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Akim Oda primaries: “My competitor gave out more than I did”—MP

Akim Oda lawmaker, William Agyapong Quaittoo has revealed that he gave out television and money to delegates but his competitor Alexandra Akwasi Acquah gave out refrigerator, television and money leading to his defeat in the primaries.

According to him the first time he represented his people he paid fifty Ghana cedis, the following time one hundred Ghana cedis and his third attempt which he was not successful he paid two hundred and fifty Ghana to delegates.

He further pointed out in an interview that where the incident happened was a small community in Oda, and to the extent that the chiefs came up and took an oath saying he had gone twice and this time around they want someone from their community.

“It is not an issue of performance and development, I have sent development there, again I would not ask those I gave money and TV to return them. What I gave out I had people sponsoring me they would not ask for it back”.

As to his take on moneytisation of Ghanaian politics that both the Minority and Majority Leader talked against, he said, as a former Local Government Committee Chairman, he advised that the Common fund given to MPs should be sent to the Assemblies for MPs to concentrate on their law crafting mandate, but “they did not understand me and they insulted me”.

Mr. Quaittoo emphasized that the moneytisation trend would continue in his constituency and as a nation if we want to deal with it there should be a law crafted against the practice.

“I made money before coming into politics so I would go back to private practice when my cost would be low and I can manage my family”.

He further explained that he had buildings towards establishing secondary school but with Free Senior High coming in, he would turn it into a basic school and since he is an authority in Ghana when it comes to chemistry he would go back to writing of his books.

And he has four Committee reports pending he would ensure they are completed before the life span of the Seven Parliament ends.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Presidency, Bryan sponsored defeat of Acheampong Opare and Assibey —A. B. Fusinie

Sagnarigu lawmaker, Bashir Fuseini Alhassan has taken a swipe at Bryan Acheampong and the Presidency for using money to cause the defeat of Mr. Frederick Opare-Ansah, Seth Acheampong and Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah in last the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Parliamentary Primaries held last Saturday.

According to him, Dr. Assibey worked hard to ensure the current government had its loan approved, same with hard working Chairman of the Communications Committee, Opare-Ansah and Seth Acheampong.

“They were targeted by the presidency and they used Bryan to ensure their defeat. It is so shameful the way money was used. They have reduced our democracy to the highest bidder, we should say it as it is and it is not a secret”, he revealed in an interview.

Mr. A. B. A. Fusinie was so emotional about the way and manner the three lawmakers were handled in their primaries and questioned, “Who should do the work for government to benefit?” The three gentlemen cannot speak, we have to speak for them”.

“Do we need first timers to come and do the work that has taken years for the three to attain, they would spend four years to learn the rudiments of Parliament, they should have been given fair playing ground”.

Again, Bantama MP, Mr. Daniel Okyem Aboagye revealed that in an internal election there was a BNI operative participating in the elections and asked what would happen in a general election? “Delegates should have been allowed to decide who becomes the candidate ahead of this year’s election”.

He expressed further worry over the way and manner some were not respecting the COVID-19 protocols and feared that the numbers might go up since the country is almost around the fifteen thousand range.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Controller and Account General appear before PAC today

The Public Account Committee of Parliament on the second day running into its public hearing on Thursday looked at the report of the Auditor-General on the Public Account of Ghana’s consolidated fund for the period ended December 31, 2017 and 2018.

Deputy Minister for Finance, Abena Osei Asare represented the sector Minister and was accompanied by the Controller and Accountant General.

Mrs Osei Asare in her open remarks noted that the Minister, Ken Ofori Atta was in an emergency meeting hence she had to represent him and she was before the Committee to ensure concerns raised by the Auditor General on the Accounts of the consolidated fund would be cleared.

Members of the Committee indicated that they look forward to the sector Minister appearing before them tomorrow on Friday and hope there would not be excuses.

Friday June 26, the Finance Ministry would appear before the Committee to address issues raised by the AG on management and utilization of petroleum funds for the period ended December 31 2017.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

We are furnishing AG with info to expedite prosecution on banking crisis

The Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Ernest Addison has indicated that his outfit is furnishing the Attorney General (AG) with the documents and information it needs to expedite action on the process of prosecuting culprits in the banking crisis saga.

