Ranking member on the Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament, Mr. Inusah Fuseini, says Parliament is degenerating into a state of lawlessness and impunity.
Speaking to Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, he said, the use of offensive, inappropriate and indecent language is gradually creeping into the House.
He was reacting the use of ‘’rubbish’’ by the Majority Leader, Mr. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu,
after Dr. Dominic Ayine, raised a point of order before the approval of the nominee for the office of Special Prosecutor.
The NDC MP asked Parliament to suspend the approval and debate of the nominee because it would be prejudicial to the case pending before the Supreme Court over the eligibility of the nominee.
Rising on a point of Order, Bolgatanga East MP, Dominic Ayine drew the Speaker's attention to a suit challenging the eligibility of Mr. Amidu for the post.
The deputy ranking member on parliament’s Constitutional and Legal Affairs committee, who filed the suit last week says, the 66-year old nominee is unqualified for the post.
This is because he is past the statutory age limit for public service - 66 years.
Quoting Standing Orders of parliament, he requested that the speaker rules on whether the house can debate an issue which is being heard by the courts.
But Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, rebutted explaining that the NDC MP's intervention was premature.
Mr. Fuseini said this seventh parliament is witnessing unprecedented indecency and it would be important for the House to discuss the issue.
According to him, a few members of the House on Tuesday held an informal discussion on the matter because the issue ‘’is very serious…I have not seen this level of acrimony and this degree of indecency,’’ since I entered Parliament.
‘’This parliament is lopsided that, impunity is creeping into Parliament. And when that happens, disrespect will come in. The Majority is having their way and the Minority’s view is being rejected,’’ he noted.
He added, the Speaker has failed to exercise impartiality and that has affected the business in the House.
‘’We have a Speaker who also has failed to exercise that impartial and firm control of Parliament. That is what is bringing the whole thing into play…In managing parliament, he should be as impartial as possible. I agree that, he is a member of the NPP but as Speaker, he should not be partial,’’ he said.
He suggested for parliamentarians to be taking through proper training to prevent such unparliamentary language in the House.
The West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) says it costs the body about GH¢5 million anytime examinations are cancelled.
The Very Reverend Sam Nii Nmai Ollenu, Head of the National Office, who made this known at a seminar in Accra, said the Council did not benefit in any way from the cancellation of examinations and appealed to all stakeholders to help stamp out examination malpractices.
He explained that whenever examinations were cancelled, WAEC had to find additional resources to conduct fresh examinations by bringing together examiners and obtain other logistics.
He said it was prudent for people to be worried when candidates cheated, adding that examination malpractices affected national development and lowered educational standards.
The seminar was held for 30 media practitioners in Accra to afford them the opportunity to get a deeper understanding of the mandate of WAEC.
Bemoaning the levels of examination malpractices in the country, Rev Ollenu stressed the need to promote genuine academic attainment to propel national development.
He said it was also necessary for stakeholders to protect the integrity of Ghana’s educational system and the credibility of certificates issued by the WAEC.
Rev Ollenu said though his outfit continued to battle examination malpractices, Ghana would pick three Excellence Awards this year.
He recounted that governments over the years have invested so much in education, noting that more than 35 per cent of Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product had been devoted to education.
This year, he said, the Government would absorb the examination fees of all candidates from public schools who would write the Basic Education Certificate Examination.
“It is imperative that we guard our resources so that they do not go to waste through examination malpractices,” he advised.
Mr Carter Kofi Osafo, the Acting Head, Test Development Division, WAEC, who gave statistics of examination malpractices, stated that last year, 13,793 candidates were involved in examination malpractices.
In 2016, and the previous year, 11,936 candidates and 12,746 candidates respectively, were involved in malpractices.
Mr Osafo explained that examination malpractices involved seeking assistance, using exhibits such as smart phones and watches and using of handkerchiefs.
In view of this, he said, WAEC had embarked on rigorous education through the print and electronic media to halt examination malpractices.
The Council, he said, had also synchronised the times for starting all examinations in addition to using metal detectors to screen candidates.
WAEC, Mr Osafo said, had also published the names of schools involved in the act as well as engaged the services of the National Security and private investigators to track and prosecute offenders.
It had also expanded the use of CCTV cameras in examination centres.
