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Parliamentarians Are 'Rubber Stamps’- Alfred Ogbamey   
 
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27-Aug-2011  
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Managing Editor of the Gye Nyame Concord newspaper, Alfred Ogbamey, has tongue-lashed parliamentarians, labeling them as ‘rubber stamps’.

Ogbamey believes Members of Parliament do not subject issues tabled before the House by the Executive arm of government to any deep analytical research but simply just go ahead to rubber-stamp their approval.

“…Parliament does not appear to be learning; in fact they are not willing to learn and that is the truth…parliament as an institution is a rubber stamp. If they have a problem, that’s their matter and I have reasonable grounds and enough evidence to say that they have become nothing but rubber stamps…” he said.

Speaking as a panelist on Kokrokoo on Peace FM with host Kwami Sefa-Kayi, over the brouhaha that occasioned Parliament’s approval of the controversial $3 billion Chinese Loan, the Gye Nyame Concord newspaper Editor said he is not bothered much about the quantum of the amount, but at the fact that parliament always show itself as an ‘approval machine for the executive.’

According to him, there have been several instances when parliament, instead of taking its time to assess a contract or a deal, disappointed Ghanaians by approving it immediately.

“There is nothing wrong going for 3 billion or 4 billion (loan) provided the details are there; providing you can do value for money accountability…If you have a whole parliament, and you always approve things at just short notice, it is not the best…last minute then they rush under emergency bill… The only problem I have had is that parliament has once again proved that it’s just an ‘approval machine for the executive,” he said.

The Finance Committee of Parliament on Wednesday, recommended for approval by majority decision, a $3 billion loan agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the China Development Bank. The Minority members of the Committee disagreed with the decision, especially with portions governing subsidiary agreements, but lost.

However, the Finance Minister, Dr Kwabena Duffuor on Thursday, withdrew the controversial 3 billion dollar Chinese Loan agreement in an effort to rally Minority MPs behind the mega loan deal. In its place, the Minister laid before Parliament a new document, which Majority Leader, Hon Cletus Avorka said, may cure the concerns of the Minority NPP over the document.

But the Minority MPs would have none of it as they strongly opposed an application by the Majority bench that a revised report of the Finance Committee on the facility be debated on the same Thursday.

Parliamentary debate on the $3 billion Chinese Loan agreement was therefore deferred to Friday, August 26, 2011, after the First Deputy Speaker, Hon Edward Doe Adjaho, ruled to that effect.

More drama was to follow on Friday, when after a fiery debate the House approved the controversial $3 billion Chinese loan agreement, albeit by voice count with the minority abstaining.

The Minority was not impressed with the explanation proffered by the Finance Minister, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, especially on the upfront and commitment fees.

The $3 billion loan is meant to finance a number of infrastructure projects, including the Eastern Corridor roads and Accra Plains Irrigation project.
 
 
Source: Rebecca Quaye/Peacefmonline.com
 
 

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