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Haruna bemoans quality of debate on the floor of the House

Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu has bemoaned the quality of debate on the floor of the House and pointed out that the quality is reducing, hence there is the need for training to bring in some improvement.

According to him this is also reflecting on Members of Parliament’s lack of interest in what they do and they are not well resourced to do what they have to do.

And further added that with the quality of debate, when one compared to other Parliaments in other jurisdictions there is the need to improve. “If nothing at all we have to debate with facts backed by evidence of research”.

Making his open remarks on Saturday, February 27, 2021 when the old parliamentarians turn up for their orientation, Mr. Haruna backed his concern over the falling standard of debate on the floor of the House revealing that when there is a debate on sustainable development with four MPs contributing to it, none of them would complete one sentence.

The Minority Leader expressed joy that the orientation program had been put in place to improve MPs understanding of legislation in other to serve their constituents better and hoped that the resource persons put together would help them understand things better to serve the people of Ghana.

Again, we have a Speaker who does not belong to the President’s political party, it comes with its advantages and disadvantages, “what can we do for the speaker to help the president to succeed in improving the quality of life of the Ghanaian.”

And pointed out to his colleagues in the Majority that with the current numerical strength of the 8th Parliament, where both major political parties have 137 each, the Majority would not do things the way they please.

“Again, the Majority Group would need our cooperation and support in other to do government business”, he told his colleagues.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

“I disagree with the assertion that we need the cooperation of NDC”—Afenyo

Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Kwamena Afenyo Markin has said he disagrees with assertion that, with the current state of the 8th Parliament where both the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have equal strength, they need cooperation.

According to him the governance is not about the NPP and that it is about the country, as such they are working together as the people representative, and it should not be taken that it is “your government, you need us”.

“We should not approach the object of consultation with a predetermined agenda that if you don’t, I would hoodwink you, we must learn to work together and agree that the uniqueness of the current parliament is a clear opportunity to demonstrate to the world that as a people we are tolerant and would not be limited by our partisan political view”.

He made this remarks on Saturday, February 27, 2021 when continuing MPs have a two day orientation at Ada, and was pleased with the resources persons and asked for cooperation from his colleagues.

He further noted that he agrees with the point made by the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu for the need to improve the quality of debate which means there should be more research and urge that his colleagues should take advantage of tools available to them to build their capacity.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

“We have challenge as a country in terms of number of orthodox product we import—Alan

Minister-designate for Trade and Industry, Alan Kwadwo Kyremanteng has said Ghana has a greater challenge in terms of number of orthodox products the country import into the country annually.

He explained that, there are many of such orthodox products that could have been produced right here in Ghana such as, rice, sugar and poultry, yet we keep importing these products at a cost of about one billion dollars annually.

Mr.  Kyremanteng said, Ghana has the local capacity to be able to produce these commodities ourselves in order to substitute these imported products, yet we keep importing them.

He made it known before the Appoint Committee that, this decision of importing products that could be produced here influenced the idea of President Akufo-Addo to introduce One-District, One-factory which the Trade and Industry Ministry is leading the initiative to produce more products locally for our consumption and export purposes.

The Trade and Industry Minister designate, explained further to the committee that, 1D1F initiative has been one of the most revolutionary interventions to have been introduced in our country since Independence.

And added that, the program is still on course and would achieve it purpose for bringing industry and development to the doorsteps of the ordinary Ghanaian people.

Mr. Kyremanteng further gave details of the number of factories set up under the 1D1F as, there are two hundred and thirty-two (232) 1D1F projects across the country that are at various stages of implementation.

He said, according to statistics, out of 232 factories, only 64 were already existing companies and 168 are new companies.

Mr. Kyremantey made all these known on Friday, February  26,  2021 when the Minority Leader,  Haruna Iddrisu asked him, what he can do to reduce the huge sums of money in dollars,  Ghana uses to import products such as rice, sugar and poultry into the country.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

GUTA-Nigerian Trade Clash: “Engagement has brought calmness”—Alan

Minister-designate for Trade and Industries, Alan Kwadow Kyremantey has told the Appointment Committee of Ghana’s Parliament that engagement with his Nigerian counterpart has brought some level of calmness between Ghanaian traders and their Nigerian counter engaged in small scale trading.

According to him there has been some level of engagement at the political level resulting in the  Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representative coming all the way to Ghana for consultation of the annual clashes between Ghana Union of Traders Association and Nigerians engage in small scales trading.

