Debates of 24 May 2012

MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER

PRAYERS

VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT

[No correction was made to the Votes and Proceedings of Wednesday, 23rd May, 2012.]

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

Speaker
Majority Leader/Chairman of the Business Committee (Mr Cletus A. Avoka)

Mr Speaker, noting that Friday, 25th May is a statutory holiday, the Committee met on Wednesday, 23rd May 2012 and arranged Business of the House for the Third Week ending Friday, 1st June, 2012.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, the Committee accordingly submits its Report as follows

Arrangement of Business Question(s) Mr Speaker, the Committee has programmed the following Hon Ministers to respond to Questions asked of them during the week: No. of Question(s) i. Attorney-General and Minister for Justice -- 1 ii. Minister for Food and Agriculture -2 iii. Minister for Tourism -1 iv. Minister for Health- 5 V. Minister for Local Government and Rural Development - 5 vi. Minister for Roads and Highways-5 Total number of Questions-19 Mr Speaker, in all, six Ministers are expected to attend upon the House to respond to nineteen (19) Questions during the week. Statements Mr Speaker, you may allow Statements duly admitted by your goodself to be made in the House during the course of next week Bills, Papers and Reports Mr Speaker, Bills may be presented to the House for First Reading and those of urgent nature may be taken through the

Speaker
Mr Speaker, the Committee accordingly submits its Report as follows

various stages in one clay, in accordance with Standing. Order 119. Papers and committee reports may also be presented to the House during the course of the Week. Motions and Resolutions Mr Speaker, Motions may be debated and their consequential Resolutions, if any, taken during the course of the week. Conclusion Mr Speaker, in accordance with Standing Order 160 (2) and subject to Standing Order 53, the Committee submits to this Honorable House, the order in which the Business of the House shall be taken during the week. Questions - *1153. Mr Ben Abdallah Banda (Offinso South): To ask the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice what steps are being taken to ensure that all District Courts in Ghana are computerized or automated. * 1204. Alhaji Iddrisu Zakari Alidu (Walewale): To ask the Minister for Food and Agriculture the plans the Ministry has to activate the Nasia Irrigation Farms. *1223. Mr John Agyabeng (Agona East): To ask the Minister for Food and Agriculture what accounted for the poor performance of the fishing industry in the 2011 fiscal year. *1226. Mr John Agyabeng (Agona East): To ask the Minister for Tourism what accounted for the poor performance of the hotels and restaurants service sector in the 2011 fiscal year as compared to the previous year. Statements Presentation of Papers - (a) Annual Report of the Export Development and Investment Fund for the year 2009. (b)Annual Report of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee on the Petroleum Revenue Management for 201 1- Consideration Stage of Bills - Public Health Bill, 2011 - [Continuation] University of Professional Studies Bill, 2011 -- [Continuation] Ghana AIDS Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2010 Intestate Succession Bill, 2009 Committee sittings. Questions - *717. Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh (Manhyia): To ask the Minister for Health how the National Health Insurance Authority implemented the distribution of the 2009 distribution formula approved by Parliament. *912- Mr David Nana Larbie (Awutu- Senya): To ask the Minister for Health what measures the Ministry has put

Speaker
Mr Speaker, the Committee accordingly submits its Report as follows

in place to provide a district hospital in the Awutu-Senya District. *913. Mr Leo Kabah Alowe (China/ Paga): To ask the Minister for Health why offices of the Food and Drugs Board are not located at the country's borders to ensure that fake and dangerous drugs are not brought into the country. *914. Mr Yaw Baah (Kumawu): To ask the Minister for Health when the Kumawu Health Centre in the largest district in the Ashanti Region would be elevated to hospital status. *915. Mr John Bennam Jabaah (Zabzugu/Tatale): To ask the Minister for Health when the Zabzugu District Hospital will be completed, inaugurated and fully equipped. ' Statements Consideration Stage of Bills -- Public Health Bill, 2011 - [Continuation] University of Professional Studies Bill, 2011 -- [Continuation] Ghana AIDS Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2010 -- [Continuation] - Intestate Succession Bill, 2009 Committee sittings. Government and Rural Development what practical measures the Ministry has taken to implement the Local Government Service Act of 2003 . *922. Mr Benito Owusu-Bio (Atwima-Nwabiagya): To ask the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development why registered commercial vehicle drivers from Atwima-Nwabiagya District passing through Kumasi are arrested and made to pay levies by the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly when they have already paid their levies to their own Assembly. *923. Mr Albert Kwasi Zigah (Ketu South): To ask the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development what assistance the Ministry will provide for the construction of a modern market facility for Aflao town. 924. Mr John Agyabeng (Agona East): To ask the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development when the districts created in 2008 will be provided with adequate office accommodation by the Ministry. *925. Mr John Agyabeng (Agona East): To ask the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development about the status of the implementation of the Comprehensive Decentralization Policy approved by Cabinet. Thursday, 31st May, 2012 Statements Consideration Stage of Bills --

Speaker
Mr Kwasi Ameyaw- Ghana AIDS Commission Cheremeh(Sunyani East)

To (Amendment) Bill, 2010 ask the Minister for Local [Continuation]

Speaker
Mr Kwasi Ameyaw- Ghana AIDS Commission Cheremeh(Sunyani East)

Committee sittings. Questions -- *738. Mr Herod Cobbina (Sefwi- Akontombra): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways when the upgrading from kilometer ten to fifty-four (10 - 54 km) of the Wiawso-Sefwi- Akontombra road Will commence. *743 . Mr Daniel Botwe (Okere): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways when the following roads, especially OkraKwadwo town roads, will be resurfaced: (i) OkraKwadwo- Dobro (ii) OkraKwadwo- Galikope - Dantekor. *747. Mr Stephen Kunsu (Kintampo North): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways what plans the Ministry has to give Kintampo town roads a facelift to befit its status as a Municipality. *750. Alhaji Masoud Baba Abdul- Rahman (Pru): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways when the Prang- Zabrama-Kintampo road will be tarred. *751. Mr Alfred W. G Abayateye (Sega): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways when the Anyamam-Akplabanya- Wokumagbe-Dawa road would be re-shaped, graveled and tarred. Statements Motions - Third Reading of Bills - Public Health Bill, 2011 University of Professional Studies Bill, 2011 Consideration Stage of Bills - Committee sittings. Mr Speaker, I humbly submit this Business Statement for the consideration of the House.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Thank you very much, Hon Majority Leader.

Speaker
Dr Matthew O. Prempeh

Mr Speaker, in acknowledging the order of business for the incoming week, l would like to draw the Leadership's attention that the Electoral Commissioner should be invited to the House to speak to only Hon Members of the House about the just - ended biometric registration exercise, the difficulties and the way forward. Mr Speaker, you will realize that the Budget has approved huge sums of money and the House should be involved. Those of us who are privileged to be on the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) know that things are not as smooth as they should be. The House should be informed, for us to know what is going on, so that if can urge and take some precautionary measures, we take them as soon as possible.

Speaker
Dr Matthew O. Prempeh

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, you know that the Electoral Commission has no audience on the floor of this House? However, there is an arrangement. These arrangements are not the normal processes by which an Hon Minister comes to answer a Question. So I thought that you should have done this behind the scenes quietly through the Leadership of the House, so that if there are difficulties or challenges in bringing him, then you will try and solve them. It is a very important point that you have raised but I thought that you normally would have used the usual channels of communication, what we call the "usual channels of communication" to start the process first, and if you are having difficulties, then you bring it to the floor of the House.

