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.

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.


Ghana Card is not int’l travel document – Foreign Affairs Ministry

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, has clarified that the Ghana Card cannot be used exclusively as an international travelling document as yet.
This means that the passport and travel certificate remain the official documents for travelling outside the country.
Sector Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, gave this clarification, responding to questions in Parliament on Tuesday, June 14, 2022.


“The Ghana Card is not a replacement for the current biometric passport. The Ghana card serves as an optional travel document to be used in tandem with our biometric passport. It must be underscored that the passport together with the traffic certificates are the only approved travel documents that are internationally recognized”, she said.
The rollout of the Ghana Card generated some debates  when Vice President, Mahamudu Bawumia, said the card fully meets the requirements for an E-passport, in spite of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)a rejecting same.

Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchway on the floor of Parliament, however, said the processes for the Ghana card to be accepted as a document for international travel, are yet to be finalized.  
“At the moment, the Ghana Card cannot be used for travelling to other countries, either within or outside of ECOWAS. That will require bilateral agreements with countries for their authorities to accept the card as a travel document. The Ministry is in active discussions with ECOWAS member states and our bilateral partners to achieve this”, she explained.


Meanwhile, the Ghana Card will be accepted for nationals and dual nationals returning to the country by the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS).

Privileges Committee summons Adwoa Safo after attempts to reach her failed

The Privileges Committee has summoned the Member of Parliament for Dome-Kwabenya, Sara Adwoa Safo, to appear before it on July 6, 2022, over her absenteeism in the House.
Chairman of the committee, Joseph Osei Owusu directed that the summons be published publicly as the Member of Parliament has been unreachable.
“The Chairman of the Privileges Committee has directed that summons to the Hon. Member for Dome Kwabenya to appear before the Privileges Committee of Parliament on 6th July 2022 at 12:00 noon at Parliament House, New Administration Block, Committee Room 1, 2 & 3 pursuant to Article 103 (6) of the Constitution and Order 205 of the Standing Orders of Parliament be published in all relevant media. This comes after all attempts to reach the Honorable Member by the Committee failed,” a statement from the Parliamentary Service said.
The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin has tasked the Privileges Committee to dialogue with Adwoa Safo, Henry Quartey and Kennedy Agyapong over their continuous absenteeism.


It is expected of the three to give reasons, which are justifiable for their absenteeism. Failure to do so, mean that actions will be taken to remove them from Parliament.



The Committee said it “has employed all available means, both official and unofficial, to serve the Member with an invitation letter, including sending the invitation letter to her office and pigeonhole in Parliament,” but has not gotten any response from her as yet.


Meanwhile, Adwoa Safo earlier on Accra based Joy FM that she was in the US and had not been served any invitation letter from the committee.

Bagbin directs Defence & Interior C’ttee to probe Islamic SHS disturbance

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has directed the Defence and Interior Committee to look into the alleged police brutality at the Islamic Senior High School (SHS), which occurred in Kumasi. They have one week to execute the assignment and report their findings back to the House.



Students’ demonstration in the school turned messy, when police met them with force, resulting in several persons sustaining injuries.
Member of Parliament for Asawase, Muntaka Mubarak, on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, raised the matter on the floor of Parliament.
The Speaker, directed, “I will direct the committee on Defence and Interior to take this matter up and report next week. In other words, the committee members should visit the IGP, the regional police commander and the school in question, visit the injured persons and report by Tuesday with the findings and await the final investigations and if there is the need for us to take any further action, we will do that.”
Students of the Islamic Senior High School, Kumasi, demonstrated against the repeated motor traffic accidents in front of their school by blocking sections of the road on Monday. The Police in their attempt to help open the road to normal traffic flow, the fired warning shots and opened tear gas and pepper spray on the students.
A statement by the police said “the students pelted the police with stones and the police used pepper spray and fired warning shots in attempt to disperse them.”
Thirty-eight (38) injured students were hospitalized. According to the Deputy Minister of Education John Ntim Fordjour, “…twenty-two out of the 32 have been discharged and have joined their colleagues on campus.”
The police, however say they are not proud of the poor manner in which their officers handled the case.

