Debates of 27 Feb 2015

MR SPEAKER
PRAYERS 10:55 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Hon Members, I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate all of you on the dignified manner in which you conducted yourselve during the delivery of the State of the Nation Address yesterday.
Indeed, this House has exhibited a very high sense of maturity and decorum. Hon Members' composure throughout the period of the Address was highly commendable and impressive. It is my fervent hope that we would continue in this spirit in all our endeavours as a House in the future.
VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT 10:55 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Correction of Votes and Proceedings --
Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.


Item number 3 on the Order Paper -- Business Statement for the Fifth Week.

Yes, Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 10:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Chairman of the Business Committee is not in the House. So, I seek your permission to present the Business Statement on his behalf.
Mr Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Very well.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE 11:05 a.m.

-- 11:05 a.m.

Dr Kwabena Twum-Nuamah (Berekum East) 11:05 a.m.
To ask the Minister for Finance how many payments the Ministry has made out of the Health Insurance Levy into the Health Insurance Fund in accordance with the National Health Insurance Act, 2012 (Act 852) since January 2013, having regard to the challenges facing the National Health Insurance Authority.
Questions --
Q.213. Mr Augustine Collins Ntim (Offinso North): To ask the Minister for Finance what measures have been put in place to ensure that the release of the National Health Insurance Levy by the Ministry of Finance to the National Health Insurance Authority is done without delay and in accordance with Act 852.
Q.235. Mr Isaac Kwame Asiamah (Atwima Mponua): To ask the Minister for Finance if allocations have been made in the 2014 Budget to subsidise petroleum products and if so, where they are lodged.
Q.236. Mr Kennedy Nyarko Osei (Akim Swedru): To ask the Minister for Finance whether the Ministry will as a matter of urgency, consider briefing the House on the total tax revenues collected by Government from January to June 2014 and any
challenges being encountered in the collection.
Q.237. Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah (Akuapim South): To ask the Minister for Finance the number of State-owned Enterprises divested since 2009 and the details of such divestiture.
Q.358. Mr Benito-Owusu-Bio (Atwima- Nwabiagya North): To ask the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources what measures the Ministry is putting in place to prevent the young trees planted years ago from being destroyed by bushfires.
Q.359.Mr Benito Owusu-Bio (Atwima- Nwabiagya North): To ask the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources when the construction of the proposed new Lands Commission headquarters building will commence.
Q.360. Mr Yaw Owusu-Boateng (Asene- Akroso/Manso): To ask the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources measures the Ministry is putting in place in the non-mining communities along the Birim Basin to safeguard the natural resources like diamonds and protect the environment.
Statements --
Consideration Stage of Bills --
Intestate Succession Bill, 2013. (Continuation of debate)
Committee sittings.

Urgent Questions --

(a) Mr Eric Kwakye Darfour (Nkawkaw): To ask the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing what steps the Ministry

is taking to replace the five (5) submersible pumps out of the seven (7) that have broken down and consequently causing water shortage in the Nkawkaw town.

(b) Mr Benito Owusu-Bio (Atwima- Nwabiagya North): To ask the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing whether the Ministry is aware that the Ghana Water Company Limited's land next to the 37 Military Hospital is being developed into apartments by a private developer and if so, why?

Questions --

*260. Alhaji Habibu Tijani Mohammad (Yendi): To ask the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing when the expansion works on the Yendi Water Supply System will be started.

*261. Mr Hennric David Yeboah (Afigya Sekyere East): To ask the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing when the Agona-Jamasi Water Project will be completed.

*292. Mr Justice Joe Appiah (Ablekuma North): To ask the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing what steps the Ministry has taken to forestall the periodic flooding in Sakaman.

Statements --

Motions --

Second Reading of Bills --

Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Bill, 2014.

Minerals Development Fund Bill,

2014.

Consideration Stage of Bills --

Intestate Succession Bill, 2013. (Continuation of debate)

Committee sittings.

