Debates of 16 Jul 2014

MR SPEAKER
PRAYERS 10:20 a.m.

VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT 10:20 a.m.

  • [No correction was made to the Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 15th July, 2014.]
  • [No correction was made to the Official Report of Thursday, 10th July, 2014.]
  • Mr Speaker 10:20 a.m.
    Hon Members, item number 3 on the Order Paper -- Question time.
    We will start with the Urgent Question standing in the name of the Hon Member for Anyaa/Sowutuom.
    Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
    Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor 10:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister is out of the jurisdiction and I would want to apply that the Deputy Minister should answer the Question in his stead.
    Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul 10:20 a.m.
    Fair enough, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 10:20 a.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Member for Anyaa/Sowutuom?
    URGENT QUESTIONS 10:20 a.m.

    MINISTRY OF WATER 10:20 a.m.

    RESOURCES, WORKS AND HOUSING 10:20 a.m.

    Mr Speaker 10:20 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Ms Botchwey 10:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank the Deputy Minister for his response but I would like to know at what stage the process of constructing the storm drain is.
    Mr Ahi 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the engineering work started in April, this year, 2014 and it is expected to be completed in December, 2014. After that, the actual work would commence.
    Thank you.
    Ms Botchwey 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am aware that the project is a collaboration between the Netherlands Government and the Government of Ghana. The Netherlands Government is providing 35 per cent of the funds and the Government of Ghana counterpart funds is 65 per cent.
    Mr Speaker, we all know that most of the times, when it comes to government counterpart funds, we experience delay in most projects. Can the Hon Deputy Minister tell the House what has been done, or can he assure the House that at the end of the year when the project commences, government's part of the funds would be available and it would not delay the project?
    Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Minister?
    Mr Ahi 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Ministry considers this project a priority and all efforts would be made to ensure that the project is executed.
    Thank you.
    Ms Botchwey 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, my last supplementary Question would be on the Hon Minister's Answer which states that, the Ministry does regular de-silting and also temporal irrigation measures are always carried out. To the best of my knowledge, there is no regular de-silting. We have adhoc de-silting going on in some parts depending on the severity of the flooding. I would like to find out from the Hon Minister if he can furnish us with the programme they have.
    I ask this because once you have regular de-silt, or a regular project going on in terms of de-silting, you must have a programme. Mr Speaker, if I can know what the programme is so that I can monitor that programme of regular de-silt and irrigation measures being taken.
    Mr Ahi 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, under the National Flood Control Programme, major drains in the country are normally de- silted. Last year, some exercise was done and this year, we have applied to the Ministry of Finance for clearance to embark upon another de-silt. As he said, it is done intermittently after the rains and certainly, this year, something would be done.
    Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Minister, we thank you very much for attending upon the House to respond to Questions from Hon Members.
    Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
    Hon Members, we also have the Hon Minister for Energy and Petroleum in the House to respond to Questions from Hon Members.
    Question number 111-- Hon Member for Atwima Mponua --
    ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS 10:30 a.m.

    MINISTRY OF ENERGY AND 10:30 a.m.

    PETROLEUM 10:30 a.m.

    Minister for Energy and Petroleum (Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah) 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, all the eight communities listed above have been earmarked to benefit from an electrification project for selected communities in the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Eastern and Central regions.
    The Ministry is working on engineering surveys in the communities in order to determine the cost estimates for the implementation of the project. This is to enable the Ministry determine the loan amount required.
    Results of the engineering surveys 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 would commence in 2015.
    Mr I. K. Asiamah 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is indicated here that and I quote:
    “for the loan and commercial agreements”.
    Can the Hon Minister brief the House what kind of loan and commercial agreements he is expecting to bring to the House?
    Mr Buah 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, before we actually start real implementation of those projects on the ground, a lot of processes are involved. One of those processes is for contractors to express interest with financial proposals. These proposals are then sent through the Ministry of Finance to go through due diligence, value for money and a whole lot of processes. It would also lead to going to Cabinet and to Parliament for approval. Those are the processes that we are currently working on.
    Mr I. K. Asiamah 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, so how long would this process take? This is because, from the processes and steps he has enumerated, one wonders how soon it is going to be. I would want to know how long those processes are going to take.
    Mr Buah 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the processes are ongoing. What we project is that, these communities and these processes would be concluded so that we can start this project in 2015.
    Mr I. K. Asiamah 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, he said 2015, so confidently, I can go and tell my constituents that in 2015 they would enjoy electricity. Is that the assurance given to the House by the Hon Minister?
    Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
    He said the project would commence in 2015. That is what he put in the Answer there.
    Mr I. K. Asiamah 10:30 a.m.
    So, it begins in 2015 and ends when? That is my question.
    Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
    Hon Minister, it would commence in 2015; he wants to know when it would end.
    Mr Buah 10:30 a.m.
    A lot of factors would be involved in this. I cannot give the exact month. For example, when Parliament would approve that loan or when Cabinet would approve it? We have to finish the electro-fitting of this place. A lot can happen but the Ministry is very determined to ensure that these commu- nities benefit. We have set a very aggressive timetable for universal access to electricity and we are going to make sure that these communities benefit from electricity by the end of 2015.
    Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
    Question number 112.
    Electricity Supply from the National Grid to the Atwima Mponua
    Constituency (Extension)
    Q.112. Mr Isaac K. 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 Constituency: (i) Dodowa (ii) Bentekrom (iii) Kwadwo Forjuorkrom (iv) Bayerebon No. 1 and 2 (v) Obuasekrom.
    Mr Buah 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, all the five communities listed above have been earmarked to benefit from an electrification project for selected communities in the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Eastern and Central regions. The Ministry is working on engineering surveys in the commu- nities in order to determine the cost estimates for the implementation of the project. This is to enable the Ministry to determine the loan amount required.
    The results of the engineering surveys 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 would commence in 2015.
    Mr I. K. Asiamah 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is the same Answer provided so I would not want to belabour the point. But just to ask for an assurance; when would the Atwima Mponua Constituency have universal coverage of electricity?
    Mr Buah 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, when we began the electrification project, we set a 30-year target and we projected that there would be universal access by 2020. His Excellency, President Mahama has even made the universal access goals more aggressive that we were targeting to access by 2016. So, we are very aggressive in trying to get to the Hon Member's community.
    Dr Kojo Appiah-Kubi 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, from the response of the Hon Minister, it appears that electrification projects or programmes of the Ministry are only undertaken with loans from outside. Does it mean that the Ministry does not receive any GoG resources to undertake electrification projects?
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Hon Member, that is not supplementary really. We are talking about connecting certain specific communities mentioned in the Question and now you are talking about source of funding.
    Dr Appiah-Kubi 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, let me put my Question in another form.
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Please do.
    Dr Appiah-Kubi 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it appears that the Ministry undertakes projects in Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Eastern and Central regions or selected communities in these regions through loans. My question is, does it mean that the Ministry does not receive GoG resources to undertake electrification projects in these communities?
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Well, it is not strictly supplementary but I would allow the Hon Minister to respond.
    Mr Buah 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, those are turn - key projects that we do through these loan agreements. But there is also a complementary project that we do call self-help electrification project, which the Ministry does through budget support, and under those projects, the policy is clear. If communities are within 20 kilometres of the grid, communities can provide their own poles, and when they are ready, then the Ministry would come and support them with the other materials required to connect them. Those projects are ongoing.
    We are doing a lot of these through budgetary support. So, indeed, apart from these Turnkey projects, we are also doing complementary projects through self-help.
    Mr Buah 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, Edinkrom does not form part of the Ministry's ongoing electrification projects. It may be recalled that, the Ministry, in an effort to connect all un-electrified communities to the national electricity grid, has written to all MMDAs to forward to the Ministry all such communities. The exercise of enlisting all un-electrified communities is still ongoing. Edinkrom would be captured under the new lists being compiled by the Ministry.
    The remaining communities namely; Otwereso Praso, Apoli Ningo, Ofosukrom and Oforikrom have been earmarked to benefit from an electrification project for selected communities in the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Eastern and Central regions. The Ministry is working on engineering surveys in the communities in order to determine the cost estimates for the implementation of the project.
    The results of the engineering surveys are expected in July, 2014. This will 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 K. N. Osei 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to find out from the Minister whether he is aware that, these towns and villages that I have mentioned, engineering survey works were done in 2008, and
    subsequently they were supplied with poles, and after nothing has been done about this?
    Mr Buah 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, this is a new information. I would be happy to work with the Ministry and the Hon Member to find out. My information is that we are now undertaking these surveys, but I would be happy to work with the Hon Member to ascertain what the facts are.
    Mr K. N. Osei 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to ask the Minister, if he is also aware that these towns and villages especially, Apoli Ningo and Edinkrom that I have mentioned, are just about 2 km away from a sub-power supply point?
    Mr Buah 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am not aware. But I think if it is close to the grid, those could be candidates for a Self-Help Electrification Project (SHEP), and I would humbly suggest to the Hon Member to work with the Ministry to make sure that we can, instead of waiting for a turnkey loan project, work together to connect those communities, because from the description, the cost of connecting them would not be as expensive and the Ministry would be prepared to work with the Hon Member.
    Thank you.
    Mr K. N. Osei 10:40 a.m.
    Thank you Mr Speaker, I am done.
    Mr William Agyapong Quaittoo 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, in the Answers provided by the Minister, Questions numbered 111 and 112 and even the one under discussion, his last paragraph says that, the results of the engineer's office are expected in July 2014. Mr Speaker, with your permission I quote;
    “This would enable the Ministry to commence with the necessary approval processes for the loan and commercial agreement.”
    My emphasis is on the word “the”.
    If he is saying that this would enable the Ministry to commence with the necessary approval process for the loan and the commercial agreement, it means that, a loan has already been arranged. Is that the situation?
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Ask your Question? What is your question?
    Mr Quaittoo 10:40 a.m.
    My Question is that, the Minister in his Answer said that --
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    What is the question? You have laid the foundation.
    Mr Quaittoo 10:40 a.m.
    My Question is; does the statement mean that a loan has already been arranged?
    Mr Buah 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, we are working on such a facility, and as part of those processes, we need to understand which communities, the distances from each other, the cost for extending electricity for these communities, those processes are currently ongoing. We do not have a loan until Parliament approves one, but we are working on those processes.
    Mr Quaittoo 10:40 a.m.
    Then Mr Speaker, I guess that the word --
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Please, you do not have to do that. Ask your Question.
    Mr Quaittoo 10:40 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for your correction.
    Mr Speaker, I am only saying that, then the rendition there, the word “the” must be changed to “a”.
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Hon Minister, what do you say to that?
    Mr Buah 10:40 a.m.
    Thank you, Hon Member, I believe it would be corrected.
    Rural Electrification Project in Tatale/Sanguli District
    (Commencement)
    Q*116. Mr James Cecil Yanwube asked the Minister for Energy and Petroleum when the Rural Electrification Project would commence in the Tatale/ Sanguli District.
    Mr Buah 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, Tatale/Sanguli as a District capital, forms part of the Ministry's ongoing Newly Created District Capitals Electrification Project.
    Detailed designs are currently being done for installation works to commence by mid-August, 2014. The project is expected to be completed by the end of
    2014.
    Mr Yanwube 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would like to know from the Hon Minister; the Chinese were in charge of the project some time ago. Are they still in charge or who else is in charge, so that we can liaise with them? What I am saying is that, there were some Chinese who were in charge.
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Hon Minister?
    Mr Buah 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum and our consultants were in charge, so he can consult the Ministry and we would be happy to help regarding any questions he may have.
    Mr Yanwube 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, let me ask this question: Is this current project part of the five constituencies or local district that the President promised some time ago?
    Mr Buah 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was specifically talking about the newly created district capitals electrification project. These were not part of those communities that he was talking about, but those projects are also ongoing. If they are stalled, I would be happy to work with the Hon Member to try to make sure we address the challenges.
    Mr Yanwube 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much.
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    I thought you have exhausted your supplementary questions.
    Mr Yanwube 10:40 a.m.
    I have one.
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Very well, ask the Question.
    Mr Yanwube 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to know from the Hon Minister, who has the prerogative to supply the lights? Is it the Ministry or the Assembly?
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    To supply what?
    Mr Yanwube 10:40 a.m.
    Under the Rural Elec- trification Project, who has the prerogative to do that?
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    To undertake the project?
    Mr Yanwube 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, yes, to undertake the project.
    Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Hon Minister?
    Mr Buah 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Government of Ghana has decided as a policy, to ensure that there is universal access to electr icity. The Distr ict Assemblies working in the communities can also help hasten that process and we also have a
    policy that says we would support the District Assemblies; if they are able to provide the poles to these communities, if the communities are also able to come up with any other support, so that we can hasten the process.
    So, the Assemblies can help and the Government of Ghana can also help; everybody, even the communities can undertake electrification.
    Thank you.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Minister for Energy and Petroleum, we thank you very much for attending upon the House to respond to Questions from Hon Members.
    At the Commencement of Public Business. The following Papers to be presented; item number 6 (a) (i) by the Minister for Finance.
    Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Finance Minister is actually on his way here. I just spoke to him and if we could stand it down. I hear --
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Is the Paper ready to be laid?
    Dr Kunbuor 10:50 a.m.
    Yes, I think the Finance Committee is actually --
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    If the Paper is ready to be laid, why do you not lay it on behalf of the Minister for Finance?
    Dr Kunbuor 10:50 a.m.
    Very well, Mr Speaker. I would do so.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Very well.
    PAPERS 10:50 a.m.

    rose
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Member for Kwadaso?
    Dr Akoto 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, before laying the Paper, I stood up to draw your attention but you were not looking my way.
    That Paper is not ready. This is because I was at the meeting; we were invited to join the Finance Committee, to look at it. The Minister was supposed to come back with some corrections because the original was US$1.8 billion, but eventually when they did their presentation, they were asking for US$2 billion.
    So, they were asked to go back to bring the additional information which would enable us -- the US$2 billion to be admitted --
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Are you telling the House that this matter is before a Committee?
    Dr Akoto 10:50 a.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker, the matter is still before the Finance Committee and the Minister is supposed to come back with additional documentation.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Members, the point the Hon Member is making is that, there is a referral to a Committee -- is it a referral from the Chair?
    Dr Akoto 10:50 a.m.
    Yes, the Chair -- the Minister for Finance promised to come back with approvals from --
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Let us get the point. Are you saying there is another document which has been referred to the Finance Committee or it is just behind the scene discussions that you are having?
    Dr Akoto 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Minister for Finance came with a documentation covering US$1.8 billion, but the request was for US$2 billion. So, he was supposed to come back to the Finance Committee with additional documentation confirming the US$2 billion for this facility.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    I want to find out whether there is any referral from the Chair to the Committee on the same subject matter. This is because if indeed, that is the situation, then, that has to be withdrawn before this one is laid.
    That is the explanation I am asking but if there is nothing like that -- yes, that is the explanation I am seeking.
    Dr Akoto 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have just been informed that the Hon Minister for Finance has this morning submitted the additional information. So, the Paper cannot -- the Report is not ready --
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    It is not a matter of whether it is ready. It is this same matter, this Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) Receivables-backed Trade Finance Facility, is there a similar thing before any Committee of the House?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 10:50 a.m.
    The Committee dealt with it and advised the Minister for Finance to bring the new documentation, withdraw the old one and lay the new one. The new one would be referred, then the Report would be laid.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    The point is that, if we want to lay this one, then we have to withdraw the earlier one which is US$1.8 billion.
    Papa Owusu Ankomah 10:50 a.m.
    Yes, that was the understanding as well as --
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    If that is not withdrawn, it would mean that we have US$1.8 billion before the Committee and then we are referring another US$2 billion, which cannot be possible.
    Hon Majority Leader, that is the point they are making. If you want to lay this Paper, what you need to do is to make an application to withdraw the US$1.8 billion before the Committee to have this one laid. That is the point they are making.
    Dr Kunbuor 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is why we have been trying to get guidance from the Table Office whether this subject matter which perhaps has been discussed unofficially at the Committee has been laid in this House.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Yes, I have made that enquiry and it has been confirmed by the- Clerks-at-the-Table. Alternatively, we defer it for the Minister to come.
    Dr Kunbuor 10:50 a.m.
    Precisely.
    Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Let us defer it.
    Item number 6 (b), by the Minister for Energy and Petroleum.
    By the Minister for Energy and Petroleum
    -- 10:50 a.m.

    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Item number 6 (d), by the Chairman of the Committee. [Interruption.]
    Hon Members, let us have order in the House. 6 (d)? The 6(d) is deferred.
    Hon Majority Leader, what do we have next?
    Dr Kunbuor 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think if we can go to Item number 13 briefly, to enable us do some further consultations with the Hon Minority Leader.
    Mr Speaker, have we taken item number 6(c) -- yes, it has been laid.
    Dr Kunbuor 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, we could now take item number 7 on the Order Paper.
    11.10 a.m. -- 12.20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Members -- item number 7.
    Minister for Finance -- item number 7.
    MOTIONS 11 a.m.

    Minister for Finance (Mr Seth Emmanuel Terkpeh) 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this Honourable House adopt the mid-year review of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2014 financial year.
    Mr Speaker, on behalf of His Excellency the President, John Dramani Mahama, and in accordance with article 179 (8) of the 1992 Constitution, I stand before this august House to present a mid-year review and revised Budget on Microeconomic estimates for 2014. These are necessitated by recent and in some cases, long standing global and domestic developments.
    Consequently, we seek approval for supplementary estimates for the 2014 fiscal year.
    Mr Speaker, this presentation is an abridged version of the full review and statements of supplementary estimates.
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Hon Minister, what Motion are you moving?
    You have to be very clear, because last Friday, when the Business Statement was presented, the Ranking Member of the Finance Committee raised the issue of whether you are doing the mid-year review or you are adding the supplementary estimates.
    As at the time I took this Chair, nobody had briefed me on this matter. If the Motion on the Order Paper is not correct, amend the Motion on the Order Paper before you move the Motion.
    Mr Terkpeh 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I wish to apologise for this development.
    Mr Speaker, with your kind permission I would wish to amend item number 7 on the Order Paper which is a Motion, to include the presentation of supplementary budget in addition to the mid-year review.
    Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, so what would be the construction of the new Motion?
    Mr Terkpeh 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the construction of the new Motion is:
    “That this Honourable House adopts the mid-year review of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy, as well as approve supplementary estimates for the 2014 financial year.”

