Ofori-Atta Fails To Honour Parliament’s Invitation For 5th Time; MPs Demand Answers To Covid-19 Spending

Ofori-Atta Fails To Honour Parliament’s Invitation For 5th Time; MPs Demand Answers To Covid-19 Spending

  • Speaker Alban Bagbin is not happy that the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has for the fifth time failed to honour an invitation extended to him by Parliament
  • The MPs want Ken Ofori-Atta to account for previous Covid-19 funds and have made this a condition for approving a further €75 million loan
  • The Speaker of Parliament has threatened that if the snub continues he will be compelled to invoke its powers

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Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, failed to honour Parliament’s invitation for the fifth time on Thursday to answer MPs’ questions on Covid-19 spending.

Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin
Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin. Source: Facebook/@Parliament.of.Ghana.
Source: Facebook

Parliament wants the minister to account for Covid-19 funds and answer 16 other questions from legislators.

However, according to state-owned Daily Graphic, the Mr Ofori-Atta sent word to Parliament to postpone the engagement from Thursday, June 16 to a later date.

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Unhappy with the request to postpone, Speaker Alban Bagbin said it was about the fifth time the finance minister had been summoned by Parliament to come and provide answers to certain questions but has failed to honour them.

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The Speaker threatened that Parliament would invoke its powers if the minister failed to appear before the House to give an account of how the Covid-19 monies were spent.

The invitation extended to the minister by Parliament started on Thursday, May 26, 2022. That was when Chairman of the Finance Committee of Parliament, Kwaku Kwarteng, moved the motion for the approval of €75 million for the COVID-19 health response project.

The Speaker said the House would only consider the loan after the minister of finance had given details of how previous loans were utilised.

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Questions to be answered

The urgent questions that are to be answered by the Finance Minister are in the name of the following MPs:

•NDC MP for Wa East, Godfred Seidu Jasaw;

•NPP MP for Ablekuma North, Sheila Bartels;

•NPP MP for Bortianor-Ngleshie-Amanfro, Sylvester Tetteh, and

•NDC MP for Bongo, Edward Abambire Bawa.

Mr Jasaw wants to know when the Ministry of Finance will issue financial clearance to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to clear the debt owed partners and suppliers. He is concerned the debts will stifle the availability of subsidised fertiliser during the farming season.

Ms Bartels’ question is to find out from the finance minister the current status of funding for the construction of Phase Two of the Tema Motorway. The project has been highlighted as a major issue for commuters.

Mr Tetteh’s question is on the interventions the Ministry of Finance is employing to clamp down on the sustained increments in fuel prices as witnessed in the recent pricing windows.

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Mr Bawa wants to know what the ministry of finance is doing to slow down the increases of petroleum product prices at the pumps with respect to imposed taxes and levies on petroleum products and the depreciation of the cedi.

Speaker Bagbin worried many Ghanaians have lost hope in Ghana’s democracy

YEN.com.gh has reported in a separate story about the Speaker that he is worried that many citizens have lost faith in democracy's ability and promise to improve their lives.

The Speaker stated that many Ghanaians, especially the youth, seem disappointed in the performance of their leaders in government.

"The wave of disillusionment that has affected many countries, including Ghana, should be reversed to restore hope in the power and promise of democracy. The role of Parliament is critical in this reversal effort,” he said.

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Source: YEN.com.gh

George Nyavor avatar

George Nyavor (Head of Politics and Current Affairs Desk) George Nyavor writes for YEN.com.gh. He has been Head of the Politics and Current Affairs Desk since 2022. George has over 9 years of experience in managing media and communications (Myjoyonline and GhanaWeb). George is a member of the Catholic Association of Media Practitioners Ghana (CAMP-G). He obtained a BA in Communications Studies from the Ghana Institute of Journalism in 2010. Reach out to him via george.nyavor@yen.com.gh.