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Bia East MP refutes NCCE report

The Member of Parliament for for Bia East, Hon. Richard Acheampong, has refuted reports of a survey conducted by National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) which revealed that sixty-two percent of the Ghanaian population thinks MPs are corrupt.

The NCCE at an event in Accra yesterday, released a report of a survey it conducted in September 2014  stating that sixty-two percent of Ghanaians believes MPs are corrupt whiles 25 percent also thinks excessive Executive control is adversely affecting the efficiency of Parliament.

However, speaking on Adom TV’s Badwam morning show programme Friday, the NDC MP noted that  the duties of Parliament were basically law making and keeping government on check, and thus the report was far from realities on ground.

He reckoned that the only way to wipeout the perception from the minds of Ghanaians was to decouple the chamber from the executive arm of government which he said was impossible since the constitution also mandates half of ministerial appointments to be made from parliament.

Meanwhile, National Organizer for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr. John Boadu thinks otherwise as he stated that the flashy lifestyle of some MPs has always portrayed them as being corrupt.

Emmanuel Frimpong Mensah/Ghanamps

IMF conditionalities have started hitting Ghanaians – O.B. Amoah

A former Deputy Minister of Education, Youth and Sport, Osei Bonsu Amoah, has stated Ghanaians have started feeling the  negative effects of the  International Monitory Fund (IMF)  bail-out, which the government opted for recently.

He said the  scraping of allowances for the teacher trainees as well as cost sharing in the tertiary institutions are clear examples.

Mr. O. B. Amoah says  other   conditionalities  of the IMF  are  the removal of all tariffs and subsidies on electricity and petroleum products, adding that the NDC government has started implementing these policies.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Akuapem South Constituency of the Eastern Region, told Atinka AM Drive that government is being forced to implement these harsh policies due to the recent the IMF bail-out.

Government says students in public tertiary institutions will now have to pay their own utility bills as one of the ‘innovative, alternative means’ to tackle increasing utility debts in public universities. Allowances for students at the teacher trainee institutions have also been scrapped.

Mr. O. B. Amoah explained that government has not managed things well in the country and  that every sector of the economy is saddled with debt.

He said the scraping of allowances for teacher trainees and the introduction of cost sharing in various tertiary institutions will bring hardships onto overburdened parents and guardians and urged the government to halt the implementation of these policies because  “it’s  just like pouring water into basket”

Parliament is powerless – Alban Bagbin Admits

Majority Leader Alban Kingsford Bagbin endorsed National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) research findings indicating Parliament is doing a woeful job in keeping the Executive arm of government in check..

Speaking at a National Quarterly Dialogue organised by the NCCE to discuss the findings of the research, he said parliament was structured to create consensus not to battle the executive.

The spirit of this consensus building mechanism is even displayed in Parliament’s horseshoe sitting arrangement, the Nadowli/Kaleo MP said.

MPs are “not called upon to be at the throat of the executive”, he pointed out, noting that the majority of ministers appointed by the President are also MPs.

According to the constitution, parliament cannot make bills or pass a law on its own that will require a charge on the Consolidated Fund.

Citing an example, the experienced legislator said a Bill on funding for political parties prepared by a private citizen “never saw the light of day” because the Executive would not allow it.

Parliament depends on the Executive for funding the work of its committees, he lamented.

“What power is this? They give you with the right hand take with the left”, he said, doubting the ability of Parliament to check the Executive.

Referring to the NCCE research, Alban Bagbin said it was fair that s5% of the 2,900 respondents viewed Parliament as performing poorly in serving as a check on the Executive.

Minority Chief Whip Ignatius Baffour Awuah agreed with the Majority leader and the research findings on the effectiveness of Parliament in the execution of its oversight duties.

“It is quite objective, we have to accept it with humility”, the Suyani West MP said.

Source: myjoyonline

Ben Ayeh advises ” irresponsible Mahama” govt.

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Upper Denkyira West constituency in the Central Region, Hon. Benjamin Kofi Ayeh has advised “irresponsible” Mahama-led NDC administration to reverse its decision to share cost of utility bills on tertiary students.

“This is purely irresponsible in the highest level on the part of government to share cost of utility with students, this is what I call lack of vision and prioritization of this NDC government” he said.

According to him, the action is a mere plot by government to make life unbearable for students after recently redrawing teacher trainees allowances and other grants students previously benefited.

Hon. Ayeh who said this when contributing to a discussion on Adom TV’s “Badwam” morning show programme, Thursday, said the Mahama-led administration had set payment of Judgement debts as its priority and thus proceeds from state resources for development projects were only channeled into paying “dubious monies to undeserving people”.

He said the only way to restore back student allowances and full payment of utility bills in tertiary level education was to show the NDC the exit come 2016.

