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Cedi depreciation:Wampah has not shown leadership – Dr.Assibey Yeboah

A member of Parliament’s Finance Committee is blaming the depreciation of the cedi on the actions of the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Henry Kofi Wampah.

According to Dr. Mark Asibey-Yeboah, decisions taken by the Governor have rather quickened the free fall of the cedi.

“The Bank of Ghana lacks leadership and I think the only solution is to appoint a new Governor to boost investor confidence” he told Accra-based Oman FM, Monday.

The cedi has depreciated by some 30 percent since January 2015 and some analysts anticipate challenging times ahead.

Some leading economists in the country have criticized government for doing little to save the falling cedi. The Bank of Ghana has since started releasing more dollars onto the market to help halt the cedis’ depreciation but there has been no appreciable effect.

The regulator took the decision after a meeting with the Commercial banks last Friday to get from them what  other factors are driving the cedi’s of depreciation.

But Dr. Asibey-Yeboah said pumping more dollars into the market is not the panacea for the depreciation of the cedi.

He bemoaned how the falling cedi is taking a toll on various sectors of the economy especially importers of raw materials and other products in the country.

The economist, who is also the Member of Parliament for New Juaben South added that Ghana is saddled with an 8 billion cedi debt due to unstable macro-economic indicators.

“The vicious cycle of high Inflation, depreciation of the cedi has made many businesses and investors worried but government is not doing enough to salvage the situation” he stressed.

Dr. Asibey-Yeboah called on President John Mahama to sack Dr. Wampah immediately and bring in a more competent person to halt the cedi’s slide.

Natl. Security supervision of BECE is not to frighten students – Kyeremeh

Deputy Minister for Education, in charge of Basic Education Hon. Alex Kyeremeh has explained that the use of National Security personnel as supervisors of the ongoing Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) was to ensure the integrity of the examination.

He said this move by government is not to frighten the students but to avert a reoccurrence of another leakage of the examination papers as was witnessed nearly a fortnight ago when some of the question papers went viral.

Following this, the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) canceled some papers after detecting that some the questions had leaked and was widespread on social media.

The five cancelled papers were English Language 2, Religious and Moral Education 2, Integrated Science 2, Mathematics 2, and Social Studies 2.

The examination body thus set 29th and 30th June for the re-sit of the cancelled examination papers which is being written by about 438,030 candidates across the country.

Speaking on OKAY FM’s “Ade Akye Abia” morning show Monday, Hon, Kyeremeh disclosed that the National Security was heavily in charge of the processes leading to the sitting of the exams.

“They have been involved in the process of selection of the papers through to the printing…transportation to the depot…to the transfer to the exam centres, with this kind of tight security one can be assured that there will not be any leakage’’ he noted.


Hon. Appiah Pinkra retains seat

Member of Parliament for Adansi Akrofuom constituency in the Ashanti Region retained his seat in the New Patriotic Party (NPP)’s primaries held on Saturday 27th June 2015.

The incumbent Hon. Appiah Pinkrah polled 176 votes as against 92 by his contender Charles Korankye.

He is currently doing his third term in Parliament.

Hon. Pinkra after his victory had a strong message for the national executives of the party.

He is asking the party leadership not to leave individuals at the polling station level to fund election 2016 on their own.

Pinkrah said he went through a lot to fund the two last elections on his own and wants the national executives to support individual MP aspirants.

Upper Denkyira West MP loses seat in NPP’s Parliamentary poll

Member of Parliament for Upper Denkyira West, Benjamin Kofi Ayeh has lost his seat in the New Patriotic Party (NPP)’s delayed Parliamentary primaries which was held on Saturday 27th June 2015.

He was beaten by more than 100 votes in the primaries.

The former Second Deputy Minority Chief whip polled 115 votes whilst his contender Samuel Nsowah Gyan polled 222.

Hon. Kofi Ayeh is currently doing his fourth term in Parliament as he entered the House in the year 2004.

By his defeat, his hopes of returning to Parliament after the 2016 elections to represent the good people of Upper Denkyira West has been dashed and he will have to concentrated on his private business.

Kwadwo Anim/GhanaMPs.gov.gh

President’s appointment of EC Chiar, affront to Supreme Court -Afenyo-Markin

Lawyer and Member of Parliament for Effutu, Alexander Afenyo-Markin says President John Mahama’s appointment of Mrs. Charlotte Kesson Smith Osei as Chair of the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana is an affront to the Supreme court and undermines the apex court of the land.

According to him, the selection of Mrs. Osei, who takes over from Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan becoming the first woman to hold the position since independence in 1957, at a time that the issue is pending before the Supreme Court is an unfortunate action to come from the President.