    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.

    Mr Speaker, if I may start with the mid- year review.
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Very well.
    Mr Terkpeh 11 a.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Section One: Introduction
    Right Hon Speaker, on behalf of His Excellency, President John Dramani Mahama, and in accordance with article 179(8) of the 1992 Constitution, I stand before this august House, to present a mid-year review and revised budget and macroeconomic targets for 2014. These are necessitated by recent, and in some cases, long standing global and domestic developments. Consequently, we seek approval for supplementary estimates for the 2014 fiscal year.
    Mr Speaker, this year 's Mid-Year Review and Supplementary Estimates aims to 11 a.m.
    update Hon Members of this House on the performance of the economy in 2013 and the first five months of
    2014;
    revise the macroeconomic targets for 2014;
    revise our budget estimates based on current information;
    request for approval of the 2014 Supplementary Estimates; and
    outline measures for addressing our Nation's International Reserves to restore the value of the Ghana Cedi.
    Section Two: Macroeconomic performance in 2013
    Macroeconomic targets for 2013
    Mr Speaker, as you may recall, at the time of presenting the 2014 Budget in November 2013, we did not have full year information hence, we projected the outturn for 2013 based on actual data for January to September 2013 which we used to update to December 2014. We now have the full complement of the actual outturn for 2013.
    Mr Speaker, before we present the 2013 macroeconomic outturn, please permit me to restate the 2013 macroeconomic targets which were as follows:
    real overall GDP growth including oil of 8.0 per cent;
    real non-oil GDP growth of 6.5 per cent;
    end period inflation of 9.0 per cent;
    average inflation of 8.9 per cent;
    overall budget deficit equivalent to 9.0 per cent of GDP; and
    gross International Reserves of not less than three months of import cover for goods and services.
    GDP growth
    Mr Speaker, GDP data for 2013 released by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) showed an overall GDP growth of 7.1 per cent against a target of 8.0 per cent. Mr. Speaker, I wish to emphasise that the 7.1 per cent growth shows a robust and strong performance, especially when compared to the Sub-Saharan average of 4.9 per cent and the global average of 3.0 per cent for 2013.
    It is also important to note that, the Ghana statistical Service has revised the growth rate for 2012 to 8.8 per cent.
    Mr Speaker, this year 's Mid-Year Review and Supplementary Estimates aims to 11 a.m.


    shown in Table 1, the real GDP in 2013 was GH¢32,507 million against a target of GH¢32,109 million for the year. In nominal terms, GDP was GH¢93,461 million, against a projected amount of GH¢88,764 million.

    Sectoral performance

    Mr Speaker, the Services sector was the largest contributor to GDP, with a growth of 8.9 per cent in 2013, compared to 11.0 per cent in 2012. Key performing subsectors in the Services sector were the Information and Technology (24.7%), Financial and Insurance Activities (23.2%), Public Administration & Defence; Social Security (9.1%) and the Health and Social Work (7.8%) subsectors.

    The Industry sector recorded a growth of 7.0 per cent, down from 11.0 per cent in 2012 on account of strong performances in the Mining and Quarrying (11.7%), Electricity (16.1%) and the Construction (8.6%) subsectors. Upstream petroleum

    SPACE FOR TABLE 1 - PAGE

    7 - 11.10 AM

    activities also grew by 18.0 per cent compared to 21.6 per cent in 2012. The Manufacturing subsector, however, continued with its declining growth trend by recording a growth of 0.6 per cent in 2013, with the Water and Sewerage subsector declining by 1.4 per cent.

    The Agriculture sector doubled its growth rate of 2.3 per cent in 2012 to 5.2 per cent in 2013. This was mainly on account of growth in the Crop subsector (5.9%), Livestock subsector (5.3%) and the Fishing subsector (5.8%).

    In terms of sector shares, the Services sector increased its share of GDP from 48.4 per cent in 2012 to 49.5 per cent in 2013. The Agriculture sector, on the other

    hand, continued to experience a declining share of GDP while the Industry Sector maintained its share of GDP. Inflation

    Mr Speaker, inflation surged in 2013 mainly on account of the removal of

    subsidies on petroleum and utilities. Inflation moved from 10.1 per cent in January to 11.8 per cent in July and ended the year at 13.5 per cent in December, compared to a rate of 8.8 per cent in 2012, as shown in Figure 2.

    SPACE FOR FIGURE 2 - PAGE

    9 - 11.10 AM

    Food inflation for the review period was 7.2 per cent, while non-food inflation was 18.1 per cent. Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (35%) and transportation (25.6%) were the main “price drivers” for non-food inflation. Communication recorded the lowest inflation (4.4%) in the subgroup category. The main price drivers for food inflation were mineral water, soft drinks, fruits and vegetable juices (9.6%), fish and seafood (8.8%) and cereals and products (7.6%).

    Monetary developments

    Monetary aggregates

    Mr Speaker, the annual growth rate of broad money supply (M2+) declined on

    year-on-year basis. The growth rate reduced to 19.1 per cent as at end of December 2013 from 19.6 per cent at the end of December 2012.

    The growth in M2+ was mainly from growth in Net Domestic Assets (NDA) which was moderated by a decline in Net Foreign Assets (NFA) of the banking system. While NDA went up by 36.7 per cent, NFA decreased by 19.5 per cent. From the components of NFA, the Bank of Ghana's holdings went up by 1.1 per cent while that of the commercial banks declined by 123.2 per cent by end- December 2013. This compares with a decrease in both Bank of Ghana (12.8%) and commercial banks (3.2%) holdings in

    2012.
    Mr Speaker, this year 's Mid-Year Review and Supplementary Estimates aims to 11:10 a.m.
    Interest rate developments
    Mr Speaker, developments in interest rates for 2013 in general indicated a downward trend on year-on-year basis. The Bank of Ghana Policy Rate which was increased to 16.0 per cent in May 2013 remained unchanged till the end of the year.
    The rate on the 91-day and the 182- day Treasury bills went down by 390 and 433 basis points (bps), respectively, from 23.12 per cent and 22.99 per cent at the end of December 2012 to 19.22 per cent and 18.66 per cent at the end of December
    2013.
    The 1-year note, 2-year note, 3-year and 5-year bonds rates decreased from 22.90 per cent, 23 per cent, 21 per cent and 23.00 per cent in December 2012 to 17.0 per cent 16.8 per cent, 19.24 per cent, and 19.04 per cent at the end of December 2013, respectively.
    During the year under review, the interbank weighted average rate de- creased by 77 bps to 16.34 per cent on year-on-year basis. The Deposit Money Banks' average 3-month time deposit rate remained unchanged on year-on-year basis at 12.50 per cent as at December 2013. The Savings rate gained 50 bps year-on-year to settle at 5.75 per cent as at December 2013.
    The average lending rates decreased by 15 bps on year-on-year basis to 25.56 per cent as at December 2013. The spread between the borrowing and lending rates also narrowed from 13.22 per cent at end- December 2012 to 13.06 per cent at end- December 2013.
    Exchange rate developments
    Mr Speaker, the Ghana Cedi generally traded weak against the currencies of the major trading partners during the review year. In the Inter-Bank Market, the Ghana Cedi recorded cumulative annual depreciation of 14.6 per cent against the US dollar during the review period. The recorded annual depreciation of 14.6 per cent in 2013 was however lower than the
    17.5 per cent annual depreciation recorded in 2012. The Ghana Cedi recorded depreciations of 16.7 per cent and 20.1 per cent against the Pound Sterling and the Euro, respectively, in 2013.
    On the Forex Bureau Market, the Ghana Cedi also traded weaker against the major currencies and recorded cumulative depreciations of 16.3 per cent, 17.5 per cent and 19.3 per cent against the US dollar, the Pound Sterling and the Euro, respectively.
    Fiscal performance
    Mr Speaker, fiscal policy outlined in the 2013 Budget aimed to achieve fiscal prudence and debt sustainability by reducing the budget deficit from 11.5 per cent of GDP in 2012 to 9.0 per cent of GDP in 2013. The fiscal and other related targets were to be achieved through the following measures:
    improved revenue mobilisation through the Ghana Revenue Authority's (GRA) on-going Modernisation Programme;
    enhancing the efficiency of public expenditures through the ongoing Public Financial Management (PFM) reforms, (including GIFMIS); and
    reviewing capital expenditures and the strategy for financing them.
    Provisional end-year fiscal data for 2013 indicate that both revenue and expenditure were below their respective targets for the year.
    However, the shortfall in revenue far exceeded the shortfall in expenditure, resulting in a cash fiscal deficit equivalent to 10.1 per cent of GDP against the original budget target of 9.0 per cent and the revised target of 10.2 per cent. This compares to a deficit equivalent to 11.5 per cent of GDP recorded in 2012, as shown in Table 2.

    SPACE FOR Table 2 - PAGE 11 - 11.10 A.M

    Revenue

    Mr Speaker, total revenue and grants for the period was GH¢19,471.6 million, equivalent to 20.8 per cent of GDP, against a target of GH¢22,533.4 million, equivalent to 25.4 per cent of GDP. The shortfall in total revenue and grants was partly as a result of low disbursement of grants from our development partners and, mainly due to the lower than anticipated performance of domestic revenue. The outturn was 13.6 per cent lower than the budget target and 16.8 per cent higher than the outturn for the same period in 2012.

    Domestic revenue, made up of tax and non-tax revenue, amounted to GH¢18,732.1 million, against the budget target of GH¢21,275.0 million. The shortfall in domestic revenue was due to weak tax revenue performance in all tax types, except corporate income tax from the oil companies and communication service tax. The outturn was 12.0 per cent lower than the budget target and 20.8 per cent higher than the outturn for the same period in 2012, as shown in Table 3.

    SPACE FOR Table 3 - PAGE 12 -

    Non-oil tax revenue, excluding exemptions for the period, amounted to GH¢12,708.3 million (13.6% of GDP), 18.7 per cent lower than the budget target of GH¢15,634.5 million (17.6% of GDP). Including oil and exemptions, tax revenue amounted to GH¢14,307.7 million, equivalent to 15.3 per cent of GDP. This was 16.3 per cent lower than the target of GH¢17,090.8 million (19.3% of GDP). In nominal terms, tax revenue was 14.3 per cent higher than the outturn recorded in

    2012.

    Mr. Speaker, given the need for further fiscal consolidation, after the first half of the year, Cabinet and subsequently Parliament in July 2013, approved the following tax measures to improve revenue performance and support the fiscal consolidation effort:

    National Fiscal Stabilisation Levy of 5 per cent of profit before tax of institutions in banking, insurance, other financial services, communication, and brewery sectors with a sunset clause to end at the end of 2014;

    Special Import Levy of 1 and 2 per cent on some imported goods also with a sunset clause to end at the end of 2014;

    a broadened base of the environ- mental tax and a reduction in the tax rate from 15 per cent to 10 per cent; and

    re-imposition of import duty of 20 per cent and VAT on imported mobile handsets.

    In total, these revenue measures yielded revenue of about GH¢168 million or 0.2 per cent of GDP in 2013. The full effect of these measures are expected to strongly impact on revenue performance in 2014 and contribute to the continuing fiscal consolidation, in line with the multi- year adjustment effort.

    The weak performance of tax revenue in 2013 was partly due to the following factors:

    lower import volumes which negatively affected import taxes;

    decline in world commodity prices, particularly gold, which resulted in lower than expected corporate taxes and mineral royalties;

    the slowdown in economic activities during the first half of the year, due partly to the energy crisis; and

    low tax compliance and disruptions, due to tax administration reforms.
    Mr Speaker, this year 's Mid-Year Review and Supplementary Estimates aims to 11:10 a.m.
    Although the performance of tax
    revenue from the traditional sources was weak, oil revenue performance for the year was very strong as a result of higher than expected crude oil prices, higher production levels and higher corporate income taxes from the sector.
    Total oil revenue for 2013, amounted to GH¢1,634.0 million (1.7% of GDP), against a target of GH¢1,103.9 million (1.2% of GDP).
    On the other hand, grant disbursement from our development partners was 41.2 per cent lower than the budget target of GH¢1,258.5 million and 36.3 per cent lower than the outturn recorded during the same period in 2012. The lower than expected outturn of grants was mainly due to the non-disbursement of budget support from some of our Multi-Donor Budget Support (MDBS) partners as well as the slow disbursement of project grants.
    Expenditure
    Mr Speaker, in addition to the revenue measures that were announced in 2013, expenditure measures were introduced to help contain expenditures and to ensure the achievement of the fiscal deficit target for the year. These measures included:
    agreement on a lower percentage increase in salaries compared to immediate past years;
    regular adjustment of fuel and utility prices to reduce subsidies to the barest minimum;
    minimising the award of new contracts and contracting of new loans;
    refinancing of short term debt with a view to extending the tenure and reducing interest costs; and
    processing of all GoG expenditures on the Ghana Integrated Financial Management and Information System (GIFMIS) to control unauthorised commitments.
    SPACE FOR Table 4 - PAGE 14 -

    These expenditure rationalisation measures helped to contain most expenditures within the 2013 total Appropriation.

    Total expenditure, including payments for the clearance of arrears and outstanding commitments for 2013 amounted to GH¢28,926.2 million (31.0% of GDP), against a target of GH¢30,544.3 million (34.4% of GDP).

    The outturn was 5.3 per cent lower than the budget target and 14.3 per cent higher than the outturn for the corresponding period in 2012.

    Mr Speaker, as a result of the shortfall in revenue and grants, government reduced spending on goods and services as well as other expenditure items. This led to total expenditures being lower than budgeted. Although overall spending was lower than planned, spending on wages and salaries as well as interest cost were higher than budgeted.

    Mr Speaker, expenditure on Wages and Salaries for the period totalled GH¢8,242.9 million, 10.4 per cent higher than the budget target of GH¢7,465.4 million and 23.7 per cent higher than the outturn for the same period in 2012.

    In addition to this, an amount of GH¢1,065.0 million was spent on the clearance of wage arrears compared to GH¢1,872.0 million in 2012.

    Nonetheless, in 2013, expenditure on wages and salaries alone was 64.9 per cent of non-oil tax revenue (excluding exemptions) and 61.2 per cent of tax revenue (excluding exemptions). Including the wage arrears paid during the period, expenditure on wages was 73.2 per cent of non-oil tax revenue (excluding exemptions) and 69.1 per cent of tax revenue (excluding exemptions). These ratios are significantly higher than the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) secondary convergence criteria of wage- to-tax revenue (excluding exemptions) ratio of 35 per cent.
    Mr Speaker, this year 's Mid-Year Review and Supplementary Estimates aims to 11:10 a.m.
    financing amounted to GH¢6,920.4 million, against a target of GH¢5,700.8 million. Foreign financing of the deficit was GH¢3,212.0 million, against a target of GH¢2,536.0 million. The higher foreign financing was as a result of partially utilising the 2023 Eurobond to finance

    some capital expenditures in the Budget and to refinance high-interest maturing domestic debt.

    An amount of GH¢677.7 million out of the total oil revenue due Government in 2013 was lodged in the Ghana Petroleum Funds Accounts in accordance with the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2010 (Act 815).

    SPACE FOR Table 8: PAGE 19 - 11.10 A.M.

    Mr Speaker, the fiscal overrun in 2013 was mainly due to significant shortfalls in revenue and grants, higher spending on wages and salaries as well as interest payments. The table below summarises the details of the sources of the fiscal overruns in 2012 and

    2013.

    SPACE FOR Table 9: PAGE 19 - 11.10 A.M.

    Developments in public debt

    Mr Speaker, Ghana's total public debt stock, which stood at GH¢35,999.64 million (US$19,150.78 million) as at end-December 2012, increased to GH¢52,125.91million (US$24,021.16 million) at the end of December 2013. Of the total public debt stock, external debt was GH¢24,871.9 million (US$11,461.71 million) while domestic debt amounted to GH¢27,254 million (US$12,559.45 million), representing 47.72 per cent and 52.28 per cent, respectively.

    Total public debt as a percentage of GDP stood at 55.77 per cent as at end- December 2013, an increase from the December 2012 figure of 48.03 per cent.

    The increase in the public debt was largely on account of the issuance of Eurobond and disbursement for major infrastructure projects such as the Bui Dam, the Ghana Gas Project, the Coastal Protection Projects, and Redevelopment of the Police Hospital.

    Ghana's total public external debt stock amounted to GH¢17,206.90 million (US$9,153.6 million) at the end of December 2012 and increased to GH¢24,871.90 million (US$11,461.71 million) in December 2013. Total external debt as a percentage of GDP stood at 26.61 per cent at the end of 2013, slightly up

    from 22.96 per cent recorded for the same period in 2012.

    Total public domestic debt stock, which stood at GH¢18,792.7 million (US$ 9,997.2 million) in December 2012, increased to GH¢27,254.00 million (US$ 12,559.45) by end-December 2013. This represents a year-on-year growth of 44.4 percent. As a percent of GDP, total domestic debt was 29.16 per cent at the end of December 2013, against 25.07 per cent at the end of December 2012.

    Of this total, short-term instruments (91-day, 182-day and 1-year) amounted to GH¢8,806.4 million (US$ 4,058.25million), forming about 32.3 per cent of the total domestic debt stock. An increase from December 2012 of 30.5 per cent.

    Medium-term instruments added up to GH¢12,576.8 million (US$5,795.78 million), long-term instruments totalled GH¢5,282.5 million (US$ 2,434.3 million) and standard loans equalled GH¢466.9 million (US$ 271.1 million) at the end of December 2013.

    There was also a slight decrease in the shares of the medium-term instruments (2- year note, 3-year bond, 5-year bond and 7-year bond) from 50.8 per cent of the total domestic stock in December 2012 to about 46.1 per cent as at end-December 2013, while standard term loans (usually with commercial banks) comprised about 2.2 per cent of the total domestic debt stock.

