Debates of 22 May 2015

MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
PRAYERS 10:30 a.m.

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

Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Hon Members, Correction of Votes and Proceedings and the Official Report.
  • [No correction was made to the Votes and Proceedings of Thursday, 21st May, 2015.]
  • Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:30 a.m.
    Hon Members, we have two Official Reports. We will take the one dated Friday, 15th May,
    2015.
    Any corrections?
    Yes Hon Member?
    Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, column 276 --
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 10:30 a.m.
    It is so. The third paragraph: A statement attributed to Mrs Benita Sena Okity-Duah and with your permission, I beg to read:
    “Mr Speaker, we all know that the composition of premix fuel is made up of engine oil and diesel.”

    Mr Speaker, I was in the House and I do not remember exactly what the Hon Deputy Minister said. But this is a House of records, and I thought I should bring this up. This is because composition of premix fuel as captured here as engine oil and diesel is a very serious matter. But I do not know what your direction would be; I do not remember exactly --
    Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, since we are on Corrections of Votes and Proceedings and the Official Report, and the Hon Member cannot remember exactly what our Colleague, the Hon Deputy Minister said on that, I would suggest that we flag it down and get her, together with the Table Office to be sure.
    If that was not what she said, then we would get exactly what she said. This is because it would be difficult for us to be able to correct it when she is not here, and the Hon Member himself cannot remember exactly what was said on that day.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, column 271 -- this is attributed to me, Mr Speaker. “On a point of order.”
    “Mr Speaker, you had earlier said that an issue came up and nobody questions”
    Mr Speaker, the correct word should be “questioned” not “questions”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:30 a.m.
    Which column are you referring to?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 10:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, column 271, last but one paragraph.
    The “questions” there should be “questioned.”
    Mr Speaker, when we come to column 272, paragraph (4), there is something missing there, it reads:
    “…..that, this matter should be deferred or stood down for the time being for copies of the amended Answer “made available”.
    The words “to be” are missing, so that it will read;
    “. . . to be made available to all of us, . . . “
    I thank you Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:30 a.m.
    Very well.
    The statement to do with Hon Okity- Duah, I think that I will direct as proposed by the Hon Majority Chief Whip, that the Table Office liaise with the Hon Deputy Minister to capture the exact presentation that she made as far as that issue is concerned.
    The Official Report of Friday, 15th May, 2015 as corrected is hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.
  • [No correction was made to the Official Report of Tuesday, 19th May, 2015.]
  • BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE 10:40 a.m.

    Chairman of the Business Committee) 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I read the Business Statement for the Third Week. This is because the Majority Leader and Chairman of the Business Committee is out of the country and I chaired the meeting. I am also a member of the Business Committee.
    Mr Speaker, the Committee met yesterday, Thursday, 21st May 2015 and arranged Business of the House for the Third Week ending Friday, 29th May 2015.
    Mr Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 56 (1), the Committee accordingly submits its Report as follows:
    Arrangement of Business
    Question(s)
    Mr Speaker, the Committee has programmed the following Ministers to respond to Questions asked of them during the week:
    No. of Question(s) i. Minister for Education -- 5 ii. Minister for Trade and Industry -- 2 iii. Minister for Food and Agriculture -- 2 iv. Minister for Employment and Labour Relations -- 1 v. Minister for Power -- 5 vi. Minister for Roads and Highways -- 6
    Total number of Questions -- 21

    Mr Speaker, six (6) Ministers are expected to attend upon the House to respond to twenty-one (21) Questions during the week.

    Statements

    Mr Speaker, pursuant to Order 70 (2), Ministers of State may be permitted to make Statements of Government policy. Your goodself may also admit Statements to be made in the House by Hon Members in accordance with Order 72.

    Bills, Papers and Reports

    Mr Speaker, Bills may be presented to the House for First Reading and those of urgent nature may be taken through the various stages in one day in accordance with Order 119. Papers and committee reports may also be presented to the House.

    Motions and Resolutions

    Mr Speaker, Motions may be debated and their consequential Resolutions, if any, taken during the week.

    Conclusion

    Mr Speaker, in accordance with Standing Order 160 (2) and subject to Standing Order 53, the Committee submits to this Honourable House, the order in which the Business of the House shall be taken during the week.

    Questions --

    *353. Mr Stevens Siaka (Jaman North): To ask the Minister for Education when Diamono Senior High Secondary School (a community

    day school) at Duadaso II, which was absorbed by the Ghana Education Service two years ago, would be upgraded by providing infrastructure like administration block, classrooms, science laboratory, computer laboratory, school bus, assembly hall, et cetera.

    *354. Mr Richard Mawuli Quashigah (Keta): To ask the Minister for Education when trained teachers will be posted to Wenyagor Basic School.

    *355. Mr Philip Basoah (Kumawu): To ask the Minister for Education what is causing the delay in the completion of the Sekyere Kumawu District Education Office which started in 2009.

    *356. Mr Philip Basoah (Kumawu): To ask the Minister for Education what plans the Ministry has to improve the infrastructure development at Bankoman Senior High School, which was taken over by Government from Banko Community a couple of years ago.

    *411. Mr Kwasi Amoako-Attah (Atiwa West): To ask the Minister for Education what plans the Ministry has to upgrade the current deplorable status of the only senior high school, the Anglican Senior School at Kwabeng, in the Atiwa West Constituency to a first class second cycle school.

    Statements

    Motion --

    Adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee on the request for waiver of taxes, customs duties, Value Added Tax, National Health Insurance Levy, destination inspection fees, EDAIF and

    ECOWAS Levy amounting to GH¢4,709,061.00 on goods and equipment required for the implementation of the Protocol Agreement between the Govern- ment of the Republic of Ghana and the African Development Fund on the Engaging Local Communities in Reduced Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+)/Enhance- ment of Carbon Stocks Project).

    Consequential Resolution

    Consideration Stage of Bills --

    Conduct of Public Officers Bill, 2013. (Continuation of debate)

    Committee sittings.

    Questions --

    *363.Mr Robert Kwasi Amoah (Achiase): To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry steps being taken to address the problem of marketing of citrus fruits in the country.

    *399. Mr Francis Adu-Blay Koffie (Prestea/Huni Valley): To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry whether there are plans by the Ministry to turn Aboso Glass Factory into a technical institute.

    *402. Mr Kwame Asafu-Adjei (Nsuta/ Kwamang/Beposo): To ask the Minister for Food and Agriculture the status on “Census of Agriculture (CA)”.

    *403. Mr Kwame Asafu-Adjei (Nsuta/Kwamang/Beposo): To ask the Minister for Food and

    Agriculture the status of the Broiler Project started in September 2014.

    *404. Dr Stephen (Nana) Ato Arthur (Komenda/Edina/Eguafo/Abrem): To ask the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations the current status of the Tier 2 Pension Scheme which has been of major concern to pensioners in particular and Ghanaian workers generally.

    Statements

    Presentation of Papers --

    (a) Report of the Committee on Environment, Science and Technology on the Nuclear Regulatory Authority Bill, 2015.

    (b) Report of the Committee on Education on the University of Environment and Sustainable Development Bill, 2014.

    Consideration Stage of Bills --

    Conduct of Public Officers Bill, 2013. (Continuation of debate)

    Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Bill, 2014

    Committee sittings.

    Questions --

    *289. Mr Robert Sarfo-Mensah (Asunafo North): To ask the Minister for Power when electricity will be extended to the following communities:

    (i) Agragro (ii) Aniepe (iii) Odurokrom
    Chairman of the Business Committee) 10:40 a.m.
    (iv) Mensakrom (v) Komooso (vi) Brodedwo (vii) Chief Camp (viii) Tweneboa (ix) Aboaboso (x) Dankwakrom (xi) Manhyia (xii) Nzaare.
    *290. Mr Anthony Osei Boakye (Atwima Nwabiagya South): To ask the Minister for Power when electricity will be extended to the following communities within the Atwima Nwabiagya District:
    (i) Ahwaa (ii) Bankyease (iii) Ntabanu (iv) Akuapim.
    *291. Mr Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh (Sunyani East): To ask the Minister for Power when the following communities in the Sunyani East Constituency will be connected to the national grid:
    (i) Nkrankrom (ii) Wawasua (iii) Benu-Nkwanta (iv) Watchman (v) Yawsae/Nsagobesa.
    *296. Mr Samuel Ayeh-Paye (Ayensuano): To ask the Minister for Power when the electr ification project in Amanase Aboabo, which started in April 2008 by the Ministry of Energy, will be completed.
    *325. Mr Johnsom Kwaku Adu (Ahafo Ano South West): To ask the Minister for Power what plans the Ministry has to connect the following communities to the
    national electricity grid: Asuokor, Ango, Dotiem, Achiase, Manhyia, Adiembra, Pewodie, Asukese, Antiemfi and Bonkron.
    Statements
    Motions --
    Report of the Committee on Poverty Reduction Strategy on the 2011 Annual Progress Report on the implementation of the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda
    (GSGDA), 2010-2013.
    Committee sittings.

