Committee on Government Assurances to follow up on flagship projects

Members of the Committee on Government Assurances (CGA) are to visit all the 10 regions from the end of November to ascertain the extent of implementation of flagship government policies and projects.

Speaking at a workshop for members of the Parliamentary Press Corps (PPC) at Ada Sunday, the Chairman of the CGA, Mr Yaw Frimpong Addo, said the committee would find out whether the free senior high school (SHS) education policy, the restoration of teachers and nurses allowances, the one constituency, $1 million and other policies were being implemented.

He said the committee would consider the funding and logistical challenges facing the policies, as well as the commitment of government officials to their execution.

Focus

Mr Addo said the verification visits, which would be sponsored by Star Ghana, would focus mainly on four ministries — Education, Special Development Initiatives, Railways Development and Energy and Power.

In the area of education, he said, the committee would find out the challenges facing the free SHS policy, with a focus on how the double-track system was being implemented.

He said the committee would verify the availability of classrooms and boarding houses and the quality of feeding for students.

Besides, he said, it would find out how far the government had gone with the promise to complete a number of community day SHSs started by the previous government.

Other areas

Mr Addo said the extension of electricity to remote areas and progress of rural electrification projects would be some of the areas to be considered in the power and energy sector.

The projects under the Ministry for Special Development Initiatives include the procurement of ambulances for districts and t $1 million per constituency.

And in the railway sector, the committee would ascertain the progress of work on the various railway projects.

He said if the committee had enough time, it would extend the verification to the agricultural sector.

Public hearings

Mr Addo, who is the NPP Member of Parliament (MP) for Manso-Adubia, said after the field visits, the committee would hold public hearings to seek answers from the respective ministers of state on implementation lapses and funding challenges.

He said that would enable the ministers to explain why the challenges.

Mr Addo said members of the CGA would also question the ministers on the floor of Parliament or at the committee level on the extent of work they had executed per the timelines they had given on the floor of Parliament or at committees of Parliament.

Thereafter, he said, the committee would write a report on the implementation of government policies and programmes to Parliament for consideration.

No witch-hunting

The CGA Chairman assured all ministers of state that the CGA was not interested in witch-hunting and indicated that the interest of the committee was to see to the implementation of government policies, programmes and projects.

He said the development of the country would depend on the implementation of government policies and that the committee intended to work in the interest of the government and the people.

Sanctions

Touching on the sanctions regime, the NDC MP for Ho West and Ranking Member on the CGA, Mr Emmanuel Bedzrah, said if the committee was not satisfied with the extent of work done by a particular ministry, it could recommend to Parliament to censure the minister in charge of that ministry for poor performance.

He said if the recommendation was adopted by the House, Parliament could, by two-thirds majority, vote for the removal of the minister.

Besides, Mr Bedzrah said, the committee could name and shame a minister for persistently lying on oath, which could cause him or her his or her appointment.

Source: Graphic.com.gh

National Cathedral A “Misplaced Priority” – TUC

Labour Unions are mounting pressure on government to “shelve” plans to construct a National Cathedral because it is a “misplaced priority.”

President Akufo-Addo has defended his government’s decision to build the Cathedral, arguing it is a priority to the country.

“People will ask if it (national cathedral) is a priority. It is a priority among priorities. We’ll never find enough money to do everything we want to do. But we have to begin, and that’s what we have started.”

“70 percent of the population is Christian. This is the focus that strengthens the community. We find ourselves in need of a symbol that the Ghanaian nation can rally behind. We see elsewhere in the huge world monuments, and we are going to find the means to sort it out,” President Akufo-Addo said in London recently.

However, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) feels otherwise and has served notice if the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration fails to heed its call it will “invite all Ghanaians to join us to campaign vehemently against this misplaced priority and to protect the national purse.”

“Why should a national cathedral be “a priority among priorities” in these circumstances? Why should government use scarce national resources to construct a national cathedral when we have all these social and economic challenges to deal with?

“We are fully convinced that if Ghanaians, including Christians, were to be asked individually to list their priorities for the country a national cathedral would never feature in the first one thousand items on the list of priorities, even if it features at all.

“We would like to appeal to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to shelve this plan otherwise we will invite all Ghanaians to join us to campaign vehemently against this misplaced priority and to protect the national purse,” the TUC said in a statement.

