Debates of 1 Feb 2013

MR SPEAKER
PRAYERS 12:15 p.m.

VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT 12:15 p.m.

Mr Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Hon Members, Correction of the Votes and Proceedings of Thursday, 31st January, 2013.
Page 1…11 --
Mr William O. Boafo 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, page 11, paragraph (2) (viii).
Mr Speaker, I do not think Alhaji Bashir Fuseini Alhassan is the only Member of Parliament (MP). He has been described as an Hon MP. I think that description is misplaced.
Mr Speaker 12:15 p.m.
The point being made is that he is not the only MP in attendance, so why do you indicate “Hon MP” against (viii)?
The Table Office to take note.
Page 12 … 13.
Hon Members, the Votes and Proceedings of Thursday, 31st January, 2013 as corrected are hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.
Hon Members, we have the Official Report of Tuesday, 29th January, 2013 for correction.
Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, my name is Frank Annoh- Dompreh, MP for Nsawam-Adoagyiri.

The Official Report, column 195, my name is spelt wrongly; it is supposed to be “Frank Annoh-Dompreh”. Annoh is spelt A-n-n-o-h, not “Annorh”.
Mr Solomon N. Boar 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, column 189, the last paragraph: “So my first thank go …,” should be corrected to read: “My first thanks go to …”.
Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye: Mr Speaker, column 198. In my presentation, the second paragraph:
“Many of us have talked about the need for us to encourage our local footballers.”
But “local old footballers” has been written. I said “to encourage our old footballers.” and not “local old footballers”. It is “old footballers”; it does not matter whether the person played in a local league or foreign league, once he is an old footballer of Ghana-- That is what I said; I said “our old footballers.” Mr Speaker, so the “local” should be taken out.
Mr Richard M. Quashigah 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we would want to crave the indulgence of your office, if it is possible, for us to get these reports ahead of time, so that one can peruse them effectively before we deliberate on them. This is because I got this copy this morning and I have not been able to go through before the Business of the House.

Murtala M. Ibrahim: Mr Speaker, column 195, second paragraph, third but last lines:

“I believe that if history is something to go by, we stand the chance of

…” --

It is supposed to be “bringing”.
Mr Magnus K. Amoatey 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, column 202, there is a small correction there. Under Motions, sub-heading: “Suspension of Standing Order 80 (1)” -- I think “t” is missing in “Standing.” If we can insert that.
Mr Kofi Frimpong 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member for Keta raised an issue concerning the distribution of the --
Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Member, we are correcting the Official Report. That is why I did not make any comment on that matter. I only invited my adviser, who is the Clerk -- and I had a chat with the Clerk. So I do not want us to pursue that matter on the floor of the House. It is an administrative issue. We are correcting the Official Report.
Mr Frimpong 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I wanted to pursue it. This is because I thought -- [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Well, unfortunately for you, you are not in the Chair; I am in the Chair -- [Laughter.]
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of the consideration of the Official Report.
The Official Report, therefore, as corrected, is hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.
Business Statement for the Third Week --
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE 12:25 p.m.

