Debates of 5 Feb 2015

MR SPEAKER
PRAYERS 10:50 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Leadership, in the future, is it possible to explore the possibility of having the Business Committee meeting on Wednesdays after Adjournment rather than on Thursdays in the morning? This is because it is affecting the start of the Business of the House on Thursdays.
Hon Majority Chief Whip?
Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, your concern is well noted.
Today, there was some exceptional situation where we had to do winnowing of the Youth Employment Agency Bill, 2014. I am sure that most of my Hon Colleagues in the Business Committee are in the Chamber and we could do it after we adjourn on Wednesdays or possibly on Thursdays after adjournment.
It would go a long way to help the business of the House, especially when we want to start Sitting at 10.00 o'clock prompt. So, we would take it up seriously with the Leaders and the Committee members.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, that suggestion came the last time before we went on recess, that instead of meeting on Thursdays in the morning, we could be meeting on Wednesdays -- [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Even on Thursdays after adjournment.
Mr Nitiwul 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, on that day, we thought the best was to look at Wednesdays; that we meet and plan. But I also think that Thursdays, after adjournment would also be good; the original suggestion was to look at Wednesday.
The more important thing is that, it is not too prudent to meet on Thursdays early morning. That is the whole suggestion.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Absolutely. This is because when I enter my Lobby waiting for the House to start Sitting, the Leadership will be at Business Committee meeting.
Mr Nitiwul 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, just to say that because there are other people in this enterprise listening to us, today was an exception. It does not normally happen that way though. Today was an exception; because of the winnowing process that went on and it happened with most of the Leaders present.
So, we started the meeting a bit late. Normally, we start the meeting by 8.30 a.m., and by 9.30, we should have finished. We will take that into consideration the next time we meet, and see whether we could shift it to either Wednesdays or Thursdays in the evening, and we will come back to you.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Very well.
Kindly explore that possibility and let us see how we could work.
Yes, Hon Member for Nkoranza North?
Maj. Derek Oduro (retd): Mr Speaker, I am happy that this issue is brought once again. We have talked about this on a number of occasions in this House. Mr Speaker, I would always suggest that you rule on it. Let us rule on it, so that we will have the Business Committee meeting on Wednesdays. That will help us.
Thursdays, which are closer to Fridays, are not good days. So, we do not want to revisit this issue. Mr Speaker, I suggest you should rule on it.
Alhaji Muntaka 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I empathise with my Hon Colleague. He is somebody who is very prompt. He is a member of the Committee; he does not joke with getting to meetings on time, and he is always frustrated when the meeting starts late. I would plead that because the Leaders who are supposed to chair the Business Committee meetings are currently not in the Chamber, it will be left with Leadership and we will carry all the sentiments to them. We can assure you that before the end of the week, that is, by the close of tomorrow, we will get back to you regarding what decision has been taken.
I am very sure that majority of the members of the Business Committee will definitely support the meeting after adjournment because of the inconvenience of coming too early and sometimes not starting the meeting early. But I would want to plead that you do not rule on this, but give us the opportunity to get back to you on this.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Very well.
I will wait for the feedback from the leadership of the Business Committee, and we will explore the way forward.
VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT 10:50 a.m.

  • [No correction was made to the Official Report of Tuesday, 3rd February, 2015.]
  • Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Majority Chief Whip?
    Alhaji Muntaka 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, we would be grateful if we could go straight to item number 11 on the Order Paper, which is the Consideration Stage of the Youth Employment Agency Bill, 2014.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Hon Members, item number 11 on the Order Paper, Youth Employment Agency Bill, 2014 at the Consideration Stage. [Pause.]
    The Hon First Deputy Speaker to take the Chair.
    BILLS -- CONSIDERATION STAGE 11 a.m.

  • [Resumption of debate from 04/02/ 2015.]
  • rose
    Dr A. A. Osei 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, yesterday, when we left, I thought the understanding was that because of the critical nature of clause 26, which was not concluded, there will be a meeting which will discuss it and come back, so that it will be the first thing to be discussed before we go on to -- The First Deputy Speaker suggested that. So, I am surprised we are not dealing with that now. I am aware that there was a

    meeting this morning and I thought that was the reason for the meeting, so that we could debate and conclude clause 26 before we go to clause 27. So, I am surprised that we are jumping to clause 27; then what is the essence of the meeting this morning?
    Alhaji Muntaka 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, yesterday, we agreed that we will take the new clauses before we proceed but because of the challenges that we had, and my Hon Colleague from Old Tafo would agree with me, that when we met this morning, not too many of us who, for example, Hon O. B. Amoah has shown great interest in this Bill; and Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah has equally shown great interest in this Bill.
    Unfortunately, when we met this morning, though we announced yes- terday on the floor that we would do this winnowing, many of them were not there and we are trying to brief them on what we did this morning. That is why we wanted to continue, so that we do not waste time on it. As we continue, we will do the discussion on what we agreed this morning, so that when we finish, we will come back to it.
    So, Mr Speaker, I would want to crave your indulgence and that of my Hon Colleague from Old Tafo to kindly allow us to proceed, just as we are doing, to enable us go and brief our Colleagues who did not get the opportunity to be in the meeting this morning.
    Mr Speaker, we would be grateful if we will continue from clause 27 as you stated.
    Thank you very much.
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    The rules of the House allow us to postpone clauses and come back to them. The only thing is that we should make sure they are consistent with what has been agreed on. So, we will defer them while we proceed. That is the understanding.
    So, clause 27 -- There are a number of amendments there.
    Where is Hon O. B. Amoah?
    Yes, I want some guidance before I leave the Chair. Are the amendments consistent? If they are not, then we have to take all of them together.
    rose
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Alhaji Muntaka 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, yesterday, this issue came up and we agreed with my Colleague, Hon O. B. Amoah that his amendments were going to stay on those clauses that were deleted and reframed into the new clause, so that when we are taking the new clauses, he will be given the opportunity to take those amendments that he was proposing on those clauses that were deleted.
    So, the understanding is still there but from clause 27 onwards, are not part of the controversies that we had yesterday and I thought that those ones were understandable from both the Committee and their discussions that these ones were going to happen on the floor.
    So, I thought we were on the right track, just that when we get to the new clauses, my Hon Colleague, O. B. Amoah will be given the opportunity to move those amendments that he wanted to move, which had to do with the new clauses.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    Yes, Hon O. B. Amoah?
    Mr O. B. Amoah 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, indeed, yesterday, on the floor, we agreed that when the acting Chairman said he was deleting some clauses, like the whole of clause 24, I said that I had proposed amendments to clause 24. The arrangement was that we could leave the new clause that he was bringing and when we get back to it, then I could propose my amendments. But the challenge is that every day we come here, by the following day new things come up. Yesterday, the Chairman proposed an amendment to the sources of funds for the Agency.
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    We are on clause 27.
    Mr O. B. Amoah 11 a.m.
    We are on the sources of funding.
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    No! The clause that I have called now is 27 and you are one of the people who have filed an amendment to it.
    Mr O. B. Amoah 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is because of what he said about the new clause that I am drawing your attention to it.
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    No! We are on clause 27.
    Mr O. B. Amoah 11 a.m.
    Very well.
    Yes, clause 27 --
    Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
    This is because there are about three amendments there.
    Mr O. B. Amoah 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 27 -- delete and insert the following:
    “Regional and District Offices of the Agency
    (1) The Agency shall have regional and district offices as deter- mined by the Board.
    (2) A regional or district office of the Agency shall perform the functions of the Authority as determined by the Board.”
    I stand by this amendment, Mr Speaker. That is the regional and district offices of the Agency. We were saying that the Agency should have regional and district offices as determined by the Board. Those are amendments that I am proposing, that regional and district offices of the Agency shall perform the functions of the Authority as determined by the Board.
    These are standard amendments in various Acts, which we have just imported here. I do not think there is any problem with that.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Very well.
    Then we will take them one by one.
    Hon Chairman, move your amend- ments.
    rose
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Let him move his amendment.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:10 a.m.
    It appears that if we look at item number 7 on the Order Paper, we should take that first before we go to the Chairman because it is changing what the Chairman is doing. If the Committee agrees, then the Chairman will step this down. We should not be doing double work. If we have agreed, why do we go through the first one, (v) and then go to (vi) --
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Yes, if we agree to take (v), it means that the Hon O.B. Amoah will have to do some adjustments to his amendment, especially his (vii) (1).
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:10 a.m.
    That is my point,
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    But not the (ii)?
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:10 a.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    The difference is that the (i) and theirs are almost the same in terms of regional offices. He is bringing district offices, which is not in the first amendment. But it is relevant. So, he is talking about district offices.
    Mr Nitiwul 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, they are completely different things. While the Chairman is talking about regional committees, Hon O.B. Amoah is talking about offices. They are two different things. In Hon O.B. Amoah's case, he is talking about the fact that we should have a regional office and a district office, that is determined by the Board.
    But he is talking about committees. He is talking about a regional committee consisting of some particular category of officers and other organisations, which should be part of it. Maybe, he has to convince us on what will be the function of that committee when you have a Board which we should not duplicate. So, let him convince us.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Very well.
    Let him move the amendment and let us see. Mr Chairman, before you move your amendment, look at the amendment very well. You will see that you are talking about … “or a representative”. Why are you not putting “or a representative” to cut across? Where we have a “Regional Labour Officer” “or a representative”? This is because when it comes to the Regional Director of National Youth Authority, you have a representative there. For consistency sake, you may want to look at that while moving your amendment.
    I am just guiding you, but I may be wrong.
    Please, move your amendment.
    Clause 27 -- Establishment of Regional Committees
    Chairman of the Committee (Mr Kwabena M. Woyome) 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 27, subclause (1), delete and insert the following:
    “The Agency shall establish in each region a Regional Committee of the Agency consisting of --
    (a) a Regional Labour Officer;
    (b) the Regional Director of the Agency;
    (c) the Regional Director of the National Youth Authority; and
    (d) two persons nominated by each of the following organisations:
    (i) the Private Enterprises Foundation;
    (ii) the Organisation of Persons With Disability; and
    (iii) two persons nominated by the Regional Minister one of whom is a woman.”
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Member for Old Tafo?
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Chairman has not given us any reasons for changing what is in the original Bill and his proposal, so that we can be convinced that is one. This is because the Committee is being changed-- he just got up and said it was an amendment. Why should we agree to it? He must adduce some reasons.
    Secondly, if we look at (d) (iii), the two persons in there is redundant. This is because (d) says:
    “two persons nominated by each of the following organisations'…
    And then he comes again with,
    “two persons nominated by the Regional Minister one of whom is a woman”.
    That is redundant. But the more important thing is, if I look at the Bill, there have been serious changes. The Regional Minister has been kicked off, et cetera. He is not telling us why, so that we can see our way to agree or not. Why is he forgetting the Regional Minister? The Regional Co-ordinating Council ; they are gone; Education Service; they are gone. It is a fundamental change in thinking that -- The least he can do is to give us cogent reasons we should agree with him, otherwise, the original clause should stay.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Minister?
    Mr Haruna Iddrisu 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have looked at clause 27 and followed the proposed amendment of the Hon O.B. Amoah. Mr Speaker, I would like to draw his attention --
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Hon Amoah has not yet moved his amendment.
    Mr H. Iddrisu 11:10 a.m.
    We are with the Chairman's amendment, but in discussing it, I am compelled to --
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Hon Minister, that is why I posed the question first. If that is the case, then all of them must move their amendments and we could debate all of them together. You remember I made that
    point at the initial stages, and you came to advise the Chair that -- I was advised that they are separate things; one is talking about committee, the other is talking about offices. So, they are separate things and therefore, we should allow the amendments to be moved separately.
    Yes, Hon Minister?
    Mr H. Iddrisu 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, if you would indulge me with a minute, maybe, my Hon Colleague would appreciate.
    I would just refer to page 8, clause 15 of the original Bill where under clause 15, Regional and District Offices of the Agency have been dealt with.
    So, if my Colleague would advert his mind to it, he probably may advise himself on related matters to clause 27 accordingly.
    Mr O. B. Amoah 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, indeed, if we refer to our Hansard of 22nd December, we agreed that in respect of clause 15, instead of “may”, it should be “shall”. So, we said;
    “The Board shall establish Regional and District Offices of the Agency in places determined by the Board.”
    Now, if we have agreed to that, then it means under clause 27, what I am proposing, goes in tandem with what we have agreed to under clause 15. I am saying that if the Board is allowed to establish District and Regional Offices, which we have accepted, then under clause 27, I am proposing one, that we should delete the whole of clause 27 --
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Hon Member, you and the Hon Minister are all out of order. This is a different amendment. He has drawn our attention to clause 15 of the Bill. Let us take the current amendment which has been moved by the Chairman. When we come to your amendment, then we will see
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.


