• +233 20 230 9497

Swallow your pride and consult; Berekum East MP tells Mahama

New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Berekum East has called on President John Mahama to consult economists in the country, irrespective of party affiliation, to salvage the ailing economy.

According to Dr. Kwabena Twum Nuamah, the economy is now on auto pilot therefore if drastic measures are not taken, it could collapse.

The Berekum East MP was reacting to President Mahama’s facebook post in which he thanked “wise politicians” he says have supported his government in the face of political and economic challenges.

The president said his administration is working assiduously to attain the development goals it has announced therefore the country needs politicians with the right attitude not those who predict disaster.

But speaking on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme Tuesday, Dr. Kwabena Twum Nuamah said President Mahama has undoubtedly become a “star denial”.

He noted that the country is now between the “devil and the deep blue sea” due to the mismanagement of the economy and thus such provocative comments make issues murkier.

The Berekum East MP added that President Mahama as the “symbol of the nation” should be measured in his comments.

“Mahama should understand that given the socio-economic hardship in the country, people will definitely vent their anger on him,” he pointed out.

Dr. Twum Nuamah advised President Mahama not to focus so much on trivial issues but rather concentrate on implementing “bold, practical and result oriented” fiscal measures to resuscitate the economy.

He said it is evident that government is bereft of innovative ideas and thus must consult other intellectuals ready to assist and bring them on board.

Dr. Twum Nuamah said no one is a repository of knowledge therefore “you [Mahama] must swallow your pride and consult”.

“A good leader is someone who can select the best people to work with because if Ghana succeeds, the praise comes to you [Mahama]”.


Speaker bans use of the word “Tweaa” in Parliament

The Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Edward Doe Adjaho on Tuesday February 18th banned the use of the twi word “tweaa” from being used on the floor of Parliament describing it as unparliamentary.

The word which is uttered to show disdain has become the most popular phrase in the past three months after the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Ahafo Ano South, Mr Gabriel Barima was captured in a video during a gathering of hospital employees in the District was trading words with an unidentified person after the person chuckled (tweaa) when he (Barima) was giving a speech.

Government took very a serious view of the DCE’s conduct and conducted investigations into the case and further reprimanded him for that act.

Ever since the House reconvened in late January, MPs on both sides have uttered the word at each other right after contributions are made by their colleagues creating a lot of disorder in the House.

Feeling very uncomfortable with this development, MP for Subin and former High Commissioner to the UK, Hon. Isaac Osei called on the Speaker’s direction on the use of the word “tweaa” on the floor.

The Speaker was of the view that the way the word is used in Parliament did not augur well for the smooth deliberations in the House, leading him to proscribe the word.

It was anticipated that MPs especially on the Minority side would have heckled President Mahama with this same word when he appears in Parliament to deliver the statement on the state of the nation.


Prez Mahama postpones State of Nation address

The President, John Dramani Mahama, has postponed his State of the Nation Address initially planned for Thursday.

The Majority Leader, Dr. Benjamin Kunbuor who disclosed the information to Parliament on Tuesday stated that the President postponed it due to some unforeseen circumstances, adding that the new date is Tuesday 25th February 2014.

Per Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution, the President is required to deliver a statement at the opening of every parliamentary session which lays bare the economic, social, and financial state of the country.

The President is expected to state in clear terms the measures his administration is putting in place to improve the worsening economic challenges facing the country at the moment.

The Cedi has depreciated in value as against the major international currencies such as the Dollar and Pound Sterling, forcing the Bank of Ghana to introduce certain measures some of which has generated huge public outcry as some of these measures are thought not to be business friendly.


Salaga North MP decries poor BECE performance

Five out of the seven Junior High Schools (JHS) in the Salaga North constituency, scored zero while the remaining two performed below 10 per cent, in the 2013 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).

Mr Alhassan Mumuni, Member of Parliament (MP) for Salaga North who disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency during a

sod-cutting ceremony to commence work on the construction of a six unit classroom block at Kpanshie, decried the poor performance of schools in the area.

The Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFUND) is supporting the construction of the classroom block at the cost of GH₵ 296,000, which would also include a library and urinal facilities.

He observed that the performance of the district in the BECE continued to dwindle and that the performance declined from 44 per cent to 22 per cent and 8.7 per cent in the last three years

The MP attributed the cause of the decline to weak supervision of teachers in public schools, as one of the major causes of the fallen standards of education in northern Ghana, especially among schools in the Salaga North.

Mr Mumuni explained that supervisors had the mandate to ensure that teachers were punctual to school, served as the link between the school and the community, as well as educated community members on their rights and responsibilities to the schools.

“Most teachers knowing that they were not strictly supervised, do not either attend school regularly to teach, or they render poor teaching to the school children, which is affecting educational standards,” he said.

