Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs (MoPA) has called for a second look at the composition of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) for it to engender trust and confidence of Ghanaians in the policies it produces for national development.
According to him, if there was a long-term National Development Plan that was crafted by the commission, such national policy must become a source document around which all governments must fashion out their development agenda.
“Perhaps, we need to look at the composition of the National Development Planning Commission for it to engender trust and confidence”
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu made the remark at the inauguration of an eight-member Ministerial Advisory Board for the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs in Accra.
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He said unfortunately the very composition of the NDPC had become a source of worry that could cause suspicion for the commission.
“Unfortunately, the very composition of the NDPC has become a source of worry. If you populate the commission with such huge numbers of a particular political party, nobody will take seriously the document they come up with regardless of its weight” he added.
The board is chaired by Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who is also the Majority Leader and Leader of Government Business.
0ther members on the board include Dr Evans Aggrey-Darkoh, Chief Director, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh, Chairman, National Media Commission, Dr Rasheed Draman, Executive Director, African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA), and Ms Josephine Nkrumah, Chairperson, National Commission for Civic Education (NECCE).
The rest are Dr Maame Gyekye-Jandoh, Senior Lecturer and Head, Department of Political Science, UG, Dr Vladimir Antwi-Danso, Director of Academic Affairs, Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College, and Mr Cyril Kwabena Oteng Nsiah, Clerk to Parliament of Ghana.
The board among others is expected to advise the ministry on relevant issues and harness the expertise of members to help the MoFA achieve its mandate.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu also expressed concern about situations where some Members of Parliament (MPs) are barely able to express themselves proficiently in the English language used to transact business in the House.
He said since Parliament fashions out laws in English it would be difficult for a person who does not understand the language to contribute effectively and meaningfully as well as to be to comprehend an agreement that comes before the House.
“Now we have all manner of men and women in Parliament some of whom are barely able to express themselves proficiently in the language we use to transact business in the House.
If it comes to making laws they are fashion in English, if the person doesn’t understand how do you expect him to contribute effectively and meaningfully. If an agreement comes before Parliament and the person is not able to comprehend effectively, how is he able then to transact business on that” he said
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu also explained that all the constitutions that Ghana had had except the 1992 Constitution emphasised one of the eligibility criteriums to be proficiency in English however Consultative Assembly for the 1992 Constitution took it out.
He unfortunately increasingly emphasis in being placed on the size of a person wallet to get to Parliament and not what the person has upstairs
“We must interrogate this and it is for us as a body to see how we can reform or transform the system so that people can enjoy the dividend of democracy” he added.