General News of Wednesday, 16 May 2018
A Commission of Enquiry on the Creation of New Regions in Ghana will brief Members of Parliament on Regions that may be affected and pertinent issues relating to the possibility of the creation of those regions.
Members from the Brong Ahafo Region, Northern Region, Volta Region and Western Region are expected to meet members of the Commission, for the briefing, scheduled for Friday, May 18, 2018 at the D F Annan Conference Room of Job 600 at 12 noon.
Mr Osei-Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, announced the briefing, while presenting the Business Statement when the House, resumed after the Easter Break on Tuesday.
In view of the briefing, ‘Parliament is expected to commence its sitting in Friday, 18th May 2018 at 9.00 am,” Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu added, and entreated Members to be punctual to the briefing
The House had been on recess since Friday, March 23, 2018, and was recalled on Thursday, April 27 to consider if whether further work on the Right to Information (RTI) Bill should be done under a certificate of urgency.
The House, at the plenary voted in support of a proposal by the joint Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and Communications committee that the Bill “should be taken through the normal legislative process in accordance with Article 106 of the Constitution” of Ghana.
The determination of the committee was that “even though there is a high public interest in the matter” it does not need to be taken with a rush.
The House is back for business for the Second Meeting of the Second Session of the Seventh Parliament.
Addressing the House, the Speaker, Prof Aaron Michael Oquaye directed the Joint Committee on Constitutional Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and Communication to expedite action on the Right to Information (RTI) Bill and urged the Committee to work expeditiously on the RTI and make a report as quickly as possible in order for Members to deliberate thereof.
The Speaker took a swipe at illegal mining and called on the Member not to relent on their efforts to curb illegal mining and also work diligently to work on the other 48 bills scheduled for business during this session.
Among the remaining 48 Bills to be worked during the Meeting are the Ghana Railway Development Bill, 2018;-Occupational Safety and Health Bill, 2018; -National Commission for Tertiary Education Bill, 2018; the -Renewable Energy (Amendments) Bill, 2018; Affirmative Action Bill, 2018; -Creative Arts Bill, 2018; the -Disability Bill, 2018 and the Ghana Meteorological Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2018.
During the sitting, the House will also vet Cynthia Naa Torshie Lamptey the President’s nominee for the deputy special prosecutor position, Cynthia Lamptey, scheduled to take place on Wednesday, May 16.
According to Ms Kate Addo, Acting Director of Public Affairs of the Parliament of Ghana, 25 instruments were also expected to be laid.
She said some of the bills were at various stages.
“There are I think eight bills at the committee stage, they are the Right to Information bill, we are expecting that work will be done on it soon, there is also something about legal education which is also at the committee level, that will also be dealt with,” she said.
About 19 directives of the Speaker of Parliament from the previous meeting including; the directives on the conflict between the Fulani herdsmen and farming communities and the maltreatment of African slaves in Libya which are currently before the defence and Interior committee are also expected to be worked on and presented to the house.
Ms Addo said that members of the house would also embark on an outreach programme to Navrongo in the Upper East Region as part of activities marking their 25th anniversary.
“We’re also expecting to go to Navrongo for one of our outreach programmes during this meeting and the aim is to take parliament closer to the people”
Meanwhile, Mr Sam George, MP for Ningo Prampram complained about the welfare of the officials of the Marshal’s Office of Parliament.
He said the marshal was a key official of Parliament, but a visit to that office showed that it needed a functional air-conditioner.
Majority Leader Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu promised to draw the attention of the Clerk of the House to effect a repair of the air-conditioner.