Minority Leader in Parliament, Hon Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, says if Ghanaians are uncomfortable that Parliament re-fitted the main chamber of the House with colourful sets of furniture from China and would prefer Parliamentarians "sit on plastic chairs" to deliberate on issues, that can be tabled for discussion.
He however does not see anything untoward with the sparkling new leather seats, mirror-polished desks fitted with hi-tech gadgets (which MPs are struggling to use), and colourful carpets that is now the new look of the Chamber.
According to him, the need to change the chairs was urgent after the number of seats in the legislative body was increased to 275 (originally 230 seats) in the last elections; and the only option was to import them.
He explained that it was impossible to get a local furniture manufacturer to provide the quality of furniture befitting of the House within the time that MPs were expected to be back from recess.
The Minority Leader thus indicated that "If Ghanaians think that MP’s should sit on plastic chairs, then it is something that needs to be discussed".
He was speaking in an interview with JoyFM.
Commenting on reports first published by Peacefmonline.com that some of the new seats have started falling apart raising concerns about their quality, Hon Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu dismissed such concerns saying “the new chairs we bought are not falling apart. They were just not assembled properly”.
Hon Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu however debunked claims that government solely imported the China goods which include the colourful chairs.
“Two MPs went to China to inspect the furniture. If they hadn't we would have had inferior chairs,” he said.
Still defending the decision to procure the furniture from China, which some are of the view flies in the face of the president’s campaign aimed at promoting Made in Ghana Products, the Suame MP explained that it is "almost impossible" to get one local furniture supplier to meet their demands within the stipulated time.
“in Ghana today…it is going to be almost impossible to get one contractor, have the same quality of wood to serve 275 Members of Parliament. It is almost impossible!...
"....you heard me right. I said it is almost going to be impossible for one…Don’t forget, they (suppliers) don’t control the wood, the wood would have to be procured from (saw) millers and the saw millers themselves, by the Timber Utilisation law that we have, no single miller will have a concession that will contain that one quality of wood to supply the entire House,” he stated.
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