However, Hon. Samuel Ofosu Ampofo disagreed, saying government’s move to share cost of utility in tertiary institutions was only to ensure equity and productive use of electricity.

Though, he conceded that the new policy will economically surge burden on both parents and students, he said government alone could no longer shoulder the ever-increasing bills of these institutions.

He hinted government was still putting systems in place to get efficient use of power in every part of the country.

Emmanuel Frimpong M/Ghanamps.gov.gh

I won’t interfere with Newmont negotiation process – Haruna

Employment and Labour relations minister, Haruna Iddrisu has assured management and staff of mining firm, Newmont Ghana Limited that he would not interfere with disciplinary and negotiation processes between the company and its staff.

Haruna Iddrisu at a meeting with the staff and the management of the mining firm pledged that his ministry would also work to ensure an amicable settlement between the management and the staff.

The two have been in a dispute over working conditions and have already been seeking resolution at the Labour commission.

This led dissatisfied mine staff to adopt a “go slow” attitude refusing to work at full capacity at the Kenyasi mines of Newmont.

Two workers at the mines were subsequently interdicted by the management to allow for investigations.

But after intervention from the Labour Relations Minister, both sides agreed to process toward ending the dispute between them.

And the process included the union ensuring to begin normal operations by the 6:00 PM yesterday following which Newmont would have to recall the interdicted staff to resume work by 6:30 PM today.

Newmont Staff Union Secretary, Victor Asare-Gyapong yesterday expressed satisfaction at this process in an interview with Joy FM.

“The minister gave a directive which was unambiguous it was simple straight to the point. He said employees must return to full scale production [by] 6pm today and management must reinstate the two interdicted employees [by] 6pm tomorrow. I am satisfied because it is a win-win situation our company will benefit; our employees will also benefit and I think everyone will be happy. The union will partner management in making sure that discipline is taken care of in the mines”

New EC Boss must be neutral – Titus Glover

The ongoing discussions on who replaces to soon-to-retire Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan, has of late sparked heated argument between some members of various political parties with some calling for a free, fair and non-partisan successor.

Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan who is due for retirement in June this year has successfully supervised five elections since his appointment in 1992 and thereby sparking heated debate between various politicians and political analysts on the qualities and competences to lookout for in appointing someone to take the said position.

However, contributing to the ongoing discussion on “AM ” show on Joy TV wendesday, the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) Member of Parliament for Tema East, Hon. Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover said appointment should be based on the neutrality of the person, someone brave in decision making, devoid of partisan politics and one accepted by all Ghanaians.

“The appointment should be based on someone who cuts across; I mean someone who is neutral and accepted by all. Someone who is ready to work for the State but not partisan politics” he noted.

“This issue of selection is one that is very crucial to every Ghanaian, I have already heard of some names being mentioned, the NCCE boss which is good but I must say that whoever is appointed should be accepted by all and non-partisan” he added.

He advised that irrespective of the person chosen, the NPP still needed to adequately prepare in terms of deploying right persons at various polling centers to monitor results of the upcoming elections, adding that the party can only win both presidential and parliamentary elections if figures from various polling centers are closely monitored.

He further urged the Mahama-led NDC administration to make public people shortlisted for the position to end the recent media speculations.

However, according to some media outlets three names shortlisted include Chairperson of National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Mrs Charlotte Kesson-Smith Osei; Executive Director of Institute for Democratic Governance, Dr Emmanuel Akwetey and a deputy Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Alhaji Amadu Sule.

Emmanuel Frimpong Mensah/Ghanamps.gov.gh

Bring on George Andah…he doesn’t scare me – Hanna Tetteh

Incumbent Member of Parliament (MP) for the Awutu Senya West constituency, Hanna Tetteh stated clearly that she “not scared” facing New Patriotic Party’s aspiring parliamentary candidate, George Andah in the 2016 elections.

The former Chief Marketing Officer at MTN, George Andah has expressed optimism about unseating Hanna Tetteh if given the nod to lead the NPP in that constituency saying, “I do not believe that the Awutu-Senya West seat is safe for the NDC.”

Hanna Tetteh who has been elected as an MP for the area on two different occasions has said she is unperturbed by any candidate the NPP brings onboard to face her.

She was responding to a question by Citi Breakfast Show host, Bernard Avle.

Are you scared? “No!” she responded.

Worried? “No!” she insisted.

“The NPP was going to have a candidate anyway and was going to try as much as possible to get the best candidate to contest for the seat. That’s the nature of politics, so that’s nothing unusual as far as I’m concerned.”

“I’ve been in this business for a while. The election is not about me neither is it about George Andah, it’s about the people of Awutu Senya West and the choices they make. And so for me it’s focusing on the constituency and making sure that as far as I am concerned they are in a position to make an assessment of my performance and take their decision on that basis.”

