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Members of Parliament, auxiliaries, and staff to show prove of COVID vaccination to access parliament —Speaker

As part of controlling the spread of COVID-19 virus and ensure that workings in Parliament goes on without interference looking at the tall order of business in Ghana’s parliament, Rt. Hon Alban Bagbin has given indications that without the current ongoing booster jab certificate, MPs, staff, and auxiliaries would not be able to enter the precinct of the House.

According to him Members of Parliament (MPs), staff and auxiliary staff would be required to show certificate of taking the booster jab. The exercise which started last week Saturday, January 22, 2022 would end on Thursday, January 27, 2022 and the above persons with their household should take advantage of the exercise.

“Anyone who fails to take the jab would be denied access to parliament, those who say it is illegal can go to the Supreme Court, as far as I am concerned you are aware some members were affected with the virus last year. I should give names your leaders know, I am just being frank we got calls and followed up we know the numbers infected”.

Booster vaccination is compulsory the Speaker said, but did not go down well with some MPs who were expressing their displeasure on the floor for everyone working within the precinct of Parliament.

He further added that there is a good reason for adding the dependents of those who have business to offer in the House otherwise the exercise would be a waste,  and it is for their own safety and protection and wellbeing if you do not take advantage of it countries are now insisting on booster jabs.

He also reminded the MPs that without the booster jab, countries are refusing people entry, as well as visa, adding that without the jab, the MPs would not have the opportunity of representing the country outside.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Government plans to improve performance of Black Stars—Minister

The Minister for Youth and Sports, Mustapha Ussif, on Wednesday, January 26, 2022  informed Parliament of plans by government to improve the performance of the national team, the Black Stars.

According to him the technical bench of the team has been tasked to come up with more details on the selection and management of the players to ensure better performance in future tournaments.

He added that there is a roadmap to encourage inter-schools participation in active sports to ensure the best talents are harnessed for future national sports endeavours and to widen the scope of selection to the national soccer team.

A Statement by the MP for South Tongu, Wisdom Kobena Woyome, cited many technical anomalies such as player disconnect indiscipline, poor managerial tactics, and poor motivation, among others as some of the causes of the poor performance of the team.

Members from both sides of the House spoke against the performance of the national team, suggesting passionately, many ways the team’s fortunes can be improved.

Mr.  Rockson Dafeamekpor, Freda Prempeh, Haruna Iddrisu and Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu spoke about the need for the nation to take steps to generally overhaul the Black Stars team and its administration to enable the players to perform better in future tournaments.


Sports Minister has no authority to sack Milovan—Haruna Iddrisu

Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu said the Minister for Youth and Sport does not have the authority and mandate anywhere to dismiss or review the coach of the senior national team, Milovan Rajevac.

According to him it is premature for, and contravenes the football rules and regulations though the Ghana Football Association (GFA) does not put the mandate of determining a coach and his exit in the hands of a Minister or a politician.

At a press conference addressed by the Tamale South MP on Wednesday, January 26, 2022 after the Minister and the Ranking member made a statement on the floor of the House, he acknowledged that Ghanaians are justified in their anger over the abysmal performance of the Black Stars at the ongoing African Cup of nations in Cameron. Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com


Parliament moves to audit the Auditor General

Parliament has constituted a 4-member ad hoc committee to recommend for appointment by parliament an auditor to audit and report on the account of the office of the Auditor General.

The motion as moved by the Majority leader and leader of the House was adopted. Subsequently, he mentioned the members of the committee as follows;

1-         James Klutse Avedzi (Chairman)

2-         Dr. Festus Awuah Kwofie

3-         Dr. Stephen Amoah

4-         Sampson Tangombu Chiragia

The Speaker, Alban Bagbin indicated that the move is in line with Article 187 (15)  of the 1992 Constitution; adding that the establishment of the committee sets in motion the process towards processing and appointing the auditor to audit the account of the Auditor General.

According to him, this is long overdue …“we haven’t done that for some time now, therefore we have some areas, and we think it is an urgent matter that we have to do to appoint an auditor to audit the account of the office of the Auditor General” .

