Debates of 20 Mar 2014

PRAYERS 10:57 a.m.


Mr Second Deputy Speaker 10:57 a.m.
Hon Members, Correction of the Votes and Proceeding of Wednesday, 19th March
Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 10:57 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am sorry to take you back.
Page 6 -- it starts from page 5
“The following Hon. Members were absent with permission” --
Mr Speaker, the Hon Majority Leader asked for permission but he has not been marked as such. I would want the Hansard to capture that the Hon Majority Leader was absent with permission.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 10:57 a.m.
I believe on page 7, he has been marked as absent. So, that also should be changed.
Mr Emmanuel K. Agyarko 10:57 a.m.
Mr Speaker, for the purpose of the record, I would want to mention that on page 11, there is a name -- the gentleman is called “Jacob Ofosu-Koree” but it has been captured as “Jacob Otosu-Koree”. He is “Ofosu-Koree”.

Secondly, on page 13, “Prof. Mthuli Ncube” has been presented as the President of the African Development Bank. I would want to believe it is the “Resident Representative” not the “President Representative” --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 10:57 a.m.
But the first one you said --
Mr Agyarko 10:57 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am stating that for the African Development Bank Representation, in attendance, there is a Prof. Ncube who is President.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 10:57 a.m.
So, there is nothing wrong with that?
Mr Agyarko 10:57 a.m.
No. But the second one is also presented as “President”. I would want to believe it is “Resident” instead of “President”.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 10:57 a.m.
Thank you.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 10:57 a.m.
Mr Speaker, just for further guidance to what my Hon Colleague raised.
If you advert your mind to number (1) and he has no problem with number (i), then there should not be a problem with number (ii). We have “President, African Development Bank.” They do have a designated President.
So, if we have “President Represen- tative”, that is a Representative of the President of AfDB. So, I am just saying that if he has a problem with number (ii), then it may as well be a problem with number (i). But I do not think that there is any difficulty with it.
Mr Agyarko 10:57 a.m.
Mr Speaker, not necessarily.
I am only saying that -- I would want to believe that in the structure, there will be a President. I am not sure there would be a President Representative. I think they are designated as Resident Represen- tatives. I am only pointing out that it is probably a “Resident Representative.” I would want to believe that the Table Office can confirm this.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 10:57 a.m.
I believe this would be confirmed by the Table Office.
Mr Gabriel K. Essilfie 10:57 a.m.
Mr Speaker, on page 13, “Prof. Mthuli Ncube” as President of African Development Bank. Prof. Ncube is not the President of the African Development Bank. He is the Vice President.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 10:57 a.m.
Hon Members, the Votes and Proceedings of Wednesday, 19th March, 2014, as corrected, are hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.
Hon Members, we do not have an Official Report.
We will go to item number 3 --Questions.
Yes, Hon Minister for Trade and Industry?
Hon Frank Annor-Dompreh, Hon Member for Nsawam-Adoagyiri, you have the floor.


INDUSTRY 11:10 a.m.

Minister for Trade and Industry (Mr Haruna Iddrisu) (MP) 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, as part of Government's determination and commitment to expand the non-traditional export sector to support Ghana's economic development, the National Export Strategy (NES) and its implemen- tation arm, National Export Development Programme (NEDP) were launched on 16th August, 2013. The NES and the NEDP were developed out of the Trade Sector Support Programme.
The overall objective of the policy is to develop the potentials of the Non- Traditional Export (NTE) sector in order to achieve a strategic target of US$5.0 billion within five years (2013-2017) of its implementation from its current level of US$2.364 billion. Government is working to expand the non-traditional export sector.
Mr Speaker, recognising the high potential of our agro-based economy for increased export, seven out of the nine priority product sectors have been identified for support in the National Export Strategy. These are crop-based product sectors such as fruits, including pineapples, vegetables, cashew, shea, yam, et cetera.
Twenty-three products are lined up for implementation, with financial support under the National Export Development Programme. The major thrust is the provision of support for the expansion of the production and supply base of these nine priority products, as well as the development of export markets for them.
Mr Annoh-Dompreh 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, taking the Minister back to his own Answer, page 33, paragraph (2), and with your kind permission, I beg to quote:
“Twelve million Ghana cedis (GH¢12.0 million) grant funding has been earmarked for acquisition of farming inputs and working capital for 12 selected members of Sea Freight Pineapple Exporters Association (SPEG) in the Nsawam- Bawjiase area to enable them expand …”
Mr Speaker, I know for a fact that Nsawam is in the Eastern Region and Bawjiase, definitely, is in the Central Region. Mr Speaker, the SPEG farmers in Nsawam alone, number over 500 and Bawjiase more than 600. The Hon Minister is telling us that GH¢12.0 million has been earmarked out of a grant for only 12 farmers.
My question is, what measures have been put in place as a stop-gap measure in dealing with the difference in terms of the population of SPEG farmers?
Mr H. Iddrisu 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, for us, what is important is that pineapple is produced both in Nsawam and in Bawjiase and irrespective of the fact that they are in the Eastern and Central Regions, our commitment as Government is to support and encourage its production as an exportable product. That, we would do.
Mr Speaker, there has been some difficulties with SPEG. In fact, I am reliably informed that MiDA extended US$2.1 million support to those farmer groups. Repayment has not been as encouraging as it is desirable. Repayment has only been US$650,000 even as the project came to an end. So, in determining which farmer to support, you must give us a viable business plan and an assurance that you would be able to repay the money that Government is lending to you through EDAIF. So, we are currently processing the 12 farmers; we would be happy to process more applications.
Mr Speaker, I had a request from the Chief Executive or Managing Director of Blue Skies, a British company which is engaged in the processing of pineapples and they were looking for additional land in the Nsawam area to be able to support pineapple production. Our difficulty is
that, Government can only support the Distr ict Assembly over the land acquisition but not directly through the foreign entity.
I would be happy to work with the Member of Parliament and the District Chief Executive in determining appro- priate land that would be used for the expansion of their farmlands.
Mr Annoh-Dompreh 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am very happy the Hon Minister mentioned Blue Skies. Obviously, he knows the terrain.
Mr Speaker, there is a sad event happening now in Nsawam, where the local processors of pineapple, notably, Blue Skies and HP have to import pineapple from neighbouring la Cote d'Ivoire -- [Interruption] -- Mr Speaker, I need some order. Blue Skies has to import pineapple from la Cote d ‘Ivoire, Benin and Burkina Faso.
Now, the question is, what is the Minister and for that matter, the Ministry of Trade and Industry doing to stop the importation of pineapple from neigh- bouring la Cote d'Ivoire, Benin and Burkina Faso? This is because we have fertile land in this country that can produce these tonnes of pineapples.
Mr H. Iddrisu 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we do have fertile land and it is important that we make the best use of it. Processors and exporters are looking, subject to our satisfaction of minimum standards requirement, more food exports and vegetable exports from Ghana.
Our inability to produce more is what the President highlighted when he appeared before this House. The policy thrust of this Government is value addition. Therefore, instead of exporting raw pineapple, we would wish that it is --
Mr Annoh-Dompreh 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, even though I am not satisfied with that answer, I will proceed to my last supplementary question.
Mr Speaker, mango which is reputed as the green gold of Ghana, now, I read the Hon Minister's Answer and he was clear enough to say that Government is making a conscious effort to support mango production in the three northern regions, some parts of Brong Ahafo and then the Volta Region.
Mr Speaker, it is a fact that the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) built a pack house at Somanya because of the huge potential of mango production at Somanya. Conspicuously missing in the Hon Minister 's own answers are efforts at revamping and
supporting mango production at Somanya. What is the Hon Minister and for that matter, the Ministry doing to support the mango industry in Somanya and for that matter, the Eastern Region?
Mr H. Iddrisu 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, Government is ready and willing to support Ghanaian farmers who would want to do mango for purpose of domestic consumption and for purposes of export. Indeed, the pulp is in heavy demand abroad and we would be happy to reach out to farmers. They probably may go straight to the office of our Export Development Agricultural Industrial Fund (EDAIF) to get a form to fill to make a request for funding.
We are happy to make interventions where it is necessary by way of mix-credit of grant and loan. But for many of them, I am aware that several of those applications are being processed by EDAIF and in some parts of Volta, Northern and Brong Ahafo Regions, substantial support, financially, have been extended to farmers in that particular area.
Mr Speaker, what we need now is a mango processing plant. I would be happy to work with any Ghanaian who want to set up for purposes of adding value to the natural fruit of mango. If we have a good justified business case, Government by way of equity through EDAIF may be able to support that.
I am also happy to note that we currently have requested MiDA and EDAIF to conduct a feasibility study to expand the perishable cargo centre at the Kotoka International Airport and consider establishing same in Tamale and the Kumasi Airports in anticipation of its being used as a location for future exports.
Mr Daniel Botwe 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we would want the Hon Minister to clarify this question. Is the Hon Minister aware that Blue Skies Company imports pineapple and other fruits from the neighbouring countries?
Mr H. Iddrisu 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, officially that has not been brought to my attention or notice. But the Managing Director (MD) met with me when the President engaged a number of British businessmen on his delegation to the United Kingdom (UK) and that was when he indicated that he needed additional land to expand production, to which we said we were amenable to supporting him but the funds that we have available cannot be given to a foreign entity.
I rather would want to do it through the District Assembly to give it out to Blue Skies, so that they can expand their production.
Mrs Gifty Klenam 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to ask the Hon Minister, the introduction of the MD2 pineapple variety in this country over the past 10 years has brought about, if I may say, the indigenous pineapple, the smooth cayenne that we have in this country, that is the natural 100 per cent bid that we have. With the introduction of the MD2, farmers are no more producing the smooth cayenne and they are producing the MD2 which is introduced by the foreigners and they claim that is the acceptable fruit they would want to buy from Ghana.
At the moment, the introduction of the MD2, that particular variety has the planting base -- the suckers were available, they have killed that plant and right now, they are introducing the MD2 variety.
I would want to know what the Hon Minister is going to do to make sure that the smooth cayenne is brought back to take over the MD2, so that we can have the fruit available in this country.
Mr H. Iddrisu 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the smooth cayenne has always been there. The MD2 is only joining it. We will be happy to conduct further research into encouraging
its large- scale production. But what must be noted is that, farmers and exporters may be responding to international market demands.
Mr George K. Arthur 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister stated that in 2012/2013, 105 pineapple out-growers were supported with funding by EDAIF. May I know from the Hon Minister whether the Nsawam out-growers in pineapple benefited from that support?
Mr H. Iddrisu 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, support to pineapple in 2012, you will have the Pepawani Cooperative Pineapple Growers and Market Society which got GH¢160,000 from EDAIF. Attakrom Co-operative Top Fruits and Vegetable Growers and Marketing Society got GH¢112,000 and then Yonko Do Farmers Association -- I will find out the specific location of them. But these were those who received support from EDAIF, including those from Nsawam.
Mr William A. Quiattoo 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, just a clarification.
On page 32, paragraph (2) of the Hon Minister's Answer, it indicated --
“The overall objective of the policy is to develop the potentials so the Non-Traditional Export (NTE) sector in order to achieve a strategic target of US$5.0 billion with five years (2013-2017) of its implemen- tation from its current level of US$2.364 billion...”
But when you come to page 34, the Hon Minister is saying that, the 2013 non- traditional export gave us US$2.418.57 million. Which is which? Is it billion or million? The figures are different.
Mr H. Iddrisu 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, in all my answers, I used a billion -- 2.35 billion and it is a target.

