Debates of 11 Nov 2014

MR SPEAKER
PRAYERS 10:40 a.m.

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

Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Hon Members, Correction of Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 7th November, 2014.
Page 1 . . . 11 --
Mr GeorgeK. Ricketts-Hagan 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, on page 8, I was marked absent without any reason.I submitted a letter to Parliament before I travelled on Government business. [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Did you fill the Leave of Absence Form?
Mr Rickettes- Hagan 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I did.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Very well.
The Clerks-at-the-Table will take note of that.
Mr Ricketts- Hagan 10:40 a.m.
Thank you Mr Speaker.
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, rather starting from page 8, the First Deputy Speaker read a communication from His Excellency the President informing the Speaker and the House of his absence from the country on Friday, 7th November, 2014 at the invitation of His Excellency Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
I agree entirely with you.
Hon Members, it should be article 60 (11).

Hon Members, we have two Official Reports for correction.

Yes, Hon Member for Old Tafo? Any point of order?
Dr Anthony A. Osei 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, sorry. The Hon Minority Leader raised an issue but I thought he did not fully explore it.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Hon Member, you see, this is a summary. I understand the Hon Minority Leader's position and that should be the position. We are on the correction of the Official Reports now.
Hon Members, we will start with the correction of the Official Report of Wednesday, 5th November, 2011.
Any correction?
Somebody should correct the Official Report because what I have here is 2011. It should be 2014.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I so move that 2014 be substituted for 2011 to reflect the true record.
Thank you.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Very well.
Hon Members, the Official Report of Wednesday, 5 th November, 2014 as corrected, is hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.
Hon Members, we now move to the Official Report of Thursday, 6 th November, 2014.
Yes, Hon Member for Old Tafo?
Dr A. A. Osei 10:50 a.m.
Thank you.
Mr Speaker, column 111, the last paragraphs of my intervention, the second line “tell us as he speaks'' not as he ‘'speak'' the ‘s' should be added to the speak.''
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Any other correction?
Hon Members, the Official Report of Thursday, 6 th November, 2014, as corrected, is hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.
Question time -- Hon Deputy Majority Leader, do you have the Hon Minister for --
Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 10:50 a.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister for the Interior is ready.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Very well.
rose
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Yes?
Mr Isaac Osei 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, as you are fully aware, today is Remembrance Day and in many of the Commonwealth countries, at 11.00 o'clock on the 11th day of the 11th month of the year, silence is observed and I will crave your indulgence to ask us at 11.00 o'clock to observe just a minute's silence for all veterans in the world.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Very well.
Hon Members, the practice in the House is that, I normally receive a Statement from a Member after which we observe what you are asking the House to do now. I have not received any Statement.
I also recall that last week, the Minister for Defence was in the House to make a Statement and in that Statement, he mentioned the November 11 (11/11). But I thought somebody was going to bring a Statement or draw my attention to -- So, at 11.00 o'clock, we will do exactly what you have suggested even in the absence of a Statement.
Mr Benito Owusu-Bio 10:50 a.m.
Thank you.
Mr Speaker, I have an issue which I would want you to clarify. Mr Speaker, it has to do with an Urgent Question of mine which you admitted about two --
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Member, there are procedures. The time the Business Statement was read last Friday, that was the time you may find out the status of your Urgent Question. But even then, when you are not satisfied, you start the process from the Clerks-at-the-Table and you get the Business Committee Chairman
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS 10:50 a.m.

MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR 10:50 a.m.

