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Police/Military patrols intensify to reduce armed robbery–Minister

The Minister of Interior, Ambrose Dery has told Parliament the joint police/military patrol had been increased to reduce arm robbery in the country.

According to the Interior Minister, “operation calm life” has been intensified in the fight against crime and arm robbery in the country.

He further told the House the police administration has stepped up its intelligence operation across the country resulting in the arrest of high profile robberies and crime.

“Mr. Speaker, the cumulative effect of all the efforts has had an impact in reducing robbery. In the last half of 2018, June to December 2018, there was one thousand, one hundred and one (1,101) as compared to eight hundred and sixty-eight (868) from January to date.

Government has in the past eighteen (18) months presented four hundred and eight-one (481) vehicles to the Ghana police service.

Again, last year government approved the recruitment of four thousand 4000 personnel into the Ghana Police Service of which two hundred are currently undergoing training at various centers in the country”.

Mr. Ambrose Dery noted that efforts to curb the menace has introduced additional security measures to deal robustly with armed robbery as well as increase its patrols in the communities along the highways.

“The Bolgatanga-Bawku-Garu highways has been factored in the operational plans of the Ghana Police Service”.

Mr. Ambrose Dery made this remarks when Member of Parliament for Garu, Albert Akuka Alalzuuga wanted to know measures put in place to reduce armed robbery in the country.

“Security is said to be a shared responsibility, we expect the security officials to do their work and flush out these social miscreants; the officers will depend on information from the public in order to arrest the robbers”, Ambrose Dery Said.

He admonished the public to continue to give the police vital information about the activities of criminals so as to enable the police deliver efficiently on their mandate.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

MP donates vehicle to health centre

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Akim Oda, Mr. William Agyapong Quaittoo has donated a Nissan Pickup worth one hundred and five thousand, two hundred Ghana cedis (GHs105, 200) to the Community Health Centre at Akim Oda Old Town in the Eastern Region.

The donation was made upon an appeal by Madam Celestine Kwofie, a Midwife and the head of the health centre.

Mr. Quaittoo noted that the health centre required a clinic status considering the kind of equipment the health professionals used and the number of patients it cateres for.

He therefore called on the Ministry of Health to provide the needed infrastructure for the health centre to be converted into clinic to cover more catchment areas.

Receiving the vehicle, Madam Kwofie thanked the MP and said the gesture would go a long way to support the operations of the health centre to save the lives of the people during emergencies.

Speaking with ghanamps.com, the MP who was accompanied by the Birim Central Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Kwabena Bempong, urged the health workers to help protect and maintain the equipment for a long term use whilst calling on the people to support the development of the municipality.

Rosemary Obeng Yeboah / ghanamps.com

“Accra as capital would be difficult to expand next fifty years”—John Azumah

In the wake of population increase and high migration rate to Ghana’s capital Accra, and fast development and pressure on amenities, Secretary General of the Economic Community of West African states (ECOWAS) Parliament, John Azumah is calling for relocation of the capital from Accra.

According to John Azumah, it would be difficult to expand the capital Accra in the next fifty (50) years, to contain population increase and amenities to match the population size.

He further lauded the visionary leadership of President Nana Akufo-Addo, in creating six more regions; “I think that a country like Ghana moving forward there is the need for a new national capital”, he said in an interview.

“Accra has gotten chocked, it is not the fault of Accra, it is an ancient capital, if you observe a country like the United Kingdom, for instance, they have tried to develop places like Manchester and Birmingham to pick up some of the things that London would not be able to take; that is not the same with African countries”.

Again, we have constrain on resources and to be able to develop our regional capitals to a full extent, the issue of national capital come to the fore and if we want to look into the future I believe we can have an arrangement, to have our new capital at Kintampo in the Brong-Ahafo Region, he added.

Mr. John Azumah pointed out that, Kintampo is a nice place suitable for agriculture, flat land and along the river Volta where the nation can make use of lake transport straight to Accra through Akonsombo.

There are advantages that come with development of a new place, in terms of infrastructure, business and employment, “we need to explore those opportunities moving into the future. This needs strategic thinking and I believe the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) may have been considering this”.

“We should urge any government that comes to think of having a new capital, some people would talk about resource constrains that is always there, yes there is no country that has been self sufficient in terms of resources”, he said.

