Bagbin lacks power to block €75m loan deal – Annoh-Dompreh | Parliament
Major Chief Whip Frank Annoh-Dompreh lamented the direction given by Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin to Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to report on Ghana’s COVID-19 expenditure before a request for loan can be approved.
According to him, the President’s action was unfortunate since he did not have the power to issue such directives of his own volition.
The Major Chief Whip, who was speaking at a press conference in Accra, said only MPs can conclude on such a decision for the Speaker to communicate only.
“…the President has no personality of his own. Such a decision must be the sense of home. He [Bagbin] cannot communicate his own decision, especially when he is not a Member of Parliament. The feeling at home at the time is that the question should not be asked, but it was not that the finance minister should come to the house first to report,” he said. .
Furthermore, Annoh-Dompreh, who is also an MP for Nsawam/Adoagyiri, added that the government is not shirking responsibility for its COVID-19 related expenses as some people claim.
“Nobody shy away from accountability, but that was not what the house said. When the majority leader returns, we will hire the president. In future, we don’t want to have any jokes with the speaker, but where we think things need to be clarified, we will find a diplomatic way to reach out to ensure that we have peace for the advancement and execution of the work of parliament,” he added.
The Speaker of Parliament has summoned Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to appear before the House with details of money received and spent on behalf of Covid-19, after a £75million loan deal was canceled euros between the Government of Ghana and the European Union. Investment Bank, EIB for the Covid-19 Health Response Project in Ghana.
Members of the Minority Caucus led by Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam MP Cassiel Ato Forson have questioned the finance minister’s failure to properly account for funds received in the name of the pandemic so far.
Another minority MP, Ho West MP, Emmanuel Bedzra then threatened to mobilize NDC MPs to vote against the loan since the President himself has, thanks to the easing of Covid restrictions, given an indication that the worst of the pandemic is over.
Chief Majority Whip Frank Annor-Dompreh, sensing the mood in the house, begged the president to back out of the deal.
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