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MP advertises Telephone Numbers to reach out to constituents

In his quest to stay in constant touch with constituents who elected him, the honorable Member of Parliament for the Gomoa East constituency, Kojo Asemanyi has openly displayed his three telephone numbers on Giants Bill boards across the constituency.

Image result for Kojo AsemanyiAccording to him, the move is to enable his constituents reach him from the comfort of their homes and wherever they are with their concerns to help bring development to the area.

He said the initiative is to depart from the norm where politicians usually changed their telephone numbers when they assume political power on behalf of the very people they promised to serve.
Speaking to Parliamentafrica in an interview, Hon Kojo Asemanyi disclosed that he receives over 50 calls daily from his constituents with several concerns including requests for school fees among other supports.

As a result, the Gomoa East lawmaker said he is well informed about every single happening within the constituency and assured of his determination to garner the needed through lobbying and other initiatives for the development of the area which has been neglected for long.

Ghana Not Serious in promoting Science and Technology

The honorable Member of Parliament (MP) for the Akim Swedru, Mr Kennedy Osei Nyarko has expressed worry about the lack of seriousness by the nation with regards to the promotion of Science and Technology which has the potential to turn the economic fortunes of the nation for the better.

The MP who acknowledged science and technology as the backbone of every economy wondered why Ghana spent its scarce resources into the training and payment of compensation of Scientists but finds it difficult to resource them and their institutions into research to enable them come out with useful findings for the benefit of the country.

`Science and technology is the backbone of every country, the country cannot move, if that country does not take science and technology seriously’’ he observed.

The Akim Swedru law-maker stated that “the contribution of Science and Technology to Ghana`s GDP is less than 1% and any serious country that wants to break bounds and develop, and go higher, if you look at other developed world, you cannot get to that stage if you don’t take science and technology serious’’.
Hon Kennedy Osei Nyarko expressed these reservations in a debate on the floor of parliament that approved the 2017 budget estimates of the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI).

According to him the inadequate resource allocation to the ministry and its thirteen agencies by successive governments over the years is an indicative of Ghana’s lack of seriousness towards the promotion of science and technology.

The MP observed that due to the lack of adequate budgetary allocation to the ministry and its agencies, foreign countries and organisations rather invests into the research works of Ghanaian scientists and agencies and subsequently takes away their research findings to the detriment of our country, Ghana.
Hon Kennedy Osei Nyarko however takes solace in the new NPP government assurance to invest enough resource into the promotion of Science and technology as a key element in the development of the nation.

“I am happy that the NPP administration lead by his Excellency the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has pledged, has made a commitment to ensure that science and technology is being promoted and become key in our nation`s development’’ he said.

Wasa East MP unhappy over missing Cocoa roads in 2017 Budget

The honorable Member of Parliament for the Wasa East, Isaac Adjei Mensah has expressed worry about the fact that the 2017 Budget statement did not make a single provision for the continuation of the cocoa roads rehabilitation projects started by the previous government.

Mr Adjei Mensah who was the immediate past deputy Minister for Roads and Highways noted that despite the importance of the project, the 2017 budget statement presented by the Finance Minister to Parliament was very silent on Cocoa Roads Improvement Programme’’ (CRIP) which he noted is very critical for the development of rural cocoa growing communities and the economic stability of the country.

According to him the previous John Mahama led government as a result of CRIP has committed enough resources into the construction of Cocoa roads which has contributed to providing easy access to cocoa growing communities and other rural areas.

This collective effort by the former government in collaboration with COCOBOD and other stakeholders he said has resulted in increase production of the commodity and enhanced standards of living.

The Wasa Amenfi East lawmaker also noted that the former government had ensured that the Road Fund was prudently managed which has generated enough funds, portions of which can be allocated for the continuation of cocoa roads especially unable to reach areas such Wasa and Sefwi areas.

Mr Adjei Mensah noted with deep concerns that the 2017 budget only made allocations for the maintenance and rehabilitation of some existing road projects but fails to acknowledge cocoa and other major roads that needs urgent attention.

He however expressed optimism that the Minister for Finance, Mr Ken Ofori Ata would make provisions for cocoa roads in the expected supplementary budget later in the year due to the socio-economic importance of cocoa roads to the development of the nation.
In 2015 then President Mahama cut the sod for the commencement of a five year Cocoa Roads Rehabilitation Projects across the country.

The US$ 750 million project under the sponsored of the Ghana COCOBOD was expected to help ease the challenges faced in the transportation of Ghana`s premier foreign exchange earner from the farm gates and cocoa growing communities which were mostly not accessible.

