Debates of 18 Nov 2014

MR SPEAKER
PRAYERS 10:30 a.m.

VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT 10:30 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Hon Members, Correction of the Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 14th November, 2014.
rose
Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Hon Member for Shai- Osudoku?
Mr Assumeng 10:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, on page 21, item number (xcv), the name “Mr Francis Anata” should be “Mr Francis Anaba”. The subsequent one, item number (xcvii), Mr John Tsikor is not the District Chief Executive for Ningo- Prampram.
The item number (cii), Alhaji S. A. Rhack Nartey, is rather the District Chief Executive for Ningo-Prampram. “Mr John Tsikor” is a staff of the Ningo-Prampram District Assembly.
I wish that these correction are made.
Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Page 22 … 43 --
rose
Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Yes?
Mr Agbodza 10:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, at page 40 -- Adaklu-Anyigbe District Assembly --

Mr Speaker, Adaklu-Anyigbe District Assembly no longer exists; the districts are Adaklu and Agotime-Ziope.

Thank you very much.
Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
So, what exactly are you correcting?
Mr Agbodza 10:30 a.m.
I am correcting page 40; it reads that one of the districts that attended one of the Public Accounts Committee meetings is Adaklu-Anyigbe Distr ict Assembly. Indeed, many Metropolitan and Municipal District Assemblies (MMDAs) still carry the name Adaklu-Anyigbe, but it does not exist anymore. It is just Adaklu District.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
So, they should delete the “Anyigbe”?
Mr Agbodza 10:40 a.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Very well.

Hon Members, the Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 14th November, 2014 as corrected are hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
The Official Report of Thursday, 13th November, 2014.
rose
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Yes, Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
Mr Nitiwul 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Official Report of Thursday, 13th November, 2014. Mr Speaker, I am bringing something to your notice, and it is in the interest of Parliament for you to grant me space to read the whole paragraph.
Mr Speaker, column 364, the last paragraph, under Mr Nelson A. Baani (NDC) -- Daboya/Mankarigu. Mr Speaker, with your permission, I beg to quote:
“Mr Speaker, I have a short contribution on the Bill. I would want Hon Members at this time to reject it because it has some offences that are not dealt with. This Bill would bring a lot of con- troversies in my area, especially
…..”
Mr Speaker, then Mr First Deputy Speaker comes in to read.
Let me go back to Mr Baani.
“Mr Speaker, I went through page 10 and saw the definition of “parent” and it said:
“it includes the natural father and the natural mother.”
“Mr Speaker, some of these women are
alomo gyatas in their families. So, if a woman I am married to brings me bastards, what are the offences for those types of women and what type of punishment do you give them?
That is why I would like to say, unless this clause is added punishment for women who are not faithful”, we should not adopt the Bill.”
Thank you.”
Mr Speaker, that is what the Hon Member said and captured under the Parliamentary Debate of Thursday, 13th November, 2014.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader, are you doing correction of the Official Report?
Mr Nitiwul 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am bringing it to your notice; it is in your interest because Parliament was lambasted --
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Hon Member, please, you are a leader in the House. I will give you the floor but let us take the issues one by one. If you want to bring something to my attention, is it something that would lead to the correction of the Official Report or it is something that relates to it?
If it is a correction, I will allow you to correct it and you can go ahead and do whatever. If it is not a correction, then let us finish with the correction, adopt the Official Report and then I will give you the floor.
This is because you are a leader in this House, so that you can make your comments within the rules of the House.
Mr Nitiwul 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, fair enough; accepted. Since we were correcting it, I wanted to bring it to your notice. But I would come back when we adopt it, when you give me the opportunity to make the Statement I wanted to make.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Very well.
I would hear you but let us finish correcting the Official Report first.

Hon Deputy Minority Leader, I will relax the rules and give you the chance to hear what you want to say.
Mr Nitiwul 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, so, it is very clear that the alleged statement that was made by the Hon Member about stoning women was not made in this House.
Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am very happy with what the Deputy Minority Leader did because
he has just corrected the facts. The comments round the House or in the media were as though the statement was made here and with the greatest respect to the Chair, the Speaker did not even stop him. I believe he has made the correction.
Mr Speaker, but I have the privilege of being the Majority Chief Whip and I called my Colleague and I can say that yesterday he rendered an unqualified apology to the general public.
This is because the statement was not made on the floor of the House. The statement that he made was made outside the House. So, I encouraged him to go to the very place that he made the statement to make the apology, which he did.
Mr Speaker, we would want to correct the record that the Statement was not made in the House, and even when we heard it, those of us who were in Leadership got him and he has apologised.
Mr Speaker, we would be grateful if the facts are ascertained as such. It was not made here as my Colleague said, but he said it outside the House and we have made him to apologise for making that statement. [Interruptions.] --
Mr Speaker, he did apologise. We entreated him and he apologised yesterday.
Irene Naa Torshie Addo: Thank you Mr Speaker for this opportunity. I thank you for allowing them to make this correction.
Mr Speaker, however, I believe that when we are taking these Bills, we need to educate all our Members on the various rules and laws in this country. Under the Interstate Succession Law, we have a part
for children. Children of the household are children whom the parents accept as theirs. They could be out of wedlock, adopted, or whichever way, it is accepted.
Mr Speaker, so, it is not right for a Member of Parliament to say that some women are “alomo gyatas” and go out to bring children to their husbands, and that those women ought to be punished. That part can never be part of a Bill in this House.
Indeed, Mr Speaker, I would ask you to have it expunged from the records. It should never be said that we are advocating for punishment for women. What about men? Is that what we want to start or get into?
What about the men who go out and have children with other women? They have wives-- I have an uncle who is very well known in this country, if you mention him -- almost every year, he comes in and when someone comes he says, “come and greet your mother”. [Laughter]-- Then he says, “This one is one of your children”, and that child grows in the house. I do not think that -- [Interruption] --so, that one, I am being told, is “alomo sibto”.
Mr Speaker, are we asking for punishment for our men? This, in our democracy, does not speak well of this country. For a Member of Parliament to get up and address our women as “alomo gyatas” is indeed, unfortunate. We all know the kind of society in which we are. We know how women are suffering in this society and this Parliament is trying to make a better life for women. That is why we are trying to modify the Interstate Succession Law.
Mr Speaker, he should apologise for that as well in the House, and that should be expunged from the records.
Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, as my Colleague the Hon Minority Leader has said --
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Members, I will want you to bear in mind that I gave the floor to the Hon Deputy Minority Leader -- this is not the stage for Statements. So, I will hear you and then whatever directives I will give, I do so --
Mr Agbesi 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I agree with the Hon Deputy Minority Leader that the statement which has been attributed to the Hon Member for Daboya was not made on the floor of the house -- [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Mankarigu, please.
Mr Agbesi 10:50 a.m.
The statement was not made on the floor of the House. [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Order! Order!
Mr Agbesi 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the issue that the Hon Deputy Minority Leader raised is on the alleged statement which was not made in the House. I agree with him that the statement about stoning women who brought in bastards to their married homes was not made on the floor of the House. That is the issue for which you granted the permission.
Mr Speaker, I was in the House and I beckoned the Hon Member to come near before he made his contribution. I listened to him throughout and he never used those words. But when the issue came up in the media, it was alleged that it was made on the floor and Mr Speaker did not stop him; the Majority and Minority Leaders did not stop him and he had all the freedom to make such a statement.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Members, let us have order --
Yes, have you ended?
Mr Agbesi 10:50 a.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker. We, on the Majority side are sorry --
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Members, you know that there is special dispensation I gave to the Hon Deputy Minority Leader to make the statement because he was in my Lobby this morning and he raised the issue with the Leadership. I believe that as a leader of this House, I should give him the floor -- relax the rules and give him the floor to make it -- and I entirely agree with him by bringing this matter to the floor of the House.
There are two issues, a statement made outside the House is a statement made outside the House by that Hon Member
and it is that Hon Member's problem alone. Indeed, the rules of procedure are very clear. Immunity does not extend outside the floor of this House. So, if you go and make a statement outside the floor of the House, the privileges of a Member of Parliament and all those ones are auto- matically withdrawn -- [Interruption] - -- it is dead.
The immunities are with regard to what you say on the floor of the House. It is important that the Hon Deputy Minority Leader drew the attention of the House to exactly what the Hon Member said that day and that the statement in the Hansard of 13th November, 2014 which was made on the floor of the House, is different from what he said outside the floor of the House.
Now, if an Hon Member makes a statement outside the floor of the House, the question is, where does he come to retract those statements? Ordinarily, he uses the forum where he made the statement.
There is a second issue that has been raised by the Hon Member for Tema West, which is the use of the words alomo gyata.
Hon Members, the normal practice is that if an Hon Member uses a word, which is not the language that we use on the floor of the House, he is immediately called upon, first, to explain that word on the floor of the House; and that is why when an Hon Member is speaking, we must pay attention to the Hon Member on the floor of the House, so that you can take objection at the time that the Hon Member made the statement and then you would challenge him.
I do not believe that the use of alomo gyata and relating it to our women is parliamentary. I do not believe it is parliamentary and I want Leadership to take that matter up with the Hon Member, especially if he were here. If he were here, I would have asked him --
But the best time to take objection, Hon Members, is when the Hon Member is on the floor. Now, the Hon Member has made a statement; nobody objected to it; nobody had asked him to withdraw the statement. It is now part of the Official Report. Unfortunately, the Hon Member too is not on the floor of the House now but I would want Leadership of the House to take that aspect of the issue with him and let us see how we can address it.
rose
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Member for Tarkwa- Nsuaem, are you challenging the Speaker's directives or guidelines?
Mrs Kusi 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am not but I was on my feet on a point of order when the Majority Chief Whip was speaking. There was something I wanted to correct.
He said that the Hon Member had apologised, but the apology is not accepted when he asked:
“What are you afraid of? All right, if you say I did not say it in a better way, I apologise. But what are you afraid of? Are you afraid that you would be stoned?”
So, if he apologised and then added this, then Mr Speaker, it is not acceptable.
-- 10:50 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Member for Tarkwa- Nsuaem--
Mrs Kusi 10:50 a.m.
He did not apologise unconditionally -- [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Order! Order!
Hon Member, who made the comment?
Mrs Kusi 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member apologised in the media; we heard it and then he asked:
“What are you afraid of? To be stoned? What are you women ranting about and afraid of?”
The apology is not enough. So, I agree and am happy that you have asked Leadership to call him to render a proper apology to the women of Ghana -- and the fact that if he wants to bring any law which is not in our books -- we have gone very far and do not want to be taken back.
Mr Speaker, I thank you.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Members, we should be very careful in this House. If an Hon Member has not caught the Speaker's eye and he is whispering something which is not on record, you do not bring it to the floor of the House.
Hon Member, you are a very experienced legislator in this House --
rose
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Members, I am not going to take this matter further. I have given some directives; I have asked Leadership to meet the Hon Member and then advise the Chair, and that should bring us to the end of this matter for now.
Question time --
Hon Members, item number three on the Order Paper; Questions
Mr Agbesi 10:50 a.m.
None

