According to him, the state needed to provide these vehicles for the MPs in order to facilitate their work but it has refused to do so because of the cost of maintaining these vehicles.
He told Bridget Otoo on the ‘One on One’ show that, it’s the duty of the state to provide vehicles for the legislature since it does so for the executive and judiciary but it has refused because of the cost of maintenance.
“I took the car loans given to the MPs because it’s a work station vehicle…The judges get V8s, V6s and saloon vehicles, ministers get land cruisers and saloon vehicles; these are owned, maintained, serviced and fueled by the state but when it gets to the MPs they give us a loan,” Sam George said.
“Of judges and ministers, none of those two categories travel as much as MPs. Every MP at least once every week or month, travels out of station to his constituency…
“We do a lot more travel, provide us the vehicles, don’t give us a loan. Buy the cars; buy a car for Ningo-Prampram, whoever is the MP; you service the car, maintain the car, the person uses the car when he leaves he goes away…government won’t do that because the wear and tear and the cost of maintaining the vehicles will be more than giving the loans,” the MP explained.
Sam George believes that if the state decides to provide MPs with official vehicles and maintain them because of the nature of the work of an MP and the travels involved, it would cost an average of $2,000 per month to maintain the vehicles.
As a result, the state thought it will be prudent to give the MPs a loan instead so that they will pay 40% of it whilst 60% is absorbed by the state.
“People need to understand that the MPs are doing a big service to the state by agreeing to pay for a portion of the [loans used in buying the] vehicles they use for their work,” Sam Nartey George stressed.
Parliament in July 2021, approved the $28 million car loan presented by the Finance Ministry to facilitate the purchase of 275 vehicles for members of the eighth Parliament.
Per the documents presented by the Finance Ministry, the MPs will pay only 40% of the principal sum of the loan, while the government will bear 60% of the principal sum and all the interest that will accrue on the loan.
“The repayment of the facility by the beneficiaries shall be made from deduction at source by the Parliamentary Service of Ghana to the NIB. The repayment by the beneficiaries and the Government of Ghana shall be made at the end of every month for the duration of the agreement,” portions of the agreement read. Read Full Story