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I have never been charged with corruption – O.B. Amoah


A deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Osei Bonsu Amoah, Thursday, told the Appointments Committee that never in his life time has he been charged with corruption.

Hon. Amoah, who is also the NPP MP for Akuapem South, however, said he was politically detained for a day in connection to the Woyome saga over the construction of stadia to host CAN 2008.

“I have never been charged with corruption anywhere and anytime,” he noted.

On Sunday, February 19, 2012, who was then the MP for Aburi-Nsawam was arrested by the Police in front of his house at Parakuo Estates, near Dome when returning from Parliamentary assignment, for causing financial loss to the state in the Woyome saga over the award of a contract to Waterville, Micheletti and Consar, for the construction of stadia for the hosting of the CAN 2008.

He was then sent to the Police Headquarters for questioning, and later released on Monday, February 20, 2012.

At a press briefing organized by the then Minority NPP Caucus, Hon. Amoah told journalists that his arrest was illegal since he did no wrong in the Woyome saga.

He said though there was a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between government and the aforementioned firms in building the Kumasi, Accra and El-Wak stadia, Waterville was not able to raise the funds, as per the dictates of the MoU, hence the abrogation of the said contract.

“The then government had a MoU with three companies – Waterville to look for funding, Consar and Micheletti to build the stadia in respect of the Kumasi and Accra Sports facilities.

“Beyond that, a contract was also signed in April. By August 1, the Attorney-General had written to Waterville, not the local contractors – that in your case, you’ve not been able to raise the funding, the purpose of which a contract was signed with you.”

“In that case, we cannot sign any agreement that we had with you to Cabinet and Parliament, to make it effective, because you have not fulfilled the condition precedent.”

“And that is how come Waterville opted out. In the meantime, a Cabinet sub-committee said that, to be fair to you, these local contractors were on site, and you were looking for money –you are saying that you assisted them in their being on site and then clearing the site, etc., sit down with the consultants and let’s know even with the local contractors how much you have put in. But, because we don’t have any contract with you, we can only pay the contractors, who will then reimburse you for what you claim you have put in, because they will even know. And that is exactly what we did.”

“And as we were leaving, we had told the whole world that every money due Waterville in this arrangement have been paid to the local contractors, who have never denied it – either Consar for Kumasi or Micheletti for El-Wak and Accra. This is what happened. Now, where does causing financial loss come in?” the embattled MP contended.

Mr. Amoah told reporters that under his watch as Deputy Minister of Sports, he worked under four substantive Ministers, namely Mr. Osafo Maafo, Papa Owusu Ankomah, Prof. Dominic Fobih and Ms. Elizabeth Ohene, and that he never took any decision on his own.

Manhyia North MP gives health assistance to 2 Communities

The Member of Parliament for the Manhyia North Constituency, Hon. Collins Owusu Amankwa has given a brand new ambulance and other medical supplies to the Buokrom and Moshie Zongo communities.

At two separate presentation ceremonies at Sepe Buokrom and Moshie Zongo, the MP underscored the importance of having a healthy community.

According to him, human development thrives on the health of citizens. He, therefore, stressed the need to ensure that residents are well catered for at all times.

Laying out more plans for the constituency, the MP indicated his readiness to ensure health clinics and facilities receive the facelift they deserve.

He stressed the need to stock these facilities so as to enable them to attend to emergencies and deliveries.

According to him, the country cannot continue to watch unawares when pregnant mothers die while giving birth. Hon Amankwah indicated his resolve to solicit for more support to ensure medical needs of the constituents are given topmost priority.

Speaking at the elaborate presentation ceremonies, Dr Alberta Nyarko Britwum, Kumasi Metro Director of Health Services expressed her delight at the timely intervention of the Manhyia North MP.

According to her, government alone cannot resolve the challenges at the health sector and would daily depend on such donations to augment what it can provide.

The constant neglect of medical needs at the local communities in the country, the director stressed has had dire consequences on the people.

With nursing mothers and pregnant mothers dying for lack of ambulance to convey them to a better facility, Dr Nyarko intimated such assistance as done by the MP is timely.

