Hon Frank Annor Dompreh
November 26, 2021

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Adoagyiri-Nsawam in the Eastern Region, Frank Annor Dompreh, has alleged that his colleagues on the Minority side in Parliament want their welfare issues addressed before approving the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government.

He was speaking on the floor of the House on Wednesday on concerns raised by the Member for Banda, Mr. Ahmed Ibrahim as to why the Finance Minister or any of his deputies were not in Parliament.

Mr. Annor Dompreh said the Minister was not there because the Minority Leadership is pursuing him for their welfare issues and the ministers are working on it.

According to him, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Caucus in Parliament has hatched a plan to disapprove the government’s 2022 budget because they have outstanding issues on their welfare.

“And they want to use the absence of the Minister or his deputies as an excuse to make a case and halt the debate on the 2022 Budget Statement.”

Mr. Ahmed Ibrahim on his feet said, “Mr. Speaker, the 2022 Budget Statement was presented to us by the Finance Minister, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, and as the debate is going on, we want him to be here to be taking notes of concerns that will be raised by members who are representing their respective Constituencies.”

“If the Minister who presented the budget to us is not here, then we should also not debate on something he brought to us from the government, because we were not with him at the Cabinet meeting to know what their plans are.”

But First Deputy Speaker, Mr. Joseph Osei Owusu, who is also the Member of Parliament for Bekwai in the Ashanti region, directed the Minority side to continue with the debate since there is no Order in the Standing Orders that states until the Minister or any of his deputies are in the Chamber, the debate cannot go on.

Moreover, there were senior personnel from the Ministry who could take notes and report to the Minister.

The Speaker’s ruling did not settle the matter but rather angered the Minority Caucus who called on the Speaker to ask the Majority Chief Whip, Mr. Annor Dompreh to withdraw his comments and apologize to them.

 The Nsawam-Adoagyiri Lawmaker, however, insisted that there are welfare issues that the Minority want settled before they commenced with budget debate on Wednesday.

“Mr. Speaker what I said was that there have been outstanding welfare issues that we have been fighting for, and that is a statement of fact. And I challenge my colleagues in leadership; they should tell this House if we have not been pursuing welfare concerns for members. That is a statement of fact, and I will find it very difficult to withdraw that,” he insisted.

“There are outstanding issues that I have been going after together with the leadership, that is what it is, and I cannot withdraw this. I don’t know why you should find this offensive. Hon. Avedzi, what is the offence in saying there are outstanding issues the Ministers are working on hence their absence in Parliament.”

The Majority Chief Whip had earlier said the Minority has been holding meetings to discuss ways to influence Ghanaians to stand against the 2022 budget, and some of these secret meetings were attended by former President John Mahama to strategize ways to downplay the budget.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com