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Majority sense danger and bit U-turn on Friday on E-Levy debate—Avedzi

Deputy Minority Leader Dr. James Klutse Avedzi said the Majority side led by its Leader Osei-Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu sense danger and made a U-turn when they wanted the E-Levy taken on Friday, January 28, 2022 night despite assurance that it would be taken this week.

According to him it is known that the Dome/Kwabenya lawmaker Sarah Adowa Safo is not in the country to shore up their numbers to 138, and 137 to 137 per Article 104 means the motion would be lost.

“That would be the end unless they reintroduce it, which is what they are trying to avoid.”

“If you look at the business statement, E-Levy is for business next week, Wednesday, February 2, 2022. Most of us were surprised when the majority leader came back and said there is negotiation ongoing that we should do the E-Levy,  “ Friday evening for some of us what happened last year we do not want that to happen”.

 So we prefer that Speaker himself sit in the chair; ones he is there we can debate the motion very well and take a vote.

When he said we should take it, as minority we were prepared, we had our numbers in the chamber, we wanted to debate full and take a vote. I do not know what they saw to change their mind so they are the party in government and control the business on the floor, he stated.

“We want the finance Minister to come to zero percent so 1.5 is nothing; we are against the principle in the first place, if we accept it then we can be talking about the rate, and our position is the rate should be zero”.

“Speaker is having his medical treatment and he should not at the peril of his life wait for what is happening, we should give him the benefit of doubt, he should get treatment, we need him.”

And if he travels this weekend he would not be available this week. My advice to the majority side on E-Levy is that they should wait till Speaker comes “we want the speaker to preside then we would vote on the matter”.

Again when that is done, the end result would be a decision of the House whether the motion would be lost or pass; we want the Speaker to be there, he said in an interview with members of the Parliamentary press corps.

“We do not want any of the deputy speakers to be in the chair so that what happened in 2021 resulting in fighting among MPs to happen again”.

Dr. Avedzi disagreed with the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta that there would be a disaster should the E-Levy fail to pass stating that as nine million Ghanaians earn income by law they are supposed to pay tax.

“So if currently two point four million Ghanaians are paying tax, the remaining six point six million Ghanaians should be worked at; systems should be put in place, people earn income and pay the right tax on it. That would bring more money to government.”

The former chairman of the Finance Committee pointed out that ”the lazy way of collecting revenue for government is to sit in your office even when you are drinking beer you are laughing because someone is making transfer somewhere and it is coming to the consolidated fund”.

In addition, he noted that the Auditor General’s report should be looked at to prevent the country from losing and save money, and talked about the exemption being granted. He stated that with the One District One factory programme, a lot of money can be saved there; “that is the way to go and not the lazy way of being in the office and expecting people to transfer money”.

He said the E-levy is something like pick-pocketing; picking money from our pocket illegally.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

“Our discussion on E-Levy positive but not conclusive yet”—-Deputy Majority Leader

Deputy Majority Leader Mr. Alexander Kwamena Afenyo-Markin has said his side, the Majority caucus and Finance Ministers engagement with stakeholders on the E-Levy so far has been positive.

According to him despite the fact that  consultations with the various stakeholders on the E-Levy  Bill has not reached its possible conclusions, there has been a lot of positive news so far and assured Ghanaians that, leadership of the majority caucus and government would continue the discussions over the weekend in order to get the bill passed possibly this week.

Mr. Afenyo-Markin noted that, even though both the majority and government needs the E-Levy Bill passed, it has to be done in a very peaceful manner between the Majority and Minority in Parliament without generating any controversy or chaos as it happened on December 20, 2021.

At a media briefing, he pointed out that his side of the House deployed the Majority caucus across the country to engage so that Ghanaians would understand their position and where they are coming from.

Mr. Afenyo further said the passage of the E-Levy is a key factor to government for the country’s development, especially for the construction and maintenance of our road sector and also job creation for the youth during this era where COVID-19 has crippled almost every economy across the world.

“We cannot continue to allow our youth to walk the streets after completing school, so this are major steeps that government want to take to deal with two major problems in our county; roads and supporting the youth to create their business”.

And this needs engagement with stakeholders and that is what they are doing. They are getting somewhere and he believes this week they would have gotten somewhere, and getting the Bill passed would not be much of a problem.

