Debates of 16 Jul 2013

MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
PRAYERS 11:05 a.m.

VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT 11:05 a.m.

  • [No correction was made to the Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 12th July, [2013.]
  • [No correction was made to the Official Report of Wednesday, 10th July, 2013.]
  • Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:05 a.m.
    Hon Members, we have one Statement. If time permits, there will be a second one. But in the meantime, we have this one by Hon Ameen Salifu, Member of Parliament (MP) for Wa East on the high rent charges and its impact on the ordinary man.
    STATEMENTS 11:05 a.m.

    Mr Ameen Salifu (NDC -- Wa East) 11:05 a.m.
    I am grateful to Mr Speaker for the opportunity to make a Statement on the incidence of high rent charges and its impact on the ordinary man.
    My Statement also seeks to address ways that the huge housing deficit be- devilling the nation can be reduced to the barest minimum.
    Mr Speaker, it is an indisputable fact that apart from food and clothing, shelter constitutes one of the most important human need. It is also true that without proper shelter, there will be insecurity and instability in our neighbourhoods,
    Mr Ameen Salifu (NDC -- Wa East) 11:05 a.m.
    I am grateful to Mr Speaker for the opportunity to make a Statement on the incidence of high rent charges and its impact on the ordinary man.
    My Statement also seeks to address ways that the huge housing deficit bedevilling the nation can be reduced to the barest minimum.
    Mr Speaker, it is an indisputable fact that apart from food and clothing, shelter constitutes one of the most important human need. It is also true that without
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:15 a.m.
    Hon Mem-
    bers, the floor is open for contributions.
    Mr David T. Assumeng (NDC--
    Shai-Osudoku): Mr Speaker, may I thank the you for the Statement.
    I know that housing is key to human sustenance and so, if an issue of housing is raised, it must be the concern of all of us to fashion a way out of getting affordable housing for our people in this country.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to assure my
    Hon Colleague that the allegation he raised against the Rent Control Department would be taken up by the Committee for Works and Housing, which I Chair, for us to ascertain the truth in the allegation. Nonetheless, I am aware that the Rent Control Department needs some kind of assistance to improve upon their perfor- mance. So, we would want to meet with them, find out their challenges and see how best we can help address the problems relating to rent control.
    Mr Speaker, we must fashion out a bi-partisan approach to the issue of getting housing in this country. This is because you and I know that anytime the issue

    of housing is raised, it generates a lot of tension and comments. You would recall that when the issue of the STX came onto this floor, it never had the support that it needed. All of us know that housing is key and so, we must come out with a bi-partisan approach of getting adequate and affordable housing for the people of this country. This is because housing or shelter is key to the sustenance of the people of this country.

    So, I believe that this Statement must be

    given the necessary attention. I am aware that the Ministry of Works and Housing has come out with some measures to help address the housing deficit. The issue of tax relief to the housing fraternity is an issue worth noting and we would have to take a closer look at it to encourage them to put up a lot more houses for our people.

    It is also very important that local

    materials are used. Recently, the issue of Pozolana has also come to the fore, and I believe that we must encourage people in the housing industry to use a lot more of this material to put up enough houses for our people. And so, it is very important that we look at the local materials that we have and put them into use, so that at the end of the day, we can get a lot more houses for our people.

    Mr Speaker, if you travel to some coun-

    tries, you would see huge estates that are put up and it is something that we can do in this country as well. I am at a loss why we cannot do that. A lot more countries are putting up many affordable houses for their people because housing is key. So, let us also come up with a programme to put up a lot more affordable houses for our people in this country. We have the land, we have the materials, and so, we can mobilise the resources to engage in this venture. I believe that we have to encourage those in the building industry to speed up and increase their production as far as housing is concerned.

    So, I would want to congratulate him

    and I believe that the House would give a bi-partisan approach to the issue of housing in this country, so that our peo- ple would enjoy quality and affordable housing for them to also enjoy their living.

    I thank you, Mr Speaker, for the op-

    portunity.
    Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh (NPP -- Nsawam-Adoagyiri) 11:25 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the unique opportunity.
    Mr Speaker, I wish to start by corrab-
    orating with many of the things that the Hon Member has touched on. Indeed, Ghana faces a huge housing deficit and it is a very refreshing Statement on which I would want to make a passionate appeal to the entire House, that just as the Hon Member (Hon David Assumeng) who just spoke said, a bipartisan approach is what is needed here and I doff my cap to him.
    Mr Speaker, we do not need to re-invent the wheel; the solution is obvious. I would want to quickly suggest to the present Government that we have the Afforda- ble Housing Project, which is left in the bush -- abandoned completely --[Hear! Hear!] I can only appeal that Government would have to revert its mind to the hous- ing deficit problem that is confronting this country. And it is important we simplify the matter and not start talking about “big theories”.-- [Interruption.]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:15 a.m.
    Hon Members, the floor is open for contributions.
    rose
    Mr David T. Assumeng (NDC-- Shai- Osudoku) 11:15 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, may I thank the you for the Statement.
    I know that housing is key to human sustenance and so, if an issue of housing is raised, it must be the concern of all of us to fashion a way out of getting affordable housing for our people in this country.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to assure my Hon Colleague that the allegation he raised against the Rent Control Department would be taken up by the Committee for Works and Housing, which I Chair, for us to ascertain the truth in the allegation. Nonetheless, I am aware that the Rent Control Department needs some kind of assistance to improve upon their performance. So, we would want to meet with them, find out their challenges and see how best we can help address the problems relating to rent control.

    Mr Speaker, we must fashion out a bi- partisan approach to the issue of getting housing in this country. This is because you and I know that anytime the issue of housing is raised, it generates a lot of tension and comments. You would recall that when the issue of the STX came onto this floor, it never had the support that it needed. All of us know that housing is key and so, we must come out with a bi- partisan approach of getting adequate and affordable housing for the people of this country. This is because housing or shelter is key to the sustenance of the people of this country.

    So, I believe that this Statement must be given the necessary attention. I am aware that the Ministry of Works and Housing has come out with some measures to help address the housing deficit. The issue of tax relief to the housing fraternity is an issue worth noting and we would have to take a closer look at it to encourage them to put up a lot more houses for our people.

    It is also very important that local materials are used. Recently, the issue of Pozolana has also come to the fore, and I believe that we must encourage people in the housing industry to use a lot more of this material to put up enough houses for our people. And so, it is very important that we look at the local materials that we have and put them into use, so that at the end of the day, we can get a lot more houses for our people.

    Mr Speaker, if you travel to some countries, you would see huge estates that are put up and it is something that we can do in this country as well. I am at a loss why we cannot do that. A lot more countries are putting up many affordable houses for their people because housing is key. So, let us also come up with a programme to put up a lot more affordable houses for our people in this country. We

    have the land, we have the materials, and so, we can mobilise the resources to engage in this venture. I believe that we have to encourage those in the building industry to speed up and increase their production as far as housing is concerned.

    So, I would want to congratulate him and I believe that the House would give a bi-partisan approach to the issue of housing in this country, so that our people would enjoy quality and affordable housing for them to also enjoy their living.

