Parliament has approved the $28 million car loan presented by the Finance Ministry to facilitate the purchase of 275 vehicles for members of the eighth Parliament.
This is in spite of massive backlash from the public after the Deputy Finance Minister, Abena Osei Asare laid a document on the floor of Parliament requesting approval for the loan facility from the National Investment Bank to purchase the vehicles.
Parliament also approved a report of the Finance Committee that called for the discontinuation of the car loan facility for Members of Parliament and the Council of State.
According to the report, subsequent governments must provide official vehicles for Members of Parliament and Council of State members for use as enjoyed by other Article 71 officeholders.
Speaking on the floor of the House, during the loan approval, Kwaku Kwarteng, who chairs the Finance Committee, said this new arrangement will stop the “vilification” of Parliament and its members every four years.
He stated that the Committee took notice of the concerns by a section of Ghanaians about the loan facility and its effect on the public purse.
“These legitimate concerns are fueled by the fact that, of all the Article 71 officeholders, it is only Members of Parliament and Members of the Council of State who benefit from these vehicle loans, a large part of which are re-paid by the state.”
“We have a responsibility to reflect the values and ideals of the people we represent. Accordingly, the Committee strongly recommends to Parliament the discontinuation of the current vehicle loan arrangement for MPs and Council of State Members,” he said.
Mr Kwarteng stated that the Committee recommended that Members of Parliament and Members of the Council of State should have similar duty post vehicle arrangements as other Article 71 office holders.