Minister for the Interior (Mr Mark O. Woyongo) 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, with the creation of new districts, the Police Administration requested the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to inform the District Chief Executives and Members of Parliament to identify places and also provide infrastructure to enable the Ghana Police Service open police stations in the newly created districts.
Mr Speaker, the Northern Regional Police Commander was also tasked to follow up with the District Chief Executive of Mamprugu Moaduri District and the Member of Parliament to assist with the provision of infrastructure to open a police station in Mamprugu Moaduri District. The Police Administration is still waiting for their response.
Mr Speaker, as soon as the infrastructure is provided, the Police Administration would post personnel and provide logistics to man the police station in the Mamprugu Moaduri District.
rose
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Do you have a point of order?
Dr A. A. Osei 10:50 a.m.
No, Mr Speaker. I would want to crave your indulgence -- It looks like the Hon Minister is not well. So, shall we allow him to sit down and answer the Questions? He was limping.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Member for Old Tafo, why do you want to mourn more than the chief mourner?
Dr A. A. Osei 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, he is a good friend of mine and I care for his health. So, I do not want him to be under duress.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Member, he is not complaining; when he complains, we will know what to do.
Mr Woyongo 10:50 a.m.
Thank you for the concern.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Any supplementary question?
Mr Ussif 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Hon Minister whether he could confirm to this House if the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development indeed, communicated to the District Chief Executive and the Member of Parliament. This is because on the record, as a Member of Parliament for the district, I have not received any communication either from the Ministry of the Interior or the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
Thank you.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Minister?
Mr Woyongo 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the issue --
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, may I crave your indulgence to come under Standing Order 86 (2), which reads:
“By the special indulgence of Mr Speaker a Member unable conveniently to stand by reason of sickness or infirmity, may be permitted to speak sitting.''
Mr Speaker, we all notice the difficulty of the Hon Minister in rising and walking this short distance to answer the Questions. It would serve his interest if he is permitted to sit.
Mr Speaker, he may not be able to speak for himself, but we all see his physical constitution. May I plead that we permit him to sit and answer the Questions?
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Members, is it the case that I should look at the person and then order or when the person makes the application to me? We have to get it right, so that in future when I see somebody and I look at his posture, I can say he should sit down, the House would not complain?
When an Hon Member makes the application, it becomes easier for the Speaker to make the decision.
Hon Minister, can you conveniently answer the Question by standing?
Mr Woyongo 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, if you do not mind, I would want to sit. I am suffering from gout and it is really very painful. So, if you do not mind, I would like to sit down.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Where would you sit and which microphone would you use?
Mr Woyongo 10:50 a.m.
Maybe, I could go back to my seat and if you do not mind, I would use the microphone there.
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Minister, sit down for a while. It is 11.00 o'clock. I would want us to observe a minute's silence in memory of our fallen heroes.
Mr Isaac Osei 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister complains that he has gout. I would advise that perhaps, he would reduce his intake of the good things like red meat and wine.
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Member for Subin, you are out of order. [Laughter.]
Hon Members, let us make progress with the Questions.
rose
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Yes, Hon Member for Old Tafo?
Dr A. A. Osei 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I thought that the Hon Minister was a Muslim, so, how could he be accused of engaging in wine?
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
I am not sure he is a Muslim. Are you a Muslim?
Mr Woyongo 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am a Catholic and a very active one too.
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Minister, may you now respond to the supplementary question from the Hon Member for Yagaba/Kubori.
Mr Woyongo 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, because of resource constraints, the Ministry of the Interior made a special appeal to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to impress upon Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) and Members of Parliament (MPs) if they could assist the Police Administration acquire
Mr Ussif 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, last week, we were all told in this House by the Hon Minister for Local Government and Rural Development that the seed money that was set aside for the smooth take-off of the newly created districts had not been released yet. We are also aware that the whole year, 2014, the districts have not received their DACF. We are also aware the DDF is in arrears for more than two years. So, the same resource constraints that the Ministry of the Interior is challenged, is the same thing with the various Ministries.
Mr Speaker, in the interim, the Mamprugu Moaduri District is called “overseas” not because of anything but because of inaccessibility. There are regular complaints and reports of armed robbery cases. I would want to make an appeal to the Hon Minister that in the interim, he should put measures in place for the people of Mamprugu Moaduri District, since the whole district has no single police personnel.
You can imagine if send a report to Walewale, it takes three hours before the police would get to the place. By the time they get there, the culprit might have escaped.
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Member, it is more of an appeal; it is not a question. So, ask your last supplementary question. Is it both an appeal and a question?
Hon Minister, did you get the question?
Mr Woyongo 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, if I got him right, his appeal would be taken on board. As and when we get the funds, we would provide the Hon Member's district with a police station. In the interim, I would want to urge him to look out for philanthropists in his area who can provide a building.
It happens in many places. People donate buildings for police stations. I can give him so many examples. So, this is an appeal. If he could get somebody in his area who is prepared to donate a building, we would establish the police station while we look for the funds to open a formal one for them.
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Deputy Minority Whip?
Mr Ignatius B. Awuah 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, in the Hon Minister's Answer, he indicated that he requested the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development to inform the MMDCEs and MPs to identify places and also provide infrastructure to be used as police stations for the new Assemblies.
I would want to know from him, what is his Ministry's policy towards providing decent accommodation for the Ghana Police Service in the new district.
Mr Woyongo 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I indicated earlier that because of resource constraints, the Ministry is unable to provide infrastructure. That is why we made an appeal to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to use the District Assemblies to provide the infrastructure and a lot of the districts are responding positively to our appeal.
rose
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Last supplementary question on this matter.
Hon Atta Akyea.
Mr S. A. Akyea 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister talked about an appeal for funds to help. With respect, we would want to find out whether he knows the cost of a decent police station at a place like Mamprugu Moaduri District. What is the cost of erecting a decent police station in a district of that nature, to give us a fair idea how much allotment we can make for such purpose?
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Minister?
Mr Woyongo 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would not know unless I consult the architects and the quantity surveyors.
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Members, we move to the next Question.
Question number 226, Hon Member for Wa East.
Fire Station at Funsi
Q. 226. Mr. Ameen Salifu asked the Minister for the Interior when Funsi, the district capital, would be provided with a fire station.
Mr O. Woyongo 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am happy to inform my Colleague Hon Member that Funsi, the district capital of the Wa East District would be a beneficiary of one of 80 new fire tenders at the weekend.
Mr Speaker, it is worthy to note that whereas the Ministry of the Interior is eager to cover all districts with fire equipment, it is expected that beneficiary districts would also put the requisite structures in place, that is, operational stations, water systems to facilitate the efficient functioning of the fire stations.
Districts are also expected to provide boreholes dedicated to the fire stations.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Salifu 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, on this note, I would like to use this opportunity to thank the Minister for the Interior for providing us -- and also recognising Wa East out of the lot for this wonderful honour.
On behalf of the district as well, we thank you very much for this gesture.
rose
Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon Member for Okaikoi Central?
Mr Boamah 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Hon Minister-- It seems the Ministry keeps shifting some responsibilities onto the Distr ict Assemblies to provide some support. I would want to know from the Minister whether it is the case that the Ministry responsible for internal security is so much underfunded that it has to rely on other Ministries and agencies for support.
Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon Member, is the Question about fire tenders? It is not about fire tenders. The main Question is about fire tenders. So, that is not a supplementary question.
Mrs Ursula G. Ekuful 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would like to ask the Hon Minister for the Interior, in view of the resource constraint hampering the efficient execution of the responsibilities of the agencies under his control, when it comes to provision of fire tenders, what steps are they taking to rehabilitate existing fire tenders which are broken down.
The Dansoman Fire Station has a fire tender which is not operational. This is because it is broken down. What steps are they taking to rehabilitate those tenders?
Mr Woyongo 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we are very conscious of the need to maintain the fire tenders to make sure that we have value for money for them.
rose
Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Last question, Hon Member.
Mr Adagbila 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, has the Hon Minister presented a case to the Executive, how to source more loans to build these infrastructure, as he complains of lack of resources? This is because we have seen situations where --
Mr Adagbila 11:10 a.m.
My question is, has the Hon Minister made a comprehensive request before the Executive, just as the Government is able to source for loans to buy girls' pads? Has the Hon Minister done that? This is because everywhere, he is talks of the District Chief Executive (DCE) to put up infrastructure. But Government has taken so much loans to the extent that we are going to buy pads, which could have built either an internal office --
Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon Member, what is your question?
Mr Adagbila 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, my question is, has the Hon Minister presented a comprehensive request to the Government to source loans for these infrastructure? That is all I am saying.
Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Well. The Hon Minister is part of the Government but the question is “What are you doing to raise resources for your Ministry?”
Mr Woyongo 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am a bit hesitant to make a request for loans to put up those infrastructure. This is because I know that the Hon Minister for Finance would not entertain a request for loans to put up infrastructure. [Interruptions.] That is true. We have a lot of requests before the Ministry of Finance. We are asking for even the basic tools for the police to work with.
We want money to buy more fire tenders, and if we have to go asking for money or loans to go and put up infrastructure, we would be asking for too much.
That is why we are asking District Assemblies, Municipal and Metropolitan Assemblies to use some of their DDF to put up these structures. This is because these structures are going to be in their localities and to be of service to them.
Let me also use this opportunity to appeal to Hon Members of Parliament, that, as and when it is possible to use their Social Intervention Fund (SIF) to put up structures like that, they would always be mentioned in dispatches.
Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon Minister, we thank you very much for attending upon the House to respond to Questions from Hon Members.
Hon Second Majority Whip, Question number 201, what is the status?
Mr Ahmed Ibrahim 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, Question number 201 is supposed to be answered by the Hon Attorney-General and Minister for Justice but we have a letter here indicating that she has still not received the response from the Judicial
Service. She is therefore, pleading with us to crave your indulgence if it can be rescheduled to enable her go to the Judicial Service for the Answer.
This is because directly, the Hon Attorney-General and Minister for Justice has to go to the Judicial Service for the Answer.
Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon Members, this is a special case because, the Judiciary is an independent constitutional body, they do not have audience on the floor of the House. If you want the Hon Attorney- General and Minister for Justice to answer Questions on their behalf, with regard to the Magistrates' course, they have to get the information from them and that is the essence of the information the Deputy Majority Whip is providing.
So, I would indulge them; we may have to look at the issue in future whether we would adopt the Electoral Commission's approach as an independent constitutional body where we engage them at the Committee of the Whole and take questions from them or we continue to respond and ask Questions from the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice to come and answer on behalf of the Judiciary. It is something we need to look at.
I know as a matter of fact that the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice is a member of the Judicial Service but she is not the head of the Judicial Council. So it is something we may have to look at.
So, for now, we may have to indulge the Hon Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, so that it can be re- programmed.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, with respect, this Question to the Hon Minister is not in her capacity as the Hon Attorney-General, it is in her capacity as the Minister for Justice.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
But she is a member of the Executive. Whether Minister for Justice or Attorney-General, she is a member of the Executive. I know where you are coming from and the point is that, the Judicial Service is an independent constitutional body. But if you want to continue that practice, I do not have any problem. This is because if you listen to the communication the Deputy Majority Whip indicated, he said she had to get the information from the Judicial Service.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, really, I am not questioning the request for more time, except I just wanted the point to be made, that the Question to her on this occasion is in her capacity as the Minister for Justice, not Attorney- General. That is number one.
Number two; We still operate within the time frame as provided for under Order 60 (3), that the Minister, knowing what is required of her, she knows that she is to operate within a three week period to have it, that is whether there is that direct line between her office and where she is supposed to source the information from,. She should be told that we work within time lines. That is the second point that I would want to make.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Very well. At the commencement of Public Business --
Dr Anthony A. Osei 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would the newspapers on Saturday, the 8th of November, 2014 and the con- sequential things about Members of Parliament.
It would be good that we find time and create space as a Parliament to discuss the communication. I do not want to go into details but since I read it, the impression I got in Kumasi and Accra, when I returned, -- we need to create space as a House to discuss that and other subsequent issues.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Very well. We will arrange that with the Leadership of the House.
Hon Members, at the Commencement of Public Business --
Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Alban S. K. Bagbin 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Minister for Trade and Industry who is to lay this Paper is rather engaged in some -- [Interruption] -- and he has directed his Deputy to come and lay the Paper on his behalf. So, I am craving the indulgence of my Hon Colleagues to allow the Deputy Minister to lay the Bill for and on behalf of the Hon Minister for Trade and Industry.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
I thought we would start with item 5(a). Are we deferring it? The one standing in the name of the Minister for Roads and Highway.
Mr Bagbin 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, my information on the Papers to be presented are quite scanty. So, I wanted us to take the Bills first, to allow me time to consult to see whether the Papers are ready to be laid.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Yes, that is the information I need from you. That was why I called you. I do not know which Papers are ready. That is why I want to get it from you.
So, if you are deferring this for now, let us do so and move to the ones that are ready.
Mr Bagbin 11:20 a.m.
That is so. We would take item 6(a).
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Very well.
Hon Members, we will move to Presentation and First Reading of Bills.
There is an application to have the Hon Deputy Minister present the Bill on behalf of his Minister.
Hon Minority Leader, do you have any objections? I want to allow the Deputy Minister to present it. Any objection? Item 6(a)
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I thought if there was any application to that effect --
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
The Hon Majority Leader has made the application.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:20 a.m.
All right.
In which case, I would not have any objection.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Very well.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Majority Leader?
Yes, Hon Majority Leader, let me hear from the Chairman.
Alhaji Amadu Bukari Sorogho 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Committee's name must be captured properly. This is because you said “Trade and Industry”. It is “Trade, Industry and Tourism.”
So, I would want it to be captured properly. That is the reason.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Yes, Hon Majority Leader, is this Bill ready to be laid?
Mr Bagbin 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, what we referred to on the Order Paper was the name of the Ministry, which is Trade and Industry. But the Committee is what he is talking about. He was talking about your referral.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Yes, Trade, Industry and Tourism.
Mr Bagbin 11:20 a.m.
That is so.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Majority Leader, is item 6 (b) ready to be laid? The Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Bill, 2014.
Mr Bagbin 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I have no information on that yet. I am not sure we have to lay it; we have to defer it, so that when they bring in the information, we can properly lay it.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
I have been informed that it was in the Business Statement presented last week.
Mr Bagbin 11:20 a.m.
That is so, Mr Speaker. We programmed a lot of businesses, expecting that it would be brought to the knowledge of the Leader of Government Business. I have not received any such information.
My very good Friend is now drawing my attention to the Bill, and he says that they have a copy at the Secretariat. So, Mr Speaker, I can allow that and then call on the Hon Minister for Employment and Labour Relations to present the Bill for and on behalf of the Minister for Energy and Petroleum.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, clearly, what the Hon Majority Leader and Leader of Government Business is saying is a case of anomaly.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Of?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it is an anomaly. Yes, this is a Leader of Government Business, and if these Bills are coming to Parliament, they should be routed through his office. Then when they have sufficient copies, the Bill then will be laid. But if he tells us that he does not have any idea about the presence and availability of these documents in the House -- Yes, that is what he said.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Members, the point raised by the Hon Majority Leader is a valid one and the Hon Minority Leader's point is also important. But I believe that the normal practice is to route it through the Clerk for record purposes.
When we leave here, as the Hon Majority Leader in charge of Government Business, he needs to be properly briefed by the relevant Ministries with regard to businesses coming to this House.
For record purposes, the keeper of records of this House is the Clerk to Parliament. It is good to route it through him. But before he comes, the Hon Majority Leader must be properly briefed.
So, we will allow this one to go through, and in future, we believe that the coordination will be better than now.
Minister for Employment and Labour Relations?
BILLS -- FIRST READING 11:20 a.m.

