Debates of 24 Jun 2014

MR SPEAKER
PRAYERS 10:10 a.m.

ANNOUNCEMENTS 10:10 a.m.

COMMUNICATION FROM THE 10:10 a.m.

PRESIDENT 10:10 a.m.

OFFICE OF PARLIAMENT 10:10 a.m.

PARLIAMENT HOUSE 10:10 a.m.

ACCRA 10:10 a.m.

PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC 10:10 a.m.

OFFICE OF PARLIAMENT 10:10 a.m.

STATE HOUSE 10:10 a.m.

OSU-ACCRA 10:10 a.m.

PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC 10:10 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Hon Members, the nomination is referred to the Appoint- ments Committee for consideration and report.
rose
Mr Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Yes, Hon Minority Leader --
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, as you rightly read to us from the first Communication from the President, you quoted rightly article 59 of the Constitution which reads that:
“The President shall not leave Ghana without prior notification in writing, signed by him and addressed to the Speaker of Parliament.”
Mr Speaker, you indicated to us that, he has written to us and you have also indicated to us that he has signed the Communication to this House. What I am not too sure of, and what Mr Speaker did not perhaps dwell on, is the purpose
of article 59 and it says that “the President shall not leave Parliament without prior notification in writing”. By what you read, the President left yesterday.
Mr Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Yes, Hon Members we should not debate this matter. I was written to on Friday about this Communication. I received the Communication from the President that he was going to Guinea Bissau and then from there he would be going to another country. Subsequently, he withdrew that one and sent another communication that he had changed the other Communication to the Malabo African Union (AU) Summit.
This was as far back as Friday; my office had been duly informed. I know where you are coming from; you are interested in the date of the Communication -- when the Office of the Speaker was informed. I was informed on Friday.
Actually, when the first Communica- tion came, I thought I should inform the House that he was supposed to go from Guinea Bissau to Qatar and then the AU Summit came, so he cancelled it and decided to change it to Equatorial Guinea instead of the Qatar trip. So the Office of the Speaker has been duly informed as far back as Friday.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, that is very informative, thank you for the information. As you said, I wanted to know exactly when you had the Communication since the Constitution provides that, he should not leave without prior notification to Parliament. So I am happy with this.
But Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President, before he assumed the high office, had been the Ranking Member on
Foreign Affairs in the previous dis- pensation and he was very much interested in counting the number of times the then President travelled outside this country. In that capacity, may we know how many times he has travelled?
Mr Speaker 10:25 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader, you are out of order -- [Laughter]
VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT 10:25 a.m.

  • [No correction was made to the Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 20th June, 2014]
  • [No correction was made to the Official Report of Wednesday, 18th June, 2014]
  • Mr Speaker 10:25 a.m.
    Hon Members, item 3 on the Order Paper; Questions time.
    Majority Leader(Dr Benjamin Bewa- Nyoa Kunbuor) 10:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to seek and crave your indulgence to let the Hon Deputy Minister, for Local Government and Rural Development answer the Question on behalf of the Minister because there are still some administrative arrangements that, this House is not yet formally informed about. I think it would be neater that the Deputy Minister answers the Question.
    Mr Speaker 10:25 a.m.
    Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think, just as the Majority Leader has related to the House, we have taken it that since there has not been any formal communication to the House, we would not pretend to know what exists in some circles. Until then, and fortunately, since we have a Deputy who is also a Member of Parliament we may want to grant space to the Deputy to respond to the Questions that have been filed to the Ministry.
    Mr Speaker 10:25 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Minister -- Hon Members, the first Question stands in the name of the Hon Member for Akwapim South.
    Hon Member you have the floor.
    ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS 10:25 a.m.

    MINISTRY OF LOCAL 10:25 a.m.

    GOVERNMENT AND RURAL 10:25 a.m.

    DEVELOPMENT 10:25 a.m.

    Mr Speaker 10:25 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Minister.
    Deputy Minister for Local Govern- ment and Rural Development (Mr Emmanuel Kwadwo Agyekum on behalf of the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development):Mr Speaker, the Ministry recognised the need to rehabilitate and upgrade the Aburi Botanical Gardens. At the moment two options are being considered by the Ministry.
    A Public Private Partnership arrangement with a viable private Sector Institution to upgrade and run the Facility.
    Restructuring and Upgrading of Department of Parks and Gardens to become resourceful to enable it effectively manage all Parks in the Country including the Aburi Botanical Gardens
    In this regard, the Ministry has drafted a Cabinet Memorandum to seek Cabinet approval for any of the above options.
    Mr Speaker 10:25 a.m.
    Yes, your supplementary Question.
    Mr Amoah 10:25 a.m.
    Thank you Mr Speaker. I would want to find out from the Hon Deputy Minister whether the Cabinet Memorandum that has been drafted is still with the Ministry or it has been sent to Cabinet, I ask that, because in the first paragraph
    -- 10:25 a.m.

