Debates of 3 Dec 2015

MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
Mr Demordzi 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, your Committee continues to make far reaching recommendations to government towards the development and review of policies to meet the needs of our farmers and fishers.
Mr Speaker, following the outbreak of the avian influenza this year, the Committee brought the outbreak to the attention of the House and urged Parliament to authorise the withdrawal of funds from the Contingency Fund to stem the outbreak. Parliament accepted the recommendation and authorised disburse- ment from the Fund to meet the emergency, the first time Parliament ordered withdrawal from the said Fund.
Mr Speaker, your Committee will continue to support legislation to provide the enabling legal framework for the establishment of downstream processing companies in order to create market for agricultural produce, so that income of our hard working farmers will increase.
I urge our colleagues in the Executive, particularly, those at the Ministries of
Food and Agriculture, and Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, who are in charge of agricultural policy governance and implementation, to enforce the laws of the sector in order to mitigate the sufferings of our farmers and fishers.
I call on Parliament^ the Executive and the corporate world, to pool our efforts towards finding solutions to the problems and challenges.
I wish to once again use this platform to express my eternal gratitude to all farmers and fishers in Ghana, for how far their efforts have brought this country, in spite of the daunting challenges they face.
I say “ayeekoo” to all farmers in Ghana, and May God continue to bless our Homeland Ghana.
Thank you Mr Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon Members, because of time constraints, we would take one contribution from either side of the isle.
Mr Daniel N. K. Titus-Glover (NPP - -Tema East) 11:10 a.m.
Thank you very much Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement made by my Hon Colleague on our gallant farmers and fishermen across the country, most especially, the awardees.
Mr Speaker, after 58 years of Independence, we still use cutlasses and hoes in our farming, it is most unfortunate. I think it is high time we had a critical look at these farming tools.
I agree that, governments have come and gone and contributed with combined
harvesters, tractors and what have you. But sometimes, looking at the terrain and the land that they cultivate, sometimes the cutlasses and hoes are inevitable.
Mr Speaker, it would interest you to know that, these days when you look at the technology in agriculture, you cannot speak about technology without the mention of agricultural extension officers.
By international standards, the ratio between farmers and these extension officers is about one is to 500 farmers. But back here in Ghana, it is ranging between 2,500 to 3000 farmers per one extension officer.
Mr Speaker, the irony --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon Member, do you have the source available?
Mr Titus-Glover 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would provide the source. [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, the irony of this arrangement --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
This is a House of record.
Mr Titus-Glover 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I will furnish you with it.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
If you do not furnish us with that document by the close of the day today, consider that submission expunged.
Mr Titus-Glover 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, you would get it at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture's website.
Mr Speaker, the irony of this arrangement is the fact that, very soon, some of these extension officers would be due for retirement and their replacement would be a problem.
Mr Titus-Glover 11:10 a.m.


Why? This is because, there is a freeze on public sector employment where we can get these young ones who have graduated from agricultural institutions.

Mr Speaker, let me also touch on the fact that, budgetary expenditure or estimates that are really invested in agriculture from the year 2000 to date is woefully inadequate.

Under the Maputo Declaration, it is agreed that, Governments in Africa, at least, should spend about six per cent of their budgets in agriculture.

