Forget new chamber – Ablakwa

Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has said he is hopeful that the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye will take a relook at the relevance of the construction of a new chamber complex for Parliament.

The MP in a Facebook post today said parliament’s plan to construct a new chamber is unnecessary and a misplaced priority. He is of the view that building offices in all constituencies for Members of Parliament is a better use of state resources as it will enhance their work by way of giving them a platform to have improved interactions with their constituents.

The ranking member on the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament also argued that some of the funds could be channelled into supporting research staff of parliamentarians and called on the Speaker of Parliament.

“I do not think Parliament needs a new Chamber Complex. If the views of all Members of Parliament were sought, I would have suggested we used some of those resources to beef up research staff of MPs who must be paid well in order to attract good calibre and construct simple MPs offices across the country to improve interactions with constituents as we have in other jurisdictions, especially at a time most constituents say they do not get to see their MPs. Respectfully, I do hope Mr. Speaker will take a second look at this” he said.

The Speaker of Parliament, Rt Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye, has unveiled the design of the new parliamentary chamber block. The unveiling was done during a courtesy call paid by a delegation from the Architectural Firm – Adjaye & Associates last week.

The concept of the architecture according to the designers was inspired by the Akan saying, “Ti kro nko agyina”, literally meaning, “two heads are better than one.”

Meanwhile, the Speaker of Parliament has clarified that the 450 seater chamber does not necessarily mean that the number of Members of Parliament would be increased. According to him, the monumental project is planned to be futuristic and one that will stand the test of time and for posterity.

The new Chamber, with a sitting capacity of about 450 Members of Parliament, would house other facilities including diplomatic offices, a library, a museum, a church, a mosque, eateries, press conference rooms, galleries, a car park, an upper gallery garden, a post office and other facilities to complete the Parliamentary enclave.

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