Parliament moves to modify Article 181

Parliament moves to modify Article 181

Parliament has constituted an adhoc committee to make recommendations on the modifications contemplated under article 181(5) of the 1992 Constitution.

Article 181(5) states: “This article shall, with the necessary modifications by Parliament, apply to an international business or economic transaction to which the government is a party as it applies to a loan.”

Analysts have indicated the Article presents a problem when it comes to differentiating between foreign loans and foreign economic transactions.

On Joy FM’s news analysis programme News File on Saturday June 15, Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, said it was “scandalous” how Parliament has been negligent in bringing clarity to article 181 – with respect to the difference between foreign loans and foreign economic transactions.

The formation of the committee has become necessary because even though article 181 (5) enjoins Parliament to make input in financial transactions that the country enters into, Parliament had for 20 years failed to undertake that duty.

Mr Alfred Agbesi, Deputy Majority Leader moved the motion for the constitution of the committee, which was supported by Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah- Bonsu, Minority Leader. The Committee has been asked to report back to the House within a four-week period. The Speaker of Parliament, Mr Doe Ajaho, approved the formation of the Committee.

Dr Benjamin Kunbuor, Leader of Government Business in Parliament is Chairman of the Committee while Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu is the Vice Chairman.

Other members are Mr Ebo Barton-Odro, First Deputy Speaker, Mr Joe Ghartey, second Deputy Speaker, Mr Cletus Apul Avoka, Member of Parliament (MP)for Zebilla, Papa Owusu-Ankomah MP for Sekondi, and Mr James Klutse Avedzi MP Ketu North.

The rest are Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, MP for Old Tafo; Mr Alban S.K Bagbin, MP for Nadowli Kaleo, Alfred Kwame Agbesi, MP for Ashaiman; William Ofori Boafo, MP for Akwapim North; Mrs Della Sowah, MP for Kpando; Joseph Osei-Owusu, MP for Bekwai; and Charles Obeng-Inkoom, MP for Agona West.

Mrs Gifty Eugenia Kusi, MP for Tarkwa-Nsuaem argued that the number of women on the Committee should be increased but Mr Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu explained that a lot of care was taken to involve members from across board with various expertise.