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Otiko’s question deferred to Friday

Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisa Djaba’s question had to be moved to Friday when she finally appeared before the floor of the House on Wednesday June 27, 2018.

According to Majority Leader there were some mixed up in the answers provided hence would not allow for the appropriate follow up questions to be asked.

The Minister who was initially held up on an assignment appeared on the floor later in the day, and noted that the answer to the question being asked was not correct and wanted to provide the House with the right answers for it to be advertised.

Member of Parliament for Afram Plains North, Betty Nana Efua Krosbi Mensah wanted to know steps being taken by the Gender Ministry, to curb child labour within the Afram Plains stretch of the Volta Lake.
Majority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu proposed for the question to be taken on Friday and was upheld by the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

PAC to start public hearing after submission of report-Chairman

Chairman of the Public Account Committee (PAC), Dr James Klutse Avedzi has said the committee is working on its report to be presented to the House soon and when done with its report would resume its public hearing.

He further noted in an interview that, the Public hearing that dealt with the Report of the Auditor General of the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) Pre-tertiary institutions and Technical Universities for year ending 2015 to 2016 would be ready soon.

Dr. Avedzi further revealed that the committee is yet to meet the Inspector General of Police (IGP), as it earlier promised to help fast truck issues of embezzlement that the police handle but most of the time delay.

This meeting with the IGP would really help speed up cases before the police, when the Auditor Generals representatives are done with their findings and there is the need to deal with culprit, he said.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Let us address challenges in the cocoa sector -Asene Manso MP

Member of Parliament for Asene Akroso Manso, George Kwame Aboagye is calling for the Nation to go beyond export of cocoa beans and paste in addressing the challenges of the cocoa sector.

According to the Asene Akroso Manso legislature, government should make cocoa farming lucrative by making funds accessible to young people who would be interested in cocoa farming, as this would not only increase production of cocoa but also deal with the youth  unemployment.

He further added that as part of industrializing Ghana’s cocoa sector “we need to set up industries that would process our cocoa before they are exported.”

And expressed joy that government of Ghana together with the Chinese government would construct a cocoa processing factory at Sefwi-Wiaso.

“Mr. Speaker without cocoa there would be lose of two million jobs, massive revenue and foreign exchange loss. Again between 40-30 percent of cocoa tress are lost to pest and disease as a result there is low productivity due to limited knowledge in modern farming techniques.”

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Blame the media for the pressure on MPs-Joe Wise

First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu, has said the media is to be blame for the pressure Ghanaians exert on Members of Parliament (MPs) as developmental agents.

According to the Bekwai legislator, Ghanaians take whatever the electronic media especially say as the gospel truth, and further added that the media knows the truth but fails to explain to Ghanaians MPs are not development agents.

He also added that, sometimes opponents of MPs use the media to cause the problem of making MPs development agents, instead of sticking to what the constitution says that “we are lawmakers”, he lamented.

Mr. Joseph Osei-Owusu pointed out that when he gets back to his constituency and wants the views of his constituent of a topical issue being discussed in Parliament, not a single soul would come out to offer any.

He made this remarks at a civil society event in Parliament called the crystal ball series, which looks at the workings of Parliament and points out their strength and weakness.

The event pointed out that in the first session of the seventh Parliament attendance was good, but in the second session attendance was very poor.

“If you are to choose between Parliamentary work and what happens in the constituency, let us be realistic one would chose the constituency work”, the first Deputy Speaker said.

“Expectation in the constituency and the legislature do not match; when you see a bad road or a hospital that is not working, all they say is what is the MP doing?”

A good example is when a Bishop was given a podium to preach in another church, when he got the opportunity what he said was, driving here to preach I ask myself, “do we have an MP in this constituency”.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Financial demands force MPs to take every opportunity -Bekwai MP

The Bekwai Member of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu has said the financial demand on lawmakers put them in a position wanting to take advantage of every opportunity to meet the demand of their constituents.

According to the Bekwai lawmaker, this is accounting for reasons why most of the time MPs are not seen on the floor attending to legislative duties.

He further noted that for an MP to survive and come back to the House, “you cannot run away from financial demands”, he lamented.

Parents are seeking money from an MP to pay school fees, students are also demanding for money to pay hostel fees, whiles school boys are demanding money for football and Jersey.

At the same constituency, executives would come to the MP for money to set up a business, at every level you turn there is demand on you, so if you see MPs chasing every opportunity, it is simple because there are huge demands on them.

“If it were to be for the MP and his family they do not need that much money, but regrettably, what MPs go through to satisfy constituent is not recognized,  when we get money we even forget about our wives  and children as law makers ”, he said.

He noted that when the pressure is taken off legislators, they can focus in the House and do their work as lawmakers.

Those in the Executive should fix roads with the money we have approved for them; Ministers and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs), he lamented.

