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NLA 'bribery' shame on Parliament - Kennedy Agyapong

Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong has said it was disgraceful for the Finance Committee of the previous parliament to have accepted sponsorship from the National Lottery Authority (NLA) to deliberate on the amendment of the National Lottery Act, 2006 (Act 722).

It has emerged that the committee that did the deliberations was funded by the NLA.

The Chairman of the Finance Committee at the time, James Klutse Avedzi, had admitted his committee received money from officials of the NLA before deliberating on the amendment of the Lottery Act.

Mr Avedzi is reported to have said that the NLA first presented 50,000 cedis to the committee "but when we looked at the provisions, we realised that the amount was not sufficient so they promised to bring another 50,000 cedis".

Speaking on Accra-based Net 2 Television, Mr Agyapong said such act was shameful.

He said: “You just look at parliamentarians accepting that they took GHS100,000 from the NLA under NDC government. This is shameful. Shame onto Parliament.

“I say a big shame. They were not even shy to have accepted GHS 100,000 from National Lottery.”

Meanwhile, Ho Central MP Benjamin Kpodo has said the sponsorship package given to the Finance Committee was not bribery, hence there was nothing wrong with such gesture.

According to him, Members of Parliament, like other public officers who go for conferences or workshops, are entitled to allowances and per diems, therefore, there cannot be any wrongdoing in the NLA’s decision to sponsor the MPs to undertake the deliberations.

Speaking in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson, host of Ghana Yensom on Accra 100.5FM on Thursday, June 29, Mr Kpodo, who was a member of the committee when the NLA sponsored the deliberations, said: “I [do] not see any scandal regarding this matter. I am not the Director of Finance for the NLA to account for how a conference or a workshop was organised.

“But I think journalists saying that expenditure made on organising a workshop to do preliminary deliberations of provisions of an act or a bill is bribery is what I have been trying to explain that for me, it is not bribery because in the public sector conferences and workshops are held.

“And everybody who travels out of his station to a workshop located outside his workplace for a number of days is given some stipend or per diems.

“Everybody including drivers who drive their senior officers or groups outside for conferences and workshops are normally paid per diems and even our president who travels abroad, unless he so decides otherwise, is entitled to allowances or per diem, so I don’t see what is scandalous if the NLA organised a workshop and paid allowances to people who participated in the workshop.

“I am scandalised by the description journalists are giving to such expenditure.”

Source: Class FM

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