Debates of 7 Mar 2014



Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Members, we do not have any Official Report to consider this morning We now have to do with the Business Statement for the Seventh Week -- [Pause.]
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Members, I think it would be better for us to defer it. Let us defer it.
Can we take the Business Statement for the Seventh Week-- Chairman of the Business Committee?
Chairman of the Business Committee)
Mr Speaker, the Committee met on Wednesday, 5th March, 2014 and arranged Business of the House for the Seventh Week ending Friday, 14th March, 2014.
Mr Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 56 (2), the Committee accordingly submits its Report as follows:
Arrangement of Business
Mr Speaker, the Business Committee having regard to the ongoing debate on the Message on the State of the Nation, has not programmed Ministers to attend upon the House to respond to Questions during the week under consideration. This arrangement is to allow as many Hon Members as possible to contribute to the debate on the Message.
Mr Speaker, pursuant to Order 70(2), Ministers of State may be permitted to make Statements of Government policy. Your goodself may also admit Statements to be made in the House by Hon Members in accordance with Order 72.
Bills, Papers and Reports
Mr Speaker, Bills may be presented to the House for First Reading and those of urgent nature may be taken through the various stages in one day in accordance with Order 119. Papers and Committee reports may also be presented to the House.
Motions and Resolutions
Mr Speaker, Motions may be debated and their consequential Resolutions, if any, taken during the week.
Debate on the Message on the State of the Nation
Mr Speaker, the debate on the Motion to thank H.E. the President for the Message on the State of the Nation is scheduled to continue during the week under consideration. Debate on the Motion is expected to conclude on Wednesday, 12th March, 2014 save that the Hon Majority and Minority Leaders would wind up the debate on Thursday, 13th March, 2014. This arrangement is expected to avail the House some time to consider other time-bound statutory business.
Extended Sittings
Mr Speaker, the Business Committee proposes that subject to the exigencies of the state of business, the House may have Extended Sittings during the Eighth Week which commences on Tuesday, 18th March, 2014. This is to enable the House dispose of substantial part of the tall order of business before the end of the Meeting.
Mr Speaker, in accordance with Standing Order 160 (2) and subject to Standing Order 53, the Committee submits to this Honourable House the order in which the Business of the House shall be taken during the week.


Presentation of Papers --

(a) Report of the Auditor-General on the Public Accounts of Ghana

(Pre-University Educational Institutions) for the Financial year ended 31st December, 2012.

(b) Annual Report and Accounts of the National Commission on Civic Education for the year


Motion --

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.

Consideration Stage of Bills --

Anti-Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill, 2013.

Trademarks (Amendment) Bill, 2013

Excise Duty Bill, 2013

Committee sittings.

Dr Anthony A. Osei — rose —
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Member, are you up on a point of order?
Dr A. A. Osei
Mr Speaker, yes.
The Hon Deputy Majority Leader said the Motion to thank the President would continue. The Motion cannot continue. The debate on the Motion can continue but not the Motion itself.
Mr Agbesi
Mr Speaker, very well.
The debate on the Motion to thank His Excellency the President would continue.


Motion --

(a) That this Honourable House thanks H.E. the President for the
Mr Agbesi
Message on the State of the Nation which he delivered to Parliament on Tuesday, 25th February, 2014.

(b) That this House urges the Honourable Minister for Health to review the ongoing Health Insu- rance “Capitation” programme being implemented by the National Health Insurance Authority in the Ashanti Region and to report to the House on the way forward with four weeks.

(Hon Joseph Yieleh Chireh)

Consideration Stage of Bills --

Committee sittings.


Motion --

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.

Consideration Stage of Bills --

Committee sittings.


Motions --

Third Reading of Bills --

Anti-Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill, 2013

Trademarks (Amendment) Bill,


Excise Duty Bill, 2013

Committee sittings.
Mr Agbesi
Mr Speaker, well taken, correction made.
Mr Ignatius B. Awuah
Mr Speaker, I have filed a Motion with Mr Speaker and it is quite some time now. It is on a request for us to bring the Electoral Commissioner to this House to let us know what programme he has for the Distr ict Assembly Elections.
The District Assembly Elections are due in the latter part of this year but so far, we have not heard anything.
We have heard the Electoral Commissioner complain that he has not had releases of money meant for his Commission to start preparing for the elections. In view of what happened in the immediate past District Assembly Elections, I think it would not be fair on our part to sit down for what happened to happen again. That is why I have filed this Motion but for some time now, I have not heard anything about that and I would want to know from the Business Committee whether they do not think it is expedient to schedule it for next week.
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Yes, Hon Member, I believe that you are aware of the fact that, the Electoral Commissioner has been invited to address the Committee of the Whole. I believe when he does that, it will take care of the Motion you are talking about. I am not holding brief for the Business Committee but I believe this one would take care of your Motion. I do not know.
Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Mr Agbesi
Mr Speaker, that is exactly so. The Electoral Commissioner would appear before the Committee of the Whole and I believe after his presentation to the Committee, if the Hon Member still wants to pursue his Motion, it would be appropriately scheduled by the Business Committee for him to take it up.
I remember it was scheduled, but because of the Business of the House, it was to be rescheduled and now that he has raised the matter, after the Commissioner appears before the whole House and he still feels he wants to go ahead, it shall be rescheduled by the Business Committee for his taking.
Dr Owusu A. Akoto
Mr Speaker, this is the third time I am rising to address this issue. The Report of the Committee of Selection on the Composition of the Committees of the House, which came to this House on the 18th of November, is still pending. I have had the occasion to draw the attention of the Business Committee to this on three different occasions and nothing appears in this Report.
The fact of the matter is, for the last one year or so, the Committee on, Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs has not had a substantive Chairman and that is seriously affecting the work that we are doing. I keep complaining and nobody seems to listen.
Mr Speaker, can I hear from the Majority side, what they are doing about this, or the Chairman of the Committee, whom I know happens to be the Speaker himself?
Mr Agbesi
Mr Speaker, as the Hon Member has rightly pointed out, the matter is before a Committee and at the appropriate time the Report would be laid in the House for us to discuss. But for now, the matter is still before the Committee. So, we would bring the Report before the House at the appropriate time.
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, I believe that if action is expedited on this issue, it would help the House a great deal. So, as much as possible, let us see to it that this matter is concluded, so that the Committee works smoothly.
Dr A. A. Osei
Mr Speaker, I would want to draw Hon Members' attention to item number 4, the issue of Extended Sitting.
Mr Speaker, I have no difficulty when the Business Committee programmes such time for Hon Members to participate actively. But Mr Speaker, we all know that there are issues that this House must address, either as a joint caucus or Committee of the Whole. They are programming Extended Sittings and you expect people to come and participate. But there are issues that have been pending since we left the last time.
I think it would be in our mutual interest if the Leadership calls a meeting for us to address those issues before we think about the Extended Sitting. This is because it would not help us if those matters are not resolved.
When we ask questions, we do not get any answers. We expect answers. For example, the formulae for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), District Assemblies Common Fund (DAFC) have not been brought here. There are issues about disbursements that have not gone and we are expected to approve of them. How can we approve of something that is in arrears by law?
So, I question the Leadership through the Hon Deputy Majority Leader to please, before we get into the Extended Sitting, let us have a Committee of the Whole of joint caucus and discuss these matters so that we can see our way through.
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Allright; please, take note, Hon Deputy Majority Leader.
Mr Agbesi
Mr Speaker, this is a proposal that there may be Extended Sitting -- may. And it is proposed, so that the unfinished business of the House can be taken on including what the Hon Member has raised. So, he should rest assured that, the House may have Extended Sitting to take on unfinished business of the House. So, we shall convey this message appropriately.
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Well, I direct that you take note of it so that --
Dr A. A. Osei
I thank the Hon Deputy Majority Leader for answering the question appropriately.
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Member, your point is well made; I think the Leadership would have to take note and act appropriately.
Mr Dan Botwe
Mr Speaker, it is about the debate. When the debate is ending. It is not quite correct that we agree that on Thursday only the Hon Majority Leader and the Hon Minority Leader would wind
up the debate. This is because, many Hon Members would want to contribute to this debate. We thought we would even end it the week after next week.
Now, there is some reason why we would want to end it on Thursday. But please, on Thursday, the full debate should take place and the Leaders would end it. But if we say that, only the two Leadership should speak on Thursday, it means that for the rest of the Hon Members, it is ending on Wednesday, and we still have many people who would want to contribute to the debate.
Mr Speaker, the amendment or what we said we would agree to was that, it would end on Thursday. It means that, on Thursday we shall have the full debate, just that, it would end on Thursday. It is not quite correct that only the two Leaders are going to speak on Thursday and I would want that amendment made.
Mr Agbesi
Mr Speaker, this matter was debated at the Business Committee meeting and the conclusion is what we have arrived at and what is contained here.
You would see that we have really suspended Questions to Ministers, because we want more Hon Members to do the debate and contribute. This is one of the reasons why that action is taken and it was agreed at the Business Committee meeting which included the Hon Minority Whip, that the end of the debate should be on Wednesday so that Leaders would wind up on Thursday. [Interruption.] It was agreed and this is what was conveyed.
Mr First Deputy Speaker
We need to find out whether this was the agreement arrived at the Business Committee meeting. If it was, then we are bound by it. But it is possible; we are makers of our own rules. If on that day, because the
Leaders would speak for just 20 minutes each; if we think we have time, we could allow the debate to continue until the Leaders take up their 20 minutes submission each. I do not think this should create any problem.
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Yes, Hon Member, you have been up for a long time.
Mr Annoh-Dompreh
Mr Speaker, I rise to seek some clearance. This is because I have filed a Question to the Minister for Trade and Industry and every Question has been advertised in the Order Paper continuously. I am aware it has been said here in the Business Statement that Questions have been stepped down because of the debate.
Now, I thought the Business Committee would have, at least, advertised the next line of Questions, even though they said that they have stepped down Questions because of the debate. The next batch of Questions should have been advertised in the Business Statement. I am seeking your kind clearance and direction.
Mr First Deputy Speaker
No, I think it would be premature. Why do we not look at that when the Business Statement is presented next week for the incoming week, then we can look at it? But for it to be advertised now would create problems for us.
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Member, if you were listening, I have given some directives.
Mr First Deputy Speaker
No, what I am saying is that, we are not strictly going to restrict it to the Hon Leaders only. If we have time, by all means, why not, we would make Hon Members contribute before the Hon Leaders wind up on Thursday.
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Very well. Leadership will take note of that and act accordingly.
Dr A. A. Osei
Mr Speaker, I do not know if it is the practice that every Hon Member submits his or her name to the Speaker. That is why we have Leadership. So, if Hon Members have concerns, at least, they should pass them through. But I have never been here where every Hon Member -- My Hon Friend, Hon Naabu does not want to speak so why should he submit his name. [Uproar.]
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Member, I do not think you need to point at a particular Hon Member. The decision to contribute is the Hon Member's choice. So, as much as possible, let us avoid this.
If Hon Naabu wants to contribute to the debate, he would submit his name to the Leadership and the Leadership would submit it to the Rt. Hon Speaker.
Ms Freda A. O. Prempeh
Mr Speaker, I would want to find out and I seek your guidance on this -- exactly when will our name plates be changed? This morning, my name plate fell on my desk and I realised it has been changed to “Dr Kwesi Nduom.” And the good people of Tano North Constituency would not be happy
if they should see “Dr Kwesi Nduom” in front of my seat -- So, I checked on my neighbour's desk and realised that his name is ‘Seth Adjei-Baah”. This is a very serious issue. The cameras are here. The Media is here and I think something has to be done to the name plates immediately.
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Thank you very much for drawing our attention.
The necessary steps should be taken to ensure that the labels are properly done.
Mr Ahmed Ibrahim
Mr Speaker, we are happy that the State of the Nation Address has generated so much interest that many Hon Members want to debate. Hon Joseph Bipoba Naabu, whose name has been mentioned, is always on the Whips that he wants to contribute, so we should programme him. But looking at the numbers -- even today, we have 15 Hon Members who want to contribute on this State of the Nation Address. So, Hon Members should hold their fire, Hon Naabu will be on the floor.
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Members, I do not want this issue on Hon Naabu to be stretched beyond this point. We bring it to a close.
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Is your contribution with regard to Hon Naabu?
Mr First Deputy Speaker
I reacted. I did. Maybe, you were making so much noise. I reacted that the necessary steps should be taken to make sure that -- I cannot give a time frame but the necessary steps should be taken.
Mr Boniface G. Adagbila
Mr Speaker, I would want to go back to the Business Statement for the period. The Business Statement for the period seems to be at distance with the aspirations of our constituents.
Our constituents keep pressuring us as to when their Common Fund to the Districts would come and bring food to their table.
Now, this Business Statement up to 14th March, 2014 says nothing about the Common Fund, GETFund, and Health In- surance getting to the Districts.
It is a worrying issue and we need to -- Even the formula for 2014, we have not heard anything about it. This is a big worry and I think the Business Statement may have to be reviewed to capture what is at the heart of the people of this country.
Mr Speaker, I would want you to say something to that.
Mr Agbesi
Mr Speaker, the Leadership is in touch with those bodies on when they can come before the House and we have their word on when they would present their programmes to us for us to programme them at the Business Committee.
I believe that come the next Business Committee meeting, these things would be discussed and Hon Members would be informed. But we are in touch with all the heads and we shall take them on when they would want to come.
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Members, this brings us to the end of the Business Statement.

Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Members, in the light of the debate on the President's Address to this House, we would take two contributions each on both sides.
Dr Ahmed Y. Alhassan (NDC --Mion)
Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement made by the Hon Member for Shai- Osudoku on a colleague member who passed away a couple of weeks ago.
My association with Hon Raymond Tawiah was when we both served on the Committee of Environment, Science and Technology of the Parliament of Ghana. I observed him to be a very strict individual and conducted himself very much as a scientist because he always spoke his mind if he had evidence and he was a very peaceful individual.
He had unconventional ways of handling the Committee as Chairperson and on many instances some Hon Members could be found in confusion because anytime he found that issues were over he concluded the meeting and said, “Well, it is over” and then we could go.
Mr Ignatius B. Awuah (NPP -- Sunyani West)
Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to contribute to the Statement by our Hon Colleague on the demise of our former Hon Colleague, Hon Raymond Tawiah, alias Fordey Sanko.
Mr Speaker, I met Hon Tawiah in this House in 2009 when I became a Member of Parliament. Fortunately for us, we were both Hon Members on the Finance Committee and had the opportunity to travel together.
What I remember of Hon Tawiah is that, he was one person who would speak his mind on any issue, irrespective of whatever the consequence would be and on the Finance Committee, he was our number one advocator for committee incentives and what have you.
I remember he was also a very good critic of the Leadership of the Committee. It was unfortunate we lost him in the Committee when he was changed as a Member of the Committee and made the Chairman of the Committee on Environ- ment, Science and Technology.

But Mr Speaker, Hon Tawiah was a gentleman.He was very particular about his constituents; anytime he had an opportunity to speak in Parliament or even at committee levels, he would make reference to the benefit, whatever we are discussing would inure to his constituents. It is unfortunate he did not have the opportunity to be here in this current Parliament.

But even that, I remember in some of our personal conversations on phone, he would inquire about what was going on in Parliament. Ghana has lost a statesman and he should be remembered at all times.

May his soul rest in perfect peace.
Mr Magnus K. Amoatey (NDC -- Yilo Krobo)
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the Statement in paying tribute to my predecessor in this House.
Mr Speaker, let me say that, even though I took over from Hon Raymond Tawiah in the primaries, we were the best of friends and he supported me ably, during the campaign period to win the seat for the NDC. Mr Speaker, I also know Hon Raymond Tawiah not only as a politician, but he has been a youth activist.

I had known him when we were all involved in youth activities and the formation of the National Union of Yilo Krobo Youth Association, at the time he was based in Sekondi and he was the founding member of the Sekondi branch of the Association.

When the Association was old enough, Hon Raymond Tawiah relocated to Somanya and became the Third President of the Association which spearheaded a lot of developmental projects in the Yilo Krobo Constituency. Mr Speaker, he served as the President of the National Union of Yilo Krobo Youth Associations until he entered Parliament and gave up that position.

As a politician, as soon as he relocated to Somanya, he joined forces with the NDC and immediately became the Vice Chairman and subsequently the Chairman of the party in the constituency.

He took over the reins of the chairmanship of the party at a time when the NDC was in opposition.

Mr Speaker, it gladdens our heart to realise that, he fought very hard, in the company of others, to improve the fortunes of the NDC during the 2004 elections, when he won the elections and entered Parliament.

Hon Raymond Tawiah was also an entrepreneur and he established a lot of business ventures in Somanya. Mr Speaker, he did not only support education, but he also invested in education. At the time he left Parliament, he had established the Holy Trinity School inYilo Krobo, a school which he had the opportunity to run for only two years before his passed on.

We have, indeed, as a constituency, lost a very, very honest, humble and quiet gentleman. He was so peace-loving, he was so kind and so generous and I know that the people of Yilo Krobo would, indeed, miss him as this House is also missing him.

May the soul of Hon Raymond Tawiah rest in perfect peace.
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Members, I think it would be most appropriate for us to rise up and observe a minute silence in his memory.

Hon Members, may his soul rest in perfect peace.

At the Commencement of Public Business?
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Members, we would take contributions, but knowing very well the fact that Hon Members would have to go back to their constituencies, we might not be able to take in as many contributions as we would have expected. But we would do our best as much as possible. I would take some of the contributions and later, the Second Deputy Speaker would take the Chair and continue with the process.
So, we would start with Hon Sampson Ahi.

Mr Sampson Ahi (NPP --Bodi)
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion, 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.
Mr Sampson Ahi (NPP --Bodi)

Mr Speaker, I think the President was honest and truthful to Ghanaians. This is because, he told Ghanaians the reality on the ground in today's Ghana. Mr Speaker, after listening to the President, what Hon Members can only do is to commend him for doing a tremendous job on that occasion.
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, I do not intend to interrupt my Hon Colleague, but he has used some superlatives.
He said “the President was honest, the President was truthful”. These are very subjective wards. [Interruption.]Mr Speaker, may you appeal to my dear Colleague, the Hon Hannah Bisiw to calm down?
Mr Speaker, the point I would want to raise is, now that it is accepted, and perhaps, even commendable for my Hon Colleague to use those words, would anybody then, in his own analysis, also be able to say that the President was most untruthful, he was dishonest,if it is allowed? I am just thinking aloud.
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Ahi, please proceed.
Mr Ahi
Mr Speaker, we all know that water is life and the President actually indicated to Ghanaians with regard to the state of water situation in both the urban and rural communities.
Mr Speaker, as a country, in the urban centres, we have covered 63 per cent; that is the water coverage, and in the rural
communities, we have covered 64 per cent. Mr Speaker, it is the vision of this Government to take it to one hundred per cent by 2015.
In the short term, Mr Speaker, if you take urban dwellers for instance, Greater Accra, I am referring to Accra and Tema alone, they consume 60 per cent of the urban needs of water in this country, and it is envisaged, Mr Speaker, that by 2015, water requirement for Accra and Tema would be 150 million gallons.
As we speak, Mr Speaker, as a country, in Accra and Tema, we have two main sources of water, that is the Weija Dam and the Kpong. At the moment we are doing 93 million gallons. Weija water systems is giving us 53 million gallons and then Kpong is giving us 40 million gallons. So, if you look at it --
Mr First Deputy Speaker
For what period?
Mr Ahi
I think as we speak at the moment --
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Is it per day or per week?Is it an agreed percentage?
Mr Ahi
Mr Speaker, it is per day and it is expected that by 2015, the requirement would be 150 million gallons. That would give us a deficit of 57 million gallons per day. That is why under the able leadership of His Excellency President, John Dramani Mahama, pragmatic steps are being taken
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is churning out some figures. He is talking of, about -- he did say 150 million gallons per day to be produced or envisaged. Now what is the backdrop to it? What is the acceptable per capita usage? Mr Speaker, that makes it more reasonable. He should tell us the per capita usage now --
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Minority Leader, I believe when it gets to your turn you can address the issue. But as matters stand now, he is making his submission. You can take note and at the appropriate time when you are winding up you can address the issues raised.
Mr Ahi
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minority Leader, who is my friend, just wants to -- but I would want to inform him that this is not question time -- [Laughter]
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Member, proceed with your contribution.
Mr Ahi
Mr Speaker, steps are being taken to address the deficit of the 57 million gallons per day that is required for Accra and Tema and that is why we have four key projects that are on going as we speak. One is China Bazuga which is expanding the Kpong Water Works, to add 40 million gallons to compliment the current production of the 40 million gallons that is distributed to people living in Accra and Tema.
For the first time in the history of Ghana, this Government is trying to segregate salt from sea water for it to become drinkable, therefore we are doing desalination project at Teshie to also add 13 million gallons.
Mr Speaker, the actual project when completed, would also add 9.2 million gallons. If we look at the requirement on daily basis, which would stand at 150 million gallons, and at the moment we are doing 93 million gallons, if we add the four key projects that are on-going, we would end up getting 65.5 million gallons, which means that it would even be more than what would be needed to cater for Accra and Tema.
Mr Speaker, we are also doing a lot in the rural community water which is managed by the Community Water and Sanitation Agency.
Mr Speaker, as I said earlier, by 2015, at the moment, we are at 64 per cent and we want to take it to 76 per cent by 2015, therefore

Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Member, you have two more minutes to go
Mr Ahi
We have solved problems all aimed at ensuring that we achieve these important requirements for water in this country.
Mr Speaker, on housing, we all know that we have problems with housing. As a country, at the moment we are unable to accommodate or house most of our people and this is a problem to all of us. For that matter, Abu Construction is Constructing ten thousand unit houses and then Mr Speaker, last year in November, the President inaugurated a Brazilian company named OS to do five thousand houses. If you go to Sakumono too they are on site working.
Mr Speaker, there have been a lot of discussions on the affordable housing which was initiated under President Kufour's regime.
I wish to indicate that because of the directives given by His Excellency the President, Hon Minister, Alhaji Collins Dauda and his team, have done very well to ensure that we work to complete all those affordable housing scattered across the country and for that matter, as we speak, if you go to Kpong site, TDC is there, if you go to -- [Pause] -- Mr Speaker the remaining sites have been given to SSNIT to work and complete and that is the Asokore-Mampong site, the Koforidua site, the Wa site and then the Tamale site.
Mr Speaker, I would want to commend the President for --
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Member your time is up please conclude.
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Member please conclude, your time is up.
Mr Ahi
So that this laudable and important ideas can be achieved.
Thank you very much for the opportunity Mr Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Members, the next contributor is in the person of Hon Isaac Osei.
Mr Isaac Osei (NPP -- Subin)
I thank you Mr Speaker for this opportunity --
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Would the Second Deputy Speaker hold himself in readiness to take over?
Mr Isaac Osei
Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President spoke for two hours and fifteen minutes. I dare say that, if he was Bikila Abebe, the Ethiopian long distance runner, he would have finished an Olympic marathon during that period. It was a long speech. My assessment of the speech -- the man can talk, he spoke, style, yes, but substance very limited -- [Hear! Hear!].
Mr Speaker, the President talked about Ghana as a nation in transition, he was right and on the cast of many exciting opportunities. But Mr Speaker, let me say that, it is what we as a nation make of these opportunities which would make our nation Ghana great. In a nation where opportunities are believed to be hijacked by a few well connected individuals, meritocracy has been put on the back burner, it is not surprising that many Ghanaians out there are cynical about politicians.
They are cynical about those of us they have elected and those who have been appointed to key positions in the country.
Mr Speaker, how could the President say his government was putting our people first, when delivery of basic public services is so poor, when people in Koforidua continue to suffer power outages? They know that they are not the first in the scheme of things. When only yesterday, in some parts of Teshie they suffered power outages so frequently that they lost count. Mr Speaker, they are not putting our people first.
When fuel prices are continually rising not because of higher crude oil prices, but because of the cedi depreciation, occasioned by poor economic manage- ment of the country, then he says they are putting people first. Even when people in the city of Accra did not have water for days, how can we then say that we are putting the people of the country first?
I would not even speak on the perception of graft and corruption which is permeating out society. I believe other people would talk about that.
Mr Speaker, on 10th February 2014, the Director of Health Services, Dr Ebenezer Appiah Denkyira, at a media briefing in Sekondi, told the whole country that, retired midwives would soon be recruited to cater for the shortage of midwives at the CHIPS compound. Yet, a few days later, His Excellency the President was waxing lyricals about CHIPS compound staffed with nurses, midwives and other auxiliary health staff. Mr Speaker, a little candour on the part of the President would help us reduce the cynicism of our people.
Mr Speaker, we look forward to following the road map for Free Secondary School Education for day students and reliefs for boarding students which the President promised.

Mr Speaker, it is my prayer that, it is not another NDC political gimmick, like the National Democratic Congress's (NDCs) one time premium on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

Something which has now vanished from all NDC rhetorics. Are we surprised then that Ghanaians have become cynical when it comes to this Government and their promises?

Mr Speaker, on the floor of this august House, I delivered a Statement on supporting Ghanaian manufacturing industries. You may check Official Report of 23rd of November, 2010 column 1520 to


I called for the establishment of a fully fledged international trade commission, with the flexibility to apply counter veiling duties in the case of subsidised imports and anti dumping measures where dumping is established.

Also, I called for the application of World Trade Organisation, (WTO) compatible and remedial measures. I also entreated the Ministry of Trade and Industry to provide time lines and a road map to establish the commission. Mr Speaker, after three years, the President comes before this august House and says that, in the course of the year, the Ghana International Trade Commission would be established.

Mr Speaker, Ghanaian industries, especially, the manufacturing industries are collapsing in the face of unfair trade practices and in the face of the deficits that we face in power and water.

Mr Speaker, they cannot wait and after three years we are still deferring. Where is our sense of urgency? Mr Speaker, action is required now.

Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President did not so much talk about the environmental degradation caused by illegal gold miners, but I think this is a matter of great importance for millions of our people whose forests are being depleted, water bodies are being destroyed, whose farms are lost and livelihoods impaired. This did not merit a mention by the President. Yet, it is an area where I believe that we can use gold mining to become a resource gain instead of a resource scarce. This we can do through appropriate legislation.

Mr Speaker, in this connection only last year, Ghana had to deport 4,000 people mainly of Chinese origin. This massive exodus of people did not get a mention in the Presidents' --
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Member you have two more minutes to go.
Mr Isaac Osei
Mr Speaker, I think Ranking Members have 10 minutes.
Mr First Deputy Speaker
You have two more minutes to go.
Mr Isaac Osei
All right Mr Speaker, let me say that I was not enthused when Cabinet met and endorsed the Bank of Ghana's (BOG) recent restricted archaic foreign exchange control measures, ostensibly designed to study the Fast depreciating cedi.
Mr Speaker, I would not comment on the usefulness or otherwise of the measures, because time would show up their consequences. Could Cabinet have
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Members, can we have some order, please?
Mr Isaac Osei
In conclusion, Mr Speaker, I would urge the Government to concentrate on fiscal consolidation and expenditure rationalisation and stop pretending that the micro-economic fundamentals are sound.
In conclusion, Mr Speaker, permit me to agree with His Excellency the President when he said at the beginning of his Address that, “without change Mr Speaker, Ghana cannot grow.”
I could not agree more with him. We need to change the way we do things, change to take on board, views from all strands in society and more importantly, we need to change our President and his non performing government in 2016.
I thank you.
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Member, your time is up.
Hon Members, it is now the turn of Hon Hanna Bisiw.
Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture (Dr Hanna L. Bisiw) (MP): Thank you Mr Speaker for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the floor that, this Honorable House thanks His Excellency, the President for the Message on the State of the Nation, which he delivered to Parliament on Tuesday, the 25th of February, 2014 and was moved by the Hon Member for Tamale South and seconded by the Hon Member for Sunyani West.
Mr Speaker, in doing so, I would want to touch on agriculture. Mr Speaker, the first Hon Member who countributed could not have said it better when he said, we have a truthful President, a prudent and a visionary leader. When I talk about a visionary leader, it is the leader who sits and plans ahead.
In agriculture, a lot has been done in terms of irrigation, in terms of mecha- nisation and very prudent measures that have been put in place have made it possible for us to have excesses in cassava production, maize production and our rice production has also gone up about 60 per cent. Due to that, companies are coming to put up factories for the processing or adding value to our rice. You would link the agriculture to road construction and that talks about the visionary aspect of the President.
Mr Speaker, this President is ose a oyo, meaning “what he says he does”. And any time he uproots a mushroom, he shows the ant tree under which he uprooted the mushroom. That is se otu mire a okyre ne sie.
He also spoke about the number of roads that have been constructed and we can talk about the Kwame Nkrumah interchange that is on course.
That is a place where a lot of vehicles coming from our farming communities with our foodstuffs land. When it is completed -- unlike what happens at Tetteh Quarshie Circle which is causing more traffic than before, this one would reduce vehicular traffic and it would also reduce the time with which our produce
stay in traffic. It means we are going to reduce post harvest losses and get fresh products on our markets and unto our tables.
Mr Speaker, he spoke about animal production department, encouraging farmers to produce meat in quality and in quantity.
Now, we have maize in excess and the maize is going to support the revamping of the broiler industry and some of the measures that His Excellency the President has directed to be put in place is the reduction in the huge imports of poultry and meat products to this country.
There is a project in place that is going to handle hundred farmers and this year, it is estimated that we should be producing or bringing on board about 20 million broilers by the end of the year. Because of the excess in maize production, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture is also working closely with the Ministry of Trade and Industry to support the feed millers so that there would be reduction in the feed for our poultry industry. We have also encouraged private people to come on board with processing plants.
We can talk about Darko Farms, Jefamco in Madina and the others who are being currently supported by the Ministry of Trade and Industry to put in line or to improve on what they have when it comes to the processing of poultry, so that we can deliver to the Ghanaian market what Ghanaians want, and we can have fresh meat on our table. With the good road networks, we can be sure that, the transportation of this meat from the various factories would be fresh when they get to cold stores.
Mr Speaker, at this point, I would want to touch on education. We know that education is very important to all of us. His Excellency the President, spoke about the progressive introduction of free education. I once again say he is a prudent and a visionary President. During his rounds, when he was campaigning-- the billboards are there to prove, he said and with your permission I beg to quote:
“The free education is a right and not a privilege.”
It is not any idea that fell from heaven to anybody but it is in our Constitution and he is truthful about it and I beg to quote article 25 (1) (b).
“secondary education in its different forms, including technical and vocational education, shall be made generally available and accessible to all by every appro- priate means, and in particular, by the progressive introduction of free education.”
It is a right and so any leader who stands and does not say that he is going to implement the constitutional require- ment that first of all talks about accessibility and availability -- that is what he is doing.
We can talk about the elimination of schools under trees. We can also talk about the inauguration to commence work, that he did for the first batch of the 50 secondary schools. We have the history of building polytechnics in every region and I can challenge our brothers on the other side to mention one polytechnic that they built in eight years or one university that they built in eight years. When our students finish the Senior High School, they had to either go to the polytechnic or the university.
The NDC Government in the last four years built two universities and His Excellency the President told us here that the third one in the Eastern Region is also coming up. We can also talk about the three/four years chaos that was caused
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Member, check your figures. From 9000 to 1500?
Dr Bissiw
Mr Speaker, to 15,000.
Anyway, I gave a lesser figure so His Excellency the President, he has been truthful to Ghanaians. He did not say it is an idea from heaven. He is saying it is a requirement and he is going according to what we have in the Constitution.
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Member, you have two more minutes to go.
Dr Bissiw
Yes, Mr Speaker. At this point, I would encourage all of us to follow the President, listen to this progressive President who is not talking about building a house from the roof, as some people are trumpeting. You cannot give free education without creating access.
Mr Speaker, there was an experiment where two rats were put under the same condition in the laboratory in two different rooms. One had a little hole that gave it hope that one day it will come out. The other had no light coming through the hole. The one that had no light died quicker than the one that had the light. It
means that, when you have hope, you have life and you live longer. This is a President who gives hope, who does what he says, says what he means and means what he says.
On this note, Mr Speaker, I would want to urge all Hon Members, even those who would not want to accept —
Mr First Deputy Speaker
Hon Member, your time is up.
Ms Bissiw
Mr Speaker, thank you.
Mr First Deputy Speaker
The Second Deputy Speaker will take over.
Ms Freda A. O. Prempeh (NPP -- Tano North)
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion. I would focus my contribution on Youth and Sports and the President's comments on Members of Parliament.
Sports is not just about Black Stars or Black Queens. Sports benefits individuals in society and the President did not give any hope, any future, any opportunity for the youth and the sporting fraternity of this country. There is no policy direction in the State of the Nation Address.
Mr Speaker, for the past six years, the NDC Government has failed to develop sports in this country and all that they know is that, Black Stars have qualified for the World Cup and Black Queens have qualified for Costa Rica.
Meanwhile, the Black Maidens, the under seventeen female team has also qualified for the World Cup in Costa Rica.
The President in his Address failed to give any policy direction to sport and for that matter, has failed the youth of this country. For the past six years, the Sports Bill and the Youth Bill is still on the
drawing board and the President was silent on these issues. The President was again silent on the Maputo Report. He was silent about the South African Report.
We are preparing for Brazil and very soon we would hear twenty million, ten million, fifteen million — At the Committee level, I remember I asked the Deputy Hon Minister for Youth and Sports how much they have projected or budgeted for Brazil. He made mention of twenty million dollars when the United States of America are thinking of two million dollars. Nigeria has even sacked their Sports Minister for budgeting 9.5 million dollars for the Brazil World Cup. A developing nation like Ghana, we are talking about twenty million dollars when we cannot even develop our sports infrastructure in this country.
It is only under this regime that we have unemployment graduates asso- ciation. The youth of this country are craving for employment. Are we setting our priorities right?
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Member, do you have a point of order?
Mr Ablakwa
Yes, Mr Speaker. I rise on a point of order to correct an impression which has been created.
For the records, Ghana's budget for the World Cup is yet to be discussed by Cabinet and approved. The Ghana Football Association has submitted a proposal but it has not been finalised. So, we cannot speak in final categorical terms.
This is for the records.
Ms Prempeh
Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague on the other side is a Member of the Sports Committee.
We had a meeting with the Deputy Minister for Sports, Mr Joseph Yammin who happens to be a personal friend as well, he mentioned 20 million dollars, it is on record, so, I know what I am talking about.
Mr Speaker, sports is an important part of the economy, contributing significantly to national growth. We can only assess the full potential or benefits of sports if we develop sports.
Mr Speaker, what is happening to the University Sports Stadium? President Kufour in 2008 built two new stadia; one in Sekondi and one in Tamale and inaugurated the Accra Sports Stadium and the Kumasi Sports Stadium.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Government promised the good people of Ghana -- Cape Coast Sports Stadium. What is happening in Cape Coast now? Now, they are telling us that they have now started the preparatory works. What is happening in Bolgatanga?
Mr Speaker, I see the State of the Nation Address in terms of sports development as a cut and paste address.
Mr Speaker, with your permission I would like to refer you to the State of the Nation Address in 2013. Mr Speaker, the President in 2013 told Ghanaians that he was going to roll out a number of policies to unearth and develop sporting talents to feed our various national teams. He went ahead to say that provision of incentives for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), to at least establish one resource sports for athletics infrastructure in the districts.
This has not seen the light of the day. In my constituency -- I can speak for the Tano North District and I know that my Hon Colleagues here can also speak for
Mr Speaker, with your indulgence I beg to quote
“Currently these … is the launch of the GH¢10 million youth enterprising project.”
He said it when he launched it last year, now he is telling us he is currently launching it. So, is the President telling Ghanaians the truth? Is the President taking serious issues into sports deve- lopment in this country?
Mr Speaker, what has happened to the sports stadium in Afoegah in the Volta Region and Bolgatanga? We cannot go on talking about Black Stars when we do not develop our sports infrastructure.
This Government is not placing premium on sports. Sports is not just
about Black Stars or Black Queens; we should go beyond, and not on just qualifying for the World Cup or the All Africa Cup of Nations. We have to develop our infrastructure and this Government has not placed any premium on infrastructural development in terms of sports.
Mr Speaker, the Maputo Report; somebody was contracted and given some money upfront to sew some ceremonial uniforms for our contingent in Maputo. The contingent got to Maputo without any ceremonial dress so that they could not even take part in the opening ceremony. Some moneys were paid to caterers and they could not even account for the number of people that the caterer served. I think the President should not be silent on this Maputo issue; he should give us the real account, the real State of the Nation Address pertaining to sports.
Mr Speaker, in the area of the Members of Parliament, the President said reconfiguration of the Chamber would start soon. Mr Speaker, we used to have 230 Members in this House and the number has increased to 275. One would have thought the President would have put structures in place before his swearing-in on 7th January. As we sit here, we have to push chairs left and right before we sit down. For the past one year my microphone has not worked. I am --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Member you are nearly -- [Interruption.]
Hon Member, I think there is only one Speaker. So, if you say in conclusion I would give the person more time. Let me decide.
Hon Member on the floor, continue.
Ms Prempeh
Mr Speaker, in 2012 the President at the time, the former President of blessed memory, assured this House that, the Job 600 project would surely be
completed this year; that was in 2012. We are in 2014 and the President is still telling us that our offices would be completed.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Member you have one minute more.
Ms Prempeh
Mr Speaker, I do not know when the Job 600 would be completed.
Mr Speaker, this morning I made reference to our name plates. I am not Dr Kwesi Nduom; I am Hon Freda Prempeh and I believe my Hon Colleague here has Nana Akufo-Addo on his nameplate and my Hon Colleague here has Seth Adjei Baah. I think this is a very serious issue. Our President has served in this august House for 12 years. So, if he is considering the welfare of Members of Parliament then he should see to it that the Members of Parliament welfare needs are adhered to.
Mr Speaker, as I speak --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Member thank you very much.
Ms Prempeh
Mr Speaker, before I conclude --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Member, you have concluded.

