Debates of 17 Dec 2013

MR SPEAKER
PRAYERS 10:15 a.m.

VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT 10:15 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:15 a.m.
At the commencement of Public Business -- Presentation of Papers --
Hon Majority Chief Whip?
Majority Chief Whip (Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka) 10:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Finance Committee Chairperson is here with us. So, we would start with item number 4(b) while we try to get the Hon Majority Leader to do item number 4(a).
Mr Speaker 10:15 a.m.
Where is Hon Agyeman- Manu? I have been informed by the Chairman of the Ad hoc Committee that the Committee's Report is ready.
Alhaji Muntaka 10:15 a.m.
Rightly so, Mr Speaker. We would try to locate him very soon.
Mr Speaker 10:15 a.m.
So, we should defer it for now?
Alhaji Muntaka 10:15 a.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker. We would defer item number 4 (a) but 4 (b) can be laid while we try to locate him.
Mr Speaker 10:15 a.m.
Very well.
Dr Anthony A. Osei 10:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to bring to your attention -- I think you have said it several times, but his presence here is not the best. These are very serious matters we are trying to attend to. We are trying to rise tomorrow and, look at the numbers in here, taking - - [Interruption.] Please, I think that we ought to do something about it. This does not reflect well on all of us.
Mr Speaker 10:15 a.m.
The Hon Majority Leader has informed me that they have a caucus meeting of their side of the House, but I told them that I wanted to start proceedings as early as possible. I hope they are within the premises of the House and they would be joining us soon. So, let us proceed and see how it works.
Hon Members, we go back to Presentation of Papers. We are actually on Presentation of Papers -- Item number 4(a).
PAPERS 10:15 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:15 a.m.
Item number 4(b) -- By the Chairman of the Finance Committee.
Dr A. A. Osei 10:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, if the Hon Chairman can hold on and give us a few minutes so that I can take a look at it. I have not seen the Report at all. At least, let us look at it. [Interruption.] How can he lay a Report that the Ranking Member has not seen?
Chairman of the Finance Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 10:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am going through the Report and after that the Hon Ranking Member will also go through before we lay it. So, the Report is not ready.
Mr Speaker 10:15 a.m.
Very well. Hon Majority Leader,what is the fate of item number 4(c)? Are we laying it?
Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor 10:15 a.m.
No! Mr Speaker, we have had some communica- tion on this matter and we think that either the Hon Minister for Finance, the Minister for Transport or I should withdraw it for further consultations.
So, in the absence of the Hon Finance Minister, I would want the item to be withdrawn.
Mr Speaker 10:15 a.m.
Very well. Are you withdrawing it or you are deferring it for the Finance Minister or the Minister for Transport to withdraw?
Dr Kunbuor 10:15 a.m.
I believethat based on the instructions I got from the Office of the President, I was in a position to do that, but we can defer it for him to come.
Dr A. A. Osei 10:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, sometimes, I wonder how communication goes on. I am not sure anybody has contacted the Hon Chairman of the Committee. This is because the Committee has not even met for somebody to place it on the Order Paper. It is very strange. The Committee has not even --
Mr Speaker 10:15 a.m.
You know that what the Clerks-at-the-Table do is that, based on the Business Statement adopted by the House, they try to comply by preparing the Order Paper in line with the Business of the House. So if it comes to an item and it is not ready, it is for the Committee Chairman who is supposed to lay the Report to say that it is not ready. They think that it is better to put it there than not to put it. So, if it is there and it is not ready, no Hon Member will lay it.
Dr A. A. Osei 10:15 a.m.
I saw it yesterday, Mr Speaker. I thought somebody would, at least, check with the Hon Chairman because the Committee has not met at all; that is what I am saying.
Mr Speaker 10:15 a.m.
But there is a new development. If you listen carefully to the Minister for --
Dr A. A. Osei 10:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I have been aware of that development from the first day the Paper was laid two weeks ago.
Mr Speaker 10:15 a.m.
You are aware of that development?
Dr A. A. Osei 10:15 a.m.
Two weeks ago, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 10:15 a.m.
Hon Member for Sekondi, are you also aware?
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 10:15 a.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker. I have had snippets through the corridors of this House, that there was something in the offing.
But it is also not helpful to us as a House to have something placed on the Order Paper while the Committee has never considered it.
So, while I agree with you, it may help our business further if the Table Office liaises with the Chairman of the Business Committee and the Hon Minister responsible for Government Business in Parliament. This is because, as the Hon Member said, we have never met on it.
Dr A. A. Osei 10:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I stood up to -- It is in the newspaper that Parliament is going to approve this particular -- It is in the newspaper. That is what worries me. We can prevent it.
Mr Speaker 10:25 a.m.
Very well.
Hon Minister, would you announce to the House that you are withdrawing it so that the matter would be taken out of the House completely?
Mr Speaker 10:25 a.m.
It is not the item; it is the document itself which was introduced to us in the House.
Dr Kunbuor 10:25 a.m.
That is what I was getting to. Mr Speaker, all documents before this House which are associated with the item are hereby withdrawn.
Mr Speaker 10:25 a.m.
Hon Members, the document relating to item number 4 (c) has been withdrawn and the referral to the Joint Committee on Finance and Transport is accordingly withdrawn. This means therefore, that this matter is not before the House again until, maybe, we decide to introduce it at a later stage.
Paper accordingly withdrawn by leave of the House.
Dr Kunbuor 10:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, with your indulgence, we might skip item number 5 and then we can take item number 6.
Prof. George Y. Gyan-Baffour 10:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, item number 6 is not yet ready so we can take item number 7, that is, the Electoral Commission.
Dr Kunbuor 10:25 a.m.
So, item number 7, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 10:25 a.m.
Very well.
Hon Members, item number 7 -- Motion.
Minister in charge of Government Business in Parliament --
MOTIONS 10:25 a.m.

ANNUAL ESTIMATES 10:25 a.m.

Minister for Government Business in Parliament/Majority Leader (Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor) 10:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move hat this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢141,082,137 for the service of the Electoral Commission for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
Mr Speaker, this appropriation is being sought in the light of a number of developments. We know that in the Supreme Court petition that just ended, a number of pointers were raised in relation to the capacity and efficiency of the electoral process and some of them are technology based. So, all the efforts to make sure that some of those irregularities do not occur would become a very important feature.
Secondly, Mr Speaker, we know that over time, there has been an agitation to get an appropriate warehouse in which the technological aspects of the hardware and software of the Commission can be stored. That has become necessary in the light of the breakdown of some of the equipment.
More significantly, constitutionally, Mr Speaker would know that next year would be a year for the district Level Elections. So, a number of preparations are needed, possibly, in addition to some referendums on the entrenched clauses in the 1992 Constitution, that are proposed to be amended.
So, there is a tall order of items for which the appropriation is being sought to address, Mr Speaker.
Question Proposed
Ranking Member of the Committee (Prof. George Y. Gyan-Baffour): Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion and I do so by presenting your Committee's Report.
Introduction
The Hon Minister for Finance, Mr Seth Terkpeh presented the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government for the year ending 31st December, 2014 to Parliament on Tuesday, 19th November,
2013 in accordance with article 179 of the 1992 Constitution.
Pursuant to Order 140(4) of the Standing Orders of the House, the Annual Budget Estimates of the Electoral Commission (EC) was referred to the Committee on Special Budget for consideration and report.
The Committee subsequently met with the Chairman of the Commission, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan and the two Deputy Chairmen of the Electoral Commission, Alhaji Amadu Sulley and Mrs Georgina Opoku Amankwah, officials from the Commission and the Ministry of Finance and considered the Estimates.
The Committee expresses its appreciation to the Chairman of the Commission and his team for their inputs during the Committee's deliberations.
Reference documents
The Committee referred to the following documents in the discharge of its duties:
a. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana;
b. The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana;
c. The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2013 Financial Year; and
d. The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2014 Financial Year.
Mission Statement
The Electoral Commission has, as its Mission, to advance the course of democracy and good governance for enhanced development of Ghana by institutionalising free, fair and transparent elections and referenda.
The Medium Term Development Goal of the Electoral Commission
The medium term development goal of the Commission is to become an institution adequately resourced, staffed with professionally trained and motivated personnel, totally independent in the performance of its functions and dedicated to efficient delivery of free, fair and transparent elections to advance the cause of democracy and good governance for sustainable development.
Core Functions of the Electoral Commission
The core functions of the Electoral Commission are to:
i. compile the register of voters and revise it at such periods as may be determined by law;
ii. demarcate the electoral boun- daries for both national and local government elections;
iii. conduct and supervise all public elections and referenda;
iv. educate the people on the electoral process and its purpose;
v. undertake programmes for expansion of the registration of voters;
Minister for Government Business in Parliament/Majority Leader (Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor) 10:25 a.m.


Observations and Recommendations

Over expenditure on 2013 Allocation

The Committee observed excessive overruns on all the expenditure items of the Commission in 2013. As of September 2013, releases by the Ministry of Finance to the Commission for Goods and Services were in excess of 276 per cent of the approved allocation while releases for Assets were also in excess of 254 per cent of the 2013 Allocation.

Officials of the Commission informed the Committee that the overruns on expenditure on Goods and Services and Assets were due to the need to offset outstanding arrears for some 2012 elections activities.

With regard to the allocation for Employee Compensation, the Commission has as at September 2013 overspent its allocation by 23 per cent due to unrealistic compensation ceiling imposed by the Ministry of Finance.

2014 Allocations

The Committee observed that of the GH¢327,179,894 (see APPENDIX 2) required by the Commission for 2014, only GH¢141,082,137 was allocated. The balance of GH¢186,097,575 required to conduct and supervise the district Level Elections and the expected referendum on the 1992 Constitution has not been allocated.

The Committee has extracted assurances from the Hon Minister for Finance to release the relevant amount to the EC for the conduct of the district level elections in 2014. As a result, the Minister of Finance has to find the additional amount of GH¢186,097,575 expeditiously to enable the EC conduct the impending elections without any hitches, as any delays may affect the program outline of the Commission.

Accordingly, the Minister has assured the Committee that the amount will be taken from the General Government Service Vote as follows:

1. GH¢100,000,000 from the Goods and Services component of the GOG within the General Service Vote.

2. GH¢86,097,575 from the Goods and Services component of the Development Partner Fund within the General Service Vote

Number of Polling Stations

The Committee observed that the EC has decided for a start to peg the maximum number of voters per polling station at 800. In view of that there will be about 35,000 polling stations opened for the District Level Elections (DLE) in 2014 as compared with the existing 26,200 stations used for the 2012 General Elections.

The Electoral Commission also stated that to ensure compliance of No Verification, No Vote (NVNV) there would be two (2) Biometric Verification Devices (BVD) per polling station and a few more as back up for every electoral area.

Biometric Verification Devices (BVD)

The Committee noted that the implication of the above meant that a minimum of seventy thousand (70,000) BVD machines would be needed for the DLE in October 2014. Since voting is expected to take place on 7th October, 2014, these machines must be ordered and delivered latest by April 2014.

Biometric Registration Kits (BRK)

The Committee observed that the EC needs to acquire about a thousand (1,000) BRKs to augment the 7,000 already in place. This is to enable the Commission undertake continuous voter registration and periodic mass registration of voters. Since the registration exercise is scheduled for April 2014, there is the need for these machines to be ordered and delivered by the end of January 2014.

Warehouse Facilities for the Sensitive Biometric Verification Equipment and Kits

The Committee noted that many of the sensitive biometric verification equipment and kits which were procured for the 2012 general elections are in a deplorable state due to the absence of appropriate warehouse facilities. According to officials of the Commission, to reduce the number of damaged equipment that have to be repaired and replaced each election year, there is the need for the construction

of appropriately conditioned warehouses across the country to store the equipment.

The Committee further noted that the completion of a National Warehouse Complex has been factored in the 2014 budget of the Commission. The Committee therefore urges the Ministry of Finance to ensure that funding for this project is released and on time in order to save the country from spending large sums of money in servicing, maintaining and replacing malfunctioning biometric verification equipment and kits each election year.

Training of Electoral Officers and Public Voter Education

The Committee observed that training of Electoral Officers and voter education are always rushed through few days before the conduct of elections. Interrogating the issue, officials of the Commission indicated that competent officers of the Commission are over stretched and engaged in several programmes at every point in time in election years. As a result, the situation leaves little time for the training of Electoral Officers and voter education.

The Commission however informed the Committee that recruitment and intensive training of Electoral Officers constitute a substantial share of the budget for the DLEs in 2014.

Inasmuch as the Electoral Commission has budgeted for the training of Electoral Officers in 2014, the Committee is of the opinion that for Electoral Officers to perform their assigned tasks creditably, there is the need for continuous training of such officers. In this regard, the Committee recommends that the Electoral Commission should have a Department specifically dedicated to the continuous training of Electoral Officers and public voter education programmes.

Amendment to the Constitutional Provision Establishing the Electoral Commission

The Committee noted that the budgetary requirements of the Electoral Commission are always reviewed downwards by the Ministry of Finance. Thus, in most election years, the Committee has to make intervention for the Electoral Commission to be allocated

additional funds for the conduct of elections.

The Committee is therefore of the opinion that to forestall the situation where budgetary requirements of the Electoral Commission are always reviewed downwards by the Ministry of Finance, the constitutional provisions establishing the Electoral Commission should be amended to afford the Commission the opportunity to present its budget proposals directly to His Excellency, the President who would submit it to Parliament with his recommendations if any.

This, in the view of the Committee, will uphold the independence of the Electoral Commission and also grant it same status as institutions such as the Audit Service, the Judicial Service and Parliament.

Conclusion In the opinion of the Committee, the

march towards the 2016 general Presidential and Parliamentary Elections has already begun. The successful conduct of the District Level Elections would therefore be a test case to establish how the directives and recommendations of the Supreme Court's rulings of the 2012 elections petition can be operationalised to determine the success of the 2016 general elections.

It is in this regard that the Committee requests the Hon Minister for Finance to ensure that the additional budgetary requirement of GH¢186,097,755 is released on time to the Electoral Commission to enable it commence in earnest, preparations towards the District Level Elections as soon as possible.

The Committee recommends to the House for approval, the sum of one hundred and forty-one million, eighty-two thousand, one hundred and thirty-seven Ghana cedis (GH¢141,082,137.00) for the implementation of the planned programmes of the Electoral Commission for the 2014 Financial Year subject to the assurance that the one hundred and eighty six million, ninety seven thousand, five hundred and seventy five Ghana cedis (GH 186,097,575) will be provided as indicated in paragraph 10.2.

Respectfully submitted

Question proposed.
SPACE FOR APPENDIX I - 10:25 a.m.

Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka (NDC -- Asawase) 10:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion for the approval of the sum indicated on the Order Paper for the operations of the Electoral Commission (EC) for the 2014 fiscal year.
In doing so, I would want to refer to the Committee's Report, paragraph 10.7 that has to do with training of electoral officers and public voter education.
Mr Speaker, if you look at the challenge that we usually have during elections and the calibre of persons that the EC sometimes engages to assist during elections -- I believe that as a country, we need to begin to use the best of resources that we have to assist the EC to achieve this. The Committee, as reported, talked about some of the officers not even being adequately educated on what needs to be done.
Mr Speaker, every year, we post National Service persons. I think that one of the easiest ways that we can get very highly skilled persons to assist the EC is, in an election year, whether it is the District Assembly elections or national elections, National Service persons should be posted to the EC so that whatever they would be doing -- If they would be assisting in teaching or in some other offices, their primary aim in those election years is to assist the EC.
Because of their high level of training, it would take a shorter period to train them and we would be able to get better results if we are going to use the National Service Persons.
Mr Speaker, the EC, as independent as it is, and as the budget is being debated, we need to urge them that issues that need to be resolved in Parliament in terms of
some amendments or some legislations, should be brought to the House in time to enable all the hurdles to be jumped so that when it comes to the timetable, it is not altered. This is because, for next year, as this budget is being approved, one of their main activities would be the District Assembly elections.As we may all be aware, there may be some realignment of the electoral areas and some changes.
So I want to urge, as we approve this budget, that they do so in time. They should have the timetable of Parliament in mind when drawing their annual programmes and activities so that they fit in right so that at the end of the day, we do not have the challenges that we had with the District Assembly elections in the last four years.
With these few comments, I would want to urge my Hon Colleagues to assist in approving this budget for the operations of the EC.
Dr Anthony A. Osei (NPP -- Old Tafo) 10:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to take off from the suggestion my Hon good Friend made about, perhaps, using National Service persons. But we have also used our current teachers with great success. We know that in 2012, there was a problem and the teachers could not come in.
We should not abandon them because most of them have had the experience in elections since 1993. So as much as I agree with him, we should not completely abandon the teachers who have the experience and who have done very well.
Mr Speaker, since we are talking about Estimates, let me deal with the year 2013. Two things: Either 2013 is a good omen for us or it is a bad omen for us. Why do I say that? The EC is about the only institution that I know got over 200 per cent of its budgeted amount in all the
Mr Speaker 10:35 a.m.
Hon Member, the Committee has provided the reason in the Report. You might not be satisfied with it, but the Committee has given reasons for the expenditure overrun.
Dr A. A. Osei 10:35 a.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker, I am saying we must interrogate it. Either the appropriation was not done well and that is why --This is because they got what they did not ask for or what we approved. The Ministry of Finance should tell us what happened so that as we are doing the 2014 Estimates, we do not under- budget.
Mr Speaker, if they are going to conduct District Assembly elections in 2014 and such a situation arises, there could be difficulties. We all know, and I do not want to go into details.
We all know that the EC needs our help and anything this House can do to help equip them is important. But we have a challenge. Yesterday when we met with the Ministry of Finance, the information some of us got is not consistent with the recommendation that is being made, and we need to resolve the challenge. Why do I say that?
The Committee's Report is saying that the Minister has assured that GH¢ 100 million will come from the Goods and Services of the General Services vote. That, I do not have any difficulty with, because it is coming from the Government of Ghana. But the GH¢86 million coming
from the Development Partners fund, if the information we were given is correct, that is not available, why? It is money coming from the Chinese Development Bank (CDB) loan that is dedicated to projects that Parliament has approved. They cannot take that money.
That is the information we got yesterday when we were discussing the General Government Services (GGS) vote; that money is not available. So we need to resolve it, otherwise without that GH¢86 million, they would not be able to perform their work. Unless the information the Ministry gave yesterday is not true.
Mr Terkpeh 10:45 a.m.
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, the Hon Member indicated that we have provided some information on the sources of funding by development partners. In preparing the Budget, these are all indicative. It is never the case that whatever we indicated in any Budget has to conform fully to that. There are other sources of financing of the Budget coming from so many sources within the Development Partners. So, whatever we have provided to the Finance Committee, as the Hon Member knows, is only indicative.
We certainly do know that in every election, whether it is district level elections or national elections, the Development Partners make contribu- tions.
Dr A. A. Osei 10:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I think the Hon Minister may be missing the point I am making. Let me try and explain myself.
What we were told was that the total amount of 921 -- or in this case -- We are referring to the Goods and Service of 184. It is money that is coming from part of the CDB loan. This House has
appropriated those funds to specific projects. Let me repeat; those projects are already catered for; one cannot take money from there. The issue is not whether or not it is indicative because, it may or may not come. But if it comes, it can go to the CDB projects that this House has approved. So, we need to -- It is not that it is indicative but that it cannot be touched.
The note here says GH¢86 million and over from the Goods and Services component of the Development Partners Fund within the General Services vote. That is the point I am making. It is not available for one to say that one would take it from there. Therefore, there is a gap of GH¢86 million. This House must find or the Ministry must help us find it so that they are not impaired in doing their work. That is the point I am making and it is a serious challenge.
We should not wait till we have approved the Appropriation Bill and begin to wonder. Let us find a way to assist them. If the Hon Minister wants to come back with a Supplementary Budget, I do not have a problem. But I have a problem with where they say the money is coming from. This is because of the information they gave us yesterday and upon which we would be approving those other Estimates.
That is the point, Mr Speaker, and I think that it is a challenge. Even though I have more to say, because we are dealing with the Estimates and this is a serious challenge, I suggest --
Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
Are you making the point that the whole GH¢86 million or thereabout is going to be taken from the CDB?
Dr A. A. Osei 10:45 a.m.
That part is going to be taken from that line item. But that line item is not available.
Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
I am not getting the point because, if you look at page 216 -- If you look at General Government Services, under Donor Partner Funds, we have only
GH¢1.4 --
Dr A. A. Osei 10:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, no; go to page 212, under Goods and Services -- the total amount is GH¢184,385,515. That is the amount they are talking about. That is where it is supposed to come from, not the one you are talking about. You are looking at 2016 indicative. The amount is on page 212.
Mr Speaker 10:45 a.m.
You may proceed.
Dr A. A. Osei 10:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, 2016 is not where you want to look at; we are talking about 2014, which is next year; Appendix 7(A), page 212. That is a challenge because the information they gave us today is that it is part of the CDB loan and, therefore, we cannot take it from there. As I said, if we cannot solve the problem now, the Hon Minister may have to come back with a Supplementary Budget to deal with this issue specifically.
But let us try and deal with it as early as we can before tomorrow so that we can rest assure that the Electoral Commission (EC) can do their job. This is a very serious test for the EC and we should assist them in doing that work. That is why I would want to raise this issue. I think we should try and deal with it. Maybe, the Hon Minister has other suggestions.
Mr Alfred K. Agbesi (NDC -- Ashaiman) 10:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I also rise to support the Motion to approve the amount stated on the Order Paper for the EC for the year 2014.
Mr Speaker, the Committee's Report captures on page 5, under Outlook for 2014, that the EC is going to increase awareness of the district level electoral process. Under paragraph (d) two, things were stated there and I wish the Hon Chairman would explain.
Mr Speaker, with your permission, I want to read 10:45 a.m.