Mr Speaker, it would interest you to note --
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Yes, Hon Member, is it a point of order?
Mr Demordzi 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not know where my Hon Colleague gets his statistics from? Mr Speaker, he said, six per cent of the budgetary allocation by the Maputo Declaration, that is not correct. It is 10 per cent and not six per cent. He cannot say six per cent.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Very well.
Hon Member, please proceed.
Mr Titus-Glover 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, let me borrow his words. That is, words in our Ghanaian setting?
In 2009, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) spent three per cent of Budget the on agriculture. In 2012, it dwindled from three per cent to 1.9 per cent. In 2013, 1.103 per cent, in 2014, it went further to 1.04 per cent.
Mr Speaker, in 2014, the estimates --
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon Majority Leader, is it a point of order?
Mr Bagbin 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, that is so.
Mr Speaker, it looks like my Hon Colleague has moved into the Budget debate, but this is a commemorative Statement on Farmer's Day and so- it is not time for him to combine both.
He should please focus on the Statement; the issue is one of relevance. When we get to the debate on the Budget, he can bring all these contentious issues. This is because, we do not debate Statements.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Very well.
Hon Member, I believe that, I would plead with you to avoid the arena of debate. This is a Statement and your contribution should as much as possible avoid the area of debates.
Mr Nitiwul 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, let me assure the Hon Majority Leader that, he is not debating and he does not intend to debate or even provoke debate. All he is saying is that, the Executive arm of Government should allocate more resources to agriculture and we are just trying to set an example.
He really did not want to debate. He said, the Executive arm of Government should respect the Convention by allocating 10 per cent as it has said to agriculture, and, he was citing an example. That is all.
Mr Speaker, he is not debating.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader, if he had put it the way you have put it, I do not think it would have aroused this degree of debate.
So, Hon Member, stick to what your Hon Deputy Minority Leader has said.
Mr Bagbin 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, this is the issue. It is not the Executive arm of Government that allocates money, it is Parliament. That is why you have the power of approval.
It is Parliament that allocates, so we do not want to debate. It is a Statement to commemorate our farmers and fishermen, to commend them on what they have been doing. We are talking about farmers and not Government. [Hear!] [Hear!]
Mr Titus-Glover 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I thank my Hon Majority Leader for his intervention, but inasmuch as I take his advice, statistics is --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon Member, begin to wind up.
I told you right from the word go, that for time constraints, we are allowing one contribution each.
Mr Titus-Glover 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, that is where I am coming to.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
You are taking too much time, so begin to conclude.
Mr Titus-Glover 11:10 a.m.
I am saying that, I am taking a cue from the Hon Majority Leader.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Very well.
Begin to conclude.
Mr Titus-Glover 11:10 a.m.
The fact that, statistics are very important, what I am trying to say is that, there is a need for the NDC Government to spend more on agriculture.
Mr Speaker, this is because, it is unfortunate that we can be importing kontomire from La Cote d'Ivoire at this time in Ghana. So, inasmuch as we would want to congratulate our hardworking farmers and fishermen, their challenges need to be addressed and that is what I am trying to bring to the fore for all of us to see how best we could help our hardworking farmers and fisher folk.
With these few words, I am so grateful.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Thank you very much.
Yes, we would take one from the majority side.
Yes, Hon Humado?
Mr Clement K. Humado (NDC -- Anlo) 11:20 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement on the floor.
Indeed, 31 years ago, the idea of a National Farmers' Day was mooted and implemented by the then Hon Minister for Agriculture, Commodore Steve Obimpeh. The first of such celebration was held at Osiem near Koforidua in the Eastern Region of Ghana, and I had the unique opportunity as a young professional in agriculture to attend this initial celebration.
At that time, awards that were given to farmers were very simple -- cutlasses, field boots and bicycles. But it is very heart- warming that, since then, all past
Mr Clement K. Humado (NDC -- Anlo) 11:20 a.m.
governments including the present government have sustained the celebration of the National Farmers' Day in true recognition of the role of farmers and fishers in our economy.
Mr Speaker, the theme for this year's National Farmers' Day is “Transform Ghana and Invest in Agriculture”. Which means that, agriculture is a sure route to transform Ghana. This policy framework recognises the private sector as the main instrument of developing agriculture and transforming Ghana. I wish to put on record that, as Government over the past years, we have done everything possible to meet the 10 per cent of national budget to be invested in the agricultural sector.
I think that past governments including the present government need to be commended. However, there are still some few areas that we need to continue to focus on, to continue to improve our performance.
The first is the area of irrigation development and this is important because, climate change is becoming a very real situation not only in Ghana but elsewhere in the world. Therefore, our efforts in improving irr igation development must be relentless. Another area is the agricultural credit to enable medium to large scale farmers, as well as small scale farmers invest in agriculture.
Another emerging area is energy for agriculture, particularly medium to large scale farmers who do commercial agriculture along our rivers, they need energy to pump the water from those water bodies into their farms. It is important that in the provision of energy infrastructure, we take into consideration farming areas which are remote from our urban areas, so that we can extend the bridge to these areas to enable the medium
and large scale farmers undertake commercial agriculture. A few years ago, we mooted the idea of a social tariff for energy for agriculture and I think that it is still on the drawing board.

