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Lack of planning by govt cause of ongoing ‘dumsor’ – Bongo MP

The Member of Parliament for Bongo Constituency and the former Communication Consultant for the Energy Ministry, Honourable Edward Bawa has attributed the ongoing ‘dumsor’ to lack of planning by the government.

According to him, the NDC administration left behind sufficient installed generational capacity and fuel to power the TICO, TACA, Akosombo, Asogli and Bui power plants to avoid unnecessary load shedding.

“It’s the maintenance being run on the plants that has plunge some parts of the nation in darkness. In any the government knew it was going to run maintenance, it should have put in interim measures to avoid dumsor but they were careless. They didn’t plan for alternative fuel sources,” He explained.

Discussing the ongoing power crisis on ‘State of Affairs’ on GHONE TV, the Honourable member indicated that the ongoing power crisis is not as a result of generational problem but fuel. He explained that one of the strategies the NDC adopted to stabilize the power crisis was due to its ability to have fuel in stock for future use or to power the generational plants in critical time.

On his part, the new administration must be strategic and model the best practices by the NDC in the energy sector to have stock of fuel in place for use in most challenging times.

Honourable Bawa advised government that it should make provision for fuel security and improve the financial health of the energy sector by paying all its debts to keep the sector running.

“Government must implement the energy sector levies, ensure that all state institutions pay their electricity bills to help ameliorate the accumulated debt stock in the energy sector. But l doubt if government will implement the energy sector levy because l heard the government want to scrap it.”

He said, he cannot quantify the amount of money spent on ending dumsor due to private initiatives by private business and the Inter party partnerships.

Akufo-Addo’s creation of new ministries illegal – Keta MP

Member of Parliament (MP) for the Keta Constituency Richard Quarshigah is accusing President Akufo-Addo of illegal conduct in the creation of new ministries and re-alignment of others.

According to Mr. Quarshigah, the president’s failure to publish an executive instrument on the new ministries before announcing their creation makes the move illegal.

He says the Civil Service Amendment Act 2011 requires that: “subject to the constitution, the president may by an executive instrument published in the gazette, establish a ministry or re-designate a ministry.”

Mr. Quarshigah says he has written letters to the Ghana Publishing Corporation and the corporation has replied explaining that the president has not sent to it executive instruments on the creation of the new ministries, hence the illegality.

“This makes all the new ministries he has created a nullity and all the ministries that have been re-aligned a nullity. Mr. Speaker, I could have chosen to g to court but I don’t want to cause this nation a colossal loss of money,” he said on Friday during parliament’s debate on the state of the nation address delivered by the president to the house on Tuesday.

“My checks even as at this morning indicate that Tuesday was when an executive instrument was sent to the Ghana Publishing Corporation and withdrawn same day to be re-submitted.

“As we speak, the Ghana Publishing Company has not received an E.I. from the presidency, neither has it been published in the gazette,” Mr. Quarshigah added.

NewPatriotic Party (NPP) MP for Okaikoi Central Patrick Yaw Boamah is, however, challenging the claim.
He told parliament: “The president has not created a ministry. He has appointed ministers responsible for specific focus areas.

Those are not ministries. I find his presentation to the house very misleading.”

But Mr. Quarshigah tells Joy news there is more than enough evidence in the public domain to back his claim that new ministries have been created and old ones re-aligned.

He is asking the president to quickly ‘do what is right’ and cause the publication of an executive instrument which will clearly spell out details on the new ministries.

It would be recalled that the president after taking over power announced the appointment of 46 ministers to head a number of ministries including the Ministry for Zongo and Inner City Development, and the Ministry for Sanitation and Water Resources.

Boycott South African products – Muntaka to African nations

Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed Mubarak-Muntaka, is calling on the rest of African countries to boycott all South African products on their markets.

The call, he noted, is to protest against the xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals, especially, sons and daughters of Africa by South Africans.

He believes that such call if embraced and action well executed, the South African people will begin to “feel the heat at home” and start doing the right thing.

According to Mubarak-Muntaka who is also a member of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), his search indicates that there are more South African businesses in the rest of the African countries than any other nationals on the continent.

