Speaker Warns Ministers

DOE ADJAHO (1)The Speaker of Parliament, Mr Edward Doe Adjaho has deplored the refusal of some ministers and deputy ministers to appear before the House to answer questions on what goes on in their various ministries.

His comment followed the inability of the Minister of Food and Agriculture, (MOFA) Mr Clement Kofi Humado, to appear before the House to answer a question on the New Longoro Irrigation Project in the Kintampo District.

Mr Stephen Kunsu (Kintampo North) at yesterday’s sitting had asked the Minister of MOFA about progress of work on the New Longoro Irrigation Project.

Though the question had been answered on the Order Paper of the Parliament, neither Mr Humado nor any of the two deputy ministers was present to read the response to the House.

The Deputy Majority Leader, Mr Alfred Kwame Agbesi, explained that Mr Humado could not appear before the  House  to answer to the   question   because he had travelled to Brazil on  official assignment.

That explanation did not go down well with Mr Isaac Kwame Asiamah (Atwima-Mponua) because the MOFA has two deputies and either of them could have appeared before the House to answer the question. “It is not fair for the House to be treated like this,’’ Mr Asiamah stated.

Mr Adjaho said Parliament had powers to invite ministers and deputy ministers to answer questions relating to their ministries.
“We don’t want the situation where ministers and deputy ministers who have been summoned to appear before the House refuse to come,’’ he warned, saying “the ministers should appreciate the powers of Parliament.’’

The Speaker accepted the explanation from Mr Agbesi (Ashaiman) about the inability of the Minister of MOFA to appear before the House, and said Mr Humado ‘’ has always been responsive to the House.’’

Earlier, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare appeared before the House to explain the Ministry’s plans towards the development the Fuller Falls at Kintampo.

The questioned was posed by Mr Kunsu (Kintampo North). Mrs Ofosu-Agyare explained that her outfit was seeking for partners to develop the Fuller Falls, saying currently the Ministry had welcomed two partners who were interested in developing   the Falls.

Mrs Ofosu-Agyare said the Ministry was working closely with the Kintampo North District Assembly and other development partners including the private sector to develop other tourism sites within the District.

“Following the passage of the Tourism Act, 2011 (Act 817), and associated regulations, specifically the Tourism (Levy) Regulations, 2012, which provides basis for collection of one  per cent levy from patrons of tourist facilities and enterprises into a Tourism Development Fund, the prospects for developing and repackaging of our numerous tourism resources is brighter than before,’’ she stated.

Asked by Dr Anthony Akoto Osei (Old Tafo) how much the Tourism Development Fund had accrued, the Minister said she did not have the figure and she promised to present it to the House later.

The Value Added Tax Bill, 2013, which is at the consideration stage was deferred for winnowing.
Sitting continues today.  By Kingsley Asare

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