July 28, 2010

The NPP Member of Parliament for Manhyia has asked the Minister Water Resources, Works and Housing to bring the STX deal to Parliament for debate and stop the unnecessary PR gimmicks.

Mr Mathew Opoku-Prempeh told Joy FM’s Super Morning Show host Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah that Tuesday’s press conference by Mr Alban Bagbin was needless, and the comments at that press conference quite unfortunate.

He said if the concerns of the Minority that necessitated the withdrawal of the $1.5 billion deal had been addressed, the minister should lay the bill before the House and desist from populist political-point-scoring media blitz.

Works and Housing Minister, Alban Bagbin, accused the Minority in Parliament of double speaking and opposing the deal with the Korean construction firm that will see 30,000 housing units built for the security services. He claims the Minority’s conduct amounted to saying, ‘yes we want the houses to be built, but no we don’t want the houses to be built’ adding that “What the dire state of affairs in the sector is calling for is at this time is certainly not double talk.”

This minister is reported as saying the Minority NPP MPs were jealous because if the deal goes through, it will put the ruling NDC in a very positive light and boost its chances of winning a stream of elections at the expense of the opposition NPP.

But Dr Opoku-Prempeh said he wished the minister, who is also a former Majority Leader, did not make such comments because he, Mr Bagbin withdrawing the deal a fortnight ago, conceded that the Minority’s concerns were genuine.

According to the Manhyia MP, Mr Bagbin told the media in the immediate aftermath of the withdrawal that the Attorney-General’s advice on the deal had been ignored.

Dr Opoku-Prempeh said the minister had argued in Parliament that the document before the House was a draft, asking, “how could Parliament [be asked to] approve a draft?

For him, Mr Bagbin who publicly said the president ordered the withdrawal of the deal because due diligence had to be done, could not be faulting the Minority for raising the issues. That is double standard, he noted.

The MP also took issues with the delay in laying the bill before the House for the MPs to deliberate on before it rises Tuesday, next week.

“If the bill comes back to Parliament and it is the best for Ghana, I will support it. I’m not going to say I will not support it because am an NPP member. That is not what any opposition member is saying,” he stated.

Story by Malik Abass Daabu/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana