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General News of Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

RTI Bill, kidnappings in focus as Parliament returns from recess today

Members of Parliament will later today [Tuesday], convene from recess to begin the first meeting of the third session of the seventh Parliament.

Given the assurances by the leadership of the house, the Right to Information Bill which is currently at the Consideration stage is expected to be passed during this session.

The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, set the end of February 2019 as the latest deadline for the passage of the RTI Bill following pressure from civil society groups.

“The Bill has seen several years and several parliaments and it is tricky in many ways. The budget and other important matters also came our way. We have done 80% of the work already and we will finish the bill fully I believe and professionally on or before the end of February 2019,” he said in his closing remarks ahead of the Christmas break.

The Local Content Bill, Affirmative Action Bill, Disability Bill and the Corporate Insolvency Bill are among other notable Bills expected to be considered.

This session of the House will host also President Nana Akufo-Addo for the State of the Nation Address in line with Article 67 of the Constitution.

The winner of the yet-to-be conducted Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election will also be sworn in as a member of the House following the death of its MP, Emmanuel Kyeremateng Agyarko.

Summons over kidnappings

An issue expected to be tackled in Parliament is the security concerns following the kidnapping of three girls in the Western Region.

Ruth Quayson, Priscilla Blessing Bentum and Priscilla Koranchie who were kidnapped from the Sekondi-Takoradi area in the between August 2018 and January 2019.

The Chairman of the Interior and Defense committee of Parliament, Seth Acheampong, has disclosed that the Inspector General of Police (IGP), David Asante Appeatu, is later this week expected to honour an invitation to Parliament to answer questions on the kidnapping concerns.

The Ministers of Defence and National Security respectively, Dominic Nitiwul and Albert Kan-Dapaah, are also expected in Parliament on the same matter.

Mr. Acheampong said the invitation was needed to enable them to provide the public with a first-hand update on the cases.

“We are going to get the IGP to testify before the committee. We are going to write to them and get them prepared. This week they are coming to us. The Interior Minister will come with who we need from his sector to give us some level of assurance that the country is safe. Then, we will also write to the National Security Minister,” the MP said on Citi TV’s Point of View.