K.T. Hammond and John Jinapor
The sixth parliament of the Fourth Republic was adjourned at about 1pm on Friday and officially dissolved at 12pm with the minority New Patriotic Party (NPP) effectively blocking an attempt by the outgoing NDC government to enter into a $138 million agreement with Ameri Group for the operation of T3 Power Plant in Takoradi belonging to the Volta River Authority (VRA).
Ranking member on Mines and Energy and MP for Adansi Asokwa, K.T. Hammond was instrumental in blocking the deal which he described as ‘send off loot’ by the NDC government and was to saddle Ghanaians with an unnecessary financial burden.
The government had placed the agreement in parliament on Friday, December 23 but the MP for Adansi Asokwa said the deal stinks and that parliament must not approve it
It was advertised yesterday too in the Order Paper but it was thrown away.
K.T. Hammond noted that the same deal that was being given to Ameri for $138 million should have been given to another energy company, Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) which was ready to do a complete rehabilitation of the plant to be fully operational at the cost of just $7.8 million
He said apart from the whopping amount of $240 million spent on the T3 for it to be operational, the country is also spending additional $2.3 million for its use and therefore the $138 million deal was another ‘create, loot and share’ by the government as it was preparing to hand over power to NPP.
The Right To Information Bill could also not be passed because the minority NPP said there were serious problems with the bill in relation to its implementation.
In his official remarks to mark the end of the sixth parliament, the Majority Leader, Alban Bagbin said that there was the need for parliament as an institution to intensify its efforts to educate members of the public on the nature of the work of parliament so that the public can support the work of parliament.
He therefore urged the leadership of the incoming parliament to do more outreach programmes to complement what the sixth parliament did.
According to him, the sixth parliament in its quest to bring parliament closer to the people, held public fora, the speaker’s Breakfast Meetings and also established Youth Parliaments in various institutions of higher learning.
He said during the sixth parliament, a number of measures were put in place to ensure safety and security of Members, staff and visitors to parliament in response to upsurge in terrorist attacks in neighbouring countries such as Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire.
The Minority leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu for his part said the high attrition rate is not good for the strength and capability of the second arm of parliament.
He said that as many as 89 new Members are coming for the NPP and the same might be said of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).
“This outrageous high attrition rate cannot facilitate the growth of parliament. It cannot proficiently grow our democracy, neither can it adequately grow our parties,” he said stressing that the various political parties need to do serious introspection and reflect on their respective constitution to do something about it.”
The speaker, Edward Doe Adjaho thanked the members and leadership of parliament as well as staff of parliament for assisting him to steer the sixth parliament to a successful end with a lot of achievements in the area of logistics, provision of offices for MPs and security for MPs.
By Thomas Fosu Jnr