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Demonstrating and presenting a petition at BoG poses no security threat —Ayariga

Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga said their intended demonstration against the Governor of the Central Bank through the street of Accra from Parliament House to BoG Head office poses no security threat.
He made the assertion after having a meeting with the Greater Accra police Headquarters.

According to him the Governor Ernest Aderson must come to receive the petition of the Minority on September 5, 2023 and this was made clear to the police during their meeting on Wednesday, August 23, 2023.

As to whether there was a fruitful discussion on the route to be used on the day for the demonstration, he noted that, though the police attempted that, they (Minority) insisted on their route from Parliament through Osu Cemetery Traffic Light, Ministry of Finance, High Court Complex Kinbu, Makola, Rawlings Park, Opera Square, and conclude at the Bank of Ghana.

He affirmed during an interview that the Minority has not accepted any alternative arrangements, saying “we have confidence in the Ghana police; we have seen them police more complicated route, there is no part of Accra that I have never demonstrated through and the police were there to ensure that it was successful.

So, the most important security installation is the office of the president as media person you have covered demonstration up to the front of the flagstaff house, senior people have come out of the flagstaff house to receive petitions, if you can do that why not the bank of Ghana head office building.”

“There are workers there and office buildings across the city and bank of Ghana workers use those facilities, I do not think there is a security issue here at all”, he added.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

ECOWAS standby force ready for deployment – Commissioner

At the end of the crunch meeting of ECOWAS Chiefs of defense staff in Accra – Ghana, the Commissioner of Political Affairs, Peace and Security of ECOWAS, Ambassador Abdel-Fatau Musah has declared that the standby force is ready for deployment anytime the need be.

The Commissioner in his declaration affirmed that the planning mission which started on a second of August has ended, and the various states have agreed and fine-tune what would be required of the intervention which includes:

• The strategic based capacity;

• What the strategic objectives are;

• Equipment needed; and

• Commitment of member states which was very encouraging.

He added that all member states gathered at the meeting committed elements, their own equipment, and their own resources to undertake the mission.

“So I tell you, we’re ready to go anytime the order is given. The d-day is also decided which we’re not going to disclose”.

ECOWAS, he noted, is a rule based organization and that member states have signed on to certain obligations; thus they cede part of their sovereignty to the collective good of the people, including their national constitutions which they must not flout, but the junta in Niger has flouted that.

He asserts that ECOWAS is not against the republic of Niger; adding that all there is to their efforts is to ensure that Niger goes back to rule-based governance as a sister country.

The Commissioner stressed that there would be no more meetings of the chiefs of defense staff; and if it would be then it would probably be in the course of the cooperation if there is the need to adjust the cooperation.

Meanwhile, he reaffirmed that all the options are still on the table including mediation which they are still pursuing. And if the Junta responds positively to the requests of the Authority of heads of states and government there would be no need to deploy the military.

Military intervention, he said, is not their preferred option; but because of the impediments the junta keeps putting in the way for peaceful settlements for restoration of constitutional order, it remains an option to explore.

“All we’re saying is that, we’re not going to engage in endless dialogue; it must be fruitful and its objective must be the restoration of constitutional era in the shortest possible time.”

Their demands he stressed include the immediate release of the legitimate president of the Republic of Niger H.E Mohammed Bazour and his family, and members of his government who are being held hostage; and restoration of constitutional order in Niger.

Ambassador Abdel-Fatau Musah debunked any assertion that ECOWAS is being pushed by external forces to take this action indicating that this is their own decision.

Dominic Shirimori/Ghanamps.com

NIGER CRISIS: ECOWAS still opens to diplomacy – Commissioner on Political Affairs

The Commissioner of Political Affairs, Peace and Security of the ECOWAS Commission, Ambassador Abdel-Fatau Musah has assured the sub-region that ECOWAS is still open to dialogue and diplomatic resolution of political crisis in Niger with the aim to restoring the country to constitutional rule.

That notwithstanding military intervention remains on the table when push comes to shove.

“Let no one be in doubt that if everything else fails, the valiant forces of West Africa, both the military and the civilian component are ready to answer to the call on duty”.

The Commissioner who was addressing the ECOWAS Chiefs of Defence Staff at the opening of their two days crunch meeting in Accra, Ghana in furtherance to the directives of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government in relation to the Political Situation in the Republic of Niger said the Junta is playing ‘cat and mouse’ with the community; adding that they have flouted their own constitution that forbids military intentions into politics, and have flouted ECOWAS instruments among others.

For him, it is untenable when these juntas cite insecurity as one of the reasons for their actions; and wondered if their action is any peaceful?