In addition what we facing in managing the capital, talk about the floods, it has to do with overcrowding, every year we keep dragging and we have not been able to resolve the flooding issue, he lamented.

“If you are able to move a sizeable business group to another location, it would free Accra for it to be redeveloped properly. We would have a modern capital I believe, even as I am not a geologist”.

Nima in Accra, for instance is a place the President is doing everything to assist them to redevelop, they are resisting because they are not sure of where they would be and how their business would be affected. So if we have an alternative, a new capital where business would start, we would generate new ideas, there would be space to develop and do a lot of new things, people would be prepared to move to have new opportunities.

“We can redevelop Accra as a commercial capital, we can then challenge the Singapore’s with our Tema harbor, develop the whole of the beach from Tema to Accra to a port city”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Adentan Municipal to start hosting JHS Math’s, Science and English quiz

Municipal Chief Executive for Adentan, Daniel A. Nii-Noi Adumuah has hinted that the Assembly would start organizing Mathematics, Science and English quiz for Junior High School pupils in the Assembly.

According to the MCE, it would become an annual event in the Municipality as it would be factored in the budget of the Assembly.

Speaking with a reporter from ghanadistricts.com, the MCE pointed out that just as the Member of Parliament for Adentan, Yaw Buaben Asamoa has partnered with a private organization to organize this year’s Maths, Science, English and General knowledge quiz which was won by Victory Presby School, the assembly would also replicate same.

The Assembly would take it up and ensure that it becomes an annual event on regular basis for the pupils in the Municipality to understand what competition is like, to help them learn a little harder.

Participating schools were Victory Presby that came first with 59 points, followed by Vine Christian, 57; Sown Din, 53 points and Mercy Islamic with 50 points.

“We have funds that go into educational programmes and we would assist the educational directorate in our budget”.

Again, “residents of Adentan recognise education, we have more than two hundred schools, thirteen of them are public schools and the remaining are private schools”, he added.

The private schools charge a lightly more than the public schools but we have parents who are prepared to pay more for quality education, “you see the results in the just ended quiz, this is the first time it is being organized”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

John Azumah advocates for new capital for Ghana to aid integration

Secretary General of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, John Azumah, is advocating for a new capital for the Republic of Ghana to aid the sub-region’s integration process.

As long as countries like Burkina Faso and Mali depend on Ghana greatly through its port system at Tema in terms of business, a new capital at Kintampo in the Brong-Ahafo region would be a central point, with vast flat land to take the pressure away from the present capital Accra which is chocked and experiencing flooding with any heavy down pour.

“Despite the fact that it would take time to get a new capital, we would have a new airport, railway network and again the new rail net work fit into President Nana Akufo-Addo’s vision of building a rail network up to Burkina Faso and move up to Mali”.

As to what time frame should be given for the relocation of the new capital for the country, he said, “we can say in the next five years, election is coming up next year, I keep insisting on the President’s vision he put in his manifesto and despite all the criticisms he has to and is going to yield results”.

Mr. John Azumah further noted that, with the upcoming elections, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Peoples National Convention (PNC), Progressive Peoples Party (PPP) and the others should be thinking of getting a new capital and put it in their manifesto.

“Whoever comes to power should endeavor to start something. There are so many ways of starting this things, especially involving the private sector, PPP must come in the infrastructural development”.

He said government should establish an enabling environment for the private sector to come in and take advantage in building the infrastructure.

In addition, we can learn a lot from other countries with new capital if we have in-depth research on how some of these capitals have developed and political parties should be held by their manifesto moving in next year how they would solve some of the problems that Accra is facing.

“The next five to ten years, you would be surprise that we would have a modest start, but we would have a modern capital that would take care of ECOWAS for the integration issues between the Anglophones, Francophone’s and Lusophone  countries in the sub-region”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

ECOWAS MPs call for budgetary provision for displaced persons

Members of Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, have called on member countries to include in their national budgets provisions to address the disturbing crisis of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees in the sub-region.

The recommendation was made by the sub-regional community lawmakers at a closing ceremony of a third delocalized joint committee on health and social services, agriculture, environment, water resources and sustainable development, infrastructure, energy, mines and industry, human rights, child protection and other vulnerable groups, in Lome Togo on Friday.