    Mr Agyekum 10:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Memorandum is yet to be sent to Cabinet.
    Mr Amoah 10:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to find out from the Deputy Minister whether he is aware, or whether in their scheme of things the Assembly has been granted fifteen acres of land to build an Assembly Village, as provided in an Address by the District Chief Executive to the Assembly on 14th May, 2014, that fifteen acres have been granted to the Assembly to build a District Assembly Village in the Gardens?
    Mr Agyekum 10:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am not aware of the fifteen acres that have been granted. However, if the House demands, I would cross check with the Ministry and furnish with the information to Parliament.
    Mr Speaker 10:25 a.m.
    Your last supplementary Question.
    Mr Amoah 10:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I first would like to table the Sessional Address by the Hon District Chief Executive to the Assembly on 13th May 2014, which contains the Statement that, fifteen acres have been granted to the Assembly and indeed, the President was supposed to cut a sod after the contract has been awarded for the construction of the Assembly Village.
    This is the Sessional Address and I would want to table it. That is the first thing. [Document laid on the Table.] Secondly --
    Mr Speaker 10:25 a.m.
    You have exhausted your Questions.
    Mr Amoah 10:25 a.m.
    No, I said I wanted to table it, I have not asked any Question yet, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 10:25 a.m.
    No, do you want to make that information available to the House?
    Mr Amoah 10:25 a.m.
    Yes.
    Mr Speaker 10:25 a.m.
    Yes, the Clerks-at-the- Table will receive it.
    Mr Amoah 10:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am on my third Question. Mr Speaker, the Ministry is saying that they are considering two options; one, (PPP) and two; restructuring and upgrading of the Department of Parks and Gardens. Can they tell us how much has been allocated to the Department of Parks and Gardens this year and how much has been expended on Gardens including the Aburi Gardens?
    Mr Speaker 10:25 a.m.
    Hon Member, I disallow that Question. The idea as to how much has been allocated is a matter of public record and it is in the Official Record. It is this House that, approves and the rules are very clear that, any information that is in the public domain, we do not ask Questions on it. If it is the second part that you want to ask, that one is another matter. So, ask in the second part and not the first part.
    Mr Amoah 10:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Ministry is saying that, they want to restructure and upgrade the Department of Parks and Gardens for it to be resourceful to enable
    it effectively manage all parks in the country, including the Aburi Botanical Gardens. I would want to find out from the Hon Deputy Minister how much has been spent this year on all Gardens and the Aburi Botanical Gardens?
    Mr Agyekum 10:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think with these details I would have to cross-check with the Ministry and get the figures for the House. --
    Yes, but I do not have the details with me at the moment, so I have to cross-check and furnish you with the information. I do not want to deceive Parliament so I would have to do that.
    Mr Speaker 10:25 a.m.
    I thought this is a constituency specific Question, is it not? Then who determines it?
    Mr Asamoah Ofosu 10:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Deputy Minister has told us that, he is not aware of a permit that has been granted to the District Assembly to go and build there. Is the Hon Minister aware that, the District Chief Executive has already entered the Gardens and started cutting down and destroying the forest in which his own Ministry has invited him to Accra to answer Questions?
    Mr Agyekum 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think I answered that Question earlier, that with regard to the permit that was given to the District Chief Executive, I am not aware of that and I would have to crosscheck and furnish you with that information, so I have answered it already.
    Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
    Hon Member for Manhyia South -- [Interruption]
    Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
    Hon Member, please you are out of order.
    Mr Ofosu 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Question has not been answered.
    Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
    Hon Member for Manhyia South?
    Mr Ofosu 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, then I would like you to rule on it.
    Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
    Hon, please take your seat. Hon Member for Manhyia South?
    Dr Matthew O. Prempeh 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to ask the Hon Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Develop- ment, that I, being a member of Global International Organization (GLO), an international organization charged to be responsible for protecting the climate and sustainable growth, why 15 acres of such a biodiverse area, that has a world heritage site would be chopped for an Assembly village? What is the meaning of an Assembly village?
    Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
    He is not the one mentioning an Assembly village -- Did he mention Assembly village? Please Hon Members, the Hon Deputy Minister says he is not aware of any permit for any Assembly village.
    The issue of Assembly village was brought into issue by the Hon Member for Akwapim South. The Deputy Minister did not mention Assembly, village, so how can he define what he has not mentioned? -- Yes, please.
    Dr Prempeh 10:30 a.m.
    Hon Minister, would you tell this House why 15 acres of our precious Aburi Botanical Gardens is being chopped; biodiversity destroyed, and you are unconcerned?
    Mr Agyekum 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, all that I would want to say is that, if 15 acres are being chopped, as citizens of this country we must be concerned. I would want to reecho what I said earlier that, I am not aware of 15 acres being chopped -- [Interruption] -- therefore I would have to go and cross-check to furnish the House with that information.
    Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
    Last Question, Hon Dr Appiah-Kubi?
    Dr Kojo Appiah-Kubi 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minister in his response, talks about the need on the part of the Ministry to rehabilitate and upgrade the Aburi Botanical Gardens. Can the Hon Deputy Minister give us a picture of the current state of the garden, and whether it has been encroached upon?
    Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Minister, what is the current state of the Aburi Botanical Gardens, whether it has been encroached upon or not?
    Mr Agyekum 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have not visited the Gardens for a very long time now -- [Interruption.]
    Mr Yaw Owusu-Boateng 10:30 a.m.
    [displays pictures
    Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
    With the pictures that you are giving now, I think you probably have to furnish it to me; I would have a look at them to be able to give the detail and the status of the current state of the Gardens.
    Last Question, Hon Minority Leader? I thought we were going to move to the next Question.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minister has indicated to us that, he is not aware of the grant of 15 acres to be utilised for the construction of an Assembly village. He said he is not aware of the grant of 15 acres.
    The former Minister had undertaken to visit the place so the fact should be known to the Ministry. The Regional Minister has also gone there. Those facts should be known to the Ministry. Is he saying that, these facts are not known to him as a Deputy Minister, as an individual, or to the Ministry?
    Mr Agyekum 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Question was asked as to whether a permit had been given to the District Chief Executive to utilise a 15 acre land. As far as I am concerned, the Ministry is not aware of a permit given to the District Chief Executive to make use of a 15 acre land.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, in the Answer of the Deputy Minister, it tells Ghanaians that, the Ministry recognises the need to rehabilitate and upgrade parks and gardens including the Aburi Botanical Gardens which contains trees that have been nurtured for periods exceeding one hundred years.
    Mr Speaker, in the consideration of the Deputy Minister or the Ministry, do they consider rehabilitation and upgrading to involve slashing and burning of trees that have been nurtured for more than a hundred years?
    Mr Agyekum 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, certainly no.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:30 a.m.
    Certainly no, so Mr Speaker -- [Interruption]-- If it should come to the attention of the Ministry that, an exercise involving slashing and burning -- [Interruption] -- Mr Speaker, would the Majority Leader allow the Minister to listen?
    Some Hon Members 10:30 a.m.
    Coach, coach.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, if it should come to the attention of the Ministry that an exercise involving slashing and burning of trees that have been nurtured -- [Laughter]
    Some Hon Members 10:30 a.m.
    No question, no question.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, if it should come to the attention of the Ministry that an exercise involving the slashing and burning of trees and weeds which the Centre for Plant Medicine at Mampong is utilising, quite apart from the leisure it provides, if it should come to the attention of the Ministry that this has gone on or is going on, would the Ministry undertake to stop that exercise?
    Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
    Hon Member, that is a hypothetical question; it starts with an “if”. You can rephrase the Question to achieve the same purpose.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, would the Ministry stop any such exercise?
    Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Minister?
    Mr Agyekum 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I can assure the Hon Minority Leader that the Ministry would stop any such exercise if something of that kind is taking place.
    Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
    Hon Members, the next Question, 92 stands in the name of Hon Member for Offinso South.
    Hon Member, you have the floor.
    Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Minister?
    Mr Agyekum 10:40 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr. Speaker, over the period 2009-2013, the Ghana School Feeding Programme embarked on re-targeting programme. In this regard, twenty-two (22) new schools benefited from the re-targeting exercise. Only four (4) of the old schools were retained in the Offinso South Municipality, bringing up the total number of beneficiary schools to twenty-six (26). The names and locations of the Schools are as follows:
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    Mr Banda 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I asked this Question to find out from the Hon Minister, how many schools had been added since January 2009 to December 2013. But the Answer given to me by the Minister gives the impression that the Ministry has only targeted certain schools. In other words, these schools are yet to be beneficiaries of the School Feeding Programme. How does the Minister reconcile this answer with the Question that I asked?
    Mr E. K. Agyekum 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the retargeting was an exercise. The programme is in place, and as I talk to you the schools are being fed. It is not like we are yet to do it, it has been done already.
    Mr Banda 10:40 a.m.
    Then Hon Minister, your Answer gives a different impression. My second question is, before 2009 about 20 schools in the Offinso South Municipality used to be beneficiaries of the School Feeding Programme, but since 2010 all these schools have ceased to be beneficiaries. Could you please furnish this House with the criteria for the selection of the schools?
    Mr E. K. Agyekum 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the retargeting criteria would be furnished to the House.
    Mr Banda 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the original idea -- [Interruption]-
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Hon Member, you were not on your feet so I thought you have exhausted your supplementary Question that is why I moved on. I know that he has asked two supplementary Questions but
    he was not on his feet. I looked at his direction for a while even before calling the Hon Member, and I thought he had exhausted his supplementary Questions.
    Hon Member, you have the floor.
    Mr Banda 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, originally, the school feeding programme was to start with some schools, with the aim that the schools over which the programme would run, would increase, and eventually cover the whole country. The Hon Minister has just given the information that certain schools are now removed from the programme and then we do what he calls “ retargeting”. Has the policy changed?
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Minister, has the policy changed?
    Mr E. K. Agyekum 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the policy has not changed but as I mentioned earlier, there was a need for us to do retargeting and the retargeting had been done. It could happen that in the course of the process, a school may change, that is how come probably the school that he is mentioning, was not taken care of .
    rose
    Mr Kwakye 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker could the Minister explain what the re -- targeting means to this august House?
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Minister, what do you mean by targeting? -- [Interruption.]
    Mr E. K. Agyekum 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, when we talk about retargeting, for example, we may have a school that after carefully looking at it and coming out with certain indices and criteria, the school has to be changed and the programme ought to be
    given to another school. That is the retargeting process.
    rose
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Mr Yaw Owusu Boateng 10:40 a.m.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, I think he is a Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development so he should be specific to tell us what the indices are, what kinds of things, what criteria, what re -- targeting is about; because the way he is -- [Interruption]
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    What are the criteria for retargeting?
    Mr E. K. Agyekum 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I can give him some information but I would not be able to give him in entirety what was used. For example, we used poverty indices, net enrolment rate, we used low enrolment rate, we used high dropout rate, low literacy level, and high hunger vulnerability.
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Order! Order!
    Mr E. K. Agyekum 10:40 a.m.
    What I have mentioned, are some of the criteria used poverty index, net enrolment rate, but further than that, if he wishes, I would be able to furnish it to him -- [Interruption.]
    Dr A. A. Osei 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, could the Deputy Minister please educate us on what the poverty index is?
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Minister?
    Mr E. K. Agyekum 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would need notice to be able to give him the -- [Uproar]
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Minister, you have mentioned “poverty index” and they are asking you what you mean by the “Poverty index”. It is a legitimate question, because you are the one who mentioned it. You cannot mention something that you yourself do not understand. That is why they are asking you what you mean by poverty index. -- [Uproar]
    Mr Agyekum 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the “poverty index” is per what is -- [uproar] -- Per the Ghana living standards survey -- [uproar]
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Minister, have you answered the Question?
    Mr E. K. Agyekum 10:40 a.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Hon Member for Manhyia South?
    Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, per the Ghana living standards - the Minister said, “poverty index” is per Ghana living standards. What is a Ghana living standards?
    Mr E. K. Agyekum 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, as defined by the Ghana living standards survey.
    Thank you.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Gifty Eugenia Kusi?
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Gifty Kusi, are you addressing the Chair or some other Members of Parliament?
    Mrs Kusi 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minister said that only four (4) of the old schools were retained. I would want to find out how many schools were there originally that he took only four?
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Deputy Minister?
    Mr Agyekum 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I read it earlier in my Answer -- I think I have answered it but I would re-echo it. Over the period, I mentioned that, in 2009 and 2013, the Ghana School Feeding Programme embarked on a retargeting programme. In this regard, twenty-two (22) new schools benefited from this retargeting exercise. Only four of the schools were retained in the Offinso- South District bringing up the total number of beneficiary schools to twenty- six (26); which I have furnished you with the names -- [Interruption.]
    I would have to get you that information later; the number of schools that were there.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Last Question, yes?
    Mr Joe Gidisu 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, could the Hon Minister confirm that the relocating of the schools from the Offinso township was influenced by examining the background of pupils who may be coming from more endowed families to the deprived areas that they have taken the School Feeding Programme to?
    rose
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    You have a point of order?
    Dr A.A. Osei 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Minister so far has not used the word “relocation”; he has been using the word “retargeting”. So the Hon Member is out of order.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Yes, he is using the word “retargeting”, yes?
    Mr J. K. Gidisu 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, could the Minister confirm that the retargeting --
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    I thought you were just going to delete “relocation” and substitute “retargeting”.
    Mr Joe Gidisu 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is the same situation so it does not make a difference.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, again, I think this question cannot be permitted, -- [Interruption] -- because the Minister -- he has not told this House about relocating from Offinso -- [Interruption]
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    “Retargeting!” he has changed it to “retargeting”.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, even that, he has not said they are retargeting and removing from Offinso township, he has not said so anywhere.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Member for Central Tongu ask your --
    Mr J. K. Gidisu 10:50 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    It still stands whether the Minister can confirm the retargeting of those schools which were originally benefitting from the
    programme to the new area where as a result of examining the background of pupils who may be coming from more endowed families to areas that seemed to be deprived thereby influencing their retargeting.
    Mr E.K. Agyekum 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is perfectly right -- [Hear! Hear!]
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, is the Deputy Minister aware that, in the 2008 Manifesto of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), a firm promise was made? -- [Interruption]
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Why are you bringing in the NDC manifesto?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, because it was repeated in the 2009 Budget Statement.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Very well.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the pledge in the Manifesto which was captured in the 2009 budget was that, the School Feeding Programme which had then been started -- the piloting of which had been started -- was going to be increased to all public schools in the country by 2012. Is he aware of that?
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, you know what you are doing is against the rules?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, but the Question is asked?
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Address the Chair and I would give the necessary directives.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, is the Minister aware of this?
    Mr A gyekum 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, unfortunately, I was not in this House by then. But what I know is that, we are scaling up to at least to cover as many schools as possible; which is a process that we are doing.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Minister told us that he was not in the country at the time. -- [Uproar]
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    He said he was not in this House at that time; he said he was not in this House in 2009.
    Proceed and ask your Question.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, that was the NDC Manifesto captured in the budget and that had nothing to do with whether or not he was in the House
    -- 10:50 a.m.

