Budget debate: Bawumia must appear before Parliament to debate not to nod – Ablakwa

General News of Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Source: Myjoyonline.com

2018-11-21

Vice President, Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia and Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta

Former Education minister Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa is daring the Vice President to take part in the debate of the 2019 Budget statement.

He said Dr Mahamudu Bawumia cannot only come clap and nod during budget presentation only to vanish when it is time for a debate of the statement on the floor.

Quoting Article 111 of the Constitution which allowed a non-MP but a member of government to be part of a debate in Parliament, Ablakwa said the vice president must take advantage of this opportunity.

He believes the vice president’s participation would afford Ghanaians the opportunity to appreciate what government is using the huge sums of monies they have borrowed.

He made the comments on the floor, Wednesday, when the house was debating the 2019 budget statement read last week.

The North Tongu MP also accused government of paying lip service to the fight against corruption.

According to him, beyond government’s mantra of fighting corruption, it has failed in taking real steps towards minimizing the canker.

If anything, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa averred the actions taken by the government so far will only worsen the matter.

The government in the 2019 budget promised to resource the Office of the Special Prosecutor with an amount of ¢180m.

The Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu has been wailing over the lack of resources to execute his mandate.

But the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta said government’s commitment to the corruption fight is still unshakeable.

Debating the budget on the floor, the Minority does not appear to be impressed with government’s corruption fight.

Joy News’ Parker Wilson reported the Minority MPs as saying the 2019 budget made provision for the recruitment of over 1000 personnel to the office of government machinery but put a ceiling on the number of appointees the Special Prosecutor can appoint, something they believed was unfortunate.

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said the government cannot make the Special Prosecutor employ on 12 when it is employing over a 1000 employees.

He also said budgetary allocation to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice has also seen a reduction of over 600m as compared to that of last year.

The North Tongu legislator wants the government to refrain from paying lip service towards the fight against corruption.

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