Speaker calls for further probe into utilization of COVID19 Funds

Speaker of Parliament has directed the Finance and Health Committees to conduct an inquiry into the utilization of the COVID 19 Funds.  
The Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta on June 22, 2022 had presented accounts of monies approved by parliament for utilization of the COVID 19 relief programs expenditure to Parliament.
According to some minority members the figures presented today were different from what he presented in earlier statements and so called for the constitution of an Adhoc committee to look into the matter.
The majority on the other hand retorted that there is no need setting up another committee.
Leader Osei Kyie Mensah Bonsu said the ministers’ responsibility is not to give detailed accounts of how the money was used by the various MMDAs and that he can only give expenditure allocations of how the money was used.” Rather, it is the duty of “the subject matter parliamentary committees to trace and track the allocations to see if they are put to proper use.” He said.
The speaker, after consulting articles 175 and 178 agreed to have the matter inquired into by already existing parliamentary committees.
He said “… there are still a lot of gaps that we need to throw light on. Apart from the figures that our attention has been drawn to, between what he said today and earlier statements, which are contained in a document… there is still the need for investigation and enquiry into the matter.”


He assigned the Finance and Health Committees to probe into the figures and how they were expended. “I direct that the committee of Finance ably supported by the committee of health should investigate and inquire into the total receipt referred to as COVID 19 Funds and how those funds were applied for the betterment of the people of this country.” The Speaker directed.

Some importers repacking foreign goods to look ‘made-in-Ghana’ – Konfidants boss


Ghana’s efforts to promote the consumption of locally manufactured products are being hampered by the unscrupulous re-packaging of imported goods.
This is one of the key concerns of Michael Kottoh, Managing Partner of Konfidants, an international advisory firm, on the country’s ailing made-in-Ghana agenda.



He says most products on the shelves of supermarkets tagged to have been produced in the country are foreign brands; a situation he wants importers to desist from.
“Majority of them are food items and products branded with native Ghanaian names that look like made in Ghana products, but when you check it, you realize that they are actually imported. A lot of importers are beginning to brand goods with local names and repackaging them in Ghana. Very disturbing is that such products have consistently stayed low because they are imported. It doesn’t make sense,” he said.
In the third edition of the Konfidants Made-In-Ghana survey of Ghana’s leading retail supermarkets, Ghanaian products in supermarkets saw a marginal increase.
Across all 11 supermarkets considered, made-in-Ghana brands constituted 31% of the 20 selected product categories, while foreign brands comprised 69%.
The made-in-Ghana share was 18% in the 2019 survey and 26% in the 2020 survey.
The report noted that the improved performance of made-in-Ghana products is not due to a significant increase in the absolute count of Ghanaian brands on the shelves, but rather a significant decline in the number of foreign brands on the shelves compared to previous years.


But to reverse this worrying trend, Michael Kottoh believes more needs to be done to improve the production value chain to get the buy-in of Ghanaians to patronize made-in-Ghana news.


“We need a lot of these campaigns to ensure that as consumers, patronising made-in Ghana [products] is being patriotic. As a consumer, your preferences will be shaped by a lot of factors. One of the trends we saw was claims that the packaging of Ghanaian products has never been the best. So we need to spend a lot of time to mature in the production and packaging of local goods.”


Michael Kottoh was speaking on the Citi Business Festival’s forum on surviving the uncertainties of consumer markets.


The forum had the CEO of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, Afua Asabea Asare, former Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, and the Retail Banking Director of Absa Bank, Charles Addo as panelists.

We will no longer accept ‘the minister is unavoidably absent’ excuse – Bagbin

The Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin has cautioned ministers of state to note that failure to appear before the house on a scheduled date constitutes contempt according to the constitutional provision. He further said that it is not the place of ministers to pick and choose when to appear before the house to answer questions.  “That decision is for the house and the speaker.” He said.
These became necessary because the Transport Minister, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah did not show up to answer questions by legislators on Tuesday, June 2022. He, through his Chief Director, requested to appear on Thursday. This almost earned him a referral to the privileges committee but for leaderships’ intervention.
Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak raised concerns about how “some ministers are gradually turning this house into a joke.”
 “This is one of the ministers who used to be very punctual in responding to questions to member, but of late his conduct seems to be negating all the gains he has made in the house.”  Bagbin said.
He warned “we are not going to accept the minister is unavoidably absent” as an excuse.


Zero dev’t in Ashaiman because we vote for NDC – Ernest Norgbey

Member of Parliament for Ashaiman, Ernest Norgbey, laments the Akufo-Addo administration refusal to build his constituency because it is a National Democratic Congress (NDC) stronghold.

Mr. Ernerst Nogbey, speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show today Tuesday, June 21, 2022 cried “Any time NPP comes to power, no developmental projects come to Ashaiman.”

“Even though we pay taxes and do all other things as a civic responsibility, they are not looking at us,” he said.
The MP said government neglect of the constituency is obvious to his constituents.


