• MPs to benefit from US $ 28 million loan facility
• The loan must allow them to buy vehicles for their activities.
• Some Ghanaians reacted angrily to the question.
MPs on both sides of the chamber have mounted a vigorous defense of their right to take advantage of the $ 20 million auto loan facility presented to the chamber by the Department of Finance.
The Parliament’s finance committee is currently reviewing the program that will ensure that each MP receives US $ 100,000 to meet their vehicle needs.
There has been a huge public outcry over this, but some MPs insist they deserve it.
Rockson Dafeamekpor, an MP on the NDC (South Dayi) ticket says some of his colleagues are using the carpool service to get to Parliament and need the money to have their own cars.
“Check the service record of the election commissioner.” She has about 5 military officers following her in two land cruisers. She holds a Section 71 office. She has not received the money or loan to purchase these vehicles. I don’t have five soldiers following me.
“The Supreme Court justices have land cruisers, they haven’t had any loans to buy their land cruisers. Ministers of State have land cruisers or official vehicles. Yesterday, you saw in the newspapers that another facility is taken by the executive to acquire official vehicles for members of the Council of State.
“The deputies are the only category of holders of article 71 not to have an official vehicle. So if the agreement is to be given a loan to buy company cars, I think that’s very wrong. My position is that the government should take action and provide us with official vehicles to perform the functions of our office over the next four years, as is done for all other categories, ”he said.
Another member of the minority, Yusif Sulemana (Bole), said the backlash was not justified as MPs would repay the loan.
He said: “In some cases, when MPs leave office, vehicles are even auctioned off to them. It comes at a huge cost, but people don’t know it and the general public don’t even watch it.
“All they hear is MPs taking out loans to buy vehicles. This is a loan that we take and the loan will be paid off. At four, it’s over (and) I should have paid off the loan. So I don’t see where the problem is. I don’t blame them because we refused to hire them and explain to them exactly what’s going on.
This argument was echoed by Kennedy Osei Nyarko, the MP for Akyem Swedru who appears on the NPP ticket.
In a Facebook comment, he said, “Why do we always make it look like the government is buying this vehicle for the members. We are deducted 35% of our monthly salaries to service these auto loans that we take from banks, ”he said.
Patrick Yaw Boamah, MP for Okaikwei North is not against the principle of obtaining a loan for MPs to buy cars, but wants it to be suspended due to public reaction.
“If I had my way I would tell my colleagues to reject the facility for the simple reason that all other branches of government vehicles are purchased for them without going through the process where the media are always on the backs of deputies for contracts a loan.
“If the public thinks MPs don’t deserve a vehicle to ride in, we need to know that, so we know our limits and what the finance ministry can do to support our work,” he said.
Samuel Nartey George, the deputy for Ningo-Prampam, however, has a different opinion.
He believes that Parliament’s practice of helping MPs buy their own cars should stop.
“My position on this auto loan business remains the same. Treat Parliament like the executive and the judiciary. Provide workstation vehicles powered and maintained by the State as is done for ministers and judges. MPs should buy their personal car when they want one, ”he posted on Twitter.
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