Debates of 7 Jul 2015

MR SPEAKER
PRAYERS 10:10 a.m.

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

Mr Speaker 10:10 a.m.
We also have two Official Reports for correction.
We would start with the Official Report of Friday, 26th June, 2015 for correction.
Mr Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Question time.Item number 3 on the Order Paper. We have an Urgent Question standing in the name of the Hon Member for Anyaa/Sowutuom.
Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 10:10 a.m.
None

Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Mr Agbesi 10:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we want to seek permission for the Hon Deputy Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing to answer the Question standing in the name of Hon Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey,on behalf of the Hon Minister who is currently on a national assignment in the Northern Region.
Mrs Gifty E. Kusi 10:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, permission is granted. [Laughter]
Mr Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Hon Deputy Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing to answer the Question on behalf of the Minister.
Hon Member for Anyaa/Sowutuom, you have the floor.
ORAL ANSWERS TO URGENT 10:10 a.m.

QUESTION 10:10 a.m.

MINISTRY OF WATER RESOURCES, 10:10 a.m.

WORKS AND HOUSING 10:10 a.m.

Ms Botchwey 10:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, per the Hon Deputy Minister's Answer, the construc-
tion would take place when funding is available. Is he aware that on the 3rd of June 2015, seven persons in the Anyaa/ Sowutuom Constituency died as a result of flooding because of that unconstructed drain?
Mr Adusei 10:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, that is a very unfortunate incident. But to the best of my knowledge, I am not aware.
Ms Botchwey 10:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, from what the Hon Deputy Minister has said, he is not aware. Granted that he is not aware,but that is a fact. And this is a fact that has been noted and documented by our Municipal Assembly. Out of the number of people who died, seven came from my constituency.
My next question is whether the Hon Deputy Minister is aware of the 42 --
Mr Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Address the Chair, Hon Member.
Ms Botchwey 10:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, my second supplementary question is to find out from the Hon Deputy Minister whether he is aware of the €42 million Netherlands Facility that was supposed to have been used for Accra drains, including the Onyasia River and the Lafa River to construct storm drains. And if he is aware, what happened to that money?
Mr Adusei 10:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am not aware of the availability of funding for that project, but I would be very grateful if you could give me notice so that I could provide the information later on.
Ms Botchwey 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am surprised he said that he is not aware, because this is something that was in the
Mr Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Hon Member for Anyaa/ Sowutuom, which of the questions would you like the Hon Deputy Minister to answer? Because you raised the issue with regard to the facility that you said was a matter of public knowledge and that he should be aware. So we should give him time to come back to tell the House about that money.
And then you also asked him about when, so what exactly do you --
Ms Botchwey 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the €42 million --
Mr Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Well, that is your last supplementary question.
Ms Botchwey 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, that was part of my second supplementary question, and the third one is my question on his Answer, which said that they were going through the process of putting things in place when there is no money.
So, I ask him why that is happening if they do not know when funds would be available or where the funds would come from. Please, he should tell us where and when.
Mr Adusei 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, in the Answer, I said earlier that for the facility from Netherlands, I would plead with you to give me notice so that I can furnish the House with the necessary information, as I did not have enough information on that.
Mr Speaker 10:20 a.m.
He said that early on, in responding to your second question, he made a point that if the House could give him time to come back --
So, with regard to coming back, he said that he has responded to that issue already. That is why he tried to reiterate that point, that he wants to come back himself with the information with regard to the €42 million.
Mr Adusei 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, with the availability of funds, I believe that - I stated earlier that we would source for the funding from the Ministry of Finance.
So, as to when the Ministry for Finance would make funds available, we would go and implement the project.
Mr Patrick Y. Boamah 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, may I know from the Hon Deputy Minister the name of the consultant or engineers that the Ministry has engaged to do the designing and the costing of the project?
Mr Adusei 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it is the Hydrological Service Department.
Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would like to know from the Hon Deputy Minister, following the location of the drain, does he find it as emergency construction work that is supposed to be done, and if he does, what are the interim measures being put in place while we wait on Central Government to provide the necessary funding?
Mr Adusei 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, looking at the location of the drain, it is an emergency that we have to attend to, and the Ministry considers it as such.
The question about interim measures -- to the best of my knowledge, we have captured it under the current desilting and dredging that we are going to do. We have been carrying out dredging and desilting of the Lafa River to ensure that there is a free flow of the run off that comes after the rains.
Mr Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Last question, Hon Member for Tarkwa Nsuaem.
Mrs Gifty E. Kusi 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the facility that came to this House and was approved, the Hon Deputy Minister said he is not aware --
Mr Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Hon Member for Tarkwa Nsuaem, there is no evidence on the floor of the House this morning that the € 42 million that the Hon Member for Anyaa/ Sowutuom referred to was brought to the floor of the House and approved.
She said it was public knowledge. That was the statement-- it is in the public domain. And the Hon Deputy Minister promised to go and come back to the House.
Mrs Kusi 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it was approved, and they have said that the money is not in. That was what Mr Oko Vanderpuye said.
Mr Speaker 10:20 a.m.
When was it approved, Hon Member for Tarkwa Nsuaem?
Mrs Kusi 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I --
Mr Speaker 10:20 a.m.
When was it approved?
Mrs Kusi 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, all right. I would ask another question.
Mr Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Yes, you could still ask your question without necessarily making that statement.
Mrs Kusi 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague said that seven people died when they fell into that drain. The Ministry should have done something about this. What would he do so that other people would not fall in and die?
Mr S.Y. Adusei 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I mentioned here that it is an unfortunate incident, and now that -- initially, I said I was not aware, but now the Hon Member has drawn my attention to it, I would report to the Ministry and then we would take the necessary action to go and see the families who were affected.
Mr Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of the Question time, but before I discharge the Hon Deputy Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing,I would like to find out from him when he would make that information available.
Mr S.Y.Adusei 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would appreciate it if you could give me two weeks.
Mr Speaker 10:20 a.m.
I will give you a week.
Mr Adusei 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am grateful.
Mr Speaker 10:20 a.m.
We thank you very much for attending upon the House.
Dr Anthony Akoto Osei 10:20 a.m.
The Hon Deputy Minister may consult me for information on that facility. He is from my region, so we are very good friends. I would provide him with the necessary information.
Mr Speaker 10:20 a.m.
At the Commencement of Public Business; Hon Majority Chief Whip?
Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker,we can lay the Papers.
Mr Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Are all the Papers ready to be laid?
Alhaji Muntaka 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, not all, but we have --
Mr Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Let me have an idea with regard to those that are ready to be laid.
Alhaji Muntaka 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, 5(a), 5(b) (i), (ii),(iii), (iv) and 5(c) are ready. So, at least, item 5 is ready.
Mr Speaker 10:20 a.m.
So all the Papers are ready to be laid?
Hon Members, we would start with 5 (a), by the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection.
Alhaji Muntaka 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection is currently attending a programme in Kumasi, and unfortunately, her attention was not drawn to this on Friday, so she pleaded with the House, and I am seeking your permission and that of the House for her able Deputy to lay this paper on her behalf.
Mrs Gifty E. Kusi 10:20 a.m.
I am all right.
Mr Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Very well.
PAPERS 10:20 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Hon Majority Chief Whip?
AlhajiMuntaka 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we can take item number 8.
Mr Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Hon Members, item number 8 on the Order Paper -- Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee?
MOTIONS 10:20 a.m.

