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MPs – elect undergo registration

Members of Parliament-elect to form the Sixth Parliament under the Fourth Republic have been undergoing orientation as they prepare for inauguration next year.

Early Thursday, the bio-data of the MPs were taken for IDs that will grant them access into the House in January.

Director of Public Affairs of Ghana’s Parliament, Jones Kugblenu told Joy News the process is a very important one.

“This is a simple process where members are required to give details of their background, date of birth, next of kin and all that. After which an ID would be issued to enable them enter the chamber on the day of inauguration. It is a very important exercise for all members-elect.”

He noted that both new and sitting Members of Parliament trooped in to register today.

Some of the MPs also talked about the programme and their preparation for the next Parliament.

NPP MP-elect for Bunkpurugu, Solomon Boar is hoping the next parliament takes off smoothly next year.

He was certain of lobbying to get some amenities like water that his constituency lacks to the area, irrespective of which party forms the next government in 2013.

Member of Parliament-elect for Odododiodio Nii Lantey Vanderpuije said fresh members must quickly learn from senior members of the house to be able to contribute meaningfully during proceedings.

He said with the kind of people who would be in the next parliament, the house would be full of excitement and expectation.


Dadekotopon MP donates ambulance to La East CHPS

Retained Member of Parliament for La Dadekotopon, Nii Amasah Namoale today donated a mini ambulance bus worth GH¢40,000.00 to the La East (Tse Addo) Community-based Health Planning Services (CHPS) Compound managers.

Nii Namoale, who is the Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture in charge of Fisheries, said it was to be used by the staff at the CHPS Compound on an emergency situation to convey patients to and fro from the area to any clinic or hospital.

He said because the Tse Addo Community is a new development area within the constituency, transportation is a major problem for most people who wanted to commute the township and beyond.

To realize the maximum benefit from the introduction of the CHPS Compound at Tse Addo area, the MP said, it was very important that the needed logistics were provided to the staff to enable them deliver quality and selfless service to save precious human lives.

The MP presented the Suzuki ambulance bus, which has the inscription “La East (Tse Addo) Community Ambulance CHPS, La Municipal Health Directorate” was presented at the La General Hospital to Dr Patrick Frimpong, the Medical Director and the Assemblyman of Mantiase-Tse Addo, Emmanuel Kwapong.

The Medical Director and the Assemblyman expressed their profound gratitude to the MP and promised to work together to ensure effective use of the ambulance.

Nii Namoale tasked the Assembly and the municipal health directorate to bear the cost of running the ambulance, which Mr Kwapong promised would be done.


Pres. Mahama to deliver State of Nation address on 4th January 2013

President John Dramani Mahama is expected to deliver his message of the State of the Nation on Friday 4th January 2013 in accordance with article 67of the constitution.

The message of the State of the Nation is an annual ritual which seeks to inform the public on how the various sectors of the economy is performing and how the governments intends to improve the current situation.

The Majority Leader Cletus Avoka who disclosed this on the floor of Parliament while presenting the Business Statement for the week ending Friday 4th January 2013, stated that the House stand dissolved on Sunday 6th January 2013.

He noted that Bills of urgent nature may be taken through the various stages in one day in accordance with Order 119. Papers and committee reports may also be presented to the House.

Kwadwo Anim/Ghanamps.gov.gh

Henry Ford Kamel is dead

Jasikan District Hospital sources have confirmed the death of Mr Henry Ford Kamel, Volta Regional Minister.

The sources told the GNA that Mr Kamel died before arriving at the facility on Tuesday, Christmas Day morning.

Reports gathered by the GNA indicated that Mr Kamel, also Member of Parliament for Buem, collapsed on Tuesday morning at his home, at Guaman, in the district, and died on the way to the hospital.
He was re-elected to Parliament in the December 7 parliamentary polls.


Minority boycotts inauguration of Advisory Council in Parliament

The Minority in Parliament Friday morning boycotted the inauguration of the 3-member Advisory Council to assist the Presidential Transition Team.

The inauguration of the council was to take place before the house goes on break for the festive season.

The Speaker of Parliament, Joyce Bamford Addo during the inauguration said “posterity will not forgive us if we fail to establish and promote structures that will ensure sustainable peace and development”.

She added that “as members of the Advisory Council we must see this opportunity as a great challenge to prove to all Ghanaians and the International community that our democratic credentials can be equaled to other established democratic jurisdictions”.

The Vice President Amissah-Arthur who is also the Chairman of the Transition Team expressed happiness at the event and indicated that the Transition Teams commitment is to do a good job.

The MPs go on recess and will return to the house on January 3 next year.


Wereko Brobbey is selfish – KT Hammond

The Member of Parliament for Adansi Asokwa, K.T Hammond says remarks made by Dr. Wereko Brobbey on NPP’s decision to contest the outcome of the December 7 polls at the Supreme Court amounts to selfishness.

Speaking on Citi FM’s The Big Issue on Saturday, he questioned the commitment of Dr. Wereko Brobbey as a member of the NPP and cautioned him to let his conduct and utterances portray him as a team player.

Dr. Wereko Brobbey in an earlier article has opined that the NPP risks losing its credibility if the final evidence they present to the courts fails to overturn the Electoral Commission’s results of the December 7 elections.

Mr. Hammond however said: “People keep on saying he is a leading member but I’m not even sure if he’s a member at all. This simply goes to show that the man is simply not a team player. It is completely wrong, unethical, immoral and just not right.”

The Adansi Asokwa MP further disclosed, “the National Executives met and took a decision that this is what we are going to do. Then the next moment you are on radio saying all this. It’s simply not right and we don’t play that way in our party. It’s unfair, selfish and he can’t do that.”

He also accused the ruling NDC of systematically exploiting incumbency which allowed its leaders to engage in vote buying ahead of the just ended elections.

