Debates of 27 Nov 2014

MR SPEAKER
PRAYERS 10:40 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Hon Members, Correction of Votes and Proceedings of Wednesday, 26th November, 2014.
rose
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Yes, Hon Member?
Mrs S. Kusi 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, on page 10, there was a meeting of the Committee of Mines and Energy and just six people were present.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Is it on page 10 or 11?
Mr S. Kusi 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, page 11.
In the Standing Orders, the Committee should have 25 members. I was wondering why six people could form a quorum and attend a meeting.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Well. The Table Office is reporting on what transpired at the meeting. Whether the meeting was proper, is another matter.
Mr S. Kusi 10:40 a.m.
So Mr Speaker, in this case, what could be done? I think you should ask them to call the meeting again. This is because they never had a quorum; some members were not present. Only six people sat down and decided.
Mr Speaker, please, we would have to do something about that, otherwise,

Chairpersons and Ranking Members would call meetings for three or four people and then decide.

Thank you Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
What is the membership of the Committee?
Mrs Kusi 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, according to the Standing Orders, it is 25.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Which of the Standing Orders? This is what they are reporting.
The legality or otherwise, in my view, it is a different matter. Is it not 18 members? I know it is 18 members. So, show me the Standing Orders. That is why I asked you about the number.
I know the Finance Committee and the Public Accounts Committee have 25 members each.
Mrs Kusi 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, then the Standing Orders on this multimedia device is wrong. This is because I am quoting from here. The Committee of Mines and Energy ---
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
What Standing Order are you referring to? Which Order?
Mrs Kusi 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Standing Order that has been programmed into the multimedia device for us.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Very Well. But do you have the hard copy? Let us go to the hard copy.
Mr S. Kusi 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, then what has been programmed on the multimedia device is wrong. Mr Speaker, it says that:
“The Committee on Mines and Energy composed of not more than 25 members shall examine all matters relating to mines and energy generally.”
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Hon Members, the number of members in our Standing Order is 18. You have chaired that Committee for a number of years yourself, so it is 18 members. So, the Clerk to the Committee would have to look at what is programmed there.
rose
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Yes, Hon Member, what else?
Hon Members, once we have drawn the attention of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Department to it, they have to come and correct it. It is important you have drawn our attention to it.
Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, you have already set the tone for that. If what is written on the multimedia device is not exactly what is captured on the hard copy of the Standing Orders, then there is a big problem. This is because they have put the Standing Orders in a soft copy form into the multimedia device, so that it is handy. And in fact, one could even access it by phone. So, if I am anywhere, I could even access it by phone.
But here, in the hard copy of the Standing Orders, it says that the Committee of Mines and Energy is composed of 18 members. But when she was reading, she said: “Not more than 25 members” They are two different things. It should be word by word.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
You know it is 18 members. So, the problem is with those who loaded the information onto the system. And I have directed the ICT Department to take a look at it.
Mr Nitiwul 10:50 a.m.
I am not reading it from the multimedia device. She is reading the correct thing.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
I direct the Clerks-at- the- Table to take a look at what has been programmed there to see whether it is correct.
Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Alban S.K. Bagbin 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, there is no evidence that what has been programmed is different from what is in the Standing Orders. So, we would just go by our Standing Orders, and that is all. [Interruptions]-- Where is the evidence? You read it; it is not on mine.
What is in the Standing Orders is clear, and this was on-long before this Electronic Parliament (e-Parliament) was initiated and so, this is the evidence we have.
Dr Anthony A. Osei 10:50 a.m.
So, why is the Hon Majority Leader saying that there is no evidence?
Mr Bagbin 10:50 a.m.
There is no evidence. Where is the evidence? Mr Speaker, here, in the hard copy of the Standing Orders - - [Interruptions]-- Did the Hon Member see it? Show me.--
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Members, address the Chair.
Dr A. A. Osei 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Majority Leader took us through orientation, so that we could use this machine.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Yes.
Dr A. A. Osei 10:50 a.m.
It appears that he is not up to scratch --
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Yes, we want to use these machines. So, if there is a problem between what is here and what is there, I would let the Information and Communications Technologists check whether what he is saying is actually the true position --
Dr A. A. Osei 10:50 a.m.
I know you can access yours.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
So, if there is any correction, they can make it.
Hon Members, we do not have Official Report for correction. So, we will move on to item number 3, Question time.
Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Alban S. K. Bagbin 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Minister for Energy and Petroleum is not before the House now. This is because he has been called to present some urgent business before Cabinet and so, he has mandated the Hon Deputy Minister to answer the Questions. Therefore, I am craving the indulgence of my Hon Colleagues and praying for your permission, to allow the Hon Deputy Minister to answer the Questions for and on behalf of the Hon Minister for Energy and Petroleum.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we have no objection.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Very well.
Hon Members, Question time.
We have the Hon Deputy Minister for Energy and Petroleum in the House to respond to Questions from Hon Members on behalf of the Hon Minister.
Hon Members, we start with Question number 169, standing in the name of the Hon Member for Talensi.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS 10:50 a.m.

MINISTRY OF ENERGY AND 10:50 a.m.

PETROLEUM 10:50 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Are you the Hon Member for Talensi?
Mr Mosore 10:50 a.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
I see. [Laughter.]
Yes Hon Deputy Minister?
Mr Mosore 10:50 a.m.
Are you mistaking me for somebody else? [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
No! I have a personal interest in that constituency -- [Laughter] and the one that you de- throned was a good friend of mine. [Laughter.]
You must be very strong enough to overthrow a ‘Mugabe' of this House. [Laughter.] -- [Pause.]
Deputy Minister for Energy and Petroleum (Mr John Abdulai Jinapor) (on behalf of the Minister for Energy and Petroleum): Mr Speaker, the Tema Oil Refinery is not working at full capacity due to its operational inefficiencies and the inability to establish letters of credit for purchase of crude oil.
That is the reason Government has been facilitating the joint venture arrangement with PetroSaudi to fix the inefficiencies and ensure consistent supply of crude oil.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Member, your supplementary question?
Mr Mosore 10:50 a.m.
I would like to ask the Hon Minister whether he has full details about PetroSaudi and whether they have the capacity to support TOR and if so, in what direction? Is it as a buyer, as a partner or are they brokers?
Mr Jinapor 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum believes strongly that the partnership with PetroSaudi would go a long way to help, both in the technical and financial build up of TOR. So, we are confident that the joint venture would provide us with the needed support and impetus to deal with the challenges confronting TOR.
Thank you.
Mr Mosore 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am fortunate to work with TOR for quite over 35 years before joining this Honourable House. I can assure you that this is a refinery which has been run very well. I can also tell you that training for personnel has been one of the best in Africa to the extent that staff of the refinery have vir tually been poached almost enbloc to the middle eastern countries to run their refineries.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Member, now, I believe you are --
Hon Members, I am in charge of these proceedings --
Mr Mosore 10:50 a.m.
The question I would want to ask --
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Member, you have laid sufficient foundation, you may now ask the question.
Mr Mosore 10:50 a.m.
The question I would want to ask is whether the Hon Deputy Minister is aware that since 1963 up to 2009, the Refinery was never stopped and had never been shut down for any issue of inefficiency and that it is only after 2009 that the Refinery began to experience total shut down and failures to date.
Mr Speaker, is he aware?
Mr Jinapor 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I can confirm that before 2009, the Refinery suffered some shut downs. This is a statement of fact. I can also confirm that we are working very hard to engage PetroSaudi to deal with the challenges.
If there were no inefficiencies, TOR would have been running at full capacity as we speak. So Mr Speaker, I would want to state that we are determined to ensure that TOR runs at full capacity and that is why we are engaging PetroSaudi to deal with the challenge.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Yes, your last supplementary question, Hon Member.
Mr Mosore 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, my last supplementary question?
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Yes -- or you have exhausted your questions? Your last supplementary question.
Mr Mosore 10:50 a.m.
Yes, last one --
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Very well.
Mr Mosore 10:50 a.m.
How soon would the refinery be back on stream?
Mr Jinapor 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, as I did indicate, we are at the final stages of discussions with PetroSaudi, following which we shall present the agreement to Cabinet for approval. So, I would want to assure the Hon Member that as soon as possible we would bring TOR back to full capacity and I am confident that it would be thriving.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Members, I will take one supplementary question, then I move on.
Yes, Hon Members, we have the debate on the Financial Policy. Ordinarily, -- [Interruption] Do you want us to close the debate?
Yes, Hon Member for Manhyia South?
Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, in the Answer to the Question, the Hon Deputy Minister said the reason Government has been facilitating a joint venture arrangement -- we have seen joint ventures, with 70/30, 90/10 and 95/5. What kind of joint venture is this?
A joint venture like it happened with Malaysian Telecom and Ghana Telecom, where they had 30 per cent but they controlled everything? What type of joint venture, after running TOR for 40 years?
Mr Jinapor 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, as I indicated, we are in very serious and positive negotiations with PetroSaudi. As to the exact nature of the structure of the shares, that would certainly be determined in the course of the negotiation. Whether it will be 30/70 or 50/50, certainly, I would want
to assure the Hon Member that we will put the nation's interest at the fore and ensure that we come out with something very positive.
Thank you.
Mr Enoch T. Mensah 11 a.m.
— rose —
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Yes?
Mr E. T. Mensah 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to know what brought about the operational inefficiencies which have led to this action that is being cooked up.
Mr Jinapor 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, one of the key challenges confronting TOR has to do with the establishment of Letters of Credit (LCs). Another factor has to do with the debt that TOR has been riddled with. These are some of the challenges -- [Interruption] --
In addition to that, Mr Speaker, there have been some inefficiencies due to obsolete equipment at TOR, some of which are more than 25 years old. If we were to put crude oil for processing at TOR, we do not receive commensurate amount. So, some of these inefficiencies, characterised with the inability to raise LCs, have led to the shutdown of TOR and we have been working round the clock to ensure that we deal with the challenge.
Thank you.
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, in the Budget Statement that was presented by the Minister for Finance, there is a policy by the Government to integrate the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST) with RL.
How does the Hon Deputy Minister juxtapose that with the information he is providing us that they are going to have a joint venture to fix TOR? Is the BOST component part of it?
Mr Jinapor 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we are looking at the BOST / TOR situation from a comprehensive and holistic point of view, to ensure that all the organs turn to work together in a coordinated and well fashioned manner. So, I can assure the Hon Member that beyond the joint venture, we can still work -- [Interruption.]
Some Hon Members 11 a.m.
Assurances!
Mr Jinapor 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, beyond the joint venture, we can still go on with the integration of BOST in the whole petroleum chain. So, it does preclude us from still integrating BOST, even after the joint venture.
Thank you.
Mr Nitiwul 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I hope that I do not carry the mindset that they are going to sell BOST as well. But Mr Speaker, he says that the inability to establish letters of credit for the purchase of crude oil -- Mr Speaker, embedded in the formulae that is being used by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to calculate the price of fuel, is the TOR debt recovery levy. They have been collecting all these monies this while. I would want to find out how come TOR is still unable to establish letters of credit to get crude oil. -- [Interruption]
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Deputy Minister?
Mr Nitiwul 11 a.m.
Because how much has been paid -- [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Please! Please!
You have asked the question and I have called the Hon Deputy Minister.
Mr Jinapor 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum did communicate to your good office officially in respect of the TOR debt and we did indicate that the
Ministry of Finance was the appropriate forum to provide us with all the figures. But I can confirm that TOR is unable to raise LCs --
Some Hon Members 11 a.m.
Why?
Mr Jinapor 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, TOR is unable to raise LCs due to inefficiencies inherent in the company, some of which are not just because of the debt that has riddled TOR, but also because of the equipment failure when they turn to process the crude oil.
Anytime they process a barrel of crude oil, due to obsolete equipment at the facility, they do not receive commensurate amount. So, beyond dealing with the TOR debt, we also ought to bring about some efficiencies in terms of equipment and capacity building, so that TOR can be efficient and run in a better manner.
Thank you.
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Member for Subin?
Mr Isaac Osei 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the establishment of letters of credit is really a technical or administrative matter. The Hon Deputy Minister should confirm to us that TOR lacks financial resources to establish LCs. Would he confirm that TOR did not have the financial resources to establish LCs?
Mr Jinapor 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, precisely so.
If TOR had the finance, they would have established the LCs. It is because they do not have the financial capability, that is why they are unable to establish the LCs.
Dr Anthony A. Osei — rose --
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader?
rose
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Members, I manage the House and I see the number of people I have to -- [Interruptions.] Please!
Hon Members, I am managing the House. You were not on your feet. I saw the Hon Member for Subin when I was going to call the Hon Minority Leader.
Ordinarily, I would have gone to Leadership. You were not on your feet but I saw him on his feet and decided to call him before I move to Leadership. Now, I want to move to him --
We have to manage the House, so that we can have time to do other business. But I will allow you to ask the question.
Dr A. A. Osei 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, --
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
But if you want to be recognised, give the indication early.
Dr A. A. Osei 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it is because of the Answer he just gave. He is giving the impression that TOR has not established an LC and I would want to ask him if he is aware that last year TOR established LCs, but they could not pay and GNPC paid for that money. It is in the Report.
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
But that is precisely the point being made and that is the point he just confirmed when the Hon Member --
Dr A. A. Osei 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, his Answer was that TOR did not establish any LC and I am saying that last year it did. So, he cannot be correct.
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Anyway, Hon Deputy Minister?
Mr Jinapor 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I did indicate that TOR had a problem establishing LCs. I am unable to confirm the Hon Member's statement and I can check. But that goes to buttress my point that anytime TOR establishes LCs, redeeming the LCs becomes a problem mainly because of inefficiencies.
Mr Speaker, if you may permit me, one example has to do with the Residue Fluid Catalytic Cracker (RFCC); it has become necessary to replace the RFCC air coolers due to excessive corrosion which has led to the blocking of a lot of the tubes.
This has resulted in poor ventilation leading to a reduction in the production capacity by 20 per cent. So, if the RFCC is not working, and it has reduced the production capacity by 20 per cent, no matter the LCs they have established, they are going to have problems due to inefficiencies this has to be addressed.
Thank you.
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it is quite revealing that the Hon Deputy Minister is telling us that about 20 per cent of the throughput by Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) cannot be recovered and because of that he is saying it has become necessary to shutdown TOR.
Mr Speaker, is the Hon Deputy Minister aware that as far as the delivery of potable water is concerned, about 42 per cent of potable water that is generated cannot be accounted for and yet Ghana Water Company Limited has not been shutdown?
Is the Hon Deputy Minister aware that in the generation of electricity, over 28 per cent cannot be accounted for and yet Electricity Company of Ghana and indeed, Volta River Authority (VRA) and the GRIDCo have not been shut down? Is he aware of these figures? And does he think that 20 per cent is necessary to shut down the operation of TOR?
Mr Jinapor 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, much as I appreciate the comments, I am a Deputy Minister from the Energy and Petroleum
Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon Members, your leader is on the floor — do you not want to listen to your own leader?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minister is informing us that one of the reasons for the inability of TOR to deliver is the inability to establish letters of credit and he pins this on their finances.
Mr Speaker, as has been told, we have been collecting TOR debts in order to reposition TOR. The Hon Deputy Minister admits that the TOR debt levies have been collected over a period of time; and so how much of the TOR debt has now been recovered?
Mr Jinapor 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, if you may recall, this was a major Question that was forwarded to us and we wrote officially to inform you that the Ministry of Finance was the appropriate institution to provide all that information and to the best of my knowledge, that was accepted.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minister informs us and keeps insisting that he is in charge —his portfolio is with Energy and inclusive of TOR—TOR is in debt; monies are being collected to reposition it—he should be able to tell us how much of the debt has been recovered thus far. This is a simple question. I am not asking the Hon Deputy Minister for details.
Mr Jinapor 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, may I appeal that this is brought on notice and that we would provide the Hon Member with the information.
Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon Members, we move to the next Question -- number 170, standing in the name of the Hon Member for Afigya Kwabre South.
Power Outages in Ghana
Q.170. Mr Willliam Owuraku Aidoo asked the Deputy Minister for Energy and Petroleum what was accounting for the current power outages in the country and exactly when would the outages end?
Mr John Abdulai Jinapor 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the key challenges accoun-ting for the current power outages in the country can be attributed to inadequate generation arising from:
i) erratic gas supply from the West Africa Gas Pipeline Project
(WAGPP);
ii) shutdown of plants for planned and unplanned maintenance; and
iii) low water inflow into the Bui and Akosombo reservoirs.
The Ministry is working closely with the thermal power generators to ensure that these plants return into service as soon as possible, to reduce the deficit in power generation.
In addition, it is expected that following the completion of the TICo Expansion Project (110 MW) by the end of the year and the Kpone Thermal Power project (220MW) by the first quarter of 2015, the deficit in power generation will be reduced to the minimum or even eliminated.
To avoid the recurrence of the current situation, the Ministry is in the process of bringing into the country a powership of capacity 450MW to be operational by the second quarter of 2015. Other independent power projects are at advanced stages for construction works to commence.
Mr John Abdulai Jinapor 11:10 a.m.