Hon Members, we start with Question number 166 standing in the name of the Hon Member for Oforikrom.

Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Mr Agbesi 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, with your permission, we would want to ask the Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection to answer the Question on behalf of her Minister who is at a conference at the moment.
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Members, you may recall that last week when this issue cropped up on the floor of the House, I promised that I was going to take the matter up with the Hon Minister.
I did so; I had a meeting with the Minister and she explained the circumstances of her absence from the floor of the House and wanted to come personally to answer the Question tomorrow, Wednesday.
Unfortunately, tomorrow is budget day and today, she informed me that she has a conference at the Accra International Conference Centre and she would not be available.
It is on that basis that I believe the application made should be accepted, so that we could hear the Hon Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection.
Hon Minority Leader, an application has been made?
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I was not here the other time and I think the public is whispering to me that something happened in relation to this. If it is so, maybe, you can grant it straight, because I was not here. But ordinarily, I should not have anything against that.
rose
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Member for Manhyia South, I have explained. I met the Minister with the Deputy in my office. This is because I promised the House I was going to take the matter up and she explained why she was not there. I think it was a problem of communication. She received the letter sending the Question but she did not receive the second letter programming her to come on that particular date.
She came and explained to me and asked that she was prepared to come and

answer the Question herself, but that due to a conference taking place on Tuesday, if we would want her to come personally, then it would have to be on Wednesday.

Wednesday happened to be budget day. So, it is not possible for her to come today. But she would have wished to come and answer. Unfortunately, tomorrow is budget day and the normal practice is that we devote a day to the budget. So Hon Members, on that basis, let us listen to her deputy.

Hon Member for Oforikrom, you have the floor.
ORAL ANSWERS TO 11 a.m.

QUESTIONS 11 a.m.

MINISTRY OF GENDER, CHILDREN 11 a.m.

AND SOCIAL PROTECTION 11 a.m.

Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon Members, I direct that the Appendices should be duly captured by the Hansard Department.
APPENDIX 11:10 a.m.

O 11:10 a.m.

Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon Member, your supplementary question.
Ms Elizabeth Agyeman 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, a very sad aspect of the “Kayayei” phenomenon is the involvement of children of school going age. I would want to find out from the Hon Deputy Minister what specific plans her Ministry has put in place to ensure that these children are not deprived of education, and also protected from under age pregnancy as they are constantly being raped by some thugs.
Mrs Sowah 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe I said early on that we were enrolling them on the LEAP and one of the conditionalities is that, one has to ensure that the children are in school in order to qualify.
Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon Member for Oforikrom, your next supplementary question?
Ms Elizabeth Agyeman 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, in the Deputy Minister's Answer, she has stated that “the families within the source areas of Kayayei are the highly beneficiaries of the LEAP”.
She has also stated that we should find the details in Appendix III. Appendix III on page 40, the Deputy Minister only gave out the districts and the percentages without mentioning any specific amount.
Mr Speaker, the question is, how much is the exact amount which was given to each district and how much did each recipient receive?
Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon Deputy Speaker, you have given percentages — We want specific amounts.
Mrs Sowah 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I will let the Hon Member have the details later.
Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon Member for Oforikrom, your last supplementary question.
Ms Elizabeth Agyeman 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would like to ask the Hon Deputy Minister, how her Ministry plans to deal with the issue of migration which is at the heart of this Kayayei problem. This is because as we speak, women and children are still migrating from the rural areas to the urban areas.
Mrs Sowah 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the migration is a general phenomenon. We believe that once the LEAP is expanded, it would help curb the migration.
Ms Esther Obeng Dappah 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, my worry and question is that, has a proper survey been done and is there any data that the Ministry has collected? The reason I am asking this question is that, some help has been given to the Kayayei in the past. We have been giving sewing machines and other things. They have been trained as hairdressers, et cetera and—[Interruption]— and they were sent back — [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon Members, the Hon Member has the floor; let us listen to her.
Ms Obeng 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, they were sent back to the various places where they came from. But then they could not sell their products and so, they all returned to Accra and various areas. Have they conducted a survey to find out what actually they want before they provide them with things like sewing machines?
Mrs Sowah 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe I said in the earlier Answer that no specific survey had been conducted. There had been ad hoc programmes and that is why we have put in place the plan to start a survey in 2015.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Minister for Defence?
Dr Benjanin B. Kunbuor 11:20 a.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, I rise to ask the Hon Deputy Minister how she reconciles her policy of preventing migration as against the constitutional rights to freedom of movement.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Minister?
Dr Kunbuor 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, what I am simply saying is that, we have freedom of movement in our Constitution and there is a policy now to prevent people from migrating, which is movement. How do they reconcile the policy and the constitutional problem?
Mrs Sowah 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe migration is different from freedom of movement.
rose
Ms Botchwey 11:20 a.m.
I thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member who asked the question sought to find out what measures the Ministry is putting in place to solve the problem. All she wanted was a plan of action from the Ministry. She gave us a very long Answer, probably, the longest on record.
Mr Speaker, in point six, she said “Furthermore, the Ministry has taken the following steps.” Out of the five steps that she has enumerated and talked about, four of the steps are talking about additional material, which is being developed. Six talks about action suitable, which is something in the future.
She is also talking about a nationwide data collection exercise which is being planned; and then, the fifth one talks about a recent statistics information which is in the process of drafting an action plan. So, in actual fact, she has not answered the Question.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Member, so what is your question?
Ms Botchwey 11:20 a.m.
My question is that, she should answer the Question. We want a plan of action from her Ministry, which she has not told the House about. What measures? So, the measures are plans that are in the pipeline and plans that are being looked at at the moment. These are not measures.
So, she should answer the Question and give us the measures.
An Hon Member 11:20 a.m.
But the Question has been answered?
Ms Botchwey 11:20 a.m.
The measures, that her Ministry has put in place.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Members, the essence of supplementary questions is to pursue the issue when Hon Members are not satisfied with a given Answer.
In my view, it is unparliamentary on the floor to say “you have not answered”. You might not be satisfied with the Answer and that is why the rules allow for supplementary questions for you to pursue the matter further. So, what is your question, Hon Member?
Ms Botchwey 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, can the Deputy Hon Minister give us specific measures that they have put in place to stem the tide of this kayayei menace?
Thank you.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Deputy Minister?
Ms Sowah 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, indeed, what we are doing immediately is, working with the Gender and Children Committee of Parliament to find a solution. And then, also working with other Ministries because the problem is not only the problem of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection. The Ministry of Education is involved, Ministry of Food and Agriculture is involved, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Justice and Attorney-General are involved.
So, we are working with them to find a lasting solution.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
I will take the last two questions on this matter.
Hon Member for Abuakwa North.
Last two. I have been hearing from the women. Let me hear from the men.
Mr Joseph B. A. Danquah 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would like to ask the Hon Deputy Minister what is wrong in being a kayayei. There is nothing wrong in being a kayayei. What is needed is the conditions of service. That is what we want to understand. This is because there is nothing wrong in being a potter but the problem is the conditions of service for a potter. That is what is missing and that is what we must address.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
What is your question?
Mr Danquah 11:20 a.m.
My question is what are the conditions of service that the Ministry is providing to a kayayei or a potter? [Interruption]
Mrs Sowah 11:20 a.m.
Thank you. Mr Speaker
-- 11:20 a.m.

Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Members, let us have order in the House.
Mrs Sowah 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, actually, the Ministry believes that there are too many risks in the kayayei business and that is why we are trying to give them training and other resources to enable them do something else.
Thank you.
Mr George K. Arthur 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Question itself wants to know some of the problems of the kayayei. So, may I know from the Minister, what some of the problems are? We do not even know some of the problems the kayayei have.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Ask your question again. I did not get the question you posed to the Deputy Minister.
Mr G. K. Arthur 11:20 a.m.
The Hon Member who asked the Question wanted to know measures the Ministry is putting in place to solve the problems of the -- I think the writing of the Question is not even clear. Numerous with the kayayei.
Mr Speaker, we do not even know the problems. The Hon Deputy Minister did not mention the problem of the kayayei. That is what we want to know. So, if the Hon Deputy Minister can give us some of the problems.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Well. Hon Deputy Minister?
Mrs Sowah 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I did mention the problems. They are health issues, rape issues and other risks and hazards. Those are the problems the kayayei face.
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Yes, Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I have two short questions for the Hon Deputy Minister. One is on the statistics -- I can see the list of districts in the three regions of the North — Northern, Upper East and West Regions with percentages in terms of the number of poor people. What is the source of this? She gave Bawku Municipal 74 per cent as being poor, my district 57 per cent as being poor. What is the source?
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Did you get the question?
Very well.
Mrs Sowah 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the source is the Ghana Statistical Service.
Thank you.
Mr Nitiwul 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I will cross- check from the Ghana Statistical Service.
One of the problems of the kayayei that she wanted her to solve, currently, is the fact that when you travel in the night to places like Tudu, Konkomba market and Agbogbloshie areas, they are sleeping openly outside on the streets -- mosquito infested areas.
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Members, the
background noise is getting out of control.
Hon Deputy Minister?
Mrs Sowah 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I think she asked for measures, not short-term measures. In addition to that, this House should please, pass the budget; everything we need to do immediately involves money. So, if the House would pass the budget for the Ministry, we will be able to solve the problem.
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Members, we have to make progress. We have dedicated sufficient time to one Question up to this stage. However, I will take the Hon Minority Leader as the last --
Mrs Irene N. T. Addo 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, please, just a clarification, nothing --
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon First Deputy Minority Whip?
Mrs Addo 11:30 a.m.
It has nothing to do with her. I would just want you to guide the House on an issue.
Mr Speaker, when Hon Kunbuor got up, you addressed him as the Hon Minister for Defence. I would want to know why you did not recognise him for the seat that he represents but rather the Ministry that he represents.
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
That is what the rules of the House say.
Yes?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Deputy Minister by way of the Answer, is indicating to us that one of the prime causes of this kayayei phenomenon is poverty -- poverty afflicting the children -- The kayayei and their families. So, it is one of the key push factors and since the Majority Leader would want to know, he cited your own constituency, your district, as being the poorest in the country with 89 per cent.
Read the Answer; I am not saying it. Read the Answer the Hon Minister has given.
Mrs Sowah 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I think the Hon Minority Leader hit the nail right on the head. We also think that the financial power to do it, if it were there, we would do more than that. So, yes, 2.2 million people is like a drop in an ocean; we need your help.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:30 a.m.
The Question is, since it involves so many people -- 2.2 million and she is even indicating to us that in Ghana, 6.4 million people are poor and then she admits that it is a developmental issue. Does she not then agree that it is because our developmental agenda is not on course, that is why we have so many people trapped in the poverty bracket, and that we should take the matter from there?
Mrs Sowah 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not agree with the fact that it is a developmental issue -- That we are not doing the correct development -- Is that what he said? [Interruption.] No! I would want to understand the question.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Deputy Minister, in her Answer, is telling us that 6.4 million people in the country are poor and 2.2 million are extremely poor. And she is saying to us that, in view of that -- [Interruption]--
If she would listen to me, because she is conversing. Can I go on?
She is telling us that this is a developmental issue; so, I am enquiring from her, with this, does she not then consider that our national developmental agenda is not on course, and that is why we have so many people trapped in poverty? That is why I asked the previous question, that 2.2 million and they dealing with 15,000 amounts to mere pinpricks.
Mr Speaker, if the Majority Leader will free her to listen.
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Alban S. K. Bagbin 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague, the Minority Leader is completely out of order. First, he should address the Chair and not address me.
Second, it is not true that I was preventing her from listening to him; she was listening to him. He is afraid that I might be guiding her to give an answer, which I am not doing. I am not a coach at all. She is capable of answering his questions. So, he should go on.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Majority Leader is rather out of order to say that I am out of order. He should rather appeal to you; he cannot just get up to say that the Minority Leader is out of order. However, but I will forgive him.
Let the Hon Deputy Minister answer the question.
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Deputy Minister, did you get the question? All right. Very well.
Mrs Sowah 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker., yes, I stand by the statistics that the number of people who are poor, 6.4 million, is correct. However, our developmental programme is on course; it may be slow but it is on course. My appeal to the House is that,
when our budget comes to the House in the coming days, you should consider it and pass it.
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Members, we want to thank the Hon Deputy Minister for attending upon the House to respond to Questions on behalf of the Minister. We thank you very much.
Hon Members, just for the records, the First Deputy Minority Whip raised an issue, so I want to refer all Hon Members to Standing Order 86 (3).
“Ministers shall be referred to by their Ministerial titles.”
Standing Order 86 (3). It goes on but that is the relevant part of the issue raised by the Member.
Hon Members, we move to Question
201.
Hon Member for Effiduase/Asokore, you have the floor.
Hon Attorney-General and Minister for Justice?
MINISTRY OF JUSTICE AND 11:40 a.m.

ATTORNEY-GENERAL 11:40 a.m.

Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Yes, supplementary question?
Mr Agyen 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, in her Answer, she did admit that courses have been lined up for the Career Magistrates to upgrade their professional competence and therefore, they are efficient.
She also said that, if one wanted to pursue a course, one had the option to resign. How does she explain the two scenarios, an experienced person wanting to upgrade himself by further studies being asked to resign, meanwhile, he has been given the internal application to upgrade his professional competence. Can she explain why this is the situation?
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Attorney-General and Minister for Justice?
Mrs Appiah-Opong 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I think we are talking about two different situations. One is, while you are a Career Magistrate being trained within the Services and what they do is that, there is a Judicial Training Institute which organises courses to keep them abreast with current trends in the law.
Now, the other issue is, if you want to become a lawyer, then you have to go to the Faculty of Law and then, go on to do the professional law. Now, that is where the option to resign arises. And as I said in my Statement, initially, they were given study leave with pay and then, study leave without pay and now, you have the option to resign.
So, while you remain in the Service, there are opportunities for upgrading your knowledge as a Career Magistrate but if you want to move from being a Career Magistrate to become a lawyer, you have to go to school. You have to go to the Faculty of Law and then to the Ghana School of Law. And that is where the option to resign arises.
Mr Agyen 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, if there is an option to pursue a course on study leave without pay, can the Hon Minister inform the House -- How many of such Magistrates have been given the option to pursue further courses on leave without pay?
Mrs Appiah-Opong 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not have those statistics here.
Apart from that, maybe, I should draw the attention of the House to the fact that Judicial training is within the purview of the Judicial Council of Ghana, and not the General Legal Council. So, I do not grant permission for study leave and all that. It comes under the Judicial Council, which is headed by the Chief Justice. So, I cannot grant anybody study leave with pay or without pay.
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Your last supplementary question?
Mr Agyen 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, if you can allow me to ask two questions more --
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Member, you know the rule of the House. Your last supplementary question?
Mr Agyen 11:40 a.m.
There is a Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology for that matter, offering L.L.B. course and it is within the periphery of -- I mean those in Brong Ahafo and Ashanti are so close.
As she said earlier, people had to come to Accra to pursue those courses and so, her Ministry did not allow that. How many have been allowed to pursue the courses within the periphery of Kumasi? Those Career Magistrates -- how many, if any at all?
Mrs Appiah-Opong 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, as I said, my Ministry is not responsible for Judicial training. It is the Judicial Council which is responsible for Judicial training.

