Debates of 11 November 2011

MADAM SPEAKER

PRAYERS

Speaker
Madam Speaker

Hon Members, Correction of Votes and Proceedings of Thursday, 10th November, 2011. Page 1... 24 --

Speaker
Prof. (Emeritus) Samuel K. Amoako

Madam Speaker, a minor correction on page 24. Under "Opening", "i. Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs". I believe "women" should be capitalised; the "W" should be capitalised; it should be capital "W".

Speaker
Madam Speaker

The Votes and Proceedings of Thursday, 10th November, 2011 as corrected are hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings. [No correction was made to the Official Report of Tuesday, 8th November,

Speaker
Madam Speaker

We have the Business Statement of the Week, item 3 on the Order Paper. Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader, Business Statement of the Week.

Speaker
Alhaji Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo

Madam Speaker, the Hon Majority Leader has detailed me to present the Business Statement for the Fourth Week on his behalf and I would crave your indulgence to be able to do that

Speaker
Madam Speaker

Yes.

Speaker
Alhaji Pelpuo

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

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

Arrangement of Business Question(s) Madam Speaker, the Committee has programmed the following Hon Ministers to answer Questions asked of them during the Week: i. Minister for Health Minister for Defence iii. Minister for Transport No. of Question(s) iv. Minister for Local Government and Rural Development - v. Attorney-General and Minister for Justice -- 1 vi. Minister for Roads and Highways Total number of Questions Madam Speaker, in all, six Ministers are expected to attend upon the House to respond to twenty (20) Questions during the week. The Questions are of the following types: i. Urgent - 3 ii. Oral - 17 Statements Madam Speaker may allow Statements duly admitted to be made in the House. Bills, Papers, and Reports Madam Speaker, Bills may be presented to the House for consideration and those already before the House may be taken through the various stages. Papers and committee reports may also be presented to the House. Motions and Resolutions Madam Speaker, Motions may be debated and their consequential Resolutions, if any, taken during the week. Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government Madam Speaker, in accordance with Standing Order 140, the Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning has been programmed to present to the House, the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the year 2012 on Wednesday, 16th November, 2011. Post-Budget Workshop Madam Speaker, as mentioned in the presentation of the Business Statement last Friday, a post-budget workshop is being organised for Leadership, Chairpersons and Ranking Members of committees, some selected Hon Members and some officers of the Parliamentary Service. This is scheduled to take place from Friday, 18th to Monday, 21st November 2011. Further information relating to the workshop will be communicated to the delegates in due course. - Conclusion Madam Speaker, in accordance with Standing Order 160(2) and subject to Standing Order 53, the Committee submits to this Honourable House, the order in which the Business of the House shall be taken during the week. Tuesday, 15th November, 2011 . Urgent Question --

Speaker
Mr Justice Joe Appiah (Ablekuma North)

To ask the Minister for ‘Health what steps the Ministry has taken to settle all arrears with the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) in respect of service providers in the country. Questions -

Speaker
Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh (Manhyia)

To ask the Minister

Speaker
Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh (Manhyia)

STATEMENTS

Speaker
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto (Kwadaso)

To ask the Minister for Defence when works will begin for the construction of

Speaker
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto (Kwadaso)

the proposed military hospital near the Sofoline interchange in Kwadaso, Kumasi. Questions - *1151. Mr Stephen Kwaku Balado Mann (Ahafo-Ano South): To ask the Minister for Transport what circumstances led to the recent demonstration by workers of the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) . *1152. Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko- Mensah (Takoradi): To ask the Minister for Transport the names of persons recently recruited into the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) Security and the procedure followed in the recruitment. Statements --- Motion - That this Honourable House approves the Financial Policy of the Government of Ghana for the year ending 315 December, 2012. (Minister for Finance and Economic Planning) A Committee sittings. Urgent Question -

Speaker
Mr John Agyabeng (Agona East)

To ask the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development what immediate, medium and long-term measures are underway to tackle the problem of perennial flooding in Accra and its environs. Questions - *783 .-Mr Francis Yaw Osei-Sarfo (Krachi West): To ask the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development what plans the Ministry has to make the substructures of the local governance work effectively. *784. Mr Francis Yaw Osei-Sarfo (Krachi West): To ask the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development what plans the Ministry has for the creation of a region for the Northern part of the Volta Region to facilitate development of the area . *875. Mr John Agyabeng (Agona East): To ask the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development the steps being taken by the Town and Country Planning Department to ensure proper land use in order to avoid future development of slums in the urban areas. *919. Mr Stephen Amoanor Kwao (Upper Manya): To ask the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development when permanent office complex will be provided for the Upper Manya Krobo District Assembly. *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 computerised or automated. Statements -- Presentation of Papers -

Speaker
Mr John Agyabeng (Agona East)

Report of the Committee on Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities and the Optional Protocol. Motions -- Second Reading of Bills - Intestate Succession Bill, 2009. Consideration Stage of Bills - Presidential (Transition) Bill, 201O. Veterans Administration, Ghana Bill,2010. College of Education Bill, 2011. Committee sittings. Questions - *644. Mr Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi (AsanteAkim North): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways when the following Konongo town roads would be constructed: (i) Abosomtwe Agya/Freetown segment (ii) Amerfa segment (iii) Konongo - Gdumase - Kyekyewere. *645. Mr Justice Joe Appiah (Ablekuma North): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways how much revenue has accrued to the Road Fund since the revision of road tolls from 1st February, 2010. *646. Mr Simons Addai (Techiman South): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways What plans the Ministry has to expand the bridge on River Bonkwae on the Techiman-Sunyani road which gets choked by sand leading to accidents. *647. Mr Simons Addai (Techiman South): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways Why the drainage under construction in front of the Techiman Traditional Council is so narrow. *729. Mr Alfred Kwame Agbesi (Ashaiman): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways when the ceremonial streets in Ashaiman town will be tarred. Consideration Stage of Bills -- Mental Health Bill, 2011. Committee Sittings.

Speaker
Madam Speaker

Any comments on the Business Statement for next week? Hon Members, the Business Statement as presented is adopted. We move on to Questions, item 4.

Speaker
Alhaji Pelpuo

Madam Speaker, we now have item number 4 but the Hon Minister for Energy is engaged outside Accra and has detailed his Deputy Minister to respond to the Questions. I will seek your indulgence and ask permission for him to respond to the Questions, with the co-operation of my Colleagues on the other side.

Speaker
Madam Speaker

Hon Dery, any objection?

Speaker
Mr Ambrose P. Dery

Madam Speaker, we have no objection. The Hon Deputy Minister is one of us. I will just say that occasionally, we want to see the face of the Hon Minister for Energy, especially the last time that he

Speaker
Mr Ambrose P. Dery

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS

MINISTRY OF ENERGY

Speaker
Madam Speaker

Hon Member, your three questions.

