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No justification for military coups; democracy is the way to go – Afenyo -Markin

The Leader of Ghana’s delegation to the ECOWAS Parliament, Alexander Afenyo Markin has asserted that there should not be any justification for military coups to overthrow democratically elected regimes in the sub-region; not even the barbaric onslaught from jihadists and terrorists groups and the economic challenges of the various countries.

According to him, the answer to these acts of terror and economic challenges lies within our democratic institutions, standing as bastions of hope and fortitude amidst the turmoil.

Mr. Afenyo-Markin speaking at the opening ceremony of the High-Level Interactive Seminar and the Extraordinary Session of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament on September 29, 2023 noted that “the recent resurgence of military coups threatens to drag us back to an era we have fought tirelessly to transcend. We must firmly CONDEMN the coups in Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Chad, and Gabon, along with the hostilities in Sudan.

These actions are a betrayal of the democratic principles we hold dear, and we demand a swift return to constitutional rule. We must affirm, unequivocally, that regression is not the solution. Our golden age lies ahead of us, not in the shadows of the 1960s to 1980s.”

The theme of the discourse is, “The Challenges of Tenure Elongation and Unconstitutional Regime Change in West Africa – The Critical Role of the ECOWAS Parliament”.

According to him, it is under the shade of democracy that we can cultivate the progress we aspire to. It is here that we can construct the schools that will nurture the minds of our future leaders. It is here that we can build modern hospitals to heal our people and foster technology to propel Africa into an era of supreme industrialization in the wake of the AfCFTA. “Together, we can construct robust and resilient economies that will position Africa as a formidable competitor on the global stage.”

The Deputy Majority Leader of Ghana’s Parliament said the theme for the seminar is not just a call for reflection, but a clarion call for action as the sub-region finds itself at a pivotal moment in history where the pillars of democracy are being challenged and shaken.

He, however noted that, taking inspiration from Kofi Annan that “though there is no one model of democracy, it is essential that the principles of democracy, human rights and freedoms are upheld universally”; it gives a renewed commitment to enhance our democratic systems, making them more responsive to the needs and aspirations of every citizen, regardless of where they find themselves on the broad spectrum of society.

“Indeed, no form of governance has ever been perfect, yet history has proven time and again that democracy stands as the best option for nations seeking development in peace and harmony. Even in its imperfections, it carries within its structures the capacity to rise above the ills that afflict it, fostering environments where innovation, justice, and freedom thrive. It is incumbent upon us, the custodians of this sacred trust, to continually refine and enhance these structures, ensuring that they remain resilient in the face of the ever-changing challenges that our societies encounter”, he stated.

He condemned the actions of leaders who unlawfully modify their constitutions to perpetuate their hold on power; stating that it is a grave affront to the principles of democracy, which enshrine the fundamental rights of citizens to choose their leaders and to live under a government that is held accountable for its actions.

Mr. Afenyo-Markin thus indicated that “as we traverse this difficult period, we must remain vigilant, standing firm against the erosion of these principles and fighting to protect the sanctity of our democratic processes.”


8th Parliament of the 4th Republic of Ghana According to the Seat and Gender.

The Parliament of Ghana is composed of Members of Parliament (MPs) who are elected by the citizens of Ghana through a general election held every four years. The Parliament is responsible for making laws, approving the national budget, and overseeing the actions of the executive branch of government.

The composition of the Parliament has changed over the years. There were 140 members in both the Second and the Third Republic parliaments. In the current Fourth Republic, the number of MPs first increased to 200 and subsequently to 275. There have been 8 parliaments so far in the Fourth Republic

The 8th Parliament of the 4th Republic of Ghana was inaugurated on January 7, 2021. It is composed of 275 Members of Parliament (MPs) who were elected in the general elections held on December 7, 2020. The Parliament consists of representatives from various political parties, with the two major parties being the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC). The NPP holds the majority with 137 seats, while the NDC holds 136 seats. There is also one independent MP. The Speaker of the Parliament is Alban Bagbin, a member of the NDC, who was elected on January 7, 2021.

