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21.02.2006 General News

Boycott of Parliament affects scrutiny of Ministers

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Accra, Feb. 21, GNA - Since members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) boycotted parliamentary business since February 9, this year, Ministers of State who had appeared before Parliament to respond to questions relating to their ministries, have had an easy task. Some of the ministers sometimes spent less than five minutes to respond to questions slated for them on the Order Paper.

Due to the boycott by the minority side, three of the four questions listed on Tuesday's Order Paper standing in the name of NDC to be answered by the Minister of Education and Sports, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo were dealt with in less than 10 minutes.

He also responded to one question from Mr Kofi Frimpong, NPP-Kwabre East.

Seven questions are listed on the Provisional Order Paper for Wednesday, February 22, five of which are expected to be asked by NDC members including one from Mr Mahama Ayariga, a leading opponent to the passage of the Representation of the Peoples (Amendment) bill, the key reason for the disengagement of the NDC from parliamentary business. Until the NDC members return to take their seats it appears that the lacklustre approach to the answering of questions by the sector ministers would continue.

Before the commencement of Public Business, Mr Osafo-Maafo, told the House that a sum of 255,million cedis had been approved for the start of constructional works on the girls dormitory block at Simms Secondary/Commercial College at Fawoade in the Ashanti Region.

"Mr Speaker, after going through the normal procurement process, the contract has been awarded and work has started on the digging of the foundation," Mr Osafo-Maafo, said in response to the question from the member from Kwabre East, who had sought to find out from the Minister when the college would be provided with the facility. He said the contract was awarded 18 months ago and due for completion within the next 15 months.