Mr Mumuni stressed that the lack of effective supervisory role in Public Schools was a serious problem affecting the quality of education, and called for collaboration among stakeholders in education to help reverse the trend.

He observed that most of the teachers in the area live in Tamale and commute daily to school, adding that due to that they end lessons by 12 noon, and return to Tamale.

The MP said some of the schools lacked trained teachers and only relied on visiting teachers who were unable to build strong foundations for the children.

Mr Mumuni said due to the poor performance, most children had dropped out of school, and that had given rise to teenage pregnancies

He called on stakeholders, including Members of Parliament, Assembly Members, Opinion leaders, and parents to actively team up with school management teams, to ensure that performance of schools progressed successfully.

As part of efforts to ensure quality education he said, 30 per cent of his share of the MP’s Common Fund would be invested in various projects, such as buying of motor bikes for the supervisors to discharge their duties effectively.

Mr Mumuni said plans were far advanced to start an inter-school quiz competition to promote completion and also institute best teacher award.

The MP appealed to parents not to shirk their responsibilities and provide for their children and monitor their academic progress by visiting them at school to interact with their teachers.

Mr Ishahaku Baba Yusuf, Deputy District Director of Education in charge of Supervision who confirmed the situation to GNA said the work of supervisors had stalled because the directorate lacked means of transportation and fuel for effective supervision.

“ The officers are there but they don’t have motor bikes and fuel to visit their respective schools. The circuit supervisor position is no more lucrative because it does not have attractive incentives,” he said.

He said most of the students could not read and write and that more attention was needed at the kindergarten and primary levels to build a solid foundation.


Agona West MP provides 100 streetlights

A number of communities in the Agona West Constituency that have just been connected to the national electricity grid in the Agona West Municipality have received yet another support from the Member of Parliament, Mr. Charles Obeng-Inkoom.

According to the Member of Parliament the communities were hooked on to the national grid under the rural electrification project and he saw an opportunity to honour his pledge of providing them with street lights to among other things improve their night travels along the roads and also offer them opportunity to undertake legitimate businesses in the night.

One hundred street lights were thus distributed to Nkranfo, all towns and villages along Nyakrom- Ostenkorang- Bosomba road which is about 11kilometers, as well as Ekurafufu and surrounding villages.

Already the contractor is on site and Mr. Obeng-Inkoom is hopeful he will expedite the work for early completion. He also expressed confidence that the streetlights will help improve security in the areas and allow for more productivity which is important for ensuring the people better life.


Eastern corridor road to boost business in Nkwanta area

Member of Parliament for Nkwanta South, Hon. Gershon Gbediame has expressed optimism that the completion of the Eastern Corridor road especially the section that passes through Dodi Pepesu and Nkwanta will boost economic activities in the area.

According to him, the road which is in a terrible state when completed will help facilitate the transportation of foodstuffs to other parts of the region as trucks carting the farm produce such as yams often get stark sometimes for three(3) days on that part of the road especially when it rains.

The much-talked-about eastern corridor road, otherwise known as national route N2, which starts from Tema Motorway roundabout through to Kulungugu on the north eastern border with Burkina Faso, is being funded by the European Union.

The Asikuma Junction to Peki portion of the road forms part of the lot 2 section (Asikuma Junction-Hohoe-Jasikan-Poase Cement, 147.2km) of the entire 695km eastern corridor road project.

Speaking to GhanaMPs.gov.gh, Hon. Gershon Gbediame stated that the Dodi Pepesu and Nkwanta stretch of the road is expected to be completed by November this year, a development which has come as great relief and joy to drivers and passengers alike.

He noted that a recent visit to that part of the main road by MPs from the region showed that work was feverishly on-going, adding that it would to a large extent inure to the benefit of the residents.

Hon. Gershon Gbediame expressed his commitment to ensure that the living conditions of the good people of Nkwanta South is improved.


Gov’t considering import bans- Haruna Iddrisu

Trade and Industry Minister Haruna Iddrisu says government is considering an embargo on certain imports as part of measures to curb the country\’s swelling trade deficit and ease pressure on the cedi, which has weakened by more than 9 percent against the dollar this year.

“We will ban the importation into the country of a number of products. I just want the institutional framework to be put in place, which is the establishment of the International Trade Commission to propose anti-dumping and countervailing measures,” said Mr. Iddrisu at a meeting with business and trade groups, including members of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in Accra.

“We trust that we will get your support when we move to that era”, he told the business leaders.

Ghana\’s current-account deficit worsened in 2013, increasing to 12.3 percent of GDP from 12.1 percent in 2012, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) said in its monetary policy statement on Feb 6.

The trade deficit was US$3.4billion from January-October 2013.

Apart from oil and automobiles, Ghana\’s largest imports include rice, frozen fish, chicken products, vegetable oil, and tomato products. Together, these items cost the nation $1billion annually to import, President John Mahama said last week.

