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19.02.2009 Politics

MPs give views on Mills’ address


Some Minority Members of Parliament (MPs) on Thursday said President John Atta Mills' address to the nation was short on details but they expressed the hope that proposals for development listed for action would be implemented.

Mr Stephen Balado-Manu, NPP MP for Ahafo Ano South, said the State of the Nation address delivered by the President in Parliament was silent on areas such as reviewing fuel prices, the Bui Dam and how jobs were to be created to deal with the unemployment situation.

He said the President had in one breath blamed the country's current economic situation on the global crisis and in another breath hit back at the past government.

Mr Balado-Manu expressed the hope that the President would deliver on proposals captured in the address.

President Mills' address touched on key areas such as governance, legislative interventions, the economy, austerity measures in government machinery, establishment of MPs' Constituency Fund, the assignment of National Service persons as research assistants to the MPs, agriculture and sports.

Mr Michael Teye Nyaunu, NDC MP for Lower Manya, said the establishment of a fund for MPs would deal with the rivalry between District Chief Executives and MPs over the release of the MPs' share of the common fund.

Ms Shirley Botchway, NPP MP for Weija, said what was left was to see how far the President would go in implementing proposals made in the address.

She said it was ironic for the president to have claimed his commitment to consensus building at a time when his government was using the transitional process to harass people, seize cars and toilets, among other things.

Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, NPP MP for New Juaben North, said eyes would be focused on how the President would “practicalise” his agenda.

He said President Mills was still in his learning curve and the fullness of time would determine the fulfillment of the government's programme.

Sheikh I.C. Quaye, NPP MP for Ayawaso Central, said the President's call for consensus building should be seen from the actions initiated by government.

He expressed concerns over recent clashes in Tamale saying, ”Tamale is burning.”

Mr Emmanuel Bandua, NDC MP for Biakoye, said impressions that the National Health Insurance Scheme would be abandoned under the NDC was wrong because the President had now come out to say that it would be given a more national character by enhancing it.

Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, NPP, Afigya-Sekyere West, deplored the president's comments about the economy, saying that it was unfortunate that the president still sought to create the impression that the economy was broke even after his own Minister of Finance had made statements to the contrary.

Mr Moses Asaga, NDC MP for Nabdam, said he was particularly glad about the proposed MPs' Constituency Development Fund, saying in Ghana today, the role of the MP had move from just law making and lobbying to providing development projects at the constituency level.

“The fund will help us to fulfil campaign promises of development and provision of facilities to our constituents,” he said.

Mr Fritz Baffour, NDC MP for Ablekuma South, said the president touched on every aspect of the economy and inspired hope in the public, adding, “I will expect that the other side of the political divide would reciprocate the hand of cordiality extended to them by the president.”

Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak, Minister Youth and Sports, said out of six sessional addresses he had listened to since he entered Parliament, “this is the first one that did not lambaste the past government but focused on what our government will do for this country.”