    I thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity.
    Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh (NPP -- Nsawam-Adoagyiri) 11:25 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the unique opportunity.
    Mr Speaker, I wish to start by corraborating with many of the things that the Hon Member has touched on. Indeed, Ghana faces a huge housing deficit and it is a very refreshing Statement on which I would want to make a passionate appeal to the entire House, that just as the Hon Member (Hon David Assumeng) who just spoke said, a bipartisan approach is what is needed here and I doff my cap to him.
    Mr Speaker, we do not need to re-invent the wheel; the solution is obvious. I would want to quickly suggest to the present Government that we have the Affordable Housing Project, which is left in the bush -- abandoned completely -- [Hear! Hear!] I can only appeal that Government would have to revert its mind to the housing deficit problem that is confronting this country. And it is important we simplify the matter and not start talking about “big theories”.-- [Interruption.]
    Mr Annoh-Dompreh 11:25 a.m.
    The Affordable Housing Project started by the previous Government; this Government should show commitment to resolving the housing deficit by making sure that these affordable houses --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Yes, Hon
    Member, is it on a point of order?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Member, is it on a point of order?
    Mr M. M. Ibrahim 11:25 a.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker -- [Interruption]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Order! Order!
    Mr M. M. Ibrahim 11:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, “all die be die”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Order! Let us hear him.
    Mr M. M. Ibrahim 11:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Statement is not meant to provoke debate. He has a responsibility as an Hon Member to support the Statement. But if he is pro- voking debate, then it would degenerate. And I do not think that it augurs well for sanity to prevail -- [Interruption.]
    rose
    Mr M. M. Ibrahim 11:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Statement is not meant to provoke debate. He has a responsibility as an Hon Member to support the Statement. But if he is provoking debate, then it would degenerate. And I do not think that it augurs well for sanity to prevail -- [Interruption.]
    Mr M. M. Ibrahim 11:25 a.m.
    “All die be die.” Hey, sit down! Sit down! [Uproar.]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Hon Members, can we have some order -- [In- terruption] -- Can we have some order, please? Please, let us have some order -- [Uproar] -- Order! Order! Can we have some order, please?
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader --
    Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:25 a.m.
    Mr
    Speaker, let me appeal -- [Interruption] -- Let me appeal to Hon Colleagues to exercise some restraint in this matter -- [Interruption.]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Hon Members, can we have some order -- [Interruption] -- Can we have some order, please? Please, let us have some order - - [Uproar] -- Order! Order! Can we have some order, please?
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader --
    Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, let me appeal -- [Interruption] -- Let me appeal to Hon Colleagues to exercise some restraint in this matter -- [Interruption.]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Can we listen to the Hon Minority Leader? The noise is too much, please.
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader --
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:25 a.m.
    Mr Speak- er, as I said, I guess we need to exercise some restraint in such matters. It is the Speaker who admits Statements and he should be guiding all of us in the trans- action of Business in the House. So, at the end of it all, ensuring discipline lies in the bosom of Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker, but by our rules, we are not to use offensive and intemperate language in this House and that is why I felt that my Hon Colleague, the Hon Deputy Minister for Information and Media Relations ought not to have used the words that he used and he kept repeating --[Interrup- tion] -- Mr Speaker, so I would appeal to the Hon Colleague that we do not need to raise the temperature of this House unnecessarily.
    The Statement that was made by our Hon Colleague is really thought-provok- ing; let us analyse the Statement and make proposals the best way forward for us as a nation.
    Yes, the deficit in the housing stock is what has occasioned the high rents in the system. How do we attack it? How do we resolve the problem?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Order, or- der! [Interruption.] Order, please. We do not want to get this place unduly charged.
    W h i l e t h e H o n M e m b e r f o r Nsawam-Adoagyiri, who had the floor veered into debate, in the same breath, I do not think that the Hon Deputy Minister, by using --
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, as I said, I guess we need to exercise some restraint in such matters. It is the Speaker who admits Statements and he should be guiding all of us in the transaction of Business in the House. So, at the end of it all, ensuring discipline lies in the bosom of Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker, but by our rules, we are not to use offensive and intemperate language in this House and that is why I felt that my Hon Colleague, the Hon Deputy Minister for Information and Media Relations ought not to have used the words that he used and he kept repeating --[Interruption] -- Mr Speaker, so I would appeal to the Hon Colleague that we do not need to raise the temperature of this House unnecessarily.
    The Statement that was made by our Hon Colleague is really thought- provoking; let us analyse the Statement and make proposals the best way forward for us as a nation.
    Yes, the deficit in the housing stock is what has occasioned the high rents in the system. How do we attack it? How do we resolve the problem?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Order, order! [Interruption.] Order, please. We do not want to get this place unduly charged.
    While the Hon Member for Nsawam- Adoagyiri, who had the floor veered into debate, in the same breath, I do not think that the Hon Deputy Minister, by using
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Please, the Hon Deputy Minister rose up on a point of order to help us put that Hon Member on line. But he also veered off and used the expression “all die be die” -- [Interrup- tion] -- I do not think --[Interruption] -- Please, Hon Members, I do not think it is appropriate for us to use that kind of language on the floor of this House.
    So, I would first of all, plead with the Hon Member for Nsawam-Adoagyiri to stay on line and not veer off debates. At the same time, I would ask the Hon Deputy Minister to also withdraw the expression “all die be die” so that we can make some progress.
    -- 11:25 a.m.

    Mr M. M. Ibrahim 11:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I guess that I was demanded to withdraw a statement I made -- [Interruption] -- I made several statements, so, it is expect- ed --[Interruption]-- Please, Mr Speaker, one of the reasons -- Per the rules gov- erning our conduct in this House, even if an Hon Member wants to take me on on a point of order, he must decently catch the eye of Mr Speaker. If Hon Members think that they can sit in the comfort of their seats and shout, I do not think that augurs well for this House.
    So, I would want to know the state- ments I made --[Interruption] -- In fact, I have no problem withdrawing any state- ments I make in this House that affect the sensibility of anybody. But I really do not think that “all die be die” is the preserve of any Hon Member of this House.
    Some Hon Members 11:25 a.m.
    Shame! Shame!
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Please, the Hon Deputy Minister rose up on a point of order to help us put that Hon Member on line. But he also veered off and used the expression “all die be die” -- [Interruption] -- I do not think -- [Interruption] -- Please, Hon Members, I do not think it is appropriate for us to use that kind of language on the floor of this House.
    So, I would first of all, plead with the Hon Member for Nsawam-Adoagyiri to stay on line and not veer off debates. At the same time, I would ask the Hon Deputy Minister to also withdraw the expression “all die be die” so that we can make some progress.
    Mr M. M. Ibrahim 11:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I guess that I was demanded to withdraw a statement I made -- [Interruption] -- I made several statements, so, it is expected --[Interruption]-- Please, Mr Speaker, one of the reasons -- Per the rules governing our conduct in this House, even if an Hon Member wants to take me on on a point of order, he must decently catch the eye of Mr Speaker. If Hon Members think that they can sit in the comfort of their seats and shout, I do not think that augurs well for this House.
    So, I would want to know the statements I made --[Interruption] -- In fact, I have no problem withdrawing any statements I make in this House that affect the sensibility of anybody. But I really do not think that “all die be die” is the preserve of any Hon Member of this House.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Order! Order!
    Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader --
    Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 11:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Statement that has been made on the floor is on high rent charges. An Hon Member
    has said that we should take a bipartisan approach in discussing the Statement. Mr Speaker, I will agree to a large extent that we need to move on, so that the work of the House can progress.

    Mr Speaker, we would want the House to move on and words that can inflame passions in the House, should not be used. It is on that ground that I will urge that he should withdraw the words. I have been told that he has already withdrawn -- [Interruption] -- I will appeal to my Hon Colleagues that we should make progress.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:25 a.m.
    Mr Speak- er, as the Hon Deputy Majority Leader has indicated, I think some withdrawal has been made, except that the withdrawal is conditional. He says that “if they are hurt”.
    Mr Speaker, you were unambiguous when you made the request. It was without any equivocation that our Hon Colleague should withdraw these words. Now, he prefers to go on the path of conditionality. That would be unacceptable to the House. So, if he would accede to the request, the directive that you gave, I guess we can make progress.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
    Yes, Hon
    Member, can you withdraw uncon- di- tionally, so that we make some progress?
    Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 11:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Statement that has been made on the floor is on high rent charges. An Hon Member has said that we should take a bipartisan approach in discussing the Statement. Mr Speaker, I will agree to a large extent that we need to move on, so that the work of the House can progress.

