Debates of 28 Feb 2014

PRAYERS 11:05 a.m.


Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon Members, Correction of Votes and Proceedings of Thursday, 27th February, 2014.
Mr Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, sorry for taking you back to page 2. I was in the Chamber yesterday but I have been marked as being absent.
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Very well.
Table Office to take note.

Hon Members, the Votes and Proceedings of Thursday, 27th February, 2014 as corrected, be adopted as the true record of proceedings.

Hon Members, Business Statement for the 6th Week. Item number 3 on the Order Paper, Hon Chairman of the Business Committee.

Mr Isaac K. Asiamah 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it has been scheduled that, we are going to begin the debate next week, but as we speak, Hon Members have still not been served with copies of the Address and I am wondering when we are going to get copies, so that we can prepare adequately for the debates. We still do not have the copies.
I do not know whether we have discussed this Motion, that this Honourable House thanks—my concern
is the word “thanks”. We have been using it over the years, but I think the time has come for us to rethink about the use of the word “thanks”. Whether it is most appropriate because --
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon Member, are you debating the Motion? When we get there, we would know what to do.
Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader, the Hon Member has raised a very important point. He said copies of the Address are not ready, and yet you have programmed to start debates on Tuesday.
Mr Agbesi 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the copies of the Address of the President are to be given to Hon Members and it is hoped that by the close of today, the copies would be available to be distributed. As and when they are available, they would be given to Hon Members.But we hope that by the close of the day, everybody would have a copy.
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, what is your response? As and when it is available, or it would be available today? Which is which?
Mr Agbesi 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, as and when it is available today, but as we are speaking, it is not yet available. Before the close of day, it would be available to Hon Members and that is my response, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon Members, ordinarily we need to get the Address to kick-start the debate.This is a very important point Hon Isaac K. Asiamah has raised. I do not know whether the Business Committee would want to look at that. What happens if by the close of day, they do not have it? What happens? Are you moving the Motion on Tuesday? In my view, that is the most important point.
Dr Richard K. Anane 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, a little over two weeks ago, I moved a Motion on the termination of the capitation grant in Ashanti Region. Mr Speaker, you directed that, Leadership meets to come up with a consensus Motion. This has been done, but what I found was that, it was not listed last week, that is for this week and it has not been listed for next week. I am at a loss why this is happening. So, Mr Speaker, I would want direction on this.
Thank you.
Mr John Gyetuah 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, there were certain Questions that were advertised on the Order Paper of last Friday, 21st February, 2014. But because of lack of quorum, those Questions were not answered. May I find out from the Hon Deputy Majority Leader whether they would be rescheduled to be answered next two weeks?
Mr Agbesi 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I did not get his question, if he can --
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
The point was that, last week Friday, some Questions were listed but because of lack of quorum, those Questions were not taken on the floor of the House.
What is the state of affairs with regard to those Questions?
Mr Agbesi 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we have already informed Hon Members that, those Questions would be rescheduled and re-programmed for Hon Ministers to answer. So, we would have the debate on the State of Nation Address next week. After that, all Questions would be re- programmed for Hon Members to ask.
Again on the issue raised by the Hon Member for Nhyiaeso, the matter is with Leadership. Hon Leaders are in consul-
tation and they would let the Hon Member know as soon as possible.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Member for Nhyiaeso, you are right that I directed that Leadership should look at this matter.
Unfortunately, the Hon Majority Leader and the Hon Minority Leader are not available now. Next week, they would be in the House, so that we can resolve the issue with regard to the Motion.
I know a lot of work has been done on this matter and they are giving me some briefing. So, let them come and we would conclude and find a time to fix it for debate.
Dr Anane 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am a bit concerned. The reason is, I do know that the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) is as of now going round the country. I do know that they have been to the Northern Region. Unfortunately, the kinds of statements that are being made are statements that should not be accepted and tolerated, especially, pushing the blame on the failure of the capitation grant and on so-called private practitioners in Ashanti Region. That is why I think it is very necessary that we have this --
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Member for Nhyiaeso, the draft that was shown to me in my Lobby, the Hon Majority Leader was part of that Motion. That is why I said early on that, they are not in the jurisdiction now. Let them return and then we can find space and take it .
Dr Anane 11:15 a.m.
Very well, Mr Speaker.
Dr Anthony A. Osei 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it is true that our Hon Leaders are out of the jurisdiction. But I hope we are not getting into a habit to suggest that when the two leaders are out, parliamentary business -
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Member for Old Tafo, I clarified the situation by saying
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.

that Hon Benjamin Kunbuor was supposed to be the seconder or so of what was shown to me. This is something which was handled at the Leadership level. So, the person who is going to second the Motion is not available. It creates its own challenges.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am well aware of that, but I thought that they would have passed on the information just like he is the Hon Chairman of the Business Committee and he is not here and we are conducting business.
I am just suggesting that, we should build that habit, so that unlike the Executive, when the Hon Minister is not there, the Hon Deputy Minister is --
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
The draft that was shown to me, they put Hon Benjamin Kunbuor as the seconder of the Motion. He happens also to be the Hon Leader but it stands not in the name of the Majority Leader.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:15 a.m.
Nevertheless, another issue on the Business Statement. As I recall, Mr Speaker, on item number 3, when I made the proposal, this was my proposal. However, the decision of the House was to retain 20 minutes for the mover and the seconder of the Motion. That was the decision of the House.
Now, the Business Committee appears to be usurping the powers of the House and trying to recommend 15 minutes. The decision of the House was 20 minutes each for the mover and the seconder. My proposal is what is in the Business Statement, but that is not the decision that was taken. So, why is the Business Committee trying to change the decision of the House?
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Member for Old Tafo, it is now that we are scheduling
business for next week. So, if any discussion took place last week, it could not have been a decision on the business for next week. We are now making decision on business for next week.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:15 a.m.
The Hon First Deputy Speaker who sat in the Chair gave a ruling. So, if he did -- I am assuming that when the Speaker gives a ruling, then it is the decision of the House. That was what we did.
Now, if this is the practice of the House that, when the Speaker rules and the Business Committee finds itself in a position to overrule it --
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
I am not overruling it.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:15 a.m.
No, I said the Business Committee overruling it or varying it, then, we are heading towards dangerous grounds.
Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, so many people got up that day and suggested how the time should be allotted. He was one of them. At the close of the day, there was no vote on what decision was to be made. As you know, we do not adopt our Business Statement by a Motion. It is the comments we make that are incorporated.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, for his information, I cannot be the seconder of the Motion. My point is that, when the
Hon Deputy Majority Leader brought this, I made the proposal for the consideration of the House and the Hon Majority Leader talked a bit and said they may change it. Then the Hon First Deputy Speaker said he would agree that the House was going to keep 20 minutes each for the mover and the seconder, and the other Hon Members get ten minutes each. That was the Hon First Deputy Speaker. What I proposed is what is in the Business Statement, which was decided on by the House.
So, I am not usurping their power. I am just wondering what informed them after that decision to come with this new recommendation. That is all. The Hon First Deputy Speaker is here and he can confirm authoritatively that, this was what he said.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Members, the Business Committee is proposing 15 minutes. The House is a master of its own procedures. So we can take a decision on it. That is the proposal which is coming from the Business Committee. We are masters of our own procedures in this matter.
Mr Alexander K. Afenyo-Markin 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am on my feet to seek your guidance on a matter.
Mr Speaker, you have just ruled that copies of the State of the Nation Address be made available for Hon Members to make a good debate --
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
I have not made any ruling.
Mr Afenyo-Markin 11:15 a.m.
Then, the Hon Deputy Majority Leader has assured the House that, by the close of business today, we are going to have copies of the Address by the President to enable us debate it properly, come next week.
Mr Speaker, there is yet another challenge that must also be addressed holistically, so that Hon Members would be able to debate properly. That is the attitude of the Hon Minister for Finance.
Just as we are getting that assurance, Mr Speaker, if the Hon Deputy Majority Leader can also assure us of a positive attitude of the Hon Minister for Finance, to enable us do the needful on Tuesday.
Mr Speaker, I can see a lot of empty chairs and there must be that attitudinal change, so that come Tuesday, it is not only the Papers, but all the factors --
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Member for Effutu, you are out of order.
Mr Domic B. A. Nitiwul 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, though you have ruled the Hon Member out, he is right. The Hon Minister for Finance needs to release the resources, especially, those meant for the districts and the health insurance. It is very important. That is the point the Hon Member is trying to make.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
But did he mention that?
Mr Nitiwul 11:25 a.m.
No, he did not expand it, but that is the point he is trying to make. That the Hon Minister for Finance needs to ensure that, the resources that are meant for the districts go there. This is because, the Hon Members of Parliament are suffering.
Seriously, there is so much pressure on Hon Members of Parliament because of that.
Mr Speaker, I would want to go back on the point that Hon Asiamah raised. You asked the Hon Deputy Majority Leader to comment on it briefly. I just came from outside, we do not need to change the Tuesday date, especially, because we have the Hansard of 25th February, 2014.

It is unfortunate that three days after the event, we still do not have the real copies of the Address. It is unfortunate; I cannot understand the attitude of the people who are supposed to help the President. It is just unfortunate. I do not know whether it is their attitude to Parliament that they do not care. I do not know whether they do not respect Parliament.

