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Young Parliamentarians Forum Visits WASS

President of the Young Parliamentarians Forum, Elvis Morris Donkoh has advised students of West Africa Senior High School (WASS) to focus on their studies and avoid drugs.

The young Legislature representing Abura-Asebu Kwamankese said hard work and determination defines success, therefore students must aim at these values to make it in life and avoid using drugs to enhance learning.

He made these remarks when he led members of the Young Parliamentarians Forum on their first outreach programme at WASS.

He also commended the school for being disciplined for last the 20 years without any negative misbehavior from the students to tarnish the high reputation of the school.

In addition, the Vice President of the Forum, Betty Krosbi-Mensah (MP Afram Plains North Constituency) encouraged the female students to be up to the challenge because in her view the current female MPs are not adequate comparing to the number of male MPs out of the 275 Members.

Other young MPs who interacted with the students include Thomas Ampem Nyarko (Asuogyaman constituency), Yves Hanson Nortey ( Tema Central Constituency) Davis Opoku Ansah (Mpraeso Constituency) and Hon Frederick Yaw Ahenkwah (Jaman North Constituency).

The young Parliamentarians touched on various aspects of Parliamentary issues within the 8th Parliament and issues relating to Government business, stressing that Parliament exist to make laws and perform oversight responsibility of the Executive.

There Students asked questions about the work of Members of Parliament., the Headmistress of the School Dr. Mrs. Shine Ofori, thanked the Honourable Members for their visit and words of encouragement to the students

The MPs presented mineral water and assorted drinks to the school.


Haruna serves notice to challenge Speaker’s referral of 3 MPs to Privileges Committee

Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu has given an indication that he has difficulties accepting the legal and constitutional justification given by the Rt. Hon Speaker Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin for referring three of his colleagues to the privileges Committee for their absence in the House without permission.

According to him he stands on Article 97 (1) of the 1992 constitution, Tenure of Office of Members: “A member of Parliament shall vacate his seat in Parliament. (a) upon a dissolution of Parliament; or (b) if he is elected as Speaker of Parliament; or (c) if he is absent, without the permission in writing of the Speaker and he is unable to offer a reasonable explanation to the Parliamentary Committee on Privileges from fifteen sittings of a meeting of Parliament during any period that Parliament has been summoned to meet and continues to meet; or (d) if he is expelled from Parliament after having been found guilty of contempt of Parliament by a committee of Parliament; or (e) if any circumstances arise such that, if he were not a member of Parliament, would cause him to be disqualified or ineligible for election, under article 94 of this Constitution; or (f) if he resigns from office as a member of Parliament by writing under his hand addressed to the Speaker; or (g) if he leaves the party of which he was a member at the time of his election to Parliament to join another party or seeks to remain in Parliament as an independent member; or (h) if he was elected a member of Parliament as an independent candidate and joins a political party”

Mr. Iddrisu pointed out to the Speaker that they have difficulties with what he has done and they would do what is appropriate within the same constitution and Standing Orders to challenge his decision of taking petition from civil society and referring his colleagues to the privileges Committee.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Minority Whip disagrees with Speaker’s directives on referrals of his colleagues

Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu and Minority Chief Whip Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka have expressed strong reservation on three of their colleagues directed to appear before Privileges Committee as they are said to have absented themselves without permission from the Speaker more than the stipulated fifteen days limit.

The Minority Chief Whip coming under order 76 pointed out that he disagrees with the Speaker on his conclusion, stating that Order 76 (1) directs that “every application to Parliament shall be in the form of a petition and should be presented by a Member of Parliament who shall be responsible for the observance of the rules”. You said MPs can raise an issue, same as civil society or CSO, I disagree with you vehemently when you Mr. Speaker want to do that yourself”.

Minority side of the House

Mr. Speaker then pointed out to him to read the standing orders again, but the Whip retorted, “Mr. Speaker it would be good to listen to me when I am done you have the privilege to make your remarks, Mr. Speaker I have read what I want to read and I have stopped where I want to stop”.