Dr Addison said he wished the processes could be a bit faster but unfortunately they do not have control over the judicial process except to provide information necessary to support the AG’s work.

“We wished the processes could have been faster but we are working on it. We are supporting the Attorney General with materials to help them prosecute shareholders and directors that are culpable.”

Dr Addison made this known when he appeared before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament to respond to some audit findings by the Auditor General.

Article 187(6) of the 1992 constitution charges Parliament to “debate the Report of the Auditor-General and appoint where necessary, in the public interest, a committee to deal with any matters arising from it”.

Parliament’s Standing Order 165 (2) has therefore assigned the PAC to examine the audited accounts of government showing sums granted by Parliament to meet public expenditure and of such other accounts laid before Parliament.

On Wednesday, Bank of Ghana appeared to respond to Report of the Auditor-General on the Statement of Foreign Exchange Receipts and Payments of the Bank of Ghana for the year ended December 31, 2018 which had nothing to do with the banking crisis saga.

The Committee noted that, transfers from Ghanaians in the diaspora to their family’s home are dwindling. The committee said that  the 2017 and 2018 report indicated that what the commercial banks earned on inward remittances were very low indicating that more Ghanaians are no more remitting monies to their families.

However, the Governor indicated that such a conclusion cannot be drawn because it is not only the commercial banks that receive remittances.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Tribalism cause my defeat at Akim Oda primaries—Quaittoo

Member of Parliament for Akim Oda, William Agyapong Quaittoo has stated that tribalism caused his defeat in the last weekend primaries of the ruling New Patriotic Party.

According to him, he is not sad because he offered to serve the people of Akim Oda and they say no, so why would he feel sad over their action? he queried.

“I am a technical person, if I am not coming back to the eight Parliament next year I would get back to the classroom, teach and write books”.

Answering questions during an interview on whether he would want to stage a comeback someday? He said no, “I do not think they would ever accept me in the future, but should President Akufo-Addo win 2020 and find a place for me to serve why not, but if I am not called I would get to my private life”.

He further pointed out that he would support his competitor Mr. Alexander Akwasi Acquah who defeated him because of the pluralize nature of the area and if he does not support a lot of things would happen.

“My supporters would not go out there to vote in the 2020 elections, I have to lead the way, I am going to help him one hundred percent”, he said.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

We will subpoena Governor of Bank of Ghana if…..PAC Chair

Chairman of the Public Account Committee, Dr. James Kluste Avedzi has given an indication that if the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Ernest Kwamina Yedu Addison does   not show up on Wednesday June 24, 2020, the Committee would have no option than to subpoena him.

The Governor and his two deputies were absent on Tuesday when the Committee was billed to examine the report of the Auditor General on the mid-year ended Jun 30 to December 31, 2017 on statement of foreign exchange receipts and payment of the Bank of Ghana.

PAC had to postpone its public hearing when chief directors of the Bank of Ghana were ask to represent the Governor and his two deputies, as the Committee was told they had to be in an emergency meeting.

In an interview, PAC Chairman noted that the Committee had to call the public hearing off because they had to give an opportunity to persons who were supposed to appear before the Committee and did not turn up.

He further pointed out that the Committee would today take both the 2017 to 2018 Auditor General’s report, and “since I became chair the Governor has never appeared before this Committee”, adding that but for that the Committee would have accepted any of the deputies.

He further explain that he does not want a situation where the directors are asked questions and they would say they are not the final authority, “We would need answers to questions in other to write our report”.

Dr. Avedzi explained that on Thursday, the Controller and Accountant General would come before the Committee to answer questions on the 2017 report of the Auditor General on the consolidate account.

Whiles the Finance Ministry would appear before the Committee on Friday to consider the 2017 report of the Auditor General which would consider the utilization of the petroleum revenue. In all  three institutions would be examined this week.