“In future we may not accept supporting documents at Committee hearing” —Chairman PAC

The Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee James Klutse-Avedzi has cautioned that the Committee may no longer accept relevant documents to authenticate expenditures at Committee Hearings.

According to the Chairman, any institution that does not provide documents to support their expenditure during the auditing should prepare to pay the money involved when the Auditor-General finally issues its report and the Committee starts to consider it at the various regions.

Mr. Klutse-Avedzi sounded this warning at the on-going public hearing of the Public Accounts Committee in Ho, Volta Region to consider the Auditor-General’s Report on the Management and Utilisation of District Assemblies Common Fund and Other Statutory Funds for the year ended 31st December, 2021 ( Greater – Accra Region – DACF), Accounts of District Assemblies (IGF) ( All MMDAs in the Greater-Accra Region cited in the two Reports and the Pre-Tertiary Education Institutions for the Financial Year ended 31st December, 2021; (Greater Accra Region- SHSs) including all Colleges of Education cited in the tertiary education Institutions for the year ended 31st December, 2021.

Regulation 78 of the Public Financial Management (PFM) Regulations 2019 states that “Principal Spending Officer of a covered entity is personally responsible for ensuring in respect of each payment of the covered entity that evidence of services received, certificate of work done and any other supporting documents exits”.

Contrary to the above stated Regulation, the 2021 Reports of the Auditor-General on the DACF indicates that seven Assemblies made total payments of GHc 473,246.15 on 31 payment vouchers which were not supported with the relevant expenditure documents to authenticate the expenditure.

However, when these Assemblies appeared before the Committee, they were able to produce those relevant documents to support the payment of their expenditures.

It was based on these reoccurring situations at the Assemblies in almost all the Regions that made the Chairman of the Committee to caution the Assemblies that the Committee would no longer tolerate the breaching of Regulations in the near future.

The Seven Assemblies were Ada West District, Ablekuma Central Municipal, Ledzokuku Municipal, Ayawaso North Municipal, Accra Metropolitan, Shai -Osudoku District and Ablekuma North Municipal.

Other irregularities that were cited against invited Assemblies were Payments without the use of GIFMIS, Over Utilisation of DACF on recurrent expenditure, Misapplication of DACF, Payment for unexecuted portions of contracts, Purchase of residential bungalow without valid contracts among others.

Ga Central, Kpone, Korle-Klottey, Krowor, La Dadekotopon, Ledzokuku, Ayawaso West and Ningo Prampram also appeared before the Committee.

In relation to the Report on Pre-Tertiary Education Institutions for the Financial year ended 31st December 2021, the schools in the Greater Accra Region that appeared before the Committee were Accra Academy SHS, Accra High SHS, Achimota Basic School (Boarding), Ashaiman Tech. Institute, Kpone Community SHS, Kwabenya Community SHS, Methodist Day SHS, PRESEC Legon, Tema SHS, Tema Technical Inst., Wesley Grammer and West Africa SHS.


Eric Opoku punches holes in New Producer Price of Cocoa, Global Prices, COCOBOD

Outspoken NDC Member of Parliament (MP) for Asunafo South, Eric Opoku is at it again; this time round, he punches holes into recent producer price of cocoa announced by President Nana Addo- Dankwah Akufo – Addo.

The MP who also doubles as Ranking Member on Agriculture in Parliament did not spare the COCOBOD and its Chief Executive Officer(CEO) Joseph Boahen Aidoo, while delving into issues on global Cocoa prices and developments therein.

According to him there have been vast discrepancies in the producer price of the commodity between the President’s and that of the COCOBOB CEO’S.

He maintained that whereas the President’s producer price rests on GH¢ 1308, representing 70.5%, that of the CEO hovers around GH¢ 1255, representing 70.03%.

Mr. Eric Opoku made these assertions at Dadiesoaba in the Asunafo South Constituency in the Ahafo Region last Wednesday, September 12, 2023.

