Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH
Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban S.K. Bagbin, says Ghanaians must be at the centre of every decision made by the country’s political leaders.
As a result, each step must reflect and meet the expectations and aspirations of all citizens. Based on this understanding, the Legislature’s purpose must be to add value and worth to all intercessions aimed at improving the lives of Ghanaians.
He was speaking during a courtesy call on him by the Mexican Ambassador, His Excellency Enrique Escorza, at Parliament House in Accra.
Also present to call on him was the Private Enterprise Federation, led by Nana Osei Bonsu. Both visits were aimed at exploring ways of strengthening relations between the Parliament of Ghana and Mexico, on one hand, and Parliament and the Private Enterprise Federation, on the other.
It was also to understand the strategies at work in Ghana’s parliament at the moment, given the unique composition of the House.
Referring to the emerging challenges posed by Ghana’s hung Parliament, Rt. Hon. Bagbin stated, “at this critical juncture of our democracy, highlighted by Ghanaians decision to abandon the unbridled system of majoritarian and minoritarian rule, there is the need for all parliamentarians on both sides to make cogent and reasonable decisions and not just hasty decisions that satisfy other needs and not necessarily for the citizenry.”
“Nothing gives more fulfilment than the passion and commitment of members of Parliament to put the people of Ghana first,” he said.
Speaker Bagbin was of the opinion that the conscious effort to get Ghanaians to buy-in on all decision-making processes should be encouraged.
He advocated for stronger ties between Ghana and Mexico in order to increase wealth and employment opportunities for citizens of both countries, while also assisting Ghana in strengthening its tourism industry.
For his part, the Mexican Ambassador, said despite the fact that Ghana and Mexico have had diplomatic relations for many years, only one (1) Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the two countries.
He stated that Mexico is committed to exploring new and innovative ways to strategically strengthen this relationship through increased community engagement.
The delegation, led by Nana Osei-Bonsu of the Private Enterprise Federation, discussed the need for Ghana to implement a tiered tax system that will reduce the tax burden on micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), as well as the launch of the government’s broad investment policy that will allow for 100 percent profit repatriation.
His argument focused on the mining industry, claiming that after the majority of these international mining companies do business with Ghana, the negative impact they leave on the country’s water bodies, natural landscape, and habitat is undeniable.
There was also a request that private schools be included in the free senior high school policy.
In his closing remarks, Mr. Speaker agreed that there was still room for improvement in the area of public-private partnerships.
“We can all agree that the private sector is the engine of growth for Ghana’s economy because it creates wealth and generates employment,” Rt Hon. Speaker noted.
Rt. Hon. Bagbin believes there is a genuine case for allocating a significant percentage of government procurement of goods and services to locally owned private sector businesses.