Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has resurrected the debate on President Akufo-Addo’s chartered flight for a recent foreign trip.
He argued the minority should cut the Finance Minister some slack since he does not have official answers to the cost of the Presidential trip.
“I think when the Minister of National Security gets invited he’ll relate to it what costs it. It is not as if the Minister is running away, he said I don’t have the responsibility. And our rules provide that you ask questions to ministers who have official responsibility to a matter,” he said during an engagement with core leadership of parliament organized by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs.
He thus maintained the move was out of necessity and not luxury as argued by the minority.
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa who blew the whistle summoned the defence minister Dominic Nitiwul to answer questions on the matter where he explained that the decision was borne out of security of the President and lack of adequate space in the presidential jet.
The minority leader Haruna Iddrisu at the same event on Tuesday questioned the basis for finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta’s refusal to answer the question filed by the North Tongu MP on the cost of the President’s trip.
According to the Tamale South MP Ken Ofori-Atta’s deferment of the question to the National Security minister is a breach of the Right to Information Act.
“What’s secret about a Presidential travel? if the president has travelled he’s travelled. If he’s spent money he’s spent money. If we demand it in the interest of public accountability, let it be…then why did we pass the Right to Information Act? That is an affront to that legislation if parliament itself cannot elucidate that particular information…” he said.
But the Suame MP who disagreed challenged the claims by the minority leader and further disclosed the presidential jet offers more protection than the chartered flight.
According to him, even the recent trip of the speaker of parliament Alban Bagbin to Nigeria was on the presidential jet.
Executive Director for Africa Centre for Parliamentary Affairs Dr Rashid Dramani charged the leadership of parliament to address public mistrust in the Legislature as a legacy.