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Kumbungu Assembly block to be completed next month—Alima

Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Alima Mahama has indicated on the floor of Parliament that ending of December this year the Kumbungu Assembly block will be completed.

She further revealed that, the contractor has made known that 80 percent of work has been completed.

According to the sector Minister, so far GHc1, 274, 439.86 has been paid with GHc 658,963.44 outstanding as GHc 1,531,746.26 being the contract sum.

“Mr. Speaker the project was awarded in 22nd January, 2015 funded by the District Assembly Common Fund and was expected to be completed by April 2016”, she stated
By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Common fund for last year fourth quarter released—Minister

Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Alima Mahama has told Parliament that the 2016 fourth quarter District Assemblies Common Fund has been released to all the Assemblies.

She noted that on the 5th of June this year the Adaklu District Assembly received its portion of the fund.

Member of Parliament for Adaklu, Kwame Agbodza wanted to know whether the fourth quarter allocation of the 2016 District Assemblies Common Fund has been release to all Assemblies.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Minority threatens boycott of approval of National Security budget

The Minority has threatened to boycott the approval of allocation of the 2018 budget for the Nations, National security establishment.

Due to Government’s disregard for the provision of the Public Financial Management Act, which requires the regular submission of intelligence reports on the security situation in the country to Parliament.

According to the Ranking member on Interior and Defense, James Agalga, the government has no justification for flouting the law hence their intended action.

“Upon the elevation of the Secretariat of the National Security Council into a full-fledged Ministry, I believe what was within the contemplation of his Excellency the President was to ensure that the intelligence agencies of state are accountable to this house.

The enabling Act for the existence of the Ministry for National Security, specifically requires it to report to this house on their activities to make it possible for this house to exercise its oversight responsibilities”.

“Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, they have omitted to discharge this function, thereby making it impossible for us to assess their performance as stipulated under the Public Financial Act 2016.

This is an unpardonable violation which makes it difficult to assess their budget estimates. In the absence of that report, I am submitting that we cannot consider the budget estimates of the Ministry for National Security.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

No constituency will endorse homosexuality—Assin North MP

Member of Parliament for Assin South, John Ntim Fordjour has said no constituency in Ghana will endorse legislation to accept homosexuals and lesbians in Ghana.

He further pointed out in an interview that the comments by the President on homosexual should be put in context, as the question did not illicit President’s personal stand on the issue.

President said: “this is a social, cultural issue, I don’t believe that in Ghana so far, a sufficiently strong coalition has emerged which is having that impact on public opinion that will say ‘change it, let’s now have a new paradigm in Ghana…At the moment, I don’t feel, I don’t see that in Ghana there is that strong current of opinion that is saying this is something we need to deal with.

It is not so far a matter that is on the agenda. I grew up in England at the time that homosexuality was banned there. It was illegal and I lived a period where British politicians thought it was an item not to even think about.

But suddenly the activities of individuals and groups, a certain awareness, a certain development grew and grew stronger and it forced a change in law. I believe that those are the same processes that will bring about changes in our situation”.

He noted that he had advocated against homosexuality in Ghana and recounted when Amnesty International in July this year visited the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, MPs spoke against their suggestion that Ghana should consider reviewing its law to accommodate homosexuals.

And added that he carried this crusade and had support of chiefs whiles the President Nana Akufo-Addo lend his support to his crusade.

He went on to say that, “we are not ready to amend our laws to accept homosexuality what is the president’s agenda, it is to find jobs for our people”, he said.

And I do not see any pressure coming on government to change our laws to accommodate homosexuals and lesbians, our people respect our culture and to change our law has to go through Parliament.

Each of the 275 people represent a constituency, no constituency in Ghana whose people have collectively decided to resend their decision with their value for homosexuality, any attempts to make such laws will be resisted.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Parliament needs to work on its image—-Tamale South MP

Member of Parliament(MP) for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu has urged the legislative body to work hard to improve its image by letting Ghanaians know the real duty of MPs.

He noted that the real mandate of MPs are law making and having oversight responsibility on the Executive arm of Government and not actors or agents of development, “we need to narrow ourselves to our legislative and representative function” he said.

