The Minority Chief Whip in Parliament, Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak has confirmed the assertion by the Speaker to the effect that, the House lacks the needed funding for its operations.
He said it is therefore needless for members of the Majority side of the House to defend government in this regard.
On May 27, 2022, the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumani Bagbin stated that Parliament does not have the wherewithal to fund some of its operations.
However, the Majority Chief Whip, Frank Annoh-Dompreh revealed that an outstanding amount GH₵25 million allocation for goods and services for Parliament had been released while the Speaker was telling the whole world that the institution is broke.
Speaking with Evans Mensah on JoyNews‘ PM Express on Monday, the Asawase MP said, “As we speak, money for 2022, apart from salaries, not a dime has been released. Even what was released last week, after Speaker’s comment, were part of outstanding for 2021.”
Mr. Muntaka revealed that salaries of MPs for the month of May, have not been paid, “If you ask the members of Parliament they will tell you, MPs cannot open their mouth to talk about salaries. Today is 30th, I know many civil and public servants have received their salaries. If you are in this house, the earliest you should expect, sometimes, a week after the month has ended… 5th, 7th, sometimes, 10th. At the peak of the e-levy. It came after 15 days. You say you won’t allow e-levy so they don’t have money to pay.”
The Minority Chief Whip further noted that the erratic release of funds to Parliament has also affected the printing of Parliamentary Hansard reports, “When we return from recess, we expect all the official reports to be updated. We went on recess on 5th April. So we come back on 24th of May. On that day, you expect all the records to be updated. But even as at 26th, the latest we had was 22nd March.
I raised the issue that, Mr. Speaker, this is unusual. That we don’t have all the official reports. It has been over a year now. This House, our printing gadgets were going down. The time to replace them were due. Now they cannot even print quick, because a lot of the machines are down. Now we are still struggling to come out with March official reports. If we are not careful, that of May will start coming when Parliament is on recess again in July. Why? There is no resources to do that,” he complained.
Mr. Muntaka noted that the official record of debates in the House is critical because, “these official reports are what we as members of Parliament, that you take and read and if there is any controversial issues you resolve them. The challenge is that these have to be corrected to get the final one. So when you don’t correct it early. Things happened in March, we are in May. This week we will go into June. And you bring me March issues that were raised and debated, say in July and I say this is not what I exactly said, you are going to put the house into confusion.”