Therefore, a boycott of South African products will send a clear signal that Africa will no more entertain such barbaric acts from the South Africans.

He made this call on the floor of Parliament Friday, February 24, 2017, when contributing to a statement made by the Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey over the xenophobia attacks.

Minority behaved like ‘over pampered kid’ during SONA – Maj. Leader

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei-Kyei Mensah-Bonsu has launched a scathing attack on the Minority caucus, saying they behaved like ‘over pampared kids’ when President Akufo Addo delivered his first State of the Nation Address.

According to him, the Minority’s disruptive heckling of the president soon after he begun his address was most unfortunate, adding that by their attitude, they gave themselves nuisance value.

The Minority in Parliament minutes after the President started his address burst into singing their own version of Kofi Kinaata’s hit song “confessions”, appealing to ex President Mahama to come to the rescue of Ghanaians by helping to “steer the country’s wheels”as it appears President Akufo-Addo is tired already just over a month of being in office.

The Majority Leader, Osei-Kyei Mensah-Bonsu in an interview with Kasapa News, condemned the behaviour of the Minority side, saying that does not help in building a good image for the caucus.

“What I found surprising was that, a deputy Minority Chief Whip who should have known better by ensuring there was order in the chamber was rather thick in the affair conducting the caucus in their disturbance. It took Second Deputy Speaker and former Majority leader, Hon. Alban Bagbin to go and ask the Minority members to stop being unruly. I think he was himself embarrased.”

But Deputy Minority Chief Whip, Ahmed Ibrahim in a sharp response, stated that Hon. Osei-Kyei Mensah-Bonsu has no moral right to question the behaviour of the Minority when he himself supervised worst action from his side when he was the Minority Leader.

“I’m shocked by what I hear the Majority Leader saying…was he not the one who led his side to wear mourning clothes to Parliament House amidst the showing of red cards, when late President Mills was delivering his state of the nation address? Is the Chamber of Parliament a funeral home? He’s the leader of the house…when the Majority side first started singing, was he a choirmaster at the time? Ahead of every presentation of the State of the Nation address, every Leader meets his side and talks to them to comport themselves…ask him if he did that, Hon Ibrahim quizzed?

State of Nation address is serious business – Oppong Nkrumah

The Member of Parliament for Ofoase-Ayirebi, Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has hinted that the president will use his ‘State of the Nation Address’ today to make key policy announcements that will give hope to the Ghanaian people and not to chastise the previous government.

He indicated that the State of the Nation Address will be a reflection of Ghana’s status and the direction that it will be heading to in the days ahead.

“We as a political party have made a commitment to depart from the old trend of attacking our opponents. Indeed this is what we have being doing since we came into office. The president’s State of the Nation Address is not for blame games. Where necessary he will speak about the realities on the ground but he will speak broadly on key parts of our national life and how to tackle the economic challenges that we find ourselves in,’ Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah stated.

Giving clues to what people should expect from the State of the Nation Address today on ‘State of Affairs’ on GHONE TV last night, he said the president will talk about his strategy to ending the energy crisis, how to invest in agriculture to create employment and increase exports and how to make quality education accessible  to all.

According to him, improving the railway sector is also key to the president’s development agenda adding that his administration has a clear strategy on how to execute that project for private sector to put in their capital and indicated that the right model has already been developed for this project.

His co panellist, Dr. Kojo Pumpuni Asante, the Senior Research Officer for Centre for Democratic Development shared his expectations on the program ahead of the state of the nation address.

“l expect the government to show how it is going to stabilize the macro economy for investment, fix unemployment and erratic power supply, show how it is going to deal with corruption and stabilize inflation and all other economic indicators,” Dr. Pumpuni stated.

To him, Ghana is largely an informal sector full of farmers and petty traders which suggests that many people are more concerned about transport fares, utility tariffs and prices of commodities so government must subsidized these things send the right signal that it cares about the people in its decision to steer growth and development.

Radio Gold started bribery allegation – Ayariga

Bawku Central Member of Parliament Mahama Ayariga says news about the bribery allegation made against the leadership of the Appointments committee of parliament, emerged from an Accra-based Radio Gold.