“What is it with the NDC that when it comes to elections all they have to do is bribe electorates? And they [electorates] are always bribed either the night or two nights before. In my own constituency, for four consecutive years that the NDC took over, the constituency went dead. Not even a single development project anywhere in the entire district.”

“They refused to do this for four years and when it was two weeks to election, every road construction equipment was deployed to Adansi Asokwa constituency. What do you take the people of Ghana for? Where did they get the money to simply throw about?” he asked.

Parliement approves 19.1 million loan to ensure food security

Parliament on Wednesday approved a Mixed Credit Agreement of 19.1 million dollars to fund critical reforms to alleviate poverty in farming communities to boost agricultural productivity to ensure food security for the country.

The mixed credit agreement comprises a financing agreement between the government of Ghana and the Arab bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) for an amount of 8.6 million dollars and an OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) for an amount of 10.5 million dollars to finance the Integrated Rural Development Project (IRDP).

The IRDP is part of government’s efforts to improve agricultural productivity under the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda, 2010 to 2013.

The project is to promote integrated rural development by increasing house incomes through enhanced farming, marketing and distribution chain.

The 8.6 million BADEA loan has an interest rate of one per cent, a grace period of 10 years and a repayment period of 20 years, while the OFID 10.5 million loan attracts an interest rate of 1.5 per cent, a service charge of one per cent, a grace period of five years and a maturity period of 20 years.

Mr James Klustse Avedzi, Chairman of the Finance Committee of Parliament, who presented both agreements to the House for approval, said both agreements satisfied government’s requirement for concessionary borrowing.

He said the project would benefit some 20 districts across the ten regions that have agricultural development potentials and address the high poverty rate among farmers.

Under the project, farmers would have access to credit, technology and social services, as well as reliable and ready market for their produce and the strengthening of institutional capacities.

The selected districts for the project include Ga East in the Greater Accra Region; Mfantseman and Upper Denkyira West in the Central Region; Fanteakwa and Upper Manya Krobo in the Eastern Region; Nzema East and Wassa Amenfi in Western Region; Asunafo North, Sene and Nkoranza North in the Brong Ahafo Region.

The rest are the Afigya Kwabre and Ahafo Ano South in the Ashanti Region; Bunkpurugu Yunyoo and Nanumba South in the Northern Region; Ho and Nkwanta North in the Volta Region; Talensi Nabdam and Kassena Nankana West in the Upper East Region; Sissala East and Wa West in the Upper West Region.


Parliament adopts Special Report on Poverty Reduction

A Special Parliamentary Committee on Poverty Redeuction strategy has recommended that continous effort must be made to increase resources to support the activities of Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and to also improve the capacity of personnel to effectively implement their development plans.

The Committee which revealed the 2010 Annual Progress Report on the implementation of the Ghana Shared Growth and Developmental Agenda 2010-2013 observed that more financial resources were transferred to MMDAs to support the implementation of their developmental plans.

According to the committee, total revenue to MMDAs of the total budgetary resources including DACF, HIPC, IGF, funds in percentage terms increased from 3.4% in 2009 to 5.3% in 2010.

On the other hand, total Central Government transfer including DACF, HIPC, IGF, funds (excluding grants) increased from 3.1% in 2009 to 4.8% in 2010.

On slum upgrading, the Committee further noted that efforts at improving capacity for effective planning and management of human settlement are being hampered by weak human resource base of the Town and Country Planning Departments in the country.

Presenting a report, the Chairman of the Special Committee on Poverty Reduction, Hon. Imoro K. Yakubu, noted that about 60% of MMDAs currently do not have physical planning units which allows for the continous sprawling of haphardly erected structures leading to the creation of slums.

Giving the current rate of urbanization in the country, the committee noted that the issue of slum upgrading should be a national priority.

It therefore recommended that capacity of the Town and Country Planning Department be enhanced, while ensuring that MMDAs have physical planning unit especially in the newly created districts with qualified personnel to integrate slum management into urban development.

Kwadwo Anim/Ghanamps.gov.gh

31st December Movement congratulates female MP’s-elect

The 31st December Women’s Movement has congratulated the 28 women who have been elected into Parliament for the next four years.

A statement issued and signed by an executive member of the DWM Ms. Sylvia Aholu congratulated the newly elected legislators for their admirable sense of perseverance in helping to change the status quo as far as women participation in politics is concerned.

“We believe women have a huge responsibility to help change the political direction of this country and it is heart-warming that in 2012, 133 women contested parliamentary seats, 30 more than the previous election”.

“We congratulate all women who presented themselves to the electorate and enjoin more women to muster courage and seek political office at various levels.

The Movement however called on the newly elected lady MPs to contribute constructively to the new parliament when it convenes in the new year to serve as an inspiration not only to other women but to convince the electorate that women have the capacity to represent and defend the rights of their constituents.

We wish to use this opportunity to wish all Ghanaians a reflective Christmas and a hopeful new year.


Parliament rejects Prez’s request for review of salaries for the Exec.

Ghanaian lawmakers have taken what one insider called “a firm decision” not to review the recently approved pay levels of the members of the Executive.

The decision was made after closed-door deliberations among lawmakers today.

One senior source told Citi News reporter, Richard Sky on condition of anonymity, that the decision of the House is expected to be communicated to the President in a formal letter on Friday, December 21, 2012.

President John Mahama in November directed the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning to withhold the payment of the newly approved salary increment.

In a statement, President Mahama requested parliament to consider a review the emoluments to align more realistically with the original recommendations of the Professor Ewurama Addy Committee.

The salary increases meant that the President was to take home, GHC 12,000 every month while his deputy took home GHC 10,500. Ministers and their deputies were also receive salaries ranging from GHC 8,000 and GHC 9,000.