    SPACE FOR Table 10: PAGE 21 - 11.10 A.M.
    Mr Speaker, this year 's Mid-Year Review and Supplementary Estimates aims to 11:10 a.m.
    Section three: Macroeconomic per- formance in 2014
    Macroeconomic targets for 2014
    Mr Speaker, against the backdrop of a challenging macroeconomic environment in 2013, the 2014 Budget aims at restoring stability and sets the following targets:
    overall real GDP (including oil) growth of 8.0 per cent;
    non-oil real GDP growth of 7.4 per cent;
    An end year inflation target of 9.5 per cent within the band of ±2 per cent;
    Overall budget deficit equivalent to 8.5 per cent of GDP; and
    Gross international reserves of not less than 3 months of import cover of goods and services.
    Developments from January to May 2014 indicate that the economy continues to face challenges due to unfavourable developments in both domestic and external environments. The details of the macroeconomic performance for the period under review are highlighted below.
    GDP growth
    Mr Speaker, GDP grew by 6.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2014, down from 9.0 per cent in the corresponding period in 2013. In a marked departure from the sectoral performance in the first quarter of 2014, the Agriculture Sector led with a growth of 12.7 per cent, up from 6.7 per cent in the analogous quarter in 2013. The Services Sector followed with a growth of 4.6 per cent, down from 10.4 per cent in the same quarter in 2013, while the Industry Sector declined by 1.1 per cent,
    down from 8.1 per cent in the corres- ponding period in 2013.
    Agriculture sector
    Mr Speaker, the remarkable per- formance of the Agriculture Sector resulted mainly from a growth of 71.9 per cent in the Livestock subsector, up from 5.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2013, and a 20 per cent growth in the Fishing subsector, up from a decline of 5.0 per cent in the first quarter of 2013. The Crops and Cocoa subsector grew by 5.0 per cent, up from 4.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2013, while the Forestry subsector declined by 7.6 per cent, down from 27.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2013.
    Industry sector
    Mr Speaker, the decline of the Industry Sector's real output in the first quarter of 2014 resulted mainly from a general underperformance of all subsectors, as compared with performance in the corresponding period in 2013, notably the 19.3 per cent decline in the output of the Manufacturing subsector, compared with a decline of 1.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2013.
    The Mining and Quarrying subsector grew by 7.5 per cent, down from 19.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2013. This could be attributed to low outputs from the gold industry, owing to rising costs and falling gold prices, and a marginal decline of crude oil output due to the delay in lifting the gas from the Jubilee Field.
    The Electricity subsector grew by 8.9 per cent, compared to 11.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2013. The Water & Sewerage subsector grew by 0.2 per cent, an improvement over the decline of 3.4 per cent in the analogous quarter in 2013. The Construction subsector grew by 4.7 per cent compared to 8.1 per cent in the same period in 2013.
    Services sector
    Mr Speaker, the Services Sector grew by 4.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2014, down from 10.4 per cent in the corresponding period in 2013. The slow growth was due mainly to lower growth rates in most of the subsectors.
    Inflation
    Mr Speaker, inflation has continued to increase in 2014, after assuming double digit rates in 2013. Inflation rose to 15 per cent in June, 2014 from 13.5 per cent at the end of December 2013. The rise in inflation during the period was mostly influenced by cost push pressures arising from upward adjustments of petroleum and utility prices, higher transportation cost, and the pass through effect of the currency depreciation as well as wage increases.
    However, we expect inflation to ease with slow harvest, stabilisation of the cedi and improvement in economic per- formance.
    The upsurge in prices has been influenced mainly by the non-food components of the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The non-food group recorded an average year-on-year inflation rate of 20.3 per cent in June 2014, compared to 20.0 per cent recorded in May 2014. Among the non-food group, the housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels component recorded the highest inflation rate of 53.6 per cent followed by Transport which recorded 24.6 per cent.
    The main drivers for the food inflation include, mineral waters, soft drinks, fruit and vegetable juice (21.7 per cent), coffee, tea and cocoa (14.2 per cent), milk, cheese and eggs (12.8 per cent), and food products (12.6 per cent).

    SPACE FOR Figure 3: PAGE 24 - 11.10 A.M.
    Mr Speaker, this year 's Mid-Year Review and Supplementary Estimates aims to 11:10 a.m.
    External developments
    Balance of payments
    Mr Speaker, the value of merchandise exports during the first five months of 2014 was estimated at US$5,871.9 million, indicating a decline of 7.5 per cent from the outturn in the corresponding period of 2013. The decline in exports was as a result of low receipts from gold and crude oil against the strong demand for foreign currency. Total value of merchandise imports during the review period was valued at US$6,028.4 million, also indicating a decline of 17.8 per cent on the level in the corresponding period of
    2013.
    The decline in imports was recorded in both oil and non-oil imports. The trade balance for the period January to May 2014 consequently registered a deficit of US$156.6 million, an improvement from a deficit of US$990.8 million recorded by end-May 2013.
    International reserves
    Mr Speaker, at the end of June 2014, the country's Gross International Reserves stood at US$4,471 million sufficient to provide 2.5 months of imports cover compared to the stock position of US$5,632.15 million at the end of December 2013 which could cover 3.1 months of imports. This development partly reflects the Pressure on our traditional source of earning foreign currency and seasonality in foreign exchange flows during the year.
    Fiscal performance
    Mr Speaker, in line with Government's medium term fiscal objectives as outlined in the 2014 Budget, fiscal policy in 2014 aims at ensuring fiscal prudence and debt
    sustainability. This fiscal policy objective is to be achieved through improved revenue mobilisation, rationalising and enhancing the efficiency of public expenditures, as well as implementing new debt management reforms.
    In this regard, the 2014 Budget uses the overall budget deficit as the fiscal anchor, and targets a reduction in the deficit from 10.1 per cent of GDP in 2013 to 8.5 per cent of GDP in 2014. The 2014 Budget, therefore, introduced a number of revenue enhancing measures, debt management reforms as well as measures to realign and rationalise expenditures.
    Revenue measures introduced in the 2014 Budget include the following:
    a change in petroleum excise tax from specific to ad valorem in line with other excise regimes;
    an increase in withholding tax on rent on commercial properties from 8 to 15 per cent;
    an increase in the withholding tax on management and technical services fees from 15 to 20 percent;
    an increase in corporate income tax rate of free zones companies selling on the local market from 8 to 25 per cent; and
    more effective application of the communication service tax.
    The VAT rate was also increased by 2.5 percentage points and the base broadened to cover fee-based financial services and real estate.
    Expenditure measures introduced in the 2014 Budget include:
    continuation of the policy of regular adjustment of utility and petroleum prices;
    a proposal of a moratorium on public sector wage increase in 2014 through the public sector wage negotiation process;
    continuation of the policy of net freeze on employment in some sectors of the public service.
    payroll management measures such as payroll audits and Electronic Salary Payment Voucher (E-SPV) to reduce the incidence of ‘ghost' workers on government payroll; and

    continuation of the limits on the award of new contracts and new loans with continuing emphasis on pipeline items.

    Mr Speaker, preliminary data from January to May of the year indicate that both revenue and expenditure continue to fall below their respective targets for the period. However, as in 2013 since the shortfall in revenue was lower than the shortfall in expenditure, the resulting cash fiscal deficit was equivalent to 3.6 per cent of GDP, against a target of 3.5 per cent. This compares to a deficit equivalent to 4.0 per cent of GDP for the same period in

    2013.

    Table 11 below shows the summary of government fiscal position for January to May 2014.

    SPACE FOR Table 11: PAGE 30 - 11.10 A.M.

    Revenue

    Mr Speaker, total revenue and grants for the period was GH¢9,043.8 million, equivalent to 7.9 per cent of GDP, against a target of GH¢9,527.9 million, equivalent to 8.3 per cent of GDP. The shortfall in total revenue and grants for the period was as a result of low disbursement of project grants from our development

    partners and lower than anticipated domestic revenue collections. In nominal terms, the provisional outturn was 14.3 per cent higher than the outturn for the same period in 2013.

    The summary of government revenue and grants from January to May 2014 is presented in Table 12.

    SPACE FOR Table 12: PAGE 31 - 11.10 A.M.

    Total tax revenue amounted to GH¢7,076.8 million, 2.7 per cent lower than the budget target of GH¢7,273.7 million. The shortfall in tax revenue compared to the target was partly due to the slowdown in economic activity, the delay in the implementation of the change in petroleum excise from specific to ad valorem, lower than anticipated revenue from excise taxes as well as the delay in the implementation of the VAT on fee based financial services.

    In addition, declining gold prices on the world market and rising operating cost led to lower corporate income taxes from the mining sector.

    In nominal terms, tax revenue was 33.6 per cent higher than the outturn recorded for the same period in 2013. The sturdy

    year-on-year growth in tax revenue was mainly as a result of the strong performance of oil tax revenue, which was about 179.3 per cent higher than the budget target, and 211.5 per cent higher than the outturn for the same period in

    2013.

    Mr Speaker, the strong performance of oil revenue was mainly due to the payment of part of 2013 corporate income taxes in the first quarter of the year as well as higher oil price and quantities.

    Of the total tax revenue, non-oil tax revenue for the period was GH¢6,463.9 million, 8.3 per cent lower than the Budget target and 26.6 per cent higher than the outturn for the same period in 2013.
    Mr Speaker, this year 's Mid-Year Review and Supplementary Estimates aims to 11:10 a.m.


    SPACE FOR Table 13: PAGE 32 - 11.10 A.M.

    Grant disbursements from our development partners was 69.0 per cent lower than the budget target and 72.0 per cent lower than the outturn recorded during the same period of 2013. The lower than expected outturn of grants was due to the slow disbursement of project grants from our development partners resulting from project implementation delays in the signing of mixed credit agreements.

    Expenditure

    Mr Speaker, total expenditure, including payments for the clearance of arrears and outstanding commitments from January to May 2014 amounted to GH¢13,170.9 million (11.5% of GDP), against a target of GH¢13,587.5 million (11.8% of GDP). The outturn was 3.1 per cent lower than the budget target and 12.6 per cent higher for the same period in 2013.

    The lower than estimated expenditures for the period was mainly as a result of the delays in the transfers to the statutory

    funds as well as lower than anticipated spending on capital.

    Expenditure on Wages and Salaries for the period totalled GH¢3,802.9 million, 2.2 per cent higher than the budget target of GH¢3,720.3 million and 26.2 per cent higher than the outturn for the same period in 2013. In addition to this, an amount of GH¢348.5 million was spent on the clearance of wage arrears.

    Mr Speaker, interest payment for the period totalled GH¢2,832.1 million, 26.0 per cent higher than the Budget target of GH¢2,246.8 million and 49.8 per cent higher than the outturn for the same period in 2013. The higher interest cost in the period was as a result of high domestic interest rates and higher than estimated domestic borrowing during the period. Domestic interest cost was 35.8 per cent higher than the budget target. On a year-on-year basis, domestic interest grew by 49.5 per cent.
    Mr Speaker, this year 's Mid-Year Review and Supplementary Estimates aims to 11:10 a.m.


    US$159.06 million transferred into the Debt Service Account for debt repayment.

    Developments in public debt

    Mr Speaker, provisional public debt stock as at end-May 2014 stood at GH¢62,861.72 million (US$21,661.52 million), representing 54.8 per cent of GDP compared to the same period end-May 2013 of GH¢38,593.77 million (US$19, 977.11). This is made up of GH¢34,331.22 million (US$11,830.19 million) and GH¢28,530.50 million (US$9,831.32 million) for external and domestic debt respectively.

    SPACE FOR Figure 4: PAGE 36 - 11.10 A.M.

    External debt stock

    Mr Speaker, Ghana's total external debt stock, amounted to GH¢24,871.90 million (US$11,461.71 million) at the end of December 2013, and increased to GH¢34,331.22 million (US$11,830.19 million) by end of May 2014. The high

    Ghana Cedi equivalent of the end-May figure is as a result of the depreciation of the Ghana Cedi. Total external debt as a percentage of GDP stood at 29.93 per cent at the end of May 2014, but in terms of its share of total public debt was 54.61 per cent.

    Domestic debt stock

    Total domestic debt stock, which stood at GH¢27,254.00 million (US$12,559.45 million) in December 2013, increased to GH¢28,530.50 million (US$ 9,831.32 million) by end-May 2014. The low US Dollar equivalent of the end-May figure is as a result of the depreciation of the Ghana Cedi. As a percentage of GDP, total domestic debt was 24.87 per cent at the end of May 2014, against 29.16 per cent at the end of December 2013.

    Status of China Development Bank loan facility

    As at June 2014, three years after the Master Facility Agreement (MFA) and other finance documents under the facility were signed, only two out of the twelve projects anticipated under the facility have been financed by CDB. These are the Western Corridor Gas Infras- tructure Project (WCGIP) (US$800 million) and the ICT enhanced Surveillance Project for the Western Corridor Oil and Gas enclave (US$150 million).

    The facility was to be disbursed under two tranches: A and B, of US$1,500 million each. Both projects currently underway are tranche B facility projects. The status of the facility as at June 2014 are as follows:

    Tranche A:

    No activity

    Tranche B:

    Total principal amount of the facility -- US$3,000 million

    Total Amount disbursed to date -- US$597.3 million

    Total Amount disbursed in 2014 -- US$50.8 million

    Total number of projects underway -- two

    Total Amount of additional projects CDB has agreed to sign for -- two (Coastal Fishing Landing Sites and AMA intelligent Traffic Manage- ment)

    CDB has introduced a new condition precedent to the effectiveness of the subsidiary agreement for the two additional projects, namely a side agreement to amend some of the terms of the MFA, the Five Party Agreement and the Account Agreement.

    The Side Agreement is to primarily ensure that, starting from the 10th ship- ment of crude oil to Unipec Asia, in support of the facility, GoG will transfer an amount equal to 49 per cent of the price of the shipment into the debt service account to ensure that GoG has sufficient funds to service the debts when principal repayments become effective in 2015; and the CDB facility is recognised as an oil- backed transaction contrary to the agreed position between CDB and GoG during the initiation of the transaction that the facility is not an oil-backed facility.

    Cabinet in June 2014 approved GoG's capping of the facility at US$1,500 million to accommodate three additional projects. In addition, it also authorised the submission of the Side Agreement to Parliament for approval.

    Section four: Status of implementation of key policy initiatives

    Mr Speaker, in presenting the 2014 Budget, we outlined a number of policy initiatives and fiscal measures aimed at:
    Mr Speaker, under the Domestic Tax Revenue Division, activities will include 11:10 a.m.
    support in reconciling the input- output relationship in the VAT mechanism throughout the import/ manufacturing/wholesale and retail chain to enhance the audit process;
    building capacity to ensure monthly withholding taxes by companies are reconciled and payments made on time; and
    support in corporate income tax auditing and reconciliation.
    Public debt management
    Mr Speaker, the debt management strategy that Cabinet and Parliament approved acknowledges our limited access to grants and concessional loans after attaining middle income status. The measures outlined in the strategy are consistent with the anticipated rapid growth in our national output and will lead to higher per capita income in the next decade. In this regard, the strategy seeks, among others to:
    establish an effective mechanism, through the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF), to ensure repayment of loans and grants for commercially viable projects,
    notably those implemented by State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs);
    support the GIIF with an allocation from the ABFA to leverage the capital markets for infrastructure development;
    channel grants and concessional loans to finance social infras- tructure projects;
    channel commercial loans to finance commercially viable projects—with on-lending and escrow mechanisms to ensure their recovery; and
    restructure expensive short-term and high-interest bearing debt, including domestic debt with hybrid holdings by extending their repayment period and/or lower interest costs.
    Ghana infrastructure investment fund
    (GIIF)
    Mr Speaker, government has started the process of setting up the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF) — originally proposed as Ghana Infras- tructure Fund (GIF) in the 2014 Budget. The purposes include the treatment of commercial projects on capital market basis, with recovery mechanisms that will lead to classifying elements of the public debt guaranteed by Government as Contingent Liability.
    Mr. Speaker, we are pleased to note that, we are making significant progress on this important initiative, with support from this august House with respect to the consideration of the GIIF Bill which with gratitude was passed by this House. Immediately upon passage, government would put the necessary institutional
    structures in place to make the Fund operational.
    Self-financing and on-lending policies
    Mr Speaker, an important element of the Government's New Debt Management Strategy is to recover loans that are used to support commercial projects (or projects that have underlying fees and charges). To date, the Ministry of Finance has undertaken the following actions:
    consultation with the Attorney - General's Department, which has since advised that such loans should be approved by Parliament, unless otherwise stated;
    completed the drafting of a standard On-lending Agreement for use by all MDAs and MMDAs;
    prepared Guidelines on Escrow and Debt Service Account arrange- ments, with the CAGD advising BoG to open local currency and foreign exchange (US$) Debt Service Accounts; and
    organisation of meetings with State- owned Enterprises (SOEs) on the concept and starting a reconciliation exercise with these entities: to be followed by meetings with MDAs and MMDAs.
    Mr Speaker, when operational, the process will link conceptually to the GIIF mechanism for all commercial projects — through a revolving fund that can be used to do more projects and alleviate the burden of quasi-public debt on the budget and taxpayers.
    Debt refinancing and financing the capital budget
    Mr Speaker, as noted in the 2014 Budget, a major feature of our Public Debt is their relative short-term nature and high-
    Mr Speaker, under the Domestic Tax Revenue Division, activities will include 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, CDB has introduced a new condition precedence to the effectiveness of the subsidiary agreement for the two additional projects, namely; a side agreement to amend some of the terms of the/MFA as well as the first party agreements and account agreements.
    The Draft Side Agreement, based on the advice from the Ministry of Finance and Attorney-General's Department, Cabinet in June 2014 approved the Government of Ghana's copping of the facility at US$1.5 million. It has also been recommended that, the side Agreements, in their suitable form should be brought to the House for consideration.

    Managing foreign exchange losses

    Mr Speaker, as part of the debt management policy approved by this House, government set up a foreign currency debt service account to minimise exposures to foreign exchange risks and potential default risks. Government has directed all MDAs/MMDAs to issue contracts and undertake transactions using the local currency, the Ghana cedi. In cases where this is not possible, approval would have to be sought from the Ministry of Finance.

    Public investment programme and public private partnership

    A policy and law on Public Investment Management to provide appropriate legislative framework to guide the delivery and management of public investment have been developed and will be submitted to Cabinet shortly.