To address the issue of irregular supply of gas from the West Africa Gas Pipeline, we wish to note that gas has started flowing to Aboadze on commissioning basis. We are also in talks with Nigeria for more gas. Other gas discoveries such as TEN and Sankofa and also Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) are being pursued.
Mr W.O Aidoo 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, in view of the challenges, as he himself has stated, of the supply of gas from the West African Gas Pipeline and the challenges that Government has been experiencing in the importation of crude oil, I would like to know from him, what fuel is the Ministry going to use to power this 450 MW powership when it arrives in the country.
Mr Jinapor 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the powership would run on heavy fuel oil.
Mr W. O. Aidoo 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the answer the Hon Deputy Minister has given is not quite adequate. This is because we have been having challenges with the importation of crude oil, and heavy fuel oil that the Hon Deputy Minister is talking about would have to be imported.
I would like to know from him, in view of the challenges that persist right now with the importation of crude oil and the challenges in the supply of gas in the short- term, at least, what are we going to use to power this powership?
Mr Jinapor 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I guess the Hon Member's question was: “What we are going to use to power the powerships?” My answer is that we are going to use heavy fuel oil to power the powerships.
Mr W.O Aidoo 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, what I would like to know from the Deputy Minister is indeed — let me rephrase -- We have challenges in the importation of
crude oil by way of money. We are now bringing in a powership that is going to be powered by a fuel which would be imported using money.
Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon Deputy Minister, the Hon Member wants to know whether you have the capacity to get fuel to power the powership.
Mr Jinapor 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would firstly want to reconfirm that we are going to use heavy fuel oil— the operator of the powership would be responsible for getting his own fuel oil to power the powership.
I would want to state, however, that it is Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) that would determine the tariff, taking into account all this mix and I am confident that would be catered for by the PURC.
Mr W.O Aidoo — rose --
Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon Member, you have exhausted your supplementary —
Mr W.O Aidoo 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, that was a rephrase —
Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
You have exhausted your —[Laughter]-- When you are pursuing a Minister or a Deputy Minister, you should find a way of pursuing him, so that when you repeat your own question -- Anyway, I will allow you to ask again.
Mr W. O. Aidoo 11:20 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
The Hon Deputy Minister stated in his Answer that and with your permission, I beg to quote: “We are also in talks with Nigeria for more gas”. Now, is the Hon Deputy Minister telling us that he is going to have a new agreement with Nigeria or the West African Gas Pipeline? Is it going to be a new agreement or what? I do not really understand the Answer.
If we have challenges with the supply of gas as it is, now, he is saying to us that they are going to ask for more gas. Is it a new agreement that they are going to enter into or are they going to just ask them to just --
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Deputy Minister?
Mr Jinapor 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, currently, the gas we are receiving from Nigeria is insufficient. Sometimes it comes as low as 20 -- So, when I talk of pushing for more gas, we are talking of them increasing the gas from somewhere around 20 million standard cubic feet and ramp it up. That is what I referred to as pushing for more of the gas, so that we can power some of the thermal plants.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Question number --
I will take one last supplementary question then we move on to the next Question.
Mr Augustine Collins Ntim 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, from the Hon Deputy Minister's Answer, in paragraph three, “to avoid the recurrence of the current situation, the Ministry is in the process of bringing into the country a powership of capacity of 450 mw to be operational by the second quarter of 2015.”
Mr Speaker, I would want to find out what financial arrangement was made and how much is the total cost of the powership and how much provision was made in the 2015 Budget?
Thank you.
Mr Jinapor 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we are not procuring the power barges. This is a power barge operated by Carpower, and just like any Independent Power Producers (IPP) would come and set up and sell power. We are giving them the opportunity to come with their barges and sell power to the people of Ghana. And so, inherent in the sale of power would be a determination of the tariff and the tariff would be the incentive for them to come in and sell power to us. And so, this is what we are doing so far.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Question to the Deputy Minister reads: “To ask the Deputy Minister for Energy and Petroleum, what is accounting for the current power outages in the country and exactly when would the outages end.”
Mr Speaker, the Question inherently is seeking to know what is going to be done to address current problems now? So, it relates to emergency solutions and not medium and long-term solutions. The answers he has provided relate to solving the problems in the long-term and medium term. Even the power --
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Member, is 2015 long-term?
Mr Kyei- Mensah Bonsu 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it is medium-term.
Mr Speaker, when you are talking about current power outages, what current measures -- emergency supply of power
APPENDIX 11:20 a.m.

O 11:20 a.m.

Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
So, what is your question?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, he heard the question. Even mid-stream, he got up to answer it when I had not fully landed.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader, so what is your question?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the question is, we have current power outages. What are the remedial measures to attend to the current power outages? Mr Speaker, the emergency measures --
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
The Question did not talk about emergency -- the Question says “current”. At times there can be a difference between “current” and “emergency”.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, “current” means today.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Deputy Minister -- current measures.
Mr Jinapor 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, when I talk of “current measures”, my understanding is that it is within the period that I indicated.
One of the current measures we are taking is the provision of gas from the Atuabo Gas Processing Plant. -- [Hear! Hear!] -- That is today, Mr Speaker, not tomorrow.
In addition to that, the power barges are normally brought in during emergencies. They are not for long-term and medium-term measures. When you have a deficit, what you do is that, you bring the power barge, deal with the deficit and when the systems give it out, the power barge can leave. So, these are some of the emergency measures.
But Mr Speaker, with your permission, in the energy sector, when we talk of current, it certainly cannot be one day or two days.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Members, we move to Question number 171, standing in the name of the Hon Member for Yagaba/ Kubori.
Setbacks in completing Atuabo Gas Project
Q.171. Mr. Mustapha Ussif asked the Deputy Minister for Energy and Petroleum what was accounting for the recurring setbacks in the completion of the Atuabo Gas Project.
Mr Jinapor 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the integrity of the onshore pipeline, offshore pipeline and the processing plant has to be tested before the flow of gas to Aboadze. An independent consultant was hired to do the analysis to determine the integrity of the facilities. The tying-in process has to be meticulously done to avoid any catastrophic consequences. This process was also carried out by a specialised vessel whose availability was not also guaranteed.
These are but some of the technical challenges that have delayed the project, although mechanical completion was well over months ago. The process has been completed and all stakeholders and
regulators are satisfied and gas has started flowing to the power plant. The plant is currently at the inauguration stage.
Mr Ussif 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Hon Deputy Minister what the total actual cost of the Atuabo Gas Project is.
Mr Jinapor 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, may I appeal that he brings this question to us on notice and we shall provide him with the information.
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Member, I thought he wanted to provide the information but he has to come on notice. It is not directly supplementary to the Question that you have posed. I thought he had the information. I was going to rule when he got up to answer the question. So, he needs notice. It is not supplementary to the main Question that you have asked. Your Question is more on the setbacks.
Yes, your next supplementary.
Mr Ussif 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to know from the Hon Deputy Minister, when the agreement -- because Atuabo Gas Project is an international project, and as we speak, this august House has not seen that agreement between the Sinopec and the people or the Government of Ghana. When is the agreement coming to this House for us to look into it --
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Member, that is not supplementary. [Uproar.] Hon Members, look at the Question. The Question is really about the setbacks. If you want to ask a question on those other areas in terms of agreement and all those things, file the Question, I will admit it and the Hon Minister will have to come and answer.
Look at your Question, it is about the setbacks. I suspect that the response must have delayed or the programming of the Question must have been delayed but it is about the setbacks; it is clear. Your last supplementary question.
Mr Ussif 11:30 a.m.
Thank you Mr Speaker.
I sent the Question three months ago and in framing it by then, the gas project was not inaugurated.
Today, the Deputy Minister is in this House, telling the whole country that the current project is at the inauguration stage. It might be, that during the project, financial constraints were some of the challenges; we were all told. Today, the Deputy Minister is telling us that the project is in its completion stage. So, the Hon Deputy Minister should be able to tell Ghanaians how much was spent on this project.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Question that has been asked by the Hon Mustapha Ussif, in respect of the inauguration of the plant; that once the plant is inaugurated, it is expected to deliver its products onto the market.
The question is, the appropriate thing must be done before the delivery is done and he is relating it to the contract that ought to have come to Parliament. So, it is duly relevant to the Question that has been asked since the Minister is saying that it is at the inauguration stage. With all due respect, in that regard, the issue then is that, the contract is not known to this Parliament.
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Members, let me hear from the Deputy Majority Leader.
Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Question is very clear:
“What is accounting for the recurring setbacks in the completion of the Atuabo Gas Project?”
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, for the avoidance of doubt and for the information of my Hon Colleague, the Deputy Majority Leader, you Mr Speaker, have not given any ruling on this; when he says “your ruling is appropriate” - That is first. For his own information and elucidation, may I point to Order 69 of our Standing Orders?:
“As soon as a Question is answered in the House any Member be- ginning with the Member who asked the Question may, without notice, ask a supplementary Question for the further elucidation of any matter of fact regarding which the answer has been given…”
It is a matter of fact relating to the answer that you have given.
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader, if you read Order 69, it concludes by saying that:
“…but a supplementary Question must not be used to introduce matter not included in the Original Question.”
So, it must not be used to introduce a matter not included in the Original Question, and by the rules of the practice, not introduced even in the Answer of the Minister. If the Minister has decided to
open himself up on those matters, I would have allowed the question. But I have not heard him open himself up in those areas.
Hon Member for Asuogyaman?
Mr Kofi Osei-Ameyaw 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister exposed himself when he said -- he should have simply said, the project had completed in answering and that there were no setbacks but he proceeded to answer the setbacks by saying that the project is finished and so, they are inaugurating it. In which case, if the Hon Member was of the view that the financial delay caused the setback, then he has opened himself up.
So, he should be prepared to come here and answer the Question whether it costs more money, or whether they had approval of this House to find that money to engage in that project, simply because it is a foreign transaction --
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Member for Asuogyaman, what you are saying is exactly what I am also saying. If you file a Question on notice on those areas, I will gladly admit it for the Deputy Minister to come. But I did not see the Deputy Minister opening himself up in terms of -- [Laughter.]
Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Mr Agbesi 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I thought that when the Minority Leader started reading Order 69, he should have completed the reading for all of us to know, as you said, to the hearing of all the world. The Order stated and ended by saying that;
“…but a supplementary Question must not be used to introduce matter not included in the Original Question.”
And I have read the original Question. The matter is not included in the original Question. So, you cannot say that this matter should be answered in this supplementary question. If you want to ask that question, come by notice to the Minister and that is what I said.
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Members, I think that if this House, as the House representing the people, once there is information, it should be made available to this House.
In the same vein, in doing so, we should be guided by the rules of the House, and the rules of the House are very clear. We should not hide behind a supplementary question to introduce a new matter. I consider the issues being raised by the Hon Member for Yagaba/Kubori as new matters to the substantive Question posed originally to the Deputy Minister. If the Questions come on notice, that is something that I will admit and we will consider them and then, process them for the necessary processes to be concluded.
Hon Member for Old Tafo and Ranking Member for Finance?
Dr Anthony A. Osei 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, first of all, just to remind this House, your goodself has in earlier times directed that this contract be brought here. You can check with the Hansard, I would want to put that on record. In answering the Question, the Deputy Minister said, and with your permission, I beg to quote:
“These are but some of the technical challenges that have delayed the project...”
Will the Deputy Minister concede that financial considerations may have also caused the delay in the project?
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Member, reframe the question; it is a very ingenious way of asking the question but reframe it. What are some of the technical challenges? Hon --
Dr A. A. Osei 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker --
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Yes, I have called on him.
Mr Jinapor 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am unable to confirm that financial challenges led to the delay in executing the project.
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Asiamah?
Mr I. K. Asiamah 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to find out from the Hon Deputy Minister what the original completion date of the Atuabo Gas Project was?
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Deputy Minister?
Mr Jinapor 11:40 a.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I would want to answer this question on notice because if it comes to giving dates --
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Deputy Minister, you have introduced inauguration in your Answer, so, you have opened yourself up now to respond to questions on inauguration date.
Mr Jinapor 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, as I did indicate, the project is at the inauguration stage. The question is, “what was the exact date that the project should have been inaugurated?” And I did indicate that I would wish to provide that on notice because I cannot on the spare of the moment, provide the exact date. This is because if I give a date which is wrong, I may be seen to be deceiving Parliament.
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Member for Wenchi?
Prof. George Yaw Gyan-Baffour 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member for Old Tafo has said that you had requested that the contract should be brought to this House; it has never been brought and they are completing --
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Member for Wenchi, do not go there. Let us go and check the Hansard and be sure of --
Prof. Gyan-Baffour 11:40 a.m.
And they are completing the project --
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Member for Wenchi, please, take your seat.
I know that this issue has come to the floor of the House several times, admittedly, but I cannot remember the exact ruling that I gave. It is some time ago.
When I was the First Deputy Speaker, this issue cropped up, but I cannot remember the exact directive that I gave on this matter. I will let the Hon Member for Old Tafo to get me the Hansard and the directive that I gave, come and see me in my office and then, we would pursue it from there.
As of now, the Official Report is not here. He is not quoting from the Official Report and he is not telling us the date of that Official Report. But it is true that this matter has come on the floor of the House some years back but I cannot remember exactly what directives I gave.
So, if you would assist me with the Official Report, we would proceed from there at the appropriate time.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I think your Clerks may be able to assist you better since they are --
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Very well. I so direct the Clerks to assist me.
Yes, Hon Member for Wenchi?
Prof. Gyan-Baffour 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am not going to go to what is in the Hansard. Since it is being completed and we still do not have the contract, I would want a ruling from you now when the contract should be
brought. This is because when they complete it, you will never see the contract again.
Thank you Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Member for Wenchi, you know that I cannot make a ruling here on this matter. I will want to make sure of the previous ruling that I have made and find out the context in which that ruling was made and the request that is being made now.
Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, given the fact that we all deem it most appropriate that the contract must come to the representatives of the people before the project is inaugurated, would the Chair direct that before the inauguration of this project, the people of this country, represented by us herein assembled, must see the contract before the inauguration is done?
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader, I will want to go and look at my earlier directives, so that as a House, we could resolve this matter in the collective interest of the people. So, I do not think there should be a problem at all.
Let us move to the next Question.
Question number 172.
Hon Members, let us make progress.
Hon Member for Ayensuano?
Aburi-Amanase, Govinorkrom, etc to the national electricity grid.
(Connection)
Q.172. Mr Samuel Ayeh-Paye asked the Deputy Minister for Energy and Petroleum when the following com- munities in the Ayensuano District in the
Eastern Region would be connected to the national electricity grid:
(i) Aburi-Amanase
(ii) Govinorkrom
(iii) Kwadwohum
(iv) Aboabo-Sonkor
(v) Awisam
(vi) Mensakrom
(vii) Owusu-Wawase.
Mr Jinapor 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, Govinorkrom and Awisam communities have been earmarked to benefit from an upcoming electr ification project for selected communities in the Volta, Eastern and Northern Regions.
The Ministry is currently going through the necessary procurement and approval processes for the Loan and Commercial Agreements. It is expected that the projects in these communities will commence in 2015.
The remaining communities, namely, Aburi-Amanase, Kwadwohum, Aboado- Sonkor, Mensakrom and Owusu-Wawase however, do not form part of any of the Ministry's ongoing electrification projects.
In the Ministry's bid to achieve universal access to electricity, all MMDAs have been requested to submit a list of un-electrified communities to the Ministry for consideration. Following this question, the Ministry has captured these communities in the Ayensuano District for consideration in future projects in the district.
Mr Ayeh-Paye 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, Can the Hon Deputy Minister tell us exactly when in 2015 would this project commence,
because this Loan Agreement he is referring to, was approved by this House almost a year ago. Can he give exactly when the project --
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Deputy Minister?
Mr Jinapor 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, between the periods of January to December, 2015, we are confident that we would commence the project.
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Member?
Mr Ayeh-Paye 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we said he is waiting for the Commercial Agreement to be signed. The Loan Agreement itself has been signed almost a year ago. So, what is holding the signing of the Commercial Agreement that is delaying the project?
Mr Jinapor 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we are currently in negotiation with the financiers; we are conducting value for money and other processes and we are confident that once we are done, we shall submit it for approval.
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Your last supplementary Question.
Mr Ayeh-Paye 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, some of the communities he mentioned like Aburi- Amanase, Govinorkrom and Owusu- Wawase already have the high tension cables running through them. So, connecting them is not difficult at all. Can the Deputy Minister consider other projects that are not capital intensive to get these communities connected to the national electricity grid?
Mr Jinapor 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, while acknowledging the point that he has made, the fact is that, there are several
Mr Jinapor 11:40 a.m.


