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General News of Wednesday, 17 November 2021


Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu explains why the president was not in parliament

Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu is the Majority Leader in Parliament play videoOsei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu is the Majority Leader in Parliament

The 2022 Budget is known loosely as the Agyenkwa Budget

Ken Ofori-Atta announced the scrapping of all road tolls

The vice president is the head of the Economic Management team of government

It is very characteristic of the president and his vice to be present at every budget reading but that feature was missing when the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, presented the 2022 statement to the House.

Obviously being a subject of concern particularly for the Members of Parliament on the Minority side of the House, their leader, Haruna Iddrisu made a point about it in his statement following the reading of the budget.

But the Majority Leader, who is also the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu, was quick to offer explanations.

He explained that with the president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, out of the country, leaving his vice, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, in charge, it would be technically wrong to have him appear at the reading of the statement.

“Mr. Speaker, just for the avoidance of doubts, it is important to clear this statement that has been made by the Minority Leader with respect of the acting president’s absence from the Chamber. The vice president, as you do know, is the head of the Economic Management Team and at budgets, Mr. Speaker, he has always been with us. Today, he’s not with us, and the reason is simple.

“Mr. Speaker, today, he is the acting president, and because he is the acting president and because it is the president who causes the finance minister to come and present the budget to the House, the president cannot be in the House. Mr. Speaker, that is for the uninitiated, that is the technical position,” he said.

He added that, besides, should the president be in the House, there would be certain changes to the operations of the House that would not fit the kind that a budget reading takes.

“Mr. Speaker, if the president comes to this House, the mace would have to be [subdued] into the sword of the state because when he comes, he comes to speak to us,” he explained.

The 2022 budget is code-named the Agyenkwa Budget and is themed “Building a Sustainable Entrepreneurial Nation: Fiscal Consolidation and Job Creation.”