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Adu – Asare:Huge NDC bill boards were paid for not with state money

The Member of Parliament for Adenta Kojo Adu –Asare has jumped to the defense of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) over the type of campaign strategy it’s waging especially using huge and expensive bill boards.

Critics of the government especially the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has lashed out against the government for engaging in profligate campaigns mounting several huge bill boards which cost thousands of Cedis across the country.

There have been speculations that the ruling party has taken advantage of incumbency advantage and is using the tax payer’s hard earned monies to prosecute the party’s campaigns.

However speaking on Peace FM’s Kokorokoo show on Monday, Hon. Adu-Asare vehemently denied that state monies have been used in running the NDC’s campaigns, adding that the party through its various means of raising monies has used its own resources to fund the campaign activities.

He said, the ruling NDC government which is mindful of the fact that it needs to be accountable to the people will not dip its hands into state coffers to run a party activity.

Hon. Adu- Asare noted that most of the huge bill boards mounted across the country especially in Accra was duly sponsored by resourceful persons who believe in the vision and ideals of the NDC party.

Kwadwo Anim/Ghanamps.gov.gh

Nana Addo disrespects Prez Mahama- Ho West MP

The Member of Parliament for Ho West, Hon. Emmanuel Kwasi Bedzrah has accused the Presidential candidate for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Nana Akufo Addo of disrespecting President John Dramani Mahama yesterday at the IEA presidential debate.

According to him while the other presidential candidates recognized the presence of President Mahama and addressed him as such in their opening statements, Nana Addo on the other hand ignored him and went on straight with his opening remarks.

The IEA on Tuesday organized a presidential debate for parties including the CPP, NDC, PNC and NPP candidates in Tamale where they used the opportunity to sell their vision and policies to their electorates.

Speaking on ETV Ghana’s morning show programme on Wednesday, Hon. Bedzrah Stated that typical of Nana Addo who sees himself as a President or the heir to the throne of Ghana would not want to accord President Mahama give him the needed respect.

He noted that the unfortunate act by Nana Addo was the low point of the exciting programme.

However the MP for Mpraeso, Hon. Seth Acheampong who was also on the set jumped to the defense of Nana Addo, stating that he (Nana Addo) never sought to disrespect the president, adding that the NPP candidate did not mention President Mahama in his salutation as he choose to rather greet the people of Tamale in their local dialect.

He wondered why such fuss has generated out of this needless criticism, adding that Ghanaians are too fascinated with titles which should not be the case

Kwadwo Anim/Ghanamps.gov.gh

Parliament passes Tax Amnesty Bill

Parliament on Monday passed the Internal Revenue (Tax Amnesty) Bill, 2011, granting official pardon to tax defaulters, and also serving as an avenue to expand the income tax net to boost Ghana’s revenue collection.

The Bill is anticipated to encourage liable tax payers to willingly regularize their tax position with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), grant amnesty to certain categories of persons as set by the law, from paying penalties and interest on outstanding taxes due the State.

It specifies that persons, who duly register with the GRA or the Registrar General’s Department, submit or amend their tax returns or pays assess and outstanding tax within a certain time frame could benefit from the Amnesty.

The new law broadens the scope of the amnesty to include persons who had previously registered with the GRA but have not renewed their registration, and those who have registered with the Authority but have not submitted returns or disclosed their incomes as required for a specific period, as well as persons liable to pay tax but who have previously not registered with the GRA.

The Law also preserves the prerogative powers of the Commissioner-General of the GRA to remit tax under section 158 of Act 592 and provides interpretation of the terms used in Act.

Criticisms against MPs protection demand is populist – Loh

A Member of Parliament George Loh has described as populist, criticisms against a request by MPs for police protection.

Apart from having security at parliament, the MPs want personal police protection.

Their call follows isolated attacks on some MPs in the past.

Critics of the MPs say the lawmakers should focus on advocating general security for all Ghanaians.

But North Dayi Legislator, George Loh in an interview with XYZ News, the MPs, like the executive and judiciary deserve protection to enable them discharge their duties well.

“We have a job to do and we say that we need protection to do that job. The Minister of state goes around with the police; the President is being security protection so that he feels secured to do his job.

“Parliamentarians are also saying that looking at the job they are doing and risk they come under we think that we need security.

“Is the Minister not an ordinary Ghanaian, is the President not an ordinary Ghanaian, is the judge not an ordinary Ghanaian…other article 71 officers who have police protection are they not ordinary Ghanaians…lets stop this populist way of looking at things” Mr. Loh said.

XYZ News

Parliament approves loan for Police Hospital

Parliament has approved a loan facility of 43,784,093 Pounds Sterling to continue the completion of the redevelopment of the Ghana Police Hospital in Accra which has been halted for some time.

The amount would enable the hospital to expand access and efficiently discharge its primary duty of delivering quality healthcare in the country.

