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Dr Marfo raises concern over residential facilities around E-waste centre

Chairman of the Committee on Environment, Science and Technology, Dr. Emmanuel Marfo has expressed worry over the springing up of residential facilities around an E-waste collection centre around the Atomic Energy Commission.

Dr. Marfo who made the observation when he led members on the committee to inspect the centre on Wednesday, 31 January 2024 noted that the houses around the facility should be prepared to deal with whatever consequences there is as they would take steps to let the local Assemblies know that there is a development there, hence if there is any intervention that can take place to make sure that the springing up stops because of the harmful effect it should be resolved and the Assembly should deal with it.

In an interview, he pointed out that one challenge is the land tenure when the Committee visited Agbogbloshie which was their first point of visit and the next point was Atomic Energy where they identified land encroachment as a serious challenge, hence the need to let the land encroachers know the purpose of the facility.

He further pointed out that the Committee has oversight responsibility over the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation and its agencies and there has always been report on the building of a holding centre.

So as part of their work the committee decided to come to the field and look at what is being done; how E-waste is being handled from the collection to the facility point, as it has always been reported that it is being built for the purpose of handling E-waste so that industry and private people who are investing into recycle facilities would be assured of the location they can get the materials to feed their industry and where we can contain hazardous materials.

He affirmed that e-waste is one of the fastest growing solid wastes concerns globally and how to effectively manage it giving that our population is increasing as construction of these electronic gadgets keeps going on including computers, air-conditioners, refrigerators, mobile phones among others.

“How are we going to handle the waste going forward? Hence the reason that committee decided to monitor the progress we have made as a country”, he pointed out.

On their impression after the tour, he noted that, so far so good as far as the pilot project is concerned it looks like the project handlers know what they are doing. “They can forecast and know how the future would look like and they are proposing a number of things that we think would help”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Most Public Health Institutions cited for breaching procurement laws

The Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Hon. James Klutse-Avedzi, has stated that most of the Public Health Institutions have been procuring on their own without recourse to the procurement laws.

He was of the view that from his observation most of these Public Health Institutions go contrary to section 20 of the Public Procurement (Amendment) Act despite recommendations from the Auditor-General in every annual report to desist from such practice.

The Chairman of the Committee made this observation during the second day of the PAC sitting in Parliament House to consider the Report of the Auditor-General on the Public Accounts of Ghana – Ministries, Departments and Other Agencies for the year ended 31st December 2022.

The Committee invited the Ministry of Health led by the Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, to answer a number of queries cited against the agencies and hospitals under the Ministry.

Most common infractions cited in the Auditor-General’s Report 2022 includes Non-payment of rent, non-competitive procurement, payment of unearned salaries, hire purchase of vehicles and unsupported Payments.

Some of the clinics and institutions that were cited in the report for uncompetitive procurement includes Castle Clinic, Nurses Training College, Pantang, Princess Marie Louise Children Hospital, Accra Psychiatric Hospital, National Blood Service among others.

The Director General of the Ghana Health Service was also advised by members of the Committee to recruit more procurement officers to help in procuring items for the various agencies by complying with the laws.


PAC orders arrest of Ahamansu LA former Head Teacher

The Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Hon. James Klutse-Avedzi has ordered the Kadjebi District Directorate of the Ghana Education Service (GES) to engage the Ghana Police and arrest the Former Head Teacher of Ahamansu LA Erishad Primary School, Mr. Krampah Patrick Wisdom for receiving GHc 72,759.32 unearned salary.

The Chairman of the Committee noted that Mr. Krampah Patrick Wisdom was paid Ghc 72,759.32 when he had already vacated his position.

Considering the 2022 Auditor-General’s Report on the Accounts of Ghana – Ministries, Departments and Other Agencies for the year ended 31st December 2022 in Parliament House today, it was revealed that Mr. Krampah Patrick Wisdom vacated post on 1st February 2018 and joined Youth Employment Agency (YEA) as a Project Assistant.

