Debates of 8 Dec 2010

MADAM SPEAKER
PRAYERS

Madam Speaker
Hon Members, Correction of Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 7th December, 2010.
Page 1...9--
Prof. (Emeritus) Samuel K. Amoako
Madam Speaker, page 9, under item 2, (ix), my name is "Samuel Kwadwo Amoako" not "Amoako Kwadwo".
Madam Speaker
All right Thank you for the correction.
Page 10 --
Prof. (Emeritus) Amoako
Madam Speaker, the last name on page 10 -- Mr
Daniel Dzajanu-- " I think the spelling of "Daniel" is wrong.
Madam Speaker
Yes. I have noticed it
Prof. (Emeritus) Amoako
Mr Speaker, with your indulgence, that extends to page 11 (iii) again, the spelling of "Daniel" is wrong - Yes. The name is "Daniel Baffour-Awuah".
Prof. (Emeritus) Amoako
And then (xiv), the spelling of "Samuel" is also wrong.
Madam Speaker
All right. Thank you That was page 11 and we have finished with it.
Page 12...15--
Mr James K.Avedzi
Madam Speaker, the Finance Committee met yesterday to look at the Estimates for Government Machinery but that has not been captured so if the Hansard Department can capture it.
And then also, the Committee on Youth, Sports and Culture met yesterday and that has also not been captured.
Madam Speaker
I think it will be captured. You closed late probably. All right, it is noted.[Pause]
Hon Members, the Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 7th December, 2010 as corrected is adopted as the true record of proceedings.
Hon Members, I think we do not have any Official Report so we quickly move on to --
I have admitted a Statement and it is in the name of Hon Emmanuel K. Bedzrah, Member of Parliament for Ho West.
Hon Members, our time is so limited but We need to take Statements as we go along. So when it is read, can we have one comment each from both sides so that we progress rapidly? Our time for closing finally is so near.
STATEMENTS

Mr Emmanuel K. Bedzrah (NDC -- Ho West)
Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to make a
Mr Emmanuel K. Bedzrah (NDC -- Ho West)
Statement in recognition of an achievement by a 22- year old senior high school graduate turned aircraft technician and pilot, Patricia Mawuli Nyekodzi.
It is a fact that, what men can do, women can do and probably, even better, and to borrow Patricia's own words "I dared to dream and now am flying round Ghana in a plane I built.""
Madam Speaker, we woke up early morning on Monday, 1st November, 2010 to hear on the airwaves about a light aircraft built here in Ghana by a young Ghanaian lady, who was embarking on a cross-country demonstration flight from Monday, 1st to Wednesday, 3rd November, 2010, through some selected cities including Takoradi, Mim, Sunyani, Wa, Tamale, Techiman, Kumasi and Accra.
Indeed, many witnessed this adventure and ingenuity of a Ghanaian daughter, trained here in Ghana, who built the light aircraft (registration no. Niner Golf Zulu Alpha Foxtrot), a 2-seater take-off and landing machine, operating on regular super-grade automotive fuel and flown round without any incident -- refueling only twice on the 2,000 kilometres round trip. This is a great achievement.
My curiosity led me to visit West African Aviation Solution and Providers Services (WAASPS) at the Kpong airfield site, located about 3 kilometres north of Akuse Junction in the Eastern Region, where the aircraft: was reported to have been built under approvals granted by the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority. I was amazed at what I saw; young Ghanaian girls are being tutored in aircraft engineering, flight training, airfield management, et cetera, and they will soon be learning robotic production techniques also.

Madam Speaker, a few days ago, we were informed by the Statistical Services of Ghana that our country had attained a middle income status; this is good news. But then, if we believe in ourselves as a nation and accept this achievement, then the country is poised, ready to produce light aircraft for domestic and international sales, in addition to other economic variables. It will not he too long for Ghana to be counted among the developed nations.

