• +233 20 230 9497

Speaker cautions scholarship students

Ghana’s Speaker of Parliament Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye has cautioned nine Ghanaian students who are first beneficiaries of the Republic of Serbian Scholarship not to go and engage in internal politics of that country.

Professor Oquaye admonished the students to be worthy ambassadors of Ghana but studying hard to distinguish themselves in their field of study.

The nine students who are mostly females, with two males were going to study medicine, pharmacy and international business.

The Speaker gave an undisclosed amount of money to the students to help support the students as they embarked on their trip Thursday night to Serbia.

The scholarship was obtained by Speaker as part of his official visit to the Republic of Serbia in helping normalize relation with both countries.

Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye gave assurance to the departing students that he would visit them and there was someone to receive them in Serbia when they arrive.

“Be interested in your academic work, do not go and get yourselves involve in their internal politics, this is a country that had trained many doctors, during my time when we were leaving six form, I know personally some of the beneficiaries of their scholarships”.

Again do not go and rock the boat, the scholarships were awarded as a result of diplomacy, you are the receivers of Ghana’s relation with Serbia, next year around this time we would have thirteen students leaving the shores of our country, he said.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Adaklu MP urges to keep up crusade on punctuality to chamber

Member of Parliament for Adaklu, Kwame Agbodza has urged the media not to give up on crusade to get MPs to be punctual in the chamber because it keeps occurring.

According to the Adaklu lawmaker if media practitioners in Parliament would come on time and MPs there is hope, “we should not throw our hand out in despair”.

For instance the House committee met on Thursday morning 8:30am and had to stay on for another issue, but this are isolated issues which does not occur every day, it becomes a problem when it occurs every day, he added.

On the punctuality of MPs for business in the House to start at 10:00am he noted that there is not going to be an improvement more especially getting to the end of recess, this development did not start from the current government.

Again a lot of committees are sitting because they have referrals, hence they sit from morning to late afternoon.

Mr. Kwame Agbodza was quick to point out that, MPs would have to take into consideration the ruling of the Speaker that whichever committee is meeting they have to come to the floor first before moving out.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Passing RTI is just a first test—Minority Leader

Member of Parliament for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu has said what is important after the passage of the Right to Information Bill, is to walk the road map in other to get its institutionalization and implementation with the adequate finance and resource.

According to the Tamale South lawmaker his disappointment is the oversight Ministry, “I do not think it should have been the Information Ministry, we all know the state of that Ministry country wide”, he lamented in an interview.

He further pointed out that phones cannot be used in combating white criminality and corruption, there is the need for deeper transparency and accountability by public officers and institutions.

“Take for instance if government signs national identification contract for one $1.2 billion dollars, as we speak now I have not seen any document to that effect, any Ghanaian has the right to demand that he or she want to see what is binding in the contract between government and an entity to provide the ID”.

According to him, India with its huge population carried out the ID exercise at a less cost; “the public ought to know”.

He used the opportunity to thank the media collation for the passage of the Right to Information Bill and the same time the civil society coalition for the passage of the RTI in law.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Five Minister to take eight questions next week

Five Ministers would be before the House next week to take question in their names on the floor of the House.

Minister of Energy John Peter Amewu has three questions in his name to answer for his sector with the Attorney General and Justice Minister, Gloria Akufo taking two questions.

Ministers for Local Government and Rural Development, Trade and Industry and Regional Reorganization and Development would take a question each in their name.

There would be two urgent questions with six oral question to be addressed on the floor of the House.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

We would ensure customer satisfaction by airlines—Minister

Minister of Aviation, Joseph Kofi Adda has assured Parliament that his Ministry would intensify engagement with the board of airlines to address all concerns relating to effective services delivery to customer satisfaction.

According to the Aviation Minister he is counting on the support of Members of Parliament in this regard.
He further told the House, the Ministry and its agencies are striving to ensure that passengers traveling to and from Ghana enjoy the best treatment during their travelling experience.

He was responding to the Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto who wanted to know measures in place to ensure service delivery and customers’ satisfaction for passengers flying commercial international airlines on the Ghana- Europe and Ghana –America routes.

He added that the Ministry and its agencies have instituted regular meetings with the board of airlines, the apex body for all airlines operators in the country to discuss topical issues in the sector and we have had periodic breakfast meetings and it has been fruitful and made significant impact in addressing issues related to the sector,.

“Mr. Speaker, the Ministry, through the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), has developed consumer protection guidelines and directives after exhaustive stakeholder consultations.  These directives generally seeks to address issues concerning passengers’ right service provider obligations (Airline and Airport Operators)”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

I don’t have problem with NPP taking credit for RTI passage —Tamale South MP

Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu has revealed that he does not have any problem, if the Nana Akufo-Addo led government want to take credit for the passage of the Right to Information Bill (RTI) into law.

He was however quick to point out that the current Majority side were the same people in Minority who obstructed its passage on the 4th of January 2017.

“Go back to the records, when the former Speaker Edward Doe Adjaho, re-introduce the RTI on the 4th of January 2017, then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) obstructed it and they are back to take credit for it?”

Mr. Haruna Iddrisu noted that the current state of the Right to Information Bill passed for a start, “let us work with it”.