    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, ask your Question.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, may I ask the Hon Deputy Minister, since he talks about scaling up. Is he aware, that the 2012 Manifesto of the NDC has shifted the goal post now; they are no more talking about scaling up. They are now saying that the School Feeding Programme is now going to cover needy communities. Is he aware of that, they are no longer to cover all public schools in the country?
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Minister?
    Mr E. K. Agyekum 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Programme has always been looking at pro-poor schools, and as I said earlier, it is a process; it is not something that we would do in a day. We are in the process of scaling up and I can assure the Hon Member that from that period, most schools have been --
    An Hon Member 10:50 a.m.
    Really?
    Mr E. K. Agyekum 10:50 a.m.
    Yes, a lot of schools have been covered, and we have scaled it up to some extent. A lot of schools.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, since he is talking about a lot of schools or most schools; how many schools in the country have now benefited from the School Feeding Programme and whether or not he is aware that many of those contractors they engaged, they have not paid, and because of that the contractors have stopped?
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, that is not supplementary?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am not introducing any new item. It is his own Answer that he gave. That now most schools in the country --
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader? [Laughter.]
    Yes, Hon Majority Leader, I saw you on your feet.
    Dr Kunbuor 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I just wanted to also ask a Question but --
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Very well.
    Yes, please could you rephrase your question so that we move on?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Majority Leader said that, he is uncomfortable with my Question so I should rephrase it?
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    No, I am the one saying it. [Laughter.]
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:50 a.m.
    The Deputy Minister talks about scaling up and that most schools have benefited.
    Mr Speaker, how many schools in the country have now benefited?
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Deputy Minister?
    Mr E. K. Agyekum 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would have to furnish the House with -- [Interruption] -- yes. This is because this is a substantive Question and I would have to furnish the House with the number of schools that we have scaled it up to.
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Last Question, Hon Majority Leader?
    Dr Kunbuor 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to know from the Hon Deputy Minister whether there has not been an increase in the number of schools for the School Feeding Programme since 2009 in the Offinso South Constituency?
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Has there been an increase in School Feeding Programme in Offinso South since 2009?
    Mr E. K. Agyekum 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, with the information I have, actually, there has been an increase. [Interruption.]
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, here, we have a Deputy Minister who cannot tell us how many were there before. Now, he is telling us that he can tell us that the number has gone up. So, if it had gone up, what was the number?
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    But --
    Dr Kunbuor 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, my last Question. I would want to know from the Hon Deputy Minister whether or not the School Feeding Programme is part of a social policy intervention that is pro-poor and one that has equity as its basis? [Interruption.]
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    I thought he has early on answered that question that it should be pro-poor? He has earlier answered that question.
    Dr Kunbuor 11 a.m.
    Very well, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Hon Members, the last Question for today is Question number 93 standing in the name of the Hon Member for Kumawu.
    Hon Member, you have the floor.
    Office Building for the Newly Created Districts
    (Construction)
    Mr Philip Basoah 11 a.m.
    asked the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development if there are plans by the Ministry to construct office buildings for the newly created districts.
    Mr E. K. Agyekum 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Ministry commenced the procurement and processes for the construction of office buildings for forty-six (46) newly created districts since 2013.
    So far, procurement processes for eighteen (18) District Assemblies have been completed.
    Award Letters have been issued and contracts have been signed to enable contractors commence work.
    The beneficiary District Assemblies include Dormaa West, Asutifi South, Ayensuano, Upper West Akim, Kpone Katamanso, Tatale Sanguli, Pusiga, Binduro Builsa, Nandom, Daffiama-Bissie- Isaa, Afadzato South, North Tongu, Bia East, Jomoro, Banda, Akwapim South and Bodie.
    Mr Speaker, the outstanding District Assemblies were fraught with few
    challenges. During evaluation of the tender documents, the Ministry observed that the tenders for the outstanding District Assemblies did not meet the financial and equipment requirements to execute the works.
    Consequently, the Ministry initiated action for re-tendering as per the Public Procurement Act 2003 (Act 663).
    Mr Basoah 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am asking this Question against the background that some of the districts, since 2008 have been operating from rented premises and other abandoned Area Councils. From the list provided by the Hon Deputy Minister, I thought those --
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Hon Member, please ask your Question.
    Mr Basoah 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, my Question is simply this: in awarding the contract for those districts, did they take into consideration those districts which were created first? I mean newly created districts like Kordie and Kumawu?
    Mr E. K. Agyekum 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is not only those districts that the Hon Member is mentioning that do not have office accommodation, but I would want to say that, the Ministry is aware of that and the Ministry is trying to look for funding to be able to take care of the District Assemblies which do not have office accommodation.
    Mr Basoah 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Hon Deputy Minister the construction cost for each of the districts.
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    The contract sum for the --
    Mr Basoah 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am talking about the contract sum for each.
    Mr E. K. Agyekum 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the procurement processes go through a whole lot of processes and I would not be able to tell -- [Interruption] -- yes. I would not be able to tell the Hon Member the contract sum because I did not bid for -- [Interruption.] I would not be able to tell the Hon Member the contract sum. The reason is that, there is a process that one has to go through: one has to seal, one has to submit it and has to do a whole lot of things, so I would not be able to -- [Interruption.]
    Mr Speaker, if the Hon Member wants me to give him the Answer specifically, even the Question that he asked was generic. This is because, there is a whole lot -- I have mentioned about eighteen of them, so if he asked me of the sum, I would not be able to tell him that District ‘A' would cost this, District ‘B' would cost this, so I would furnish him with --
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Minister, when you are here before the dispatch box, Answer your Question and take your seat. There would be supplementary questions that would follow; otherwise you would never leave that place. If you want to stand there and be responding to comments on the floor, you would stand there for hours.
    Mr Daniel Botwe 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker -- [Interruption.]
    Mr Basoah 11 a.m.
    I have not exhausted my --
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Ask your Question, I will come back to him. Do not worry. This is a special dispensation.
    Mr Botwe 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to ask the Hon Deputy Minister, in the first paragraph of his Answer, he indicates that, forty-six (46) newly created Districts since 2013. He is confirming in the second paragraph that eighteen (18) Districts
    Assemblies have been completed. When would they work on the --
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Procurement processes.
    Mr Botwe 11 a.m.
    So, when would they work on the remaining twenty-eight (28) District Assemblies?
    Mr E. K. Agyekum 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, we have started the process already and it is ongoing.
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Hon Member for Kumawu, your supplementary.
    Mr Basoah 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Chairman, I would like to find out from the Minister if the funds which would be used for the construction of those projects would not be taken from the District Assemblies' Common Fund released to the Assemblies.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    He wants to know where you are going to get the funding from for the projects.
    Mr E. K. Agyekum 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, in this particular project, we are not going to deduct money from the District Assemblies' Common Fund. It is a different source of funding that would be used to pay for the project.
    rose
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    You have exhausted your supplementary.
    Hon Members, we would -- Hon O. B. Amoah.
    Mr Osei B. Amoah 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I remember tabling the Address of the District Chief Executive for Akwapim South stating that, the place has been given to them to construct the premises. Now, in the Minister's Answer to the Question, he has listed 18 districts and he
    is saying that, award letters have been issued and contracts have been signed to enable contractors commence work.
    He has listed the Districts which include Akwapim South. Now I would want to know from the Hon Deputy Minister, exactly where, apart from the Gardens where the District Executive said was the place for the premises, he should tell us where the premises of Akwapim South would be.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Hon Member, please it would not be possible for you to know every location where the Assembly is going to be sited throughout the country. That is way off the main Question that has been posed.
    Yes, Hon Member for Old Tafo.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:10 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker. In the third paragraph of the Minister's Answer, he says:
    “Award letters have been issued and Contracts have been signed to enable Contractors to commence work.”
    May I know from the Hon Deputy Minister if it is his Ministry that awarded these contracts or whether if he has seen any of these contracts at all.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Minister?
    Mr E. K. Agyekum 11:10 a.m.
    Thank you very much. Mr Speaker, I have not actually seen the contracts that were signed. I have not seen them myself.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Is it your Ministry that has awarded the contract? Please I want us to make progress.
    Mr E. K. Agyekum 11:10 a.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Hon Ato Arthur.
