Speaker: MPs must brace themselves for long sitting hours

The House resumed sitting on Tuesday (25 May 2021) for the second meeting of the first session of the eighth parliament

Alban Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament, has told MPs to psyche themselves up for hard work and long hours.

He said the second meeting of the eighth parliament promises to be very busy, since the House is expected to consider and pass into law some important bills.

“It is true. Like medical practitioners, there is no rest for an MP … I can only urge members to psyche up for hard work and long sitting hours.”

The Speaker made this remark when Parliament resumed sitting after a long break during which MPs visited their constituents to engage people in their communities and prepared to defend the interests of their people.

He said that apart from Parliament seeing to early passage of the new standing orders, the legislature is likely to consider and pass into law a number of critically important bills.

These include the Petroleum Management Amendment Bill 2021, the Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2020, the Exemptions Bill 2021, and some private members’ bills. The House also awaits the presentation of the Affirmative Action Bill, which is currently before cabinet.

He said a number of private members’ motions, international agreements, treaties and conventions also await consideration by the House.

Oversight responsibility

Speaker Bagbin also informed the House that during the recess he had approved a request by certain parliamentary committees to reach out to areas outside Accra and to state institutions, to enable committees to perform their duty of oversight.

He said the committees on local government and rural development, on the environment, science and technology, and on works and housing had visited various regions of the country to inspect projects and to interact with public officials and sections of society.

The public accounts committee and the lands and forestry committee also had sessions in the sector ministries, commissions, agencies and departments under their jurisdiction.

He commended the leadership and members of these committees for their tenacity of purpose and called on the other committees to do the same.

Speaker Bagbin urged MPs and staff of Parliament to continue to observe the COVID-19 protocols since the country is not yet out of the woods. Although some MPs and staff were able to take the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine a few days ago, this does not give them total immunity against the disease, he observed.

He said he is highly informed that the two doses of vaccines provide only 75% immunity and therefore urged members to observe the necessary COVID-19 protocols.

He said the figures from the second round of vaccines administered show that 109 MPs, 164 management staff and 419 other members of the parliamentary staff took a second dose.

Judging by the staff strength and membership of the House, he said, it is clear that there are many MPs and staff who are yet to take the second dose. He gave assurances that arrangements are being made for MPs and staff to complete the dose required to be fully vaccinated.


In his contribution, Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader in Parliament, called on the Majority Leader to endeavour to work for consensus where necessary, in the public interest.

He repeated his call that the Minority side would not obstruct government policy but would rather be constructive. Nevertheless, he said, where necessary, Minority MPs would be uncompromising in their stance.

In his contribution, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, Majority Leader, declared that the agenda for the House will be packed, and so members must gear up for this.

He said the House is expected to consider and pass many bills, private members’ bills and motions and agreements that will come before Parliament, as well as the Affirmative Action Bill.

He urged members to rededicate themselves to the business of the House in the second meeting, which is likely to be herculean, because they face a tall order of business.

Asaase Radio 99.5 – tune in or log on to broadcasts online
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