General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia has been appointed by Speaker Alban Babgin as a member of Parliament’s Service Board.

The Service Board which was expected to have been constituted some time ago faced some setback due to some delayed processes.

According to the Speaker, a letter from the Advisory Committee on the constitution of the Service Board which had not been filed to his office was the reason for the delay.

The letter from the Committee read by Speaker Alan Bagbin on Monday, March 29, to the Floor of the House stated that the membership of the NDC’s General Secretary on the Board “may amount to an undesired intrusion into the governance of Parliament by a political party and may not in the circumstances bode well for the independence of parliament since he [Asiedu Nketa] is the General Secretary of a major political party.”

Despite the concerns raised, the Speaker informed the House that Mr Asiedu Nketia met the necessary criteria that is he served as a statesman, therefore, his unwavering decision to appoint the four other personalities including Asiedu Nketia who would make up the Board.

He further pointed out that former MP for New Juaben North, Hackman Owusu Agyeman was, some time ago, appointed a member of the Board despite being a part of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) hence “what is good for the gander is also good for the goose.”

“…I want to note that the former Parliamentary Service Board had Honorable Hackman Owusu Agyeman as a member of the board and Hackman Owusu Agyeman later became the Chairman of the Council of Elders of the New Patriotic Party. That one was no intrusion into the governance of Parliament by a member of a political party?” he quizzed.

The Parliamentary Service Board chaired by the Speaker makes regulations prescribing the terms and conditions of service of officers and other employees for the effective and efficient administration of the Service.

Also, the Board has the responsibility of promoting the welfare of MPs and staff of the Service and also controls the management of the Service in matters of policy. 

The MP for Suame, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, Tamale South MP Haruna Iddrisu, former Majority leader Abraham Osei Adu, former MP for Wenchi West, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the Clerk to Parliament and the Speaker constitute the six-member Service Board.

Some legislators in the House on Monday appeared not to be in support of the Speaker’s decision while others cheered him on. This led the Speaker to ask the Majority leader to make his submissions known to the House.

Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu in his submission declined to challenge the decision taken by the Speaker emphasising that he has no aim to bring the House into disrepute.

“Thou shall not tempt the Majority leader to tempt the Speaker,” the Speaker teasingly stated.