A law professor, H. Kwasi Prempeh, questioned the constitutionality of parliament by using its powers to approve private loans for its members to procure vehicles for official functions.
Parliament, he argued, does not have the power to approve private lending facilities between an individual, regardless of job or employer, and a private lender.
He therefore fails to understand why MPs’ auto loans, apparently secured with their salaries and severance pay, still require additional sovereign collateral, thus making the government legally responsible until the debt is fully paid.
ââ¦ What business does Parliament have in using its power to approve public loans to approve this supposedly private loan facility between individual MPs and a private lender? He asked himself.
Last year, it was reported that Parliament was considering approving a $ 22.5 million loan facility for the purchase of vehicles for all of the country’s 275 MPs.
Each MP was to receive approximately $ 80,000 to be repaid within four years.
Following the recent public speech on the issue of âNo Bedâ syndrome in major hospitals across the country which resulted in the death of a 70 year old man in Accra a week ago, some Ghanaians have revived the car loan problem. MPs and condemned the government for its lack of priorities.
Some critics have questioned why different governments are spending on MPs and their officials when our health care system and other areas needing urgent attention have been pushed into the background.
In a Facebook post commenting on the history of MPs car loans published last year, Professor Prempeh, executive director of CDD-Ghana, argued that the power of parliament to approve loans is only vested in him for certain public loans.
This power, he said, âshould not be used to approve private loans. If Parliament has done it this way in practice, I submit that it is a procedural error â.
According to him, parliament “must not use any of its formal powers conferred by the constitution” for such purposes.
âAt best, this should be done through the Parliamentary Service or the Ministry of Finance, whichever is responsible for paying MPs. Parliament as a body must be kept out of this matter, âhe said.