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Afriyie Ankrah to be hauled before Parliament

The Minority in Parliament is planning to drag outgoing Minister of Youth and Sports, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah to Parliament over Ghana’s participation in the on-going World Cup tournament in Brazil.

According to the Member of Parliament (MP) of Kpandai, the Minister will have to account to Parliament since no MP was involved in Ghana’s organization towards the World Cup.

Afriyie Ankrah and his Deputy, Joseph Yamin have both been re-assigned by the President.

Although no reasons were given for the decision, it is believed that the two were reshuffled due to the appalling performance of Ghana at the World Cup which led to the country’s early elimination from the tournament.

Other matters including the agitations within the Black Stars camp leading to the dismissal of two players from the camp is also believed to have contributed to the President’s decision.

Matthew Nyindam who also serves on the Sports committee told Citi News, it is not enough for the President to re-assign the Minister in the face of what he considers a disgraceful campaign at the World Cup.

“The Minister and his Deputy failed this country, they failed us completely. They have not been able to demonstrate to Ghanaians that they have the capacity to lead,” he opined.

He interpreted their re-assignment as the President’s admission that the two failed to perform at the Sports Ministry.

But he questioned why they were not given an outright dismissal saying, “you don’t send them back to another office. What are they going to do there? Is it because the President has no priorities? Some of us think this is not the best.”

Mr. Nyindam served notice that Mr. Afriyie Ankrah will be hauled before Parliament soon “because some of us have started talking to our ranking members.”

He lamented over the complete exclusion of the Sports committee of Parliament from Ghana’s preparations towards the World Cup tournament.

“We were not involved in anything. We didn’t know what went on and as a member of the committee, I can say on authority that no Member of Parliament can say that he has played any proper oversight of what happened leading to Brazil,” he complained.


Minority angry over Chief of Staff’s NPA rent

The Minority in Parliament is angry with the directive from the Chief of Staff Prosper Bani for the dissolution of the committee set up to investigate how officials of the National Petroleum Authority rented an office apartment at a whopping sum of $63,000 a month.

The MP for Afigya Kwabre South and Member of the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament William Owireku Aidoo described the decision as “sad day for Ghana.”

A five-member committee was instituted by the Ministry of Energy few days ago to unravel the circumstances under which the office was rented.

The sector minister, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah described the $63,000 a month office space for the Authority as not representing “prudent use of state resources”.

The wings of the committee have been clipped even before it would begin any investigation.

A statement from the Chief of Staff ordered the dissolution of the committee, stating “the Presidency is reviewing the approval processes that went into the decision to commit state funds to rent an office when the upfront payment involved could have completed a permanent office building for the NPA.”

The chief of staff again directed the Energy Ministry to direct the NPA not to renew the rent agreement at the end of the current tenure.

The intervention by the Chief of Staff has angered the minority in Parliament.

William Owireku Aidoo wondered how the chief of staff would intervene in a matter like this without any punitive measures against the perpetrators.

He said for a state agency to pay an amount of $700,000 a year for rent in a country reeling under harsh economic pressures was the height of financial indiscipline and heads must be made to roll.

“We cannot go forward with such a conduct,” he indicated.


Blame NPP for continuous prejudicial comments on court case – Ablakwa

Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has accused the opposition New Patriotic Party ( NPP) of starting the unfortunate trend that people make prejudicial comments on the ongoing 2012 Election Petition case at the Supreme Court.

He said the NPP opposed the floodgates for such comments following the press conference the NPP held moments after they filed the petition at the Supreme Court even before the court could begin the case, adding that the party should have left the issue in the domain of the court.

The Supreme Court on Monday June 24 after several warning against contemptuous statements, stated in strong terms to deal ruthlessly with any future offenders.

As if that warning did not sink into the ears of the public, three persons including Editor of Searchlight Newspaper Ken Kuranchie, NDC communicators Stephen Atubiga and Kweku Boahen who breached the courts directives have been summoned to appear in court on Tuesday july 2 to their fate.

Commenting on the issue Hon. Okudzeto Ablakwa stated that he saw such a say coming where the court would assert its authority because of the conduct of high ranking NPP officials including Nana Akufo Addo, Dr Mahamadu Bawumiah and Jake Obetsebi Lamptey.

He implored the public to be guided by the show of authority by the court and desist from further comments.

Hon. Ablakwa said the move by the court was timely because the continues propaganda concerning the case could have spelt doom depending on the outcome of the case.

Kwadwo Anim/Ghanamps.gov.gh

PAC’s request to RLG was wrong – Kwaku Kwarteng

Member of Parliament for the Obuasi West Constituency Kwaku Kwarteng has said the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament’s request to RLG Telecommunications for sponsorship was wrong and does put the legislature in a position of conflict of interest.

