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Youth question GHS10m for MP offices

Black-churchesSpending GHS10,000,000 for the construction of 275 MP constituency offices is a waste of money which could instead be used to benefit the MPs’ communities, according to a youth group.

The Youth Economic Dialogue (YED)says the annual expenditure in running the 275 offices across the country could cost about GHS16million over the next four years.

Following a case study conducted on some constituencies by YED, it was discovered that MPs spend close to 70% of their time in Accra and not in their constituencies.

“We strongly believe that, the most pressing need of many a constituent is employment. Youth Economic Dialogue holds the opinion that the projected GHS10million could be channelled into setting up revolving funds in the 275 constituencies as seed capital to support innovative activities, creation of jobs and provision of social amenities,” the group said in a statement.

They also encouraged MPs to adopt “the use of virtual office facilities such as Facebook, twitter, emails and mobile phones for easy communication with their constituents as Ghana currently enjoys over 100% Mobile penetration and the highest in Africa and sufficient internet penetration and speed”.

YED also said government’s projected deficit to GDP of 9% is also too high and urged Parliament to develop a better framework to monitor executive spending and also institute punitive measures targeted at the MDAs to deter fiscal indiscipline.

The group urged government to ensure the speedy completion of the Parliamentary Tower Block (Job 600) to facilitate the legislative duties of MPs.

Job 600 is a post-independence state building which is just behind Parliament House. It was commissioned by Dr Kwame Nkrumah in 1965 and is currently under renovation to serve as an office complex for MPs. Costs for the project were last estimated at around $100 million.

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