As parliament prepares to rise today, the Minority has criticized government for using its numbers in the House to approve over 900 million dollars in one week.
As at yesterday, parliament was expected to approve a 398 million dollars buyers’ credit agreement between government and EXIM Bank of India to finance the construction of an 84.8km railway line between Tema and Akosombo.
In addition, there is an outstanding 72 million Euros loan facility for expansion works at the Kumasi Airport, yet to be approved.
Speaking to Citi Business News, the Member of Parliament for the New Juaben South constituency, Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah criticized President John Mahama for using executive approval to get all the loan agreements to parliament.
“We are approving $900m in just one week. By the time we rise on Thursday [today] we would have approved $900m in loans. All of them have come to Parliament by executive approval,” he said.
By this, he explained that the documents and the projects were not discussed at cabinet level to examine the viability of some of the contracts.
“He[President Mahama] does not sit with Cabinet to consult and he brings it alone; I don’t know if he has expertise; he decides on this all alone,” Dr. Assibey-Yeboah alleged.
“It is not for nothing that the constitution says there shall be a cabinet consisting of not less than 19 ministers so that everybody brings his views on board, but the President alone brings these to Parliament by executive approval and we hurriedly pass them,” he noted.
Expressing more worries over the issue, Dr. Assibey-Yeboah lamented that parliament is also not granted enough time to scrutinize the bills to block and remove items that may have escaped the executive.
He stated that no matter the position of the minority group in parliament, government always secures majority approval.
“It is a game of numbers and you can say all you want, but at the end of the day, it is put to numbers and the majority carries the vote,” he said.
“We are in a lot of danger because try accessing US$900m from the IMF and you will see the amount of documentation you will have to go through…they make aid development over a three a year period and you are approving US$900m over four days; I think this is not the best way to run this economy,” he argued.
By: Lawrence Segbefia/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana