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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Bill to prevent legislators from buying state assets will be ready soon – Ablakwa says

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa

North Tongu Members of Parliament (MP), Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has assured the public that he is working round the clock to introduce a private members bill to prevent legislators and government officials from buying state assets.

According to him, these public officials are elected to manage state assets; therefore, they should not be the very individuals benefiting from such sales.

Speaking on The Pulse on JoyNews, he explained that this is why he is working with a team to introduce the bill in the eighth Parliament.

“We want this bill to be ready in this Parliament. So that is why at our press conference today, we appealed to the President that he should stand by to accent to it. We don’t want him to do what he has been doing to other private members bill where he causes his secretary to write a cease and desist [letter],” he said on June 17.

The legislator added that although the current law prevents these officials from engaging in conflicts of interest, many legislators still find loopholes.

As such, he said “I am proposing a private members legislation and work is advancing very impressively. …we want to ban, you see people are taking advantage of grey areas, even though there is conflict of interest in our constitution… clearly, people are taking advantage so we want a very explicit, a very clear and precise piece of legislation that will ban all politicians and politically exposed persons,” he said

He clarified that ownership of Rock City by a New Patriotic Party member did not influence his decision to push for the legislation. Mr Ablakwa said he did so because he believed it was the right course of action and would secure valuable assets for the next generations.

“When they give you state asset to manage on all of us our behalf, if it was six hotels why don’t you make it eight, make it 10 or 12. Add to it so that those coming after us, our children, our children’s children will look up to us and say ooh we did well. We have become so irresponsible.

“So only Nkrumah should build assets for us and we are just selling. What are we leaving behind for the younger ones?” he quizzed.

Meanwhile, Mr Ablakwa is set to lead a demonstration against the sale of four Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) hotels to Rock City Hotel Limited tomorrow, June 18.

He believes the protest would compel the President to prevent the sale of these hotels to Minister of Agriculture, Bryan Acheampong.

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