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General News of Friday, 10 July 2009

Source: GNA

MPs worried over house-keeping arrangement ahead of Obama's visit

Accra, July 10, GNA - Members of Parliament on Friday raised concern over sitting arrangements, security and other house-keeping matters as the House convenes at the Accra International Conference Centre on Saturday to receive US President Barak Obama who is expected in the country tonight.

Members raised issues with accreditation, how to get through the tight security without embarrassment and how to secure seats. The issue came up on the floor of the House after Majority Leader, Mr Alban Bagbin presented the business agenda and informed members that the House was expected to sit at the conference centre with members seated at 0900 hours and Mrs Justice Joyce Bamford-Addo, the Speaker presiding over the meeting to receive President John Atta Mills and President Obama.

The Majority Leader said Parliament would sit from 0900 to 1300 hours and urged members to turn up in traditional outfits to showcase the rich culture of Ghana to the world outside.

He said matters of accreditation and other concerns raised by the members would be duly addressed as the leadership is expected to meet to finalise arrangement for Saturday's sitting. Meanwhile, Mr Bagbin informed members that a number of Ministers of State would attend upon the House next week to respond to about 32 questions as the Parliament winds up on business on July 17, in anticipation of recess.

Later, Ms Shirley Ayittey, Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, who was in the House to respond to a question, said the Ministry was putting in a strong case for a review of the Mining Law, Act 703 to deal with surface mining in forest reserves. She said surface mining in such areas degraded the environment, deprived communities access to arable land and allowed mining companies to do very little by way of social responsibilities. Ms Ayittey She was responding to a question on the effects of surface mining at Tontokrom, Takorase and Bonteso in the Amansie West Constituency and measures to address the clashes between the mining companies and communities. 10 July 09