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Lessons from Cote D’ivoire would guide our negotiation with Togo on maritime boundary

Leader of the Ghanaian Technical Negotiating Team and Chief Director of the Ministry of Energy, Lawrence Apaalse had said negotiating maritime boundary with Togo, Ghana would be guided with lessons from Cote D’ivoire.

He further added that both countries would be guided by the United Nations law for the sea and pointed out that, negotiation with brotherliness and friendship among the two countries is a key factor.

According to the leader of the Ghanaian team both Ghana and Togo should be prepared to resolve this issue in-house, and added that because both countries have different position on the issues that is why negotiation is ongoing.

As to whether we are not likely to have the experience of Cote D’ivoire, he responded by saying the fact that the negotiation has not reached a consensus does not mean they would not get there.

“My training in maritime delimitation, when you negotiate and it fails you continue until it hurts, both countries would be clear that it hurts and move to the next level which would be third party arbitration. That is when you invite third party people to come in, you may not go to court straight away as happened in the Ghana Cote D’ivoire case it may be the intervention of what we call diplomacy”.

He revealed that in the case of Ghana and Cote D’ivoire, late former UN boss Kofi Annan was invited to make brief intervention, “it failed but it was in the right step, there is the need to explore all possibility”.

As to whether the Ghana-Togo maritime boundary would move towards third party, Lawrence Apaalse responded by saying “I leave that to you as journalists but for me we are too young in this negotiations to say yes or no, we have done only three rounds of negotiations”

“Do not forget that apart from the technical team the heads of states of both Ghana and Togo are meeting at the diplomatic level, it can happen that they would ignore the work done by the technical team and go ahead to sigh an agreement and it holds”.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Bagbin avert Minority walkout in approval of estimate for Reorganization Ministry

Second Deputy Speaker Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin’s intervention on Saturday the 15th of December 2018 averted a near walk-out by the Minority on the floor of Parliament.

Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu indicated that the Ministry of Regional Reorganization could not exist again after the referendum to create new regions was over.

According to the Minority Leader the mandated Ministry to oversee creation of regions was the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.

He made this remarks when he indicated that he could not support one twenty million Ghana cedis going to the Ministry of Regional Reorganization and their budget estimates were being looked at.

Mr. Haruna Iddrisu signaled his members to walk out but with the intervention of the Second Deputy speaker, the whole move was averted.

“Mr Speaker we are saying it is constitutionally not right constitutionally we object it, we want the Speaker to step it down, you can say ooo and proceed, under chapter twenty (20) of the 1992 constitution Local Government and Rural Development Ministry is in charge of decentralization. You can proceed if you want but we would not be part of this constitutional wrong”.

He further pointed out that the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and the Electoral Commission (EC) had to be prepared adequately to ensure that the impending referendum for the creation of the new regions does not fail.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Election of ECOWAS MPs possible only if-Kofi Humado

Member of Parliament for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) from Ghana, Clement Kofi Humado has said election of MPs to the community Parliament is possible only if countries would fulfill their financial obligations.

According to the Anlo MP at the time of establishment of ECOWAS Parliament, the idea was to elect lawmakers for the community legislative body separately from their home country legislative body.

“The last time I looked at the ECOWAS budget, the total budget was less than ten percent, if we become permanent members may be twenty percent and it is still doable, provided all countries can contribute, and we are able to get enough money to run the community Parliament as resident Parliamentarians, not as go and come Parliamentarians”, he stated.

He further pointed out in an interview that the cost involved was what might probably frighten them, so they decided to use each countries national Assembly Legislators and added that in the beginning there were no enhanced powers and work was manageable.

“You come here make a comment on one or two issues and you go back to your home country, but now there is an enhanced powers, we are mandated to do oversight work not only for the agencies but even polices emanating from ECOWAS commission”.

Mr. Clement Kofi Humado said things emanating from the ECOWAS commission, the legislative body has to look at it putting additional work on MPs at the community legislative body, to the extent that, “we had to sit thirty (30) or more days”.

“As I am here in Abuja, I have lost a lot of days in Ghana, my committee in Ghana I can only follow them on whatapps, we are coming to a point where a decision must be taken that due to the load of work as an ECOWAS Parliamentarian. We should be elected  separately from the national  Assembly Legislators and face the cost, the  presence and work in ECOWAS Parliament  that is where we are getting now”, he emphasis.

