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General News of Friday, 25 October 2019


Speaker angry with Fisheries Minister

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The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye, yesterday expressed his anger with the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, and her deputy, Ato Cudjoe, both of whom could not turn up in Parliament to answer questions directed at the ministry by the Members of Parliament (MPs) for Nsawam/Adoagyiri and South Dayi.

The MP for Nsawam/Adoagyiri, Frank Annoh-Dompreh, wanted to ascertain when the contractor involved in the restocking of selected dams and dugouts with four million catfish and fingerlings would be paid.

Besides, he wanted to find out from the minister the steps being implemented to ensure that there is a waiver of tax on aquaculture input materials to boost the industry.

The MP for South Dayi, Rockson-Nelson Kwame Dafeamekpor, also wanted to find out when a fish landing site would be constructed at Tongor-Dzemeni, but the Speaker was informed the minister and her deputy had both travelled on official duties, and were expected to be back later in the day. As a result, the Speaker was compelled to suspend parliamentary proceedings to allow them to appear to answer those questions.

However, after several hours of waiting, the Chief Director at the ministry came to inform the Speaker that the two ministers could not turn up due to certain unforeseen circumstances.

According to him, the minister and her deputy had both travelled outside Ghana when the questions were brought to the ministry, so it was him (Chief Director) who provided the official answer to Parliament, saying the deputy was supposed to have arrived on Wednesday but his flight was changed.

The Speaker, who was obviously not happy, warned all ministers to take the business of Parliament seriously, adding that the House would be forced to take punitive actions against ministers who refuse to appear before Parliament to answer questions concerning their respective ministries. He said when ministers are not available they can delegate their deputies to stand in for them.

He, however, directed the Clerk of Parliament to send official notices to all ministers that if they are to appear before Parliament and are not available they should also write officially to inform Parliament about their absence from Ghana.

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