Debates of 4 Mar 2014

MR SPEAKER
PRAYERS 10:30 a.m.

VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT 10:30 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Hon Members, I have admitted an urgent Statement for this morning. I therefore call on the Hon Majority Chief Whip and Member of Parliament for Asawase, to make the Statement.
STATEMENTS 10:30 a.m.

Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka (NDC-- Asawase) 10:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to make this urgent Statement on the missing baby at KATH in Kumasi.
Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka (NDC-- Asawase) 10:30 a.m.
A few minutes later, one of the midwives came back to alert the happy mother that her son had passed on. The instantly traumatised mother had no choice, but to accept her fate. She then requested to be shown the body of her baby, so that she could mourn his death. She was assured by the midwives to relax and recover since the body was kept safely for her collection.
Mr Speaker, in pain and shock, Suwaiba, on her way from the delivery room to another ward collapsed but was quickly revived. Later, one of the midwives brought a document and asked her to thumbprint, with an explanation of the said document being part of the medical procedure that must be undertaken before the body of her alleged dead baby was made available to her, which she desperately obliged.
Mr Speaker, while patiently waiting for her baby's body to be delivered as promised, the troubled mother had a horrific shock of her life when the midwives told her they could not find the body. While in utter dismay with many questions than answers, the midwives further callously and trivially suggested that the baby which had been placed in a box might have been taken away by a labourer and burnt together with garbage.
Mr Speaker, a family delegation, upon hearing the horrendous story, visited the
hospital for clarification. Upon questioning the labourer, he admitted having seen a box but did not burn any garbage on the said night, let alone a baby. His version was also corroborated by KATH authorities as the said incinerator had not been used for five clear days prior to the delivery and was never used on the said Wednesday as well.
Mr Speaker, the questions left on one's mind would be, where is the baby and whether he was really dead?
Mr Speaker, the family explained to me that, they reported the case to the police, who arrested the labourer and placed him in custody. He was later granted bail. The police subsequently invited the midwives who were present when Suwaiba delivered to come to the police station to give their statements. Later, when they inquired progress from the police, they were told the midwives were unco-operative as they would not report to the police to have their statements taken.
Mr Speaker, in the face of the attitude of some KATH staff and the police, the enraged youth in the community who could not make any meaning of the deliberate tragic drama being pursued by two State institutions, decided to embark on a peaceful march to the KATH, which I must admit, was wrong. This is because the hospital should be the last place anyone would want to carry on a demonstration, whether peaceful or not.
However, the young men claimed they were met with insults and physical abuse from staff of KATH and this resulted in a violent clash leading to the arrest of some of the members of the group and the doctors and nurses at the KATH went on strike.
Mr Speaker, upon several efforts by the Regional Security Council, led by the
able Regional Minister, calm has since returned to both KATH and the community in my constituency. I am happy to note that, the effort of the Ministry of Health and the Attorney- General and Ministry for Justice has led to some arrests and charges preferred against seven persons connected with the missing baby. In the course of the investigation, it was realised that four (4) other babies could also not be accounted for at the same ward at KATH.
Mr Speaker, there is the need for much deeper investigation to be done by carrying out public fora in all the regions of Ghana for persons who might have suffered the same fate as Suwaiba, to come out, so that we would be better informed how to restructure our facilities to prevent this occurrence.
Mr Speaker, it is important to state that, all persons involved -- doctors, nurses, the family and the community must remain calm and support the State agencies that are investigating this matter to enable them expedite action on it without further delay. We should all remain interested in this matter to the end.
Mr Speaker, I would want to appeal to all persons resident in Ghana to be vigilant and observant and report any suspicious person who is found with a baby that might not be theirs to the nearest police station, to assist the security agencies to get to the bottom of this case faster.
Mr Speaker, I wish to take this opportunity to thank all persons and institutions that have supported this case and the family in one way or the other, especially, the Regional Minister and his team, the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and her team, the Minister for Health and her team, the security agencies and the National Chief Imam and his team.
Mr Speaker, I wish to state lastly that, time is of great essence in this case and I

wish those handling this case a great success to enable us continue to keep the calm atmosphere that has returned to my constituency.

I thank you, Mr Speaker, once again, for this opportunity.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Hon Members, I am taking only one comment from each side. So, the Hon Member for Manhyia South and the Hon Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture.
Dr Matthew O. Prempeh (NPP -- Manhyia South) 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support wholeheartedly the Statement, honourable as it might be, made by the Hon Member for Asawase.
Mr Speaker, the Good Book admonishes us to be our brother's keeper and to love our neighbours as ourselves. I wish to sincerely extend my heartfelt pain and condolence to the family that lost a precious child in such a good circumstance --
rose
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Do you have a point of order?
Mr Akyea 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, there is a piece of misinformation coming from the Hon Member, that the Good Book says that we should be our neighbour's keeper. There is nowhere in the Bible that says you should be your neighbour's keeper. It is Dr Busia who said that. [Laughter.]
Dr Prempeh 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I was wondering whether the Hon Member for Akyem South was with us. Where did I say “the Bible”?
Dr Prempeh 10:40 a.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker, that would have been a more honourable--
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
We all want to know what the “Good Book” is.
Dr Prempeh 10:40 a.m.
My book of quotations, I was referring to.
Mr Speaker, such a tragic moment does not require such interruptions, especially, where they are misplaced.
Mr Speaker, misplaced as it might be, I would continue.
Mr Speaker, I have had the chance to discuss extensively with the Hon Member for Asawase the tragic incident that happened at KATH. Mr Speaker, we should not as a House, take the matter in isolation. Once bitten, twice shy. It might be a symptom of a cancer happening at Komfo Anokye; it might be a failing management in Komfo Anokye.
Mr Speaker, it is sad that, all the protocols and procedures as regarding child birth, or how unfortunate even that this family has lost a child. What about those we do not know whose babies might have been swapped; or what about other cases we do not know about?
Mr Speaker, I support the Hon Member when he says public fora should be created such that people who have had such happenings-- it happens all over the world in medical establishments. Surgeries are done where right knees are replaced instead of left knees. Mr Speaker, there must be public enquiries. The matter is not punishment, the matter is to make the right decisions and right decisions at KATH, for that matter.
Dr Ahmed Y. Alhassan (NDC-- Mion) 10:40 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to associate myself with the Statement ably made by the Hon Member for Asawase and the Majority Chief Whip.
Mr Speaker, this issue has been in the public domain for quite a while and a lot of emotions are being spewed out on our airwaves as a result of this particular event. I do believe that, in matters like these, emotions should take the backseat and commonsense as well as co-operation should be the guiding principles in getting to the bottom of such an issue.
It is important that, each person either as a stakeholder or a participant in this issue, must take note of this and try the best they can to co-operate with the investigating bodies, so that, we can get
there. The issue has brought to the fore many happenings within the facilities across the country and in particular, the
KATH.
Mr Speaker, we are told that, within that period, about 16 babies were delivered and five died. That is most unusual for a country that is struggling to reduce both child and maternal mortality. I also believe that, the issue of some of these mistakes are classless. We do know that a Deputy Minister lost his wife and child under similar circumstances in one of our health facilities a few years ago. The facility was, at least, able to apologise for the events that took place. I think a similar thing ought to be done. Our doctors are working extremely hard and there is a lot of pressure because the facilities are under- resourced and the equipment are also few and far between.
Nonetheless, it must be acknowledged that, the country is doing its best in the circumstances to ensure that our health facilities deliver minimum or at least, optimum services to our citizenry. So, this issue should not bring citizens versus doctors or citizens versus health facilities in our country. What is important is for all of us to co-operate and ensure that the truth comes out; not for somebody to be punished, but for future occurrences to be curtailed.
The passion with which we discuss certain issues seems to suggest that sometimes as a country, we choose our priorities rather in a different manner.
When some ladies went to a shop to steal underwear, there were all manner of human rights activists who came out strongly to condemn the way the ladies were treated. And the story, silenced from such human rights groups for this poor lady who lost her baby under very difficult circumstances is something that we all
Dr Ahmed Y. Alhassan (NDC-- Mion) 10:40 a.m.


ought to look into and research in our minds to see to what extent what issues we consider to be priority in our discussions. Once again, I would like to say that, consultation, cooperation and the position to get to the truth should be what should guide us in the circum- stances.

