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Govt must think outside the box – Ben Ayeh

Member of Parliament for Upper Denkyira West, Benjamin Kofi Ayeh has charged government to think outside the box and come out with practical solutions that will ameliorate the hardships of Ghanaians under the current harsh economic conditions.

According to him, the Mahama led administration has continued to do things the same way yielding no positive outcomes to lessen the plights of Ghanaians, adding that an innovative government would have done things right to improve the living conditions of its people.

The MP who was contributing to a discussion about the unrest on the labour front in recent weeks on Oman FMs “National Agenda” show on Tuesday said government has itself to blame for the many demonstrations and strikes that has hit the country due to its abysmal level of governance.

Organized labour at a news conference on Friday July 18, declared a nationwide strike indicating its intentions to hit the streets on Thursday July 24, to protest against the worsening economic conditions in the country.

The Industrial and Commercial Worker Union (ICU) on Monday demonstrated over hard economic conditions, Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG) has been on strike for nearly two months over unpaid book and research allowance and several other professional bodies have threatened to go on strike over harsh economic conditions.

Hon. Benjamin Kofi Ayeh blamed the government for mismanagement of the economy that has had a rippling effect on the finances of many Ghanaians, causing a large number of the population to complain about economic hardship.

He re -emphsized the urgent need for government to introduce pragmatic measures and policies that will immediatey turn the economy around to alleviate the economic woes of Ghanaians.


Opam-Brown expends GHS 35,000 to rehabilitate two dams

The Sherigo dam, a local dam within the Bolga municipality has recently been rehabilitated by the Member of Parliament for Bolga Central, Hon. Akolbire Opam-Brown Emmanuel to assist boost agric activities for the people.

For a long while until now the capacity of the dam to generate the flow of water dropped because it lacked maintenance which left inhabitants faced serious challenges with water.

But in a latest interaction with ghanamps.gov.gh, the Bolga Central legislator hinted that he had successfully completed rehabilitation works on the dam facility, which is currently in use by locals in the surrounding areas.

The Dapore Tindongo dam, another dam in the constituency which was also identified with the same ill-condition has been rehabilitated by the MP to improve water situation in the area.

“An amount of GHS 35,000 was expended to accomplish rehabilitation of the two dams”, the MP disclosed.

It is believed that the recovery of the water situation from these dams would help alleviate the plight of people in accessing water around the dam location.

Local dams in the communities are widely significant and optimized primarily on the basis of agric development, and to remain as alternative water resources for varied activities by people living around it.

Jonathan Jeffrey Adjei/Ghanamps.gov.gh

Naa Toshie unhappy with Adjei Kojo demolition report

Ms Irene Naa Torshie Addo, Member of Parliament (MP) for Tema West Constituency, has expressed displeasure at certain aspects of the report on the Adjei Kojo demolition exercise which was presented to Parliament last week.

She said she was at a loss as to why the report attempted to exonerate the Tema Development Authority (TDC), which carried out the exercise in conjunction with the National Security Council last February.

The legislator said she would petition the Speaker of Parliament again, petition President John Mahama, or go to court.

Ms Addo stated her unhappiness at the report in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra.

She had just participated in a workshop organised by the Parliamentary Select Committee on Gender and Children at Dodowa at the week-end for members to enhance their collaboration with civil society organisations in the pursuit of issues affecting vulnerable people in the Ghanaian society.

Ms Addo said: “I need to discuss the matter with my people. The options available are to re-petition Parliament, the President or go to court.

“How can you pull down someone’s property without notice? I’m only cautioning against the consequences of not properly addressing the issue and give justice where it is due.”

She said the number of houses demolished was the most important issue which was not properly addressed.

Ms Addo said over 400 houses were pulled down but the report was silent on the number of houses affected.

“The fact that the TDC collaborated with the National Security to conceal this information was dishonest and depicts their guilt,” she said, adding that the TDC cleared up the debris to create the impression that not many houses were pulled down.

Quoting Order 43 Rule 3 of the High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2004 (CI 47), titled “Enforcement of Judgment for Possession of Immovable Property,” Ms Addo said subject to these rules, a judgment or order for the recovery of possession of immovable property may be enforced by a writ of possession.

“So it is clear that without a writ of possession, a person cannot enforce any judgment or order for possession even if the judgment says that you are entitled to possession,” she said.

She added that Order 43 rule 3(2) then says that you need leave of the court to recover possession, and further provides that “a writ of possession to enforce a judgment or order for the recovery or possession of immovable property shall not be issued without leave of the court, except where the judgment or order was given or made in a mortgage action to which Order 56 applies.”

Ms Addo said the key provision is Order 43 Rule 3(3), which says that the Court shall not grant leave unless every person in possession of the land has received notice of the application for leave to recover possession of the land and has appeared before the Court.

She said the rule provided that “the leave shall not be granted unless it is shown that every person in actual possession of the whole or any part of the immovable property has received such notice of the proceedings as appears to the Court sufficient to enable the person to apply to the Court for any relief to which the person may be entitled.”

