I won’t be errand boy for Executive nor frustrate govt’s business- Bagbin
“I won’t be errand boy for Executive organ of government nor will I frustrate government’s business” Ghana’s Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin told MPs on Thursday December 16, 2021.
His comment follows the sharp division among Majority and Minority over the approval of 2022 Budget.
Present revised 2022 budget to Parliament- Bagbin orders Finance Minister
Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. AIban Kingsford Sumana Alban Bagbin has directed Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, to present revised version of the 2022 Budget and fiscal Policy to Parliament.
Presiding over Parliamentary proceedings on Thursday December 16, 2022 the Speaker, Alban Bagbin, ordered that the revisions captured in a letter presented to him by the Finance Minister were only “indications of intent” and must be formalized.
According to him, the Finance Minister needed to come to Parliament “with those modifications, concessions or amendments specifically captured in the documents to make them known” so the House could officially accept them.
Bagbin said it was important to find a “path that is faithful to law, respects our rules and processes and ensures the governance of the country does not grind to a halt.”
“Those modifications, amendments and concessions will then be adopted by the House and the revised documents in the estimates will stand committed to the various committees of Parliament,” Mr. Bagbin explained.
Although various committees of Parliament have started considering estimates from the initial budget presented by the Finance Minister, Mr. Bagbin tasked the committees to “reconcile the revised estimates with what they have hitherto considered and submit a report for the consideration of the House.”
As an example of why this was necessary, Mr. Bagbin cited government’s intent to allocate GH¢10 million for feasibility studies for the Blekusu sea defence project.
“That GH¢10 million will definitely be taken from another item that has been captured in what has been presented,” he surmised.
The revisions made by the government were in response to the Minority’s call for the suspension of the Electronic Transaction Levy, the removal of suggestions of the Agyapa deal from the budget, rewording of the paragraph on the Aker Energy deal, action on the coastal erosion and a review of the benchmark import values.
Meanwhile, the Speaker Bagbin has revealed that he will not preside over a weak house and reduce parliament to errand entity for the executive organ of government in as much as he will not frustrate the work of government.
He noted that “first Deputy Speaker Joe Osei Owusu could not have counted himself as part quorum”.