As the discussions on MPs’ loans for cars rages on, the Member of Parliament for New Edubiase Constituency in the Ashanti Region, Abdul-Salam Adams, is urging his colleagues to endeavour to purchase from local car assembling companies.
The Member of Parliament argues that buying from such companies would contribute significantly to the country’s economy.
“It would be best if we can have vehicles that are assembled here with huge local content in terms of the labour and all that. I think that would be huge for the economy.”
“Going forward I think that is where we should be looking at, boosting some of these local companies to be able to manufacture vehicles that are at the level that MPs’ and other prominent people, so to speak, vehicles they would be able to use and feel safe in them.”
So far, Toyota and Volkswagen have commenced operations in the country as part of the government’s agenda of making Ghana an automobile hub for the sub-region.
Other car manufacturing brands like Nissan are expected to start their operations soon.
To promote this agenda, the government introduced the Ghana Automotive Development Policy with a vision to make Ghana a fully integrated and competitive industrial hub for the Automotive Industry in the West Africa sub-region.
The Minister for Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, earlier this month presented a loan agreement for $28 million to Parliament for the purchase of 275 vehicles for members of the 8th Parliament.
According to the papers presented to Parliament, the loan will be sourced from the National Investment Bank, NIB.
Based on the amount and the number of individuals involved, each MP is expected to receive over $100,000 for the purchase of a vehicle.
Mixed reactions have greeted the development, with a lot of public uproars.
The North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, called on his fellow MPs to oppose the practice where government facilitates loans for MPs to purchase vehicles while a former Member of Parliament for Gomoa West, Alexander Abban, stated that the argument over the car loan agreement is unnecessary adding that members of the other arms of government are given specific treatment, but the Members of Parliament are always treated differently.
But, the Director of Public Affairs of Parliament, Kate Addo, says the backlash on Members of Parliament over a car loan agreement proposed for the purchase of vehicles for them is unfounded.
Madam Kate Addo argued that there is no need for all the criticism since the MPs will eventually pay back the loan.