Prime News Ghana

Parliament moves sitting to virtual platform to control spread of Covid-19

By Mutala Yakubu
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Parliament will move it's sitting to a virtual online platform as a means to control the spread of Covid-19.

This was announced by Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin. He said only 1/3 of the Members of Parliament will be allowed to enter the Chamber to participate in parliamentary proceedings. The rest will have to join via an online platform.

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"Because of the Covid, we will be leaving about 1/3 of members on the floor, the rest will have to do virtual parliament. You have to be in your offices and monitor proceedings and when necessary appear to contribute but we won't allow this kind of sitting again."

Meanwhile, Parliament will debate a motion pushing for the government to absorb fees of students in public tertiary institutions.

The private members’ Bill was advanced by Bawku Central MP, Mahama Ayariga who argues that this move is necessary to cushion parents against the impact of COVID-19.

The last time it came up, on January 21, the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin called on the leadership of both sides of the House to help streamline the motion.

The motion which seeks to get the President to suspend the payment of fees in public tertiary educational institutions for a year due to the impact of COVID-19 was moved on Wednesday, January 20, 2021.

Disagreements over procedure and the wording of the motion have however stalled the debate for two sittings.

The NDC Caucus is supporting the motion with arguments that the suspension of the fees is necessary due to the economic hardship imposed on parents by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr. Ayariga cited the loss of jobs and economic instability brought on by the pandemic, describing his petition as a “condition of urgent public importance”.

The NPP side on the other hand holds the view that such a measure would be unnecessary because the government has already provided enough support and interventions in the area of education due to the pandemic.

Tertiary students returned to lecture halls from Saturday, January 9, 2021.