Speaking at the presentation, Nana Owusu Bempah, chief of Buokrom thanked the MP for the gesture. He called for support from the people to ensure the MP deliver on his promise.

According to him, proper development thrives when there is unity of purpose. He pledged his support for the MP and encouraged members of the community to individually contribute their quota into building a prosperous Manhyia North Constituency.

Bribery Scandal: 44-paged Ghartey Comittee report out today

A 44-paged report of investigations into the bribery scandal that hit the Appointments Committee of Parliament will be laid before the House today.

Director of Public Affairs at Ghana’s Parliament Kate Addo told Kasapa FM that the report is ready and would be laid by the Joe Ghartey committee before parliament for consideration.

“The full report would be read by the Chairman of the Committee, Joe Ghartey and various media Houses that wish to make a live coverage have the liberty to do so. This is at the instance of the Chairman of the committee. Once the report has been laid then the regular processes in parliament will take it course, because there would be recommendations in the report.” she told sit-in host Kwaku Owusu Adjei on Anopa Kasapa on Kasapa 102.5 FM Wednesday.

The chairman of the committee, Joe Ghartey, gave an indication last Friday the committee will lay its report on Wednesday and “it was contained in the business statement that was read on the floor on Friday [March 24, 2017].”

There were media reports last week that fresh evidence has stalled efforts by the committee to complete its work on schedule.

This followed earlier reports tha

Akufo-Addo will destroy Mahama’s Ghana – NDC MPs warn

The Minority Caucus in Parliament has warned that the robust Ghanaian economy built by the immediate past NDC government led by Mr. John Dramanai Mahama will soon melt down following the introduction of some austerity measures and huge budgetary allocation to service Government Machinery by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

The President, they noted, will destroy the Ghanaian economy if the public does not intervene with the way the NPP government wants to manage it.

The government in its 2017 Budget Statement and Economic Policy gave indication that it will slash all statutory funds by 25% to finance the one-district-one-factory and free SHS policies.

It has therefore introduced the Earmarked Funds Capping and Realignment Bill, 2017 to that effect.

But Parliament on Friday, March 24, 2017, put on hold the Bill which is aimed at freeing up public resources by placing a cap on the specified Earmarked Funds to ensure that tax revenue burdened by those Funds as a result of allocations to them does not exceed 25% of total revenue.

This means that the 7.5% of all total revenue of the country which goes to the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) will be slashed down to 5% if the Earmarked Funds Capping and Realignment Bill, 2017 is approved and implemented.

Similarly, all other statutory funds and internally generated funds (IGF) of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) will be slashed down accordingly following the passage and implementation of the Bill.

For instances, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has projected to collect the sum of GH₵149, 831,338.93 as IGF from its mission operations abroad this year.

But the 2017 budget statement allows the Foreign Affairs Ministry to retain GH₵51,570,645 of the total IGF projection for the year, according the new IGF policy instituted by the Finance Ministry.

This is in sharp contrast of the 100% given to the Ministry over the years.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey commenting on the said policy on the floor of the House, Thursday, March 23, 2017, described the situation as very worrying.

Despite the capping on statutory funds and IGF of the MDAs, the government has earmarked a whooping amount of money totally GH₵1,560,926,672 for the services of the Office of Government Machinery.

About GH₵300million out of this amount is going to the office of the Chief of Staff while the remaining GH₵1.2billion will be used to finance the office of the President.

This, the minority contends is a recipe for disaster if Ghanaians do not rise up to stop the President with this austerity measure and the allocation of huge amount of money to manage his office.

Former Deputy Minister of Finance and Ranking Member of the Finance Committee of Parliament, Cassiel Atto Forson, in an interaction with some journalists with the Parliamentary Press Corps on behalf of his colleagues, Monday, said the decision of the government if allowed to be implemented, will have dire consequences on the Ghanaian economy, noting that the 2017 budget is a deceptive one.