According to him, he got wind of the scandal that had started going viral on various media platforms on Radio Gold upon which he was later called by the station to respond to the matter that unfolded.

“The bribery allegation came out through Radio Gold. And Radio Gold started it, I think in the afternoon, and in the form of a breaking news. This must have been around 2:00 O’clock in the afternoon and then it went to social media, it went online. I got wind of it online.

I didn’t hear it but I just saw it on whatsapp that Radio Gold has said this , then subsequently I got a call from Radio Gold asking for an interview with me on this issue that they had put out. I thought about it and I said Okay I would grant them the interview and I will tell them what I knew because I was a member of the committee,” Ayariga told the Ad hoc committee in its sitting Monday, February, 20, 2017.

According to him, before a supposed conclave meeting by some members of the committee, he’d already granted the Radio station an interview to react to the matter that generated from the media.

He confirmed that indeed he received the bribery money from the Minority Chief Whip, which he initially thought was their sitting allowance but when he was told it was a bribe coming from a ministerial nominee he together with other minority members on the appointment committee decided to return the money.

Mahama Ayariga appeared before the Joe Ghartey-led Ad hoc committee Monday to answer questions of allegations of bribery which he’d made against the leadership of the Appointments Committee.

Same sex marriage is abomination in Ghana – Speaker

Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye has said there is no way Ghana will succumb to the liberalization of the world by accepting homosexuality as part of its culture.

Same sex marriage, he noted, is abomination since the culture, religion and traditions of the Ghanaian set up frowns on it.

“It is unfortunate that people have become so liberal that they want to liberalise Christianity. I believe these are some of the challenges of this modern world which are manifest of abomination”, he noted.

According to him “Parliament will do its best to strengthen its laws against homosexuality.”

The Speaker made this remark Monday, February, 20, 2017, when the Founder of the Royal House Chapel International, Apostle General Sam Korankye Ankrah and the leadership of his church, paid a courtesy call on him to solicit the support of Parliament to help sanitize religion in the country.

Rev. Sam Korankye Ankrah was specifically concerned about the proliferation of churches in the country, which in his view, was affecting the work of God.

He believes that so many church leaders have taken the advantage of being men of God to abuse the fundamental human rights of their church members.

Rev. Sam Korankye Ankrah noted that once the churches operate within the confines of the country, they should subject themselves to the laws of the land, arguing that the practice of religion does not supersede the constitution of a country.

Prof. Aaron Oquaye commenting further said it was about time the church regulates itself by putting in place internal mechanisms to help them do so.

In his contribution, the Minority Leader, Hon. Haruna Iddrisu said he wholeheartedly welcomes the pronouncement of the Speaker on homosexuality.

”I am encouraged today that if the world is in doubt about Ghana’s stance of homosexuality, the Speaker has said it all that same sex marriage is an abomination to God”, he emphasized.

Ablakwa appears before Ad hoc committee Monday

The Joe Ghartey-led Ad hoc Committee has granted a request by North Tongu MP Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa to appear as a witness to testify in the committee’s probe into the bribery allegation that has hit the leadership of parliament’s Appointments Committee.

This follows a threat by Mr Okudzeto to sue, if the committee denied him the chance to appear as a witness in the committee’s sittings.

The Chairman of the committee, Joe Ghartey at sitting Friday said the committee has duly received the petition of the North Tongu MP, Okudzeto Ablakwa and is taking steps to furnish him with the transcript of proceedings of last Wednesday’s sitting which the first witness, Joe Ghartey appeared before it.

“When he receives it, I think he would be in the position to come before us. This is the decision of the committee relating to the request of Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa” Mr. Joe Ghartey said.

Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu, when he appeared before the committee Wednesday reiterated that Mr Ablakwa confessed that the Minority made the bribery allegation against Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko to equalize the bribery claims against former President John Mahama, and that they meant it as a joke, a claim which the North Tongu MP has since denied.

The Ad hoc Committee thus adjourned sitting to Monday, February 20, 2017 following the committee’s inability to hear other witnesses billed to appear before the committee Friday.

The chairman of the committee said it was making earnest efforts to supply all witnesses with the necessary information on proceedings so far so they could be well informed, hence deferring hearing to the said date.