The specially designed road project was expected to see a yearly capital injection of US$150 million for five years.
Six out of the ten regions including Eastern, Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Volta and Western were expected to benefit from the project where the cash crop is largely grown.

It was also expected to provide access roads to rural communities of the country.
The commencement of the project provided dedicated attention to such roads with significant improvements.

By Christian Kpesese

Kayaye tax exemption as an incentive to the trade –Bole/Bamboi MP

The Member of Parliament for the Bole/Bamboi constituency, Hon Yusif Sulemana has described as unfortunate the decision by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government to abolish market tolls on market women including heard porters popularly called “Kayaye’’ calling it a populace approach.

According to him, the decision would rather encourage more under-privileged girls and children of school-going age to venture into the practice.

The MP expressed worry that the 2017 budget statement failed to mention and provide direction about how governments intends to curb the kayaye menace.

According to him in 2014, the erstwhile Mahama led government through the then Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection Nana Oye Lithtur presented to Parliament a comprehensive policy on the way-forward to the kayaye menace.

He noted that most girls who were involved in the kayaye trade benefited from the policy which established skills training programmes including dressmaking, hairdressing among others.
Most of the beneficiaries have been reintegrated into their communities with seed capitals to establish themselves into gainful employments.

He stated that the kayaye menace does not only affect the three regions up north but rather a national concern that requires a collective effort to tackle.

The menace he sad exposes children of school-going age to all manner of dangers, creates challenges of teenage pregnancy, exposes girls to rape and other health related challenges such as abortion.

The Bole/Bamboi lawmaker is therefore urged the NPP Government continue with what the NDC government started or initiate new programs targeted at women and children empowerment for the good of society.

In a related development, Hon Usif Sulemana observed that the proposed capping of earmarked funds to statutory bodies through

the Earmarked Funds Capping and Realigment Bill, 2017 would lead to the collapse of most state

By Christian Kpesese

Akufo-Addo’s govt thugs eroding investor confidence – Minority

The Minority NDC Caucus in the Parliament of Ghana has described the performance of Akufo-Addo- Bawumia led government in their 100 days in office as nothing but failure and waste of the country’s resources.

According to the NDC MPs,  President Akufo-Addo’s short stay in office was mostly characterized by plagiarism, acts of hooliganism and terrorism by Delta Force, Kandahar Boys and Invincible Forces, while draining state coffers with the cost of running an over-sized government.

Addressing a press conference to put the spot on President Akufo-Addo’s 100 days in office in Accra, Tuesday, the deputy minority leader James Klutse Avedzi, said government needs to do more to set the minds and hearts of Ghanaians at peace by dealing with the acts of terrorism.

“Ghana today under the AKufo-Addo government is witnessing state sponsored thuggery and terrorism and we the citizens have watched on helpless as our compatriots have been subjected to brutal assaults, harassment and intimidation,” he bemoaned.

“This state of affairs have come to define the first 100 days of this government and there appears to be no end in insight,” he added.

Mr. Avedzi said the activities of the vigilante groups affiliated to the government is having a telling effect on the image of the country.

“Nothing can be more embarrassing to the country of Kofi Annan who made [Ghanaians and…Africans] extremely proud as Secretary General of the United Nation (UN).  Today, this is how president Akufo-Addo’s government rewards Kofi Annan,” he said in reference to the condemnation of the activities of the of the aforementioned vigilante groups by the UN.

Sadly, he said,  “this spate of thuggery and outright lawlessness will most definitely have a negative impact on attracting foreign investors into the country which will adversely affect the country’s economy.

“In area of security therefore the Akufo-Addo Bawumia government have been an abysmal failure and they need to do more in the coming days to earn the confidence of Ghanaians. They need to do more to set the heart and minds of Ghanaians at peace. They should desist from choosing political expedience over reason and stop turning a blind eye as their thugs unleash more attacks on Ghanaians,” he noted.

Nobody can prevent change, embrace it – Bagbin advises NDC

Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, says the change in political governance that overtook the country after the December 2016 polls is normal.

He said nobody can prevent change and that it comes when the time is due. He has, therefore, urged Ghanaians to embrace the change of government and make the most out of it.

Image result for Alban Sumana Kingsford BagbinMr Bagbin made the statement on the sidelines of the celebration of this year’s Wilaa festival at Takpo in the Nadowli-Kaleo district of the Upper West Region. He spoke to the media on a wide range of issues starting with the shocking defeat of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) at the polls and touched the need for the NDC to organise itself to win the 2020 polls.

