The Minority Caucus of Parliament has fumed over the absence of the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta during the debate on the 2023 Budget.

The House began the debate on the Budget on Tuesday, November 29. But before the debate could begin, the Minority MPs were concerned about the absence, in the House, of Ken Ofori-Atta who presented the budget last week.

According to them, the Minister should be present for the MPs to make their demands to him.

First Deputy Minority Whip, Ibrahim Ahmed raised the concern on the floor of the House on Tuesday.

“The Finance Minister can lay the budget on the floor on behalf of the President. The House is also prepared to put in our demands to be conveyed to the President. So you cannot come and move the motion and won’t be around during the debate.”

“Remember we are in a critical stage as a country so it is only appropriate for the Finance Minister to be here. Mr. Speaker, if the Finance Minister is not ready to do the job, he must let the House know,” he said.

Supported by other Minority MPs, they explained that this is not the first time Mr. Ofori-Atta is absent during an important debate and that should not be entertained.

They proposed that the 2023 budget debate should therefore be put on hold until the Finance Minister is present in Parliament.

Apart from the absence of the Finance Minister, most Majority members of the House were absent, which made the Minority question why the owners of the budget were not available for its discussion.

“In addition to the absence of the Finance Minister, it is also the absence of the Majority members. Mr Speaker, they are only twenty-one, meanwhile, the title of the budget is ‘nkabom.’”

“How can we do nkabom debate when we are more than the people who are supposed to be nkabom,” South Dayi MP, Rockson Nelson-Dafeamekpor asked.

However, Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin said the Finance Minister had sought permission to partake in some other national duties outside the country.

He, therefore requested that the debate should commence since the Deputy Finance Ministers were present.

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