    Mr Speaker, we would want the House to move on and words that can inflame passions in the House, should not be used. It is on that ground that I will urge that he should withdraw the words. I have been told that he has already withdrawn -- [Interruption] -- I will appeal to my Hon Colleagues that we should make progress.
    Mr M. M. Ibrahim 11:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, if the
    use of the word “if” is the problem, then
    I withdraw the statement. I withdraw the “all-die-be-die” statement.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, as the Hon Deputy Majority Leader has indicated, I think some withdrawal has been made, except that the withdrawal is conditional. He says that “if they are hurt”.
    Mr Speaker, you were unambiguous when you made the request. It was without any equivocation that our Hon Colleague
    should withdraw these words. Now, he prefers to go on the path of conditionality. That would be unacceptable to the House. So, if he would accede to the request, the directive that you gave, I guess we can make progress.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Member, can you withdraw uncon- ditionally, so that we make some progress?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
    Thank you
    very much.
    Hon Member, continue with your
    contribution.
    Mr M. M. Ibrahim 11:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, if the use of the word “if” is the problem, then I withdraw the statement. I withdraw the “all-die-be-die” statement.
    Mr Annoh-Dompreh 11:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker,
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Hon Member, continue with your contribution.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
    Order!
    Order!
    Hon Member, just please, concentrate
    on your contribution and avoid any advice you would want to give to any Hon Mem- ber of this House.
    Mr Annoh-Dompreh 11:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, with the greatest respect to your high office, some advice to my Hon Colleague -- [Uproar.]
    Mr Annoh-Dompreh 11:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker,
    in moving ahead, I think it is important for all of us to realise that the issues con- cerning housing deficit are interrelated. Mr Speaker, as a matter of fact, I have not veered off. The Hon Member who made the Statement mentioned specifically --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
    Order! Order!
    Hon Member, just please, concentrate on your contribution and avoid any advice you would want to give to any Hon Member of this House.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
    Hon
    Member, are you going to concentrate on your contribution? Otherwise, I would be compelled to stop you. Just make your submission and let us move forward.
    Mr Annoh-Dompreh 11:35 a.m.
    The Hon Mem-
    ber mentioned specifically that, as a coun- try, we are facing a housing deficit. It is only fair for me to say that the previous projects that were started, the Government reverts it mind and continues with those projects. If I said this, I am not out of order. It is important we recognise this.
    Mr Speaker --
    Mr Annoh-Dompreh 11:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, in moving ahead, I think it is important for all of us to realise that the issues concerning housing deficit are interrelated. Mr Speaker, as a matter of fact, I have not veered off. The Hon Member who made the Statement mentioned specifically --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
    Hon Member, are you going to concentrate on your contribution? Otherwise, I would be compelled to stop you. Just make your submission and let us move forward.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
    Hon Mem-
    ber, you are making the work very difficult for me. I have told you to concentrate on the way forward and avoid anything that will generate unnecessary debate.
    Mr Annoh-Dompreh 11:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the
    Mr Annoh-Dompreh 11:35 a.m.
    The Hon Member mentioned specifically that, as a country, we are facing a housing deficit. It is only fair for me to say that the previous projects that were started, the Government reverts it mind and continues with those projects. If I said this, I am not out of order. It is important we recognise this.
    Mr Speaker --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
    Hon Member, you are making the work very difficult for me. I have told you to concentrate on the way forward and avoid anything that will generate unnecessary debate.
    Mr Agbesi 11:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, you have earlier given us directions in this House. I would want to appeal to my Hon Col- league again, that the Statement on high rates about rent is not in reference to this Government. It is a Statement that has reference to governments over the years.
    So, my Hon Colleague should be very careful in referring the fact to this Gov- ernment or that Government because it may create a problem and it may generate debate. So, it is a Statement on high rent. That is all.
    Mr Annoh-Dompreh 11:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Member mentioned the usage of local materials. I think it is a very refreshing point he made. We have lots and lots of clinker reserves in the Eastern Region, for instance, Adoagyiri inclusive and of which the Government of the day has to show commitment and make good use of these local reserves of clinker in Ghana - - [Hear! Hear!]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
    Hon Mem-
    ber for Nsawam-Adoagyiri, continue with your presentation.
    Mr Annoh-Dompreh 11:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker,
    I would just try and summarise the high points of my contribution.
    Mr Agbesi 11:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, you have earlier given us directions in this House. I would want to appeal to my Hon Colleague again, that the Statement on high rates about rent is not in reference to this Government. It is a Statement that has reference to governments over the years.
    So, my Hon Colleague should be very careful in referring the fact to this Government or that Government because it may create a problem and it may generate debate. So, it is a Statement on high rent. That is all.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
    Hon Mem-
    ber, I have already directed that you should not veer into the area of debate. I would want you to withdraw the last statement you made.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
    Hon Member for Nsawam-Adoagyiri, continue with your presentation.
    Mr Annoh-Dompreh 11:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker,
    I withdraw that aspect of “NDC Gov- ern-ment” but the Government has to show
    Mr Annoh-Dompreh 11:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would just try and summarise the high points of my contribution.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
    Hon Member, I have already directed that you should not veer into the area of debate. I would want you to withdraw the last statement you made.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
    Hon Mem-
    ber, your time is up.
    Mr Edward Kaale-Ewola Dery (NDC

    I can say that the Statement is signifi-

    cant on three dimensions -- high charges on rentals, housing deficiency and rent control laws -- particularly to the ordinary man in the street. I think that is where the basis of this Statement is and we should stick to the issue.

    Mr Speaker, let us go straight to the
    Mr Annoh-Dompreh 11:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I withdraw that aspect of “NDC Govern- ment” but the Government has to show commitment towards housing -- [Hear! Hear!]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
    Order!
    Order!
    Mr Dery 11:35 a.m.
    The Statement is exactly
    on rent. Let us talk about the unregulated -- and the laws that should be used to regulate that. Please, let us focus on that.
    I would want us to know that none of

    Mr Speaker, I am actually not distract-

    ed; I cannot be distracted. I am concen- trating on what I am doing.

    Mr Speaker, the Statement sought to

    also review rent control laws. It is very important -- [Interruption.] -- Yes, I am

    allowed to refer conspicuously -- Review- ing the rent control law is very significant to each person in this House.

    Mr Speaker, I think, in spite of this

    exorbitant charges that we face with our constituents, we should bear in mind that we, as Hon Members of Parliament, have a question to answer to our own people --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
    Hon Mem-
    ber, your time is up.
    Mr Joseph B. A. Danquah (NPP
    -- Abuakwa-North): Mr Speaker, it is a very important Statement that our Hon Colleague has made. What makes rent go high is a factor of the market; it is the demand and supply characteristics of the market that make rent go high.
    Therefore, until and unless we increase the supply and it outstrips the demand, the rent charges are always going to be high. No form of law can control the character- istics of the market. So, whether it is Rent Control Act or whatever law we pass, until we find better technologies that will help make buildings very efficient and cost-ef- ficient -- As long as the cost of buildings is as high as we have it today, the rent will only go up and up.
    I would appeal to the Ministry of
    Water Resources, Works and Housing, the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the Building Research Institute to look at new ways and forms of technologies, especially in the use of steel for structures and also in the mix of using better cement -- not necessarily the ex- pensive Portland but there are other forms of new technologies where one can use some kind of cement -- aerated cement that will bring the cost of manufacturing or the cost of production of these houses very low to about 30 per cent down the range of the price.
    With these few words, I support my Hon Colleague and hope that as a people, we would be able to supply more houses to make rent a bit more affordable.
    Thank you Mr Speaker.
    Mr Edward Kaale-Ewola Dery (NDC -- Lambussie/Karni) 11:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think the Statement is very important to each and everyone in this House. Let us take partisanship out of it. -- [Uproar]
    I can say that the Statement is significant on three dimensions -- high charges on rentals, housing deficiency and rent control laws -- particularly to the ordinary man in the street. I think that is where the basis of this Statement is and we should stick to the issue.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
    Thank you,
    very much.
    This is the way I would want us to
    go. We should avoid debate as much as possible.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
    Order! Order!
    Mr Dery 11:35 a.m.
    The Statement is exactly on rent. Let us talk about the unregulated -- and the laws that should be used to regulate that. Please, let us focus on that.

    Mr Speaker, I am actually not distracted; I cannot be distracted. I am concentrating on what I am doing.

    Mr Speaker, the Statement sought to also review rent control laws. It is very important -- [Interruption.] -- Yes, I am allowed to refer conspicuously -- Reviewing the rent control law is very significant to each person in this House.

    Mr Speaker, I think, in spite of this exorbitant charges that we face with our constituents, we should bear in mind that we, as Hon Members of Parliament, have a question to answer to our own people
    Ms Laadi A. Ayamba (NDC -- Pu- siga) 11:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to associate myself with the Statement made by my Hon Colleague on the high rent associated with accommodation.
    Mr Speaker, fortunately, on our part in
    this country, notwithstanding the fact that we may have problems here and there, we have the various institutions. One of the institutions is the Rent Control Unit.
    I wish to urge that the Rent Control Unit should make sure that they work hand in hand, not only with the landlords but with all other stakeholders to enable rent, that is being charged to the ordinary Ghanaian, especially those of us who need it at all cost, be at a price that is acceptable to all of us.
    Mr Speaker, fortunately on our part, the
    -- 11:35 a.m.

    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
    Hon Mem-
    ber, I would want you to veer off any form of debate. We are not talking about NDC; we are not talking about NPP or Conven- tion People's Party (CPP). Please, let us move forward without engaging in debate.
    Ms Ayamba 11:45 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    We would all realise that the Govern-
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
    Hon Member, your time is up.
    Ms Ayamba 11:45 a.m.


    ment has made efforts to take up projects that were left uncompleted -- roads and infrastructure. All this while, these pro- jects are being undertaken. The Govern- ment should work hand in hand with the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing to ensure that the issue of housing is undertaken to help curb the high rent issue that we are faced with.

    Mr Speaker, landlords should try as

    much as they can, at least, to come down on the amounts that they need and the time. This is because many a time one would realise that they do not only demand high rents but they demand for about two, three or four years' rent and before one would realise, they may tell one that they would not give it to one if one does not have the full amount.

    Mr Speaker, with these few words, I

    associate myself with the Hon Member who made the Statement.