PUBLIC HOLIDAY (Independence Day)
Dr Anthony A. Osei 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I noticed that the Business Statements up to date have not given any indication as to when the Hon Minister for Finance and the Hon Minister for Petroleum, pursuant to the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, (PRMA) would lay the Paper to allow Parliament to approve the programmes of activities of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC). At the passage of the budget, there was an agreement that for the budget to be passed, they should work on it, so that when we come back, we can look at it.
We are at the end of February, scheduled to rise on March, 27th and that has not been done. So, technically speaking, GNPC cannot engage in any programmes and activities because we have not passed it. We passed the Act and we ought to see to its enforcement. I think when a consensus and agreement are reached, Leadership should make sure that it is pursued. I am getting very worried. So, I would want the Business Committee to respond to this very important matter.
As of now, two months, no show; we have one more month to go. We understand a Budget Statement might be coming. When is it going to come?
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, just to take note and assure my Hon Colleague that, while I would convey this to the Hon Minister for Finance, not just GNPC, but the Hon Minister who would also come to place even a review of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act itself. I am aware that, a committee of Cabinet is finalising work on that. But I would convey the strong concerns on this specific matter of GNPC, so that they have a role to play in us finding an immediate solution to the current energy challenge in the country. It would be accordingly conveyed.
We would also come for a review of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act and matters of the four priority areas to be defined pursuant to Act 815.
I thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, let us hear from one or two members, so that when you come in, you can take them on board.
Mr Justice J. Appiah 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it is in connection with the House Committee; it has been a long time since we met.
Mr Speaker, the Committee on Works and Housing paid a working visit to the new edifice, that is the “Job 600”. Mr Speaker, when we went there, it looked as if there are a lot of work to be done there before we take possession of the offices. Hon Members are still conducting business in their car booths.
So Mr Speaker, I would wish to appeal to the Leadership and the House Committee, if we could also have an emergency meeting to discuss this issue, so that at least, we can get offices for Hon Members, to be happy and conduct business in their own offices.
Dr Matthew O. Prempeh 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, my concern is about the Hon Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Relations when he seeks to --
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Is that the title of your Ministry, Hon Minister?
Mr H. Iddrisu 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, he would give the appropriate title sooner if you gave him the opportunity. It is “Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations”.
Dr Prempeh 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, why would the name not get some of us in this House confused? The name keeps changing like yoyo.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister for Employment and Labour Relations seeks to give a piece of information and after that, gives an assurance.
Mr Speaker, I thought the Hon Minister would realise that, as the Petroleum Management Act stands, by now, the GNPC accounts budget for the year should be approved by Parliament? They should bring their budget first, their spending --
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon Member, please, please --
Dr Prempeh 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I agree that these things must be worked out -- but they are spending at the blind side of the House.
Mr Speaker, before we go on and even review or amend the Act, they should follow what we have passed. That is all I seek to see.
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon Members, why should you be worried about this?
Dr Prempeh 11:05 a.m.
We have been worried for two months.
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
You have an oversight responsibility; there is a law governing the matter. If it is true that somebody is in breach of this, there are consequences.
Mr Daniel Nii K. Titius-Glover 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, for three weeks running --
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Which matter?
Mr Titus-Glover 11:05 a.m.
It is about your own report.
Last week, my Hon Colleague, Hon Annoh-Dompreh raised the issue and the Hon Majority Leader did apologise and promised that he was going to programme it. Why should you give instructions that are not followed? Mr Speaker, that is my concern and my worry. I do not get it. With all due respect, the Leadership and the Business Committee should programme it and tell us something, other than that, with respect --
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon Member for Tema East, is there any Member of that Committee here? Hon Member for Sekondi, are you a member of that Committee?
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 11:05 a.m.
I am sorry, Mr Speaker, I was not paying attention. What committee?
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
The Committee that we put in place to look into the light -- you remember you raised an issue with regard to, when we were having proceedings and the lights went off. We said we would put in place a committee, even though since that time, we have never had any problem. The committee was put in place, but they need to come and brief the House.
I believe you are a member of that committee?
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am not aware that I am a member of a committee; it has not been brought to my attention. Probably, the Table Office
would look through the minutes and then call the attention of the membership of that committee, so that it can meet.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
I am in consultation with the Clerks-at-the-Table based on what the Hon Member for Sekondi has said, whether they have communicated to them. When I get that information, next week, at the Business Statement time, if no action is taken by that time, I will inform the House accordingly.
Mr Titus-Glover 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much. I will take your word.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Member for Ho West?
Mr Emmanuel K. Bedzrah 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, 3rd March, 2015 will be the day to elect our Assembly Members for the various electoral areas. I thought the Business Committee would consider relaxing the rules and allow some of us who are far from Accra to go and vote for our various Assembly Members. We have been asked to come back on Tuesday. I would want to find out from the Business Committee, Mr Speaker, whether we can go and vote or we would have to Sit on Tuesday.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Mr Agbesi 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, on 3rd March, 2015, the District Assembly elections are scheduled to take place. The Business Committee considered the matter but realised that, the day has not been declared a public holiday. So, the Committee scheduled that day as a working day. The Committee appeals to Hon Members, that since it is not a public holiday, we should be able to do our duty.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Member, you are presenting a Business Statement to the House. You are not presenting a Business Statement to the people who are in and around Accra. You are presenting a Business Statement to the House made up of representatives of all Ghanaians.
Mr Agbesi 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, Tuesday, 3rd March, 2015 is not a public holiday. The House is deemed to Sit. We are working on Tuesday. That is why we are appealing -- We know people cannot go and vote in, say, Tamale and Bolgatanga and return to the House. But to a great extent, those who are in and around Accra should come and let us do business.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Member for Offinso North?
Mr Augustine C. Ntim 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we are discussing the Business Statement of the first week of the first quarter of 2015. But then, there is no indication when the statutory Funds -- the Distr ict Assemblies Common Fund (DACF), Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) and the other Funds are coming to this House for approval. It is very important that we have that appropriated, so that the people we know, would be able to spend within what has been appropriated to them. So, if the Hon Deputy Majority Leader can give us any explanation why we have no idea when the statutory Funds are coming to this House for us to discuss.
Mr Agbesi 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Committee and Leadership are in touch with the various institutions, which are to present information on these Funds to the House. I believe that by the next Business
Committee meeting, this will be programmed and Hon Members will know when they will come before the House.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the truth of the matter is, if the budget is going to be reviewed, it will certainly reflect in whatever should be going into these Funds. It means that, not until we are through with it, we cannot even be sure of how much will be going to those Funds.
I would think that, when we are through with it, then we would be positioned to deal with those Funds. I would want to believe that in the ensuing week, the reviewed budget may come and whatever it takes, by the close of March, we should be able to settle that matter before Parliament recesses. That should be the indication from the Hon Deputy Majority Leader.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Member for Old Tafo?
Dr A. A. Osei 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I posed the question to the Hon Deputy Majority Leader. The Hon Minister for Employment and Labour Relations took note, but the Hon Deputy Majority Leader has not specifically addressed my issue. Can he address that matter, now that the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance is right behind him?
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Member for Old Tafo, to be fair to the Business Committee, they programme business that is put before them. If the business is not put before them, they do not programme it. When a Minister is in the House and he wants to assist in trying to give some information, then that Minister might even be in a better position than --
Dr A. A. Osei 11:15 a.m.
The difference is that, the House agreed that, this business would be programmed as early as possible before we rose. So, it was automatic.
Mr Agbesi 11:15 a.m.
The Hon Member should not worry at all. This matter was not discussed at the last Business Committee meeting. But in the subsequent meeting, it would be discussed and the Hon Minister accordingly programmed to appear before us.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am raising this point, particularly given the statement by the Hon Minister that it has implications for the purchase of emergency barge which the President spoke about yesterday. That is why I am worried that it needs to come very quickly. We remember what the President said. So, please --
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, take the issue on board and try to do the necessary background check and --
Mr Agbesi 11:15 a.m.
Very well, Mr Speaker. We will take it on board.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Let me find out from the Business Committee.
When do you intend we start the debate on the State of the Nation Address? I have not seen it in the Business Statement.
Mr Agbesi 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we intend to begin the debate the following week -- not this one. The next week.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
It is important -- the week after next week?
I will like to clarify this position about the business for -- Very well, Tuesday. It is quite light.
Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it is important that 24 hours after the State of the Nation Address has been read to us, we should have copies of them. We do not have them and today is Friday. Hon Members should be able to carry them to their respective places to ponder over it. If there are going to be appropriate responses, we should begin to arm ourselves beginning next week.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Mr Agbesi 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I did not hear the Hon Minority Leader.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
They have not got copies of the State of the Nation Address.
Mr Agbesi 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we will make efforts to get it to Hon Members as early as possible.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, this answer, with respect to my Hon Colleague, is not enough.
Mr Speaker, Hon Members will be going to their constituencies this afternoon and we are expected in their local surgeries to relate to what the President stated in this House.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:25 a.m.
We do not want any episodes of page 28. Let us have them and go to the various constituencies with them. Some of the Hon Members will be at various radio stations and they are supposed to talk on the issues raised by the President -- relevance and non relevance of some of them, people are expected to deal with them. He cannot say that “as early as possible” -- By the close of day, Hon Members should have them; that should be the response from the Hon Deputy Majority Leader, as the acting Leader of Government Business.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, when a President delivers an Address on the state of the nation and submits a copy to Mr Speaker, it is deemed that that Paper had been laid. And we know our rules; Papers can be laid only after sufficient copies exist for Hon Members of Parliament.
Inferentially, when the President submits the Address to Mr Speaker, it is deemed that sufficient copies are available in this House. That is the point that he is not getting. So, he cannot say that we should wait until Monday, when Hon Members who are supposed to be speaking to the issues go to their constituencies.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Hon Member for Sekondi, before the Hon Deputy Majority Leader.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I agree with the Hon Minority Leader but more importantly, he personally knows that this is not the first time the President has delivered a message on the state of the nation and it does not take four days for Hon Members to have copies.
If the Hon Deputy Majority Leader, the pro tem Leader of Government business is telling us that, he is going to make the effort, then he has woefully failed in his duty as the Hon Deputy Leader of

