Ablakwa Wants US$28 Million MPs Car Loans Withdrawn

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, MP for North Tongu Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, MP for North Tongu

Opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has advanced a proposal against the age-old practice, where the government often facilitates loans agreements for MPs to buy their own vehicles every four years.

The North Tongu MP, believes that, instead of the government facilitating the loans for them, the MPs should rather be given duty vehicles to be doing their work as lawmakers or allow them to secure their private loans just like anyone else.

In a statement posted on his Facebook wall on Saturday, July 10, 2021 and sighted by The Herald, Mr Ablakwa said, "If the executive branch of government does not have the resources to provide duty vehicles for MPs as it does for MMDCEs, CEOs of State Institutions/SOEs, Ministers, Judges, Civil Servants, Security Services, and so on and so forth, then MPs who need car loans should be allowed to make their own private car loan arrangements with the banks just as most private sector workers do."

According to him, he hopes many of his colleague MPs, will agree with him on his proposal so they could join forces and together get Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to withdraw his MP's car loan agreement which is currently before Parliament.

The NDC MP's proposal, follows a loan agreement for US$28 million to Parliament for the purchase of vehicles for the 275 legislators, which has erupted public criticism against all the MPs from both sides.

Based on the amount, each MP is expected to receive over $100,000 for the purchase of a vehicle, while the government would pay 60 percent of the loan with all the accrued interest; whereas the MPs, will pay for just 40 percent of the loan.

Mr Ablakwa bemoaned how "MPs have been deliberately thrown under the bus and subjected to needless opprobrium one too many", as a result of this long standing arrangement.

"I honestly hope many colleague MPs will agree with me so we join forces and get Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to withdraw his MP's car loan agreement from Parliament."

Ultimately, Mr Ablakwa, said the entire Article 71 emoluments regime was "in urgent need of a major overhaul."

"We need to demolish this apartheid superstructure and create new conditions of service framework for public officials, which are more equitable, transparent, justifiable and acceptable to the people who employ us."

The Finance Committee of Parliament is expected to consider the loan agreement and report to the House.

Below Is The Full Statement:

I have long held the view that the entire Article 71 emoluments regime is in urgent need of a major overhaul.

We need to demolish this apartheid superstructure and create a new conditions of service framework for public officials which are more equitable, transparent, justifiable and acceptable to the people who employ us.

As MPs, let us also boldly confront and discontinue the practice of government loans to purchase vehicles for MPs. If the executive branch of government does not have the resources to provide duty vehicles for MPs as it does for MMDCEs, CEOs of State Institutions/SOEs, Ministers, Judges, Civil Servants, Security Services, and so on and so forth, then MPs who need car loans should be allowed to make their own private car loan arrangements with the banks just as most private sector workers do.

That will simply require that government stop the monthly deductions from MP's salaries so we will be free to broker individual car loan deals based on our salary structure, constituency terrain and other personal preferences.

I honestly hope many colleague MPs will agree with me so we join forces and get Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to withdraw his MP's car loan agreement from Parliament. MPs have been deliberately thrown under the bus and subjected to needless opprobrium one too many.

Fortunately, Rt. Hon. Speaker Bagbin has been a longtime advocate for a uniform duty vehicle policy in the public sphere which does not discriminate between Ministers, MMDCEs, CEOs, Judges and MPs - I strongly believe we can count on his support as we pursue this mission.

Deep reflection is needed on just how long the political class can keep stoking the anger levels of the masses beyond boiling point? We must not underestimate the people's grave revulsion and its volcanic consequences on the stability and sustainability of our democracy.

Time to adopt a totally new and sincere paradigm.

Source: www.theheraldghana.com