He is unhappy that the military authorities in Niger failed to respond positively to ECOWAS diplomatic efforts; stating that the delegation sent on 3rd August 2023 by the Chair of the ECOWAS Authority, H.E Bota Ahmed Tinubu, and led by General Abdulsalami A. Abubakar (Rtd ), former Head of State of Nigeria, was confined to the Diori Hamani airport in Niamey under the pretext of an explosive security situation hostile to ECOWAS, where they met a CNSP delegation led by General Salaou BARMOU.

“A joint ECOWAS, AU and UN diplomatic mission deployed on 8″ August 2023 to find a peaceful resolution to the crisis was aborted following a communication from the CNSP indicating their unavailability to receive the mission. On the other hand, the CNSP received a joint Malt-Burkina Faso delegation on 7” August 2023”, he added.

He condemned moves taken by the junta to consolidate their grip on power, including the appointment of members of the CNSP and new chiefs in the security sector. “Similarly, the military authorities have dismissed several officials who expressed their support for President Mohamed Bazoum and called for his reinstatement.

More importantly, the military authorities have appointed Mr. Ali Lamine Zeine, previously Africa Development Bank (AfDOB) Representative in Chad and former Finance Minister of Niger, as Transition Prime Minister on 7™ August 2023 to lead a Transition Government.”

According to him, the military authorities in Niger appear to remain defiant, and to be copying from the playbook of their fellow putschist countries in Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali, despite the Authority’s efforts towards a peaceful solution to the crisis as we all wish.


“Cooperation between Burkina Faso and Ghana is key to keeping our Northern borders safe”—Dr Zanetor

Dr Zanetor Rawlings, the Member of Parliament for Klottey Korle is advocating for a deeper analysis of some critical factors by the government of Ghana before making any commitment to the sub-regional bloc’s military intervention in Niger.

Authority of Heads of States and Governments in trying to address the coup crisis in Niger announced a number of sanctions including possible military intervention by the bloc.

This, was however, variedly received with Burkina Faso, one of the countries currently under military rule, and a neighbor to Ghana to the north as well as Mali pledging their support to the coup makers in Niger, stating that any military intervention means declaration of war against them.

Dr. Zanetor Rawlings pointed out that Ghana is surrounded by French speaking countries; to the North is Burkina Faso one of the Countries that has declared to take position in alignment with Niger should there be military intervention; with Cote d’ Ivoire aligning with the bloc, while the position of Togo is not yet known .

According to her cooperation between Burkina Faso and Ghana is key to keeping our Northern Borders safe. “So when we are looking at how ECOWAS takes decision of intervening in another country, we should consider what is our national interest; no country can be quiet of its national interest in spite of international treaties it might have signed”.

“Again, in all seriousness, rushing into a military intervention may not be the best thing to do. You may in theory think this thing that can be done in a period of time; forty-eight hours, seven days, in a month. When you go into a military situation and you notice that the conflict that you have entered into is not a straight forward one, it becomes difficult to determine where the end point should be. At which point should we say we are pulling out; are you going to leave the place in a worse state than you find it?

She advised that a critical look should be given to the common trend of these coups in the sub-region as it appears that the Francophone countries in the sub-region are taking a position with regards to France; “we need to have that conversation, we cannot ignore the elephant in the room any longer”, she added

The Deputy Ranking on Defense and Interior further questioned the possible outcome of a military intervention if it runs the risk of destabilizing the sub-region further in the event that we have exodus of refugees and whether member states have the capacity to absorb these refugees without completely collapsing their economy given the fact that the economies in the sub-region are generally struggling.

Citing Ghana as an example, she said the country is currently at the IMF for support which they don’t really know would get the country out of the economic difficulty; adding that the consideration of military intervention goes beyond trying to restore the status quo in a particular country which is a sovereign state despite being part of ECOWAS.

According to her, the issue of internally displaced persons first of all and refugees is not something that can be handled as it appears on paper; you have to find premises and resources available and with countries struggling that would be far-fetched.

As to what will be her stand should the military intervention issue come to the floor of Ghana’s Parliament; she said the good thing is that the Executive cannot take a unilateral decision and take a country to war without the buying in of the representative of the people. And stated that the Nigerian Senate has proven to the sub-region and all of us in the member states that the Executive which is represented by the President and the Commission of ECOWAS cannot do this unilaterally without the various legislative arms of member states we are talking about constitutional rule and democracy.

“That we cannot just stand up and declare war without the buying in of our people this is perhaps what we saw happen to Brexit; a referendum was held the people pushed for the exit from the EU, the representative of the people had no choice but to implement what the masses were looking for and like manner if the Senate of Nigeria has not agreed to a military intervention.

