Debates of 2 Jul 2014

MR SPEAKER
PRAYERS 10:40 a.m.

VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT 10:40 a.m.

  • [No correction was made to the Official Report of Wednesday, 25th June, 2014.]
  • Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Hon Members, correction of Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 27th June, 2014.
    Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I noticed that my name has been included in the list of Hon Members who were absent on Friday —
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Absent with permission?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was marked as absent.
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    You were marked absent?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:40 a.m.
    Yes — that is without permission —
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Which should be absent with permission?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:40 a.m.
    I should think so, because conspicuously — [Interruption.]
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    I agree with you— [Laughter.]
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:40 a.m.
    Before I end my sentence —
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Do not pursue further — [Laughter.]
    Any other corrections -- yes, Hon Member for Kwadaso?
    Dr Owusu A. Akoto 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I see on page 14, the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs — it says the “Committee met on Friday, 27th June at 11.30 a.m. and was briefed by the Hon Deputy Minister on five items”. In actual fact, only three of the five were discussed; the two were to be discussed at a later date to be agreed and these are item number (5) --
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Are you suggesting that items (4) and (5) should be deleted?
    Dr Akoto 10:40 a.m.
    Yes, they did not come in that order.
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    So which items were discussed?
    Dr Akoto 10:40 a.m.
    Items (1) and (5) were the two which were actually discussed.
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    You are confusing the Chair, did you discuss two or three?
    Dr Akoto 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, we discussed two: The Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project and item (5) for Fertilizer and Seed Subsidy Programme. The rest were to be discussed at a later date.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Where is the Chairman? Are you confirming that?
    Mr Gabriel K. Essilfie 10:40 a.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Very well.
    We should then delete II, III, and IV?
    Dr Akoto 10:40 a.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Members, the Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 27th June, 2014 as corrected, are hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.
    Item number (3) on the Order Paper — Questions
    Hon Members, we would start with Question 109, standing in the name of the Hon Member for Suhum.
    Hon Member, you have the floor.
    ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS 10:40 a.m.

    MINISTRY OF ENERGY AND 10:40 a.m.

    PETROLEUM 10:40 a.m.

    Mr William A. Quaittoo 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, Hon Frederick Opare-Ansah is absent and he has asked me to ask the Question on his behalf, if I am permitted?
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Very well, you may proceed.
    Q.109. Mr William A. Quaittoo (on behalf of Mr Frederick Opare-Ansah) asked the Minister for Energy and Petroleum what the Ministry is doing
    about connecting the following towns in the Suhum Municipality to the National Electricity Grid: (i) Ayisikrom (ii) Akortey (iii) Kromameng (iv) Gamameng (v) Adidiso (vi) Obomofodensua (vii) Obomena Nkatekwan (viii) Oboatumpan (ix) Korasang (x) Simatare (xi) Snar (xii) Suhum Abisim (xiii) Krobomu.
    Minister for Energy and Petroleum (Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah) 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, Obomofodensua and Oboa- tumpan communities have been earmarked to benefit from electrification project for selected communities in the Eastern and Volta Regions. The project is to be implemented through a financing proposal from Hunan Construction Group Corporation of China.
    Feasibility studies are currently on- going in the selected communities. Alongside the Feasibility studies, the Ministry is going through the necessary approval processes for the Loan and Commercial Agreements. It is expected that the project in these communities would commence before the end of the year, when the necessary approvals have been obtained.
    The remaining communities namely; Ayisikrom, Akortey, Kromameng, Gamameng, Adidiso, Obomena Nkatekwan, Korasang, Simatare, Snar, Suhum Abisim and Krobomu, however, following this request would be included in the feasibility studies being undertaken by Hunan Construction Group Corporation of China.
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Yes, supplementary.
    Mr Quaittoo 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is unfortunate that the Answer he read to us had just been distributed to us, so it is difficult to even come up with follow-up Questions. But then, through out the Answer — the Question wanted specific dates for the connection of electricity to
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Hon Minister, could you tell the House when these communities would be connected?
    Mr Buah 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, as I have stated, we have already identified these communities and feasibility study is being done. We are going through the approval processes and we believe that, all of these processes, including approval from Cabinet and Parliament, we should be able to do this before the end of the year. As soon as all those processes are done, I believe we would start the real implementation of electrification to these communities.
    Mr Quaittoo 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I guess I have no further questions.
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Hon Member for Okaikoi Central?
    Mr Patrick Y. Boamah 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would like to ask the Minister for Energy and Petroleum, that in view of these fuel shortages and the total debt stock of this Government —
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Hon Member, ask your Questions.
    Mr Boamah 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would like to know whether the Government would be able to raise the needed facility to undertake this project.
    Mr Buah 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, as the Hon Member is aware, the Government of Ghana is very committed to ensuring universal access to electricity. We would

    continue to make that progress. The current feasibility studies and the approval process we are seeking is an effort to ensure universal access. So, surely, we are committed to that.
    rose
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Members, these are constituency-specific Questions and as much as possible I would want to move to the Hon Minority Leader.
    Yes, Hon Member, I recognise you, then I move to the Hon Minority Leader.
    Mr David Oppon-Kusi 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, in his Answer, he talks about “feasibility studies”, yet he goes ahead to say that the project would be done. If they are doing feasibility study it would lead them to decide as to whether the project would be feasible or not. If they have not done the feasibility study, how does he then assure this House that the project would be done?
    Mr Buah 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, in ensuring that there is electrification in these com- munities, it is very critical that, these feasibility studies are done. This is because, that would allow the Ministry to know how much materials are needed and what the cost of the project is. That is the only way we can match that in terms of the processes involved.
    At the end of the day, we would determine those communities, the distances and how much materials are needed, we would be able to cost it and say that, this is how much money is needed for electrification in that particular district. So, these processes are very critical in ensuring that, we are able to connect those communities.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think the Question asked by Hon Oppon- Kusi is very relevant because, as the Hon Minister himself has confirmed, the
    feasibility study is to inform how much materials would be required and whether it would be prudent to do that from wherever, and then the cost implications. That then would determine the quantum of loan that should be sought.
    But he is telling us that, alongside the feasibility studies, his Ministry is going through the approval process for the loan and the commercial agreement.Which means that, concurrently they have determined the quantum of the loan and they are looking for approval for it when they have not finished with the feasibility study. What informed him to do that?
    Mr Buah 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think I have to say that those processes that are currently taking place involve identifying the exact materials that would be needed. We are not, quite frankly as I speak to you, even though we have stated the processes, I cannot stand here and tell him that that project would cost US$100 million because we have not finished. That is why I was emphatic in saying that, all of those processes are ongoing and we should be able to finish -- including the approvals from Parliament and Cabinet. I believe at the end of those processes, we would be able to be very exact.
    But at this point, because of the experience of the Ministry of Energy and because of the very critical criteria we use in electr ification which says that communities must be within 20 kilometres of where the national electrification grid is, they must have at least 500 people and certain basic criteria. We are able to select those communities based on that. We are now drilling down to make sure we can get to those numbers.
    Because the processes also take too long we would want to make sure that we can begin some of those processes. But
    at the end of it we are now able to close the gap and be very exact as to how much we would need.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Minister, I think the point is that, strictly speaking, do you call it “feasibility studies”? Because you have to determine the feasibility study first before you even know what is involved before you take the next step. I think that is the essence of the Question. But I know that the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum would call it “feasibility studies”. So explain, that is the point.
    Mr Buah 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that you are right.
    Mr Speaker, in an attempt to let my Hon Member know that all of these processes would have to be gone through, I brought everything together. It is clear that we have to finish the feasibility studies before the approvals are done.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the difficulty is, the Hon Minister is not telling us that the processes have been initiated for a loan. He said that, the processes have been initiated for the loan. It is a definite article that he is using -- “for ‘the' loan”. So, he has something in mind, a specific loan in mind and the Question that is being posed is, without him having finished the feasibility studies and having assessed the quantum of materials, the cost implications and so on and due diligence done even in respect of --
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, at first he said a “financial proposal” then in the second one he said “the loan”. I know in the first one he said “financial proposal.”
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, with respect, the Question is through the Chair to the Hon Minister and I would want to believe that the Chair does not want to assist --
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Minister, Answer the Question.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Minister, you have used the definite article “the” - - “the loan.”
    Mr Buah 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, this is a very lengthy process but I would be happy to take the Hon Member through a brief on these processes. For example, a contractor submits a proposal with a term- sheet, the concessionality of that loan is determined by the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum and the Ministry of Finance. Then its concessionality is accepted. The technical draft and commercial proposals; and undertakings through construction and feasibilities are done because we have to accept that first.
    With the feasibility results and other technical data ready, the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum and the contractor concludes a Draft Commercial Agreement. After that, the Draft Commercial Agree- ment is then submitted to the Ministry of Finance and subjected to value for money analysis. The Ministry of Energy and Petroleum would then seek a Public Private Partnership (PPP) approval for sole-sourcing if that is the case. Often it is not the case, but I am saying if that is the case.
    The Ministries of Energy and Petroleum and that of Finance would then seek Cabinet approval, after that, we then seek for parliamentary approval. But those are part of the processes. I am saying that, it follows in that order.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Members, we move to the next Question, Question No. 110 Hon Member for Atwima Mponua?
    Mr Oppon-Kusi 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is still absent and I -- [Interruption]
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Where is the Hon Member?
    Mr Oppon-Kusi 10:50 a.m.
    He is not in town?
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    So, how did you communicate?
    Mr Oppon-Kusi 10:50 a.m.
    On phone, you know we communicate.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    No, I am particular about this one, because the whole of last week I did not see the Hon Member in the House.
    Mr Oppon-Kusi 10:50 a.m.
    He called me and asked me to ask the Question on his behalf. -- [Interruption] -- He was here last week.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Very well, proceed.
    Electricity to Communities in Atwima Mponua Constituency
    (Extension)
    Q. 110 Mr David Oppon-Kusi (on behalf of Mr Isaac Kwame Asiamah) asked the Minister for Energy and Petroleum when electricity supply from the National Grid would be extended to the following communities in Atwima Mponua Consti-tuency: (i) Akantansu (ii) Baakoniaba (iii) Akwaburaso (iv) Wansamire (v) Awisesu (vi) Kasotie (vii) Kyekyewere.
    Mr Buah 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, Akantansu, Baakoniaba, Akwaburaso, Wansamire, Awisesu, Kasotie and Kyekyewere have all been earmarked to benefit from an electr ification project for selected communities in the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Eastern and Central Regions.
    The Ministry is working on pre- feasibility studies in the communities in order to determine the cost estimates for the implementation of the project. This is to enable the financiers to determine the loan amount required.
    The results of the pre-feasibility studies are expected in July, 2014. This would enable the Ministry to commence with the necessary approval processes for the Loan and Commercial Agreements. It is expected that, the project in these communities will commence in 2015.
    Mr Akwasi Opong-Fosu 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister has just explained to this House that, feasibility studies include finding out the quantities, the lengths and the materials which would normally belong to post-feasibility activities. However, he presents another term, “pre- feasibility”; could he explain to us what ‘pre-feasibility' in their context means?
    Mr Buah 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, before the Ministry would send out the contractor to go into those communities, the Ministry would actually do its homework to determine the communities that must benefit from these electrification projects in terms of the criteria. So we would have some pre-determined names of com- munities. In this Answer, what we are saying is that, we are almost done with that process so that pre-feasibility would be done and we would go forward from there.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, on what studies does the Minister commence the necessary approval process for the loan agreement; is it the feasibility studies or the pre-feasibility studies?
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Hon Minister, you have brought in pre-feasibility and feasibility to the House, so Hon Minister.
    Mr Buah 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think I am allowed to make corrections -- [Laughter] -- I think the word is “feasibility studies”.
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    So you are correcting it from the original Answer.
    Mr Buah 11 a.m.
    That is correct.
    Mr Kwaku A. Kwarteng 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, Ghana's demand for power is growing at 10 per cent per annum; from the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. What the Minister is promising us is that, these communities would be added to the demand. In view of the unreliability of supply, I would like to know from the Minister whether the real intention is to extend reliable power supply to these communities or the intention is to supply power outages to these communities?
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Hon Member, please rephrase the Question. [Laughter.]
    Mr Kwarteng 11 a.m.
    In view of the saying that if “a naked person promises you clothing, you should listen to his name”; given that Government is struggling to respond to the current demand for power, can we be assured that the power that would be supplied to these communities would be reliable?
    Mr Buah 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, with the greatest of respect, this matter of making sure that we have enough power generation is a very serious business. As it has been stated, the Government of Ghana in stating its concerted effort to ensure that we have enough generation has emphasised that, that is very critical, because our country's economy continues to grow; that we continue to extend electricity to these communities.
    Mr Speaker, that is why the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum is unrelenting in its efforts to ensure that, on an annual basis, we add generation capacity to increase our generation capacity and expand our transmission infrastructure. As you will be seeing, in this year, for example in the coming weeks, we would be coming here to add more projects that would expand and make our transmission

