Communications Minister Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has been given a 48-hour ultimatum to present herself before parliament to answer questions.
Speaker of Parliament, Prof Mike Oquaye issued the directive after Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful did not honor a call for participation for the third time.
Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful was expected to supply answers in reference to the work of KelniGVG, a corporation awarded a $89m contract to independently monitor the revenue of telecommunication companies.
Wednesday, August 8, was the third time the minister did not appear and supply answers to questions filed by Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampam, Sam George.
The MP submitted his question to parliament on May 25 to possess information on the incremental revenue generated by KelniGVG since they commenced operations in 2018.
Professor Oquaye was concerned that Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful didn’t submit any written answers in her absence. He, therefore, directed that the minister “makes herself available on Friday (August 8, 2020) to supply answers to the relevant questions”.
Prior to the Speaker’s directive, the bulk leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, told the House that efforts to succeed in the minister had been unsuccessful.
“Unfortunately, I even have been trying to locate the minister,” he stated while explaining that if the minister appeared later within the day, she would be allowed to deal with the House.
He said the minister was capable of answering the questions therefore the House she gives her an extension to form herself available.
But Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak Mohammed raised an objection that the minister had repeatedly did not account for Parliament.
He, subsequently, told Joy FM he was very positive that the minister would be present on Friday because she is one among the people that is very punctual with parliamentary business.
He revealed that if she fails, that might be a breach of the principles of the House and therefore the President might be compelled to get rid of her from office.
Controversy over $89million KelniGVG contract
The biggest opposers of the deal was think-tank IMANI, which said the contract signed with the corporate didn’t make business sense and wasn’t within the interest of the country.
President of IMANI Franklin Cudjoe said there was no point in appointing a corporation to supply revenue monitoring and assurance services when the government can’t be assured of the quantity of revenue it might get from the corporate.
The Minority also argued that the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) could do the work without spending huge sums of cash to contract a personal firm to perform the task.
The Communications Minister justified the move by indicating that government needed to plug the loopholes employed by telcos to underpay taxes and levies owed the government.
The CSO’s subsequently demanded copies of the contract and proceeded to court to compel the Communications Minister to release the documents.