Ghana’s Parliament suspends sitting to build consensus on Petroleum Management Bill

Progress at the consideration stage of the Petroleum Revenue Management Bill stalled on Tuesday for lack of consensus on contentious clauses that could change the destiny of the bill.

Sitting was suspended for over thirty minutes to enable the Majority and the Minority to confer on issues and settle on which clause the House must tackle first.

When Mr Cletus Avoka Majority Leader called for debate of clause 53 which he described as one of the challenging clauses, the Minority did subscribe to it.

He said clause 5,19,22,23,31,53,55, and 56 of the bill were those that could pull controversy among members.

According to him, the House had long ago built consensus to tackle those clauses first and predicted a smooth sail during debate.

Mr Ambrose Dery, Deputy Minority Leader, said the leadership of the House should have met again to determine which clauses must be addressed first.

Mr William Boafo, New Patriotic Member (NPP) of Akropong, said because of the uncountable amendments proposed, there should be a meeting to do more and thorough winnowing to chart the way forward for the bill.

However, Mr Avoka maintained that no winnowing was needed for work on the bill must continue since the House had already concluded classes 5 and 19 which were among the controversial clauses.

The First Deputy Speaker, Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, who was presided, said this was a matter that the two sides must have a consensus and directed for the suspension of the House for sometime until the two leaders agreed on the direction to go.

When the House resumed sitting, it inched up in its progress by dealing with clause 53 which proposed Public Interest Accountability Committee and 54 which assigned specific roles to the committee.

The Petroleum Management Bill should have been passed before the first oil dropped but climb had been steep due to many amendments tabled to it.

Source: GNA

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