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We do not owe ECG GHc1m – Parliament

Parliament has denied media reports that it owes the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) over GHc 1 million being accumulated bills for 2013 and 2014.

The leadership of the House explained that the said amount is the debt owed by other public institutions whose offices are also situated in enclave of the State House.

These public institutions include the State Protocol and the Chieftaincy Ministry.

Media reports said that officials of the ECG stormed Parliament to disconnect their power supply due to the non-payment of bills for two years.

The Deputy Director of Public Affairs at Parliament, Kate Addo denied the reports, clarifying that the ECG officials were at the Parlaiment House to discuss how to separately bill the various agencies situated in the State House.

In an interview with Citi News, Kate Addo stressed that it is unfair for Parliament to be solely accused for owing ECG the over GHC 1 million.

She said: “The bill was not exclusively for Parliament. We have the banquet hall behind us, the State Protocol and the Chieftaincy Ministry and we even have the living quarters forming part of the original State House building so when a bill is brought like that, it encompasses all those buildings.”

She insisted that Parliament does not owe the ECG GHC 1 million “and if a bill is brought for two years, it means Parliament will owe something.”

The ECG is currently undertaking a disconnection exercise to retrieve all debts owed it.

Some institutions which had their power disconnected in the Ashanti Region included the Baba Yara Sports Stadium, the Kumasi campus of the University of Education, as well as the Kumasi Branch of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC).

The others are Oware Mines, Konongo-Odumasi Mines, Kumasi Polytechnic and the Kumasi Cultural Center.


IGP threatens to close down Nsaba Police Station


The Member of Parliament for Agona East, Mrs Queenster Pokuaa Sawyer, has presented three bundles of roofing sheets and 500 Ghana cedis to support the re-roofing of the town’s police station.

Nana Kofi Agyekum, Adontenhene of Nsaba Traditional Area, received the items and expressed the hope that with the donation the Inspector General of Police would rescind his threat to close down the station.

He said chiefs in the area received reports that the IGP had threatened to close down the station due to serious leakage whenever it rained.

The chief said the IGP was unhappy that some dockets and important documents at the Police Station had been soaked by the rains.

He said the chiefs took serious view of the situation and sent “Safe our Soul” (SOS) to the MP.

According to Nana Kofi Agyekum, the MP who is also Deputy Central Regional Minister, responded positively to their request and assured that she would not joke with security matters in the area.

He said the IGP’s intention was to transfer all personnel from the station to another station.

Nana Kofi Agyekum said the chiefs of Nsaba would do their best to rehabilitate the Police Station, adding that the chiefs had procured wooden boards to facilitate the re-roofing of the building.

He thanked the MP for the donation and appealed to banks, non-governmental organizations and other corporate bodies come to aid of the station.

Mr John Yeboah Mensah, the landlord, said the Police Administration owed him 50,000 Ghana cedis as rent from 2008 to 2014.

He said the building had not been painted since 1964 due to delay in the payment of rent.

He therefore appealed to the IGP to help pay the money to enable him to renovate the building.


Parliament imports more furniture from Italy


Just days after parliamentarians received heavy criticism for importing furniture from China to refurbish their chamber, it has emerged that Parliament is importing more from Italy for their offices.

Local furniture companies have criticized government for ignoring them to import what they describe as  “inferior” chairs and tables from China.

The speaker of Parliament,  Edward Doe Adjaho has revealed that “some Members of Leadership and MPs as well as Members of the Technical Team traveled to Italy to inspect and confirm various facilities and units of furniture.”

This was contained in his opening remarks when Parliament reconvened on Tuesday.

The Speaker of Parliament said six MPs traveled to inspect the furniture “prior to their being shipped to Ghana.”

The MPs are Hajia Mary Boforo (Deputy Majority Whip), Irene Naa – Torshie Addo (Deputy Minority Whip) and Emmanuel Bdzrah, MP for Ho West.

The rest are David Oppon Kusi, MP for Ofoase-Ayirebi Constituency, Kofi Safo-Duodu, and Ebenezer Dzietror.

Some Minority Members of Parliament have criticised the leadership of the House for ignoring President Mahama’s campaign to promote  made-in-Ghana goods.

