Debates of 19 Jul 2013

MR SPEAKER
PRAYERS 11:15 a.m.

COMMUNICATION FROM THE 11:15 a.m.

PRESIDENT 11:15 a.m.

Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Members, communi- cation from the President--
“11th July, 2013
THE RT HON SPEAKER 11:15 a.m.

OFFICE OF PARLIAMENT 11:15 a.m.

PARLIAMENT HOUSE 11:15 a.m.

ACCRA 11:15 a.m.

PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC 11:15 a.m.

VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT 11:25 a.m.

Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Hon Members, Correction of the Votes and Proceedings of Thursday, 18th July, 2013.
Page 1 … 24--
Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, yesterday, the Committee on Roads and Transport did meet and undertook a tour of the congested area of the Tema Port. That report, Mr Speaker, is not captured in the Votes and Proceedings.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
I am sure they did not submit it to the Table Office. So, it will be captured the next time round when we Sit.
Hon Members, the Votes and Proceedings of Thursday, 18th July, 2013 are hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.

Hon Members, Business Statement for the First Week of the Third Meeting.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE 11:25 a.m.

Majority Leader/Chairman of the Business Committee (Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor) 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Committee met yesterday, Thursday, 18th July, 2013 and arranged Business of the House for the First Week of the Third Meeting ending Friday, 25th October, 2013.
Mr Speaker, the Committee accordingly submits its Report as follows 11:25 a.m.
Arrangement of Business
Question(s)
Mr Speaker, the Committee has programmed the following Ministers to respond to Questions asked of them during the week:
No. of
Question(s)
i. Minister for Health -- 1
ii. Minister for Energy and Petroleum -- 1
iii. Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts -- 1
iv. Minister for Food and Agriculture -- 1
v. Minister for Roads and Highways -- 3
Total number of Questions -- 7
Mr Speaker, the Committee accordingly submits its Report as follows 11:25 a.m.
Conclusion
Mr Speaker, in accordance with Standing Order 160(2) and subject to Standing Order 53, the Committee submits to this Honourable House the order in which the Business of the House shall be taken during the week.

Questions

*12. Mr Emmanuel Kwasi Bcdzrah (Ho West): To ask the Minister for Health what measures the Ministry has put in place to convert the Ho Regional Hospital into a teaching hospital for the University of Health and Allied Sciences.

*14. Mr Stephen Kunsu (Kintampo North): To ask the Minister for Energy and Petroleum when compensation will be paid to the remaining displaced farmers whose farms were destroyed during the construction of the Bui Dam power substation at Kintampo.

Statements

Presentation of Papers --

(a) Report of the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation on the Internal Revenue (Amendment) Regulations, 2013 (L.1. 2203).

(b) Report of the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation on the Petroleum (Local Content and Local Participation) Regulations,

2013 (L.1. 2204).

Committee sittings.

Questions--

*15. Mr Stephen Kunsu (Kintampo North): To ask the Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts what plans the Ministry has to develop the Fuller Falls at Kintampo.

*16. Mr Stephen Kunsu (Kintampo North): To ask the Minister for Food and Agriculture the status of the New Longoro Irrigation Project.

Statements

Presentation of Papers --

(a) Report of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parlia- mentary Affairs on the Plant Breeders Bill, 2013.

(b) Report of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parlia- mentary Affairs on the Anti- Terrorism (Amendment) Bill,

2013.

Committee sittings.

Statements

Presentation of Papers --

(a) Report of the Special Committee on the appointment of an Auditor to audit the accounts of the Office of the Auditor-General.

(b) Report of the Standing Orders Committee on the review of the Standing Orders of the Parlia- ment of Ghana.

Motions --

(a) Adoption of the Report of the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation on the Internal Revenue (Amendment) Regu- lations, 2013 (L.1. 2203).

(b) Adoption of the Report of the Committee on Subsidiary Legis- lation on the Petroleum (Local Content and Local Participation) Regulations, 2013 (L.1.2204).

Committee sittings.

Questions --

*17. Mr Stephen Kunsu (Kintampo North): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways the status of the Apaaso Kintampo High- way.

*18. Mr Stephen Kunsu (Kintampo North): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways when the proposed construction of the five-kilometre Kintampo town roads and the dual carriageway of the main road within the Kintampo town will commence.

*19. Mr Stephen Kunsu (Kintampo North): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways what plans the Ministry has to construct the road from Soronuase through Ntariban to Busuama in the Kintampo North Constituency.

Statements

Motions --

Second Reading of Bills --

Plant Breeders Bill, 2013.

Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Bill,

2013

Adoption of the Report of the Special Committee on the appointment of an Auditor to audit the accounts of the Office of the Auditor-General.

Committee sittings.

Mr Speaker, the Leadership of this House was also met by the Planning Committee of the First Year Anniversary of the death of the former President, His Excellency, Prof. J. E. A. Mills and has indicated a timetable for this commemo- ration. We would want to use this opportunity, Mr Speaker, to entreat all Hon Members, through their Whips, to participate actively in the anniversary in memory of the late President.

With your indulgence, Mr Speaker, I would like to amplify a number of the specific highlights that Leadership had in relation to the anniversary of the funeral.

On Sunday, 21st July, 2013, there will be a coral concert at the National Theatre to mark the birthday of the late President Atta Mills; on Monday, 22nd July, 2013, the first in the series of Annual Atta Mills Memorial Lectures at the Accra Interna- tional Conference Centre; on 24th July, 2013, a remembrance ceremony at the Asomdwee Park to observe the exact date and time of the passing on of the late President, followed by the commence- ment of an international hockey gala at the Accra Hockey Pitch; on Friday, Muslim prayers will be said.

On Saturday, 27th July, 2013, a foundation stone-laying ceremony at Cape Coast for the construction of the Atta Mills Memorial Research Library which will be affiliated to the University of Cape Coast, will be laid.
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Hon Members, that is the Business Statement for the First Week of the Third Meeting ending Friday, 25th October, 2013.
Mr Justice J. Appiah 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker --
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
I hope it is on the Business Statement?
Mr Appiah 11:35 a.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Since the inception of the committees, as a member of the House Committee, we have met only once. I would want to find out from Leadership what is wrong with the House Committee. Is it abolished? Mr Speaker, I need your guidance.
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Hon Members, strictly speaking, this is not a Business Committee's programme for the House. But since Hon Members would want to know something about the House Committee, I will allow the -- Who is the Hon Chairman? Who is the Hon Ranking Member?
Hon Minority Chief Whip, are you the Hon Ranking Member?
Dr Kunbuor 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am sure the Hon Member is aware how Select or Standing Committees of this House no more exist and there is no indication that a Motion has been moved in this House expunging any committee.
Indeed, a number of deliberations have taken place. We could not concretise them and we thought that we needed to hold a joint Caucus meeting in which a number of the matters that would have been
considered by the House Committee would have been taken. But I would like to assure the Hon Member that the House Committee is still very functional.
Mr William O. Boafo 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to find out from the Hon Majority Leader, when the Committee on article 181 of the Constitution is expected to continue with its work and complete it. This is because he only mentioned a meeting of the Standing Orders Committee during the recess. I did not hear anything about the article 181 Ad Hoc Committee.
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Hon Majority Leader, I was going to ask that question if the Hon Member for Akwapim North had not raised it; it is very important.
Dr Kunbuor 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, even as an ad hoc committee, it is a committee that has referrals. The Committee has held its first meeting and a number of guidelines were put in place, which were secretarial in nature. I have had the opportunity to discuss with a number of members of the Committee what the likely arrangement and the availability of members would be for us to schedule the meetings.
So, that discussion is taking place and all Hon Members of the Committee would be duly informed. But it is a committee that has duly been referred a matter to examine and report and the Committee would certainly --
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Do you have any plans of meeting during the recess? Does the Committee have any plans?
Dr Kunbuor 11:35 a.m.
That is so, Mr Speaker.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, this is just to seek your indulgence to encourage Leadership, that another committee was set up to look into the Code of Conduct. We expect that they would also be adequately engaged during this recess.
Dr Kunbuor 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we are still waiting for the preparatory arrangements of the leadership of that Committee. Immediately we get the arrangements of the business that they intend to carry out -- It is also one of the committees that would meet during the recess.
Mr Speaker, I certainly have been in touch. There is a large body of documen- tation that is required, which would be distributed to the committee members and they would hold their first meeting and the guidelines would be communicated and the timetable scheduled.
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am encouraged by the rather raucous -- [Hear! Hear!] that greeted your announcement that the President was travelling outside. I am encouraged by that to --
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Is that comment on the Business Statement?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, you would want to know whether it is a
-- 11:35 a.m.

Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Or you are laying the foundation?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am laying the foundation.
I am aware that you have allowed some latitude for issues not directly related to the House to be made, in particular with respect to the timetable given by the Hon Majority Leader, regarding the commemorative events to be associated with the former President; and that is all good.
I am saying that, it is important that the committees be urged to work during the recess. Of course, a lot would depend on the position of the pendulum post- August 15, 2013. So, it is important that we urge the committees to work, not knowing how the attitude of Hon
rose
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not know whether the Hon Majority Leader is rising on a point of order and if he is, I would yield to him on his point of order. [Pause.]
So, Mr Speaker, I was urging that the Hon Members involved would give their various travel schedules and activities to Leadership in order for us to determine when a committee should be meeting.
Dr Kunbuor 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I normally say that on Fridays, one of the important things I do, is to say the Lord's Prayer and always ask the Lord to help me to resist temptation.
I am almost clear in my mind that the Business Statement for the next Sitting, August or 15 th August, 2013 has no relevance whatsoever. [Hear! Hear!] And I am very clear that, where the pendulum does swing, it will have no effect whatsoever on parliamentary business.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, you see, I was only talking about events during the recess, that they could be affected by the direction of the pendulum on August 15, 2013. That is a matter of fact. So, for my Hon Colleague to rise up and dispute this-- unless he wants to play God. I think that for relevance's sake, it is important for us to factor that into the conduct of business during this particular recess.
Mr Collins Owusu-Amankwah 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, having listened to the Report by the Hon Chairman for the Business Committee, I think it is very key and important to celebrate the life of our late and beloved President, Prof J. E. A. Mills. However, he failed to touch on the budget or moneys that have been allocated to celebrate such events and as a House, we would want to know.
Dr Kunbuor 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, let us not assume a bigger burden than the circumstances imposed on us. We are very clear in our minds that this is a celebration by the family. But if the Hon Member is interested, there are a number of individuals that are interested in making their contribution. I have mine in my pocket and I hope he has his too in his pocket, so I will receive it.
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of the consideration of the Business Statement for the First Week of the Third Meeting ending Friday, 25th October, 2013.
Business Statement accordingly adopted.
Hon Members, Statements.
Dr Kunbuor 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would like to crave your indulgence that we acknowledge the fact that the family of His Excellency the late President is with us to listen to the Statement that would be made.They are actually led by his brother Dr Cadman Atta Mills and his son Samuel Atta Mills and I would want that the House acknowledges them. [Hear! Hear!]
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Hon Members, the State- ment stands in the name of the Hon Deputy Minister for Education.
Dr Kunbuor 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, sorry for having to take you back. But because today is the last day and the Finance Committee would have to consider a number of urgent matters, if we could lay them as a matter of procedure and then proceed.
I am certainly not overruling Mr Speaker, but it is just for the convenience of the House and the Finance Committee.
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Before I take comments from the Hon Minority Leader, I would want to find out from you whether you see that the Hon Member for Old Tafo is in black. Have you seen that the Hon Member for Old Tafo is in black?And you know that he is the Ranking Member on the Finance Committee?
Dr Kunbuor 11:45 a.m.
That is so. But we intend to give him a place of pride today as we proceed on matters in this House.
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Very well.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I thought you were going to ask the reason for his being in black. In any event, he is not the only one in black.
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
I know he had a special relationship with the former President. [Hear! Hear!] The former President told me and he himself has confirmed it to me. [Hear! Hear!]
Dr A. A. Osei 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it is known by everybody who knows me that the late President considered me a younger brother. That is a fact. Dr Cadman Mills is a senior brother. That is a fact. But it does not stop me from saying the truth.
Mr Speaker, the anniversary is not today. You are aware. So, that is not why I am in black today. I am in black for a different reason. A former staff member of mine at the Ministry of Finance lost her mother, so, I had to go to the church service.
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
I thought that you would want to make a State contribution to the Statement and that was the reason I made the statement.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I know. That is why I am waiting.
Dr Kunbuor 11:45 a.m.
If Mr Speaker's pleasure is clear, I would want us to vary the order of the business and take item 5 and then come back to the Statement.
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Is it only item 5 you are taking or the one on the Order Paper Addendum too?
Dr Kunbuor 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we will take both; all the Papers will be laid.
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Hon Members, item 5 (a) (i) -- By the Minister for Finance.
Dr Kunbuor 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would like to crave your indulgence and seek your leave to grant permission to the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance to lay the Paper on behalf of the Finance Minister who is out of the jurisdiction.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, first of all, varying the order of business is in your bosom. So, if an application is made, it must be granted first. I have not heard that you have granted the application made by the Hon Majority Leader.
But Mr Speaker, beyond that, it is not for nothing I keep saying that in the absence of a Cabinet Minister, another Cabinet Minister is designated to hold the portfolio. Now, we have the Hon Majority Leader, our own beloved Majority Leader -- [Hear! Hear!] -- as the Leader of Government Business and Minister --
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Is that his new title?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, he knows that he is a beloved Leader in whom we are well pleased. So, I thought that doubling up as the Leader of Government Business-- and this is the business of Government-- he must be in the position -- in the absence of the substantive Minister for Finance to lay this Paper and not look over his shoulders and beckon the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance to lay the Paper.
He is more than capable of doing this and the House strongly urges him to do what is right.
Mr Speaker, I believe I have the support of the House.
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
I hope you are not leading the Hon Majority Leader into temptation.
Dr Kunbuor 11:45 a.m.
Indeed, Mr Speaker, as I have been saying, I was actually not looking behind my shoulders but I was looking in front towards the Hon Minority Leader because we have had an occasion on the floor, where the Hon Minority Leader had sought to challenge my actual knowledge of Cabinet decisions.
Like I did at that time, I said the Lord should help me to resist temptation and he is repeating the same temptation today. But if he has a very strong position on that matter, we have other Cabinet Ministers here also, who will have relevant knowledge. We could ask the Hon Minister for Trade and Industry to lay it on behalf of the Hon Minister for Finance.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it is not for nothing that the Leader of Government Business has a ministerial designation. It is to facilitate Government business in the House and the practice has always been that where the Leader is
Dr Kunbuor 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, if we can get your ruling on this matter, so that it goes on record. This is because we have actually beaten this path before and --
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Hon Member, I think that you are qualified to lay this Paper on behalf of the Hon Minister for Finance, just as in my view, the Hon Deputy Minister is also qualified to lay it on behalf of his Minister. But if it is the thinking of the House that you should lay it, I do not see anything wrong with you laying the Paper on behalf of the Hon Minister for Finance.
Dr Kunbuor 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am most grateful.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Clement Kofi Humado, the person who has been designated to hold the fort for the Hon Minister, he is not here. I think from now onwards, we should prepare the path for the Hon Majority Leader, the Leader of Government Business and Minister to be doing this on behalf of

Hon Ministers who may not be in the Chamber.

Mr Speaker, of course, if we agree, then perhaps, the next stage would be to urge the President, while the Presidency lasts, to make the Hon Deputy Majority Leader a Minister of State, who then can assume control in the absence of the substantive Majority Leader and --
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader, what is your interest in this matter? [Laughter.]
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we should always be guided by history, and in these matters, there is a very rich history in this House.
Mr Speaker, you would recall that when the Hon Minority Leader was a Deputy Majority Leader, at the tail end of the Administration, he became a Minister of State to enable him facilitate Government Business in the House. It is in the light of that experience that he made this recommendation.
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Hon Members, Presen- tation of Papers -- item number 5(a)(i) and (ii)?
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Hon Majority Leader, are we laying all the Papers?
Dr Kunbuor 11:55 a.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Very well.
By the Minister for Government Business/Majority Leader (on behalf of the Minister for Communications) --
Postal and Courier Services Regulations, 2013
Referred to the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation.
By the Minister for Government Business/Majorit Leader (on behalf of the Minister for Finance) --
Fees and Charges (Amendment) Instrument, 2013
Referred to the Finance Committee.
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Item number 5(e), Chairman of the Finance Committee, is this report ready?
Mr James K. Avedzi 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, yes.
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
So, it can be laid?
Mr Avedzi 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we can lay it.
By the Chairman of the Committee --
Report of the Finance Committee on the Request for waiver of Customs Duty, VAT, EDIF, ECOWAS Levy, Destination Inspection Fees, Withholding Tax Liabilities, Corporate Income Taxes and other related taxes amounting to thirty- nine million, six hundred and thirty thousand, two hundred and thirty- five euros and eighty-nine cents (€39,630,235.89) related to the implementation of the Second Phase of the construction of the Ada Coastal Protection Works.
By the Chairman of the Committee --
Report of the joint Committee on Roads and Transport and Employ- ment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises on the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006.
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Item number 6 -- Presentation and First Reading of Bills?
Dr Kunbuor 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we said we would take the item on the addendum.
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Are we not taking this one? It is just a matter of bowing. Are we taking the VAT Bill?
Dr Kunbuor 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, yes.
BILLS -- FIRST READING 11:55 a.m.

Mr Speaker 12:05 p.m.
Hon Members, we now move to addendum Order Paper.
PAPERS 12:05 p.m.

Mr Zaphenat J. Amenowode 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want your guidance on this. The COCOBOD is a State enterprise and it is under the Committee on Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises and I was wondering if item 5(a)(i) and (ii) should not be jointly referred.
Mr Speaker 12:05 p.m.
Hon Member, I have already done the referral. If you had drawn my attention to it earlier, maybe, I would have taken one or two comments and we would have -- [Pause.]
Hon Deputy Minister for Education -
- 12:05 p.m.

