The deputy minister in charge of water resources works and housing and MP for the Bodi constituency, Hon. Samson Ahi has strongly defended government for what the opposition NPP described as over-borrowing.
The vice-presidential candidate Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia in a press conference last Wednesday accused the government of consuming monies it borrowed rather than putting it into investments projects. He also alleged that the NDC government had ballooned the nation’s debt stock.
But in an attempt to defend government, the deputy minister described the position of the New Patriotic Party as problematic.
He also accused the NPP of failing to recognise the effort of government in developing this country.
The legislator made these comments when he took his turn to contribute to the debate on the 2016 budget statement presented by the finance minister, Mr. Seth Terkper last month.
‘’Some Ghanaians have problems with the fact that this government keeps on borrowing to develop this country. This country is a developing one…which means that it lacks so many social amenities. As we speak a lot of Ghanaians don’t have access to good roads, portable water, healthcare and educational facilities.’’ He questioned whether it was bad for government to borrow to solve these problems ‘’are we saying that because our debt situation is so high we should fold our hands and sit down whereas our people die in our villages?’’
Hon. Samson Ahi took the opportunity to outline the projects of government in the water sector including 13 million Euro to expand Berikese water system in Kumasi which has added 6 million gallons of water as against the previous 24, 000 gallons.
The project he indicated is now providing water within the various communities.
. $ 23 million loan to expand Mampong water supply system which provides 1.8 million gallons to 72, 000 residents in Mampong and adjourning communities.
. 7.9 million Euros loan to provide water for five towns in the Eastern Region including Asafo, Apedwa, Kyebi, Enyinam and Kwaaben.
. 20 million Euros for water project for Nsakyire, Gomoa, Ekumfi, Apam and other communities to the tune of 24, 000 gallons.
. $164 million loan for water expansion project for the Akyem Odaw, Nkwanta, Asiakuma, Aboabo, Dominase and adjourning communities.
. $16 million for the rehabilitation of the Kpone pumping station.
. $41 million for the utmost rural water expansion system.
. $19 million loan for water project for Tema and its environs
. $ 273 million loan for water expansion project in Kpone for the provision of 40 million gallons of water
Hon. Samson Ahi maintained that the NDC government should rather be commended for borrowing and addressing the needs of Ghanaians.
He said the NDC government has not borrowed to pay salaries like the NPP did when they were in government.
He stressed government is borrowing judiciously and using it for what the loans were intended for.
‘’Government will continue to borrow and provide the needs of Ghanaians so long as they don’t come from Togo or Burkina Faso but they are Ghanaians and needs this social amenities,’’ Hon. Samson Ahi noted.
The founder and leader of the Progressive People’s Party, Dr. Papa Kwesi Ndoum has accused the ruling National Democratic Congress of a desperate attempt to win the upcoming Amenfi West by elections at all cost.
The entrepreneur cum-politician chided the ruling government for failing to ensure development in the constituency but have quickly begun some form of roads, electrification projects with the aim of winning the by-election.
Following the death of the Member of Parliament for the Amenfi West Constituency John Gyetuah in the Western Region, and in accordance with Article 112 (5) of the Constitution as amended, the Electoral Commission will hold a by-election in the constituency to elect a new member of parliament. The election is scheduled for the 15th December, 2015.
However Dr. Ndoum accused the NDC of using the death of the late MP as opportunity to win the by-election all cost and has therefore rushed to the constituency to begin road projects among other things.
The presidential hopeful indicated that the actions by government amounts to fiscal indiscipline which pushes our deficit more.
He said development like construction of roads, electrification projects among other things should not be done at urgent times like elections with the aim of winning the people's vote rather it should be the priority of government to ensure that development reaches the people at all times.
He has therefore admonished Ghanaians to vote for a progressive change and a party that is focused on developing this country and not just winning elections.
Below is the statement by Dr. Ndoum
By-Election Season is back!
We witnessed it in Wulensi and Talensi and now is the turn of Amenfi West. Our tax money is working overtime to win an election for the ruling political party. I am asking this question and it goes to all political parties - does an MP have to die for a constituency to experience 'development'? Roads, electrification of rural communities, gifts of all types, become urgent projects in times like this. These projects more often than not were not budgeted for. So they push our deficit some more.
Go there and see what is happening and check back in another week and sense the desperation caused by the "win by any means possible and let's worry about the cost later" mentality.