    infrastructure more robust to ensure that communities that we are talking about would not only have access to electricity but would have reliable access to electricity.
    Mr Matthew O. Prempeh 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I understood the Minister when he tried to talk about pre-feasibility -- [Interruption]
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    He has deleted “pre- feasibility”, so it is not part of the record; we are talking about “feasibility studies”.
    Mr Prempeh 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you. The Ministry normally sends people on a scoping or scouting mission before they send contractors to these areas to find out whether the villages exist or they do not. In the context of the Answer to the Hon Member's Question, what does he really mean by “pre-feasibility?”
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    He has deleted “pre- feasibility studies” and replaced it with “feasibility studies”, so you cannot ask any question on pre-feasibility, this is because it is no longer part of the record
    -- 11 a.m.

    Mr Prempeh 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, let me rephrase my Question.
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Very well.
    Mr Prempeh 11 a.m.
    I would want the Minister to describe the process the Ministry undertakes before sending contractors to various communities to assess their energy needs.
    Mr Buah 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, they are all part of the feasibility studies.
    Mr William A. Quaittoo 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, in the second paragraph of the Minister's Answer after the feasibility studies, the Minister says that “this is to enable the
    financiers determine the loan amount required”. My questions are; who are the financiers, is it the Ministry that determines the loan amount the Ministry requires or the financier that should rather determine the amount required by the Ministry?
    Mr Buah 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, we did not identify a company because we have competitive processes going on to identify the contractor whose terms are more acceptable and so we have not got to that point. However, the Ministry works, determines and basically goes over the numbers with the contractor and finally makes the determination that this is the number. Therefore, it is ultimately the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum we would select the company or the contractor that will accept those terms.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think you are mixing up the terminologies. He is talking about “financiers” and you are talking about “contractors”; because in his own Answer, as my Colleague had related to him, he said, “the Ministry is working on feasibility studies in the communities in order to determine the cost estimates for the implementation of the project.” Then he comes and says that “this is to enable the financiers determine the loan amount”. So who determines the quantum of amount required? Is it the Ministry or the financiers --
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Hon Minister, look at that sentence there, do you want it to be part of your record?
    Mr Buah 11 a.m.
    Yes Mr Speaker, the reason why we are mentioning funds, financiers and contractors is that, we are talking about turnkey projects. Normally, the contractors are also coming not only with the financial package, but they are also the ones who would implement the project. So in my description, I was boxing
    all these up, but these are all processes. We would normally ask a contractor to come as a Turnkey Contractor who would identify the financing for the project and then we would determine whether that is suitable or not. That is why I keep boxing these two, that was the sense.
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Hon Minister, this is a House of records and they want to know ultimately who determines the loan amount required for the project, that is what they are asking. If you look at the sentence there, the concluding sentence of the second paragraph.
    Mr Buah 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, ultimately it is the Ministry and the Government of Ghana that determines it and so we can correct the records to make sure it is clear.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Please correct it, you are the one answering so you should correct it. -- [Pause]
    Hon Minister, correct your records. Are you getting the point being made?
    It is the ‘sentence that reads as follows; “this will enable the financier to determine the loan amount required.”.
    Mr Buah 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it will be corrected to read that, ‘the Ministry will then determine the amount required.'
    Thank you.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Yes, the last Question.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, just to remind the Minister that ultimately it is not the Ministry, it is this House. So that should reflect in his Answer.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    When they determine it who would do the approval? We will approve; not the determination of the amount but the approval is done by the House.
    Mr Buah 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that is why in my Answer I focused on not only ensuring that we have enough generation but that we have a robust transmission infrastructure, and that we also have a very good distribution infrastructure to ensure that there are no losses; and to ensure that there is stability even at the distribution levels. That is the only way that we can have the surest supply of electricity.
    So, we are not only talking about adding more generations but we are making sure that, all of the things that must be done to ensure that the light stays on in the household is done.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, would the Minister tell us as he speaks today, what the quantum is of electricity generated that is lost through inefficient transmission systems?
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Hon Minister?
    Mr Buah 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that is a substantive Question so I will wait.
    I know that the losses as we speak, have been reduced to 22 per cent according to the records of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the target is to reduce it further to 18 per cent.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Hon Members we move to Question number 114, but Hon Asiamah, you are welcome.
    Mr Asiamah 11:10 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, but I just came. -- [Laughter]
    Ongoing Electricity Projects in Afigya Sekyere East
    (Completion)
    Q.114.Mr David Hennric Yeboah (Afigya Sekyere East): asked the Minister for Energy and Petroleum when would the ongoing electr icity projects at the following communities in the Afigya Sekyere East Constituency be completed? (i) Kokoteasua (ii) Krakrom (iii) Montosua (iv) Morso (v) Hiamankyene.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Hon Members, before the Minister comes to Answer the Question, I would want to inform you that, I will limit this Question only to the Member asking the Question, because, one, it is constituency specific. Two, I have been informed by the Leadership of both sides of the House that, there will be Caucus Workshops. So we want to take time to do a lot of business before the House is adjourned for Caucus business.
    Hon Minister?
    Mr Buah 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, Kokoteasua, Krakrom, Montosua and Morso form part of the Ministry's ongoing Self-Help Electrification Programme (SHEP).
    Installation works for High Voltage (HV) and Low Voltage (LV) works at Kokoteasua are ongoing, and are 14 per cent and 56 per cent completed respectively.
    LV works at Krakrom, Montesua and Morso are 100 per cent complete. Whilst Krakrom falls under existing HV line, HV works at Montesua and Morso are 76 per cent and 78 per cent completed res- pectively. The other major outstanding
    works in all these communities are substation and customer service con- nections.
    The projects in the above-mentioned communities have been scheduled for completion by the end of the 3rd quarter of 2014.
    Hiamankyene however does not form part of the Ministry's on-going electrification projects. Just like all other un-electrified communities, this com- munity will be captured under the new lists being compiled by the Ministry for consideration in upcoming funding initiatives by the Ministry.
    Mr Yeboah 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister mentioned that, the projects in the above mentioned communities had been scheduled for completion by the end of the third quarter of 2014 - I would want to know from the Hon Minister, is he assuring us that by September 2014 -- the third quarter ends in September, my people at the communities are going to be connected to the national grid?
    Mr Buah 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I personally called the contractor before I came, Hon Minister. The contractor's name is Odei Kropa Engeneering Company. I have spoken to him and I am very committed to ensuring that, all what he needs in terms of materials, he will receive them and complete the work on the date that I have given you.
    Mr Yeboah 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would hold my fire till September ending, 2014.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Very well, thank you for holding your fire until September ending.
    Hon Minister, we thank you very much for attending upon the House to respond to the Questions.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Hon Members, at the Commencement of Public Business, Presentation of Papers.
    Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, can we lay item 5 on the Order Paper?
    PAPERS 11:10 a.m.

    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Let me resolve this matter. The other day we deferred item number 6. -- [Pause]
    Are we taking item number 6?
    Very well, First Deputy Speaker to take the Chair.
    MOTIONS 11:10 a.m.

    Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 80(1) which require that no Motion shall be debated until at least
    forty-eight hours have elapsed between the date on which notice of the motion is given and the date on which the motion is moved, the motion for the adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee on the Financing Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the International Development Association (IDA) for an amount equivalent to one hundred and one million Special Drawing Rights (SDR 101,000,000 [US$156.0 million] equivalent) to finance the Ghana Secondary School Education Improve- ment Project may be moved today.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Any seconder?
    Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh 11:20 a.m.
    I second the Motion, Mr Speaker --[Interruption]
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Very Well, we would ignore what he said. Hon Ranking Member, because you were not responding, I believe that is why he did that.
    Yes, Hon Ranking Member?
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I second the Motion but in seconding the Motion, I would want to advise the Majority Chief Whip that agreements are agreements and we must live by them. I think he knows the message.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Members, the Motion has been moved and seconded. I would put the question because it is for the consideration of the House.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Item 7
    MOTIONS 11:20 a.m.