    A Bill to regulate Public Private Partnership (PPP) has been submitted to Cabinet for approval and subsequent submission to Parliament.

    Boost for SMEs, stimulus for the private sector and support to local industries

    Mr Speaker, Export Development and Agricultural Industrial Fund (EDAIF) has allocated a financial stimulus package for exports, pharmaceuticals, poultry, textiles and garments, SMEs and agro processing sectors to enhance their competitiveness for growth and job creation. During the period under review, five (5) phar- maceutical companies that produce essential drugs were identified under this programme, so far, one application has been approved for funding.

    The other 4 applications are under consideration and funding would be approved shortly. Ghana cedi equivalent of US$10 million and GH¢9.7 million has been earmarked to facilitate the stimulus package for the pharmaceuticals and poultry industr ies, respectively. An amount of GH¢10 million has also been set aside by EDAIF for the Youth Entrepreneurial Development Programme.

    Funding has also been released by EDAIF to Irr igation Development Authority (IDA) for preliminary works to expand irrigation facilities for selected and other export crops in areas such as

    Tanoso, Nasia/Ligba, Okyereko, Tamne, Kamba, Sabare, Keta, Ho (Kpeve), Kpli, Amate and Mprumen to support small holder farmers. As part of government's measures to reduce rice importation, EDAIF has allocated GH¢20 million to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to support local r ice production. One thousand small-scale farmers in Bawjiase and Nsawam would be supported to increase production of fruits.

    Financial sector reforms

    Mr Speaker, government is currently preparing SOEs for the capital market to enable them access affordable medium to long-term financing. Apart from education and awareness of potential SOEs, government is working with development partners to provide rating services for SOEs. The draft ToR has been developed to procure a consultant to assist with the study of the SOE sector to inform a technical support.

    H.E. the President engaged stake- holders in the Mortgage Finance Sector in response to the housing initiative indicated in the State of the Nation Address. He has directed the Chairman of the Ghana Association of Bankers to submit a Paper on innovative housing financing products to help address the country's housing deficit of approximately 1.2 million.

    In addition, Government is developing a Ghana Housing Finance Initiative (GHFI) which seeks to increase housing supply and develop affordable loan products.

    Banking sector reforms

    Mr Speaker, with the view to consolidating the Banking Act and its related amendments, strengthen the framework for consolidated supervision and address gaps in the Act, the Bank of Ghana has prepared the Banks and Special
    Mr Speaker, under the Domestic Tax Revenue Division, activities will include 11:10 a.m.
    Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) will submit proposals for a thorough review of the basis (i.e. cost/price build up) for calculating all subsidies and the treatment of forex losses.
    In the 2013 and 2014 budgets, the Ministry of Finance decentralised payment of utilities to MDAs and allocated funds in the budget for these payments. This policy will be pursued and implemented fully in the 2015 Budget.
    With immediate effect, government will begin the process of enforcing the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) rule with respect to all routine foreign exchange losses involving government transactions. Under this rule, businesses must report foreign exchange losses as legitimate business expenditure in their financial statements and in their GRA tax returns. In this regard, any recoveries made through payments must be reported as a gain.
    Mr Speaker, in the 2013 and 2014 budgets, the Ministry of Finance began the process of decentralising payments of utilities to MDAs and allocation of funds in their budget for these purposes. This policy would be pursued and implemented fully.
    Section five: Revised 2014 macroeconomic targets, fiscal framework and request for supplementary budget
    Mr Speaker, developments in both the global and domestic economic environ- ment have necessitated a revision of the macroeconomic framework and assumptions underlying the 2014 Budget that was presented to this august House in November, 2013. The current energy challenge, rising inflation and interest rates, as well as exchange rate depreciation

    pose a strong downside r isk to the achievement of the growth target for the year. Based on the revisions to the macroeconomic framework, the 2014 macroeconomic targets have been revised as follows:

    overall real GDP (including oil) growth revised from 8.0 per cent to 7.1 per cent;

    non-oil real GDP growth revised from 7.4 per cent to 6.6 per cent;

    an end year inflation target revised from 9.5 ±2 per cent to 13.0±2 per cent;

    overall budget deficit target revised from 8.5 per cent of GDP to 8.8 per cent; and

    Gross international reserves of not less than 3 months of import cover of goods and services.

    Mr Speaker, as a result of the revisions made to the macroeconomic framework arising from developments in both the domestic and global economic environment and the fiscal performance for the first five months of the year, the 2014 revenue and expenditure estimates have been revised to reflect these developments.

    Mr Speaker, some of the developments in the domestic economy that have necessitated the revisions to the fiscal framework are as follows:

    decline in gold prices;

    challenges in the implementation of some of the revenue measures announced in the 2014 Budget;

    slowdown in economic activity due to the energy crisis and exchange rate depreciation;

    rising interest rates leading to higher interest costs;

    implementation of the 10 per cent Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) to government employees, effective May 2014;

    slower-than-expected implemen- tation of utility and petroleum price adjustments; and

    exchange rate depreciation.

    Revisions to total revenue and grants

    Mr Speaker, as a result of the exchange rate depreciation, the exchange rate assumption for the budget has been revised. Consequently, all budget inflows denominated in foreign currency have been revised upwards.

    Due to a combination of factors such as the slowdown in economic activity, delays in the implementation of some revenue measures announced in the budget and the declining gold prices which have impacted negatively on taxes on domestic goods and services as well as taxes on income and property, total non-oil tax revenue have been revised downwards by GH¢948.0 million to GH¢18,712.3 million, equivalent to 16.3 per cent of GDP.

    The revised non-oil tax revenue for the year represents an increase of 38.1per cent over the outturn for 2013.

    Due to the exchange rate depreciation, oil revenue have also been revised upwards by GH¢707.1 million to GH¢2,416.5 million and grants have been revised upwards from GH¢1,130.7 million to GH¢1,390.8 million. The positive ongoing discussions with DPs suggest that they will disburse some commitments.

    In summary, total revenue and grants for the 2014 fiscal year have been revised upwards from GH¢26,056.5 million to GH¢26,230.3 million, equivalent to 22.9 per cent of GDP. The revised revenue and grants for the year represents an increase of 34.7 per cent over the outturn for 2013.

    Revisions to expenditures

    Mr Speaker, the estimate for total expenditure and arrears clearance have been revised upwards by GH¢1,331.1 million from GH¢35,027.3 million to GH¢36,358.3 million (31.7 per cent of GDP) mainly on account of higher wages and salaries, interest payments, foreign- financed capital expenditures and subsidies.

    Wages and salaries have been revised upwards from GH¢8,967.8 million to GH¢9,218.9 million as a result of the COLA that was approved for public sector employees.

    On account of higher interest rates and the depreciation of the cedi, interest payments have been revised upwards from GH¢6,178.6 million to GH¢7,884.7 million.

    Due to the exchange rate depreciation, foreign-financed capital expenditure has been revised upwards from GH¢4,525.8 million to GH¢4,748.7 million.
    SPACE FOR APPENDIX I - 11:10 a.m.

    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Hon Members the Motion for the adoption of the mid-year review of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government and the approval of a Supplementary Estimates for the 2014 financial year has been duly moved by the Hon Minister for Finance.
    In line with Standing Orders 140 and 149 the Motion shall be deferred to such a time that the Business Committee schedules for the debate. Meanwhile, the Supplementary Estimates shall stand committed to the Finance Committee for consideration and report.
    Hon First Deputy Speaker to take the Chair.
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thought after the delivery by the Hon Minister responsible for Finance, even though the Debate, as you said would stand adjourned until the time defined by the Business Committee, I thought that at least, we would be given some space to commend the Hon Minister for some work done, even though clearly, some of us felt that there are some gabs -- [Interruption.]
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, what are you doing? [Uproar.]
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would not lead you into temptation. I am not debating, except to signal, because my Hon Colleagues are asking me, whether I am debating. If we have to debate, we are ever ready to debate this today, as we speak? But Mr Speaker, I would bow to you, in tandem with the rules, I guess we shall have sufficient space, to debate it. But the issues are very clear, but the gaps Eton -- [Interruption.]
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, you know that you are clearly out of order. What would happen is that, once you do that, the Majority side would have to stand up, and that would lead to disorder. I have deferred the Debate in line with the rules of the House. For now, I would urge; in view of the consultation that is going on, for the Business Committee to meet today, and advise the House accordingly. It is very important.
    Hon Minority Leader, let us defer it. You would be given the opportunity to debate. You would have your day.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would yield to that, except to congratulate him for some work done. [Laughter.]
    Dr Kunbuor 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I guess that, this matter did come up and I believe we had a gentleman understanding that this Debate would commence a day after the presentation and continue. I thought this understanding was there. But as you said, the Business Committee, would definitely meet -- [Interruption.]
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Very well.
    Dr Kunbuor 12:30 p.m.
    While Mr First Deputy Speaker is coming, we might take item number 6, which we stood down.
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Item 6 (d)? Very well.

    Presentation of Papers, Hon Minister for Finance, 6(a) Roman number; (i)
    Mr Terkpeh 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I wish to seek leave of the House to withdraw the document that was laid earlier because it contained an amount of GH¢1.8 billion instead of GH¢2 billion, subsequently, the computations for some duty and other elements were wrong. [Pause.]
    MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Hon Members, the application to withdraw is granted. Now, Hon Minister, could you deal with the substituted application? The withdrawal automatically means that the referral to the Committee is also withdrawn, so now place a fresh application -- [Pause.]
    PAPERS 12:35 p.m.

    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think there is a problem with procedure. The first item was probably withdrawn, then he laid a new one. The second one also ought to be withdrawn before the new one is laid; otherwise, we are stuck with two.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Minister?
    Mr Terkpeh 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is a matter of procedure, but in my withdrawal, I alluded to the fact that, there would be consequential changes to the second one, but if I have to withdraw it, then I would.
    Hon Speaker, I would want to seek leave of the House to withdraw the consequential waiver of taxes that were associated with this facility that was laid on same day, June 14th, 2014.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Very well, application granted.
    Yes, Table Office?
    Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, item 6(d) -- [Interruption.]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    All right, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
    By the Chairman of the Committee --
    6(d) Report of the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs on the Regional Convention on Fisheries Co-operation among African States bordering the Atlantic Ocean.
    Mr Agbesi 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if we can take Item number 8; Motion --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Very well.
    MOTIONS 12:35 p.m.

    Chairman of the joint Committee on Finance and Roads and Transport (Mr James K. Avedzi) 12:35 p.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 joint Committee on Finance and Roads & Transport on the Commercial Agreement among the Government of the Republic of Ghana, Lonrho Ports Ghana Limited and Atuabo Freeport Ghana Limited in respect of the Ghana Oil and Gas Freeport Project may be moved today.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Any seconder?
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Hon Members, it has been moved, and seconded.
    Question put and Motion agreed to
    Resolved accordingly.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
    Mr Agbesi 12:40 p.m.
    Item number 9, Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Yes, item 9 on the Order Paper?
    Commercial Agreement among Government of Ghana/Lonrho Ports
    Ghana Limited/Atuabo Freeports Ghana Limited.
    Chairman of the joint Committee on Finance and Roads and Transport (Mr James Klutse Avedzi): Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the Report of the joint Committee on Finance and Roads & Transport on the Commercial Agreement among the Government of the Republic of Ghana, Lonrho Ports Ghana Limited and Atuabo Freeport Ghana Limited in respect of the Ghana Oil and Gas Freeport Project.
    Introduction
    The Commercial Agreement among the Government of the Republic of Ghana, Lonrho Ports Ghana Limited and Atuabo Freeport Ghana Limited in respect of Ghana Oil and Gas Free Port Project was presented to Parliament on behalf of the Minister for Finance by the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance, Mr George Kweku Ricketts-Hagan on Thursday, 26th June, 2014. The Agreement was thereafter referred to the joint Committee on Finance and Roads and Transport for consi- deration and report in accordance with Article 181(5) of the 1992 Constitution and Orders 169 and 189 of the Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
    The Committee held a number of meetings to deliberate on the Agreement.
    During the consideration of the Agreement, the Committee was assisted by the Hon Ministers for Finance, Mr Emmanuel Seth Terkpeh; Transport, Mrs Dzifa Ativor and their Deputies, Mr George Kweku Ricketts-Hagan and Mrs Joyce A.B. Mogtari.
    The Committee also recognised the presence and contributions of the Hon. Deputy Minister for Energy, Mr Ben Dagadu and Officials of the Ministries of Finance and Transport, Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority (GPHA), Attorney- General's Department and Lonrho Ports Ghana Limited.
    Representations from the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Maritime and Dock- workers Union (MDU), the Board of GPHA, Ghana Oil and Gas Service Providers' Association (GOGSPA) and the Chiefs and Elders of East Nzema Traditional Area were also made to the Committee.
    The Committee notes with gratitude, the contributions of the sector Ministers, the Chiefs and Elders from East Nzema Traditional Area and other personalities who assisted in the consideration of Hon Members order of the referral.
    Reference
    The following documents were used as reference materials during the deliberations:
    The 1992 Constitution of Ghana,
    The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana; and
    Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority Act, 1986 (PNDCL 160).
    Background
    Mr Speaker, the Commercial Agreement among the Government of Ghana, Lonrho Ports Ghana Limited and Atuabo Free Ports Ghana Limited is to facilitate the development and operation of a joint venture with the private sector and Government of Ghana to build an Oil and Gas Free Port in the Western Region, specifically, Atuabo to meet the logistics and support requirements of Ghana's oil and gas industry and indeed the wider Gulf of Guinea region.
    Prior to Cabinet approval to accept the Commercial Agreement on 16th January, 2014, extensive engagements between the Government of Ghana, (in some cases agencies of Government) had taken place to determine the feasibility of the project, the requisite infrastructure and invest- ments needed to develop the only petroleum/hydrocarbon logistics based port.
    Indeed, it is instructive to indicate that, after a review of the existing infrastructure, market demand study, an independent location analysis, site survey, local community consultations, wave analysis, environmental and social impact assessment, master plan and feasibility study, Lonrho confirmed to the Govern- ment of Ghana that the project is viable.
    The Ghana Free Zones Board has also reviewed the project and declared the land required as a Free Port under the terms of the Free Zone Act, 1995 (Act 504) and granted a Free Zones Developer License to the Promoter. After the Commercial Agreement was reviewed, negotiated and the terms and conditions set out, the Government of Ghana agreed to grant the Developer, Atuabo Free Port Limited, the right to design, engineer, finance, construct, develop, own, manage, operate and maintain the Free Port Project.
    SSNIT, GPHA, GNPC, VRA, SIC 12:40 p.m.