Source: Starrfmonline.com

Government to borrow $1.5bn against GETFUND revenue – Dep. Education Minister

Deputy Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum has hinted of government’s intention to borrow against their own promise during the 2016 campaign to complete all educational sector infrastructure projects at 70% of completion.

He made this revelation in an engagement with youth as a speaker on what government’s efforts are towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals 4 that touched on quality education last week.

“As I speak with you, GETFUND has estimated that within the next 10 years or so they will be able to get revenue about 3 billion dollars. Now cabinet has approved and we would bring to parliament that we want to take 1.5billion dollars that is 50% of the projected revenue and dedicate 500million dollars to completing all GETFUND projects at 70% of completion”.

He continued, “complete all the E-Blocks that are at advanced stages, complete university facilities with another 500million dollars”.

Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum is optimistic the amount borrowed will alleviate the infrastructure deficit in the education sector.

In his firm conviction, the deputy minister said “another 500million dollars will be dedicated to basic school infrastructure” to make sure that school children are put the right place to study now.

What is mind-boggling is the fact that, this revenue he is seeking to take a loan against is a “projected revenue” by GETFUND and one will ask what happens if the revenue target is not met, how will the loan be paid?

The Deputy Education Minister who has been on top of issues in the past few months is anticipating a bright future if all the loans are secured and plans implemented to the later, the education system in Ghana should surpass that of the United States of America.

“I believe by this strategy we would take the SHS from the double track. There is a new strategy, there is a new game in town and we want to do things differently and get the outcome that we’ve not been given. Borrowing for infrastructure is not bad” He concluded.

Source: mynewsgh.com

Stop Stealing Mahama’s Glory – Minority to Akufo-Addo

The Minority in Parliament insists the Akufo-Addo government and the New Patriotic Party must acknowledge former president John Mahama’s role in stabilising the energy sector and stop appropriating Mr Mahama’s feat.

Ranking Member of the Mines and Energy Committee, Adam Mutawakilu is of the view that the Akufo-Addo-led administration is taking credit for things done by Mr Mahama to jolt the energy sector.

His comment comes on the back of claims by government functionaries that the vision of the NPP government led by Mr Akufo-Addo has led to giant strides in the energy sector.

“So, if someone has put the infrastructure in place and you come to connect it and inaugurate it, it is proper for you to acknowledge that someone has done so much work to a certain stage and you came and completed it,” he said.

In addition, Mr Mutawakilu said when the then-president was inaugurating the Bui Dam, he invited former President John Agyekum Kufuor, who commenced the project, to be part of the opening ceremony.

Mr Mutawakilu added that when the late former president John Evans Atta Mills was inaugurating the George Walker Bush N1 Highway, he also invited former President Kufuor to show recognition and appreciation to his predecessor, and, thus, wondered why “Mr Akufo-Addo will always not recognise” the work of his predecessor.

Source: classfmonline.com

Two tutors of Ankaful Nurses College transferred after exposing corrupt deals of Principal

Two tutors of the Ankaful Nurses Training College have been transferred from the school after exposing the corrupt deals of the Acting Principal of the college.

The two tutors, William Akpetey and Cyril Kumako, uncovered widespread corrupt deals of the acting principal of the college and blew his uncover.

The acting principal of the College, Simon Dogedoung after an investigation by the Economic and Organized Crime Office has been made to refund parts of the money allegedly stolen from the school after their investigation but the two tutors who exposed the rot have been transferred from the school for no reason.

In a letter dated 31st August 2018 but was handed over to the two on the 3rd of October, 2018, the two were asked to report their assumption of duty to their new Health training Institutions.

For Mr Cyril Kumako, the letter signed on behalf of the Minister of Health by Dr Kwesi Asabir, Head of Training Institutions, he is expected to report to the College of Health and Well-being at Kintampo on the 15th of October, 2018.

The two say they have not asked to be transferred from the school neither have they committed any crime or done any untoward action to warrant such a treatment.

They believe they are being punished by some unseen hands for being whistleblowers to save the school’s purse.