    whether the clause 15 that he referred to there is the same thing, and whether your amendment is necessary in view of what the Minister has drawn our attention to. Then we can argue it and as a House, we can then take a decision at that point.
    Mr O. B. Amoah 11:20 a.m.
    Very well. Except that what I was proposing is almost like what the acting Chairman has said.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    So, let us take this amendment first, then when we get to yours, we will find out whether it is necessary to move your amendment in view of what the Hon Minister has drawn our attention to.
    The point is being made -- the Hon Member for Old Tafo has said that, he prefers the original rendition in the Bill. Unless you can convince them, explain why you are bringing all these things.
    Yes?
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to modify your interpretation of what I said. I did not say I agree with the original rendition.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Yes, what did you say?
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I said that in his proposed amendment, there is a radical change in the composition. He has not adduced any reasons, for example
    -- 11:20 a.m.

    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Very well.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:20 a.m.
    So, I thought it was bad.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Member, he wants you to tell us the basis of your amendment.
    Mr Woyome 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to seek leave of the House to stand this down. I am withdrawing it altogether and go by what is stated in the original Bill. By that, I move this --
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Are you withdrawing your amendment?
    Mr Woyome 11:20 a.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Member for Old Tafo, Hon Majority Chief Whip and then Hon Member for Takoradi.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am very surprised -- [Laughter] -- We have been told that the Committee has been spending a lot of time winnowing. I would want to believe that Hon Members of the Committee have thought through carefully. But to come back and suddenly the Chairman says, he is withdrawing it -- Has he consulted his Committee?
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Member for Old Tafo, one day on the floor of this House, your uncle, the Hon J. H. Mensah said, there is a Chinese proverb that says that
    “Fools do not change their minds but wise people sometimes change their minds”.
    The Hon Member has decided to change his mind.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, he is representing the Committee. So, is he saying that the Committee met this morning to change their minds? If that is true, he should let us know. This is because as soon as I raised it, he said, no, he was stepping it down. If there are Committee members here, they should support him why they suddenly changed their minds. We would just want to know the reasons. It may be that he has reasons. I would want to know, so that for the records, if I am supporting it, I know there are good reasons I am doing so.
    This is because as I said, there is a fundamental change. Where we have the Regional Minister chairing, suddenly, he decided that it is the Regional Labour Officer. Politically, it is a fundamental change. There is no political direction. That is what the Chairman of the Committee said. The Regional Labour Officer is not a Minister; he does not have the clout. So, he must have a reason. I would want to know.
    The Regional Director of Employment and Labour Relations and the Regional Director of Ghana Education Service are off. Why? The three persons nominated by the Regional Minister are also off. So, somebody must just convince us.
    Mr Woyome 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, actually, I conferred with the Hon Minister this morning and he indicated that usually as a policy decision, they would want the Regional Ministers and the District Chief Executives to chair those committees.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, very well. This is in the bosom of the Committee and not the Hon Minister. So, does he mean that the Hon Minister has convinced the Committee or him? That is the difference. Now, it is in our bosom; it is no longer in the Hon Minister's bosom.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Please, what did you say? Did you say it is the Hon Minister or during winnowing?
    An Hon Member 11:20 a.m.
    Winnowing -- [Laughter.]
    Mr Woyome 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, at the winnowing, the Hon Minister suggested this and then I think it was by consensus.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Minister, you will come in but let me hear from the Hon Majority Chief Whip.
    Alhaji Muntaka 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I expected the Chairman to provide reasons as my Hon Colleague from Old Tafo has demanded. But if we look at the original rendition that the Chairman is trying to abandon, Mr Speaker, I find this to be a very difficult arrangement in implemen- tation.
    Mr Speaker, looking at the clause 15, and I beg to read 11:20 a.m.
    (1) The Board may establish regional and district offices of the Agency in places determined by the Board
    (2) A regional and district office of the Agency shall perform the functions of the Agency as the Board may direct.
    Now, when we come to clause 28 where these regional committees were established, as part of their functions, they are:
    (a) to be responsible for the implementation of the policies of the Agency in the region;
    Mr Speaker, I am looking at the situation --
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Please, you are bringing in a new thing. We are not on clause 28. We are not on clause 15; we are on --
    Alhaji Muntaka 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, if you take clause 27 and make it to stand alone, we may not be able to see the difficulty until we get to clause 28.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Yes! So, when we get to clause 28, then that is where we will need to do whatever legal engineering we will do there. This is because clause 28 must be consistent with clause 27.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Majority Chief Whip, an amendment has been moved, and the Chairman is seeking to withdraw it. If you even look at the amendment that he has moved, we do not know who will be the chairman of that committee. There is no provision in the new amendment at all. So, the amendment itself is problematic.
    Hon O. B. Amoah and then the Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr O. B. Amoah 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, indeed, if we were to move to what I had proposed, I would be in tandem with what the Hon Majority Chief Whip has said.
    I am saying that we should delete the whole of clause 27 because of clause 15. This is because, clause 27 tells us that a committee will be established which will be chaired by the Regional Minister. This is a point we raised at the Second Reading stage of the Bill. That, a national body is not set up with regional and district office and then say that at the regional centre, the Regional Minister is to chair and then at the district, the District Chief Executive is to chair it, when they do not report to the national office.
    This is why my amendment becomes relevant. The whole of clause 27 should be deleted, and then we state what I have proposed in the amendment. Incidentally, the Chairman is the third I am seeing in three days -- every day, there is a new Chairman. Yesterday, it was Hon Kwasi A. Gyan-Tutu; the day before, it was Hon Joseph Z. Amenowode and today, it is Hon Kobena M. Woyome. Every day, comes with different things and confuse us. That is what is happening.
    But sticking to my proposed amendment, which is to delete the whole of clause 27 because it is giving the power to the Regional Minister to chair and also to bring policies for them to implement. It is not possible. This is because, Mr Speaker, if we should go on, clause 27(2) says:
    “A regional committee shall meet at least, once every three months for the conduct of business at the times and in the places determined by the chairperson.
    (3) “A regional committee may prescribe its own procedure for the conduct of meeting.
    This regional committee chaired by the Regional Minister, how does it sit with regional and district offices set up by the Board under the direction of the Agency
    who also reports to the Minister? It will not sit well with it.
    That is why I am saying that we should delete the original clause 27, and put in what I am proposing, and then we take care of it.
    That will then be in tandem with clause 15, where we all agree that the Board should set up district and regional offices.
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Yes, but the point that -- [Interruptions.] I am not seeing the difference between clause 15 and your amendment. That is my problem. But I think you have made a very important point that the House should consider.
    The nitty gritty can be taken care of by any Legislative Instrument. So, it makes a lot of sense; but my only problem is the difference between the clause 15 and what you are proposing now. Then in that case, we should delete the whole of clause 27 --
    Mr O. B. Amoah 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, my proposed amendment is saying that “delete and insert the following”. So, if we agree that clause 15 is the same as what I am proposing, then my initial proposal was that we should delete the whole of clause 27.
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    We want to have a legal framework. So, why do you not have the legal framework? And the nitty gritty can come out in the form of guidelines and Legislative Instruments and all that.
    In my view, I think it would be neater for everybody because, the point being made has also been made by the Hon Majority Chief Whip and by the Hon O. B. Amoah and by the Hon Member for Old Tafo. In my view, it is quite convincing. But it is for the House to take a decision.
    Why do we not just delete -- “in the offices” and leave the rest? That is the point that is being thrown out by the Hon Member for -- What is the name of your constituency?
    Mr O. B. Amoah 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is Akwapim South.
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    I nearly mentioned Aburi -- [Laughter.] Aburi is part of your --
    Mr O. B. Amoah 11:30 a.m.
    The capital is Aburi.
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Minister, let us hear you, then I will take the Hon Member for Old Tafo, then the Hon Minority Leader.
    Mr H. Iddrisu 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much.
    I appreciate the amendment being moved by the Hon Member for Akwapim. But to note that his own amendment will fall on the scale of his proposal, that we should rely on clause 15; it will mean that from clause 27 to clause 30, if it pleases the House -- following that he also abandoned his amendment; all that will be deleted from the legislation.
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    It is consequential because if you follow his logic -- in my view, it is consequential.
    Mr H. Iddrisu 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, to follow your guidance, this can be done adminis- tratively, and I agree with you. Indeed, that is the practice. The idea was that, based on the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) Report, there were revelations of abuses by Regional and District Coordinators because they were individuals.
    So, we would want an oversight committee to supervise what they do. For instance, Mr Speaker, if they were recruiting youth in Health Assistants, we have some revelations based on
    Mr H. Iddrisu 11:30 a.m.


    investigation that one could see ghosts of seven people, which could only be done because the coordinator had compromised the process as an individual.

