Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah, Member of Parliament for Juabeng South in the Eastern Region, has sparked anger within the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) for disputing part of the budget statement put out by the Minister of Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta.
According to the MP, who is also the chairman of the Finance Committee in Parliament, an aspect of the 2019 budget statement which stated that an interchange will be constructed in Koforidua, the Eastern Regional capital, was erroneous.
Mr. Ofori-Atta stated in the 2019 budget statement that government has devoted $2 billion for infrastructural projects across the country, which included construction of roads and interchanges, including the Koforidua Interchange.
Speaking on Koforidua-based Kingdom FM, Dr. Assibey-Yeboah stated: “What is an interchange; an interchange is needed where there is heavy vehicular traffic. In Koforidua where do we need an interchange? We don’t need an interchange in Koforidua. If that was said by the minister he might have done it in error.
The position of the MP has caused serious anger within the corridors of the NPP, especially the Majority Caucus in Parliament.
Per what The Inquisitor has gathered some top guns and MPs of the NPP are angry because what the finance minister said could not be wrong and even if it was an error radio was not the best place for the MP to address it.
The Inquisitor gathered the MP is likely to be dragged before the NPP leadership in Parliament to explain why he decided to discount what the finance minister presented to the whole country on radio.
What is making the whole issue dicey is the fact that Dr. Assibey-Yeboah as Chairman of the Finance Committee was believed to have had all that was contained in the budget even before it was presented.
There are also murmurings within the corridors of the Majority Caucus in Parliament that the Juabeng South MP should have officially written to the finance ministry about what he feels about that portion of the budget.
In the minds of some of the NPP gurus, as Chairman of the Finance Committee, he should have been able to raise issues with the minister instead of going public.
E/R NPP Reaction To Assibey-Yeboah
The Eastern Regional Director of Communication of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), David Prah, has called on the public to disregard comment made by a Member of the Economic Management Team of Government, Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah, suggesting that the proposed Koforidua interchange captured in the 2019 budget was “an error.”
According to Mr. Prah, the comment made by Dr. Assibey-Yeboah “was rather in error,” hence must not be taken seriously, adding that his comment was not the position of the government.
“The government position is that Koforidua requires an interchange and overhead to support the free flow of traffic so that those of us here can go about our activities with ease and the alacrity it deserves. So what he [Dr. Assibey -Yeboah] rather said was in an error and not what the Finance Minister said,” Prah stated.
Dr. Assibey-Yeboah, who doubles as the Member of Parliament for New Juaben South and Chairman of the Finance Committee of Parliament, described as an “error” an aspect of the 2019 budget statement which stated that an interchange will be constructed in Koforidua, the Eastern Regional capital.
His comment has been greeted with massive criticisms and accusations of deceit against the government.
The Eastern Regional Director of Communication of the ruling NPP told the media that the comments by Dr. Assibey-Yeboah were unfortunate and shocking.
“The Finance Minister and other government officials did due diligence in proposing the construction of the Koforidua interchange. So I was surprised the Member of Parliament said it was said in an error. I don’t think it was said in an error. It was said appropriately. So what he [Dr. Assibey-Yeboah] said is not the position of the government,” he maintained.
According to him, Koforidua is developing rapidly with increasing vehicular traffic build-up and, therefore, deserves an interchange to ease the traffic situation which the party in the region is in full support of.