    Mr Michael C. Boampong (NPP -- Bia West) 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to second the Motion on the floor.
    Mr Speaker, the Committee, in its deliberations, met with the chiefs and elders as indicated by the Hon Chairman. Even though some groups expressed some worries on the project, those concerns were later on addressed to our satisfaction as mentioned in the Report.
    Mr Speaker, the issue of exclusivity in the Agreement was another issue of concern to Hon Members. But all the same, Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister for Finance explained that the Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority (GPHA) Takoradi, without any concern that the developer can construct an additional oil supply vessel to the existing one, thus the GPHA can go ahead with their expansion works which is already underway.
    Mr Speaker, another issue of concern raised by Hon Members, was the Exclusive Right and that was also addressed.
    The 25 years which was initially a problem for Hon Members on the sole right to undertake the Free Port Project in the Western Region has now been limited to 10 years from the commercial operation date which Hon Members are now satisfied with.
    I therefore, urge all Hon Members to approve the Commercial Agreement for the Atuabo Freeport Ghana Limited.
    Question proposed.
    Mr Kwabena Owusu-Aduomi (NPP -- Ejisu) 1 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to this Motion on the floor.
    Mr Speaker, before I proceed, I would like to refer you to the first line of page 3. It says:
    “The Ghana Free Zones Board has also reviewed the project and
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    Thank you. Hon Alhaji Sorogho is the next person.
    Alhaji Amadu Bukari Sorogho (NDC- - Madina) 1:10 p.m.
    Thank you very much Mr speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute and by so doing, I support the Report. It is a joint Report, by calling on the entire House , both sides, to 100 per cent approval of the facility and allow the people of the Western Region in particular, and Ghana in general, to for once, be able to have a Freeport that can take advantage of what we have been talking about for several years -- the Oil and Gas Industry-to its logical conclusion.
    Mr Speaker, going by the Report, the background, we are all aware of and I do not need to talk more on that -- Mr Speaker, we all know that for the Oil and Gas Industry to be able to perform effectively, there is the need for the needed infrastructure, in terms of harbour, roads, energy et cetera to be in place. It is therefore interesting that the Government has found it fit to get a private company, not just one private company but various companies together with Government coming together to develop this facility.
    Mr Speaker, initially, we all had apprehension as far as the sharing was concerned. We went in for the ownership rights and control, and as we speak now, Atuabo Freeport, the company itself is not the majority share holder. Mr Speaker, 45 per cent of the share of Atuabo Freeport would be wholly owned by Ghanaians. It could be Asiamah and Co. But the most important thing is that, we have all been talking about local content.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Hon Member, do you need to mention names?
    Alhaji Sorogho 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I withdraw that. It cannot be Asiamah and Co. I do not give them any chance to heckle me, so I withdraw it.
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member for Old Tafo?
    Dr A. A. Osei Mr Speaker, I would just want to correct the Hon member of Finance Committee, Hon Sorogho that it is not owned by ‘Ghanaians'. The information is: “State-owned Ghanaian institutions” not Ghanaians. There is a big difference and the statement is: “it could be” not “it will be”. It is not emphatic; it is important in an agreement.
    Alhaji Sorogho 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I know the contribution that the Ranking Member has made is very positive but I would refer him to Page 3, bullet point 4.1 (a) of the Report, states:
    “…45 per cent shall be wholly Ghanaian owned…”
    Unless he wants to say that his understanding of English and mine are different, I think the most important thing is that, we are debating this Report, and I am holding this, Report which all of us adopted --
    “(a) Forty five per cent (45 %) shall wholly be Ghanaian owned. This will include 35 per cent of the initial capital contribution being made by Ghanaian institutions such as SSNIT, GPHA, GNPC,
    VRA, SIC…”
    If these are not Ghanaian companies, then I do not know where we are going.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Hon Member for Old Tafo?
    Dr A. A. Osei Mr Speaker, I would just want to remind my Colleague that, this is one of the defects in the Report that, I was trying to object to which was never included. The point I am making to him is that, it is not factual.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Well, when you have the opportunity, you can address that issue. Otherwise, I think --
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:10 p.m.
    I am just drawing his attention to it.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Yes, please go ahead.
    Alhaji Sorogho 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, he would have his turn to contribute and when he gets his turn, he can say whatever he wants to say. But I would want to say that this is the Report that we are discussing now and so if I say something that is not in it then he can challenge me, but so long as it is in the Report --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Hon Sorogho, you have the floor, please proceed with your submissions.
    Alhaji Sorogho 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the remaining 55 per cent --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member for Sekondi?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:10 p.m.
    Thank you Mr Speaker. It is not my intention to interrupt my very good Friend and Colleague, Alhaji Sorogho of Madina. However, it is important for us to appreciate the fact that, we are approving a concession Agreement. We are not approving a Report, so if there is something stated in the Report which is factually incorrect, as
    Alhaji Sorogho 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, indeed, it is the Agreement that I am referring to and what is contained in the Report is talking about the Agreement. The Report is not talking about any other thing apart from the Agreement and if I am making reference to the Report. I thank him very much, but I think that I am on course.
    “The remaining 55 per cent of the equity would be held by international investors and would include Lonrho Limited, Africa Finance Corperation and China Harbour Engineering…”
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Hon Member for Sekondi?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is a member of the Committee and he knows that the AFC has withdrawn its intention to participate in this and it was admitted by the Minister on the floor of the House at the Committee level.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Yes, Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Avedzi 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not think that the point raised by Hon Papa Owusu- Ankomah is correct. It is not the case. AFC did not write to withdraw the support; it is going to hold 15 per cent. The letter they brought to the Committee was that, there was a letter that the Africa Development Bank which was supposed to support the debt component, not the shareholding, are saying that because of the delay of the Ghanaian institutions, they would not hold on to that. That is the point, but there are other institutions -- banks -- that are ready to finance. So it is not the AFC that is withdrawing, the AFC is still holding the 15 per cent share of the company.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Hon Member, please proceed with your submission.
    Alhaji Sorogho 1:10 p.m.
    Thank you very much. So, it is not true that they have withdrawn from the Agreement.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Hon Member, are you on a point of order?
    Dr A. A. Osei Mr Speaker, your Chairman made a statement which is factually incorrect. He said that AFC holds 15 per cent, but the shareholding has not been floated yet. So how can they hold it? It is not factual. They do not hold 15 per cent.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Well, I think it is a proposal, right?
    Dr A. A. Osei Yes, it is only a proposal so he should say it is a proposal.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Very well. Yes, Hon Member?
    Alhaji Sorogho 1:20 p.m.
    The word is “proposal” so he would be satisfied. It is a proposal.
    Mr Speaker, another area of concern has to do with the time and 25 years is being mentioned. 25 years is too much, why 25 years? This House has granted exploration of mineral resources, concessions of gold mineral resources for 30 years.
    Mr Speaker, this is because of the quantum of investment involved, so it is not out of place at all that a 25-year period, and it is just not 25 year period, there are a lot of caveats built in it. Somebody gets up and says 25 years, the impression should not be created as though those who are arranging this Agreement are not aware of what is happening in Ghana.
    Mr Speaker, these are not only foreign investments, there are Ghanaian investors who are also involved. So we must also make sure that their investments are safe and protected. Mr Speaker, in this very hard times, if you have somebody who is prepared to invest such quantum of money and he is telling you that for me to be able to recoup, this is the term that I would want, Mr Speaker, what is the problem? I do not see any problem there at all.
    Mr Speaker, the benefits of this project far outweigh whatever defects that we are talking about. Mr Speaker, the people of the Western Region are waiting eagerly for this Project to take off.
    rose
    Alhaji Sorogho 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, during the consideration, the people of Nzema West, Nzema East, all those areas -- the chiefs and opinion leaders -- were all here to urge us on, that we should go on and try and do this. I therefore, do not see the reason why we should reject it, and I urge all Hon Members on both sides to vote 100 per cent --
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:20 p.m.
    On a point of order. Mr Speaker, my Hon good Friend yesterday, told us that he had been in the House for 12 years. He made a statement that “during consideration” the chiefs were here.
    Mr Speaker, the chiefs cannot be here during “Consideration”.They were invited to a Committee meeting. There is a big difference between ‘Consideration' in the House and Committee meeting. So if he has been here for 12 years and he is telling us that chiefs come on the floor for consideration, he is misleading the House.
    Alhaji Sorogho 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I know how my Hon Colleague, my Uncle can find a way when one is on a point, to twist him. But I assure him that I said “at the Committee meeting” -- [Interruption] -- I said the Committee. If he heard “consideration”, the word I want to use is “Committee”, if that is all right. What I meant was the Committee meeting, yes, they came --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Please proceed.
    Alhaji Sorogho 1:20 p.m.
    And the reason was that, they saw this Project as something that is going to transform the Western Region, to transform the Nzema area and for that matter Ghana. So they urged me, the Hon Member for Old Tafo and all of us, that we should move this. So Mr Speaker, I do not hesitate at all in calling upon all Hon Members here to rally and vote massively for this Facility. We need it and we think it is going to help us.
    Mr K. O. Darko-Mensah (NPP -- Takoradi) 1:20 p.m.
    Thank you very much Mr Speaker for the opportunity to add my voice to the approval of this project.
    Mr Speaker, first and foremost, I would like everybody here to understand that, the Takoradi port is the heartbeat of the Takoradi township and the Sekondi- Takoradi Metropolis and the Western Region in general.
    Mr Speaker, what we need to know and appreciate is that, upon the discovery of oil in Ghana, the Ghana Ports and Habours Authority (GPHA), (Takoradi Port) changed their Vision to read:
    “To be a world class port, a dominant oil and gas service hub of West Africa”.
    Mr Speaker, the status has changed.
    As we speak today, 65 per cent of Ghana Ports and Habours Authority's (GPHA)'s job in Takoradi Port is oil and gas. So clearly, as we speak today, Takoradi Port is an oil and gas port.
    Takoradi Port is working in partnership with world-renowned service companies like Halliburton, Viking Offshore, GOIL Ghana, Badger Fruit, Barmont, Technip and the rest to make Takoradi a one-stop shop for oil and gas services.
    Recently, we were here when Takoradi Port took a loan of 197 million Euros to develop the Port. Mr Speaker, this would give Ghana Port an additional 240 acres of land to be used for pipe parking, bunkering, rig repairs, fabrication and all the essential services needed for an oil and gas business.
    Mr Speaker, they have taken a loan of 197 million Euros. They are doing an additional investment in the oil and gas service area of 109 million Euros in collaboration with their partners. How
    come that an exclusivity clause should negatively affect GPHA? Mr Speaker, these are the issues. It is not that people do not like the people of Atoabo or the people of Nzema. In fact, there are more Nzemas in Takoradi but you cannot rob Peter to pay Paul.
    Mr Speaker, the Report presented here does not include all that was said when the chief of Atoabo came to the Committee. And he made it categorically clear --
    “Do not take the food from somebody's mouth and give to us even though we want Atoabo Port to go ahead.”
    That was what he said -- [Interruption] -- But the Hon Chairman is here?
    rose
    Mr Darko-Mensah 1:20 p.m.
    So Mr Speaker --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Yes Hon Chairman? --
    Mr Avedzi 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Member made a point which is factually incorrect and I would want to put it on record. On the issue about exclusivity, the initial agreement was that it would affect GPHA Takoradi Port as well. But the Committee made a recommendation and at the end, currently, GPHA is constructing one berth dedicated to oil and gas services.
    The Agreement is giving GPHA the opportunity to add another dedicated berth for oil and gas services, making it two within the exclusivity period of 10 years. That was where the disagreement came between the Majority and Minority, that economically, it is prudent for GPHA to have only two berths within the 10 year period; they cannot go beyond two. That is the point we are making. So what he is saying is factually incorrect.
    Mr Darko-Mensah 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, apart from the investments that have been made by Takoradi Port, other private companies have also invested heavily along the corridor of Takoradi and Ahanta West. And we all know that Ahanta West District is a functional part of the Sekondi- Takoradi Metropolis.
    Mr Speaker, GPHA needs to pay back the loans they are taking. GPHA needs to be able to survive as a business. So why should they be negatively impacted by the exclusivity clause?
    If the whitemen want to make and protect their investments, why should GPHA not have the same opportunity? Why should GPHA be stifled in the competitive arena? The ability to build an extra berth is a commercial decision that has to be made by GPHA and not by the whiteman, not by Lonrho.
    rose
    Mr Darko-Mensah 1:20 p.m.
    And I believe that this contract, as it stands now, is like a colonial contract signed in those days. [Hear! Hear!]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Yes Hon Member, are you up on a point of order?
    Mr Essilfie 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Member for Takoradi used a certain description that I feel is not appropriate for this House. I do not think that this House should condone referrals to ‘whitemen' and ‘black men' and all that in this House.
    If Lonrho is coming to Ghana to set up a company, for all you know in Lonrho's shareholdings, there may be blacks in there and I am sure there are blacks. So the referral to the company as the “whiteman” should be withdrawn.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Hon Members, I believe it would be a better way of putting it if we talk about “foreigners” as against “Ghanaians”.
    Mr Darko-Mensah 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have withdrawn and replaced it with foreigners.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think subject to the direction it is appropriate that he uses the word “foreign” and not “white” against “black”, but the Colleague from Shama who just spoke also said he is aware that there are blacks on Lonrho. Who are they? Let him make the disclosure. He said that he was sure that there are blacks. Mr Speaker, the Hansard Department would capture that. That was what he said. So, can he provide evidence?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member, please proceed.
    Mr Darko-Mensah 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, -- [Interruption] -- Lonrho for Atuabo Freeport and that port is going to be tax exempt. GPHA, which is a government- owned authority and a state enterprise pay taxes even when they bring crane into this country. [Interruption] -- but somebody is not paying anything. Lonrho is not going to pay, Atuabo is not going to pay anything, yet they want to stifle GPHA to be able to compete in the market.
    Mr Speaker, when the dock labourers also came, they said something important. They said they had been in the port all these years, and in the oil and gas business there is something called “cartels”. Therefore for Lonrho to come into this scene, naturally Ghanaians should not be expecting a British flagged ship to be docking at GPHA.
    Mr Darko-Mensah 1:30 p.m.


    Mr Speaker, Lonrho owns 63 per cent of the Luba Port. In Ghana, they are expected to owe 35 per cent and give the remaining to some of their partners who are also supposed to be foreign companies. Assuming that Lonrho gets a big job, do you think they are going to bring it to Ghana, or they would take it to Luba?

    The Luba Port cannot in any way be compared to the Takoradi Port. The Takoradi Port has been in existence for 86 years, with solid experience both traditional and in oil and gas.

    Mr Speaker, it is therefore, very important that, in taking this decision to support or reject, in particular, to reject what they have and go and renegotiate the terms, I believe that we do not look at it as a partisan issue, but look at it by way of making sure that, we do not rob Takoradi Port to Pay Atuabo Free Port Ghana Limited and the money go into foreign pockets.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Order! Order! Order!
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Hon Member, are you on a point of order?
    Alhaji Sorogho 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, rightly so
    -- 1:30 p.m.

    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Hon Member, there is an Hon Member on a point of order.
    Alhaji Sorogho 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Member just said that, the Takoradi Port has no protection. I want to refer him to (4.4) of the Report; “Developer 's Obligation” and to (III). It states --
    “They are to comply with Applicable Laws, Environmental Standards, Best Industry Practice and the Local Content Regulation in carrying out its obligation under the Commercial Agreement”.
    Mr Speaker, there is a lot of protection. There are a lot of laws that are protecting the Takoradi Port, so he cannot just get up and say that they have their own way to do whatever they want to do.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Hon Member?
    Mr Darko-Mensah 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much for allowing me to continue.
    I said when the white man came to Ghana, -- [Interruption] -- This is just history -- They brought the Bible and we gave them a place to stay. The next time, they brought the mirror, and we sold our gold to them. When they brought us guns, we gave them slaves, and then when they built their castles, they took over Ghana and they colonized us. This is exactly what they are planning to do.
    nology.org, Lonrho wants to do the Atuabo Free Port because they want a place to service their ownings, so that they can get the tax exemptions, and use it to prop their profits. Can Ghana not also use
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Hon Member, I would prefer that you veer off inflammatory statements.
    Mr Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye 1:30 p.m.
    None

    Hon Member, are you on a point of order?
    Mr Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye 1:30 p.m.
    On a point of order.
    Mr Speaker, the younger --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    There is an Hon Member on a point of order.
    Mr Vanderpuye 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Member has just made an inaccurate historical statement. He has turned the history of Ghana upside down. He said when the white men built the castle, they took over Ghana.
    Historically, at the time of building castles, there was no country called Ghana.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Hon Member, begin to wind-up.
    Mr Darko-Mensah 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe that in asking for renegotiation of this contract, all that we are saying is that, we should not be blind and leave Ghana behind. [Interruption] -- We should put Ghana first. We should be able to put Ghana first.
    Mr Speaker, if we look at the rents that they are even supposed to pay to Ghana, it is five per cent. When ordinary people rent their homes, they pay eight per cent to Government, how come a big company like Lonrho is to pay five per cent to Ghana?
    Mr Speaker, at the Committee level, we asked for a lot of documents. One, document I asked for in particular, was the Report on the feasibility studies, because we should be able as a country to do a cost benefit analyses.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Hon Member, I have asked you to wind-up.
    Mr Darko-Mensah 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am winding-up.
    Mr Speaker, in winding-up, I would want all of us to know that this contract does not safeguard the interest of this country. We are supposed to chair the Board, but we know some of these difficulties we have had with partnership with a lot of corporations. We know what happened to Tema Ship Yard, the old Ghana Telecom, and as I speak today, we know what is happening to West African Mills Company (WAMCO), [Interruption] -- I am talking about partnership, so keep quiet and listen -- [Interruption]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Hon Member, please, address the Chair.
    Mr Darko-Mensah 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, on this note, I would like all of us in this House to say a big no, and go back and negotiate the terms of this Agreement so that GPHA would have the freedom, GPHA - Takoradi Port -- would have the freedom and Ghana would have the benefit so that they can work harder and Takoradi would be stronger and Ghana would be stronger.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Members, it is the turn of the Hon Member for Shama.

    Mr Gabriel Kodwo Essilfie (NDC -- Shama) Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to support this Motion on the floor of this august House.

