MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa

MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has questioned the leadership of the Business Committee of Parliament over the failure of Finance Minister, Ken Ofori -Atta, to appear before the House to answer questions on President Akufo-Addo’s recent foreign travel expenditure.

The NDC MP and Ranking Member on Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee in a Facebook post accused President Akufo-Addo of ostentatious spending even as the country goes through economic hardship.

According to Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, per his findings and calculations, the President spent £345,000, i.e. ¢2,828,432.80 at the current exchange rate in flight cost during his nine-day visit to France, Belgium, South Africa, and back to Ghana.

Subsequently, Mr Ablakwa filed a question in Parliament, requesting for a probe into the President’s travel.

Defense Minister, Dominic Nitiwul reported to the House and responded to the first question admitted by the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin on June 1, 2021, but the Finance Minister is yet to present himself before the House.

On the day he was expected to answer his part of the question, the Finance Minister requested for more time to furnish the House with the cost of President Akufo-Addo’s foreign trips.

On Friday, July 9, when he was still out of sight to give his answer, Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa questioned the leadership of the Business Committee on why Mr. Ofori-Atta has not appeared before the House.

He stated that the House must consider the delay as an affront to the legislative arm of government.

“On the 1st of July, I wrote a memo to the Business Committee, drawing attention that if care is not taken, it will appear as though there is a Minister who is above our standing orders and above the laws of this country who can keep asking for more time in perpetuity. Nobody knows what ‘more time’ means. I have gone through the business statement and again that question is conspicuously missing. Can the honourable Majority Leader tell this House what is going on?” Mr. Ablakwa said.

“And this business of more time, more time, no specific timelines and we are not told anything, this is not acceptable!”

“It is totally wrong. So Mr Speaker I want to find out from the Deputy Majority leader what is happening?,” he said.

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