Second Deputy Speaker of the sub-regional community Parliament, Aminata Kamara Toungara who closed the meeting pointed out that, issues raised, when address, would enable the region to provide food, shelter, education  and protect the human rights of victims.

“We have important role to play as Parliamentarians in consolidating democracy and provide assistance to internally displaced persons and reintegrate them into our society”.

The meeting was on the theme, “Contribution of the International Organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations towards provision of Health care, Housing and Food for displaced persons and refugees in West Africa: Parliamentary approach to the adoption of community standards”.

Leader of the Ghanaian delegation to the ECOWAS Parliament, Kwasi Ameyaw Cheremeh in an interview with journalists revealed that budgetary provisions have become necessary so that West African countries will not always rely on international agencies for assistance adding that, the budgetary provisions will become handy during periods of emergencies.

“We are looking at the health, the security of IDPs and refugees but some of the support that goes to the IDPs and refugees normally come from the international agencies such as the World Food Program (WFP), United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the rest. But what we are saying is that our respective countries in West Africa can do better”.

He further added that provision should be made in the various country budget to take care of especially Internally Displaced Persons. You cannot sit in your country and think that you may not have displaced persons. It can arise out of natural disaster; when houses are destroyed weather storm, people are displaced.

Again out of conflict there are displaced persons, “so we must prepare for it, we do not have to wait until we are locked down and then we start calling on international organizations to come to our aid”, he emphasized.

Despite the fact that the community lawmakers did not give budgetary figures expected from member countries, he noted that adequate consultation must be made to raise enough funds within the West African sub-region to address the needs of the displaced persons in the region.

“As a community, we should create a fund for refugees because most of our countries are affected by conflicts, wars whether it is tribal or religious. So is a way of anticipating some of the troubles we have in our sub-region and then prepare adequately to meet the situation. So, on our part as lawmakers in the sub-region, we going to make proposals to the authorities of heads of states so that they also talk with the finance ministers so that annually when they prepare their budgets they can make provisions for it”.

Also there should be inclusion of governments in the West Africa and put in mechanism to avoid wars and conflicts in order to minimize the refugee and the IDPs crisis.

“Budgets that goes to refugees and IDPs can build roads, water systems, and infrastructure whiles some of these wars are senseless but we perpetrate them and after that we have to look for money to take care of those have been affected”, he lamented.

In a related development, Kebba Barrow from Gambia noted that the key action plan of the delocalized meeting is to move the agenda forward to the level of the ECOWAS Parliament and one of the key recommendation and action plan is to do more consultation with the ECOWAS commission.

He further pointed out in an interview that experts that have given deliberations on the displaced persons and refugees, things like this can only be done through capacity building, popularization of the text and also legal instruments with civil society organizations and the wider society to enable people to better understand the legal framework on displaced persons in West Africa and the world at large.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Agona East MP facilitates 40 pupils to visit Parliament

Member of Parliament for Agona East, Queenstar Pokuah Sawyer has facilitated the coming into parliament by forty (40) school pupils from the Saint Michael Basic School to learn workings of the House.

The school pupils were in Parliament on Friday in the public gallery to observe proceedings of the House.

Their lawmaker Queenstar Pokuah Sawyer after adjournment of proceedings interacted with the school pupils and sought to find out from the pupils what they have learnt from their visit.

Most of them gave their views on what transpired on the floor as they observed.

The Agona East lawmakers refreshed the forty school pupils together with six teachers who accompanied them to the legislative House on Friday.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Eight Ministers to answer twelve questions this week

Eight Ministers would be on the floor of the House to answer twelve questions this week, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and leader of government business Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has revealed.

According to the Leader of Government Business, the Business Committee of the House reach this decision when they met last week.

Minister for Roads and Highways, Kwesi Amoakon-Atta would be on the floor to answer five questions whiles the Sanitation and Water Resources Ministers, and Interior Minister Ambrose Dery would be on the floor to answer a question each.

Ministers of Communications, Works and Housing, Trade and Industry, Lands and Natural Resources as well as Tourism Culture and Creative Arts would all take a question each for their Ministries.

In accordance with Order 70 (2), Speaker Aaron Michael Oquaye would allow Ministers of state to make statements on bills, papers and reports in accordance with Order 120.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Five day delocalized ECOWAS Parliament meeting underway in Togo

Speaker of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Mustapha Cisse Lo, has lamented over the increasing number of refugees especially Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in West Africa.