Speaker
Mr Isaac Osei

Mr Speaker, I think the point that you have made is correct. However, on the point raised by the Hon Member for Manhyia, I think this is not only a matter of interest to Hon Members of this House but it is also a matter of public interest. Perhaps, Leadership would find some space outside our normal course of activities to invite the Electoral Commissioner here, so that they can brief us what happened and how we are going to move forward. I think this is all the Hon Member is asking for and I am very happy that you have also acknowledged that it is a very important matter, which the House must be seized.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, I came in early on just to offer a guide to the House. I have been part of the Leadership of this House for 12 years and we know how we go about some of these things because of the constitutional position of the Electoral Commission as an independent Commission. So there are ways by which we go about some of these things. It is when they have difficulties impediments being put in the way of any Hon Member -- or it is clear that maybe, the Leadership of both sides of the House are not taking it up, that an Hon Member will be forced to raise it on the floor of the House. My attitude would have been different if he had started by saying that he had discussed it with the Hon Minority Leader or the Leadership of both sides and they are trying to frustrate him. I am sorry, but I think that we must be very careful when issues of independent constitutional bodies come onto the floor of the House.

Speaker
Mr Avoka

Mr Speaker, I think from all indications, it is a fair request. It is recalled that before we embarked on the biometric registration exercise, we had the opportunity to engage the Electoral Commission and they came here and met us as a Committee of the Whole or a joint caucus meeting and briefed us on the details of the biometric registration

Speaker
Mr Avoka

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, any other matter? [Pause] No other comments? [Pause] Very well. Members, the Business Statement for the 3rd Week ending Friday, 1st June, 2012 is hereby adopted by the House.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS

MINISTRY OF CHIEFTAINCY

AND CULTURE

Speaker
Minister for Chieftaincy and Culture (Alexander Asum-Ahensah) (MP)

Mr Speaker, the project in question was awarded to state construction Corporation (SCC) in 1963, with an amount of ¢ 42,3 54,277.61 spent on the project as of 1988. The profit was then terminated due to some technical reasons and was re-awarded to Messrs J. Adom Construction in 1999, with the objective of creating an edifice for the promotion and development of the creative industry in the Brong Ahafo Region. So far, the following are details of the status of the project and the amount committed: Certificate Date Amount Paid Percentage of (TABLE) work 1-3 16/12/99 860.00 7 percent 4 24/11/05 2,714.00 28 percent 5 21/05/06 7,536.00 65 percent 6 4/12/08 4,972.74 67 percent The outstanding works to complete the Regional Theatre include the following: (a) Casting of terrazzo floor (b) Fixing of glazed doors and windows (C) Construction of gallery stage (d) Electrical installations (e) Stage curtains (t) Surface water drainage Mr Speaker, to ensure and facilitate the early completion of the project, the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture caused the Architectural and Engineering

Speaker
Minister for Chieftaincy and Culture (Alexander Asum-Ahensah) (MP)

Speaker
Mr Awuah

Mr Speaker, in the Hon Minister's Answer, he says that an amount of ¢ 42;354,227.61 had been spent on the project as of 1998. This project was re-awarded in 1999. I would want to know from him, at what price was the project re- awarded in 1999.

Speaker
Mr Asum-Ahensah

Mr Speaker, in 1999 - I cannot exactly recall the stage of the project because I was by then not in office. So I need to, maybe, go back to the archives and then give him the answer.

Speaker
Mr Awuah

Mr Speaker, I hope my subsequent questions would be more meaningful if the Hon Minister had given us the award figure. This is because, looking at the table provided, he says that in December, 1999 an amount of ¢ 860.00 was paid, constituting seven per cent. I do not know whether it is in old cedis or new Ghana cedis. Subsequently, three other payments were made. The last payment was made for work done up to sixty-seven percent (67%). If you sum up the four payments, it is less than ¢ 20,000.00. Mr Speaker, given the magnitude of the building and the work done, I doubt whether ¢ 20,000.00 could have done the work up to where it is. That is why I wanted him to affirm the figure, so that we can be sure if 67 per cent of work has been done. So I would want him to tell the House whether the figures he has provided here are the true representation of certificates which were paid.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, that is the figure the Hon Minister has provided. You have every right to question the figure if you want to do so. Hon Member, ask any question at all about the figure as you wanted to do. But when you are asking him whether this is the true figure, you have not laid sufficient foundation with another figure to dispute that one. I agree with you on your question whether he has provided the contract sum of the project as re- awarded in 1999. It is very relevant for you to pursue this matter. Hon Minister, they want to know whether you are sure this is the correct percentage you have given. What do you say to the figures you have given and the percentages?

Speaker
Mr Asum-Ahensah

Mr Speaker, I am sure that the figures are correct. My Hon Colleague was once a Regional Minister -

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Minister, do not go there at all. You are now in charge of the Ministry; do not go there at all. Hon Member, your last supplementary question.

Speaker
Mr Awuah

Mr Speaker, my first one was a clarification. So if you would not mind, I have two more questions.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Which rules allow for clarification? [Laughter]

Speaker
Mr Awuah

Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister says I was a Regional Minister

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, I have ruled him out. I stopped him.

Speaker
Mr Awuah

All right. Thank you. Mr Speaker, the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFAC) 2012 is taking place in August - [Interruptions] Mr Speaker, NAFAC 2012 is taking place in August. We are at the end of May now. So given the assurance given to the Hon Minister by the Director of Budget, I would want the Hon Minister to assure the people of the Brong Ahafo and Ghana that the project would be completed before NAFAC 2012 takes place in August.

Speaker
Mr Asum-Ahensah

Mr Speaker, I said in my Answer that we were waiting for the release of the funds. So I am very sure that whenever the funds are released, we will go on with the project and I am sure we will finish with it.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

I will relax the rules and allow you to ask your last question.

Speaker
Mr Awuah

Thank you, Mr Speaker. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning has come out with a statement that they want to advise all Ministries to be very cautious of their spending this year and that all projects which have not been budgeted for should not be commenced. And that even for those that have been budgeted for, commencement certificates should be obtained before they commence. I would want to know from the Hon Minister whether the project has been budgeted for and whether he has obtained commencement certificate for it.

Speaker
Mr Asum-Ahensah

Mr Speaker, I think this project is very dear to the hearts of everybody. Normally, What we do is that when we are about to celebrate the NAFAC, we send a special memorandum to Cabinet and then the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning is asked to release funds. Even though some directives have been given, I am sure that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning will release the amount that we have asked for the completion of the project.

Speaker
Mr Isaac Osei

Mr Speaker, I find it a little curious that a project in 1988 was estimated to cost ¢ 42.3 million plus. When you look at the table presented by the Hon Minister, there is obviously a mistake. This is because between the fifth and sixth certificates, even if you say that two per cent was added unto the job, it cannot be ¢ 4,972. Even at two per cent, we are talking about something like ¢ 800,000. Even if you consider the first payment, which they say is seven per cent, seven per cent of ¢ 42 million cannot be {$860. Obviously, the Hon Minister has made a mistake. Mr Speaker, would the Hon Minister please, once again, confirm these figures? If he has made a mistake, he should please, go back and bring the correct figures because nobody will believe him on the basis of what he has given us -- ¢ 860 for seven percent? And seven per cent of ¢ 42 million, is what?

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, there is this issue which is being pursued by the Hon Member who asked the Question whether these figures are in Ghana cedis or old cedis.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Speaker
Mr Isaac Osei

Mr Speaker, even if you assume that the table he has given us consists of Ghana cedis, it still does not add up. There is a mistake; he should go back and do the correct thing.

Speaker
Mr Isaac K. Asiamah

Mr Speaker, as a Ranking Member, I am very much concerned about NAFAC 2012. Mr Speaker, my concern is that since there is a fiat directive that no new project will be continued if it is not budgeted for, I would want to find out- He is anticipating that the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning or the Chief of Staff will get money from somewhere. I would want to find out from him, from which account is he going to get the money from. ' Mr Speaker, he should be more specific. As a Munster for that sector, and we are going to have NAFAC 2012 and we are about two, three months away, he should tell us which account the Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning is going to get that money from, so that the chiefs and the people of Ghana will be assured that NAFAC will take place in a conducive atmosphere.

Speaker
Mr I. Osei

Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister did not answer my question, where he stands by those figures; he should answer my question.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member for Subin, the Hon Minister came and said that he was sure of his figures. That was the question that was asked by the Hon Member. The Hon Minister said that he was sure of his figures.