    Dr (Nana) Stephen Ato Arthur 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, from the Minister's Answer, the 28 outstanding District Assemblies were frought with few challenges which included financial and equipment requirement. What does this mean?
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Hon Member, you know that if you do not respond to a tender, the law allows you to cancel it and then re- start the process all over. That is what he is saying. [Laughter.]
    Ask the Question again.
    Dr (Nana) Ato Arthur 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I just wanted to know what the Hon Deputy Minister means by ‘financial and equipment requirements'.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Minister, what do you mean by financial and equipment requirement?
    Mr E. K. Agyekum 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am referring to a technical requirement. [Uproar!]
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Hon Members, I would take the last Question from the Minority Leader, that is if he wants to ask a question, otherwise, I would move on.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague was saying that, he had a point of order. I do not know whether you recognise --
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    A point of order; against the Chair or against the Hon Deputy Minister, or against the Question?
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, he is misinforming the House. It is very important. In his Answer, he has said that “financial and equipment”. Then he comes in another Answer and says “technical”.
    Mr Speaker, “technical” refers to the equipment but it cannot be financial so he should come again. There is a bit difference.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Hon Minority Leader.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe the Deputy Minister would want to be more exact than he is doing now. This is because as the Hon Colleague is saying, when one talks about “financial and equipment” requirement, one cannot then turn round and say that one means “technical requirement” when one knows that the two mean different things all together.
    Mr Speaker, again, when the Hon Minister provides an Answer involving 19 out of 46 districts, then he tells us that he is dealing with 18 districts -- the Answer provided tells us that he is dealing with 18 District Assemblies, yet he has provided an Answer in respect of 19 districts. So what is to be believed; 18 or
    19?
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    I have counted 18. Minority Leader, where did you get the 19 from?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, we can start. I have 19 here.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Minister, is it 18 or 19 that you have there?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, let us move beyond that.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    No Honourable, for the records, is it 18 or 19? I have counted 18.
    Mr E. K. Agyekum 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is
    18.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, is it 18 or 19. It is for the records. It would enter the Hansard.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is 18. He is right.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Hon Majority Leasder?
    Dr Kunbuor 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I guess that it is because they have given some bold to the number of districts.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    No, it is because of Daffiama-Bissie-Issa, Hon Bagbin's District.
    That is not your district?
    Dr Kunbuor 11:10 a.m.
    Yes, but I thought the Minority Leader had counted the “include”, which is in bold as one of the districts. [Laughter.]
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe the Majority Leader knows that the Minority Leader is much more intelligent than what he is ascribing to the Minority Leader. But Mr Speaker, having said so, the Hon Deputy Minister provided in his Answer that, award letters have been signed to enable contractors commence work. I know that the Budget of 2013, gave an indication of some seed money that was to be given to the newly created districts.
    No specific amount was mentioned, unlike 2010 when it was indicated that, one million Ghana cedis was to be provided. So, how much is the seed money to be given to those districts? One million Ghana cedis was mentioned earlier, how much for these ones.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Minister, if you have the Answer, please answer.
    Mr E. K. Agyekum 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Question is not too clear to me.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    He is saying that it was announced in this House that, there was a seed money of one million. He is asking how much of that one million is being used to finance this contract? That is the point he is making. Whether some money is being taken from that one million to finance this project.
    Hon Minority Leader, is that not your question?
    Mr E. K. Agyekum 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am not aware of any amount being taken from the seed money to pay for this particular project; I am not aware of that.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, outside the one million allocation, where are they getting the funding from?
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Minister, where are you getting the funding from for this project?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is a budgetary provision. So if the Hon Deputy Minister is not aware of that, where is he getting the funding from then?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am not too sure -- [Laughter.]
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Minister, the issue is, do you know the source of funding for this project? I believe that that is what they have been probing. If you know, say it. If you do not know, tell the House.
    Do you know the source of funding for this project? If you know it tell the House; if you do not know, say you do not know and then we make progress.
    Mr E. K. Agyekum 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, honestly, I will have to cross-check and know the actual source of funding.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Members, that brings us to the end of Question time. Hon Deputy Minister, we thank you very much for attending upon the House. I believe you enjoyed your baptism today. Hon Deputy Minister, you are discharged.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, we have a cheering brigade from the Brong Ahafo Region, who are behind -- [Interruption.]
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    In fact, do you know the leader of the brigade?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:20 a.m.
    [Laughter.]
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    The leader of the brigade is Hon Maj. Oduro (retd) -- [Interruption] -- He keeps on signalling me.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think as a matter of concern to this House, we should begin to look at our conventions in this House whether or not it may be appropriate for us to allow Hon Deputy Ministers to stand in for their Hon Ministers. This is because sometimes they come and they have to relate to their substantive Hon Ministers to even answer fundamental Questions. Whether or not it is appropriate that we go on this path --
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Majority Leader, constitutionally, we cannot bar them from coming to represent their Hon Ministers in the House because constitutionally, they are supposed to assist their Hon Ministers. And in assisting, they can assist in any other capacity so I think that, we cannot bar them from answering -- once they have been authorised by their Hon Ministers to come and represent them, we cannot stop them.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:20 a.m.
    The issue that I thought should concern us, Mr Speaker, and why I raised this is that, even though constitutionally, they have to assist their Hon Ministers, yet in Cabinet, the President appoints one Cabinet Minister to hold the portfolio of a Cabinet Minister who would not be present for whatever consideration. Can we have some such consideration? But it is something that maybe the House could perhaps deliberate on.
    I am not saying that we should depart from the path but I am saying that it is something that as a House, we may have to consider.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Bagbin, I saw you on your feet.
    Mr Bagbin 11:20 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I think that is why the practice of the House is that, when the Hon
    Majority Leader and Leader of the House tries to explain the absence of the substantive Minister, therefore, seeks the permission of Mr Speaker and the House for the Deputy to respond to the Questions, you tend to always ask the Hon Minority Leader, what is his position --
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    And I did that today.
    Mr Bagbin 11:20 a.m.
    You did that today too. So he should have at that time then objected and raised some of these issues for us to consider. Not after they have answered the Questions that he is now raising the issue -- [Interruption] -- It is because of that not for subsequent because Mr Speaker will continue to follow this procedure and you will always have the opportunity to respond. So he could have raised it from the very beginning; not after the matter.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that we are all drawing lessons from experience and performance. I cannot pre- empt the performance of a person. That is why I was saying that -- [Laughter] -- Mr Speaker, I am saying that, if we are not given space, we would not know. And by what we have been going through, maybe we should take a decision on it.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Well, maybe it is something we can look at in the future.
    Hon Majority Leader, are we ready for the Statement?
    Dr Kunbuor 11:20 a.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker, based on some consultations I had with the Hon Minority Leader and the Clerk, I would want us to take item number 5(c) so that we can withdraw and concretise those specifics.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    So are we taking the tribute today?
    Dr Kunbuor 11:20 a.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker, we have sent a copy to you.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    I have not received a copy.
    Dr Kunbuor 11:20 a.m.
    Sorry, Mr Speaker, actually I drew the Hon Member 's attention earlier and asked that a copy be sent to the Table Office for you. Well, we will leave it, subject to Mr Speaker's convenience. If it is not convenient, we can defer it. Since we have another Statement, we can --
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    No, no, very well; we can take it. I do not have any objection. [Pause.]
    Can we vary the order of Business to have these Papers laid, then we suspend for five minutes and come and take the Statement? I have to use some five minutes to go through the Statement, I just got a copy of it. So we would suspend Sitting for five minutes, I go through the Statement and then we come and take the Statement.
    Dr Kunbuor 11:20 a.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker, but I just wanted the process of laying of item number 5(a) and (c) --
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Yes, that is what I am saying. If we can lay it, then we would suspend Sitting for 5 minutes, take a look at the Statement which has just been given to me and when we come back, we can then make the Statement.
    Dr Kunbuor 11:20 a.m.
    Very well, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Members, at the Commencement of Public Business, Presentation of Papers. Item number 5(a)
    PAPERS 11:20 a.m.