STATEMENTS 12:05 p.m.

Prof. Mills' expertise transcended the lecture room 12:05 p.m.
He was a member of the Ghana Stock Exchange Council. In 1988, he became the acting Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service of Ghana and was named National Tax Commissioner in September 1993. He also held examiner positions with finance-related institutions in Ghana, including the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Institute of Bankers and Ghana Tax Review Commission. He served on the Board of Trustees of the Mines Trust.
He was a member of the Management Committee of the Commonwealth Administration of Tax Experts, United Nations Ad Hoc Group of Experts in International Co-operation in Tax Matters and United Nations Law and Population Project. He led a study on equipment leasing in Ghana. He chaired the casebook preparation on Ghana's Income Tax. He oversaw the review of Ghana's Double Tax Agreement with the UK.
Prof.Mills was also a distinguished sportsman and sports administrator 12:05 p.m.
he played hockey and was a member of Ghana's National Hockey Team and later the Veterans Hockey Team. He also played football and was a reputable swimmer as well. The Ghana Hockey Association, the National Sports Council of Ghana, and the famous Accra Hearts of Oak Sporting Club remember him as an administrator par excellence.
On the political scene, Prof. Mills first emerged as a running mate to President Rawlings who was seeking re-election for a second term in office. They overwhelmingly won the 1996 election and Prof. Mills became Vice President of Ghana from 1996 to 2000.
Between 2001 and 2008, Prof. Mills became the de-facto opposition leader and earned an enviable reputation for decent politicking and accepting election results without fomenting trouble. He soon became affectionately known as the Asomdwehene, to wit, King of Peace.
On January 7th 2009, Prof. Mills was sworn in as the third President of the Fourth Republic.
He was until his untimely death the Presidential Candidate for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for the 2012 Presidential Election, setting a new record in challenged presidential primaries winning by an impressive 96.7 per cent.
Prof.Mills was also a distinguished sportsman and sports administrator 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we must take pride in ourselves for dropping our partisan robes by collectively and soberly paying our last respects to President John Evans Atta Mills, as well as giving him a befitting and dignified State burial.
This Parliament, and indeed, all Ghanaians, ought to be commended for the smooth transition which has been hailed globally, especially as we were in unchartered waters.
As he rests peacefully in the bosom of the Almighty, I have no doubt that he would be thankful to us for the maturity, dignity and peaceful manner by which we managed affairs.
Mr Speaker, Prof. Mills' reverence for Parliament was exceedingly significant. He attended to his constitutional obligations to this august House with deep commitment. It is to his legacy that the Job 600 project meant to house Members of Parliament was re-started. He also mooted the idea of constituency offices which was piloted in a few constituencies before his untimely departure.
His decision to offer to this House its first female Speaker for consideration, in the person of the competent Rt. Hon Joyce Bamford- Addo, has been lauded, not only by gender activists across the divide but by all political watchers who are impressed with our former Speaker's contribution to Ghana's parliamentary democracy.
Mr Speaker, indeed, the governance record of Prof. John Evans Atta Mills is unprecedented as he himself once famously remarked. During his relatively short three and a half year tenure, Ghana's economy grew by an unprecedented 14.4 per cent in 2011. Cocoa production hit an

unprecedented one million metric tonnes, inflation remained at an unprecedented single digit for the longest period ever under the Fourth Republic. He extended national electricity coverage from 54 per cent to an unprecedented 72 per cent -- touching the lives of Ghanaians in 1,700 communities. Prof. Mills also led Ghana to negotiate its biggest loan package of US$3 billion from China -- another unprecedented feat.

In other departments, President Atta Mills gave Ghana the University of Health and Allied Sciences in the Volta Region, and the University of Energy and Natural Resources in the Brong Ahafo Region.

The elimination of thousands of schools under trees, the construction of new classroom facilities at various levels of the educational strata, the distribution of over 100,000 laptop computers, the introduction of the Mathematics, Science and Technology Scholarship Scheme, are all lasting testimonies to his great efforts at giving more meaning to education.

President Atta Mills re-equipped and re-tooled the security agencies; making it possible for the Military, the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana National Fire Service, Ghana Immigration Service, the Ghana Prisons Service, Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), et cetera, to have a new lease of life.

In the health sector, the upgrading and virtual reconstruction of the Tamale Teaching Hospital and the establishment of numerous health facilities cannot be forgotten.

His impact on our good governance architecture by commissioning a review of the 1992 Constitution and submitting himself to unfettered questions from journalists once every year in the Castle is worth noting.

Mr Speaker, Prof. Mills had an unshakable belief in the Ghanaian youth. Having been a lecturer most of his life, and I know many of us here were his students and are his products, Prof. Mills was obviously not in doubt of the capacity and promise of the Ghanaian youth.

He went beyond tokenism and proved that if the Ghanaian youth is given the right support and guidance, we can excel. Prof. Mills deserves all the credit he has been accorded for composing a government made of a useful blend of old and youth. Ghana's democratic future is all the richer for this.

Mr Speaker, on the international stage, Prof made all Africans proud. The international community could not resist his democratic credentials and his remarkable wisdom on world affairs. His stature in global diplomacy was to be seen by his ability to rally his peers in ECOWAS and the African Union to pursue common objectives including convincing them to support Ghanaian candidates for various international assignments.

A more permanent evidence of this humble Pan-Africanist's clout among his peers is that well-deserving giant golden statue of his mentor and idol -- Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, which now stands at the forecourt of the new African Union Building in Addis Ababa bearing the inscription --

“Donated by the Government of Ghana and unveiled by H. E. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and Chairperson of the African Union, H.E. John Evans Atta Mills, President of the Republic of Ghana and H.E. Dr. Jean Ping, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Addis Ababa, January 28, 2012.”

Mr Speaker, I take cognisance of the fact that time will not permit me to list all the achievements of the late President Mills. History and time will properly tell the story of this selfless African icon who dedicated his entire life to bettering the lot of all Ghanaians. Already, one is beginning to lose count of the honour being done his memory by the naming of numerous important edifices after Prof. Mills.

I can immediately recall: the Accra High Street renamed “John Evans Atta Mills High Street” by an Accra Metropolitan Assembly resolution; a street linking Cape Coast Castle to Mfantsipim Junction renamed “President John Atta Mills Street” by the Paramount Chief of Cape Coast, Omanhene of the Oguaa Traditional Area, Osaberema Kwesi Arthur. The New Millennium City School at the Salvation Army Cluster of Schools renamed “President John Evans Atta Mills Educational Centre of Excellence”, an ICT Centre built at Prof. Mills' alma mater--Huni Valley Methodist Basic School-- while the University of Ghana, Legon, recently named its new Faculty of Law building after Prof. Mills and Prof. Akua Kuenyehia.

The Chief Justice and the Judicial Council of Ghana have also named their largest to be court complex after Prof. Mills in acknowledgement of what the Chief Justice described as “a true democrat who respected the independence of the Judiciary and worked to promote it.”

Mr Speaker, the International Institute of Education (IIE) in New York has posthumously bestowed on Prof. Mills its highest award -- The Fritz Redlich Alumni Award in recognition of his distinguished career and exemplary leadership that increased co-operation and under- standing between Ghana and the world, and his resolute support for advancing education to prepare an entire generation in Ghana for today's competitive, globalised economy and to honour him
Dr Anthony A. Osei (NPP -- Old Tafo) 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I think next week is when we will really commemorate the death of our good friend. For some of us who have known him for a long time, we do not even use our titles, so when the Hon Member was saying “Prof”, I was confused who he was referring to. I was worried who the Hon Member was talking about. I call him “Fiifi” and he calls me “Akoto”.
I do not know exactly when the relationship happened, but I did not meet him in Achimota. He was classmates with Hon Osafo Marfo and my brother and I can tell you for a fact, a few days before his death, he spoke to my brother. So, we are a family.
In 1997, when my father died, at that time, most members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) -- I do not know what was happening but they were afraid to come to the funeral. [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, most of our
good friends came during the night, so that they could not be seen.
But “Fiifi” as a Vice President then, when he was going to Tamale, flew a contingent of his Ministers, landed at Kumasi Airport and he insisted that he would come to the church service. That is how we were close to him.
When his father died, my late mother, myself, four or five brothers, drove all the way -- [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, this is a very important occasion and I would want to urge those Members who do not know “Fiifi” to, at least, honour his memory. It is a very important day and we ought to be serious.
Mr Speaker, even when I was at the Centre for Economic Policy Analysis (CEPA) and he was the Vice President, for a variety of reasons, he came to seek advice on economic matters with CEPA and he made an effort to have private chats with me.
It is no secret that when he was the Vice President, he used to invite me to his office to discuss economic matters, but many times, we discussed family matters.
Cadman -- that is why I cannot even call him “Dr”: he is Dr Cadman Mills. But we do not use our titles. We continue to liaise with the family. In fact, I believe about two weeks ago, he had lunch with my elder brother Albert; he is in touch with my younger brother B.K. and Clement. So, we are a very close family.
I think the Fiifi I knew was a very soft- spoken person and modest. Perhaps, where we used to clash was on the sports field. He belonged to the Veterans and I belonged to the Citizens. I recall one day, we were going to have a game, he did not play that day.
Minister for Trade and Industry (Mr Haruna Iddrisu) (MP) 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to associate myself with the Statement made by the Hon Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and to thank him for so eloquently eulogising President J. E. A. Mills, undoubtedly one of Ghana's finest political leaders who was truly a great Ghanaian hero.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah (NPP -- Sekondi) 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, in our culture, one does not speak ill of the dead and I believe that in terms of governance, when a senior public servant is being eulogised, we raise it above partisanship. It is in the context of this that I make my contribution.
Mr Speaker, in my view, one thing that our country should learn from the leadership of the late President John Evans Atta Mills is that, when you are a leader, be yourself. Many people think that in this country, our people like robust and aggressive leaders and in terms of our politics, we have many people who believe that lack of robustness, lack of aggressiveness is a sign of weakness. President Mills demonstrated that soberness, modesty and soft-spokenness was never a sign of weakness.
The strength of a leader lies in the firmness of his beliefs and his desire to sacrifice self for the country and in my view, President Mills demonstrated that. He never responded in like terms to those who in characteristic Ghanaian fashion, vilified his leadership. As regards his legacy, I do not believe that it is in terms of bricks and mortar.
When we are talking about lasting legacies of leaders, let us look at those traits that go to influence positively, the life of younger generations. And I am urging all, particularly all those who aspire to leadership in this country, to take a leaf out of the style of Professor Mills.
That is not to say that he may not have certain traits people may consider negative, but at this time, let us only remember the positives. As regards the negatives, I believe a proper time would come. But then I am urging all Ghanaians to pray for the soul of President John Evans Atta Mills.
I was not close to him but I recall that when I came into Parliament in 1997, we met at a State function and then he asked me, “Ah Paapa, na wo na wonua Albert, aba ko na woreko wo Sekondi?” I did not know that he was following the happenings that were going on between my opponent and me, the late Albert Bosumtwi-Sam.
Of course, those were the days when we were described to be engaged in the fight of the titans.
But I say this to support previous statements that I have made, that Professor Mills was a man of peace.
He put this country first and I can say that his presidency was a sacrifice of the nation above his personal self. If he had considered himself, I do not think he would have continued being President, but he felt that his life was a call to service.
Let us all remember this and note that when we die, people may not assess us on the basis of the houses that we have built, the sports stadia that we have built, or whatever universities that we have built, but they will remember us for our style of leadership and then say that indeed, this was a man, this was a leader who served his country truly.
I thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Hon Members, I would want to inform the House that I have received a list from the Leadership of both

sides and as much as possible, I will be guided by that list.

Hon Cletus Avoka --
Mr Cletus A. Avoka (NDC -- Zebilla) 12:35 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this all- important Statement.
I wish first of all, to commend the Hon Member, Hon Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa who made the Statement, because from all intents and purposes, his Statement has been well-researched, well-resourced and eloquently delivered. I am grateful to him.
Mr Speaker, he has said everything that we need to know of the legacy of the late President John Evans Atta Mills, that I do not intend to repeat. I have encountered the late President in three different capacities. First, as a student of the University of Ghana, Legon, where he was my lecturer and also when I was sports captain -- Athletics Club of Legon Hall; he was the President of Amalga-mated Clubs and we worked very closely.
Secondly, in 1997, when he became Vice President, I was an Hon Minister of State working under him and thirdly, Mr Speaker, when he became the President of the Republic of Ghana, I served under him, first, as an Hon Minister and later as Majority Leader and Leader of this august House. Against the backdrop of that relationship, I had a very frequent and constant working relationship and meetings with him, so, I know him very closely.
As I indicated earlier, Mr Speaker, I do not intend to talk about his achievements and the rest of them. But there is one positive element of his legacy that I think it is important for me to draw attention of the august House and Ghanaians as a whole to-- And what is this legacy? That late President Mills was a listening President and leader; he was a listening leader.
Mr Cletus A. Avoka (NDC -- Zebilla) 12:35 p.m.


Why do I say so, Mr Speaker? Mr Speaker, it is common practice and knowledge that when some leaders bring some matters before this august House, the tendency is to push that agenda through.

But with President Mills, if there was a matter before this august House and his attention was drawn to the fact that there were other legal, constitutional or other administrative concerns associated with that matter -- whether a Bill, a loan agreement, an Instrument, et cetera, he would say “if you have those challenges, have it withdrawn and then clean it and bring it back to the House.”

I can recall the STX Agreement had to be withdrawn and brought back to this House. I can recall the CBB Loan Agreement, at some instances, had to be withdrawn and brought back to this House. This was somebody who listened to people; this was somebody who respected the opinion of this august House; so, he was a listening President.

Mr Speaker, I would want to take this opportunity to put on record that we as Ghanaians, love our leaders; we loved President Mills and then we love leaders who are listening people. We love leaders who are humble and we love leaders who are God-fearing. It is against this backdrop that following his death, we all came together.

The positive thing about us Ghanaians is that, when there are challenges facing us as a nation, we rally together. We put back our political differences, our idiosyncrasies and then come together as a country and then as one people. This was discerning during the time President Mills, unfortunately, died and during the time of his funeral.

I say this because Mr Speaker, with regard to this august House, on that fateful day of 24th of July, 2012, when the Leadership of this House's attention was drawn to his demise, around 3p.m. or thereafter, I was called to the Castle and told that under the constitutional provision and the rest of them, we should see how we could summon the House to swear in the then Vice President John Mahama as the President of Ghana.

We came back and met the Hon Minority Leader, fortunately, he is still acting as the Hon Minority Leader-- and the leadership of the Minority Caucus. We came back, discussed and by the evening --[Interruption] -- Mr Speaker, by the evening of that same day, we had met as a House in all our numbers and swore in the then Vice President John Mahama as the President of the Republic of Ghana, at a very short notice. And that was because of the understanding and co-operation that both sides of the House had for each other and the will of the people of this country.

Mr Speaker, following that, I recall when he nominated the then Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Paa Kwesi Arthur as his Vice, you could appreciate or recall the hullabaloo -- “Oh, do not vet him”; “oh, vet him in camera”; “he is the number two man in the country”, this and this and that -- We as a people, particularly in this Chamber, came together and said collectively that we did not need to undermine the legacy of the late President Mills.

The spirit that had prevailed during his funeral will be the spirit that must prevail in this House. So, we said, by the Constitution, by the Standing Orders, we will give a public hearing of him, but we will do it professionally and in that same spirit.

Mr Speaker will recall that when he was then the First Deputy Speaker and Hon Chairman of the Committee, the vetting of the then Vice President was very professional and I commend Hon Members of the vetting Committee and the entire Members of this House who were then in Parliament and all Ghanaians for the support and the professional manner in which they did it.

That was a legacy that we Ghanaians owe to President Mills and this is how we have been demonstrating it.

Mr Speaker, I know that we are lucky that President Mills died in office. I am saying this not to provoke any debate or sentiments. But I recall that the first President of the Republic of this country died in exile and that was unfortunate. The Prime Minister of Ghana in the Second Republic, Dr Busia also died in exile and that was unfortunate for Ghana.

Dr Hilla Limann, the President of the Third Republic, even though he died in the country, but also under ignoble circumstances because of a coup d'état that did not last. But President Mills had done three and a half years in office. He could have concluded the four years and God willing, he would have come back as a second-term President.

I am making this point because it is important that we appreciate his legacy. We appreciate that we owe those who have led this country, who have served this country a great deal. Hon Members of Parliament appreciate the sacrifices they are making for their constituencies. If you are making sacrifices for one consti- tuency, what about the person who had made sacrifices for this entire country? He is owed a lot.

Fortunately, we have our two surviving Presidents -- President John Jerry Rawlings and President John Kufuor still alive. I think we should treat them well; we should respect them; we should honour them until they depart this world, to show that we do not respect those who are dead only when they were in office but we respect people who have been in office and are still alive. We owe them a duty and that Ghanaians have a duty to show respect and dignity to them.

Let me conclude, Mr Speaker, by saying that a lot has been said about the late President Mills' humility, his under- standing and the rest. But I think there is one other aspect of his life that I should indicate, following my close association with him. That he was very frank and full of conviction. If he was committed to something, he prosecuted it.

I say so because I remember in 2011 or thereabout, I was going to the Castle in my capacity as the Leader of the House to join him to receive American Senators and Legislators. And when we had the working lunch with them, they raised the issue of gay rights, whether Ghana should not pass a law to legalise gay rights.

