The Member of Parliament (MP) for Adentan, Mohammed Adamu Ramadan, is unhappy with the delay in constructing constituency offices for legislators almost a year after GH¢45 million was allocated for that purpose.
Construction of offices for MPs over a four-year period was budgeted for in the 2021 fiscal policy document, with an initial plan to construct 70 offices by the end of 2021.
The offices are expected to facilitate the work of Members of Parliament by creating a non-partisan and neutral office for all constituents to interact with their representatives.
However, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta during the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy presentation, said the project would commence next year.
The move, according to the Minister, is one of the many activities being undertaken under the Parliamentary Service Office Support Project (PSOSP) to strengthen Parliament and boost the work of the legislators.
“The PSOSP will be fully completed in 2022. Phase I of the construction of constituency offices for Members of Parliament will commence in 2022,” the Finance Minister said.
However, the MP for Adentan who filed a question on the matter in an interview, said he will probe further on whether the allocated amount has been utilised.
“Even in the 2021 budget, there was an allocation of GH¢45.5 million which he (the Finance Minister) said was going to start the project. So I am going to follow through to see whether that allocation was done for 2021 and if it was utilised or not so that money will be available for us to use again in 2022.”
About the offices
The government had earlier programmed to provide some money towards the construction of the constituency offices, with an initial support amount of GH¢45.5 million.
The amount was to cater for the first phase of the project, which was intended to provide constituency offices for all the 275 MPs by 2024.
A report by the Special Budget Committee of Parliament looking at the 2021 budget said the Parliamentary Service intended “to construct 70 of such offices annually so that by the end of 2024, all 275 Constituencies will be provided.”
“Successful execution of the project will further deepen the representational role of Members of Parliament by bringing them closer to their constituents,” the report said.
Meanwhile, there have been widespread concerns that the project is an additional burden on the public purse and must therefore be aborted, but some legislators have defended it, saying it will help deepen democracy.