The report further stated that Management validated and paid salaries from February 2018 to June 2020 resulting in a total Unearned salary of Ghc 72,759.32.

The Auditor-General has therefore recommended that the Regional Education Director should ensure that the District Director of Education recovers the amount of Ghc 72,759.32 from Mr. Krampah Patrick Wisdom with interest at the prevailing Bank of Ghana rate and pay same into the Auditor-General’s Recoveries Account with the Bank of Ghana, failing which the amount should be recovered from the District Director and the Validators.

However the Chairman of the Committee stated that the action of the Former Head Teacher contravenes Regulation 92 of the Public Financial Management Regulations, 2019 (L.I. 2378) and Mr. Krampah Patrick Wisdom must be picked up by the Police.

The Director General of Ghana Education Service, Dr. Eric Nkansah and the Deputy Minister of Education, Hon. Gifty Twum Ampofo led the various Education Directorates and Services to answer irregularities cited against them in the 2022 Auditor-General’s Report.


Dr. Sidie M. Tunis thanks President Bio and Sierra Leones for the opportunity to serve

The outgoing Speaker of the fifth Legislature of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Rt. Hon Dr. Sidie Mohamed Tunis has thanked President Dr. Julius Maada Bio and the good people of Sierra Leone for the opportunity to serve the Parliament.

According to him the nomination and endorsement by the President was carefully considered and his guidance and support enabled him to preside with dignity and honor, in his four-year tenure of the Community Parliament.

He made these remarks at the opening of the first Parliamentary seminar of the Community Parliament in Freetown Sierra Leone on Thursday, January 30, 2024, leading to the end of the tenure of the 5th Legislature on the theme: “Illegal Mining and its Implications in the ECOWAS Region”.

“I stand here, before your Excellency and this august assembly, feeling fulfilled and humbled to have been favored with the opportunity to serve our people and to report that mission was very successful. Please accept the expression of my very deep and affectionate feelings of infinite gratitude, Mr. President”.

Dr. Tunis further used the occasion to thank Heads of States and Government during the lifespan of the fifth legislature, former President of the Republic of Niger H. E. Mahamadou Issoufou under whose tenure he took the oath as Speaker.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who attended the opening of three of the parliament’s activities, including an ordinary session and accepted to champion direct elections into the ECOWAS Parliament.

Again, he extended appreciation to President Umaro Sissoco Embalo of Guinea Bissau who provided sound and credible advice on all issues concerning the parliament, not leaving out President Ahmed Tinubu, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who is serving as the current chair of the Authority of Heads of States and Government.

Threat Of Illegal Mining In The ECOWAS Region

Touching on illegal mining, he stated that the threat of illegal mining in the ECOWAS region is having far-reaching implications on the security, socio-economic and environmental fabric of the region.

Despite the potential of the mining sector to positively impact the lives of community citizens, the complex interplay of security, social-economic dividends, environmental impacts on the soil and waters, have emerged as pressing concerns that demand immediate investigation and finding sustainable solutions.

According to him, a careful revision of the numbers available provides a compelling need to give attention to the region’s mining sector. As an example, nearly 80% of mining in Northwest Nigeria is being carried out illegally, which has increased conflict since 2014, spreading across Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi and Zamfara States.

Referring to the contribution of the mining sector to the GDP of some Member States, the ECOWAS Vision 2050 document indicates that Ghana benefits 7.5%, Burkina Faso 10.2%, Cote d’Ivoire 4%, while Nigeria receives only 9%. With a properly regulated mining sector in the region, it is expected that our various economies would be far more impactful.

Furthermore, illegal mining of precious minerals in West Africa has succeeded in not only depriving Member States of much needed revenue to grow their economies through improved GDP, but has also created instances of instability through banditry, kidnapping, thuggery and in some cases insurgency.

Therefore, to examine the phenomenon of illegal mining, as well as its socio-economic, security and environmental implications on the advancement of Member States, the leadership of the Parliament found it befitting to dedicate the last Parliamentary Seminar of the Fifth Legislature to the topic.

