Debates of 13 Jul 2011



  • [No correction was made to the Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 12th July, 2011.]
  • Mr Cletus Apul Avoka
    Madam Speaker, I called him and he said he was rushing to this place from his office. So, he is on his way coming.
    So, we can go to items 5 and 6 if there are no Statements. I do not know whether there is any Statement that you might have admitted.
    Madam Speaker
    Please, be a little louder. I did not hear what you said about item 3 -
    Mr Avoka
    I said the Hon Minister was on his way here. He is from the office coming in here. I have told him to rush up. I know that in the next five minutes or less than that, he will be in. However, if We can go to some other items before.
    Yes, item 7; Presentation and First Reading of Bills.
    Madam Speaker
    Which item?
    Mr Avoka
    We can take items 6 and 7. I can humbly apply - yes, we have two Hon Ministers in the Chamber.
    Madam Speaker
    Is the Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning here?
    Item 6, if the Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning is here.
    Dr Anthony A. Osei
    Madam Speaker, he is an Hon Minister-- but he may want to say something about the loan. If he just lays it -- [Laughter]
    Mr Avoka
    Under what authority is he saying this? Why is he saying that?
    Dr A. A. Osei
    This is because he is not the. substantive Hon Minister.
    Mr Avoka It does not matter.
    Dr A. A. Osei
    So, if he is going to lay the Paper, it does not do us any good.
    Mr Avoka
    Is this the first time? Ooh! Laying? It is if he has the discretion. It is at his discretion not at your request.
    Madam Speaker
    Is the Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning here to lay the Paper?
    Dr Matthew O. Prempeh
    Madam Speaker, I am raising this matter that has arisen suddenly. As a matter of privilege, while we are waiting for you to give us an indication on what is done in such a circumstance -
    Madam Speaker, article 3 of the Constitution -
    Madam Speaker
    I thought that we had decided that when it comes to that matter of privilege, you will raise it with the Speaker in the office.
    Dr Prempeh
    Madam Speaker, it has arisen suddenly and the long period while we are Sitting here, not knowing whether the Hon Minister is going to drop. This is about article 3 of our Constitution and I was drawing your attention to an incident that had happened. Article 3 of the Constitution -- on the defense of the Constitution, Madam Speaker.
    Madam Speaker
    Which article?
    Dr Prempeh
    Article 3, clause 3 (a) and (b):
    "(3) Any person who -
    (a) by himself or in concert with others by any violent or other unlawful means, suspends or C overthrows or abrogates this Constitution or any part of it, or attempts to do any such act; or
    (b) aids and abets in any manner any person referred to in paragraph (a) of this clause . . ."
    Madam Speaker, I am not sure Parliament can do anything when obviously somebody is contravening or subverting a subsection of the Cons- titution. This is because, Madam Speaker, the reason for which I am bring it out is that, in the era of constitutional review, that as an Hon Member of Parliament with the privileges and immunities inherent, if I find out that somebody's utterances or somebody's action intends to subvert or is attempting to subvert the Constitution, what relief do I have in the sense of article
    "(1) A candidate seeking election to a District Assembly or any lower local government unit shall present p himself to the electorate as an individual, and shall not use any symbol associated with any political Party.

    (2) A political party shall not endorse, sponsor, offer a platform to or in any way campaign for or against a candidate seeking election to a District Assembly or any lower local government unit."

    Madam Speaker, we were here when your Committee decided to deliberate on matters surrounding the district level elections and one of the recommendations was that the District Assembly Elections were non partisan.
    Mr Avoka
    On a point of order:

    I do not know what he is talking about. There must be relevance. How is it relevant to the proceedings of the House and under what Order is he coming from? Is it under item 6 or 7 that you have referred us to do?

    He may have a good case but the timing that he wants to present the case - If he wants to make a Statement, he should say so. But this is not the time to make Statements.
    Madam Speaker
    I have not admitted any Statement anyway.
    Mr Avoka
    What is he doing?
    Madam Speaker
    Yes, before I take any decision, Hon Akoto Osei, were you contributing on this matter?
    Dr A.A. Osei
    I did not know if he had concluded.
    Madam Speaker
    Then let us finish with this matter.
    Dr Prempeh
    Madam Speaker, I think I can understand the Hon Leader of the House. But to say he does not know where I came from, is an insult to the constituents of Manhyia and such words should be - [Interruptions] - used deservedly. Madam Speaker, I am a bona fide Member of this House -
    Madam Speaker
    Hon Member, do not stretch that too far.
    Dr Prempeh
    Thank you, Madam Speaker, for understanding me.
    Madam Speaker
    I thank you.
    Dr Prempeh
    Madam Speaker, all I am saying is that -
    Madam Speaker; You have said so.
    Dr Prempeh
    No, before he interrupted. All I am saying is that if one stands on a political platform, and his or her utterances subvert the Constitution such that someone says 60 per cent of District Assembly Elections members were National Democratic Congress (NDC) members, Madam Speaker, it is an affront to this Constitution.

    I am just praying that in our deliberations, such utterances should not have room and place in our democratic discourse. This is 'because it gives other people the chance to also subvert other parts of the Constitution. We expect that the President -- this was said in his hearing --- would take steps to prevent such an occurrence from ever happening again.
    Madam Speaker
    Yes, I thank you. But first of all, I think you are out of order; you are completely out of order. We were thinking of item (6) and then you came in; that is not the proper way. Even if it was a question of privilege, I have said that I would like to hear it before we hear it in the House.
    Thirdly, if somebody has even contravened the Constitution, like you know, this is not a court of law, it is only the Supreme Court - Well, you will go to the Supreme Court straight away.
    I thank you though for understanding.
    Dr A. A. Osei
    Madam Speaker, I come under Order 22. Before we start the commencement of Public,Business, I needed your advice on a matter that I believe affects all Members of Parliament.
    We woke up this morning or yesterday to hear that criminal charges have been filed against a Member of Parliament (MP) and we are all MPs- I think it is a very grave matter, whether you are on this side or that side, ought to pay attention to that and I am wondering if Leadership is aware - [Interruption.] It is in the papers, you know it; you are an MP, it is a serious matter and we as a Parliament should make sure that - [Interruption] Forday Sanko is talking. Standing Order 22, Madam Speaker.
    Madam Speaker
    Yes, I know it; and then article l 17 of the Constitution too. I am quite aware of that.
    Dr A. A. Osei
    I think that it is a very grave matter for all Members of Parliament and I am just wondering if Leadership is addressing this matter or -
    Madam Speaker
    The question is not really for Leadership, it is for the Speaker who should give the go-ahead and I made sure yesterday, as soon as I heard it, I made sure that I let the authorities know that I have not given -- he was released. But if it is in the papers, of course, the papers would print the news they got before he was released. But I do know that he was released -- the Minority Leader immediately took action and reported, and I immediately got in touch with the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and he was released.
    Dr A. A. Osei
    I thank you very much.
    Madam Speaker, the reason I was raising the matter was because yesterday morning, during proceedings, I had good information that the policemen were at the court getting ready to arrest him.
    Madam Speaker
    You should have told me before even they arrested him. So we are ready -- This is because it is the job of the Speaker to say, "yes, arrest him or not". So if there is an impending -or fear of it, you alert me early, maybe, I could have advised them that I have heard something, watch out, you cannot do it. When it was done, the Minority Leader took immediate action and as soon as I was free, he let me know and the IGP was contacted and it will not happen again, I think.
    Dr A. A. Osei
    I passed the information on to the Hon Leader.
    Madam Speaker
    He took action?
    Dr A. A. Osei
    It is just that in this era of democratic dispensation, it is a very grave matter that the attempting to, which can affect any Member of Parliament; people on this side may think that -
    Madam Speaker
    I do thank you. But you know, the job of the Speaker is to protect Hon Members from arrests when they are on their way to and from Parliament and to protect MPs and I will protect MPs.

    Prof. George Y. Gyan-Baffour Madam Speaker, I think we must be very grateful to you for that intervention. But I think the concern here is that it should not have taken place in any case. For it to have taken place, means that somebody has already violated the Constitution. That is the issue here. So I think it has to be out there to the security agencies, if they have to arrest any of the MPs, they should seek the prior approval from you, rather than going to arrest the person, harassing him up to a point, then the Speaker coming in to do it and by then the harm had already been done.
    Madam Speaker
    I appreciate it. But Hon Members, when they fear an impending arrest contrary to our regulations, they should also immediately alert their Leaders and the Speaker. This is because it is our duty to protect you, and when things do go wrong -
    I got an apology. It will not happen again; do not worry.
    Yes, Hon Leader, is the Hon Minister here now?
    Mr Avoka -Madam Speaker, the Hon Minister has arrived; I am very sorry for the inconvenience.



    Minister for Energy (Dr Joe Oteng- Adjei)
    Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Energy, during the latter part of last year, wrote to all Metropolitan, Municipal and
    Mr Agyeman-Manu
    Madam Speaker, from the Hon Minister's Answer, it is very clear that this situation is not happening only in my constituency. In that respect, the Hon Minister gave a very generic Answer without actually concentrating on the very particular issue I brought up.
    Madam Speaker, I am asking the Hon Minister why they are charging so and they are not being issued with receipts. I

    just want to inform the Hon Minister that they are charging GH¢30.00 and they are not issuing receipts. If one dares demand receipts, they deny you access to the meter. So when will he get to the NED people who are in charge of these meters there to stop them from doing what they are doing at the moment, "extorting" - I am using his own word from residents in my constituency?
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, I have a letter in my hand dated August 6, 2010. When I wrote to the Managing Director and the Chief Executive of the Volta River Authority (VRA), clearly articulating that the practice needed to come to an end. I copied that letter to all Regional Ministers, all Hon Members of Parliament and all Hon District Chief Executives. I believe. that this was a process that we took to let all stakeholders understand that we have to work together in order to ensure that we eliminate this thing.
    I do agree with the Hon Member, especially, if the Government is charging 58p and then individuals would want to charge as much as GH¢3.0 and for those of us who have come from the rural areas, this is unacceptable. That is why upon receipt of the Hon Member's Question, we directed NED to investigate and address this and apply the necessary sanctions to the officers.
    I want to assure the Hon Member that if he can give me the names of staff of Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) who are involved in this, I can assure him that we will take the appropriate decision and take it immediately take action against them and that l would be a deterrent for people who want to cheat our people in need of electricity.
    Mr Agyeman-Manu
    Madam Speaker, I will again let the Hon Minister know that NED has an office in my constituency
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, I believe that we have assured the Hon Member, that we have started the process which we believe can convince us as the person or persons who did such a thing and I have assured him that if the process is able to identify the right person, then we would apply the right sanctions. He should be rest assured.
    Mr Agyeman-Manu
    Madam Speaker, I think, my last one.
    I want to thank the Hon Minister for the Answers so far given. But I just want to move further to ask the Hon Minister that if his administrative instructions could not stop this going on, and I know it is not only in my constituency, what does he expect an Hon Member or the residents in a community to do to stop this matter? Would he expect us to 'start going on demonstrations or attacking the office of VRA in my district, so that we forcibly stop it, since his administrative instructions seem to have failed, by his own words?
    Dr Oteng-Adjei, Madam Speaker, it appears that the Hon Member knows the specific person who did this. Unfor- tunately, he has not provided me with any information to enable me take action_ If he wants to see me in the office, so that he provides me with enough evidence to facilitate the process, I any available to discuss with him.

    In the circumstances, that is why I copied all the Hon Members, knowing that we are all concerned about our people who need electricity and I want to plead with him that I am available to work with him and to work with Hon Members to remove this canker within our midst.
    Madam Speaker
    This is a constituency- specific Question, so let us move on.
    Let us move on to the next Question, and that stands in the name of Hon Kofi Frimpong, Member for Kwabere East.
    Mr Kwame A. Twumasi
    Madam Speaker, I want to seek your permission to ask this Question on behalf of the Hon Member who is absent.
    Madam Speaker
    Please, yes, put the Question now.