Mr Speaker, in answering my Hon Colleague's question, part of Govern- ment's overall strategy, medium and long- term to strengthen the cedi and to improve our foreign exchange standing would be to expand exports.

So, Government will aggressively support the export sector, particularly those going into export processing and we are trying to identify new niche market and diversify even the direction of our exports instead of only looking at the European Union (EU) and others, we may probably be looking at Asia, China, India, Turkey and others to find new markets for our export products.
Mr Patrick Y. Boamah 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to enquire from the Hon Minister, the state of the Aviance Perishable Cargo which is aimed at supporting the pineapple export trade.
Secondly, the EU has reported that Ghana's export volumes have decreased from 44 per cent, from 71,158 tonnes in 2004 to 40,000 tonnes in 2007, while the number of exporters has reduced from 42 to 8.
I would want to know from the Hon Minister what interventions he is putting in place to help the Ghanaian exporter.
Mr H. Iddrisu 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Aviance Perishable Cargo Centre, I believe was the one which was executed by the MiDA to facilitate the storage of perishable commodities for purposes of export.
As I indicated earlier in response to a different question, we currently have requested EDAIF and MiDA to undertake a feasibility study. Mr Speaker, I should also authoritatively report that the Chairman of the Select Committee on
Trade, Industry and Tourism supported by Prof. Gyan-Baffour, did some examination of a travel tour to assess other perishable cargo centres in other parts of the world in order that we could replicate that in Ghana.
So, Kotoka Perishable Cargo Centre would be expanded and a new perishable centre would be built in Kumasi and Tamale in anticipation of their future developments as major export hubs.
Mr Robert K. Amoah 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to know the efforts being made by the Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to regulate the use of agro-chemicals in the production of these fruits. I asked this question because some exported fruits have been rejected because of their chemical component, and this, when regulated, would ensure quality of the fruits.
Mr H. Iddrisu 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we are currently strengthening our collaborative working relationship with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in very many different areas. We need to work together in order to improve the contribution of the two sectors to the growth of our GDP.
I take note that the Plant Protection Regulatory Services and the Ghana Standards Authority have the mandate and responsibility to ensure that minimum standards are complied with. I also do have some concerns that have been brought to our attention by the European Union (EU) in terms of the use of insecticides and other residues of fertiliser.
We are currently strengthening the Ghana Standards Authority to have a pesticide laboratory in order that they can do a proper and due examination of those products before they are exported. But I agree with him entirely that, we need to comply with minimum basic standards in every market that we are seeking to enter whether the EU or elsewhere in the world.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Last question, Hon Member.
Mr Kwame Asafu-Adjei 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would like to ask the Hon Minister what plans he has to promote domestic consumption of non-traditional crops, specifically pineapple and pawpaw.
Mr H. Iddrisu 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, working in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and Media Relations, the Association of Ghana Industries would soon roll out a comprehensive strategic communication plan to promote made-in- Ghana goods generally, and that would include the consumption of non- traditional export products.
But Mr Speaker, it is attitudinal; and Ghanaians must learn to consume what we grow and grow what we consume. We all need to accept that this would take a long time to achieve, but there is a commitment to get it going.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Before I discharge the Hon Minister, I will take the Hon Member for Asuogyaman.
Mr Kofi Osei-Ameyaw 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, my Question to the Hon Minister can be found in his Answer on page 33 of the Order Paper. Page 33, paragraph (3), it reads:
“In 2012/2013, one hundred and five pineapple out-growers were supported with funding by EDAIF to expand their farms”.
Mr Speaker, what I would like to know is, how many applied for EDAIF funding between 2012 and 2013; how many were rejected and what in mechanisms or preparations have they made for them, so that in 2014, they would be able to have funding from EDAIF?
Mr H. Iddrisu 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I may not have the exact statistics of how many applied. What I do know is that, EDAIF has a very strong management and finance committee that would vet applications. In fact, I requested with the support of this House, that EDAIF even should establish a due diligence committee to examine the requests and applications that are submitted before them. But I am sure these were those they were able to process.
I have forwarded to EDAIF a request from SPEG for funding for 2014 and it is subject to their own evaluation of the request and subject to they satisfying other minimum requirements.
Mr Speaker, like I have indicated, there are many of them who are not forthcoming with the repayment and we would not want to encourage the culture where they see it as -- my Twi is not too good --Aban sika -- to wit Government's money.
When they get it, they do not put it to the proper use. So, we would request EDAIF to monitor and look at their applications; those that meet their requirements, we should be able to support more smaller out- grower farmers, not just in pineapple, melon, mango and others, EDAIF would be happy to receive requests and applications from Ghanaian farmers who would want to expand their production.
We are working closely with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to expand production generally of many of the exportable produce in Ghana.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Thank you very much, Hon Minister.
This brings us to the end of Question time.
Statements -- I have one Statement in the name of Hon Ameen Salifu, Member of Parliament for Wa East, on the collapse of the 7-storey building at Nii-Boi Town.
STATEMENTS 11:30 a.m.

