Debates of 14 Mar 2013

MR SPEAKER
PRAYERS 10:45 a.m.

VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT 10:45 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
Hon Members, we have the Official Report of Friday, 8th March 2013 for correction.
Mr Wumbei W. Suhuyini 10:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, column 1338, indeed, the very fashionable Deputy Minority Leader's title is “Deputy Minority Leader” and not “First Deputy Minority Leader”.
Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
Very well.
rose
Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
Hon Minister, why, the Hon Deputy Minority Leader is in the House, why does he want to mourn more than the chief mourners?
Anyway-- Very well, Hon Minister?
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 10:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I heard my Hon Colleague describe the very Deputy Minority Leader as “fashionable”. Mr Speaker, I do not know when he became a rural champion. This is because I know he is the Member of Parliament for Bimbilla -- [Laughter.] Mr Speaker, if he is fashionable, I would want my Hon Colleague to withdraw “fashionable” and

address him appropriately as the Deputy Minority Leader.
Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
Hon Members, any other correction?
Mr Osei B. Amoah 10:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, column 1334, the first paragraph -- [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, it is Official Report of Friday, 8th March, 2013; column 1334, first paragraph.
Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
Very well.
Mr O. B. Amoah 10:45 a.m.
Starting from line 2 - - it states:
“As far as I am aware, three procuretsxygtment reports have also not come.”
There is a spelling mistake there; there are two words there that are clearly wrong. What I said was:
“As far as I am aware three procurement reports have also not come.”
It should be corrected.
Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
Very well.
Hon Members, in the absence of any further correction, the Official Report of Friday, 8th March, 2013 as corrected is hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.
BILLS -- FIRST READING 10:45 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
Hon Members, I direct the Committee to determine whether the Bill is of an urgent nature to be taken through all the stages in one day in accordance with Standing Order 119.
MOTIONS 10:55 a.m.

Dr Owusu A. Akoto (NPP -- Kwadaso) 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion before us, which was tabled by the Minister for Finance last week.
I have a few comments to make on the Budget Statement and it is very important, Mr Speaker, that food and agriculture which are the livelihood of all of us, either as consumers or as producers, the largest group of producers in this country happens to be the farmers and the fishermen. Therefore, it is important that we scrutinise this budget to see whether
their situations are going to be ameliorated or are going to be worsened.
In my candid opinion, Mr Speaker, the food and agriculture sector today is in a deplorable state. The upbeat message contained in the 2013 Budget Statement would not help in finding the right solutions to the problems of the sector. In fact, the sector is in such a state that resources allocated and the policies indicated in the budget will not, Mr Speaker, and I would want to repeat, will not be enough to move the sector out of the rot in which it finds itself.
I will give a few examples:
When we look at growth, Mr Speaker, this is where I am most worried. For the past five years, real growth in agriculture has been collapsing. From 7.4 per cent in 2008, it reduced slightly to 7.2 in 2009, then to 5.3 in 2010. There was hardly any growth in the following year with only 0.8 per cent in 2011 picking up slightly to only 2.6 per cent in 2012. In this Budget Statement, growth is targeted at an unambitious 4.9 per cent.
Mr Speaker, if you look at the performance of the general economy, the growth of the general economy in the last five years, we are talking about 7, 8, 10, sometimes even 14 per cent and for agriculture and food to be lagging so heavily behind while we have the oil sector emerging, we have a clear case of the Dutch disease catching up with the economy of this country.
Do not let us mince any words about this. The Dutch disease is here with us, looking at the performance of the economy itself and the sector that you are talking about.
The segment of agricultural growth means deepening poverty for the almost 5 million farmers and fishermen of this
Dr Owusu A. Akoto (NPP -- Kwadaso) 10:55 a.m.
country and raising deprivation and hunger for food consumers, particularly the poor in the urban areas. This is not good news, Mr Speaker. If we look at certain important crops, let us take the staple foods --
According to statistics provided by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture here and this is the Bible with the Ministry's statistics; it is clear that the basic staples, that is, the cereals, the legumes, root crops and tubers have seen stagnant growth in the last few years.
The large yearly fluctuations witnessed in the production of maize and rice and the sharp increase in import of rice from 395,000 metric tonnes in 2008 to 543,000 metric tonnes in 2011, spells disaster for this country. This is contrary to all the propaganda and the talk that we have heard.

Mr Speaker, the meat and fish sector is even worse. We have fish catches going down considerably in the last few years and we have a situation where imports of livestock and poultry products have been rising from 128,000 metric tonnes in 2008 to nearly 140,000 metric tonnes in 2011.

Since the attainment of the record Mr Speaker -- and here, it is very, very important -- the most important sector in the agricultural industry -- cocoa-- we have serious problems. Since the

attainment of the record, one million metric tonnes of cocoa in 2010, there has been a fall in output to 879,000 metric tons in 2011/ 2012 and the current 2012/2013 crop is likely to yield only 800,000 metric tonnes. Mr Speaker, this is not very good for us.

In my expert opinion, if urgent measures are not taken now, for production, we could find ourselves at the pre-2004/2005 levels of less than 740,000 metric tonnes of cocoa. So, I think the authorities should take note. It is against this background of stagnant production in the agricultural sector, that one has to evaluate the planned investment of the sector in the 2013 Budget.

The budget allocation, Mr Speaker, in spite of all these crises going on, for 2013 is only 340 million Ghana cedis. This amount represents less than 2.2 per cent of the total budgetary allocation. And it compares to 3.8 per cent in 2010, 2.7 per cent in 2011 and 1.9 per cent in 2013. Such low allocation will not turn the stagnant agricultural growth, which has cha- racterised our performance in recent years.

Indeed, the amount of 340 million Ghana cedis would not even turn round agriculture in the northern savannah areas of the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions; it would not. Never mind the whole country. So, it shows you the inadequacy of the budgetary allocation to this sector and given the very poor performance and the danger of us now firmly in the Dutch disease, we ought to have some priorities in the sector in order to turn things round and this budget does not provide that.

Mr Speaker, there is all talk about mechanisation of agriculture -- improved seeds, fertilizers and the like. The evidence
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Dr Akoto 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, may I ask this question: How much of that did the Ghanaian farmer actually get? We have reports of fertilizers all the way to Nigeria --Ghanaian subsidized fertilizers in Nigeria, in Burkina Faso, in la Cote d'Ivoire, in Togo, in Benin -- that is where our fertilizers are going.
We know why it is so. The means by which these fertilizers are distributed are totally wrong. They encourage smuggling; they do encourage smuggling. So, it is about time the Government had a hard look at the way this invoice system, which has been put in place since 2009
-- 10:55 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Hon Member, do you have a point of order? What is your order?
Mr Demordzi 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I think the Hon Member is misleading the House.
Dr Akoto 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I have it; I have the evidence and if you want me to table it --
Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Hon Member, if he is saying that you should quote it, you have shown us a newspaper but you did not make any reference to it. [Interruption.] Please, you are entitled to quote the Daily Guide --
Dr Akoto 10:55 a.m.
No! It is not the Daily Guide. This is not the Daily Guide.
Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
What are you holding? Hon Member for Kwadaso, what is your source? That is all that the Hon Member is asking you.
Dr Akoto 10:55 a.m.
I knew it was coming and I am well prepared for them. I have here in my left hand The Chronicle of Friday, January 18 -- [Interruption] -- Friday, the 18th.. Mr Speaker, page 14 of the Chronicle of Friday, the 18th.
Mr Speaker, is that enough?
Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Hon Members, the Hon Member for Kwadaso is entitled to quote from The Chronicle. What is important is that that is the source he is quoting from and he has informed the House. Whether that is correct or not, is another matter.
There is a ruling in this House that it is not everything that is published in the newspapers that is correct. But he is entitled to quote from it once he has disclosed the source of his quotation or information.
Hon Member, continue.
Dr Akoto 10:55 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for allowing me to continue after an unnecessary interruption from another Hon Member.
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Dr Akoto 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, what we have, we are talking about inadequate fertilizers to farmers; we are talking about inadequate quantities of improved seeds to farmers; we are talking about pre-mixed fuel to fishermen, which we know have been persistently in short supply in the season.
Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Hon Member, his time is up. What is your point of order?
Mr Sampson Ahi 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, Hon Dr Akoto Osei knows -- [Interruption.]
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Mr Ahi 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague, Member for Kwadaso knows
-- 11:05 a.m.

Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon Deputy Majority Chief Whip, did you say Dr Akoto Osei? Have you withdrawn it?
Mr Ahi 11:05 a.m.
I intend referring to the Hon Member for Kwadaso, who refered to a point of order raised by an Hon Member as useless. [Uproar!]
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon Member, I did not hear him use the word “useless”.
Mr Ahi 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, if somebody says “unnecessary”, it means “useless”. That is it --
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon Members, we all make these comments on the lighter side; that they are “unnecessary comments” and all those things. It should be taken on the lighter side.
Hon Member, continue.
Dr Akoto 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to protest against Hon Ahi; the fact that I have been with him on the Agriculture Committee for four years and he cannot still get my name right, is not good enough. [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon Member, your term is up and I would let you conclude with the last statement.
But let me hear from the Hon Member for Old Tafo, then you conclude.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not know why the Whip, who is my good Friend gets up and immediately calls my name. [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, I know he is afraid of me, but he should not let everybody know that he is afraid of me. He is my Friend; I do not want to attack him today. So, he should sit down; but next time, he should be careful. My name is not Dr Akoto.
Mr Ahi 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, due to the fact that he is my Friend, I should always mention his name. So, he should not take offence when I mention his name.
Mr Isaac Osei 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I think you were quite right when you indicated that some of these things are said in jest. I am quite sure that when Hon Ahi famously said that “the cedi was appreciating the dollar' that also was said in jest.
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Conclude.
Dr Akoto 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to conclude my presentation.
I would conclude on the note that, there are certain policies and programmes which are absorbing a disproportionate amount of our budgetary and financial resources in this country and we need to correct that, in order that we can focus on the four or five million farmers and fishermen who desperately need support.
We are talking about the Youth in Employment Programme and block farms and so on. We all know, when they bring the figures here, the productivity levels of these huge expenses which they incur. It is not really worth it; I would rather focus on the small farmers who produce 98 per cent of our output, and encourage them like they do in India and China to increase their productivity steadily in order to bring prosperity and eliminate hunger and poverty in this country.
Minister for Energy and Petroleum (Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah)(MP) 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion for the approval of the 2013 Budget.
Mr Speaker, as I contribute to the Budget Statement, I have to say that the budget focused in critical items that are of serious consequence to this country, especially when the Hon Minister for Finance focused on our current challenges, the current power crisis and what Government is doing to ensure that we address them.
Mr Speaker, as we discuss this issue of our current crisis, it is very, very important as a country, that we learn real lessons. It is very, very important to also note, Mr Speaker, that this country has been here before; we have been in this crisis before. Mr Speaker, that is very, very important as we discuss the measures to address this.
If we look at the context with which we are dealing with this issue, it would really help all of us as Ghanaians, as Members of Parliament to understand that when it comes to the issue of energy, and access to electricity, which is not the critical constraint to our country's economic development, it is important that we are united in addressing this problem.
Mr Speaker, why do I say that? Mr Speaker, I would want to quote the Official Report of Thursday, 7th of June, 2007, columns 667 and 668 and this is from the then Minister for Energy, Hon Joseph K. Adda, in addressing this Honourable House on the power crisis. Mr Speaker, with your permission, I beg to quote:
“Mr Speaker, it is clear from earlier sections of this Statement that this is not the first time that Ghana is going through a load shedding arrangement. Indeed, the past two cases were more severe than what
we are facing now. Mr Speaker, as I have enumerated, the Government is tackling the energy crisis with all the seriousness that it deserves. The Government has also committed substantial funds to support the resolution of the energy problem.”
He goes on and says:
“Mr Speaker, the Government has a very clear and effective programme to deal with this situation in the short- medium and long-term. The programme is backed by a policy and Energy Strategy Plan.”
Mr Speaker, he concludes by saying that 11:05 a.m.
“Mr Speaker, within six years in our office and having inherited huge debt, NPP Government has invested substantial funds in the energy sector and we are convinced that within the next two to three years, Ghana would be in a position to ensure that this situation does not recur.”

Mr Speaker, here we are again. In the last four years of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Administration, we have focused on this critical problem of expanding our generation capacity. [Hear! Hear!] 200 MW of Sunon Asogli were added to the power generation, -- [Hear! Hear!] -- 126 MW of Tema were added -- [Hear! Hear!] -- 49.5 MW of
Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, on a point of order.