A Ghanaian citizen, Richard Dela Sky has filed a writ at the Supreme Court asking the court to interpret provisions of the 1992 Constitution on the appointment of an Electoral Commissioner.

Article 70 (2) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana says, “The President shall, acting on the advice of the Council of State, appoint the Chairman, Deputy Chairman, and other members of the Electoral Commission.”

Article 91(3) of the same Constitution says, “The Council of State may, upon request or on its own initiative, consider and make recommendations on any matter being considered or dealt with by the President, a Minister of State, Parliament or any other authority established by this constitution except that the President, Minister of State, Parliament or other authority shall not be required to act in accordance with any recommendation made by the Council of State under this clause.”

The writ follows numerous calls from the Minority and other stakeholders for the President to consult widely before appointing a new Chairman for the Commission.

Speaking on Adom FM’s Dwaso Nsem show Friday, Hon. Afenyo Markin who is also the counsel for the petitioner (Richard Sky) states that he feels disappointed as a Ghanaian since the President has disrespected the Supreme Court.

“I think the President could have held on to this appointment until the Supreme Court decides this matter, I find it difficult to understand the rush in his action. If you remember what the Supreme Court said in the Abu Ramadan case, about the issue of when a matter is pending before it, it is clear that the President has grossly slighted the court” he said.

Hon. Afenyo Markin emphasizes the need for the rule of law to be upheld by all including the President as the further development of the country’s democracy is being pursued.

Kwadwo Anim/GhanaMPs.gov.gh

Several Northern MPs came from Sodom and Gomorrah – Nitiwul

In a bid to get Parliament to sympathize and deal compassionately with the displaced squatters at Old Fadama, in Accra, the Deputy Minority Leader in Parliament, Dominic Nitiwul on Tuesday told the House that several Members of Parliament from the three regions of the north, actually grew up in that slum commonly called Sodom and Gomorrah.

He made the comments in support of calls for the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Collins Dauda to be invited to answer questions on a recent demolition of structures in the area with left hundreds of people displaced.

Hon. Dominic Nitiwul, who is also the Member of Parliament for Bimbilla disclosed that he also grew up in the slum.

“Mr Speaker some of us grew up there. Many of the northerners sitting here came through that place before they became big people as we see them today. It is true Mr Speaker, many of them.”

The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) led a demolishing exercise backed by dozens of security men to allow the dredging of the Korle Lagoon to prevent persistent flooding in the area.

The victims incensed by their loss of property stormed the streets of Accra while another group besieged Parliament House to express their anger and in the process, destroyed some property there.

Hon. Dominic Nitiwul however urged the AMA to without delay stay further demolitions and give a road map for the exercise.

“The AMA should stop the demolition and give us a roadmap, nobody is saying they should not do their work. But because of lack of planning you leave the people at the despair of the weather and you are actually leading them to commit crime,” he said.

Hon. Nitiwul noted that, failure to present a roadmap could create security problems adding, “the way they are going about things it could create a security problem in the country.  No wonder Parliament was broken into yesterday. If MPs were in the chamber, we would not know what would have happened.”

Meanwhile the Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Doe Adjaho has directed that the Minister of Local Government be invited sometime next week to brief the House on the demolishing and the way forward after the exercise.


Parliament summons Local Gov’t Min. over demolishing

Parliament has summoned the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Collins Dauda to brief the House regarding the circumstances leading to the demolishing of homes at Old Fadama aka Sodom and Gomorrah, a slum in Accra over the weekend.

The demolishing exercise which was to make way for the dredging of the Korle Lagoon left hundreds of people most of whom are vulnerable displaced with children and women bearing the brunt most.

The obviously angry victims took to the street on Monday and in the process impeding traffic movement in parts of Accra Central, while another group besieged Parliament House and vandalized some buses parked at the forecourt of the State House.

Police personnel who were detailed to the State House to contain the situation had a difficult time controlling the marauding crowd.

Concerned by the event of the previous day, the Chairman of the Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament Hon. Fritz Baffoe described the chaotic situation as a serious breach of security stressing that in as much as the victims were entitled to seek redress from Parliament their approach was much condemnable.

On his part, Deputy Minority Leader Dominic Nitiwul who looked visibly worried about the fate of the victims stated that though he not averse to the eviction of the squatters, the manner in which the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) took the action left much to be desired.

He added the AMA must provide a road map for the demolishing exercise with houses to be demolished clearly marked before the demolishing

Hon. Nitiwul who is also the MP for Bimbila who has some of his kinsmen having to come down to Accra and reside in Sodom and Gomorrah after the Kokomba –Nanumba war in 1994, the demolishing should not be targeted at the poor people at Old Fadama and that all other buildings that are situated very near water ways must not be spared either.