    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    5(b) --
    Dr Kunbuor 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I will crave your indulgence in the absence of the Hon Minister and the circumstances to lay this Paper.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Very well.
    The Hon Majority Leader is laying the Paper on behalf of the Hon Minister, do you have any objection?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I cannot have any objection at all. I thought that when he sought the indulgence of Mr Speaker and the House, he should have at least waited for our consent. But immediately he went ahead and bowed.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Has he bowed? I did not see him bow.
    Dr Kunbuor 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is because I normally stoop low, I had to rise and he assumed that I bowed -- [Laughter.]
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Majority Leader --
    By the Majority Leader Minister in Charge of Government Business in Parliament (on behalf of the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development)
    -- 11:20 a.m.

    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Which Committee handles this?
    Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is the Committee on Food and Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Well, but it has something to do with conventions. That is why I am asking. Very well, Hon Members, Paper duly laid,
    Referred to the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs.
    Item 5 (c), by the Hon Minister for Finance --
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, with your indulgence, I thought there were some matters that this House was supposed to settle with the Minister for Finance.
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Please! We are only laying it.
    Dr Kunbuor 11:30 a.m.
    In fact, the reason why we want to take item 5 (c) is in furtherance of that. We have reached a point -- [Laughter.]
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Yes!
    The Minister for Finance?
    Dr Kunbuor 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Minister is out of the jurisdiction, and I would ask if you would grant the Hon Deputy Minister to lay it.
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, did I hear the Hon Majority Leader say that he is going to do it, or the Hon Deputy Minister? [Interruption] -- The Hon Deputy Minister? All right.

