On the matter of loans for the purchase cars for public office holders, it has emerged that the government has also tabled a $3.4million car loan offer for members of the Council of State.
The request for the loan from the National Investment Bank was made known by the Deputy Minister of Finance, Abena Osei Asare, on the same day that $28million car loan for the Members of Parliament was made.
According to reports, the 24-member Council of State made request for cars to carry out their duties.
It, however, appears that the loan offer for the Council of State has evaded the public’s eye with that of the MPs taking dominance.
Parliament has been criticized heavily and has been urged to reject the offer but some MPs believe they deserve it more.
The Member of Parliament for South Dayi, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, in a Joy News interview, intimated that some MPs rely on ride hailing service to conduct parliamentary duties.
“Supreme Court judges have land cruisers, they were not given loans to buy their land cruisers. Ministers of State have land cruisers or official vehicles. Yesterday I saw in the papers that another facility is been taken by the executive to acquire official vehicles for members of the council of state.
“MPs are the only category of article 71 holders who are not given an official vehicle. So if the agreement is that we are given a loan to purchase official vehicles, I think it is very wrong.
“My position is that the government should take steps and get us official vehicles to perform the functions of our office in the next four years like it is done for all the other categories,” he said.
Another Member of the minority, Yusif Sulemana (Bole) says the backlash is unwarranted as the MPs will pay back the loan.
He said, “In some cases when MPs are leaving office, the vehicles are even auctioned to them. That comes with a huge cost but the people are not aware of this and so the general public is not even looking at this.
“All they hear is that MPs are taking loan to buy vehicles. This is a loan we are taking and the loan will be paid back. By four years, it is ended (and) I should have paid back the loan. So I don’t see where the problem is. I don’t blame them because we have refused to engage them and to explain to them exactly what is happening.”
But Patrick Yaw Boamah, vice chairman of Parliament’s Finance Committee is of the view that MPs should reject the offer.
“If I had my way, I would tell my colleagues to reject the facility for the simple reason that all the other arms of government, vehicles are procured for them without going through the process where the media is always on the back of MPs for contracting a loan.
“If the public thinks that MPs do not deserve a vehicle to ride in, we should know, so we know our limitations and what the Finance Ministry can do to support our work,” he stated.