The President told them point blank that as far as he remained the President of the Republic of Ghana, he was not going to paddle a Bill to Parliament to legalise gay rights. He said that and somebody would say, “Eh! You are saying this to the United States of America, the policeman of the world and the rest of them; how are you able to do that?” But he was bold and he was firm. And this is the President Mills whom we have lost.
Prof George Y. Gyan-Baffour (NPP -- Wenchi) 12:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to eulogise our fallen leader.
Mr Speaker, we should not mourn this great man; we should rather celebrate his life. He was a simple man; he was a modest man; he was very unassuming; he was selfless, highly religious, a great intellectual and a man who loved and cherished peace in life and in death.
Mr Speaker, it is not by accident that the anniversary of his death falls during the period of truce. Mr Speaker, a period, a time, according to the President of the nine-member Supreme Court of the Election Petition, that “the battle of pink sheets is over”. Mr Speaker, it seems that even in death, the President wants us to celebrate him in peace.
Mr Speaker, this would be a period when all Ghanaians, National Democratic Congress (NDC), New Patriotic Party (NPP), Progressive People's Party (PPP) and Convention People's Party (CPP) should all come together to solemnly celebrate his life, the life of a man who was so peaceful.
Mr Speaker, I did not know this man very well except in the very formal sense of it; that is, as my President and indeed, the President of all of us. Mr Speaker, but
there is one thing that I admired him for. He, indeed, had a photographic memory. Mr Speaker, I used to watch him from this very angle, each time he delivered the State of the Nation Address. I could see clearly that the President was always speaking from memory rather than from a prepared speech.
In fact, if one went in there to look at it, there would have been some minor differences, but it was almost exactly what he had in the speech that he spoke out, without looking at the sheets. If one sat here, one would have thought he was looking at the sheets, but he was not because at some point, one would see that after talking, he would just flip about ten pages that he had already spoken about. But one could not see from here; I could and I liked him; in fact, I clearly respected him for that.
But this reminds me clearly of testimonies of his students that he was a professor par excellence and shrewd in his delivery and his ability to get his speeches captured in his mind just as the camera captures scenes of actions.
Mr Speaker, in the Akan culture, and indeed, in most of the chiefdoms round this country, a chief who dies on the throne is immortalised with the black stool. Prof Mills died on the throne; though a humble mortal, I think we should try to immortalise this man.
Mr Speaker, on the 24th day of July, especially in 2012, a day that would go into the annals of our political history as infamous and gloomy; we should all, both on the left and on the right, pray for the soul of our beloved President and let us all be reminded also of our common humanity.
Let us all resolve to celebrate this man without acrimony, over-indulgence and without creating unnecessary tension and divisiveness as one people; indivisible with a common destiny under God, for he was a man of peace.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Enoch T. Mensah (NDC -- Ningo- Prampram) 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for this opportunity.
Let me first of all, commend the Hon Member who made the Statement. He touched on virtually everything, but I would just touch on a few as well and repeat some of them.
Mr Speaker, the late President Mills was a remarkable man. He had many endearing attributes such that it is very difficult to know where to start from and where to end.
Mr Speaker, I got to know Prof. Mills about some 27 years ago when he became my brother in-law. That was so many years back. I also got to know him very well on Legon campus when I used to work at the finance office and he was in charge of the Amalgamated Club and since we all loved soccer and other games, we always ran into each other.
Prof Mills, as a sportsman par excellence, was also a very good sports administrator. He was the Chairman of the National Sports Council for many years. When I became the Minister for Sports and decided that we were going to inject some discipline into football adminis- tration and convert to professionalism, he was the main legal brain who supported us fashioning out all the laws that we made for us to have the kind of Football Association (FA) that we have today.
Mr Speaker, his intellect was second to none, as Hon Prof. Gyan-Baffour said, especially his photographic memory as well as his ability not to forget conversation or any incident that had taken place many years ago. He was a leader in the academia, and as a lecturer of law for many years, many captains of industry today passed through his hands
and many of the very good lawyers as well passed through his hands.
Mr Speaker, he knew all the strengths and weaknesses of people. So, when he engaged one, one had to be very careful; one needed to be on one's feet when one met a man like Prof. Mills because of his intellectual prowess. Mr Speaker, his rise from academia into politics was something that this country benefited from. It was as if all the things that he did was gearing him up to become the President of this nation.
Mr Speaker, the tenacity of purpose, firmness, his focus, approach, kindness, honesty and humility epitomised the man we are talking about today. He was soft- spoken and a deep thinker. What many had considered as weakness was actually a demonstration of courage to stand by his conviction and not to be swayed by popular sentiments or internal political pressures.
He was somebody who always stood his ground. But over and above all, he was guided by a single principle of his love and fear for God. He prayed for strength and wisdom from God and asked for compassion for his opponents and enemies in prayer.
He sought understanding from God and lived a godly life.
Mr Speaker, he was a man who had extensive power but did not misuse it. He always just shook off all the insults and issues which would have disappointed other people.
Mr Speaker, as I said, all that is to be said have been said. President Mills was blessed as a President of Ghana and as a result of that, Ghana was blessed. He was a shining star to Ghanaians and it is our belief that the Good Lord will keep and bless him abundantly.
Mr Joe Ghartey (NPP -- Essikadu/ Ketan) 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, as I sat down and listened to what various Hon Members were saying, I could not but feel compelled to restrict myself to a few words rather than sound repetitive.
Mr Speaker, we were told by the Hon Member who made the Statement of his intellectual prowess in the area of tax law. I must say that I did not hear the Hon Member who made the Statement refer to company law because when we were in the Law School or when we were in the Faculty, we knew Prof. Mills as a lecturer of company law rather than tax law. But indeed, he was an expert in both.
Mr Speaker, I happen, with your permission, to teach company law in the Faculty, and one or two articles I referred my students to were articles that had been written by Prof. Mills. For example, when Prof. Mills wrote about the interpretation of “oppression” under section 218 of the Companies Act -- One of my regrets for Prof. Mills and other senior lecturers in this category -- Fiadjoe and others -- is that they wrote several articles but unfortunately, perhaps, public life did not give them the opportunity to write books.
Mr Speaker, when we have the opportunity to talk about some of our heroes, especially Heads of State and Government, we must learn, not only from their past, but from the present and we must also learn from things that have happened after they passed on.
We have been told by the Hon Member who made the Statement that some of the things that have occurred are that various public monuments such as roads and buildings have been named after the good professor. We thank God for that. But we must recognise, as a nation, that regardless of what Government, a person served in, we must respect all our former leaders.
Mr Speaker, I talk about a roundabout or a circle near the Togo Embassy which used to be called Akuffo-Addo Roundabout, named after Edward Akuffo- Addo who was President of Ghana. Unfortunately, the labelling “Akuffo- Addo” has been taken off. And I would want to say, that perhaps, it is a mistake; it is not intentional. Whatever be the case, I use this opportunity to urge the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) to recognise all our former leaders including Prof. Mills and including the late President Edward Akuffo-Addo also.
Mr Speaker, we are told that a library is going to be built for Prof. Mills. I support the library. Indeed, Mr Speaker, the reason American Presidents started building libraries was to capture history. I have had the pleasure or the opportunity of visiting the library of President Bill Clinton. Mr Speaker, one goes there and re-lives history. You would find students, people who served in his government and children who were not born when he was President going to visit his library.
We must do this for all our former Presidents. So, I support the one that has been given to President Mills and I recall -- and I am sure the position has changed -- that when it was said, after President Kufuor left office, that a library was going to be built by him, there was an uproar by some people in society.
I am saying that, as a people, we must, as a matter of urgency, put aside some money in order to recognise and keep our history by way of establishing libraries,
for all our former leaders. It is not about the leader; it is not about the person; it is about the position the person occupied at a certain point in time.
Mr Speaker, I remember Prof. Mills in the House. I remember once, after serious heckling, he himself remarked that that was “gargantuan heckling”. He was a nice man. We would not say otherwise.
But what I would say, in closing, is that perhaps, it is about time that Parliament, as an institution, started looking at how to -- in a non-partisan manner -- recognise, respect and preserve the legacy of all our former leaders as not being their legacy but the legacy of Ghana regardless of political persuasion.
Mr Speaker, George Bush Jr recently was asked on CNN what he thought about his going to war in Iraq and so on. What he said was that history will judge him. The question was asked, when history will judge him? He said, “long after I have gone.” History will judge all of us. History will also judge Prof. Mills. I pray that Prof. Mills as well as all of us, history judges us kindly.
Mrs Della Sowah (NDC -- Kpando) 12:55 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity and privilege to contribute to the Statement on this great man.
I commend the Hon Member who made the Statement.
Indeed, Mr Speaker, President Mills has left an indelible mark on the world. There are a lot people will say about the late President-- his warmth, modesty, honesty, sense of humour, deep Christian commitment et cetera. The list is endless.
But as we celebrate his life today, Mr Speaker, I would want to recall his humility. This humility touched many lives home and abroad. I remember an incident on one of his trips to the United Nations sessions, to which I was witness. As Head of State, he was accorded Secret Service protection by the United States Government.
When the event was over, the Secret Service team had to leave. The leader of the team was asked to make a statement and in that statement, he stated how many years he had been with the Secret Service and how many Heads of State he had guarded or had had the privilege to guard. He made one observation. He said this Head of State was different. “This, your President, is a different person.” In fact, that statement, made all of us very, very proud.
Mr Speaker, I woud want to say that President Mills left a standard of presidential conduct, not only in Ghana and Africa but in the whole world. As Members of Parliament or public figures, it is my ardent prayer that, as the Hon Member for Sekondi said, we would take cue from the late President and emulate his high standards, so that one day, people will not find words to describe us.
I thank you for the opportunity.
Mr Kobina T. Hammond (NPP -- Adansi Asokwa) 1:05 p.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
� � � �Na madwen ye me de nde se opanyin a ote dem yi yebeka ne ho asem wo Parliament a, nka owode yeka mfante. Because na ofi Ekumfi nti nka ewode yeka Ekumfi mfante wo dan mu ha. But aha ye public kakra nti se yeka no mfante mu pii a, bia na won a won aka wo Ghana no wonte asem a yeka. Nti Otuam, kyede yeka no brofo; Ekumfiman, kyede yeka no brofo.
Mr Speaker 1:05 p.m.
Do you know what the rules of the House say with regard to what you have just done?
Mr Hammond 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I thought you were going to tell me what the rules say.
Mr Speaker 1:05 p.m.
I would relax the rules but ask that what you have just said, you should say same in English, then you continue.
Mr Hammond 1:05 p.m.
I was going to do that, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 1:05 p.m.
Even though I under- stand what you said, but you would have to -- This is what the rules say, that you have to interpret the language.
Mr Hammond 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I thought you were a Fante?
In a nutshell, what I said was that on an occasion like this, when we are going to talk about this man who passed into eternity --
Mr Speaker 1:05 p.m.
What you said in Fante. You may have to write it and give it to the Hansard, otherwise -- [Laughter.] This is the floor of the House. You have to write it in Fante. Hansard would have to capture it in Fante and then you give us the English version and then they would have to capture it.
Hon Member, I am not joking about this matter. Otherwise, I would expunge what you said from the record.
Mr Hammond 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, yes, we would see how it goes.
Mr Speaker 1:05 p.m.
Can you write Fante?
Mr Hammond 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if you recognise my singular handicap, is my inability to write Fante; why do you burden me with this sort of -- [An Hon
Member: I would write it for him.] But we would see how it goes.
But what I have said in a nutshell, Mr Speaker, is that on this occasion, we would have been happy, because at least, if for nothing at all, people from Otuam and the Ekumfi Traditional Area in the Central Region may be listening to what we are saying of our son and so, we would have been happy to speak in Fante. As it is, it is a public forum and we would have to speak English.
Mr Speaker, the only thing inevitable about life is the fact that one day we would all go. It is however, the manner in which we go, that is why -- Some of us were happy to some extent about the way the late Professor left this sinful world. At least, it was very sudden and we would assume that he did not have any pains, any agonies; he simply was taken away to his Maker.
The only thing that in the end disturbs some of us was the fact that, having made that peaceful and blessed transition, some indication was created that he was talking back to the good people of Ghana from the side of the Good Lord. It probably should not have happened but it did.
Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague Member from Wenchi said that he had not had the privilege of knowing the good Professor well. Well, fortunately, some of us knew him fairly well. After we left the university in 1986, I had not seen him again till about 1997 when I returned from England and was to be called to the Bar in this country.
On that occasion, he was the Vice President of the country and he attended this call ceremony as the Guest Speaker. I saw him; I looked at him; we shook hands and we had a little talk. Later on, when he became the President and he was going
through all the trauma of life, I had to pull back the recording of that occasion in 1997 to remind myself that this could not be the same Professor that I had encountered in 1997. But there is something I would want to put on record.
People would have thought that because he was a man politically aligned to a particular idiosyncrasy, he had nothing to do with the other side of the political divide. That was not the man. In 1999, when on the occasion of the 100th birthday of the great Lord Denning -- most lawyers and law students would know him --when I happened to be around somewhere in England, Prof. Atiyah made this point, that he had always waited for Lord Denning to die, so he could make public some of the letters that Lord Denning had written to him.
Presidential matters are not normally matters talked about in public. So, some of us, Mr Speaker, are only 53 years old but you see how grey we have grown and the hair is all gone. It is the pressure of what is in there which cannot come out of one's mouth. That is why it is all like this.
There are things I learnt from Prof. Mills personally, which I would never have talked about but for the occasion that the Professor is no longer with us. Mr Speaker, I had the occasion to be with him as the President in the little room that he occupied at the Castle, Osu, and we talked about Ekumfi; we talked about Otuam; we talked about other matters.
I remember the occasion when I told him “But Mr President, there is something I am worried about”, and he said, “K. T., what is it?” So, I said to him, “Mr President, it is about your Ministers. The thing about Ministers -- and fortunately, we have all been in that situation before.
Mr President, you give them one foot, they would take one mile”. Mr Speaker, I will spare their blushes. This is because I think he mentioned some names to me but I would spare their blushes; I would not mention those names.
Mr Speaker, what he said to me was, “K. T., I understand but what I do is that I give them as long and enough latitude as possible -- human beings that they are -- to conform and in the hope that they do things right”. Then I said, “Mr President, check them. If you do not check them, they would collapse your government”.
Well, history would tell whether they served him right or not. They know it themselves; those who served him right and those who did not. [Hear! Hear!] Somebody has just signalled to me that “Eye”, meaning, it is enough.
Mr Speaker, on the occasion that we mourn the first anniversary -- [Interruption.] Well, I am not so sure we are celebrating. I am not sure; we are still mourning. But what it is, is that the late Professor died in the holy month of Ramadan and this celebration is also in the holy month of Ramadan. For those of us Muslims, we generally believe the significance of somebody dying in the holy month of Ramadan --
So, in spite of all his weaknesses, frailties, whatever that encompassed him as a human being, we Muslims believe that by virtue of dying in that holy month alone, he is resting in Paradise. [Hear! Hear!] And we pray that the Almighty God forgives him all his sins and looks after him till in the fullness of time all of us -- starting with some of them there -- we meet.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
rose
Mr Speaker 1:05 p.m.
Hon Members, I have virtually exhausted the list from the Minority side. I will, however, relax the rules and take two quick comments from the Majority side, then I will call the two Leaders.
Mr Joe K. Gidisu (NDC -- Central Tongu) 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I think a lot has been said about the man who had become an idol and for that matter, a great role model to some of us.
Mr Isaac I. Asiamah 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, there seems to be a stranger in this House. I want your direction. I have seen a stranger. There is a lady there with plenty hair. I do not know whether she is an Hon Member or -- we just want to know.
Mr Speaker 1:05 p.m.
Hon Member, please, if you do not know the person, find out first before you raise that matter.
Mr I. K. Asiamah 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, that is why we are finding out.
Mr Speaker 1:05 p.m.
You are out of order.
Hon Joe Gidisu, you have the floor.
Mr J. K. Gidisu 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the late President has indeed, left a vacuum, not only within his immediate family but in the lives of Ghanaians and those of us who by opportunity had the time to work with him through thick and thin.
Mr Speaker, the late President demonstrated strong commitment to working under very trying circumstances
to steer the affairs of the State even at the peril of his life. This is because, unlike others who might have pushed aside especially projects of controversial nature that his Administration inherited, the late President was very committed to fulfilling and for that matter, pushing those projects to their conclusion.
Mr Dominic Nitiwul 1:05 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, I think the Hon Members from both sides who have made statements have stayed away from using words that would generate a lot of debate and shouting and rancour. This “backbiting” and “insults” -- I think he would do a lot of good to all of us if he stays away from them, otherwise --
Mr Speaker 1:05 p.m.
Hon Member, you are right because Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah made a very important point that even by our tradition, we know the kind of words we use on the departed. So, Hon Joe Gidisu, take note.
Mr J. K. Gidisu 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am just trying to draw attention to his tolerance in terms of those insults that he went through. What I am saying is true; he received all sorts of insults.
On a more serious note, I would want to note that he was a President who never took things as people might have gone to tell him about people who served under
him. Some of us had a very good experience of that situation whereby some people went to tell him -- If it were to be other leaders, they would have taken it to heart immediately and taken action on it. But he had the patience and the tolerance to call and listen to one's side and for that matter, he was able to take decisions that were in the best interest of his Administration.
What I would want to say is that his legacy as noted by Hon Members who have spoken would be best judged by history and I know that the Good Lord will continue to grant him eternal peace and comfort to his family.
Mr Speaker 1:05 p.m.
Brief comments.
Minister of State (Mr Alhassan Azong)(MP) 1:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, permit me on this occasion of the first anniversary of the transition of our fifth President of the Fourth Republic, to pay tribute to him and may Allah, the most merciful, the most compassionate bless him wherever he is; when he finds in the bosom of Allah, may Allah forgive him his sins and may Allah grant him eternal life.
I recall that I first received news of the death of our late President when I was in Ethiopia attending a conference. It first came to one of my Directors who had a text message from somebody from Nigeria, that, “Have you heard what has happened in Ghana? Is that true? What I said was that “Please, this is a bogus message. do not want to believe the message you are giving me”.
Then in another moment, he received a message from his wife, that “Is it true?” And he showed it to me. And subsequently, he said his wife said that
was what she had heard from Ghana and that was also in the month of Ramadan. I had just broken my fast, so, I just took water and I received that message. In fact, I think that was the only time I realised that I could take water and fast the following day.
The following day, at the conference, we received a lot of messages of condolences from other participants from African countries -- Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa and Togo; but their worry was how we were going to manage this transition. But to the amazement and surprise of everybody, the transition went on smoothly and they were all with tonnes of congratulations for Ghana for the peaceful transition.
I would want to remember some of the words that rang in my ears --
Mr Speaker 1:25 p.m.
Hon Member, brief comment.
Mr Azong 1:25 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
As we celebrate his life, I remember some of his statements or words that he used to say, which symbolized we are all one people: “My brothers and sisters”, “my Hon Colleague Members”, “we are one people with one destiny”.
As we try to celebrate the one year anniversary of the passing on of our late President, let us be able to emulate some of the principles that he left behind. He tried to unify this country; the unity of Ghana was what was paramount to him. We should all remember that as we celebrate the one year anniversary of the passing on of our President, we should know that one day, that is where we shall all go.
This world is a temporary place, so, whatever position we hold now, we should know that it is temporal, we should be able to use the position that we hold now to better the lives of our people.
I thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for this short statement.
Mr Speaker 1:25 p.m.
Hon Member, you have two minutes.
Dr Kwabena Donkor (NDC -- Pru East) 1:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the late President, Atta Mills was a man who lived, breathed and died Ghana. I had the opportunity of meeting him on 21st of July just as I was part of a team leaving for Brazil to learn from our Brazilian counterparts about regulations in oil and content.
He was sitting on his bed and I had the opportunity of sitting on the floor in front of him in his bedroom --[Interruption] -- And this man, all he said was “Kwabena” -- I had never called him President in private; I had always called him “Papa” -- So, I responded “Papa”, he said the Good Lord had given us this resource, oil, let us make use of this resources for the benefit of the people of Ghana. [Hear! Hear!]
He was a man who puts Ghana above everything else. He was a nationalist par excellence. Prof. Mills never saw NDC or NPP or CPP when it comes to oil. If you look at the composition of the National Petroleum Commission, he brought people from both sides on board because he saw the resource as our national asset. [Interruption.] This is the man whose passing anniversary we celebrate today.
Mr Speaker, I ask myself, with his humility, with his kind-heartedness -- In Akan, we would have said oye nipa, meaning, a human being; above all things, above academic achievement, he epitomized the best of the human spirit.
My question, Mr Speaker, as I take my seat is, whence cometh another Atta Mills?
Mr Speaker 1:25 p.m.
Hon Members, I have a long list here. We cannot exhaust this list, so I want you to bear with me. I recognise the First Deputy Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker (Mr Ebo Barton-Odro) 1:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to congratulate the Hon Member who made the Statement and to associate myself with the Statement in total. In addition, I would like to take it from another dimension which many people are not very much aware of.
I had known the late President for a very long period because his late father and my late father were both tutors at Komenda Training College, so, we grew up on the same campus.
I remember with nostalgia during Christmas periods, he would lead us to put up what we used to call bronya dan, meaning, the Christmas house, and then we will go round from house to house, from bungalow to bungalow asking for donations, and at the end of it, he will supervise us how we will use the proceeds.
He was, for us, a leader even at that tender age. In my view, he was a role model. This is because when he gained admission to Achimota College, I told myself “wow! We should also get somewhere” and we looked up to him. He was a sportsman; he played football at Kisi, which was a few miles away from Komenda and finally, he became my Lecturer at the University of Ghana in the Law Faculty.
He always advised us, and I remember on one occasion, when he was President or before then, when he tried to convince and persuade me to go into politics -- he was then the Vice President -- he invited me to his office and to cut the long story short, I told him “Brother Fiifi, mara politics, meye bi da” meaning, I have not been into politics before. He said, “look, I am sitting here, I have not been into politics and yet, I am the Vice President”. So, I gave in and went into it.
Finally, at one point in time, when he was undergoing a lot of stress by way of adverse comments being made about him, one day, I was with him at the Castle and I asked him “Brother Fiifi, are you all right? And he said “Yes, I am all right.” I asked “What about all these insults and things?” And he said “Look, the Good Lord has said that vengeance is his”. He said a lot of people forget about the continuation of that verse, that “vengeance is mine and I shall duly repay.”
We forget about that. If you want to revenge, you are taking over the responsibility of God Almighty and that is not yours.
I have always remembered this man to be deeply religious, very humble, very dedicated to his duty, and may the Good Lord give him perfect rest.
Minority Leader (Mr Osei Kyei- Mensah-Bonsu) 1:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, last year, when the then sitting President transi- tioned, the entire House rose in unison to pay glowing tribute to a President who had left to the greater beyond. This is about a year from that event and we, today, have another opportunity to pay another tribute.
Prof. John Evans Atta Mills was the third President of the Fourth Republic, who unfortunately, had his tenure truncated. Mr Speaker, he was the fourth President or Head of State to have had their administrations cut short; the first being late President Nkrumah; the second being Prof. Busia; the third being Dr Hilla Limann.
The three before Prof. Mills had the misfortunate of being stigmatised, vilified
and humiliated by the forces of subjugation and popularisation. Prof. Mills was the only one of these four, who after suffering the truncation of his administration, was not gutted or muddied because the truncation was not at the instance of military liberators, redeemers, revolutionists, provisional, supreme or otherwise.
Mr Speaker, Prof. Mills as a President was purposed to set a new tone for the leadership of this country. As speakers before me have said, he was soft spoken; he was neither ascerbic, acidic, caustic nor foul. How we the followers following the steps of Prof. Mills, or we think that we can stand up to be counted only if we belch out vitriol on daily basis as some people have purposed to do?
Mr Speaker, Prof. Mills had several personalities as we all do acknowledge, an academic, a sportsman, a politician. He distinguished himself in all these areas and yet as a human being, he had his faults, just as he had his strengths as well. The remembrance that we the Minority disagreed with him, even the core policies that he exposed.
But Mr Speaker, that is the beauty of democracy. No insults were intended; we agree to disagree. For some people, if you criticise, they think that it is an insult; critiquing a policy is not an insult.
Mr Speaker, I think the legacy Prof. Mills wanted to leave this country was one of modesty and selflessness. Let us all as a nation but especially the party that he left behind follow those steps, follow those examples.
I had the opportunity to engage Prof. Mills on two occasions. My own recollection of the Professor was that of the proceedings that went on among us. In the course of the transaction of that
rose
Mr Speaker 1:35 p.m.
Do you have a point of order?
Mr Assumeng 1:35 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 1:35 p.m.
What is your point of order?
Mr Assumeng 1:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I thought you would also recount the day of the red card in the Chamber here. He could have recorded that one as well.
Mr Speaker 1:35 p.m.
Hon Member, that is not a point of order.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I will treat it with the contemptuous disregard that it deserves.
Mr Speaker, as I said, even in the midst of all the speculation --
Mr Speaker 1:35 p.m.
Hon Minority Leader, having ruled the Member out of order, I think the language that you used was rather harsh. Kindly withdraw that portion. Having ruled him out, there was no reason for you to say so. It was rather too harsh.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, you ruled him out of order but it will still stay in the Hansard . If you had said that it should be expunged --
Mr Speaker 1:45 p.m.
Hon Member, when a matter is ruled out of order, it means that it is not accepted by the House, that is why it has been ruled out of order.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I take a cue and accordingly withdraw that. But I entreat my Colleague to live up to his billing as an Hon Member of Parliament. Normally, he interjects and often times -- But he is my Friend notwithstanding -- [Laughter]
Mr Speaker, as I said last week in the eulogy to Prof Busia, we need to recognise the good in the leaders that we have had in this country -- from Dr Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, Dr Kofi Abrefa Busia, Dr Hilla Limann, Ft Lt John J. Rawlings, Mr Agyekum Kufuor and Prof J.E.A. Mills. Mr Speaker, the day we do this, we recognised the goodness in those people will be the day of really uniting this country.
May I add Mr Speaker, that last year, when we rose in unison to bid final good- bye to our President, there were a few things that happened that had the tendency of blurring what as a nation, we had set out to do. I would want to believe that as a nation, we have learnt useful lessons.
Let us allow the nation to own Prof. Mills as a former President of this country and not a President for the NDC or for any particular Party. He was the President of this country. Mr Speaker, may the Good Lord grant him eternal rest.
Majority Leader (Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor) 1:45 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this all important Statement by Hon Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa.
Mr Speaker, those of us who had had very, very multiple, long and enduring relationship with the late President sometimes are bereft of words because something very significant has happened
in the life of the late President and after that. Mr Speaker, normally, after the death of a person, the pain of that person's death seems to recede as the years pass by. But what I observed among many Colleagues, former students of Prof. Mills and his friends, was that this anniversary seems to be aggravating the pain of loss, and that in my view, registers the most useful testimony about the uniqueness of the late President.
The late President, in my view, was not only a former teacher; I worked with him when he was as Commissioner of Internal Revenue Service as a subordinate of his. I worked with him politically in the NDC and more significantly, I served under him as a Minister of State.
We have tried in the number of the contributions to compartmentalise Prof. Mills and let it look like you could see Prof. Mills, the sportsman; you could see Prof. Mills, the politician, and you could see Prof. Mills, the academic.
Prof. Mills was capable of leaving all these things put together as one individual personality, and at the appropriate time, when subsequent memorial lectures will be delivered, it will be possible for some of us as his students to swing all these attributes together and show how all that resides in him as a whole.
There are many things that have been said about the late President but I would want to register very, very unique things about him that makes him, first, a human being, an academic and a politician. When I was actually teaching Taxation in the Ghana School of Law up till 2005, the external examiner for that programme was Prof. Mills and one of the unique things was that he never, never mentioned me
by my second name. Anytime I had to talk to him, he referred to me simply as Ben. And there was nothing more touching than a former teacher who wanted to be in first names terms with you.
One of such uniqueness was when he had finished with the external examiners work and he called me and said “Ben, I think you were too hard on some of the students”. Instead of about four first classes, we should have had ten first classes, because of the quality of the work.
Yet I believed that perhaps, I was one of the teachers that were very, very considerate in our marking. This showed clearly that my former teacher was registering in me that if he had been as hard with me as I was hard on my current students, perhaps, I would not have been a lawyer and that was unique.
In 2002, I remember this uniquely. He said:
“Ben, now that you are teaching the subject that I have thought before, I will want that while you still have energy, try and produce a text book. If for nothing, it will be in memory of your experience at Internal Revenue and it will also be in memory of all the exchanges that we have had.”
This is because when I had to do my post-graduate work, it was the late Professor that recommended the area of taxation that he thought it was useful and I do not regret that I ever went into that area.
When the first draft of that book was finished, he had all the energy to go over it. The only question he asked me was “how many titles did you give to the book before you arrived at this one”, and I said because we have never had a textbook on tax law in Ghana, I wanted to give you the title “An Introduction to Tax Law” and he asked: “What was the second title?” I told him “A Ghana Tax Law Primer”.
Majority Leader (Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor) 1:45 p.m.
I remember he laughed for some time and said “I am sure your book will be an interesting one; the hesitation with which you did not want to give a final title to a tax book is because you understand tax law.”
He said that with every budget, the tax law of the country will change and so, being a primer or an introductory work, my mind actually had not gone in that direction. So, I said “Thank you, Sir, once a teacher always a teacher”.

