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Opinions of Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Columnist: Boamah Sampson

Why is Parliament not serving the interest of the people?

Parliament of Ghana Parliament of Ghana

In every democratic country, in as much as the executive is powerful the legislature is also important. One cannot deny the tedious work parliamentarians all over the world do. Recently the banking sector in our country had been facing a lot of challenges which has led to the collapse of seven indigenous banks. This really called for public attention as most people hallucinated about it.

Parliament also waded into this conversation. The finance committee of parliament came out that they were going to probe the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of these collapsed banks and others from the Bank of Ghana (BoG). What really surprised me was that they were going to do this probe in-camera. Why were they not making it known to the public? This is something many people still do not understand.

In a country having a population of about twenty-seven million, not everyone would be able to be a parliamentarian .The constitution of Ghana allows a representative from every constituency to represent their constituents. Ghana has 275 constituencies and as such we have 275 members of parliament representing their various areas.

When the governor of the Bank of Ghana Dr. Ernest Addison was addressing the media about the revocation of their (collapsed banks) licenses, he stated that some of the banks obtained their permit through fraudulent means. This was really a heart breaking story for most Ghanaians. A lot of questions were asked. Was it that some people were sleeping on their job? Did this happen because we have weak supervisory role?

Honestly, a lot of people were happy when the finance committee of parliament also showed some interest in the matter and stated that they were going to invite the necessary authorities to appear before them. But the surprising thing was that they were not going to make the probing public.

The reason they gave was that these CEOs have reputation and as such if they make it public it might daunt their hard earned reputation. Really? What kind of reputation were they talking about? First of all if they have got any reputation why then call for their probing? “Someone who is whole does not need any physician”. Again, they said they are doing it in -camera so that the public do not lose confidence in our banking sector. But the truth of the matter is that many people have lost confidence.

Many people thought that looking at the public reaction towards the stance of parliament, they were going to revert what they said earlier. But this was not the case, they went ahead with their perceived plan.

The big question is that, is parliament really serving the interest of the people? Was the motive of this ‘In-camera thing’ to shield some of their own? Or will the public get to know that some of these politicians are part of the reasons that these banks went insolvent? In business, you do what your customers are really interested in. Many Ghanaians were expecting that parliament will at this time around do citizens the favour by making this probe public. But the appetite of the people was not met. This is not a security matter that should be hidden from the public. Even “The Cash for seat saga” was televised live.

The collapse of these local banks have rendered most people unemployed. We know the danger of unemployment which is actually a threat to national security. As we know the saying “The devil always finds work for the idle person”, People are going to suffer because of the negligence of others. I have always cried out loud that “heads must roll” in these crises. People cannot go scot free .We need to set good examples for others so we do not encounter such problems in future.

Moving forward as a country, I think it is about time that parliament listen to their own people and do what they desire for them. I hope this “in-camera” will not prevent people who will be found culpable to go free! Let us do all we can as a country to prevent this mass job losses in the nation occurring again.

We prefer fewer banks that are capable of functioning well to many banks that will not function well. There should be strict measures in place to prevent such menace from happening again. Ghana must work again. Ghana will work again. YOUNG POSITIVIST a concerned citizen of Ghana.