Dominic Shirimori/Ghanamps.com

Majority Leader calls for consensus building in Parliament

Majority Leader Osei-Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has called for consensus building in the 8th Parliament in the wake of fight that ensued on the floor of the House last year December 20, 2021 that led to Ghanaian condemning the conduct of lawmakers.

According to him as the House went on recess he believes there has been a considerable reflection on the issues that happened last year December.

“A major stakeholder like the Christian Community has met us; we have pledged to build consensus, reconciliation, given the circumstances of our time, we need to carry all on board”.

He, however, pointed out a sad development before the House reconvene on Tuesday, January 25, 2022 of some MPs going on air to say that what happened on December 20, 2021 was something small and Parliament of Ghana is going to witness greater atrocities; “if we have to kill people in the House we would do that.” It is outrageous for someone who calls himself MP in this House Mr. Speaker, he added.

And said he agrees with the Minority Leader that the two documents that should guide the House are the Standing Order and the Constitution as alluded to previously by late J. H. Mensah.

Again, he further pointed out that other Parliament from the African continent have come to under-study  the Ghanaian parliamentary system as they see Ghana as the beacon of hope and shining example.

“What play out there on December 20, 2021 does not put Ghana in a good light and we have to do something about it Mr. Speaker”.

“Voting rights to Speakers in jurisdiction where MPs are speakers,  they are all accorded voting rights except in cases they are not giving original voting right,  they are granted casting vote provisional legislature of Canada,  Australia,  Malaysia, US and South Africa and  India are granting voting rights we cannot be oblivious of this”.

This meeting is likely to travel to 8th of April, 2022 we should provide ourselves with enough space to do considerable work, we have tall order of business and let us get yourself set  for the business, he said on the floor.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Gov’t to set up ministerial inquiry to ensure mining safety in Ghana—Abu Jinapor

Minister for Lands and Natural Resource Samuel Abu Jinapor has revealed that Government would from next week inaugurate a ministerial Committee of technocrats to conduct an enquiry not only into the Apiate explosion and disaster.

According to him their work would move into the whole issue of health and safety in the mining industry in Ghana for a recommendation to be made and implemented which would address the issues of health and safety. “Our country is to be a health and safety place when it comes to mining”.

He made this revelation at a press briefing on Tuesday, January 25, 2022 when he made a statement on the floor of the House with regards to the Apiate explosion.

As to whether government is not having a kneejerk reaction to the situation, has described by the Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu particularly regarding the suspension  of the companies involve, he responded by saying that all over the world when there is a disaster the standard practice is to suspend the company involve for investigation to take place.

“When issues like this happen there is the need for the broader interrogation so that we can learn the useful lessons out of the industry, and the larger picture, where are the loop holes and where do we have to tighten the legal regime is there a sufficient policy regime?”

Mr. Abu Jinapor further noted that a five member Committee has been set up with chairperson being Dr. Joyce Ayie to raise the necessary funding to help address the disaster.

According to the Minister the president Nana Akufo-Addo himself has been very instrumental coordinating government efforts, as there has been an intervention and emergency response which has been very swift and robust since the disaster occurred, Thursday, January 20, 2022.

“The  president was chairing a cabinet meeting but step out  and started  the initial coordination of government effort as,  we have seen relief items were sent immediately the following day the vice president led a government delegation led by the Vice President, Information, Interior and Lands and Natural Resources Minister”.

He added that far reaching steps have been taken by suspending the operations of Maxam Ghana Ltd, which the company responsible for the explosives and the chief inspector of the mines had been interdicted for credible and standard investigation to be carried out.

Government, he said is fully on top of this matter and the president has made a commitment that government is going to mobilize all the resources to support the victims and to reconstruct a community and build a modern community for the people.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

NIA has no mandate to register SIM cards—Communications Minister

Minority Leader far left in blue

The Minister for Communications and Digitalization, Mrs Ursula Owusu Ekuful has stated on the floor of parliament that, the National Identification Authority (NIA) has no mandate in law to register SIM cards.

This, is in response  to a submission made by MP for Tamale South , Haruna Iddrisu, who claimed that per the letter from NIA  office, the ongoing sim card registration is meaningless since the rightfully  mandated  institution that has to carry the exercise has been denied of it.

