Debates of 25 Jun 2013

MR SPEAKER
PRAYERS 10:30 a.m.

ANNOUNCEMENTS 10:30 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Hon Members, I have the pleasure to introduce to you, the Rt Hon Abel Nathaniel Bankole Stronge, Speaker of the Parliament of Sierra Leone and West African sub-regional representative of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Asso- ciation (Africa Region), who is on a three- day official visit to Ghana.
The Rt Hon Speaker is on a duty tour of the sub-region to appraise the activities of the CPA branches and to submit a Report at the next CPA-Africa region meeting in Namibia. I must quickly add that he is carrying out that assignment with the Hon Cletus Apul Avoka, Member of Parliament for Zebilla.
He is accompanied by his personal assistant, Ms Christine Sly-Turay.
Hon Members, on your behalf, I wish them a pleasant stay in the country and fruitful deliberations.
VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT 10:30 a.m.

  • [No correction was made to the Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 18th June, 2013.]
  • PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2:29 p.m.

    OFFICIAL REPORT 2:29 p.m.

    CONTENTS 2:29 p.m.

    ANNOUNCEMENTS -- 2:29 p.m.

    CONSIDERATION STAGE OF BILLS -- 2:29 p.m.

    PAPERS -- 2:29 p.m.

    THE 2:29 p.m.

    PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC 2:29 p.m.

    OF GHANA 2:29 p.m.

    MR SPEAKER
    PRAYERS 10:30 a.m.

    ANNOUNCEMENTS 10:30 a.m.

    Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
    Hon Members, I have the pleasure to introduce to you, the Rt Hon Abel Nathaniel Bankole Stronge, Speaker of the Parliament of Sierra Leone and West African sub-regional representative of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Asso- ciation (Africa Region), who is on a three- day official visit to Ghana.
    The Rt Hon Speaker is on a duty tour of the sub-region to appraise the activities of the CPA branches and to submit a Report at the next CPA-Africa region meeting in Namibia. I must quickly add that he is carrying out that assignment with the Hon Cletus Apul Avoka, Member of Parliament for Zebilla.
    He is accompanied by his personal assistant, Ms Christine Sly-Turay.
    Hon Members, on your behalf, I wish them a pleasant stay in the country and fruitful deliberations.
    VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT 10:30 a.m.

  • [No correction was made to the Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 18th June, 2013.]
  • [No correction was made to the Official Report of Tuesday, 18th June, 2013.]
  • Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
    Hon Members, at the Commencement of Public Business -- Presentation of Papers --
    Dr Anthony A. Osei 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, on two matters-- I crave the indulgence of the House, that item number 4 on the Order Paper should be stepped down for a few minutes. I walked in this morning and I was given the draft Report of the Committee. So, maybe, we can go on to other business while I get the chance to read it, to ensure that the Committee's work is properly reflected.
    It was just handed to me, so, in that sense, I cannot confirm that the Report is ready.
    Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
    Where is the Hon Chairman?
    Dr A. A. Osei 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, he is probably, in his office because he asked that it be given to me this morning. So, I will take some time. It is quite extensive, so, if you can step it down and take some of the other business, I would have the chance to read it and then consult with him.
    Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
    I will call the Majority Leader. But do you have any --
    Dr A. A. Osei 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I asked for some very detailed information as part of the Appendix of the Report. It has just been brought to me, and I think that in fairness to the Committee-- Sometimes, we get lambasted for issues that we did not do due diligence on. So, I think -- In principle, there is no problem but I think in fairness to the Committee, we can just stand it down --
    Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
    In principle, there is no problem.
    Dr A. A. Osei 10:30 a.m.
    But there could be, if the information is --
    Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
    Anyway; let me hear from the Hon Majority Leader.
    Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would prefer that we stand it down. The Hon Chairman is on his way to the Chamber. We would have some further consultations with the Hon Ranking Member and we then would advise the House.
    Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
    Very well.
    Dr A. A. Osei 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I need your guidance on the second matter.
    I know that we formed the Committee to deal with article 181 (5) of the 1992 Constitution. But after I had read parts of the opinion of the ISOFOTON ruling and some of the sentiments of the Supreme Court, I think that this House needs to be proactive.
    You will recall that there is a matter relating to the contract between the Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC) and Chana Protroleum Chemical Corporation (SINOPEC), which matter I have been raising several times. If you read the ruling on --
    Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
    Hon Member, you know, you are an Hon Member of this House? There are different ways of pursuing this matter, but not when a Paper is going to be laid and then you come in.
    It is true that you started raising this matter as far back as last year. I agree entirely with you. There are different ways of getting -- If you feel strongly -- I have not seen that agreement and I cannot therefore, make any ruling whether it is caught by article 181 (5) of the 1992 Constitution or not.
    I would suggest that you use the proper tools available to you to push for this matter on the floor of the House.
    If you want to make a Statement --
    Dr A. A. Osei 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am not making a Statement. That is why I said “I crave your indulgence”. There is one route that I think --
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Yes. So, you can come and see me in my Chambers.
    Dr A. A. Osei 10:40 a.m.
    I thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Dr Kunbuor 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have been advised that a committee has been put in place by this House to address the issues in article 181(5) of the 1992 Constitution. Given the nature of the remit of the committee, it is certainly clear that we do not have to be pre-emptory about what the committee would be doing, par- ticularly when we are citing isolated decisions of the Supreme Court.
    Article 181(5) of the 1992 Constitution has spanned up to about seven Supreme Court rulings. I guess that the committee, in reviewing what it should do, based on terms of reference, would be engaging almost all these issues.
    Mr Speaker would also know that in the Balkan case, some contours were staked out in relation to article 181(5) of the 1992 Constitution. That is why I think that it is a bit more of a very technical issue that we should allow the committee to do some in-depth analysis and even come with a clearer programme of work that would address the concerns that the Hon Member is drawing attention to.
    Prof. George Y. Gyan-Baffour 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think the decision by the House to look at this article is a very welcome one. I think it is actually a quantum leap in trying to operationalise the 1992 Constitu- tion.
    But Mr Speaker, there are a whole lot of other aspects of this 1992 Constitution that we have not actually come out with the legislative --
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Hon Members, please -- If --
    Prof. Gyan-Baffour 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I just wanted to make a small conclusion, that we do not want to have, maybe, another committee to look at some of these grey areas in the Constitution. In fact, there are certain things like creating the Fund that would be used for emergency situations and all that. These are the Contingency Fund -- All those things are in the 1992 Constitution and which we have not actually done anything about.
    So, maybe, at a later stage, you may have to find a committee to glean through the 1992 Constitution for those grey areas and then the necessary enabling legislations should be done. Otherwise, we would have to wait until there is a crisis before we rush to resolve one of them.
    I think we need to put in a very concerted effort to try and glean through this Constitution to make sure that some of these things are operationalised.
    Dr Kunbuor 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is why I am saying we are pre-empting --
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    I am indulging all of you because so far, you have all been out of order.
    Dr Kunbuor 10:40 a.m.
    Very well, Mr Speaker.
    Thank you for the indulgence.
    In relation to the wider constitutional questions that have been raised, we have travelled quite a distance. There has been a Constitution Review Commission and it has addressed a number of those issues. There is a Government's White Paper on the findings and there are processes of implementation.
    Let us allow these processes to run, and if there is anything additional, once they bring it to this House for implementation, we can do anything to it. We can even add issues that have not been considered by the Constitution Review Commission. So, let us hold our horses for now.
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Hon Members, these are very important points that are being raised. But I think that these issues should be properly raised on the floor of the House, so that as many Hon Members as possible can express their opinion on the matter.
    As the Hon Majority Leader, and in fact, the Hon Member for Wenchi have rightly pointed out there are a number of clauses or articles that have not been operationalised since the coming into force of the Fourth Republican Constitu- tion.
    The last time the Constitution Review Implementation Committee met the Leadership of the House, we directed them to make copies of the document available to all the Hon Members of the House.
    I would try and let the Leadership engage and identify those areas and then behind the scenes, we can start some discussions to see how we can take some proactive measures.
    We do not have to wait to experience the kind of thing we are experiencing with regard to article 181(5) before we rush in. People are saying that we should be more proactive, which is not wrong. It is good to be proactive, but it is also important for us to look at the areas that the Constitution Review Commission has covered, and those that it has not covered, and let the Leadership meet and put up a small team to advise the House.
    Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe that the issues being raised by my Hon Colleague from Wenchi are very germane. But I think what we are looking at is which vehicle to use and I guess we have to wait for that.
    As for the proposal from the Constitution Review Commission on which, as the Hon Majority Leader has indicated, a White Paper has been issued, frankly speaking, I am at a loss. I do not know what to do with a White Paper issued on this Report. What is the relevance of the White Paper on this?
    The Constitution Review Commission is a mini-consultative, if we like, constituent Assembly, that had done
    some work. It had been submitted to Government and the Government then, selective as it deems it appropriate to do, has suggested that “These ones are all right by me; these ones, I do not accept, the people of Ghana should look at what I, as the Government, accept”.
    That is a false step, and I believe that we would be running into cul de sac if we proceed on that path.
    rose
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, is the Hon Majority Leader rising on a point of order? [Laughter.] If it is on a point of order, I can --
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    You mentioned his name. so -- You made reference to him, so --
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, he has taken a position and I am critiquing the position that he has taken. It is a false step and it would lead us to nowhere.
    Dr Kunbuor 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, just to correct some factual inaccuracies in the Hon Minority Leader's position.
    This is a country that is governed by the rule of law. Government is const ituted by law and has some specific functions to perform. When a Constitution Commission is set up, its decisions have to be implemented, and those decisions cannot be implemented until the Government has issued a White Paper on it.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I disagree with the position expressed by the Hon Majority Leader. I agree, however, that he is entitled to his opinion. If the review Committee or Commission, how- ever it is called, has come out with a synthesis of ideas for the nation, I think it was wrongful for Government to say that “I accept this and I do not accept that”, by the issuance of the White Paper. That is why I am saying that as far as I am concerned, that will represent an imposition by Government of things that it thinks are proper.
    Mr Speaker, if the Hon Majority Leader is admitting that the people of this country can add to or reject what Government has given, what was the relevance of the White Paper that was given, and for Government to have suggested that “I accept this one, go and deal with this one”? That is the distinction that I am making. Maybe, the Hon Majority Leader may disagree with me but I disagree with him as well.
    Mr Speaker, we can make progress.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is not easy for the Hon Majority Leader, as I know him, to sit down unconcerned while what I consider to be an intellectual discussion has been precipitated.
    However, I am sure we all know that the provisions of the Constitution is clear about how the Constitution can be amended. I am sure when the time comes, we shall all engage in all these discussions.
    But Mr Speaker, as you rightly pointed out, you are indulging us and I have taken advantage of your beneficence.
    Thank you so much.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Chairman of the Committee, the Hon Ranking Member of the Committee says he wants the matter to be deferred for some few minutes for consultations. So, the Paper was not laid. What is your position on the matter?
    Mr James K. Avedzi 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, we had the weekend. Today is the ensuing Sitting of Parliament. Therefore, we all got the Report today. I have read through mine and I am all right with it. So if he wants some few minutes, we can give him and after that we would lay the Report.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Very well.
    So, Hon Members, item number 4 on the Order Paper is deferred.
    When you are ready, lay the Report; you advise the Chair.
    Hon Members, we are at the Consideration Stage of the Ghana Invest- ment Promotion Centre Bill, 2013.
    BILLS -- CONSIDERATION STAGE 10:50 a.m.

  • [Resumption of debate from 21st June, 2013]
  • Chairman of the Committee (Alhaji Amadu Sorogho) 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, headnote, delete and substitute with “Governing body of the Centre”.
    Mr Speaker, this is in line with all the various Acts that we have passed. So, it is just to be in line with those, especially the Interpretation Act.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    So, you are moving this amendment for the sake of consistency?
    Alhaji Sorogho 10:50 a.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker.
    Mr William O. Boafo 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, we observed that clause 5, subclauses (1) (2) and (3) deal with the establishment and composition of the governing board. So, the headnote being proposed is not the true reflection of what contains in those subclauses.
    Mr Speaker, the division of that is headed “Governance of the Centre”. So, all matters under that division deal with governance issue. From clause 4 onwards, we have functions of the Board, and I think the proposed amendment before the House has taken note of that.
    I am of the view that the Hon Chairman should -- I quite agree with him that he adopts an amendment which would reflect what is contained under subclauses (1) (2) and (3), that is, the “Establishment and Composition of the Board”.
    Mr Speaker, I made that proposed amendment under the next item.
    Alhaji Sorogho 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would wish that he withdraws that amendment. An amendment has already been proposed and because it is a new addition, it is captured at the back of the Order Paper.
    So, for consistency, if you go through all the Bills that have been here and passed into laws, you will see that it has always been what I have just proposed, which is “Governing Body of the Centre” -- If you go to the back of the Order Paper, there is a new clause which has been added and which takes care of what the Hon Member is saying. So, Mr Speaker, I would wish that he withdraws that one and allows us to go on.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Members, we have two amendments on the headnotes. I do not see any difference between the two. I have looked at other Bills that we have passed in this House and they are consistent with what the Chairman of the Committee is suggesting. But again, the point being made by the Hon Member for Akwapim North is that it does not deal only with the governing body; there are other matters.
    So, why do you not make it “Establish- ment and composition” of the governing body of the Centre, instead of ending it at “governing body”? But if we combine the two, we can get a consensus and make progress.
    Hon Chairman, what about if it is “Establishment and Composition” of the governing body of the Centre. This is because he is saying that there are other matters that beyond the governing body --That is the point that he is making.
    Dr Matthew O. Prempeh 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would like the Hon Member for Akwapim North to explain his position very well. This is because, if we adopt his amendment “Establishment and Composition…”, clauses 4 and 5 are not reflected in his new headnote. So, maybe, he has not fully explained his position of the headnote to us because clauses 4 and 5 of the Bill have nothing to do with establishment nor composition of the Centre.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    I do not see any major difference between the two headnotes; I do not see it.
    Prof. Gyan-Baffour 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am not so sure about the word “establishment”. We are establishing the Centre. Now, he is saying that we should also establish a group within the Centre. I do not understand it properly.
    rose
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, let me take the two and --
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think the reason for the Hon Member for Akwapim North proposing this amendment is that he wants us to encapsulate in the headnote, the items under the Board of Directors. But I think as the Hon Member for Manhyia South has indicated, if you did that, then it would mean that we have to go back with the establishment of the Centre, to also delete the headnote and say “Establishment, composition” and even “functions of the Centre”. So, again, if the Hon Member would step it down.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    I agree with you.
    Hon Member for Wenchi, the Hon Minority Leader has made a point; if you look at clause 1, it deals with the establishment. So, you cannot bring “establishment” there again.
    It is very clear.
    Mr Boafo 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am not talking about the establishment of the Centre.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    No. You would go back - - The Minority Leader has resolved the matter. Look at clause 1.
    Mr Boafo 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have looked at it.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    That deals with the establishment, otherwise, we would be having two establishments.
    Mr Boafo 10:50 a.m.
    Of the Centre?
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    No! Hon Member, if you do not want, I will put the Question. I would put it on yours first and if yours is
    lost -- That is the rule. I will put the last amendment first and if it is lost, I will move to the first. If it is carried --
    Hon Member for Akwapim North, I have been advised that all the laws we have passed are consistent with it.
    I am not saying that if we made a mistake in the past, we should repeat it. That is not what I am saying. My attention has been drawn to a few instances of precedence by my advisers, that the amendment of the Chairman is better.
    Mr Boafo 10:50 a.m.
    Very well. Mr Speaker, if that is the view of the Chair.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Boafo, your amendment to subclause (1).
    Dr Kunbuor 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I wanted to crave your indulgence. I have just been advised that a consensus has been reached on the laying of the Paper. If we could indulge the Hon Chairman of the Committee to lay it, and then we would proceed with the Bill.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Ranking Member of the Finance Committee, you raised the issue. I have been informed that consensus has been reached.
    Dr A. A. Osei 10:50 a.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker, I have finished reading the draft Report and it captures what the Committee members said.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Members, we would suspend the Consideration Stage briefly and we would go back to item number 4 on the Order Paper.
    PAPERS 10:50 a.m.