“I had consultation with my counterpart Trade Minister in Nigeria and with Foreign Minister, we have agreed on a framework, that is why you see that there seems to be some relative calmness over some months now”.

The Minister-designate made this revelation when he appeared before the Appointment Committee on Friday, February 26, 2020, when the Member of Parliament for Madina Francis Xavier Kojo Sosu wanted to know the current states of the annual clashes.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

$20m studio would help Ghana to become a film and music hub in West Africa—Awal

Minister-designate for Tourism, Arts and Culture has told the Appointment Committee of Parliament of the government’s initiative to put up a twenty million dollar national studio to help Ghana to achieve the status of film and music hub in the West Africa sub-region.

Mr. Awal explained that, without a strong culture and artistic foundation in Ghana, the tourist board will not achieve their desire results and therefore it is important that, we build and strengthen our cultural strength and our heritage.

He further said national tourism law and national film authority has been established to help strengthen the activities of our tourism, arts, and culture as a country in order to improve the interest of the citizens for visiting out various tourist sites.

Backing his statement with some statistics of some countries and the level of funds they made from tourism in recent times, he said Nigeria makes Ninety Million dollars ($90 million) from the film industry just two years ago which also created about One Million Jobs for the people.

In HOLLYWOOD the film industry in the same year created Two Million, One Hundred Thousand Jobs and make about Twelve million dollars ($12 million).

“India also made about Four billion dollars from the same film industry; Ghana can equally do it, if we have the studio, we can make sure to produce movies, films and to help the creative arts sector, he told the Committee on Thursday, February 25, 2021.

His answer was in response to the Member of Parliament for Odododiodioo, Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye who wanted to know why Ghanaian culture is not exhibited in our schools any longer and what the Minister-designate would do to change the trend.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

I would help digitize the rent control department—Freda Prempeh

Minister of State-designate for Works and Housing, Freda Akosua O. Prempeh has assured she would help to digitize the rent control department when she is approved for her Ministry.

According to her the rent control lacks proper recognition, understaffed, and lacks logistics but in terms of competence, they are very qualified and have competent people.

The Minister-designate who was responding to questions during her vetting on Thursday, February 25, 2021, further told the Committee that despite all their challenges, the rent control is able to resolve a lot of problems between landlords/ladies and tenets.

“I have been briefed that Greater Accra alone, had the highest number of cases where nineteen thousand eight hundred and six representing thirty-two point one, followed by Ashanti Region, in total they have been able to address about sixty-one thousand, one hundred and eighty cases. So as much as they have challenges they are doing their bit to resolve issues”.

This was when a member of the committee and Member of Parliament for Bodi Samson Ahi asked how she would help the rent control department with their challenges, as a way of assisting the sector Minister.

When asked what her role would be at the Ministry, she said; “if approved I would be assigned to the Ministry to give special focus to the critical issue affordable mass housing envisage as one of the priorities of the president in his second term”.

She gave a copy of her letter to the chairman of the Committee, Joseph Osei-Owusu for the purpose of the Committee updating their record.

Madam Prempeh also underscored the need to educate property owners to update themselves on some issues, because the demand for rent exceeds supply, and it looks like it has become free for all, and “landlords and landladies they decide what to charge without reference to the rent Act.”

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

MP boosts education in South Dayi with 9-bedroom teachers’ quarters

In an effort to improve teachers’ welfare and to boost education in the South Dayi Constituency, the Member of Parliament for the area, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor has provided teachers of Tongor-Agbui Community Basic School with a nine-bedroom quarters to take pressure off the hard-working teachers.

The project which was commissioned over the weekend for use by the teachers is part of the MP’s educational policy to transform the constituency for speedy development.

Each teacher would enjoy a chamber and hall self-contained with their auxiliary facilities like toilet and bath, among others.

The nine bedroom self-contain quarters, according to the MP was built upon his request to a Japanese Non-Governmental Organization known as “DOO” to improve the welfare of teachers in the Community.

The teachers are expected to pay a token monthly as rent for the purpose of maintaining the quarters to keep it in good condition.

Earlier in 2018, same NGO had built a six-unit classroom block for the community through same request by the hard working MP who expressed his commitment to boost education in the constituency.

In addition to the teacher’s quarters which is the first of its kind in the Constituency, the NGO had also provided a modern ventilated kitchen to be use for cooking to feed all pupils in the school.

Other projects include a computer laboratory fixed with 35 brand new laptops, a mechanized borehole water system to supply water, a standing hand washing system for COVID-19 and an eight-Seater water closed toilet facility.

