Minority in Parliament is accusing government of running away from accountability. This comes after Finance Minister, on Thursday, failed to show up in Parliament to provide answers on how much President Akufo-Addo’s latest foreign trips cost the taxpayer.
Ken Ofori-Atta was billed to appear to answer questions on the issue, but he has requested for more time. Ranking Member on Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa says the delay tactics appear to be efforts to conceal the truth.
“Now we’ve brought them to a more appropriate forum where they are constitutional bound to be accountable and there are all of these delayed tactics.”
The President had earlier being accused by the Minority of ostentatious spending even as the country goes through economic hardship.
Per their calculations, President Akufo-Addo spent £345,000, i.e. ¢2,828,432.80 at the current exchange rate in flight cost during his nine-day visit to France, Belgium, South Africa, and back to the country.
Speaking after the failure to appear, Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa indicated that “this is a pinnacle of luxury” adding that “this is about protecting the public purse.”
“It must strike you as very strange because really what do they have to hide. It’s as though something is happening behind the scenes and they need time to complete whatever they are doing,” he stressed.
Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa further argued that “these are not the tenets of accountability of good governance, if you have nothing to hide if you don’t need to buy time to do something untoward you just respond.”
But Majority Chief Whip in Parliament Frank Annor Dompreh says the Minister of Finance has nothing to hide.
“If a member has a question regardless whether the question has been advertised for in the other paper or not, you have the responsibility to follow up at the Speaker’s secretariat especially where your leader has told you that the question has been deferred because answers are not ready.”
He added that in his view, “it is preemptive and quite unnecessary for a member to hold a press conference and begin to read meaning to words as if the minister was afraid to come and answer the questions not knowing the minister was in the house today he answered a similar question.”