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Name two building of Parliament after Kuffour and Mills- Tettey Assumeng

The Member of Parliament for Shai Osudoku, David Tettey Assumeng has proposed that two buildings of Parliament must be named after two of Ghana’s past presidents.

According to him, a section of the Job 600 building which will serve as offices for 275 Members of Parliament must be named after the late, President Atta Mills in memory for his tireless effort after completing the building which has been left uncompleted for decades by successive governments.

He noted that completion of the building by the xe-President will go a long way at developing and making Parliament efficient as an institution.

Hon. Tettey Assumeng who is also the immediate past Chairman for the Parliament Committee for Works and Housing further called for the new administrative block of Parliament to be named after ex president John Agyekum Kuffour under who’s tenure and support the building was constructed.

He stated that his call for such honour to be done for the former leaders is not asking for too much to be done emphasizing the importance of rewarding leaders who served their Ghana selflessly.

Kwadwo Anim/GhanaMPs.gov.gh

Debate on State of Nation address divides Parliament

Debate on the President’s State of the Nation’s address continued to be a bone of contention between the Majority and Minority in Parliament.

Whilst the Majority side described the address as a true reflection of what is happening in the economy, the Minority disagreed saying it did not meet the targets of the manifesto of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Mr George Yaw Boakye, New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament (MP) for Asunafo South, said the mere provision of school text books, free uniforms, and removal of schools under trees were nothing for the government to be proud of adding that there should have been programmes and projects assigned as social interventions.

President Evans Atta Mills presented the nation’s address on February 16, on the theme: “Still Building a Better Ghana.”

A motion to thank President Mills for the message was moved by Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, Member for Asawase on February 21, and seconded by Prof George Yaw Gyan-Baffour, Member for Wenchi.

Mr. Boakye noted that the standard of education at the basic level was falling especially at the public schools, saying the cost of education these days was very expensive whilst newly trained teachers had not been paid for the past one year, with no motivation for teachers especially teachers in rural areas.

He expressed concern about the state of the nations’ polytechnics, saying the manifesto of the NDC pledged to pay special attention to polytechnic education.

Mrs Beatrice Bernice Boateng, NPP Member for New Juaben South said the state of the nation was appalling as parents, teachers and many others were not happy and everything was in disarray.

She noted that the migration onto the Single Spine Salary Structure had left many teachers confused about the real state of their income whilst the school assessment system was not working any more leading to poor academic standards.

She said President Mills needed to have covered in his address every achievement his Administration had chalked out from the start of the 2009 to date but it was only 2011 and what the government had planned to achieve in the future.

Mr. Yaw Owusu Boateng, NPP Akim Oda, said there was inconsistency in the address with regards to the removal of schools under trees, saying the budget quoted a figure different from what President Mills stated in his 2012 address.

He noted that it was not true that all school children were given free uniforms citing his constituency as an example.

Ms Catherine Afeku, NPP Member for Evalue Gwira, said the Government promised in vain to bring to justice those who assassinated Yana Yakubu Andani II, the Overlord of Dagbon.

She mentioned the one time insurance premium which was not mentioned in the address and questioned the fate the of Ghanaians resident abroad in the biometric registration exercise.

Ms Afeku also complained about the unemployment for the numerous graduates.

Mr. Emmanuel Armah Buah, NDC Member for Ellembele, said the country recorded enviable progress in the health and agricultural sectors.

Mr Emmanuel Kwasi Bandua, Member for Biakoye said transnational crime has been under control as new digital equipment are being installed at the borders to boost surveillance.

He said works on “Job 600”, the office complex at the State House, which had been earmarked as offices for MPs, is progressing whilst the construction of MPs offices in the constituencies are progress.

Mr John Gyetuah, NDC member for Amenfi West, said Article 35 of the 1992 Constitution stated that “government shall continue the programmes and projects commenced by previous governments” and that was what President Mills was doing.

Apart from the debate some papers were presented on the floor of the House namely; the Annual Report and Audited Accounts of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission for 2009, Ministry of Health’s Audit Report Implementation Committee, State of the Auditor-General’s Report for 2007, 2008 and 2009.


Parliamentarians must exhibit political maturity – CeDI-AFRICA

The Africa Centre for Development and Integrity (CeDI-AFRICA), has called on parliamentarians to be mindful of the social contract they have with Ghanaians and exhibit political maturity in Parliament as they played their oversight roles.