“conduct and supervise Assembly and Unit Committee Elections in all two hundred and sixteen (216) Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies …”

[An Hon Member: It is corrected.] --

It is corrected? We are aware that there are 216 districts in the country and in 2014, the District Assembly Elections are going to be conducted. So, in the Report, the issue has been raised that the amount needed for the Electoral Commission to conduct the District Assembly Elections and the 2016 Elections must be released in time for them to start the process towards these two elections.

Mr Speaker, we are aware that elections in this country are very vital in pursuing our democratic process. So, if we are going to have District Level Elections in 2014, I would also agree that the amount required which is GH¢186,097,755 be released in time. We are aware that for some past elections that we had at the district level, we had to pass through some processes. Some areas were done in bits; somebody said “in tots”.

In order that we may not have such a situation, the amount should be released in time for the Electoral Commission to begin its work early.

Mr Speaker, I am happy that the Committee has noted that in view of the fact that whenever the Electoral Commission requires amounts to do its work, the Ministry sometimes cuts it down. In that respect, they want that constitutional provision on the Electoral Commission to be amended such that their allocation would go directly to the President for the President to consider it and it be brought to Parliament. This may be a noble and a good idea, Mr Speaker.

The Electoral Commission's duty and what it does for this country is so vital. We are aware that in 2012, they conducted elections in this country which brought the President to power and today, we are all benefiting from that. If their request is always cut down and for that matter they cannot do much work for this country -- Mr Speaker, I would agree that the provision setting up the EC should be looked at so that if there can be a way in which the President directs, when the budget comes to Parliament, it would go to advance the cause for which we are all fighting.

Mr Speaker, again, the money they needed for the elections -- Paragraph 10.3 says that more polling stations would be designated for the District Assembly Elections. They have stated that as many as 800 are going to be created and that for the District Level Elections, 35,000 would be provided. Mr Speaker, all this means that the EC needs money, not only money, but money that must be released in time for them to work.

Mr Speaker, I think the EC must be seen as a body that is so vital for our very existence and for the success of democracy in this country. The EC must be looked at seriously and with serious eyes. Let us provide for the EC to do its work.

Mr Speaker, on this basis, I thank you for the opportunity.
Dr Matthew O. Prempeh (NPP-- Manhyia South) 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Committee has strived to indicate to the Hon Minister for Finance, in our Report, that apart from the timeous release of funds, it is even more urgent in the coming year --
Some of the major items that need to be purchased are technology-based items; they are not off-the-shelf items. When we go to paragraph 10.4, and Mr Speaker, with your permission I read only a part:
“Since voting is expected to take place on 7th October, 2014, these machines must be ordered and delivered latest by April 2014.”
Mr Speaker, if by April, 2014, these machines have not been ordered and delivered, it is going to affect the date of the District Level Elections itself. Not only that, it is going to make the District Level Elections complicated. This time, it is not constituency that we can fashion for only 275, there are over 6,500 electoral areas and these machines must be configured for these electoral areas.
So it is a huge process that needs to be undertaken efficiently. The Hon Minister for Finance should note that by April 2014, the Biometric Verification Machines (BVM) must be in the country.
Mr Speaker, the Minister of Finance should know that the Electoral Commission (EC) has decided, by the timetable they supplied to the Committee, that in April 2014, registration is going to happen in this country. We are going to mop up all those who are 18 years and not registered, and it is going to be done in the electoral areas.
So if these 1,000 biometric registration kits are not acquired by the end of January 2014, registration cannot happen. If registration cannot happen, we are already walking into the situation where elections are going to be very difficult.
So, Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Finance has all the information to do what is right, and if the EC does not get its money, or if they do not find the money for these events to happen, next time, when we are criticising the EC, some of us would not criticise them because they have told us in enough time ahead.
Mr Speaker, an issue was raised last year about warehousing for these equipment. The Hon Minister for Finance assured us at the Committee meeting that money would be released for the warehouses to be constructed for these equipment to be stored.
Mr Speaker, as we speak, the moneys have not been released. It is contributing to the deterioration of these machines, and if we are not going to spend the taxpayer 's money year in, year out, acquiring more machines, then the Ministry should know that these warehouses need to be constructed for the machines to be safely stored for their longevity.
Mr Speaker, the critical thing that the EC itself has not done, and which is going to affect the election is the demarcation of electoral areas. In 2013, they claimed in their report that they were going to do it and they have not done it. If we rise and do not come back early, the Constitutional Instrument (C.I.) that is going to be laid for the registration to happen is also going to delay. This is an issue that the EC should have handled and handled very well but which they have not.
So already, the signs are not too good for the 2014 elections and we must strive as a House not to wait and write reports after that. We must strive as a House to make sure that the 2014 District Level Elections are conducted efficiently as a sign of good things to come in 2016.
Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Hon Members, unless the Hon Leaders want to speak --The indication that I got from your Leaders yesterday is that, apart from the Member moving the Motion, the Chairman and the Ranking Member, we should take two other contributions. But I would allow flexibility and take the Hon Member for Sekondi, as a former Leader of this House, to make his contribution.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah (NPP -- Sekondi) 10:55 a.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for this special opportunity you have given me to contribute to this debate. Of course, now, I know that, at least, even though I am a backbencher, I have some few benefits as a former Leader.
Mr Speaker, in supporting this Motion, I take note of the fact that almost invariably, every agency, in presenting its report, bemoans the absence of resources. But we would never have enough resources to undertake all the activities that we need to undertake in this country. But, especially, with an institution like the Electoral Commission (EC), which is an independent constitutional institution, we always say that we must endeavour to give them whatever they need.
But, Mr Speaker, it is important to emphasise that as a country, whatever the importance of an agency, whatever the importance of an institution, we must have value for money, and that is what I consider to be extremely lacking in terms of parliamentary oversight.
Mr Speaker, we know the problems that we have gone through as a country, through elections. Anytime someone speaks about it, you would be besmeared with the fact that you want to interfere with the work of the independent organisation. But the only body in this country that can exercise that special oversight is Parliament.
So in supporting the Committee's Report that the Minister for Finance should find resources, I am imploring this House' through the Special Budget Committee' to consistently monitor the activities of the EC so that whatever activities they intend to undertake are undertaken in a manner that would achieve the best value for the limited resources that are given to it.
Let us not say that because the EC needs money, give it whatever it wants, and then we do not monitor the utilisation of those resources. Let us make sure that we save the purse. If you do not have enough money, you ensure that the little that you have is used efficiently to achieve the best purposes.
Mr Speaker, as a general point too, we always talk about the Ministry of Finance; appeal to the Minister for Finance. The Minister for Finance is just an agent of the President. So it is the President who in determining the allocation of resources should prioritise. It is not for us to be appealing to the Minister for Finance; the Minister for Finance is an agent of the President. It is the President who wields Executive power.
So I am finally saying that, let the President undertake the responsibility for the Executive power vested in him. And I am appealing to Parliament to also be talking about the President, ensuring that resources are made available, and not try and give the impression that it is the Minister for Finance who decides when and at what time to release resources.
The Executive authority is vested in the President. If his Minister does not perform in a manner that meets the expectation of the President, the answer is for the President to take what action he considers necessary.
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon Members, before I call on the Majority Leader to wind up, I want to hear from the Hon Minister for Finance. The Hon Member for Old Tafo has raised an issue, and it is a very fundamental point he has raised, that if the money is going to be taken from the
CDB loan, that loan has been attached, with regard to the projects that that money is going to be used for and approved by Parliament. How do you then use it for something else? That is the point he has raised, and in trying to make your intervention, I want you to address that issue.
Mr Terkpeh 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I wish to state again that the CDB is not the only source from which we are going to tap to support Government's programme and project activities. As I said, it is indicative. You would agree with me that last year, we included CDB funds in the Budget. We did not disburse them fully and yet we were able to meet commitments from other sources, including some borrowing and even the bond issue.
So I would want to assure the House that, whatever we have indicated are indicative, and at the appropriate time, we would be able to make provision for the agencies, for their respective activities, and we are in no way, as we have done, going to use resources approved by the House for specific purposes, particularly loans, and in the case of the CDB loan which is for the 12 projects approved by this House, are not --
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Did you give that indication in committee? That is the impression I am getting from the Hon Member for Old Tafo, that the impression that was given them at the committee level, or the information that they got is to the effect that they would be taken from CDB. In my view, that is the crux of the argument that he has raised.
Mr Terkpeh 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the issue was raised yesterday in committee. We assured the Hon Member and the Committee that we would address the issue and provide the appropriate information in the preparation of the
Appropriation report which would come to the floor of the House. So if there are issues --- That was not the only issue that was raised. There were several other issues which we had to attend to. This is an issue which we will definitely be addressing.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, just for clarification. The difficulty is that, we are specific on page 8. Page 8 tells us exactly where we are going to take it from. If there is a statement that they would find the resources, I do not have any problem. But we do not want to go on record as saying that we would take it from a source that we cannot take from.
So on page 8, number 2, it tells us exactly where we -- and that is the difficulty. If it was not there, I would not have had a problem but that is not right. That is all I am saying. If he is going to take it from somewhere else and he assures the House, fine. But we should not say that it is coming from this Fund if the information they have given us is correct.
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
But the point the Hon Minister is making is that, if we talk about Development Partner Fund, CDB is not the only Development Partner Fund except that he has mentioned CDB specifically.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:05 a.m.
Within the General Services vote: Yesterday, they themselves told us that it is the CDB loan, so if you know it, then you correct it. If it is from somewhere else -- If they did not tell us yesterday -- But they had to, because we needed to ask what it was. So it is just information, and I am saying that they are too specific here.
Unfortunately, putting that here gives a different picture. It is not available. So he should delete that because it is not correct, and tell us where we can find it, then we would be all right.
MrTerkpeh 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, that was going to be my second point. Even the Committee's Report at page 4 is indicative of the seriousness Government attaches to EC operations, that when necessary, we have taken the necessary steps to raise additional funding for the EC to conduct its activities. For example, the approved allocation for compensation was GH¢10 million but GH¢13 million was released.
For Goods and Services, it was GH¢8.8 million, but GH¢32 million was released. For Assets, it was GH¢1.8 million, but GH¢6.3 million has been released. So this tells you that at the appropriate time, sometimes through additional donor funding and further appeals that are made, we are able to provide for EC during elections.
Mr Speaker, let me also indicate in answer to some of the points that have been raised that the elections are in October and if we do budget for an amount of say, GH¢186 million or GH¢200 million for elections that are going to be conducted in October --
The releases are staggered to coincide with specific activities. So, for example, if we need to provide equipment in April, we would make the provision out of that
amount for the April expenditures, and for any expenditures that have to be done in say July we would make appropriate releases until the field work for the election itself --
There has never been an occasion where we have had to release the entire amount of money in one particular month and this has always been the practice as far as elections in this country are concerned. And during that period, we have often got additional assistance from
-- 11:05 a.m.

Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon Minister, you are absolutely correct that this is not the first time this House is facing these challenges. But where a specific statement has been made by the Committee -- That is the point he is making, that you were informed that it is the CDB loan. That is the point that he is making.
So if it is not tagged to the CDB loan which has already been approved -- It is a loan that has been approved and those things -- You just have to let us know because that is what the Committee has stated and that is what he is quoting, so that we would find a way of surmounting this hurdle, and then I will put the Question.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, let me suggest something to the Hon Minister and to the House. That, paragraph 2 can be deleted and instead we can insert:
“The balance would be secured by the Ministry of Finance.”
That is a more accurate statement than saying exactly where it is coming from, when you cannot get it. That is all I am suggesting, if the Committee does not mind, because you cannot take it from here.
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
You submitted the Committee's Report. I think that, that suggestion would be consistent with the point being made by the Minister for Finance. In that case, it would be tagged to the CDB loan and all those.
So acting Chairman of the Committee -- Why is it that the Chairman and the Vice have decided to make you the Chairman?
Prof. Gyan-Baffour 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the whole idea is to be able to tie this amount to something but the amendment proffered here would not tie in to anything. If it is just an assurance, where are we going to get it from?
I am sure what the Hon Minister is trying to say is that resources are tangible and that he would take it from here, and if need be, adjust it from somewhere, else to make up for whatever the CDB loan or whatever it is. That flexibility exists and that is what probably, he is trying to suggest. But for us to just back off without being tied to anything would mean that when the time comes and we do not get it, there is no firm assurance from anywhere. That is why we insisted yesterday that it should be tied to something so that we know exactly where it is coming from.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not really see the problem here. The report is an account of what transpired at the Committee meeting. If on the floor of this House, the House itself realises that the undertaking given by the Hon Minister at the Committee meeting cannot be effected, the Hon Minister then gives an assurance on the floor of the House that he would find the money. It has nothing to do with the report. This is because the report is supposed to be a true and accurate record of what transpired at the Committee.
So, we have come here, an Hon Member has pointed out that the assurance given by the Hon Minister at the Committee cannot be effected, and the
Hon Minister said, “All right, I take note of it, nevertheless, we would provide the money,” and it is part of the record. It has nothing to do with the report. That is the point.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
In any case, it is not the report that we are adopting. The report is only assisting the House to make a determination.
Mr Terkpeh 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, may I assure this House that it is necessary. We would make the necessary corrections before the Appropriation Bill is presented to this House.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Majority Leader, do you want to wind up, otherwise, I would put the Question?
Dr Kunbuor 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, perhaps, just to thank --
rose
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Do you want to speak, Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I thought you had even extended the invitation to me before --
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader, you have the floor. [Laughter.]
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the assurance that the Hon Minister is giving now is of utmost importance to the House. This is because when we ran into the problem yesterday, we indicated same to the Hon Deputy Minister and he assured us that the moneys could be taken from this source.
Ultimately, when we consulted, we realised it was going to be difficult, so I asked him to ferry our sentiments and concerns to the Hon Minister. Late in the afternoon, we met the Hon Minister and
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:15 a.m.


tried to explain to him to factor this into the Report. Already, the Report had been written based upon the assurance they had given.

So, if now it is realised that, yes, it must be done, whatever it takes, and the assurance is coming from the Hon Minister, notwithstanding this construction in the Report, I think we could take his assurance. But it must be concrete and verifiable. That is all that we are requesting.

Mr Speaker, it is important because, already, we are late, and that is why the Hon Minister is talking about the conduct of the elections in October. The elections originally were not meant for October; they were meant for late August or early September. We had to push it backwards because we recognised that we were late, and if we are going to run into hitches, once again, regarding the release of the moneys, if we are not fortunate, Mr Speaker, it may affect the October projection.

Even now, there are indications that it may slip into November or, perhaps, even first week in December and that is the worry. That is why we should secure the source of the funding to give assurance that it would not go beyond October.

Having said that, Mr Speaker, the Finance Ministers have always behaved the same way. The Hon Member for Old Tafo, when he was the Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning --
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
That is why I made the point that this is not the first time that we are facing these challenges.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we dragged him before the Special Budget Committee. The assurance he gave us was that, the source of the funding was provided, and he said to us that in the fullness of time, releases would be made from the source -- [Interruption.]
Mr Terkpeh 11:15 a.m.
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, I hate to do this. The Leader has indicated that they have had to push the calendar backwards based on -- Mr Speaker, we are now approving the Appropriation for the EC. Last year's Appropriation was exceeded so I do not know the basis on which the Hon Minority Leader arrived at the conclusion that funds would not be released when we are now doing the Appropriation meant for the elections.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the initial steps of the EC towards the conduct of the elections slated for this year ought to have been taken last year. That is the point I am making and that is the fact of the matter. The EC would discuss this at the Committee level. So, I am surprised if anybody would be contradicting this position.
Having said that, Mr Speaker, the -- [Interruption.] Did I mention his name?
rose
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:15 a.m.
I am not too sure that Mr Speaker is minded to identify him to take the floor. If he is not given the floor, the Hon Member may not insist that because his name has been mentioned, he would have to take the floor.
But Mr Speaker --
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Member for Old Tafo, I thought the statement made by the Hon Minority Leader is a statement of fact.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not know about the statement of fact because he did not even finish, but he mentioned my name. He should leave my name out of this and continue his discussion.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 11:15 a.m.
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, I have a point of information on page 4 --
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Well, it depends on whether the Hon Minority Leader is ready to yield to you.
Mr H. Iddrisu 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would come a second time after him to let him appreciate why he must accept the assurance of our Hon Minister for Finance. This is because he has honoured it in the past and he would honour it into the future, and I thought that he would raise his comment on what Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah raised on the matter.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister for Trade and Industry is a good Friend. On this occasion, he is completely off tangent. He was perhaps not listening to me. I am not in any way doubting the assurance given by the Hon Minister for Finance. He is an Honourable man and we have had this backward and forward discussion with him. We just wanted to be, maybe, assured because as of yesterday, we were still sure that we could tap it from the development partner funding.
But now, we are clear in our minds that we should resort to other means if that fails, and he has given us assurance. So, there is nothing to worry about; that is the point I am making.
Mr Speaker, he owns up that he did not understand what I said, so I would forgive him his trespasses.
Mr Speaker, the EC is minded to bring down the cap on the number of persons registered in each polling station.
Remember that, in the last elections, the cap was 1,200. Now, it is intended to bring it down to 800, for purposes of the District Assembly elections.
Mr Speaker, that is meant to pilot whatever may happen eventually in 2016. This is because even the 800 would be the highest in the sub-region. In the sub- region, the country with the highest registered number of people at a polling station is Liberia which has 600. Nigeria with their population uses 500.
Ultimately, it is intended to climb down to about 600. If we should go to 600, it should give us any figure between 42,000 polling stations and 44,000 polling stations. For now, with 800, the number is going to increase from 26,702 to 35,000. That is going to create additional, at least, 7,000 polling stations into the 2016 Presidential and general elections.
So let us ensure that the piloting of this scheme goes right. That is why I identify with the statement made by the Hon Deputy Majority Leader who pleaded that whatever must be done to avoid the ‘tot tot' situation in 2010 must be done.
Mr Speaker, but while we are at that, it is important to also request the EC to be very forthright and transparent in their activities.
You would remember that in 2007 and 2008, when they brought their Estimates, they had provided to educate the general citizenry on Acquired Immure Deciciency Sydrome (AIDS); is that their function? Is that their core function -- educating the populace on HIV/AIDS? What is National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) doing? Today, we are providing in the region of GH¢13 million plus for them to do general voter education, whereas the amount allocated to NCCE for this purpose is almost insignificant.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:15 a.m.