    Mr Speaker, we do not have anything against it.
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Deputy Minister?
    By the Deputy Minister for Finance (Mr Cassiel Ato Forson) (on behalf of) the Minister for Finance--
    On-Lending Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the Ghana Water Company Limited for an amount of forty-eight million, one hundred thousand United State dollars (US$48.1 million) to finance Parts B and D4 of the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area Sanitation and Water Project under the Financing Agreement between the Govern- ment of the Republic of Ghana and the International Development Association for a grant equipment to one hundred and fifty million United State dollars to finance the proposed Greater Accra Metro- politan Area Sanitation and Water Project (GSWP).
    Referred to the Finance Committee.
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Item 5 (d), Majority Leader? Do you have 5 (d)?
    Dr Kunbuor 11:30 a.m.
    The Chairman of the Committee just drew my attention that they were going out for a very urgent and short meeting. I am surprised that the Ranking Member is here.
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Is it not ready to be laid?
    Dr Kunbuor 11:30 a.m.
    I guess the Hon Ranking Member can answer that.
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Hon Ranking Member?
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:30 a.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker, I am surprised it is even on the Order Paper, the Committee has not finished sitting.
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Members we will suspend Sitting for five minutes, when we return we will take a Statement which actually is a tribute in memory of Maulvi Dr Abdul Wahab Adam Ameer and Missionary in charge of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission in Ghana.
    We would suspend Sitting for five minutes. They just gave me a copy of the Statement . Under the rules I would have to go through the Statement before it is read on the floor of the House. The House is accordingly suspended for five minutes
    11.34 a.m. --Sitting suspended.
    11.40 a.m. --Sitting resumed .
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Statements -- Hon Member for Wa East?
    Can somebody present the Statement on his behalf?
    STATEMENTS 11:30 a.m.

    Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka (NDC, Asawase) 11:30 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for this opportunity to make this Statement on the floor of the House.
    Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for this opportunity to make a Statement on the death of Maulvi Dr A. Wahab Adam, which occurred on the 22nd of June, 2014 at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra.
    Mr Speaker, Maulvi Dr Abdul Wahab Adam was born on December 8th, 1938 at Akrofuom in the Adanse Traditional Area in the Ashanti Region. He had his primary and middle school education at the Methodist Primary School at Brofoyedru from 1942 to 1948 and United Senior School from 1948 to 1952 --
    Mr Speaker, the original maker of the Statement is here so I do not know
    whether I should defer to him or I should continue?
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    What are the rules?
    Alhaji Muntaka 11:30 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Hon Member, please, you know this is a very serious House, somebody is making a Statement then we will stop him and another person starts all afresh. I am a servant of the House, if the Leaders want me to do so, on this occasion, I will allow it to be done.
    But Hon Member, I am not happy with your attitude; I said I was suspending the House for five minutes and I announced before leaving the Chair that your Statement would be taken after the suspension, when we resume Sitting.
    The least we expect from you is to be in the House.
    Alhaji Muntaka 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, we are very grateful and we would ensure that this does not happen again -- We are very sorry.
    So, Mr Speaker, he would continue maybe from the third paragraph.
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    He should start all afresh.
    Alhaji Muntaka 11:30 a.m.
    All right. Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe that it is most appropriate to allow the Hon Member to start all afresh -- [Interruption] -- Mr Speaker, maybe you would advise the Hon Member to resume his seat, when I have finished he can get up.
    There are so many things that we may not have to revisit, so please, let it be delivered in tranquility.
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Hon Member for Wa East?
    Mr Speaker, recognition of these services has come in other forms as 11:30 a.m.
    Companion of the Order of the Volta; Ambassador for Peace (Korea); Distinguished Leadership Award by International Lincoln Centre, Louisiana State, Honorary Doctorate by the University of Cape Coast.
    His book, titled, “Reflections: A Journey Towards Peace”, Sums up his passion for peace.
    To conclude, Mr Speaker, Maulvi Wahab Adam offered numerous services and loyalty to humanity and country. He left behind a wife and seven (7) children for whom we are asking God's protection and guidance.
    Innaa liLaahe wa Innaa elaihi Raajeoun (Surly, we are all from Allah, and to Him shall we all return. (Holy Qur'an Chapter 2 verse 157).
    Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah (NPP-- Sunyani West) 11:50 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker for allowing me to contribute to this Statement ably made by my good Friend from Wa East.
    Mr Speaker, Maulvi Wahab Adam was personally known to me. Indeed, he is one

    religious leader I revered so much. He was a religious leader par excellence; he was down to earth and very approachable.

    His religious duties took him to Techiman, a major town in the Brong- Ahafo Region. The way he conducted himself made his religion admirable to a lot of people. It is therefore not surprising that when you go to Techiman and areas around, the Ahmadiyya Mission is now a dominant religion.

    His duties culminated in the establishment of the Ahamdiyya Hospital in Techiman which is a major health facility for the people in that area.

    Mr Speaker, not only that; he led a lot of developmental projects in the region and one which I also recall is the establishment of the Ahmadiyya Hospital at Mim, which also serves as a major health facility in that area.

    His influence on the people, especially the way he conducted himself at public functions, was so admirable that people wanted to emulate him. In fact, I am one of the people who learnt a lot from him.

    Anytime he handled national issues, he did so with humility, hard work and respect for human beings. I recall that as a Member of the National Peace Council, he tried with his other colleagues to build consensus on national issues and also to promote peace and justice in Ghana.