Speaker
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi

Madam Speaker, I am surprised by this Answer given to the House- I say this because quite. recently, some of these communities from Anunuso up to Kramokrom have erected electricity poles. Do I take it to mean that even though these poles have been mounted, there is no intention of linking them to the national grid?

Speaker
Mr Buah

Madam Speaker, from the Ministry of Energy's perspective, in these communities, we are not undertaking any projects. We can verify from the District Assembly and any other group that is undertaking the electrification. But I would be happy to discuss that further with the Hon Member. I know from the Ministry of Energy that we have plans in the future that once we get funds to go to these communities-_- We are not doing that at this time.

Speaker
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi

Madam Speaker, Would he be kind enough to give us an idea -- he has "said subject to the availability of funds". In his estimation, when should we expect his Ministry to cover these areas?

Speaker
Mr Buah

Madam Speaker, the objective and the goals of the Ministry of Energy is to make every effort to ensure that by 2020 every community in Ghana has access to electricity and we have made a lot of progress since 1990. This year alone, this Honourable House has approved over GH¢300 million for electrification to various communities. We continue to source for funds and I believe that in due course, we would get to those communities.

Speaker
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi

Madam Speaker, with the greatest respect, I do not think my question was answered. I asked, in his estimation, when does he think these communities would be covered and his answer did not cover that. If it could be specific -- he has given a general idea about what his Ministry intends to do for Ghana but I would want to know what he wants to do for these communities specifically.

Speaker
Mr Buah

Madam Speaker, I am very sure that getting those communities mentioned access to electricity is very critical to him. They are very important to us as well and I would want to assure him that we would do everything possible to try to make sure we source for funds, and as soon as we can get funds, we would be

Speaker
Mr Buah

Speaker
Mr Sampson Ahi

Madam Speaker, from the response of the Hon Minister, it is clear that those communities are not on any programme. But from the Hon Member who asked the Question, it seems electricity poles have been planted in those communities. Would the Hon Deputy Minister be honest to tell this House that he would find out who planted the electricity poles and what purpose was- it meant to serve -

Speaker
Madam Speaker

Is it a point of order, Hon Member?

Speaker
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi

Madam Speaker, the Hon Member was referring to me that I said that electricity had been planted. I never said electricity poles had been planted. Indeed, I said that electricity poles had been mounted or erected. We do not plant electricity poles -- [Laughter]

Speaker
Mr Joseph B. Aidoo

rose

Speaker
Madam Speaker

Yes, is it a point of order?

Speaker
Mr J. B. Aidoo

Yes, Madam Speaker. In the Deputy Minister's Answer, he has indicated that -

Speaker
Madam Speaker

No, he had.not finished with his question yet. Yes, put the question again and then the Deputy Minister would respond.

Speaker
Mr Ahi

Madam Speaker, I asked a simple question; whether the poles were planted or erected or mounted; they are the same and I would want to find out from the ‘Hon Deputy Minister whether he would find out those who mounted the poles and the purposes meant to be served - simple.

Speaker
Mr Buah

Madam Speaker, I would be happy to find out. Let me also add that for communities that have customer service connections, if this is the case, the Ministry of Energy, with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning recently sent a memorandum to Cabinet for approval of about GH¢162‘ million for customer service connection including metres and others and it will come to this Honourable House. I am sure once that has been approved, if what is needed is customer care service connections, then I would be happy to ensure that those communities are included.

Speaker
Mr J. B. Aidoo

Madam Speaker, in the Deputy Minister's Answer, he has indicated that the afore-stated communities have not been listed under any of the ongoing projects being undertaken by the Ministry of Energy. Could the Deputy Minister tell us what the on-going projects being undertaken by the Ministry of Energy are?

Speaker
Mr Buah

Madam Speaker, We have a long list of different projects being undertaken under the Ministry of Energy. Some through the Ghana Energy Development and Access Programme to the Rural Electrification Programme, and some through Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), through extension" to

Speaker
Mr Buah

Speaker
Mr Ignatius B. Awuah

Madam Speaker, I would want to know from the Hon Deputy Minister whether apart from the Ministry of Energy and the ECG in respect of Ashanti Region, any other group has the power to mount electricity poles with the aim of connecting electricity to communities.

Speaker
Mr Buah

Madam Speaker, the stated policy of the Ministry of Energy is to ensure that we do a turnkey access to electricity to various communities. But it is also the policy of the Ministry that if communities and districts are able to provide their own poles and they are within 20 kilometres of the national grid, then once they provide their own poles, they would be connected. But there are clear guidelines and procedures for individuals who want to erect poles; that would have to go through the ECG or the Northern Electricity Department to have that access. There are clear guidelines. You cannot without any authority erect any poles anywhere at all.

Speaker
Mr Awuah

rose

Speaker
Madam Speaker

Why, you want two questions? Yes, nobody is standing, last question.

Speaker
Mr Awuah

Madam Speaker, this is a follow-up based on the answer provided. This is because in the answer, the Hon Deputy Minister stated that the Ministry was not aware and did not have any ongoing programmes in the communities mentioned. Meanwhile, he has just said that nobody can do - it without a clarification from their end. So I would want him to reconcile the two answers that he has given.

Speaker
Madam Speaker

Yes, Deputy Minister, what do you say to that?

Speaker
Mr Buah

Madam Speaker, I stated earlier that this is a matter that we would take up to really ascertain the facts on the ground to know what exactly is being done in that community. I will be happy to do that and provide those answers to the Hon Member.

Speaker
Mr Collins A Ntim

Madam Speaker, I would want to find out from the Hon Deputy Minister, whether he has records of all the ongoing SHEP (IV) projects" in Ashanti

Speaker
Mr Buah

Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Energy would have records of all the ongoing projects. If the Hon Member needs that information, it can be provided at the Ministry of Energy.

Speaker
Madam Speaker

Yes, were you going to follow up on that question? Well, nobody is standing. So, please, put your last question.

Speaker
Mr Ntim

Madam Speaker, I am saying that because some of the communities mentioned in Asante Akyim are being covered under the on-going SHEP-4 Project. But the Hon Deputy Minister is saying that there is no programme on- going in the Ministry. So, I would want to find out whether he is not aware that some of the communities mentioned here are undertaking electrification project under the SHEP-4.

Speaker
Mr Buah

Madam Speaker, I was making reference -to these specific communities that have been mentioned. I

Speaker
Mr Buah

Speaker
Madam Speaker

Yes, thank you, Hon Deputy Minister.