Yes, through me.
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Members, you may recall that in recent times, I have drawn the House's attention to the fact whether we have to look at our roles when the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice comes to respond to Questions, which are basically within the confines of the Judicial Council.
We may have to take a second look at it; it may be a Minister for Justice, but when it comes to the Judiciary, the head is the Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana. As an independent constitutional body, these are matters that as we advance the boundaries of parliamentary democracy, we may have to be looking at into the future.
Hon Members, let us proceed to the next Question.
rose
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Very well. Hon Member for Bekwai?
Mr Osei-Owusu 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, as we are preparing to wind up with the lay Magistrate Programme, I would want to find out if, as the Justice Ministry, they have evaluated the work of lay Magistrates, whether they have delivered justice as in the process and conclusions -- whether in her view, if there were no professional magistrates, she would recommend that they continue or it would be better to put them off.
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Attorney-General?
Mrs Appiah-Opong 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, my Ministry has not conducted any such evaluation but I know that the Judicial Council, of which I am a member, regularly requires Judges to submit their judgements and rulings monthly. Yearly, they do an analysis. At the appropriate time, I would get the statistics for you and the details, whether they really have performed. We have 122 Career magistrates spread over the country currently and they are all working.
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Last question, Hon Member for Abuakwa South.
Mr Samuel Atta Akyea 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Hon Attorney-General -- One issue which is very significant in trying to upgrade the professional and academic standards of Career Magistrates is training, which is a money issue.
In terms of the Constitution, the problem which has arisen is that, the Government has not been assiduous enough in trying to release the monies due the Judiciary quarterly, in accordance with article 127 (6). As the principal legal adviser to the Government, what has she done to ensure --
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Member for Abuakwa South, is that a supplementary question?
Mr Akyea 11:40 a.m.
Yes, it is a supplementary question.
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
You know the rules very well. I do not think that is a supplementary question. It is not a supplementary question. However, I would give you the chance to reframe the question.
Mr Akyea 11:40 a.m.
I would rephrase the question.
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Very well.
Mr Akyea 11:40 a.m.
I am grateful, Mr Speaker.
The Hon Attorney-General and Minister for Justice would agree with me that the attempt to upgrade the professional and academic standards of Career Magistrates is a factor of funds. They need money to upgrade them and against the backdrop that the Government has not been assiduous, in respecting article 127 (6), in releasing monies quarterly to the Judiciary, what steps has she taken in ensuring that Government complies with article 127 (6) of the Constitution?
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Member for Abuakwa South, that is not a supplementary question.
Hon Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, we thank you very much for attending upon the House to respond to Questions from Members.
Hon Members, we move to the next Question-- Question 214-- standing in the name of the Hon Member for Nsawam- Adoagyiri.
MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT 11:40 a.m.

Minister for Transport (Mrs Dzifa Aku Attivor) 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the 40.5 kilometre Accra-Nsawam rail line is part of the eastern railway line, which stretches from the Tema Port, through Accra to Kumasi covering a total distance of 330 kilometre.
Due to financial constraints and in line with Government's policy to develop all critically needed infrastructure and services through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), the Ministry of Transport (MoT), in collaboration with the Public Investment Division (PID) of the Ministry of Finance (MoF), has put together the Boankra Inland Port and Eastern railway line as a project, to provide faster, safer and more efficient integrated transport and logistics system, for the movement of freight from the Tema Port to the northern part of Ghana and other land-locked countries of Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali.
The project involves the recon- struction of the existing dilapidated and defunct 330 kilometre stretch of a narrow gauge rail line to a standard gauge and the development of a 400 acre plot of land at Boankra, 27 kilometres from Kumasi into an inland port.
In line with the PPP guidelines and with funding by the World Bank, the Ministry of Transport, in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, has procured Messrs Price Water House Coopers (PWC) as Transaction Advisors (TA) to advise on the PPP option and to manage the process for the engagement of a private sector investor to partner Government for the execution of the project. Messrs Price Water House Coopers (PWC) has commenced its assignment after contract signing on 10th July, 2014 and it is expected that by the end of 2015, a private sector investor would be procured to partner Government for the execution of the project.
In the meantime, and in order to continue with the provision of safe commuter rail services on the Accra- Nsawam line, the Ghana Railway Company Limited has been undertaking sleeper
renewals where bad wooden sleepers are being replaced with steel sleepers. In addition, the Ministry has applied to the Ministry of Finance for funds under the ABFA to enable the Ghana Railway Development Authority (GRDA) to undertake remedial works on the line pending the implementation of the project.
Mr Annoh-Dompreh 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, making a terse reference to the last paragraph of the Hon Minister's Answer. With your kind permission, I beg to read:
“In the meantime, and in order to continue with the provision of safe commuter rail services on the Accra- Nsawam line, the Ghana Railway Company Limited has been undertaking sleeper renewals where bad wooden sleepers are being replaced with steel sleepers.”
Mr Speaker, born and bred in Nsawam and quite recently, took a tour of that particular line vis-à-vis a detailed article -- Mr Speaker, with your kind permission -- in the Graphic of --
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Member, ask your question; you have laid sufficient foundation.
Mr Annoh-Dompreh 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, how does the Hon Minister prove that aspect of her Answer, emphasis mine, why she says:
“The Ghana Railway Company Limited has been undertaking sleeper renewals where bad wooden sleepers are being replaced with steel sleepers.”
What is the proof behind this part of her Answer?
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mrs Attivor 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, rail development is a process and not an event; the work is ongoing. We are replacing the wooden rotten sleepers with steel sleepers.
Mr Annoh-Dompreh noon
Mr Speaker, respectfully, that part of the Answer is suspect and I would want to continue and ask if the Hon Minister can be specific.
Mr Speaker noon
Hon Members, your language -- you can still pursue the Hon Minister but if you say “suspect”, in that context, it is too harsh.
Can you withdraw the word “suspect”?
Mr Annoh-Dompreh noon
I respectfully withdraw that part, Mr Speaker, with your kind indulgence.
If the Hon Minister can be specific, where on those lines is that particular activity? I would want her to give me names of just three communities where this activity is taking place.
Mrs Dzifa Attivor noon
Mr Speaker, the railway line is about 40 kilometre. I do not know the names of each community; what I know is that work is ongoing.
Mr Annoh-Dompreh noon
Mr Speaker, what is the Hon Minister's outfit doing about encroachment along the railway lines?
Mrs Attivor noon
Mr Speaker, encroach- ment is a matter of concern to the Ministry. We have continuously educated the illegal occupants to vacate the premises. I would want to assure the Hon Member that when we start the process of revamping the eastern rail lines, together with the Boankra Inland Port, I am sure the illegal occupants themselves would find it wise to relocate, otherwise, we may have to apply force.
rose
Mr Speaker noon
Hon Member, you have exhausted your supplementary time.
Hon Member for Takoradi?
Mr Kwabena Darko-Mensah noon
Mr Speaker, I just wanted to know from the Hon Minister when would the Nsawam- Accra railway line be working again. Exactly when would they finish with their work such that trains would move from Nsawam to Accra again?
Mr Speaker noon
Did you get the question, Hon Minister?
Mrs Attivor noon
No, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker noon
Hon Member, you may ask your question again.
Mr Darko-Mensah noon
I wanted the Hon Minister to tell us when exactly the railway line from Nsawam to Accra would work again. It is not working --
Mr Speaker noon
Hon Member for Takoradi, you have the floor.
Mr Darko-Mensah noon
Mr Speaker, the question is just simple. I am asking when trains would be able to move from Nsawam to Accra again.
Mrs Attivor noon
Mr Speaker, if I understand the Hon Member, he is asking about when the eastern line --
Mr Speaker noon
When would trains move from Nsawam to Accra?
Mrs Attivor noon
Work is in progress, Mr Speaker.
Mr Akyea noon
Mr Speaker, may I inquire from the Hon Minister whether there is any contract on this railway project and whether she has sighted the contract and what are the timelines in the contract?
Mrs Attivor noon
Mr Speaker, I am not too sure I heard the Hon Member well -- whether the eastern line is complete to Accra or the --
Mr Speaker noon
Hon Minister, there is only one railway line which we are talking about, that is the subject matter of the Question. Is there any contract? What are the timelines?
Mrs Attivor noon
Mr Speaker, I have already indicated that a Transaction Advisor (TA) has been procured to work, so that we can engage a private investor to partner Government and we expect the process to be completed by December 2015, so that the actual work can start.
Mr Justice Joe Appiah noon
Mr Speaker, can I crave your indulgence to read from the Hon Minister's Answer?
Mr Speaker noon
Yes.
Mr Justice J. Appiah noon
Mr Speaker, with your permission, I beg to read:
“In the meantime, and in order to continue with the provision of safe commuter rail services on the Accra - Nsawam line, the Ghana Railway Company Limited has been undertaking sleeper renewals where bad wooden sleepers are being replaced with steel sleepers. In addition, the Ministry has applied to the Ministry of Finance for funds under the ABFA to enable the Ghana Railway Development Authority (GRDA) to undertake remedial works on the line pending the implementation of the project.”
Mr Speaker, may I know from the Hon Minister what plans the Ministry has put in place to revamp the Akim Oda Railway lines as they are all in the Eastern Region?
Mr Speaker noon
Hon Member, that is not a supplementary question. I will take a last supplementary question from the Hon Member for Ablekuma West.
Mrs Ursula G. Ekuful noon
Mr Speaker, in answer to the question posed by the Hon Member for Takoradi, the Hon Minister indicated that work is in progress; and the question was, when would the Accra Nsawam railway line be working again? In answer again to the same question, she said that a TA had been procured to advise on the Public Private Partner (PPP) option. That left me a little confused. When would the Accra-Nsawam Railway line be working again? Can we have a specific time frame when trains would be running from Accra to Nsawam and vice- versa?
Mrs Attivor noon
Mr Speaker, if you would give me permission, I would come back to give the time lines.
Mr Speaker noon
Hon Minister for Transport, we thank you for attending upon the House to respond to Questions from Hon Members.
Hon Members, let us make progress.
The last Question for the day is Question number 265 and it stands in the name of Hon Member for Akuapem South.
MINISTRY OF TRADE AND noon

INDUSTRY noon

JJJJSPSPACE FORSS 12:10 p.m.

Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Osei B. Amoah 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, before I ask the supplementary question, I believe there are inconsistencies in the Answer that I should draw the Hon Minister's attention to. Probably, he may need to correct them.
On page 46, the Hon Minister said that the Committee was commissioned on April 24, 2013. Indeed, the Legislative Instrument (L.I.) came into force on 30th April, 2014. So, so it means the Committee was set up before the L. I. came into force. That is what his Answer is telling us. This is because the first paragraph talks about a Committee which was formed after the L. I. came into force. But the L.I. came into force on 30th April. So, he is saying that the L. I. came into force before the Committee was formed.
Now, on page 47, being an advocate for him, I believe he was talking about the L.I. 2201, which has been in force for a little over a year. The L. I. 1969, came into force in 2010. Those are the corrections that I wanted to draw his attention to.
Now to my question, Mr Speaker, given the complaints from scrap dealers and other stakeholders --
Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Hon Member, do you have the L.I.s there? Because this is a matter of records.
Mr O. B. Amoah 12:10 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker. The Hon Minister even referred to it in his Answer.
Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Yes, I have seen that. But do you have it? Because it is a matter of records, especially with regard to the L.I.
1969.
Mr O. B. Amoah 12:10 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker. It was in force in 2010, and that is the non- ferrous one. But the ferrous one is the L.I. 2201, which came into force in 2013.
Mr Speaker, I was on the question -- given the complaints from scrap dealers and other stakeholders, can the Hon Minister convince this House that this policy has not led to loss of revenue and jobs, as well as low prices of scrap metals?
Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
Yes, Hon Minister?
Mr Spio-Garbrah 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am not sure if I understand the Hon Member's question, and the kind of assurance he is seeking.
The policy is to prevent people from exporting ferrous materials, so that the ferrous material can be fed into Ghanaian located industries.
So, I do not know; the loss of revenue, to whom? The loss of revenue to the Government is what we are trying to prevent -- and also the smuggling of some of these materials, because some are being exported illegally.
The fact that we can feed locally established manufacturing steel plants with scrap metals, leads to the creation of jobs, generation of income and payment of taxes. As far as we understand, Government is generating revenue from these processes. I do not see where there is the loss of revenue that the Hon Member is referring to. Unless he is more specific.
Mr O. B Amoah 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, can the Hon Minister inform this House whether there is oversupply or glut of ferrous scrap -- whether the steel mills are capable of adding value to the product and whether the prices offered are not grossly under valued?
Mr Spio-Garbrah 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Committee we have described here is the one that is responsible for this specific monitoring. I am unable at this time to give him accurate answers to the question that he has asked. But I am happy to come back to the House to respond to any other Question if this is a matter of great interest to him.
My understanding is that the policy is working effectively as I have reported. But I will be happy if he has information that
Mr Spio-Garbrah 12:20 p.m.


is different from what has been reported and this comes to our attention to investigate it thoroughly and report back to the House.

Thank you.
Mr O. B. Amoah 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I understand the Hon Minister to mean that he will come back with the answer. I asked specific questions about the underpricing, glut and whether the local steel mills are capable of absorbing all the products.
If he said that it is working perfectly, I do not understand; unless he wants to say that he will come back with the answers.
Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
He said it is working perfectly.
Several Hon Members: But he cannot provide us with the answer.
Mr O. B. Amoah 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I have asked specific questions, so, I need specific answers.
Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
Yes, Hon Minister?
Mr Spio-Garbrah 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am unaware of a glut. I am also unaware that the mills are unable to process all the scrap in Ghana. In other words, they are under capacity, and therefore, some of the scrap needs to be exported; whether that is what is being implied.
Mr Speaker, I am saying that if the Hon Member has some specific information that may attest to the comment he is making within the question, then I will be happy to come back to respond to that if he can provide the evidence related to the angle of his question.
Thank you.
Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
Your last supplementary question.
Mr O. B. Amoah 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, can the Hon Minister tell the House of any action which has been taken regarding the recent seizures of what they say are containers laden with ferrous scraps intended for export?
Mr Spio-Garbrah 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not have information specific to that. I believe it is with the law enforcement agencies.
If I am asked to come and report specifically on what may have happened to the individuals concerned, I will be happy to come back with that information.
Thank you.
Mr O. B. Amoah 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I take it that he said he will come back with the answer.
Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
File the appropriate Question on those specific areas, then he will come back.
Mr O. B. Amoah 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it is in his Answer.
Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
Hon Minister?
Mr Spio-Garbrah 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe the Hon Member is referring to a part of the Answer which said that, there has been some recent seizures of some containers laden with ferrous scraps intended for export. I said that this was made possible by tip-offs by some members of the committee.
Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
Can you make the information available to the House?
Mr Spio-Garbrah 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, my point was that the matter is now outside of my Ministry. It is now with the law enforcement agencies. I can contact them and get the information.
Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
Hon Minister, once you put an issue in your Answer, it asks for more information --
Mr Spio-Garbrah 12:20 p.m.
That is fine.
Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
And that is why they are following up based in the information you put in your Answer.
I will not want the situation where you may come back purposely for that. But I want you to make the information available to the House. So, based on that information, if any Hon Member wants to pursue the matter further, they can do so.
Mr Spio-Garbrah 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I will make the information available.
Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
Very well.
Last question.
Hon Member for Manhyia South?
Hon Members, because the Answers were excessively long, we devoted too much time for Questions. The time devoted for Questions under the rules is past. The Answers were very long. So, please, your last question on this matter. If you do not have, then that brings us to the end --
Dr Matthew O. Prempeh 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I have a question. I have not asked a question. When you say my last question on the matter, it is as if I have asked a question.
Mr Speaker, I would want the Hon Minister to tell this House, just before the ban, what the total export tonnage of ferrous metals was compared to the total capacity of the mill industry in this country to process ferrous metal.
Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Hon Member, that is not supplementary question -- [Laughter.]
Dr Prempeh 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it is in the Answer. If the Minister says there is no glut in the system in one of his answers to Hon O.B Amoah, then he should be able to tell us the capacity --
Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Hon Member for Manhyia South, I said that is not a supplementary question; it is a sub- stantive one. You are asking for figures and all that.
Please, do --
Dr Prempeh 12:30 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Will the Hon Minister be able to tell this House, the total tonnage of ferrous metals in scrap yards of the mill industries?
Mr Spio-Garbrah 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I will not be able to tell the House -- [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of Questions time.
Hon Minister for Trade and Industry, we thank you very much for attending upon the House to respond to Questions from Hon Members.
Mr Alban S. K. Bagbin 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we will take item five, starting from 5 (a). The Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts is available.
Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Very well.
Hon Members, the following Papers would be presented by the Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts. Item 5 (a) (1)
PAPERS 12:30 p.m.

MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:33 p.m.
Item number 5 (c), Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Bagbin 12:33 p.m.
Mr Speaker with your permission and the kind indulgence of my Hon Colleagues, the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and -- 5 (c) is not ready; I am talking about item number
6.
I am seeking your kind permission and the indulgence of my Hon Colleagues to allow the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice to lay the Public Procurement Amendment Bill, 2014 on behalf of the Minister for Finance.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:33 p.m.
Very well.
Hon Minority Leader, do you have any objection? I know for a fact that the Ministry of Finance is busily preparing for tomorrow's budget reading. So, it appears the Hon Minister and his deputies cannot appear before us. He is asking for
permission to allow the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice to do that on behalf of the Minister for Finance.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:33 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not have anything against it, except to inquire that since the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice is doing it on behalf of the Minister for Finance, if the Attorney-General would be minded to say a few words about that Bill.
BILLS -- FIRST READING 12:33 p.m.

Dr Anthony A. Osei 12:33 p.m.
Mr Speaker, may I ask the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice since she is laying it on behalf of the Minister for Finance, if sufficient copies have been made available for Hon Members?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:33 p.m.
I am reliably informed that more than sufficient copies have been made available.
Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Bagbin 12:33 p.m.
Mr Speaker, item number 7, continuation of debate on the Second Reading of the Conduct of Public Officers Bill, 2013.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Yes, Hon Members, I remember that further debate of this subject matter was adjourned. So, we will continue from where we left off.
BILLS --- SECOND READING 12:40 p.m.

  • [Resumption of debate from 13-11- 2014.]
  • Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Hon Members, the floor is opened. Any contributions as far as the debate is concerned? If we do not have any further contributions, we will probably put the Question.
    Yes, Hon Member for Sekondi?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah (NPP -- Sekondi) 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in contributing to this debate, I believe throughout our experience as a country, we must note that it is not merely enacting laws that achieve the objectives or the objects of the laws. It is the enforcement.
    Often times, we have laws and we refuse to enforce them. We are engulfed in filth in this country. Do we not have laws? Galamsey is now polluting many of our water bodies. Do we not have laws that can stop those people? Why is it that obeying or conforming to laws is rather the rarity and those who seek to enforce the laws are sometimes unduly victimised?
    We have enacted the Whistle Blowers' law because we wanted people to report

    wrongdoing. However, in a few instances where whistles have been blown by others, they were later victimised. It is important for us as corperate leaders to acknowledge that in executing laws, we have not performed to the satisfaction of the people and I am urging the Executive arm of the State, which by our Constitution, has the mandate to enforce and execute laws enacted in this country to be up and doing. And also, to remind His Excellency the President, that according to article 58(1) of our Constitution --

    “The executive authority of Ghana shall vest in the President and shall be exercised in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.”