    Several Hon Members -- rose --
    Mr Joseph B. A. Danquah (NPP -- Abuakwa-North) 11:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is a very important Statement that our Hon Colleague has made. What makes rent go high is a factor of the market; it is the demand and supply characteristics of the market that make rent go high.
    Therefore, until and unless we increase the supply and it outstrips the demand, the rent charges are always going to be high. No form of law can control the characteristics of the market. So, whether it is Rent Control Act or whatever law we pass, until we find better technologies that
    will help make buildings very efficient and cost-efficient -- As long as the cost of buildings is as high as we have it today, the rent will only go up and up.
    I would appeal to the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the Building Research Institute to look at new ways and forms of technologies, especially in the use of steel for structures and also in the mix of using better cement -- not necessarily the expensive Portland but there are other forms of new technologies where one can use some kind of cement -- aerated cement that will bring the cost of manufacturing or the cost of production of these houses very low to about 30 per cent down the range of the price.
    With these few words, I support my Hon Colleague and hope that as a people, we would be able to supply more houses to make rent a bit more affordable.
    Thank you Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
    Thank you, very much.
    This is the way I would want us to go. We should avoid debate as much as possible.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
    Now, the
    last Hon Member to contribute.
    Yes, Hon Member.
    Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu (NPP
    -- Dormaa Central): I thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity. I would just like to contribute to the Statement to actually reaffirm that we have very seri- ous challenges with housing as a social service or whatever we may describe it in our country.
    One of the Hon Members who con-
    tributed to the Statement tried to allude to the fact that so far as we have supply deficit, we cannot control rent through any mechanism. I beg to differ. We can use tax system to find a way to hold rents at certain levels that can be affordable.
    Why do we sit in a country where
    almost all of us are poor and people are buying and some are selling flats for as much as US$1 million in this country? I wonder even if the taxman has got the tax files for those who are selling these properties at these amounts.
    Mr Speaker, so far as there continues
    to be deficits, people would also make abnormal profits out of the situation. And how much do they pay to the Consoli-dat- ed Fund out of these abnormal profits that they are making? So, the rents are not realistic. People are cashing in just on the fact that we have housing deficits.
    But all of us as Members of Parliament as well as Government need to do a little more to try to solve the challenge with the supply situation so far as housing is concerned.
    Mr Speaker, we have a whole Rural Housing Department in the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing. I do not see what work they are doing. We have never seen them highlighted in the budgetary allocations such that they can do certain things.
    Today, as I speak, rural housing is even
    becoming a little more difficult than urban housing. The new districts that we cre- ated-- 45 or so of them -- Some of the district capitals have never seen anything we call “property rates” before. The type of houses that we have there are just not good for people who are supposed to go and work in the Assemblies to service government programmes and projects to go on.
    So, we need to create housing, not only in the urban areas but in the rural set-up as well. I would think it is time for all of us to begin to think and look at what modalities or what things we can utilise to create and produce more houses than the way that we are through.
    Mr Speaker, if the Hon Minister for
    Finance comes tomorrow morning to tell us that all those who are charging rent below a certain cap, would have rent taxes forgiven them, I believe rents can be held at certain levels that would be affordable for people.
    With these few words, I would like to support my Hon Colleague who made the Statement on housing and wish that Parliament and Government would do a lot more than we are doing, to try to solve the housing challenge.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
    Ms Laadi A. Ayamba (NDC -- Pusiga) 11:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to associate myself with the Statement made by my Hon Colleague on the high rent associated with accommodation.
    Mr Speaker, fortunately, on our part in this country, notwithstanding the fact that we may have problems here and there, we have the various institutions. One of the institutions is the Rent Control Unit.
    I wish to urge that the Rent Control Unit should make sure that they work hand in hand, not only with the landlords but
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:55 a.m.
    Thank you very much. I was minded to a conside- ra-tion here.
    Hon Minority Leader, do you want to say something? Do you want to contribute to the Statement?
    Minority Leader (Mr Osei Kyei 11:55 a.m.
    None

    sah-Bonsu): Mr Speaker, if you would indulge me, there are a few words.

    Mr Speaker, I believe we must com-

    mend the Hon Colleague who has made such an important Statement in this House, relating to high rent charges.

    Of course, the other side of it is that prospective people are asked to pay up- front fees, not lower than two years or three years or in some cases about four years' commitment.

    Mr Speaker, the average savings on

    incomes in this country is less than five per cent. We spend over 70 per cent of our incomes on food items. We are not talking about transportation; we are not talking about taking care of our children in schools, taking care of whatever befalls us by way of providing healthcare. So,
    Ms Laadi A. Ayamba (NDC -- Pusiga) 11:45 a.m.