“We expect that at the end of the seminar, we will have a greater appreciation of the regional mining frameworks and challenges to their implementation and make recommendations where regional collaboration can be fostered to boost the sector.”

Progress made by the Fifth Legislature

As the leader of the Parliament, Dr. Sidie M. Tunis also provided some insight on some progress made by the Fifth Legislature.

HE assert that no sooner after the inauguration of the Fifth Legislature, the infamous Covid 19 pandemic began in earnest and most of the ambitious plans appeared to have been stalled and “many doubted that we would get going again.”

Furthermore, the international environment was also marked by major conflicts such as the Russia-Ukrainian war in Europe. Meanwhile, the harmful effects of climate change, increasingly perceptible in all our countries, impacted and continue to affect our health, agriculture, fisheries, energy, the environment and many other sectors. In addition to these international threats, the regional scene was marked by terrorism, insecurity and unconstitutional regime changes.

During our four-year term of office alone, our region saw four unconstitutional changes of power, in Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea and Niger. These situations constitute a threat to democracy and the rule of law, as do the subtle amendments to the constitution designed to extend presidential terms of office.

“Despite these sad developments, we braved the storm and nourished the fervent hope that our term of office would be full of ambition and rich in events. Today, Your Excellency, I am pleased to report that the ECOWAS Parliament takes pride in four years of progressive and undisrupted conduct of the duties we pledged to undertake.

In line with its vision and strategic plan, the Parliament was able to exercise its prerogatives in accordance with the Supplementary Act and carried out its mandate effectively.

Despite the extremely difficult context the region finds itself, the Parliament was able to hold almost all its statutory meetings of the legislature, namely seven (7) ordinary sessions and eight (8) extraordinary sessions.

In terms of legislative work, I am pleased to say that the fifth ECOWAS Parliament has been fruitful and successful. The intense activity in which each Member has participated with interest, has enabled us to examine and issue opinions on 83 draft Community acts and adopted 94 resolutions”, he emphasized.


Akim Oda MP predicts NPP will reclaim more of their lost seats

The Member of Parliament for Akim Oda, Alexander Akwasi Acquah is confident the New Patriotic Party would reclaim most of its lost seats in the 2024 general elections.

The party suffered some shocking outcomes in the 2020 parliamentary elections losing a number of seats to the rival political party the National Democratic Congress (NDC) resulting in a hung 8th parliament with 137 seats from both sides with one independent MP who was originally from the NPP.

But the Akim Oda MP believes the party is well-placed this time round to recapture all those lost seats to give the party an absolute majority in the next parliament.

On the issue of a high number of the experienced lawmakers from the ruling government not returning to the house either because they have decided not to contest again or contested but the bid to represent the party, he noted that the near hung parliament also created the opportunity for some of them who are first timer lawmakers to serve in some of the Committees in his case as vice chairman of the Committee on Trade and Industry. Thus, he has been exposed to the rudiments of parliamentary practice.

He explained that there is still time for the supposed first-timers currently in parliament to tap into the experience of the old ones and be ready for the task ahead.

Mr. Akwasi Acquah said personally he has made it a task from now until the end of the lifespan of the current parliament to tap into the experience of the more experiences lawmakers and ensure that he fits into their shoes.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Capacity building of the Parliamentary service staff is my priority—Speaker

The Rt Hon Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has indicated that since he assumed the role of Speaker and Chairman of the Parliamentary Service Board, he has prioritized the capacity building of Parliamentary staff. According to him, he firmly believes that enhancing staff competencies is the surest way to effective service delivery and improved productivity.

Speaker made this statement during the opening ceremony of a four–day professional development training program for Senior Officials of the Parliamentary Service of Ghana in Adukrom.

He indicated that the recent implementation of a new organogram for the Parliamentary Service has resulted in expanded functional areas and more challenging roles, particularly, for Senior Management Officials of the Parliamentary Service. In view of that, the Board has appointed some key officers to occupy some of the vacant positions while working assiduously to complete the rest of the appointment process.

