Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak, has revealed that the Minority’s opposition to the Agyapa Minerals Royalty deal is bigger than its opposition to the e-levy.
Mr Muntaka indicated that government hasn’t taken the right steps to properly engage with stakeholders and the Minority side to build consensus for approval since it was last withdrawn. He noted that should it be reintroduced in the Mid-Year Budget Review, although he will not reveal the minority’s strategy, they will not hesitate in opposing the Agyapa deal.
“I can bet you that our opposition to Agyapa is bigger than our opposition to e-levy. And I will not sit here and tell you our strategy, but believe me, if that attempt is made, they won’t find it easy. I just want them to appreciate one thing; you know we fought to get it removed from the budget, so once it’s not in the budget, well someone will say they may reintroduce it in the Mid-Year Budget Review. I won’t sit here and tell you what we’re going to do.”Muntaka Mubarak
The Minority Chief Whip emphasized that the majority and government will get a “fearless and most resistant” opposition ever had in any Parliament if an attempt is made to bring the deal back.
“I’m not sending any threat, I’m only telling you that… any attempt to think that you can just come with Agyapa into this House, you should prepare for the worst.”Muntaka Mubarak
Mr Muntaka lamented the indifference of opinion leaders in the country concerning the deal, insisting that “a lot of the elderly so-called opinion leaders in our country” are silent. He expressed that because of their “huge and super loud silence” it leaves the minority with no other option than to take the fight and prevent Agyapa from ever happening.
Finance Minister made a tin-god
Meanwhile, the Minority Chief Whip, indicated that the Majority in Parliament has made a “tin-god” of the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta. He revealed that despite several attempts to get the Finance Minister to the floor of Parliament to answer vital questions, the Majority have always found an excuse to defend his absence.
Mr Mubarak recounted that when he was the Majority Whip, he gave the former Finance Minister, Seth Terkper and the former Attorney General “a permanent seat” in parliament as they cannot be sending deputies to represent them. He explained that he did it for them to appreciate the challenges that was going on in parliament.
“These guys… they’ve turned the Finance Minister as a tin-god. 99% of his business has to be done by deputies; always begging, you know he’s in some World Bank meeting, he’s in an IMF meeting, some foreign donors have come, he’s in a meeting. So, he won’t have time for Parliament?”Muntaka Mubarak
His commments followed the Speaker, Alban Bagbin’s assertion that parliament doesn’t have the wherewithal to run its affairs.
Corroborating the statement made by the Speaker of parliament, Alban Bagbin, about the lack of funds to run the business of parliament, Mr Muntaka stated that apart from monies for salaries this year, “not a dime has been released”.
“Even what was released last week after Speaker’s comment, were part of outstanding for 2021.”Muntaka Mubarak
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