Chairman of the Committee (Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu) 10:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move the Motion, that this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Performance Audit Report of the Auditor General on the Ministry of Food and Agriculture's Support to Farmers to Increase Food Crop Production.
Mr Speaker, in so doing, I would like to present the Report of your Committee to the House.
Introduction
The Performance Audit Report of the Auditor-General on the Ministry of Food and Agriculture's support to farmers to increase food crop production was laid in Parliament on Wednesday, 20 t h November 2013 in accordance with article 187 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.Pursuant to Order 165(2) of the Standing Orders of Parliament, the Report was referred to the Public Accounts Committee for consideration and report.
Procedure To consider the Report, the Hon
Deputy Min ister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan and officials of the Ministry of Food andAgriculture and representa- tives of the under-listed Agencies/ Directorates under the ambit of the Minist ry of Food and Agriculture appeared before the Committee as witnesses to respond to issues raised in the Auditor-General's Report and ancillary matters.
i. Ghana Irrigation Development.
ii.National Food Buffer Stock Company.
iii. Agriculture Engineering Services Directorate.
iv. Directorate of Crop Services.
v. Animal Production Directorate.
vi. Directorate of Agr icul ture Extension Services.
vii.Youth in Agriculture Programmes.
vi ii . Women in Agr icul tural Development.
ix. Northern Rural Growth Programmes.
On appearing before the Committee, the witnesses subscribed to the oath of a witness and answered questions relating to issues raised in the Auditor- General's Repor t , the object and functioning of their respective institu- tions as well as issues of general public interest.
The Deputy Auditor-General, Mr Yaw Agyei Sifah and a technical team from the Audit Service were also present at the Committee's sitting to assist in its deliberations.
Acknowledgment The Committee is grateful to the
Hon Deputy Minister and his team for assist ing the Commit tee in i t s deliberations. The Committee also expresses its appreciation to the Deputy Auditor- General and his technical team for their immense assistance to the Committee throughout its deliberations on the Report. The Committee further extends its appreciation to STAR-Ghana and the German International Coopera- tion (GIZ), for supporting the activities of the Committee. Finally, the Committee is grateful to the media print and electronic for broadcasting its proceed- ings.
Reference Document The Committee made reference to the
following documents dur ing i ts deliberations:
i. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
ii. The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
iii. The Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584).
iv. The Food and Agricul ture Sector Development Policy (FASDEP I and II) Document.

Background The Ministry of Food and Agriculture

(MoFA) is responsible for the develop- ment of agriculture in the country. MoFA is thus responsible for the formulation of appropriate agricultural policies to ensure increase in food crop production in order to make food available all year- round by training and giving support to farmers. Mr Speaker, to increase food crop product ion , the Accelerated AgriculturalGrowth and Development Strategy (AAGDS) was launched in year 2000 to promote selected agricultural commodities by improving agricultural technology and access to markets.

MoFA further observed the need to have a development policy in place that will incorporate a l l on -going interventions in the agricultural sector. Consequently, MoFA formulated and implemented the Food and Agriculture Sector Development Policy (FASDEP I) to modernise the agricultural sector from 2002 to 2006.

Following the end of FASDEP I, MoFA's evaluat ion of the Pol icy revealed some challenges during its implementation. As a result, FASDEP II was formulated to reflect the lessons learnt and also respond to the changing needs of the agricultural sector. FASDEP II was formulated with the objective to ensure food security in Ghana from 2007 to 2015. Under FASDEP II, MoFA set a target of Six per cent annual growth for five (5) selected food crops-rice, maize, cassava, yam and cowpea, as a priority for attaining food security.

To achieve this target, MoFA was to implement the following strategies:

a. Introduce high-yielding and short duration crop varieties to increase food crop production.

b.Develop appropriate irrigation facilities for different categories of farmers to ensure all year- round production.

c. Develop storage facilities for farmers to reduce post-harvest losses.

Purpose and Scope of the Audit Mr Speaker, the audit was conducted by

the Auditor-General to determine whether MoFA's food security strategies to increase production of the five (5) prioritised food crops at an annual growth rate six per cent under FASDEP II has yielded the required result. The audit was also to determine whether new storage technologies introduced to farmers have actually reduced post-harvest losses.

The audit covered the first-five year period of operation of FASDEP II (2007- 2011). It focused on the five prioritised food crops under FASDEP II and examined activities listed in FASDEP II that MoFA, i ts di r ectorates and subvented agencies had carried out to increase production of the five food crops.

Observations and Recommendations Late Distribution of Fertilizer and Improved Seeds

Under FASDEP II, MoFA was to introduce improved and high yielding varieties of seeds to farmers at the beginning of the farming season to enable farmers plant at the right time. MoFA was also to make fert ilizer affordable and accessible to farmers under the Block Farm and Fertilizer Subsidy Programme.

The Committee noted that in year 2011, MoFA delayed in releasing improved seeds to farmers for periods ranging from three (3) to five (5) months after the onset of the major rainy season.

The distribution of fertilizer to farmers was also noted to have suffered some delays.

Officials of MoFA agreed to the observation, but were of the opinion that the late distribution of seeds and fertilizer is relative due to the different agro-ecological zones and the two cropping seasons (major and minor seasons) in Ghana. They indicated that if fertilizers are distributed around April/ May for instance, it would be late for those in the southern sector of the country while for those in the northern sector, it would not be late because their cropping season would have just started.

