House approves $ 12.5m Ghana fly Zipline deal

Mr Joseph Osei Owusu

Mr Joseph Osei Owusu

THE approval of a resolution to give Parliamentary blessing to the now controversial  $12.5m Service Agreement between the Government and Fly Zipline Ghana Limited for the delivery of emergency health and blood products to public health facilities went down the wire via a head-count in the House yesterday.

 

It was necessitated by the Minority caucus’ opposition to the deal they said would shortchange the Ghanaian.

 

At the end of the day, those for the deal (Majority) triumphed over those against it (Minority) by 102 to 58 members for the deal to now be binding on the state.

 

The approval of the deal hit a snag last week when the Minority raised objections to the terms and conditions of the deal.

 

The Minority had questioned the financial and regulatory terms of the agreement expressing their opposition to the deal in its current form.

 

Amenable to the concerns of the Minority, the Second Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, who was presiding over proceedings had to suspend the approval for further consultations to be done, deferring the vote on the debate in the process.

 

Presenting the altered report of the Health Committee as directed by First Deputy Speaker, the Chairman of the Committee, Dr. KwabenaTwum-Nuamah said the areas of contention including regulatory approval from the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority.

 

He explained that the cost of the deal was US$80,000 for a month per a distribution centre for day deliveries and US$88,000 for a distribution centre which operates both day and night, paving the way for the question to be put.

 

The hour for the headcount eventually came and a well-represented Majority, as expected,  carried the day as they outnumbered their opposite colleagues.

 

When the First Deputy Speaker, Osei-Owusu put the question: “All those in favour of the resolution say ‘I'” a thunderous ‘I’ swept through the chamber of the House effectively giving the MPs on the side of the government an anticipated victory on the matter.

 

Speaking in a further interview with journalists, the Minority Spokesperson on Finance, CasielAtoBaahForson maintained that the deal was a “rip-off.”

 

According to AtoForson, the approval of the Fly Zipline deal was a sad day for our country

 

He said many of his colleagues on the opposite side of the House were not for the deal but were coerced to support the agreement because of partisanship.

 

“Today is a sad day for Ghana. Partisanship is killing is killing this country because I know some members of the Majority who deep in their hearts are not for this,” AtoForson, member for Ajumako/Anyan/Essiam and a former Deputy Finance Minister said.

 

He said as a caucus, they were not ending it their opposition to the agreement.

 

“We will still pursue this matter because we strongly think that it is a rip-off,” he indicated accusing the Vice President Dr. Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia as being the brain behind the “fraudulent” deal.

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI

 

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