By Maxwell Nkansah
The Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has revealed that he and some of his colleague lawmakers from across the political divide have made progress in getting parliament to reject the $28million car loan facility for the legislators.
He stated that he and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP, Patrick Boamah cosponsored a private member’s motion which the Speaker admitted for urgent debate this week.
Further stated that he is glad they made major progress today in their efforts to have Parliament reject the US$28million MPs’ car loan facility. “Really elated that my colleague NPP MP, Patrick Boamah and I cosponsored a private member’s motion which the Rt. Hon. Speaker admitted for urgent debate this week,”.
Mr Boamah who is the Vice-Chairman of Parliament’s Finance Committee has said that if he has his way, he will tell the legislators to reject the facility. According to him, if he has his way he will tell the colleague MPs to reject that facility for the simple reason that all the other arms of government vehicles are procured for them without having to go through this process where the media is always on the back of MP s for contracting a loan.
Ghana’s Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has submitted to parliament for approval a loan agreement of $28 million pending consideration by the Finance Committee. This is for the purchase of 275 vehicles for members of the 8th Parliament.
This move has divided opinions among members of the Ghanaian public on whether or not this is a good decision in the midst of the severe economic hardship Ghanaians are saddled with. But another lawmaker with the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Yusif Sulemana who is representing the people of Bole, expressed concerns about the backlash lawmakers are receiving regarding this loan facility.
He said “In some cases when MPs are living office the vehicles are even auctioned to them. That comes with a huge cost but the people are not aware of this and so the general public is not even looking at this. According to him all they hear is that MPs are taking loan to buy vehicles. This is a loan we are taking and the loan will be paid back. By four years is ended I should have paid back the loan. So I don’t see where the problem is. I don’t blame them because we have refused to engage them and to explain to them exactly what is happening.”