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Dramatic Scenes In Parliament As Finance Minister Presents 2018 Budget   
 
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16-Nov-2017  
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Ther were dramatic activities in the chamber of Parliament on Wednesday when the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, presented the 2018 Budget and Economic Policy.

While the Majority Members of Parliament (MPs) urged the minister on, Minority MPs interjected intermittently to dispute some of the figures he presented.

The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, had to step in occasionally to call the MPs to order with calls of ‘Order! Order!!'

At one point, the Speaker had to point out that only one person was entitled to speak on the floor of Parliament at a time.

He, therefore, asked the Minority MPs to allow the minister to proceed with his presentation, as they would also have their turn to speak.

‘Wahala’ and ‘419’ inscriptions

In the course of the presentation, some Minority MPs waved sheets of paper with the inscriptions: 'Wahala' (Hausa for hardship or suffering) and '419' (a Nigerian coinage for deceit or fraud).

On seeing the ‘419’ inscriptions, Mr Ofori-Atta wittingly quoted Philippians 4:19, which reads: “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus”, amid laughter and applause.

The Majority MPs also had an Akan song for the Minority MPs, suggesting that they were happy with the presentation and that it irked the Minority in Parliament.

And as soon as the Finance Minister had finished his about two-and-a-half-hour presentation, virtually all the Minority MPs waved the ‘Wahala’ and ‘419’ inscriptions.

They then began singing "2020 we go show Nana", meaning that they would vote out President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in 2020.

But the Majority MPs responded with their own version: "2020 we go vote Nana", which implied that they would vote for President Akufo-Addo in 2020.

Pleasantries

As expected, the MPs were dressed in traditional and formal attire for the presentation of the budget.

Mr Ofori-Atta arrived in the House in his trademark white caftan.

He wore a black pair of shoes, spectacles and a necklace to match. He held a brown briefcase that contained the budget document.

After exchanging pleasantries with some Ministers of State and MPs on the Majority side, Mr Ofori-Atta moved to the Minority side to shake hands with them.

He was seen exchanging pleasantries and smiling with the Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu; the Deputy Minority Leader, Mr James Avedzi; the Ranking Member on the Finance Committee and Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Mr Cassiel Ato Forson, among others.

He repeated the exchange of pleasantries with the Majority and the Minority MPs after the presentation.

Dignitaries

The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia; the Chief of Staff, Mrs Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, and some Ministers of State were present at the presentation.

Also present were the acting Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Freddie Blay; the party's acting General Secretary, Mr John Boadu; the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, and other political leaders.
 
 
Source: Daily Graphic
 
 

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