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Tamne Bridge to be reconstructed – Min. assures

The Minister for Roads and Highways, Hon. Kwesi Amoako Atta has indicated that the government is poised to complete repair works on the Tamne bridge that links Garu- Bawku to help ease the pressure on the road and improve trade and business between the two communities.

Activities between the two communities are said to be on a standstill after a gory accident that led to the collapse of the  steel Bridge linking the two central business towns.

However, the minister, who later visited the scene to ascertain the extent of damage done on the bridge, disclosed that the ministry will as matters of urgency create an alternative route while the bridge undergoes reconstruction work.

He said the bridge was completely closed down to vehicular traffic and the traveling public to allow for emergency repair works by the engineers department.

He said government was poised to complete the work on time to help improve business and trade between the two communities.

The District Chief Executive (DCE) for area, Asore Emmanuel Avoka expressed gratitude to the government for the timely intervention, adding that the assembly would partner to ensure that work on the bridge is completed on time.

Ghanaians to make input to Special Prosecutor’s Bill

Committee on Constitutional Legal and Parliamentary Affairs will embark on a Regional tour to solicit views of Ghanaians as they work on the Office of Special Prosecutor Bill, 2017 which has been laid and gone through first reading.

Ranking member of the committee Abdallah Inusah Fuseini reveal in an interview with ghanamps.com that in order to inspire confidence in the creation of the special prosecutor there is the need to consult Ghanaians in general and those with the requisite knowledge and expertise.

Additionally, “we will move outside the boundaries of Ghana to also learn from the best international practice, especially from Countries that have established independent prosecutor with experience”, he said.

The Committee has recommended to the House to take the Bill under the normal process, contrary to earlier position of government that the Bill goes through certificate of urgency.

A Bill can go through a certificate of urgency only when there is a “lacuna and you immediately want to fill the gap”. An example was when District Chief Executives were to be confirmed, we needed an urgent Amendment because without that there was no way we could get the approval done, the Tamale Central MP explained.

According to the Ranking member on Constitutional Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, the Committee will produce a report to the House after recess, for the Bill to go through second reading.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Successive governments need to maintain Zongo and Inner City Ministry

Minister of Inner City and Zongo Development Abu-Bakar Saddique Boniface is advocating for successive government to maintain the Ministry, if the development agenda for the Inner Cities and Zongo’s are to be maintain.

He noted that if successive governments see the Ministry as President Akufo-Addo policy and want to scrap it off, people within the Zongos’ and Inner cities will see it as “being against them and not wanting development for their areas”.

However beyond twenty years in existence, a government will want to collapse and merge it with other Ministries. Like Water Resources Works and Housing now broken down, we have it Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, he said.

According to the Minister at the end of the four years of  the President’s term Zongo’s  and the Inner Cities will see a lot of development, “it will happen for everybody  to see this is not rhetoric or political”.

Creation of this Ministry is timely since the contribution from the Zongos to our National development has been enormous, there has been discrimination against the Zongos. He indicated that, the President thinks it is high time we put some development under way because zongos are deficient in terms of infrastructure,sanitation, and drains, he lamented.

In addition, he pointed out that poverty and crime are bed fellows when the Zongo’s and the Inner Cities are developed it will reduce the crime rate in these areas, the Ministry has been created to give these areas the needed and special attention, he said.

And added that, he will have to collaborate with more than 15 Ministries, coordinate and facilitate affirmative action. “You should understand the need to come together to fight a common cause”,
By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Canadian Parliamentarians to visit Ghana

 A delegation from the Canadian-Africa Parliamentary Network Association of the Canadian parliament which comprises the Senate and House of Commons is expected to pay a working visit to Ghana`s parliament next month.

The aim of the visit among others is to afford the team an opportunity to evaluate and conduct impact assessment of the several assistance that country has rendered towards deepening Ghana`s parliamentary democracy and its oversight responsibilities.

The Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana, Heather Cameron disclosed this when paid a courtesy call on the speaker of parliament, Prof Aaron Mike Oquaye.

According to her the high-powered delegation from the Canadian Parliament will be visiting Ghana and Senegal from August 24 to August 25.

It will also help strengthen relationship between the parliaments of Ghana and Canada.

Canada has continually supported Ghana`s Parliament in various capacities especially the work of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Ghanaian Parliament.

She assured of the Canadian government`s determination to continue to offer the necessary technical and financial support to the country to advance its development efforts.

The speaker, Prof Mike Oquaye for his part thanked the High Commissioner for the visit and assured of Ghana`s readiness to receive the delegation.

He called for exchange programmes between the two parliaments for mutual benefits and experience sharing whiles calling for capacity building for Ghanaian parliamentarians and staff of Parliament.

By Christian Kpesese/ ghanamps.com

Adjoa Ntoso cries for residents along Volta Lake

“Residents along the Volta Lake have suffered for far too long, they are not demanding for special treatment but access to electricity like every Ghanaian and good Lake Transport system to enhance their living status after sacrificing their livelihoods for the entire country’’.

These were the sentiments expressed by the former Volta regional Minister and the incumbent Member of Parliament for the Krachi East constituency in the Volta region Helen Adjoa Ntoso as she makes a strong case for residents along the Volta Lake on the floor of Parliament.

According to her even though the people and communities along the island have sacrificed their farmlands for the construction of the Akosombo Dam which provides light to the whole nation, they have no access to the National Grid.

Residents are also faced with transportation challenges as human Beings, goods and animals use same ferry, canoes for transportation on very dangerous Lake Transport system. Priority should be given communities who gave out farmlands for rural electrification projects.

The Krachi East lawmaker urged the Ministries of Energy and Transport to give priority in aiding the communities the river banks by connecting them to the national grid, provide adequate ferries and uproot tree stumps which cause regular accidents on the lake.

