The Ranking Member of the Health Committee of Parliament Kwabena Mintah Akandoh has described decisions of the Finance Minister prior to the purchase of the Sputnik V vaccine as inimical to the interest of the state.
He said the approval of GHC16 million for the purchase of the vaccine by the minister without parliamentary approval is shocking.
The assertion was however challenged by the Okaikoi Central MP Patrick Yaw Boamah who deemed the comments to be prejudicial since the ad hoc committee was yet to present its report to the plenary.
Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin however ruled Mr. Akandoh’s personal views do not represent the ad hoc committee he serves on.
Mr Akandoh said “our minister responsible for finance is a threat to our economy. And I say so because if you go to page 101, the man has made a payment of GHC16 million to procure vaccines outside this country. Without insisting on the required procedure.”
But in a quick rebuttal Mr. Yaw Boamah noted “Mr. Speaker, I think you made a referral to a special committee investigating this matter. This is a prejudicial statement from a member of that committee and he must recuse himself from that committee before the report comes to this house.”
“It’s a prejudicial statement from a whole member of that committee that you set up. Mr. Speaker, I don’t know if you’ve seen the report, it’s a very dangerous comment coming from a ranking member of health and a vice-chair of a committee that you have set up to investigate the matter and report to this house. To make comments on the minister of finance’s statement is airing his views on that committee to the floor which is very dangerous.”
But the Speaker disagreed saying “Hon member, I thought your point of order was in his reference to the hon minister as ‘that man’. I thought you were going to raise an objection on that.”
“You are rather talking about him calling on the house to set up a committee and where he is putting across his own views and you say because he’s put across his own views, they’re prejudicial and he should recuse himself from the committee.”
He indicated “I don’t see this as a right point of order.”
Mr Ken Ofori Atta on July 29 read the mid-year budget review at the Parliament House where he said there was evidence to back his claim that the Ghanaian economy has started recovering from the shocks it suffered as a result of the Covid-19 global pandemic.
According to Finance Minister, growth averaged 7% in the 1st three years of the Akufo-Addo administration until Covid hit and slowed it down to about 1% in 2020.
Prior to COVID, he said about 3 million jobs were created while the private sector also expanded and created more jobs.