Government Business. Mr Speaker, he ought to make this arrangement even before the President delivered his Address. That is how it goes and not to wait for the matter to prevail on the floor of the House and then he would tell the House that he is to make an arrangement and if we are lucky, we would get it on Monday. Mr Speaker, that is most unacceptable.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
I heard that the Hon Deputy Majority Leader was your classmate?
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Majority Leader is my classmate and he was also a socialist -- [Laughter.]
Mr Agbesi 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would not be provoked into that argument.
Mr Speaker, tomorrow is a Saturday, if not, we could have informed Hon Members that tomorrow, they would all have copies of the Address. That was why I mentioned Monday, so that if by close of day, we are unable to get it, on Monday, Hon Members would get it.
So, I can assure you-- I believe the Government Assurances Committee Chairman will not take me to task. On Monday, we will do everything possible to get it for Hon Members. We are aware this is not the first time an Address -- When we are told that the following day, we would get copies but we never had them. My Hon Colleague --
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, can you use the wrongs of the past to justify the actions of today? Hon
Members want copies of the Address. I have a copy. So, if there are challenges, let me know. The main thing is to make an arrangement to make copies available to Hon Members as early as possible.
Mr Agbesi 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we shall do that.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
The last comment on the Business Statement?
Dr Prempeh 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I know for a fact that, you have admitted certain Questions, which are urgent and the Business Committee did it -- one on the environment and then this -- It did not appear. Mr Speaker, it is a burning matter that needs to be addressed.
Mr Speaker, the second point I would want to raise is that, the fees and charges, L.I. that was made and purportedly run, up till now, nobody in this House has a copy. Mr Speaker, it is not right. Some of us have been looking for that L.I. since December.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
You are in charge of Government Business, so, take note and make sure that Hon Members get enough copies.
Mr Agbesi 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we will talk to the Clerks-at-the-Table and see what we can do about it.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Very well.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the answer to this enquiry is not simply to say “I am taking note”. What explains it that the House finds itself in such a limbo? The Acting Leader of Government Business is not aware. We need a better explanation from the Hon Deputy Majority Leader than what he had said. [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, I would want to tell the Chairman of the Finance Committee that he is not in charge. I am talking to the Acting Leader of the House and not him. So, he should refrain from such wild gesticulations.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
The rules are very clear. Once a Paper is laid, it means there are sufficient copies. That is why it has been laid. So, if Hon Members raise this issue, it is a legitimate concern. If you do not have sufficient copies, you do not lay them.
But then, if you lay them and there is any reason Hon Members are not getting copies, you should be able to explain to Hon Members. I thought the Chairman of the Subsidiary Legislation Committee is in the House? So, find out from him what the situation is.
Dr Prempeh 11:25 a.m.
The Chairman of the Subsidiary Legislation Committee even went to the Assembly Press and they said it was not ready. He went there two days ago.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker --
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Let me hear from the Hon Member for Ketu North, then I will call you and then you will wind up.
Mr James Klutsey Avedzi 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minority Leader made reference to the Chairman of the Finance Committee and I do not know what he is talking about. So, if he can come up clearly. This is because I did not talk to him. I did not make any statement but he made reference to me.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, he himself knows what he was engaged in, making wild gesticulations that the Hon Deputy Majority Leader did not know. I said that I am not addressing him, so he should restrain himself. That is what I said. He knows, for Heaven's sake, what he was doing. He cannot pretend not to know what he himself was engaged in.
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader, I did not do anything that is on record. He did not do or say anything that is on record.
Anyway, Hon Member for Sekondi?
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the observations you made about the Papers. But there is also a fundamental matter here relating to our Standing Orders, which I would want to bring to the attention of the House.
Mr Speaker, Standing Order 75 (1) says 11:35 a.m.
“As soon as sufficient copies of a Paper for distribution to Members have been received in the Office of the Clerk notice of the presentation of that Paper may be placed on the Order Paper, and as soon as Mr Speaker announces “Papers for Presentation” the Paper shall be deemed to have been laid on the Table.”
What it means is that, if the Office of the Clerk has not received sufficient copies, that Paper ought not to be laid. Of course, I understand the practicalities of the problems that may face us - But for an important Paper like Fees and Charges (Amendment) Act to be laid without sufficient copies having probably been received by the Clerk before it is placed on the Order Paper, is very serious.
If that is the way the Government is going to behave, then of course, we should not grant the Government any leeway when it comes to the laying of Papers.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, given the seriousness of this matter, especially when we are informed that the Chairman of the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation undertook to go to the Government publishers and was told that

it was not ready. He, the Chairman is not here to respond to that. It should be your directive; and I am making the application, that this Paper would have to be re-laid in this House. We are not going to countenance this kind of impunity.
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader, I would like to talk to the Chairman of the Subsidiary Legislation Committee, based on that, if I have to make an order, I will make it.
Let me hear from the Chairman of the Committee because this is unusual. Unfortunately, he is not in the House. So, I will try and talk to him, get a briefing from him and then based on that, if there is any order from the Chair, the Chair will make it next week.
Hon Members, thank you very much.

As far as parliamentary days are concerned, it is ending on the fifth and not on the sixth. Your Report says sixth. But our week is ending on the fifth.

Hon Deputy Majority Leader, our week is ending on the 5th of March because, 6th of March is a holiday and the House will not be Sitting. Do you get the point I am making?
Mr Agbesi 11:35 a.m.
The 6th of March is a holiday. Yes, I already --
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Your Report is saying that, it ends on the 6th of March and I am saying that, it cannot end on the 6th of March because the House will not be Sitting on the 6th. So, you are amending the Report accordingly? That is the question I am putting to you.
Mr Agbesi 11:35 a.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker. I think that we need to amend the Business Statement.
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Very well.
Hon Members, thank you very much.
Business Statement accordingly adopted.
Hon Members, Question time.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I just spoke to the Chairman of the Subsidiary Legislation Committee and he said that yes, the document was made, purportedly at least, in this House in December and it is maturing next week. He went to the Assembly Press and he was told that --
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader, I want us to meet the Chairman of the Committee.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:35 a.m.
Unfortunately Mr Speaker, he is now in Aburi, his constituency. But we can talk to him and hear his side.
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Let us talk to him --
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:35 a.m.
We will be in your Chamber -- and confer with him, then we will know what to do.
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Absolutely. Thank you very much.
Hon Members, we have the Hon Minister for Roads and Highways in the House to respond to Questions from Hon Members.
We start with Question number 195, standing in the name of the Hon Member for Atebubu Amantin.
Hon Member, you have the floor.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS 11:35 a.m.

MINISTRY OF ROADS AND 11:35 a.m.

HIGHWAYS 11:35 a.m.