Setting the record straight however, the minister said, NIA’s mandated is to collect biometric data for the purpose of National identification Cards to serve as a data base for the country, so therefore, the NIA does not have a hand in the SIM card registration, but rather the work of TELCOS.

The Minister concluded that, her ministry is working seriously to taken out illegal SIM cards from the country, and restricted her comment pointing out that there is a law suit on the subject matter but wanted to correct the wrong impression being created.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Speaker Bagbin goes traditional

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin has urged Members of Parliament (MPs) to wear more traditional dresses to Parliament instead of Suit and tie or other foreign attires.

According him   the ceremonial dress for Speakers of Parliament were not meant for daily usage but for occasional purposes and that, the British who introduced such form of dresses has long abandoned theirs, so why is  Ghana  still using them,  he therefore called on MPs to eat Ghana, wear Ghana, grow Ghana and more.

Mr. Bagbin made this call on Tuesday, January 25, 2022 in his welcome address to members of Parliament from their recess.

He further rendered an unqualified apology to Ghanaians for the various forms of chaos and riot which happened in Parliament last year and promised that, such incidents would never happen again in Parliament and that, he the Speaker and his two deputies would make sure that all members of Parliament would use a decent language on the floor of Parliament in order to maintain discipline in the House.

The media, Parliamentary watchers and the public were anxiously waiting for the re-introduction of the electronic transaction levy, on Tuesday when Parliament resumed sitting. It turned out however that, the Rt. Hon. Speaker’s outfit rather got everybody talking. Speaker Alban Bagbin ditched his usual ceremonial outfit for a more indigenous wear from the Volta Region.

It would be recalled that before the House was adjourned for the Christmas Holidays, the Speaker announced that he would only be using the Speaker’s cloak for ceremonial occasions this year as part of his commitment to change the dress code and code of conduct of MPs. True to his words, at the commencement of proceedings today, the Speaker entered the chamber, clad in kente cloth over a white lace shirt and a black and gold crown and gold necklace.

In his official welcome to the House, the Speaker urged the Members to take a cue from his outfit and dress in traditional wear just like the first President of the nation, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. “From now on I want to see our members appear in parliament decently adorned in traditional dress,” he said.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

E-Levy to be considered second week of the first meeting

The controversial Electronic Transfer Levy Bill 2021 which has generated a lot of heated debate on the floor of the House last year would be considered in the second week of the first meeting of the second session of the 8th Parliament.

This came to light when the Majority Leader Osei-Kyei-Mensah Bonsu presented the Business Statement of the Business Committee for the first week of the first meeting of the second session on Tuesday, January 25, 2022.

According to him the Business Committee is unable to programme the Bill in the first meeting due to indications from the sponsoring Minister, Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta who would engage members of the public and stakeholders in an engagement to address their concerns on the subject matter.

Members of Parliament were encouraged to participate in the conclusion of the process that would lead to the passage of the Bill.

Currently, there are four public bills before committees and five private members bill before the House.

The business committee urged the committees with referrals before them to speedily consider them for the House to work on them at the plenary.


There can never be true democracy without checks and balances—Kan Dapaah

The Minister for National Security,  Kan Dapaah, speaking at the opening of a three days Commonwealth Parliamentary Association said there can never be a true democracy without checks and balances; stressing that the current composition of the 8th Parliament presents an effective way for the Legislature to check the Executive for the development of the country.

He highlighted some of the challenges of the 8th Parliament and mentioned physical confrontation on the floor of the House and said both sides should work together in the best interest of the nation.

Welcoming the participants to the workshop, the Clerk to Parliament, Mr. Cyril Kwabena Oteng Nsiah, noted the need for the Commonwealth to pay attention to developing and implementing mechanism that would boost trade, enhance security and improve gender relations.

He said the workshop is taking place at a time when member countries need to have a unified force in the face of current global difficulties.

He was of the view that deliberations on the topics outlined for discussion during sessions of the workshop will result in a cross fertilisation of ideas for the growth of respective parliaments and renew the commitment to improve the lot of nations and the world at large.

The objective of the workshop is to help develop a greater understanding of the operations of Parliamentary Trade, Security and Gender Committees in the Commonwealth.