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“Not everybody can be bought, people must give us credit”—Suhuyini

Member of Parliament for Tamale North,  Suhuyini Alhassan Sayibu serving on the Parliament Appointment has dismissed perception that the Minority members on the Committee can easily be bought with both sides having almost the same numerical strength.

According to him he finds it very offensive personally with that perception, and added that it is not everyone whose principles can be bought; though acknowledging that some people can be influenced by material things.

“Some of us, we are motivated by the opportunity to leave a legacy than whatever short gain we can earn with the privilege given us to serve on the Appointment Committee. I cannot speak for everyone on the Committee certainly”.

In an interview with Ghanamps.com he pointed out that fortunately he knows some other members would find it very offensive and people must credit them with some level of integrity.

As there may have been issues here and there about how Parliament conducts its business, in terms of how members are influenced here and there, it is not all lost, there are still members in the House who are committed to the good of Ghana, he said.

The Tamale North lawmaker urged those with suspicious view of the Appointment Committee and members of the House, because of the close numbers to exercise a bit of restrain in condemning the whole House.

And described those suggesting that nothing good will come out of what they would be doing at the committee as unfortunate. “Many members in there on the Committee are guided by their conscience and would not sell their integrity for whatever amount”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Direct elections would address Attrition in ECOWAS Parliament —Humado

A member of Ghana’s delegation to the fifth Legislature of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Clement Kofi Humado has lamented over the high attrition rate being experienced.

According to him direct election of the Community lawmakers would help address the high attrition rate being experience by the lawmaking wing of the ECOWAS.

In an interview, he noted that the current practice where National Parliaments nominate representatives, only for those same individuals to be appointed as ministers have to be replaced.

And further pointed out a phenomenon where within the fifteen member states that form the ECOWAS Parliament, within the life span of the fourth Legislature, Togo would have to go for an election the first year, only to be followed by Mali the following year, and then Ghana.

“If we go for the direct adult universal suffrage, there would be uniformity; that is every four years it is more manageable and predictable where lawmakers would be elected to represent citizens of the Community”.

Mr. Humado is Ghana’s representative on the Ad Hoc Committee set up under the current fifth Legislature of the ECOWAS Parliament to draw a road map towards direct elections.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Appointment Committee: “We will be diligent, thorough and not rubberstamp”—Suhuyini

A member of the 8th Parliament’s Appointment Committee, and Member of Parliament for Tamale South, Alhassan Suhuyini Sayibu before the Committee start its first public hearing has revealed that he expects a lot from the Committee.

According to him given the almost equal strength of the two dominant parties in the House, he expect more from the Committee to do a thorough and diligent work and more commitment to protect and highlight the interest of Ghana throughout its work.

“I would not say same, was not done in the Seventh Parliament of the same Committee, and I believe Ghanaians expect more from us, as I hear a lot of people talk about  their expectations whiles others do not seem to be very confident in us”.

Again, others think we may just be obstructionist and others think we would be a rubberstamp, and like the Speaker himself has assured the nation, we would not be a rubberstamp, we would approve a nominee after a thorough examination.

The Tamale North lawmaker further emphasised in an interview that their work would not be too much based on partisan considerations, it would rather be what they think is in the best interest of the country.

“I and my colleagues on the Committee would not seek to unduly obstruct government business, neither would we allow ourselves to become a rubberstamp”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Tamale North MP urges Nominee Ministers to prepare before coming for vetting

A member of the 8th Parliament of Ghana’s Appointment Committee, and Member of Parliament for Tamale North, Alhassan Suhuyini Sayibu has served notice ahead of the February 10, 2021 that nominee Ministers should prepare before coming before the Committee.

As at Tuesday, January 26, 2021 when this interview was being conducted the Committee had not yet met, and CVs of the nominees had not yet come before the Committee members.

“Many of the nominees had served in the previous government of President Nana Akufo-Addo, they gave out their CVs and I am looking out for some of their pronouncement that they had made, you can see my table I am working”.

Again, he pointed out that it is not going to be business as usual as nominees would have to do their homework well.

Mr. Suhuyini Sayibu further noted that handing over notes would be matched against what previous nominee Ministers said when they appear before the previous seventh parliament Appointment Committee.

 “You would embarrass yourself if you are not well prepared, and no one should blame members of the Appointment Committee setting out to embarrass nominees, we are expected to be diligent and thorough, so it is up to nominees to demonstrate their ability to answer questions in a manner that is convincing capable of handling the portfolio they have been given”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Speaker appeal to MPs who have not undertaken health screening to do so

Speaker of the 8th Parliament Rt. Hon. Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 urged lawmakers who had not been to the Parliaments clinic to undertake health screening to do so.

According to him it has come to his attention that some lawmakers have not visited the health facility in the House despite his appeal last week where five days was devoted for that exercise.

He further noted that COVID-19 is real, and that it has come to his attention that there are still some MPs who have not availed themselves to undergo the test.