    with all other stakeholders to enable rent, that is being charged to the ordinary Ghanaian, especially those of us who need it at all cost, be at a price that is acceptable to all of us.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
    Hon Member, I would want you to veer off any form of debate. We are not talking about NDC; we are not talking about NPP or Convention People's Party (CPP). Please, let us move forward without engaging in debate.
    Ms Ayamba 11:45 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    We would all realise that the Government has made efforts to take up projects that were left uncompleted -- roads and infrastructure. All this while, these projects are being undertaken. The Government should work hand in hand with the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing to ensure that the issue of housing is undertaken to help curb the high rent issue that we are faced with.
    Mr Speaker, landlords should try as much as they can, at least, to come down on the amounts that they need and the time. This is because many a time one would realise that they do not only demand high rents but they demand for about two, three or four years' rent and before one would realise, they may tell one that they would not give it to one if one does not have the full amount.
    Mr Speaker, with these few words, I associate myself with the Hon Member who made the Statement.
    Several Hon Members -- rose --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:55 a.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, can you just veer off this bit of --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
    Now, the
    last Hon Member to contribute.
    Yes, Hon Member.
    Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu (NPP -- Dormaa Central) 11:45 a.m.
    I thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity. I would just like to contribute to the Statement to actually reaffirm that we have very serious challenges with housing as a social service or whatever we may describe it in our country.
    One of the Hon Members who contributed to the Statement tried to allude to the fact that so far as we have supply deficit, we cannot control rent through any mechanism. I beg to differ. We can use tax system to find a way to hold rents at certain levels that can be affordable.
    Why do we sit in a country where almost all of us are poor and people are buying and some are selling flats for as much as US$1 million in this country? I wonder even if the taxman has got the tax files for those who are selling these properties at these amounts.
    Mr Speaker, so far as there continues to be deficits, people would also make abnormal profits out of the situation. And how much do they pay to the Consoli- dated Fund out of these abnormal profits that they are making? So, the rents are not realistic. People are cashing in just on the fact that we have housing deficits.
    But all of us as Members of Parliament as well as Government need to do a little more to try to solve the challenge with the supply situation so far as housing is concerned.
    Mr Speaker, we have a whole Rural Housing Department in the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing. I do not see what work they are doing. We have never seen them highlighted in the budgetary allocations such that they can do certain things.
    Today, as I speak, rural housing is even becoming a little more difficult than urban housing. The new districts that we created-- 45 or so of them -- Some of the district capitals have never seen anything we call “property rates” before. The type of houses that we have there are just not good for people who are supposed to go and work in the Assemblies to service government programmes and projects to go on.
    So, we need to create housing, not only in the urban areas but in the rural set-up as well. I would think it is time for all of us to begin to think and look at what modalities or what things we can utilise to create and produce more houses than the way that we are through.
    Mr Speaker, if the Hon Minister for Finance comes tomorrow morning to tell us that all those who are charging rent below a certain cap, would have rent taxes forgiven them, I believe rents can be held at certain levels that would be affordable for people.
    With these few words, I would like to support my Hon Colleague who made the Statement on housing and wish that Parliament and Government would do a lot more than we are doing, to try to solve the housing challenge.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:55 a.m.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. It was just because the Hon Colleague brought it up.
    So, I am saying that next time round, all of us should attend to this national con- cern. Nobody can dispute the fact that the deficit is very serious and in fact, it does affect the quality of life of our citizenry. Let us be very dispassionate about this and evolve policies, critique policies the prin- ciples of them not attacking personalities. That is the way to attend to the problem.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:55 a.m.
    This brings us to the end of contributions with regard to the first Statement.
    There is a second Statement which is entitled the “Changing Environment and its Development Challenges for Ghana.”
    The changing environment and its development challenges
    for Ghana
    Nana (Dr) Ato Arthur (NPP --
    Komenda/Edina /Eguafo/Abrem): Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity to make a Statement on the changing environment and our nation's development challenges. I will focus my discussion on climate change.
    This focus is not meant to minimise the importance of local, regional and in- deed, other global environmental issues. However, climate change is of potentially transcendent importance, in that it has the potential to utterly transform our planet.
    A recent study on the Economics of Climate Change in Ghana, in December 2010, concludes that the country has a large existing adaptation deficit that requires an urgent action. The objective of this Statement is to apprise this august House on the threat of climate change to Ghana, which requires bold reforms and political action.
    Mr Speaker, climate change has been recognised widely as the most funda- mental and defining challenge of our gen- eration. It is evidenced in the global tem- perature rises. It is forecast that increase in temperature will average 1.7°-2°C by 2050. Other robust findings indicate an increase in precipitation globally, rising sea levels and an increased probability of extreme weather events.
    In Ghana, Mr Speaker, just like other countries in Africa, scientists, indigenes and all find the signs of climate change. The threat of climate change is manifest in high temperatures than usual, occurrence of severe and frequent periods of drought and increase in frequency and scale of flooding and increasing erratic rainfall.
    According to Ghana's 2nd National Communication to the United Nations
    Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in February 2011, temperatures have warmed by 1°C over the past 30 years. What is astonishing is that, this same report highlights that there will be warming for all regions in Ghana, particularly the three northern regions, with increases of between 2.1° and 2.4°C by 2050. This phenomenon has a lot of challenges for Ghana.
    The potential consequences of these climate changes on agriculture and the environment include, but are not limited to the following:
    Crop failure.
    Fish stock decline.
    Biodiversity and mass extinctions.
    Deforestation.
    Land degradation.
    Excess demand for water resources.
    In other words, Mr Speaker, climate change by itself has the potential not only to completely undermine all the other efforts at environmental conservation and improving agriculture, but also to substan- tially threaten human welfare, even if one restricts one's view of human welfare to the very narrow realm of consumption of goods and services.
    Therefore, Mr Speaker, the change in climate will have adverse social and envi- ronmental impacts. This includes impacts on human welbeing, food security and water availability. The change in climate, therefore, poses serious socioeconomic consequences to all of us as Ghanaians, given our high dependence on agriculture, particularly rain-fed agriculture, as far as our export earnings and farmers/fisher- folks' livelihoods are concerned.
    Indeed, the Economics of Adaptation
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:55 a.m.
    Thank you very much. I was minded to a considera- tion here.
    Hon Minority Leader, do you want to say something? Do you want to contribute to the Statement?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:05 p.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Hon Members, contributions are now invited.
    Minister of State (Alhaji Ab- dul-Rashid H. Pelpuo) (MP) 12:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, let me, first of all, congratulate our Hon Colleague for bringing up the issue of climate change onto the floor of the House and giving it the profile that it deserves.
    Mr Speaker, it is no longer a debate that climate change directly affects the lives of people all over the world. The world is a global village as we often refer to and the consequence of the actions of men and women elsewhere would have direct effect on the lives of others in other places of the world.
    So, it is important that all over the world, we all take particular notice about the actions we take with regard to the use of the atmosphere and the use of any things that have direct consequence on the atmosphere.
    Mr Speaker, it is also true that the cause of climate change -- there is a direct effect on the vegetative cover of our country and it is already happening all over. In the West and in much part of the western hemi- sphere, the problem people face is global
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:55 a.m.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. It was just because the Hon Colleague brought it up.
    So, I am saying that next time round, all of us should attend to this national concern. Nobody can dispute the fact that the deficit is very serious and in fact, it does affect the quality of life of our citizenry. Let us be very dispassionate about this and evolve policies, critique policies the principles of them not attacking personalities. That is the way to attend to the problem.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:55 a.m.
    This brings us to the end of contributions with regard to the first Statement.
    There is a second Statement which is entitled the “Changing Environment and its Development Challenges for Ghana.”
    The changing environment and its development challenges
    for Ghana
    Mr Kwabena O. Darko-Mensah (NPP -- Takoradi) 12:15 p.m.
    I would like to associate myself with the statement ably made by the Hon Member for Komenda/ Edina/ Aguafo/Abrem.
    Mr Speaker, I believe that it is a very thoughtful presentation and I do believe that the issues at stake, when it comes to climate change, are dear to the heart of every Ghanaian. Unfortunately, I do believe that the most important thing we need to be looking at, is solutions, solu- tions and solutions.
    Mr Speaker, over the years, we have spoken about these issues and the environ- ment and I do believe that it is time that concrete measures were made in Parlia- ment, especially to monitor these activities and ensure that people who are tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that climate mitigating issues are addressed, take on the bull by the horns and make sure the work is done.
    Mr Speaker, we all know that in this country, one of the major issues that we have used in tackling climate change, has to do with the use of non-fossil fuels, especially gas. Currently in this country, gas continues to be a major headache and it keeps shorting.
    Clearly, it shows that those people we expect to introduce gas to them, especially in the rural areas, find themselves with no other alternative than to continue using charcoal and wood, clearly taking away the cover that we need to protect our environment from climate change effect.
    Mr Speaker, other issues that we also need to be looking at critically, have to do with the issue of plastics. We contin- ue to consume huge amounts of plastics. Unfortunately, as much as we are aware, only a few companies are into the process of recycling plastics, such that we can re- duce the energy cost of using these plastics and at the same time, ensuring that the use of this energy does not affect climate change issues.
    Mr Speaker, I do believe that it would
    be appropriate as a matter of urgency, in this country, to ensure that every District Assembly is given the opportunity either through Public Private Partnership (PPP) or on their own, to set up a recycling plant all over the country to ensure that we can re-use the plastics we use, so that the use of energy that will affect climate change will go down as well.
    Furthermore, Mr Speaker, in the last administration, we realised that there was the use of energy saving bulbs. This is very critical because these energy saving bulbs were able to save this country a huge amount of energy and revenues, such that the water that we were using from Akosombo could be used in generating more energy for the use of the general population.
    I, therefore, believe that in a situation where this year, for instance, we are intro- ducing taxes on energy saving bulbs, Mr Speaker, I believe that, to beg this issue, it should be revisited to make sure that the use of energy bulbs is not affected. Either bringing more companies here to manufacture them or importing more to reduce its effect on our energy generating resources, can be done to move this nation forward.
    With these few words, I thank you for the opportunity.
    Nana (Dr) Ato Arthur (NPP -- Komenda/Edina /Eguafo/Abrem) 11:55 a.m.
    Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity to make a Statement on the changing environment and our nation's development challenges. I will focus my discussion on climate change.
    This focus is not meant to minimise the importance of local, regional and indeed, other global environmental issues. However, climate change is of potentially transcendent importance, in that it has the potential to utterly transform our planet.
    A recent study on the Economics of Climate Change in Ghana, in December 2010, concludes that the country has a large existing adaptation deficit that requires an urgent action. The objective of this Statement is to apprise this august House on the threat of climate change to Ghana, which requires bold reforms and political action.
    Mr Speaker, climate change has been recognised widely as the most funda- mental and defining challenge of our generation. It is evidenced in the global temperature rises. It is forecast that increase in temperature will average 1.7°- 2°C by 2050. Other robust findings indicate an increase in precipitation globally, rising sea levels and an increased probability of extreme weather events.
    In Ghana, Mr Speaker, just like other countries in Africa, scientists, indigenes and all find the signs of climate change. The threat of climate change is manifest in high temperatures than usual, occurrence of severe and frequent periods of drought and increase in frequency and scale of flooding and increasing erratic rainfall.
    According to Ghana's 2nd National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in February 2011, temperatures have warmed by 1°C over the past 30 years. What is astonishing is that, this same report highlights that there will be warming for all regions in Ghana, particularly the three northern regions, with increases of between 2.1° and 2.4°C by 2050. This phenomenon has a lot of challenges for Ghana.
    The potential consequences of these climate changes on agriculture and the environment include, but are not limited to the following:
    Crop failure.
    Fish stock decline.
    Mr Kwame Govers Agbodza (NDC -- Adaklu) 12:15 p.m.
    Thank you very much, Hon Speaker, for the opportunity. I think I also have to thank the maker of the Statement. It is very, very important.
    But Mr Speaker, I have attended a few seminars and conferences and it is as though everybody in the world is doing ex- actly the wrong thing in the same quantity when it comes to climate change. Let us face it; what exactly are we doing in Africa to contribute to climate change? We do not have enough industries spewing out
    the carbon dioxide.
    We should be thinking of industria-lis- ing our continent, yet every day, we get hooked on to this idea of climate change. The countries that have about one million cars parked in one city burning the fuels, this is their trouble. Of course, the issue about climate change and sustainable liv- ing, in my view, is an economic question.
    If you tell me to use energy saving bulb or put off my light when I am leaving home, is directly something that I save in my pocket. But that is not to say, for instance, if Ghana can afford a car man- ufacturing plant that spews out carbon dioxide tomorrow, we should say that because somebody at the United Nations (UN) is saying that the world is getting warmer, we should not do it.
    We should get the balance. So, on this theory about climate change, the people who actually cause this, continue to do it. I do not know we ride donkeys still in Africa as a means of transportation; should we stop that to save the climate? No! The people who cause these things are the western countries; let them do a bit more to save the planet and urge a sustainable way of manufacturing.
    In fact, if you even go to the western countries, even the manufacturing compa- nies, if you tell them they should cut down on their greenhouse emissions, they will tell you, “give me the money to be able to do that” because what else are they supposed to use to do the huge industrial- isation? You need energy and the easiest way around, the fossil fuels, are all things that harm the environment.
    So, I think that there has to be a balance in our understanding of climate change and I do not think personally that African countries have been doing enough or have been doing worse in terms of damaging the climate. The culprits are in the West and if they cut down theirs, I believe, we
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:05 p.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Hon Members, contributions are now invited.
    Mr William A. Quaittoo (NPP -- Akim Oda) 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would like to associate myself with the Statement made by my Colleague from Edina --
    Minister of State (Alhaji Abdul-Rashid H. Pelpuo) (MP) 12:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, let me, first of all, congratulate our Hon Colleague for bringing up the issue of climate change onto the floor of the House and giving it the profile that it deserves.
    Mr Speaker, it is no longer a debate that climate change directly affects the lives of people all over the world. The world is a global village as we often refer to and the consequence of the actions of men and women elsewhere would have direct effect on the lives of others in other places of the world.
    So, it is important that all over the world, we all take particular notice about the actions we take with regard to the use of the atmosphere and the use of any things that have direct consequence on the atmosphere.
    Mr Speaker, it is also true that the cause of climate change -- there is a direct effect on the vegetative cover of our country and it is already happening all over. In the West and in much part of the western hemisphere, the problem people face is global warming; the fact that the temperatures are falling or rising depen- ding on where you are, shows that the effect is becoming a big problem.
    In Ghana, the consequence is on agriculture. There is a direct effect on vegetative cover; it has an effect on food production; it has an effect on animal husbandry and with a consequential effect on the economy as a whole. It is important to note that it is not just something that is out of reach to control.
