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General News of Monday, 1 July 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

Construction of new chamber in Parliament needless – Ras Mubarak

The Member of Parliament for Kumbungu, Ras Mubarak has expressed concern over the construction of the new Parliamentary Chamber set to be constructed before the end of 2019.

Mr. Mubarak said the country cannot afford the new chamber.

The construction of the new parliamentary chamber was disclosed when members of the Parliamentary Service Board received a model for the proposed new Chamber last Friday.

Speaking to Citi News, Ras Mubarak, said Parliament needs to focus on the more pressing issues affecting Ghanaians.

“Ghana clearly does not need a 450 member chamber. The expenditure cannot be justified. A country as small as Ghana should not be entertaining the thoughts of having a 450-member chamber. Yes indeed, democracy is expensive but we must not make it too expensive. Currently, there are many issues at the top of the minds of our constituents. Water, road, electricity, schools, you name it.”

“How do we go back to our constituents and tell them Parliament wants to construct a 450-member chamber that is likely to shoot through the roof the expenditure of Parliament. At this particular moment, there are a lot of issues that we need to focus on instead of expanding the chamber of Parliament and building the chamber that can contain 450 members. I think it is completely outrageous.”

According to the Speaker of Parliament, some allocation has been made towards the project by the government but additional funding is being sourced.

Famed architect, David Frank Adjaye, renowned for many designing many buildings around the world and in Ghana particularly for the soon to be constructed National Cathedral designed the model.

He told the media that the project will be completed in three years if it begins before the end of the year, adding that Parliament has asked that preparations are made to commence the work.

The new chamber will be a multi-purpose building with amenities like a chapel, mosque, restaurant, and a museum.

The plan for the construction of a new chamber has long been on the agenda of the government.

New chamber to accommodate 400 people

The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Oquaye in March 2017 indicated that the new chamber will have a 400-seater capacity public gallery.

At the time, he said the construction will be at a cost of $200 million and will be situated behind the Speaker’s block.