I would like to sympathise also with Suwaiba who has lost her baby under very difficult circumstance.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Members, this morning, I agreed with Leadership that we should take only one comment.
Hon Members, I would suggest that this is a very important Statement; it is a very important issue. Let us flag the matter and monitor developments with regard to the investigation that is going on. Then at the appropriate time, we would then bring the matter back to the House depending on the outcome of the investigation that has gone on.
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of Statements.
At the commencement of Public Business - Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, if we can vary the Order of Business and take item 5.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, do we have the Paper for item 4 ready? If it is ready, why are we not laying it?
Mr Agbesi 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, sorry. Item 4 -- the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance is in the House to lay it on behalf of the Hon Minister.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader, he was making an application.
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, save the fact that, the Ministry that the Hon Deputy Minister represents has not been forthcoming, but we would deal with that subsequently. Mr Speaker, save that for the time being, we would not have anything against his intervention.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Very well.
Item 4 - on behalf of the Hon Minister for Finance by the Hon Deputy Minister.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, now that we have amended the Export Development Fund Levy, do we still use the old title? Is that the proper thing to do?
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, you are in charge of Government Business - you are acting.
Mr Agbesi 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, my attention has been drawn to the fact that, we need to amend it. So, we would take the necessary steps to get it amended accordingly.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
When are you going to do that? I am going to make referral. Why do you not amend it?
Mr Agbesi 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we want to do that. The Hon Deputy Minister for Finance will do the amendment.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Deputy Minister for Finance, do you know the title of the new law? If you do not know the title, the Hon Minister for Trade and Industry is here, you can approach him. He will assist you.
Mr Cassiel A. B. Forson 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to amend the rendition here to read: “Export and Industrial Development Levy”.
PAPERS 10:50 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Members, I asked for to it to be amended because one cannot refer what does not exist. Once the law has changed - what has been there does not exist. So, we do not have to refer to what does not exist to a committee.
Mr Agbesi 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, item 5 (a).
Mr Speaker, we crave your indulgence to ask the Hon Minister for Trade -- [Interruption] -- Sorry, Hon Minister for Information and Media Relations to lay the Bill on behalf of the Hon Attorney- General and Minister for Justice.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, listening to the apparent confusion. - [Uproar] -- Mr Speaker, this is a Companies Bill and we have the Hon Minister for Trade and Industry here. I thought that the Hon Deputy Majority Leader was right in the first attempt in asking the Hon Minister for Trade and Industry to lay it on behalf of the Hon
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice\. But now that he has situated it in the realm of the Hon Minister for Information and Media Relations. I do not know whether he can resolve that apparent confusion first. If he can purge himself, then we can move on.
Which is which? I thought the remit should rather be with the Hon Minister responsible for Trade and Industry.
Mr Agbesi 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, there was consultation.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
But the point is that why did you change from the Hon Minister for Trade and Industry to Information and Media Relations? That is the gravamen of his submission.
Why did you change it? They are both Hon Ministers of State. They are laying it on behalf of the Hon Attorney-General and Minister for Justice. Why did you change from Trade and Industry to Information and Media Relations?
Mr Agbesi 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, there is no confusion whatsoever. We discussed this matter and agreed.
In any case -
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Did you mention Trade and Industry first?
Mr Agbesi 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, in any case, we would want to seek permission, so that the Hon Minister for Information and Media Relations would lay this Bill on behalf of the Hon Attorney-General and Minister for Justice.
BILLS -- FIRST READING 10:50 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
What are we laying?
Mr Ayariga 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it is the Companies Bill.
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am curious to find out what exactly is being laid. This is because, there is already a Companies Act; and one would have thought that there was an amendment Bill to this Act. If I could be educated on that.
Mr Ayariga 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Bill consolidates the entire set of legislations and the various amendments to the Companies Act. It is a fresh Companies Bill that consolidates everything relating to the laws of companies.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
So, it means that when this is passed, it is going to repeal the Companies Act?
Mr Ayariga 10:50 a.m.
There would be a provision that repeals the current Companies Act.
Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, if that is what the Hon Minister for Information and Media Relations is saying, would it not be Companies Bill, 2014 instead of 2013?
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Yes, we are in 2014 and the copy of the Bill before me is 2013.
Mr Ayariga 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe it was brought here at that time -- [Interruption]. - I think the appropriate title should be 2014.
Mr Nitiwul 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, this is the first time it is being laid. Obviously, this is the first time that it is becoming the property of Parliament.
It may have been here, even ten years ago. Suppose it was here in 2008, are we going to title it “Companies Bill 2008?” So, once this is the first time he has laid it in this form, he has to withdraw the original title and change it and then lay it again.
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Members, I have been advised by the Clerks-at-the-Table that they are using the gazette notification date which was 8th November, 2013.
But Hon Member, this is the first time this Bill is being introduced in this House and we are in 2014 as a matter of fact. In any case, if it has been gazetted in 2013, we need 14 days for it to mature before laying it in the House. So from 8th November up till now, what has caused the delay? I do not know.
Mr Ayariga 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I think the issue of the delays is a matter internal to this House. So, Mr Speaker, I think that is a matter that your directions would be welcome.
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Members, I will want the Committee to make the appropriate recommendation to the House when the Bill goes to them. This is because I have not come across this scenario.
But I would let the Committee make the proper recommendation to the House when the Bill goes to them, so that we would treat it as being duly laid and then at the Committee level, that would be handled by necessary amendments and all those things at the Consideration Stage. I think that is the proper thing to do.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, except that the Minister has made a categorical statement. He said to us that this Bill had been in the House over a long period -- [Interruption]
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Minister, withdraw that statement.
Mr Ayariga 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, indeed, I think -- [Some Hon Members: -- Withdraw] -- Withdrawn, Mr Speaker -- [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Members, the Companies Bill, 2013 duly presented and read the First time.
Mr Agbesi 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, with your indulgence, if we can take Motion -- [Interruption]
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Are you not taking the Customs Bill, 2014? I have a copy of the Customs Bill, 2014. Are you not laying it?
Mr Agbesi 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I was under the impression that it had already been laid. Mr Speaker, if we can take item 5 (b).
BILLS -- FIRST READING 11 a.m.

MOTIONS 11 a.m.

Minister for Trade and Industry (Mr Haruna Iddrisu)(MP) 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg
to move, that this Honourable House thanks H.E. the President for the Message on the State of the Nation which he delivered to Parliament on Tuesday, 25th February 2014.
Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
You have fifteen minutes to do that.
Mr H. Iddrisu 11:10 a.m.
Rightly so, Mr Speaker. I would narrow to areas on the economy, infrastructure, trade and investment, reduction in crime and other related issues.
Mr Speaker, as his Excellency the President called on Ghanaians to rise to the challenge for structural transformation and to support him with the modest gains that he has -- [Interruption]--
You have not caught the attention of the Speaker. Hon Minority Leader, why are you being obstructive? Sit down.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister responsible for Trade and Industry is the one who is moving this Motion and on two occasions, he has indicated to us that he is going to comment on the Message ‘on the State of the Nation Address'.
Mr Speaker, how can a message be given on the State of the Nation Address? Mr Speaker, what he is minded to do is to comment on the Message of the State of the Nation, not a Message on the State of the Nation Address.
Mr Speaker, can he address himself to article 67, so that we know what he is talking about? Mr Speaker, I know that the Minister is otherwise very capable, but we want to follow him, that is why I am bringing him on track.
Mr H. Iddrisu 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House thanks His Excellency the President, for the
Mr Speaker, the President was also honest enough to state, and I beg to quote 11:10 a.m.
“The net effect was an increase in our budget deficit to nearly 12 per cent; an increase in inflation above 13 per cent; an increase in interest rate, and also an increase in our domestic debt.”
What a sincere President! He did not seek to conceal that there are challenges in the management of the economy for which he is putting in mechanisms to address, including the introduction of the additional two and a half per cent VAT to improve revenues to government, to
prudently manage public resources and expenditure in order to allow for discipline.
Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President also premised his message on the state of the nation when he addressed what effort Government is making to improve access to quality healthcare and the delivery of healthcare.
Mr Speaker, there are lots of developments, in terms of infrastructure that have taken place in the last one year.
At least, significant but humble achievements have been made within the health sector of our country. I dare say that, tomorrow, when the history of interventions in the provision of medical facilities are done, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Government's name would be written in gold.
Talk about the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital, it was the NDC predecessor Government which initiated it. The Volta Regional Hospital, it was the NDC Government. Work is ongoing on the Wa Regional Hospital. Tamale Regional Hospital has been completed with an additional expansion worth €38 million.
That means that, quality health infra- structure is being provided, including the ongoing work which is going on at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, with the re-equipping of the hospital. They are yet to commence work on an additional military hospital for that particular part of the country.
This means that Government is laying a solid foundation not just in building a strong and resilient economy, but it ties in with the pillar of the President when he said that he puts people first in his development agenda.
Mr Speaker, there are additional works on 12 new district hospitals and any of
you who visits Gushiegu or Janga in the Northern Region or Tarkwa would appreciate the intervention that had been done in the last one year.
Mr Speaker, supply of modern equipment was done to 40 distr ict hospitals including Ridge Hospital and Ridge Hospital is also benefiting from a US$250 million facility, which would become a service centre, particularly for public service workers within that area, who can immediately access quality healthcare.
Mr Speaker, let me touch on the structure of the economy. His Excellency the President again said that, we must move this country away from an import dependent economy to a producing economy. Government had lined the National Export Strategy, which is seeking to increase our exports from the current US$2.3 billion to US$5 billion; and to paraphrase the President, “we must consume what we grow and grow what we consume in order to keep our economy competitive.”
Mr Speaker, His Excellency announced that, he is supporting the private sector of our country by way of building their capacity and by way of building their competitiveness.
I can say without fear of hesitation that, a number of pharmaceutical companies in Ghana are receiving credit. In fact, some have even collected the money to the tune of GH¢50 million. For example, Dannex Pharmaceuticals, Ernest Chemist, Dana-dams and with others are being processed. This was in response to a committee's report from this august House -- when your Parliamentary Committee on Public Accounts noted that there was no Ghanaian pharmaceutical company capable of producing anti- retroviral drugs. This financial stimulus
Mr Speaker, the President was also honest enough to state, and I beg to quote 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, on rice production, it is certainly not acceptable and I am sure our Colleagues sitting opposite accept the fact that, we cannot be spending US$ 100 million to US$300 million annually on rice importation annually when we have capacity to be able to produce it in Ghana.
In that direction, the Ministry of Trade and Industry is working with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to have a group which would dedicate itself to reducing the rice import bill and expanding local production of rice.
It would also further support irrigation development in a number of areas in the country, including Tamale in the Upper East Region, Kamba in the Upper West Region, Koue in the Volta Region, Nasia and Libuga in the Northern Region and one in the Afram area, so that it can support year round production not just of rice but also of tomatoes.
A committee to be chaired by the Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture ably supported by Hon Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry would work together with experts in rice farming and government would give generous support by way of mixed grant and credits to those who genuinely want to go into rice production, so that in future, we can even become an exporter of rice and disentangle ourselves from our status today, which makes us a net importer of rice.
Mr Speaker, I have some statistics to share. For instance, for 2013, rice imports alone accounted for US$ 374 million. For 2012, it was US$359 million, 2011, it was US$ 384 million and 2010, it was US$202 million. This must necessarily spur us to rise to the challenge of structural transformation, because we have the capacity to produce rice in this country.

We have done it before during the Acheampong era and we can improve it if we support rice farming in our country.

Mr Speaker, let me also share some statistics on poultry. For 2013, US$169.2 million was spent. In 2012, US$196 million was spent; 2011, US$184 million was spent and in 2010 -- Yet we can develop our poultry industry as a value chain.

Government is accordingly supporting a number of identifiable poultry-related farmers with credit, in order to increase their production. I have often heard arguments like: “Why not ban the importation of rice?” “Why not ban the importation of poultry?” We are ready to do so as a Government when we set up the institutional infrastructure, which would see to the establishment of the International Trade Commission that would deal with matters of anti-dumping and counter valance. Very soon, we would lay before this august House, a Bill to address that particular challenge.

Mr Speaker, on trade and investment, His Excellency the President assured the investor community that Ghana remains the place to do business in Africa. Our brand is stable, peaceful political order.

Our brand, a country governed by the rule of law. Our brand, enormous investment opportunities, whether in agriculture, manufacturing or agro- processing and he is ready to offer strategic incentives to those who want to invest in that part of the country.