It said it was unfortunate that President John Dramani Mahama had to deliver his State of the Nation Address to a one sided Parliament and that parliamentarians did not represent their political parties but their constituents hence the need for them to be up and doing.

Mr Francis–Xavier Kojo Sosu, Director of Human Rights and Social Justice, said this at a Breakfast Forum on Tuesday dubbed: “Accountability & Social Justice; A Review of Government’s Vision as contained in the State of the Nation’s Address.”

Speaking on behalf of CeDI-Africa, Mr Sosu expressed his disappointment at what he called a betrayal of trust from the minority and commended President Mahama for being bold in outlining his mission and vision in the State of the Nation’s Address saying; “we consider as very ambitious and yet truly inspiring the hope and confidence in the youth.”

Mr Sosu brought to the fore three salient issues mentioned by the President which are; Housing and Accommodation, Social Protection, Transparency and Accountable Governance, as crucial because of their impact on the citizenry.

He said many governments have failed to tackle housing and accommodation, hence, the issue of the over one million unit housing deficit facing Ghanaians and tenants being burdened by Landlords over rent.

Mr Sosu said government must be able to outline the number of low-cost unit houses to be built, how much they would cost and the percentage of reduction in the deficit to be expected after their tenure and these must be included in the budget statement.

“On Social Protection, CeDI-AFRICA believed the new Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection should take a critical look at the Social Welfare System which has completely broken down,” he said.

He mentioned streetism as a matter for social welfare and social protection indicating that statistics from UNICEF showed about 100 million children were growing up on urban streets around the world.

According to the report, a headcount of street children and young mothers in different parts of Accra are as follows; 21,140 street children, 6,000 street babies, 7,170 street mothers under age 20, and 14,050 urban poor children.

Mr Bernard Ohemeng-Baah, Founder and President of Cedi-AFRICA, said no government in the Fourth Republic had been able to achieve 40 percent of what was contained in their manifestos and state of the nation’s address.

He said if any of the governments could achieve at least 50 percent of what they promised, Ghana would be a better place and that the opposition had a responsibility to keep government in check.

Mr Ohemeng-Baah called on citizens, civil society organizations, and the media to hold government accountable to its promises and responsibilities especially on the issue of water and electricity.


Parliament debates State of the Nation address, Minority abstains from process

Parliament on Tuesday began the debate on President John Dramani Mahama’s maiden State of the Nation Address without the characteristic partisan banter and temperate heckling among members, as the majority enjoyed a monotony of the process.

When Emmanuel Kwesi Bandua, MP for Biakoye seconded the motion moved by Dr Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan, Member for Mion thanking the President for last week’s address, the minority who were present in the Chamber stuck to their guns and showed no interest in the goings-on, resulting in a lackluster debate as issues elucidated responses only from the majority side, who praised the “pragmatic” policies espoused in the address.

The Minority have indicated their unwillingness to participate in any process that would lend credence to the legitimacy of the President until the determination of the party’s electoral petition in the Supreme Court, arguing that some of the executive’s decisions may collapse with the President when the court’s decision favours the party.

However the side had said they would avail themselves to deliberations of decisions that would outlive the sitting President.

Dr Alhassan said the content of the President’s message was “holistic, serious, focused and recognized every facet of Ghanaian society to contribute to the noble course of building a better Ghana”, drawing cheers of “yea, yea” from members from his majority side.

He said he was pleased that the President used that platform to urge all Ghanaians to join him use his mandate to create opportunities for all to realize their dreams rather than blame past administrations for the present difficulties facing the nation.

Dr Alhassan asked Ghanaians to take advantage of the opportunity that diversity presented for the purpose of developing the country, urging true democrats to accept the verdict of the people to ensure progress, peace and stability in the nation.

“If seeking leadership is not a prize, victory is a must as you can serve in other capacities”, he said.

Mr Bandua said even though he was happy that the President’s address exacted accountability in the mining sector, immediate steps should be taken to curtail the begging issue of illegal mining.

He commended the interventions proposed by the address to enhance the workings of the energy sector, but said the President should constitute a committee to investigate the problems of the Tema Oil Refinery and make recommendations on making that national asset viable.

Edem Asimah, MP for South Dayi, acknowledged the President’s passion for urban renewal, which he said would ensure that problem of decaying inner cities would be solved.