    Chairman of the Committee (Mr James Klutse Avedzi) 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move that, this honourable House adopts the Report of the Finance Committee on the financing agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the International Development Association (IDA) for an amount equivalent to one hundred and one million Special Drawing Rights (SDR 101,000,000 [US$156.0 million equivalent) to finance the Ghana Secondary School Education Improvement Project.
    Introduction
    The request for approval of the Financing Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the International Development Agency (IDA) for an amount of One Hundred and One Million Special Drawing Rights (SDR 101,000,000 [US$156.0 Million Equi- valent]) to finance the Ghana Secondary School Education Improvement Project was presented to the House by the Hon. Deputy Minister for Finance, Mr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson, on Wednesday 18th June, 2014, in accordance with Article 181 of the 1992 Constitution.
    Mr Speaker referred the request to the Finance Committee for consideration and report in accordance with Order 169 of the Standing Orders of the House.
    The Committee was assisted in its deliberations by the Hon. Deputy Ministers for Finance and Education Messrs. Cassiel Ato Baah Forson and Alex Kyeremeh and a technical team from both
    Ministries. The Committee is grateful to the Hon. Deputy Ministers and the technical team for their assistance.
    Reference
    The Committee referred to the following additional documents during its deliberations:
    The 1992 Constitution of Ghana;
    The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana; and
    The Loans Act, 1970 (ACT 335)
    Background
    Available statistics indicates that, Secondary School enrolment has increased by more than 71 per cent in the last five years. While about 490,000 students were enrolled in 2008/2009 academic year, more than 842,000 students were enrolled in 2012/2013 academic year. Even though this enrolment rate puts Ghana among the top countries in the sub-Saharan African region, the country still lags behind other lower middle income countries with comparable GDP per capita in Asia or Latin America, because the increase in enrolment is not accompanied with increase infrastructure to support the growing demand.
    International experience however, suggests that, countries with priority for post basic education attract more foreign direct investment in terms of creating more competitive global industries or services sector.
    Secondary Education delivery is also faced with issues of geographical inequalities in terms of successful completion of basic education and progressing to Senior High School. Students from the poorest 20 per cent of households, the most deprived districts and or rural areas are about 5 to 6 times less likely to access Senior High School.
    Lack of physical SHS infrastructure, difficulty in commuting to the location of existing schools among others, remains a major barrier to accessing SHS in most rural areas in Ghana. As a result, about 75 per cent of the youth do not have access to Secondary Education.
    The quality of school infrastructure and academic performance also shows large disparity between the best 100 schools (mostly located in urban areas and the rest of the schools. Whilst the top schools produce the bulk of those accessing tertiary education, Secondary School education remains the terminal point for majority of students in the rest of the deprived schools.
    To resolve the above problems and improve access to secondary education, the Government as part of its Secondary Education Improvement Strategy committed itself to construct 200 Community Day Senior High Schools across the country. This is in response to the rise in the demand for Secondary Education, due to increased enrolment in basic schools, improvement in completion rate in basic education and the growing pressure on the capacity of existing institutions to meet the growing demand.
    In order to give effect to these commitments, the Government in 2013 made a request to the World Bank to provide financial support for the implementation of the project.
    Project description and components
    The project comprises two com- ponents namely;
    a). Support to increase access with equity and quality in Senior High School; and
    b). Management Research and Monitoring and Evaluation
    a. Component one
    Support to increase access with equity and quality in Senior High School -- US$140.1 million
    This component involves the construction of 23 new Senior High Schools in selected districts; improve 50 existing Senior High Schools through expansion and rehabilitation of existing structures and facilities as well as quality improvements for additional 75 existing SHSs. This component will also provide scholarships to about 10,000 students from low income families with special emphasis on girls.
    Quality improvement through the provision of training for teachers and other educational workers to improve science and mathematics education is also provided for under this component. Further, this component also seeks to improve the quality of education in some 125 selected low performing schools across the country.
    b. Component two
    Management research and monitoring and evaluation - US$15.9 million
    This component aims at strengthening the capacity of Ministry of Education, Ghana Education Service and other relevant implementing agencies to:
    a.ensure effective project imple- mentation;
    b. monitor and evaluate project results and sector performance;
    c. support the development and implementation of Government Senior High School policy and priorities and
    d. strengthen ongoing and new data collection, monitoring and information management system.
    Chairman of the Committee (Mr James Klutse Avedzi) 11:20 a.m.


    Terms and conditions of the facility

    SPACE FOR TERMS AND CONDITIONS - PAGE 6 - 11.20A.M.

    Observations

    SPACE FOR PROJECT COST - PAGE 7 - 11.20 A.M.

    Selection of beneficiaries of the scholarship scheme

    The Committee was informed that to ensure transparency in the selection of beneficiaries of the scholarship scheme, the Ministry of Education would use an Independent Scholarship Administrator who would be selected through com- petitive bidding. It was added that, the selection of beneficiaries would be based on the under listed criteria agreed upon by relevant stakeholders with special emphasis on girls and students from low income families:

    a. any student who takes care of himself or herself;

    b. disabled students without support;

    c. orphans without support;

    d. students living with HIV/AIDS;

    e. students from LEAP beneficiary households;

    f. a student in a household with income below the minimum wage (Daily Minimum Wage = GH¢5.24 in 2013).

    g. A student from a single parent family with low income;

    h. a student, whose parents or guardians are all unemployed;

    i. a student whose parents or guardians are living with a disability or serious;

    j. a student from a large household unable to afford to send all children to school;

    k. a teenage mother without support; and

    l. a student with sickle cell disease.

    Given more insight into the Scholarship Scheme, the Hon Deputy Minister for Education stated that an estimated amount of US$500 per student for each academic year has been proposed and items to be covered by the scholarship would vary according to the needs of each student.

    Also, to ease the problem of distance for those living far from school without a means of transport, bicycles would be provided.

    It was further indicated that, in order to facilitate learning outside of school hours, solar lamps would be provided to some of the scholarship recipients.

    The feasibility of providing bicycles and solar lamps would be determined after a com- prehensive monitoring and evaluation of needs assessment. The Hon. Deputy Minister gave the following as among other items to be funded under the scholarship package:

    Items

    1. School uniform fabrics

    2. School uniform sewn

    3. School sandals

    4. School bags

    5. Note books

    6. Pens and pencils

    7. Rulers

    8. Supplementary readers

    9. Math sets

    10. Sanitary pads

    11. Other approved fees and levies on the students' bill

    Selection of beneficiary schools

    The Committee noted that Brong Ahafo, Eastern, Upper West and Volta Regions are not part of the beneficiary regions. The Deputy Minister for Education explained that the four regions were not covered as a result of the criteria used in arriving at the beneficiary districts.

    According to the Minister, districts to benefit from the construction of the new schools are those without Public Senior High Schools. He further indicated that, in selecting Schools for quality upgrading and infrastructural expansion, all districts in the country were ranked using the size of the district in terms of population of 15 - 17 years old, the demand for Senior High School in the district in terms of enrolment and district poverty indices and the bottom 80 districts were selected for the project.

    The Deputy Minister added that, similar criteria were adopted to select bottom 50 schools for facility upgrading and bottom 125 schools for quality improvement.

    The Deputy Minister however, informed the Committee that, the four regions have been catered for under the Government of Ghana Project and that Brong Ahafo, Eastern, Upper-West and Volta regions have seven (7), five (5), three (3) and six (6) of their respective districts

    being provided with new and modernised educational facilities.

    Oversight responsibility of the select committee on education

    The Committee observed that, the project and the components therein, when properly implemented would help increase access and improve quality secondary education in the country. The Committee therefore urges the Select Committee on Education to regularly monitor its implementation to ensure that the intended objectives are realised.

    Conclusion

    The Committee, after careful examination of the facility and the purpose for which it is being sought is of the view that, the implementation of the Project will help increase access to secondary education, remove the infrastructural imbalances between rural and urban schools and improve educational infrastructure in Senior High Schools across the country. Further, the facility is concessionary with favourable terms and conditions.

    The Committee therefore recommends to the House to adopt its report and approve the request for approval of the Financing Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the International Development Agency (IDA) for an amount of One Hundred and One Million Special Drawing Rights (SDR 101,000,000 [US$156.0 Million Equiva- lent]) to finance the Ghana Secondary School Education Improvement Project in accordance with Article 181 of the 1992 Constitution and Order 169 of the Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.

    Respectfully submitted.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second Motion No. 7 on page 3 of the Order Paper. While I am speaking, the Hon Majority Chief Whip is sitting here and disturbing me. He should go to his side of the House. The agreement we have made is related to this. He is disturbing your hearing of my words.
    Mr Speaker --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Majority Chief Whip?
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker is calling you.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Majority Chief Whip, can you move to your side of the Chamber?
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:20 a.m.
    Thank you Mr Speaker for addressing the issue.
    Mr Speaker, this is a World Bank facility which is supposed to help improve secondary school education in Ghana. When the Hon Deputy Minister was asked, if out of the twenty three new Senior High Schools, this was in addition to the two hundred promised by the President, he said no.
    I wonder how it can be a no, because if the Government itself is not able to finance it and is looking for a facility from the International Development Association (IDA), there is nothing wrong with this. So the question we have to ask is, if the promise in the budget is fifty schools, twenty three of them are being --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Yes Hon Member?
    Mr Kyeremeh 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would just want to make this correction. I said the 23 schools are part of the 200 Senior High Schools (SHSs) and everybody was there, I was not there alone, the Deputy Minister and other Committee Members were there and can attest to this fact.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, in the Budget Statement, I believe an amount of, I believe, GH¢103million was programmed for 50 schools. This facility could not have been in the Budget Statement. So we have approved a Budget of a certain amount. This year, if this facility is utilised, we would exceed the Appropriation's Act, that is why I asked the question earlier. What is the point in approving this now when it cannot be implemente and it would be attracting a commitment fee because we cannot disburse?
    Mr Speaker, that notwithstanding, I am sure at the appropriate time the Hon Minister would address it.
    Mr Speaker, in an earlier discussion with them and the Clerk, the impression was given that, the scholarship amount was US$500 per term which would translate to $1,500 per year and I discussed this with the Clerk but the Report is showing something different. I would want the Hon Deputy Minister to address this matter. I thought at the Committee, the impression we were given was that, the amount of US$500 is per term and there are three terms, therefore we get US$1,500.
    But now we are being told it is $500 per year for three years. There was some misunderstanding at the Committee level because, I subsequently discussed this with the Clerk and I was given a different impression.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:30 a.m.


