A United States-based Ghanaian Professor Kwaku Asare is raising concerns against the $28million car loan facility for members of parliament in Ghana.
He wondered why the MPS will be given this loan in the face of the challenges facing the local economy.
In a Facebook post, Professor Asare, also a private legal practitioner said “I have never believed in this car loan business
“But the pill that is most difficult to swallow these days is this need to buy a $100,000 vehicle. There are lots of reliable and luxurious SUVs for $50,000 or less including Kia Sorento, Toyota Highlander, etc.
“If you say you need vehicles why not buy from this category, which is still beyond the reach of most professionals?
“How do we reasonably and honestly look at our GDP, problems, treasury rates, the beneficiaries’ income, etc. and somehow justify this $100,000 loan?”
The loan facility has resulted in mixed feelings even among the law makers themselves.
For instance, Vice-Chairman of Parliament’s Finance Committee, Patrick Yaw Boamah, is not happy with the backlash the lawmakers are receiving following news that the Finance Minister has tabled a $28million loan facility to procure vehicles for Members of Parliament (MPs).
He said if he has his way, he will tell his colleague MPs to reject the facility.
“For me, if I have my way I will tell my colleague MPs to reject that facility for the simple reason that all the other arms of government vehicles are procured for them without having to go through this process where the media is always on the back of MP s for contracting a loan.
“I don’t see the reason why we should be the subject for this public bashing,” he told journalists on Wednesday July 7.
Ghana’s Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has submitted to parliament for approval a loan agreement of $28 million pending consideration by the Finance Committee.
This is for the purchase of 275 vehicles for members of the 8th Parliament.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) lawmaker for Bole, Yusif Sulemana, expressed concerns about the public outcry regarding the $28million car loan facility.
He told TV3’s Parliamentary correspondent, Komla Klutse in an interview on Wednesday July 7 that this is a loan that MPs are going to pay back hence, he does not understand the concerns being raised against the facility.
He said “In some cases when MPs are living 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 is ended 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.”