Construction of 450-seat parliament chamber is good use of money - NPP MP

Daniel Okyem Aboagye, the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Bantama Constituency has described the plans to build a 450-seater chamber for the parliament of Ghana as worthy and "good use of our money".

Bantama Constituency MP, Daniel Okyem Aboagye

He said "...It is something that is worth doing, it is a good use of our money. Of course, we will not leave the rest of the issues untackled. Employment are being created, we are managing the economy very well. If we can have two hundred million dollars that is good money that can also be used to build our democracy, I think it's a good use for me".

Ghana's parliament is considering building an ultramodern chamber to serve the MPs.

The construction of the new parliamentary chamber was disclosed when members of the Parliamentary Service Board received a model for the proposed new Chamber last Friday.

The 450-seater chamber will come with a chapel, mosque, restaurant, and a museum.

The speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Ocquaye, said the government doesn't know yet how much the new complex to be constructed will cost.

He disclosed that architectural firm run by UK based Ghanaian architect Sir David Frank Adjaye, Adjaye and Associate, came tops in a competitive bidding process ahead of two other firms to design and build the structure, the exact cost of the project has not been determined.

Some Ghanaians have opposed the construction Parliament's decision to construct a new chamber before the end of 2019.

MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said Parliament does not need a new chamber complex, instead, more resources should be committed to boosting research in the legislature and described the proposed plan to construct as needless.

Kofi Bentil, the vice-president of IMANI Ghana, also described the plans to build the 450-seater chamber as "stupid".

But the NPP MP has justified the proposed construction.

Speaking on Accra-based Joy FM, he said "The type of governance we have chosen for ourselves is democracy and democracy I believe is a representation of the people. And so, if we have situations where some members that represent the people come to the house with less than 10,000 votes and others come with 130,000 registered voters voting for you, you see that even though you are representing the people, the disparity is too huge, is too much.

"So, if you want a fair representation of the people. Then I believe, you should at least... Not to try to say let's get equal number of people but some reasonable fairness in terms of representation".

"If one person is representing over 130,000 registered voters and another person is representing about 7, 10,000 whatever the number might be. That is not fair because when it comes to the distribution of the national cake and I want to use the commonest one that we all know; the Common Fund, it is shared equally.

"...So, how do you expect an MP who has 130,000 constituents or registered voters and for that number and by extension a huge number of people to represent to be able to take care of the little that he has. So, I believe, If we can get the opportunity to ensure some fairness in the representation, it will be better," he stated.

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