What was unique and significant was the assurance the President gave the investor community, that they are assured that they could repatriate their profits notwithstanding the directives of the Bank of Ghana. That assurance means a lot to our investor community who must be assured that Ghana remains the place and the destination for foreign direct investment (FDI). What we insist on these
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, with respect to my Hon Colleague, what the President said last year and repeated this year, in respect of the construction of
1,600 CHPS compounds was different from the savings from the voluntary contributions of the President and Ministers. He said it was to complement it.
Let the Hon Minister not mislead this country into thinking that, the savings are what are going to be used to construct the 1,600 CHPS compounds. That is not so! Mr Speaker, that is not CHPS compounds! He should not mislead this country.
Mr H. Iddrisu 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, with your permission, may I refer him to the Hansard of 25th February, 2014, column 869, paragraphs 5 and 6. His Excellency said and I beg to quote:
“To support this wonderful campaign, my colleagues and I in the Executive branch of Govern- ment have taken a voluntary ten per cent (10 per cent) cut in salaries. These contributions would be used to construct more CHPS com- pounds, so that we can save the lives of more women during childbirth.”
But Mr Speaker, even before then, with particular reference to the comment he has made, I beg to quote again His Excellency the President --
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Minister, what are you disputing about the clarification of the Hon Minority Leader?
Mr H. Iddrisu 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President said that 1,600 CHPS compound would be built by the end of 2016.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
That is not the problem of the Hon Minority Leader.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
You have two minutes more.
Mr H. Iddrisu 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President also touched on his Energy-For-All Initiative. He said that 900 rural communities were connected to the rural electrification grid. Mr Speaker, 550 megawatts of electricity were added, thanks to the inauguration of the Bui Dam which was initiated by the predecessor New Patriotic Party (NPP) Government. But it means that, the Government is assuring industry and the Ghanaian public alike that they would have access to the utility, particularly water and electricity.
Mr Speaker, in concluding, may I refer you to article 25, that the President's education policy, he emphasised quality, access and relevance. Mr Speaker, we have often heard arguments to the extent that, free senior high school (SHS) had become the copyright of a particular generation. Mr Speaker, with your indulgence, I beg to quote article 25 (1):
“All persons shall have the right to equal educational opportunities and facilities and with a view to achieving the full realisation of that right --”
Mr Speaker, for emphasis, article 25 1(b)
“(b) Secondary education in its different forms, including technical and vocational education, shall be
Mr H. Iddrisu 11:20 a.m.


Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President --
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Conclude.
Mr H. Iddrisu 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President was only discharging a constitutional obligation which he has sworn an oath to abide, that he would ensure that Ghanaian people and children have access to quality education through an expanded access. Mr Speaker, you can confide in the word and honour of the President.
Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, when we speak to the people of Ghana, we should, at least, remember that, what we say today, would be used to judge us tomorrow.
The Hon Member is now telling us that, the President is fulfilling a constitutional requirement, when in 2012, precisely, -- let me give you the date -- on the 29th of November, 2012, the President said; “Ghana needs quality education and not free education.”
That was what the President said. [Uproar.] Mr Speaker, I have one more quote --
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader, that really is a point of argument; he is quoting the Constitution. When it comes to your turn, then you make your submission.
Hon Member, conclude. Your time is up.
Mr H. Iddrisu 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, indeed, in concluding, let me brandish a copy of our winning Manifesto of 2012, titled: “Advancing the Better Ghana Agenda” and in particular, I refer to page 17.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member can refer to page 17 where we pledged to the people of Ghana that we would provide progressive free senior high schools, for which the people of Ghana massively reposed confidence in the President and elected him as President --
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Your last sentence.
Mr H. Iddrisu 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, let me conclude, that, very soon, to improve revenue, custom officials would work 24 hours shift, subject to the revision of L.I. 1066. We are working to decongest the ports --
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Member, your time is up.
Mr H. Iddrisu 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity. [Hear! Hear!]
Mr Ignatius B. Awuah (NPP -- Sunyani West) 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the chance to second the Motion, thanking the President for honouring his constitutional obligation under article 67 of the 1992 Constitution, on his Message on the State of the Nation delivered to this House.
Mr Speaker, on that day, you did on behalf of the House, thank the President. But it is also appropriate that I, on behalf of my side of the House, add my voice in thanking the President.
Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President, in diagnosing our current situation and proffering solutions to them, kept to his 2013 thematic areas, which he described as the four pillars of his Government -- putting the people first, building a strong and resilient economy, expanding infrastructure for growth, maintaining transparent and accountable governance.
Mr Speaker, I recall that in seconding the Motion for adjournment on that day, the Hon Minority Leader stated that, in listening to the President, he wondered whether the 2014 Message, was not a rehash of the 2013 Message, which was delivered by the President. He said so with reference to the fact that, about 80 per cent of issues raised in the 2013 Address were repeated in the 2014 Address.
Mr Speaker, I totally agree with the viewpoint of the Hon Minority Leader, but added to that is the fact that, 2013 was a no show year. [Hear! Hear!] Nothing really happened in 2013, and for a whole year, Mr Speaker, as a nation, we wasted it.
Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague the Hon
Deputy Minority Whip is grossly misleading this House.
He is saying that in 2013 nothing happened. He has forgotten that they were in court for eight (8) months. Is that also nothing? Something really happened in 2013 and the Hon Member knows that it delayed the development of this country, and they are the cause of it.
Mr Speaker, his salary was also paid the whole of the year and he is saying that nothing had happened --
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Members, if you want to raise points of order, you should not go personal.
So, Hon Member, withdraw the second part of your --
Mr Speaker
Hon Members, if you want to raise points of order, you should not go personal.
So, Hon Member, withdraw the second part of your --
11.30.a.m.
Alhaji Muntaka 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I graciously withdraw the issue of his personal salary, but they were in court for eight months, which is something.
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Very well.
Mr Awuah 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, he is my Colleague; I forgive him for that comment.

Mr Speaker, my Colleague, who moved the Motion, is an Hon Member of Parliament coming from the SADA area. I would want to challenge him that, if he did see anything from the document on SADA, he should come out for people to hear him.

Mr Speaker, is it a case of a failed programme? Is the Government no more using SADA as a tool to bridge the gap between the South and the North?

Mr Speaker, also missing from the entire Statement was the issue of cocoa. Cocoa was never mentioned in the entire Address. Mr Speaker, cocoa, together with timber and gold, have been our main foreign exchange earners in this particular country. How come the President was

here for two and a half hours talking about the economy but did not mention cocoa, more especially, when the cocoa sub sector is being challenged with declining production, non-payment of bonuses to cocoa farmers for three years and the collapse of the mass spraying exercise, together with smuggling, which are affecting that sector?

Mr Speaker, the President talked about fighting corruption. I would want to applaud the President for being bold in his fight against corruption, but how could the President be here for two and a half hours talking and did not mention an important arm of government, the Judiciary? It was totally missing from the President's statement.

Mr Speaker, just last week, we had an opportunity to inaugurate a group in Parliament here called (GLOBE) Global Legislators for a Balanced Environment. The group is to be an advocacy wing among Members of Parliament on climate change issues. Mr Speaker, at almost every international fora, especially attended by Heads of State, issues of climate change are addressed. Unfortunately, the entire Statement did not make a single mention of climate change and how we are adapting to it.

Mr Speaker, these are important areas of our national life that I thought the President should have advised. I would want to seize this opportunity to plead with Mr Speaker to perhaps, follow me to the President and ask him. Perhaps, we would be charitable enough to give him a second opportunity to come back to this House and perhaps, address some of these issues.
rose
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Deputy Majority Whip, do you have a point of order?
Mr A. Ibrahim 11:30 a.m.
Rightly so Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, I remember on that day, I could hear voices from somewhere saying 11:30 a.m.
-- “conclude, conclude, conclude!”, and now, the same people are criticising the speech for not including everything. How could the President touch on everything when they were saying “conclude, conclude!?”
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Member, continue.
Mr Awuah 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the President said he would put people first. I totally agree with him because, all what we are doing, we are doing it for the benefit of the people. Mr Speaker, the President having accepted the fact that, the gate way in ensuring enlightened community, is to progressively introduce free senior secondary education.
Mr Speaker, at this stage, without offering a critique of the proposal at this stage, let me simply ask whether it is not a case of eating a humble pie -- [Hear! Hear!] -- Mr Speaker, does that make Nana Akufo-Addo a visionary?
Mr Speaker, in putting the people first, how is the President going to address or solve the mirage of problems affecting the ordinary person? As a matter of fact, in the country today, the youth are dejected, because they are either unemployed or underemployed.

Alhaji Abdul-Rashid H. Pelpuo -- rose
-- 11:30 a.m.

Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Minister of State, do you have a point of order?
Alhaji Pelpuo 11:30 a.m.
Yes.
Mr Speaker, it is important that --
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Members, I will take strict points of order.
Alhaji Pelpuo 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe that when information is put out in the
public domain, it has to be accurately reported.
The Hon Member who just spoke said that the President said he is introducing free secondary education and he is asking whether it is not eating of the humble pie.
Mr Speaker, the President never said we were introducing free secondary education. He said he received a Paper from the Minister for Education which is -- [Interruptions] -- yes, and the Paper is presenting how government would progressively introduce free secondary education. Mr Speaker, he repeated it twice and it is in accordance with our party manifesto, and it is also in accordance with the Constitution. Mr Speaker, we have not shifted our position at all. It is the same thing; we would introduce it but it must be progressive.
Mr Awuah 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, building a strong and resilient economy -- every strong building stands on a firm foundation. The President admitted that the fundamentals are good but we are currently going through turbulence. Mr Speaker, for the President to have said we were going through turbulence in my view, it is being more charitable in his choice of words.
The IMF team that reviewed the economy in its meeting with the Finance Committee just a day before the Message was delivered, described the economy as being in extreme difficulty -- [Hear! Hear!]. Mr Speaker, we would want to say this again. They described the economy as being in extreme difficulty. They never said we were facing challenges, they never said we were going through turbulence, they never said we were in difficulty but they said we were in extreme difficulty. Mr Speaker, these are known fact issues like huge budget deficits --
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
You have two minutes more.
Mr Awuah 11:30 a.m.
Rising inflation and depreciation of our local currency are
already the norm. Our industries are collapsing as a result of high taxes on imported raw materials, high tariffs, irregular supply of electricity among many other things. Mr Speaker, dumsô, dumsô is back with us.
Mr Speaker, what is happening about our road sector? Our maintenance programme is abandoned. Most of the road works which were inaugurated for commencement by his predecessor the late Prof. Mills are either still at finishing stages or are not even receiving attention. A typical example is the Atebubu Kwame Danso Kadjebi road, --[Interruption]-- the Brekum-Seikwa road-- [Interruption]- - the Takwa-Bogoso road, -- [Interruption]-- the Nsawam-Apedwa road.
Mr Speaker, what is happening now is the issue that, Ghanaians have lost credibility in the Government of the day. They cannot trust the Government to deliver on its promises. Why am I saying that? When the Government said it would introduce one-time premium on health insurance, where is it now? Where are the Members of Parliament (MPs') offices in their constituencies. [Interruption.] Where is the corruption free society the NDC promised us? [Interruption.]
Mr James K. Avedzi 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, --
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
It is unparliamentary to be shouting. You want me to name people? It is unparliamentary. You can do heckling but there should be reasonable heckling.You do not do it to disrupt the business of the House.
Mr James K. Avedzi 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity.
The Hon Member is grossly misleading the House.
Mr Speaker, he said the Members of Parliament (MPs) constituency offices, “no show”. Mr Speaker, I know that in my constituency and Hon Dr Akoto Osei's constituency, they are building the constituency office and it is going on all over the country. Therefore, he is misleading the House.
rose
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Akoto Osei, he mentioned your name.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not know why the Hon Chairman would mention my name when my Hon Colleague is giving out facts. He said his constituency --
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
He mentioned your constituency.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I live in my constituency; he has never been there, and there is no office going on. In any case, there are 275 Members of Parliament (MP's) including the former Member of Parliament (MP) --
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Anthony Akoto Osei, is anything going on in your constituency?
Some Hon Members 11:30 a.m.
No!
Dr A. A. Osei 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, if there is something going on, I have not seen it. Mr Speaker, I have gone to the former Member of Parliament (MPs) constituency, I do not want to mention the name; it used to be called Member for Ave/Avenor [Laughter.] I think there is an office there.
Mr Speaker, I am looking for an office here, not in my constituency. That is all.
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Member, your time is up, conclude. [Laughter.]
Mr Awuah 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, in winding up --
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Yes, wind up.
Mr Awuah 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, in winding, up, I would want to --
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Wind up.
Mr Awuah 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to laud His Excellency the President for one thing he did, that he used the time to do an advocacy for made in Ghana goods and for that I want to applaud him.
Mr Speaker, I do not want him to end there, he should extend the campaign not only to the consumption of made in Ghana goods, but to all other things which are produced locally. For instance, the affluent in society should spend their holidays in Ghana but not to go to Dubai.

