This Week In Parliament [13-17 November, 2017]

Highlights of what MPs discussed 13-17 November

  • Finance Minister presents 2018 budget

As required by law, the 2018 national budget was laid before Parliament on Wednesday 15 November by the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori Atta. According to the Minister, the government has turned the economy around through prudent economic policies which have restored hope and brought development to Ghanaians. Among others, the Finance Minister stated that the 2018 budget will:

a. Ensure fiscal discipline;

b. Create jobs for women through special procurement policies;

c. Offer a 5-year tax exemption to entrepreneurs who are 25 years old and below;

d. Recommend for a reduction in electricity tariffs;

e. Ensure a further increase in capitation grant from GHS9 to GHS10;

f. Abolish duties, support start-ups, launch a pension scheme for cocoa farmers and a commodities exchange market

Access the full 2018 budget statement here: http://bit.ly/2zLey0k

Access highlights of budget statement here: http://bit.ly/2AOFnNW

Access 2018 budget appendix which contains macroeconomic projections and indicators, execution of 2017 budget, and current allocations to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and other government bodies here: http://bit.ly/2A6JCZ7

  • Energy Minister responds to questions

Mr. Boakye Agyarko, Minister of Energy was in Parliament to respond to questions from Dr, Sebastian Ngmemenso Sandaare (MP, Daffiama/Bussie/Issa), Mr. Simon Acheampong Tampi (MP, Tatale/Sanguli), Mr. Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah (MP, Ellembele), Mr. Andrew Dari Chiwitey (MP, Sawla/Tuna/Kalba), Mr. Mutawakilu Adam (MP, Damongo) and Dr. Kwabena Donkor (MP, Pru East).

Below are some of the Minister’s responses:

  • Repair works on the turret of the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah also referred to as the Turret Remediation Project (TRP) are being tackled in two phases. Phase I entails activities under the interim solution whilst Phase II deals with long term solution (permanent spread mooring). The aspect of the TRP currently being undertaken is Bearing Stabilization of the turret which is the last stage of the interim solution. It is expected to be completed by December 2017 to pave way for the start of the long term solution.

  • Oil and gas production will be interrupted in 2018 with two shutdowns of three weeks each on January 18, 2018 and March 7, 2018 to enable repair works. Steps are being taken to optimize number of shutdowns and minimize shutdown duration. Interruptions in gas supply during temporary shutdowns will be compensated by gas from the newly commissioned TEN field.

  • The West African Gas pipeline (WAGP) Reverse Flow Project is progressing steadily and is on course to be completed before First Gas from the Sankofa-Gye Nyame field, expected by the end of second quarter of 2018.

  • Nyori, Toyenpari, Dakyie, Kamahegu and Banonoyiri communities form part of the Ministry’s on-going Self-Help Electrification Programme (SHEP-5) in the Upper West Region. Pole planting is currently ongoing in the communities. Electrification projects in the Kpaributabu, Nahuyili, Sangbaan, Bulkpali and Sheini in the Tatale-Sanguli District also form part of SHEP-5. The project in the above communities has been scheduled for completion by the end of the second quarter of 2018.

  • Parliament marks World Diabetes Day

The global prevalence of diabetes has doubled since the 1980s, according to Dr. Bernard Oko Boye (MP, Ledzorkuku). In his statement to Parliament on Thursday, he urged expectant mothers to regularly have their blood sugar levels checked during the second and third trimesters of their pregnancy. He revealed that an increase in the blood sugar levels of pregnant women result in the loss of the unborn child’s life – an event known as Gestational Diabetes.

The MP for Klottey Korley, Dr Zanetor Agyeman Rawlings called on the managers of the National School Feeding Programme to ensure high nutritional value in meals prepared for school children.

  • Update: Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill, 2017

Consideration of the Special Prosecutor Bill was concluded and passed on Tuesday 14 November. The bill now awaits Presidential assent to become law.

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©2017 This Week In Parliament