    It is important for us to understand that every action we take including bush burning, release of dangerous gas into the atmosphere by the kind of appliances we use at home, all of them have a direct effect on the climate. It is important we begin to fashion out a policy approach in how we want to deal with the climate while we are here in Ghana.
    It is also true that we are not the worst culprit when it comes to affecting the green house in the world. Therefore, there is often now being pronounced that Africa has some carbon credit, meaning that the effects of climate change as a result of actions by the West, including the use of factories and production processes that would affect the atmosphere, the credit would be gained here by they investing in this place, using safe methods in production and ensuring that they also invest in safe methods in producing energy.
    So, Mr Speaker, we would need to put together a policy and work towards it and ensure that in doing so, we appropriately gain from the carbon credit that we deserve.
    Thank you very much for the opportunity.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    He is not only from Edina -- Komenda/Edina/ Eguafo/Abrem.
    Mr Kwabena O. Darko-Mensah (NPP -- Takoradi) 12:15 p.m.
    I would like to associate myself with the statement ably made by the Hon Member for Komenda/Edina/ Aguafo/Abrem.
    Mr Speaker, I believe that it is a very thoughtful presentation and I do believe that the issues at stake, when it comes to climate change, are dear to the heart of every Ghanaian. Unfortunately, I do believe that the most important thing we need to be looking at, is solutions, solutions and solutions.
    Mr Speaker, over the years, we have spoken about these issues and the
    environment and I do believe that it is time that concrete measures were made in Parliament, especially to monitor these activities and ensure that people who are tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that climate mitigating issues are addressed, take on the bull by the horns and make sure the work is done.
    Mr Speaker, we all know that in this country, one of the major issues that we have used in tackling climate change, has to do with the use of non-fossil fuels, especially gas. Currently in this country, gas continues to be a major headache and it keeps shorting.
    Clearly, it shows that those people we expect to introduce gas to them, especially in the rural areas, find themselves with no other alternative than to continue using charcoal and wood, clearly taking away the cover that we need to protect our environment from climate change effect.
    Mr Speaker, other issues that we also need to be looking at critically, have to do with the issue of plastics. We continue to consume huge amounts of plastics. Unfortunately, as much as we are aware, only a few companies are into the process of recycling plastics, such that we can reduce the energy cost of using these plastics and at the same time, ensuring that the use of this energy does not affect climate change issues.
    Mr Speaker, I do believe that it would be appropriate as a matter of urgency, in this country, to ensure that every District Assembly is given the opportunity either through Public Private Partnership (PPP) or on their own, to set up a recycling plant all over the country to ensure that we can re-use the plastics we use, so that the use of energy that will affect climate change will go down as well.
    Furthermore, Mr Speaker, in the last administration, we realised that there was the use of energy saving bulbs. This is very critical because these energy saving bulbs were able to save this country a huge amount of energy and revenues, such that the water that we were using from Akosombo could be used in generating more energy for the use of the general population.
    I, therefore, believe that in a situation where this year, for instance, we are introducing taxes on energy saving bulbs, Mr Speaker, I believe that, to beg this issue, it should be revisited to make sure that the use of energy bulbs is not affected. Either bringing more companies here to manufacture them or importing more to reduce its effect on our energy generating resources, can be done to move this nation forward.
    With these few words, I thank you for the opportunity.
    Mr Quaittoo 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, KEEA. Thank you very much.
    Mr Speaker, I will like to draw on the contribution from the last Hon Member here, who said that Africa and for that mat- ter, Ghana, is not really contributing to the greenhouse effect. Yes, that may be so.
    But Mr Speaker, you see, while those in the West are promulgating laws that will stop the green house effect, we, in Africa, are readily absorbing the chemicals that bring about greenhouse effect. How many times have we not talked about these old fridges and other equipment that are sent into Ghana or Africa? They contain certain compounds called CFCs -- Chlorofluorocarbons.
    These CFCs react with what we called the zone. Ozone in God's own wisdom, is a compound that God created to more or less absorb the heat of the sun on earth. So, when you have these CFCs reacting with the ozone layer, it depletes the ozone layer and the heat of the sun can really get onto the earth. We are taking all these fridges that are old into this country. I know laws have been made but are we able to implement those laws? No! We still see people importing these old fridges into the country which contain these CFCs. Our problem in this country is attitudinal. Why are laws made and why are laws not implemented very well? If we make the laws, we must make sure that we follow them to the letter.
    No one should be above any law that is made. We still see people bringing in these old fridges and they contain these CFCs. This can never be found in the developed world. We are talking about industrial- isation. Travel to the developed world now and they are very serious about their afforestation. Every country you visit, is doing something about afforestation but what are we seeing in Ghana?
    Moneys are allocated to afforestation, and that when the money is spent, the trees do not do well. We should be very serious in this country as a people.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker:
    Mr Kwame Govers Agbodza (NDC -- Adaklu) 12:15 p.m.
    Thank you very much, Hon Speaker, for the opportunity. I think I also have to thank the maker of the Statement. It is very, very important.
    But Mr Speaker, I have attended a few seminars and conferences and it is as though everybody in the world is doing exactly the wrong thing in the same quantity when it comes to climate change. Let us face it; what exactly are we doing in Africa to contribute to climate change? We do not have enough industr ies spewing out the carbon dioxide.
    We should be thinking of industria- lising our continent, yet every day, we get hooked on to this idea of climate change. The countries that have about one million cars parked in one city burning the fuels, this is their trouble. Of course, the issue about climate change and sustainable
    Mr Fritz Frederic Baffour (NDC -- Ablekuma South) 12:25 p.m.
    I will like to support the Statement made by the Hon Member of Parliament for KEEA.
    I was a little disturbed by the com- ments made about us not being part of the problem. We are very much part of the problem. This country has lost so much of
    its forest cover but we are struggling and we know the importance of trees for the preservation of the ozone layer and as an antidote to climate change. The work of the various energy bodies to try and limit the ozone depleting equip- ment that this country is already being mentioned in terms of fridges likewise equipment. We now have a policy where we are actually exchanging fridges that damage the ozone for ones that are envi- ronmental friendly.
    There is so much that this country can do in order to make people aware that the planet we live on is one we share with everybody and any problem that hits this planet also affects us. This is because we are very much part and parcel of this globe.
    So, for anyone to say that the western world has probably created a problem and therefore, it is their problem to solve, we should be at the forefront of advocacy for things that would have to be enforced, so that we restrict climate change because it is a negation. If the waters of the Artic and Antarctica rise, it would affect the low coastal lines of Africa; if we have prob- lems in terms of the emissions, we know that the global weather pattern is the same.
    We are now seeing Nino, we are seeing Nina, we are seeing typhoons and other things, and all these things are attributed to climate change.
    So, it is important that Ghana raises
    the awareness of its citizens about the im- portance of protecting the environment of our goal and that should be done in a way that the ordinary man on the street should be able to understand that he can be part of the solution.
    With that, I would like to lend my support for the Statement made by Dr Ato Arthur.
    Mr Henry K. Kokofu (NPP -- Ban- tama) 12:25 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker. I would like to associate myself with the Statement made by Hon Colleague MP for KEEA.
    Mr Speaker, the phenomenon of climate change gained prominence about two decades ago, in Rio de Janeiro and it has come to stay. It is for we human beings on earth that has to find ways to mitigate it. And here in Ghana, a lot is being done, just as it was enumerated by the Hon Member who made the Statement. But then, whether you are doing well or not, it is a matter of concern and that is why we are here.
    Mr Speaker, your own Committee, the Select Committee on Lands and Forestry, about three weeks ago, undertook a trip to the Upper East Region and then the Northern Region and we had an experi- ence, a feel of our own selves. Practical one; the effect of climate change up there in our country.
    Mr Speaker, here was the case when farmers were ready looking up to the rains, so that they can go to the farm and get their crops planted, yet the rains were not yet coming.
    This is about a week ago. When we
    had left Tamale, then it was reported in the Daily's that there had been a heavy rainfall in the Northern Region, Tamale and that flooding had occurred, destroying a lot of lives and properties. This is the extremities that we have, when it is dry season, when the rains are not coming, things are so harsh.
    Plants, animals, human beings get dis- tressed and when the rains come at their own time, then we have floods and its own tragedy coming. So, it is incumbent, it does not matter whether the problem is being emanated from the Western World or from the Eastern World. We do not unfortunately have partitions out there in order to partition, so that those who are
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    Maybe, I will extend it one each on both sides of the House. Yes, Hon Minister and the other Member after that.
    Minister for Lands and Natural Re- sources(Alhaji Inusah A. B. Fuseini) (MP) 12:35 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, let me extend my gratitude and appreciation to the Hon Member who made the Statement and identify myself with it, so ably made on the floor of this House.
    Mr Speaker, climate change with its own climate variability forces on us ad- aptation and mitigation measures. Many people have said that even if the industrial- ised countries were not accused of putting into the atmosphere the bio- product of fossil fuel or going industrialisation, the activities of all of us would have contrib- uted to some kind of climate change.
    It means clearly that climate change is as a result of human activity, that all of us contribute in ways that affect the climate; except that some contribute more and others contribute less. And so, there is some kind of moral hazard. Mr Speaker, those who have contributed more to cli- mate change are less affected by climate variability and so, we, in Africa, who have been affected seriously by climate change have further worsened our poverty.
    But places where we had water bodies that provided livelihood for fishermen, have these water bodies drying up, that farmers who hitherto had depended on climate and rainfall for their crops can no longer predict adequately when the rains would come. So, they either farm early or they farm late, leading to low harvest and further exacerbation of poverty.
    This forces on us as invidious respon- sibility, that we as a people and probably, as a country, need to take the issue of
    climate change serious. It is definitely not acceptable for us to continue to encourage logging and particularly illegal logging. This is because Mr Speaker, it is said and rightly, so that when the last tree goes, the last man goes.
    Today, the forest cover that Ghana had pre-independence has been reduced drastically and that has a direct impact on the climate and the environment in Ghana.
    Mr Speaker, of late, we have been fight- ing illegal small scale miners and people have asked, “why are you now fighting them?” We are fighting them because their activities have direct impact on the climate and the environment.
    If you are talking about climate change, we do not need to look far, that forest areas of this country have been seriously degraded, degraded by illegal activities of small scale miners, which activities Mr Speaker, do not bring us money. We do not take royalties or taxes from these illegal miners and they further degrade our forest. Double agony, we do not take money. We lose our forest.
    That is why we must fight them. Mr
    Speaker, when we have our rivers flowing, evaporation of the river bodies enables the evaporated water to condense in the air and fall as rain. When we lose the rivers, we no longer get the rain and when we do not get the rain, our cocoa farms are affected, our maize farms are affected and our cereals, indeed, are affected.
    That is why we must fight anybody who pollutes or diverts our water bodies because they are compromising our ability to lead a dignified life in this country.
    Mr Speaker, climate change is real.
    All of us have the responsibility to con- tribute towards its mitigation by planting trees in our houses, by churches planting trees on their compounds, by mosques
    planting trees on their praying areas, by schools adapting tree planting culture, by the Department of Feeder Roads and Ghana Highways Authority ensuring that, when the road is constructed and the trees are cut, they are replanted. That way, we would not only increase the tree cover in this country but we would also help in en- suring that we have a healthy environment that would conduce to a dignified life for us to live and pass on to generations yet unborn.
    Thank you so very much for this op-
    portunity.
    Mr Quaittoo 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, KEEA. Thank you very much.
    Mr Speaker, I will like to draw on the contribution from the last Hon Member here, who said that Africa and for that matter, Ghana, is not really contributing to the greenhouse effect. Yes, that may be so.
    But Mr Speaker, you see, while those in the West are promulgating laws that will stop the green house effect, we, in Africa, are readily absorbing the chemicals that bring about greenhouse effect. How many times have we not talked about these old fridges and other equipment that are sent into Ghana or Africa? They contain certain compounds called CFCs -- Chlorofluorocarbons.
    These CFCs react with what we called the zone. Ozone in God's own wisdom, is a compound that God created to more or less absorb the heat of the sun on earth. So, when you have these CFCs reacting with the ozone layer, it depletes the ozone
    layer and the heat of the sun can really get onto the earth. We are taking all these fridges that are old into this country. I know laws have been made but are we able to implement those laws? No! We still see people importing these old fridges into the country which contain these CFCs. Our problem in this country is attitudinal. Why are laws made and why are laws not implemented very well? If we make the laws, we must make sure that we follow them to the letter.
    No one should be above any law that is made. We still see people bringing in these old fridges and they contain these CFCs. This can never be found in the developed world. We are talking about industrialisation. Travel to the developed world now and they are very serious about their afforestation. Every country you visit, is doing something about afforestation but what are we seeing in Ghana?
    Moneys are allocated to afforestation, and that when the money is spent, the trees do not do well. We should be very serious in this country as a people.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker:
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Thank
    you very much.
    The last contributor.
    Mr Kofi Okyere-Agyekum (NPP
    -- Fanteakwa South): Mr Speaker, I would like to support the Statement by my Colleague, the Member of Parliament for Komenda/Edina/Eguafo/Abirem (KEEA), Nana (Dr) Ato Arthur.
    Mr Speaker, I would like to look at the
    issue from the angle of the institutions that have been set up to manage and control the activities that bring about this climate change. I am talking about the Forest- ry Commission, the Water Resources Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, Minerals Commission and others.
    Mr Speaker, we know about the impor- tance of these institutions in controlling the environment and also the climate. But my worry is that, we do not give these institutions the capacity to do the work. If you look at the budget that we approved for some of these institu-tions, you would find out that 90 per cent of the budget goes to paying their wages and salaries while very little is allocated for the work that they need to do to ensure that they make an impact.
    If you look at the environmental and
    Mr Fritz Frederic Baffour (NDC -- Ablekuma South) 12:25 p.m.
    I will like to support the Statement made by the Hon Member of Parliament for KEEA.
    I was a little disturbed by the comments made about us not being part of the problem. We are very much part of the problem. This country has lost so much of its forest cover but we are struggling and we know the importance of trees for the preservation of the ozone layer and as an antidote to climate change.
    The work of the various energy bodies to try and limit the ozone depleting equipment that this country is already being mentioned in terms of fridges likewise equipment. We now have a policy where we are actually exchanging fridges that damage the ozone for ones that are environmental friendly.
    There is so much that this country can do in order to make people aware that the planet we live on is one we share with everybody and any problem that hits this planet also affects us. This is because we are very much part and parcel of this globe.
    So, for anyone to say that the western world has probably created a problem and therefore, it is their problem to solve, we should be at the forefront of advocacy for things that would have to be enforced, so that we restrict climate change because it is a negation. If the waters of the Artic and Antarctica rise, it would affect the low coastal lines of Africa; if we have problems in terms of the emissions, we know that the global weather pattern is the same.
    We are now seeing Nino, we are seeing Nina, we are seeing typhoons and other things, and all these things are attributed to climate change.
    So, it is important that Ghana raises the awareness of its citizens about the importance of protecting the environment of our goal and that should be done in a way that the ordinary man on the street should be able to understand that he can be part of the solution.
    With that, I would like to lend my support for the Statement made by Dr Ato Arthur.
    Mr Henry K. Kokofu (NPP -- Bantama) 12:25 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker. I would like to associate myself with the Statement made by Hon Colleague MP for
    KEEA.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Thank
    you very much.
    That brings us to the end of Statements.
    Mr Agbesi 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, with the indulgence of the House, I would want to ask permission for the Hon Minister for Trade and Industry to lay the Paper on behalf of the Minister in charge of Gov- ernment Business in Parliament in item 4 on the Order Paper.
    PAPERS 12:35 p.m.

