• +233 20 230 9497

ECOWAS deploys observers for Cote d’Ivoire presidential election

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has on Thursday, October 29, 2020
deployed ninety member observers’ team ahead of Cote d’Ivoire’s election on October 31, 2020.

Dr. Remi Ajibewa, Director of Political Affairs of the ECOWAS Commission delivering his goodwill message expressed the determination of the Commission to accompany Cote d’Ivoire through the presidential election in line with the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance 2001.

Gen. Francis Awagbe Behanzin Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security thanked the observers for sacrificing their time to attend such important regional assignment.

He further added that ECOWAS, as part of electoral assistant programme to Member States deployed technical experts and observers to Cote d’Ivoire as President of the Commission Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, approved the deployment of ten long-term election observers and eighty short-term observers to support and monitor the entire election process.

Former President of the Republic of Senegal, Cheikh Hadjibou Soumare in his welcome address noted that ECOWAS would support Cote d’Ivoire to conduct a credible, peaceful and transparent election.

And further charged the observers that with the diversity of their expertise, he had no doubt that they would provide the world with the true situation of the election.

This was contained in a press release by the ECOWAS Commission.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Parliament to adjourn for general election on November 7, 2020

Leader of Government Business Osei-Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu on Friday, October 31, 2020 in presenting the Business on the floor of the House indicated that the House would break on Saturday, November 7, 2020 instead of Friday, November 6, 2020 which was the original plan.

According to him there are a lot of outstanding matters hence the Busines Committee felt the need to add one more day before the House is adjourned sine die for members to go for their general election.

He further noted that the House is expected to sit on Monday, November 2, 2020 and expected to sit beyond the mandatory 2:00pm as stipulated in order 40 (2).

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

“Let no one pretend that worst case of violence was Ayawaso” —Kyei-Mensah

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei-Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has said it is wrong for anyone in Ghana to pretend that the worst form of political violence, in the country happened in Ayawaso West Wuogon.

According to him National Security operatives were at the Chereponi for the by-elections and shot seven people, “why is it that nobody is talking about that, the history of election did not start at Ayawaso”.

Presenting his closing remarks at a forum organised by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs on Monday, October 26, 2020, he further pointed out that serious dastardly act had been committed by people parading as National Security Operatives and urged that as a people there is the need to put a stop to that.

For Security Agencies and political parties, where most speakers on the issues of electoral violence under fourth Republic pointed at Ayawaso by-election under the theme, “2020 election and its implications for peace and security in Ghana”, Mr. Osei-Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu in addition noted that he and the Ranking Member on Constitutional, Legal, and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, Inusah Abdulai Fuseini were involved in reorienting the Security and Intelligence Agencies, as there is a new Act which was assented to by the president three weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Capt. Baffour Assasie-Gyimah (Rtd) in his contribution noted that, when Brigadier General Dr. Emmanuel Kotia representing the Chief of Defense Staff and the representative of the Inspector General of Police, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP), Dr Sayibu Gariba, gave their presentation, the issues of successionist movement breakaway, Western Togoland was not talked about.

According to him there is the possibility of they throwing the country into chaos and the issue should be talked about and we should not wait until the voting day or a day before the voting.

And added that as much as the security agencies may be doing the right thing, it could lead to the process of stopping some Ghanaians from participating in the December 7, presidential and parliamentary elections.

“That would not be too good and it would also not be too good for so many security personnel to be deployed in the region to harass and prevent legitimate people from casting their votes. I have been in this country for a long time and if I see signs of hell approaching, I know”, he lamented.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Majority leader appeals to committee chairs to work assiduously

Majority Leader, Osei-Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has appealed to various Committee chairs in Parliament to work assiduously on various referrals before them to ensure that expected bills are concluded before the House breaks next week.

According to him he does now want a situation where the House would have to ask for another week to stay on to conclude bills before the House.

He noted, some of the bills to be considered are Cyber Security, Enterprise Agency bill, Lenders and Plant Right bill, and appealed to members to come in their numbers for today’s presentation on the vote of account to be presented by the Finance Minister.

And added that he knows the first deputy speaker who was in the chair Joseph Osei-Owusu was not out of the woods yet he has a battel to contend with in his backyard, but he is in the chamber to work.

Mr. Kyei-Mensah called upon the two whips from both the Majority and the Minority to whip up their members to come in their numbers so that the chamber would be half full today Wednesday, October 28, 2020.

“I know some members are out there in the constituencies, but there are some who are also in Accra who are not attending to parliament. I know they are moving to various places to do serious mobilization”.

Again, he pointed out that with the task ahead MPs should spare two or three hours today to listen to the Finance Minister, and thanked his colleagues for their tolerance and endurance for staying on for more work to be done on the floor of the House as late as 6:00pm yesterday.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ Ghanamps.com

Real Estate Agency Bill passed

Parliament on Wednesday, October 27, 2020 passed the Real Estate Agency Bill after a brouhaha over the title to be carried by the House.

The objective of the bill is to regulate estate agency practice and commercial transactions including practice and the sale, purchase, leasing and rental.

In an interview after adjournment, the Minister for Works and Housing, Samuel Atta Akyea noted that there is the need to have a law to regulate the people who pose as middlemen, when it comes to house industry.

He further noted that there are some criminal activities in the real estate sector which is money laundering, and it is on record that a lot of money go through that area, so with the legal regime the problem can be addressed.

“If you go against the law you would be dealt with and that is where we are. Again government would be able to take the needed tax if you stand between the landlord and the tenant. As they take their commission, they should pay tax to the state and it would aid in revenue mobilization”.

He further added that it would create jobs as people would be trained and given certificates to do their job.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Parliament strict on observing COVID-19 protocols

As the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta present a mini budget to cover the first quarter of 2021 today Wednesday, October 28, 2020, parliament insists on strict observation of the COVID-19 protocols.

The Deputy Marshal has been strict in ensuring that media practitioners space out within the chamber. Missing from the usual trend was the fact that no media house was allowed to set up on the back corridors leading to the main chamber.

Ghanamps.com’s observation in the House revealed that journalists in the press gallery were strictly asked to space out, and the television camera usually mounted in the public gallery were also not spared these protocols.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Parliament approves $125m for GAMA project

Major interventions under the project include household toilets and school sanitation facilities, to improve the expansion of water distribution network and improve expansion of wastewater and fecal sludge collection, transportation and treatment.

The project is consistent with the coordinated programme of Economic and Social Development policies (CPESDP) 2017-2024 of the government of Ghana and the proposed interventions are fully aligned with the objective of improving access to water and sanitation services for all.

It is being done through improved water production and distribution, scaling up investment in the sanitation sector, establishing a national sanitation fund, and implementing the “Toilet for All” and “Water for All” programmes under the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP) among other interventions, all in line with the sustainable development goal 6.

Members of Parliament (MPs) gave their approval to the loan which has thirty years tenor, including five years grace payment period and repayment period of twenty-five years with service charges of 1.3 percent, interest charge and maximum commitment charge of 0.50 percent annum on the non-withdrawn financing balance.
According to the Finance Committee in their report, so far the key achievement of the original project as of July 2020, include affordable household toilets, thus provision of over twenty-seven thousand household toilets exceeding the target of nineteen thousand one hundred which has benefited about two hundred and eighteen thousand people.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Minority to subject Ofori Atta to empty chamber if…—Haruna

Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu has served notice to the Majority Leader Osei-Kyei-Mensah-Bonus that, they would subject Finance Minister Ofori Atta to heckling and empty chamber if he does not address outstanding of finance of lawmakers.

Finance Minister is supposed to present budget of the first quarter of 2021 today, Wednesday, October 28, 2020. He served this notice on Tuesday before the House could adjourn for the day around 6:00pm.
“If he does not want to do the needful, we do not want to hear him, we have to survive in our various constituencies”, he stated.

On the issue of Leader of Government Business and Majority Leader appealing to committee chairs to try and work assiduously to finish with referrals before them, the Minority Leader noted that the committee chairs are under him, and he should ensure that they are resourced enough to work.

“They need to be motivated to be in the chamber, you know the importance of time don’t come and be preaching like a new ordain pastor as to what committee chairs should do and not to do, do what is needful and do not preach to the converted”

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

GAMA Projects exceed target in toilet provision for households

The Greater Accra Metropolitan Area Sanitation and Water Project, (GAMA) under the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources has constructed a total of 33, 385 household toilet facilities within the capital.

According to the GAMA Project Coordinator, Ing. George Asiedu, it has exceeded the original target of 19, 000 when the project was launched.

He made the disclosure when he presented his report on the performance of his outfit during a performance review and validation workshop organised by the sector Ministry.

He further pointed out that in the area of the provision of household toilets, the story has significantly contributed to the decline in the rate of open defecation.

“Many households now have many decent, simplified and affordable toilets and through the Ministry, we have secured additional financing for the project to be replicated in the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area for a period of four years”, he said.

The Project currently within the GAMA enclave is winding up in the next two months and beside construction of household and institutional toilets, he pointed out that another key intervention, by the project was the construction of sewerage and drainage facilities in some parts of GAMA which has put an end to the perennial flooding in those areas.

He said the intervention has been worthwhile, though he indicated that the projects were not part of the main mandate of the Project. The Mallam Junction and Kaneshie First Light area projects easily comes to mind.

The GAMA Project is a World Bank funded Project which started in 2014 under the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.

However, with the establishment of the Ministry of Sanitation and water Resources in 2017, the Project has since been placed under the new Ministry, Sanitation and Water Resources.

The Performance Review and Validation Workshop brought together all the Agencies under the Ministry as well as the two projects and NGOs in the water and sanitation delivery sector to review their performance over the last four years and develop strategic plans for the future.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Regional MPs urge to prioritize advocacy on the protection of the right to food

Speaker of the Community Parliament Rt. Honorable Sidie Mohamed Tunis whiles serving as chair of a high-level regional meeting in West and Central Africa parliamentarians on mobilizing parliamentarians and keeping nutrition as a priority during the corona pandemic, urged the lawmakers to prioritize advocacy on the protection of the right to food.

According to him the meeting was very timely as early indications coming from research shows that the corona pandemic is likely to affect food security and nutrition as movements of farmers are being restricted thus disrupting the chain of production, processing and food supply.

The Speaker further urged lawmakers to be seen vigorously working with their respective governments and non-governmental organisation and the UN agencies so as to ensure quality food intake is maximized during the global pandemic.

As a way of highlighting what the MPs have done so far to achieve the threshold of food sufficiency in the West African region during the pandemic period, he revealed that in his home country Sierra Leone, they have established parliamentary alliance on food security and nutrition through workshops and capacity building.

For that lawmakers are now in better position to envisage likely impact of the corona pandemic on food security and nutrition in their countries and possible areas of policy and legal reforms.

Meanwhile, Dr Namoudou Keita, a representative of the West African Health Organisation (WHO) noted that as at Sunday, October 25, 2020 there was ninety-two-point seven percent recovery rate of the COVID-19 cases in the sub-region.

He added that out of the 187,483 confirmed cases in the region ECOWAS has 173,818 recoveries with 2,739 deaths.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com