According to Mr. Kwarteng the request must be condemned by all.

“I am worried about the contributions to our members or former members of parliament, that will suggest that parliament as an institution doesn’t see anything wrong with this or that individuals within parliament do not see anything wrong with it. I think that if parliament is supposed to exercise oversight responsibility and it is beginning to look like key committees like PAC, will be going to private companies for resources to do their work then clearly they have put themselves in the conflict of interest situation,” he added.

Meanwhile Former first Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Freddie Blay described the PAC’s act as an embarrassment “I think it’s an embarrassing situation,” he said on the Citi Breakfast Show on Friday.

Mr. Blay said the culture of seeking financial support from companies is a normal practice but not healthy.

“In this case a private company which has dealt with some state institutions and government; that creates a problem. This is a conflict of interest situation which is embarrassing.”

Meanwhile the Head of the Public Affairs Directorate of Parliament, Jones Kublenu has said the leadership of the house is investigating the issue and will present a report to members of parliament for deliberations.

“The majority chief whip indicated that leadership will investigate and then report back to the House so the matter is not before the privileges committee yet.”

“The leadership thinks that it has a role in this scenario and therefore would want to go and look at it independently and come back with a report,” Mr. Kublenu revealed.

The Public Accounts Committee is alleged to have written a letter to RLG Telecommunications seeking financial support for its activities.

The alleged letter was made public by the Editor in Chief of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako Jnr when said he had evidence to prove that PAC had sought financial support from RLG.


Show of unity by lawyers at S.C is commendable – Juaboso MP

Member of Parliament for Juaboso, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh has said he was humbled by the show of unity by lawyers for interested parties in the ongoing 2012 election petition case at the Supreme Court.

He said the show of fellow feeling exhibited by even opposing lawyers is indicative of the sense of unity that generally exist among Ghanaians, adding that this attitude should continue to drive the building of the country.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday during the hearing of the ongoing case, summoned the Deputy Communications Director of the opposition New Patriotic Party, Sammy Awuku for comments that slighted the Court, just a day after the court had issued a stern warning to deal ruthlessly with anyone who would be in contempt of court.

But even before the court could pronounce judgment on Mr Awuku who was in court, lawyers for the first, second and third respondents, Mr Tony Lithur, Tsatsu Tsikata and Quarshie and also lawyers for the petitioners joined in one voice to pray the court to temper justice with mercy and deal leniently with Mr Awuku, following which he was spared but banned not to step foot in the court.

Speaking on Asempa Fm’s Eko sii sen, Hon. Mintah Akandoh commended the lawyers for their humane gesture.

He urged the public especially politicians and social commentators to learn lessons from what has happened and ensure that they don’t fall foul of the supreme court.

Kwadwo Anim/Ghanamps.gov.gh

Government to pay for BECE Registration fees

Ministry of Education is drawing a programme to absorb the 100 per cent of the Basic Education Certificate Education (BECE) Registration fees, and the programme would be implemented as soon as funding is secured.

Deputy Minister of Education, Hon. Alex Kyeremeh, was of the believe that the programme will eventually immensely relieve parents of their burden.

The Deputy Minister who is also the MP for Techiman North made this know in Parliament on Wednesday in an answer to a questions posed by Hon. Yaw Owusu-Boateng, MP for Asene Akroso Manso, who wanted to know when the Government would bear the full cost of the BECE.

Government currently bears 70 per cent of the registration fees of the candidates, but according to the Minister the amount had increased from GH₵ 768,000 to about GH₵ 14.4 million because of the increase in number of the students who registered for the examination.

On the issue of whether materials such as chalks, notebooks, capitation grants etc have been supplied to basic schools for the 4th quarter of 2013, Hon. Alex Kyeremeh stated that a peculiar situation of a late submission of the budget around (March 2013) resulted in the late acquisition of commencement of certificates from the Ministry of Finance.

The situation further delayed the procurement process for chalk, Teachers’ notebooks and Attendance registers, hence the late deliveries. However the items have been supplied to the Basic Schools.

Hon. Kyeremeh added that the contents of the Cumulative Records Cards, Continuous Assessment Cards and Pupils’ Report Cards are still under review and as a result were not procured in 2013.

Over 15 students receive support from Kade MP

The Member of Parliament for Kade Asamoah Ofosu provided educational sponsorship package to some students in his constituency.

The students numbering over fifteen (15) were drown from the senior high school, nursing colleges and tertiary institutions including university were assisted by the MP to pay their school fees and other related fees.

According to Mr.AsamoahOfosu, he seesAsamoahOfosuthis as the contributionof his widow’s mite to support these students to achieve their educational dream, adding that many young men and women though have the zeal to climb the educational ladder higher, they are constraints by financial difficulties.

This therefore calls for assistance from concerned members of society hence his involvement.

