Communications Minister has described as false claims by the Minority Caucus that she failed to produce annual reports of the National Communications Authority (NCA) and other agencies under the Ministry when she appeared before the Parliament’s Communications Committee on Tuesday.
Ursula Owusu Ekuful said she was never booted out of the Committee meeting, insisting copies of the 2015 and 2016 annual reports were with her at the said committee meeting.
“I indicated to them that I had copies of the 2015 and 2016 report with me in the committee sitting room at the time and I showed it to the members, and that the 2017 report was in my office and that if I am given a few minutes, I will make it available for members to peruse.
“And so sitting was adjourned for 30 minutes to enable us to produce the 2017 report, and I sat there and waited until I received a copy of the 2017 report. So I am surprised to hear that sitting was suspended; we were sacked and told to go away until we submit the report,” Ursula Owusu explained.
Budget hearings for the Communication Ministry last Tuesday hit a snag after the Minority insisted that they will only proceed with considering the estimates when the NCA provides its annual reports to the Committee.
The annual report for the state entity has not been presented to Parliament for about six years.
At a press conference, Deputy Ranking Member on the Committee, Samuel Nartey George, stated that the sector Minister claimed that some of the reports are before the House.
However, upon scrutiny, it was revealed that the Ministry was now presenting the 2015 and 2016 reports.
“For us, we felt that was in contradiction to what she had said at the vetting. On the basis of that, our side of the Committee said we could not continue with considering the estimates of the Ministry until the right things are done”, Sam George indicated.
But the Minister, who is unhappy with the conduct of the Minority, rejected the claim that she had pointed out during her vetting that the reports had been laid before Parliament.
“I indicated at my vetting that I would ensure that it is laid before Parliament as soon as I receive it. I never said anywhere that I have it, and it is before Parliament, and it is ready to be laid. I did not”, Ursula Owusu reacted.
Speaking to the press, she urged Ghanaians to disregard the pronouncements of the Minority, arguing that their comments are not reflective of what exactly happened at the Committee.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful added, “I’m a little distressed. I am not very happy. I don’t want to use any strong language, but I am at a loss as to why they would put up that information”.
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