    And that subclause (3) reads:

    “Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the functions conferred on the President by clause (1) of this article may be exercised by him either directly or through officers subordinate to him.”

    There is no way the President should pass the back. If people who have been put in positions of trust are not effective, the President should crack the whip. Likewise, all those of us in authority, including Members of Parliament. Let it not be that laws are enacted and the people would say that as for the laws, they are always there, nothing is going to be done. We should make our country work.

    So, while supporting this Bill, I am urging the President that -- and I believe that this House would do justice to the Bill and ensure that it is enacted into law. When it becomes law, let the President move, let him take action. Let us move away from rhetorics to action. That is what the people of this country want from us.

    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Yes, Hon Minister for Employment. What is the full name of the Ministry?
    Minister for Employment and Labour Relations (Mr Haruna Iddrisu) 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is the Ministry for Employment and Labour Relations.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Very well.
    Mr Haruna Iddrisu 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to associate myself with the Motion that was ably moved by the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong, on the Committee's Report on the Conduct of Public Officers Bill, 2013 and to indicate that, we need to ensure that the initiative is supported and we should support it.
    I just listened to my Colleague, Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah and his emphasis was enforcement. I would want to remind him that without the law, what would you be enforcing? So, while I agree with him that the principle of enforcement should be pursued much more diligently, we still need this Bill or Legislation to add to our ethics regime as a country.
    I concede that the Whistle Blowers Act was done, I concede that a number of anti- corruption bills have passed through this august House and we know that what corruption hates is darkness.
    Therefore, the Conduct of Public Officers Bill together with the Whistle Blowers Bill, and many other Acts intended to fight corruption belong to the category of what we call sunshine laws. This is because we need to expose and we need to, as he rightly pointed out, maintain the fate of the public trust in us as public officers.
    Mr Speaker, in contributing to this Motion, let me refer you to a paragraph of the Bill which talks about gifts. I am referring to page (VII).
    In discussing gifts, it is important that as a country, we begin to make a distinction between gifts that are meant to corrupt and gifts in the cultural sense of the Ghanaian cultural environment. This is because within the Ghanaian culture, if you have the cola nut, no matter how bitter it is, it is still a gift and you may want to chew it.
    Mr Speaker, it reminds me of a very prominent statement the former President of Nigeria, President Olusegun Obassanjo made when he was then working on corruption and human rights.
    He attempted a very interesting distinction between gifts that are meant to be corrupt and gifts in the ordinary cultural sense. And to borrow just two of his words, he said the gift that is true in the cultural sense is normally given in the open. So, if a gift was given to you in darkness or shrouded in secrecy, it would not satisfy the customary requirements of a gift.
    The second requirement of his gift was to indicate that it must be a token. It should not be substantial and within the Ghanaian cultural setting. I think that if a gift is meant to pat your back on a matter, it should not be substantial in terms of what value goes into it.
    Mr Speaker, the Conduct of Public Officers Bill also examines our asset declaration regime as a country. We need to make an improvement, particularly with the monitoring of declared assets. When assets are declared, per the law, nothing is known about it and there is no mechanism to monitor whether there has been lawful or unlawful additions to it.
    I think that when we get to the Consideration Stage of the Bill, we may want to look at it. There has been a popular debate whether even spouses should not be captured within the limits of asset declaration and whether public officers
    could not be hiding assets in the name of their spouses, and whether we would respect the United Nations Human Rights of the uniqueness of the human being and not to say that you must separate a wife from the husband in terms of who owns and who can keep property.

    Mr Speaker, the other recommendation I would like to make, is on, not just the subject which Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah related. Our enforcement regime is just not functioning accurately within the country and I do share the concern that he rightly raised, that we must ensure the enforcement of the law, not just in fighting corruption.

    I would want to assure him that the President as an Executive has been dealing decisively beyond exposure with many of the processes. He does so respecting due process. He does not say that when a person is allegedly declared as corrupt, the Executive or the President must so declare the person that he is a corrupt person.

    He must go through a competent trial process which is recognised under the Constitution as part of the right of the person.

    The right of the person to a fair trial is embedded and important and consti- tutionally right under our Constitution. If you are accused of being guilty, you are not to be pronounced or declared guilty until otherwise determined by a competent court.

    So, let me assure them that the President is walking the talk. There are a number of far-reaching trials which are on- going in the country, pursuant to some of the investigations and probes that have been done and we have gone beyond exposure to seeking to punish on the basis, without prejudice to the matters

    before court and the rights of the persons so being done.

    So, I think that Mr Speaker, we have made a determination as a Government to contribute to the prevention and combating corruption. The Conduct of Public Officers Bill is one of the decisions of Government to enrich our ethics regime by way of this legislation and I think that Hon Members of Parliament should pass it.

    But Mr Speaker, again, in public -- and I am sure my Hon Colleagues from the other side of the isle -- social pressures on public officers, Hon Member of Parliament, Hon Minister of State -- the expectations on us. You must solve every other problem, be it a funeral, an outdooring, a social gathering, you are expected to make a contribution.

    Mr Speaker, we should be asking, how are we able to cope with those pressures within the limits and constraints of what we as the legitimate income of Ghanaians. I think that this public education is very important, particularly for people to appreciate the role of a Minister and the role of a Member of Parliament.
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Hon Member, are you up on a point of order?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have a point of order. The Hon Minister, really, is not giving the full facts. Really, assets declaration regime, goes to the extent of directors in the Ministries and
    Mr H. Iddrisu 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, while I would have no hesitation or objection learning further on assets declaration, I still maintain my position that, we need to expand the remit. I have looked at some of it, not all the chief executive officers are contemplated under it -- [Interruption.]
    I will do further research, but still stand that we need to expand it. I have done some reading on it including what I said about the monitoring of declared assets and whether, it should not be extended.
    Mr Speaker, we should commend the Government for adding to the stock of our ethics and accountability legal framework and regime.
    What can be enforced is a law passed by this august House. So, while I agree with him, we need this legislative piece in order to add to our effort to combat corruption in the country as a growing canker.
    I thank you for the opportunity.
    Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu (NPP -- Bekwai) 12:50 p.m.
    Thank you Mr Speaker for the opportunity to contribute to this debate.
    Mr Speaker, what this Bill seeks to do is to regulate the conduct of public officers in such a way to ensure public confidence in the public office holders.
    I mean, to check, in my view, the red- seeking behaviour of public officers, which in some cases, have become endermic, way down to the District and
    Municipal Assemblies, even against Members of Parliament.
    If you have a small amount of money to disburse and you leave it to them alone, if you are not careful, your money would do one-half of what it ought to be able to do.
    Mr Speaker, we also want to ensure that service to the public would be performed freely as a responsibility without inducement by anybody. And hopefully, we can exorcise from the public, abuse of power, particularly relating to political office holders and people who have to appoint, contract out and so on, who are often influenced more by political considerations rather than by competence and by proper merit.
    Mr Speaker, as Hon Members who spoke before me have already said, to achieve these, the law alone would not be enough and we should have at the back of our minds, right from day one, that it is not sufficient to pass these laws. We need to allow sunshine into our activities.
    A lot of the times, the perception of corruption is just due to the opaque manner in which we operate things; they are perceptions and often not exactly the case but because people do not ask for information, people do not understand the processes, the processes are not open out to the public and we do not allow access to the people even in respect of whom they are performing the service.
    They tend to assume that, there is somebody gaining something, there is something untoward, and these should be nibbed in the bud by opening our activities and operations into the public.
    Mr Speaker, we should encourage more public engagement and this one should be an opportunity to look at the Bill again and allow more space into the public discourse.
    Finally, Mr Speaker, I wish to assert that, there should be the principle and this goes to underline it that every breach of the law of the land should necessarily attract a sanction, irrespective of the person involved. It should be understood;it should be part of the grooming of our children at school and basically, at every level, that a breach of the law should attract a sanction. So, people would grow to accept when they have been found to have breached the rule that a sanction would necessarily follow.
    Mr Speaker, in looking at this Bill, I think so many amendments have been proposed -- so many of them. It should tell you that all of us, at least, at the Committee level, have committed to making the law serve the country and serve all of us.
    I wish to state here that public officers have a responsibility to be loyal to the State and maintain high standards of integrity. This law is only to help us to achieve that. But the mentality should be developed that, the law is there checking you but it is your responsibility to be honest, to be loyal and to be of service to your community.
    I thank you Mr Speaker for the opportunity.
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Hon Members, I thought we were coming to the end of it but we would take two more, one from either side. I know the Leadership would want to contribute; we will take them on board.
    Yes, Hon Gifty Kusi --
    Mrs Gifty E. Kusi (NPP -- Tarkwa- Nsuaem) 12:50 p.m.
    Thank you Mr Speaker for the opportunity; I am grateful.
    Mr Speaker, this Bill has come at a time that we really need it.
    Mr Speaker, day in and day out, in this Parliament, we have reports from the Auditor-General's Department -- and when you read those reports and subsequently the Public Accounts Committee brings Reports, public officers who have done so many things against the State, against where they are working, such as embezzling monies and so on and so forth -- These Reports are always read, punishments are supposed to be meted out to people and yet those people are walking in the streets of Ghana with nothing being done to them.
    Mr Speaker, I think that as public officials, we should be regulated; our conduct should be of no question. This is because we hold positions of trust and the people of Ghana trust us that we can do that work, that is why we are appointed. So, we will always disappoint people if we do not behave the way we should.
    So, Mr Speaker, I think that there are so many amendments and we are going to look into this Bill to ensure that we produce an Act that would stand the test of time.
    We would produce an Act that would regulate our lives as public officers, everybody inclusive. A public officer, in the Memorandum to the Bill, Mr Speaker, with your permission, I beg to quote -- it was quoting Chapter 24 of the Constitution
    -- 12:50 p.m.

