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Asante Akim North MP supports institutions

A number of institutions in the Asante Akim North Constituency in the Ashanti Region have received supports from the Member of Parliament for the area, Kwadwo Agyemang Baah.

It is the MP’s way of ensuring a congenial working environment for the institutions to be able to offer the best services to the constituents. According to the MP, the items were requested for by the people when he toured their offices and decided to honour their request since government could not adequately resource them since it is a newly created district.

In all six institutions in the constituency including Agogo Police Service, National Service Secretariat, Ghana Education Service, Agogo Magistrate Court, and Owerriman Senior High School received sets of computers while Agogo Hospital was presented with 45” Flat screen TV with Multi TV decoder.

The MP urged the institutions to continue to give off their best to the public as a service to the nation adding that he will also continue to support them in his small way as and when funds are available.

Dominic Shirimori/Ghanamps.gov.gh

DCE commends Asikuma MP for polyclini, electrification projects

District Chief Executive for Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa, Samuel Adom Botchway has commended the Member of Parliament for the area, Georgina Nkrumah Aboah for the significant role she is playing in bringing development to the Asikuma-Odoben Brakwa District.

According to him, she has managed to secure some important projects to the districts. These projects including polyclinic, street lighting projects for major towns, as well as rural electrification expansion projects to a number of communities have been the wish of the people for a long time.

Speaking at the second ordinary meeting of the fourth session of the 6th assembly, Madam Nkrumah said government as part of its programme to increase health facilities in the country to improve health accessibility has allocated one polyclinic for the Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa District. Construction of the clinic to be sited at Gyamra will soon commence and when completed will ease pressure on the Lady of Grace Hospital which currently serve the larger population.

Touching on cholera and ebola virus, the MP reminded the assembly members to compliment government’s effort in sensitizing their people about the ebola, urging them to minimize handshaking and other bodily contacts and wash their hands regularly and effectively.

On cholera, the MP said the Central Region has already recorded few cases with some deaths and called on residents to keep their environments clean and avoid the disease spreading to the district.

She indicated that cholera only thrives in unkempt environments hence the opposite should be adopted to keep the disease away.
Dominic Shirimori/Ghanamps.gov.gh

MP accuses BoG of manipulating foreign exchange data

The Member of Parliament for Obuasi West and a member of Parliament’s Finance Committee is accusing the Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) of manipulating the interbank foreign exchange rates.

Kwaku Kwarteng described the act as illegal, saying it “deviates drastically from the official rates quoted by Ghanaian banks and rates prevailing in the Ghanaian currency market.”

Mr. Kwarteng’s accusations were contained in a letter addressed to the governor of the Bank of Ghana, Kofi Wampah.

The letter also said “Governor, the interbank foreign exchange rates the Bank of Ghana is currently publishing are not just irregular, they are also illegal. The conduct of the Bank of Ghana constitutes ‘Multiple Currency Practice.”

Mr. Kwarteng is not the only member of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) who has accused the BoG of publishing what he described in his letter as irregular data.

The 2012 vice presidential candidate of the NPP. Dr. Mahamadu Bawumiah last month accused the BoG and the Ghana Statiscal Service (GSS) of “cooking up” the foreign exchange and inflation data.

In a statement, Dr. Bawumia said: “A simple look at the the interbank market exchange rates indicates that the cedi has not only been depreciating daily, but is currently trading between GHC3.7 and GHC 4.1 per dollar with an average of some GHC3.8 per US dollar.”

According to him, “the large spread between the Bank of Ghana exchange rate and the interbank exchange rate indicates that the Bank of Ghana rate is being administratively set and not market driven.”


I cringe whenever govt hints of setting up a new fund – Hon.Quartey

Member of Parliament for Ayawaso Central, Hon. Henry Quartey has said he gets frightened whenever he hears government expressing its intention to establish a new fund, as that has become an avenue for siphoning state funds.

According to him, the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) government has failed to prudently manage funds that have been set up ever since it assumed power and that it will be waste of public resources to set up a new fund.

Government has scrapped the book and research allowance for lecturers of tertiary institutions. This follows the authorization of the Controller and Accountant General to open an account and transfer an amount of GH¢3,750,000.00 into the Research and Innovation Facility.

The new fund replaces the book and research allowances normally paid to lecturers in the country and it is to encourage more research work in tertiary institutions; whilst realizing its full benefits.

Hon. Henry Quartey made the comments while contributing to a discussion on Peace FM’ Kokrokoo show Thursday in relation to the calling off of the strike action by the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) after they reached an agreement with government on Wednesday.

The strike was in protest of non-payment of market premium arrears and book allowances government owed them.