But just for the record, Hon Dr Akoto Osei, I heard the Hon Member described Ghana as a developing country. Is it a developing country or we are a lower middle income country?
Dr A. A. Osei
We are developing, Mr Speaker.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
But why do they call us a developing country, when we are a lower middle income country?
So both are correct.
Dr A. A. Osei
Both are correct, yes.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Even the developed countries are still developing.
Dr A. A. Osei
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Nii Amasah Namoale (NDC -- Dade Kotopon): Mr Speaker, I rise to contribute to the Motion under discussion.
Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President said his first priority is our people and it would continue to be our people -- [Interruption.] And the people of Ghana is the nerve of this country.
Mr Speaker, he quoted a known saying that ‘water is life'. And Mr Speaker, scientists have gone to the planet Mars to see whether it ever supported life. And in so doing, they are looking for traces or signs of water ever being on Mars.
Mr Speaker, -- [Interruption.] -- His Excellency the President told us that coverage of water is 63 per cent in the urban areas and 64 per cent in the rural areas. [Uproar!] Mr President -- [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, the President told us that water --
Maj. Derek Oduro (rtd.): Mr Speaker, on a point of order.
I think the Hon Member is deceiving the House. He said, Mr President; who is Mr President here?
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Oduro, maybe the man has seen something and he is prophesying, so let him continue. [Laughter.]

Nii Namoale: Mr Speaker, the Presi- dent told us that he has put plans in place to make sure that we have universal access to water by 2025. Because of this, Mr Speaker, currently the shortfall of water


in the Accra Metropolitan area per day is 57 million gallons. So, he has put in place projects to be able to solve the shortage. We have the Kpong Water Supply Expansion Project. We have the Kpong in-take Rehabilitation Project. We have the Accra-Tema Metropolitan Area Water Project. We have the Teshie-Nungua Desalination Water Project. These projects would deliver 65.3 million gallons per day to the people of Accra and Tema.

Mr Speaker, beside these projects, there are dozens of other water projects that are going on all over the country. By 2015, Mr Speaker, the people of Adenta, Haatso, Teshie, La, Nungua, Burma Camp, Cantonment, Osu -- almost all the areas in Accra; La Wireless area -- will all have access to water.

Mr Speaker, many Presidents have come and gone. I remember President Rawlings marched the Managing Director of Ghana Water and Sewerage Co- operation, to Adenta to make sure that they provide water to the people of Adenta.

When President Kufuor came, Hon Kwamena Bartels was instructed to make sure that Adenta and Haatso people get water. Hon Kwamena Bartels went there. All the pipes in Accra were closed except those of Adenta and Haatso. They got water for one week, after that they did not get water again.

Mr Speaker, this is a government that is tackling the water once and for all for generations to come. -- [Hear! Hear!] -- Mr Speaker, I can assure you that, by 2015 Kufuor gallon would be no more. We will not see those yellow gallons. We would only see it, containing palm oil.
Mr Awuah
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague is making reference to Hon Kwamena Bartels. Unfortunately, Hon Kwamena Bartels is no longer an Hon Member of this House and he is not here to react to the issue that he is raising against him. Mr Speaker, I think this is not fair. He made an emphatic statement about him. He is not here to defend himself. I think he should be made to withdraw that.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Member, continue.
Nii Namoale: Mr Speaker, this water supply would enhance the performance of our industries and our people and it would increase productivity in Accra and its surrounding.
Mr Speaker, businesses around the Spintex Road, La Dade kotopon, Teshie Nungua, Ledzokuku Krowor Municipal Assembly (LEKMA), Osu area would increase their productivity because they would get water by 2015. Mr Speaker, as I was saying, by 2015, the yellow gallons will be no more. If one sees it, it will be carrying palm oil. So, Kufuor Gallon will be abolished.
Boniface G. Adagbila:On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, can he tell us what are “yellow gallons” and Kufuor gallons? Are they in the system? If they are in the system for the last six years and they have not been taken out and he is now saying they would be taken out, what competency of performance have we seen so far in the last six years? This is what I would want to know.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Member, please continue.
Nii Namoale: Mr Speaker, by reference to the yellow gallons, I meant Kufuor gallons. During the time of President Kufuor, there was so much shortage of water to the extent that, Nii Namoale came
to Parliament here and complained that, that gallon had been christened Kufuor gallon in his Constituency.
Mr Speaker, these gallons would varnish by 2015. I am telling him that we have to thank the President for solving the water problem in Accra Metropolitan area.
Mr Speaker, let me talk about industries.
The President talked about --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Namoale, you have two more minutes but I would give you an additional two minutes because of the points of order. You have four more minutes. It is 12:32 p.m. So try and finish.
Nii Namoale: Mr Speaker, I would want to talk about industries. The President brought our minds -- the reason why we should thank the President -- into Ghana's local industries.
Klottey Constituency of the Accra Metropolitan Area
Mr Kofi Frimpong
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague who has been calling your name more than the substance he is presenting, is telling us that there is now water all over Accra.
Mr Speaker, I would want to draw his attention to where I live in Accra, precisely Madina Redco. Mr Speaker, there has not been water for the past two years.
Mr Speaker, even when he sent these water tankers to bring us water, it takes them days before we get water. So, what he is saying is not true. Before President Kufuor, there had been a government in existence for 19 years, they could not solve that problem.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Kofi Frimpong, thank you.
Nii Namoale: Mr Speaker, it is the President of the Republic of Ghana who has promised us in his State of the Nation Address that he would solve the problem and I am thanking him for that. And I know that he is going to solve the problem.
Mr Speaker, when one goes to Tudu, one should look at the cars travelling to Nigeria, Togo, Cameroun, Mali et cetera --
Ms Ursula Owusu
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, I believe the Hon Member said the President has brought our minds to Ghana. As far as I know, all our minds are very much in our bodies -- in our brains. So, I do not know how the President could have gathered minds which are not in Ghana and brought them to Ghana.
Maybe, the Hon Member can tell us what he meant by “the President has brought our minds to Ghana.” But our minds are in this room, I believe, have always been in Ghana where our bodies are situated. So, if he did not actually mean what he said, I would be grateful if he clarifies what he just said.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
I think I would give an opportunity to the Hon Deputy Majority Leader.
Mr Agbesi
Mr Speaker, at the beginning of the debate, it was made clear to all of us that a lot of Hon Members want to make contributions, and so points of orders should be limited as far as possible so that our Hon Members could make contributions. This is because when Hon Members get up, they have opportunity to correct points that have been made that are not true, so that the debate would flow.
Mr Agbesi
So, we appeal again, Mr Speaker, to let the debate flow. Let our Hon Members make their points. Those that are not accurate when Hon Members take their turn, they would refer to them so that we can have as many of our Hon Members to make contributions. We would appeal to Hon Members to let us go by this way.
I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Nii Namoale: Mr Speaker, the President encouraged Ghanaian industries, especially, the cottage industries to continue to produce because those people are making significant contribution to our economy.