Mr Ameen Salifu (NDC -- Wa East) 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to make a Statement on the recent collapse of a 7- storey building at Nii-Boi Town, a suburb of Accra and other related issues.
Indeed, Mr Speaker, within a brief period of less than two years, we have witnessed similar incidents occurring, not only in Accra but also in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital. All these have always resulted in loss of human lives, serious injuries, loss of properties and displacement of persons.
In this particular instance, the collapsed building, according to media reports, left one person dead, while others sustained very serious injuries. As regards the previous one which occurred at Achimota, the collapse of the six-storey building belonging to Melcom supermarket, left 14 people dead, while 68 persons sustained various degrees of injury. Then last year too, a building at Sakaman, belonging to the Methodist Church also collapsed, injuring one worker.
These occurrences, following closely on the heels of each other, have left a sour taste in the mouth of all well meaning Ghanaians. In fact, Ghanaians are shocked and dismayed, particularly at this latest disaster. The reason being that, after the Melcom incident, most Ghanaians felt that such disasters would not happen again and that we would have learnt from our mistakes, so that such incidents never occur.
Mr Speaker, critical to all these are the bad and unprofessional approach to
planning on the part of of our city officials, such as the Accra Metropolitan Assembly and the Town and Country Planning Department, that look on while rules and regulations are violated with impunity.
People indiscriminately site buildings at unauthorised places in blatant disregard of warnings by the city authorities to stop work.
Mr Speaker, it is also a known fact that where people have been granted building permits, they put up buildings which do not conform to the authorised specifications. When these persons are confronted, they ignore the city authorities and continue putting up buildings with weak foundations, which eventually turn to collapse on innocent persons.
Another major cause of these weak and easily collapsable buildings, is the use of sub-standard materials, such as thin iron rods, which cannot stand the test of time and the use of cement blocks that have a very high content of sand instead of cement. In no time, these buildings collapse on innocent people.
Mr Speaker, other reasons certain buildings collapse are due to the type of soil on which these buildings are constructed. When buildings are constructed at places where we have sandy or clay soils, then the logical result is that, these buildings would be affected negatively by changes in weather patterns, resulting in weakened foundations, and the end result is obvious.
All these flaws turn these buildings into death traps. Apart from the causes already mentioned, most persons employ unqualified and professionally incom- petent persons to undertake constructional works. All these inadequacies combine to produce structures which will inevitably collapse at a point in time.
Mr Speaker, the surest way to avoid the recurrence of these unfortunate disasters which result in loss of innocent lives and displacement of citizens, is for us as a nation to act firmly to do away with the existing bad habits which result in these disasters.
To summarise, buildings collapse mainly due to bad designs, faulty construction, weak foundations, use of unqualified personnel in the construction industry, building on inappropriate soils and above all, non-enforcement of laid down rules and regulations relating to construction of buildings.
Mr Speaker, in order to avoid the recurrence of these disasters, we need to do away with all these bad practices. First and foremost, we need to take a critical look at all permits granted for the construction of high rise buildings to ascertain whether they meet the required standards. The structural integrity of these buildings should also be critically assessed to determine whether the right materials have been used and that the building will not collapse at the slightest pressure or weight.
Mr Speaker, the second issue that needs to be addressed, relate to our general approach to planning. People put up buildings indiscriminately at unauthorised places, while the authorities look on, only for them to post notices of “stop work” when the buildings have reached the lintel level. It is, therefore, important that the capacity of the Building Inspectorate Division is strengthened to make it more effective to be able to conduct regular checks and monitoring while construction is in progress.
Where the standards have not been met, the officials involved, the owners of the building and contractors must be
compelled to conform to the required standards.
Officials who condone and connive with the owners of buildings to proceed with shoddy work irrespective of warnings, must be severely reprimanded or prosecuted, while the unqualified contractors must be prevented from putting up buildings. In short, persons planning to put up buildings must award contracts to qualified professionals. It is also proposed that the licence of contractors who put up weak structures that do not conform to required standards, must be revoked.
Mr Speaker, in conclusion, let me say that this is a very serious matter involving loss of innocent lives, injuries and loss of properties. I therefore wish to urge my Hon Colleagues to give this issue the attention it deserves in order to make these disasters a thing of the past.
Thank you for this opportunity.
Mr Patrick Y. Boamah (NPP -- Okaikoi Central) 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, Hotel Grand View and ironically, all fall, under the Okaikwoi North Constituency. These two incidents have occurred within a short period of time.
Looking at the Local Government Act, specifically section 49, talks about permits to carry out fiscal development. It enjoins every developer to procure the requisite permit before undertaking any fiscal development in a district.
The question is, where were the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and the Sub-Metropolitan Officers when this building was being put up? Do they have to wait for this building to collapse before the AMA boss will move to the site to instruct other officials to come to the aid of those who would have fallen victim to this problem?

Mr Speaker, planning and supervision are very important and until we understand such an important institution, especially the planning and supervision division of the AMA, coupled with the employment or recruitment of engineers who are qualified to supervise the construction of such facilities, these occurrences are bound to occur and we will continue to lose lives and property.

Mr Speaker, over 300,000 people live within the Okaikoi North Central and South Constituencies. The basis for decentralised is for effective supervision. So, if we have an AMA boss sitting in Accra Central being asked to supervise work in Tesano, Abeka Lapaz, Nii-Boi Town where this incident occurred, how can such a person manage this huge area?
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Member, do you have a point of order?
Mr Dery 11:30 a.m.
Exactly so, Mr Speaker.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Member, if you would want to contribute, I will give you an opportunity.
Continue please, Hon Member.
Mr Boamah 11:30 a.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, on principle, when such occurrences occur in every country, the
bug stops with the head of the metropolis. This is the second time this incident is happening and the AMA boss is still sitting in his office, very comfortable. Must we allow this thing to occur, Mr Speaker? Mr Speaker, fiscal decentrali- sation must be encouraged and I entreat the Government to create more municipalities if the AMA boss cannot manage the whole of Accra.
The Government must come forward and create more Assemblies, so that they will have the space to manage it.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
Minister for Roads and Highways (Alhaji Amin Amidu Sulemani)(MP) 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to support the Statement ably made by the Hon Member for Wa East.
Mr Speaker, the issue of shoddy work leading to the collapse of buildings has to do with our decentralisation. As my Hon Colleague from the other side said, Act 462 squarely puts the planning functions in the hands of our Municipal, Metropolitan and District Assemblies and they should be seen enforcing planning regulations. As he rightly said , for you to be able to put up a structure you may have your piece of land -- it is your property, you own it, but for whatever structure you put there, must be determined by the Assembly.
So, I would want to use the opportunity to encourage our Assemblies to carry out their right duties by ensuring that plans that people make conform to whatever they want to do within the planning area.
Mr Speaker, the indiscipline in this country is also a factor to some of the happenings that we are witnessing. People simply do not want to obey rules and do things out of what we are expected to do.
Mr Speaker, in building, the owners should present the plans with all the
structural indications to the planning department of the Assembly, where there would be competent engineers who would study the building, the height, vis-a-vis the structures. Otherwise, we would have structural failures, which would result in the collapse of buildings with associated loss of lives and properties in the country.
These happenings are strong indications that we need to enforce laws, we need to enforce our regulations in this country in order to progress as a country that is in the middle income status.
Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing would soon be commissioning the Engineers Council and we hope that once this Council comes into place, among its sanctions would ensure that people who supervise, engineers, or whatever, would supervise such buildings. When they collapse, those engineers should be held accountable and maybe, their certificates withdrawn from practising.
The Hon Colleague was talking about contractors. I have always said that we do not have bad contractors; the contractor is just a businessman. Those who certify the works of the contractors are the people who should be held responsible, not the contractors. A contractor constructing a road or putting up a building, whether for public or private use, people certified the works and such people should be held accountable.
Mr Speaker, with these few words, I support my Friend's Statement.
Thank you very much.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Thank you.
Hon Emmanuel Agyarko.
Mr Emmanuel K. Agyarko (NPP-- Ayawaso West Wuogon) 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to contribute to the Statement ably made by the Hon Member for Wa East.
Mr Speaker, first and foremost, I would want to send my personal condolences to the bereaved family and also to wish the injured in this unfortunate incident, a speedy recovery.
Mr Speaker, on the side of the property owner, there is something in this country about all of us not using professional people. Mr Speaker, I am certain and if you go in to investigate, you would find out that instead of going on to seek professional advise, going on to hire an architect for the design, going on to consult a structural engineer and a quantity surveyor for bills of quantities, it probably ends up on the table of a draughtsman.
Mr Speaker, most respectfully, a draughtsman is by no means an architect. At the end of the day, if you want to put up a building, particularly a high rise building, I think that it is just suicidal that you would allow a draughtsman to sketch and you would take it for the planning approval.
Mr Speaker, the imperatives are that, as a nation, we must begin to enforce the laws. When somebody has to put up a building, all of us must learn to do the proper thing.
If it is probably just a domestic quarters, it is alright. When it is for commercial purposes, I am not too sure but I would want to believe that there must be a law in this country that requires a certificate from a competent professional. Mr Speaker, all of these point to some form of regulatory failure. The crux of what is happening really and truly is just pointing to a regulating failure. We have spoken about
Mr Emmanuel K. Agyarko (NPP-- Ayawaso West Wuogon) 11:50 a.m.

the Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in this instance, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA). Mr Speaker, I would want to ask, do we really have competent, well qualified architects, engineers, quantity surveyors in the Assembly? If we do, we should begin to ask some questions. Do they just find time to review and approve the drawings? We have become a country where everybody wants a shortcut and we would not stick to the regulations. We have a challenge with regulations in this country.

The other thing that the Hon Member who made the Statement alluded to was the fact that there could even be material defect. Mr Speaker, on this note, I think the time has come for this country to have a regulatory agency that would look at engineering and related issues.

Today, anybody that has money would go anywhere and buy iron rods of various sizes and specifications without recourse to the standards. Anybody that gets a little money would just go and buy a block moulding machine and start moulding blocks without recourse to regulatory standards. If we continue this way, Mr Speaker, these incidents would continue to happen. There is a principle of natural science called ‘Murphy's Law'. The import is that, anything that can go wrong would go wrong unless it is prevented. Mr Speaker, the only thing that would prevent the continual recurrence of these incidents is for us, as a nation, to begin to follow the rules.

