This Week in Parliament [10-13 October, 2017]

Highlights of what MPs discussed from 10-13 October, 2017

  • Minority demand government statement on Libya’s ISIS report

The Minority caucus on the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament addressed the Press on Tuesday 10 October 2017, demanding government’s response to allegations by the Head of investigations at the Attorney General Office of Libya, Al-Seddiq al-Sou re the membership of some Ghanaians in the terror group, ISIS, in Libya.

According to Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, ranking member of the foreign affairs committee, revelations from an enquiry commissioned by the Libyan government indicates that some Ghanaians have been caught fighting for the Islamic state group.

The minority caucus are demanding nine actions and reactions altogether from government, including assurances of safety to Ghanaians and a swift response to Libya and its international partners due to the potential damage the inquiry report can do to Ghana’s image.

On the same day, the Majority caucus reacted to the earlier mentioned issues explaining that Ghana’s Foreign Affairs Ministry is already investigating the allegations brought up by the Libya government and that, the minority only sought to score political points with their press conference.

  • Government to deploy drones to fight galamsey

Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu says the government will soon deploy drones among other modern technology tools in its efforts against ‘’galamsey’’. He mentioned this on the floor of Parliament in one of his answers to the questions asked by MPs: Ras Mubarak (Kumbungu), Simon Acheampong Tampi (Tatale/Sanguli) and Isaac Adjei Mensah (Wassa East). Mr Amewu said government has designed a ‘’holistic framework’’ aimed at ‘’sanitizing the small scale mining landscape.’’ The framework is termed as the ‘Multilateral Mining Integrated Programme’ (MMIP) which is a sustainable concept that will bring together stakeholders in dealing with the galamsey menace. The project will be implemented for five years, at a total estimated cost of US$200 million.

  • Parliament ratifies the Marrakesh Treaty

The ‘’Marrakesh Treaty’’ is to facilitate access to published works by persons who are blind or visually impaired - the document was ratified by Parliament on Tuesday which now makes it a law, ensuring that access to printed information is available for persons who are blind in Ghana. Contributing to the motion on the floor, John Majisi (MP, Krachi Nchumuru) said that MPs owe it a duty to their constituents including the visually impaired easily accessible information.

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu (MP, Tamale South) indicated that Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection which is a key stakeholder was not consulted in the process of ratifying the treaty, but urged the aforesaid ministry together with the Ministry of Employment and Labour to work concertedly in the implementation of the treaty.

The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu (MP, Suame) added that the ‘’purpose of [Marrakesh Treaty] is indeed to broaden the sphere of education of blind people’’.

Some members of the Blind Union who followed the debate from the public gallery of the house chamber could not hide their joy when Parliament finally ratified the Marrakesh Treaty.

  • Northern and Middle Belt Development Authority Bills at consideration stage; Coastal Development Authority Bill goes through second reading

The Government of Ghana’s flagship Northern Development Authority and Middle Belt Development Authority Bills went through consideration stage this week with proposed amendments to be made on each. Meanwhile, the Coastal Development Authority Bill went through a second reading.

Meanwhile, the third of government’s new development Bills which will create a ‘Coastal Development Authority’, went through second reading.

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©2017 This Week In Parliament