Majority Leader and Chairman of the Business Committee (Dr Benjamin Kunbuor) 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Committee met yesterday, Thursday, 31st January, 2013 and arranged Business of the House for the Third Week ending Friday, 15 th February, 2013.
Mr Speaker, the Committee accordingly submits its Report as follows 12:25 p.m.
Arrangement of Business
Statements
Hon Members may be allowed to make Statements admitted by your goodself in the House.
Bills, Papers, and Reports
Mr. Speaker, Bills may be presented to the House for First Reading and those of urgent nature may be taken through the various stages in one day in accordance with Order 119. Papers and committee reports may also be presented to the House.
Mr Speaker, it is envisaged that the Committee of Selection would finalise its report on the composition of the various committees of the House and submit same to the House during the week under consideration.
Mr Speaker, the Appointments Committee is expected to meet on Thursday, 7th and Friday, 8th February, 2013 respectively to consider nominations by H. E. the President for ministerial appointments. It is anticipated that the Appointments Committee would subsequently submit its reports to the House for consideration during the week.
Motions and Resolutions
Mr Speaker, Motions may be debated and their consequential Resolutions, if any, taken during the week.
Orientation/Induction Seminar
Mr Speaker, as Hon Members are already aware, an induction seminar for all Hon Members is scheduled to take place at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) from today, Friday, 1st to Thursday, 7th February, 2013.
Mr Speaker, the Committee accordingly submits its Report as follows 12:25 p.m.
The Business Committee takes the opportunity to remind Hon Members that the seminar is residential and Hon Members are expected to check-in at GIMPA and other identified hotels on Friday, 1st February, 2013 at 5.00 p.m.
The Business Committee encourages all Hon Members, especially new Members, to avail themselves and participate fully in the seminar since the programme would afford them the opportunity to learn about the work of Parliament and other pertinent issues that will facilitate their work as Members of Parliament.
Any Member who for very compelling reasons would not be able to move into residence to participate in the orientation seminar should notify the Clerk's Office on any of the following mobile phone numbers latest by Sunday, 3rd February, 2013, at 11.00 a.m.: 0244374657, 0272819890, 0249385130/0208199685, 0208173456 and 0208153659. This is to enable the Office cancel hotel accommodation reservations made and thus avoid unnecessary cost.
Conclusion
Mr Speaker, in accordance with Standing Order 160(2) and subject to Standing Order 53, the Committee submits to this Honourable House the order in which the Business of the House shall be taken during the week.

Statements

Presentation of Papers --

Report of the Appointments Committee on H. E. the President's

nominations for ministerial appointments.

Motions -- Adoption of the Report of the Appointments Committee on H. E. the President's nominations for ministerial appointments.

Committee sittings. Wednesday, 13th February, 2013

Statements Presentation of Papers -- Motions --

Committee sittings. Thursday, 14th February, 2013

Statements

Presentation of Papers -- Motions -- Committee sittings.

Friday, 15th February, 2013 Statements Presentation of Papers --

Report of the Appointments Committee on H. E. the President's nominations for ministerial appointments.

Motions -- Adoption of the Report of the Appointments Committee on H. E. the President's nominations for ministerial appointments.

