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Minority Caucus To Challenge Approval Of E-Levy In Court | Politics

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The Minority in Parliament has served notice of intent to challenge the passage of the Electronic Transfer (E-Levy) bill by Parliament at the Supreme Court after they (the Minority Caucus) had staged a walked out earlier in the day.

Addressing the press, Minority Leader, Hon. Haruna Iddrisu said Parliament did not have a decision making quorum of 138 members in the chamber when the bill was passed, hence the passage of the bill was illegal and unconstitutional.

This is a charade,” he said at a press conference in Parliament, adding that “there is no E-levy.

The majority of less than 137 conducting businesses only proceeded on illegal and unconstitutional business. Parliament did not have the numbers to take any decision that should binding Parliament and Ghanaians.

“I think they have to come again on E-levy because as of today, I don’t think they had the numbers to say that the E-levy has been passed. We will question this decision in [the Supreme] court on the basis of the earlier ruling and on the basis of the fact that they said we can’t take a decision with 137 [members], but they can take with 137,” he said.

Parliament, on Tuesday, passed the Electronic Transfer Levy in the absence of the Minority MPs, who had walked out before the Bill was considered at the second reading stage.

The Minority had complained that it had been taken by surprise by the unexpected consideration of the levy.

The E-levy was not listed in Parliament’s business statement for this week.

Source: Emmanuel Akorli/Peace Fm

 

 

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Alan Kyeremanten Urges Developing Nations To Put Trade AT Centre Of National Development Agenda | Politics

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Ghana’s Trade and Industry Minister, Honorable Alan Kyerematen, has called on African leaders to prioritize trade and industry as key the development of the continent.

Hon Kyerematen urged leadership of African countries and stakeholders to lean towards the trade sector as the missing piece in the jigsaw of the continent’s development agenda.

Speaking at the 13th World Trade Promotion Organisation Conference & Awards ceremony on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 at the Labadi Beach Hotel in Accra, Hon Kyerematen said, cited examples of how small and medium scale businesses adopted measures to enable them cope with challenges at the height of the COVID pandemic.

“On the economic front, small businesses, large companies and other organizations did not wait for the virus to disappear before they got back to work. On the contrary, with the support of technology, they opened up to new ideas to promote their businesses, try new business ideas and adapt to the new times.

“Everyone was motivated to dig into their creativity and innovation and make the best of the situation they found themselves in.
I have been particularly amazed at the tenacity displayed by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. Their boldness and courage to take on new business and ideas at the risk of potential failure, has been simply amazing”, Hon. Kyeremanten said.

On the need for immediate take off in the economy, the Minister called for the immediate return to the trade and industry arena to as a means of reviving various sectors of the economy for quick growth.

“If there was ever a time in the history of the world that nations around the globe require ‘bold solutions for resilience and recovery’ that time is now. Events of the past two years and indeed the last few months, have been extraordinary in their devastating impact on social lives as well as on the global economy”, he said.

Mr. Kyerematen said the important role played by
MSMEs in employing majority of the world’s workforce made it imperative for them to be supported to ensure the success of their businesses.

He urged the conference, as Trade Promotion Organisations to adopt innovative ways for the viability of MSMEs as means of tapping into the huge youthful population of the continent for development.

He enumerated seven points which would help TPOs to effectively play the role that is expected of them.

These include:
The need for governments around the world, particularly in developing countries, to put trade at the center of their development agenda. Trade must be mainstreamed in national development plans. Programmes and projects that enhance trade must be aggressively pursued by TPOs.
Secondly, TPOs must identify specific areas where global trade disruptions have created opportunities for scaling up local production in their national economy, and build partnerships with private sector business associations to take advantage of such opportunities.
Thirdly, TPOs should identify existing or potential exporting companies that can leverage opportunities for exports, particularly to regional markets arising from trade disruptions in the supply of goods to those markets.

The other factors were that:
TPOs should facilitate the use of regional value chains to exploit market opportunities around the world for MSMEs.
Fifthly, Trade and Investment Promotion Organizations where they operate independently of each other, must enhance the level of collaboration between them, to attract investments into the domestic economy that will facilitate both domestic and foreign trade.
Sixth, TPOs must enhance the use and deployment of digital platforms in facilitating trade across borders.
Seventh, the role of regional markets and intra-regional trade must be prioritized by TPOs in programming technical support and assistance for MSMEs. In this regard, TPOs on the African continent must work actively to support the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement, Mr. Kyerematen said.

Source: Peacefmonline.com

 

 

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Achimota Forest Saga: Mike Hammah Exposes NDC? | Politics

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Former Minister of Lands and Natural Resources under the erstwhile John Evan Atta Mills regime, Mike Hammah has exposed members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) over the de-classification of the Achimota Forest Reserve.

Mr Hammah corroborated the explanations given by Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor following outbursts by some members of his party.

