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General News of Friday, 2 February 2018

Source: ghanaweb.com

Lockout late MPs – Kwame Agbodza to leadership of Parliament

Member of Parliament for Adaklu Constituency in the Volta Region, Kwame Agbodza has advised that the doors of the chamber of parliament be locked after the time for reporting is due, an action he indicated will help curb constant lateness on the part of some legislatures.

Speaking on the floor of parliament, Mr Agbodza said, “I think we still have a problem with attendance. Day in day out I turn up at work at nine o’clock as you direct the previous days. Hardly do we start work on time. It is not giving me any incentives to come to work. Today is Friday, we are still expected to be at work. Some may be outside for various reasons.”

Parliament today saw a handful of MPs present, a sight that is common on most regular days of parliamentary sittings although some ministers are sometimes absent based on the demand for their leadership elsewhere.

He, in the wake of this growing phenomenon, advised that in order to address absenteeism in the near future, strict measures were needed to manage the situation.

Responding to preparations towards the upcoming State of the Nations Address set for 8th of this month, Mr Agboza expressed worry at the spate of absenteeism on the part of some MPs on a normal day and said locking late people out was one way to control lateness and absenteeism in the house.

He added, “If we are going to be here according to this report at 9:15, I will encourage leadership, when the time is up for us to start work, when the president is here, let’s lock the gates. Let nobody enter this house until it is finished.

“Until we begin to implement these things rigidly, people think we come and talk and go. So I want to encourage leadership, if you want to come here on time and it is on paper, let’s adhere to it. When the President enters on time, if he is late I am not sure how we can stop anybody else. But if the President comes here on time, anybody else who comes after that should be locked out. I think it will be appropriate,” he explained.

Minority Leader, Haruna Iddirsu agreed with Mr. Agbodza’s suggestion adding that lateness and absenteeism without reason were disrespectful to the house.

He said, “Members must endeavour to be punctual, members must endeavour to be in the chamber. Some are waiting in their offices to see Mr. Speaker enter before they come. That in itself is not respectful and is a breach of protocol.”