Committee sittings.
Mr Boafo 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want
to seek your direction.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Majority Leader and the Hon Minister-designate for Government Business in Parliament presented a report for the Third Week ending Friday, 15th February, 2013. Mr Speaker, I would want your direction whether or not the period commencing 1st to 7th February forms part of the Third Week to warrant its inclusion in this Report.
Dr Kunbuor 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, one sees the actual schedule of the order of Business is on the second sheet of the Report. What we have here is a narrative that also has some final information that fills the gap in relation to the week that has not been indicated here. That is the one commencing from 1st to 7th February, 2013.
The Business of the week certainly includes matters that will be part of parliamentary activity that would come as a general communication to Hon Members.
But strictly speaking, the order in which the Business would be taken for that period has been attached and that is the one that has been signed by the Chairman of the Committee.
Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Hon Boafo, are you satisfied?
Mr Boafo 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I was seeking your direction but not that of the Hon Majority Leader. So, I do not know what you would say.
Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Well, I believe the Business Statement is talking about, strictly speaking, the business on the floor of the House and that is what has been programmed. But the explanatory memorandum tells us what would happen next week. That is the explanation he tried to offer to the Honourable House.
rose
Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Hon Member for -- is it Wenchi? [Interruption.] No! East? No! West?
Prof. Gyan-Baffour 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, not East, not West.
Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Very well.
Prof. Gyan-Baffour 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I probably would understand why the Hon Majority Leader did that; but I just wanted a clarification. Is he declaring the 8th February, 2013 a holiday for Parliament and that is why he did not include it here and that is why instead of waiting until Friday to give us the Week's Business Statement, he is giving it to us today?
Dr Kunbuor 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, by the conventions of this House, we know certainly that induction seminars are a very essential and integral part of parliamentary sessions when they are beginning.
We know committees will be sitting on Friday. But the House itself will be unable to Sit due to some practical reasons that were considered by the Business Committee. And the commitments -- after Hon Members have gone through a whole week of a very tiring and tight schedule -- and we thought that other parliamentary activities can take place but not on the floor of the House.
Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Hon Majority Leader, the point being made is that you said there would be a seminar from the 1st to the 7th of February, 2013. No mention has been made of the 8th which is ordinarily a Sitting day. So, that is the point --
Dr Kunbuor 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, yes, 8th would be a Friday and I am indicating that there would not be a Sitting on that day.
Mr Frederick Opare-Ansah 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not think the only Business of the House is plenary Sittings. In fact, if you look at the attached programme of activities for the Week ending 15 th February, 2013, on daily basis, you see committee sittings. The Hon Majority Leader has just told us that there would be committee sittings on the 8 th of February, 2013. So why do we not have any Business Statement for that Week telling us that indeed, there will be committee sittings? Indeed, he seems to be the only person privy to that information.
Mr Joseph Y. Chireh 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I think that the Business Committee should have recommended to us to declare Friday a holiday. Friday is not a holiday by anybody's imagination. So he must come on Friday and read this Business Statement that he has read today. The issue is simple. In the record, I have seen of the seminar or the workshop and it ends on Thursday. So how can we tell Ghanaians that on our own, we have declared Friday a holiday?
Dr Kunbuor 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I guess because these are not matters explicitly captured in the Standing Orders, we have this difficulty. Today is the reporting day, which is part of the process of the induction seminar. The processes will finish on Thursday and departure will be on Friday. But that does not mean that some parliamentary activities of committees cannot take place.
Mr Chireh 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, now that he has clarified the position, I can see -- The workshop should be from today to next week Friday, in which case, we have no problem; the records will reflect that and we are covered.
Thank you very much.
Dr Kunbuor 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we will certainly amend the records to capture the departure. I did not know it was such a significant aspect of the induction seminar.
Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the last Business Statement that was read, that was captured. It was from the 1st to the 8th February, 2013. So I am just sure