Mrs Wendy E. Addy-Lamptey, Head, National Exams Administration Department, said in 2015 WAEC introduced the use of the Item Differentia Profile Software to identify deviation and cheating.
In her presentation, Mrs Addy-Lamptey said the Western Region topped in examination malpractices and the Brong Ahafo and Upper East Region took the second and third positions respectively.
Speaker of Parliament for Ghana’s legislative House, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye has reiterated that, Ghana the House will not approve of gay rights despite pressure from human rights groups.
The Speaker says the arguments raised by these groups are not tenable.
Professor Oquaye was addressing a group of religious leaders who paid a courtesy call on him.
The renowned man of the gospel said the leadership of parliament will not approve of such rights.
“If you tell me that a man must sleep with a man so as to show his human rights for Ghana, I can assure you that our Parliament is a real micropause of the rule of Ghana. Ghanaians do not support gay rights and nobody is going to make any law that will support this kind of thing.”
The Students Representative Council (SRC) of the Ghana Law School have declared today [Wednesday] as ‘Red Day
The declaration is protest against the results of the 2017 bar exams which saw a whopping 81% of students failing.
The students have expressed their displeasure after only 91 of the over 500 students passed the May exams in 2017.
All law students are expected to wear red as a sign of protest against the disappointing results.
Of the 474 students who wrote the exams, a total of 206 are to repeat the entire course after failing the final bar exams.
Another 177 students have been referred in one or two papers.
The SRC is convinced the results could not have been the true reflection of the exams written by the students.
The SRC is also demanding a reduction in the fee for the re-sit from GHc3,000-GHc500.
“In line with the rules of natural justice that a man cannot be a judge in his own court, the IEB [Independent Examination Board], cannot be in charge of the remarking of the scripts concerned. We cannot trust that the IEB will be candid enough to expose their own flaws. We are therefore calling on the GLC [General Legal Council] to appoint credible independent and professional examiners to mark all failed scripts again,” SRC Secretary, Abena Asare-Boye, said in a communiqué.
Meanwhile, the SRC is expected to hold a press conference at 1:00pm today at the main campus of the school.
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Tuesday, 20th February, 2018, launched the 10-year Cahsew Development Plan, in Wenchi, in the Brong Ahafo Region, a plan aimed at diversifying Ghanaian agriculture.
Recounting a commitment he made on 19th March, 2016, at Suma Ahenkro, in the Jaman North constituency, President Akufo-Addo bemoaned the over-reliance of Ghanaian agriculture on the production and export of cocoa, in contrast with the situation in neigbouring Cote d’Ivoire.
He noted that Cote d’Ivoire has succeeded in diversifying its agriculture, which included the production and export of other cash crops, and, as a result, earned that country some $12 billion from the export of agricultural produce in 2015.
“To that end, I reiterated my commitment to assist in diversifying Ghanaian agriculture, and transforming, amongst others, cashew into a major cash crop and foreign exchange earner for Ghana. This morning’s event, ladies and gentlemen, is the beginning of the realisation of this vision,” the President said.
Highlighting the success of the first year of the Programme for Planting for Food and Jobs, which led to an increase in the production of staples, as well as the creation of thousands of jobs in the rural economy, President Akufo-Addo noted that this development has encouraged government to increase the scope of the programme.
“The Programme is expanding its focus not only to the production of staples, but also to the development and production of some selected crops such as cashew, oil palm, rubber, shea, cotton and coffee, for good reason,” he said.
The President noted that two out of the top five cashew producing and exporting countries can be found in West Africa, i.e. Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire, countries that have the same geography and topography as that of Ghana.
Therefore, as part of the Plan to boost the production of cashew, the Rural Development Department of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, together with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, are spearheading the initial production of seedlings for the cultivation of cashew in the country.
“Under the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) project, all 216 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives have been given oversight responsibility for the production of not only cashew seedlings, but also for seedlings of oil palm, shea, cotton, rubber and coffee, for distribution to farmers from next year,” the President said.
He continued, “The seedlings, once distributed, and planted by farmers, will ensure that more rural jobs will be created, in addition to an increase in yield. The potential for further job creation down the value chain through agro-processing is enormous.”
