A social commentator, Charles Mintaba, is proposing that Members of Parliament be given a duty post vehicle instead of a loan to buy car.
“How can anyone convince me that someone like the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, someone like the Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu, Okudzeto Ablakwa and others need a loan from government to buy a car when for the past four Parliaments, they have benefited from this same arrangement.”
According to him, the arrangement where loans are granted parliamentarians to purchase a car is needless and nothing but a waste of the taxpayer’s money especially when “for example, caterers under the [Ghana] School Feeding Programme have not been paid, when the labour front is fraught with unrest due to challenges over salaries”.
“Is government and the parliamentarians not aware that pupils in many schools across the country lie on their stomach to write when they go to school, that in some part of this country residents are sharing water with animals. As I talk to you right now, there is a problem with feeding at the secondary schools. There is no rice at the buffer stock and so for a long time the students have been eating only gari and beans and we want to channel money to an area that already has enough?”
Speaking to host of Connect FM’s news and current affairs programme ‘Asem Yi Dzi Ka’ Henry Eliud Yankey on the debate over car loans for MPs, Mr. Mintaba proposed that there should rather be a duty post vehicle for MPs.
“You look at the Chief Directors, the Presidential Staffers, Minister and Deputy Ministers and others, they have a duty post vehicle that they use and leave when there is a reshuffle or their tenure is over. As I speak to you, these new ministers and their deputies are using cars used by their predecessors and the cars are working fine. So why can’t we consider this arrangement? After all most of these vehicles have good warranties on them.”
Mr. Mintaba agrees that some Members of Parliament, particularly first timers will certainly require a vehicle to move around but “if for example there was a duty post vehicle, all the first timer would have done was to have used the one left by his predecessor so that the county could be save from this wanton show of opulence by a supposed poor nation anytime there is a new Parliament”.
He is worried that the deductions have already been started when the loan has not been present to Parliament for approval and questions whether there hasn’t been any breach anywhere with that.
“…in any case if the state can pay 60 percent for them, why can’t the state then go ahead and add the 40 percent can buy the car for them and instead wants to keep this arrangement. Is someone benefitting from this arrangement?” he asked
He said: “A good number of these people who are going to benefit, Nana Addo has already appointed 50 percent of them as ministers. So, you give that person a car loan in Parliament and he goes to the ministry and there is another fleet of cars at his or her disposal”.