If you go to Tudu, herbafrique , agbelima, akobalm,agbeve, these are locally made products that are exported to Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, not through the formal way but it is going and money is coming to Ghana.

Mr Speaker, thank you.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Thank you very much, Hon Namoale.
I do not know whether it is parliamentary but I would not comment on it just now. You sang a song. You did not tell us what it meant. I will not give you the opportunity to tell us what it meant.
Mr Agbesi
Mr Speaker, the statements that we make must be very factual. When they are factual, we have no problem. The President going to Dubai was not for tourism purposes. As we debate, let us debate issues and leave out personal matters so that we would be seen to be very objective. That is my only concern.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, you gave excellent advice and we were all abiding by your advice which is that, we should restrict point of orders. Indeed, every point of order that has been made since I took the Chair is neither here nor there. In the sense that, if you ask me to rule on what you just said, the ruling can be either way. This can be the Hon Member's opinion. It is a fact that the President was in Dubai.
If she thinks that the President went on holidays, she thinks that he should have gone to Peduase Lodge instead, it is a question of opinion. Point of orders can be taken in all cases. I thought that based on your advice, everybody had been quiet and nobody had raised a point of order.
Let it pass, otherwise, at every other point, somebody could raise a point of order. Hon Member, you know that there are some points of order experts in the House. Even if you mention your name, they can raise a point of order against your
own name that you did not mention it fully or correctly, so let us take it like--
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
I told you that there are points of order experts, I have not mentioned names. He who the cap fits, let him wear it. [Laughter.] There are points of order experts here. I myself, before you promoted me to lonely eminence, I was a point of order expert. So, let us leave it.
Hon Botchwey, would you please continue? I have taken note of your time that has been taken up by this discourse.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
I have not reprimanded him. [Laughter.]
Hon Ayorkor Botchwey, I have not reprimanded him. We have had a discussion. I have had a discussion with the Deputy Majority Leader whom I have a lot of respect for.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Members, Hon Ayorkor Botchwey started making her contribution at 12.30 p.m., it is 12.40 p.m. and she has finished in spite of the interjection. I plead with all of you, that it is ten minutes, so try and stay within the ten minutes. I know you all have the capacity to operate within the time.
Mr Richard M. Quashigah (NDC -- Keta)
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion. Mr Speaker, the President, in his Address to the nation in this House -- State of the Nation Address -- was very analytical, he was crystal clear, on point and told the Ghanaians where we were and where he intends to take this nation to, the pragmatic strategies that are to be adopted to actually move us from a lower middle income country to a true middle income country.
Mr Speaker, it is obvious that today, the Ghanaian is better off; the reason for which the Ghanaian is living better -- I mean a lot more Ghanaians are not dying

Mr Speaker, the very many areas that the President touched on, one area that appeals to me most is the health sector. Mr Speaker, tremendous activities are taking place under that particular sector, which obviously is galvanizing and catapulting the forward match of the Ghanaian people. This is because indeed, without a healthy society, there is no way we can say we really have a nation.

Mr Speaker, a number of programmes have been put in place. For instance, today, we can boast of the additional 1,600 Community Health Improvement Programmes (CHPS) Compounds -- [Hear! Hear!] -- that is being expected to be added to the many that have been built by this Government by 2016. That is going to come out of the sacrifices that Ministers of State have agreed to undertake by a 10 per cent cut of their salaries. I say kudos to a visionary leader and an effective working Executives of the NDC-led Administration. [Hear! Hear!]

Mr Speaker, as we are here, we all know too well that, a number of health facilities have been constructed and some are ongoing. The Tarkwa Hospital has been constructed and well equipped, work is ongoing on 12 new District Hospitals and I know that my Colleagues on the other side are going to benefit out of these 12
Mr Richard M. Quashigah (NDC -- Keta)
new District Hospitals that are to be constructed or that are being constructed. Unfortunately, Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah is not around. The Sekondi enclave would benefit from these hospitals, so is the Fomena District.
Mr Speaker, financing for additional 9 hospitals have also been concluded. If this is not a government that is people- centered, then I do not know what kind of government it is.
Mr Speaker, work is also ongoing for new Teaching Hospital for the University of Ghana. That is going to be a boost for our medical students. Mr Speaker, there is an upgrade work on the Ridge Hospital and the phase two of the upgrading and expansion of the Tamale Hospital has started.
All these things we never saw in 2008, but now we are moving forward in the right direction and the people of Ghana can proudly say that indeed, they have a caring government. Even under an ongoing, world crisis, Ghanaians can still say proudly that they are doing very well, the reason for which more people are living and not dying.
Mr Speaker, 40 District Hospitals have been supplied with state-of-the-art equipment, including the Keta Hospital which is the constituency I represent. [Hear! Hear!] Other beneficiary hospitals are the Ridge, Tema General, Mamobi Hospitals, Princess Marie Louis Children Hospital, 37 Military as well as Tamale, Komfo Anokye and the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospitals. All these hospitals have been upgraded; they have installed new equipment.
The Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital pediatrics -- [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, an effective and visionary government is a Government that thinks of its tomorrow;
that is thinking of the children of Ghana. The Korle-Bu Pediatric Centre was closed in 2006 but has come to life as a result of the new facilities that President Mahama- led Administration has provided and for which reason, our infants would not be dying needlessly.
Mr Speaker, today we can indeed talk about health workers, the number of health workers to have been increased. This administration has trained over three thousand health workers and more health institutions are being put in place to train a lot more of our health workers. This obviously is a boost in the feather of the Mahamaled -Administration. Mr Speaker, today as I mentioned earlier, a lot more Ghanaians are living, they are alive. That is why the life expectancy ratio as I mentioned earlier is 65 and during the NPP led administration it was 58.
Therefore, it means that from 2008 till now the Ghanaians are living better and the reason they have been living and they are not dying--
Mr Speaker, the average neo-natal maternal mortality is also steadily decreasing as was mentioned by the President in his Address. So is neo-natal mortality having reduced from 5.8 per cent per thousand life birth in 2012 to 2.3 per cent per thousand lives today.

Mr Speaker, the visionary President Mahama who demonstrated aptly what he intends for this nation as is reminiscent of Dr Kwame Nkrumah, did indicate the need for us to focus on home grown foods and products, the reason for him to wake us from our slumber, that it is time for the

Ghanaian to consume what he grows and what he cannot eat, he should can for export.

Mr Speaker, even if you do not like President Mahama, even if you disagree with his ideology even if you disagree with his style, you cannot disagree with the fact that inspite of the global economic challenge, Ghana is making an impressive progress and President Mahama is obviously leaving footprints in the sands of time.

Mr Speaker, it is also very clear that even in the crisis world, we can say that the Ghanaian economy is doing better than its neighbours in the subregion.We cannot run away from that.

Clearly, the indicators show that Ghana economically is doing better than a number of its neighbours in the subregion and I know Dr Akoto Osei can testify to that -- [Laughter].