Mr Speaker, I would want to believe that ultimately, the business of Government really is not to do business. The business of Government must act consistently in all facets of our national lives to ensure that the regulations are followed. Regulatory agencies for all the

things we do, the AMA, to a certain extent, is a regulating agency; the Town and Country Planning Department is a regulatory agency. I am alluding to the fact that we probably need to hype off an agency that would be responsible for engineering-related issues. Mr Speaker, if we do these things, if we would follow the standards, if we would follow the rules, if we would insist on these things, then probably, we would not have these pangs coming up as we are seeing today.

On this note, Mr Speaker, I would want to thank you for the opportunity.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Thank you very much Hon Member.
Mr Kwabena M. Akandoh (NDC Juaboso) 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to draw your attention to a very important issue, an unusual event in the House. Since the beginning of the Business of the day, you would agree with me that a lot of our Hon Colleagues on the Minority side of the House are conspicuously absent --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
You are out of Order. Please,if you consistently put yourself out or behave in that manner, the day that you would want to contribute, I may not recognise you.
Mr Akandoh 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
No. You have lost your opportunity.
Hon Osei-Ameyaw.
Mr Kofi Osei-Ameyaw (NPP -- Asuogyaman) 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the boy that cried wolf, the story to him -- [Pause.]
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Hon Osei-Ameyaw, would you make progress, please?
Mr Osei-Ameyaw noon
Mr Speaker, I beg to lend my support to the maker of the Statement about collapsed buildings in this country. Not long ago, there was an issue in this country involving collapsed buildings and I apologised to raise this issue again on the floor of Parliament, and that was the Melcom disaster. This House continues to make Statements about these collapsed buildings but after we make them, what proceeds beyond the making of the Statement in terms of the work of the Executive as well as the Legislature?
The Legislature makes the law, but its implementation is with the Executive. I would have thought that after the Melcom disaster, we would have deployed all our engineers to go to the public facilities that people have built with certain licences that we do not know where they got them from, to review all those buildings, so that we do not have another Melcom. Here we are in this House talking about yet another disaster with the same players at place. When are we going to learn a lesson Mr Speaker, as a country, where we need to protect our citizens?
When will our citizens enter certain public places because they have confidence in us, that we would make sure that we make the laws, and implement them properly and effectively, so that they enter there safely? Here we are, not long ago talking about disaster in Melcom, everybody was moving, we were calling people from Israel to come and take our loved ones from the debris. Yet again, we have another issue.
Please, as a House Mr Speaker, let us all put our heads together, work together as a team, both the Majority and ourselves, the Minority.
It would not be long before my Friends there come to this side. But that notwithstanding, on a more serious note
-- that was on a lighter note. Let us get to business.
We all represent constituencies. Some of our constituents entered Melcom because they had the assurance that this House had put proper laws in place for their protection and that the Executive will execute and administer these laws effectively and properly to protect our citizens. Here we find our citizens gasping for air because they are under debris and we sit in this House continuously debating these issues.
Please, it is about time this House sent a message to the Executive that we are not going to tolerate its laxity in terms of the implementation of the laws at the Assembly level, constituency level and at the top level. It is time that we got together and worked together, so that we protect our citizens, after all, we are here because of them.
Thank you Mr Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker noon
Hon Member.
Alhaji Amadu Seidu (NDC-- Yapei/ Kusawgu) noon
Thank you Mr Speaker. By law, every Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assembly is a statutory town Planning area. Unfortunately, in this our country, when we talk about development, the emphasis appears to be limited or focused on economic development. Spatial development is not that, given that much attention and is how come we continue to have disasters of this nature.
Mr Speaker, ordinarily, when somebody wants to develop a plot for residential purpose or any other purpose, the first thing he looks for is the site plan and the purchase of land once he acquires the indenture from the landowners, he thinks that he has all the documents to carry on with the development, but there are certain stages and processes one has to go
Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu (NPP -- Bekwai) 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I wish to congratulate the maker of the Statement.
Mr Speaker, we have so far discussed the problems. The problems we have heard over and over again. It does not appear to me that there is anybody here -
- 12:10 p.m.

Dr Kwabena Donkor (NDC -- Pru East) 12:10 p.m.
Thank you Mr Speaker for the opportunity. I wish to congratulate the Hon Member for making the Statement.
Mr Speaker, I was a bit worried by calls for the Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) to resign. This epitomises a peculiar problem we seemed to have in our body politic, that we those in the political class are quick to call for the heads of political actors, whereas those with direct responsibility -- technocrats, regulatory bodies, enforcement agencies -- are allowed to go scot free, for what is often regulatory and professional failure.
Mr Speaker, there is the Institution of Engineers, that sets all these standards. There is also the Institution of Engineering Technicians; there is the Town and Country Planning -- There are professional bodies with responsibility for ensuring quality and standards in this country.
On the back of the Melcom disaster, I was expecting that these professional bodies would stand up to their mandate, bring for the consideration of this House and/or appropriate ministerial authorities, measures and procedures to prevent a re- occurrence.
The fact that in less than two years, there has been another disaster which is a slight on our professional integrity as a professional class and also a slight on our regulators for massive regulatory failure.
Mr Speaker, whereas the political class will ultimately be blamed by the body politic, we must as a people, begin to strengthen regulatory bodies as President Obama said on his visit to Ghana. We do not need strong personalities; we need strong institutions. We must begin to build our institutions for them to be able to live up to their institutional and professional responsibilities, so that this country would be spared these continuous disasters.
On this note Mr Speaker, I would want to express my condolence to the family of the deceased and also to wish all those who got injured a speedy recovery.
Mr Kwadwo Baah Agyemang (NPP -- Asante Akim North) 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to add my voice to the contribution made by our Hon Colleague on the various disasters that have been with the nation nowadays.
Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleagues are making suggestions and bringing up ideas how we could curb these occurrences. But we should not lose sight of the fact that we have professionals who have been put in place to check these things, especially the technical people.
Mr Speaker, when these buildings are being put up, they move around. Anytime you are on a new site, you see inscriptions on the building that they should stop work and produce permit. Some people have embarked on this as a money making venture. They go and write on the buildings. “Stop Work, Produce Permit” and extort moneys from the developers.
Mr Speaker, I would suggest that anytime that a building would be inscribed that they should stop work and produce permit, the permit should be at the site, it should be where the development is taking place, so that any technical person who moves around can assess, can see that they have got the requisite certification to put up such mansions.
We cannot be in a nation where anytime, day in and day out, similar occurrences keep springing up and we try to apportion blame to politicians, leaving those people who do not take care of what they are supposed to do; who neglect their duties; who turn their eyes off wrong doings just to extort moneys from developers and fill their pockets.
So, the situation whereby every time politicians take the blame should revert back to those people, the technocrats, the technical men, the artisans who are professionals. We should hold them responsible.
With this Mr Speaker, I end my contribution.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:20 p.m.
We want to take one more contribution each.
Mr Agbesi 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if you can get the summary from the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, so that we see the way forward, and the plans to avert these things to be unveiled by the Minister.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:20 p.m.
I want the Minister to be the last to speak, so that I can take one from there and I will take the Member of Parliament (MP) for Suhum, then the Minister.
Mr Frederick Opare-Ansah (NPP -- Suhum) 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would like to associate myself with the Statement and to make a few comments, which some of my Hon Colleagues have earlier touched on, especially the need to ensure that the practice of engineering in this country remains with the professionals.
Mr Speaker, I can understand that we are a developing country and for that matter, if I do not have what it takes to have the services of professionals at a certain level, I would want to live in my little village in Abrodeemu in my constituency and build my little thatch house.
But Mr Speaker, the moment you begin the construction of certain structures, structures that may be used to provide public services or commercial services, then definitely, you are entering a totally different realm.
I think one of the problems that exist, is the clarity of when and where that kind of service must be employed. People start out with permits to build, say a self- contained single storey unit for private use. And before long, the area in which the project is situated begins to develop and then they begin to get ideas of turning it into a commercial structure. As my Hon Colleague from Bongo alluded to, without doing any appropriate soil testing. Some masons who may not have the appropriate qualifications would just advise: “Let us put in 5/8 or 3/4 steel rods” and start a
storey building, not knowing exactly whether the soil type can even hold that kind of structure.
And by the time they are done, nobody knows what loading this storey building can even handle. So, there is a core multiplicity of issues that need careful planning and segregation to address.
Mr Speaker, even when we have gone past the point of having these laws, there comes in the other problem which has to do with the enforcement of these laws.
My Hon colleague was just talking about when these Assemblies have task- forces that come and write “Stop Work”and “Produce Permit” on our buildings.
Mr Speaker, the production of a building permit does not mean that one is even building according to the proper building codes and standards. Where is the supervision on site? Now,let us assume tomorrow I decide to build a little house in my little enclave and then I am done. When I am going for the permit or licence to operate it as a hotel, will the tourist authority ask me to show a certificate from a qualified engineer that the building I am going to use for the hotel has been built according to standards?
So, there needs to be proper coordination in the whole system and I think this House still has a lot to do.
Mr Speaker, there is also the need for public education and sensitisation. There are a lot of people investing huge sums of
Mr Frederick Opare-Ansah (NPP -- Suhum) 12:30 p.m.
money into some of these structures but are probably not aware that they have to thread through a certain path. We would all recollect how in the 1960s and 1970s, the practice of pharmacy was kind of arbitrary until it was streamlined.Without a licence, one could not operate a chemical shop or a pharmacy shop.
If people went to a hospital, they would need a pharmacist to dispense drugs to them. All these measures, when they were put in place, curtailed certain occurrences that were happening in those times.
Mr Speaker, we are getting to a point where we need to sanitise this whole engineering practice -- products that are coming in -- People are bringing in electr ic cables; do they meet the standards for our building codes? If they do not meet it, why are people even allowed to import those cables into the country in the first place? If somebody appears at an electrical shop to purchase electrical cables, they can only use it for one purpose. Who is there to ensure that what they purchased would meet what the requirements are? So, it calls for a comprehensive approach in dealing with this whole matter.