Speaker
Mr I. Osei

Let him confirm again, Mr Speaker.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, he said it early on that he was sure

Speaker
Mr I. Osei

No, Mr Speaker. He did not say it after my question; he should confirm it.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Minister, please, answer the question of Hon I. K. Asiamah. As a Ranking Member, he is not sure where you are going to take the money from.

Speaker
Mr Asum-Ahensah

Mr Speaker, my Hon Ranking Member knows very well that during the previous NAFAC, the same approach was made and it was the Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning that provided the money. From what account? I cannot tell. We are asking for the money. The most important thing is for them to release the money to us for the project.

Speaker
Mr I. K. Asiamah

Mr Speaker, is he saying that as the Hon Minister for that sector, he has not planned for the NAFAC expenditure?

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

You do not have the floor, please. I have called another Hon Member. "The Hon Minister says he does not know, that they are only asking for the money. That is his response.

Speaker
Mr Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh

Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister has expressed optimism in the last paragraph of his

Speaker
Mr Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh

Speaker
Mr Asum-Ahensah

Mr Speaker, obviously, I cannot base my assurance on what the contractor might say. My assurance is given based on the fact that the Hon Minister is prepared to give us the money.

Speaker
Mr Joseph N. Bukari

Mr Speaker, from the Answer, we are told that the contract was re-awarded in 1999. I would want to find out from the Hon Minister whether he saw any handing over note or any document in his office on the effort the previous regimes from 1999 to 2008, put in place to complete this project that What effort did his Ministry, the previous regime and the Brong-Ahafo Co- ordinating Council put in place to finish. this project, with which has been pending from the 1999 to 2008 - up to today, it is still there? The efforts they put in place to finish it.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, I am not clear with your question. Ask the question again. Some information has been provided by the Hon Minister here.

Speaker
Mr Bukari

Mr Speaker, from the Answer, we are told that the project was re-awarded in 1999. I would want to know from the Hon Minister what efforts were put in place by his predecessors since 1999 to 2008 or 2009 to finish the project which is still at this stage.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, the question is - out of order. He is not responsible for the action of his predecessor; he is responsible for his action.

Speaker
Mr Charles S. Hodogbey

Mr Speaker, this project is as old as the institution itself. It was started in 1963, when people like Hon Asiamah were not born [Laughter]

Speaker
Mr I. K. Asiamah

rose

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Asiamah, you have a point of order? Were you born in 1963? Maybe, the Hon Member has your birth records.

Speaker
Mr I. K. Asiamah

Mr Speaker, I am wondering where he got to know my date of birth. I would want him to answer.

Speaker
Mr Gbediame

Waved the "Know your MP's handout.

Speaker
Mr I. K. Asiamah

Mr Speaker, is the Hon Chief Whip accepting this one as one of the official records of Parliament? Is he accepting that document?

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, you can ask your question but do not bring in Hon Asiamah - [Pause] Ask your question.

Speaker
Mr Hodogbey

Mr Speaker, honestly, if you look at the content of the contract, because it was done in 1963, when the Architectural and Engineering Services Limited (AESL) was invited to review the contract, it only looked at the cost. My question is, did the Hon Minister think it wise, that having regard to the time that this development was done, it should review also the design and other contents of the project? This is because terrazzo and surface water drainage are not needed in this modern time- I would like to know if that should-have to be done to make the project more meaningful.

Speaker
Mr Asum-Ahensah

Mr Speaker, as of now, I cannot make any change in the design. That Will be done on the advice of the experts. But if the stakeholders in the cultural sector deem it necessary, we will do it.

Speaker
Some Hon Members

rose

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Deputy Minority Chief Whip, then after you, I will take the last one from Hon Abayateye.

Speaker
Mrs. Gifty E. Kusi

Mr Speaker, from the Hon Minister's Answer, in line two, 1963 was old Ghana cedis. I would want to find out from him if the amount paid was also written in old Ghana cedis. This is because there is nothing there showing whether it is new cedis or not. In any case, ¢ 42 million at that time - 1963 and ¢86O-If you just look at the figures, they give you a wrong impression, if there are new cedis here and old cedis there.

Speaker
Mr Asum-Ahensah

Mr Speaker, I am sure the figures are in old cedis.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Minister, are you sure of what you are saying? Are you sure that even in 2008, the figures there are in the old cedis? Look at the table. Is that what you are telling us?

Speaker
Mr Asum-Ahensah

Mr Speaker, I was talking about the ¢ 42,354,000. That one is in the old cedis but the table might be in the new cedis.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Minister, what do you mean by "might be"?

Speaker
Mr Asum-Ahensah.

Mr Speaker, from 2008 downwards, they are in new Ghana cedis.

Speaker
Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyemang

Mr Speaker, it will seem that there is quite a bit of confusion in the Answer given by the Hon Minister. Despite your brilliant efforts to chaperon him, I think he has got what it takes. I would want to suggest, Mr Speaker, that the Hon Minister goes back, checks his figures and comes back again. This is because the essence of asking Questions in this House is to get to the truth. Where the Hon Minister is a bit wobbly and nebulous and cannot give answers, it creates a problem. The issue raised by the Hon Member for Subin was pertinent, that the figures cannot be correct. So I would want to suggest that he goes back, does his homework well and comes back here. Mr Gershon K. B. Gbediame-rose Mr "First Deputy Speaker: Hon Chief Whip, do you have a point of order? What order are you coming under?

Speaker
Mr Gbediame

Mr Speaker, I am just standing on the use of parliamentary language. He is talking of the Hon Minister as being "nebulous and wobbly." I do not think it is very parliamentary. He could make his point and say that he was not specific or that sort of thing. But the "nebulous" and the "wobbly" as a description for the Hon Minister, I think it is a bit [Interruption]

Speaker
Mr Owusu-Agyemang

Mr Speaker, I hope my dear Hon Friend would always listen. I did not say the Hon Minister is wobbly or nebulous. I said "the answers were wobbly and nebulous." That is English Language. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, that is Hon Hackman Owusu- Agyemang opinion.

Speaker
Mr Owusu-Agyemang

Yes, exactly. So Mr Speaker, in view of the fact that the Answers are not clear and that they are wobbly and nebulous, shall we ask the Hon Minister to go back? This is because we cannot put for posterity that if he says it is in new Ghana cedis - After a lot of work had been done, you raise a certificate for only ¢ 4,972. It does not happen. We have all handled projects before. So the figures cannot

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Owusu-Agyemang, you are a very senior Member of the House. You know how to put it in a question form. Now, you are making a statement. You know how to put all that you are saying in a question form and then I will call on the Hon Minister to respond.

Speaker
Mr Owusu-Agyemang

Mr Speaker, I am seeking an explanation. This is because when the Hon Member for Subin -

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, ask your question.

Speaker
Mr Owusu-Agyemang

Mr Speaker, the same question was asked by the Hon Member.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

What is your question?

Speaker
Mr Owusu-Agyemang

Mr Speaker, I would want to find out from the Hon Minister, whether he absolutely stands by these figures or he wants permission to go and come back again. Does he stand by these figures? This is because we can prove that - [Interruption]

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Minister, do you stand by these figures, especially in terms of the Ghana cedis, the old cedis and all those things or you want to go and come back? That is the question.

Speaker
Mr Asum-Ahensah

Mr Speaker, I stand by the figures.

Speaker
Mr Owusu-Agyemang

Mr Speaker, on a point of order. If the Hon Minister states he stands by the figures -

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, there are rules of this House. You have not caught my eye. This is a supplementary question. Apart from the Hon Member who asked the principal Question and who is entitled to three supplementary questions, you do not have a right.

Speaker
Mr Owusu-Agyemang

Mr Speaker, I do not but the rules of the game are very simple; it is in your bosom.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. Ask your question. Hon Hackman, ask the question.

