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Parliament Declines $1bn Government Loan Until Ken Ofori-Atta Appears Before House

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Parliament Declines $1bn Government Loan Until Ken Ofori-Atta Appears Before House

Parliament will not consider two loan facility agreements totalling $1 billion laid before the House until the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, appears before the House on June 22, 2022, to account for how COVID-19 money approved by the House since the outbreak of the pandemic, was applied.

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, gave the directive after the House suspended sitting for 10 minutes for the leadership of the House to deliberate on the inability of Mr Ofori-Atta to appear before the House yesterday[June 16, 2022].

Speaker’s ruling

This was after the Minority caucus had expressed their disappointment about the non-availability of the Finance Minister to brief the House yesterday on how COVID-19 money had been utilised since the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020 and to answer 16 questions asked of his ministry by members of the House.

The Speaker in his ruling after the meeting by the leadership, also directed that all matters relating to the COVID-19 loan facility agreement laid before Parliament would not be considered until the Finance Minister came before the House to account to Parliament, on behalf of Ghanaians, as to how previous loans for COVID-19 were spent.

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Mr Bagbin said although there was communication through the Majority Leader by the Finance Minister, Mr Ofori-Atta also spoke to him directly on the phone about his non-availability to appear before the House yesterday, as requested.

He is, therefore, to appear before the House on Wednesday, June 22, 2022.

Standing Orders

Mr Bagbin said when questions were asked of Ministers, the House expected them to come and answer them and cited Standing Order 61 of Parliament to buttress his point which says that “ Ministers shall by Order of the House requested to attend to sittings of the House to answer questions asked of them”.

He further cited Standing Order 60 (3) which also says that “ A Minister shall not take not more than three weeks to respond to the question of House” to give his ruling on the matter.

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Mr Bagbin said based on the Standing Orders of Parliament, the Business Committee of the House was given the opportunity to do the allotment and thus alloted June 16, for the Finance Minister to come and answer a number of questions that stood in the name of his ministry.

“ The Finance Minister told us that he will not be available today and before today, I gave a directive to the effect that the Minister appeared before this House to account for money that we approved for him to use to lead the country as to how we could respond to the COVID-19 pandemic “, the Speaker said.

“ A lot of questions have been raised so we expected the Minister to come and account as to how state resources had been applied to the benefit of the people.

“ I just indicated that until that is done, a motion requesting for approval of the House for money to be given to the Ministry of Finance for the purpose of the COVID-19 will be on hold”, the Speaker stated further.

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Mr Bagbin reiterated that until the Finance Minister answered the questions and went through the accountability process, the House would not take that motion.

“With respect to the question for today, the Finance Minister has another request before us and that will also be affected. Until he comes to respond to the question and to submit the statement as to how that money has been applied, we will not entertain any business from his ministry,” the Speaker stated.

Source: www.GhanaCNN.com

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Denounce Akamba; He Does Not Deserve To Be National Organizer – Blakk Rasta To NDC

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Denounce Akamba; He Does Not Deserve To Be National Organizer – Blakk Rasta To NDC

Popular Radio Host and Musician, Blakk Rasta has tasked the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to disown pronouncement by its National Organizer, Joshua Akamba.

His call is as a result of comments made by Mr. Akamba suggesting the NDC made a mistake in firing Victoria Hamah for allegedly seeking to amass wealth.

Speaking on Kumasi based Ultimate FM Mr. Akamba said the party on hindsight would have retained the deputy minister and not acted on the pressure from the NPP.

“I think she was not given a fair treatment; I know Vicky as an honest woman, everybody aspires to make some money, she didn’t say I have made or there was no evidence that I have stolen, yet again we listened to the NPP and took that action.

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“It was the NPP that pushed this action, directed our action, today I can tell you that Vicky cannot be a corrupt person, I know her. She is still an active member; I think she even contested Kintampo North or West.” He said.

But Blakk Rasta is least pleased about the comments of the National Organizer.

According to him, such comments should not be encouraged and could cost the party and its possible flagbearer John Dramani Mahama.

He predicts that the comment from Joshua Akamba could work against the fortunes of John Mahama and the NDC in the 2024 elections.

“These are the people who will make sure Mahama will not become president again. For this guy alone, Mahama will lose a million votes in the next elections. If I were the NDC, I would kick out this guy called Akamba right now.