The core responsibility of NCCE is that function and it is not reserved for the EC. I do know that concomitantly, they may be required to do certain -- [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, that is not their core responsibility because that duty belongs to NCCE. So while we are doing this allocation of resources --
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader, look at article 45, (d) of the 1992 Constitution.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am saying that even though as a corollary, they do perform --
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Very well. It is there; it is one of their key functions. It is in the Constitution.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am not doubting that, but if you can look at the core responsibilities of NCCE also defined by the Constitution, you would see their remit. That is why I am saying that, as far as I am concerned, they should be complimented, but it should not be taken away from NCCE because it is their responsibility. EC already, is so enormous that if we should attach that, it becomes difficult for them, given the numbers that they have at the Commission to do this business effectively. That is why the NCCE should be charged to do that for us.
Mr Speaker, I remember in 2012 when ultimately we forced the Finance Ministry to release the funds that they requested, at the time, we had difficulties agreeing with the EC to justify the amount that they required. They themselves owned up to say “Well, it was a new area, an unchartered terrain” and they pleaded with us to push the Finance Ministry to
release the funds to them and that after the conduct of the elections, if any amounts remained, they would return them to the Consolidated Fund.
Mr Speaker, we need really to pry into this. While we agree that elections are of paramount importance and could trigger violence if they are not conducted efficiently, at the same time, we should have value for money. The EC should be very diligent in the application of the funds or the resources that are given to them and we should pry into the use of the moneys that are allocated.
Mr Speaker, I am not too sure where I would qualify what I said as few words but I would want to wind up on that note.
Dr Kunbuor 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, having listened to all the eloquent contributions, Mr Speaker would see that I seem to look like I was not in the Chamber. This is because I took time yesterday in the night to go through the Official Report of 2004 in relation to the EC and it is very sobering in terms of the debate.
That is why as I listened to Hon Members raise the issues, my mind went back ten years and I said this country, indeed, is a sad place and I would entreat you, Mr Speaker, to go and read the Official Report on the EC in 2004 -- [Interruption] -- not directing the Speaker. I said I am entreating Mr Speaker. It is very revealing, in the light of some of the remarks that have been made on the floor. But, Mr Speaker, I intend to leave it at that.
Thank you very much..
Prof. Gyan-Baffour 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, there was a typographical error that was mentioned --
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Which page?
Prof. Gyan-Baffour 11:25 a.m.
On page 5, where (h) -- the Outlook -- (d). The words were in 216 but the figure was something else. It should be 216.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
216?
Prof. Gyan-Baffour 11:25 a.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
The Deputy Majority Leader did raise that point.
Hon Members, that brings us to the conclusion of the debate.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved:
That this House approves the sum of GH¢141,082,137.00 for the services of the Electoral Commission for the year ending 31st December, 2014 subject to the recommendation of the House.
Dr Kunbuor 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we take item number 8 on the Order Paper and after that item number 9.
ANNUAL ESTIMATES 11:25 a.m.

Minister for Youth and Sports (Mr Elvis Afriyie Ankrah) 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢36,134,116 for the services of the Ministry of Youth and Sports for the year ending 31st December,
2014.
Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Youth and Sports ensures the implementation of the policies, programmes and projects of the sector through four main agents, agencies and institutions.
These are the National Youth Authority (NYA), the National Sports Authority (NSA), the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) and the National Sports College (NSC), Winneba.
For the year 2013, the Ministry was allocated a total amount of GH¢53,872, 871,000 for all its activities, programmes and projects.
Among the key achievements of the Ministry in 2013 are the qualification of the Black Stars to the World Cup, Brazil 2014, and the Black Maidens to their respective tournaments in Costa Rica. For the Black Stars, the qualification represents Ghana's third successive world Cup appearance, the first two being in Germany and South Africa.
The Local Black Stars won the 2013 WAFU Zone B Tournament staged in Kumasi. The Tournament served as part of the team's preparations towards the 2014 CHAN Tournament in South Africa.
MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Kobena M. Woyome) 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion and also present the Committee's Report.
Introduction
The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2014 Financial Year was presented to the House on Tuesday, 19th November, 2013
by the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr Seth Terkpeh, in accordance with article 179 of the 1992 Constitution. Pursuant to Orders 140(4) and 186 of the Standing Orders of the House, Mr Speaker referred the Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Youth and Sports to the Committee on Youth, Sports and Culture for consideration and report.
Subsequently, the Committee met with the Hon Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports, Mr Joseph Yamin, and his technical team on Wednesday, 11th December, 2013 and considered the referral.
The Committee expresses its appreciation to the Hon. Deputy Minister and his team for their co-operation.
Reference Documents
The Committee made reference to the following documents during its deliberations:
i. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana;
ii. The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana;
iii. The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2013 Financial Year;
iv. The 2014 Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Youth and Sports; and
v. The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Govern- ment of Ghana for the 2014 Financial Year.
Mission Statement
The Ministry of Youth and Sports is responsible for the formulation, implementation, co-ordination as well as monitoring and evaluation of Youth and Sports policies in the country.
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Kobena M. Woyome) 11:35 a.m.


Implementing Departments and Agencies

Four main Agencies and Institutions are responsible for the implementation of the policies and programmes of the Ministry. These are:

i. The National Sports Authority

(NSA);

ii. The National Sports College -- Winneba (NSC -W);

iii. The National Youth Authority (NYA); and

iv. Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA).

Policy Objectives

The broad policy objectives of the Ministry are to:

i. Provide adequate and disability friendly infrastructure for sports in communities and schools;

ii. Strengthen national capacity for sports management;

iii. Support the development of lesser known sports;

iv. Ensure integration of youth concerns into national development planning processes and programmes;

v. Ensure provision of adequate training and skills development in line with global trends; and

vi. Ensure adequate capacity and skills development of youth with disability.

Performance for Year 2013

A total allocation of fifty-three million, eight hundred and seventy-two thousand, eight hundred and seventy-one Ghana Cedis (GH¢53,872,871.00) comprising a GOG amount of GH¢53,639,101.00 and an Internally Generated Funds (IGF) component of GH¢233,770.00 was approved for the programmes and activities of the Ministry of Youth and Sports for the 2013 financial year.

As at November 2013, actual ex- penditure stood at GH¢46,783,834.00. It came to the attention of the Committee that an amount of GH¢3,312,387.00 was provided for Assets; however, the Ministry spent GH¢4,748,290.14. The Committee was informed that the excess amount of GH¢1,435,903.14 was provided to undertake ground preparatory works for the construction of the Cape Coast Stadium.

During the year under review, the Ministry undertook, developed and promoted a number of activities, some of which yielded the following results:

i. The ground preparatory works which involves ground levelling, extension of utilities to the site, construction of drainage facilities and the layout of the road network at the Cape Coast Stadium commenced, and it is almost completed;

ii. The Black Stars qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Tournament to be staged in Brazil;

iii. The National U-20 Football Team, the Black Satellites placed second in the African U-20 Youth Championship in Algeria and

third in the FIFA World Youth Tournament in Turkey;

iv. The National Female U-17 Football Team, the Black Maidens, also placed second in the African U-17 Female Championship in Morocco, and third in the FIFA U-17 World Cup Tournament in Azerbaijan. They have again qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Tournament to be staged in Costa Rica;

v. Ghana won gold and silver in the girls and boys divisions respectively at the Africa Zone 3 U-19 Beach Volleyball Championship in Benin;

vi. Ghana won gold at the ICC Africa Regional Division 2 U-19 Cricket Tournament in South Africa;

vii. In Table Tennis, Ghana won one (1)gold and three silver medals in the West Africa Zone 3 U-15 and 18 Junior Championships held in Accra; and

viii. In line with the UNESCO International Convention Against Doping in Sports, and with support from the World Anti-Doping Office, the Ministry established a National Anti- Doping Office in Accra.

Budgetary Allocation for Year 2014

The Ministry of Youth and Sports has been allocated a total amount of GH¢36,134,116.00 made up of a GOG component of GH¢35,685,666.00 and an IGF of GH¢448,450.00 for the execution of its programmes for year 2014.

The table below indicates the breakdown: Some Major Activities for 2014

Major activities for next year include the following:

i. The Senior National Football Team, the Black Stars will participate in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil;

ii. The Senior National Women Football Team, the Black Queens, will participate in the 2014 African Women Qualifiers and Championships;

iii. The Local Black Stars will participate in the African Nations' Championship in South Africa;

SPACE FOR TABLE 1 - PAGE

4 - 11.35 A.M.
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Kobena M. Woyome) 11:45 a.m.


It came to the attention of the Committee that no releases were made for Assets for year 2013 and this affected the Authority's capacity to manage the facilities. Again, only10 per cent of monies generated from the use of the stadia and other sports facilities are given to the Authority to manage the facilities. This proportion, in the Committee's view, is inadequate, given that the maintenance of such facilities comes at a high cost.

The Committee is therefore of the view that a new arrangement should be put in place to ensure that the Authority is given an appreciable percentage of the proceeds from various activities, especially football matches, to enable it undertake continuous maintenance of the stadia.

National Youth Authority (NYA)

In year 2013, the Authority was constrained by irregular release of funds and this affected the execution of various programmes and activities. Nevertheless, the Authority organised, among others, Youth Volunteer Work Camps, National Youth Week Celebrations, Presidential Dialogue with the Youth, Regional Dialogues and Stakeholder Workshops.

The NYA, in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), intensified its campaign against drugs and substance use, and provided reproductive health education, including the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.

The National Youth Authority (NYA) has been allocated an amount of GH¢10,183,734.00 for the implementation of its programmes for year 2014. This comprises an amount of GH¢4,283,734.00 for Compensation, GH¢4,200,000.00 for Goods and Services and GH¢1,700,000.00 for Capital Expenditure.

In year 2014, the Authority plans to carry out various activities, including the following:

i. Complete and furnish the National Youth Resource Centre, which is a multi-purpose building at the National Headquarters;

ii. Rehabilitate the Volta Regional Secretariat office building;

iv. Refurbish and equip the existing Youth Resource Centre at Sekondi;

v. Construct two dormitories and two workshops each at the Nzema and Ajumako Institutes.

However, out of the budgetary requirement of GH¢7,731,000.00 for Capital Expenditure, only GH¢1,700,000.00, constituting 21.99 per cent, was approved. The inadequate allocation may affect the Authority's ability to execute the above projects.

The Committee noted that generally, the inadequate budgetary allocations and irregular release of funds over the years have often compelled the Authority to roll on the implementation of important programmes to succeeding years.

Considering the important role the Authority plays in providing leadership and skill training for the youth, particularly in deprived communities, it is important that the Authority is adequately resourced to deliver.

Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency

(GYEEDA)

The Committee noted that even though GYEEDA is an agency under the Ministry of Youth and Sports, no allocation was

made to the Agency in the 2014 Annual Estimates of the Ministry.

The Committee was however informed that in line with Government's plan to streamline the operations of the Agency, a Scheme of Service for GYEEDA has been developed and approved by the Public Service Commission.

Furthermore, in line with the policy of engaging beneficiaries for a period of two years, persons who have served two years or more on GYEEDA have been exited from the Programme, and arrears owed them paid.

Conclusion

The important role of the Ministry of Youth and Sports in the socio-economic development of the country cannot be underestimated. The Ministry, through its education and skill development programmes, empowers the youth to realise their full potential.

Again, through sports, the Ministry promotes good health, peace and national unity, and fosters international co- operation.

Considering the fact that the various national teams, including the senior national football team (the Black Stars), the Local Black Stars, and the Black Maidens will participate in continental and world championships at various levels in year 2014, the Committee is of the view that the amount allocated to the Ministry is woefully inadequate. It is therefore necessary that the Ministry of Finance makes provision for additional resources to the Ministry of Youth and Sports in the course of the year.

Nevertheless, the Committee re- commends that an amount of thirty-six million, one hundred and thirty-four thousand, one hundred and sixteen Ghana Cedis (GH¢36,134,116.00) be approved for the Ministry of Youth and Sports to implement its programmes for year 2014.

Respectfully submitted.

Ranking Member of the Committee (Mr Isaac K. Asiamah): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion numbered 8.

Mr Speaker, in contributing to the Motion, I would be guided by three cardinal elements -- efficiency, effectiveness and of course value for money, which is very important in my consideration of these Estimates.

Mr Speaker, for almost four or five years, the Cape Coast Sports Stadium has always been captured in the Budget but nothing happens to it. Mr Speaker, I am happy that you are the Hon Member of Parliament for Cape Coast and so it is of great concern to you, I can understand.
Mr Murtala M. Ibrahim 11:45 a.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, to state that nothing is happening is not accurate. There is work ongoing and I think that if he is making that submission, he needs to be truthful - -[Interruption.] I do not need to be an Hon Minister to point out misleading statements in this House. There is work ongoing and so it is not true to say that nothing is happening -- [Interruption.] He did not speak Latin; he spoke English and we understand.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
All right, Hon Member, point well taken. At the appropriate time I would give the Hon Minister the opportunity to wind up and he can address these issues.
Mr I. K. Asiamah 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, when you are Minister for Information and Media Relations, you should listen so that you do not misinform Ghanaians; he should listen. As I said, an amount of GH¢1.4 million, we are being told, was spent this year on the Cape Coast Sports Stadium.
Mr Speaker, when we consider the works being spoken about -- ground levelling, extension of utilities, provision of drainage -- all these works were undertaken in the year 2008. The stadium was awarded to Polmount Company Limited from Poland in the year 2008. So what has been added to it? All these works were undertaken by that company, including the storm drainage.
Therefore, I am asking -- What has been added to it? At the Committee, when we asked the Hon Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports who was there, no concrete answer was given. So we are asking, what has been added to what happened in the year 2008?

When you are constructing a stadium, there are very key areas that you must look at. What is the capacity of the stadium? We do not even know. We were building a stadium with 15,000 seating capacity and the terms were known. As we speak, we have been told that an amount of 30 million dollars has been allocated; we do not know the contractor, the terms of reference, the capacity of the stadium, we do not know.

Mr Speaker, the company involved is a foreign company and so parliamentary approval needs to be sought, but we do not have all these things.

Mr Speaker, the other issue is that the proposed construction of the Ho Sports Stadium has occurred five times in the Budget. It came in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 and even 2014, it is in it and nothing has happened to the Ho Sports Stadium since 2009 when it was announced. These are issues which we need answers to.

Mr Speaker, we seem to be overconcentrating only on football because as for football we know Ghanaians are passionate about it; we have many talents and they excel.

We began our World Cup journey in the year 2006 --

Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye -- rose --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Yes, Hon Vanderpuye, are you up on a point of order? What is it?
Nii Lantey: Mr Speaker, I am surprised that the Hon Ranking Member for the Committee would come to the floor of the House and speak such, I would not want to use, “untruths”. I believe he is not doing this House any good because as the Hon Ranking Member of the Committee, it would be much more appropriate that before he even takes a
look at this issue, he at least, should pay a visit to the stadium and know what sort of work is being done there, than for him come here and say “Nothing is being done.”
The second thing is that, he started by saying that he does not even know the contractor, then he turned round and said a foreign contractor yet he said he did not know -- [Interruption] How does he know it is a foreign contractor? Is he an alien?
So I would beg the Hon Ranking Member that when we go to the Committee level and we discuss issues like these and we all leave with good will and get the Report, we do not come to the floor of the House and try and stab the whole Committee in the back.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Yes, Hon Member, please proceed.
Mr I. K. Asiamah 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we need to ignore some of these interventions; they would not help us because I have been there myself. I have been there, if he does not know. Mr Speaker, your good self, it is in your constituency; that was why I mentioned your name.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Hon Member, I hope you are not dragging me into the debate because I visit the site on a weekly basis; the reports are there. I do not want to descend into the arena of debate. I believe the Hon Minister would handle the issue.
Can you please deal with other aspects of the Report?
Mr I. K. Asiamah 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, as I said, we are not paying attention to what we call the lesser known sports. This year, only 3.5 million Ghana Cedis has been allocated to the lesser known sports. There are about 35 disciplines for the lesser known sports -- Tae Kwan Do, Boxing, Athletics -- There are about 35 sporting disciplines and that figure is
indeed meagre. Mr Speaker, let us also refrain from referring to those disciplines as “lesser known sports”. It is unfair to them. Let us refer to them as “all sporting disciplines.”
In other countries, it is rugby that is the number one sport and we cannot refer to that sporting discipline as “lesser”. We should have a correct terminology for all those sports; they are all sporting disciplines. That is something we must understand. Next time, I do not want to see it being printed in the Budget as “lesser known sports”. Mr Speaker, this is a public document, a document that is going international, and we are being unfair to the other sporting disciplines.
Mr Speaker, the other issue that I would want to touch on is about the Black Stars -- their preparation and participation. An amount was given to us by the Ministry as Government's share of the contribution to our preparation and participation and that is about 24 million Ghana cedis, that is, about 12 million dollars, as mentioned by the Hon Deputy Minister who appeared before the Committee.
Mr Speaker, this excludes corporate sponsorship and we know a lot comes from corporate sponsorship. My concern and my caution -- As you know, the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) is even sponsoring the Black Stars through their contribution towards their preparation and participation in Brazil.
Mr Speaker, we are talking to the Budget Estimates. I have the Tuesday, 19th June, 2012 Official Report here. My concern is that, when we went to South Africa 2010, the expenditure they brought was about 16.9 million dollars and this is a caution to the Ministry. That items like “laundry service”, “accommodation and meals” were about 3.4 million dollars.
Mr Woyome 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, on a point of order.
Mr Speaker, just to assist my Ranking Member, because, he did mention a submission that was made by the Deputy Minister at the Committee. What he said was just a projection, something that they did not have any concrete figures on. So whatever it is, was just a projection. In fact, they did not have any expression in the Report we are debating here. So until it is actualised, he cannot really dwell on that to make these allusions. So may he correct himself?
Mr I. K. Asiamah 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I think some of these things would not help us. So is he telling this House and, indeed, Ghana that the Minister did not know what he was doing; that he did not even understand the figures he was churning out? Mr Speaker, he should not insult the intelligence of the Minister; he is here. He is the Chairman of the Committee. The Minister is here, let him speak to his budget. Please, we should know what we are doing, Mr Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Hon Member, please proceed.
Mr I. K. Asiamah 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, there are other items that we can do away with,
like laundry services, which is about $30,000. These are items we can cut straight away so that we save the poor taxpayers' moneys. It is very important.
Mr Speaker, let me also say that it is good that we send supporters all right. In this country, we have identified supporters unions and groups, they are there. Mr Speaker, the situation is that we call constituencies at the last minute to get names of people who are not even interested in football. We have people who are organised; they are there every time, and we know them. Let those people benefit from their sweat.
Let us not go to Brazil with people who do not matter in football. All that they are interested in, is: he is my brother, he is my cousin, therefore, I should accompany the team. We have genuine supporters there who are committed to the cause of sports in this country. Those are the people we should engage.
Mr Speaker, on the youth front -- This is an issue that came up and I would want the Finance Minister, if he is listening -- He is not here, but the Deputy is here to address it. Mr Speaker, we have the principle policy of the budget captured here. [He waived a document.] GYEEDA has been placed under the Ministry of Youth and Sports in this document. But we cannot find the estimates or the budget of GYEEDA. [Interruption.]
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:55 a.m.
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, when the Hon Colleague on his feet raised an issue which I thought was very important, that it is not right, in the name of supporters, to go recruiting from wherever and sending people from various constituencies to sporting events, in particular, to cheer up the national team, I overheard the Deputy Minister for
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Order! Order!
Hon Members, I think that that has not been captured by the Hansard. So as far as I am concerned, it is not existent.
Mr I. K. Asiamah 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, yes, supporters are all Ghanaians and they have committed themselves to the service of football, and that is very important to football. We need to reward excellence, competence and all those things. If somebody, all these years, has committed himself to supporting the Black Stars and at the last minute he is being denied that opportunity, it is unfair to the supporting fraternity. That was the concern I raised. They are also Ghanaians; they qualify to benefit from the largess of the state.
Mr Speaker, GYEEDA's budget cannot be found within the Estimates of the Ministry of Youth and Sports. Meanwhile, within the Budget, it has been stated that it is under the Ministry of Youth and Sports, but in the Estimates, we could not find it. We asked the Ministry of Finance but they could not convince the Committee. It is something we need to interrogate further as to where the money is sitting and how much has gone to GYEEDA. It is very important, Mr Speaker, considering the issues that have come up under GYEEDA.
Other issues about arrears of beneficiaries -- Mr Speaker, as we speak some arrears are outstanding for over two years, but we were told about it a month or two. Mr Speaker, it is not true. In my
constituency, I called them and they confirmed it. Some of them are holding their own letters of appointment or engagement. Two years down the line, they have not been paid. It is serious and we need to address it. These are innocent Ghanaian youth who need to be treated seriously.
Mr Speaker, the other issue has to do with the Bill for GYEEDA. This issue, for about four years, has always appeared, that there was the need to have a law backing GYEEDA. Mr Speaker, there is no mention of it. The recent fiat by the President is not new; it has been happening. For four years, the GYEEDA issue has come up and they are saying that they are going to have a law backing
GYEEDA.
As we speak, nothing has happened. My worry is that this time round, it would not happen: We would have to have a law backing GYEEDA since it has been appearing in the Budget Statement for almost four years. They are all captured there.
Mr Speaker, another issue is about making sure that GYEEDA functions and functions well. I think GYEEDA needs to be streamlined. It is not about the passage of the law, it is about people who are committed and people who want to ensure that there is value for money. That it is my concern. Those put there should ensure that there is value for money.
Mr Speaker, if you create modules -20 of them within 19 -- how can you ensure value for money? You award contracts left and right, all within 19 days; how can you ensure value for money? It is not possible because due diligence would not be done. The time would not even allow you. So let us ensure that GYEEDA is placed and placed well.

