The Vice-Chairman of Parliament’s Finance Committee, and MP for Okaikwei Central, Patrick Boamah says if he had his way, he would have asked his colleagues to reject the latest car loan agreement presented to Members of Parliament by the Minister of Finance.
According to him, the state should rather consider purchasing cars in a pool for MPs to use during their term in office and hand over to their successors when they leave Parliament.
He contends that the public backlash that follows the procurement of loans is unfair when it is the case that MPs have to pay back the money while their colleagues in other arms of government access these vehicles as part of their conditions of office.
“If I had my way, I would tell my colleagues to reject the facility for the simple reason that all the other arms of government, vehicles are procured for them without going through the process where the media is always on the back of MPs for contracting a loan.”
The Minister for Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta presented a loan agreement for $28 million to Parliament for the purchase of 275 vehicles for MPs.
Based on the amount and the number of individuals involved, each MP is expected to receive over $100,000 for the purchase of a vehicle.
The Finance Committee of the House is expected to consider the loan agreement and report to the house.
Mr. Boamah said his colleagues may explore other means of gaining access to such initiatives if the public continually criticizes the move.
“If the public thinks that MPs do not deserve a vehicle to ride in, we should know, so we know our limitations and what the Finance Ministry can do to support our work.”
There have been situations of MPs failing to pay back car loans.
In 2017, the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), was on the heels of some Members of Parliament who bought their vehicles on loan but had defaulted in paying back several years after.
Reports indicate that letters had been written to the MPS for them to honour their obligations, but they did not reply.