The Member of Parliament for the Ho Central Constituency, Benjamin Komla Kpodo has launched a ‘green book’, bearing photographs of developmental projects and political activities he has been involved in as Member of Parliament ahead of the NDC parliamentary primaries scheduled for August 24, 2019.
The MP who has described himself as an asset to Parliament indicated that despite the key role Members of Parliament in law-making and policy and expenditure scrutinization, the framework of Parliament has also made Parliamentarians, Para-developmental agents of their communities.
“Even though the common fund is nothing to write home about, a little development is expected from it. I am also expected to lobby for development for my constituency and I have been doing just that.”
Among a plethora of developmental projects published in the ‘green book’ are a classroom block for the Ho Nursing Training College, Six Unit classroom block for Takla Tokor Basic School, an extension of a library complex at Ho Kpodzi, block for Hodzo Senior High School and another six-unit classroom block at Tanyigbe Anyigbe Basic School.
The book also contains several awards and other supports for students who excel in academic work and pictures of some CHPS compounds either built from scratch or renovated and refurbished among other cash and substance donations to various institutions and schemes/funds within the Ho Central Constituency.
On December 27, 2017, Mr Benjamin Komla Kpodo and Mr Richard Quashigah, MP for Keta, challenged the inclusion of the DACF as part of the statutory funds that would be capped per the Earmarked Funds Capping and Realignment Act, 2017(Act 947) praying the court to rule that such provision violated Article 252 Clause 2 of the 1992 Constitution.
In a unanimous ruling by a seven-member panel of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice, Justice Sophia Akuffo, the apex court ruled that the inclusion of the DACF as part of the statutory funds that would be capped per the Earmarked Funds Capping and Realignment Act, 2017(Act 947) indeed violated Article 252 Clause 2 of the 1992 Constitution, a ruling which Mr Kpodo says is reminiscent of his contribution, not just to parliamentary work but also to the country’s development.
Mr Kpodo serves as Deputy Ranking Member of the local government and rural development committee of parliament and also as a member of the Finance Committee of Parliament.
A governance expert and lecturer at the EP University college, Mr Harrison Kofi Belley, who also addressed the gathering warned against voting out experienced members of Parliament.
“Parliament is an institution which respects experience and institutional memory. That is why all first-timers in Parliament are called backbenchers. They are not given any leadership positions in parliament normally until their third term so changing our members of parliament regularly under the guise of allowing all to represent us in parliament might not be the best option for any constituency. The change will come but we should enjoy the experience for some time”.
Mr Kpodo justifying his desire for another term in Parliament said he has become “an asset to Parliament and the country at large because I am making a significant contribution to the country’s parliamentary democracy and the ultimate growth of the country but not just that, I am also contributing to developing my local constituency, augmenting what the government is doing and also lobbying for those that fall out of my financial capacity”.
Chairman of the Volta Caucus in Parliament Emmanuel Kwesi Bedzrah commended the idea of compiling works done by members of parliament into a book.
He said It becomes an easy reference point for all who seek to know what MPs do with the little funds available to them.