Not a single one of them? Mr Speaker, not a single one of those projects was started by the NDC Administration, or planned or envisioned by the NDC Administration. They were all started by the Kufuor Administration. So Mr Speaker, he should just say it and acknowledge it and move on. But to just make a blanket statement, that nothing was done, is very, very misleading.
Mr Buah 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am happy my Hon Member made the point he made. That is because when I started, what I said was, the issue of ensuring that we keep our eye on the ball when it comes to generation capacity, should not be a business of one political party. This is so critical that, in a period when we face serious crisis -- And why are we here? Mr Speaker, why were we in that crisis for nine months between 2006 and 2007? Where businesses collapsed? Nine months?
Mr Speaker, I have a statement here by Hon Kan-Dapaah (former Member of
Parliament) who was quoting at that time, in 1998 that --
“How do we even think about relying on another country for power when that country is competing with Ghana for power?”
And he was referring to la Cote d'Ivoire.
That underscores how it is that, access to electricity has become a critical constraint that we have to put all hands on deck.
Mr Speaker, I made these points because I wanted to outline what has been projected in this budget, and I wanted to outline what is also coming up. Once we get 500 megawatts-- As you realise, it is projected that by the end of April this year, the pipeline that resulted in the current problem -- As you know, our country's generation capacity is growing so fast. Two hundred (200) megawatts additional capacity are required every year for the next 20 years and it could be even more because this economy is growing so fast.
rose
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Do you have a point of order?
Mr I. K. Asiamah 11:15 a.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, I believe that we voted NDC to come and fix problems. All that these children want to hear from him is that they would go home, they would sleep in light, they would have electricity to iron their things. It is not about these lamentations of an Hon Minister. The Hon Minister should be able to solve and fix our energy crisis today. What is he saying? We have been living in --
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Member, that is not a point of order.
Hon Minister, continue.
Mr Buah 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the important point in this House is this: This year, we are so determined to add over 500 megawatts. 2014 -- this is our focus. Our focus is to add 10 megawatts of solar -- our focus is to add in 2014 another 110, that is the TICo expansion, another 126 Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) expansion, another 126 of Volta River Authority (VRA) -- [Interruption.]
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Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Member for Nhyiaeso, do you have a point of order?
Dr Anane 11:15 a.m.
On a point of order, Mr Speaker.
The Hon Colleague and Hon Minister for Energy and Petroleum, in his reference to the quotation that he made, with respect to the former Minister for Energy, the Hon Kofi Adda, said that the Government had put in place processes, so that within the next three years or so, we would have sorted out our energy problems. That statement was made in 2007.
They inherited the processes that were put in place and what he is talking about today is what they inherited. That is why today, they can talk about the Bui Dam and the fact that one of the turbines is going to start working. That is why they can talk about the --
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Member, that is really a point of argument. Hon Member for Nhyiaeso, it is really a point of argument. It is not really a point of order.
Mr Buah 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would help the Hon Member.
In quoting that statement, this is what the former Hon Minister for Energy said, and with your permission, I beg to quote:
“We lined up dates, specific dates in which those power plants were coming on stream. Emergency plants, 126 megawatts -- June ending of 2007; Armed Forces support, 10 megawatts -- June, 2007; mining consortium -- July, 2007; VRA, 126 megawatts -- September, 2007.”
Mr Speaker, he concluded by saying that 11:15 a.m.
“a total short-term addition of 342 megawatts were going to be added.” That never happened.
Mr Speaker, the important point there was that when it comes to --
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Minister, your 10 minutes are up. I would give you one minute because of the interventions. One minute to wind up.
Mr Buah 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I think that the point that has been made and the determination by Government to -- [In- terruption.]
Dr Anane 11:15 a.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, I still make reference to what he said. He is talking about short- term. He also talked about medium-term and he talked about long-term and these are what he must appreciate, that if even the short-term did not materialise, the medium-term did and the long-term also has and that is what he must -- and appreciate that some people had started and he is benefiting from what was started previously.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Minister, you have one minute to conclude.
Mr Buah 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, as we focus on adding generation capacity, we must also think about the fuel that is going to sustain us as a country. That is why this Government is so determined to ensure that the gas infrastructure project is completed by the end of this year.
We are so determined to look at other alternative sources of energy and we are going to continue to do that.
But it is important that when it comes to access to energy, access to electricity, that is the critical constraint to this economy, it is time for us as a country to understand that we do not do these projects by one party voted into power --
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Your last sentence.
Mr Buah 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we need to be united to address these challenges. I can assure the people of Ghana that we are working hard to make sure that this load shedding is brought under control, so that the people of Ghana and businesses that are going through so much can really have power. [Hear! Hear!]
Mr Kwabena Owusu-Aduomi (NPP -- Ejisu) 11:15 a.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for this opportunity to support the Motion on the floor of the House.
In doing so, references would be made from the Statistical Analytical Report for 2000 to 2010 prepared by the Ministry of Roads and Highways, Ministry of Transport and Ghana Statistical Service, the Budget Statements for 2008 to 2012 and the annual reports from the agencies under the Ministry of Roads and Highways.
Mr Speaker, routine and periodic maintenance of this nation's roads as I have always indicated on the floor of this

Mr Speaker, maintenance of our roads has been neglected to the background from major upgrading and rehabilitation works. The result is that there is a considerable reduction of the capital investment that the nation has made in putting our road infrastructure over the years. Mr Speaker, what do you see on our roads?

Our roads are bedevilled with potholes --
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Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Member for Central Tongu, do you have a point of order?
Hon Members, I would want -- Yes, let me hear you.
Mr J. K. Gidisu 11:15 a.m.
Very well; yes, Mr Speaker.
I think the Hon Colleague is grossly misleading the House. He knows very well that the maintenance of roads is contingent on the Road Fund. Before their Government went out of power, that Road Fund was mortgaged through various loans. How then does he expect us to get those -- through a SSNIT loan. How then does he expect us to construct --
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Member for Ejisu, continue.
Mr Owusu-Aduomi 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, there is no doubt at all that during the term of Hon Joe Gidisu, our roads suffered such deplorable states.
Dr Richard W. Anane 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am sorry for the intervention.
Mr Speaker, a statement had been made by a former Minister, and as a former Minister under whose tenure that reference was made, I thought I had to make a correction.
Mr Speaker, I am really surprised to hear today, that when the National Democratic Congress (NDC) took over, the Road Fund had been mortgaged. I am sure, maybe, the Minister may be using the word a bit loosely.
He would appreciate that, when we arranged with SSNIT and he came in and tried to debunk it, another time he was in this House making the same request after he had done all what he did just to ensure that what we had done earlier was negated.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Hon Members, you know that most of the points you are raising are really points of argument, and I am going to be very, very strict with the rules of this House.
I have about 14 Hon Members from each side of the House to contribute to the debate today. Therefore, if you do not have a proper point of order, using the rule to support your point of order, please, do not attempt to get up.
Hon Members, you can make your point without name calling. We are here to debate the Budget Statement. We can make our points without name calling.
Mr Owusu-Aduomi 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the situation is worse on our gravel roads, severe corrugations, deep gulleys, soft spots, slippery surfaces, all affecting communities in the food and cash crop growing areas.
Mr Speaker, this poor attitude to our maintenance on our roads is very interesting; it is, not in consonance with the Governments policy shift since 2010 to move away from execution of upgrading and rehabilitation works to routine, periodic and road safety.
Mr Speaker, when you go to paragraph 373, page 125 of 2010 Budget, paragraph 431, page 114 of 2011 Budget and paragraph 542, page 127 of 2012 Budget, these all attest to this laudable policy shift but these are not followed.
Mr Speaker, from paragraphs 547, 553 and 555 of pages 128 and 129 of the 2012 Budget, the Government scheduled to work on a total of 46,789 kilometres of roads -- trunk roads, feeder roads, urban roads, out of the total network that we have, about 68,000 covering about 69 per cent.
Mr Speaker, out of these scheduled 46,789 kilometres of roads, only 20,119 kilometres, that is, when you go to paragraph 505, page 130 of this year's budget. It is there. This represents 43 per cent of the plan programme. So, when you equate it to the national network, it means only 30 per cent of our road network had maintenance.
Mr Speaker, previously, performance had been abysmal, poor. In 2008, we had 68 per cent of maintenance, 2009, 26 per cent, 2010, 31 per cent, 2011, 37 per cent, and 2012, 43 per cent and he is saying that it is not true.
Mr Speaker, the Department of Feeder Roads, which we all know, is so vital to the nation's economy, had only 32 per cent of routine maintenance; this affects
Mr Owusu-Aduomi 11:25 a.m.


our agriculture. So, there is no doubt at all that agriculture grew by only 26 per cent.