Again, towards the improvement of the country’s current yield, the Ghana Export Promotion Authority commissioned a cashew mass spraying exercise, in Wenchi, involving the provision of GH¢1.6 million for the spraying of some 30,000 hectares of cashew plantation. This is expected to increase cashew production for this crop year by some 30%.
These initiatives, the President added, form an integral part of the Cashew Development Plan, with the plan seeking to improve research methods, introduce appropriate production and processing technologies, as well as develop marketing strategies, amongst others, along the value chain.
He, therefore, urged the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Ghana Export Promotion Authority also to incorporate, in this Plan, policies and interventions that will create additional businesses and job opportunities in the areas of storage, transport, and packaging of cashew, which will ensure that our cashew farmers earn higher incomes.
President Akufo-Addo reiterated the commitment of his government to follow through fully on the implementation of this Plan, in addition to other programmes, to propel the growth of the cashew industry.
“I urge the Ministries, Departments and Agencies, our Members of Parliament, farmers, and the private sector to do everything possible to support the Cashew Development Programme. This, together with the other programmes for other selected export crops, would drive industrialization in rural Ghana, diversify agricultural exports, and provide the needed jobs for the teeming masses of unemployed youth of this country,” President Akufo-Addo added.
The Togolese Government and the Coalition of 14 Opposition political parties have agreed to implement a number of measures aimed at building trust and confidence amongst the political actors in Togo.
This was contained in a communiqué issued on Monday, 19th February, 2019, at the end of the first dialogue meeting held between the parties. The meeting, which was facilitated by the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is aimed at finding a lasting solution to the political impasse in Togo.
As part of measures aimed at “appeasement and confidence building”, President Akufo-Addo, as captured by the communiqué, conveyed a number of decisions taken by his Togolese counterpart, President Faure Gnassingbe, to that end.
This included the signing of a presidential pardon, dated 19th February, 2018, for the release of forty-five (45) out of the ninety-two (92) persons detained in the country’s prisons as a result of their involvement in the demonstrations.
“The case of the seven (7) persons who were imprisoned as a result of the 2013/2014 market fire riots would be brought before the Court to consider an application for bail by Wednesday, 21st February, 2018,” the Communiqué said.
The statement continued, “Other prisoners in detention, as a result of their involvement in the demonstrations, would have their cases examined by the Togolese Judiciary to determine their fate after going into the merits of their individual cases.”
Additionally, “both Parties also agreed to a suspension of demonstrations, pending the outcome of the dialogue.”
An issue that was raised by the Coalition of 14 Opposition Parties, on the return to the plenary, was the need for the state to hold on to planned local and parliamentary elections, and referendum until the dialogue had considered and taken decisions on the Electoral and Institutional Reforms contained in the Rules of Procedure.
The meeting also examined issues related to the proposed return to the 1992 Constitution and various interventions were made on both sides.
Present at the meeting were the Members of the Ghanaian Facilitation Team; Representatives of the Togolese Government; Representatives of the Union for the Republic (UNIR) Party; Representatives of the Coalition of 14 Opposition Parties; Members of Parliament; Diplomatic Corps; United Nations Permanent Representatives; Civil Society; and Traditional and Religious leadership.
It was agreed that the next meeting of the dialogue would be held on Friday, 23rd February, 2018.
Deputy Director at Ghana Post, Mr. Kwaku Tebi Amponsah, has reiterated that, the Digital Addressing System launched in October 2017, is living up to expectations.
He told Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm that, the system was launched to among other things aid government policies, planning and offer accurate data for service delivery.
The system was designed by Ghanaian information technology firm, Vokacom. He said the system was also designed to provide an effective means of addressing every location and place in the country, using an information technology application.
When asked how many people have downloaded so far, he said, it was targeted for some 300,000 to download the app during the campaign period but over 350,000 people have downloaded the app since it was launched in 2017.
Mr. Amponsah, said the second part of the campaign is in the offing where every Ghanaian would be required to have a digital address.
He stressed, without your digital address, you will not have access to the national card.
‘’We have also rolled out the offline system. We are partnering the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) to educate Ghanaians in the rural communities so they will understand the need to have a digital address system,’’ he added.
According to him, the campaign is expected to kick-start in a month.
