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Parliament urged to collaborate with CSOs

Mr Dominic Nitiwul, Deputy Minority Leader, on Monday urged Parliament to effectively collaborate with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to achieve an accountable, transparent and responsive government.

He acknowledged that such collaboration would lead to an open government to serve as the essential foundation for economic, social and political progress.

Mr Ntiwul, speaking at a forum organised by STAR-Ghana, added that it would also create avenue for strengthening the transparency of institutions while maintaining the privacy of citizens.

The forum, which was on the theme: “Civil Society Collaboration; A Pre-requisite for Accountable Transparent and Responsive Government,” sought to foster such collaboration between Parliament and CSOs.

Mr Ntiwul identified access to information, transparency, and tax transparency, freedom of information, record management, and whistleblower protection as well as anti corruption strategy as key elements for good governance.

The Deputy Minority Leader said CSOs and Parliament should pool resources and work closely irrespective of their mandate to build on Ghana’s democratic credentials.

Mr Nitiwul explained that the participation of civil society and citizens in general in policy making, governance and public service was critical to ensuring a healthy and vibrant democracy, good decision making, responsive and trusted institutions.

Mr Fritz Baffour, Member of Parliament (MP) for Ablekuma South, a representative of Majority in Parliament, affirmed that the effective discharge of the constitutional functions imposed on Parliament could be strengthened based on accountability, transparency and responsive governance.

He said civil society through its collaboration with Parliament was necessary to ensure that government adhered to the principles of transparency and accountability because of its unique characterization.

Mr Baffour said as law-making arm of government; Parliament’s functions were critical in attaining the needs of the people. “It’s therefore crucial to develop partnership arrangements with relevant civil society organisations to effectively ensure that governance system is accountable, transparent and responsive,” he added.

Mr Ibrahim Tanko Amidu, Programme Manager STAR-Ghana, said CSOs needed to reframe the way in which they engaged Parliament to reflect an understanding of the institution’s unique and difficult role.

He said Parliament went through difficult and diverse perspectives to serve various interests to arrive at policies that sought to achieve national goal and cohesion.

He tasked CSOs to step out of their comfort zones and explore innovative ways of engaging and collaborating with each other for Ghana to be the winner at the end.


Institute of Allied Health Sciences for Dormaa underway – Dormaa East MP

School for the study of allied health sciences is being established at Asuotiano, one of the major communities in the Dormaa East Constituency.

It is to be dedicated to the study of medical laboratory, ultrasonography, health information, community health care, nutrition among others.

The Member of Parliament for Dormaa East, William Kwasi Sabi who is financing the project from his own coffers said already about GHs200,000.00 has been sunk into the project for the construction of two major blocks including large 3-unit classroom block currently at lentel level to serve as lecture halls, while the second is at foundation level and will have administration block, information and communication technology (ICT) laboratory, medical laboratory and sanitary facilities.

He disclosed that, the decision for the establishment of the institute was informed primarily by earlier quest to establish a hospital in the constituency. However, since it is not enough to establish a hospital without ensuring quality health delivery which stern from factors such as lack of personnel, equipments and logistics, even the technical know how, he deemed it appropriate to tackle the personnel issue from the grassroot.

Mr. Sabi observed that in most cases where personnel are even available, they refuse posting to remote areas for lack of social amenities in those areas. Thus it will be reasonable to train personnel from such deprived communities (indigenes) who are already used to conditions in the area to manage such facilities. This will reduce the unfortunate scenario of personnel abandoning post,he added.

He pointed out that the success of this project will inure to the benefit of a district hospital they hope to establish in due course, hopefully through government intervention.

He however appealed for assistance from well meaning individuals, corporate organizations, and NGOs to accelerate completion of the institute.

Dominic Shirimori/Ghanamps.gov.gh

CHPS compound for Asuokow- Upper West Akim MP

Construction of a new community health and planning services (CHPS) compound estimated at about Ghs35, 000.00 will soon start at Asuokow in the Upper West Akim Constituency.

Member of Parliament for Upper West Akim, Joseph Sam Amankwanor who disclosed this to Ghanamps.gov.gh said the area is made up of cluster of communities that require accessible health facilities for health delivery especially in cases of emergency.