“It is all about financial engineering, to bring in more funds dedicated to ECOWAS Parliament”.

As to whether there should be a time frame for the election of ECOWAS MPs, he responded in the affirmative, and said their discussions in the just ended ordinary session point to that fact except a time line was not given, “I believe when we meet in the next session this issue may crop up and we have to impress on the council of Ministers and heads of states to look at this issue critically”.

And indicated that as he gets back to Ghana’s Parliament he has to catch up with his colleague and pointed out that, “if we want a good job done by ECOWAS Parliamentarians, we have to take a decision on elections of MPs”.

Again when a request is made to the council of Ministers who are the technical arm of the Executive, they would look at the relevance of the request and put it such that when the heads of states meet they can also look at it.

“When they realize the volume of work we have in each sector, Health, Energy Education etc, and all that has become huge that demands our continues presence as legislators in ECOWAS Parliament, they would make a recommendation to the heads of states and then the they would say okay we agree it should be implemented”.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com/Abuja

Sinohydro agreement most expensive- Adaklu MP


The Ranking Member on the Roads and Transport Committee of Parliament, Governs Kwame Agbodza has observed that the Commercial agreement including financing cost in the amount of up to US $646, 637, 879.74 between Ghana and Sinohydro Corporation ltd for some priority road infrastructure projects is the most expensive contract in the country’s history.

According to him the deal which involves 10 different contractors was too much hence the urgent need for Parliament to pay critical attention to it.

Seconding a motion for the Parliamentary approval of the deal, Mr Agbodza who is also the Member of Parliament for Adaklu noted with concern that the Government of Ghana’s counterpart funding amount to the project has also been converted into a loan facility.

He also noted that the exemption of taxes on the contract sum is a major shift from the practice over the years whiles stating that there was no indication as to how the contractors were awarded contract and stated that the Public Procurement Authority had not given approval of the deal.

The Ranking Member also observed that nothing making it obligatory for the developer to do value for money in the working agreement.

Mr Agbodza also raised concerns about how  $600,000 was budgeted to secure a construction site describing it as inflated whiles the Kumasi Inner- city project charges for photography was just too astronomical.

The MP expressed worry no legal advice from the Attorney General was sought on the contract and called for a much more transparency on the contract.

By Christian Kpesese/ ghanamps.com

250 lives lost to gas explosion – MP

The Member of Parliament for Assin North, Rev John Ntim Foudjour has disclosed that
Since 2007, an estimated 250 lives have been lost due to gas explosion across the country.

The MP who was contributing to a statement on the state of gas explosions in the country on the floor of Parliament said it is sad for human lives to be lost through such means.

Rev Ntim commended government for the cylinder distribution module and stated that the initiative will contribute positively to nation building.

According to him the time has come for the nation to move beyond the usual rhetoric after such disasters and take very decisive actions in order to prevent such occurrences in future.

He also expressed worry about the multiplicity of agencies performing almost same functions but could not help curb unfortunate happenings.

By Christian Kpesese/ ghanamps.com

We would haul TOR before the Energy and Mines Committee-Ranking


The Ranking member for the committee on Mines and Energy, Adam Mutawakilu has indicated to journalists in Parliament that the Speakers committee would haul before it Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) to appear before the committee.

According to the Damongo lawmaker, since January 2017 till date there has been several invitation sent to TOR to meet the committee but that has fallen on deaf ears and added that whatever business TOR is running they are doing that for the people of Ghana.

“We are the representative of the people of Ghana and the Speakers committee has the powers of the High court he lamented”, in an interview.

He further pointed out that the committee has to look at their finances because, any debt incurred is that of the people of Ghana. This twenty four million dollars put up by Institute of Energy Security (IES) is debt of this country and we all know we have to bring TOR debt recovery levy,  and we are not going into debt TOR management has been very inefficient in the affairs of the company.

Mr. Adam Mutawakilu added that as a committee they would put pressure to bears for TOR to appear before them and when that is achieved the committee would let the media know.

As to whether Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of TOR, Isaac Osei being his former colleague that is why they are dragging their feet, he said, “when you shift to the executive side you should respect Parliament in terms of our oversight”.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com incurred


Which of Ghana’s bauxite site are we using for Sinohyro facility -Collins Dauda asks


Former Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Collins Dauda has questioned the Majority on how Ghana was going to service the SINOHYDRO facility with which bauxite site.