    Minister for Energy (Dr Joe Oteng- Adjei)
    Madam Speaker, the available empirical data show that governments over the years, have been subsidising fuel prices. For this year, the total subsidy from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MOFEP) is GH¢86,313,969.
    Mr Twumasi
    Madam Speaker, there are a number of products in the industry. May I know from the Hon Minister which of the products are being subsidised?
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, there is a subsidy on kerosene liquefied petroleum gas, (LPG) and pre-mix fuel.
    Mr. Twumasi
    Madam Speaker, would like to know from the Hon Minister, the figure given is the estimated subsidy for the year, and we have passed the middle of the year. May I know from him how much of the amount quoted has been expended as subsidy on the products he mentioned?
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, it is said that for this year, the amount quoted is the subsidy that we have actually paid for six months.
    The Hon Member being a former senior Member of this House, is aware that we do the review every two weeks; so every two weeks as they due, if it becomes necessary to subsidise, then the decision is made. I am saying that so far, we have paid and anytime it comes up, we clear it, so that we do not create issues of under- recovery which had been the challenge for the Ministry over the years.
    So, we are trying to work to make sure that anytime the decision is made, the amount is paid and that allows the BDCs to be able to provide continued supply of petroleum products to the markets.
    Mr Twumasi
    Madam Speaker, that is why my Question is very relevant. I hope the Hon Minister will help us and help Ghanaians to know how much the Ministry has expended so far as subsidy on the petroleum products mentioned.
    Madam Speaker
    When you say "so far", is it today? End of today or beginning of the day, today? Make the question specific, so that -- He said "so far" and "so far" stretches to When? Do you mean as of today or as of last month or what?
    Mr Twumasi
    Madam Speaker, up to June -From the beginning of the year to June, half of the year.
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, the number that was given is up to 2" July. The amount of payments that Government has made so far, so the GH¢86,3l3,969 is actually to the end of June.
    Prof. Gyan-Baffour
    Madam Speaker, the Hon Minister said that they were subsidising on kerosene, LPG and pre- mix. , Is he telling us that there is no subsidy on petrol, diesel? Is he sure or is that the true facts?
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, let me attempt to explain a little and I am sure my senior Members who have been there would get me- Subsidy in the petroleum sector is understood from this angle. At the beginning of the year, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning decides where it is going to get its revenue from and one of the areas is the petroleum side. So, they had an idea that they were going to get "X" amount from petroleum and for that matter, the energy sector.
    Anytime there are increases in the world prices, we expect that we pass on the increases onto the consumers. If we do not do that and we take it from the revenue that the Ministry is expecting to get as part of its budget, indirectly, we have created a subsidy. This is because the Government was looking for that as an income and it has been approved. So, if we do not collect it from the users and we put in the money ourselves, we have subsidised in a way. So, that is why I decided to go backwards. There is a subsidy in the context of that principle.
    Then, there is also a cross subsidy in the context of social programmes like kerosene, pre-mix and LPG where we have made a conscious decision that we cannot
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah
    Madam Speaker, so, in the two contexts that you are talking about, it means that diesel and petrol are being subsidised. Is that not so and by how much?
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, in that context, the Whole amount that we have paid is basically the under-recovery and for that matter, We have not done the analysis to delineate exactly What is on the petroleum line. If one looks at the petroleum pricing, we do all in a cumulative form, we have not done the analysis to see the subsidy on that side. This is because, in the cumulative, Where we give a subsidy to the kerosene, it is like a negative number because we are also lifting the cross subsidy one, the line on the petroleum.
    At the end, it still ends up in the negative; that is what then becomes a subsidy to the economy and then the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning will have to provide that money.
    Mr Isaac Osei
    Madam Speaker, His Excellency the President promised this country a better Ghana. There is a rumour going out in this country that petrol is going to be increased from GH¢7 to GH¢l0. Is it true? If it is true, he should tell us why it will Be increased [Interruptions.]There is a rumour in this country that petrol is going to be increased from GH¢7 to GH¢10; he should tell this House whether it is true or not. [Interruptions]
    Madam Speaker
    Hon Member, we do not deal with rumours in this House. We do not deal with rumours in this House -
    Mr Isaac Osei
    Madam Speaker. at times, rumours are true. In this country, rumours are true -
    Madam Speaker
    Well, I am afraid, rumours do not help us in this House, so ask another question. Unless you know as a fact, it is going to be increased but rumours, otherwise, this House will be a House of rumours-
    Mr Isaac Osei
    Madam Speaker, the Hon Minister has explained fully to this House why some subsidies arise, especially in the case of petrol and diesel. Perhaps, we could just call it administrative subsidy because it is a result of the lack in payments. I would want to know why the Government will persist in providing a subsidy in the other sense, to a product like LPG which is continually in short supply in this country.
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, I believe that the original motive of using the LPG was to reduce the use of charcoal and fuel wood. So, the original policy was to support the residential users. We have all come to the awareness that now, a lot of vehicles use LPG and so the demand has grown and exceeded the normal rate we have projected.
    Meanwhile, we try to contain it because We believe that somewhere along the line, as we develop the gas infrastructure in the Jubilee and the other ones, we will end up going to use the LPG and the gas in the vehicular or transport industry.
    As I speak to you now, people are Working with us, to help us see the demand on the transport side and then also the demand on the residential users.
    Mr Kobina T. Hammond
    Madam Speaker, I want to know whether-the Hon Minister would clarify if the products that he identified, that is, LPG, kerosene, pre- mix, whether these are cross subsidised or they are subsidised and in the context, how 'much. petroleum products, particularly premium is sold for - and why does he say that there is a subsidy when indeed, there is an ex-refinery differential of about 10,000 in old cedis or one cedi now built into the current price build-up?
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, that was why 1 tried to explain from the beginning that, because the Government has said that, it expected some revenue from the petroleum sector and the budget

    has been approved, it means the levies and the taxes on that side have been affected. Therefore, those taxes that over the years have come through the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) side and looked at all the numbers, they range from a maximum of 10 per cent to 14.4 per cent.

    So over the years, since 2007, that is where the numbers have reached. So for the taxes, once the budget is approved, it is a requirement from us and that is why we say that if prices go high, we ask the Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning to give us money to pay. In this way, it is a subsidy for him because he is not getting his revenue.

    We also do cross subsidisation, and that depends on the variables and I am sure Hon Member, we have all gone through the numbers. What I am saying is that, it depends on the pricing at the right time. Sometimes it is 5 per cent cross subsidy and sometimes it is 10 per cent cross subsidy. So it is not a number that we can put a hint on. If the Hon Member wants me to visit him and do a real analytical work, we can do that.
    Mr Hammond
    The price in terms of ex-refinery differential -You have heard that aspect of the question?
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    I did not hear but -
    Mr Hammond
    Madam Speaker, can I clarify for him?
    Mr Hammond
    I was asking, why is it that he talks about subsidy when everybody is aware that there is an ex- refinery differential of 10,000 old cedis or GH¢l.00 which would normally have reduced the 70,000 to 60,000 and you still talk about Government subsidising when there is that built-in differential?
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, the ex-refinery differential, as you put in the subsidies - is to enable you see how much revenue you are getting from those ones that you are not subsidising. So it is the net of that line, that gives you some amount of revenue. Sometimes, depending on the rise in prices, that line can be negative because you cannot pass all the increment to the consumer or to the various individual products.
    So before we go to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, we net out to see how much we are getting from the ex-differential line, so that it minimises the amount of money that the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning calculates for us.
    It is clearly done and we will make sure that it does not move. That is why, Hon Member, sometimes it allows us to hold the prices stable when the increment in world prices are below 5 per cent because then ex-differential revenue allows you to hold it without increment.
    Alleged payment of money to Strategic Oil and Gas Resources (SOG)
    Q. 1005 . Mr Kobina T. Hammond asked the Minister for Energy whether recent newspaper publication that MODEC had paid some money to Strategic Oil and Gas Resources (SOG) Company was true, and if it was, what was the basis for such payment.
    Dr Joe Oteng-Adjei
    This has been a newspaper publication and insofar as the Ministry is concerned, it remains an allegation contained in a newspaper report. The attention of the Ministry of Energy has never been drawn to any impropriety involving MODEC and Strategic Oil and Gas Resources. In any

    case, MODEC is a private company which leased the Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) to the Jubilee partners and operates and maintains it on behalf of the partners. MODEC,_ we understand, sub-contracts service companies in some of its operations. Payment could therefore, be effected for services rendered to MODEC by contractors or consultants based on these sub-contractual agreements.

    Strategic Oil and Gas Resources Company is a privately-owned Ghanaian company and therefore, could be sub- contracted by MODEC for any contract.
    Mr Hammond
    Madam Speaker, by this Answer, is the Hon Minister suggesting that in the event, and this, I am not admitting that some moneys were paid to SOG and they were so improperly paid - is he suggesting by this Answer that the Ministry of Energy has practically and absolutely no interest in the matter?
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, my attention has never been drawn to any impropriety. Nobody has legally proved that any one of the partners have done anything Wrong. It was an allegation and they have gone through their process. Again, as I stated, we have a contract with the Jubilee partners. Behind them, they contracted MODEC, and behind MODEC, they sub-contracted the strategic oil people.
    Madam Speaker, the Hon Member has to realise that contractually, the Ministry has no link there and we need to be very careful that we do not move into issues that have really sub-sub-contract issues and we would stay until we have evidence that some rules of this country have been broken. If we do, then we would assure you, we will take appropriate steps.
    Mr Hammond
    Madam Speaker, may- be, we will have to revisit my Question. Madam -Speaker, my Question is specifically this: Has some moneys been paid to that company?
    Mr Hammond
    Madam Speaker, he is saying that MODEC had paid some money to that company. By his Answer, he seems to be suggesting that there is some allegation by somebody in the House or my Question suggests that there is allegation of some wrongdoing. That is not -- Madam Speaker, my question-
    My question is this: Can the Hon Minister confirm that such moneys have been paid, and if they have, how much?
    Madam Speaker
    By the Ministry?
    Mr Hammond
    Madam Speaker, no! By the company? But what he is saying is that it is a mere allegation.
    Madam Speaker
    Is he in charge of that company? Would he know? He is the Minister for Energy.
    Mr Hammond
    He is the Minister for Energy.
    Madam Speaker
    Yes. Let us make sure that we are putting the proper questions to him.
    Mr Hammond
    I will do that Madam Speaker.
    Madam Speaker, the consortium is made up of Tullow, Kosmos, Anadarko and more importantly, Ghana National

    Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), which represents Ghana and it is this consortium that awarded the contract to MODEC. The point I am making and by this question, is this; it is understood that MODEC had paid some money to some company and I am asking the Hon Minister responsible for GNPC, if any such money had been paid to this company and if it had, how much had been paid. He said it was an allegation; it is not an allegation, Madam Speaker.
    Madam Speaker
    Well, let us put the question to him, -that has some money been paid?
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    »Madam Speaker, the Question is:
    "...whether recent newspaper publi- cation that MODEC has paid some money to Strategic Oil and Gas Resources was true . . ."
    And Madam Speaker, I am explaining that if anybody has a legal contract with somebody to offer services, then definitely, there would be payment. But this is not a kind of contract that is between the Ministry and that kind of entity and for that matter, I can say with confidence that I have paid the person. The Ministry is not in a position to commit itself to a newspaper allegation.
    Mr Hammond
    Madam Speaker, I am struggling here. [Interruptions]
    Some Hon Members
    Who has called you?
    Mr Hammond
    Who has called me?
    Madam Speaker
    Well, he has another question to ask. He has a third question.
    Mr Hammond
    Madam Speaker, my Hon Colleagues from "FONKAR" and "GAME" whatever have lost con- centration -
    Madam Speaker
    It does not matter. Let us move on.
    Mr Hammond
    Madam Speaker, I am anxious about how the Hon Minister -
    Madam Speaker, the point is this
    GNPC is part of it and that company is paid some money, so invariably or inferentially, GNPC is supposed to have paid some money. He would know if the GNPC has paid some money or it has not paid any money.
    Madam Speaker
    All right; then put a direct question.
    Mr Hammond
    So I am asking the Hon Minister, has GNPC as far as he knows paid any money as indicated in the newspaper? It is yes or no answer- if he does not know, well, that is fine.
    Madam Speaker
    Hon Minister, he said, do you know and if so, has it been paid or not?
    Dr Oteng-Adjei; Madam Speaker, I know that MODEC has a lot of sub- contractors.
    Madam Speaker
    But he is asking, has GNPC paid any money? Is that what you were asking? Do you know or not?
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, I do not know as I stand now that GNPC had paid - [Interruptions ]- Madam Speaker, I want to tell the Hon Member that I do not know that GNPC as a company had paid money to Strategic Oil and Gas Resources. GNPC has a contract as part of the consortium with MODEC. MODEC then goes on to select its own sub-contractors. So if the issue is between GNPC and MODEC, then I am

    directly involved. But if it is behind the second contract, then it would be very difficult for the Ministry to ask all these people to bring their secondary contracts for me to confirm their payments.