    Mr Speaker, let me look at the criteria that has been used for selection for scholarships.

    (a) Any students who takes care of himself or herself.

    How is the Ministry going to identify this group?

    (b) Disabled students without support?

    What mechanism is going to be used to determine this?

    (c) Orphans without support.

    Who is going to be in charge of this to identify this group?

    Mr Speaker, I can go on and on but let me go over to the next page, page six (6).
    Mr Speaker, if you look at 11:30 a.m.
    (e) Students from Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) beneficiary households;
    (f) a student in a household with income below the minimum wage (Daily Minimum Wage= GH¢5.24 in 2013).
    Mr Speaker, that criterion is also used in identifying a LEAP beneficiary; so if I fall in (F) do I get $500? Then I fall in (E) do I get $500? Mr Speaker, there could be double or triple counting and the Ministry should look at this closely. Mr Speaker, go on to --
    (g) A student from a single parent family with no income.
    In the LEAP Programme that criteria is also used. So one student could fall under (E, F and G) are they going to be getting $500 times three because they fall under
    Mr Speaker, look at 11:30 a.m.
    (j) A student from a large household unable to afford to send all children to school;
    Mr Speaker, what are we saying? If somebody decides to have ten children, that is their choice. That criteria is saying we are going to fund you, what type of signal are we sending? You choose to have ten children and you say you are unable to support them and this Government is saying we would fund your children.
    Mr Speaker, we have to be very careful, we cannot encourage people who choose to have 20 children and know that they cannot afford them -- that is the criterion here.
    Mr Speaker, this is not acceptable and this House cannot encourage people who want to procreate for their own benefit. It is a bad moral thing we are encouraging and this House should remove that criterion.
    I am surprised the Ministry of Education is proposing this criterion, it is clearly immoral and we should delete that, because, what signal are we sending and sooner than later everybody is going to look at this criterion and say, me I want to have 12 children and we would have to give them a scholarship. Mr Speaker, this is unacceptable.
    Mr Speaker, if you look at the items, “School Uniform Fabrics” and “School Uniform sewn”, Mr Speaker, what is the difference between ‘School Uniform Fabrics' and ‘School Uniform sewn'? You need a fabric to sew so once you say school uniform sewn it implies there is fabric. So what are we saying here? Mr
    Speaker, the Ministry should be careful not to put things together, because you provide a loophole for people to cheat the State if you are not very clear. Thankfully, the institution that is going to disburse this criterion has not been selected yet and this is why somewhere in the Report we are urging the Select Committee on Education to pay a close mind to these criteria in terms of implementation, because if they do not, we are going to have problems.
    Mr Speaker, I do not have any problem with them paying for sanitary pads for young ladies. If they cannot afford it, I think it is fair.
    Mr Speaker, if I recall and unfor- tunately I do not have my paper here. Mr Speaker, I thought this issue about research, monitoring and evaluation was not purely research and monitoring and evaluation, but enhancing the capacity of the Ghana Education Service (GES) staff to monitor the Programme. This is because Mr Speaker, over 10 per cent for monitoring and evaluation, these people already exist in the Ministry. We are going to pay GH¢48 million or there about for them to do research, monitoring and evaluation from a loan of US$156 million.
    Mr Speaker, this is clearly unacceptable and I think this House cannot allow this to go on. We need to be clear in our minds what goes into this research monitoring and evaluation.
    Mr Speaker, every time we go and borrow money, we set up a project monitoring unit, as if the people do not exist already at the Ministry. We are paying for them as it is, but we are going to set up over 10 per cent. Mr Speaker, that is as much as we are spending on the expansion of the 50 schools, US$16
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Order! Order!
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that there is something wrong. The Ministry and the World Bank ought to sit down and clarify this. It is clearly unacceptable. You are only spending US$9million to upgrade 75 existing institutions, then you are going to spend $16million on research, monitoring and evaluation, does it make sense? Why do we not spend US$16 million to upgrade more schools, so that more communities can benefit, instead of paying monies to people sitting in Accra to do the monitoring?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Hon Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Avedzi 11:40 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    I am on a point of order against the Ranking Member. He just said that he is aware that negotiations were done in Washington and it is true. Is the Hon Member trying to say the World Bank Officials who have gone through this Agreement and have agreed that the GH ¢ 15.9 million for the monitoring is an amount that would go into building capacity of the officials of the Ministry and Ghana Education Service, to ensure that the objective of the project is attained?
    Is he doubting the integrity of the officials of World Bank? -- [Uproar] -- that even though World Bank have agreed that they are providing the funding, he is saying that we cannot bring this thing to the House? [Uproar]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Very well. Hon ranking Member, please proceed.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, under normal circumstances, I would not have responded to this Point of Order by the Chairman of my Committee, but I was scandalised by his statement that this august House, full of men of integrity, do not have the right to question what the World Bank people have done. He is the Chairman of the Finance Committee; is he saying that we should just rubberstamp it?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Order! Order!
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, we have been brought here by people who have elected us to make sure that the tax- payers money is spent well. [Hear! Hear!] Mr Speaker, we are just being told about what
    happened in Brazil. We have just been told about MPA and you want us to add this to it. It is an insult to this House.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Avedzi 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, we all know how to play to the gallery. I can also play to the gallery. The Hon Ranking Member of the Committee was present at the time we discussed this Agreement at the Committee level. What did he do at that time? He accepted it so why is he now talking? --[uproar]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Order! Order!
    Hon Members, let us have some Order in this House. Hon Ranking Member, please resume your seat. I would ask you to continue but Hon Members, we need to have some Order in this House.
    This is a report which is being submitted to this House for its consideration. You are free to make your comments as you deem fit at the end of the day, after we have debated; we would take a decision one way or the other. I do not want the Chairman and the Ranking Member to reduce this debate into exchanges. So as much as possible, Ranking Member, if you have made your point, proceed to the next point so that we can make some progress.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, with respect, when the Chairman was reading the Report, I did not interrupt him, I got up to give my opinion and he is questioning my right to question people. That is not acceptable, I think he should be asked to withdraw. This is a House of debate -- [Interruption]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Hon Member, you have made your point, and Members have listened to the points that you have made, if there are any more points you want to make, please go ahead; at the end of the day, we would all debate it, and then take a decision.
    Yes, Hon Ranking Member?
    Dr A. A. Akoto Osei 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that as a House, we ought to do ourselves a favour and move from partisan idea of; “because it is coming from the Government, it is good.” That is why some of the people in the Executive, treat us the way they treat us.
    Just last Friday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration treated us with impugnity. This is the reason, because they believe that everything they bring would go along partisan lines. Mr Speaker, we should henceforth realise that we are not here to serve that purpose but we are here for the people of Ghana. If it is not good, it is not good for Ghanaians that is why we should question trends. It is up to them to provide proper justification.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Hon Member, please concentrate on the Report before the House.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am urging this House, that as of now, given the information before us, I think that we should reject this . [Hear! Hear!] The reasons are obvious.
    I would want to remind Hon Members that October, 30th 2012, the Hon Speaker was in the Chair, the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum brought before us a loan of US$1 million for the “Bui project” if we could recall. This House asked for explanation for US$51million and they could not provide it. What did we do? We said they should suspend that part of it, and come and justify that other part. That was the decision taken by this House on similar grounds.
    Mr Speaker, as we speak, the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum has not come back to justify that. But information available to all of us tells us that, part of the US$5 million, some of it is going to be used to construct an airport at Bui, a n d some of it is going to be used to construct a golf course. This House has not approved it, and this is a similar situation.
    We should not approve this whole thing, unless they have proper justification. We must do ourselves a favour because posterity would not look at us well if we come to approve something like this.
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Alhaji Amadu Bukari Sorogho 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, not in a form of contribution but a point of order, I have been called -- [Interruption.]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Order! Order!
    Can we have some Order? Yes, Hon Member proceed.
    Alhaji Sorogho 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want your guidance . It is true that out the Committee level, you can -- [Interruption]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Hon Member, please complete your submission.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, my good friend Hon Kwabena Donkor has come in, and he is raising his hands again. When he finishes, we should allow him to -- [Interruption.]
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Member, are you up on a point of Order?
    Dr Kwabena Donkor (NDC -- Pru East) 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Member mentioned the construction of a golf course. The facts of the situation is that Bui power authority, as part of the Bui city project, presented a document that indicates that, they are looking for private sector funding to build among other things, a golf course, resort, hotels, and so on, as part of the Bui city project, which fortunately, our Hon Colleagues on the other side of the House initiated. Public funds are not meant to be used for the golf course.
    This is a matter of record, Mr Speaker.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, with respect to the Chairman of the Committee on Energy, I am talking about the components of the loan that are going to be used for this purpose. Unfortunately my bag is not here, I would have tendered that document here. Mr Speaker, GH¢1.5 million of that loan, not private sector funding, is meant for the airport.