Mr. Opoku together with the Minority Caucus in Parliament had converged in the auditorium of the Church of Pentecost there with Chiefs, Queen Mothers, Farmer – groups and party faithful to be briefed on current developments vis-à-vis the recent producer price as announced by the President, Nana Akufo- Addo in what was termed Cocoa Farmers and media encounter on the theme “Cocoa Sector stake holder’s management”.

According to the President, the price increment first in 50 years, was the highest in the West African sub – Region. This position was however rebutted fiercely by Eric Opoku, who maintained that this was a palpable lie.

According to him, this year should be the happiest in the history of Ghanaian Cocoa farmers. This, he said was due to the fact that Cocoa beans had come into short scarcity on the world market because global demand had outstripped global supply.

He maintained that Ghana’s Cocoa being the best in the world Ghana is given a premium of $4300 per tons. Subsequently if Ghanaian the Cocoa farmer should enjoy most, it is this year. However, the producer price as announced by the President is most unfair and short priced for the Ghanaian cocoa farmers.

According to him, even with the June Cocoa price, a tons of cocoa is supposed to be sold on the world market for $25,015 and a bag of it should be sold for 2500 Ghana Cedis for the farmer.

He bemoaned that instead; government had taken a chunk of it, 58.2% and given the farmer about 42%. He stated that the GH¢ 1308 given farmers is short listed and that farmers should insist on their right price, which the NDC Caucus in Parliament will pursue till Justice is done farmers.

Hon. Eric Opoku intimated that instead of the NPP Government giving the farmer the desired amount, it has become the reverse with the farmer getting less while Government takes the chunk of it.


According to Eric Opoku, COCOBOD under the management of the current CEO, Joseph Boahen Aidoo had been recording loses since 2017. Yet it has been paying bonuses and building houses for the staff of COCOBOB, while farmers who toil and moil to produce the commodity wallow in poverty.

He revealed that even as at September 11, 2023 the World Market price for a ton of Cocoa was $3808 per ton. So plus the premium, a ton could hit over $4000, for which farmers need better treatment. “The NPP Government had not dealt well and fairly with Ghanaian farmer at all! “He said, attracting cheers and applause from the agitated farmers around.

The Ranking Member stated that since coming into power in 2017, the NPP has refused to pay bonuses to farmers and also refused to continue with the free supply of fertilizers, insecticides and mass spraying exercise during the NDC era.

He said because of this, free fertilizers that were marked not for sale, were left to rot when NPP came to power, it made these fertilizers got rotting thereby incurring huge sums as contained in pages 255 and 260 of the Auditor General Report.

IMF, EU halt cocoa road projects – NDC
Mr Eric Opoku, Ranking Member on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs has maintained that during the NDC era, government used proceeds from Cocoa on the construction of Cocoa roads, school buildings, solar energy, the extension of electricity to deprived communities and many more.

However, with the advent of the NPP, things have been messed up so much that government has gone bankrupt owing over 44 metric tons of cocoa.

And it is against this background that government has opened this year’s season in September instead of October. And without coming to Parliament for prior approval of the syndicated loan for the purchase of cocoa this season, COCOBOD has gone ahead to open the 2023/2024 Season.

“Though the government has opened the season, it has no money to pay farmers”, he stressed.

Accordingly, the IMF and ICCO have sanctioned the NPP government against embarking on construction of cocoa roads, payment of bonuses and free supply of fertilizers and insecticides, a situation which has declined cocoa production in the country.

He said the decline had been compounded by the influx of buyers of cocoa from Togo and La Cote d’Ivoire, buying both dry and wet cocoa beans at higher prices.

Also depreciation of the cedi and rise in exchange rate had made nonsense of the so called increment as against the NDC era, when farmers could make better use of their producer prices.

All efforts to get the version of COCOBOB proved futile as in the absence of the CEO, Fiifi Head of Public Relations said he was attending meeting and therefore could not avail himself.