    Questions --

    *253. Mr Moses Anim (Trobu): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways when construction of the road from Ofankor “Spot M” Junction to Tantra Hills Reservoir will be completed.

    *254. Mr Moses Anim (Trobu): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways when the Ayawaso- Amamorley-Omanjor link road to Ofankor-Sowutuom will be constructed.

    *255. Mr Robert Sarfo-Mensah (Asunafo North): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways status of the “Chief Camp to Nzaare” Road Project in the Asunafo North Constituency and plans put in place to ensure that the contractor working on the project completes the work on schedule.

    *256. Mr Robert Sarfo-Mensah (Asunafo North): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways what steps the Ministry has taken to construct

    a bridge on the “Anyimaye” River at Baakodue on the Asumura- Adiepena road.

    *257. Mr Robert Sarfo-Mensah (Asunafo North): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways what the Ministry is doing about the “Tepa to Goaso” portion of the Goaso-Kumasi road which is in a deplorable state.

    *258. Alhaji Habibu Tijani Mohammad (Yendi): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways when the following roads in the Yendi Municipality will be rehabilitated:

    (i) Yimahigu-Meindo (ii) Kuni-Nakojado (iii) Katinguli-Bale (iv) Nalogu-Chekohiya.

    Statements

    Motions --

    Third Reading of Bills--

    Conduct of Public Officers Bill, 2013.

    Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Bill, 2014.

    Committee sittings.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have two issues. The first one being your ruling on the 20th of February, 2015 on the Emergency Power Purchase Agreement. But because Mr Speaker had intervened that he wanted to get the matter resolved, I would not press it. But just for the records, for the seventh time, it has still not been captured by the Business Committee.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Hon Member, it means you are still pressing it.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am not. I am just drawing your attention.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Very well.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the second issue is the proposed issuance of shares by the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) to the public. In other words, ADB intends to go public.
    Mr Speaker, this side of the House took a position, that since the very Act that established ADB -- section 19 of that law envisaged a situation where a parlia- mentary approval would be required in a circumstance like this, a letter was dispatched to ADB, and they later in a press conference, indicated that they were referring the matter to the House through the Ministry of Finance.
    As a result, we held back our intentions to seek the intervention of the court, by way of interpretation of the law.
    Mr Speaker, I have gone through the Business Statement, and it appears, in my view, that the Ministry of Finance has not been programmed to bring this ADB Initial Public Offering (IPO) for our scrutiny and possible approval.
    We are aware that the staff are raising all manner of concerns about their head office building -- renting it out, selling it, and renting another at one million Ghana cedis a month.
    Mr Speaker, these are matters that the people's representatives must have the opportunity of scrutinising and commenting on. So, my humble application, therefore, is for you, Mr Speaker, to seek further details of this matter, which ADB, through its Managing Director, promised doing, so that we would know what to do.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Let me just ask one question.
    You said that your side of the House wrote to ADB. Did you copy the Hon Speaker of Parliament?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, respectfully, we took a constitutional position about interpretation. So, the letter was dispatched to ADB, a copy was sent to the Ministry of Finance, and the learned Attorney-General's Office. This is because they have said --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    But Hon Member, if you have taken the constitutional part, then you do not need to bring it to the floor of this House.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I agree with you. However, because they had publicly stated that having received our letter with the concerns stated therein, they were taking a cue, and therefore, the Ministry of Finance was going to bring it for the consideration of the House. That is why I am making this enquiry.
    Mr Adbul-Rashid Hassan Pelpuo 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am just worried that discussing the details of the Hon Member 's submission would be going out of order. This is because, we are simply to approve the memorandum presented by the Hon Majority Chief Whip, on behalf of the Majority Leader, and to bring up corrections or any matter --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:40 a.m.
    Hon Minister, the Hon Member's argument is that he was expecting it to have been incorporated in the Business Statement, but he does not see it there. That is the basis of his comment.
    Yes, Hon Majority Chief Whip?
    Alhaji Muntaka 10:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, with regard to the Hon Member's concern on the power barge, Mr Speaker himself, when he was in the Chair last week, encouraged my Hon Colleague to bring the Hansard for him to peruse exactly what happened that day.
    Unfortunately, Mr Speaker is out of the country. So, I would want to believe that even if he had made it available, Mr Speaker had not been around to look at it. So, definitely, it would be looked at -- because they are things that we have discussed at the Business Committee.
    Mr Speaker, with regard to the ADB issue, nothing of that nature has been referred to the Business Committee. As the Hon Member said, all what they were doing, they were doing it as private persons, because it had nothing to do on the floor of the House; it did not emanate from here.
    However, Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague knows the rules of this House, and the avenues that are available to him to be able to do this. This is because, when it comes to giving Statements on Government policy, it is optional for the Hon Ministers -- or we invite the Hon Ministers to come and do so.
    The other thing is for the relevant committee, for that matter, either the Finance Committee, of which the Hon Member is a member or the Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs Committee, could invite the leadership of ADB to brief the Committee, on the issue at stake. But still ahead, he could file an Urgent Question for it to be answered.
    So, I would want to encourage my Hon Colleague to use these avenues that are available to this House and to him, to enable him get what he wants. But if the Hon Member wants to raise it as a suggestion, whether we could find a way
    of getting the Hon Minister here, then that would be something that we can all discuss and see how we can get that done.
    But aside this, I do not see how the Hon Member can be complaining about not seeing it here, because it never came to our attention officially, apart from what we have all been hearing in the news media. I thought that if he had wanted to get it here, then maybe, he should have discussed it with the Leadership of his side, so that we get the whole House agreeing what has to be done -- but this thing never came up. So, I can assure him that if the proper things are done, then why not, we would all facilitate to ensure that we are given the best of briefing with regard to what is happening at ADB?
    Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think the import of what Hon Afenyo-Markin was raising is that, the issue of the sale of ADB has assumed an issue of national nature.
    Of course, when you switch on your television or radio set, one of the topical issues of late has been the sale of Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) coupled with other problems associated with the management of the ADB. As a body that has an oversight responsibility of the Executive, and of course, ADB being a national property, I want to believe with him that the essence of what the Hon Member was saying is that, perhaps, we should use our oversight responsibilities to get ADB, perhaps, to do the right thing or perhaps, to explain to us what is actually going on.
    This is because as people who are supposed to provide oversight, if somebody should even ask you outside; “what is it that is happening to ADB?” Yes, perhaps, we may not be well informed
    Dr Matthew O. Prempeh 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I wanted to draw Hon Members and the Leadership's attention to the fact that, the shareholding of ADB is Government of Ghana and Bank of Ghana and Bank of Ghana is the regulator of the banking industry. Mr Speaker, there is a very good reason for Leadership to schedule and let us meet Bank of Ghana in some of these things that they permit. This is because ADB cannot float itself till the regulatory agencies allow and permit; meaning that they see some sense in what is happening.
    In this case, I know that permission has been sought and granted from both the regulator, which is the Bank of Ghana and the Security and Exchange Commission. So, in our planning to bring ADB, I think we should also allow the Security and the Exchange Commission and the Bank of Ghana to better brief us why they are allowing ADB to be floated but not ADB here to come and tell us their own story and just leave it like that.
    Thank you Mr Speaker.
    Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you for your kindness.
    Mr Speaker, in the face of the fact that the Executive arm of Government has consistently failed in terms of time lines when to end the energy crisis, coupled
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Member, we are dealing with this issue concerning ADB; we have not exhausted it. So, bringing in this -- I thought you were contributing to the ADB issue, so that I bring it to finality. If you are talking about the energy crisis, I think that is a different matter altogether. I am aware that you filed an Urgent Question, which has been approved. So, it is in the pipeline.
    Mr Annoh-Dompreh 10:50 a.m.
    Very well, Mr Speaker.
    Alhaji Muntaka 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, with regard to the ADB issue, since it has been raised on the floor of the House, I would be grateful if you could allow the Leadership of the House to discuss it further and adopt any of the strategies in the House to get Hon Members informed about this and then we would report back to you. If you do not mind, the Leadership would want to be given the opportunity to discuss this and find a way out, how to deal with this.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Very well. I so direct. But I will want to draw Hon Members attention to the fact that we need to draw a distinction between briefing and presenting a document, so that we know which line we are towing.
    So, I refer the matter to the Leadership to meet and find a way out, using any of the avenues that are available to this august House.
    Hon Members, I, therefore, direct that the Business Statement of the Third Session of the Sixth Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana for the Third
    Week ending Friday, 29th May, 2015, is hereby adopted.
    Hon Members, Question time-- Hon Majority Chief Whip.
    Alhaji Muntaka 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, our Colleague, the Hon Minister for Roads and Highways is out of town on another official duty and has sent his Hon Deputy, who is also our Colleague, to represent him in answering the Questions that have been asked of the Ministry. So, I would want to crave your indulgence and that of the House for the Hon Deputy Minister, who is our Colleague to be able to do that.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Deputy Minority Whip.
    Mr Awuah 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, ordinarily, this request would not be contested, but I was thinking, to make more meaning to what my Hon Colleague just said, if he could let us know where exactly the Hon Minister is, so that at least, we would appreciate the fact that he cannot be here. But if he says he is out of town, it is possible he can be in, for example, Tema or any other place close by, that he can easily come. So, he should tell us.
    Alhaji Muntaka 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, we all can attest to the fact that Hon Inusah Fuseini is one of the Hon Ministers who attend to this House religiously. But Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister is a little down the weather and he has just sent his Hon Deputy Minister. I would be very grateful if we are not asked to give the very details because some of the things are purely private and we would be grateful that our Hon Colleague -- [Interruption.]
    Mr Awuah 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague says the Hon Minister is a little down the weather. I do not really understand what he means by that.
    First, he said he was out of town, and now he says he is down the weather. Perhaps, if he could explain a little what “down the weather” means.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Members, shall we just get this understanding that he is not available for whatever reason and he has sent his Hon Deputy Minister to represent him?
    Hon Members, permission is granted for the Hon Deputy Minister to stand in for the substantive Minister.
    The first Question stands in the name of Hon Francis Manu-Adabor, Member for Ahafo-Ano South East.
    Hon Member, you have the floor.
    ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS 10:50 a.m.