    So, the political oversight now, which is to support this legal framework - but I agree with you entirely that we can do this administratively. Once the law is passed, we will give directives to get the Regional Minister to constitute committees to supervise the employment processes, that will be done by the regional offices. But it will mean that the Hon Member will have to abandon his own, and then we delete up to clause 30, to do away with the regional and district committees.

    I so agree with your guidance, Mr Speaker.
    rose
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    I will call the Hon Member for Old Tafo. I will get back to you Hon O. B. Amoah because you raised the issue. I will get back to all of you.
    Yes, Hon Member for Old Tafo, Hon Minority Leader, and then I will take the two of you.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, what I have a difficulty with is very simple. It appears to me that in the concep- tualisation of the Bill, some thought was put into the fact that these people were needed on the regional committees for whatever reasons. That is why the committee's composition involves them.
    I said it, and we are saying that it does not matter. I find that we have to think through this carefully. There must be a reason the Regional Director for
    Education Service was put on this committee. But now, he is saying that, let us allow the headquarters to come and say that administratively, the district -- we must know the composition of the committees.
    They perform certain functions. We cannot just throw them out. If the committees are sub-divisions on the national, what is happening in the national? These people are not on the national. We do not have the Regional Minister or the Hon Minister for Employment and Labour Relations on the national committee. We do not have the Director of Education on the national committee. But now, we go to the districts and somebody thought through this. I must believe that he needed the National Youth Authority representative there.
    Now, we are saying that --
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    That is the mischief that they seek to cure, and that is what he has indicated -- that they do not want all these powers to be invested in one individual. They want to put in place a committee to oversee the Regional Coordinators. So, what we can then do is that if you go by Hon O. B. Amoah's amendment, which is in clause 15, then we can put the omnibus clause of a committee of stakeholders to oversight at the regional and the district levels, so that that oversight point is also achieved.
    Yes, Hon O. B. Amoah?
    Mr O. B. Amoah 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is not entirely accurate that there is no governing body of the Agency. If you go to clause 4, it gives us those who will be on that governing Agency. It says;
    …”The members of the Board are a chairperson, the Chief Executive Officer of the Agency, one representative of the Ministry responsible for Employment and
    Labour Relations who is not below the rank of Director, one repre- sentative of the Ministry responsible for Finance who is not below the rank of Director, one representative of the Ministry responsible for the Interior who is not below the rank of Director, one representative of the Ministry responsible for Local Government and Rural Development who is not below the rank of Director, the Coordinator of the National Youth Authority or a representative of the Coordinator of the National Youth Authority, and two persons from the private sector…”
    So, at the national level, the Board is made up of stakeholders in various sectors. It is not that if you are at the national level, we do not have any such agency. But what I am saying, which the Hon Minister agrees with, is indeed, part of my proposal. If you go to the next page, clause 29 and clause 30 are also being deleted and I agree to it. I think the Hon Minister agrees with my --
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, then the Hon Member for Takoradi.
    Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:30 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon O. B. Amoah's proposal, which he himself has highlighted, that consequential upon what he seeks to do, we may then have to delete clause 29. He says we should delete clause 28, which is on page 7 of the Order Paper, and he is again calling for the deletion of clause 29, which is on page 8. And consequential to that, he is calling for the deletion of clause 30, which again is on page 8.
    So, if we buy into what he is saying, then we may have to delete that. Of course his own amendments -- the one that he is proposing -- the clause 27 (1) may even have to go. It may not have any relevance because of clause 15 (1). But Mr Speaker, what do we want to achieve?
    The Hon Minister keeps drawing attention to the mischief in the earlier years, relating to Regional Coordinating Directors. Mr Speaker, unemployment is not registered at the headquarters. It is in the regions, in the districts. So, we should ensure that the proper things are done there.
    What is it that must be done? Mr Speaker, I honestly believe that if the Regional Coordinating Directors, indeed, did things which were not right -- a lot of improprieties -- we should leave it to the Regional Ministers? Mr Speaker, the same politicisation will go on.
    What mischief do we want to cure? If you say that well, this man was a bit at the lower level, so, let him go to the District Chief Executive, it will be worst. You politicise this.
    Mr Speaker, let nobody deceive himself; let us not think about today because, maybe, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is in power, “foot soldiers” can enjoy. What of tomorrow? The politicisation will be too much for us. Which was why it was suggested.
    Mr Speaker, these amendments that the Hon Chairman of the Committee is proposing, I think 17 was fashioned on the indication that I gave and because --
    Mr Speaker, you wanted to know who should be the Chair. The original rendition of this is that;
    “The Board shall establish in each region a regional committee of the Agency consisting of . . .”
    Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:30 a.m.


    (a) The Chairperson who is the Regional Labour Officer;

    That is the original rendition that I gave and I am surprised that it does not find expression here. So, that was to deal with that. Who should chair? Certainly, not the Co-ordinating Director or the Minister because that will politicise it.

    Mr Speaker, I do not mind if we went the way of Hon O. B. Amoah.
    Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Yes, that is the way we are going.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:40 a.m.
    However, the Hon Minister keeps indicating to us that “oh, let us do that” and the Regional Minister will just go with --
    Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    No! No! He did not say --
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is what he said.
    Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    That is not the impression I got from him.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:40 a.m.
    He has just emerged from the fasting period.
    Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Yes, let us hear from the Hon Minister.
    Mr H. Iddrisu 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I offered an explanation. What probably informed the policy decision to want to exercise oversight at the level of Regional Ministers and District Coordinating Directors. That is what I sought and Mr Speaker, just to guide the debate, if you come back to clause 9, to refer you back to page (7) of the original Bill, “Establishment of committees”, it has already been taken care of under clause 9.
    So, we can, at the Second Consideration Stage, strengthen this clause 9 to be able to establish those special oversight committees without administratively going into details.
    Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    The clause 9, the “committees” there is at the Board level, not at the regional and the district levels.
    Hon Minister, do you agree with me?
    Mr H. Iddrisu 11:40 a.m.
    Yes.
    Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Yes, clause 9 is at the Board level.
    Hon Members, I think the sense of the House is that, yes, we should not politicise this issue. That is the sense I am getting.
    Secondly, at the same time, the Regional and District Coordinators should not be allowed to also do whatever they want to do. We should build in the Bill certain checks and balances. We should just go by Hon O. B. Amoah's suggestion, which is captured in clause 15. We can then create a committee to oversight and leave that one to the Board at the national level to oversight the regions and the districts. That amendment is not here.
    Hon Minority Leader, I think that is the only way out now. If you go with Hon O. B. Amoah's argument, which makes sense, because we make laws to withstand the test of time --
    At the same time, there is a certain mischief which we have to cure and that is, we should not leave this Regional and District Coordinators to do whatever they like. We have to check them. There is need to set up a committee to do that. Which committee will do that? Let us leave that obligation to the Board at the national level, to set a committee to oversight them and we will be able to achieve our aim.
    Mr Kwabena O. Darko-Mensah 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe that we are trying to decentralise and therefore, if we try to keep the Board only in Accra and dismantle the rest in the regions and the districts, I believe that we will not be able to protect the public purse. I believe that since we have a Board at the national level, we should create, maybe, a political committee at the district and the regional levels.
    If you take for instance, the Association of Ghana Industries, apart from having the national Board, we also have the regional committees that supervise the secretariat in those regions. I believe that we can replicate same, looking at the constituents and members that we might put it in the law. We have the chairperson --
    Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Why do you not leave it to the Board at the national level, which is supposed to come out with the committee to oversight, so that they are held responsible if they do not do it well?
    Let me hear from Hon Yieleh Chireh. I have not heard his voice this morning.
    Mr Joseph Y. Chireh 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, while agreeing in principle with what you have said, it will be better to indicate either the number or the likely persons in a brief statement. Because the current rendition makes such a committee so large and you do not know what they will be doing. Of course, it is important for us to have committees both at the regional and district levels.
    Membership as you are saying, should be set up by the Board, but we have to indicate; if we say five member Board and then we look at relevance and just indicate generally not the details. The details will be quite difficult in terms of who will be left out and who should be included.
    Now, we are talking about politicisation of the programme. That is why the District Chief Executive Officer (DCE) who is at the national level, would be supervised by the Board; then at the regional level, it should be a committee that oversees; of course, not chaired necessarily by the Minister or the DCE. But the focus should be some people who have expertise in this kind of creation of modules and things like that.
    So, what I am suggesting, to agree with your ruling, is that, we should indicate it in the law. If we do not, the Board can decide to go and create a very large committee. We should just give an indicative figure and I would prefer that we just make it at most, seven at the regional level and at the district level, five at most. So that the number is reducing as we go along.
    Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Hon Members, we are making progress now. We all seemed to agree that, yes, there should be some committee at the regional and district levels for effective supervision and oversight of the Regional and District Co- ordinators. That is good.
    Hon Yieleh Chireh is suggesting that we should give the number; we should not limit it entirely to the Board and he is also suggesting further that we should have an idea about the people who will constitute the Board.
    I am trying to narrow down the debate for us to get a certain consensus, so that if we have to go back and get a draft and then put it into the Bill, we can have it.
    Let me take two Hon Members on this matter; Hon Member for Old Tafo and then Hon Majority Chief Whip, Hon Minority Leader and Hon Deputy Minister for Employment and Labour Relations.
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you very much.
    I think this is why I was uncomfortable with the Hon Chairman of the Committee by saying “I have abandoned it”. I thought the Committee had thought
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:40 a.m.


    through it very well and that, they wanted to limit it to a specific number and even parts of the composition. So, I am agreeing with the Hon Member; guidelines should be such that some minimum persons like the Labour Officer should be involved. Because if we do not, the Board can go and bring anybody. So, I think that those are the principles you have summarised and I agree with that.