other communities with high tension poles passing over them and so, all of these communities would have to be captured in a manner that would provide us with the opportunity to provide funding, so that once we start the projects, we would be able to complete them on time.
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Members, Question number 173.
Hon Members, this is a constituency specific Question, so, I would not take any supplementary question from any other person.
Hon Members, Question number 173, standing in the name of Hon Member for Kpandai.
Alhaji Habibu Tijani Mohammad 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member for Kpandai, Hon Mathew Nyindam is indisposed. He has therefore, asked me to stand in for him, with your permission.
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Very well. Proceed.
Wiea, Nkanchina, Buya-Jama- Nkwanta, etc to the national electricity
grid. (Connection)
Q.173. Alhaji Tinjani Mohammond (on behalf of) Mr Matthew Nyindam asked the Deputy Minister for Energy and Petroleum when the following communities would be connected to the national electricity grid:
(i) Wiea
(ii) Nkanchina
(iii) Buya-Jama-Nkwanta
(iv) Buya Nchaponi
(v) Buya Binalor.
Mr Jinapor 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Wiea, Buya-Jama-Nkwanta and Buya Nchaponi communities have been earmarked to benefit from an upcoming electrification project for selected communities in the Volta, Eastern and Northern Regions.
The Ministry is currently going through the necessary procurement and approval processes for the Loan and Commercial Agreements. It is expected that the projects in these communities will commence in 2015.
The remaining communities, namely, Nkachina and Buya Binalor have been earmarked by the Ministry for SHEP V Pilot Electrification Project. Consultants are currently carrying out engineering surveys in selected beneficiary com- munities in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions. The engineering survey report is expected to be ready by the end of November, 2014, to enable the Ministry determine the required materials and cost estimates for the project. The project is expected to commence in 2015.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Alhaji H. T. Mohammad 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, may I know from the Hon Deputy Minister, the stage reached in the procurement process and whether it is sole sourcing or open tender.
Mr Jinapor 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we are in discussion with Hunan Construction and following the discussion, once we complete with the commercial agreement, we shall submit it through Cabinet to Parliament for approval.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Alhaji H. T. Mohammad 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, may I also know the name of the project earmarked for the selected communities in the Volta, Eastern and Northern Regions as mentioned by the Hon Deputy Minister.
Mr Jinapor 11:50 a.m.
The name of the project which would capture these communities is SHEP V.
Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Your last supplementary Question, if you have any.
Alhaji H. T. Mohammad 11:50 a.m.
I would want to know whether SHEP V is also in phases and if yes, may I know which phase covers the Nkwanta, Nkanchina, and Buya Binalor communities?
Mr Jinapor 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, as much as possible, we would want to take all these communities at a go and so, I can confirm that once we finish with that, we would take those communities at a go and carry through.
Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Hon Deputy Minister, we thank you very much for attending upon the House to respond to Questions on behalf of your Minister.
Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Mr Agbesi 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister for Youth and Sports is currently out of the country and we want to seek your permission and with the indulgence of my Hon Colleagues, for the Hon Deputy Minister to answer the Question on his behalf.
Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Very well.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, no objection.
Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Hon Members, Question number 295, standing in the name of the Hon Member for Tano North -- [Pause.]
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of Question time.
Hon Deputy Minister, thank you very much.
Hon Members, item number 4, Statements. Hon Minister for Health?
Hon Members, we have the Hon Minister for Health to apprise the House on the status of the implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) nationwide.
Hon Minister for Health, you have the floor.
STATEMENTS noon

Minister for Health (Dr Kwaku Agyeman Mensah) noon
Mr Speaker, I am very grateful for the opportunity to deliver a S Statement on National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
As a nation, we have come to the realisation that, if we have to enhance access to primary healthcare, we need to have a viable Health Insurance Scheme. I do believe that, observations, comments and contributions by Hon Members of this august House should help us fine-tune the system.
Mr Speaker, the National Health Insurance Law (NHIL), Act 650 of 2003, which has been replaced by Act 852 of 2012, introduced the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
The primary objective of the Scheme is to provide financial risk protection for residents in the country without having to pay out of pocket at the point of health- care service delivery.
Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Hon Members, the Statement has been made, and I will take some brief comments, in line with the rules of the House.
rose rose
Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Yes, Hon Majority Chief Whip, any problem?
Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I was just being on my feet, so that you will recognise me. I was only standing up, so that you will see that I am also interested in contributing.
Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Hon Members, I was expecting that the Hon Colleague would be on his feet, because the last time that the House agreed, it was based on a question posed by the Hon Collins Ntim and I thought that he would be the first to speak on the matter. Of course, he is also the Deputy Ranking Member of the Committee on Health. But I had dis- cussions with the Leaders and I thought we should take two from each side, so that we can move on to the budget.
Hon Members, fortunately, the list that I have with me here from the Minority side, and indeed, from the discussions, with Leadership, it appears that we want to take the health sector today. If that is the understanding, then at that stage, they can raise the issues when they are contributing to the debate.
The only problem would be that, the Hon Minister for Health would not be in the House at that time. But in view of the fact that they may want to look at the health sector of the budget today, the Minister can be excused from attending Cabinet today and listen to the comments of Hon Members of the House.
Dr A. A. Osei 12:10 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Before I offer my short contribution, I crave your indulgence to request the Minister to table the Paper, so that we would have the benefit of the entire text for our own consumption. I do not have a copy and I would like to have one. I think it is a very good --
Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
The Hansard will capture --
Dr A. A. Osei 12:10 p.m.
All of it?
Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Absolutely!
Dr A. A. Osei (NPP -- Old Tafo) 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to congratulate the Minister for Health for his Statement. It is quite comprehensive, and it shows the dire state of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA).
Mr Speaker, he mentioned funding gaps for three years, and I am not sure whether they are the ones for each year, or cumulatives. For example, for 2014, he talked about the funding gap of GH¢ 299.1. That is what I heard. I would like for him to take note, and give us the cumulative funding gap over the years that he has discussed with us.
Mr Speaker, what shocked me, and he can correct me if I am wrong, is that, the quantum of claims in 2014, was GH¢ 785 million. If I heard that correctly, then this is really huge. Mr Speaker, it appears from the Budget Statement, and he has confirmed it, that with respect to the Ministry of Finance, they have been quite co-operative in terms of releases.
In fact, on the basis of the issue I raised about the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) and the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF), at least, for the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), the Minister does not intend to be too much in violation of the law. So, it appears that the difficulty is not with the releases per se, because he commended the Ministry. The difficulty has accumulated over a period of time, and that is where it is.
I am aware that between the stakeholders and the Ministry, they were proposing that the original increase of the Value Added Tax (VAT), should have been
dedicated to the NHIA. It is something that we must debate on, because already, if I remember correctly, that amount has been dedicated to the Ghana Infrastructural Fund (GIF). So, it is not an option.
So, the question is, which way to go? Is the Government proposing to come out with an additional tax to fund this gap? That is number one. Number two, in spite of these difficulties, Mr Speaker, I am quite surprised that the same Government, being fully aware of the dire situation, is proposing to take 10 per cent of the NHIA, to give to the Youth Employment Programme (YEP).
Mr Speaker, we are talking about a funding gap that would accumulate to almost GH¢500 million over three years and we would want to take 10 per cent of the same Fund, which is already in arrears, to fund another programme. There is some clear inconsistency, and there must be prioritisation. If the objective, in my view, is universal health insurance, which covers more people, then we should be consistent because it would not work. If that amount is taken, then we would really see an imminent collapse in NHIA.
Mr Speaker, the other issue that I would want to bring to the Minister's attention is that, in view of these circumstances, it may not have been prudent for the NHIA to have been engaging in a biometric exercise that could have been done by the National Identification Authority (NIA).
Mr Speaker, every agency has its core function. Now, I am wondering how much money it would cost, or is it already costing the NHIA to be engaging in this biometric exercise when the NIA would have done the same. I understand the decision was taken at the time when your
Dr A. A. Osei (NPP -- Old Tafo) 12:10 p.m.


goodself was the Chairman of the Board. I do not know if it is true, but if it is, we would want to have the opportunity to examine that reason. This is because we have the NIA, which is collapsing, but it is taking the same biometric information or more. So, why should we have the Electoral Commission (EC) doing biometric, the NHIS doing biometric, the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) doing biometric? It is a waste of the nation's resources, particularly since the core function of NHIA is to provide universal insurance.

I have seen a new office building of the NHIA being constructed next to the current headquarters. Do we need this? Are we creating a bureaucracy such that we are in a way wasting money? This is because if we are really short of money, then we ought to look internally for cost savings. I do not know how many offices they have in the regions and the districts. But they ought to be looking internally to find some cost savings, because it would be difficult to argue for an additional tax when internally, we can find cost savings.

For example, I would want to know how much the so-called computerisation, which was put in place by the NHIA cost us. I know it is a huge sum, and we would want to look at that. Is it worth it? The maintenance of it alone, how much will it cost? We would want to spend most of the money on health issues, not on administrative expenses.

So, I appreciate the difficulty the NHIA has. We, as a Parliament, ought to pay attention to it, and help find a solution to this important problem. This is because, if we do not, Mr Speaker, in the next year or two, it will collapse and it will not be a good thing for the nation.

With these few words, I thank you.
Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
Thank you very much.
Hon Member, you raised a very important point and you mentioned my name. It is true; I can say just for the records.
Efforts were made to engage with the National Identification Authority, so that resources could be pooled together. Unfortunately, they were way behind schedule. The kind of fraud that showed up with regard to the payment of claims, we thought that if we wanted to wait for NIA, a lot of fraud would continue in the system and it might collapse. That was why we had to take that decision.
That effort was made by the manage- ments of the NHIA and the NIA. At a certain point, the issue came to the Board for a decision to be taken on the matter before they went biometric.
Yes, Hon Majority Chief Whip?
Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka (NDC -- Asawase) 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker. I rise to associate myself with the Statement made by the Minister for Health, not only in response to our Colleague, Hon Augustine Collins Ntim, who made the Statement. But also some time back Mr Speaker would remember that, the Ranking Member of the Committee brought a Motion. The understanding was that a Statement should be made on the floor about the NHIS and its status.
Mr Speaker, if you looked at the detail of what has been presented by the Minister, it clearly points to some dangers ahead of us. I agree with my Colleague, the Hon Member for Old Tafo, on the issue of us thinking through on how we expect it to survive beyond today.
Mr Speaker, if you listened to the Statement, when the implementation started in 2015, the total membership was about 1.3 million. The utilisation, per the
Statement given was just about 600,000. Over a ten year period, the population of membership has gone up to a little over 10 million.
Mr Speaker, the utililsation is the most scaring. This is because for 2013 alone, if you take both out-patients -- when we talk about out-patients, they are those who go to the hospital and go back home without staying in the hospital. In-patients are those who are admitted. The total utilisation for 2013 was over 28 million.
So, you would see the challenge when we started with just about 600,000 utilisation of the 1.3 million and then when it is 10 million, the utilisation is over 28 million. Definitely, it will come with some constraints.
Mr Speaker, it is important to note that as measures to improve the system, the management has done so well by setting up a Claim Processing Centre, introduced capitation even though they have not been completed across the country and taken in some cost content measures. Mr Speaker, these things alone will not be able to help the Scheme survive.
Mr Speaker, if you look at the information given to us today, as of 2014, the outstanding, -- even if the Ministry of Finance released all the money due to the NHIS and placed it in the Fund, it will be GH¢ 425 million; even if all the moneys that are expected are paid.
As we speak, fortunately, the Ministry of Finance has done so well because they have released almost 80 per cent of what is due the Fund.
Mr Speaker, even if they release all the 100 per cent of what is due the Fund, there will still be an outstanding of over GH¢ 425 million.
Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh 12:20 p.m.
On a point of order.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
The problem is well enumerated in the Hon Minister's speech. We would want the Hon Majority Chief Whip, if he is contributing, to emphasise on the fact that the 17.5 per cent petroleum levy should be given the NHIA. We want solutions, not problems.
Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
Hon Member for Manhyia South, you are out of order.
Alhaji Muntaka 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if you listened to the Statement, I am only emphasising, that by 2018 the out- standing alone will be over GH¢ 800 million, which is equivalent to what has been given to them in 2014; meaning that, we can only do one or two things.
Mr Speaker, one of the things that we have to do, is to find additional source of funding. If that is extremely difficult for us to do as a country, then we have no option but to look at the package that is being enjoyed by the ordinary citizen in our country.
Mr Speaker, in 2012, when we were revising the law, we went ahead to add more responsibilities to the Fund by bringing in family planning, all children under 18 years, whether their parents are rich or poor and all women who are pregnant, whether their husbands are rich or poor. We have loaded the Fund with additional responsibility. But we could not make room for additional funding. That is what has brought us to this challenge. So, we have to do only one or two things.
Mr Speaker, even in the United Kingdom and United States of America, where they have well developed economies, their package is not as generous as that of Ghana.
Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
Hon Majority Chief Whip, this is a Statement. Comments are supposed to be brief. So, conclude.
Alhaji Muntaka 12:20 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker, I will conclude.
If you look at the administrative cost -- which I happened to serve as the Chairman, we continuously insisted that the administrative cost of the Authority should always be between 3 to 5 per cent of the total fund.
Many times when the formula comes, together, we have always insisted on making sure that it is done. But all these put together, it is not enough to be able to deal with the issue.
So, I would want to take this opportunity to thank you for allowing the Minister to come to the House to give this detailed information. I also urge my Colleagues, that together, let us find a solution to deal with this problem.
rose
Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
Hon Dr Anane, you will be contributing to the budget. You are likely to touch on the health sector. So, so let me pick the Hon Osei-Mensah and Hon Rachel Appoh.
Mr Simon Osei-Mensah (NPP -- Bosomtwe) 12:30 p.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I wish to commend the Minister for such a Statement.
Mr Speaker, seriously speaking, the NHIS needs in-depth scrutiny, especially so far as its financial issues are concerned.
Since 2010, Mr Speaker, the NHIA has been operating on deficits, and it keeps on increasing year after year, which is collapsing the scheme.
Mr Speaker, I agree with the Minister on the figures which he gave us, that as at 2005, the membership was about 1,300,000, while the out-patient total was about 593, which was close to about 15 per cent. Now, the number of out-patient far exceeds the number of registered people on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). The question that quickly comes to mind, is one, is it because the health situation in the country is getting poorer and poorer and for that matter, there is frequent and repeated visits to the health facilities? Or two, is it the abuse of the system by service providers that is resulting in these huge sums being paid or three, is it inefficiency on the part of the National Health Insurance Authority? Any of these things is not good for the Scheme.
If actually people are going to hospital repeatedly and frequently, then the only deduction one can make is that people are falling sick more and more, a sign that we have a deteriorating health system in the country. If it is abuse by the service providers, first of all, I would commend them in the initial step that they have taken by auditing the system; but I think they have to do more to solve these problems, other than that, no matter how much is put into the system, there would be
Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Hon Member, can you wind up?
Mr Osei-Mensah 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am winding up.
I thank you very much for the Statement, but I am urging them to trace the monies that have already been allocated to them and put the best systems in place to arrest the financial hemorrhage in the National Health Insurance Scheme.
Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Hon Rachel Appoh, please, you have the floor.
Ms Rachel R. Appoh(NDC-- Gomoa Central) 12:30 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker for the opportunity.
I have put down a few points from which I would like to contribute to the Statement made by the Hon Minister for Health.

