The government has been advised to backtracked plans to absorbed 60 per cent car loan for 275 Members of Parliament and 31 Council of State members.
According to a senior Policy Analyst at the University of Ghana Business School, Dr. Thomas Buabeng, any attempts by the government to implement the current arrangement will trigger mass industrial action by organized labour in the country.
“I am not a prophet but, if the government make a mistake to implement the current arrangements, we will see what will happen. It will trigger mass industrial action, everyone will be angry” Dr. Thomas Buabeng told Akua Boakyewaa Yiadom, host of Adom FM’s current affairs program Burning Issues.
“If you’re asking other labour union workers to hold on with their concerns, then the government must also hold on with payments of such loan for MPs,” he justified his call.
The lecturer however proposed that MPs within and around Accra should be given loans for salon cars, while those in other regions must be provided with SUV vehicles.
“The timing is wrong; it is very bad; looking at the effects of COVID-19 on our economy,” Dr Buabeng said as he cautioned the government to take a second look at the facility following public outcry.
Dr Thomas Buabeng, therefore, urged the government to exercise some restraint in approving the $28 million loan facility currently before Parliament for consideration.
He also hinted that the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), together with other groups will soon agitate for their share of the national cake. “You can’t give a whole university professor, electricity allowance just Ghc 15 cedis for a whole month” he stated.
On July 6, 2021, a Deputy Minister of Finance, Abena Osei Asare on behalf of the sector minister tabled two different loan agreements in Parliament to that effect.
The government is seeking Parliament’s approval to secure a $28 million loan facility from the National Investment Bank for the initiative, an additional $3.5 million loan agreement with the NIB to purchase vehicles for the 31-member council of state has been laid.
Per the arrangements, government will pay 60% of the loan facility tabled before Parliament for the purchases of vehicles for members of the 8th Parliament and members of the Council of State.
The State will bear 60% of the principal sum and all the interest that will accrue on the loan, while MPs and Council of State Members will also pay the remaining 40% of the loan facility.
Per the arrangement, the state will absorb $373,333.33 representing 60% while an amount of $248,888.89 representing 40% will be paid by MPs.
Per the agreement, if approved by Parliament each of the 275 MPs and each of the 31-member council of state members will receive about $100,000 for the purchase of a vehicle.
The $28 million facility has to be paid within a 45-month period by the MPs, while the $3.5 million loan facility is to be paid within 42 months by the Council of State Members.
The documents are currently before Parliament’s Finance Committee for consideration and report for the House approval.