    Mr George K. Arthur (NDC -- Amenfi Central) 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, every public officer does not accept his responsibility in order to be corrupt, but from my general opinion, it is the public that corrupts the public officers.
    Let me start from the issue of protocolism that is engulfing our State. Even junior high school (JHS) graduate or senior high school (SHS) graduate now thinks that when he has even scored very well in his examination, and every school is prepared to admit him, he must pass through a public officer or leader somewhere before he or she would be admitted.
    So, that thing has gone on to the extent that if you are a family member and you have a public position, if you are not able to push one or two children somewhere, whether they qualify, Mr Speaker, they see you as not helping the family. That is one aspect.
    The second aspect is what the first contributor said, which is about politics that we put ourselves so much in. If a public officer wants to embark on his genuine duty, the first question that comes is that, we made you who you are and today, you are coming to take us out of our office. It has happened in several places.
    Let me take the example of this Adjei Mensah on the sea shore. I have forgotten the name; it is an unauthorised settlement. When the officers were there to sack the people, the comment that we heard on air, radio, television and everywhere was that, they are National Democratic Party (NDC) members and they brought the Government to power. After bringing the Government to power, it has come to sack them from where they take their daily meals. Mr Speaker, if we continue to inject politics in the administration of these officers, we cannot get anywhere.
    Thirdly, the last contributor also mentioned the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Reports where officers are brought while the people who committed the offence sit somewhere for officers to come and answer. When he comes, definitely, he would also want to go free. So, what he does is to find every means to make sure that his name does not come out. So, first, he goes to see the Auditor-General, then he goes to see another person somewhere, and then comes to meet the Committee and it goes on.
    Before you realise, the person who committed the offence would be sitting somewhere because it is said that we are dealing with the institution and not personalities. So, the people who committed the offence would be there, and those who did not commit the offence are the people who have to come and answer.
    If it continues this way, I do not think the fear would be in any person to stay away from corruption. Even people who have been mandated to be on the job to make sure that the implementation goes on are the same people who corrupt themselves.
    Let me ask, after Parliament has enacted the laws, or we have gone through the Bills and made sure that we come out with a very plain Act, we leave it to the public, then the police must also do their work to enforce the law. If the police fails in their duty, and even the Judiciary fails in their duty, how do we blame people who do not have any hands in the commitment of the offence?
    Every child in Ghana knows that the most corrupt people in Ghana are politicians, even after we have done our genuine work.
    So Mr Speaker, the issue of this protocolism, the issue of political aspect, if we do not see that this is a big man who can help, and we all go by the regulations; the document that we bring out to the public and abide by them, we would not have any problem with the conduct of public officers or the Bill that we are going to work on to become an Act.
    These are some of the problems I have with this Bill.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader?
    Minority Leader (Mr Osei Kyei- Mensah-Bonsu) 1 p.m.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to lend my support to this Bill before us.
    Mr Speaker, I agree with the Hon Minister for Employment and Labour Relations when he said that we should be active in promoting laws that are described as sunshine laws. Whatever is done in darkness is not anything to be enthused about. And somebody said to me some time ago, that if judgment day should happen in the night, it would be most revealing; people hiding in corners and in dark rooms doing whatever -- [Interruption] -- Whatever is done in the dark, except one or two things that are legitimate, are not good.
    Mr Speaker, the country has many laws, but we talk about the appro- priateness of the laws that we have and how we operationalise some of these laws. We have spoken about the Whistle Blowers Act that we have in the system. Unfortunately, in operationalising this Act, people who have tendered to blow the whistle have become victims of their own deeds. People who would want to safeguard the interest of this country end
    up becoming victims because their tops get blown by the recipients of the message. How do we encourage people to respond to this? Elsewhere, if an old lady or old man hiding somewhere in his or her room observes that some activity is suspicious, he or she just picks his or her cell phone, rings the relevant authority that he or she is suspicious of such activity that is going on.
    People would come and try to unravel whatever may be going on. It is not so in Ghana. Before a recipient acts, they would have told the suspect where the message is coming from. Are we giving relevance to these laws?
    We must be talking about the appropriateness of sanctions as well. Sometimes, the sanctions are not commensurate with the punishment, and so, if you have to give something out to free yourself of the entanglement of perhaps, going to report to the Police Officer, being taking to court where you may not be heard, maybe, on the first few appearances that you indulge in, what would be the sense in pursuing what you may think is right? Perhaps, later give out something out there to get yourself out of that terrible situation.
    Mr Speaker, so, the sanctions that apply to some of these commissions are inappropriate; they are not commensurate with it, and so, the person is then more or less enticed to give something out and free himself. It is not legitimate. But the regime is encouraging him to do what is inappropriate.
    Mr Speaker, we would talk about the enforcement of laws. How swift and decisive are the enforcement of laws? Do we as people in authority also send the right message by our own conduct? We have a situation where a former Attorney- General and Minister for Justice reported of matters, and the man is so much vilified and scandalised.
    Minority Leader (Mr Osei Kyei- Mensah-Bonsu) 1:10 p.m.


    Eventually, the pursuit that one person engaged in turns out to have saved this country millions of Ghana cedis; money that could otherwise be used to profit this country. And even where we are, let us admit it; moving to enforce the ruling of the court has become difficult. Why? And it is as if wrong is right and right is wrong. Where are we as a country?

    Mr Speaker, a government is put in place to add quality to the living standards of the people. If you have situations where the people are not seeing enhancements in their livestyles over long periods of what is supposed to be good governance, what will be the resort of such people? They will find ways to make money. Today, the future of certain people is at stake; they have contributed to some schemes which our Constitution obligates the State to do and they are not too sure what the yield of the schemes that they are contributing to would offer to them in their retiring age.

    What do you think such people would do, maybe, a year to their retirement and they are not sure what the yield would give to them? What do you think the people would do? They find a way to fleece the State, that is, if it is possible for them to do that.

    So, Mr Speaker, as a nation, we must ensure that our laws do work for us. We often talk about equal pay for equal work. What has become of that? You have people with similar qualifications and working at different places, one earning so much and the other earning less than a quarter of what his own colleague is earning at the other side. He sees him in comfort, perhaps, even in school, he was better, and he sees him in comfort and his

    own lot keeps deteriorating. What do you think such a person would do if he has the opportunity to make something good for himself?

    Mr Speaker, having said this as a Parliament, what are we also doing? Oversight of the usage of the public purse is a function and a core responsibility of Parliament. What do we do as a Parliament in this? The Public Accounts Committee in this House is one Committee that is recognised as doing some quality work in terms of unravelling nuisance and issues connected with ill- use of public resources.

    But why should it be the work of the Public Accounts Committee alone? The other committees; all committees of Parliament are charged with the responsibility of overseeing the various sectors;l we do not do anything.

    The budget cycle unfolds and it is as if it is business as usual. The committees should be tracing and tracking the allocation of resources to the various sectors and nothing of that sort is done by the committees. We all sit here, referrals are made and when they are made, we are quarrelling “Oh it should be a joint committee, it should be three committees”. That is the resort. What is Parliament doing? We should hold ourselves blameable as well.

    It is no surprise that when 12 Parliaments in Africa came to be evaluated, our Parliament placed last but one because we are not working. We are not working.

    Mr Speaker, we need to allocate resources to the various committees in order for them to do quality work in overseeing the various sectors. We do not do that. We do not have anything to work with and the little that is allocated to the committees is not released to them. How are they to be positioned to trace and track

    the use of public money, and we leave everything to Public Accounts Committee to engage in post-mortem and post- humous analysis, of little relevance to this country?

    Mr Speaker, we need to get our acts right in order to ensure that people live up to their responsibilities. This is because if you leave human beings, they would misapply and misappropriate public funds if they have the opportunity. Unless people are closely watching them, which is what Parliament is not doing. Our own Parliament should also be more up and doing than we have done in order to ensure that we get our bearings right as a country.

    Finally, I would want to urge that we move beyond this and put the icing on the cake. What icing am I talking about? In this country, anybody at all can wake up one day to have some funds sitting in your account and nobody says anything. I know the earnings of my Colleague, Hon Deputy Minority Leader -- What engagements is he into?

    I know what the Hon Majority Chief Whip is into, I can reasonably tell how much he earns in a month and yet, one day he rises up and he has about GH¢5 million sitting in his account and nobody is able to question that. And Mr Speaker, we think it is normal; it is not.

    We should have a Financial Intelligence Bill in this country in order to place the onus on whoever has that money in his account to tell us where he got the money from. You should be able to tell us where you got the money from; the burden of proof should shift. If we have to look at our legal regime, let us do so, otherwise,

    Mr Speaker, he is asking me whether I know his family. This is just a pure case of using him as an example; I am not saying the Hon Agbesi is engaging in that.