Responding to the criticism, leadership of Parliament has explained that it imported furniture from China because it was impossible for a local company to produce the over 300 furniture pieces within a limited time.

The Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament, Alfred Kwame Agbesi stressed that Parliament in no way ignored the President’s admonishment to patronize made in Ghana products.

“We needed over 300 chairs and 300 tables before resuming sitting and now which furniture company in Ghana would have given us this quantity of furniture within this short time?” he asked.

Meanwhile  Trade and Industry Minister, Ekow Spio Gabrah on Thursday launched a  Made-in-Ghana Fair on Thursday  in Accra.


Bagbin shocked govt is fighting labour

The Majority Leader of Parliament, Alban Bagbin has chastised government over what he says is poor handling of the workers tier two pension scheme.

This is the first time a senior government official is criticizing government for failing to address the issue properly and getting labour to side with them.

12 labour unions have been at loggerheads with government over their tier two pension fund.

They accused government of failing to transfer their contributions into a privately managed account, hence embarking on a strike to compel government to expedite action on the issue.

Speaking at a lecture in Accra organized by the Center for Social Democracy Ghana on Wednesday, the Majority Leader said the recent collision of labour unions with government is an indication that the government has lost its social democratic principles.

He argued that if government could not effectively manage the grievances of the labour unions, “how can you control corruption?” insisting that “it is democracy in crisis.”

“How can workers be at loggerheads with a social democratic government? That is what you have in Ghana. The workers are usually the common people who are struggling to survive who are being exploited and social democratic governments should be in bed with work forces, is that the same in Ghana? No! Needless fights,” he lamented.

He added that “we have a lot to do in this country and I’m happy that you the youth have this unique opportunity to learn.  I did not get that.”


Bodi MP donates towards completion of school block

The Member of Parliament for Bodi, Hon Sampson Ahi has donated 10 packets of roofing sheets to the Afere community towards the completion of a classroom block initiated by the community.

The Afere Community initiated the construction of a 2-unit classroom block to help expand classroom facilities at the school to help decongest existing classrooms that are over populated. The expansion project is also aimed at providing room for more admissions to be made to the school to give more children opportunity to have formal education.

Presenting the packets of roofing sheets on behalf of the Member of Parliament at a short ceremony at Afere, District Chief Executive for the Bodi District, Solomon Fuachie commended the people for the self help project and encouraged them to keep up the good spirit so that their community can see faster development.

According to him, it is easier to get help when communities initiate projects than to fold their arms and be waiting for government to solve all problems confronting the community.

At the same ceremony, the DCE presented 10 packets of roofing sheets donated by the Member of Parliament of, Hon Sampson Ahi to support the completion of 2-Unit Classroom block initiated by the Afere community as an expansion of classroom facilities at the same school.

Receiving the items from the District Director of Education, Okyeame Kwaku Agyamah thanked especially the Hon Member of Parliament for his continual support for the community and hoped for further support from the Assembly and the Member of Parliament so that they can meet their developmental needs.

Dominic Shirimori/Ghanamps.gov.gh

Ayariga to feed parliament with world cup accounts in 2 weeks

Parliament has directed the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mahama Ayariga to feed Parliament within two weeks the cost involved in catering for the Black Stars in the 2014 World Cup held in June.

The first Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Ebo Barton Odro issued the directive after the minister failed to furnish the House with the details.

The Member of Parliament for Ablekuma North, Justice Joe Appiah had sought through a question on the floor to know the expenses incurred during the national team’s participation in the competition that Ghana performed abysmally and received lots of bad press.

However Hon Ayariga failed to give any figures with the explanation that a Presidential Commision is still in the process of probing Ghana’s involvement in the tournament and other related issues and that Parliament must allow the commission to complete its work before detailed accounts can be made public.

Sports Minister, Mahama Ayariga

His answer did not sit down well with some of the MPs especially the Minority caucus.

They claimed that the Sports Minister’s action seeks to undermine Parliament and indeed it’s an affront to the Legislature and must not be entertained.

Hon. Speaker after hearing the arguments on the floor asserted that the question being asked on the floor is legitimate hence directed the Minister to re-appear on the floor in a fortnight with detailed answers.