When the Speaker directed the Whip to resume his seat, he insisted that the Speaker would have to hear him first and pointed out that they heard him when he was reading his formal communication in silence.

When Mr. Haruna Iddrisu asked the whip to resume his seat, he retorted back, “Leader no it is only fair you listen to us; as for the ruling and decision to be taken it is absolutely yours, but Mr. Speaker you must listen to us, you gave so many examples what you left out was what the Appeals Court said; under the 1992 Constitution it’s the High Court which can declare an MPs seat as vacant” he emphasised.

Again, the danger he pointed out is that if Speakers are allowed to take petition from outsiders and to refer MPs to privileges, “colleagues we would be doing ourselves the greatest disservice, we would one day get a dictator Speaker who would simply take a statement from outsiders and begin to penalize individual MPs”

Mr. Muntaka noted it was on those bases he calls on his colleagues to resist the attempt by the Speaker to refer his three colleagues to the privileges committee, and if anything they should rather get one of their own who is convenient to bring up the matter.

“If we allow this to stand it would become precedence and tomorrow it may hurt each and every one of us, and I come under Order 93 (5), this your decision would be challenged with a substantive motion”

However, the Speaker pointed out to the Minority whip that there is a difference between a petition to Parliament and that of the Speaker, adding that the standing order that the Chief whip put out was refereeing to a petition to Parliament.

“I have not taken away petition to Parliament and I have had the patients to listen to you because you have drawn my attention to this before; it is your opinion and the Speaker has refereed the matter to the privileges committee according to our standing orders”

And further pointed that if MPs defer from his ruling it would reflect in the Committee report and a decision would be taken.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

PAC to conclude public hearing on AG’s report of 2018 after Easter break—Vice chair

As the Public Account Committee of Ghana’s Parliament works hard to clear the back log of reports to be dealt with, Vice Chairman of the Committee, Samuel Atta Mills said they intend to finish work on the 2018 Auditor General’s report after the Easter break.

Vice chair PAC

According to him unfortunately because of COVID-19 last year they could not go round to the regions to hold sittings. This year, they are doubling up right after Easter break where they are traveling the length and breadth of the country from Tamale to Sunyia, Tarkoradi and Volta Region to finish with the 2018 report.

From there, they would jump onto the 2019 Auditor General’s report. “We want to double up this year and ensure we cover a lot of the backlog; so this year what would be left would be the 2020 report”, he said in an interview.

On the issue of infractions and misapplication of fund if they are coming down, he noted that the infractions are going down, that is the number of infractions but the incident and severity of it is going high.

“In 2020 about twelve billion Ghana cedis was misapplied since 2017 it has being going up, the nominal numbers have gone down, some of the people do not know what they are doing, some of them too it is mischief,  we need to have punitive punishment for some of these public servants when people commit all these infractions and crimes. Unfortunately, in the civil service they do not get fired, they get transferred to other places to go and continue what they are doing. I think we should get to a point where someone is punished”, he lamented.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Western Regional Minister lauds Gov’t for instituting Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF)

The Western Regional Minister, and Member of Parliament for Takoradi, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah has lauded government for the establishment of the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) adding that it would complement their quest to ensuring the region’s natural resource endowments translate into economic fortunes for their people.

Speaking at the opening of the 2022 Ghana Mining Week Celebration held at the Best Western Plus Atlantic Hotel in Takoradi, the Minister said “it has been the aspiration of the people to see this Region’s natural resource endowments translate into economic fortunes. Hence, we have made a conscious effort to push for our people to legitimately own the productive assets, necessary to exploit these resources and to retain the gains thereof.