that the Hon Majority Leader is just repeating what was already captured last week, that the orientation programme will be from the 1st to the 8th of February, 2013. So I am just sure that that should be the position that we should hold, that the induction period ends -- [Interruption.] Yes, the departure is on Friday.
Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Hon Members, is departing Friday? Are we departing from GIMPA on Friday or we are departing on Thursday?
Dr Kunbuor 12:35 p.m.
Actually, Mr Speaker, we do know that we cannot forcefully imprison any Hon Member of Parliament at GIMPA after Thursday, when we have finished with official activity. But official departure would be on the 8th of February. But if any Hon Member wants to actually depart on Thursday, that would be permitted, once they notify the Office of the Clerk. And any Hon Member who decides to depart after Friday, will take personal responsibility for the additional bills.
Mr Asamoah Ofosu 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Business Statement having been read to the House, there is an observation under item 3, that Hon Members are to check into their hotels today, Friday and stay through to Thursday -- And now Friday.
I am aware that almost every Hon Member of this House for now lives in Accra and people commute from Sakumono to Parliament House -- Legon, Achimota, Tema and all round. Why is Parliament incurring the extra cost of going to rent hotels and pay so much rather give Hon Members transport, which would be much, much cheaper to attend the induction course at GIMPA?
Mr Speaker, I think this arrangement is rather inflicting unnecessary cost on Parliament and we should reconsider it.
Alhaji Amadu B. Sorogho 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker -- [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Hon Members, order.
Alhaji Sorogho 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, you called me and that is why I am talking. [Interruption.] Why?
Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Hon Members, I called the Hon Member for Madina.
Alhaji Sorogho 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to thank my Brother, the Hon Member who just made the point. But I do not know whether he thought of the security of Hon Members of Parliament -- That is number one. Number two, whether he knows the time we are going to close the seminar, to the point that if we should close late, Hon Members of Parliament can drive -- Number three, the time is only guiding us but it can run beyond that depending on how interesting the topics are. So -- Number four, he also mentioned that there is a lot of traffic.
There is a specific time -- Using Parliament as an example, we are supposed to Sit at 10 a.m. Most of the time, the bell will be rung and Mr Speaker will be in his Lobby waiting and Hon Members will not come on time. So in order that we do not incur that problem and for us to take this seriously, such that every Hon Member of Parliament would be there, I think it is always necessary to incur this extra expenditure, so that we can effectively go through this.
Majority of the Hon Members are going to be on campus, that is GIMPA, and the remaining would be around. [Interruption.] The Mensvic Hotel is not far, it is five minutes drive from GIMPA. You cannot compare that
Mr Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Hon Members, I do not intend taking part in the discussion. But the impression should not be created on the floor of this Honourable House that steps have not been taken by this House to cut cost. I can tell you that when the Planning Committee submitted the proposals to me, I had discussions with Leadership on both sides --
Indeed, the Hon Minority Leader and the Hon Majority Leader -- And I tasked the Hon Minority Leader to make sure that they cut cost to the barest minimum, and I can tell you that he undertook that responsibility effectively and efficiently and the original cost proposal was cut down.
My understanding of the issue the Hon Member raised was discussed and Hon Members thought that they wanted to be prompt with the programme with timing and all. That has been the practice all over the years and we do not intend to depart from this particular process. So we should not create the impression on the floor that steps were not taken, as it were, to reduce cost to the barest minimum.
I am sorry to intervene.
Mr Opare-Ansah 12:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, my understanding of what the Hon Member for Kade said, is to the effect that, indeed, if you look at the last line in the last paragraph of the first page of the Business Statement and with your permission, I beg to quote:
“This is to enable the Office cancel hotel accommodation reservations made and thus avoid unnecessary cost.
“Unnecessary cost” is my emphasis.
Mr Speaker, if you consider the fact that there are people who live as close to GIMPA as well as the West Lands, and by this arrangement, they may have to move into hotel facilities in East Legon and other
Mr Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Hon Members, I do not intend to take comments on this matter further. Your Leaders were involved in this process. If you want any special arrangement to be made for you, please, consult your Leaders on this matter. I would not take any comment on this matter again. [Pause.]
Hon Members, I have been advised by the Clerk that a decision has been taken that those who may not want to go into residence should see the Clerk through their Leadership.
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of the consideration of the Business Statement for the Week ending 15 th February, 2013. Therefore, the Business Statement is accordingly adopted.
Dr Kunbuor 12:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, before we go to the Commencement of Public Business, some disturbing news item reached us yesterday from the media houses and it is important we indicate clearly to Hon Members what happened.
The media publication in the news item -- I heard it from Joy FM -- was to the effect that your goodself, Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minority Leader and myself, did hold a meeting with His Excellency the American Ambassador together with a nominee, Nana Oye Lithur in your office as a subtle way of western pressure to get the nominee actually approved regardless of the resistance of Hon Members.
I think the way that particular news item was choreographed, leaves much to be desired and I was particularly shocked. This is because I was an active participant in all the series of activities that took place.
I would want to clearly register this to Hon Members, that a meeting did take place, which was a courtesy call because we now have a new House, led by a new Speaker. The Clerk and the Director of Public Affairs were present at that meeting and the essential issues beyond the normal diplomatic courtesies were to begin to reconnect our Parliament with Congress in the United States of America (USA) to begin to generate very specific issues of capacity building of various committees and individual Members of this House.
We did discuss bipartisan issues and they did give us some experiences in the House of Congress and we also shared with them experiences that were unique to the Parliament of Ghana. After that, His Excellency the Ambassador left.
At that meeting, the nominee, Nana Oye Lithur was not part of it. Subse- quently, after His Excellency the Ambassador left, Mr Speaker did invite me in relation to a request that was made by the Appointments Committee to submit a Curriculum vitae (CV) of the nominee. And then the nominee, in doing so, was in the Speaker's Office and I was invited and it was just general courtesies and the nominee left.
It had nothing to do with the visit of the American Ambassador. So there was no situation -- and the Hon Deputy Minority Leader who was present there, would confirm that there was no nominee with us when His Excellency the American Ambassador came.
We do know it is yet early in the life of this Parliament and so, there might be challenges with the Press Corps, but on
no occasion was the Press excluded from that discussion.
As was rightly stated by the Director of Public Affairs, the invitation of the Press to leave the Appointments Committee and come there, was only to come and take a photo shot of Mr Speaker and His Excellency for the albums and records of Parliament. After that the Press retired back to the Appointments Committee.
So, I would like Hon Members to know that nothing untoward happened in relation to the nominee and particularly with His Excellency the Ambassador of the USA.
Mr Nitiwul 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to add a little to what the Hon Majority Leader said with regard to the events that took place yesterday and the chronology of events.
Mr Speaker invited me after the early morning brief with him to represent the Hon Minority Leader in the meeting with the USA Ambassador at 2 o'clock. Luckily enough, the Americans kept their time. So, five minutes to 2 o'clock, the Hon Majority Leader did come around my office to say that they were already in. So we walked together from the offices to the place.
As we got in, the Speaker also just came out at that time. We had a meeting and I can state with all sincerity and the fact that we should shame the devil and speak the truth, that the nominee was not present in the meeting. Issues regarding the nominee were not discussed.
In fact, issues to do with appointments were not even discussed. This is because I would have felt very uncomfortable