Thank you, Mr Speaker, I guess the House is getting back in order.

There is something very unique about this particular publication that I have always drawn attention to.

That was the first time that most of us got to know that Ghana's income tax ordinance bearing the colonial period was never, never modeled under the tax laws of the United Kingdom, and that there was a special committee that was set up by the colonial Government at that time to come out with model tax laws that were appropriate and suitable to the economic environment of the colonies at that time.

That is something that has been sighted time and time again and has become something very significant in this country for those in that area.

When the late President was Commissioner of Internal Revenue Service (IRS), I was then a very young socialist

Lawyer and they had given car loans and for almost six months, I had not gone to collect my car loan then, as a member of the Legal Department. Because at that time, I believed that driving a car was a bit too bourgeois or it was one that was not very much like me. The late President invited me when he was then Commissioner and asked me why I had not taken my car loan. And I said I was still thinking about it.

He laughed and said “Well Ben, you know what, one day, you might be in a serious health condition and might need a car to send you to the hospital” And that even as a young socialist, his advice to me was, people possess cars for different reasons. For others, it is only property; for others, it is a necessity and yet for others, it is functional.

Eventually, when I took my car loan and bought the car, and since then I have always cherished that secondhand car, and I still look back at the years, that today's' 80 cedis could have bought a car some years ago.

Mr Speaker, I would like to join the Hon Member for Sekondi on a number of very significant points that he has raised, and in relation to some points that I did make in relation to the statement that was made in relation to the late Prime Minister last week, Prof. Abrefa Kofi Busia.

It is becoming increasingly important that when we have leaders like Prof. Mills, the best way to immortalise them is to let them be people who are assets for Ghana and that on no occasion should any sectarian interest turn these assets into private property for other motives. I had always known Prof. Mills to be a brother to all whether you were a man or a woman.

Mr Speaker, I have had the opportunity of listening to a number of commentaries that have been raised in relation to the late President and I would want to register this as my last point on this contribution.
Mr Speaker 1:45 p.m.
I was going to ask how long you would want to, but you have sent the signal.
Dr Kunbuor 1:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, given all what I know the late President went through as a human being, something very significant happened when I was with him in the office.
I forgot that he was the President and I said that:
“Professor, from what is going on in terms of the direction of the politics of this country, it will be important that those of us who are academics get out of politics because in the next 10 years, if this trend continues, all our academics and intellectuals would have been destroyed in this country.”
He looked at me for a while and said “Well, if you bring your resignation letter, I will take my file and follow you because I am also an academic”. But I say this because we have actually developed a politics on a destructive path that will come back to haunt us for many years. I am saying this because once a person enters public life in this country, particularly, as a President or a Minister, he is automatically converted into a thief.
I am saying that there are still honest and decent people in this country who have served this country with integrity and with honour. And I can tell you that in all the political parties in this country, many people have agreed to serve this country in a public capacity out of public spiritedness, and to reduce every public official to a common denominator of a dishonest person, is one of the commonest things we must eschew.
I have always said that if we continue with that trend, I foresee in the next 15 years, that no serious-minded person worth his salt would want to provide political and administrative leadership to
this country. And this country would be the worse for it. And when I remember the late Professor as he ably said, that he paid a very, very high price for sacrificing his academia, for sacrificing his humanness, to sacrifice his sports- manship and to descend into what we found him before the Good Lord called him --
So, in memory of the Professor, I say as the saying goes “In memory of the dead, is a warning to the living”. I guess this is an opportunity for us to pick up the pieces and begin to re-orient the politics of this country, to let it look decent for somebody to serve this country and serve the country with integrity.
Mr Speaker 1:55 p.m.
Hon Members, thank you very much.
I recollect on that faithful day, 24th July, 2012, I was presiding over this House. We were at the Consideration Stage of the National Health Insurance Authority Bill when I saw the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) enter the Chamber and slit a note to my Usher to be brought to me.
I read the note and it stated: “Professor is gone, crisis meeting at the Vice President's Office. You are urgently requested to be there.”

So, after sometime, the House decided to adjourn, so, I adjourned the House, entered the Speaker's Lobby and removed my gown and decided that I was going straight to the Castle. I was on the

staircase in front of the main Reception when I received a call from one of the
Ministers who asked me 1:55 p.m.
“Where are you?” I said: “Oh, I am on my way to the Castle.” Then he said he was also coming there. It was there it dawned on me that the “gone” there meant that Prof. was dead.
Two minutes after that I also got a call from the Speaker of Parliament -- my boss, asking where I was and I said I was going to the Castle. Then she said: “Wait for me at the entrance of the Castle.” It was there that we went and it was confirmed to us by the Chief of Staff. We quickly ran back to the House to call the Leaders to start preparing an Order Paper to recall the House for the then Vice President to be sworn in that day as the President.
Prof. was a great teacher, a great listener, a unifier, a modest man but above all, a man of peace. Those of us who passed through his hands when he was teaching law both at the Faculty of Law and at the Ghana School of Law, and those of us who had the privilege to work with him would never, never -- Anytime you took a decision to leave politics, this man would keep you in it.
I remember vividly that somebody went to his office when he was the President to lie about me. Ordinarily, one might see that the attitude of a President would have believed the story. He called me and when I got there, he started singing a Christian hymn and said
“Yes, I have crosschecked the facts and it was not true. But Doe, go and continue work your work.”
That was Prof.
We continue to pray that his soul continues to rest in the bosom of the Lord.
Again, Hon Members, let us relax the rules a little. If we the politicians do not start coming together to identify and correct the perception about all of us as thieves, one day we would not see a single person who would want to serve this country.
Just before Prof. died, I was in China at the invitation of the Chinese Government, and I was in Shanghai when I heard that President Kufuor was also in Shanghai. I asked the Chinese authorities to show me where he was located. They showed me and I arranged to meet him in his hotel to pay a courtesy call on him as a former President.
So, we went to him and he was with his former Chief of Staff. Then his former Chief of Staff said:
“Yes, everybody is a thief now. When we were in power they said we were thieves; now, NDC are also thieves.”
And that is precisely the point being made on the floor of the House.
Hon Members, thank you very much for your indulgence.

Hon Members, having regard to the state of business, I direct that we Sit outside the prescribed period.