    MINISTRY OF ROADS AND 10:50 a.m.

    HIGHWAYS 10:50 a.m.

    Mr Manu-Adabor 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, from the Hon Deputy Minister's Answer, “the Contractor has been cautioned to expedite action”. When was he cautioned and what was the response. This is because he is still not back on the road.
    Mr I. A. Mensah 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the project was awarded in 2006 and was suspended in 2008 and re-activated in 2009 because of this non-performance and challenges. That is why the contractor was cautioned.
    We are satisfied with the extent of the ongoing work and the expectation and the hope is that, by the end of the year, the project would be completed.
    11. 00 a.m.
    Mr Manu-Adabor 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would like to know whether they have a problem with variation of contract cost to settle with the contractor.
    Mr I. A. Mensah 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, because the project has suffered some challenges since 2006, certainly, issues relating to variation are on the table. I am aware that the contractor was invited for a meeting to resolve all outstanding issues within which the caution also came on board. So, we hope that by the end of the year 2015, the project would be completed.
    Mr Manu-Adabor 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I know the contract began in 2012 and from that time to date, the contractor has finished 3.7 kilometres of the 15.3 kilometre road.
    Mr I. A. Mensah 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, our expectation is that by the end of the year 2015, this project would be completed.
    Thank you.
    Mr Patrick Yaw Boamah 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Hon Deputy Minister how much is owed the contractor.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Member, do you not think this question is a bit off --
    Mr Boamah 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, he talked about an issue of variation as being the challenge.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Yes, but Hon Member, to be fair to the Hon Deputy Minister, if you could frame a question to that effect, then he would prepare with the necessary answers.
    The Question is asking the Hon Deputy Minister for Roads and Highways when the road from Fawomang to Sabronum would be upgraded and tarred. That is the Question.
    Mr Boamah 10:50 a.m.
    Very well, Mr Speaker.
    I would like to find out from the Hon Deputy Minister what the actual project cost is and what has necessitated the variation?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Member, you are still towing the same line and I do not think I will allow that question.
    Hon Deputy Minority Whip?
    Mr Awuah 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minister, in his Answer, line 1, says that “the Fawomang to Sabronum feeder road is 15.3 kilometres.” Then he goes further to say that, “15 kilometres sub-base has been done and the 3.7 kilometres primer sealed.”
    So, if you compare the 3.5 to the 15 kilometres, then you would get a length which is more than the 15.3 kilometres. Can he reconcile the figures for us?
    Mr I. A. Mensah 10:50 a.m.
    Yes, we can reconcile the figures. Fifteen kilometres being sub- base is the total stretch of the road but within that, we have 3.7 kilometres being primer sealed. So, it is not an addition to the sub-base. Primer seal is different from sub-base.
    Thank you.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Members, we move on to the next Question, which also stands in the name of Hon Francis Manu-Adabor of Ahafo Ano South East.
    Hon Member, you have the floor.
    Dwinyama, Biemso No. 1, et cetera Roads
    (Upgrading and Tarring)
    Q. 246. Mr Francis Manu-Adabor asked the Deputy Minister for Roads and Highways when the road from Dwinyama through Biemso No. 1, Fufuo and Barekese would be upgraded and tarred.
    Mr Isaac Adjei Mensah 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Dwinyama - Biemso No.1 - Fufuo - Barekese feeder road is 17.8 kilometres long and is located in the Ahafo Ano South District of the Ashanti Region. It is a gravel surface road in a fair condition.
    Current Programme
    The first 7.8 kilometres section of the road from Barekese-Fufuo was awarded for upgrading to a bituminous surface. The contract was awarded in April, 2014 for completion in June, 2015. The works are 100 per cent completed.
    Future programme
    The remaining section, which is 10.0 kilometres from Fufuo-Biemso No.1- Dwinyama would be considered for upgrading to bituminous surface as part of 2016 Periodic Maintenance Programme.
    Mr Manu-Adabor 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, a death trap exists on that road as a result of an old bridge, which has been left undemolished. Can the Hon Deputy Minister assure the House that he would take the necessary steps to have that trap removed as soon as possible?
    Mr I. A. Mensah 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, thanks that my attention has been drawn to the supposed death trap that he is saying. So, I would accordingly inform the agency head to ensure that a visit is made to the site and appropriate steps would be taken accordingly.
    Mr Manu-Adabor 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minister has promised that the 10- kilometre stretch from Fufuo through Biemso No1 to Dwinyama would be done during the 2016 Periodic Maintenance Programme.
    And he is saying, that road is motorable, but I want to bring to his notice that about 6 kilometres stretch of the 10- kilometres is not a motorable. Does he have any plans to maintain that road before 2016 when the road would be tarred?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 10:50 a.m.
    Hon Member, you appear to be disputing what the Hon Deputy Minister has said. Do you not think it would be better for you to approach his office and see how best you can resolve this?

    Well, if he is prepared to give an answer, I will cede the floor to him.

    Very well.
    Mr Benito Owusu-Bio 10:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Barekese-Fufuo stretch is in my constituency, the one that the Hon Deputy Minister is saying is 100 per cent complete.
    Mr Speaker, unfortunately, I would say it is not 100 per cent complete because the road has been tarred up to the outskirts of the town. It does not enter the town.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Hon Member, your question has been well-laid.
    Hon Deputy Minister, you can answer?
    Mr Isaac Adjei Mensah 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, per the contract, that stretch from Fufuo to Barekese has been completed and therefore, if it is another request for that stretch from that end to the town to be considered, I would encourage my Hon Colleague, so that we sit down together and see how best that stretch can be managed.
    Thank you.
    Mr Awuah 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, Hon Member wanted to know when the road would be upgraded. The said road serves as an alternative road for the Sunyani-Kumasi. In upgrading the road, would the Deputy Minister consider making it a highway instead of a feeder road, so that it could contain heavy vehicular traffic?
    Mr I. A. Mensah 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, currently, it is a feeder road and we would take into consideration the request by the Hon Member.
    Upgrade of Pokukurom - Ahwerewam -Sabronum Road
    Q.247. Mr. Francis Manu-Adabor asked the Deputy Minister for Roads and Highways when the road from Pokukrom

    through Ahwerewam to Sabronum would be upgraded and tarred.