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Adding that, “the reason for which Victoria Hamah was kicked out, this guy is endorsing the same. You are in government and heard on tape saying that all you want is one million dollars and that is it. It’s not about the people you promised to serve, it is no more about the nation. It has nothing to do with the nation but your ego and selfishness of enriching yourself.

“You sit here and tell me Victoria Hamah was offered a raw deal. Such a fool. This guy is supposed to be who? National Organizer? The NDC should come out and denounced this guy and distance itself from his comments. I’m angry at this thing that I’m reading.” Blakk Rasta fumed on his show.

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Source: www.GhanaCNN.com

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Ghana Will Not Recognize Any Ukraine Territory Annexed By Russia : Foreign Affairs Minister

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Ghana Will Not Recognize Any Ukraine Territory Annexed By Russia : Foreign Affairs Minister

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, says Ghana will not recognize any annexation of Ukrainian territories by the Russian Federation.

Addressing a special meeting of the United Nations (UN) Security Council on the maintenance of the peace and security of Ukraine in New York City today Thursday 22 September 2022, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey noted that Ghana remains committed to its position that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is in breach of international law and unjustified.

“We have expressed several times our principled position against the aggression on Ukraine which we consider to be a disregard for the rules of international law and the principles of the charter (UN Charter).
Ukraine as a sovereign state and a member of this organization (UN) has every right, we believe, and indeed a responsibility to defend its territorial integrity and political independence,” Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey said.

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“Ghana does not, and will not recognize any territory that is unilaterally and forcefully acquired as dismembered from a sovereign entity,” Miss Botchwey added.

Cease fire

In her statement, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration reiterated Ghana’s call on the Russian Federation, to “immediately and unconditionally cease its operations, withdraw its troops from the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine”, and respect its western neighbour’s “sovereignty and political independence.”

“The need for a credible pathway for a genuine diplomatic process is urgent. The barrel of the gun does not provide such a pathway. It only leads to needless loss of lives and destruction on both sides. Indeed, the cost of the war has been high, not only for the parties, but also for the rest of the world,” Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey said.

Proposed referenda

After stunning battlefield setbacks in the last two weeks, Russia moved to cement its grip on territory it occupies in eastern and southern Ukraine (Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk) as Kremlin proxies and associates announced plans on Tuesday 21 September 2022, for referendums on annexation to Russia, indicating a possible escalation of the seven-month-old war.

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The Kremlin signaled that if Russia were to go forward with annexation, even if no other country recognized it, any further military action by Ukraine in those regions would be seen as an attack on Russia itself, justifying any military response by the nation with the world’s largest nuclear arsenal.

Partial mobilization

In what is seen by several international law experts as an escalation of Russia’s war in Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin, announced on Tuesday 21 September 2022, a “partial mobilization” of Russian citizens in what would see 300,000 reservists called up, according to the Defence Minister of Russia, Sergei Shoigu.

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Putin in his announcement said those with military experience would be subject to conscription, and stressed that the decree, which was already signed, was necessary to “protect our homeland, its sovereignty and its territorial integrity.” The announcement by Putin has been received with widespread protests in Russia as some have sought to flee the country to escape the impending conscription.

Source: www.GhanaCNN.com

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You Must Be Living On Another Planet: Prof Hanke Fires Gabby For Saying Akufo-Addo Deserves Praises

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You Must Be Living On Another Planet: Prof Hanke Fires Gabby For Saying Akufo-Addo Deserves Praises

A Professor at the Johns Hopkins University, Steve Hanke says Gabby Otchere-Darko, a leading member of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) must be on another planet for saying that the Akufo-Addo administration deserves praise for prudent economic management despite all the challenges.

Mr Otchere-Darko earlier observed that despite slump in revenues, bills are being paid, including salaries.

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Roads are also being fixed, money has been found for programmes like YouStart to create jobs for the teeming youth.

In a tweet he said “The Akufo-Addo government and, in particular, MoF, deserve the nation’s commendation for their handling of the economy in these most challenging times. Despite slump in revenues, bills are being paid, including salaries, roads being fixed, & money found for programmes like YouStart.”

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But responding to him also in a tweet, Prof Hanke said “Leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Gabby Otchere-Darko says Pres. Akufo-Addo deserves ‘praise’ for his handling of the economy.

“SPOILER ALERT: Otchere-Darko must be on another planet. Today, I measure #Ghana‘s inflation at a stunning 81%/yr.”

Source: www.GhanaCNN.com

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