It is on this note that I see the coming on board of the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) as a complementary step to what we have been advocating for over the period. He indicated further that the MIIF, through its Small-Scale Mining Incubation Programme is building capacities of small scale and community mining ventures and offering financial models (for equipment financing) which traditionally are difficult for the small- scale miners to access.
“With all these investments and commitment on the part of Government, I can confidently say that, in the nearest future, size will be the only criterion to differentiate between large- and small-scale mines, and that, all other things such as Mining Practices, Safety, Recovery, Sale and Sourcing of Minerals will be the same for both”, he added. He said the Western Region is better placed to serve as the headquarters for responsible mining and mining related activities, and hopes to see this realized through increased private sector involvement in the form of direct investment, exploration financing, research and technology transfer.

Dr Darko-Mensah asserts that both the 2020 Ghana Gold Expo and the 2021 Mining Week, succeeded in depicting the mining industry as a formidable sector for long term economic growth especially, with a firmer regulatory framework and increasing formalization. “We therefore look to the day the District Mining Committees would be re-activated so that the licensing protocols are shortened to enable more control of the illegality in the Sector.”

He expressed gratitude that the government demonstrated commitment through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to formalize the Small -Scale Mining Sector, by reactivating six (6) out of the twelve (12) District Mining Committees – Tarkwa-Nsuaem, Prestea- Huni Valley, Wassa East, Wassa Amenfi East, West and Central.
Mr Minister told the gathering that on the issue of Ghana Gold Brand and Certification, Gold Coast Refinery is currently undergoing the certification programme with Responsible Jewelry Council, an affiliate of London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) and that a full training session will be conducted on responsible sourcing and certification for bankers, financiers, miners, traders and value chain actors in the mining industry.

He called on the Ghanaian/African Technology Community to rise to ensure that, “those who do not produce gold, do not as well, control the entire value chain by designing a technology (the creation of which) we are not part of. We all know what that will mean to us in Africa.” On safety, Dr. Darko-Mensah asserts that ensuring safer mining environment remains one of the core values for which the Gold Expo (Mining Week) was instituted, and without doubt, we can assuredly say we have made great strides as far as this core value is concerned.

“It was, however, unfortunate that, while we were consolidating our gains, and forging ahead, we were hit with the unfortunate “Appiatse Explosion” incident on that fateful Thursday, 20th January, 2022. May I use this opportunity to commiserate with the families of the departed souls and to wish the injured a speedy recovery”.

The 2022 Ghana Mining Week
The 2022 Ghana Mining Week on the theme: “The Potential of Mining For Sustainable Development” seeks “togetherness in mining”; thus providing a platform for accredited stakeholders (local, national and international) to dialogue on tackling the most critical environmental issues, adopting the evolving Government policies on mineral resources extraction, boosting investor interest and promoting responsible and safe mining among others.

Views will be collated and Action Plans produced to drive a regional-based commitment towards an accelerated mine tailing development and sustainability of the mineral resources via risk mitigation and turning challenges into opportunities. The focus of this year’s Ghana Mining Week has been broadened to include all the sixteen (16) mineral resources of the nation including mica, salt, clay, kaolin, columbite -tantalite, feldspar, chrome, silica sand, quartz, lime, lithium, iron ore, along with the traditional minerals such as diamonds, manganese and bauxite to ensure that the country derives the needed benefits from all of these.

Dominic Shirimori/Ghanamps.com

PAC: Let’s get police at PAC to arrest people who breach the law — Mills

Vice Chairman of the Public Account Committee, Samuel Atta Mills has underscored the need to get a police stationed at the Public Account Committee, where those who committee crime when they appear before the Committee are arrested.

As pertains in other jurisdiction of the Public Account Committee, where at the Public hearing of the Committee there is a police officer stationed at the Committee hearing, and those who Committee crimes are picked up immediately.

PAC public hearing

According to him there is the need for the PAC to work with the Attorney Generals department and the police, “so that the Public Account would bite a little bit more than it is; and with this people would be careful with the decisions that they take”.