The First Deputy Speaker to take the Chair.
MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
MOTIONS 2:04 p.m.

Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 2:04 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 80 (1) which require that no Motion shall be debated until at least,
forty-eight hours have elapsed between the date on which notice of the Motion is given and the date on which the Motion is moved, the Motion for the adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee on the request for waiver of customs duty, VAT, EDIF, ECOWAS Levy, destination inspection fees, withholding tax liabilities, corporate income taxes and other related taxes amounting to thirty-nine million, six hundred and thirty thousand, two hundred and thirty-five euros and eighty- nine cents (€39,630,235.89) related to the implementation of the second phase of the construction of the Ada Coastal Protection Works may be moved today.
Dr Anthony A. Osei 2:04 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Request for waiver of Customs Duty, VAT, EDIF, ECOWAS Levy, et cetera
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 2:04 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Finance Committee on the request for waiver of Customs Duty, VAT, EDIF, ECOWAS Levy, Destination Inspection Fees, Withholding Tax Liabilities, Corporate Income Taxes and other related taxes amounting to thirty- nine million, six hundred and thirty thousand, two hundred and thirty-five euros and eighty-nine cents (€39,630,235.89) related to the implementation of the second phase of the construction of the Ada Coastal Protection Works.
Introduction
The request for waiver of Import Duty, VAT, EDIF, ECOWAS Levy, Destination Inspection Fees, Withholding Tax Liabilities, Corporate Income Taxes and other related taxes amounting to thirty-
nine million, six hundred and thirty thousand, two hundred and thirty-five euros and eighty- nine cents (€39,630,235.89) relating to the implementation of the second phase of the construction of the Ada Coastal Protection Works was presented to Parliament by the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance on Wednesday, 17th July, 2013 in accordance with article 174 (2) of the 1992 Constitution.
Mr Speaker referred the request to the Finance Committee for consideration and report in accordance with Order 169 of the Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
Pursuant to the referral, the Committee met with the Hon Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, Hon Collins Dauda, Deputy Ministers for Finance and Water Resources, Works and Housing, Hon Cassiel Ato Forson and Sampson Ahi respectively and officials from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and considered the referral.
The Committee is grateful to the Hon Minister, the Deputy Ministers and officials from the Ministry of Finance and Water Resources, Works and Housing and the GRA for attending upon it.
Reference
The Committee referred to the following documents at its deliberations:
The 1992 Constitution of Ghana
The Standing Orders of the Parlia- ment of Ghana.
Agreement between the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing and Dredging Interna- tional Services Cyprus Ltd for the execution works on the Ada Coastal Protection Works, Phase 2.
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 2:05 p.m.
Conclusion
The Committee, having carefully examined the referral, found that the tax waiver is a consequential and a necessary condition to the loan Agreement already approved by the previous Parliament for the implementation of the phase 2 of the Ada Coastal Protection Works.
The Committee, therefore, recommends to the House to adopt its Report and approve by Resolution, the request for waiver of Import Duty, VAT, EDIF, ECOWAS Levy, Destination Inspection Fees, Withholding Tax Liabilities, Corporate Income Taxes and other related taxes amounting to thirty-nine million, six hundred and thirty thousand, two hundred and thirty-five euros and eighty- nine cents (€39,630,235.89) relating to the implementation of the second phase of the construction of the Ada Coastal Protection Works in accordance with article 174(2) of the 1992 Constitution and Order 169 of the Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
Respectfully submitted.

Ranking Member (Dr Anthony A. Osei): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion and to urge Hon Member to adopt the Report that has just been read by the Hon Chairman of the Committee. And in seconding the Motion, I would like to say a few words.

Mr Speaker, this matter was referred to the last Parliament last year. The Committee at that time, of which I was a member, worked on it, but because we were under stress in the last days, this particular issue could not be brought here: so the Ministry is bringing it for us to re- look at it.

Mr Speaker, the sea erosion problem in Ada is very serious. For that reason, if you add the tax waiver, the first loan and the second loan, the amount that would be spent on this project alone is about three hundred million euros (€300,000,000.00). Mr Speaker, I look round and neither the Hon Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing is here, his deputy is not here either.

It gives a very bad signal, that the nation is willing to spend almost three hundred million to correct an important problem and the sector Ministries are not here. What do they think of us in Parliament, especially on the last day that we are going to rise? It does not speak well of the Ministry.

I do not know what reasons they can give but somebody from the Ministry, at least, an Hon Minister must be here -- [Interruption] -- It is past 2.00 p.m. and we are doing extended hours just so that we can oversight three hundred million euros.

Mr Speaker, Parliament's work must be taken serious by the sector Ministries. And I would want to invite the Hon Minister to do something about this. In the future, it should be possible that if we are considering such serious matters and the sector Ministers are not there, we should step them down. Three hundred million euros, Mr Speaker!

So assuming that we resort to our Standing Orders and say that we cannot take a decision, what happens? Hon Deputy Majority Leader, I plead with you, please, we should take it serious. The Committee was asked to go out yesterday to research and -- I mean it is not fair.

In any case, Mr Speaker, the second thing we need to look at as a House is to engage the Ministry of Finance on this issue of loan Agreements that come with these waivers. We need to look at them

so that we can decide which way we would want to go. As I said, on this one alone, we are talking about almost forty million euros; we need to start engaging the Ministry to see if we can continue on this path.

It is true that some nations prefer this type of arrangement but does it inure to the benefit of Ghana? I think it is an open question that we must interrogate. And we must do so not when we are under pressure to approve such waivers. We must do so in an environment where there is not a rush to do it.

Yes, in some cases, we have approved loans worth about seven million euros and have had to waive about two million euros. I mean, is it worth going for those types of loans? So, I think it is something that this House ought to engage the Ministry; it will inure to the benefit of Ghana as a whole.

Mr Speaker, with these few words, I urge Hon Members to adopt the Report of the Committee, to accept that this House waives the taxes for this particular project.

Thank you.

Question proposed
Mr Joe K. Gidisu (NDC -- Central Tongu) 2:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it is indeed, very gratifying that this facility with the current provisions are being discussed. If approved, it would go a long way to alleviate the current challenges that the people in that corridor face.
But Mr Speaker, it is becoming very eminent that there is a need for a more comprehensive study along the entire coastline of the country in terms of this threat to the lands round the catchment area.
Mr Speaker, the House would recollect that not quite long ago, the issue of erosion of the land in the Atorkordzi and Dzita areas in the Anlo District as well as this one came to the fore.
However, there are other threatening areas around Akplagbanya and beyond. I would want to suggest that the time has come for us, especially the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing to conduct a more serious review of the coastline, right from Half Assini through to the Keta area and identify the situation that a more comprehensive approach towards making a dent on the erosion situation that confront these areas are addressed, not in isolated cases of the type that we have, and responding as a fire brigade to those ones which come as very urgent once for attention.
This would go a long way for a more detailed planning and sourcing of the needed funding for addressing the situation.
With these comments, Mr Speaker, I would want to associate myself with the Motion and call on others to support it for its passage.
Mr Joseph B. A. Danquah (NPP-- Abuakwa North) 2:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the report with these few comments.
Mr Speaker, following from what the Hon Ranking Member said, if you read page four, just the paragraph before item 4, it reads
“The agreements entered into between the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing with the contractors provide for the exemption of all taxes, duties and levies relating to the execution of the project.”
Mr Speaker, it is true that it has been the norm for the House or for the country to follow such practice. But Mr Speaker, I think the time has come for us to question and to ask whether it is the right path?
Minority Leader (Mr Osei Kyei- Mensah-Bonsu) 2:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, just a short intervention.
As the former Minister for Roads and Highways indicated, Mr Speaker, the understanding as a nation that we should have is that, after the construction of the Tema Harbour and the erection of the breakwater, the direction of the tidal onslaughts has now changed. That is why it is going beyond the Ada and Keta areas.
The invasion of the coastline by the sea was not a thing that prevailed in the 1950s and 40s. There were small coastal attacks by the waves. But they have increased in severity and enormity after the construction of the breakwaters of the Tema Harbour.
It is intended to extend the breakwaters and we should know that if we do at Tema
Harbour, we are going to exacerbate the problem at these areas. So, we should look for commensurate programmes to do that. But having said that, Mr Speaker, I think that the Ministry of Finance and the relevant Ministries which come with such requests for tax waivers should be very proactive.
Mr Speaker, the language of the Constitution is very clear. The article that the Hon Colleague quoted from. Mr Speaker, that is article 174 (1) and it says, and with your permission, I beg to quote:
“No taxation shall be imposed otherwise than by or under the authority of an Act of Parliament.”
174 (2) says:
“Where an Act, enacted in accordance with clause (1) of this article, confers power on any person or authority to waive or vary a tax imposed by that Act, the exercise of the power of waiver or variation, in favour of any person or authority, shall be subject to the prior approval of Parliament by resolution.”
Mr Speaker, the issue that we are considering now, the second phase of this programme, has already started, items have been brought and they have been taken from the port and they are on site. It is now that Parliament is granting the waiver. The impact of it is that, it has retrospective effect, but that should not be.
Mr Speaker, that is why I am urging that, they should be very proactive in the exercise of this authority, so that Parliament does not err. Otherwise, occasionally, we are urged to do what is illegitimate and indeed, unconstitutional.
So, whereas I appreciate what is being done by facilitating the constructional works, I think what ought to be done, ought to be done at the right time; otherwise, we shall always be doing the right thing at the wrong time.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Mr Agbesi 2:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Resolution on page 3 on the matter; the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance is in the House and I crave your indulgence that he be allowed to move the Resolution.
Dr A. A. Osei 2:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, no Resolution on page 3. He says Resolution on page 3, it is item number 11. So, I do not know which page he is looking at -- page 4.
Mr Agbesi 2:15 p.m.
Maybe, he did not hear me to the end. I said the Resolution on page 3, numbered 11. In any case, the Resolution numbered 11 on page 4. The Deputy Minister for Finance -- [Interruption] -- craving the indul- gence of the House to take the Resolution.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:15 p.m.
Yes, Hon Dan Botwe?
Mr Dan Botwe 2:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we have no objection to that.
RESOLUTIONS 2:15 p.m.

Mr James K. Avedzi 2:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion-- [Interruption.]
Dr A. A. Osei 2:15 p.m.
The Deputy Majority Leader talked about the Resolution on page 4; he did not say pages 4 and 5. Now, the Deputy Minister gets up and says the Resolution on pages 4 and 5. Which is which?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:15 p.m.
I believe that both pages 4 and 5; so, let us go by that.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Mr Agbesi 2:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if we can take Motion number 12 at the tail end of page
5.
Dr A. A. Osei 2:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not know if the Hon Deputy Majority Leader is here or not. He just said Motion numbered 12. Where is Motion number 12? It is item number 12. Is that what he wants us to look at because, I do not see Motion number 12 on my Order Paper? So, which is which?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:25 p.m.
Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader, can you just correct it and let us make some progress?
Mr Agbesi 2:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, item numbered 12, which is headed Motion number 12 -- [Laughter] -- Mr Speaker, item number
12.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:25 p.m.
Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee? [Pause.]
Mr Agbesi 2:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am sorry; the Hon Chairman informs me that the Report is not ready. So, we want to defer this item.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:25 p.m.
All right.
In the circumstances, we have two Statements admitted. Can we take the two Statements with a contribution each from either side, and then suspend Sitting for some time?
The first one is by the Hon Member for Achiase (Mr Robert K. Amoah) on the “Lack of Professional Guidance and Counselling in our Basic Schools”.
STATEMENTS 2:25 p.m.

Mr Robert K. Amoah (NPP -- Achiase) 2:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, there is no gainsaying the fact that career helps to a large extent to shape or determine the
personality of individuals. The choice of friends, spouse, religion, just to mention a few, is greatly influenced by one's career. How then is this all-important decision- making of career choice made?
It is a fact that, our educational system^ whether formal or informal, plays a leading role in this crucial phenomenon and I would want to limit myself to our contemporary formal education.
Mr Speaker, our educational system places this crucial life-shaping decision- making of career choice at junior high school 3. At that level, the students are not matured enough to make this all- important choice. Besides, at that level of the educational ladder, there are very few professional guidance and counselling co- ordinators.
The basic, like the primary, is the most important stage. It is the very foundation stage and therefore, if there is any expert help to be given these future leaders, then it must be at this stage. Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, this is the level where professional guidance service is lacking.
In fact, in the two places that I visited, Birim South District and Birim Central Municipal Assemblies, there are no well trained professional guidance and counselling co-ordinators in the basic schools. To be specific, no JHS has such a teacher.
Ironically, however, this is the stage that our children select the subjects and programmes that they pursue in senior high and technical schools, which will eventually lead to their career choice.
Briefly put, these pupils need to be guided to identify their strengths and weeknesses, considering their needs,
interests, capabilities, values and oppor- tunities and match these characteristics with occupational environments provided by the counsellor to be able to make informed career choices.
But what obtains in all the educational directorates I visited was that there was one professional guidance and counselling co-ordinator at the office, who at best, organises a vocational guidance session for them once, when they are choosing their subjects and programmes; a service which is woefully inadequate. Mr Speaker, I dare say there is more to this phenomenon than just giving it a one-shot vocational guidance.
Mr Speaker, if we want to remedy this situation and help our future leaders to achieve career consonance, and avoid mass graduate unemployment as we are seeing these days, then we must intervene immediately.
Mr Speaker, let me suggest a few solutions to this challenge 2:25 p.m.
1. Some career guidance methods must be introduced in Diploma Colleges of Education.
2. Intensive in-service training on career development must be given to teachers in basic schools in the country.
3. More professional counsellors must be trained and posted to all basic schools.
Mr Speaker, I believe, by doing so, we would be in the position to evolve a good policy on it.
Once again, I thank you for the opportunity.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:25 p.m.
Hon Members, because of the constraint of time, we would take one contribution each from either side.
Mr Yaw Owusu-Boateng (NPP -- Asene/Akroso/Manso) 2:35 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for allowing me to associate myself with the Statement which is well made.
While waiting to counsel study specialisation at JHS level, all students at SHS level should be made to study common core subjects, so that they will be able to make better and informed decision at latter part of their school years rather than all of them choosing their elective subjects or specialised subjects right after JHS. I think this is wrong and as a nation, we should begin to think about some of these things.
Until such a time that Guidance and Counselling Co-ordinators are available, it may be important for us to let the few that are available go round the schools, at least, once a year to give advice to these children at a very tender age.
Guidance and Counselling Co- ordinators at the District Education Office should do this job rather than staying at a place for the teachers or the heads of schools to come to them.
Another suggestion that I would make for these young persons, is to make sure that job experiences or study visits to workplaces, no matter how short it may be, these children should learn practical ways of learning rather than the academic one that is done in school, so that in the long run, it would inform the path of career choices that they can make in future.
As a nation, we should also be thinking about how to make our curricula flexible to help children switch to different courses at a later date. It is easy for so many children in other countries to decide later on that, “Maybe, l learnt science but
I want to switch to social studies or some other ones.” But in Ghana, once you pigeon-hole yourself that you are going to learn science at the secondary school, there is no way you can become a medical officer or switch on to science at a later date. This is inimical to the development of our children.
With these few words, I thank you for giving me the opportunity.
Mr Joseph Z. Amenowode (NDC -- Afadzato South) 2:35 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to this Statement.
Mr Speaker, it is really very true that there is a lack of trained professional guidance and counselling co-ordinators in our school system. This is due to the fact that we, in this part of the world do not actually recognise the work of the guidance and counselling teacher.
Even in some schools where they are, they only refer punishment cases to them, where the guidance and counselling teacher becomes like the punishment master, thereby when one is to see the guidance and counselling teacher, one is virtually looked at as somebody who has done something wrong.
Mr Speaker, one other mistake we make when we do not pay much attention to this is that, we always look at guidance and counselling only in terms of academic guidance. The counselling aspect of that is virtually not there and that in my estimation, is even more essential. The counselling aspect looks at the psycho- social aspect of the educational prospects of the child.
Children come from homes that have problems and they carry these problems to school -- broken homes, financial problems -- and then otherwise brilliant
children, because of these, become poor performers. These are areas where the guidance and counselling teacher would be of benefit.
There are opportunities to train these people. The two universities of education we know, Winneba and Cape Coast, train a large number of these people. But where are they? That is the question. So, I believe it is a matter of distribution to the right places than lack, because these two universities produce not less than 200 each a year and they can adequately cater for our people.
So, I would rather ask the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service to make sure that these people are not left in the big towns doing other things other than what they have been trained for. But they should be posted to the schools, especially as the Hon Member who made the Statement said, the basic schools because that is the beginning, so that our children will have the benefit and become better products for this country.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:35 p.m.
Thank you very much.
This brings us to the end of contributions to this particular Statement.
We have another one which is in the form of a tribute.
Mr Kwabena Pepera, MSG, An Industrialist, Philanthropist and a
Public Servant Life History
Mr Seth K. Acheampong (NPP-- Mpraeso) 2:35 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to pay tribute to Mr Kwabena Pepera, a MSG, an industr ialist, philanthropist and public servnt. A man of principle and resolve, Mr Kwabena Pepera was born at Osino -- Akyem in the Eastern Region of Ghana on Tuesday,
20th November, 1923. He was the second of the six children of his late mother, Madam Amma Gyanewa of the Asiedu Boafo Royal Bretuo Clan of Pepease- Kwahu, and one of the 36 children of his father, the late Opanyin Kwasi Oppong of the Ayoko Royal Clan of Abetifi-Kwahu, himself one of the 77 children of his father, Nana Kwasi Ampoma 1 (the late Krontihene of Pepease-Kwahu)
After early school life in Koforidua, Mr Pepera continued to Abetifi Presbyterian Boarding School, where in 1938 he passed the Standard 7 Certificate Examination with distinction.
In 1940, one year after the start of World War II, Mr Pepera joined the Signal Section of the Gold Coast Army (Army NO. 20538). Sent to undergo his six months of basic training at the Kumasi Military School (War Depot Training), he graduated with distinction. The Gold Coast Government was recruiting for the Colonial Army Campaign in Burma and Mr Pepera was among those volunteers selected to go.
Unfortunately, he failed the very strict medical examination just prior to departure. Heartbroken for his inability to accompany some of his half-brothers and other comrades in arms, he left the army and was employed as Confidential Secretary to the then Managing Director of Paterson Zochonis, that is, PZ in short as we know in Ghana, a large multi - national trading company, becoming the first African to hold such a post at PZ.
In 1942, in consideration of his distinction at the Kumasi Military School's Signals Training Section, he was employed at the then Cable and Wireless Limited, a subsidiary of the Posts and Telecommunications Company at their High Street, Accra section. Lodged in a single rented room near James Town
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:35 p.m.
Thank you very much.
One contribution each from either side.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah (NPP -- Sekondi) 2:45 p.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
I would be remiss if I do not make a few comments on this tribute, so ably paid by the Hon Member for Mpraeso.
Mr Speaker, I happened to know the late Mr Pepera. He was my father's friend. This is because as many of you may know, my father hailed from Atibie, Kwahu in the Mpraeso Constituency of which the Hon Member represents.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah (NPP -- Sekondi) 2:45 p.m.