    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Members, we go back to the Consideration Stage of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Bill,
    2013.
    Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Bill, 2013
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Boafo, amendment number 5 (iii).
    Mr Boafo 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 5, subclause (1), paragraph (b), sub- paragraphs (i) and (ii) delete
    Mr Speaker, the reason for the deletion is that, the Centre as we envisage it, is being established to propel and engineer the private sector.
    The composition of the governing Board should therefore, be a true reflection of a representation of the private sector. The two positions which are being included on the Board are all public offices and I do not see the necessity for these two positions to be included on the Board.
    Secondly, the oversight responsibility under this Bill is contentious but it is being given to the President through the Minister. So, Mr Speaker, once the Hon Minister has the oversight responsibility, I do not see what sort of input his Deputy Ministers would offer at the Board level.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    But why are you keeping the other Hon Deputy Ministers and you are removing --
    Mr Boafo 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have proposed the removal of the other two Ministers and even the Chairman has equally proposed the removal of the other two Ministers. I do not understand why you should --
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    I am looking at the amendment that you have there now, which deals with (i) and (ii).
    Mr Boafo 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, if you go to number 5 (v), the amendment proposed
    -- 10:50 a.m.

    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Then in that case, they should have been put together, otherwise, it can be misleading.
    Mr Boafo 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, if you go to number 5 (vi), the Hon Minority Leader has equally proposed a deletion of the entire paragraph (b).
    So, if we can take them all together.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thought going by the directive that you issued and the policy that you applied, with respect to item number 5(i) and (ii), when you caused the amendment in item 5(ii) to be moved first, I thought you were going to call me to move mine first because they all relate to clause 5(1) (b)
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    No! The amendment can be moved in the way it has been advertised but the Question would be put on the last amendment --
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker —
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    What is the difference between your amendment and that of Hon Boafo? If you look at his amendments, items 5(iii) and 5(v) and your amendment, item 5(vi), all on the Order Paper -- If you put item numbers 5(iii), 5(v) together and yours, which is item 5(vi) on the Order Paper, they are the same.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, you are right.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Yes.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not know whoever decided to bisect his own and position them in two categories.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    So, I would take that amendment first. Let us get the sense of the House. What you are saying is that we should remove all the Deputy Ministers listed in paragraph (b) of clause 5(i); that is the point? Let us take the argument and let us get the sense of the House and then we know what to do.
    But have we not done winnowing? Hon Minority Leader, have we not done winnowing to this Bill?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, unfortunately —
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    This is because it would have resolved some of these matters.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, unfortunately, I could not be part of that —
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Yes, I was informed that you were not part of that last—
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I had a string of meetings to attend and when I finished and wanted to see the Hon Yieleh Chireh, I was made to understand that he had left. So, I do not know whether any winnowing had been done.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    I learnt they made an attempt but you were not there. That was last Thursday, after adjournment.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:10 a.m.
    All right. Mr Speaker, the following day, I had to leave.
    But I think that as a matter of principle, this should be private sector-led; we should delete the inclusion of all these Deputy Ministers; that would be the start- off point. When we have done so, we would then come to deal with who should be the persons to constitute the Board, and some proposals have been made by the Hon Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh.
    I think what we need to add there is a development planning expert. So, we have somebody who is a development plan- ner —
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    These are very funda- mental amendments. I would suggest that we defer it, so that you can consult on it. There is a view that we do not need to get the Deputy Ministers there. I do not know why they made it Deputy Ministers. We could just have made them “represen- tatives of the Ministry”.
    For example, why do you make it even Deputy Ministers -- It should be a representative of the —Absolutely. So, I think we should go and consult on this matter. But do we also want a situation where we do not want government's input and policy to reflect in the Centre's programmes and policies? That is also another issue.
    So, when you go and meet and look at it, you should come back and advise the House.
    Dr Kunbuor 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have just been looking at it closely and I think that we might be running into a constitutional challenge here. This is because the Deputy Minister is supposed to assist his Minister. Now, you are giving him a substantive role as a member of the Board, and the Minister is not statutorily provided for. So, who is assisting who in the performance of the duty?
    I guess the sense, which when they do winnowing, might be a type of amendment in which Government or Ministers as stakeholders in all this architecture, can be captured in another way, but not designating specific people to be the stakeholder representatives there. I can see the importance of the Ministry of Finance, where your financial adminis- tration laws require that decisions that will normally be taken by various sectors that have financial implications, the Hon Minister for Finance is to be consulted and he would advise on it.
    So, there can be some sense of the wider ministerial stakeholder represen- tation but I guess that in a discussion, we can find a better way to couch it. So, if we may stand it down, Mr Speaker, so that we can move back to the Consideration Stage.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Hon Members, we should defer clause 5 in its entirety for further consultation.
    Alhaji Sorogho 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I agree but I just wanted to — the winnowing was done but unfortunately, our brother could not attend. The Majority Leader and the Minority Leader were not there. But what went into that decision had to do with a Minister, the President having an oversight responsibility and designating a Minister; a Minister may not be the Minister for —
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Hon Sorogho, that is not the point. Why do you not say the representative of the Ministry, for example? So, go and consult and then you come back —
    Alhaji Sorogho 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, we would consult. We would have further clarification on that.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Clause 6.
    Clause 6 -- Tenure of Board members.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, we just dealt with clause 5(1) and if we agree that the Ministers should not be part of it-- [Interruption.] I said “if” I predicated it on the word “if” -- then it would not apply to clause 6(2). In any event, the formulation there is not even Deputy Ministers but Ministers, whereas clause 5 is even talking about Deputy Ministers.
    So, Mr Speaker, that is why I said we should look at that. I do not know whether in the midst of this, we may also have to -- since we have not firmed our thoughts on that. It may appear that we may also have to wait until a final determination on clause 5.
    Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak-Muntaka 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I agree with the Minority Leader, since we are standing down the whole of clause 5, it would be difficult to take this amendment. We are not certain whether the Ministers would end up being there or not. I agree that we should stand down the amendment proposed by the Minority Leader in clause 6.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Prof. Gyan-Baffour 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think whether we keep the Deputy Ministers or not, this amendment should hold. This is because a Deputy Minister is there not because he is appointed to be on the Board but he is there in his capacity as a Deputy Minister. So, there would be
    no need for reappointment. As long as there is a Deputy Minister there, he is the Deputy Minister. So, I think even if we were keeping Deputy Ministers in here, this amendment should hold.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think because of the decision on clause 5, we cannot go here. This is because they may go completely, whether it is Minister or Deputy Minister, it may not matter. So, let us take that decision on clause 5 and then we can see — so, (xvii) and (xix) must also be stepped down.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Hon Boafo, it affects your amendment too.
    Mr Boafo 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, yes. I have noticed it. I am not moving it if it should be stood down.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Very well. So, we defer those two amendments because they are dependent on the decision that would be taken in clause 5 after due consultation.
    Dr Prempeh 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, there is a problem with clause 1. This is because in most of the laws that we have passed, Board membership does not go more than four years; it is always three or four years.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Member for Manhyia South, you have not filed any amendment. If you want to move an amendment, say so.
    Dr Prempeh 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to move an amendment to clause (6)(1) and I would file appropriately if you would not take a verbal amendment now.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Why? The rules allow you to move.
    Dr Prempeh 11:20 a.m.
    And only with your permission, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Do you want to make it four years or three years?
    Dr Prempeh 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, three years. Mr Speaker, you would realise that most of the laws we have passed in this House, we do not want them to overlap a term of office.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Which term of office?
    Dr Prempeh 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, somebody's term.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    It depends on when they are appointed, so that we cannot sit here and calculate it.
    Dr Prempeh 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is why it is even more serious because the Chief Executive Officer, the single most important and powerful person in the Centre is not even covered by the five- year term. He is not even covered because if you look at the intendment of clause 6-- (1) and 6 (2):
    “Clause 6(2) says -- sub-section (1) does not apply to the Ministers and the Chief Executive Officer of the Centre.”
    Who else should be given the highest term, Mr Speaker? We have to broadly step it down and have a look at both clauses 6 (1) and 6 (2), Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Members, please, if you want an amendment go and file it and we would take it on the floor of the House.
    Mr W. O. Boafo 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 6, subclause (4), line 2, delete
    “sufficient” and substitute with “a reasonable”.
    Mr Speaker, we have the test for what is reasonable but I find it difficult to find the test for what is sufficient which is more subjective.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Members, I thought that “reasonable excuse” was what we normally use, not “sufficient excuse.”
    Alhaji Sorogho 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is strange, in my view, because in coming out with this, we consulted a lot of the old laws and Acts and “reasonable excuse” is what we normally use. “Sufficient” is difficult to define.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Chairman of the Committee, are you in favour of the amendment?
    Alhaji Sorogho 11:20 a.m.
    No! Mr Speaker, I am saying that I am not in favour of the amendment that he has proposed.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    You are not in favour?
    Alhaji Sorogho 11:20 a.m.
    No, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    But what you are saying is in favour of the amendment?
    Alhaji Sorogho 11:20 a.m.
    No! Then Mr Speaker, you did not hear me well. What I am saying is that, in all, the laws that we consulted, we always give “sufficient”, “reasonable” -- is a difficult thing to--I do not see the difference in any way. But I am opposed to the “reasonability”; we still think that “sufficient” is all right.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    I think this is a straightforward amendment --
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr William O Boafo 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 6, subclause (6), line 1, delete “sufficient reason” and substitute with “reasonable cause”.