All three witnesses in the bribery case, including, Minority Chief whip, Muntaka Mubarak, the Bawku Central MP, Mahama Ayariga, and North Tongu MP, Okudzeto Ablakwa have been asked by the committee to stand by on Monday, when proceedings resume.

Ghana@60: Celebration should not be used to reward party loyalists – Suhuyini

Member of Parliament for Tamale North, Alhassan Suhuyini has said the challenges that characterized the celebration of Ghana@50 should be a guiding principle for the 60 birthday of the country.

He has therefore cautioned that the event should not be used to reward political party loyalists as witnessed during a decade ago.

Let the celebration not be used as an opportunity to dissipate public funds, reward political party loyalist or be a subtle means to celebrate an election victory at the polls.

Mr Speaker this caution becomes necessary because of the fresh experiences during the celebration of Ghana@50, a decade ago”, he noted in his maiden statement delivered on the floor of Parliament, Thursday, February 16, 2017.

Below is the full statement:


Thank you Mr Speaker,
With your kind leave and the indulgence of all honourable members representing the different beautiful shades and culture of our dear nation, it is with so much pleasure that I embrace this opportunity to make my maiden statement on the floor of this honourable house.

I witnessed as an observer for many years and an active participant in this few weeks, I am only further convinced of how much of a microcosm of our indivisible country this revered house is and like that one proud stitch in our colourful Kente or breezily smock, noticeable or not, I thank Allah all mighty, my constituents and my party the NDC to be that one other reason why this house is complete.

In my interactions and by observations I have come to appreciate that in our individualism lies our collective national character.

Underlying our frightening diversity is our unquestioned love and wish for this nation to be great.

Mr Speaker it is for this believe in the best of our country that I plead to make a statement addressing the centenary of Ghana’s independence and the decision by the president to announce a 30 member committee to plan the celebration.

I wish to commend HE the president for prioritising the celebration of our independence in the midst of all the daunting economic and social challenges that he has convinced the nation he inherited.

It is remarkable that even before he finished forming his government he had the presence of mind to announce showy preparations towards this celebration of our nation’s birthday.

Mr Speaker I am not one of the cynics who thinks we have nothing to celebrate at 60. I believe we do and so I think we should. The endurance of this fourth republic is rooted in the experience of the past and will be guaranteed only by a continuous improvement in the lives and communities of our very hardworking compatriots.

The Independence Day every year therefore should be a day of pride in acknowledgement of the brave convictions of our nation’s founders, a reflection on how far we have lived their ideals and a rededication of ourselves to make real their lofty dreams at independence.

However let the celebration not be used as an opportunity to dissipate public funds, reward political party loyalist or be a subtle means to celebrate an election victory at the polls.

Mr Speaker this caution becomes necessary because of the fresh experiences during the celebration of Ghana@50, a decade ago.

Similar to what the president has done so far by setting up a committee to plan the celebration, President Kufuor In order to celebrate the Independence of Ghana@50 anniversary, also set up a sub-committee of Cabinet, a National Planning Committee (NPC) with his Chief of Staff and Minister for Presidential Affairs at the time as Chairman of the NPC.

Mr Speaker the celebration which was to be a yearlong affair had a total amount of Ghs 29.31m approved by Parliament for the celebrations.

The first tranche of twenty million United States Dollars (US$20 million) was approved on 20th July, 2006.

The second tranche of eleven million eight hundred thousand United States Dollars (US$11.8 millions) which was a loan from Fidelity Bank, was approved by this august house on the 30th day of July, 2007.

However according to a government white paper on a commission of enquiry report, by 31st December, 2008, a total sum of ninety-seven million seven hundred and seventy-six thousand three hundred and eighty-eight Ghana Cedis and forty-four Ghana Pesewas (GH¢97,776,388.44) had been spent on the celebrations. Far in excess of over 300% of what was approved.