Mr Speaker, therefore, the assertion in the budget at paragraph 505, page 130, that the Ministry maintained its focus on routine and periodic maintenance activities to protect huge investment made by the Government in provision of roads for infrastructure, is misleading. If maintaining focus is to achieve 43 per cent of routine maintenance, the cheapest of all categories of roadworks that you can have, then there is a problem.
Mr J. K. Gidisu 11:25 a.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Colleague is grossly misleading the House. He is grossly misleading the House because those figures he is quoting are not the reflection of the situation. We have roads in his own Ashanti Region which have seen improvement over the period he is talking about.
Mr Ignatius B. Awuah 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to believe that this is the Parliament of Ghana and each Hon Member talks on national issues.
My Hon Colleague on the other side just referred to the Hon Member for Ejisu that he should look at “his own Ashanti Region”. In that case he is personalising it. Mr Speaker, I think we should not encourage that.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
In actual fact, Hon Member for Central Tongu, I thought that
you were going to say his own constituency but when you mention a region, it is a bit problematic. I thought you were going to refer to his constituency but you mentioned a region.
Mr J. K. Gidisu 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, he referred to the NDC Government's performance over the period, which by virtue of our supervisory roles, include all the ten regions and his Ashanti Region - - [Uproar]-- And to show that we do not discriminate on the lines that he is thinking about, that is why I had to specify on regional terms and make reference to the Ashanti Region among the other regions that have seen road improvement.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Hon Member, I think that if you had mentioned his constituency, I would not have any problem. That would have meant that -- there are developments in his constituency but he would not concede to them. But referring to the Ashanti Region, singling out Ashanti Region, is not about the best and I would want you to withdraw that.
In fact, if you had mentioned his constituency -- that you have developed roads in his constituency, I would have been comfortable with it. But when you mention one region out of the lot, l have a problem.
Mr J. K. Gidisu 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, his constituency is Ejisu and we have -- [Interruptions.]
Dr Benjamin Kunbuor 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I guess we should have the House back in order. Once Mr Speaker has ruled, I would humbly ask the Hon Member to withdraw the statement. [Hear! Hear!]
Mr J. K. Gidisu 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, for referring generally to the Ashanti Region and not to his constituency, may I withdraw on that point.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Hon Member, one minute to conclude.
Mr Owusu-Aduomi 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, unfortunately, there was not a single project in my constituency during the four years of NDC rule. Even the ongoing projects are not being attended to. He knows it.
Mr Murtala M. Ibrahim 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, on a point of order.
Mr Speaker, I am coming on Order 89 and with your permission, I would like to read 11:35 a.m.
“A Member shall not read his speech, but may read extracts from written or printed documents in support of his argument and may refresh his memory by reference to notes.”
The Hon Member is reading; and he started reading at the very time he started making his point. Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is reading and he started reading since he started making his point, and I would want your guidance whether anybody can just rise up to read. Mr Speaker, other than that, we will read several documents here and I do not think that augurs well for the quality of the debate of this Honourable House. This is because the Standing Orders are there --
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
You have made your point.
Mr Owusu-Aduomi 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I was referring to my notes. I was not reading. [Interruptions.]
Mr Speaker, that rundown economy, even without an increase in tolls by a 1000 percentage point, was able to pay the ordinary --
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Hon Member, conclude.
Mr Owusu-Aduomi 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am concluding.
It was able to pay a single man contractor who cuts grass along the road.
Mr Speaker, this NDC Government is owing such poor single -- man contractors by 12 months. So, Mr Speaker, it is not wrong for me to refer to the economy as mutilated and gasping for breath.
Minister for Trade and Industry (Mr Haruna Iddrisu) (MP) 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to associate myself with the Motion, which was ably moved by the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr Seth Emmanuel Terkpeh and seconded by the Hon Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Finance.
In doing so, Mr Speaker, I would like to commend the Hon Minister for complying with the provisions of our Constitution. Article 179 enjoins him to appear in this august House on the authority of His Excellency, President John Dramani Mahama -- [Hear! Hear!] -- to share with this august House his financial policy and estimates.
Mr Speaker, it is heart-warming that our Hon Colleagues on the other side have joined us--better voices, better choices and better alternative-- to advance our course for a better Ghana.
Mr Speaker, in debating this budget, I would dedicate it to the private sector and the transparent management of our oil revenue and conclude.
Mr I. B. Awuah 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, on a point of order.
Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague just said that the oil money had been managed transparently. Mr Speaker, but it is also a fact that the report which was presented by the Hon Minister for Finance is not an audited account.
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Hon Member, that is not a point of order.
Mr H. Iddrisu 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, may I refer you to page 9, paragraph 22 of the Budget Statement. Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister said among other things:
“Mr Speaker, the structural changes that faced the nation required very decisive initiatives with their attendant huge financial implica- tions over the years. The initiatives have been driven mainly by Government in spite of the huge potential of the private sector. It is therefore, Government policy that the next phase of the transformation process must involve the private sector.
Mr Speaker, we have His Excellency, the President himself chairing the Private Sector Advisory Council and the thrust of President Mahama's policy is to build a strong partnership and a relationship with the private sector. We make a commitment as a Government that we would eliminate the inherent suspicion that had existed between the public sector and the private sector in order that we would lay a firm foundation for the rapid development of this country, whether in
the provision of roads, in the provision of health facilities or education facilities, Government would rely on that new partnership.
It is not just eliminating it, Mr Speaker; we would take appropriate policy interventions that assure the private sector of access to credit. Accordingly, the Export Development and Agriculture Investment Fund (EDIF) would be comprehensively reviewed to combine both loan and equity that would provide a resource envelope to give life to many ailing private sector manufacturing industries in our country. That, we promise and that, we would honour in the course of this year.
Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President has always laid a foundation, that before the end of the 2013 fiscal year, three major industrial zones would be created in Kumasi, Sekondi-Takoradi and Tamale, so that we have a dedicated industrial enclave which allows any investor tomorrow, who wants to set up an industry, to have access, where access to other utilities would be made available for their use.
Mr Speaker, may I take you further to paragraph 27 of the Minister for Finance's presentation to this august House, where he emphasised, and with your permission, I beg to quote page 12, 27.5:
“…vigorously pursuing the public private partnership programme that the Government approved in 2011.”
Mr Speaker, may I also now touch on the argument by many of our Hon Colleagues on Government, borrowing. We borrow for productive investment, which would yield appropriate returns -- [Interruptions.] Mr Speaker, the Accra - Kumasi road would be modelled under a public private partnership in order that it
would be dualised for them to have easy access to their constituencies when travelling to Kumasi and back under a new initiative of public private partnership. Railway lines would be drawn and some other facilities to give impetus to the call by the President of his thorough relationship.
This Government would only be an enabler and a facilitator for a private sector-led economy. We would move away from a cliché where we all say is that the private sector is the engine for growth. We would give them life to survive within this economy under the new partnership of President Mahama.
Mr Speaker, I argue that many of our Ghanaian industries suffer, and with your indulgence, what Mr President said, which was echoed by the Ministry of Finance, is that he wants partnership and not partisanship. The era where businesses suffer as a result of political colouration, would be a thing of the past.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, on a point of order.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister for Trade and Industry is a lawyer --
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Hon Member, you can make your point without making reference to people's profession. It is not correct.
Hon Member, what Order has the Hon Member breached?
Dr A. A. Osei 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, he is misleading this House.
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Which section of the Standing Orders are you referring to?
Order 91 only deals with interruption. But there should be a basis for the interruption. So, which Standing Orders are you referring to?
Dr A. A. Osei 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister has just made a statement that Government had complied with the Act. It is not true. The law said that the report must come with the audited account. The report does not include --
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Hon Member, you know that with this point -- that is why when you raised the issue last Friday, I thought that Leadership would meet to fashion out what exactly the law intends to achieve. The privilege of looking at the law -- and somewhere, it says audited financial statement. Then again, it said it should be attached to the Auditor-General's report with any comment from the Auditor- General.
If you read it, you would see that the net effect -- and if you come to look at the fact that the Auditor-General is an independent body, not subject to any authority, do you force him to bring the report when it is not ready? Yet there is also a requirement that the Hon Minister must come to the House on the day of the presentation of the budget, the petroleum funds would also be part of that presentation.
That is why I made the point last Friday when the Business Statement was presented or last Tuesday when the debate started, that Leadership should find a way of fashioning out how we would
Dr A. A. Osei 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, my simple point is that you have not disagreed with me. We know that we have a problem, so, we should not insist that we do not have a problem. The fact is that the audited accounts did not come with it and you are advising us how to resolve it but his statement was emphatic that the Government has complied.
Why it did not comply, is a different matter. But the Government has not complied and we, as a Parliament, must begin to face the challenge. That is all that I am saying. So, he should not go there. He raised it and that is why I have to remind him of where we are going [ Hear! Hear!].
Dr Kunbuor 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, while the Hon Member has his right to raise his point of order, these things should be done within a broader context.
We are dealing with a very novel situation; that is the first instance. The Hon Member did not say the Hon Minister has complied with all the provisions. He said he had complied -- [Uproar] -- He said he had complied and by accompanying the financial policy with that document, it is in compliance with the Act. So, let us be sure that we can meet as Leadership, iron out the other complications --
I can show you up to four statutory requirements that require things to be laid before this House that we have not complied with. But that does not mean that that is the right way to proceed. So, the Leadership should look at this thing closely, and as Mr Speaker has said, to read an Act in its totality.
If we pick just one provision of an Act, it does not give us the entire meaning of that provision because it must be in a context. Mr Speaker has actually drawn attention that we have to read the provisions together, so that we can get a clear and proper procedure to make sure that the audited accounts are before this House.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, this is not a Leadership issue. With respect, this is an issue for Parliament, not only Leadership. We have a challenge, we made the Act. The fact is that we know there are difficulties, it has not been complied with. We do not just say that it is a Leadership matter.
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Hon Member, if you say it is not a Leadership matter --When the procedure is not very clear, it must start from somewhere and normally, where we have those types of situations, we ask Leadership to meet and do the necessary consultations because they are in charge of the two caucuses of the House. When they advise the House, then the House will debate it to find out whether the proposal the Leadership is bringing to the House, is the proper one.
If you now talk about audited financial statements in section 2 (2) (a) and you talk about any report of the Auditor- General, are we talking about the same auditors? Are we talking about the Auditor-General who should prepare it or some private person to be engaged to prepare it? And then you go back and look
at the Constitution and see who prepares the public accounts of this country. The only person under the Constitution is the Auditor- General. So, when you look at it, there is a problem with the law and we must fashion out something that will be acceptable to the House. And why are the Leaders here?
They must kick-start some process, bring it to the House for the House to agree or disagree. It is not a matter that one individual or two people can say they agree or disagree. Something must be brought to the House for the House to agree on it, that this is the procedure we are going to use. That is why I referred the matter to Leadership earlier for them to see how we can manage the situation.
Let me mention one point to you. I was advised to refer the matter to the Finance Committee and I asked myself, even the Report of the Finance Committee is not ready, so can we start using the document? So, even that procedure itself is something that is even problematic. Did the framers of the law want us to debate the two documents together? Is that what they want us to do?
These are some of the things I want the Leaders to advise the House on, so that we agree on something and know that this is the proper procedure. This is because once it is in the Act, it is an issue that will crop up again next year. How do we pursue it without having a problem? Last year, when this issue came up, there was a suggestion that the report should not be part of the Budget Statement and they have disaggregated it and made it separate -- We are making progress and we should build on that progress and move on.
Dr Kunbuor 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it is unfortunate when so much has taken place in relation to this matter and then the Hon Member is indicating that it is
not a matter for Leadership. There is a very serious constitutional issue in relation to the provision. If you go and look at our Constitution, it says clearly under the article what has to be laid as financial policy in this country. That is the supreme law of the country.
Then we have an Act of Parliament, that by implication, is not stating what ought to be laid with the Financial Statement and so, we need to get a lot of clearance to know how to proceed on this matter.
If we had been patient at the winding up of this debate, this would have been one of the issues the House would have been invited to consider seriously, so that it does not occur. Indeed, this is a matter for Leadership.
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Hon Majority Leader, I will suggest that as early as possible you engage the Leadership of the Minority, so that we bring the proposal to the House to see how we will handle this matter which is acceptable to the House as a House.
Hon Minister for Trade and industry, please, continue your presentation.
Mr H. Iddrisu 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I could not be better guided by your second ruling that they must respect state institutions, particularly the Auditor- General.
Mr Speaker, may I refer you to the 2012 Annual Report on petroleum funds that the Hon Minister made as part of his presentation on this Budget Statement for guidance? Mr Speaker, if you go to paragraph 4, this is what it says and I beg to quote:
“Soon the Audit Service will publish the financial statement on the petroleum funds.”
It goes further to say that Government is committed to upholding the principles of transparency and accountability in the collection and use of petroleum revenues.

Mr Speaker, may I refer you to table 25, expenditure on 2012 Budget funds accounts, the law has been complied with. This august House approved the budgetary allocation as to what goes to the annual budget funds in terms of the four priority areas.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, my good Friend has been in Parliament for a while. He knows that the audited accounts for 2011 should come to us by June, 2012. The audited accounts of 2011 should come to us -- To say that “soon the Auditor- General . . .” we are talking about 2011 accounts, not 2012. Please, let us deal with the challenges we have.
Mr H. Iddrisu 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, maybe, he was not listening when you said that the Auditor-General shall not be subject to the direction and control of any person or institution.
Mr Speaker, in conclusion, Govern- ment will establish the Industr ial Development Fund under the industrial sector subsidy programme.
Mr Speaker, I would want to once again commend the Hon --
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Hon Member, conclude.
Mr H. Iddrisu 11:45 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Hon Minister, your last sentence. You have finished. Have you finished?
Ms Shirley A. Botchwey (NPP -- Anyaa/Sowutuom) 11:55 a.m.
I thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for 2013.
Mr Speaker, I set out to look through the budget and I was quite amazed when I got to section three -- microeconomic performance for 2012 -- Land realised that
the GDP growth rate during the Kufuor era was 8.4 per cent, the highest for the past 2012. One may say that 14.4 per cent in 2011 is high but that includes oil proceeds and if you take out the oil part, it is 7.5 per cent.
Mr Speaker, I decided to look at the agricultural sector and realised that there was a shortfall. You go to industry, there is s shortfall; you go to even the services sector that was supposed to have recorded some increase. For the target that was set of 7.7 per cent, when you disaggregate it, there are several shortfalls and I realised why the “Better Ghana Agenda” is not working.
We are not seeing any increase or any kind of progress or any kind of good performance when it comes to the cost of living for Ghanaians. Also, if you look at cost of doing business, it is very high and some businesses that I know are folding up. So Mr Speaker, you can directly link GDP and the wellbeing of Ghanaians.
Mr Speaker, I decided to look at various debates and going to the 2007 debate, I realised one thing and I support it wholly. On 29th of November, 2007, Hon Ayariga said in column 1940 of the Hansard and with your permission, I beg to quote:
“Mr Speaker, we have been treated to references to GDP growth over the years assuming that the figures regarding GDP growth are accurate.”
My point is that it is not the growth per se that is important because for a GDP growth to simultaneously address poverty, it must be GDP growth generated by certain strategic sectors of the economy.
Mr Speaker, if the majority of our population, close to 60 per cent is engaged in the agricultural sector and a large number is engaged in industry and if two
sectors experience a decline in growth, then how are we going to be able to deal with the issue of poverty? This is because the majority of the poor are involved in this sector, that was to do with the budget at the time, the 2007 Budget experiencing a 4.5 per cent growth rate for agriculture.
What would he say about the 2.6 per cent for 2012? How can we say that the “Better Ghana Agenda” is on course?
Another statement that I would want to read with your permission, Mr Speaker, is by you in another life. I really respect you because --
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Hon Member for Anyaa/ Sowutuom, I beg you. [Laughter.] I was in a different world.
Ms Botchwey 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, that is why I would want to associate myself with what you said.
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Hon Member, once you quote me, then you are forcing me to enter the debate; I will be forced to explain the circumstances under which I made those statements. So, kindly take me out.
Ms Botchwey 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, kindly allow me; it is germane to --
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Unfortunately, I am the one who rules. [Laughter.]
Ms Botchwey 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, what you said was that in 2008 we were not able to achieve the target we set and therefore, even you --
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Hon Member, you know I do not want to take part in the debate and the rules of the House do not allow me to take part in the debate? I do not intend to take part in the debate.
Ms Botchwey 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, somebody said that the 2007 Budget does not -- [Interruption.]
Dr Kunbuor 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we can see the difficulty but there is another way of rendering it, that an Hon Member in the House, previously, made the statement and that does not defeat the substance of the idea that she cherishes so much and those that the spirit moves can come and find out from her in chambers about who the Hon Member is.
Ms Botchwey 11:55 a.m.
Thank you for your help.
So, a very Hon Member of this House in the last Parliament said that and I beg to quote:
“When Government set targets and it is not able to meet those targets and yet they want us to believe this is a brighter future, then there is a problem. They should achieve their target first and then when they come and promise that there is a brighter future then we will be able to achieve them.
They have not been able to achieve most of their targets for 2007 and yet they want to tell me that there is a brighter future for me. I will not believe them. They should achieve this one first, and then I can have hope and expectation.”
Alhaji Sorogho 11:55 a.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, I have been up for the past five minutes when the Hon Member made a sweeping statement.
The Hon Member said industries had collapsed and she knew some of the
Alhaji Sorogho 11:55 a.m.


