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Former MPs are to hold service or Diplomatic passport – Public Affairs of Parliament

Acting Director of Public Affairs of Parliament, Mrs Kate Addo in an interview has reveal that former Members of Parliament (MPs) who still hold their service or Diplomatic passport are to return them immediately they are no longer members.

Her comment comes in the wake of three current and one former Members of Parliament who have been barred from entering the UK for allegedly indulging in visa fraud.

The following MPs have been cited, Richard Acheampong Bia East in the Western Region, Joseph Benhazin Asutifi North in the Brong Ahafo Region, Johnson Kwaku Adu Ahafo Ano South in the Ashanti Region and George Boakye former MP for Asunafo South in the Brong Ahafo Region.

She further noted that, the Speaker of Parliament RT Honorable Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye is of the view that any former MP who holds service or Diplomatic passport should return it to avoid any future situation being witnessed.

“We have process of acquiring visas for MPs, Parliament protocol was not involved with the situation we have at hand” and noted that with the current incident, she does not see how that will affect the relationship Parliament has with British High Commission, she pointed out.

Mrs. Kate Addo emphasized that, anything that brings the name of Parliament into disrepute is not acceptable this she indicated when the media wanted to know from her how Parliament takes such news as far as the image of Parliament is concerned.

And added with the current development, she does not know what punishment the Speaker will prescribe to the MPs involved since the issue came to the attention of the House and was being handled at the leadership level.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Govt unshaken by petition over bond issue – Oppong Nkrumah

The Akufo-Addo government is unflustered by the petition to Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to investigate the possible conflict of interest in the $2.25 billion bond issue.

citifmonline.com/Ghana#sthash.LXO95e7p.dpufcitifmonline.com/Ghana#sthash.LXO95e7p.dpufKojo Oppong Nkrumah
In a Citi News interview, a Deputy Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah insisted that the bond was issued in tandem with laid down procedures, hence the position of confidence from the government.

“As far as we are concerned, every appropriate rule has been followed. The right thing has been done at all steps and we are moving forward to deal with the other challenges we have inherited as a government, and also to fulfill the campaign promises we made to the people of Ghana,” Mr. Oppong Nkrumah said.

He, however, said the petitioner, the Ashanti Regional Youth Organiser of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Yaw Brogya Genfi, is only exercising a right he is entitled too “and I think we will all expect CHRAJ to do its work and put out its findings.”

“He has gone to CHRAJ asking it to answer. CHRAJ will do its work and answer, we will not turn the tables and seek to litigate or seek to provide those answers out here. He has gone to the appropriate forum so let the appropriate forum do its work,” the minister said.

Yaw Brogya Genfi’s petition follows concerns by the Minority over what they term as “conflict of interest” in the $2.25 bond issue, which the Government has vehemently denied.

The Minority in its conflict of interest allegations, said a non-executive director on the board of Investment Firm, Franklin Templeton, who purchased 95 percent of the $2.25 billion bond, is also the Chairman of the Enterprise Group, which has links to the Attorney-General and the Finance Minister.

The Ministry of Finance, however, described the attacks on the $2.25 billion bond issued as baseless.

Brogya Genfi demands answers
Yaw Brogya Genfi
Brogya Genfi, in his petition, sided with this position, saying Mr. Ofori Atta “has attempted to promote a private or personal interest for himself or for some family members and business associates, and the promotion of the private interest has resulted in, or was intended to result in, or appears to have resulted in, or has the potential to result in an interference with the objective exercise of his duties and an improper benefit or an advantage by virtue of his position”

Mr. Genfi also demanded that the following questions must be answered:

Was a substantial portion of the bond purchased by Franklin Templeton Investments, if so, how much?

Is Trevor G. Trefgarne a Director of Franklin Templeton Investments?

Is Trevor G. Trefgarne the Chairman/Director of Enterprise Group Ltd?

Are Dr. Mrs. Angela Ofori-Atta, Mr. Keli Gadzekpo, Hon. Gloria Akuffo and Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta Directors of the Board of Enterprise Group Ltd.?

If not, were they Directors of the Board in the immediate past?

Does Databank Ltd. own part of Enterprise Group Ltd. or any of its affiliates?

Does Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta have any shares or business interest in Databank Ltd. or did he have any shares or business interest in the immediate past?

Is Keli Gadzekpo a business partner of the Minister for Finance or was Keli Gadzekpo a business partner of the Minister for Finance immediately before the Minister was sworn in as Minister for Finance?

Did Hon. Gloria Akuffo resign from the board of Enterprise Group Ltd. and, if so, was this before the commencement of the process of the bond issuance?

