The Public Affairs Directorate of Parliament has stepped in to quell the backlash generated by the $28 million car loan for Members of Parliament.
Deputy Finance Minister, Abena Osei Asare, on Tuesday, July 6, laid the loan request on the floor of Parliament.
She also presented a similar request for a $3.5 million car loan for members of the 8th Council of State for the purchase of vehicles.
Since the car loan hit the headlines, Ghanaian social media users have been urging Parliament to throw out a request by the Finance Ministry.
The $28 million loan will be secured from the National Investment Bank (NIB) to purchase vehicles for all 275 MPS.
Wading into the matter, in an effort to bring it to rest, the Public Affairs Directorate of Parliament explained that the loans will be paid back by the MPs.
“The Ministry of Finance, led by its minister, is facilitating a 28 million dollar loan agreement for Members of Parliament during their tenure as Members of the 8th Parliament of the 4th Republic.
“The loan, which is part of their conditions of service, and which is payable during their tenure, has generated a lot of discussions in the media space, with the conversations centred mostly on whether the Members are deserving of the facility, given what has been described as the scarce resources available to the country and given the plethora of needs by the various MDAs and citizens,” Parliament said in a statement issued on Thursday, July 8, 2021.
Read the full explanation below.
MPS CARS BOUGHT WITH LOANS, NOT FREE
The Ministry of Finance, led by its minister, is facilitating a 28 million dollar loan agreement for Members of Parliament during their tenure as Members of the 8th Parliament of the 4th Republic.
The loan, which is part of their conditions of service, and which is payable during their tenure, has generated a lot of discussions in the media space, with the conversations centered mostly on whether the Members are deserving of the facility, given what has been described as the scarce resources available to the country and given the plethora of needs by the various MDAs and citizens.
It must be noted that Members of the other arms of govemment and Article 71 Office holders are ordinarily given duty vehicles in their official capacities. On the other hand, Members of the Legislature, despite their representational roles, are offered loans which are payable during their term. Indeed, in previous Parliaments, some Members have had to use end of service benefits to defray costs incurred to purchase vehicles for their official use.
Understandably, this continues to make the work of the Members of Parliament extremely difficult and lead to misconceptions about the Institution and its Members, ultimately, putting the name of Parliament into disrepute.
Parliament will like to put on record that the MPs’ cars are bought with loans which they pay for, as has been the culture since the inception of the Second Parliament of the Fourth Republican Parliament in 1997. The arrangement for the Members of the 8. Parliament is no different from the arrangements for Members of the previous Parliaments.
Parliament is of the view, that given the negative reactions that greet the procurement of loans to purchase vehicles for Members of Parliament to perform their constitutional and statutory functions every four years, perhaps the time has arrived for the country to come to a determination on the matter of providing vehicles to enable MPs to perform their duties and responsibilities.
Maybe it is time for the State to assume total cost responsibility in the procurement, servicing, fuelling, maintenance and replacement of duty post vehicles for Members of the Legislature as is done for the Members of other arms of government and other constitutional creatures.
Reports that suggest that the loan resources for the MI’s are free are inaccurate and only add to the misconceptions that continue to affect the work of the Institution of Parliament.
PUBUC AFFAIRS DIRECTORATE
PARLIAMENT OF GHANA