Work on the project, which started in 2002 and was to cost some 21 million pounds sterling, was put on hold due to financial difficulties, but inflationary adjustments from 2003 and addition of a new mortuary in the project, has increased the total cost to the amount approved by Parliament.

The HSBC Bank Plc, with support by the United Kingdom Government’s Export Credit Guarantee Department (ECGD) is financing the project through a buyer’s credit loan agreement with the Government of Ghana.

The contract sum amount to 40,125,714 pounds sterling with Government of Ghana component of 645,596 pounds sterling and an ECGD premium of 3,658,379 sterling.

Mr Alban Bagbin, Minister of Health who was in Parliament was excited at the decision to put life back into the project which had taken too long a time to complete.

He stated that the Police Hospital, established in 1976, very instrumental in the health delivery service in Ghana lack adequate support in terms of infrastructure and equipment, adding that the urgency for expansion and supply of equipment to the hospital was in the right direction.

The ranking member on the Finance Committee and MP for Old Tafo, Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, who also contributed to the motion for the approval of the loan, noted that the Hospital very key in health delivery in Ghana must be given all the necessary push to improve on its delivery.

Kwadwo Anim/Ghanamps.gov.gh

Don’t treat political opponents as enemies – Quansah

The Deputy Central Regional Minister, Mr Aquinas Tawiah Quansah, has appealed to politicians not to teat political opponents as enemies.

Mr Quansah, the Member of Parliament for Mfantseman, told the GNA in an interview that political opponents should be regarded as partners in development. He said some politicians had engaged in dirty politics, insulting their political opponents and telling blatant lies about them on political platforms.

“If we regard our opponents as friends and partners in development we cannot insult them or say any bad things against them,” Mr Quansah said and added that “by so doing we will be making politics clean but not dirty as some people perceived it to be.”

Mr Quansah said politicians could ensure peace in their constituencies if they stopped treating their opponents as enemies.

He said the government had put in place mechanisms to ensure that the December election was conducted peacefully devoid of any violence and appealed to the electorate to abide by the regulations of the Electoral Commission to endure free and fair election.


Subin MP launches campaign for re-election

Mr Isaac Osei, New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Subin Constituency in the Ashanti Region, has launched his campaign to seek re-election.

Addressing party faithful in the constituency at a forum recently, Mr Osei enumerated some projects he had undertaken within the constituency since his assumption into office.

They included distribution of 100 computers and printers to public schools; sewing-machines to two vocational institutions; provision of street lights to all electoral areas; building of bio-gas plant and boreholes at Ahmadiyya Senior High School and some selected communities.

Others were the provision of scholarships to 220 students; provision of 50 fish ovens to some market women; rehabilitation of a railway bridge and some school blocks among others.

Mr Osei, former Ghana’s High Commissioner to the UK, answered questions on a wide variety of issues at the forum from party supporters and defended the NPP’s records when in government.

He said the NPP had an enviable track record not only in economic management and infrastructural development, but also in its social policies geared towards mitigating the plight of the people.

“The Free Maternal Healthcare, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), School-Feeding Program, Capitation Grant for basic schools and National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) were all viable programmes designed and implemented by the NPP regime under former President John Agyekum Kufuor,” he said.

Mr Osei said unfortunately all these programmes were now in a mess under the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.

He, however, appealed to the ruling NDC government to make infrastructural development a priority and also called on it to rehabilitate the Yalewa Zongo roads and the Anlo-Fante-Newtown and Afful-Nkwanta drainage systems within the Subin constituency.

He encouraged the NPP supporters to spread the good policy initiatives of Nana Akufo-Addo such as the promise free Senior High School education, strengthening of the NHIS and the creation of jobs.

Mr Osei entreated the supporters to remain vigilant on Election Day to prevent rigging, and also turn-out in their numbers to vote massively for the NPP in ensuring a first-round victory for the party.

Dormaa West MP jabs publisher of Africawatch Magazine

The Member of Parliament for Dormaa West, Kweku Agyemang Manu has launched a scathing attack on the Publisher of the Africa Watch Magazine Steve Mallory, accusing him of engaging in mischief intended to scuttle the electoral fortunes of some Members of Parliament.

He said deliberately publishing a supposed exercise conducted on MPs which graded the performance of the country’s legislators a little over a month to the December elections is deeply worrying and must be condemned.

The Africa Watch Magazine since 2010 has been grading Ghana’s legislators and ministers with the 2011 exercise generating uproar especially among the MPs who were graded very low, contesting the results and questioning the criteria that were used.

As many as thirty-seven parliamentarians scored “F” in the Africawatch Magazine’s Political Performance Index (PPI) for 2012.

Some legislators such as outspoken NPP MP Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, Seth Adjei Baah and Irene Naa Torshie were all graded “F” for their performances in parliament. Sheikh I.C. Quaye did not improve his past grading as he scored another “F”.