I have learnt from Jonathan Porter, also known as Captain Yaw, a British-born robotics engineer, who has helped to establish the Flying School and Aircraft Engineering Centre, that Patricia came into the company just over three years ago as a labourer, digging out tree stumps. But when she demonstrated her active interest in working on aircraft, the company decided to give her the chance to learn how to fly, build and maintain them.

Today, Madam Speaker, Patricia Mawuli Nyekodzi is the first woman to have obtained Ghana National Pilots Licence and the only woman in the world who has attained the highest ROTAX Aircraft Engines Engineering Certificate. This is an outstanding achievement for a young lady of 22 years, and therefore, must be celebrated.

The well-equipped aircraft engineering workshops at Kpong has the capacity to build 2 and 4-seat air-crafter for a variety of uses, such as flight training, domestic personal flights, basic air-ambulances, humanitarian aviation logistics (such as relief work, supply drops, reaching rural communities with health education and medical personnel), aerial dispersal for agricultural and public health applications, aerial survey and surveillance in the many different industries across our country.

I am appealing to the Government for support, and also to private investors to invest in our light aviation sector, in order
Mr Emmanuel K. Bedzrah (NDC -- Ho West)
to train more people, create job opportunities for our young people and increase our aviation-related aspirations and achievements to boost our local industries, not only in aviation but also in manufacturing and engineering as a whole.
Madam Speaker, speaking to Patricia, her dream is to build an aerobatic aircraft to compete internationally in competitions, and seeing the passion with which she spoke, I can only say she will achieve this feat also when encouraged by this august House and recognized for the achievement.
It is sad to note that many people in this country have achieved a lot, but only few were recognized and some of them were not encouraged. This, Madam Speaker, is defeating the entrepreneurial spirit and creativity among our fellow Ghanaians. By this recognition today, I hope that we can stimulate a new trend in building-up our young people, our national pride and, consequently, our international reputation.
Some media houses, unfortunately, are also not helping matters at all. Bad and negative news sell faster in Ghana than productive ones. This attitude must stop for "A Better Ghana Agenda" to succeed. Patricia Mawuli Nyekodzi's ingenuity was reported the same time as that of Amina Mohammed, but the latter was rather trumpeted over and above the innovation, spirit of adventure and achievements of a 22 year old young Ghanaian lady.
Let us encourage one another with words as well as in practical ways; looking to the bright potential of our future, and building a better Ghana to day.

Thank you, Madam Speaker, for the opportunity.
Madam Speaker
Thank you, Hon Member, thank you very much.
One from each side.
Prof. (Emeritus) Samuel.K. Amoako (NPP--Akim Abuakwa North)
Madam Speaker, I rise to support the Statement made by the Hon Member for Ho West, and in doing so, I would also want to commend Patricia for her achievement.
Indeed, what she has done makes all women proud and I believe that our young women would emulate her example and also aspire to her achievement.
Madam Speaker, I would also want to congratulate the Hon Member who made the Statement, Hon Emmanuel Kwasi Bedzrah, for taking the trouble to go to visit the site where this accomplishment was made and to find out whether it was true that this achievement has taken place.
Madam Speaker, I think I would want to recommend to the Government and also to investors to take the achievements of individuals and institutions in this country very seriously. I would want to cite two examples.
The first individual who has made some inventions and has not been duly recognised and supported is Apostle Kwadwo Sarfo of Christo Asafo. He has built cars, limousines, farm machinery, construction equipment, et cetera. So far, he has not been supported and nobody has given the necessary encouragement for his initiative to be commercialized.
Secondly, Madam Speaker, I would want to cite the Cocoa Research Institute that is located in my constituency. This institution has very renowned engineers and people of very high intellectual capacity. They have invented a lot of
Mrs Akosua F. Osei-Opare (NPP-- Ayawaso West Wuogon)
Madam Speaker, it is very heart-warming to hear about a young lady's scientific technical achievement. Indeed, we have struggled with giving women higher education.
As we have achieved almost gender parity at the basic level, we are yet to achieve any significant increase in women's enrollment in the secondary and tertiary levels. When we hear stories as has been ably articulated by our Hon Member of Parliament from the other side, it is clear that when women are given the opportunity, they can do a lot for this nation. This young woman has achieved something that even in the world, she is being cited as one of the first.
I, therefore, want to appeal to the Hon Minister for Women and Children's Affairs and, fortunately, we have a woman as the

