The Member of Parliament for the North Tongu constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa wants the leadership of Parliament to call out and deal with what he calls the abysmal conduct of the Finance Minister with regard to providing answers to the question of the cost of the President’s recent foreign travels.
Mr Okudzeto Ablakwah filed two urgent questions on the use of a private jet for President Akufo-Addo’s trips to Europe and South Africa instead of the presidential jet.
The first question, admitted by the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin on June 1, 2021, dealt with the airworthiness of the presidential jet and was answered by the Minister for Defence, Dominic Nitiwul.
On the day Ken Ofori-Atta was expected to answer his part of the question, Ablakwa was informed that the Minister had requested more time to furnish the House on the cost of President Akufo-Addo’s foreign trips.
The question was subsequently taken off the Business Statement of Parliament, although the Minister had about two weeks earlier to prepare his response.
Raising the concern once again on the floor of the house, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said the House must not be seen to be giving the Minister preferential treatment when his colleagues have been hauled before the House.
“On the 1st of July, I wrote a memo to the Business Committee, drawing attention that if care is not taken, it will appear as though there is a Minister who is above our standing orders and above the laws of this country who can keep asking for more time in perpetuity. Nobody knows what ‘more time’ means. I have gone through the business statement and again that question is conspicuously missing. Can the honourable Majority Leader tell this House what is going on?” Mr Ablakwa said.
This is the second time Mr Ablakwa has raised concerns over the Finance Minister’s failure to appear before the House to account for President Akufo-Addo’s use of a private jet for his recent trips to Europe and South Africa.
Mr Ablakwa had earlier threatened to initiate a vote of censure against the Minister if he continues to delay in coming before the House to render accounts.