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“Let us revisit original ideal of electing ECOWAS MPs”—Kofi Humado

Member of Parliament for Anlo and one of Ghana’s representative to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Clement Kofi Humado, is advocating for the revisiting of the original idea of electing lawmakers for the community legislature.

According to the Anlo lawmaker, “you are likely to lose your seat if you concentrate too much on the community Parliamentary work”.

“Doing effective work, it will take your own time off the constituency and in your own Parliament back home, this has become more serious because previously ECOWAS Parliament was more of deliberative work where you meet twice a year and discuss some activities protocols and treaties signed by ECOWAS commission”.

Mr. Clement Kofi Humado in an interview noted that since December 2016, the Authorities of Heads of States, met and felt that the community legislature should do more than they are doing, so they added more oversight responsibilities.

He said now, annual budget work programme of the Commission is brought to Parliament for scrutiny and it takes a lot of time, after that you need to go to various countries to see how institutions are operating.

For example, West African Health Organization have allocated some funds for activities in Burkina Faso, a team needs to fly there and go to the areas to ensure work is being carried out, and to verify whether, funds taken is being spent wisely and efficiently.

Also, “we have so many institutions under the ECOWAS Commission, the community Parliament appoints committees to visit. This can take a minimum of a week and maximum two weeks. Subtract that from your home country national Parliamentary work is a lot of work”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Rehabilitation of Dome/Kwabenya roads progresses

Rehabilitation works are ongoing on most of the road in and around Dome/Kwabenya following several complaints from residents and motorist in the area.

A visit by ghanamsp.com to the Dome/Kwabenya constituency witnessed heavy equipment at work on the stretch of road from Atomic down linking Taifa.

Whiles the road network from Atomic down to Kwabenya trotro station last stop has seen some leveling and filling of potholes, waiting for the road to be asphalted.

The road network from Kwabenya Trotro station last stop joining into Ashongman Estate has also witnessed asphalting passing in front of the Member of Parliament, Sarah Adwoa Safo’s House at Kwabenya.

Member of Parliament for Dome/Kwabenya had earlier assured her constituents to be patient and remain calm since she was on course in fixing the road network in localities that are in deplorable states.

According to her even though some works have already started on the Taifa Haatso roads, the remaining road networks in the constituency would also have some improvement.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

ECOWAS commission working to tackle youth unemployment

Member of Parliament for Anlo, Clement Kofi Humado has said the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission is putting in place measures to tackle youth unemployment in the sub-region.

According to the Anlo lawmaker and a representative of Ghana to the community Parliament, certain governments within the sub-region have not put in place institutional arrangements to deal with issues of accessing finance.

“Unemployed youth are getting desperate and a lot of them are getting across to Europe, with high mortality along the way and has become a disgrace to governments in West Africa, as unemployment has reduce the youth  to taking such perishable journeys”, he lamented.

He made this remarks after attending two joint delocalized meetings of the ECOWAS Parliament in Guinea Conakry, where committee on Education Science and Technology and Information Technology met for this meeting.

Mr. Clement Kofi Humado further added that, the theme: (Add the theme) was relevant because, it touched on contributions of Small Medium Enterprise (SMEs) to reducing unemployment particularly among the youth in West Africa.

“Sixty percent of our populations are youth, if you add the children they are seventy percent of our population, a large section of this youth are unemployed meanwhile we have the potentials of creating jobs”. This is what the ECOWAS commissions want to tackle head on all fronts and the immediate target group is the SMEs.

“Due to lack of capital we cannot rely on, heavy industries to generate these jobs for our youths, some of these heavy industries are using labor serving devices to work, the area we think we can make impact is with the SMEs that produce hand crafts, small machines”.

In Ghana for example SMEs contribute fifty-five (55) percent of the National Gross Domestic Product GDP that is SMEs in Agriculture, Trade and Industry together they contribute about 55 percent of the GDP most of them are not identified and recognised because they belong to the informal sector.

“Our trip to Guinea Conakry, we sought to know from them if government itself had put policies in place to promote SMEs, and try to look at various countries in the sub-region. We brought resource persons to speak on the subject matter”.

He further added that Ministers and Chief Directors from their host country, came to speak on measures put in place to address the youth unemployment likewise a resource person from the Commission, “it was an interesting meeting”, he said.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

President commend Speaker of ECOWAS for bringing Parliament to the people

President Nana Akufo-Addo has commended the Speaker of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Mustapha Cisse Lo for getting personally involved in bringing the institution closer to the door steps of the people.

According to President Akufo-Addo it has always been his view that one handicap the continental project of unity has faced is the fact that there has not been bottom up involvement of the process and has been very much of the politicians. He called for the involvement of the ordinary people within the West African sub-region.

He made this remarks when the Speaker Moustapha Cisse Lo called on him at the presidency on Wednesday evening with section of the lawmakers with the community Parliament.

“It is good we have a Speaker who is going round himself introducing yourselves to the various leaders holding conclaves in various countries, it’s a way of strengthening and empowering the attachment of our people to the community Parliament”.