    Question put and amendment agreed to
    Mr Boafo 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 6, subclause (7), paragraph (a), delete “subsection” and substitute with “subsections”.
    Mr Speaker, it is only to substitute “subsections” for “subsection”. We only add “s” to the “subsection.” I wonder why the “eagle eyes” of the Chairman of the Fire Service Committee could not detect this small amendment.
    Alhaji Sorogho 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not have any problem. It is the same word except that the “s” did not come. So, I do not have any problem.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Members, I would not put the Question on clause 6 because we have deferred some of the amendments there, so, we move the clause
    7.
    Clause 7 -- Meetings of the Board
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 7, subclasuse (1), line 2, delete “dispatch” and substitute with “transaction”.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Members, let us have some order in the House.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, in some earlier provisions, the word “transaction” is the one that has been
    used and that is why I proposed that for consistency sake, we may just employ same words “transaction of business.” Otherwise, it is a distinction without a difference.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Members, the amendment has been moved by the Hon Minority Leader; should it be “dispatch of business” or “transaction of business?”
    Alhaji Sorogho 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am fine with it. I do not have any problem.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr William Boafo 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move -- [Interruption.]
    Mr Speaker, if we could step it down because I do not see how it -- the error should have come from the Table Office. I do not see how it relates to -- [Interruption] -- Mr Speaker, if you could step it down. I would look for my draft.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Boafo, am I putting the Question on your amendment?
    Mr Boafo 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, with your permission, I would like to step it down and check from my notes.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Very well.
    Alhaji Muntaka 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, with the greatest respect to my Colleague, if he has truly moved an amendment that he thinks it is not exactly captured in the language, he would simply seek your indulgence to amend it. But if he cannot even remember what he has truly moved, the best thing is to step it down, so that we can move ahead -- [Interruption.]
    Some Hon Members -- He has stepped it down.
    Alhaji Muntaka 11:30 a.m.
    No, to withdraw it, so that we can make progress.
    Sorry, Mr Speaker, he should withdraw it, so that we can make progress.
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Hon Members, what the Member is trying to do is to make sure that the person who presided over the meeting in the absence of the substantive one should be somebody appointed under clause 5(1)(d) who should be a person appointed by the President also. That is what he is trying to say there.
    He should not be elected from among the other members but somebody who has been appointed from clause 5(1)(d) and you would go and look at the categories of the people mentioned at clause 5(1)(d).
    Dr Prempeh 11:30 a.m.
    Precisely so, Mr Speaker. I wonder why it has escaped my Hon Senior Colleague. Mr Speaker, if you go to the original clause 5 (1)(b), it talks about the other appointments apart from the stated ones that the President was going to make. And this amendment intends to say that if the Chairperson is not there, it is only --
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Hon Members, in view of the fact that we have deferred the whole of clause 5, we would not know what the final output is going to be and the rule is that we should not agree to an amendment which is inconsistent with an earlier decision of the House.
    Mr Haruna Iddrisu 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was going to persuade Hon Boafo to abandon this particular amendment and let us make progress.
    Mr Speaker, without prejudice to you deferring clause 5, the appointment under article 70 in the Constitution says the Chairperson and members of the Board.
    It does not say just members of the Board; so, the Chairperson and members of the Board.
    I believe that the rendition as we have, is in many other legislations that once there is a meeting and the Chairman or Chairperson is not available it should be possible for members of the board to make a determination among themselves who can preside at that meeting.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think I now appreciate the principle underpinning the amendment proffered by the Hon Member for Akwapim North. Mr Speaker, I think, really, his thinking is the person to chair should be from the private sector because this whole thing is in his view to be driven by the private sector.
    That is why he is making that proposal, that whoever chairs, should be from the category listed in clause 5(1)(d); that person should be from outside the Public Service. I am not justifying it. I am only saying that, that explains why he moved that amendment.
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Hon Members, you see, the difficulty I have is that we have deferred the whole of clause 5 and therefore, we cannot make any amendment now, making reference to clause 5. So, the best thing to do and to be fair to the Hon Member to have a chance to canvass his amendment, is to defer it, so that when we resolve the issue of clause 5, we can then take his amendment. There is nothing wrong with that.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, in any case, the Hon Member who wanted to offer the amendment is saying that he does not remember -- [Laughter] -- We should tread cautiously.
    Prof. Gyan-Baffour 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am reminding the Hon Member, that he did it because he did not want the Hon Deputy Ministers to take the Chair when the substantive Chairman is not there. Since we have not done it yet, let us defer it; when we come and he still does not remember, then we would know what to do.
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Hon Members, let us go to clause 7, amendment (xxv) --
    Alhaji Sorogho 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, because we changed the number, when we get there, the quorum definitely has to change That is why the quorum is now 5 instead of -- We have also not finished with clause 5; we have to defer that one too.
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Hon Boafo, clause 7 (xxvi) --
    Mr Boafo 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 7, subclause (5), line before “majority”, insert “simple”.
    Mr Speaker, the rendition as it stands now only refers to “majority”. But Mr Speaker, we can have substantial majority, especially if we go to section 24 of the Interpretation Act, where it states that:
    “Where there is a matter which is of importance or a matter affecting any financial transaction, the quorum should be two-thirds.”
    Mr Speaker, if we do not want to go that way, then I am proposing that we insert “simple” before the “majority” to distinguish it from a situation where there would be the need for a substantial majority.
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Hon Minister, the amendment says we should insert “simple majority” --
    Mr H. Iddrisu 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am not too convinced because if you read subclause 5 carefully --
    “Matters before the Board shall be decided by a majority of the members present”.
    So, Mr Speaker, it means that --
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    He made some reference to the Interpretation Act --
    Mr H. Iddrisu 11:30 a.m.
    He should be specific on that Act and quote the particular portion. to support his argument.
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Hon Member for Akwapim North, you made reference to the Interpretation Act. Which section specifically, so that we all look at it and take a quick decision on this matter?
    Mr Boafo 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is, I think, section 24, subsection 1, paragraph (b) -- To vest in the majority of the members of that body -- [Interruption] -- to vest in the --
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Section 24 (1) (b)?
    Mr Boafo 11:30 a.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker. May I read it?
    “To vest in the majority of members of that body corporate, the power
    --”
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    No; read from the beginning.
    Mr Boafo 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker,
    “Where an enactment contains words establishing or providing for the establishment of a body corporate and the words operate.
    (b) to vest in the majority of the members of that body corporate, the power subject to a quorum fixed by the enactment under which it is established or by the relevant regulation or rules to bind the other members of that body corporate. But in an important matter or question which has a financial implica- tion, the quorum shall not be less than two-thirds of the members of the governing body of that body corporate.”
    So, Mr Speaker, if the enactment does not provide for a specific type of quorum, then when it comes to determining the issues relating to important matters, financial issues, the number two-thirds would be applicable -- [Interruption] -- That is my understanding of the law.
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    My understanding is that, yes, if the enactment itself -- So, first of all, it depends on what the enactment seeks to do. The enactment can decide to -- But in the case of financial issues, it is two-thirds. So, my understanding is that whether you put it here or not, it is two-thirds; you are bound by it.
    Mr Boafo 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, if the enactment says simple majority, then it would not go to two-thirds. The first part of (b) says that --
    “subject to a quorum fixed by the enactment under which it is esta- blished.”
    So, if this Bill, which is establishing the quorum, fixes it for a simple majority, then the two-thirds would not apply; because we have simple majority and substantial majority. [Interruption.] If he feels that it is all right, I will sit down. [Laughter.]
    Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    They say, it is subject to the quorum fixed by the enactment. So, in the case of financial matters, it is two- thirds.
    Alhaji Muntaka 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, rightly so. Like he himself read, unless otherwise, if my Hon Colleague wants to say, like the text that he read says that “subject to the Act.” So, if he wants to create a protection in the case of financial matters, then he has to come with a fresh amendment in addition to what we already have. This is because the quorate is to enable them hold meetings and if you look at the following subclause (5), that says
    that with matters before the Board, they would be by majority.
    So, if he wants to protect the issue of financial matters, then he has to come with a separate amendment that would then use the text that he is reading as a caveat for two-thirds. But even the text that he is reading itself acknowledges that there is the need for us to have a quorate mentioned in the enactment and that is what we are trying to do. So, it is not inconsistent with the text that he was reading.
    Mr Boafo 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, my contention here is that, if this Act says the quorum should be five, then it is specific. Whether it is a simple matter, or an important matter of financial matter, the quorum is five. But if you say simple majority, it is simple majority. Two-thirds of the membership cannot be simple majority; it is a substantial majority.
    Mr Alban S. K Bagbin 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the provision quoted by my Hon Colleague in the Interpretation Act is dealing with quorum and that is relevant to clause 7 (4), that is dealing with quorum. But clause 7 (5) is dealing with decision- taking and it is very clear. It is dealing with majority of members present.
    So, there is no need to put simple majority of members present; it is not right. And as I said, the provision it is referring to, is dealing with quorum, not with decision-taking. So, he should be prevailed upon to, at least, drop this proposed amendment.
    Mr Boafo 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the provisions of the Act I quoted are not related to -- [Pause.]
    Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    What does that mean? Are you withdrawing the amendment?
    Mr Boafo 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I will withdraw it.
    Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Very well. Amendment accordingly withdrawn.
    Mr Boafo 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the proposal for the new clause is only out of abundance of caution, in case that there is any error in the appointment or qualification of any person appointed to serve on the Board. That the proceedings of the Board are not invalidated by reason of a vacancy among the members or by a defect in the appointment or qualification of a member.
    Mr Speaker, if we go back to some of the enactments that we have passed in this House --
    Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    I think it is trying to protect something. I think, let us take a close look at the amendment.
    Let me hear from the Hon Member for Old Tafo, then the Chairman.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, for example, if the same enactment says that the quorum must be a certain number, if you do not have it, then you cannot validate the proceedings of the Board. This is because ab initio, the quorum does not exist. So, if I am not available, then you would want to say that we can still take decisions, that cannot be.
    Mr Speaker, we should be very careful.
    Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    We should examine this matter further.
    Dr Dominic A. Ayine 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to support the amendment, because this is a very standard clause, in the sense that, for instance, if someone dies, who is a member of the Board, then it does not mean that by reason only of that person's death, the decisions taken in the absence of that person will be
    invalidated. So, this is not about quorum, it is simply about a vacancy occurring while the Board is making a decision.
    Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Hon Members, we have passed legislations in this House where we used those words. But you see, my worry really, is not to do with in case of a vacancy but the defect in the appointment. I would want you to examine where we used the word “defect” in the appointment.
    For example, if the term of the Board members has come to an end -- has expired and yet they call a meeting, there is a defect in the appointment. Would it hold? Hon Boafo, would it hold? Most of the Board members's term has come to an end, yet they decide to call a Board meeting -- there is a defect in the appointment, yet they decide to hold a Board meeting.
    Let me give you an example. With the passage of the Presidential Transition Act, with all the challenges, there is a clause there that says that on the 7th of January, all the political appointments or the Boards appointed and all those things have come to an end. And if there is no express appointment from the President and then the people decide that even in spite of that clause, we are going to meet, there is a defect in the appointment.
    Would that hold? I would want the House to be guided for us to take a decision. I do not have an answer; it is for the House to answer it.
    Prof. Gyan-Baffour 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, in that sense, it is a defect in the appointment. The Board does not exist. A defect in the appointment may be a situation where somebody who has an interest in an issue is appointed there and somebody takes him to court, that the appointment is defective. What this seeks to do is that, the decision made by that group should
    not be seen to have been abandoned - to be taken away because of that. So, I think there is a difference there.
    Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Very well; you have convinced me.
    Alhaji Sorogho 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, before you put the Question, I would want your guidance on this.
    Supposing that the one the President appoints brings a certificate and says that he is a graduate and then he sits, they have meetings, they have arrived at decisions and then later on, it is realised that the person is not a graduate, he did not possess that qualification-- I think that is what it is trying to cure. Decisions that have already been taken cannot be reversed based on the fact that the person's --
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Hon Member, let me put the Question. I have been shown a lot of legislations that we have passed with the same rendition.
    Alhaji Sorogho 11:50 a.m.
    So, that is why I am saying that I support the amendment.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, with respect, this argument should not hold. This is because we have done it so many times --
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    That is why I raised the issue of “defect” and the Hon Member for Wenchi has drawn a very nice -- In fact, he has convinced me.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:50 a.m.
    Yes, I agree with you.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    But I made that point earlier that we should not say because -- but consistency also is very important, especially where we have a particular clause and the courts have pronounced
    on it. So, when you are bringing a new one, it means a different thing. But we have it unless somebody can say that what we did in the past was wrong. Yes, that is why we are re-examining it. That is what we are doing.
    Mr Bagbin 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am not sure this is the same rendition.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Hon Member for Nadowli/Kaleo, let me read what I have before me -- The Mental Health Act, 2012 (Act 846), section 6 (7):
    “The proceedings of the Board shall not be invalidated by reason of a vacancy among the members or a defect in the appointment or qualification of a member.”
    Hon Member, I have quoted the section and I have been informed that you were the Hon Minister who introduced this Bill into this House.
    Mr Bagbin 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is exactly not the case. This Bill was before the House before I was appointed the Minister.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    By the time the Bill was passed, you were the Minister. [Laughter.]
    Mr Bagbin 11:50 a.m.
    But Mr Speaker, what you read and then what we have -- if I heard you right -- there is some slight diffe- rence. [Pause]
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    I have crosschecked, it is exactly the same.
    Mr Bagbin 11:50 a.m.
    Then Mr Speaker, I think it was done in error and we should not continue with that error. I think we need to re-examine this particular clause.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Yes, let me hear your argument against the proposed amendment.
    Mr Bagbin 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, if the clause was even dealing with decisions, I would have supported it. But if it is dealing with proceedings, what is the effect of proceedings?
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    But the decision is part of the proceedings. If you go to court, they will go and look for the minutes of the proceedings -- to find out the decision taken.
    Mr Bagbin 11:50 a.m.
    The important thing we are looking at is the decisions, not the proceedings.
    Mr Speaker, I agree with your earlier position that we should re-look at it because the interpretation of those issues of defect which my senior Brother, the Professor himself attempted, might not be the same in court. So, we should be careful --
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Hon Member, if you want us to re-examine it, I entirely agree with you. That is a different matter. So, we can defer it and re-examine it.
    Mr Bagbin 11:50 a.m.
    That is true.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not know. Some of these clauses are introduced into Bills based on a policy position. It is important that the sponsors of the Bill are able to explain some of these things to us.
    Mr Speaker, I know that there is no one from the draftsperson's department. I am saying that if this was there before in the previous Bill and it is not there now, why is it not there? Probably, it might have been influenced by a certain experience.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Hon Member, was it in the previous Bill?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am talking about previous Bills that have been presented to the House.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Very well.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 11:50 a.m.
    And these are from the Attorney-General's Department and I am worried when I do not see any of the draftspersons here. It could be that it is an oversight. I understand there is somebody there now. Fine. It could be that it was deliberated and if that is the reason, we should be given the explanation and I do not know whether the Committee itself had the opportunity to examine such a proposal.
    Mr Speaker, the problem is that, we may pass amendments and later on, we may realise that these amendments were not really helpful.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    But Hon Member for Sekondi, is this proposed amendment really a matter of policy?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 11:50 a.m.
    That is so.
    Mr Speaker, if proceedings will not be invalidated --For instance, when it comes to the National Health Insurance Scheme, it is dealing with a national matter. They deal with health matters affecting the whole nation. They take a decision and it may have been implemented for a while, from Bawku to Half-Assini, it is being applied. So, I would understand the rationale. Should it be that because there is a defect, that decision itself should be invalid? Can we say the same for Ghana Investment Promotion Centre?
    But I am saying that we need a lot of explanation to this. I do not think there is anything wrong with the proposed amendment per se, but maybe, those who sponsored the Bill did not include the amendment based on certain reasons. That is all. Or it could be an oversight.
    I am just appealing to Mr Speaker, that in some of these matters, we should try as much as possible to take an informed decision and the assistance of the sponsors is key.
    Alhaji Sorogho 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to remind my Brother -- because he was trying to find out whether the Committee did not consult with the draftepersons. -- [Uproar] -- This proposed amendment is not sponsored by the Committee. It is an amendment which is being sponsored by an Hon Member. We tried as much as possible to do the winnowing. Unfortunately, we waited for him -- In fact, he was coming and all of sudden, we did not see him again.
    Mr Speaker, we understand very well. So, let us debate it here.
    Mr Osei B. Amoah 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, if we refer to the parent Act, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act, 1994 (Act 478), section 5 (4) is almost like what the Hon Member for Akwapim North wants to insert. So, I do not know why --
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Can you read it?
    Mr Amoah 11:50 a.m.
    It says, and Mr Speaker, with your permissions, I beg to quote:
    “The validity of the proceedings of the Board shall not be affected by a vacancy among its members or by a defect in the appointment or qualification of a member.”
    It is almost the same thing. So, I do not know why it was taken out from this present one when in the parent Act, it is there. Probably, if he thinks it was creating a problem, then he should explain to us why it was left out. Otherwise, if it is there,
    why do we remove it from the parent Act, necessitating this proposed amendment from the Hon Member for Akwapim North.
    Mr George K. Aboagye noon
    Mr Speaker, I think it is a drafting issue. The Attorney- General and Minister for Justice drafted this, keeping in view the dynamics of the work they have been doing over time. So, it is a -- [Interruption] -- I know.
    Mr Speaker noon
    We should know that -- Hon Member, he knows.
    Mr G.K. Aboagye noon
    Mr Speaker, my apologies. I should not be talking to him.
    He thinks he is my Hon Brother, so, he wants to bring home matters here.
    Anyway, it is the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice.
    Mr Speaker noon
    So, you should tell the House why you have deleted it; that is the point.
    The Hon Member for Sekondi is asking that if it is in the Bill or the previous enactment and it is not in the current one, why are we removing it? Why is it not here? Is it an omission or deliberate?
    Mr G. K. Aboagye noon
    Mr Speaker, it is an omission on the part of the Attorney- General and Minister for Justice.
    Mr Speaker noon
    Hon Deputy Attorney- General and Deputy Minister for Justice, do you have the drafting section of the Attorney-General's Department here?
    Dr Ayine noon
    Mr Speaker, I looked at the drafting instructions and they did not include this particular provision. So, the assumption by the Legislative Drafting Division was that the Hon Minister did not want it included; that was the assumption that was made.
    Mr Speaker noon
    Hon Minister for Trade and Industry, what is your view on this amendment? Are you in favour or against it? I want to put the Question.
    Mr H. Iddrisu noon
    Mr Speaker, originally, the new thinking was that decisions of that Board should not be invalidated, as you rightly pointed it out yourself, by defect of appointment of a member to the Board. But having listened to the debate, I am inclined to support the insertion of it. For abundance of caution, it will serve our ends better.
    Mr Speaker noon
    Hon Member for Nadowli/Kaleo, do we go ahead or we put the Question? This is because you raised a very fundamental issue, that if there is a problem, why do we not examine it before putting the Question? You are a very senior Hon Member of this House.
    Mr Bagbin noon
    Mr Speaker, I still insist that there is the need for us to re-examine the provision before we continue to insert it in our Bills or Acts. There is still the need for us to do that. This is because, if this proceedings including decisions that are taken by a Board, that by some reason, there is a defect and somebody takes the matter to court to try to invalidate it, and you come and cite this clause, you will be doing some injustice.
    I think we need to look at it. This is because some of the decisions that the Boards take are so fundamental and they affect the interest, the human rights of people.
    We are dealing with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre and we are getting investors to come in. They are
    going to sit down and take decisions and we just say that whatever decisions they take, because of this, they should not be invalidated.
    I think we have to re-examine it.
    Mr Speaker noon
    Hon Member, both sides of the House agree that proceedings include decisions. So, what is your position now, if proceedings include decisions?
    Mr Bagbin noon
    Mr Speaker, the issue I raised is not dealing with the proceedings and decisions. I am saying that the effects of those proceedings or decisions on the interest of persons -- persons here, including companies, we need to re- examine it.
    If we want to continue, we continue -- This is because we are dealing with the investment climate of this country. I do not agree that that is the more reason but
    -- noon

    Mr H. Iddrisu noon
    Mr Speaker, I would plead with the senior Hon Colleague who has a deeper sense on this matter, that for the abundance of caution, it does not harm having it. I will share one interesting example.
    There was an instance where the Office of the President was required to make an appointment from the National Security to serve on a particular Board and the parent Act provided that the nominee should come from the National Security. The President appointed a senior Military Officer outside the National Security to serve on the Board.
    In writing, between the Ministry and the Presidency, that person, probably, took part in deliberations of the Board, and for decisions which were taken, they must become biding as a way of defect.
    I am just giving one example. So, I think that they can stay.
    I have had this experience with the National Communications Authority when the Board was being constituted. The Presidency brought somebody from outside the National Security. We drew their attention that that was wrong. But we had to respect the appointing authority in explaining that the person ought to come. Having taken part in its deliberations, the decision should not suffer because of the defect in the appointment.
    I thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Dr A. A. Osei noon
    Mr Speaker, initially, I wanted to go the line of “Mr Wiseman”. But I think, if you look at the purpose of this, investors want certainty, and that is the more reason we should protect it -- It is policy. If they go to the Supreme Court and it decides in its wisdom that because of fundamental human rights, it is going to invalidate this law, so be it.
    But I think that we should protect the decisions that they are taking, so that investors can be sure we do not just play around. So, I think it is important.
    My only suggestion is that we should be using the rendition; it is simpler.
    Mr Speaker noon
    Hon Members, I think we have arrived at a consensus on this matter, so, let me put the Question.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Hon Members, I will defer putting the Question on the entire clause and move to the next clause.

