Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta

The Majority Chief Whip, Frank Annoh-Dompreh, has revealed the Finance Minister wrote to Parliament about his unavailability to appear before the House to answer questions on Thursday, March 24.

According to him, Ken Ofori-Atta’s absence on the floor was unavoidable because he is still gathering facts and data on the questions he is expected to answer.

Parliament’s provisional Order Paper on Wednesday indicated that the Finance Minister was scheduled to answer 12 questions on measures to recover the economy on Thursday.

However, the said questions were not tabled as part of Thursday’s business, a development that incensed the Minority Caucus as they accused him of disrespecting Parliamentary procedures.

But the Nsawam-Adoagyiri MP, Frank Annoh-Dompreh, says the Minister followed due processes to inform the House about his inability to turn up in the Chamber.

“In this House, between leadership, we have also come to some working agreements that where a Sector Minister is unable to attend upon the House, at least we should receive that correspondence a day ahead of the day the Sector Minister is billed to come and answer the said questions.

“The fact be told; we received this correspondence. I personally followed up to ensure that these correspondents got to this House yesterday. He has written and let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. After the expiration of the date given, then we can have a cause to complain,” he explained.

Responding to the Minority’s claims that the Minister is evading Parliamentary questions about the economy, Mr Annoh-Dompreh stated that “the Finance Minister has not on any occasion refused to come and attend upon this House and answer questions advertised in his name.”

“Mr Speaker, facts be told and the Table will bear witness to this. If I am saying anything otherwise, the Table Office should say same. These questions advertised in the name of the Finance Minister have gone through the process. Questions have gone through to Mr Speaker, Speaker admitted it because I have followed from day one and on the day the questions were admitted by Mr Speaker, the Table Office has confirmed.

“I want to plead with my colleagues; let’s not raise the temperature unnecessarily this morning. He has respected this House and I will plead with my colleagues to acknowledge the respect and the dignity he has accorded to this House.”