Again, he commended the Speaker for the meeting that was held in Dakar Senegal, all in the effort to gather more momentum for the single currency.

“It is sad that decisions taken by ECOWAS community are not followed to the later, on the issue of remuneration of the community MPs, if our boss President   Muhammadu Buhari says he is going to bring it up I am very confident about that in our next meeting”.

President Nana Akufo-Addo told the visiting Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament he will have the support of Ghana in the crusade to get remuneration for MPs and pointed out that he expects to see the Speaker and his team in Ghana another time.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Suhum MP urges ECOWAS MPs to deepen integration process

Member of Parliament for Suhum and a representative of Ghana’s delegation to the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) Parliament, Fredrick Opare Ansah has urged his colleagues attending a localized meeting in Accra to use their stay to deepen the, community integration process.

According to the Suhum lawmaker, his colleagues in the West African sub-regional community Parliament, should never wait until there is a meeting in Accra before they travel down to Ghana.

“We need to come together beyond our meetings, hence the reason for inviting former Ghanaian MPs of the community Parliament to join us for dinner, on Tuesday evening, a lot of you are new to them but it was nice for them to be part of opening of our meeting to”, he said.

He made this remarks when he addressed his colleagues from the community legislature at a dinner on Wednesday evening, after calling on the President Nana Akufo-Addo at the presidency.

The week long localized meeting is on the theme, “Public-private partnership: An alternative Sources of funding for community programmes and projects”

Three committees are attending this localized meeting in Accra including Joint Committee on  Trade Customs and Free Movement,  Economic Policies; private Sector and NEPAD and   Administration, Finance, Budget Control and Audit.

Mr. Fredrick Opare Ansah on behalf of his colleagues in the community Parliament thanked, the institution for selecting Ghana for this particular meeting.

And also added that, Ghana is solidly behind the integration process and appreciate the effort of the Community Speaker in its effort to ensure that there is a common single currency, hence earlier meetings in Dakar Senegal.

Meanwhile on behalf of his colleagues and the Speakers of the Community Parliament, Edwin M. Snowe Junior thanked the Ghanaian delegation for their hospitality shown them since their arrival in Ghana.

“For some of us this is our second home, and for all of us this is part of our region, we thank the first Deputy Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament for the warm reception”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

“We have conducted field visit to accelerate regional integration”—Speaker ECOWAS

Speaker of the Economic Community of West African states (ECOWAS) Parliament, Moustapha Cisse Lo, has said the fourth legislature of the community had conducted field visit to accelerate the sub-regional integration process.

According to the community Speaker, good results have been achieved because in many countries of the region, “we are recognised”.

“We need to continue to have a greater visibility with our field visit and visibility of the community Parliament and also promote the acceleration of the integration process”.

Mr. Moustapha Cisse Lo made this remarks when she called on the President Nana Akufo-
Addo at the presidency on Wednesday evening, in the company of Secretary General of the Community Parliament, John Azumah and Fredrick Opare Ansah one of Ghana’s representatives to ECOWAS Parliament and some selected MPs from the Community Parliament.

He further briefed President Nana Akufo-Addo within a year ECOWAS Parliament holds two ordinary sessions, lasting for a week each, and in addition four delocalized meetings together with field visits.

“Mr. President, we need greater support in terms of resources to be more successful, we are counting on you and also the support of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.

One important issue we have to address is the remuneration of Members of Parliament, we are near the end of the fourth legislature that will be next year February, we have had discussions with President Buhari and he has given us he gave us his work of support us on this issue”.

Again this matter is being discussed at the level of Council of Ministers; we need your support on this point, Ghana is very important to the community and particularly to the legislature.

Three committees are attending this delocalized meeting in Accra – Joint Committee on Trade customs and free movement; Economic Policies, private Sector and NEPAD and   Administration Finance Budget Control and Audit.

The week long localized meeting is on the theme, “Public-private partnership: An alternative Sources of funding for community programmes and projects”

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

UEW Brouhaha: “We need complete solution”—Effutu MP

Member of Parliament for Effutu, Alexander Kwamina Afenyo-Markin, has said the University of Education Winneba’s brouhaha needs a complete solution not a half solution.

According to the Effutu lawmaker from the meetings he had participated in and the conclusions arrived at, all those who were sacked as a result of disagreement with the new management are to be re-instated.

“I believe the vice chancellor is well aware of this, he and I know those people, most of them were seen as supporters of Professor Avoker, we have all been tasked to ensure reconciliation, and it should be done in a manner that will give a positive impression”.

In an interview, he pointed out that there are quite a number of people to be re-instated, Dr. Berqueen has been left out, I do not know why, Mr. Epiphany Agbeshie (a Senior Assistant Registrar) is still home on suspension and again I do not see why Dr. Duku had been left out.

“The gang of six, Professor Mawutor Avoke and his group as far as I am concern they were supposed to be compensated, I want their full package given to them an announcement, but to solve the problem halfway through without giving an explanation that the rest are being taking care of creates a disturbing situation”.