Mr. Samuel Atta Mills pointed out about a twelve billion (12b) of misapplied funds, stating that is a lot of money when the National Youth Authority came before the PAC.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

We need to be careful with the politicization of everything in Ghana — Samuel Mills

Member of Parliament for Komenda Edina Eguafo Abrem, Samuel Atta-Mills has expressed worry over the current development in Ghana where everything is becoming partisan, warning that if care is not taken, and one goes to the hospital for an emergency “they may ask you for your party card before they take care of you”.

According to him the problem now is that the private sector is not thriving and because of that whatever you do in the country you have to depend on the party in power. He further noted in an interview that he has stayed in the United States of America for over thirty years and did not care about who the president was.

As whoever the president was did not have any concern on one’s job or contract or whatever; but in Ghana everything is controlled by the government or by the party in power that makes it very disturbing.
He believed by working on this aspect of our life as a country on improving the private sector all these things would be a thing of the past and as a result shows in our actions in parliament.

“These politicians who are saying no, privately they come to you and say yes, most of them are hypocrites, and I think they need to be honest with themselves. According to him, with the E-Levy, there were people from the Majority side who did not like it because it was going to affect their business in their constituencies, but they could not openly criticize it because of where they belong on the political divide.

He stated that because the approval was done through public voting, they have to pretend they like it; they are worried about it. “Posterity would judge us all”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Speaker’s take on Kwesi Nyantakyi progressive – Peter Bamfo

Peter Bamfo has described as rather unfortunate the spine on the Rt. Hon. Speaker, Alban Bagbin’s statement he made about the ex-Ghana Football Association (GFA) President, Kwesi Nyantakyi.

Mr. Bagbin on Monday, April 4, 2022 in the morning had an engagement with the parliamentary press corps where he inaugurated the newly elected executives of the corps. As usual of the Speaker during interactions with the members of the Press Corps, Mr. Speaker alluded to the fall of the ex-Ghana Football Association (GFA) President, Kwesi Nyantakyi to drive home the need to put up the best behavior since our actions have rippling effect on society.

This seems to have been taken out of context and has flooded the media space since the statement was made.

Reacting to the development, Mr. Peter Bamfo said “it’s amusing to observe that, the sum up of the successful interaction, which bothered on the wellbeing of the pressmen and the development of their skills, among others, were buried in a complex scheme to project a mere example he made in reference to the predicaments of the former GFA boss who has been suspended from football administration.

The Speaker alluded that the forced exit of Mr Nyantakyi from local and international football administration illuminated the price there was to pay for corruption that goes beyond the person perpetuating it, and sometimes affects a whole nation or even the global community as was in the case of Mr Nyantakyi.

In this world people are supposed to be punished for what they do and not what others do, as the Good Book says in Ezekiel 18:20 : “The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself”, but the structure of the global community, deepened by geo-politics and the complexity of power play has made communities pay for the sins of their leaders, he emphasised.

“We have seen what is playing out in Ukraine and its effects on the ordinary Russian citizens, some of whom have openly spoken and protested the unfolding war. They may be against the war, but the effects of the sanctions placed on their country will definitely affect their social and economic well-being in many years to come”.

According to the Speaker, in Ghana, the mismanagement of the economy by a few individuals in privileged positions has brought us national shame. Not only in this administration if we are not pretending.

He noted that the price of the mistakes or recklessness of leadership could indeed have a devastating effect on even the most vulnerable and an innocent individual in their communities and that is why the conducts of leaders must at all times be under critical public scrutiny.

There is no doubt that, Mr Nyantakyi was deemed a key resource person in the administration of global football and his conduct had an effect on the beautiful game.

Let’s step beyond that, and let’s examine the forum at which the statement was made, and that would help us expose the unfortunate misinterpretations contained in some of the media reports that has flooded the media space since Monday afternoon when the Speaker had the rather well intended interaction with the Press Corps he holds so dearly, Mr. Peter Bamfo at the Speaker’s office wrote in a statement.