Mr Speaker, one thing that the President touched on which is a nerve centre of this nation is unity. It is said that a divided house cannot stand and if a divided house cannot stand, it would therefore require that we should remain united.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Quashigah, people were standing up seeking to raise points of order, I ignored all of them until you decided to mention names. Once, you mention a name the practice of this House is that, you tie my hands. If you mention the name of somebody who is not here rightly as it was said by one of our Hon Members, I can stop you and say that the person is not here to defend himself.
If you mention a name of an Hon Member who is here, thank Heaven, he is
here, he can defend himself. First you mentioned Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah, now you have mentioned Hon Dr Akoto Osei. So I am bound to recognise Hon Akoto Osei.
Dr Osei
Thank you Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, I was rising earlier -- [Interruptions] -- Mr Speaker, the Vice Chairman who was sick has come and he wants to be recognised.
Mr Speaker, I was rising earlier to catch your eye to tell my good Friend that so far, he has done well and he would be given a Ministerial position. So he should conclude -- [Laughter].That is all.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Member, I think you will just --
Mr Quashigah
Mr Speaker, I would prefer to ignore that.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
I know you would do that. So conclude. I have confidence in you, just continue.
Mr Quashigah
Mr Speaker, I think that one thing that we need to laud this government for, is the recognition of the tremendous progress that we have been making in the international community as far as agriculture is concerned.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
I have given you two more minutes.
You know I am a fair person. He started at 12.40pm. It is now 12.52 p.m. I would have stopped him if Hon Akoto Osei had not raised the point of order.
So I am giving you a minute more. Hon Akoto Osei may not have spent two minutes but I took his time. The Hon Vice Chairman of the Finance Committee also took some of his time. So according to my discretion with respect, I will give you one more minute to conclude.
Mr Quashigah
Mr Speaker, in winding up, I would want us to reflect on what the President mentioned in his Address which indeed, is a truism. It says at page 13 “Agriculture and Food Security”: This has even been acknowledged by the international community. Last year (2013), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation and the AU forum for agriculture research in Africa recognised Ghana for achieving the MDG of reducing hunger and malnutrition in advance of the 2015 target date.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Thank you, Hon Quashigah, What page is it?
Mr Quashigah
Page 13, Mr Speaker.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Of the State of the Nation Address?
Mr Quashigah
Yes, of the State of the Nation Address.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Thank you very much, Hon Quashigah.
Mr Quashigah
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Member, I will not mention your name because it goes on record but you know that I am talking to you. I will not rec- ognise you. I will not mention your name because I do not want it to go on the record.
Hon Quashigah, you made this statement: “You grow what you eat and you can what you cannot eat,” and I thought you would have remembered -- I believe he is your uncle -- Major Courage Quashigah (your cousin) who used to state that statement but you ascribed it to somebody else.
Anyway, that is by the bar.
Mr Ken Ohene Agyapong (NPP -- Assin Central)
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the State of the Nation Address.
First of all, I would like to thank the President for standing two hours, fifteen minutes to deliver the State of the Nation Address.
Mr Speaker, the development of this country is a serious business and not propaganda. You have to speak the truth and let everybody know the State of the Nation. When all indicators in terms of development are pointing to negative trends, we have colleagues defending that today,. 2014 is better than yesterday 2013 and 2012.
Mr Speaker, in 2009, the fuel price; was five cedis, to a gallon. Today, as I speak, the fuel price the gallon is eleven cedis, forty-seven pesewas (GH¢11.47) and you call that, we being better off today than yesterday? Water has gone up over 120 per cent. Electricity has gone up over 85 per cent and I have a proof here Mr Speaker. In September, 2013, my electricity bill was GH¢36,180.50 pesewas. In November, electr icity bill was GH¢62,564.43 pesewas and you tell me we are better off today than yesterday?
In February last year, my electricity bill was GH¢67,251.79. What I am telling my Hon Colleagues who would not listen is that, this is not my residential bill. This is my company bill. The President has come out with a noble idea that we all have to support. But before we can support this, Mr Speaker, we need to address all these issues. If not, trust me, Ghanaian products or goods, nobody would patronise them. I am going to show why we would not patronise Ghana made goods.
Mr Speaker, I have told you; what I am wearing is Ghana made. This is from China and half piece of this cloth is GH¢30. This is from Ghana Textiles Printing (GTP). Half is GH¢50 [Interruption.] Let us not do politics with it. What I am arriving at is, with the President's noble idea, he has to give concessions to local companies before whatever he is saying would materialise. If not, I am afraid our citizens would continue to buy foreign products. It is as simple as that.
So, we expect the President to adopt what we call the ‘Asia miracle', when companies were called and asked what they could do to help their country. With that they were able to identify businessmen who could develop -- and an example is Korea. When I talk of the ‘Asia miracle', let us refer to Korea and Malaysia. Let us check what they did that today they are developed.
Nobody would want to go against a local product, but if the prices are not competitive, they cannot even compete on the global market with such high cost of production, that is what I am talking about. This has nothing to do with National Democratic Congress (NDC), this has nothing to do with New Patriotic Party (NPP), we are talking about Ghana. The system and policies put in place are not friendly to the local companies. Mr Speaker, I can tell you --
Nii Amasah Namoale: On a point of order. Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague on the other side of the House is making a point and I do not have a problem with it. He brought out two cloths; he claims one is from China and one from GTP, Ghana and the one from China is GH¢30 and that from GTP costs GH¢50.
Mr Speaker, GTP, upon seeing that the price of China wax print is so low, they sent people to China to go and produce --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Is this a point of order?
Nii Amasah Namoale: Mr Speaker, yes. When they came, they saw that even if you pay everything, the price that they sell the cloth in Ghana is lower than if they give the cloth free of charge.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Thank you, Hon Member.
Hon Member, you may continue.
Mr Agyapong
Mr Speaker, when you have politicians who are not employing people or doing business, they can argue along those lines like that. What I am saying has nothing to do with NDC or NPP, it is about Ghana and what we can do to develop this country. I am saying that the President has come out with a noble idea, but what can he do? It is not only by mouth, I am giving out indicators that make our products expensive and not be able to compete on the world market.
Therefore, I am suggesting to the President and this House, that the only way we can help the local industries to compete effectively is to give them concessions as they give to the foreign companies establishing businesses in this country. I gave out a typical example.
Mr Speaker, I am in the same business with some companies, that are foreign companies and are enjoying different electricity tariffs-- [Interruption.] Why should they enjoy low electricity tariffs and we the citizens of this country pay high electricity tariffs? This is what I am talking about.
Mr Agyapong

If we all know, the companies in the free zones enjoy different tariffs. Why can we the citizens also not enjoy the same tariffs so that our products can be competitive on the world market? This is not about politics; it is about concessions given to foreign companies in this country and that is not from NDC or NPP, it has been there as a policy that assists the foreign companies.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, do you have a point of order or you would wait till you contribute then you can --
Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye: On a point of order.

Mr Speaker, I am not a Lawyer but the law of evidence proves that, at least those materials he is having should be shown to me so that I would also be able to know whether what he is saying is true.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Member, I know you are not a Lawyer but you are a student of law, I thought that it is clear in Parliament the way these things

Hon Members, order. Order!
Dr Kunbuor
Mr Speaker, I would want us to correct some of the records because one of the issues that came up was that, His Excellency the President did not table his shoes. Mr Speaker made some comments on it and I would want us to make the distinction clear.
His Excellency the President did not move a Motion for consideration by this House and so he was not subject to the rules of the Standing Orders of this House.
The person who appropriately can tender before the Table would be a person who has moved a Motion and any other person who is engaged in the Motion. So I would want us to get the record correct.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
When the President is making a State of the Nation Address, he is not subject to our rules of source and so on. The President answered one question when we said ‘source' but he did not even need to answer it. The President could speak but when we come to debating it, we could challenge the source of the President. But the President was kind enough to invite us to the Chamber, and people are
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Member, could you resume your seat, please? Before you came in for the advice of the Leadership, we had agreed that there would be as few interjections as possible. I allowed that one interjection because you are a Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry and the Hon Member was speaking about matters relating to trade.
I think that this order that you are asking me to make, I decline to make that order. The Table Office has received it, if you want such an order to be made, move a formal Motion.
Hon Kennedy Agyepong, please, proceed.
Mr Agyapong
Mr Speaker, it is sad when you see your Leaders not being patriotic or nationalistic. I would not gain anything by showing these two cloths, one from China, one from Ghana I am rather supporting what the President is saying, but if what President Mahama said about Ghanaian made goods would
come to fruition, then all these taxes have to be reduced. All those bills that we are paying that do not make us competitive globally —
Nii Lantey Vanderpuye: — rose —
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Member, do you have a problem?
Nii Lantey Vanderpuye: Mr Speaker, my brother has just made inference to somebody not being patriotic. I am the only one who came in between to interject on this issue, and I wish that my Brother will withdraw that particular statement. This is because I believe I am very patriotic. I am very patriotic like any other Ghanaian, if not more patriotic than him.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Thank you. Hon Kennedy Agyapong, will you continue? I did not understand it to mean it was in reference to you. [Interruption.] Hon Kennedy Agyapong, please, would you just continue? I did not understand. He was not referring to you, everybody knows you are patriotic.
Mr Agyapong
Mr Speaker, so what I am saying is that, our prices are very high and they make our cost of production very high. Therefore, as a nation, we should dialogue and see how best we can solve this problem because it is a noble idea. But when we take into account our electricity bills, our fuel prices, water, everything going up, it makes it very difficult for the local companies to compete on the world market. If we are able to give concessions like they have done to the companies in the free zones area, it would also help the Ghanaian companies.
If those registered under free zones enjoy different electricity tariffs, why can we not also help the local businessmen or companies to enjoy the same tariffs so that their cost of production would be reduced for them to be competitive on the world market? This is my argument.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Member, you have two more minutes.
Mr Agyapong
Mr Speaker, thank you. I wish the Ministry of Health was here. My father is on admission at Korle-Bu and what I saw yesterday -- I am saying that Korle -Bu has been there over the years. It is no fault of President Mahama or NDC, it is no fault of anybody but, as a nation, our total negligence and unpatriotic attitudes. When you go there -- What I saw at Korle-Bu emergency yesterday, I have it here.
In fact, they were arguing with me why I was taking pictures and I said,
“Madam, I have one experience. When I was talking about electricity bill somewhere in December, my Colleagues challenged me and the Speaker asked me to withdraw, that is why I am taking pictures as evidence”.
You see, what I saw yesterday—
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Do you want to table your phone?
Mr Agyapong
Mr Speaker, well, I took the picture on my phone. I captured, I took a video of it. On a more serious note, what I saw can happen to me, can happen to you and can happen to everybody. So, we need to address this issue very well.
If we do not do anything about what I saw yesterday -- Right about 3.00 o'clock, they pasted there a note that the emergency can no more accept patients at 3.00 o'clock. It is because the place is very small yet almost every serious case is directed to Korle-Bu. So, we need to
address this issue. If management itself is not doing the right thing, I think the Minister can step in or the Ministry must step in, put some infrastructure in place to help everybody. It is not only Kenneth Agyapong or Hon Majority Leader but everybody.
I would want to be nationalistic and from what I saw there, the workers work under deplorable conditions and because of the conditions over there, it would make it difficult for them to attend to you. They are always mad at themselves because of the conditions under which they work.
So, if we are able to do something about it, improve on the system over there for the workers also to enjoy, it would help the patients that go there. If a worker gets in there and he is furious, whoever comes there will die. They will not do anything about it.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Thank you very much.
Mr Agyapong
Mr Speaker, I think what the President said, although they were about 70 per cent repetitive, I share his idea of Ghana made goods but he has to come back and tell us what incentives he is going to give to local companies in this country to make us competitive on the world market.
Thank you.
Mr Alhassan Azong (PNC-- Builsa South)
Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the State of the Nation Address that was ably moved by the Hon Minister for Trade and Industry, Hon Haruna Iddrisu.
In thanking him, I would want to state that the presentation by the Head of State and, the Commander-In-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces was so unique that in certain aspects that I would want to draw
this House's attention to. We have to all acknowledge that this particular presentation was a fundamental shift from the previous one in certain aspects.
First and foremost, was his call for the role of everybody to help in transforming our economy. Mr Speaker, it was unique in the sense that, he called on all and sundry to make sure that we patronised made in Ghana goods and services and that is the responsibility of every individual. It is the responsibility of everybody and I know the first responsibility goes to the Hon Members of Parliament.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Members, Order! Order.
Mr Azong
Mr Speaker, the presentation was so clear that— [Interruption]
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
I would not allow Hon Azong to continue until there is order. Please, let us have some order; I do not want to mention names.
Mr Azong
So, Mr Speaker, I would want to solicit your support to decree -- [Interruption.] No, but to direct that all Hon Members of Parliament, as a way of transforming the economy, should begin to patronise made in Ghana goods and services. First and foremost, we need to ensure that our dress code reflects what we wear; what we eat should reflect what we produce, and what we get as services are Ghana made goods. I am saying this in the sense that --
Dr A. A. Osei
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member, Mr Azong, is my very good Friend. I would rather he encouraged me. he says he directs. He has no authority to direct me as a Member of Parliament. He can encourage me and I would comply, but when he directs me, I am --
Mr Azong
Mr Speaker, what I said was that, I was calling on the Speaker-- I first used decree and later on I said to direct; the Speaker to direct Members of Parliament, to advise Members of Parliament to patronise made in Ghana goods. I dropped the word ‘direct' and said ‘to advise.'
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Azong, I saw that you have changed it; first you decreed, then you invited the Speaker. So, when you invite the Speaker, it is the Speaker who would decide whether he has the power to do it or not. So, you are on course, you continue.
Mr Azong
When we do that it means that we are finding jobs for the jobless; it means that we are giving our local businesses employment; it also means goods that are produced in Ghana here have the hope of being patronised by their own legislators. I also would want to urge that we should do away with the mentality that our goods are inferior.
The moment we say our own goods are inferior, we have the tendency to go and import goods into our own country for consumption and that means capital flight. That cannot preserve the cedi. Until we approach this issue fundamentally with the aim that we are going to create employment, we are going to create jobs; we are going to create services and goods for our people, we cannot make any headway.
I believe the presentation by the President also was an indirect call to all our MMDAs to make sure that in conducting businesses, procurement of
Mr Azong

their goods, they should make sure that the local person is given the first priority. If we are not able to tackle this issue in a very dramatic manner, then we would continue to wallow and complain to others as if this country belongs to other people instead of us.