Mr Speaker, I do not know whether it is the job that they do not know, or it is just, -- I would not use the word ‘ignorant'.

Mr Speaker, it is unfortunate; it is not good at all. They should note that, when this House grinds to a halt, the work of the Executive would also grind to a halt. We are helping the Government move forward. So, for the President to come to this House and Members of Parliament would want to debate the Address, they are not even prepared after three or four days to bring -- I am really surprised. But we would do it with what is in the Hansard for Tuesday. So, I would say that we do not need to vary it for Tuesday, we would prepare ourselves for Tuesday so that we can have time to be able to do that.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Hon Minister for Information and Media Relations, can you help us? You speak for Government, Hon Members do not have copies of the President's State of the Nation Address.
Mr Mahama Ayariga 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, my understanding is that, as far back as yesterday, Hon Members were supposed to get their copies while we roll out the one for the general public. So, I am also quite surprised that it is not yet ready. I assure you that while proceedings are ongoing, I would call the printers and then find out what is happening and then let you know.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Very well.
Mr Asamoah Ofosu 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not think that, this is an explanation which Hon Members should really take.
Mr Speaker, the Daily Graphic and other newspapers have already started serialising the President's State of the Nation Address, so where did they get it from? Mr Speaker, we are supposed to debate this Address from next week; so if today is Friday and we have not got it, Saturday, Sunday and Monday we would be out of this premises, what are we supposed to do next week when we come?
Mr Ayariga 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I have just received very reliable confirmation that, in the next one hour they would be delivered to this House.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Are you giving assurance to the House?
Mr Ayariga 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, to the extent that, I can rely on the phone call that I have made, I am giving assurance to this House that, in the next one hour it would be delivered to this House.
Mr Isaac K. Asiamah 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I think the fundamental issue here is that, the Address belongs to the people of Ghana whenever it is delivered. It is not only Parliament that is supposed to get it, that was why I raised the issue. So, if the copies are not made available to the general public, it is unfair. We need to have it all right, but my deputy Leader tried to say that, we could use whatever is contained here.
Mr Speaker, I disagree with him because, that document is for Ghana-- it is for Ghanaians, therefore Ghanaians need to have access to that publication, that was why I raised the issue.
Mr Speaker, it is unprecedented that three to four days after that Address, Ghana cannot have it. Mr Speaker, that is unfair.
Mr Ayariga 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I have given every assurance that, in the next one hour, the copies would be presented to the Clerk's office and then made available to Hon Members.
Mr Speaker, while we are not excited about the fact that there has been some delay in making the printed copies available, the truth of the matter is that, this House has made copies available to every Member of the House. The Hansard is the official record of the communication that was delivered by the President to this House and the Hansard is available to every single Member of this House.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Hon Minister, you know from experience that, at times there would be something in the Hansard that might be different from the official publication from the Presidency. This is because, the only person that can genuinely correct it, is the President who is not a member of this House. We have situations where what has been captured by the Hansard might be different from what is in the State of the Nation Address. That is why for the avoidance of doubt, we need the State of the Nation Address.
Mr Nitiwul 11:25 a.m.
Mr President, e-e-m Mr Speaker-- [Uproar.]
Mr Speaker, maybe, I hope I am not a soothsayer, but contained in the Hansard, if I were to go by what the President said are words like “we would not use “all die be die;” and “tweaa”, “are you my co- equal?” We are going to debate that; is that what he is looking for?
The President said here that “all die be die”, “Kuffuor gallons,” are you my co- equal; tweaa! -- [Laughter.] My Speaker, you banned “tweaa” but the President said “tweaa” so we would debate the “tweaa” here.
Alhaji Inusah A .B. Fuseini 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am quite sure that “tweaa” is
Dr Anthony A. Akoto Osei 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I just need your guidance on this matter. You asked, the Hon Minister for Information and Media Relations when we are going to get copies. As I recall, last year, the communication that we received came from the Communication Directorate of the Office of the President, not from the Ministry of Information. So, I am not sure you are asking the proper person why we do not have it.
The Hon Ben Dotse Mallor is supposed to be the Director of Communications. This is because, last year that is where it came from. So, if he is in charge, I think we should summon him here to come and tell us why he has not provided us with that.
MrAyariga 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I actually called my Colleagues at the Presidency to find out from them when it would be ready and they assured me that they have sent somebody in a working relationship setting to bring it. They have given me assurance that it would be here in the next one hour.
Mr Speaker, given that I said this about ten minutes ago, I believe that we are left with about 50 minutes so that it would arrive in this House.
Mr William O. Boafo 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am a bit worried about the intervention by the Hon Minister for Information and Media Relations. This is something which is to deal with Government Business in this House, and in the absence of the Majority Leader, who is also the one in charge of Government Business in the House, I think if there is any information about Government Business, that should have been channelled through the Deputy Majority Leader.

Mr Speaker, we have to straighten matters. This is a usurpation of the functions of the Leadership. He is not a member of the Business Committee; he is not in the Leadership; how can he assure this House?

Mr Speaker, if, we allow this it would be a precedent. I need your guidance.
Mr Agbesi 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, in the course of the consideration of the Business Statement, you called upon the Hon Minister for Information and Media Relations whether he could tell us the state of the copies of the State of the Nation Address. In that position, the Minister of State in charge of Information informed this House and gave an assurance that, within one hour the copies would be made available.
Mr Speaker, early on, a Member of the House had asked that, if the Minister for Finance gave an assurance and the Deputy Majority Leader is also giving an assurance, we would want to be sure that those assurances would be obeyed.

Since the printing is a human factor, and the Hon Minister for Information and Media Relations was on his feet before us, and has assured us that within one hour we are going to get copies. Mr Speaker, I would want to appeal to Hon Members that, this is sufficient fact; sufficient basis upon which we can say that, within one hour, we are going to get the copies delivered to Hon Members and that should bring this matter to a close for us to move on.

Mr Speaker, that is the position.
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of the consideration of the Business Statement for the Sixth Week Ending Friday, 7th March, 2014.
It is accordingly adopted.
STATEMENTS 11:35 a.m.

Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Hon Member, are you reading what has been presented to me? What you are reading seems to be different --
Maj. Oduro (retd): Not quite different.
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
That would be contrary to the rules of the House but I would allow you to proceed.
Major Oduro (retd): Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to proceed.
Mr Speaker, indeed, our independence story which would be told once again on
the 6th of March cannot be complete without recounting the incidence that transpired on that fateful day. The contribution by the ex-servicemen to Ghana's Independence cannot be over- emphasised in the political history of Ghana.
Mr Speaker, during the Second World War, the soldiers of the Gold Coast Regiment of the Royal West African Frontier Force fought alongside the allied forces. The Gold Coast Regiment were among the most decorated African soldiers, fighting alongside British troops in Burma. The ex-servicemen were promised pensions and jobs after the war.
However, the World War II veterans who had fought so gallantly and had received high commendation were demobilised after the war and paid a pittance by way of war gratuity of about one shilling a day. Jobs were scarce and their pensions were never disbursed. Several appeals made by the soldiers to the authorities fell on deaf ears.
Mr Speaker, on 28th February, 1948, the ex-servicemen together with other citizens of this country embarked on a peaceful march in an attempt to bring a petition to the Governor of the Gold Coast then, requesting the dispensation of promised pensions and other com- pensation for their valiant efforts during the war.
As the group marched towards the Governor's residence at Christiansborg Castle, they were stopped and confronted by the colonial police, who refused to let them pass.
The British Head of Police then, Superintendent Imray, ordered his troops to shoot at the protesters. Frustrated, Imray grabbed his weapon and ultimately
shot into the crowd, killing three former soldiers:
Sergeant Adjetey,
Corporal Attipoe, and
Private Odartey Lamptey.
Apart from the three ex-servicemen, a further sixty ex-servicemen were wounded. In response to this violence, the population of Accra erupted into five days of rioting, in which both Asian and European-owned stores and businesses were looted and more deaths occurred.
Mr Speaker, this incident which occurred on that fateful day, further fuelled anti-colonial movements to press the British Government to institute a committee to investigate the killings and general disorder.
The Committee recommended self- government for the Gold Coast. This subsequently led to the attainment of political independence for the country.
Mr Speaker, the essence of commemo rating the day has not only been to honour the gallant soldiers but to inculcate in generations after the incident, the virtues and values they stood for.
The ex-servicemen stood for justice, commitment, selflessness and dedication to national duty; integrity, the indepen- dence and freedom of the human race and above all, transparency and accoun- tability of those in leadership.
Their virtues and values represent important legacies that would propel our nation to greater heights. And we must cherish them and inculcate them in our young people.
Mr Speaker, as we celebrate them today, because of these virtues and values, the

question which comes to mind is, how have we, as a nation, lived these virtues and values. Do we still have citizens of our beloved country, who in their services to this nation would stand for these values and virtues, even at the peril of their lives? Your guesses are as good as mine.

Mr Speaker, as we commemorate this day, let us be inspired, as Ghanaians, to always champion the fight against injustice. We must not stand by unconcerned when injustice is being perpetuated. Our national motto - “Freedom and Justice” must reflect in our service to the nation.