He applauded the policy on affordable housing, saying it would ensure that the security service have decent accommodation and would check the problem of charging exorbitant rents by greedy landlords.

Mr Asimah also commended the proposed Ghana-Togo water supply system, describing the policy as one that would ensure that both countries share the resources of the Volta River in a sustainable manner.

Mr Fritz Baffour, MP for Ablekuma South, said he supported the President’s proposal to make Kindergarten part of basic education and commended him for his resolve to upgrade and build new health facilities across the country.

The MP for Pusigah, Laadi Ayamba commended the replacement of kerosene lamps with solar lanterns to mitigate the effect of the increase in the prize of kerosene and address the problem of power outages.

She said the proposed expansion of the School feeding programme would inure to the benefit of rural communities as this would further increase enrolment in basic schools.

Sanja Nanja, the member for Atebubu/Amantin, also praised the President’s policy on education, which seeks to make education affordable and accessible to all Ghanaians because it was the main pillar for accelerated development and economic growth.

Kwame Agboadza, MP for Adaklu, described the President as a “man of vision to move Ghana forward” because his President’s proffered short and long terms measures in the power sector would ameliorate the situation significantly and ensure that the country would have at its disposal some 5,000 megawatts of electricity by 2016.

The debate would continue tomorrow, February 27, 2013, but the Minority has also declared its intention to hold a press conference tomorrow on the “true state of the nation”.


Current energy crisis is the most badly handled in Ghana’s history- Minority

The Minority in Parliament says President John Dramani Mahama and his NDC government must be blamed for the current energy crisis being experienced by Ghanaians, describing it as the most badly handled in the country’s history.

According to the group, the crisis was not caused by low levels of water in the Akosombo Dam which has been the usual cause of energy crisis, but that it was caused by shortage of gas and financial difficulties of the VRA which makes it difficult to procure the right quantities of crude oil and diesel to bring all their Plants into operation.

The Minority asserted that these factors are within the government’s control and we should not allowed to bring the level of energy crisis ongoing now.

Addressing the Press on the Minority’s version of the State of Nation, the Minority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu noted that gas is cheaper than light crude but if ones source of gas applied is not secure what is important is to improve on the liquidity of VRA to produce the alternative light crude oil.

He said the NPP government use to support the VRA to procure light crude oil about 40 million dollars every month, but this support was withdrawn by the NDC government, adding that this in addition to about 400 million dollars of governments indebtedness to VRA has crippled the company and made it difficult to procure these fuels for power generation.

“The President has failed to solve this problem and is rather promising additional new generation capacity. The new generation capacity they are promising were started by the NPP government namely Takoradi-3 Thermal Plant and Bui- Hydro project which together will add about 532 MW of generation capacity” he said.

The Minority Leader, Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu noted that before the NPP left government in 2008, three other generation projects were either completed or advanced – the Tema 1 Thermaol Plant (126 MW), Tema 2 Thermal Plant (50 MW) and Kpone Thermal Plant (230 MW) which was 20% completed.
Other private initiatives were supported by the NPP government –Asogli (200MW), Osonor (cent 126 MW) and TEN power (330 MW) Thermal Project.

He asserted that but for these initiatives the prices would have been worse, and challenge to the NDC to tell Ghanaians what new investments they have initiated since they came to power in 2009, adding that what is known to Ghanaians is the 2 Megawatts solar power plant in Navrongo

Kwadwo Anim/GhanaMPs.gov.gh

Election 2012: NPP was raped, says Kpandai MP

The Member of Parliament for Kpandai, Mathew Nyindam has described the alleged machinations of the Electoral Commission and the NDC which resulted in the NPP’s loss in the 2012 presidential elections, as akin to being “raped.”

Speaking on Adom FM’s Dwaso Nsem morning show on Tuesday 26, 2013, Mathew Nyindam said “NPP has been raped (in the December elections) and we will look for Justice, that’s why we are in court,” adding that the quest for justice was non-negotiable.

The Kpandai MP expressed surprise at the recent utterances of persons described as leading members of the NPP who have criticized the decision party’s 2012 flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo; running mate; Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and chairman, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, to contest the results of the election in court as well as the selected walk out of Minority MPs, saying such persons were either ill-informed or were being mischievous.

In particular, he wondered why Mr Kwame Pianim, who had just a few months ago, advised the NPP to go to court to seek redress, would now say it was a waste of time and a sign of intellectual weakness.

