollywood Shopping Arcade from which he runs KenCity Media Limited in Madina, Accra, the companies could not be traced.

Since last year, this reporter started paying regular visits to the shopping arcade in a bid to locate the two companies that had collected so much money from state coffers for supposedly supplying energy materials for rural electrification projects, which insiders allege did not go through any competitive tender process.

Interestingly, Mina D’oro Ventures and Messrs. Imperial World Business Limited operate separate bank accounts, namely; 113000003302 and 1131000013929 respectively at the Madina Branch of the Agriculture Development Bank (ADB), also located in the building belonging to the NPP MP.

Another document from the Registrar-General’s Department on the identities of the two companies revealed something very striking.

Imperial World Business Limited was not registered with the department, but rather Imperial World Business Ventures, with registration number BN-19,401C.

Mina D’oro Ventures is in the records of the department as a Sole Proprietorship with registration number BN-19,196C but in the name of a certain Stella Wilson, as the owner, and February 16, 1962 as her date of birth.

Mina D’oro Ventures was registered at the Registrar-General’s Department on March 15, 2001 as General Merchants, to carry out Import and Export Services.

Shockingly, its postal address is P.O. Box BC Burma Camp-Accra, the same address used by Mr. Ken Agyapong to purchase and import his nearly ¢8 billion Rolls-Royce from Rolls-Royce Motors in London.


Bantama MP completes GHs 120,000 canteen for hospital

Madam Cecelia Abena Dapaah, Member of Parliament (MP) for Bantama, has built a GH¢ 120,000 state-of-the-art canteen for the Suntreso Government Hospital in Kumasi, in response to an appeal made by the management of the facility.

She financed the project through her share of the MPs’ Health Fund.

Speaking at the handing over ceremony, Madam Dapaah expressed concern about the increase in maternal deaths at the hospital and appealed to the health professionals to help halt the trend.

The facility saw maternal deaths go up by 65 per cent in year 2011.

Madam Dapaah spoke of her determination to work hard to bring progress to the constituency and urged the hospital’s management to see to it that the structure is kept in good shape.

Dr Kwabena Poku Adusei, Medical Superintendent of the Hospital, used the occasion to renew the appeal to the National Health Insurance Authority to suspend the insurance capitation programme, being piloted in the Ashanti Region.

The implementation of the new payment system is bedeviled with teething challenges and he said more time should be allowed for proper public education and to tackle all the grey areas.

He gave high marks to the MP for her tremendous support to the hospital.

Source: GNA

Speed up Integration – Veep urges ECOWAS Parliament

The Vice President, H.E John Dramani Mahama has urged the ECOWAS Parliament to double up its efforts at achieving a full integration of the Sub-Region.

According to him despite the idea of the integration of the Sub- Region adopted over three decades ago, the slow pace at which the process is moving has made the realization of the vision difficult.

Speaking at the on-going ECOWAS seminar in Accra, Vice President John Mahama urged the sub- regional body to avoid unnecessary bottle neck which could mar the integration process.

He mentioned for instance that though ECOWAS protocol allows for a-90 day free visa for citizens of ECOWAS member state during their visit to other member state, some Immigration officers still determine the duration of visit by these citizens.

The situation he says affects business among countries.

He added that the numerous check points on the roads of some member states coupled with bribery and corruption adversely affect trade, as the traders lose interest in doing business in those countries.

H.E John Mahama urged Nigeria, West Africa’s largest Economy to assume the leadership role of ensuring trade liberalization and integration of the Sub-Region.

Kwadwo Anim/Ghanamps.gov.gh

Lawra/Nandom MP present computers to schools

Mr. Ambrose Dery, Member of Parliament for Lawra/Nandom, has said the New Patriotic Party will make the teacher the centre of education if voted to power in the 2012 elections.

He said teachers are yet to be motivated and compensated adequately to give of their best, pointing out that teachers currently delivering out of sacrifice and goodwill.

Mr. Dery said this when he presented 24 laptop computers to six basic schools at Lawra as part of his efforts to promote Information and Communication Technology (ICT) teaching and learning among children in deprived schools in his Constituency.

The beneficiary schools are, Naa Imoro Junior High School, Tome Junior High School, Kandemeganga Junior High School, Karbo Junior High School, Yikpee Junior High School and Doweni Junior High School, which received four computers each.

The Ministry of Education provided the computers to the Members of Parliament to help improve ICT skills among children in rural schools to enable them to participate actively in basic global issues.

Mr. Dery said more than 50 per cent of teachers in the district were untrained and appealed to the Government to address the deficiencies in the sector and not to place the challenge on the district assemblies alone.

He explained that without trained and motivated teachers in the system to man the schools, many successes would not be achieved in the education sector so the Government must not shun its responsibility in that direction.


Rashid Pelpuo decries politics of insults

The deputy Majority Leader in Parliament, Hon. Abdul Rashid Pelpuo has condemned the politics of insults that is gaining notoriety in the nation’s political affairs.

He said the situation if not curtailed could mar Ghana’s trade mark as the beacon of democracy in West Africa.

Hon. Pelpuo implored both the leadership of the two major political parties, the NPP and the NDC to shame their supporters who have adopted that approach to slay their opponents.

The Deputy Majority Leader was contributing to Citi FM’s News and Current Affairs Program, The Big Issue.
“We have to sanction our own people for making remarks that are uncomplimentary and destroying the foundation of our democracy.”

He called the urgent need for President Mills to single out people in his government who are making statements that are not in accordance with our principles of social democracy.

“President Mills should single out people who are making statements that are not in accordance with our principles of social democracy and our love to have peace and stability in this country,” he maintained.