[Resumption of Questions on column

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Speaker
Madam Speaker

Hon Members, I think you have noticed we have some visitors here. I would like to introduce them to you before we continue with the rest of the Questions. Hon Members, the visit is for purposes of deepening bilateral co-operation between the two Parliaments and the two countries and has, among its highlights, the inauguration of the Office of the China-4 Africa Co-operation Fund inAccra. H.E. Mr Zhou Tienong is accompanied by: - Senior Members of the delegation: . . Hon Madam He Yehui Member and Deputy Secretary - General, Standing Committee NPC Hon Mr Xu Xianming - Member of the Standing Committee of NPC and Member of the NPC Law Committee Hon Mr Chen Geng Member of the NPC Financial and Economic Affairs Committee Hon Madam Jiang Daguo - Vice Chairman, Standing Committee of Hubei Provincial People's Congress Other Delegates: Mr Wang Wen - Deputy Director-General, Foreign Affairs Bureau, General Office of

NPC

Speaker
Mr Buah

Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Energy is in the process of sourcing additional funds to ensure that all outstanding installation works are completed, including that of Bole/Bamboi. Cabinet has recently approved the terms and conditions of a loan facility in the amount of US$162 million from CWE for that purpose. The Ministry will soon submit the terms and conditions of the credit facility -to Parliament for ratification. We note that the outstanding works in the Bole/Bamboi Constituency are customer service connections. Installation of meters would therefore, commence before the end of the year following the parliamentary ratification of the credit facility. It is expected that the customer-service connections in the constituency would be completed by the 1st quarter of 20l2.

Speaker
Mr Saaka

Madam Speaker, in his Answer, the Hon Deputy Minister has admitted that the main problem is customer-service connections and installation of meters. But the completion of these depends on this US$162 million. Madam Speaker, I" would want to find out from the Hon Deputy Minister, what would happen if this loan delays. Does that mean that there will be no connection or inauguration of these projects‘?

Speaker
Mr Buah

Madam Speaker, the issue of ensuring that customer-service connections and meters across the country for communities like B ole/Bamboi is a really serious one and that is why the Ministry sent this proposal to Cabinet. That is why it received massive approval in Cabinet. I am very confident that once

Speaker
Mr Buah

Speaker
Madam Speaker

Yes, is it a third question?

Speaker
Mr Saaka

Madam Speaker, I would want to find out from the Hon Deputy Minister, that in some deprived communities in this Country, which are hooked to the national electrification grid, they are charged flat rates every month. Is it possible that in the Bole/Bamboi Constituency, those areas that have had those connections and are only Waiting for meters and Customer-service connection can be hooked and charged flat rates until the meters are available?

Speaker
Mr Buah

Madam Speaker, I am sure this is a matter that would have to be discussed thoroughly, looking at the circumstances and discussions with ECG as well. So, I would be happy to take this matter further up with ECG and others involved and I would not be able to make that decision here. But I would be happy to work with the Hon Member to address this matter.

Speaker
Mr David T.Assumeng

Madam Speaker as part of the better Ghana Agenda of the Government, many communities have been provided with electrification connections; many, many communities including my area. I would want to find out from the Hon Deputy Minister, whether he would factor meters into these loan agreements. Because meters as of now are the major problems of all the communities. Just as I said, as part of the better Ghana Agenda,‘ many communities have been connected. [Hear! Hear!] So what is he doing practically - [Interruption]

Speaker
Madam Speaker

Order! Order!

Speaker
Mr Assumeng

What is he doing practically to connect these communities with the meters‘?

Speaker
Mr Buah

Madam Speaker, indeed, ensuring that the entire country has access to electricity is a very important priority of the Ministry and of Government. That is why we have been very aggressive in working to ensure that We would address issues of accessibility and also to ensure communities that do not have meters, we are doing everything to make sure they have. Madam Speaker, it is important that once We get to a community to ensure that they have access, that we complete the project including making sure that the customer-service connections have been completed and that is What the Ministry of Energy is focusing on. And in going forth, we are ensuring that, that is what happens. So that the issue of shortages of meters and the Wait for communities for just customer-service connections would be a thing of the past. We are trying to address that.

Speaker
Mr Charles S. Hodogbey

Madam Speaker, the CWP is a project covering the entire country, including my own constituency, North Tongu. I would want to know from the Hon Minister, if he is saying the US$ 1.62 million would cover the projects which have not been completed over the entire country.

Speaker
Madam Speaker

Did you get the question, Honourable‘? Yes, all right

Speaker
Mr Buah

Madam Speaker, the reference to US$162 million from CWP is different from the other projects that have been executed by CWP, CWP has executed different projects, including US$90 million which the Hon Member was

Speaker
Mr Buah

Speaker
Prof. (Emeritus) Samuel K. Amoako

Madam Speaker, the issue of meter installation is of concern to everybody in this country. In the Hon Deputy Minister's Answer, next to the last line, he talks about installation of meters which would would commence before the end of the year. I would want to know from the Hon Deputy Minister, the policy on meter installation by the ECG; are they supposed to be free or customers have to pay for meters to be installed in their premises?

Speaker
Mr Buah

Madam Speaker, the policy is that under the Rural Electrification Project, if a community is hooked to the national electricity grid, the Ministry of Energy, as part of the turnkey project, is supposed to connect these communities. In that sense, those meters are supposed to be free. Yes, but that is why it is important that the communities, as you know, during the period of electrification, those communities also have a role to play and ensure that they have done their wiring in their own homes, so that they are ready to receive the meters. Often, those communities are not ready when the service connections are due to be done and as a result, they are not in a position to receive those meters. The policy is that, after 18 months, if you are not ready to have those customer service connections, then you are on your own. Then you are supposed to actually buy the meters at the commercial rate. That is what normally happens. So if you are able to get your connections ready, then within the connection period, the Ministry of Energy would connect your community. But if you are not able to do that and the grace period, which is normally about 18 months is over, then ECG would connect your household and you Would. pay at the commercial rate. 10.52 A.M. _

MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER

Speaker
Prof. (Emeritus) Amoako

Mr Speaker, if I may have a follow-up question. I had an installation in a project in my constituency. This was done within one month and I was charged GH¢80.00. Is the Hon Deputy Minister saying that is illegal‘?

Speaker
Mr Buah

Mr Speaker, let me correct myself. Actually, the single phase, during the rural electrification period, is GH¢O.58; three phase is GH¢1.15. That is all that you are expected to pay. If you paid GH¢80.00 within the one month period, they are charging you too much and you have the right not to pay that. The official amount within the period, single phase is GH¢O.58, three phase is GH¢1.15. I have personally seen communities paying GH¢10.00 and I have gone to those communities to say that this is the rate. The communities themselves have said that we have seen what this communities are doing, and we are taking GH¢5.00 as assembly members to cook for the workers. That is not something that is officially sanctioned; that is an arrangement that the community has decided. So we have strongly said that this is the official rate. Within the period, you are only expected for a single phase, to pay GH¢O.58 and for three phase, GH¢l. 15 and that is all every Ghanaian is expected to pay.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, I would take a last one and then We move on.