Mr William Owuraku Aidoo -- rose
-- 12:30 p.m.

Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
We have your Hon Colleague on his feet, do you want to yield to him?
Mr Opare-Ansah 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I will yield to him.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Are you rising on a point of order?
Mr Aidoo 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, since my Hon Senior Colleague has yielded to me, I would like to take a couple of minutes to add to the Statement on the floor.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
The difficulty is that he has to yield to you under certain rules.
What do you want to say?
Mr Aidoo 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, since you said you were giving two more opportunities, my opportunity --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
All right. You have two minutes.
Mr William Owuraku Aidoo (NPP -- Afigya Kwabre South) 12:30 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity. Thank you, senior for yielding to me.
I would want to congratulate the Hon Member who made the Statement, my good friend, the Hon Member for Wa East and also to wish -- [Hon Member: What is happening?] -- [Interruption].
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
An Hon Member has just asked “what is happening?” I want to also ask the same question. If he has yielded to you, do not congratulate him and so on. Just go on. He has already done the congratulations. So, just go on for one minute.
Mr Aidoo 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, all I wanted to say in adding my voice to this Statement is that a lone voice seems to have been lost in the wilderness. I am referring to the fact that a Statement has been made by the contractor of Grand Hotel who has
Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing (Alhaji Collins Dauda) (MP) 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to associate myself with the Statement made by the Hon Member for Wa East.
Mr Speaker, you would agree with me that for anybody to put up a building, it requires a lot of resources and energy. Therefore, government has a responsi- bility to ensure that standards are provided and also ensure that the standards are complied with.
Mr Speaker, the developer also has a responsibility to ensure that the building he is putting up is up to structural standards. So, we look at it from two angles.
The responsibility of government to ensure that people comply with the standards. On the part of government, a lot of legislations are in place to ensure that people build according to regulations. Mr Speaker, we have in place the Building Regulations that were passed by Parliament in 1996 I am talking about Legislative Instrument (LI) 1630, which serves as a guide to developers.
Mr Speaker, these Regulations show the type of material that must be used in building. They also guide the quantum of material that must be used in the various parts of the building, just to ensure that there will be no structural failure -- that the structure of the building will be intact forever and ever and we would not have any collapses on our hands.
Mr Speaker, besides the Building Regulations, we also have the Engineers Council that has been put in place to bring all the engineers together to regulate this sector. Mr Speaker, under this, what happens is that the engineers who are deployed to supervise buildings in any part of the country will make sure that the standards are followed. If for example, one is assigned to supervise structures in a particular part of a city and it is observed that some of the buildings have structural defects, the Engineers Council can call that particular engineer to order
Mr Speaker, all these are measures put in place to ensure that we do not have structural defects as we have experienced over the period.
Mr Speaker, but the most important thing, in my view, is the person who is putting in his money. I guess that if one has money and procures a bus -- maybe, a Yutong bus -- I guess what an investor will do is to get a competent driver to operate the vehicle, so that one can recover one's investment. And the two situations that we have experienced are private developers. These are people who have spent a lot of money in these investments. So, what stops them from engaging competent officers to supervise their work for them?
Mr Speaker, because of the quantum of money that we put in such investments,
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Hon Agbesi, do you not want to make a contribution?
Mr Alfred Agbesi (NDC -- Ashaiman) 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we have had a lot of contributions on this Statement. Indeed, it is a good Statement and it calls for attention. And so, the Hon Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing has given us a lot of input and I hope that his advice would be taken by developers.
That notwithstanding, authorities like the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, those building inspectors who are engaged to inspect the buildings have a job to do.
I have drawn the attention of my Distr ict Assembly to three storey buildings in my constituency, which have been built to the fifth floor with no iron rods and yet they are standing -- [Interruption] -- No iron rods in the building; one has even caused death to a human being and this has been brought to the attention of the local authority and yet the buildings are still standing.
Mr Speaker, a lot of contributions have been made and it is for us to follow up. It is not only in Accra, it is all over.
Mr Speaker, this is a Statement which has come at an opportune time; we must follow it up. I hope the Hon Minister for Local Government and Rural Development and also the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing would come back to this House and assure Ghanaians how safe we are when we enter into such buildings, so that we, who represent the people would be seen to have been doing what they want.
Mr Speaker, I thank you and I congratulate the Hon Member who made the Statement because he has brought the matter up. I congratulate him once again; he has done a yeoman's job.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Hon Members, the Hon Member for Asuagyaman (Mr Kofi Osei-Ameyaw) made the point that we make these Statements -- we made a Statement on the Melcom Disaster and then we waited for another one to happen and we make another statement.
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, do you think that this is a matter which any of the committees of Parliament should perhaps, look at? As the Hon Minister said, if I heard him right, he is the political head and he is not the person responsible for certifying the quality. Is it something that any of our committees can look at under article 103(3)? What is your view?
Mr Agbesi 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, subject to your direction -- One of the Hon Ministers is here and he has made his contribution, but the Hon Minister for Local Government and Rural Development is not here. But if the contributions and the Statement can be forwarded to them to make their inputs --
Alternatively, Mr Speaker, you can direct that they come back to brief the House. In that way, the public would see them, and maybe, if we have questions, we would give it to them. But we are at your mercy, Mr Speaker.
Mr Daniel Botwe 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I can only associate myself with what the acting Leader has said. It is important that if Mr Speaker, in his wisdom, would give the directives.
But it is also equally important that I do not think we should limit it to the Hon Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing. I was particularly happy that the Hon Minister for Roads and Highways made a contribution. We may not have a situation where maybe, people may suffer in the same way in which buildings collapse. But I am sure there are so many accidents due to bad roads, because of poor construction works by contractors.
I have had the occasion of discussing with the Hon Minister for Roads and Highways why we do not sanction engineers who supervise these road constructions, because they finally sign the certificate that what has been used is correct and therefore, we should pay the contractor.
So, if after five or six years, the road works show that they were shoddily done, then why is it that the engineer is not sanctioned? I have never heard that we have sanctioned an engineer for supervising poorly. If it has happened once or twice, why is it not happening all the time?
Apart from private constructions, what about Government buildings and road works? Why are we not taking care of that? I even want to suggest that when there is a construction somewhere, either in the Registry or even somewhere along
Mr Daniel Botwe 12:40 p.m.

the road which is being constructed, there should be some sign to know that “Engineer Muntaka” supervised this road. So, if after five or six years, there is a breakdown, the road does not last the 20 or 30 years, we should be able to sanction him or it would go against his record. And with that indictment on his record, maybe, people would sit up because we are taking things for granted.

As has been indicated by another Hon Colleague, we make the Statements, very beautiful Statements, and at times with the greatest of respect, when Mr Speaker even directs, we do not get the feedback.

