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ECOWAS Parliament seeks UN support in solving crisis across the region

Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has called for support from the United Nations and other Development partners in solving problems across the region.

Speaker of the Community Parliament, Rt. Honorable Moustapha Cisse Lo made the call in the company of lawmakers from the Community Parliament in Monrovia, Liberia when he visited the diplomatic corps.

He gave a presentation on the role of ECOWAS Parliament in ensuring that there is peace and stability across the West African sub-region and added that the Community Parliament is strongly involved in all functions that concerned the wellbeing of African Countries.

Starting from supervision of various elections of the fifteen member states in the West African sub-region and also controlling the governance in the various countries.

He stated that the ECOWAS Parliament has done a lot to solve current problems faced in West Africa; “what I am asking for is that our partners support us to enable the Community Parliamentarians carry out their task successfully”.

“We have competent Parliamentarians with great qualities who are capable and ready to work with the aim of making impact across the region and also ready to defend the people of the community. The support from the International Community will help us therefore in ensuring that the various problems we face in the region are solved”, Cisse Lo said.

He further urged the international diplomatic community to bring their support to ECOWAS states, since they need the help of the international community to realize their goals in West Africa and also make the West African sub-region a land of development.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

EU must help ECOWAS curb smuggling of small arms — Sodiq

A member of the Nigerian delegation to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Sodiq Ibrahim has called on Nations within European Union (EU) to help curb smuggling of small arms into the West African sub-region.

According to Sodiq Ibrahim, West Africa is the poorest region on earth hence the need for assistant to curb the practice.

He made this call in Monrovia, Liberia when Speaker of the West African Community Parliament, Rt. Honorable Mustapha Cisse Lo led a delegation of lawmakers from the Community Parliament to interact with the diplomatic mission in that country after their seminar.

“We cannot go to our farms, neither can we go about carrying out trade and other occupations on our roads simply because of attacks from weapons that African countries did not manufacture”, he lamented.

Mr. Sodiq Ibrahim called for sanctions to be given out to companies in Europe that export “these arms to non-state actors in Africa”.

“The smuggling of arms is making us poor, making us force to cross the Sahara, and making us also cross the Mediterranean, where we become victims of some of the actions of European Imperialisms”.

He called for an action to address the crisis which has made citizens of the West African sub-region, “victims in their own countries”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Government Assurance Committee to visit three Ministries—Chairman

Chairman of the Government Assurances Committee of Parliament, Collins Owusu Amankwah, has given assurance that the Speakers Committee would visit Ministries of Railways Development, Information and Trade and Industries before the end of this month.

According to the Committee chair, since he assumed the new role, he has had discussion with leadership of the committee and they would be embarking on some monitoring tour based on assurances and some promises that have been given.

Before the current chairman of the committee took over as chair of the committee in the second meeting of the thirds session, the committee had earlier on undertaken a training workshop in the Western Region to sharpen the skills of members of the committee through a manual that had been developed.

In an interview with Mr. Amankwah, he pointed out that he had written to some Ministries since he took over as chairman based on promises made to the good people of this country, of which some Ministries had responded and base on that the committee is going to embark on its monitoring visit.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

NPP infiterated National Security with uneducated people – Inusah Fuseini

A Deputy Minister of Energy, Inusah Fuseini has accused the erstwhile New Patriotic Party(NPP) administration of allowing its party youth to infilterate the ranks of the National Security Apparatus between the year 2001 to 2008.

According to him, loads of party guys of shady character including those who could not even speak english were enlisted into the National Security.

Hon. Inusah Fuseini made the comments on e.tv on wednesday in responds to the National Security Coordinator Colonel Gbevlo Lartey clearing the NDC National Organizer Yaw Boateng Gyan of any wrong doing in relating to the leaked tape on which Mr Boateng Gyan was heard telling some NDC youth of his intention to let them infilterate the National Security for political gains.

He said the NPP administrative made a mockery of National Security as it posted an english inteprator to Morocco, a country which has Arabic and has French as unofficial language.