Speaker
Mr Owusu-Agyemang

Mr Speaker, what I am saying is that we need your guidance. If an Hon Minister says he stands by his figures and it is proved consequently that the figures are not right, what do we do? What is the issue? You have to advise us because the figures-

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, there are several parliamentary tools that you can use. Hon Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, there are several of them. If you go and find out that what he is telling the House is not true, there are several tools at your disposal. Hon Members, I want to close - There are questions that Hon Members can ask to get what they want. I do not know why. This is Question time; it is not Statements time.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Speaker
Mr Alfred W. G Abayateye

Speaker, in 1963, Ghana pounds, shillings and pence. The cedi came in 1964 and 1965, with the head of Dr Kwame Nkrumah. In 1963, it was pounds, shillings and pence. I would want to find out from the Minister whether the amount quoted there is a mixture of pounds, shillings and pence and cedis.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Minister, in 1963, it was pounds. Hon Abayateye is saying that in 1963 it was cedis. At that time, some people here were not born. At that time, some people too were too young to know whether it was cedis or pounds. Hon Minister, what do you say to that?

Speaker
Mr Asum-Ahensah

Mr Speaker, from the Answer, I said that the project was awarded to the State Construction Corporation (SCC) in 1963 with an amount of ¢ 42,354,277.61 spent on the project as at 1988. So definitely, the amount was changed during the time we were dealing with pounds and shillings to the cedis at the time in 1988.

Speaker
Mr Joseph. B. Aidoo

Mr Speaker, in the Hon Minister's Answer, the progress of work had been computed in percentages as captured on page 37 of the Order Paper. Mr Speaker, in 2005, work done was 28 percent. Before then, in 1999, it was 7 percent; 2005, it has gone up to 28 per cent, and by 2008, it had gone up to 67 percent. . Mr Speaker, may I know from the Hon Minister what percentage of work had been added from 2009 to date and What percentage of work is outstanding?

Speaker
Mr Asum-Ahensah

Mr Speaker, from what is there, no work has been done from that time to date. Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu--rose

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Minority Leader, do you have a question?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Yes, Mr Speaker.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. I was going to conclude the Question time.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, if you would have a bit of patience. Mr Speaker, from 1963 to 1988, the Hon Minister says that the contract was in the sum of ¢ 42,354,277.61. Then it was re- awarded in 1999. Now, between 1999 and 2008, we have some quantum of work done. Now, from 1963 to 1988, what quantum of work was done and how much, out of the ¢ 42,354,2.77.61, was paid?

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Minority Leader, he said that what had been spent up to 1988 was that amount of ¢ 42,3 54,277.61. That was not the original contract sum. That is what the Hon Minister is telling the House. He said the amount spent from 1963 to 1988 was ¢ 42,3 54,277.61.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, so, I would want to know what the contract sum was at the time of award.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very good.

Speaker
Mr Asum-Ahensah

Mr Speaker, for now, I cannot tell offhand the contract sum. I need to go back before I feed my senior Hon Member with the figures.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah

Bonsu Mr Speaker, that is understandable. But what was the quantum of award in 1999? This is because he has indicated here

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Minority Leader, we have passed there. He has not got the answer also -- the 1999 - That was earlier asked by the Hon Member in whose name the Question is.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, has there been any variation after 1999?

Speaker
Mr Asum-Ahensah

Yes, Mr Speaker. I said in my Answer that the AESL was asked to review the project cost. So obviously, there has been a variation.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

To what extent?

Speaker
Mr Asum-Ahensah

Mr Speaker, we consulted the AESL to value the project and feed us with the amount that can be used to complete the project and they came out with this amount, that is, GH¢1,455,484.80.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

At page 38 of the Order Paper.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

So, the Hon Minister is not able to tell us where we started from and how it was varied. He knows the variation amount but not the original amount Is that the case?

Speaker
Mr Asum-Ahensah

Yes, Mr Speaker. I told the Hon Minority Leader that I have to go back and bring those figures. So, I need time to do the research.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, that brings us to the end of Question time. Hon Ministers, when you are asked Questions, you should go straight and provide the Answers. When you want to provide certain information that the Question does not request, then you are called upon to explain what you have put in your Answers and that is what has happened this morning. Hon Minister, we thank you very much for attending -

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, I think that is a very useful piece of advice. But Mr Speaker, as you do know, it is not for nothing that Questions are asked I would plead with Hon Ministers that they should come better prepared. This is because if a Question is asked, the Hon Minister should be on top of the issues before coming here, in particular, since he had to answer just one Question. How often does he, as a Minister, come to this House? On the average, one Question per day and yet it leaves so much to be desired. It is not the best.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Minister, you could have answered this Question without bringing 1963, 1983, 1999, 2005 and 2008. But once you bring them into your Answer, you would be called up on to answer questions on them. Hon Minister, we thank you very much for attending upon the House to respond to Questions. You are discharged.

Speaker
Mr I. K. Asiamah

Mr Speaker, I am on my feet and I would want to raise a very important Order- [Some Hon Members: Who called you?] - Because I see-

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

But you do not have the floor. There are rules of this House. [Pause] Hon Majority Chief Whip?

Speaker
Mr Gbediame

Mr Speaker, there is an Addendum to the Order Paper. By your kind permission, if we could allow the Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning to take that before we continue. There would be an application for moving Motion number 2 and then -

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, there is an Addendum Order Paper. I hope it has been distributed to all Hon Members of the House? Hon Minority Leader, do you have a copy? This is because you came in late.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, I have just received the Addendum Order Paper. So I am just perusing it.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, I would want to come under Order 53(2), so that I move to the Addendum Order Paper -- change of Order of Business set on the Order Paper llIlCl61‘ our Standing Orders, so that we can take Motion number 2. It is not a controversial matter.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, since you are coming under Order 53(2), which should be the normal route, I thought that application ought to be made.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

The Hon Majority Chief Whip made the application.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

He made the application that he was coming under Order 53 (2)?

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

He did not mention it but he said that we should look at item number 2 on the Addendum Order Paper. He made the application. 11.45

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, if the Chief Whip made that application, the application is that this one ought to be considered as part of the business for today.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

That is it. Whether the items listed, the order ought to be varied, then it must come under a different application. But it appears suo moto you have invested -

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Minority Leader, you know, I was forced to do that because this is a matter that between you and me, in the lobby yesterday, we tried to discuss this matter to see how we can assist the House in transacting its business. Both sides have spoken to me; you have also spoken to me on the matter and that was why I thought that this was not a controversial matter.

Speaker
Mr Owusu-Agyemang

Mr Speaker, it is not a controversial matter and if you want to come by Order 5 3 (2), that is fine. But Mr Speaker, it looks as if Motion number 2 has some relation to the Paper that is to be presented in (I) - Presentation of Papers.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes.

Speaker
Mr Owusu-Agyemang

Yes, so Mr Speaker, what is the (l) doing here? Either you take it out, it does not exist, or otherwise, what Paper is he presenting before we move to (2) - Motion?

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, what the Motion is trying to do, (2) and (3), (2) would pave way for (3) to be moved. (2) is a procedural Motion on the Addendum Order Paper. The substantive Motion is (3) at page (2), but that will pave way for item number (1), and they brought that one because of the order of business.

Speaker
Mr Owusu-Agyemang

Mr Speaker, that is exactly the point I am making and I am completely with you, that you cannot have Presentation of Papers and no Paper is presented and then you go to the procedural Motion and you go to the substantive Motion.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, the point is that, look at Order 53 (1) (0) - Presentation of Papers is before Order of Business; it takes place before Motions. Motion is (q). But in this case, they should not have brought it at all.

Speaker
Mr Owusu-Agyemang

Exactly. That is what I am saying.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

They have to rescind the decision before the Paper is presented.

Speaker
Mr Owusu-Agyemang

Mr Speaker, so you were not listening -

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

No! I did but I was trying to tell you - In fact, when I got it, I queried the Table Office. The explanation is that they did not want to go back and Waste another paper for printing the Order Paper again; but they are not taking it.