    That is the amount that came to Parliament, so he is completely off.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Very well, Hon Member your point has been well made, could you continue with your submission?
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that my point has been made.
    I like the World Bank Loan because it is concessionary. I think that if it is going for education, I am all for it, but I think currently, the information we have does not justify us to approve of it the way it is. I am urging this House to suspend debate on this, so that the Ministry could come back and provide more information for us to see our way clear. I am afraid saying that, because somebody in the World Bank has approved of it, is no justification for you and I to rubber stamp. Otherwise, why are we here?
    The World Bank people cannot tell us what to do with the money. We are borrowing it, so let us look for value for money, and re-organise such that some of it goes into expansion, which is what we need; not research, monitoring and evaluation.
    Some of it would go back to their officials, not Ghanaians, so, Mr Speaker, we have to be careful.
    With these few words, I thank you.
    Question proposed.
    Minister for Information and Media Relations ( Mr Mahama Ayariga) (MP) 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think the principle of securing this facility to improve the secondary sector in Ghana's education, is not a matter that there is disagreement about.
    I think that, listening to our friends opposite, they raised specific issues, so I would focus on those issues.
    Mr Speaker, I listened to the Hon Member, and he raised a number of questions regarding the criteria that is being used to determine the beneficiaries of the scholarship scheme.
    Mr Speaker, I think that he has raised an issue relating to whether or not the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) beneficiary households; a student from a LEAP beneficiary household, if the person is benefitting from a scholarship, whether it does not amount to some double sponsorship of a student who, otherwise, is unable to afford the cost of secondary education.
    Mr Speaker, I have checked and the minimum amount that LEAP households get is around GH¢80.00, and the maximum is around GH¢140.00. If we agree that a decent secondary education costs about US $500.00, which is captured here, we could see clearly that, a beneficiary of a LEAP programme would not be able, with that amount to afford secondary education. So, that person would still be entitled to a scholarship package here, which is US $500.00. I do not think that really there is a problem, determining that beneficiaries of LEAP programmes would qualify.
    Beneficiaries of LEAP programmes are not expected to use the entire amount to finance the education of their children; remember that these are poor households; they have very basic needs such as food, clothing and sometimes medical care, and so if we want to burden the little amount that they are getting with the cost of secondary education, then you might end up impoverishing them further.
    So, Mr Speaker, I do not think there is an issue about LEAP beneficiaries benefitting from the scholarship package. And the issue about students from large --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Hon Minister, if I got him right, what he was talking about was the fact that, under the criteria for determining whether one could
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am sorry.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    All right, Hon Minister, go ahead.
    Mr Ayariga 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, these are criteria, and individuals may be “afflicted” by several of the same problems, so one may end up being disadvantaged by being an orphan, and probably also living with a family that is a beneficiary of a LEAP programme, et cetera.
    The same person could have the misfortune of being afflicted by several unfortunate situations. In a situation like that; the person would use one of the criteria to qualify. I do not think that the people who would be determining who the beneficiaries are would abuse the process. But the criteria must be set out, and if somebody happens to fall into several of those same criteria, I do not think there is a problem with deciding that one of them makes that person eligible.
    The second issue that he raised was a person from a large household unable to afford to send all children to school, and he took a position that we would be encouraging irresponsibility in terms of family sizes et cetera.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Minority Leader, are you up on a point of order?
    Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, yes, I am up on a Point of Order.
    Mr Speaker, seriously I do not get the Hon Minister. Somebody has made his point. The Minister is busily taking the points one by one and answering him; I do not think that is right, I do not understand. If he has to make any contribution, he should make his contribution. I do not think that is how he should debate.
    If he wants us to debate like that, let him continue.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Hon Member, I believe that is in order. We are debating, so it is a question of expressing your views, even if somebody has expressed some other view.
    Mr Nitiwul 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am saying that he could express his views without necessarily saying that, “because he said this, I am going to answer him”. He should stop that.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    I believe he could do that. Just like the Hon Ranking Member took the Report, and item by item, raised certain issues. Somebody else could also take his issues that he raised, and respond appropriately.
    Mr Nitiwul 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would not want to draw you into the debate, but what I am saying is that, if you get up on a point of order, against a point somebody has made, then that is different. But when the person has sat down and has no then you get up point after point, instead of debating what is there, you are taking what he has said and you are answering him, it is not right.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Majority Chief Whip?
    Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am just shocked and surprised by the utterances of the Deputy Minority Leader; we are guided in this House by the Standing Orders. I would have been happier if you could quote a section of Standing Order that has been flouted.
    Mr Speaker, we are debating the Motion; every one of us could choose the style that the person would want to adopt. The only thing that you could not do, is that when you want to adopt a method that frowns on the Standing Orders, and I would be happy for him to point, which part of the Standing Orders is being flouted.
    Our Colleague, the Minister, Hon Mahama Ayariga is contributing to the debate, and he is raising the issues that are in the Report, so I do not know what he is talking about.
    Mr Speaker, I would be grateful if you would rule him out and allow the Hon Colleague to continue.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Very well, Hon Minister, please proceed.
    Mr Ayariga noon
    Mr Speaker, the other issue that he raises is why we have ‘school uniform fabrics' and ‘school uniform sewn'. Mr Speaker, the arrangement is simple; there is this discussion around how to promote local industry and there is a position that it is important in some communities not to sew the uniform somewhere and bring it to them. You rather send fabrics to the community so that the tailors, seamstresses and garment manufacturers in the local setting would also have an opportunity to provide the tailoring service for the sewing of the school uniform.
    The implementers would make a determination whether the setting is such that if you send the fabrics, they would be able to sew the uniforms for the children. If it is a village school where you do not have many tailors and you are afraid that if you send fabrics they may not be able to sew the uniform for all the children, then you would sew the uniform elsewhere and then you transport to them. So, it is making room for promoting local industry, and I think that this is a very ingenious, creative and laudable programme.
    Mr Speaker, there is also the question of monitoring and evaluation and issues have been raised about the component of the expenditure that is researched, monitored and evaluated. The amount that has been allocated for that is US$15.9 million. Mr Speaker, this is a project that is largely construction-base. We would be rehabilitating 75 existing Senior High Schools. When we say we would be rehabilitating 75 existing Senior High Schools, it might mean that we would be carrying out not less than 300 different construction projects.
    This is because in a high school, you may have three dormitories which had deteriorated to a point where you would need to rehabilitate them. You would need to rehabilitate the Dining hall, you would need to rehabilitate the Assembly hall, you would need to rehabilitate the Science laboratory. So, in the same school, you may have ten different projects even though it says 75 existing schools, you could have several projects in an existing school.
    Mr Speaker, if you take the current practice of engineering services for construction work, they have an average percentage that they take for monitoring and providing services for construction.
    Some might be as much as ten per cent, others can be as low as five per cent depending on what percentage you negotiate.
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker noon
    Hon Member, are you on a point of order?
    Mr Osei-Owusu noon
    Yes, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, the Hon Member on the floor is misleading the House. Mr Speaker, the cost of supervision of construction is part of the construction cost. [Interruption.] Again, the total loan consists of two parts: scholarships and so on, so you cannot use the total loan as the basis of determining percentage for evaluation. Probably, what would assist us is for us to know what is contained in the evaluation and monitoring.
    The evaluation and monitoring here, if you read the Report, it is saying that the Committee of Parliament should be doing the monitoring. Monitoring and evaluation cost here is a legitimate issue and he is misleading the House by suggesting that a percentage of the total loan is calculated at the cost of evaluating the project.
    Mr Ayariga noon
    Mr Speaker, let me list the number of activities that are captured under research, monitoring and evaluation. Mr Speaker, first and foremost --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker noon
    Hon Member, your time is limited. Please, begin to wind up.
    Mr Ayariga noon
    Mr Speaker, first and foremost, there is scholarship adminis- tration, so part of this amount would be used for the management of the scholarship programme. The whole elaborate process of determining who the beneficiaries are, is a costly one and expenditure would be incurred which would come out of this component.
    Secondly, Mr Speaker, there would be impact evaluation cost of the entire project at the end of the project, this would come from this component. Mr Speaker, because activities would be taking place at over 100 different locations, and most of the District Education offices do not have vehicles, part of this money would be used to procure vehicles for monitoring the activities of this project. We are talking about activities dotted at over 100 locations across the country.
    Again, Mr Speaker, under this component, there is what is called “web base monitoring”. So an Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) platform would be constructed that would enable everybody in the community to be able to take a photograph of the project wherever it has reached and then post it on this ICT platform so that anybody anywhere can determine exactly what stage the project has reached.
    Thirdly, Mr Speaker, under this component, there is also an activity which is called “school mapping”. School mapping would involve the use of Global Positioning System (GPS) to map every secondary school in this country. The idea is that, we want to be able, at the click of a button, to know the location of every secondary school in this country. Then also, Mr Speaker, at the end of the day,
    the cost of consultants who would be providing all sort of services would all come under this particular expenditure. It is management, research, monitoring and evaluation.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to assure you that, this is a meticulously thought through programme, it is the solution to our problem with poor quality secondary education and I can assure you that if we approve this facility and it goes through and we implement it, we would see the result in the end, that it would significantly improve the quality of our secondary education and ultimately improve the quality of tertiary education.
    On that note, Mr Speaker, I urge Hon Colleagues to vote overwhelmingly for this facility, so that Government would be able to continue to provide quality secondary school education programme.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker noon
    All right. Hon Member, I think your point is well made.
    Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu (NPP -- Dormaa Central) noon
    Mr Speaker, I rise to contribute to the debate and I would like to say that taking concessionary facilities from International Development Agencies, the World Bank is not a very bad exercise or work the Government would like to do. But as a I read this Report, the way it is, Mr Speaker, I would have nothing else to say but to urge all my Hon Colleagues in this House, both sides of the House, to ask the Chairman of the Finance Committee, the Minister for Finance, the entire Finance Committee to go back and listen to what we are talking and make changes to this before we even subject this to an approval by the House.
    Mr Speaker, why do I say so? Mr Speaker, as I speak, I have had occasion with the Public Accounts Committee to
    go round the whole country talking to teachers and school managers. Teachers who have been recruited to teach in existing secondary schools for the past 18 months or so, they have not got any salaries. We are now going to borrow money, build new schools and expand them, how are we going to recruit teachers and pay them? How are we going to do this, Mr Speaker?
    When we talk about the scholarships, it is very, very amazing to me that a Deputy Minister for Education leads this crusade, goes through the Committee and then excludes Brong Ahafo Region, my region from the scholarship scheme. He excludes Western Region, Upper West Region from the scholarship scheme. Mr Speaker, what is the basis that informed this exclusion? Does the Hon Deputy Minister for Education, who comes from Techiman, want to tell us that there are no orphans in Brong Ahafo Region, no students from LEAP homes in Brong Ahafo Region, there are no students whose parents have lower incomes in Brong Ahafo Region and in the Upper West Region? What is the basis for this exclusion?
    Mr Frist Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Hon Member hold your breath. I would normally have liked you to conclude before I ask him to respond. Since he is here, Hon Deputy Minister, please how do you respond to this small issue that he has raised?
    Mr Agyeman-Manu 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker with your indulgence, let me even add the Volta Region. The Chairman of the Committee is from the Volta Region. We are going to give ten thousand scholarships, and we have excluded Volta Region.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    No, Hon Deputy Minister, please respond. Were you not listening to the point he was making?
    Mr Kyeremeh 12:10 p.m.
    I was listening. Mr Speaker, this is clearly captured in the Finance Committee's Report, and if the Hon Member has not read it, he should please go through it. The World Bank had a criterion for the selection of the twenty two Senior High Schools and among others they said they were going to give a school to a district without a Senior High School, and in the Brong Ahafo Region, all the new Districts and all the districts each has Senior High School, for that matter we were not part of it.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Thank you.
    Hon Member please proceed with your submission.
    Mr Agyeman-Manu 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    You have the floor Hon Member, continue.
    Mr Agyeman-Manu 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to continue to ask a few more questions. I know, and all of us know that we have a Scholarship Secretariat in this
    Mr Agyeman-Manu 12:10 p.m.


    country. Why would we now want to go and appoint a new person, create a new cost centre to administer these ten thousand scholarships for us in this country? What is the basis?