The BoG, which stepped in early this month with short-term policies to halt the cedi\’s decline, urged government to act to limit the import of consumption goods that have local substitutes and to diversify the country\’s exports, currently dominated by gold, cocoa and oil.

The slump in gold and cocoa prices lost the country $1.3billion in export revenues last year, according to the central bank.

Mr. Iddrisu said government will secure a credit facility for rice farmers to boost production and curtail imports, which measure around $400million annually.


678 people work at the Presidency

The total staff strength at the Presidency currently stands at 678 personnel working in various positions.

The Presdidency consist of institutions such as the Castle, Flagstaff House, State House, Peduase Lodge among others.

In 2013, it came up that more than 600 people were working at the presidency; a number that was greeted with a lot of public bashing but government maintained the huge number was not farfetched.

President John Mahama, acting in accordance with Section 11 of the Presidential Act 1993, which requires the president to submit a list of staffers to Parliament annually, presented the document to Parliament which indicated the number of staffers as at December 2013 on Wednesday.

The tall list included four presidential advisors, four ministers of state, 24 presidential staffers and other civil/public service staff.

Other categories of workers include “administrative personnel, executive and clerical, secretarial, supply and accounting and data processing, household, audit service, Ghana health service etcetera.”

Even before the content of the document is discussed on the floor of Parliament, the issued has generated a lot of hue and cry about the huge numbers especially at the time that the country has economic challenges.

But the Minister of Information, Hon. Mahama Ayariga has indicated on radion, that the document which has President John Mahama’s signature was to be withdrawn from Parliament due to arithmetic errors to have those mistakes corrected.


Adwoa Safo joins world’s young politicians to promote global peace

The Member of Parliament for Dome-Kwabena, Sarah Adwoa Safo has joined a selected young and intelligent politicians to develop strategies to combat crime globally.

The meeting also saw participants drawn from Canada, Mexico, Thailand and the UK, dialogue on how to foster negotiation, peace building and facilitate stability within conflict prone zones across the world.

The program, which was organized by the Foreign and Common Wealth office of the United Kingdom, was first introduced by William Hague (MP), when he became the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom. William Hague’s vision was to groom young and intelligent politicians from across the world, through nurturing and mentorship for the young persons who aspire to be world class politicians.

The Dome-Kwabena legislator- the only African selected to participate in the meeting held in Downing Street, London- was elated that a platform of such nature had been created to tackle issues confronting the youth.

She told journalists at a news briefing that the time had come for the youth to join hands globally to deal with issues eroding youthful resources that are needed take care of the future. Adwoa Safo noted that problems such drug abuse, cyber crime among many others, pose danger for the future.

The MP said the program afforded her the opportunity to synergize and learn from the experiences of participants from other countries, in finding solutions to the menace.

The week-long programme included meetings and interactions with the Chief Executive of Wilton Park , a UK organization; that seeks to promote dialogue and foster peace building in conflict zones across the world. The team also received briefings from the Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police in the UK, Miss Cressida Dick who gave them insight into the UK police service.

The group also interacted with the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt. Hon. John Bercow who took them through the independence of the UK Speaker, the Westminster Parliamentary procedures and rules and proceedings.

Plant Breeders Bills has no linkage with GMOs – Bagbin

Parliament on Tuesday dismissed claims that the Plant Breeders Bills currently at the consideration stage has something to do with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO).

According to the Chairman of the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, Hon. Alban Bagbin, it is very worrying the frantic effort by some section of the public to link the Bill to GMO, and also create an erroneous impression that GMO are dangerous to the health of Ghanaians.

The Speaker Rt. Hon. Edward Doe Adjaho put on hold further discussion of the Bill in Parliament and referred the Committee to further engage some stakeholders, after an NGO Food Sovereignty Ghana, petitioned the Speaker about their concerns about the Bill.

Following the uproar, a forum was organized by the Ministry of Information, the Parliamentary Centre, the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General, which was attended by scientists from KNUST ,farmer groups and other civil society organizations where all concerns and misconceptions about the Bill was addressed.

Addressing the gathering, Hon. Alban Bagbin stated that the Bill, seeks to create an environment for Ghanaians to create plants and seeds locally and not import from abroad and also protect the intellectual property rights of the farmers who do any inventions.

He noted that already plant breeding is on-going in Ghana where we now have the type of cocoa which is resistant to pest, adding that the Bill will encourage other farmers and researchers to come up with crops that are pest resistant.

Hon. Bagbin stated that Ghana’s neighbouring countries such as Burkina Faso are ahead of Ghana when it comes to the use of plant breeding in the growing of tomatoes, onions etc which some of us Ghanaians consume.

With the several concerns addressed the Committee is expected to report back to the Speaker following which the Bill will be taken through the consideration stage and further stages prior to its passage.