MPs work 24/7 – Nitiwul

Dominic Nitiwul - Minority Leader
Dominic Nitiwul – Deputy Minority Leader

Deputy Minority Leader in Parliament, Dominic Nitiwul, is attempting to disabuse the impression that Members of Parliament (MPs) laze about during recess, not working until they are in the plenary meetings of the house.

Mr Nitiwul, who is also the MP for Bimbilla, had been engaged in his office at the Parliament House, in Accra since morning on Tuesday, attending to different issues and personalities before finally granting an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA).

The interview was on what the MPs had been engaged in during the current recess, which started on July 25.

The last meeting of Parliament ended on July 24,  and the House is expected to reconvene in October.

Such prolonged periods of recess, Mr Nitiwul noted, rather created the impression that the legislators did not have much work doing, as they awee not seen on the floor of the house deliberating on issues of national interest.

The Bimbila MP said despite the recess, the MPs were busily working 24/7 performing all or some of the functions, which he numbered as seven.

He mentioned four of the functions of the MPs as legislative, representation of the people, oversight and as agents of development.

“As MPs, we are always on duty. We have no working time. Imagine receiving more than 200 calls in addition to other duties. You have to serve the people who elected you into office. You must be available at all times to help them solve their problems,” Mr Nitiwul said.

He added: “Whether at the constituencies, the party level, and in parliament, we are working at the committee level, in our offices and making consultations. When the need arises, we can be called for emergency meetings during recess. At no point in time is the MP resting.”

According to the Deputy Minority Leader,  a number of his colleague legislators had used about 90 per cent of their Common Fund in helping the constituents solve “petty problems,” including scholarships to needy students.

He said the MP must have the ability to legislate, and represent adequately the constituents.

“The representation, which involves seeking the views, interacting and consulting with the people is mostly done during the recess,” Mr Nitiwul said.

He, however, complained that resources at the disposal of the Ghanaians legislator were not adequate to effectively carry out that function.

He assured Ghanaians that the Legislature would continue to exercise its oversight responsibility over the Executive without any compromise.

Mr Nitiwul said as agents of development, the MPs made statements, asked constituency specific questions, made follow-ups and lobbied for funds for the execution of projects.

He supported the view that District, Metropolitan and Municipal Chief Executives should be elected as in the case of Members of Parliament, to check sycophancy and to reduce or dilute the powers of the Executive, which was the current appointing authority.

Confident of victory for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2016 general elections,  Mr Nitiwul said he would still advocate for the DCEs to be elected, no matter the party in power,

Source: GNA

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