“Everybody is aware of this, otherwise, I see no reason why contracts will be awarded, but contractors will be moved from Ashaiman to Tema to go and fix Tema roads,” he said.


The roads in Ashiaman, Mr. Norgbey said, have not seen any makeovers in the last six years. Aside that, school projects have also been abandoned in his district.


Ernest Norgbey has started rehabilitation works on some bad roads in the district and has urged the district assembly to support by contributing bitumen to his efforts.

Ashaiman MP laments absence of road projects in constituency

Source: citinewroom.com

The Member of Parliament for Ashaiman, Ernest Norgbey, has disclosed that not a single kilometre of road has been constructed by the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) for the past six years in his constituency.



His comment comes after he initiated rehabilitation works on some deplorable roads in the community, which have made life unbearable for his constituents.



Residents of the area have for some time called for government intervention to salvage the situation.



Speaking to Citi News, the Ashaiman legislator, Ernest Norgbey says all efforts to get the Ministry of Roads to fix the deteriorating roads in his constituency have hit a snug.



He also said the constituency deserved better from local government because of the various levies residents pay.
“We pay tolls. We pay market tolls, we pay taxes, and they [the assembly] take money from the community; even property rates etc. At least we can get some money to do something,” Mr. Norgbey retorted.



The MP further urged the government to at least support his intervention in the constituency.
“If the government or the assembly is minded, they should come and put some bitumen on it, and it will last a bit longer,” Mr. Norgbey said

No space in Accra to shelter people in times of earthquake – NADMO Boss

Source: GNA

Mr. Nana Eric Agyeman Prempeh the Director-General of the National Disaster Management Organization says, Accra is depleted of open spaces, which are most needed to erect temporal tents and other structures as shelters in times of earthquake.



He said that not withstanding most playgrounds in Accra, especially for public schools have been converted to Astroturf and in some cases with buildings.



Speaking at a media briefing ahead of a 4-day Earthquake Simulation Exercise in the Volta and the Greater Accra region, to test the country’s preparedness during a damaging earthquake, Mr. Agyeman Prempeh said open spaces served as places where people run to or converge in times of emergencies and appealed to the Ministry of Education to stem the practice that makes such grounds inaccessible for public use.



“I wish to also appeal to Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies to take a critical look at protecting the few open spaces left and try to create new ones not only in Accra but all over the country.” he said and urged to the Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority, LUPSA to support MMDAs in that effort.



He said,  the vulnerability  of Accra, Tema and adjoining districts to damaging earthquakes could not be emphasized and called on the two bodies to impress on traditional authorities to reserve spaces for the public good when demarcating land for human settlements.



The simulation exercise is being done in collaboration with sister security agencies and the North Dakota National Guard from the United States of America, with funding from the government of the United States of America, acting through its embassy in Accra.



In 2018, emergency response agencies and other stakeholder institutions in disaster management successfully conducted full-scale simulated damaging earthquake events in Accra.



The exercise tested the national response readiness and capabilities. 
The outcome, the NADMO boss said revealed a good coordination system, warm cooperation among agencies and an appreciably high level of professionalism.



He, however, said gaps identified were noted and efforts were made to address them.
Major Jarrod Simek of the United States Embassy Office of Security Cooperation, noted that current disasters around the world was a wake-up call for all Nations and reiterated the need for all hands on deck to prepare effectively for any future emergencies.



He said the relationship between NADMO and his office dated back 15 years ago and expressed the hope for a longer bilateral friendship.


The North Dakota Adjutant General and Director of Emergency Service Major General Al Dohrman, said all responsive agencies needed to be ready for all emergency cases.



 The team will conduct simulation exercises at Tema Fishing Harbor, Kpando and Trade Fair Center, La.

Adentan Community School wins 2022 Adesa Village Competition

Source: GNA

The Adentan Community School in the Adentan Municipality has emerged winner of the 2022 at the Adesa Village Competition for basic schools in the Greater Accra region.



They beat 11 schools to come out as winners of the storytelling and folk songs competition organized by the Greater Accra Regional Center for National Culture at the Arts Centre.



The 31st of December Women’s Movement Basic School placed second while Jah Rock Preparatory School placed third.



The winners received a trophy, two certificates for participation to schools and staff and products from sponsors, while special prizes were awarded to the best behaved school, best folk song, best story and best storyteller.



Mrs. Alice Alima Kala, the Greater Accra Regional Director of the CNC said the competition was to revive the dying art of storytelling and folk songs, teach the children English and local languages and promote reading habits and the need for social interactions.



She said it had therefore become necessary for young ones to develop an interest in studying storytelling, understand it and have a passion for it.



Mrs. Kala said through consultation with management, the competition in the coming years would be extended to other regions beginning with the Central Region in 2023.