Progressive change must come and the sooner the better. We need to win elections with a focus on service, development and pushing prosperity higher and not for the sake of winning or holding on to power.
What do you think?
Celebrated and award winning investigative journalist has in a recent investigative piece exposed a baby trading exercise in Nigeria.
The undercover journalist, investigative Anas and Nigeria’s investigative reporter Rosemary Nwaebuni teamed up to uncover those behind this ‘’heart-breaking baby trade’’.
This is an investigation under the Africa Investigates series.
''It is understandable why a desperate childless couple might do anything to have a baby, but those who exploit their unhappiness for profit are not so easy to forgive,,'' Anas said.
The footage explores the scam that exploits couples desperate for a baby and young pregnant single mothers - often stigmatized in a country where abortion is illegal except in the most dire medical emergency. It is also a trade that international NGOs have identified as sinister and out of control.
Filming undercover, the team found bogus doctors and clinics offering spurious fertility treatments in return for large amounts of money. In their guise as a childless couple, Anas and Rosemary are falsely diagnosed by one dodgy clinician as being unable to conceive children.
When the footage is reviewed by an official from Nigeria's Ministry of Health, he is appalled at the way vulnerable people are being conned. "You should not allow these people access to the public," he says.
But worse is to come. The team go on to uncover orphanages and clinics that act as brokers for illegal baby sales, by which naive, greedy or simply desperate young mothers are "persuaded" to hand over their newborn children for cash.
The film makers view
After exposing the dubious and often dangerous practices of fake doctors in the last season of Africa Investigates, we reassembled our Nigeria team and returned to investigate allegations of medical clinics and orphanages involved in the illegal sale of newborn babies.
Nigerian journalist Rosemary Nwaebuni had heard reports of young girls being kept against their will and forced to produce babies, only for the children to be sold on to childless couples, desperate to avoid the public scrutiny and stigma of legal adoption.
Joining Rosemary once again was renowned investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas, fresh from his recent explosive undercover investigation into judicial corruption in Ghana. Anas's unique experience and myriad undercover skills quickly took us to the core of the baby business.
In parts of Nigeria women who remain childless face prejudice. It can even arouse suspicion of witchcraft. Rosemary wanted to show the lengths that women are prepared to go to achieve pregnancy; for many, legal adoption is not a viable solution.
Instead, they turn to so-called "miracle" doctors. In spite of frequent crackdowns by the authorities, you don't need to look very hard to find "miracle" clinics open for business in the discreet suburbs of Port Harcourt, Aba and Imo State.
Behind high walls and locked gates, maternity clinics with reassuring names such as God's Gift Clinic offer a phantom service. Women are injected with hormones and unknown concoctions to make their bellies swell, providing the appearance of pregnancy. After nine months, the "miracle" doctors call them back to specially selected hospitals in Port Harcourt where they perform a fake birth, making an incision into their belly to give the appearance of a Caesarean scar and present them with a baby. Yet, unbeknown to the parents, the baby is not naturally theirs.
Rosemary and Anas presented themselves as a couple desperate for a child and under pressure from their parents to produce an heir. The first character they investigated was a fake pharmacist with a reputation for miraculous fertility treatments. After a very brief and clearly bogus examination, he was quick to diagnose Anas with a low sperm count and a medical condition normally associated with women. Artificial insemination was suggested as the only solution.
In real life, of course, both Anas and Rosemary have children.
Running parallel to "miracle" doctors is Nigeria's baby farming industry. One leading anti-child trafficking expert, Professor Alex Dodoo from the World Health Organization’s Collaborating Centre in Ghana told us that the level of baby farms has reached "epidemic" levels.
We had heard quite a few horrific stories of baby farms where young girls were being kept and repeatedly impregnated by their captors to fuel the booming child trafficking industry and the area around Port Harcourt was said to be a hotbed of this secretive trade. In the past two years, several baby farms have been raided by the authorities. While the government is eager to show that it is doing something about human trafficking - said to be one of the fastest-growing areas of organized crime in the country - we wanted to find out if the illegal baby trade was still going on behind closed doors in hospitals and orphanages.
To get closer to the traffickers we went undercover again and visited various orphanages we had reason to believe were actually front organizations for baby selling. In each we asked about adopting a baby at short notice and without the necessary legal paperwork. At Destiny Child Orphanage we were quickly offered a "fast-track" adoption to buy a newborn baby within weeks. The price was $4,000 for a girl and $5,000 for a boy. Of course we wanted to meet the mother to find out what conditions she was living in but despite our best efforts, excuses were always found for why that was not possible.