industries. And as the Hon Chairman for Trade Industry and Tourism for this House, I ask: Can she name --Mr Speaker, it is a very important statement that she made; she cannot just make that statement and get away with it. I would want her to name those industries that she said had collapsed. Before she can take her -- She cannot just make that statement and go away with it. Which industry is she referring to?
Ms Botchwey 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman for the Committee is asking me to name industries; he is well aware that we have micro, small, medium and large industries. Many micro and large businesses have folded up, textile industries have folded up, even micro businesses within my constituency have all folded up -- and people have stopped because there is no power and water for them to work with. Even if there is power, it is so expensive; they cannot afford to run generator sets for their businesses.
Mr Speaker, let us call a spade a spade; we all know that there are small businesses that are folding up. If he does not know, I know a lot in my constituency --several hairdressers, beauticians, people who use power have all folded up and therefore, if he wants me to name them, I have named a few. [Interruptions.] Yes.
Mr Speaker, I have already finished and I believe that I have made my point and that is it.
Once again, I thank you for the opportunity.
Dr Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan (NDC - -Mion) 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much for — [Interruption.]
Dr A. A. Osei — rose —
Dr A. A. Osei 12:05 p.m.
The Hon Majority Leader gave us a piece advice and I wanted to ask the Hon Member for Anyaa/ Sowutuom who that Hon Member was, so that —
Mr Speaker 12:05 p.m.
Hon Member, you are out of order. [Laughter.]
Dr Alhassan 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to support the Motion, that this Honourable House approves the financial policy of the Government of Ghana for the year ending 31st December, 2013, which was ably moved by the Minister for Finance and seconded by the Chairman of the Finance Committee.
In debating this budget, I would like to focus on agriculture, so that time will be well spent.
There is no doubt in the fact that agriculture remains the backbone of Ghana's economy, in particular, if the focus is on industry and food security. For that reason, it will be very important that in debating matters of agriculture or our national agriculture, partisanship must give way to partnership as His Excellency the President advised us to do.
The 2013 Budget recognises this and I think that in debating the budget and in interrogating the financial policy of the Government, we must take into consideration authentic words that are used to qualify projects, programmes and initiatives.
If in the Statement, it is said, “Government will continue”, “Govern- ment will initiate”, “Government will sustain”, “Government will deepen”, all these authentic words must be taken into consideration when interrogating the Budget Statement. The policy and
programmes and projects of agriculture by this Government are borne out of medium- term plans that both sides of the political divide have committed themselves to. So, any negative questions put to the agricultural sector of this country must be something both sides must share responsibility in responding to.
We have PHASDEP I, PHASDEP II, MATESIP, CADEP, ECOWAP, et cetera. All these are policies that both sides of the political divide have committed themselves to. These policies have transformed into flagship specific programmes and projects that are being implemented by Government, so that the Agricultural sector can make progress.
Example, is the Fertilizer Subsidy Programme which moved for some couple of years and seed was added as of last year. Agriculture mechanization started a couple of years ago, it has been expanded since 2009 and with the inclusion of other mechanization items, such as harvesters, threshers, planters, et cetera.
There is also the issue of infrastructure specifically for agriculture. Market infrastructure includes trade of agricultural produce, that is why the warehousing and the National Food Buffer Stock Company were established to mop up supplusses. There is also rice mills that are springing up, rice mills that did not exist because the rice industry had collapsed to its knees until 2009 when it was revamped. I will soon provide figures to back my claim.
Sheanut industry is now a complete industry because we hardly export the raw sheanuts to foreign countries. If you go to Tamale today, there are hand creams, hair creams, body lotions, sheanut soap being made from local sheanuts. If this is lip-service to the agricultural sector, I do not know what the definition of “lip-
service” really is. The agriculture sector is wholly dependent on rainfall. This country and this Government is taking the opportunity to build irrigation infras- tructure, so that we can increase the share of irrigation agriculture as part of the total land committed to crop production.
That is why, apart from rehabilitation of old irrigation dams, new ones are being initiated at Katanga, Sisili et cetera. If this is lip-service, I really do not know what the definition really is.
Mr Speaker, let us understand clearly that these programmes have really benefited this country and I have figures to support. The fertilizer subsidy programme started in 2008 with a commitment of GH¢20.7 million and 45,000 tonnes of fertilizer. By 2012, the commitment of Government to fertilizer programme rose to GH¢118 million with 173,000 tonnes of fertilizer being used by Ghanaian farmers.
Before I move on, let me say that the point on people exporting fertilizer to foreign countries for extra money-- smuggling of fertilizer-- the Hon Member knows that the Hon Minister for Food and Agriculture has responded to this particular problem by restraining people who trade in fertilizer in those particular districts. He knows it. This is because the Minister for Food and Agriculture was called to meet your Committee on Agriculture to explain the situation.
Let me say that these programmes and inputs have produced some results. If we take maize and rice, which are the key consumers of our fertilizer that is being subsidized -- between 2009 and 2011, the average production of maize was 1,725,000 metric tonnes. The average for the same crop between 2006 and 2008 was 1,292. This means an increase of 14 per
Mr Speaker, by 2008, it was less than 30 per cent 12:05 p.m.
None

Let me conclude or let me also state that maize production, the average as at 2000 and 2002, in comparison with 2003 and 2005, the increase was only by 4 per cent. With rice, the increase was only by a miserable 3 per cent. Compare 3 per cent to 75 per cent, who is doing better?

Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto — rose —
Mr Speaker 12:05 p.m.
Yes, Hon Member for Kwadaso?
Dr Akoto 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order.
He is misleading this House by the statistics that he is producing. I have in front of me here a yearly statistical compilation of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
Mr Speaker 12:05 p.m.
Hon Member, what statement did he make that breached the rule? What particular statement did he make that is misleading?
Dr Akoto 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, he is misleading this House by maintaining that maize and rice production has gone up by 40 per cent and 60 per cent; it is not true.
Mr Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Hon Member, you quoted from The Chronicle; Hon Member for Mion, you, where are quoting from? He quoted from The Chronicle.
Dr Alhassan 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, on a lighter note, it is said that—
Mr Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Hon Member, where are you quoting from?
Dr Alhassan 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am quoting from the same production figures provided by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture; the one he is holding. The one he is holding, that is the figure.
Let me make a statement.
Mr Speaker, it is said that statistics is like a bikini. I do not know what the bikini is, but statistics is like a bikini; it reveals a lot but it does not reveal all. It takes somebody -- [Interruption] -- We cannot just read statistics; we have to analyse statistics. Mr Speaker, for your information -- [Interruption] -- It is not about being true or being -- [Interrup- tion.]
Mr Speaker 12:15 p.m.
He is quoting from the source that you have quoted from as provided --
Dr Akoto 12:15 p.m.
Which page, Mr Speaker? I would want to challenge him on that.
Dr Alhassan 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, well, I know my -- [Interruption]
Mr Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Hon Member, when you have quoted something and they ask for the source, it is legitimate to provide it. What page are you quoting from?
Dr Alhassan 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, in debating, I am referring to my notes. I can give him the whole document and he would get what I am referring to. I am doing an analysis of the statistics provided; I am not reading the statistics, please. I am doing an analysis of the statistics and he can meet me outside. I have only ten minutes here; he can meet me outside and we would debate it --
Mr Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Hon Member, your time is up. I will give you one minute to conclude.
Dr Alhassan 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, to conclude, there is this fetish about agricultural GDP and its going down et cetera. I would want people who are doing the analysis to be honest and try hard to disaggregate what contributes to agricultural GDP. Mr Speaker, it is crops, forestry and logging, fisheries and livestock.
ment, in the last couple of years, is to discourage logging, and rather concentrate on developing plantations, you do not expect that sector to be growing positively. And if we do not change our system of aggregating agricultural GDP, obviously, that would certainly bring the GDP down
Mr Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Your time is up.
Dr Alhassan 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, let me conclude. I would want to conclude by stating that --
Mr Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Hon Member, your last sentence.
Dr Alhassan 12:15 p.m.
Let us shift the debate on agriculture in Ghana from what is wrong to what is right and what is going wrong within the right, then we would be making progress.
I thank you very much.
Mr Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh (NPP -- Sunyani East) 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion, that is seeking the approval of this august House in respect of the financial policy of the Government of Ghana for the year ending 31st December,
2013.
Mr Speaker, it would be recalled that in the course of last year, when the former Minister for Finance and Economic Planning presented to this House the Budget Statement for 2012, there was an indication that 42 new District Assemblies were going to be created. It turned out to be 46 of them. In that Budget Statement, specifically, paragraph 810, it was indicated that a seed capital or a start-up capital of million GH¢ for each of the 42 new District Assemblies was going to be allocated to help them.
Mr Speaker, as we speak today, that seed capital has not been paid and so, the question that we need to ask is, where is the money? We need to ask the question because Government went ahead and made provision for these new District Assemblies in the formula of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) for 2012 and if you take the formula for 2012, page 94, you would find that provision.
Interestingly, that money has not been paid and Government has to explain why the District Assemblies were created and we made provision for them and yet that money has not been paid.
Mr Speaker, my understanding of a seed capital or a start-up capital is that, you provide that money at the start or commencement of a project or a programme. The District Assemblies were inaugurated in June, 2012. Ten months down the line, the monies have not been paid. So, sika no, ewo hen? Where is the money? We need to know and we
Mr Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh (NPP -- Sunyani East) 12:15 p.m.