How the Digital Address System Works
The first step is to visit your app store to download the GhanaPostGPS App for free, from Google Play Store for Android users and Apple store for IOS users.
Once the app is installed, follow the instructions to register, verify and confirm your login details. After this process, you are ready to use the GhanaPostGPS app.
No payment is required for the download or use of the GhanaPostGPS app.
First, ensure that your phone's location button is turned on. Then open the GhanaPostGPS app and click on the button. Your unique address will appear next to the digital address, for example Digital Address: GA-543-0125.
Accuracy of the address is important. Just below the address code, the accuracy of the address is shown. Always endeavour to have the address within three metres accuracy. It is advised that you stand in front of your property to produce the most accurate address.
To locate a given address, you need to have the GhanaPostGPS app on your phone and the given digital address. Key in the digital address in the search column and click on the search button. Full details of the address will be generated. Then click on the route option below it to navigate to your specified address location.
To find landmarks, type the name of the landmark into the search tab. Then drop downwill appear with options to choose from. Select the required landmark and the digital address will automatically be generated.
To contact emergency services, click on the emergency button on the app. Then select the service you require, that is Police Service, Ghana National Fire Service or Ambulance Service. From there, type in additional information and click on the ‘send location’ button. A pop-up message will ask that you close or continue with the request.
To verify an address, click on the menu button. A menu will appear with a ‘verify your address’ button. Click on the button to verify your address.
Parliament has approved Martin Amidu as Special Prosecutor.
The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye had earlier rejected a point of order raised by former deputy attorney general, Dr. Dominic Ayine, to suspend the debate and approval of the nominee because of his case pending at the Supreme Court.
Drawing on Standing order 93(1), Dr. Ayine invited the Speaker of Parliament to rule on whether the House’s intention to approve the nominee will not be wrong pending the Supreme Court case.
Dr. Ayine is challenging the age of Martin Amidu as Special Prosecutor at the apex court.
He is seeking declaration that “by a true and proper interpretation of Article 190(1)(d),199(1,)199(4) and 295 of the 1992 Constitution, the retirement age of all holders of public office created pursuant to Article(1)(d) is sixty years, anyhow not beyond (65).”
The Speaker however, rejected his point of order and allowed the debate to go on which subsequently followed with the approval of the nominee.
At his vetting last week, Martin Amidu promised to build strong institutions to help fight corruption.
He said, the office will be open to accepting proposals for convicted persons who wish to pay back the monies they illegally acquired from the state to avert a jail term.
“For me, the issue is not necessarily wanting to fill Nsawam with people. One of the issues of prison administration is to reduce the number there, so that we don’t spend money feeding people we shouldn’t feed. So I see this plea bargaining thing as a good incentive for those who want to make reparation for the consideration of the court and go and sin no more,” he said.
The Country Director of The Hunger Project-Ghana, (THP Ghana) Mr. Samuel Erasmus has stated that Ghana can only intensify the fight to end maternal and child mortality if government and other concerned parties will be committed to protect, promote and support appropriate infant and young child feeding policy.The Country Director was speaking at the opening of a Five-day workshop aimed at equipping Community Health Nurses and Project Officers(THP-Ghana)
with the requisite skills, knowledge and tools to support mothers, fathers and other caregivers to optimally feed their infants and young children(CIYCF- Community Infant and Young Child Feeding).
The Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding was endorsed by all World Health Organization (WHO) Member States in 2002, and provides the main framework for WHO’s actions to promote exclusive breastfeeding(from 0 to 6 months babies) and complementary feeding. It also addresses feeding of children living in special circumstances, such as those of low birth weight or who are born to mothers who are HIV-infected. The Strategy specifies responsibilities for all concerned parties including governments, international agencies, civil society and the private sector. The Planning Guide proposes a systematic process to translate the Global Strategy into country action. It describes seven steps to plan, implement and monitor actions to attain the nine operational targets defined in the Global Strategy. The Guide is intended for use by programme managers and coordinators to develop focused national strategies, policies and action plans for infant and young child feeding.
The Hunger Project-Ghana under its Maternal and Child Health Care Improvement Project targeted at reducing maternal and child mortality & morbidity percentages has commenced series of training workshops to train participants as the country continues to fight the canker.
By: Ekow Burt-Fletcher