This however is not to be as residents are compelled to travel long distances to Adeiso or Asamankese for health delivery.

He noted that establishment of CHPS compounds will therefore prove very helpful to cater for minor cases and handle emergency before referral to more advanced health facilities. More importantly, it will provide the needed primary health particularly maternal health to pregnant and nursing mothers.

This will to a large extent contribute significantly to the fight against high maternal mortality usually resulting from complicated birth or lack of access to health facilities.

Mr. Amankwanor is convinced that if as a nation, we put premium to primary health care, it will help to ensure healthy society and manpower to contribute to the socioeconomic growth of the country.

Dominic Shirimori/Ghanamps.gov.gh

Keta MP blames GJA,Media Comm. over SC warning to media

Following the warning to the media by the Supreme Court, the Member of Parliament for Keta, Richard Quashigah has lashed out at the Media Commission and the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) for failing to regulate the work of the media.

According to him, the laxity in the monitoring mechanism by the two media institutions has resulted in the media sometimes lowering the standards of the profession and not complying with the ethics.

President of the 9-member Supreme Court panel hearing the Presidential Election Petition on Tuesday in wrapping up proceedings gave a stern warning to the media that the court would not hesitate to crack the whip on naughty journalists and others found guilty of misreporting proceedings in the court.

Justice Atuguba insists the court will no longer tolerate such behaviors, adding “any person be it in the media or not who crosses the final touchline of proper coverage reportage will be met with the appropriate response”.

Speaking on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana Show, Hon. Richard Quashigah who himself is a Journalist by profession, frowned upon some of the skewed reportage on the ongoing election petition case by a segment of the media.

He noted that media practitioners must ensure that ethics of the profession especially relating to court reporting is upheld at all times.

Hon. Richard Quashigah charged the Media Commission and the Ghana Journalist Association to step up their game especially the monitoring aspect and further name and shame errant journalists if that would get them to do the right thing.

Kwadwo Anim/Ghanamps.gov.gh

UK 3,000 pounds bond: Ghana MPs angry; Govt to respond appropriately

Government says it will “respond appropriately” to the new UK immigration policy requiring Ghanaian visitors to the UK to deposit £3,000 as guarantee for their return.

A deputy Information and Media Relations Minister, Felix Kwakye Ofosu said the new policy has just come to the attention of government, which is now assessing it.

The policy, according to the UK government is to prevent residents from “high risk” countries from overstaying in the UK.

Once a resident departs from the UK the £3,000 bond is returned to him or her.

The policy, once implemented will affect Ghana, Nigeria, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

But some Members of Parliament in Ghana are livid over the new policy and are calling on government to retaliate.

MP for Tarkwa Nsuaem, Eugenia Kusi made the call on the floor of Parliament, Tuesday, that UK residents must be treated same way when they want to visit Ghana.

Her view is shared by a number of MPs, Joy News’ Parliamentary correspondent Elton John Brobbey has learnt.

MP for Manhyia South, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh pushed for a formal statement to be read on the floor of the House to signal Ghana’s unhappiness with the new policy, Elton Brobbey reported.

Some of the MPs insist Ghana must stand up and defend her sovereignty.

There are fears the policy if, retaliated, will lead to a diplomatic row between Ghana and the UK government.

But government maintains it is still exploring the options available to it and will respond accordingly.

The new policy was announced barely a week after Ghana’s President John Mahama held bilateral meetings with the UK Prime Minister David Cameron during which the two countries pledged to forge closer ties.


Yunyoo MP yearns to set boreholes in polling stations

The drilling and installation of boreholes in contemporary days is widely employed to suffice the needs of people in water issues within deprived communities.

With the obvious difficulties of government getting each community covered with pipe borne water, some good spirited people of society, NGO’s and Corporate organizations or agencies have stepped in to support and complement efforts in linking more localities with potable water.

Hon. Joseph Bipoba Naabu, Member of Parliament for Yunyoo, in the light of the pressing concerns of his constituents with regards to water supply has revealed in an interview with Ghanamps.go.gh that he has initiated a move towards the construction of two boreholes each to every polling station in the area.