Hon Minister for Environment, Science and Technology - I believe that given their positions and the fact that they are women of achievement, they should get together and come out with a plan that we the Women Caucus even can support. So that we support women such as these who are budding scientists, who are bracing all odds and doing something that most people would have thought was not achievable.

I want to urge all Hon Members of Parliament to begin to look at the women in their constituencies, particularly, those who are brilliant but needy and support them, particularly in the sciences. If we want to move into the middle income group and sustain ourselves there, as the Hon Member of Parliament said, then we would need more scientists and therefore, when women are supported, I know that the little education you give to a woman, you educate a whole nation.

Therefore, we must, as Hon Members of Parliament begin to even set the good example by supporting our women in our constituencies, particularly those who can do science in the universities and polytechnics such that we can begin to demystify this whole "science and technology" thing. This is because when women take over science and technology, the whole nation takes over science and technology.

Therefore, I wish to commend our Hon Colleague for giving this Statement that is an encouragement to women in Ghana; it is an encouragement to young women, and to the nation at large.

I thank you, Madam Speaker, for this opportunity.
Madam Speaker
Thank you, Hon Member. Let us have one more contribution.
Mr Richard Lassey-Agbenyefia(NDC- Keta)
Madam Speaker, I rise to support the Statement made by my Hon Colleague from Ho West.
Madam Speaker, it is interesting to note that the first young lady pilot from Ghana is coming from the Volta Region and I am proud of that. Again, it is interesting to note that this lady is not a tertiary graduate, but a senior high school graduate.
It has been said here and all those who supported the Statement have made it clear that it is time that we supported our women, especially our young ladies to back up in whatever endeavour they are engaged in.
I am particularly glad to also note that she went in as a labourer and came out as a pilot.
Madam Speaker, these are very encouraging times; these are good times because we as Hon Members of Parliament in our constituencies must do all we can to encourage our Women and also create the enabling environment for them to be able to achieve successes like the one we have heard this morning. We would encourage our women in whatever position we are; we hope the Hon Ministers would also hear and do their best to contribute to the women's development of this country.
Madam Speaker, with these few words, I support the Statement by my Hon Colleague.
Thank you.
Dr Matthew O. Prempeh (NPP -- Manhyia)
Madam Speaker, I rise to support the Statement made by my Hon Friend.
Women everywhere must be encouraged, especially so if you look at the humble beginnings of our lady friend

Patricia, who went to the place as a helper to clean the place and has been able to rise to become a pilot.

Madam Speaker, it is no mean feat to be achieved and I thank the operators of the place for helping and guiding such a young girl and giving the necessary mentorship and things to encourage the young woman to flourish.

The only problem is that she is not the first female Ghanaian pilot. There is a female Ghanaian pilot already piloting a commercial aircraft called Citylink in Ghana here, called Tracy Opoku, whose father was a former pilot with Ghana Airways.