Dr A. A. Osei 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, may I ask the Hon Minister for Employment and Labour Relations if there are sufficient copies available to us once he has laid it.
Mr H. Iddrisu 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, there are -- and I undertake to liaise with the Attorney-General's Department and the Assembly Press to ensure that those copies are indeed, made available to this august House.
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Member, I have been informed by the Clerks-at-the-Table that they have received enough copies.
Hon Members, we now move to the Order Paper Addendum. Since we are taking the Bills, we just deal with this matter once and for all.
Order Paper Addendum. By the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations.
BILLS - FIRST READING 11:30 a.m.

Dr A. A. Osei 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, Social Welfare does not exist on the Order Paper. Minister for Employment and Labour Relations and the Committee of the House --
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Member for Old Tafo, the Committee.
Hon Majority Leader, have you got any information? We are still on the Presentation of Papers. Have you got any information on item 5(a) and (b)?
The item 5(b) stands in your name?
Or should we still defer it?
Mr Bagbin 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we should defer item 5(a) and (b). I still do not have information on them.
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Very well. Hon Members, item 5(a) and (b) are accordingly deferred.
rose
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Yes, Hon Dr Appiah- Kubi?
Dr Appiah-Kubi 11:30 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
With reference to the Addendum, I would want to crave your indulgence. Since employment borders very much on poverty reduction, I just wanted to crave your indulgence to refer the matter to a joint committee including the Committee on Poverty Reduction.
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Members, I thought the referral that I made was in order. Should the Committee on Poverty Reduction be part of this Bill? I am not too clear about it.
Dr Appiah-Kubi 11:30 a.m.
Indeed, job creation and employment generation are potent tools for poverty reduction.
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
In fact, everything that we do here relates to poverty reduction, if that is the argument you want to make.
Hon Members, I have done the referral. Let us make progress.
Mr Joseph Z. Amenowode 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to first of all stress the name of your Committee. It is Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises. And in furtherance to that, I would want to --
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
That is precisely what I said.
Mr Amenowode 11:30 a.m.
I would want to state that the Committee on Employment -- has the leadership of this Bill and we discussed that we would accept the leadership --
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Member, I have done the referral to the joint Committee. If you go to the Committee, you decide what to do. That becomes an internal matter at the Committee level.
Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Bagbin 11:30 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
With your kind permission and the indulgence of my Hon Colleagues, the Hon Deputy Minister for Roads and Highways is now with us. He has briefed me on item 5(a) and I believe that we could lay it now and refer it to the appropriate Committee to consider and report to the House.
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Which committee is the appropriate committee? This is a Treaty.
Mr Bagbin 11:30 a.m.
The appropriate committee is the Committee on Roads and Highways. We should add the Committee on Constitution, Parliamentary and Legal Affairs because we are dealing with a Treaty, item 5(a).
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Deputy Minister for Roads and Highways?
PAPERS 11:30 a.m.

Mr Michael Coffie Boampong 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the name of the Committee is Roads and Transport.
Thank you.
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Very well. Roads and Transport.
Hon Members, Paper duly laid. We defer item 5(b). But item 5(b) stands in the name of the Hon Majority Leader.

Very well. Now, let us make progress. What item again?
Mr Bagbin 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, if we could kindly take item 7. You would recall that it was at the Consideration Stage when a number of petitions came before the House, some through you and you referred them to the Committee for consideration.
The Committee met a number of times, invited the petitioners and we have reconsidered the views. The petitioners were not aware of some of the proposed amendments that the Committee had made and some of the rationale behind
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Majority Leader, if it is not a procedure provided for by the Constitution -- we are masters of our own procedure. Given the level of public comments on this matter, I would wish you let us see how we can do it so that those issues that are in the Report -- I understand you perfectly, that at the Consideration Stage, we cannot go back to Second Consideration Stage. If it is not a procedure that would breach the Constitution, but is only a provision which would be consistent with our -- Or if you can find a way of dealing with our own Standing Orders, so that those issues can be discussed to pave way comfortably for the Consideration Stage, I would urge for further consultation, so that maybe, tomorrow, we can take it.
I do not know what you feel about it, Hon Majority Leader. Unless the procedure is outlined by the Constitution -- That one, we cannot do anything about it. This is because it is important to inform the people of Ghana.
Mr Bagbin 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I take a cue from the Chair, and would try to go by the wise counsel that you have given, and reconsider the position. We discussed it extensively. Some were for what you are proposing, but the majority were against that. So, I agree that during the Consideration Stage, I would present it. But once you have counselled, we would go back to consult and see how best we can iron out a procedure that would not be in conflict with any of the laws including the Constitution. This is because with Parliament, we are masters of our own procedure. So, we can defer this item till we finish with the consultation.
Mr Speaker, then we would move to item number 8. Item number 8 deals with the Customs Bill, 2014, which is at page 15 of today's Order Paper.
Hon Members would recall that the Committee requested for time to do the informal process of winnowing, which we granted. They have done the winnowing; it is not yet completed. But they believe that what they have completed, they could start the Consideration Stage today.
I would want to plead with Hon Colleagues that we should take some of the provisions today, and allow them to continue with the rest. This is because we have a lot to do in this short Meeting, and we are expected, at least, to pass the Customs Bill, 2014. This is because of the financial implications it would have on the budget.
So, I would want to plead with Hon Members for us to take some of the proposed amendments from page 15 of the Order Paper. The Hon Chairman and the Hon Ranking Member could be of assistance in this matter. So, I leave that into their very safe hands.
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Yes, Hon Member for Old Tafo and Ranking Member for the Finance Committee?
Dr A. A. Osei 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Majority Leader is right. The Committee is trying to do as much as possible. But I would want the Hon Majority Leader to remember that we are constrained by certain factors, which if expedited, can make our work go faster. There are two items that are pending that if you and the Leadership did the facilitation, it would inure to the benefit of all Members of Parliament (MPs), so that we can see our way forward.
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Well. Hon Minority Leader, do you have something to say?
If they have winnowed some of the clauses, we should start considering them now.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:40 a.m.
Thank you very much.
Mr Speaker, my first comment would relate to the comments made by the Hon Majority Leader in respect of the item numbered seven on the Order Paper, and I would plead that the Reports that he has tabled , copies are made for Hon Members in the consideration of that Bill.
Further to that, given the position that the document has assumed in the national discourse, I would urge that we cause an announcement to be made in respect of coming back to reconsider it. That is, after the engagement that we shall have for any person or body to come, so that we engage -- And after that engagement, we can have the opportunity to have a safe passage of this Bill.
This is because just last week, we had other people coming in, jumping onto this to say that Parliament should not consider it. I remember a group of farmers from the
Brong Ahafo Region threatening their Members of Parliament, that if they voted for this, they should not come back. So, let us also throw the matter out there in the public domain and let them know that finally, we are coming to some determination on this. They should come, let us sit round, and jaw-jaw with it, and move the agenda forward. If they fail to do that, it cannot then restrain Parliament from considering the Bill.
Mr Speaker, the second one is in respect of the Customs Bill, 2014. I do not have anything against opening up to consider it except that, there are many matters that have arisen this morning. I guess the Hon Majority Leader could not be with us. We thought we could have a short meeting, recline to the Speaker's Lobby to have serious considerations of those matters.
So, I thought that we were going to have space to consider those matters, that we were going to have a short Sitting today, and allow ourselves, maybe, some time to consider it tomorrow. Even next week, we can have enough time to consider that while we are considering the principles of the budget after its delivery. We still can have space to deal with this.
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader, I will suggest that we start some work on this Bill. I will hand over the Chair to the First Deputy Speaker and the Second Deputy Speaker and they will proceed with the Consideration Stage of the Bill.
Chairman of the Committee, which clause shall we start from?
Mr James K. Avedzi 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we are starting from clause 12.
BILL -- CONSIDERATION STAGE 11:50 a.m.

