Don’t turn Parliament into a playground – Speaker warns MPs

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin says he will not tolerate any act likely to turn the House of Parliament into a playground.

“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 of Parliament was unhappy with the consistent interruption of submissions and heckling of Members of Parliament sharing the views on the State of the Nation Address delivered by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

He specifically gave the warning when the Asunafo South MP, Eric Opoku was being heckled on the Floor on Wednesday, March 10, 2021.

Eric Opoku had taken on the President over some of the things he said in his address including the Akufo-Addo 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.

Former Deputy Finance Minister, Abena Osei Asare however disputed some of the claims made by Eric Opoku.

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.

Debate on the content of the speech will end on Thursday, March 11, 2021.

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