Debates of 26 Jun 2015

PRAYERS 11 a.m.

Mr First Deputy Speaker 11 a.m.
Members, Correction of Votes and Proceedings of Thursday, 25th of June,
  • [No correction was made to the Votes and Proceedings of Thursday, 25th June, 2015.]
  • Mr First Deputy Speaker 11 a.m.
    Hon Members, we have one Official Report dated Tuesday, 23 rd June, 2015 for consideration.
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Mr Alexander K. Afenyo-Markin 11 a.m.
    Speaker, at column 1566, the last but one paragraph, my statement ended with “my paternal home Tsiame”. There is no “Keta”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11 a.m.
    Very well, Table Office, please take note.

    Hon Members, in the absence of any further corrections, the Official Report for Tuesday, 23rd June, 2015, as corrected, is hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.

    Business Statement?

    Chairman of the Business Committee) 11 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Committee met on Thursday, 25th June, 2015 and arranged Business of the House for the Eighth Week ending Friday, 3rd July, 2015.
    Mr Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 56 (1), the Committee accordingly submits its Report as follows:
    Arrangement of Business
    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 Roads and Highways -- 6
    ii. Minister for Local Government and Rural Development -- 1
    iii. Minister for Finance -- 1
    iv. Minister for Food and Agriculture -- 1
    v. Minister for Education -- 5
    vi. Minister for Health -- 5
    Total number of Questions -- 19
    Mr Speaker, six (6) Ministers are expected to attend upon the House to respond to nineteen (19) Questions during the week. The questions are of the following types:
    i. Urgent -- 1
    ii. Oral -- 18
    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.
    Extended Sittings
    Mr Speaker, as announced during the presentation of the Business Statement last week, the House would have Extended Sittings when the need arises.
    Committee of the Whole to be briefed
    Mr Speaker, the Committee of the Whole is scheduled to be briefed on the
    recent demolition exercise at Old Fadama (Sodom and Gomorrah). The Committee would be briefed by the following:
    (i) Minister for Local Government and Rural Development
    (ii) Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation
    (iii) The Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive.
    The briefing of the Committee of the Whole is scheduled for Thursday, 2nd July 2015. Hon Members are accordingly informed and urged to avail themselves at the said meeting.
    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 --

    *273. Mr Kwabena Mintah Akandoh (Juaboso): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways when the Proso- Anhwiafutu Junction road will be constructed.

    *274. Dr Kwabena Twum-Nuamah (Berekum East): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways when the construction of the road between Seikwa and Berekum in the Brong Ahafo Region will be completed.
    Chairman of the Business Committee) 11 a.m.

    *275. Mr Mohammed Salisu Bamba (Ejura-Sekyedumase): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways when the Brigade area of Ejura Township will be provided with access road.

    *277. Mr Stevens Siaka (Jaman North): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways when the road between Wenchi through Broadi, Duadaso No. I and II to Sampa will be completed.

    *278. Mr Kofi Frimpong (Kwabre East): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways when Adanwomasi - Asonomaso Nkwanta road, a major by-pass for travellers from Accra to the northern parts of Ashanti and Brong Ahafo Regions, which has become impassable to motorist, would be repaired.

    *280. Mr Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh (Sunyani East): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways when the Abesim- Nkrankrom and Nkrankrom- Yawmire - Asikasu road will be tarred.


    Presentation of Papers --

    Report of the Auditor-General on the Management of Petroleum Funds for the period 1st January, 2013 to 31st December, 2013.

    Presentation and First Reading of Bills

    Ghana AIDS Commission Bill, 2015.

    Motion --

    Second Reading of Bills --

    Millennium Development Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2014.

    Consideration Stage of Bills --

    Intestate Succession Bill, 2013. (Continuation of Debate)

    Committee Sittings.

    PUBLIC HOLIDAY (Republic Day)

    Urgent Question
    Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah (Akwapim South) 11 a.m.
    To ask the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development what steps are being taken to prevent floods in Accra and other regional capitals in the country.
    *440. Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto (Kwadaso): To ask the Minister for Finance the total tonnage of cocoa purchases from farmers during the period from 1 st October, 2014 to mid-May, 2015.
    *459. Dr Sagre Bambangi (Walewale): To ask the Minister for Food and Agriculture what the state of Government's fertilizer subsidy programme for the 2015 cropping season is.
    *412. Mr Kwadwo Kyei-Frimpong (Bosome-Freho): To ask the Minister for Education what steps are being taken to improve the educational infrastructure in Bosome-Freho Senior High School, especially the construction of dormitory, administration and classroom blocks.
    *413. Mr Bright Edward Kodzo Demordzi (Bortianor-Ngleshie Amanfro): To ask the Minister for Education what plans the Ministry has to construct an assembly hall for Ngleshie Amanfro Senior High School.
    *414. Mr Kwame Asafu-Adjei (Nsuta-Kwamang Beposo): To ask the Minister for Education what steps are being taken to improve educational infrastructure at Kwamang Presbyterian Secondary/ Technical High School.
    *415. Mr Ameen Salifu (Wa East): To ask the Minister for Education when the Funsi Senior High School will be provided with a school bus.
    *416. Dr Sagre Bambangi (Walewale): To ask the Minister for Education when the Ministry will provide a means of transport for the administration of the Walewale Vocational Institute.
    Motion --
    Second Reading of Bills --
    Income Tax Bill, 2015.
    Consideration Stage of Bills
    Millennium Development Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2014.
    Chieftaincy (Amendment) Bill, 2013.
    Committee Sittings -- Committee of the Whole to be briefed on the recent demolition exercise at Old Fadama (Sodom and Gomorrah).