“It is important to take advantage of that change and make sure that it inures to your benefit. So I was drawing attention to making the change beneficial to us and our people,” he said. “Whatever we have done, the change that has come with its leadership,” Alban Bagbin said.

Even though he was one of the critics of the governance style of former President John Dramani Mahama, Mfr Bagbin said he least expected the party to lose miserably at the polls.

The former Majority Leader in Parliament descended heavily on the John Mahama-led administration for lacking the political will to fight corruption and remained inaccessible during the early days his (John Mahama) Presidency.

Alban Bagbin again continued his tirade after a presidential staffer Stan Dogbe called him a “big liar” who had failed to fight corruption as a Minister of Health. “If such characters as Stan Dogbe, are those managing the president, then our president is naked, very naked!”, Bagbin had said at the time.

However, after the abysmal showing at the polls last December, Mr Bagbin explained that what he did then was to reecho the early warning signs that some things were going wrong with NDC governance style.

“I realised that in spite of the intellectual wealth of our party; the quality of the personnel, we still needed something to make it thick. We needed cool heads, knowledge, experience to get things right which was lacking in the leadership,” Mr Bagbin said.

181 doctors, 11,000 health trainees to be employed

The government has given the financial clearance for 181 doctors and 11,000 health trainees to be employed this year. Some of the health trainees completed their training as far back as 2012 but remained at home.

Deputy Information Minister Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, emphasised this on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Tuesday, April 18, 2017. He was reiterating comments made by Vice-President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia at Joy News’ 100 days Town hall with the Vice.

Dr. Bawumia stressed whilst the Nana Akufo-Addo government didn’t set itself a 100-day target, it nonetheless made great strides in the time. He said government had chalked up significant achievements in about 103 areas in almost all the important sectors of the economy.

“103 achievements in 100 days,” he called it.

Giving impetus to Dr. Bawumia’s presentation, the Deputy Information Minister said, the NPP “looked at our manifesto as an agenda for our four-year term of office.” He said the Vice-President’s presentation “was to explain to the people of Ghana through [Joy News], what we have been doing in these 100 days.”

Mr. Oppong-Nkrumah stressed that Dr. Bawumia’s submissions should not be construed to mean that in the 100 days, “the full benefits of what we have been doing will [reflect] in everybody’s life.”

He said time goes on, the benefits of the government’s decisions and actions will become more and more apparent. About 15 different tax cuts have been made by the government which is bringing relief to companies, he stated.

Explaining why some of the tax cuts announced by the government have not taken effect, the Ofoase-Ayirebi Member of Parliament said, “it is important to understand the value chain of how things happen; first you read the policy, second you bring the amendment bills to parliament and have them passed; where we are now is to get the intervening agencies to fully translate the benefits to the people of Ghana.”

For instance, he said even though government has declared an intention to remove taxes on spare parts imported into the country, certain protocols have to be followed for this to happen.

“We have done a lot of work on spare parts; we have gone through the classifications; we are engaging with ECOWAS, when we are done and the policy implication is done by government, there would still be spare parts dealers at Abossey Okai, Kumasi and elsewhere who will now have the onus of translating what we are doing to benefit the people of Ghana,” he explained.

Touching on the vexed issue of VAT on financial services which Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta announced would be abolished but which it is reported hasn’t taken effect, the Deputy Minister said “as you do know, not even the Governor of the Central Bank can literally walk into a bank and stand at the door and say, ‘do this or don’t do that.’ If you take the case of taxes for example, even when it is passed, the Ghana Revenue Authority now has to issue guidelines [for implementation].”

He said the government was engaging with the relevant institutions to ensure that all the tax cuts reflect on beneficiary corporate organisations and individuals.

Akufo-Addo’s 100 days achievement incomparable–MP

Member of Parliament for Manhyia North constituency, Randy Collins Owusu Amankwaa, has tagged the political achievements of the government’s one hundred days in office as incomparable.

He told 3News the economic initiatives introduced within the few days of the Akufo-Addo-led government is targeted at making the Ghanaian economy robust and resilient.

He said the current performance of the cedi against the international trading currencies is a clear indication of a government with the proficiency of changing the state of the economy.

“Within a spate of three months, the cedi which was convulsing and has almost lost it dignity against the US dollar in the past administration has now gained weight, and this is good for the local business,” he said.

