The Majority Leader and Leader of Government Business in Parliament, Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has asked Members of Parliament to liaise with their various Assemblies to secure lands for the construction of their Constituency offices.
He said it is very difficult for Parliament as an Institution to go into various constituencies to demand for land to use for the offices.
MPs together with the MMDCEs, he said, must take it upon themselves to seek for land for the projects, just as it’s done with GetFund projects.
He explained that with such arrangement in the constituencies, there would not be any impediment on land issue that may suffocate the project because there are always difficulties when it comes to land acquisition.
The Majority Leader gave this notice when he was answering questions on the floor of Parliament when the NDC Member for Adenta, Mohammed Adamu Ramadan wanted to find out the current status of the offices for the Members of Parliament in their respective Constituencies.
Leadership of Parliament, together with the Government are to construct 275 offices in all the constituencies for Members of Parliament.
The project was to begin this year under the Parliamentary Service Office Support Project but has not started.
The arrangement, according Majority Leader, was to construct 70 offices each year from 2021 to the end of 2024.
But the first 70 for 2021 have not been constructed, which prompted Mr. Mohammed Adamu Ramadan to ask the Majority Leader the current status of the building of offices for Members of Parliament in the respective Constituencies.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who is also Minister for Parliamentary Affairs told the House, “Mr. Speaker, I must concede that Parliament did not commence the construction of the facilities in 2021 as we envisaged, and it’s not attributable to the Minister of Finance not releasing funds, but because of what we have to do. Prepare through to the award of contract, securing the parcels of land in the various Constituencies by the MPs themselves.”
Pleading with Members for the inability to start the projects in 2021 because of access to lands, Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said they are thinking of even beginning in the various regional capitals.
“Where we are now is, we need to look at the decision, either to go by alphabetical order or whatever order that we think can quicken the projects,” he revealed.
He added, “What is important is that we must make available the parcels of land that Parliament needs, which means that Members of Parliament will have to collaborate, beginning with the various District Assemblies to be sure that we have parcels of land allocated so that when we come to documentation, we may be able to do so without any further bottlenecks.”
To further deepen the representation role of Parliament, many have espoused the need for Members of Parliament to be provided with Constituency offices that will be accessible by all irrespective of political affiliation.
Providing Members of Parliament with Constituency Offices would facilitate and enhance their work in their Constituencies, and would also afford constituents a common platform to engage and interact with their representatives.
Accordingly, Parliament in the 2021 budget allocated an amount of GH¢45,500.00 for the construction of 70 Constituency Offices, which constitutes the first phase of the project.
The Parliamentary Service Board has considered the proposal for the award of contract, which has also been referred to the Entity Tender Committee of the Parliamentary Service for consideration and report to the Board.
— Source: www.frontpageghana.com/Ghana