Speaking on the floor of the House, Deputy Minority Chief Whip, Ibrahim Ahmed, indicated that the tax bills, including the e-levy bill, must be brought before the House to be appropriately considered to avoid hasty approval.
“Mr Speaker, the House is expected to rise on December 17, but we are talking about estimates and the estimates go along with financial bills. Mr Speaker, in the business statement from Tuesday to Friday, conspicuously missing was the financial bills including the Electronic Transaction bill.
“I want clarity from the leader of government business when the Electronic Transaction bill including the e-levy and other financial bills would be presented to this House for us to work on them. We wouldn’t want to wait on Friday then those things will be brought and we will pass them under certificate of urgency,” he said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, revealed that the leadership has resolved to extend its date of rising from December 17 to December 21, 2021.
But the Minority is pushing against the extension of the business of the House beyond December 17 this year.
Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak wants the House to stick to its original date.
“Mr Speaker, I am also a member of the business committee, but I still want the House to keep its original timetable of rising on December 17, so that we will work towards that. If we get to December 17 and we are having challenges, it will be apparently clear to all of us that we cannot rise on December 17. But the moment we begin to make room obviously, the tendency to relax and hope that we still have some days is very high. So I want to plead that we amend December 21 to keep our December 17,” he said on the floor of parliament.
South Dayi Member of Parliament, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, urged the leadership of the House to urgently demand the budget estimates from the various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to be brought before the House for consideration.
According to him, the House must timeously consider the estimates from the various MDAs, hence the immediate provision of the budget estimates to avert any pressure on the House.
“Though the committees are billed to consider the estimates from the MDAs, we are still not receiving the estimates the way we ought to and I want to urge leadership to put some pressure on the MDAs. From my experience in this House, those estimates ought to be ready even before the budget is presented. I want to urge leadership to get the agencies to bring the estimates so we can consider them timeously,” he told the House.
The House on December 7, 2021, approved some modifications made by the Finance Minister to the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the government.
This was after the Minority in Parliament had demanded five changes to be made to the budget before they will accept it.