    Clause 8 -- Disclosure of interest.
    Mr Boafo 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 8, subclause (1), add the following new paragraph:
    “(c) recuse himself from the meeting at which the matter is considered”.
    Mr Speaker, it is true that paragraph (a) says that he should not participate. But he may be sitting at the meeting, and the body language, the gestures and the respect that some of the members will have for him, may be a hindrance in his contribution to the matter, which will be discussed at that particular meeting. It is only an issue of body language, gestures and the respect that other members may have for such a person. That is why I am proposing this amendment.
    Alhaji Sorogho 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not think that we need to support that. This is because if you read paragraph (b), it is very clear. Clause 8(1) (a) says that:
    “8. (1) A member of the Board who has an interest in a matter for consideration by the Board shall
    (a) disclose the nature of the interest and the disclosure shall form part of the record of the considera- tion of the matter; and
    (b) not participate in the delibera- tions of the Board in respect of the matter.”
    Mr Speaker, “not participate --”
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Hon Members, when we say “not participate,” normally, the people recuse themselves; that is what they do.
    Alhaji Sorogho 12:10 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Seaker.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think the Hon Chairman should be listening to the reason that was given rather than opposing the amendment. If a person in a stature of Mr Speaker is sitting there, his body language alone would make members -- [Laughter.] So --
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    No! Hon Members, how do we operationalise “participate”? The people do not take part; they do not sit in the meeting. Or the word here is not clear? Would they sit in? They do not normally sit in?
    Some Hon Members 12:10 p.m.
    Yes.
    Mr Bagbin 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think I support the proposed amendment. It is to make assurance double sure and to clear the doubt in what we are talking about. Whether they sit or they do not sit, the practice is that they go out. On some Boards, they do not go out.They only sit and do not participate in the deliberations. So, this one is to actually make sure that the intention which we are articulating is obeyed and carried through.
    So, I support that they should move out.
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Hon Members, I will put the Question.
    Alhaji Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am wondering if this amendment is adopted, whether paragraph (b) is necessary at all. This is because if you recuse yourself-- it means you are not participating. So --
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Hon Member for Nadowli /Kaleo, the Hon Member is making a very important point. [Interruption.] “Recuse” is higher than “participate”. So, if “recuse” is put there, why do we put “participate” there again? If you recuse yourself, you cannot participate.
    Hon Member for Nadowli/Kaleo, that is the point the Hon Member is making.
    Mr Bagbin 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, you can recuse yourself and while outside, participate in the deliberation. [Interruption.] There is technology. Apart from even the technology, manual -- You can sit outside, write a note, pass it into --
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    I think you are carrying this matter too far.
    Mr Bagbin 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am being practical and realistic. That is what happens. Now, people work from their houses. You do not go to the office; you work from your house. You sit behind your computer and you communicate with your people and things are done. So, it is necessary.
    Mr Joseph B. A. Danquah 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, this is very important. Most of us are sitting here but we are not participating. Most Hon Members in the Chamber are sitting in but they are not -- [An Hon Member: Some.] I said “most”.
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Hon Member, it is a bad example; it is a very bad example.
    Mr Danquah 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, on the substantive matter-- It is very important that we put in this amendment, especially these days where technology affords us to text and send messages. So, even if we have the “participation” and you have the amendment there, it helps. We should keep all of them present. We should not remove paragraph (b) or take out the new amendment.
    Prof. Gyan-Baffour 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think we can merge the two and say that the member should recuse himself and not participate.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 8 (1) (b), line 1, before the word “not”, insert. “recuse himself and not”.
    So that we can cover the two. So, the rendition would read:
    “A member shall recuse himself and not participate in the deliberations of the Board.”
    I think that would resolve that difficulty.
    Alhaji Sorogho 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think I support the amendment proposed by the Hon Ranking Member. But there is something that I would want your guidance on.
    Mr Speaker, if there is a Board sitting, the purpose of it -- And then I tell you that my daughter is coming to appear before you because she also wants this job and I excuse myself and I go out -- The mere telling you that my daughter is coming to sit before you, in itself, defeats the whole purpose.

    But I support the amendment proposed by the Hon Ranking Member.
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Hon Members, there is consensus that we should merge the amendment.
    Mr H. Iddrisu 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to support the further amendment to the earlier one proposed by Hon W. O. Boafo.
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Hon Member for Wenchi has moved an amendment.
    Mr H. Iddrisu 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, yes, and I do hope that he supports that, so that clause 8(1)(b) would now read as he read it, that:
    “. . . will recuse himself and not participate in the deliberation.”
    Mr Speaker, this is a very important part of every other legislation. Conflict of interest is the most veritable source of corruption and we should not treat this lightly. This is because this is what affords people an opportunity to circumvent administrative procedures for other private interests and gains.
    Mr Boafo 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was about to differ from the Hon Member for Wenchi, but the Hon Minister has intervened. I was about to dwell on a subject matter of the drafting style, that “recuse” is different from “participate” and so, they cannot be merged. It would look more elegant. But in view of the two persons, I would resume my seat.
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Very well. So, do you identify yourself with the amendment, so that it would stand in your name together with the Hon Member for Wenchi and the Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Boafo 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do so wholeheartedly.
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Hon Members, so the amendment stands in the name of Hon W. O. Boafo, the Hon Member for Wenchi and the Chairman of the Committee.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Boafo 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 8, subclause (2), add the following new paragraph:
    “(c) fails to recuse himself from the meeting at which the matter is considered”
    Mr Boafo 12:10 p.m.


    Mr Speaker, the next proposed amendment is, to some extent, conse- quential and if Mr Speaker would direct accordingly.
    Alhaji Sorogho 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not have any problem with that.
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    So, they would merge and it would come -- I so direct that the draftsperson get the correct rendition.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 8 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 9 -- Establishment of commit- tees.
    Mr Boafo 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 9, subclause (2), delete
    This proposal is only an attempt to make a very elegant arrangement, and Mr Speaker, I am proposing the deletion of subclause (2), then we insert it at clause 10 which deals with technical committees. It makes it more elegant.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it appears to me that subclause (2) has a purpose, that no matter what is in clause 9 (1), you must have a technical committee. So, I do not see the defect here, unless the Hon Minister is saying otherwise. It is for emphasis, that irrespective of what committees you have, you must have a technical committee.
    That is why we have subclause (2) -- He should not delete it, unless he is changing his mind. This is because clause 10 does not tell me I must have a technical committee.
    I think my Hon Senior Colleague should have a second look about it because there is a reason.
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Is the technical committee that we are referring to in clause 9 (2) different from the one in clause 10? So, why do we not --
    Mr H. Iddrisu 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we can have an elegant compromise. What the Hon Boafo is suggesting is not the deletion of the entire clause 9 (2) but to take it and use it to improve the opening of clause 10. So, you will now have clause 10, which begins with “The Board shall have a committee to be known as the technical committee” -- As part of clause 10, which opens it up before it is done. But as it is --
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Hon Minister, why do you not also say that “without limiting subsection 1, the Board shall have a committee to be known as the technical committee referred to in section 10 of the Act?”
    Mr H. Iddrisu 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is the policy preference. It is the one we spoke about, an administrative one-stop shop clearing house, so that when investors come, all the important institutions and agencies of State are available to facilitate speedy registration of company, acquisition of land, resident permit and others. So, if he has no problem, either way, it will sit well with the Bill.
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Hon Boafo, why do we not leave it and say that as referred to in section 10 of the Act”?
    Mr Boafo 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the technical committee is not the creature of the Board; it is a creature of the Bill. Section 9 deals with the creatures of the Board but a technical committee, is the creature of --
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    But is it not going to be a sub-committee of the Board? Not necessarily? It is not? You have a point there.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, his argument?
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    The point that he is making is to the effect that the technical committee is not the creation of the Board. It is the creation of the Act, with its composition indicated in clause 10 of the Bill.
    Mrs Gifty E. Kusi 12:20 p.m.
    So, Mr Speaker, are we amending clause 10 (1) by adding a new clause like the Hon Minister suggested? [Interruption.]
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Yes, I think so. Let us deal with clause 9 and when we get to clause 10, we will know what to do.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that defeats what the Hon Minister was saying. It is a policy issue, that you must have a technical committee and that policy issue is under the guidance of the Board, not this House; that is what I heard him say. But in clause 9, he is saying that there is a policy matter, that this Board must have a sub-committee that is technical and Hon Boafo is saying it is a creation of the Act. In what sense?
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Hon Member, the point that the Hon Member for Old Tafo is making makes sense. The point he is making is that, we are establishing committees and the establishment of committees is under clause 9. So, what is wrong if you mention it in clause 9 where committees are mentioned and then you specify the details of the technical committee in clause 10?
    What harm does it cause if you mention it in clause 9 -- That is the point that the Hon Member for Old Tafo is raising.
    In other words, they must make sure that they form it; it is a committee and it must be established.
    Dr Prempeh 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was coming to clause 10. If you look at clause 10 well, the technical committee is a sub- committee of the Board. Or it is a committee that should send its findings to the Board. I think that even though he is saying that it is a creature of the law, establishment of the committee does not limit it to the fact that all the committees must be established only by the Board.
    So I agree with the fact that we should state that in the establishment of the committee, there shall be a technical committee; that is one. Two, the Board may appoint other committees. That makes it more elegant.
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    We have to make sure that an obligation is imposed, that irrespective of any circumstance, they must make sure that we have the technical committee so that the Board has no choice at all in the matter -- That makes the case stronger.
    Dr Prempeh 12:20 p.m.
    So clause 9 (1) must read: “There shall be a technical committee--”
    Mr Speaker. No!
    “Without limiting subsection 1, the Board shall have a technical committee to be known as a technical committee”.
    It is an obligation. They do not have a choice at all in the matter.
    Hon Boafo, let us keep it.
    Now, move the second amendment and let me put the Question on them.
    Mr Boafo 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 9, add the following new subclause:
    “(2) A committee comprised entirely of non-members shall be advisory.”
    Mr Speaker, the new subclause which is being proposed is only to prevent a situation where a committee comprised entirely of non-members may hijack the Board.
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Hon Members, this is a straightforward amendment.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    rose
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Hon Member for Wa West, are you oppose to the amendment?
    Mr Chireh 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I oppose the amendment, and the reason is simple.
    Unless you are now saying that any committee established by the Board can do things without the Board and the Board is not responsible.
    The policy issue involved -- I was getting up to talk about the earlier one.
    In fact, if you talk about committees, either you turn the clause 10 to be clause 3 of the main, which is continuing with specification. But for a committee of the Board to be only advisory -- All committees of the Board must be advisory. You can have a standing committee which undertakes a technical job. Should they, after the technical job, go and head and approve or do things without reference to the Board?
    If it is so, fine. But if it is not so, it is the Board that must put its seal on whatever decision they have made and issue it as a Board's responsibility. But if you are cutting it out, then you are indirectly setting up two Boards.
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Member for Wa West, what harm would be caused to the Act if you retain this amendment?
    Mr Chireh 12:30 p.m.
    The harm is that all committees are advisory. The Board can delegate its responsibility to the committee, but they are still advisory, so you do not need to say so. And if you also say that a technical committee can issue directives, take a decision without the Board, then why do you have the Board?
    Alhaji Pelpuo 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that I agree with him. I do not think that it should be the place of this Bill to determine what committees set up by the Board should do.
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Member, the point is that, at times, you may set up a committee that is made up of non-members and they are only saying that if you are non-members, you do not carry the weight the committee members carry. What is wrong?
    Alhaji Pelpuo 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, this one is set up by the Board and it should determine what it wants from the committee. You do not make a law and say it should be advisory, when they want it to do something else. So, I think it is superfluous, it is unnecessary.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not agree with the fact that all committees are advisory. A committee of the Board is not advisory; not necessarily, particularly, when the main Board delegates its responsibilities for efficiency sake. So, they will not be doing work in an advisory capacity. But if you have non-Board members, you should put a hold on what they do. We do not want non-Board members to --
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    I see their proposal to mean that if you are a committee of non- members of the Board, you do not expect to carry the same weight as members --
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:30 p.m.
    Exactly, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    And this is not the first time we have this in our legislation.
    Anyway, I am not saying that it is right or wrong.
    Prof. Gyan-Baffour 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, unless, maybe, we may have to review this one too, the old law, the original one, also had the same rendition there. They have it at “Committees of the Board” -- section
    6 (2) :
    “A committee composed entirely of non-members may only advise the Board.”
    That is what is in the old law; I do not see anything wrong with that.
    Mr G. K. Aboagye 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, this committee was set up based on the expectation that there would be a one- stop shop.
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    No! We are not talking about the technical committee. We are talking about situations where the Board decides to create or the Centre decides to create a sub-committee made up entirely of non-members.
    Mr G. K. Aboagye 12:30 p.m.
    All right.
    Mr Boafo 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am surprised that the Hon Member for Wa West opposed this amendment because he championed the same provision when he prepared the Health Bills in this House. I do not know why he has changed his mind.
    Mr Chireh 12:30 p.m.
    I agree with you, so, I will drop my position.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 9 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 10 -- Technical Committee.
    Mr Emmanuel K. Bandua 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 10, subclause (1), paragraph (b), sub-paragraph (i), delete “and Economic Planning”.
    This is a straightforward amendment. I think the current designation is “Ministry of Finance” and not “Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.”
    Alhaji Sorogho 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not have any problem with that; I support the amendment.
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Members, there is a problem there. You normally do not mention the name of the Ministry, you say “the Ministry responsible for Finance”. If the “Finance” is your emphasis or if the “Economic Planning” is your emphasis, then you say “for Economic Planning”. So, for emphasis, you say the “Ministry responsible”.
    So, let an Hon Member move the amendment and let me put the Question.
    Dr Prempeh 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was hoping you would canvass for the Hon Member to drop it and for the promoters of the Bill to give us a better rendition here. This is because having somebody from “Economic Planning” on the GIPC is very, very important. It is equally as important as having somebody with a finance background. So, maybe, we can persuade them to have both as separate subclauses.
    But to say that we should delete “Economic Planning” only and leave “Finance”, it probably does not do enough justice to the garment of work GIPC should do.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that my Hon Colleague is missing the point.
    There is an Executive Instrument (E.I.) that has changed the designation. So, what we should be putting there is “the Ministry responsible for Finance.” As the “Economic Planning”, there is an Executive Instrument that has deleted it. It does not mean that it is not important. There is no “Ministry of Economic Planning”; there is none. Whether or not “Economic Planning” is important, is not an issue here, and it does not mean that they would bring somebody with a finance background.
    The proper amendment should be the “Minister responsible for Finance” and we delete “Economic Planning”.
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Members, we agreed that we have to make it “Ministry responsible for Finance” but there is another component. Whether “Economic Planning” is important and should be added, that is also another matter. So, let us take it one by one. Let us deal with the “Finance” one first and then we come and look at the issue of “Economic Planning” or “Planning”. [Interruption.] No, not the Ministry; it could be the National Development Planning.
    Yes, that is why I said we should take the Ministry and then when the House thinks that we need to add whatever Planning, then that is another matter.
    Mr Bandua 12:30 p.m.
    So, the new rendition would be:
    “One representative, not below the rank of a Director of analogous grade, of (i) the Ministry responsible for Finance.”
    Mr Speaker, I so move.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Dr Prempeh 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 10 subclause (1) paragraph (b) insert “a representative of the National Development Planning Commission” on this technical committee as another membership.
    Mr H. Iddrisu 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, even at winnowing, the Hon Ranking Member, Prof. Gyan-Baffour, made this suggestion and I believe that it is not out of place. But we would re-engineer the numbers, so that we have an odd number as the composition of it. But we are amenable to accepting --
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    We have “Petroleum” there standing in the name of the Chairman. If it is carried, then the number balances.
    Mr H. Iddrisu 12:30 p.m.
    Thank you. Mr Speaker. It will. So, we support the inclusion of “a representative of National Development Planning Commission (NDPC.)
    The other amendments would be moved by the Hon Chairman. But we will find a way to engineer an odd number.
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, are you in favour of the amendment? Let me hear you.
    Alhaji Sorogho 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, yes, there is an amendment there but the amendment proposed by Hon Dr Matthew O. Prempeh --
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    That is the amendment we are on now. Let us deal with that one first before we move to that one in your name -- The National Development --
    Alhaji Sorogho 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is going to affect the number --
    Mr Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Please, the number is not the issue.
    Alhaji Sorogho 12:40 p.m.
    I do not have any problem at all.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Alhaji Sorogho 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 10, subclause (1) paragraph (b) add the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum --
    Mr Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Hon Member, have you taken a cue from what we did to Ministry of Finance?
    Alhaji Sorogho 12:40 p.m.
    Ministry responsible for Energy and Petroleum.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 10, subclause (1), paragraph (b), add the following new subparagraph:
    “(x) the Ministry responsible for Energy and Petrolum”
    The Ministry responsible for Energy—
    Mr Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Not Petroleum?
    Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am getting a bit worried. How many members do we want to have on the technical committee? By my last count, we are getting close to 15 to 20 members because the (d), before you move, could have about 6 and 7 members. It is so ambiguous they could have even had up to 10 members.
    It says that one representative each of utility service providers; how many are they? Institutions and agencies concerned with it; so, who is determining that? Is it the Minister who is determining the institutions or the Board? What are they? It is so ambiguous. So, if we are adding more, we should be careful of the number.
    Mr Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    So, if it is a problem, why should one create a problem? The amendment of the Ministry responsible for Energy and Petroleum.
    Mr H. Iddrisu 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it ordinarily should not be a problem. Under clause 10 (d), the utility service providers anticipated there are the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG). These are institutions where any investor coming in will be mindful whether he has access to water and electricity.
    But there is a strong argument that given the direction of our investment climate, it would be appropriate that somebody from the Ministry responsible for Energy participates in this technical committee for guidance. But that would not bring the number to 20 as is being argued.
    Mr Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Hon Second Deputy Speaker.
    Mr Joe Ghartey 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have a little difficulty with what the Hon Minister is saying. Looking at clause 10(2), at what the technical committee is supposed to do, if we start putting in GWCL or ECG, then we will never have an end, we might go on to a process where every institution that any investor may come in contact with, must be represented there.
    The technical committee then will be expanded ad infinitum. I do not think that the purpose of the technical committee stricto sensu is to have representatives of institutions who influence the investment, all of them to serve on it. I think that we must be careful that what we have here is representative enough.
    After all, we have the Hon Minister for Finance, Bank of Ghana, even Lands Commission are some of them. So, if we continue, where will we end? GWCL, ECG,
    Mr Joe Ghartey 12:40 p.m.