    For the past few months, there has been a lot of arguments in the social Media about this Atuabo Free Port Project. A lot of arguments have been made against it and as you can see the same arguments
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 a.m.
    Hon Member, are you up on a point of order?
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am worried that Members of the Committee do not appear to get things right. We all have copies of the Report; it never said government institutions.There is a difference between State-owned institutions and government institutions. In any case, State Insurance Company (SIC) is not State-owned; it is listed on the stock market.
    So please, at least, Members of the Committee must produce the right facts.
    Mr Essilfie 1:40 a.m.
    I think my Hon Ranking Member is just trying to heckle me but he knows, just as he referred to the Report, that, when I say government institutions it is exactly what he said -- State-owned agencies. Period!
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 a.m.
    Allright, please, move on. Let us make progress.
    Mr Essilfie 1:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, we know that about 45 per cent, whether Lonrho or anybody likes it or not it is going to be owned by Ghanaians. Period!
    Having established that, let us also look at the funding of this project. One would have talked against it if the project was going to be funded by the Ghana Government. This project is being funded; 30 per cent equity, 70 per cent debt.
    That 30 per cent equity, which is the Government of Ghana's share, govern- ment is not putting up a penny. That to me, is a benefit to us as Ghanaians.
    Mr Speaker, what is even so important is that, in the Report, the Ghana Ports and Habours Authority (G.P.H.A) that we have been saying that once this is approved, it would not be in its interest, has been stated as a beneficiary, as an equity holder if they so choose.
    Whatever G.P.H.A. would be losing in terms of their operations at the Takoradi Port, if that were to be accepted and they chose to use their investment at Takoradi Port, the so-called investment after the two berths that they are being given.
    In this particular Project, whatever income or profit they intend to make can also be made from this Project. If indeed, we believe that this Project would be a disadvantage to them and that Lonrho is going to make all the money, then indeed, when Lonrho makes the money, G.P.H.A can benefit.
    Mr Speaker, let us go further and look at the benefit analysis. This Project as we were told in the Report, would give a
    reduction of logistics cost to other oil and gas developments in the Western Region. More importantly, it is the community that benefits which is stated at clause 6.8. Mr Speaker, if indeed, this Project comes on board, what the communities around the project area would benefit from is an intrinsic benefit that indeed, we cannot even quantify at this point. So, for me, this Project is right on the money.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:40 a.m.
    -- rose --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Dr Anthony A. Osei I am sorry. I need to remind him that. As I said, people expect us, members of the Committee, to state the facts.
    The exclusivity clause is not 10 years. It is 10 years from the date of commercial operations. There is a big difference, if he states that it is 10 years, he is misleading this House.
    Mr Essilfie 1:40 a.m.
    Hon Member for Old Tafo, I do not think that any amount of your intervention can distract me; you know better. You know that until the commencement date, there would be no exclusivity, you know that. You read it and you said it, everybody --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 a.m.
    Hon Member, you are supposed to be addressing the Chair.
    Mr Essilfie 1:40 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker. That exclusivity clause for 10 years; we all know that within that 10 years exclusivity clause, nobody here can vouch that G.P.H.A. can build any more berths than the two additional ones that have been allowed them. There is no way.
    As a result, in my view, that exclusivity clause is neither here nor there, because after the 10 years, that exclusivity is done with. If G.P.H.A. has the funding to build additional berths dedicated to oil and gas, they can do so. I do not see the argument.
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
    Mr Nitiwul 1:40 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    The Hon Member who just spoke is misleading this House when he says that Sekondi-Takoradi is saturated. Shama, which is even part of that Metropolis, is not saturated. Apart from that, Hon Joe Ghartey's constituency is not saturated.
    In any case, is he saying that development should not come to Sekondi- Takoradi because it is saturated? Is that what he is saying? G.P.H.A. cannot do any development because it is saturated? G.P.H.A. is reclaiming the sea; it is not taking any new land in Sekondi-Takoradi. It is reclaiming the sea, so there is no saturation in the sea.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Member, begin to wind-up.
    Mr Essilfie 1:40 a.m.
    I would want my Deputy Minority Leader to understand that, operations at the port are not only on the sea. There has to be movement of logistics, vehicles and what nots which are on land, and not on the sea. So, he should know better.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 a.m.
    Hon Member, I would want you to withdraw --
    Hon Members, Order! Order!
    Hon Member, I would want you to withdraw that part of it; that he is from the North. The fact that he is from the North does not mean that he cannot contribute to matters relating to the South.
    Hon Member, please, withdraw that portion of your statement relating to the North.
    Mr Essilfie 1:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I withdraw my use of the word north and the South and replace it with, “he did not grow up within the shore area”. -- [Uproar.]
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 a.m.
    Order! Order!
    Hon Member for Sekondi?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I appreciate the fact that when we are debating in the House, we sometimes get influenced by our passions, and I hope it
    is in that direction that the Hon Member for Shama has been making this statement. But to refer to an Hon Member as not having grown up in the South, the shore, or the coast, is not proper. He should withdraw his statement. Please, it is not right.
    It is not all of us who can grow up in the South, but we are equally Ghanaians. So, I appeal to him to withdraw it. That statement is rather unparliamentary.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 a.m.
    Hon Member, you withdrew the use of the word “north”, and you said you were substituting it with “him not having grown up in the south”. Please, withdraw that one too.
    Mr Essilfie 1:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I withdraw but I was actually referring to him and not all people; but I withdraw.
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Minority Leader, he has withdrawn; do you have any further complaints?
    Mr Dominic Nitiwul 1:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, if he says he was not serious, then we could all take it. But, if he continues to say that he was referring to me and not all northerners, I would take serious offence to that.
    We could make jokes in this House. If that is the angle he is going, I would accept that. If he uses offensive language on me or my geographical location, I would take very serious offence to that. He does not know where I grew up; that is the first thing he should understand.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 a.m.
    Hon Members, as I said early on, let us avoid using inflammatory statements. We are all Ghanaians.
    Hon Members, let us have some Order!
    It does not matter where geographically one belongs to. We are all Ghanaians. So, please, proceed with your prose.
    Mr Essilfie 1:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you and on a more serious note, I withdraw the use of that word. It was not meant to create any harm to anyone, so I withdraw.
    Mr Speaker, on a more serious note, Sekondi-Takoradi, as I said, is saturated.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 a.m.
    Hon Member, I have asked you to begin to wind-up. Could you conclude?
    Mr Essilfie 1:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, we all know from a good business sense that you cannot saturate business in one location and that is the reason it is important that this Project comes on. Mr Speaker, I am not surprised because when you go into the antecedent of my Friends across the isle --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 a.m.
    Hon Member, I would not allow you to go that way. Please, conclude.
    Mr Essilfie 1:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, on this note, I ask that all Hon Members vote to accept and approve this Motion.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 a.m.
    Hon Members, the next to contribute to this Motion is in the person of Hon Alexander Afenyo-Markin.
    Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin (NPP-- Effutu) 1:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you so much indeed, for the opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the floor.
    Mr Speaker, if you may be pleased, I would route my submissions on three grounds.
    Mr Speaker, on the first ground, I refer to article 103 of the Constitution, and in particular, article 103 (3) and (6).
    Mr Speaker, the mandate of this Parliament is given by the Constitution. We do not work at somebody's whims and caprices. We work because it is our responsibility to exercise an oversight on what the Executive does and what goes on in our country, Ghana.
    Mr Speaker, on the 4th of July, 2014 , the learned Papa Owusu-Ankomah, Barrister at Law (BL), et cetera and an orator, had the opportunity in contributing on a matter before this House; and reminded this House, and Mr Speaker, referring to column 1068 of the Hansard he said:
    “It appears in my view, Mr Speaker, that over the years, we may as a House not have been able to do this to the level required of us when it comes to oversight.”
    And he continued on column 1069, that:
    “As we move ahead, I am urging this House to re-dedicate ourselves to the powers conferred upon us by the Constitution through our Standing Orders…”
    -- 1:40 a.m.

    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 a.m.
    Are you prepared to make a copy available to the Table Office?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 1:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would tender same at the Table Office after quoting:
    “Whilst Ghana clearly has an environment that is able to attract capital partners with its stable and reputable political environment Parliament must be aware that the fact remains that this alone is not enough to make capital wait to invest as a result of the prolonged approval process as these capital providers have multiple oppor- tunities to invest in.”
    Mr Speaker, what is this gentleman, Steven Gray, Development Director of Lonrho Ports Ghana Limited trying to tell we the people's representatives, that we should rush and do things haphazardly?
    It is our constitutional duty; it is regulated by the Constitution. He cannot write a letter to cajole this House; we cannot be hood-winked. Why are we being pushed to do anything anyhow? This letter was in a bad taste. We cannot continue to consider the Motion on the Floor, unless on condition that this letter is withdrawn and an apology is offered.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Hon Members, having regard to the state of Business, I direct that we Sit beyond the stipulated time period in accordance with Order 40 (3) of the Standing Orders.
    Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
    Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is referring to a letter which according to him -- [Interruption] -- [Pause.]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Hon Member, can you make it available to the Tables Office, right now?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2 p.m.
    I did take your leave and I indicated that I was tabling it.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Please, collect it.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the letter I referred to was circulated to us and the impression is that Lonrho --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Please, please, yes, Hon Deputy Minister for Finance?
    Mr Ricketts-Hagan 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think what my Hon Colleague has read is basically misrepresenting what was sent to us by Lonrho Ports Ghana Limited. [Interruption] -- Mr Speaker, --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Yes, go ahead --
    Mr Ricketts-Hagan 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague is misleading this House. The letter was in response to a letter that the Ministry of Finance wrote to Lonrho Ports Ghana Limited, trying to find out -- It came to the attention of the Hon Members of the joint Committee that a key debt financier had pulled out of the Agreement, which is African Development Bank.
    In response, they were trying to say that, the longer the process takes, the more investors get cold feet. They were not trying to instruct the Ministry of Finance or this House to speed up the process and I think the Hon Colleague is supposed to read that to the House.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Thank you very much, can you also make available to the Table Office the letter you referred to from the Ministry of Finance?
    Mr Ricketts-Hagan 2 p.m.
    Rightly so, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am very surprised, so surprised, that the Hon Deputy Minister, my good Friend, is now becoming the spokesperson for Lonrho. I am so surprised. But Mr Speaker, although I do not intend to pursue it, I am reminding the Hon Deputy Minister that, the letter breaches Order 30 (2) of our Standing Orders. It seeks to undermine the dignity of this House; it does, but I would not pursue that line.
    Mr Speaker, my next point, government in this Agreement is proposing to take charge of the construction of infrastructure, particularly, roads.
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Deputy Minister?
    Mr Ricketts-Hagan 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to point out to this House that the letter was not written to Parliament; it was written to the Ministry of Finance -- [Uproar.]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Member, I think we have had a lot on this letter. Can you make some progress?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2 p.m.
    Sure! Mr Speaker, government is known not to be keeping its promises. We know that this Government has been given --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Hon Member, can you substantiate the statement you are making?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2 p.m.
    Yes --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Where is the evidence?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Budget came before this House for a review, and it was because government was unable to meet certain targets. The gravamen of my submission is that, government on countless occasions has given one excuse or the other for its inability to undertake certain develop- ments. So, for you --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Hon Member, that is not the same as to say that the Government is known not to be fulfilling its promises. [Interruption.] That is not the same by any stretch of the imagination. Can you withdraw that?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I withdraw the first one.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Thank you.
    rose
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, therefore, government must know that by committing itself to construct the roads --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Hon Deputy Majority Leader, he has withdrawn that portion of the statement. Can you resume your seat? We would want to make some progress. Yes, Hon Member?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, therefore, government must know very seriously that, by committing itself to construct the roads, same must be done; else, the Project cannot take off. We are here talking about constructing a new oil and gas port; a free port, and this is coming from Cabinet; a referral to this House. Yet,
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Hon Member, is it in connection with this Agreement?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Can you make a copy available to the Table Office?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker, I would do so.
    The Ministry of Transport, that is where this letter emanated from, and the Deputy Minister signed for the Minister. Mr Speaker, what did this letter seek to say? This letter sought to question the credibility of Lonrho Ports Ghana Limited. Although it was dated the 30th of August, 2013, it found its way into our pigeon holes; we, the Members of the Committee indicating that there are still serious issues.
    Mr Speaker, is it the case that there are some few people pushing this agenda in Cabinet that others are not in favour of?
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Hon Member, please, please, please.
    Yes, Hon Minister?
    Minister for Roads and Highways (Alhaji Inusah A. B. Fuseini) 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity. I rise on a point of order. My Hon Colleague on the other side has said, and he has made a very derogatory statement about government, a statement that touches and concerns the integrity of members of Government.
    Mr Speaker, I have never known that if a government said it was going to turn the Brong-Ahafo Region and parts of northern Ghana into the food basket of this country and failed to do that, that government does not keep to its promise. I do not know that. I have never known --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thought you were going to address the issue that he just raised about the letter from your then Ministry. I thought that was what you were going to respond to.
    Alhaji Fuseini 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, yes, I am going to address that but I just set this as a basis for us to understand. For instance, if a government says that it would turn the whole of Nima and build it into modern townships and fail to do that, that is not keeping to its promise; there could be other reasons the Government has not been able to do that.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Let us have some order; Hon Members, let us have some order.
    Yes, Hon Minister?
    Alhaji Fuseini 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, He is reading from a document and alleging that this letter comes from public custody. To satisfy ourselves and satisfy this House, that indeed, this letter is from proper custody, he must lay the letter before this House and copies made to us to authenticate the veracity of the letter.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    Hon Member, do you have extra copies of the letter?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, ordinarily --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    Please, do you have extra copies of the letter?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do, I will table it.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    No, we want to see it because of the point that he has raised.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, this letter with its attachments was given to all Committee members at committee level. I sought clarification from the Minister; the Deputy Minister was there. She did not deny, she did not debunk and she did not rebut the content there to --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    Do you have an extra copy; that is all I am asking for?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, yes. Mr Speaker, all that I am trying to put across; is it that government is in disarray on this matter? Is it that the Government itself cannot agree because the Ministry of Transport is a Ministry that comes under Cabinet. So, if a Deputy Minister is now saying a letter coming from Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority -- Mr Speaker, I will quote certain relevant portions; they have a serious --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    Hon Member, please, hold on --
    Please, let us have some order --
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    Please, resume your seats.
    What I have in my hand is a letter signed by the Hon Deputy Minister which states:
    “Please find attached a letter and its related attachments received from the Board of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority on the above subject matter for your consideration. Thank you”.
    It is just a question of forwarding it - - [Interruptions] -- Please, let us have some order. It is just a question of the Minister forwarding it to the Chief of Staff with comments raised by a particular Board and that is it -- [Interruption]-- It is not committal.
    Yes, Hon Deputy Minister?
    Mr Ricketts-Hagan 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is actually misleading the House and just as you have correctly read, the content of the document that he has just passed on to you was not written by the Deputy Minister. The Deputy Minister just put a covering letter on it that these are concerns raised by GHAPOHA and she was just bringing it to the attention of the Chief of Staff. She did not write the letter; my Hon Friend is misleading the House.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    Hon Member, since that has been cleared, you can go ahead and make reference to the content in all fairness, I believe.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the reason for my reference to this letter and its attachments is that, the Deputy Minister who forwarded this to the Chief of Staff, found it necessary to do so because she had subjected the concerns
    in a year ago rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader; are you up on a point of order?
    Mr Agbesi 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Deputy Minister for Finance has challenged the letter the Hon Member is holding. It means the letter is in contention. Mr Speaker, this is a House which is dealing with the Report of the Finance Committee.
    Mr Speaker, not all of us here are members of the Finance Committee so whatever document the Committee had at that level is not made available to Members who are not members of the Committee.
    Therefore, when a document coming from the Committee that produced the Report is being read, then we must be dealing with the same and one document.
    Now, the Deputy Minister has challenged that that is not the letter that came from the Ministry. So, Mr Speaker, I want us to agree and be sure that we are dealing with the same letter which is not available to the Members of the House.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    Hon Deputy Majority Leader, let us clear the air. First of all, it has been stated that copies were made to Members; if that is the case, then the issue raised by the former Minister for Lands and Natural Resources about custody does not arise, because it had been made available to Members of the Committee.
    If that is the case, the next thing is that, the earlier submission that he made that the Deputy Minister had raised objections and things does not arise because the Deputy Minister was only communicating the concerns of the Board to the Chief of Staff.
    Strictly speaking, he cannot say it is the act of the Deputy Minister. Please, let us make some progress. We are already Sitting beyond the stipulated time; let us make some progress.
    Hon Member, can you begin to wind- up?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have had enough of this heckling, but it is part of the political business.
    Mr Speaker, I said that, the Deputy Minister on behalf of her Minister forwarded the concerns and if it was not necessary, she would not have again forwarded it to us the Committee Members and this is a matter of public record. Mr Speaker, I go further. This is what they again said:
    “I am sorry to see a major operation in Africa sold for such disastrous price because, in my view, of the way it's been managed”.
    This is what Sir Richard said about Lonrho.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    Hon Member, can you conclude.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Ghanaian public expect we the Minority in this House to do what is expected of us; to check the Majority, to make sure that the ‘dumso dumso' ends. To make sure that the Savannah Accelerated Develop- ment Authority (SADA) money is properly used, that the oil money is properly utilized and infrastructure --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    Hon Member, please, do not deviate. We are talking about this Report. You produced a letter, restrict yourself to the subject matter and let us --
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    Resume your seat; we have had enough of it.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Hon Members, the next to take the floor is in the person of Armah Kofi Buah.
    Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah (NDC -- Ellembele) 2:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, let me thank the Committee Members for the work done. But Mr Speaker, I will begin by thanking the Committee especially, for inviting the Ghana Oil and Gas Service Providers Association.
    Mr Speaker, I will like to quote what the Ghana Oil and Gas Service Association stated. They pleaded with the Committee to consider very importantly why this oil and gas port must really be supported. They talked about the fact that, the logistics supply base, offshore fabrication yard, shipyard facility; things that critically will be needed in this nascent oil and gas industry will be provided by the Free Port.
    Mr Speaker, let me take you back.

