Ghana’s Parliament asked to acquire plane

An outgoing Member of Ghana’s Parliament has asked the House to buy a plane for its travels.

Mr Abraham Ossei Aidooh who was Minister of Parliamentary Affairs in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government said Tuesday January 6, 2009 that Members of the incoming Parliament should look for funds for Parliament to purchase its own plane to facilitate travels of the Speaker, MPs and staff.

He argued that it was important for Parliament to have its own aircraft to cut down on money that is spent on travels.

Mr. Ossei Aidoo, who was also the Majority Leader in a closing remark before the dissolution of the Fourth Parliament of the Fourth Republic made other proposals for reforms to improve the performance of parliamentary work, and governance.

He recounted some of the challenging situations which the outgoing Parliament faced. These included inadequate office space for Members, the general security of Members, especially in their homes. He also cited the occasional poor attendance of Members, conditions of service, the lack of appropriate logistics for Committee activities and the relationship between the Executive and the Legislature as challenges for the House.

It is however, not clear if Parliament would take the suggestion serious, because in Ghana where, despite the economic growth attained in recent times, most citizens can’t afford basic necessities, buying a plane for Parliament could generate heated debates.

In 2008 when the Kufuor administration decided to buy a luxury Gulf Stream Jet for Presidential trips, most Ghanaians saw that as unnecessary waste of scarce national resources, especially so, when some communities in the capital Accra have no running water.

Some argued that the money for the jet could have been used to improve the living conditions of many Ghanaians.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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