Hon. Inusah added that any attempt to compare the comments of Mr. Yaw Boateng Gyan with the very inciteful comments by NPP MP for Assin North will be wrong and a mis-match as the MP’s utterances were highly criminal.

Kwadwo Anim/Ghanamps.gov.gh

President Weah seeks active collaboration among ECOWAS MPs

Former member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament and President of the Republic of Liberia, George Manneh Weah, has called for active and unrelenting collaboration among member state of ECOWAS Parliament.

Speaking at the opening of the second extra Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Monrovia, Liberia, he pointed out that there is a dire need for Parliamentarians to join efforts in moving the West African sub-region forward and solve problems affecting it.

The Liberian President recounted his days as a lawmaker in the Community Parliament and urged lawmakers to lay legacies that would not be forgotten, through hard work and dedication.

“I recall the warm reception I received when I was inaugurated as a member of the ECOWAS Parliament, not only as a colonist, but as a brother and a friend, the relationship built remain active and alive until this moment”.

He noted that it is heartwarming to recall the numerous meetings held in different member states, and the various sessions attended together and representing his country as well as tackling the challenges faced as a community.

“It is based upon this confidence and in accordance with the supplementary act relating to the enhancement of powers of the ECOWAS Parliament that we have gathered here today to deliberate on the issues that affect our community of people”.

President Weah added that the presence of the Parliament, holding an extra ordinary session out of Abuja is consolidating efforts by the parliament in achieving its vested interest which indeed resembles a community of people and not of states.

He further added, “you are all aware of the tremendous challenges faced by every member state as well as their expectances, hence I urged ECOWAS Institution to tackle these challenges, no matter how much we can do by ourselves at the national level, it is not enough, in the state of true collaboration, we in this region must join an action oriented effort to tackle and solve our problems together” Weah said.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Ahmed Idris replaces 1st Deputy Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament

Nigeria has presented a new Member of Parliament, Ahmed Idris to replace the First Deputy Speaker of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Yusuf Sulaimon Lasun.

The Former First Deputy Speaker of the Community Parliament lost his seat in the Nigerian general elections.
Mr. Ahmed Idris Wase was sworn in at the second extra Ordinary Session in Monrovia, Liberia and replaces Yusuf Sulaimon Lasun.

In a unanimous decision among the Nigerian delegation to ECOWAS Parliament in Liberia on the 16th of September, 2019, Ahmed Idris was sworn in as the First Deputy Speaker of the fourth Legislature of the Community Parliament.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Martin Amidu hopes to inculcate anti-corruption tendencies in Ghanaian youth

Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu has said he would inculcate into Ghanaian Youth anti-corruption tendencies and integrity, if he does not leave the Office of the Special Prosecutor soon.

According to the SP, he does not intend to resign from his office despite the criticism he has come under in recent times on his performance, unless the Supreme Court decides so.

He further pointed out that he did not become an anti-corruption crusader all of a sudden, he had been through the mill, his father who had served in the Gold Coast army inculcated in him not to take what is not his.

Mr. Amidu made this remarks at the end of a two day conference of Auditors on the theme: “Protecting National Resources: The role of oversight bodies”.

He emphasized that, “For me to  prevent corruption and lower  the incidents of corruption, my duty would have been done, our preventive department when it comes on stream is going to have as its objective spreading anti-corruption in elementary schools, senior high schools (SSS) and engage tertiary students”.

When asked what can be done to make the office of the SP effective, he responded by saying that as citizens, Ghanaians are enjoined under Article 41 (f) of the 1992 constitution to ensure that the national assert is protected.

Whiles Article 3 talks about defending the constitution; he urged Auditors and Internal Auditors to assist the Police, Office of the Special Prosecutor and the Commission of Human Right and Administrative Justice by speaking up.

He however lamented over how Ghanaian are divided over every issue on political lines including politicization of crime.

“We have to depoliticize crime and see crime as crime not withstanding who is involved or whose ox is gored, the law enforcement should perform their duties, civil societies, Ghanaians should always speak up”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Legislature is under nourished for oversight of the Executive—Majority Leader

Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Leader of Government Business in the Legislature, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonus has said they are under nourished as an arm of government to properly perform their oversight responsibility.