Mr Speaker, I have come to a realisation, having been listening to the Minister, that yes, there are some financial drawbacks, which the Ministry has clearly admitted, and they have employed measures to arrest the situation. Therefore, this is for both interim and also for future use.

Mr Speaker, it is also encouraging to note that the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) is not misapplying
rose
Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Hon Minority Leader, the Minister has indicated the challenges facing the Scheme. He never said that the Scheme was collapsing. He never made that point. And so, that is why she is making the point that it is not collapsing.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, my concern is, even though this is a very important piece of information to the House, and people are even saying that the Minister should lay the document in order for us to know, for the House to be seized of the content.
Mr Speaker, it was in the middle of the delivery of the Hon Minister's Statement that I personally was given this. And then, I see my Colleague reading laboriously and copiously from a prepared text. Mr Speaker, I would want to know when she had this information, such that she has come to this House with a prepared document and she is reading from that.
Ms Appoh 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, before I started, I said I had made some notes. I listened to the Minister.
Mr Speaker, I would like to quote the Minister, who said that the financing gap is not a peculiar problem to the NHIA alone. But it is a national problem that we all need to come together and curb. I beg to quote, Mr Speaker, with your permission:
“The rate of the growth of NHIS has far out-paced growth in the economy.”
Mr Speaker, it is obvious that when this happens, definitely, the financial pressure would come to the Scheme.
I would also like to say that the health insurance management is aware, as according to the Minister, they have already anticipated that one too. I am personally interested in the financial sustainability, which the Hon Minister said the reduction in the investment cover had moved from about nine months in 2008 to one month currently. That one, as a finance person, I have a big problem with. Also, they have arrears of five months to clear. Mr Speaker, the Health Insurance Scheme or the Hon Minister should, please, ensure that they put some drastic interventions to solve this problem.
Mr Speaker, it is also very insightful to note that the management of the health insurance is doing a good job -- [Hear! Hear!] -- Especially with the issue of the regular clinical audit. As an auditor, Mr Speaker, the moment you put up that measure to forensic audit, definitely, you are going to cut down cost. So, that one is a good thing that the health insurance is doing. I believe we should commend them; they are doing a great job.
The perception out there is wrong. Whatever people are saying that the Health Insurance Scheme is collapsing, is not true; it is not dying. Health insurance is moving forward, and therefore, we should congratulate the management for the good work they have done.
Mr Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Hon Members, on your behalf, I would like to sincerely thank the Hon Minister for Health for responding to the demand of the House to make the Statement on the floor of the House.
Hon Members, the Statement has raised a number of issues and comments
thereon. I believe this Scheme is a very important one for the people of this country. I do not know, maybe, Leadership might want to find ways and means of taking this issue further, to see how we can address some of the concerns raised by the Hon Minister for Health.
Hon Minister, this House is not a very difficult House. If you come and cooperate with them, you would always enjoy the House. Apparently, you feel more comfortable today [Laughter] in the House than the previous time that you were here. Once you cooperate with the House, you see that this is a very interesting House that you might want to work with.
We thank you very much for res- ponding to the House. [Laughter] Hon Minister, today they want to take the areas of health, so that is why I did not call the Chairman and the Ranking Members and their deputies. If you could stay to listen to them, it would guide you in the work of your Ministry.
The Hon First Deputy Speaker to take the Chair.
Hon Members, at the Commencement of Public Business.
12. 42 p.m. --
MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Hon Members, Presentation of Papers, item number 5 on the Order Paper.
Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Minister for Energy and Petroleum is out of the jurisdiction and we ask permission and the indulgence of the House for the Deputy Minister to lay the Papers on behalf of the Minister.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I thought when we granted safe passage to the Deputy Minister in respect to the Questions, it would extend naturally to this one.
PAPERS 12:40 p.m.

Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Mr Agbesi 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, item number 6 -- the debate continues on the Financial Policy of the Government of Ghana.
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Yes, Hon Member for Old Tafo? Do you have --
Dr A. A. Osei 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would need your guidance.
On Tuesday, during the debate, I raised an issue, which I thought I had invited the Speakership and the Leadership to look at and I am wondering if that has been done. This is because it requires us to find a solution and I would need your guidance to see if any discussions have been held thus far on the issue of non-payment of statutory payments. It is a very sensitive matter that could potentially disrupt our proceedings if not solved. So, I am enquiring if any efforts have been made thus far towards that.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Well, I have to find out from Leadership. I did not hear you clearly.
Leadership, have you had anything to do with the issue that he had raised?
Mr Agbesi 12:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, this matter, if we could still take it on board while we do consultation.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, indeed and in truth, we have not found space and time to discuss this. But we are dealing with the principles of the budget and before we conclude. I guess we would have come to some determination on this on the way forward. This is because indeed, it would affect the appropriations for this budget.
Mr Speaker, we need to be very clear in our minds about what it is that must be done. But for the time being, I guess we can allow for some space for more consultation on this.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
Very well. So, we would proceed while you do consultations.
Now Hon Members, we are moving on to the Motion numbered 6 on the Order Paper with regard to the budget.
Hon Members, the Hon (Dr) Richard Anane, Ranking Member for Health has the floor.
MOTION 12:50 p.m.

  • [Resumption of debate from 26-11- 2014]
  • Dr Richard W. Anane (NPP -- Nhyiaeso) 12:50 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker for the opportunity to contribute to the Minister's presentation on the Budget Statement for the year 2015.
    Mr Speaker, before I even go on to the meat of my presentation, I would want to touch on the Hon Minister of Health's presentation this morning. Mr Speaker, the sum of it all, in my view, is a platitude to this House to help support the Ministry of Health to get the requisite funding for the National Health Insurance Authority. Therefore, if you look at page 3, the paragraph for projected funding gaps, that in my view is a platitude to us. And perhaps, if the Hon Minister can assure us that this is what may help, we do not see why we may not be supportive.
    Mr Speaker, before I do go on, in yesterday's edition of the Daily Guide, page 23, there is an article captioned “NHIS Collapsing K'si Hospitals” -- (National Health Insurance Scheme Collapsing Kumasi Hospitals). Mr Speaker, I would want to read paragraphs 4, 5, 12 and 13. Paragraph 4 says and I beg to quote:
    “The Metro Health Director disclosed, ‘This year, the NHIA has paid facilities up to either February or March, except the regional hospital which has received payment up to May.”
    “He intimated that the NHIA owed the Manhyia Hospital alone a total of GH¢1,273,111.58 for services and drugs; while it owed Kumasi South Hospital, Tafo Hospital, Maternal and Child Health Hospital and the Suntreso Hospital GH¢1,576,610.07, GH¢831,344.20, GH¢787,556.39 and GH¢979,419.73 respectively.”
    Mr Speaker, paragraph 12 says 12:50 p.m.
    “The Kumasi Metro Health Director argued that health facilities in
    Mr Speaker, paragraph 12 says 12:50 p.m.


    Ashanti Region were worse off as a result of the implementation of capitation as their insurance Scheme.

    “Dr Awudzi said, aside the capitation rate being low, payment was not done on time or at the beginning of the month for primary care OPD services as capitation is noted for.”

    Mr Speaker, I intentionally wanted to bring this quote to juxtapose it with the Hon Minister's presentation, where the Hon Minister even advised that the capitation had done a lot, had done well and had made a lot of savings. Mr Speaker, the savings are as a result of the very low rates that are given to the providers in the region.

    I do hope that the Hon Minister is going to come back to this House to talk to us on the capitation as per the request of the House, with consideration from Mr Speaker on the Motion which was presented and which became a global Motion for the House way back in the beginning of the month.

    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister is expected to come and brief this House on the implementation of the capitation. Today, it is on the implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme. So, I hope that would be taken note of, so that the Hon Minister comes back to tell us about what the National Health Insurance Authority is doing with respect to the implementation of the capitation as was debated in this House.

    Mr Speaker, I would also want to draw attention to the fact that as far back as 2010, we on this side have been consistently calling for a one per cent increment in the National Health Insurance Levy to enable the National Health Insurance Fund stay above waters

    and for the National Health Insurance Authority to be enabled to pay for the services of providers, so that the good people of this country can enjoy good health service delivery.

    Mr Speaker, the country was given the opportunity last year and a two and a half per cent increase of Value Added Tax (VAT) was passed in this House. Mr Speaker, one would have hoped that at least, one per cent of that quantum was even allocated to the National Health Insurance Fund as was agreed upon and recommended by the stakeholders' conference of December 2012 in support of the one per cent increment in the National Health Insurance Levy. This Mr Speaker, was not done and the opportunity was lost on this House.

    So, if today, the Hon Minister comes to this House with this platitude asking us for support, it is also because Government itself did not see any interest or need for supporting itself to get the National Health Insurance Authority functioning, providers would not complain, so that subscribers would not be suffering and have to be making excessive out of payment expenditure, which should have been removed by the institution of the National Health Insurance Scheme.

    Mr Speaker, the frustrations of the providers have been captured by not the private sector in Ashanti but the State sector. The person whom I quoted, Dr Awudzi is the Metropolitan Director of Health Services in Kumasi. It is not from the private sector; it is not from the politician and I would want to emphasise that. This is because sometimes what we say is not to just attack Government for political reasons. This is the quote and this is something which has just happened and it happened just this way. So, we want the Ministry of Health and the National Health Insurance Authority to

    take particular note of this and to make sure that the right things are done. The capitation is not being managed well; the providers are suffering and because of that --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Hon Member, you can make your point without banging on the table.
    Dr Anane 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am very passionate about this because I know how it is affecting the people and I know when we say it, it is rather translated as if we do not want the system to go on, and we are rather told that it is going to be extended to the other regions when we do know that it is not going to help the other regions.
    Now, to the beef of my presentation. Mr Speaker, in the year 2000, Ghana participated in the United Nations Summit on the Millennium Development Goals that concluded on the adoption of the Global Action Plan to achieve the eight anti-poverty goals by 2015. Mr Speaker, Ghana is a signatory to that action plan. That action plan should not be perceived as a mere convention. It has innate self- serving implications, especially for us as a middle income nation.
    Mr Speaker, we have been distressed by the worrisome indices of our maternal mortality and morbidity as well as our infant mortality and morbidity indices. I wish to refrain from quoting the unfortunate disparity in indices we have been fed with over the years.
    Mr Speaker, those of us on the Committee on Health have been having problems with the Ministry when we have disparate figures. If you go to any source and you are given different figures and therefore, you do not really know whether
    you are going forward or backwards because the indices are always either very high, very low or do not have any meaning at all. And here, we have always been appealing to the Ministry of Health to take charge and to ensure that they control the kind of indices that are fed to the public.
    Mr Speaker, we feel scandalised by the continuous refrain by health pro- fessionals' refusal to be posted to deprived areas. We feel so because we have moved from the era of health professionals emigration to a stabilised health front, especially after the various interventions in the training of nurses and the setting up of the College of Physicians and Surgeons. But what is happening with the training of our physicians today? Is Government aware of the distressing nature of the attitude of the training programme and the negative outturn?
    Mr Speaker, frustrated young doctors are leaving the country --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 a.m.
    Hon Member, you have five more minutes.
    Dr Anane 1 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the young doctors are leaving the country. I would like to let the Ministry know. If the Ministry does not take the handle, we are going to face the same problems as the era before the year 2000.
    Mr Speaker, if you take a look at Ghana's doctor-population ratio in 2004, whereas the doctor-population ratio was one doctor to about seventeen thousand seven hundred and thir ty-three population. In 2009, this has been reduced to as low as one doctor to eleven thousand nine hundred and twenty-nine people. One would have thought that we were going to improve upon this, but it does not appear to be happening.
    Dr Anane 1 a.m.


    The same way is with our nurse population ratio. In 2004, whereas we had one thousand, five hundred and one nurses to a thousand five hundred and ten population, which went down to one thousand, one hundred and nine per nurse in 2008 to nine hundred and seventy-one, per nurse in 2009, we are not improving upon it. Instead of looking forward to an innovative means of deployment, we keep on complaining.

    Mr Speaker, if nurses are complaining about non-payment of salaries for the past nineteen months, what message are we sending to them? Do we expect that they would want to stay in the country to work? The Minister for Health is around. So, I would wish that he takes note to ensure that this is corrected.

    Mr Speaker, we looked at a lot of the data that has been given to us and we think this country is not in the best of positions to go forward. On comparison, whereas Out-Patient Department (OPD) attendance, which was showed by the Hon Minister in his paper, is said to be improving. What we rather see is that it has deteriorated. Our OPD attendance per capita in 2006 was 0.55 per cent. This went up to 0.81 per cent in 2009.

    But in 2013, it went down to 0.51 per cent, and it is now 0.58 per cent. This means that less people are going to the hospital. But contrary to what my Hon Colleague opposite said, it is not because people are getting sick or not getting sick. It is only because at the end of the day we are getting ease of access, and with the introduction of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), when more people can access healthcare, we have at least, an upping of our OPD attendance per capita.

    Mr Speaker, skill delivery also has problems, and we want the Ministry to also have a look at it. Whereas in 2010, the skill delivery was 44.6 per cent, we are told that in 2013, it is 28.7 per cent, and in 2014, it was 30 per cent. What is the meaning and what is happening? Is it because we have less by way of skill delivery or the data is not right?

    Mr Speaker, on cholera and Ebola, what is happening? A middle income country today, since late last year, has been confronted with cholera, and when we look at it, it is all because we do not seem to be taking care of other sectorial responsibilities. A look at our sanitation issues or system tells us that about 93 per cent of our sanitation facilities to be used for the treatment of liquid waste is not functional. If 93 per cent of them are not functional, we cannot expect anything less than what we are seeing today with the upsurge of cholera and others.