when my party and the Caucus itself had taken a decision not to get involved in the putting together of the executive of the current President, to be seen contravening and breaking that agreement and taking part in discussing issues that have to do with putting up the same government together.

So, it is true that we did hold the meeting; it is true that the meeting was essentially a courtesy call and that the Speaker tr ied to see how he could resuscitate a long standing practice that had already been there, where Hon Members were taken to the United States of America, so that their capacity could be built. So Mr Speaker appealed to the Ambassador to start that and he himself seem to be much interested and had even suggested that we should form a relationship between this Parliament and that of the United States Senate and that he would be working on it.

This report, for some reason, is unfortunate. It should not have happened at all. This is because it has the ability to cause some bit of diplomatic stir. In my view, though it contravenes our Standing Orders, we may just leave it for now because we are beginning this Parliament.

But Mr Speaker, just to state again, the Ambassador left the office before I left. Let me repeat, that the Ambassador left the office before I left and then I left the Hon Majority Leader and the Speaker behind to discuss their private matters. So, I did not witness anything that had to do with discussing the nominee's matters and I can say that the Ambassador's coming there had nothing to do with the nominee's matters and anything that had to do with the Executive.

Mr Speaker, thank you.
Dr Kunbuor 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if we can take item number 5 on the Order Paper.
Mr Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Hon Members, laying of Papers -- by the First Deputy Speaker and Chairman of the Appointments Committee?
PAPERS 12:55 p.m.

MOTIONS 12:55 p.m.

Chairman of the Committee (Mr Ebo Barton-Odro) 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 80(1), which require that no Motion shall be debated until at least, forty-eight hours have elapsed between the date on which notice of the Motion is given and the date on which the Motion is moved, the Motion for the adoption of the Second Report of the Appointments Committee on H.E. the President's nominations for ministerial appointments maybe moved today.
Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Second Report of the Appointments Committee for Ministerial
Appointments
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Ebo Barton-Odro) 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the Second Report of the Appointments
Committee on H.E. the President's nominations for ministerial appointments.
1.0 Introduction
His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama communicated to Parliament for prior approval, the nomination of the following persons, among others, for appointment as Ministers pursuant to article 78 (1) of the 1992 Constitution:
1. Hon Akwasi Oppong-Fosu -- Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
2. Mrs (Nana) Oye Lithur -- Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.
3. Prof. Naana Jane Opoku- Agyemang -- Ministry of Education.
4. Dr Joe Oteng-Adjei -- Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation.
5. Dr Edward Omane Boamah -- Ministry of Communications.
The nominations were referred to the Appointments Committee on the 11th of January, 2013 for consideration and report in accordance with Order 172 of the Standing Orders of the House.
The names of the persons nominated were subsequently published in the media in accordance with Order 172 (3) and memoranda were invited from the public on the nominees.
2.0 Reference documents
The following served as reference documents to the Committee during deliberations and public hearing of the nominees:
1. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
2. Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
3. Curricula Vitae of the nominees.
3.0 Procedure
On appearing before the Committee, nominees subscribed to the oath of a witness and answered questions relating to their records of office, the positions to which they have been nominated and issues of general national concern.
4.0 HON AKWASI OPPONG-FOSU --
MINISTER-DESIGNATE FOR 12:55 p.m.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND 12:55 p.m.