Fisheries Minister is a practical minister – South Dayi MP

MP for South Dayi Rockson Nelson Deafeamekpor has commended Mrs. Hawa Koomson Fisheries Minister for moving in swiftly to resolve the premix fuel crisis in his constituency, leading to regular supply of the product.
He mentioned this in parliament when the minister took her turn to answer questions bordering on the performance her ministry on the floor of the house.
“We had premix issues recently; her intervention has encouraged the regular supply of premix in my area. She is a practical minister.”  “We need more for my people at Agordake and Dzemeni.” Mr. Deafeamekpor said.  
His question to the minister was about steps taken to establish fish farming in Tongor Tsanakpe, to which the minster responded that “Aquaculture for food and jobs programs under which educational and security institutions, distressed fish farmers and youth groups are supported to establish fish farms.” She advised that interested youth groups and individuals should contact regional fisheries offices to apply for the opportunity. She furthered that “on approval, officers will conduct an inspection of the proposed site to determine the appropriated holding facility.”
She also told the house that fishing inputs support such as fingerlings, fish feed and extension officers would be given to farmers.

Landing beaches to get automated premix fuels dispensing units

Hon. Hawa Koomson, Minster for Fisheries
Landing beaches across the country will soon have automated premix fuels dispensing units installed for them.
This, according to the Fisheries Minister Mrs. Mavis Hawa Koomson will weed out smugglers and hoarding activities as well as enhance fishers’ access to the fuel.
It will enhance service delivery and safety as only fishers with smart cards will be served at the automated pumps.
The minister was addressing a question by the MP for Upper Manya Krobo Bismark Tetteh Nyarko on measures to enhance fishing activities at Akateng and other fishing communities in his constituency. He asked that the selling points be increased from 5 to the original 11 as at 2018. The reduction of selling points, according to the MP, is a contributory factor to the smuggling and shortage of the product.
She however said “as we speak now, we don’t even know the number of fishers who draw this fuel. That is why we are working on automation to give us the information. So when we realize that the 5 delivering points are not enough, the ministry and the agency will not hesitate to increase the numbers.”

I’m aware non-fisher folks stock-up premix fuel and re-sell at 400% – Fisheries Minister

The Minister for Fisheries and Aqua Culture Development Mrs Mavis Hawa Koomson has confirmed she is aware of the irregularities surrounding the distribution of premix fuel in the fishing communities across the country.
The minister was responding to questions related to her ministry in parliament yesterday.



MP for Krachi East Wisdom Gidisu, asked if the minister knew that people whose work is not fishing related are the ones who buy premix products, stocked and resell at 400% to the actual fishermen.



Mr Gidisu said “they buy at the regular price of GHC60 and resell at GHC200 or GHC250.
The Krachi East MP requested to know the measures put in place to curb such illegalities and also ensure the regular supply of premix to fisher folks along the Krachi Nchumuru, Krachi West, Krachi East and other fishing communities along the Volta Lake.



“Yes I am aware and government is making everything possible to stop it” was the minister’s response.
Mrs Mavis Hawa Koomson said her ministry is in talks with stakeholders including TOR and that the MPs concerns would be resolved “very soon.”
 “I believe very soon we will come to a conclusion and the product will be available for every fisherman to do his or her fishing activities.”
According to news reports, premix fuel has been in short supply since the beginning of the year.