The other request I would want to make in terms of food security and agriculture is that, in ensuring sustainable food security, Mr Speaker, I would want to suggest that, Hon Members should come up with community farms in their constituencies so that the unemployed youth that throng to Parliament to seek for jobs that are not available, can be directed to go and work in those areas.

We might think it would be difficult, but the moment we start, it would work. I would urge my Hon Friend, Hon Mathew Opoku Prempeh (Napo) to do the same thing in Manhyia; I can come and have a farm there, he knows I am a Kumasi man. Anybody who wants should be able to have some funds for the people to patronise.

Mr Speaker, I would also want to thank the President for addressing the issue of inequality. We were told of the progress that the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) has made since its introduction and we commend those who introduced the LEAP project; it has been sustained and expanded and we think it is good and something that would deal with the vulnerable in the society. I also would want to urge and thank the President --
Mr Afenyo-Markin
I thank you for recognising me. Mr Speaker, on a point of order. The Hon Member is misleading this House. He is making a contribution and he is making submissions as though he and the Government are in opposition and are now presenting the policies that they
would implement should they get power. Mr Speaker, the party in Government has been in Government for six years. In fact --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Afenyo-Markin, thank you very much. If I may just add, that our Standing Orders do not recognise the word ‘opposition'. Yesterday or two days ago, an Hon Member who was speaking said Members of the Opposition. There is a Majority and there is a Minority. So, let us bear that in mind.
Hon Azong, you are on course; continue.
Mr Azong
Thank you, Mr Speaker--
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Member, did you mention the name of Hon Matthew Opoku Prempeh?
Mr Azong
Oh yes, I only suggested to him --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Why should you mention his name?
Mr Azong
I was explaining that --
Mr Azong
Allright, I withdraw.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
I was not going to call the Hon Member, but you have mentioned the name. Allright, Hon Dr Prempeh, Manhyia North?
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Azong, when you want to mention a name, chose the names that you mention. [Laughter.] A word to the wise is enough.
Mr Azong
Thank you very much. I was only referring to those who have communities where they can establish farms. I would also want to state that I am not doing this presentation in opposition to the Government; what I am referring to is that, the policy architecture as presented by the President and the framework under which Members of Parliament can help the process.
So, if one is suggesting that Members of Parliament (MPs) need to play a particular role to facilitate the implementation of the Government's policies, it does not mean one is running contrary to what the Government presented. I am in total support of what the President presented and I am only calling on Members of Parliament (MPs) to also let us walk the talk so that at the end of the day, deprived Ghanaians benefit from the policies as presented by the President.
The last point I would want to touch on, is his call for unity in terms of the nation Ghana. He has been very consistent with this call. I remember last year, he said we need to manage the affairs of this nation in partnership and not partisanship. That clarion call for patriotism and nationalism was re-echoed last week. There is no way we can take this call for granted. The only nation we have is Ghana; we have nowhere to go.
So inasmuch as we recognise the challenges outlined by the President, we also need to play a role in making sure that in future, the only nation we have is Ghana and that is where we are investing the future of our children in and without that we cannot stand as a nation.
Mr Speaker, on this note, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this Motion.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
I also thank you very much.
In consultation with Leadership, I would want to recognise two of our Hon Colleagues, for the purpose of the records, to correct some alleged factual inaccuracies.
So, I recognise the Hon Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry and the Hon Member for Atiwa West (Mr Kwasi Amoako-Attah) as well.
I would give them just two minutes each.
Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry (Nii LanteyVanderpuye): Mr Speaker, thank you, very much.
I would want to correct an impression which was made by the Hon Member for Assin South or Assin Central on the issue of the payment of -- the Hon Member for Parliament made allusion -- [Some Hon Members: Which one?] -- Hon Kennedy Agyepong. I said the Hon Member for Assin Central. Is there any other different person?
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Member, just continue.
Nii Lantey Vanderpuye: He made a statement to the fact that, entities within the Free Zones enclave enjoy reduced electricity tariffs. That is factually inaccurate.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Please, who made that statement?
Nii Lantey Vanderpuye: I think that was made by Hon Namoale.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Deputy Minister, I believe that the Free Zones Companies enjoy some tax holidays.
Nii Lantey Vanderpuye: Yes, they enjoy some taxes pertaining to their production but not on electricity tariffs.
Mr Amoako-Attah
Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity.
I wish I had caught your eye earlier when Hon Nii Amasah Namoale, Hon Member for Dade-Kotopon was making his submission.
Mr Speaker, at some point he was misleading this House because he put in an information which was very dangerous to the image and credibility of GTP.
Mr Speaker, I would want to correct that impression in my capacity as a former Director of Legal Department for the company and currently the Legal Advisor for that same company.
Mr Speaker, Hon Nii Amasah Namoale made a statement to the effect that, GTP had gone to China to print clothes of its own design. Mr Speaker, it is not correct. It is not factual and it is very inaccurate.
Mr Speaker, GTP as a company, in conjunction with all textile companies in this country, has been fighting infringe- ment on their copyright and imitation of its designs in conjunction with the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Periodically, we all hear and know what happens on the market.
I would want to put on record, Mr Speaker, that GTP has never and would never go against competition. GTP has always been talking about competition that is fair to all parties and all players. GTP is a leading manufacturer, and in fact, market leader in terms of market shares and quality of African textiles in our nation. And it is only proper that, on the floor of this august House, we put it on record that GTP has not done nothing untoward to those who deal in textiles.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Thank you very much.
Nii Namoale -- rose --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Namoale, your name was mentioned, so I give you one minute.
Nii Namoale: Mr Speaker, it is somebody inside GTP who told me this story. If Hon Amoako-Attah can tell me which cloth they were calling Bubudema. It was the China cloth that they went and bought from China.
Mr Speaker, I stand by my word.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Namoale, you put us in a very difficult position because you are relying on hear- say -- somebody told you. We have the Hon Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry who says that, from his official records, he is not aware something of that sort has ever happened. We have the former Director of Legal for GTP who is today the Legal Advisor to GTP who says that nothing like that has ever happened. You got your information from a third party -- somebody.
If we asked the person to appear before the Committee on Trade and Industry, we would be taking the issue too far. So, I think that for the time being, let us accept it.
If you can produce the person or you can produce the evidence to the contrary, then we take it. But the basis of your evidence that somebody told you is not acceptable in my view.
So, I rule that, that piece of information that you gave us, was based on hearsay evidence -- when we asked the source, you said ‘somebody' and you have not mentioned his name -- the House would rely on the statement made by the Legal Advisor and the statement made by the Hon Deputy Minister as the correct state of affairs with regard to GTP.
I would round up today's proceedings by calling on Hon Frank Annor-Dompreh. The time is 1.35 p.m. Without any interruption, we would bring the curtain down for your contribution at 1.45 p.m.
Mr Frank Annor-Dompreh (NPP -- Nsawam-Adoagyiri)
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to make a contribution to the Motion before the House.
Mr Speaker, I speak with worry. I speak with deep-seated pain,and I speak with
deep-seated trepidation as a young man growing up in a developing country. Why am I saying these?
Mr Speaker, before I go on itemising the evidence, let me deal with a conspicuous factual inaccuracy as found in the President's Address.
Mr Speaker, I invite you to page 18 of the President's Address. The President sought to create the impression that, in sub-Saharan Africa, there are two countries leading when it comes to energy or electricity connectivity. The President was blunt in mentioning South Africa and then Ghana as the second highest.
Mr Speaker, I am not surprised about these factual inaccuracies because we are living under a President who has failed to make the necessary commitment when it comes to research. So, I was not surprised the mistake was made.
Mr Speaker, the facts are not far- fetched. Two Professors -- one Prof. Brew-Hammond and Prof. Kemensua-- who are leading professors when it comes to energy at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in their recent Paper titled “Energy for all in Africa: to be or not to be; Current opinion in Environmental Sustainably” -- Volume 1, Issue 1, page 83 - 88, it is stated there expressly clear that indeed Mauritius has the highest electricity connectivity -- 100 per cent, followed by South Africa and Ghana is lagging behind as the third country across in the sub-region.
So, I would wan t to make a passionate appeal --
Mr Quashigah
Mr Speaker, I think my Hon Colleague has not been fair to the President. Clearly, the way he puts it smacks of an insult, making reference to
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Continue, please.
Mr Annoh-Dompreh
I am grateful, Mr Speaker.
Yes, he is the President. But the President is fallible and the President makes mistakes. We need to point it out. I would want to suggest, that the President should strengthen the research department of this Government so that the next time the President comes to this House to present such an important speech, a thorough research would be conducted so that we are not infested with such inaccuracies.
Mr Agbesi
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, an issue had been brought to your attention, that the Hon Member on the floor had made a statement which the Hon Member said was inaccurate, that the President does not appreciate research. But the Hon Member said that this is a President who has set up a Fund
for research. So, these are two statements which need to be reconciled.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, when he made that statement and people got up to raise points of order, I wanted to listen to the basis for that statement, and you referred to some two professors who I do not know. I must confess, I had not heard their names before. I thought that somebody would get up and ask him to lay the document.
Rightly, if the President said they are two, that they are two professors according to him, and they are three, then what the President said was factually inaccurate. Therefore, if his document is right, and therefore he says that the President does not appreciate -- We all know that it is not the President himself who set this document out, we agree. But the factual mistake is there.
So, I thought that you were rather going to attack the accuracy of his statement. I thought that was what Hon Quashigah was going to demand that he lays this document. If what he has said is correct, that there is a factual inaccuracy in the document, then he can draw an inference from it. That is my view.
Mr Agbesi
Mr Speaker, by the Hon Member challenging the statement he made, by saying that what he said is inaccurate, if he is minded to proof that his statement is correct --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Annoh-Dompreh, this document that you have stated, two professors, with respect to them, I am not an energy expert, I have not heard it. Would you want to table the document or otherwise withdraw it? What has happened is that, they have challenged your source. [Some Hon Members: No! Nobody challenged the source.] Nobody challenged the source. Then let us continue.
I will not even allow anybody to challenge it now. This is because I am not supposed to engage in debate. Perhaps, I have shown the way.
Hon Annoh-Dompreh, continue.
Mr Speaker, may you live long for that wonderful ruling.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Annoh-Dompreh, just continue.
Mr Speaker, in moving ahead --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Members, the Speaker is not supposed to be part of the debate. As soon as he started speaking, my mind started moving in a certain direction. When I called Hon Quashigah, I thought that he would focus on that direction and quickly debunk the whole issue. In fact, to tell you the truth, I was pointedly looking into his direction, hoping that he would take a cue. He did not take a cue and I thought that somebody had raised it.