“If care is not taken, we are going to see a new scenario where the banks are saying a lot of government contractors not getting paid and therefore, they [contractors] are not servicing their debt. There is a likelihood that we are going to see a lot on non-performing loans in the banking sector,” Hon. Atto Forson, who is also the MP for Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam, warned.

He argued that the Bill if passed and implemented will see the Minister of Finance taking over the IGF by the MDAs to finance the government’s priority projects like the one-district-one-dam to the detriment of those government agencies.

In his view, the 25% cap on statutory funds such as the District Assemblies Common Fund would affect the release of funds to contractors handling various government projects.

The Finance, William Ken Ofori-Atta who laid Bill, told the House that the intent of the Bill to address rigidities and imbalances in public expenditure.

He further told the House that the Bill if not passed into law will affect the government’s financial plans.

Adwoa Safo, others to be vetted today

Parliament will today begin the vetting of the last batch of ministerial nominees appointed by President Akufo-Addo. In all, four ministers of State including deputy Majority leader Adwoa Safo and 50 deputy ministers are expected to be vetted by the Appointments Committee. The vetting process is expected to continue even when the House goes on recess.

The announcement of the deputy ministers sparked massive public outcry with many Ghanaians raising concerns with the cost implication the huge number of appointees will have on the purse of the state.

Many think tanks including the CDD and IMANI have criticised the president over the move. But the President has justified his decision, saying the enormous nature of the problems confronting the country require a huge number of ministers to fix.

“We have a problem and what is the best way? It is better to have men and women capable of serving the nation’s interests and to work to grow the economy… If I succeed, you will soon find out the brouhaha is nothing compared to the success

It is not in Gov’t interest to manage SOEs – Dr Okoe Boye


The Board Chairman of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr Bernard Okoe Boye has observed that it is not in the interest of any government to be managing State Owned Enterprises (SOEs).

According to him government can hold strategic interests in state institutions but should not aim at running same due to political intricacies in order to derive maximum benefits.

Speaking on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana show in the wake of the removal of the Managing Director of the Ghana Airport Company Ltd, Dr Bernard Okoe Boye who is also the Member of Parliament for Ledzokuku noted relatively old public institutions are well governed based on well-structured traditions hence do not suffer political interference.

The absence of this he noted resulted in the frequent interferences in relatively new institutions including the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), School Feeding Programme.

He noted however that it takes experiences over the years to learn lessons and was convinced the interference may become a thing of the past soon when that culture is established.

The Ledzokuku Member of Parliament agreed with the assertion that it is not good to appoint CEOs of State institutions before their Boards are appointed.

Christian Kpesese/ ghanamps.com

Bribery in Parliament: Joe Ghartey Committee to submit report March 29


The Special Ad Hoc Committee investigating the bribery allegation that has hit the Appointments Committee of Parliament and its Chairman, Joseph Osei Owusu, will present its final report to the Speaker on March 29, 2017.

Acting Director of Public Affairs, Parliament of Ghana, in a statement said the Committee chaired by the Minister for Railways Development and MP for Essikado/Ketan, Hon. Joe Ghartey, was in the process of considering its draft report after three more witnesses appeared before it, Wednesday, March 22, 2017.

The final report of the Committee, she noted, will be submitted to the Speaker on March 29, 2017.

The engagement of the three brings to eight the number of witnesses who have appeared before the Committee to give evidence.

At the commencement of the Committee’s first sitting on Wednesday, February 15, 2017, Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee, Hon Joe Ghartey, announced that the Committee has by consensus agreed to invite only four (4) witnesses to assist it to discharge its mandate given to it by Parliament.

The witnesses include the 1st deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu, Minority Chief Whip, Hon Mohammed Mubarak-Muntaka, MP for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga and the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko.

NDC will go to Supreme Court if DACF is slashed down to 5% – Haruna Iddrisu

The Minority NDC Caucus in Parliament has threatened to go to the Supreme Court to seek for redress if the government goes ahead to place a cap on the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF).

The government in its 2017 Budget Statement and Economic Policy gave indication that it will slash all statutory funds by 25% to finance the one-district-one-factory and free SHS policies.

Should this be implemented, it means that the 7.5% of all total revenue of the country that goes to the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) will be slashed down to 5%.