    What about Ebola? Mr Speaker, we appear to be preparing for Ebola, but months since the Ebola came to the scene, as of today, apart from the preparation in Tema, Kumasi and Tamale, which are to take care of the mid-belt and the northern half of the country, are not properly put in place.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 a.m.
    Hon Member, one minute to go.
    Dr Anane 1 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you for that. But I would want us to let the Ministry know that at the end of the day, it is about the people of Ghana, and if we do not have good health, we cannot hope to make the kind of wealth that we expect and for this country to go on. So, my question to the Government is, “Mr Government”, where are they with respect to our health sector?
    Thank you very much.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 a.m.
    Hon Member, it is the turn of Hon Joseph Yieleh Chireh.
    Mr Joseph Y. Chireh (NDC -- Wa West) 1 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion to approve the Financial Policy of Government for the year ending 31st December, 2015.
    I am doing so happily that this Budget Statement has certain provisions which let me know that we are addressing the concern of health in the country. We are doing so in many ways. For instance, if you look at the area of health facilities, and the infrastructure for health, we have from paragraph 626 of the Budget Statement, the 600-bed University of Ghana Teaching Hospital.

    Now, he is saying I should mention that we went to Dodowa to see one of the seven district hospitals that we, in this House, approved and how the construction is going on. This is why I am saying that if one is providing these facilities, there are some which are secondary facilities and there are some which are primary facilities. And these are tertiary facilities that we are providing. It creates the atmosphere for good health delivery. The budget, having mentioned these things, having given hope to people, I believe we can further do more than we are doing.

    But let me talk about the progress we have made over the past five years. Today, Ghana is guinea worm free. We are only waiting for a certification from the World Health Organisation (WHO) that we do not have any guinea worm in Ghana. We used to be compared to Sudan. Today, we are out of the Sudan range. We have

    made progress there. If you look at the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) infection rate, it has been going down, and indeed, among the youth, the reduction is about 25 per cent. All these things that I am saying, if you look in the budget, you would see them. That is why I am happy with the Budget Statement, and we should do all that we can to support the implementation of this Budget Statement.

    Now, what are the policies that Government intends to make to further improve the health services? One is that NHIS Act 852 is to be amended, and like we all said this morning, that amendment is to take into account the fact that we have a new Value Added Tax (VAT) Act. And in doing so, some resources would be found to support what the Hon Minister said is a big gap. In my opinion, this brings hope and confidence that Government has targeted policies to address the concerns that are being raised.

    Now, the other thing that Government intends to do, which we all must applause, is the kind of support the Government is giving to the pharmaceutical sector, where taxes on raw materials, support for local manufacturing pharmaceutical companies are being supported to produce drugs that we need locally, particularly essential drugs.

    Apart from that, the raw materials for other products -- Indeed, reducing the taxes on some of them -- completely removing some of the duties on some of them would enable the local business people, the manufacturers, to provide us ready. We are not going to wait and provide licences and wait endlessly when these medicines would come in.

    The other benefit would be that it will also reduce the cost of medicines. The collapse or the possible collapse of the National Health Insurance had the bulk
    Mr Joseph Y. Chireh (NDC -- Wa West) 1 a.m.


    of that expenditure coming from the cost of medicines. So, if the Government is targeting how to support the local industry to produce medicines, that will be cheaper, of course, it will make the National Health Insurance sustainable.

    Now, the major issues of health relate to the human resource and I hear my Friends saying there is a lot of frustration among health professionals. It is true -- but to what extent? How many teaching hospitals do we have now producing doctors? Indeed, the colleges of the various professions in the health sector are being supported to produce quality health personnel to support the health services.

    That requires us to look for resources to further improve the system and the Budget Statement indicates that this can be done better if we harness and we procure the necessary support from donor community, including our own efforts. That is why it is important that we should tax ourselves a little more. We are a middle income country and we need infrastructure, particularly health infrastructure. People are saying that this Government is noted for taxing. We are doing so to provide what every one of us is asking questions about to be done.

    Therefore, I see the need for us to be self-reliant, to make a contribution, to sacrifice. It is difficult to always talk about paying taxes but if these taxes are to provide for a better hospital, if these taxes are to provide medicines for everybody to use, then the Government is on the right path. I believe strongly that the health policies that are inherent in this Budget Statement give everybody the hope that we are going to provide better health delivery services. We are ensuring that we meet the Millennium Development Goals.

    Indeed, when we talk about the Community Health (Based) Planning Services (CHPS) Compounds and the CHPS system, this is a primary healthcare, a preventive system, that deals with family health at the local level in making sure that people who are at the periphery have primary healthcare services delivered to them. And that is why Government's emphasis on it must be supported. We need to train more of community health personnel who will assist us to remove the causes of bad health and diseases.

    I believe that what this House should be doing is to urge the Minister for Health to bring to this House the Regulations that will support the numerous health Bills that were passed here, particularly the one on the health institutions and facilities and regulatory agencies. That will ensure that quality health facilities are provided both in the private sector and the public sector and if this happens, we will see that, generally, there is improvement in our health services.

    Mr Speaker, that is why I would want to say that this Budget Statement is not hope creating, it is transformational and I believe all those who have issues with the Budget Statement is because - I believe they are reading the Budget Statement upside down.

    Thank you very much.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Hon Members, now, it is the turn of Hon Collins Ntim, Member of Parliament for Offinso North.
    Hon Member, you have the floor.
    Mr Collins A. Ntim (NPP -- Offinso North) 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to yield to my senior who intends to make some corrections.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    You have the floor.
    Mr Ntim 1:20 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    As a Government and as Ministry of Health, the major obligation that we hold is to come out with a number of programmes and interventions that will promote good health for all Ghanaians through the provision of infrastructure, provision of prevention services, provision of training the sufficient and adequate human resource to be able to handle those facilities.
    Mr Speaker, in line with this objective, the National Democratic Congress (NDC)'s Government and through their various manifestos and Budget Statements from 2009 to date, have come out with clear terms of policies, programmes and interventions, all in attempt to address issues of health delivery systems. One key of such strategy has been the CHPS concept. The NDC has trumpeted the CHPS concept as a tool to be used to address all the challenges, particularly those relating to the primary healthcare, including issues of maternal and infant mortality.
    Mr Speaker, the CHPS concept is good and laudable, in the sense that it seeks to provide access in terms of healthcare to the poor and the vulnerable, particularly those in the rural areas. But the NDC has never been able to redeem any promises relating to the CHPS compounds since
    2009.
    Mr Speaker, let me refer you to the 2012 Manifesto of the NDC 1:20 a.m.
    Advancing the Better Ghana Agenda -- page 21 column 2. I beg to quote:
    “For its next term the NDC Government proposes to double the number of Community (Based) Health Planning Services (CHPS) compounds from about 1,600 to about 3,200 to meet the needs of under-served in the communities.”
    Mr Speaker, the fundamental question is, where are they? In 2010, in the Budget Statement, the NDC Government projected to construct 150 of them. They were able to do 30 of them and they promised to complete the remaining 30 in 2014. In the 2014 Budget Statement, we were told that out of the total, they were able to complete a mid-functional 25 of them.
    Mr Speaker, relying on their own promises of providing 1,600 throughout their term, on the average, the NDC was supposed to construct 400 units of the CHPS compounds per year. We are in the third term; we are considering the third term Budget Statement of the NDC and to date, the third year of the NDC, what they have been able to complete and made functional is less than 100.
    Again, in the maiden address of His Excellency the President, he made a passionate policy appeal that he is going to instruct his appointees to contribute a 10 per cent pay deduction to be able to address the issue through the construction of CHPS compounds. Mr Speaker, what Ghanaians would want to know is how much has accrued from that policy? How many of such CHPS compounds have been produced? Where and where? What is he doing to be able to -- Ghanaians would want to know about it.
    Mr Speaker, one interesting thing this is, this House in 2013, approved a GH¢
    Mr Speaker, let me refer you to the 2012 Manifesto of the NDC 1:20 a.m.


    29.9 million Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) for the Minister for Health to be able to undertake certain critical projects in health.

    Mr Speaker, in our interaction with the Ministry of Health, we were told that GH¢ 29.9 million had been released to the Ministry but we were told that not a pesewa of that amount had been received. Mr Speaker, the interesting thing is that, the amount was supposed to be used to construct important health projects.
    Mr Speaker, if I may outline them 1:20 a.m.
    The supply and installation of an oxygen plant at the Konfo Anokye Teaching Hospital-- ABFA, GH¢ 4 million. Construction of a new maternity facility at the Tema General Hospital -- ABFA, GH¢ 2 million. Rehabilitation of Axim Hospital including property purchase -- ABFA, GH¢ 1 million. Construction of nurses' flats at the Akuapem North District Health Administration -- ABFA, GH¢1.1 million. Supply and installation of medical imaging equipment in selected regional hospitals -- ABFA, GH¢5 million. Bioequivalent Centre --ABFA, GH¢5 million.
    Mr Speaker, the interesting thing is that, six health training facilities were also supposed to be completed with GH¢5 million of the ABFA. Those hospitals include Goaso Nursing Training School, Cape Coast Training School. Mr Speaker, your own constituency -- Agogo Training School, Pantang Training School, Hohoe Training School and the Wa Training School.
    Mr Speaker, the amount there that this House approved was GH¢5 million from the ABFA -- Fomena Training College --
    ABFA; GH¢1.9 million. Refurbishment of the Children's Hospital in Korle Bu -- ABFA; GH¢ 1.1 million. Completion and equipping of Maternity and Children's Block at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital -- ABFA; GH¢2.5 million, and finally, the construction of offices for the Nurses and the Midwife Council -- ABFA; GH¢1.4 million. The amount totalling GH¢ 29.9 million was approved by this House for the purposes of addressing issues of maternal health delivery systems.
    Mr Speaker, non of these were paid to the Ministry. Meanwhile, this money is coming from the oil -- Ghana's oil money. Ghanaians deserve good health and value for money. It is unfortunate that this Budget Statement is being approved by this House and then we are not getting the results we deserve.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to plead that this House investigates the matter. This is because it is so serious; we cannot continue to be approving oil money only to be mishandled and misapplied. It is not good for the development of our health system.
    Mr Speaker, again, reading from paragraph 626 of this year's Budget Statement and if I may quote, Mr Speaker:
    “Mr Speaker, Government con- tinues to deliver on the healthcare needs of our people from an expanded NHIL and allocations from the central budget.”
    Mr Speaker, what are we hearing from the Hon Minister today? The Hon Minister is telling us this morning that there are serious gaps in terms of the National Health Insurance allocation because the Value Added Tax (VAT) has not been increased, as articulated by my the Hon Ranking Member.
    The Committee advocated for an increment of one percentage point and the Government increased it by GH¢ 2.5 million. We expected that the critical intervention that His Excellency former President Kufuor and his Government introduced was so dear to Ghanaians. At least, one per cent could have gone to salvage the situation. Mr Speaker, I would want us to take these issues serious.
    The Hon Minister also said and with your permission I beg to quote:
    “We have vigorously embarked on the following infrastructure to expand access to healthcare in all parts of the country.”
    bed Military Hospital Project in Kumasi. Where? It also includes, an Ashanti Regional Hospital at Sewua. Mr Speaker, why are we doing this to ourselves? When did we begin to catalogue a series of lies and propaganda in our eminent financial document? Go to the Ashanti Region and Sewua, there is not even a single
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 a.m.
    Hon Member, you have five minutes more to go.
    Mr Ntim 1:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, not even one block. Mr Speaker, this Budget Statement is not positioned to be able to address that. It is only propaganda. Mr Speaker, we cannot continue along that line, and we cannot be part of it as a House -- cataloguing lies. What do we stand to gain?
    Mr Speaker, it is about time we spoke the truth. The donors and development partners are beginning to lose confidence in the system.
    Mr Speaker, when we met with them, instead of providing budgetary support, they are saying that they are no longer going to continue supporting the Budget Statement. Instead, they are going directly to the facilities. This means, they continue to lose confidence in the system. If we continue to capture lies of this nature, I do not think that we stand to gain.
    Again, Mr Speaker, in the 2010 Budget Statement --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 a.m.
    Hon Member, I would prefer that you use some other word instead of “lies”. Maybe, “untruth”. That would be better. Withdraw the “lies” and then let us make some progress.
    Mr Ntim 1:20 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker, one disheartening thing is that, as a country, we need to begin to be making judicious use of our resources. In the Ministry of Health alone, there are 311 uncompleted projects that began since 1950 to date, scattered all over the country. Mr Speaker, some of them are at various stages -- 90 per cent, 99 per cent, 60 per cent completion stage.
    Mr Speaker, we were told in the 2010 Budget Statement that the Ministry is going to find money to be able to complete those projects, so that Ghanaians would have value for money. This Budget Statement is silent on that. For how long are we going to continue projects and leave them to rot? Are we making judicious use of them? I do not think that this House can stay unconcerned in the face of such menace. It is about time that we made judicious use of the resources.
    Mr Speaker, this Budget Statement, unfortunately, in my view, does not present any hope to Ghanaians as far as health delivery is concerned.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 a.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Hon Members, it is now the turn of Hon Wisdom Gidisu.
    Mr Wisdom Gidisu (NDC -- Krachie East) 1:30 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion that seeks to approve the Financial Policy of the Government of Ghana for the year ended 31st December, 2015.
    Mr Speaker, in doing so, I would want to touch on some aspects of the health sector. Mr Speaker, health, we say, is a precondition of the social and economic development of a nation. Mr Speaker, it is against this background that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Government is leaving no stone unturned in the health sector.
    Mr Speaker, I am surprised at some comments from some of my Hon Colleagues about the Government not performing well in the health sector. It is rather unfortunate.
    Mr Speaker, a lot of measures are being put in place to actually ensure that quality healthcare services are affordable and easily accessible to Ghanaians in this country.
    Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague mentioned some projects that are not in place. I am surprised. I wonder where he is coming from and where he has conducted his research from. This is because most of the towns that he mentioned that these projects are not in existence are actually not true.
    If you go to page 15 of the Budget Statement, it is stated clearly that certain projects are under construction. Some
    have been completed and some are also ongoing. So, the fact that a project has not been completed, does not mean that it is not being done.

    Hon Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu -- rose --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader? Is it a point of order?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:30 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker.
    The Hon Member on his feet has pointed us to certain pages in the document, the Budget Statement. Unfortunately, they are not there. The issues that he is raising are not there. He may have to have a second look at it and then indicate to us exactly where they are.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, could you speak up a bit louder?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, he is saying to us that we should look at a certain page, page 15 of the Budget Statement and it is not there. The information that he is providing us is not there. So, I am asking him to look at his document well and show us exactly where --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Hon Member, our attention is being drawn to the page number 115.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is not what he said. That is why I am saying to him that he should get the page right.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Well, Hon Member, what page number did you refer to?
    Mr W. Gidisu 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, 115.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Very well.
    Proceed.
    Mr W. Gidisu 1:30 p.m.
    To be precise, paragraph three and I continue --
    Mr Speaker, as we speak now, 500-bed Military Hospital project in Kumasi [Interruption] -- in Kumasi.
    Mr Speaker, the second --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Hon Member, address the Chair; ignore the asides. Address the Chair.
    Mr W. Gidisu 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the second phase of the Tamale Teaching Hospital, after the completion of the 400-bed phase of the project -- the Police Hospital project; the Ashanti Regional Hospital at Sawua, Kumasi, where my Hon Colleague says he has not seen anything -- Mr Speaker, I would want them to do that research and come to prove to this House that the project is not there. [Interruptions] -- So, they cannot just get up and be saying there is nothing going on there -- [Interruption.]
    rose
    Mr W. Gidisu 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want them to sit down.
    The Upper West Regional Hospital is ongoing. As we speak now, the district hospitals are also ongoing. The Tarkwa District Hospital has also been completed. Five polyclinic phase three projects at Nkrankwanta have also been completed; Wamfie, Kwatre, Bomaa and Techimantia

    Mr Speaker, if my Hon Colleague is saying that some of these hospitals are not in place, I would want them to do a thorough research to prove to this House that what is contained in this budget is not even -- that means, some of them do not visit their constituencies.

