National Watch, a pro-Democracy pressure group has expressed alarm about the continuous abandonment of assigned mandate by some Parliamentarians on the Minority side of the house for non-development oriented ones.
According to the group, the Minority among many things has the mandate to always proffer cogent alternative policy ideas to that of government.
But in a release signed by Koku Mawuli Nanegbe, Spokesperson of the group, National Watch accused the Minority of having held a “total of fourteen press conferences so far this year” yet, “a chunk of the press conferences failed to highlight critical policy issues or alternatives”.
To the group, the Minority seem to have succeeded either in “misinformation” or reproducing implemented or ongoing policies of government.
A typical example, in the view of the group, is the four point proposal the Minority provided as policy alternatives, which were already being implemented by government.
“…Curiously, the claim of mismanagement of Petroleum Stabilization Funds would needlessly linger even though swiftly dealt with by the Ministry of Finance. African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) initially raised it, followed by Daily Guide Newspaper both alleging GH¢494.6 million as the amount mismanaged. On the hills of that is the US$177 million withdrawal claim by Hon. Assibey Yeboah in his press conference”.
Below is a portion of the June 2, 2014 Ministry of Finance timely response:
“We would plead with ACEP and other stakeholders to research well and verify matters of public interest and help educate the public rather than peddling untruths which require public officials to spend precious time to rebut. We believe that ACEP should have consulted the Ministry on the matter before rushing to the press.
The ministry has also welcomed calls by ACEP for Parliament to investigate the utilization of the excess revenues accruing to the Ghana Stabilization Fund.
“We would like to place on record that our management of petroleum revenue has been in line with the PRMA. We, therefore, accept the challenge by ACEP for an investigation to be carried out on the use of the excess funds over the GSF cap in order to put this matter to rest,” the statement stressed.
The group sighted another case it describes as “misinformation” when Hon Joe Osei Owusu, Ranking member on the Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs in the company of other colleagues on May 7, 2014 addressed the press and accused the Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho of taking unilateral decisions on the Constitution Review Commission’s recommendations on entrenched provisions in the 1992 Constitution.
“We in the Minority, regret to observe that the whole process of Constitutional amendment is turning out to be nothing other than an executive review of the national constitution,” Hon Joe Osei Owusu read out.
The National Watch believes the address attempted to hoodwink unsuspecting public into believing that something untoward was happening, and hoped that by these few exposures, Ghanaians would be aware of the “unproductive” schemes of the Minority.
They however implored the Minority to “endeavor to back off the unproductive road of deception spree for an acceptable one of reasonably demonstrating readiness to govern, in proffering cogent alternative policy ideas and solutions in debates, discussions etc in building a Better Ghana as guaranteed and assigned to them by both the 1992 constitution and the outcome of Elections”.