The Speaker was speaking to the press, whom he charged to hold leaders accountable and further admonished leaders in privileged positions to look beyond themselves when they make decisions and rather consider the effect their decisions could have on their immediate communities or the global community, Mr. Peter Bamfo noted.

“In all modesty, the conduct and life’s work of the Speaker, spanning decades in high state positions doesn’t merit such dubious spins on his well-intended public statements.

The Speaker will continue to support efforts to fight corruption and applaud excellence when necessary, he added.


Three NPP lawmakers referred to Privileges Committee in breach of 15-day rule

Rt. Hon Speaker Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin has ruled that three Members of Parliament on the side of the governing New Patriotic Party are in breach of the 15-day rule. The absence of the MPs from the Chamber is said to be in breach of the standing orders of the House which stipulates that an MP shall not absent him/herself from parliamentary sittings for fifteen (15) consecutive days without recourse to the Speaker.

Article 97 (1) (c) of the 1992 Constitution and Order 17 of the Standing Orders of Parliament state emphatically: “A Member shall not absent himself during a meeting for more than fifteen sittings without the permission in writing to the Speaker. Any member infringing this Order shall have his conduct referred to the Privileges Committee.”

The three MPs whose conduct has been referred to the Privileges Committee include Dome-Kwabenya MP, Sarah Adwoa Safo, Assin Central MP, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong and Ayawaso Central MP, Henry Quartey. In a formal communication to the House on Tuesday, April 5, 2022, Mr Bagbin said that based on independent checks by the Table Office of Parliament, the three MPs have breached the 15-day rule.

The Committee was  directed by the Speaker to present its report two weeks after the House resumes sitting in the second meeting 0f the Second Session of the 8th Parliament.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

“I did not say NPP would pay a big price for insisting on E-Levy” – Dr. Apraku

Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku, a presidential hopeful of the ruling New Patriotic Party has distanced himself from a publication in which he is purported to have criticized the government for insisting on the Electronic Transfer Levy Bill 2021 (E-Levy).

According to the said publication, Dr. Apraku is purported to have stated that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) would pay big for insisting on the E-Levy.

But in a sharp rebuttal in a statement signed by the Communication Aid to Dr. Apraku, the publication is completely false and at best a figment of the writers own imagination, and a deliberate attempt at creating disaffection for the renowned economist.

The statement indicated that Dr. Apraku was rather criticizing the Minority for refusing to support the government to pass the E-Levy if they think it was so bad that it would cause the NPP in their next election; adding that it should rather give them (NDC) joy for a smooth sail to victory in the next election, so why have they refused to help the government pass the bill.

“Dr. Apraku during an interview on Joy News’ PM Express – Personality Profile’ rather alluded to why the Minority was refusing to back the Electronic Transfer Bill 2021 if they think it would cost the NPP because it would rather provide a safe sail for them (NDC) to victory”.

He has therefore called on all and sundry to treat the publication with the contempt it deserves.

Read below the full statement:

Statement: Dr. Apraku Never Said NPP Would Pay A Big Price For Passing E-levy

My attention has been drawn to a news item attributed to Dr. Konadu Apraku captioned “We will Pay A Big Price In 2024 for Insisting on E-Levy – NPP Presidential Hopeful tells NPP” which is in circulation on social media.

It must be put on record that the publication is completely false and at best a figment of the writers own imagination, and a deliberate attempt at creating disaffection for the renowned economist.

Nowhere did Dr. Apraku allude to the claim that NPP would pay a big price for insisting on E-Levy.

Dr. Apraku during an interview on Joy News’ PM Express – Personality Profile rather alluded to why the Minority was refusing to back the Electronic Transfer Bill 2021 if they think it would cost the NPP because it would rather provide a safe sail for them (NDC) to victory.

We urge the public to take the publication with the contempt it deserves since it does not reflect what Dr. Konadu Apraku communicated during the said interview.

We also called on all and sundry to listen to the interview on https://youtu.be/PTTeBJVQLGo


Kwaku Sakyi-Danso

Communication Aid