“There are big men in the society whose buildings are also in water ways, why is it that the small fries are the only ones being targeted” he added.

The Speaker Rt. Hon. Doe Adjaho after listening to the sentiments expressed on the matter urged the Business Committee of Parliament to invite the sector minister to brief the house on the issue and and also state the way forward after the demolishing.

Meanwhile, the AMA and NADMO is to soon find temporal shelter to protect them from the vagaries of the weather.

Transport arrangements are also being made to convey persons who have decided to relocate to the village.

Kwadwo Anim/GhanaMPs.gov.gh

Displaced Sodom and Gomorrah residents to have shelter – Nii Lante

Displaced residents of Sodom and Gomorrah a slum in Accra, whose houses were demolished over the weekend to make way for the dredging of the Korle Lagoon are soon to be provided with temporal shelters.

The move is expected to provide the affected persons most of whom are vulnerable some protection from the vagaries of the weather.

This follows a meeting by the National Security Secretariat and the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) aimed at looking at the way forward after the demolishing.

Several people including social commentators have strongly criticized the Accra Metropolitan Assembly which led the demolishing exercise and by extension the government for being inhumane towards their victims by demolishing the homes most of which are wooden structures at a time when heavy rains have set in.

The situation has rendered thousands of residents homeless in an area with an estimated population of 60,000, which is one of Africa’s biggest slums.

Speaking on Joy News Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Nii Lante Vanderpuye stated that additional utility providers have been contacted to provide services to the affected persons.

“As we find accommodation for the victims, we have also asked the Ghana Water Company not to disconnect water supply to the area, it is the fasting period and the residents most of whom are Muslims would need water to perform ablution” he noted.

Hon. Nii Lante Vanderpuye also hinted that the AMA was not done with the demolition and would soon return to demolish some structures.

Kwadwo Anim/GhanaMPs.gov.gh

World Cup probe was to cover gov’t. mess – Isaac Asiamah

Ranking Member of the Youth, Sports and Culture Committee of Parliament, Isaac Asiamah, has said the White Paper on the recent probe into Ghana’s participation at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil was carried by the Justice Dzamefe’s committee was to cover up the mess that was created by the government.

According to him, the exercise was largely targeted at some officials at the Ghana Football Association (GFA), adding it was just to absorb any government official involved in the complexity of any blame.

“We have already said it was going to be another waste of the poor tax payer’s money. They have just wasted our money. We told you so. The purpose of that Commission was to do a house cleaning at the GFA. Yes, that is good but the real house cleaning should have started from the presidency where all the mess started,” he told Kasapafmonline.com.

On Monday, March 30, 2015, President John Dramani Mahama received the report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry chaired by Justice Senyo Dzamefe which investigated matters relating to the participation of the Black Stars at the 2014 World football tournament in Brazil.

The report was subsequently referred to the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice for advice.

A Government White Paper has accordingly been issued with the document calling for further investigations.


Fanteakwa N. MP jabs govt over Sodom & Gomorrah demolishing

New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Fanteakwa North, Kwabena Amankwa Asiamah has sharply criticized the ruling NDC government for the demolishing of homes of residents of Sodom and Gomorrah, describing the exercise as ill-timed.

According to him, the government has not been humane to these people most of whom are poor by demolishing their structures at a time that the rains have set in.

The demolishing exercise spearheaded by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, AMA and the National Disaster Management Organisation, NADMO, backed by soldiers and police officers on Saturday, saw thousands of structures being pulled down to make way for the dredging of Odaw River and the Korle Lagoon to avert incessant flooding of the capital city.

The situation has rendered thousands of residents homeless in an area with an estimated population of 60,000, which is one of Africa’s biggest slums.

Speaking on Multi TV’s Badwam show on Monday, Hon. Kwabena Amankwa Asiamah stated that government could have shown a human face to the demolishing exercise by putting up temporal shelters for the victims.

“I’m not against the people being removed from that area, but you just don’t go and evict people from their homes and leave them to their fate, especially as we are in the rainy season, where do you expect them to sleep” he asked?

Hon. Kwabena Amankwa Asiamah added that NADMO could have provided the affected persons with canopies briefly at a designated area as the victims look for a more permanent place to live.

However, Hon. Oakletey Terlabi who was also on the programme had no soft words for the victims, as he stressed the several warnings that had earlier been given to the affected persons to vacate the area.

“The AMA has repeatedly warned these people to leave the area or face ejection but they have remained adamant, we cannot continue to have illegal squatters live there, government over the years have not been able to move them out but now is the right time, you can’t blame government about this” he added.

Kwadwo Anim/GhanaMPs.gov.gh