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05.03.2009 Politics

Debate on Mills address ends

By Emmanuel Kpeglah - Ghanaian Chronicle

Hon. Essilfie Gabriel Kodwo, Member of Parliament for Shama has stated that the deficit financing of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), which ran the country into debt was as a result of wishful spending. He said the excessive spending was done to finance projects such as the National Awards, the Jubilee House and other projects which were not in the interest of Ghanaians.

Hon. Essilfie was contributing to the last debate to thank President John Mills for the State of the Nation Address in parliament yesterday. He criticized the United Party (UP) Tradition and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), arguing that they engaged in double standards because of their critique of Kwame Nkrumah when he contracted loans to build the Tema Motorway, the Akosombo Dam and some other projects that were very relevant to the people of Ghana.

He said the NPP made the same argument against the National Democracy Congress (NDC) when it took loans to build roads and to finance other projects which benefited the country. He noted that despite these criticisms, the past eight years of the NPP administration saw the worst form of public spending in the nation.

Hon. Essilfie said the NPP in 2002, passed the Fishing Act which was not implemented, as people were seen fishing freely in our territorial waters. He also accused the opposition NPP of neglecting the problems of fisher men in the country. “If they know they have not wronged the fishermen, then why were they on their knees begging,?” he asked.

His submission was interspersed with many interruptions. The first to have caught the eye of the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Banford-Addo was Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, MP for Old Tafo who registered his disapproval on the basis that Hon. Essilfie's definition of deficit financing was his own idiosyncratic perception of the concept. He said, Ghana's debts as it stood cut across all regimes in the country which nobody should be blamed for.

The Member for Ahafo Ano South, Hon Balado Manu, for his part said for the first time in the history of Ghana the President failed to recognize the presence of the Diplomatic Corps, the Vice President John Dramani Mahama, and the Chiefs.

He said he pardoned the President, because according to him that was the first time he appeared in the House and prayed that his subsequent visits would be used to correct those errors.

Hon. Manu used the analogy of a foot ball game to put his suggestion across on the President's proposal for the Founder's Day, which would be used to honour Dr. Nkrumah. He said in a football match it is only one person who scores at a time when he receives good passes from the other players.

However, he said other players were at the end of the match equally compensated when victory come their way. On this basis, Hon Manu said all those who contributed to the independence struggle must be identified and be honoured.

He cautioned the government not to glorify in the passage of laws on corruption but be seen to be fighting the canker. He said, the NPP in their time passed a lot of laws such as the Procurement Act, the Whistle Blowers Act and many others to reduce corruption, but the NDC still criticized that they did nothing to fight corruption.