“If the money had been given to you to fix the roads and you do not do it, do you come to hold me responsible for that”?
The media should assist MPs to be able to do what they have to do helping to take the pressure off them, let the people focus on development issues with their respective Executive arms of government, he said.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

We will pass RTI before the second meeting ends-Majority leader

Assurance has been given by the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu that Parliament would pass the Right to Information Bill 2018, before the second meeting of the second session of the seventh Parliament of the fourth Republic ends.

Three important bills, Right to Information Bill 2018,  the Witness Protection Bill 2017, the Witness Protection Bill 2017 are all currently at the consideration stage.

According to the Leader of Government Business, the Technical Universities (Amendment) Bill at the consideration stage together with the RTI Bill had to be taken through willowing and added that he would not be in Parliament on Friday.

He was quick to point out that, 2nd of July, 2018 which is a public holiday, he would have a meeting with some MPs to get willowing done to ensure that the work load is dealt with more especially to see to the passage of the RTI Bill.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com


Performance of Majority MPs will determine whether they would be retained-Majority Leader

Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu has said performance of MPs on the Majority side of the House would determine whether they would be retained or kicked out.

According to the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, the Majority caucus has held meetings on two occasions and made it clear to MPs that, attendance to duties of the House would be monitored and monthly report sent to the party.

He further indicated that Ghanaians should watch out and there would be changes in the attendance of MPs on the floor of the House.

This came to light in Parliament on Wednesday, when civil society organization,  Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), Parliamentary Africa in collaboration with Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs organised crystal ball series to examine the performance of Parliament.

On the assessment done, it came out clearly that in the first session of the seventh Parliament, attendance to duty was very impressive, and sitting lasted more than four hours, while a lot of government business was also carried out.

But in the second session of the seventh Parliament, the situation had declined with Parliament sitting for two hours, with attendance of MPs to the chamber very poor.

Mr. Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu noted that he reported to cabinet on the impressive attendance and the House being able to deal with a lot of work in the first session.

“We had position all whips on the Majority side,  when any member from our  side enters and when he or she leaves the chamber we are making them, leader of the New Patriotic Party(NPP) would have his report”, he said

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

“I am very convinced I had put my case across to the privileges”-Muntaka


The Asawase Member of Parliament had said after meeting the privileges committee that he is very convinced he had put his case across very well to the committee on privileges on the contempt issue he raised against the Assin Central MP.

According to the Minority Chief Whip, the issues of Ken Ohene Agyapong referring to him as being a “dumb” MP does not come because that is against his person, but did not go to the committee.

Speaking in an interview, he noted that he appeared before the privileges committee as a witness and substantiated all the issues he had raised against the Assin Central MP as contempt; they looked into the document I presented to them and played the video.

“I have played my part, they asked me questions and I answer their questions, they would have to determine the level of contempt. Especially looking at the conduct of our colleague his attack against the Majority Leader and members of the public would be looked into”, he said.

He pointed out that at the privileges committee sitting, members of the committee pulled out code of conduct for members, “I hope this would pave way for investigation”.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com


Ensure leave of absences is granted before trips -First Deputy Spea

First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu has directed that Members of Parliament seek leave of absence and ensure its confirmation before embarking on any trip.

He referred the House to Order 15 (1and2) “Every Member shall attend the service of the House unless a leave of absence has been given him by Mr. Speaker. Leave of absence may be given by Mr. Speaker to any Member who shows sufficient cause justifying his absence or who in a way on official or Parliamentary duties”, he said.

This issue came up on the floor of the House when MP for Effutu wanted the direction of the Speaker as to why parliamentarians on official duty are sometimes marked absent in the votes and proceedings of the House.

Mr. Alexander Afenyo Makin agreed with the Speaker on the grounds that the fact that an MP puts in application for leave of absence should not be taken for granted that it has been approved.

MPs from both sides of the House have had course to complain of them being marked absent, despite the fact that some of them would be on official assignment within the country with various committee work.

Meanwhile some MPs have suggested that there should be a clocking machine in the chamber for MPs to clock in instead of the normal way of going to the mails room to write their names.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com


Absence of Minister should not be at their pleasure-Minority Leader

Minority Leader and Member of Parliament for Tamale South, has said Ministers should not dictate to Parliament when they would be available to come to the House to answer questions.

According to the Tamale South MP, Parliament cannot play second fiddle to the engagement of the Minister, “we would be waiting for the Minister to come to the House to answer the question in her name”.

This came to light when the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection Otiko Afisa indicated to the Majority leader Osei Kyei Mensah—Bonsu she would be late in coming to the House because she would be held up in the office due to an important assignment.

Majority leader asked permission of the Minister so that the order of Business would be varied for the Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister to be in the chamber at a later time within the day to answer a question in her name.

“Far from it that the Gender, Minister does not take this House serious, it is unfortunate the Minority Leader was not at our pre-meeting sitting he would understand where I am coming from”, the Majority Leader said.

The Minority praised the Roads and Highways and the Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister for being consistent in coming to the House to answer questions.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com