Question Proposed.
Mr Joe K. Gidisu (NDC -- Central Tongu) 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I equally beg to associate myself with the Motion to thank His Excellency the President for delivering the State of the Nation Address before this House. In doing so, Mr Speaker, I would be concentrating attention on aspects of the infrastructural development of this country, which unfortunately, my Hon Colleague, the Hon Member who spoke last has touched on.
Mr Speaker, the President, in his candid view, noted that the road sector in particular, is the pivot of the economic development of this country. Within the last five years, Mr Speaker, the ten regions of this country, including Sunyani West, from where the Hon Member who spoke last represents, have had at least, a fair share in the distribution of the national cake, when it comes to roads.
Mr Speaker, as a former Roads and Highways Minister, I would want to use the opportunity to highlight the point that, unfortunately for us in this country, we fail to recognise that road development demands a lot of funding.
Mr Speaker, major roads in this country are being developed not from donor sources but from competitive sector of our national purse. In so doing, Mr Speaker, I would like to highlight some of the roads which are being constructed through the Government of Ghana (GoG) and which have unfortunately been the albatross around the Ministry of Finance. This House would recognise, almost every week, the Hon Minister that appears before the floor of this House to answer Questions is the Minister for Roads and Highways.
Mr Speaker, those roads are not roads that one expects to be constructed from donor funding, but from the competitive resources of this country. I would highlight a few of the roads that the President mentioned. For example, in the Upper East, we have the Bolgatanga town roads, the Bolgatanga-Bongo road and the Bolgatanga-Bawku road, which are equally suffering from effective works.

For the Western Region -- Mr Speaker, I am not concentrating on donor funded roads, I am speaking about roads that are contingent on GoG funding -- Mr Speaker, we have the Asankragwa-Enchi road and Enchi-Dadieso road. Mr Speaker, there is also a very important road network that connects Elubo to Enchi and this road traverses the major cocoa growing areas in that corridor and it is mainly on GoG.

Mr Speaker, if you come to the Brong Ahafo Region, we have the Berekum- Seikwa road, which the Hon Member mentioned, is not donor funded, it is a GoG funded road and that road is a very long stretch.

Equally, very important Mr Speaker, is the Kintampo-Abeasi road, which the President mentioned. It is not a donor funded road, it is a GoG funded road.

Mr Speaker, if you come to the Ashanti Region, there are a number of road projects, especially in the Kumasi Metropolis, which are heavily dependent on GoG. This is not limited to only those regions. But to come to my own region, the Volta, at least, we have a very small portion of the roads network, which shall effectively be addressed under GoG.

The point I would want to make Mr Speaker, is that, the President has been very candid in recognising that, the road sector is pivotal for the economic development of this country, and all attempts are being made -- and he has been very emphatic -- on new road projects which are earmarked for this year.

Mr Speaker, this House is very much aware, that in addition to donor funded projects, there are government counterpart funding to these major roads. For example, the road which he mentioned, the Tarkwa- Bogoso road, Mr Speaker, is a donor funded road and works are ongoing.

The Suhum-Nsawam road, the Kwafo- krom to Apedua section is also GoG.

Mr Speaker, we, as a House, would have to admit the realities of the time and appreciate efforts being made by Government in addressing very basic fundamentals, which would lead to the development of this country.

The President noted that, the time wasted in traffic by people in the metropolis and even conveying foodstuffs from the hinterland, affects the national economy and for that matter, all efforts are being made, especially at this crucial time, to carry on those projects, and those are the hiccups we have in the economy.
Mr Kennedy N. Osei (NPP--Akim Swedru) 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the floor.

Mr Speaker, if the NDC's track record is anything to go by, then I can boldly

say those numerous promises which were made by the President will never see light of the day. [Hear! Hear!] First of all —
Mr George K. Arthur 11:50 a.m.
— rose —
Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Hon Member, what is your point of order?
Mr Richard Quarshigah 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to put across that the Hon Member obviously has misled the House in the statement he just made.
This Government is not the NDC Government, it is the Government of the people of Ghana. So, to say that it is an NDC Government, I think it is inappropriate. The best one could say is an NDC led Government but this is the Government of Ghana, the Government of the people of Ghana and I would want to correct him on that point.
Mr K. N. Osei 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am surprised my Colleague is running away from his own Government. In any case, it is the NDC Government and I will continue to say NDC Government. [Uproar]
First of all, Mr Speaker, if I may draw you back a little, Ghanaians were promised that they would drastically reduce fuel prices. This was a major promise which was made by the then candidate John Evans Atta-Mills, and the NDC Government, that when they come to power, they would reduce fuel price drastically.
What do we see now? Now, fuel price which was handed over to them at GH¢3.50 when they took power, is now GH¢11.55 . [Uproar] An increase of about 218 per cent, just five years in government. Mr Speaker, NDC Government promised the people of Ghana and that of Ghanaian manufacturers, that when they come to power, they would not introduce any new taxes and I say “any
new taxes”. What do we see? Numerous taxes which have been introduced by this NDC-led Government in just five years in government. They introduced taxes on condoms and machetes. To add insult to injury, they introduced 2.5 per cent VAT, which is cutting the throats of the good people of this country. [Hear! Hear!] This is the people's first Government that were promised by this NDC Government.
Alhaji Muntaka 11:50 a.m.
— rose —
Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
What is your point of order?
Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, when you talk of a new tax, that is a tax that is not existing but it is new altogether, VAT is not a new tax. VAT is an old tax that has been reviewed. So, it is not a new tax. [Uproar.] That is the issue.
Alhaji Muntaka 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, he is misleading the House.
Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Hon Member, continue.
Mr K. N. Osei 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am surprised my Hon Member — Mr Speaker, let me go on.
Now, we have a crisis in this country and what is the crisis? High unemployment. Now, there are no jobs in the country. At least, statistics have shown that every year, 300,000-- new graduates join the labour force. Out of these 300, 000 -- Yes, I know Mr Speaker, the Hon Member wants to check my source; he can check it from the Ghana Statistical Service and the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations. Out of these 300, 000 —
Alhaji Muntaka 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, my Colleague is grossly misleading this
House by saying that unemployment today—Mr Speaker, he knows that it is a major challenge across the world and it did not start today. And the statistics that he is giving, Mr Speaker, I challenge him to provide evidence of what he is saying. I can say for sure that, the 300,000 figure that he is giving is completely misleading. If he says it is right, I challenge that he makes available the copy, wherever it is, because I am definitely sure that the statistics he is giving is completely misleading and is grossly misleading this House.
Mr K. N Osei 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am surprised. I thought my Colleague Hon Member was going to say that, I was wrong with what I am quoting but referring me to the word. We are in Ghana and I am specific on the issues of Ghana —
Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Hon Member, they have challenged your source, so, provide it.
Mr K. N. Osei 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I have provided it. Ghana Statistical Service; they can check it.
Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Hon Members, please! A number of publications come from there. Give us the exact publication you are referring to.
Mr K. N. Osei 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, 2012 -- they can go and check it.
Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Please, take your time, do not work yourself out. Hansard needs to capture your source, so, give us your source so that Hansard would capture the source.
Mr K. N. Osei 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, Statistical Report 2012.
Mr Speaker, we were promised by this Government, the NDC -- if I say this Government, NDC Government in this House, that they would establish Members of Parliament Development Fund to alleviate the tension between Members of Parliament and District Chief Executives. The question is, where is the Fund?
Mr K. N. Osei 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, where is the money?
Some Hon Members 11:50 a.m.
No show.
Mr K. N. Osei 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the NDC Government promised this country and the good people of Ghana that within 100 days in office, they would clear all filth in Ghana. Go to Makola and see, go to landfill sites, even the waste management companies have nowhere -- they are finding it difficult even to discharge refuse.
I would want to continue and say that we live in a country where in the past, some politicians have made some weird promises to the people of Ghana and at the end of the day, they are not able to fulfill these promises. They go scot-free - - and they even give more promises.
Mr Speaker, the Government promised that they would create new development centres in all the districts. I would want to ask this Government, and that is the NDC Government, where are these offices? Where can we locate them? They promised to build an office for NUGS, where is the office? They promised to separate the Attorney-General's Department from the Ministry of Justice, where is it? They promised to complete the Kotokroaba market within their first term in office, where is the market? --
Some Hon Members 11:50 a.m.
No show!
Mr K. N. Osei 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker--
Alhaji Muntaka 11:50 a.m.
-- rose --
Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Majority Chief Whip, what is your point of order?
Alhaji Muntaka 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, on a point of order.
Mr Speaker, we should know, technology now is not something you can lie about.