need to be told where Government has directed those monies to.
Dr Kunbuor 12:15 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is misleading this House. To the effect that he said procedures in relation to the creation of the new districts were side- stepped. There are seven Supreme Court rulings that say that the creation of those districts was legal, constitutional and regular -- [Hear! Hear!] So, he must be talking about something else but no single procedure was side-stepped in the creation of those districts.
Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, a court of law would make a determination based upon the facts presented before it
Mr Speaker 12:15 p.m.
But Hon Member, when the Supreme Court of Ghana has pronounced on a matter that brings the issue to a close, that is the point that he is making.
Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, would the Majority Leader furnish us with the ruling he is talking about -- [Interruption]
Dr Kunbuor 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I guess that my Hon Colleague would need some guidance from his Leadership because when the Supreme Court has pronounced
on a matter, it becomes law and it constitutes actual knowledge to everybody. If he happens to be ignorant about it, that is not a defence.
Mr Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Hon Majority Leader, I thought that you would mention some of the cases. I have heard five of those Supreme Court judgments and I do not think that we should debate this matter. You should have mentioned Nene Amegatse v the Attorney-General. You should have mentioned at least, one.
Dr Kunbuor 12:15 p.m.
Well, that is so, Mr Speaker. Okai is one of those cases, Obitibrini which has become one of the classical cases, is yet another case. And I said there were seven of those cases and if Hon Members are interested, we can make them available to the House.
Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I know of the cases the Majority Leader is talking about. They talk about the creation of electoral areas and not District Assemblies. So, the Majority Leader would do us good to provide the accurate titles of those cases. This is because if he says “Okai”, “Okai” versus who? We need to be furnished with the full titles of those cases, so that we can go into the matter further -- [Hear! Hear!]
Mr Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Hon Member, you see, these are matters of law and I do not want us to delve into these issues. I have read five of the Supreme Court judgments and issues of the creation -- Assemblies are based on electoral areas and so, let us leave -- you may make another point but leave that matter, otherwise, we would delve into areas of law and all those things, which are not the subject matter before us.
Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if we are not careful, this Government would create Districts Assemblies under trees-- [Interruption.]
MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER rose
Mr Cheremeh 12:25 p.m.
And if that happens, you can imagine what the situation will be like. The very District Assemblies which are supposed to lead the crusade in removing schools under trees will themselves be housed under trees. And as the Bible says, if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit and perish. So, we need to be sure that we create District Assemblies by following due process --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Joe Gidisu, do you have a point of order?
Mr J. K. Gidisu 12:25 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Colleague was alluding to the fact that he is afraid District Assemblies would be located under trees. Mr Speaker, such Assemblies will be safer than those that have been located on top of filling stations. They would be safer than those located on top of petrol filling stations.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Member, this cannot be a point of order.
Hon Member, please, proceed.
Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 12:25 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker for your ruling. That rules the Hon Member out.
Mr Speaker, I would want to turn my attention to the District Assemblies Common Fund. Mr Speaker, the perfor- mance of the Fund for 2012 and the outlook
of the Fund for 2013 are totally missing from this budget. I do not know whether it is the new style of this Government to decide or choose not to report on very, very important sections of our economy, which is the District Assemblies Common Fund --
Mr Joseph Y. Chireh 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I have a point of order.
When my Hon Friend was making his statement, he said that if the blind is leading the blind, they will fall into a ditch. He knows that it is not politically correct to use terms like that with reference to people with disabilities (PWDs). He should have used the words “if an ignorant person is leading an ignorant person, they will fall into a ditch”. He should be sensitive.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
I think it is in order. Let us respect the physically challenged.
Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 12:25 p.m.
I was paraphrasing a quotation from the Bible. Jesus made that statement. If he is unaware of it, it is his cup of tea --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Member, whether you are quoting from the Bible or paraphrasing from it, I think that the point he made is in order. Please, let us respect them.
Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 12:25 p.m.
I was paraphrasing. Mr Speaker, on page 245 of the Budget Statement 2013, particularly paragraph 1055, the Hon Minister says that the -- [Interruption]
rose
Mr Ahmed Ibrahim 12:25 p.m.
Rightly so Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member on the floor made a statement that if care is not taken, this Government may create districts under trees. The Legislative
Instrument that created the districts was created duly through the law process by this Parliament. He should not take the powers of Parliament and give them to the Executive.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Very well. I think that point has already been made.
Hon Member, please, proceed.
Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I was saying that the Hon Minister said the rotted out of a composite budget to 170 Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) presents the nation with a challenge and -- [Interruption]
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Member, is it a point of order?
Hon Members, as the Hon Speaker indicated before he left the Chair, let us make sure that we are complying with the rules in as far as points of order are concerned.
What point of order are you raising?
Mr Agyekum 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is misleading the House because he said -- [Interruption] -- Mr Speaker, he said nothing had been transferred to the newly created districts. That is a total lie. This is because before the inauguration, monies were transferred to those Assemblies for them to use, even for the inauguration. So, if he says that nothing has been transferred to the newly created Assemblies, it is a total lie. And it is rather --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Member, the use of the word “lie” is unparliamentary. If you can say it is incorrect.
Mr Agyekukm 12:25 p.m.
He is misleading the House because monies were transferred
-- [Interruption] -- That has been withdrawn. But monies were transferred to the Assemblies. If you go to --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Member, your point is well made. Thank you; your point is well made.
Hon Member, please, proceed.
Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, every District Assembly receives a share of the District Assemblies Common Fund in quarterly installments. There is a world of difference between a seed capital of GH¢1 million promised by this Government, which has not been paid -- and also quarterly payment. So, if the Assemblies received quarterly payments, we cannot mistake that one to be the seed capital because every District Assembly is receiving that, anyway. I think he has to get his facts correct -- [Hear! Hear!]
Mr Speaker, Government goes on to propose that measures must be instituted to ensure that deductions from the District Assemblies Common Fund --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Member, your time is up but because of the interjections, I will give you one more minute.
Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 12:25 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. But Mr Speaker, who is to be blamed for the deductions? It is Government that initiates the deductions. They take the money at the centre themselves; they turn round to complain. Why should they complain to us? If they stop the deductions, there will be no deductions -- [Interruption]
M Joseph Amenowode-- rose --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Member, do you have a point of order?
Mr Amenowode 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I have a point of order.
The Hon Member is misleading this House by stating that the GH¢ 1million promised to be transferred to the District
Assemblies has not been transferred. Mr Speaker, part of that money, part of the GH¢1 million promised has been transferred to the newly created Assemblies. GH¢1 million was sent to each of the -- [Interruption] -- GH¢100,000 Ghana cedis was transferred
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Members, let us have some order. Order! [Interruptions.] Let us have some order.
Hon Member, please, proceed with your
Mr Amenowode 12:25 p.m.
A GH¢100,000 out of the GH¢1million has been transferred to these District Assemblies. So, it is not correct that Government has not fulfilled that.
Thank you.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
All right, thank you very much.
Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, for 2012, the total allocation that Government made for --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Member, you must be getting ready to conclude because I gave you one extra minute.
Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 12:25 p.m.
Thank you Mr Speaker. Eight hundred and twenty- one million, six hundred and sixty-four thousand, eight hundred and six Ghana cedis (GH¢821,664,806.00) was the total allocation the Government made for the Common Fund last year. After the deductions made by Government itself, the net total that the Assemblies were to receive was GH¢208,957,241.00. Mr Speaker, this represents 25.4 per cent of --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Member, your time is up please; resume your seat.
The next person is Hon Dr Kwabena Donkor.
Dr Kwabena Donkor (NDC -- Pru East) 12:35 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to associate myself with the Motion on the financial policy of Government for the year ending 31st December, 2013.
Mr Speaker, I will be zeroing in on energy. Mr Speaker, I would want this House to note that crises do not just happen. They are often the culmination of a series of events that take place over time. Resolving contemporary crisis therefore, includes and must include recognising the cause of previous crises.
I am saying this because as a nation, we have gone through cycles of power outages and it looks like collectively, we have not taken the needed measures to address this crisis.

Mr Joseph B. Adu Danquah -- rose
-- 12:35 p.m.

Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Hon Member, on what point of order have you risen?
Mr J. B. Adu Danquah 12:35 p.m.
Order 89.
Dr Donkor 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, let me reiterate that according to the World Development Indicators published by the World Bank, in 1980, electricity consumption per capita in Ghana was 421.6 kWh. Between 2000 and 2008, this has dwindled to 280.4 kWH per capita. Comparatively, China, in 1980, had a per capita consumption of 281.6 kWh. In 2009, China's consumption had shot up to 2,631 kWH.

Mr Speaker, in the power sector, we have had challenges with power generation. Generation has been our Achilles heel. And that is because as a nation, we have historically depended on what we call Legacy Hydro. Hydro at independence and especially, after 1965 when Akosombo was inaugurated; today, hydro constitutes only 52 per cent of our generating capacity. And therefore, the dependence on historical hydro no longer would serve us well.
rose
Dr Donkor 12:35 p.m.
For this reason, the budget proposed to increase -- bring 400 MW on board this year. By 2014, the coal plant would add another additional 220 MW; by 2015, the same power would add 340 MW. This is what transformation leadership is all about. [Hear! Hear!]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Hon K. T. Hammond.
Mr Hammond 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, everybody is shouting, he just came in, he just came in. But as soon as I got in, I realised that my very good Friend and Brother was --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
You go ahead with your point of order that you are raising.
Mr Hammond 12:35 p.m.
Exactly, he was misleading the House.
The Akosombo generation is actually 70 per cent of the generation mix; so, we now have 70 -- Akosombo and then 30 - - thermal. So, we have a 100 per cent; we do not have 52, 53, whatever he is talking about; and the Hon Member knows that factually, what he has said is inaccurate.
Dr Donkor 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, my Friend, not only is he late but he is suffering a memory lapse. [Interruption.] I said “installed capacity”, which is different from available capacity. But that notwithstanding, let us go forward.
In the current budget a lot of emphasis is also being placed on energy efficiency and I am happy Mr Speaker, that with the installation of automatic capacity banks, our energy efficiency is improving.
The fact that we have a challenge, is not surprising. What would be a disservice to this country is our refusal to tackle the challenge headlong and the current budget is providing this solution.
Mr Speaker, I would also want to look at coverage of national electricity. Today, power penetration is about 72 per cent, which is one of the highest in the developing world. [Hear! Hear!] When the National Electrification Scheme began, many were the doubting Thomases. I am glad to say that this has yielded dividends.
Mr Speaker, before I conclude, there is a major issue that I would want to draw the attention of this House to and to commend Government for tackling it. That is the issue of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC). Mr Speaker, I heard on the floor of this House, my Hon Colleagues on the other side, including my junior Brother --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Hon Member, you have two more minutes to go.
Dr Donkor 12:35 p.m.
My junior Brother who is the Ranking Member on the other side. [Interruption.] Yes, he is my junior Brother -- stating that GNPC should be brought under scrutiny. GNPC, Mr Speaker, if, as a country, we are going to benefit from our natural endowed oil find, we must strategically locate GNPC in such a way that it would not only be a dormant partner but an active partner. And this includes equity participation and also the ability to pay our share of development when cash calls are made. And therefore, the budgetary provision for GNPC is not only appropriate but most desired.
Mr Hammond 12:35 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, to start with, I have never said that GNPC should be brought under scrutiny. I have said quite a lot of things about this document, but nowhere have I said that GNPC should be brought under scrutiny. In any event, Mr Speaker, I will challenge anybody in this country who said that they have more interest in GNPC than me K. T. Hammond. [Uproar!] I challenge every single person.
The reason Mr Speaker, is that from the time of President John Agyekum Kufuor 's Administration, when he entrusted us and I was asked to take responsibility for GNPC, every single development of GNPC had been under my superintendance. Mr Speaker, go to GNPC today and they will tell you that the only Minister they ever had and indeed, still ever have, is K. T. Hammond. [Uproar!] So, I have an interest in what happens at GNPC.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Hon Member, do you have any proof of that?
Mr Hammond 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
It is all right.
Hon Donkor, please, go ahead.
Mr Hammond 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I just asked for the sake of conclusion. When we made sure that this Jubilee oil was struck by Kosmos --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Hon Member, you are making a new presentation. Please, you have raised your point that you did not make reference to GNPC; that is enough. But to go on and say that you are the only Minister who has been for GNPC and so on, I think it is uncalled for.
Please, resume your seat and let the --
Dr Donkor 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, as a nation, we are currently suffering from the lapse of investments in the time past and therefore --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Hon Member, begin to wind up.
Dr Donkor 12:35 p.m.
Therefore, in the oil sector Mr Speaker, I appreciate the fact that we have made such financial provision for GNPC, so that generations unborn would not look back 50 years later and say if the

Parliament of Ghana in 2013 had made appropriate provisions for GNPC, we would have had a bigger stake in our God endowed resource.
Mr Francis Addai-Nimoh (NPP -- Mampong) 12:45 p.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion as captured number 5 on today's Order Paper.