Speaking at a five day delocalized meeting of ECOWAS Parliament in Togo, the Speaker called for a more collaborative efforts to tackle the scourge situation and give hope to the victims.

The joint committees on Health and Social Services, Energy, Mines and Industry, Human Rights, Child protection and other vulnerable groups commenced on Tuesday in Togo.

Speaker Cisse Lo described the theme as apt, “contribution of International Organization and Non-Governmental Organizations towards the provision of Health care, Housing, and Food for displaced persons and refugees in West Africa: Parliamentary approach to the adoption of community standards”.

He further pointed out that despite the enormous efforts being made by the regional bloc and international organizations and support groups, the crises have lingered in most West African countries following political conflicts, the activities of jihadist group in Mali, Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso and other countries.

Also, the refugees and IDP crises are partly caused by inter-ethnic clashes and the climate change, which the region may not control.

“There are many inter-community clashes in our countries that lead to refugees and displaced people fleeing from one place to another. You also have the negative effect of climate change; you have floods and all that phenomenon that push people. You also have banditry, Jihadism, organized crime and people just have to flee from such places”.

Mr. Mustapha Cisse Lo, however, assured that the ECOWAS Parliament which is the interface between the executive and the national parliament of member countries, is working hard to ensure that model laws can be enacted to respond effectively to the scourge.

“We must coordinate and reflect on a more efficient mechanism to provide succor to the victims of displacements. We must therefore adopt Parliamentary standard and take concerted actions within the capacity of member states and in solidarity with our partners and the international community”.

Speaker of the Togolese Parliament, Yawa Djigbodi Tsegan, said refugees and displaced persons are the most vulnerable people in the World that have been denied basic rights of food and nutrition, education and health.

According to him, in recent times support for displaced persons and refugees are at the lowest ebb adding that it has become incumbent on the region especially the Parliament to have an approach and standard to address the menace.

She said ECOWAS, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and civil society organization are working together to ensure rights of people on the move are guaranteed and met.

“We must agree to have a better mechanism of sharing information and put other our tools together to achieve the purpose of tackling the challenges of vulnerable groups in our community, we must use available resources to tackle this scourge”, she said.

The number of refugees in the world is rising again, according to the June 2018 report of the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, with more than sixty-eight (68) million people uprooted in 2017, and for the fifth year in a row, wars, violence and persecution have pushed up forced displacement across the world, and developing countries are the most heavily affected.

According to reports, some 10.9 million Nigerians living in the three most affected states in Northern Nigeria are in need of humanitarian assistance. More than 228,000 refugees fled to Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

Refugees who have fled their countries to escape conflict and persecution account for 25.4 million of the 68.5 million uprooted people increase of 2.9 million from 2016 and also the largest increase ever recorded by UNCHR for a single year.

Internally displaced persons number 40 million, slightly less than the 40.3 million internally displaced in 2016.

The situation in Africa in not rosy, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, which is more home to more than 26 percent of refugees worldwide because of the current crises in this region. Thus, all ECOWAS member states are faced with the challenge of refugees and displaced persons.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Works and Housing Minister inspects Nsawam Adoagryiri drains

Minister of Works and Housing, Samuel Atta -Akyeah has said the current government is not only interested in solving the drainage challenges in Accra but is also focusing on solving all drainage challenges across the country.

According to the Minister, it does not only rain in Accra, but across the country and every region has a peculiar problem.

He further revealed that a contract sum of two million Ghana cedis has been awarded to promote logistics to construct drains and other projects within the Nsawam Adoagryiri Municipality to ease the annual flooding.

He also cautioned that we would be back to square one when people dump refuse into the drains, because the little money for other things would have to be used for desilting and that would stifle development.

Member of Parliament for the area, Frank Annoh Dompreh in an interview said the two hundred million Ghana cedi would capture the change road, Nsawam Prison Methodist and Osae Djan drains respectively.

He was grateful for the work done so far by the contractor as the project is expected to be completed in six months.

Assembly Man for Djan Krom East, Osafo Gyamfi said the community suffers from flooding whenever it rained and he was grateful to government for coming to their aid.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com