According to him, when it comes to the power struggle between the Executive and the Legislature, the Executive comes first because they are well resourced and they need to position themselves.

“If we indeed want to pride ourselves as a body to oversee the Executive, how can we do that effectively when we are not properly resourced, if the people to do the job are not competent enough the first thing is to have able representatives and provide them with the tools to work with”, he stated.

The Majority leader noted that if Parliament has to look at the work done by the Executive in an objective manner and be able to assess them critically, the legislature should have tools to inspire them.

“I am not a jack of all trades, we try to be generalist as lawmakers, we cannot accomplish all tasks on our own, each needs the service of relevant professional, even if you make your own discoveries you must bench mark it against what they provide you”.

The Leader of Government Business was speaking to journalists in an interview in Parliament at the end of four days conference of African Parliamentary Budgetary Officers (PBOs).

“We are unable as it were to confront the Executive with real facts and figures that is why we are calling for the establishment of a Budget Office, to be an information base for Parliament in that, in case we require competent professionals who are objective in their own right non partisan”.

He further emphasized the need for an independent body to provide information to Parliament on budgetary issues, which government may find such information from such office distasteful, hence the need to craft a piece of legislation to guarantee the independence of the Parliamentary Budget Office.

“So that no government would say that information coming from that office is distasteful and would find a way of taking away the existence of such a body. For us as a Parliament we need to come together as a collective and get that cool environment for that office, with top notch professionals and adequately equip them to do their work”, he concluded.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Liberian Vice President seeks ECOWAS support for Women in Politics

The Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, Dr. Jewel Howard Taylor has called on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament to support women in politics.

Speaking at a conference in Monrovia, Liberia organized for ECOWAS Female Parliamentarians (ECOFEPA), and other women politicians and civil society leaders, she pointed out that stories of women being intimidated and victimized for seeking public office is becoming a trend.

According to the Vice President, ECOWAS has a unique role to play in uplifting the politics of women as they hope for a sub-regional framework for protecting women seeking to get involve in business and national politics.

“We hope to see you propose an ECOWAS protocol stating norms for the protection for women in politics. We also want to see you establish effective monitoring systems and interventions to protect genuine cases of women politicians in danger”, Dr. Taylor said.

She continued, by calling on ECOWAS to be swift and robust in their response to threats and violence against women in politics. With the assertiveness of ECOWAS, other state actors will follow suit and do what is necessary to protect women from abuse.

.Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

MP calls for increase in VAT to address sanitation problems

Chairman of the Committee on Environment, Science and Technology, Yaw Frimpong Addo is advocating for an increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) to address sanitation challenges confronting the country.

According to the chairman, there are limited resources available and government alone cannot address the increasing sanitation issues hence the need for Ghanaians to play their part by paying more taxes to reduce dangers associated with the environment.

Mr. Yaw Frimpong Addo made this remarks to journalists who accompanied a joint committee of Works and Housing, Local Government and Rural Development and Environment Science and Technology when they visited lavender hills and Zoomlion a leading waste company.

Ranking member on the committee of Works and Housing, Emmanuel Kwesi Bedzrah noted that without the needed input from the state, business in the waste industry stand the risk of folding up.

And singled out Zoomlion for praise in the areas of solid and liquid waste collection. The Ho West lawmaker urged the state to discharge whatever contractual or financial obligation it has with Zoomlion to enable it remain in business.

He further pointed out in an interview that the tour by the three joint committees that has visited Kumasi, Accra, Tamale and Tarkoradi is to tour facilities on waste management, and see how we are prepared as a nation towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Mr. Emmanuel Kwesi Bedzrah disclosed that the committees trip to Kumasi revealed that people are dumping solid waste at landfill sites, and anything you dump  decomposes naturally, if you have a facility that can recycle  the by-product would be used to generate income and create jobs as well, he emphasised.

“When we visited Zoomlion looking at the recycle machines they have in Accra we are asking can we have such facility across the country, so that we do not have solid waste dump at landfill site to juts naturally decomposed.