The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye, has sent a note of caution to Members of Parliament (MP), informing them not to come for any overtime allowance when they have not worked for it.
At a sitting on Friday, March 16, 2018, the Majority Leader, Hon. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, presenting the Business Statement told Members that there would be extended sittings from Tuesday, March 20, 2018 to Friday, March 23, 2018, during which the House will adjourn sine die.
He therefore urged Members to be punctual and on time to enable the House completes all the scheduled programs on time.
But the Member of Parliament (MP) for Adaklu, Hon. Kwame Agboza Governs commenting on the Business Statement complained bitterly about the attitude of Members for not complying with the 10:00 in the forenoon schedule time for commencement of the Business of the House.
The situation, he noted, “is not healthy”, stressing that the “House’s inability to sit on time has nothing to do with the Speaker” since he (Speaker) has always been punctual and on time in discharging his duties.
“It is us who always fail to come so if Mr. Speaker, I’m urging Members that if we are going to have extended sittings, please let’s come on time so that the extension does not go beyond a certain period”, he noted.
He however, complained bitterly that the resources and incentives needed for the extended sitting have not been forthcoming, urging leadership to this time around; make amends to enable them give off their best.
The House is expected to adjourn sine die on Friday, March 23, 2018, during which the MPs are anticipated to be demanding for their allowances for working for extra hours (overtime) during the First Meeting of the Second Session of the Seventh Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana.
The Adaklu lawmaker had on numerous occasions, raised issues bothering on quorum, provoking the Speaker of Parliament at one time to caution Members to take the business of the House very serious and report on time.
But his caution was not heeded to as the House on so many occasions had to commence sitting beyond 10:00 am.
Beginning on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, the heat will be on leadership to ensure that Members’ overtime allowances are paid before or on Friday, March 23, 2018, the scheduled date for adjournment.
However, the Speaker of Parliament commenting on the issue, cautioned Members not to dare ask for any overtime allowance if they have not worked for it.
“We must be duly remunerated. But I agree with the honourable Member for Adaklu that if we are supposed to sit from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and we come and start working at 12:30pm, then immediately its past 2:00pm, we start claiming monies for overtime. What will our country men and women think of us? “That is the essence of the stance taken by the Hon. Member for Adaklu – something that he has been hampering upon consistently of late in this House and it must be put on record and followed”, he noted.
He added “So, Honourable Members because we deserve to be remunerated for overtime, then we must also properly start on time. And in fact, matters relating to how Members of Parliament are treated were if you ask the leaders, discussed led by my good self at the last Board meeting. We want to not just give Honourable Members pastries and things we cannot … a proper meal soon after sitting because when they close at 2:00pm, they have not even finished – they are going to start again at the Committee and they deserve and it must be given to them and very soon we will be working out the modalities and Honourable Members will be served proper meals so that they can also continue to do proper work for the people Ghana. But let us also show that we are worthy of our hired. That is one thing that I think the Honourable Member has come out with which we must practice”.