Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu has appealed to Parliament to reject loans and contracts that come to the House for approval but for which due diligence has not been done.
The current situation, he said, does not augur well for the state because there is not enough due diligence before major economic transactions and laws are brought before Parliament.
The Minority leader made the call while speaking on the oversight function of the 8th Parliament at a media briefing for the Parliamentary Press Corps (PPC) on Thursday..
He said, “I think that this Parliament must pass a Budget Act, which must sit in tandem with Article 179 of the 1992 Constitution. We also need the Office of Scrutiny”
“But in the exercise of oversight over the period as I have observed it, whether under my government the NDC or the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government there is no enough diligence before major economic transactions and loans are brought before Parliament.”
“I’m sure many of you have read the Africa report on the approval of the processes leading to that Tema Port. You must be interested in it.”
“Parliament is not able to demand value for money. You allow ministers to come to Parliament and seek excuse that they will go and come back with the value for money audit.”
“My position is that Parliament should not approve any loan or major economic transaction or contract if they are not accompanied by an independent report on value for money,” he added.
Mr. Haruna Iddrisu lamented the mass misunderstanding of the duties of MPs not only by constituents but by members of Parliament themselves.
He stated MPs are suffering from identity crises and at a loss whether they are lawmakers or development agents.
According to him, this role conflict whereby MPs have projected themselves as if they are district assemblies, promoting and sponsoring projects is threatening Ghana’s growing democracy.
This, he said, has created conflicts in constituencies because in the bid to win votes MPs make very ambitious promises and pledges.
He argued some of it may not be wrong because they may be within the framework of the political party’s manifesto of the flagbearer’s vision for governing the country.
He said, “I should, however, say that we suffer from a crisis of identity. Are we lawmakers or are we development agents? That conflict needs to be explained and that conflict needs to be understood and managed.”
“Some are of the view that then don’t give MPs money for purposes of Common Fund so that you they would not come into the role.”
“But many of you will appreciate that what MPs do with their Common fund becomes very visible and sometimes even more popular and acceptable than what the assemblies do in the constituencies.”
He observed that for fear of being rejected MPs try to be very impressive with the state resources and virtually taken the development role from the assemblies.
He charged members of the Press Corps and the media in general to help educate Ghanaians on the role of members of Parliament in order to strengthen the fundamentals of the country’s democratic governance.