Mr Speaker, the significant lesson that the political leadership of this country must learn from the 28th February Christiansborg Castle Incident is the need for them to be responsive to the needs and aspirations of the people.

The political leadership of this country must learn to always make good their promises. It was their failure to honour promises made to the ex-servicemen and their persistent refusal to listen to them that led to the agitations. Political leadership or those in authority must listen to their followers or the people.

Mr Speaker, as recently said by His Excellency Mr Kofi Annan, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations
-- 11:35 a.m.

Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Hon Member, conclude. I have given you enough chance. What you are reading is different from what you have submitted to me. Conclude, your last sentence.
Maj. Oduro (retd): Mr Speaker, I would conclude. Mr Speaker, I am progressively drawing to a conclusion.
[MAJ. ODURO (RETD)] Mr Speaker: Hon Member, conclude.
Maj. Oduro (retd): Mr Speaker, let us continue to give meaning to their sacrifices by honouring them, so that the young people of this country would emulate them and die a little for this country.
On this note, Mr Speaker, I thank you once again for the opportunity.
Long Live the Republic of Ghana! Long Live our Ex-Servicemen!!
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Hon Members, I want to place on record that, in future, I am not going to tolerate this type of conduct. A Statement was issued and recommended to me by the Hon Deputy Minority Leader and that is the Statement I have before me. I thought it was a very important Statement and that I must admit it. But to submit something to the Speaker which was admitted, and to read another thing from the floor, this should not serve as precedence for the future.
Minister for Lands and Natural Resources (Alhaji Inusah A. B. Fuseini) 11:45 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportuni- ty to contribute in commemorating the celebration of this day and honouring our gallant men who stood side by side with the British Forces in pursuance of British interest, faraway in Asia only to return to Ghana to be dealt the cruel blow of having their petition refused, of having to be subjected to cruel and inhuman treatment by the very forces, by the very institution, by the country that they have sacrificed their lives, for, that they sacrificed their families to go and defend their interest.
Mr Speaker, I was watching a documentary on Ghana and Africa's contribution towards, upholding the
values and interest of the British Empire then. Most of these guys, most of our brothers and sisters or our brothers who were drafted into the British Frontier Force, had no training whatsoever in military expertise or handling military hardware. They were sent there and they were carrying wounded soldiers and exposed to the dangers of not only the climate in Far East Asia, but also exposed to the attacking forces from Japan and other places.
Indeed, when British interest changed, and British interest, Mr Speaker, changed during the war, they no longer saw the viability of what they were fighting for in East Asia, especially, in Cambodia, so the soldiers were to be demobilised.
Mr Speaker, we are being told that, even their families back home were not informed of the casualties that the Ghanaian contingents suffered faraway Cambodia and the Far East. Indeed, Mr Speaker, these men when they arrived, their families were shocked that some of their loved ones, who went to protect British interest, did not return with their fellow soldiers.
There was no explanation whatsoever to these families. They were taken for granted; they were pursuing the larger interest of the British Empire. Mr Speaker, it is this and many more that motivated these gallant men who supported the British Empire far away from the Gold Coast, to put down their thoughts and concerns in a petition which was intended to be submitted to the British Government.
Mr Speaker, today, we are practising democracy and we know that, the legitimate and lawful expectations of the people can be reduced into a petition and submitted to the authorities for their consideration.
Minister for Lands and Natural Resources (Alhaji Inusah A. B. Fuseini) 11:45 a.m.

and activities of these ex-servicemen. Let us salute them, Mr Speaker; and we salute them and salute them gallantly.

Mr Speaker, like I said, we should call on the British Government to look towards apologising sincerely to the families of these men for the injustice that was committed against them.
Mr William O. Boafo (NPP -- Akwapim North) 11:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, in the first place, I would like to support a whole Minister for calling upon the British Government to consider compensating us.
Mr Speaker, the whole incident took place without any organised motivation to the soldiers. They did it out of their love for this country and their love for a welfare State. Mr Speaker, they comported themselves in a very peaceful manner in their march towards the seat of Government.
Mr Speaker, this is something which we all must appreciate and we must all admire the stance of our soldiers. Throughout history, especially, the military history; the history of the Ghana Armed Forces, this is the only incident in which the soldiers marched towards the seat of Government. None has occurred since that time and this is a clear demonstration of an improvement in the professional status and appreciation of the role of the military in the country.
Mr Speaker, this love that they demonstrated to the people of Ghana, this love for the welfare of the State is exemplified by the quick response that our Government and the Ghana Armed Forces gave to the call to contribute towards international peacekeeping operations.
Mr Speaker, we have done this in a way that has received the total and absolute admiration of the international community. It is not only Ghanaians that would take
pride in the role that our soldiers have been playing in the peacekeeping operations and peace building sus tenance, but the international community also takes pride in what our soldiers are doing.

It is therefore, not surprising that, each time there is the need for contribution of troops to the international arena for peacekeeping operations, some of the foremost contributing countries to be called upon is the Ghana Armed Forces. We were recently invited to Mali and we are on our way to South Sudan.

Mr Speaker, we must appreciate the contribution of the Ghana Armed Forces from time immemorial and try as much as possible to sustain their welfare.

Mr Speaker, when John the Baptist was preaching, three categories of people approached him. The first was the public and the second was the tax payers. He had pieces of advice for all of them. The last one was the soldiers. Among other things, he told them not to visit violence on the people but most importantly, he told them to be content with the welfare that would be given to them -- content with your pay.

Mr Speaker, our soldiers have adhered to this Biblical injunction, and what happened on the 28th of February, should be something we should take into account that, if they are so tolerant about their state of affairs, it may get to a point where they may no more be tolerant. It is a duty call on us to ensure that the welfare of our soldiers is taken into paramount con- sideration.

Wg. Cdr. Francis Anaman (retd.) (NDC -- Jomoro): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to support

the Statement made by my Colleague Maj. Oduro (retd), Member of Parliament for Nkoranza North.

Mr Speaker, 28th February would continue to be significant and relevant to Ghana's independence. Incidentally, this day is always a week away from independence, a coincidence which attests to the significant role played by our gallant men and women towards independence.

Mr Speaker, 28th February, l948 was indeed the straw that broke the camel's back. It began the process for independence. The incidence which led to the formation of The Watson Commission which re- commended among other things self- governance for Ghana. It actually, ignited the struggle that gave bir th to our independence in 1957.

One important lesson that we need to learn, Mr Speaker, is to appreciate the sacrifices that are made by our Colleagues, especially, the vital services in our country.

Mr Speaker, it is heart-warming to know that every year, this day is dedicated to the bravery and heroism of the Adjeteys, the Attipoes and the Lampteys. But we must not only commemorate this day, we must try and immortalise these people. Why can we not name the Tema Motor- way after Sgt Adjetey? After all, is he not a product of our independence? We can also do the same for the Attipoes and the Lampteys.

Mr Speaker, the contribution of our Ghanaian soldiers to United Nations peacekeeping duty is acknowledged as one of the best. We have lost officers in internal peacekeeping--operation Gong gong. We have lost them in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d'Ivoire and in other international theatres. What are we doing to give hope to our men and women in uniform so that they can contribute to

make the unparallel sacrifices that they are making. What are we doing to give hope to our gallant men and women who have served their motherland even at the peril of their lives-- many of whom live in abject poverty today.

Mr Speaker, it is only when we have provided sufficiently for these people that we can continue to celebrate and commemorate this day with pomp and pride. It is only when we have done that, that we can say that, we are recognising what they did. We should not only recognise them at the going down of the sun but even at the rising of the sun.

Mr Speaker, I wish to request that, while we appreciate the gesture made by the Government in providing logistical support to the military, we would also tackle the welfare of the men in uniform.

In doing so, we should not forget our brothers and sisters in the police service who are also laying down their lives, who are seen on the highways, the streets and city corners day and night trying to ensure our safety and the security of our property.

Mr Speaker, it is only when we have done this, that the sacrifices of Sgt Adjetey, Cpl Attipoe and Pte Odartey Lamptey and the many others who have paid for our freedom with their blood would not be in vain.

As we commemorate this day, I wish that we all join hands in saying ayekoo to our gallant men and women both serving and retired.

Long live the Veterans Association of Ghana.

Long live the Ghana Armed Forces,

Long live Mother Ghana.

Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity.
Mr Speaker 11:55 p.m.
Hon Members, I wanted to move to the next Statement. So I will take one from each side. I will take the Hon Member and then --
Mr Seth K. Acheampong (NPP -- Mpraeso) 11:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, on such a wonderful day like this, when we are remembering our gallant retired men and women of service-veterans --
Mr Speaker, as we have all listened to, it is their effort and their service to mother Ghana that is bringing us an independence anniversary we are going to celebrate in the next few days.
Mr Speaker, of note is something that I noticed in the Statement ably read by my Colleague Maj. Oduro (retd).
Mr Speaker, with your kind permission, I would want to quote from what he said.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I thought you said the Statement read was different from what you have. So, if he reads from this -- so he should not read, he should paraphrase so that we would not be confused.
Mr Speaker 11:55 p.m.
I entirely agree with you.
Mr Acheampong 11:55 p.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the guidance.
In fact, just to paraphrase. It was His Excellency Kofi Annan, the former Secretary General of the United Nations who said that, when “leaders fail to lead, the people will lead themselves”.
Mr Speaker, I am coming from a premise where the welfare of our veterans -- Who is a veteran? A veteran in l948 and a veteran in 2013 who got released out of the Service are all veterans. Mr Speaker, their welfare is of great essence to all of us and as leaders of our country, I would want all of us to take cognisance and good note of what goes on in respect of their welfare.
Mr Speaker, you would be surprised, and we say it here more often that Members who have been released from our service have not received their gratuities --
Mr Speaker 11:55 p.m.
Hon Member, the Statement is on 28th February crossroad incident. It
is not about the veterans of Ghana. So, please, be guided.
Mr Acheampong 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I only drafted the name because they are part of the men and women who have served us. Thank you very much for the guidance.
Mr Speaker, on that note, as we seek to remind ourselves of the freedoms that we enjoy today, I would also like us to remind ourselves that, these men and women who laid their lives down -- Cpl. Attipoe, Pte Odartey Lamptey and Sgt Adjetey-- are names that are very common to us today.
Mr Speaker, similarly, the troubles they went through at the time is still with us. We are still the same country and the same people. It is prudent that, matters that led to those eruptions, we would not want to see again because, today, we have freedom and justice as our motto which this country prescribes for us. It is good that the justice that we would want for ourselves is also meted out to them.

Mr Speaker, if you get the opportunity to visit any of them, I think we have the Veterans Association of Ghana (VAG) not far away from here; maybe five or ten minutes drive and you would get there. They used to have this gaming operation which used to support their activities. Most of them, colonial masters who were releasing them post-World War, did not even provide accommodation for them and a lot of them who had no skill and knew next to nothing, had to go and fend for themselves.

They walk about the streets and corridors of our country begging and it is not good. They meet you and they only tell you their stories and they ask you for pittance.

Mr Speaker, my call is that, if we really would want to encourage fresh blood Ghanaians to enter such Service, those ahead of them, would have to be wary
Mr Speaker 12:05 p.m.
Last comment on the Statement, Hon Dr Kwabena Donkor.
Dr Kwabena Donkor (NDC -- Pru East) 12:05 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity.
Mr Speaker, the Statement ably made by my Hon Colleague from the Brong Ahafo Region, to commemorate this Day, has a lot of lessons for us as a people. In my view, the most significant of these lessons is the fact that, the Ghana Police on 28th February, refused to shoot some fellow Ghanaians when ordered to do so by Imray. This is a quality that we must bring to bear on our national life today, that the interest of the Ghanaian is far more important and above any other interest.
Be it in economic, social or the political arena, that as a people, there is a blood bond that holds us together as Ghanaians and that no outsider, no foreign institu- tion, should lead us to subjugate one another as the policemen so ably demonstrated on the 28th February.
This must also propel us and serve as a lasting memorial to the gallant soldiers who lost their lives on 28th February, that we as a people, would resolve to be each other's keeper. We as a people, would resolve to put the interest of the Ghanaian above that of the foreigner, be it colonial master or not. In my view, these are the lessons that as a people, we must take forward in commemorating the gallant men of 28th February.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity.
Mr Speaker 12:05 p.m.
Hon Members, we move to the next Statement; it is to commemorate the celebration of the 2014 Africa Union Health Lifestyle Week. It is to be made by the Hon Minister for Health.
2014 Africa Healthy Lifestyle Day
Minister for Health (Ms Hanny- Sherry Ayittey) 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, this day, we join the rest of Africa in commemorating Healthy Lifestyle Day. The decision to commemo- rate the last Friday of February, each year as Africa Healthy Lifestyle Day, was adopted by the Executive Council of the African Union (AU) in July 2008. This day is also accepted and adopted in the framework of the World Health Orga- nisation (WHO) strategy for prevention and control of non-communicable diseases.
African countries are therefore to mark this day and report on its commemoration to the AU. Ghana is marking this year's Healthy Lifestyle Day under the theme “Our Double Disease Burden, a Threat to National Security”.
Mr Speaker, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are rapidly gaining grounds in disease morbidity and mortality in Ghana as health statistics have shown. This increase, coupled with existing preventable communicable diseases with which we are struggling, represents an epidemic waiting to happen.
Mr Speaker, the burden of the major NCDs is increasing at an alarming rate. The prevalence of hypertension among adults is estimated between 30 to 40 per cent. Diabetes prevalence is about 9 per cent, while about 16,000 new cases of cancer occur annually in Ghana.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Thank you very much, Hon Minister.
Hon Members, I would take two contributions from either side; but I would like to draw Hon Members' attention to Standing Order 70 (2) which reads:
“A Minister of State may make an announcement or a statement of government policy. Any such
Mr Alexander K. Afenyo-Markin (NPP-Effutu) 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity and I thank the Hon Minister for taking time off her busy schedule to make this Statement, drawing our attention to our lifestyles and the need for us to change our attitude and ensure that we live a healthy life. The Hon Minister took time to draw our attention to so many things including, stress- related activities that affect our health.
She has also drawn our attention to the kind of food we eat as part of lifestyle activities that affect our health. But equally important for the Hon Minister 's consideration is certain lifestyles that are also affecting this country. In this respect, I am referring to the rising trend in gayism.
It has become a known fact in Ghana that, some sex relationships are becoming the order of the day, and that our brothers in the West see it as a human right issue. We in Ghana are yet to take a decision. Government is yet to take a stand on whether or not it is against gayism or not. But Mr Speaker, it has a health-related—
Dr A. A. Osei —rose—
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Hon Member for Old Tafo?
Dr A. A. Osei 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want a clarification. The Hon Member says
“our brothers” from the West. Is he saying that the sisters from the West do not believe that? He just left it at ‘our brothers' and I am wondering.
Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I mean to say western countries. Western countries see it as a human right issue, but of late, Nigeria and Uganda have taken a stand because gayism—
Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am sorry to raise a point of order but in this matter, its relevance --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Hon Member, I signalled the other person, I will come to you after him.
Mr John Gyetuah 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe what my colleague is contributing to is tangential to what we are discussing. I mean it is not related to this health issue, what is it? It is tangential, it is not—he should go straight to the—it is not good.
Mr Chireh 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I wanted to rise on a point of order to say that, just as you said about Standing Order 70(2). Relevance is important. Today, we are talking about lifestyle, so lifestyle, please, leave out gay issues.
Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I thank my Hon Senior Colleague for drawing my attention, but sexual lifestyle
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Hon Member, please, proceed with your submission and avoid this area.
Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am drawing the attention of the Hon Minister to some sexual lifestyles that have health- related challenges that can affect this country. And in so saying, I would urge
the Ministry to have facilities at our various health centres for those who may report with sexually transmitted infections resulting from their sexual lifestyles.
Mr Speaker, in Ghana, there are several nightclubs that are known to be same-sex nightclubs. Mr Speaker, it is a known fact in Accra.
Mr Ahmed Ibrahim 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, my Hon Friend on the other side of the House has made a categorical fact that, there are several nightclubs in Accra. If he can mention two, or he should withdraw that portion.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Member, remember the advice I gave before allowing contributions.
Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I take a cue. Mr Speaker, we would put it differently.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
All right.
Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, there is a growing perception that, there are gay nightclubs in Ghana. Mr Speaker, what I am urging this House to do, and for that matter, for the Hon Minister's attention, is to have policies in place.
Mr Speaker, if we, as a nation, do not declare our stance and educate the young ones on the risks in adopting this same- sex attitude, the youth of this country are going to suffer tomorrow.
Mr Speaker, if people are engaged in gayism and they contract anal-related diseases and they cannot go to the hospitals because they themselves feel shy to go,they feel stigmatised because we do not have facilities there and we are also not taking a policy decision to be an anti-gay nation, Mr Speaker, what is the future--
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Members, just to inform this House, at least, I am aware that, there are one or two cases pending before the Supreme Court on this matter and the Supreme Court would have to take a decision in one way or the other. Let us try to avoid that area, as much as possible.
Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, having drawn my attention to that --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
It is on whether same-sex marriage should be allowed in Ghana as a human right issue. Yes, it is before the court.
Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am only drawing the Hon Minister's attention to issues of health that have to do with sexual lifestyles.
sex relationships, particularly the men, it is very serious. It affects
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Member, begin to wind up.
Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would do so.
It would affect the people of Ghana. Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Health should include, as part of their programmes, drawing people's attention to the consequences of gayism, or if the Ministry wants to accept it, then they should make available facilities at the hospitals to treat people.
Mr Agbesi 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, you have given a direction. The issue of gayism, as Mr Speaker said, is an issue before the Supreme Court. The Constitutional Review Commission has also spoken on the matter. I believe the Hon Member should take a cue from the Chair and be guided. This is because the issue is a
Mr Agbesi 12:25 p.m.

