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Fisherfolks should not copy blindly – Aquinas Quansah

Member of Parliament for Mfantseman, Aquinas Tawiah Quansah has cautioned fisherfolks against copying blindly certain fishing and preservation methods that may have effects on the lives of consumers.

He said adopting foreign methods of preserving fishes just like the recently reported issue of fish preservation with formalin is extremely dangerous to human lives.

There was recent media reports that fisherfolks in the Western region using formalin, a chemical normally used in embalming corpses for fishes preseervation and processing.

Speaking on e.tv’s morning show on Friday, Hon. Aquinas Quansah who is also the deputy minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture stated that their investigation of that issue proved false.

He noted that one issue that continue to bother the ministry is the continues activity of pair trawling by some fishermen, an act that contravens the laws of the country and also has adverse effects on marine resources.

Hon. Quansah was confident that the inauguration of the Marine Police last week by President Mahama will go a long way to curb the illegal activity.

He added that government remained committed to ensuring that fisherfolks have the right conditions to enable their work thrive and also build the fishing industry.

Kwadwo Anim / Ghanamps.gov.gh

House to investigate Public Accounts Committee

The leadership of Parliament will meet with the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the House to ascertain whether the committee indeed wrote to rLG Communications Company Ltd, a local communications company, to solicit funds to embark on a journey outside the country.

The findings will be made available to the Speaker, Mr Doe Adjaho, as soon as the facts are ascertained, for appropriate action.

This was disclosed to the Daily Graphic by the Majority Chief Whip, Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak.

The meeting has become necessary as a result of publications in a section of the media indicting the PAC solicited funds from the company.

Alhaji Muntaka said currently, the leadership of the House did not have the facts because both the chairman of the committee and the ranking member were out of the country.

He also said the PAC had money in its own coffers and, therefore, it would be unusual for it to write to a private company soliciting funds to engage in parliamentary business.

At their leadership meeting yesterday, Mr Adjaho was said to have been furious about the publications, especially one with the headline Doe Adjaho’s Parliament Rotten.

But Alhaji Muntaka said the leadership managed to calm Mr Adjaho down with the explanation that they had not heard from the leadership of the PAC yet and until that was done, the veracity of the matter could not be ascertained.

He said it was agreed that the leadership of the House could make some comments on the issue without going into the details.

On the floor of the House yesterday, members managed to discuss the issue without bringing out the exact issue.

When Alhaji Muntaka broached the topic, the MP for Old Tafo, Dr Anthony Akoto-Osei, rose to his feet saying the floor of the House was not the appropriate forum to discuss the issue.

He said the committee of the whole appeared to be the best forum to discuss the issue, or the Privileges Committee.

Leadership, he said, needed to set the right example with regard to the issue.

Mr Adjaho reminded members that at the leadership meeting, it had been agreed that a few comments be made on the issue on the floor of the House.

He said he had taken a serious view of the publications, but as to whether they are true or not, I do not know.”

Mr Dominic Nitiwul, Deputy Minority Leader and Papa Owusu Ankomah, MP for Sekondi, both expressed their concerns about the issue.

Daily Graphic

New dam under construction for Namong-Yunyoo MP

In the bid to support boost the lives of many that dwell in the constituency, Hon. Joseph Bipoba Naabu, Member of Parliament for Yunyoo has managed to source funding towards the completion of a dam for Namong, a suburb in the area.

It is almost a nightmare for inhabitants living in this community and the surrounding environs to get adequate water for even their domestic use, and agric related activities.

But Mr. Bipoba Naabu, deeply touched by the plight of individuals living in the community decided to facilitate the implementation of a dam meant to aid them in their activities and improve their wellbeing.

Interacting with Ghanamps.gov.gh, the MP stressed that works on the construction of the dam is still ongoing and moving steadily in the area.

He therefore promised to push all efforts towards the successful completion of the dam, so people in the area would be better of in their social lives, as the dug-out being implemented will largely ease the burden of inhabitants regarding access to water in the community.

Jonathan Jeffrey Adjei/Ghanamps.gov.gh

Zabzugu MP assists brilliant but needy students

In his quest to contribute to increasing literacy rate in the constituency and ensure more youth have access to higher education, the Member of Parliament for Zabzugu, Jabaah John Bennam has provided financial support to a number of students in his constituency.

The scholarship package worth over twelve thousand Ghana cedis (GHs12, 270) was given to over 25 students from the constituency at various levels of education particularly tertiary and senior high schools.

Most of them had their school fees, admission fees and other related fees paid through the package. Being a poorly endemic area, most parents are unable to raise money to pay their children’s school fees especially at the SHS and tertiary level because fees are at the higher side.