Speaker
Mr Owusu-Agyemang

Mr Speaker, the proper thing must be done; that is why I got up to say that -

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, I agree with you that the (1) is there, but it cannot be taken until (2) and (3) are cleared. But we are not taking the (1).

Speaker
Mr Owusu

Agyemang; But they are linked; that is why

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Yes, but if you do not clear (2) and (3), the (1) cannot be taken. I agree entirely with you.

Speaker
Mr Owusu-Agyemang

All right. Thank you

Speaker
Mr J. B. Aidoo

Mr Speaker, I am on my feet to seek your guidance on the order of procedure of this House.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member for Atwima

Mponua, Mr Isaac Asiamah was on his feet before the Commencement of Public Business and you ruled him out. Mr Speaker, if we take Order 53

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member-

Speaker
Mr J. B. Aidoo

I have not landed, Mr Speaker.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. [Laughter] Hon Member, you see, Hon Asiamah was going to speak when he had not caught my eye. That was the reason I stopped him. I was only calling on him to respect the rules of the House. You know I have called him this morning several times; I have called Hon Asiamah several times. Hon Members, let us move to item number 2 and do some work; It is in our interest.

Speaker
Mr J. B. Aidoo

Mr Speaker, we know, but the point is that once you rule regarding this procedure, it comes to stay. A Member can bring in a Private Business before the Commencement of Public Business and I would want to believe that that was the more reason Hon Asiamah was on his feet just before the Commencement of Public Business.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, if a Member of the House wants to bring Private Business, I should know the Private Business he wants to bring.

Speaker
Mr J. B. Aidoo

Mr Speaker, I am not contesting, but the point is that if Hon Asiamah did not catch your eye, how then did you see Hon Asiamah -

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member for Amenfi East, you know the Hon Asiamah is a very articulate person in this House and he can fight his case. He is very articulate; you know very well. So Hon Members, let us do some work, so that we can adjourn early today; tomorrow is a holiday. I will call on the Hon Member for Sege to move Motion number 2 on the Addendum Order Paper. Hon Members, this is not a very contentious issue. So let us take it. After that I will allow any Member to raise any matter.

Speaker
Mr Owusu-Agyemang

Mr Speaker, the order is, Statements before Public Business. I was wondering, tomorrow is African Union (AU) Day, is anybody making a Statement?

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

There is no Statement before me.

Speaker
Mr Owusu-Agyemang

All right

MOTIONS

Speaker
Mr Ignatius B. Awuah (NPP - Sunyani West)

Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, this is a procedural Motion. It is for the consideration of the House. When we move to the substantive one, then the reasons would be proffered and we can then take a decision on it. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly. Subsidiary Agreement between the Government of Ghana and China Development Bank under the Master Facility Agreement Vice Chairman of the Finance Committee (Mr Alfred W. G Abayateye) (on behalf of the Chairman): Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honorable House, pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order 93 (3), rescinds its decision taken on the 22nd day of March, 2012 in respect of the Subsidiary Agreement between the Republic of Ghana and the China Development Bank Corporation under the Master Facility Agreement between the Republic of Ghana and the China Development Bank Corp oration on the SME Projects Incubation Facility for an amount of US$100,000,000 Mr Speaker, on the 22nd of March, 2012, this House resolved on the SME Project Incubation Facility for US$100,000,000. However, Mr Speaker, the SME Agreement which We did should have been approved under a special form of subsidiary agreement We approved this under the general form agreement, as a result of which certain vital provisions

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, why are you rescinding your decision? You should give the reason.

Speaker
Mr Abayateye

Mr Speaker, I said that we passed this SME Subsidiary Agreement on the 22nd day of March, 2012. But this specific Agreement should have come under a special form. We approved it within the general form of the others. If you will remember, we worked on seven. As a result of that some vital components of this specific one --- the SME Projects Incubation were omitted. And I am calling on the House that we rescind our decision on this specific one, so that it would enable the Hon Minister to re-lay the Paper again with the complete components for us to work on.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, you know that the Motion is very clear? You should have made reference to Order 93 (3). This is because we are in the same Session.

Speaker
Mr Abayateye

So I am coming under Order 93 (3). Thank you very much.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

What is in that Order? What did the Order say?

Speaker
Mr Abayateye

That Order states, and with your permission, I beg to quote: "It shall be out of order to attempt to reconsider any specific Question upon which the House has come to a conclusion during the current Session, except upon a substantive motion for rescission." So this is the Order on which I am coming. We have taken a decision on it and we are within the same period and I am asking the House to rescind this decision, so that we can take it again.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

The same Session or the same period?

Speaker
Mr Abayateye

We are within the same Session.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Any seconder to the Motion?

Speaker
Mr Emmanuel Owusu-Ansah (NPP Kwabre West)

Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. And in doing so, Mr Speaker, I would want to draw attention to the fact that what the Motion seeks to do is not to step the intendment contained in the decision taken on 22'" March, this year, but rather the form by which that decision was taken. One would say that the intention is what matters but not the form. But this is a House of record And so, if a form leading to the taking of a decision is wrong, it is important that we reverse that decision and go through the procedure again to enable us do what is proper for posterity. Mr Speaker, on this note, I beg to second the Motion. Question proposed.

Speaker
Dr Prempeh

rose

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member for Manhyia, let me hear the Hon Minority Leader before I come to you.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, I do not intend to contribute at this stage, maybe, subsequently. But I would want to call on the Hon Member who seconded the Motion to advert his mind to what was done on that day, March 22nd The issue here is not about form; it is not about form at all; it is about content. He would remember that on March 22nd when this matter came here, we advised that they ought to do the proper thing before coming with the various strands, which advice was penned and jettisoned. And they did what they did. It is not the form; it is the content which we had been pleading all the while that they should come properly before this House. So do not litigate it. But a Motion has been moved and I do believe that the Hon Abayateye knows that it is not about form at all. It is the content. And the Hon Deputy Minister is here, he knows that it is about the content - what ought to have come to this House, which did not come, which we urged them to bring and which at that material time, they refused to bring. Now, upon reclining, they realized that they should do what is right. And today, this exercise is a bold attempt to confront the reality and do what is right. Let us, if we want to help, help. But let us not distort what was done at the time. Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Speaker
Mr First ‘Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, I think that what we did, we are rescinding that decision. That is the Motion and the consequential Resolution that would pave way for the proper thing to be done. So when the proper thing comes to be done, then all the issues which ought to be raised would be raised to see whether the content and everything are correct now.

Speaker
Mr-Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

But by way of further correction, Mr Speaker, since the mover of the Motion said: "This is to pave the way for the re-laying again of there relevant Agreements", I disagree. It has not been re-laid earlier. It was laid just once. So if the path is cleared, it would be re-laid; but not be "re-laid again" as if this is the third time we are doing it.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

You are correct. Yes, Hon Members, this is not a very controversial issue. Since the matter in terms of content and everything would come back to the House to be debated again, I do not think that we should waste too much of time on it. But I would call the Hon Member for Manhyia; I want to hear from him.

Speaker
Dr Matthew O. Prempeh

Mr Speaker, I would seek a clarification. This order for rescission, this Motion that we are debating, I saw the Hon Deputy Chairman for Finance, arguing for this Motion. Mr Speaker, but it is very; very important since we believe in procedure in this House, that it is not only the procedure that should be right, the process must be fair. The process to arrive at the procedure must be as fair as the procedure itself

Speaker
Mr Speaker, I rise on Order 109 and with your permission, it says

"(l) No Question for decision in the House shall be proposed for. . ."

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, I have not proposed any Question.

Speaker
Dr Prempeh

Mr Speaker, if you would let me finish. -

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, you are out of order; I have not proposed any Question. Take your seat.

Speaker
Mr Isaac K. Asiamah

rose

Speaker
Dr Prempeh

Mr Speaker, you are participating in an argument.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

I have not proposed any Question; you are out of order. Take your seat. You have referred me to an Order; I have not proposed any Question. Take your seat. Hon Member, I have not proposed any Question.

