The Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin on Saturday traveled to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to undergo a medical review.
There have been some media reports on the travel with some reports suggesting that the Speaker traveled with a large delegation.Follow @Graphicgh
The Office of the Speaker of Parliament through his counsel, Magnus Kofi Amoatey has reacted to the media reports and explained that the recent trip to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by Mr Bagbin for a routine medical check-up was part of his conditions of service.
“The current Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, being mindful of the times in which the country finds itself, traveled with a comparatively skeletal staff, taking into consideration the economic situation in the country and bearing in mind, the need for frugal and prudent spending,” the statement dated Monday, November 29, 2021 said.
It explained that there are records to show that all his predecessors, particularly in the 4th Republic, embarked on similar trips and even the entire leadership of the House are entitled to same.
"His office is, therefore, not happy about reports on the trip, particularly on reason why he is accessing healthcare abroad rather than home," it added.
“Indeed, the Speaker has on a number of occasions stated openly and continues to maintain his position to Members of Parliament to help safeguard the public purse and so has been mindful of same in all his dealings as Speaker.
“The Office of Speaker wishes to assure the general citizenry of its commitment to protect the public purse at all times.
Below is a copy of the statement
The attention of the office of the Speaker Rt. Hon. Alban S. K Bagbin has been drawn to the circulation of a communication between Parliament's Parliamentary Relations and Protocol Office and the Consulate General of Ghana in Dubai.
The said document, is in regard to the Rt. Hon. Speaker's trip to Dubai for a routine medical check-up.
Let it be placed on record that, the Speaker is accompanied by four Officials, to the exclusion of his Aide De Camp, Protocol Officer, Butler and other relevant staff.
The Speaker's office will again like to state that, as part of their conditions of service, Speakers of Ghana's Parliament are entitled to such routine medical check-ups, just like officials of the Executive and Judiciary arms of government.
It is trite knowledge that, most staff of some Ministries, Departments and Agencies also have similar facilities at their disposals and continue to take advantage of such arrangements to their benefit.
Indeed, the records of the Parliamentary Service are replete with evidence which point to the fact that, all Speakers of the fourth Republican Parliaments have at one time or another, accessed this facility.
It is worth noting that, it is not only the Speaker of Parliament and his Deputies that are entitled to such a facility but and the entire leadership of the House are also entitled to same facility and continually resort to it when the need arises.
The current Speaker of Ghana's Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, being mindful of the times in which the country finds itself, traveled with a comparatively skeletal staff, taking into consideration, the economic situation in the country and bearing in mind, the need for frugal and prudent spending.
Indeed, the Speaker has on a number of occasions stated openly and continues to maintain his position for Members of Parliament to help safeguard the public purse and so has been mindful of same in all his dealings as Speaker.
The office of the Speaker wishes to assure the general citizenry of its commitment to protect the public purse at all times. Parliament is also committed to seeking the best interest of the people they represent and will continue to always do so.
The Speaker is mindful of the fact that, in the course of their duties, Members of the House may disagree on issues on the floor, but these are all based on procedures, which govern the work of the House and which are strictly adhered to without fear or favour.
The office will advise that the health issues of the Speaker and that of other office bearers are not politicised as anybody could be taken ill at any time. It is an undeniable fact that, the Membership of the House is one whole group, with a common agenda and destiny.
The media reports followed a letter from Parliament to Head of Mission of Ghana's Embassy in UAE which mentioned the nations of the people who were travelling with the Speaker.
The letter, signed on behalf of the Clerk of Parliament to the Head of Mission of Ghana Embassy in UAE, stated: “I have been directed by the Clerk to Parliament to inform you about the arrival of the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, in Dubai to undergo a medical review”.
The speaker is traveling with his wife and another relative.
The letter added that the Speaker will be accompanied by the following: Alice Adjua Yornas, his wife, Dr. Prince Kofi Pambo, head of medical at Parliament House, Patience Bagbin, Speaker’s secretariat and Justice Norvor, his aide.
It added that Mr. Speaker and his delegation will depart Accra on Saturday, 27 November 2021 at 18.50 hours and arrive in Dubai at 6.20 hours on flight EK788 the next day.
They will depart Dubai on Tuesday, 14 December 2021 at 7.35 hours and arrive in Accra the same day at 12.05 hours on flight EK787″.
It added: “It would be appreciated if arrangements are made for Mr. Speaker and his delegation to be met on arrival and due courtesies extended to them”.