New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Nanton Constituency in the Northern Region of Ghana, Alhaji Mohammed Hardi Tufero yesterday caused stir at Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee hearing.
The Nanton lawmaker who doubles as the Deputy Ranking Member of the committee verbally attacked the Committee Chairman; Mr. James Klutse Avedzi openly when the question of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) sponsorship to the Rebecca Foundation, Okyehene and others came up.
Officials from GNPC led by its deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) appeared before the Committee to answer questions on findings by the Auditor General.
In the course of the hearing, a public interest question was asked by the MP for Ningo-Prampram Mr. Sam George on the funding given to some institutions which do not fall under the three categories an institution or a community should fall under to qualify for funding from GNPC as part of the Corporation’s corporate social responsibility.
The Ningo-Prampram MP’s public interest question sought clarification on how payments were authorized under the Office of the Chief Executive of GNPC instead of the Corporation’s Foundation which is solely responsible for selecting and granting funds to deserving organisations and communities.
“I am trying to situate how approval for CSRs emanated from the Board Secretary to the Chief Executive and not from the Foundation. And this had to do with GHC120, 000 to the Rebecca Foundation, GHC1.8 million to the Okyenhene’s 20th Anniversary celebration, GHC50, 000 to the Ghana Journalist Association, 30,000 dollars to the Ghana Boxing Association and GHC400, 000 to Damba Festival and GHS550, 000 to EOCO which is also a state entity that is under a Ministry.
So I am trying to understand how this did not happen under the auspices of the Foundation. Those are the umbrellas under which the activities of the foundation are situated.” The Ningo-Prampram lawmaker opined.
His line of questioning which was granted by the Committee Chairman did not sit well with the NPP MP for Nanton.
The Nanton lawmaker furiously questioned the Committee Chairman, Mr. Klutse Avedzi’s motive for allowing the query.
Mr. Avedzi, however, called the bluff of Mr. Hardi Tufero, saying he has the authority to determine which questions should be asked at the sitting.
“I am the Chair of the Committee. The rules are that we allow public Interest questions. I have approved it. If I approve public interest questions, I do not have the responsibility to call the Deputy Ranking Member of the committee to tell you that I have approved this public interest question. If you want to take over, come and take over,” Klutse Avedzi said angrily.
Mr. Klutse Avedzi has no more options than to bring the hearing to an abrupt end due to the commotion caused by the Nanton lawmaker who doubles as the Deputy Ranking Member of the committee.
Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH