The Member of Parliament for North Tongu constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has asked President Nana Akufo-Addo to lead by example in the directive given to his appointees to suspend all foreign travels for one month.
The President on Sunday, December 5, 2021, instructed all Ministers and Deputy Ministers who are MPs not to travel outside the country for the next one month.
The reason for the directive is unclear, but sources at the Jubilee House say the President wants all MPs present when Parliament begins the appropriation of budget estimates for the 2022 fiscal year.
Ministers and Deputy Ministers who require emergency medical attention will, however, be allowed to travel.
Speaking in an interview with Citi News, Mr. Ablakwa, who is the Ranking Member on the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament, said the President must ensure that he stays in the country to show leadership to get his 2022 budget approved.
He said Nana Akufo-Addo must lead efforts to ensure consensus on matters relating to the budget, since leadership has been missing.
“He [Akufo-Addo] himself must suspend travel and lead the efforts towards ensuring approval of the 2022 budget. What has been lacking so far is leadership. That trip should have been suspended because your legislative body is in crisis, and you are holding meetings with legislators in another jurisdiction. What we expect to see is that the president will bring leadership to bear. He must take over the budget approval process. The president has been missing. He must lead mediation and listen to the Ghanaian people,” Mr. Ablakwa stated.
The North Tongu legislator has in the last mounted pressure on the government, accusing President Akufo-Addo of wasting the taxpayers’ money on luxurious private jets for his trips abroad.
Efforts by Mr. Ablakwa to get government officials to reveal the cost of President Akufo-Addo’s foreign trips have yielded no positive results.