Ms Addo, therefore, asked the TDC which court granted an order for the demolition, and if there was any, to provide evidence.

Ms Addo, also the First Deputy Minority Chief Whip, said she found it difficult to understand why only two members of the Select Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs were appointed to the Special Committee to investigate the demolition exercise.

She first presented a statement to the House on February 11, this year, after which the Speaker constituted a special committee to investigate the issues raised in the statement.

The Speaker directed the committee to be composed of the entire membership of the Committee on Works and Housing, the Chairman and the Ranking Member of the Committee on Constitutional Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, the Chairman and the Ranking Member of the Committee on Lands and Forestry, and the MP for Prampram, and former Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Mr E.T. Mensah.

According to the report, the Committee was mandated to investigate the legitimacy of TDC’s claim to the demolished site, whether the demolition was justified, whether due process was followed and any other matter thereto, and make recommendations.

However, Ms Addo said one of the members of the Legal, Constitutional and Parliamentary Committee appointed to investigate was not regular at the meetings of the Committee, adding that the absence of more legal brains on the committee affected the contents of the report.

What was more, some members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Works and Housing were familiar faces at the TDC, and that might have compromised the report.

She complained that the people affected by the exercise were not given legal representation during the interactions with the investigating team, and asked how laymen could defend themselves well when professional lawyers from TDC put them under cross-examination during their meetings, and this, she said, might have compromised the report.

She also did not understand why the Committee relied on the Public Lands Protection Act1974, (NRCD 240), rather than applying the current legislation on demolition that applies to Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi and other areas.

“This law, which the Committee relied on, is the wrong law in respect of demolitions in the Greater Accra Region,” Ms Addo said, adding “the report and recommendation is therefore wrong.”

She said the Committee admitted that the TDC had slept on their rights for over 10 years, thereby, allowing people to build on the land.

“That is enough guilt and they should bear the consequence of their actions and not be exonerated,” she said.

Ms Addo regretted that the TDC did not put up publications for the demolition which it said it did, and challenged the Corporation to produce evidence.

She appealed to more civil society groups to seek justice for the affected property owners.


Amasaman MP accuses NPP of masterminding Manhean demo

The Member of Parliament for Amasaman, Emmanuel Nii Okai Laryea is accusing the New Patriotic Party executives in his constituency of orchestrating Monday’s demonstration at Manhean.

Some residents in the constituency demonstrated on Monday to protest the deplorable state of roads and drainage in the area.

But according to Emmanuel Nii Okai Laryea, his investigation indicates that leadership of the NPP in his Constituency planned the demonstration.

“Sometimes we seem to tow partisan and political lines and it affects us; we have had security information that NPP constituency executive within the Amasaman constituency are the ones who were behind the demonstration,’’ he said.

The MP further revealed that “there is a recording to that effect, we will make it available to all of you so that you play it for all to judge’’.

He noted that there is no need to deepen partisanship in modern day Ghana.

The Amasaman Legislator however, is asking his constituents to be patient since the assembly has devoted enough money to construct the roads and the drainage system in the area.

“The assembly has set aside so much money, purposely for that road; it is only fair that you exercise patience and restrain for them to come and work on it as soon as the rainy season is over,’’ he added.

He also rejected claims by the demonstrators that he does not visit the constituency and is out of touch with the people.


Obuasi West MP accuses Rlg of unlawful tax concession

The Member of Parliament for Obuasi West Kwaku Kwarteng has demanded an investigation into how IT company Rlg was granted manufacturing tax concession when the company is into assembling of electronic devices.

According to the MP, though Rlg wrote to the Ghana Revenue authority requesting for tax exemption for manufacturing, a survey conducted by the Customs division of the GRA revealed RLG is an assembling company.

“The question is on what basis was this concession given? As far as I am concerned they are enjoying this facility and it is illegal”, the MP told Joy News.

The PricewaterhouseCoopers’ 3rd Most Respected Company in Ghana started in 2001 as mobile phone repair outlet and grew to become a pioneer indigenous ICT company listed in Ghana’s Club 100.

Kwaku Kwarteng has alleged some government officials influenced by private businesses are into this practice to siphon money by granting tax exemption to unqualified companies.

The Obuasi MP has asked the President and the Minister of Finance to intervene and get the company to “pay all import duties they are supposed to pay and satisfy all tax liabilities”.

The Member of Parliament and Executive Director of Development Data, a policy search organisation is carving a reputation for picking up on business and government institutions who are believed to engage in wrongdoing.

Last year, he sued the petroleum sector regulator, National Petroleum Authority (NPA) over illegal fees hidden in the price build-up of fuel.

He won judgment after the court ordered the NPA to abolish the illegal ex-refinery differentials.


Juaboso MP outraged by attack on 156 dollar loan facility

The Member of Parliament for Juaboso, Kwabena Minta Akandoh has called on politicians to present the truth and not half truths when it comes to issues of national development.

The Juaboso MP who described as mischievous and unfortunate the attack on government for the intended sanitary pads meant to improve the health of student girls and ensure they stay in school as unfortunate and drawback to development.