    Questions --

    *386. Mr Mustapha Ussif (Yagaba/ Kubori): To ask the Minister for Health when Mamprugu Moaduri District will be given a district hospital.

    *405. Mr Kwadwo Kyei-Frimpong (Bosome-Freho): To ask the Minister for Health what plans the Ministry has to upgrade the clinic at Asiwa in the Bosome- Freho District to the status of a district hospital.

    *406. Mr Kennedy Nyarko Osei (Akim Swedru): To ask the Minister for Health when Birim South will be provided with a district hospital to cater for the health needs of about 190,000 people within the district.

    *407. Dr Stephen (Nana) Ato Arthur (Komenda/Edina/Eguafo/ Abrem): To ask the Minister for Health what steps the Ministry has taken to provide an office space for the Health Directorate of the Komenda/Edina/Eguafo/ Abrem Municipality.

    *444. Mr Joseph Benhazin Dahah (Asutifi North): To ask the Minister for Health when the Kenyasi Health Centre will be upgraded to a hospital status for the district to have a district hospital.


    Motions --

    (a) Adoption of the Report of the Public Accounts Committee on
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Mr William Agyapong Quaittoo 11:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I posed a Question on cocoa to the Ministry of Finance about two months ago, and I keep reminding the Table Office that I never see it in the Business Statement. I do not know why. I made it an Urgent Question. I do not know why the Question is not coming up. [Pause.]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
    Hon Member, I would advise that you contact the Table Office one more time. We hope that this would be the last time that you would make such a contact.
    Mr Kofi Frimpong 11:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, last week, on Tuesday, the Hon Deputy

    Minister for Local Government and Rural Development came to answer Questions on the Mamponteng Market in my constituency. He was not able to provide certain information that we asked for and Mr Speaker asked him to provide the information the following week.