Though Hanna Tetteh who doubles as the  Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration conceded that her ministerial position is affecting how regularly she would have loved to interact with her constituents, she said  “knowing that, I make an effort as much as possible when I have about a week continuously to go to the constituency over the weekend and engage, but I have a good organization in the constituency.”

She also noted she has a formidable team of NDC members in her constituency who work assiduously to ensure that the people of his area benefits from the better Ghana Agenda in her absence adding that: “politics is not about a person, it’s about organization and structures and numbers and I have a great team I work with and I think they do a very great job.”


Blacklist all South African companies in Ghana – Titus Glover

Member of Parliament for Tema East Constituency, Daniel Nii Kwatei Titus-Glover is asking Ghanaians to stop patronizing South African business establishments in Ghana following the ongoing cruel attacks on African nationals in South Africa.

Criticizing President Jacob Zumah for his inertia in resolving the ongoing brutalities, Hon. Titus – Glover condemned the ghastly act, calling for the immediate seizure of hostilities.

The sadistic attacks have persisted for about a fortnight leaving foreign nationals stranded and in a state of insecurity. The violence is reported to have been ignited by the comments made by Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini calling for foreigners to leave South Africa.

The King immediately came back to clear the air explaining that his comments have been misunderstood and should not be the cause of the violence.

Speaking on Adom FM, Hon. Titus-Glover who stated his disappointment in President Zuma for failing to deal with the issue, was of the view that Ghanaians blacklist South African businesses as a show of resentment against the violence in South Africa.

He however feared that because South African Businesses in Ghana have employed  lots of Ghanaians, blacklisting such business entities would adversely affect the Ghanaian workers.


Dont wait till elections before supporting constituents- Mpohor MP

Mr Alex Kofi Agyekum, Member of Parliament (MP) for Mpohor, has advised his colleague parliamentarians to start providing the basic needs of their constituents now, and not to wait till electioneering period.

 He said it had become a common phenomenon in Ghanaian politics that parliamentarians and politicians often moved to support their constituents during election periods as a bait to win their sympathies and votes.
However, he maintained that parliamentarians have a responsibility to support their constituents at any material time, since it was the electorate who elected them to Parliament to facilitate improvement in their standards of living.
“You have three key responsibilities as an MP, they include responsibility towards your constituents’ welfare, Parliament, where you make laws, and that of your political party”, he opined.
Mr. Agyekum made these observations when he presented some medical supplies to the Mpohor Health Centre at Mpohor in the Western Region on Friday.
The items, estimated at  GHs 15,000, included beds, mattresses, syringes and needles, wheel chairs, gloves, medicated spectacles and lockers.
Mr. Agyekum said in all situations the people should be the focal point in any development efforts, and entreated all stakeholders to put their shoulders on to the wheel to accelerate development.
The District Health Director, Dr. Marion Okoh-Owusu, received the items on behalf of the health centre, and pledged to take proper care of them.
She commended the MP for his exemplary leadership in initiating a number of health projects, including CHIPS compounds, staff bungalows, as well as providing poly tanks and a Nissan Pick-up,  to support the movement and operations of the health facility.
She indicated that the health facility lacked functional laboratory and operation theatre, and therefore appealed for more support.

Ablakwa angry over Bawumia’s heckling

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, a Deputy Minister of Education in-charge of tertiary, has condemned an action by some students in the Volta Region which truncated a planned familiarization tour to the region by the New Patriotic Party’s running mate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.

The students were said to have protested the decision by Dr Bawumia to address them.

This they say was to equalize a similar action that was meted out against Okudzeto Ablakwa and his colleagues.

The deputy minister together with two others suffered a similar fate few days ago.

Some students selected from various institutions in the Ashanti region heckled the Minister during his presentation at a planned programme dubbed Campus Connect, organized by the Ministry of Education on Wednesday.

The students who converged at the Wesley College in Kumasi walked out and chanted incessantly while the Minister was delivering his address.

They reportedly did that to protest the withdrawal of teacher trainee allowances.

However Okudzeto Ablakwa who took to twitter to express his anger about the students’ action and cautioned that we must “understand that there is no honour in this heckling business neither does it achieve any result. I wish to condemn this conduct and ask no student should engage in this unacceptable misconduct even if under the guise of avenging what happened to my colleagues and I in Kumasi.”

“We must be careful not to trigger a nasty vicious cycle which will only mar the long cherished principles of academic freedom which expects our higher institutions of learning to be the epitome of tolerance and most welcoming of all persons and shades of opinion needed for the generation of knowledge. Let us also remember that knowledge without discipline will only make us a danger to ourselves and society,” Okudzeto Ablakwa added.

Source: citifmonline.com