RURAL DEVELOPMENT 12:55 p.m.

MINISTER-DESIGNATE FOR 12:55 p.m.

GENDER, CHILDREN AND 12:55 p.m.

SOCIAL PROTECTION 12:55 p.m.

AGYEMANG -- MINISTER- 12:55 p.m.

DESIGNATE FOR EDUCATION 12:55 p.m.

MINISTER-DESIGNATE FOR 12:55 p.m.

ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE, 12:55 p.m.

TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION 12:55 p.m.

- MINISTER-DESIGNATE FOR 12:55 p.m.

COMMUNICATIONS 12:55 p.m.

Mr Alfred Kwame Agbesi(NDC -- Ashiaman) 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion and to make some comments on the nominees.
Mr Speaker, by the Report, the five nominees who appeared before the Committee performed creditably and by the Constitution of the nation, they are qualifed to be Ministers of State.
Mr Speaker, the first nominee, in the person of Hon Akwasi Oppong-Fosu, made a lot of contributions, which endeared himself to the Committee. One issue that he raised, which I would want to comment on, is the issue of the election and appointment of Distr ict Chief Executives (DCEs).
Mr Speaker, the issue is that though the Constitution Review Commission has made recommendations, yet this nominee found it necessary to comment on what is already existing, that the nomination or election of DCE, is an issue which we need to look at. This is because in some areas, where we have diverse leadership in some districts, in order to balance the equation in the district, there is always need for consultation and election of people who, in one way or other, will contribute to the advancement of the district.
Mr Speaker, he also commented on the issue of internally generated funds (IGFs). Mr Speaker, in most of our districts, what we normally see is that,

some of the District Assemblies wait until the District Assemblies Common Fund is released; they do not do much on their own to generate funds to administer the districts. This is an area which he dwelled on, to say that the District Assemblies need to generate their own funds to work for the success of the Assembly.

Mr Speaker, as I said, the Report indicates that all the five nominees performed creditably to our satisfaction.

The issue that was raised about Nana Oye Lithur (Mrs) on the issue of homosexuality, Mr Speaker, she answered the question on the basis of her profession, just like any other professional. A doctor who is faced with the situation to provide service for anybody who has found himself needing services just like a Lawyer, as she is, she would provide service to anybody whose rights need to be protected.

On that basis, we see her as somebody who spoke on the issue of her profession and in that wise, it is an issue on which we need to comment. This is because the nominee thinks that so far as her profession is concerned, what is necessary is that she must render service to humanity as far as human rights are concerned.

Mr Speaker, having said all these, I believe that these five people who were nominated by His Excellency the President have performed well and we need to give them the necessary support to administer this country in consultation with the His Excellency the President of the nation. I therefore, call upon the whole House to give her the necessary support, so that the good they have in their mind can be given to the nation.

With these few words, I call upon all Hon Members to support and recommend

them for appointment as Ministers of State.