There were accusations from some members of the NDC including Minority in Parliament and some social media followers that the government had sold portions of the reserve to private developers.

According to the Minority in Parliament, the decision to classify the Achimota forest as not a forest reserve any longer is dangerous and does not reflect the avowed objective of keeping the only green area in Accra and to a large extent restoring deforested land in the country.

They said without doubt the Achimota Forest is the only existing greenbelt in Ghana’s capital city, Accra and any decision on that land should either add more ecological value to it or enhance its present value.

However, the government debunked such accusations.

The minister, Samuel Jinapor, at a press conference on Tuesday evening, explained that the Executive Instrument, E.I. 144, pertained to 361 acres of peripherals of the Achimota forest that the government is returning to its custodial owners, identified as the Owoo family because the land was not being used for its intended purpose, which included the extension of the Achimota School.

Mr. Jinapor stressed that “The constitution protects citizens from being deprived of their properties. It also talks about the government ensuring that when it acquires land, it ensures prompt, fair, and adequate compensation is paid to the original landowners. If the government doesn’t use the land for a very long time, the government will have to return it to its pre-acquisition owners. And the pre-acquisition owners here are the Owoo family.

“The key thing here is about biodiversity and not to go in there and clear the portion for buildings. You maintain what is there and even improve on it for development. So aside from spending money to protect the forest, you get some from tourism. The EI will not even allow for the [building of apartments] because it is not part of the plans.”

Confirming the statement by government, Mike Hammah under whose tenure a committee was set up to look into the petition from the Owoo family stated that the government is acting in the right direction.

According to him, “Yes, there was a petition from the Owoo family, and the reason being that, over the years, the government has acquired a lot of the land and some compensation has not been paid. They thought that they were being denied their land.”

“Under the circumstances, we set up a committee to look into the petition and come up with recommendations consistent with our policy directions; moving away from the consumption value of the forest to the non-consumption value of the forest and promoting ecotourism and biodiversity conservation. That is what I inherited from my predecessor, Collins Dauda”, Mike Hammah told Accra based Citi FM.

The family’s quest to retain its land dates back to 2007 when it petitioned President John Agyekum Kufuor for the release of the portion of the Forest Reserve adjoining the Tema motorway.

After consultations between the Presidency, it was recommended that the petition be granted.

Information available to DGN Online indicates that somewhere in 2011, the Owoo Family, submitted another petition to the then Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, for the grant of portions of the Forest Reserve.

The Minister constituted a committee to inquire into the legitimacy of the request that was eventually granted.

Read below the background as outlined by the government:

In 1921, the Government of the then Gold Coast, by a Certificate of Title dated 16th December 1921, made under the Public Lands Ordinance, 1876, acquired from the Owoo Family the parcel of land on which the Achimota School is situated.

Subsequently, by another Certificate of Title dated 17th May, 1927, the Government acquired from the same Family another tract of land measuring approximately four hundred and seventy-nine (479) hectares as an extension to the Achimota School. Although there are receipts indicating payment of compensation for the 1921 acquisition, there are no records of payment of compensation for the 1927 acquisition.

By an Order 31 of 1930, dated July 17, 1930, the Government, pursuant to its power under the Forests Act, 1927, (Cap 157), constituted the land acquired in 1927, as a Forest Reserve for the purposes of Fuel Wood Plantation for Achimota School.

Following several encroachments on the Forest Reserve, the pre-acquisition owners, the Owoo Family, in 2007, submitted a petition to the then President, H.E. John Agyekum Kufuor, for the release of the portion of the Forest Reserve adjoining the Tema motorway. After consultations between the Office of the President and the relevant bodies, it was recommended that that portion of the Forest Reserve be released to the Owoo Family. This culminated in an Agreement dated 24th November 2008 between the Government, acting by the then Ministry of Lands, Forestry and Mines, and the Owoo Family for the grant of a lease over ninety (90) acres of the land to the Owoo Family for a term of ninety-nine (99) years. The Lease agreement was however not executed as agreed.

In 2011, the Owoo Family, submitted another petition to the then Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Mike Hammah, for the grant of portions of the Forest Reserve. The Minister constituted a committee, chaired by the then Chairman of the then Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Mr. Samuel Afari Dartey, to inquire into the legitimacy of the request and its impact on the Forest Reserve.

The Committee after its investigations concluded that the request of the Owoo Family was legitimate.

The Minister then, sought executive approval to implement the recommendations of the Committee.

On 5th September, 2013, the then President of the Republic, H.E. John Dramani Mahama, gave Executive Approval for the conversion of the Forest Reserve into an Ecotourism Park, and to release the peripheral portions of the Forest Reserve to the Owoo Family, in accordance with the recommendations of the Committee.

