Parliament is not a playground – Speaker warns MPs

The Speaker, Alban Bagbin, has warned Members of Parliament against turning the legislature into a playground.

He sounded the caution while expressing dissatisfaction with the consistent interruption of submissions and heckling of MPs sharing their views on the State of the Nation Address delivered by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

“Don’t turn Parliament into a playground. I’m not going to tolerate that at all,” he warned on Wednesday, March 10, 2021 during the debate of the State of the Nation Address.

The Speaker specifically gave the warning when the Asunafo South MP, Eric Opoku was being heckled on the Floor on Wednesday.

Mr Opoku had criticised the President for some of the things he said in his address, as well as his government’s handling of the economy.

The, MP among other things, accused the government of securitizing a number of the country’s resources.

He also raised concerns with claims by the President that four (4) helicopters had already been procured for the Ghana Police Service; suggesting that the claim was false.

“In December 2020, the debt of our nation has been ballooned to GHS286.9 billion, according to the Bank of Ghana indicating that within the last four years, the NPP government has increased our total debt stock by a whopping GHS165 billion. No government in the history of Ghana has ever borrowed this quantum of money within the space of four years. Even if we are to add all the borrowings of all the governments we’ve had in this country, they never borrowed up to GHS165 billion. To whom much is given much is expected. The debt of our nation as the Bank of Ghana puts it constitutes 74.4 percent of our GDP. This is far above the IMF debt sustainability threshold of 70 percent,” he said.

The MP’s claims were, however, challenged by the former Deputy Finance Minister, Abena Osei Asare.

Debate on State of the Nation Address commences

Members of Parliament commenced debate on the State of the Nation Address on Wednesday.

The address was presented by the President on Tuesday, March 9, 2021, in accordance with the dictates of the Constitution.

Parliament is expected to end the debate on the content of the speech on Thursday, March 11, 2021.

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