    Background

    The Pokukrom-Awherewam- Sabronum feeder road is made up of two sections: Pokukrom-Aherewam (15.0km long), which is engineered and in a fair condition and Ahwerewam-Sabronum which is an un- engineered road but in a poor condition. The roads are located in the Ahafo Ano South District of the Ashanti Region.

    Current programme

    Routine maintenance would be carried out on the engineered section of the road as part of the 2015 Maintenance Programme to improve the surface condition to make it motorable throughout the year.

    Future programme

    Engineering studies will be carried out on the un-engineered section in the fourth quarter of 2015 to determine the appropriate intervention to be undertaken.
    Mr Manu-Adabor 11:10 a.m.
    From the Answer given by the Hon Deputy Minister, it looks like there is no immediate plan to put bitumen on the Pokukrom - Ahwerewam road. Would it not be cost effective to put bitumen on the road instead of maintaining it every year?
    Mr I. A. Mensah 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, per the engineering plan, that is what is appropriate. Therefore, if it is a request from the Hon Member for a consideration of a sort, then that could also be considered and discussed in broader terms with engineers, so that we could determine the appropriate course of action.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Any further follow-up question?
    Mr Manu-Adabor 11:10 a.m.
    I will see him in his office.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Members, we move on to the next Question, which stands in the name of Alhaji Habibu Tijani Mohammad, Member of Parliament for Yendi.
    Dr Sagre Bambangi 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Member for Yendi is unavoidably absent and has asked me, with your kind permission, to ask the Question on his behalf.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Permission granted.
    Tarring of Oti-Damanko to Gushegu Road
    Q.248.Dr Sagre Bambangi (on behalf of Alhaji Habibu T. Mohammad) asked the Deputy Minister for Roads and Highways when the stretch of the road from Oti-Damanko to Gushegu would be tarred.
    Background
    The Oti-Damanko-Gushiegu road forms part of the rastern corridor road which is a National Route (N2). Its starts from Tema roundabout and ends at Kulungugu. The section of the eastern corridor road from Oti-Damanko-Bimbila- Yendi, (86km) -- Lot 1 and Yendi- Gushiegu-Nakpanduri, (123.2km) -- Lot
    2.
    The section covers a total distance of 209 kilometres connecting major towns like Oti, Damanko, Bimbilla, Yendi, Sakpeigu, Gushiegu and Nakpanduri, which will provide a shorter access to the
    Tema Port and improving integration between Upper East, Northern and Volta Regions of Ghana and also between Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Togo.
    Current programme
    The construction of the 209 kilometres road has been divided into two (2) Lots.
    Work on the two Lots are concurrently in progress.
    The road will receive bituminous surfacing when completed in May, 2017.
    Dr Bambangi 11:10 a.m.
    I would like to ask the Hon Deputy Minister when construction on the road began.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Are you sure you are in line? This is because your Question sought to get clarification regarding when the stretch of the road from Oti-Damanku to Gushegu would be tarred.
    Now you are asking about when the construction began. Do you not think you are not being unfair to him since he needs to be updated with the necessary records to be able to answer a question like that? Could you reframe your question and ask another?
    Dr Bambangi 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, he is saying that the construction is already ongoing and it would be tarred in 2017. So, I would want to know when this particular construction began.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    But it must fall within lines as far as the original Question is concerned. The original Question is what you must be guided by. If you have any other follow-up question, please, feel free to ask.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    It is a question which would require further investigation for it to be answered appropriately. That is why I keep on telling you to just tow the line of the original Question and you are not going to have any problem.
    Hon Deputy Minister, if you have a response, please, offer it.
    Dr Bambangi 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Question was specific with regard to the Oti-Damanko to Gushiegu road but the Answer that has been presented here has also been general. So, I have not seen anything specific with regard to Oti- Damanku to Gushegu. That is why my follow-up questions have also been general. So, they have been in the context of the Answer that we have been given here.
    Mr I. A. Mensah 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I indicated in my presentation that the construction of the 209 kilometre road has been divided into two Lots. Works on the two Lots are currently in progress, therefore, in 2017, bituminous surfacing would apply accordingly.
    Mr Awuah 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague has a problem because of the way the last sentence of the Answer is structured. The last sentence of the Answer says that the road would receive bituminous surfacing when completed in May, 2017. So, it means that the road would be completed before the bituminous surfacing would be done, and that is why he was asking that particular question. We just want to know from the Hon Deputy Minister when exactly the tarring would start?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    The Answer is there. The tarring is starting when the bituminous surfacing has been completed in 2017.
    Mr Awuah 11:20 a.m.
    The tarring is starting when the bituminous surfacing is completed in
    2017?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Very well.
    Deputy Minister, could you explain?
    Mr I. A. Mensah 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think I need to provide further details for the Hon Member.
    The Oti Damanko-Bimbilla-Yendi stretch is 86 kilometres, which is Lot 5, and Lot 6 is Yendi-Gushiegu-Nakpanduri, which is 123.2 kilometres. That section of Lot 5 -- Oti-Damanko-Yendi is an unpaved two-lane single carriage road in a deplorable state in most of its sections. Lot 6, which is Yendi-Gushiegu- Nakpanduri stretch is 123.2 kilometres. Another section, Sakpiegu-Gushiegu- Nakpanduri road is also a two lane unpaved single carriage way in most cases.
    It has been awarded on contract and the project commenced in May 19, 2014. The project duration is three years and its funding is organised and managed by a Brazilian credit facility; the construction activity is by the Ministry of Roads and Highways and the supervisor is the Ghana Highways Authority. The joint venture is made up of MS Catedora and Dryden and SA Cosemora, Noteboro and Dryden SA and many more.
    Mr Speaker, this is just to assure him that this part of these two Lots has been awarded for a three-year term and by the end of the three year period, the project would be considered accordingly.
    Construction of Ofankor Old Town Timber Market Road to Ofankor
    Lorry Station (Status)
    Q. 251. Mr Moses Anim asked the Minister for Roads and Highways the status of construction of the road from Ofankor Old Town Timber Market Road

