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Saturday, July 17, 2010

NPP MP: Bagbin, Betty Mould, Dr Duffuor should be sacked if

Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, Alban Bagbin
Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, Alban Bagbin
The NPP Member of Parliament for Obuasi, Edward Ennin, is asking Ministers of Works and Housing, Finance and Attorney General to resign voluntarily for the poor job they did on the STX deal.

The MP further asked the president to sack the three ministers if they persist to hang on to power in their respective ministries. Mr Ennin said the demand is necessary judging from the huge embarrassment they have caused the government.

“There are some mistakes in the agreement so [we asked them] to go back and do the corrections, [but] they didn’t mind us [the Minority in Parliament]. They wasted our time, we debated on it yesterday [Wednesday]…the time that we wasted on that could be used to do things that will benefit Ghana,” Mr Edward Ennin told Joy News.

President Mills Thursday ordered the withdrawal from Parliament of the controversial STX housing deal. Debate on the agreement for 200,000 housing units was due to resume today after Minority MPs forced its suspension Wednesday. They demanded documents on key aspects of the deal between government and the Korean company STX.

The deal has been severally criticized by groups and individuals who say it doesn’t serve the national interest.

The Obuasi MP thinks the withdrawal is in order but maintained that for wasting the time of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor and Betty Mould-Iddrisu, the respective sector ministers for Works and Housing, Finance and Attorney General should be sanctioned. He said their inactions amounted to causing financial loss to the state.

Mr Ennin, therefore, proposed that ministers and government representatives who waste the time of Parliament in similar manner should be punished to serve as a deterrent to others.

“I felt very sad this morning when I learnt that they have withdrawn the motion [on the STX deal]” he noted.

Nevertheless, his call has received some sort of backing from the anti-corruption campaigner Vitus Azeem.

Mr Azeem said: “The president needs to look at it further to find out who has not done his work well and may be do something about it to discourage other people from going down the same line in the future.”

He also ascribed three main reasons necessitating the withdrawal.

“One is the lack of capacity, may be, of the people who are supposed to analyse the issues and make the necessary preparations for the debate; one could also just be negligence on the part of those people; but thirdly, which is more dangerous is that some people deliberately just overlooked certain issues for various reasons.”

Meanwhile, NPP MPs have insisted that the withdrawal is a vindication of their criticism that the deal has been shrouded in secrecy.

The Minority spokesperson on Finance Dr Anthony Akoto Osei has warned of dire consequences for the country if Parliament approves the STX housing deal.

Dr Akoto Osei said there are too many giveaways in the agreement that put the country at a huge disadvantage.

Shortly after the announcement that government was withdrawing the agreement, the Minority also called a press conference, which their leader Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu stated that the decision to oppose the deal was not in anyway to “derail government’s effort” but only alerting it of the hidden “thorns” in the deal.

He assured that the Minority are for the project but want the right things to be done.

The Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, Alban Bagbin, who confirmed the withdrawal to Joy News in the morning, conceded that some “legal documentations were not properly structured” for which reason the bill had to be relooked at.

He further mentioned some "inaccuracies" and "phrases" in the agreement which he said did not "represent the true position of the party".

Story by Isaac Essel/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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