matter that can be debated. Standing Order 70(2), as you have pointed out, means, we should not engage in debate at this stage. The Hon Minister for Health has made a Statement, and we are to comment on the facts. Mr Speaker has permitted us to comment on the facts. Let us leave controversial issues, particularly the ones pending in the court for the court to decide.
Mr Dan Botwe 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I think it is very important that this Honourable House does not misrepresent itself.
Mr Speaker, eating or taking in meat is a right. Nobody has banned it. It is not before the Supreme Court. But I can stand here and say that, taking too much meat is not good or one may suffer some health hazards by doing so. It is a right. It is not against any law. It does not mean that I cannot comment on it.
Mr Speaker, even if unfortunately the Supreme Court comes out and says that, gayism is not against any law, it does not mean that I cannot say that if one practices that it would lead to unhealthy lifestyles. Why can I not say that?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Member, you have that right but let the Supreme Court decide first.
Hon Member, while a matter is pending before any court of the land, any statement that could influence the decision of the court in question is not allowed by our rules. So, let us go along those lines.
Hon Member for Effutu, you remember that I directed that we should not make-- comments that would degenerate into debate. I have given you a number of cautions, I would want you to stay clear
off that area. So, just wind up and let us make progress.
Mr Botwe 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am saying that, it is important that we should not seem to accept or come to some conclusions in this honourable House, that we may find ourselves being misrepresented. I do not think the Hon Member is talking about something being a right or not a right or is wrong or is right on its own. That is not what he is talking about. A healthy lifestyle has nothing to do with whether it is legal or not.
As I said, I can decide to drink water five times while I am eating. Somebody can make a statement here and say that, during that time, doing that thing is not good for one's health. It is not the issue of being right or being wrong or being legal or being illegal. That is not the issue. That is certainly not before the Supreme Court. That such an action or such practice would lead to unhealthy lifestyle is not a legal issue and that is not what is before the Supreme Court.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
The Hon Member went on to make a statement that, government should come out with a policy and so on. That is the area that I am talking about.
So, Hon Member, please just conclude and let us make progress.
Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, with your special leave and if it pleases Mr Speaker, a distinction must be made between making a general comment and making a prejudicial comment.
Mr Speaker, a matter pending before - -[Interruption] I have sought the leave of Mr Speaker and Mr Speaker has obliged me--
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
I have not obliged you. Please, conclude.
Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, as I was saying, a matter pending before a court of competent jurisdiction may have specific issues--
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
Hon Member, conclude otherwise I would cut you out.
Mr Afenyo-Markin 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am grateful for the dispensation.
I would conclude by saying that, there is a general perception about a trend in the lifestyles of certain people in Ghana, and that trend has health-related effects, and I repeat, gayism. As part of the --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
All right, thank you very much, Hon Member, we have heard enough from you.
Mr Ayariga 12:25 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it is not to contribute to any Statement but to announce that, copies of the Message on the State of the Nation have been delivered to the House and Mr Djietror - - Mr Speaker, I said one hour and within one hour the copies have been delivered, just so that I am not hauled to the Committee on Government Assurance.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
So, Hon Members, that is for your information.
Mr Chireh 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to commend the Hon Minister for making this important Statement. This Statement borders on how we can live long and how we can feel well in our long life.
It is important that Hon Members take the message that has been given by the Hon Minister and propagate it in their constituencies and draw the attention of people as to how to eat well, drink plenty
of water, avoid tobacco and alcohol so that they would live long and healthy lives --[Interruption.] --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Yes, Hon Member, is it on a point of order?
Dr A. A.Osei 12:35 p.m.
On a point of order. Yes, Mr Speaker, we are being advised to go and propagate the message. Here in Parliament, we do not have places to eat, how can we practice a healthy lifestyle -- [Laughter] -- So he wants me to go and propagate what?
Mr Chireh 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, once again, I am drawing Members attention to the importance of this day. It is the last Friday of every year in February that the African Union (AU) said we should always remind ourselves about what to do.
If you see me today, sometimes people ask me, why, are you sick, you seem to be losing weight, what is happening? It is because I eat well -- [Laughter] -- I drink plenty of water, I exercise --[Interruption.]
-- 12:35 p.m.

Mr Isaac K. Asiamah 12:35 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, was the Hon Colleague advising us that when Ministers work and they are tired they could go for leave in their constituencies as he did the other time when he was the Hon Minister for Health and the doctors were on strike?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Hon Member, you are out of order. Hon Member, please proceed.
Mr Chireh 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am also saying that -- Let me draw the sharp distinction -- [Interruption.] --
Mr Nitiwul 12:35 p.m.
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, I guess the Hon Member opposite was once a Minister for Health.
Mr Chireh 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I eat vegeta- bles, I eat fruits and I make sure that I eat heavy lunch, but during supper, I may only take some fruits or very light food. That is the diagnosis I am giving them -- [Laughter.]
Mr Nitiwul 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, he should thank his stars that in these economic hardships, he can eat fruits --[Uproar.] -- Mr Speaker, how many Ghanaians can buy a mango and eat -- [Interruption.]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader, this is an attempt to get it to degenerate into a debate, let us avoid it.
Yes, Hon Member, please proceed.
Mr Chireh 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I wanted to contrast a healthy lifestyle with that of people who unfortunately do not live healthy lifestyles. They would be strong but all of a sudden you would hear a young person has died. A few weeks ago, you all know what happened --
[Some Hon Members -- What happened?]--
When you look at this situation, it is important for us, particularly members of - [Interruption.] --
Alhaji Inusah Fuseini 12:35 p.m.
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, I was listening atten- tively and I am actually interested in what he is saying. But he said he eats well; I thought that he would give us the composition or ingredients that go into the food so that we know what it is to eat well.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Hon Minister, I thought he had given some details.
Mr Chireh 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, you see, my Colleagues are listening attentively. They all know when you feel well and when you are not feeling well. My point is that the Hon Minister has simply told us what we should do to make our lives meaningful, to be healthy -- [Interruption.]--
Ms Shirley A Botchwey 12:35 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member said that, a few weeks ago we all know what happened. I do not know what happened so he should tell us what happened.
Mr Chireh 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I said over the years and particularly recently -- [Laughter] -- Wait! Over the years and particularly over the past few weeks, younger people against the law of averages have unfortunately passed on. If you trace it to all these, it is part of healthy living that we must do.
I am urging all of you to exercise and eat well. Despite all the things we are saying, this country abounds in all the foods that we can eat. It is not the one that is put in cans and other things, particularly, where you have food prepared with too much oil, too much salt. All these are the things that we should avoid. So let us look at it.
In the past few weeks,l again, we have, heard about some of our unfortunate Colleagues who were here with us passing on. The passing on is not the key issue but how were they feeling before they passed on?
Life expectancy has increased, and if life expectancy is increasing, it means that you live beyond a certain age, but while you are living beyond that age, you must be in a healthy situation. You must be a good living person, not to be saying always: “oh my back is aching me, something is wrong.”
Mr Asamoah Ofosu 12:35 p.m.
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, my Colleague in his contribution seems to make a lot of inconsistent and incomprehensible statements.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Hon Member, if we may go by what we have known in Ghana generally, when a person increases in weight, it is said, oh your wife is taking good care of you, and all of that.
So when you attempt to live a healthy lifestyle, the likelihood is that --like you have been able to do personally -- you have lost a lot of weight, they would ask, are you ill? Meanwhile, that is not the case.
So, Hon Members, let us let him conclude.
Mr Ofosu 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, even more, he said quite recently, something happened, I know he has not been bold enough to mention it. But he is saying that some former Colleague Members of this House have died recently and he is linking it to lifestyle.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Hon Member, I rule you out of order as far as that is concerned. We are not here to debate.
Yes, Hon Member, please conclude.
Mr Chireh 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am speaking and we have rules of procedure. I am not debating; I am making statements that would guide all of us. But when Members get up and they are debating me, do they want me to respond, no? You all understand what I am saying, it is very important a Statement, and I do not want to make a joke out of it. I would want everybody to appreciate that, it is an important thing that we are talking about.
I gave the examples because it would guide us. I would want us all to take a cue and lead decent lives by eating well, drinking plenty of water, abstaining from alcohol and tobacco and make sure that we exercise regularly.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
Dr Richard W. Anane -- (NPP - Nhyiaeso) 12:35 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the permission to associate myself with the Statement made by the Hon Minister for Health.
Mr Speaker, I think we all have to commend the Hon Minister for drawing the attention of the House to the issue of lifestyle diseases.
It is also a recommendation onto the Executive itself, to appreciate the need for deepening our resolve on lifestyle diseases. Mr Speaker, why do I say so?
Dr Richard W. Anane -- (NPP - Nhyiaeso) 12:45 p.m.

Mr Speaker, way back, the life expectancy of this nation was about 54 years. Today, the life expectancy is about 67 years.That change in our life expectancy means that, the population of our aging society is increasing.

When we have an increase in the age group, what happens is that, we are also going to have associated with it, changes in our disease patterns.

It is also to be noticed that, our country is also transiting. We are a developing country all right but yesterday, we were a Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC). Today, we are a lower middle income society. Our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and per capita incomes are all increasing. What this means is that, the lifestyles of our people, the ability of our people to live and survive in the society must be improving, based on the data that we are giving. That is also a reflection of the type of jobs that we do.

Yesterday, the majority of our people were on the farms. Today, many of our people are migrating to the cities, albeit searching for non-existing jobs. But the transition to the urban societies, the increase in the population of our people whose lifestyles are sedentary is increasing. The sedentary lifestyles are associated with particular diseases.