S. O. Ankamah Dadiesoaba/Ghanamps.com

Karaga MP to launch operation 100 boreholes to expand access to clean water

Member of Parliament for Karaga Constituency Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam in the Northern Region, in a bid to improve the lives of his constituents, will in the coming week, launch a transformative water project dubbed: “Operation 100 Mechanised Boreholes”.

The initiative by Dr. Adam, who is also Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance, is aimed at alleviating water scarcity and providing accessible potable water sources for the people in an area.

According to the Karaga District Health Directorate, the area continued to record stomach-related ailments as among the top three prevalent diseases in recent years.

Dr. Adam, having already achieved nearly 100 per cent electricity coverage in the constituency, during a visit to the constituency, said he had successfully fulfilled one of his key targets as a representative of the people.

He said as he approached the end of his first term, he would now turn his attention to provision of potable water, which remained a challenge despite the drilling over 80 boreholes in two and a half years in the area.

Some of his constituents said the project was not only an ambitious endeavour but also a reflection of Dr. Adam’s hands-on approach to governance and his commitment to their well-being.

Others said the launch of Operation 100 Mechanised Boreholes would mark a pivotal moment in the Karaga Constituency’s journey towards improved living standards, adding they anticipated the positive impact that increased water accessibility would bring to them.


Minority reschedules bank of Ghana protest to next week Tuesday

The Minority in Parliament has rescheduled its Tuesday, September 5, 2023 protest to the head office of Bank of Ghana with civil society organisations as a result of a court proceeding held on Tuesday, September 4, 2023.

The court was unable to give an instant ruling due to the weight of a preliminary legal objections raised by the lawyers of the Minority in Parliament and requested the indulgence of the Minority to give its ruling on Friday, September 8, 2023.

In a statement issued by the Minority Leader, Dr Atto Forson indicated that the route the Minority wants to take remain unchanged, as the objections by the Minority was as a result of the incompetent filed in court by the Ghana Police Service seeking to restrain the protest along the routes proposed by the Minority and its broad coalition of civil society group.

“As law-abiding citizens respectful of the judiciary, we have decided to reschedule our protest taking into consideration these developments”.

Again, the protest march is to call for the resignation of Governor Ernest Addison and his two deputies as a result of their gross mismanagement of the Central Bank which has occasioned an unprecedented loss of GHc 60.8 billion and a negative equity of GHc 55.1billon. Illegal printing of over GHc 80 billion and the mindset of this crisis, this reckless team is building a head office at the cost of over two hundred-fifty million when the public procurement authority initially recommended eighty-one million dollars.

The statement called on Ghanaians to remain resolute in the fight to protect the constitutional right to demonstrate and hereby assure them that the march to the Bank of Ghana Head office will certainly take place next week Tuesday.


Police officers are unhappy under IGP Dampare, says COP Mensah

The former director general (technical) of the Ghana Police Service, COP George Alex Mensah, has said morale is low within the police service now because most of the personnel are unhappy with the management style of the Inspector General of Police George Akuffo Dampare.

Appearing before a parliamentary committee of enquiry on Thursday (31 August), COP Mensah said although IGP Dampare is a poor manager, he is not plotting to get him out of office.

The committee is investigating a leaked tape concerning discussions about the possible removal of the IGP by three police officers and the former northern regional chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) Daniel Bugri Naabu.

“Dampare is not managing the police service well and the majority of police officers are not happy,” COP Mensah told the committee members. “You can call the police officers underground and they will tell you.”

“The tape that I heard today, there are so many things in that tape that I don’t remember and there are so many things that we discussed that are not on the tape. I’ve met Bugri Naabu   four times and we have discussed many things some of them private things that I am not ready to discuss in public

“The tape that I heard today, there are so many things in that tape that I don’t remember and there are so many things that we discussed that are not on the tape. I’ve met Bugri Naabu   four times and we have discussed many things some of them private things that I am not ready to discuss in public.