Speaker
Dr Prempeh

Mr Speaker, you did not listen to my argument. When I finish, then you rule. You are participating in the debate. Mr Speaker, I have not finished with my argument -

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

' Hon Member, I have ruled. Take your seat. Hon Member, take your seat. Hon Members, I want to plead with this House that let us be doing some Work. We have challenges, yes. But that is all I Want to say for now. Hon Asiamah, kindly take your seat. Hon Members, the Chair is pleading the Chair is pleading - the Chair is pleading with this House that you should co-operate with the Chair - co-operate with the Chair, so that we- can do some work So Hon Member, as I said earlier, this is not a controversial matter. When the document comes, when the substantive document is laid and referred and it comes to the House, then we debate whatever we want to debate. Hon Members, I need the co-operation of this Honorable House. Basically, this is a procedural issue. The substantive matter will come at the appropriate time.

Speaker
Some Hon Members

None Hon Asiamah and Hon Member for Manhyia, you should see me in the Speaker's Lobby after adjournment. Hon Hackman, see me in the Lobby. Question put and Motion agreed to. Decision accordingly rescinded by the House.

Speaker
Mr I. K. Asiamah

Mr. Speaker, mine is on a different issue.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, please, co-operate with the Chair. I know where you are coming from. Hon Members, the decision that we took in respect of this matter, both the Motion and the consequential Resolution, all the decisions that We have taken are hereby rescinded by the House and therefore, that paves way for item numb er 1 on the Addendum Order Paper. Item number 1 on the Order Paper Addendum.

Speaker
Mr Gbediame

Mr Speaker, the Deputy Minister, Hon Seth Terkpeh is here to lay the Paper on behalf of the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, who, today, being Thursday, is unavoidably absent from the Chamber. He is in a Cabinet meeting.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

A Hon Minority Leader, application is being made for the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance and Economic Planning to lay the Paper.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, I believe we can grant it.

PAPERS

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, I thank you very much for your co-operation and support to the Chair.

Speaker
Mr Owusu-Agyemang

Mr Speaker, there is nobody who can navigate the waters better than your goodself. But I believe that sometimes you must allow us to put whichever, Minister, whoever Leader on the spot for them to explain. You were making a plea for them. It is the Leadership of the Majority who should be making a plea to us, not your goodself By that way, you were participating in the debate and in the process. Mr Speaker, sometimes - and I do not blame you, you forget that you are a Deputy Speaker; you think that you are Member for Avenor. Mr Speaker, sometimes let us niddle them, push them. That is the politic; we have to score points.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, thank you very much for your comments. I was only offering guidance; I was not taking part in the debate.

Speaker
Mr Owusu-Agyemang

Mr Speaker, let me finish. So when we try to capitalize on situations, on deficiencies, you must not use your wealth of great, experience to rescue them. You rescued the Hon Minister this morning from all manner of things and now you are rescuing - I think that next time, give us the chance to fight. After all, we are here to jaw - jaw. Whoever wins, Wins the day. Right now, we have done this, whether under duress or whatever, but we have approved it. I believe that next time, we would ask Hon Gbediame to make the case and not your goodself.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Thank you very much, Hon Hackman Owusu- Agyemang. Hon Chief Whip, What is the next item we are going to take?

Speaker
Mr J. B. Aidoo

Mr Speaker, the Addendum, Motion number 2, after the procedural Motion, we should have moved the substantive Motion, which appears -

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

It was moved. The substantive Motion was moved. Ask the Hon Minority Leader; it was done. That was the one that Hon Owusu-Ansah seconded. The first procedural one was the one that the Hon Member for Sunyani West seconded. Hon Member for Sunyani West seconded the procedural Motion and Hon Owusu- Ansah seconded the substantive Motion.

Speaker
Mr Gbediame

Mr Speaker, we have been doing the Consideration of the Public Health Bill and we would kindly take it now. The Vice Chairman is here to pilot it for us. I have also called the Hon Deputy Minister, who will also join us in the process.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

So it means that the Criminal Offenses (Amendment) Bill will not be taken today? Very well.

Speaker
Mrs. Gifty E. Kusi

Mr Speaker, we have taken some decisions this morning and we are going on through the Consideration Stage. But we needed to draw the House's attention that we do not have the numbers to work.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Deputy Minority Whip, you have raised the issue of quorum. We will ring the bell for ten minutes under the rules and then we would proceed from there.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, you have really raised something that is of utmost importance. You said -- [Interruption]

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

But do not go back. [Laughter]

Speaker
Mr L K. Asiamah

Mr Speaker, then in view of your acceptance of this -

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

She has raised it and I have given directives.

Speaker
Mr I. K. Asiamah

Mr Speaker, then what happens to Order 109 as raised by the Hon Colleague - then all the decisions you have taken this morning could be null and void?

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

No! No! When we took the decision, we had the numbers.

Speaker
Mr I. K. Asiamah

Mr Speaker, it is important. If we agreed that We do not have the numbers to work with, then we have to use this same numbers to do business --

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

We had the numbers at the time that we took that decision.

Speaker
Mr I. K. Asiamah

We do not have. We can count the Hon Members here.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

At the time we took that decision, we had the numbers.

Speaker
Mr I. K. Asiamah

Mr Speaker, we did not have the numbers.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Majority Chief Whip, are you hearing the points that are being raised? It is for you to engage the other side. The Leadership of the Majority should engage the Leadership of the Minority. Do you understand?

Speaker
Dr Prempeh

rose

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member for Manhyia, I told you to see me in my lobby. Hon Members, the Public Health Bill 2010 at the Consideration Stage. [Pause] Hon Majority Chief Whip, I told you that you should engage the Leadership of the Minority Leader.

BILLS -- CONSIDERATION STAGE

Speaker
Mr I. K. Asiamah

Mr Speaker, what we are discussing, there is no Minister, no Deputy Minister here. What we are discussing is so important but we do not have any Minister from that Ministry. Mr Speaker, that is why We are concerned; as young Hon Members, we are concerned. We should be more serious with the business of the House. If we do not have a Minister, a Deputy Minister to do justice to Whatever we are discussing here, what are we doing? They brought the Bill; let them come and justify why this Bill is important to them. They should justify

Speaker
Mr I. K. Asiamah

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

I agree entirely with you and you know my attitude on this matter. I agree with you. Only this week, I made some directives on that matter - only on Tuesday. But the Ministry of Health, as far as this Bill is concerned, has always been very regular and has always kept faith with the House. And that is why I have relaxed my attitude on this matter. The Deputy Minister for Health has. always been available and even when we were doing other businesses, he" was always patient with us and that is why my attitude on this matter is different from that of the previous ones.

Speaker
Mr Owusu-Ansah

Mr Speaker, thank you for your direction. But I think that early on a question of quorum was raised and you said the bell would be rung for ten minutes, after which we would reassemble for a quorum to be determined, whether we can go on or not. This is compounded by the fact that even the Hon Minister and the Hon Deputy Minister are absent. How do we proceed to discuss the matter of such importance and significance. Mr Speaker, we need your direction in this matter.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Minority Leader, have you done some winnowing on this Bill, on the clauses you are going to look at? That is very germane. If you did some winnowing when the Deputy Minister was around, and you had agreed to certain things, then we can start 2012 Consideration Stage with those ones that the winnowing had covered. But if you have not done any winnowing, then the point being raised is a very legitimate one, and we may take a second look at the matter. Hon Minority Leader, have you done some winnowing?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, to be very honest, we did some winnowing in respect of clauses 17, 18 and portions of clause 19. In fact, we almost concluded on clause 19. So, clauses 17, 18 and 19, are the only three sections that we dealt with. So, even if we go on it, we cannot proceed beyond section 19.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. I will suggest, subject to the sense of the House, that we look at only those few clauses and adjourn. Only three amendments for clause 17, only one amendment for clause 18 and part of clause 19, then we can adjourn for the day. Where is Mr Second Deputy Speaker? We will take clause 17.