    On that basis, I think we can move forward.
    Alhaji Muntaka 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think we have made a lot of progress.
    Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Hon Majority Chief Whip, we have passed there; we have got the idea. You do not have an amendment now for me to put the Question.
    Sit down and get the rendition for me. At the appropriate time, if it is tomorrow morning, I will then --
    Alhaji Muntaka 11:40 a.m.
    Alright, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    If you have it now or if you do not have it, I will suggest that tomorrow, you should go and get it. I have summarised it nicely; get Hon Members like Hon Yieleh Chireh to be involved, yourself, the Majority Chief Whip, Hon O. B. Amoah, the Chairman of the Committee, the Hon Minister and we then get this consensus in the form of the amendment and then put the Question.
    Let me hear from the two Hon Leaders; the Hon Minority and Hon Majority Leaders.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, when we dealt with it -- and that is why I said I was surprised how this amendment was captured by the Committee. It was to make the Labour Officer the chair and others. Indeed, we pruned the number down to nine and Hon Yieleh Chireh is suggesting --
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    He says seven.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:50 a.m.
    Yes, but we pruned it down to nine. That is, if we wanted the Regional Minister to have some nominations, otherwise, we had the Regional Labour Officer, the Regional Director of the Agency, the Regional Director of the National Youth Authority, two persons, one of whom to be nominated by each of the following: private enterprises, organisations of persons with disability. That makes the number seven.
    Then it was insisted that we should have a role for the Regional Minister. So, we added two persons and that should be subclause (e) and included in the subclause (d), two persons nominated by the Regional Minister, one of whom is a woman. That brings the number to nine. That was what we agreed on. Unfortunately, I was not at the meeting. The chair should be the Regional Labour Officer.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, I will suggest strongly to the House, taking the views expressed on the floor, to go and get the rendition and tomorrow morning, when we come, we put the Question. It is very -- taking into account all the various views. I have tried to summarise all the views that have been expressed on the floor of the House.
    As of now, the views expressed on the floor of the House have not been properly captured in the amendment before the House, so that we can have that.
    Hon Minister, that is what I am suggesting, so that when we come, we just put the Question. I do not know what your view on the matter is.
    Mr H. Iddrisu 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is acceptable. So, we stand down clause 27 to clause 30 for the Committee to look at it.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Absolutely.
    So Hon Members, in view of that, we defer clause 27 up to clause 30 because they are consequential.

    Clause 31 -- Regulation.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Hon Members -- clause 31, do you have an amendment?
    Mr Woyome 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 31, paragraph (b), delete “the Fund” and insert” “funds of the Agency”.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Members, I will put the Question.
    rose
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Yes?
    Mr O. B. Amoah 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I agree with clause 31 and the proposed amendment except that because of what we are setting up and the fact that,
    “The Minister may, on the advice of the Board, by legislative instrument, make Regulations
    (a) to prescribe the forms to be used under this Act;
    (b) for the procedure for the disbursement of the Fund; and
    (c) generally for the effective implementation of the provisions of this Act”.
    Which is very critical. I believe there should be a subclause (d) which says that “Within six months of the” --
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Hon Member, you are out of order. Let us put the Question first. If you want to file a new clause, then you can bring it for the House to consider.
    Mr O. B. Amoah 11:50 a.m.
    Very well, Mr Speaker. But I thought we could use this procedure to just --
    rose
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Hon Yieleh Chireh?
    Mr Chireh 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, if we see the amendment -- If you delete subclause (b) and insert, the grammar will not flow. This is because it says,
    “The Minister may, on the advice of the Board, by legislative instrument, make Regulations
    (a) to prescribe the forms to be used under this Act;
    (b) for the procedure for the disbursement of the Fund; and
    (c) generally for the effective implementation of the provisions of this Act.
    It should be -- [Interruption] -- Yes, apart from “the”, the procedure is still important. It was just “funds”, that they wanted to appear there. So, “the procedures for the disbursement of funds of the Agency” -- I thought we were deleting the whole of subclause (b) -- [Interruption] -- All right. Then I am wrong.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Hon Members, my understanding is that, we are not creating a Fund. So, if we are not creating a Fund but you put it there and say, “the Fund”, then it is as if you are creating a Fund.” That is why they want to use the word “funds”. The amendment is straight- forward but my only problem is, are we keeping “the” there?
    Mr James K. Avedzi 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, we are not keeping the “the”. So, we are deleting “the Fund” and replacing it with “funds of the Agency”.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Minority Leader and Member for Bimbila?
    Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, in the original Bill, there was a creation of the Fund. There was a Fund. Now, we have taken that out. We are now sourcing funds that are available or that accrued to the Agency. That is what --
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    It is clear. That is why we were deleting “the Fund”.
    Now, the only thing is that, should we keep the definite article there? That is the only question I am asking, so that I put the Question.
    Hon Member for Sekondi?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, if the idea is to substitute something for “the Fund”, I think that appropriately, it should be “moneys of the Agency” instead of “the funds of the Agency”. I am saying that, then you are talking about the moneys of the Agency. Now, you are equating funds with moneys and I think that, under the circumstances, more appropriately, should be “moneys of the Agency”.
    Mr Avedzi 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, “funds” is equal to “moneys” but for the purposes
    of consistency, let us use “funds of the Agency”.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Member for Old Tafo?
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, let us go to page 8 on the Order Paper.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Well, it is not as simple as that. It is also a drafting issue. I will put the Question and leave it to the draftspersons, so that we make progress.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    I direct the draftsperson to look at the drafting involved there.
    Mr Chireh 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I wanted to move to add the modules, so that by legislative instruments, modules can be indicated. It should be by regulation, otherwise, somebody will just get up and create a module somewhere. So, I wanted us to --
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    I thought subclause (c) is omnibus enough to take care of all those -- “generally, for the effective implemen- tation of the provisions of this Act”.
    Mr Chireh 11:50 a.m.
    As this is about modules, the whole idea about youth employment is to introduce new modules. So, I thought that -- I do not know how to -- but if they do not object to it, the idea is either guidelines to be able to know how these things are done -- Otherwise, we leave it too wide and somebody can get up one day and say he wants a module on how to --
    12. 00 p.m.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Very well. Move the amendment and let me put the Question.
    Mr Chireh 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker I beg to move, clause 31 before subclause (c), we say, “bring regulations for the creation of modules for the Agency”. That is subclause (c) before the general one.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Is it a new clause? Is it a new paragraph?
    Mr Chireh 11:50 a.m.
    Yes, a new paragraph.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    New what?
    Mr Chireh 11:50 a.m.
    A new paragraph.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Let me hear your amendment again; slowly.
    Mr Chireh 11:50 a.m.
    It is a new paragraph because the clause is the same, 31 -- then this is a paragraph.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Then what should the paragraph read like?
    Mr Chireh 11:50 a.m.
    It should be (c) before the --
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Let me have it; it is a new paragraph. So, let me have it. The draftspersons will know where to put it. So, let me have it.
    Mr Chireh 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 31, add a new paragraph “the Minister may on the advice of the Board by a Legislative Instrument, make regulations for the creation of new modules.”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Hon Osei Bonsu Amoah, Member of Parliament for Akwapim South?
    Mr Amoah 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I proposed an amendment to subclause 31, under “Regulations,” new paragraph by adding subclause (d) --
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Move the amendment, the draftspersons will know where to put it.
    Mr Amoah 11:50 a.m.
    Very well, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, a new paragraph;
    “The Minister shall by a Legislative Instrument make regulations within six months of coming into force of the Youth Employment Agency Act for the procedure for the disburse- ment of the funds of the Agency.”
    I am saying this because Mr Speaker, we always put in the Act, that the Minister may make regulations. Sometimes, it takes ten years and no regulations would have come.
    Indeed, for the National Development Planning Commission, the Act was made in 1994. They said they should make regulations but as we speak, no regulations have been made.
    National Health Insurance Act, as we speak, they are supposed to make even for new fees and for everything, but as we speak, no regulations have been made. If we give the blank cheque to the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, they are supposed to make regulations for the disbursement of funds, it will take us years, they will not bring any regulations for procedures to disburse these funds.
    So, I am saying that we should be able to limit or give a deadline for some of these regulations to be made. And if we start
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Hon Member for Sekondi?
    Papa Owusu Ankomah 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, while I agree in principle to what the Hon Member for Akwapim South is saying, I believe that-- Mr Speaker, I am saying that if we enacted the law and we say the regulations should be made within a certain time and regulations have not been made, we can take certain steps. There is no need in putting a limit in the enactment where breach thereof does not have any consequences -- [Interruptions.]
    Mr Speaker --
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Hon Members, I agree with the Hon Member for Sekondi. I think the Ministry will be guided by these sentiments that we have expressed here on the floor of the House. So, let us -- it is not consistent with the practice of the House so far.
    Hon Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration?
    Ms Hannah S. Tetteh 11:50 a.m.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
    In principle, I agree with the amendment made by the Hon Member for Akwapim South except that I might differ with him on the timeline. I think that I would like to subsequently move the amendment not for six months but within a year.
    The reason I am saying that is because, typically, when we are in the process of developing either legislation or subsidiary legislation, it does involve some stakeholder consultation. It is
    usually not just an exercise of the Ministry itself and the technical staff putting up regulations in order to give effect to a law. You will necessarily involve other parties including Hon Members of this House in the consultation process.
    I agree that it is important for us, notwithstanding the fact that it has not been our practice to begin to put some timeline to some of these activities. This is because without doing that, there is no urgency in providing regulations, which at the end of the day, are key to implementing some of these legislations.
    So, Mr Speaker, I think that not- withstanding the fact that this has not been our practice, it is something that we should introduce because it helps to make the process of giving effect to legislation much more effective than has been the case over the years.
    Thank you, very much, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Dr Appiah- Kubi?
    Dr Kojo Appiah-Kubi 11:50 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    I would also like to add my voice in agreeing with Hon O.B. Amoah and the Hon Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, that it is very important that we add time limits to our demands for regulations, which are supposed to operationalise some of these Acts.
    We have in the past, passed so many Bills in this House, which were to be operationalised by rules and regulations and up till now, the majority of these rules and regulations have not been submitted. An example could be found in the health sector.
    Over the past four years, we have passed so many Bills concerning the health sector, which are supposed to be operationalised by rules and regulations.
    The Health Select Committee has on so many occasions demanded these rules and regulations and the sector has always come out with promises; “we are bringing them, we will submit them in due course” and up till now, none has been submitted in respect of the so many Bills that we have passed.
    I believe that the time limit will be a way for us also to exercise our oversight responsibilities.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Hon Yieleh Chireh and Hon Member for Old Tafo?
    Mr Chireh 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to go along with Hon Papa Owusu- Ankomah, Member of Parliament for Sekondi.