    Mr Speaker, the construction of health institutions nationwide would go a long way to train more doctors, so that the doctor to patient ratio would be improved in this country. These are all laudable programmes; these are pragmatic programmes put in place to address health issues in this country.

    Mr Speaker, more of these CHPS zones would be constructed and 1,600 more would be constructed in 2015. [Hear! Hear!] So, Mr Speaker, if people are saying that there is nothing being done in this sector, it is not correct.

    Mr Speaker, a World Healt Orga- nisation (WHO) evaluation report has also indicated clearly that Ghana has successfully eradicated guinea worm from this country and Ghana is now guinea worm free. [Hear! Hear!].
    Mr W. Gidisu 1:30 p.m.


    Mr Speaker, my statement would not be complete if I do not talk about the Ebola disease. A lot of measures are being put in place to actually prevent the disease from entering this country. The Ministry of Health has organised comprehensive preparedness and respond plan to curb the situation. In this regard, committees have been put in place and all hospitals have isolation units to take care of any outbreak in this country.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Hon Member, you do not need to be banging your table; make your submission without banging the table.
    Mr W. Gidisu 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Tamale and Kumasi projects are also ongoing to take care of the middle and the northern belts.
    Mr Speaker, as we speak now, 10,000 personal protective equipment have been supplied to the four teaching hospitals and ten regional hospitals and they would in turn distribute them to the various hospitals nationwide. Wompe wei a, wope den? All those who are entertaining the fear --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Hon Member, can you translate it?
    Mr W. Gidisu 1:30 p.m.
    All those who are entertaining the fear that Ebola would be in this country --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Please, translate, wompe wei a, wope den? Translate that into English.
    Mr W. Gidisu 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it means, if you do not like this, what do you like? [Laughter.]
    Mr Speaker, I would want to end by saying that, Hon Colleagues were contemplating about the percentage of Health Insurance Fund that was invested into projects. Mr Speaker, I would want to tell them that National Health Insurance does not spend forty per cent of its income on infrastructure. In fact, it spends less than ten per cent on infrastructure. So, if they are saying they spend more than forty per cent, it is factually incorrect.
    Mr W. Gidisu 1:30 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.

    Mr Speaker, with these few words, I would want to thank you for the opportunity and also urge all Hon Members to approve the Motion.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Hon Members, it is now the turn of Hon Oppon- Kusi, Member of Parliament for Ofoase/ Ayirebi. [Hear! Hear!]
    Mr David Oppon-Kusi (NPP -- Ofoase/ Ayirebi) 1:40 p.m.
    I thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to be part of this debate on the 2015 Budget.
    Mr Speaker, before I continue, I have with me the documents for 2013, 2014 and 2015 Budgets. I note that in 2013, we had a total of 1,110 paragraphs; in 2014, we took out 72 paragraphs and brought it down to 1,038.
    In 2015, we had only 888 paragraphs.
    Mr Speaker, it is not about the number of paragraphs but it is about the number of important issues that have been dropped from our Budget Statement and I will explain later.
    Mr Speaker, it is said that water is life and I would want to concentrate on the water sector. But before I do that, let me tell this House about an experience I had. Mr Speaker, some few days ago, I was privileged to have been served my favourite boiled plantain with some kontomire stew and palm oil. Before going to the table, I went to the tap, washed my hands and then went ahead to eat. After eating, I went back, smeared both hands with liquid soap and went to the tap.
    Unfortunately, for some strange reasons, the tap had stopped flowing. Mr Speaker, for ten minutes, as I waited to get water to wash my hands, I could not function as a human being. This is because my hands were dirty. I could touch nothing, do nothing and I could not move anywhere.
    Mr Speaker, this shows how critical water is to our very existence. Without water, we could not be sitting here. We need water to bath, drink, for farming and for almost everything on earth. So, it is important to see or find out how much attention is being paid to the water sector by the NDC Government.
    Mr Speaker, 25 million Ghanaians are looking up to this Government to provide them with solutions for their water problems. Nothing, like I said, and nobody can function without water. We know resources are scarce but how those resources are allocated to the various sectors will indicate how serious the Government is in tackling a particular problem.
    Mr Speaker, the usual cliché says that “You put your money where your mouth is”. Where is the NDC Government putting its money or to wit, where is its mouth? For the answer, let us go back to the document we are debating.
    What is made clear in this document after looking at 2013, 2014 and 2015 is that, progressively, we are placing less and less emphasis on the provision of water and shelter. These are basic necessities -- water and shelter. Let me explain. In 2013, the Ministry was allocated GH¢ 598, 902,000 for its services and this is not just water but for all its activities.
    In 2014, this dropped to 531,309,000 and these are all in nominal figures. In 2015, the Ministry is being allocated 463,103,000; progressively, we are allocating less and less funds to this very important sector.
    Mr Speaker, if we discount this with the average inflation rate, we are probably getting much less than what we are seeing. And yet, water is needed by everybody; from the time that you become an embryo to the time that you are deposited at the cemetery, you need water every moment of your life and yet progressively, the investment in water is going down.
    Mr Speaker, we need to contrast this with other areas. I can accept that other areas are important but if I look at the fact that while we get only 463 million for our water and shelter needs, we are getting 1 billion, and 13 million for our security. Security is important but water is security. Civilizations have collapsed because of lack of water; nations have gone to war because of water.
    Water is security and water is life; water is survival. So, while we seek to secure ourselves, the first thing we need to ensure is that we survive as a nation.
    Mr David Oppon-Kusi (NPP -- Ofoase/ Ayirebi) 1:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was talking about the number of pages and paragraphs. In 2013, this sector had 33 paragraphs; in 2014, it dropped to 27 paragraphs, 2015, 15 paragraphs. I am sure by next year, it is either we would have forgotten or we would have only five paragraphs. This is amazing and let me give a clearer picture. Two years ago, we were talking about small town water systems. Last year, we talked about small town water system. This year, we are still talking about it and we are at a standstill.

    Mr Speaker, let me talk of some of the important issues that have been dropped. In 2013, we talked about integrated Odaw Basin Development Project. The Odaw is an eyesore; nothing has been done about it. But the worse part of it is that, it has been dropped completely from the budget. What has happened to the initiative? Is the Odaw alright for us now?

    It is the biggest sewage system in West Africa, taking both solid and then liquid waste. What are we doing about the Odaw? How come we have dropped this initiative from the budget? Are we satisfied with what we are seeing?

    Mr Speaker, again, in earlier years, we talked about rain water harvesting strategy; I thought it was fantastic, God has blessed this nation with abundant rain. During the rainy season, we have lots of rain. Go to the Western Region, Brong- Ahafo Region. Wherever we go, we have free rain water. So, if there was a strategy

    to harvest this water, I thought it was a good thing.

    Now, we do not know what has happened; it has also been dropped from this. Have we finished that project? Are we harvesting rain water? This is important.

    Mr Speaker, one of the most important aspects of this budget is the conservation of our water resources. I will speak about conservation of water resources.

    We seem to be living for today. We seem to be living as if beyond us, nobody is going to live in this country. We are not protecting our water bodies for future generations. Fifty (50) years from now, hundred (100) years from now, people will be living in Ghana and they will need water. How are we protecting our water sources? Unfortunately, progressively, the mention of protecting our water resources have not found space anymore.
    Mr Speaker, let me go to last year's budget, paragraph 545, it says 1:40 p.m.
    “The Ministry would complete the review of the National Water Policy and incorporate rain water harvesting schemes into the national building . . .”
    That has not happened.
    Mr Speaker, again, we talked about protecting our water bodies. We talked about having buffer zones. What has happened to these things? As we speak now, there is a tussle around Abuakwa South Constituency where the source of our Densu River is threatened by mining. Meanwhile, while one body is seeking to protect our water sources, another body is issuing out licences, so that galamsey people can go in to mine and destroy our
    water bodies. The Birem is destroyed; the Pra is destroyed; the last source which is the Densu is also being destroyed --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
    Hon Member, you have five more minutes to go.
    Mr Oppon-Kusi 1:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, talking about water, what is our response to the degradation of our environment? What is our response to the destruction of our water bodies and resources? I can tell you that in twenty (20) years time, we may not have any water to work with and that will be the end of life.
    Mr Speaker, we talk of water expansion programmes which seems to go on year in, year out. Year in year out, we talk about water expansion. Mr Speaker, God, in his own wisdom, decided that two- thirds of the earth's surface should be covered with water because water is important. Now that we are doing desalination, it means that every single source of water must be protected for us today and for posterity.
    Mr Speaker, it is my hope that in future budgets, we will go back to the very basis, those things that do matter, those issues that will make sure that we have water for today, water for tomorrow and water for the future, so that there and then we will be sure that we have sustainable lifestyles.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
    Hon Members, I direct that having regard to the state of Business of the House, Sitting be held outside the prescribed period in accordance with Standing Order 40, Rule 3.
    Mr David Tetteh Assumeng (NDC -- Shai-Osudoku) 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, before I draw my Ranking Member's attention to the huge investment by the Government in the water sector, I would want to make reference to a submission made by the Chairman of the Finance Committee and Hon Benjamin Kpodo to the debt stock of some countries, which I went through . After a careful analysis, I would want to call for a national debate on the debt stock of this country.
    Mr Speaker, I am saying so because if Japan is doing 227.20 per cent, Italy, 132 per cent, the United Kingdom (UK), 90.60 per cent, United States of America (USA), 101.53 per cent and Ghana also doing 60.8 per cent, for us to raise revenue to develop this country, I believe that we as a nation, must debate this issue of national debt, so that we can raise revenue to improve upon our infrastruc-tural development.

    Mr Speaker, we have unprecedented investment since the era of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah — [Uproar] — The NDC invested an amount of €41.029 million into the Accra-Tema Metropolitan Area (ATMA) Rural Water Supply -- Kpong. This investment is going to improve, and indeed, it has even started —Improving upon the water delivery to Tema area, Ashaiman, Adjei Kojo, Gbetsile, Bethlehem and Old Ningo Prampram areas — [Hear! Hear!] —
    Some Hon Members 1:50 p.m.
    Where?
    Mr Assumeng 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in so doing, 14,000 m3 of water is now being delivered into — [Interruption.]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    Hon Member, address the Chair.
    Mr Assumeng 1:50 p.m.
    It is now being delivered. That is not the end. That is within the Accra-Tema Metropolitan Area. In addition to that, the China Gezhouba project which we inspected at Kpong, where an amount of US$273 million has been invested by this Government. This project has improved upon the pipelines from Kpong to Dodowa, then to Boima- Legon area.
    Mr Speaker, we have seen this by ourselves and so, I was expecting my Ranking Member to corroborate the investment of this Government in the water sector.
    Mr Speaker, as we are speaking today, if you go to Dodowa, there is a very huge reservoir tank that has been constructed. In order to improve upon water, a dedicated electric supply line has been laid from Kpong to Tema, the Booster Station at Dodowa and then to Accra, so that power supply can be sustained to improve upon the water system in this area. This is known to the Committee and so, I am expecting my Committee members to collaborate this effort by Government.
    Mr Speaker, let me even leave the Accra area and go to Kumasi; Barekese area, which they are aware of — [Hear! Hear!] In that area, €13.0 million has been invested by this Government into the water improvement system — [Hear! Hear!] Unprecedented investment and what are they saying?
    An Hon Member 1:50 p.m.
    —Where?
    Mr Assumeng 1:50 p.m.
    — Mampong water system — I am happy my Hon Colleague who shows some ingenuity to run for the leadership of this country is there, and I would mention it to him and he would corroborate my submission —
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    Hon Member, as much as possible, avoid being personal. Just make your submission — Do not refer to Hon Members of the Committee and what you expected them to say and so on — Just make your submission and let us end there.
    With regard to the reference you made to the Hon Member for Mampong, you would have to withdraw it and let us make some progress.
    Mr Assumeng 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker I withdraw it. I am just happy about his ingenuity and I would want that all of us here must be showing that sign of ingenuity to put ourselves forward for leadership. But in any case, I withdraw the statement and apologise if the Hon Member is offended.

    Mr Speaker, that is not the only area. This Government is a national Government and it is looking across the length and breadth of this country. If you go to Wa, which the Committee would soon be visiting -- the Wa Water Supply Project — an amount of £51.54 million is being invested into this water project. We are going to see a lot more improvement in the water delivery system in Wa.