He described President Nana Akufo-Addo’s administration as a beacon of hope for Ghanaians which manifested in the electoral performance of the party during the 2016 general elections, saying the government will not fail the people.

“This is a serious government and committed to the wellbeing of the people. This government has brought relief to international and local investors, the tax exemptions on some importation and businesses will ensure that companies are expanded and jobs created for the youths. This is a good sign of an economic growth” he stated.

Meanwhile, the MP’s annual football gala has been held at the Krofrom Division park. Four teams drawn from combined communities in the Manhyia North constituency locked horns in a football match on Easter Monday.

The programme was initiated by Mr Amankwaa to offer the opportunity for young footballers optimise their talent. Scouts are normally invited to study the players and help them get deals. Four of such players have gained deals to play in Europe.

NDC MPs to scrutinize Prez Akufo-Addo’s 100 days in office

The Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) Caucus in the Parliament of Ghana will on Tuesday, April 18, 2017, organise a press conference to put the spotlight on President Akufo-Addo and the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) 100 days in office since they won political power.

They will examine all the aspect of the economy ranging from health, education, agriculture, security, sanitation, the general economy, the country’s foreign policy among others and tell Ghanaians whether they are satisfied with the performance of the NPP’s administration or not.

The press conference which will be held at the Job 600 located at the precincts of Parliament is expected to be addressed by the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu.

Monday, April 17, 2017, marked exactly 100 days in office of President Akufo-Addo and the NPP.

Minority to petition CHRAJ over Addison C’tee report

The Minority in Parliament has indicated their readiness to petition the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) over alleged compromises by the Philip Addison-led committee that probed the AMERI deal, which they contend smacks conflict of interest situation in its work.

The Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson said it will table a motion before CHRAJ to further investigate what they say was alleged malfeasance by the Philip Addison-led committee just after the Easter festivity.

The Minority NDC members in Ghana’s Parliament led by former Power minister, Dr. Kwabena Donkor, revealed at a press conference that the Turkish firm paid the hotel bills and plane tickets when members of the committee traveled outside the country to investigate it over the contract signed in 2015.

The Addison committee charged to review, restructure and recommend areas of amendment of the Ameri power deal, has recommended that the deal be re-negotiated or abrogated on grounds of fraud, after it emerged that Ghana was made to pay 150 million dollars extra in commission to Africa & Middle East Resources Investment Group LLC (Ameri Energy) for the construction of the power plant.

Ameri in its agreement with Government dated February 10th, 2015, charged Ghana significantly higher than what it was charged by the Turkish registered company – PPR, which financed and executed the project, the committee said.

Speaking to the media on the development at a press conference Monday, Dr. Donkor urged the government to be candid with Ghanaians on the issue.

“Members of the Addison Committee, including Mr Addison, visited Dubai, they had meetings with AMERI even after this report was written. We will want to ask who paid for their tickets. We want to ask; who paid for their tickets, who paid for their hotel accommodation? We have the evidence that Ameri energy paid for the hotel that they used, paid for their tickets.

“If you’re going to investigate someone, do they pay for your accommodation and host you? We are in a country of law, our side will not want to see an energy sector divided between NDC and NPP and therefore they should be candid with us,” he said.

In a latest interview with Accra-based Citi FM, Ato Casiel Forson described as “embarrassing, unethical and shameful” the conduct of the committee

“I am going to take this matter to CHRAJ to probe the committee. I am going to petition CHRAJ for them to probe this company,” Mr. Ato Forson stated.

The minority on the back of this claims has discredited the findings of the committee given that it had some skeletons in its own closet.

“For a government that claims it wants to investigate a contractor for wrongdoing, this contractor pays for your ticket, gives you a hotel, goes further to give you per diem and gave the committee members some money for the purposes of shopping.

“Clearly, they failed to disclose the matter, and what is the intent behind the failure to disclose the matter? In terms of materiality, the amount given to them and flying them first class is enough justification to make it material. Putting them in a first class hotel is worse, and the fact that they accepted per diem and shopping money from the contractor.

“What makes the matter worse is that, I am hearing that since they came back, they made a phone call to ECG telling ECG to pay every unpaid invoice of AMERI.”

Meanwhile, it has emerged that President Akufo Addo is displeased about the conduct of the Philip Addison-Commitee that that probed the Ameri deal, which was signed under the erstwhile Mahama government.

The President is said to be very disturbed following disclosure that the august Committee allowed itself to be ‘trapped’ into receiving funds from a company it was investigating, a decision many have described as poor judgement.