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Budget Review: The ordinary Ghanaian is being impoverished – John Jinapo

Mr. John Jinapor, Member of Parliament for Yapei Kusawgu has indicated that the mid-year budget Review presented by the finance minister has nothing to offer the ordinary worker.

He said at best the ordinary worker is being impoverished, stating that with only 4 percent increase in minimum wage and inflation rate of 8 percent “what it means is that the ordinary worker is being impoverished because one’s disposal income become nonexistent.

Mr. Ato Forson on the other hand described the review as hopeless indicating that he would have thought the government would have learnt something and have taken right decision s. He said every single revenue item in the budget is under performing, ” the government revenue has underperformed within the last six months of the year approximately two billion Ghana cedis tax revenue, yet instead of the government deciding to revise the revenue target, the government has rather decided to hold it”.

From the expenditure side, within the first 6 months in office, goods and services budget alone they should have spent 2 billion, but they ended up spending 4.5billion Ghana cedis, he stated.

He said instead of taking steps to ensure our debts become sustainable, they have rather decided to go back to the bond market and borrow additional money. “In fact, I have a worry, my worry is that in as much as this government is ready to borrow, they are borrowing to consume.”

He said the mid-year budget is cosmetics, because at the end of the year 2021, we will come back and see every single fiscal target being missed.


Budget Review: Our transformation agenda is very much on course – Ofori atta

The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta has assured Ghanaians that the nation’s transformational agenda is very much on course.

Presenting the Mid-Year Budget Review in Parliament on Thursday, July 29,2021, he said with COVID-19 still with us, the recovery is only the beginning; “a beginning that requires our collective sense of responsibility and action as citizens to guide, protect and participate in the recovery efforts.”

“Mr. Speaker, this Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review that I am presenting does not come with a supplementary budget, and our revised fiscal framework for 2021 is kept within the fiscal target of 9.5 percent of GDP. We are staying within the 2021 Appropriation.”

He also allayed the fears of the house that he did not come to the house to ask for money. “Mr. Speaker, let me repeat. I am not here today to ask for more money. I have not come to ask for more taxes. I have come to update the House on the performance of the economy for the first half year of 2021 and our plans for the unexpired term of the year, consistent with section 28 of the PFM Act.”

He also sympathizes with job loses that characterized the COVID-19 pandemic but said efforts are underway to create more jobs. “One of the serious impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the loss of jobs, which has exacerbated the unemployment problem, particularly among the youth. As such, Government is ready with a comprehensive programme to tackle this intractable problem. The goal is to create employment opportunities for a million of our young people over the next two and a half years by igniting a high spirit of entrepreneurship. We will count on the support of this august House.”


Winneba to host Extraordinary Session in September—Tunis

Speaker of the Community Parliament, Rt. Hon Sidie Mohamed Tunis, confirmed on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 at a dinner hosted by Leader of Ghana’s delegation, Alexander Afenyo Markin that Winneba would host the upcoming September Extraordinary Session of the Parliament.

According to him days spent at the delocalised meeting have been productive and the third deputy speaker of the Community parliament, Memounatou Ibrahima is in approval of Winneba for the September meeting and this has been communicated to President Nana Akufo-Addo who has also endorsed it.

“Winneba, be ready for us in September, we are going to be here”. He used the opportunity to thank the Ghanaian delegation to the Community parliament for their support.

The Speaker in his remarks noted that on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 he was at the University of Education, Winneba campus and saw for himself a huge auditorium that can host the September meeting.

Mr. Alexander Kwamena Afenyo Markin noted that, “there is no turning back on September Extraordinary Session in Winneba”, and thanked the Region Police Command for the security they provided.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

“I have gained and learnt a lot from ECOWAS Parliament” —Afenyo-Markin

Leader of the Ghanaian delegation to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Alexander  Afenyo-Markin  said he has gained and learnt a lot for being part of the Parliament, and would continue to learn.

According to him the friendship that has developed between the people of Winneba and the Parliament he prays it lasts. He said this on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 when he hosted a dinner for members of the parliament currently attending a delocalised meeting in his constituency.

He thanked the parliament for the opportunity as meetings of such nature are usually held in the capital, “I can say we are more than willing to welcome you in September 2021 for the Extra Ordinary Session”.

And added that, Winneba has what it takes to welcome the Community Parliament since there is availability of accommodation and social amenities, and further thanked Speaker Sidie Mohamed Tunis for spending all his days in Winneba despite being a busy person

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Finance Minister presents 2021 Mid-year Budget Review today

Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta will present the 2021 Mid-year budget review to Parliament today in accordance with Section 28 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921).