We have to identify and make heroes of such ladies and such females for when we talk about gender mainstreaming, it is to recognize these particular little achievements so that Ghana becomes a better place. Then we would know that Ghana, in the comity of nations, do not only honour our men, but honour our females and especially as little as they are, they should brighten the corner and flying the flag of Ghana.
Madam Speaker
Thank you very much for bringing to our notice another lady pilot.
Yes, I think we would conclude comments on the Statement at this stage.
PAPERS

Madam Speaker
Item 4 (b), Chairman of the Committee. Are we laying it?
Mr Avoka
Mr Speaker, the Report on 4 (b) is not yet ready.
Madam Speaker
So we move on to 4 (c) -- Chairman of the Committee --
By the Chairman of the Committee
Report of the Committee on Roads and Transport on the Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Roads and Highways for the year
2011.
Madam Speaker
Item 4 (d) --
Mr David T. Assumeng
Madam Speaker, our Report is not yet ready.
Madam Speaker
All right. We move on to 4 (e) then.
By the Chairman of the Committee --
Report of the Finance Committee on the Annual Budget Estimates of Government Machinery for the year
2011.
By the Chairman of the Committee --
Report of the Committee on Gender and Children on the Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Women and Children's Affair for the year
2011.
By the Chairman of the Committee
Report of the Committee on Communications on the Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Communications for the year 2011.
Madam Speaker
4(h)-- Chairman of the Committee--
Mr Avoka
Mr Speaker, the 4 (h) is deferred, it is not yet ready.
Madam Speaker
We move to item 5. Hon Members, I think the Hon Leaders will tell you how we are strategizing to get this Bill dealt with quickly.
The Chair will be taken by the First Deputy Speaker.
11.42 a.m. -- MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Members, Petroleum Revenue Management Bill, 2010 at the Consideration Stage.[Pause]
Hon Majority Leader --
Mr Avoka
Mr Speaker, we are still doing some one or two consultations.
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Leaders, I think that if you really want us to take this Bill, we should have a full complement of the House and about the full complement of the House, what do you propose to do? The final decision should carry the sense of the House. [Interruption] Yes, there are committee meetings, so, I do not know, if you want us to have that approach.
Some of the Hon Members who have filed the amendments are not even here, so I think that we may have to put our House in order if you want us to continue.
Mr Avoka
Mr Speaker, if we can take some 15 minutes break, then We sensitize committees that are sitting to come because this is of national importance. Even though doing the committee work is useful, I think it is important that we have the full complement of the House at least, so that we can do our work. Some Hon Members are at committee meetings. The Business Committee had indicated that committee work should start after 2 p.m., so that at least, between 10 o'clock and 2
Papa Owusu-Ankomah
Mr Speaker, this is the Consideration Stage; it is debate time. The debate can start while we call Hon Members from committee meetings. My fear is that if we break, it will be difficult to get Hon Members back. So let us start the debate --
Mr First Deputy Speaker
What about allowing --
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
Mr Speaker, I really see your predicament; I understand your predicament. What I may Want to suggest is, let us take the debate. If you like, you could defer putting the Questions. Let us take the debate and then we move on. I really understand your predicament.
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Not even that. I know where you are coming from. The Committee itself as a committee did not take decisions on some of these clauses, so it is the House that has to take decisions. It is different if the Committee had even come to say that there is a majority decision or this is the majority decision and this is the minority decision.
The Committee itself has referred those clauses to this House and we must have a reasonable complement of this House to take those decisions, then it becomes a decision of this House. And that is the Report the Committee has submitted to the House.
Hon Majority Leader, I will suggest that you can let the committees take the Whole day to do the Estimates, so that when we come tomorrow, there will be no committee meetings, for Estimates, then we sit down here and take it.
Mr Avoka
Mr Speaker, I think there is a lot of merit in that suggestion. Maybe, during the break, Leadership together with a few others can even look at the document that the Hon Attorney-General and Minister for Justice has submitted to us. Maybe, it might make some sense into reducing some of the areas of controversy. So if we can spare them the ordeal so that every Hon Member can go to his or her committee and do the Work today, then tomorrow it is Petroleum Revenue Management Bill.
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Let us direct the Whips to whip every Hon Member to come here for us to take decisions on those clauses that the Committee has referred to this House, so that at the end of the day We know that the decision is the decision of the House.
Mr Joe Ghartey
Mr Speaker, I rise just to sound a note of caution.
I know that we will be moving forward in this matter. But Mr Speaker, what worries me and I want to put my worry on record is that, apart from those clauses that the Committee did not take a decision on, there are so many amendments. The Hon Attorney-General and Minister for Justice has worked on some of the amendments; the Minority side, especially the Hon Minority Leader has also about 120 amendments or so.
The danger, and I just want to sound a note of caution -- The danger, in such situations is that you end up getting a Bill, the clauses of which, if you are not careful, contradict each other. Every amendment you make, standing by itself, may make sense but read together with other amendments that other Hon Members make, may not make sense.
One of the reasons they repeal a law instead of amending it is that when amendments pass a certain number
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Member, I agree with you entirely and I think that you cannot express it better than the way you have done. If you ask my opinion on this matter - No! I am not giving an opinion, I think that if we are not very careful, given the - And this is not the first time that you have brought a Bill. We did it for the Mining and Mineral Law; there were so many amendments; it was withdrawn and brought back.
The amendments are so many that when we start to work on them, we must all Sit here from the beginning to the end. An Hon Member comes and moves his amendment and he leaves; another Hon Member does another one and this creates a problem for other amendments. But it is for the House to decide.
Mr Avoka
Mr Speaker, much as I appreciate the sentiments expressed by Hon Joe Ghartey, it is also a fact that this House has had the opportunity to virtually rewrite some Bills in the past; we