Madam Janet Edna Nyame the Executive Director, National Commission on Culture, said the competition brought out the rich culture in the stories and songs, which were the hallmark of the Ghanaian tradition and it exposed the young ones to their cultural heritage as a people.



She called on the Ghana Education Service and the Ministry of Education to place more emphasis on the culture and art saying, “organizing a program like this comes with its challenges and with the GES and the Ministry involved it might reduce these challenges a bit,” she noted.



Michael Abubekr the Public Relations Officer of the Center, expressed appreciation to parents, students and the participating schools for the overwhelming support to make the program a success saying it was important for children to be abreast with their culture because it was what identified them as Ghanaians.



“Foreign cultures are good but we should not forget the fact that we are Ghanaians and therefore going by tradition, we should always embrace our culture, eat what we have, wear what we have, speak our language and do things like Ghanaians. That shows us our true identity” he added



The Adesa Village Competition is a story telling competition for primary and junior high school students that seek to revive and bring back the fading out of storytelling and tap into the rock elements of storytelling, like folksongs, riddles and proverbs.
During the competition contesting schools are expected to bring their own story lines to be performed.

Cathedral saga: leave Duncan-Williams, Heward-Mills, others out of your chaos – Sammy Gyamfi to gov’t

Sammy Gyamfi - Nat'l Comms. Officer, NDC
The national communications officer of the National democratic Congress Sammy Gyamfi has critiqued the Akufo-Addo-led regime for dragging some revered men of God into the National Cathedral brawl.
The facility, in recent times has generated lots of arguments. Many Ghanaians wonder why in the midst of many pressing national needs, the cathedral should funded from the national purse.  
Sammy Gyamfi reacting to this on peace FM’s The Platform Program, said “I am a staunch Christian and growing up we had men of god we really honor and adored like archbishop Duncan Williams, Apostle Onyinah, Agyin Asare, Dag Heward-Mills they are our heroes and their contributions to nations cannot be underestimated. They are revered worldwide. “I’m pained that Akuffo Addo wants to tarnish their image.”
Sammy Gyamfi pleads with government to be truthful and transparent about the cathedral project to the people of Ghana.  


“Please don’t tarnish their image leave them out of your confusion. It looks like government wants to use this National cathedral project as another ruse to steal. Christians must be careful. If we allow this government to smear them (men of God) it will be a dent on Christianity” he added

‘We are no longer part of Ho-West Constituency’ – Kpedze declares

The chiefs and people of Kpedze say they have as a matter of urgency resolved to sever ties with the Ho-West District, stop their assembly members from participating in any sitting in the Ho-West district, prevent their people from paying revenue to the Ho-West District Assembly and also ensure that the NPP does not engage in any political activity in any part of Kpedze.



This is as a result of the assembly’s decision to site the District Hospital at Dzolokpuita, contrary to the collective agenda set by the people of Ho-West to distribute development projects equitably across the district.  
A statement signed by the assemblyman for Kpedze Awlime/Todze Electoral Area Kasim Osman Adamu suggests that the people of Kpedze feel insulted by government ignoring the Ho West Congress of Paramount Chiefs convention on the districts development agenda.
The statement reads ‘we the chiefs, elders, and most importantly the youth, consider the relocation of the district hospital to Dzolokpuita to be very unfair and an insult to us, given the negative impact of poor healthcare delivery in Kpedze communities and its environs.’



 It also states the peoples’ displeasure towards the interim president of the Paramount chiefs of the area Osie Adzatekpor.  “…we are deeply disappointed in the powers that behold the ruling New Patriotic Party and the Ho-West Congress of Paramount chiefs and Queen mothers, led by interim president Osie Adzatekpor.” It said

The chiefs and people of Kpedze held a protest against the siting of the District Hospital in Dzolokpuita in the Ho-West District a couple of weeks ago but it seems their demonstration did not yield any results in their favor. 


According to the Statement, the people of Kpedze have therefore resolved to as a matter of urgency to do the ff:

“ 1. Dissociate ourselves from the Ho-West District

  1. Our Assembly members shall not participate in any sitting in the Ho-West district
  2. No revenue collector from Ho-West District Assembly shall be welcomed to Kpedze henceforth.
  3. No political activity of the NPP will be tolerated in any part of Kpedze.”

ECG gives a month amnesty to customers with meter anomalies

Customers of the Electricity of Ghana have a month’s amnesty to report and subsequently fix all meter faults or face prosecution.



This comes on the back of the announcement by the utility service provider to give customers with all forms of meter anomalies between June 7 and July 10 to get them fixed.



ECG says this exercise has become necessary due to the unacceptable quantum of losses incurred by the company due to these anomalies and infractions by some of its customers.



The exercise also forms part of efforts to rid the system of any electrical illegality.


The anomalies include uncaptured meters, billing anomalies, faulty meters, meter bypassing and meter tampering, amongst others.



The ECG says failure to rectify all anomalies within the stipulated time will lead to prosecution.