    linking the Ofankor overpass to the Ofankor Lorry Station.
    Mr I. A. Mensah 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker,
    Background
    The Ofankor Old Town Timber Market Road to Ofankor Lorry Station is a distributor road which loops the Nsawam road at Ofankor Old Town and Ofankor Lorry Station. It is 1.5 kilometres long and has a mixed surface of asphalt and a gravel. The road is in a fair condition.
    Current programme
    The Roads Unit has programmed the 700 metre gravel section for routine maintenance in its 2015 Budget to improve the riding quality and reduce the travelling time for commuters.
    Future programme
    The Department has completed designs and has scheduled it for 2016 Budget to complete the drainage works and thereafter work on the surfacing.
    Mr Anim 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to know from the Hon Deputy Minister, when in 2015 would the routine maintenance on the 700 metre gravel section take place. This is because for today, the road is not really in a fair condition.
    Mr I. A. Mensah 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I cannot be specific but I can come back to tell him the specific time within the year as mentioned.
    Mr Anim 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, under the future programme, the Hon Deputy Minister stated, with your permission, I beg to quote:
    “The Department has completed designs and has scheduled it for 2016 Budget to complete the drainage works and thereafter work on the surfacing.”
    Mr Speaker, can he inform the House the type of surfacing that they intend to do?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Deputy Minister?
    Mr I. A. Mensah 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is a bitumen surfacing. If he wants further technical specifics, I can come back and inform him accordingly. But for the plan, it is surfacing.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Member, your last supplementary question?
    Mr Anim 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, there is always traffic congestion at the link at the Ofankor overpass and the Ofankor Lorry Station. What is the Ministry doing to ease the traffic congestion?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Very well. I would allow the question.
    Mr I. A. Mensah 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, in line with the plan, if the traffic congestion is caused as a result of the road or as a result of plying of vehicles on the road, then that needs to be looked into. But the plan to fix the problem is as communicated.
    Two Hon Members -- rose --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    These are all constituency-specific Questions. You are not a next door neighbour.
    Very well.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not think that the Hon Deputy Minister was very specific about the intention of the Ministry in resolving the problem that my good Brother raised.
    We did not hear him and so, could he repeat for us to hear exactly what they plan to do to ease the traffic congestion? That is the issue.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Member, if you did not hear him, others heard him. I heard him.
    Mr Justice J. Appiah 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am quoting from Standing Order 48 -- Quorum of Parliament -- Article 102 of the Constitution.
    Mr Speaker, I have counted the other Side and our Side and Order 48 says that, with your permission, I beg to quote:
    (1) “The presence of at least one- third of all the Members of Parliament besides the person presiding shall be necessary to constitute a quorum of the House.”
    Mr Speaker, this does not constitute a quorum of the House. So, I beg to move, that this House under Order 48 --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Member, I direct that the bell be rung.
    Mr Justice J. Appiah 11:20 a.m.
    We would ask for headcounts.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    We move on to the next Question, which stands in the name of again, Hon Moses Anim.
    Construction of road from Pokuase ACP Junction to the Amasaman Court
    Q. 252. Mr Moses Anim asked the Deputy Minister for Roads and Highways when the construction of the road from Pokuase ACP Junction through Pokuase
    town to the Amasaman Court would be completed.
    Mr I. A. Mensah 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker,
    Background
    Pokuase ACP junction through Pokuase town to the Amasaman Court is a 3.5 kilometres distributor, which links the ACP road and the Nsawam road at Amasaman Court.
    Current programme
    The sealing of Pokuase main road commenced in April, 2015 and is scheduled for completion in August, 2015. The contractor is currently on site undertaking sealing works.
    Mr Anim 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the entire Pokuase main road is a little more than 2 kilometres or thereabout. Can the Hon Deputy Minister confirm that the contract has been awarded to seal the entire road?
    Mr I. A. Mensah 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, in my presentation, I did respectfully present that the road in question is 3.5 kilometres and that is what has been awarded. And the expectation is that, by the end of August 2015, it would have been completed.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Minister, thank you for attending upon the House. You are discharged.
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Do you have any more questions?
    Very well. Sorry.
    Hon Deputy Minister, he still has some questions for you.
    Mr Anim 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have two more questions.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to know from the Hon Deputy Minister how many sealings are going to be done for the Pokuase main road. Last year, primer seal was done on 1 kilometres and it has been allowed to deteriorate. We would want to know how many sealings would be done.
    Mr I. A. Mensah 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the completion date for the project is August, 2015 and sealing would be done. I think that it is important that the completion date is respected and the sealing also done. So, given the past work done and the current programme ongoing, we think that by the end of the programme, we could have completed the road and placed it in a good shape to our satisfaction.
    Mr Anim 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, before my last point, my concern was so much about the number of sealings. The primer sealing that was done last year has been allowed to deteriorate and that is why my people would want to know whether you are going to have a second -- a third seal on that road, so that we would be sure. Other than that, it will just be waste of money.
    Mr Speaker, after that, we would also want to know how much it is costing the State — What is the contract sum for the project?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Hon Member, I will not allow that question. It does not fall in line with the original Question asked, but if the Hon Deputy Minister has a response, fine.
    Mr I. A. Mensah 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was just going to respectfully submit that I do not have the contract sum readily available with me and at the appropriate time, I can furnish my Hon Colleague accordingly on that one.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Very well.
    This brings us to the end of Question time.
    Hon Deputy Minister, thank you for attending upon the House. You are now discharged.
    Hon Members, I have admitted two Statements and because of time, we will limit the number of contributions to each of the Statements, so that we can make some progress.
    The first one stands in the name of Hon Emmanuel Kwasi Bandua, Hon Member for Biakoye, and Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Foreign Affairs. The Statement is on African Union Day, May 25, 2015.
    Hon Member, you have the floor.
    STATEMENTS 11:30 a.m.

    Mr Emmanuel Kwasi Bandua (NDC— Biakoye) 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to make this Statement today to mark the celebration of African Union Day.
    Mr Speaker, the 25th Day of May every year is celebrated as African Union day to remind the African Continent of the need to promote the unity and solidarity of African States.
    I crave your indulgence Mr Speaker, to give a brief historical background to the establishment of the African Union (AU). The historical foundations of the AU
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Hon Members, we will take two contributions from either sides of the House.
    Mr Patrick Yaw Boamah (NPP— Okaikoi Central) 11:30 a.m.
    Thank you very much Mr Speaker for the opportunity.
    Mr Speaker, with the coming into force of the Constitutive Act of the African Union (AU), one expected the African Union to also prepare itself to face up to the challenges in the growing and expanding world.
    Mr Speaker, we have been reading and listening to news on the international networks in the past week about migrants from the African Continent and one would
    want to find out what measures or what the position is, of the leadership of the African Union.
    Mr Speaker, there are issues of our borders being weak, that we do not have enough systems in place to prevent our citizens from crossing over, and to also use other unorthodox means to find greener pastures in Europe. This has led to a lot of human trafficking, deaths of thousands of Africans or poor individuals, leading to lots of human right issues and also the fact that the European Union (EU) and African Union not having to be able to reconcile what these challenges are.
    Mr Speaker, I will also talk about some issues of instability on the continent. Lately, the issue in Burundi, where there was an attempted coup d'état, and also the fact that some African countries still want to go ahead to amend their constitutions to enable their Heads of State to run for a third term. I believe we have come a long way as a continent to adhere strictly to our constitutions and also ensure that the rights or the will of the people prevail at all times.
    Mr Speaker, I also want to find out what the leadership on the continent is doing about the size of our markets in respect of trading among ourselves, and also our weak infrastructural base.
    Mr Speaker, these are some of the things we want the AU to dwell and focus on, to enable us develop as a continent for the betterment of all of us.
    Mr David T. Assumeng (NDC -- Shai- Osudoku) 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity.
    Mr Speaker, may I thank the Hon Member for making this laudable Statement and I would want to add my voice to it, to say congratulations to the African Continent.
    Mr David T. Assumeng (NDC -- Shai- Osudoku) 11:40 a.m.


    Mr K. T. Hammond — rose --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Hon Member, is it on a point of order?
    Mr K. T. Hammond 11:40 a.m.
    Yes Mr Speaker. There is a serious point of order.
    I was beginning to wonder if I should spare his blushes but he persisted. So, maybe I should point them out.
    Mr Speaker, we do not make statements like this on the floor of this House. “So upon all these huge oil reserves, Nigeria is broke?”. What is the basis for that and where is he getting the statement from? Nigeria, today, is talking about billions and billions of dollars. Let us be careful.
    Mr Speaker, when they get him at Abuja Airport, they will not be happy about the statement he made.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    I hope you are not threatening him?
    Mr K. T. Hammond 11:40 a.m.
    I am just suggesting to him that if they get him -- Let us be careful. Tone it down; you might want to withdraw it or whatever, It has nothing to do with NPP whatever; it is the state of Nigeria.
    Mr Assumeng 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, Hon K. T. Hammond has not been seen on the floor for so long and he is here today and wants us to know he is here, so that he is recognised.