    Look at what my Hon Chairman is doing.

    Hon Chairman, do not be distracting me. I am making a point.

    Now, if he wants us to put timelines, at the same time, we have to be thinking of sanctions. This is because if you just
    -- 11:50 a.m.

    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Yes, that is the point raised by the Hon Member for Sekondi; what are the consequences of not complying?
    Mr Chireh 11:50 a.m.
    That is why I said I was agreeing with him. The point I am making is that, if we do not have sanctions and as the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has indicated, in many cases, even while we are drafting the main law, you should have been drawing up the regulations and doing the
    consultations, so that it reduces the time for these things to be done.
    Unfortunately, we passed the law before the consultation started and I would agree if we have to do it for one year, which is more reasonable in terms of the consultation beyond which the Minister --
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    What is your position? You agree with two people.
    Mr Chireh 12:10 p.m.
    In my view, we should put it there, that if we put it in one Act, it does not bind everybody. I think we should look at a way of having something that generally covers all the legislations that we make. If we put it in only one Act, it does not bind many people. We cannot be introducing it like that. I do not have an immediate way of doing it but I do not think that we should be seen providing for it and when they do not do it, we also do nothing. That is very important for me.
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member for Old Tafo.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:10 p.m.
    I would want to agree with the Hon Minister's suggestion. We should not be thinking about sanctions for the Executive. We should use this as a tr igger to perform our oversight responsibilities, so that once we legislate, the respective committee, in this case, the Committee on Employment and Social Welfare -- we use that to call the Minister in.
    We do not have to worry about the sanctions but must oversight ourselves properly and these are incentives for committees to work. One year is more reasonable than six months.
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Hon Member for Asuogyaman?
    Mr Kofi Osei-Ameyaw 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I agree with my Hon Colleague and the Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Minister that the control mechanism that this House can put in place for us to perform our oversight responsibility properly, we should insert this amendment.
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Hon, please, let us get the point clear. Are we saying that without that new paragraph, we cannot perform our oversight responsibilities as a House?
    Mr Osei-Ameyaw 12:10 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    I hold a contrary view.
    Mr Osei-Ameyaw 12:10 p.m.
    If we do not have that clause, how will we know when the moneys are being expended? Now, you bring that clause in, so that you have a six month period where you put the regulations in place and the regulations are supposed to regulate the expenditure of the funds that we are approving.
    If we agree that certain funds should come to the Ministry of Youth and Sports and we do not have any regulation controlling the expenditure of that money, then this House will not have been performing the oversight responsibility. So, it should come in. If we have not done it in the past -- we have so many examples of expenditure not being controlled or approved. So, we should try and do something about this and I believe that it should come in.
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Hon Minister?
    Mr H. Iddrisu 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was going to persuade my Colleague to abandon the amendment and to assure him that as he would recall and has noticed even at the Committee level, this is of urgent importance to Government. This is because a number of our young people have been waiting for this legislation to
    get their back pay for the past six months and one year. Therefore, he should take me on my word that I will act urgently and expeditiously on this matter and should I fail, he can refer me to the Assurance Committee. Within 90 days, I will.
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think we have made some progress on this and I believe that the original proposal by Hon O. B. Amoah is amenable with these new terms that are going along with his proposal by the Hon Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration. So, within the one year, I guess it would be acceptable to -- I think that you may put the Question.
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Hon Members, I will put the Question. On the one year moved by the Member for Akwapim South and further amended by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 31 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 32 -- Interpretation
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker with all due respect, there is one before the one being moved by the Chairman.
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Hon Member, let us take this amendment. I think that it is a straightforward one.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am saying that there is one preceding that one in respect of the interpretation of Minister before the one to be moved by Kwadwo Baah Agyemang. This is because I made that suggestion to the
    Committee and it appears the Hon Kwadwo Baah Agemenag was moving the same thing. That is why his name appeared there. I think that is something we should look at, that before employment
    -- 12:10 p.m.

    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Yes, I thought that was the amendment that was moved?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:10 p.m.
    It has not been moved.
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Move it; it is a very important straightforward amendment. So, please, move it, so that I put the Question.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 32 -- Interpretation of “Minister” line 1, before “Employment” insert “Youth” and in line 2, delete “and Labour Relations”
    Minister means, the Minister responsible for Youth and Employment. As simple as that.
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Hon Members, they can change Youth and Employment to any other Ministry at any time. It used to be at Youth and Sports. So, it makes a lot of sense.
    Hon Deputy Minister, what are you opposing?
    Baba Jamal M. Ahmed: Mr Speaker, I would want to understand that we should add. “Youth” to “Employment” so that it becomes “Minister responsible for Youth Employment.”
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Yes.
    Baba Ahmed: Does that not put the Agency under two Ministries?
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    No!

    Baba Ahmed: All right.
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Hon Deputy Minister, whoever is responsible for this Bill, when any Minister comes, the President can decide to assign anybody to handle this. So, if you are not careful and you put it at a particular Ministry as we have in the Bill now, what it would mean is that, you have to come and amend the law.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Kobena M. Woyome 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 32 -- Interpretation of “Private Sector Partner Service Provider” line 3, delete “Authority” and insert “Agency”
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Hon Members, this is a straightforward amendment.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Kobena M. Woyome 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 32 -- Interpretation of “school dropout” delete.
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Why are you dropping it?
    Mr Woyome 12:20 p.m.
    At the Committee level, a lot of --
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, is it consequential? Do we have a school drop- out in the Bill?
    Mr Woyome 12:20 p.m.
    No! We have deleted all.
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    So, it is consequential?
    Mr Woyome 12:20 p.m.
    Yes, please.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    I direct that if there is any “school dropout” in the Bill, it should be deleted accordingly.
    New clause -- Sources of funds for the Agency.
    Mr Woyome 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, new clause --
    Delete and insert the following:
    “Sources of funds for the Agency
    The sources of funds for the Agency include:
    (a) moneys approved by Parliament for the Agency;
    (b) eighty per cent of the Communi- cations Service Tax;
    (c) fifteen per cent of the District Assemblies Common Fund;
    (d) five per cent of the Ghana Education Trust Fund;
    (e) donations, gifts and grants;
    (f) moneys approved by the Minis- ter responsible for Finance; and
    (g) loans contracted by the Agency.”
    rose
    Dr A.A. Osei 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman did not finish reading what we have on the Order Paper. There is a (g) -- “loans contracted by the Agency”. He did not read it; he dropped it.
    Mr Woyome 12:20 p.m.
    That has been dropped.
    Dr A.A. Osei 12:20 p.m.
    It is on the Order Paper.
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    But you have to inform the House. It has been put on the Order Paper. So, if you are changing it --
    Mr Woyome 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I seek permission to delete --
    Dr A.A Osei 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the second point, which is the easier one -- I do not know when Parliament has approved funds -- then he says money has been approved by the Hon Minister for Finance. Under what authority? He cannot just on his own approve funds for the Agency; he must seek our approval. So, that is redundant. If we have moneys approved by Parliament, we do not need moneys approved by the Ministry of Finance. He must come here to seek our approval and so, we cannot - if we have “(a)” then “(f)' must be deleted. The Hon Minister must come here.
    Mr Speaker, the more difficult one is the one that --
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    So, what do you say to it?
    Mr Woyome 12:20 p.m.
    Yes, I accept what he says.
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    So, are you deleting the “(f)”?
    Very well.
    Mr Chireh 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the issue about the Hon Minister, in many of the laws we have provided, it is only the Minister for Finance who can, if an Agency applies to him, like in the case where the Youth Employment Agency had a problem with payment, he gave them the authority to take an advance money from the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB). These are moneys that are approved by Parliament for contingency and other things.
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Are they not moneys approved by Parliament?
    That is the argument he is making and even if it is taken from contingency, they are moneys approved by Parliament.
    Mr Chireh 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, they are approved by Parliament as a contingency. So, the Hon Minister separately deals with the Agency, gives them authority to do some to the things on our behalf.
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    The approval is different from release.
    Mr Chireh 12:20 p.m.
    No! This approval here, for instance, if the Agency has a difficulty getting money and they have a good bank that wants to support them, then they have to get the approval of the Ministry of Finance. That is why this is always there. I do not know what wording we would want in it -- but without that approval - - and it is only the Ministry of Finance that can give that authority. So, he was in the Ministry and I do not know what he wants us to do. But I think that it should be there. It is not redundant in relation to the approvals by Parliament.
    Dr A.A Osei 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that Parliament cannot approve and the Hon Minister also approves. We both cannot perform the same functions. Maybe, he wants to do the work of --
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Hon Member, this is a constitutional issue.
    Dr A.A Osei 12:20 p.m.
    That is my point.
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    The issue that he is raising, the way I see it, is one of the constitutional issues; does the Hon Minister suo motu approve moneys without the involvement of Parliament? I think that is the question he is raising.
    Dr A.A Osei 12:20 p.m.
    I think if he wants to, he can say, “moneys authorised by the Hon Minister as approved by Parliament”. That may be fine but not “approved”.
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Very well.
    Please, yes, let us take them one by one. You have drawn his attention to it and so, let me find out from him whether he agrees, so that we will follow the argument. If you put all of them together, I will be lost in the argument. Do you agree to use the word “authorised”?
    Mr Woyome 12:20 p.m.
    Well, I think it is almost the same thing.
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Very well.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, even that, the Hon Yieleh Chireh was referring to maybe, emergency situations. But when the Hon Minister authorises it, it still must be approved by Parliament. So, the rendition then would be, “any other moneys that are authorised by the Minister responsible for Finance and approved by Parliament.”
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, you know that one cannot approve any money which has not been approved by Parliament and so, it goes without saying --
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, because by our Orders, the Finance Committee, in an emergency situation, may authorise the Hon Minister to take money from the Contingency Fund but ultimately, Parliament may have to approve of it.
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    I agree entirely with you. But there is no way the Hon Minister can do this without Parliament. If he does so, he does it at his own risk. So, it goes without saying--
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Yes?
    Prof. Yaw Gyan-Baffour 12:30 p.m.
    Whatever money that is released from the Ministry of Finance, is authorised by the Hon Minister for Finance but it needs to have the approval of Parliament. So, even to say “authorised by the Minister and approved by Parliament, is superfluous. Everything he does, is after we have given the approval and he authorises it. So, to put it here does not make any sense. So, we do not need it at all.
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Yes, we do not need it at all. That is my view anyway. But it is for the House to decide.
    Mr Chireh 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thought we had agreed on “authorised”.
    Now, the issue I am raising is that, the Ministry of Finance has a certain role it plays in Agencies and how they get resources to do things based on --
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Yieleh Chireh, the point is that, can this thing happen without Parliament? That is the fundamental question.
    Can the Minister do this without Parliament? If the answer is, no, then there is no —
    Mr Chireh 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, there are two different functions.
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    You are talking about the operationalisation of what Parliament has decided on, and that is an administrative matter. Who holds the power of the purse?—It is Parliament.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, our own Standing Orders provides — in Standing Order 170 (1), and with your permission, I beg to quote,