They therefore need some support from well meaning individuals to be able to fulfill their academic dreams.

The MP however noted that the scholarship package is targeted at brilliant but needy students who are determined to excel.

Dominic Shirimori/Ghanamps.gov.gh

Parliament urged to rectify RTI Bill anomalies

Mr Jonathan Osei-Bonsu, Executive Director of Perfector of Sentiments (POS) Foundation, has called on Parliament to rectify anomalies in the Rights to Information (RTI) Bill before its passage to ensure free flow of information.

He observed that the Bill, which Cabinet had approved, contained some conditions likely to make it difficult for the media and other information seekers to obtain the needed information.

He said failure to correct these errors would render the bill ineffective when passed into law.

Mr Osei-Bonsu, who is also a member of the RTI coalition, said this at a day’s workshop on the challenges in some of the clauses of the RTI bill organized by the Center for Democratic Development (CDD) on Wednesday in Tamale.

He explained that the bill was weak due to the exemptions, which barred people from seeking information concerning the presidency and the elaborate penalty regime.

“I think it is suicidal to keep a clause that says that all information created by the national security cannot be accessed by the public. Bureaucrats and Technocrats will use this kind of clause to deny people from obtaining vital information, which is of public interests”, he said.

Mr Osei-Bonsu said the conditions and the delay in passing the bill into law was retiring the development of the nation because of peoples’ (especially Journalists) frustration in accessing crucial information concerning governance.

He said the non-existence of the RTI had given room for some media practitioners to speculate before eliciting the right information concerning issues.

Mr Caesar Abagali, Northern Regional Chairman of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), who chaired the function, observed that the absence of the RTI had paved way for some media practitioners to engage in rumour-mongering due to lack or inadequate information.

“Nowadays some journalists are found of giving excuses that when they call authorities to clarify issues their cell phones are off. Some even will also tell a lie that their quest to reach an official for clarification prove futile,” he said.

He commended the CDD and the coalition for taking the initiative to lead the advocacy for the passage of the bill into law and stressed the need for Parliament not to pay lip-service but act swiftly to pass the bill.

Mr Paul Osei Kuffour, Programmes Manager, Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CCD-Ghana), said access to information had been identified as one of the most important tool in ensuring accountability and transparency.

He said the government in its commitment to promote access to information in February 2010, presented the bill to Parliament but yet to be passed, which was worrisome.

Mr Victor Brobbey, Research Fellow, Governance Leader Policy of CDD, said there had been limitations on the access to information and that getting information usually took a lot of time.

He observed that Civil Society Organisations (CSO) mostly had access to information more than journalists and the ordinary people, which he said was not the best.

Mr Brobbey indicated that though the National Media Commission (NMC) was supposed to regulate the work of the media it had not been able to effectively do that, saying “when information is distorted by a journalist, he or she could be punished”.


Teachers bungalow at Aburonahia on course – Sefwi Akontombra MP

A six bedroom and a hall facility is being built at Aburonahia in the Sefwi Akontombra for teachers in the area.
The facility when completed will sercve the accomodation needs of the teachers posted to the area.
Speaking to Ghanamps.gov.gh, the MP for the area, Hon. Herod Cobbina stated that the absence of a teachers’ bungalow has been a disincentive which discourages teachers from accepting posting to the place or only stay there for a short while.
He noted that the issue has had a negative effect on the education of the students in the area.
Hon. Cobbina disclosed that the project which currently at the lintel level is being funded with proceeds from the GETFund, adding that he remains committed to ensuring an improvement on the quality of education in the area.

Kwadwo Anim/Ghanamps.gov.gh

Parliament considers GIPC Bill

Members of Parliament on Tuesday started considering 22 amendments proposed under the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Bill.

Edward Doe Adjaho, Speaker of Parliament, advised that the whole of clause five of the Bill, which deals with the governance of the Centre, be deferred for further consultation.

The 44 clause bill is to revise the law relating to investment promotion and to establish the GIPC as the government agency responsible for the encouragement and promotion of investments and for creating a congenial environment for investment in Ghana.

The Centre is responsible for investment promotion under the GIPC Act 1994 (Act 478) through functions such as initiating and supporting measures that will enhance the investment climate for both Ghanaian and non-Ghanaian companies and to promote investment in and outside Ghana through effective incentives and making and other strategies.

The Act stipulates that enterprises set up solely for export trading are exempted from the minimum capital requirement to encourage the setting up of products originating from the country. This provision is retained in the new bill.

