Parliament approves US$90m loan facility for UESD

Mr Haruna Iddrisu,Minority Leader.

Mr Haruna Iddrisu,Minority Leader.

After deferring the approval of a US$90 million loan for the Bunso campus of the University of Environment and Sustainable Development (UESD) last Friday, Parliament yesterday by a majority decision approved the facility for the commencement of work on the East Akyem Municipal based satellite campus of the UESD.

 

The House was unable to approve the terms and conditions of the facility at its sitting last Friday because it did not have a quorum, in line with constitutional provisions to undertake that exercise.

 

Article 104 of the Constitution states that “except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, matters in Parliament shall be determined by the votes of the majority of members present and voting, with at least half of the members of Parliament present.”

 

But after a heated debate the House came to the realisation that it had only 137 members instead of the 138 of the 275 lawmakers needed for a decision of such nature to be taken and thus deferred the approval to a different day.

 

The Minority Caucus had registered its disagreement with government to overlook the proposed Donkorkrom campus of the UESD in the Afram Plains North District of the Eastern Region in line with section three of the UESD Act, Act 898 2015.

 

The Act stipulates that the school shall have its main campus at Somanya in the Yilo Krobo District of the Eastern with one satellite campus at Donkorkrom and “any other place as the [University] Council may determine.”

 

The Majority Caucus, however, is for the move as it argued that the Donkorkrom campus had not been abandoned as the Bunsu area already has conditions that feed into the brain behind the establishment of the university.

 

When the question was put yesterday as to how many people were for or against the approval, a thunderous ‘yea yea’ swept through the chamber giving the majority side which were heavily represented  a victory in the voice vote.

 

Unconvinced by the outcome of the voice vote, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, in line with Standing Order 113(1), requested for a head count which was granted by the Speaker, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye.

 

The decision by Professor Oquaye to grant the Minority Leader’s request was to the delight of the opposition lawmakers as if they would emerge victorious in the contest of numbers after initial attempts by the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu to shoot down the request.

 

As the clerks of Parliament prepared to undertake the head count, the whips from both caucuses could be seen moving from one aisle to the other having chit-chats with their subordinates.

 

For the counting to be done, the Speaker called out all those who were in favour of the motion to be on their feet and did same for those who were against the motion as the clerks could be seen on their feet physically counting the MPs.

 

At the end of the head count, the majority recorded 125 members against the minority’s 75.

 

A resolution was later passed to give Parliamentary approval to the Korean Export-Income Bank loan facility.

 

 

 

 

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