So, if Mr Speaker directs that the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, and the Ministry of Roads and Highways and the committees, should sit and accept proposals from people and come up with a plan -- How many building inspectors do we have in each district? And yet we complain that people complete polytechnics and other technical institutions and they have no work

So, these things will come up but then let it be known by the public that Parliament took a decision and did a follow- up. I hear of directives but whether when these committees meet, we get back the report. That in my view, is a problem. So, maybe, Mr Speaker, in your wisdom, if these three Ministries and committees will meet on this matter, Ghanaians would know that Parliament is really up to something.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
Let me take this opportunity to congratulate Hon Ameen Salifu, Hon Member of Parliament for Wa East on this very important
Statement that has focused the attention of the House sharply on the collapse of the seven storey building at Nii Boye Town, Accra. Let me also congratulate all those who contributed to the Statement and all those who sought to contribute but unfortunately, for want of time, we could not allow them.
Hon Members, article 103 of the Constitution says that committees of Parliament shall be charged with functions including the investigation and inquiry into the activities and administration of Ministries and departments as Parliament may determine; and such investigation and inquiries may extend to proposals for legislation.
Indeed, the matters raised by the various Hon Members who have spoken show quite clearly that there is a gap either in our law or in the implementation of the law. But I do not intend to make an order for committees of Parliament to investigate the matter. I do not intend to make the order for two reasons. The first reason is that, I am of the view that, for such a serious referral to be made, perhaps, I would want to get much more support from the Leadership.
However, I will direct that this Statement and its comments be given to the Ministers for Water Resources, Works and Housing, Roads and Highways and Local Government and Rural Development; that these three Ministers, within the first two weeks of our next meeting, will present to this House Statements showing the regulatory framework for ensuring standards, the implementation of these regulatory framework, supervision and what steps they have taken to mitigate or avert the possibility of these disasters happening.
At that stage, Mr Speaker, may decide to refer the matter to a committee and then we shall go into the stage of perhaps, proposals for legislation.
Leadership, so, I direct that the Statement and the comments be given to the Ministers for Water Resources, Works and Housing, Roads and Highways and Local Government and Rural Development and that they brief this House with a Statement.
They inform us within two weeks of our next Meeting what steps have been taken to ensure proper supervision, brief us on the regulatory framework and also steps to mitigate the reoccurrence of such disasters.
Hon Members, let me offer my --
Mr Mahama Ayariga 12:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, you rightly indicated the type of directives that can follow our Statements and referrals to committees. But in your referral, you direct that they bring to this House the existing regulatory framework for addressing the issues that are contained in the various Statements that have been made. But my understanding is that this Parliament enacted those legislations, so, we are the owners of the legislations.
On what basis are we now asking sector Ministers to bring to this House existing legislations which this House passed? I can understand if the directives relate to a report on the execution -- because as Executive arm of Government, the responsibility is to execute. So, if you ask them to what extent they are executing the legislations, I think that that is in order.
But to ask them to assemble and bring the legislations to this House, it is assumed that this House does not know the legislations it had passed, in order to regulate the matters.
So, I think the directive is appropriate except the portion that directs them to
bring to this House the legislations, unless you are asking them to propose new legislations. I think this is a matter that Mr Speaker may want to reconsider again.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
This is because of the seriousness of this issue- - the rule that Mr Speaker changes his ruling by a Motion -- I would disregard it, so that we all arrive at some conclusion. I do not think I said that because I was more interested in how the laws were being implemented. But we have to state the law before -- It is in the Local Government Act -- Mr “A” is supposed to implement it. But looking at this particular disaster, for example, Mr “A” did not implement it. So maybe, we have to increase -- Somebody said we have to increase the number of professionals, maybe.
Let us leave the Hon Ministers -- The Hon Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing is here. Hon Minister, do you have a difficulty in the direction? We want to work together, not to work against anybody.
Alhaji Dauda 12:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I have no difficulty at all.
We will comply with your orders. Just to say that, what I do know is that a Statement made in this House remains a Statement. If a Statement is made and an Hon Member feels strongly about compliance of some of the issues raised, the Hon Member can come by way of a Motion.
That is more compelling than this one. That is in response to the uncertainty in the mind of the Hon Member for Suhum when he said that Statements have been made and he does not see anything.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
It was not the Hon Member for Suhum.
Alhaji Dauda 12:50 p.m.
That is what he said.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
It was the Hon Member for Asuogyaman.
Alhaji Dauda 12:50 p.m.
It was Asuogyaman? The uncertainty in his mind, I just wanted to take the opportunity to clear it. If he feels strongly about something that has come to this floor in the form of a Statement, he can follow up with a Motion. He is a senior Hon Member of this House. He should know better.
Mr Second Depty Speaker 12:50 p.m.
Hon Henry Quartey, what do you suggest?
Mr Henry Quartey 12:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I thank you very much.
I have a different view altogether. I would like to rather urge the Hon Ministers for the various sectors that you have just mentioned to begin to look at ways of enforcing the laws governing the building regulations. But also for Parliament to --
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
I was asking your view on whether it should go to a committee or the direction I gave --
Mr Quartey 12:50 p.m.
As we speak, Mr Speaker had early on tasked an expanded committee of which the Works and Housing, Legal, Parliamentary and Constitutional and Lands and Forestry are part of. We are currently investigating the demolition that took place at Adjei Kojo and I think that part of our recommendations, after the enquiries, will include some of these things.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
We can debate this forever. With respect, I think what I said was clear enough. Rather than refer it to a committee for them to sit unendingly, I thought that if the Hon Ministers could bring something -- After
the Hon Ministers have brought it, we may come to the conclusion that we do not need it to go to a committee. So, let us keep with the original direction.
Hon Members of Parliament, after congratulating the Hon Member who made the Statement and given the direction, I think that I have your permission to express the condolences of Parliament to the families who have been affected, not just by this disaster but also by the previous disaster. It will not be out of order for me to say that may the souls of the victims who lost their lives as a result of this disaster rest in perfect peace.
Hon Members, to show a sign of respect for them, do you mind if we rise for a minute of silence.

Hon Member for Juaboso, I think I was a little harsh on you. I apologise. Let me just say that what I said about not recognising you, is unfair. Do not worry, I will recognise you. I am sorry.

At the commencement of Public Business -- the First Deputy Speaker to take the Chair.
Mr Agbesi 1 p.m.
Mr Speaker, item 5.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
Hon Minister for Local Government and Rural Development?
Mr Agbesi 1 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to ask permission on behalf of the Hon Minister, for the Hon Deputy Minister to present the Papers.
Mr Dan Botwe 1 p.m.
Mr Speaker, an Hon Member wanted to make a Statement under article 72, and he has been trying to catch your eye for some time now.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
I am sorry. Bring it to the attention of the First Deputy Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:02 p.m.
Hon Members, item number 5 on the Order Paper -- Presentation of Papers?
Mr Agbesi 1:02 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we are at item 5 -- Presentation of Papers.
Mr Speaker, I had earlier asked your permission for the Hon Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development to lay the Paper on behalf of the Hon Minister who is at another function.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:02 p.m.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader? [Pause.] There is a request for the Hon Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development to present the Paper on behalf of the Hon Minister.
Mr Nitiwul 1:02 p.m.
Mr Speaker, did the Hon Minister travel or something? [Interruption.] The Hon Minister has travelled?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:02 p.m.
Order! Order!
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, the Hon Member has asked a question, can you provide an answer?
Mr Agbesi 1:02 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister is not available. [Interruption.]
Dr A. A. Osei 1:02 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to plead with the Hon Deputy Majority Leader -- He listed, item 5, but he cannot just say “item 5”. [Interruption.] He said “item 5”. That is what he said. So, is it item 5(a) or 5 (b) that we are looking at? I do not know. We should be very clear in our minds.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:02 p.m.
Very well.
Mr Nitiwul 1:02 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I heard originally that the Hon Minister was at another function. If it is true, we would not have had anything to do with it. But if the Hon Minister is not available, then we would give him the permission.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:02 p.m.
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, please, clear the air and let us move on. Hon Deputy Majority Leader, I have asked you to clear the air; he has put across an issue.
Mr Agbesi 1:02 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I have already answered that the Hon Minister is not available. [Interruption.]
Mr Kofi Osei-Ameyaw 1:02 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we would like to know where the Hon Minister is. If he has not travelled -- Even if the President travels, he tells us. So, if the Hon Minister is in Ghana and he is within Accra, then we should know because this is a serious Business. This is parliamentary work.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:02 p.m.
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, can you help us out? Let us know. What is the problem?
Mr Agbesi 1:02 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister is not available.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:02 p.m.
Hon Members, let us try to save a bad situation. I do not think it shows respect to this House if we are not in a position to
Mr Nitiwul 1:02 p.m.
Mr Speaker, let us make something clear to, especially members of Government. It can happen today they are in Government but tomorrow we would be in Government and -- [Interruption.] I am telling them that in 2017, they would be sitting here and we would be sitting there and it would happen.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:02 p.m.
Hon Member, please, address the Chair.
Mr Nitiwul 1:02 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am saying that this is a serious parliamentary Business; the only reason we may change our minds is because both Hon Ministers who are involved are Members of Parliament (MPs). But it is not good that Ministers, instead of attending upon the House to conduct parliamentary Business, would say they are at another function.
Apart from Cabinet meetings or an emergency situation that they would plead with Parliament to attend, there is no excuse for any Hon Minister to say that he or she is at another function, so, he or she would not come here. He or she could have sent the Hon Deputy Minister to that function and come to lay the Paper. So, Mr Speaker, we take it very serious; this should be the last time.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:02 p.m.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader, I could not agree with you more.
Mr Nitiwul 1:02 p.m.
Mr Speaker, they want to speak, so, I will allow them.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:02 p.m.
No! I thought you had the floor, so you just go ahead.
Mr Agbesi 1:02 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I have just been informed by the Hon Deputy Minister that the Hon Minister is indisposed and that the Hon Deputy Minister who has been appointed to assist him is in the House to assist to do the Business of the House.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:02 p.m.
Very well. Now, a reason has been given. But it has taken you too long to come out with this.
Hon Members, let us make some progress.
Mr Nitiwul 1:02 p.m.
Mr Speaker, fair enough. If the Hon Minister is indisposed, we would pray for whatever has happened to be alright for him. But let him be warned that the Hon Minister is not indisposed. So, I would take his word that the Hon Minister is indisposed; I will allow the Hon Deputy Minister to do it. But let us be sure that the Hon Minister is not indisposed.
PAPERS 1:02 p.m.