The next organization on our list was Basic Clinic run by Dr Ohaeri, a man who had been raided in the past for his links to the baby trade but was quickly back working in his clinic. Dr Ohaeri was initially suspicious and avoided our reporters but he eventually agreed to meet and offered to help find us a baby. After our meeting he confirmed that he had a baby ready and would sell for about $4,500.
Baby farms have regularly been busted by the Nigerian authorities - in 2013 one police station alone said it had taken 106 children into care. But the business is so profitable that it has proved very difficult to stamp out. Footage from one police raid on a maternity home run by Dr James Ezuma shows his dazzling collection of luxury cars. It is in sharp contrast to the wretched conditions in which the expectant mothers - pregnant girls, ranging in age from 14 to 19 - are being kept.
It is one of the saddest things to witness that in societies in which corruption is endemic, healthcare and childcare systems are prone to the schemes of the criminal and corrupt. Our undercover footage of one doctor, whom we pleaded with to help a childless mother to have a baby, summed up that abuse of power when he said: "I am a doctor, I can facilitate."
On the occasion of the 2015 Farmers’ Day celebrations, I join many other Ghanaians in expressing our sincere appreciation to our farmers and fisherfolk for their hard work and commitment to the cause of building Mother Ghana over the years.
The role of agriculture in transforming any economy and nation is vital. If we are to make any meaningful change in the lives of the people, our efforts must be directed at this sector. The majority of people can only feel a change in their lives when we develop agriculture rapidly.
However, the agriculture sector has been neglected under the NDC government over the last 7 years. Budgetary allocation to the sector has been reducing consistently – from 3% in 2009 to 1.1%, as contained in the 2016 budget. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that growth rate in the sector, which stood at 7.4% at the end of 2008, when the NPP left office, is now a dismal 0.04%.
With modernisation and diversification of agriculture being a key component of the NPP’s 4-Point Agenda for the development of Ghana, I wish to assure our farmers and fisherfolk that the blessing of oil will not distract an Akufo-Addo-led NPP government from making the agricultural sector more sophisticated, more productive and more efficient. Access to finance, improved training and technology, reducing post-harvest losses, extending feeder roads and farm tracts to as many farm gates as possible, increasing irrigation facilities, and guaranteeing markets for our farm produce are going to be the nucleus of this approach.
I congratulate all award winners in this year’s National Best Farmers' Day Awards and I hope that your exploits and achievements would be an inspiration for others to the benefit of the Ghanaian people.
God bless our farmers and fisherfolk.
God bless Ghana.
President John Dramani Mahama today held talks with Chinese President, Xi Jinping in South Africa, ahead of tomorrow's opening of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China Africa Cooperation.
Thursday's meeting afforded the two leaders an opportunity to commit themselves to strengthening the already cordial relations between the two countries and governments.
President Mahama who recalled his first meeting with President Xi five years ago, acknowledged the importance China and President Xi's personally attaches to relations with Africa. He hailed China for providing positive developmental and infrastructural support to developing countries and for its role in international affairs.
The President noted that Ghana will continue to partner China in its quest to expand bilateral cooperation in infrastructure development and other sectors. Ghana and China, he said, is marking 55 years since establishing diplomatic relations.
President Xi called for China and Ghana to deepen for mutual benefit, their cooperation. He also made a case for the two countries to continue to support each other on international issues and work to safeguard their common interests.
According to President Xi, China is ready to translate the traditional friendship into development to benefit the two countries and its people. He promised to encourage more Chinese investments in the power, telecommunications, ports, roads and aviation sectors.
The National Executive Committee (FEC) of the NDC is currently reviewing the suspension of Samuel George the parliamentary candidate elect for Ningo Prampram and MP for LaDadekotopon constituencies.
The two were suspended by the Greater Accra Regional office for contravening the constitutional provision of the party and gross misconduct.
The letter announcing the suspension for Sam for George read: “I have been directed by the Regional Executive Committee to inform you about your suspension from the party with effect from 1st December, 2015 pending the hearing by the disciplinary committee in line with the party’s constitution.
"On November 21, 2015, you contravened article 41(3a) and 40(8b and C) when you instigated people against the regional executive monitoring team and granted interview to the media accusing the regional executives of perpetrating fraud to the benefit of your contender. The Disciplinary Committee will contact you".