    As long as it is a newspaper report, I am not in a position to go in and create unnecessary stress.
    Mr Hammond
    Madam Speaker, my last attempt. Let me ask the last one.
    Madam Speaker, I take it that the Hon Minister is telling the House and the country that he is not so sure of what is going on in the oil industry; the Ministry which he superintends over -
    Madam Speaker
    Well, I do not think that is what he is saying. He said he did not know.
    Mr Hammond
    He said he did not know?
    Madam Speaker
    Yes, because he is not in charge of sub-contractors.
    Mr Hammond
    Madam Speaker, the matter is more serious than that. 1 am stressing it and I hope my Hon Colleagues, those who have won and those who have lost would calm down and really listen. [Laughter] Madam Speaker, it is that important.
    GNPC holds all of Ghana's share of the so much trumpeted oil reserves that we have been debating here, it is GNPC which is responsible.
    Madam Speaker, the information in the public domain is that some moneys have been paid to a group of people or some companies in the country, which in the end, is going to be contributed to by GNPC, which the Hon Minister supervises I am asking him if he is aware of this and how much is the money and the Minister says "well, it is a sub-contract" he did not know whether GNPC -
    Madam Speaker
    Then maybe, your next question would be whether he would find out.
    Mr Hammond
    Madam Speaker, the money involved is a whooping US$5 million, US$2 million of which as far as we are aware, had already been paid. It is a very serious matter. If the Hon Minister wants to be this cavalier or pedestrian, I can belabour the point.
    Madam Speaker
    Let us ask the Hon Minister.
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, I explained the procedure. There is a contract between Ghana Government represented by GNPC and MODEC. Then MODEC as a sub-contractor, goes through a procedure and the procedure is that they tender all the sub-contracts and they go through all the processes and at the end, the joint management team selects the 'winner.
    Madam Speaker
    Order! Order!
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    So I am saying that if there was a genuine sub-contract, then definitely, there would be a genuine payment. So, I am not in a position to confirm a newspaper allegation that payments have been made because - [.interruptions.]
    Madam Speaker
    Order! Order! Let the Hon Minister answer the question.
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, if you are not privy to the contract, how do you confirm payment? Madam Speaker, the Hon Member cannot -
    Madam Speaker
    Did he finish answering the question? This is because you were heckling and he got up. Let the Hon Minister answer the question, which according to the Hon Hammond is very important.
    Hon Minister, please, finish with the answer for the Hon Member who asked the question. [Interruptions]- Well, he need water like all of us. Please, let us get the answer, which according to Hon Hammond, is a very important question.
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, I believe that have taken time to ex lain the procedures in the context of? the question.
    I have explained that, yes, I know for a fact that there was a contract between MODEC and the contractors of Jubilee. I know for a fact that MODEC sub- contracted to a lot of people various services and one of them is the Strategic Oil and Gas Resources. I am saying that I am aware of the contract, but in terms of payments, am not privy to- interruptions this is because a genuine contract then there is going to be a genuine payment and I believe that that is what as taken place.
    Mr Isaac Osei
    Madam Speaker, I just want the Hon Minister to come clear on this matter, that he knows that payments have been made but they have been made on the basis of genuine contract. Is that what he is saying?
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, that is normal project management concept. When there is a contract and the contract is properly executed and it is legal, there are payments attached to it. That is basic project management -
    Madam Speaker
    Hon Members, let us listen to questions and answers rather than Hon Members saying, "He is admitting to this", when you have not been called to speak. Otherwise, we would have no order about this question. Let us have two more questions and we move on.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah
    Madam Speaker, I am pleading with the Hon Minister to listen carefully to this question. The Hon Minister has stated that he knows there is a contract between MODEC and SOG The question is, has any payment been made by MODEC to SOG pursuant to the contract? No one is talking about whether it is a genuine contract or a false contract.
    The Hon Minister has stated that GNPC is part of the MODEC consortium. In that respect, Ghana has an interest. So the question is, has MODEC made any payment to SOG pursuant to the contract? Simple.
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, I have said that we knew there was a contract between the Jubilee partners and MODEC. We know MODEC sub- contracted to a lot of people, one of whom is SOG. I know for a fact that the constructional phase of the project is completed and that is why we have the FPSO Working. None of the sub- contractors has complained to me of non- payment and for that matter, I can assume properly that because they have completed the project and the FPSO is Working, any legal requirement there has been completed.
    Mr Hodogbey
    Madam Speaker, in the answer of the Hon Minister, he said MODEC is a private company, which operates with SOG. Does his Ministry have any management relationship with those partners?
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, we do not have direct links with any of the primary ones. We do not have copies of their contracts nor any of their legal documents binding them together.
    Madam Speaker
    Last question, Hon Osei.
    Dr A. A. Osei
    Madam Speaker, it looks like the Hon Minister is having a bit of difficulty confirming to us whether payment had been made or not -
    Madam Speaker
    Hon Member, a Minister comes here to tell us true facts, so if he is not -
    Dr A. A. Osei
    Madam Speaker, his Answer said -
    Madam Speaker
    He says that because the amount had been paid, he is assuming that, maybe, some -
    DrA. A. Osei
    Madam Speaker, I know that he said he could only assume that payment had been made.
    That is what he said.
    DrA. A. Osei
    Madam Speaker, is the Hon Minister willing to come back to this House by first enquiring with the International Financial Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Insurance Guarantee Agency (MIGA) group that the payment had been made? This is because he is aware that an investigation was constituted by the IFC and MIGA which were insurers of this project.
    ls the Hon Minister willing to write to them and come back to this House to confirm that payment has been made?
    Madam Speaker
    Hon Minister, since they Want answers, are you prepared to say that -
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, it appears that the question the Hon Member is asking is quite new. He has introduced another variable - IFC. I am available and I am ready to come here and
    Madam Speaker
    Hon Members, let us move to the next Question which stands in the name of Hon Alfred Abayateye, Sege.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
    Madam Speaker, with respect, I got up to ask a couple of questions but you had called the other Colleague, the Hon Abayateye. If you may indulge me.
    Madam Speaker
    If I do indulge you, how many questions are you going to put?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
    Madam Speaker, certainly, not more than three (3); certainly, not more than three.
    Madam Speaker
    Hon Member, put two (2) questions and let us move on.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
    Madam Speaker, the Hon Minister has told us that the contract between GNPC, inclusive of MODEC and the SOG; was signed in 2007. Is that what he said? 2007?
    Madam Speaker, since that contract that he is referring to has become a subject of controversy itself, can he furnish this House with copies of that contract? [Interruption.] He must -not take instructions from his Deputy; he cannot. [Uproar.]
    Madam Speaker
    Order. HonMember-
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
    The Hon Deputy Minister should not inject himself in that manner. He should not undermine his Hon Minister. He should let the Minister come and answer the question. [Interruption]
    Madam Speaker
    Order! Hon. Member, he can ask his Deputy and that is why the Deputy is here. He can even ask the officials outside. I would not want him taking instructions.
    Anyway, let us carry on. [Uproar] Order! Let us carry on. Hon Minister, he asked the Question, whether you can supply this House with the 2007 contract. What do you have to say?
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, I would like to acknowledge that my Hon Deputies and I form a team.
    Madam Speaker
    Well, I have already said so.
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Even here and even with Hon Colleagues on the other side, I have consulted past Ministers in order to get the institutional memory to help me to be able to make the best of decisions. So I would like to acknowledge that.
    Madam Speaker
    Order! Let us listen to the Hon Minister.
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker,_ I would need legal advice because I am not a party to that document. The Minister is not a party to that document, so we would need notice. I would take advice from the legal people to ensure that we do not create any trouble.
    Madam Speaker
    Hon Member, your second question now.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
    Madam Speaker, the Hon Minister, by our Standing Orders, that is, Order 62 (1), and with your permission, I beg to quote:
    "Questions may be asked of Ministers relating to public affairs with which they are officially connected, .. ."
    He is officially connected to this matter that we are discussing: ". . . any matter of administration for which such Ministers are responsible."
    Madam Speaker, this is the gravamen of the question that is being asked of the Hon Minister.
    Madam Speaker
    Hon Member, he did not refuse to answer you. He told you that he was going to seek legal advice whether he could do so. So it is not a question of he has refused to answer this question. So that is the way I understand this by clause 62 (1).
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
    Madam Speaker, Parliament is charged with the responsibility of oversighting the Executive and it falls within our remit to pursue this course in this manner that we are pursuing.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
    He cannot just stand up and say that I am going to engage in consultation before I come.
    Madam Speaker
    Hon Member, you cannot force a Minister to supply an answer immediately. He says "I will supply you after taking" - I know you know these rules very, very well and I think his answer was that, yes, he will supply you, but since he was not a party to it, he will do so after consultation. So he has not refused to answer your question or has he refused to acknowledge that there was such a contract. So I think, let us take the answer he will supply us. Let us have your last question.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
    Madam Speaker, the word "refusal" has not come from me. I have not said that he has refused to answer. That word "refusal" has not come from me. But let us establish that.
    Madam Speaker; I did not say you said "refusal". I did not put that word in your mouth; that was my word.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
    Madam Speaker, the Hon Minister is telling us about the distance of the Ministry from those contractual obligations, sub-letting of contracts and so on. Madam Speaker, in this country, a citizen of this country has ever been hauled before the court, for borrowing an amount from the African Development Bank. The citizen was hauled before the court because it was said that Ghana contributes to the funding of the African Development Bank and so if the person went and borrowed and misapplied the funds, he could be charged under the laws of this country.
    Madam Speaker, inferentially, the Minister cannot tell us- the Minister with the remit for GNPC and GNPC is
    Madam Speaker
    Hon Member, your question now.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
    Madam Speaker, he himself said that GNPC is representing Government. So Madam Speaker, the question is, whether he is aware that monies have been paid. This is because Madam Speaker, he should know; it falls directly under his remit, so he should know. So the question is, can the Hon Minister tell us whether monies have been paid - and the question is not to the Deputy Minister, it is to the Minister.
    Madam Speaker
    Hon Member, I will not allow the question; it has already been answered and we do not repeat questions here.- He says he cannot tell you straight away; he will find it. All these few hours, we have been dealing with that question and my judgement and decision are that the question has been answered. Unless you have another question, this particular question has been answered. I will give you the last question.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
    Madam Speaker, do we take it from the Hon Minister that, by this disclaimer, he is pleading ignorance and negligence?
    Madam Speaker
    I hate to disallow the question.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
    Madam Speaker, the baritone of the Deputy Attorney-General and Deputy Minister for Justice to me that I should sit down, certainly, does not frighten me at all, not even his size. [Interruptions.] Madam Speaker, if you ask me to reframe my question -
    Madam Speaker
    Order! Order! Let us finish with this one. We are taking too much over this Question; we have other -
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
    Madam Speaker, because it is serious business to this country.
    Madam Speaker
    Well, the other Questions are also serious; every Question is serious. Hon Members, it is my duty to apportion time within the hour. You are a Leader, so I will ask you to put one last question.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
    Thank you very much, Madam Speaker-
    Madam Speaker
    And make it admissible.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
    Madam Speaker, is the Hon Minister aware of the enquiry from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and International Finance Consortium (IFC) relating to this? Is the Hon Minister aware?
    Madam Speaker
    Yes, Minister, that is a legitimate question.
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    We read it in the newspapers. I am aware but IFC has not officially contacted me; but I read it like any other person read from the news- papers.
    Madam Speaker
    Well, I thank you for your forbearance.
    Hon Members, let us move to the neXt Question.
    Status of Tema Thermal I Power Project (Construction)
    Q.1006_ Mr Alfred W. G. Abayateye asked the Minister for Energy what was the status of the construction of the Tema Thermal 1 Power Project (ITPP) and when was the completion date.
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, the Tema Thermal l Power Project (TTIPP) was started in 2007 at the time of the energy crises to augment generation capacity. The TTIPP started operation in January, 2009 after -[Interruption]- the completion and inauguration of the gas turbine and associated equipment. Other Works such as the construction of access and site roads, office and workshop, installation of overhead crane among others are still ongoing. The VRA expects to complete all outstanding works by the end of 2011.
    Madam Speaker, in the I.-Ion Minister's Answer, he states that the work has been completed but there are sections yet to be done and VRA is expected to complete the outstanding works- I want to find out from him, is VRA completing these works at its expense or at the expense of the contractor who did the job?
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, I am not very clear with the question; if he can expand on it for me.
    Mr Abayateye
    My question to the Hon Minister is, in his Answer, he stated that the project had been completed but there were some sections yet to be done. And VVRA was expected to complete all outstanding works by the end of this year. I am asking whether VRA is completing these outstanding works at the expense of VRA or at the expense of the contractor who did the job.
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, I am not sure of the information the Hon Member has. But this is a project that has the employer, that has the engineers, that has the contractor and the scope has been defined. This is because of the emergency nature, they proceeded to complete the

    use of the generation and we are using it now. There are outstanding works that they are doing. Therefore, I do not understand how come that - maybe, there is something he knows that I do not know that we expect the contractor to pay for the other aspects of the -
    Mr Abayateye
    Madam Speaker, the period for construction was supposed to be one year. The work actually was started inNovember, 2006 when full payment was made to the company (GECAD) and they were to complete in August, 2007. From the information the Hon Minister has given, the work was completed in 2009. So I want to find out why such a long period was taken and the period in construction may need to have a change in price. That is why I am asking why the long period of construction when the thing was supposed to be for a year.
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, I am aware that sometimes when you initiate projects of this nature and you put time frame on, it may not necessarily yield that since there are a lot of civil engineering works in most of these activities. You go to the site, test the soil and you realise that it is not the same soil as predicted. So the timing will change but then the project management team has a way of resolving these things; and it has a way of controlling the financial implications of the project.
    We came in, we concluded it and the project is functioning. I am not aware of any financial problems emanating after this project.
    Madam Speaker; Hon Member, do you have a last question?
    Mr Abay-ateye
    Madam Speaker, I would like to find out why the project was not completed but full payment was made in November, 2006. The full payment was made even before the project started.
    Madam Speaker
    If it is on a point of order.
    Papa Owusu-Ankom ah
    Madam Speaker, it is on a point of order and I will refer Madam Speaker to ‘Standing Order 67 (1) (b) and with your permission, I beg to quote:
    "67 (1) Questions must comply with the following conditions -
    (b) a Question shall not contain any . arguments, expression of opinion, inferences, . . ."
    Madam Speaker, that is the problem we are having here.
    Madam Speaker
    Well, I am glad you said that we are all having the problem.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah
    Yes, that is the problem we are having here. The Hon Member must still solicit from the Hon Minister whether there was a date of completion of the contract, whether the date was extended and if so, under what conditions. He is making an inference and that is what is making this Question problematic.
    I believe the Hon Majority Leader, instead of shaking his head, must assist this House. The Hon Minister, when he was answering the question said maybe, the Hon Member had certain facts that he was not aware of.
    So I am urging the Hon Member to first establish these matters as facts and then proceed. By so doing, he will help the House. The Hon Majority Leader, please, should not be shaking his head. He should assist Madam Speaker to govern this House instead of shaking his head when I make these statements. The Hon Minister is obviously in trouble. Why?
    Mr Abayateye
    Madam Speaker, I thank my Brother but there was no ambiguity in what I was doing. My question was this. I asked a Question. on the status of the