As to why the Majority members were not at the public hearing, he pointed out that over the weekend the majority side had their primaries where some lost their seat and needed time for themselves before they get back to the House.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Table office is marking up revised Standing Orders—Majority Leader

Majority Leader Osei-Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has noted that the Table of Ghana’s Parliament is marking up amendments to the revised Standing Order which is about completed.

According to him when the Table office is done it is for the Speaker Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye who is the chairman of Standing Orders Committee to have a look then it would be introduced in the House.

He made this revelation when Ghanamps.com at a media engagement with leadership of the House wanted to know the stage in which the revised Standing Orders of the House is.

Mr. Osei-Kyei further indicated that when the revised standing orders is laid in the House it takes twenty-one sitting days for it to come into operation.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

“We should be liberated to do private bill and not only private members bill”—Osei-Kyei

The issue of introduction of a private members bill has once again become topical and lawmakers are pushing that they have such opportunity to introduce it in the House.

According to Majority Leader, Osei-Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the House should be liberated to have private bills which would address issues in constituencies and not only push for private members bill.

He further pointed out that the Speaker is not an MP, and he can only give a ruling when the matter of private members bill comes up for a firm decision to be taken on the floor of the House. “So the Minority Leader and myself are working on something like that for the speaker to give a ruling”.

He further pointed out that the House has been handling Public Bills and educated members of the media at a media encounter that there is a difference between a private members bill and a public bill.

“COVID-19 Bill was from the Executive and not charged on the consolidated fund, Major Mahama Bill is a private members bill and was fashioned out by the House. The private bill goes to address issues in our constituencies, example like a broken bridge that needs to be worked out”.

He emphasized that the revised Standing Orders has private and private members bill “in-bedded in it”, and would be laid this week.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Ghana needs to spend between GHc 5.5 – 7b for five years to improve roads —Agbodza

Ranking Member on Road and Transport, Governs Kwame Agbodza has said for the nation to have its road problems addressed, the country would have to spend between five point five to seven billion Ghana cedis for the next five year on roads.

According to him, ahead of the Presidential and Parliamentary elections road issues would strongly come up.

Again, afro barometer studies and those conducting research have started bringing up issues on roads indicating the views of Ghanaians on the matter.

He further pointed out in an interview that where he stays, the roads are, “so so bad, government has not done anything about the roads despite coming out to say this year is a year of roads”.

“Every government makes intervention when it comes to road but this government has decided to ignore the road sector. Again it suspended many road contracts which were already ongoing claiming they were doing investigation, two and half years many of the roads have not been done”.

He noted that capping of the road fund has taken away two point four billion Ghana cedis from 2018 till date, and that is a very significant amount of money that could have been utilized for road maintenance.

Mr. Agbodza emphasized that during the time of the previous administration, they asphalted most of the regional capital  roads to the extent that various districts benefited from it.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Building a new capital would not resolve flooding; we need change of attitude—Agbodza

Member of Parliament for Adaklu, Governs Kwame Agbodza has said to address the perennial flooding in Accra, building of a new capital would not resolve it rather there is the need for change in attitude.

According to him the six new regions created by the current government should be allocated funds to ensure they are well planned.

“So that by the time the new regions get chocked like Accra there would be a master plan to expand to meet the increasing population. But guess what there is nothing like that, as an architect development is going on unplanned”, he lamented.

In an interview, he noted that as a country our problems are sixty percent human error and forty percent other things that had made most of our cities unable to deal with flooding and other things.

“I asked the Works and Housing Minister how much government has devoted to addressing  flooding as the rains set in,  he said he could not give a rough figure on top of his head, so what has we been dealing with over the years?”

Again, instead of getting a new capital, we should introspectively deal with reconfiguration of our city, when there is flooding you see old television sets, refrigerators, old plastic chairs, it is all human behaviors, he stated.

“If you go and plan a new city those who created the bad practices in Accra would go and do that in the new capital, the question I ask again is can we afford a new city?”

Mr. Agbodza further stated that he is a conservative and admires old cities, citing London as an example, he said they built new things but never knock down old city London down, simply because they can afford new things.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com