    Alhaji Inusah A. B. Fuseini — rose —
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Hon Minister, are you up on a point of order?
    Alhaji I. Fuseini 2:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rose on a point of order and I believe seriously that the point of order that I rose on to bring to your attention is not in any way mitigated by the fact of the last speaker.
    Mr Speaker, I rise on Standing Order 30 (2) of this House, and specifically on Standing Order (30) (e) and (f).
    Mr Speaker, Standing Order 30(e) says, and I beg to quote 2:20 p.m.
    “The following acts or conduct shall constitute a breach of privilege or contempt of Parliament.
    “(e) any act or conduct calculated or intended to deceive Parliament or any of its Committees;
    (f) deliberate misleading of Parliament or any of its Committees;”
    Mr Speaker, I hold the strong view that the Hon Member on the other side who just spoke is in breach of Standing Order 30(e) and (f).
    Mr Speaker, I am further convinced on the grounds I stand on, by your interpretation of what had happened.
    Mr Speaker, before the point of order was raised for the Hon Member to produce the letter for us to authenticate the veracity of the assertions that he was making, the Hon Member of this House made us believe that all the assertions he was making came from the Deputy Minister for Transport. Mr Speaker, that assertion, was intended and deliberate as it was, to deceive or mislead the House.
    Mr Speaker, that being so, the Hon Member, Mr Afenyo-Markin is in breach of Standing Order 30 (e) and (f), this is because, throughout his submissions until his attention was drawn and a Point of Order raised, he made us believe that
    those statements that he was uttering came from the Deputy Minister of Transport and that was intended.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Hon Minister, point well made.
    In the first place, you did not catch my eye at the time the Hon Member was making his submission. But since the records have captured it, if you still feel strongly about it, you know what procedure to adopt. You can adopt that procedure and the matter would be dealt with, but in the meantime let us make some progress.
    Mr Buah 2:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was quoting some of the points that were raised by the Ghana Oil and — [Interruption]
    Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu — rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am really taken aback by the intervention of the Hon Member.
    Mr Speaker, indeed at the point my Hon Colleague was making his submission you intervened and drew his attention to the essence of the letter, that communication, and then he took a cue and made the distinction and went on.
    Mr Speaker, I wonder whether or not my Hon Colleague was not listening. After the presentation, he comes back with an intervention, questioning what the Hon Member did when Mr Speaker had ruled. Is he by implication questioning what Mr Speaker did? That is number one.
    Mr Speaker, secondly, my Hon Colleague has been here long enough to know that, our Standing Orders provide
    that the conduct of an Hon Member cannot be raised unless upon a substantive Motion — he says how! — he does not even know.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Member having displayed his ignorance now by saying “how”, I would rest my case.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Hon Armah- Kofi Buah?
    Mr Buah 2:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Ghana Oil and Gas Service Providers' Association — [Interruption.]
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Deputy Majority Leader, are you up on a point of order?
    Mr Agbesi 2:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was on a point of order because — you had made a ruling directing an Hon Member on what to do and the Hon Minority Leader rose to say the same thing, so I was wondering.
    Mr Speaker, you have directed the Hon Member that, if he feels strongly about his point he knows what to do. I do not see what point the Minority Leader was making.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Very well. Hon Minister?
    Mr Buah 2:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was making reference to the statements made by the Ghana Oil and Gas Service Providers' Association and the strong arguments they made in support of the Freeport.
    Mr Speaker, we do not have to take their word for it. All we have to do is just go to Sekondi-Takoradi today and look at what has happened within the few years of oil and gas production.
    Mr Speaker, why did that happen? When we discovered oil in 2007, we made a decision as a country to fast-track oil development and I guess that was a good decision we made, but we have consequences for that decision.
    Mr Speaker, I think that we should pitch this debate in the context of that decision we made.
    Mr Speaker, as I speak to you today, if you go to Sekondi-Takoradi, the Air force Base is where the Oil Companies are flying to the Jubilee field from. The Naval Base is where welding and fabrication takes place. Across the city, service providers are spread all over the place.
    Mr Speaker, the strategic things one needs to do upon discovery of oil is to spend seven years to have a dedicated location to plan well, but unfortunately that did not happen. Mr Speaker, I believe that focusing attention of a dedicated Port is moving us in that direction.
    But Mr Speaker, the argument is more than that. In fact this argument is not about Sekondi-Takoradi or the Ghana Ports and Harbours' Authority, but has to do with the strategic future of our Oil and Gas industry, as whether we are going to be leaders in the sub-region or not.
    Mr Speaker, as I speak to you, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cote d'Ivoire, Benin of late, and Nigeria as you know, are all going to be oil producers in coming years. In fact the Gulf of Guinea is going to be the new oil producing location.
    Mr Speaker, which country in the sub- region would become the leader dedicated to become the hub for oil and gas production? That is the race we are fighting.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah (NPP -- Sekondi) 2:30 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity given me to contribute to this debate.
    Mr Speaker, in contributing to this debate, I wish that we remind ourselves that this is not a loan agreement. It is a concession agreement. As the Report of the Committee states, it was laid because of article 181(5) of the Constitution. The provision for approval of loans has been in our constitutions in 1969 and 1979. The Consultative Assembly based on the recommendation of the Committee of Experts decided that when it comes to international economic and business transaction this House should approve it.
    Mr Speaker, you being an eminent lawyer know that the Supreme Court, in several decisions, has stated that, the approval of international business and economic transactions by this House is a pre-requisite for the validity of such an Agreement entered into by the State.
    Mr Speaker, you see, I recognised that Parliament itself has a great difficulty when it comes to reviewing these Agreements. This is because we lacked the expertise. When it comes to the debate, even of the report we try to pick and choose as it supports our argument or the point we need to advance. It is in this direction that at the Committee's level, I urged the Committee in respect of this Agreement to endeavour to comply with Order 212(2) of the Standing Orders which I beg to quote:
    “The minutes of the proceedings of a Committee shall whenever possible be brought up and laid on the Table of the House with the report of the Committee by the Chairman or Vice-Chairman or any Member of the Committee nominated by the Committee.”
    All the documents we have been referring to, the latest by the Hon Member for Ellembele, the Hon Minister for Energy and Petroleum were brought to the attention of the Committee.
    The letter which was referred to by the Hon Member for Effutu was part of the many documents that were brought to the attention of the Committee. As it is, because we do not have the minutes, the House itself may not be able to appreciate the entirety of the work done by the Joint Committee, and I must say that in this case, the Joint Committee did a rather exhaustive work.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:40 p.m.
    Let us have some order, please.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 2:40 p.m.
    Clause 8.2 of the Agreement and it has to do with the general terms and conditions -- Condition precedent -- it says, with your permission, I would read:
    “If parliamentary approval is not granted to the project or if Parliament recommends amendments to this Agreement at any time prior to the long stop date the parties shall use their best efforts to meet and agree in good faith appropriate amend-
    ments to this Agreement, addressing comments from Parliament and re-submit such amended Agreement for Cabinet and parliamentary approval as required by the Constitution.”
    We approve this Agreement with amendments, the parties say that they would have to meet again and then re- submit any amendment to Cabinet and again to Parliament, and it has all been informed by the decisions of the Supreme Court. But I also recognise that in terms of business, when one is debating matters relating to business in such a fashion it does not really help the business environment. That is why I am urging this House, as my preliminary point in debating this matter to bear this in mind.
    Mr Speaker, we must be asking ourselves some basic questions. Do we need a dedicated oil and gas port? If the answer is yes, can the GPHA, the state- owned enterprise in charge of the development of ports and harbours in a position to develop it? If not, what strategic decisions ought we to take as a country?
    Mr Speaker, I must say -- I must confess that as of now, even at the Committee's level the Executive had not answered this question. It is because the processes leading to the conclusion of these Agreements are not really the best and it does not help. It does not inform us for us to get a broad bird's eye view as to what is involved.
    Mr Speaker, you see --
    There is also one shortcoming with all these processes and it is not something that has not been stated. Even before these Agreements go before Cabinet, we must have a structure akin to the Public Agreements and Review Board to go through these things because if we do not do that, we may not get the best expertise available when it comes to terms with negotiation.
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:40 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Majority Leader.
    Dr Kunbuor 2:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I turned round to see whether the Hon Deputy Attorney-General was here, this is because he has been mentioned in name in relation to his work. I happened to be at the Committee's meeting on that day when
    rose
    Dr Kunbuor 2:40 p.m.
    Please, just let me finish. I am saying that he is the principal legal advisor of government; he performs legal services for the State and its Agencies. The Attorney-General will state a legal position but as to whether that legal position, as a matter of policy is absolute is a challenge. The fact that he has given the advice is what the Constitutional requirement is. As to the accuracy or the nature of that, if that were the case, the Attorney-General would win all his cases.
    So there are opinions that could be contrary to that. He was not saying that his advice he had given was that, this would automatically trigger a default; this was not what the Deputy Attorney- General was saying. That is why I would want him to take it in context.
    The only thing we can challenge is that, the legitimate officer who is required to give the legal opinion has not given one. But if he had given one, it actually means that we can evaluate it, review it, disagree with it or do many things about it. So I would want us to take it in that particular context. That is why he normally heads that “in my opinion” not “in my judgment”. It is in his opinion and it is possible there are other opinions. So I understood the Deputy Attorney-General to be putting his opinion in this context.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 2:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think it is important to remind the Hon Majority Leader that the services of the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice are not directed only at the Presidency but Parliament. Parliament can summon the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice to proffer advice. So if she comes to the Committee and proffers advice, it should be taken seriously.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 2:50 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker. I have not -- indeed the Hon -- [Interruption.]
    Dr Kunbuor 2:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would just want to clarify the point of the Hon Minority Leader. If he goes to article 88 of the Constitution, it is saying that and Mr Speaker, with your permission I beg to quote:
    “There shall be an Attorney-General of Ghana who shall be a Minister of State and the principal legal adviser to the Government.”
    This is the first rule -- [Irterruption] -- Wait! Go to your interpretation section -- [Interruption.]
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 2:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I really respect -- [Uproar.]
    Dr Kunbuor 2:50 p.m.
    And go and find out when government is used in this context what office.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:50 p.m.
    Order! Order!
    Dr Kunbuor 2:50 p.m.
    It means anybody who is driving and exercising executive authority under the Constitution.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:50 p.m.
    Very well, Hon Majority Leader, I would pray that we do not go into these details, as much as possible, let us address the Report --
    Dr Kunbour 2:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we should not be making legal arguments as if they were mathematical equations. Law is not mathematics so we cannot claim that only one legal opinion is the right one. Otherwise, we cannot have two lawyers arguing on different sides of the same case. I would want it put in that context.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:50 p.m.
    Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah, now that point is well made. Can you make some progress?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 2:50 p.m.
    Thank you Mr Speaker, but I would just want to place on record , when I referred to the statement made by the Hon Attorney-General and Minister, I was by no means saying that, the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice could dictate to Government. Some Hon Members would recall that, even at a Committee meeting, I have said that, the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice's opinion is only an advice and it can or cannot be taken. So, please sometimes, the Hon Leader of the House makes some of us feel as if we do not know anything. We know what we are talking about.
    Dr Kunbour 2:50 p.m.
    I would not say that to a senior Colleague at the Bar. I would not say that. If that is the impression you have, then I think it is not the right one.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 2:50 p.m.
    Thank you very much. I said that, where you have a Deputy Attorney-General who advises the Government on these matters in committee, make this point, one must take note of it.
    I have said that, having regard to our experience as a nation, when it comes to development of infrastructure, we have been faced with these repeatedly and I have said that, I personally, I am not opposed to the Free Port. No!
    Mr Speaker, a lot of work, I know personally, has gone into this and I got to know of it sometime in 2011. When we were in Government, we were also thinking of a dedicated Port. At a point in time, we were even discussing the possibility of locating it in Sekondi.
    But the point I am making is that, when these Agreements come before us, because of the financial implications to the country, when it comes to breach of the terms, we need to look at these carefully. I am urging this House to take account of the reservations in respect of the exclusivity and the undertaking to construct these roads, and when it comes to re-negotiating, to discuss it because we should not feel that our arms are tied.
    Mr Speaker, I am saying this, look, when it comes to financing, how the process goes in Parliament plays a very important part. We should not just think because the Agreement is passed, all is well. That the situation with the CBD race, STX is used to a race and in the previous Administrations, IFC is used to a race.
    I am saying that as a House, we should learn from the past and when it comes to some of these things, we should not just think that there are some people who would oppose it, there are some people who would support it and that it is all about numbers.
    Mr Speaker, I pray Hon Members, I would not want to mention names, but who would want to disturb me in my submission, Mr Speaker, I do not want to refer to the Standing Orders.
    But I am urging this House to take these reservations seriously. Let us approve this Agreement subject to the amendments proposed by the Committee and the amendments relating to the exclusivity and the undertaking to provide industrial level roads leading to the project
    site. I believe that does not even bring this Agreement to finality. It is going to be further negotiated and the Govern- ment's hands would be strengthened if it knows that this is the position of Parliament.
    I thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3 p.m.
    Hon Hannah Tetteh?
    Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration (Ms Hanna Serwaah Tetteh) 3 p.m.
    I would want to thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this debate requesting Parliament to approve the Report of the Joint Committee of Commercial Agreement for the development of the Atuabo Port by Lonrho.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3 p.m.
    Please let us have some order. Order!
    Ms Tetteh 3 p.m.
    I think it is important for us to focus on -- [Interruption]
    Mr Speaker, I am sorry, I did not have the Report in front of me so perhaps, I did not quite quote the title accurately. But I would like to take the opportunity to do so.
    Now, let me read from the cover of Report. I would very much like to support the Motion in respect of requesting Parliament's approval for the Commercial Agreement among the Government of Ghana, Lonrho Ports Ghana Limited and Atuabo Free Port Ghana Limited in respect of the Ghana Oil and Gas Freeport Project.
    Mr Speaker, what is this project about? A private sector company or a group of private sector partners are proposing to
    give Government a ten per cent free carriage interest, create the opportunity for other Ghanaian entities to own equity for a project in respect of which they are ready to raise finance which would not be a loan taken by the Government of Ghana, which does not require a sovereign guarantee from the Government of Ghana, which is proposed to be a Freeport Project, which would provide the services that are required, based on the remarks that were made by Colleague, the Hon Minister for Energy and Petroleum to support the Oil and Gas sector.
    Mr Speaker, in addition to that, what they are saying is that, in order to support the commercial viability of the project, they are asking for the exclusivity for the development or for carrying on the business of Oil and Gas services terminal for a limited period of time, which is for ten years.
    The Government of Ghana or other Ghanaian entities that invest equity in this project would receive a return on equity, if the business is profitable. They would receive five per cent as port dues, five per cent of the port tariffs and five per cent of rentals.
    Aside that, Mr Speaker, it would also create significant jobs within the area of Atuabo and would have the effect of creating another Tema in the Western Region of Ghana. When I say another Tema, because we all know that when you have a port facility, it is not just about the people who are working in the construction or in the business, but there are other businesses and services that would develop as a result of having that community.
    Mr Speaker, we have had the Free Zone scheme operating in Ghana since 1995 which is when we passed the Free Zones Act. When we passed that Act, what we knew was that, we were foregoing
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3 p.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Hon Members, I would allow Leadership to make some contributions, if they would want to, otherwise I would put the Question.
    Minority Leader (Mr Osei Kyei- Mensah-Bonsu) 3 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity.
    Mr Speaker, there are a few observations that I intend to make. First of all, I thought the referral to the Finance Committee was not only going to lead us on the terms and conditions of this commercial Agreement but also go beyond and inform this House about the economy; the import of this project on the economy in general as our Standing Orders provide. Unfortunately, as usual, we are not led on this path.
    .
    The second thing is, Mr Speaker, this
    aspect of the exclusivity which has become a contentious matter. Lonrho itself is a registered and listed company in the United Kingdom (UK), whose environ- ment frowns upon exclusivity. So, why should they move from the UK where this idea is frowned upon and come to Ghana and insist that we grant them exclusivity? And we think we should be happy about that without raising issues?
    Mr Speaker, I am not too sure that the State, as we are being told is completely unencumbered. It is not true that the State is completely unencumbered.
    Mr Speaker, the Report on page 3, paragraph 4.1 (a) provides that;
    “Forty five (45%) per cent shall be wholly Ghanaian owned. This would include 35 per cent of the initial capital contributions being made by the Ghanaian institutions
    such as SSNIT, GPHA, GNPC, VRA, SIC to acquire equity in Atuabo Free Port Ltd. The Government of Ghana shall be given a 10% stake of the initial share capital of the developer at a per value zero premium . . .”
    Mr Speaker, that is the initial point. Now, if there should arise any problem and GPHA, SSNIT, GNPC, VRA and SIC are imperiled, is it going to be the same government that is going to shoulder the responsibility of rescuing this project?
    Just this morning, the Minister for Finance came and he is looking for further allocations to GNPC. Fancy the situation where maybe we are not able to have the projected revenue from the Oil Revenue Fund, what should go to GNPC would not go to GNPC. They would then not be able to shoulder their responsibility. Government of Ghana would be required to do this.
    Further to that, Mr Speaker, we are talking about and I am quoting from the Report; paragraph 4.0 (a). The third sentence reads;
    “. . . Further, all initial capital contributions up to Commercial Operation Date in respect of the initial GoG shareholding shall be carried by the other shareholders on a non-refundable basis ensuring non dilution of the Government's interest.”
    We are talking about the period up to commercial operation date.
    Mr Speaker, beyond that date, if further investment is required and these institutions are not in a position to provide funding, what would happen? We could have a possibility of a buy-out. Have we considered that? So, who says that the State is completely unencumbered?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:10 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader just conclude your submission.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3:10 p.m.
    Because it would help me to come to a final determination on this matter --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:10 p.m.
    Just conclude your submission.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3:10 p.m.
    I have had some discussions with the officers at the Ministry of Finance and I know what I am talking about. That is why I was a bit jittery when the Hon Minister came today and confirmed that they are now bringing it down to US$1.5 billion. Where is that money; the US$1.5 that was dedicated to Takoradi Harbour? Where is it?
    An Hon Member 3:10 p.m.
    We would share it.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3:10 p.m.
    You would share it [Laughter.]
    Mr Speaker, the Majority Leader said that they would share that so if he can speak to the microphone for the records, at least the Deputy Minister is here, can he please --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:10 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader I do not want us to veer off, let us concentrate on this Report --
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is a serious matter, we would want to know whether or not that amount --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:10 p.m.
    Yes, at the appropriate time when we are debating what was presented by the Minister for Finance, this morning you would have the floor to raise these issues but in the meantime let us look at this Atuabo Project.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3:10 p.m.
    It has relevance on the Takoradi Project which itself is linked to this Atuabo Project that is why I am asking the Minister for Finance where we are on that. It has serious repercussion on the Takoradi Project so, we should know because that would then further enrich the issue about exclusivity. If it is that the money no longer is going to Takoradi, then of course it would strengthen the hands of the operators of Atuabo Project to have complete exclusivity. That is why I am asking him.
    Mr Speaker since you say that the Hon Minister perhaps may ultimately respond to that, let me conclude on that because the issues are not so clear and that is why it is being suggested that we should recline and do what is right.
    In principle, if we have to construct four Ports or five Ports in the country to the extent that they would provide some benefits, it should be good for the country. The employment aspect that the Hon Minster for Energy spoke about, it should be good for us. These other considera- tions would have to be responded to, so that we are clear in our minds which direction we are going as a country.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:10 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Majority Leader, would you want to contribute?
    Well the Hon Minister himself is here, I would have thought the Hon Deputy Minister would do some closing remarks.
    Dr Kunbuor 3:10 p.m.
    That is so, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker, we have talked, so I have nothing useful to add, I would let the Hon Minister wind up.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:10 p.m.
    Yes Hon Minister for Finance ,you were not here during the debate so would you let your Deputy just give some closing remarks?
    Mr Terkpeh 3:10 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:10 p.m.
    Very well, Hon Deputy Minister.
    Mr George K. Ricketts-Hagan 3:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, first of all I would like to take the opportunity to thank the joint Committee on Finance and Transport for a very thorough job that they have done.
    This Agreement in terms of exclusivity and reference started from a very far end. We have negotiated to the best of our ability and I think we have got very good terms for this Agreement.
    Mr Speaker, with this project, Ghana has the opportunity to develop a regional hub that supports oil and gas industry but in order to develop that, Ghana needs to provide a competitive platform which companies can locate and operate more efficiently.
    Mr Speaker, the Atuabo Port provides that competitive platform at a strategic location and not only for international companies but Ghanaian companies as well.
    Mr Speaker, on the construction phase alone, this would create almost 700 jobs. Mr Speaker, when it becomes operational, this would create about five thousand jobs.
    Mr George K. Ricketts-Hagan 3:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if we put politics aside, we believe that this is a good project and I would like to thank Hon Members for a very good job done and a very good debate on the floor of the House.

    Question put and Motion agreed to.

    Resolved accordingly.

    Some Members -- rose --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:10 p.m.
    Hon Members, I know why you are up. [Interruptions.] Please, Order! Hon Members, it was from the back bench of the Majority side of the House. It was not captured by the microphone but I heard it all right. I would like the Hon Member who made that statement to withdraw. The reference to “nation wreckers”, please withdraw, Hon Murtala Muhammed.
    Mr Murtala M. Ibrahim 3:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I never made any statement in reference to anybody, except that they are telling me it is an issue of --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:10 p.m.
    Hon Member, the statement to the effect that some people are “nation wreckers”, please withdraw. [Interruptions.]
    Mr Ibrahim 3:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if my Hon Colleagues feel so hurt about the statement I made, then I withdraw it.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:10 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader, the Motion has been carried.
    Dr Kunbuor 3:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, item number
    10.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:20 p.m.
    Item 10 on the Order Paper has to do with Resolution by the Hon Minister.
    Mr Ricketts-Hagan 3:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, with your permission, before I Move, the Resolution, I would like to make a correction to item 10, paragraph 2; the third line, that says “ Minister responsible for Health” should be “ The Minister responsible for Finance.”
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:20 p.m.
    Application to amend granted.
    RESOLUTIONS 3:20 p.m.