Mr Speaker, the Hon Member who just spoke said “Statistical Service”. I am holding the data for 2012; there is nothing there Mr Speaker. He should provide us with the true evidence or he should withdraw the statement because --
Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Hon Majority Chief Whip, the debate has just begun. Those who would come to the floor and make Statements that cannot be verified would be exposed by the end of the debate. So, do not worry; nobody should be worried. He has quoted his source; I do not have his phone with me; I am not in a position to rule on this matter now. The Hansard would show us the source and then we can resolve this matter before the end of this debate.
So, Hon Member, wind up; your time is up.
Mr K. N. Osei 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I know truth hurts. Sometimes when you say the truth, it becomes very piercing.
Mr Kwabena M. Akandoh (NDC -- Juaboso) 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion.
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, after the delivery of the State of the Nation Address by His Excellency the President, it is customary that the Speaker conveys the gratitude and the thanks of this House to him. Thereafter a formal Motion is moved on the path dating by the Speaker. We do not thank the President because the message is full of hope or whatever. [Interruption.]
We are doing so because it is traditional, it is conventional. That is what is required of us to do; we do not do so because of contents.
Can he go on?
Mr Akandoh 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I can understand, let me go on.
Mr Speaker, in doing so, His Excellency has demonstrated clearly that he really cares for the people of Ghana. [Hear! Hear!] That his salary and that of his appointees must be cut down in order to supplement the construction of CHPS compounds in this country.
Mr Speaker, I think this is the first of its kind in this country. [Hear! Hear!] Mr Speaker, if you are in Accra you may not know the importance of CHPS compounds, but if you come from where I come from, you would agree with me that CHPS compounds are equally important in this country -- [Interruption]
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, with respect to my Hon Colleague, he is a young man in the House. But when he is talking about unprecedented feats, voluntary reductions or cutting salaries, Mr Speaker, this exercise was begun in this country way back in 1969 by Prof. Busia.
Mr Akandoh 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, still I can understand him; the 1969 that he is talking about I was not born. I am talking about the Fourth Republic. That is exactly what I am talking about.
Mr Speaker, let me touch on something His Excellency spoke about as far as the economy is concerned and that touched me very much. He spoke about the dollarization of the economy, and to the extent that, people work in this country, they are paid and they convert their moneys into dollars. Mr Speaker, nobody can develop this country for us except ourselves. If we do that we are simply giving strength to the foreign currencies. So, I think that it is something that we all must take note of.
We rent houses in dollars, we rent cars in dollars and we turn round to blame leaders of this country. We all have the responsibility as citizens of this country; we must abide by the regulations of the country. I think that His Excellency was right on point and that we should learn a lot from that.
Again, going forward, His Excellency again demonstrated -- when he was coming to the floor of the House, the cloth and shoes were all made in Ghana. [Hear! Hear!] This is a clear demonstration of patronising made-in-Ghana goods. Indeed, a social democratic -- [Interruption.]
Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I thought when the Hon Member knew he was coming to speak about made-in- Ghana goods, he would be wearing made-
Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Hon Member, proceed.
Mr Akandoh 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is a leader in this House and you have clearly directed that we should not personalise issues on this floor, but he is personalising it.
Mr Speaker, I am talking about the State of the Nation Address with reference to the President, not myself. [Hear! Hear!] With a great deal of respect, Mr Speaker - [Interruption.]
Going forward, I think that His Excellency used the platform to market the
-- 11:50 a.m.

Mr Nitiwul 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the President appealed to all of us to wear made-in- Ghana shoes. That is why I am wearing something that has been made in Ghana. He cannot preach to us when he is disrespecting what the President has said, or he did not hear what the President said. I expect him to learn to wear made-in- Ghana goods when he is preaching made- in-Ghana goods. This is because the television would capture him; he is wearing a coat and a tie and he wants people to listen to him, Mr Speaker.
Mr Akandoh 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I thought that he was going to refer to his own half and looking at the number of people who have dressed like me. But if you would allow me to continue, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, I think that is exactly what we should be doing. If we go to the market and we have “foreign rice” and the “local rice” and we decide to buy the one that comes from Thailand and what have
you, we would be doing harm to our selves. So, it is about time we all learnt to patronise what we manufacture in this country. One thing I heard from the President, - and it is refreshing to say -- is that his Government would assist the local producers of rice in this country. And that is the way forward -- [Hear! Hear!] That is a leader who really cares for his country.
Mr Speaker, a lot of people have been talking about rehash of 2013 and what have you. Mr Speaker, our problems remain the same. The issue of electricity would continue to persist; the issue of water would continue to persist; the issue of roads would continue to be with us. And so, if the President comes in 2013 and talks about those things, do we expect him not to talk about those things in 2014? Mr Speaker, I cannot understand and so, I think that the President is on course.
Mr Speaker, if you look at rural electrification, an Hon Member on the floor of the House said nothing had happened in the year 2013. Mr Speaker, I can challenge him; he should come to my constituency. From 2013 up till now, about 13 communities have been connected to the national grid. [Hear! Hear!] How can he say nothing has happened in this country in 2013?
Mr Speaker, in winding up, this House is a House of records and the records must be set clear, that the mass spraying exercise has never collapsed.
Dr Owusu A. Akoto (NPP -- Kwadaso) 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would like to start my contribution by quoting from the President's Address on page 11. He said and I beg to quote:
“Mr. Speaker, in 2013 alone we spent a whopping amount of almost US$1.5 billion in foreign currency on the import of rice, sugar, wheat, tomato products, frozen fish, poultry and vegetable cooking oils.

Mr Speaker, I would want to follow this up with a quotation on the same page and it is a continuation of the first quotation. He said, and I beg to quote:

“Mr. Speaker, between 2012 and 2013, Ghana lost US$1.3 billion in export revenues on account of the decline in cocoa and gold prices.”

Mr Speaker, between these two quotations, is an admission of failure of government policy. [Hear! Hear!] It is an admission for the first time on the floor of the House, that agricultural policy has failed. We, for the last six years, have been monitoring the agricultural growth performance and we have been knocking in here, ringing the bell, that things are not good in the agricultural sector.

Mr Speaker, on many occasions, I have said that, in 2008, agricultural growth was 7.4 per cent. In 2009, it came down slightly to 7.2 per cent. In 2010, it came to 5.2 per cent. In 2011, it was minus 1.3 per cent. - - [Uproar] -- In 2013, it was 1.3 per cent.

Now, they are projecting that it would be 3.4 per cent but I doubt if we can get two and a half per cent. If this is not failure of the six years of the administration of this Government, I do not know what it is.

Mr Speaker, it is very serious that we should spend US$1.5 billion in all these areas that we are spending the money. Ghana could produce these products cheaply and create employment for our teeming youth and all the benefits which should have come with it.

We were in this House three years ago when your predecessor referred to us the Poultry Farmers Association who were so frustrated with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, that they decided to petition the Speaker of this House. When they met us, it was pathetic. They were talking about an industry which could generate 450,000 jobs -- nearly half a million jobs and for which they had engaged the Ministry of Food and Agriculture for so long and were getting no response and were forced to come to this House for reliefs.

Mr Speaker, I can cite so many of such cases where we have had visitors coming to this House -- to the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs to plead with us for government's intervention to help them, but these interventions are not coming.

Mr Speaker, if one looked at the budget for the last six years, the percentage of the budget allocated to agriculture has been going down. If one looks at the annual budget funding amount for the last three years since they started, the portion which is supposed to be given to the agriculture, the first two years went to SADA and we know what SADA means in our terminology. It means corruption and so on. But that is the extent to which our petrol money, which is supposed to be supporting agriculture has been spent.