According to the Minority leader, MPs, when they attend district function and a demand is made for toilet, they are quick to promise to build one, simply because they want to sustain their vote base.

And added that, it has confused the Ghanaian electorate in demanding accountability from MPs and things they cannot afford, hence the large attrition rate in the House.

Unfortunately it is the reflection of the under performance of governments’ so the MP is forced to fill a critical vacuum, if we were capable of resolving every other problem from school block to National Health Insurance through outdooring and weddings the MP becomes a critical player and actor, he said.

He urged the media in Parliament, to improve their standard and capacity and called on the Majority leader to find space that will accommodate one or two Journalist from Parliament who will travel with leadership of the House to give them coverage on their foreign trips.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Parliament need more engagement with Ghanaians—-Minority leader

Minority leader and Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu is advocating for legislature to have more public engagement to enable Ghanaians have more access to Parliamentary proceedings.

He noted that, when constituent say, “Hon it has been a while we do not see you” it should not be misconstrue but rather seen as a gesture of demanding accountability from MPs as Ghanaians are aware legislators need to account to them.

And recalled the era of late Speaker, Justice D. F Annan, where at the National Theater there was a Parliamentary forum which Ghanaians engaged Parliamentarians.

According to the Minority leader Ghanaians should be encouraged to read the Parliamentary Hansard, which will bring them up to speed with everyday happenings on the floor of the House.

Mr. Iddrisu however lamented over, Ghana’s Parliamentary website not being reliable as it has pictures of leadership of the House, but not detail information on Bills before committees, motions that have been moved and questions that have been filed.

And noted that to allow public access to workings of Parliament all these information should be updated and in addition demanded for freedom of expression and information.

He further charged the leader of Government Business to ensure that, Government will be in a hurry to bring the freedom of information Bill to the House, to deepen accountability.

He questioned where should a whistle blower who want to help fight corruption send his or her report, “Parliament is an appropriate forum” he said.

The physical infrastructure of Parliament should be friendly enough for physically challenged persons to access the House and understand the workings of the House he pointed out
By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Government drafts Foreign Policy document – Annor Dompreh

Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Frank Annor-Dompreh has disclosed that government has engaged the services of a Consultant to draft a Foreign Policy for Ghana since independence.

According to him even though, the directive principles of State protocol of the 1992 constitution made such assertions, the move will provide a clear guide on Ghana’s foreign policy direction.

The Nsawam Adoaguri Member of Parliament who gave the recommendation when he took his turn on the floor of Parliament to contribute on the debate for the approval of the 2018 budget statement and economic policy document also praised government’s efforts at increasing economic corporation with the international community following the opening of new missions in the United Arab Emirate (Abu Dhabi), Carter, Serbia, Libya among others.

He also noted that all financial institution across the world have rated Ghana high making the country and attractive place for investors all as a result of better economic management policies of the NPP government.

The lawmaker also praised Government for successfully reviewing the Millennium Compact II to prevent an eminent retrenchment of workers.

He commended government in the allocation of some Ghc 400,000, 000 in insurance for farmers especially Cocoa farmers.

The lawmaker also touted the positive strides chalked by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in giving Ghana’s Missions abroad the opportunity to raise Internally Generated Funds (IGF) through an established methodology to support its own activities whiles commending the Ministry for negotiating for a $ 50 million loan facility from SocieteGenerale to give facelift to Ghana’s foreign missions abroad.

He also commended the efforts of the previous administration for ensuring victory in the Ghana- Cote D’voire maritime dispute whiles commending the leaders of both countries for entering into strategic partnership for mutual benefits and to promote the water bodies of both countries.

According to him the new NPP administration has ensured that the Passport Office has seen an improvement in its delivery especially as regards to the reduction in the number of days members of the public spent to acquire a passport.

By Christian Kpesese ghanamps.com

Government commitment at ensuring safety unflinching – Dery tells Parl.

The Minister of Interior Ambrose Dery has reiterated the President Akufo-Addo led government’s commitment to make everybody living in Ghana feel safe.

According to him the security services in the country would work with the support of all stakeholders to make Ghana safe.

