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Parliament on recess after emergency meeting

BY: Musah Yahaya Jafaru
 Prof. Mike Oquaye — Speaker of Parliament
Prof. Mike Oquaye — Speaker of Parliament

Parliament has adjourned sine die after its emergency meeting, which saw the House pass bills into law and approve tax waivers.

During the meeting from April 29, 2019 to May 3, 2019, which was summoned by the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Aaron Oquaye, Members of Parliament (MPs) debated, amended and passed the Companies Bill, 2019 and the State Interest and Governance Authority Bill, 2019 into law.

The House also gave approval for the request for tax waiver in respect of the rehabilitation and construction of selected roads and interchanges and another tax waiver for the execution of the Sinohydro-related projects.

It also approved tax waiver requests for the implementation of the One district, One factory programme and the construction of the Integrated Container and Multi Purpose terminal at the Takoradi Port.

The National Road Safety Authority Bill was also laid and went to the second reading.

In his closing remarks last Friday, the Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, said the Vigilantism and Related Offences Bill could not be taken because the Committee on Constitutional, Parliamentary and Legal Affairs was preoccupied with the work on the Companies Bill.

He said now that the Companies Bill had been passed into law, the committee would resume deliberations on the Vigilantism and Related Offences Bill for the House to consider it when it resumed tentatively on May 28, 2019.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu asked the various committees of Parliament to deliberate on the referrals to them so that when the House resumed the issues could be taken up.
He said the meeting had been profoundly fruitful as the members had discharged their duties diligently.

Commitment

In his remarks, the Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, said members had demonstrated commitment during the emergency meeting by working long hours and closing late.
"Parliament must be ready at all times to respond to any national emergency be it economic, political, or disaster", he said.

Mr Iddrisu stated that all was not well beyond earmarking and capping of statutory funds.

He said for instance that the Common Fund for the fourth quarter of 2018 and first quarter of 2019 remained unpaid.

Besides, he said, "district assemblies are in distress, new regions do not know how to start life, while the Zongo Development Fund is also in deep distress", he said.

Mr Iddrisu hinted that the Minority in Parliament would file a motion to compel the Inspector General of Police (IGP), through the Minister of the Interior, to indicate measures being taken to rescue the kidnapped Takoradi girls.