Minister for Roads and Highways (Alhaji Inusah A. B. Fuseini) 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker,
Background
The Nkoranza (Asekye Junction) -- Busunya-Dramankese-Atebubu Road is 100 kilometres in length. It is a gravel road and located within the Nkoranza North District.
The inhabitants along the stretch of the road are farmers and cultivate yam and maize.
Current Programme:
Fifteen kilometres of the road from Asekye Junction through Busunya, the district capital, was awarded for upgrading on 6th December, 2012 for completion by 21st August, 2014. Primerseal and 40 per cent seal works are completed. The contractor has all the materials at site to complete the remaining works within three months.
The remaining 85 kilometres of the road are being maintained as part of the Ghana Highways Authority routine maintenance works.
Future programme
The remaining 85 kilometres will be programmed and upgraded in phases commencing in 2016.
Mr Nanja 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, even though he says the road is programmed for 2016, since the road is normally not motorable during the rainy season, food crops are locked up on the farms and residents of the area are not able to even come to Atebubu, the distr ict capital, what immediate measures is the Ministry putting in place before 2016?
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Please, ask your Question again.
Alhaji Fuseini 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we have said that the Ministry of Roads and Highways, acting through the Ghana Highways Authority would continue to maintain the road under the routine maintenance programme until 2016 when we start the construction in phases.
Mr Nanja 11:35 a.m.
My question is that, during the rainy season, the people are not able to come to Atebubu and their crops are locked up on the farms. The routine maintenance the Hon Minister is talking about, because of the continuous grading, all the gravel on the soil is lost. Whenever it rains and even when they grade it, it worsens their plight.
So, I am asking, what immediate measures can be taken to avert this situation, so that during the rainy season, they are not cut off. This is because we have one rainy season before 2016.
Alhaji Fuseini 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the programme that we had is routine maintenance for that road. But in view of what he is saying, we would dispatch the engineers of the Ministry of Roads and Highways and in particular, Ghana Highways Authority to go and assess the situation and see what immediate measures can be put in place. This is because by his explanation, it appears that, they might require some drains and culverts because of the rains. So, we will send engineers there to see what exactly can be done before the rainy season, to forestall the cutting off of the road.
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Hon Member, your last supplementary question.
Hon Members, we now move to Question numbered 196.
Hon Member, you have the floor.
Atebubu- Kwame Danso Road (Completion )
Q.196. Mr Sanja Nanja asked the Minister for Roads and Highways when the construction works on the Atebubu - Kwame Danso Road would be completed.
Alhaji Fuseini 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker,
Background
The Atebubu-Kwame Danso-Kwadwo- krom road is 100 kilometres long. This is the only road that links the Volta Lake enclave, a major food producing area in the Sene District of the Brong -Ahafo Region.
The road traverses the entire enclave, and therefore, serves as a vital link between the farming communities and the urban centres, like Atebubu and Kwame Danso.
Current Programme
The upgrading of Atebubu-Kwame Danso section, which is 30.8kilotres commenced on 26th January, 2012 for completion by 25th January, 2014.
On 11th April 2013, the contractor suspended works as a result of delayed payment of interim payment certificates. Currently, the contractor has been fully paid and has moved to site to continue with the remaining works.
The contractor has applied for extension of time and submitted a new programme of works to complete the project by the close of 2015.
Future Programme
Procurement of upgrading of kilometre 30-100, that is, from Kwame Danso- Kwadwokrom is in progress.
Mr Nanja 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, in view of the fact that the contractor has asked for an extension within 2015 to complete, I would like to ask the Hon Minister if he can give us the exact time in 2015.
Alhaji Fuseini 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the revised date of completion is 25th January, 2016.
Mr Nanja 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, since the contractor left the site somewhere last year because of funds, I would want to know from the Minister if the required funds are available for the completion of the project without further delay.
Alhaji Fuseini 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, is he asking whether there would be funds?
Mr Nanja 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I asked whether the required funds are available for the work to be completed without further delay.
Alhaji Fuseini 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the project has received commencement certificate and it is one of the commitments of the Ministry of Finance to pay for works done when interim certificate issues are raised. And so, on that basis, I can say that we have funds available for the completion of the project.
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Hon Members --
Constituency-specific --
Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it has some national dimension.
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Very well.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister has indicated to us that the upgrading of the 30.8 kilometres stretch of the road commenced on the 26th of January, 2012, and it was meant to be completed on 25th January, 2014. This means that works programmed, scheduled for completion within two years.
Now, he comes to say on 11th April, 2013, the contractor suspended work as a result of delayed payment of interim payment certificates. Which means that just about a year into the contract period, the contractors suspended work as a result of none or delayed payment of the interim payment certificate.
Mr Speaker, that has been the frequent occurrence and we would want the Hon Minister to explain to us what underlines this -- what explains the delayed payment of the interim payment certificate? This is because, it is all over, and contractors have to suspend works before they go back to site. Is he telling us that currently, that is, two years after the suspension, the contractor is going back to site? It is nationwide and we would want to know what explains it.
Mr Speaker, may I note that the hat that the Hon Minister is wearing appears to be longer than the roads he is constructing.
Alhaji Fuseini 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am unable to provide reasons the contractors are delayed in the payment claims they make from the Ministry of Roads and Highways.
The normal procedure is, when the contractor submits the interim payment certificate to the Ministry of Roads and Highways, it is processed and forwarded to the Ministry of Finance for payment. The payment actually takes place at the Ministry of Finance and I do not know
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister is an Hon Member of Parliament and he is saying that he is a chief?
Mr Speaker, that is a breach of the Constitution.
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Hon Member, are you a chief as defined under the relevant chapter of the Constitution? -- [Laughter.]
Alhaji Fuseini 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I thought --
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Please, are you a chief as defined under the the relevant chapter of the Constitution and the Chieftaincy Act?
Alhaji Fuseini 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am a chief but not defined within the context of the relevant provision of the 1992 Constitution. This is because I do not hail from the appropriate family or lineage and I do not occupy a stool or skin created under the Chieftaincy Act.
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Question numbered 197?
Hon Member for Dome Kwabenya.