  • [Resumption of Debate from 14/7/ 2014]
  • Chairman of the Committee (Mr James Klutse Avedzi) 11:50 a.m.
    I beg to move, clause 12 headnote, after “Customs” insert “advance”.
    The Headnote will then read; “Customs Advance ruling”.
    Mr Speaker, the clause is about advance ruling of the Commissioner- General. So, we are changing the Headnote to read as such.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Why the advance ruling? You should explain to the House before I put the Question.
    Mr Avedzi 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I said the whole clause was about advance ruling of the Commissioner-General. The Headnote is talking about customs ruling. But it is Customs' advance ruling by the Commissioner-General. [Interruption] -- Clause 12.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Why the “advance”? This is because what we see there, they talked about ruling. They did not use the word “advance”?
    Mr Avedzi 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, if you read the entire clause, it talks about:
    “Commissioner-General may issue a written ruling applying the Customs law to a particular set of facts submitted by an interested …”
    Mr Speaker, if you put the word ‘advance ruling', it means that there is another ruling which is not advance. You seem to be drawing a distinction. Is there

    anywhere in the Bill where there is another ruling?

    Hon Chairman?
    Mr Avedzi 11:50 a.m.
    Yes.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    There are two rulings?
    Mr Avedzi 11:50 a.m.
    There are two rulings; this is the advance ruling --
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Very well. That is the point we should canvass on the floor to let us know that there is one which is “advance” and a second one.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am just struggling to understand the use of the word “advance” in this context. What is the meaning of “advance” in this context? -- “ Customs advance ruling”
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    I want us to dispose of this matter before I leave the Chair. Is it a prior ruling? ‘Advance ruling', have you defined it in the Bill? ‘Advance' --
    Hon Chairman?
    Mr Avedzi 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Commissioner- General, under the Act, is being given the power to give ruling in applying the Customs Law whenever a request is made by the interested party, that is, notwithstanding the ruling that would be made in the law court. That is what we mean by the Commissioner-General giving a ruling by his understanding and application of the law.
    The clause says that when the Commissioner-General is giving this ruling, these are the processes that he would follow and he is also demanded to issue or publish this ruling. If there is any interested party asking for that ruling, the Commissioner-General is mandated to give the ruling. That is what we mean by the --
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Then it should be Customs ruling or the Commissioner- General's ruling as distinguished from judicial ruling. So, it should be Commissioner-General's ruling or Customs ruling; then we distinguish that one from the judicial ruling which is the ruling of the court. That would be a better rendition.
    I do not know what the House says?
    Hon Majority Leader?
    Listening to the Chairman of the Committee, the two rulings -- one is of a judicial nature-- The court, the other one is coming from the Commissioner-General. So, we can make one Commissioner- General's ruling and the other one the judicial ruling. But to say “Customs advance ruling” is --
    Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
    Mr Bagbin 11:50 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    My Clerk brought the wrong file; I do not have the Bill in the file here, so, I am struggling to get the text. But either that or a preliminary ruling could also be a possible proposal. But I have to go through the text first.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Preliminary ruling by the Commissioner-General is also another --
    Yes, Hon Member for Old Tafo?
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was going to crave your indulgence, that we step this one down and go to non-controversial parts and also try and get the Customs people and liaise with them to ensure that this is done properly. If we have not defined -- [Interruption.]
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Who made the recommendation? Is the “advance ruling” coming from the Customs or it is coming from the Committee?
    Dr A.A. Osei 11:50 a.m.
    I believe so.
    I was not there, but that is the case.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Very well.
    Chairman of the Committee, I suggest we defer it for now.
    Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not know where you would be running to but if you look at what you are talking about, we are making a suggestion that perhaps, you could qualify it with “Commissioner-General” --“Commissioner- General's ruling.”
    Unfortunately, if you go to 9 of 12, - That is, if we decided to use “Com- missioner-General's ruling;
    “a Customs ruling is binding until the ruling is overturned by the Commissioner-General.”
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    That is precisely where the problem is.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:50 a.m.
    If we qualify it as the “Commissioner-General's ruling”, then the Commissioner-General's ruling would be overturned by the Com- missioner-General himself again.
    So, let us look at it again and we either substitute same for an “interim ruling” or “preliminary ruling” or whatever. We can step it down, defer it and consider it later on.
    MR SECOND DEPUTY SPEAKER
    Mr Bagbin 11:56 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    The view that we should step this down and reconsider the proposed amendment, is a correct one. So, we should step it down and move on to the next proposed amendments.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 11:56 a.m.
    All right. So, we step it down --
    Clause 12, any further amendments?
    Chairman of Committee?
    Mr Avedzi 11:56 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, let us go to clause 26.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 11:56 a.m.
    We should step down the whole of clause 12?
    Mr Avedzi 11:56 a.m.
    Yes.
    Clause 12 deferred by the leave of the House
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 11:56 a.m.
    All right. Clause 26?
    Chairman of Committee?
    Mr Avedzi 11:56 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, before we went on recess, we had completed clauses 13 to 25. The clause 12 was stepped down at that time and we are still stepping it down. So, the next clause is 26; we have already done the clauses 13 to 25.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 11:56 a.m.
    Thank you.
    So, we defer the whole of clause 12.
    Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:56 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not have any objections except that I was just indicating that it appears the
    clause 12 may have some effects on the ones that we are being told that we have already considered. This is because the Commissioner-General's ruling, which may be objected to in clause 13, finds expression in clause 12. But we are told that we considered those before recess. So, I will just remind them, that possibly, we may have to come back to those ones, knowing that it may affect the content in the 13, 14, that we have already agreed to.
    That is the issue that I would want to
    -- 11:56 a.m.