Mr Speaker, on the failure of agricultural policy, I can go on and on.
Dr Kwabena Donkor 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, since this is a House of record, the Hon Member said we all know what SADA means. That SADA means corruption - [Uproar]- For the record, SADA means Savannah Accelerated Development Authority.
Dr Akoto 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, no amount of shine that my Hon Friend would put on it would detract from the fact that every- body knows that trees were planted in November and December in the dry season in the North.
It cost the taxpayer GH¢15 million. He also knows that the Akonfem project, which is very famous now for what it is, also cost us GH¢33 million. So, there is no need for us to argue about that.
Mr Speaker, let me continue.
The fact of the matter is that, the tractors imported into this country to support our farmers are totally inadequate against what the Government itself has stated in the budget.
Lastly, to demonstrate the failure of policy, I am coming to this favourite subject of cocoa. Mr Speaker, last week we held a press conference immediately following the State of the Nation Address. Why did we? This is because such a pillar of the economy of this country -- 120 years since our great Tetteh-Quarshie brought the seeds from Fernando Po in 1886, it has always been the pillar.
For the President to come here and in two and a half hours of speech, not mention anything about cocoa when there is a crisis in that sector, in my view, was an admission of the failure of policy.
Alhaji Muntaka 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, as much as we want the debate to flow, we need to get our facts right.
My Hon Colleague is misleading us when he says there is crisis in the cocoa industry.
Mr Speaker, in the Budget Statement of 2014, we can all check -- the target of government is that, even the production is going to be much higher this year. So, on what account is he saying that there is crisis in the cocoa industry? That information is factually not correct.
Dr Akoto 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I wish people would pay attention and listen to me carefully when I am talking. I am talking facts and figures and it is very clear. Ghana reached a peak of one million metric tonnes which we have never done throughout our 120 years of cocoa in this country. We know, as a matter of fact, that since then, production has been steadily coming down.
Now, COCOBOD is talking about a harvest of 800,000 metric tonnes. I, as an expert in the cocoa industry -- [Hear! Hear!] -- I am saying that we would be lucky to export 750,000 metric tonnes. And one can bet me on that. This is a very serious turn of affairs. And when we are speaking about it, please, one does not have to disturb and let us see -- [Interruption].
Mr Akandoh 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker --
Dr Akoto 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, have you given him the floor?
Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
Hon Akondah, do you have a point of order?
Mr Akandoh 12:20 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
What is your point of order?
Mr Akandoh 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is grossly misleading this House.
The fact that we had one million metric tonnes last year, does not mean that the subsequent year the tonnage must increase. If he knows cocoa very well, if it hits the peak, then automatically, in the subsequent year, it would drop. That is how cocoa production is. So, the fact that it dropped, does not mean that there is crisis in the cocoa industry.
Dr Akoto 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I wish some Members did not demonstrate their ignorance of the subject on the floor of this House. I wish so. This is too serious a subject for these kinds of disruptions.
Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
Hon Member, your time is up. Conclude.
Dr Akoto 12:20 p.m.
I would conclude, Mr Speaker, by saying that the Government urgently should increase producer prices by at least, 50.4 per cent. That is my calculation.
A bag of cocoa which has been fixed at GH¢212.00 should be increased to at least, GH¢319.00 in order to give some encouragement to our farmers and the Government should pay the bonuses. Government should pay the bonuses which the farmers are entitled to.
Mr Ameen Salifu (NDC -- Wa East) 12:20 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to support the Motion ably made by my senior, the Hon Member for Tamale South. In doing so, I would like to thank His Excellency the President for the wonderful State of the Nation Address he delivered to this House on the 25th of the second -- [Interruption] -- 25th of February, 2014. Mr Speaker -- [Interruption]
MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:22 p.m.
Hon Members, order!
Mr Salifu 12:22 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if you look at what was presented to us, it is very much reflecting on the situation of the nation at the moment.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:22 p.m.
Hon Member, please, concentrate on your submissions.
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:22 p.m.
Yes, Hon Deputy Minority Leader, do you have a point of order?
Mr Nitiwul 12:22 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member tried to say “on the 25th of February” -- he needs to correct it. This is because he kept saying “25th of second”, “25th of the second” and the Hansard is going to capture the “25th of the second.” We do not have that. So, he really needs to correct that one.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:22 p.m.
All right. It is 25th February, 2014.
Mr Nitiwul 12:22 p.m.
Yes. So, he should correct that and take his time and calm down. He should drink some water and then deliver the thing well.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:22 p.m.
Yes, Hon Member, please, proceed.
Mr Salifu 12:22 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the President made mention in the State of the Nation Address, that any developing nation that does not take education serious, is not worth emulating -- [Interruption]
rose
Mr Salifu 12:22 p.m.
In that case, the President has made education a priority in this country -- [Interruption.]
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:22 p.m.
Mr Speaker -- [Interruption]
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:22 p.m.
Please, take your seat, Hon Salifu.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:22 p.m.
Mr Speaker, may I appeal to my Hon Colleague -- I think he has come with a prepared statement that he wanted to read. I do not have any qualms about that because I guess this is his maiden contribution in the House. I do not have any qualms about that if he has to read, because thus far, he appears too jittery and not well composed.
Could he sturdy himself? if he has to read, Mr Speaker, allow him, so that at least, he would be able to make some sense. I think that would be better. If he has to read, he should please, read.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:22 p.m.
Yes, Hon Member, please, proceed with your submission.
Mr Salifu 12:22 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
In saying that the President and his government have embarked on access to primary education and infrastructure and for that matter, we have seen tremendous improvement in the last four years - if not five years -- in this country.
Mr Salifu 12:22 p.m.
Mr Speaker, today, as we are talking -- [Interruption]
Dr A. A. Osei 12:22 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to appeal to your goodself -- Part of the difficulty is the “coach” who has gone to sit there and confusing my good Friend. So, could you request the “coach” to move so that the Hon Member can concentrate? It is the “coach” who is sitting there.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:22 p.m.
Hon Member, I do not know of any coach in this House.
Please, go ahead.
Mr Salifu 12:22 p.m.
Mr Speaker, as we are talking today, the NDC Government has built over 75 per cent of brand new schools that have provided almost -- [Interruption] -- At what?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:22 p.m.
Please, address the Chair. Hon Salifu, I do not want you to attend to any side comments; address the Chair.
Mr Salifu 12:22 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we have also rehabilitated almost 25 per cent of the schools that were in a dilapidated situation. As I am speaking now, I can assure you that, the Wa East Constituency is really on course as far as learning is concerned. I can assure you that, we are doing everything possible, that by the end of the term of this Government, we would have been able to eliminate entirely schools under trees in Wa East and in the country as whole.
Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I urge this august House to support this Motion.
Dr Sagre Bambangi (NPP-- Walewale) 12:30 p.m.
Thank you Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the State of the Nation delivered by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Ghana.
Mr Speaker, the Message on the State of the Nation, painstakingly, espoused the problems of inequality in Ghana and I quite appreciate that. But conspicuously missing in the analysis and the proposals for addressing these inequalities were the issues of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA).
Mr Speaker, we all know that SADA is a major policy of the Government to address the gap between the three northern regions of Ghana and some parts of Brong-Ahafo and some parts of northern Volta, so that northern Ghana and the rest of the country would come at par or in tandem.
Mr Speaker, in the 2013 State of the Nation Address, the House was informed about the public-private partnership that was ongoing in initiatives such as the Sheanut Processing Factory at Buipe, the Rice Mill at Nyankpala and then an Oil Mill in Tamale. We were also told that SADA had partnered a private sector group to grow and nurture five million trees and the nurturing of the five million trees would have created 5,000 jobs for the people of these areas.
However, in 2013, in this current State of the Nation Address, we have not been updated on the state of these initiatives. I think the Address has not been that fair to SADA.
As for the guinea-fowl project, I suspect that it might have passed by the blind side of the President. It is not surprising that it is a conception of many in northern Ghana that after all, the SADA could be a scam.
Mr Mutawakilu Adam 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, he made a statement that the SADA trees, the five million trees with 5,000 jobs, the President did not address it. I could quite remember we were here when we were made clearly aware, that the new Board had engaged the University for Development Studies to do the audit of the trees. Does he get my point? I am using a technical word here. At the end of the day -- he should listen to the word “audit”. He should listen very well. I am using an accounting word; if he does not understand, he should ask and let me explain it well to him.
At the end of the day, they are expected to come with the number of trees that were planted, how many have survived and how many were not able to survive. So, until we wait for the University for Development Studies to come out --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Hon Member, your point is well made, except that he is commenting on the fact that there was no comment on that issue. So, bid your time. It will get to your turn. You can also address the issue. But he is only commenting on the fact that, indeed, there was no such comment as a follow up.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, on an issue of relevance.
I guess my Hon Colleague who just spoke is not telling us that, if one witnesses death in any health facility and an autopsy has not been conducted, it does not mean that the person is dead or there is no death. What kind of logic is this? And he is telling those of us on this side that, if we do not understand “audit” -- He has the temerity to tell us that if we do not understand the term “audit” we should have patience.
If death happens and there is no autopsy, in his imagination, there is no death. What kind of reasoning is that?
Mr Speaker, can we go on and ignore such interventions because I do not want to go on the path of cautioning that he withdraws those words. Those were offensive but I do not want to say that he should withdraw those words. He can spare us and the debate will flow.
Alhaji Muntaka 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I thought my Hon Senior Colleague, the Hon Minority Leader was going to be charitable to my Hon Colleague? This is because all he wanted to say -- because the Hon Member said those projects had not been mentioned and he wanted to believe that they had not even been done. So, he wanted to draw attention that, because they had been done and the Government wants to know its state, that is why an audit had been contracted to the University for Development Studies, so that after doing it, we would know exactly how many have survived.
This means, the project had been done. All he wanted to portray was that, what our Hon Colleague said was misleading. This is because the project was done and some attempt is being made to ascertain how many of them were there. So, I thought my Hon Colleague should have taken it on a lighter note. He did not mean to offend the Minority in anyway. But all the same, if the Minority felt offended, I apologise on his behalf, so that we can carry on.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Yes, Hon Member, continue with your contribution.
Dr Bambangi 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the point I am making is that, there was a report produced by functionaries of the Government and it was suggested that there was no value for money and that these projects were not well executed. That is why we were told that the projects were being cancelled. So, Mr Speaker, the issues that I would want to raise here are very simple. [Interruption.]
DrAhmed Y. Alhassan 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not wish to interrupt my very good Colleague in this debate. But I really wish the report which he only knows about and his only source, is the Media -- I really wish he could tell us which report it is, the title, where it was commissioned and how it was generated, then he would be helping the House. But to continuously refer to a report only he knows about, is not fair.
Mr Nitiwul 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I think that he is the Hon Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture and he knows that the President recently issued a statement when he terminated the contract between AZONTABA and SADA in the tree planting,and of course, the guinea-fowl exercise. The President made allusions that there was a report and based on that report, he terminated it. That is what he just said. So, if he does not know about that report, he should not accuse the Hon Member.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Hon Members, let us put this aside and make some progress. I plead with you.