    Minister for Lands and Natural Resources(Alhaji Inusah A. B. Fuseini)(MP) 12:35 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, let me extend my gratitude and appreciation to the Hon Member who made the Statement and identify myself with it, so ably made on the floor of this House.
    Mr Speaker, climate change with its own climate variability forces on us adaptation and mitigation measures. Many people have said that even if the industrialised countries were not accused of putting into the atmosphere the bio- product of fossil fuel or going industrialisation, the activities of all of us would have contributed to some kind of climate change.
    It means clearly that climate change is as a result of human activity, that all of us contribute in ways that affect the climate; except that some contribute more and others contribute less. And so, there is some kind of moral hazard. Mr Speaker, those who have contributed more to climate change are less affected by climate variability and so, we, in Africa, who have been affected seriously by climate change have further worsened our poverty.
    But places where we had water bodies that provided livelihood for fishermen, have these water bodies drying up, that farmers who hitherto had depended on climate and rainfall for their crops can no longer predict adequately when the rains would come. So, they either farm early or they farm late, leading to low harvest and further exacerbation of poverty.
    This forces on us as invidious responsibility, that we as a people and probably, as a country, need to take the issue of climate change serious. It is definitely not acceptable for us to continue to encourage logging and
    particularly illegal logging. This is because Mr Speaker, it is said and rightly, so that when the last tree goes, the last man goes.
    Today, the forest cover that Ghana had pre-independence has been reduced drastically and that has a direct impact on the climate and the environment in Ghana.
    Mr Speaker, of late, we have been fighting illegal small scale miners and people have asked, “why are you now fighting them?” We are fighting them because their activities have direct impact on the climate and the environment.
    If you are talking about climate change, we do not need to look far, that forest areas of this country have been seriously degraded, degraded by illegal activities of small scale miners, which activities Mr Speaker, do not bring us money. We do not take royalties or taxes from these illegal miners and they further degrade our forest. Double agony, we do not take money. We lose our forest.
    That is why we must fight them. Mr Speaker, when we have our rivers flowing, evaporation of the river bodies enables the evaporated water to condense in the air and fall as rain. When we lose the rivers, we no longer get the rain and when we do not get the rain, our cocoa farms are affected, our maize farms are affected and our cereals, indeed, are affected.
    That is why we must fight anybody who pollutes or diverts our water bodies because they are compromising our ability to lead a dignified life in this country.
    Mr Speaker, climate change is real. All of us have the responsibility to contribute towards its mitigation by planting trees in our houses, by churches planting trees on their compounds, by mosques planting trees on their praying areas, by schools
    Mr Joe Baidoo-Ansah 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think it is a mistake because it is a Report for the year ended 31st December, 2012. This one is not ready, it is 2011 that is ready but it has not been laid.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader, what is the
    position?
    Mr Agbesi 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that
    he is correct; it is a mistake; it is that of
    2011 --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Thank you very much.
    The last contributor.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    Hon
    Member, how sure are you that the 2012 one is not ready?
    Mr Kofi Okyere-Agyekum (NPP -- Fanteakwa South) 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would like to support the Statement by my Colleague, the Member of Parliament for Komenda/Edina/Eguafo/Abirem (KEEA), Nana (Dr) Ato Arthur.
    Mr Speaker, I would like to look at the issue from the angle of the institutions that have been set up to manage and control the activities that bring about this climate change. I am talking about the Forestry Commission, the Water Resources Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, Minerals Commission and others.
    Mr Speaker, we know about the importance of these institutions in controlling the environment and also the climate. But my worry is that, we do not give these institutions the capacity to do the work. If you look at the budget that we approved for some of these institu- tions, you would find out that 90 per cent of the budget goes to paying their wages and salaries while very little is allocated for the work that they need to do to ensure that they make an impact.
    If you look at the environmental and climate change, it is coming because of forestry activities, because of farming activities and we have a situation where a lot of bad farming practices are going on because we do not have the extension services that used to advise farmers on good farming practices. I would suggest that we pay attention to these organisa- tions and institutions that have been mandated to do the management of our forestry, timber logging and all that.
    We, also as a country, have to look at the cost benefit of some of these activities. Let us take the case of timber logging; we seem to think that, the more timber we are able to fell and sell, that means that that industry is performing well. We seem to think that the more gold we are able to mine and sell, then the mining industry is doing well.
    But we are not looking at the effect that these activities have on our agriculture -- farming, fishing and all that. I think it is about time we, as a country, looked at the cost benefits of some of these activities rather than see them as progress. A lot of research has been done, that shows that it is not beneficial really to be continuing in the path of mining, mining, mining.
    Mr Speaker, I have been doing a little experiment myself as a farmer. For instance, I have noticed that, over the years, if you plant 100 or 1,000 cocoa seedlings, by the time the dry season is over 800 of them would be dead and it has been increasing. This means that, if we do not take care, in the next 20 to 30 years, our dependence on cocoa as a major source of revenue would be in trouble.
    This is because, I have looked at it myself and it is happening that as a result of the climate change, cocoa as a plant is dying. If you ask those who are in the
    cocoa industry, you would find out that after every season you go to your farm and mature cocoa trees are dead because of the climate. As for the seedlings, I do not know what the agricultural experts say, but if you plant 1,000, you would find out that 800 would die and I think we have to look at it very critically.
    With these few words, I thank you for the opportunity.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Thank you very much.
    That brings us to the end of Statements.
    Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu 12:45 p.m.
    Mr
    Speaker, you asked the question, how sure was the Hon Member that the 2012 was not ready. I am the Chairman of the Committee; I cannot be sure and I do not think he can also be sure. If the Audi- tor-General had submitted this document to the Speaker, then we would not be privy to that document and we would therefore, not be sure.
    But what I know for sure, as the Chair-
    man of that Committee, is the fact that the 2011 Report is ready. It is in the House but has not been laid yet. So, we are won- dering why the Report for 2011 has not been laid and the Speaker wants us to lay the 2012 one. That is what is probably confusing my Colleague, that it is a mistake. Definitely, I think it is a mistake.
    Mr Agbesi 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, with the indulgence of the House, I would want to ask permission for the Hon Minister for Trade and Industry to lay the Paper on behalf of the Minister in charge of Government Business in Parliament in item 4 on the Order Paper.
    Mr H. Iddrisu 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I advise
    the Leader to stand this particular issue down and do further consultation.
    I hereby, without the records capturing this, revoke my bow on this particular matter.
    Mr Agbesi 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the advice
    from the Clerk is that 2011 had been laid. What is left to be laid is 2012, which is ready to be laid. So, what is here is proper; it is accurate.
    Mr Agyeman-Manu 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am still insisting that the 2011 has not been laid. Mr Speaker, we have laid in this House, just five reports this particular parliamentary term; just five (5). I have the
    Votes and Proceedings document here for Tuesday, 4th of June, 2013. All those ones that have been laid are listed here but the 2011 Consolidated Account or the Public Accounts is not part of the five that have actually been laid.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader, what is the position?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    Hon Mem- bers, can we play safe by standing it down? We can look at it tomorrow, so that in the interim, you can confer and make sure that we are doing the right thing.
    Accordingly, I direct that it be deferred.
    Mr Agbesi 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that he is correct; it is a mistake; it is that of
    2011 --
    Mr Agyeman-Manu 12:45 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    Now, item number 4 (ii) -- that one has been laid; has it not?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    Hon Member, how sure are you that the 2012 one is not ready?
    Mr Agbesi 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, item number 4 (ii) -- Minister for Trade?
    Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, you asked the question, how sure was the Hon Member that the 2012 was not ready. I am the Chairman of the Committee; I cannot be sure and I do not think he can also be sure. If the Auditor- General had submitted this document to the Speaker, then we would not be privy to that document and we would therefore, not be sure.
    But what I know for sure, as the Chairman of that Committee, is the fact that the 2011 Report is ready. It is in the House but has not been laid yet. So, we are wondering why the Report for 2011 has not been laid and the Speaker wants us to lay the 2012 one. That is what is probably confusing my Colleague, that it is a mistake. Definitely, I think it is a mistake.
    Mr H. Iddrisu 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I advise the Leader to stand this particular issue down and do further consultation.
    I hereby, without the records capturing this, revoke my bow on this particular matter.
    Mr Agbesi 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the advice from the Clerk is that 2011 had been laid. What is left to be laid is 2012, which is ready to be laid. So, what is here is proper; it is accurate.
    Mr Agbesi 12:45 p.m.
    It has been laid.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    Very well. So, I direct that it be referred to the Public Accounts Committee for its deliberation and report. [Interruption.] We are talking about the--
    “Report of the Auditor-General on the Public Accounts of Ghana (Con- solidated Fund) for the year ended 31st December, 2012”.
    That is what we are looking at now.
    Mr Agyeman-Manu 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am still insisting that the 2011 has not been laid. Mr Speaker, we have laid in this House, just five reports this particular parliamentary term; just five (5). I have the Votes and Proceedings document here for Tuesday, 4th of June, 2013. All those ones that have been laid are listed here but the 2011 Consolidated Account or the Public Accounts is not part of the five that have actually been laid.
    Mr Ignatius B. Awuah 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thought your directive was that we should defer it till tomorrow. I do not know why
    -- 2011 --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    Hon Members, can we play safe by standing it down? We can look at it tomorrow, so that in the interim, you can confer and make sure that we are doing the right thing.
    Accordingly, I direct that it be deferred.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    No 2011. The direction I gave was with regard to item number (i) -- [Interruption] -- No,