These are all some of the reasons why we are having the transition from what used to be communicable diseases yesterday, to non-communicable disease, and that is how come we have to be concerned when we are talking about lifestyle diseases; the lifestyle diseases turn to be more of the non-communicable type and also it is associated more with

the type of life that we lead, with the kind of today's life, which is not working on the farms, not living in the kind of societies or areas that we used to and the reduction in the infectious diseases that we used to have.

We are not saying that we have been able to do away with infectious diseases but we are saying that, there is now a proven record to show that we have been able to remove a lot of our infectious and communicable diseases, and because we have been able to do that and because the country and the people are moving in a certain direction, we are going to have some of our diseases coming from these lifestyles.

That is why it is commendable for the Ministry to draw the attention of this House to it. But I am also saying that, inasmuch as the Ministry draws attention of the august House to this and to the people of Ghana, the Ministry in tandem with the Executive must take decisions, must come out with policies that address these issues.

The reason why we are having a lot of health institutions being built today is because, we are trying to tackle the evolving lifestyle diseases, the hyper- tensions, diabetes and all these. We are trying to maybe position ourselves to manage them. But do we not also see the need for us to ensure that we do not even permit them to happen for us to incur so much to be able to contain them?

While associating myself with the Statement, I would still thank the Hon Minister for drawing attention of the House, and the people, but the Executive must also take the bull by the horns and take decisions that address this, so that, we do not need to be always incurring a lot of cost to address these problems.

With these, Mr Speaker, I thank you.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
The last contributor?
Alhaji Alhassan B. Fuseini (NDC -- Sagnarigu) 12:45 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement.
It has often been said that, would health is wealth. To a very large extent, the quality of life manifested in any nation has a consequence on your ability to engage in productive activity, and for that matter to be able to generate the requisite level of wealth that is crucial to ensuring that socioeconomic development and the uplifting of the quality of life of the people is undertaken.
Mr Speaker, I would want to take due cognizance of a particular point the Hon Minister made in relation to the youth, to the effect that, about 70 per cent of mortality of youth had been traced to cardiovascular diseases. That is a very frightening statistic. Those who are 50 years and above would recall that, only a certain category of older people were associated with some of these diseases, not too long ago.
Today, if we have as many as 70 per cent of our youth dying from cardio- vascular diseases, that is a very, very frightening situation that should evoke the concern of everybody.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
I thought it was the Hon Minister who gave the figure.
Ms Sarah A. Safo 12:45 p.m.
On a point of order!
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister did not give such figures, so if the Hon Deputy Minister is quoting 70 per cent of the youth, he should tell us where he is getting those figures from, since this is a House of record .
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Well, before we proceed, I would like to find out, from the Hon Minister, Hon Minister, from your
presentation, did you make any such statement, first of all, before --
Some Hon Members 12:45 p.m.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Let us find out from her because, if she did not, then there would be no basis for the statement being made by the Hon Member.
So Hon Minister, was there any such statement?
Alhaji Fuseini 12:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, she said 70 per cent of people under age 60.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
You are revising the figure, 70 per cent of people under 60.
Alhaji Fuseini 12:45 p.m.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Very well.
Mr Nitiwul 12:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, you asked the Hon Minister for Health a specific question. She has not even stood up. She has not answered you and somebody is revising the figures. You asked the Hon Minister for Health to respond to a specific question --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Hon Member, we still will come back to her. But once the Hon Member is revising his figure, it appears as if that was not the statement made by the Hon Minister. So, let us hear from you, Hon Minister.
Ms Ayittey 12:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would like to repeat what I said. I said that, it has been revealed that, cardiovascular diseases and other non-communicable diseases were the major causes of death with about 74 per cent of the deaths occurring in people who are under 60 years old.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Thank you very much.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.

Hon Members, let us have some quiet. What he has said is in line with the revised version of the Hon Member's, so we would go by that.
Ms Safo 12:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, since this is a House of record, I believe that the Clerks- at-the-Table captured the earlier one. So it is only proper and the practice of this House that, the Hon Member got it wrong the first time by saying 70 per cent of the youth, he should withdraw accordingly and revise.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Hon Members, I do not think we need to go through all that. He has revised it, which implies that he has retracted the earlier one and the Table Office would take care of that.
Alhaji Fuseini 12:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I think the point that should not be lost on this august House is that if it occurs, such a very frightening statistic of 74 per cent, It is even higher than the 70 per cent that I talked about -- It tells us that there is a serious problem at hand.
Mr Speaker, in a lot of our communities
-- 12:45 p.m.

Dr Anane 12:45 p.m.
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague must be very careful about the statistics that, he is churning out. He must be clear and define what he means by the 74 per cent, 74 per cent of what? If you talk about 74 per cent of 10, it is different from 74 per cent of a 100. So he has to be clear so that, while we are listening, we also appreciate what he wants to get home to us.
Alhaji Fuseini 12:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I think it is very clear from the explanation the Hon Minister gave, 74 per cent of those who suffer cardiovascular and other commu-
nicable diseases, it is very clear. So I do not think there should be any dispute about this.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
I think what the Hon Minister said was 74 per cent of people under 60.
Alhaji Fuseini 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, that was what I qualified earlier by saying under-
Mr Speaker, if somebody wants to find fault, even when you are swimming he can say you are generating dust. So I am not in any way trying to drag this matter.

Mr Speaker, the point that I would want to make is that, a serious problem is confronting this nation which we must not lose sight of, especially, when it has to do with significant section of our youth. The youth is the future of this country. The youth is the most potent and dynamic productive force of the nation.

Mr Speaker, in a lot of our communities, sometimes you would hear that yesterday, I was walking with this young man, he looked very healthy and fit but all of a sudden, he fell down and die, and then an old lady has to be looked for, as a witch who is responsible for the death, and in many communities, people have been lynched.
Mr Isaac K. Asiamah 12:55 p.m.
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, the word “youth” is not being used well. What is the Hon Member's definition of “youth”?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Hon Member, can you clarify?
Alhaji Fuseini 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, my definition of “youth” would be those who are less than 60 years. [Uproar.] That is my definition because -- [Interruption.]
Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul 12:55 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Can we have some order?
Hon Deputy Minority Leader, you have the floor.
Mr Nitiwul 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, you see the young people sitting down there -- those that I am facing, those who are wearing pink and those at the side, they are all students and they are learning from us. If the Hon Member defines “youth” as those below 60 years, is that what the Hon Member is telling them to take home, that when they are writing an examination, they should say that “youth” in the Parliament of Ghana means those below 60 years? Is that what the Hon Member is saying?
Mr Speaker, he should withdraw that and define “youth” properly. But if he cannot, the Hon I. K. Asiamah is the Ranking Member on the Committee on Youth, Sports and Culture, he would define it for him.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Hon I. K. Asiamah?
Mr I. K. Asiamah 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, well, if the Hon Member needs my assistance, I would do that. But, Mr Speaker --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
I am directing you to give us a definition.
Mr I. K. Asiamah 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the AU Charter on Youth and of course, the UN Charter on Youth and our own National Youth Policy define “youth” below the age of 35 years. That is the standard international definition of “youth”. So,
let us accept this definition and look for a new definition in the future.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Thank you. I do not think we need to belabour this point.
Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, at the beginning of this Statement, you gave us a direction. Mr Speaker, I would want to draw your attention and to urge you that, under Order 70 (2), the Minister has given us the fact and a policy and in contributing, let us be guided by your direction so that, this contribution would not degenerate into a debate.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Thank you very much. Hon Member, I think that defining the “youth” to be anybody under 60 years would be stretching it too wide. I think that we should go by 35 years; anybody who is 35 years and below.
Proceed with your presentation and let us make some progress.
Alhaji Fuseini 12:55 p.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the guidance,even though I would want to say that there is no clear cut standard definition of “youth”. Youth is a product --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Hon Member, can you just make some progress?
Alhaji Fuseini 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to say that, it is important that in dealing with this matter, we should not lose sight of the fact that in certain -- [Interruption.]
Mr Richard M. Quashigah 12:55 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, I think that this House is being misled, and like it was mentioned earlier by the Hon Member, there are very young ones here with us who are learning. The Hon Ranking Member on the
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Hon Member, as I said early on, I do not want us to debate. Once I have directed that 60 years and below is too wide, we are going by 35 years. As you yourself have indicated, in saying that the Youth Policy said it is 30 years and below, let us go by the 35 years and let us make progress.
Alhaji Alhassan 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I think that the issue, at the end of the day, is how we live healthy lifestyles that would enable us to be productive and to carry out our national endeavour. I think that in the presentation by the Hon Minister, she eloquently put the matter to rest when she said that we ought to engage in a number of things that can be of help to generate these healthy lifestyles including, of course, what we eat.
Mr Speaker, a lot of the food we eat in this country contribute to this ill health that we are talking about.
For instance, there are foods that are used with oil, and if you see the quantity of oil that we take in for a particular meal, Mr Speaker, you would marvel. I was just experimenting with some kose that was fried and I took some paper and squeezed
it. You could see the oil dropping in a large quantity. That tells you that, sometimes, some of the food that we cook and the quantity of oil we use is not good for our health.
In addition, we have not done proper screening. Mr Speaker, I am using a personal experience to illustrate this point. There is a colleague of mine at Graphics Communications Limited, who did not know he was living with diabetes, and exactly the kind of food he was not supposed to be eating was the food that he was eating until the very last minute, when he went to the hospital and he was diagnosed of diabetes. Unfortunately, it was too late.
A lot of us do not screen and do not know our health status. Sometimes, we can be putting on weight believing that we are living a healthy life, but Mr Speaker, you are cultivating a sure way to our deaths without knowing our status and eating whatever we have to eat. It is important for the screening exercise that was mentioned to be carried out by all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), all institutions -- [Interruption] -- so that all of us would be sure in our minds that, at the end of the day, we are abiding by those issues that would give us --
Mr Speaker, on this note, I would want to also call for a collaborative effort among all health-related institutions to launch a national crusade that would increase the level of consciousness of our people on the need to live healthy lives in eating, exercising and in carrying out other activities that would inure to their better health.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Hon Members, this brings us to the end of the Statement.
Hon Minister, we would like to thank you very much for attending upon this House. We are so grateful for that
Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we have a Motion -- item number 5, if we can take that Motion.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
Very well.
Item number 5 on the Order Paper -- Motion.
Chairman of the Committee on Health?
MOTIONS 12:55 p.m.