    Mr Speaker, up to this time, the information has not been provided. It has been a way whereby some Hon Ministers do avoid certain Questions when they are asked to bring Answers.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
    Hon Member, please, do not generalise.
    Mr Kofi Frimpong 11:35 a.m.
    All right.
    Mr Speaker, they refuse to -- In fact, I am very much disappointed with the behaviour of the Hon Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Develop- ment. [Interruptions] -- He knows I am a very good Friend.
    Mr Frimpong 11:35 a.m.
    Sit down, what is it? I am making my contribution; why would you not allow me? Sit down.
    Mr Frist Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
    Hon Member for Kwabre East, I hope you are not usurping my position.
    Mr Frimpong 11:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, no. They are fond of heckling me anytime I am on the floor of the House. That is why I am asking them to sit down.
    So, Mr Speaker, I do not know when the information to be provided by the Hon Deputy Minister would find its way in the programme of parliamentary business. This is because he has not brought the information, and we do not know whether the information would come through the Order Paper.
    I have contacted him but he is not prepared to give me the information.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:35 a.m.
    Hon Member, can you furnish us with the Hansard and read the relevant portion that deals with the issue? This is to satisfy ourselves that, indeed, what you have said is the true record or reflection of what happened. Do you get my point?
    If we had that to assist us -- All the same, I believe that the Table Office would take note, and try to contact the Hon Deputy Minister responsible for the necessary steps to be taken.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 11:35 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much.
    Mr Speaker, I have heard the Business Statement for the coming week, but there is this matter that has been pending since 2013. It is with respect to some loans that were granted some Ghanaian businesses.
    When we did the 2013 Budget Statement hearing, the then Hon Minister for Youth and Sports, Hon Afriyie Ankrah, assured the House that he was not the Hon Minister at the time the said facilities were granted, and having perused the document, efforts would be made to submit those loan agreements for our consideration.
    I am a member of the Finance Committee and I have been reading the Hansard and looking forward to getting that informa- tion. This is because, Mr Speaker, as you may be aware, article 181 (2) of the Constitution is very clear, that when moneys are to be taken out of the Consolidated Fund to be given out as a loan to a private or public entity, they have to come to Parliament for parliamentary approval.
    So, Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister, having assured us that an action had been taken to give a loan of GH¢50 million to Zoomlion Company Limited and to Rlg Communications Ghana Limited and that he would ensure that it comes --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
    Hon Member, do you have the Official Report?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 11:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I can furnish you with it.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
    According to you this took place in 2013?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 11:45 a.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
    I think it would serve us all better if you had a copy of the Official Report from which you made specific references to portions that relate to the issue.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 11:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would take a cue from you and then rest my case now and not make reference to it specifically, but the substance of it is that, we still expect same to be brought to the Finance Committee so that we would approve of it. But the loans have already been granted and it is a matter of public record and public knowledge that Government gave out some loans to these two companies to assist them without approval from Parliament. It was to assist an indigenous Ghanaian business, that is a very good point; it was to support Ghanaian businesses.
    Mr Speaker, I have no objection.
    It is to help grow our local entrepre- neurs and their businesses and to create jobs. But of course, the mother law, we cannot do anything --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
    Hon Member, it is just --
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 11:45 a.m.
    Thank you.
    Mr Speaker, the second point is that, while we were on recess, we heard that our learned Attorney-General and Minister for Justice led a team of legal
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
    Very well.
    I do not think that we want to set a precedent that would be difficult to continue with. The best we can do would be to get the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice to furnish the Select Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs of this House with a copy of the said ruling and that should be enough to take care of the matter.
    Mr O. B. Amoah 11:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, respectfully, I have observed a certain trend with our Business Statements. I believe, probably, the Business Committee
    should assist us in tracking some of the directions and orders that you give in this House.
    Indeed, for the past three or so weeks, every Friday when Business Statements are read, either you (Mr First Deputy Speaker) or the Hon Speaker (Hon Doe Adjaho) would give instructions and orders. We do not seem to know how they end up and why certain decisions have not been complied with or certain steps have not been taken. For instance, almost every Friday, we are told that the Hon Minister for Finance would be programmed to come and tell us about the Conti Projects, that is only one example.
    Sometimes, Hon Ministers come here and we are given assurance that they are supposed to provide additional information on steps they have taken as far as Questions et cetera are concerned.
    I believe that the Business Committee should be able to tell us that in this matter, this is how far they have gone or this is why they cannot take this step even though the Hon Speaker has given such directions. This is because we come here and you give the same instructions and directions, ‘can you refer me to the Hansard for me to know what really happened'. It does not serve us well.
    I believe they should be able to tell us how come every Friday, they tell us that the Hon Minister for Finance would be here to brief us on Conti Project but nothing happens and nothing is stated in the Business Statement, and we get up to ask the same questions, “So, when is he coming”? Oh! “We would try to bring him next week.”
    Mr Speaker, these are assurances upon assurances and I do not think that it is good enough. They should be able to tell us in the Business Statement what is outstanding and the steps they have taken to ensure that your orders are carried out.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Majority Leader, how do you respond?
    Mr Agbesi 11:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Business Committee programmes the business that comes before it. Now, if for any reason any Hon Member feels that a business or an order made by Mr Speaker to the Business Committee is not contained in our Business Statement, the Hon Member can draw our attention as Hon O. B. Amoah has done now.
    All that he has said, if it is an order from the Chair, we shall follow it and programme them for the House. But what came before us is what we have so far programmed. Our minds might not have been drawn to some of them and I would say that, Hon Members should draw our attention to it. We shall do so.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
    I believe what he talked about has to do with a tracking system. Is it possible for the Table Office to carry out a tracking system and furnish the Business Committee with the information from that tracking system? This is to ensure that we do not keep repeating issues that have been given by way of directions not being carried out and so on and so forth. I think it would help us all.
    Mr Agbesi 11:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is possible. We shall liaise with the Table Office and then get those things done so that anytime we present the Business Statements, it would contain the things that have been directed to be done.
    Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu 11:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I just want to make reference to what my Hon Colleague and a very good Friend from Ashaiman has just said. What comes before the Committee -- who
    brings what comes before them? How do those matters that come before the Committee come? It is suggestive that the Leadership of the Committee themselves do not have any tracking system to even remind the Table Office of what they may have left out; omissions and commissions. So, to tell us bluntly that what comes before them is what they consider, makes it seem as if we are in for trouble.
    This is because it is very likely that certain issues may go away without anybody prompting the Table Office to actually bring them up and that is exactly what my friend and Hon Colleague from Akwapim South has talked about.
    So, I believe they should tell us that, they are introducing some system where they would make notes to try to track some of these things that may actually elude them.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Majority Leader, do you want to respond?
    Mr Agbesi 11:45 a.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker.
    That is exactly what I have said. For instance, with the Public Accounts Committee; when the Speaker refers something to them, that is what comes before them. The Business Committee, as I have said, would liaise with the Table Office so that if anything has been said which needs to come before the Committee, the Table Office would furnish us and we would work on it.
    It is a directive that the Speaker has reminded us of. So, we shall go by that so that the next time, everything that we have said, the Table Office would furnish us and then we would do what is appropriate.
    Prof. George Y. Gyan-Baffour 11:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, when you look at this document, I think it is only Report that comes to the House, which is signed by the Chairman of the Committee and not counter-signed by the Clerk to that Committee.
    I wonder whether there is a Clerk to this Committee, and if there is a Clerk, maybe, he should be the one to monitor what has gone on, look at this trend and report it to the Committee. But I have never seen any Clerk's signature here. If there is no Clerk, then there has to be a Clerk. If there is a Clerk, then he has to sign and that Clerk should be the one to really monitor these things and report it to the Committee so that -- because they cannot remember all of these things.
    So, if that is not the case, then, Mr Speaker, I would need your guidance on that.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
    I think there is a Clerk, and fortunately for us, the Clerk is the Clerk-at-the-Table. So, it should be easy to carry out this tracking system that you have talked about.
    Mr Peter W. Pepera 11:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to concur with this suggestion for a tracking system because if you look at normal Committees, when we meet, we always review matters arising, but with this Committee, they do not put them up. For instance, if a Question comes to the floor of Parliament and it is not completely answered, in my view, that should be a matter arising for the next Business Statement to indicate it is carried forward from the previous one.
    I think this thing sounds a bit like your suggestion of the tracking system. So, I just want to add my voice so that we do not have to wait for an Hon Member to