He said his skepticism about the Research Fund stems from the poor manner in which funds like the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GET Fund) and the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) have been inefficiently managed, adding that “ this Research Fund is just for chop chop”.


Anyone who withdraws from NPP Flagbearer contest is a ”Coward” – Titus

Member of Parliament for Tema East Constituency, Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus Glover has said he will be traumatized if aside Joe Ghartey, the three [3] aspirants left to battle for the party’s presidential slot quit for Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Many within the NPP fraternity are of the view that it would make more sense if the NPP saves its resources now and use it to campaign vigorously to topple President John Mahama in 2016.

These NPP frontrunners argue that with the party in opposition now, it does not have much resource to campaign. As such, it will not be necessary for the NPP to use its low-cut resources to organise another congress in search of a flagbearer while the majority favored the party’s two-time presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo.

However, after Joe Ghartey’s withdrawal, many have called on the three who qualified alongside Nana Addo to step-down ahead of the party’s October 18, National Delegates’ Congress.

But speaking on Madina-based OMAN FM, Hon. Titus Glover insists that, forcing contenders [Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, Addai Nimo and Osei Ameyaw] to step aside is constitutionally wrong.

According to him, if any of the three are persuaded to bow out of the competition, then they are “chickens”.

“The NPP must work in a more civil and united way. We should not force anyone to quit the flagbearership contest. If any of them [Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, Addai Nimo and Osei Ameyaw] quit, then that person is a coward. They have began well so they should finish the race,” he said.

Adding that, “Nana Addo himself is ever ready for completion and believes in democracy”.


Violence looms in 2016 elections unless….- Ursula

The Member of Parliament (MP) for the Ablekuma West constituency, Ursula Owusu, has warned of possible violence in the 2016 elections if the electoral reforms are not implemented.

Last Friday, the country marked a year since the Supreme Court’s verdict declaring John Dramani Mahama as the legitimate winner of the 2012 presidential election.

The Supreme Court in the ruling made recommendations for electoral reforms and hoped that the Electoral Commission would implement them and help eliminate some of the flaws in Ghana’s electoral system as exposed during the election petition case.

Madam Owusu, however, believes that the issues from the previous general elections that were exposed during the hearing have not been resolved by the EC.

“The EC’s conduct during the petition itself demonstrated that even with the foreign registrations they conducted themselves, there were issues. They have gone ahead without dealing with the flashpoints in 2012 and have done this limited registration,” she stated.

Madam Owusu told Citi News that she believes the register needs to be audited as there is “a risk of having figures that nobody will have confidence in without a credible register.”

She added that the inability of the Electoral Commission to “fix the fundamentals of our electoral system,” could lead to “violence in subsequent elections.”


Abuga Pele urges delegates to bury differences

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Chaina-Paga Constituency Mr Abuga Pele has appealed to all National Democratic Congress (NDC) party delegates in the region to bury their differences and forge ahead to enable the party to retain power in 2016.

The MP, who gave the advice at the just ended constituency election organised at Chaina, in the Kassena Nankana District of the Upper East Region, told the party delegates that failure to unite would affect the party’s performance in the forthcoming Parliamentary and Presidential elections.

He said as part of measures to help avert the catastrophe, he had mapped out a strategy to bring all the delegates, particularly the aggrieved ones, together to iron out their differences and to work together.

“The Party is bigger than any individual and we should not allow our individual differences to supersede the interest of the party, which has a common goal of retaining power come 2016”, he told the delegates.

Mr James Kojo Kupanamo, who retained his seat as the Constituency Organiser, thanked the delegates for the confidence reposed on him.

He said he would bring everybody on board including the losers to draw up an effective campaign strategy to win new members into the party for more votes in the 2016 elections.

He assured that all the structures in the constituency, as well as the polling stations, which formed the base of winning elections, would be given the capacity to bring good results for the party.

Other executives who won positions in the election include, Mr. Donald Tuumyeridam, Propaganda Secretary, Mr Zotipellba Akobulugu, Deputy Propaganda Secretary, Mr Solomon Abakare, Constituency Organiser, Mr Moses Asera, Treasurer, Mr Solomon Tariti, Deputy Treasurer and Ms Ayamga Martha, Women’s Organizer.

The rest are Ms Gladys Ayega, Deputy Women Organiser, Mr. Tijamba Samson, Youth Organiser and Mr Ayamdor Timothy, Deputy Youth Organiser.

They were sworn into office by the Regional Secretary of the Party, Mr Donatus Akamugre.


Gov’t to pay POTAG’s August salaries – Ablakwa

A Deputy Minister in charge of Tertiary Institutions, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has assured polytechnic teachers that government will soon pay their August salaries that were frozen as a result of their earlier strike.

