Two Members of Parliament (MPs) from the Majority and Minority Caucuses have jointly filed a private members motion calling on the legislature to reject a US$28million loan facility between the Government of Ghana and the National Investment Bank (NIB) to buy vehicles to facilitate the work of lawmakers.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for Okaikwei Central and deputy Chairman of the Finance Committee, Patrick Yaw Boamah, and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, are instead, demanding that the State assigns them official vehicles to facilitate their legislative duties.
The motion which was filed on Tuesday, July 13, 2021, reads “That this Honourable House rejects the term loan agreement of USD $28,000,000,00 (Twenty eight million US Dollars) between the Government of Ghana and the National Investment Bank Limited to finance the purchase of vehicles for the Members of Parliament of the 8th Parliament and in the alternative, request the State to provide for Members facilities necessary for the performance of their duties as provided for under Article 71 of the 1992 Constitution”.
Ever since the issue of US$28m auto loan facility came to the fore of the public, the MPs have been subjected to criticisms by a cross section of the public, with many accusing them of being selfish and also insensitive considering the financial position of the country.
Boamah in a sharp response said it is unfair for MPs to be subjected to criticisms considering the fact that the money at the center of the public discourse is a loan which is repayable.
“I don’t see the reason why we should be the subject of this public bashing. It is a loan agreement that the Finance Ministry contracted with the National Investment Bank (NIB) of Ghana for MPs and Members of Council of State. It is done after every four years. I have never heard anybody talking about why we procure loans for Members of Council of State. Because MPs are easy target, it is a necessary evil which comes with our job. But nobody has asked why the State, from the Executive and the Judiciary, are giving vehicle without procuring a loan”, he noted in an interview with Politicoghana.com.
Ablakwa on the other hand also shares a similar view. He told this portal in an interview that the State providing MPs with official vehicles is cost-effective than procuring an auto loan facility for MPs to buy their own vehicles.
“If you consider the State providing MPs with official vehicles, it will save a lot of money. When you use the car, after four years, you leave it for another person who comes in to use. With this, there will be no need to go for another loan and the public bashing of MPs will cease”, he asserted.