The Member of Parliament for Yapei/Kusawgu, John Jinapor, says it’s untrue that MPs unanimously approved a loan agreement between the government and the World Bank for an amount of $200 million to finance the Ghana Digital Acceleration Project.
He said it will be unfair for anyone to blame the Minority caucus for the passage of the loan agreement adding that they vehemently opposed the loan agreement, but the numbers did not favour them.
Speaking on Eyewitness News with Umaru Sanda Amadu, the ranking member on Parliament’s Mines and Energy Committee, explained that the loans were approved solely by the Majority.
He argued that Ghanaians are faced with economic challenges and passing the loan agreement will worsen the situation.
“It’s not true that the House unanimously approved those loans. If you look at the committee’s report it will tell you that it was by Majority decision. The committee’s report will attest to the fact that the Minority side objected. So the Majority carried the day by one single vote”.
“Today, the voice vote clearly indicated that we, the Minority side gave an emphatic no. The Speaker gave it to the Majority side because they have the numbers. If anybody wants to blame the Minority for the insensitivity and incompetence of this government, I think that it will be very unfortunate and unfair,” he explained.
The Deputy Finance Minister, Dr. John Kumah noted that the loans are not new agreements but loans already contracted.
“These are not new loans, they are loans we have already taken on in our books. We want to put it on record that these are loans we have already contracted on our books and require Parliamentary approval. Parliament just approved the agreement between government and Development Bank Ghana. These are not new loans, they are loans we have already taken on in our books. We want to put it on record that these are loans we have already contracted on our books and require Parliamentary approval,” Mr. Kumah said.
Responding to this, John Jinapor lashed out at the Deputy Finance Minister for being disingenuous with his comment on the loan agreements.
“The Deputy Finance Minister was being disingenuous, to say the least. John Kumah should take his time, learn from past experience and move away from this narrative because it will not help him at all,” he asserted.
The House also approved an amount of $150 million dollars for the financing of the West Africa Food System Resilience Programme phase 2 under the Multi-phase programmatic approach.
Parliament also approved an on-lending agreement between the government and the Development Bank Ghana for an amount of £170 million Euros to support the establishment of a financially sustainable development Bank.
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.