    construction and completion date. And I am asking why is it that ft-he project was to last for a period of one year but it has taken - [Interruptions] 2006 when he signed the contract. Madam Speaker, my question again to the Hon Minister is this. Why that long duration? The work was started and completed in 2009 but the work was supposed to be completed in a year. Why the long duration?
    Madam Speaker
    Hon Minister, do you know that the work was to be completed within a year? He says the work was to be completed - is that a fact before we go on to find out why?
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, I had earlier explained that projects of this nature- and currently we are doing one at Aboadze -
    ,We looked at the soil and when we went, instead of going 4 metres deep, we ended at going 11 metres deep. There is no way any engineer can estimate this kind of intricacies in the area that we work. I am saying that at the time we came, we have not had any documentation stating that there was a friction with the project management team at the time. We took over, we worked with them and completed and started operation in January, 2009 and the plant is working and serving the people of Ghana.
    Madam Speaker
    Your three questions have been asked.
    Mr Abayateye
    Madam Speaker, my last question on this is, why was full payment made before the work was started? This is my final question. Why was full payment made before the work was started? [Interruptions] .
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, I am not aware that the full amount was paid before the project was completed.
    Madam Speaker
    Let us move on to Question Number 1007.
    Government's Commitment to Tema Thermal IPOwerProject
    Q.lO07. Mr Alfred W. G. Abayateye asked the Minister for Energy how much was Government's commitment to the TemaThermal l PowerProject (TTIPP) and how the contract was awarded.
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, to allow for the award of the contract for the Tema Thermal 1 Power Project, proposals were sought and received from leading manufacturers and suppliers of thermal plants. After a comprehensive assessment of the proposals, it was established that the offer from General Electric (GE) of a 126 MW Frame 9E combustion turbine and balance of plant was the most com- petitive.
    An order was therefore, placed with GE for the supply of one (1) gas turbine with the associated balance of plant. GB provided a list of contractors who have previously undertaken the installation of the equipment as well as other auxiliary equipment in the sub-region.
    Following a review of proposals from these firms, an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Contract was awarded to GECAD.
    Madam Speaker
    Hon Member, your three supplementary questions.
    Mr. Abayateye
    Madam Speaker, I rise to find out from the Hon Minister, that when the construction team came up, General Electric (GE) was contacted and GE came in and how GECAD won the contract is my question. The people

    recommended by GE for the work, GECAD was not part of them. I want to find out how GECAD won the contract.
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, the Hon Member conceded that the project was initiated in the year 2006. Madam Speaker, I spoke to the leadership of the Ministry, the leadership of the team that was involved and they told me that they went through this process and that is how GECAD was selected.
    Madam Speaker
    Second question, Hon Member.
    Mr Abayateye
    Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the Hon Minister, how much is Government commitment. I want to find out from him whether he is aware that the contract cost was supposed to be US$35 .6 million but as of December, 2008, the total cost, money paid was US$63 .6 million; whether he has come across documents and why the two variations? I would like to find out from him
    Madam Speaker
    Hon Minister, do you know?
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, the Hon Member is giving me some numbers and there is always the need for one to be very careful when numbers are thrown in a House like this.
    I would be happy if as he is asking the numbers, he can ask for another time and then I will come and establish. As of the time that I am standing here, the project team and the documents that I have seen did not indicate that there had been a problem with the cost of the project - [Some Hon Members -- Shame.] lam ready to go back and come and inform the House based on the information that he is giving to me and I have taken note of that information.
    Madam Speaker
    Hon Member, your third question now.
    Mr Abayateye
    Madam Speaker, the Hon Minister should rely on me, I will give him more information.
    But I want to find out from him, whether he is aware of something called Osono Power Plant and whether the portion of the land for this project has been released to someone or not?
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, I believe that this is a completely new Question and I would be glad to come to the House to answer issues pertaining to the Tema Osono Project.
    Mr Charles S. Hodogbey
    Madam Speaker, in the Answer by the Hon
    Minister, he said
    "An order was therefore, placed with GE for the supply of one (1) gas turbine . . ."
    If you look at the contract value, as revealed by the questioner, from US$3 5 .6 million, it jumped all the way to US$63 .6 million. I want to find out whether it was a selective bidding or a competitive bidding.
    Dr Oteng-Adjei Madam Speaker, in the Answer, we said that proposals were sought and received from leading manufacturers and suppliers of thermal plants. So it means that this is a normal accepted procedure in selecting people who are involved in that industry. The gas turbines, there are only few people who construct them. So normally, what we do is that, we invite such people to come in and tender and that is precisely the procedure we followed.
    Dr Prempeh
    Madam Speaker, in the Hon Minister'sAnswer, he mad.e a certain point that in the management programme, he was not aware of the figures that were being bandied round. But I know for a fact that even the outstanding payments to be made by VRA to some sub- contractors, because of the problem he just mentioned about project management - Would it not be totally irresponsible for somebody not fully aware of the project management to start bandying US$35.6 million and US$63.6 million, knowing that the outstanding contract sum now is US$13 million which VRA has to pay to Ghanaian contractors?
    Madam Speaker
    Hon Member, are you attacking somebody in this House?
    Dr Prempeh
    Madam Speaker, I will never attack anybody's integrity. Madam Speaker, as Members of Parliament, we just do not take our immunity for granted and come and stand in this House -
    Madam Speaker
    Then put your question without saying it is totally irresponsible because this is a free House.
    Dr Prempeh
    Madam Speaker, my question is, is the Hon Minister aware that Ghanaian sub-contractors are reeling under a debt of US$13 million to be paid by VRA for this same contract and what is he doing to help settle that bill?
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, we acknowledge that this is the procedure they used to select and that was precisely what the Question was -
    "how much is Government's commitment to the Tema Thermal I Power Project and how the contract was awarded".
    We have explained how the contract was awarded. The number we know is different from the number that the Hon Member quoted and that is why I said that when numbers are different, it is always
    Madam Speaker
    Yes, let us have the last question. We have two more Questions and you know we have a programme at 2.00 o'clock
    Mr George K. Arthur
    Thank you, Madam Speaker-
    Madam Speaker
    You did not ask the Question, ask a supplementary question.
    Mr Arthur
    Madam Speaker, the questioner mentioned two figures here and we do not know whether they are correct or not. May I know from the Hon Minister how much was paid for that contract? [Pause] I want to know the contract sum.
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, again, as I have said in my last statement, anytime the numbers are different, we want an opportunity to reconcile with the people who have been directly involved. I would be glad to come back on a substantive Question and give the exact number.
    Madam Speaker
    Yes, Hon Members, let us move on. We have two more Questions and time has already passed. But let us deal with them in the House instead of my referring them. They are two constituency-specific Questions.

    Electricity extension works to Ajarija-Beposo,Abease and Zabrama communities.

    Q.1008.Alhaji Masoud Baba Abdul- Rahman asked the Minister for Energy what had stalled work on the extension of electricity to Ajarija-Beposo, Abease and Zabrama communities.
    Dr Joe Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, Ajarija-Beposo and Abease communities form part of the Ministry's electrification projects. High Voltage network construction works are 90 per cent and 10 per cent complete at Ajarija-Beposo and Abease respectively. With regard to low voltage works, progress of work is 50 per cent and 3O per cent complete respectively.
    The reason for the delay in the execution of works is due to the unavailability of some materials required for the completion of works. The Ministry is in the process of securing additional funds for the purchase of the required materials to enable the completion of the project by the end of the year. This includes Parliament's recently approved loan facility of GH¢8O million between the Government of Ghana and the Trust Bank Ghana Limited for the supply of cables and conductors for the SHEP.
    The Zabrama community forms part of a turnkey project being financed and executed from a supplier's credit by China International Water and Electric Corpo- ration (CWE). The Ministry of Energy is in the process of sourcing additional funds from CWE to ensure that all outstanding installation works are completed.
    Madam Speaker
    Yes, Hon Member, your three supplementary questions.
    Alhaji Abdul-Rahman
    Madam Speaker, I want to ask the Hon Minister how much has been committed to the work so far. How much money has been expended on the work so far?
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, we have told the Hon Member the scope of work that has been completed. Normally, these are done for the whole region. I am unable to isolate the cost for the Pru Constituency. If it is really needed, we will try and provide him with that information.
    Madam Speaker
    Hon Member, your second supplementary question.
    Alhaji Abdul-Rahman
    Madam Speaker, I think I am satisfied so far.
    Thank you.
    Connection of Ohene Nkwanta, Afirisere and Serebourso to the national electricity grid
    Q.1009. Mr KwameAnyi.madu-Antwi asked the Minister for Energy when the following towns would be connected to the national electricity grid:
    (i) Ohene Nkwanta
    (ii) Afirisere
    (iii) Serebourso.
    Dr Joe Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, the Ohene Nkwanta, Afirisere_and Serebourso communities do not form part of the ongoing electrification projects being undertaken by the Ministry of Energy. Preliminary engineering surveys have however, been carried out in the communities. The communities would be considered in the subsequent phases of the electrification programme in line with the implementation schedule and the availability of funding.
    Mr Anyirnadu-Antwi
    Madam Speaker, under the Self-Help Electrification Project (SHEP), I am aware that neighbouring constituencies have been touched. I am also aware that, for instance, within the Asante Akim South Constituency, there have been some extensions to some villages. May I know what criterion or criteria were used in excluding the Asante Akim North Constituency?
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, I believe that the policy is such it hat no community is excluded But for availability of funds, there is a procedure and a process for doing this. If one wants to qualify for electri- fication under the distance between the town that requires electricity and the nearest source, has to be 20 kilometres. The community has to procure all the low voltage poles required for their community and also wire 30 per cent of the houses in that community.
    This is more of a voluntary programme and that if communities do that, then they enhance the timing of their electricity programme. If communities choose not to do anything, then there is another programme that will do in terms of economic merit order. And that is why we said the project would be completed in the year 2020. So no community is excluded; just patience and availability of funds.
    Mr Anyimadu-Antwi
    Madam Speaker, with respect, Afrisere and Serebourso were within the Afram Plains community. Afram Plains, in land size, covers about two-thirds of the Asante Akim North Constituency. Almost all the villages with our neighbours, that is, Afram Plains North, are connected to the national grid.
    May I know why the Asante Akim North part of the Plains has been neglected? We have about 27 communities and not a single community is connected to the national grid. May I know the reason? The north is connected but Asante Akim South is not.
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, as I said earlier, the policy does not discriminate. If the Hon Member wants to facilitate or speed up the timing of electrification, then let him work with the community to apply under the SHEP programme. If they choose to stay under
    Mr Aliyimadu-AntWi
    Madam Speaker, in the Hon Minister's Answer, with respect, I beg to quote:
    "Preliminary engineering surveys have however, been carried out in the communities. The communities would be considered in the subsequent phases of the electrification programme in line with the implementation schedule and the availability of funding."
    Now, in the Hon Minister's estimation, when Will these communities be connected to the national grid? And my emphasis is on "when". taking cognizance of the usual words that are used: "availability of funds."
    Dr Oteng-Adjei
    Madam Speaker, let me assure the Hon Member that we are working very hard to ensure that we increase the pace of electrification. But I assure him that they will definitely get electricity before the end of the time that has been set for us, which is 2020.
    Madam Speaker
    Hon Members, this is the end of Question time.
    Hon Minister, we thank you for coming to answer our Questions and hope you will come again to finish up.
    Hon Members, now, let us move to item
    Hon Leader, is the Hon Minister here now?
    Mr Avoka
    Yes, except that we will defer item number 6(a). hear there are further consultations to be made in respect of 6 item (a). So we would take item 6(b) anal (c) and then continue from items 7 an 8.

    Madam Speaker
    Yes, Leader, do we go to item (7) now?
    Mr Avoka
    That is so, Madam Speaker. And I want to kindly ask for your permission to allow t e Hon Deputy mister, Mr Mahama Ayariga to lay the Paper on behalf of the Hon Minister who is not in the Chamber today.
    Madam Speaker
    Yes, I do not see any objection.

    Mr Avoka
    Madam Speaker, subject to your convenience, we would take item number 8.
    Madam Speaker
    Yes, I will start with Motion number 8; the Second Deputy Speaker would be taking over in a few minutes' time. So Hon Minister, you may move your Motion number 8. [Pause]
    Mr Avoka
    Madam Speaker, I regret to say that the Hon Minister has virtually lost his voice.
    Mr Avoka
    You could see from the pulpit. So with your kind indulgence, we want one of our Hon Colleagues, the Deputy Minister, Hon Armah-Kofi Buah to stand in for him and move the Motion.
    Madam Speaker
    Yes, Honourable, any objection to that?
    Mr Frederick Opare-Ansah
    Madam Speaker, we have no objection since the Hon Minister himself is here and he has already given an indication that they are working as a team. But we pray that next time round, he minimizes the level of "Gaming" so that he does not come here to suffer the way he was doing today.
    Madam Speaker
    Is the suffering not here rather? Anyway, he has no objection, so we could move it.