Despite additional proceeds accruing to the planning committee through the sale of cars, land, furnishing, mansions and sponsorship totalling nineteen million three hundred and fifty-two thousand four hundred and ninety-eighty Ghana Cedis (GH¢19,352,498.00) only GH¢4,800,543.38 of that was used for its intended purpose of servicing the loan from Fidelity Bank which parliament approved leaving an outstanding amount of fifteen million three hundred and seventy-four thousand and seventy-five Ghana Cedis and fifty-eight Ghana Pesewas (GH¢15,374,075.58) as at December 2008.

Non Cash donations were not properly accounted for, costly bridging finance and overdraft facilities were procured from banks because according to organisers there were delays in budgetary releases.

According to the Government white paper several projects such as rest stops, toilets and the renovation of heritage sites were either left incomplete due to lack of funds or not started though paid for. Even a green Ghana project was commenced in the middle of October and at the start of harmattan and according to the CEO speaking before the commission 6million seedlings were planted.

Mr Speaker these and like happenings which fill our airwaves even now, breed cynicism which threaten the foundations of our forth republican democracy.

Our citizens need a break, and it is my prayer and anticipation that this celebration planning committee will apply the brakes as they are guided by the ghost of the past celebration. Despite all our challenges we have a lot to celebrate but so little to do that in view of how much more we have to do as a country.

I am encouraged by the pronouncements of members of the committee so far and even the president that expenditure will be moderate. As faith will have it the announced budget when the president unveiled the logo at a ceremony last week is about the same as was budgeted for 10yrs ago.

The assurances of private sector support however were similar to 10yrs ago. I hope this time around the budget will not be exceeded and the private sector, which after all is still very much alive and collapsed will indeed support considerably.

I wish the committee well Mr Speaker.

I thank you.

Bribe saga: Ablakwa begs Committee…hear me out

The former deputy Minister for Education, , has petitioned the Ad hoc Committee investigating the bribery allegation that has hit the Appointments Committee of Parliament to allow him appear before the committee to clear his name.

His request follows claims made by the Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Joseph Osei Owusu when he appeared as witness before the Ad hoc committee on Wednesday that Hon. Okudzeto Ablakwa confessed cooking up the bribery allegation.

Mr. Osei Owusu, appearing before a five-member Committee said “in the conclave, after they had shown that they [Minority] were satisfied and were willing to withdraw their objection and agree for their report to be amended that Hon Osafo Maafo and Boakye Agyarko be passed by consensus, we were going to leave and I said: ‘No. There was this allegation already in the public domain, and Honourable Ayariga is the one alleged to have made that allegation, so, we should discuss that matter after meeting.’

“All the Minority members said was [that]: ‘Mr Speaker, cool down, cool down’. And I said: ‘How can I cool down? This allegation is already in the public domain’. It was at that point that Okudzeto Ablakwa said, ‘Because Agyarko said our president (Mahama) was corrupt, we were spreading the corruption allegation’. The mood in the room changed afterwards.”

But  Ablakwa in a Facebook post has since rubbished the claims describing same by Mr. Osei Owusu as nothing but a desperate, malicious and cancerous fabrication which would not be allowed to fester.

The Ad hoc Committee at its first sitting stated that it will invite four witnesses namely; Joseph Osei Owusu, Mr Boakye Agyarko, Mohammed Muntaka and Mr Mahama Ayariga.

However Hon. Okudzeto Ablakwa in a letter written on his behalf by his lawyers said ” we have been instructed by our client to convey to you, which we hereby do, his desire to appear before your committee to be heard on the above allegation and to provide evidence that would assist your committee to reach a fair and true conclusion on this substancially important matter of public interest.”

It added: “Please note, Honourable Chairman, that we have advised our client on all the legal and constitutional options available to him should he be refused the opportunity to be heard in his own defence before your committee.”


Mr Mahama Ayariga, on Friday 27 January, claimed GHC100,000 was given to Mr Osei-Owusu by Energy Minister-designate at the time, Mr Boakye Agyarko, to be distributed to Minority MPs on the Appointments Committee with the intention of influencing them to give him the nod so he could be sworn in as Minister.

Mr. Ayariga, who is a member of the Appointments Committee, told Radio Gold in an interview that the Minority MPs rejected the GHS3000 each which was enveloped for them when they later found out that the money was coming from Mr Agyarko as a bribe.