The Majority Chief Whip in Parliament, Frank Annor Dompreh has said the Roads and Highways Minister, Kwasi Amoako-Atta acted rightly by directing the cessation of payment of road tolls.
“We think that the Minister acted in good faith and when you heard the First Deputy Speaker who says that we are the makers of the law, the Executive enforces the law. So probably I’m just having a guess, the Speaker should have probably made a referral and then whichever Committee, reasonably in this context, maybe the Roads Committee would have engaged the Minister further, and then things would have come up more for us to appreciate,” Mr. Dompreh said.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta on Wednesday during the presentation of the 2022 budget announced the scrapping of road tolls by the government.
In less than 12 hours, the Roads and Highways Minister issued a statement directing the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) to ensure the halting of toll collections at the various toll booths across the country.
However, the Minority in Parliament have disagreed with the directive of the Roads and Highways Minister.
According to the Minority Leader, the action of the Minister is a “disrespect” to Parliament and contravenes the law which mandates Parliament to approve levies proposed by the Executive.
After several deliberations in the House today, the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin directed the Roads Minister to withdraw the directive.
“It is a proposal they are presenting to us to approve to take effect January 2022. And so until this budget is approved, all that is contained in the budget are proposals. We have the authority to approve.
They have been given the authority in pursuant to Article 179 to prepare and lay before the House. So those are policy proposals that the minister has presented to the House. Until they are approved, nobody has the authority to start implementing something that doesn’t exist. That amounts to a disrespect of the House,” a statement from the speaker noted.
But the Majority Chief Whip, Frank Annor Dompreh said the speaker erred in his directive.
According to the Nsawam Adoagyiri MP, the Roads and Highways Minister did what is appropriate.
“We think that the Minister acted in good faith to avert a chaotic situation and that needs to be respected. So the current ruling by the Speaker…the speaker is my very good friend and I respect him a lot but we think that the Speaker erred and we must put matters in proper context,” he noted.
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