A political science lecturer at the University of Cape Coast in the Central Region is expressing consternation about how some sitting Members of Parliament (MPs) would leave the debate on the budget statement and go watch the ongoing World Cup tournament in Qatar.
He was quick to add that even though it may be a matter of patriotism, it should not be at this time when all hands are needed on board to pass the budget to salvage the country from the current economic woes.
Mr Jonathan Asante Okyere expressed his surprise at the MPs behaviour for leaving behind the budget for international football.
He was speaking on the Ghana Yensom morning show on Accra 100.5 FM hosted by Odeeyieba Kofi Essuman on Thursday, December 1, 2022.
He queried if football was more important to the said MPs.
“For God's sake, this is the financial policy of the government and you MPs are engaging in such dereliction of duties,” he bemoaned.
“These actions on the part of the MPs leave much to be desired,” he said
He questioned what becomes of the government’s ban on frivolous travels.
“Or is it a case that the said MPs had permission from the Speaker of Parliament?” he asked.
In the same direction, Minority Leader Haruna Iddrissu on Thursday, December 1 warned that any minister who fails to come to parliament to defend his or her sector budget statement, said budget estimates would not be approved.
The same concern was anchored on the premise that the debate on the 2023 budget as presented by the Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta was expected to start with a race to pass the Appropriation Bill in time.
Though no official reason was given for the mass absence of the Majority members, checks show that some of the Majority members of Parliament (MPs) were out of the jurisdiction.
At least three of them were spotted in Qatar where the 2022 FIFA World Cup is ongoing.
One of the MPs who has been in Qatar for the past two weeks is Mustapha Ussif of Yagaba-Kubori, who doubles as Minister of Youth and Sports.
He has been with the team through their training camp in Dubai through to their arrival in Doha for the games. He was among the delegation that received President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo when he met the team before their match against Portugal.
Minister of Communications and Digitalisation who doubles as the Member of Parliament for Ablekuma West Constituency, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful was also spotted in Qatar according to social media posts.
On Wednesday, November 30, Ursula took to her Facebook page to share a ‘unique’ photo of herself and former Dutch footballer, Patrick Stephan Kluivert.
She captioned the photo: “With Patrick Kluivert; for those old enough to remember this legendary footballer from the Netherlands!! Loving the atmosphere in Qatar!!”
Minister of Energy and Manhyia South MP Matthew Opoku Prempeh is also in Qatar cheering on the Black Stars.
He spoke in a recent interview with Metro TV reporters after the Black Stars defeated South Korea by 3-2 at the Education City Stadium on Monday.
Patrick Yaw Boamah, Okaikwei Central MP is also in Qatar.