    Ghana Telecom because you need telephone, and then you go on and on. So, I just wanted to know perhaps, why we are adding more institutions. Even the NDPC, I was a little hesitant but it makes sense. But now, I would want to know, so that I can support it, while we are adding more institutions. Sorry, maybe, then we should add Parliament, a representative and I will be willing, Mr Speaker, to be nominated by you to serve on that —
    Mr Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, have you consulted on this at the winnowing? Did you consider these amendments?
    Alhaji Sorogho 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, yes. We consulted and the service providers that we agreed on were two. If you go further down, we are even proposing another amendment that will reduce the two from the private sector to one and the total number will be fifteen. Mr Speaker, the rationale is that we want a one-stop shop where you enter and you do not go. And this is based on best practices around the world. When you go to Botswana, they have been talking about Botswana, the technical committee there is more than 17.
    They have a building, you enter there and everything is there. Before you come out, you have your registration, everything that has to do with an investment. And we think that we should also start adopting these new practices. So, yes, 15 members constituting as a technical committee, they may not all be able to sit at the same time. But we think that, that is the best that we can have now, in line with modern trends of investment.
    Mrs Irene Naa Torshie Addo 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think, to take care of this situation, I believe we have the Utilities
    Service Board, we have the Revenues Service Board. The utilities Board takes care of all utilities. So, maybe, a nomination from that Board will take care of three or four companies coming from there. Then if we need information on revenue, the service Board or whatever, I think just one person from those particular Boards will take care of three or four people and that would rather work.
    If they need specific areas, somebody from there to speak to the investor, then I believe that they get that investor to get into contact with the person. Otherwise, if they do have the Utilities Service Board and all that, somebody from one of those Boards, one person should represent the entire Board. I think that will rather solve the problem.
    Mr G. K. Aboagye 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we are looking for providers. The service Boards, I do not know whether they are providers. [Interruption.] They are regulators. These are providers; I have come to invest, I need electricity, so the provider is on the technical committee and then the provider, whoever he is and he is representing them, can easily connect him to the electricity providers and so on and so forth. So, the service Boards, they are the regulators, they set the prices and so on -- and tariffs. But these are providers that we are looking for.
    Mr Nitiwul 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to side with the Second Deputy Speaker and say that maybe, this particular clause, we may have to do a bit of winnowing again, prune it down and understand it properly. If you talk of ECG for example, because of the provision of electricity, then if you go to the Northern Region ECG, it does not provide the Northern Region with electricity, it is VRA. So, an investor who is supposed to go there —
    Mr Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    It is not VRA. It is Northern Electricification Department Company Limited (NEC)
    Mr Nitiwul 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is now NEC and then we have GRIDCo for example, they do the power distribution. Somebody will tell you that GRIDCo is as important as ECG in terms of what you are talking about. I think that we should re-look at it properly, so that it should not become an amorphous clause and people will interpret it in the way they want. If we want it strictly, then we can mention it. Otherwise, we might leave it and the Minister will interpret it the way he wants and give more numbers.
    Mr H. Iddrisu 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if I may indulge you, this technical committee's operations are not going to be a decentralised one as we are not creating divisions of the Centre. This is at the national level, first point of contact when you get to the GIPC; you want to do business in Ghana, the GIPC should be able to marshal the institutions and agencies mentioned here to facilitate your early entry, make the processes much faster for you.
    I concede that with (d), Mr Speaker, that is where the problem is. Instead of even saying one representative of each utility service providers, we may mention them ahead. We can just say one representative of ECG, one representative of GWCL as part of clause 10(b), then we end it there. So, we do not intend to have a number more than 15. So, with your guidance, we can re-do that.
    We are ready to stand down even the requirement of somebody from the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum serving because once you have ECG, they should be able to represent them. We do not want a situation where if you ask the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum to be
    represented, they may even refuse to bring somebody from ECG but for our purposes, we are not looking for the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum direct intervention but an institution which will facilitate that. So, I will think that if Colleagues —
    Mr Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    How does ECG or GWCL facilitate?
    Mr H. Iddrisu 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, they are those which are utility service providers. If anybody, for instance, a textile company is coming into Ghana, he must be assured that he has access to water because without that, that particular industry will not be functional.
    Thank you.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that his issue about clause (1) (d) needs to be looked at because when you add “and agencies Board may determine” that is problematic. The Board may determine —
    Mr Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    But he has made a suggestion.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, from what he is saying, I am not sure he needs ECG or GWCL because if ECG is going to do anything, somebody must regulate them, PURC. ECG itself cannot come and say I am going to give you electricity at such and such a price. ECG cannot by sitting on the technical Board determine that.
    If the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) decides that this year, this is all we are going to do, there is not much ECG can do. Secondly --
    Mr Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    But you see, you need to explain this issue further. We have all been Members of Parliament (MPs) before. If you go to ECG and say that you want to send electricity to any part of Ghana,
    invariably it would not be ECG per se. If they would not get any return on that investment, they would hardly send that electricity. Invariably, you may have to go to the Ministry to use government funds to send the electricity to that place.
    Mr Patrick Y. Boamah 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, you look at subclause (6), it reads:
    “The technical committee may co- opt any person to attend a meeting of the committee …”
    I believe that gap has been taken care of by this subclause and I believe we should not haggle over the inclusion of other institutions.
    Mr Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    We should not add more; we could rather come under co-option; is that the point you are making?
    Mr Boamah 12:50 p.m.
    That is so, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Very well. It is a very important point.
    Prof. Gyan-Baffour 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we are here talking about investment and they are varied. Somebody was asking about why water? If somebody comes here to set up a business to do a brewery, he would need water. Somebody is asking why are we looking at electricity.
    If somebody comes here to convert something through the use of electricity, like VALCO, we may have to find out from those who actually are generating the electricity or are giving electricity to ensure that we can actually give them electricity. So, it is multi-faceted action that we want these people to actually look and that is why they look so many. But all of them contribute to the establishment of an industry or a factory.
    So, I think we should not be concerned about the numbers but rather be looking at whether these people are the ones that put together, would enable somebody who would want to set up a factory here in Ghana take off and run with it and I think the people here would do that.
    Mr Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Hon Members, you see, the Hon Member for Okaikoi Central has drawn our attention to the fact that sub- clause (6) of the Bill calls for co-option. So, depending on the exigencies of the matter, we can co-opt as and when it becomes necessary. But let us therefore, look at the amendments there.
    Hon Chairman of the Committee, do you still want to take your amendment in view of subclause (6)?
    Alhaji Sorogho 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in view of subclause (6), I think that I would stand those amendments down --
    Mr Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Are you withdrawing that amendment?
    Alhaji Sorogho 12:50 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker. I am withdrawing the Ministry of Energy
    -- 12:50 p.m.