According to him, the Service therefore expects that these Officers perform critical roles which emphases on implementation of strategic policies, coordination of operational functions, and quality control.

He added that “This professional training you are about to undergo is not only timely but vital in preparing you to effectively perform your new roles under the current organogram as well as navigate and lead through the implementation of our ambitious goals for the next five years. This is particularly crucial in the wake of the ongoing implementation of a robust performance management system to recognize and reward excellence and foster a culture of accountability within the Parliamentary Service”.

The Speaker further stated that, he has initiated the process for the development a new 5-year Corporate Strategic Plan to replace the old one which ends this year. According him, the new plan will provide strategic direction for Parliament for the next five years to align with the evolving goals and the dynamic legislative landscape.

“As we embark on the development of our new Corporate Strategic Plan, it is essential that each one of you, as leaders and key contributors to our legislative body, are equipped with the skills and knowledge to drive this vision forward. The plan’s success hinges on our collective ability to execute strategies effectively, manage challenges efficiently, and seize opportunities to innovate and improve “he indicated.

The Clerk to Parliament, Mr. Cyril Oteng Nsiah in his welcome remarks attested to the capacity and competence of the facilities and their Institution and therefore urged Officers to actively participate, engage with the facilitators and peers, and embrace the learning journey with an open mind. According to him, “the insights and skills you will acquire are not just for your personal growth but are crucial for the collective advancement and efficacy of our Parliament”.

Topics to be covered during the training section includes but not limited to Emotional Intelligence, Resiliency, Effective Leadership, Proficiency in Negotiation and Presentation Skills.

The training programme is being organised by the Parliamentary Service in collaboration with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) from the United States of America. The training programme, is yet another strategic step forward in our journey towards excellence in legislative governance.


‘Channel your energies into making Ghana’s political discourse better’ – MP counsels Coup plotters

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Akim Oda in the Eastern Region, Akwasi Acquah has appealed to all persons harbouring the intention of staging a coup d’etat to overthrow a constitutionally elected government in Ghana into making our politics better.

Speaking on Angel Morning Show (AMS), the Law Maker said the political discourse in this country will be better if all persons who think the government is under-performing will partake in politics so as to challenge politicians.

This, he said, could even help politicians to be more responsible and deliver on the promises they make during elections as they will now know that there are several competent hands waiting to take over from them.

“I encourage all persons who think of coups as the alternative to overthrowing a constitutionally elected government to channel their energies into making the political discourse better…in fact, they must  channel their energies into political discourse,” he said.

To him, coups are never solutions to changing a democratically elected governments in a stable country like Ghana as the stability of the country is more important than the interest of any other person.

The Accra High Court sentenced to death by hanging six coup plotters who were convicted for conspiracy to commit high treason and committing high treason.

Three others including Assistant Commissioner of Police, Benjamin Agordzo, Colonel Gameli, and another junior military officer, Corporal Seidu Abubakar, have been acquitted.

The six persons including three soldiers are; Donya Kafui, aka Ezor (a blacksmith) and Bright Alan Debrah Ofosu (a fleet manager), were found guilty of conspiracy to commit treason and treason, while Johannes Zikpi (a civilian employee of the Ghana Armed Forces) was found guilty of conspiracy to commit high treason.

The three soldiers – Warrant Officer II Esther Saan Dekuwine, Lance Corporal Ali Solomon, and Corporal Sylvester Akanpewon, were found guilty of conspiracy to commit high treason.

Government is delivering on developmental projects despite global challenges — Ansah Larbi

The ruling party’s constituency Secretary at Dome/Kwabenya Larbi Ansah said the government is still delivering on infrastructure projects despite the global challenges.

According to him if Ghanaians would understand that the current challenges the country is going through is a global problem it is possible for them as a party to break the eight years mandate Ghanaians have given them.

In an interview he noted that Ghanaian parents are not paying fees for the secondary education of their wards, and more importantly children from all backgrounds have the opportunity to access even grade ‘A’ schools.