Again every law passed in Parliament in my view is a good law, “when we review the performance, that we are not happy with it, we can come for amendment”.

As to whether the current state of the RTI would help fight corruption, he noted that it was easier on Tuesday to strengthen the lose ends, we lost the opportunity in the name of technicality.

“When you saw the same rules being abuse, when we got to the third reading, let us give it a try as a country, whatever it does it would deepen our governance institutions, it would deepen transparency and accountability”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Parliament must interrogate use of cryptocurrency—Juaben MP

Member of Parliament for Juaben Ama Pomaa has called on Parliament to interrogate the use of cryptocurrency and its impact on the Ghanaian economy currently and in the future.

According to the Juaben lawmaker the demand for cryptocurrency needs urgent attention, as training and digital currency inquiry by Parliament would help upgrade existing laws to regulate the market as the vast bulk of cryptocurrency and crypto assets users are simply not reported.

She further pointed out in a statement on the floor of Parliament that neither the government of Ghana nor Bank of Ghana backs cryptocurrency, as local and international payment system in cryptocurrency needs the nation’s attention.

“Mr. Speaker, the internet utilization and easy transaction capability in this potential untracked style in an international marketplace is currently a big risk to our banking sector. The utilization of the virtual currencies removes the government’s hold on the economy and renders the banks existence meaningless as people and institutions embrace this new exclusive trend of virtual currency.

This results in low tax revenues for government as well as all kinds of transactions going on the blind side of government that may have effects on our economy”.

Again, drug traffickers, prostitutes, terrorism, money laundering, tax evasion and other illegal and subversive activities all benefit from the ability to move money in untraceable ways.

However, there are several benefits that cryptocurrency can offer our economy if it is properly managed with the right laws to back it.

“Mr. Speaker, some governments are using this technology’s potential for the delivery of public services, the UK government uses GovCoin-uk to implement their “social welfare payments distribution for UK’s Department for Work and Pensions.

In Japan, annually over 3.5 million active Cryptocurrency traders use Bitcoin trading totaling ninety-seven ($97b) billion, she added.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Asalaja and surroundings to get daily supply of water soon—Minister

Cecilia Dapaah, Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, has told Parliament as a result of inadequate daily production of water to meet current demand there are measures in place to address the water needs of the people of Asalaja and its environs.

According to the Minister, interventions have been initiated to provide portable water to the people as extension of Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) distribution network to the communities is under consideration.

She noted on the floor of Parliament when answering question that it would bring some relief to the communities as supply would be rationed to the areas.

In the long term GWCL is in discussions with interested investors to rehabilitate and expand the Weija Headworks as part of the expansion distribution pipeline that would be extended to the communities.

“Mr. Speaker, the communities along the Kasoa-Obom-Amasaman road depends on water supply from the Candy and Bamag Water treatment plants at Weija Headworks.

In addition, the existing installed plant capacities of the Candy and Bamag water treatment plants are 8MGD and 6MGD respectively.

However, each plant is currently producing at 5.6MGD due to frequent power outages and decrease in efficiencies of the plant facilities over the period”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Revised standing order: 7 days urgent questions must be answered—Majority Leader

Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Osei-Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has assured Members of Parliament (MPs) that the revised Standing Orders yet to be adopted would address the issue of Ministers coming to the floor to answer questions within seven days.

According to the Minister, for urgent questions to serve their purpose there should be time limit for Ministers to respond within seven days, “when we come to agree and adopt the new standing orders it would define it for us”.

He made this remarks in the wake of MP for North Tongu lamenting over filling an urgent question in the name of the Finance Minister which has to do with Ghana’s relation with the European Union (EU).

Mr. Samuel Okudzeto said, “I have waited for the past fifteen days, I have filled an urgent question to the Finance Minister and should not take this long”.

Majority Leader noted that urgent questions are not supposed to be answered within fifteen days he does not know where North Tongu lawmaker is getting his information from, it does not have grounding in the standing orders.

“I do not think you want to conjure any figures from your head, I have insisted that because we have time and time again touched on this issues we should define a time range which urgent questions should be responded to, you cannot go beyond a week”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Four important Bills have not found space in Business statement—Kumbungu MP

Member of Parliament for Kumbungu, Ras Mubarak, is lamenting over the inability of the Business Committee to bring to the House four important Bills that impact the life of Ghanaians.

According to the Kumbungu lawmaker, at the start of the third session of the seventh Parliament of the fourth Republic, an agenda was given.

“The Aging Bill, Disability Bill, Social Protection Bill and Affirmative Action Bill are all missing whiles the Business statement was presented by the Majority Leader”, he lamented.

Mr. Ras Mubarak noted that he was hoping that the impact the above Bills would have on society they would have found expression in the Business Statement for the week but that was not the case.

Again Mr. Speaker has made several referrals to various committees that had been outstanding, for four months now.

Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu responded by saying, he agrees with the Kumbungu lawmaker, but just to say agenda presented gives an indication of work to be done in the course of a meeting but it is subject to review.

“What we had set out relates to work to be done I the course of the entire year, that is in a session so as we go along we take away those of them that we are able to do, it is not cast in stone we may have to review as we go along”, he said on the floor.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com