Don’t reduce parliamentary duties to mere talk shop - Deputy majority Leader

BY: Samuel K. Obour

Mr Alfred Agbesi

The Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament, , has challenged the 275-member parliament not to reduce parliamentary duties to a forum for just making statements.

He has, therefore, urged his fellow MPs to ensure that the House does not become a mere forum for the ventilation of grievances  but to make certain that the relevant state institutions address the concerns raised by members during sitting.

  Mr Agbesi, who is the MP for Ashaiman, said for many years MPs had failed to ensure that the problems they raised in Parliament were dealt with.

He noted that through statements made on the floor of the House, MPs had raised concerns and drawn attention to various problems facing the nation but they had failed to ensure the  solution of the problems.

Commenting on a statement made on the floor of the House on the challenges facing the newly created districts, Mr Agbesi said MPs needed to refer the statements made to the appropriate bodies and give them time to address such problems.

If, after waiting for sometime, the problems were not addressed, he said, Parliament should then invite the heads of the relevant bodies or sector ministers to the House to answer questions and ascertain why there had been no action.

“This should not be a House for just making statements,” he said.

The MP for Kwabre East, Mr Kofi Frimpong (NPP), supporting the comments made by Mr Agbesi, said copies of statements made should be sent to sector ministries and ministers tasked to work on them.

“This place cannot be a talk shop,” he said.

The First Deputy Speaker, Mr Ebo Barton-Odro, who was in the Speaker’s chair at the time, said the practice had been that when statements were made on the floor, the media highlighted them and the sector ministries took action.

Apart from that, he said, there was an avenue for Parliament to invite sector ministers to state what they had done in respect of the specific issues.

“This is the way we should go,” he said.

Story: Mark-Anthony Vinorkor