[NII LANTEY][MR I. K. ASIAMAH]

Mr Speaker, the other issue came up and this is very important; it is about the National Youth Authority Law. Check the Budget; they are all there. Still nothing has happened to the National Youth Authority Law. Mr Speaker, this regime inherited this policy in the year 2008. As we speak, the action plan for that youth policy is not there. Last year, there was a budget allocated to it. This year we cannot find the action plan; the action plan must have the timelines.

It must add a cost element to the youth policy. If you cannot cost it, you cannot evaluate it; where are you going? And that is why it is important that the action plan is put in place so that we can monitor progress of work. Young people are suffering, they need support.

Mr Speaker, I would want to conclude by saying that this is a Ministry targeted at promoting the welfare of youth and sports in this country. It must function and function to satisfy Ghanaian youth and, indeed, sportsmen and women. We need more from the Ministry, and the Minister is here. Even though in our consideration he missed it; we were told he was in Brazil. Now that he is here and he is listening to us, Mr Speaker, please we would want him to ensure that -- When we were considering the 2013 Estimates here, the Minister spoke about the Maputo Report.

There was this trip to Maputo for the All African Games and when they came back -- financial indiscipline was at its highest at Maputo -- and the Minister promised to do something about it within a month --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Hon Member, you assured me you were concluding; now you are veering into
other areas. I have allowed you because you are the Ranking Member. Please try to wind up.
Mr I. K. Asiamah 11:55 a.m.
On that fateful day here, he did assure the whole country that he was going to work on it within a month. Mr Speaker, for more than one year, nothing has been heard of the Maputo scandal. I am asking him that this time around, the Minister is here, he should not once again deceive Parliament. This is an august body, it is a body representing the whole country, and we should be taken seriously. Whatever you say, you must act --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Hon Member, did I hear you say this time round he should not deceive Parliament? [Interruption.] Just withdraw that.
Mr I. K. Asiamah 11:55 a.m.
He should not mislead Parliament; I think that is the most appropriate word. Mr Speaker, we would want him not to mislead Parliament. He gave us one month; it is more than 13 months now and nothing has been heard of the Maputo scandal. So, we must act and act now.
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:05 p.m.
No, it would get to your turn, Hon Minister, for you to wind up and to address the issues.

Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye (NDC - - Odododiodioo): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to be able to contribute to the Motion to approve the sum of GH¢36,134,115 for the services of the Ministry of Youth and Sports for the year ending 31st December,

2014.

Mr Speaker, in supporting the Motion, I would want us to accept one thing in this country, that sports is based on the principle of three axes -- development, promotion and management. If we continue to cut budgets for the Ministry of Youth and Sports, what we will be doing is that we will effectively be adhering to only two of the axes, which ARE principally the promotion and the management.

If one looks at the activities of the Ministry of Youth and Sports for this fiscal year which we are discussing, a lot of our national teams are going to participate in international tournaments. So, basically, the budget will be taken over by these people. What it means is that since we have cut their budget, they will not have enough to be able to maintain the facilities we have back home and to help develop and nurture the talents that we have from the junior level.

Consistently, we will be leaving the development down there and continue with only promotion and management.

So, I would urge the Ministry of Finance, in order for us to use sports as a catalyst for social cohesion and mobilization, that we should be able to look at how best we can help the Ministry in further making available for them small funding to take care, especially for the development of our sporting facilities.

In saying that, the most important thing that I see in this is also the cut to the National Sports Authority budget. Mr Speaker, what it means is that our new stadia in Kumasi, Accra, Takoradi and Tamale will continue to suffer lack of effective maintenance because, the sports authorities will need the money to effectively maintain these facilities.

But I would urge that in modern trends, if the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the National Sports Authority will not get the desired budget in order to maintain their facilities, they should look at private partnership to take care of the management of these facilities so that they will continually put these facilities at the disposal of people who would want to use it in order to derive enough IGF to maintain them.

Also, if we cannot get money to build and construct new gymnasiums and other sports facilities, we should be looking at extending our hands to private investors to come in, develop them and take them.

A lot of the fields and the stadia we have in Europe, in England, especially, are managed by local authorities. So, the teams which use these facilities pay moneys to the local authorities. We should also develop ways where we can even use the Assemblies to develop our small infrastructure in our local communities so that we can generate the necessary revenue for the Ministry.

Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to support the Motion for the approval of the stated sum for the Ministry of Youth and Sports with these few words.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:05 p.m.
Yes, one last contribution before I ask the Hon Minister to wind up.
Mr Kwadwo B. Agyemang (NPP -- Asante Akim North) 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion for the approval of GH¢36,134,116 for the Ministry of Youth and Sports for the year 2014.
Mr Speaker, when one compares this year's appropriation to that of 2014, one will realise that a substantial amount of about 17 per cent of this year's budget has been taken away, which means that the Government is planning or aiming at
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Hon Member, begin to wind up; please conclude.
Mr Agyemang 12:15 p.m.
So that when the roll- is being called in the world of the various sporting endeavours, Ghana's name would be mentioned. That is another aspect of branding Ghana.
Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I lend my support to the Motion that this august House approves the Ministry's budget to enhance the sports development of the nation.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Hon Minister, you have the opportunity to wind up.
Mr Afriyie-Ankrah 12:15 p.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I would like to thank all -- [Interruption.]
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, with respect, I thought that I made an application to the Chair in respect of one woman. Mr Speaker, this one is not gender imbalance; it is gender balance. So if you may indulge her, regardless of how brief it is going to be.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Well, Hon Minority Leader, I thought that we had spent enough time debating this issue, but if you say so, I would give her two minutes and after that, we would go to the Hon Minister.
Ms Freda A. O. Prempeh (NPP -- Tano South) 12:15 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the floor, for the approval of the sum of GH¢36,134,116.
Mr Speaker, I was actually going to make a point that most of the time, women are relegated to the background and that the Under-17 team is also relegated to the background in terms of the budget Estimates. Mr Speaker, you would agree with me that the late release and non- release of funds have certainly affected the Ministry and its agencies in the organisation of its statutory programmes.
Mr Speaker, the Minister did indicate to the Committee that even in the last four years when provisions of over GH¢15 was made to the Ministry, they overspent their budget. This indicates that the Ministry is telling us indirectly that they are definitely going to overspend their budget.
Mr Speaker, he also went further to tell us that, even though he could not tell the Committee how much money they requested from the Minister of Finance, they have estimated GH¢24 million for the Black Stars' participation in Brazil, GH¢9 million for the Under-17 Tournament in
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Hon Member, begin to wind up.
Ms Prempeh 12:15 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, I would also want to talk about the Ghana Sports Authority (GSA). During our meeting with the Ministry, the Chief Executive did indicate to us that they had requested for clearance to employ
more hands at the Sports Authority, and they have been given the clearance from the Office Civil Service. Unfortunately, the Ministry of Finance is not giving them the go ahead to employ more technical staff and this is affecting the smooth running of the Authority.
I would use this medium to plead with the Minister for Finance to look into this issue and give them the clearance to employ the technical staff -- the coaches, trainers and officiating staff -- to enhance the work of the GSA.
Mr Speaker, it would also interest you to know that only 10 per cent --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Hon Member, you have had four to five minutes, your time is up.
Ms Prempeh 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am just winding up.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Please, conclude.
Ms Prempeh 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to draw the attention of the House to the fact that only 10 per cent of monies generated from the use of the stadia and other sports facilities are given to the Authority to manage these facilities and this proportion, in the Committee's view is inadequate, given the maintenance of such facilities.
We did indicate to the Deputy Minister who was present that in the interim, the Minister should sit down with the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and try to find some solutions to this whole issue.
To wind up, Mr Speaker, the Minister talked about branding Ghana interna- tionally, and just emphasising on this point, I hope and believe, and I would want
the Minister to give us the assurance, that we are going to go to South Africa, we would go to Costa Rica and we would go to Brazil as a country, as Ghana, in our national colours, as one country, not in JM's T-shirts.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Yes Hon Minority Leader, you indicated you wanted to make a point?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, just to seek some clarification from the Minister responsible for Sports. First, I do not know the quantum of amount that the Ministry sought from the Ministry of Finance. But it appears to me that it is surprising that the allocation for this year should be GH¢36,134,116.
Mr Speaker, the ensuing year of 2014 is going to be more active in terms of participation in sports by the nation, and I thought that if in 2013 which was less active a year for us as a nation, the Ministry should be granted GH¢53.8 million, then obviously, in 2014, the level should have gone higher. As it is, they are being given 67.1 per cent of the allocation for 2013. I do not know how we would be able to justify that, except to admit that we are going to allow the Ministry to overspend; otherwise, we cannot justify this.
Mr Speaker, we have not even factored in inflation, we have not factored in the depreciation of the Cedi, and they would be going to Brazil. They would require hard money. We should be realistic -- [Interruption.] Yes, he asked which one is soft. Our Cedi is soft.
Mr Speaker, so we need hard currency for this, and that is what I was referring to. We should be realistic, otherwise, we are
just preparing the way for the Ministry to overshoot their budget.
The second thing is -- A Member made the issue and I guess a Colleague of ours on the other side did not appreciate the point he made. With respect to the contract relating to the construction of the Cape Coast Stadium, the Ministry has indicated to us what preparatory works are going on. But it is important that in accord with article 181(1), (2) and (5) of the 1992 constitution, the contract should come to Parliament and be approved by this House.
We cannot do anything outside article 181(1), (2) and (5), the contract should come here for approval; as simple as that. And I thought that the Colleague who stood up on the other side and articulated same did not really appreciate the matter. There cannot be any short circuit about this.
Mr Speaker, the other thing that I would want to relate to, and the Hon Minister spoke to it, is that GYEEDA is under the Ministry of Youth and Sports. The Committee has admitted same. Unfortunately, they tell us that no allocation has been made to it. How come? I believe we should clear this matter once and for all. I know there has been this tug of war between the Ministry of Youth and Sports and Employment aNd Labour RelationS.
We have related -- It came to this House and two Ministers stood up and contended and contested which Ministry should have that Agency located within it. It seems it is going on and on. The Leader of Government Business is here. Mr Speaker, if we can have some clarification from him, because, it cannot continue. If really it belongs to the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the allocation should be made to the Youth and Sports --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Majority Leader, that is why I would want to give him the opportunity to wind up so that all these issues would be addressed in his winding up, so that we can make some progress.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not know whether he is going to address that. So I am raising that; if he is capable of addressing it, let him do so. If he is not, the Hon Minister for Government Business in Parliament is here. Perhaps, he is the proper person to relate to this. But let us listen to the Hon Minister and make progress.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Yes, Hon Minister, please wind up.
Mr Afriyie-Ankrah 12:25 p.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for their insightful -- [Interruption.]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Members, order! Order! Let us have some silence.
Mr Afriyie-Ankrah 12:25 p.m.
I would like to use this opportunity to thank the House for their insightful contributions, comments and advice, which have all been taken in good faith. However, there are a number of issues which I believe I need to clarify and set the records straight.
The first has to do with the Cape Coast Stadium. This Stadium is being built with a grant from the Government of China, and it was during the time of the late Prof. Mills. It was one of the passions that he had. Together with you Mr Speaker and the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance, we have been collaborating to ensure that work goes on successfully.
So, as far as we are concerned, in terms of the international dimensions, there are no issues. The local contents went through all the procurement processes.
Dr Stephen Nana Ato Arthur 12:25 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister is misleading the House. Which ground preparatory work is he referring to? Mr Speaker, you and I know that when I was the Regional Minister, in 2008 the ground preparatory work was done, as well as the relocation of utilities to the site, extension of utilities and the construction of drainage facilities were also done.
Which one is the Hon Minister referring to that they commenced in 2014? You and I know that it was done. He is misleading the House.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Member, before the Hon Minister responds, I would want to inform this House that during your tenure of office, there was an award to one Paul Mort Company to construct the stadium. When we came into office, when I was in the Attorney-General's Department and the Ministry of Justice, the issue was raised and they went to court. We raised the issue that compliance with article 181 of the 1992 Constitution was not done, and on that basis, the court dismissed their case. So I think the House needs to be informed about this state of affairs.
Yes, Hon Minister, please, continue.
Mr Afriyie-Ankrah 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I also take cognisance of the comment of Hon Members that there appears to be an over concentration on football; the point is that the World Cup comes once every four years -- [Interruption.]
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am aware of the issue that you raised in respect of the noncompliance to the Constitution, and the Hon Minister is insisting that everything has been done. I am suggesting to him that nothing has come to Parliament in respect of that.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
No, I am talking about Paul Mort.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:25 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker, the first one, I am aware of it. It was not done. The second one has not come. That is the issue that I am raising. It has not come to Parliament.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Now, allow him to react to it and then we will know.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, he has made a categorical statement that it has been complied with and I am telling him that it is not. So it has to come. This is what I would want to suggest to him. It has not come, and we do not want a re- visitation to that old issue of non- compliance; the case being thrown out. We are gradually moving in that same --
So please, he should not mislead himself in saying that we have complied. We have not. Let us have the compliance and then we will deal with it.
Mr Afriyie-Ankrah 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, as I was saying, the comment about the over concentration on football -- It is a coincidence that this year happens to be a World Cup year and it draws a lot of interest. This is an event that they are going to have three billion people watching at each event and Ghana has competitive advantage in football.
So, it is only strategic that in a World Cup year, we would see how best we can maximise that strength. But again, I am happy that Hon Members of Parliament

The third thing has to do with the sponsorship. Mr Speaker, I appreciate the issue about ensuring that we collaborate with the GFA. But for the records, Glo is not sponsoring the Black Stars. Glo is not sponsoring the Black Stars to the tune of $9 million. Glo has a sponsorship deal with the league and even that one, they have not redeemed what they promised; so it is also something that they are pursuing.

The sponsorship for the Black Stars is GNPC, US$3 million a year. UniBank just signed an agreement of US$400,000 a year, Guinness, US$400,00. Puma is the kit sponsor and CCTC US$100,000.

Mr Speaker, I would want to assure the House that only recently, for the CHAN tournament, when the requests were brought, we insisted that every single sponsorship should be attached. In the final analysis, whatever we agreed on was minus whatever they got from sponsorship. So we are collaborating to ensure that if the GFA gets sponsorship, that sponsorship would be used for the benefit of the Black Stars and it would not be part of the budget that they bring.

There have been many instances where budgets have come to the Ministry and we have cut them down. This is because we do not just accept hook, line and sinker whatever comes to the Ministry. We do a thorough analysis and assessment and then look at what is best in the interest of Ghana and value for money.
Dr Kunbuor 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I guess the Hon Minister was asked to make just one or two comments. So he should wind up and let us proceed.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Hon Minister, please try to conclude.
Mr Afriyie-Ankrah 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we are in the process of carrying out the directives of the President with regard to GYEEDA so that it would be restructured. The challenge with GYEEDA is that it was started with good intentions, but there were no proper legal and institutional frameworks. That is what we are trying to deal with and to ensure that there is consistent and reliable source of funding for GYEEDA.
In terms of the Youth Policy, the action plan had to go through a process of validation with all stakeholders, and we believe that by the end of the first quarter of next year, we would be able to have an action plan for the Youth Policy.

Question put and Motion agreed to.

Resolved:

That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢ 36,134,116 for the services of the Ministry of Youth and Sports for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
Dr Kunbuor 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if we can take item number 9.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Item number 9 -- Minister for Roads and Highways.
Hon Members, Mr Speaker will take over the Chair.
MR SPEAKER
ANNUAL ESTIMATES 12:38 p.m.

Minister for Roads and Highways (Alhaji Amin A. Sulemani) 12:38 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢779,276,751 for the services of the Ministry of Roads and Highways for the year ending 31 st December, 2014.
Mr Speaker, the amount is to cater for Personal Emolument, Goods and Services -- and Assets of the Ministry. The Ministry of Roads and Highways has oversight responsibility for the road transport sector which comprises road infrastructure, road maintenance financing, and training.
The Departments and Agencies that operate under the direct ambit of the Ministry of Roads and Highways are: Road Infrastructure, Ghana Highways Authority, Department of Feeder Roads, Department of Urban Roads, Training and Road Financing, Ghana Road Funds Secretariat and Koforidua Training Centre.
Mr Speaker, the main objective for the preparation and implementation of the 2014 fiscal policy of the Ministry of Roads and Highways and its Agencies is to ensure effective linkages with the thematic areas of the National Medium Term Development Plan and the National Transport Policy for greater impact in the overall governing objectives of reducing poverty and creating wealth.
The Ministry would continue to pursue the objectives to improve access through better distribution and integration of the road network system. Every region and
district would benefit from the road intervention programmes.
Mr Speaker, the Ministry has challenges, among them include -- the inability to raise adequate revenue from other sources to support road maintenance programmes; low delivery capacity of contractors, thereby affecting the early completion of road projects; inadequate logistics for project supervision; and long delays in honouring contractors' payment certificates.
Mr Speaker, we propose to mitigate some of these challenges by reducing upgrading and development works financed by the Road Fund and focusing on undertaking maintenance activities with the Fund. Actually, that is what the Fund was set up for -- increasing monitoring of ongoing projects, swift implementation of planned programmes, exploring further private sector financing of road projects, and undertaking services such as electronic tolling, to increase the revenue to support the Road Fund.
Mr Speaker, the expectations for 2014 -- The Ministry's 2014 budget has been prepared to ensure that upon successful implementation, there would be steady and significant improvement in road transport infrastructure and safety.
The improvement would benefit all sectors of the economy by ensuring adequate, safe and affordable accessibility and mobility. In the area of agriculture, the improvement in road transport would open up the hinterland and food production areas and provide easy movement of farm products from the farm gates to the market centres.
New feeder road projects would be undertaken under various programmes to achieve these objectives as well as trunk road development.
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Michael C. Boampong) 12:38 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for allowing me to second the Motion to approve the Estimates of the Ministry of Road and Highways. In doing so, I wish to present your Committee's Report.
Introduction In fulfillment of article 179 of the 1992
Constitution, the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government for 2014 financial year was presented to the House by the Hon Minister for Finance on Tuesday, 19th November, 2013.
In accordance with Standing Orders 140(4) and 189 of the House, the Annual Budget Estimates for the 2014 fiscal year of the Ministry of Roads and Highways (MRH) were referred to the Committee for Roads and Transport for consideration and report.
The Committee met on the Estimates with the Sector Minister, Hon Alhaji Amin Amidu Sulemani, the Deputy Sector Minister Hon Isaac Adjei Mensah, Heads of Department and Agencies under the sector Ministry, the Schedule Officer and some officials from the Ministry of Finance.
The Estimates considered covered the main Ministry and the underlisted Departments and Agencies:
(i) Ghana Highway Authority
(GHA),
(ii) Department of Urban Roads
(DUR),
(iii) Department of Feeder Roads
(DFR),
(iv) Ghana Road Fund (GRF); and
(v) Koforidua Training Center
(KTC).
Reference Documents
The following documents were referred to by the Committee;
i) The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana,
ii) The Standing Orders of Parliament,
iii) The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the financial year 2014,
iv) The Draft Annual Estimates of the Ministry of Roads and Highways for the 2014 Financial Year; and
v) The Report of the Committee on the 2013 Budget Estimates for the Ministry of Roads and Highways.
Mission of the Ministry of Roads and Highways (MRH)
MRH exists to provide an integrated, efficient, cost-effective and sustainable road transport system responsive to the needs of society, supporting growth and poverty reduction and capable of establishing and maintaining Ghana as a transportation hub of West Africa. Policy Objectives of the Road Sector
The policy objectives of the Road Sector as outlined in its Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for 2012 - 2015 are as follows:
Establish Ghana as a transportation hub
Create a sustainable, accessible, affordable, reliable, effective and efficient transport system that meets user needs;
Integrate land use, transport planning, development planning and service provision; Create a vibrant investment and performance based management environment that maximises benefits for public and private sector investors; Develop and implement compre- hensive and integrated policy, governance and institutional frameworks; Ensure sustainable development in the transport sector;
Develop adequate human resources and apply new technology.
Performance of the Road Sector in the 2013 Fiscal Year
Maintenance of Road Asset
As at the end of September 2013, routine maintenance had been undertaken to protect the huge investment made in the provision of road infrastructure. This includes 5,819km of the trunk road network, 3,400km on the feeder road network, and on the urban road network, 1,193km.
Additionally, the periodic maintenance activities which include re-gravelling, spot improvement and resealing works had been carried out on 21km, 374km and 13km on the trunk, feeder and urban roads respectively.
The Ministry planned to work on 11,499km of trunk roads as per the 2013 Budget Statement; the 5,840km under- taken on trunk roads represents 51 per cent achievement.
The planned work for the Department of Feeder Roads was 30,054km and the 3,774km undertaken represents only 12.6per cent achievement, whereas the Department of Urban Roads, out of the planned programme of 9,170km, worked on 1,193km, which is about 13per cent achievement.
Improving Road Maintenance Financing
Three (3) new Toll Collection stations commenced operation at Moree in the Central region, Tsopoli in the Volta Region and Nsutam in the Eastern Region. Significantly, revenue generation into the Road Fund for maintenance of the road network improved from January to September 2013. The total accrual was GH¢162,000,000.00 and the increment was about GH¢9,894,257.33 over the amount recorded during the same reporting period in 2012.
Development of key road corridors
Rehabilitation, reconstruction, construction and upgrading works continued to be carried out on the major road corridors to facilitate transportation, and to promote trade and economic activities. Some of the road networks that were worked on include the Dodi-Pepesu Nkwanta Road (commencement to 22 per
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Michael C. Boampong) 12:38 p.m.
cent), Agona Junction to Elubo Road (0 - 14 per cent), Accra East Corridor Roads - Giffard and Burma Camp Roads (0-43 per cent), Kwafokrom - Apedwa Section (54 - 68 per cent), Buipe - Tamale (37 - 80 per cent), Anyaa - Pokuase Road (26 - 70 per cent), Awoshie-Anyaa Road (24 - 80 per cent) and Sunyani Road in Kumasi (70 - 80 per cent).
In all, a total of 103km of development works, representing 138 per cent of the 2013 approved programme of 75.1km was executed. A total of 13 bridges out of the planned 30 bridges on feeder roads had also been constructed as at September,
2013.
Controlling Axle Load and Implemen- tation of Sub-Regional Programmes:
The Ministry pursued the implementation of the laws on Axle Load Limit as stipulated in the New Road Traffic Regulation.
Intensive education and sensitisation on the new Regulation were held for key stakeholders such as Freight Forwarders, Haulers, Truckers, Port and Private Weighbridge operators.
Two workshops were also organised during the year to build the capacity of the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) of the Ghana Police Service, to sensitise them on the reduction of the number of roadblocks on the road transit corridors to facilitate trade and business, as stipulated in the ECOWAS Protocol and Project Development Objectives for the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Project.
This activity helped in the reduction of check points from 28 to 13 on the Aflao to Elubo road corridor.
The construction of a Joint Border Post (JBP) at Noepe for Ghana and Togo is on- going and is scheduled for completion in

