Opinions of Wednesday, 3 July 2019
Columnist: Johnson Asiedu Nketia
STATEMENT BY NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS ON PROPOSED $ 200 MILLION PARLIAMNENTARY CHAMBER
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has learnt of plans by the Akufo-Addo government and the Parliamentary Service Board to construct a $ 200 million,450-seater Parliamentary Chamber with auxiliary facilities.
The NDC wishes to state unequivocally, that it is opposed to this profligate spending at a time of great distress for the Ghanaian people. Despite incremental gains in the development of the country, many of our people live in harrowing conditions and are deprived of the basic necessities of life.
In the 21st Century, over 20% of Ghanaians live without potable water and are compelled to share very dirty and infested water with animals. About 16% of our people are without access to electricity and sleep in darkness.
There remain many roads that require urgent attention because of their deplorable state. School children still study under trees or are compelled to study in dilapidated structures.
Close to three million Ghanaians live below the poverty line and cannot afford three square meals a day.
It would be unconscionable in the face of these challenges for President Akufo-Addo to spend $ 200 million on a Parliamentary Chamber at a time when one already exists and is serving the needs of Parliament. Parliament only recently had the Job 600 project undertaken to provide decent offices for MPs. We are unable therefore to appreciate the basis upon which a new chamber should be built.
We demand an immediate cessation of plans to undertake this project. National resources must be channeled into projects and expenditure that have a direct bearing on the lives of the people not grandiose and prestige projects of doubtful relevance.
We commend all Ghanaians who have risen up and condemned the recklessness of the Akufo-Addo government in this matter and expressed, with a collective voice, their opposition to this needless and wasteful expenditure.
President Akufo-Addo must learn from the example of the NDC that invested heavily in education, health, housing, communications, water, roads transportation and other sectors which brought relief to the people of Ghana. He must not subject the public purse which he promised to protect.
Johnson Asiedu Nketiah
General Secretary, NDC