The presentation would among other things provide the economic and fiscal performance of the economy for the first half of 2021 as well as provide an update on the implementation of key programmes, including, strategies by the government to create employment for Ghanaians in general and the youth in particular.

A statement from the Ministry also noted that the Mid-year review would also highlight the status of the implementation of the Ghana CARES “Obaatanpå’ Programme that sought to revitalize and transform the economy to pre-pandemic times.

Additionally, the review would focus on revenue, expenditure, and financing performance for the first half of 2021 and provide an overview of the implementation of the 2021 Budget,” it added.

The government’s efforts at securing Covid-19 vaccines for the citizens would also not be left out.


Managerial skills essential for nation building—Bagbin

The time is ripe for the nation to train experts to manage the country’s vast human resources and tailor them to suit our developmental agenda, the Speaker Rt Hon Alban S.K Bagbin has said.

He said although the country is blessed with world class professionals and experts, we have done little to harness this pool of resources to guide our development due to the little attention paid to the development managerial skills.

The Speaker was speaking at a meeting with the council members of the Ghana Institute of Management (GIM) when they called on him in parliament on Tuesday, July 27.2021.

The GIM council members were in parliament to deliberate with the Speaker on varied issues bothering on the improvement of the education sector especially in regard to tertiary education and the development of management related courses.

The delegation was led by Dr. Kwame Antwi-Boasiako who is also the President of the institute.

Th Speaker explained that societies that seek to attain maximum efficiency in their developmental drive must pay a critical attention to human resource management.

He tasked GIM and other institutions to develop special management courses for both undergraduates and professionals to help boost their management capabilities which is key to nation building.

Very soon he said, parliament would collaborate with key institutions that offer management courses to help build the capacities of legislators and staff of the parliamentary service.

The President of the Institute, Dr. Antwi-Boasiako acknowledged the role of management in nation building and assured the Speaker that already the institute was neck deep in the organization of training programmes seminars, workshops among others all geared towards the improvement of the quality of leadership in the country.

Having acknowledged the leadership credentials of the Speaker over the years, Dr, Antwi Boasiako announced that the institute had decided to confer an honorary fellowship on Speaker Bagbin at a future ceremony.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Government to construct Water Supply facilities in five regions

Government is in the process of constructing Water Supply facilities (150 Point Water Systems with Nano-Filtration Systems and 12 Small Towns Pipe Water Systems) in five (5) regions namely Ashanti, Eastern, Volta, Oti, and Greater Accra.

This follows the approval by Cabinet and Parliament of a €30 Million funding secured from the UK Export Finance, HSBC Bank, and Government of Ghana.

The Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah who revealed this on the floor of Parliament when responding to a question filed by Mr. John Kwabena Bless Oti, Member of Parliament for Nkwanta North on the steps being taken to fix the problem on the Kpassa Community Water System which is on the verge of collapse, said the Damanko–Kpassa Water System will be a beneficiary from the facility.

On the specific project in question (Damanko–Kpassa Water System) the Minister indicated that design activities have started and rehabilitation works will start in December 2021.

“The CWSA has also employed technical staff to operate the Damanko-Kpassa Water System to stabilize water supply to the communities.

According to her, it is expected that by the end of the year, 2022 water supply would improve to meet the water demand of the population of Kpassa and surrounding communities.

The Damanko–Kpassa Water Supply System which supplies safe water to Kpassa Township and its environs, was completed in March 2011 with consultation support from DANIDA and funding from the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DfID) and Government of Ghana (GoG).

The facility which was under the management of the Water and Sanitation Management Team (WSMT) in accordance with the prevailing policy on rural water management, after few years of operation, however, broke down and had accumulated electricity bills owed to the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCO) to the tune of about GHS 400,000.

“The Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), in November 2017, took over the broken down Damanko–Kpassa Water Supply System and immediately restored water supply. The CWSA has also settled the indebtedness of the Water System to NEDCO in full. However, in view of the excessive damage caused to most of the components, especially the [18] pumps and transmission pipelines, water supply to the Kpassa township has not been as frequent as expected.”

Dominic Shirimori/Ghanamps.com

GWCL to carry out pipeline improvement works in Adentan Communities

The Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) is expected to carry out planned pipeline improvement works in some selected communities In the Adentan Municipality to ensure increased access to water and improve supply in the Adentan Constituency.

The selected areas include implementation in Amrahia, Ashiyie, Amanfrom, Otano, Dzen Ayor, and Ogbojo under the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) Sanitation and Water Project (Additional Financing).

The Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah however, noted that in the interim, the GWCL is currently undertaking mains extension works in Adenta Comandos and Amrahia areas. “These interventions will continue in a progressive manner, using internally generated funds to extend water supply to areas in the Municipality which are currently not being served.”

She urged residents who want to connect to the GWCL pipe mains to apply to their respective GWCL district offices to enable the GWCL to conduct an inspection to determine the feasibility of the application. “If the application is upheld on the basis of operational protocols, an estimate of the new service connection works will be [19] submitted to the applicant. Upon payment of the new service connection fees, the applicant will be connected.”

The Minister who was answering a question from the Member of Parliament for the Adentan Constituency, Mohammed Adamu Ramadan on what the Ministry is doing to ensure that Ghana Water Company extends its services to most residents in the Adentan Constituency also promised to institute an investigation into the practice where residents are asked to contribute for the extension of GWCL pipe mains to their communities and are later billed for extension into their individual home.

The MP brought this to the attention of the Minister and appealed that the practice should be checked since it is the duty of the GWCL to provide GWCL pipe mains to communities.

Dominic Shirimori/Ghanamps.com

Minority to contest High Court ruling on Assin North MP

The Minority in Parliament has served notice it will challenge the Cape Coast High Court Decision that seek to suggest a possible by electron in the Assin North Constituency.

The High Court on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 declared the Assin North Parliamentary election in December 2020 which elected Gyakye Quayson as null and void on grounds that by the Supreme Court decision in the Republic vrs High Court (General Jurisdiction 6), a person desirous to contest for parliamentary election should be qualified at the TIME the EC issued the notice of polls.

The High Court held that at the time the EC issued the notice of polls and  Quayson filed his nominations, he didn’t have the certificate of renunciation issued by Canada.

The certificate of renunciation was issued in November 2020 before the election; however, the notice of polls came in October 2020.

Hon Quayson applied for the renunciation much earlier but the Canadian Authorities only issued the certificate of renunciation on the 26th November, 2020.

But the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu addressing the Parliamentary Press Corps stated that they remain unshaken. “We are confident that it is our seat, it will remain our seat. Our first is to use the same legal processes and legal forum and opportunities available within the Constitution. We will contest the ruling, the judge erred both in law and in facts. It is a travesty of justice.”

According to him, they don’t want to believe that the courts of Ghana have been captured, that the courts of Ghana have become forum being used surreptitiously to tilt the balance of power; we are equal, 137, 137.

He believes the courts are being used to weaken time tested historical motion of checks and balances. “Justice must not only be done, but must manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.”

But the Majority led by Frank Annoh Dompreh said they have been vindicated by the court ruling having raised the red flag on January 7, 2021 at the swearing in of the 8th parliament.

He noted that they raised the issue of illegibility of the Assin North MP and cautioned the implications of that decision for the Member to sit in and be part of that decision making on that day because the member was invalidly elected.

He chides the Minority Leader for suggesting that the government was using the courts to tilt the balance of power.

Dominic Shirimori/Ghanamps.com

Speaker Bagbin allay fear of GUTA

Speaker of Parliament, Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin has allayed the fears of Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) of ever doing anything that would not be in their interest of Ghana.

Address the leadership of GUTA at his conference room on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 he pointed out that it is not true that he described members of GUTA as opportunist when he met his counterpart in Nigeria as being rumored in the media.

And pointed out that the former deputy trader minister Carlos Ahenkora who is a business man himself and now chairman of the Trade and Industry Committee is their member and whiles in Parliament would not pass a law that would be inimical to GUTA members.

Speaker Bagbin noted that because the GUTA members are directly affect in the ongoing brouhaha between them and their Nigerian counterpart their emotions may sometime over power them and some words that they might not use in their daily dealings they would even use them.

And should have some confidence in leadership who are trying to resolve the trade brouhaha, “we are not like we are being portrayed if we were we would not have reach this far we have taken your concerns and situation into consideration we are leading you in the negotiation there would be nothing done that would not be in your interest”.

Rt. Hon Alban Bagbin noted that both Ghana and Nigeria identified some areas they both need to work on and showed them a copy of his speech and meat with official from the trade ministry who have been dealing with the whole retail trade issues.

“Only to come back from Nigeria to hear my people attacking be for being a sale out, I was talking about others trying to take opportunity in our weak system, how can I go to Nigeria and attack Ghanaians and call my own people opportunist, where is this coming from?”

Again, we take time to groom leaders and within seconds we destroy leaders, and no country develop without leaders.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com