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NDC would always accord our Presidents respect —Agbodza

Member of Parliament for Adaklu, Kwame Agbodza said it takes the Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) to say we would take the moral high grounds to do things right in the House.

According to the Adaklu lawmaker when the current majority side gets to opposition they should be decorous as they exhibited during the recent State of the Nations Address (SONA), delivered by President Nana Akufo-Addo.

He made this comments in an interview when ghanamps.com wanted to know what accounted for the Minority side being calm and not heckling the President during SONA.

Mr. Kwame Agbodza in addition pointed out that instead of the Majority agreeing to emulating them they were shouting, “it would depend, why should we not accord our Presidents be it Mahama or Akufo-Addo the needed dignity”.

“But when a President appears to be too political throwing jabs at people in the chamber, it gives the opportunity for others to react; but on Thursday we decided once again NDC we would occupy the moral high grounds”

The President was saying things we did not like, we had to swallow our frustration, we were quite to accord the President and the Presidency the dignity, we hope this would be the end of the era where heckling was the order of the day, irrespective of which government is in power, he said.

According to him, they would offer the needed dignity to presidents any time they appear in the House to do their presentation. When it is time for debate on their statement, we would do the debate, I think it is a good thing.

Upper W. Akyem MP salutes predecessor for national appointment

Member of Parliament for Upper West Akyem, Derek Ohene Bekoe has commended his predecessor Sallas Mensah for his appointment as National Treasure of the opposition party.

The former chairman of the Public Account Committee (PAC) is also the immediate past Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Public Procurement Authority.

Mr. Sallas Mensah was a law maker for Upper West Akyem from 1992 to 2008. According to the current MP the former MP is coming in to serve at a time that the party is in opposition fighting to take over power and called on party members to help him discharge his duty efficiently.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Minister cannot dictate to Parliament—Speaker of Parliament

Speaker Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye has served notice to President Nana Akufo-Addo’s Ministers that they cannot dictate to the House when it starts its work.

According to the Speaker the time Parliament starts sitting is not the business of Ministers, but rather they should be in the House early to attend to business in the House.

Speaker made this remarks when Deputy Majority Leader, Sarah Adwoa Safo drew the attention of the Speaker that the House should give the Minister of Food and Agriculture Dr. Akoto Afriyie some time to come and answer an urgent question on the floor of the House.

Though the House started business on the floor of the House at 10:00am on Tuesday the 26th of February, the sector Minister was not on the floor of the House to answer questions.

Deputy Majority Leader indicated to the Speaker that she has been in communications with the sector Minister who indicated that he was on his way coming, “he gave assurance that he just left his Ministry and would be here in few minutes”.

“I believe Mr. Speaker has sent the right signal to the Ministers, that when we say we would start sitting at 10:00am we do, this indication would be communicated to Ministers”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

We will ensure Ministers attend to parliamentary calls—Deputy M. Leader

Deputy Majority Leader and Member of Parliament for Dome/Kwabenya, Sarah Adwoa Safo has said her side is doing all it can to ensure that Ministers in the President Nana Akufo-Addo’s government come to the floor to do business.

As representatives of the people the questions we ask on the floor are from our constituents, we owe it a duty to come to the floor to answer them, she added.

According to the Dome/Kwabenya lawmaker, Speaker Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye as a former diplomat understands the situation where Ministers have to balance their work in the Executive and come to the floor of the House to answer questions.

She made this remarks on the floor of the House in explaining that the Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kojo Kyeremanteng had communicated to the House that he is with the Vice President Dr. Bawumia on a Ghana-UK bilateral trade discussion.

He has thus given respect to the House, hence his question on scheduled for Tuesday February 26, should be rescheduled to Friday; by then he would be back from his trip.

The Deputy Majority Leader did not take kindly to the outburst of her colleague the Minority Chief Whip that the Trade and Industry Minister is not taking the House serious.

She quoted order 93 (2) to back her point, “it shall be out of order to use offensive, abusive, insulting, blasphemous or unbecoming words or to impute improper motives  to any other Member or to make personal allusions”.

“Mr. Speaker my emphasis here is the imputation of improper motive by the Minority Chief Whip”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Trade and Industry Minister does not respect this House—Muntaka

Minority Chief Whip, Mohamed Muntaka Mubarak has taken a swipe at the Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kyeremanteng for deliberating causing answers to questions filled for him to  be pushed back three times within February 2019.

“I must say this is worrying, I must say the Minister in this month alone has written three times for his question to be differed three times; there is some deliberateness”.

He argued that when it was time for the President to present his state of the Nation Address, and because the President was in the House, Ministers find time to be in the chamber for the President to see them.

Again he promised, to come with a motion of censure, against the Trade and Industry Minister, “when Parliament needs them to do business they are not here, if he would not come to answer the peoples representatives”.

“We are treating the Ministers with kids gloves, it is long overdue that they are not taking us serious”. We are supposed to complement each other’s work; Mr. Speaker we should not encourage Ministers to keep postponing their questions. If we do that all of us would be making ourselves irrelevant, he stated.

Mr. Mohamed Mubarak Muntaka appealed to his colleagues that when his censure motion comes to the floor both side of the House would support him.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Video footage on “bloody widow” placard not visible—Deputy Majority Leader

Deputy Majority Leader Sarah Adjowa Safo has told Parliament that the video footage obtained from Parliament to identify, lawmakers who carried placards with the inscription “bloody widow” cited for contempt was not visible to identify culprits.

According to the Dome/Kwabenya legislator the first Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu made a ruling when the issue was brought to the floor of the House.

During the swearing in of the Ayawaso West Wuogon Member of Parliament, Lydia Alhassan Seyram, the Minority staged a walked-out and held a placards with the inscription “bloody widow” which received a lot of condemnation from the majority and section of the general public.