December 2013. The Ministry was able to organise a tour for all the border agencies to the Noepe JBP, and this created a platform to discuss the operational manual for the smooth operation of the

JBP.

Public Private Partnerships (PPP)

Under the PPP Scheme for the financing, construction and management of road infrastructure, the Ministry continued to engage the private sector and was able to procure a consultant to undertake feasibility studies on the dualisation of the Accra-Takoradi road. It is instructive to state that this project is being financed by the World Bank and the expectation is that the International Development Agency (IDA) would contribute to the implementation of the project.

The contract for the financing, design, construction and maintenance of an overpass on the Motorway at Teshie Link has also been signed with Link Infrastructure Co. Ltd. The concessionaire is currently at the design stage, and physical works are planned to commence in 2014.

The Ministry has registered the following Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects with the Ministry of Finance and discussions are ongoing with various private entities to finalise the concessions:

i. Accra-Tema Motorway,

ii. Western Corridor Roads Phase 1 (Elubo-Sunyani); and

iii. Accra-Kumasi Dualisation.

Monitoring and evaluation

The Monitoring and Evaluation Directorate of the Ministry was able to inspect projects in seven (7) out of the ten (10) regions as at August, 2013. A total of 196 road projects were inspected. This includes 46 trunk roads, 49 feeder roads and 101 urban road projects.

SPACE FOR TABLE 1 - PAGE

13 - 12.35 P.M.
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Michael C. Boampong) 12:38 p.m.
SPACE FOR TABLE 3 PAGE 18
- 12.35 P.M

Observations and Recommendations

The Committee notes the appreciable financial resources invested in road construction nation-wide. At least, about GH¢2.6 billion has been invested in road infrastructure for the past five years which the Committee deems as a very huge investment but wonders why this translates to about only 42 per cent of our national roads being classified as “good”, the same value as at the end of 2008. In view of time constraint, the Committee could not delve into factors that had informed the said classification, but hopes to do so thereafter.

As a developing nation, the quest for accessible roads to enhance socio- economic development is undoubtedly a prime need. But the Committee will wish to advise that cognisant of our limited finances, it is high time the Ministry of Roads and Highways and, indeed, the Government took a look at the maintenance of the existing road infrastructure rather than adding on new ones.

Indeed, it is feared that if the Ministry or the Government continues with the development of new roads, the country would very soon lose most of the existing road infrastructure, particularly the feeder roads.

As feeder roads are very critical in facilitating continuous transportation or supply of food crops and other essential economic farm produce from the hinterland to urban centres, the House should add its voice to the call for safeguarding this important national asset. Currently, most of the roads in the country are in poor surface condition and are deteriorating quickly due to neglect, a

TABLE 3: Comparison of Approved Budget for 2013 With 2014 Ceilings

situation which is worrisome, and needing urgent intervention from the Ministry of Roads and Highways and all stakeholders in governance.

In tandem with the issue of maintenance indicated in the preceding paragraph is the poor vegetation control along most roads, especially, the feeder road network. The Committee has noted that the fast deterioration of our roads is partly attr ibutable to over-grown vegetation which prevents quick discharge of water from the surface of the roads during rainfall.

Ideally, the vegetation is supposed to be routinely cleared or controlled; but most often, those contracted to clear the vegetation are not paid on time, making them abandon the work, and in some cases, reluctant to undertake subsequent clearing.

The Ministry is already seized with the challenge, but the Committee urgently appeals to the sector Minister to personally intervene in the resolution of the problem faced by those contracted to control vegetation along our roads. Payment for routine maintenance works are in arrears of over thirteen (13) months.

The Committee notes with satisfaction, the improvement in revenue generation into the Road Fund for the maintenance of the road network. But that notwithstanding, the existing human interface in the collection of tolls at the various collection booths is a recipe for manipulation and leakage. The Committee urged the Ministry to consider the introduction of technologies, as pertained in the developed economies, which limits the human interface and also places a check on manipulations and revenue leakages.

The Committee notes with concern, the haphazard construction of speed ramps on major roads nation-wide. Field visits embarked on by the Committee brought
Mr Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Hon Members, Motion moved and seconded, it is for the consideration of the House.
Mr Kwabena Owusu-Aduomi (NPP -- Ejisu) 12:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the 2014 fiscal year allocation to the Ministry of Roads and Highways is just nine per cent more than that of the 2013 allocation. In tune with
the budget rising up to the challenge and realigning the budget to meet key national priorities, I expected that the increase would be significant.
Mr Speaker, the challenges that the Ministry of Roads and Highways face are enormous. Two major challenges among others are one, huge backlog of road maintenance, and that has to be cleared. And two; huge arrears of payments to be made to contractors for work done. Mr Speaker, if you look at page 11, Table 2, the Ministry's planned budget was about GH¢3.107 billion and out of this, only 25 per cent was agreed by the Ministry of Finance for this year's allocation.
Mr Speaker, this huge backlog of maintenance cannot be cleared with the GH¢779 million that has been allocated to the Ministry of Roads and Highways. The huge backlog of maintenance, is the doing of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Government, from January, 2009 to December 2012 and they know. The desire of the Government to improve and tar more roads led them to relegate maintenance to the background, and that is why we have these problems.
On the floor of this House, almost every year, we suggest that road maintenance should be the priority of the Government. In situations where you have limited funding, Mr Speaker, that advice was not heeded to, and that is why we have this huge backlog of maintenance; all the pieces of advice fell on death ears.
Mr Speaker, the arrears that the Ministry of Roads and Highways has at the moment is over GH¢700 million. If you go to page 11, Table 2, and if you look at the breakdown of the Assets, there are those among -- matching fund,
compensation and so on and so forth. The allocation for this year which is GH¢779 million, is just enough for payment of the arrears. The overall effect is that, annually, when allocations are made, a significant part of the allocation is used to pay arrears. So the people of Ghana do not actually feel or have the impact of the allocation that had been made to the Ministry.
Mr Speaker, I would want to suggest that the Ministry of Finance and for that matter the Government, should jump in to assist the Ministry of Roads and Highways to clear this arrears, otherwise every year, GH¢770 and over million would be released, GH¢800 and something million would be released but, Mr Speaker, there would be no impact. I must admit that the current administration is listening to advice; they are more focused on maintenance than we had in the previous Administration.
Of course, if you again look at page 11, Table 2, Government of Ghana you would see (GOG) 2014 projects; only GH¢25 million has been allocated. So the Ministry is focusing, clearing the arrears and concentrating on the ongoing projects. Mr Speaker, if Government does not jump in to assist the Ministry, every year, allocations would be made and there is no way that Ghanaians would feel the impact.
Mr Speaker, the ordinary single man contractor who cuts grass along the roads, the Government owes this ordinary man over 13 months arrears. How much is cutting grass along the road? Seven hundred Ghana cedis(GH¢700), eight hundred Ghana cedis (GH¢800), and the maximum would be one thousand Ghana cedis (GH¢1000). Mr Speaker, if this single man contractor, a poor contractor would have to wait for over 13 months before he gets paid, how on earth can we get improvement on our roads?
Mr Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Hon Members, my attention has been drawn to the fact that item number 4 (b) is ready to be laid.
Hon Majority Leader, is that the situation?
Dr Kunbuor 12:45 p.m.
Yes, that is so, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Hon Members, item number 4 (b) -- By the Chairman of the Finance Committee.
Dr Kunbuor 12:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Chairman is currently held up at the Committee on the Appropriation Bill, so, I would seek your indulgence to let the Vice Chairman lay it.
Mr Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Very well, by the Vice Chairman.
PAPERS 12:45 p.m.

Dr Kunbuor 12:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if we could take item number 6.
Mr Speaker 12:45 p.m.
No; we are on Roads and Highways. I just cut in to have this Paper laid, so we are still on item number
9.
Yes, Hon Members, item number 9, Motion.
12.55
Mr Joseph K. Amenowode (NDC -- Afadzato South) 12:45 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to support the Motion. I really appreciate the programmes of the Ministry for the year 2014 and wish that funds are made available for their fulfillment.
Mr Speaker, looking at the development projects for 2014, that is on page 9, and knowing very well that it is not all items that would be listed in one document -- There are some that are very conspicuous but they are not included.
Mr Speaker, the major development projects ongoing in the country include the Eastern Corridor roads. There is only mention of Dodipepesu, Nkwanta which we know is an European Union Project. But the main one from Asikuma through Kpeve, Hohoe, Kadjebi to Dodipepesu, there is no mention of it here. Another obvious exclusion is anything on the Adomi Brigde.
This morning, the Daily Graphic con- spicuously displayed it, wrote a frightening headline; “Adomi Bridge in crisis”, and we have not heard anything about this; it is troubling the people who travel along that road. The Eastern Corridor road, that is, Asikuma to Kadjebi, is now in total disrepair. I am very sure
the Hon Minster visited the road not very long ago. As we pray that the money comes, we would want him to give an assurance that though it is not listed on this paper, it is part of his programme for the year 2014.
On that note, I would want to support the Hon Minister's Motion.
Mr Kwabena O. Darko-Mensah (NPP -- Takoradi) 12:45 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to add my voice to the Motion for the approval of GH¢ 779,276,751 for the Ministry of Roads and Highways.
Mr Speaker, I would be picking it from the observation, paragraph 6.1 which talks about the roads condition, that only 42 per cent of our national roads are good, and based on the 2008 figures, to date, it shows that only 0.6 per cent has been improved at the cost of GH¢2.6 billion.
Mr Speaker, I am taking that one in addition to paragraph 6.12, that the Committee observed that the viability of our roads after a deferred liability period is a major concern to the Committee. Mr Speaker, if you take page 7, Goods and Services, what the Ministry got as a ceiling for 2013 was GH¢805,000 but unfortunately, the release to the Ministry was only GH¢68,870,000.
Clearly, this shows that the Ministry of Finance is not helping the Ministry of Roads and Highways, because they could only get 7.9 per cent of that release for running around for supervision and the rest. So, clearly it shows that for all the roads that we are maintaining and developing in our country, we are not getting the Ministry of Roads and Transport to get the right people to move around the country to inspect them and make sure that better roads are being constructed and that standards are also being met.
Mr Speaker, I strongly believe that it is one area of concern that this august House directs the Ministry of Finance to do the right thing.
Secondly, Mr Speaker, looking at paragraph 6.1.2, we have said it here over and over again that we are constructing a lot of roads and investing so much in this country in the area of roads. Unfortunately, every time that roads are being constructed, immediately after the defect liability period, these roads start failing, and I have made a case in point in my own constituency, Takoradi, where even where they are constructing the roads, the roads are failing.
Mr Speaker, I believe that while we are here to approve the budget for the Ministry, they would have to come with a new policy that would ensure that there is a direct relationship between the design period for which the roads are designed and the defect liability period so that we do not throw a lot of money down the drain.
With these words, Mr Speaker, I support the Motion that the money should be approved and the Ministry, with the Hon Minister coming clear on a new policy to ensure that we do not throw money down the drain in this country.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Ms Alijata Sulemana (NDC -- Sissala East) 12:45 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the Motion ably moved by the Hon Minister for Roads and Highways, that this Honorable House approves the sum of GH¢779,276,751 for the services of the Ministry of Roads and Highways for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
Mr Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of the debate.
Hon Minister, certain issues have been raised -- Adomi Bridge, Eastern and Western Corridor and the rest.
Alhaji Sulemani 12:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I wish to thank Hon Colleagues who have contributed and supported the Motion.
I would want to start by indicating that the Ranking Member made a comment that
the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Government since 2009 were not taking advice in terms of -- and we have a back Log.
I think that we should see road construction as something that is continuous. The NDC Government certainly inherited projects which were not budgeted for and had to be completed. So, the backlog, whether we like it or not, would have to come on because we inherited projects that we had to continue and, as much as possible, I have always indicated that we should not politicise road construction because it is a government project.
The Government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) or the NDC is carrying out road construction so, we should not say it is the NDC Government that has the backlog. There has not been any regime in this country that roads have been completely constructed.
Mr Speaker, I would also want to say that the Report was very clear on major development projects. Certainly, we could not have listed all road projects that are on-going. There are even some going on in various parts of the country - in the Ashanti Region, in the Northern Region, everywhere; including the Eastern Corridor roads.
We could not have mentioned all the roads, that is why we said “major” and highlighted those major ones that have got some significant improvement works already. But let me assure Mr Speaker that the Eastern Corridor road project is on course and construction would continue.
Mr Speaker, I would also want to comment on the road mix condition that my Hon Colleague indicated. Statistics could be used for anything. If two people wrote an examination and one passed, one would say “50 per cent passed.” The
following year, if only one person wrote and passed, you would say “100 per cent passed.” So, from 2008 till now, the road length has certainly increased. So, 42 per cent road mix could be more than what you are talking about in 2008. It is a question of statistics being displayed.
Mr Speaker, I would want to also indicate that we would want the policy clearly that will indicate that --
Mr Darko-Mensah 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister is telling us that the road length has increased. I would want him to tell the House to what extent; how many kilometers have been added to the road network, so that we are all sure about this issue.
Alhaji Sulemani 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member knows that he would have to come by a Question for this to be answered.
I woud also want to say that we would want to assure the House that the Ministry and its Agencies have stepped up monitoring. As a matter of fact, I have also expressed concern about the way our roads deteriorate within a very short time of construction and it is of serious concern to all of us. I have discussed this seriously with my Hon Colleagues.
Even though I am an engineer, I am not a practicing engineer; I am a politician. I have discussed it with my colleague engineers, that they need to sit up because, we have some of the best engineers on the continent in Ghana. They are all over the place constructing good roads. There is no reason why our roads cannot stand the test of time.
So, my colleagues are working on that seriously. We have set up design teams,
monitoring teams, to ensure that we get value for money for our roads that have been constructed.
Mr Speaker, I thank you very much.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved:
That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢779,276,751 for the services of the Ministry of Roads and Highways for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
Dr Kunbuor 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we would take item number 6 --
ANNUAL ESTIMATES 1:05 p.m.

Minister for Government Business in Parliament (Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor) 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢311,833 for the services of the Office of the District Assemblies' Common Fund Administrator for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
Mr Speaker, this budget item basically is to deal with the administrative aspects of the work of the District Assemblies Common Fund Administrator, more significantly in areas of compensation. There is a 0.05 per cent that normally would come with a formula when that formula is submitted to the House. So, Mr Speaker, the amount is actually requested to address the minimal administrative cost and compensation for the Administrator's office.
I beg to move, Mr Speaker.
Question proposed.
Mr Speaker 1:05 p.m.
Hon Majority Leader?
Dr Kunbuor 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Finance Committee is working on a number of important matters. If Mr Speaker could suspend Sitting for an hour so that when we come back, we can take those items.
Mr Speaker 1:05 p.m.
Very well. Hon Members, the House is suspended for an hour.
1.18 p.m. -- Sitting suspended.
4.00 p.m. -- Sitting resumed.
MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
Hon Majority Leader, are we taking item 10?
Dr Kunbuor 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, that is so; item number 10.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
Very well.
Item number 10, Hon Minister for Finance?
Dr Kunbuor 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we would like to seek permission for the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance to take the Motion.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
Very well.
Hon Deputy Minister, go ahead.
ANNUAL ESTIMATES 1:05 p.m.

Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
Yes, any seconder?
Dr A. A. Osei 1:05 p.m.
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, with respect, the Hon Deputy Minister said “I move” without giving any explanation to justify it. He should, at least, say something about why we should approve GH¢16 billion. It is a lot of money.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
Yes, Hon Deputy Minister, can you give some background explanation?
Mr Ricketts-Hagan 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, these are statutory commitments and they are to cover social contribution, transfers to other Government units, social benefits and other expenditures.
Thank you.
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Mr Speaker, in doing so, I present your Committee's Report.
Introduction
Further to the presentation of the Budget Statement and the Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the year ending 31st December, 2014, the Expenditure Estimates of Other
Government Obligations for the 2014 financial year was referred to the Finance Committee for consideration and report in accordance with the article 179 of the Constitution and Orders 140 (5) and 169 of the Standing Orders of the House.
The Committee met and considered the Estimates with the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr Seth Terkpeh, his two Deputies, Messrs George Kweku Ricketts-Hagan and Cassiel Ato Baah Forson, and officials from the Ministry. The Committee is grateful to them for the clarifications and assistance during the deliberations.
Commitments on Other Government Financial Obligations
The following are the various Commitments on Other Government Obligations for the 2014 financial year:
1. Domestic Interest Payments;
2. External Interest Payments;
3. Pensions;
4. Gratuities;
5. Social Security (SSNIT);
6. Subsidies on Petroleum Products;
7. District Assemblies' Common Fund (DACF);
8. National Health Fund (NHF);
9. Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund);
10. Road Fund;
11. Petroleum Related Fund;
12. Transfer to Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC);
13. Lifeline Consumers of electricity;
14. Tax Expenditure (exemptions);
15. Tax Refunds ;
16. Road Arrears;
17. Non-Road Arrears;
18. Amortization;
19. Petroleum Fund and Contingency Fund.
2013 Allocations
A total amount of fourteen billion, six hundred and twelve million, four hundred and seventy-one thousand, two hundred and twenty-seven Ghana cedis (GH¢14,612,471,227.00) was allocated to be expended on the Other Government Obligations for the 2013 financial year.
2014 Estimates
For the 2014 financial year, a total amount of sixteen billion, eight hundred and twenty-nine million, eight hundred and six thousand, five hundred and forty- six Ghana cedis (GH¢16,829,806,546.00) has been allocated to be expended under Other Government Obligations. The allocation will be expended as follows:
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 1:05 p.m.


Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) amounted to GH¢151.1 million while GETFund stood at GH¢240.3 million. Outstanding payment to the DACF as at September, 2013 stood at GH¢449 million and Social Security payments were also in arrears to the tune of GH¢695 million.

Responding to concerns about Government's ability to pay the outstanding commitments, the Minister informed the Committee that, the 2014 budget allocated about GH¢1.5 billion to help Government pay for all outstanding commitments and arrears to the statutory funds.

The Committee urges the Minister to ensure that all the outstanding payments would be paid in time since the continuous delay is negatively affecting the efficient functioning of these Funds. Further, since the Funds are committed to various projects and programmes, further delays have the potential of adversely affecting the smooth implementation of these projects and programmes.

The Committee further urges the Minister of Finance to ensure timely releases of these allocations.

Transfers from the Stabilisation Fund

The Committee observed that, the Government intends to transfer the sum of GH¢96,678,201 from the Ghana Stabilisation Fund for its activities in 2014. The Committee was informed that, Government intends to use GH¢50,000,000.00 out of that amount to set up the Contingency Fund, pursuant to the provisions in articles 117 and 179 of the 1992 Constitution.

The remaining amount will be used for debt servicing. The Minister further explained that, there is the need to set aside some funds to retire part of the

Eurobond issue when they fall due. It is therefore, the intention of Government to transfer an amount of GH¢46,678,201 from the Ghana Stabilisation Fund to start a Sinking Fund to help retire the entire amount upon maturity.

The Committee lauds the proposed creation of the Contingency and Sinking funds and urges the Minister to ensure that the Funds when created would not suffer delay payments.

Conclusion

The Committee has carefully examined the Estimates of Other Government Obligations, and recommends that the House approves the sum of sixteen billion, eight hundred and twenty-nine million, eight hundred and six thousand, five hundred and forty-six Ghana cedis (GH¢16,829,806,546.00) for the discharge of the listed Other Government Obligations for the 2014 financial year.

Respectfully submitted.

Question proposed.
Dr Anthony A. Osei (NPP -- Old Tafo) 1:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to contribute to the Motion that is being discussed right now.
Mr Speaker, as the Hon Deputy Minister said, the issue of Government Obligations is really a matter of Government fulfiling, as he said, statutory obligations. The key word is “statutory”. But, Mr Speaker, if you look at the track record, even though they are statutory, it does not appear that somebody is following the law. Why do I say that?
On the basis of the information provided to the Committee, GH¢157.7 million of funds that are statutorily due to
the NHIL has not been paid. Mr Speaker, GH¢240 million plus statutorily due to the GETFund has not been paid. Mr Speaker, GH¢449.8 million due to the DACF has not been met. But we call it statutory obligations. Mr Speaker, Parliament must be sitting up.
Mr Speaker, pension funds for some of us who might soon be pensioners, GH¢700 million, has not been paid to SSNIT. Mr Speaker, this is very serious, and this House must find the way to make sure that if these are statutory -- This is because we pass the laws -- And the Hon Minister is telling us that he is not meeting the obligations. What are we doing? Nothing.
Mr Speaker, it does not speak well of this House. There must be a way to make sure that these obligations are met.
Mr Speaker, since you are an Hon Member of Parliament, I am sure the District Chief Executive (DCE) or Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of your constituency has been complaining about very little development in the District and the Municipalities. This is something that all of us must think about the best way around it. I think that if these are statutory, then the first obligation on the Hon Minister or the Ministry of Finance is to meet them. Then, if there is any excess funds then he can go to the discretional funds.
But we know that some discretional funds were met. I do not want to go through all of them but we know them. For example, GYEEDA funds are discretionary but DACF is statutory. We should not be seen to be paying those funds when the ones that are owed legally are not being met. It is not the best. So, this House, I think, must find the way to direct the Hon Minister that henceforth,
they must meet these obligations. Mr Speaker, particularly, my worry is on the pension funds. That is very serious. We do not want anything to happen to our pensioners when they are going for their money; they would say because the Ministry of Finance has not paid.
So, Mr Speaker, I am inviting you as the Hon Speaker to look into this. Direct the Hon Minister to do what is right. We cannot keep saying that these are statutory funds and they are not being paid.
Mr Speaker, if we read the Committee's Report, we would notice that the Hon Minister is indicating that, arrears on wages to the tune of about GH¢562 million are owed and in 2014 that is what they intend to honour. Mr Speaker, in my own estimation, these arrears are under- estimated because all indications are that, the arrears on wages in the system are more than this.
Unfortunately for Parliament, when this budget was brought to this House, labour negotiations had not finished. So we do not even know what the true wage bill is going to be; and I am sure in the course of the year, the Hon Minister would have to come back to tell us what to do.
If you read all the Estimates that have been discussed in the past week or two, you would realize that every sector Ministry exceeded their wage bill, I think, except for the Ministry of Finance. Only the Ministry of Finance remained within the wage bill. If it is true that 99.4 per cent of workers have been put on the Single Spine Salary Structure, then this should not be happening. But we are being told that the issue of the Category (2) and (3) allowances are still being negotiated.
The issue of market premium is now being negotiated so I foresee that this
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:10 p.m.
Hon Member, are you up on a point of order?
Alhaji Sorogho 4:10 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker, I just want a clarification from my Senior Colleague because I -- [Interruption.] It is a point of order. Mr Speaker, yesterday, I got my electricity bill and in the bill, the last but two columns, it is written “Government Subsidy”, and it was
GH¢79.9.
Dr A. A. Osei 4:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, he is talking about GH¢79.9, I was talking about percentages. Mr Speaker, if he would pay attention, the ECG is reported as saying that, they have not received any directives from the PURC, who by law, can reduce it. So, de facto, until PURC writes to ECG, the only letter ECG has is the 79 per cent, even though a decision has been taken.
The stakeholders cannot direct that to ECG. By law, it is only PURC that can write and say roll-back 25 per cent. So effectively - That is why people are complaining.
Mr Speaker, I want to tell you a story. I just left a restaurant, the owner was paying GH¢4,000 a month for electricity. He says that with this new adjustment directive
from PURC he is paying GH¢8,000 -- [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, this is a fact.
Mr Richard M. Quashigah 4:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, my Senior Colleague on the other side of the House who is very experienced, knows very well that this is a House of records, and it is something that he has hammered on several times. He is making reference to a restaurant operator who told him by word of mouth that his electricity bill has shot up from GH¢4,000 to GH¢8,000 without any evidence; no record to show.
I would crave your indulgence Mr Speaker, to permit him to withdraw, since he has no evidence to prove to that effect.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:10 p.m.
Yes, Hon Member, how do you respond to that?
Dr A. A. Osei 4:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I have disclosed my source. I just left a restaurant and I said that is the claim he made -- [Interruption.] I did not say it was published in the newspapers for him to ask for the records.
Mr Speaker, I know that he pays electricity bills because he is not a Minister. But I challenge him to check what he paid between September and November and he would know what I am talking about. Mr Speaker, this is a fact. All of us are going to experience that. The
point I am making is that, let us recognize the fact that there is an information disconnect. If stakeholders meet and inform the public that there is a 25 per cent roll-back but the PURC has not so directed, it is not effective, and consumers would begin to pay that.
So if it is true that that is what we want, somebody should be talking to the PURC for that directive to be sent; that is all I am saying. The Hon Minister for Information and Media Relation is here and I think he would take note.
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:10 p.m.
Hon Member, I thought you were just closing that chapter. Now, you have mentioned the Minister for Information and Media Relations; he is up.
Mr Ayariga 4:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I have not said anything. He is dragging me into this.
Dr A. A. Osei 4:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, just on a final note. The issue of interest payments is a matter that we need to be paying attention to. Why do I say that? If you look at the amount proposed, GH¢6.2 billion, it exceeds almost all the funds going to the statutory funds like District Assemblies' Common Fund (DACF) and so on and so forth. Or better yet, if you look at the amount of money going to Domestic Finance Investment --
Mr Speaker, if you are spending just GH¢60 billion on interest payments and you do not even have that money to invest, the nation is heading on a path that we have to look at. That is why the issue about the public debt is important. He will notice that amortisation is GH¢1 billion but debt servicing alone is GH¢6 billion, and we are proposing to borrow more. Where is the money going to be available for investment for development?
Dr Kunbuor 4:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I just thought that we should correct something before we proceed.
I noticed in the Report that reference was made to a Contingency Fund under article 171 of the 1992 Constitution but I think the intended article is 177. So they should have a look at it. I have been drawing the Chairman's attention to it. They said article 117 but I guess they are thinking of article 177 of the 1992 constitution.
Mr Avedzi 4:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, on pages 5 and 6 of the Report, article 117 should be deleted and then 179 should also be deleted and insert 177 where reference is made to the Contingency Fund. It is about the GH¢50 million out of the amount that would be set up for the Contingency Fund pursuant to provisions of article 177 instead of articles 117 and 179 of the 1992 Constitution.
Dr A. A. Osei 4:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe the appropriate article is 175 and not 177. Article 177 talks about payment into the Fund but article 175 of the 1992 Constittution is the one that talks about public funds of Ghana which includes the Contingency Fund. So I think that correction should be made.
Dr Kunbuor 4:20 p.m.
You might be right but the problem is that, the anticipation in article 175 is that the Fund exists. Like the Consolidated Fund, it does not exist. So when you come to the payment into it, I think it should be the combined effect of 175 and 177. But you cannot use only article 175 to establish it.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:20 p.m.
Hon Chairman, you combined the two, is that it? So you asked leave to amend that portion of your Report?
Dr Kunbuor 4:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it is because of the nature of the Report because, the Report is already talking about an amount of money to be paid in. So the assumption is that the Fund exists, and I am saying
that we would have to look at both articles 175 and 177, take the first step to create the Fund and then, subsequently, to appropriate the payment into it.
Mr Avedzi 4:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, reference is being made to article 177 here. This is because it talks about transferring GH¢50 million out of the Stabilisation Fund into the Contingency Fund. That is why we are making reference to article 177. The assumption is that article 175 has already established the Contingency Fund by the Constitution and article 177 talks about transfer into the Fund.
So if article 175 has already established the Fund, and we are talking about transferring GH¢50 million from the Stabilisation Fund into the Contingency Fund, you would make reference to article
177.
Dr A. A. Osei 4:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I think we may have to think through this. As of today, the Fund does not exist. I think, like the Petroleum Holding Fund, there must be a Bill to establish it formally. The fact that mention is made of it does not mean that it exists. So I think that it has to be created for payment to be made into it.
I think, as we approve of payment, the Ministry must be thinking of a small Bill coming to establish it; it is not established. Mention is made of it but it is not established. Is there a Contingency Fund? The answer is, “No! It does not exist.”
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 4:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am just wondering whether the Consolidated Fund has been established by law.The Consolidated Fund is created by the Constitution, likewise the Contingency Fund. For other public funds, you need a law to establish them. But whatever it is, once you have agreed
that a sum of money has been appropriated or is going to be appropriated for the Fund, then later we see how the mechanics would be. But to say that we must have a law establishing it, I do not know, unless there is a law establishing the Consolidated Fund.
Dr Kunbuor 4:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it is very important that this matter has come up. When this provision was being debated at the Consultative Assembly, people insisted, and some people swore, that there was a Consolidated Fund and a Contingency Fund. The compromise they reached -- You can see it in the drafting, as the Hon Member for Sekondi has said.
They proceeded on the assumption that, those funds exist but any other fund should be created by law, only for us to find out in 1994 that, indeed, they needed to ask that all these funds to be created by an Act of Parliament because even the so-called Consolidated Account is still being appropriated and it is a line of expenditure. But if we have to create a fund as anticipated, the mechanics, administrators and all those things, like all the other statutory funds have to be made clear.
So this is actually the gap. I cannot remember what the Constitutional Review Commission did, but their attention was drawn to this assumption that something existed. Is it the Bank of Ghana Government Act or something of 1960? We looked for it and we could not get it. But the assumption was always that, a Consolidated Fund was created by a law
-- 4:20 p.m.

Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:20 p.m.
Hon Members, I think we would have to go along that line because the practice has been on for some time now. So I will direct that at the appropriate time -- We would allow this to go, but at the appropriate time, the necessary steps should be taken to formalise this situation. I do not know if the Hon Minister for Finance agrees with me, otherwise, we would have hiccups along the line.
Mr Ignatia B. Awuah (NPP -- Sunyani West) 4:30 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for allowing me to contribute to the Motion on the floor. I would want to limit myself to the GETFund, District Assemblies' Common Fund (DACF) and road arrears.
Mr Speaker, today, your Committee on Roads and Transport in their Report on the Ministry of Roads and Highways, page 11, indicated that, the Ministry had planned to clear an arrears of GH¢704.1 million. But then, when we look at the Budget, page 213, Appendix 7B, the Hon Minister for Finance makes a provision of road arrears of GH¢231.7 million. This is
far lower than what the Ministry has in their records. I do not know what the Ministry's plans are with regard to the rest of the arrears which they have not provided for.
Mr Speaker, leaving that side, from the Estimates that we have looked at so far, in almost all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), it came out that we exceeded our budget for personal emolument and compensation.
Mr Speaker, SSNIT contribution, all things being equal, is a function of salary. So one would expect that, as we over expended our salary figure, SSNIT contribution would equally go up. But even given the budgeted figure of GH¢520 million as the figure for SSNIT that Government was supposed to have paid, the actual payment turned out to be GH¢163 million out of the GH¢520 million. So, my question is, what is holding Government from paying the difference to
SSNIT?
Mr Speaker, if I should come to GETFund, we were told that the GETFund is projected as 16.6 per cent of total VAT receipts, less VAT refund. Total VAT receipts up to the end of September, stood at GH¢2. 296 billion and then there was a VAT refund of GH¢134.7 million. So it means that the adjusted VAT receipts for the period was GH¢2.156 billion; 16 per cent of that works out GH¢357.9 million.
But, Mr Speaker, actual payment to GETFund within the period was only GH¢66.1 million. This leaves us with an arrears of GH¢291.8 million and not GH¢240 million as was given by my senior Colleague.
Dr A. A. Osei 4:30 p.m.
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, the Hon Member referred to a figure that I gave. I did not give that figure. This figure was given to us by the Ministry of Finance, so he should attribute it properly.
Mr Awuah 4:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I must admit that I am a Member of the Committee and those figures were supplied to us by personnel from the Ministry of Finance.
However, the budgeted arrears figure, for 2014 to be cleared is only GH¢240.3 million leaving a difference of GH¢113 million. We do not know as yet how and where this GH¢113 million that would be owed GETFund by the end of 2014, is going to be paid from. Mr Speaker, I do not know whether by giving us those figures, the Ministry had not taken pains to work out the correct figures, or they were giving us wrong figures, which were misleading us.
Mr Speaker, when we come to the District Assemblies' Common Fund, we were told it is calculated as 7.5 per cent of total non-oil tax revenue less VAT refunds and import exemptions. By applying this formula, as of September, for non-oil tax revenue of GH¢10.5 billion, less exemption of GH¢560.1 million and VAT refund of GH¢134.7 million, the adjusted revenue comes to GH¢8,743.03 million.
Applying a percentage of 7.5 to the adjusted revenue, the DACF payment by the end of September should have been GH¢655.7 million. Mr Speaker, what has actually been paid by the end of September stood at GH¢312 million, leaving arrears of GH¢343 million. Using the same formula, by the end of December, the arrears would increase to GH¢580 million.
However, the Hon Minister has made a provision for payment of only GH¢449 million as the arrears payment for 2014. Mr Speaker, this would leave us with a difference of GH¢131 million which is not provided for in the Budget Estimates for 2014. So, I do not know whether the DACF is going to be shortchanged by that figure or what.
Mr Speaker, these are concerns that I would want to draw the House's attention to, and more especially, draw the Hon Minister's attention to, so that even as we go forward to approve of the Other Government Obligations, we would take all these things into consideration.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah (NPP -- Sekondi) 4:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, in making this contribution, I would want us to bear in mind that as a Parliament, we ought not to continue lamenting, where laws that we have enacted are being violated. By the Constitution, there is established a Consolidated Fund, a Contingency Fund and Parliament can by law establish other public funds.
In establishing these other funds, we make laws to govern their management. But over the past years, I have realised that the Executive have failed to comply with the laws and consistently, and it is not fair to the House or to the people of this country. But moreover, on no single occasion has the President, through his Minister for Finance or any other Minister, given any reason to this House why they have failed to comply.
This is because, Mr Speaker, it is taken for granted that Parliament will talk and talk but nothing will happen. I will want Government to sit up and for this House to exercise its powers. My relatively short experience in governance is that in this

country, people generally believe that if they do not comply with the law, nothing will happen and, it is one of the major afflictions facing our governance in this country. So on this occasion, while contributing to this debate and noting the observations of the Committee on page 5 of the Report, particularly 5 (3), paragraph (2), this should be the last time we should be urging the Hon Minister.

I am inviting this House to bear in mind the powers conferred on this House under the Constitution and for the Hon Minister to take note that he may have some problems, but it is important that he makes this House appreciate those problems and assist him to solve those problems. Mr Speaker, we wield enormous power and when these powers are being exercised, it should not be considered to be personal. It should be considered to be a mechanism by which Parliament wants Government to be alive to its obligations.

Mr Speaker, I will refer this House to a very important article in this Constitution which deals with the power of this House to sanction Ministers. It is important; we can pass a vote of censure at the request of one-third of all Members of Parliament, but it is not something that should be resorted to unless Parliament will want to go to the extremes of exercising its powers. In fact, the Minister for Finance is a very good Friend of mine and I always applaud him for taking his work with Parliament extremely seriously.

At this time, I would like this House to be exercising its power under article 82 of the Constitution. And, Mr Speaker, with your permission, I would want to refer to it in extensor. Article 82 (1) --

“Parliament may, by a resolution supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all the members of Parliament, pass a vote of censure on a Minister of State.”

Article 82(2) --

“a motion for the resolution referred to in clause (1) of this article shall not be moved in Parliament unless --

(a) seven days' notice has been given of the Motion, and

(b) the notice for the Motion has been signed by not less than one-third of all the members of Parliament.”

Mr Speaker, I say this because in all democracies in the world, debating a Motion of Censure on anybody is a grave matter. But where exhortation, appeals and urges have failed to elicit effective response, what else is left in the arsenal of Parliament?

So, in conclusion, Mr Speaker, I am urging the Government or, particularly, the President in whom Executive power is vested, to take note of the fact that Government cannot consistently violate laws that we have enacted without any explanation.

We must move forward as a country. So while agreeing with the concerns of the Committee on page 5 of this Report, which is urging the Hon Minister to ensure that all the outstanding payments will be paid in time since the continuous delay is negatively affecting efficient function of these funds, Mr Speaker, I believe that if the Hon Minister does not positively respond to this exhortation or advice, some of us may be compelled, albeit unwillingly, to go to the extreme by inviting this House to exercise its powers under article 82 of the Constitution.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Deputy Majority Leader (Mr Alfred K. Agbesi): Mr Speaker, I beg to support the Motion and to urge all Hon Members to do same. Mr Speaker, article 177 of the Constitution, and with your permission, I beg to quote:

“177(1) There shall be paid into the Contingency Fund moneys voted for the purpose by Parliament; and advances may be made from that Fund which are authorised by the committee responsible for financial measures in Parliament whenever that committee is satisfied that there has arisen an urgent or unforeseen need for expenditure for which no other provision exists to meet the need.”

Mr Speaker,the Finance Committee has presented its Report to this House, and on page 5, under Transfers from the Stabilisation Fund, the Committee says that the Committee was informed that the Government intends to use fifty million cedis out of an amount of ninety-six million cedis to set-up the Contingency Fund pursuant to the provision of article 177 of the Constitution.

Mr Speaker, to the best of my knowledge and belief, this is the first time that such a Report from the Finance Committee has urged Members to support Government's intention to pay money into the Contingency Fund. I would want to say that this being so, we have to commend -- This House must commend the Government for taking this step.

