We need guidelines for lobbying – Bala Maikankan
The Greater Accra Regional Chairman of People’s National Convention has called on parliament to give a clear guideline on lobbying in the august house to ensure that our parliamentarians perform their duties without or being compromised.
Seeking to this reporter on his take on Hon Bagbin’s call for a proper definition of lobbying in Ghana to ensure that it is practiced without corrupting law makers, he said that what the experience politician said cannot be treated as wild allegation and be swept under the carpet without being attended to, as has been the usual practice in Ghana.
According to him, even though Hon. Bagbin’s comment was not intended for public consumption and by no means intended to spite the legislature which he has always been a part of since 1992, it points issues that if not dealt with, will lead to rot and even undermine the integrity of parliament.
“Until the modalities of lobbying in Ghana are clearly spelt out,” honorarium, per-diem, allowances” will be used to indirectly influence our parliamentarians who are also humans, to make decision in favor of whoever gives them satisfactory treat”
He indicated that lobbying is the act of attempting to influence decisions made by officials in the government, most often legislators or members of regulatory agencies. Lobbying is done by many different types of people and organized groups, including individuals in the private sector, corporations, fellow legislators or government officials, or advocacy groups (interest groups).
He said contrary to the general views that government functionaries lead the pack in lobbying, individuals and nonprofit organizations can also lobby as an act of volunteering or as a small part of their normal job. Governments often define and regulate organized group lobbying that has become influential.
He said even though the morality of lobbying have always been called into question, it is a necessary evil that government and institutions can’t do without.
“No one can govern a nation without lobbying in this generation so the best way to ensure that the negative aspect of lobbying are reduced to the minimum is to draw guidelines to direct on how lobbyist should operate.
Lobbying is often spoken of with contempt, when the implication is that people with inordinate socioeconomic power are corrupting the law in order to serve their own conflict of interest.
He called on the legislature to rather focus on addressing the issues raised by Hon. Bagbin instead of seeking explanation as though they were totally untrue.
“We have missed many opportunities to change the laws of this country, we have missed many opportunities to do the right thing, but I hope that parliament will set the example for all to follow.
He revealed that every House of Law without a clear-cut guideline for lobbying is usually consider corrupt and there’s no way our legislature can claim to have clean hands.
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