The Majority Leader of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has revealed to DAILY GUIDE that ministers and deputy ministers who are also Members of Parliament will not be given offices in the popular ‘Job 600′.
Speaking in an interview with DAILY GUIDE, the Majority Leader, who is also the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Nadowli/Kaleo, said that office spaces in the refurbished ‘Job 600′ which are to be used by MPs are 252 and that the current number of MPs is 275 and so the leadership has decided to exclude ministers and deputy ministers.
According to him, all ministers and deputy ministers have official offices and so it will not be fair for them to have additional offices in the new ‘Job 600′ while other MPs who are not part of the executive struggle to find space to work.
“We expect the ministers and the deputy ministers to use their official offices for all other duties including parliamentary ones because other MPs who are solely legislators may find it difficult to get places to discharge their parliamentary duties.”
He explained that the current number of ministers and deputy ministers who are MPs is 45 and so by calculation the rest of the 230 MPs will have fully furnished offices to operate from and also receive their visitors.
The Majority Leader told DAILY GUIDE that a comprehensive programme has been put in place for the MPs and some other staff of the parliamentary service to move into the new offices in phases.
“We have programmed that majority of the MPs will move into their new offices by the end of this month; and by the end of June, all MPs and other staff would have moved into the new offices to work.”
According to Hon Bagbin, the leadership has given itself that ample time for complete transition to ensure that all facilities and data are safe and secure.
‘The NDC government has provided these new offices to enable MPs work effectively and also improve productivity in the House,’ he said.
In terms of security at the facility, the Majority Leader said an effective physical and technical system of processing all guests visiting MPs has been put in place to ensure orderliness and safety at the place.
Immediately after Tuesday’s sitting, the Majority Leader and other members of the leadership held a meeting to allocate offices to all the eligible 230 MPs.
The new office complex has facilities such as clinic, library, restaurant, ICT centre, auditoriums, gym, mosque, church and a press conference centre.
The erstwhile Kufuor government awarded the contract for the project at the cost of $25 million but DAILY GUIDE’s investigations show that about $100 million has so far been pumped into the project, including a recent loan of $24.5 for the furnishing of the offices.
Speaker Edward Doe Adjaho, on Tuesday when Parliament reconvened for the second meeting of the third session of the Sixth Parliament, told the MPs that the offices were ready.
With the above arrangement, it is not clear whether the ministers or deputy ministers who are MPs will be allocated offices should any of them be relieved of his or her ministerial position and how this will be done.
By Thomas Fosu Jnr
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