Former Chief Executive of the Volta River Authority and the Ghana@50 celebrations, Charles Wereko-Brobby and renowned economist Kwame Pianim have in recent times criticized the decision by the NPP national

No logical NPP member would talk like Pianim -Dan Botwe

Former General Secretary of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) Dan Kwaku Botwe has fired back over comments made by founding party member Kwame Pianim over the Parliamentary Minority’s decision to boycott business relating directly to the presidency.

Mr Botwe, who is also a Member of Parliament (MP) for the Okere Constituency of the Eastern Region, says no serious, logically minded member of the party would make a statement like Mr Pianim did.

The founding member had told Joy FM on Monday that the Minority’s decision to continuously boycott government business is “illogical.”

According to Mr Pianim, “the situation where NPP MPs boycott en masse all actions of President John Mahama whose legitimacy the party is contesting in court, was creating credibility problems for the opposition party.”

But speaking Monday on Adom FM’s Dea Mehunu programme, which was also broadcast live on Asempa FM, Mr Botwe insisted that no serious member of a political group like the NPP would object to a collective decision made by the party.

The Okere MP, who doubles as Minority Chief Whip in Parliament, said it was wrong for Mr Pinaim to use the media to address his concerns.

He explained that the Minority boycotted President Mahama’s inauguration and State of the Nation Address based on a decision made by party leadership.

He said every true NPP member is bound to accept and abide by that decision until leadership says otherwise.

Minority’s boycotts are illegal – James Agalga

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Builsa North, James Agalga has described the series of boycotts by the Minority in Parliament as unconstitutional.

Speaking to Citi News, Honorable Agalga said the boycotts by the Minority contravenes Article 64 clause 2 of the 1992 constitution.

“They have gone to court through the invocation of Article 64(1). Now the clause two says in the event that the Supreme Court invalidates the election of the president, everything done by the President before the declaration by the Supreme Court will be lawful so it doesn’t matter that the president was unseated as a result of the petition currently pending before the Supreme Court,” he stated.

Hon Agalga further stated, “The president appears before parliament in pursuit of Article 67 to deliver the State of the Nation address and the minority decides to stage a walkout with the reason that they have a matter pending in court.”

“What sense do they make of the Article 64 clause 2? Therein lays the unconstitutionality of their actions. The boycott embarked on by them contravenes Article 64(2),” he added.


Ayawaso-North MP donates laptops to St. Francis Xavier School

Dr Major Mustapha Ahmed (Rtd), Member of Parliament (MP) for Ayawaso-North has donated 20 Better Ghana Laptops Computers to the St. Francis Xavier School at Kotobabi in Accra.

Dr Ahmed, who is also the Minister of State at the Presidency in-charge of Development Authorities said the donation was in fulfillment of a promised made by him at the school 15th speech and prize giving day ceremony at the school premises.

He said the laptops are to support and enhance the teaching and learning of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the school which was now vastly developing the globe.

The Legislator said education was the bedrock of very country development and that educating the younger generation through ICT was to improve the technological knowledge which every student was looking for.

He said ICT now plays an integral role in the development of every country, and the learning of IT was one of his topmost priorities.

Madam Patience Adom, Circuit Supervisor of Ayawaso, said the MP was already doing a lot for the circuit in the promotion of education and appeal to him to support other schools in similar need.

Madam Augustina Kuti, Headmistress of the School, thanked the Minister and assured him that the computers would be put to good use and for the purpose for which it was donated for.

A student Miss Patience Nupi also expressed the students’ gratitude to the President John Dramani Mahama for the distribution of the free laptops to students of all levels.


Minority boycotts State of the Nation Address

The minority members of Parliament on Thursday boycotted the State of the Nation Address delivered by President John Dramani Mahama.

The MPs who were in the House prior to the President’s address left the chamber just before the President entered the House.

There had been conflicting media reports as to whether the minority will this time rescind their decision to boycott certain activities of Parliament and stay in the House to partake in today’s State of the Nation Address.

Today’s action by the minority side is part of a continuous process adopted by the group to challenge the outcome of the 2012 general election result which they claim was rigged in favour of President Mahama.

The New Patriotic Party is in court challenging the results as it claims there were serious irregularities that characterized the elections which ensure victory for President Mahama.

It is however unclear how long the minority is going to resort to such actions.

Kwadwo Anim/GhanaMPs.gov.gh