The MP reminded authorities of the mission statement of the Volta Lake Company which clearly calls for an efficient and safe Lake Transport system for the country.

“Hold the Executive Accountable”- Majority Leader

The Majority Leader of Parliament and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu has urged Members of Parliament to endeavour to hold the Executive arm of government accountable to the people of Ghana.

In an address read on his behalf during an orientation seminar at Ada for members of the Government Assurances Committee of parliament by second Deputy Majority Chief Whip, Moses Anim, the majority leader cautioned them to stay away from partisan politics in order to discharge their mandates effectively.

“the effective discharge of the Committee’s mandate is one sure way of projecting the relevance of Parliament in the exercise of its oversight over the Executive, It is therefore incumbent on us as Members of Parliament, irrespective of our political divide to hold the Executive accountable” he stated.

Mr OseiKyei Mensah-Bonsu who is the MP for Suame called for a strategic partnership between the Committee, Civil Society Organisation (CSOs) and Development Partners to ensure that assurances, promises and undertakings made on the floor of Parliament are fulfilled.

Chairman of the Government Assurances Committee, Yaw Frimpong Addo and MP for Manso-Adubia acknowledged public displeasure about the performance of Parliament in holding the Executive accountable and assured of the Committee`s commitment to meet the expectations of the general public.

Order 174 of the Standing Orders of Parliament stipulates that the Government Assurances Committee shall consist of not more than 25 members and it shall be their duty to pursue all assurances, promises and undertakings given by Ministers from time to time and report to the House on the extent to which such assurances have been fulfilled.

We support Speakers stand on homosexuality -Former MPS’

Forum for former Members of Parliament (MP) have thrown their weight behind Speaker of Parliament Professor Aaron Oquaye for his stand against homosexuality.

Former President of the forum for former MPS’ Mr.  Kosi Kedem made this known at a conference in Parliament House.

The former Dome/Kwabenya legislator had early warned that leaders in Countries like Ghana would not countenance the aggressive push by external forces to accept acts such as homosexuality, bestiality among others.

When Amnesty International called on him this month and demanded scrapping of death penalty from the statute books, the Speaker reiterated his stands ones again on the subject of homosexuality, adding that African leaders are getting tired of some of these demands on the basis of human rights.

“Following what Tony Blair said which I personally wrote him a letter that if we do not go the homosexual way, it was going to affect their aid to us. Honestly in view of these developments, we Africans are also concerned about certain things that may appear really intellectual .

It is becoming a human right in some countries. The right to do homosexuality. The right for a human being to sleep with an animal. We are tired of some of these things and we must be frank about it.  I think all these matters need to be seriously interrogated”, the Speaker said.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Stop the self-destruction – second Deputy Speaker

Former Majority leader and current Second Deputy Speaker of the seventh Parliament of the fourth Republic, Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin is urging politicians to put an end to the self-destruction and rather create a political class.

“All in the name of climbing over someone, you destroy him or her”.He made this remarks when he was addressing a forum of former Members of Parliament, in Parliament House.

When you are digging for your enemy, make sure it is large enough because “you will be there yourself “, he said.

According to the longest serving law maker and MP for Nadowli Kaleo, former MPs are in better position to protect themselves and defend their interest. And added that it is a welcoming news that former MPs are putting measures in place to come together.

The Nadowli Kaleo legislator who served as a resource person at the forum spoke on the topic, “welfare of MPs on retirement and promotion of cordial relationship between sitting and former Members of Parliament”.

The forum witness more than 70 former MPs’ first time under the fourth Republic Parliamentary democracy in Ghana.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Special prosecutor will be independent -Deputy AG

Deputy Attorney General and Minister for Justice Joseph Dindiock Kpemka, says Special Prosecutor will be independent devoid of any political interference, “that is the aim of the laid Bill before Parliament”.
The Prosecutor will have a secure seven year tenure of office, devoid of any fear of political interference, the Tempane legislator said.

According to the Deputy AG, the Bill will address issues raised by governance expects that, governments are not prepare to prosecute one of their own.

He further remarked that, government did not breach any law by laying Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill 2017 under a certificate of urgency.

“I will be surprised if the Committee on Constitutional Legal and Parliamentary Affairs says the Bill is not under a certificate of urgency”.

Then we have to go back and invoke Article 106 (2) (b) “it has been published in the Gazette at least fourteen days before the date of its introduction in Parliament”, he lamented.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

EC Boss, National Security and Finance Ministers to brief Parliament

Parliament within the week will hold an in camera session for the chairperson of the Electoral Commission, National Security Minister and the Finance Minister on some key National issues.

The House has invited the chairperson of the Electoral Commission Mrs. Charlotte Osei for an inn camera session to answer questions on some monies raised by the Commission.

Majority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu made this known when he presented the business statement for the ninth week on the floor of the House.

EC boss is expected to be grilled over how much the Commission raised from monies it collected from journalist who got accreditation to cover the 2016 Presidential and Parliamentary election.

Madam Charlotte Osei in addition is expected to take questions on how her outfit has expanded on the replacement of lost Voters ID cards.

The National Security Minister Mr. Albert Kan-Dapaah is also expected in this closed door session to apprise the House on the matter of terrorism generally and on the two
(2) Guantanamo Bay detainees in the Country.
Supreme Court has declared as unconstitutional an agreement between the then Mahama government and the United States, which saw two Guantanamo Bay detainees brought into the country.

Final on the bill to appear at the Committee of the Whole is Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta and officials from the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to throw more light on the implementation of the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Act, 2017, (Act 948).

Parliament passed a VAT (Amendment) Bill, 2017 which required all taxable retails and wholesalers to account for VAT at a flat rate of three per cent.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com