“Transfers are normally requested for by the transferees or when such persons are engaged in wrongdoing. In our case, we only exposed the rot in our school. Why is that the Principal who was engaged in the wrongdoing is still at post while we have to suffer the consequences. Is it wrong to fight corruption in this country,” the two quizzed.

The two suspect a deliberate attempt to silence them and a continuation of the corrupt activities of the Principal in the school and want the president and the Minister of Health to intervene to ensure that justice is served.

“The President asked us to be citizens and not spectators. We only acted in good faith by exposing the corrupt deal in our system. Transferring us is a bad signal. It means victory for the wrongdoer. We don’t think the Minister of Health knows about this. We want his intervention,” they cried.

The two accused the former Member of Parliament for the KEEA and now Head of Local Government Service, Dr Ato Arthur of teaming up with the acting Principal to cause their transfer.

The Head of Local Government Service is alleged to have stepped in to save the head of the acting principal because the acting principal claims he is an NPP sympathiser.

“Dr. Ato Arthur should be seen to be fighting corruption and not to support those engaged in it. We are boldly told that he had to plead with the authorities above to save the acting principal and cause our transfer,” they alleged.

How can $1million 1 constituency promise expire? – Mahama

Former President John Dramani Mahama has expressed shock over what he says are claims by the Akufo-Addo government that the promised one million dollars per constituency allocation for 2017 expired with the 2017 budget.

Responding to a question posed by the Member of Parliament for Mion, Mohammed Abdul-Aziz, about when the government would release the cedi equivalent of the one million dollars to every constituency as promised, the Minister of Special Initiatives, Mavis Hawa Koomson, said the money technically expired with the budget in 2017 as the structure needed to implement the programme was not available.

But former President Mahama is wondering how a million dollars per constituency meant for development as promised by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the lead-up to the 2016 elections, could expire.

Mr Mahama, who is on a three-day campaign tour of the Upper East Region, expressed shock at the minister’s response when he addressed delegates of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) at Zuarungu in the Bolgatanga East Constituency.

He asked: “Have you ever seen one million dollars expiring?” adding that: “I am aware that rice has expiry date, oil has expiry date and other commodities, but one million dollars has no expiry date”.

Mr Mahama pointed out that with two months left for the year to end, time is running out for that allocation to also expire.

He said Ghanaians have now seen through the lies and deceit of the NPP, noting that such deception could shake the faith of Ghanaians in the democratic system.

Mr Mahama also called for unity in the NDC following the elections of new executives at the constituency and regional levels, and promised to work hard to reduce the high cost of living in the country should he win the 2020 polls.

Source: classfmonline.com

Play Your Roles Effectively in the Fight Against Corruption – Hon. Bedzrah tells APNAC Members

Members of the Ghana Chapter of African Parliamentarians’ Network Against Corruption (APNAC) are at Aqua Safari, Ada for an orientation workshop on the network’s role in the fight against corruption.

The Chairman of APNAC – Ghana, Hon. Emmanuel Kwasi Bedzrah in his welcome address intimated that the workshop seeks to chart a new course to renew individual and collective efforts of its members towards confronting the worst enemy (corruption) in our development struggles.

Hon. Bedzrah pointed that the vision for creating prosperity and equal opportunity for all which are grounded on good governance, respect for democratic values and human rights, justice and the rule of law would remain unfulfilled dreams if corruption is left unconquered. He therefore urged his colleagues to take the fight against corruption serious and effectively play their roles in ensuring the menace is reduced to its lowest level.

Present at the workshop were Members of Parliament, the Auditor General, representatives from CHRAJ, Ghana Anti Corruption Coalition and EOCO, and the Executive Director of APNAC.

The program was sponsored by Star Ghana.

ESKK

Hon. Bedzrah Chides Government Over Economic Hardship

The people of Awudome and Avexa held separate durbars earlier today at Anyirawase and Avexa to mark this year’s Yam and Midezor festivals respectively.

At Avexa, the occasion was used to raise funds for a community mechanized boreholes water project. The Member of Parliament for Ho West Constituency who was a Special Guest praised the people for the numerous self-help projects they have embarked upon over the years. He promised to support them as he has always done to ensure the mechanization comes to fruition.

The people of Awudome on the hand used the celebration to raise funds for the rehabilitation and expansion of the Awudome Traditional Council offices. A prototype design of the proposed new office complex sponsored by Hon. Bedzrah was unveiled. He promised to work with the chiefs and people to ensure successful execution of the project.

