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2015 Budget holds great prospects- ‘sharia MP’


The Member of Parliament for Daboya/Mankarigu constituency, Baani Abudu Nelson says the 2015 Budget and Economic Policy will be a springboard to Ghana’s economic prosperity.

According to him, “the comprehensive strategies and economic programmes captured in the Budget, would help pace up the development agenda”.

He added: “the Budget had prospects and a bright future”, and Ghanaians must help to effectively implement it.

Mr. Abudu Nelson who is also a tax expert, commended government for removing duties on the importation of mobile phones, VAT on locally produced pharmaceuticals and inputs for publishing books. He noted that such measures will help open up local industries and help tilt the country gradually into an export-driven economy.

He also estimated that all things being equal, the Energy sector will see a massive turn around as he touted several projects identified in the 2015 Budget statement.

For him, the one unit (110MW) of the Kpone Thermal Power Plant expected to commence by end of year with commercial operations for the entire 220MW starting by first quarter 2015, as well as an additional 770MW from thermal sources and 33.5MW from renewable energy sources to be installed amongst other intensive projects were all structured plans to prove results with, in the energy sector.

He said the projected growth in the Industry sector is possible through the key projects to be covered by government in the energy and petroleum sector.

According to him, government’s commitment is critically “even across-board in all the sectors in respect of the policies and programmes which had been forecasted in the budget.

However, he advised Ghanaians to exercise restraint with the new 17.5 % tax introduced by government on petroleum products.

The MP stressed that the NDC government under the watch of President John Dramani Mahama had a sterling record of social responsibility, hence was optimistic that the government will cushion citizens with safety policies to mitigate any economic hardship.

Jonathan Adjei/Ghanamps.gov.gh

CHRAJ boss’ announcement ‘shameful’ – Annoh-Dompreh

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Nsawam-Adoagyiri, Frank Annoh-Dompreh has described as shameful, the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) boss’ announcement that she has finally moved into her official residence after months of lodging at a hotel.

“Did we have to put pressure on her to move? It’s shameful that she should even be bold enough to declare that she moved after the second publication of the Daily Graphic,” he remarked.

CHRAJ boss accused of wasting $180,000 on rent
Lauretta Vivian Lamptey on Friday told Citi News, she had moved out of the hotel she was lodging with her family into her official residence.

This announcement came after the Daily Graphic reported that the CHRAJ boss was still lodging at the hotel three months after news of her rent expenditure which caused public outrage.

Reacting to Ms Lamptey’s announcement, Annoh-Dompreh, who was the first petitioner demanding her impeachment stressed that it is “detestable for her to announce and it’s not something that we should be proud of that upon persistent pressure, she decided begrudgingly to move to an official residence. It is not good enough.”

The second petitioner in the case; the Progressive Nationalist Forum (PNF) is demanding that Ms Lamptey must be made to pay the extra cost she incurred while lodging at the hotel.

The group questioned why she still lodged at the hotel when renovation works on her official residence was completed.

The Convener of the PNF, Richard Nyamah told Citi News, he has credible information suggesting that the official residence had been completed over a month ago.

“Her house had been ready for over a month now so why has it taken her an extra month to move in?” he asked.

Nyamah remarked that it is mind “boggling but beyond that, she’s cost us GHC 161,000 and I am told that the monies have actually been paid from the Ministry of Finances account.”

According to him, the nation in its current financial crisis cannot afford to settle the hotel bills from the public coffers “so I would ask the Minister of Finance to at least offset it with the period that the house was ready for her to move but continued to stay in the hotel.”

“So at least, for the last one month, the money should be deducted and then she will pay it. Already, we’ve spent huge sums of money on her already,” he added.


MPs are united in cocaine fight- Nitiwul


The MP who carried a bag of rice to Parliament in the wake of the recent cocaine scandal says the House is united in solving the drug menace which appears to have engulfed the country.

Dominic Nitiwul says the MPs are united in their duty to clean the drug mess in Ghana.