    Mr Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Very well. Then let us make progress by looking at whether we should specify (d) or not.
    Hon Members, I would want us to make progress; we have been on this clause 10 for some time now. If the House thinks that we need to get ECG and Ghana Water Company Limited there, then we should file an amendment and put it there; but if we think that they should be captured under -- Hon Minister, what do you say?
    Mr H. Iddrisu 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if Hon Colleagues are agreeable, subclause (d) can just read:
    “One representative each of utility service providers.”
    Then it ends there; the rest of the words should be deleted.
    rose rose
    Mr Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member for Abuakwa North? It is on the same issue --
    Dr Prempeh 12:50 p.m.
    No! that is different.
    Mr Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    All right.
    Hon Member for Manhyia South?
    Dr Prempeh 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I heard the Hon Minister for Trade and Industry promoting this Bill, that by utility providers, he meant Ghana Water Company Ltd and Electricity Company of Ghana. When you go outside Ashanti, the Northern Electricity Department -- [Interruption] -- Not only that, you have to define utility provider in the Bill because the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) deals with water outside the urban areas.
    So, we have to define utility service providers in the Bill because in certain aspects, Spacefon is a utility service provider.
    Mr Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Chairman of the Committee, do I defer this clause, so that you go and couch it properly or you want me to --
    Alhaji Sorogho 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would beg that you do not defer and that we define utility providers in the Interpretation, so that -- [Interruption.]
    Mr Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Hon Member, do you get the point that an Hon Member has raised, that we are talking about CWSA, which is a utility provider, we are talking about the Northern Electr icity Department, for the northern parts of this
    country where ECG is not the one in charge? Are you excluding them?
    Mr H. Iddrisu 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, what the Hon Member for Okaikoi Central drew our attention to, we would deal with it, that at any point in time, this technical committee would be guided by which institutions or agencies are required to facilitate investment and that they accordingly can co-opt such agencies. But we are saying that for our purposes, we presume strongly that access to water, access to electricity, is important.
    It does not matter whether it is in the Ashanti Region or it is in the Northern Region, there is an agency or a service provider that would be responsible.
    Mr Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Yes but should you choose an agency that only deals with part of the country. That is the point that the Hon Members are making.
    Alhaji Sorogho 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is why I am saying that we would specify in the Interpretation column, that “service providers” here “means ECG, NEC, Ghana Water Company Ltd and then NEDCo” and then that is all. So, it takes care of all the four areas.
    Mr Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Very well.
    Alhaji Pelpuo 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want the Chairman to clarify, where we are talking about service providers who are also possible competitors to in-coming companies, who are coming to register. For example, somebody is coming to provide water and a water company is sitting there as a member. Can we just take what the Deputy Minority Chief Whip is saying, that we take somebody who represents the utility companies and knows about them?
    Mr Danquah 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in reaction to what our Hon Minister said, it is far- fetched to say that if I am coming to generate power or I want to help generate power in the country, if we have a member of the technical committee coming from the ECG, he is going to sabotage that investment --[Interruption] -- Mr Speaker, we cannot think that way. How can you say that if I am coming to extend electricity grid or help in generating power, ECG sitting on the technical committee would jeopardise that investment? They cannot do that.
    Mr Speaker, actually, in looking at the composition of this, authorities like the National Communications Authority (NCA), we would ask that they be removed from the list because they do not provide any service. As for the investor, he wants to think about how he would repatriate his money, about taxes and that is why the Ghana Revenue Authority is important; about land, about immigration, about EPA, these things are all important. But with NCA, maybe, we might delete it and remove it from the list.
    Mr H. Iddrisu 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, just to share a practical example with my Colleague: When I was Minister for Communications, I got this petition from Professor Akilakpa Sawyer and one other company that internet connectivity to their area was not working. As Minister, you may not directly deal with VODAFONE
    or MTN, you go through the regulatory body to investigate it and ask for remedial action.
    So, it is appropriate that the NCA is here because service providers would need access to broadband and telephone services. We are saying that this would be a one-stop shop.
    Mr Speaker, I concede that the only grey area is with (d). We may approve the rest and then define, as Hon Dr Prempeh said. We must have representatives of the utility service providers. The PURC has a mandate. We are talking of accessibility -- when that investor has access to water, when he has access to electricity as and when it is necessary, he can -- So, Mr Speaker, let us delete (d) and rely on what the Hon Member for Okaikoi said. In any instance, they can exercise the right to co-opt the person to the technical committee.
    I thank you.
    Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
    So, who is moving the amendment for the deletion of (d)?
    Alhaji Sorogho 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to mov, that clause 10, subclause (1), paragraph (d), delete.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
    Paragraph (d) of subclause (1) of clause 10, accordingly deleted from the Bill.
    Chairman, your next amendment, item 34 (xxxiv) --
    Alhaji Sorogho 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 10, subclaude (1), paragraph (c), line 1, delete “two” and substitute with “one”.
    Mr Speaker, the proposal is that out of the two representatives from the private sector, we can only maintain one.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Boafo 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the amendment I would want to propose has not been filed but with your permission and with your indulgence, I would want to --
    Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
    Do you want to delete the whole of clause 10?
    Mr Boafo 1 p.m.
    No! Mr Speaker, I have changed my mind.
    Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
    Well, you have changed your mind? Very well.
    Mr Boafo 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, on the clause 10 (1) (c), where the representatives --
    Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
    I have already put the Question. We can consider it subse- quently. In fact, I put the Question because I thought that at the winnowing with the Chairman, there was a consensus. But we can look at it at the Second Consideration Stage. I know there are some amendments which were standing in the name of the Hon Minority Leader which suffered some kind of casualties last Friday. So when we come to consider those ones, we would consider this one too.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, just a little matter for our consideration. “Two representatives of the private sector” -- a representative of the private sector could be non-private sector operators; they could be. I felt that it could be “representatives from the private sector” not “of the private sector.”
    Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
    They are both correct: “of” is correct, “from” too is correct.
    Mr H. Iddrisu 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we can refer that to the draftpersons.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1 p.m.
    Yes, we could refer to the draftpersons but I felt that the “of” could be non-operators of that sector. You could be my represen- tative without being an Hon Member of Parliament. Representatives from Par- liament nominated by Hon Members of Parliament -- [Interruption.]
    Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
    Hon Members, let us put the Question on clause 10.
    rose
    Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
    Why?
    Dr Prempeh 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the reason you cannot put the Question is that there are certain aspects that we have to re- align.
    Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
    Paragraph (d) has been deleted.
    Dr Prempeh 1 p.m.
    No! It is not only paragraph (d). How many members are on the technical committee now?
    Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
    Hon Members, when we come to the Second Consideration -- Right now, there is no amendment there neither have we deferred any amendment there as of now. So, I have to put the Question on Clause 10 --
    Clause 10 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 11 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    MR SECOND DEPUTY SPEAKER
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:06 p.m.
    Hon Members, clause 12 -- Branch Offices of the Centre -- [Pause]
    Hon Members, have you taken a vote on clause 11?
    Some Hon Members 1:06 p.m.
    Yes.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:06 p.m.
    So, clause 12; let us take a vote on it.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:06 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, clause --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:06 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, are you on clause 12?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:06 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, for clause 4, relating to the Functions of the Centre, the functions have been set out and for (i), we are talking about its ability to perform any other functions that are necessary for attaining the development of this Act. Mr Speaker, would you consider that as a function, that is, the last one? This is because the actual functions have been set out.
    I am saying so because we have limited ourselves to the functions of the Centre without including that leg, it may appear as if we are restricting ourselves or the functions of the Centre to the defined functions without including that omnibus provision. And I am wondering whether we cannot have a line or a provision for that?
    Alhaji Sorogho 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, clause 12, seeks to give the power to the Centre to establish branch offices. In so doing, may also assign certain functions which

    may be peculiar to that branch. The functions as given by the Bill are to the Board. I am saying that the Board “may” not “shall” assign further functions to the branch offices and I do not think it goes against any of the clauses that are here.
    Mr H. Iddrisu 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe the rendition as captured in page (9), under 12 is elegant enough. The idea is that the GIPC may open other branch offices even outside the country for purposes of investment promotion. And the idea is that if those centres are established, they would perform the functions as envisaged by what the Minority Leader referred to, the functions under (4).
    So, we expect that if the GIPC should set up a regional office in the Ashanti Region, what would that office do? It would be to just like a decentralised performance of the functions of the Centre as they are doing at the headquarters level. So, the idea in clause12 is for them to have divisional and other offices.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Hon Minister, if I understand the Minority Leader, I understand him to be saying that clause 12 (2) should include some rendition that says that the functions that even the offices would perform would be in accordance with clause 4 (1). I do not think that it is too difficult; it does not spoil anything and it puts the matter beyond reasonable doubt.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, as I said, beyond the functions defined, (i) then talks about perform any other functions that are necessary. That was why I said we could add that leg to this one. So, that is the import of what I said. If you get it, then perhaps, we could leave it to the draftpersons to capture it in the language that they deem appropriate.
    Mr H. Iddrisu 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is agreeable. So, you can refer it to the draftsperson.
    Mr Danquah-Adu 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, when I read clause 12 (ii), it says:
    “A branch office of the Centre shall perform the functions”.
    And it is definitive. My thinking is that the reference “the functions” means those functions are already specified elsewhere in the Bill.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Hon Members, in these days of Supreme Court judgements, I think some of these things, we should put them beyond reasonable; we should put them in such a way that there would not be another judgement. So if it does not spoil anything and if the Hon Minister and the Chairman have agreed, perhaps, the draftpersons should look at it. I agree with the point you are making, but you would be surprised that when it goes to court, somebody may read it differently.
    When you put it there, is not open to interpretation, as has such other functions as are incidental to the working or the functions of the Centre. And the Chairman and the Minister as well as the proposer of the amendment say we should give it to the draftpersons. We have got the spirit of the amendment and so, we want to put the Question on clause 12.
    Mr Nitiwul 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, to make real meaning of clause 12 (ii), you have to first check clause 2 to clause 4. Clause 2 to clause 4 where you talk from the Centre to the functions, particularly clause 4 which is the functions; if I read it properly, it is the Act that is setting out the functions and not the Board. When you go to clause 12 (ii), it says that there are two different things.
    A branch office of the Centre shall perform the functions of the Centre that the Board may direct.
    While in clause 4, the Act has set out the functions, here, they are saying that it is to perform the functions of the Centre that the Board may direct. So, I presume that it is, the Board may direct a function that might not include what is in the Act or that may be more than what is in the Act.
    Dr Prempeh 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I wanted to address the Hon Minority Leader's view that the Board which has been given functions by the law cannot go and establish a centre outside the remit of the powers they have. This is not possible.
    Mr Richard Quashigah 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, what I would want to say is in sinc with what the Hon Member for Manhyia South, Dr Prempeh said. Clearly, I think that clause 12 (ii) is very clear. It says:
    “The branch officer of the Centre shall perform the functions . . .”
    And the functions have already been spelt out and if the functions have already been spelt out, there is no way the Board is going to define some other functions outside what has been spelt out in the Act.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    I tend to agree with you. I see that the Hon Member for Suhum, Mr Opare-Ansah and the Minister have reached a gentleman's agreement. Hon Chairman, do I understand that you have agreed to all that is going on?
    Alhaji Sorogho 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I understand perfectly what is going on. I had my own differences because I was thinking that (ii) was explicit enough. But it seems the Minority Leader has been able to bring out something and, being supported by others. But I was thinking that they can only perform the functions of the Centre and they derive it from this very Act and the functions of the Centre are defined. So, I did not know why we should have to add something again.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Chairman, I remember that I asked the Majority Leader once whether -- I think it was about taxation -- he not think that it was superfluous because the Companies' Act provided a similar thing. I think the answer the Majority Leader gave me seems to suggest that in law, sometimes we should not take things to be superfluous.
    If it does not spoil anything, let us take it on board. It is a repetition and in law the Constitution and the Acts tend to repeat themselves, just for the avoidance of doubt.
    Mr H. Iddrisu 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, clause 12 says “establish branch offices” and then it goes further to say: “The branch offices shall perform functions of the Centre” and the Hon Minority Leader is saying that there may be other ancillary functions which may lead to the attainment of the objective of this Bill. We are agreeable to that.
    Thank you.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    So, can somebody just quickly give us the rendition?
    I think the Hon Chairman has the right to quickly give us the rendition and the draftpersons will improve upon it. Should they combine the two?
    Hon Minority Leader, you are more than capable of quickly combining the two.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think, subject to the indulgence of the House, I just drew our attention to what has been captured under clause 4 (i) and I said the sense there should be replicated in clause 12 (2), whether by way of improvement or perhaps, having a clause 12 (3). So, we can go on from there.
    Mr Speaker, I am saying this because this morning, the Hon Majority Leader and I were witnesses to a narration given to us of an incident that happened at ECOWAS Community Parliament, where the Protocols provide that a member of that Parliament who loses an election shall be replaced by the sponsoring Parliament.

    Mr Speaker, so, for the avoidance of doubt, we must be very, very clear in our minds about what we are doing. That precisely is the suggesting that I am proffering.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, why I think the Hon Chairman is correct is, if for example, the draftpersons come out with a rendition which says that --
    “A branch office of the Centre shall perform the functions of the Centre that the Board may direct, and perform any other functions that are necessary for the attainment of the objects of this Act.”
    That is one rendition.
    If they say that:
    “The branch office of the Centre shall perform the functions of the Centre that the Board may direct, which shall include such functions as are necessary …”

    They are two different things. This is because the first one, the Centre can say that it is doing extra things because they are in line with the Act.

    I know you can do it. Maybe, today, you do not want to shine. You are always shining, Hon Minority Leader.

    So, that is the difficulty. If we can get a sense because just an “and” or something can change the whole correlation of the thing.
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Hon Member for Old Tafo, we want a rendition.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, before we go to the rendition, we have to be careful of what we are doing. Just adding, clause 4 (i) does not capture what we want to do, because clause 4 (i) is contained in clause 4. So, that was why he mentioned “the functions”, because clause 4 (i) includes “the functions”. But if one wants to avoid it, one can say: “as defined in clause 4”. Then it includes all of them.
    But his argument was “the functions” includes clause 4 (i). Why did he separate out the clause 4 (i) just to add to that? It is not neat. It is the entire clause 4 and subclause (i) is part of clause 4. So, why separate only subclause (i) into clause 12 (2)? But if you say, “the Supreme Court”, then you -- “as defined in clause 4”, then it includes subclauses (a), (b), (c) to (i).
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    If I say what?
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the face of the Supreme Court rulings and you want to be double sure -- I would say that if you do not want to accept his interpretation as “the functions”-- This is because “the functions” is clause 4 (a)
    through to clause (i). That is the English Language there; it cannot be otherwise. So, putting just clause 4 (i) does not cure the defect; it introduces more complications. So, that will not cure the thing that we are trying to cure. Either we leave it “the functions” or we just say: “”the functions as defined in clause 4.” That will be better than --
    Dr Kwabena Donkor 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe the rendition that will say “as defined by clause 4” will solve the problem. The branch is not different from the Centre. The branch is part and parcel of the Centre. Therefore, its remit cannot be outside that of the Centre. So, the rendition that brings in the whole of clause 4, for emphasis, will cure whatever it is.
    Prof. Gyan-Baffour 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am not clear what it is that the Hon Minority Leader wants us to put in here. If all the subclauses up to (i) are the functions of the Centre, what else do we need to add? In my view, I think we do not have to amend this clause.
    Alhaji Sorogho 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, especially, if you come to clause 4 (i), it is there. So, whatever that he wants captured -- “perform any other functions that are necessary for the attainment of the object of this Act”. It is part of clause 4. Let us just accept it the way it is; for once, Sir.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, the pendulum seems to be swinging but I know you will come back with a bang. I have seen you writing. But we have to, at a certain point, bring clause 4 to an end. So, I have just been going up and down while the Hon Minority Leader is penning down his rendition. Then he will give it to us and we will see whether we will take it.
    Mr H. Iddrisu 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe we can persuade the Hon Minority Leader not to do any harm to clause 12 as it is in the Bill. Indeed, even to establish the
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, are you convinced?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am convinced, but I am not persuaded. [Laughter.]
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    So, Hon Minority Leader, how can we persuade you?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:20 p.m.
    In particular, when the Hon Minister started off by -- [Interruption.]
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, I know heckling from whatever side does not worry you. I have seen that some of your backbenchers are trying to --
    Go on, Hon Minority Leader; I support you.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am not distracted at all.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Thank you.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:20 p.m.
    But when the Chair invites me with the question, “Hon Minority Leader, how can we persuade you?” Mr Speaker, it seems to me then that Mr Speaker is descending into the arena debate. -- [Laughter] -- But I would carefully leave the Speaker- ship out.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, can I amend my statement? [Laughter] -- Or I should say that was a slip of tongue because I was using the collective “we” metaphorically.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I appreciate that.
    The reason I would want to persuade my Hon Colleagues is, when we talk of “functions”, we really define them. You are to do A - Z. Now, paragraph (i) does not define any function. Subclause 4 (i) says anything that is ancillary; is not really a defined function. That is why I felt that the wisdom that informed this construction should be the same wisdom that should afflict clause 12.
    But the Hon Minister who is piloting it is insisting that, perhaps, we could do without it.
    Mr Speaker, my advice to him is that even though he is the shepherd now, ultimately, he may not be the person to be piloting this in Parliament. That is my humblest advice to the Hon Minister. But I agree.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, your advice confuses us. Or you do not want to expand on the advice?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:30 p.m.
    I do not want to expand on that, Mr Speaker. I believe the Hon Minister understands me perfectly.
    I think if he thinks that we can move on, let us move on, in which case, I will abandon the amendment.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    We thank you very much, Minority Leader.