    Mr Second Deputy Speaker noon
    Chairman of Committee?
    Mr Avedzi noon
    Mr Speaker, if we finally deal with the clause 12 and it has any effect on clause 13, then we have to go back to the clause 13 and the rest.
    So, Mr Speaker, I would move the clause 26.
    Clause 26 -- Goods on board a conveyance
    Mr Avedzi noon
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 26 subclause (3), line 4, delete “that may incur the duty” and insert “if any”.
    So, the new rendition is that:
    “Where the goods are permitted to be entered after being put on board, the Commissioner-General may require the exporter or agent of the exporter to give security for the payment of export duty on the goods if any.”
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker noon
    Hon Ranking Member of the Committee?
    Dr A. A. Osei noon
    Mr Speaker, the Chairman of the Committee is right; the amendment is alright.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker noon
    What did you say? Your microphone is off.
    Dr A. A. Osei noon
    Mr Speaker, the amendment is acceptable.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker noon
    So, I will put the Question.
    Even the Hon Chairman and the Hon Ranking Member who moved and seconded the amendment are not in favour of it.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 26 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clauses 27 and 28 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 29- Loading and exportation of bonded goods.
    Mr Avedzi noon
    Mr Speaker, there were some amendments to clauses 28 and 29 but we have already concluded those amend- ments. So, clause 26 was also stepped down at the previous Sitting.
    Mr Speaker, so, when you are putting the Question now, we should take the amendments which we have already- Clauses 28 and 29.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker noon
    I do not understand. It must be reflected on the Order Paper.
    Mr Avedzi noon
    Mr Speaker, it has already been effected so putting the Question now, we are not agreeing to what we have
    in the Bill but to what we have in the Bill with the amendment that we have already proposed.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker noon
    Where is that?
    Mr Avedzi noon
    Mr Speaker, I remember that we had already carried on with those amendments before we went on recess the last time.
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker noon
    Hon Atta Akyea?
    Mr Akyea noon
    Mr Speaker, this is a point for clarification.
    My Senior Colleague of the House said that he feels. I would want to find out if in this House we feel or we think. I was a bit confused when he said, “I feel.” This is because I thought he was going to say that, “I think”. I want clarification.
    Mr Avedzi noon
    Mr Speaker, I change it to “I remember” and not “I feel “anymore.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker noon
    But Chairman of the Committee, this is a House of record, which is very much like the Superior Court. So, everything must be on record. What is the basis for what you are telling me now? You must tell us.
    You are saying that even though I have put the Question on clauses 27, 28 and 29, there were some previous amendments to them. That should be reflected in a document, either in the Order Paper or the Votes and Proceedings; they should be reflected in something. I cannot just --
    Hon Member for Sekondi, could I just take his words when there is no reflection in a document? The Chairman of Committee is telling me that some previous amendments were made but they are not reflecting in the Order Paper before us. What should I do?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah noon
    Mr Speaker, in these matters, you are the embodiment of the rules of the House. So, whatever you say is entirely at your discretion.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker noon
    Thank you.
    I was very confident that you would empower me and that is why I called you. Now, I can decide what to do.
    So, Hon Chairman, I have taken a decision. While we wait, so that you--
    Let us continue. We will later sort out those statements you made.
    Now we are at clause 29 and clause 30? We will come back to clause 29.
    Mr Avedzi noon
    Mr Speaker, we will come back to clauses 28 and 29. This is because I remember we proposed amendments in our Report to clauses 28 and 29. So, if they are not factored here, it means that we have dealt with them.
    Mr Speaker, we could go to clause 30 as we check that record.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker noon
    Clause 30; Chairman of the Committee?
    Clause 30 -- Entry outward and clearance.
    Mr Avedzi noon
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 30, subclause (3), concluding phrase after paragraph (c), line 3, after “thousand” insert “and not more than three thousand”.
    Mr Speaker, the new rendition of clause 30 would read noon
    “the failure or omission is not explained to the satisfaction of the Commissioner-General, the master or authorised agent shall incur a penalty of not less than one thousand and not more than three thousand penalty units”.
    Mr Avedzi noon
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 30, subclause (5), line 4, after “hundred” insert “and not more than three hundred.”
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker noon
    I will put the Question.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi noon
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 30, subclause (6), line 4, after “thousand” insert “and not more than six thousand.”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi noon
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, Clause 30, subclause (9), concluding phrase after paragraph (b), line 1, after “thousand” insert “and not more than six thousand”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 30 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Clause 31-- Sorry, the Hon Ranking Member?
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, with the indulgence of the Chair, there is a slight omission that we might want to make. It is not significant but just to be consistent.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    What clause, please?
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, clause 30. That is why I was craving your indulgence to see if the Chairman-- Mr Speaker, right through the changes that we are making on clause 30, subclause 7, line 3, throughout the Bill, we are changing “three times” to three hundred. Any time there is one or two times, we change it to 300 per cent.
    It is a trivial amendment. But if the Hon Chairman would agree and do that before you put the Question.
    Mr Avedzi 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is so. Let us change it to “three hundred per cent” instead of three times.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Why do you not read the whole clause 3 out?
    Mr Avedzi 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, clause 37 -- line 3, delete “three times” and insert “three hundred per cent”.
    Dr A. A. Akoto Osei 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Chairman left out one word.
    To be consistent, it should read:
    “…a penalty of three hundred per cent of the duties”.
    The word “of” was left out by the Chairman.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    So, we will take yours. I will put the Question.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 30 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 31 -- Coasting aircraft or ship
    Mr Avedzi 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 31, subclause (3), line 4, after “to” insert “hundred per cent of”
    The new rendition is that:
    “(3)where the goods are loaded, unloaded, conveyed or dealt with contrary to the regulations or conditions that the Commissioner- General may pose, the goods are liable to forfeiture and the master of the aircraft or ship shall incur a penalty equal to hundred per cent of the value of the goods,” [Interruption] --
    Clause 31 (3), line 4, after “to” insert “hundred per cent of” .
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Ye, Hon Member for New Juaben South.
    Dr Assibey-Yeboah 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it should read; “hundred per cent of the value”.

    Question put and amendment agreed to.

    Clause 31 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Ms Sarah Adwoa Safo 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, for the purposes of clarity and consistency, hundred per cent of the value of what? Is it the goods or the duties payable? We have to come clear on it -- [Interruption] -- Of the goods? All right.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Hundred per cent of --
    Why do you not read the whole sentence and let us hear?
    Mr Avedzi 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the whole sentence reads:
    “(3)where the goods are loaded, unloaded, conveyed or dealt with contrary to the Regulations or conditions that the Commissioner- General may impose, the goods are liable to forfeiture and the master of the aircraft or ship shall incur a penalty equal to hundred per cent of the value of the goods.”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 31 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 32 to 35 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 36 -- Restrictions on dealing with coastwise cargo.
    Mr Avedzi 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 36, subclause (1), concluding phrase after paragraph (b), lines 1 and 2, delete “eight hundred and fifty penalty units” and insert “not less than one thousand and not more than three thousand penalty units.”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 36 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 37 -- Prohibited and restricted goods
    Mr Avedzi 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 37, subclause (1),concluding phrase after paragraph (d), line 1, delete “eight hundred and fifty penalty units” and insert “one thousand and not more than three thousand penalty units.”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 37 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 38 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 39 -- Master to deliver account on cargo before departure
    Mr Avedzi 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 39, subclause (3), concluding phrase after paragraph (b), line 1, delete “twice” and insert “two hundred per cent of.”

    Question put and amendment agreed to

    Clause 39 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill

    Clause 40 -- Master to deliver transire on arrival
    Mr Avedzi 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 40, subclause (2), line 2, after “equal to” insert “one hundred per cent of”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 40 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clauses 41 and 42 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 43 -- Customs house agents.
    Mr Avedzi 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 43, subclause (2), paragraph (a), subparagraph (ii), line 1, delete “officer” and insert “one director or an employee” and in line 2, delete “house agency” and insert “business”.
    Mr Speaker, the new rendition will read 12:20 p.m.
    “The Commissioner-General shall not grant a licence to a company or partnership to operate a customs house agent unless at least, one director or an employee of the

    company holds a certificate of proficiency in customs business”.