    Mr Kwame A. Twumasi (NDC - Nkoranza South
    Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion that this Hon House adopts the Report of the Committee on Mines and Energy on the Renewable Energy Bill, 2011.
    Mr Speaker, I am a member of that Committee and we have done a thorough work on this Bill that was referred to it. It is also worthy to note that there is the need for our country to diversify the sources of energy for the energy sector. And in so doing, it is also important to mention and commend the Ministry of Energy for upgrading the Renewable Energy Unit in the Ministry to a Directorate. The Directorate has done a yeoman's work by identifying many of the sources of renewable energy in our country.
    Mr Speaker, it is significant to mention that the potential source of renewable energy in this country is enormous. We
    Mr Kwame A. Twumasi (NDC - Nkoranza South
    have the sun which shines an average of twelve hours in a day. In the eastern side of our coast, the wind has the potential to support the generation of energy. Other areas like wood fuel, bio-mass and the rest are also there for us to tap into.
    The problem - Why maybe, as a nation, we have not taken advantage of these sources is that we do not have the legal framework that will create the needed and enabling environment for investors to venture into this area.
    Mr Speaker, I recall in the 2007 and 2008 period when we went through the energy crisis - globally and Ghana not exempted - many were investors who wanted to take advantage of that but because we lacked that legal framework, their efforts were thwarted. It is, therefore, a welcome news that this Bill is coming and if adopted, it will definitely create that environment, a legal framework for investors to venture into that area.
    Mr Speaker, the Bill makes provision for the Energy Commission to collaborate with our institutions in the development of curriculum and I am happy to mention that as far back as 2007, the Tamale Polytechnic and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) were supported by Japan International Co-operation Agency (IICA) to undertake this venture.
    Around the same time, a delegation that went to Germany included a team from KNUST, and I am happy to note that the present Vice-Chancellor, Professor Otoo Elvis was in that delegation. That delegation seriously considered how Ghana could take advantage of renewable energy by learning from what was pertaining in Germany.

    KNUST has already started a project on bio-mass and I think the Ministry will use that as a springboard to support whichever company or investor that would want to go into this area. These positive sides notwithstanding, it is important to mention that there are critical challenges in the development of renew- able energy,

    The first one talks about the initial cost of production. We can be talking about the sun which shines twelve hours but to tap this and generate the needed energy is very, very expensive. This is going to impact on the cost of production of that energy and effectively enter into the tariff if we enter into this area. It is, therefore, important that we consider the Com- mittee's recommendation on sources of funding for the generation of renewable energy seriously.

    It is important that maybe, the Govern- ment finds other areas to complement and support the already identified sources of funding for this Fund that the Bill anticipates to be established.

    The second one deals with the production of bio-fuel. This is going to compete with the lands that we already have and we need to take a very serious note of that. I am happy that in the Bill, there is that collaborative status for the Energy Commission and other Ministries to seriously look at which areas that it can venture into in the bio-fuel pro- duction such that it will not affect the agricultural sector of this country.

    On that short note, I wish to urge Hon Members to support this Report and accept the contents thereof.

    Deputy Minister for Energy (Alhaji Inusah A. B. Fuseini) (MP): Mr Speaker, I Wish to associate myself with the sentiments raised by the Chairman in their Report and the Hon Member who just spoke.

    Indeed, the piloting of this Bill could not have come at a better time. All round the World, countries are harnessing the potential of renewable energy for the purposes of developing their power sources.

    For us in Ghana, there is a policy direction to ensure that renewable energy contributes about 10 per cent to the energy generation mix of this country. This means, if we are targeting 5,000 installed capacity by 2020, renewable energy must contribute about 500 megawatts to the installed capacity of this country.

    We are doing so because we believe that Ghana abounds in renewable energy sources. We are around the tropics and the sunshine is available throughout the year. Properly harnessed, solar energy could augment the shortfall in the installed capacity that we are experiencing now.

    We have also identified some wind sites which can encourage the esta- blishment of windmills for the purposes of generating renewable energy. Again, that source could provide clean available energy for use in our homes, industries and for commercial purposes.

    Bio-mass is available. Presently, we are contemplating on how to deal with waste, solid and liquid waste. It is really a problem. People all over the places and in communities have identified the hazards and menace associated with dumping. Presently, all that we are doing is to dump our waste with its consequent environmental hazards. Renewable' energy is targeted at dealing with this

    environmental challenge in ensuring that we use our waste in ways that will be beneficial, that will produce more energy to feed our industries, homes and for other purposes.

    The challenge, as properly identified, is that the installed cost of renewable energy is too high that it serves as a disincentive to anybody who wants to invest in that sector. Nobody can overlook the tremendous benefits that will accrue to this country by the harnessing of these available resources all over the place. This is why we think that first of all, a legal regime must be created that will help monitor, maintain and operate the law in such a way that it will give comfort to people who want to come and invest in renewable energy. That is also why this Bill contains the feed-in tariffs.

    Discussions are ongoing on how to calculate the feed-in tariffs. Is it that persons who have invested in the generation of thermal plants will contribute some percentage of their money because renewable energy could help us control global warming? Will it be that these people, residential users, will pay a token, high and above the tariffs that we pay for the purposes of this feed-in tariff? Or is it that we will access carbon credits by reason of the fact that What we will be doing will help to reduce global warming?

    This is why we think that it is important that we look at the sources to the Fund - Renewable Energy Fund. This is because it is this Fund that will augment whatever cost that is associated with the installation of renewable energy technologies in this country.

    Let me end by inviting Hon Members of this House to show interest in this Bill, to help enrich the Bill because it is a new area. It is an uncharted territory. We are trying to see how together as a country, we can help harness this potential,
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker
    Thank you very much, Hon Minister.
    Prof. Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi (NPP-Techiman North)
    Mr Speaker, let me add my voice to the voices that have also commended the Committee for presenting us with this Report on renewable energy.
    If you want to go green, this is the way to do it; try and identify sources of energy other than the orthodox ones that we know because they are safer. As someone interested as always in environment, let me repeat that the shift in this direction will be the most appropriate one at the moment. However, the timing is abit tricky and this is where caution is appropriate.
    I am saying the timing because here we are just outdoored into the oil producing countries family. Now, the danger is that as soon as we become familiar with the products that we are going to get in terms of energy from the oil base, we are definitely going to pay less attention to these other sources of energy.
    The call on the private sector, though appropriate, is not going to be taken up by investors- That one, we have to be sure of. This is because the initial investment itself is very expensive and looking at the numbers that are going to utilise these other sources of energy and given the fact that we have oil and gas going to be abundant in the country, investors will hesitate in pushing their money into these areas-

    As a Government and for future plans, I think there should be a deliberate plan to invest in renewable energy sources. This is the way to do it. People talk about energy from bio-mass- South Africa is a typical example. There was this drive but it failed because the patronage was poor. The cost that was to go to the consumer was excessive and therefore, the investors did not get their returns-

    There is also this danger of being hooked on to sources like jatropha plant. Again, go to Southeast Asia and India, that thing is failing.

    And if we are not careful, we are going to be attracted by all these - we will push an effort into all these areas only to be disappointed.

    The concept is fine - We should not count so much on private investors, they are not going to come. If they come, their sources of energy will be more expensive than expected. We should have a plan to gradually invest in renewable energy sources, especially in these areas that have been identified.

    Finally Mr Speaker, on nuclear energy, there is currently a debate after the Japanese incident whether we should go nuclear or not. In fact, the consensus is that what happened in Japan may not be a frequent occurrence and therefore, it is instructive that again, as a country, we begin to look at various phases of gradually acquiring that technology.

    We should not be intimidated at all because we are not going to see the Japan thing happen frequently as he said. That will be a way of going cheaper source of energy. At the moment, the regular safety measures are adequate to take care of the kinds of incidents that occurred, for example, in Chernobyl. So, we should pay some attention to that and not be inhibited by what happened in East Asia.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker
    Thank you very much, Hon Member.
    Mr Gershon K.B. Gbediame (NDC - Nkwanta South)
    Mr Speaker, I also rise to support this Motion and to say that renewable energy and, for that matter, energy is a source of life and as population continues to grow and resources dwindle, the only way we can sustain energy, is to be able to address these renewable energy sources such as solar, nuclear and wind which are inexhaustible.
    Mr Speaker, we are endowed with a lot of sunshine and we believe that if we are able to go this way, we will be able to guarantee supply of energy for our homes and for industries. I am looking forward to a time when it will become a policy that every house that is built must be fixed with solar panels so that at the point that we have rampant power outages, we can easily switch to solar.
    Therefore, this Bill coming here, to be able to guarantee investors and all stakeholders into this area is worth starting. We think that it is a good thing that is happening and we should all lend our support to it.
    Mr Speaker, as l am speaking, there is a pilot solar project going on in my constituency. There are some areas which are so inaccessible that even any attempt to send these cables that carry the national

    grid will be impossible. There is no way they can ever get there. But with solar, we can fix these panels in those areas easily and they will also enjoy electricity. It is in this vein that I also support this programme and pray that it will become a reality for people to invest more in this area of renewable energy.

    Thank you Mr Speaker.
    Mr David Oppon-Kusi (NPP-OfOase/ Ayirebi)
    Mr Speaker, I will like to add my voice to what my Hon Colleagues have already said on the need and importance of renewable energy resources for Ghana. I will particularly want to talk about solar energy.
    In a country like ours, blessed with twelve hours of sunshine, I think that the time has come for us to concentrate on how we can get the maximum out of solar energy.
    Mr Speaker, one of the constraints facing the provision of solar energy power to consumers is the cost, first of all, of the infrastructure and the cost of converting and storing electricity. And looking at the Report, another constraint is the ability to make sure that there is market for the power that is generated by investors. I believe that in deliberating on the Bill, we need to ensure that there are certain provisions that will ensure that there is ready market for anyone who will want to put his or her money into this sector.
    Mr Speaker, one of the greatest consumers of power is the Government through its Ministries, Departments and Agencies. We do know for example, Mr Speaker, that we need this power mostly during the day time when the sunshine is available. One of the issues that have been brought to the fore is that we need expensive batteries to store this energy. However, if you are going to use the energy in real time that is when the sun is already shining, it means that We can do
    Mr David Oppon-Kusi (NPP-OfOase/ Ayirebi)
    away with this cost- Most of the public buildings use their energy during the day time. It must therefore, be possible for us in the Bill to include a provision that all public buildings should have about 20 per cent of their power requirement from solar sources. This immediately will bring ready market for those who will come and invest in solar energy. So let us start from government bungalows where we can use power from our energy resources.
    Mr Speaker, one other thing that we have not taken note of is the fact that we think that energy from hydro is quite cheap. This is because we have not factored in the cost of the land that is covered by the massive lakes that provide us with power. If you have costed that into the generation of electricity, we will realize that solar energy is not as expensive as we think it is.
    When we do this comparative analysis, we realize the need that in future we must have to put the value of the land that we have used in producing hydro energy into the cost of providing hydro electricity. This will then enable us go forward and then provide energy from solar sources.
    Mr Speaker, we will soon be debating the merits of this Bill. It is my contention that as we debate' the merits of this Bill, we look for provisions that will force certain offices, certain industries to have at least, not 10 per cent but about 20 per cent of the energy resources from solar. This will go a long way in ensuring that when people come to invest, they have the ready market, they know they have people who already have laws that will ensure that when they generate electricity, it will be consumed.
    Finally Mr Speaker, there is a provision to ensure that when individuals or when companies invest in solar energy, they can re-sell their surplus power back into

    the grid. I believe that this is an important thing we should pursue and make sure that it will attract people to invest their money, in knowing very well that it will generate excess electricity, they have a ready market for that electricity.

    Mr Speaker, with these few words, I support the Motion.
    Mr Albert Abongo (NDC-Bongo)
    Mr Speaker, it is gratifying to note that we have this Renewable Energy Bill before the House for consideration. This is important because it will pave the way for us as a country to make our contribution towards the protection of the environ- ment. Renewable energy has become very important in recent times because of the cry for the fact that the ozone layer is depleting and that even life on this planet is getting threatened.
    So, as a country, putting in place a Bill of this nature that will ensure that we put in place the necessary structures for harnessing the other alternative energy sources. It Will be a good one for the people of this country, and also put us in the lime-light globally that we are also making serious and frantic efforts to ensure that we make good contribution towards the protection of the environment. "
    Mr Speaker, we are lucky to be abound in several resources when it comes to renewable energy. We have the sun that is in abundance; We have waste that we generate that can be exploited for energy; we have the water sources for hydro electricity generation; we even have the Waves in the sea that can also be exploited to generate power. These are all sources that if we have the necessary technology put in place, we can harness to ensure that we maximize our energy mix as a country.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker
    Hon Members, 1 will take two more contri- butions.
    Mr Joseph K. Adda (NPP-Navrongo Central)
    Mr Speaker, indeed, I wish to add my voice to that of my Colleagues in commending Government for bringing up this very important Bill. The Bill is long

    overdue but as the saying goes: "it is better late than never."

    Indeed, considering the potentials that we have in this country, which have been mentioned by many of my Hon Colleagues in terms of sun, wind, the ocean, bio-mass, we can really harness these potentials consciously 'and reach the 10 per cent energy mix contribution from the renewable energy area that we are targeting.

    Mr Speaker, l think the Bill is in the right direction, understandably and we should all support it. It goes to affirm the nation's commitment, it would encourage our investors to take us more seriously in this renewable energy area. It would also mitigate the negative environmental impacts that are occurring to us now. Mr Speaker, the Bill also covers good areas, areas that are covered by global standards and so, all of the major issues have been addressed in this Bill.

    But Mr Speaker, there are two areas of concern that I have, one is in the area of institutional conflict and then also the funding arrangement.

    Mr Speaker, when we consider the energy sector today, it is the fact that all of our generation from the public side is vested in the Volta River Authority (VRA) - one agency, and also the fact remains that we have high technical and commercial losses that make it difficult for us to manage the tariff rate in the country.

    Mr Speaker, it is my view that if we had been able to unbundle these sources of energy generation - thermal, hydro - and set up smaller, more compact and leaner agencies to deal with them, we could make some efficiency in savings and through those dividends, We can perhaps, manage the tariff rate much better.

