Plans to build new parliament chamber triggers mixed reactions

Scores of Ghanaians have kicked against intended plans by the Parliamentary Service Board to develop a new parliament chamber at a cost of UD$200 million.

The new chamber, according to renowned Ghanaian architect, David Frank Adjaye, who designed it, would be completed within three years if the project was commenced by the end of this year.
 
The multi-purpose building would be fitted with a chapel, mosque, eatery and a museum.

However, some Ghanaians have expressed anger at the idea of a new chamber describing it “as needless and wrong use of the state’s resources”.

Social media, specifically Facebook and Twitter, was washed with comments and statements urging the Parliamentary Service Board to discard the plan.

While some accused the legislature of being insensitive to the plight of Ghanaians, others urged all constituents to call on their Members of Parliament (MPs) to reject the proposal.

Majority and Minority Leaders of Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensa-Bonsu and Haruna Iddrisu, were not left out as many social media users attacked them for trying to justify the need for a new chamber in a TV interview earlier yesterday.

In addition to an online petition which asked users to sign to compel the government to throw out any such plan, a planned demonstration christened #Drop That Chamber was also making rounds on social media urging all Ghanaians to join in a march to kick against the idea on Saturday, July 13.

Some television personalities also joined calls on the government to focus on addressing essential needs of the people including creating jobs and improving infrastructure, rather than a new chamber.

Already, some minority MPs have criticised the plan to construct a new chamber.

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Ras Mubarak, Inusah Fuseini, Sam Dzata George, amongst others, have indicated that they would not support the plan.

Mr Ablakwa called on Ghanaians to reject the plan and march to show their disapproval of the plan.

“The building of new parliamentary chamber is needless and scandalous, in my constituency, there are better things we should be thinking about rather than concentrating on building a new chamber.

”We need to build better roads and adequate health facilities for people in our constituents; that is the most important thing we need to address,” Mr Fuseini stated.

In a post on Facebook, Mr George called on the board to consider rehabilitating the current chamber to resolve its limitations, adding that, “I am against the idea of a new chamber for Parliament. If we can source US$200 million, let’s commit to fixing major roads and schools.”

BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS

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