Speaker laments over shortchanging of state

The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, has lamented over instances where the state has been shortchanged in some agreements brought before the House due to gaps in some of the conditions of such agreements.

 “Sometimes when you just look at the financials, and see there is much per cent of soft facility in that particular loan, you tend to think that, if they are giving us an amount plus half, then it looks good, but what is the real value on which the said amount has been worked on,” he bemoaned.

Speaking at a training workshop organised by Parliamentary Training Institute in Accra at the weekend, Prof. Oquaye indicated that Parliament would have to do more to give value for money in the signing of international agreements.

The training which was premised on provisions of the constitution which mandates Parliament to ensure that the nation conducted international affairs in compliance with public international law and diplomacy and that Parliament must approve all loans taking into consideration any interest payment and impact on the economy.

According to Prof. Oquaye, “it has become ostensible for Members of Parliament to become acquainted with the law and international best practices to ensure that the state benefits fully from all international agreements because there are things that even when it has been given to you as a gift, you have to be careful in accepting them, those are the dynamics that experts are able to put together in a multi-disciplinary approach.”

 Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu stated that equipping legislators with the requisite skills and knowledge would help in identifying various ways in protecting the public purse and insisted that “what do we do with the Auditor-General’s report? Should it come to parliament before or should the Attorney-General, once he finishes with his business, go public and condemn people? Yet, when the report comes, parliament interrogates it only to realise that the Auditor-General has made a lot of mistakes, what do we do?” -citinewsroom.com

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