    Let me commend the Ministry for elevating the Renewable Energy Unit into a Directorate, but I would have gone further, Mr Speaker, to make it an outfit on
    Mr Joseph K. Adda (NPP-Navrongo Central)
    its own; That way, we can really dedicate our efforts to harnessing these potentials that we have in the country and managing what needs. to be managed very, very effectively and efficiently. But if we continue to lump everything within the major generating agency of the State, the Volta River Authority, it would continue to be difficult for us. And I see potential problems down the line where it would be difficult for us to deal with the second area, which is the funding aspect that has been alluded to by my Hon Colleagues.
    Issues of potential institutional conflicts- When those funds are raised, who manages them? Is it the Energy Commission which is supposed to be a regulator? Is it the VRA which often does not get enough money for power that it is generating and might take some of these moneys on board? ls it the Ministry of Energy which is a policy arm? There is clearly no implementing agency dedicated to the renewal area and I think it would be in our own interest as a nation to have a separate outfit that would deal with this particular source of energy.
    Mr Speaker, I would like to recommend at this stage that the Ministry, in getting this Bill through perhaps, in the future, should consider a separate outfit and maybe, come out with an amendment if they think that the idea is a wise one for us to set up this separate unit to deal with renewable energy. Without that, I can see what one of my Colleagues,' the Hon Professor mentioned, that eventually, we may not be able to attract investors to this country because of the complexities of the way we negotiate the tariff rates.
    But if we have a separate agency that deals with it, even if it means the State should supplement what they are rigging

    in the setting up of the renewable energy plants, then investors would see clear on how to come in and support us to harness these potentials.

    Mr Speaker, with these few words, I urge my Colleagues to support the Motion and to adopt the Report.

    Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah; Mr Speaker, let me begin by thanking Hon Members for their contributions. I have taken note of all the good suggestions made.

    I want to thank the Committee for the good work done.

    Mr Speaker, we have come a long way as a country; we began with the hydro; we realized during crisis that over- dependence on hydro would not help us. We moved to thermal and we realized that the cost of crude had real impact on this economy, Mr Speaker. We know the challenges that we face and the Hon Member was right when he made the point that this Bill is important but it comes at a very critical time, it comes at a time when We have discovered oil.

    Mr Speaker, it is very clear that this is really the time for us to use this opportunity to focus on where the whole world is moving to -- moving green, and I am very happy that Hon Members, in all their responses, have supported this Bill in various ways.

    This Bill will help this country in a lot of different ways and make us really move to where the world has gone. If you look at the key features of the Bill, Mr Speaker, the feed-in tariffs for example, is intended not only to encourage private investors but it is- also going to empower ordinary Ghanaians. Mr Speaker, you imagine for a moment that you can create power from your backyard and you are going to be paid for -it and you are somehow going to get money for producing your own electricity. The electricity company, the
    Mr Joseph K. Adda (NPP-Navrongo Central)
    utilities are going to be required to buy a percentage of the renewable sources of energy and so, it is not going to be a choice that they have and these are going to be things that would be guaranteed in the law.
    Issues of environment are so addressed in this law and if you look at where the country has come, as I speak to you, the energy mix, renewable sources like solar, wind is only 0.01 per cent. Mr Speaker, it means that the legal framework has never been in place and because of that investors have been very reluctant.
    With the passage of this Bill, Mr Speaker, we are very sure that investors would come in to really invest in this Bill because there will be a legal framework and there will be real Government support. But I took the point that the Hon Member made. We are going to encourage investors but this Government must lead in this effort to move this Bill because in the final analysis, this is the Bill that will guarantee our country's complete transformation.
    Mr Speaker, there is also the oppor- tunity for a lot of funding sources as has been stated and I believe that once we pass this Bill, we will get the opportunity to do that. The renewable energy sources that we have, the resources abound - solar, Wind and bio-fuel.
    The point that has been made about the challenge We face in terms of whether We use bio-fuel and it Will compete with food and, our land is something that has been noted and we have to work very hard to balance, to ensure that while we are going green, we are also balancing the

    need to make sure that food and other resources we need are not taken by this effort.

    I am very, very happy of all the support that we have got. The Ministry of Energy has taken this Bill very seriously, And as has been stated, we now have created Renewable Energy Directorate and it is intended by Government that as soon as we move in this direction, government departments, our posts, are all going to be required to use solar sources of energy, renewable sources of energy. I believe that as we move in this direction, this country is going to be better for it and our subsidising of crude will really be reduced, and it will help this country's economy in a big way.

    I believe that the passage of this Bill, indeed, is going to be good news really for Ghana and l thank Hon Members for the support and I encourage them to support us in passing this Bill.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker
    Thank you very much, Hon Minister.
    Question put and Motion agreed to. The Renewable Energy Bill, 2011 was accordingly read a Second time
    MrSecond Deputy Speaker
    Item 9 - Motion.
    Mr Avoka Mr Speaker, item 9, Hon Agyeman-Manu would move the Motion on behalf of the Hon Chairman (MrAlbe1t Kan-Dapaah) who has stepped out on other assignments.

    Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu (on behalf of the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee)
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Performance Audit Report of the Auditor-General on administration of the Ghana National Service Scheme (NSS)
    1.0 Introduction .
    The above Performance Audit Report was laid in the House on 8th June, 2009 in accordance with article 187 of the 1992 Constitution and the Standing Orders of the House.
    This Audit Report was referred to the Public Accounts Committee in accordance with Standing Order 165 for examination and report.
    In examining this report, the Committee met with the then Minister for Education, Hon Alex Tettey-Enyo, the National Service Co-ordinator, Mr. Vincent Senam Kuagbenu and a technical team from the Ministry of Education and Ghana Audit Service.
    2.0 Reason for the audit
    Concerns continued to be expressed about the way the Scheme is being operated. These include the inability to, implement all aspects of the Scheme's programme, misapplication of fluids by the administrators of the Scheme, dissa- tisfaction by service personnel regarding delays in posting, delays in payment of allowances as well as complaints from user agencies of misalignment of the service

    year with the academic year and unacceptable levels of absenteeism among some service personnel.

    The audit was to assess the adminis- tration of the Scheme regarding its effectiveness to augment the manpower needs of the country. It was also to evaluate the effectiveness of the monitoring of service personnel at their job locations by the various regional and district secretariats of NSS as well as the management of payment of allowances of service personnel.

    3 .0 Audit findings, observations and recommendations

    3.1 Inability to organize military training

    Explaining why military training is no longer part of the Scheme, the Minister for Education informed the Committee that when the duration of the National Service Scheme was two years, a mandatory six months military service was part of the conditions for the service. Unfortunately, due to the increasing cost, the practice had been discontinued.

    The Minister agreed to the suggestion that the military training acts as an opportunity to instil discipline in persons. He said the idea of the military training, being part of the Scheme, was necessary. This was because the military training enabled the personnel to be punctual, respectful, adhere to instructions among others. He said, given the benefits of the military training, the thinking now is to include military training but for a shorter duration.

    3.2 Welfare of. Service Personnel not adequately catered for

    The Scheme does not cater adequately for personnel welfare. The process of posting service personnel was not done in an efficient manner, which led to late and prolonged periods in the posting.
    Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu (on behalf of the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee)
    It took about three months to process the national service application. Monthly allowances, necessary for the upkeep of personnel were also not paid promptly. As a result, a lot of personnel faced several difficulties in their various areas of posting. Others preferred to be posted to areas closer to their homes to avoid these challenges and this contributed to the influence of the public in personnel postings.
    Management agreed to the audit observation but indicted that that was not the case today. A lot had been put in place to address the challenges. Allowances are now being paid regularly.
    Management also informed the Committee that all service persons were required to register with the National Health insurance Scheme before taking up the postings. This was to ensure that medical issues were properly addressed.
    On the postings, the Committee was informed that delays arose out of documentation problems. These included wrong information, sorting and delays in the submission of forms. Management, however, was taking steps to ensure that postings were made on time.
    Observations and recommendations
    The Committee observed that 'as a result of delays in the payment of allowances, service personnel faced a lot of financial problems. Timely payments of these allowances would help address the challenges. The Committee reiterates the Auditor- General's recommendation that manage- ment ensures regular and prompt payment

    of monthly allowances. Further, management should start processing applications early and also rely on information technology to speed up the posting process.

    3.3 Favouring of private organisations

    The Scheme posts more personnel to private organisations and this adversely affects the Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

    Management informed the Committee that in 2010, the Scheme made a conscious effort to post only 2,060 out of 50,069 personnel to the private sector. The rest were posted to the public sector. It is estimated that 32,375 personnel were posted to augment staff in the educational sector in the rural areas.

    Management further assured the Committee that in 2010, most service personnel were posted to the rural areas.

    The Committee was assured that the Scheme would continue to ensure that most personnel are sent to deprived areas to augment the staffing strengths.

    3.4 Unclaimed allowances were not refund ed to chest-GH¢8.31 million

    The Committee observed that the Service had been using unclaimed allowances to meet administrative expenditure and refunded when Govern- ment subvention is released.

    The Committee is happy to learn that this practice has ceased. Nonetheless, it has reguested the Auditor-General to verify the refund of GH¢8.3 1 million being unclaimed allowances which was temporarily used for administrative expenditure.
    Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu (on behalf of the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee)
    3.5 Public interference in the posting process
    A lot of people interfered with the posting of their wards to institutions that, in their view, hold a future for them. This practice undermined the essence of the National Service Scheme.
    Observations and recommendations
    The Committee therefore, urged mana- gement to undertake a sensitisation programme to educate the public about the essence of the National Service Scheme.
    4.0 Conclusion
    The Committee noted that the Scheme had been designed to augment the manpower needs of the country. If the Scheme is to continue to achieve its objectives, then there is the need to do more to improve its effectiveness. The Committee demands that management implements its recommendations as Well as the Auditor- General's recommendations to ensure the success of the Scheme
    The Committee recommends to the House to adopt its Report on the Performance Audit Report of the Auditor- General on operations of the Ghana National Service Scheme.
    Respectfully submitted.
    Ranking Member of the Commit- tee(Alhaji Amadu Seidu): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
    Mr Speaker, for many years, the National Service Scheme was seen and regarded as a stopgap for employment for our graduates from institutions of higher

    learning. For quite some time now, this perception and character have changed and positively for that matter.

    Mr Speaker, the Scheme is supposed to instil discipline in our youth, instil patriotism in our youth, and I think that these laudable objectives are being achieved, looking at the calibre of personnel who accept postings to most of our deprived areas in this country.

    Today, the Scheme has embarked upon large tracks of fanning in some parts of this country and the projects have been very, very good. In my opinion, we need to congratulate the Co-ordinator and his management team for this very good performance. We only hope that they would be able to sustain this performance in order to improve upon food production in this country.

    Mr Speaker, one other good thing the Scheme has achieved is the issue of addressing imbalance in our staff levels in most of our rural communities. If you look at the Ghana Education Service in particular, majority of the teachers that we have are service personnel and but for - them, one would not have known what would have happened to our pupils in our primary schools and secondary schools.

    It is precisely for this reason that I think that it should be our collective respon- sibility to ensure that the National Service Scheme is sustained by making sure that we provide them with the necessary tools, the necessary equipment and the necessary resources for them to be able to achieve their objectives.

    Mr Speaker, one other issue raised by the Auditor-General in his Performance Report was this issue of interference in the posting of Service p81‘SOI11'l8l. It is a common practice that we all know, that some parents who do not want their


    children to accept postings to certain parts of this country. I think that it is not a very good and healthy development and as much as possible, I think we should all stop that kind of behaviour because Ghana is a unitary country and we are only hoping and Wishing the best for the country. Therefore, as a service to the country, we should all be prepared to allow our children to go to any part of the country to be able to render service, so that we can achieve our collective objective.

    With these few words, Mr Speaker, I urge Hon Members to support the motion.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker
    l thank you very much; we have three of these. Leadership have agreed we take one Member from each side of the House.
    Question Proposed
    Ms Beatrice B. Boateng (NPP - New Juaben South)
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to also contribute to the Motion on the floor. The Motion is talking about National Service Scheme
    Mr Speaker, this was a very laudable Scheme that was introduced; like the Report says, it is sad to find that the NSS like other schemes are well spelt out on papers but when it comes to implemen- tation, it becomes a problem. Mr Speaker, I will be right to say that other countries might have copied this Scheme from us and it might be Working so well but when it comes to us, it becomes a problem. Why is it so? With the Auditors-General's

    findings and observations, I think we are talking about inability to organise military training.

    One would have asked: Was it necessary at all to organise a military training? The answer is, yes. Why military training? Somebody would ask, why do we not go to the Army if we want military training? But we are talking about aspects of the training that would equip the national service personnel to perform and perform better. What are these skills? Discipline; the first and foremost of it all, time consciousness, respect to rules and orders, respect for punctuality and the like.

    Mr Speaker, if these were the skills that are supposed to be exposed to the people who go under this training to become useful national service personnel, Why have we stopped them and we are talking about high cost. If we think of the cost, do we also think of the benefits? If we should spend that money, the benefits, it would accrue to the nation as a whole, to the individual - and the entire family. We always talk about cost, but it is not common to see money spent, where it should not be spent. Where money should actually be spent, we cry wolf about them.

    Mr Speaker, I want to plead with the organisers and those who are involved that we should all come together and take this thing seriously. Aside the military training, I am also recommending that an aspect of teacher training courses, that is psychology should also be exposed to them. It makes them know all about humans. This is because they are going to work with people and they should understand a bit about people. I always say that teachers succeed in places where they are put because of the sort of training, most especially, the psychology that we are thought.