    THIS HONOURABLE HOUSE 3:20 p.m.

    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:20 p.m.
    Yes, any seconder?
    Mr Avedzi 3:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to second the Motion.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Resolved accordingly.
    Dr Kunbuor 3:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we could take the first addendum.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:20 p.m.
    Hon Members, first addendum; presentation of Papers, item (i), by the Minister for Finance.
    PAPERS 3:20 p.m.

    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:20 p.m.
    Item (ii).
    By the Minister for Finance --
    (ii) SAIN Covered Export Credit Facility Agreement among the Government of the Republic of Ghana, Deutsche Bank S.A. - Banco Alemão (as Arranger), Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas (as Agent and Security Agent) and its affiliates supported by Segurado Brasileira de Credito a Exportacao (SBCE) and the Brazilian Official Equalization Programme (PROEX) for an amount of one hundred and thirty-five million, five hundred and twelve thousand, five hundred United States Dollars (US$135,512,500.00) being part support of tranche 1 of a total amount of two hundred and fifty- nine million, four hundred and twenty-five thousand United States Dollars (US$259, 425,000.00) to finance the Kumasi Central Market Redevelopment Project (Phase I).
    Referred to the Finance Committee.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:20 p.m.
    Item (iii)
    By the Minister for Finance --
    (iii) Commercial Contract among the Government of the Republic of Ghana, Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, and Contracta Engenharia Ltda in respect of the Kumasi Central Market Re- development Project.
    Referred to the Committee on Local Government and Rural Development.
    Dr Kunbuor 3:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, there is addendum two.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:20 p.m.
    Addendum two, the following Papers to be presented by the Chairman of the Committee.
    Following Papers to be presented -- item (i)
    By the Chairman of the Committee --
    (i) Report of the Finance Committee on the Terms of a Receivables- backed Trade Finance Facility between Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and a Consortium of Banks and Financial Institutions, with the Govern- ment of the Republic of Ghana as Guarantor, for an amount of US$2,000,000,000.00 for the purchase of cocoa beans in Ghana for the 2014/2015 Crop Season.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:20 p.m.
    Item (ii)
    By the Chairman of the Committee --
    (ii) Report of the Finance Committee on the Request for waiver of stamp duty amounting to
    US$20,000,000.00 on an Offshore Syndicated Receivables-Backed Trade Finance Facility of US$2,000,000,000.00 for cocoa purchases by Ghana Cocoa Board for the year 2014/2015 crop season.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:20 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
    Dr Kunbuor 3:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, item (2), on addendum two.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:20 p.m.
    Item two has to do with a Motion by the Chairman of the Committee.
    MOTIONS 3:20 p.m.

    Chairman of the Committee (Mr James Klutse Avedzi) 3:20 p.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 Terms of a Receivables-backed Trade Finance Facility between Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and a Consortium of Banks and Financial Institutions, with the Government of the Republic of Ghana as Guarantor, for an amount of US$2,000,000,000.00 for the purchase of cocoa beans in Ghana for the 2014/2015 Crop Season may be moved today.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:20 p.m.
    Any seconder?
    Dr A. A. Osei 3:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I second the Motion on condition that we can agree to break and take some lunch and come back, because we are suffering, Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:20 p.m.
    Hon Members, very well.
    Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
    Dr Kunbuor 3:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, what we discussed with the Whips was that, Hon Members can withdraw individually and take care of those, and come back, while we proceed, so that we can rise early, because of the time.
    If we were to break or suspend Sitting, I am not sure we would get back before 4.00 o'clock. I was in touch with the Majority Whip on this matter, so, Mr Speaker, we can proceed.
    Dr A. A. Osei 3:20 p.m.
    Unfortunately, these are finance related, so we cannot get up and go if you insist. We want to be able to participate in the debate. So, ten to fifteen minutes -- [Interruption.]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:20 p.m.
    Hon Member, we would take note of it, when we get there, so let us go through this.
    Hon Members, Motion; Item number two on the addendum number two on the Order Paper, be moved and seconded.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Resolved accordingly.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:20 p.m.
    Item number 3, I believe, on the addendum Paper.
    Receivables-backed Trade Finance Facility between Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and a Consortium of Banks and Financial Institutions.
    Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 3:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Finance Committee on the Terms of a Receivables-backed Trade Finance Facility between Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and a Consortium of Banks and Financial Institutions, with the Government of the Republic of Ghana as Guarantor, for an amount of US$2,000,000,000.00 for the purchase of cocoa beans in Ghana for the 2014/2015 Crop Season.
    Mr Speaker, in doing so I present your Committee's Report.
    Introduction
    The request for approval of the Terms of a Receivable Trade Finance Facility between the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and a Consortium of Banks and Financial Institutions, with the Government of the Republic of Ghana as Guarantor, for an amount of two billion United States Dollars (US$2,000,000,000.00) for the purchase of cocoa beans in Ghana for the 2014/2015 Crop Season was presented to the House by the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr Seth Terkpeh, on Wednesday, 16th July, 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 Parliament of Ghana.
    Pursuant to the referral, the Committee met with the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr George Seth Terkpeh, Hon. Deputy Minister for Finance, Mr George Kweku
    Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 3:20 p.m.
    Current cedi/dollar exchange rate is GH¢3.0244 to US$1.0
    Proposed increase in cocoa purchase
    The Committee was informed that COCOBOD has exceeded the 2013/14 crop season projection of 830,000 tonnes by over 80,000 metric tonnes as at 30th June 2014. The increase, it was explained was as a result of increased production emanating from the implementation of free and timely supply of fertilizer to famers as well as improved rainfall patterns during the year. It was therefore in anticipation of the increased production for the 2014/ 2015 crop season that COCOBOD has syndicated an amount of US$ 2 billion for cocoa purchases and other related uses in the 2014/2015 crop season.
    Utilisation of 2013/2014 loan facility
    The Committee observed that during the 2013/2014 crop season, COCOBOD raised an amount of US$1,200,000,000.00 for cocoa purchases and payment of other liabilities.
    The amount was utilised to cover the following expenditure items:
    Iterm (US$)
    Payment for inputs -- 554,378.06
    Arrangement and participation fees -- 8,400,000.00
    Commitment fee -- 179,666.67
    Interest paid -- 2,152,839.08
    Legal fees -- 20,931.27
    Bank charges -- 156.47

    ITEM (GH¢)

    Seed fund to LBCs -- 1,278,479,256.00

    GoG escrow account for loan servicing -- 29,997,018.39

    Chemicals and fertilizers -- 348,314,164.43

    Export duty -- 100,000,000.00

    Purchase for 2013/2014 main crop season -- 730,091,741.80

    Purchase for 2012/2013 main crop season -- 75,372,126.64

    Grant/advances:

    CMC -- 20,000,000.00

    QCC -- 6,497,943.64

    COCOBOD and divisions -- 103,484,981.85

    Cocoa evacuation -- 2,673,803.81

    Purchases of fertilizer and chemical -- 8,483,489.00

    Released to commercial banks

    for purchases -- 184,000,000.00
    Dr A. A. Osei 3:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion and in so doing, I would want to crave your indulgence that since this Paper was referred to only the Finance Committee, at least, I would want the Ranking Member of the Committee on food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs to make some comments. I have no comment, so with your permission --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:30 p.m.
    Yes, Ranking Member of the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs?
    Ranking Member of the Committee(Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto): Mr Speaker, a couple of Hon Members from our Committee were present at the discussion yesterday at the Finance Committee, and there was a request for the COCOBOD to present the breakdown of this US$2,000,000,000.00 exactly what it is meant to do. They had presented a breakdown of the US$1.2 billion, which was raised last year for cocoa purchase, and in order that we could evaluate exactly what the US$ 2 billion was, we said that if they could present the breakdown on the
    same format, so that they can do a comparison. I see from this Report that the items for which the money is being raised are given in ten different units: thus, from cocoa purchases to the Ghana COCOBOD's operations.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to put it on record, I am nervous about this request for US$2 billion. You would ask me why? In the commodity sector, you are talking about purchases, transportation and all those things, which go to move the crop from the farm gate to the final consumer.
    Mr Speaker, I refer you to paragraph 6.2, “Propose Increase in Cocoa Purchase”. The Ghana COCOBOD has revived its purchases for the current crop season 2013/2014, from 830,000 metric tonnes to 910,000 metric tonnes.
    Mr Speaker, they are also expecting that the crop would go up from the 910,000 metric tonnes to 950,000 metric tonnes that is an increase from very simple arithmetic of only 4.4 per cent, and yet they are asking for an increase in the amount from US$1.2 billion to US$2 billion, which is two-thirds of last year; an increase of 66.6 per cent.
    Mr Speaker, I cannot for the life of me, see the justification for such a huge increase in the amount required to purchase the crop. A crop, which they admit is going for 910,000 metric tonnes -
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:30 p.m.
    Hon Member, are you up on a point of order?
    Alhaji Sorogho 3:30 p.m.
    Rightly so, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker, My point of order is, when the Committee met the last time to consider the final draft, the Hon Member was not there. What he is raising -- [Pause]--was fully discussed this morning. The Hon Members: Hon Akoto

    and Papa Owusu-Ankomah -- the issue was not only about the production from 830,000 metric tonnes to 950,000 metric tonnes. In fact, they went ahead to inform the Committee that from what they were seeing, it was likely to hit above 1 million tonnes, and a lot of discussions went on. He was not there, so I am surprised that he is bringing us back, Mr Speaker. He is not a Committee member, so please; he should not bring us back.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:30 p.m.
    All right, allow him to land.
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the facility is to be voted on by the entire House. It is not for the edification of the Committee alone, so if we have to share information, there is nothing wrong with that. Mr Speaker, let us go on.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:30 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member, please, continue with your submission.
    Your point is well made; it is well taken. Let us make progress.
    Dr Akoto 3:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, for the record, I said that I was in the initial meeting of the Finance Committee yesterday, but I was not present today, and I was expecting information to be provided, which has not been done.
    Mr Speaker, please, US$2 billion is a lot of money. We have to make sure as a legislature, that requests which are brought to this House are legitimate and then we can satisfy ourselves that it is worth borrowing. I am saying that the crop is very simple -- the statistics, they have provided. They expect only an increase of 4.4 per cent in the volume of the crop, yet they are asking for 66.67 per cent increase in the loan, which we are going to incur.
    Dr Akoto 3:30 p.m.


    Question put and Motion agreed to.

    Resolved accordingly.
    Dr Kunbuor 3:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, item number 4, Addendum 2.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:30 p.m.
    Item number 4 has to do with the Resolution by the Minister of Finance.
    RESOLUTIONS 3:30 p.m.

    THIS HONOURABLE HOUSE 3:30 p.m.

    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:30 p.m.
    Any seconder?
    Mr Avedzi 3:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to second the Motion.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Resolved accordingly.
    Dr Kunbuor 3:30 p.m.
    Item number 5, Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:30 p.m.
    Item number 5 is by the Chairman of the Committee.
    Mr James K. Avedzi 3:30 p.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 Request for waiver of stamp duty amounting to US$20,000,000.00 on an Offshore Syndicated Receivables-backed Trade Finance Facility of US$2,000, 000,000.00 for cocoa purchases by Ghana Cocoa Board for the year 2014/2015 crop season may be moved today.
    Dr A. A. Akoto Osei 3:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to second the Motion.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:30 p.m.
    It has been moved and seconded.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Resolved accordingly.
    Report on the request for the waiver of stamp duty.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:30 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
    Dr Kunbuor 3:30 p.m.
    Item number 6.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:30 p.m.
    Yes, Chairman of the Committee?
    Report of the Finance Committee on the Request for Waiver of Stamp Duty.
    Mr James K. Avedzi 3:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Finance Committee on the Request for waiver of stamp duty amounting to US$20, 000,000.00 on an Offshore Syndicated Receivables-backed Trade Finance Facility of US$2,000, 000,000.00 for cocoa purchases by Ghana Cocoa Board for the year 2014/2015 crop season.

    Mr Speaker, in doing so, I present your Committee's Report and I read the conclusion.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:30 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, why do you not indicate that the Hansard should capture the whole Report as read? You are reading the conclusion, but prefix it with the --
    Mr Avedzi 3:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I ask that the Hansard captures the entire Report.
    Introduction
    The request for Waiver of Stamp Duty on an Offshore Syndicated Receivables- backed Trade Finance Facility of two billion United States dollars (US$2,000, 000,000.00) for Cocoa Purchases by Ghana Cocoa Board for the 2014/2015 crop season was presented to Parliament by the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr Seth Terkpeh on Wednesday, 16th July, 2014.
    Mr Speaker referred the request to the Finance Committee for consideration and report in accordance with article 174(2) of the 1992 Constitution and Order 169 of the Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
    Pursuant to the referral, the Committee met with the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr. Seth Terkpeh, Hon Deputy Minister for Finance, Mr George Kweku Ricketts- Hagan, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board, Dr Stephen K. Opuni, officials from the Ministry of Finance, Ghana Revenue Authority and Ghana Cocoa Board and considered the referral.
    The Committee is grateful to the Hon Minister and his Deputy, officials from the Ministry, Ghana Revenue Authority and Ghana Cocoa Board for attending upon it.
    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
    Stamp Duty Act, 2005 (Act 689).
    Background
    The cocoa industry has been the backbone of Ghana's economic develop- ment over the years. In 2010, cocoa contributed about a quarter of Ghana's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The industry has over the years created employment for millions of Ghanaians and serves as a major source of foreign exchange earner for the country.
    Cocoa production in Ghana has also increased significantly since the 1999/ 2000 crop season reaching an all-time high of over 1 million metric tonnes in the 2010/ 2011 crop season. The increase in the levels of production requires substantial financial resources to enable the Ghana Cocoa Board to finance the purchase of cocoa beans. To this end, the offshore syndicated trade finance arrangement was put in place to enable the Ghana Cocoa Board secure a loan facility to finance cocoa purchases and for other payments each year.
    In anticipation of increased production in 2014/2015 crop season, the Board of Directors of the Ghana Cocoa Board and Cabinet have given approval for the COCOBOD to borrow an amount of two billion United States dollars (US$2,000, 000,000.00) to finance cocoa purchases in the 2014/2015 cocoa season.
    The arrangement involves a consor- tium of several international and local banks in arranging a credit facility to purchase an estimated 950,000 metric tonnes of cocoa beans in the 2014/2015
    crop season. COCOBOD is however, required by the Stamp Duty Act, 2005 (Act 689) to pay (1%) as tax on the facility. It is therefore in this regard that the request for Parliamentary approval is being sought.
    Required waiver
    The provisions of section 32(6) of the Stamp Duty Act, 2005 (Act 689) makes it imperative to pay a Stamp Duty of 1per cent on loan facilities. The amount of tax waiver required is 1per cent Stamp Duty on US$2,000,000,000.00 amounting to
    US$20,000,000.00.
    Observation
    Importance of the tax waiver
    The Committee noted that the loan amount will be used to purchase a projected 950,000 metric tonnes of cocoa beans for the 2014/2015 crop season. The waiver is therefore necessary to ensure that the full value of the facility is available to the Ghana Cocoa Board to enable it pay for cocoa purchases and other liabilities in the 2014/2015 crop season.
    The tax waiver amount being requested
    The Committee observed that, the Ghana Revenue Authority granted an interim waiver on the Offshore Syndicated Receivables-backed Trade Finance Facility amounting to US$20,000,000.00. The stamp duty payable was assessed at 1 per cent of US$2,000,000,000.00 and Parliament has therefore been invited to consider and approve the waiver to ensure that the entire sum is available to COCOBOD for the 2014/2015 crop season.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I recognise that we want to adjourn very early even though we were a bit late, but I know that these matters were referred to the Committee just this morning. I have seen the Committee Chairman in this House ever since the referral was made.
    Mr Avedzi 3:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, let me read the Conclusion. I would answer him later.
    Conclusion
    The Committee after a careful examination of the request is of the view that granting of the waiver will allow COCOBOD to use the entire syndicated facility for cocoa purchases in the 2014/ 2015 crop season. The Committee therefore recommends to the House to adopt its Report and approve by Resolution, the request for Waiver of Stamp Duty amounting to twenty million United States dollars (US$20,000,000.00) relating to the Offshore Syndicated Receivables-backed Trade Finance Facility of US$2,000,000,000.00 for cocoa purchases by Ghana Cocoa Board for the year 2014/2015 crop season in accordance with article 174(2) of the 1992 Constitution, section 36 of the Stamp Duty Act, 2005 (Act 689) and Order 169 of the Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
    Respectfully submitted.
    Mr Avedzi 3:40 p.m.


    Ranking Member of the Committee (Dr Anthony A. Osei): Mr Speaker, I rise to second the Motion and in so doing, I would want to put on record that I have not been in this House all the time. It is not true. Mr Speaker, I have stepped out about five times.

    Mr Speaker, this is routine with Stamp Duty waiver, so I do not have much to say.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:40 p.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Members, I think it is conse- quential; I would put the Question.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Dr Kunbuor 3:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we would take the Resolution under item number 7. But just to recall for the record, too, that when the Hon Chairman and the Hon Ranking Member agree, then it is a very serious business.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:40 p.m.
    Very well.
    RESOLUTIONS 3:40 p.m.

    Mr James K. Avedzi 3:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Resolved accordingly.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:40 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader, any more business?
    Dr Kunbuor 3:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we would leave the House in your hands now.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:40 p.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Members, I direct that this House stands adjourned till tomorrow at ten o'clock in the forenoon.
    Thank you for your indulgence.
    ADJOURNMENT 3:40 p.m.

  • The House was adjourned at 3.44 p.m. till Thursday, 17th July, 2014 at 10.00 a.m.