Construction of Dome Market Road

Q.197. Ms Sarah Adwoa Safo asked the Minister for Roads and Highways what plans the Ministry had to commence the construction of the Dome Market road at Dome.
Alhaji Fuseini 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Dome- Kwabenya road is a major collector linking the Accra - Nsawam road at St. John's Grammar SHS to the Accra - Aburi road at Kitase through Brekusu. It also serves as the main road to the Dome market, which is the main market serving Taifa, Kwabenya, Dome and surrounding areas. The state of this road has been in a bad state for a while.
The collapse of the culvert close to the Atomic roundabout in the early hours of 17th June, 2014, compounded the problem, causing a lot of inconvenience to commuters and residents alike who had to detour in order to reach their destinations.
Current Programme
The existing collapsed culvert has been replaced with a 4M X 2.5 M reinforced concrete box. The deteriorated section of the road between the St. John's Grammar SHS junction to the railway line, after the Dome market, which is 1.1 kilometres, is also being rehabilitated.
Ms Safo 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, based on the Answer given by the Hon Minister, in the opening paragraph, he states and I beg to quote:
“The Dome-Kwabenya road is a major collector linking the Accra- Nsawam road at St. John's Grammar
SHS to the Accra-Aburi road at Kitase through Brekusu”.
Mr Speaker, in the last line of that same opening paragraph, he states that the state of this road has been in a bad state for a while.
Mr Speaker, based on this Answer, I would want to ask the Hon Minister, when is the estimated period of completion of the works that have begun on the road.
Alhaji Fuseini 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, with the activities that are intended to be undertaken on the road, pothole patching, doing of drains and rehabilitation of certain sections of the road, it is anticipated that by the close of 2015, the whole road would be resurfaced and they would be in reliable state for road users.
Ms Safo 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would also want to find out from the Hon Minister, whether the contractor who has been given this award for the construction of the road is being paid on time in order to stay to the schedule within which he is supposed to complete the work. This is because there are roads in my constituency, where contractors have started and they are complaining of lack of payments from Government.
So, I would want to ask the Hon Minister, is the contractor in charge of the Dome market road being paid on time in order for him to keep to the schedule for the completion of the work.
Alhaji Fuseini 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, Yes. The contractor is being paid on time, and he has not yet brought to our attention that there has been delayed payments.
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Hon Member, your last supplementary question.
Ms Safo 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, my question focused on the Dome market road, but it is a long link and so, in the Answer provided by the Hon Minister, he
mentioned the collapse of a bridge on the 17th June, 2014. But in his Answer, under subtitle, “Current Programme”, he made the assertion that, and I beg to quote;
“The existing collapsed culvert has been replaced with a 4M X 2.5 M reinforced concrete box.”
Mr Speaker, that presupposes that the work is completed. I use that road a lot, and the Hon Minister's Answer suggests that it is complete but that bridge has not yet been completed. The constituents who are using those roads, including myself and those coming from Nsawam, Adoagyiri and surrounding areas, would want to find out from the Hon Minister, when that bridge would be completed.
Alhaji Fuseini 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I also use that road and that box culvert has been done and partially opened to traffic. What is left, is backfill.
Mr Speaker, until the culvert was done, road users had to detour. But now, one can move from St. John's Grammar SHS up to the Atomic Filling Station without doing any detour, except that we have not done all the backfill. That is what I said in the Answer, that the contractor is backfilling it.
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Hon Members, let us move to the next Question.
Hon Members, these are constituency- specific Questions.
Question numbered 198.
Bipoa/Bedomase/Afomaso/Agona Roads (Construction)
Q.198. Mr Hennric David Yeboah asked the Minister for Roads and Highways what plans the Ministry had to construct the road from Bipoa through Bedomase, Afomaso to Agona in the Afigya Sekyere East Constituency.
Alhaji Fuseini 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Bepoa- Bedomase-Aframanso-Agona Feeder Road is 3.1kilometres long and is located in the Sekyere South District of the Ashanti Region. It is a connector road linking the Agona - Wiamoase Feeder Road and the Mampong - Agona - Kumasi trunk road.
The road has a gravel surface which is in a poor condition.
Current Programme
Routine maintenance works will be carried out on the road as part of our 2015 maintenance programme to improve the surface condition.
Future Programme
Engineering studies will be carried out on the road in the second quarter of 2015. The outcome of the studies will determine the appropriate intervention that needs to be undertaken subject to the availability of funds.
Mr Yeboah 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, there is a correction here. The road map has nothing to do with Mampong-Agona-Kumasi trunk road. It is far. This is the question, what type of routine maintenance work would be carried out?
Alhaji Fuseini 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the routine maintenance programme that we have, come in various shapes. We can do a total rehabilitation of the road or a resurfacing, but that would be routine maintenance. We would look at what appropriate interventions we can do on that road to bring the road surface to a good condition.
Mr Yeboah 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Minister is not giving the right answer. He has to know that gravel routine maintenance — He has to say something. We have so many types of routine maintenance. So, he should say something —
Mr Speaker 12:05 p.m.
What is your question?
Mr Yeboah 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to know the type of routine maintenance to be undertaken on the road.
Alhaji Fuseini 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, this is a gravel road. So, the routine maintenance will never be pothole patching. It is a gravel road. That is why I am saying that, because it is a gravel road and the surface condition is poor, when we do routine maintenance, we can do an overlay of gravel on the road, or rehabilitation of the road.
We would go and do the appropriate routine maintenance that would bring the road to a good condition.
Mr Speaker 12:05 p.m.
Hon Member, your last supplementary question.
Mr Yeboah 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, that was a follow-up but not a question. I am left with two questions.
Mr Speaker, the road is very slippery. So, what works would be carried out to solve the slippery surface of the three hilly sections along the road.
Alhaji Fuseini 12:05 p.m.
Do you mean the road is slippery now or in the rainy season?
Mr Yeboah 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it has been slippery for a long time now when it rains. They have three hilly areas.
Alhaji Fuseini 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, generally, gravel roads in the rainy season are slippery, because they are loose surfaces. So, if you are driving fast on the road, you must be careful.
What we are saying is that, we will do routine maintenance on the road but for road safety purposes, it behoves us to advise drivers in the rainy season to be more cautious when driving on gravel surfaced roads.
Mr Yeboah 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, will the studies include tarring of the road?
Alhaji Fuseini 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the long- time objective of the Ministry of Roads and Highways is to ensure all roads that can be tarred are tarred. So, when we do the studies on this road and find the reasons to tar it after it has been done, we will definitely tar it.
Mr Speaker 12:05 p.m.
Question numbered 199; Hon Member for Afigya Kwabre South?
Nana Amaniampong Marfo 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am asking this Question on behalf of Hon Owuraku Aidoo, who is on an assignment at Royal Senchi. He belongs to the Energy Committee and he has asked me to stand in for him. By your permission, I would want to go ahead and ask the Question on his behalf.
Mr Speaker 12:05 p.m.
Hon Member, under what Standing Orders are you asking the Question on behalf of the Hon Member?
Nana Marfo 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, he is not here and he asked me to do so.
Mr Speaker 12:05 p.m.
Very good.
So, you ask that he has authorised you to ask the Question. But you did not make the point, you said that you wanted to ask the Question on his behalf.
Nana Marfo 12:05 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker for your direction.
Fawoade and Adwumakaase Kese Road (Tarring)
Q199 Nana Amaniampong Marfo (on behalf of Mr William Owuraku Aidoo) asked the Minister for Roads and Highways when the road between Fawoade and Adwumakaase Kese would be tarred.
Mr Fuseini 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker,
Background
The Fawoade-Adwumakaase Kese Feeder Road forms part of the Fawoade- Adwumakaase Kese- Aboabogya Feeder Road which is 8.80 kilometres long. It is located in the Afigya Kwabre District of the Ashanti Region. It is a gravel surface road with a fair surface condition.
A contract was awarded in August, 2007 for the bituminous surfacing of this road. However, the contract was terminated in July, 2013 due to the poor performance of the contractor.
Current Programme
The outstanding works have been repackaged to be re-awarded as part of the 2015 programme.
Meanwhile, routine maintenance works will be carried out on the road while awaiting the award of the outstanding works.
Nana Marfo 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to find out whether the Hon Minister is aware that for a private individual to give his father a befitting burial, had actually graded the road and put on gravel. All that is left, is to put on bitumen. From the Answer that he is giving, it looks as if he is not current with the development on the road as of now.
Mr Speaker 12:05 p.m.
Hon Minister, are you aware?
Alhaji Fuseini 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am not aware that a private individual has constructed the road at his own expense.
Mr Speaker 12:05 p.m.
Hon Member, continue with your supplementary question.
Mr Speaker 12:05 p.m.
Hon Member, what is your question?
Nana Marfo 12:05 p.m.
My question is that, I asked him whether he knew that somebody -- [Interruption] -- if he does not know -- and I would want to know, now that he knows, what steps is he taking to make sure that bitumen is put on the road.
Alhaji Fuseini 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we are just being informed that a private person at his own expense has gone to put gravel and constructed the road and now, it is left with bitumen.
First of all, what we will do is to go and assess the integrity of the road as constructed by the private person. Our plans at the Ministry of Roads and Highways is to repackage the entire road and re-award it. We know that it is a very important road and that it ought to be well constructed and tarred.
Nana Marfo 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to find out from the Hon Minister how soon he is going to do that. That is very important.
Alhaji Fuseini 12:05 p.m.
Very, very soon. [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker 12:05 p.m.
Question number 200?
Nana Marfo 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, with your kind permission, I also want to ask this Question on behalf of Hon Aidoo.
Tarring of Kodie-Aduman- Aboabugya Road
Nana Amaniampong Marfo (on behalf of Mr William O. Aidoo) asked the Minister for Roads and Highways when the Kodie - Aduman - Aboabugya road would be tarred.
Alhaji Fuseini 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker,
Background
The Kodie - Aduman - Aboabogya feeder road is 4.8 kilometres long and is located in the Afigya Kwabre District of the Ashanti Region. The road begins from Kodie on the Kumasi-Techiman trunk road through Aduman to link the Pankrono - Aboabogya - Kwamang feeder road.
It has a gravel surface, which is in a fair condition.
Current Programme
The Department of Feeder Roads does not have a programme to upgrade the road to a bituminous surface. However, routine maintenance works will be carried out on the road as part of our 2015 maintenance programme to improve on the surface condition.
Future Programme
Engineering studies will be carried out on the road in the second quarter of 2015. The outcome of the studies will determine the appropriate intervention that needs to be undertaken subject to the availability of funds.
Nana Marfo 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not know whether the Minister knows that Aduman, which is a town in that district through which that road passes, has a secondary school which is almost 50 years old and has a population of more than 3,500
students. I believe per the rules governing this itenary of networks, as far as the roads are concerned, any community which has such a facility, is supposed to have its roads pimped.
Given this information, if he did not know, what is he going to do about it?
Alhaji Fuseini 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I have said that engineering studies would be carried out on the road, meaning that the road is not yet engineered and so, when that is done, we would go further to tar it.
It is our intention to be able to intervene for all communities which need tarred roads but the limitation is the availability of funds. So, when funds are available and the engineering stages are done, we would go to see how we can intervene to tar the road.
Nana Marfo 12:15 p.m.
Thank you Mr Speaker for the opportunity. -- [Pause.]
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, first of all, I may want the Hon Minister to know that the Kodie-Aduman- Aboabogya road, certainly, is more than the 4.8 kilometres that he has mentioned. That road is more than 4.8 kilometres, because from Kodie through Aduman to Aboabogya is almost five kilometres and that should be about eight kilometres and not 4.8 kilometres.
Mr Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Hon Minister, the Hon Minority Leader say it is not 4.8 kilometres but it is about eight kilometres.
Alhaji Fuseini 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minority Leader knows that we act on information and believe in that information from our technical men. They have given me this information and I have
no reason to disbelieve it. But we will check on what he has said.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, just so that he factors the real cost in because certainly, he may not want to short-change the people there.
Having said that, Mr Speaker, a Government should have its own programme of action and the programme of action would then find expression in the budget. For the first question that was asked in respect of the Fawoade- Adwumakaase-Kese-Aboabogya road, which the Hon Minister has said it is going to be re-awarded as part of the 2015 programme, first, I wanted to know whether it had found expression in the budget. This is because I am not too sure that it exists in the budget of the Ministry. I just perused it and it does not appear it is there.
If the Hon Minister can assure us that through some means, they can put it out there and then on this second one, the Kodie --
Mr Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Hon Minority Leader, I thought you were done with Question
199.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I just wanted to be sure because he said that it had been programmed --
Mr Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Very well
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:15 p.m.
And then the other leg -- the second one --
Mr Speaker 12:15 p.m.
I will relax the rules.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, when he said that it depended on the availability of funds, when does he, by his own programme of action, intend to do this and if he has an intention to do it in 2016, for instance, he should know his own funding source.
So, can he tell us?

