THE MINORITY in Parliament yesterday unleashed its sledge hammer on Deputy Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Fiifi Kwetey, preventing him from representing his boss to answer questions pertaining to policies on the national economy on the floor of the House.
The Deputy Minister was virtually walked out of Parliament when the Minority stated point blank that they were not ready to listen to any ‘voodoo’ economics from him and rather threw the gauntlet to his boss.
Fiifi Kwetey was delegated by the substantive minister, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, to answer three major questions by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Akim Swedru, Joseph Ampomah Bosompem, on what practical measures the government is taking to stimulate productivity and economic growth as well as reinvigorate the private sector to absorb the teeming unemployed youth in the midst of public sector employment freeze in the country.
However, the Minority group objected to the Deputy Minister standing in for his boss, who was said to be in a meeting with President John Evans Atta Mills and officials of the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) at the Osu Castle.
Minority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu and his deputy, Ambrose P. Dery, both submitted that the Minority group had always agreed with Deputy Ministers representing the substantive ministers to run the business of the House, pointing out that in this particular instance, the matters deal directly with the core of economic policy of the country and therefore, they needed the Finance and Economic Planning Minister himself to tackle the issues.
Even the pleas of Deputy Majority Leader and Information Minister-designate, John Akologu Tia, that Fiifi Kwetey was the scheduled minister for the areas to which answers were being sought, could not convince the Minority to soften their stance.
Due to lack of consensus on the issue, the Speaker, Justice Joyce Bamford-Addo, had no option but to rule that the questions be stood down for them to be answered at a later date by Finance and Economic Planning Minister himself, pushing the embattled Deputy Minister out of the House with his already-prepared answers.
Fiifi Kwetey has had a running battle with the Minority since his nomination as Deputy Minister of Finance over issues of credibility, etiquette and running his mouth.
The Minority had described the former propaganda secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) as a hot-headed and intemperate person whose endorsement would spell doom for the Ghanaian economy due to his “penchant for telling lies” on economic figures.
Fiifi Kwetey, who had a hectic time before going through Parliamentary approval for his current portfolio, in a recent appearance in Parliament to answer questions, virtually turned the whole House upside down in a strenuous attempt to disentangle himself from a damning comment he had made, suggesting that the economic growth of 7.3 GDP achieved in 2008 by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration was ‘a cocaine inspired’ growth.
It was not immediately clear whether the long-standing frenzied relationship between the Minority group and Fiifi Kwetey was part of the reasons which led to the latter being ‘thrown out’ of Parliament yesterday.
Minority has also questioned why two different answers were provided to one of the questions by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, giving hints that the sector Minister, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, will come under critical scrutiny when he eventually appears before the House.
By Awudu Mahama/Daily Guide
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
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