    But Minority Leader and Majority Leader, I plead with you that when the most senior Member of the Ghana Bar in the House rises, I must recognise him.We have Hon W. O. Boafo, the most senior lawyer on his feet. If the most senior teacher rises, I will recognise him; if the most senior pharmacist rises, I will recognise him. I am told that Hon Napoleon Prempeh is the most senior doctor. That is why I recognise him as well.
    Dr Kunbuor 1:30 p.m.
    I would want to draw Mr Speaker's attention to the fact that because we record instantaneously, you should indicate which of your comments you would want to be off record. This is because I have listened to a number of some of the comments and particularly, where you said you would want to amend your statement.
    This will come in the official record, and since we do not know who will lay hands on it many years after us, I would want that the Table Office should take note and Mr Speaker, can except himself, normally, from some of the side kicks that we indulge in.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    What would I do without you, Hon Majority Leader? That should not also be recorded. Then what should I do without you, should also not be recorded, neither should be “the amendment” and I also direct that the “we” also should be excluded and the reference to the Ghana Bar Association as well. Indeed, I want to see this part of the proceedings before it comes out.
    Hon W. O. Boafo should direct which part should be included and which part should not.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Clause 13, and that is the last clause we will be considering today.
    Clause 13 -- Executive oversight.
    Alhaji Sorogho 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 13, subclause (1), line 2, delete “direct” and substitute with “designate” and before “function” delete “a” and substitute with “the”.
    Mr Speaker, the new rendition will read as follows 1:30 p.m.
    “The President has oversight responsibility for the Centre but may in writing designate the Minister to perform the functions in connection with that respon- sibility.”
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, last time when we were debating the principles, some issues were raised as to which or the possibility of a Ministry having oversight responsibility and then when I read the Papers, they said Haruna should leave them alone. It is rather unfortunate that the Paper will go that way because I do not think --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Hon Member, who is Haruna?
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am sorry. It is the Hon Minister for Trade and Industry and I thought they were very unfair to him because he was not the one who raised the issue.
    We want to still visit the matter before we go. I need to be persuaded whether or not it is the President who must.
    The President has oversight of all Ministries. But for immediate supervision, we believe that it is important that we designate a Ministry. This is because the President can call anybody anytime, as there is any Presidency.
    What I have observed in the past, and I know if it is true now, it could be or not be, is that the people have had difficulty trying to manage that Centre because “Oh, I went to the President, so, I am not available. . .” and I find that very uncomfortable.
    I do not want to recall all the situations where, sometimes even getting the signature of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and not my Hon Colleague here, was almost impossible. They had to be ordered by the Chief of Staff for them to come for us to move forward.
    If you would recall the issue with VODAFONE -- I think, you were the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice -- It should happen. That is why --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Hon Member, now, when I am in my lonely eminence, please, do not add me to the debate. So, do not refer to matters where I was in my previous world and also do not refer to matters that are in court.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I take your advice.
    Mr Speaker, but the point is that we have to think through this very carefully. Unless the Hon Minister pursuing this is telling us that this is what the President wants, then I do not have a difficulty. I think, for what I have seen, we need to revisit this matter and not personalise it. I think, initially, I thought there was an issue of personalisation, why some people wanted to avoid Ministers, but they are not even in Cabinet.
    If this is so important, who is going to represent issues in Cabinet? [An Hon Member: The Minister.] Which Minister? Then let us go directly and ask the President to advise us to appoint a Minister whether it is Finance or Trade, otherwise, they suffer.
    When it comes to the budget, they will designate a Minister to come, but the Minister does not come. We think that it is so important that we would want to do investment.
    In some nations, I think, in Singapore or one of those places, the Vice President was directly in charge. That is different. But he or she will be in Cabinet. So, I think we need to revisit this, unless the Hon Minister can convince me that this is how the President wants it.
    I think this House should look at this matter very closely and see whether or not we cannot -- Now that the Bill is here, it is our Bill, if we can be persuaded to change it -- I think we should look at it and not just let it go because if we miss it this time and we run into implementation problems, it will not help us. We will defeat the purpose of our Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) that we want to elevate to that level.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader, would you want to hear some of the other comments, or you want to intercede --
    Dr Kunbuor 1:30 p.m.
    No! It is a preliminary point but which has got something to do with what the Hon Member has said.
    Mr Speaker, we should be reading clause 13 in the light of article 58 (2) and (3) of the 1992 Constitution. There are a number of legal and constitutional consequences associated with the way it is rendered. For instance, if the President has Executive authority in the implementa- tion of every law and provision of this Constitution, and this will become a law of the country, to reduce that constitutional function to a statutory function in a legislation, is a serious constitutional matter.
    The consequence of that is that you can then be cited for ultra vires activity in relation to a statute.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Who can be cited?
    Some Hon Members 1:30 p.m.
    The President.
    Dr Kunbuor 1:30 p.m.
    If he has oversight responsibility in a legislation and the performance does not meet some of the provisions, it is ultra vires. So, if you take the entirety of the Executive authority, then you are going to be caught up in the situation in which you cannot proceed against the President but they say ultra vires acts based on bridges of law.
    So, it is short step into pushing the President into a lower level tier activity. This is why I have a difficulty with the way it is rendered. Let us be very sure, and that is what I wanted to be sure, whether Hon Members have appreciated the constitutional import of article 58 (2) and (3) of the 1992 Constitution in terms of the rich and span of the Executive authority that is vested in the President. Otherwise, by consciously isolating something and making it statutory, it has a number of consequences.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader, so you are suggesting that if we maintain it as it is, it limits the authority of the President or it is a contravention in favour of article 58 (2) and (3) of the Constitution? It is unconstitutional in itself. Is that what you are saying?
    Dr Kunbuor 1:40 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker, by implication. This is because if I am given general powers of Executive authority, and a statute which is lower than the Constitution seeks to circumscribe that as oversight, the Executive authority is more than oversight. So, why are you limiting the President's Executive authority in the article to oversight in relation to only this Act of Parliament? That is the issue here.
    Dr Prempeh 1:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in the last Parliament, we had a Bill coming from specifically, the Attorney-General's Department to this House, which was referred to the Committee on Constitu- tional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. It was specifically a matter to do with the Ghana AIDS Commission.
    This was sponsored by the Attorney- General and Minister for Justice, Dr Benjamin Kunbuor, which sought to put the Ghana AIDS Commission under the Office of the President. If it was not coming from the Hon Majority Leader, then it was brought by one of his predecessors. [Interruption.] Oversight of the Ghana AIDS Commission --
    Dr Kunbuor 1:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to indicate that he is mixing-up the two issues. There is a World Health Organisation (WHO) Protocol on AIDS Intervention and Ghana is a signatory, in fact, the leading signatory to that Protocol. This is, because of the peculiar nature of HIV, it was agreed in that Protocol that

    the highest level of government must be the one to chair the National AIDS Commission. That is the context in dealing with the AIDS Commission one. It is an international commitment.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
    But Hon Majority Leader, does the Protocol take precedence over the 1992 Constitution? Also, is it not the same reasoning? -- I am just playing the devil's advocate. Is it not the same reason that led us to this “problem” that we have, that foreign investment is so important that it should be under the Office of the President? I am not saying that that is the correct position, but I am saying that was not the thinking behind it?
    Dr Kunbuor 1:40 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker, there is a difference between putting an institution administratively under the Office of the President and giving the President a functional oversight over an institution, that perhaps, is located elsewhere; there is a distinction between the two. If you were to say that the entire investment architecture should come under the Office of the President and nothing more, we would have no problem with that.
    But what we are saying is that, it is certainly located outside the Presidency and they are asking the President to have oversight. The use of the word “over- sight” has a lot of implications. This is the context in which it is used.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
    Hon Member, what you are saying is, in effect, you are seeking to make the President a Minister in a way responsible -- That kind of administrative -- You are bringing him a step lower. Is that what you are saying?
    Dr Kunbuor 1:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in fact, he already has that power and more in the 1992 Constitution.
    Dr Prempeh 1:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want my Hon Leader to explain further. If bringing the President from a Constitution into law is worse, then making him a Chair of a body is even -- I do not even know the word to use -- and it has been accepted.
    But the Ghana AIDS Commission was not only chaired or -- I am sorry. It has never been chaired by the President. Former President Kufuor co-chaired with Prof. Sai, and under former President Mills, it was the Vice President who was chairing.
    But Mr Speaker, the Ghana AIDS Commission is physically, budget wise, under the Office of the President, just like what GIPC wants to do. So, it is not very different. In fact, if you put the two laws together -- I think it was referred to your Hon self as the Ranking Member to deal with those issues that I was talking about.
    So, let us, for once, decide for this country, and I believe so, that if it is a problem, we should not allow the President -- We are letting Presidents decide too much, as if Parliament is irrelevant.
    I do not believe that these sectors should go under the Presidency; I do not believe it. But in Africa -- Senegal, Rwanda, Singapore -- Almost all the countries-- their institutions such as GIPC, IPCs are under the Office of the President, for the very reason that you gave. I do not think we should do that in this country.
    But whether it should go to the Ministry of Trade and Industry or Ministry of Finance, is even a bigger dilemma, if we come to that.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader, do you want to --
    Dr Kunbuor 1:40 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker. I would want us to put --
    rose
    Dr Kunbuor 1:40 p.m.
    Sorry, Mr Speaker. I think the Hon Minority Leader is on his feet.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think we should give the whole of clause 13 a re-think. This is because even in clause 13 (2) -- What we are talking about now relates to clause 13 (1). But in my view, there is a contradiction in clause 13 (2). If we went back -- Of course, we have stood clause 5 down. We are talking about the provision of policy guidance to be done by the Board. Here, we are saying that it must be done by the Minister.
    So, can we look at clause 13 again and see what is best for that construction? This is because even when we get to clause 13 (2), assuming we are able to deal with clause 13 (1), if we get to clause 13 (2), there would still be a problem. So, can we stand that one down and think it through better before -- This is because whatever we do in clause 5, would certainly affect the provision in clause 13
    (2).
    In my candid opinion, I do not think it would worth our while to bring the President down. Mr Speaker, in fact, it is an octave lower to engage in this exercise.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
    Hon Members, I think that this is a very important part of the whole Bill. I think that very important issues, constitutional and otherwise, have been raised. I will call a few more Hon Members, so that we listen to their comments generally.
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
    You should not worry. I have seen those who want to contribute. I will recognise them.
    When I was the Deputy Attorney- General and Minister for Justice, Mr Speaker was recognising me even when I did not want to talk.
    Alhaji Sorogho 1:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, when lawyers get up and bring constitutional matters, it becomes a very difficult issue for some of us to come in. But the question is, what is the Act that we seek to amend? It says nothing about what we are trying to introduce now. The earlier Act, Act 478 does not even mention that at all.
    Mr Speaker, I know that this went to Cabinet, Cabinet sat on it and they brought it to us. It is now our baby. If you look at the amendments that the Committee is proposing, we tried as much as possible to resolve some of the issues. That is why we reduced it, to a definite article by using the word -- We are saying that instead of just allowing it the way it has been done, which is:
    “(13) (1) The President has oversight responsibility for the Centre but may in writing direct…”
    We are saying that he should designate a Minister to perform the function in connection with that responsibility.
    Mr Speaker, we have “the Minister” and we are defining “the Minister”. When you go to the Interpretation column, you will see what is meant by “the Minister”. [Interruption.] No! If it is not there, then we have to put it there. But I know that we have defined “the Minister”.
    Mr Speaker, the idea is that wherever you go, investment is something which is so important that most countries place it under the Presidency. Others place it under the Ministry of Trade and Industry
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, please, proceed.
    Alhaji Sorogho 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am only saying that the Report that was submitted by the Committee -- The Committee thinks that we cannot tie the President's hands. The President, in appointing the Minister, is guided by the fact that the Minister's failure is his failure, and that Minister is going to champion the policy directives of the President and so, that is the reason. We are saying that the President must be given the free will to appoint the Minister, then we can define “the Minister.”
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, you have raised two very interesting points that I just want to highlight, so that as we go forward --
    First of all, you said it was not part of the original Act Hon Chairman, when you go to article 106 (2) (a) of the Constitution, it explains to us how Memoranda should be drafted; it should tell us the defects and so on. So, when you said it was not in the first part, I quickly went to see whether the Memorandum will give us guidance.
    When you go to (iv), it is only two sentences. In fact, the Memorandum does not give us all these guides. It says that “Under clause 13, the President has oversight responsibility for the Centre but may delegate power” --
    It does not give us all this. So, it is good that we are holding this discussion.
    The second issue, that perhaps, I also want to say, and I hope it will not be interpreted as descending into the argument, is when investors come and they have to see the President, with respect, sometimes -- I will leave it there. I will not debate it.
    Several Hon Members -- rose --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    Hon Members, every Hon Member will speak. Do not worry. The former GIPC boss, if I do not recognise you, I will not get up from here.
    Hon Chairman, you want to say something?
    Alhaji Sorogho 1:50 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker, under the old Act, section 10, it is just one sentence -- “The Centre shall be responsible to the President”, and that was all.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader, does that sentence run into the constitutional problems that you pointed out to us? [Interruption]-- He says that the Centre shall be -- [Interruption.] What does it say, Hon Akoto Osei?
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it says the Centre shall be responsible to the President -- [Interruption.]
    Dr Kunbuor 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that provision clearly shows that it is under the Office of the President.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    And it does not raise any constitutional issues at all?
    Dr Kunbuor 1:50 p.m.
    No, no Mr Speaker. It does not raise that constitutional issue of oversight.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    So, it means that it satisfies article 58 of the Constitution? It also satisfies the seriousness that investors want to attach to --
    Dr Kunbuor 1:50 p.m.
    If you want to give the Investment Centre that level of profile, you put it under the Office of the President. The President operates through Ministers and he will then decide which Minister he will designate and all the others will fall in place. But if you give him specific oversight --
    Prof. Gyan-Baffour 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think we are all as a nation, concerned about the importance of investment, economic development and all those issues. Indeed, we always want to put these issues -- Investment and development -- Under the Office of the President, to give it that importance. But as somebody who has worked in an institution like that before, when you are put under the President, you are like an orphan; nobody cares for you.
    That is why it is very necessary that he designates somebody full time, to be in charge of such institutions. Indeed, having oversight responsibility does not actually place it under him as such. Just put him there, get somebody who will be directly incharge. I am getting a piece of
    advice from here that it should be maybe, “a Minister”. But for constitutional memory, and for continuity, it should be a specific Minister, and we have to define that Minister here.This is because -- otherwise a President comes in and says “the Finance Ministry”. This used to be under the Finance Ministry”.
    Another one comes in and says, it is now under Ministry of Trade and Industry. Another one comes in and says it is under this one. The memory, actually, is scattered.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    Hon Members, having regard to the state of business in the House, I direct that Sitting be held outside the prescribed period in accordance with Order 40 -- [Interruption]
    I have a clock here and I deal with my clock.
    Continue, please.
    Prof. Gyan-Baffour 1:50 p.m.
    So, Mr Speaker, I think we have to really think through this matter properly, whether the Minister will have to go back to the President and make things clear with him before he comes back for us to do with this, I think it will be in our interest.
    In other countries, the Chairman of this Centre is usually either the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, because of the importance. But now, if you say that, of course, this rendition here, we will have to put it aside -- Oversight responsibility of the President -- That one is a non starter.
    But we need to find a way to ensure that some Ministry, at least, is incharge and that it is not the question of a regime comes in and it goes to one Ministry and another regime comes in, then it goes to another Ministry.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    Hon Minister for Trade and Industry and Minister for Information and Media Relations, I will come to you. Between the two of you, who wants to go first? Minister for Information and Media Relations, after, you Hon J. B. Danquah. Do not worry, you will get your turn.
    Mr Mahama Ayariga 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that the object of the structure is to have an arrangement where the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre is under the Office of the President, that is, the Presidency. How we will couch it to achieve that objective is well known. For instance, I just took the Ghana AIDS Commission Act, and the Ghana AIDS Commission --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    Hon Member, were you here when Hon Prempeh was making his contribution?
    Mr Ayariga 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I just came in.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    You continue.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not know what my good Friend is talking about. He says the object of the Centre -- Mr Speaker, the objects of the Centre as captured in the Bill is defined here -- He said the object of the Centre, may be -- he meant the structure but we have finished with clause 2.
    He said the object of the Centre and the Hansard will capture it. So, I am wondering where he was reading from because we have already --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    He has corrected it. He said that he started with the object but ended with the structure; he is talking about the structure.
    Mr Ayariga 2 p.m.
    Precisely, I spoke about the structure because when I came in, I observed that --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Hon Minister for Information and Media Relations, continue. The Minister for Trade and Industry says he has yielded to you.
    Mr H. Iddrisu 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I, for good reason, restrainted myself from the debate on this particular clause. As Hon Dr Anthony Akoto Osei indicated earlier, that even long before this insightful debate, I have been accused elsewhere in the media of wanting to usurp the powers of the President.
    I can forgive the ignorance of a section of our Ghanaian media. Indeed, in the publication, it was stated that the Constitution creates GIPC. Nowhere in the 1992 Constitution is GIPC even mentioned.
    But in making laws, I note the fact that laws must stand the test of time and laws are not made to serve particular individuals or any individual including Ministers of State.
    I also note, in particular, that probably, I may not even live to see tomorrow morning. It will not be a surprise that God by His wisdom may decide to call me. So, I accept that I am fallible just as I accept that even as a Minister of State, I, probably, may not end this evening with that mandate.
    I drink from the fountain of the President and every Minister and every institution, as rightly pointed out by the Hon Majority Leader, is under the Executive Presidency. That is why we describe the Presidency as fountain of honour, everybody takes the water from that fountain.
    But Mr Speaker, I had the privilege in the previous Administration to sit, and I am particularly happy that Hon Aboagye is here -- I served on a Cabinet sub- committee which did a review of this GIPC legislation and I believe it was referred to the Security, Legal and Governance Committee, which then was chaired by the Majority Leader today at the time, with a different designation.
    Mr Speaker, what we were made to appreciate from Mr Aboagye and the representatives of GIPC was that, not just the importance of investment, but that the Office of the President was a good instrument for investment promotion. That is why they wanted it to be associated, that the Centre will be responsible to the Presidency.
    Mr Speaker, my understanding then was that even clause 13, as we have it today, was a compromise rendition between our side and the promoters of the Bill at that particular time. But even as you go further and I will just make two other referrals, and probably, make a suggestion on the way forward even though I concede that we will do some other consultations -- For instance, Mr Speaker, when you come to clause 41, it says, “Minister in consultation with the Board make regulations”.
    When you go to the reporting, particularly under -- clause 20, which is also constitutional, just to add it to what
    the Hon Majority Leader says -- The annual report of the Centre, accom-panied by its audited account, will have to come to this House by a Minister.
    So, Mr Speaker, even though I would request that you listen to the Hon Aboagye, and probably, we can defer this for me to do proper consultation. But it should be that the Centre can be responsible to the President, but a Minister must exercise oversight over the Centre. That should be what clause 13 should look at in order that we can have a more elegant position in going forward.
    When we say an agency is under the Presidency, or the President exercises oversight, apart from Parliament, and probably, the Judiciary organ, to every other Ministry, Department or Agency, it is the President who is responsible. So, I think that there is some difficulty with it and it is just because Mr Speaker, in Ghana, we tend to personalise institutions that somebody thinks that a particular legislation must serve a personal end or interest; far from it.
    This particular legislation of GIPC, anywhere in the world, even Nigeria, you now have a Minister but I do not want it to appear as I stated earlier, jokingly that GIPC must necessarily come under me; not at all. I am fallible, I may not live tomorrow, I may not be the Minister for Trade and Industry tomorrow, it may be any other person but institutions must be subjected to oversight by Ministers because tomorrow, we will have to come here and report with their audited accounts and their performance over the years.
    I am sure when we have time, for instance, when we came to the debate on 5 even though I concede that it has been stepped down, the argument then was that if it was going to be under the Presidency, that probably was informing why you wanted a Minister or Deputy Minister to sit on the Board.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    I would take Hon J. B. Danquah, Hon Aboagye, Hon Opare-Ansah, then either the Majority Leader or if he would yield to Hon Ayariga. This is because Hon Ayariga has come once already. I wanted to take the Deputy Attorney-General but after the Honourable and then also the Constitutional and Legal Ranking Member, I would take you as well.

