Majority Leader in Ghana’s Parliament, Osei-Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, who is also the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, has admitted that the country’s Parliament is very weak when it comes to performing its oversight functional roles over the Executive arm of the government.
He said Parliament must be strengthened through its Committees because “parliament is as strong as its committees make it”.
The Leader of Government’s Business was speaking in an interview on the Point Blank segment on Eye Witness News show on Citi FM, an Accra based radio station.
“The issues about corruption that we often cite – perceived or real – I keep insisting is that, Parliament, that is the prime body that is supposed to be playing an active oversight over the executive is not really doing what is expected of it because of some mortal wounds; constitutional, statutory and also some of them self-inflicted. So we must deal with these things. And I think we must strengthen Parliament because once we are able to strengthen Parliament I am sure we will be able to put a lot of these matters behind us as a country, he said.
According to the Majority Leader who has been a Member of Parliament since January 1997 – haven served in various roles including Committee Chairman, Minority Whip, Minority Leader, and now a Majority Leader, parliament has consistently failed to live up to expectations in effectively protecting the public purse just as in the issue of the purchase of the three aircrafts from Airbus which has now become a subject of investigations by UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO).
It is his view that Parliament could have stopped the airbus scandal which has now dented the image of the nation, had the Committee of Finance been a bit more robust with its oversight at the time the issue came up during the Mills/John Mahama administration between 2011 and 2015.
According to the UK’s SFO, Ghana is one of five countries in which global aerospace group, Airbus SE, allegedly bribed or promised payments to senior officials in exchange for business favours between 2009 and 2015.
This led to a record £3 billion in settlement by Airbus with France, the United Kingdom and the United States to avoid corporate criminal charges.
A statement from the Presidency has indicated that President Nana Akufo-Addo has referred the matter to the Office of the Special Prosecutor for investigations.
Source: Clement Akoloh || africanewsradio.com