Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak, has exploded before the cash-for-seat Investigative Committee after the Chairman repeatedly asked him to clarify if sponsorship was part of public resources.
Citing section 16(b) of the Financial Administration Regulation (FAR), he said the Trades Ministry’s issuance of receipts to some expatriates after paying various sums during the Ghana Expatriate Business Awards (GEBA) 2017, makes the money public funds.
Trades Minister, Alan Kyerematen, had earlier said monies received from expatriate businesses as part of the Awards constituted sponsorships that were transferred to event organisers, Millennium Excellence Foundation (MEF).
He had also said the Ministry only acted as facilitators of the event.
Chairing the Committee’s first sitting Thursday since it was formed, Sunyani East Member of Parliament (MP), Kwasi Ameyaw-Kyeremeh asked Mr Muntaka to clarify if sponsorships could be categorised under public resources.
Page 68 of the Public Financial Management Act (PFMA), 2016 (Act 921) defines public resources as public revenue including revenue acquired through donation, borrowing, movable, fixed assets and receivables.
The Chairman asked: “If the claim by the Ministry that it was the Millennium Excellence Foundation (MEF) that raised money through sponsorship…if that is the case which of the public resource items listed will cover that.”
But the Minority Chief Whip whose motion triggered the committee formation cautioned the Chairman against limiting himself to the PFMA without getting further clarification from the Regulations.
“Mr Chairman if you use the interpretation in section 16 of FAR and [compare it to] the Ministry in its December 21, 2017, statement, they issued official receipts,” he said, but Mr Ameyaw-Kyeremeh interjected, asking him to answer the question.
If you have the answer you have it and if you don’t have it, you don’t, the Chairman said, courting the displeasure of Mr Muntaka.
“I don’t know how many times you want me to do that…you asked the question the way you want and I answered it the way I understand it,” he exploded.
Mr Muntaka later said he was ready to answer the Chairman if he was not satisfied with any of his responses. But “If I am answering and you interrupt me do you really want me to answer it?” he added.