“We have passed the budget and appropriation, and all of these were by consensus. What is left is the revenue to deal with the expenditure”.

Again, he said what you can achieve is to get their cooperation in disagreement when somebody disagrees and cooperate then it is all about nation Ghana “so we would get somewhere, whether we are able to reach consensus or respect their position to disagree with us, but cooperate within the remit of the process we would be able to determine this week”, he said.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Jomoro MP joins NDC Minority Western Region caucus to visit Apeatse

Member of Parliament (MP) for Jomoro Dorcas Affo-Toffey over the weekend in the company of her colleagues of the NDC Minority caucus from the Western Region in Parliament over the weekend visited Apeatse-Bogoso to sysmpathise with the inhabitants of the Community.

According to her twitter post they visited the Community which has almost turned into a “ghost town” and made some donations to the victims of the explosion which occurred on January 20, 2022.

They were led by Mr. Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah who is the Western Regional caucus chair, and Eric Afful secretary to show solidarity with their colleague MP for the area, Wisdom Cudjoe, of Prestea Huni valley.

The team later met with the disaster management committee of the district headed by the District Chief Executive (DCE) of the area for deliberation on the tragedy that occurred after which they moved to the new camp and fraternised with the victims.

“It is my prayer that God will protect the soul of the departed, strengthen and speedily heal the victims of the reunion event”.


Ophelia Mensah eulogizes late Brigadier-General Constance Edjeani-Afenu

The Member of Parliament for the Mfantseman Constituency in the Central region had paid glowing tribute to the late Brigadier-General Constance Ama Emefa Edjeani-Afenu, Ghana’s first female brigadier general, who tragically passed away on Monday, January 24, 2022.

Mrs.  Ophelia Mensah who is also the Vice Chairperson of the Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament, presenting a statement on the floor of the House on the demise of the late brigadier general described her as a trailblazer who served her country with distinction and left an indelible mark which shall never be erased.

According her, the late brigadier-general’s achievements as the first woman to be appointed as Deputy Military Adviser of the Permanent Mission in the New York from 2013 to 2016, her appointment in 1999 as the Commanding Officer of the Forces Pay Regiment, which made her the first female Commanding Officer in the history of the Ghana Armed Forces, and progressing through the ranks to become the first female Brigadier-General of the Ghana Armed Forces on March 1, 2016, as well as the 2019 UN appointed as the Deputy Force Commander in the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) where she served with distinction are no small feats, and a testament that the nation has lost a great servant in her.


The late Brigadier-General was born on March 5, 1960, in Vane Avatime in the Volta Region. She was raised up in Tamale and attended the Kamina Barracks Primary and Armed Forces Experimental School in Kumasi before attending Wesley Girls’ Senior High School in Cape Coast to study for her O’ and A-Levels. She enlisted into the Ghana Armed Forces as one of two females in 1978, when she was 18 years old. After 18 months of training at the Ghana Military Academy, she was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on April 25, 1980, as the only female in her batch to successfully complete her training. She was consequently awarded the Most Prestigious Resilient Officer award in her graduating class.

Her father, as well as two of her brothers also served in the military and this imbibed in her a strong sense of civic responsibility. This was demonstrated by her great career in the Ghana Armed Forces, where she progressed through the ranks to become the country’s first female Brigadier-General. She became a role model for women in the Ghana Armed Forces and the country at large.

The late Brigadier-General later graduated from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration with a Diploma in Public Administration (GIMPA). Additionally, she had her Postgraduate Diploma in Management Practice from Ecole Superieure de Gestion in Paris, France. Subsequently, she obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from GIMPA.

Brigadier General Edjeani-Afenu also participated in various UN peacekeeping operations. She served as part of the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in 1994 and 1998, the UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) in 2007, and the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) in 2009.

She made history when she progressed through the ranks to become the first female Brigadier-General of the Ghana Armed Forces on March 1, 2016. Her appointment was confirmed in March 2017 when the Chief of Defence stalf (CDS) Major – General Obed Boamah Akwa, conferred the rank on her. The CDS, whiles congratulating her, labeled her exploits as a beacon for females in the Armed Forces.


Majority Leader bemoans low turnout for COVID-19 booster vaccine

Majority Leader Osei-Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has bemoaned the low turnout for the COVID-19 booster jab exercise ongoing in Parliament despite the caution given by the Rt. Hon Speaker Alban Kingsford Bagbin that Members of Parliament, staff and auxiliary staff would be required to show prove of the jab before entering the precinct of Parliament.