Speaker
Mr Kofi Frimpong

Mr Speaker, if I heard the Hon Deputy Minister right, customers have a grace period of 18 months without paying commercial rates or anything at all. Mr Speaker, I have a community in my constituency, Adansi to be precise. The people wired their houses before electricity was sent there and for the past two years they have not been supplied with meters. Does it mean that they are also going to pay commercial rates before they are supplied with the meters?

Speaker
Mr Buah

Mr Speaker, that is a very good point. The reason the Ministry of Energy has sent this credit facility of US$162 million is exactly because of communities like yours. There are communities that we concede have Waited longer than the grace period and those communities will not be expected to pay the commercial rates when we get the meters to them. And so they would be expected to pay the GH¢0.58 for single phase and GH¢1.15 for three phases once we get the meters. As soon as we get the meters-- as soon as the funds are approved. , - Several Hon Members -rose --

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, let us move to the next Question. Hon Minority Chief Whip, if you want, then I have to call the Hon Member for Sunyani West, and then again, we prolong the Whole process. I have announced that Hon Kofi Frimpong was going to be the last Member, then we move on to that. Hon Members, the next Question, Question 1048. Is that correct? Electricity to communities in the Atiwa Constituency (Extension) Q. 1048. Mr Kwasi Amoako-Attah asked the Deputy Minister for Energy What plans the Ministy had to connect Akutuase, Awurensua, Kadewaso, Tiawia and Subriso in the Atiwa Constituency to the national electricity grid.

Speaker
Mr Emmanuel A. K. Buah

Mr Speaker, Akutuase, Awurensua, Kadewaso and Subriso form part of the on going SHEP-4 project being carried out by the Ministry. Installation Works for high voltage (HV) networks construction at Akutuase and Awurensua are 100 per cent complete. Those of Kadewaso and Subriso are 80 per cent complete. - The status of low voltage (LV) installation Works are 100 per cent complete at Akutuase; 90 per cent complete at Awurensua; 80 per cent complete at Kadewaso; and 90 per cent complete at Subriso. Substation (SS) works are 45 per cent complete each at Akutuase, Awurensua and Kadewaso. It is expected that the project at Akutuase, Awurensua, Kadewaso and Subriso would be completed by the first quarter of 2012. Tiawia has not been listed under any of the ongoing projects being undertaken by the Ministry of Energy. The community would be considered in subsequent phases of the electrification programme in line with the implementation schedule and the availability of funds. '

Speaker
Mr Amoako-Attah

Mr Speaker, I thank the Hon Deputy Minister most sincerely for the Answer. Except that I am very surprised about the second paragraph of his Answer as captured on page 20 of the Order Paper. Mr Speaker, with your permission, I may read:

Speaker
Mr Amoako-Attah

Speaker
Mr Buah

Mr Speaker, I would not doubt the Hon Member who is really on the ground at all. I stand corrected if this information is not correct; but this is the information that the team which went to do the research has provided. And I would be happy to really get to the bottom of this, and make sure that if there is any inconsistency in the Answer, it is corrected for the record.

Speaker
Mr Amoako-Attah

Mr Speaker, once again, I thank the Hon Deputy Minister for his frankness. Mr Speaker, in his Answer again, he has informed this Honourable House that there is a substation work going on, which is at the moment 45 per cent complete. So far as I am aware, I have not seen any construction of any substation in my constituency and in particular that area - and I am on top of my constituency. Can the Hon Deputy Minister tell me where the substation is sited and where it is taking place?

Speaker
Mr Buah

Mr Speaker, the record we have at the Ministry of Energy is that sub- station work has started; it is about 45 per cent complete. This is an ongoing project and I am not very sure that in this particular case, the Hon Member's information that there is no substation is correct. But it is something that I would check on. But I am very sure that the substation work is being undertaken and I think what I can also add is that, I would facilitate it to ensure that that substation is completed, so that the community can enjoy

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Deputy Minister, the question is, "Where is it located?" Well, that is the question of the Hon Member.

Speaker
Mr Buah

Mr Speaker, I would be happy to check and find out the exact location of this substation and communicate that to this Honourable House. Thank you.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, your last supplementary question.

Speaker
Mr Amoako-Attah

Mr Speaker, once again, I would Want to find out from the Hon Deputy Minister, all the five communities mentioned have been provided with transformers. It means that the Work has reached an advanced stage. Can he be specific when these communities would be connected to the national grid?

Speaker
Mr Buah

Mr Speaker, in my Answer, I stated that all of these works would be completed by the first quarter of 2012 and we Would make sure we work to complete them by that time.

Speaker
Dr Matthew O. Prempeh

rose

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, next Question. Yes, this is constituency-specific but I will allow you if you have a supplementary question.

Speaker
Dr Prempeh

Mr Speaker I would want to draw the Hon Deputy Minister's attention that, is he really sure that the answers he is providing this House are the truth on the ground?

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

"Hon Member, he has responded to that Question, he says he is going to cross- check and get the Hon Member -

Speaker
Dr Prempeh

Mr Speaker, I can understand your statement. I would want the Hon Deputy Minister to assure this House that he is personally going to constitute a team to go and do this check.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

That is another question; it is allowed; Hon Deputy Minister.

Speaker
Mr Buah

Mr Speaker, let me state for the records that the Ministry of Energy and my Honourable self would not intentionally mislead this House. We would not provide any wrong information at all. If we provide any information, we provide it because we honestly believe this is the correct information and anytime an issue is raised that questions the information - we would do everything to make sure that we find out the true information and make sure that we provide it to this Honourable House.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Deputy Minister, the question is than are you giving an assurance to this House, that you would compose a team to go and assess the situation on the ground?

Speaker
Mr Buah

Mr Speaker, I think I have already stated that but let me state it again. I will compose a team and I will make sure that we find the facts and the right information for the Hon Member in this House. 11.15 am . Cost of Tema -Accra Motorway street Light project and steps to make the street lights function . Q. 1079. Mr Alfred Kwame Agbesi asked the Deputy Minister for Energy the total cost of the street light project carried out along the Tema-Accra Motorway and what steps had been taken to make the street lights functional.

Speaker
Mr Emmanuel A. K. Buah

Mr Speaker, the total cost of the construction of the street lights on the Accra-Tema Motorway was GH¢ 1,832,450.21 (one million, ‘eight hundred and thirty-two thousand, four hundred and fifty Ghana cedis, twenty, one pesewas). The contract was signed on 31st October, 2005 between the Electricity Company of Ghana (on behalf of the Ministry of Energy) and All Alfra Electric Company Limited. The total distance covered was 2O.1 kilometres with 759 poles. The duration of the contract was 18 months after advance payment to the contractor. The project was not completed due mainly to theft of the underground cables and as a result, the Ministry is currently applying a new method to ensure that the cables are much more secured than previously. The old network is therefore, being replaced with new ones. Installation works commenced on 10th November, 2011.