    complain, be referred back and by that time, weeks and weeks would have passed.

    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Dr Kojo Appiah-Kubi 11:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity.
    Last week, we were informed by the Leader of the House about the need to have an Extended Sitting when the need arose. This week, once again, we have been informed of the need to have an Extended Sitting should the need arise. Today, we started Sitting at about 11.30 a.m. and I just wonder about the need to have an Extended Sitting when we could have, probably, started early without the need for an Extended Sitting.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
    Hon Member, at the time, we did not have the quorum, so we had to wait in the Speaker's Lobby for Hon Members to come in their numbers before we could start.
    Dr Appiah-Kubi 11:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, we do not have the quorum because Hon Members get the impression that Sitting would not start early if we were to come early. Mr Speaker, if we were to start early, Hon Members would be -- especially the Hon Members from the Majority side. They come late and they are now complaining about quorum.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
    Hon Member, please, do not go that far. The point is that it affects both Sides -- [Interruption.]
    Dr Appiah-Kubi 11:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, what I am saying is that they came late --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
    Hon Member, please, resume your seat. I do not want any blame game to be undertaken here. Both Sides are guilty.
    Let us try as much as possible to be in the Chamber on time so that proceedings can commence on time.
    Hon Members, the Business Statement for the Eighth Week ending Friday, 3rd July, 2015 is hereby adopted.
    Hon Members, there are some Statements which have been admitted. The first one is a ceremonial one to be read by the Hon Minister for the Interior --
    Very well.
    The Hon Minister is not available so the Hon Deputy Minister can present the Statement.
    STATEMENTS 11:45 a.m.