The Bimbilla MP courted a lot of controversy in Parliament when he carried a 12 kg bag of rice on the floor to demonstrate how impossible he thought it was for the arrested drug suspect to carry a 12.5kg of cocaine through Ghana’s Airport security without notice.

He said but for official facilitation, the suspects could not have breached airport security only to be arrested in the UK.

Nayele Ametefeh was arrested on November 10, 2014 for smuggling 12.5kg of cocaine from Ghana to the UK.

The arrest was just as dramatic as the reports of how she conspired with officials of Ghana’s Airport and Foreign Affairs to smuggle the substance out of the country.

She has since pleaded guilty in the UK but two of her accomplices who were later arrested in Ghana have pleaded not guilty.

Discussing the matter on Joy FM’s Ghana Connect programme, Dominic Nitiwul condemned any attempt to politicise the matter.

He said politicians have every right to ask legitimate questions about the circumstances under which the lady in question breached Ghana’s security but are not to tag one party or another as a cocaine party.

He said it is the duty of the government to make drugs unattractive as much as possible.

He said if there is any politicization about the recent bust, it is the gang-up official defence of government’s actions in the matter.

Arrest and prosecute Finance Minister;Asante Akim N MP urges…

Member of Parliament for Asante Akim North, Kwadwo Baah Agyemang is championing a crusade to get the Minister of Finance; Seth Terpker arrested and prosecuted for violating the constitution.

He said failure of government to remit workers contributions to the pensions fund as set under the Pensions Act is a criminal act which should not go unpunished.

Government has not transferred the deducted amount into the proper account since the beginning of 2014 till now, which is a clear contravention of the Pensions Act.

The Pensions Act stipulates that if an employer fails to transfer workers’ contributions within 14 days from the end of each month it would be liable to a 3% penalty.

Speaking on Asempa FM’s “Eko sii sen” Wednesday, Kwadwo Baah Agyemang maintained that public officials such as a minister must be the last person to ever think of flouting the constitution and that Hon. Seth Terkper must be treated like any other Ghanaian found to have offended the law.

He said the case of the arrest and prosecution of former CPP Presidential Candidate, George Aggudey who failed to pay SSNIT contributions of his workers is serving as a precedence and that the Finance Minister must be made to face the law.

Hon. Kwadwo Baah Agyemang who said that the future settlement of workers cannot be toyed with by the unfortunate deeds of the Finance Minister, urged the Attorney General to initiate criminal prosecution proceedings against Mr Terkper to demonstrate the government’s commitment to ensuring the welfare of workers.

Kwadwo Anim/Ghanamps.gov.gh

Minority calls for bipartisan cmttee to probe cocaine saga

The Minority in Parliament has called for the constitution of a bipartisan parliamentary committee to investigate the case of the arrest of Nayele Ametefe, a Ghanaian woman in the United Kingdom for trafficking cocaine.

According to the group, the inconsistent responses from key government operatives including the Ministers of Communications and Foreign Affairs call for the intervention of Parliament.

Nayele Ametefe Aka Ruby Adu Gyamfi, who exited Ghana using the VVIP lounge at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, was arrested by UK authorities at Heathrow two weeks ago for attempting to traffic 12.5 kg of cocaine.

Addressing the Press conference in Parliament on Wednesday, the Minority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu expressed surprise why the Narcotic Control Board (NACOB) has thus far maintained a stony silence and allowed the ministry responsible for information to misinform the country.

He further wondered how it became possible for the cocaine lady to use the VVIP lounge when it is now public knowledge that she does not qualify to use that facility, and also who aided her to traffic the drug out of Ghana.

“If the purpose of NACOB’s lie was to ride on the back of a credible partner to prevent any local inquisition into the Nayele Ametefeh cocaine scandal, then the question to ask is, whose bidding was NACOB doing? Was the Mahama government behind the NACOB’s deception?” Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu quizzed.

Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu added that going forward the Minority is recommending that the position of the Executive Secretary of NACOB which has since 2009 reverted to the hands of politicians instead of professionals and intelligence operatives must go back to the latter to enhance efficiency and curb patronizing attitude of officials.

Again, the Draft Bill to turn NACOB into a Commission prepared in 2008 which has not yet been submitted to Parliament in spite of assurances from the Presidency since 2009 must be presented to Parliament immediately.

Kwadwo Anim/Ghanamps.gov.gh

Remove CHRAJ Boss from hotel now – Annor Dompreh

Member of Parliament for Nsawam Adoagyiri constituency, Frank Annor Dompreh is asking government to immediately provide alternative accommodation for Madam Lauretta Lamptey, Commissioner for the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and end her stay at the plush hotel she is currently occupying.

The Daily Graphic newspaper reported that the under fire CHRAJ boss is still staying at hotel three months after her rent bills sparked a public outcry.

The newspaper also reported that over GHs160, 000 was spent between August and November on hotel bills alone.

Frank Annor Dompreh, one of the two petitioners who want the CHRAJ boss impeached in an interview with Citi News expressed surprise over government’s continuous waste of resources on Lauretta’s hotel bills when other economically viable means can be adopted to accommodate her.

He intimated that “I am surprised to hear that even as we speak the CHRAJ boss is still cruising and enjoying in the hotel and the bill would have to be borne by the Ghanaian taxpayer. That is the aspect that saddens my heart. I think that in that direction government has not behaved appropriately and its time they behave by taking that woman from that hotel as soon as possible.”

On his petition, Annor Dompreh said “as to whether investigations has stalled or not I think I want to respect her Ladyships office because she has communicated to me on this matter already and I can only wait until investigation is through.”


Cocaine saga: Minority threaten to reveal more

The Minority in Parliament will hold a press conference on Wednesday to address issues surrounding the cocaine scandal.

Nayele Ametefe was busted at the Heathrow Airport in London on November 10,  trying to transport about 12 kilograms of cocaine into the country.

Speaking on Eyewitness News, Deputy Minority Leader, Dominic Nitiwul said the press conference will enable them expose the mystery surrounding the scandal.

He said “…We are taking this matter from different angles. Let no body think that this matter is going to lie today especially the   expose by the forensic guys worsens the matter. That is the main reason why we are doing the press conference because it is giving us a different dimension on this whole stuff.”

According to him, “as a Minority, we’ve covered grounds in all aspects on this cocaine matter…we are going to demand through the speaker of Parliament [that] the minister comes to brief us when we have exposed all these things and other areas alike…This is just the beginning.”

Parliament was suspended on Tuesday following a heated debate among Members of Parliament (MPs) over the cocaine scandal.

The Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho was forced to suspend the sitting over an intense debate among MPs after Dominic Nitiwul brought into Parliament small bags of rice to make a point on the cocaine scandal.

Meanwhile, a former Chief of Staff under the Kufour Administration, Kojo Mpiani has advised that the issue should not be politicized.

“The drug menace is to be taken on a national basis, it’s a problem for the nation but if you want to push it on a government because it happened at the time somebody is in office then you lose sight of the whole problem and it’s a very serious problem,” he warned.


Bag of rice halts proceedings in Parliament.

Proceedings on the floor of Parliament had to be truncated for 10 minutes on Tuesday, November 25 when the Speaker, Rt Hon. Edward Doe Adjaho, upset about the “unparliamentary” action of the Deputy Minority Leader, Dominic Nitiwul called for the suspension.

The Member of Parliament for Bimbilla Constituency who had been called by the Speaker to contribute to the debate of the 2015 budget rather displayed a 12-kilogramme bag of rice on the floor, expressing shock how the security agencies at the VVIP Lounge of the Kotoka International Airport failed to detect cocaine of the same weight which was in a handbag.

He was ingeniously referring to the arrest of Nayele Ametefe at the Heathrow International Airport in London with 12.5kg of cocaine.

