The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Dormaa East, Paul Twum-Barimah, has urged the National Identification Authority (NIA) to immediately come out with plans on how it will distribute the 640,000 Ghana cards it has printed but yet to give to the owners.
He said since Ghanaians and other nationals who had registered for the Ghana cards needed the cards for business and other transactions, the authority must let the people know where they could go to collect the cards.
“The NIA is now the pivot that we are all revolving around in terms of our voters’ registration, hence the authority must stop blaming the lack of money as a hurdle in distributing printed Ghana cards,” he said
Speaking in an interview with the Daily Graphic, Mr Twum-Barimah said “You have 640,000 Ghana cards sitting in your office and you are telling us that it is all about money when you do not know how to distribute those cards.
“They should come out with a proper plan and tell us how we are going to get the 640,000 people to get hold of the cards,” he said.
Mr Twum-Barimah recounted that when the NIA boss Prof. Ken Attafuah came to Parliament, he told the House that by the year 2024, it would have registered 19 million people who would have attained the voting age.
“So, if the authority says they have issued 17 million Ghana cards, with over 640,000 printed cards sitting in their office and no one is coming for them, then there is a problem.’’
He suggested that the authority had several options at its disposal to strategically distribute the cards to the owners.
“With the 640,000 cards that are sitting in their office, is the NIA telling us that if they go to Graphic and other media outlets to announce areas where cards can be collected, the people will not go for them?
“Are they telling us that those media houses will tell them they should pay some huge money before they will make such announcements for them? It is not about money and we must tell the NIA to be serious,” he said.
Urging the authority to sit up, the MP further said “We need to tell the NIA people that you do not need money to distribute the 640,000 cards that you have”.
Gov’t to restrict importation of rice, ‘yemuadie’ and other products
The government is set to lay before Parliament today, November 21, a Constitutional Instrument (C.I) seeking to restrict the importation of selected strategic products into the country.
The items, numbering over 20, will include rice, tripe (popularly called “yemuadie” in Ghana), and diapers.
The government said the move is part of efforts to enhance local production.
Speaking during a press briefing in Parliament, the Minister of Trade and Industry, K.T Hammond said, “Stomach of animals, bladder and the chunk of intestines (yemuadie), the country had had to put in an amount of about $164 million towards the importation of these items. We are taking steps to ensure that in terms of rice, there’s no poverty of rice in the country.”
He emphasized, “By these restrictions, we are not going to ensure that there’s no food in the country at all; that is not the point at all. There have to be some efforts by the government to ensure that we go back to Acheampong’s operation feed yourself. There are about 22 items on the list, one of them, I think, is diapers.”
He announced the introduction of the Ghana Standards Authority Regulations 2023, which also seeks to streamline the manufacturing of cement to ensure competitive pricing.
Mahama doesn’t understand 24hr economy; don’t vote for him – Bawumia
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia says former President John Dramani Mahama does not understand the 24-hour economy policy he is proposing.
According to the Vice President, that policy is already being implemented in the country, as hospitals, fuel companies, among others, operate a 24-hour system.
Dr. Bawumia, therefore, urged Ghanaians to ignore Mahama during the 2024 polls since he has nothing new to offer and vote for the New Patriotic Party.
“John Mahama says he has a new idea. What is the idea? He says he wants a 24-hour economy. He doesn’t even understand that policy. Today in Ghana, our hospitals work 24 hours, our electricity company works 24 hours, our water company works 24 hours, our fuel stations work 24 hours, and many chop bars work 24 hours. Today because of digitalisation, you can transfer money 24 hours, you can receive money 24 hours… So he doesn’t understand his own policy. It doesn’t make sense.”
“So I want you to vote for me in 2024 because I will bring a new vision, I will bring a new policy. Mahama is the past, Dr Bawumia is the future. If John Mahama was there, we would say we have a dumsor economy, you can’t have a 24-hour economy in dumsor. So, you want to vote for Dr Bawumia in 2024, we will take the country to new heights,” Dr Bawumia stated.
Bagbin rebukes IMF over alleged pressure to pass some bills under certificate of urgency
The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has accused the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of pressuring the House to pass a number of bills under a certificate of urgency.
Mr. Bagbin cited bills such as the Affirmative Action Bill, which is allegedly being pushed by the IMF as part of the conditionality for the balance of the $3 billion credit facility for Ghana.
Speaking at the Speaker’s Breakfast Meeting on Monday, Alban Bagbin insisted that the House will not be coerced by the IMF to pass the bill.
“Even in this budget, you can see the arm of the IMF in a lot of provisions in the budget. A critical bill like the Affirmative Action Gender Equality Bill has come to Parliament under a certificate of urgency. Please, it won’t happen; we won’t pass it under a certificate of urgency.”
“There are critical stakeholders we must consult and make sure we go together. We will not be dictated by the IMF; that one, you can be assured. This is a very critical bill that the IMF should know that we need the buy-in of the stakeholders to be able to implement it,” Alban Bagbin said.
The Affirmative Action Bill, when passed into law, would seek to expunge the historically low representation of women in decision-making spaces and promote democracy and development through all-inclusive participation.