That notwithstanding, the principal issue con tr ibut ing to the la te distribution of fertilizer is the type of subsidy programme being managed by MoFA. MoFA is currently managing a subsidy programme under which government is partnering the Private sector to buy and distribute a defined volume of fertilizer following which government reimburses the private sector.

Officials of MoFA further indicated that, the major challenge confronting the subsidy programme is the delay in the release of funds by Ministry of Finance to enable MoFA reimburse the company on schedule.Thus, delays in the release of funds for fertilizer procured in the previous year, accounts for the late arrival and distribution of fertilizer for the current year.

Other challenges brought to the attention of the Committee by officials of MoFA are the processes involved in establ ish ing new implementation guidelines for the programme every year which includes selecting a company to import the fertilizer, negotiating and

agreeing with the company on the price to sell the fertilizer to the farmers and determining the system to be used in distributing the fertilizer.

It came to the fore that, the inability of government to pay the companies for fertilizers supplied in year 2013 for instance resulted in their refusal to supply fertilizer to support government subsidised fertilizer programme for year 2014. As a result, MoFA could not roll out the Fertilizer Subsidy Programme for the benefit of farmers in year 2014. That notwithstanding, the Deputy Minister informed the Committee that there are other subsidy programmes running at MoFA for the benefit of farmers.

He indicated that MoFA has a new rice variety at the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research called AGRA Rice (CSIR AGRA Rice) which was rolled out to smal l scale farmers in the Northern part of the country where it is most adaptable to produce.

He explained that under normal circumstances, the farmers should have been supplied with only the rice seed but the Ministry gave the farmers, rice seed together with fertilizer at no cost.

The Committee is of the opinion that if government is unable to roll out the Fertilizer Subsidy Programme in any year, it could result in a situation, where only a small fraction of farmers can apply fertilizer to their crops and thus, affect crop production level for that particular year.

The Committee therefore recommends that the Ministry of Finance should endeavour to release the needed funds to MoFA to enable i t reimburse companies on schedule for the supply of fertilizers in order to sustain and improve on the achievements made under the FASDEP II Programme. The Minist ry of Food and Agriculture
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu) 10:20 a.m.


should also ensure that subsidised fertilizers are supplied to farmers per the season of cropping in the Northern and Southern sectors of the country.

Non Adoption of Improved Storage Facilities by Farmers

Under FASDEP II, MoFA was also to develop storage facilities for individual farmers and communities. For individual farmers, MoFA was required to transfer the technology and practices on the use of the storage facilities through training and demonstrations on the field. At the community level, MoFA was required to liaise with private partners to invest in storage facilities for use by farmers who could not afford to construct their own storage facilities.

The Committee, however, observed that improved storage facilities such as Metallic Silos and Purdue Improved Crops Storage Bags (also known as Triple Bags) for storing grains, and Narrow Cribs for storing grains and yam developed under the programme, were mostly not adopted by most farmers. The farmers were still using old methods of storing produce, such as storing in rooms, gallons, on verandahs and platforms which always resulted in high post­harvest losses.

Explaining why farmers are not adopting the improved storage facilities, officials of MoFA indicated that the pr imary issue is about cost . For instance, the cost of constructing one Metallic Silo with a capacity of one metric tonne which could store ten (10) mini bags of maize was at a subsidised rate of GH˘170.00. This was quite expensive for farmers in the rural areas.

To resolve the problem, MoFA has introduced cheaper alternative storage facilities such as the “Super Bag” -- a

specially made Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) bag which comes in 25 and 50 kilo- gramme sizes and sells at GH¢5.00 each for the storage of maize and cow pea in areas noted for high post-harvest losses.

MoFA is also collaborating with the Northern Rural Growth Programme and the National Food Buffer Stock Company to provide warehouses for farmers to use.

Again, MoFA is organising farmers into groups/cooperatives to enable them acquire storage facilities which can be used communally.

The Committee expressed concern about the idle conditions of some major storage facilities in places such as Vakpo in the Volta Region and Lambussie in the Upper West Region. The Committee is of the view that if MoFA is giving support to farmers to enable them plant and produce, then it should go a step further to ensure that food security is enhanced by putting a mechanism in place to mop up excess cereals in order to reduce post-harvest losses.

The Hon Deputy Minister informed the Committee that as a matter of policy, MoFA is partnering the private sector to ensure that storage facilities are put to its proper use.

The Committee, therefore, recommends that MoFA should expedite action on its Public-Private-Partnership arrange- ments to put all the idle silos and other storage facilities to good use.

Delivery Extension Services to all Farmers

Under FASDEP II, Agricultural Extension Agents (AEAs) are to reach all farmers in farming communities in the various districts of the country with extension services to assist farmers adopt new farming technologies. Under

the programme, MoFA is required to provide the AEAs with allowances and a means of transport to facilitate their mobility.It was however observed by the Committee that AEAs were unable to cover all farms in their respective districts/communities due to regular breakdown of their motorbikes, inadequate/delayed payment of al lowances, thus depriving some farmers of the benefit of extension services.

Officials of MoFA informed the Committee that the situation is due to inadequate staff to cover all the farming communities in the country.

They indicated that currently, AEA/ Farmer ratio is one AEA to 2000 farmers instead of the recommended one AEA to 500 farmers. Again, nearly 40 per cent of AEAs at post do not have roadworthy motorbikes which make mobi li ty difficult. To address these challenges, MoFA has put in measures to ensure that AEAs meet farmers in groups instead of visiting individual farmers. Electronic extension programme has also been introduced to enable farmers access extension services through mobile phones.

Again, under a hire purchase scheme ar ranged by the Departmen t of Agricultural Engineering of MoFA, all field staff who did not have motorbikes have now procured motorbikes, thus making it possible for them to cover more communities.

Officials of MoFA further informed the Committee that the recruitment of AEAs for the Department of Agriculture of MoFA for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies is currently being done by the local government service povernment Service. That notwithstanding, MoFA has already applied to the Ministry of Finance to

recruit more AEAs and is awaiting approval.

To improve upon the delivery of extension services, the Committee recommends that the Min istry of Finance should put measures in place to ensure that MoFA in collaboration with the local government service recruits more AEAs. The Committee also urges MoFA to ensure that AEAs and farmers are given adequate training on the use of the electronic extension services. The Committee further urges MoFA to ensure that allowances of AEAs are paid on schedule. Use of Developed Irrigable Land

The Commit tee observed that FASDEP II was also to enhance capacity of existing irrigation facilities from 30 per cent to 80 per cent from year 2007 to year 2017. This was to enable farmers located along irrigation facilities have access to irrigation water for cultivation all year-round.