He said he could not understand how the sanitary pad that is only one item out of 11 that falls under scholarship and constitute less than one percent of the total 156million dollars loan secured by government from the World Bank to improve secondary school education in the country. He said though criticisms are good some of the comments are in bad taste and are intended to thwart efforts of government in the distributions of the free sanitary pads. In any case, he said, the intervention is based on scientific research conducted by renowned organizations and have been tried in countries like Kenya.

According to him, there are other equally important issues that the money would be used for which are not being mentioned including building of 23 new second cycle schools, upgrading of about 75 existing SHS across the country, expansion of 50 second cycle schools among others.

What is more worrying the MP said was the fact that the new schools would come with complete facilities including 24 classroom blocks, teachers and headmasters bungalows, science resource centers , assembly hall among others.

“These facts are all available to them so I don’t know why they have chosen to make the supply of sanitary pads the focus making it look like government will be using the entire amount on that”, he added.


Kwesi Fante – Dome feeder road to be repaired in 2015 – Road Min.

The Ministry of Roads and Highways is awaiting the signing of a subsidiary agreement for the commencement of works on the Ekyi Amanfrom-Dedeso-Donkorkrom which is an inter-district road.

The road which links the Afram Plains South and Afram Plains North Districts has been awarded in phases for Bituminous surfacing to nine contractors under the Eastern Corridor Multi-Modal Transport Project which are to be funded under the China Development Bank (CDB) loan.

This came to light after the Member of Parliament for Afram Plains South, Joseph Appiah Boateng asked a question in Parliament asking of what plans the Ministry has to rehabilitate the road from Kwesi Fante to Dome and the main road from Ekyi Amanfrom to Donkorkrom.

The Deputy Minister Hon. Isaac Adjei-Mensah in answering the question noted that the Kwesi Fante –Dome feeder road is 19.30km and is graveled road in fair to poor conditions.

He disclosed that the Kwesi Fante –Dome feeder road has been programmed for routine maintenance works this year, adding that the contract will commence after the rains.

Hon. Isaac Adjei-Mensah stated that engineering studies will be carried out this year to determine the appropriate intervention, based on the outcome of the studies; work will be programmed for 2015.


Basoah secures funds to complete Akrokyere JHS

The Member of Parliament for Kumawu Constituency, Hon. Philip Basuwa has secured funds for the completion of Akrokyere JHS which has been abandoned for a very long time.

Eight communities that have also benefited from this project include Dediese, Salvation DA, Wonoo, Kumawu Apostolic, Akrofonsu, Ananagya and Woraso. They have also received laps tops to enhance in ICT training.

The Member of Parliament who made this known in an interview with GhanaMPs.gov.gh further added that, the project is specifically aimed at giving the students adequate facilities to improve their quality of education.

The amount involved in the completion of the school project was GHs 8,000.

Hon. Philip Basuwa further disclosed that efforts were far advanced for more deprived communities to get classroom blocks and lap tops that can make learning easier for them, adding that the project is expected to be completed within thirty days.

In another development, the MP said measures has been put in place for the educational fund and as such an amount of GHs 4,000 has been given to the Sekyere educational fund and also provided Kumawu District Education Office with a computer worth GHs 1,700.

Irene Kwakye/GhanaMPs.gov.gh

MPs to embark on health walk on Saturday

The 275 Members of Parliament as well as staffs of Parliament will on Saturday, July 19 throng the Parliament House to embark on a health walk exercise with the view of improving on their health status.

Barely two months after the resumption of Parliament, the House is expected to go on recess again starting today Friday, July 18 and resume in October this year.

The exercise is all that the MPs need now especially to ease stress after several weeks of doing their possible best to discharge their duties as Legislators of the countries Law making arm of government.

The exercise which will be led by the Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Edward Doe Adjaho will begin from the forecourt of the House of Parliament.

Some Ghanaians in Accra would also have the opportunity to see the Legislators who would walk through some principal streets in Accra.


Bagbin takes over as Majority Leader

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Nadowli Kaleo, Alban Bagbin has been confirmed Majority Leader.

He takes over from Benjamin Kunbuor who has been reassigned as Minister of Defence.

Deputy Majority Leader Alfred Agbesie announced the confirmation to Joy News, Thursday.

Agbesie denied reports oft intense lobbying for the position of the Majority Leader.

There reports of a meeting between the leadership of NDC led by the party’s General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia and the Majority Caucus in Parliament all in a bid to find a replacement for Kunbuor.

Agbesie said contrary to the reports, the only person suggested for the position of a Majority Leader was Alban Bagbin.

The former Works and Housing Minister is deemed to be the appropriate person having served in a similar capacity for several years.

Mr. Bagbin, obviously one of the longest serving and most experienced members of the House, is not new to the position of Majority Leader.

He led the Majority from 2009 to 2010 when then President John Atta Mills appointed him Minister for Water Resources Works and Housing.

Before his party won the 2008 elections and obtained Majority seats in Parliament, Mr. Bagbin had been the Minority leader since 2005.