Chairman of the Committee (Mr Joseph Y. Chireh) 12:55 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Committee on Health on the Commercial Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Bouygues Batiment International of France for the design, construction, procurement and installation of equipment for the upgrading and major rehabilitation of the Greater Accra Regional Hospital at Ridge, Accra.
Mr Speaker, in doing so, I present the Report of the Committee …
The above Commercial Agreement was laid in the House on Friday, 11th February, 2014 and referred to the Committee on Health for consideration and report in accordance with article 181 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana and the Standing Orders of the House.
The Committee met with the Deputy Minister for Health, Dr Alfred Sugri Tia, the Chief Director, Mrs Salimatu Abdul Salaam and the technical team from the Ministry of Health to consider the Agreement and reports as follows:
The Ridge Hospital is the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, designated as such in 1997. The Hospital is believed to have been opened by the British Colonial masters around 1928 for use by its expatriate staff. Most of it current buildings date back to the period 1911 and
As a regional Hospital for the Greater Accra Region, its coverage envelopes the whole of the region which has an estimated population of 4,283,322. Its immediate catchment area includes the suburbs of: Nima, Maamobi, Kanda, Accra Newtown, Kotobabi, Osu, La, Adarbraka, Airport Residential, Legon, Achimota and Central.
The Ridge Regional Hospital receives referrals from hospitals and clinics within the region, including the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) in times of emergency. The Hospital receives referrals from beyond the region, from nearby
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Joseph Y. Chireh) 12:55 p.m.

towns in the Central Region, Eastern Region and Volta Region. There has been a rapid increase in referrals to the main OPD of the Hospital and this can be attributed to the following factors:

1. The open door policy of the hospital to receive and attend to all cases referred and not turning patients away.

2.The increasing confidence other institutions have reposed in the Ridge Regional Hospital making them the preferred choice for referrals.

3.The increasing confidence the general public have reposed in the hospital making it the preferred hospital of choice.

4.The New OPD, accident and emergency arrangements that have been put in place, and doctors always available on a 24 hour basis to handle the referrals and emergencies.

Although considerable amount of renovation works, as well as, new con- structions have been carried out over the years, the hospital still consists of large numbers of individual buildings in different shades of quality, size, archi- tecture and appearance.

The current Ridge Hospital maternity centre is made up of the antenatal clinic, female ward, and post-natal ward. Due to

the non-availability of space, one of the old theatres has been refurbished and equipped as maternity theatre. That notwithstanding, other services like the recovery and delivery, are separated from the current maternity theatre. The maternity centre currently has no emergency units and all emergencies are received on the corridors of the respective wards. Patients are resuscitated and stabilised on the corridor before admission. This adds up to the already existing congestions.

The existing Ridge Hospital children's department comprise four wards and has no consulting rooms and no sanitary facilities for the medical staff. The unit has a total of 19 beds. The congestion in the unit is uncontrollable and in the midst of such limited space, parents attend to their wards. To decongest the unit, some additional beds have been placed in the corridors.

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) which provides services for the entire metropolis, has only ten incubators, five cots and three radiant warmers most of which have currently run down. Current facilities are recommended to cater for 15 babies when all the equipment are functioning normally. However, because of the need factor, these facilities cater for as many as 30 to 40 babies at a time. Sensitive equipment required for NICU were not adequately catered for in the original mechanical and electrical services design of the building, necessitating the introduction of several electrical socket extension boards to serve the needs of the unit.

Given the aging state of the current structure at the Ridge Hospital, and the

need to expand services, there is the need to construct a new physical facility at the premises.

As a result of the challenges facing the hospital and its strategic location, the Government of Ghana sourced for funding and on 16th August, 2012, the House approved a credit facility agreement between the Government of Ghana and HSBC Bank, United Kingdom for an amount of Ninety-Two Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars to finance the design, construction, procurement and installation of equipment for the upgrading and major rehabilitation of the Greater Accra Regional Hospital at Ridge, Accra.

Another credit facility agreement between the Government of Ghana and the Export-Import Bank of the United States of America for an amount of One Hundred and Fifty-Seven Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars was also contracted to augment the design, construction, procurement and installation of equipment for the upgrading and major rehabilitation of the Greater Accra Regional Hospital at Ridge, Accra.

The loan facilities sourced were to finance this Agreement currently before you.

The request before the House is to seek approval in accordance with article 181 (5) of the 1992 Constitution to enable the Agreement to be executed. The Agree- ment is for the design, construction, procurement and installation of equipment for the upgrading and major rehabilitation of the Greater Accra Regional Hospital at Ridge, Accra.
  • [MR CHIREH 9. There is also a provision for expenses under the client's obligations and project adminis- tration such as utilities, monitor- ing vehicles and expenses, building permits, licences and other approvals. Project duration Construction, equipment supply and installation would be completed within 36 months of approval of the detailed designs and equipment schedules. The turnkey project would be executed by Bouygues Batiment International. Observations Coverage area The Committee observed that, the Ridge Hospital is located within one of the high population density areas in the Greater Accra Region which does not have sufficient health facilities. One out of four persons who visit the Hospital come from these communities that are relatively deprived of health facilities in the metropolis. Existing structures at the hospital The Committee noted that, the existing structures are too old and despite the number of renovation works at the hospital, it is not enough to position the Hospital for better service delivery. There is therefore, the need for a complete rehabilitation of the Hospital to enhance the Hospital's service delivery. Increase workload The Committee was informed that as a result of its location, the Hospital is currently facing an increase in the workload, especially, in both the maternity unit and child health department. There are times where women have to be put on the floor after delivery to free a labour bed for another woman. In addition, pregnant women in labour sometimes have to wait in queues for their turn. The congestion at the Child Health department does not augur well for the management of neonates experiencing complications. The rehabilitation of the hospital would help address these concerns that have affected service delivery. Project implementation The Committee, observed that, even though the project is to be completed as a turnkey project due to financing chal- lenges, the project has been divided into two phases. Phase one involves the construction of the Main Building (Eastern bloc-A&E/ Labor and Delivery/Surgery/ICU/ CSSD/Lab/Pharmacy) Breezeway connector between the 2 blocs Logistic building designed for both phases + service yard Staff Accommodations for 42 School of Anaesthesia Mortuary (100 bodies capacity) Main road + car park Phase two would include the con- struction of the main building (western bloc-OPD), 42 additional staff accom- modations and a creche. The Committee was assured that, Government is taking the needed steps to source for funding to complete the second phase of the project. The Committee was further informed that, a challenge that the Hospital has been facing was the accommodation for essential staff. This led to a drain on the hospital finances. The current project has taken into consideration, the provision of an in-house residential facility for these essential staff of the hospital. Cost of the project The Committee expressed the view that, the project cost was quite high. It was explained to the Committee that the financing structure, transportation, location of project, as well as procurement terms under this project among others was unique. The project is being financed from a loan facility sourced from the HSBC (15 per cent) and EXIM Bank of USA (85 per cent). Under the EXIM Bank facility, 85 per cent of the procurement is to be sourced from the United States. Furthermore the construction would be done in a manner that would allow the Hospital to continue to function. Again, the project would include the consolidation of a number of major departments of the Hospital in a five storey-building to be placed on a small patch land. The Committee took note of the above explanations and, with the recent development of Commercial Agreements being laid before Parliament, as a result of the ruling in the Isofoton case, recommends that in future, Commercial Agreements be brought to Parliament in time.
  • [MR CHIREH The Committee also urged that, the project managers and resident engineers to be appointed for the project should be vigilant and ensure that the State makes savings. The Committee further reiterates its earlier recommendation that, the Ministry of Health should come up with a policy that spells out in detail both technical and financial benchmarks for all construction projects of the Ministry. Medical and OPD block The Committee noted that, under the first phase, the medical and OPD blocks were not included. The Committee sees these two blocks as very critical in the Hospital's service delivery. The Committee was informed that even though they were not included in the first phase, the two departments would be operating in the old block. The old block, in the second phase would be pulled down and converted into a car park. Clinical training The Committee observed that, currently the hospital is too small for large groups of students, even though the number of students on attachments at the Hospital continues to rise. For example, students that came for clinical attachments in 2009 numbered 968, this rose to 1527 in 2011. The rehabilitation would lead to the expansion of the hospital facilities to ensure that the teaching institutions that use the Hospital for clinical training of their students would be able to fully utilise the Hospital. Lighting The Committee, again observed, that the structure under phase one which would house the Main Building (Eastern bloc - A&E / Labor and Delivery / Surgery / ICU / CSSD / Lab / Pharmacy), would
  • [MR CHIREH accordance with article 181 of the 1992 Constitution. Respectfully submitted.
  • Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    Any seconder?
    Dr RichardAnane 12:55 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion and in so doing, I would want to make a few observations. Mr Speaker, these are captured somehow in the Report, but Mr Speaker, I would still want to bring them to the fore.
    One, I would want us to notice that, this is a single source facility. Two, I would also want us to appreciate that, the funding of US$250 million are from the Exim Bank of the USA and the HFD of the United Kingdom.
    The Exim Bank amount is US$157.5 million, making about 85 per cent of the total amount. Mr Speaker, from this, one of the conditions is that, 85 per cent of the procurement should be from the United States of America, and I thought we have to draw the attention of the House to this.
    Mr Speaker, after deliberations, the Committee noticed that, this US$250 million would not be enough for the delivery of the total project, therefore, Mr Speaker, there would be US$56 million further required in order to make it a complete turnkey project. So what we are seeing today and what we are being presented with today, is not the amount that is needed to give us a complete turnkey project. The Ministry and the Ministry of Finance have been urged by the Committee to ensure that, they go in and seek for the extra amount in order to complete it for us to get a complete turnkey project.
    Mr Speaker, we would want to also let it be known that, this turnkey project involves the provision of equipment but we would want it to be known that, the
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    Thank you very much. It has been moved and seconded. It is for the consideration of the House.
    Question proposed.
    Dr Anthony Akoto Osei (NPP - Old Tafo) 12:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am a bit baffled by the comments of the Ranking Member. As a Member of the Committee, this Report does not contain the issues he has raised. In particular, when he says that, this money is not enough for the project. If so, why is the committee bringing it?
    I was trying to find out if it was in the Report. The conclusion says, ‘after careful deliberations' but everything he said is contrary to the conclusion, so I am really confused. Either it is a minority report -- that is why he cannot be seconding the Motion -- and he is doing this.
    This is a serious problem, because it is not here. If this is a careful deliberation which reveals that there is no value for money, that the money is not enough, he
    Dr Anthony Akoto Osei (NPP - Old Tafo) 12:55 p.m.