This, the NDC Minority Caucus contends, will be suicidal to the progress of the 216 Assemblies in the country.

The Minority Leader, Hon. Haruna Iddrisu, commenting on the budget estimate for the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Tuesday, told Parliament that should the government carry out its intentions, it will be a breach of the 1992 Constitution and the Local Governance Act, 936 of 2016.

In effect, he said his side will have no option than to go to the Supreme Court to seek for interpretation over the matter.

“Mr. Speaker, I am by this, serving notice that we intend to invoke the exclusive jurisdiction of the Supreme Court on this matter to seek an interpretation on the difference between total revenue as defined in Article 252 of the Constitution and also total revenue as defined in the Local Governance Act, 936 of 2016 and in particular, to relate it to the Minister’s quest to dedicate 5% of tax revenue. So, we have certain confusion – the Constitution says not less than 5% of total revenue – Mr. Speaker even given that we are relying on the definition of total revenue in the Local Governance Act, it says total revenue – less grant tax revenue of petroleum and less …Mr. Speaker so if we assume that total revenue of Ghana this year is GH₵34billion as was reported by the Minister for Finance, let as assume even though wrongly that already there exist an Act of Parliament which puts the District Assemblies Common Fund at 7.5% not 5%. So, already you are in breach of the legislation. There is also an Act of Parliament which increased the District Assemblies Common Fund to 7.5%.”

“Mr. Speaker, subject to the provisions of this Constitution, Parliament shall annually make provision to the District Assemblies Common Fund not less than 5% of the total revenue. So, we are assuming that not less than 5%, mathematically meaning it can be more than 5% constitutionally.  That is why we passed the Act increasing it to 7.5%.Now even when the law says 7.5%, you are disrespecting it. So far as we are within the constitutional remit of not less than 5% you say that you are within the constitutional provision. But if you go to the budget of total revenue provided as GH₵34billion, the allocation to the District Assemblies Common Fund for this year is GH₵1.5billion – mathematically, if you calculate 5% of this, it is GH₵1.7%billion. So, there is a deficit of GH₵143million even when using the Minister’s definition,” he explained.
Hon. Iddrisu commenting further said the Minority is committed to the deepening of the decentralization process and so will not sit down unconcerned for the laws of the country to be breached

Parliament approves deputy Regional Ministers

Parliament has by consensus approved the ten (10) Deputy Regional Ministers nomination by the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

This follows a recommendation by the Appointment Committee to the House to approve the nominees after going through the vetting process.
The approved names include;

1 Elizabeth Sackey: Greater Accra

2. Amidu Issahaku : Upper West

3. Elizabeth Agyemang: Ashanti Region

4. Adongo Fusieni : Upper East

5. Evans Opoku : Brong Ahafo

6. Joseph Tetteh : Eastern Region

7. Eugenia Gifty Kusi : Western region

8. Thomas Agyei Baffour : Central Region

9. Maxwell Blagogee : Volta region

10. Solomon Boar Bunkpurugu MP: Northern region

Minister runs to Parliament to avoid incurring Speaker’s wrath

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu rushed to Parliament Tuesday to avoid running into problems with the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye.

The Speaker had issued 1 hour, 17 munites ultimatum to the Minister to appear before the House and answer some questions he had been scheduled to, in relation to his ministry.

Hon. Amewu was scheduled to appear in Parliament to give answers over a piece of land belonging to the Ghana Aviation Service in the Adenta constituency in the Greater Accra region.

But at the commencement of proceedings, Mr. Amewu was nowhere to be found.

The Deputy Majority Leader, Hon Adwoa Sarfo, who led the House pleaded the question should be rescheduled for other business to be taken since the minister has left the chamber to attend to some other business elsewhere.

She told the House about a communique she had received from the Minister to attend to some other business elsewhere.

But the Speaker who was not convinced with the explanation gave the Minister up to 12:00 noon to appear before the house.

However, before the ultimatum would expire, the Minister rushed to Parliament to answer the questions to avoid incurring speaker’s wrath.