Question Proposed.
Mr James Agalga (NDC -- Builsa North) 1:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to speak in support of the Motion moved by the Hon Member for Cape Coast and Mr First Deputy Speaker of this Honourable House.
Mr Speaker, I have gone through the Report scrupulously and would add my voice to what Mr First Deputy Speaker has said, that all the five nominees who were vetted, acquitted themselves well and should be approved by this Honourable House.
Mr Speaker, one issue which attracted a lot of attention and public interest was the issue on homosexuality. Mr Speaker, the nominee for Gender, Children and Social Protection was confronted with -- Mr Speaker, I believe strongly that the position the nominee took, so far as the issue of homosexuality is concerned, has legal basis. Mr Speaker, as a lawyer, all she sought to say was that, she will not promote homosexuality but will protect the rights of everybody across board.
Mr Speaker, this has basis in our Constitution. A careful look at articles 17 and 35 of the Constitution, clearly show that the Constitution frowns upon discrimination of all sorts and therefore, she took the position that she would not promote homosexuality but would protect the rights of all citizens of this country across board. I believe that clearly was in consonance with the laws of this country.
Mr Speaker, one thing Nana Oye Lithur said, which should attract the attention of all Ghanaians and this House, is that, she did say that the issue of homosexuality should be debated, so that as a country,
Mr George Loh (NDC -- North Dayi) 1:25 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to associate myself with the Motion on the floor of the House.
Mr Speaker, let me first of all, take this opportunity to congratulate His Excellency the President for appointing very solid people for this House to either approve or disapprove.
Mr Speaker, if you look at the background of all the five nominees, they come with solid credentials. The nominee for the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development leaves us in no doubt, if you read his background, that he is an authority in that field and therefore, will bring the best of his expertise to bear on that Ministry and so goes for all the others.
I am also excited that His Excellency the President has found it necessary to realign or rename the erstwhile Ministry for Women and Children's Affairs to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection. This is very instructive because the Ministry then becomes reflective of all manner of persons in our society.
I believe that the social protection bit indeed, will rope in all those who have been left out when it was only a Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs. And indeed, we have all come to accept that gender is not only for women but it also includes men.
So, I am very happy that all of us have now been taken on board and we believe that the nominee will take this into consideration as she goes about her job if approved by this Honourable House.
I would also want to add my voice to that of Hon Member, James Agalga, Member for Builsa South, for the fact that Nana Oye Lithur, who is the nominee for the Ministry for Gender, Children and Social Protection was speaking in her capacity as a lawyer. Those of us who are lawyers would understand that when you are taking your oath to become a lawyer, that oath enjoins you to be fair to all manner of persons and I believe that it is in that direction that she did indicate that she would be fair or protect all manner of persons.
Indeed, do we not defend armed robbers, murderers and all manner of persons in our courts? So, I believe that
she was terra firma when she went on to say or to stand her grounds that so far as she remains a human rights lawyer, she is capable of protecting everybody.
I believe that so far as we are all Ghanaians, we all must come under the protection of the law and that is why I am excited that the nominee has made a suggestion that as a nation, we should all come together and take decisive stands on some of the things that affect us all. We are mindful of the fact that the society has divergent views on matters like homosexuality and we believe that we should take her invitation seriously as a nation and come to a consensus on the matter.
I thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity and I also once again, would want to congratulate His Excellency the President for his nominations.
Mr Speaker 1:25 p.m.
Hon Members, I have a list from the Leadership here and that is what is guiding me and so, I would want to take one or two contributions more unless there is — Hon Mahama Ayariga.
Minister for Information and Media Relations (Mr Mahama Ayariga)(MP) 1:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to support the Motion before the House, that we do adopt the Second Report of the Appointments Committee relating to the President's nomination of five nominees to several Ministerial portfolios.
The Committee did a very diligent work and I think the whole country witnessed the diligence of the Committee. The nominees were interrogated, quizzed, sometimes for several hours regarding the matters that might come before them during their tenure as Ministers in the respective Ministries if this House so approves.
There is no doubt that all the nominees performed creditably, displayed an excellent appreciation of the sectors that they will be heading, clearly demonstrated acceptance and commitment to the vision of His Excellency the President who nominated them.
And we also scrutin ized their curriculum vitae and we were left in no doubt that they all come to their work if approved by th is House, wi th credentials that will enable them to be able to discharge those duties creditably.
