Parliamentarians have uproariously been lambasted for living large for the simple reason that the state secures loans for them to purchase cars out of which the country bears the largest chunk of the principal and the entirety of the interests accrued on the loans.
The general public has called for the Legislative arm of Government to be treated like the Executive and Judiciary arms. Vehicles should be purchased for MPs which would not become theirs after they leave Parliament.
There are stronger indications that Parliament will scrap the practice of the state contracting loans to buy personal vehicles for MPs. The state is to acquire fleets of vehicles for the use of our MPs and when their tenures expire, they leave them behind.
What have been the practice are MPs buying their own fuel, paying their drivers, maintaining the vehicles with their own monies and any other related issues.
What the general public is asking for is for the state to purchase the vehicles, find drivers and pay them for the MPs, fuel the vehicles and bear the costs of maintenance. The new proposal, if critically examined, has wider but adverse financial implications on the state than the existing arrangement.
One important thing that might have eluded us is the fact that vehicles are evaluated every four years, sold to users at cheaper prices and the state will have to find monies to buy new cars for these offices. It means, the state will have to buy new cars for MPs in addition to maintenance, driving and fuel costs.
It stands to reason that this is a road to nowhere. In fact, we shall spend more monies on the vehicles of our MPs if the state takes up that responsibility instead of allowing the current system to run for a while longer.
In my considered opinion, we are being hasty in disgorging ourselves from the status quo. Let us do cost-benefit analysis in these matters before we pitch camp with this state-sponsored system.
P.K. Sarpong, Whispers from the Corridors of the Thinking Place.