Did Hon. Gloria Akuffo, as Attorney-General & Minister for Justice, have no knowledge of the bond arrangement and, if so, why not?

Were the initial pricing guidelines of the Bond issued around 5:37pm on March 30, 2017, after normal working hours?

Was the transaction opened around 9.00am on March 31, 2017, and closed around 4.20pm of the same day?

Was the transaction opened before the announcement was made to the public? • Was the placement method used competitive and transparent or was it “cooked” for one single investor?

• Did the Minister for Finance make full disclosure of his relational interest in the bond issuance either before or during the process?

Did the Attorney-General make full disclosure of her relational interest in the bond issuance either before or during the process?

Did the Minister for Finance adhere to the 1992 Constitution, the Code of Conduct for Public Officers of Ghana, CHRAJ’s guidelines on conflict of interest for Public Officers, and other relevant rules and laws pertaining to conflict of interest and issues of corruption?

Should the Minister for Finance resign or be removed from office?

Did the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice adhere to the 1992 Constitution, the Code of Conduct for Public Officers of Ghana, CHRAJ’s guidelines on conflict of interest for Public Officers, and other relevant rules and laws pertaining to conflict of interest and issues of corruption?

Should the Attorney-General resign or be removed from office?

source: citifmonline.com/Ghana

PAC public hearing is not a witch-hunting exercise – Chairman reveals

Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Hon. James Klutse Avedzi has reveal that, workings of the committee is not a witch-hunting exercise as being perceived by section of the public. He made this remarks at the first sitting of the committee in Parliament.

He said, the PAC is one of the accountability mechanism to ensure that public officers entrusted with state resources, properly account for funds under their custody, adding that it also create the avenue for proper scrutiny of into their dealings to check if they were made in the interest of the state.

“Peddling of falsehood, or deliberate misinformation could have legal implication, you are therefore advice to speak to things you know and if you are not sure of an information say so, we are open to frank discussion you will be on oath”, he said to those gathered.

The first sitting of the Public Account Committee of the seventh Parliament of the fourth Republic, is expected to consider the report of the Auditor-General on statement of Foreign Exchange receipts payment of the Bank of Ghana for the whole of 2015.

Performance audit in the Auditor-General report concerning the Agric Ministry’s disposal of Government old vehicles were also examined, when representatives of the ministry faced members of the committee on Wednesday.

Next to appear before the Committee will be, Ghana Health Service, to answer questions about the safety and quality of medicines used in Ghana.

Ranking member of the committee Hon. Kingsley Aboagye-Gyedu urged the Bank of Ghana representative to be truthful, since they will not want to witness any unpleasant situation as happened in the past.

Bank of Ghana was represented by the second Deputy Governor, Dr. Johnson P. Asiamah, Mr. Erick Hammond assistant director Banking department, Mr. Felix Adu chief internal auditor, Mr. Stephen Opata assistant director financial marketing department and Ken Adu assistant director banking department,.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Stop sacking CEOs of Public Institutions- Yieleh Chireh

Former Minister of Health in the erstwhile John Evans Atta Mills’s administration, Joseph Yieleh Chireh has bemoaned the coup mentality approach by the Akufo-Addo’s government in sacking Chief Executive Officers of Public Institutions and has advice that it must end.

He said, we ought to improve on whatever went wrong with the transition of 2001 and 2009 that is why concern Ghanaians and civil society push for a transitional Act to govern how our transition is done in an orderly manner.

The MP, who was speaking in an interview with Ghanamps.com further noted that, Ghana received international commendation for ensuring smooth handover of power from the John Dramani Mahama administration to the now governing Akufo Addo’s government.
Image result for joseph yieleh chireh
Lingering in the minds of people is this coup mentality, your party was in power, now our party is in power leave immediately for another person to take over is not good for Ghana, “we must make sure that Chief Executive Officers of Public Agencies and Cooperation’s properly hand over to their successors after proper procedures have been followed”, he added.

As President, if you think these Chief Executive Officers may take major decisions you will not like, direct that they hold on to such decisions. When we finish approving the Presidents Ministers as they have taken their respective position they will be in better positon to advice the President as to who to retain and disapprove the Wa West legislator remarked.

How can we encourage and attract the best expertise and qualify persons to come and take over our Public Institutions, ‘within weeks, after one party loses an election you are asking heads of Public cooperation’s and agencies to proceed on leave and appointing others in acting capacity. The period given for handing over is so ridiculous it creates the impression that something is going on wrong, Joseph Yieleh Chireh said.

