Parliament to debate CNT loan
Accra, June 11, GNA - Parliament on Friday fixed a tentative date, June 30, 2004 to debate a Private Member's Motion requesting that the House rescinds its decision involving the approval of the loan agreement between Ghana and CNT Group Holdings Limited and CNT Construction Investment Limited (CNTCI). This follows a ruling by the Speaker, Mr Peter Ala Adjetey when argument over an appropriate date to deliberate on rescission motion almost degenerated into hot argument as to whether June 17 or 29 was suitable for the decision on the loan agreement. The Leadership of both sides of the House were to meet soon to give a firm backing to the June 30, date. The matter came up for discussions when Mr Felix Owusu-Adjapong, the Majority Leader, presented the Business Statement for the week ending Friday June 18, 2004 and said the Business Committee had decided on June 29 as the date to deliberate on the rescission motion. The Private Member's Motion is being tabled through the Minority Leader, Mr Alban Bagbin and Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, Minority Chief Whip. Mr Owusu-Adjapong said the Business Committee after lengthy discussions had settled on 29th June 2004 for the hearing of the rescission motion. "Mr Speaker the date was fixed after due consideration had been given to the fact that all Ministers concerned should be present in the House during the date of the motion," the Majority Leader told the House. Mr John Mahama, NDC-Bole, who caught the Speaker's eye, drew the attention of the House that the date was too far and it was in the interest of the House to bring the date forward since the public and media onslaught and speculations over the CNT loan had affected the image of Parliament. He also drew attention to the fact that June 29 had been set aside by the Electoral Commission, as the date for the bye-election in the Upper Denkyira constituency, following the death of Mr Charles O. Nyanor the MP for the area. Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu, NPP-Old Tafo-Suame, admitted that the Business Committee had glossed over the date for the bye-elections but added that the date for the rescission motion on the CNT loan could then be heard on the June 30. Mr Isaac Adjei-Mensah, Deputy Minority Leader, said he was unhappy that the Business Committee had settled on June 29 for the CNT issue because the Ministers concerned with the issue - Mr Allan Kyeremanten, Trade and Industry, Professor Christopher Ameyaw Akumfi, Ports and Harbour and Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Finance and Economic and Planning should be present in the House during the debate of the motion.
Mr Bagbin, who also supported the decision for early deliberations on the CNT loan, said fixing of the date should not depend on Ministers who were non-members of the House and that it was their duty to appear before the House when summoned.
Mr Peter Ala Adjetey said it would be better for all the Ministers involved to be present to explain themselves, adding that the House should be concerned with erring in favour of caution than to rush.
"Let us not begin to flex our muscles," the Speaker intervened and said a date must be fixed at all cost and ruled that it should be June 30, saying; "this aspect of the matter is closed.