    Mr Speaker, there is a new project that is coming on stream in this country, the first ever and that is the Teshie Desalination Project. For the first time, we are going to take raw water from the sea, distil and pipe it to the people of Accra to enjoy. Hitherto, we have been hearing this project in other countries. Those of you who went to Libya would testify that Libya depends on the sea water -- and other countries as well. But in this day and age in Ghana, if you visit Teshie, you would be amazed of the massive investment into desalination project —
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    Hon Member, you have five more minutes —
    Mr Assumeng 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we are going to see improvement in the water to the supply system.
    Mr Speaker, I will say a few words and I believe that my Hon Colleagues are also around to add to what I am saying.
    There are some other projects that are also ongoing and we have been mentioning the 3 kilometres -- the Kwahu Ridge, the Konongo and the Kumawu. Mr Speaker, an amount of US$236 million is being invested into these projects, so that water delivery system would be improved.
    Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin (NPP -- Effutu) 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am grateful exceedingly to you that it has pleased you to give me this opportunity to contribute to the debate.
    Mr Speaker, I have enjoyed the brilliance that Hon Members have demonstrated in their various contribu- tions. Under normal circumstances, I would have deemed it to be sufficient. But I do not think it will be superfluous to add my own views to those I have already heard.
    Mr Speaker, let me straightaway turn to page 157 of the Financial Policy and Budget Statement for 2015, in particular, paragraph 886. I read this with a lot of disappointment. I had sleepless night over what I saw there because I read it conjunctively with the NDC's Manifesto, in particular page 28, titled Savannah Accelerated Development Authority
    (SADA).
    Mr Speaker, from 1957, our first President deemed it necessary to ensure that the gap between the North and the South was bridged. He initiated a lot of policies including free education. Unsurprisingly, in 2008 campaign, the need to develop the North became very key in the campaign. No wonder, Nana Akufo-Addo christened it “Northern Development Authority”, and our friends on the other side led by the late Prof. Mills christened it “Savannah Accelerated Development Authority”.
    Mr Speaker, as I went through the budget, this flagship policy seems to have become a forgotten policy. We are aware that with certainty, that Government even borrowed at a high cost.
    In November, 2012, Government had to issue bonds and UBA became the lead- manager. Government raised GH¢200 million. The coupon rate was fixed at almost 18 per cent. Mr Speaker, come November next year, Government is to cough GH¢299 million. Government cannot afford to default. The expectation therefore, is that those projects that these moneys were invested in, there would be proper monitoring.
    But Mr Speaker, we are also aware that as a result of the scrutiny of this House of the 2013 and 2014 budgets, it came to the fore that those initiatives have failed. Those companies which were entrusted
    to ensure that people do not still come down to the South, kayayei have dis- appointed Ghanaians. Mr Speaker, to the extent that the Government had to even abrogate some contracts.
    The Chief Executive of SADA, then Mr Gilbert Iddi met with your Committee and emphatically told us that yes, the tree planting started, however, the few that were planted got burnt by bushfire.
    Mr Speaker, we were later assured that SADA was seriously going to engage Azontaba, which is a subsidiary of AGAMS Group, owed by Mr Rowland Agambire, a son of the North, to ensure that they replant the trees. To date, Mr Speaker, I am sad. My heart is broken. Let me send a message to Mr President, through the Hon Minister for Finance. My heart is broken.
    The people of the North are disappointed. The people of Ghana are heartbroken. They are asking what the political scientists and analysts say about this presidency.
    Mr Speaker, the President is from the North. He served the Bole people for over three terms. Mr Speaker, one day, he will go back to the North after his presidency. If this 2015 Budget says nothing about SADA, when next will something be said about it?
    Mr Speaker, this is not a matter for NDC or NPP. This is a national matter. Our people are suffering. SADA was supposed to cover Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Brong Ahafo and northern Volta. And we ask ourselves, the poor farmers, those involved in small-scale businesses, what are they benefiting?
    People come to Accra, they have no place to sleep. They get infected with all manner of diseases. Mr Speaker, I will give you a typical example. Sadly, a little girl recently was in Accra just to work for
    three months, so that she could go back and pay her fees because her father could not get a tractor to plough. Meanwhile, SADA told us, through their report that they invested GH¢19 million for the importation of tractors in November, 2012. Mr Speaker, I did a follow-up. When I did the follow-up, Jubilee Tractors informed me that, yes, when President Mills was alive, some tractors were imported.
    However, when H. E. President John Dramani Mahama assumed office and funds were raised, this GH¢19 million, on 5th December, 2013, when we were doing the budget hearing, I enquired and the then Chief Executive said the tractors were yet to come.
    To the extent that he said AGAMS Group was to import the tractors. When I did a follow-up, AGAMS Group had written to me that they did not receive any money. They do not know anything about it. -- [Uproar] -- It is on record. They have written.
    Again, Mr Speaker --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    Hon Member, do you have the document here?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, let me take your leave, with the greatest respect, my integrity is on the line and I would not play politics with this. I take your special leave to permit me to go on because the letter is in my car. However because of the time -- but I can assure you -- [Uproar.]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    Order! Order! Please, let us have some order.
    Hon Member, I direct that you make available those documents before the close of day. If not, whatever submission you have made with regard to that issue will be expunged.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am exceedingly grateful to you for granting my application and I will accordingly do so.
    AGAMS Group of Companies had written to me that they never received any money on the tractors, but we do not know. When I also checked from Jubilee Tractors, they told me that in the past, before the November money was raised, during Prof. Mills' time, they were engaged in some importation of tractors. So Mr Speaker, the question is, where is that GH¢19 million?
    Then again, Mr Speaker, the GH¢15 million that was to go for guinea fowl production. That farm, Government told us that it had abrogated the contract. The question is, has AGAMS Group of Companies or Asontaba refunded those monies to the people of Ghana?
    Some Members: No! No!
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2:10 p.m.
    Have they been able to undertake the tree planting exercise because it is right here in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Manifesto? This Government has disappointed all of us. The First Lady is from the Brong- Ahafo Region. The SADA was to cover Brong Ahafo and our people in the North; we have more than 80 MPs here who come from the SADA zone. What are they to tell their people?
    Perhaps, because some of them are in the Majority, they cannot complain and they cannot talk. But Mr Speaker, it is a necessary matter. This House must seriously advise and urge this Government to -- I take it that there was an oversight in not considering SADA --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    Hon Member, you assured me that the documents were in your car?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2:10 p.m.
    Yes Mr Speaker, I have promised I will let you --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    I have been advised that after your submissions, make it available, if not, everything is expunged.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, perfect, I will do that.
    I take it that there was an oversight in the preparation of the budget. I take it that Government had all the good intentions to ensure that SADA was considered in 2015. Therefore, as we consider this budget, it is my prayer that Government will bring the SADA policy for us to consider as a House mutatis mutandis to this Budget Statement. It has been argued
    -- 2:10 p.m.

    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    Hon Member, you have five more minutes.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2:10 p.m.
    Very well, Mr Speaker.
    It has been argued and reargued by my Friend, the Chairman of the Finance Committee and I hear my own senior Hon Mr Kpodo, also brilliantly and forcefully restating the point that Government needs money, Government must borrow to ensure development. Yes, I am in agreement. However, to the extent that their track record in managing the resources they have got so far is nothing to write home about; we are unable to agree with them that Government must still continue to borrow.
    Mr Speaker, I will give you an example. Government has been borrowing so expensively. China Development Bank (CDB) loan; Government was required to be making certain payments mainly when they do not meet pre-disbursement requirement and all these things come at a cost.
    Look at the Kasoa Interchange. There is supposed to be a collection account of 20 per cent, which is keeping the money and Government is also bearing the risk of the lender by contributing 10 per cent of the same facility for insurance.
    Mr Speaker, it is very repugnant; I regret to say. Our Ministers must sharpen their negotiation skills. [Hear! Hear!] When they go, they should not approach lenders as if they are desperate. They should let them know that much as we need the money, they cannot take us for granted -- Standard and Poor (S and P) has downgraded this country to B minus. Why?
    If you go and you get the loan, it does not mean that investors have confidence in you. It is because they think you have oil and if you default, they can easily tap your oil to repay; that is why they give you the loan.
    Recently, when Government went to raise money on the international market, the Eurobond, la Cote d'Ivoire was getting it at five per cent; they got it at 8.1 per cent and they were so happy and compared that to 2007, claiming that they got it better. Yes, in absolute terms, you may have got it better but in relative terms, it is expensive. Those people are giving you monies not because of the confidence but because they know that if you do not pay, they can easily fall on your assets.

    I urge this Government to rise up to the occasion, ensure sincerity and ensure that it implements policy direction that

    would help the generality of all Ghanaians. I agree with Hon Assumeng; it is not all about the politics, it is about mother Ghana.

    Thank you, Mr Speaker --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    Hon Member, your time is up.
    Hon Members, it is now the turn of Hon Ahi Sampson.
    Mr Sampson Ahi (NDC -- Bodi) 2:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, before I move to the main issue, I agree entirely with my Hon Colleagues who are arguing that we should borrow reasonably because borrowing becomes problematic when you borrow to pay salaries as it happened in 2007. In 2007, when NPP was in Government, they came to this House and told us that they were going to raise 750 million dollars Eurobond.
    When they came, they told the House that the money was going to be used purposely for the energy sector, roads sector, railways and then issue cost. This is what they came here and informed the House.
    After getting the money, this was how it was spent Mr Speaker. So, if you borrow money and you do not use it for the purpose for which you borrowed it and you use it to pay salaries as it happened in 2007, then that is problematic. In 2007 -- [Interruptions] US$6,836,438.22 was used to pay salaries.
    Then, Mr Speaker, transaction advisory fees for Databank for sale of Westel was US$982,000 from the Eurobond. So Mr Speaker, I agree with you when you said that if you borrow money, use it properly.
    But if you borrow money and spend it and give it to Databank to transact your business because you want to sell Westel, then that is a problem. When you borrow money like it happened in 2007and used to pay salary, then that is a problem.
    Mr Speaker, this is what the NDC Government, under the watch of His Excellency, President Mahama, has done. We have borrowed money to serve the good people of Ghana.
    Let me take you to the water sector. Mr Speaker, as a country, there are two agencies responsible for the provision of water to Ghanaians. We have the Urban Water and the Community Water and Sanitation.
    As we speak, Mr Speaker, the Urban Water has covered 63 per cent. That means, we have a deficit of 37 per cent. The Rural Water has covered 64 per cent which means there is a deficit of 36 per cent. That is why President Mahama's Government is coming out with pragmatic policies and steps to address the deficit that we have in the water sector.

    Mr Speaker, we borrowed money -- US$273,000,000 to expand the Kpong Water System. As we speak, we have completed it and it is going to add an additional 40,000,000 gallons, which will increase it from the current provision of 40,000,000 gallons to 80,000,000 gallons. So, if we borrow money and we use it to provide social needs and commodities, which do not have an alternative, and serve our people, I think the only thing
    Mr Sampson Ahi (NDC -- Bodi) 2:20 p.m.


    I am saying in this country.

    Is it wrong to borrow money to provide water for the good people living in Teshie, Nungua, and so on and so forth? There is nothing wrong with that. I have a problem, when you borrow money and use it to pay salaries like you did in 2007.

    Mr Speaker, we borrowed money to expand the Accra-Tema Metropolitan Water Supply Project, which is US$56,000,000. This project is going to benefit the following communities; Ashaiman, Bethlehem, Adjei Kojo, Ningo, Prampram, Krobo, Akuampem, and so on and so forth.

    Mr Speaker, is it not good that you borrow money to serve the needs of your people? What is wrong with that?

    Mr Speaker, as we speak, if you take the Greater Accra alone, they demand 150,000,000 gallons of water on daily basis. At the moment, we are doing only 93,000,000 gallons, leaving us a deficit of 57,000,000 gallons on daily basis. That is

    why under the visionary leadership of His Excellency, President of the Republic of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, pro- grammes and projects are being executed to address the deficit we have in Greater Accra.
    rose
    Mr Ahi 2:20 p.m.
    And so, Mr Speaker, a lot of projects are ongoing to address --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Hon Member, you are not known as Napo by the records of this House.
    Mr Ahi 2:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, let me move to rural water. That is where my people benefit from.
    As I said, we have covered only 63 per cent and so, we have 37 per cent to go. Government is aware of this deficit and that is why several projects are being executed to address the deficit.
    As I speak, we have, under the Sustainable Rural Water and Sanitation Project, which is a facility from the World Bank, to supply water to 600,000 people in the Upper West, Upper East, Northern, Brong Ahafo, Western and Central Regions.
    Mr Speaker, this is laudable. This is an effort which must be supported irrespective of our political affiliations. So, it is not true that nothing is being done to address the water needs of our rural dwellers.
    Mr Speaker, under the Northern Region Small Towns Water and Sanitation Project, a total cost of US $30,000,000 loan to supply potable water to 125,000 people
    -- 2:20 p.m.

    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Hon Member, you have five more minutes to go.
    Mr Ahi 2:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, did you say ten minutes or what?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Five minutes.
    Mr Ahi 2:30 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker. I will manage.
    Mr Speaker, in the housing sector, there are a lot of ongoing projects. In November last year, His Excellency John Dramani inaugurated the construction of 5,000 affordable houses in Ningo for the people of Ghana.
    If you go there now, you will see the structures for yourself. The Select Committee on Works and Housing has gone to the site and they are aware of what I am saying. Efforts are being made to complete the affordable housing which was started under President Kufuor's era.
    So, when you go to Kpone, the entire site has been allocated to Tema Development Corporation. The various structures are at various stages of completion. When you go to Borteyman, the entire site has been allocated to SSNIT
    and they are also at the various stages of completion.
    Under the Public Private Partnership arrangement, Government has partnered Ample Resources to provide 10,000 affordable housing to the good people of Ghana.
    So, Mr Speaker, so far as provision of water and shelter is concerned, what the Minority can do is to commend the Government for the effort that they are making to provide drinkable water and shelter, a decent one of course, to the good people of Ghana.
    Mr Speaker, so, if you followed what I have said, it means that this is a Government which understands the problems, the needs of its citizenry and that efforts are being made to address these problems.
    Due to the deficit, that is why day in, day out, we see these yellow gallons around, because people are struggling to access water. By the end of December this year, all these problems in Accra and Tema would be solved.
    Mr Speaker, to conclude, I agree entirely that we should not borrow irresponsibly; we should borrow rationally. If you borrow money, use it for the purpose for which you took the loan. If you borrow money, do not use it to pay salaries as it happened in 2007 under the watch of former President Kufuor.
    Mr Speaker, if you borrow money, do not give it to Databank to transact business because you want to sell Westel. Mr Speaker, if you borrow money and you use it for these flimsy purposes, then you are just creating problems for everybody.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:30 p.m.
    Hon Afenyo-Markin, do you have the documents here? Make them available to the Clerks-at-the-Table immediately.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the documents are in two parts and the photocopies are being made. In some five minutes, the original would be tended. They are doing photocopies for my records, then I would tender in the original.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:30 p.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Members, it is now the turn of Hon Addai-Nimoh, Member for Mampong.
    Mr Francis Addai-Nimoh (NPP -- Mampong) 2:30 p.m.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to this Motion in approving the Financial Policy of the Government of Ghana for the year 2015.
    Mr Speaker, before I make my contribution, I would like to provide clarity in respect of the contribution made by the Hon Member for Shai/Osudoku, when he made reference to my constituency and indeed, mentioned my name even though he withdrew it.
    I need to state on record, Mr Speaker, that the funding for the Mampong Water Rehabilitation and Expansion Project was secured by the NPP while in government in 2008. And in accordance with the Directive Principles of State Policy, the Government led by the NDC continued to implement the project.
    My constituents and my goodself are grateful to the Government of Ghana, which includes at that time, the NPP-led Government and of course, for now, the NDC-led Government. This is because, it has been a partnership in achieving this project.
    Mr Speaker, my contribution on the 2015 Budget Statement and Economic Policy for Ghana would be based on the environment, science and technology sector. Mr Speaker, if you look at the budget, it indicates a transformational agenda and so, it seeks to introduce a transformational agenda by the NDC-led Government.
    First of all, I wonder whether the NDC- led Government has abandoned the “Better Ghana Agenda”, and subtly trying to introduce a transformational agenda. Indeed, any transformation requires that, there must be some underpinning circumstances. So, what does this budget seek to transform, so that we can secure a bright medium prospect for this country?
    Mr Speaker, you can only undertake any transformational agenda if it is scientifically and technologically driven on the basis of sound and conducive environment. In this country and, in my opinion, Mr Speaker, there are two main governance Ministries.
    The Finance Ministry, because whatever you do, you need financial resources for implementation and secondly, Environment, Science and Technology and Innovation because human development is driven by science and technology.
    Mr Speaker, I would like to make reference to paragraph 449, which is on page 88 of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy and with your kind permission, I beg to read. It states:
    “Mr Speaker, in 2015, government will implement measures to under- take climate change and green economy programmes and projects that promote clean environment, job creation and poverty reduction. In addition, government will undertake Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review (CPEIR) leading to climate sensitive budgeting in the medium term”.
    Mr Speaker, this is a fantastic statemnt in the paragraph. We want to achieve green economy; we want to reduce poverty; we want to make sure that we mitigate or adapt to climate change effect and we want to create jobs. But Mr Speaker, the question is, do we find the programmes and the projects which we seek to achieve in this budget?
    The existence of mankind on this planet requires that the environment is clean. But without clean environment, Mr Speaker, then we have a difficulty ensuring our own existence and that of the generation yet unborn.
    Mr Speaker, let me give this House this statistics. The World Bank, in its Country Environment Assessment of our dear country, Ghana, indicates that, ten per cent of our GDP is spent on environmental cure and repairing the damage to the environment and I would expatiate on this.
    Assuming our GDP is even GH¢70 billion, ten per cent of it is GH¢7 billion and we spend that amount of money to
    repair our own human induced activities in damaging the environment.
    While that same amount of money could be used to accelerate the development of our country, we need to take a look at that. Mr Speaker, yes, as part of environmental difficulties, we have climate change. The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Government, through Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) came up with a laudable programme, “let us embark on tree planting”. The reference was made by my Hon Colleague, the Hon Member for Effutu.
    The GH¢33 million that was spent in 2012 to undertake tree planting in the SADA zone, what did we benefit from it? Here we are Mr Speaker, faced with desertification, flooding and global warming. But as part of mitigating these measures, we are encouraged to under- take tree planting. So, if we spend GH¢33 million on such a venture, and it does not yield the required outcome, then Mr Speaker, have we been prudent in the use of our scarce resources? That is the question that we need to ask ourselves.
    Mr Speaker, we are concerned about water pollution; be it surface water pollution, underground water pollution, or rainfall water pollution and today, we have to spend more in treating our water. All these go to the 10 per cent that we spend on our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in repairing the damage that we have caused to our environment.
    Mr Speaker, what about the effect of illegal mining? So, the quotation I read from paragraph 449, how is the NDC Government going to ensure that the resources that we have would give us that clean environment?
    Mr Francis Addai-Nimoh (NPP -- Mampong) 2:30 p.m.