have done so. In fact, most recently, the Plant Bill that we did, we virtually rewrote the Bill in Parliament House here. So while appreciating that one, I would want to say by way of compromise that we can take today for winnowing.

In fact, as I have indicated, the Hon Minority Leader is the Chairman of the Committee and a few others. And the documents sent back to us by the Attorney-General's Department - We can put those together plus a few of us and between now and the evening, we might have done the controversial clauses or those grey areas and then tomorrow, we can start with the debate while the rest attend to their committee meetings.

We can do the winnowing today.
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Members, I will suggest - Majority Leader, I would want to plead with you to do more consultation with the Minority side with regard to some of the amendments. We have passed the winnowing stage; we have done winnowing and yet we still have all these clauses. What we need to do really is to do consultation on those clauses that we cannot agree on, then we know that there is no agreement.
The Committee has created problems for the House by not making any recommendation with regard to those clauses. So I will suggest that we deepen the consultation with the Minority side on the controversial clauses. If there is any compromise, fine, if there is no compromise, then we go ahead and take those controversial clauses.
Dr Anthony A. Osei
Mr Speaker, I am sure you have been privy to all the conversations between both sides leading up to this. We tried winnowing, it did not work. The Leadership met and decided that we should debate the controversial clauses and maybe, if we get to vote --
Mr First Deputy Speaker
We have passed the debate, so I do not know where you are getting that principle from. We have finished with the principles. Either the amendments go through at this stage or they do not go through. Where we have reached now, is the amendment stage; we cannot go back to the principles of the Bill.
Dr A. A. Osei
Mr Speaker, I did not say we were going back to the principles. But this was a decision by both sides. You may disagree but as you said, I thought you were going to conclude that in your opinion the proper thing to do was to withdraw it and bring it back. That is what I thought you were leading us to. We have tried all the --
Mr First Deputy Speaker
That one does not lie in my power. I can only make suggestions.
Dr A. A. Osei
Mr Speaker, yes, I thought you were suggesting that, which I support. This is because we will go back and then we will be stuck at the same place and we will be wasting everybody's time. So if we are not going to go by the earlier suggestion, then I think you should lead the House in doing the proper thing, so that all of us can -- [Interruption.]
Mr William O. Boafo
Mr Speaker, I have perused the comments from the Attorney-General's Office. It appears that some of the clauses have been classified as matters of policy. I would have thought that this Bill would go back for the Hon Majority Leader to consult with the Government and, maybe, guide us in the debate on policy issues.
So I want to add my voice to the Hon Member for Tafo that this is a fit and proper case for this Bill to be withdrawn so that when it comes back to the House, we will not have a disjointed discussion or debate on it.
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Members, that is for those who are sponsoring the Bill to decide.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah
Mr Speaker, I believe that many of us who have been here for sometime will concede that this is probably the first time a major Bill from Government does not seem to have some unanimity even within Government itself.
Indeed, in this Bill, Government has turned round or Hon Members of Government have turned round to make arguments contrary to, and if I may say so, subversive of the policy itself. This is what has engendered all those controversies.
We must be frank. And we all agree this Bill is important but with these amendments, knowing the tortuous nature of the Consideration process, I can assure you, Mr Speaker, that we may not be able to complete the Consideration of this Bill.
Hon Members may feel compelled to bring more and more amendments because the Government itself does not seem to be focused on the major areas and that is the problem.
I would have thought that this Bill having gone through Cabinet, if there were major areas relating to policy where arguments were being advanced contrary to Cabinet's position, it is fit and proper for this Bill to be reconsidered.
Mr Speaker, I am not saying this out of disrespect or something but really, in going forward with this Bill, if we are not careful, at the end of the day, we may not arrive at any meaningful decision.
The Hon Majority Leader is talking about winnowing: I was a the meeting where the Hon Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and the Attorney- General's representative and the Statute Law Review Commissioner were present; there was supposed to be winnowing and so forth, we did not make much headway.
Mr First Deputy Speaker
I saw the Deputy Majority Leader on his feet.
Mr Felix Twumasi-Appiah
Mr. Speaker, withdrawal, in my view, is not an option in this case. My Hon Colleague was talking about other members of Government contradicting themselves. Now, the Bill is with us in Parliament. What other Members say outside Parliament, whether they are in Government or not, I do not think it is an issue. They may agree to disagree but the intent of this Bill has been well stated. It is crystal clear and Members have the right as in any other Bill to propose one million amendments if they so wish. So I do not think the