What it simply does is to allow a face saving way out in a way from this position of military intervention and push us back to the dialogue and mediation board because, none of what we are observing is happing in a vacuum; the reasons may be different base on the different countries but there appears to be a common underlying factor; mind you all of these are happening in Francophone countries so there is something that we need to be looking at beyond the obvious as ECOWAS.”

She affirmed that Nigeria itself is dealing with violent extremism which they are struggling to keep in check and if you combine that with an intervention in another country looking at the geopolitics in that particular region, that would be problematic.

“Again, we should certainly have that discussion whether it is the issue of the influence with France, whether it is the case of governance, or case of injustice perceived or real, or a case of corruption, we need to bring everyone to have that talk or discussion with regards to what the underlining factors are”, she concluded.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Ghana needs to be careful as ECOWAS blows military intervention horn in Niger—Dr Rawlings

Deputy Ranking member of Ghana’s Parliament Committee on Defense and Interior Dr. Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings has cautioned that, the Nation needs to be careful as the sub-regional bloc, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Heads of States and Government blow military intervention horn in the wake of the coup in the Republic of Niger.

According to her it’s a difficult question to ask if, “Ghana is safe” in the wake of coup in Niger more especially because of the pockets of conflict happening along the Nation’s Northern borders which create weakness in our architecture.

“We need to be careful as we blow the horn for military intervention that we are not opening ourselves up because till date Ghana is the only country in the surrounding area between our three neigbouring countries that has not been hit by any kind of terrorist attack”.

In an interview, she added that this is not the time to be crackling the cage because we are having to deal with a lot of issues at the Northern part of our border. We have seen a lot of these activities of terrorists associated with illegal mining which we still haven’t come to terms with.

Again, we have not really handle that situation properly specifically the Executive arm of government has not handled that situation properly and there is a direct link between foreign person engaging in illegal mining in Ghana and perhaps supplying whatever resources they are getting to other parts of the sub-region.

“We do not have specifics of what the money is being used for, but your guess is as good as mine. How have we put measures in place to protect our own nationals, as we participate in what is being pushed for in Niger?”

“We need to ensure that going down this path, we are not creating more instability and opening ourselves to unnecessary incidents here in Ghana”, she emphasised.

She added that with regards to any kind of attacks or extremism crossing into our borders is Ghana, “maybe for now we are safe; just to add that we have a very large Niger citizens in Ghana, and whatever decision we take should be factored into our decision making with regards to whatever Ghana wants to be a part of as to what is happing in Niger and the sub-region in general.”

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Dan Botwe got it all wrong, fund projects are not physical money—Richard Acheampong

Member of Parliament for Bia East constituency Richard Acheampong has taken a swipe at the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Dan Kwaku Botwe for having issues over he, benefiting from a one million Ghana cedis District Assembly Common Fund project.

According to him the Minister as a member of the Local Government and Rural development Committee member had benefited from such projects when he was in opposition and having been a member of the Committee.

In an interview, he noted that since his name popped up, the sector Minister should have enquired how he got the contract, which is even not a personal thing all; the Committee members have benefited and it is not an issue of only the Minority MPs benefiting but the Majority members also benefited.

“How much is one million cedis? Members of the educational Committee after passing the budget or appropriation benefited from six-unit classroom, which is more than one million Ghana cedis, but no one is complaining about that”.

“Again, the Health committee, they are putting up chips compound for them; is worth more than one million Ghana cedis. Why do you talk about this project; it’s not money. This whole issue started from the region, someone pulled the letter and sent it to the Minister and because he wanted a ground to fight the administrator, so he forwarded it to the president when he got the information. He thought it was a good ground to go fight the woman”.

As to if it’s his opinion for the president to sack the administrator in the wake of the brouhaha, he responded saying “for what crime? Everybody on the Local Government and Rural Development Committee got their share of the projects”.

And further pointed out that he is putting up a durbar ground and a CHPS compound and “I have invested eight percent into the project and no money has been paid to me even the contract has not been signed.”

“I use my own pocket money; I have used my own resources and I can show you pictures, so I do not get it for the Minister to report the Common Fund Administrator for giving me a contract worth one million Ghana cedis as if it’s a crime or a bribe. We are a twenty member committee; why do you single out and mention my name”, he queried.

According to him, he doesn’t know if the Minister has a personal issue with him; or there is a turf war of which he is trying to score political point with Administrator so he got it all wrong.

The Bia East lawmaker further indicated that per Article 252 of the constitution the Common Fund Administrator is appointed by the president and confirm by parliament; “so she does not work under the ministry. They need to collaborate and work for the development of the assemblies.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Chieftaincy Minister clarifies misinformation on Akim Kotoku mineral royalties

Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Stephen Asamoah Boateng, has put an end to the swirling rumors surrounding the vast mineral royalties accrued to the Akim Kotoku Traditional Council.

