450-seat parliament chamber needless – Okudzeto Ablakwa
Ghana’s Parliament does not need a new chamber complex, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, North Tongu MP has said.
Rather, more resources, Mr Ablakwa said, should be committed to boosting research in the legislature.
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.
“We have been given the direction to prepare to start sometime this year. If we are able to start this year, it can be completed within the next three years”, Mr Adjaye said, adding: “We are removing the Parliamentary chamber to a new chamber and refurbishing the old parliament to be another conference facility for parliament”
“We are going to put all the car parks you see, under the parliament for security”, he explained to the media. “The parliamentarians can drive into a secure zone and rise up directly into the chamber,” he said.
“This will allow the Job 600 building to perform better. Where the car parks are will be turned into gardens which will be able to receive people on occasions.”
The 450-seater chamber will come with a chapel, mosque, restaurant, and a museum.
Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia hinted at putting up a new chamber in 2017 when he inspected the lawmaking house following a rainstorm that ripped off the roof of the building.
But in a Facebook post, Mr Ablakwa, who is the Minority spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, said: “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 a good calibre and construct simple MP 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.