Speaking at both programs, Hon. Bedzrah bemoaned the unprecedented level of economic hardship the people have to endure under president Nana Addo’s NPP government which has Dr. Bawumia as leader of its Economic Management Team.

According to the MP, it is difficult to understand, let alone accept the hardship most especially when Dr. Bawumia gave sweet economic lectures whiles in opposition and promised to turn the country’s economic fortunes around when the NPP is voted into power. Hon. Bedzrah held that, the country’s current economic indicators were not what Dr. Bawumia promised Ghanaians. He therefore charged the people to take advantage of the next opportunity to vote president Nana Addo and his government out of power, saying, the next NDC government will repair the damages and make life better for Ghanaians.

ESKK

Reality Exposing NPP Lies – Mahama

Former president John Mahama believes the hardship being experienced by Ghanaians is a clear manifestation that the New Patriotic Party lied their way to power.

A few days ago, President Akufo-Addo conceded in an interaction with Ghanaians in the US that times are really hard, assuring the economy will improve soon in the wake of fuel price increment among others.

“We have to approach the foreign exchange matter medium to long-term by expanding our supply base, that’s not a crisis…they’re difficulties the system would be able to accommodate…” the President said.

“It’s a difficult situation, but a difficult situation also requires some amount of fortitude and firm action and that’s what we are trying to do at home,” he said.

As he tours parts of the country to campaign in his bid to return to power, Mr. Mahama said the NPP has been exposed for deceiving Ghanaians.

On Thursday, he took to Twitter to mock the Akufo-Addo government:

Source: Ghana/Starrfmonline.com/103.5FM

Oti Region Referedum: Entire Region Must Vote – Asogli State

The Asogli State Council says the entire Volta Region must be allowed to vote in the referendum aimed at creating the Oti Region.

According to the Council, it finds the exclusion of the southern part of the region in the consultation process to create the region “worrisome” as the creation of the Oti Region will involve the alteration of the existing boundaries of the region.

“Therefore, the entire Volta Region must be allowed to take part in the referendum and it must not be limited to only the area earmarked for the Oti Region,” the Council stated at a press conference Tuesday.

According to it, “it will be unconstitutional, unfair and against natural justice to limit the referendum to a minority in the Region leaving out the voices of the majority of Voltarians.”

Below is the full statement

PRESS CONFERENCE ON THE REFERENDUM IN VOLTA REGION

ASOGLI STATE COUNCIL,

Ladies and gentlemen of the media, we have invited you here today to address the nation and the entire world on some issues regarding the creation of the Oti Region from the Volta Region.

We the chiefs and people of Asogli State, and our brothers and sisters from southern Volta, wish to state our position on some matters that we consider a threat to the cherished peace we have enjoyed over the years in the Volta Region.

As stated many times by the Agbogbomefia, the most important desire of our people is development, which cannot happen if there is no peace. Therefore, it is important that we all work towards strengthening our peace and our unity in order to facilitate the development that we crave for.

We are therefore troubled that this priceless commodity, called peace, is being undermined by the reckless way the creation of the proposed Oti region is being handled.

We recall calling on the commission of enquiry to extend its public hearings to other parts of the Volta Region, specifically the south, but the commission disregarded this call by Asogli State and proceeded snobbishly on their illegal agenda.

Ladies and gentlemen, as we speak, not even an excerpt from the final report of the commission is available to us. All we heard was that the commission had established significant demand and recommended a referendum to be conducted in the “Oti” enclave. Consequently, the Electoral Commission has commenced limited registration exercise in the recommended area living out other parts of the Volta Region.

Friends of the press, we find these developments worrisome and therefore wish to state our position unequivocally that the creation of the Oti region involves the alteration of the existing boundaries of the Volta Region. Therefore, the entire Volta Region must be allowed to take part in the referendum and it must not be limited to only the area earmarked for the Oti Region.

In our view, it will be unconstitutional, unfair and against natural justice to limit the referendum to a minority in the Region leaving out the voices of the majority of Voltarians.

Friends of the media, we cannot remain indifferent when an important matter such as this, which affects our very existence, is being handled in such lopsided manner. It constitutes an abuse of power.