    Mr Speaker, that is not all on the findings. One other thing is that the welfare of service ice personnel is not
    Ms Beatrice B. Boateng (NPP - New Juaben South)
    adequately catered for. It is something that we all know because we live with them; our children are part of them, our brothers and sisters and the like. I am sad that the Report is saying, it takes months to process the allowances. It is not months; Mr Speaker, at times it goes beyond a year and they have not been given anything at all.
    They are our children; they cannot be put Where we are; they are sent far away from us; we eat and sleep as parents but our children starve. Why should it happen this Way? If we think the NSS is not necessary, why do we not scrape it up and at the end of it all, we get our children close to us, so that we feed them as it is happening in the country? You would find our homes filled with our children who are above 20 and are supposed to be working but because there are no jobs for them, we are feeding them.
    We spend money to school them in universities and polytechnics and the like and they come out and when they are sent for national service, they are there starving. It is not the best for us; we need to have another look at it.
    Mr Speaker, another thing worth mentioning is their posting. Normally, it is like putting square pegs in round holes. Somebody might have gone to do medicine and the person is sent to do something in the classroom; not even the secondary school but the kindergarten or the primary school to go and teach. What is he going to teach? Do we see teaching as somebody standing in front of children and say anything at all? Teaching is a skill but a lot more National Service Personnel who have never had anything on teachers training are sent to the classroom to go and teach.

    It is not only that; somebody goes to do something on accounting or finance and the person is sent to a farm somewhere to go and do farming - putting square pegs in round holes.

    Mr Speaker, I believe the essence of this national service is to help these children upgrade themselves in the course that they have taken, so that eventually when they have their permanent work, they will be able to work. But what do we see?.We kill their interests, we kill all that they have gone to learn and eventually when they are put in their work places and they are unable to perform, we blame them instead of blaming the system -
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker
    Hon Member, in view of what you have said, you will be concluding, so that others will have the chance.
    Ms Boateng
    I will be concluding. Mr Speaker, because of some of these problems, it has become very common for people to chase their children's postings. Right now, as I stand, I have one or two in my file that I am going to follow. Why am I following? We want him to be put at a place where he will be practising what he has gone to leam.
    Mr Speaker, it has become too common of us as Ghanaians - putting too many beautiful things on paper but we cannot implement them rightly to achieve anything. The sad thing is that other countries pick them up, they implement and it works better for them and we turn togo to them as if we are going to learn from them. I am appealing to all of us as Ghanaians that the earlier we did things rightly, the better for us.
    The National Service Scheme (NSS) is a very important scheme and we should go back and do what is right for them, so that our future will be better for all of us.
    Thank you for the opportunity.

    Dominic A. Azumah (NDC - Garu/ Tempane): Mr Speaker, briefly, I want to say that the Scheme has improved in its management as the years went by. Years back, the Scheme was beset with a lot of challenges but I think with proper management now, there has been a lot of improvement.

    The Scheme has veered into areas - some novelty areas like going into farming and currently, as we discuss this Report, they are in Adwira in the Ashanti Region, they are in Gomoa West in the Central Region, they are in Afram Plains engaged in serious farming and it is expected that 'following some few discussions with the Chief Executive of the Scheme, they are moving into the Upper East Region for a lot of land for maize cultivation. I think that is a very good novelty and we must commend the management for that effort.

    One difficult area I have, Mr Speaker, is the kind of posting to the private sector. At the end of each service year, the scheme management expects the private sector to inform them of the number of personnel they will require in a particular year. Interestingly, sometimes, certain service personnel are posted to some institutions only to be told that there are no vacancies for them even though it was at the request of that institution.

    I remember a gentleman from the University for Development Studies (UDS) in Wa was posted to Cocoa Marketing Board in Accra and when he got there, the only response he got was that "oh, coming from UDS what are you coming to do at COCOBOD. We do not have vacancy for you"; I had to follow up to see the Chief Executive to find out why he had been posted by the Secretariat to his outfit only for him to tell him that there was no vacancy.

    But after a lot of discussions, they gave the boy a chance to go to Tema to serve in the COCOB OD. So I believe that it should not be at the discretion of the heads of institution to decide what kind of personnel they need for the Service, as long as the Secretariat posts a Service personnel to that area, it is duty bound on that institution to work with that Service personnel.

    Mr Speaker, I think that with the few challenges the Service has been able to go through and with the correction made - indeed, I would want to support the Report especially the Hon Minister's intervention that he intends to re-introduce this military training on a shorter period. It is very good. It is only to build that discipline in the Service personnel; young men and women as they are, moving into the world, they need some amount of discipline. It is only believed that going through the military processes, it will imbue in them this kind of military discipline which they will carry to their work places when they are finally posted to certain institutions to work.

    I would want to urge the Hon Minister for Education to take a very close look at it and encourage this proposal with a bit of logistics to the Service personnel, so that our young men and women can go through this training, build themselves the self-confidence and self-discipline before they can engage themselves in the outside world.

    On that note, Mr Speaker, I want to thank you.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker
    Chairman of the Committee, do you want to make a concluding remark, and you may be very brief because you insist we should not have more than one contributor each? So say a few things in a sentence or two.
    Mr Agyeman-Manu
    Mr Speaker, it looks like the Report has actually fully been debated and my Colleagues have actually expressed their very good sentiments and support for it.
    On that note, I would not want to waste further time, I would just want to end by saying that I urge all of us Colleagues to support and adopt the Motion.
    Question put and Motion agreed .to
    Resolved accordingly.
    Report of Public Accounts Committee on the Performance Audit Report of the Auditor-General on prison accommodation in Ghana
    Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu (on behalf of the Chairman of the Committee)
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Performance Audit Report of the Auditor- General on prison accommodation in Ghana.
    1.0 Introduction
    The above Performance Audit Report was laid in the House on 8" June, 2010 in accordance with article 187 of the 1992 Constitution and the Standing Orders of the House.
    The Audit Report was referred to the Public Accounts Committee for exami- nation and report in accordance with Standing Order 165
    In examining this Report, the Committee met 'with Hon Dr Kwasi Akyem Appea- Kubi, the then Deputy Minister for Interior, the Acting Director-General of Prisons, Mr Michael Kofi Bansah, the Deputy Auditor-General, Mr Yaw Sifah and a technical team from the Ministry of the Interior and Ghana Audit Service.

    2.0 Purpose of the audit

    The audit was to assess the manage- ment of Prisons in the country. It focused on the safe custody of prisoners, their welfare, training, reformation and reintegration into the society.

    3.0 Audit findings, observations and recommendations

    3.1 Unavailability of electronic national database on ex-convicts

    The Service does not have national database on ex-convicts and this is hampering classification of prisoners at the prisons. Classification is done manually by physically identifying convicts who have served time in custody before or on answers convicts gave when interviewed at the prisons.

    Management indicated that the Service had purchased cameras and other tools to assist them in identifying and documenting prisoners. The UNDP, supported by the Bureau of National Investigations, is also providing funding to the GPS to set up aWide Area Network to link up all prison centres throughout the country.

    In addition, the Deputy Minister informed the Committee that Government was in the process of acquiring jump kit equipment for the GPS for the develop- ment and keeping of database on ex- convicts. He said the procurement cover not only the kit but other logistics including vehicles to assist the Service in their operations. The biometric jump kit is a tool which GPS can use to manage information on prisoners.

    Observations and recommendations

    The Committee observed that classifi- cation of prisoners must be a prime concern and welcomed the efforts to procure jump kits to classify convicts on arrival and develop a database on ex- convicts as soon as possible.
    Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu (on behalf of the Chairman of the Committee)
    Even though the Ministry indicated that it was making efforts to procure one for the Service along with other logistics, the Committee was of the view that if decoupled from the other supplies, it would be easier for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to source funding to acquire the kit.
    3 .2 Application of cells/rooms
    Allocation of cells/rooms by GPS to convicts is not based on the class of offence but on the availability of space resulting in hardened criminals sharing rooms/ cells with first offenders.
    Management informed the Committee that proper allocation of rooms/cells was very difficult due to limited cells available vis-a-vis the occasional large number of the various categories of prisoners on admission. The existing capacity could house only 7,875 inmates but currently, there are over 13,000 inmates. Hence there is overcrowding in every facility.
    With the completion of the Ankaful Prison and the expansion of the Wa Prisons, the Service would have additional space for prisoners. The Service also has settlement farms.
    The Service was in discussions with the Manya Krobo District Assembly to give the Akuse Prisons a face lift. An appeal had been made to Government to assist the Service renovate the James Town facility to house remand prisoners.
    Observations and recommendation There. is the need for the State to provide the Service with more accommodation facilities to enable it house prisoners.

    The Committee is also of the view that the State should be looking at non- custodial sentences such as community services for certain types of offences committed, as a way of reducing the number of inmates in jail.

    Further, the Committee reiterates the Auditor-General's recommendations that management should as much as possible allocate rooms/cells to convicts based on prisoner classification to reduce prisoner contamination and health hazards.

    3.3 Inadequate staff

    GPS is required to have such officer- inmate ratio to ensure adequate security within the prisons. The Service is also required to escort inmates outside the prison premises to ensure that the prisoners do not escape. A-visit to eight prisons revealed GPS has inadequate staff to man the prisons.

    Management explained that the Service is not attractive to people because of poor remuneration. From the year 2004 to 2007, GPS lost 213 officers on the basis of voluntary retirement, resignation and desertion. Further, some officers under- took assignments such as guard duties and administration and this has reduced the availability of staff for operational duties.

    Observations and recommendations

    The Committee observed that the staff strength of GPS is woefully inadequate and poses a great security risk and urges that Government takes steps to address it

    3.4 Welfare needs of prisoners not adequately addressed

    Inmates informed the auditors that they were fed with nutritionally poor diets and in small quantities. As a result, they are compelled to prepare/cook their own meals to supplement what GPS provides.
    Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu (on behalf of the Chairman of the Committee)
    Additionally, medical conditions existing at the prisons were very poor. Screening of prisoners was not ade- quately done because prisoners arrived without medical reports. The effect was that prisoners with diseases were admitted into prisons, with healthy ones. This led to the spread of diseases in the prisons.
    The auditors also observed that the infirmaries were not properly equipped to handle medical cases. Sick inmates were only given first aid treatment and then referred to hospitals outside the prisons if necessary.
    As a result, between 2004 and 2007, 437 prisoners died with HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as the major causes of death. Other diseases such as pneumonia, depticaemia, respiratory disorders, CSM,typhoid et cetera. which are related to poor accommodation and sanitary conditions in the prisons accounted for 142 or 32 per cent of the deaths.
    Management informed the Committee that Government provides GH¢ 0.60 per prisoner per day as feeding grant. This is woefully inadequate if the Service is to provide inmates with nutritious food.
    Observations and recommendations
    The Committee observed that govern- ment subvention to the Service is not adequate. As a result, the Service is unable to support inmates in the prisons.
    The Committee urges the Ministry responsible for Finance and Economic Planning to make adequate budgetary allocation to ensure that the Service achieved their goal.
    3.5 Justice- for all programme
    C The acting Director informed the Committee that the programme was ongoing. The Justice-for-All programme was initiated by the Judiciary to reduce

    congestion in prison facilities across the country, by setting up courts within the prisons to hear cases of remand prisoners. Out of 178 cases handled during the year, 137 had been discharged, 27 bailed out and 14 sentenced. This led to a major reduction "in the number of remand cases.

    On whether the Ghana Prisons Service could release a remand person once the warrant had expired, the acting Director informed the Committee that upon the advice of the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, they could not do so.

    Observations and recommendations

    Even though the Committee was assured that the ‘Justice-for-All' programme was on course, it was still not happy that it was possible for remand prisoners to be kept in prison for more than the period specified by the Judge/ Magistrate who sanctioned the remand.

    Keeping remand prisoners beyond the dates ordered by the Judge or Magistrate has human rights implications.

    The Committee, therefore, recom- mends that the Minister for the Interior should submit to the House bi-annual report on the status of remand prisoners in prison.

    3.6 Training, reforming and re- integrating of prisoners into society

    GPS's programmes on training, reformation and reintegration are not working effectively. Training and reformation workshops are not ade- quately equipped with the requisite tools and materials. GPS also lacks adequate staff with the requisite expertise to effectively handle the reformation process.

    Further, inmates discharged from prisons are not properly re-integrated into the society. Prisoners are only given transportation fares to return to their
    Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu (on behalf of the Chairman of the Committee)
    various destinations when they are released instead of resettlement packages such as equipment/tools and funds to enable them establish their trades on discharge.
    Data indicate that 20 per cent of the ex- convicts return to the prisons annually as a result of poor reintegration, rejection and stigmatisation, contributing signifi- cantly to overcrowding in the prisons.
    The acting Director-General informed the Committee that approved annual budgets are always far smaller than what is required by the Service. As a result, the Service is unable to meet its financial requirements. He said for the 2010 fiscal year, the Service requested for GH¢4, 628, 882 for investments. However, GH¢364,293.4 was approved, leaving a shortfall of GH¢4,264,588. With the appropriate funding, the Service could undertake effective reformation of inmates for re-integration into society.
    Observations and recommendations
    The Committee observed that it is the responsibility of GPS to train, reform and re-integrate prisoners into the society.
    To do this, GPS must-
    1. establish modern training/refon mation workshops and re-equip exiting ones with modern tools/ equipment;
    2. employ clinical psychologists and professional counsellors at every station to ensure effective reformation of inmates;
    3. collaborate with the Department of Social Welfare to provide resettlement packages such as tools/ equipment and funds to ex- convicts to establish trades, and also monitor their activities to ensure their proper re-integration into the society.