Kwadwo Anim/Ghanamps.gov.gh

Parliament’s refurbishment waste of money -Isaac Asiamah



Member of Parliament for Atwima-Mponua in the Ashanti region, Isaac Asiamah has expressed anger at the refurbishment of parliament, describing it as a “waste of the taxpayers’ money”.

According to him, the development smacks of some lack of priority on the part of the managers of the economy. Ghana’s law making chamber has been fully overhauled with new set of furniture and digital devices installed on each desk to promote paperless transactions among MPs.

But commenting on the development, the opposition lawmaker told Okay FM the renovation is needless. “Common Fund has not been paid, NHIS levies are still outstanding and several other statutory payments have not been made and we waste money to renovate parliament ?” he queried.

He added: “We only wanted the other 45 new MPs who joined us to feel comfortable in the house, we never intended that the taxpayers’ money should be wasted in the manner that has been made on the renovation of the chamber”.

He also expressed disgust that the furnishings were imported from China when local artisans, in his opinion, have the capacity to design and install them.

MP supports health facilities at Asesewa

Member of Parliament (MP) for the Upper-Manya Krobo constituency, Mr Jeff Tetteh-Kavianu, has supported the Asesewa Community Health Planning and Services (CHPS) Compound and the Asesewa Government Hospital with electricity and canteen respectively.
Whiles the CHPS compound has been fully connected to the national grid, the construction of the canteen at the hospital is yet to be completed to ensure patients have decent and nutritious food to eat
when they visit the facility.
The GNA Media Auditing and Tracking of Development project team being facilitated by STAR-Ghana learnt that, patients on admission at the district hospital had to rely on food either brought from home or
purchased from the market, a situation which was not the best for the health of the patients.
A staff at the hospital who spoke on condition of anonymity said, malnutrition is one of the major health challenges in the district and so the canteen would help to serve nutritious meals to patients.
Since the CHPS compound had no electricity, nurses had to send infant routine vaccines to their homes to be kept refrigerated.
The MP said he was moved by the plight of staff at the clinic who have to send vaccines sometimes to their private homes for storage for lack of power at the facility and the inability of the staff to work at night.
Mr Tetteh-Kavianu said the electrification project would be extended to other health facilities in the constituency.

I fear for my life – Nkwanta South MP


The Member of Parliament for the Nkwanta South Constituency, Gershon Kofi Bediako Gbediame, has expressed fears for his life following Monday’s gruesome killing of the Nkwanta South District Chief Executive (DCE).

The DCE, Peter Kojo Penyeso was shot at close range when he stepped out of his car at about 7.45pm Monday, by unknown assailants.

Security has been beefed up in the District while the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit of the Ghana Police Service has been deployed to area.

The Police Service has also launched immediate investigations into the incident.

Mr Gbediame expressed shock at the murder when he spoke to TV3 Monday evening, moments after the murder incident.

He added that there is no known cause behind the shooting of Penyenso and he may fall victim to the same perpetrators if he visits the town immediately.

He also indicated that the District has achieved some level of peace in the past few years.


Walkout to avoid hearing 2015 budget statement- Kwanwoma MP

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Atwima Kwanwoma in the Ashanti Region, Dr. Kojo Appiah kubi has urged his co-minority members of parliament to stage a walkout from the House to hearing of the 2015 year ending budgetary statement.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Mr. Seth Terkpe is expected in Parliament on Tuesday November 19th 2014 to present the 2015 budgetary statement for approval by the House.

However, Hon. Appiah kubi says it makes completely no sense on the part of the minority Caucus to witness and be part of the entire process since he believes the budget would not positively affect the economic stature of the country.

According to him, the year-ending 2014 budgetary statement were not utilized by the President John Dramani Mahama’s led NDC government and so “I don’t see the need of presenting another budget”, he added.

He further expressed fear that the finance minister was not up to the task and will just present raw figures to the House without any further implementation as occurred in the 2014 budget statement which has hit the rock.

The MP who is currently the Director of Policy Planning and Development Commission (NDPC), and an economist by profession also thinks the Mahama administration has done less to improve the lives of the ordinary Ghanaian citizenry since it regain power and thus the 2015 budget will contain not anything essential aimed at improving livelihood.

Emmanuel Frimpong Mensah/Ghanamps.gov.gh