Member of Parliament for Okaikwei Central, Patrick Yaw Boamah, has urged colleague MPs to reject the US$100,000 loan government is offering them to purchase vehicles.
According to him, vehicles are procured for all other arms of government without having to go through the processes Parliamentarians go through, which has always sparked media frenzy and abuse.
He questioned why MPs should be the target of public anger when every loan would be paid back over the four-year term of members.
Mr. Patrick Boamah made the call during an interview in Parliament when he commented on the public reaction to the loan being offered Parliamentarians to purchase vehicles.
He argued the public bashing is unjustified in view of the fact that this is a loan agreement the Finance Ministry contracted with the National Investment Bank (NIB) for MPs and members of the Council of State.
He said, “It is done every four years but I have never heard anybody talking about why the state is procuring vehicles for members of the Council of State. Is it because the MPs are easy targets?”
“Nobody has ever asked why those serving in other arms of government, from the executive to the judiciary, are given vehicles without having to procure a loan.”
“That is why I’m saying if I have my way I will ask MPs to reject the loan and rather ask the government to procure vehicles for us to use to perform our duties and after four years we leave the vehicles for them.”
According to him, the state has already begun deducting from his salary in anticipation of the loan, which is even yet to be approved.
“From February, I started paying even though I haven’t seen the loan. Nobody is seeing anything wrong with that. The President, down to ministers have official vehicles; Some have a 4 wheel drive and a saloon car but nobody complains.”
“The members of the judiciary do and nobody has complained. MPs are not having it for free, they are procuring a loan and yet that there is a problem,” he stated.
Mr. Patrick Boamah argued there is a need to interrogate the matter and if the public thinks MPs do not deserve vehicles to work then it should be made clear so they will know their limitations and what the Finance Minister can do to support them.
He argued that providing vehicles for MPs is a way of insulating them against temptations to bribery and other schemes and also ensuring their effectiveness in the performance of their duties.