The Member of Parliament for the Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam Constituency, Cassiel Ato Forson, says the car loan agreement for legislators should be rejected by his colleagues.
According to him, Members of Parliament should be provided with state cars which will be used for official purposes, rather than provided with loans for cars they will end up being financially burdened for.
The Minister for Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, presented a loan agreement for $28 million to Parliament for the purchase of vehicles for Ghana’s legislators.
Based on the amount, each of the 275 MPs is expected to receive $100,000 for the purchase of a vehicle.
The Finance Committee of the House is expected to consider the loan agreement and report to the House.
A similar loan agreement of $3.5 million was also laid before the House to enable Council of State members to also purchase cars.
In both cases, government will pay 60% of the loan cost with interest, while the beneficiaries cater for just 40 percent.
Speaking on Face to Face, Mr. Ato Forson stated that he thinks the agreement should be rejected.
“I have made a firm recommendation, which a good number of finance committee members agree with, that we should reject it, call for reforms and ask that certain drastic things should be done. I don’t see the reason why an MP should be given a car loan to buy a car for official purposes and have to service and fuel it himself. We do more work than the DCE or a minister of state but in the end, DCE’s have official cars paid for, fuelled and maintained by the state, with a driver paid by the state. The people of Ghana think that Members of Parliament should not be given car loans. They agree that MPs must do the work described by the constitution, so they should be given cars, not car loans.”
“Every Member of Parliament or every constituency should be given a car which will be fuelled and maintained by the state for official purposes only and when you are leaving office, that car becomes a state property and the next MP can drive it if the car is in good use. Those reforms are needed and that is why I think we all need to come together and reject that car loan,” he added.
Reactions to the proposal
The Vice-Chairman of Parliament’s Finance Committee, and MP for Okaikwei Central, Patrick Boamah, has said that if he had his way, he would have asked his colleagues to reject the latest car loan agreement.
According to him, the state should rather consider purchasing cars in a pool for MPs to use during their term in office and hand over to their successors when they leave Parliament.
“If I had my way, I would tell my colleagues to reject the facility for the simple reason that all the other arms of government, vehicles are procured for them without going through the process where the media is always on the back of MPs for contracting a loan.”