    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 43, subclause (2), paragraph (b), subparagraph (ii), line 1, after “partner” insert “or an employee” and in lines 2 and 3, delete “the business of customs house agency” and insert “customs business.”
    Mr Speaker, the clause will then read 12:20 p.m.
    “In case of a partnership, at least, one partner or an employee of the partnership holds a certificate of proficiency in customs business”.
    Ms Safo —rose—
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Ms Safo 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to draw the Chairman of the Committee's attention to clause 43 -- Sorry for taking you back -- Where the word “house agency” has been replaced with the word “business”, if I got him right.
    But when you come to the definition section, it defines who customs house agents are. So, I am drawing your attention that if we were doing this amendment, then probably, we should do the changes to reflect that in the definition section as well.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Chairman?
    Mr Avedzi 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the definition of “customs house agent” if I may read, means “a person who is granted a licence to carry out a customs business.” In fact, we are further amending that definition, so that it would match with what we are doing here.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    So, the Chairman of Committee just moved the second amendment to clause 43; am I right? [Pause.]
    Yes, that is item (xvi) on the Order Paper. Chairman of Committee, am I right?
    Mr Avedzi 12:20 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 43, subclause (3), line 3, at end, insert the following:
    “where an employee of that body or institution holds a certificate of proficiency in customs business”
    Mr Speaker, the new rendition will read
    “the Commission-General may grant a licence under this section to a statutory body, State institution or other institution to transact business as a customs house agent where an employee of that body or institution holds a certificate of proficiency in customs business”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 43 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 44 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 45 -- Bonded carrier
    Mr Avedzi 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 45, subclause (3), paragraph (a), l ine 2, delete “steamship” and insert “conveyance”.
    Mr Speaker, the new rendition is, the Commissioner-General may licence the following persons as bonded carriers in the country, a common carrier of goods owning or operating a rail, conveyance or other transportation lines for the transport of goods in the country.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 45 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 46 -- Licensing operation of customs-controlled area.
    Mr Avedzi 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 46, subclause (5), line 1, delete “license” and insert “licence” and line 2, delete “licensee” and insert “licencee”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 46, subclause (6), line 2, delete “license” and insert “licence”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 46, subclause (7), line 1, delete “license” and insert “licence”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 46 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 47 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Clause
    48?
    Mr Avedzi 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, let us step clause 48 down, so that we will carry it out later. This is because we are deleting the entire clause and I do not have the explanation.
    We can go to clause 49.
    Clause 49 —
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to crave the indulgence of the Chair, that we stopped the winnowing at clause 48. So, it would be useful to avoid any— If we can go and start the winnowing from clause 49 and then when we come back, it would be much easier for us.
    Mr Avedzi 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not have any objection. If we adjourn now, the Committee will go and continue with the winnowing.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Sarah Adwoa Safo, that is your name on the tablet.
    Ms Safo 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have been — probably, the Ranking Member promoted me up here.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to seek your guidance on this one. The word “licensee” keeps appearing in this Bill, and very much
    so, there is a legal terminology “licensee” and that could mean something other than the person who is applying for a licence through the Commissioner-General in this respect.
    Mr Speaker, for purposes of not creating ambiguity and numerous interpretations, I believe it would be proper that we define “licencee” to distinguish it from the general legal terminology and meaning of who a licencee is.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Atta Akyea, I think you were listening. What is your view on this matter?
    Mr Atta Akyea 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is true, because r ight now, the— [Interruption.]
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    I will encourage Hon Bedzrah to listen, because I am going to ask of his view.
    Mr Akyea 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is true because the modern approach to drafting is that simplicity should be the hallmark and that people will not import so many meanings into several words; and that robs a lawyer of his trade, because the confusion is always good for the lawyers in terms of interpretation and all that.
    So, for clarity sake, I agree with my Hon Colleague that the word “licencee” should be properly explained, so that it does not give other meanings as used in other areas of the law — The licensor and the licencee — The one who gives the licence and the one who receives the licence.
    That is a general understanding outside the confines of what we are doing. But if it is the same, then we should look at it properly.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Yes, Chairman of Committee?
    Mr Avedzi 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not know if my Hon Colleague is adding “licensor” to the proposal of defining “licencee”, because we have “licensee” appearing in this Bill and for the purposes of this Act, we need to define it and know the meaning of it in this context. Is my Hon Colleague adding the licensor?
    Mr Akyea 12:30 p.m.
    No, Mr Speaker. What I am trying to do is that, the Colleague friend of mine, who is a lawyer like me, was trying to bring to your attention that —
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    A senior lawyer at the Bar —
    Mr Akyea 12:30 p.m.
    That in other interpretations, you have “licensor;” that is the one who gives the license, and the one who receives the license is the “licencee”. So, we should give clarity to what we are doing here, so that it might not confuse with the other interpretations outside what we are doing. That is why. But I do not want to add it.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon K. T. Hammond, can we have the worth of your experience?[Laughter]—The question is, the word “licencee”—
    Mr Hammond 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, bear with me, while I operate my equipment and see how to speak into the microphone because I am very new to all of it [Laughter]—
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Ranking Member?
    Dr A. Akoto Osei 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to crave your indulgence.
    Hon K.T. Hammond has not received proper orientation on the use of our gadgets, and so, I would plead with you to excuse him for today—[Laughter]— After we have equipped him appropriately, then he may proceed to use the gadget—
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon K. T. Hammond, I thought you were very electronically literate?
    Mr Hammond 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am very electronically educated, equipped and all that, but as it is, this appears to be slightly or a bit more above a certain level of my technical expertise. You would have noticed that I have been speaking with our Leader all this while and was simply asking him —
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    You were receiving tutorials —
    Mr Hammond 12:30 p.m.
    In fact, he was close to pointing to me exactly what to do, when you mentioned my name. He had got to the point of physically pointing to where the acoustics, the sounds and all that, and then you called me. So, I had to invite the lady to show me where it is.
    Mr Speaker, it is beautiful but let us get on with it.
    Mr Speaker, what was your question again, because the Minority Chief Whip was explaining—
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    My question was, Hon Adwoa Safo made a point that we used the word “licencee” in this Act a number of times, and since “licencee” has a meaning within the general legal Lessxicon, should we be using “licencee” in this Act or we should look for another word. This is because when you tell a lawyer “licencee”, he immediately thinks about “licencee” and “licensor” —The person who gives the license and the person who receives the licence.
    So, she was asking whether it has the same meaning in this Act, or we should be looking for another word rather than “licencee” so as not to cause confusion. But I know that you have the answer to that. But since we will be coming back tomorrow, you can provide that tomorrow
    Mr Hammond 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for the absolute confidence you have in me, except that I am not so sure if Mr Speaker's view was that, that was the subject we were discussing. The Minority Chief Whip and I were entirely on a different plane. We were talking about the technical, the audio-visual, the carpet and those things.
    But really, it surprises me, my Hon Colleague is an accomplished lawyer altogether, and so, it is as if Mr Speaker is flipping something—
    What is he saying, Hon Member from Keta?
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    He is destructing your attention but ignore him.
    Mr Hammond 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, to the point, we will deal with it when we come back tomorrow. But I thought that as an accomplished lawyer that the Hon Member is, she possibly would have given you the answer that you require. But if you insist that I help, I would want to read the entire document to be able to provide a lawyer's answer. It is a straightforward question [Interruption]
    Some Hon Members — rose --
    Mr Hammond 12:30 p.m.
    I do not know why all of you are up and standing -- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 of you— Why are all of you standing? What is your problem? What is your beef? The Speaker called me, and so, why are you standing up?
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon K. T. Hammond, thank you very much. I will recognise you tomorrow.
    Mr Hammond 12:30 p.m.
    I am most grateful to you Mr Speaker. But of course, we all know the lawyer's answer to “licencees” and “licensors” and whether it should have a general implication. But we would deal with it tomorrow.
    Mr Speaker, I must also congratulate you for overseeing such fabulous —
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    The Speaker read out the first day, those who did everything, and so, let us leave that topic. I was not part of the group.
    Mr Hammond 12:30 p.m.
    But as part of the Chair, you deserve congratulations.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    I do not like taking credit when I have not—
    Mr Hammond 12:30 p.m.
    I am told that it is the carpet which is fabulous, and so, I could withdraw the “fabulous” —
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Thank you very much, Hon Member.
    Hon Hammond, I just called you to make a slight contribution and you took over the floor —
    Mr Hammond 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, you, called for it, and I thought I should announce my presence —
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Anthony Akoto Osei, if it is on this “licencee, licensor” business — Sorry, before Hon Akoto Osei, Hon Isaac Osei?
    Mr Isaac Osei 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, what I understood from what Hon Adwoa Safo said was that all she wanted was for clarity sake; we should define “licencee” —
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    In this Act —
    Mr Isaac Osei 12:30 p.m.
    Yes, that is all she wanted.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have two points; I want to remind Hon K. T. Hammond that the chair from which he is speaking, will record him as Hon Boafo— [Laughter.]
    Mr Avedzi 12:40 p.m.
    On a point of order.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Ranking Member is also being recorded as “Hon Botwe”.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:40 p.m.
    He is not aware and that is why I am saying that his statements would be attributed to Hon Boafo and the records may be wrong. So, I am advising him that henceforth, he should be sitting on his chair, so that we can properly capture his contribution.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Yes, the second point?
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, as Hon Isaac Osei said, the Hon Adwa Safo was simply reminding us that whether it was in the legal sense, we should define “licencee” as the person who has been given the licence in the Act, so that there is clarity. It is acceptable, so that we can make progress. We need to go through some winnowing. We should proceed.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Since we will be going for winnowing and we have not brought this matter to an end, we would take it up tomorrow.
    Thank you, Chairman; thank you Ranking Member.
    Mr Ahmed Ibrahim 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we have seen the importance of the winnowing. We have done so many amendments within this shortest possible time and it would be better if we can adjourn now, to enable them to go and continue -- and also to enable Hon K. T. Hammond to continue with his orientation.
    Therefore I beg to move, that we now adjourn till tomorrow at 10.00 a.m.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Now that you have mentioned Hon K. T. Hammond's name, when he gets up, I have to recognise him -- but I will not recognise him.
    Dr Anthony A. Osei 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    ADJOURNMENT 12:40 p.m.

  • The House was accordingly adjourned at 12.43 p.m. till Wednesday, 12 th November, 2014 at 10.00 a.m.