Parliament recalled for three-day session

ParliamentMembers of Parliament (MPs) were on Monday recalled from recess for an emergency three-day meeting to discuss important loans, financial agreements and other pressing committee reports.

Many of the members from the Majority side in attendance  wore white to signal their jubilation over the Supreme Court verdict of August 29, 2013 which affirmed President John Dramani Mahama as winner of the 2012 Presidential election.

The House which normally commences its sittings at 10.00 hours, began Monday’s session after 12 noon, after the Speaker,  Mr Edward Doe Adjaho,  had taken his seat to preside over the meeting.

Mr Adjaho used the occasion to congratulate President Mahama on his victory and Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo, flag bearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) for accepting the Supreme Court ruling, adding that it was a clear demonstration of statesmanship.

He also commended the Justices of the Supreme Court, the media, the security agencies,  religious bodies and all other institutions for ensuring that peace prevailed throughout the country.

Dr Benjamin Kumbuor, Minister of Government Business, read the business statement for the meeting saying the matters to be discussed required the action of Parliament, and that members should do well to discharge their constitutional mandate.

Papers that were laid included a credit agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Fidelity Bank Limited for an amount up to the cedi equivalence of US$24.5 million as additional funding for the completion of the conversion of the State House (Job 600) into offices for Members of Parliament.

There was also that of Mixed Credit Facility Agreement between Ghana and the African Development Bank Group for an amount of AU49.69 million (equivalent to US$76.52 million) comprising a loan amount of AU26.69 million (equivalent of US41.10) and a grant amount of AU23.00 million (equivalent to US35.42 million) to finance the Rural Enterprises Programme III (REP III).

Also, Preferential Buyer Credit loan agreement between the Government of  Ghana and the Export-Import Bank of China for an amount of US$123,409,273.10 to finance the Ghana Dedicated Security Information system project (Phase II).

Additionally, there were requests for waiver of customs duties, Value Added Tax, National Health Insurance levy, ECOWAS levy, Export Development Investment fund, Destination Inspection fees, processing fees and withholding tax amounting to US$670,949.00 on goods and equipment required for the implementation of the Rural Enterprise Programme under the Financing Agreement between the Government  of Ghana and the International Fund for Agriculture Development for an amount of SDR19,700,000, equivalent to US$31,500,000.00

Other reports laid by Dr Kumbuor included the annual report of the Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands for the year 2010, Office of the Administrator of stool lands for the year 2011, Forestry Commission report for the year 2011, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice report for the year 2010, Ghana Meteorological Agency report for 2012, Postal and Courier Services Regulatory Commission report for the year 2009.

In addition, there were semi-annual reports of the Bank of Ghana on the Petroleum Holding Fund and the Ghana Petroleum Funds for the periods July 1-December 31, 2012,  semi annual reports of the Bank of Ghana on the petroleum holding funds and the Ghana Petroleum funds for the period January 1-June 30, 2013.

Mr Adjaho adjourned the House to reconvene  Tuesday at 1400 hours to enable the various committees to work on the reports in the morning.

He commended members for attending in spite of the short notice of recall and urged the leadership to consult with all the relevant agencies for clarification on any of the reports where necessary, to enable the House to complete the work within the specified time frame.

Source: GNA

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