The Committee however noted that about 3.080 (41%) of 7,517 hectares of developed irrigable land was not in use by farmers. According to the Auditor- General, fourteen (14) irrigation facilities in the Upper East, Northern, Brong- Ahafo, Volta and Greater Accra Regions visited by the audit team were not working to full capacity because the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA) had not rehabilitated most of the irrigation facilities over the years.

Officials of MoFA informed the Committee that the audit was undertaken during the period the irrigation facilities were under rehabilitation. Thus, upon completion of the rehabilitation works, the cropped irrigable area has increased to 6,317 hectares representing 85% of the area developed. They indicated that the unused capacity of 1,200 hectares (15%) represents areas where water cannot run freely without the use of pumps.
Alhaji Ibrahim Dey Abubakari (NDC -- Salaga South) 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to second the Motion, and in so doing, I have the following observations to make.
Mr Speaker, the Report highlights three important areas which if given adequate and prompt action, would allow the Food and Agriculture Sector Development
policy (FASDEP) to achieve its targets and goals.
Mr Speaker, these areas are first, the delay in supply of fertilizer and other inputs to farmers. The Report made us know that most often the timing of supply of these items is just not in the right direction and therefore, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) should try its best to ensure that, at least, its experts would look at the weather conditions in these areas, especially in the Southern and the northern sector.
If they supply items, in let us say, around April, then it may be too late for the southern sector and at the same time it would be too early for the northern sector, where most of the rains start around September and October. So, it is incumbent on MoFA to ensure that the timing of the supply of these inputs is appropriate.
The second most important area is the non-adoption of improved storage. In fact, MoFA was supposed to provide adequate storage facility in order to enhance or minimise post-harvest losses. However, the storage facility they provided was too expensive for the farmers to utilize, and I find it very difficult to understand why MoFA would provide a storage facility, which the farmers cannot use and the sole reason was cost. In other words, the storage facility provided by MoFA was too expensive for the farmers to use.
I think that perhaps,they should have been subsidized, or at least,come out with adequate and requisite technology, which can provide storage facilities that farmers can use.
The last and the most important one is the delivery of extension services agents.
With these extension service agents, we were told that the ratio at that time was one extension agent to two thousand farmers, while it should have been one extension agent to five hundred farmers.
I think that MoFA should come out and train a lot of-- we have youth unemployment in the county, and I think a lot of them come under the agricultural sector. They should be able to employ a lot of extension agents so that the farmers would have enough extension services.
Mr Speaker, with these few words, I think that if these actions are put in their right perspective, the targets, objectives and the goals of FASDEP would be met.
Question proposed.
Mr Kobena Mensah Woyome(NDC -- South Tongu) 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, as I refer to the Report of the Committee, I would want us to look at the Observations, paragraph 6, where with your leave, I read some portion of it.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Which page are you reading?
Mr Woyome 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am referring to the sixth paragraph under the Observations of the Report that was submitted.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Which page?
Mr Woyome 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, page 6.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Very well.
Mr Woyome 10:40 a.m.
As part of the Observa- tions, the challenges that the Committee observed, which includes the late release of funds to the companies that assist Government in procuring the fertilizers for the farmers, they also looked at this, and I quote;
Mr Kingsley Aboagye-Gyedu (NPP -- Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai) 10:50 p.m.
Thank you Mr Speaker for the opportunity. Mr Speaker, may I refer the House to page 10, first paragraph and first sentence of the Report. With your permission, I read;
“They indicated that currently, AEA/Farmer ratio is one AEA to 2000 farmers instead of the recommended one AEA to 500 farmers. Again, nearly 40 per cent AEAs at post do not have road- worthy motorbikes which make mobility difficult”.
Mr Speaker, meeting the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, this issue came up strongly and some of us feel that at the time that we have a huge army of unemployed graduates; especially from agricultural institutions and at the time
that we are also struggling to keep the currency of our country stable, and given the background that we are importing so much food from the neighbouring countries, especially from saharan regions like Burkina Faso.
I believe that this point must be seriously considered by this House and the recommendation emphasised to the Ministry, so that we can solve a lot of our current problems.
One; Mr Speaker, if we are able to employ sizeable number of this teeming unemployed graduates from the agricultural institutions, we would end up reducing the army of unemployed graduates.
Secondly, it also boost our production and that goes a long way to reduce the quantum of food that we need to import and Mr Speaker, that can reduce the burden on the foreign currency that we need to be able to do this importation and that can go a long way to stabilise our currency.
Another area that I want to also comment on Mr Speaker, is the release of funds in time to the importers of agricultural inputs, especially, fertilizer.
Mr Speaker, the Ministry made us understand at the public hearing of the Committee that another problem they have is the release of funds to the importers of the inputs on time. This goes a long way to also prevent them to distribute the inputs at the appropriate time.
Mr Speakers, as a country we should set our priorities right and do the right things at the right time. This is because it is said that if you do a wrong thing at the right time, it makes it wrong. In the same
way, if you do the right thing at the wrong time, it equally makes it wrong.
I would plead with the Hon Minister for Finance that whenever it comes to productive activities like agriculture, I believe we need to give them the necessary priorities that they deserve to be able to save the country from some of these woes that I have already mentioned.
Mr David T. Assumeng (NDC -- Shai- Osudoku) 10:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to also support and urge the House to adopt the Report.
Mr Speaker, my attention is on paragraph 7.4 of page 11 of the Report and with your permission I read:
“The Committee noted that about 3,080 (41%) of 7,517 hectares of developed irrigable land was not in use by farmers”.
Mr Speaker, by this, I am very sure that the irr igation projects in Afife and Asutsuare could be part of these identification. Mr Speaker, if you drive along, you would realise that it is true that most of these lands are lying fallow and they are not being used and so if you want to increase the crop production as has been identified or stated, then it means that the Irrigation Development Authority must sit up and by this, I think it is very important for us to identify and inform that sector. Let us reform the IDA so that they can live up to expectation to put all these irrigation projects into production.
In Asutsuare for instance, most of the lands are not being used. The roads to the farms are not motorable.It is pathetic to see farmers harvesting their crops and
Mr David T. Assumeng (NDC -- Shai- Osudoku) 10:50 p.m.


cannot even transport the crops to the drying centres. As well, the areas to process these items are also a problem -- drying floors and machinery for land preparations are also inadequate. I believe that this Report is very important and my only difficulty is the fact that the Ministry is not represented in the House as we are speaking now.

