North Tongu Constituency lawmaker, Mr. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has defused claims that the Finance Minister received the information to present the President’s flight expense to parliament late stressing that it has been two weeks since receiving the request which even surpasses the official ten working days allowed for him to respond.
The Member of Parliament on the ticket of the opposition NDC noted that it has been one excuse after the other anytime the issue comes to the floor of Parliament stating other instances that could incur the wrath of the speaker to charge the Minister for contempt.
Okudzeto Ablakwa filed a memorandum to the business committee of Parliament expressing his displeasure with the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta’s back and forth promises.
“From 14th [June], I had to send this memo on the 1st of June. There have been two business statements after. More than two weeks. And anytime I have raised the matter on the floor, the majority leader will say that ‘you know it will be answered he still needs more time. Just give us more time’. And you ask for a specific timeline. That more time what does it mean? What is the specific timeline? We are not being told,” he added.
Arguing his point on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana, Friday, Okudzeto Ablakwa said the promises were not definite and that was what instigated him to file in the memorandum adding that the Finance Minister and Defense Minister’s questions were filed at the same time yet the latter has granted his response to the house.
“And we are setting such bad precedence where we are creating a super minister as I said in the memo where the whole of parliament, this whole arm of government, this institution of parliament becomes a puppet to just one minister. He decides on his whim and caprice at his pleasure when he will come and respond to a question. And it appears that the chairman of the business committee, the majority leader is helpless and he can’t give you any date, any timelines,” he said on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana, July 2.
Mr. Ablakwa indicated that providing answers to Parliament is such an important time in the House stating “this is Parliament and parliamentary question time is so important”
“I know of other ministers even this week the sports minister was late to answer his question. He was queried by the speaker. His explanation was that he was on his way when he received a call that the President is meeting with our Olympic team before they depart and as sports minister, he needs to be there. So he abandoned parliamentary business and went to attend to the President’s call. The speaker told him in clear language that you cannot treat parliament with such contempt and that this is your last warning. And that your primary responsibility is to parliament because that is the house of the peoples’ representatives and this country, it is the people who are sovereign,” he added.