Speaker
Mr Emmanuel A. K. Buah

Speaker
Mr Agbesi

Mr Speaker, the Tema- Accra Motorway is one of the important landmark projects led by Dr Kwame Nkrumah Mr Speaker, at the moment, the whole street light had been removed from the Motorway. Mr Speaker, the Motorway is in darkness. I would want to know from the Hon Deputy Minister, within these eight weeks that he says the work would be completed, what measures would be taken to light the place because the road itself is in bad shape; street lights are not functioning; the place is not secured. What steps would the Ministry take to secure the place for the pedestrians until the eight weeks is completed?

Speaker
Mr Buah

Mr Speaker, it is very sad to inform this House, as I stated earlier that this very beautiful project could not be completed because almost 30 kilometres of cables were stolen by thieves. We had about almost 130 poles that had been basically knocked down because of the incompletion and as a result, this project was stalled and that contributed to the description that the Hon Member has really just made. But I am happy to inform this Honourable House that we have noted the importance of ensuring that the Tema Motorway is lighted and as a result, the project has started. It started just yesterday and we have been assured by the contractor that in eight weeks, it will be lighted and that, they have taken steps in this new design to ensure that thieves cannot take out the cables the way they did with the first project

Speaker
Mr Agbesi

Mr Speaker, my concern is between now and when the project would be completed. Christmas is just around the corner.' A lot of people would be coming to Accra and Tema for the celebration and what assurance will the Hon Deputy Minister give that in the meantime, our nights will be safe; driving along the Motorway in the night, what will happen, particularly when accidents do happen rampantly on that segment of the road? What is the Hon Deputy Minister going to do in the meantime for us to be secured during the coming Christmas? That is my concern.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Deputy Minister, so far as the question relates to the lights on the Motorway -

Speaker
Mr Buah

Mr Speaker, the first thing is that the whole. project will be completed in eight Weeks but we are doing it in phases. So as soon as they finish with one phase, it will be turned on until they complete it. But in terms of security, we are liaising with the Ministry of Roads and Highways. We are also liaising with the Minister for the Interior to ensure that there is security during this period.

Speaker
Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah

Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minister for Energy says that the total distance of the original project was 20.1 kilometres. But then he also says that about 30 kilometres length of cables was stolen. I would want him to reconcile that. Because if the total length of the project is 20.1 kilometres, how come 30 kilometres worth of cables were stolen? But that notwithstanding, my main question is --

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, you can only ask one supplementary question at a time. So you ask the second one and then I will ask you which one you want him to answer.

Speaker
Mr Awuah

Mr Speaker, the contract was originally awarded to All Alfra Electric Company Limited and we are told that the project could not be completed due to theft, which means that, it was not due to the inability of the contractor that the project could not be completed. But then We are also told here that the project is now being executed by Elsewedy Electric (Gh) Limited. I would want to know what has happened to the original contractor, whether the contract has been terminated.

Speaker
Mr Buah

Mr Speaker, when I made reference to 3_0 kilometres of cables, I was making reference to not just that strip of the Motorway but the surrounding areas. According to the Ministry of Energy, the cables actually have been taken out of those street lights along this stretch. So it was more than the Motorway that I was making reference to. Let me correct that. Mr Speaker, yes, I made reference to Elsewedy Electric (Gh) Limited and let me say that the first contract by All Alfra has been terminated. It was negotiated; there was a long- standing dispute and that had to be resolved between the Ministry of Roads and Highway, Ministry of Energy and All Alfra. This is because the company initially was really making claim that they were not liable for theft and I think those issues have been resolved and the contract has been terminated. The poles and the old materials have been retrieved; they will be deployed in other locations and we are fortunate that we are using the contingency materials left from the regional capitals, street lighting project from Elsewedy Eletric (Gh) Limited to complete that stretch as well.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, I am suspending the Questions at this stage for a Statement to be read. We are supposed to read that Statement on the 11th hour. We are twenty-one minutes after eleven by the Speaker's watch. I call on Hon Alhaji Surnani Abukari Sumani to make the Statement.

[Resumption of Questions at column

STATEMENTS

Speaker
Alhaji Sumani Abukari (NDC -- Tamale North)

Mr Speaker, Veterans Day is an annual holiday I honouring militarily veterans. It 1S observed on November l . It is also celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the World November 11 marks the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. Mayor hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 19l8 with the German signing of the Armistice. U.S. President the late Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed an Armistice_Day for November 11th, 1919. In proclaiming the holiday, he said : "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day Will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's_service and -with gratitude for the victory, both because of the from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to sow her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations." The United States Congress passed a concurrent resolution seven gears later on June 4, 1926, requesting at President Calvin Coolidge issued another proclamation to observe November 11 with appropriate ceremonies. An Act (52 Stat 35 1; . . Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday. "a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice

Speaker
Alhaji Sumani Abukari (NDC -- Tamale North)

The Emporia Chamber of Commerce took up the cause after determining that 90 per cent of Emporia merchants as well as the Board of Education supported closing their doors on November' 11 to honour all veterans. With the help o_fU.S. Representative John Salper, also from Emporia, a Bill for the holiday was pushed through Congress. President Dwight Eisenhower signed it into law on May 26, 1954. Congress amended this Act on June 1, 1954, replacing "Armistice" with "Veterans", and it has been known as "Veterans Day" since. _ Although originally scheduled for celebration on November 11 of every year, in 1971, in accordance with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday of October. In 197 8, it was moved back to its original celebration on November 11. Mr Speaker, many people mistakenly believe that Veterans Day is the day set aside to honour military personnel who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained from combats. That is not quite time. Memorial Day is the day set aside to honour the dead. Veterans Day, on the other hand, honours ALL veterans, both living and dead. In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LMNG veterans for dedicated and loyal service to their country. November 11 of each year is the day that we ensure veterans know that We deeply appreciate the sacrifices they have made in their lives to keep our country free- To commemorate the ending of the "Great War" (World War I), an "unknown soldier" was buried in the highest place of honour in both England and Finance (in England, Westminster Abbey; in France, the Arc de Triomphe). These ceremonies took place on November 11, celebrating the ending of World War I hostilities at 11 a.m., November 1 1, 1918 (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month). This day became known internationally as "Armistice Day" In America, at exactly 11 a.m., each November 11, a colour guard, made up of members from each of the military branches, renders honours to America's war dead during a heart-moving ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery. The President or his representative places a wreath at the Tomb and a bugler sounds Taps. The balance of the ceremony, including a "Parade of Flags" by numerous veterans' service organisations, takes place inside the Memorial Amphitheater, adjacent to the tomb. Such celebrations provide excellent examples for other communities to follow. As we honour our veterans for their loyal and dedicated service, we send a word to our youth that our country Ghana is worth dying for. . Mr Speaker, we cannot celebrate Veterans Day without looking at the current conditions of our surviving veterans. The VAG Bill is currently before this august House and it is our intention that we pass this Bill into law before the House rises for the December recess. Mr Speaker, the purpose of this Bill is to revise and amend the law relating to military veterans and create a governing body vested with the authority to seek and protect their welfare. In 1960, the Ghana LegionAct was enacted to acknowledge the immense contribution of military veterans to the country's political emancipation and to world peace through the United Nations.