    Mr K. T. Hammond — rose --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Hon K. T. Hammond, I thought he was quoting a banner headline from one of these Ghanaian newspapers. -- [Interruption]-- So, he is only quoting the banner headline of a newspaper.
    Mr Assumeng 11:40 a.m.
    Yes, I have in my hands the Accra Times.
    Mr K. T. Hammond 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, he seems to agree with it; he is not only quoting. I do not know what is there. But if it is a matter of quoting, he simply said that he was quoting. But he seems to believe that Nigeria is broke; that is an emphatic statement.
    Alhaji Muntaka 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thought that this was a Statement that we are contributing to and if my Hon Colleague has a different view, he can wait for his turn.
    If we have to go into the details what it means if we say that somebody is broke, humbly speaking, I would want to tell him that two weeks ago, the Speaker and myself were in Abuja and there were queues everywhere to get fuel. People were holding and selling fuel in gallons and they were in queues as long as three to five miles from filling stations, and the lights were constantly off.
    So, when he is talking about the predicaments of African countries, allow him to make his point. When it gets to his turn and he has another side of Africa to
    mention, he can say it; but when he wants to insist that he should not make his point, I do not think that will be fair. So, he should just wait, when it gets to his turn, he would state what he has seen or the other good things. Obviously, in Africa, we have the good side of us and the bad side. He is talking about general poverty in Africa.
    The Heads of State of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), when they met three days ago in Accra, admitted that one of the biggest challenges that is facing Africa today is youth unemployment. If you are not broke, why are your people not able to get jobs? So, please, he is making a point. Let him land and when he gets the opportunity he should also state his opinion rather than distracting him and not giving us the opportunity to make progress. So Mr Speaker, I would be grateful if we would all allow the debate to flow. Get your turn and you will also contribute.
    Thank you.
    Mr K. T. Hammond 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I accept half what the Hon Member has said but he has even compounded the matter. I was prepared to resume my seat and allow my Hon Colleague to flow but he has compounded it.
    By his suggestion, it is the case that Ghana is not broke? Is it because we do not have the queues that he is talking about, that we are not broke?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Hon Member, these are very debatable issues. Let us let it rest; this is because he was only quoting the banner headline of a newspaper.
    Mr K. T. Hammond 11:40 a.m.
    I entirely appreciate that, Mr Speaker. The point I was making was that, having quoted it, he could have left it at that, but he was developing the point as a matter of fact, that Nigeria is broke and Hon Muntaka gets up to support it that because there are queues. The fact that there are queues may not be any indication that the economy itself is broke. Some maladministration, no petrol. Because we are broke in Ghana but we do not have queues. That logic is quite confusing.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Very well.
    Yes, Hon Minister?
    Mr Mahama Ayariga (NDC -- Bawku Central) 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think it is important to put the reference in proper perspective.
    The Accra Times is reporting the statement of a Governor of River State in Nigeria. So, the statement that “Nigeria is broke” was made by the River State Governor which Accra Times is reporting. And the River State Governor is making reference to the inability of the various States to pay salaries for several months and meet their basic obligations.
    So, it is not the Hon Member who is saying that Nigeria is broke. It is a prominent Governor of a State in Nigeria that is saying that Nigeria is broke and that their States are unable to pay salaries and meet other statutory obligations of the various States. So, I think that the international dimension Hon K. T. Hammond was trying to put to the statement, he must be careful about it.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Members, we bring this chapter to a close.
    Hon Member, please, conclude your presentation.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Hon Member, do not go that way; continue with your presentation.
    Mr Assumeng 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, he has just tried to disrupt my submission and he used my precious time to --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    If you do not continue with your submission, I will stop you.
    Mr Assumeng 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, as I was saying, it is high time African leaders began to assess the situation and put in place pragmatic steps to solve the problems of the continent.
    The last time, we discussed the issue of xenophobic attacks in South Africa and I believe that 52 years now, all these things should not be happening on the African Continent. We should be united and seen working together as a continent, so that we can also have a larger economic market to improve upon the living conditions of our people.
    Today, the European Union (EU) is doing it for its people and Africa must be seen doing same, so that we can move our people out of this abject poverty that we find ourselves in.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity.
    Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh (NPP -- Nsawam-Adoagyiri) 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am on my feet to support the Statement and largely collaborate many of the things that the maker of the Statement touched on.
    First of all, I would want to say that the celebration of the Organisation of Africa Union Day or now African Union Day is
    important. However, in contemporary politics, in my humble view, Mr Speaker, it has become mere speech making days with little significance in terms of impacting positively on the African Continent ultimately.
    Mr Speaker, Africa is still at the mercy of the so- called developed or big powers of the world. To that end, our raw materials are being shipped in droves to these countries without Africa adding value to them. This has not added much economic value to the transforma-tional efforts of the African Continent and that is impacting negatively on our development efforts.
    Mr Speaker, it is sad to say that our energetic youth today are leaving the shores of Africa for non-existent greener pastures in the so-called developed countries.
    It is time we paused and asked ourselves a few questions. What are Governments including those that have come and gone doing? It is not just looking at it globally or in terms of the African concept.
    What pragmatic steps are individual African countries putting in place to ensure that the youth who are the driving force of the development of every economy in Africa and even across are supported to stay within the shores of Africa, support the development efforts of this continent and ensure that ultimately, Africa becomes an admirable continent among the comity of continents.
    Mr Speaker, quite recently, the President of the Economic Community of West Afican States (ECOWAS) in his handing over speech, appealed to African leaders to make conscious efforts to ensure that jobs are created for our youth. Inasmuch as that advice is well placed, that advice is also relevant to us and I would want to appeal to His Excellency

    the President that he makes a conscious effort -- We know of a number of modules that have existed in terms of the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) and others but these projects are not ultimately impacting positively on the economy of this country. It is high time we began to focus on that.

    Mr Speaker, our best brains are leaving our shores. Think of the best brains we have on the continent, most of them are leaving the shores of Africa and that is not adding up to the value of the African Continent. So, yes, we can make all the nice speeches. We can praise the people who blazed the trail and founded this Union -- Dr Kwame Nkrumah himself.

    Now, Africa lacks a bold and confident leader in the likes of Dr Kwame Nkrumah who at that time, against all odds, blazed the trail and showed a certain direction for the African Continent to follow. That is not in existence now. Unfortunately, we are tied to the apron strings of these so- called developed countries and as a result, we do their bidding and yield to their conditionalities which do not ultimately impact positively on the African Continent.

    We can celebrate but personally, I think that this Day should be a day of mourning for the African Continent because the very things that our Founders stood for -- Dr Kwame Nkrumah and the likes -- from that time up to this time, are lost on us. We have not been able to achieve those. There is a yawning gap. So, the speeches can be made but it is time for us to show regret and mourn as a continent.

    Thank you Mr Speaker, for the opportunity.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Very well.
    Yes, Hon Muntaka?
    Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka (NDC-- Asawase) 11:50 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    I beg to associate myself with the Statement ably made by the Hon Chairman of the select Committee on Foreign Affairs and to also congratulate all of us, even though it is on Monday, for the African Union Day.
    Mr Speaker, 25th May is supposed to be a very special day for us in Africa for obvious reasons. It is a day that our Founding Fathers thought of how to bring all of us together.
    Mr Speaker, there has been a lot of positive sides to it. It is through this initiative that we were able to get as many countries in Africa as possible to get their independence. We cannot say that is not an achievement.
    But Mr Speaker, one of the major challenges that we have been faced with is that the euphoria of independence never got out of our minds and we kept our individual kiosks, which I call the “kiosk mentality”. Mr Speaker, I have always likened this to a stranger coming into one's house and then with a gun, forces one and his family and partitions them into several rooms in the house. Now, the person succeeds in getting the stranger away and yet he or she keeps to those very rooms.
    It is sad to note that after 50 years of the intention to bring us together, we cannot even have a single language all of us can agree to speak. When we go to any African meeting, which Mr Speaker, we are all privileged together as Hon Members of Pan-African Parliament to do, we have to speak five languages.
    We would have to get an interpreter for Arabic, French, English, Swahili and then Portuguese. Fifty years on, we continue to speak these languages.
    Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka (NDC-- Asawase) 11:50 a.m.
    We have never been able to progress to a point where we all agree that let us speak three languages in Africa, that all of us would learn. Mr Speaker, I believe that where there is a will, there will always be a way. If we had given ourselves even 20 years to develop Swahili as the true African Language that all of us should be speaking, I would want to believe that by now, 50 years down the line, we would all be speaking Swahili. But because of the mentality of everybody wanting to keep his or her own, we are found where we are.
    Even countries that are less than two million still want to be seen as a country and with all the headache of trying to put up almost every infrastructure like the big ones.
    Mr Speaker, if you look at some of the issues that the Hon Chairman for the Committee on Foreign Affairs has raised, failure to let go some of their liberties is one. A family can never be an effective one if there would be no sacrifices. Some people who are stronger should be willing to sacrifice some of their strengths in terms of maybe, farming for more food for the home while the younger ones are fed to go to school and have other things.
    If we are in Africa and none of our countries are freely willing to let go some of their sovereignty, we would continue to have this challenge because everybody wants to keep his or her territory. If everybody wants to keep his or her stuff, if we are not ready to trade off something for us to get something, there is no way we would make any progress.
    Mr Speaker, on the issue about the subscription, you and I are in the Pan- African Parliament. It is sad when the budget of African Union (AU) is presented. More than 60 per cent of the
    budget is donor funded. Others are funding the budget that we choose to run our Organisation. [Interruption.] It is more than 60 per cent.