He said he will continue to support brilliant but needy students in his own small way to help keep them away from social vices which usually result from lack of sense of purpose and direction in life.

Dominic Shirimori/Ghanamps.gov.gh

6-unit classroom for Presby Primary B-Fanteakwa N MP

The woes of students of Presbyterian Primary B School at Begoro in the Fanteakwa District in the Eastern Region will soon be over with the completion of a new classroom block.

The new 6-unit classroom blocks under construction by the Member of Parliament for Fanteakwa North Kwabena A. Amankwa is about 90 percent complete and expected for completion in the next few months.

Students currently attend classes in a dilapidated structure constructed so many years ago by the Presbyterian Mission.

The present state of the facility does not only pose danger to the students and their teachers but it cannot also protect them from the rain and other hard weather conditions.

With the onset of the rain, the students will have to miss a lot of instructional periods to bad weather. He noted that helping to provide conducive environment for teaching and learning is important to achieving quality education.

Dominic Shirimori/Ghanamps.gov.gh

Parliament okays issuance of USD 1.0 billion Eurobond

Parliament on Wednesday approved of government’s request to issue $1.0 billion Eurobond on the international capital market.

According to government the decision to issue the bond is to reduce its over-reliance on short term domestic instrument to finance capital projects and diversify its sources of funding.

Presenting the Finance Committee’s report, the Chairman James Klutse Avedzi stated that the ministry of finance intends to apply part of the funds raised to finance capital projects in the 2013 Budget statement.

Part of the proceeds will also to be used to refinance existing maturing short term debt instruments and also to swap existing external debt to reduce the cost of debt servicing.

Touching on the timing of the bond issue, Hon. Avedzi said the minister stated that the bond market is a global one and no sibgle country has control over it.

According to the minister the presence of big players like Nigeria will rather send positive signal to investors about prospects of the sovereign bond market in West Africa.

Minority MPs were not enthused about issuance of the bond as to them the timing was wrong and could add more debt to the already huge national debt stock.

However the Majority was all for the issuance as it will enable government attend to numerous projects that needs to be urgently carried out.

Kwadwo Anim/Ghanamps.gov.gh

Parliament extol Late Maulvi Wahab Adam

Parliament on Tuesday eulogized the late Maulvi Dr. Wahab Adam, the Ameer in-charge of Ahmadiya Muslim Mission in Ghana, who died last Sunday.

Virtues that run through tributes from the Legislators were the late leader’s humility with which he served Ghana and his peaceful nature.

Maulvi Dr. Wahab Adam died on June 22, at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, leaving behind a wife and seven children.

His burial has been fixed for Wednesday June 25, at Ahmadiyya Cemetery at Kasoa in the Central Region, after pre-burial ceremony at the Forecourt of the State House in Accra.

Maulvi Dr Wahab Adam was born in December, 1944, at Brofeyedur – Adansi in the Ashanti Region. He attended T.I. Ahmadiyya Secondary School, Kumasi and to Ahmadiyya Muslim Seminary and Ahmadiyya Theological University, in Pakistan.

Over there, Maulvi was seen most in white shirts and pair of white sandals, during his lifetime, signifying peace.

He received a Diploma in Arabic and Honours Degree in Theology and Islamic Jurisprudence in 1960.

After serving as the Brong-Ahafo Regional Missionary of Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission from 1960 – 1969, he became the Principal of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Missionary Training College at Saltpond. In 1971, he was appointed to the high office of the Deputy Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission of the United Kingdom.

He was subsequently promoted to the position of Ameer (Head) and Missionary-in-Charge of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission in Ghana.

He supervised the affairs of the Mission with distinction since 1975, was active in the establishment of the Halal Committee that advocated the national holidays for Muslim festivities.

The Member of Parliament for Wa East Hon. Ameenu Salifu, delivering a statement in the memory of the late Dr Adam, commended the efforts of the great leader in ensuring development in all the areas he served steered and was very instrumental in the establishment of the Halal Committee that advocated the national holidays for Muslim festivities.

Second Deputy Minority Chief Whip Mr. Ignatius Baafour Awuah, noted that the humility with which he conducted himself endeared many people to him and also saw to the development of parts of Berekum where he served previously.

MP for Nadowli-Kaleo Hon. Alban Kingsford Bagbin, said: “We eulogise and celebrate the life of one of our illustrious sons, who has transited into internal glory,” adding that the late Maulvi had an aura of being genteel, soft-spoken and was a very inspirational leader.

Minority Leader Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensa- Bonsu, said: “The entire nation has lost a great man,” describing him as an epitome of humility, simplicity and peace.”

The House observed a minute-silence in memory of the late Mauvi, after which Mr. Edward Doe Adjaho, Speaker declared:” Surely, we’re from Allah, and to him we will return.”