[MAJ. ODURO (RETD)]Alhaji Fuseini: Mr Speaker, in fact, we do know our funding sources and I have chosen the words carefully -- 2015 Routine Maintenance Programme. That firmly locates this activity within the ambit of the Road Fund and that would mean that it is the budget of the Road Fund which will cover this activity. So, when moneys are collected from the road tolls, the bridges, international transits, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) and aggregated, we would be applying resources as and when these moneys are made available to the Ministry of Roads and Highways and by extension, the Department of Feeder Roads.

That is why probably, you do not see that in the budget because it is a Road Fund activity.

Thank you -- [Interruption] --

Both of them are the same; the first one is the distance and I will check on that but they are routine maintenance activities.
Mr Speaker 12:15 p.m.
But the other one, you said you would repackage and award -- are you looking for funding for it?
Alhaji Fuseini 12:15 p.m.
Yes, that is part of our programme. We have got funds for it but again, because we are going to repackage and re-award it, we must apply for a recommencement certificate from the Ministry of Finance. So, we are unable to say that we would award it immediately until we are given the commencement certificate from the Ministry of Finance. That is why I say -- and the Ministry of Finance will not give us recommencement until they are sure of the availability of funds.
Thank you.
Mr Speaker 12:15 p.m.
Hon Minister, we thank you very much for attending upon the House to respond to Questions from Hon Members.
Hon Members, I have admitted two Statements for today. The first one stands in the name of the Hon Member for Nkoranza North.
Hon Member, you have the floor.
Hon First Deputy Speaker to take the Chair.
Yes, Hon Member?
STATEMENTS 12:15 p.m.

MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Thank you very much.
Hon Members, it is now open for contributions.
Mr Justice J. Appiah (Ablekuma North-NPP) 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, after the end of the Second World War in 1945, the allied troops and the Royal West African Frontier Forces were mobilised and they came home in 1947.
Mr Speaker, the allied powers decided that they should all free their colonies. The French, the British, the Americans and the Russians formed the allied powers who were to give the ex-servicemen employment. But our soldiers realised that the British were not fulfilling their obligations.
So, the ex-servicemen who were the veterans decided to march to the Christiansborg Castle to present the petition to the Governor for onward transmission to the British Government. The name of the Governor was Sir Gerald Creasy.
Mr Speaker, they chose Saturday, 28th February, 1948 to march to the Castle to present their petition. Just as they crossed the Christiansborg road heading towards the Castle, the police headed by Supertendent C. Imary ordered them to stop but they would not. So, he shot and instantly killed them.
Mr Speaker, Ghanaians took to the streets and started looting places such as Kingsway, United Trading Company (UTC), Swamill, GB Olivant, Station Mill and a lot of shops belonging to the British and other foreigners. This incident was the harbinger to the independence of this country.
Mr Speaker, we need time to clean the augean stable. What I mean by the “augean stable” is that when Hercules alone cleaned 30,000 oxen stables within
a day by diverting rivers -- by cleaning the augean stable, I mean the corruption, the nepotism, the tribalism and all the “isms”.
men embarking on a peaceful march in an attempt to present a petition to the Governor
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Hon Member, try to be as brief as possible.
Mr J. J. Appiah 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, this is beyond the bounds of human reasoning -- killing them just for the presentation of their petition.
Mr Speaker, may I crave your indulgence to read from a portion of the Ghana National Anthem?
Yesterday, we all watched the policemen. In fact, it was good. I stood here and watched you; you and His Excellency the President stood still. This shows the commitment we have in this country --
“God bless our homeland Ghana And make our nation great and strong' Bold to defend forever The cause of Freedom and of Right; Fill our hearts with true humility, Make us cherish fearless, honesty, And help us to resist oppressors' rule With all our will and might for evermore,”
Mr Speaker, and the last stanza says 12:30 p.m.
“Raise high the flag of Ghana, And one with Africa advance; Black Star of hope and honour; To all who thirst for liberty, Where the banner of Ghana freely flies May the way to freedom truly lie;
Arise, arise. O sons of Ghanaland, And under God march on for evermore. Amen.”
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Thank you very much.
Yes the Hon Minister for Roads and Highways.
Minister for Roads and Highways (Alhaji Inusah A.B. Fuseini) 12:35 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I r ise to associate myself with the Statement made on the floor of the House, in saying that this is a day that all of us as Ghanaians must remember with nostalgia chained with annoyance.
Mr Speaker, why do I say so? Ghana, the then Gold Coast was under colonial domination. So, everything and even the people who were living in the Gold Coast at that time were part of the colonial domination.
So, there was a war; an European war, which had absolutely nothing to do with Africa. They were not fighting over our resources; they were not fighting for our land which motivated and encouraged John Mensah Sarbah to form an association to protest and fight the incursions onto our lands. That was strictly speaking and exclusively an European war. And to be able to assist in the fighting of the war, the colonial administration then, came to African countries and added colonies and encouraged the citizens.
In fact, the colonial subjects because they were not citizens to enrol. In fact, when they enrolled, they were used as cannon fodder. Even though they were made serious promises of a better life after the war, they were told that they will earn gratuity when they return home.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
Thank you very much.
Two last contributions.
Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Daniel Nii K. Titus-Glover (NPP - - Tema East) 12:45 p.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
I rise to commend the Hon Member who made the Statement, Maj. Derek Oduro (retd), for reminding us of the events of 28th February. Every year, we remember this event, to remind us about the contribution of these gallant heroes who fought as part of the West African Frontier Forces during the World War. Like Hon Colleagues have said, their petition basically was to seek compensation with regard to jobs and other pensions.
Unfortunately, then Superintendent Imray, whose actions were purely racist, even though I was not born at that time, these were soldiers who were harmless and used as cannons at the frontline of this war.
They had come back asking for what they were due and unfortunately, they were killed.
These soldiers, in my view, exhibited what I call “the sacrifice of their lives” because it is very unusual today. Some people are scared of their lives but where you are determined, where you are focused to look for what you are due and there are people trying to frustrate you, it
is so worrying. And for Superintendent Imray to have picked the gun himself and direct it at these people and kill them, was most unfortunate.
Mr Speaker, we keep saying all these things but there is something missing in that action whether their pensions and compensations that they were demanding were paid. We the young ones do not even know. The history we are being told is that in the course of this, they were shot struggle. There is no history to inform us that indeed, based on their action, it really propelled the Governor at that time to make sure these compensations they were asking, the pensions that they were looking for were really paid. So, this is an education for some of us to find out from the archives whether indeed, the British did honour this part of the bargain.
Mr Speaker, I studied in England in the University of Warwick. There were times when one was even going to look for jobs as part of vacation employment, and the British would tell you that, they would give first opportunity to the European Union (EU) citizens, and we the blacks that contributed in the building of England, where our forebears were used as slaves, and where our forebears were used as soldiers to protect the British were found wanting.
Sometimes, I ask myself whether it is indeed, worthwhile to call oneself a member of the Commonwealth. This is a practical example that I went through in the University of Warwick.
Mr Speaker, the three soldiers need to be celebrated. This is because, their action engineered other actions, and the committee that was formed as a result of this action said that, there was time for self-rule then. We have won the political self-rule, but economic independence is what we are crying for as a country.
Mr Ahmed Ibrahim (NDC -- Banda) 12:45 p.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity given to me to contribute to the Statement that has been made by my Hon Colleague on the other side.Mr Speaker, I would just make some few remarks and then sit down.
Many at times, we commend these three illustrious sons of Ghana who lost their lives on the 28th February, 1948. When
speaking about them, we say that, they were just marching to present a petition about their salaries, resettlements and conditions of service that were due them as a result of the their participation in the Second World War, which they were not given.
Mr Speaker, this was, of course, the immediate cause. But there were other remote causes, and the remote causes made these three illustrious sons of Ghana very good citizens, who were not looking up to themselves alone, but were trying to fight to ensure that they left a legacy for future generations, for you and me to enjoy today.
What were these remote causes? Mr Speaker, it was the 1948 riot, which happened on the 28th February, 1948, that set the pace for the internal government, and that is what has given the opportunity for you and me to participate here today as full-grown, Ghanaian legislators for our country today.
The 1946 Constitution of Sir Allan Burns did not provide an opportunity for more Africans to participate in the Legislative and the Executive Councils, and these were some of the reasons that led Corporal Attipoe, Sergeant Adjetey and the likes to champion that cause. I am saying this because some of the problems have been solved and others are there for us to continue.
As a result of that, political independence, like my Hon Colleague said, has been achieved. They were also fighting to ensure that more schools were provided for Ghanaians to be educated to take charge of the technical human resource of the country. And therefore, as we are providing more high schools, I think that problem is being solved, and we must all work towards that.
One other reason, which was one of the remote causes, was lack of jobs, unemployment. Ghanaians did not have work to do, and therefore, the youth of the country rallied in support of those gallant men to ensure that they did what they did. I am saying this because, if that happened, then congratulations to this august House for passing the Ghana Youth Employment Bill, which was passed just two weeks ago. We are praying that it would receive the appropriate assent for it to be implemented. That is going to give the jobs that Corporal Attipoe, Sergeant Odartey and all those people suffered for.
Mr Speaker, besides that, they were also fighting for Africans to take charge of the businesses, the shops and industries of the country. This is because, the Association of West African Merchants, which was dominated by the Syrians and the Lebanese dwarfed and crippled African businesses.
So, if there is a way that African and the Ghanaian businessman could be raised or assisted in a way, maybe, through the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) as the President spoke about yesterday, we must all come together to ensure that we give all such assistance in order to avert all those things and fulfil the wishes and aspirations or the visions which Corporal Attipoe and Sergeant Adjetey wanted to see. This is because, it was by their deeds and efforts that political independence has been achieved. The economic independence has been started, and I know that by God's grace, we shall be there.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Thank you very much.
Hon Members, there is a second Statement admitted by the Rt Hon Speaker,
which stands in the name of the Hon Member for Wa West, Hon Joseph Yieleh Chireh.
Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Mr Agbesi 12:45 p.m.
Mr Speaker, with the greatest respect and with your leave, I would want to vary the Business of the day and lay a Paper on the Addendum Order Paper.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Very well. Leave granted.
Mr Agbesi 12:45 p.m.
The Business captured in the Addendum Order Paper is one for the Hon Minister for Finance. Again, I would want to seek your permission that the Deputy Minister for Finance lays the Paper on behalf of the Hon Minister.
12. 55 a.m.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
Very well.
Hon Deputy Minister?
PAPERS 12:45 p.m.

STATEMENTS 12:45 p.m.

Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
Thank you very much.
We will take two contributions from either side.
Dr Richard Winfred Anane ( NPP-- Nhyiaeso) 1:05 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to associate with the Statement made by Hon Yieleh Chireh.
Mr Speaker, currently, our middle income status confers on us some peculiarities. There is the natural tendency when one gets into such economic situations to transit, especially from the communicable to the non-communicable disease pattern.
Mr Speaker, our demographics, however, still show the persistence of the pyramidal features which also gives us some other conditions that we have to grapple with.
Dr Richard Winfred Anane ( NPP-- Nhyiaeso) 1:05 p.m.


Mr Speaker, our life expectancy in the early nineties, hovered around the fifties -- normally, below 55. Today, we can say that our life expectancy is in the mid-sixties -- 65 to 66.

Mr Speaker, this tells us that, relatively, our population is aging. Therefore, an aging population would also demonstrate more the disease burdens of the aged. We should be expecting some conditions which are related more to age.

Mr Speaker, our economic transition with an evolving middle class would also lead to diseases associated with the sedentary lifestyle of the middle class.

Mr Speaker, improving healthcare in the country has also enabled us in our health system to come up with better diagnostics. Therefore, we can now tell more of the conditions that our people were suffering from which we were unable to diagnose yesterday.

Mr Speaker, it is, therefore, important that the health sector and all of us as advocates, continue the education and the drumming into our society for our citizens to pay a little more attention to their health, and to the problem of the evolving new patterns of our diseases. Therefore, our health policies must also be anticipatory of the upsurge of lifestyle and age - related disease burdens.