    The Committee urges Government to resource GPS to ensure that they are able to play their functions very well. The Committee also urges GPS to collaborate with the National Commission for Civic Education to educate and sensitise the public in order to minimize the rejection and stigmatisation of ex- convicts.

    4.0 Conclusion

    The Committee noted that GPS was not achieving its objectives as it should. This could be attributed to low staff strength, financial constraints and poor condition of service for its staff, in spite of the enormous challenges of ever-increasing prisoner population. It was surprising that GPS continued to keep prisoners in custody under such deplorable prison conditions Without major riots or jail breaks.

    The Committee urges the House to recognise the significant human rights violations that exist in our prisons in the form of poor feeding and inhuman sleeping arrangements.

    The Committee urges the Minister for the Interior to ensure that GPS implements the Committee's recommendations as well as that of the Auditor-General in the above Report to avert any catastrophe.

    The Committee recommends to the House to adopt its Report on the Performance Audit Report of the Auditor- General on the management of prisons in Ghana with the Committee's recom- mendations.

    Respectfully submitted.

    Ranking Member of the Committee (Alhaji Seidu Amadu): Mr Speaker, l beg to second the Motion.
    Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu (on behalf of the Chairman of the Committee)
    Mr Speaker, prisons generally in the past were seen as deterrent places. With the passage of time, the deterrent has changed into reformation. Unfortunately, if you look at the situation in Ghana, it appears we are still working with the deterrent theory Where prison accomo- dation is very poor, where prisoners are not segregated in terms of age, in terms of crime and in terms of health. Everybody is lumped together.
    Of course, Mr Speaker, there is always What we call contagious diseases including even character and I do not think that it is really good enough. We need to shift away from that deterrent level to reformation.
    Again, Mr Speaker, I will talk about the Committee's Report, especially paragraph 3 (iv). We still notice that most of the workshops that we have are not Well equipped- Some places do not even have the workshops, we do not have the necessary tools to give prisoners or convicts that kind of skilled training that can make them employable after their prison sentences.
    Mr Speaker, because we do not give the prisoners disciplined training and equip them. with tools, so that they can be employable or work on their own and make a living, most of them are not well integrated, or they are not able to integrate into society as a result of which we still experience about 20 per cent return rate. In other words, 20 per cent of prisoners who at the end of the day, achieve their freedom, eventually commit other crimes and get back to the prisons. I think the rate is a very high one.
    So there is the need for us to make sure that we support the Ghana Prisons Service with the necessary logistics, with

    the necessary resources, to be able to deliver on their mandate, so that this return rate can be beaten down to a very insignificant level.

    Mr Speaker, the sad thing about Ghana Prisons Service is that, in the last budget, under the request that they made of about GH¢4 million, they ended up getting less than 10 per cent of what they requested for and this is woefully inadequate to be able to equip them to deliver on their mandate. I think that we need to take the Ghana Prisons Service as a very serious institution that is out there to do a lot of good things not only for the prisoner but the people of Ghana. This is because at the end of the day, if we are able to manage our hardened criminals to be good citizens, we shall all have time to sleep very well. We shall all have time to be able to do other things without the fear of crime and without the fear of having the criminals in our midst.

    But if we continue to treat them the Way we are treating them, as if it is not an important public institution, by giving scanty resources, I do not think that it is the best We really need as a House, to take the Ghana Prisons Service very seriously because they are doing a very good job and everybody in this country is a potential prisoner. One may not intentionally go and steal, one may not intentionally go and commit crime but sometimes out of accidents and some other mishap, one can run foul of the law, which might end one in prison.

    So there is the need for us to take the Ghana Prisons Service very, very seriously to make sure that we provide the basic and necessary materials.

    With this, Mr Speaker, I urge Hon Members to support the Motion.

    Question proposed.
    Mr Yaw Ntow-Ababio (NPP--Dorrnaa East)
    Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion and urge Hon Members to adopt this particular Motion.
    In doing so, Mr Speaker, I have been a member of this Committee for the past seven years that I have been in this House- The Committee, most of the time traverses the length and breadth of this country. We spend sleepless nights, lodge in hotels at times uncomfortable, to present such Reports.
    Mr Speaker, right now that We are speaking, we are talking about the National Service Scheme, we are talking about the Ghana Prisons Service accommodation and we are going to talk about the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO). Mr Speaker, even the Minister, not even the Deputy Minister, neither any of these organisations that we are talking about is present in this House. After we present these Reports, who takes charge of whatever that we are doing?
    Mr Speaker, already the Auditor- General's Department has done extensive job. At times, we were made to understand that even they contract private auditors to perform these audits before they are submitted to the House, and after you have referred it to your Committee and we deliberate on that, and bring it_t0 the floor and we discuss and adopt a Resolution at the end of the day, What happens to it? Nothing. For the past seven years that I have been in this House, nothing practically, Mr Speaker.
    I am taking this opportunity, at least, for once, that this particular Report will see the light of the day.
    We are talking about training facilities in the Ghana Prisons Service and Mr Speaker, it may interest you to note that

    the infrastructural development budget that the Ghana Prisons Service require was a little over GH¢4 million and what they received was less than even GH¢300,000.00. So what are we expecting from their end? .

    Mr Speaker, I think it is high time that Parliament which has the oversight responsibility of the Executive, summoned the individual Ministers to be present when these Reports are being presented, so that at least, they may hear What the concerns of the good people of Ghana's representatives are .

    Mr Speaker, I am of the opinion that if we are always going round - not only the Public Accounts Committee, we have 8b0Ut 16 Other Committees that are doing the same job and nothing is coming out.

    I am also a member of your Committee on Roads and Transport and we are traversing the country in buses, on rough roads, and at the end of the day, we present our reports and nothing comes out from them.

    I am appealing to this august House, and for that matter, your good self, that whatever it would take Parliament, so that Whenever these reports are presented and debated on the floor of the House; at least, the Chief Director of that Ministry would be here, so that when they are doing their budgets, they would take on board the inputs of Members' contributions on the floor. Else, Mr Speaker, the work that we are doing is nothing.

    In view of this, I would rest my case here and urge all Hon Members to support this particular Motion.
    Mr George K. Arthur (NDC -- Am enfi Central)
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to support this all important Motion.
    Mr George K. Arthur (NDC -- Am enfi Central)
    Mr Speaker, I will start from where my Hon Colleague ended. The Ghana Prisons Service we see today, is not a place for a particular class of people. Any of us can end his life - the life we lead today determines how we would be treated some days to come. I can also say that, at least, every Hon Member here has a relative or a friend as an inmate there, so we need to take very good care of our prisons and how prisons are managed.
    Let me take the issue of the recidivists - inmates who repeatedly go to the prisons. Some of the recidivists have taken the place as, let me say, their family grounds. Even when they are released and they come to the society and see the society unfriendly, they risk and go back and join them because they know the benefits they get there. Some of these benefits are the bullying and the extortions and what they did in the society that pushed them there is the same thing they do there.
    We are all preaching against these gays and the lesbianism and whatever and the prisoner who has spent some years in the prisons - in one or two or three prisons and you send the same prisoner to go and stay with the first-time prisoner in the same room. Ask yourself, even where women abound, this person goes to rape and he is sent to where he does not have the same opportunity with a first-time prisoner or somebody who has no strength to fight this hardened criminal; what happens?
    So, 1 think it is high time we introduced this biometric system where prisoners who have entered there before, can easily be seen, so that they are given a special place away from those who have gone there for the first time.
    Secondly, if one considers the kind of food they eat - 60 pesewas a day per prisoner-- I wonder how these prisoners are going to live with 60 pesewas per day

    if they are to take three square meals per day, which is 20 pesewas per meal. In this modern day Ghana, what kind of food can anybody use 20 pesewas to buy?

    I was even fighting, at least, they push this 60 pesewas to GH¢1.2O, it will cushion them a bit than to leave it at 60 pesewas. Though they go to farms, they have their farms, do so many works for money, ask yourself Where do these moneys go. Can they point out a prisoner's farm to us? The money that comes, the internally generated funds (IGF) that they generate, where do they go?

    Mr Speaker, I think we have a lot to do with these prisoners. As my Hon Colleagues said, we should. have debated this Motion in its entirety than to allocate some few minutes for it.

    Thirdly, it was in the Report that out of 178 inmates on remand, 137 were bailed. Those who were jailed were just 27 inmates, which indicates that a lot of these inmates are on remand. This is because if you have 178 inmates and only 27 were jailed, the rest released on the grounds that they have not caused any offence, then it is unfair to treat these inmates like that. We have the justice for all system which is working but in the presence of the justice for all system, I wonder why a person on remand should stay on remand for about 15 years.

    . If he has gone to court and the right process being taken, I do not think this person would have even spent five years in jail even if he was jailed. But he spent 15 years on remand only to be told he has not caused any offence, "go home" - 137 out of 178- We need to do more about our prisoners.

    My last point is about the reintegration of the prisoners into the society. I think it is time we located our prisoners far away
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker
    Hon Member, you may conclude.
    Mr G K. Arthur
    What they leave there are fatherless children. -They train those who are not even criminals to be part of them and that is a problem I have there. I think it is time we considered all these issues.
    Mr Speaker, with these few comments, I support the Motion.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker
    Hon Deputy Chairman of the Committee? lVLrAgyeman-Mann: Mr Speaker, I do not think I have much to say. But just to reiterate that the Ghana Prisons Service needs a lot of resources.
    Mr Speaker, just yesterday, there was a news item that was talking about a prison officer escorting two convicts from a court to Ankaful Prisons and because of lack of resources, he had to travel with them in a trotro -two prisoners with one handcuff. In the process, they attacked the officer. But for the support of passengers in the trotro, nobody could have anticipated what would have

    happened. Therefore, we would urge the Hon Minister for the Interior and the Hon Minister. for Finance and Economic Planning to try to see how much resources they can garner to support the Ghana Prisons Service.

    I think we are buying fire tankers for the Ghana National Fire Service; we have got some support for the Ghana Police Service - again, a lot of vehicles, but we are not hearing these logistics for the Ghana Prisons Service and I believe the Report should be taken seriously.

    Mr Speaker, I thank you very much and I believe my Hon Colleague would support the Motion.
    Mr Avoka
    Mr Speaker, I am not making a contribution as such; I just want to draw the attention of the House to the fact that I appreciate the concerns expressed by Hon Members and the informed debate on the subject.
    Now, there is the issue of an Hon Minister being available in the House, so that they can listen to the debate - so that they can take action subsequently. I want to suggest humbly that in the future, Chairmen of committees who have these matters can draw the attention of Leadership, to sensitise the specific Minister to be present or at least, his Deputy Minister to be present to take notes of the contributions of Hon Members and implement them latter.
    So, if we adopt that habit of the committee Chairmen either informing the Hon Minister or Leadership that this matter is coming on this day, then we will try to let them be present, so that they can participate and assist us and be able to make follow-up actions.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker
    Thank you very much, Hon Majority Leader.
    In fact, I am already inclined to do so. But nevertheless, is it going to be the Chairmen of the committees who will alert Hon Ministers or that Leadership knowing what is going to come on at what time and so on? So, I think in a way, it rather comes back to your court. Hon Majority Leader, I hope you agree?
    Mr Avoka I entirely agree with you.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker
    I thank you very much.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Resolved accordingly.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker
    Item 1 Motion.

    Mr Avoka Mr Speaker, with your kind indulgence, I pray that we defer item number ll to tomorrow, so that we can take it on board. I think Hon Members have done very well; it is very important, so subject to your agreement.

    Mr Second Deputy Speaker; Hon Majority Leader, while on your feet, if you may then move a Motion for adjoumment of the House. And that being so, if you

    remind the presider tomorrow, so that any orders relating to the three Motions may be made accordingly. I thought we were going to conclude and I was going to do that.
    Mr Avoka
    Before I move the Motion, Mr Speaker, may I crave your indulgence and announce to Hon Colleagues that tomorrow the Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning will be in the House to present the supplementary estimates for the financial year, 2011. So tomorrow, Thursday, 14th of July, the Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning would be here and present to the House the Supplementary Budget Estimates for the 2011 Financial Year.
    In fact, we had indicated earlier in the Business Statement that we were not too clear about the date, but we mentioned that it would be this week. So I am now informing Hon Members that it would come on tomorrow.
    I am informed also that there is a chorus programme this afternoon in honour of Madam Speaker - [Interruption] - Songs by the Parliamentary Choir this afternoon between 2.00 pm. and 3.00 p.m. in the Parliament House. So those of us who have good voices may wish to attend or those who want to listen to sweet melodies may wish to do so -
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker
    If you would please, add the location.
    In the foyer, downstairs.
    Mr Agyeman-Manu
    Mr Speaker, it looks like the announcement is not very complete. You have the chorus without any item 13 and how would that attract Hon Members?
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker
    Hon Agyeman-Manu, you would know when you get there. [Laughter]
    Mr Agyeman-Mann
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker, there is a Minority Caucus meeting immediately after adjournment. If you do not see us very early, that might be the reason. But I believe we would join you.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker
    And perhaps, the Minority may decide to join the choir and then move into caucus.
    Mr Cletus A. Avoka Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that we adjourn proceedings of the House today to tomorrow at 10.00 o'clock in the forenoon.
    I thank Hon Members for the very informed and incisive debate on these two Motions.
    Mr Agyeman-Manu
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

  • The House was accordingly adjourned at 1.48 p.m. till Thursday, 14th July, 2011 at 10.00 a.m.