Parliament is currently in arrears, according to the Speaker, since the Finance Ministry refuses to allocate funding for operations.
Parliament is broke, according to Speaker Alban Bagbin, and hence lacks adequate funding to execute its functions.
He blamed the delay in the Finance Ministry’s disbursement of cash for this.
Mr. Bagbin warned the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, not to treat Parliament like a Ministry or a District Assembly when he spoke to the House on Thursday, May 26.
“It isn’t easy.” As a result, we occasionally see your requests for me to approve you to perform things that I have previously denied. It’s not that I enjoy turning down your requests; it’s just that we don’t have the resources to pay those operations.
“I believe the Minister of Finance should not regard Parliament as if it were a Ministry or an MMDA,” he remarked.
According to the Speaker, if the situation is not checked and rectified immediately, the House’s proceedings may be halted.
He reported that the Ministry of Finance had written to House leadership, requesting a 50 percent cut in budgetary allocations.
“This is an arm of government; we are not part of the MMDAs,” says Speaker Bagbin of the Ghanaian National Assembly. We’ve even been told to cut our budget by half in some areas, so if they want Parliament to come to a halt, they should let us know.
“The Speaker is not ready or willing to be blamed for the Speaker’s incapacity to get Parliament business done simply because we don’t have the requisite funding.” Others may hesitate to say this, but I haven’t,” he asserted unequivocally.
In a swift response, Majority Chief Whip Frank Annoh-Dompreh informed Parliament that the government will release the monies required for the effective operation of the House.