Despite requests that it be hosted in Parliament to save costs, First Deputy Speaker of Parliament Joseph Osei-Owusu is the most recent lawmaker to back the choice to hold the yearly post-budget workshop outside of Accra.
The Bekwai legislator claims that the House lacks the necessary arrangements to hold the workshop.
“We’ve tried it [post-budget workshop] once here [Parliament], it wasn’t effective. We have only one hall but during the workshop, there will be multiple presenters doing different things, so the practicality will not be effective,” he said this an interview on JoyNews’ PM Express.
This came after presenter Evans Mensah stated that Parliament would rather hold the event in the “comfort of hotels” rather than in the House.
The First Deputy Speaker sharply refuted the idea in response, stressing that responsibility, not comfort, dictates the location selection.
He said, “No hotel is as comfortable as my home. I’ve traveled around the world and no hotel I have stayed in is as comfortable as my home.”
The First Deputy Speaker, who was elected to the House of Commons in 2009 and has a wealth of local and international expertise, has stated that he dislikes traveling, even for conferences or business, and that this is a duty that comes with the job.
“We don’t do it because of comfort, we don’t do it because we want to, we do it because it is a responsibility.”
His stance on the annual workshop’s location was prompted by Kofi Adams, the Buem MP, who requested that Parliament House in Accra serve as the venue for this year’s post-budget session.
Citing the current economic downturn, the NDC MP urged the House leadership to reevaluate and move the workshop inside Parliament in order to reduce costs.
However, Alexander Afenyo Markin, the Deputy Majority Leader, denied his request.
He believes the request is opportunistic and seeks to put Parliament in a bad light adding that “This is a decision of the committee, it is not about leaders being insensitive.”