“Hon. Members, I humbly urge that we all take this opportunity to undergo this health exercise by end of today. The team is still at the Parliament health centre waiting for members to do so thank you so much”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Ahiafor challenges the Majority to show prove NDC is frustrating government business

Member of Parliament for Akatsi South, Benard Ahiafor has taken a swipe at the Majority Group in the 8th Parliament, to point out to him any government business that has been brought to the floor of the House that the Minority group has frustrated.

According to him their side of the House represent the voice of the voiceless and interest of Ghanaians, they have never frustrated government business, and would not do so and have never done so.

In an interview, he pointed out that in the 7th parliament they walked out on the Agyapa deal, and a lot of things they believe were not in the interest of mother Ghana, and their colleagues in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) were not willing to comment on things that were not in the interest of the country.

And challenged his colleague the Deputy Majority Leader Alexander Afenyo Markin to point out one business his side has frustrated. He rather advised that the Majority changes their attitude and focus on consensus building.

“Why should Ghanaians be made to think the NDC caucus has an agenda to frustrate government business, the interest of Ghanaians is paramount, hence we are moving a private members motion by Mahama Ayariga for government to absorb admission fees of parents”.

In addition it is the figment of the imagination of anyone to think that “we would frustrate government”, he added.

He further argued that, with a 137:137 ratio, it should be fifty-fifty; and the Appointment Committee with membership of twenty-six, “common sense should tell you that they should be divided into two”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Speaker apologizes to media for the inability of Dr. Chambas to show up

Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 apologized to members of the Parliamentary Press Corps (PPC) for the inability of the Special Representative of the UN Sectary General for West Africa and Sahel, Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas to show up at his conference room as planned.

Head of UN office in the West African sub-region was programmed to pay a courtesy call on the Rt. Hon Speaker mid-morning on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 only for the speaker to come and apologize due to cancelation of his flight.

Rt. Hon Alban Bagbin and Leadership of the House who had showed up for the assignment had to return to the tent, under which proceedings of the House was being conducted for now in the quest to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Minister designate believes Appointment Committee would do a good job

Minister designate for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor has said he believes the Appointment Committee of Parliament would do a good job when Ministers designate come before it.

According to him he is not concerned about the composition of the Committee, twenty-six with a ration of 13:13, as that is what the framers of the Ghanaian Constitution recommend for the President to appoint, and the Appointment Committee of Parliament to vet the nominees.

He also pointed out that he believes members of the Appointment Committee are very responsible people and Ghanaians would be watching them to do their work and he believes what is expected of them, they would do.

“I do not have a problem going before the Committee, I don’t think it is an issue of threat of death. They are there to work in the interest of Ghanaians, and they would discharge their work, by doing a proper scrutiny”.

Again, he pointed out that the Ghanaian constitution has set out criteria one needs to meet to become a Minister.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Minority petitions USA SEC over US $2.25bn bond

The National Democratic Congress Minority in Parliament has filed a complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the United States of America over the controversial $2.25bilion domestic bond, issued in April 2017.

This was made known in a statement signed by the Minority leader Hon. Haruna Iddrisu, in fulfillment of a pledge the Minority made on the 17th of April 2017 at a press conference.

According to the Minority, their action will lead to the US regulatory body investigating the bond issuance in which a company registered in the States, Franklin Templeton, purchased 95 percent of 15-year and 7-year bonds.

“The SEC will primarily be investigating suspected conflict of interest and inside trading which are violation of US law by the Hon. Trevor G. Trefgarne who is a Director of Franklin Templeton and a Board Chairman of Enterprise Group –a company owned and founded by the Finance Minister of Ghana, Hon. Ken Ofori Atta”, in a statement by the Minority.

Ranking Member on the Foreign Affairs Committee, Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa on behalf of the Minority filed the petition, with Enforcement Division of the SEC in Washington DC on the 1st of May 2017.

The Minority further emphasised that, it was committed in assisting with investigation in any way they can, in the supreme national interest of  Ghana and the United State of America.

By:Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Ghana’s Parliament to hold virtual session from this week

As part of measures to curtail any possible threats of the novel coronavirus, Ghana’s Parliament would start sitting virtually partially from Tuesday, January 26, 2021. Speaker Rt. Hon Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin on Friday, January 22, 2021 made this known to lawmakers before adjourning the House.

In this direction only one third of the two seventy-five members would be required in the chamber whiles others transact business from their offices. Members of Parliament would however be allowed into the chamber as and when need arises to contribute to debates on the floor.

According to the Speaker, a fumigation exercise will also be carried out during the weekend at the chamber block and offices of MPs to make the place safer. As such, the House may consider holding sittings from the tent erected at the forecourt where the President was sworn into office when the need arise.

Last week, the Speaker directed that members visit the Parliament clinic for health screening and to undertake COVID-19 test. Visit by Ghanamps.com to the clinic on Friday showed that a lot of lawmakers especially the first timers had taken the speaker’s directive serious.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com