According to the former Health Ministers, in 2009 people criticize late President Professor Mills for appointing acting Inspector General of Police(IGP) and said it was unconstitutional how on earth in 2017 we have had acting IGP. For the security agencies some of these positions are mention in the Constitution, the person knowns he may no longer be in that position, you must give him that dignity haven serve his Country sufficient time to hand over and for a smooth transition. Again the President himself is going against the rule of law, for us to continue to improve on transfer of power, with the security agencies you cannot just say because your contact has ended everybody is going.

President Nana Akufo-Addo’s government has to build sufficient evidence against Chief Executives Officers (CEO’s) of Public Institutions who make errors, they should be taken through the process, and nobody is saying he does not have the right to appoint heads of these Institutions. “Immediately you say proceed on leave, you are fueling the suspicion that those heads of these Public Institutions are looting and doing things they should not have done”, he emphasis .

He added that, observing things that went wrong during the transitional periods, in 2016 the Presidential Transition Act was amended to correct the errors, hence with these approach of rampant proceed of weeks after a new government takes power we need to amend our Presidential transition Act and make it a law how CEO’s of Public Institutions exit office.

“The New Patriotic Party (NPP) boost of being a rule of law party, they should follow the rule of law and should engage themselves in this illegal act. When question about this act they tell you, you should accept it because the circumstance demand that what circumstance? I do not see any circumstance civility is the way to go. If we have a state of emergency, we should be told and it should be declared but the speed with which things are being done is worrisome”, he said.

He further said if that be the case then we should put in the Ghanaian Constitution that, the day you lose an election your mandate ends. Nobody is preventing the current government from reviewing decisions taken from Nkrumah’s era till date if there is a fast way of putting the Council of State together let us do it so that President Nana Akufo-Addo can consult them as stipulated in the Constitution of Ghana.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com


“Deputy Ministers dont need police protection”- MP

Member of Parliament (MP) for Akim Swedru, Honorable Kennedy Osei Nyarko is advocating for withdrawal of the usual police protection for current Deputy Ministers.

“What they need the police siting in their cars for, as a Deputy Minister you are moving from your home to work, rather I am advocating for them to get security at their residencies to protect their families. Police sitting in front of your car is additional cost, you are not the substantive Minister, you are not the policy director the policy director is the substantive Minister you are just to support the Minister why do you need police sitting in your car. When we need police at other places, already we saying we have shortage of police and we keep recruiting, that is my view I will be happy if government considers that, the Majority legislator remarked”.

In an interview with ghanamps.com, the legislator further pushed that Ministers and their deputies should be asked to pay for their utility bills whiles in government accommodation and deduction should be made from source. By this, they will be careful when using those utilities.

“If you are a Minister or Deputy why do you want to drive in V8 vehicle to work for what, is it for luxury or for what all of them should be given salon cars and the engine capacity should not go beyond 2.0. Then we have a poll of V8 vehicle assigned them for official assignment which should be returned after that assignment”, he said.

On the hullabaloo that has been generated over the huge size of President Akufo-Addo’s Ministers, he noted that the President is rather saving the country money, out of the 110 Ministers seventy percent of them are Members of Parliament he said.

“These are men and women whether they work or not they will receive their salary and end of service benefit, as a measure to save the Country a lot of money I will get sixty(60) to seventy(70) percent of both Ministers and their Deputies from Parliament. It is not going to be an additional burden on the consolidated funds the difference in their salary for Ministers and an MP is eight hundred (800) Ghana and that of a Deputy Minister and an MP is two hundred (200) Ghana”.

What if the President had decided to appoint forty-eight (48) percent of his Ministers and Deputies outside Parliament, do you know the cost implication on the consolidated funds? Government has been able to cut cost because the 48 percent will have drawn from the consolidated fund he lamented.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Dep. Minister calls on Northern Chiefs, ask for support

The Deputy Northern Regional Minister, Hon. Solomon Boar has sought support from the chiefs and people of the area as he begins to play his part in the governance and administration of the region.

According to him, the “difficult” task ahead needed all hands on deck hence, his decision to engage various stakeholders to help in the distribution of developmental programmes geared towards improving livelihoods in the region.

The minister who also doubles as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bunkpurugu constituency made the request when he paid a courtesy call on the chiefs and people of Mamprugu, Nakpanduri, Bimbagu, Bendi and Bunkprugu at their various palaces.

He was accompanied by the northern regional secretary of the NPP Sule Salifu, deputy regional organiser of the NPP Mr. Joseph Suayam, deputy regional security coordinator, deputy Nalarigu district cordinator, Bunkpurugu district cordinator, Bunkpurugu NPP constituency executives as well as the Nalarigu NPP consituency executives.