This is an indicator that we need to continue our investments in the northern savannahs and the southern savannahs, so that we can improve the welfare and standard of living of our farmers in these areas.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I would want to salute farmers and fishers in Ghana. I would want to say Ayekoo to all of them especially, those of them who would win awards tomorrow. They must take this opportunity of winning awards not only for themselves but to enable them to play leadership roles in their societies, to improve other less fortunate farmers in their areas.

On this note I say Ayekoo to all gallant farmers and fishers in Ghana.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Thank you very much.
Hon Members, there is a second Statement that stands in the name of Hon Isaac Osei, Hon Member of Parliament for Subin on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
International Day of Persons with Disabilities
Mr Isaac Osei (NPP -- Subin) 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker,I thank you for admitting this statement and for doing so on this day which is recognised throughout the world as the “International Day of Persons with Disabilities”.
This Day has been set aside by the United Nations since 1992 to principally create the awareness and mobilise support for issues dealing with the inclusion of persons with disabilities in mainstream political and socio-economic life of nations.
The theme for this year is “Inclusion Matters: Access and empowerment for people of all abilities”. The theme is intrinsically suggesting that people have different capacities, endowments and abilities, and that it is important to harness the capabilities of all sections of the society for the benefit of all.
While we acknowledge the urgent need for inclusion, it has to be said that, apart from the physical and space barriers which people with disabilities face, it is often the societal norms and stigmatisation which provide serious impediments to their full participation in the affairs of many countries.
In 2006, the Parliament of Ghana passed Act 715 - the Persons with Disabilities Law, which sought to remove all barriers to the inclusion of persons with disabilities. The Ghana Law preceded the U. N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Ghana signed the Convention and its protocols on 30thMarch, 2007, and parliament ratified the Convention on 31st July, 2012. The Ghana Law now has to be brought into conformity with the U. N. Convention.
The Ghana Federation of the Disabled has expressed its concern about gaps in Act”715 which preclude persons with disabilities from the full realisation of their rights. These gaps include, but are not limited to the definition of persons with disabilities, absence of provisions guaranteeing equality of all persons; the double jeopardy suffered by persons with disability who also belong to other minorities or disadvantaged groups, safety of PWDs in times of national emergencies;enforcement of Public buildings, access provisions and freedom from torture and cruel treatment and punishment.
Mr Speaker, it is my hope that very soon, an amendment bill will be brought to this House by government to enable Parliament assist in plugging the gaps in Act 715.
Mr Speaker, in the public gallery today, Members will notice that there are a number of our citizens with disabilities who have come here on this day as they have done in previous years, to listen to their representatives as they show their support for PWDs. You can see that sign language has been brought to this House. Estimates are that, PWDs constitute about 10 per cent of the Ghanaian population so, it is an extremely important consti- tuency.
Mr Speaker, among them is a remarkable young man called Richard Offei, whom I met while I worked at Ghana Cocoa Board. Mr Offei was a very good footballer who played for Liberty Professionals here in Accra with players like Micheal Essien and Derek Boateng in the midfield. His prospects were bright but unfortunately, he was knocked, down by a drunken driver on June 20, 2000, He survived but one of his legs had to be amputated to save his life.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Thank you very much.
Hon Members, as I indicated earlier, I would take one contribution each from either side of the House.
Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Joseph ZaphenatAmenowode (NDC -- Afadzato South) 11:30 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement made by my Hon Colleague on the other Side of the House on the 3rd December which marks the commemoration of the International Day of the Disabled.
Mr Speaker, the objectives of this day, as we are made to understand, are two 11:30 a.m.
one is to promote the understanding of disability issues and to mobilise support for the dignity, rights and wellbeing of people with disabilities (PWDs) and two, to increase awareness of the gains to be derived from integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of the political, socioeconomic and cultural life of this country.
