The Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Member for the Suame Constituency, Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, has disclosed his Ministry’s commitment of working to protect the dignity and image of both Parliament and it’s members.
Speaking at a media dialogue under the theme “interrogating Parliament’s contribution to the consolidation of Ghana’s’S democracy thus far- the perspectives of the media”, Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, indicated that his ministry is poised to work and contribute to enhancing the dignity and image of Parliament as well as its members, to promote consensus building, endeavour to control excessive partisanship and also encourage constructive criticism.
Adding that the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs has a very tall agenda, and He, being the Minister, cannot light a lamp and put it under a bushel.
Parliament, according to the Minister, is the epitome of the sovereign will of the people of Ghana, exercises oversight of the Executive by ensuring financial scrutiny and control of the Public Purse, and also scrutinizes public policy measures.
Parliament has Legislative, Representative, Deliberative and Informational Responsibilities, where the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs serves as a bridge builder between Parliament, the Executive and the Citizenry.
As part of the Executive, He said, the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, without any overt external pressure acts as a self-censor for the government, being sensitive to the sensibilities and preferences of our people, actual or perceived.
Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, however, acknowledged and classified the media’s role in a representative democracy such as Ghana’s in twofold, where it informs the citizenry and also serves as a feedback loop.
The Minister for Parliamentary Affairs who is the Leader of Government Business, also felt the need for his ministry to collaborate with the media in order to facilitate the dissemination of its strategic direction, programmes, activities and reports to all their stakeholders, and also act as a conduit for feedback.
Quoting a former US Vice President Al Gore, on an African proverb succinctly that “if you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”; Which emphatically describes how far and quicker the ministry of Parliamentary Affairs intends to go, in partnership with the media.
“A successful partnership between us and you Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media, means we can affect the nation’s consciousness and contribute to the evolution of our democracy quicker with far reaching impact on the fortunes of our dear Motherland.
This is why we need you in our attempt to interrogate the work of our 4th Republican Parliament”. Hon. Kyei Mensah-Bonsu emphasized.
He reiterated that the Media contributes immensely to Ghana’s socio political climate, and instead of leaving the Media as a neutral channel, the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs have identified them as preferred partner to undertake the intricate duty of shaping, guiding collecting, collating and even structuring civil opinions.
“My staff and I at the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs believe firmly that we cannot carry out our lofty plans and programmes alone no matter how well intended. We will need collaborators and partners to educate and inform the populace”. He stated
The minister therefore launched a dialogue section to welcome criticisms and suggestions from the media, which will serve as an input for future engagements and work at the Ministry.
Hon. Kyei Mensah-Bonsu took the opportunity to convey his sincere congratulations to the newly elected chairman of the Media Commission and a member of the ministry’s Advisory Board, Mr. Yaw Boadu Ayeboafo.
His election is opportune and this connection should enhance the Media-Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs relations. He added.