The MP for Bawku Central, Adamu Sakande who is currently serving a two year jail term was graded “F” whereas MP for Jomoro Samia Yaba Nkrumah got a C+ for her performance.

 However speaking on Okay FM on Wednesday, Hon. Kweku Agyemang Manu emphasized the need for the publisher of the magazine to come out clear on how the assessment was done as a lot is involved in the work of an MP.

“The work of an MP is not only talking on the floor of the House for you to be capture on radio or TV, there are other duties such as committee work, visiting the constituencies to listen to the concerns of your people and also developing the area, the publisher of the magazine should tell us if graded the MPs based on all these facts’’ he remarked.

Hon. Agyemang Manu noted that this grading exercise of MPs might have negative impact on some of the legislators who were graded with poor marks as their competitors who are up to mischief could use the results against them.

Kwadwo Anim/Ghanamps.gov.gh

37 MPs Score ‘F’ In Africawatch Magazine Ratings

As many as thirty-seven parliamentarians scored “F” in the Africawatch Magazine’s Political Performance Index (PPI) for 2012.

The PPI is a performance grade that Ghana’s citizens award to the country’s politicians.

Africawatch, the pan-African newsmagazine, created the PPI in 2010 and released a second edition in 2011. This year’s PPI is the first to be compiled by the International Center for Public Accountability, a nonpartisan organization (ICPA).

“ICPA was created to gather timely information about the performance of government officials, and to present that information in a way that’s accessible and easy to understand by all citizens.

The idea is to help promote a better democracy by making leadership more responsive and effective, and helping citizens become more involved in the issues that affect them,” according to a release by Steve Mallory, Executive Director of the CPA.

All of Ghana’s top politicians are graded in the latest Index – everyone from the president and presidential candidates, to ministers, members of Parliament, and political party executives.

President Mahama came up with the best ratings among the presidential contenders for the December polls, receiving a B+ on his general performance and a C+ on his ethical behavior.

NPP flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo also got a B+ on his general performance and a C- on his ethical behaviour.

Hassan Ayariga of the PNC got a D for his performance generally and a C+ for his ethical behaviour.

The two Deputy Speakers of Parliament; Doe Adjaho and Prof. Aaron Mike Ocquaye crushed their Boss, Mrs. Joyce Bamford-Addo who scored a B- whereas they were graded A- each.

Three parliamentarians were rated as the best performers.

They include New Patriotic Party’s Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, Papa Owusu Ankomah and the Majority Leader, Cletus Avoka who all scored As while popular.

However, outspoken NPP MP Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, Seth Adjei Baah, Deputy Minister for Women and Children’s Affairs Hajia Hawawu Boya Gariba and Irene Naa Torshie were all graded “F” for their performances in parliament. Sheikh I.C. Quaye did not improve his past grading as he scored another “F”.

Topping the ratings among Ministers are Minister for Environment, Science and Technology, Ms. Sherry Ayittey and Deputy Minister for education, Mahama Ayariga who were graded B+.

The MP for Bawku Central, Adamu Sakande who is currently serving a two year jail term was graded “F” whereas MP for Jomoro Samia Yaba Nkrumah got a C+ for her performance.

Source:Africa Watch Magazine

President Mahama is the best candidate – Majority Leader

Mr Cletus Avoka, Majority leader in Parliament, has described President John Dramani Mahama as the best and the most experienced candidate to run the country effectively.

The Majority leader, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Zebilla Constituency, said this on Wednesday when he launched the National Democratic Congress Party (NDC) manifesto for 2012 at Zebilla.

“Among the Presidential Candidates President Mahama stood tall. He has served as MP, Minister of State, Vice President and currently a President. This is the type of leaders Ghanaians should vote for to improve upon their living conditions”, he stressed.

He said President Mahama is also humble just like the late President Mills and appealed to all Ghanaians to vote massively for him to continue with the good works saying “just within the three and half years of the NDC reign, there had been unprecedented development under this government”.

He expressed confidence that the NDC Party would win by a comfortable margin in the impending elections scheduled for December in the constituency.

“The considerable number of prominent people like chiefs, the clergy, youth leaders, women leaders and party sympathizers here are a clear indication of victory for the party”, he said.

He appealed to all ward chairmen, party supporters and party sympathizers to become campaign managers of the party and to campaign vigorously for it to retain power.

He said plans were far advanced to construct the Zebilla and Gbantua Markets which the NPP government abandoned adding that all township roads including the Zebilla road leading to Burkina Faso will be tarred and opened up for international trade.

The District Chief Executive for the area, Alhaji Adam Imoro Anaba, said under the able leadership of the MP, a lot of projects including the construction of 19 schools, five health facilities, 157 boreholes, expansion of the School Feeding programme in the District from two to 22 among others has been acheived.

He appealed to the people to retain the party to enable it continue to deliver to redeem them from hardship.