This, he said was possible through the introduction of the free Senior High School (Free SHS) where all one needs to do is to get a pass mark.

Again, we are seeing improvement in health infrastructure through the Agenda 111 initiative, education, the security has new equipment being bought for them, helicopters, vehicles, motorbikes and recruitment is going.

Mr. Larbi further pointed out that with the increase in secondary education it comes to play that there would be increased intake into the tertiary education and the current government is doing well on that.

He touted the NPP as one that comes to government and takes care of the masses citing the national Health Insurance Scheme, and Metro Mass Transport.

Kwaku Sakyi- Danso/Ghanamps.com

Effutu MP supports Ghana Immigration Service with Office Equipment

The work of staff of the Ghana Immigration Service in the Effutu Municipality received a major boost with a donation of office equipment by the Member of Parliament for the Effutu Constituency, Alexander Afenyo- Markin.

 The items included ten (10) desktop computers, two (2) printers, two (2) land line telephones, 23 swivel chairs, two work stations, a photocopier machine, an office cabinet for filing and two air conditioners.

 The donation which was a follow-up to a request made on the Member of Parliament who doubles as the Deputy Majority Leader of Ghana’s 8th Parliament is set to enhance the work delivery of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) in the Effutu Municipality to improve the security of the area.

 Presenting the items, Hon. Afenyo-Markin announced that the new office complex under construction was at an advanced stage of completion and would be commissioned and handed over before the celebration of the Aboakyir’ Festival in May this year.

 He reiterated his commitment at ensuring that staff posted to the Municipality work under a conducive environment to enhance their delivery for the development of the area.

 Hon. Afenyo- Markin bemoaned the alarming rate of Hepatitis B infections in the area describing it as a silent killer, a situation he said has compelled him to vote Ghc1million for free screening and vaccination in the Municipality.

He charged on all residents of Effutu to volunteer for the free screening and vaccination for early treatment to reduce the Hepatitis B related deaths in the area.

 Receiving the items, the Central Regional Commander of the Ghana Immigration Service, Deputy Commissioner of Immigration, Eric Afari expressed the gratitude of his outfit to the Effutu MP for helping to resource the GIS in the area.

According to him the gesture would go a long way to improve the work of the service in the area thereby ensuring efficiency in the monitoring of activities of foreign nationals in the Municipality for an enhanced security.

Present at the ceremony to present the items included the immediate Past Secretary of the ECOWAS Parliament, Mr. John Azumah, the Effutu Municipal Chief Executive, Hon. Alhaji Zubairu Kassim, the Effutu Divisional Police Commander, ACP Jeffery Darko and Former Commander of the Winneba Local Prisons, Mr.Peter Afari Mintah.

Irene Danso/Ghanamps.com

Hung Parliament: NPP has learnt its lessons going into 2024 elections—Dome/Kwabenya Secretary

The Dome/Kwabenya Constituency Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Ansah Larbi said the party has learnt lessons from the 2020 Parliamentary elections that resulted in a hung parliament; a situation that has created a lot of problems for them as a ruling government.

According to him they have gone back to the drawing board and realised what brought about this hung parliament, “so you noticed when we had our orphan constituency primaries, we did not have issues, everything was smooth, no agitation.”

NPP Dome/Kwabenya Secretary

“Again, if there was any agitation it was very minimal, and we are hoping same for the sitting MPs and I believe it is going to be calm throughout and that means we have learnt our lessons.”

On his thoughts on the large number of experienced MPs that would not be returning to the next parliament, he noted that he is not worried about it at all as no one was born an MP, adding that the said experienced ones also started from somewhere.

“And if you do not give an opportunity to a new one how do you see the persons experience? The old must give way to the new; the fact that you are leaving parliament does not mean you will not have the opportunity to mentor those new ones coming and the new ones coming should go to the old for that experience and is the way to go.”

He affirmed that anyone who is seeking to be MP today has nurtured that dream for a long time, “you need to start learning before you get there, he stated.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com