The Asutifi South MP raised this concern when he was contributing to a debate on the SINOHYDRO on the floor of the House.

According to the former Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, he is aware that there are three sites for bauxite, but the House has been occupied with the contracts and he was wondering which of the sites is going to be used in servicing the facility.

He further explained that the Awaso Nyinahini and Kyebi for which Awaso reserve was awarded on a lease to Ghana bauxite company in 1997 and it is due to expire on 2020, “this means that Awaso site is incumbent and that this House cannot make any approval to commit that site for payment for the facility”, he lamented.

Again government committed Nyinahini bauxite site to Extorn Cubic Group in December 2016, which would also expire in 2038 leaving the site out at Kyebi.

The former Minister explained that Kyebi Chief, Nana Amoatia Ofori Panyin has caused billboard to be mounted right opposite the Flagstaff House indicating that, “nobody in this country should support mining of bauxite in the Atiwa Forest Reserves, which is the one at Kyebi, so which site or deposit are we committing for the payment of the SINHYDRO facility? he questioned.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Speaker and Leadership of ECOWAS Parliament call on Nigerian President

Speaker of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Rt. Hon. Mustapha Cisse Lo and Secretary General John Azumah together with section of leadership of the House have called on the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.

Speaker of the Community Parliament discussed with the Nigerian President issues of accommodation, paying of allowance as well as other welfare matters.

Mr. Buhari, who is also Chairman of ECOWAS on this part indicated that it is not only mandatory, but sensible for Nigeria to render the necessary support and cooperation to other countries of the community.

He further indicated that he would attend to the issues raised by the Leadership of ECOWAS Parliament expeditiously.

President Muhammadu Buhari was elected on the 31st of July, 2018 at the 53rd session of Authority of Heads of State and Governments of ECOWAS as chairman in Lome-Togo.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

For cheap air ticket: Africans and West Africans need to trade—Deputy Aviation

Deputy Minister of Aviation Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah has said for air tickets to be cheap within the West African Sub-Region and the African continent there is the need to have trade amongst ourselves.

According to the Deputy Aviation Minister, there is so much we can do about the air travel within the continent and West African Sub-Region.

Members of Parliament in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) at the ongoing extraordinary session in Abuja have complained of air fare being on the high side when travelling within the West African-Sub Region than travelling outside the content.

In an interview, the Tarkoradi lawmaker noted that the continent faces one big challenge as a result of connectivity because in time past a lot of countries wanted individual bilateral agreement with each other, which made it difficult for countries which were starters in the aviation business.

“Africa itself does not trade among itself, currently the trade volume is just fifteen percent (15) one hundred and fifty billion dollars, it should rather be one trillion dollars”, he lamented.

Mr. Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah further added that if Africans do not trade among themselves there is no way people would travel too much by air, as air travel is a function of economic growth.

Again if you grow by one percent as a country, your air travel would grow by two percent; that has been the conventional relationship; we need more Africans to travel and trade among themselves.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

“Let us co-exist, we do not have maritime boundary with Togo”-Lawrence Apaalse

The Chief Director of the Ministry of Energy and head of the Ghanaian Technical negotiating team with Togo on the maritime boundary, Lawrence Apaalse, has called for co-existence between Ghanaians and Togolese as they negotiate.

According to the head of the Ghanaian Technical Negotiating team at the moment there is no maritime boundary between Togo and Ghana.

“Where lays the point that this is my area, the thing is that we are having negotiation, the basic thing we are saying is that whiles having this negotiation we should have things done acceptable under international law”.

He was responding to questions by journalists who wanted to know Ghana’s response to issues raised by the Togolese delegation that the Ghanaian Navy were found in areas of the sea with their neighboring Togolese that had issue with maritime boundary.

Again we should have mutually arranged and agreed point of action as we do not have boundaries, “known to us let us co-exist in the area till the line is drawn let the status quo be till we delimit the boundary”, he lamented.

“Whatever we do should have no impact on the final outcome of the delimitation, this is what various countries had put in place when negotiation is dragging for long”.

As to whether with the various mapping Ghana has it is possible for Ghana to win, “you do not go into the negotiation table and preempt the outcome, not that I cannot answer your question. When hosting your neighbors in your country you have to relax your muscles”.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com