He pleaded with the vice chancellor Reverend Father Prof Anthony Afful-Broni to deal with the issues, since he is the complainant all matters that goes to the governing council emanate from the VC as well as the chief disciplinary officer, so he initiate the move and it gets to the governing council.

“I will want to plead with all stakeholders to work around the clock and ensure that this matter is resolved once and for all”.

He further revealed that he has taken a position that if the vice chancellor cannot demonstrate the ability to reconcile there is no point in him staying in office.

“We all had confident in him and we all believe in him, that is why when he petition my office along side with some of his colleagues, I took the matter up, I get a bit disappointed and people will say my office is  interfering in the ruing of UEW. We  owe it a duty to mother Ghana, and a duty to the academia to ensure that the right thing is done if we allow things to degenerate and we say it is academic freedom, autonomy and all that one day it will come back and hunt all of us”, he lamented.

Again what was wrong yesterday remains wrong today, and will remain wrong tomorrow let us look at the critical issues and address them once and for all, so that at the end of the day those affected  staffs will see themselves as one, he concluded.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

GHc 197 million earmark for floods control by government—Minister

In the wake of flooding with the early rains, Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah has revealed that government has approved hundred and ninety seven million Ghana cedis to control flooding in the country.

According to the Sanitation and Water Resources Minister, the amount has been allocated to the Ministry of Works and Housing, the Hydrological Works Service and they are up to the task, and added that they just had a meeting last week Friday.

“To make room for the numerous vulnerable groups we have flood control is on the mind of all Ghanaians, as the rains have started kicking in, it looks like we are having early rains and the country must prepare for it. We are very grateful for the rains, but unfortunately the rains can also cause havoc through flooding at unexpected places, if the floods get away into the sea we do not have a problem, when people do get locked up in their homes then we do have a problem”, she lamented.

She made this remarks when she visited the Greater Accra Metropolitan Areas (GAMA) sanitation and water project offices at the Institute of Local Government studies at Madina.

And further noted that desilting of gutters and drains will be carried out, and when this is being done we do not “expect any body to drop anything in our gutters”.

“We are all fed up with people pouring their garbage and rubbish into the gutters and drains if you are caught you will be jailed”, she lamented.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Speaker lobbies ECOWAS lawmakers to support Ghana host AfCFTA head quarters

First Deputy Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu has urged lawmaker within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament to support Ghana host African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA),   head quarters.

At a dinner hosted for the community lawmakers, the first Deputy Speaker urged to work together to ensure that Ghana will host the head quarters of African Continental Free Trade Area.

“We all particularly for our brothers from Nigeria you will walk down here easily and I am pleased to announce that the Nigerians feel comfortable to come and  spend the weekends in Accra, that should really tell you Ghana is a home for everyone. We are doing all to make Ghana safe place for you”.

He further pointed out that if MPs with the Community Parliament have not started, he encourages them to come for free weekends in Accra enjoy the weekend and go back.

In addition he used the opportunity to give gifts to the visiting Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament and lawmakers, a Ghanaian kente cloth.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Intra-regional trade in ECOWAS countries is low-Joseph Osei Owusu

First Deputy Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu has lamented over the low intra-regional trade within the Economic Community of West African States.

According to the first Deputy Speaker, for the past forty years there has not been increase in trade between ECOWAS member states and added that the trade is estimated between member states at eight percent and thirteen of total ECOWAS trade.

He further added that, the cost of inter-regional trade between ECOWAS countries is three times more than shipping to external regions because of poor infrastructure within the region.

Infrastructure provision and efficient service delivery can help in the structural transformation of our economies, improve country competitiveness, facilitate domestic and international trade and enhance the continents integration into the global economy, he added.

“This notwithstanding, there are challenges of mobilizing resources for financing infrastructure, many private citizens have constructed very expensive edifices in neighborhoods with no road or sanitation infrastructure left for the central or local government to fund”.

The first Deputy Speaker made these remarks at the opening of a localized meeting in Accra Ghana, on the theme, “Public-private partnership: An alternative source of funding for community programmes and projects”.

He urged the lawmakers within the sub-region to fully participate in the meeting and obtain the necessary information for the effective performance of their constitutionally mandated duties.

Also “I am aware, that most member states are not able to raise sufficient funds for development projects often creating an infrastructure gap. To fill the gap we have often tended to resort to debt financing which result in fiscal deficits.

Mr. Joseph Osei Owusu further noted that community lawmakers can through their legislative, deliberative, advocacy, oversight and budgetary roles help with the implementation of PPP projects.

The importance of the public-private partnership requires that an institutional and legal framework which is aimed at development and implementing projects be put in place, in this regard Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund bill was passed into law in 2014.

This was to strengthen the mobilization, management, coordination and provide financial resources for investment in a diversified portfolio of infrastructure projects in Ghana for national development.

To complement this, a national policy on public private partnership (PPP) was also developed in 2011 to enhance and harmonize the 2004 PPP policy guidelines. The policy is to provide a clear and a consistent process for all aspects of PPP project development and implementation.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com