    Mr Speaker, as a nation, we should confront the realities and purge ourselves of these pretentions. Not until we do that, corruption would continue to afflict us.

    Mr Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Hon Members, I believe that this brings us to the end of contributions. I will put the Question.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    The Conduct of Public Officers Bill, 2013, accordingly read a Second time.
    Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
    Mr Agbesi 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we have Item number 9; the Customs Bill.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Very Well.
    Hon Members, the Customs Bill, 2014 at the Consideration Stage.
    BILLS -- CONSIDERATION 1:20 p.m.

    STAGE 1:20 p.m.

  • [Resumption of debates from 14/11/ 14]
  • Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Hon Members, we now would have to deal with clause 62 of the Bill.
    Clause 62 -- Application of Customs Laws
    Chairman of the Finance Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 62 Headnote, after “Application” insert “of Act 649”.
    Mr Speaker, the new rendition would read 1:20 p.m.
    “Application of Act 649 to customs laws”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Chairman, would you give us the rationale behind the proposed amendment?
    Mr Avedzi 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the rationale is that, the clause is dealing with the application of Act 649 and the Headnote says “Application to customs laws.” It does not reflect the intent of that particular clause. So, we are changing the Headnote to read, “Application of Act 649 to customs laws”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Hon Members, it is straightforward and I will put the Question.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 62 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have just a small -- I just saw it in respect of clause 62 (2).
    Mr Speaker, I do not know whether it has already been dealt with because I was not here on Thursday when you dealt with this.
    “A contravention of the Regula- tions made in respect of postal and express shipment is deemed to be a contravention of this Act”.
    Mr Speaker, why should we say that it should be deemed as a contravention? It is indeed, a contravention of this Act. A contravention of regulations made in respect of postal and express shipment is a contravention of this Act.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Avedzi 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the reason it is captioned like this is that, the Postal and Express Shipment Regulation is not a regulation of this particular Act, it is a different regulation. So, a contravention of that regulation is deemed to be a contravention of this Act. That is why it is captioned like that.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, are you alright with the explanation?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am not persuaded by that.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    I did not hear you; come again.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am not persuaded by that at all. But since they have worked on it for a while, if they think that it is alright for them, I would not want to further litigate it. But I do not think I am persuaded by this at all.
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Osei?
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think the word “deemed” needs to be there. This is because as the Chairman said, a contravention of regulations under the Postal Act is a contravention of the -- It is not automatic that because it is a contravention under the regulations of the Postal Act, it should automatically be a contravention under this Act. That is why the word “deemed” is being put there. It is not automatic. The two are separate.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
    Mr Agbesi 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to follow what you have said. You want the contravention of that regulation to be a contravention of this Act. But the problem I have is the use of the word “deemed”. If you want it to be as a result of a violation over there, it is also a violation of this Act, then the word “deemed” should not be there.
    “A contravention of Regulations made in respect of postal and express shipment is a contravention of this Act”.
    [Interruptions]-- Yes, it should be automatic.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think what may really make the argument convincing is, if you take it from clause 62 (1), it says that:
    “The provisions of the Postal and Courier Services Regulatory Commission Act, 2003 (Act 649) apply to postal and express shipment under this Act with the necessary modification.”
    There may be some necessary modifications and perhaps, that may be the reason they may have that construction. Other than that, what the Chairman of the Committee said at first may not be persuasive at all. If it is because some modifications may be required, then perhaps, we may take it like that. But the reasons that he gave were not really persuasive and convincing at all.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Very well.
    Thank you very much.
    In that case, could we make some progress? We go back to clause 63; we were at clause 63 when this intervention came up.
    Clauses 63 and 64 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 65 -- Detention and examination of express and postal shipments.
    Mr Avedzi 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 65, subclause (1), line 2, delete “suspect” and insert “suspects”.
    Mr Speaker, it is just to change suspect from singular to plural.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 65 as amended ordered to stands part of the Bill.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, may I respectively suggest that we have a mix-up of the arrangements of express and postal and so on and so forth in the Bill? I would plead that we become consistent in the arrangement. If it is “express and postal shipment” let it be so. This is because when we go elsewhere and it is “postal and express shipment” and then “express and postal shipment” and so on, it is just jumbling up; let it be consistent.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Very well --
    In that case, I direct that the draftspersons take note of this and carry it out.
    Thank you very much.
    Clause 66 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 67 -- Customs valuation.
    Mr Avedzi 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 67, subclause (4), paragraph (c), line 1, delete “license” and insert “licence”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 67, subclause (7), line 1, delete “may” and insert “shall”
    The new rendition would read:
    ‘The price shall not be subject to conditions or considerations for which a value cannot be determined'.
    Mr Speaker, we are of the view that this clause should make it mandatory. That is why we are using “shall”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 67, subclause (9), paragraph (a), line 2, delete “for exported into the country” and insert “for export from the country of origin”.
    The new rendition would read:
    “The transaction value is sales between unrelated buyers and sellers of identical or similar goods for export from the country of origin.”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 67 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clauses 68, 69 and 70 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 71 -- Liability for duty.
    Mr Avedzi 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 71, subclause (2), paragraph e, delete “losses” and “loses”.
    Mr Speaker, there is a wrong spelling of ‘losses” [Interruption] -- “loses”;
    “That a person who consumes, loses or uses goods specified in paragraph “e” of subsection one”
    Question put and amendment agreed to .
    Clause 71 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clauses 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78 and 79 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 80 -- Records to be kept in bonded warehouse
    Mr Avedzi 1:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 80, subclause (1), line 1 before “books”, delete “warehouse” and insert “warehouse,”
    Mr Speaker, the intention was to put a “comma” after “warehouse” before ‘books'. So, we are just putting in the comma but we thought that we could delete “warehouse” and insert “warehouse,”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 80 as amended ordered to stands part of the Bill.
    Clause 81 -- Goods not duly removed.
    Mr Avedzi 1:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 81, subclause (2), line 5, delete “times” and insert “hundred percent of “
    The new rendition would read:
    “a person in charge of a private bonded warehouse who fails to produce to the proper officer at the request of the proper officer the goods deposited in the private bonded warehouse or that have not been duly entered and delivered from the warehouse incurs a penalty of three hundred per cent of the duty payable on the goods not so produced in addition to the duty due”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 81 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 82 -- Unlawful access.
    Mr Avedzi 1:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 82, subclause (1), line 3, after “hundred” insert “and not more than one thousand five hundred”
    So, the new rendition reads:
    “a person who without proper authority opens a private bonded warehouse gains access to the goods in the warehouse shall incur a penalty of not less than 500 and not more than 1,500 penalty units”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
    Yes, Chairman of the Committee?
    Mr Avedzi 1:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 82, concluding phrase, after paragraph (b), after “hundred” insert “and not more than six hundred”.
    The new rendition reads:
    “refuses to leave a private bonded warehouse when requested to do so by the proper officer incur a penalty of not less than two hundred and not more than six hundred penalty units”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 82 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 83 -- Unathourised removal of goods
    Mr Avedzi 1:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 83, subclause (1), delete and insert the following:
    “(1)Where goods entered to be warehoused are:
    (a) not duly warehoused;
    (b) concealed or removed from the private bonded warehouse for the purpose of illegal mixing; or
    (c) dealt with in any unauthorised manner, the goods are liable to forfeiture”.
    Mr Avedzi 1:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 83, subclause (2), line 3, delete “times” and insert “hundred per cent of”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 1:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 83, subclause (3), concluding phrase after paragraph (b), line 2, delete “times” and insert “hundred per cent of”
    Mr Speaker, this is in line with what we did earlier.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 1:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move clause 83, subclause (4), line 4, delete “times” and insert “hundred per cent of”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 83 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clauses 84, 85, and 86 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 87 -- Stowing of goods
    Mr Avedzi 1:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 87, subclause (2), line 3, after “five” insert “and not more than fifteen”.
    The new rendition is “a person in charge of a warehouse or a person who
    deposits goods contrary to the direction given in subsection (1), incurs a penalty of not less than five and not more than fifteen penalty units in respect of each package deposited”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Avedzi 1:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 87, subclause (3), line 3, after “five” insert “and not more than fifteen”.
    Mr Speaker, it is just as we did earlier to be consistent with what we are doing.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 87 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clauses 88 and 89 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 90 — Delivery of stores
    Mr Avedzi 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 90, subclause (2), concluding phrase after paragraph (c), line 3, delete “times” and insert “hundred per cent of”
    Mr Speaker, this is just to be consistent with the earlier amendment we did.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 90 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    Hon Members, this brings us to the end of Consideration Stage.
    Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
    Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, this is the appropriate time to adjourn the House. I beg to move at this stage, that the House do adjourn till tomorrow at 10.00 o'clock in the forenoon, since tomorrow is a budget day and we need to go and do a lot of preparations before the budget is delivered.
    Dr Anthony A. Osei 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, under normal circumstances, we would have objected to this Motion to adjourn, but I
    think the Hon Deputy Majority Leader knows that we need lots of preparations for the “killer budget” that is coming— On that note, I beg to second the Motion—[Laughter.]—
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    ADJOURNMENT 1:50 p.m.

  • The House was accordingly adjourned at 1:54 p.m. till Wednesday, 19 th November, 2014 at 10.00 a.m.