A land has also been leased by the Chiefs of Tongor-Agordake community through the MP lobbying for the NGO to provide a Community Health Centre to ease the traveling burden of residents to nearby health post to access healthcare.

Mr. Dafeamekpor after commissioning the project said teacher’s accommodation remained a major problem in the constituency which undoubtedly affect students’ performance and quality of education in general.

He expressed delight at the projects, saying the NGO’s intervention has not only reduced the burden of teachers and pupil of Tongor-Agbui basic school, but has restored hope in the entire community so far quality education is concern.

The lawmaker however assured of his commitment to continue to roll out good policies and as well source for support for education and other areas of interest to the constituency.

The Director of DOO, Doya Yuto who joined the MP to commission the project assured the people of South Dayi of the NGO’s commitment to providing conducive environment for teaching and learning.

The Chiefs and people of Tongor-Agbui thanked the NGO and its Directors, the MP and assured to jealously protect the projects so they could last for the purpose intended.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

North Dayi MP calls on gov’t to improve roads in the Constituency

Mr. Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, Member of Parliament for North Dayi in the Volta Region is unhappy with the deplorable nature of roads in his constituency.

According to him, all roads linking farming communities where students and pupil access to schools on several kilometers are in bad condition, noting that “not even a single road within the South Dayi Constituency is bituminous surfaced.”

He added that though the District Assembly has purchased a Grader and occasionally reshaped and grades the roads, the situation remained a major challenge and called on government to let the “Year of Roads” reflect in South Dayi.

The MP made the call during the commissioning of a 9-bedroom teachers’ quarters for teachers at the Tongor-Agbui Community Basic School.

The Director of DOO, Doya Yuto who joined the MP to commission the project assured the people of South Dayi of the NGO’s commitment to providing conducive environment for teaching and learning.

The Chiefs and people of Tongor-Agbui thanked the NGO and its Directors, the MP and assured to jealously protect the projects so they could last for the purpose intended.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Electing MMDCEs would make them accountable to the people — Dafeamekpor

Member of Parliament for North Dayi, Rockson Nelson Etse Kwami Dafeamekpor is advocating for the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) for them to be accountable to Ghanaians.

According to him as things stand now they are accountable to a sitting president, and if it were the other way round they would neglect the needs of their people in the districts.

Speaking in an interview, he noted that because Members of Parliament are elected, they are accountable to the people and there is much pressure on them to provide development at the constituencies.

He added that, there should be an alternative source of funding for MPs as the Common fund is unable to meet the huge developmental demands from their constituents.

“Alternatively, we can go the Kenya way, with the promulgation of an Act of Parliament to attract funds for development purpose for MPs to undertake development projects, like constituency development fund”.

Again, when the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government introduced the one million dollars for each constituency development, they chicken out and gave the money to the District Chief Executives (DCEs); eventually when they notice that the Assemblies do not exist in the constituencies.

“They have to come back and establish what we call the Development Authorities which are also not effective”.

As to what can be done to take away the pressure on MPs, he said, “What can you do? There is nothing you can do unless we correct the problem of role, we would stay in the problem, we would be in it and it is horrible what the MPs are going through, it is incredible”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

I only ordered for withdrawal of excavators from sites, I did not seize them”–Amewu

The President’s nominee for Railways Development Ministry John Peter Amewu has revealed to Parliament’s Appointment Committee he only ordered for the withdrawal of excavators from mining sites.

According to him he did not seize any of them as a sector Minister at the time he was in charge of the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry.

He said, at that period, there were about five hundred excavators withdrawn from the mining sites across the country, but emphasized that they were not seized.

Mr.  Amewu further told the committee that, the methodology used to seize excavators were long process which requires the intervention from the Attorney General’s Office, so therefore, the only order he issued was to get all excavators withdrawn from mining sites.

He also added that, even though many of the excavators were withdrawn from the mining sites, some managed their way to other sites, hence, he ordered the people he was working with to move further in making sure that, all those machines were withdrawn to achieve the purpose of President Akufo-Addo on the stoppage of illegal mining, “GALAMSEY’ to save our lands and natural resources”.

This happened on Wednesday, February 24, 2021  when the member of Parliament for Nsawam Adoagyiri  Frank Annoh Dompreh questioned him on the whereabouts of the excavators some people speculates were seized by him at the time he was the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, and what he can do to clarify the matter on the minds of Ghanaians.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com