proposed amendments by Hon Members or by Government or by anybody should constitute a matter for us to consider to the extent of saying that we should Withdraw the Bill.

The withdrawal, in my opinion, in this case, is not an option. I want to agree with the Minority that if it is possible, some leeway should be given to both sides, especially the Leadership, including the Ranking Members and then the Chairmen of the Committees to consult themselves and then crystallize these amendments properly for us so that we can consider them in ample time.

Mr Speaker, I want to go with the direction but the Leadership must be given some time to confer among themselves and do some more winnowing so that they can see through the thing very well.
Mr First Deputy Speaker
The last comment on this matter, then I will come to the Leadership.
Alhaji Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo
Mr Speaker, I just want to comment a little on what Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah said, and rightly so that Government's position has shifted but is not subversive of the original position. Policy has shifted and policy shift is translated into the amendment Government itself is seeking in the Bill.
Secondly--
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, has Government filed any amendment?
Alhaji Pelpuo
Mr Speaker, Government has proposed some changes in the Bill and has presented those changes- But Mr
Speaker, I Want to add something --
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, if Government
Alhaji Pelpuo
Mr Speaker, I can say with all authority that the changes that are being sought to the clauses that are controversial are known to Government. I am saying this not because Government has formally Written to Madam Speaker as a result --- [Interruption]
Papa Owusu-Ankomah
Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Majority Leader, with all due respect, is misleading this House. And that exactly is my point, that Government should clarify its position. And Government clarifies its position by making a statement on the floor of the House, unequivocally from the sponsor of the Bill.
What the Deputy Majority Leader he is saying, is really the source of the confusion. That is the more reason the Bill should be withdrawn. Government clarifies its position by bringing a Bill indicating its position - has shifted in terms of the provisions of the Bill. The Deputy Majority Leader is not helping this House.
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Members, I want to curtail this discussion. You know that during the Second Reading, I was in this seat and when Members on Government side were taking positions different from what was in the Bill, Members on the floor raised the issue. I had to quote Mr J. H. Mensah, to say that "wise people change their minds sometimes, only fools do not change their minds." But it has never been indicated at that point that it was Government‘s

position that they were canvassing throughout the Second Reading of the Bill. I am hearing this for the first time.