Other benefits under Act 478 are guaranteed against expropriation dispute settlement procedures, immigrant quotas, incentives for special investments and transferability of earnings.

After being in operation for a decade and a half, Act 478 had been overtaken by events, economic and investment climate, which existed when it was enacted, had undergone major changes leaving the Act behind.

The recent development had also highlighted shortcomings in the Act as well as provided a new policy focus.

There is now an urgent need to provide specialized incentives to attract and retain strategic investors to make Ghana a competitive investment destination and to provide Ghanaians with opportunities to take advantage of the improved economic situation prevailing in the country.

The bill embraces all enterprises including mining and petroleum enterprises, which were hitherto not covered by Act 478.

A report of the Finance Committee on the Request for approval of government of Ghana’s Access to the International Capital Market to Issue a second international sovereign bond (Eurobond) up to one billion United States Dollars (US$1,000 million).


Minority questions selective acceptance of CRC’s report

The Minority in Parliament has questioned the propriety of government’s selective acceptance of the recommendations made by the Constitutional Review Committee, arguing that that stance was a subversion of the will of the people.

Minority Leader and Member of Parliament for Suame, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu said the CRC’s report was the outcome of a consultative process steeped in law reflecting the collective resolve of the people and that it was not the prerogative of government to disagree with any portions of the recommendations made by the review body.

He was referring to the Government’s White Paper on the report, which disagreed with some of the recommendations contained in the CRC’s report, stating that government should not tread that path because of the negative consequences it held for the country.

Mr Mensah Bonsu said government could not decide to accept some portions and not others, saying “It is wrong… It is a false step; we will be running into a Cul de sac if we proceed along those lines”.

“This amounts to government foisting its agenda on the legislature. It cannot decide for the House, which clauses in the document that we should consider or not. It is not the work of the Executive to take certain aspects of the recommendation and bring it to Parliament to be considered”.

But Majority Leader, Benjamin Kunbuor in reaction held that the country was governed by the rule of law and that the White Paper issued by government was a legal requirement.

He said it was impossible for government to have its way in the matter, adding that government could not impose its views on what was acceptable and what was not and that the lawmakers had the right to make their own recommendations when the issue was tabled before them.

The CRC was established in January, 2010 by the government of Ghana to develop possible amendments to the 1992 Constitution. Over the course of two years, the Commission collected over 80,000 submissions from the general public, in addition to those made by government agencies and civil society organizations.

The Final Report of the CRC was completed in December, 2011.

Government then issued a White Paper on it within the six months period stipulated in Article 280 (3) of the Constitution, accepting most of the recommendations of the Commission.

Where Government did not accept the Commission’s recommendations it stated the reasons for that decision.

Government has since set up a five–member committee to see to the implementation of the recommendations in strict compliance with Chapter 25 of the Constitution on “Amendments to the Constitution.”

Ayawaso West Wuogon MP supports 27 schools with Ghs2,000

MP for Ayawaso West Wuogon, Hon. Emmanuel K. Agyarko has donated GH¢2,000 towards support of the biennial Sports and Cultural festival in his constituency.

The amount is to assist 27 public schools participating in the up-coming event slated for July 13, 2013.

The festival dubbed “Our Culture, Our Pride, Our Identity” would host schools like Dzorwulu Primary and Junior High school, Legon Star Village school, among others, to display the Ghanaian culture through singing, drumming, cooking and others.

Hon. Agyarko during the donation highlighted the important role sports play in our setting which results in the maintenance of healthy bodies.

Eleanor Swatson- Brown, Officer in Charge of Ayawaso West Wuogon schools, who received the money expressed gratitude to the MP for his kind gesture and promised to put the money in judicious use for a successful sports and cultural festival.


52 communities being connected to national grid-Amenfi Central

Some fifty-two communities in the Wassa Amenfi Central Constituency are being connected to the national electricity grid.

This, according to the Member of Parliament for the area, George Kofi Arthur who facilitated the project is very important to bringing some improvement into the social and economic lives of residents in beneficiary communities.

The project which is in line with government’s plan to connect a lot more deprived communities to the national grid is about 50 percent complete, the MP stated. Some of the beneficiary communities include K. Boateng, Grant, Supanso, Koofiekrom, Nuamakrom, Kyenkyekrom, Nkwanta, Camp and surrounding communities.

He said another electrification project ongoing is expansion of electricity to communities like Juabo, Sraha, Ayiem, Daboase, Ajakamanso, Nkwanta No.1 and No.2 among others.

Connecting all these communities to the national grid provides avenue to individuals with ambition and ability to raise funds to establish small scale enterprises to do so since electricity is commonly dependent on to power most machines.