Thereafter, once you begin to read from paragraph 1 to paragraph 1110, the first str iking issue that would draw the attention of every Hon Member is the theme for this year's budget. May I, Mr Speaker, with your permission, quote the theme for the budget and I would do a critique of it. Mr Speaker, I beg to quote:

“The Theme: Sustaining Confidence in the Future of the Ghanaian Economy”.
Alhaji Amadu Sorogho 12:45 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, I think my Hon Colleague is a very senior Member of Parliament of this House. He knows very well that Ghana, we are dealing with Ghana new cedis. He knows very well. So, I would want to find out, at what time did we cease using the old cedis that he should go back and decide to make reference today that “trillion Ghana old cedis”? If he has forgotten, I would want to --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Thank you, Hon Member. Thank you Hon Sorogho.
Hon Member, I believe that you know the currency we use now, so, if you could quote in that currency, we would be grateful?
Mr Addai-Nimoh 12:45 p.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
At least, when I went to school, I learnt a little mathematics and arithmetic.
So, we know that 87 trillion, it could be divided by the number of zeros we have and you would come to GH¢8.7 billion Ghana cedis and that is the deficit. It is 8.7 billion.
So, my question is that, can there be the confidence in the Ghanaian economy when you have such a huge deficit? Can there be the confidence when you have an arrears of over GH¢5 billion? Can there be the confidence in the economy?
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Yes, Hon Member.
Mr Addai-Nimoh 12:45 p.m.
When we have power outages for which domestic, commercial, industrial --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Hon Member, there is a point of order, can you resume your seat?
Mr Murtala M. Ibrahim 12:45 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, I think that there is enough evidence proved even to the doubting Thomases, that there is so much confidence in this economy and I refer my Hon Colleague to the IMF website, the World Bank website, independent --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Hon Member, that is argumentative. It cannot be a proper point of order.
Please, resume your seat.
Hon Member, proceed.
Mr Addai-Nimoh 12:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am so much in love with you for ruling the Hon Member out. [Uproar.]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Hon Member, I hope you are not making any connotations?
Mr Addai-Nimoh 12:45 p.m.
Absolutely no, Mr Speaker. But yes, I love you. [Uproar.]
Mr Speaker, let me proceed.
Mr Sampson Ahi 12:45 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, in this era of gayism and lesbianism, the Hon Member just said that he is in love with you. Can he explain further, so that people who are listening will not misconstrue it that he is in the act?
Mr Addai-Nimoh 12:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, this is just on a lighter note. Perhaps, I am just taking a cue from our sitting President. [Hear! Hear!]
Mr Speaker, let me make progress.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Hon Member, I do not think it is appropriate for you to refer to the sitting President in this regard. Please, withdraw that.
Mr Addai-Nimoh 12:45 p.m.
I do so, Mr Speaker. Let me make progress. [Uproar.]
Several Hon Members -- rose --
Mr Addai-Nimoh 12:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the point I am making is that -- [Uproar.]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Order! Hon Members, order.
Mr Addai-Nimoh 12:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker asked me to and I said I withdraw it. [Uproar.]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Let us have some order. Hon Members, order.
Hon Member, could you in addition apologise?
Some Hon Members 12:45 p.m.
Yes!
Mr Addai-Nimoh 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, with respect to your goodself and also to the Chair that you occupy, and with respect to the sitting President of the Republic of Ghana I do apologise.
Mr James Agbesi 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, this morning, both sides of the House submitted a list of 14 Hon Members for the debate to continue. Yesterday, a similar thing was done but most of our Hon Members could not have their chance.
Mr Speaker, I would want to appeal to you to appeal to the House that points of order that they are taking should be a bit limited, so that Hon Members who are anxious to make their contributions would have their take because we do not have any provision of an extended Sitting. That is actually the point I would want to make, so that you appeal to the House for us to have a decent debate, which must flow.
That is my point.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Thank you very much for the point that you have raised.
I think that Hon Members are aware that with too many of these points of order we would be dragging this debate beyond the limited time-frame that we have. As much as possible, let us allow contributors to go, unless you reasonably have good grounds for raising a point of order.
So Hon Member, please, go ahead.
Mr Addai-Nimoh 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I will make progress.
What I am saying is that there is no confidence in the Ghanaian economy when we have power outages. There is no confidence in the Ghanaian economy where we have huge budget arrears. There is no confidence in the Ghanaian economy when water supply is a problem to Ghanaians.

Mr Speaker, it is in the light of these that I find the theme to be inconsistent with what has been presented to us in the budget and I therefore, propose a theme and I urge my Hon Colleagues on the other side to support my proposal. My proposal is that we should rather restore confidence in the Ghanaian economy. [Hear! Hear!] So, the theme should read: “Restoring confidence in the Ghanaian economy” before we can think of sustaining it into the future --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Hon Member, your time is up.
Mr Addai-Nimoh 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, to conclude, we have environmental challenges facing this country but I read from paragraph 433 in this budget, that 50,000 trees were planted, creating jobs for 18, 000 youth along the coastal belt of Ghana --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Hon Member, your time is up.
The next person is Hon Hanna Bisiw.
Dr Hanna L. Bisiw (NDC -- Tano South) 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to support the Motion, that this Honourable House approves the Financial Policy of Government of Ghana for the year ending 31st December, 2013, ably moved on Tuesday, 12th March, 2013 by the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr Seth Emmanuel Terkpeh and seconded by the Hon Chairman of the Finance Committee, Mr James Klutse Avedzi.
Mr Speaker, in doing so, I would zero in the Hydrological Department and the water systems in the country. When you look at the budget, the performance of Government in 2012, when it comes to hydro, a lot of work was done. There was the construction of primary storm water drains at Sakaman, Nima, Lashibi, Sakumono, Goaso, Mim, just to mention a few.
Mr Speaker, due to this action, we have areas like Sakaman, Awoshie, East Legon, West Legon and many other places that previously before we came to office, if it rained for about an hour, they experienced flooding. But due to the works done by the Hydrological Department under the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Government, these days, it could rain for two hours or more and these areas that the works were done, will not experience flooding.
Also if you look at the layout of the jobs done, they were not only concentrated in Accra, they were extended to Goaso, Mim and many other places. It shows that the Government does not just concentrate on Accra but we think of all the other regions and all the other districts to make sure that in our efforts to mitigate flooding in the country, we do not just limit all the resources to the capital region.
Mr Speaker, in 2013, drainage systems at Sakaman, Nima, Goaso, Salaga, Sakumono, Lashibi and Bolgatanga will be constructed. They will continue to also work in Ashaiman, Swedru, Winneba, Ejura, Tepa, Asankragwa, Kumawu and Tamale. This goes to tell us that this is a Government that tells us that the resources of this nation will be well disbursed for all of us.
I would want to talk about the Community Water and Sanitation Agency that deals with small towns. In 2012, there was a completed assessment in 13 small town water supply systems and I will go on to mention these towns for all of us to know. We have the Bole, Bimbilla, Chereponi, Daboya, Gambaga, Walewale, Salaga, Gushegu, Nalerigu, Saboba, Tinga, Wulensi and Zabzugu.

Mr Speaker, the NDC Government also started a 20,000 borehole project. Under the Rural Water Supply System, 1,000 boreholes were drilled and fitted with hand-pumps. We have also 1,220 boreholes that were drilled under the COCOBOD Borehole Project to support our rural communities.

In 2013, the budget also tells us that there will be a completion of the over 1,000 boreholes under the 20,000 project and then this year, we will also continue with the next 4,000 under the 20,000 project because the 20,000 boreholes are for a period of 5 years.

Mr Speaker, I will go on to talk about the Ghana Water Company Limited where we have the Kpong Water Project-- Government has invested over 200 million in the Kpong expansion water project and also the rehabilitation of the intake plant at Kpong and the work done of the treatment plant is about 45 per cent completed.

We also go to talk about the Accra- Tema Metropolitan Area (ATMA) rural. That is going to provide us with 9 million gallons a day. That is going to feed the rural part of Accra and Tema Metropolis and it will also serve over 500,000 people.
-- 12:55 p.m.

Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Hon Member, you have--
Dr Bisiw 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am concluding.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr David Oppon-Kusi (NPP -- Ofoase/Ayirebi) 1:05 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to be part of this debate.

Mr Speaker, I would restrict myself to paragraphs 481, 482 and then 492 to 497. This is because these paragraphs contain the NDC Government's intention or proposal to solving one of the most pressing crises we have, which is the water crisis.

Mr Speaker, water, they say, is life and the absence of water, connotes death. In this period where we have generous rainfall over the years, we are still faced with water crisis, which is artificial in nature. Mr Speaker, the latest and fastest growing business in town now is the conversion of light trucks popularly known as “KIA trucks” into improvised water tankers, to bring water from far away places to areas where water is badly needed.

Mr Speaker, as I speak, residents of part of Kasoa have to import water from Winneba, thereby putting pressure on the supply of water to Winneba itself. Mr Speaker, this reminds me of a line in a poem in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, which states:

“. . . water water everywhere but not a drop to drink.”

Mr Speaker, households which are already overburdened with high cost of fuel, transportation, rent, school fees and the likes, now have to spend money to import water, so that they can live.

Mr Speaker, the blueprint by the NDC Government for solving our water crisis does not give anybody hope. If we hope that there is hope in this document, then we are in for a gargantuan surprise.

This is because there is nothing in there which gives us hope. Mr Speaker, inadequate as these proposals are, my real worry is that, in spite of what they have said here, there is no money to carry out

these projects. Mr Speaker, this country, after paying our wages and serving our huge external and internal loans, there would be very little left to solve our water crisis problem and that is my problem. So, we are guaranteed that these crises would continue and escalate.

Mr Speaker, to solve this problem, the NDC Government looks at the poor Ghanaian in the eye and makes these proposals. Mr Speaker, with your permission, I beg to quote paragraph 481:

“The Ministry will lead the development of rain water harves- ting strategy to promote rain water harvesting.”

Paragraph 482 says:

“We will provide a number of boreholes that will target 600,000 people in selected regions over the next five years.”

Now, paragraph 493 is interesting. It proposes that this year, they are going to sink 4,000 boreholes -- This year alone -- Meanwhile, in the same paragraph, they are admitting that 1,090 boreholes, started over the last four years, are yet to be completed, forgetting that we are already entering April. We are going to get 4,000 boreholes.

Now, paragraph 404 promises us that:

“Mr Speaker, we are going to continue the Kpong Water Supply Expansion Project …”
Alhaji Collins Dauda 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, on a point of order.
Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague made reference to some paragraphs of the budget, and in particular, he said for paragraph 493, last year, we were able to provide 1,090 boreholes and we are proposing to provide 4,000 boreholes this year and he has a problem with it. Mr Speaker, if he has a problem, the problem should remain with him.
We are determined to provide as many as 4,000 boreholes this year and we would provide that for the people of this country in line with the vision of the President of this country in the water sector. We would do that for him.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
Hon Member, please, proceed.
Mr Oppon-Kusi 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, my problem is that, if they could not complete 1,090 last year -- We are already entering the second quarter of this year, how can they provide us with 4,000 boreholes? But Mr Speaker, let me continue.
All the other initiatives contained in the eight paragraphs I have referred to, most of them are in the pipeline. The only thing which is not in the pipeline, is the water that we need.
Mr Speaker, my worry is not over. I am further saddened by the fact that out of the paper amount of GH¢598,902,602 for this vital sector which is in crisis, a whopping 80 per cent of this amount, which is GH¢473,793,831, is expected from donor funds. So, if the donors refuse or fail to bring money, we would not have money to solve our water problems.
Mr Speaker, 80 per cent of the money for this sector is expected from donor funds. Mr Speaker, how can we look at Ghanaians in the eye and tell them that if donors do not bring the money, we would not solve our water problems?
Alhaji Collins Dauda 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, on a point of order.
Mr Speaker, my Hon Friend is a senior Member of this House, he has been here for about three terms and he knows that you cannot capture everything in the budget.
In terms of protecting water bodies, you do not expect to capture your policies on it in the budget.
You do not expect to have all these and it has never featured -- In the 8 years of the NPP's rule, there was no single budget in which they provided for policies of protecting water bodies. So, the Hon Member is misleading this House.
Mr Ignatius B. Awuah 1:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, Hon Collins Dauda in reacting to a comment that was made by my Hon Member on the floor, said that it was not possible for the budget to contain everything. But Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague was speaking to the content of the budget and there is no way he on the other side, can know what is in the mind of the Hon Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing.
So, Mr Speaker, he is speaking to the issue, he is speaking to the budget document, the content of the budget document and there is no way he can know what is in the Hon Minister's mind. So, Mr Speaker, I think you should rule his intervention out of order.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
Hon Member, please, proceed. You have two minutes to go.
Mr Oppon -Kusi 1:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, a vital resource as water, if it does not get mentioned in a policy document, then again, we must be prepared to emigrate to the moon very soon because very soon we will not have --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
Hon Member, why not concentrate on your presentation, so that you can have useful use of the time that you have?
Mr Oppon-Kusi 1:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it is the absence of clear-cut policies and investment in this sector that has brought the water sector to its humble knees. Today, we cannot guarantee our existence for the next few years. Mr Speaker, the implication for public health is alarming, for sanitation, it is alarming -- We are going to promote cholera and other diseases, if we do not resolve this issue.
Mr Speaker, in contrast to the current mess in which we find ourselves, where the efforts of a determined and focused Government, which modernized and expanded water systems like the Kwanyaku, Befikrom, Cape Coast, Kumasi, Tamale, Koforidua, Sunyani, Ada, Sogakope, Accra East and West thousands of boreholes and small water systems, the question we have to ask ourselves -- Most of the current small water systems under construction are stalled because of lack of payment, meanwhile, they are contained in this budget.
What solutions do we have for the present water crises in Accra and other areas. What solutions do we have for protecting our water bodies through mining, through deforestation --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
Hon Member, your time is up. Please, conclude.
Mr Oppon-Kusi 1:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, to conclude. I do not find any hope for the water sector in this document.
Mr Albert Abongo (NDC -- Bongo) 1:15 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to speak to the Motion for the approval of the financial policy of Government for this year.
Mr Speaker, I will start by dismissing the assertion by the Hon Member -- [Interruptions] -- Mr Speaker, I will start by dismissing the statement made by the Hon Member -- that Government has not made any provision in the budget for the protection and preservation of water bodies in this country. Mr Speaker, I refer
him to paragraphs 470 and 471 page 123 and I beg to quote:
“Mr Speaker, the Ministry acting through the Water Resources Commission developed a Riparian Buffer zone policy to guide the planting of vegetation along water bodies to conserve and preserve degraded water bodies.
To monitor the usage of water resources, the Commission issued licenses for 18 major water users in the mining, aquaculture irrigation and industr ial sectors. The Commission also issued licenses to 17 borehole drilling companies.”
Mr Speaker, you cannot have everything in this Budget Statement but it is stated there and so, for the Hon Member to say that nothing is said about the protection of water bodies, is false.
Mr Speaker, I will now proceed to make my main contribution.
Mr Oppon-Kusi 1:15 p.m.
-- rose --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
Hon Member, I would have given you the opportunity but you made a general statement that no provision was made in the Budget Statement regarding protection of water bodies and he has made specific reference to provisions in there. I do not think we need to go further.
Hon Abongo, please, proceed --
Mr Abongo 1:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I was on paragraph 461 of the Budget Statement --
Mr Speaker, the medium-term develop- ment framework, the Ghana Shared Growth Development Agenda pinpoints the critical and vital role infrastructure plays in propelling economic growth and sustainable poverty reduction, both key objectives of the better “Ghana Agenda”.
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
Hon Frimpong, are you coming on a point of order?
Mr Kofi Frimpong 1:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, in answering an issue raised by the last Speaker here, the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing said it was not everything that can be captured in the budget -- [Interruptions] -- He said so. But here, we are from paragraph 470, raised by the Hon Colleague, that this has been taken care. So, what is the contradiction.? The Minister himself said
-- 1:15 p.m.

Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
Does that defeat the assertion by the Minister that you cannot capture everything? It does not.
Mr Frimpong 1:15 p.m.
Oh, yes. I would want to know why because the Minister is saying -- [Interruption.]
Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor 1:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, there are rules and procedures in this House. If you have to raise a point of order, there is a time to raise it. The Hon Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing is not on his feet, so in what context will he be raising a point of order? We need to follow our rules and procedure, otherwise, one week after a debate has been concluded, somebody will come and raise a point of order and say, last week
somebody made a statement. There is a reason the point of order has to be raised at a particular time that an Hon Member is on his feet and at least, for the young Members of this House, they should learn the proper procedure and they should not be misled.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
I only gave him the opportunity because he made reference to Hon Abongo's assertion in relation to the Hon Minister's assertion and I think that once it does not defeat what the Hon Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing said, I do not think that it is necessary for us to give him that opportunity.
Mr Abongo 1:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, under paragraph 463, the focus of this year's budget is to address some of these infrastructure deficits. In this direction, Government will explore all avenues both domestic and foreign in securing the much needed funds for the development of the sector. Mr Speaker, when you talk about infrastructure and what goes into it, let us first of all, look at the petroleum funds and the document submitted by the Minister for Finance alongside the Budget Statement.
Mr Speaker, of the transfers to GNPC -- sometimes people ask, why do we have so much going into GNPC and whatever -- in the 2012 Budget, 90 per cent of that went into investment?
Isaac K. Asiamah: source?
Mr Abongo 1:15 p.m.
I did my own calculation; that is not stated in that document but 90 per cent of that went into capital investment. And Mr Speaker, -- [Inter- ruptions.]
Mr Isaac K. Asiamah 1:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Colleague is misleading the House. He should tell us the source of
his calculations. You cannot just go to your bedroom, have some calculations and come and throw them at us. He should tell us where he had that figure. He cannot just be adding up figures and come and tell us that is the figure. He should tell us, Mr Speaker.
Mr Abongo 1:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I refer him to Table 21 and I will advise him to go and do some small arithmetics -- [Interrup- tions] -- And he will know how the 90 per cent came about -- [Interruptions] -- I am not your mathematics teacher, Hon Member. Go and do the calculation yourself.
Mr I. K. Asiamah 1:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, that is not his own calculation; it is not his own calculation.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
Hon Member, you have not been given the floor.
Mr Abongo 1:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, of the transfers of the petroleum funds to Government of Ghana for distribution, that is under the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) funding, I did my own calculations and about 76 per cent of the 2012 allocation went into public investment and these areas are Mr Speaker, to grow the gas infrastructure -- [Interruptions] -- and for more oil to flow from our oil fields.
Mr Speaker, the funds also go for the expansion of roads, railways and our ports --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
Hon Member, you have two more minutes to go.
Mr Abongo 1:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the funds are also going into the production of water, electricity, better health facilities, improved agriculture and education.
Mr Speaker, also Government new loans are going to some of these important infrastructural areas. 26 per cent of all loans, concessional and non- concessional are going into the water resources, works and housing sector, 25 per cent into energy, 13 per cent to health, 12 per cent to agriculture and 24 per cent to other sectors.
Mr Speaker, under all these, are these key projects, the western corridor gas infrastructure project, the Bui Hydro Dam project, the Tamale Airport Project, [Hear! Hear.] The Flyover Project, [Hear! Hear!] The eastern corridor road project, the water projects under the Exim Korea and Turkey, [Hear! Hear.] Mr Speaker, also important, the rural communities as already mentioned would benefit 20,000 boreholes.
Mr Speaker, the Member of Parliament for Mampong raised an issue of having confidence in this economy; the people of Mampong have confidence in the Government --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
Hon Member, your time is up.
Mr Abongo 1:25 p.m.
This is because this Government is going to expand water for the people of Mampong.
On this note, I thank you Mr Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
I will call on Hon W. O. Boafo to make --
Mr Ignatius B. Awuah 1:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, Hon W. O. Boafo is not immediately available, so we may skip him and move unto Hon Kwabena Okyere Darko- Mensah.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
Very well.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.


Mr Speaker, number one; the inflation policy underlining the microeconomy of this country in itself, is in crisis. The single digit inflation that has been touted by the NDC over the last few months, Mr Speaker, is in crisis.

Mr Speaker, everybody is disputing these figures because the relationship that they need to have with the other indicators in the budget just do not hold water.

Number two: Mr Speaker, there are major projects that have been falsely promised by this budget including the railway and including the Takoradi Harbour expansion project. Mr Speaker, we all know railway is one major enabler that ensures that villages and towns along its lines always come alive when they are done. The railway is one major component we can even use to develop the Northern Region. But as I speak to you, Mr Speaker, page 275 is very clear.

It says that moneys made available in this budget for some of these projects come to GH¢1.447,500 billion and this is expected to be coming from the Chinese loan. Mr Speaker, we all know in this country that the gas infrastructure project is also supposed to be delivered this year. The railway project is 500 million worth, the Tarkoradi Harbour expansion project

is US$173 million, the gas infrastructure alone is over 800. If you look at this figure, GH¢1.4 billion converting it to dollars, approximately, it comes to US$700 million. Therefore, Mr Speaker, the fact of the matter is that if you are delivering the gas infrastructure this year, what money are you going to get to do the railway and the harbour?

Clearly, it shows you that these are false promises in the budget and they would never be delivered.
Mr Avedzi 1:25 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member just made a statement that the NDC Government appointed “three wise men”. Mr Speaker, I am not aware and I do not think that there is a position that is called a “wise man” and therefore, three “wise men”. So the Hon Member should describe what he means by that and correct it -- withdraw it and apologise to the people.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:25 p.m.
Hon Member, you would do well to avoid using the expression “three wise men” and be specific.
Mr Darko-Mensah 1:25 p.m.
The NDC Government appointed three Members of Parliament in the name of Hon Alban S. K. Bagbin, Hon E. T. Mensah and Hon Cletus Apul Avoka to oversee the development of airports in this country. Unfortunately, these airports have not been mentioned in the budget.
Unfortunately, Mr Speaker, these projects are not in here. Clearly, we have established offices for them; we are going to give them allowances and naturally, this is going to be a burden on the purse of
this country. Therefore, if the projects are not there and we are going to give them allowances, then it means Government is going to incur debt and it is going to increase the deficit of this country; that is why I am saying that this budget is hopeless.
Mr Seth E. Terkpeh 1:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to correct the position by the Hon Member to the House that we have not made allocation in the budget for projects for which some eminent Members of this House have been selected.
Mr Speaker, that tells you the difference in our method of planning for projects. We do not put projects in the budget until we have secured financing for them to avoid the phenomenon of unfunded projects which is why we had to borrow huge sums of money.
Mr Darko-Mensah 1:25 p.m.
Clearly, Mr Speaker, it shows that I have been vindicated.
Mr Speaker, secondly, we also have in the budget, paragraph 199, the Hon Minister is proposing that we give all the airport tax to the Airport Company Limited. Mr Speaker, nobody has a problem with it but the issue is that, we keep giving moneys to people without making sure that the scrutiny can be done and done properly.
Recently, we have approved the ABFA and given some amount of money to the GNPC; unfortunately, in my view, Mr Speaker, what I see is that, instead of GNPC; taking money from their profits to give to the GFA, they rather took some
Dr Kwabena Donkor 1:25 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is misleading the House. Can he prove with documents that money meant for investment has been used for the Black Stars?
Mr Darko-Mensah 1:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am moving forward, I am just ignoring him.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
Hon Member, address the issue that he has raised. Do you have the evidence?
Mr Darko-Mensah 1:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I have the evidence that the GNPC has given money to the GFA for —
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
Where is the evidence? Where is the evidence, please? Specifically, that money meant for investment has been given away to the Black Stars; is that the evidence?
Dr A. A. Osei 1:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, Dr Kwabena Donkor knows the language in here, and with your permission, I would want to read:
“General operational and adminis- trative capital expenditure, sixteen million.”
Mr Speaker, for the -- [Interruption] -- untutored, that is what it means.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
No! I do not think I would allow that. So, Hon Member, withdraw that portion of your presentation.
Mr Darko-Mensah 1:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister is here, he should tell us where the GNPC got money to give to the GFA. Where did they get the money? Where did they get the money; have they
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
Hon Member, there is somebody up. I have called the person to have the floor.
Dr Kunbuor 1:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the point of order that was raised was in relation to this. He specifically said, money meant for investment by GNPC was given to the Black Stars. He did not say GNPC money has been given to —
So, we just want the evidence that money meant for investment has been given to the Black Stars. That is the nature of the point of order.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
Hon Member, withdraw that portion of your presentation and let us make some progress.
Mr Darko-Mensah 1:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am withdrawing it because you have ordered it. But the fact of the matter is that, the core function of GNPC is to invest. [Interruption.] I have already done that; what is his problem? The core function of GNPC is to —
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
Hon Member, withdraw that portion of the statement, so that we make some progress.
Mr Darko-Mensah 1:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, GNPC has never declared profit in this country. We expect the GNPC to put their money to better use by investing and exploration, not for football. This is because already, we had Goldfields providing this money and either Guinness or other companies doing so.
Mr Darko-Mensah 1:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, no, I am rephrasing it.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
I do not think it is good enough.
Mr Darko-Mensah 1:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am rephrasing the statement. I said I had withdrawn that statement and I said that GNPC is supposed to be investing in exploration, unfortunately, GNPC is using their money to fund the GFA and I feel that it is wrong because —
Furthermore, the reason I am saying that this budget is hopeless is that, if you take paragraph 547 —
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
Hon Member, you would do well to avoid this trouble terrain because as soon as you do that, objections come up and it eats into your own time.
Hon Minister for Finance.
Mr Terkpeh 1:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, yesterday on the floor of this House, a gold mining company was applauded for its social responsibility when it contributed to education. Mr Speaker, therefore, as part of the social responsibility of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, I do not see anything wrong with them contributing to the welfare of the Black Stars.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
Hon Member, please, conclude, your time is up.
Mr Darko-Mensah 1:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, Ghanaians are dying on our roads as acknowledged by paragraph 547. Unfortunately, we have a regulator in this country, that is the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) which is
supposed to regulate the issue of road traffic. Unfortunately, if you look at paragraph 547 itself and then 528, you realise that the DVLA is using their money to buy equipment. The question you ask yourself is whether the DVLA is an operator or a regulator.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
Please, your time is up.
Mr Darko-Mensah 1:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, finally, I believe that after saying all these, we also need to provide some solutions that will help Ghana move forward. I believe that as a major issue, Ghana should be looking at employment, targeting as a priority over inflation.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
Thank you, thank you; your time is up. Please, resume your seat.
The next person is Hon Joe Gidisu.
Mr Joe K. Gidisu (NDC -- Central Tongu) 1:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I also rise to associate myself with the Motion on floor.
The Budget Statement and the debate are expected to generate a situation which will let Ghanaians appraise the performance of Government in the past, where we are today and how far we are going into the future. Unfortunately, some Colleagues turn to skew the debate in ways to articulate views which do not reflect the totality of the situation we have in the country --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
Hon Member, I would prefer that you address the budget, please.
Mr J. K. Gidisu 1:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, by this, I would want to narrow down on the road sector. We have the Road Fund which is a statutory Fund designed for the maintenance of roads in the country. As
Mr Joe Baidoe-Ansah 1:35 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member just made an allegation, a very serious allegation, indeed. That there were people who were responsible for creating the problems for this country who are standing here on the floor of this House to accuse Government. I believe that it is important that he mentions names if it is true because he knows the kind of people he is talking about.
Mr Speaker, this is an august House with people representing constituents, and people have names. I would want to call on the Hon Member, Mr Speaker, with your permission, to mention names of those who have created this mess.
Mr J. K. Gidisu 1:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, when they said, the ugliest animal was going to die, the monkey started crying. I would want to be very specific. The Hon Minister for Finance in his submission noted that the arrears —
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
Hon Member, I think you have not addressed the issue raised by Hon Baidoe-Ansah. You spoke about a group of people and that those people were responsible and that they now have the courage to criticise. He is asking you to give further and better particulars.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, Thank you very much. [Interruption.]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
Let us have order. Hon Members, let us have some order.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would appeal to my Hon Colleague to withdraw this statement. Some of these statements may let debates degenerate into situations that may not be helpful to this House. So, I am appealing to the Hon Member for Central Tongu to withdraw the statement.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
Hon Member, could you just withdraw that portion of your statement?
Mr J. K. Gidisu 1:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I have cause to confirm that. For example, the previous NPP Government contracted the first SSNIT loan which has paralysed the Road Fund. Added to that is the fact that
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
Hon Member, could you please, just go straight ahead and withdraw the statement and then we move on.
Mr J. K. Gidisu 1:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, how do I withdraw it when I have facts to support the issues I am raising?
Mr Speaker, he talked about arrears which had run into deficit. Those arrears were contingent on projects that were awarded by the previous NPP Govern- ment. Mr Speaker, under reference with this, is the gang of four. Mr Speaker --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:45 p.m.
Hon Member, let us avoid statements that would reduce this debate into chaos. Please, let us avoid statements that would reduce this debate into chaos. You have made a statement generalising that there
are a number of people who were responsible for a certain conduct but who are here and who have now got the courage to do this and that. They have asked you to give specifics, to give further and better particulars. If you are not in a position to do so, just withdraw it and let us make progress.
Mr J. K. Gidisu 1:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am confirming the situation by naming facilities that they contracted which had run us into arrears, and this has been the cause of the problem we have in terms of arrears payments. Mr Speaker, the gang of four which -- [Interruption.]
Mr Agbesi 1:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we want the debate in this House to flow and as Hon Members, we take direction from the Chair. Mr Speaker, we all know some obvious things but we do not say them. I would advise our Hon Member to withdraw the statement for the debate to continue.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:45 p.m.
Thank you very much.
Hon Joe Gidisu, could you please withdraw that portion of your statement?
Mr J. K. Gidisu 1:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, taking a cue from the Chair, I withdraw it.