The rumors were brought to light when the MP for Akyem Oda, Alexander Akwasi Acquah, posed a question to the Minister during a parliamentary press session, seeking clarification on the amount of money received in royalties from the Newmont Company.

After engaging with the media in Parliament, MP Akwasi Acquah clarified that the mineral royalties accumulated by the Akim Kotoku Traditional Council are not as substantial as previously speculated.

His statement comes after his inquiry to Mr Asamoah Boateng on the matter.

During the press session, Mr Boateng disclosed that the reason behind the apparent absence of royalty payments to the traditional council is due to an ongoing and prolonged litigation process in the Akim Kotoku area.


Four schools in Akim Oda visit Parliament House

Four schools in the Akim Oda constituencies visited Parliament House before the House went on recess on Thursday, August 3, 2023.

They are Oda Old Town Methodist School, Oda Frimpong Manso Catholic JHS, Attafuah Senior High Technical School and Oda Presby Junior High School.

The Member of Parliament for Akim Oda, Alexander Akwesi Acquah was very instrumental in ensuring that students from his constituency visit the lawmaking chamber as part of having practical knowledge of the workings of the House.

The MP addressing the visiting students indicated that when they take their studies seriously their dreams of one day representing their people in the how is not far-fetched.

Other Members of Parliament took turns to address the students and addressed questions they have concerning workings of the House.


Minority is disappointed budget review did not project doom for the economy —- Dr. John Kumah

A Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Dr. John Ampontuah Kumah has reaffirmed the Finance Minister’s comments that the corner had been turned and the Minority are disappointed in not hearing that Ghana is in difficulties in their contribution on the Mid-year-budget review.

“I am here  to disappoint them the more because every information that was provided in the mid-year budget review confirm that indeed we have turned the corner; the finance Minister was here and did not request for supplementary budget”.

In his contribution to the debate on the floor of the House on Tuesday, August 1, 2023, he pointed out that the Finance Minister gave them the indication that the economic performance is promising having achieved some gains which give Ghana hope and confidence that steps are being  taken  leading Ghana to restoration of  microeconomic stability and faster recovery in the economy; and that is the Minority’s  disappointment. But that is a good news for our country. The finance Minister  was here to talk to us about debt restructuring and how we have done so far and that indeed is turning on the corner.

Reducing our growth rate from  2.8 percent to 1.5 percent; we are still looking at growth strategies that would increase performance, he stated.

 “let me give some statics of the growth we have projected downwards to one percent the reality is that in the first quarter of this year in this same mid-year budget as announced by the Ghana statistical service Ghana’s economy grew by 4 percent”.

Again, the fact that under the fund project of the IMF  we are required to do fiscal consolidation and contraction to  one point five percent does not mean we are not going to grow.  We have a number of growth measures outside the fiscal space in the private sector in partnership with our development partners to grow the economy.

The  basis is that the Finance Minister took it from December 2022  when we all knew Ghana was facing difficult financial situation in that month,  if you compare it to where we are today then indeed we have turn the corner.

On inflation we jump up to fifty four percent; today it has dropped to forty –two percent. It is not the level that we expect,  but in the midst of the global hike and  inflation we are struggling to turn the situation  this  reflected in the goods and services of the country; fuel prices jump,  but now they have dropped that indeed is turning the corner. The Minority  know  that is why they are disappointed..

On  exchange rate in December 2022  our friends knew it was fifteen cedis to a dollar,  when we say we have turned the corner, it means we have been able to turn the difficult situation. Today it’s ten to eleven to the dollar, they are disappointed about the good story the Ghanaian economy has turned around.

Interest rate Treasure Bills  rate was about thirty- five percent as we speak today it has dropped to twenty- three. it’s still not at a level we wanted, you agree that we have turned the corner and you cannot say it’s not true.

Dr. Kumah further pointed out that in 2016 we had electricity load shading and the Minority should not bring it in their argument, even in the difficulties of COVID-19, Russia and Ukraine war, that is what the Minority does not want to hear, he teased.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Finance Minister presents 2023 Mid-Year Budget Review

The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta on Monday, July 31, 2023 presented the mid-year budget review to Parliament.

After the confusion that engulfed the date the budget was supposed to be presented from July 25, 2023 to July 27, 2023, it was finally done on Monday, July 31, 2023.

In his presentation the sector Minister noted that Ghana is currently making modest gains in turning the economy around after experiencing severe economic hardship last year.

He described 2022 as the worst year for him as a Finance Minister, and then went ahead to disclose that government is committed to pursuing a robust growth strategy within the country’s limited fiscal space and fiscal consolidation programme to ensure an economic boom.