Minister indicts NDC MPs
The Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, Alhaji Boniface Abubakar Saddique, on Monday dropped a hint in Parliament that exposed some National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament of not living up to what they say.
He said, contrary to what some NDC MPs say about the on-going housing projects in some parts of the country, the same NDC MPs make a U-turn and come clandestinely to him to plead for consideration, for him the minister to allocate some of the same houses to them.
The Minister made the revelation when he took his turn to contribute to the debate on the motion to approve the 2008 Budget presented to the House by President John Agyekum Kufuor through the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Hon. Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu.
The Minister suggested that, that move does not only expose the hypocrisy of those MPs, who have contacted his office for the allocation, but goes a long way to confirm that, the scheme is a good one.
On the scheme itself, Hon. Abubakar Saddique, who is also the MP for Salaga, said, it is on course and likely to be commissioned next year. He thus denied speculations that, contractors working on the project had abandoned the project sites.
He said, the scheme will lessen the burden of workers that are saddled with the burden of having to pay huge sums of money for rent advances, and disclosed that, the scheme has two aspects, to cater for those who want to buy outright and those who want apartments on rental basis.
Turning his attention to the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP), which is also captured for attention in next year's budget, the Water Resources, Works and Housing Minister said, it is not true that it is collapsing.
The programme, he said, is preparing the young to acquire experience for life, and added, all arrears owed to those who work under the modules will be paid by the end of this month. The NYEP helps to increase productivity, he pointed out.
The Waste and Sanitation module under the programme, he said, is helping to increase tourism and is also helping to keep every part of the country clean.
The Salaga MP described the 2008 Budget as a visionary budget that portends a bright future for Ghanaians.
The MP for Biakoye, Hon. Emmanuel Bandua, in his contribution said, the law on investment in the country must be reviewed to the advantage of Ghanaians, explaining that certain areas of the economy ought to be reserved for Ghanaians.
He said, Nigerian businessmen are currently complaining of unfair treatment, and thus gave the advice that, Ghana should implement the ECOWAS protocol on trade and investment.
He called for the abolition of many years rent advance to enable Ghanaian workers pay decent rent advance to acquire decent accommodation.
Hon. Samuel Owusu Adjei, Minister for Public Sector Reform and MP for Effutu, said, the budget is a bright future one in view of the policy initiatives it introduces, and added that, the economy has over the years recorded very impressive growth.
The Deputy Minority Whip and MP for North Dayi, Hon. Akua Sena Dansua, called on government and the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs to channel more resources into the affairs of women and children.
She described as wishful thinking, the decision by government to connect five towns in every district to the national grid as well as construct roads in some towns in all districts.
Dr. Gyan Baffour, in his contribution to the debate, said, Ghana's economy is resilient in view of the fact that, it has been able to absorb external shocks. He indicated that, the industrial sector due to the power crisis recorded shortfalls, but the mines and quarry sectors increased production to compensate for these shortfalls.
Deputy Minority Leader, Hon. Edward Doe Adjaho, said, most targets in the 2006 Budget were not achieved and indicated that, the minority does not endorse the proposed tax on mobile phone talk time.
He said, government needs money to undertake projects, but it should come clean in dealing with Parliament on issues concerning the raising of revenue to do that. He then urged government to be more humane and realistic in its resolve to raise revenue to finance projects.
"The logic that underscores the proposed tax on mobile talk time is disingenuous," Hon. Adjaho, MP for Ave Avenor said.