Speaker
Alhaji Sumani Abukari (NDC -- Tamale North)

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Major DerekY. Oduro (retd), Nkoranza North.

Speaker
Alhaji Abukari

Mr Speaker, we have not finished. I made a request for us to stand for a minute's silence.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, we are making a Statement - we have not completed the Statement.

Speaker
Alhaji Abukari

MI Speaker, we salute our veterans- long live the Veterans Associations worldwide and long live mother Ghana. Thank you, Commemoration of Our Heroes, Mr Speaker. Commemoration of Our Heroes . Maj. DerekYaw Oduro (retd) (NPP- Nkorawza North): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to make this Statement to mark the commemoration of the ex-service men and Women and other civilians in Ghana who fought in various wars. I cannot make this Statement without reference to the old adage that a nation that does not honour her heroes is not worth dying for. in this regard, the ceremony that is also known as the "Poppy Day" or the "Veterans Day" is observed on November 11 to commemorate the sacrifices of members of the Armed Forces and civilians in times of war specifically since the World War 1. The day is observed on every November 11 to recall the end of World War 1. On that date in 1918, major hostilities of World War 1 formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of l9l8 with the signing of the Armistices. Mr Speaker, it is important, at this juncture, to state that the day should not only be a remembrance day for those who lo 1st their lives during the First World War, but also a day that recognises our service men, women and civilians still alive and those who have lost their lives during peacekeeping operations in Liberia, Sierra Leone, la Cote d'Ivoire, Somalia, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, Lebanon, Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia and in many other places around the world. Mr Speaker, I take this opportunity to salute all veterans, retired officers, men and women as well as the gallant soldiers of the Armed Forces. Mr Speaker, the ‘contribution of Ghanaian troops during conflicts cannot be overemphasised. Ghanaian security agencies have exhibited high professionalism.and discipline in the discharge of their duties, particularly on peacekeeping missions and have as a result, won the country high international recognition over the years. For instance, Ghanaian soldiers contributed immensely to the UN, AU and ECOWAS peacekeeping operations and have been commended internationally. Ghana's role in peacekeeping dates back to the then Gold Coast, where her illustrious sons were sent overseas to participate in various wars and some lost their lives. Today, many countries recognise the day not only for the sacrifices of those who fell in the two World Wars, but also for those who have died in the subsequent conflicts Around the world, including those who .Were deployed on peacekeeping duties. Mr Speaker, the heroes built their inspirations from Christ who laid his life to save mankind. The significance of the Remembrance Day is that these servicemen and women, and civilians sacrificed their lives for world peace during the World Wars. Mr Speaker, ex-servicemen are full of experiences in terms of peacekeeping and it is worthy to share these with the serving security agencies towards bringing a lasting peace to areas engulfed in Wars or conflict. Mr Speaker, the high sense of professionalism of the ex-servicemen is not only limited to the peacekeeping. Our ex- servicemen have been exhibiting their professional work in diverse ways. They recently epitomised this professionalism in Ghana when a. section of the retired military and police officers who were medical doctors heeded to the call of the President of this land to attend to patients at Military and Police Hospitals following the almost three weeks strike by the medical doctors in State hospitals. For this, I think, the retired medical officers deserve commendation. Mr Speaker, the Veterans Administration Bill is before the august House for its passage into law. Permit me, Mr Speaker, once again, to congratulate all the stakeholders who made it possible for this Bill to get to this stage. Let me also express my appreciation and thanks to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Defence and Interior, of which I am a member, for its contribution with regard to this Bill. My contacts with my colleague, retired veterans reveal that there is one salient clause in the Bill they are happy about, and it is the law that makes it mandatory for every or all retired service personnel to belong to VAG Administration. In other words, VAG is no more going to be a voluntary association. The implication, Mr Speaker, is that, Government is going to seriously cater for the welfare needs of the veterans. Mr Speaker, I will be remiss if I did not touch on the finances of VAG Despite the fact that it gets some subvention, VAG still needs substantial injection of financing. Mr Speaker, the VAG West Raffle, which is now defunct, used to support the VA_G's Administration, but as you well know, the. National Lottery Bill has come to abrogate it - If you recall , Mr Speaker, the late Finance Minister, Hon Kwadwo Baah Wiredu (may his soul rest in peace) came to an agreement with the Lotteries Authority to run a special raffle for the benefit of charitable organisations including VAG: This promise, Mr Speaker, has not up to date been fulfilled Veterans do not forget promises. May L on this occasion, call the attention of the Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning or remind him to take steps to bring this promise to fruition for the benefit of VAG Finally Mr Speaker, it is my prayer that God would touch the hearts of the count1y's leaders to work diligently towards the promotion of peace and development as the contribution of these soldiers and civilians depicted discipline, hard work, good moral standards and other virtues for development and progress of society. Mr Speaker, once again I thank you for this opportunity.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, I will take one comment each on the Statement. I know it is special but there are serious challenges. Leadership, do you want to comment? If not, I will take one each because we have serious challenges now.

Speaker
Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah (NPP - Afigya-Sekyere)

Mr Speaker, I think we must thank the Hon Members who have made the Statements. The Veterans Day or Remembrance Day, takes its origins from the end of World War I. As have been said, Mr Speaker, on the eleventh hour, on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the year 1918, the Germans finally signed the Armistices and that signified the end of hostilities of World War I. Today, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh month of the year 2011, this must have its own significance. Indeed, the eleventh of November, is set aside, so that we will remember the brave allied soldiers and their families for their sacrifice not only for their countries, Mr Speaker, but for the world at large; Today, the Americans are celebrating it with pomp and I must "add -- Britain, France, Australia, Canada and indeed, all the Commonwealth countries will observe two minutes of silence today to signify the -

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Is it one minute or two minutes?

Speaker
Mr Kan-Dapaah

It is two minutes.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

The Chairman of the Defence Committee says one minute - the former Defence Minister says two minutes.

Speaker
Mr Kan-Dapaah

It is two minutes, Mr Speaker, as my memory goes.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well.

