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Stop MPs Car Loans – Okudzeto Ablakwa Tells Gov’t

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The Member of Parliament for North Tongu Mr. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has called on his colleague parliamentarians to oppose the $28 million loan agreement presented to the House by the Minister for Finance as monies that would be given to the 275 legislators as car loans.

Based on the said loan laid before Parliament, each MP of the 275 Members is expected to receive over $100,000 for the purchase of a vehicle and the deduction would be from their salaries with government taking a part of the payment.

There is a huge public uproar and backlash over the development.

According to Okudeto Ablakwa, the practice of Members of Parliament taking car loans through the government of Ghana must be abolished and that any MP who wants a loan for a car can do so in his private individual capacity from any bank of his choice.

“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.

“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”, Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa noted in a post on his official facebook page.

He noted further: “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”

Below is the full text of what Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa wrote:

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 long time 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.

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