    Mr Speaker, as we go along, our expenditure is getting higher and higher, our revenues are not flying, we cannot pay arrears, yet we are now creating new course centres. How do we fund this? If you are giving ten thousand scholarships by US$500 per year to the Scholarship Secretariat, could this not be done at no cost?

    Mr Speaker, let me go ahead and ask more questions. We are going to give school sandals --
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Hon Chairman of the Committee, are you up on a point of order?
    Mr Avedzi 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Member mentioned my name specifically, trying to attribute that, even though I was chairing the Committee, I did not fight for a school to be selected from the Volta Region.
    Mr Speaker I would want to refer him to a paragraph in the Report. On page 7, the second paragraph.
    The Deputy Minister however informed the Committee that the four regions have been catered for under the Government of Ghana project and that Brong Ahafo, Eastern, Upper West and Volta Regions have seven, five, three and six schools respectively in their districts, being provided for under the new and modernised educational facility.
    Mr Speaker , Volta Region has been taken care of, Brong Ahafo --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Hon Member point well made.
    Hon Member please proceed.
    Mr Agyeman-Manu 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, with these few interrogative questions, I would like to end here and let my Colleagues try to vote against this Agreement until they listen and make changes to the Report that they have sent to us.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Very well, thank you.
    Yes, Mr Hon Deputy Minister?
    Mr Kyeremeh 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in attempting to address some of the concerns raised by the Ranking Member, I would like to state that indeed we would not be exceeding appropriations.
    Mr Speaker at the Committee level, I did provide a disbursement schedule for the very Facility we are talking about, and indeed it was agreed that this year, we were going to disburse approximately GH¢27 million. For that matter we did programme in the budget an amount of GH¢ 60 million for that and I doubt that we would be exceeding our appro- priations. So, Mr Speaker, I would like to confirm to the House that we would not be exceeding Appropriations as has been said by the Ranking Member.
    Thank you.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Yes Hon Prof. Fobih?
    Prof. Dominic K. Fobih (NPP-- Assin South) 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is true that we need to increase access to secondary education and expand resources so that many of our youths who are now passing the Basic Education Certificate Examination (B.E.C.E) and increasing the population of secondary education can have places. We also equally need to improve facilities and expand the existing facilities.
    Mr Speaker, I do not clearly see the difference between upgrading and expansion, which are itemised separately here. This is because you cannot expand without improving quality and expansion involves upgrading as well. So the two amounts are doing almost the same things and I think that it should be redefined and properly allocated.
    I also observed that research and monitoring alone is attracting more than what is required even to do expansion or upgrading work. GH¢15.9 million is going into research, monitoring and evaluation. Yet we do know that in the Ministry, we have the unit there already which is being serviced by our budgetary allocations.
    If this is going to assist them with vehicles, I wonder how many vehicles we are intending to buy to support the project, such that it has to get more money than the actual work we are going to do on the field. So, I think it should be restructured so that more money is put into the real work, the expansion and the upgrading of more secondary schools which are important to actually meet our current needs than putting more money into buying more vehicles with additional cost in fuel and the maintenance and so on and so forth, to waste all the money.
    I also feel strongly that taking a foreign loan to buy sanitary pads, rulers, pens and pencils, Mr Speaker I think is out of place. Why can we not use our own budget to support such a thing --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Yes Hon Majority leader, are you on a point of order?
    Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor 12:10 p.m.
    Yes Mr Speaker, I am actually regrettably on a point of order.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Hon Prof. Fobih, can you resume your seat?
    Dr Kunbuor 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have observed with so much dismay a number of the Reports of the Finance Committee on these facilities, which shall be doing a lot of violence even to our own Standing Orders. When you refer a matter of a financial facility like this to a Committee of Finance, the Committee is supposed to report to this House on the terms and conditions of the facility.
    But because these terms and conditions have never been abstracted properly, we stray into policy matters for other Committees. Mr Speaker, that is what I am saying. This debate seems to have been on a report from an Education Committee when we are supposed to -- I have not yet heard a serious challenge to the terms and conditions of this IDA Facility. That is the mandate of the Committee, and that is what we are looking at and called upon to approve or not approve.
    Mr Speaker, I rose on this point of order in terms of relevance, that we must be debating this Report based on the relevance and the remit of the Committee of Finance. I have had occasion to draw the Committee's own attention to the fact that they should not get involved in a referral that has not been sent to them.
    MR SECOND DEPUTY SPEAKER
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Yes Hon Prof. Fobih, you have the floor, please continue.
    Prof. Fobih 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am assuring the Hon Majority Leader that I am commenting on the Report of the Committee; I am not speaking outside the Committee's Report. Therefore, what is here is what I am commenting on -- [Interruption.]
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I agree with the Hon Majority Leader that we should be refocusing on the remit of the Committee on Finance, to which has been referred this business. But Mr Speaker, I would want to inform that, the Hon Member on his feet is not out of order, because Mr Speaker, the remit of the Finance Committee should be that, they shall inquire into matters that are referred to them relating to finance and the economy generally. It is not only the terms and conditions.
    It is the effect of whatever loans on the economy generally. So, Mr Speaker, if the Hon Member is making his contribution relating, to how it would affect the economy generally, I think he is still within the remit of the Committee's Report. To make that intervention that he is making, he is not out of order.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Hon Prof. Fobih, are you through with your submission? If not, you have the floor; please continue.
    Prof. Fobih 12:20 p.m.
    I will finish, please.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Otherwise we would be digressing into certain areas that would not help us. I think the Hon Majority Leader made a
    point. He made a general point. It was not specific to a particular Hon Member's contribution. But let us make some progress.
    Prof. Fobih 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I furthermore suggest that, certain items that have been listed as assistance to students for the scholarship should be looked into. This is because some of these items, I think, can be supported by our normal budgets and should not be supported with the loan facility that we are actually taking from outside.
    There are also certain issues like construction of 23 new Senior High schools at a unit cost of US$4.3 million. In their own proposal for the 200 Senior High Schools that the President intended to build, they said each one was going to cost US$6 million. We have US$4.3 million, so where is the consistency? I am only happy that now, the realistic sum has been put down which conforms to the figure that was proposed in the 2012 New Patriotic Party (NPP) proposal for the construction of Senior High Schools. This sum is realistic but it is not consistent with the earlier proposal, and I am happy that they have now come to reality with that.
    Mr Speaker, I would also like to make some observation, that in matters like this, I would plead that your office refers it to a joint Committee so that the Education Committee can make input at the Committee stage.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Indeed, that was exactly the point that the Hon Majority Leader was making, you know, that it should be a joint Committee level -- Yes, Hon Majority Chief Whip --
    Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka (NDC -- Asawase) 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion and also urge my Hon
    Colleagues to support this Motion, so that this House would approve the said amount to enable the Ministry of Education carry out the very important activities as listed here.
    Mr Speaker, there were some few issues that I would be very grateful if the Ministry may take on board. For example on page 5, the Selection of the beneficiaries -- we talk about “Students living with HIV”. Mr Speaker, students may be living with HIV but may be coming from affluent homes.
    rose
    Alhaji Muntaka 12:20 p.m.
    But Mr Speaker, having said this, I would want to draw our attention to the issue earlier raised about research, monitoring and evaluation.
    Mr Speaker, if you look at the document that I believe, the Committee might have had the privilege of going through, which I hold here, it reads
    “The World Bank International Development Association -- Project Appraisal Document on the proposed credit in the amount of . . . and then the figure --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Hon Member, are you up on a point of order?
    Dr Prempeh 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the policy in this country regarding HIV does not discriminate against affluence and non-
    affluence, even poverty. Besides, we have not even had a cut-off point of who is affluent in this country. So I agree with him, but for him to say that, we should make amendments and say if you are living with HIV, only if you are affluent, I think it would fly in the face of policy -- [Interruption] -- that was what he said. If that is not it, he should clarify what he said about HIV.
    Alhaji Muntaka 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague knows very well that what he is talking about has to do with access to medicine, where the medicine that is given, especially, the anti-retroviral drugs, there is no discrimination on whether you can afford it or not. But with this, we are talking about education and I am saying that because the criterion that has been set, first, is to ensure equity --
    If you look at the Report that has been presented, it keeps talking about the issue of equity and to be equitable, you should not just say that because someone has AIDS automatically, the person qualifies for scholarship. That is just what I wanted to draw attention to, to say that it should also be that the person cannot afford. So that is also taken on board in line with the general view that it is about equity.
    Mr Speaker, back to the issue about research, monitoring and evaluation. I was just looking at the detailed report that I believe the Committee had. Mr Speaker, if you look at what the intention for the research is, and with your permission, on that said document page 8 -- it says;
    “Component tool -- Management, Research, Monitoring and Evaluation”.
    It talks about the monitoring system to be established and functioning to annually track data and publish

    information on all Senior High Schools in Ghana. It is not talking about the 23 new schools that are going to be built, it is also talking about all secondary schools. He has also talked about research and sector analysis to be conducted to inform elaborations of secondary education strategy.

    Mr Speaker, all of us know, for nothing, management systems that would require computers, internet connectivity are things that are very expensive. This House, I remember very well, in 2007, came here with a loan facility to enable the National Health Insurance Authority to have an information system that would enable them track whatever activities that are going on across the country. Mr Speaker, if I remember very well, the amount then was US$15 million.