The team, which first stopped at Mamprugu palace also made same stops at the Nakpanduri chief palace, the Bimbagu Chief palace, Bendi Chief Palace and finally the Bunkpurugu Chief palace.

At the Mamprugu, His royal Majesty, king of Mamprugu tasked the minister to be more patient and accommodative, and also urged him to help preserve the rule of law in the region, adding that “who so ever tries to jeopardize the peace we are enjoying, should accordingly be dealt with by the law”.

The chiefs also lamented on a number of challenges including the increasing graduate unemployment, rate of poverty situation in the metropolis and growing concerns of insecurity in the region. They appealed to him to do all within his power to tackle these concerns.

In his responds, Hon. Boar said chiefs will be allowed to play key role in a number of government plans and projects that will soon be rolled out to help create jobs for the people and improve their livelihoods.

He took the opportunity to express his express appreciation to the chiefs for the support they extended to him during his vetting and also called on them not to hesitate in reaching out to him on matters of concern.


Capping of statutory funds wrong move by government

Capping of statutory funds, by President Nana Akufo-Addo’s government is damaging to the economy we will not see it immediately. Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) should have been allocated one point four billion Ghana cedis instead seven hundred and ninety million has been allocated, Member of Parliament(MP)for Ho Central Honorable Benjamin Komla Kpodo lamented in an interview with ghanamps.com.

He further pointed out that, GETFund has embarked on a lot of school project across the Country, “how are they going to pay the contractors who are building classrooms for us, how are they going to embark on building new classrooms?”

Again our students studying abroad, GETFund is sponsoring many people, how will they meet their obligation this is a bad move by government capping statutory funds, he said.
“I pray that the Ghana Education Trust Fund(GETFund) does some magic to meet their obligation and we do not see Ghanaian students abroad demonstrating, because we cannot meet our obligation to those foreign institutions”.

The District Assembly Common Fund which use to be seven half percent, because of the capping instead of one point seven billion Ghana cedis they are being given one point two five billion, this is going to affect development in the local communities. Since they know what to do from their locality and not the Flagstaff House seat of government, he lamented.

These capping which has occurred, within this 100 days in officer of the current government has a lot of troubles for the Country, again the huge size of ministers we have, the MP minister is going to have free fuel, police escort, special assistance free utilities burden on the state, the Ho Central legislator said.

“It is untruth for anyone to say, the MP Ministers is cost saving to the state, in fact what is going to be added is three times more cost to the state, as MP’s we are going to be given loans to purchase our own vehicles. It is not going to be easy maintain 110 Ministers, so that protection of the public purse message delivered by the President is a mirage”.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

NPP exposed with their substandard performance in 100 days

Member of Parliament for Juaboso, Honorable Kwabena Mintah Akandoh says the New Patriotic party (NPP) government’s substandard performance within 100 days in office. Exposes their much touted mantra during the 2016 Presidential and Parliamentary that “we have the men” in an interview with ghanamps.com.

Image result for hon akandoh If you are in government and you think that you have the men 110 ministers, such that you are dashing out position right center left and you think you will allow, Deputy Majority leader Honorable Sarah Adwoa Sarfo hold two positon, so be it he said.

He further noted that, the Minority should not waste their time debating as to why the Deputy Majority leader is still keeping her position, despite her elevation to the position of Minister of state in charge of procurement.

And noted that, the President Nana Akufo-Addo’s positon that more people should be given the opportunity to serve in his government in other to achieve his target is defeated. “All we are looking for is reduction in our electricity tariff, transportation fares same, if free Senior High school is achievable”, he remarked.

As to whether the Minority will be guided on promises they make to Ghana’s come 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary election, the Juaboso legislator noted that, “we have always been guided by the kind of promises we give to Ghanaians, we do not take the people of this Country for granted as NPP’s Dr. Bawumia is doing” he said.

And further pointed out that, irrespective of the fact, the current government has appointed seven substandard people to be in charge of the Information Ministry, “the Vice Presidents position has turn to be another propaganda wing of government machinery”.

For Christ sake, must it take the Vice President to tell us the achievement of government within 100 days? We have seven people in charge of communication, should the Vice President be doing this tell me? “I will not have bothered if the Vice President touch on figures facts and truths, he goes by saying you have allocated two hundred and twenty million to distressed companies, where are the companies mention them. You as journalist, do you know one, you go by saying you have cancelled power purchasing agreement of twenty companies do you know one, if you a journalist you do not know how much more my mother in the village” he lamented.