    Hon Kofi Frimpong, should I recognise you as well? I know you are an investor.

    Hon J. B. Danquah.
    Mr J. B. Danquah 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you so much.
    Mr Speaker, listening to the arguments and the debate, it is insightful to note that yes we want the Centre to sit under the Presidency and yet still, have a Minister to oversee its activities. Mr Speaker, we do not want to have this issue of turf battles and wars. Mr Speaker, all along, under the previous regime, it says the Presidency shall be responsible for the Centre, simpliciter.
    As to its operations and its activities, whether to bring a report, whether to have somebody decide something, if it is not being done properly, then we should hold that President or person who is responsible for the Centre accountable. If we are going to create a confusion as you see today, that somebody is going to
    be responsible but somebody is going to oversee the activities, you are going to have a serious issue of conflict. This is because the person who sits as a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Between the President and his Minister?
    Mr Danquah 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the operations of the Centre where you have a Chief Executive Officer who reports to the Chief of Staff or to a Minister or to who? Please, the practical operation of the activities today as we have them, what is creating the problem should not be a reason you want to say that, oh, we or designated Minister or a particular Minister to be responsible for the activities.
    Mr Speaker, if I do recall, when I was the Chair for the Trade, Industry and Tourism Committee, when we had the issue about Movenpick Ambassador Hotel, it took so many years, we could not have investment coming in and it was treated as a special investment; it took the President of the State to get it through.
    Investors like to see that there is a number one authority when it comes to investment and that is why when you go to Rwanda today, Paul Kagame is the President of the Investment Centre. The reason is very simple: You want the direct responsibility, and everybody wants certainty. Nobody wants to flip flop between A or B and they do not know where the authority sits.
    If we want to put authority under a Ministry, let us say we want to put the authority under a Ministry; if you want to put responsibility and authority under the Presidency, do not go between and have a situation where you flip flop between the two authorities.
    With these few words, I support that the Centre must remain under the responsibility of the Presidency.
    Mr George K. Aboagye 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much for this opportunity to support the Minister for Trade and Industry's position.
    He has revealed some of the background information or activities that led to this clause being what it is today. I am not privy to others and I do not want to go into matters that relate to the Executive, Presidency and Cabinet at the time. What this allows me to do is to inform that the Act that this Bill intends to review has in clause 10 a simple statement that the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre will be responsible to the President and that is it.
    Now, we had a situation where for purposes of supervision, we needed to relate to a Ministry or a Minister and that is how come clause 13 was couched this way. Clause 13 is a question of drafting; they could have retained and we actually insisted that the drafters retained that the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre will be responsible to the President. However, the issue of oversight and a designated Minister and all those things were brought in.
    My personal experience tells me that yes, we need to have the highest possible promotional gimmick, if I would put it that way, to attract investment. If that means that we would use the Office of the President to get investors convinced that should they come to this country and have some bad experiences or whatever, the highest authority in the country will be ready to stand by them. It gives them comfort and also these days, we are seeing that the kind of investments that we are attracting are not mere ten million, five million investments.
    In fact, we have a unit at the Ministry of Finance, the PPP Unit, which deals with investments above fifty million and whatever is decided there, finally ends up at the Presidency. This unit has on it, the Investment Centre, National Planning, Ministry of Trade, all the parties we are mentioning here are critical, are really represented on that unit.

    Prof Gyan-Baffuour — rose —
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    Do you have a point of order?
    Prof. Gyan-Baffour 2:10 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker, my brother inadvertently used a word and I think it should be expunged. The word “gimmick” should be taken off the record because I do not think that was what he intended to say, maybe, use another word and let us expunge that.
    Mr G. K. Aboagye 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would take the advice. Thank you very much -- but it is a promotional tool. [Laughter.] It is a promotional tool.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    It is a term of art.
    Mr G. K. Aboagye 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is a kind of thing that when you are warming up to the investor, you say, I have the President with me so as to make them feel comfortable to come in. It is not a gimmick, it is a fact, it is a promotional tool we use -- [Interruption]
    Mr Kofi Frimpong 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to come to the aid of my good Friend George --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    Your good Friend Hon Aboagye.
    Mr Frimpong 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, Hon Aboagye, I am using the first name, that is why. All right. Hon George Kwame Aboagye.
    In fact, seriously speaking, operationally, “gimmick” as used here, is not offensive because according to the dictionary —
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    What dictionary, please?
    Mr Frimpong 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, Oxford Dictionary. “Gimmick” as defined here means a trick [Laughter] or a tool, or a device used to attract attention; so, we can ignore the trick and go with the device or the tool that is used to attract attention. I believe Hon Aboagye would want us to know that it is a device that is used to attract investors'attention. So, as he is saying, it is a tool in GIPC terms to attract investors. So, I do not think he should expunge it.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    Thank you, Hon Kofi Frimpong. I do not think Hon Aboagye will disagree with you.
    Mr G. K. Aboagye 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, no, I do not disagree with him and I do not also necessarily disagree with my senior former Ministry of Trade compatriot.
    Mr Speaker, I woud want to end by saying that as was put by Prof. Gyan- Baffour, being under the Office of the President can be a lonely place, meaning that in his case, I can say that maybe, he had problems with budget, especially when you have a problem with budget, who is the Minister who is going to fight for you?
    Dr A. A. Osei 2:20 p.m.
    On a point of order.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to remind my good Friend that GIPC does not manage exemptions, lest, people take his statement in a wrong way. They do not manage exemptions, so, please -- The object is clear but when you go into those areas, you may create problems for GIPC. So, I would want to advise.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Thank you.
    Mr G. K. Aboagye 2:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, exemp- tions have been configured under the Act and for that matter, how you set them into operation is also very important.
    Dr A. A. Osei 2:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, Parliament is the only one that is vested with the authority to deal with tax exemptions. Parliament, not any other authority, not even the Executive. Please!
    Mr Aboagye 2:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in that context, I agree with the Hon Member for Old Tafo.
    Mr Speaker, at this stage, for a Minister to be designated, to hve an oversight responsibility, I think it is in order.
    The President must therefore, continue to be responsible for GIPC and that is the conclusion that I have.
    So a Minister to be designated, which- ever way you look at it, I think it is in order, it would help to support the investment promotion effort.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader?
    Dr Kunbuor 2:20 p.m.
    Yes, I did hear Mr Speaker's ruling on this matter and then the timing but knowing the traditions of this House, when there is going to be an extended Sitting, adequate provisions are made. I have been advised that no provision whatsoever has been made for an extended Sitting.
    So, I would want to draw Mr Speaker's attention to this matter and more significantly because this particular clause would need further consultation, which the Minister has undertaken, if Mr Speaker could stand this matter down and then we would address other conse- quential matters.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Thank you very much, Majority Leader. But I made a previous promise; you should have intervened a second ago. So, I would give Hon Opare-Ansah five minutes to just make his contribution, also bearing in mind the fact that as the Majority Leader said, we have agreed to defer this matter. We are only discussing it, so that when it is deferred, the Committee would take all these discussions into account and there- after, we would be directed as to the consequential matters by the Majority Leader.
    Mr Frederick Opare-Ansah 2:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, my intervention is very short and straightforward.
    I get a sense from the House that we have almost reached the point where we can actually take a decision. It is clear that we all agree if we use the word “oversight” it seems to create some confusion as to the limitation of the powers or the authority of the President under the Constitution. And the original Act has been in operation using the words “GIPC shall be responsible to the President.”
    So, I think clause 13 can have three parts. The first one simpliciter repeats that previous provision that “GIPC shall be responsible to the President.”
    Then a second clause which really is the President exercising his options under article 58 may designate a Minister for the purposes of having oversight responsi- bility of the Centre. Then the third one which is currently the number two, and I think that should solve the problem; it takes care of all of it. The only thing is that, indeed, the other issue about whether that Minister should be the Minister for Trade and Industry or not, I think is neither here nor there.
    Really, Mr Speaker, it would depend on the types and the Minister for Trade and Industry himself said that this law should stand the test of time.
    The Minister for Trade and Industry is just the Minister for Trade and Industry. Why should we assume by any stretch of imagination that investment is going to be in trade and industry? The country can get to a point where our investment focus is in tourism, telecommunications, roads and highways, building and construction. When then would be the relevance of the Minister for Trade and Industry?
    And that President may well decide that he prefers to have the Minister responsible for Finance or Communica- tions to be the one in charge of representing him on the promotions centre. So, I think we should leave that option to the President to decide who he wants to designate to be in charge of that particular Centre.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Acting Minority Leader and then the Majority Leader -- and Majority Leader, you can then mention your consequential matters.
    Mr Boafo 2:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was on my feet to indicate that the contention about the fact that we cannot designate one Minister, is misleading because that Minister can co-ordinate, whether tourism or any other department.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    I think now he is the Acting Minority Leader, so we should give him that privilege. He is leading the Minority now.
    Mr Boafo 2:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, as a temporary leader -- [Laughter] -- Mr Speaker, it appears that while we think of decentra- lising the functions of the government to the regions, we continue to load rather the Presidency. This is something which should attract our attention.
    Secondly, my Colleague, the Hon Dr Akoto Osei, indicated that there is the certainty for investors. So, at least, if the investors get to know that a particular Ministry named in the Bill is in charge of the Centre, that would help.
    rose rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Otherwise, we would never end. So, I plead with you that the temporary Minority Leader is making his point; when he finishes, all others who have other views should share them with the Committee, tomorrow, we would come back and discuss them, otherwise, we may not leave.
    Temporary Minority Leader, you mentioned his name, you want to remove his name, so that we can continue?
    Mr Boafo 2:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have removed his name -- [Laughter.]
    Mr Speaker, the other issue is that, a certain Ministry like the Ministry of Trade and Industry has trained people to know the nitty gritty aspects of investment. If we go to the Office of the President and we nominate a Minister, where is the staff? Are we going to spend money to train another batch of staff to help in the promotion of investment? Mr Speaker, it is more cost effective if we designate the Minister for Trade and Industry to handle the Centre.
    Dr Kunbuor 2:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have listened to both sides of the discussion and I think that given the time that we have spent and the fact that no arrangements have been made for an extended Sitting, I would respectfully like to move that the House be adjourned to the 26th -- [Interruption]
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader, it is after 2.00 o'clock and under Order 40 (3), the adjournment is by the Speaker.
    Dr Kunbuor 2:20 p.m.
    Oh, did Mr Speaker take over the House for extended Sitting?
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Yes, I did that. So, I thought that I would bring consideration to an end. I have taken over under Order 40 (3).
    This brings us to the end of the Consideration Stage of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Bill, 2013 for today.
    Hon Majority Leader?
    Dr Kunbuor 2:20 p.m.
    Yes, thank you, Mr Speaker. After having observed that the Mace is standing upright and that we have spent quite some time with -- [Pause] -- I would leave that to Mr Speaker -- [Laughter.]
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Hon Members, after this very interesting discussion on the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Bill, 2013, I urge that all those who made various contributions share the contributions with the Chairman of the Committee.
    I hereby also order that the House be adjourned till tomorrow at 10.00 o'clock in the forenoon.

    There would be winnowing in the Majority Leader's Office. I trust that Hon Dr Akoto Osei, Hon Frederick Opare- Ansah, Hon J. B. Danquah and the others who contributed would join the winnow- ing. I would be there myself.

    Thank you very much.
    ADJOURNMENT 2:20 p.m.

  • The House was adjourned at 2.29 p.m. till 26th June, 2013 at 10.00 a.m.