Minority to block gov’t bills for delay in passing anti-LGBTQ bill

The Minority in Parliament has accused the Chairman of the committee working on the anti-LGBTQ bill, of deliberately slowing down work on the bill. The minority says they have not seen any progress since the bill was introduced to the house about a year ago.
They have, therefore, vowed to block the passage of government bills if the LGBTQI bill is not worked on with urgency.
Speaking on the floor of the house on Wednesday, June 8, 2022, Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak stressed the need for the bill to be dealt with speedily.
“As far as the constitution is concerned, when you introduce a bill, and it is referred to the committee, that committee must not spend more than three months,” Mr. Mubarak argued.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Committee working on the bill, Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi has explained why work on the bill had delayed.
“I would want to draw the House’s attention that there are several bills before the committee. We had one in-camera meeting last week, and we have invited the sponsors of this bill for these meetings.”
“Honourable Bedzrah was at these meetings, so it was surprising that the same person who was aware of what the committee is doing will say that the committee is doing nothing about the bill. I want to set the records straight that the committee is on course, so far as bills are concerned.”
To this explanation made by the committee chairman, Alhaji Muntaka responded on Omaru Sanders Eye Witness News that “it is against our standing order 136 that clearly states that bills before the committee should not last three months. And committee chair Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi should know.”
The Bill on the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values’, prescribes that people of the same sex who engage in sexual activity could spend up to 10 years in jail and was presented to Speaker, Alban Bagbin in June last year.
Varying forms of support for the LGBTQ+ community will also be criminalized if the Bill is passed into law.
The members of Parliament that presented the bill are, Sam George (MP, Ningo Prampram), Emmanuel Bedzrah (MP, Ho West) Della Adjoa Sowah (MP, Kpando), John Ntim Fordjour (MP, Assin South), Alhassan Sayibu Suhuyini (MP, Tamale North), Helen Adjoa Ntoso (MP, Krachi West), Rita Naa Odoley Sowah (MP, La Dadekotopon) and Rockson Nelson Dafeamekpor (MP, South Dayi).

MPs encourage everyday usage of the Mother Tongues

Parliamentarians yesterday called on the Ghanaian populace to eschew every desire to force Ghanaian children to speak only one Ghanaian language and encourage children to speak their own mother tongue. Collectively, the legislators agree that have one’s child speaking impeccable English and unable to speak any Ghanaian language is not anything to be proud of.


This discussion opened when the member of Ketu South Abla Dzifa Gomashie read statement to commemorate the International Mother Tongue Day which fell on 22nd February 2022 to the House.  

Mamaga Abla Dzifa Gomashie, who chairs the Ewe Commission of the Africa Academy of Languages, laments the situation where parents use English to train their children even at home. “to ask a child just basic questions in his/her mother tongue with the child not being able to answer. Mr. Speaker, should we watch as a generation of Ghanaians lose not just their identity but also their culture, traditional values, and collective memory?” She asks.


Dr. Augustine Tawiah, MP for Bia West, observed that it is unfortunate that colonialism has altered our cultures  and as a people we have ourselves added to our woes by despising what is truly ours. He suggested a continuous research to ensure that our mother tongue is key for us to reduce the gap between what is indigenous to the Ghanian and what is foreign and being incorporated. “We don’t want to incorporate everything wholesale. Our language should accommodate other nuances from other cultures but how do we do this in such a way that we can incorporate them even in our educational system.”


MP for Sawla Tuna Kalba Andrew Dari Chiwitey charged members and all Ghanaians, especially people from his constituency, to speak their local languages with their children at home. “It has become a form of pride for some people to think that once I speak English to my child that tells the class I belong to. Mr. Speaker it is completely wrong.  It is time for us to start educating our families. It is time for us to start letting out people know that where we come from, that is where we come from. We didn’t  choose… and so wherever you find yourself let your identity be know.” he appealed to the house.


Kwadaso MP Kingsley Nyarko’s believes in using the local language as tool to facilitate easy learning in schools but expressed concerns about the quality, frequency and intensity of the language usage.


Many other members including Samuel Okudzeto of South Tongu, Nelson Dafeamekpor of South Dayi, Moses Anim of Trobu, Kofi Adam of Buem, among others hold the belief that knowing one’s native language well, is a foundation to learn other languages and appreciate what is being taught in school and so agree that the Ghanaian languages must be taught in the basic schools. However, in the spirit of oneness they said that our diversity is our strength in unity.


Language is a very important tool for sustainable development. It ensures cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue, strengthens cooperation and achieves quality education for all. Mamaga who herself speaks many Ghanaian languages urged her colleagues and stakeholders “to develop a clear and effective school policy to enhance the understanding of children in our schools”.


Mother Language Day, highlights multilingualism to ensure inclusiveness in development agendas in accordance with SDG 4.6, which seeks to ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, achieve literacy and numeracy.”


This years’ celebration was themed “Using technology for multilingual learning: Challenges and opportunities”.