Eschew excessive and unbridled partisanship and “be sensitive to the waning patience and tolerance of Ghanaians and be responsive to the national call to rise up together to salvage the economy,” the Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Alban Bagbin, has entreated parliamentarians.
In the view of the Speaker, if there was ever a time that Ghanaians looked up to the legislature and not the executive for solutions to the challenges confronting the country, it is now, hence the MPs must not disappoint.
He said Ghana’s impaired economic conditions, which may have been caused by global challenges and poor policy choices, as some would suggest, it was important the lawmakers rose to the occasion to provide the needed inspiration to steer the country out of the situation.
Mr Bagbin gave this admonishment when he opened the three-day post budget workshop for the MPs in the Volta Regional capital, Ho, on Saturday.
The workshop is to offer the lawmakers and parliamentary staff the opportunity of a deeper appreciation of the 2022 budget statement and economic policy of government with the debate scheduled to commence tomorrow.
“It is imperative that we keep in mind the promise we made to the people of Ghana; to give them a reason to aspire for a better future. What use is parliamentary democracy if it does not present Ghanaians with the chance to attain their full potentials and the prospects of a future defined by a drive towards social and economic development and healthier better and longer lives?
“It is important that we place improving the lives of those we serve at the top of our priorities as a country. In doing so, let us eschew unbridled partisanship, given that the budget’s primary goal speaks to the common issues that affect us all.
“Let us collectively as a legislature commit to stabilising the economic turbulence in the country. If there was any time in the history of this country that Ghanaians are looking up to the Legislature – not the Executive – for solutions to the challenges confronting us as a people, it is now and that is why we must consign partisanship to the background and bring our nationalism to the fore in the decisions that we take and the issues we support,” Mr Bagbin said.
According to him, by the composition of the House, the eighth parliament has the opportunity to assert the independence and relevance of parliament in the governance of the country “else, posterity will remember us as a crop of legislators who sacrificed Ghana on the altar of partisanship”.
The government, the Speaker said must open up on the ongoing negotiations with the International Monetary Fund for the citizenry to know what to expect.
“We must bear in mind that the absence of transparency can lead to suspicion and a profound sense of despair and hopelessness. It is in this respect that I call on the Ministry and the resource persons to muster courage to be candid, open and speak truth to power.”
He said relevant questions the budget must answer should include how it reflects the negotiations with the fund and the path to economic recovery and posited that “we don’t want to go to the IMF again. It is not the solution. It is just a palliative.”
The House, he said, would interrogate the extent to which the budget provides solutions for the current economic challenges in the short term and solid basis for a resilient and sustainable medium to long term economy.
FROM JULIUS YAO PETETSI, HO