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.