Member of Parliament for Asuogyaman Constituency in the Eastern Region, Thomas Ampem Nyarko, has implored the leadership of Parliament to consider scheduling the House to sit for two days instead of the four to spare members the cost of fuel.
He observed that since Parliament resumed sitting two weeks ago, plenary has only been spending two hours or less each day and wondered if the days could not be reduced and the working hours extended to six or eight hours instead.
He said, “The business for this particular meeting is the budget and I have observed that for the days that we’ve been here, sometimes we come and in less than two hours we adjourn for the next day.”
“I’m asking whether it will not be possible for the Business Committee to consolidate and pack the activities so that instead of four days we can come like two days in a week in order to be able to save on the amount of money we are using to fuel our vehicles each day.”
The member narrated that on Wednesday he visited a Goil Filling Station to have his tank filled and was given a bill of GH¢3,000, and had to call a colleague for an extra GH¢900 to be able to pay for the fuel as he only had GH¢2,100 on him at the time.
“I had to call my colleague, Hon. Jaja to send me money through the Momo that I avoid using before I was able to pay my bill.”
“So looking at the kind of business that we have, is it not possible… because we can stay for six hours a day instead of coming for two hours and we go back. Drive here, and two hours we go back. Pack the day, if even it is eight hours we’ll be willing to stay and do the business for like two days. That way we can save like GH¢500 on fuel every week.”
“This is in line with a proposal by President John Mahama to organizations to allow those who can work from home to do so because the fuel situation is killing us.”
Majority leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, however, rebuffed the call and stressed it is when the state is in dire consequences that members of Parliament are called upon to increase productivity.
He argued that for a member of Parliament to say the House should work just two days in a week, “Mr. Speaker is a very apocalyptic declaration from the Member of Parliament.”
“What will be the effect on national productivity, this call that you are making? And what would be the effect on GDP,” he quizzed.
The Majority leader expressed regret and described the call as very unfortunate.