Speaker Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin has announced that access to the Chamber of Parliament will be locked at 10:00 am on each sitting day from the First Meeting of the Fourth Session of the Eighth Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana.
According to him, the decision was part of the measures he was adopting to address the issue of late attendance among MPs.
He disclosed this on the floor of the when he commented on the Business Statement for the seventh week ending Saturday, December 16, 2023.
“Honourable Members, those who arrive late will be locked out until the Speaker decides to open the doors again. At 1000 hours, the doors will be locked. The Speaker will be in, and it will take some time before the doors will be opened. Not that they will not be opened but it will take some time.
“And so if you will not be able to comply with it, let us all agree that we will start sitting in the afternoon, from 1400 hours or 1600 hours. The Committees will have their meetings in the morning; reports will be ready for us to consider in the afternoon; and then by the time we adjourn around 2000 hours the traffic situation will have improved,” he said.
He went on to state that “Your coming to Parliament too will not be that early, so you can decide to leave at noon and by that time, there would have been less traffic and you won’t consume more fuel and then you can come in. I can see that it is not easy for members to report that early for sitting so the two Caucuses either have joint Caucus meetings or at your level discuss these things and come back with proposals. If not, these are the measures that I want to put in place which will take effect from our next meeting,” he said.
He also recommended that sittings could start at 1400 hours instead of the current 1000 hours explaining that “this will allow committees to hold meetings in the morning and have reports ready for consideration in the afternoon.”
He has therefore asked the two sides of the House to reach a consensus on the matter.
Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu also urged the House to commence sitting each day at 1000 hours and have extended sittings to conduct business
He further appealed to the House to sit on Saturday, December 16, 2023, so they will deal with urgent matters before them.