    “Whenever the Committee on Finance is satisfied that there has arisen an urgent or unforeseen need for expenditure for which no other provision exists, it shall authorise advances from the Contingency Fund to meet the need and report to Parliament”.

    Mr Speaker, this is outside the traditional approval that Parliament would have given — because it is unforeseen — can we foresee everything? We cannot. So, it is outside the traditional allocations and approval. And if the Minister does so upon advice, he would have seen the Finance Committee and then would have to report to the House. That is why I think that we still need that.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, even in that case, the Constitution is allowing the Committee of Parliament to act on behalf of Parliament. So, it is approved by Parliament because the Committee does not act on its own. It is only that the Constitution says it should go ahead, and it is approved by Parliament. So, we do not need that as approved by Parliament.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if you look at article 177 (1) and I beg to quote,
    “There shall be paid into the Contingency Fund moneys voted for the purpose by Parliament; and advances may be made from that Fund which are authorised by the committee responsible for financial measures in Parliament whenever that committee is satisfied that there has arisen an urgent or unforeseen need for expenditure for which no other provision exists to meet the need.”
    Mr Speaker, as far as I am concerned, it is a decision by Parliament —
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Yes, and it is very clear. So, the “f” is unnecessary.
    We have dealt with the “f”. The “g” and so, we are waiting for the rest.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is important that we know the quantum of funds that we are talking about. If we take new clause (b), on the basis of the budget, we are talking about approximately, GH¢234 million -- 80 per cent of the Communications Service Tax (CST) as projected by the Ministry.
    The new clause (c) -- “fifteen per cent of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF)”, with an amount approximately GH¢126.6 million; five per cent of the Ghana Education Trust Fund will amount to GH¢79.3 million. So, if we accept this amendment, what we are saying is that, we are creating a situation where we give out GH¢440 million, a minimum, and say, go and spend it without telling us what you are going to spend it on.
    That is what we will be saying. But the reasons we have the issues at Savannah Accelerated Development Agency (SADA) and Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA), are precisely because of these moral hazard problems.
    For example, if you give me GH¢100 million without asking me to budget for it, I will find reasons to spend all the GH¢100 million. The neatest way to do, if it is a priority, is to say, “ Government considers this a priority—Mr Minister, come to Cabinet with a projected cost and convince us, we may even give you more.”
    Mr Speaker, if you read the budget, the Minister himself is lamenting the fact that, earmarking is bad. We are now going to do earmarking within earmarking.
    Mr Speaker that is policy inconsistency. As we speak, there is no budget that we have approved for the Youth Employment Agency. All of us know that it is a very important project, for some reasons, because the legal framework was not there -- we approved the budget —
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    That is why it is by law, and so, the other was Appropriation. But this is a latter legislation and there are rules of interpretation.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:30 p.m.
    Yes. So, — currently, the Appropriation has zero. When we approve this law, we have to find a way to operationalise it.
    Mr Speaker, it is my concern and opinion, that on the basis of economic changes -- oil revenue, lower output, lower tax revenues — even these numbers are going to change.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister has signalled that, he has been directed by the President to revise, review, call it what you may, the budget. There is going to be a new budget whether we like it. The Minister should take the window of opportunity.
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Apart from earmarking, what is your argument?
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, let me land.
    The Hon Minister for Employment and Labour Relations has the opportunity to go and make a case in the new budget, to even justify a higher amount, so that Parliament can be convinced that, especially, giving —
    Mr Speaker, I do not want us to go back to this document, but that is why he is bringing this law, for the abundance of caution, for us to monitor it. If we are going to learn any lessons, we should not appropriate without knowing what we are appropriating for.
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    So, are you in favour or opposed to it or you want further and better particulars? What is your position?
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think the Hon Minister knows — the neatest way, is to leave out, keep only (a): “moneys approved by Parliament for the Agency.” When the Minister has convinced Cabinet and he comes back with the new budget, Parliament will be compelled to the Executive's priority — it could even be more. I think they need more than GH¢440 million, and I am saying that the new clause (a) is sufficient. But they need to — if I ask right what this money is being used for, who can tell me? Nobody — it is not here; what is the justification —GH¢440 million. For what?
    Mr Speaker, I think that for the sake of transparency, good governance and accountability, the Minister should accept this amendment and just say: “moneys approved by Parliament” — I am sure when Parliament is persuaded that this money is being used properly, it would be willing to approve it.
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Majority Chief Whip and then Hon Member for Sekondi.
    Alhaji Muntaka 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to support this new clause, and in doing so, to say that, like my Hon Colleague from Old Tafo rightly mentioned, so many Agencies.
    Mr Speaker, the issue about youth unemployment, I believe all of us agree, is a very important one and there is no doubt about the challenge.
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Member, I want to remind you that, we are not at the Second Reading — the principles of the Bill. We agreed that it is important and that is why it passed through the Second Reading. Where we are now, is whether these clauses should be in the Bill.
    Alhaji Muntaka 2:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the reason I am saying this is that -- I am just building up -- saying that we all do not have doubts about the challenge but the bigger challenge that we all know is, when you do not earmark resources, usually, it is very difficult for you to have them. My Hon Colleague made the argument that, sometimes, you even earmark and the year ends without you having them. But what it means is that, when they are going to come, you definitely have what had been earmarked.
    Mr Speaker, it is to help well-co- ordinated programmes of the Youth Employment Agency. If you do not earmark and know exactly at the beginning of the year that you are going to bag roughly this amount of money, it becomes very difficult. That is why in the wisdom of the amendment, is to make sure that we have this dedicated sum, so that it will help in the planning.
    Mr Speaker, you know that for the past eight years, we have always tried to do the budgeting before the end of the year. When the budget is done and you know that this is the quantum of money that you are going to have, it will help the Agency to prioritise and be able to tell all of us what exactly they will be able to do. I know that the challenge is, if you provide that money and you do not play an effective oversight, the moneys may disintegrate and may go into the wrong hands.
    Mr Speaker, that is the essence of this whole Bill. To make sure that, there is a Board, we are all proposing that there should be even oversight committees at the district and regional levels; it is just to safeguard the resources. So, the earmarking is to make sure that there is a dedicated Fund for the quantum of the money.
    Mr Speaker, roughly, it is estimated that every year, about 50,000 students graduate from universities and poly- technics. Replacement in Agencies and Government institutions is just about 10,000. Meaning that for the past almost seven years, every year, we have well over 40,000 well trained youth from our universities, who do not have anything doing. Aside the well-trained ones, we also have the others who are dropouts from school.
    Mr Speaker, so, the quantum of money, in my view, cannot even match the challenges that are awaiting this sum. I would want to plead that for now, let us have a framework. This House can always call for this Bill to be amended. But I think that for now, we should carry on the way and the form the amendment is proposing, hoping that all of us, including Parliament will intensify our oversight to ensure that this works effectively.
    So, Mr Speaker I would urge my Colleagues to support this amendment.
    Thank you.
    Ankomah — rose
    Mr Speaker 2:40 p.m.
    Yes?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 2:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in matters of funds under our Constitution, it is only Parliament that has the authority to approve for expenditure. Normally, approval is given only after a budget has been presented, and the budget discloses Government expenditure programmes coupled with policy underpinning those programmes. Based on that, we authorise expenditure.
    Mr Speaker, we set up some funds and expenditure of those funds, by law, is governed by a formula which is approved by Parliament. Before you even expend a
    Mr Speaker 2:40 p.m.
    It should be by what?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 2:40 p.m.
    Policy, instead of law -- instead of legislation.
    Then it gives Government the flexibility and particularly at this time --
    Mr Speaker 2:40 p.m.
    I think you have made your point.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 2:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to make a last point.
    This is a typical example of policy incoherence of this Government. Where is the Minister for Finance? He is not here. Where are his deputies? None of them is here, when we are talking about finances of the country and earmarking of funds, major policy matter. This is also --
    Mr Speaker 2:40 p.m.
    Yes, Honourable -- This is coming from the Executive. To be fair to the --
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 2:40 p.m.
    No! It is not coming from the Executive, it is coming from the Chairman of the Committee.
    Mr Speaker 2:40 p.m.
    The Bill?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 12:50 p.m.
    The Bill is coming from Government but I can assure you, Mr Speaker, that in my opinion, this also demonstrates some policy incoherence. They say -- The Hon Minister comes and complains that, “Oh, we are just earmarking; our hands are tied” -- Then as a House -- I just do not appreciate it. After all, the Hon Minister will even come back with supplementary estimates; he has indicated so.
    So, I am saying that, as we have always been doing, moneys approved by Parliament, should be more than enough. This is not infrastructural development. [Interruption.] It is not infrastructural development they are talking about. So, I am inviting this House to reject subclauses (b), (c), (d) -- [Interruption.] I am saying that we should reject subclause (b). In the Communications Service Tax Act, it says, “not less than twenty per cent.”
    I believe that particular section or clause was not well considered by this

