Minister of Finance expected to brief Parliament on DDEP Feb 16

The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, will on Thursday, February 16, 2023, appear before Parliament to brief the House on the ongoing Domes­tic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP).

The minister was originally scheduled to meet Members of Parliament (MPs) on Tuesday, February 14, following a direc­tive by the Speaker of Parlia­ment, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, on Tuesday, February 7, 2023.

Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, pre­senting the Business Statement, thus Parliament’s programme lineup for next week, told the plenary that Mr Ofori-Atta would not be available on the earlier agreed date.

“Mr Speaker, on the issue of the DDEP, pursuant to your directive, we engaged the Minis­ter of Finance and we have his assurance to be here on Thursday, February 16, 2023,” Mr Afen­yo-Markin, who is also MP for Effutu, told the House.

A member of the Business Committee and the First Deputy Minority Whip, Ibrahim Ahmed, said that the shift in date was based on the availability of the Finance Minister.

“In arranging the business for the week, we consulted the minister on his availability on Tuesday, but he said he would be outside the jurisdiction on that day and that he would do whatever possible to appear before us on Thursday. That is why we shifted from Tuesday to Thursday,” he explained.

Meanwhile, the Minority had ac­cused the Majority of ‘smuggling’ onto the programme for the week, what was not agreed upon when the Committee met to consider items for the week.

According to the Minority, the presentation of a Constitutional Instrument (CI), which seeks to make the Ghana Card the sole registration document onto the voters roll has not been discussed, but had found expres­sion in the statement.

Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, Minority Leader, said: “I attended the meet­ing and I have the draft report, but to my surprise, I have seen the introduction of a CI which was never discussed at the business committee meeting

He said: “For the deputy Major­ity leader who did not attend the committee meeting to stand here and make a pronouncement that this was agreed upon is most unfortunate. I am deeply disappointed in the clerks for allowing this to be smuggled into a business committee statement. Mr Speaker, this can’t and must not be allowed.”

However, the Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, said “nothing has been done in bad faith. The CI was supposed to come this week, but we stood it down to fur­ther engage”. He explained that the CI was inserted to create the aware­ness of MPs that such item could be on the table going forward, though he was not sure if the engagements would have been concluded before the end of next week.

The Speaker in October directed the Electoral Commission to brief the House on the CI or risk the Instrument not being laid.

“Both procedure and substantive law must be followed. I will not allow any such instrument laid in this House until I (and the House) am briefed. That is the proper thing to do together with the provisions of the constitution.

“It is in their interest to proceed to have the pre-laying before anything can be submitted and be captured by our Order Paper. That I believe is sufficient notice to all,” he said.


Show More
Back to top button