Write to Parliament to be absent–Speaker directs summoned ministers

The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, has directed ministers of state to write expressly to Parliament if they cannot be in the House to answer questions.

The directive follows the failure of Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, the Minister of Fisheries to show up in the House without any notification causing the suspension of sitting for three hours.

Prof Oquaye also directed chief directors to ensure that parliament is appropriately informed of the absence of ministers of state saying, “I am directing that, in future, ministers of state who know that they must move from place to place, time to time, all in the course of official duty must ensure that, written communication of their absence must be made available to the Clerk of Parliament.

“When such emergency and situations arise,  at least parliament can advise itself and reschedule  such questions accordingly, it is good for the good order of events and also to show due regard to the honorable house, we will make sure that this is appropriately conveyed to all ministries through the appropriate ministers of state,” he stressed.

Parliament on Thursday suspended sitting for three hours to allow the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture to respond to questions asked by some Members of Parliament (MPs).

The House was informed by the Majority Leader of Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah- Bonsu, that the sector minister, Mrs Quaye was unavailable because she was out of the jurisdiction but Prof Oquaye was dissatisfied that none of the deputy minister or the Chief Director was present to respond to the questions.

The questions which centred on the payment of contractors who executed contracts in restocking of selected dams, waiver of tax on aquaculture input materials and the construction of a fish landing site at Dzemeni in the Oti Region were to be asked by Frank Annoh-Dompreh, MP for Nsawam-Adoagyiri in the Eastern Region, and Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, MP for South Dayi in the Volta Region.

Parliament on Tuesday commenced sittings for the third meeting of the Third Session of the Seventh Parliament of the Fourth Republic after resuming from their August recess.

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