    Yes. So, the issue of paying subscriptions in Africa is very challenging and I think that all of us --

    I know that Ghana is not defaulting because in Pan-African Parliament, we have even suggested that those countries should be listed for naming and shaming, so that people would know that country “A”, “B”, “C”, “D” have not paid their subscription.
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Hon Member, are you up on a point of order?
    Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh 11:50 a.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker.
    The Hon Majority Chief Whip made a very serious statement. He said the AU Budget is 60 per cent supported and if somebody is giving us 60 per cent of our food, the person is virtually controlling us.

    Mr Speaker, he does not mean to say that African governments are puppets; does he?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker noon
    Anyway, are you disputing a statement of fact?
    Dr Prempeh noon
    Mr Speaker, I do not have evidence. The Hon Majority Chief Whip, who is part of the Pan-African Parliament would better know and I would want to believe him. Mr Speaker, but not only has he made that statement, he has gone further to expatiate that if somebody is giving you 60 per cent of the food one eats - So, by inference, is he saying that Heads of State of African countries are puppets and that His Excellency John Mahama is a puppet? Is he saying that?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker noon
    Very well. Your point is well made.
    Hon Member, please, begin to wind up. Hon Majority Chief Whip, you have the floor; go ahead.
    rose
    Alhaji Muntaka noon
    Hon K. T. Hammond, could you sit down? You have not been called.
    Mr Speaker, I never said that any of the African leaders are puppets. What I meant was that, if somebody has to contribute to 60 per cent of the food that we eat, we cannot run away from that person in trying to influence us. We would definitely be influenced because the person would want to determine what kind of food we would eat -- if he is funding 60 per cent of the food that you would eat.
    I am only by inference saying that most of the times, as my Hon Colleague earlier
    mentioned, where most of our raw materials and what have you -- When people contribute to how we manage our organisations, they would try to use that as a basis of influence to determine how things happen within our continent.
    Mr Speaker, lastly, all of us have a stake. The more we point fingers at others, the more we should be looking at what we could also do as individuals to contribute to the unity of Africa.
    Mr Speaker, West Africa has done so well in trying to have a common passport and free movement of people. But sometimes, we keep hearing from our own citizens that some Togolese, Nigerians and Burkinabes who are here are taking over our businesses. We are one people. It is just like saying that somebody from the Northern Region is in the Greater Accra Region or somebody from the Greater Accra Region is in the Northern Region, and the person is taking our space.
    We are one people and every single one of us must programme his or her thinking to know that we are one people. I am not different from a Nigerian; just as a Nigerian, Togolese or Burkinabe can be in Ghana to establish a business, I also have the opportunity to go to Nigeria, Burkina Faso or Lome to establish a business. Let us try to see ourselves as one entity and stop compartmentalising our brains to seeing others as different from us. If we do that, we would also be contributing to the disunity of Africa. All of us would have to unite.
    Mr Speaker, we must be proud to fly the flag of Africa side by side our national flags. I am very sure that if today, we show the children of Ghana the flag of Africa, they would not be able to identify it. How could we unite the people if these basic things that would help propel us together are not even available?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker noon
    Hon Members, this brings us to the end of the first Statement.
    The second Statement stands in the name of the Hon Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Hon Mahama Ayariga; it is on the International Day for Biological Diversity.
    Hon Member, you have the floor. [Pause] -- [Interruption] -- It is a Ministerial Statement.
    Hon Minister, please, go ahead.
    International Day for Biological Diversity
    Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (Mr Mahama Ayariga) (MP) noon
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to make this Statement on the occasion of the International Day for Biological Diversity, which is on 22nd May, 2015.
    Mr Speaker, Ghana ratified the United Nations Convention on Biological Diver si ty in August , 1994. The objectives of the Convention are to conserve biological diversity -- ensure the sustainable use of same and to ensure the equitable sharing of the benefits that arise out of the use of genetic resources. The promotion of these objectives have been a priority to the Convention.
    In this regard, Mr Speaker, the United Nations has declared May 22nd as the In ternational Day for Biological Diversity (IDB). The occasion is used to highlight key biodiversity issues that con tr ibute to the development of society. This year's theme is “Biodiversity for Sustainable Development”.
    Mr Speaker, biological diversity is the term used to describe the variety of life found on earth and all of the natural processes. This includes ecosystem, genetic and cultural diversity and the connections between these and all species.
    Mr Speaker, to commemorate the Day, Ghana has chosen to link the contribution of biodiversity conserva- tion to sustainable energy development in order to bring out the issue of biogas generation as an alternative energy source. This is appropriate because of the enormous benefits that biogas development and operations can bestow on Ghana.
    The source of biogas
    Mr Speaker, biogas is a product of the breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen. Organic matter includes all kinds of organic waste from agricul ture, household, industry, municipal, hospital, hotels et cetera, which create a nuisance when left unat tended to and are therefore discarded.
    This means that all the organic matter which form part of the waste generated by people in their normal human activities, accumulated and or hauled daily in trucks either in solid or liquid form for disposal constitute a huge supply of raw material.
    Biogas and national and global benefits
    Mr Speaker, the gas that is produced is primarily made up of methane (CH4), carbon dioxidei (C02), hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and siloxanes (a subgroup of Silicones [Si-O] commonly added to consumer products such as detergents, medical products and devices, shampoos, cosmetics, paper coatings and textiles). These are known to form part of the greenhouse gases (GHGs) when released into the open air. GHGs contribute to global warming.
    However, at the same time, when the gas is in a contained situation, it is useful as fuel source for any heating purpose such as cooking or as potential energy source for conversion into electricity and heat in gas engines. The proper generation and use of biogas thus reduces Greenhouse Gas (GHG) accumulation and promotes energy generation. One can see that both functions will contribute to the new sustainable development goals.
    Mr Speaker, we can consider goal 7 (affordable and sustainable energy, where additional energy sources are made available), goal 11 (safe cities and communities, ensuring safe and cleaner environments where landfi lls for garbage and other wastes are properly managed for urban dwellers, especially children to grow in).
    Goal 13 (stop climate change, as Ghana's contribution to GHG emission reduction and making life better for small scale farmers in crop production) and goal 14 ( protect oceans, where raw liquid waste does not find its way to Lavender Hill for disposal in the sea, and point source of pollution are minimised).
    Mr Speaker, the promotion of biogas will additionally enhance achievement of goal 6 (water and sanitation for all, promoting watershed protection, better water abstraction methods applied to prevent subsidence and available and hygien ic potable water ) , goal 12 (responsible consumption by all, cutting on waste) and goal 15 (take care of the earth, as stewards of God's creation).
    Mr Speaker, with the re-use of organic waste as a resource and new technolo- gical approaches which have lowered capital costs, anaerobic digestion has in recent years received increased attention among governments in a number of countries. Ghana can be added to this list.
    We will be seen as promoting the countries' efforts to reduce emissions from deforesta t ion and forest degradation, and foster conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+ concept), secur ing our environmental resources and promoting human wellbeing.
    In this regard, Mr Speaker, I would want to invite all Members to join MESTI in using the commemoration to
    Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (Mr Mahama Ayariga) (MP) noon


    promote the conservation of the biological resources in the country to ensure the continuous supply of raw materials to biogas generation and other benefits for the country.