I cannot see the Hon Minister or the Hon Deputy. I believe that this information would be relayed to the Ministry for them to identify and take this Repot very serious so that the next time round, when Audit Report is being carried, some of these anomalies would be identified and resolved.

I believe that it is very important for us to adopt this Report and by your directive Mr Speaker, for the Ministry to take the Report and implement it to the letter as expected.

Thank you Mr Speaker for the opportunity.
Mr Alex K. Agyekum(NPP -- Mpohor) 11 a.m.
Thank you Mr Speaker for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion. Mr Speaker, sometimes when I look at you sitting at that exalted position, presiding over this august House, only for Reports of such nature to be laid year after year, Mr Speaker, I do not envy you. Recently, you would recall that you addressed your frustration --
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
I think that is enough leave me out. [Laughter.]
Mr Alex Agyekum 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, by asking that, the leadership of this House sit and look at the situation, where in fact
the Report that the Public Accounts Committee presents to this House, they can vary it and ensure that sometimes; whatever they state as part of their recommendation is different from always repeating virtually almost everything that is recommended every year.
Mr Speaker, this Report, if I should have the previous one, it would appear as if the main challenges facing agriculture and food production in this country is repeated every year. The basic problem that we have in this country has to do with production challenges, post-harvest losses and financing agriculture. What is new in this Report that I hold? They keep on repeating the same thing year after year and it is like there is a systematic failure; that is how it appears to me. What are the Chief Directors and all those technocrats that we have in the Ministry doing to solve this problem that we are facing?
Mr Speaker, I feel we really must avoid oscillating between action and inaction. We all know if you ask any Junior High School (JHS) pupil, he would be able to tell you what financing agriculture and post-harvest losses are. So, what are we doing?
Mr Speaker, on the issue of fertilizer, the Ministry is giving us a report that, the subsidy on fertilizer, with all the budget that almost every year we approve, Government is not able to subsidise fertilizer that forms a critical input in food production to the extent that we will just go round, come back to this House and say that, we are liaising with the private sector and because of delays in the release of funds, we were not able to satisfy the needs of our farmers.
Mr Speaker, this is unacceptable and as a House, with your direction, I believe that some kind of urgency and signal be
Alhaji Seidu Amadu (NDC-- Yapei/ Kusawgu) 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it is common knowledge that agriculture is the mainstay of Ghana's economy therefore, any attempt to downplay the sector spells doom and disaster for all of us. Unfortu- nately, however, some portions of this Report, Mr Speaker, do not give cause for hope.
I am saying so because, if you look at paragraph 7.5 which talks about production target of 6 per cent per annum, Mr Speaker, you will realise that, from the year 2007 when the programme was introduced through to 2011, there has been a kind of gradual decrease in the percentage in terms of production levels. Though various reasons have been adduced to why this has become so, I believe seriously that, the bottom line of this decline in the production levels is due to lack of guaranteed prices.
Mr Speaker, the common knowledge that we know is that, during the harvest period, where farmers are in dire need of money to meet other obligations, specu- lators take advantage to buy their crops at prices that they dictate. At the end of
Mr Kwame Asafu-Adjei (NPP -- Nsuta/Kwamang/Beposo) 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, agriculture is the mainstay of this country's economy. If it is done well, the problems confronting this country, would not have occurred.
Mr Speaker, there is the need for us to concentrate on financing and marketing. In the area of production, farmers are always ready early morning to go to their farms and do the planting. But when it comes to the area of marketing and also financing, this is where the problem lies.
Mr Speaker, in a country where the interest rate is now about thirty per cent and farmers and the banks consider farming as a risky business, it is about time the Government gives priority and also, concessionary rates to farmers.
Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) was established to take care of the interest of farmers, but what do we see? They have turned the bank into a commercial bank instead of providing services to farmers.
Also, if you look at the statistics available, people involved in farming activities, I mean the farmers, in terms of age, are about fifty five to sixty years. There is need for us to encourage the youth into agriculture. I am glad the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) has the Youth in Agriculture programme. But how is it implemented?
Agriculture needs organisation. Are the youth organised to take up farming? Agriculture needs finances. Is the Government providing finance to the youth to take up farming? What is provided here, the crops which the Ministry targeted, five crops; maize, soya beans, rice, and so forth.
Mr Speaker, all these crops, I do not think we have reached the area where we can say, we are self-sufficient on these crops. In fact, if we take rice where we are supposed to compete favourably with other West African countries, we are still
not doing well, for a reason, we have not put enough money in the rice production.
Where we have put in money is the road sector. There is no way the farmer is going to harvest his crops when the roads are bad. After harvesting, he needs to market his food crops and if the roads are bad, there is no way the farmer can carry his food crop from the farm gate to the urban cities and the market centres. So, Mr Speaker, there is a need for Government to link the road sector with the food growing areas.
Mr Speaker, again, irrigation. There is a need for all Governments to take irrigation seriously. Over the years, we talked about Accra Plains, the plains are still there. Not much has been done in the Accra Plains to support farmers, especially, farmers who are doing rice farming.
If we do well in providing the irrigation, then I think the rice that we are hoping for, in the near future, we would stop importing rice and we would be able to achieve that but unfortunately, we have not done much for irrigation.
Mr Speaker, the markets. There is need to develop our urban markets and also, our rural markets. Not just markets, markets that involve marketing and processing so that we can set up Celtic industries to support the youth, who always come to the cities to search for jobs which are not there.
Mr Speaker, with these few words, I support the Report presented by the Public Accounts Committee.
Thank you.
Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.


