Lawmaker for Adentan Constituency, Hon Mohammed Adamu Ramadan has dragged the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs to parliament over the delay in constructing constituency offices for Members of Parliament (MPs), despite GH¢45 million being allocated for that purpose.
The government in 2021 Budgeted for the Construction of offices for MPs over a four-year period, with an initial plan to construct 70 offices by the end of 2021.
The offices are expected to facilitate the work of MPs by producing a non-partisan and neutral office for all constituents to interact with their legislatures.
But this promise in the budget and fiscal policy document never materialized as the year comes to an end.
This, the Adentan MP summoned the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu to explain the status of that project.
“Mr. Speaker, I rise to ask the Majority Leader and Leader of the House what is the current status of the building of offices for Members of Parliament in the respective Constituencies,” Hon Ramadan quizzed.
The Minister in response assured that the project would be carried out in next year budget as promised by the Minister for Finance in the 2022 budget.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta in the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy presented to Parliament on November 17, said the project would commence in 2022.
According to the Minister, the project is one of the many activities being undertaken under the Parliamentary Service Office Support Project (PSOSP) to strengthen Parliament and to boost the work of the MPs.
“The PSOSP will be fully completed in 2022. Phase I of the construction of constituency offices for Members of Parliament will commence in 2022,” the Finance Minister said.
However, the MP for Adentan who filed a question on the matter in a Citi News interview, said he will probe further on whether the allocated amount has been utilised.
“Even in the 2021 budget, there was an allocation of GH¢45.5 million which he (the Finance Minister) said was going to start the project. So I am going to follow through to see whether that allocation was done for 2021 and if it was utilised or not so that money will be available for us to use again in 2022.”
About the offices
The government had earlier programmed to provide some money towards the construction of the constituency offices, with an initial support amount of GH¢45.5 million.
The amount was to cater for the first phase of the project, which was intended to provide constituency offices for all the 275 MPs by 2024.
A report by the Special Budget Committee of Parliament looking at the 2021 budget said the Parliamentary Service intended “to construct 70 of such offices annually so that by the end of 2024, all 275 Constituencies will be provided.”
“Successful execution of the project will further deepen the representational role of Members of Parliament by bringing them closer to their constituents,” the report said.
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