Since the 1992 Constitution came into being, this is the first time that an amount is going to be paid into the Contingency Fund and by the provision of the Constitution, the Finance Committee will then be in a position to authorize whenever the condition exists that an amount be used from that Fund to meet a situation and, that situation is an emergency.

Mr Speaker, in this country, we have had several emergencies, and to act immediately to solve the problem depended on whether or not there were funds for that purpose. In this case, if this fund is set up, I will urge the Finance Committee of Parliament to do more to see

to the situation because the Constitution permits us to act when there is an emergency. I would want to say that the Minister for Finance must be commended by this House for bringing this Act on board.

I thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity.
Dr A. A. Osei 4:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Majority Leader is a very senior Member of this House. He knows that aside from the Contingency Fund, there are other ways of meeting contingency.
Mr Speaker, with your permission, let me read article 179 (11) of the 1992 Constitution. It says:
“Whenever in the estimates prepared in accordance with clauses (1) and (8) of this article provision is made for an item or vote other than for the Contingency Fund, not relating to a specific item of expenditure, any moneys voted by Parliament in respect of that item or vote shall be under the control and supervision of a Committee which shall consist of the President, the Speaker and the Chairman of the Council of State.”
So it is not only through the Contingency Fund that money for contingency purposes is made available. Mr Speaker, your goodself should make sure that this part of the Constitution is exercised. The contingency vote is under a committee that you control, so he should not be misleading this House.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:50 p.m.
Very well, I think your information is also worthwhile. I do not think he was misinforming the House. No, because --
Dr A. A. Osei 4:50 p.m.
I did not say that. I said he should not create the impression -- I wanted to remind him that you, Mr Speaker, also have authority to chair a committee to spend from the Contingency Fund.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 4:50 p.m.
Very well; thank you very much.
Dr Kunbuor 4:50 p.m.
I guess that this battle is an argument that they are communicating at across purposes. The Contingency Fund that is anticipated and which is the subject matter of this Committee's Report is clear. The pre- conditions for triggering it does not exist in the subclause 11 that has been mentioned in article 179.
They have indicated that a normal appropriation would have been done, and it is not yet specifically earmarked, and the Committee can administer that. When you come to what we are dealing with in the Contingency Fund, it is about an urgent or unforeseen matter which is restricted to the Finance Committee of Parliament. So the two are completely different.
But the Hon Member says there are many ways of triggering Contingency expenditure, and I say no; article 179 (11) is not a Contingency matter because what makes something contingent is its urgency and enforceability, which we do not have in subclause 11.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am happy that, ultimately, we may have to establish the Contingency Fund. I think that it is for a very good purpose that the Constitution makes mention of that Fund. I have always insisted that a Contingency Fund is meant to achieve the purpose for which it is intended under the Constitution. Matters that cannot be anticipated, those are contingency.
So if we have a regular Budget, and we are making allocations to the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), for instance, as if you are predicting disaster, catastrophe, in the ensuing year, Mr Speaker, it has no business being allocated funding under the Constitution. Appropriately, it should belong to the Contingency Fund, and that is why in crafting the Petroleum Revenue Management Act some of us insisted that we should use it to establish a Contingency Fund.

Maj. (Dr) Alhaji Mustapha Ahmed (retd.) : On a point of order. Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity. Just to draw the attention of the Hon Minority Leader to the fact that NADMO employs several hundreds of people across the country; they run offices in the various districts and they need to be paid.

So it is incumbent upon Government to always allocate monies to NADMO, at least, for them to pay the staff and run the other services that they provide.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not know where my good Friend is coming from. I am not talking about the statutory commitments in respect of salaries; I am not talking about that. He should please, apply himself to allocations that are made to NADMO. That is the issue that we are talking about. And would the Hon Minister listen and follow the line of the debate?
Mr Speaker, as I said, I am happy that ultimately, we are coming round to do that. So the matter that was related to by the Hon Ranking Member and the Hon Second Deputy Minority Whip, to me, are very relevant matters that we should address our minds to. This is because it
does appear that there has been a gross understatement of arrears. The stock -- We should be very clear in our mind where we are as related to by them. If we are not clear in our mind about that how do we tackle it?
Mr Speaker, I will urge the Hon Minister responsible for Finance to come clean on that before we take the vote on that particular matter because we are not very clear about the stock. We are being given conflicting accounts of the stock of arrears that we have so it is important for him to do that.
Mr Speaker, the third matter that I want to relate to is about what is intended to be done with the Stabilisation Fund, the capping that the Hon Minister has related to in his Budget, and I refer to page 188 of the Budget. Page 188 provides, Mr Speaker, and I am talking about bullet point three;
“Mr Speaker, the proposed cap on the Ghana Stabilisation Fund is informed mainly by the following:
1.The spirit of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act was to transfer 70 per cent, 2 per cent and 9 per cent of the net petroleum receipts to the Annual Budget Funding Amount, the Ghana Stabilisation Fund, the
2. Ghana Heritage Fund respectively. However, as already indicated, the transfers to the GSF alone exceeded that of the ABFA in 2013".
Mr Speaker, the second reason they gave is this. “Returns on the GSF -- The investment income on the GSF has been known, compared with our borrowing cost
for infrastructure projects, and in order to ensure value for money, the excess transfers to the GSF will be used for long term repayments whether to free capital for infrastructure development”. Mr Speaker, that is where my worry is.
Now the Revenue Management Act proposes sound investment under an Investment Advisory Committee who are remunerated from the account. Mr Speaker, the establishment, of that investment account, by the Investment Advisory Committee is on the advice of the Bank of Ghana, and I should think, the Hon Minister responsible for Finance.
So if we are not having enough returns from that investment, whom should we blame? If we make poor investments which indicate to us that if we had not even invested and put the money in the banks, the returns on it would have been higher than the so-called investment that they did, whom should we blame? Mr Speaker, it is something that we should address our minds to.
Then, Mr Speaker, section 23 of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011, sub-section 3 provides --
“The accumulated resources of the Ghana Stabilisation Fund shall not exceed an amount recommended by the Hon Minister and approved by Parliament and the amount shall be reviewed from time to time as necessitated by the macro- economic conditions.”
Mr Speaker, I thought that the Hon Minister, in presenting his Budget, serenaded a triumphant entry into this House when he said that the economy is very resilient. Now, he is coming back to us to say that “No, that is not the case, so can we take money from here into a Sinking Fund?” An economy that is resilient, Hon Minister --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5 p.m.
Hon Minority Leader, let us restrict ourselves to the Estimates.The policy issues have been debated already so as much as possible, let us restrict ourselves to the Estimates.
MrKyei-Mensah-Bonsu 5 p.m.
Thank you very much,Mr Speaker. I do not think that anybody raised this particular matter because this is the appropriate time to address this matter. That is why I am bringing it back to the front burner.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5 p.m.
I will give the Hon Minister the opportunity to wind up and --
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 5 p.m.
I hope the Hon Minister will address his mind to that and tell us the state of the macro-economy which is necessitating this. And Mr Speaker, I would want to believe that the Hon Majority Leader would not offer any tutorials to the Hon Minister for Finance. Let him look at me straight and not -- [Laughter.]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5 p.m.
Hon Member, do you want to trample upon the rights of the Hon Majority Leader? [Laughter.]
MrKyei-Mensah-Bonsu 5 p.m.
No,Mr Speaker, I do not. But you see, it is not even right; it is unparliamentary for the Hon Majority Leader to turn his back at the Chair. [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, I guess the Hon Minister would need to inform the House about the need for this, the status of the macro- economy, and in particular, the matter relating to the stock of arrears that we have which is intended to be addressed in the manner that the Hon Minister is proposing to us.
Mr Speaker, I thank you.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5 p.m.
Hon Minister, can you wind up and address some of these pertinent issues that have been raised?
Minister for Finance (Mr Seth E. Terkpeh) 5 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I wish to thank Hon Members for the lively debate. [Interruption.] I would like to state on the matter of “statutory fund arrears” --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5 p.m.
Can we some order, please? Order, order!
Mr Terkpeh 5 p.m.
I would like to state on the matter of “statutory fund arrears” that the payments are often made in arrears as required by law and, therefore, in calculating what is owed, simply calculating a percentage and saying that the amount is due, while true, may not necessarily mean that the payment itself is due.
This is because the payments are often made in arrears, either monthly or quarterly, and therefore, by the end of the year, with the strict definition of arrears as “amounts that are due for payment but not paid”, those amounts would not have been arrears until at the cash basis they are due for payment.
Mr Speaker, let me also clarify a point that by saying that the investments under the Stabilisation Fund were not returning as much as interest payments does not mean that there has been poor judgment.
Mr Speaker, the Petroleum Revenue Management Act specifies that the petroleum funds should be invested under the prudential requirements of the Bank of Ghana, which means that this House in its own wisdom directed the Committee on how those funds are to be invested.
What we are saying is that the Stabilisation Fund, unlike the Heritage Fund, has alternative uses provided a cap is fixed. In taking that decision, we took into account the fact that if we paid an element of it into a Debt Service Account, then we would be making debt. It by no means suggests, as the Hon Minority Leader suggested, that the Investment Committee did not make prudent decisions.
Indeed, the Investment Committee has been following the prudential requirements which the Petroleum Revenue Management Act requires that they follow.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 5 p.m.
Mr Speaker, first of all, the stock of arrears that we spoke about is up to the third quarter; it is not based on the projections that is the last quoted. If it was based on the projections, the Hon Minister for Finance would be right. We are talking about the current status, so let him do that reconciliation. Mr Speaker, that is the first point.
The other point which relates to the investment -- Mr Speaker, may I draw the attention of the Hon Minister to section 25. Section 25 of the Act provides --
“The Minister shall develop an investment policy.”
He has that remit, but he tells us that it is for Parliament. It is he the Hon Minister responsible for Finance, he formulates the investment policy. So if it is not yielding dividends, ultimately, he bells the cat. Mr Speaker, that is it.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5 p.m.
Very well, point well taken.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved:
That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢16,938,746,546 for the services of the Other Government Obligations for the year ending 31st December, 2014.
Dr Kunbuor 5 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we take the items in the Addendum.
PAPERS 5 p.m.

Dr Kunbuor 5 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we take item number 2 on the Addendum.
MOTIONS 5 p.m.

Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 5 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg 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 Government of Ghana's 2014 Eurobond Programme may be moved today.
Dr A. A. Osei 5:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, yesterday, I believe the Chair ruled that a reason should be given for moving this type of Motion. So I just wanted him to give the reasons.
Mr Avedzi 5:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the reason for the suspension of this Order is that the report has just been laid, it is not forty- eight hours yet, but we want to take the Motion.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:10 p.m.
Is there any reason for any urgency?
Mr Avedzi 5:10 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker. The reason is that we want to move this Motion today, so that tomorrow, we can have only two items to handle.
Dr Kunbuor 5:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I guess that this Eurobond issue is a very, very significant component of the Financial Policy that has been adopted. And we intend that the Appropriation Bill would be taken tomorrow. Once the Appropriation Bill is taken, all matters that are consequential for the implementation should not be lagging behind and that is why we want to take this first step before we reach the Appropriation Bill.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:10 p.m.
All right. The Hon Ranking Member?
Dr A. A. Osei 5:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I second the Motion. [Uproar!]
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Relsoved accordingly
MOTIONS 5:10 p.m.

Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 5:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Finance Committee on the Government of Ghana's 2014 Eurobond Programme.
Mr Speaker, in doing so, I present your Committee's Report.
Introduction
The request for approval of 2014 Government of Ghana's Eurobond Programme was presented to Parliament on Monday, 16th December, 2013 and accordingly referred to the Finance Committee for consideration and report pursuant to Order 171 of the Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
The Committee met with the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr Seth Terkpeh, Deputy Ministers for Finance, Hon Cassiel Ato Forson and George Kweku Ricketts-Hagan and officials of the Ministry of Finance and deliberated on the request.
The Committee is grateful to the Hon Ministers and officials from the Ministry of Finance for attending upon it.
Reference
The Committee referred to the following additional documents during its deliberations:
i. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana;
ii. The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana;
iii. Loans Act, 1970, Act 335
Background
The Government in the 2014 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government indicated a number of initiatives aimed at fiscal consolidation to maintain growth. These initiatives require financial resources to accelerate infrastructure development under the Government's Medium-Term Investment Plan. Further, the debt strategy outlined
in the 2014 Budget indicates that Government will continue to look for market opportunities to reduce debt service costs. Ghana needs to diversify her sources of funding for major infrastructure development by tapping the global bond market.
The reasons for the initiative include dwindling access to concessional funds as a result of attainment of the lower middle income status and opportunities to borrow at much lower cost on the international markets compared to the domestic market. The new strategy was given expression in the 2013 Eurobond transaction which saw the issuing of US$1,000 million for cash and an early redemption of part of the earlier Ghana 2017 bond.
Market participants are favourably impressed with Ghana's recent economic growth and future prospects. Global appetite for Government of Ghana bonds has been amply illustrated in the recent massive oversubscription of the Government of Ghana's domestic and international bonds. In view of the need to accelerate infrastructure development in the country, and to reduce debt service costs as part of fiscal consolidation, the Government's 2014 Eurobond Programme is presented for Parliament's consideration and approval.
Purpose of the Issue and Indicative Utilisation
The purpose of the bond issue, among others, is to continue the diversification of the country's sources of funding. The indicative utilisation of the 2014 Eurobond is as follows:
The financing of capital invest- ments in the Budget;
Counterpart funding;
Refinancing of both domestic and international debt in order to save on debt service costs; and
The financing of self-financing projects.
Components of the Programme
The components of the programme are as follows:
A ceiling of up to US$1,000 million for general budget purposes with an option to increase the issue to US$1,500 million in favourable market conditions with the additional amount targeted at the refinancing of more expensive domestic and international debt; and
A further US$1,000 million under a two-year master registration that can be tapped for specific projects as and when specific self-financing projects are ready for execution and subject to Parliamentary approval of the relevant project documents.
Observations
Justification for the Current Ceiling
Justifying the 2014 ceiling of up to US$1,000 million with an option to increase to US$1,500 million in favourable market conditions, the Minister indicated that the ceiling of US$1,000 million for the 2013 Eurobond turned out to be inflexible.
The Minister explained that given the size of the oversubscription, Ghana could have expanded the exchange offer to about US$300 million to enable it roll over a larger amount of the Ghana 2017 bond into the new Ghana 2023 bond. Further, the country could have refinanced more
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 5:10 p.m.


domestic debt at competitive rates. The Minister, accordingly, requested Parliament to attach an option to the approval that allows Government to exceed the prescribed ceiling by US$500 million in the event of an oversubscription. The Minister indicated that a report would be submitted to Parliament immediately after to justify the excess.

The Committee however, was of the view that since the 2014 Budget Statement only captures the US$1,000 million, there was the need for the Minister for Finance to adjust the 2014 bond ceiling to US$ 1,500 million to be properly captured in the 2014 Appropriation Act. This, in the view of the Committee, will give the needed flexibility to the Ministry to expand the exchange offer to US$1,500 million in event of favourable market conditions.

Indicative Utilization of the Proceeds

The Committee was informed that the Ministry intends to apply part of the proceeds from the issue to finance capital projects in the 2014 Budget Statement. Part will also be used to refinance existing maturing short -term debt instruments and also to swap existing external debt to reduce the cost of debt servicing. The indicative utilization of the 2014 Eurobond has been identified as follows:

i. Counterpart Funding for projects already approved (US$150 million);

ii. Capital Expenditures in the 2014 Budget Statement with priority given to self-financing projects (US$450 million);

iii. Re-financing of maturing domestic debt to reduce the cost of borrowing (US$150 million);

iv. Partial and gradual redemption of the Ghana 2017 Eurobond (US$250.00 million).

Though the Committee is aware that the proposed utilisation of the proceeds is indicative and the mix may change, it urges the Minister to ensure that there is value for money and the proceeds used for the intended purpose.

Medium-Term Note Programme

The Committee was informed that in addition to the proposed issue of US$1,500 million for general budget purposes, Government intends to issue specific Eurobonds to finance specific projects. The Committee was further informed that these Eurobond issues will be offered under a “Medium-Term Note (MTN) Programme which is designed to enable issuers to offer debt securities on a regular and/or continuous basis.

It was explained that under the MTN Programme, Ghana can tap the market as and when needed and across the maturity spectrum which will make it possible for Ghana to file a master set of documents for the duration of the programme.

It was also indicated that Government intends to use the MTN only for self- financing projects. Indicative projects includes inland ports; Tema and Takoradi Port expansion; Urban railway (Accra and Takoradi); Airport City Development (Tamale and Prampram); and Energy Sector Infrastructure. Fully prepared projects together with feasibility studies and implementation plans will however be submitted to Parliament before the MTN financing is accessed.

Though the Committee appreciates Government's desire to accelerate the infrastructural development of the country, it holds the view that the MTN component of the programme could not be approved. This is because the

indicative projects as outlined require detailed feasibility studies and critical parliamentary scrutiny which could not be guaranteed due to time constraint. Further, the programme is intended to be sourced in 2015-2017 and financing could only be accessed after parliamentary approval.

This, the Committee believes will allow the Ministry ample time to undertake the needed feasibility studies to ascertain the economic viability of the projects. Parliament will also have considerable time to scrutinise the programme.

Reason for the Issue

Giving the reason for the issue, the Minister stated that interest rates have edged up since Ghana closed its last Eurobond transaction in August, 2013 and experts are predicting that the rates will continue to edge upwards as the United States of America economy picks up and the tapering of quantitative easing becomes a reality.

According to the Minister, current market conditions suggest that Ghana can access the market today with interest rates in the range of 8.5 per cent - 9 per cent which is lower than the current domestic interest rate of 19 per cent. The 2013 transaction interest rate was given as 7.875 per cent.

Lessons from previous Eurobond Transactions

Touching on the lessons learnt, the Minister indicated that Ghana has learned some important lessons from past Eurobond transactions which have informed the current and future Eurobond transactions. According to the Minister, the experiences have suggested a more proactive and consistent engagement with investors as practiced by active

Eurobond issuers and more recently African issuers such as Nigeria, South Africa and Botswana. It was added that during the Eurobond road show, many investors expressed the desire to engage more often in order that they could have an accurate picture of developments in Ghana.

It was explained that a more active engagement with investors and more frequent issues will grow the appetite for Ghana's debt and facilitate the distribution of future Eurobonds.

Timing of the Issue

Commenting on the timing of the issue, the Minister stated that Ghana missed a low interest rate borrowing window which effectively ended on June 19, 2013, when the United States (U.S.) Federal Reserve Chairman, Robert Bernanke, signalled a possible tapering of quantitative easing. According to the Minister, Zambia, with the same rating as Ghana, went to the market in September, 2012 and issued a 10-year bond at 5.625 per cent.

Also Rwanda, with a lower credit rating than Ghana went to the market in May, 2013 and issued a 10-year bond at 6.875 per cent. This, the Minister explained, indicates that Ghana could have issued in the 5-7 per cent area had it gone to the market two months earlier.

The Minister added that Ghana's delay in going to the market was primarily because of the demanding internal processes including a six-week procurement exercise to engage transaction advisors in accordance with the Public Procurement Act and the need for parliamentary approval. In addition, Ghana's prospectus had not been updated since the 2007 transaction.
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 5:10 p.m.


To improve the processes and position the country to tap the market opportunistically, the Minister proposed the following procedures:

Cutting down on the procurement time for the recruitment of transaction advisors which took about six-weeks. Frequent Eurobond issuers usually preselect a panel of Lead Managers, Co- managers, International Counsel and Local Counsel who can be mobilized on short notice for a transaction;

Seeking parliamentary approval as part of the annual budget approval process so that the Eurobond transactions are pre-approved through the budget;

Updating the key documents (especially the Prospectus) on an ongoing basis so as to be in a regular state of readiness; and

Working with the Bank of Ghana and the Attorney-General's Department to prepare for more regular issues in the Eurobond market by institutionalizing the Capital Market Committees as a permanent Committee to plan and manage Eurobond transactions.