    House at that time but with the experience that we have had with GYEEDA, we should let it stay there while some of us try to bring an amendment to delete that particular section of the Communications Service Tax Act, Mr Speaker,
    Mr Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Very well --
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 12:50 p.m.
    I believe that if we do that, we will be helping this Government to stay financially prudent. [Interruption.] We will be helping the President with all his woes of lamentation and his unfulfilled promise of dumsor ending everytime -- [Uproar.] We will be assisting him --
    Mr Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Honourable --
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 12:50 p.m.
    We will be assisting him to marshal the required resources -- [Interruption.]
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 12:50 p.m.
    It will yield --
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 12:50 p.m.
    No government -- and NDC Government has no excuse! They have no excuse! -- Read my lips --
    Mr Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Hon Member for Sekondi?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 12:50 p.m.
    For not sorting dumsor.
    Mr Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    You are a senior Member of this House.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 12:50 p.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Mr Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Hon Members, I will call on the Hon Minister to respond.
    A number of issues have been raised on the floor and in responding, I will want to throw one -- I will want you to address me on the issue where the Constitution says that we should disburse the funds through a formula, whether it can be done through a law. This is because this law is subservient to the Constitution.
    With the other funds, a latter legislation can amend an earlier legislation; therefore, my attitude will be more relaxed. But in terms of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF), which is a constitutional fund, where the Constitu- tion has a particular way of disbursing it, can we disburse it through a subsidiary or a subservient legislation?
    I will want you to address that because that is a constitutional matter. So, in all these arguments that are coming up, as you respond, I will want you to address that issue.
    Mr H. Iddrisu 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, let me thank you very much and urge Hon Colleagues to support the amendment proposed by the Chair of the Committee on the source of funds for the Agency.
    Mr Speaker, having been guided by two earlier contributions from the opposite side of the aisle, let me draw you to the memory lane and with your permission, I refer you to page 233 of the 2007 Budget Statement -- some seven to eight years back. In that Budget Statement, Mr Speaker, it is significant for me to add and do some arithmetic.
    They have quoted in paragraph 712 and with your permission, I beg to quote:
    “. . . out of the total target of 175,000 jobs to have been created in its first
    year, the NYEP at the time of the launch, and four months into its operation, had created a total of 39,076 jobs.”
    Mr Speaker, this particular paragraph is significant; 2007, paragraph 1048 and with your permission, I beg to quote:
    “A sum of GH¢58.89 billion has been released from the 2006 Common Fund to the MMDA's to implement programmes to reduce youth unemployment on the country in line with the GPRS II.”
    Mr Speaker, 2007; the thought then, was to create 175,000 jobs. I am going with the comment of the Hon Ranking Member on Finance and may I indulge you to do this arithmetic. The 100,000 jobs; even to pay the young people GH¢3 million, which nobody would accept as income - - [Interruption.] The GH¢300.00 and 100,000 jobs at GH¢300.00, multiplied by 12 months, will equal GH¢360 million.
    So, this fifteen per cent of the Common Fund will not even be enough if we were to create jobs only at the level of paying persons below the minimum wage -- Just GH¢300.00. Mr Speaker, the cost of containing a crisis in this country arising out of continuous youth unemployment will be more costly and they ought to appreciate the economic cost. Therefore, to ask about what we would do with GH¢440 million --
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minority Leader, in a proposed amendment, has attempted to answer that. If you look at his new amendment, he says:
    “The Board shall prepare estimates of income and expenditure for each financial year and submit them to the Minister responsible for Finance for approval by Parliament”
    At least, he has attempted to cure the concern of how the GH¢440 million or above amount can be disbursed.
    rose
    Mr H. Iddrisu 12:50 p.m.
    The Constitution says; “there shall be established a District Assemblies Common Fund”. The Constitution did not go or proceed further to indicate how the Fund would be disbursed. It is through this august House exercising its legislative mandate that we so pass an Act, which same Act we are being called upon to do. Let him show me in the Constitution under the Decen- tralisation provisions that Mr Speaker -- [Interruption.]
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister is misleading the House. If he could refer to article 252 (3); it says; with your permission, I beg to quote:

    It is on the basis of a formula approved by Parliament. [Interruption.] A formula -- I do not know whether this amendment is a formula. Is this amendment a formula?. [Pause.]
    Mr H. Iddrisu 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I will respond to the legitimate issue you raised about a constitutional concern on whether by an Act of Parliament, we are tinkering with the Constitution. Mr Speaker, I will give you an example, which is evident.
    Indeed, Mr Speaker, the framers of this Constitution, in the same article 252 -- Mr Speaker, with your permission, I beg to quote article 252 (2), the third line; it says:
    “ . . . allocation of not less than five per cent of the total revenues of Ghana to the District Assemblies…”
    I know for a fact and I know as a matter of law, that today, this stands at seven and a half per cent. [Interruption.] How did that happen? Mr Speaker, by an Act of Parliament. [Interruption] -- By an Act of Parliament. An Act of Parliament increased this “not less than five per cent” to “seven and a half per cent”. This is because this Parliament is clothed with authority to do what it did.
    Mr Speaker --
    Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
    But the minimum is five per cent. So, you can go beyond the five per cent.
    Mr H. Iddrisu 1 p.m.
    But Mr Speaker, how do we go beyond the five per cent? We came through an Act of Parliament.
    Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
    This is because the Constitution says so.
    Mr H. Iddrisu 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we are not by this proposition seeking to amend the Constitution. Neither are we seeking to earmark -- There is already an allocation of seven and a half per cent, which would go to the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF).
    Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
    Hon Member, please, I will want us to make progress, otherwise, I will give the Chair to the First Deputy Speaker. Why do you not subject the DACF to article 250 (2)? Then that solves the problem.
    Mr H. Iddrisu 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it means that when they are coming with a formula to Parliament, they will have dedicated and reserved two per cent of it to support youth employment.
    Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
    Yes, absolutely. Once you subject this clause to article 250 (2), you have solved the problem. Then there will not be any constitutional issue. That is why I threw that issue out. But the way it is standing alone, it can become problematic.
    Mr Haruna Iddrisu 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if it solves it, it will be --
    Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
    Indeed, if you subject all those statutory Funds to their formulas and to their Acts, you have resolved all the problems and there is no legal constitutional issue that, in my view or considered opinion, will crop up anywhere.
    Mr H. Iddrisu 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, so may I, with your indulgence, say that, I seek a further amendment to the Chairman's
    proposal that 15 per cent of the DACF, as may be part of their formulas to be approved by Parliament, and say so for the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), and that will cure your concerns?
    Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
    I believe that once we get the right rendition and we subject it to the earlier law about the formula, that resolves the concern of everybody. And I think that we will be able to achieve that purpose and it will not raise the --
    rose
    Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
    Yes?
    Papa Owusu- Ankomah 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is an amendment and I do not know whether it is subject for debate because I was going to argue against even that amendment. [Interruptions.]
    Yes, I would want to know, so that in the course of debate, I know where I will stand --
    Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
    Hon Member, you have raised issues of earmarking. You said that this formula should come to Parliament. When the formula comes to Parliament, whatever we are going to use the moneys for, will be in that formula. There are specific laws dealing with these funds.
    So, when you subject these per- centages to the law, then you will have to read those two laws together to get the net effect, then you achieve your aim and all the concerns that are being raised on the floor of the House will then be addressed.
    Let them give us the proper rendition and then we can put the Question on this matter and if there is the need for a debate, we can debate it.
    So Hon Chairman, I will seriously suggest to the House that let us get the rendition. The reason we need to get the
    rendition is that, there are earlier legislations dealing with these funds.
    Once we make reference to those laws -- This is because I have looked through the Bill and there is no repeal of any section to say that those sections have been repealed. Once we make relevant references to the proper legislation, I think that we can then properly debate it.
    So, I want us to do that tomorrow; let us do a proper rendition and have it done tomorrow.
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
    Hon Majority Leader, you are welcome.
    Let me hear the Hon Minority Leader and then the Hon Majority Leader.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to believe that all that you have being doing is not to participate in the debate.
    Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
    Not at all; it is just to guide.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1 p.m.
    So, this is to be deemed as strategic guidance -- [Laughter.]
    Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
    No! Constitutional issues have been raised and we are all subject to the Constitution.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, you can guide the House suo moto, without any invitation from any of us.
    Mr Speaker, these are interesting times but perhaps, since you have provided guidance that it should be done tomorrow, we will wait for the structure and character of that formulation to deal with it.
    But before we get there, interesting issues are going to come up. Moneys that are allocated to District Assemblies are meant for the development of the districts pursuant to the decentralisation concept that you have adopted.
    Is it not possible that moneys earmarked for development at the districts be taken through the regions to the national level?
    Mr Speaker, we are not there yet.
    Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
    That is a different issue but clearly, there is precedence in this House that we have done that.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is not a precedent issue that we are talking about. We are talking about the congruent issues and not how a precedence -- If a precedence is in the House and maybe, it is wrong, do we have to follow that path? But it is something that we shall interrogate further.
    Mr Speaker, this is to the Minister. What he should be telling us is what is intended to be used. On the application of the funds, what is he looking at for, maybe, this year, to the extent that he will require this?
    In the formulation, instead of saying maybe, 80 per cent or 70 per cent, we could say up to 80 per cent or not more than 80 per cent; in which case, we will be working with him; that is for the beginning of the year. Maybe, we could be doing that, looking at the bout or the ceiling but to
    Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
    Mr Alban S. K. Bagbin 1:10 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker, actually, we are in interesting times. I have listened to the debate and some of the statements are very surprising to me.
    I think my very good Friend, Papa Owusu-Ankomah, in particular, was carried away. Maybe, there was a storm around his seat and he was carried to make a lot of statements that are unusual of him.
    But Mr Speaker, as a country, we are confronted with a serious problem, which we all acknowledge, that is, unemployment, particularly of the youth. As a result of that, the previous New Patriotic Party (NPP) regime initiated the policy to try and handle it.