If you have not raised it, I would not allow you to raise it now because I have shown you the way, and if I have shown you the way -- It is a mistake I made and you cannot take advantage of my mistake. So, continue.
Mr Speaker, I have indicated clearly that, Parliament is a House of records. Parliament is not a House of theatre and classics. I was totally surprised to see the President displaying his, respectfully, so-called made in Ghana shoe, with a clear latent intent to create an impression that, indeed the President has pushed enough resources, when it comes to building a local entrepreneur in Ghana.
Mr Speaker, my advice to the President is simple. Let the President visit Kumasi in the Ashanti Region where shoes are produced and support these producers of local shoes in Kumasi. Then only can I have confidence that, yes, the President is indeed committed to supporting local industry.
It is sad that the wonderful producers of shoes in Kumasi produce these shoes and they tag the shoes as made in Italy. That is a slap on our faces as a country and that is unfortunate. I would want to appeal to the President that what he has to do is to indeed show commitment in building local industries.
I am surprised. I was totally shocked to hear the President say he was going to implement progressive Free Senior High School (SHS). My Brother, there is no doubt.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Who is your Brother in this House?
Mr Annoh-Dompreh
Hon Members, there is no doubt about the fact that the free SHS in our recent democracy is one message that has been trumpeted by Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo. [Hear! Hear!] Having churned out this wonderful vision -- [Interruption.]
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Deputy Minority Leader? You yield? Who do you yield to?
Mr Agbesi
To Hon Quashigah.
Mr Quashigah
Mr Speaker, it is clear that my Hon Colleague is very much confused about what he is saying. [Some Hon Members: Oh!] Very confused and it is also very pedestrian and illiterate to say that the idea of the introduction of free SHS as espoused by President
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Quashigah, you said that the Hon Member is “confused, pedestrian and illiterate”. When you said “confused” I was willing to let “confused” go because sometimes, in Parliament, we describe each other as confused. But I think when you added “pedestrian and illiterate” - First of all for you to use “illiterate” in that sense, if it is just that illiteracy is something that is wrong, please, do the honourable thing and withdraw those words. Just withdraw them.
Mr Quashigah
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity. I withdraw the words “pedestrian and illiterate”.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
You would not add “confused”? You would keep it?
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
You want to keep the “confused”?
Mr Quashigah
Rightly so, Mr Speaker.
Mr Daniel Botwe
Mr Speaker, I think early on, we did agree as much as possible that we should allow the debate to flow so that we can really follow and learn something from the debates. But it is becoming obvious that some of the interjections, we cannot support them by any order in our Standing Orders. This is because if somebody makes a statement and one disagrees, it does not mean that the person is out of order.
I think that we should be minded by these things so that we can -- especially when, Mr Speaker, you have said that this is the last contribution we are taking for the day -- so that we can end very successfully.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Is it point of order on point of order? Is it possible to take a point of order on a point of order? It is not possible to take a point of order on a point of order. So, I would ask all the gentlemen in white and off, white to sit down. Hon Members, resume your seats. I can see you from the corner of my eye.
Hon Annoh-Dompreh, continue.
Mr Annoh-Dompreh
Mr Speaker, yes, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, after trumpeting that deep seated vision, he was mocked, he was vilified by our brothers on the other side.
He was vilified and mocked as a man who did not know what he was about. Today, at long last, the reality has dawned on our brothers on the other side that indeed, free SHS is possible and they need to bow and eat the humble pie.
In going further, Mr Speaker, it is most ironical that even then, when we talked about free SHS and the NDC Government had objected that no, the free SHS was not possible, today, under the guise of -- [Interruption.] Today, under the guise of President Mahama, I wish to ask -- Mr Speaker, I believe in certain critical things that are necessary for the prosecution of the Free SHS Policy and the --
Edwin Nii L. Vanderpuye: On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, I am concerned about the words that my Hon Colleague has used in this House. All of us have some appreciation of the English Language, if anybody got up to say “I do not blame him, he has little appreciate of research”. What it means is that, the person does not understand research. That is exactly the words -- [Interruption.] The Hansard can be referred to. He said that he does not blame the President because he has little appreciation of research.
That is exactly what the Hon Member said. I believe seriously that, if we are going to be very decorous in our usage of language in this House to one another, just as Hon Quashigah has been asked to withdraw what he said, it is important that my young brother, Hon Annoh-Dompreh is made to understand that the words he used are -- [Interruption.] He should withdraw those words; he has not ruled on that.
Mr Speaker did not rule on that issue. [Interruption.] He cannot say the President has little appreciation of research. What it means is that, the President does not understand research. At least, if I did not do anything at all, I did English Language at Legon with the wife of the Speaker. Yes. I did English Language with Mrs Ghartey at Legon and we were taught by his father, the late
Professor Sey. So, English Language is English Language.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Annoh-Dompreh, what did you say?
Mr Annoh-Dompreh
Mr Speaker, rightly so. I said that the President has failed -- read my lips -- The President has failed to push in the necessary White Paper when it comes to research. That is what I said. [Interruption.] That is what I said in paraphrasing it.
Mr Govers K. Agbodza
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, first of all, when you gave the opportunity to my Hon Colleague to repeat what he said, he had forgotten he was addressing the Chair. He said “read my lips”. He cannot tell the Speaker to read his lips. He should not be addressing -- [Interruption.] Ordinarily, I would have been quiet. He made certain statements on this floor today, I know that is his style, and we should allow people to have their own styles of presentation.
But when he went ahead to give the names of those two Professors, those Professors are not known worldwide as authorities in energy but we kept quiet over that. The statement in the President's Address, he can challenge it, but he should give us all other evidence.
If he goes on to say that the Professors from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), is he saying that -- I am a product of KNUST, I believe it is a very good institution, but he cannot tell me that that is the only institution in the world with the best people in terms of energy that when he mentions the name of --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Please, resume your seat. Hon Member, we have crossed that bridge. As I said, previously, when we came to that issue, I went ahead of myself, because I expected that Hon Quashigah and the rest would ask for something -- we have passed that stage. Let us glide slowly to a very nice end. You said the man said something, the records are there. The Hon Member said that, this is what he said, if that is what he said then he should conclude.
Mr Annoh-Dompreh
Mr Speaker, yes, the policy of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo that the Free SHS Policy, that was rejected by our Friends on the other side. today, has become the cornerstone in Ghana's policy --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Member, you want to make a point of order? Anytime you interject, I would add more time.
Ms Sulemana Alijata
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, my point of order is in regard to the statement made by Hon Annoh-Dompreh. What the Hon Member said was that, the President has little appreciation of research.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Annoh-Dompreh, is that what you said?
Mr Annoh-Dompreh
Mr Speaker, I never said that. Mr Speaker, with your kind permission, if I can just go on? [Interruption.]
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Annoh-Dompreh [Pause.]
Somebody just said we cannot all be winners and I agree with the person. I can also crack the whip but I do not want to do it. Let us all quietly bring matters to an end.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Annor Dompreh, the practice in this House is that, when you say something that is offensive to some people you withdraw it. It does not make you less a human being. I think that I heard you say something about appreciation. I do not remember exactly what you said -- I am sure you said a lot of things. Maybe you do not remember what you exactly said. If you said anything on the floor which is inappropriate just withdraw it.
Mr Annoh-Dompreh
Mr Speaker, with the greatest respect to your high office, infact, if that is what my Hon Colleagues on the other side heard, I unreservedly withdraw that part of the statement. Thank you very much.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Thank you. Continue.
Mr Annoh-Dompreh
Mr Speaker, but in moving ahead -- yes, the Free Senior High School that was negatively rejected, the Free Senior High School that colleagues on the other side mocked at, today, the Free Senior High School has become a cornerstone when it comes to policy in this country. Now Mr Speaker, there are some critical indices --
Several Hon Members -- rose --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
The only person I would recognise is the Hon Deputy Majority Leader. I would not
recognise anybody else. I will recognise the Hon Chief Whip and the Hon Deputy Minority Leader. I would not recognise anybody else. I am given an advice that I should not recognise anybody. But I would recognise them.
Mr Agbesi
Mr Speaker, thank you very much. As I continue to say, let us go to the issue and leave out attacks on personalities so that the debate can flow.
Mr Speaker, the Senior High School policy is contained in the Constitution of Ghana. The NDC and for that matter we here, did not reject it -- to say that we rejected it -- If the people of Ghana rejected it, it is different. That is why I am saying that let us go to the issue and leave out personalities, then the debate would flow.
Mr Annoh-Dompreh
Mr Speaker, it is surprising, as I am saying. According to IMANI, Ghana, the NDC sponsored 36 advertisements against the Free Senior High School -- television, print media and radio. Today our Friends on the other side are telling us that, 25 years ago, they never realised that it is a constitutional provision that Senior High School is supposed to be progressively free.
Today, they are telling us that, it was never in the constitution. It is very surprising. Now Mr Speaker, there are very important indices that are supposed to serve as the bedrock for Free Senior High School. One, unique and stable and sound economy.
I wish to ask our Hon Colleagues on the other side, do we have a stable and sound economy now? No! We do not! Again we need a prudently managed oil revenue. I wish to ask the House, do we have an administration where the oil revenue is being prudently managed? No!
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Annor Dompreh, as you ask your questions, it is 2.00 o'clock. I will give you two minutes to wind up. Within that time frame I will not take any points of order in accordance with Order 40 --
Mr Annoh-Dompreh
Again we need --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Hon Annor Dompreh, listen. In accordance with Order 40 (3) of the standing orders,I direct that Sitting be extended 15 past 2. 00 o'clock for today just for the purpose of winding up today's debate on the State of the Nation Address - Hon Annoh Dompreh, you have two minutes.
Mr Annoh-Dompreh
Mr Speaker, the President in his own book had pointed out clearly that, he is a President who has found it very difficult to be decisive when it comes to decision making. Now one of the things I would want to point out is that, one of the critical things necessary -- [Interruptions]
Mr Richard Quashigah
Thank you very much Mr Speaker --
Mr Annoh-Dompreh
Mr Speaker, in the President's own book -- Mr Speaker, if I have your attention -- in the President's own book, he said he finds it difficult to make decisions and so with all these, I have itemised, a badly managed economy, a badly managed oil revenue and indecision on the part of the President. Can we trust this President to be able to implement the Free Senior High School?
Several Hon Members: No!
Mr Annoh-Dompreh
Now in moving ahead -- I am very, very unhappy about the attitude of the President --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
You cannot move ahead. You must be moving down. Conclude.
Mr Annoh-Dompreh
Now, the National Youth Authority, an agency under the Ministry of Youth and Sports is being deprived of the necessary resources to be able to prosecute an agenda of the youth. Mr Speaker, let me take you through memory lane. I refer you to the manifesto -- I have in my hands the manifesto -- the disappointing manifesto of the NDC -- I am taking you to page 7 -

Mr Second Deputy Speaker
Thank you very much, Hon Annoh-Dompreh. Your time, unfortunately is up.
Mr Annoh-Dompreh
Mr Speaker, I am winding up.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker
No! Hon Annoh-Dompreh, you cannot wind up. Your time is up. Hon Members, the House is accordingly adjourned to Tuesday morning at 10 o'clock in the forenoon. Thank you very much.