According to Mr. Osei-Kyei only eighty-nine (89) out of the 275 members have gone for the booster jab which he indicated is not encouraging, hence the appeal to those undertaking the vaccination to extend it to Friday, January 28, 2022.

The exercise which started January 22, 2022 was supposed to end on Thursday, 27, 2022 but the worrying participation has forced leadership to extend it to a day more as only one half of the staff members have summited themselves to the exercise.

“Mr. Speaker directive for MPs, staff, and auxiliary staff showing certificate of taking the booster jab before one would be permitted to enter Parliament would be difficult to enforce if the trend remain the same. I urge MPs, staff, and the media persons to submit themselves”, he advised.

He further added that it should be the resolve of everyone for us to protect each other.

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu on his part pleaded that with the information on the low participation, the extension duration should be extend to two days instead of the one day being asked by his colleague the Majority Leader.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Members of Parliament laments over difficulties in securing accommodation on university campuses

Member of Parliament for New Edubiase Adams Abdul Salam has lamented over difficulties parents have to go through to secure accommodation for their wards that have gained admission to the various universities in Ghana.

According to him it took his intervention for a constituent’s daughter who has gained admission to university of Ghana to get accommodation on campus.

“Mr. Speaker, a precursor to this statement is my experience on the morning of January 6th, 2022. On that day, I visited the campus of the University of Ghana, together with the student and her father, who had travelled from New Edubiase to begin their search for accommodation on campus”, he said.

“Mr. Speaker, all attempts at meeting the traditional hall authorities to put forward our request, was unsuccessful. Mr. Speaker, it took us over six hours of waiting for a manager of one of the hostel facilities on campus to finally find a slot for my constituent. When I was leaving the manager’s office at around 4:40 pm, there was still a queue of desperate students and their parents waiting to have an audience with the managers of that hostel”.

Mr. Speaker, as I stepped out in the hallway, one parent who had accompanied her child from Kumasi in search of accommodation approached me and said.

 “Gentleman, I don’t know why but something just told me to speak to you maybe you could help me. I have been here since 6:00 am, in search of accommodation for my daughter. I have waited to see the manager, but they keep saying he is busy. Please help me, as I don’t know what to do now,” she stated as she shed tears.

 Mr. Speaker, whiles trying to console the frustrated parent, another parent came up to me and lamented.

 “I gained admission here in 1998 and had challenges with finding accommodation for myself on campus. Twenty-four years on, my son is still facing similar problems. What kind of system are we running in this country?” she asked.

In a statement on the floor of the House he noted that, there are many other depressing stories of how students struggle to find accommodation in our various public universities in the country.

The current arrangements in some of our public universities are that, after paying tuition, students are required to apply and secure accommodation online.

 This arrangement does not often work for many students, especially those in rural areas. Mr. Speaker, to access these online portals, one needs fast and reliable internet, which is a challenge in many parts of the country. Even for those in urban areas, the reports are that rooms are usually unavailable by the time students get the notification to log on to the portals.

Again, the cost of accommodation on campus is too high for the average parent, as currently, apart from the traditional halls, the average residential fee ranges between a little below Two Thousand, Five Hundred Ghana Cedis (GH₵2,500) to Twelve Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH₵12,000) for an academic year. This development makes it difficult for students from poor families to enrol.

As enrolment increases in our public universities, the only logical thing for the government to do is to provide adequate facilities to accommodate the growing student population.

Mr. Speaker, the government must also enhance the Build, Operate, and Transfer (BOT) concept, as it pertains in some public universities. This would serve as an incentive to encourage the private sector in helping to solve the current accommodation crises.

“Mr. Speaker, when accommodation facilities are expanded, the government, through the university councils, must put measures to curtail the rise in illegal selling of bed spaces in our various public universities”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Government would work with universities to provide accommodation —Minister

The Minister for Education, Dr. Yaw Adutwum has assured Parliament and Ghanaians of government’s commitment to provide better accommodation to students, especially at the tertiary level.

He said, proper management systems should also be put in place where a student would be required to book online in making sure that all the needed requirements including accommodation are ready before moving on campus in order not to create any form of embarrassment for students.

