IMANI Africa Vice President, Mr Kofi Bentil, has described plans to build a 450-seater chamber for the parliament of Ghana as ill-advised.
The private legal practitioner took to Facebook in a series of posts on Tuesday, 2 July 2019, to register his displeasure about discussions concerning the new chamber, estimated to cost about $200 million, even though the exact amount has not been disclosed.
In one of the posts, Mr Bentil said: “It would be perfectly fine to vote out every MP and the whole gov’t if they even approve this stupid idea of a new chamber”.
Instead, Mr Bentil suggested remodeling of the existing chamber in place of a completely new structure.
In another post, he said building a new chamber should not be a priority but amending Ghana’s constitution to cap “the number of MPs to 100”.
Ghana’s legislature comprises of 250 MPs across the country.
The Parliamentary Service Board has already received the architectural model for the new chamber from renowned Ghanaian architect David Frank Adjaye, the same designer of the National Cathedral.
He walked the leaders of the house and the MPs through the new design at a meeting on Friday, 28 June 2019.
“We’ve been given the direction to prepare to start sometime this year. If we are able to start this year, it can be completed within the next three years”, Mr Adjaye said, adding: “We’re removing the Parliamentary chamber to a new chamber and refurbishing the old parliament to be another conference facility for parliament”
“We are going to put all the car parks you see, under the parliament for security”, he explained to the media. “The parliamentarians can drive into a secure zone and rise up directly into the chamber,” he said.
“This will allow the Job 600 building to perform better. Where the car parks are will be turned into gardens which will be able to receive people on occasions.”
The chamber will come with a chapel, mosque, restaurant, and a museum.
Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia hinted at putting up a new chamber in 2017 when he inspected the lawmaking house following a rainstorm that ripped off the roof of the building.