MR SECOND DEPUTY SPEAKER

Speaker
Mr Wisdom Gidisu

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 17, paragraph (a), line 2, delete "hospital" and substitute "health facility" and further delete "persons" and substitute "a person or an animal". So, the new rendition now is: "The Minister may by legislative instrument make Regulations for the control of a disease of a communicable nature and in particular with respect to the

Speaker
Mr Wisdom Gidisu

Speaker
Mr W. Gidisu

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 17, paragraph (c), line, after "medical" insert "or veterinary" and in line 2, delete "persons" and substitute "a person or an animal".

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

It is in pursuance of what we have done earlier. Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr W. Gidisu

Speaker, I beg to move, clause 17, paragraph (0), line 2, at beginning, insert "or the owner of an infected animal". Question put and amendment agreed to. Clause 17 as amended ordered to stand as part of the Bill. Clause 18 -- Non-communicable diseases.

Speaker
Mr W. Gidisu

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 18, delete and substitute the following: "The Ministry of Health and the Veterinary Services Department and any other relevant organization shall educate the public on the prevention of non-communicable diseases and provide facilities for screening, early detection and management of non-communicable diseases and for the promotion of health".

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Minority Leader, I recognized your intervention earlier - after we finish with this. [Pause] Chairman of the Committee, "The Ministry of Health and the Veterinary Services Department and any other relevant organization..." Why not a comma after "health" and remove "and"?

Speaker
Mr W. Gidisu

Mr Speaker, I agree to it. It should read: "The Ministry of Health, the Veterinary Services Department and any other relevant organization shall educate the public on the prevention of non-communicable diseases and provide facilities for screening, early detection and management of non-communicable diseases and for the promotion of health".

Speaker
Mrs. Frema A. Osei-Opare

Mr Speaker, initially, I wanted to ask for how relevant this aspect is in terms of the fact that we have been looking at communicable diseases and Whatnots. However, I believe I should accept this because we are dealing with education in health matters, for as important as it is to educate on communicable diseases, it is equally important to educate on non- communicable diseases so that the public can be at ease. So I would want to accept what is being proposed.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, any other contribution? I will put the Question.

Speaker
Mr William O. Boafo

Mr Speaker, when the Vice Chairman was reading out the new rendition, line 2, I heard him saying: "...the Veterinary Services Department and any other relevant organization. . ." Mr Speaker, I will propose that instead of "and" it should be "or" so that it will read as follows: "The Ministry of Health, the Veterinary Services Department or any other relevant organization ..." Mr Speaker, "and" is cumulative and "or" is alternate.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

So it will read as follows: "The Ministry of Health, the Veterinary Services Department or any other relevant organization shall educate . . ." Hon Vice Chairman, is it acceptable?

Speaker
Mr W. Gidisu

Yes, Mr Speaker. Mr Boafo Mr Speaker, secondly, at the end of the penultimate line "of" and before "health" - since we are dealing with public health here, I am proposing the insertion of "public" before "health".

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

So that it will read: ". . . and for the promotion of public health".

Speaker
Mr Boafo

Yes, Mr Speaker.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Vice Chairman, that definitely is acceptable. Is it not?

Speaker
Mr W. Gidisu

Mr Speaker, since we will be talking about public health, it will be consistent with it. So I think there is nothing wrong by adding "public" to it.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

So that it will read as follows: "The Ministry of Health, the Veterinary Services Department or any other relevant organization shall educate the public on the prevention of non-communicable diseases and provide facilities for screening, early detection and management of non-communicable diseases and for the promotion of public health". Hon Members, any further point?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, I thought I even heard the Vice Chairman say so. Indeed, it was agreed that We should insert "public" before "hea1th" I think it is just an oversight. But it is good that the Hon W. O. Boafo, with the eagle eyes, has seen that there is an omission. I think it is quite acceptable. Question put and amendment agreed to.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker -

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Minority Leader, do you have an issue on clause 18?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-'Bonsu

No, Mr Speaker.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

So can I finish with that and then -

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

All right, Mr Speaker. Clause 18 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Minority Leader, I think you would want to take us to clause 17?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Yes, Mr Speaker.

Speaker
Mr Speaker, clause 17(f), which reads as follows

"any other matters concerned with a communicable disease. . .' I thought that for elegance and also making it reader-friendly, we may perhaps look at the use of the word "concerned" maybe, "related to" a communicable disease. -

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

"Related to"?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, "related to" in place of "concerned with".

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Vice Chairman, is that agreeable to you that we have ". . .related to communicable disease"?

Speaker
Mr W. Gidisu

I think it is all right, Mr Speaker.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Very well. I will put the Question. Question put and amendment agreed Clause 17 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 19 - Interpretation.

Speaker
Mr W. Gidisu

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 19, interpretation of "animal", line 3, delete "capture" and substitute "captured".

Speaker
Mrs. Osei-Opare

Mr Speaker, I think this interpretation, the way it is captured is not helpful. It is not helpful because there are many other animals, so to speak

Speaker
An Hon Member

Snails.

Speaker
Mrs. Osei-Opare

I thank the Hon Member for adding "snails" -

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Nobody else heard that, so please, go on.

Speaker
Mrs. Osei-Opare

Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I will address the Chair. Mr Speaker, all we need to recognize is that an animal is one that moves, has some sense and other beings such as fish, reptiles and so on. I cannot come up with a generality that then will capture every possibility. Yesterday, we sat here and even looked at bats, we looked at mice, we looked at rats and so on, and none of these are listed in the interpretation. So in our effort to list everything, we are going to miss a lot. So my proposal is to re-phrase this such that it captures all living animals that have sense and can move, look at reptiles, fish, including insects, such that the classes of what we want to call animals are properly captured. Therefore, it does not matter whether rats or mice have not been listed. This is because of the way we captured it, they would be catered for. So, I propose a re-look at this interpretation such that we capture rather classes of animals rather than individual types of animals. We will never be able to exhaust that list and therefore, we will have a problem in using this interpretation.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Prof. Ameyaw-Akumfi, would you be-in a position to help us with a generic nomenclature that will capture all, perhaps, for us?

Speaker
Prof. Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi

Mr Speaker, I resisted making the point that my Hon Sister made because I was even going to be stronger. I am not too sure whether the person who provided this definition is a zoologist; he will not make that mistake. The rest of the animals aside of humans would be listed if we are drawing into this temptation. So are we talking about non-humans as against humans? What do we want here? This is because most of these things are not -- and when we are talking about captured wild mammals, how about captured wild reptiles, captured wild insects and the rest of them? I do not know who is drawing into this temptation. Mr Speaker, I would suggest strongly, like the animal-human debates which is still confusing, we may have to take another look at this definition because as a zoologist, I do not find this appealing at all.

Speaker
Dr Richard W. Anane

Mr Speaker, you will appreciate the difficulty my two Hon Colleagues have drawn themselves into when an attempt is made for this law. First, it was difficult for the Hon Member for Ayawaso Wuogon to define what an animal is. Second, it was difficult for Prof. Ameyaw Akumfi to get us to list all animals. Mr Speaker, it is because of this that the word "includes" was used. Mr Speaker, it is because of this that the word "includes" at least, cuts out everything and makes it possible for you to add any other thing that you want to. Mr Speaker, I do not see the problem. Apart from that, we must also remember that We are talking about communicable diseases. So we should be addressing our minds basically to animals that (Prof Ameyaw-Akumfi would know) cause zoonosis or other things. So Mr Speaker, I think this rendition should be acceptable, especially based on the fact that We have the word "includes" which will permit any further additions as any one may so wish. Mr Boafo Mr Speaker, I would want to add to what Hon Dr Anane said. The difference between the word "means" and the word "includes" is that "means" is exhaustive and "includes" is inclusive. That is why precisely they are using "includes" here. Mr Speaker, if you read the whole thing, we have also the other rule of interpretation, what we call the ejusdem generis. So if it has captured "Wild mammals", then captured wild reptiles can be included, captured wild insects can be included. That is the difference so far as the rules of interpretation are concerned. "Animal" means, it is conclusive; "animal includes" is unending and that is why Mr Speaker, in preparation of documents, they at times come out with the expression "including without limitation". Mr Speaker, this definition should be accepted. Mr Speaker, I would want to point out that if you go further down to line 4, that is the penultimate line, alter "poultry" we have "comprising domestic fowls". Mr Speaker, that is where I also find some mistake. Instead of "comprising" we should use "including domestic fowls". "Comprising" connotes that it is exhaustive but they do not intend to exhaust the list here; that is why we should substitute "includes" here.