    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
    Mr Nitiwul 11:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, my under- standing, when we had the meeting, was that he would make the Statement on his own behalf. So, I would want to find out whether he is making the Statement on behalf of the Hon Minister or on his own as a Member of Parliament?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
    Hon Member, let me give you the title of the Statement:
    “Statement by the Hon Minister for the Interior on the floor of Parliament on the World Drug Day Celebration, Friday, 26th June 2015.”
    That is the heading. So, I believe he is doing so on behalf of the substantive Minister.
    Mr Nitiwul 11:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, then the obvious thing is to let it be captured in the Hansard, so that he would seek permission and we all would find out whether that --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Deputy Majority Leader, can you ask for permission from the Chair?
    Order! Order!
    Mr Agbesi 11:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister for the Interior wants to make a Statement on the floor of the House and I would want to ask permission for the Hon Deputy Minister to make the Statement on his behalf.
    Mr Nitiwul 11:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I ordinarily would not have a problem because he is an Hon Colleague, but he has not given any reason why the Hon Minister is not around. He has not given any reason; he just says the Hon Minister wants to make a Statement and that we should allow the Hon Deputy Minister to do so.
    Why should we allow the Hon Deputy Minister?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
    Hon Deputy Majority Leader, what is the reason?
    Mr Agbesi 11:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister is currently at the Accra International Conference Centre launching this Day, the Day on which the Statement is to be made. The Hon Minister is currently launching the Day and so the Hon Deputy Minister is here to make the Statement.
    Mr Nitiwul 11:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, this House has two Statements, as agreed. We would wait for the Hon Minister to come. Let us take the first Statement. It is not far, we would wait for the Hon Minister to come. He should tell the Hon Minister that we are waiting for him.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:45 a.m.
    Hon Members, I think that we would have to be a little more flexible. He is carrying out an official assignment and so the Hon Deputy Minister can stand in for him.
    Hon Deputy Minister, please?
    Mr Agalga 12:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, this Statement is in commemoration of World Drug Day observed Friday, 26th June, 2015.
    The International Dimension to the fight against drugs
    Since the early 1900s, there have been several attempts to restrict the production, sale and use of drugs strictly for medical or scientific purposes through International Laws.
    In 1961, the Single Convention on narcotic drugs was passed by a United Nations Resolution.
    This Convention was adopted and opened for signature by the United Nations Conference for the Adoption of a Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, held at United Nations Headquarters, New York, from 24th January to 25th March 1961.
    As part of international efforts to restrict the use of illicit drugs, the United Nations adopted the single convention on narcotic drugs to replace the existing legal regime.
    With increasing trends in synthetic drugs, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances was adopted. This was followed by a 1972 Protocol amending the 1961 Single Convention.
    In 1988, as part of continuing efforts aimed at controlling the drug trade, the Convention against Illicit Trafficking of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances was adopted at a UN General Assembly.
    With the proliferation of illicit drugs, it became necessary for governments all over the world to put measures in place to curb the menace at the national level. The Government of Ghana demonstrated its political will by providing the necessary legal and structural framework for controlling the supply and reducing the demand for illegal Narcotic Drugs in line with the United Nations guidelines, the Comprehensive Multidisciplinary Outline (CMO) to address threatening dimensions of which drug abuse and trafficking was taken globally.
    The Narcotics Control Board (NACOB)
    The Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) was established by the Government of Ghana in 1990 on the strength of Section 55 of the Narcotic Drug (Control, Enforcement and Sanctions) Act, 1990, PNDC Law 236, as the lead and coordina- ting body for drug law enforcement in the country.
    Before the establishment of NACOB, it was mainly the Ghana Police Service that handled illicit drug issues as part of their duties in the country. Security is everybody's business and so is drug law enforcement. With changing trends in modus operandi of persons dealing in drugs, NACOB has since its establish- ment spearheaded the fight against illicit drugs in collaboration with other law
    enforcement agencies. With a team of dedicated personnel, NACOB has remained focused in the performance of its functions as the mandated national agency in charge of drug law enforcement in Ghana.
    NACOB is an agency under the Ministry of the Interior with a Governing Board. The Governing Board, dissolved on 22nd November 2014, is yet to be reconstituted. The day to day administra- tion of NACOB is headed by one (1) Executive Secretary, who is assisted by two (2) Deputy Executive Secretaries.
    With a vision to become a reference drug law enforcement agency of excellence in Africa, NACOB exists to implement provisions of existing legislation and international conventions on narcotics, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals, through enforcement and control, education and preventive measures, as well as treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts. This is achieved through a motivated workforce and effective local and international collaboration to fight the drug menace in Ghana efficiently.
    Since 2009, NACOB has worked with a plan of action that is three-pronged and hinged on:
    a. Supply Reduction and Related Measures;
    b. Demand Reduction and Related Measures; as well as
    c. Cooperating with relevant agencies -- Ghanaian and International law enforcement in countering money-laundering as well as going after and confiscating the proceeds of
    crime related to narcotics, psychotropic substances and precursors.
    In addition to the plan of action, NACOB had to pursue its objectives in line with the five (5) year plan (2013 - 2017) of the Government of Ghana to fight Transnational Organised Crime. This plan, known as the National Integrated Programme to fight Transnational Organised Crime and to strengthen the criminal justice system, was launched in
    Over the years, NACOB has worked towards achieving its functions under the Narcotic Drug (Control) Board Instrument, 1990, L.I. 1507.
    Government is however not oblivious of the fact that the illicit drug trade results in an increase in violence, especially in the urban areas and sometimes, the calling into question of the legitimacy of the State due to the corruption caused by the trade, and the criminalisation of economies when companies, and sometimes even entire economic sectors, are taken over by criminal networks.
    There has been some modest success in controlling the otherwise enormous health threat posed by drugs. However, the harsh reality is that, the unintended consequence has been the development of a criminal market of macro economic size.
    As part of efforts to ensure that NACOB is able to deal drastically with the drug trade, it became necessary to amend the current legislation on drug law enforcement in Ghana. A lot of work has been done on the draft Bill and will soon be laid in parliament.
    In February 2015, the President of the Republic of Ghana, H. E. John Dramani Mahama appointed Mr William K. Aboah, to serve as Adviser to the President on
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    Thank you very much. I would take two contributions from each side.
    Yes, Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah?
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah (NPP -- Sekondi) 12:15 p.m.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to make few comments on the Statement made by the
    Hon Deputy Minister to commemorate the World Drug Day.
    Mr Speaker, having been the Minister responsible for the Interior, and therefore the Minister responsible for the Narcotics Control Board during my tenure, I appreciate the challenges that we face as a developing nation when it comes to the fight against drugs. I recall at that time, intimating to the then British High Commissioner, during a discussion with him about the support the British Government could give the country in our fight against illicit drug trafficking. I remember telling him that, in my estimation, one of the greatest threats to our national security was illicit drug trafficking.
