http://cdn.ghanaweb.com/imagelib/pics/42655378.jpgGhana does not need more than 105 lawmakers in Parliament, former legislator Albert Kan Dapaah has said.
“One of the problems I also have with our parliament is the number,” he told Ekow Mensah-Shalders on Class91.3fm’s Executive Breakfast Show on Tuesday December 15, 2015.
Ghana currently has 275 lawmakers. The number has progressively increased since the start of the fourth republic in 1993.
“I have always insisted that we don’t need more than 105 MPs and if you go to the Hansard, you’ll find that that is about true because the number of parliamentarians who speak on the floor in a year will always be less than 120 people.
“So what were the rest doing? …And you know the new trend? The amount of money that they are having to spend on their primaries, alone, is about more than the salary that they will receive in the four years,” the former Afigya Sekyere West MP said.
Mr Kan Dapaah, who also served as Energy Minister in the Kufuor administration and also chaired Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC), suggested that more than half of the 275 MPs be done away with and the little more than 100 remunerated properly.
“Why don’t we have about half the number that we have and double everybody’s salary, even if we don’t have money?” Mr Kan Dapaah suggested.
In his view, MPs’ salary, as it stands now, is “ridiculous”.
“You cannot get him [the MP] to be very, very serious with that sort of money,” Mr Kan Dapaah said.
According to him, “the parliamentarian is the only person who doesn’t share his salary with his family, alone, because he has to share it with the constituents.”
“If you pay them the monies that we are paying them – and the last time I checked, I think it was about GHS7, 500 a month – then they will take the car loan from it, then you pay your driver, then you pay for fuel, you have to go to your constituency, if you are an Ashanti, you must be there every weekend for funerals. And when you go to the constituency, it is not just one funeral, it is about 10 funerals. And the MP cannot give less than GHS100. So, you can spend about GHS 4, 000 on donations. The money is not enough.