The story of the late Mr Pepera represents what has really made this country great. His life demonstrates that with diligence and hard work, one can make it in this world. As we are told, he came from very humble beginnings. One out of his father's 77 children but he persevered.

Mr Speaker, in Ghana these days, many young people would rise to the summit --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:45 p.m.
Hon Owusu-Ankomah, I am advising Hon Asiamah not to tow that line. [Laugher.]
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 2:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, that is good advice because times are different now.
But as I was saying, young people these days would want to reach the summit of their careers or their lives within a short time. However, you can only do that through hard work.
Mr Speaker, a day in the life of Mr Pepera was an investment for the future. So, what lesson should we be learning from it? Let us invest in our lives, so that we can reap the benefits of the future. And one should not think of himself or his family alone. The late Mr Pepera had time to serve his nation.

Mr Speaker, he found time to serve his nation and in that service, he did not take the reward for himself, he donated it to charity-- the National Trust Fund. That should also serve as a lesson to us, that

as we serve, we must serve selflessly. Let us not think of ourselves, let us think of Ghana and those we serve.

Mr Speaker, may the life of the late Mr Pepera inspire us to service above ourselves.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:45 p.m.
Thank you very much.
Any contribution from the Majority side?
Dr Kwabena Donkor (NDC -- Pru East) 2:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for this opportunity.
Unknown to many people, we lived on the Switchback Road and Mr Kwabena Pepera, in the 80s, in the good old revolutionary 80s, adopted some of us as his sons. I used to go to his house and as a Cadre -- [Uproar] -- Yes. It is not surprising that he produced a son who served as the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) Deputy Secretary for Trade. In those days, anytime I went to him, he talked about empowering the Ghanaian businessman. [Interruption.]
Alhaji Amadu Sorogho 2:45 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, he served as a Deputy Minister under the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and not the PNDC. But we all know that the NDC took its root from the PNDC. So, he served there and that is what he wants to say. The most important thing is that, he served under the NDC as a Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Dr Donkor 2:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker -- [Interruption.]
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:45 p.m.
Is it on a point of order?
Mr I. K. Asiamah 2:45 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, I would want to find out what is “Cadre” and who is a “Cadre”? I just do not understand.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:45 p.m.
Hon Member, you are out of order.
Hon Member, please, proceed.
Dr Donkor 2:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, Mr Kwabena Pepera quite often talked about the need for the Ghanaian industrialists to be assisted by the Ghanaian's trade and to partner the Ghanaian's trade in developing an economy that would be indigenous. Coming from the left of the centre, I cannot but agree with these sentiments, that we never develop on the back of external resources or external effort, but at best, external effort must supplement indigenous effort.
It is in this light that I see Mr Kwabena Pepera, an industrialist, a Ghanaian, who created opportunities for thousands of Ghanaians through his numerous companies that he founded.
Mr Speaker, I would want to state on this floor, that there is the need for the Ghanaian to be at the centre of our development. Too often, emphasis has been placed on foreign investors, but no foreigner can develop your country better than you can develop your country. Foreign investors would at best complement your effort and it is in this light that we celebrate people like Mr Kwabena Pepera, Swedru Contractors and other Ghanaian indigenous people who have blazed the trail.
As today, we celebrate the passing on of this illustrious son of the land, we should, as a Parliament, be encouraging the development of human capital in all
facets; human capital, especially in the form of new entrepreneurs of the 21st Century who would propel this country to commanding heights.
Mr Speaker, this brings me to an issue, that it is surprising that quite often Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is used in our public discourse when we are talking about our economy. Hardly do we use Gross National Product (GNP). The GNP reflects better our control, effort and contribution to the industrial base of this country.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:45 p.m.
Thank you very much.
This brings us to end of the contribution to this Statement. I made it very clear that we were taking one contribution each, so, this brings us to the end.
Hon Members, I can see Hon Minister for Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs in the House.
I would like the Hon Deputy Majority Leader to let us take the item on the Addendum Order Paper.
Mr Agbesi 2:45 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker -- [Interruption.]
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:45 p.m.
All right.
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, it looks like the son wants to express some gratitude to the House.
Hon Member, take the floor.
Mr Peter W. Pepera (NPP -- Abetifi) 2:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would like to use this opportunity to thank all those who expressed their sympathies and condolences in diverse ways, including all Hon Members who contributed to this Statement.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:45 p.m.
Hon Member, let your appreciation be brief, so that --
Mr Pepera 2:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it is almost finished.
...of future business giants in the world in the mould of the Kwabena Peperas, the B. A. Mensahs, the N. C. Appentengs, the Owusus of Kwahu Motors and J. K. Siaw from Akwasihu in the Abetifi Constituency of the Republic of Ghana.
Mr Speaker, let us, therefore, hope that this tr ibute would help to refocus Government's attention on the need to
promote the indigenous Ghanaian business magnet as in every other country in the world.
With these few words, Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity you have given us to pay tribute on this day, to another mighty oak tree in the industrial, philanthropic and public landscape of Ghana which has fallen. He has, indeed, lived respected and died regretted.
May he rest in perfect peace, in the bosom of the Lord.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:45 p.m.
Hon Members, we will take item 1(a) on the Addendum 2 Order Paper and after that, we will suspend proceedings and come back later.
PAPERS 2:45 p.m.

Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:45 p.m.
Hon Members, I direct that proceedings be suspended for 45 minutes. By the time we come back, we hope the Finance Committee would have completed the Report and then we will take that one.
3.03 p.m. -- Sitting suspended.
5.30 p.m. -- Sitting resumed.
MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:45 p.m.
Hon Majority Leader.
Dr Kunbuor 2:45 p.m.
Thank you Mr Speaker. If we could take the Addendum 2, item 1 (b).
By the Chairman of the Committee --
(i) Report of the Finance Committee on the terms of a Receivables- backed Trade Finance Facility between Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and a consortium of banks and financial insti- tutions, with the Government of the Republic of Ghana as guarantor, for an amount of US$1,200,000,000.00 for the purchase of cocoa beans in Ghana for the 2013/2014 crop season.
Mr Speaker 2:45 p.m.
Yes, what about the second one, the next one? Is it ready?
Dr Kunbuor 2:45 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
By the Chairman of the Committee --
(ii) Report of the Finance Committee on the request for waiver of stamp duty amounting to US$12,000,000.00 on an Offshore Syndicated Receivables-backed Trade Finance Facility of US$1,200,000,000.00 for cocoa purchases by Ghana Cocoa Board for the year 2013/2014 crop season.
By the Chairman of the Committee --
(iii)Report of the Finance Committee on the request for waiver of Customs Duties, VAT, EDIF, ECOWAS Levies, destination inspection fees, withholding tax liabilities on local and foreign suppliers, corporate income taxes and other related taxes amounting to twenty-six million,
seven hundred and eleven thousand, eight hundred and sixty- five euros (€26,711,865.00) on goods and services related to the execution of the design, civil and engineering works at Takoradi Port, Ghana.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:45 p.m.
Hon Majority Leader.
Dr Kunbuor 2:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if we could go back to the main Order Paper, item 13.
MOTIONS 2:45 p.m.

Mr Kwabena O. Darko-Mensah (NPP -- Takoradi) 2:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to second the Motion.
In doing so, I will like to make some few observations.
First and foremost, this ratification is long overdue and if you look at the world, we have over 43 countries that have ratified this Convention and this includes Tuvela, which is the smallest country in the world, Liberia, which ratified it in 2006 and Nigeria that did it on 18th June 2013.
Mr Speaker, if you take even the Memorandum of Understanding from the two Ministries, it happened just on the 16th July, 2013, just about three days ago. So, you ask yourself, how come that such an important Convention that needs to be ratified, so that Ghanaian seafearers would be safe has delayed to this level? Mr Speaker, it shows our lackadaisical attitude towards the way we protect and promote the private sector in this country.
Mr Speaker, the Conventions are expected to be a Bill of Right for seafarers. Unfortunately, there are certain key issues that have not been encompassed in this document.
Mr Speaker, if you take, even in our own waters, wage disparities between Ghanaians and foreigners, you will see that there is an inequality that continues to permeate our industry. Secondly, when you take simple issues like Seaman Book, which is supposed to be decentralised and issued at the port of entry, they are all concentrated here in Accra, centralising the administration and governance of sea- farers in this country.
Last but not least, Mr Speaker, this Convention gives us the opportunity to protect our seafarers and in doing so, one
Mr Joseph Z. Amenowode (NDC -- Afadzato South) 2:45 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this Motion.
Mr Speaker, from the interactions with the Ghana Maritime Authority, we are informed that about 10,000 Ghanaians are engaged in the Maritime industry as seafarers and for all this time, they are not covered by any Convention that protects their rights as seafarers. This is because we have not signed the Convention.
We are informed that within some few weeks, that is by August, that is just next month, the window of opportunity will be closed for the ratification of this and it is just proper that Ghana, with such a large number of seafarers and having the opportunity of engaging more of our youth in this business, should ratify this convention.
So, Mr Speaker, I would want to encourage my Colleagues to positively support this Motion, so that our seafarers would be covered.
We are aware of the treatment meted out to our brothers who go to sea -- sometimes, we hear some of them are thrown overboard, they are not paid, they work for years, they work without time limits and all because we do not have the law to help them enforce their rights.
Mr Joseph Z. Amenowode (NDC -- Afadzato South) 2:45 p.m.


So, I am sure that by the passage of this, we will be doing a great service to the maritime industry in our country.

I, therefore, fully support the ratification and ask my Hon Colleagues to do so accordingly.
Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh (NPP -- Nsawam-Adoagyiri) 5:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity. I would want to make a few comments on the Report.
Mr Speaker, firstly, I am not impressed in terms of the timing -- the time that this Report is being laid on the floor of Parliament.
Mr Speaker, there is a deadline inherent in the Report and that deadline is 20th August, 2013. I am totally taken aback by the fact that Parliament is rising today and it is today that this Report is being laid; I do not think it is good enough. Consi- dering the importance attached to this whole matter, this Report should have been laid earlier -- [Interruptions] -- for Parliament to do a thorough assessment before it is passed.
Mr Speaker, again, I have also looked at the documents given to us. I think the appropriate thing that should have been done was the full version of the International Convention given to us. What we have here is just the highlights. We need the full version of that International Convention, so that Hon Members of Parliament can have a good assessment of the content of that Convention.
Mr Darko-Mensah 5:40 p.m.
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is misleading the House.
The copies have been placed in the pigeon holes, so, I expect him to have his copy by now.
Mr Annoh-Dompreh 5:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not have a copy in my pigeon hole and therefore, I am speaking from that limitation. I am not talking about --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:40 p.m.
Hon Member, the Ranking Member has told you that copies have been distributed, so, let us move on. [Interruptions.] Go ahead with your presentation.
Mr Annoh-Dompreh 5:40 p.m.
In going further, the point I would want to make is that, I think that as a country, what we need to do, is not to hasten to ratify international conventions. There are thousand and one conventions that we have ratified as a country, where we have not even respected them.
Mr Speaker, some of these conventions come with some inherent punitive measures. I am asking, if there is any punitive measure associated with this Convention, the Committee should make us aware for us to know, so that in future, what we would need to do is that, technocrats in the various Ministries --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:40 p.m.
Hon Member, begin to wind up.
Mr Annoh-Dompreh 5:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, in winding up, what I would want to say is that, as a country, technocrats in various Ministries should build a very good collaboration with Ministers, so that we do not hasten to ratify international conventions and stand to be punished because of inherent punitive measures associated with some of these interna- tional conventions.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:40 p.m.
Hon Members, I shall put the Question, I think it is straightforward.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Dr Kunbour 5:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, with your leave, I would like to take resolution item number 14.
RESOLUTIONS 5:40 p.m.

Majority Leader (Dr Benjamin B. Kunbour) (on behalf of the Minister for Transport) 5:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that
WHEREAS by the provisions of article 75 of the Constitution any treaty, agreement, or convention executed by or under the Authority of the President in the name of Ghana is made subject to ratification either by an Act of Parliament or by a Resolution of Parliament supported by the votes of more than one-half of all the Members of Parliament.
IN ACCORDANCE with the said article 75 of the Constitution, the President has caused to be laid before Parliament through the Minister responsible for Transport the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 on 17th July, 2013.
NOW THEREFORE, this Honour- able House hereby resolves to ratify the said Maritime Labour Conven- tion, 2006.
Mr Frederick Opare-Ansah 5:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I heard the Majority Leader ask for your indulgence to take the Resolution and item numbered 14. When I took a look at it, it stood in the name of the Minister for Transport and he proceeds without any further request to you or the House to begin to move the Motion. I am wondering, if His Excellency the President has now appointed the Majority Leader as the Minister for Transport, at least, he should let us know.
Dr Kunbuor 5:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, this matter has been taken and we have had highly respectable opinions from former Leaders that I am in a proper position. The leave was granted. I saw Mr Speaker actually grant this leave. [Interruption.] Yes.
Mr Theophilus T. Chaie 5:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Dr Kunbuor 5:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if we can move back to the Addendum 2 and take item number 2.
Suspension of Standing Order 80 (1)
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 5:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 80 (1) which require that no Motion shall be debated until at least, forty-eight hours have elapsed between the date on which notice of the Motion is given and the date on which the Motion is moved, the Motion for the adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee on the Terms of a Receivables-backed Trade Finance Facility between Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and a consortium of banks and financial institutions, with the Government of the Republic of Ghana as Guarantor, for an amount of US$1,200, 000,000.00 for the purchase of cocoa beans in Ghana for the 2013/2014 crop season, may be moved today.
Dr Anthony A. Osei 5:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Dr Kunbuor 5:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, item number 3 on Addendum 2.
Mr Avedzi 5:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, before I move item number 3, I would want to do a few corrections on the Report.
There are two Reports for Cocoa Board. The first one is the loan itself; if you look at the loan, the cover is titled “request for waiver”. So, the one that reads “Request for waiver” is the main loan and the one that reads “Terms receivable” is for the “waiver” but the cover should read as “waiver”. So, that should not confuse Members.