    Mr Speaker, as we commemorate this day, I must say that, over the years, progress have been made. I know that, this week, even in my constituency, the NACOB of the Western Region is commemorating this day. As usual, I was approached for support. That also emphasises the fact that, in the work of the NACOB, they are also constrained by funds.
    But Mr Speaker, the time has also come for us to take another look at the way we fight drugs. At an international conference sponsored by the House of Commons about two years ago, interesting proposals were made by Members of Parliament who were involved in the fight against illicit drug trafficking from Eastern Europe to South America.
    It is my hope that, in these times where we are intensifying our networks, when it comes to governance, NACOB would also deepen it ties with various international agencies and civil society organisations involved in the fight against drugs.
    Mr Speaker, I know, and the Hon Minister has stated that, we have advisor to the President on the restructuring of NACOB into a Commission. Well, I believe that, it is not by merely structuring an institution into a Commission or otherwise that makes it more effective; while I would admit that in certain circumstances, it may deepen its empower- ment.
    If now we do not have enough resources allocated to NACOB in its fight against illicit drug trafficking, and we are changing it into a Commission then it will make a significant difference if we continue not to support it with the requisite resources? That is the question that we should all consider.
    Mr Speaker, where there are drug barons, who without blinking an eye, could influence a person with hundreds of thousands of dollars, then one must know that, apart from the commitment that a person engaged in this business would be committed to the fight in terms of compensation and other resources, he ought to be supported.
    Mr Speaker, I would just say that, we all could help in the fight against illicit drugs. In almost every community and constituency, I am sure we know what we term ghettos, there are always areas where people who use illicit drugs are located. I am sure as representatives of the people, we should not shy away from engaging them, not only because we want their votes, of course, their votes are important; but because we also would want to appreciate their situation and with our little insight, assist them get away from the abuse of drugs.
    Mr Speaker, as we celebrate this day, it is my hope that we do not restrict the celebration to mere rhetoric but we would back the rhetoric with the necessary action.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Yes, Hon Fritz Baffour?
    Mr Fritz F. Baffour (NDC -- Ablekuma South) 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to comment on the Statement made by the Hon Deputy Minister for the Interior on the celebration of the International Day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking.
    The theme for this year's celebration is “Let us develop our lives, our communities, our identities without drugs.” It is important to note that, illicit drugs pose a great threat to any community, any nation, any sub-region, and any continent. And the examples are there. In certain parts of South America, there are great sways of instability as a result of the fact that illegal drugs have taken over the economies of those particular areas.
    I would want to be subtle, I do not want to mention any of the countries' names. This is because some of them have close relations with us. So I would concentrate on the fact that, we have young people in Parliament today that illicit drugs are a danger to, not only to the people themselves.
    Mr Speaker, we have certain types of drugs that are used by people all over the world. We have cocaine that is derived from the coca plant; we have heroine, which is derived from the opium plant. We also have marijuana, which comes in various forms as the cannabis sativa and so on. We also have ecstasy, which is what we call a recreation drug used by young people in the West. When they go to parties and others, it gives them some kind of a better experience to enjoy themselves, they claim.
    These are all addictives. They give a person a certain dependence that cuts one's life by about 80 per cent. One would not be functioning fully because his or her dependence on these drugs would hamper his ability to perform his duties in any society. That is why the conventional wisdom is against illicit drugs. They may be enjoyable when one is taking them but they have a very bad effect.
    Mr Speaker, those who deal in drugs and make profit from drugs, because of the manner in which they make their money, are able to corrupt worthy institutions in any society.
    In one country in North America, certain areas, as I said are ungovernable. A lot of people are murdered day in day by drug cartels. The word “cartel”, which was formerly about the proper trade and monopolies and everything, has now been associated with something that is very illicit and illegal.
    Mr Speaker, from the last count, it seems as if over US$750 billion is what the illicit drug trade is worth. So it shows us that so much money is made, so much money to corrupt. We have got that. Then we also have the fact that, once communities are affected by drugs, those communities, like human beings, cannot function. Those communities then become a canker in the nation and it becomes a problem.
    Mr Speaker, our job now is to ensure that, we have the right institutions to be able to fight the drug menace in this country, in West Africa, in Africa and the world at large. This is because the drug menace does not restrict itself to smaller communities.
    It needs more people to be addicted, therefore, it is something that spreads like a disease or an epidemic. Therefore, we cannot work alone. We have NACOB, but NACOB has got to work in tangent with other international anti-drug agencies in order to be able to be effective.
    It is up to us to support NACOB with all the necessary resources. I agree very much with Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah, when he says that, to change it from an Agency to a Commission should not be a mere cosmetic exercise. It should be backed by the right kind of resources, the right kind of equipment and the right kind of personnel, so that we could eliminate or reduce this menace that threatens to engulf our country, because we have quite a lot of people who are addicted to drugs in our society.
    Some of us who went to secondary schools are reminded of some of our friends who have either lost their lives or they have lost their minds as a result of drug addiction. I personally have lost
    relatives through drugs, so I am talking from a personal experience too.
    What we have to do is to ensure that, our society is made aware of the menace, not only fighting it, but all the children and the youth are made aware of the menace.
    So, in keeping with what we are saying, let us develop our lives, our communities and our identities without drugs. It is important that we take this theme and work on it for the year, so that when another theme comes it would improve on what we are doing in the fight against illicit drugs and illegal drugs.
    That is what I would like to say in the meantime.
    Thank you very much.
    Mr Samuel Atta Akyea (NPP-- Abuakwa South) 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you for this opportunity.
    Today is International Drugs Day, and drugs should not just be narcotics. We should get it very clear in our minds that, anything which has the real effect of affecting our natural systems negatively is a form of drug abuse.
    Narcotics have taken centre stage for the simple reason that those who have such huge pockets of money could influence our community negatively, and we should name and shame any arrange- ment which promotes the trading in some of the serious drugs like heroin and cocaine.
    Mr Speaker, I would like to stress a bit on a new development, which is aphrodisiacs. I had the opportunity of reading the economies, I cannot put my finger on it, but it is a very interesting industry which has developed. It is because of what we call ‘an attempt to abuse your natural set up'.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    Hon Member, is it just the romance?
    Mr Atta Akyea 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, and other natural tendencies, even memory could suffer with age. But Mr Speaker, with your kind indulgence I would like to focus on the area of romance and drug abuse.
    Mr Speaker, the evidence is that, while the strength of a woman would not go down with age, that of a man would go down. The men in trying to prove ‘something', would go and take all manner of aphrodisiacs which is now a booming economy.
    Mr Isaac Osei 12:25 p.m.
    On a point of Order. Mr Speaker, our Hon Colleague seems to be more knowledgeable, more experienced in that area, so he should give some examples for us to also learn some of these aphrodisiac drugs he is referring to.
    Mr Atta Akyea 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in fairness to you, I would not like to go into the pharmaceutical analysis of these aphrodisiacs because that is not my competence, but I would talk about aphrodisiacs in general.

