Ghana’s Majority Leader of Parliament, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has expressed shock at the dissension against the proposed new chamber complex for Ghana’s parliament.
Justifying the plan to build the new chamber, the Member of Parliament for Suame and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs said in a post that past governments put up infrastructure and facilities like stadia at a time most Ghanaians were struggling to make ends meet.
Ghana’s parliament is considering building a new ultramodern chamber to serve the lawmakers.
The Parliamentary Service Board has already received the architectural model for the new chamber from renowned Ghanaian architect David Frank Adjaye, the same designer of the National Cathedral.
He walked the leaders of the house and the MPs through the new design at a meeting on Friday.
Some Ghanaians including MPs such as Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Ras Mubarak and Alhassan Suhuyini, have kicked against the idea.
For example, Mr Ablakwa, the MP for North Tongu has said more resources, should be committed to boosting research in the legislature instead.
But speaking on GHOne TV’s GH Today, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said: “As a country, we are not out of the woods yet in spite of the quality… quantity of various shades of improvement that we are adding to the lives and living standards of our people. We are not there yet. We are not out of the woods, but tell me: we do know that the basic needs of a human being to start with is food, clothing and shelter. When have we been able to achieve this before we started building our stadia or our national theatre? Food, clothing and shelter, have we been able [to provide it completely]?”
“There’s a housing deficit close to two million and yet we are building roads. Between roads and housing, the priority should be on housing. We build roads, we build schools, and we build health facilities. They are all to inure to the quality of life—the standard of living of our people.
“So, let’s not really say that not until we satisfied the basic human needs others things are luxurious. They are not… they are not, because as I said then, we should begin by saying that before we build a school, we should ensure that every Ghanaian has three square meals. Even the United States of America… can we say that every citizen of the United States of America has three square meals? And yet they have all these things that we so much enjoy. Let nobody tell me that not until maybe we are able to provide clothing for everybody, not until we are able to provide adequate housing to everybody these other things are luxuries.”