He acknowledged the frustration of parents, who have to be physically present to find accommodation for their wards, and added that the challenge has been there for twenty four years (24) and should be confronted to end it.

“We are looking for ways of helping private entities get loans and put up hostels, I commend the University of Professional Studies for the way they have been able to handle the issue of accommodation through their own internally generated funds, same with UEW; when we bring together government, universities and private sector we would be able to address this challenges”.

 Dr. Yaw Adutwum was contributing to a statement made by Member of Parliament for New Adubease, Abdul-Salam Adams on challenges confronting tertiary students with respect to accommodation.

He concluded that, even though, government hasn’t completed the work on accommodation on campuses; there has not been a single case of any student that has been denied of admission into any tertiary education due to lack of accommodation.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Agriculture Minister challenges Erick Opoku to provide evidence on smuggling of fertiliser by donkeys

Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afiriyie Akoto has challenged the Ranking Member for Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs Committee, Erick Opoku to show him evidence at the Committee level that suggests donkeys smuggled fertilisers to Burkina Faso.

According to him he is glad that the House is a House of record and anything said should come with evidence. “Produce record to that effect that officials from the Ministry, quote that then I would answer that question”.

Ranking Erick Opoku

Mr. Erick Opoku told the House that at the approval of the 2022 budget last year at the Committee level an official from the Ministry said donkeys were smuggling fertilisers to neighbouring Burkina Faso.

And wanted to know from the Minister what he is doing about that as a supplementary question when the Member of Parliament (MP) for Kwadaso Dr. Kingsley Nyarko had an urgent question in his name asking the Minister on measures to address complaints from farmers about unavailability and high prices of fertilisers.

Rt. Hon Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin noted that order 671 (1) D should be taken into consideration and said the issue raised by the Food and Agriculture Minister is an issue that should be verified and proven.

“Whether the Committee can produce that record, they are part of the House, any time you get that record you are at liberty to come to the House”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Government approves compensation to farmers affected by bird flu — Minister

The Minister for Food and Agriculture Dr. Owusu Afiriyie Akoto has told parliament that government has approved a compensation package for farmers whose farms were affected by the bird flu and had to be destroyed as measures to curb the spread of the disease.

According to him nearly forty-four million Ghana cedis has been budgeted for an approved and assured the House that the exercise would be carried out transparently to ensure justice of all.

And to prevent the disease and other trans-border diseases government has finalised the Animal Health Bill for the consideration of the House; its passage would ensure effective regulation of live stocks and the poultry industry.

The ministry would be empowered to ensure the veterinary service enforce management standards in all animal farms in the country with a new legal framework and sanctions would be apply to farms by closing their farms to serve as a deterrent.

“When successful, Mr. Speaker this would ensure that we cub the outbreak of diseases for us to build robust and resilient animal sector”.

Member of Parliament for Dormaa East Paul Apreku Twum-Barimah asked the sector Minister steps being taken to assist poultry farmers who were severely affected by the bird flu outbreak and measures to prevent the recurrence of the adversity.

As a follow up question he asked if compensation would be paid to farms who suffered same fate in 2015.

The Minister who was a former ranking member of the Committee on Food Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs when the said issue occurred noted that others were paid whiles others were not paid, they had few petitions at the time and the records are in the ministry.

“There was an outstanding amount of two million Ghana cedis we intend to settle that amount by the 2022 budget that has been approved by cabinet for this exercise”, he said.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Security risk within Atebubu/Amantin is reason for military presence—Defence Minister

 Minister for Defence Dominic Nitiwul has told Parliament the high security risk within the enclave of Atebubu/Amantin is the reason why the military have kept their presence in the constituency.

According to him in December 2019 the Ghana Armed Forces deployed troops to African Plantation for Sustainable Development Ghana Limited.

The Member of Parliament for Atebubu/Amantin Sanja Nanja asking an urgent question on Wednesday, January 26, 2022 wanted to know when the military personnel would be withdrawn since their presence is brewing serious tension among the inhabitants in the area.

The defence Minister told the House the military personnel were withdrawn in April 2020 after a successful operation. However, in view of the security risk in the area in general the troops were brought back same year in September 2020 to maintain law and order.

And added that the Defense and National Security Ministries constantly conduct security risk assessment of the area after which assessment is made on the need to withdraw or maintain the troops.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com