    Mr Speaker, I would want us to be looking at this as the quantum of what is going to be done, not only under the heading “Research, Monitoring and Evaluation”. I believe the likes of most of our Hon Colleagues, the former Hon Minister for Eduction, Prof. Fobih, would attest to the fact that, when we talk about research -- [Interruption] -- we are referring to activities that are very expensive. When we want to do it and do it well, it is not just collating the collection of data but also analysing the data.

    All of us who have had the privilege of doing one research or the other know that, these things are things that cost money, and it is not for only one year, it is for a number of years. So, I think that if like the Hon Ranking Member for the Finance Committee mentioned, if the details were not provided, I would entreat that we encourage the Finance Committee that, when such documents are given, they

    extract the details of the descriptions, so that it does not create the impression as if it is just a line item, “monetary and evaluation”, but that it goes into much detail than just what is stated in the Committee's Report.

    Mr Speaker, I would want to say that all of us, as we go across our consti- tuencies, especially, those of us who have secondary schools within our consti- tuencies, would attest to the fact that most of the infrastructure are challenged, and this is a better time to improve on most of them, I think this is a golden opportunity.

    I would also want to emphasise the comment made by the Committee itself, that the Committee on Education should try as much as possible to keep tracking and monitoring the activities as itemised, so that they would ensure that what we want to do with the said amount of money is achieved and at the end of day, we are not short changed.

    Mr Speaker, with this comment, I would want to urge all my Colleagues to support this Report to approve this said amount to enable the Ministry of Education to carry out this laudable project.

    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Two last contributions and then we --
    Ms Rosemund C. Abrah 12:30 p.m.
    None

    Yes, Hon Member?
    Ms Rosemund C. Abrah (NPP -- Weija/ Gbawe) 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rose on a point of Order, but he has finished. Anyway, I can still make my input.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Member, your point -- [Uproar]
    Order! Order! Hon Member, I believe you concluded your submission? Hon Member, have you concluded your submission?
    Ms Abrah 12:30 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker, thank you.
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Yes Hon Members?
    Mr Joe K. Gidisu (NDC -- Central Tongu) 12:30 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker. -- [Uproar]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Order! Order!
    Mr Gidisu 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think we need to treat this matter more seriously than some of our Colleagues are doing. My Hon Sister who just spoke was a former District Director of Education in a very deprived area.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Member, I do not want you to go personal. Make your contribution and let us go on, please.
    Mr Gidisu 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the point I would want to make is that, in terms of identifying items that ought to be taken under the scholarship provided under the facility, a lot of us here are looking at those items from our point of view --
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Member, are you on a point of order?
    Ms Shirley .A. Botchwey 12:30 p.m.
    Yes, I am. The Hon Member said that some of our Colleagues are not treating this matter seriously. Nobody is here to joke, we are all serious. This is a serious matter and I think he should withdraw his statement. That part of his statement must be withdrawn because nobody is joking here.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Member, your point is well made, except that, the Hon Member who spoke before the Hon Member got up to speak also kept saying “we should be serious”, “we cannot be serious using this…”.
    Hon Members, let us all avoid the use of that expression and let us make progress.
    Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
    Dr Kunbuor 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker and Hon Colleagues, I guess that -- [Uproar.]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Order! Order!
    Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
    Dr Kunbuor 12:30 p.m.
    I guess that we need to treat our processes with a bit of decency. We are rising to complain about indecent language, yet even when the person presiding is trying to clarify the issues to enable him preside, Hon Members shout across to him, this is unacceptable. Despite the fact that one is addressing the Chair, it is unacceptable to shout across to him. It is not polite.
    So let us handle this matter. One can always disagree with the Chair, but there is a way of disagreeing with the Chair with some decorum, please.
    Mr J. K. Gidisu 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, what we have to take very serious note of is that, the scholarship is targeted at a particular group of students or peoples of this country. They are not children of Colleagues or the affluent type.
    Mr Speaker, We are all representing Constituencies. As a Member of Parliament coming from a rural constituency, I am very much aware that some people are regarding this as not necessary for example, sanitary pads, some students from very deprived areas go to school, and they do not have them, especially the girls, take census -- [Uproar] -- yes, sanitary pads.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Members, with so much noise in the Chamber, we can hardly hear Hon Members when they make their contributions. Can we have some quietness? He has the floor, let us listen to him, and at the end of it; we would know what to do.
    Yes, Hon Joe Gidisu?
    Mr J. K. Gidisu 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the major point I would want to put across is that, the scholarship is targeted at a group of students who are outside the social milieu of our affluent members of the society, and I want to urge Hon Members not to look at these items from their personal perspectives in terms of their own financial backgrounds.
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in describing the category of Ghanaians that the Hon Member on the floor considers as affluent, he pointed to his right hand side, that is those of us to his right hand side.
    Mr Speaker, he should begin with himself. In this country, everybody knows that he is part of the affluent class. Begin with yourself, and point an accusing finger at your own chest.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Order! Order! Order!
    Hon Minority Leader, I think the point he made was a generalized one, he was not referring to any special side of the House. He was referring to Hon Members of this House -- All Hon Members of this House.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, he pointed to the right hand side, those of us here and I am saying that he should point to his chest --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Hon Joe Gidisu, can you conclude --
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:40 p.m.
    He should point first to his own chest. Everybody in Ghana knows where he belongs --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Hon Joe Gidisu, can you conclude?
    Mr J. K. Gidisu 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I referred to us as Colleagues Hon Members but if they are looking at themselves -- No, it could not be myself but -- [Interruption.]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Hon Member, please, address the Chair.
    Mr J. K. Gidisu 12:40 p.m.
    I just want to say that there is the need for us to look at the type of students who the scholarship is targeted at and we should not judge it to be the individual items that come under them.
    With these comments, Mr Speaker, I would want to urge Colleagues to support the facility and get it approved.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Hon Members, I gave a directive that we were taking two last contributions from either side; we have exhausted it. So, Hon Members, --
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Yes, what is?
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I just want to correct him. The statement about the fact that the category refers to a certain sector of society -- Less affluent -- Is
    incorrect. He should go to page 5, item numbered (d) “students living with HIV/ AIDS” may be affluent. Yes! So he should correct himself.
    Mr Speaker, he should go to page 6, “a student with sickle cell disease” may come from an affluent family. So, he is misleading the House by giving us that impression, he should withdraw that statement.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    I do not think that statement is wrong, it was a target he was talking about; the target. There might be a few exceptions but it is the target.
    Yes, Hon Deputy Minister, can you just wind up?
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
    Dr Kunbuor 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I just guess that, let us get this for the records very clearly, particularly, when we are talking of poverty as a development category. Indeed, poverty is no more the issue of lacks and wants; you can have somebody who is very affluent but is considered poor because the physical or medical condition renders that person poorer than somebody who does not have the wherewithal but happens to be physically strong. So they compensate for each other.
    That is why I am just drawing attention to the fact that, it does not mean that if one is affluent and you have a disability or a challenge, you are at the same level as somebody without that challenge. In my view, is significant.
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    After you, then the Deputy Minister would wind up.
    Mr Nitiwul 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I seriously disagree with the Hon Majority Leader.
    When you go to point number (i): “a student whose parents or guardians are living with a disability or serious -- “-- they just left it there.
    If you remember one, Stevie Wonder, if you know him well -- The musician -- He was born without seeing and that is a serious disability. But I do not think any of us here can live any affluent life than he is currently living or his children.
    Under the conditions we have now, Stevie Wonder's children would be part of this scholarship.
    In other case, the side of this House, what we are saying is that, when you are constructing a school at GH¢13.76 million, it is just unjustifiable. We know the structures; six structures. With Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) those same structures would be constructed for less than five million --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Hon Member, you rose on a point of order but you are now straying into certain areas which are outside your point of order --
    Mr Nitiwul 12:40 p.m.
    No, it is the same point of order that I am telling him that I disagree with --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    No, you were responding to the Hon Majority Leader's submission.
    Mr Nitiwul 12:40 p.m.
    Yes, and I am pointing out to him that when you are building a school at GH¢13.76 Million, it is out of place. When you are doing capacity building at GH¢50.88 million, it is out of place. That is what I am saying.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Hon Member, you are out of order. This last bit of it, you are out of order.
    Hon Members, if we go on like this, we would not conclude the proceedings. I want as to get the Deputy Minister to wind up, then we would know what to do.
    Hon Majority Leader?
    Dr Kunbuor 12:40 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker, I certainly agree with you. All I am saying is that, I really wish the Hon Deputy Minority Leader had cited a Steve Wonder in Bimbilla and not from the United States of America. You cannot use two completely different economies as a standard measure of what is happening in Ghana.
    If he were able to show me a Steve Wonder in Bimbilla, I would have agreed with him.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Hon Members, that debate comes to a close.
    Yes, Hon Deputy Minister, please, wind up.
    Mr Nitiwul 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Minister for Chieftaincy and Culture --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    You do not have the floor --
    Mr Nitiwul 12:40 p.m.
    The Minister for Chieftaincy and Culture's children fall under (ii). Are you saying that the Minister for Chieftaincy and -- I am not talking about Bimbilla, I am talking about the Minister for Chieftaincy and Culture --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Hon Deputy Minority Leader, you do not have the floor.
    Yes, Hon Deputy Minister, please, wind up.
    Mr Alex Kyeremeh 12:40 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    I have listened to the debate and I have a strong opinion that human development has a direct correlation with economic development and that is why we are so serious to get this money to enhance human development in this country.
    Mr Speaker, the Ghana Education Strategic Plan which was formulated in 2010 and which will end in 2020, has it that, by 2020 the number of pupils or students in Senior High Schools would be 700,000. But as we speak now, in 2014, we have 840 students that is why the need to expand infrastructure in our Senior High Schools.
    This loan would address access and equity. By the end of this programme, we hope to expand access to senior high schools to about 30, 000 students.
    On the scholarship, let me hasten to say that, we have a good practice from a non-governmental organisation (NGO) and we are going to develop a manual that would help us come out with a roadmap to disburse this kind of scholarship to our people.
    On the items in the scholarship, they are very important and studies have shown that, if girls are in secondary schools and they have problem with sanitation they would not come to school. That is why we have put all these into the scholarship, so that we will be able to cater for the girl-child.
    On this note, Mr Speaker, I thank you very much and I hope that the House will support this loan.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Question put and motion agreed to.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Hon Members, Order! Order! Hon Members, could we have some order? Let us have some order in this House.
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, this side of the House is challenging the verdict of the voting as pronounced by the Speaker, and accordingly we call for a Head count.
    Mr Speaker, it is a principled position that we are taking and it is foundationed on the fact that, we appreciate the importance of this Agreement to support our school children.
    Mr Speaker, however, we believe the right thing ought to be done, when in the Budget of this country, we have voted an amount of GH¢2 million to construct one school so named under this regime, we cannot in another breadth say that it should be GH¢13 million. Mr Speaker, it cannot be r ight. When the School Feeding Programme and Capitation Grant and others are in arrears, we cannot then come to take a loan to do what we are doing -- [Interruptions.]--
    What happens after the disbursement of the loan? How do we continue the Scholarship Scheme? Mr Speaker, this is a very lousy Agreement and we are calling for a Head Count on this.
    Dr Kunbuor 12:50 p.m.
    Hon Colleagues, I guess those of us who have had a few more years in this House could testify that on these types of matters, where the points have been raised and concessions have been made, no matter how extreme it is, the practice of a Head Count should be rarely invoked.
    Dr Kunbuor 12:50 p.m.
    I am saying this dispassionately because I would still continue as Majority Leader, that we arrive at decisions in this House based on consensus. What I am saying is that, if you set-up this precedent, it means that every issue has to be voted on and this House stands to lose.