Commenting on the issue, the Deputy Majority Leader stated; “Information I picked up from the table office and the Clerk’s office is that they have the tape, which has been presented to the first Deputy Speaker, but the challenge is how to identify specific people”.

And further pointed out that, since there were media men and women in the chamber, the day the issue occurred they would be contacted for the footage.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Majority Leader clashes with Speaker over “shadow Minister”

Leader of Government Business, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has pointed out that in a Presidential system of government, there is nothing like a “shadow Minister”.

Speaker of Parliament Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye on his part argued that he is not talking law but convention and practice, and no matter the political party in power equal time should be given all, he recognizes “shadow Minister”.

“If a member refers to a shadow Minister to me is acceptable in Parliamentary practice”.

This argument came about on the floor of the House, when business statement for this week was presented and the second deputy Minority whip Ahmed Banda, argued that time allotted Ministers should be the same time allotted to the Ranking members of various committees who would be debating the State of the Nation Address presented by the President.

“Ranking members are, shadow Ministers, they should be allotted same time that would be given to Ministers to speak on the SONA debate”.

Leader of Government Business argued that it is in the Western Minister system of government that “shadow Ministers” are recognized and not the Presidential system. Most of the people who were spokes persons on various sectors almost invariably assumed that office when their party came to office.

Leader of Government Business, retorted to the Speaker that he is not arguing as he said he is doing, but when he entered Parliament years back, then Speaker in allocation of time called one person from the Minority and called two from the Majority side.

“The New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the other parties number just amounted to a third the Speaker insisted, he would call one person from the Minority and two from the Majority”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Spoilt/rejected ballots: We still have work to do —NDC chairman

The Dome/Kwabenya Constituency Chairman for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Isaac Nii   Lamptey has said the Executives still have work to do in educating party supports on how to vote.

According to the constituency chairman despite the education carried out on the subject, people still made mistakes and they recorded two (2) spoilt ballot papers and six rejected, in last weekend’s Presidential primary.

In an earlier interview before declaration of the results, the constituency chair pointed out that education on how to vote properly had gone on to ensure that there was no spoilt ballot paper.
Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Garu MP supports water delivery efforts

The Member of Parliament for Garu the constituency in the Upper East region, Albert Alalzuuga Akuka has provided small water systems to some selected communities in the area.

The gesture is to ease the plight of the people who are confronted with major challenge of water delivery almost every year.

Residents in the Garu district are the worse affected during the dry season despite the fact that boreholes are dotted in the area, since barely provide adequate water to serve the growing population.

Contaminated water with health threats from dams, dugouts, ponds and lakes mostly serve the people water during the dry season since there was no other option.

The MP in presenting the small water systems procured through his share of the MPs common Fund said the gesture is a means of accounting to constituents and urged the need for urgent action to curb the challenge of portable drinking water.

“Potable drinking water in the area is a major problem facing the people in the locality, which needs to be addressed urgently,” he stated.

Thirty communities across the district are earmarked for the construction of boreholes which are at various levels of completion. Eight communities have had their boreholes completed awaiting handing over.
These communities are Kpatibuarin, Kukbulug, Kpatua-No2, Atamidaboog, Pialug-Maalnateng, Gbanterago area, Zisieri area and Tengsung.

Communities, particularly in remote areas in the district, also lack basic training and capacity to maintain wells, hand pumps and other systems which the World Vision organization has provided.
He said efforts were being made to ensure that resources meant for development projects in the area were not diverted or misappropriated.

Mr. Akuka explained that it was not right for members of parliament to wait until election period to interact with electorates and find solutions to their developmental problems.

He noted that governance was a means of impacting on the lives of the people and must therefore not be seen as a business to amass wealth to the detriment of the citizenry.

The MP expressed gratitude to the traditional rulers in the area and the constituents but urged them to cooperate with him together with other NGOs for more development in the area.

Meanwhile, he has collaborated with the district health directorate to organise a health screening for the people on Hepatitis B, blood pressure levels and other illnesses.

The screening exercise was to ensure early detection of health problems amongst inhabitants across the district for early treatment.

The MP indicated that the local economy thrives on healthy people, hence the screening exercise will help improve on the health needs of the people in the district to boost productivity.

The MP has also organised two effective extra classes to help the youth improve on their education.  A total of 150 students in SHS and tertiary institutions have benefited from his share of the MP’s common fund and distributed 500 dual desks to various schools in the districts that are in dire need of furniture.

Christian Kpesese/ ghanamps.com

Parliament approves € 802,262.00 tax waiver to boost water delivery

Parliament has approved a tax waiver of 802,262.00 euros for the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) which is expected to increase revenue collection and ensure sustainable potable water services delivery throughout the country.

The waiver was granted after the finance committee presented a report on the request for waiver of import duties, import VAT/GETFund Levy, Import NHIL, ECOWAS Levy, EXIM Levy, Special Import levy amounting to Ghana cedi equivalent of eight hundred and two thousand, two hundred and sixty-two euros (€802,262.00) on project materials and equipment to be imported for the implementation of the services for the enhancement of nationwide water network management project by the Ghana Water Company Limited(GWCL).

Chairman of the committee, Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah who presented the report outlined the rationale for the project which he states will support GWCL to develop a plan for systematic measurement and reduction of non-revenue water within the service area, develop an area map for flow control and the effective management of districts to the walk and cycle level.

The project is also expected to locate the strategic assets, conditions of the assets, develop applications and remotely manage these assets, increase revenue collection and ensure sustainable potable water services delivery.

It will enable GWCL to properly plan and maintain its systems, improve revenue collection, reduce non-revenue water and improve public relation support of the company.

Christian Kpesese/ ghanamps.com