Mr Agbesi 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, item 5b (i) and (ii). Mr Speaker, I would want to ask permission for the Hon Deputy Minister to lay the Paper on behalf of the Hon Minister who is outside the --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
This is by the Hon Chairman of the Committee --
Mr Agbesi 1:10 p.m.
Sorry, the Hon Chairman of the Committee. Thank you for the correction for the Hon Chairman.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Is the Hon Chairman in the House? Very well, Hon Chairman of the Committee.
PAPAERS 1:10 p.m.

Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader.
Mr Agbesi 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, item 6, Motions --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Very well. Chairman of the Committee?
MOTIONS 1:10 p.m.

Chairman of the Committee (Mr James Klutse Avedzi) 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move -- [Interruption.]
Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, last week, I was not here; you were here. I think at the Committee of the Whole meeting, there were decisions that were taken regarding some of the things we are beginning to do now. So, I would want to remind the House, once a decision has been taken regarding some of these things, we should begin to take into them consideration before we do that. Or we have rescinded that decision that was taken? [Pause.]
Decisions that are taken at the Committee of the Whole meeting, we are not able to say them publicly, so, we cannot say them.
But I would want to refer our minds that we took some decisions in the Committee of the Whole regarding some of the things we are beginning to do now. I would want to find out whether we have rescinded those decisions. If yes, then we go ahead, otherwise, we need to find out why that is happening.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Very well.
Hon Members, I was not at the Committee of the Whole meeting and I
Mr Agbesi 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Deputy Minority Leader said he was not here last week, when the decision was taken neither was I also here when the decision was taken. I do not know which decision he is referring to [Interruption.]
Mr Frederick Opare-Ansah 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I was here and I would advise that we step this down until the Leadership has had time to consult and clarify the issue. So, let us step this down for now. Let us suspend it.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Well, Hon Deputy Majority Leader, you probably were not here but have you conferred with some of your Members to find out how true the assertion is?
Mr Opare-Ansah 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Deputy Majority Leader was here. He was actually the Clerk to the Caucus.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, is it true that you were the Clerk?
Mr Agbesi 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am at a loss. I do not know what they are referring to. What decision are they referring to? Mr Speaker, I am not aware of any decision.
Mr Opare-Ansah 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, that is why we are advising that they step it down and confer. He will become aware of the decision we are talking about if he does not recollect.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Hon Members, we will step this matter down for a few minutes. Both sides of the Leadership of the House should confer and get back to this House, so that we will know the way forward.
Mr Agbesi 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, there are other Businesses which we should be doing; so, if the Deputy Minority Leader wants us to confer, we can go and do it and come back while the work is progressing. We can go and consult -- We can go to the Addendum Order Paper.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Very well. So, we will look at the Addendum Order Paper. We have three items on this Order Paper. If Hon Members would recollect, yesterday, we could not get a compromise Motion moved and I directed that the personalities involved should meet and make sure that we have some compromised Motion before us today. It does not appear they were able to arrive at any compromise from what I see on the Addendum Order Paper. Am I right?
Mr Agbesi 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, following your direction, we tried to come to a compromise but it appears that we are not getting anywhere near. So, Mr Speaker, we want to take the Motion numbers 1 and 2, while Motion number 3 is withdrawn, so that we can start the debate on 1 and 2, for it to continue.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Very well.
Yes, Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
Mr Nitiwul 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am finding it difficult to get the chronology of events the way the Hon Member is going about it. This is because it is a single Motion; there are only amendments to the Motion. The first one can be moved, then we have the amendment, then the last one.
If there are difficulties with any part of the Motion, I do not know how we can go ahead or he wants us after we have reached a particular point, we should suspend it and then come back -- I simply do not know how. I would suggest that we clear that matter once and for all.
I have also been consulting the Chairman of the Health Committee and his Ranking Member and then the Deputy Majority Leader, we are trying to see how we can solve that problem --It is not. And once it is a single Motion, I do not think we should take it bits and pieces.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Hon Members, let me give you a little background. There was an original Motion which stood in the name of Dr Richard Anane. He moved that Motion and it was seconded and later the Hon Majority Leader moved for an amendment to that Motion.
That amendment was also seconded by Hon Haruna Iddrisu. It was after this that Mr Speaker directed, by advising that some kind of a compromised Motion should be arrived at. This is where we are.
So, to the extent that, we cannot arrive at a compromised Motion -- There are two Motions pending: the original one and an amendment to the original one, both of which have been seconded. So, if the third Motion is withdrawn, then the two Motions would be open for debate and then we would put the Question. This is where we stand.
Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Mr Agbesi 1:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, that is exactly the position. Now, the third Motion is in the joint names of Hon Joseph Yieleh Chireh and Dr Richard Winfred Anane. The issue is, who should move the Motion and who should second it. The understanding Leadership had with them was that, Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh should move it and Dr Richard Anane should support it, so that the first and second Motions would be left because this is a compromised Motion.
But there is a disagreement between the two people in whose names the Motion is standing. In that wise, it is proposed that we withdraw the third Motion and then the first and second would be taken and in that case, we would continue with the debate on the first and second Motions. That is the position we have taken.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
Yes, let me hear from Hon Dr Richard Anane.
Dr Richard W. Anane 1:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am really surprised at the move by the Hon Deputy Majority Leader. The truth of the matter was, as it was directed by Mr Speaker when the Motion was originally moved. Mr Speaker, considering the national import of the Motion directed that Leadership meets to come up with a compromised or a consensus Motion. Over a period of time and through some deliberations, we came up with some suggestions; they were actually three.
The Leadership came up with a consensus Motion and Mr Speaker, with your permission, I would want to read for the benefit of Hon Members:
“That this Honourable House urges the Hon Minister for Health to review the ongoing Health
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
Very well. Let me hear from Hon Yieleh Chireh.
Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh 1:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I think that the issue that my Friend opposite is belabouring is not necessary.
The Hon Member's Motion has been listed for debate, a counter Motion was moved by the Leader, it was also seconded. All these arguments about pettiness in terms of wording and ownership of --It cannot be the work of this House. I think that we must be more serious than that.
Let us debate the whole Motion and put the Question. Who is afraid of debate? But this confusion about -- How can two people move one Motion? Which of the Standing Orders say that? How come that you are saying consensus, and it cannot be a consensus from the Committee but a consensus by a private person -- So, why did you think that it should be a Chairman of the Committee? Do not mention my name into this matter because I do not think that that is a fair way to go. We must do things properly. It is not a fair way to go; it is not. Let us debate it. Are you afraid of debate? No!
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
Very well. Let us hear from the Hon K. T. Hammond.
Mr Kobina T. Hammond 1:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you. [Interruption.] Do not panic.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
Order! Order. Yes, Hon Members, order!
Mr Hammond 1:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not see why my Colleagues are panicking and afraid. What is it about? The Hon Yieleh Chireh is actually introducing some confusion into the discussion because
some of us are really confused. As far as we are concerned, a Motion was moved by the Hon Dr Richard Anane. It was on that occasion seconded. There appeared to have been some difficulty, so the Majority Leader also raised a counter Motion which was seconded.
In all the confusion, there was this discussion that some sort of consensus be reached. We seem now to have a Motion which is now put by way of an Addendum, which bears a different name altogether. Dr Richard Anane's argument is that, this cannot represent what the House or Mr Speaker might have directed the last time. Whatever the consensus Motion must have been agreed on, should be moved by him, the original mover.
What is he now talking about, that because there was a consensus Motion, it now has to be under the name of somebody from Pwalugu or Oguaale? What is that supposed to mean? Mr Speaker, we got to stick to our rules and we got to stick to what the Hon Speaker directs.
This is completely wrong; if this is supposed to represent the consensus that was reached by the House, then the Leadership has got it completely wrong and we cannot debate this Motion.
Mr Mahama Ayariga 1:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I think on the 13th February, we were all in this House and we witnessed what happened and the Hansard has captured exactly what happened.
I think today, what we see on the Order Paper is a clear indication of lack of consensus on any of the issues for which the House suspended consideration of that matter on the 13 th of February. Therefore, I think that you started by wanting some clarification on exactly where we stand in relation to matters.

I think where we stand -- From the Order Paper and the Addendum that I see, generally, there has been some anomaly. I say anomaly because we have item 1, a Motion, then we have item 2, two alternative Motions and Mr Speaker, if we follow our Standing Orders, I really think that we cannot entertain a matter like this.