The arrest of the young lady and the mystery surrounding her ability to outwit the security agencies has made her arrest a topical issue being discussed on several media platforms for a fortnight.

Mr Nitiwul’s surprise action enraged the Majority Leader, Alban Bagbin, who accused the New Patriotic Party (NPP) of being infamous for trafficking drugs.

He said Ghanaians out there will bear witness that the NDC can never be said to have anything to do with illicit cocaine trafficking, while the NPP cannot extricate itself from the illegal trade.

These comments generated into a shouting battle with both sides of the House accusing each other of dabbling in cocaine.

The Speaker, who was displeased with happenings on the floor, called for a 10 minutes break and summoned the leadership of both sides to a meeting.

He returned with the leadership later with the two sides all apologizing for the unfortunate turn of events after which the debate on the 2015 budget continued.

Kwadwo Anim/Ghanamps.gov.gh

Gov’t has invested GHc5 billion in education – Ablakwa

A Deputy Minister for Education, Samuel Ablakwa has disclosed that government has over the years invested more than Ghs5 billion into the educational sector.

He explained that  “quality education is key in deriving optimal value from Ghana’s natural resources…This is why government is investing more than five billion cedis over the period with 30 per cent of the national budget dedicated to education.”

The Deputy Minister was speaking at the Government of the People Forum being organised by the Ministry of Communication to interact with citizens on development projects across the country.

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The Takoradi event, the seventh in the series, was under the theme: “People Matter, You Matter, Everybody Matters.”

Dr. Edward Omane Boamah, Minister of Communication, said the forum formed part of the transformational agenda of the NDC government to secure the nation a true middle income status.

Mr. Paul Evans Aidoo, the Regional Minister said government had undertaken massive infrastructural development since 2009 in the region alone.

He said some contracts have been awarded for the construction of six and three classroom blocks as well as two-unit Kindergarten G blocks.

The Minister also said a regional assessment centre for special education has been constructed and six community senior high schools across the region have also been built.

He said the government was committed to improving the road network within the area, especially the emergency asphaltic overlay of selected arterial roads- Agona-junction Elubo road and Asankragwa-Enchi road.

The Minister also revealed that six district health centres had been earmarked for upgrading into hospitals.

He said a total of 129 CHPS compound were being constructed across the Western Region, while about 918 rural electrification projects have been awarded on contract.

Source: GNA

Akrofuom MP prioritizes sanitation

Mr Kwabena Appiah-Pinkrah, Member of Parliament for Akrofuom, in the Ashanti Region, is poised to team up with the constituents to prioritize sanitation and environmental protection.

Full of commendation for the constituents for the success of earlier projects, the legislator, in an interview with Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra, was optimistic that the two current programmes, which he said, were very dear to his heart, would also be successful.

Mr Appiah-Pinkrah said he was leading a campaign against the Ebola disease and cholera, and has, therefore, initiated a public education programme within the constituency, in addition to improving the disposal of solid and liquid waste.

On Ebola, he said he had advised the constituents to minimize body contacts and handshakes, especially at funerals.

He said he was in discussions with the traditional authorities in the constituency, to consider making it a policy that funerals would be organized once a month, to reduce cost and travel time.

On the improvement of sanitation, the legislator, who is also a management development consultant and co-chair of the Ghana Parliamentarians against Hunger and Malnutrition, said a number of toilet facilities were either on-going or completed.

He cited, for instance, that two water closet toilet facilities had been completed at Akrofuom, and a KVIP at Amoakokrom, adding that other on-going KVIP projects are at Wamase, Sikaman and Kokoten.

“All these are being financed with the District Assemblies Common Fund, with support of local labour,” the MP said.

Mr. Appiah Pinkrah urged residents to be vigilant, and arrest anyone who defecates in the open for prosecution.

On environmental pollution, the MP advised small-scale mining operators to get the necessary certification.

He said the water bodies upstream were full of alluvial gold, and invited investors in small-scale mining, to play by the rules of the game, to reduce threats to the environment.