John Boadu, the general secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), says the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, is a beneficiary of a position he never worked for and this is the reason for some of his comments in recent times.
According to Boadu, recent comments by the Speaker of Parliament suggesting that he (Alban Bagbin) has the “powers to remove the president but the president cannot remove him” are unfortunate and serve no purpose.
“The Speaker, as we all know, is only benefiting from what he didn’t work for and, as a result, he has been passing comments that sometimes are strictly unnecessary. For instance, he passed a comment that he has the capacity to impeach or remove the president and the president cannot remove you [Alban Bagbin] …
“[It] is totally unnecessary because he forgets that, as a Speaker, he doesn’t even have a vote.
“So, on what basis is he saying that? Or he’s going to supervise a distorted proposal for impeachment or what? I think it’s time he recognizes that he’s benefiting from something he didn’t work for,” Boadu said.
On the suspension road tolls, Boadu declared that although Parliament has sole responsibility to enact or suspend laws, the government also has a responsibility to institute administrative measures to curb any form of confusion and conflicts that will emerge as a result of government policies.
“With the removal of road tolls, I think strictly and technically speaking, it is Parliament that enacts and suspend laws, so nobody is lost to it,” he said.
“But in the interim as we wait for Parliament, particularly when the government has put in a proposal of a reduction or zero-rated tolls, for instance, it is necessary for the government to put in administrative measures in order not to create confusion.
“Because, if the minister had not operationalized the non-collection of tolls at that time, there’ll have been a lot of confusion at our toll booths,” he said.
Cessation of road tolls
The Minister of Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako Attah, directed the cessation of road tolls effective from Thursday 18 November 2021.
This followed a government announcement in the 2022 Budget Statement that abolished all tolls on public roads and bridges.
However, Speaker Bagbin directed the Roads and Highways Minister to reverse his directive on the cessation of road tolls until Parliament presents appropriate legislation.
According to the Speaker, the minister lacks the legal mandate to issue such a directive. Bagbin suggested that the minister initiate legislation under a certificate of urgency to seek the approval of the House.
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