A number of issues sounded contentious and kept the Committee quizzing and quizzing for a long time. One related to the question of the nominee to the post of Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection and her position on homosexual rights.
Looking at the Report, the nominee stated very clearly that she will not promote homosexuality and this is very instructive. I have listened to the public discourse on this matter and it is important to put that discourse in proper perspective. No Ghanaian in Ghana has a right to engage in homosexual conduct.
So, there is really no issue about arriving at a consensus and debating the matter. The law is explicit and the law is clear, that no person in Ghana has a right to engage in homosexual conduct. The conduct defined as homosexual conduct is criminalized by our criminal laws. However, Mr Speaker, we know that prejudice has often driven us to conduct ourselves in ways that I believe many of us do not approve.
For instance, we have time and again heard reports of citizens who have burnt alive alleged thieves when they are arrested, beating them, burn them alive, kill them without even allowing them access to a fair trial, in clear violation of our Constitutional provisions, which
Mr Speaker 1:35 p.m.
Hon Members, I would take the last contribution from Hon Hanna Bisiw.
Dr Hanna L. Bisiw (NDC -- Tano South) 1:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to support the Motion on the Second Report of the Appointments Committee on the nominations of H. E. the President, moved by the First Deputy Speaker.
Mr Speaker, first of all, I would wish to congratulate H E the President for the wisdom in which he nominates his Ministers and also would want to congratulate the good people of Ghana who saw in him the leadership qualities and voted for him.
Mr Speaker, I would want to make a few comments on some of the nominees and would first of all want to say a happy birthday to our Hon Oppong-Fosu. Today is his birthday; 1st February, so Hon Member, happy birthday.
What gladdens or comforts me about the nominee is that, he said when given the nod, he would conduct an audit on the administrative requirements of all the new districts created after the year 2003. Mr Speaker, we know that there are districts that were created under the New
Patriotic Party (NPP) Government and that their offices are found in filling stations. The nominee has given us comfort that even those districts that were created and were not catered for, he would make sure they are catered for and the new ones that have been created would also be catered for.
I wish to go on to talk about the Hon Nana Oye Lithur (Mrs), the Minister- designate for the Gender, Children and Social Protection. Mr Speaker, as a woman, there is something she said that also brought me comfort. She spoke about the witches camps.
Mr Speaker, we live in a country where as the Lord blesses you and adds more years to your age, you get closer to being classified as a witch, if you are not lucky to be in a community where you are protected. We know that some Hon Members of this Parliament have stated that in their constituencies there are witches camps and they are seeking for relief or help for these women.
So she has promised that when given the nod, she is going into sensitization and education of the people who indulge in that practice to change, so that we can bring back our old ladies to join us, for us to take good care of them; that brings me comfort as a woman because I pray to live long, I pray to be a very old woman and I wish that when I am old, I am not classified as a witch and kept in a witch camp.
Mr Speaker, I would go on to talk about Hon Dr Omane Boamah for the Ministry of Communications.
We all know the difficulties that we go through with our communication and the poor service that we receive from our service providers. He enlightened us yesterday by educating us because a lot of us may not know that to have the mobile number portability, we can in a matter of seven minutes move from one
Mr Speaker 1:45 p.m.
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of the debate.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Mr Speaker 1:45 p.m.
Accordingly, the House has approved of the nominations of the following as Hon Ministers of State --
1. Hon Akwasi Oppong-Fosu -- Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development
2. Nana Oye Lithur (Mrs) -- Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection
3. Professor Naana Jane Opoku- Agyemang -- Ministry of Education
4. Dr Joseph Oteng-Adjei -- Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation
5. Dr Edward Omane Boamah -- Ministry of Communications.
Hon Members, on your behalf, I congratulate all of them.
Dr Benjamin Kunbuor 1:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, in the absence of any other Business, I beg to move, that this House be adjourned till the 12th of February, 2013 at 10.00 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we would also want to remind Hon Members to get in touch with their various Leaderships and Whips to ascertain exactly which hotel they would be going to and for those who do not want
to take advantage of it, to contact their Leadership and the appropriate communications would be given to them.
Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul 1:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, he makes my work very difficult because he moved the Motion before commenting again. But I will comment before.
The distribution list has already been issued out to all Hon Members present here. I am sure those who did not get it

might find it in their pigeon holes with the names already listed on it. So if an Hon Member does not get it, maybe, their Whips would find a way of getting it to them.

Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
ADJOURNMENT 1:45 p.m.