That of Nii Amasah Namoale also read: ‘’I have been directed Regional Executive Committee to inform you about your suspension from the party with effect from 1st December, 2015 pending the hearing by the disciplinary committee.
‘’On the 21st of November, you contravened article 40 (8c) when you granted interview to the media, accusing the Regional Executives of perpetuating fraud to the benefit of your contender and calling some of the executives ‘’Fraudsters and Pickpockets.’’
‘’The Regional Party and its executives find this as an affront to democracy and an attempt to drag the party’s image into disrepute. This anti-party conducts or activities has embarrassed the party and has brought the party into hatred, ridicule, and contempt; hence must not go unpunished in order to protect Article 40 (8b) and 41 (3a) of the party’s constitution.’’
However the deputy general secretary of the NDC, Koku Anyidoho in a statement said: “The Functional Executive Committee (FEC), of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), is by this Release, putting it out that, the issues relating to Nii Amasa Namoale and Sam George, as presented by the Greater Accra Regional Office of the Party, are under review per the rules of practice “.
A pressure group within the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) Concerned Youth for JM has expressed their grave disappointment following the suspension of MP and parliamentary candidate elect for the LaDadekotopon constituency and the candidate elect for the Ningo Prampram constituency, Samuel Nartey George.
The Greater Accra Regional party of the NDC suspended the two for what they described as gross indiscipline and constitutional breach of the umbrella family.
However, the pressure group in a strong worded statement described the situation as unfortunate and indicated that some actions and inaction of some notable leaders of the party is only meant to paint a very bad picture of the NDC as the party prepares for the general elections.
The statement said ‘’we see as very unfortunate the suspension of MP and Parliamentary Candidate elect of LaDadekotopon, Hon. Nii Amasah Namoale and parliamentary candidate elect for Ningo Prampram, Samuel George’’
Citing the ongoing crisis in the NPP, the group said they do not want the party to experience confusion and tension within the party saying ‘’we all know the state of the NPP, which is now characterized by confusion and rampant suspension. It is with a great shock that we have learnt of such a big mistake developing in our party, NDC the statement added.
The statement further noted their utmost shock at the direction given by the regional chairman to suspend the two candidates.
They also accused Ade Coker of being aggrieved at the victory chalked by the two candidates.
‘’ We are most shocked that this unfortunate development is being directed by Mr. Ade Coker , Greater Accra Regional Chairman, who sees himself as the wisest person in the party. Ade Coker is obviously aggrieved because the delegates rejected his family and friends who he presented for the primaries and is doing possible to distract our parliamentary candidates,’’ who were duly elected to represent the party in the 2016 parliamentary elections.
‘’We want to point out to him that he cannot impose anyone on the party. We recall when Ade Coker came out to impose Amissah Arthur on us when the grassroots called on Mahama to make Hon. Hannah Tetteh his running mate,’’ the statement noted.
Sounding a note of caution to Mr. Coker, the statement said ‘’we are by this note sounding a strong caution to Mr. Ade Coker that he should allow the will of the well-meaning sympathizers of NDC to hold in Ningo Prampram and La Dadekotopon constituencies.
‘’We the youth of the party are making serious commitment to maintain power come 2016 and will not allow anyone destroy our effort out of selfish gains,’’ the statement warned.
A nine- member panel of the Supreme Court of Ghana, presided over by Justice Sophia Akuffo has by a unanimous decision ruled that the Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon. Doe Adjaho erred in refusing to swear the mandatory presidential oath in the absence of both the president and his vice.
By the ruling, he must swear the Presidential Oath anytime he has to act in the absence of both the president and his vice.
It would be recalled that, the Speaker had on two occasion refused to take the presidential oath when he had to act in the absence of both the president and his vice who were by then out of the country on an official assignment.
The CEO of Accra based CitiFm, Mr. Samuel Attah Mensah petitioned the court to seek an interpretation of Article 60 (12) in the 1992 constitution, which requires that the Speaker takes the oath of office each time he is to act as President.
Article 60 (12) states that “The Speaker shall before commencing to perform the functions of the President under clause (11) of this article, take and subscribe the oath set out in relation to the office of President.”
The court by their ruling stated that the presidential oath is not just a mere formality but a mandatory event which he must at all times swear when he is to act in the absence of the two gentle of the state.
The Higher Court of the land further noted that they could have charged the Speaker of a higher crime in although that was not the case brought before it.