Speaker
Prof. Ameyaw-Akumfi

Mr Speaker, by indicating that your list "includes" and being specific about some of the animals, means that in your own mind, these are the ones that should be brought to the attention of whoever is reading this in terms of significance.

Speaker
Prof. Ameyaw-Akumfi

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Boafo spoke about looking at this sui generis, but if we do not take care, we will get ourselves into another difficulty. If you would want to do suisdemgeneris then you must have a representative of a family there; in what has been described, then you say that, by appropriate interpretation, then all those in that family are included. I do not see how flies, for example are captured here; flies. I do not see how insects have their sui generis. So I think we must be a bit careful so that we do not-- if we want to make a list, we make it representative enough or find some other general and generic description, which I believe Hon Prof. Ameyaw-Akumfi may want to help us with, to capture animals generally. I believe that is what we may want to do but as for the list, it could be a bit difficult.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, with respect, we must not lose the essence of what we are doing here. If you go back to the Long Title, we are talking about: "An Act to revise and consolidate the law relating to public health to prevent diseases, promote, safeguard, maintain and protect the health of humans and animals". So, when we talk about animals here, we are talking about animals whose health should concern us. With respect, we are not talking about the health of cockroaches, flies or termites. We are talking about the animals which are close to human beings, domesticated ones, the ones that we consume as meat and the ones that we use as pets including cats, dogs. Maybe, even some wild mammals; what I see about the suggestion by Hon Boafo, is that indeed, these days, we are rearing fish and I think it is important that we capture same and include them here. The other one which the Hon Member spoke about that we have "captured wild mammals"; so we should also find place for "captured wild reptiles" that will cover snakes and so on. And I think that, yes, we can include that and it is understandable. Then he also talks about the substitution in the word "including" in the penultimate line in place of "comprising". I think that is also a very useful suggestion. So I would think that we can further enrich the definition, if we include what we have said, after "wild mammals" we also insert "captured wild reptiles". Alternatively, we could say "captured wild reptiles and mammals - ostrich, poultry including . . ." then we go on. But we should find place to include fish and also again, as I said, go with the substitution of the word "including" for "comprising" in the penultimate line. Mr Speaker, I believe we would have captured the sense.

Speaker
Mr Boafo

Mr Speaker, in my submissions, I did not refer to sue generis I referred to ejusdem generis.

Speaker
Mrs. Osei-Opare

Mr Speaker, I would like to humbly differ slightly from the position that my Leader just espoused. I think that this interpretation is not simply limited to those they were seeking to protect. I refer to the last line of the interpretation on page 16 that says: "guinea fowls and eggs of poultry". That already connotes that we are looking at animals and products that are either to be protected or can be a source of disease for the public. That is really what it is saying. Today, we will just put guinea fowls and eggs of poultry; are we seeking to protect the eggs of poultry? So I will say that "animals" here seems to be looking at animals in a broader sense of both mammals, reptiles, birds, insects, fish and related products. [Interruption]Yes, I will add the worms. Mr Speaker has asked me not to listen to people, so I will not listen. But my point is that, this interpretation is broader, it is looking at living beings that can either be affected by disease or can transmit disease. So why do we not agree and therefore, ensure that we rather look at classes of animals instead of individuals. This is because in this Bill, as at yesterday, We mentioned rats, mice, mosquitoes. Where are they in this list? So all I am saying is, I disagree humbly with my Leader when he says only the animals we are trying to protect should be affected here. I do not think We are trying to protect guinea fowl eggs, turkey eggs or poultry eggs. Let us really take it in the real sense that we are looking at living beings that can transmit diseases or can be affected by diseases that will affect the health of the public, I believe I am in the right direction. Thank you.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

rose

Speaker
Mr J. B. Aidoo

Mr Speaker, much as I would want to go with what Hon Frema Osei-Opare is indicating, I would want her to also address her mind to the fact that the animals we are talking about here are domesticated animals or animals that can be domesticated. What she is talking about, the mice, the cockroaches and all those other animals which had been classified as vermin, I think we are going to have an interpretation for "vermin". Those ones are to be eliminated, that is, we have to as much as possible eliminate them wherever Possible. But those that are to be protected, when you talk about domesticated animals that are to be protected, it should not just be restricted to the mammals as has earlier been advanced by Prof Ameyaw-Akumfi. We must also ex and the definition to include reptiles because these days people domesticate snakes, not snails but snakes, and we can even talk about bees because We were talking about insects. [Interruption] Yes, reptiles and then insects. Bees, bees, oh nkrofuo ye owuo. So Mr Speaker, we are talking about domesticated animals or animals that can be domesticated. And I would want to believe that that is What the "animal" here is talking about. All other animals, the cockroaches, the flies, all those ones are vermin and I think at the winnowing, we did say that there should be a definition for "vermin" to take care of those ones.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Hon Prof Ameyaw-Akumfi, could you conjecture what nomenclature would capture some of these for us?

Speaker
Prof. Ameyaw-Akumfi

Mr Speaker, if we went to Chandler -- Chandler who has written on parasitology, what he has done is to classify animals in terms of their affiliation with us whether they are carrying diseases or whether they are friendly, are carrying diseases. I suppose this is where our attention is. You deal with classes, so you have pickets representing fishes, mammals, Mammalia. With the mammals, reptilian and so on, then you can have examples. But you do not want to do that. Right now, I look at this and I wonder where rats will fit. We are chasing them but we eat them. And Some of us go out hunting for them. - [Uproar] So when you say that rat is an enemy and so you have to chase it out, I am afraid you may be running into difficulties. I learnt yesterday, you spoke about bats, flying mammals. Up there on the hill in Kwahu, it is a major source of meat. So what do you do in terms of public, in terms of diseases and so on? So Mr Speaker, honestly, I will go by the various classes and just give examples rather than naming a whole range of animals and so on, which will land me into serious trouble.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Very well. I will trust that we can do more further winnowing, so that we can categorize and then have examples, if at all, from those ones. We had the impression that the winnowing had reached only a certain stage.

Speaker
Mr Gbediame

Mr Speaker, following the discussion on this, I would Want to suggest that we end the Consideration Stage at this point, whereby we do more consultation with the experts, so that they will help us to know how to categorize the various animals and mammals that we are talking about. Therefore, this will be the appropriate time that you can bring the Consideration Stage to a close while We go and continue other businesses like some of the committee meetings that are taking place outside this Chamber.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

Very well. That brings us to the end of the Consideration Stage. Any application for adjournment thereafter?

Speaker
Mr Gershon K. B. Gbediame

On this note, I beg to move, that this House do now adjourn and reconvene on Tuesday at 10 o'clock in the forenoon.

Speaker
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, I will be forced, while seconding the Motion, to plead with the Hon Member for Techiman North, that he would find space and time to be with the Winnowing Committee because it is a tragedy that while he was away yesterday, we moved and the House agreed on section 16 (I) (q) to destroy bats and rats. We have moved and we have agreed that we are going to destroy bats and rats even though he addresses us and he wants us to know that these are delicacies of certain people.

Speaker
Mr Second Deputy Speaker

In fact, some flies are delicacies in some places. [Uproar] Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu So Mr Speaker, I believe I would entreat him to find time and space for the Winnowing Committee, so that together, we can make rapid progress on this. Mr Speaker, on that note, I beg to second the Motion moved by the Chief Whip for the Majority. Question put and Motion agreed to.

ADJOURNMENT

The House was accordingly adjourned at 12.55 p.m. till Tuesday, 29th May, 2012 at 10.00 a.m.