July 20, 2017

For most Parliamentary work at the Committee level, money is not always available to transact agenda, Member of Parliament for Keta, Mr. Richard Quarshigah has lamented in an interview with ghanamps.com.

The MP’s comment comes in the wake of bribery allegation against the Finance Committee of the sixth Parliament of the fourth Republic in their line of duty.

According to him, it is a normal practice that before a bill comes to Parliament, a government agency talks to the relevant committee to study the Bill.

He explained that in the case of the National Lotteries Authority (NLA), Parliament was on recess and the committee was working beyond its working period whiles MPs had to travel all the way from their constituencies hence the need to aid their transportation.

“Do you expect the MPS’ to transport themselves to the location of the meeting”? he enquired.

The same scenario he said applies to the media, “if an organization urgently needs you to give them coverage but your organization can not transport you to the location and the organization gives you money for transport do you term that as bribe?” he asked.

He noted that, those calling for independent investigation into the  NLA bribery allegation will not get anywhere with  their crusade since nothing went wrong in this case.

“It is unfortunate that in recent times MPS’ are coming into the public domain for some wrong reasons, some of the reasons are premised on falsehood” Mr. Quarshigah stated.

He urged Ghanaians to look beyond what they hear and noted there is probably a document Members might have appended their signatures which is a record for people to see.

According to him, officials of the National Lotteries Authority (NLA) have spoken and had not said anywhere that they bribed the committee, all they said was they wanted a job done for them whiles the House was on recess.

He said it is unfortunate some mischief makers want to put a spin on this issue and twist it to give MPS’ a bad name.

“We should not be hurting our democracy, it is not in our interest, those who are trying to make Parliament look bad today may find their way to the House by which time, they might have eroded the credibility of this institution”, he said.

When questioned if he regrets being an MP, Mr. Quarshigah noted, “it is the hazard of the job, every job comes with its hazards”.

He lamented over the degree of suspicion and wrong perception people have about each other, as members of the Ghanaian society.

“It is too much we need a concerted effort to move away from such a negative perception of people in various positions” he said.

Member of Parliament for Effutu, Mr. Afenyo Markin raised the NLA allegation issue on the floor of the House and urge that the officials from that institution be invited to respond to the issues.

Majority leader Mr. Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu urged the Effutu legislator to resort to  the rules and procedures of the House, but the leader acknowledge that leadership of the House will confer and see the way forward on the issue.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com