    Mr Speaker, these aphrodisiacs are supposed to enhance the sexual capacities of men, and when a man is elderly and he does not want to concede that even nature is trying to educate him to slow down, and he wants to pitch his strength against younger women, then there would be the need to go for these aphrodisiacs, and I would just stress -- I do not have a lot of medical sense, but I would just stress some of the implications.

    I am reliably informed that some of the strokes --
    Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu 12:25 p.m.
    On a point of Order. Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague from Abuakwa South is making a very dangerous statement.
    Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from my Hon Colleague, who told him that elderly men need to enhance themselves with aphrodisiacs before they meet younger people? Mr Speaker, he should tell the House, other than that he should withdraw that statement completely, because I would not like to mention names, but elderly Colleagues like -- [Laughter] -- do not use anything. They do not use anything. So he should withdraw that statement.
    Thank you.
    Mr Atta Akyea 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would not like to make this statement personal, but with due respect to you, even when they are about to start a boxing match it is always the case that they would weigh the two individuals who are going to bantam to ensure that one is not overweight.

    Mr Speaker, if a person is 53 years old and he wants to pitch his strength against an 18 year old lady, he could suffer some crises -- [Laughter] -- and that is what these aphrodisiacs are about.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    Hon Member, you have said enough of that. Could you please move on? -- [Laughter.]
    Mr Atta Akyea 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, they would not want me to move on. You can see that some people are being affected by this Statement which is intended for Ghana -- [Laughter] -- I do not know why they would rise to challenge the obvious.
    I am saying that the obvious is that, when a person has to retire, he should learn to retire and not to be involved in matters which have the tendency of increasing his blood pressure, number one, the concomitant to -- [Interruption] --
    Mr K.T. Hammond 12:25 p.m.
    On a point of order. Mr Speaker, the Constitution of the Republic guarantees freedom of worship. My Hon Colleague should have been conscious of the fact that this is the sacred month of Ramadan, and in keeping with the constitutional provision, there are muslims here who are fasting.

    Mr Speaker, muslims are not supposed to see, they are not supposed to hear, they are not supposed to talk about these matters.