Trade Finance Facility between COCOBOD and consortium of banks

and financial institutions
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 5:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Finance Committee on the Terms of a Receivables-backed Trade Finance Facility between Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and a consortium of banks and financial institutions, with the Government of the Republic of Ghana as Guarantor, for an amount of US$1,200,000,000.00 for the purchase of cocoa beans in Ghana for the 2013/2014 crop season -- [Interruption.]
Prof. Gyan-Baffour 5:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we do not have the Reports. Where are the Reports? [Interruption.]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:50 p.m.
Order! Order!
Hon Members, I think the Report has been distributed; all we need to do is to make sure that Members who were not here at the time of distribution have been given their copies.
Mr Avedzi 5:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the request for approval of the Terms on Receivable- backed Trade Finance Facility between
the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and a consortium of banks and financial institutions, with the Government of the Republic of Ghana as guarantor, for an amount of one billion, two hundred million United States Dollars (US$1,200,000,000.00) for the purchase of cocoa beans in Ghana for the 2013/2014 Crop Season was presented to the House by the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance, Mr Cassiel Ato Forson on Friday, 19th July, 2013 in accordance with article 181 of the 1992 Constitution.
Mr Speaker referred the request to the Finance Committee for consideration and report in accordance with Order 169 of the Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
Pursuant to the referral, the Committee met with the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance, Mr Cassiel Ato Forson, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board, Mr Anthony Fofie, officials from the Ministry, Ghana Cocoa Board and Ghana Revenue Authority and considered the referral.
The Committee is grateful to the Hon Deputy Minister and officials from the Ministry and Ghana Cocoa Board for attending upon it.
Reference
The Committee referred to the following additional documents during its deliberations:
The 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
The Standing Orders of the Parlia- ment of Ghana.
Ghana Cocoa Board Act, 1984
(PNDCL 81).
Background
The cocoa industry has contributed significantly to the economic develop- ment of Ghana over the years. In 2010 cocoa contributed about a quarter of
Ghana's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The industry has over the years created employment for millions of Ghanaians and serves as a major source of foreign exchange earner for the country. Cocoa production has also increased significantly since the 1999/2000 crop season reaching an all-time high of over 1.0 million metric tonnes in the 2010/2011 crop season.
The increase in the levels of production requires substantial financial resources to enable the Ghana Cocoa Board to finance the purchase of cocoa beans. To this end, the offshore syndicated Trade Finance arrangement was put in place in 1994 to enable the Ghana Cocoa Board secure a loan facility to finance cocoa purchases and for other payments each year.
The Board of Directors of the Ghana Cocoa Board and Cabinet have given approval for the COCOBOD to borrow an amount of one billion, two hundred million United States Dollars (US$1,200,000,000.00) to finance cocoa purchases in the 2013/ 2014 cocoa season.
The arrangement involves a consor- tium of several international and local banks in arranging a credit facility of US$1,200,000,000.00 to purchase an estimated 830,000 tonnes of cocoa beans in the 2013/2014 cocoa season.
Justification of the request
The Trade Facility is to enable COCOBOD raise adequate funds to purchase cocoa beans from farmers through license buying companies for the 2013/2014 cocoa season. The sourcing of the facility also provides the nation with the opportunity to demonstrate its good track record on borrowing from the international financial market.
Mr Opare-Ansah 5:50 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, when the Chairman of the Finance Committee started speaking, I thought he was going to talk about some small amount of money, so that if even the representative of the people of Suhum had not seen it, it would not matter.
Mr Speaker, he is talking about such an amount of money -- so big, so many zeros I do not know whether it is million, billion, trillion and we have not seen the Report. I am just seeing a copy --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:50 p.m.
Hon Member, I directed that those who have not received copies, we should make sure they have them, otherwise, the Reports have been distributed and I think we can proceed.
Hon Chairman of the Committee, can you go on?
Mr Avedzi 5:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, considering the significant contribution of the cocoa industry to the economic development of Ghana and to secure a financial facility to ensure a continued cocoa purchase in the country, the Committee, after a careful examination of the request, recommends
SPACE FOR TERMS OF THE 5:50 p.m.

rose
Mr Ahi 6 p.m.
Mr Speaker, what cocoa can do to this country is enormous. For instance, I know that COCOBOD is into developing the feeder roads, so, it normally earmarks some funds to do cocoa roads in this country. It is true that it was initiated under His Excellency President Kufuor; it is continuing. Apart from that COCOBOD also earmarked some funds available for cocoa farmers' scholarship scheme, which are all important pro- grammes that COCOBOD needs to be supported.
Mr Speaker, I would want to urge all my Hon Colleagues to overwhelmingly approve this Report, so that COCOBOD can go to the international market to be able to raise this funding to support the 2013/2014 cocoa season.
With these few words, Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6 p.m.
Thank you very much.
The last contributor, Dr Osei Akoto --
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto (NPP -- Kwadaso) 6 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if I may correct you, there is no “Osei Akoto” in this House; there is “Owusu Afriyie Akoto”, who happens to be the Hon Ranking Member for the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs -- [Hear! Hear!]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6 p.m.
Thank you for the correction.
Dr Akoto 6 p.m.
Mr Speaker, this intervention that I am making should have been made at the Committee stage because it is fairly technical and this is why the perennial problem that we always raise, when the issue comes to the floor, is that the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs should be involved at the Committee stage in the consideration of matters of this nature.
We are not, and I know that, consistently, in my four and a half years in this House, every year, this issue comes up and it is not corrected.
Mr Speaker, may I draw your attention to the Appendix to the Report -- page 2, the “Consolidated Budget Analysis” -- Mr Speaker, you would see from the appendix that the total tonnage for 2011/ 2012 was 850,000 metric tonnes. It had fallen from over one million metric tonnes the previous year in 2010/2011; it had decreased. By this document, COCOBOD itself admits that the 2012/2013 production was 800,000 metric tonnes.
Now, we see from the main Report that the 2013/2014 production has hiked up to 830,000 metric tonnes. Where is this growth coming from when we know that there has been a slide in production over the last three years? We need to know the basis on which these 830,000 metric tonnes, the growth in production would be coming from. That is the first point.
Mr Speaker, if you look at the main Report, you would also see there is an assumption of the exchange rate of GH¢1.89 to the dollar. And we know that this is not true. As we stand here, a dollar is nearly GH¢2.00 -- [Interruption] -- and the Central Bank itself, the Bank of Ghana, in its publication, admits that this figure is not correct. So, it is a distortion of the facts that we are borrowing 1.2 billion dollars for a smaller crop at an exchange rate which is -- [Interruption.]
Mr Avedzi 6 p.m.
Mr Speaker, on a point of order.
Mr Speaker, this is even to the benefit of Ghana COCOBOD. If they go and take 1.2 billion dollars and the exchange rate is now higher, they get more cedis -- [Interruption] -- that is the point we are raising -- [Interruption.]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6 p.m.
Yes, Hon Member, go ahead.
Dr Akoto 6:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, this is precisely the point that I am making. This is because, for the same amount, you are going to get more cedis locally to purchase the crop. So, the intervention by the Finance Committee Chairman is not helping in this debate at all. Rather, it is distorting and misleading this House with that explanation. And we should not be prepared to accept that, Mr Speaker.
So, I am very, very uncomfortable with this request for these very reasons. And it is not just me, a lot of Hon Members of my Committee have approached me to express these concerns.
Mr Speaker, I think it will do this country good if these concerns are addressed properly before we go ahead to give approval to COCOBOD to go and borrow such money.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:10 p.m.
Hon Members, I will put the Question --
Minority Leader (Mr Osei Kyei- Mensah-Bonsu) 6:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I had thought that a couple of Hon Members were going to be given the opportunity, that is why I was sitting down.
But Mr Speaker, whereas the principle underpinning this loan is appreciated by all of us, we really need to be clear in our minds about some of the bolts and nuts involved.
Mr Speaker, the issue raised by the Hon Ranking Member for Food and Agricul- ture, is very germane. First of all, they have indicated to us that the exchange rate they are using is GH¢1.89 to the US dollar. Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman of the Finance Committee is right in saying that if the cedi depreciates further, COCOBOD is going to get more money. It is going to inure to the benefit of COCOBOD.
Mr Speaker, that is why we need to know what we are doing today because in that case, it gives them enough room to do whatever they want with whatever was not projected for. And we need to know what is going to happen to that windfall. As we speak today, for what use is it going to be put?
Mr Speaker, we need to know because the Member for Bodi (Hon Ahi) raised the issue about cocoa roads. That is also very important. COCOBOD has been doing this. But Mr Speaker, it is important we get to know where these roads that are constructed are. This is because last year, in the budget, we were told that some cocoa roads were being constructed in Accra. Mr Speaker, that is incorrect. So, it
Mr Joe K. Gidisu 6:10 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minority Leader says cocoa roads in Accra. There were no cocoa roads in Accra. We had cocoa, sheanut and coffee roads because they are also agencies under the COCOBOD. So, if we had areas that grow cocoa, coffee and sheatnuts, they were equally qualified by the provision of the COCOBOD to fund those roads in those areas.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 6:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am surprised. I am indeed, surprised because last year -- and the Hansard would bear me out -- he is the same per son who came last year to answer a Question in this House and alluded to cocoa roads in Greater-Accra. We questioned him and now, he is saying that there is no such thing. Mr Speaker, I am really amazed.[Uproar.] But Mr Speaker, I would not pursue that matter.
Mr Speaker, the other thing that we need to talk about is that because Government has been talking about the farmers' social security for 2011/2012 and 2012/2013, there was no such allocation. Mr Speaker, it should not be just a lip- service. I think it would be very important to the farmers if we had this.
Again, the farmers' housing scheme -- we are told that they committed GH¢868,000 for 2011/2012 and 2012/2013; they committed GH¢816,000. Mr Speaker, that may be good but this House ought to be apprised. Where are the houses? Mr Speaker, GH¢816,000 amounts to more than 8.16 billion old Ghana cedis. We need to know where those houses are. The principle behind is understandable; we all do appreciate it. But this House ought to be apprised with the facts.
Again, Mr Speaker, we are told that for 2012/2013, there was a commitment of GH¢4.5 million, equivalent to 45 billion old cedis in the replanting and rehabilitation of cocoa farms. Mr Speaker, where are those farms? What acreages were involved? We have not been told.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member for Madina --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:10 p.m.
Hon Minority Leader, can you please, address the Chair.
Let us make progress.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 6:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I thought the Hon Chairman of the Finance Committee was providing some information, that was why I was listening to him.
Mr Avedzi 6:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I was just saying that we are actually just providing this information because we are going to approve this facility. We are not actually looking at the audited report of COCOBOD. That is the issue I am talking about.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 6:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I appreciate the point made by the Hon Chairman of the Finance Committee. But that amounts to short-changing us because we need the relevant information in order to give this approval.
Mr Speaker, one cannot just say that one has committed 45 billion old cedis to cocoa replanting and we are saying that it is just for information. It cannot be. That is the point. I am not accusing the Finance Committee. I am talking about whoever provided the information. And because the Report is coming from the Finance Committee, they ought to have provided us with these responses.
Mr Speaker, that is the issue. And that is why the Hon Ranking Member said, whereas in principle, nobody can be against this; it appears we are rushing ourselves because if it had come earlier, perhaps, the relevant answers could have been provided and all of us would have been satisfied. As it is, there could be sufficient justification for this, but we do not know.
Parliament is in the dark as to the number of acreages that were involved. We are told that for coffee rehabilitation and replanting, an amount of GH¢1,256,000 was involved. Where are those farms? What acreages were involved? Mr Speaker, we need to be told this.
Mr Speaker, last year, the purchases were 850,000 metric tonnes of cocoa and we went for US$1.5 billion. This year, the anticipated harvest is 830,000 metric tonnes. We are going for US$1.2 billion. How do we rationalise this? This is because in terms of quantities, if we are talking about 850,000 requiring US$1.5 billion, by relevant proportions and calculations, certainly, we would require more than the US$1.2 billion for 830,000 metric tonnes, unless the justification is that cocoa prices have come down. So, we need further and better particulars.
Mr Speaker, if the prices are the same, then the amount that we are looking for would purchase 668,000 metric tonnes and not 830,000 metric tonnes. That is why I said that we needed further and better particulars about that.
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:10 p.m.
Hon Minority Leader, go ahead; you have the floor, please.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 6:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I see some meteoric injection by the Hon Finance Committee Chairman and his counterpart, the one sitting by his right, the Hon Member for Bodi and I thought maybe, when I called for further and better particulars, they had something up their sleeves. That is why I wanted to yield to them. Perhaps, they could provide further and better particulars --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:10 p.m.
Hon Minority Leader, they can only have the floor if I give them the chance.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 6:10 p.m.
Thank you very much.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:10 p.m.
Please, you have the floor; go ahead.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 6:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if you look at page 4 of the Report, the “cost of the facility” --
“The Committee observed that the syndicated trade-backed facility would cost COCOBOD an estimated amount of US$14,080,670. This is made up of interest margin, fees, legal cost, interest on cash collateral among others. This, however, excludes an estimated legal cost of
US$75,000”.
Already, he has said that the cost includes legal cost. Why then does he come and say that this, however , excludes an estimated legal cost of US$75,000?
Mr Avedzi 6:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, there is an explanation to that statement. The US$14 million which was the cost of the facility -- The Agreement that was submitted to the Committee, there was a provision for legal cost but it was said to be determined. So, at the Committee, we probed further that if that was the case, then the US$14 million is not the actual cost, and therefore,
what should be the estimated cost of the legal cost-- and they gave us a figure of
US$75,000.
So, what we should do is to amend the Report to delete the “includes legal cost” so that it would iron out the thing. So, that is the explanation.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 6:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, you see, so, in presenting the Report, the Hon Chairman should have told us this and now, he is saying that, perhaps, we need to amend that portion. Maybe, I would sit down for him to amend it and I would continue. But clearly -- And that is why I called for further and better particulars.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:10 p.m.
Yes, Hon Chairman, can you ask leave to amend that portion?
Mr Avedzi 6:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I amend the Report on page 3 under paragraph 5.0, “Terms of the Facility”, where the “Legal Cost and Other Expenses, US$75,000” should be deleted.
On page 4, under paragraph 2, “Cost of the Facility, line 4, delete also “legal cost”.
I so do.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:10 p.m.
All right.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 6:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, these are some of the things that we keep talking about. Certainly, whereas the Hon Chairman has understood the point I made and is trying to clean up the Report, usually, what ought to be done was to have had the Committee, at least, the leadership, meeting to discuss and then effecting these amendments. But we can move on.
Mr Speaker, if you look at the Report, they are using the projection for 2012/2013 in arriving at the figure for 2013/2014. The demand should be premised on the actuals for 2012/2013. When they came
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:10 p.m.
Hon Minority Leader, I hope you are beginning to wind up?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 6:10 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker. Two more things that I would want to speak to.
The other one relates to cocoa scholarships. I see zero, zero for 2012/ 2013. Is it the case that there was nothing there? There was no expenditure in respect of the scholarships? We need to know.
For the Road Fund that I spoke about early on, the 2012/2013, even though as I said, the Hon Minister had come to respond to a Question of some investment that had gone into some roads here for 2012/2013; it is zero, zero. Is it an admission that no expenditure was committed or made for roads in respect of the cocoa roads that we have spoken about?
So, Mr Speaker, as I indicated, in principle, we must have to support this but certainly, there are many pieces of relevant information that have not been given to the House and I believe that if we had taken this one early, perhaps, we would have come to some understanding before getting to this stage where these issues are cropping up.
Mr Speaker, I thank you.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:10 p.m.
Thank you very much.
Majority Leader (Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor) 6:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I guess that a number of very useful information has been presented on the entire cocoa industry, its accounting and auditing, regrettably, in relation to a simple Report of a Committee dealing with the terms of Receivables-backed Facility. I guess the Hon Minister for finance has listened to all the concerns and Hon Members are the better for it in having a proper understanding of the cocoa industry.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 6:30 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Majority Leader is contributing to this debate and commenting on the Report together with its attachment. But I must say that we have had these results because the Committee did not have time -- this was not the information we were requesting for.
We were requesting information on the disbursement of the loan that they took last year. [An Hon Member: Breakdown.] Yes, it was the breakdown because we were saying that, probably, they did not spend all the money on purchasing cocoa beans; maybe, they spent some on others. So, they should just bring us the breakdown. But because we did not have time, we told them to give the information to the Chairman, so that it could be included in the Report.
I am sure the Hon Chairman will attest to this. It is because we had to deal with it just today and there was not enough time to get the relevant information.
I would want to assist the House and the Hon Majority Leader, who is also the Leader of Government Business and a member of the Committee.
Dr Kunbuor 6:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, in fact, my contribution was actually geared towards the broader context in which the debate took place and I do not have any difficulty with the issues that were raised. I am saying that this House has been the better for it. But with the clarification that has been given by the Hon Member for Sekondi, it still falls within the context.
If they ask you to write about a tree, and then you find that you have not prepared on the tree and you have no information about the tree, you will say birds sit on the tree and at one point, one would want to know what is a bird. So, that is the exercise we have been engaged in and I am saying that the quality time of this House must be based on our Standing Orders and the relevance.
That is why I agree perfectly with him that perhaps, the Report did not carry enough relevant matters and that is why cocoa roads in Accra have become an issue in this debate. But it is useful. After all, it is all about cocoa. I even expected that there will be debates on cocoa sacks.
Mr Speaker, one important thing that I did not hear in this debate is the fact that the price of cocoa is coming down and as we begin to talk about the figures and the projections, I wanted to see how those projections would have addressed the falling price of cocoa in relation to these figures. [Interruptions.] It will be
important that you listen to the context in which the falling cocoa price is being raised.
With these few words, Mr Speaker, I have nothing useful to add to the rather brilliant presentation on this matter.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:30 p.m.
Order! Order! Hon Members, can we have some peace?
RESOLUTIONS 6:30 p.m.

Majority Leader (Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor) 6:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that
WHEREAS by the provisions of article 181 of the Constitution and sections 7 and 10 of the Loans Act, 1970 (Act 335), the terms and conditions of any guarantee by the Government of Ghana on behalf of any public institution or authority shall not come into operation unless the said terms and conditions have been laid before Parliament and approved by a Resolution of Parliament;
PURSUANT to the provisions of the said article 181 of the Constitution and sections 7 and 10 of the Loans Act, (Act 335) and at the request of the Government of Ghana acting through the Minister responsible for Finance, there has been laid before Parliament the terms and conditions of a Receivables-backed Trade Finance Facility between Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and a consortium of banks and financial
THIS HONOURABLE HOUSE 6:30 p.m.