Provisional statement on the use of proceeds of the 2013 Eurobond

The Committee was informed that, a total amount of US$741,995,085.43 (Net of Redemption of 2007 Bonds) was realised from the 2013 Bond issue.
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 5:20 p.m.
The amount was to be expended as follows:
US$
Redemption of maturing 3-year Bonds -- 340,844,190.59
Capital Expenditure and Counterpart Funds -- 401,150,894.84 (GH¢7,94,278,771.78)
Total -- 741,995,085.43
Detailed expenditure of the Capital Expenditure and the Counterpart Funds is attached as appendix 1.
Conclusion
The Committee has carefully examined the request and realized that the bond issue will help raise the needed funds to accelerate infrastructural projects and continue the redemption of the Ghana 2017 Bond as well as refinance the maturing domestic debts. The Committee therefore respectfully recommends to the House to adopt its Report and approve the Request for approval of 2014 Government of Ghana's Eurobond
Programme up to one billion United States dollars (US$1 Billion) with the option of expanding to one billion and five hundred million United States Dollars (US$1,500 million) in the event of favourable market conditions and report back to Parliament in the form of Supplementary appropriation whenever the option is exercised in accordance with article 181 of the 1992 Constitution, section 7 of the Loans Act, 1970, (Act 335) and Order 171 of the Standing Orders of the House.
Respectfully submitted.

Ranking Member of the Committee (Dr Anthony A. Osei): Mr Speaker, as we discuss this Report, I think it is very important for people to understand what we are doing. Sometimes when it is getting late, we tend to close our ears, but we would have taken decisions. First and foremost, the Hon Minister is asking for approval to borrow US$1 billion next year, not this year. This is on the back of the US$1 billion we borrowed this year.

So the first question we want to ask is, what happened to the US$1billion they borrowed this year? This is so that we can inform ourselves of what they are doing next year.

Mr Speaker, this is not cheap - US$1billion borrowed at 7.785 per cent. We used about US$250 million to retire the 2007 bond which was at 8.5 per cent. So, in terms of the differential, it makes sense - 220, I believe. What came to Ghana, Mr Speaker, was the equivalent of GH¢794 million of which GH¢340 million was to retire domestic bonds.

So, between external redemption and domestic redemption we are talking about approximately -- 240 plus 170 -- But actually, in terms of domestic bonds, what was due was about GH¢363 million in July and September. So, take it that we spent about US$600 million to retire some form of external debts. The reason is that if it is cheaper, then it is better at this rate. Now, let us look at what is left.

We are told that so far -- Remember, Parliament in approving this bond last year gave a list of items that the money ought to be spent on including the Bekwai Hospital, and Ash FM in Tafo Pampramno. Mr Speaker, so far, according to what the Hon Minister has given us, he has only spent GH¢298 million. That is about US$150 million. The project risk is huge.

Why has the money not been spent? We are in December. This is money that was disbursed almost after it was approved. There are projects in the making. People have been asking me all around about what happened. Mr Speaker, if the Hon Minister has borrowed to spend, let us spend it.

Otherwise, what is the reason for going to borrow an additional US$1 billion? So, until this money is disbursed -- Today, is 17th December. Please, the contractors are crying. The Hon Minister knows the list is here.

On the issue of counterpart funds, there may be complications so I cannot -- But they have paid GH¢65 million. It is the domestic capital expenditure which brings development that is lacking. So, please, when we leave here, go and put ink in your pen --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:20 p.m.
Hon Member, you can address the Hon Minister through me.
Dr A. A. Osei 5:20 p.m.
Sorry, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, I want you to encourage the Hon Minister to spend tonight putting ink in his pen to make sure that - - Mr Speaker, if I go through the list, you will be amazed. Almost every Hon Member here has a project in his or her constituency -- Hon Member for Ho, his thing is here. Upgrading of Tetteh-Quarshie is here. Mr Speaker, Cape Coast is here. Ave-Avenor -- Where is he? It is here.
Mr Speaker, please, we beg you. For us to be able to consider that it is worthwhile, we want to urge the Hon Minister to immediately -- This is because it is money that is in the Bank of Ghana. It is not earning any interest, but projects need to be implemented. Mr Speaker, if we can agree that he is going
Dr A. A. Osei 5:20 p.m.


to do that, then we can agree to consider if 2014 will be all right.

Mr Speaker, in 2014 -- And this is where Hon Members must be very, very careful. The Hon Minister indicates that if market conditions are favourable, he will want to do the same thing that he did this year. In their estimation, given what has happened, the rating agencies are downgrading us.

So, they anticipate; they are not saying that will happen but that the rate will be between 8.5 and 9.0 per cent. Mr Speaker, if that happens, then the market is not favourable.

So we should put in a condition that he should not borrow to retire the old debt at 8.5 per cent. This is because if he goes and meets it at 9.0 per cent -- I think it has to be clear. Hon Members must understand the decision we are taking. It says if markets are favourable. Then it will not make sense to borrow at 9.0 per cent to retire a debt at 8.5 or 7.8 per cent. So that when we take a decision, we know what it is that we are doing.

Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister intends to, as it were -- If we look at page 4, again, he is going to allocate US$150 million for counterpart funding. If we at the experience of 2013, it is clear that the issue of counterpart funding must be looked at. It is all right to programme, but because we are borrowing, if I think about 2013, that only GH¢65 million has been disbursed -- If we go and borrow at 9.0 per cent and just to wait till counterpart funds come, it will not be very useful.

So, the Hon Minister must look at the experience of 2013 and examine why we have paid only US$23 million at 7.8 per cent, the rest is still on our books. So, whether or not US$150 million may be the right amount, I think we ought to look at it.

The Hon Minister wants about US$150 million to refinance domestic debts and that depends on where interest rates are and depreciation.

Mr Speaker, the most important part for development is the US$450 million that the Hon Minister wants to borrow for capital spending. Unfortunately, the Hon Minister has not had the opportunity to provide us with the kind of list that he did the last time. I think it will be fair that when they do it, he should come back to us and give us a similar list so we can track --

Here, I think it will be all right to give the indicative approval, but we should insist that he should come back and give us a detailed list of all the projects so that we can follow and track them.

Mr Speaker, I think that given what Moodys, S&P and Fitch have written on Ghana, this is a very, very dicey situation. The markets, as he said, are very jittery. Anytime a rating agency downgrades a country, if you add on the fact that, as he himself said, everybody is wondering what the Federal Reserve Board is going to do, then we are heading towards a very dicey market.

So we urge the Hon Minister that if he is going to go, he should come back to us. Let us examine the conditions that he is going to use to go there, so we can offer some advice whether or not the markets are really favourable. If he is thinking about 8.5 to 9.0 per cent, then our advice will be; look locally to borrow because it might be cheaper.

So, this is indicative, it does not mean that he must necessarily go and borrow the $1billion.

Mr Speaker, with those words, I support the Motion.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:30 p.m.
Yes, Hon Minister, you would want to wind up?
Prof. Gyan-Baffour 5:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, this Eurobond issue is a very dangerous experiment that we are actually trying to go through. What the Minister is trying to tell us now is that, we should give him a blanket cheque to go out there and look for money to finance the Budget that we have approved. Whether he gets it or not, we have approved the Budget and he is telling us now, “Let me go and look for the money.”
Mr Speaker, this is very dangerous. The most dangerous aspect of it is that, he is actually telling us that we should let him hurry in and get transaction advisors to do this work. He knows very well that this thing takes about six weeks to do. Why would he want us to just make it two week or less? Why is he in a hurry? Why does he not go through the r ight processes?
Alhaji Sorogho 5:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would not under normal circumstances rise up against my Ranking Member. Please, I am shocked. This is a report which came to you; you referred it to the Select Committee; the Select Committee met, deliberated and came out with this Report.
In the Report, we are recommending that this is what we are saying; and then he gets up and says why is it not going through the right procedure? Which right procedure is he talking about? Mr Speaker, I am shocked.
Prof. Gyan-Baffour 5:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I think the temperature should go down. When you look at page 6, the Minister says:
“To improve the processes and positions or all that, we are trying to cut down on the procurement time for the recruitment of transaction advisors which took about six weeks to the previous one.”
They want to do it in a shorter time. What I am saying is that, that is a rush and we should not go through such a rush because we need to take our time to do this. This is about one point something billion US dollars and it is not something that we have to rush through just like that.
Mr Speaker, I was on the issue of what they are using these resources for. The first one is for counterpart funding. Counterpart funding of GH¢150 million - - When we go into what these counterpart funding things are -- Loans that were given to us by some Governments over the years, that we could not finance the 10 per cent component, which has nothing to do with national priorities; that is what we are going to use the money for.
These are what the counterpart funding is going to be used for -- Old stuffs that are in the pipeline; they are going to use the US$150 million for that.
Mr Speaker, the funny thing is that, we are borrowing money to pay for loans that we have already borrowed. We are borrowing to pay for borrowed money? We are borrowing in dollars to pay for Cedis?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:30 p.m.
Hon Member, I believe that Hon Dr Akoto Osei dealt with this particular issue. So to make some progress, let us move on to some other issue.
Prof. Gyan-Baffour 5:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, what I mean is that, they are borrowing money to refinance borrowed money -- [Interruption.]
Dr Kunbuor 5:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague is shocking me because he is an expert in this field. He knows that debt swaps are a very normal feature of managing your economy and reducing your level of exposure. So if you have had an amortization that exposes you to a particular level and you want to do a debt swap to reduce that level of exposure, I am not sure it is a crime in public financing.
Prof. Gyan-Baffour 5:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it is not a crime. But you see, you do not borrow money to go and pay borrowed money. You do not borrow money when you really need money for development that you are not doing. We have the roads lying out there; they cannot be financed and now, we are going to borrow huge money to pay for another borrowed money, that does not make sense.
We are using dollars to go and pay for cedis, that does not make economic sense. Yes, there are swaps, but you do not swap when it is not necessary to swap. That is exactly what I am saying, that you do not need to swap when you do not have to swap --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:30 p.m.
Hon Member, your point is made. Please, let us make some progress, otherwise -- What I am saying is that you keep repeating it, your point is well made; move to some other area.
Prof. Gyan-Baffour 5:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, in a developing nation like this, yes, we need to borrow, but we need to borrow for development, not to borrow to pay for
debts; this is uncalled for. When we have resources from oil, we are going to put it in a sinking fund and then we are going to borrow money. What kind of mess is that? Mr Speaker, this is messy and the Minister for Finance should really understand that you do not handle an economy like this.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:30 p.m.
Hon Minister, can you wind up?
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:30 p.m.
Very well, Hon Minority Leader and then the Hon Minister.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 5:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker
-- 5:30 p.m.

Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:30 p.m.
Hon Minority Leader, you have the floor, please, proceed.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 5:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the business that we are handling this evening is a very serious one. By this singular act, we are giving a blank cheque to the Minister responsible for Finance to go out there and borrow to the tune of US$1.5 billion.
Mr Terkpeh 5:30 p.m.
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, I just wish to state for the avoidance of doubt that the Budget we are approving also has programme and project loans that are going to be
disbursed beyond the one year period for this Budget, and therefore, a bond, to the extent that it is a loan, is equivalent to the project and programme loans which we have listed in the Budget for approval by the House.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 5:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, any Budget has a life line and that is the predictability that is given to the project or programme. Yes, we may have a rolling budget -- Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) (1), (2) and (3); but the figure that he gave to us established in his Budget -- He told us just yesterday, that they are indicative. They give us mere indications; they are indicative of what is intended to be done.
Mr Speaker, it is not for nothing that we have this provision in the Constitution. Article 179 (1) provides, and with your permission, I beg to quote:
“The President shall cause to be prepared and laid before Parliament at least one month before the end of the financial year, estimates of the revenues and expenditure of the Government of Ghana for the following financial year.”
Mr Speaker, that is constitutional, that is what we are dealing with. The Hon Minister may go beyond one year, two years, as indications. What we are doing today is in respect of article 179 (1) of the Constitution and let the Hon Minister contradict me on this, that what we are doing has nothing to do with article 179
(1).
It is for the following financial year and that is why the title of his own Budget Statement which he presented here on behalf of the President indicates -- The
Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government of Ghana for the 2014 Financial Year. Mr Speaker, so what is wrong with what I have said?
Mr Speaker, as for my Hon Friend Alhaji Muntaka, I will ignore him. If you do not want to be heard, do not talk.
Mr Speaker, article 179 (8) of the Constitution further provides that 5:40 p.m.
“Where, in respect of a financial year, it is found that the amount of moneys appropriated by the Appropriation Act for any purpose is insufficient or that a need has arisen for expenditure for a purpose for which no sum of moneys has been appropriated by that Act, a supplementary estimate showing the sum of money required, shall be laid before Parliament for its approval.”
Mr Speaker, there is this clear, unambiguous and succinct provision in the Constitution to take care of any anticipations beyond the budget life line of one year. The danger in this provision is that the Hon Minister is seeking parliamentary approval as part of the Annual Budget approval process so that the Eurobond transactions are pre-approved; they are pre-approved by Parliament.
That is the danger in what we are doing because the Eurobond is a loan and the Constitution provides that to the extent that it is a loan, the terms and conditions of that loan must be laid before Parliament and be approved by a Resolution. It is not for nothing that we have that clear provision in the Constitution.
So if he says that we should give him a blank cheque to go gallivanting around the globe to look for this US$1.5 billion, it is dangerous and an affront on the authority of Parliament, and I think this should be resisted. [Hear! Hear!] I think this should be resisted.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:40 p.m.
Hon Member, please address the Chair.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 5:40 p.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
I think that this resort is not the best of vehicles opened to us. The Hon Minister has given us an indication about what is intended to be done. But I think this clearly is not the resort that Parliament must apply itself to and give approval, prior approval, pre-approval, as the Hon Minister is indicating to us, for the contraction of US$1.5 billion.
It is not the best and as far as I am concerned, Parliament should resist this temptation of leading this country further into a debt trap. Mr Speaker, I am not sure that this is the way to deal with it.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
Dr Kunbuor 5:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, under normal circumstances, I did not want to get involved in the controversy in relation to these debates on Estimates. But
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 5:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I hate to do this but I will implore the Majority Leader, anytime he has the floor, to tidy his language before he talks. I have listened to him; this kind of construction -- I told him the other -- As our eldest say, we all have red coloured spittle in our mouth but we are careful and circumspect in throwing out white spittle. Anybody can decide to be very rough as far as language is concerned. He must take a cue.[Interruption.]
Dr Kunbuor 5:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am particularly very happy that anytime a hatchet man sees somebody carrying a pin, he believes that it is intended to be used against him. [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, I have heard words being used on this floor by the Hon Minority Leader about people gallivanting with a clean sheet. How else can somebody who is a Finance Minister of a sovereign country be gallivanting? But we thought it was on the lighter side.
But what I am saying is a fact, that I do not want us to go down that road and every lawyer who understands his interpretation will tell you that the simplest
word in a legislation is the most difficult to give a meaning to. That is why I want to draw your attention to the essentials of article 179 which is talking about revenues and expenditure in the budget year. By what stretch of imagination can revenue and expenditures be described as programmes emanating from the budget? That is why my explanation is that within one year, you must lay before this House, revenue and expenditure.
As to the programmes that are going to emanate from the expenditure coming from those revenues, it does not have to be within one year. That is why I am asking that, what is the authority for saying that every budget is automatically a one-year affair in terms of programmes. This is where I have the problem.
Mr Speaker, we did approve a budget in this House for a major development project like Bui, which was around 2006. Bui it is only going to be commissioned on Thursday. Was that for one year? So I am saying that, let us divorce the revenue and expenditure matters from the programmes that emanate from it. That is not what article 179 of the Constitution is saying.
But Mr Speaker, on a more serious note, what I want us to understand as even elementary students of finance, particularly international finance is, let us be very careful. We have seen the shift in the global arrangements, particularly, when an economy moves into middle income status. You already know that your traditional source of funding is no more available or it is available at a higher cost.
You have a peculiar domestic problem in Ghana. I have heard arguments on this floor in which they say Government is competing in the domestic market with the private sector and that is making the cost of capital expensive.
The Government is going to the international market and that too is a problem. [Interruption.] Please. Mr Speaker, I am taking this Eurobond Programme more seriously --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:50 p.m.
Order, order.
Dr Kunbuor 5:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I intend to go back to the exposure level of any economy. You know and I am sure Hon Dr Akoto Osei knows, that your level of exposure would determine your own credit worthiness in the future. So if you have been exposed in Eurobond in 2007 and you want to actually swap that debt through another debt facility to make your exposure a bit more palatable, that one too is a problem? [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, I do not get involved --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:50 p.m.
Order, order,
Dr Kunbuor 5:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I never want to get involved in politicising the economy because I know that, that is one of the most dangerous things to do. I can say for sure that I was the Ranking Member for the Finance Committee in this House. I know what I said for which I regret today, and I do not intend that any Hon Member should go down that line.
This economy, hundred years down the line, would be available for government after government. That is why, regardless of wherever you are, we must make sure that the economic fundamentals of this country are right.
I thought that we would have been told that the issue of this Eurobond affects our economic fundamentals and then we can engage in that argument. But I have so far
Dr A. A. Osei 5:50 p.m.
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, the Hon Majority Leader made mention of the fact that I should know. [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, that Naabu guy -- [Laughter.] Mr Speaker, call him and let Naabu speak.
Mr Speaker, I would want to draw the Hon Majority Leader's attention to the issue that he was trying to address himself to.
He said if you are going out to borrow in the international capital market, is it a problem? Mr Speaker, he should read page
5 --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:50 p.m.
Hon Member, I believe that was a rhetorical question.
Dr A. A. Osei 5:50 p.m.
No.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:50 p.m.
It was a rhetorical question. So Hon Member, I do not want us to drag this debate on and on.
Dr A. A. Osei 5:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I just want to remind him that it would be a problem if the market is between 8.5 and 9 per cent. That is why we are talking about it.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:50 p.m.
Very well. Your point is well made. Hon Majority Leader, please begin to wind up.
Dr Kunbuor 5:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I remember what I said exactly. What I said was that -- “I am sure Hon Dr Akoto Osei knows that when you are going out to borrow with a bad level of exposure, it is not a good
thing and that if you reduce your level of exposure and go to borrow, is it bad?” This was the statement that I made.
Anyway, Mr Speaker, I believe that this topic is very, very important because the whole idea of Eurobond is not child's play, and I think that we must get the Hon Minister for Finance to bring back a matter of this nature so that, in this House, we engage the issues of the essentials of the Eurobonds as against other financial facilities in the capital market.
It is there that we can interrogate Eurobonds any time they are introduced. There are other alternatives in the capital market, but I am sure those in that field know why you go for Eurobonds.
I rest my case, Mr Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:50 p.m.
Hon Members, initially, I thought that I would allow the Hon Minister to wind up. The way tensions are rising, I do not think it would be necessary for him to wind up. I will put the Question.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
RESOLUTIONS 5:50 p.m.

Minister for Finance (Mr Seth Terkpeh) 5:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that
WHEREAS by the provisions of article 181 of the Constitution and section 7 of the Loans Act, 1970 (Act 335), the terms and conditions of any loan raised by the Government of Ghana on behalf of itself or any public institution or authority shall not come in to operation unless the said terms and conditions have been laid before
Parliament and approved by Parliament by a Resolution supported by the votes of a majority of all Members of Parliament;
BY THE PROVISIONS of section 5 (1) of Act 335, the Minister responsible for Finance may issue the necessary bonds, promissory notes or any other instruments and on the terms and conditions that are necessary for the purpose of giving effect to the terms of a loan agreement entered into;
BY THE PROVISIONS of section 11 (1) of Act 335, Parliament may by Resolution approve standard terms and conditions of agreements for the purposes of a loan up to the limits that Parliament may by Resolution prescribe;
IN ACCORDANCE with the provisions of the Constitution and the Loans Act, 1970 (Act 335) at the request of the Government of Ghana acting through the Minister responsible for Finance, there has been laid before Parliament a Government of Ghana's 2014 Eurobond Programme.
NOW THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the said article 181 of the Constitution and sections 5 (1), 7 and 11(1) of the Loans Act 1970 (Act 335) this House approves the Government of Ghana's 2014 Eurobond Programme.
Mr James K. Avedzi 5:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:50 p.m.
Hon Members, it is procedural. I will put the Question.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Dr Kunbuor 5:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, given the length of time we have, we would want to crave your indulgence to go back to the original Order Paper and take up item number 5.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:50 p.m.
Item number 5 -- Presentation and First Reading of Bills. Hon Minister for Finance?
BILLS -- FIRST READING 5:50 p.m.

Dr Kunbuor 5:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would leave the House in your hands.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:50 p.m.
Very well. Hon Members, at this stage, the proceedings stand adjourned to tomorrow at ten o'clock in the forenoon.
Thank you for your co-operation.
ADJOURNMENT 5:50 p.m.