Speaker
Mr Kan-Dapaah

I think, Mr Speaker, today, as we celebrate Remembrance Day (Veterans Day), we remember our heroes who died in the two World Wars. We also recognise the sacrifices of those who fought for global peace. The world that we have today is very much because of the sacrifices that they made. But above all, Mr Speaker, we must also recognise the contribution to the economic development of this country by

Speaker
Mr Kan-Dapaah

Speaker
Mr Alfred K. Agbesi (NDC - Ashaiman)

Mr Speaker, I rise to join my Colleagues in commenting on these Statements, which had been made by two Hon Members of this House. And I thank them very much for bringing these Statements to the House. Mr Speaker, today is the celebration of the Veterans' Day and I would Want to recognise three Members of this House who are veterans. Mr Speaker, I recognise the Hon Member who made the second contribution Hon Maj. Derek Y. Oduro (retd), Capt G K. Nfojo (retd), Member of Parliament for Ho Central and Maj. (Dr) (Alhaji), Mustapha Ahmed (retd), who is the Member of Parliament for Ayawaso West. Mr Speaker - _

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, are you sure of the name of the constituency that he represents? The constituency is Ayawaso East.

Speaker
Mr Agbesi

Mr Speaker, I thank you for the correction. Maj. Derek Y. Oduro (retd): Mr Speaker, I only want to express my appreciation and thanks to the Hon Member on the floor.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, were you in Congo? Maj. Oduro (retd): Yes, Mr Speaker.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well.

Speaker
Mr Kwaku Agyernan-Mann

Mr Speaker, on a point of order. Mr Speaker, my Colleague who looks like me is speaking some language - he is getting me confused. He is talking about a "company commander". What company did he command?

Speaker
Mr Agbesi

Mr Speaker, those who did not go to the military would not know about "company". [Interruptions.] In the military, we have companies which they lead and Hon Maj. Oduro (retd) led a "company" to those places- that is what I am referring to, not a limited liability company -- a "company" in the military. [Laughter] Mr Speaker, that is just by the way. I am recognising their contribution- and in fact, I nearly forgot Hon Sumani Abukari, an old military officer who also served and today, he is serving this Parliament and Ghana. I think that we have to commend them very much for all that they have done--

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member for Ashaiman, I have been associated with Hon Sumani Abukari before he entered Parliament but I do not know that background. Is it true, Hon Member?

Speaker
Alhaji Sumani Abukari

Mr Speaker, the nearest I went to the Army was a cadet corps in my school. That was the nearest. [Laughter]

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member for Ashaiman, you must be factually correct. These things are going into the Hansard, so you must be factually correct.

Speaker
Mr Abesi

Mr Speaker, once he has corrected me that he never served, I take it on board. But Mr Speaker, I have to commend myself because I also served six weeks in the military. So I am also a veteran. [Laughter] . Mr Speaker, my concern mostly is the welfare of the veterans who are alive to day. Once we give recognition to those who are dead, those who are alive to day, we need to do something for them to be recognised. For instance, as the Statement said, some of them have experience in the medical field and recently, some of them were called upon to go and serve when doctors were on strike. Mr Speaker, we can extend that service more to the people. Mr Speaker, some of them are even good in accounting and our District Assemblies which need personnel to strengthen their accounting departments, we can recruit some of these people to the Assemblies to bring them up. Mr Speaker, above all, some of them, as of today, are not very active as they were before and we need to look at what we should do to them before maybe, their final days on earth. We V can form companies, we can import buses and give to these people to run, so that they can make little money for themselves. Mr Speaker, we need to take care of those who started life for this country. We are aware that Sgt. Adjetey, Corporal Attipoe and others stood up to give us direction. Politically and military wise, they did a lot for this country. What do we give in recognition of these people? We need to know that while we are mentioning their names -- those who are dead -- there are some of them who are alive and we need to take care of them. With these few words, Mr Speaker, I support the Statements and I urge all of us to give recognition to our veterans.

Speaker
Mr Joseph B. Aidoo

rose

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, we are running against time, so - Hon Members, may we stand to observe a minute's silence in honour of the veterans. [One minute is silence was accordingly observed in honour of the veterans] May their souls and the souls of the departed rest in perfect peace. Several Hon Members: Amen!

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, there is another Statement but we may have to defer it to Tuesday. This is because of the delegation from China; we have to leave here by 12.15 p.m. So what we will quickly do now is to proceed with the Questions. After that, we lay the Papers and then we adjourn for the day. - Hon Members, we were on Question number 1079. If there is no supplementary question, then we move to the last one.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS

Speaker
Mr Agbesi

Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minister's Answer shows that before rainfall, one of the factors causing the outages is overage equipment, which usually breakdown in the event of the slightest disturbance. These outages have been going on for years. Indeed, before I came of age, we had been experiencing this and if the Hon Deputy Minister says that one of the factors is overage equipment, what steps has the Ministry taken over these years to correct this anomaly?

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

The answer is their - replacement of aging network.

Speaker
Mr Agbesi

Mr Speaker, it said, "Replacement of aging network," and my point is that, it is not a recent event It has been happening for years. If they have been replacing -

Speaker
Mr Buah

Mr Speaker, as I stated, we continue to Work very hard and we are working with ECG to try to ensure that there is replacement of the ageing equipment. It is a fact that a lot of the network and a lot of equipment that we have, some of them with about 25 years lifespan, are now in their 40 years and those are some of the equipment that I, made reference to. We are doing a lot to try to replace these equipment to minimise some of these power outages.

Speaker
Mr Agbesi

Mr Speaker, according to the Hon Deputy Minister, public education on pruning of trees, reporting of cases of vandalism of ECG network - public education -- I would want to know from the Hon Deputy Minister whether the Ministry has organised public education for the citizens to know about these actions which are causing these power outages.

Speaker
Mr Buah

Mr Speaker, I know that there is a very active ongoing programme by ECG and the Northern Electricity Department (NTBD) about this very point that has been raised and to try to ensure that the public is aware of our own activities that also cause power outages. This is ongoing.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, that brings us to the end of Question time. Hon Deputy Minister, we are very grateful to you for attending upon the House to respond to Questions from Hon Members. Hon Members, we now move to the Commencement of Public Business - Presentation of Papers by the Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, item 6(a) on the Order Paper.

Speaker
Alhaji Pelpuo

Mr Speaker, as usual, the Hon" Minister for Finance and Economic Planning has indicated to us that he is seriously engaged. As a result, we wish to ask permission for the Hon Minister for Health to lay the Papers on his behalf I am craving the indulgence of the Minority to consent to this. Mr Speaker, I so request your permission-

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, ordinarily, I would not have any problem with that. But when the Hon Deputy Majority Leader decides to tell us the reason for his absence, and he just says that he is "seriously engaged", perhaps, one would want to know what kind of serious engagement that supersedes the business in this House. But given the indication that you have given us that we are short for time, I would not want to pry into that. He knows that he owes it as a duty to have told us. But I would not go on that path.‘ We would indulge the Hon Minister for Health.