    As a Member of the National Recon- ciliation Committee (NRC), he tried as much as possible to heal the wounds of past mistakes which were committed by past State officials.

    Mr Speaker, as a Member of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), he never sat down quietly on national issues but always expressed his ideas.

    Today, if he is no more, he is going to be remembered as a strong religious leader and a Statesman who really fought for peace in Ghana.

    Mr Speaker, I would want to entreat your goodself and the House to as much as possible, perhaps even after this tribute and maybe after sitting today, to move to his area and sign the Book of Condolence to express how deeply we miss this great son of Ghana and Africa.

    Mr Speaker, on this note, I would want to congratulate the maker of this Statement and say that even in his death, we remember him, and may his soul rest in perfect peace.

    Thank you.

    Maj. (Dr) (Alh) Mustapha Ahmed (retd) (NDC-- Ayawaso North): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to this tribute.

    Mr Speaker, Maulvi Wahab Adam's commitment to peace and development in the country is unquestionable. Mr Speaker, I had the privilege to sit with him to discuss matters about Ghana. Recently, at the National Convention of the Ahmadiyya Mission which occurred at Winneba, I had the privilege to sit close to him and most of his concerns were about development and leadership, particularly for the youth of today.

    Indeed, his demeanour depicted a man who loved peace. I would say Maulvi Wahab was an epitome of peace and indeed humility. His humility was unparalleled. He would be remembered for these qualities and many more as has been espoused in the Statement that was made, and in the contribution of the Hon Deputy Minority Whip.

    Mr Speaker, I wish to join Hon Members of this august House in expressing my deep felt condolence to the family and the entire membership of the Ahmadiyya Moslem Mission in Ghana and indeed, the whole world.

    I understand his final funeral rites and burial would be performed tomorrow, and the fore court of the State House is the venue for the pre-burial funeral rites. I would wish to invite all Hon Members to join his family and indeed, the entire nation in giving him a befitting farewell ceremony.

    Mr Speaker, on this note, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute on the Statement.
    Mr Ben Abdallah Banda (NPP-- Offinso South) 11:50 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to associate myself with the Statement ably delivered by my Colleague on the painful passing on of Dr A. Wahab Adam.
    Mr Speaker, let me first of all send my heartfelt condolence to the bereaved family of this great man, especially, his surviving spouse and children.
    Mr Speaker, the first time I had the privilege to personally meet this man was sometime in 2002, when he had come to the T. I. Ahmadiyya Senior High School to lead the Friday Congregational Prayer, after which I had the privilege of shaking hands with this great man. Mr Speaker, after shaking his hands, the impression I gathered was that this man, as my Colleagues have already stated, symbolised peace, unity and was a man who was an epitome of humility.
    Mr Speaker, the second time and probably the last time I met this man was in the Kumasi High Court where he had apparently come to seek leave of the Court to withdraw a case for an out-of-
    court settlement. Mr Speaker, I took the opportunity to shake hands with this man again.
    Mr Speaker, those qualities which I saw in this man some years back in 2002 had not been lost on him.
    Mr Speaker, this man has not only served the Ahmadiyya Mission and Islam but has done a lot for this great nation of ours. His seemingly unparalleled services to the nation, especially, on the National Peace Council, Council of State and the many boards this man has served on; the many books this man has authored and the awards this man has received are a living testimony of the fact that this man has lived a life worthy of emulation; worthy of recognition and worthy of appreciation.
    The life of this man tells us that in whatever position that one finds oneself, one should try and give his quota to the development of his community; to the peace and unity of his community and to his nation at large.
    Mr Speaker, with these few words, I associate myself with the Statement ably made by my Hon Colleague.
    Thank you.
    Dr Alhassan A. Yakubu (NDC -- Mion) noon
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to associate myself with the Statement that has been made on this great man and to acknowledge the fact that I believe that all the eyes that saw this great man live his life were capable of emulating his lifestyle.
    I believe many attributes have already been counted. I just would want to add that I constantly admired the simplicity of his appearance everywhere you find him;
    he was very simple and constantly in a white garment.
    It is extremely difficult for many of us of today to be in one colour throughout our lives. This is one person who was constantly in his white dress to try to send a message that it is good for peace to prevail wherever you find yourself.
    I think his simplicity and humility was very loud. It was not only about his person, but he also led very peaceful organizations. One would always find Maulvi Dr Wahab Adams wherever there was peace. He contributed to the peace and not just gaining from peace that is established by others.
    The fact that he was a religious man and positioned religion in the context of social life was also very admirable. He took time to participate in national life, religious life and to ensure that religious bodies came together for the peace of this country.
    I have to admire him once more for the fact that when we started the Night of Power Celebrations in Parliament, he was one of our very reliable participants and constantly responded to our call whenever we had to do this event every last Friday of the fasting in the month of Ramadan.
    It is unfortunate that, the month of Ramadan is just around the corner and I am sure he certainly would have been with us on the Night of Power. Fortunately, I believe he would be with us in spirit.
    May his soul rest in perfect peace.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Ahmed Arthur (NPP -- Okaikwei South) noon
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for this opportunity to contribute to the issue on the floor of the House. My condolence
    Mr Speaker noon
    How young were you then?
    Mr Ahmed Arthur noon
    Mr Speaker, I guess I was around --
    Mr Speaker noon
    This is because, I am also doing some calculations here -- [Laughter.]
    Mr Ahmed Arthur noon
    I guess I would be around four years by then. But beyond that, because my father was an Ahmadiyya member, we always asso- ciated ourselves with him. Once a while, we would visit him. I remember, my senior brother taking me to their headquarters and telling me more about Maulvi Wahab Adam and how my father played a role in getting the headquarters for them.
    This is a man I have come to know and I believe he was an epitome of peace, strength and respect for this country. We would miss greatly. For wherever he is our heart is with him. We love him and like I said, I believe by now my father is congratulating him for a good work he has done for this country.
    Thank you very much.
    Mr Alban S. K. Bagbin (NDC -- Nadowli-Kaleo) 12:10 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the very comprehensive Statement made to eulogize and give us the opportunity to celebrate the life of one of our dignified and illustrious leaders who has just recently transited into eternal grace.
    Mr Speaker, I thank the Hon Member for Wa East for giving us this opportunity. I got to know the late Maulvi Wahab Adam as a young Member of Parliament in the mid-1990s. He had come to my constituency to commission the Ahmadiyya Hospital at one of the towns called Kaleo.
    I was really attached to him not just because of the attire, which we are told is always white and sparkling but because of the aura of the man. He was so genteel, very soft spoken and a very inspirational leader. He carried himself with dignity and, in fact, was an epitome of the religion that he represented. One could only receive kind words from him; one could see love in the man and in fact, he was a complete unifier.
    In Parliament, we had the opportunity of interacting with him on many occasions either at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) on national issues or when the issue about the establishment of the National Peace Council rose and we had to look at the legality of that Council. He was one of the brains that assisted us in trying to carve out this structure.
    Mr Speaker, I said transition to grace because, I believe his nature would have responded to all the requirements of our Maker and I believe strongly that he would be resting comfortably with the Almighty Allah.
    Mr Speaker, I think that the most important role he played is ensuring that people do not see the differences or acrimony between the Muslims and the Christians. Together with our very able leader, the Chief Imam, they made sure that there was peace and harmony between the religions in Ghana unlike other places and we owe this to leaders such as these.
    I just hope and pray that we will get another personality that will fit into the shoes of the late Dr Maulvi Wahab Adam so that we can continue along these lines. He played a very important role in that particularly, the linkages between politics and religion, and this is something that we should try to ingrain in the history of this country.
    With this, I can only try to express my condolences, to see how we can comfort the wife and the children that he has left behind, particularly, the following of the Ahmadiyya Religion. We are happy that they have produced such a leader for this country and may his great soul rest in perfect peace.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Brief comments, then I move to the Leadership.
    Alhaji Habibu Tijani Mohammad (NPP -- Yendi) 12:10 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the Statement made by the Hon Member for Wa East. Mr Speaker, I am deeply saddened by the passing on of Dr Maulvi Wahab Adam, a Missionary in Charge of the Muslim Ahmadiyya Mission in Ghana.
    He was a great religious leader of our time and a man of peace. He was also an Arabic scholar, a humble leader and a human rights activist. Mr Speaker, he made
    profound contributions to Mother Ghana and Africa in respect of spirituality, morality, education, peace and recon- ciliation.
    Mr Speaker, he served in his capacity as the Amir of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission in the National Reconciliation Commission set- up by former President J. A. Kufuor. He also served as a Member of the National Peace Council (N.P.C). For the past one year, until his untimely death.
    Mr Speaker, he has been away on visits in London where he undertook some special duties at the international Headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission.
    Mr Speaker, while in the United Kingdom, he participated in a conference that provided a platform for religious leaders, politicians and diplomats to discuss the distinctive contribution of religion towards peace in the world in the wake of today's upsurge of Islamic extremism and militancy.
    Mr Speaker, he also participated in the International Ahmadiyya Muslim Community annual peace symposium during which Halifatul Maasii honoured Dr Ohene Boakye-Agyei, the founder of Corpus Orthopedic Clinic in Accra for his services to humanity.
    Mr Speaker, my sincere condolence and sympathies go to his family and all Ahmadiyya Muslims across the country and the world. I am also informed that the final funeral activities would be organised at the forecourt of the State House. Mr Speaker, may I take this opportunity to invite Hon Members to it tomorrow.
    Thank you for the opportunity.
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader.
    Minority Leader (Mr Kyei-Mensah- Bonsu) 12:10 p.m.
    Thank you very, much Mr Speaker, for this opportunity to associate myself with the Statement. Mr Speaker, Maulvi Dr A. Wahab Adam, the Amir and
    Minority Leader (Mr Kyei-Mensah- Bonsu) 12:10 p.m.
    Missionary in Charge of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission in Ghana whose transition we mourn today was indeed, a man of many parts, and that is the reason why I associate myself with the eulogy offered by Hon Ameen Salifu in his memory.
    The late Amir was indeed, a transformational leader and he supervised the introduction and execution of several socioeconomic development programmes and projects in the country that have benefited not only Ahmadis but the generality of the citizenry of this country.
    Mr Speaker, we could talk about programmes and projects in health and programmes and projects in education in particular. He was, as many who have spoken before me have said, a peace advocate and he himself lived peace.
    His was a leadership of integrity and purposefulness. He was a leader of religion and he himself was extremely religious. Mr Speaker, he was a very pragmatic leader of religion and not dogmatic. He was politically neutral and walked a middle road. He was politically active for the course of the common man and yet he himself was very selfless.

