Parliament of Ghana

A mix of broken and dilapidated furniture in the chamber block of parliament, as well as faulty electronic appliances are increasingly conspiring to undermine proceedings in Ghana’s Parliament.

But, authorities say “long and winding procurement processes” are hampering plans to fix the problems.

This morning, broken electronic appliances and public address systems forced suspension of proceedings in the House, after a short sitting during which the presiding Speaker, Hon. Edward Doe Adzaho, brought the problem of faulty microphones to the attention of lawmakers.

Early on, technicians from the technical department spent hours, trying desperately to fix the problem without success.

Before suspending proceedings, Hon Adjaho, enquired from leadership of both sides of the House if they supported the idea of suspending sitting until 12: 30 pm to allow technicians to fix the faulty microphones.

“It will be better to suspend proceedings,” Minority Leader, Hon. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said in response to the presiding Speaker’s plans to freeze proceedings.

On his feet, Deputy Majority Leader, Hon Rashid Pelpuo, backed the Minority Leader’s position and went on to call for “routine maintenance” of all appliances in the House to ensure such problems do not reoccur.

Soon after the First Deputy Speaker suspended sitting, reporters overheard MPs from the Minority side accusing the Mills administration of being responsible for the technical problem that forced suspension of the sitting.

Sitting has since resumed with MPs debating the president address to Parliament on the state of the nation.

“It is only under Prof Mills that this kind of thing will happen,” Kwabre East MP, Hon Kofi Frimpong screamed shortly after the presiding Speaker suspended proceedings.

His colleagues from the Minority side added their voice, with some accusing the Mills government of using “all of Ghana’s money to pay fraudulent judgment debts”.

But some of the NDC MPs who were in the chamber dismissed the allegations as “cheap propaganda”.
According to Citi News Parliamentary Correspondent Richard Sky, “microphones in the chamber of Parliament are notorious for breaking down during proceedings, forcing MPs on their feet to often move from their tables to other table microphones to continue their submissions on the floor”.

Our correspondent said, “Again it is not uncommon to see lawmakers and their visitors falling off broken chairs and hurting themselves in the foyer and the coffee shop daily because many of the chairs in the House have either lost their arms or bearings”.

“The situation is so serious that some victims suffer deep cuts from exposed nails and screws used in making the chairs, almost all of which I understand were imported a few years ago,” one lawmaker said, adding “Nearly half of the furniture in the House are useless and pose a threat to people who sit on them”.

“Scores of broken tables can be found at various areas of the legislature,” our correspondent said, adding that “some of the washroom facilities in the House have also broken down with the latest casualties being the toilet facilities inside the newly constructed committee rooms located just behind the improvised State House building housing the Ghanaian legislature”.

Technicians from the technical department of the 230-member legislature are currently racing against time to fix “the crippling fault that has paralysed the entire communication network in the legislature”.

The technicians had been given a 12:30 deadline to fix the problem. But as at 12:35, the problem was still unresolved.

Today’s sitting is expected to, among other things, continue debate on the President’s fourth state of the nation address to the House nearly a week ago.

Debate on the address started yesterday.

Again, the House is expected to debate the report of the Joint Committee on Finance and Mines and Energy on the Subsidiary Agreement between the government of Ghana and the China Development Bank Corporation for an amount of 850,000,000. 00 to finance the Western Corridor Gas Infrastructure Development Project.

The agreement forms part of the Master Facility Agreement between the government of Ghana and the China Development Bank Corporation.

Source: Citifmonline

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