    Thank you.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Hon Members, we will take two contributions each from either side of the House.
    Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh (Nsawam- Adoagyiri -- NPP) 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I congratulate the Hon Minister for a Statement well captured and the relevance of the topic he chose.
    Mr Speaker, it is an area that does not normally attract the attention of Hon Ministers who have come and gone. To that end, I would like to congratulate the Hon Minister for a well chosen subject area.
    Mr Speaker, there is a direct interface with environmental conservation and protection when it comes to biodiversity and therefore, it brings to wake, our efforts, as a country, in strengthening relevant State institutions mandated to deliver on these deliverables.
    Skills for instance, the Ministries of Food and Agriculture, Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Lands and Natural Resources, and of course, the Forestry Commission -- I think that, as the Hon Minister made the Statement, it is a giant step --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Hon Member, the name of the Ministry is the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation.
    Mr Simon E. Asimah (South Dayi -- NDC) 12:10 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity.
    I beg to commend the Hon Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation who made the Statement on this occasion, to commemorate the International Day of Biodiversity with emphasis on energy and waste as biogas for our country.
    Mr Speaker, nature has endowed Ghana with forests, rivers, lakes, species of trees, crops and insects. However, as a country, we have not been able to keep these resources intact for future generations. We continue to deplete these resources and as a result, we have what we now refer to as climate change effect which threatens our very survival.
    Mr Speaker, having made this statement, I think I would narrow it down to the issue of people of this country working together with the various institutions to ensure that our natural resources are not depleted and also to ensure that we have food security, energy and power sufficiency, ensure healthy lives and sustainable management of water and sanitation for our people.
    Mr Speaker, this country has policies on climate change issues and I would even want to draw the attention of the House to the future and climate change summit which would be coming on somewhere in Paris towards the end of the year and I urge all Hon Members to contribute through the Ministry to this climate change summit.
    Mr Speaker, biodiversity is to ensure the generation of the various resources for the future generations and also to ensure that this country continues to manage her development on sustainable basis.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Mr David Oppon-Kusi (NPP -- Ofoase/ Ayirebi) 12:20 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    I would like to add my voice to the comments made previously by my Hon Colleagues on the Statement made by the Hon Minister.
    Mr Speaker, the environment is all God gave us. When He created us, He did not give us houses or clothes. Anything we have now, is as a result of what we have done with our brains, hands and the
    environment. So, a damaged environment means that we are damaging our future.
    Talking about the ecosystem, we need to critically look at the larger environment because it is the larger environment which houses the ecosystems and other systems. Particularly, we talk about water systems. Mr Speaker, water systems are key elements in a sustainable ecosystem.
    Whether rivers, lakes, marine or fresh water, we need to take cognisance of the fact that if we do not protect our water systems, if we do not protect our ecosystems and if we do not protect our larger environments, then the future is bleak.
    Others think of water in the next 50 years; others think of what we would do in the next 100 years. We live as if we are living only for today. Let us ask ourselves; are we doing enough for our environ- ment? If you just took a walk or a drive along the major roads leading out of the capital city, you would see the way we are allowing developers to destroy our environment as if nobody is in charge.
    Let me just take the stretch between Kasoa and Winneba -- Mr Speaker, you probably use that road often -- The way developers are using the land as if there is no tomorrow -- filling in wetlands and removing vegetation.
    Sometimes I ask myself, who is responsible? We have the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation; we have about four or five District Assemblies there; we have the planning -- But there seems to be no planning at all. I have not seen any advanced country or any country which is looking to the future which allows every piece of land close to the road or whatever to be used for development.
    Very soon we are going to create a concrete forest and I wonder where our water resources would be coming from.
    So, the question comes again. Who owns the environment? As we go along in 20 to 50 years' time, what would happen to the remainder of our streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands, lagoons and our shorelines?
    We talk about the use of biogas which the Hon Minister wanted to highlight. Until we are able to organise ourselves, so that the whole chain from the production of waste, the collection of waste, the transportation and storage of waste is done in such a way that it can be properly used, we cannot get any value from it because for it to be economical, we need to start from where I peel my plantain or cassava.
    How do I collect these things? How do I collect the waste from the house? Who is responsible for making sure that we aggregate these things and transport them properly to places where they can be properly used?
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Hon Minister, are you on a point of order?
    Mr Ayariga 12:20 p.m.
    Yes, very much so.
    Mr Speaker, given that I made the Statement and the Hon Member is making a positive contribution, if there is some misunderstanding, I think that it would be important to just assist to correct it. This is because the media would carry the
    discussions. When you speak about the capacity of individuals to collect their own waste and then convert it into biogas and electricity and methane, it is very easy; individuals can do that. One can actually convert the septic tank in one's house into a bioseptic tank and digest in the digester and convert into methane, which one can actually pipe to one's kitchen and use the gas to cook.
    One can actually compress the same gas and use it for one's car and also pipe the same gas to a biogas electric generator which can generate electricity for one's home.
    As we speak, construction is ongoing in a number of senior high schools. In fact, if you go to Presbyterian Boys' Senior High School (PRESEC) -- We are starting with the schools in the Greater Accra -- You would see that all the schools have started the construction of bioseptic tanks.
    So, all the waste material go into that tank and there are a number of digesters and ultimately, it would be converted into methane gas which would be piped to the kitchens of the schools. We want to stop the schools from using firewoods and causing more deforestation.
    So, it is very easy and very possible for individual homes. What people do not know is that a lot of big infrastructure facilities actually have bioseptic tanks. The Flagstaff House has a bioseptic tank and a number of hotels have bioseptic tanks. Except that they flare the gas and we are trying to stop them from flaring the gas and channel it into either firing their kitchens or using it to generate electricity. So, it is perfectly possible for individuals to do so in their homes.
    I just thought I should add that to the Hon Member's statements.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Very well. Thank you very much.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    I was rather speaking in broader terms; talking about the use of waste and not just about biogas. If we are going to use waste efficiently, we need to formalise the way we collect it. I think that what he is saying does not negate the point I am making, that we need to formalise the way we collect waste.
    In our homes, we put all the waste together; how can we separate them and use them for the purposes that we need them? Again, it is like telling an individual that one can peal one's own plantain, grind it and make Neat Fufu.
    It is probably possible but on an economic scale, we need to have a system that would allow those who cannot do it on their own to channel it through a system that would then produce --
    For example, go to my village and tell them to do it on their own, it would be very difficult. But if we have a system that would collect the waste, transfer the waste to a particular place and use it for the whole community, I think it would become more efficient in that way.
    Communities like the universities may be able to do it but even that if the whole of Kumasi have a system that relies on all the waste being generated instead of some of the waste that we are putting in the Korle Lagoon and other places-- if we can handle them properly.
    So, we need to have a bigger perspective of looking at it. I am saying this in a wider perspective that we are not treating our environment properly. We need to think about it, so that eventually and moving forward, in the years ahead -- People are thinking about the water they would drink in 50 years' time. We are not even thinking about tomorrow, otherwise, we would not be filling our streams with materials, so that we can -- Go along the

    streets; wetlands are being filled and the way we are even destroying the roads. If we have to put this thing together --

    Sometimes, I wonder why should we even allow people to build close to the major roads leading to our major cities? Everybody wants access from his own piece of land unto the highway and we know the problem it creates.

    We need to have ownership of some of the things that we do, so that together, we could reap the benefits the Hon Member is talking about.

    I thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Thank you very much.
    The last contributor, if any, otherwise, we would bring the second Statement to a close.
    Thank you very much, Hon Members who made the two Statements as well as Hon Members who contributed to the Statements.
    Hon Members, at the Commencement of Public Business.
    Hon Majority Chief Whip -- Presenta- tion of Papers?
    Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, sadly, the Chairman of the Finance Committee is telling me it is not ready. The only Paper we have on the Order Paper to lay is still not ready.
    But Mr Speaker, we would want to take this opportunity to beg, even though we know that yesterday, we all agreed that the Conduct of Public Officers Bill, 2013 should be seriously handled today. Yesterday, part of the reason we had to go to the Caucus meeting was the new development from the Upper East Region,
    and because the gentleman is being buried today, even on our Side of the House, some Hon Members, especially those from the region have also travelled to participate in the burial. So, we would still want to crave your indulgence to allow us to continue this on Tuesday, looking at the mood of the House.
    So, Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this House stands adjourned until Tuesday at 10.00 o'clock in the forenoon. This will enable the other committees to meet and other commitments to be met.
    Dr Matthew O. Prempeh 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Hon Majority Chief Whip's Motion for the House to be adjourned till 10.00 o'clock in the forenoon.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    ADJOURNMENT 12:30 p.m.

  • The House was accordingly adjourned at 12:33 p.m. till Tuesday, 26th May, 2015 at 10.00 a.m.