Mr James K. Avedzi 6:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 6:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, you have taken the vote and by your reckoning, the Ayes have it. Mr Speaker, that, I am not going to question.
The issue is, given the seriousness of the issues that we have raised, I would plead that you direct the Hon Minister to come properly before Parliament and provide answers to these issues that we have raised. We cannot just rubber- stamp --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:30 p.m.
Hon Minority Leader, I am minded to do that after this. I will give some direction, please.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 6:30 p.m.
Very well.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:40 p.m.
Hon Members, I, however, would want to direct that, first of all, the Ministry of Finance should make sure that COCOBOD does not wait until the eleventh hour to submit a request of this nature to this Honourable House. The House will need adequate time to consider every such application.
Secondly, some very pertinent issues have been raised in the course of the debate. I would like the Hon Deputy Finance Minister to take note, so that those issues can be addressed appropriately to satisfy this House.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 6:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if I may, you indicated to the Hon Deputy Minister to satisfy this House on these issues that we have raised. I would beg of you, that you direct that he comes to explain the issues that we have raised when the House next convenes. Mr Speaker, that would be a better thing than just the blanket ruling. I think that will not be very much in tune.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:40 p.m.
Very well, that is in order. I so direct.
Dr Kunbuor 6:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if we could take item number 5 on the Order Paper Addendum 2.
Suspension of Standing Order 80(1)
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 6:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 80(1) which require that no Motion shall be debated until at least, forty-eight hours have elapsed between the date on which notice of the Motion is given and the date on which the Motion is moved, the Motion for the adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee on
Dr A. A. Osei 6:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Request for waiver of Stamp Duty on Offshore Syndicated Receivables-
backed Trade Finance Facility for cocoa purchases by COCOBOD
for the 2013/2014 crop season
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 6:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Finance Committee on the request for waiver of stamp duty amounting to US$12,000,000.00 on an Offshore Syndicated Receivables-backed Trade Finance Facility of US$1,200,000,000.00 for cocoa purchases by Ghana Cocoa Board for the year 2013/2014 crop season.
In doing so, I present the Report of the Committee.
Introduction
The request for waiver of Stamp Duty amounting to US$12,000,000.00 on an Offshore Syndicated Receivable-backed Trade Finance Facility of US$1,200,000,000.00 for cocoa purchases by Ghana Cocoa Board for the year 2013/2014 crop season was presented to Parliament by the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance, Mr Cassiel Ato Forson on Friday, 19th July, 2013 in accordance with article 174(2) of the 1992 Constitution.
Mr Speaker referred the request to the Finance Committee for consideration and report in accordance with Order 169 of the Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
Pursuant to the referral, the Committee met with the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance, Mr Cassiel Ato Forson, the Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Cocoa Board, Mr Anthony Fofie, officials from the Ministry, Ghana Cocoa Board and Ghana Revenue Authority and considered the referral.
The Committee is grateful to the Hon Deputy Minister and officials from the Ministry, Ghana Revenue Authority and Ghana Cocoa Board for attending upon it.
Reference
The Committee referred to the following additional documents during its deliberations:
The 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
The Standing Orders of the Parliamen of Ghana.
Stamp Duty Act, 2005 (Act 689).
Background
The cocoa industry has contributed significantly to the economic development of Ghana over the years. In 2010, cocoa contributed about a quarter of Ghana's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The industry has also created employment for millions of Ghanaians and serves as a major source of foreign exchange for the country.
Cocoa production has also increased significantly since the 1999/2000 crop season reaching an all-time high of over a 1.0 million metric tonnes in the 2010/2011 crop season. The increase in the levels of production requires substantial financial resources to enable the Ghana Cocoa Board finance the purchase of cocoa beans.
To this end, the offshore syndicated Trade Finance arrangement was put in place in 1994 to enable the Ghana Cocoa Board secure a loan facility to finance cocoa purchases and for other payments each year.
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 6:40 p.m.
To this end, the Board of Directors of the Ghana Cocoa Board has given approval for the COCOBOD to borrow an amount of one billion, two hundred million United States dollars (US$1,200,000,000.00) to finance cocoa purchases in the 2013/ 2014 cocoa season.
The arrangement involves a con- sortium of several international and local banks in arranging a credit facility of US$1.2 billion to purchase an estimated 830,000 tonnes of cocoa beans in the 2013/2014 cocoa season. Section 32(6) of the Stamp Duty Act, 2005 (Act 689) however, requires the payment of 1 per cent Stamp Duty on the facility.
Justification for the request
The Trade Facility is to enable COCOBOD to raise adequate funds to purchase cocoa beans from farmers through license buying companies for the 2013/2014 cocoa season. Sourcing of the facility also provides the nation with the opportunity to demonstrate its good track record on borrowing from the international financial market.
Required waiver
The provisions of section 32(6) of the Stamp Duty Act, 2005 (Act 689) make it imperative to pay a Stamp Duty of 1per cent on loan facilities. To ensure that the full value of the loan is used for cocoa purchase in the 2013/2014 cocoa season, there is the need to waive the Stamp Duty on the loan facility. The amount of tax waiver required is 1per cent Stamp Duty on US$1,200,000,000.00 amounting to
US$12,000,000.00
Observation
Importance of the tax waiver
The Committee was informed that cocoa has over the years remained a major contributor to Ghana's economic growth and transformation. The loan amount will
be used to purchase a projected 830,000 tonnes of cocoa beans at a project cedi/ dollar exchange rate of GH¢1.89 to US$1. The waiver is therefore, necessary to ensure that the full value of the facility is available to the Ghana Cocoa Board to enable it pay for cocoa purchases and other liabilities in the 2013/2014 crop season.
Approval of the tax waiver
The Committee observed that the Ghana Revenue Authority granted an interim waiver on the Offshore Syndicated Receivables-backed Trade Finance Facility amounting to US$12,000,000.00. The Stamp Duty payable was assessed at 1 per cent of US$1,200,000,000.00.
Waiver of Stamp Duty
The Committee expressed concerns on the continuous granting of waiver of stamp duty for COCOBOD on credit facilities. The Committee was informed that COCOBOD currently pays export duty on all cocoa beans it exports. The waiver of the Stamp Duty is however, required to enable COCOBOD use the full facility for the cocoa purchases. The absence of the waiver therefore, means that less cocoa beans could be purchased.
Conclusions
The Committee having carefully examined the referral recommends to the House to adopt its report and approve by Resolution, the request for waiver of Stamp Duties amounting to US$12,000,000.00 on an Offshore Syndicated Receivables-backed Trade Finance Facility of US$1,200,000,000.00 for cocoa purchases by Ghana Cocoa Board for the year 2013/2014 crop season in accordance with article 174(2) of the 1992 Constitution, section 36 of the Stamp Duty Act, 2005 (Act 689) and Order 169 of the Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
Respectfully submitted.

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RESOLUTIONS 6:40 p.m.

Minister for Finance) 6:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House is respectfully requested to adopt the following Resolution:
WHEREAS by the provisions of article 174 (2) of the Constitution, Parliament is empowered to confer power on any person or authority to waive or vary a tax imposed by an Act of Parliament;
THE EXERCISE of any power conferred on any person or authority to waive or vary a tax in favour of any person or authority is by the said provisions made subject to the prior approval of Parliament by resolution;
BY THE COMBINED operation of the provisions of section 26 (2) of the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (Management) Law, 1993 (PNDCL 330), the Export and Import Act, 1995 (Act 503), the Export Development and Investment Fund Act, 2000 (Act 582), the Value Added Tax Act, 1998 (Act 546), the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Act, 2000

SPACE FOR APPENDIX ‘A'

CONT. - PAGE 6 ‘A' - 6.40P.M.

(Act 579) and other existing laws and regulations applicable to the collection of customs duties and other taxes on the importation of goods into Ghana, the Minister for Finance may exempt any statutory corporation, institution or individual from the payment of duties and taxes otherwise, payable under the said laws and regulations or waive or vary the requirement of such statutory corporation, institution or individual to pay such duties and taxes;

IN ACCORDANCE with the provisions of the Constitution and at the request of the Government of Ghana acting through the Minister responsible for Finance, there has been laid before Parliament a request by the Minister for Finance for the prior approval of Parliament the exercise by him of his power under the laws and regulations relating to the waiver of Stamp Duty amounting to US$12,000,000.00 on an Offshore Syndicated Receiv- ables-backed Trade Finance Facility of US$1,200,000,000.00 for cocoa purchases by Ghana Cocoa Board for the year 2013/2014 crop season.

NOW THEREFORE, this Honour- able House hereby approves the exercise by the Minister responsible for Finance of the power granted to him by Parliament by Statute to waive such Stamp Duty amounting to US$12,000,000.00 on an Offshore Syndicated Receivables-backed Trade Finance Facility of US$1,200,000,000.00 for cocoa purchases by Ghana Cocoa Board for the year 2013/2014 crop season.
Mr James K. Avedzi 6:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Suspension of Standing Order 80(1)
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 6:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 80(1) which require that no Motion shall be debated until at least forty-eight hours have elapsed between the date on which notice of the Motion is given and the date on which the Motion is moved, the Motion for the adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee on the request for waiver of customs duties, VAT, EDIF, ECOWAS levies, destination inspection fees, withholding tax Liabilities on local and foreign suppliers, corporate income taxes and other related taxes amounting to twenty-six million, seven hundred and eleven thousand, eight hundred and sixty-five euros (€26,711,865.00) on goods and services related to the execution of the design, civil and engineering works at Takoradi Port, Ghana may be moved today.
Dr A. A. Osei 6:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Request for waiver of customs duties, VAT, EDIF, et cetera, on goods
and services for design, civil and engineering works at Takoradi Port
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 6:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts
the Report of the Finance Committee on the request for waiver of customs duties, VAT, EDIF, ECOWAS levies, destination inspection fees, withholding tax liabilities on local and foreign suppliers, Corporate income taxes and other related taxes amounting to twenty-six million, seven hundred and eleven thousand, eight hundred and sixty-five euros (€26,711,865.00) on goods and services related to the execution of the design, civil and engineering works at Takoradi Port, Ghana.
Mr Speaker, in doing so, I present the Report of the Committee.
Introduction
The request for waiver of customs duties, VAT, EDIF, ECOWAS levies, destination inspection fees, withholding tax liabilities on local and foreign supplies, corporate income taxes and other related taxes amounting twenty-six million, seven hundred and eleven thousand, eight hundred and sixty-five euros (€26,711,865.00) on goods and services related to the execution of the design, civil and engineering works at the Takoradi port, Ghana was presented to Parliament by the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance, Mr Cassiel Ato Forson on Friday, 19th July,
2013.
Mr Speaker referred the request to the Finance Committee for consideration and report in accordance with article 174(2) of the 1992 Constitution and Order 169 of the Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
The Committee met with the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance, Mr Cassiel Ato Forson, officials from the Ministry of Finance and Ghana Revenue Authority and considered the referral.
The Committee is grateful to the Hon Deputy Minister and officials from the Ministry and Ghana Revenue Authority for attending upon it.
Reference
The Committee referred to the following additional documents during its deliberations:
The 1992 Constitution of Ghana;
The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana;
Stamp Duty Act, 2005 (Act 689); and
The Credit Agreement Between the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and KBC Bank NV, Belfius Bank SA/NV, Deutche Bank AG, London, Fortis Bank NV/SA, and ING Belgium NV/SA with Government of the Republic of Ghana as guarantor, for the design, civil and engineering works at the Takoradi Port, Ghana.
The Agreement between the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and Jan De Nul Ghana Limited for the engineering, procurement and Construction of the Takoradi Port Infrastructure Development Project Phase I.
Background
The Takoradi Port has recently become the focus of maritime trade activities especially in support of the emerging oil and gas cluster of services and activities.
The rapidly growing economy coupled with the emerging oil and gas industry has necessitated the demand for modern shore-based support services and facilities for important activities such as storage and handling of chemicals; lifting and storage of heavy equipment in thousands of tonnes in single lifts;
fabrications and spooling activities for rigid production flow pipes, water and gas injection flow pipes; berthing of multi- purpose platforms, supply and light construction vessels; fabrication, assembly and repair yards; oil rig repair facilities; container yards for project cargo such as spares, food and medicals for the oil fields and the supporting industries among others.
Unfortunately, the Takoradi Port has not received the needed attention over a long period to be ready for the emerging new operational requirement and activities. Various master plan studies have been undertaken but have failed to adequately predict the current needs of the Port. The Port therefore, has to provide adequate berthing, mooring, wharf, warehousing and large open space facilities at the waterfront in response to the above- stated demands.
Further, due to the shallow depths of the Port, the shipment of bulk cargos including cocoa, and other agro-forestry products is by double-handling through the use of old-fashioned lighterage system. With the emerging growth prospects and global competition, the economies of scale would require the use of larger vessels and direct loading facilities to sustain reasonable economic growth.
To this end, the then Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, on 13th August, 2012, presented to the previous Parliament for approval, the credit facility Agreement between the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and KBC Bank NV, Belfius Bank SA/NV, Deutche Bank AG, London, Fortis Bank NV/SA, and ING Belgium NV/SA with the Government of the Republic of Ghana as Guarantor for an amount of €197million for an expansion work at the Takoradi Port.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:50 p.m.
Hon Member, your concerns are very genuine. I would want to direct that the Hon Majority Leader should take this matter up seriously. It does not appear as if the Hon Ministers are responding to their responsibilities towards Parliament. We think it is very important that they are made aware, that while we spend time to deal with matters emanating from their Ministries, they should be here, so that they can assist us as much as possible.
Dr Kunbuor 6:50 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Dr A. A. Osei 6:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I have not finished speaking.
Dr Kunbuor 6:50 p.m.
He has referred to me, that is why.
We have taken note of the concern and I guess the matter could not have been any better put than what the Hon Ranking Member has said and we will certainly make an undertaking to the House that the next time a Minister brings a matter to this House -- [Interruptions] -- Minister is not present without any
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:50 p.m.
Thank you.
Hon Ranking Member.
Dr A. A. Osei 6:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, this is more important. Mr Speaker, if you look at the decision we took in the last Parliament, the loan amount is about €197 million for the Takoradi Port, a very important project. This is why I am passionate about it. This was approved on September 17th 2012 -- We are going into a year.
The Minority Leader has already alluded to the fact that the way we go about giving the tax waivers, it appears that we may be violating the Constitution. I am inviting the House to look at it, so that we do it as best as we can. Maybe, at the time that they were bringing the loan, they could bring the estimated tax amount at that time; if it changes, they could come back and amend it.
This is because the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has given temporary approval and my Leader said the Constitution says “prior approval of Parliament”. We are doing this after the approval because some of the materials are in here.
So, I would want to invite the Deputy Minister to see to it that, at the time the loan is coming, they bring an estimated quantum of tax waivers, so that we approve it. This temporary tax issue is not the best way in my opinion.
I thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:50 p.m.
On that note, I will put the Question.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
RESOLUTIONS 6:50 p.m.

Minister for Finance) 6:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House is respectfully requested to adopt the following Resolution:
WHEREAS by the provisions of article 174 (2) of the Constitution, Parliament is empowered to confer power on any person or authority to waive or vary a tax imposed by an Act of Parliament; THE EXERCISE of any power conferred on any person or authority to waive or vary a tax in favour of any person or authority is by the said provisions made subject to the prior approval of Parliament by Resolution; BY THE COMBINED operation of the provisions of section 26 (2) of the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (Management) Law, 1993 (PNDCL 330), the Export and Import Act, 1995 (Act 503), the Export Development and Investment Fund Act, 2000 (Act 582), the Value Added Tax Act, 1998 (Act 546), the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Act, 2000 (Act 579) and other existing laws and regulations applicable to the collection of customs duties and other taxes on the importation of goods into Ghana, the Minister for Finance may exempt any statutory corporation, institution or individual from the payment of duties and taxes otherwise payable under the said laws and regulations or waive or vary the requirement of such statutory corporation, institution or individual to pay such duties and taxes;
IN ACCORDANCE with the provisions of the Constitution and at the request of the Government of Ghana acting through the Minister responsible for Finance, there has been laid before Parliament a request by the Minister for Finance for the prior approval of Parliament the exercise by him of his power under the laws and regulations relating to the waiver of customs duties, VAT, EDIF, ECOWAS levies, destination inspection fees, withholding tax liabilities on local and foreign suppliers, corporate income taxes and other related taxes amounting to twenty-six million, seven hundred and eleven thousand, eight hundred and sixty- five euros (€26,711,865.00) on goods and services related to the execution of the design, civil and engineering works at Takoradi Port, Ghana. NOW THEREFORE, this Honour- able House hereby approves the exercise by the Minister responsible for Finance of the power granted to him by Parliament by statute to waive such customs duties, VAT, EDIF, ECOWAS levies, destination inspection fees, withholding tax liabilities on local and foreign suppliers, Corporate Income Taxes and other related taxes amounting to twenty-six million, seven hundred and eleven thousand, eight hundred and sixty-five euros (€26,711,865.00) on goods and services related to the execution of the design, civil and engineering works at Takoradi Port, Ghana.
Mr James K. Avedzi 6:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:50 p.m.
Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
Dr Kunbuor 6:50 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
We are waiting for directions from Mr Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:50 p.m.
Hon Members, the Rt Hon Speaker will take over, so that we can go through the closing ceremony.
MR SPEAKER
Mr Speaker 6:55 p.m.
Hon Majority Leader?
Dr Kunbuor 6:55 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker, we have actually exhausted the official business and we are waiting for your directions.
Mr Speaker 6:55 p.m.
Hon Minority Leader, any concluding remarks?
CLOSING REMARKS 6:55 p.m.

Minority Leader (Mr Osei Kyei- Mensah-Bonsu) 6:55 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to make these brief remarks.
Mr Speaker, we have successfully come to the end of our Sittings for the Second Meeting of the First Session of the Sixth Parliament and I am grateful that I have this opportunity to make these few comments.
As usual, we must first of all, be most thankful to God who has sustained our lives and given us strength, vitality and vigour to go about our activities. I am also grateful to Hon Members who have worked tirelessly and diligently to ensure the effective execution of the Business of Parliament.
Mr Speaker 7 p.m.
Thank you very much, Hon Minority Leader.
Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
Majority Leader (Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor) 7 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
I have listened to the Hon Minority Leader in which a number of useful issues on the business of the House over the past period have been succinctly presented and being factual issues, they do not need to be repeated unnecessarily.
Mr Speaker, the Second Meeting of the First Session of the Sixth Parliament of the Fourth Republic ends today, 19th July, 2013. The House sat for 22 days during the Meeting, in which a number of Bills were passed and a number of financial instruments approved.
A total of six (6) Bills were passed by the House. One of the Bills passed was the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Bill, 2013 which had to pass through a Second Consideration Stage before finally read a Third time. The House had to go through the protracted and tedious process as part of efforts to reflect the views and concerns of all interest groups in a Bill.
One of the objectives of the House is to endeavour to involve the people we represent in the law-making process. I wish to assure the public that the House will strive at all times to involve the public
Mr Speaker 7:10 p.m.
Hon Members, let us have some order.
You know, while the courts cannot question your action for being -- You
know the Supreme Court cannot question your actions -- But the House can question your actions -- [Interruptions] -- Hon Members, you will agree with me
-- 7:10 p.m.

ADJOURNMENT 7:10 p.m.