As could be seen in the provisions of chapter 2 of the constitution, the framers of our law laid down clear democratic procedures for making the relevant decisions. “In their wisdom, they provided tough conditions in order to make the creation of regions, alteration of boundaries or merger of regions difficult, unlike what has been happening in the cases of new constituencies and new districts.”

The President, as required by the constitution, and acting in accordance with the advice of the Council of State, appointed a commission of inquiry, comprising people we thought were eminent and honest persons, to inquire into the demands for new regions and to make recommendations on all the factors involved.

The constitution provides that where the commission found that there is the need and a substantial demand for the creation of new regions, it shall recommend to the President that a referendum be held, specifying the issues to be determined by the referendum and the places where it should be held.

In performing its mandate, the constitution enjoined the commission to make a full, faithful and impartial inquiry into the matters specified in the instrument of appointment.

As we have said earlier, we have not seen a copy of the commission’s report, and we are not aware of its publication. However, reports suggested that the commission has recommended the creation of some new regions.

Friends of the media, for the avoidance of doubt, our constitution provides, among others, that there should be a referendum to approve: the creation of a new region; the alteration of the boundaries of a region, whether or not the alteration involves the creation of a new region.

This is in plain English, and we urge all Ghanaians to read Chapter 2 of the constitution.

It is obvious that the creation of new regions will result in the alteration of existing boundaries. Indeed, if one of the issues to be decided in such a referendum is the boundary of a new region, then it is difficult to see how voting could be limited to only people within an assumed boundary and not the entire region.

The concentration of the commission’s public hearings on the areas from which petitions came, betrayed the government’s decision, even before the commission commenced work, that voting would take place in those areas only. It makes the commission’s work a sham, intended to simply rubber-stamp the government’s conspiracy against the majority of the people of this region.

Under our constitution, a small group of people cannot decide on the partitioning of an entire region. It is shameless to quote the wrong examples – Eritrea, South Sudan, Trans Volta Togoland, etc. – to justify this illegality, totally disregarding our own constitution.

We believe that the framers of our constitution have done a good job. They have given us a clear roadmap for the creation of new regions and the alteration of boundaries of regions. We must not, as the Agbogbomefia has cautioned, bastardize it, but respect it in the interest of peace and unity.

We want to appeal to both those who are for and those who are against the creation of new regions, politicians of the ruling party as well as those outside it, and indeed all Ghanaians, to uphold the truth by adhering to the procedures specified by the constitution as regards to the alteration of the boundaries of existing regions.

We are aware of malpractices that are already going on in the limited voter registration taking place in the Oti enclave. It is a shame that this could be happening in today’s Ghana. Our politicians must, for once, learn to do away with old habits that have caused unnecessary conflict in our country.

For the avoidance of doubt, we want to underscore our determination to resist the illegal partitioning of our region based on the votes of a few. We owe this sacred duty to the people of our region, and indeed, to all the people of Ghana.

We also want to add that the Ewes have never sought domination over the other tribes in the region, even though we are in the majority. Volta’s population comprises: Ewes 73.8%, Akans 2.8%, Ga Dangme 1.5%, Guan 8.1%, Gruma 11.3%, others 2.5%. But out of the six regional ministers we have had since 20o1, three were non-Ewes from the northern part of the region: Hon. Kwasi Owusu-Yeboah, the late Hon. Henry Ford Kamel and Hon. Helen Ntoso.

In conclusion, we want to emphasize that we are not against the creation of new regions, following due process. But for the sake of peace and unity, we demand that those responsible for the creation of the new regions follow strictly, the roadmap specified by the constitution and allow all citizens of the region to vote in the referendum, instead of limiting it to only those from the Oti enclave.

Once again, we are determined to protect the sanctity of the law.

Thank you, and God Bless our Motherland.

Source: Ghana/Starrfmonline.com/103.5FM

0
Connecting
Please wait...
Send a message

Sorry, we aren't online at the moment. Leave a message.

Your name
* Email
* Describe your issue
Login now

Need more help? Save time by starting your support request online.

Your name
* Email
* Describe your issue
We're online!
Feedback

Help us help you better! Feel free to leave us any additional feedback.

How do you rate our support?