Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, the Member of Parliament for South Dayi, has requested that Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta assign any of his deputies to address questions in Parliament in his stead.
This, he continued, is because Mr. Ofori-Atta has capable deputies who can take up the function instead of requesting that his appearance before the House be rescheduled on a regular basis.
Mr. Dafeamekpor added that Mr. Ofori-failure Atta’s to honor the House’s invitation is insulting because he has such options.
“You do have a Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance, so if you are unable to attend to Parliamentary business, Mr. Adu-Boahen is able to do so.” Every week, he comes to the House to submit files, and you have two deputies: Atiwa East Member of Parliament and John Kumah. So you have enough lieutenants to assist you with Parliamentary work as needed,” he explained.
He also refuted rumors that the Finance Minister was expected to respond to all 16 Parliamentary questions in a single day, saying that “it is possible but not plausible.”
Mr. Dafeamekpor stated that Mr. Ofori-Atta was given a week to respond to the queries between Tuesday and Thursday.
Mr. Dafeameakpor stated that if the Finance Minister continues to avoid Parliament, he will get overloaded as new questions from the other 16 pile up, necessitating his action.
The Second Deputy Majority Chief Whip, Habib Iddrisu, responded by claiming that the Minority in Parliament objected to the deputies answering questions on behalf of the Finance Minister.
“Even when the Minority Leader was making his case on this matter, he stated we don’t want the Minister of State,” he said. We’re looking for the Minister himself.”
The Finance Minister was supposed to come before Parliament on Thursday morning to account for Covid-19 spending and answer 16 questions from parliamentarians, but he did not.
Majority Chief Whip Frank Annor-Dompreh revealed on the House floor on Thursday that the Majority Leader of the House had received a request from the Finance Minister to reschedule his attendance to June 22.
Meanwhile, Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin has decided that the House will not accept any requests from the Finance Ministry until Ken Ofori-Atta goes before the House to account for Covid-19 expenditure and to address MPs’ queries.
Mr. Alban Bagbin, addressing on the House floor on Thursday, said the Minister must appear before the House or face the Finance Ministry rejecting his demands.
He said that Order 63 of the Standing Orders of Parliament prohibits a Minister from taking more than three weeks to answer to a query from the House.
Meanwhile, Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister, has been rescheduled to appear before Parliament on Wednesday, June 22.