Hon Minority Leader, I got your message that is why I prolonged the process. I allowed Hon Members so I have been waiting for you.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu (NPP -- Suame) 11:20 a.m.
Thank you Mr Speaker for the opportunity to contribute to this Motion on the Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the performance Audit Report of the Auditor-General on the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in their support to farmers to increase Food Crop Production.
Mr Speaker, I intend to limit my contribution to just two aspects of the Report; the first is the late distribution of fertilizer and improved seeds.
Mr Speaker, the Report has it that, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture was to introduce improved and high yielding varieties of seeds to farmers at the beginning of the farming season to enable farmers to plant at the right time. MoFA was also to make fertilizer affordable and accessible to farmers under the Block Farm and Fertilizer Subsidy Programme.
Yet, the Committee notes rather tragically, that, MoFA delayed in releasing improved seed to farmers for periods, ranging from three to five months after the onset of the major raining season. The distribution of fertilizers to farmers was also noted to have suffered same delays.
Mr Speaker, the programme of fertilizer distribution and distribution of improved seeds is informed by the fact that, increasing populations, and rapid urbanisation are contributing to decrease farmland sizes and decreasing fallow
periods, which traditionally allow for self- generation of farmed lands.
Mr Speaker, galamsey operations are also decreasing farmland sizes, and yet we are supposed to boost agriculture production, not only to ensure food security to our citizenry but also to feed industry by way of injecting or introducing import substitution.
Mr Speaker, the MoFA is admitting that, there were delays in this between three and five months and yet in by way of trying to provide some justification, they are indicating to the Committee that, if fertilizers, and I am quoting,
“If fertilizers are distributed around April and May for instance, it would be late for those in the Southern Sector of the country while for those in the Northern Sector, it would not be late because their cropping season would have just started”.
Mr Speaker, what do we make of this? This is an admission of negligence or some impropriety at least on the part of MoFA and they are trying to justify it. I think I find the rationalisation rather untenable. This is because you would have missed the major farming season in the South. And what do you make of it?
Mr Speaker, I think that, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture must be told in plain language to sit up. This is because their commissions and omissions is affecting the farmers negatively, thereby threatening food security in the country.
Mr Speaker, in 1999, 2000, the nation used to import plantain from La Cote D'Ivoire and we were able to stop this practise in 2007, 2008. It took us so many years after some painstaking effort and deliberate policies and programmes. Now, rather unfortunately, we have relapsed and as a nation, we should watch out.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu (NPP -- Suame) 11:20 a.m.


that because there is election, you would have to go and distribute fertilizers.This means that, there is something wrong somewhere. If they had it already, they would not be pumping it to a particular constituency at this time. It is a policy failure and I think that we should --
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Yes, Hon First Deputy Majority Whip?
Hajia Mary S. Boforo: Mr Speaker, I just want to tell the Hon Minority Leader that Talensi is not in the northern region.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the use of the word “north” is generic in this sense and I hope my Hon Colleague understands that. [Laughter] If she wants me to be specific, I did not mention Talensi, she did for me, so now we are spot on, so it is Talensi which is in the Upper East Region. We should be careful as a nation. It is not for nothing that policies are declared and programmes are fashioned out which if they are pursued, they would yield positive reults for the generality of our citizenry.
Mr Speaker, about 60 per cent of the working class is into farming so if farming or agriculture is not doing well, then we should labour to the fact that there is something wrong somewhere. Either there is a policy failure or programme failure or systemic failure and we should be addressing this
With these very few words, I would want to thank you for the opportunity given me to make this consideration.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of the debate and I would want to put the Question.
Question put Motion agreed to.
Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I just want to crave your indulgence to make an application to you to direct the Table Office to communicate the Report to the respective auditees to enable them see the Report, to implement them and further submit a follow up Report to you so that you would direct the appropriate Committee to also look at the implementation issues involved in the Report.
Alhaji Abubakari 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, in addition to what the Hon Chairman has said, just as the Hon Minister for Finance was able to review the Report of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and submit a report here which has been directed to the Finance Committee, I hope the Hon Minister would also follow up and get a review Report to us so that it would be referred to the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs and state that whatever is recommended here is being followed up.
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Members, this is a Report on the Ministry of Food and Agriculture's Policy, therefore, I direct that the Report be forwarded to them to submit a Report on the follow up actions that they have made on the recommendations of the PAC Policy to Parliament. I so direct.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I think as a matter of records, I would also want us to note that, the PAC of this House increasingly has been upping their levels of performance and I am impressed very much by the quality of Report they have submitted to this House.
I would want to,as a matter of fact, state for the records that, the House commends the PAC for the very diligent work that they have done. Increasingly, they are enhancing their performance and they
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Majority Chief Whip?
Alhaji Muntaka 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we would take item number 9.
Mr Speaker, I perfectly agree with the Hon Minority Leader. If we look at the structure of the Report and the content, I have no doubt but to commend the Committee for the good work. My only hope is that, the amount of materials that have been provided to the PAC would always be provided to other Committees. I would want to urge the other Chairpersons to always demand them so that they would be able to enrich their Report as good as we are seeing with the
PAC.
I think the commendation is fair and we would look up to them further even up to this and keep the standard up.
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Members, item numbered 9, has been on the Order Paper for some time now. I learnt there is some problem with regard to clause 4. What I intend doing is to suspend Sitting for 10 minutes. I would want to meet the Hon Chairman of the Committee, the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance, the Hon Ranking Member for Finance, the Hon Minority Leader and the Hon Majority Chief Whip in my Lobby. We would do the consultation on clause 4 and come back.
I would want to dispose of the Petroleum Revenue Management (Amendment) Bill, 2015 today. After the consultation we would come back and take item numbered 9 on the Order Paper.
The House is accordingly suspended for 10 minutes, and10 minutes means 10 minutes.
11:33 a.m. -- Sitting suspended.
12.05 p.m. -- Sitting resumed.
BILLS — CONSIDERATION
STAGE 11:30 a.m.