    I would like to leave it at that and I am throwing the challenge that he could insist and call the vote on it. Whether it stands or falls, he is introducing another level of culture into this House which I do not want to encourage. I never want to use Majority numbers to defeat scientific reasoning, that is why I have never been keen in us arriving at decisions in this House by numbers. I am saying this for posterity and because of what I have known in this House.

    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
    Some Hon Members 12:50 p.m.
    We want to vote!
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Hon Members, if we cannot have order in this House, how could we proceed. Let us have some order so that we could hear the submission being made by Members. Otherwise, there would be no progress being made. Can we have some quiet?
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have called for a Head Count and nothing in what I have said should suggest to anybody that, I am demanding that on any item in this House we should take a Head Count; nothing in this.
    Mr Speaker, I do not know where this extrapolation of reasoning is coming from. Nothing in what I have said should suggest to anybody that this acid test should be applied. I have not said so. Except that I am saying that in this case, we are strongly against it and there should be a Head Count. That is all that I have said.
    Dr Kunbuor 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I just wanted to correct; I do not by any intimation indicate that the Hon Minority Leader was advocating that we should vote on every item. I am simply saying that the subject matter of this decision has financial implications for this economy and having listened to the debate, I believe that almost every point of concern has been registered, and all I was doing was making an appeal that the tendency to go into a number vote might not auger well for consensus building.
    This is all that I am saying; I have not in any way said that, we are saying that we have to vote on it.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 12:50 p.m.
    Thank you very much. Mr Speaker, normally, after Leadership has spoken --[Interruption.]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Let us have some order. Order! Order!
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 12:50 p.m.
    The matter is settled. Mr Speaker, but in the light of what the Majority Leader has said, I would also implore him to as much as possible let all matters raised at the Committee level be exhaustively discussed, understood, and reflected in the Report.
    Unfortunately, the Hon Majority Leader was not at the meeting of the Committee. He is a Member of the Committee and he would have realised
    that these issues were raised and even suggestions made that, a referral be made to Mr Speaker, so that these matters could be more exhaustively discussed at joint Committee because the Finance Committee's remit could not exhaustively deal with the matter. Unfortunately, -- [Interruptions] --
    Please, if we would be calm, I never contributed to the debate but this is the outcome of some of these things.
    I was at the Finance Committee meeting, and I was the one who raised the matter that we did not have expertise in these matters, so let us get the Speaker to make it a joint referral so that the Education Committee could have its input because it has the technical expertise. That was the suggestion I made.

    We are the masters of our own procedure, so I do not have a problem with it.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
    Dr Kunbuor 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker I -- [Interruption] -- Please! Please! I do not want this matter taken out of context. I have looked at the Committee's Report. I have also been briefed about some of the discussions. The presumption basically where the Report does not show

    Mr Speaker, this is not the first time that a number of issues have been brought to me about the modus operandi in the Finance Committee and I have used the opportunity to speak with the Ranking Member and to speak with the Chairman of the Committee.

    They can testify to the fact that I have always insisted that they should reach common ground before the Report comes because of the peculiar nature of that Committee.

    Mr Speaker, I am saying this also from experience. I have been a Ranking Member of this Committee before. Interestingly enough, the current Ranking Member was a Minister for Finance. We know specifically the effects of loan facility when it gets defeated in the House and we have accommodated this in the national interest since I was Ranking Member.

    I am simply saying that, because of the peculiar nature of this facility, let us let this facility go while we correct our own internal mechanisms on what we disagree with.

    I am not taking sides on who is right or who is wrong. We are just finding a middle ground to be able to address this matter for the future. That is all that I am asking Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Ranking Member?
    Dr A. A. Osei 1 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    I would not have said anything but the Majority Leader specifically referred to me. I would just want to remind him to take his mind back to what happened on STX and the CDB loan. Similar issues were raised and look at what we are in. I think that when we get those types of things, in my view, the proper thing is to suspend this; Leadership confers and then come back.
    If we want to bully our way through and people are talking this way, we may pay a price later. So I would plead with you --
    Dr Kunbuor 1 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker, all I am saying is, it is because of the stage that we have reached. I was drawing the Hon Members attention to the fact that, some Reports before they found their way here, they have drawn my attention to them and I have not declined. I have asked them to hold on with the Report till consensus was built.
    Where we have reached now is that, a ruling has been given by the Speaker on a voice vote and then he is asking that he would want a Head Count.
    I am simply saying that, for God sake, let me plead that let us not take that additional step on this matter. But if we had reached a particular stage I would have been all for it and the channel is still open for Leadership to confer on this matter.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    Hon Members, let us have some order. Hon Members, after the voice vote what I said was I think the “ayes” have it, so that it is not conclusive. If it is possible, I would like Leadership to confer. If it is possible for this matter to be deferred for Leadership to confer and then -- [Interruption] -- Please, Order! Order!
    Hon Members, I am saying this because, I am more interested in
    consensus building than splitting the House. [Uproar.] So that when the Committee goes back, the Ministry of Education can assist with inputs and Hon Members can arrive at a general consensus. I think that would be in the best interest of this honourable House. Yes, Hon Majority Chief Whip?
    Alhaji Muntaka-Mubarak 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is important that we keep the proceedings that we have in this House.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    Order! Order!

    Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
    Dr Kunbuor 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is why this -- Interruption.]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    Order! Order!
    Dr Kunbuor 1 p.m.
    This referral that is made has a number of challenges. I sincerely believe that, I could count on my honour as Majority Leader to make that plea. Mr Speaker did not listen to my Colleague on the other side after the plea had been made. So, it becomes very difficult for this matter to be referred to Leadership because one is simply asking that we do things in a particular way. Yes, I know, but
    if you were to refer this matter because of the nature of this back to Leadership from what has happened at the plenary, then we run into a challenge. I believe the decent and neater way is for us at plenary to agree and move forward on this matter. This I think prevents us from me and you on a matter like this. I do not think it is a healthy thing and that was what I did not want to encourage.
    I definitely respect numbers but it is not always that numbers should decide a matter. That is why, Mr Speaker, I am repeating my plea to my Hon Colleague on the other side because he raised it based on the Standing Orders. If we can proceed on that and then we can allow the voice vote to stand, then we move from there.
    But any referral creates a challenge even for us at the Majority.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
    Mr Nitiwul 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it looks like the Majority Chief Whip and the Majority Leader are singing from different hymn books. The Chief Whip is telling us that if we want to vote, they are ready to vote but the Majority Leader is pleading that we should re-look at it.
    Mr Speaker, we are ready with Standing Order 113, let us follow the position of Standing Order 113 as espoused by the Chief Whip of the Majority and let us move on. That is what he said -- [Interruptions] -- He is supposed to help this House to run --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Order! Order!
    Hon Members, under the circumstances, I have no choice than to take to a Head Count, so I direct. Table Office, please carry out the Head Count.
    Question put and the House counted.
    AYES -- 105
    NOES -- 83
    Resolved accordingly.
    Dr Kunbuor 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we would take item (8) on the Order Paper.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Yes, item (8) on the Order Paper—Hon Minister?
    RESOLUTIONS 1:20 p.m.

    Minister for Finance (Mr Seth Emmanuel Terkpeh) 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that
    WHEREAS by the provisions of article 181 of the Constitution and sections 3 and 7 of the Loans Act, 1970 (Act 335), the terms and conditions of any loan raised by the Government of the Republic of Ghana on behalf of itself or any public institution or authority shall not come into operation unless the said terms and conditions have been laid before Parliament and approved by a Resolution of Parliament;
    PURSUANT to the provisions of the said article 181 of the Constitution and sections 3 and 7 of the Loans Act, 1970 (Act 335), at the request of the Government of
    THIS HONOURABLE HOUSE 1:20 p.m.

    Mr James Klutse Avedzi 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we on this side of the House want it on record that, we are not part of the consequential Resolution.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Order! Order!
    Hon Majority Leader?
    Dr Kunbuor 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have heard the observation of the Hon Minority Leader on this matter, but let me say that this is a very long journey.
    Mr Speaker, I do not intend to accompany anybody on this journey and so Mr Speaker may proceed as is appropriate.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, with respect to my Hon Colleague, I have not even thrown any invitation for him to join us so we are in charge of whatever is good for us. We do not need his company—Stay where you are — [Laughter.]
    Dr Kunbuor 1:20 p.m.
    In fact, thank you very much. I am very happy that the Minority Leader is very much in charge of the Minority —I am very much in charge of the Majority — [Hear! Hear!]
    Question put and Motion agreed to
    Resolved accordingly.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader?
    Dr Benjamin Bewa-Nyog Kunbuor 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am aware that both caucuses have some engagements immediately after adjournment, so I beg to move, that the House do adjourn to tomorrow, at 10.00 o'clock in the forenoon.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Any seconder to the Motion for adjournment?
    Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion for adjournment, there being nothing useful for us to continue.
    ADJOURNMENT 1:20 p.m.