Pursuant to the said Executive Approval, the Forestry Commission, acting on behalf of the then President, H.E. John Dramani Mahama, three (3) leases executed in September 2013, granted these portions of the Forest Reserve to the Owoo Family for a term of ninety-nine (99) years. The Family then registered the land in its name and granted sub-leases to other private developers with the consent of the Forestry Commission. However, because the land remained a Forest Reserve, by virtue of Order 31 of 1930, the lessees and sub-lessees could not develop the land, although they had obtained all the necessary permits.

Pursuant to the same Executive Approval, the Forestry Commission, acting on behalf of the then President of the Republic, H.E. John Dramani Mahama, entered into an agreement with Aikan Capital, a limited liability company for the development of the core area of the Forest into an Ecotourism Park. The Commission also executed a lease agreement with the company in February 2016, by which 227.84 hectares of the Forest Reserve were leased to the company to undertake the planned development.

The Owoo Family and their grantees, in a bid to develop the peripheral portions of the land which had already been granted to them, continued to petition Government to release the peripheral portions as a Forest Reserve. The government, after assessing the entire situation, and based on the advice of the Forestry Commission, that the ecological integrity of the Forest Reserve will not be compromised by the Release, decided to release the peripheral portions of the land from the Forest Reserve.

This led to the publication of the two instruments, the Forests (Cessation of Forest Reserve) Instrument, 2022 (E.I 144), and the Forests (Achimota Firewood Plantation Forest Reserve) (Amendment) Instrument, 2022 (E.I. 154). The first makes the peripheral portions of the Forest Reserve, which had already been granted to the Owoo Family in 2013, with portions developed, cease to be a Forest Reserve. The second, amend the area of the land that should continue as a Forest Reserve.
However, as part of measures to ensure that the area of the Forest is not compromised, both Instruments contain provisions that restrict the nature of the development that can take place on the land. Under E.I. 144 for example, before any development can take place on the peripheral portions of the Forest that has ceased to be a Forest Reserve.

Land Use and Spatial Authority shall prepare a Master Plan for the development of the area, taking into consideration the ecological integrity of the remaining portions of the Forest Reserve.

The Master Plan must be approved by the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, acting on the advice of the Forestry Commission;

No development can take place without the express approval of the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, taking into consideration the ecological integrity of the Forest.

Source: Vincent Kubi/Daily Guide

 

 

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.

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Wranglings In PNC: Apasera Declares NEC Meeting Null, Void | Politics

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The leader of the People’s National Convention (PNC), David Apasera, has declared a purported National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party, held last Thursday, as null and void.

He also asked the rank and file of the party to disregard the alleged dismissal of himself (Apasera) and the National Chairman, Moses Dani Baah, by the General Secretary of the party, Ms Janet Nabla.

At a press conference in Accra last Thursday, Ms Nabla announced that the NEC had met and decided to terminate the membership of Messrs Apasera and Dani Baah.

They were dismissed for allegedly breaching Article 14 (b) of the party’s constitution which states that, “A member of the party, who is in breach of the above, shall be liable to dismissal under this constitution, except otherwise agreed by the National Delegates’ Congress upon an appeal by the said member of the party.”

The decision to dismiss the two came on the heels of a press conference held by the leader of the party, Mr Apasera, last Friday, May 6, 2022, to announce the suspension of six of its regional and national executive indefinitely for contravening Article 67 of the party’s constitution.

Those suspended were the Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the party, Bala Maikankan; Ashanti Regional Secretary of the PNC, Sulemana Seidu; the Northern Regional Secretary, Suale Karim; the Ashanti Regional Youth Organiser, Muniru Seidu; the Central Regional Secretary, Samuel Adeyfio, and the Second National Vice-Chairman, Henry Haruna Asante.

Their suspension also followed a petition brought before the disciplinary committee for the necessary recommendations to be made against a purported NEC meeting held in Kumasi during which the suspended executives were found to have contravened the party’s constitution.

Press conference

But at a counter-press conference held in Accra on May 17, 2022, Mr Apasera said the meeting convened by Ms Nabla was illegal and hence its decisions were “null and void.”

“All their pronouncements and communique are null and void and only meant to confuse our supporters, sympathisers and the Ghanaian people; we call upon all and sundry to disregard all statements emanating from the so-called NEC meeting of May 12, 2022, with the contempt that they deserve,” Mr Apasera stressed.

He said to help end the ongoing internal wrangling within the party, the leadership had filed a writ at the High Court in Accra to restrain Ms Nabla and the Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the party, Bala Malkanka, who are both currently on suspension, from holding themselves out as executives of the party.

Mr Apasera said that the leadership was convinced that when the High Court finally made a declaration on the matter, it would put to rest the current wrangling and bickering in the party.

Facts by leadership

He explained that the current executive board of the party was elected into office by the party’s National Delegates Congress on September 30, 2020, and assumed office the next day (October 1, 2020).

The first NEC meeting, he noted, was held on February 27, 2021, where the first ever financial report of the party was read to the hearing of all present.

 

Source: graphiconline.com

 

 

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.

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