The Minister, on that score, has assured all and sundry that the commitment of government to make all persons in Ghana feel safe is unflinching.

He admitted that the fight against crime must be pursued with due regard for the fundamental human rights of suspects.

Accordingly, he noted that, any person who makes an allegation of a breach of human rights of any suspect is welcome to assist the investigation of same. Appropriate action shall be taken to redress any breach of the human right of a suspect.”

Mr Ambrose Dery was in Parliament yesterday following a request by the Member of Parliament for Asawase constituency, who is also the Minority Chief Whip that the Minister briefed the House on the killing of two suspected armed robbers and the arrest of three others in the Kumasi Metropolis.

In his briefing, the Minister told Parliament that investigations into these matters were still on going, adding that the investigations and due process before the courts on the matter are on course.

It would be recalled that in the first week of November, 2017 there were some chaos in the Ashanti region, Asawase constituency precisely, leading to the death of some people.

Given his statement, Mr Ambrose Dery noted that, prior to the unfortunate incident on 7th November, this year, the Ashanti Regional Police Command had some time received reports about the activities of persons in taxis and on motorbikes who pick, assault, rob, rape and sometimes murder their passengers.

Following these report, the police intensified intelligence within the Kumasi Metropolis and beyond in an effort to track down the suspects.

The Anti-Armed Robbery Squad of the regional Police Command, based on the intelligence received arrested three suspects namely; Emmanuel OFOSU (aka Alhaji), Farouk AMADU (aka Burger) and SaliuYakubu (aka Baba Tunde aka TJ), MrDery said, adding that during the arrest, an Opel Astra Taxi Cab with registration number GQ1474 V was retrieved from the suspect Baba Tunde.

The three suspects admitted their involvement in the cases and also admitted to the murder of one Cecilia BoakyeFordjour, 58, at Ridge, Kumasi.

“On 10th November, 2017 all the three accused persons were arraigned before court and were remanded in Police custody to assist in further investigations. They are to appear on 22nd November, 2017.

“Record available to the police indicate that one of the deceased, Lukman Mohammed (aka Alpha) has been on the Regional Police wanted list since 16th June, 2016 for his involvement in a robbery case that occurred at a bakery at Gyedi-Kenya where they shot a worker, ABA Kyere 35 in the left arm and took away a pump action gun and an amount of Ghs13,500.00.

“Two of his accomplices, Farouk and Saliu (aka AK) are currently, in prison custody. Two other accomplices in the robbery incident are at large. Names of the suspects are also on a list of suspects allegedly involved in illegal acts of land guards in the Kumasi Metropolis.”

Government conceals real sector of economy- Issac Adongo

Bolgatanga Central Member of Parliament, Isaac Adongo has chastised the NPP government for what he described as concealing the real state of the economy.

He stated that the government was doing so by updating inflation figures to November and using June figures to report on the debt stock of the country.

According to his permutations, the debt to GDP as of the end of October stood at 76 per cent adding that the government was presiding over a declining ICT sector which had become the fulcrum for job creation and doubted if it would be able to create any meaningful job to engage graduates.

By Christian Kpesese/ ghanamps.com

Government halts excessive borrowing- Gyan Baffour

Minister for Planning and Member of Parliament for Wenchi in the Brong Ahafo region, Professor Gyan Baffour has stated that the NPP government has halted the rate of excessive borrowings by the previous NDC government.

He noted that the government has reduced borrowing to prudence levelsresulting in Ghana working again.

According to him, the NPP government has reversed all economic indicators which were negative and destructive to the economy under the erstwhile NDC government.

Contributing towards the debate on the 2018 budget statement, Professor Baffour said the new administration has also halted the negative growth of the economy which is now witnessing an accelerated positive growth.
The Finance Minister, he noted, could not have presented a more pragmatic budget to address the economic challenges of the country adding that the policy proposals will be matched with effective implementation.

He said the budget was anchored on creating opportunities for all, building a stable and resilient economy and aggressively protecting the natural environment to create jobs and that the 2017 fiscal policy has largely achieved its objectives.

Ghana he said has started working again under the new and better managers of the economy.

By Christian Kpesese/ ghanamps.com