Economy will grind to a halt if Parliament shuts down – Speaker warns

The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye, has warned that the Ghanaian economy will virtually come to a standstill if the legislature shuts down as a result of the continues spread of the novel coronavirus.

According to the Speaker, there won’t be any money to spend as a country, a situation he noted, will impact negatively on all the various sectors of the economy should Parliament decide to close down.

He has therefore, urged all those advocating for Parliament to shut down to reconsider their thoughts since the consequences for their proposal if granted are dire.

Many institutions including the Bulk Oil Storage and Transport (BOST), COCOBOD, and the Judiciary, have had to halt operations as a result of staff testing positive for Covid-19.

Parliament recorded its first cases some months ago compelling some MPs and health experts to call for a shutdown.

But the Speaker, commenting on the issue at a sitting, Friday, July 10, 2020, dismissed any possibility of a shut down.

He has therefore, directed for another disinfection of the chamber to be carried out next week in preparation to receive the Minister of Finance to present the mid-year budget to the House.

“Parliament is not like many other places that you can easily say we’ve suspended or closed down. Very soon the Minister for Finance will be reading the supplementary budget, if Parliament doesn’t sit the country will shut down. There will be no money it’s as simple as that, so as for Parliament let us know that we are in a very peculiar situation. In fact government departments can operate in case of emergency separately and individually. So let us be very careful about how we manage protocols and matters concerning us. In fact, it looks like it may have to be the last stop…that is Parliament otherwise there’s no country.”

Speaker then served notice to the general public that any person who has no priority business in Parliament but visits the House will be ruthlessly dealt with.

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