Mr Speaker, however, there must be a sense of urgency also to be attached to the tackling of our communicable disease burden.

Mr Speaker, surely, it is embarrassing and almost scandalising to find that for close to two years now, from late 2013 to the present, we have not been able to grapple with the spread of cholera in our midst and have lost so many of our citizens to cholera. It is a very disturbing situation.

Mr Speaker, to sum it all, I would want to say that this Statement by Hon Yieleh Chireh is to draw our attention to the adage of prevention is better than cure, and to draw attention for us all to take actions that would avert the excessive expensive expenditures to be incurred in curative measures.

Mr Speaker, if we are to pay attention to this and pin some sense of urgency to tackle the existing conditions which could be managed and also to appreciate that health is not just a one sector matter but a multi-sectorial matter -- So, if we appreciate that by ensuring that we tackle our water, sanitation and housing matters, we would be able to grapple with conditions of cholera and other such communicable diseases, Mr Speaker, we would be somewhere else.

But even as we are getting ready to get up, we would be confronted with problems of lifestyle diseases. And if we understand the concept of the adage “prevention is better than cure”, then we would be anticipating this and taking measures that would ensure that we fall into them, but we would not fall flat and we would be able to manage them as we are confronted.

Mr Speaker, with these few words, I would want to say, thank you for giving me the opportunity to associate myself with the Statement.
Mr Wisdom Gidisu (Krachi East-- NDC) 1:05 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to this very important Statement by the Hon Chairman of the Health Committee.
As we join the rest of Africa to commemorate the 2015 Healthy Lifestyle Day -- Mr Speaker, health is wealth. So, the decision by the African Union (AU) to adopt every last Friday of February each year as the African Healthy Lifestyle Day, is laudable.
The data from the Ministry of Health shows that non-communicable diseases are being diagnosed more in persons within the ages of 20 and 59, which constitutes the youth and it is frightening. Why am I saying this? Mr Speaker, this is so because the youth are the future of this country or countries of the world. And if they are also at risk, then Mr Speaker, there is a problem that we need to solve in this country.
The question now is, why are the youth contracting these NCDs more than the elderly? My observation is that, there are several factors which contribute to NCDs. Some of these include excessive intake of alcohol and smoking, as indicated clearly in the Statement. Mr Speaker, I would want to advise the youth against these, in the sense that, they must stay away from smoking and excessive intake of alcohol.
This is because these bring about heart diseases, stroke, diabetes, liver and lung problems, certain cancers, et cetera.
Mr Speaker, people should also be advised to go for regular screening; as Hon Dr Richard Anane said, prevention is always better than cure. If this is done, it would go a long way to minimise the impact of diseases on patients.
Mr Speaker, I would also want to commend the Ministry of Health for the pragmatic measures being put in place to advise the populace against NCDs.
With these few words, Mr Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity.
Mrs Eugenia Gifty Kusi (NPP-- Tarkwa-Nsuaem) 1:15 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement on the floor, which was made by the Chairman of the Health
Committee on the theme: “Safeguarding our health, the importance of early screening”.
Mr Speaker, it has been said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Since we are going metric, we could say that a gramme of prevention is worth a kilogramme of cure. Mr Speaker, we may be walking round very healthy; we may not have any problems at the moment, but there may be a serious disease lurking in our bodies. So, this year's topic is very apt.
Mr Speaker, we need to go for early screening. Sometimes, there may not be any symptoms at all or no sign at all, but if screening is done, the doctors may detect something that they may need to attend to.
Mr Speaker, it is either we invest very little amount on prevention or we spend a fortune when we contract the diseases, which may eventually kill us.
Mr Speaker, in addition to what my Hon Colleague said about not taking excessive alcohol or smoking, I would add that we should try as much as possible to eat proper balanced diet, so that we get the correct amount of nutrients in our bodies to fight those diseases that we may know the symptoms. Mr Speaker, we need to exercise, at least, three time in a week, and see our doctors regularly.
Mr Speaker, some of the problems and challenges that I see, which prevent us from doing these things may be financial. Sometimes, some of our countrymen may not have money to go for screening. Even though there is the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIA), some people may not even want to register.
Therefore -- I call it procrastination or laziness -- some people may not want to walk in to go and register or go for the screening; some people feel very lazy to do that. Sometimes, it is ignorance. So, this is where I see that education and counselling should be promoted in this country.
Mr Benjamin K. Kpodo (NDC - Ho Central) 1:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity and I wish to congratulate the Hon Yieleh Chireh for making this Statement, to draw our attention to the need for a healthy lifestyle.

Mr Speaker, the consequence of healthy lifestyle is, all other things being equal, long life -- (ceteris paribus.) This is because we cherish longevity of our lives; we need to take healthy lifestyle very serious.

The point about checking our health statistics on regular basis is its economics to our lives. When one does not know what is happening to him or her and then he or she falls sick before going to the hospital for checks before getting treatment, Mr Speaker, one spends more than checking along the line and taking the necessary precautionary measures that would enable him or her have a healthy lifestyle.

Mr Speaker, on a national basis, if it would also reduce the cost of treatment that we receive from the hospitals, it would indirectly or directly affect our NHIS cost. This is because we would then bring lower bills to the Scheme for settlement.

I would caution that, there are so many prescriptions about healthy lifestyle -- one doctor will prescribe something and other expert will prescribe something else. But every prescription must be tailored to the style or the individual consent. Some people will say that after 6.00 p.m., they cannot eat. But some of us can eat even at 2.00 a.m. and it will not do anythings to us -- [Laughter.] Yes, it is true. I believe that all these prescriptions must be tailored to meet every individual's needs and circumstances.

Mr Speaker, I would also want to support those who suggest that we should take natural fruits regularly. Yes, they are useful, but I believe that there are food supplements which can be added to these natural fruits. Food supplements such as saw palmeto, centrum and quiet a number of them. If we go to the pharmacies, they can be given to us. They are preventives, they help to build the body for us to live longer.

Mr Speaker, we talked also about the regular exercises that we carry out. The Rt Hon Speaker has organised two health walks, in December, 2014 and February, 2015. Unfortunately, many of our Hon Colleagues did not participate. In fact, the last one which was held last Saturday, 21st February, 2015, I could count just about six Hon Members of Parliament who participated. I believe such organised exercises can also help build our physical bodies.

Mr Speaker, I would want to support my Hon Senior Colleague for the Statement he made. And I would call upon all, not only Hon Members of Parliament, but all citizens of this country to pay particular attention to how they live their lives, so that we can all be happy in this country.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
Thank you very much.
Hon Members, this brings us to the end of Statements.
Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 1:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, today is Friday and some of us will go to the Mosque. We have virtually exhausted the Business for the day, and I would want to move, that the House do adjourn to Tuesday, 3rd March, 2015 at 10.00 a.m.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I stepped out, but when I came back, I thought we were dealing with Statements. What it means is that, we have not entered the arena of Public Business yet. I am wondering --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
Hon Member, we varied the order of Business and took the Addendum Order Paper which had some Public Business -- Presentation of Papers, which was dealt with before we came back to continue with Statements.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if that has been done, I have no business. Otherwise, it may appear as if we did not apply ourselves to any Public Business.
Thank you for the information.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
So, do you second the Motion?
Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul 1:15 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
ADJOURNMENT 1:15 p.m.