    Mr Speaker, I would invite my Hon Colleague to take --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    But I believe you must have the courage to resist temptation -- [Laughter.]
    Mr Hammond 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Holy Prophet of Islam, Prophet Mohammed Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa-Sallam knew about these things. He knew that God would not tempt a human being beyond a certain limit, so this is the situation.
    Do not create a condition which would have to impress on the individual who at the particular time is fasting to resist the temptation to listen, to see, to hear or to watch -- [Laughter] -- Mr Speaker, we should simply keep away from it.
    We cannot listen within this time when we are fasting.
    So, Mr Speaker, we encourage our Hon Colleague to stay away from it. Under normal circumstance we should not have engaged him in this.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Member, your point is well made.
    Hon Atta Akyea, I told you to move forward. You have said enough of this. Can you move to other areas?
    Mr Atta Akyea 12:35 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    I can realise that the space you gave me is even offending religious sensibility. So, I will not move there.
    Mr Speaker, my observation is this and with that, I would want to conclude. This is because I do not want to stir controversy.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Hon Member, begin to wind-up.
    Mr Akyea 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am winding up.
    When we are commemorating Interna- tional Drugs Day, we should pay regard to the use of antibiotics. This off counter activities can be very dangerous. We at this side of the world would want to always go for antibiotics. This is because in Ghana, they want to make money but not to protect health. So, a person goes into a pharmacy and talks about his or her medical condition, the pharmacist wants to sell.
    What a person will not take in another world, for example, in the United Kingdom (UK), antibiotics are sparely used. A common cold and because they want to make money, they will sell antibiotics to the person.
    So, while we are talking about some of the dangerous drugs, we should also bear in mind that, drug abuse is taking place on daily basis in our pharmacies in the name of profit and not to help people get well.
    I think it is very important we all come to terms with this and educate people to avoid the use of drugs of any kind or form especially, the aphrodisiacs.
    Mr Speaker, I am grateful that you gave me this opportunity to contribute to the Statement.
    Dr Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan (NDC -- Mion) 12:35 p.m.
    Thank you very much Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to lend support to the Statement ably made by the Hon Deputy Minister for the Interior.
    Mr Speaker, I believe the issue of drugs is a global fight. But an occasion like this is for us to indigenise the fight, review our own House and put structures in place, enforce those which are working, so that we can deal with this menace.
    Let me say that, the theme is particularly nice to me: “Let us develop our lives, our communities and our identities without drugs”. This is a clear indication that we can live normal lives either as individuals, as communities and even as a nation without drugs. I believe as citizens of this country, we must take this on board and ensure that we all contribute in one way or the other to ensuring that drugs do not deepen their values as a menace in our country.
    Mr Speaker, when the issue of drugs are mentioned, my difficulty is always about the relation between adults who abuse drugs and how they relate to children.
    Some adults are irresponsible enough to take advantage of the innocence of young people to send them to procure drugs for them. This must be made very open and people who indulge in such practices must stop. That is why it is good that young people are many in the public gallery and are listening to this serious attacks on the drug menace by us as lawmakers.
    Mr Speaker, it is also worrying that once we are taking every step to fight the menace, some adult celebrities take advantage of platforms that they are offered to do the counter effort. It is worrying that at this stage, when drugs are such a killer in our communities and nation, some people are calling for the legalisation of some of those drugs.
    I do not think that should be given space in our communication issue under the cover of freedom of speech to serve such a very bad idea in particular, to youth who are not capable of analysing the ills of illicit drugs in our society.
    Mr Speaker, it is also an opportunity for us to congratulate the agencies which are at the forefront of fighting this menace and analysing the conditions under which they work and equipping them and closing the gaps which exits in their work plans, so that they can be given the needed resources to fight. In particular, NACOB and the Police Service.
    Mr Speaker, in our communities -- In any culture, there is no opportunity to train somebody to get high. Getting high is not a target of any community in training. So, it is amusing and very dangerous for adults to think that they can train people and take advantage of them, so that they can get high. If an adult falls prey to illicit drugs, it is important that children are kept out of it and the youth are kept out of it.
    After all, anything that a person would have to hide and do is not probably worth doing. If it is worth doing, why is it not done in the open? And if it is frown upon by the community and individuals, then it is important that a person does not indulge in it and stays away from drug abuse.
    I believe the theme must take us through the year and we must all contribute our quota to ensuring that this menace is reduced and possibly eliminated from our society.
    I quite like the idea of the abuse of antibiotics. Recently, in a global forum, this was an issue which was raised and our continent was a sufferer of the most abuse of antibiotics to the extent that even the use of it in animal food chains reflect in the meat that we eat. This is not healthy for us.
    That is why it is important that we look at this issue of antibiotic abuse and if our laws or acts are not capable of fighting and getting our drug trades to response, I think it is time that this House took a look at the laws that guide the trade of antibiotics in our medicine trades and ensure that the abuse of antibiotics is curtailed to a large extent in our society.
    I believe in this way, the abuse of such antibiotics and other drugs will be low in our society and virtually give us healthier individuals, communities and nation that we all would want to live in and see.
    I congratulate the Hon Minister who made the Statement once more.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Hon Members, this brings us to the end of the first Statement. There is a second Statement which stands in the name of Hon Joseph Appiah Boateng, Member of Parliament for Afram Plains South on unlawful methods of waste disposal and its environmental and health impact.
    Hon Member, you have the floor.
    Mr Agbesi 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we can take item 7, on the Order Paper.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Very well. Item 7 -- Motion, by the Leader of the delegation.
    MOTIONS 12:35 p.m.