He further added, “they go by saying we have reduce fertilizers so clap for us, fertilizer that former President John Mahama was distributing for free in cocoa growing areas and now you say we should buy it at fifty seven cedis a bag and now you say we should clap for you”, he questioned.

A President who says he is in a hurry to develop this nation, party party right center left, he has celebrated his birthday flamboyantly, celebrate twenty years in marriage and celebrate the grandchildren what kind of governance is this? Let us get serious in this nation, he said lamenting.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Amend Constitution to make special prosecutor independent

The Member of Parliament for Daboya/Mankarigu, Honorable Shaibu Mahama is calling on the President Nana Akufo-Addo to initiate a process to amend the constitution to the make   the special prosecutor independent of the Attorney General’s office in an interview with ghanamps.com.

He quoted article 88 (4) of the 1992 constitution to back his demand, “All offences prosecuted in the name of the Republic of Ghana shall be at the suit of the Attorney-General or any other person authorized by him in accordance with any law”.

Honorable Mahama Shaibu, commended President Nana Akufo-Addo for fulfilling his camping promise of creating a special prosecutor’s office to fight corruption and noted that, he appreciate the devastating effect of corruption on any economy.

Appointing a special prosecutor whose activities will be at the dictate of the Attorney General, the constitution says it is only the AG who is responsible for all criminal offences you either come and amend the constitution to make space for the prosecutor, he said.

“You cannot guarantee independent of the special prosecutor, mind you Attorney General by extension is Executive and vested with enormous power. One enters what we call in law nolle prosequi, that is, at any stage in criminal justice administration and in trial before verdict the AG can throw in the towel, that the state is no long interested in this case”.

So you have a special prosecutor who is trying a case, “a political case” along the line the AG comes and says the state is no longer interested in this particular case, then that becomes useless exercise, he lamented.

“Give the special prosecutor powers to do an independent work without interference, he sit alone does his work, it does not matter which government comes to power that independent is there”.

The Daboya/Mankarigu legislator further noted that, it is not just a matter of creating the special prosecutor’s office to fulfill a camping promise but making the office independent. It will only amount to creating an office to push for political vindicator, since that officer will be at the direction of the AG.
We all want to see a criminal administrative justice system that is devoid of being bias and if you do not have an independent prosecutor, you open the door for people to accuse you of political persecution, he said.

In addition, anti-corruption institutions should be strengthen to help with the crusade against corruption in the Country the law maker emphasis.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Election of MMDCEs will solve unnecessary rivalry with MPs

Former Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hon Joseph Yieleh Chireh says election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) will solve unnecessary rivalry with Members of Parliament (MP’s) but the Constitution is making it difficult for it to happen.

He said despite the promise by President Nana Akufo-Addo to see to election of MMDCEs next year, the hurdles are too many, because it will require Constitutional amendment.

Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh 11Mr. Yieleh Chireh in an interview with Ghanamps.com also noted that even as the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has majority in Parliament, they do not have 2/3 majority which means they cannot take a decision without us. If they open it up there will be no confusion, people will gladly embrace it and it will help a long way to reduce the tension.

Again with our current Constitution when you become a Member of Parliament you are likely to become a Minister, as human as we are we all aspire to get to the National level. Except in the case of Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) they control budget bigger than some Ministries he remarked.

“However as a former Minister, the likely problem I envisage we are likely to have in the future is an elected MMDCEs who is not in the same party of the sitting President”, he stated.

His comments come in the wake of most MMDCE aspirants alleging that most sitting MP’s on the majority side are lobbying for their preferred candidates to be appointed every passing week.

Once they become Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCE’s) they can mobilize resources and contest siting MPs at their primaries that is the first fear, again some of them make the Constituency or the District very difficult for sitting MP’s not contesting but political mobilization, he noted.

“Rivalry between sitting MPs and aspirant MMDCEs is that, some of the aspirant are not doing well in their interviews at various levels and they think their MP’s are behind this. In addition they think once the MPs are in Accra they will influence the leadership of the party not to select them”, he said. Unfortunately the contestant MMDCEs are people who will have contested or supported others to contest the sitting MP in the primaries before the general election so obviously those tension will be there.

He pointed out that the MPs are sometimes also over reacting, adding that it is not so easy for MMDCEs to become MPs because though they work closely with the people, only those who excel are rewarded. In 2008, NPP put out 30 former DCEs who contested for Parliament but only two (2) were able to make it.

“When we were in the majority we also had similar problems, we knew MMDCE’s who were interested in contesting us and because elections have become expensive whoever is able to mobilize resource is the one to fear”.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com