    Mr Speaker, let me provide news to this House. Mexico City alone, which is the capital of Mexico, has a population of about 25 million people, which is about the population of our dear country. Yet they are able to manage their resources and ensure sound clean environment in that city alone.

    Mr Speaker, once again, we have been engulfed in filth --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:40 p.m.
    Hon Member, five more minutes.
    Mr Addai-Nimoh 2:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thought you were going to extend some special -- [Laughter.]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:40 p.m.
    Time is still running against you.
    Mr Addai-Nimoh 2:40 p.m.
    The NDC Govern- ment, in their 2008 Manifesto, told the people of Ghana that they would rid Accra and for that matter, the whole country of filth in 100 days in office. As of now, Mr Speaker, this whole country is still engulfed in filth. Even in Accra and Tema where we generate over 1,500 metric tonnes of solid waste, there are no engineered landfill sites that can accommodate the waste that we generate.
    Liquid Waste. Mr Speaker, we still dispose of liquid waste at Lavender Hill. Meanwhile, the NDC Government indicated to this country that they would rid and clean this city of filth. Where are we going?
    Mr Speaker, on science and technology, I think the least said about them, the better. I am sad because as a nation, we are not giving so much
    attention and focus to science, technology and innovation.
    Mr Speaker, all the good talks that we are making here -- indeed, these chairs from China, are out of research and develop-ment, science and technology and innovation that they were able to develop these. How are we looking at our own local research and development and also the environment science and technology sector?
    Mr Speaker, in 2012 alone, the NDC Government procured 1,008 laptops at a total cost of GH¢54 million to the taxpayer. What is the total distribution of those laptops? What was the quality of those laptops? Then the question again is, are we getting value for money and judicious use of our resources? The answer is, no!
    So Mr Speaker, before I resume my seat, I would make reference to page 169 of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy. Appendix 4A: MDA EXPENDITURE ALLOCATIONS -- 2015; under item 20 column ABFA. “(-)”. Mr Speaker, it is surprising to me that there is no allocation to the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation from the
    ABFA.
    What it means is that, we are not concerned about the environment, that the statement that we made in paragraph 449 was just to make a statement and we are not concerned about science and technology. I can assure the NDC Government that there is no transforma- tional agenda that can be achieved without the basis of science, technology and sound environment.
    That is what we need. Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minister is here. I would want to urge the Minister --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:40 p.m.
    Hon Member, begin to wind up.
    Mr Addai-Nimoh 2:40 p.m.
    All right Mr Speaker. I would do so.
    I would like to urge the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance to take a look at page 169 on the ABFA allocation, so that the Ministry shall be given a priority attention. This is because we need to safe- guard our environment and we need to enrich our science and technology, so that our sustainable development can be ensured.
    It is on this note that Mr Speaker, I would want to thank you for the opportunity in making this contribution.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:40 p.m.
    Thank you very much, Hon Member.
    Hon Afenyo-Markin, I would like you to formally table the documents you referred to.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am grateful.
    Mr Speaker, upon your direction, I table a letter from AGAMS HOLDINGS, titled “Request for retraction”.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:40 p.m.
    I direct that the Table Office takes a close look at the documents and advise me accordingly.
    Meanwhile, Hon Afenyo-Markin, do not leave the Chamber.
    The next Hon Member to take the floor of the House is Hon Edem Asimah.
    2. 50 p.m.
    Mr Simon E. Asimah (NDC -- South Dayi) 2:40 p.m.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion.
    Mr Speaker, I listened to my Hon Colleague, the Ranking Member and I
    felt very sad. I feel he has not read this document very carefully. I am saying this because if you look at page 87, paragraph 438, a lot has been devoted there for research and development of the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation

    Mr Speaker, having done that, President Mahama is saying that to maintain a lower middle income country, we need to establish strong institutions and such institutions would lead to the development of this country.

    Mr Speaker, it is very unfortunate that in 1966 the ideals of Dr Kwame Nkrumah were shattered because some unpatriotic citizens of this country overthrew the Government of Dr Kwame Nkrumah and the good ideas that he had for the establishment of a nuclear plant in Ghana. This one -- and let me quote with your permission, Mr Speaker;

    “Mr Speaker, the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), in its efforts to integrate nuclear power into the country's energy mix, carried out preliminary studies to zone out areas for the determination of candidate sites for nuclear power plant operation”.

    Mr Speaker, to establish nuclear plant sites for operation and introduce another energy mix in the Ghanaian economy, is a brilliant idea, and for that matter, President Mahama has introduced a Bill in this House to pass it into an Act for the establishment of nuclear authority. This is an institution, when established, would
    Mr Simon E. Asimah (NDC -- South Dayi) 2:40 p.m.


    ensure that there is an additional mix of energy in the Ghanaian economy, which would move this country into the next step of industrialization. These are the ideas which President Mahama is actually telling us to approve.

    Mr Speaker, when this Bill is presented to this House, I urge all my Colleagues to contribute effectively to bring it into being, because it spells a great transformation effort that the President is putting in place.

    Mr Speaker, in addition to that, when the Nuclear Regulatory Authority Bill is presented to us, it would allow for the beneficial and peaceful use of nuclear energy.

    Mr Speaker, with this, we are certain that this country's economy would be transformed, and would move to the industrial stage. If this is not progressive, then I think my Colleagues are not actually understanding the efforts that the President is making to bring this country to a higher level of economic recovery.

    Mr Speaker, on special planning, it is also very clear, and let me quote from page 89, paragraph 451:

    “Mr Speaker, the Department will finalise the National Spatial Development Framework which is about 70 per cent complete. Stake- holders will be trained in GIS applications related to property tax administration, street addressing and development permitting. The Department will also review and disseminate the development permitting procedures and guide- lines, process the Land Use and Spatial Planning . . .”

    Mr Speaker, it means again, that President Mahama is thinking of the establishment of strong institutions and never again should we in this Parliament, be seen bastardizing the institutions of Government. We need strong institutions to move this country forward and that is what President Mahama is doing in this budget that has been presented to us.

    When the Land Use and Special Planning Bill is presented to this House, I am very certain that mess and chaos that have been created in the housing sector would be actually resolved, and that would bring about rapid economic development. People should have confidence in our institutions and in our country before they can come and invest in this country.

    Mr Speaker, on climate change, the Finance Minister, on behalf of President Mahama, told us, and I beg to quote;

    “In July, 2014, H.E the President launched the National Climate Change Policy and National Environmental Policy to demon- strate the country's commitment to sustainable development devoid of pollution, environmental degrada- tion and deforestation.”

    Mr Speaker, I was surprised when my Hon Colleague was speaking to this issue, completely lost sight of page 88, paragraph 448, which clearly came out with the issues of climate change. This President has passed the National Environmental Policy; this President has also come out with climate change policy, and is addressing the issue that we are speaking to.

    The Hon Ranking Member, read the document carefully and try to understand it, because it is very clear —
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:40 p.m.
    Hon Members, specifically, we are saying, do not personalise issues. Just make your submission without making reference to a “Ranking Member” who said something or the other.
    Mr Asimah 2:40 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    The point I am trying to make is that, it is very clear on page 88, paragraph 448, that National Environment Policy has been passed by this Government. In addition, Climate Change Policy has been passed by this Government, and all these are addressing environmental issues, deforestation, degradation, and it is actually talking about how to recover areas that have been degraded by illegal mining.
    Mr Speaker, in my view, it is very refreshing to know that the Government, in 2015, would implement measures to undertake climate change and green economy programmes, and green economy programmes would actually ensure that the gas emissions, carbon emissions into this environment would be reduced, and temperature rise, or in- creasing temperatures, and rising sea levels would be dealt with.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:40 p.m.
    Hon Member, you have five more minutes.
    Mr Asimah 2:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, Government has shown commitment to climate change issues over the years, and has regularly
    featured in all United Nations Climate Change Summit. This Parliament has represented at any time that there is any Climate Change Summit taking place in any part of this world, and all the issues have been discussed. I am urging this House, that anytime a Bill is brought on climate change, we must actually uphold it, and actually pass it as quickly as we can.
    Mr Speaker, before I resume my seat, let me refer you to page 132, paragraph 742, and page 156, paragraph 880, which talks about solving waste and sanitation problems that have been referred to by my Colleagues. Mr Speaker, it is very clear that waste, if not well managed, would actually disturb and make the envrion- ment very unhealthy.
    It is for this reason that on page 880, Government has said that, they will make sure Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) partner with the private sector to deal with compost and recycling of waste. When this is done, you can see clearly that the waste that is being generated can be turned round as fertiliser, which will lead to an increase in production in the agricultural sector.
    Mr Speaker, it is also worthy of note, that most of our cities and small towns find it very difficult to access land to be used as dumping sites. It is for this reason that the compost and recycling of waste will lead to rapid development.
    In fact, if you go to some developing economies, for instance, Denmark, 32 per cent of waste is used to generate electricity in those economies. I think that is the idea that we have in this Budget Statement and Financial Policy.
    It is for this reason that I call on Hon Colleagues to support this Motion and help pass it.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3 p.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Hon Members, before I cede the floor to the next Hon Member to make a presentation, I would like to inform the House that the Hon Member for Effutu, Mr Afenyo-Markin has provided the documents in respect of which he made certain submissions. I have looked at them and upon the advice of the Clerks-at-the- Table, I think he has provided the requisite evidence. So, the matter ends there.
    Hon Members, the next Hon Member to take the floor is Hon Kwadwo Kyei- Frimpong, Member of Parliament for Bosome-Freho.
    Mr Kwadwo Kyei-Frimpong (NPP -- Bosome-Freho) 3 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the 2015 Budget.
    Before I go on, I would like to correct my Colleague on the other side that it was not former President Kufuor's term that Ghana went into HIPC. It was rather during the latter part of former President Jerry John Rawlings' term, that we went into
    HIPC.
    But when we went into HIPC, it took just about one and a half to two years for the country to get out of it. So, my Colleague was economical with the truth. The correction must be made.
    Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing has very significant role to play in lifting the living standards of Ghanaians. For that matter, the Ministry should be richly resourced so that it can carry out its functions.
    We know of the deficit in the housing sector. Ghana is in deficit of about 1.8 million houses and this needs to be
    corrected. So, if the Ministry is not adequately resourced, we will have this problem all the time.
    Mr Speaker, when we look at the budgetary allocation to the Ministry, it has continued to dwindle since 2013. In 2013, it was GH¢589,902,647; in 2014, it was GH¢ 531,389,023; in 2015, it was GH¢ 463,103,420. Mr Speaker, also, we continue to see the lowering of the budgetary allocation.
    Mr Speaker, if the depreciation and inflation are factored in, then the real value of the Ministry's allocation must further be reduced by not less than 40 per cent.
    Mr Speaker, what do we expect from the budget? The performance of the Ministry is likely to be abysmal. Now, we see that there are a lot of homeless people in the country. Where are they going to find accommodation? Homeless people with the attendant effect of social hazards. If care is not taken for the situation to be arrested, we may find ourselves in a very poor state.
    Mr Speaker, as was commented on by the Committee on Works and Housing in the 2013 Budget, which said that the Ministry performed abysmally -- This means, the budgetary allocation at that time was not sufficient. If at that time, it was not enough, what about this time when it has been reduced further? So, their projects may have to be suspended, or there will be non-performance of the intended projects.
    Mr Speaker, I do not think we have to waste resources, both human and material, to bring out a budget which cannot be achieved. So, next time we prepare the budget, we have to increase the allocation to the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, so that the housing projects can be achieved.
    Mr Speaker, since the STX fiasco, we have not seen any major housing initiative to solve the deficit the nation faces now.
    For six years that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) took over -- about 4,720 housing units were left by the previous Government. Up till now, we have not seen any policy on those projects. In fact, it is high time this Government took over and continued to make those houses habitable.
    Otherwise, a time will come when we will have a lot of renovation; that has accumulated and the taxpayer has to bear it. This is what we do not want to see in this country because, the taxpayer is already over-burdened. But due to the negligence and intentions of somebody or a Government, this problem may emerge.
    The NDC Government promised to create an enabling environment for private estate developers to contribute to the building of houses to resolve the housing deficit. [Interruption.] I do not know whether the environment has been created now.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:10 p.m.
    Hon Member, please, address the Chair --
    Mr Kyei-Frimpong 3:10 p.m.
    Taxes on real- estate, which is a disincentive to estate developers has not changed, and this is going to contribute to the woes of those who are going to build houses because the budget allocation is very small and just not representative.
    The Budget Statement is silent on various activities like Hydrological Services, State Housing Company, Rural Housing Scheme, Cocoa Farmers Housing
    Project and maintenance of government bungalows. So, in future, if we want the Ministry to carry out all these services, we have to resource it very well. The Ministry should be highly resourced, so that it can carry out all these programmes.
    The budget is not likely to solve the housing deficit in the country. If we really want to have the housing deficit solved, then the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing should be adequately resourced.
    Mr Speaker, the budgetary allocation of resources to the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing is woefully inadequate for them to carry out the services needed by this country. Next time, not in a very distant time, we should have a second look at the Budget Statement and if possible, pump in more resources to the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, so that their aim can be achieved.
    Thank you.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:10 p.m.
    Thank you, very much.
    Hon Members, the last contributor is in the person of Hon Emmanuel Bedzrah.
    Mr Emmanuel Kwasi Bedzrah (NDC -- Ho West) 3:10 p.m.
    Thank you Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion to approve the Budget Statement and the Financial Policy for the year 2015.
    Mr Speaker, this Budget Statement has been christened “Transformational Agenda; Securing the Bright and Medium Term Prospect of the Economy”. Mr Speaker, I believe in the theme. Why do I say I believe in the theme?
    When you look at any developing economy, the major thing that would make the economy grow, is to receive resources or income from citizens, by increasing taxes and using those resources effectively, not depending on donors for development. We can depend on donors
    as I hear my Hon Colleagues mentioning, I would want to urge all Ministers that this Budget Statement of 2015 that we are going through means that the Committee on Government Assurance
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:10 p.m.
    Hon Member, you have five more minutes.
    Mr Bedzrah 3:10 p.m.
    We would continue to pursue Ministers who come to assure us on these assurances and promises. [Hear! Hear!] We would want to assure our Hon Colleagues that we would continue with our verification visits to project sites. In 2015, we would start having our public hearing. Any Minister who knows that he would not be able to deliver, let him come to indulge the House that he would not be able to deliver because the Government Assurance Committee would continue to do its work.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 3:10 p.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Hon Members, this brings us to the end of the debate.
    I can see Hon Members are very exhausted. I am also very exhausted but I would want to put in a plea for Leadership to look at that possibility.
    If we are going to look at all the Questions, if we are going to look at all those issues that have to appear on the Order Paper in addition to six Members from each side contributing to a debate, then we are not likely to treat the Customs Bill, which is also an urgent item of agenda on our table. So, think about this seriously, so that we see the way forward from tomorrow.
    On that note, I would like to thank all Members for exercising this kind of patience.
    ADJOURNMENT 3:10 p.m.

  • The House was adjourned at 3.25 p.m. till Friday, 28th November, 2014 at 10.00 a.m.