Indeed, they talk of a counter Motion; I do not see a counter Motion. What I see is an attempt to amend the original Motion. But even that amendment is wrongly crafted because if you look at our Standing Orders, Order 83 regarding how amendments are put --

What we see in the alternative Motions do not, strictly speaking, constitute an amendment to the Motion that was being moved. So, I think Mr Speaker, that you should give us the appropriate direction, that if the Majority Leader and the Chairman of the Committee seek to amend the Motion moved by Hon Dr Richard Anane, they should craft the amendment appropriately in accordance with our Standing Orders, so that you can put the Question of the amendment first, then we can debate it and if we agree that the Motion should be amended, then we can debate the Motion itself as amended.

That is the way to go because it does not seem they can arrive at a consensus outside the Chamber and then come with an agreed Motion that we can all debate.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
Well, I can appreciate the point you are making but the issue has to do with who moves the Motion. Hon Dr Anane is saying that he brought the original Motion, he moved it, it was seconded and later, there was an attempt to amend his Motion which was also seconded. Now, the compromised
situation did not work because from what I hear from both sides, Hon Dr Richard Anane felt that he, having initiated the Motion, should be the one to move the compromised Motion. So, this is where we stand. And looking at the situation, probably, we would want to look at what positions we have because Hon Yieleh Chiereh considers himself as the Hon Chairman of the Health Committee and therefore, in that regard, he should move the Motion.
But I can also look at the third option. The third option is that, we see both names on the Order Paper; is it not a joint Motion?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
Is it not a joint Motion? So, if it is a joint Motion, then we can take it from that angle.
Yes, Hon Deputy Minority Leader --
Mr Nitiwul 1:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, first of all, there are a lot of things that we do behind the scene that as Leadership, we may not say. But I think that I have some disappointment and I would express it at another forum, maybe, not here. Otherwise, what we see on the Addendum Order Paper and even on the Order Paper should not have been there. It is the third Motion that was listed yesterday.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
Please, address the Chair.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
Very well. Hon Members, can I tap from the Hon Member for Sekondi, his views about this matter, especially with regard to the compromised Motion and so on?
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we sometimes do not necessarily follow our Standing Orders where we all agreed that we are charting a comon course. And that was the impression under which I was on the day Mr Speaker suggested that having regard to the views expressed, it may further the course of the nation and her people if we tried to craft a Motion which would be a Motion in respect of which the entire House would be in agreement. I believe the outcome was the Motion listed as Amendment number 2 (2) on the Order Paper.
Yesterday, I was not here when the discussions began. But I thought that we all knew the genesis of this. The insistence that one person should move- - the Chairman of the Committee - I felt that it was not really an issue and I did not really understand it. This is because as to who moved the consensus Motion was really of no moment. However, we all knew that it was the Hon Member for Nhyiaeso who moved this Motion and arising out of it, the Hon Majority Leader suggested some amendments.
We felt that as a House, it will not advance the interest of the National Health Insurance. So, let us come to a compromise. In my view, Mr Speaker, if we cannot just arrive at a compromise and we go the way we are going, fine, if that is

the wish of the House. But I will feel very sad about it. This is because Mr Speaker, it gets to a stage for those of us who have been here for many years and have also been in Government -- we believe that sometimes we should avoid all these pettiness when we all appreciate that there is a problem to be solved.

That is why we are here; I have nothing further to say.

I thank you Mr Speaker, for granting me this indulgence.
Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka 1:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, in support of what Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah rightly said, I would want to say that some of us are equally disappointed. This is because for all those who were part of the discussions to arrive at the consensus Motion, Mr Speaker, I can say on authority that it was not the wish of majority on our side to even accept the wording. But we thought that because we wanted to build consensus, please, let us have the opportunity to discuss the issue.
Mr Speaker, I believe that the letter that was signed by the two Hon Members is before you. Take a look at it; look at the signing. It is sad. I am happy that Hon Owusu-Ankomah is saying that if we could all leave the pettiness, it is going to help all of us. But once you insist on being petty, then you are the one trying to introduce partisan politics into the whole issue. Then it means there is something behind what you wanted to do, that is why you are insisting on the pettiness.
So, if you want to insist on the pettiness, then it is better we stay and move the two Motions. But like we all said, will that serve the collective interest of this House? In my humble opinion, no -- [Interruption] -- But does it really matter when somebody has spoken for one and a half hours on an issue and then, you are even giving another opportunity
to him to even second again -- He is insisting that he has to move it. Mr Speaker, that is something that I am sorry to say, our side cannot accept because we know the amount of give out that we had to do at the negotiation to be able to have this compromised Motion and I do not think that we would be willing to offer more than what we have already done.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
Hon Dr Richard Anane, some allusion has been made to the effect that you signed a certain document. Is that correct?
Dr Anane 1:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, that is what I am holding and that is what I would want to show you. Mr Speaker, I believe that is on your table.
Mr Speaker, I had, when making an earlier submission, told you about what happened and then finally, this was not taken and a new one was written. I was even outside when a Clerk called me. And when I came, I wanted the thing to go, but the thing had been written in such a way; so, I said I was not going to do any seconding.
Mr Speaker, you would see that I signed across and not below anybody. The word 1:40 p.m.
“Seconded” written then, is not -- [Interruption.]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
Please, let us have some order.
Dr Anane 1:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the word: “Seconded” written under my name is not my handwriting. [Interruption.] So, Mr Speaker, I just did not want to belabour
this one. That is why I just drew attention to the genesis -- [Interruption.] But Mr Speaker, I did not want to belabour it. That is why I drew your attention to the genesis of the entire new consensus Motion. But this Motion was originally written with my name. However, I believe the Hon Yieleh Chireh got another one done, which had his name first.
I say, fine, let it go, but I am going to tell you I am not going to be the one to second it because it is an original Motion and I must work to ensure that I lapse my original Motion by moving this one.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
Order! Order!
Hon Dr Richard Anane, you have the floor; have you completed your submission?
Dr Anane 1:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am saying that when this was given me, you would see that the name: “Hon Yieleh Chireh” has been typed out; my name is not typed. You would notice Mr Speaker, that my name is not typed. So, what it meant was that, the Hon Yieleh Chireh was going to rather submit this, which is not something that he crafted. I crafted this and I cannot see how even intellectually, he can take to such a thing. [Interruption.]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
Hon Dr Richard Anane, looking at it from the perspective of a joint Motion, your name together with that of Hon Yieleh Chireh appear on the Order Paper as the owners of the Motion, jointly. So, at the end of the day, does it really matter who moves it?
Dr Anane 1:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, It would not have mattered if there had been some clear understanding and a show of candour. But there is no show of candour, Mr Speaker.
Mr Chireh 1:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much once again.
I think that the events that have been recorded in our Official Report clearly show that there are two Motions. The important thing is for us to take the two Motions, just like we do when you have Consideration Stage, somebody makes an amendment, you vote on the amendment.
So, let us go ahead, debate the two Motions and then we argue. This is a House of debate, it is not a House of who moves a Motion. But in any case, I am on the Majority, I am the Chairman. He said I claimed I was the -- I am actually the Chairman and more importantly, it is of the Health Committee -- [Interruption.] If the Leadership, in their negotiation, thought that it should be Chairman and Ranking Member in terms of our House procedures, that was consensus.
Now, what is important is that, Hon Dr Anane took one and a half hours and explained everything and still he wants to start again and say what? [Interruption.] What is he going to say?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
Hon Members, I have always believed in the building of consensus. I would want to give ourselves another opportunity. Let as defer this issue, so that both -- [Interruption.] -- So that both sides of the House will have another opportunity at arriving at a consensus. I so direct.
Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader, let us move on. You were given the opportunity to go out and confer in respect of a certain matter; we will like to hear from you.
Mr Agbesi 1:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we are prepared to go and have another look at this matter. But in view of the exchanges, I am of the view we may be adjourning now, so that we use the evening to do the consultation and come back tomorrow and see whether we can build some consensus.
Mr Speaker, before I leave the issue, Hon Dr Anane made a statement that he was surprised --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
Hon Member, I do not want you to go back to that issue; I have given my directions. We are not revisiting it. I have given my directions. So, if you want to move a Motion for adjournment, please, do so.
Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 1:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that the House do adjourn now to tomorrow at 10.00 o'clock in the forenoon.
Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul 1:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to thank you for bringing the House to order. We would consult widely on this matter, so that we would be able to have that Motion debated. It is not in our interest for Mr Speaker to give his direction and expect this problem to be solved and we are dragging it. We would consult widely to ensure that, that matter is dealt with once and for all tomorrow, including the issue that we have suspended issues concerning the finance matters.
I beg to second the Motion for the adjournment of the House.
Question put and Motion agreed to.

  • The House was accordingly adjourned at 1.48 p.m. till Friday, 21st March, 2014 at 10.00 a.m.