The Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Atwima Mponua, Isaac Kwame Asiamah, yesterday shook the foundation of Parliament House when he ‘boomed’ on the floor that the Legislature is in dire need of money and this is seriously affecting the work of MPs.
The ‘no money syndrome’ which is affecting governmentbusinesses across the country, the MP noted, has reared its ugly head in Parliament, making the work of MPs very difficult.
Mr Asiamah said it is disturbing that the work of select committees of Parliament are at a standstill because there is no money for them to go round to monitor government’s projects to ensure that there is value for money.
“Mr Speaker, Parliament as an important institution is also broke and this is preventing us from doing our work as the representatives of the people,” he said.
According to the Atwima Mponua MP, anytime a committee applies for money to
carry out its planned activities, the response would be ‘there is no money’ and so “we are left with no option but to sit idle in Accra while there is a lot of work up there to be done”.
He told Parliament that what he does not understand is that when the Executive wants to carry out its activities, it finds the money to do it and when it has to provide money for the Legislature to function, the cliché is “there is no money”.
“Mr Speaker, why is it that when ministers of state or members of the Executive want to carry out Executive functions or undertake tours of the country, they find money but when it comes to Parliament the constant cry is that there is no money?” he queried.
He said from all these happenings, the only conclusion he could draw is that it could be a deliberate attempt by the Executive to stifle the work of Parliament because he suspects that when Parliament is allowed to carry out its oversight work, it may uncover ‘some rot’ in the system.
He therefore impressed upon the leadership of the House to ‘force’ the Executive to release money meant for the work of Parliament to enable it to carry out its functions effectively.
When Mr Asiamah finished making his submissions, the Minority members responded with, “where is the money?” but most Majority members were not happy with the ‘boom speech’ of the Atwima Mponua MP, raising issues with the assertion that “Parliament is broke”.
The Minister of Trade and Industry and MP for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu, said even though Parliament may be facing some “financial challenges”, it is not broke as the Atwima Mponua MP wants to portray because despite the challenges, Parliament is still
working and the committees are carrying out their functions as expected of them.
The Speaker, Edward Doe Adjaho, agreed with the assertions by the Minister, explaining that the Executive has been releasing money for the work of Parliament but just that last month’s release has delayed.
Meanwhile, Parliament has constituted a three-member ad hoc committee as mandated by the 1992 Constitution to draw up proposals and recommend to the House the appointment of an auditor to audit the accounts of the Office of the Auditor-General.
The members of the committee are the MP for Ashaiman and Deputy Majority Leader, Alfred Kwame Agbesi; MP for Dormaa Central and Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu and MP for Salaga, Ibrahim Dey Abubakari.
The MP for Wa West, Joseph Yieleh Chireh expressed the hope that the members will do a good job, stressing that the Office of the Auditor-General must also put its house in order in preparation for the audit to be carried out.
Source: Thomas Fosu Jnr/D-Guide
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