An Hon Member -- rose --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:45 p.m.
No! He has withdrawn the statement. Please, let us make progress.
An Hon Member 1:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, he did not apologise, please.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:45 p.m.
You do not have the floor, Hon Member.
Please, proceed, Hon Joe Gidisu.
Mr J. K. Gidisu 1:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I was talking about the gang of four. Two major roads which were the Dansoman Highway in the constituency of the Hon Ursula Owusu -- [Laughter] -- that road has been one of the very big deficits on the arrears that we have created. Mr Speaker, we would want to assure the country that this Government is committed to the overall development --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:45 p.m.
Hon Member, you have two minutes to go.
Mr J. K. Gidisu 1:45 p.m.
-- to the overall develo-pment of this country and for that matter government spreads its development projects across the country under Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Volta, Eastern and Greater Accra Regions which have equally benefited from the “Better Ghana Agenda”. The budget, which has the projection of advancing the road network as the pivot for economic development of this country, would continue and we would want to assure you --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:45 p.m.
Hon Member, your time is up, resume your seat.
Hon Members, having regard to the state of business in this House, I direct that under Order 40 (3), Sitting be extended beyond the prescribed period.
Hon Members, the next person is Hon Asafu-Adjei.
Mr Kwame Asafu-Adjei (NPP -- Nsuta/Kwamang/Beposo) 1:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would like to associate myself with the Motion on the floor.
My presentation would be based on mechanisation of agriculture, irrigation and also fertilizer subsidisation. These three components, Mr Speaker, are social intervention programmes which were introduced by the NPP under President Kufuor's Government.
Dr A. Y. Alhassan 1:45 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, I expect us to be consistent in allowing the debate to flow. When reference was made to some people creating certain problems and having the courage to coerce the current Government, Hon Joe Gidisu was made to withdraw the statement. If he cannot mention names, he should stop referring to Hon Members on the other side benefiting. This is because he does not have evidence. Please, we would allow him to flow but he should stop making reference to things that he does not know.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:45 p.m.
Yes, Hon Member, equality is equity; avoid that area and proceed with your presentation.
Mr Asafu-Adjei 1:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, he implores me to mention the names and I will do it just right -- [Some Hon Members -- No! Go ahead!] Mr Speaker, we brought these tractors into this country because we could never commercialise agriculture without agricultural implements.
Dr Donkor 1:45 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, I would want to know what he means by “small, small irrigation”.
Mr Asafu-Adjei 1:45 p.m.
Small scale. I am talking about the usage of dams, dug-outs and that sort of thing. That is what I am
Mr Abongo 1:55 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is misleading this House. He is misleading this House because what the Hon Member is holding is not kenkey. If it is kenkey, he should eat it and let us see -- [Interruption] -- That is not kenkey. Mr Speaker, that is not kenkey. [Interruption.]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
Order! Order! Order!
Hon Member, please proceed with your presentation. Proceed; continue with your presentation.
Mr Asafu-Adjei 1:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I have not finished. I am also holding in my hand fried fish -- [Laughter] -- costing four Ghana cedis (GH¢4.00) -- [Interruption] -- forty thousand old cedis -- [Interruption.]
Mr Asafu-Adjei 1:55 p.m.
Forty thousand old cedis -- [Interruption.]
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
Hon Members, order, order!
Mr Asafu-Adjei 1:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, this is where the NDC Administration has taken this country to --
Mr Avedzi 1:55 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, the action of the Hon Member is portraying something. Mr Speaker, Ghana is an agricultural country. We produce maize, out of which kenkey is made; we have fishermen who go to sea and catch fish. Bringing kenkey and fish to the floor here is demeaning the people of Ghana, who --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
Hon Member, I do not think it amounts to demeaning the people of Ghana; I do not think so.
Hon Member, please, proceed with your presentation; you have two minutes to go.
Mr Asafu-Adjei 1:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we are talking about the failure of agriculture under the NDC Government. Food prices have gone up so high that people cannot afford them. Houses are breaking because of the expensive nature of food in this country; children are dying because of the expensive nature of food in this country -- [Interruption] -- Mr Speaker, I would want to support this with evidence. Mr Speaker, this year, 2011 -- [Interruption.]
Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka 1:55 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, ordinarily, in a debate like this, one would not want to cut an Hon Colleague on a point of order. But Mr Speaker, very importantly, for the records of this House, he is saying that because
of the cost of food, children are dying. Mr Speaker, we cannot allow these comments to go unchecked. To say that children are dying -- as a country, nowhere has it been recorded that there is famine in this country to the extent that people are dying.
If he insists that yes, because of the cost of rising food prices, children are dying, then please, Mr Speaker, I think that it is only fair for him to provide the evidence. Other than that he should withdraw that aspect of the statement.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
Hon Member, how do you address the issue raised by him?
Mr Asafu-Adjei 1:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am talking about malnutrition and kwashiorkor, which are killing our children -- [Hear! Hear!]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
Hon Member, do you have the evidence to substantiate it?
Mr Asafu-Adjei 1:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, a Ministry of Health report at the Ministry of Health --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
Where is your evidence? If you do not have it, please, retract and let us make progress.
Mr Asafu-Adjei 1:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I move to Youth and Agriculture --[Interrup- tion] --
Mr Speaker, with your permission, I have withdrawn the statement.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
Hon Member, your time is up; your time is up -- [Laughter] -- I am sorry, your time is up. It is now the turn of Hon Dr Sugri Tia --
Is he not available? -- [Interruption] -- All right, in that case then, we would have to call on Hon Isaac Adjei-Mensah -- [Interruption.]
Mr Isaac Adjei Mensah (NDC -- Wassa East) 1:55 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the floor.
Mr Speaker, the budget has been described in many terms by many people and the other side, the Minority describes it as a budget of no hope.
Mr Speaker, the budget, in my estimation, is that which gives hope and reassures us of a “Better Ghana Agenda”. There is much hope in this budget, Mr Speaker, and that is why in my contribution to this debate, I would like to focus on land, the mining sub-sector and the forestry sub-sector.
Mr Speaker, regarding the forestry sub-sector, the budget provides a lot of hope -- a lot of hope for the future, particularly for communities or regions that have forest reserves and natural reserve areas. Mr Speaker, the hope that this budget gives relating to the forest area is that, in the year 2012, there was a provision under the National Plantation Development Programme for about three thousand, six hundred and ninety-eight (3,698) hectares of land that were planted.
This plantation is jeered towards addressing the forest degradation, also providing wood for domestic and industrial purposes and also to give employment to people.
In the year 2012, about ten thousand (10,000) full time jobs, Mr Speaker, were created and this gives hope to communities bordering forest areas. Mr Speaker, 10,000 full time jobs is not a mere joke. It provides hope, it provides the needed hope for people who need jobs, particularly people bordering the forest areas.
Mr David N. Yeboah 1:55 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member just mentioned a source from Newmont (Ghana) Limited and we want him to produce that document that says so.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
Hon Member, do you have it here?
Mr I. A. Mensah 1:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not have it immediately available. But I can provide that report in due course.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
Can you make it available to the Table Office tomorrow?
Mr I. A. Mensah 1:55 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Mr Awuah 1:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we should also look at the relevance of the document that he is going to present. This is because he says Newmont's Budget 2010. Mr Speaker, we are considering 2013 Budget. I do not know how a provision in Newmont Budget in 2010 would be relevant to what is going to happen in 2013.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
That would depend on the contents of the document. Let him make it available and then we would be able to decide.
Mr I. A. Mensah 1:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, with all due respect, I would want to refer him to the Newmont website: www.Newmont.com and there is every information available
there; Newmont operations in Ahafo, Newmont operations --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
Hon Member, proceed with your presentation. You have two minutes to go.
Mr I. A. Mensah 1:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, illegal mining normally called galamsey has been a problem; indeed, it is a problem, and this budget provides the assurance. In the 2012 Budget, the tax force that complements the efforts of the National Security in combating illegal mining, is still in force. And there is a commitment by the Government in this budget to ensure that the problem of illegal mining is curtailed or brought to a reasonable minimum.
Mr Speaker, mining becomes illegal when it is not properly registered and people or the operators are not going by the rules. That is why it is reassuring that this budget provides the hope for people or for companies that would want to enter into small-scale --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
Hon Member, please, conclude.
Mr I. A. Mensah 1:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, in concluding and while I would want to highlight the mining area, a reasonable
area has been demarcated where exploration activities have been conducted --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
Hon Member, your time is up. Please, resume your seat.
Hon Members, this brings us to the end of proceedings for today. The House stands adjourned till tomorrow at 10.00 o'clock in the forenoon.
But before then, I would like to advise Hon Members to come to the House early tomorrow morning, so that we would have more time for Hon Members to make contributions.
Again, I would like to advise Hon Members, as Mr Speaker himself directed earlier, that we should, while not stifling your right to raise objections through points of order, let us try to minimise them as much as possible, so that we can make some progress.
Thank you very much.
ADJOURNMENT 1:55 p.m.

  • The House was adjourned at 2.10 p.m. till Friday, 15th March, 2013 at 10.00 a.m.