The Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has said Parliament has not reached out to the Presidency for support in the construction of a new parliamentary complex.
The government spokesperson’s remarks come as a letter emerged indicating that President Nana Akufo-Addo had been invited to cut the sod for the project in the last week of June 2019.
The letter sighted by citinewsroom.com further suggests that the Finance Ministry had given a budgetary allocation for the project.But referencing the letter, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah said it was clear that “the Parliamentary Service Board intends to do this enterprise.”
“The government position is quite clear. This is something that the Parliamentary Service Board intends to do and for all the information that I have, the brief I have, I am not aware that they have engaged the Executive through Cabinet and have requested the Executive arm to do any specific thing with reference to what they are doing. I am not aware of that.”
“There is currently nothing [from Parliament on the project] before the Cabinet to consider.”
He also said the President cannot interfere in the decision of Parliament on the building.
Mr. Oppong Nkrumah added that the Executive will be ready to act on the matter when the Legislature concludes its plans.
“When they have finished their own internal consultations and they decide to come forward, they will probably come before Cabinet and try and make a case and at that point, the view of the Executive will be expressed to them,” he said
The Information Minister in an earlier interview said he was not aware if the Executive had been engaged on the matter.
The project, which the Majority Leader suggested could cost up to $200 million, has been the subject of criticism this past week.
Opposition to the project sparked a social media campaign tagged #DropThatChamber which will manifest in a protest on July 13.
In addition, a group known as the Economic Fighters is expected to picket at Parliament today, Friday, ahead of the July 13 demonstration.
Sod cutting plans
A sod-cutting ceremony for the construction of the controversial new parliamentary chamber complex was scheduled for June 2019 with the President in attendance.
This is according to a letter sighted by citinewsroom.com that invited the President as the Special Guest of Honour at the event.
The letter signed by the Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye indicated that the ceremony was to be done in the last week of June 2019, subject to the President’s convenience and confirmation.
The construction of a new parliamentary chamber was expected to begin before the end of 2019.
Renowned architect, David Frank Adjaye, designed the model and he told the media that the project will be completed in three years if it begun before the end of the year.