    Did you read the GYEEDA Report? Are there no findings against your regime? Please, this culture of untruth is one of the challenges facing us --
    Mr Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader, address the Chair.
    Hon Members, the Hon Majority Leader is on the floor.
    Mr Bagbin 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, this is a House of debate. We can only debate when we tolerate one another.
    Mr Speaker, not all of what they said was palatable to me but I kept quiet. I listened to them but now, they are unprepared to listen to me. Why?
    I could have equally been shouting at them when they were talking -- I never did
    -- 1:10 p.m.

    Mr Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Let us listen to the Hon Majority Leader.
    Mr Bagbin 1:10 p.m.
    It is their right to disagree with me but to be shouting at me, that definitely, is unacceptable. We do not do that. [Interruption.]
    Mr Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    I thought we would listen to him and then I will give you the chance to --
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am sorry but you see --
    Mr Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    But it is true that you were carried away. [Laughter.]

    Hon Majority Leader, you are on the floor.
    Mr Bagbin 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in debating the Second Reading of this Bill, we had the opportunity to look at the GYEEDA Report and I referred to sections of the Report that made damning statements about their period. I read them on this floor. I do not have the Report now but I have a copy; I can bring it back, so that we go through it again.
    So, we all agreed that one of the problems encountered by the implementers of the policy is the lack of clarity of legal framework. I agree with the Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah that generally, we have laws guiding the utilisation of monies -- State funds, but we are looking at this specific policy. All of us agreed that there is the need for us to legislate on this matter and that is what led to the presentation of this Bill.
    Mr Speaker, in going through the Bill, we have seen there is the need for us to improve on the provisions and that is what we have all been doing together, with my Colleagues on the other side; and the Hon Minority Leader has contributed copiously to improve the Bill. This morning, we were together with --
    Mr Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Including Hon O. B. Amoah.
    Mr Bagbin 1:10 p.m.
    Yes.
    This morning, we were together with the Hon Ranking Member for the Finance Committee in my office, trying to redraft all this, to make sure that they conform to the Constitution and to the thinking of the country and not of any regime. I agree that once we have constitutional
    provisions and laws on the establishment of a number of Funds, which we want to source from, yes, we can say subject to those laws and Constitution.
    But the intention is not to create any pot of gold for anybody to be dipping his hand into. That is not the intention; it can never be the intention of any government. No government wants to be voted out of power. We want to do the right thing.
    The Hon Member said that --
    rose
    Mr Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Hon Member for Sekondi?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe the Hon Majority Leader may be mistakenly, unwittingly, unintentionally misleading this House.
    I have never said that it is to create a pot of gold for people to dip their hands in. What I said was that having regard to experience that we have had with GYEEDA, it is important that we tighten the framework, so that moneys being approved by Parliament are supported by relevant policies and programmes. That is all I have said. I have not said that it is the intention of any administration to give money --
    I will say, bearing that experience in mind, do not create opportunity -- That is all.
    Mr Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Majority Leader?
    Mr Bagbin 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hansard will be printed.

    In fact, when he --
    Mr Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Hon Member for Sekondi?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:10 p.m.
    If it were not to be that we are going to have verbatim recording of what my Hon Colleague is saying, I would have ignored it. But Mr Speaker, I have always been rationale and indeed, I am not filled with any demon; I am rather filled with the Holy Spirit. [Laughter].
    It is the Holy Spirit that uses me to make my point passionately, especially when it comes to the protection of the public funds. It is the Spirit; but as for the demons, we leave it for those who have been chanting. I do not think my Colleague, the Hon Majority Leader has ever chanted.
    But I would want to set the records straight; I am never emotional and I am very rational except that sometimes I speak with passion when it comes to some of these matters having regard to the poverty we find ourselves in this country and our efforts to raise our people from the levels of poverty.
    Mr Bagbin 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is the purpose of this legislation. To get us to legislate to make sure that the youth are employed -- meaningful employment to pull them out of poverty.
    Mr Speaker, I do agree that in trying to legislate what is already happening -- were these funds that we are talking about being applied for the purposes of youth employment? But we are trying to take away the discretion from institutions because it is a serious problem and we do not want to have the Arab Spring.
    We want to be very specific and clear in the decisions we take and that is why we are talking about percentages. But this is after consultation with the institutions applying the funds. In fact, the
    Administrator of the District Assemblies Common Fund has already written his view on this matter.
    Mr Speaker, I do agree that we should subject them to the approved formula by Parliament, that it would be 15 per cent of that. That is my position; it should be -- If you talk about 15 per cent of the District Assemblies Common Fund approved by Parliament. Now, it means the formula that we approve, it is from there that the 15 per cent will be taken.
    Mr Speaker, already, the problem is that Hon Members have not been given the data. But the Administrator of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF), if he puts at our disposal, the money spent annually on youth programmes, particularly on creation of employment, we will see that it works up to that figure of 15 per cent. That is already what is happening in practice, and so, what we are trying to do, is to legislate on that. Hon Members can look at the figures themselves.
    The point that has been raised, which is worthy of consideration is, should it be 15 per cent of the Fund or 15 per cent of the moneys that go to the Distr ict Assemblies? Part of it goes to other Agencies for other purposes but we are just trying to legislate on what is already happening. If we are to accept the position or the advice of the Administrator of the DACF, then we are to go by 10 per cent.

    Mr Speaker, my Hon Friend is heckling me from behind -- [Laughter] -- He is “foot soldiering”. -- [Laughter.]

    I realised that from the sources of funds for the Agency, the controversy is around item (c) of the new clause, which is the 15 per cent of the DACF.

    In fact, in item (b), if one goes through the Hansard, one will realise that the debate centred on the fact that the money should be used for the creation of jobs for the youth. People were using 20 per cent and others -- but in consultation with the Ministry of Finance, at least, the current Minister for Finance has shown that the Ministry does not object to that money being utilised for the creation of jobs for the youth.

    We were only looking at how much, and we decided that it is not prudent to use 100 per cent because there is the need for part of it to be used for other Agencies. The proposal was for 75 per cent, but we said it should be rounded up to 80 per cent. That is why the proposal is 80 per cent.
    Mr Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    We have agreed that they will bring a new rendition. So, we should not belabour the point, so that when the new rendition comes, we will all look at it. But I think we are building consensus on this matter.
    Hon Minister, do we bring proceedings to an end here or we should continue?
    Mr H. Iddrisu 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would respect your guidance. But as you may
    well note, much of the debate, even as we have moved beyond the principles, is still on some matters pertaining as if we were doing the Second Reading of the Bill.
    Mr Speaker, with your indulgence, having listened to the debate, since item (c) happens to be the problem, even though we will do consultation, we will, but just to be guided, item (c) willl read: “15 per cent of the DACF …”
    Mr Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Hon Minister, we will get it. Let us have them tomorrow to discuss it, and then we can have a full blown discussion and take a decision on this matter tomorrow.
    Mr H. Iddrisu 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, well noted.
    Mr H. Iddrisu 1:10 p.m.
    But Mr Speaker, just one more comment.
    It is just to assure Hon Members that if one noted for the 2015 Budget and Appropriation, there was no allocation for youth employment and for that matter, the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, because we took a major policy decision, that not until there is a legal framework to guide youth employment, there would be no disbursement from the Fund, even noting the fact that the Communications Service Tax has already been earmarked for the purpose of supporting youth employment.
    I will rest my case. But I am sure when we meet -- So, I would invite my Hon Colleagues that we continue some winnowing this evening or tomorrow morning. Then what you will probably do is to put the Question on this major issue.
    Mr Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Very well.
    Mr H. Iddrisu 1:10 p.m.
    But Mr Speaker, there are major outstanding issues including
    Mr Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    In fact, Hon Minister, we are aware of that. That is why I agreed with Leadership that when we reconvene for this Meeting, we should give priority to this Bill, and that is what we have been doing since Tuesday.
    Hon Majority Leader?
    Mr Bagbin 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the way this my Hon Friend is fired up today -- [Interruption]
    Mr Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    That brings us to the end of the Consideration Stage.
    Mr Alban S. K. Bagbin 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we have a number of committee meetings and we also have an outstanding meeting. I am told they are waiting for us at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel. That meeting will review the performance of Star Ghana Limited and its programme with Parliament. So Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this House adjourns to tomorrow at 10.00 o'clock in the forenoon, when we shall reconvene to continue with the business of the House.
    Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion for adjournment, and I believe the adjournment is well earned.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    ADJOURNMENT 1:10 p.m.