Hon Majority Leader, if there is any consultation to be done, let us do it and adjourn the House for today, so that tomorrow, We go specifically to look at this Bill; if at the end of the day, that is the wish of the Leadership. We are only taking the Leaders now so that Hon Members can go and work on the Estimates; tomorrow, we come and work on this Bill.
Mr Avoka
Mr Speaker, this is the suggestion I made earlier. I said the day was still young. In the light of this, let us use today to do some consultation and then winnowing -- Leadership plus the Committee Chairmen and Ranking Members on this subject, while the rest of our Colleagues attend to their respective committee meetings.
By the close of day, We will be able to advise this House the way forward - tomorrow morning. This was what I said .
Mr First Deputy Speaker
He is referring to policy issues -- [Interruption] -- in the Bill.Hon Majority Leader, he is referring to major policy issues in the Bill. No! No! Hon Members, I am taking the Minority Leader and I will adjourn the House.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
Mr Speaker, as I stated the other time, it is rather unfortunate that we have very limited time to deal with this Bill. I think, otherwise, that the proper thing to do will be for Government which is piloting the Bill to have withdrawn and factored all these matters into consideration. Unfortunately,
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
since Government is purposed that we go through the Motions before the 21st of December, the situation is a bit difficult.
But Mr Speaker, as regards whether or not we can amend policy, I believe that if an amendment goes against a policy, then the very character of the Bill changes, which is why then, it may be necessary for Government to advert its mind to these proposed amendments and then redesign the Bill; in reality, you cannot have any amendments proposed which go against the memorandum of the Bill.
You cannot have it. Mr Speaker, that is a clear provision of article 106(2) of the Constitution, that a Bill should come accompanied by an explanatory memorandum setting out in detail the policy and principles of the Bill. So if you want to amend the policy, that will be untenable. It will be only article 1O6 (2), and indeed Mr Speaker, if you refer to our Standing Orders, Order 116, it talks about a Bill being accompanied by a memorandum.
The issue is whether you can amend a provision in a Bill which will go against the principle or the policy being enunciated by the Bill. That is why I am saying that it is very dicey. Otherwise, ordinarily, the Bill should go back for the memorandum also to be amended so that it will then capture, that we are being told, that some amendments are being sponsored by Government behind the scenes.
Mr Speaker, that is strange. But clearly, we find ourselves in a very unusual position. Maybe, as you suggested, we can use the remaining part of the day to deliberate on that to see the way forward.

12.10.pm
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Members, as the Hon Majority Leader has suggested, I think that this is the time to adjourn the House for the day. Let them do further consultations so that tomorrow when we come back, they will let us know what we are to do and then they will do it accordingly.
Mr Avoka
Mr Speaker, in the light of this, may I humbly request that Leadership together with the joint Committee Chairmen on Finance and Energy and their respective Ranking Members meet Leadership at one o'clock. The time is 12.10 p.m. now and that will be in the next one hour.
With those who are to file amendments, we will meet in the committee room in the new block at one o'clock to discuss this matter and know the way forward.
Leadership, joint Committee Chairmen on Finance and Energy, the respective Ranking Members and those who have filed copious amendments -- [Laughter] -- will meet at one o'clock and then discuss this and the way forward.
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Have you moved the amendment?
Mr Cletus A. Avoka
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that following this discussion and the fact that many committees are in progress now, the House do now stand adjourned until tomorrow at ten o'clock in the forenoon.
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
ADJOURNMENT

  • The House was accordingly adjourned at 12.12 p.m. till Thursday, 9th December, 2010 at 10.00 a.m.