PAPERS

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, before I lay the item 6 (b), I wish to, with the approval of this House, withdraw a Paper similarly laid on the 20th of July, 2011. There were some inaccuracies in some of the figures and this is why it has come back. So with the indulgence of the House, if that one can be considered withdrawn.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well, that Paper laid on 20th July, 2011 is duly Withdrawn and the referral to the joint Committee on Finance, Mines and Energy is equally withdrawn. By the Minister for Health (Mr Joseph X Chireh) on behalf of the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning - Credit Facility/Agreement between r the Government of Ghana and the Citibank N.A. South Africa for an amount of one hundred and three million United States dollars (US$l03,000,000.00) for the financing of the National Electrification Scheme (Upper East Electrification Project).

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, I thought the indication that I had from the Hon Minister was for the withdrawal of the one that was laid and if the application is granted, then he will lay this. This is because he called for it that before he does it, he wanted to do it. So we were waiting for the outcome of ---

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

I did that. But the Hon Member for Manhyia was disturbing you.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Then he rose and bowed.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

No. When he made his statement, I withdrew the referral - Paper withdrawn and the referral to the joint Committee consequentially withdrawn before he bowed. His opening statement was that, before he laid, he would want to make a statement. Based on the statement he made, I withdrew and then withdrew the referral from the Committee. So he has now laid this one which I am now referring to the joint Committee for consideration and report to the House. I think that you were looking more at your friend the Hon Minister for Health instead of looking at me. -

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, the problem that I have with this Paper - I think it may have been wrongly captured but I have a problem with it. The Paper indicate to us that the "Credit Agreement is to finance National Electrification Scheme". But Mr Speaker, clearly, this is not to finance a "National Electrification Scheme". We are talking about the financing of projects by the Scheme, we are not financing the National Electrification Scheme. So maybe, if it could be sanitised, then we could do the proper thing. As it stands, What the Hon Minister who otherwise, is very meticulous is doing, is introducing to us that there is a facility to finance the National Electrification Scheme. But that is not the purport of the Paper that he has laid

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

You are drawing a fine distinction between scheme and project. What is the difference?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, I know you know the difference. [ Laughter: ] There is a world of difference between proposing to us that we should finance the Scheme and financing projects which are specific parts of the Scheme.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

One is like a policy and -the other is a project itself.

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Absolutely.

Speaker
Mr Chireh

Mr Speaker, you can see that most of these Agreements talk about National Electrification Scheme. But you can see there is a bracket - Upper East. So I agree with him that it is to finance projects in the Upper East Region in the whole policy of National Electrification Grid, so that it is specified what the projects are and where the projects are.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. Referred to the joint Finance Committee and Mines and Energy.

Speaker
Alhaji Pelpuo

Mr Speaker, I would Wish to request that we take the Third Reading of the two Bills; 7 and 8 and then we will proceed.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. Once there will not be any controversy about it, we can take them. Hon Minister for Health, item 7 on the Order Paper.

Speaker
Alhaji Muntaka

Mr Speaker, I come under Standing Order l3 O; we would want to make a very short amendment.

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very Well, that is what I was trying to avoid. Hon Members, I told, you we have a delegation with us and we must do -- very short.

Speaker
Alhaji Muntaka

Speaker, it is with respect to the Short Title.

Speaker
Alhaji Muntaka

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Member, now move your amendment.

BILLS --SECOND CONSIDERATION STAGE

Speaker
Chairman of the Committee (Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarack Muntaka)

Mr Speaker,-I beg to move, Short Title, before the "Health" we should put "Specialist". The reason is that, if we leave it the way it is -- Health Training and Research Bill -- it talks generally about health but this Bill is specifically for specialist training. So we would want to just qualify it by placing "Specialist" in front of "Health" so that the new rendition for the Short Title will be; - "Specialist Health Training and Health Bill."

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

MrSpeaker, I agree with the Chairman of the Committee for the amendment which he has moved to insert "Specialist" before "Health"- But I thought that the explanation that he has offered to us affects the use of the word "Research". This is because research is also generic and yet the Bill is concerned with plant medicine. I thought we had the agreement, so We can just qualify - "Specialist Training and Plant Medicine Research Act." This is because it is specific to plant medicine-

Speaker
Alhaji Muntaka

Mr Speaker, the Hon Minority Leader is right. The fear was about the tendency for the Short Title to end up being long, that was why. But we had that discussion and just to qualify the "Research", too, We just put "Specialist Health Training and Plant Medicine Research Bill, 2010". Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. Therefore, Mr Speaker, I further amend the proposed amendment to read: "Specialist Health Training and. . .." --

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Which line of the Long Title? _

Speaker
Alhaji Muntaka

Mr Speaker, after "and" we are inserting "Plant Medicine".

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

All

Speaker
Alhaji Muntaka

So that the Short Title now reads: "Specialist Health Training and Plant Medicine Research Bill, 2010".

Speaker
Mr First -Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, the Short Title, is it a matter for drafting or it is ‘a matter for amendment? Under our Standing Orders, is it one for drafting or one for amendment by the House?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

MrSpeaker, as you know, the direction of the debate and indeed, understanding is that we look at it so that it is owned by the House. You do know that as per the recently crafted Interpretations Act, it lies within the bosom of the House to do this. You could even go -to the Memorandum of Understanding which accompanies it to suggest amendments to the sponsors of the Bill. I think the Chairman is right in making this proposal; we all agreed that that should be the direction; let us just tie it up and then let them do it-

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Very well. Hon Members, under our Standing Orders, we do not, strictly speaking, amend the Short Title, but as my attention has been drawn - I do not have my Interpretation Act here; I do not have reason to doubt what Hon Members are suggesting on the floor. Question put and amendment agreed to. The Short Title as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.

BILLS -- THIRD READING

Speaker
Mr First Deputy Speaker

Hon Members, I think the Hon Member for Amenfi East (Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo) wants us to pass the Renewable Energy Bill through a Second Consideration Stage but time is against us. In view of that we will take that on Tuesday, 15 November, 2011.

Speaker
Alhaji Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo

Mr Speaker, it has been a long day. I suppose that we have done what we could and we have come to a point where we can only request that we adjourn. Mr Speaker, l.beg to move, that the House adjourns till Tuesday, 15th November, 2011 at 10.00 in the forenoon.

Speaker
Alhaji Abdul-Kareem Iddrisu

Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to.

ADJOURNMENT

The House was accordingly adjourned at 12.20 p.m. till Tuesday, 15th November, 2011 at 10.00 a.m.