New parliamentary chamber unnecessary – Ken Dzirasah

Former second deputy Speaker of Parliament Ken Dzirasah has waded into the controversy surrounding plans by parliament to construct a new chamber saying the move is unnecessary.

He said the nation has pressing issues to address than building a new legislative chamber.

Speaking to Francis Abban on the Morning Starr Thursday, Mr. Dzirasah said the current chamber is good and fit for purpose.

“The conditions and facilities in Parliament are enough for the MPs to work. There are other pressing issues we need to attend to as a nation. This matter on new chamber shouldn’t have come up at all because there is no need for it. It is an exercise that bears no relevance to our realities of today.

“The building of the new chamber is an exercise that when embarked on will amount to waste”.

Meanwhile, the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has described the move as a “misplaced priority.”

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.

The 450-seater chamber will come with a chapel, mosque, restaurant, and a museum. The current chamber houses 275 seats for MPs.

However, CDD-Ghana said Parliament as it stands now is “relatively well resourced.”

“Consequently, CDD-Ghana does not believe that construction of a new and expanded chamber at an estimated cost of $200m is reasonable or justifiable at the present time. In the face of the numerous basic needs facing communities across the country, including a lack of safe and decent physical structures, facilities, and fixtures for many basic schools, a chronic shortage of beds in public hospitals, the deplorable condition of many of the country’s roads, and sundry other basic infrastructural and material deprivations facing various populations of citizens, construction of a new edifice for Parliament is a clear case of misplaced priorities,” CDD-Ghana said in a statement.

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