Hon Member, can you --
Dr Bambangi 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the report was produced by a committee headed by the Hon Minister of State in charge of development authorities in the Office of the President.
Therefore, my constituents and the people of northern Ghana and parts of Brong Ahafo and Volta Region are asking very important and crucial questions --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Hon Member, because of the interjections, I have given you two extra minutes.
Dr Bambangi 12:40 p.m.
How much of our money is due to the contractors after the cancellation of the contracts and how far are we retrieving our money?
Mr Speaker, it is sad to listen to a Member of Parliament and a Minister of State, both women, in this Chamber, lament about the dehumanising state of our sisters of northern extraction in southern Ghana here and it is all because of that development gap between northern Ghana and southern Ghana. When we realise that so much of the taxpayer's money is not being taken care of, then my heart bleeds.
Mr Speaker, I would want to sound more caution to the Government that we have to sit up and make sure that SADA works, because we cannot afford to let SADA fail.
I thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for giving me this opportunity.
Mr Edward K. Dery (NDC -- Lambussie/Karni) 12:40 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the State of the Nation Address presented by His Excellency -- [Interruption.]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Very well.
Alhaji Muntaka 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am not trying to hold brief for my senior Colleagues. But one of the challenges that we had is that, the party is having the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting today, and as all of us are aware, many of us are members of the NEC. So, some of us, after starting in the House, had to go and hold the fort for Parliament. That is why almost all the Ministers are not here. But Mr Speaker, I believe we have more than enough for the debate to carry on.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Hon Member, continue with your submission.
Mr Dery 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, in doing so, I would like to touch on three issues. That is, the economy, combating corruption and education.
Mr Speaker, the Government is willing and poised to transform the economy. Mr Speaker, in spite of the difficulties that we are going through as a country, as part of the global crisis, I can tell you that there is so much hope coming from the President by his presentation in this House.
Mr Speaker, 20 years ago, I believe that if Leaders had taken this bold decision to control the escalating dollar over the cedi, I tell you, by now, we would have been somewhere. But I can assure you, as he did mention, the turbulence we are going through, is just temporary. I believe that my Hon Colleagues on the other side would bear with us and the President to fix the economy.
Indeed, by so doing, it is not in one day or nine day wonder; it cannot be so. Fixing the economy is not just like any of us who would probably want to send his or her car to the workshop and when it is fixed, we would test it and start moving. It takes a lot of measures to be able to stand on the right footing.
Mr Speaker, in spite of the difficulty, the Government would not renege on its effort or commitment to provide social services to the vulnerable in society, particularly the free uniform, the free “exercise textbooks” and improving on our health service delivery.
Mr Speaker, in the agricultural sector --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Hon Member, I think you are talking about “free exercise books”? If you say “free exercise textbooks” there is some confusion there.
Mr Dery 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am talking about the free exercise books and textbooks as well.
Mr Patrick Y. Boamah 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I was very interested in hearing the Hon Member on the floor speak about the President's solutions to corruption. That
is where he started from. But from making that simple statement, he jumped to the economy, free textbooks; he is now going to -- I do not know --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Hon Member, you cannot direct him the way he should go. You cannot direct him. You are out of order. Allow him to make his presentation.
Mr Dery 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I guess my Hon Colleague wants to draw attention to other things that are not necessary. But I mentioned three things; I am still dealing with the economy issue. So, I would get to the issue of corruption.
Mr Speaker, as indicated by the President, he wants to improve our export promotion sector, particularly just to supplement our over-dependence on gold and cocoa.
Mr Speaker, I think as a people, we need some fiscal discipline into the economy in the area of agriculture. If you look at the way in which we import r ice, vegetables, onions, it tells you the difficulties and the challenges that the nation is facing.
Mr Speaker, in 1978, I can confidently tell you that the then Kuoro of Lambussie was adjudged the best farmer and my senior Brother sitting here can also attest to that fact. I believe if we are given the opportunity, we can provide enough rice, we can provide enough maize to feed this country.
Dr A. A. Osei 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I think the Hon Member may have got excited -- but he has just grossly misled the House.
He said our imports are three times our exports; that is certainly not true. If he can give us the right numbers -- it is three times the imports. He said that our imports are three times our exports and I am saying that is factually incorrect. I do not know whether in his excitement, he may have given that three times figure. It is certainly not three times.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Hon Member, do you have an idea what it is?
Dr A. A. Osei 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if the Hon Member wants to consult me, I would be glad to assist him. But he has not asked me to --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
I am asking you a question; do you know what it is? Can you help the House?
Dr A. A. Osei 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, first, if he admits that he is incorrect, I would be glad to give him the numbers.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Hon Member, in order to help me take a decision, I would want to hear from you.
Dr A. A. Osei 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, he made the statement and I am reminding him that what he said is incorrect. So far, he has not said that I am correct or not. But if he says so, then I can give him the numbers but in chambers.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
The Hon Member has come out with a certain figure and you disagree with him. Can you come out with your figure, so that we would know where we stand?
Dr A. A. Osei 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, he only needs to tell me that I am wrong because it is here. Mr Speaker, it is here; I can give it to him for him to check. I do not have any problem; but I think he was just excited when he gave “three times”. There is no way that is correct. Three times is not possible.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Hon Member, if you, are prepared to help us, I do not know how it would --
Dr A. A. Osei 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if you insist, I would help you.
It is certainly not three times. One of them is about GH¢17 billion and the other is about GH¢13 billion. It cannot be three times. I would leave him to do the division or calculation.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Very well. Now, we have the figures.
Can you proceed, Hon Member?
Mr Dery 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I guess my senior Colleague on the other side of the House is probably trying to polish what I am saying and I do not think he is getting me out of board. It is not even an imaginary figure if he looks at our imports and exports. Mr Speaker, we --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Hon Member, you have one more minute, if you would concentrate on your presentation.
Mr Dery 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we, as a people of this country, need an alternative thinking and alternative solution to support the economy to grow.
Mr Speaker, let me touch on corruption. When His Excellency the President mentioned corruption in this House, he was very emphatic and had never alluded or associated corruption to a particular Government, neither a particular individual but rather said we should fight corruption as a nation.
Mr Speaker, on the aspect of free education I was particularly happy yesterday, when the President mentioned that in 2015, there would be a provision in the budget of an allocation of GH¢71 million to support the free education --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Hon Member, we are talking about the State of the Nation Address. Please, let us concentrate on that, and do not veer off.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the distinguished Hon Colleague, when there was an intervention, pleaded for time to address the issue of corruption and we are still all ears. In particular, given the fact that Mr Speaker, there is this latest edition of a popular magazine “Africa Watch” and Ghana is described as the “Republic of Corruption”.
Mr Speaker, let us accord our Hon Colleague space for him to address the issue of corruption. We are all ears and I would plead with you if you can even grant him another five minutes.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Hon Minority Leader, I think we are going by the rules. His time is already up.
Hon Member, can you conclude?
Mr Dery 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, in conclusion, the free senior high school (SHS) as mentioned by the President, is not a preserve of a particular party or regime. Once it is within our Constitution, it is a right and a preserve for any other person who thinks he can make this nation better, which I believe our President, John Dramani Mahama is going to do and would do it better for Ghanaians.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Thank you very much, Hon Member.
Hon Members, the next Member to contribute is in the person of Hon Ursula Owusu..
Ms Ursula G. Owusu (NPP - Ablekuma West) 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would like to associate myself with the Motion on the floor of the House and start from where the last Hon Member who spoke left off in terms of corruption. [Interruptions.]
It is a source of pain to all of us, that knowing the pride with which we all hold ourselves in this country, to be referred to as the “Republic of Corruption” and “shady deals threatening our country's future”. We ought all to hang our heads in shame, that 57 years after independence, this is how our country is being described in a magazine of wide circulation.
Dr Kwabena Donkor 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, in agreeing that corruption is an issue that we should tackle, we should not forget the fact that corruption has been described as having been with us since Adam and Eve by the Leadership of the other side of the House in the past.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Hon Member, you may proceed.
Ms Owusu 12:40 p.m.
I would also like to quote His Excellency the President himself in his tacit admission, that despite the amount of words which we have used to describe this canker, which is eating us up, he says and Mr Speaker, I would quote from page
22:
“Mr Speaker, the existence of corruption in the system must not be a political baton that we drudge up every few years to clobber one another with. Corruption is a problem that begins and ends with one government; it is pervasive and virtually institutionalised.”
Alhaji Muntaka 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, whereas we are all interested in what our Hon Colleague is saying, she should quote right.
There is nowhere in this text that the President claims that there is nothing that can be done about it. He described the situation, but he mentioned that, as a people and not only the Government, we should all be determined to make sure that we clean our society of corruption.
For my Hon Colleague to say that because of the description, she just stopped there and said that the President meant that nothing could be done about it, Mr Speaker, she is grossly misleading this House and she is not being factual at all about what the President read on the floor of this House.
Thank you Mr Speaker.
Ms Owusu 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it is a matter of simple English, I am not interpreting, I am just reading and quoting what the President had said. If he said it was pervasive it was institutionalised, it means we probably have to kill all of us before he can do anything about it.
Mr Speaker --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Hon Member, I believe what he was saying had to do with the last bit. It is your view that having said that, the only conclusion you can arrive at, is so and so. That does not mean that is what the President precisely said. Do you understand me?
Ms Owusu 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, yes, I understand you but I quoted what the President said and added my opinion on what he said to it and said that
Mr Benjamin Kpodo 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for this opportunity.
I think that Hon Ursula Owusu should proceed a little further, just beyond where she is ending that quotation. This is because the President had stated clearly that:
“The Attorney-General has received my full encouragement and support to deal firmly with cases of corruption no matter whose watch the acts occurred under”.
And that is a move to arrest corruption under the eyes of the President. So, I do not think what she is saying--
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Thank you very much.
Hon Ursula Owusu, can you make some progress?
Ms Owusu 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, in September, 2012, when the President held his policy meeting intervention, he indicated that he had instructed and directed his Attorney- General and Minister for Justice to prosecute all the corruption cases pending before the courts in this country.
As at June last year, when the Supreme Court pronounced Waterville and aspects of Woyome and Isofoton as illegal and unconstitutional, no action had been taken by the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice to bring any of these matters before the courts for prosecution
-- 12:40 p.m.

Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Hon Member, I do not know whether you were in the Chamber when the Hon Attorney- General and Minister for Justice appeared to answer Questions on these issues? I think she addressed a number of issues.
Ms Owusu 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am talking about September, 2012; his directive to the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and June 2013, actions or inactions of the
Alhaji Muntaka 1 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I thought my Hon Colleague was going to take guidance from you.
Having got the Hon Minister to come and speak before June, does not mean that nothing was happening. That was why when the Question was put to the Hon Attoney-General and Minister for Justice, she came to this House and gave the chronological activities that had happened all that time to date and the effort that was being made.
She not having heard the Minister talking on radio or anywhere, does not mean that,nothing was being done. So, Mr Speaker, I believe my Hon Colleague should take a cue from you, so that we can make progress. This is because some of the statements that she is making are not only non-factual but completely inaccurate. With the greatest respect, she should deal with other motives rather than trying to be non -factual.
Thank you MrSpeaker.
Mrs Owusu 1 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I take exception to the statement impugning ill- motives to me by the Leader of this House, who really ought to know better. I take serious exception to that. I am contributing to this Motion. I have every right to express my emotion and he ought not impugn ill-motives to me. Mr Speaker, I am seeking your direction on this matter.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
Hon. Members, I want us as much as possible to avoid inflammatory statements, so that we can make a lot of progress in this regard. I would plead with you.
Yes, Hon Minority Leader.
Alhaji Muntaka 1 p.m.
Mr Speaker, with the greatest respect to my Colleague, I had no intention at all to impugn wrong motives in what she is saying. I am only trying to draw her attention to the likely implication of the statement she is making. If she is offended and thought maybe, I am doing it with malice, I am very sorry.
But in much the same way, the statement that she is making, to someone who is listening, it could also be construed as though some wrong things are being done at the Ministry of Justice and Attorney-General and that is why I was drawing her attention. But honestly speaking, I do not intend what I said to be offensive. if it is offensive to her, I am very sorry.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
Hon Member, please, proceed.
Ms Owusu 1 p.m.
Mr Speaker, in the same statement on corruption, the President talks about making submission of reports of audits, reports of implementation committees, a part of the performance criteria of Ministers and their Chief Directors. We have heard a lot of talks about this performance assessment of Ministers but to date, it remains as much a State secret as the report of the Americans who came to investigate the outbreaks of fires. Mr Speaker —
Mr James Agalga — rose —
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
Hon Member, is it on a point of order?
Mr James Agalga 1 p.m.
Mr Speaker, yes, it is on a point of order.
The Hon Member is misleading the House.
The Report she is talking about has been made public. The Fire Report, the President has spoken on it. So, for her, in her submission, to be making reference to that particular report and say it is being kept —
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
Hon Member, can you assist us? How has it been made public? Can you assist us?
Mr Agalga 1 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the President had the occasion to address market women when they visited him at the Flagstaff House and he clearly stated that the Report was out and it had nothing to do with arson. The President was categorical on this.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
Thank you very much for the information.
Hon Member, you have one more minute. I am giving you one more minute. In the face of the various interventions, one more minute for you.
Ms Owusu 1 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe I have been seriously short-changed because of the numerous interruptions and all that.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
You are consuming more of your time by going that way. I have given you one more minute. Please proceed.
Ms Owusu 1 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would also
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I think a statement has been made by the Hon Ursula Owusu-Akuffo (Mrs) and we had an Hon Member to say that the statement was incorrect. She was saying that the report had not been made public and he got up to say that the President had given an-intimation about some aspects of the Report.
Mr Speaker, does it amount to making the Report public? And indeed, the substantive Minister has come to indicate that the Report cannot—Government has no intention of making the Report public and so, I am surprised at this. But just to advise my Hon Colleague, the Hon Ursula Owusu-Akuffo, the President indicated to us -- he quoted as one of the pillars, the
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
Hon Member, is that a point of order as far as this issue is concerned? I do not think so. I do not think so. You are seeking to advise her but she has not sought for your advice.
In any case, this is not the stage at which you would be giving advice. So, allow her to conclude her submission.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it is information to her and she has yielded.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
You can give it to her quietly without you taking the floor.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1 p.m.
Mr Speaker, our Standing Orders so allow me, provided she yields.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
I would prefer that you give it to her behind the scenes.
Hon Member, please, conclude.
Ms Owusu 1 p.m.
Mr Speaker, he publicly on the floor of the House advised an Hon Member on the other side and we all applauded him for the Leadership qualities that he had exhibited on the floor this morning. If he can advise an Hon Member of the Majority side and we would applaud him for it, why can he not give me information here? He has to give me information —
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
Hon Member, why are you just consuming the little time we have in debating decisions?
Ms Owusu 1 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I take a cue from your wise counsel.
The President began the State of the Nation Address, made remarks about the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection. Understandably, he is proud of the performance of this Ministry. However, the flagship programme that the President spoke —
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
Can you conclude? You were supposed to end at 1.00 p.m., it is now 4 minutes after 1.00 p.m. Please, conclude.
Ms Owusu 1 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the interjec- tions have disabled me from contributing as effectively as I wanted to, to this topic. I dare say, it was all deliberate and calculated to achieve this same end. But I would conclude by saying that, I take it as a compliment that, so many of the Colleagues on the other side of the House think that they have to interrupt what I am saying because of the effectiveness with which I am —
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
Hon Member, thank you.
Hon Members, the next contribution would come from Hon Richard Acheampong.
Mr Richard Acheampong (NDC -- Bia East) 1 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity.
I rise to associate myself with the Motion on the floor, that this Honourable House thanks His Excellency the President for the Message on the State of the Nation, which he delivered to Parliament on Tuesday, 25th February, 2014.
I must say that, the Statement was very transparent and refreshing. Why do I say so, Mr Speaker? The Statement reflects the true state of our economy. The President did not hide anything from us and he was straight to the point.
Turning to page 12, under pillar 2: “Building a strong and resilient economy”. With your permission, let me read:
“I have asked the Ghana Cocoa Board to enter into a strategic partnership to produce jute sacks in Ghana.”
Mr Speaker, we all know an amount of money or dollars that we use to import jute sacks into this country. COCOBOD spends a lot of money in the course of importing jute sacks into this country and even the Local Buying Companies (LBCs) that are in this business, during the cocoa seasons, they find it extremely difficult getting access to these jute sacks. A lot of middlemen come into play and this brings the price to a very high level and it affects their profit.
It is not cocoa buying companies alone. Even those who trade in cashew nuts. If you go to Jaman side and parts of the Northern Region, both local and the foreign companies that trade in this business, it becomes very, very difficult getting access to this jute sacks. The demand for this is year round because the cocoa season starts from October to June and from February up to October, the cashew season also starts.
So, if we are able to produce these jute sacks in this country, one, it is going to create employment for the people of this country. This is because we are saying our youth are not getting employment. So, if locally, COCOBOD is into partnership with any industry which is interested to produce these jute sacks, it is going to create employment, it is going to make available these sacks, so that the hurdles that they go through, would be a thing of the past.
This is something positive, that all of us should support, so that at least, the amount of money or dollars that we use in importing this, would be reduced and our
youth would get employment and even local industries -- we have a company called Export. They have a company in Ghana here. But sometimes, it becomes very difficult getting access to jute sacks. So, this is a very laudable idea; we need to support it, so that we move forward as a country.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, on a point of order.
Especially, since my Hon Colleague is talking about making tremendous gains- -the savings and employment that it would also offer -- the two things that he has spoken about. Mr Speaker, yes, we admit that it may generate some value addition.
Mr R. Acheampong 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am addressing the Chair, but if he so directs, I would give the figure. But he is not in the Chair.
Moving forward, Mr Speaker, - [Laughter.] on pillar 1 -- putting people first -- [Interruption]
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, may I appeal to you to so direct then? [Laughter.]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Hon Members, I do not want to drag this debate, so, I would not give directions.
Hon Member, please, go ahead; you have one more minute.
Mr R. Acheampong 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, even 2012/2013 alone, COCOBOD purchased 870,000 metric tonnes of cocoa. Multiply by even GH¢16.00; let us bring on board the cashew nuts, the coffee that we buy in this country. So, Mr Speaker, we are going to save a lot of money in this country [Hear! Hear!]
Mr Speaker, on page (8) --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Hon Member, begin to conclude.
Mr R. Acheampong 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, let me also read, the GH¢10 million Youth Enterprise Support Initiative to provide opportunities for -- [Interruption]
Mr William A. Quaittoo 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, on a point of order.
Mr Speaker, the calculation that the Hon Member has done, more or less, he is misleading this House and the entire country.
When the President mentioned the production of jute sacks in this country, I was expecting to see something of that sort in the Address; it is not there.
Mr Speaker, I have worked for COCOBOD for seven years. I was part of a team that did the economic analysis in the production of jute sacks in Ghana. It would take us about 15 years to break even when we start doing that in Ghana. That is why all along, we have --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Hon Member, when you have your turn, you can make this presentation. I do not think that we want to gag you.
Hon Member, please, conclude.
Mr R. Acheampong 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, with cashew nuts, Government does not purchase them in this country. But we have cashew farmers in this country, and they use these same sacks. So, if my Hon
Member needs some figures, I would provide them to him.
On page (8), like I read, the GH¢10 million Youth Enterprise Fund, which is now available, I am encouraging all the youth in this country to put their heads together, form associations; those with entrepreneurial skills should come together to access this facility to expand their existing business. This is because we are saying there is no employment in this country --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Hon Member, your time is up.
Mr R. Acheampong 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity and I urge this Honourable House to support this Motion. [Hear! Hear!]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Hon Members, the last contributor is in the person of the Hon Member for Obuasi West, Mr Kwaku Kwateng.
Mr Kwaku Agyeman Kwarteng (NPP - - Obuasi West) 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to examine the credibility of some of the promises the President made in his State of the Nation Address and I begin with page (2), where the President promised to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. The poor, of course, including our poor workers.
In the 2014 Budget Statement, Mr Speaker, Government allocated GH¢8.96 billion to wages and salaries. That is just five per cent higher than the allocation in
2013.
Mr George K. Arthur 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, on a point of order.
The Hon Member is talking about workers and said that the President said he wanted to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. And he referred to page (2) and Mr Speaker, I have not seen any mention about workers there. But he talked about Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP); so, if he can point that to us.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Hon Member, can you make direct reference to --
Mr Kwarteng 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, on page (2) -- [Pause.] [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, I would provide the reference shortly, if I can go on.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Very well. Hon Member, you can proceed.
Mr Kwarteng 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I refer to the second paragraph on page (2); I hope my Hon Colleague has a copy of the Address. Mr Speaker, with your permission, I beg to quote:
“Mr Speaker, wealth disparity is of great concern to my Government. It is a threat to our stability as a nation and to our unity as a people. We are aiming to bridge the gap between the richest and the poorest of our people.”
And I say that includes the workers of Ghana. I hope my Hon Colleague has adverted his mind now to this?
Mr Speaker, it was not just in respect of wages that the President made the promise, which already is a failed promise. In respect of employment for the Youth-- [Interruption.]--
Ms Richel Appoh 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, on a point of order.
Mr Speaker, page (2) is talking about inequality, it is not about the rich and poor
that he is quoting. So, in my view, I believe he is misquoting the President.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
Hon Member, he has read out that portion which talks about bridging the gap between the richest and the poorest; I think it is there.
Please; proceed.
Mr Kwarteng 1:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague would do well to remember that the gap between the rich and the poor reflects inequality. You do not need me to use the word “inequality” before you know I am talking about your President's State of the Nation Address.
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
Hon Members, as much as possible, I would want us to avoid the repeated points of order and so on.
Let me hear you; what is the point of order you are raising?
Mr Samuel A. Amoah 1:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, he said workers and we want a clarification of that “workers”. Is it bridging the gap between the rich and poor people or workers?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
Hon Member, please, proceed, and I advise you to veer off that area, so that we can make some more progress.
Mr Kwarteng 1:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I need to make the point that I need to make. If the points are not legitimate --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
Very well. I am timing you, so, do not make any mistake about that.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I appreciate the direction that you have given to my Hon Colleague. But what my Hon Colleague has quoted from, is about basic comprehension. Paragraph 2 of page 2 -- Mr Speaker, let us move on. Please, these interventions -- [Interruption.]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
Please, let us have some order.
Hon Minority Leader, you have the floor.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minister did not even identify the paragraph my Hon Colleague quoted from. She said that it does not even exist at all. And he is giving her the paragraph, which is paragraph 2 of page 2. Please, can she look at that?
Mr Speaker, that is why I am saying that it is about basic comprehension.
Mr Kwarteng 1:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, as I indicated, in the 2013 State of the Nation Address, the President made that particular promise that he would set up a GH¢10 million Jobs and Enterprise Development Fund to provide jobs for the youth. A month later, in the 2013 Budget Statement presented to us here in March, the President then said he would provide the Youth Enterprise Fund. By the close of 2013, Mr Speaker, both of them were failed promises.
In the 2014 Budget Statement and in the 2014 State of the Nation Address, we would have expected that the President would provide some explanation why his promise in respect of youth development is a failed one. There was none, yet the President went ahead in the State of the Nation Address to make another promise of GH¢10 million facility for Youth in
Enterprise Development. Mr Speaker, the sad point is that in the entire 2014 Budget Statement, there is no reference to it. It is already a failed promise.
Mr Speaker, the Ghana Education Fund (GETFund) -- we were promised by the President in this year's State of the Nation Address that GETFund money would be made available for some new universities the Government has set up.
Mr George Arthur 1:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the document is State of the Nation Address and he collected some money last year and said this was the state of the money. So, what is wrong with it. It is State of the Nation Address. So, Mr Speaker, it is not misleading.
We do not want to heckle him but the issues he is raising also allow us to heckle him.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
Hon Member, please, proceed.
Mr Kwarteng 1:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the President has promised to use GETFund for a certain purpose. What I am saying is that in 2013, the GETFund that was collected, the accountability of it by Government --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
You have one more minute to go.
Mr Kwarteng 1:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, 24 per cent -- what we are asking, where is the remaining 76 per cent? Where is the money? How can Government promise to use money it cannot account for to
develop new universities? It is another failed promise in the making.
Mr Kpodo 1:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want my Hon Colleague to provide the information to this House where the President said that he collected some 100 per cent of some many somewhere, out of which he gave out only 24 per cent. We want to know where the President provided that information.
Mr Kwarteng 1:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I thank my Hon Colleague of the Finance Committee for this. But the Hon Members of the Finance Committee should not be putting these questions to me. It is in the 2014 Budget Statement. He should go and see the allocations. I can give him the specific paragraph, Mr Speaker, if you give me more time.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
Hon Member, I would prefer that you subsequently make particular reference to the Budget Statement you are talking about for the benefit of the Table Office, so that we save time.
Please, begin to conclude.
Mr Kwarteng 1:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the point I am making is that, Government should not be reluctant to provide us with a breakdown of the national wage bill. We want to know how much the President,
his appointees and Ministers are collecting in wages --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
Hon Member, I am afraid your time is up.
Hon Members, this brings us to the close of the debate for today. We have exhausted the list on both sides. So, I would find out from the Hon Majority Chief Whip, which way forward.
Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka 1:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we want to thank Hon Members for the contribution to the debate today.
Mr Speaker, we have advertised a lot of committee meetings. Therefore, I beg to move, that this House should stand adjourned until tomorrow at 10.00 o'clock in the forenoon.
Mr Daniel Botwe 1:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we can only hope that tomorrow, we start early, so that we can have more Hon Members to contribute to the debate with less hecklings.
Having said that, I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
I would plead with Hon Members to try as much as possible to get here as early as possible, so that we would have more time for the debate.
Thank you, very much.
ADJOURNMENT 1:20 p.m.

  • The House was accordingly adjourned at 1.28 p.m. till Wednesday, 5th March, 2013 at 10.00 a.m.