    Mr Speaker, he was the epitomy of humility, simplicity and peace [Laughter] and while we console the immediate family, especially, the wife and children;

    we must all acknowledge that the entire nation has lost a great man. Mr Speaker, I believe all of us would have to rise in unison to acknowledge that indeed, this nation has lost a great man.

    At this juncture, we can only pray that the Almighty God grants him grace and comfort in the bosom of our Father Abraham.

    May his soul rest in peace.

    Thank you very much.
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader.
    Majority Leader (Dr Benjamin Bewa- Nyog Kunbuor) 12:20 p.m.
    Thank you Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to join my Hon Colleagues in the Honourable House, in paying tribute and our respect to one of the illustrious sons - Maulvi Wahab Adam -- Who I always say, the summary of his life is that he was as spiritual as he was secular.
    Mr Speaker, as many Hon Colleagues have indicated, I have met and interacted with Maulvi Wahab Adam in very unusual settings that were mostly very secular in nature, but in those interactions, we used the opportunity to discuss a number of very useful things. I found out that he was as interested in Christian doctrines, as some of us were interested in Islamic teachings.
    Mr Speaker, my first encounter with him at close range was in Abuja, when he came to represent the religious bodies of West Africa at the instance of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), when I was then submitting the research report on what has now become; “The Treaty on Small Arms and Light Weapons”.
    He made very incisive contributions to that validation workshop, particularly from the perspective of alternative livelihood, to make sure that people do
    not get involved in small arms and live weapons trafficking that were destructive.
    Mr Speaker, the second situation in which I interacted with him had to do with his representation, again this time of civil society in the validation of the common mining code for ECOWAS countries. I remember that he would chair the Committee that I moderated; the one on human rights and I was particularly very surprised about the way he was able to capture the religious dimensions of human rights and how these were affected by mining activities.
    Mr Speaker, my closest link with him more significantly was when I was then a Minister for the Interior, and he again was invited to Elmina to come and chair our attempt at revising the legal and institutional framework of our Narcotic and Drug Architecture. We stayed together for one week in Elmina.
    Mr Speaker, he became a member of the Peace Council that I inaugurated and he was one of the leading members, and significantly he was about the only one that had historical memory of the nascent Peace Council that was not backed by legislation and he brought a lot to bear on the new council and supported the setting-up of that Council.
    Mr Speaker, he certainly has lived a full life, has left his spiritual legacy for Islam and an equally big legacy of secular, social and at times political activities. We certainly would miss him and as my brothers -- The Muslims would say -- It is obvious that by his life experience and what he has done, that algendar certainly is where our Amir would be resting now.
    Mr Speaker, let me join the Minority Leader and other Hon Members of the House to say, may his soul rest in peace.
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Hon Members, let us observe a minute's silence in memory of the Amir.
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Surely, we are all from Allah and to him shall we all return. Amen.
    All Hon Members: Amen.
    Dr Benjamin Bewa-Nyog Kunbuor 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, there are a large body of Committee meetings that are taking place and I guess that after having paid our respect to the Amir, as part of the respect for his contribution, I think this would be a convenient time to put an end to today's deliberations on the Floor of the House.
    Mr Speaker, I therefore, beg to move, that the House be adjourned to 10.00 a.m. in the forenoon on Wednesday, 25th June
    2014.
    Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I second the Motion moved by the Majority Leader for adjournment. I have signalled to him in private, what portion of the Motion that I disagree with, but essentially and in principle, I second the Motion.
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Hon Members, before I put the Question, I wish to announce to the House, as indicated in the Business Statement of last Friday, that, the Speaker of the National Assembly of Benin would be addressing the Committee of the Whole of this House tomorrow, and I want all Hon Members to take note.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    ADJOURNMENT 12:20 p.m.

  • The House was accordingly adjourned at 12.27 p.m. till Wednesday, 25th June, 2014 at 10.00 a.m.