The Polytechnic Teachers Association (POTAG) declared a strike on May 15 to protest government’s decision to scrap the Book and  Research Allowance.

The Association however called off its three month long strike after a series of negotiations with government.

Government after paying the May, June, July  salaries of the striking teachers, decided to freeze their August salaries for no work done. On Tuesday the teachers threatened another strike if government does not release their salaries.

But speaking to Citi News, Mr Okudzeto urged the teachers to be calm saying “We believe that the August salaries will be paid. What we’ve called for is patience because it takes time to process these payments. From what we are gathering from the Controller and Accountant General’s Department the August Salaries will be paid so they just have to exercise patience with the Controller so that these salaries are processed.”

POTAG threatened to strike again if government refuses to pay them their August salaries but the minister urged POTAG not to disrupt the academic calendar since issues surrounding their August salaries will be resolved soon.

“Government is guided at all times by the fact that we need to ensure normalcy, that the academic calendar should not be disrupted and that all times let us create a very peaceful atmosphere so that teaching and learning can go on on our campuses. That is what really guided our actions and decision,” he said.


Osei-Ameyaw shows gratitude to delegates

Mr Kofi Osei Ameyaw, presidential hopeful of New Patriotic Party (NPP) has thanked the delegates who ensured that he remained in the race for the next round of the contest.

Mr Ameyaw, who is the Member of Parliament for Asuogyaman in the Eastern Region was the fifth contender in the Super Delegates Congress of the NPP held on Sunday, to whittle down the number of aspirants from seven to five as the constitution of the party demands.

The legislator in a statement issued in Accra on Tuesday told the delegates that “You kept your word to ensure that I, Kofi Osei-Ameyaw, would be among the five shortlisted”.

“You the delegates assured me that those who had shown leadership and have worked very hard to build the party and its structures would be rewarded.

“I sincerely thank you for acknowledging my contribution by ensuring that I remained in the race for the next round of the contest in October. Your endorsement is well appreciated,” he said.

The lawmaker also commended the party leadership for ensuring a successful congress, and hailed the other contestants for their comportment and for their avowed commitment to upholding the values of our party.

He said: “We have completed the first journey by God’s grace and just as we started, it is my prayer that the good God directs and guides us to our next destination. I also pray that God gives us strength as we prepare for the October showdown.”

Mr Ameyaw urged members of the party to walk in unison to enable the NPP realise its aim of wresting power from the National Democratic Congress.

“With this journey, unity should be our hallmark. I would therefore entreat all of us to close our ranks and unite to ensure that the party pulls a resounding victory in the 2016 polls.

“From all indications, Ghanaians are yearning for an NPP comeback and we must stay focused and united to get their mandate.

“We cannot afford division in our front – we must stand firm and resolute in our pursuit for power. The people of Ghana must not be denied their will a third time.”

Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo, two-time presidential candidate of the party topped the contest, garnering more than 80 per cent of the votes cast. Alan Kojo Kyeremanteng, Francis Adai Nimo, Joe Ghartey, and Kofi Osei-Ameyaw also made it through the votes.

Mr Stephen Asamoah Boateng and Dr Kondau Apraku dropped from the race. Mr Joe Ghartey, who is the current second-Deputy Speaker of Parliament has decided not to continue the race.

Minority kicks against fuel price hedging

The Minority in Parliament has kicked against government’s decision to hedge fuel prices in the country.

Government decided to introduce a quarterly hedging as a way of avoiding the huge debts accumulating from subsidizing petroleum products.

Per the hedging arrangement, the price of crude oil will be pegged at a particular figure over a period of time and, thus any price fluctuation during the period of the hedging would not be transferred onto the consumer.

The hedging is aimed at cushioning Ghanaians against the fuel price hikes.

Meanwhile, speaking on the Eye Witness News on Tuesday, K.T Hammond, the Ranking Member of the Energy Committee of Parliament described the move as a hopeless situation.

He indicated that the problem has to do with the weakening Cedi and not prices on the international market.

“It will not benefit us. International crude prices have not gone up since last year. It has nothing to do with international market prices; it is due to the depreciation of the Cedi. What they need to hedge against is further depreciation of the Cedi. That has got nothing to do with petroleum prices” he insisted.

KT Hammond who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Adansi Fomena said the government had introduced such hedging strategy before but did not produce significant results.

“This is not the first time such facility has been put in place. It was been put in place some four or three years ago. It run through before the last election and I’m sure it had continued until recently. The point is this, at the time when this facility was ongoing we were paying increased petroleum prices. What was the point in the first one, if it did not benefit us. What is the sense in now putting another one in place, at a time when petroleum prices are coming down,” he said.

By: Godwin Allotey Akweiteh