  • [Resumption of Debate from 24/6/ 2015.]
  • Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Hon Members, I have done consultation with the Deputy Minister for Finance, the Chairman and the Ranking Member of the Committee, the Majority Chief Whip and the Minority Leader, and we have agreed to defer clause 4 of the Bill and proceed. They are supposed to give us a new rendition so that hopefully, when that rendition is available, we can take the clause 4.
    We move on to clause 10.
    First Deputy Speaker to take the Chair.
    FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
    Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K.Avedzi) 12:07 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 10, delete “management or” and insert “management”,
    Mr Speaker, the effect is actually to delete “or” and put “,” after “management”. So, the new rendition will read:
    “The Investment Advisory Committee comprises seven members,at least two of whom are women, who shall
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:07 p.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Members, I think it is a drafting issue. Is it not? So I will put the Question?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:07 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is not about that alone.In the parent Act, the provision was for “a women” and they are now introducing “two women”. So, it is not only about the comma(,) or the use of the word “or”. They are amending the original Act which it provided and I beg to quote:
    “The Investment Advisory Committee comprises seven members, at least two of whom are women…”
    Mr Speaker, now the new proposal is that at least, two of them should be women. That is the beginning, and then in the original, that is where the Chairman of the Committee's point comes in. The construction was:
    “business management law”. So, they are suggesting to us that the construction should have rather been “business management” as a stand alone, and “law” as a standalone. That is the effect of the amendment.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:07 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minority Leader is right. The Committee thought that the gender issue was important. So, instead of having at least one, we increased it to two which I thought was setting the trend in increasing the number of women on such Committees. It is substantive but also deliberate.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:07 p.m.
    So are we all right?
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 10 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 16 —First Schedule to Act 815 amended.
    Mr Avedzi 12:07 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 16, paragraph (c), delete and insert the following:
    “(4) The expected revenue from gas shall be the product of the average actual and expected unit prices of domestic natural gas at which the national gas aggre- gator buys natural gas from the operator of the petroleum fields and domestic gas quantity.
    (4A) The expected natural gas price shall be derived from seven year moving average, the seven years being the four years immediately preceding the current financial year, the current financial year and the two years immediately following the current financial year.
    (4B) The expected natural gas quantity shall be determined in accordance with paragraph (2)”
    Mr Speaker, the paragraph (2) is in the principal enactment and that is the formula for calculating the expected revenue coming from the gas.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:07 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was not here the last time, but I have a slight difficulty with the terms, “average, actual and expected”. It is either we are using “the actual”, or “the expected”. We cannot
    use the “average actual and the expected” at the same time. I am not sure of the intent. We are not going to average the “actual and the expected”, we are going to average the “actual” or the “expected”, not both.
    So, I am not sure which one. But as I said, I was not here, but it cannot be true that we are using the “actual” and “expected” price.Hon Chairman, is it the “average actual price”?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:07 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, can you respond to that?
    Mr Avedzi 12:07 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the “actual” here is referring to the actual quantities of gas produced. Then “the expected unit price” is the average of the expected unit price of the gas. The product of the two give us the expected revenue. So, the Hon Member will understand it clearly if he can read it again.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:07 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, then there is something wrong. If it is priced, the expected revenue from gas shall be the product of—we first have to deal with the price. Is it the “actual” or the “expected”? -- [Interruption] Then we should not have the “expected” here. It should be moved down—we cannot have it there,there will a problem. The problem is with where it is.
    Mr Avedzi 12:15 p.m.
    No, I think that the “average” is affecting the “actual” -- “average actual”, then the expected price which is derived at clause 4(a); the expected unit price derived under the second paragraph multiplied by the actual quantity would give you the expected revenue.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, there is a difficulty. The product of the price and the quantity is the revenue. It appears that for the price, he would want the “expected”, the quantity is “actual”. But considering where it is, it does not address the problem. So he would want to remove the product so that instead of having “average actual”, it should be “average expected” unit price. Remove the “actual” and when we come down to the last line “and actual domestic gas quantity” --We cannot have the “actual expected” in that same line, it would be problematic.
    Mr Avedzi 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if it happens that way then we are losing completely,the quality of gas that would be multiplied by the expected unit price.We are losing that one completely,because the paragraph 2 which is the 4(a) determines how the price is derived. The 4(b) determines the quantity.If you read clause 4(b), it says:
    “The expected natural gas quantity shall be determined in accordance with paragraph (2)”
    So 4(a) and 4(b) are talking about price and quantity and then the Clause 4 itself is telling us the product of the quantity and then the price.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is the reason why I am saying that it is not clear here. It appears that for the price, we would want to use the “expected”; I do not have any difficulty. The problem is the “quantity”; you want to use “actual quantity”,then you do not need “average, actual and expected” unit price that is my point.
    “The expected revenue from gas shall be the product of the average expected unit price of domestic natural gas at which the national gas aggregator buys natural gas from the operator of the petroleum field and actual domestic gas quantity.”
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    Chairman of the Committee, is it possible for us to take a second look at the rendition so that it can be deferred together with clause 4?
    Mr Avedzi 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that we can resolve the issue because concerning the point that the Hon Ranking Member is raising, if we should go by his rendition, it means that he is also looking at the average expected unit price. But in this formula, we would want to use average of the expected unit price because unit price is derived already with the formula which is a seven year moving average; four year preceding the current year and two years immediately after the current year. That has already given you a price which is average.
    So if he says average expected unit price it does not work again. This is because the 4(a) which gives us the formula is already the average. That is the reason why we are using a seven-year moving average so we do not put average expected unit price again. Because the unit price that we have is already average. We derived it by using the seven year moving average and therefore, we do not use expected average again,because it is a kind of double average if we do that which would not work.So if he can read through it again he would follow it.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, clause 4 just talked about a simple definition that revenue is price quantity. That is what clause 4 wants to address. It is a product of price and quantity.
    The price is defined by clause 4(a); it is an average expected price, that is what
    it says. So that is why I am saying,”shall be the product of the average expected unit price which is defined in 4(a) and the actual quantity which is defined in paragraph 2". That is all we want.
    Mr Avedzi 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, then he does not need to bring “average” again. If he is making reference to the clause 4(a) which is already the seven year moving average, then he can say the price as determined in 4(a).
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do have a problem if he takes out “average”, but he cannot have the “actual” there. My beef is with the “actual”. So he can say “product of the average expected unit price” and that is defined by clause 4(a) and clause 4(b) defines the quantity; because I think he is telling us that as for the quantity, he wants the actual and not the expected; is that not it? That is defined in paragraph 2 of the old law.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, I think that the problem he has with this rendition is the “actual” and the “expected” being combined.
    Mr Avedzi 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I want to bring a rendition to probably solve this. Just delete the “average” before the “actual” and put “quantity” at the “actual” because we want the product of “actual, quantity and expected unit price.”So the rendition would be:
    “the expected revenue from gas shall be the product of the actual quantity and expected unit prices of domestic natural gas” and it continues, if that would solve the problem.
    This is because we are using the expected unit price as it is defined in clause 4(a) and then the actual quantity. So if I said the “expected revenue is the product of actual quantity and the expected unit price”, would that solve the problem?
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, unfortu- nately, in clause 4(b), we do not talk about “actual quantity”, but we talk about expected quantity. In paragraph 2 of the old law, “the expected quantity shall be calculated, it is not the actual. So in both clauses, we are talking about “expected” and “expected”.
    Mr Avedzi 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we cannot know “the actual” in the law; it comes when production is made. But we can expect a quantity and that is the clause 4(b) definition. It is giving us the formula for deriving the expected quantity. Actual can only be known when there is production. So we cannot state that one in the law but to know the price we get that actual which is after production multiplied by the expected unit price then you know your revenue; that is the formula.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think the Chairman is complicating the matter. Let us try it -- “the expected revenue from gas shall be the product of the expected unit price of domestic natural gas at which the national gas aggregator buys from the operator of the petroleum fields and domestic gas quantity.”
    Now, if he wants, he can also put expected domestic gas quantity.
    Clause 2 is as he has defined it and 4(b) is the expected quantity, there is no actual there. So why doe she want to bring “actual” and “expected” together. Unless, he now wants to remove the expected at all. I think he should limit it to what is in paragraph 4(b) and make it simple.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Deputy Minister for Finance, after that Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Forson 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, using the word “actual” will defeat the three year average.
    The “actual” looks at the historical years and then the “expected” looks at the future years ahead of us.
    Mr Speaker, if we are to go back to the original block, and look at the Schedules under section 1 which I beg to read:
    “For the purposes of this section, the annual benchmark revenue for petroleum operations shall be calculated on the basis of actual and expected unit price for crude oil”.
    Mr Speaker, what we are proposing here is very much in line with what we already have in the original enactment for crude oil. So, we are only trying to repeat the same thing for gas.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, just as the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance has done, if you went back to the parent Act, the reference that is made is in respect of the price and not quantity. That is the complication that he is introducing.
    Mr Speaker, I am quoting from the amendment that is before us --
    “The expected revenue from gas shall be the product of the average actual…”
    Actual what; is it quantity or price? It is the price that he is talking about and not the quantity as the Hon Chairman of the Committee is referring to? This is because what he read to us in the first Schedule; section 17 and we should not forget that we are talking about the determination of the benchmark revenue of the gas component which they now want to stand out.
    “For the purposes of this section, the annual benchmark revenue from