    cannot be asking us to look at the Report. So I think that, either he does not second the Motion and brings a counter Motion - because he is confusing all of us. Mr Speaker, this is very serious.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    Point well made. Hon Dr Anane do you have any response.?
    Dr Anane 12:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do have response to it. Mr Speaker, the conclusion was that, after careful deliberation, we did it step by step and we made sure - that is why the agreement is even before me. We went through them and then we took note of what we perceived to have been done.
    Mr Speaker, the project has already been started, we cannot stop the project from going on. Mr Speaker as the House does know, the last one which was approved, for the seven district hospitals was also based on the Isofoton issue which was raised by the Supreme Court.
    Mr Speaker, when these were brought to us, we saw that we still had to make sure that we exhaust it and draw attention, so that further references would be made.
    Two days ago, when we were dis- cussing that of the seven hospitals, I drew the attention of Mr Speaker to the need for the Committee of relevance to be informed and be involved in the discussion, instead of just the Committee on Finance. This is because, the Committee on Finance recommended for approval the loan facility, but when we went in, we found out that, the amounts were not enough to complete these, even though we had urged, especially, the project management team as well as the site engineer to make sure that we have cutting of cost in order to be able to do this.
    Mr Speaker, I am not bringing a counter Motion and I am not bringing in a
    minority Motion, I am supporting the Motion and drawing attention for us to note, so that, in future, the Committees are all involved in the evolution of the process.
    Thank you Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    Hon Member thank you, but I believe that to the extent that you are the Ranking Member of the Committee, these issues which are not borne out by the Report given to us must have been addressed at the Committee level, and that all of you came to a consensus that, we have drawn the Ministry's attention to the shortfall and so on and so forth. So that they would take the appropriate steps to top whatever is required for the facility to be provided.
    What the Hon Member for Old Tafo is saying is that, it appears rather out of place for you to be raising these points on the floor, yet seconding the same Motion.
    So once you say you are not coming up with a counter Motion or a minority Report, I think we would take your word for it, then listen to further contributions and after that put the question.
    Dr Anthony A. Osei 1:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is exactly my point.
    My point was that, as the Ranking Member who is supporting the Motion, if these are serious reservations, it should have reflected here. But as I read it, I did not find it. So when you tell me “after careful deliberation”, now you are getting into an area of saying that, the Finance Committee did not know the amount that was needed. We are asked to approve specific loans not any other amount -- 92.5 and 157. So if later on somebody believes that they need more money, that is a different matter. But this report should reflect at the Committee so that we would
    feel comfortable. I was beginning to get very uncomfortable that, perhaps, there was a problem. But if he says there is no problem and that he is raising some issues, then I accept his response.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    Very well, I would take one more contribution and then, I would put the Question.
    Prof George Gyan-Baffour(NPP - Wenchi) 1:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think this is actually showing a fundamental problem with the way things are given to one Committee here to approve of the loan and another Committee there to go and look at the commercial aspect. I think if they had been jointly done, this thing would not have arisen. If we do not take care, any time Finance Committee approves, they go there to approve just the loan without taking the other aspect that the Hon Member is mentioning into consi- deration.
    The Hon Member thinks that, they have the mandate to actually access whether it would be enough or not. So I think the fundamental problem is to have -- If they do not come together to look at the loan as well as the commercial agreements, these problems would arise all the time. That is what is really happening here.
    Mr Speaker, I think you have to take this thing up further, so that we do not have those types of confusion and clashes between the Committees.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    Very well, the point is well taken; I would draw the right Hon Speakers' attention to it, so that we look at how best we can handle a situation like that.
    Dr Anthony A. Osei 1:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I agree with the sentiments of the Hon Member, but what we ought to remember is that, the only reason that the contract Agreement was coming is because of the Supreme Court decision.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    Hon Deputy Majority Leader, we have item (6), the Resolution, do we take it?
    Mr Alfred Agbesi 1:15 p.m.
    RESOLUTIONS 1:15 p.m.

    Minister for Health (Ms Sherry Ayittey) 1:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that,
    WHEREAS By the provisions of article 181(5) of the Constitution the terms and conditions of any international business or economic transaction to which the Govern- ment of Ghana is a party shall not come into 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 Par- liament;
    PURSUANT TO the provisions of the said article 181(5) of the Constitution, and at the request of the Government of Ghana acting through the Minister responsible

    for Health, there has been laid before Parliament the terms and conditions of a Commercial Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Bouygues Batiment International of France for the design, construction, procurement and installation of equipment for the upgrading and major rehabilitation of the Greater Accra Regional Hospital at Ridge, Accra.

    Mr Joseph Chireh 1:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I second the Motion for the adoption of the Motion.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Mr Alfred Agbesi 1:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, today being Friday, and Committees also billed to meet, I would want to move, that this House do adjourn till Tuesday, 4th March at 10 o'clock in the forenoon.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader, you are saying that you want to move, you have not moved.
    Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 1:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I move, that, this House do adjourn till Tuesday, the 4th of March at 10 o'clock in the forenoon.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, what the Hon Member for Old Tafo is saying may be right, but there are about five Committees I am aware of, which are supposed to meet. Even this morning, I spoke to a Colleague and he said he was on his way to Shai Hills.
    The Hon Member for Old Tafo also knows that, even the Finance Committee and some Members of the Local Government Committee have a meeting this weekend, we are supposed to report this afternoon in Koforidua. I am saying there is a Committee meeting but it has not been advertised.
    That being the case, it may be helpful if all these Committee meetings which take place outside Parliament are advertised, it is also important.
    We have been talking about this, Hon Members would complain, “we were at a Committee”. If that is the feeling of the House, then, we ought to advertise all these meetings, and when they say that there should be clearance from Leadership, please let not Members complain, because for it to be advertised, Leadership must clear it before it goes to the Business Committee.
    But Hon Members have been complaining that everything they say Leadership should clear it. So if the Hon Member for Old Tafo is reflecting the sentiments of the House, then of course, it would be helpful if the Table Office takes account of all these things.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    Thank you very much, I think the point is well made, we would get the authorities concerned to advertise all these Committee Sittings outside Parliament House.
    So on that note, I would ask the Minority Leader to second the Motion.
    Mr Daniel Botwe 1:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    ADJOURNMENT 1:15 p.m.

  • The House was accordingly adjourned at 1.24 p.m. till Tuesday, 4th March, 2014 at 10.00 a.m.