He claimed he has already set the wheels in motion on the actualization of the project, adding that he has applied for assistance on the implementation of these boreholes from government.

He said in all about 104 separate boreholes would be needed to fulfill this move so it could relief and ease the challenges of people within his constituency in accessing potable water.

Jonathan Jeffrey Adjei/Ghanamps.gov.gh

Gov’t to review Disability Act- Appoh

The Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection and Member of Parliament for Gomoa Central, Hon Rachel Florence Appoh has indicated government’s commitment to review the Disability Act (Act 715) which was passed on the floor of Parliament in 2006.

According to the Lawmaker, a review of the existing Act will ensure total protection and eliminate stigmatizing on the part of persons with disability.

The Minister made this known when delivering her key note address in Accra to commemorate this year’s National Day of Person with Disability (PWD) which took place on Monday June 24, 2013.

Hon. Appoh however expressed grief on how persons with disability were made to face hardship and stigmatization due to their critical and physical challenges, adding that some children of school going age usually drop out of school due to their conditions.

She further stated that the Gender, Children and Social Protection ministry is poised to ensure that the rights and protection of these persons are not trampled upon hence the need to review the existing Act 715.

She further noted that the ministry had also intended to intensify partnership with other relevant sectors, ministries and non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) to help address the many concerns of Person with Disabilities in the country.

Emmanuel Frimpong Mensah/GhanaMPs.gov.gh

Minority declines RLG’s offer

The leadership of the Minority caucus in Parliament has directed all its members to decline an offer from ICT Company, RLG to construct bore holes in their constituencies.

RLG wrote to Parliament requesting that MP’s select places of their choice for the citing of a borehole.

However, in an interview with Citi News, Deputy Minority Leader, Dominic Nitiwul said the directive came after the Minority caucus held a meeting last Thursday to deliberate on the matter.

“The issue was very clear that the Minority had raised very serious issues during the budget debate that had to do with this company and we felt that we should hold on to the acceptance of the offer until those issues are cleared.”

He clarified that the minority is not against any individual who is willing to help MPs to develop their constituencies but “it is not every offer that an individual will take.”


Nkawkaw needs additional SHSs MP

The Member of Parliament for Nkawkaw, Eric Kwakye Darfour has added his voice to the need for additional senior high school to be established at Nkawkaw to cater for the growing population.

Nkawkaw SHS is currently the only government assisted SHS in the whole constituency. The rest are private schools and since the only government assisted cannot admit too many students those who cannot afford the fee for the private ones are left with no option but stay at home. As a municipality, there should be more that two of such public SHS because a municipality has population as a factor to contain with, he stated.

Mr. Darfour however noted that all is not yet lost; with government declaration to build 200 new community senior high schools, he is hopeful their plea will be listened to and at least the constituency will be allocated one. He has therefore stated lobbying for attention.

In related development, the MP indicated that most of junior high schools have to be rehabilitated because their long existence which rendered the structures weak and dilapidated.

Meanwhile, a 3-unit classroom block with office and store started by the Nkawkaw Nsuta Management Committee but stalled is to be completed by the Member of Parliament to make it available to the school for use.


Nurses quarters soon for Bontibor – Nkwanta South MP

A Nurses quarters’ is to be constructed soon at Bontibor in the Nkwanta South Constituency in the Volta Region.

The bungalows will serve as residences for the health workers who work in the Community Health and Planning Services (CHPS) which is a health centre located in the area.

Speaking to Ghanamps.gov.gh, the Member of Parliament for Nkwanta South, Gershon Gbediame stated that the absence of accommodation has been a source of inconvenience to the nurses as they have no option than to stay away from the health centre.

He noted that this unfortunate situation is in a way affecting health delivery as the nurses’ trek or travel from their various destinations to attend to patients and other emergency cases, adding that he remains confident that the provision of the quarters will enhance the quality of work by the health officials.

Hon. Gershon Gbediame disclosed that the residences will be built with funds from his share of the MPs Common Fund and the HIPC funds among others.

Kwadwo Anim/Ghanamps.gov.gh