    petroleum operations shall be calculated on the basis of the actual and expected unit price…”

    So, it is the actual price of the oil and the expected average unit price -- [Interruption] -- the actual of the price -- [Interruption] -- that is what is contained here. That is the understanding of one --

    “For the purposes of this section, the annual benchmark revenue from petroleum operations -- [[Interru- ption] [I refer to the Act itself] -- shall be calculated on the basis of the actual -- [and there is a conjunct] and expected average unit price for crude oil”

    So, the ‘actual' also refers to the actual price -- [Interruption] -- what is a no in this?
    Mr Avedzi 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, how can one have ‘actual' and ‘expected' at the same time?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the ‘actual' is from the past. That is what he refered to. [Interruption] Mr Speaker, may I ask him again --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    Hon Members, I am even more convinced that we need to defer this and have the opportunity to deal with it and then get back to the Chamber.
    Mr Avedzi 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 16, add the following new paragraph:
    “(h) the insertion after paragraph ((11), “expert” includes an individual and a firm of individuals.”
    Mr Speaker, reference was made to “experts” in the Bill. That is under paragraph (g) of Clause 16 on page 9 of the Bill. Mr Speaker, I beg to quote;
    “(11) The forecasts and the amount determined in accordance with the formula in paragraphs (1), (2), (3), (4) and (5) shall be certified by a reputable independent expert appointed in accordance with the Public Procurement Act 2003 (Act 663)”
    Mr Speaker, the Committee was of the view that if we make reference to “expert”, what is the meaning of it? We are proposing this new amendment that --
    “For the purposes of paragraph (11), ‘expert' includes an individual and a firm of individuals.”
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    Very well. I believe this is rather innocuous. Is it not it? -- [Laughter] -- Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I just want to know exactly where the new Clause is to be situated -- [Pause]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    It is a new Clause being introduced after Clause 11 -- [Pause] . [Interruption] Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if I get what he means, he wanted to give meaning to the word ‘expert'. Would the construction not be better if the word ‘and' was substituted for ‘or' to read,
    “… includes an individual or a firm of individuals”
    Mr Avedzi 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that the new paragraph is further amended by the deletion of ‘and' after ‘individual' and replaced with ‘or'.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 16 (h) as amended stands part of the Bill.
    Hon Members, since we have deferred the rest of Clause 16, we would not put the Question until we have dealt with the new rendition.
    Hon Members, this brings us to the end of Consideration stage for the Petroleum Revenue Management (Amendment) Bill, 2015.
    Yes, Hon Majority Chief Whip?
    Alhaji Muntaka 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we have a number of the Committee meetings that are supposed to go on and even we need to put final touches to this Bill itself. In view of that, I would want to beg that the House should stand adjourned till tomorrow, at 10:00 o'clock in the forenoon.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Majority Chief Whip says that a number of Committee sittings have been advertised; I agree with him.
    Alhaji Muntaka 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, with the greatest respect, I know the Hon Minority Leader is one of the champions who has been frustrating this Bill on this floor, and never even wanted to see it on the Order Paper. That was on a lighter note.
    Mr Speaker, I think that looking at the time and the amount of work we need to do on the Petroleum Revenue Manage- ment (Amendment) Bill, 2015, we need to quickly go and try to tidy it up, so that we can be sure that tomorrow, possibly, we would be able to take it.
    So, that is why I think that it is important that, at this stage; we adjourn for tomorrow, so that when we come back tomorrow, we would do the best we can to finish the other businesses that are on the Order Paper.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Any seconder?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, because Parliament is a House of records, I think that I must state for the purposes of setting records straight, and I see Hon Fiifi Kwetey here, he is an expert in setting records straight.
    Mr Speaker, I have never done anything to frustrate the prosecution of the Interstate Succession Bill, 2013. I have never done such thing. All I have done is to help sanitise the Bill.
    So, it is most incorrect for my Hon Colleague, the Hon Majority Chief Whip, to say that I have insisted that this Bill be frustrated, and perhaps, it should not even
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:35 p.m.


    find expression on the Order Paper. That is a most unfortunate statement that should come from the Hon Majority Chief Whip.

    So, Mr Speaker, we want the best thing to be done in respect of this Bill. I have always insisted that we should have some winnowing process, so that when we come to it we would have the Bill going on a very smooth path. That has been my insistence with respect to all the laws that we have made, which includes the Interstate Succession Bill, 2013.

    Mr Speaker, I know my Hon Colleague would be most imperilled if this is not done very well; knowing where he is coming from.

    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion for the Adjournment of the House.

    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    ADJOURNMENT 12:35 p.m.

  • The House was accordingly adjourned at 12.38 p.m. till Wednesday, 8th July, 2015 at 10.00 a.m.