    please; it was with respect to item num- bered (ii), not (i).

    All right. In that case, then item num-

    ber (ii) is the one that has been deferred. Item number (i) has been referred to the Special Budget Committee.

    Now, Hon Deputy Majority Leader --
    Mr Agyeman-Manu 12:45 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    Now, item number 4 (ii) -- that one has been laid; has it not?
    Mr Agbesi 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, with regard to item 5, consultations are still going on and we pray that it be deferred until further notice.
    Mr Agbesi 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, item number 4 (ii) -- Minister for Trade?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    So, what is the way forward? We are in your hands.
    Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, there would be a joint Majority and Minor- ity Caucuses meeting after adjournment and it is in this regard that I beg to move, that the House do adjourn to tomorrow at
    Mr Agbesi 12:45 p.m.
    It has been laid.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 10 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Member, would you just second the Mo- tion for us?
    Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah 10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    Very well. So, I direct that it be referred to the Public Accounts Committee for its deliberation and report. [Interruption.] We are talking about the--
    “Report of the Auditor-General on the Public Accounts of Ghana (Consolidated Fund) for the year ended 31st December, 2012”.
    That is what we are looking at now.
    ADJOURNMENT 10 a.m.

    Mr Ignatius B. Awuah 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thought your directive was that we should defer it till tomorrow. I do not know why
    -- 2011 --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    No 2011. The direction I gave was with regard to item number (i) -- [Interruption] -- No, please; it was with respect to item numbered (ii), not (i).
    All right. In that case, then item number (ii) is the one that has been deferred. Item number (i) has been referred to the Special Budget Committee.
    Now, Hon Deputy Majority Leader --
    Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, there would be a joint Majority and Minority Caucuses meeting after adjournment and it is in this regard that I beg to move, that the House do adjourn to tomorrow at
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 10 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Member, would you just second the Motion for us?