Mr Speaker, I would want to dwell on just some few aspects of the Law that this House passed nine years ago. One important aspect of it was that, it granted a ten - year moratorium to establishments that do not comply with the provisions of the Law and I am referring to Section 60 of the Act which gives this moratorium that expires next year.
It is very clear that when we visit most buildings and other public places, we realise that, very little has been done to comply with this, and we have less than a year to end the moratorium.
Mr Speaker, your Committee on Employment and Social Welfare visited some establishments, including the Parliament House. Of course, Parliament House was graded to have done very well,
but we still have some few areas, especially, access for our colleagues in wheelchairs. It needs a little more to be done.
Mr Speaker, I commend that the new block has passed the test since it has all the facilities that were needed to comply with the Law. We would want the people who passed the Law to as soon as possible make sure that Parliament sets the standard for all establishments.
Mr Speaker, we visited the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, and it was true from there that, they know there is a Law on disabilities, but the provisions' for compliance were not understood. So, there is the need for much more education before the ten year moratorium passes. Otherwise, it would pass, and still the compliance would not be appropriate.
I would also want to stress on one aspects of the needs of our disabled brothers, especially, the vision impaired, thus the implementation of the Marrakesh VIP Treaty, which Ghana is yet to ratify. This is the treaty that gives the opportunity to our visually impaired brothers and sisters to have access to print, public works. This is because, most of the books in our libraries and other places are not appropriate for the visually impaired and they are just asking that by this Treaty they be allowed to publish their own books without any copyright working against the printing.
Mr Speaker, I would want to end on one other aspect, which is very important, and that is the employment of persons with disabilities. The Law makes it clear that, we should make sure that establishments employ people with disabilities and even provide the
incentives for those establishments, but as of now, this is not being complied with. I am sad to say that Government institutions are not also complying.
As of now, there are many skilled employable disabled persons looking for jobs and they are still not being employed. They have resources that could also contribute to national development. We are therefore using this opportunity to appeal to the Ministry of Finance to give clearance to the various Ministries that have applied for the employment of at least our brothers with disability.
The Ministry of Education is a case in point; there are about hundreds of qualified graduates from the universities willing to teach but all they need is clearance from the Ministry of Finance to be able to do so.
Mr Speaker, I would want to take this opportunity to congratulate our brothers and sisters on this their commemorative day and wish them very well as they pursue their right to be part of the development of the country.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Thank you very much.
Yes, Hon Member for Takoradi?
Mr Kwabena O. Darko-Mensah (NPP -- Takoradi) 11:30 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity.
Mr Speaker, we are aware that the strength of any change is its weakest link. We are also aware that disability is not an inability. In this country, one of the greatest challenge we tend to face is that, people look up to the public sector as an example so that the private sector can follow.
Unfortunately, one would realise that, since the Law was passed in the year 2006, a lot of government agencies are not up to scratch.

Next year, when the time frame elapses, it is then that we would start talking about it as if it is an emergency.

I believe that, it is time that the Ministry for Gender, Children and Social Protection compiled a list of all Government agencies that have still not complied with it and publish them before next year, such that all the preparations and implementation that we need to do can start this year, then, by next year, a lot of the Government institutions can comply.

Mr Speaker, I also believe that, the private sector has a major role to play in engaging the services, the wits, the energies and intellects of people with disability. In all our family businesses, we have made it a point to engage ten per cent of people with disability. In most cases, they even perform better than full- bodied persons. Therefore, I believe that it is time that we implemented these things across the length and breadth of the country.

Mr Speaker, furthermore, recently, people with disability made a general request to the Government of Ghana to engage their men and women in all the toll booths that we have in this country. So far, no response has been given by Government and I believe that it is time for us as a country to stand up for them and make sure that, this small request of just a few toll booths in this country could engage them so that, they could become productive and could also serve our nation Ghana.

Mr Speaker, with these few words, I believe that the maker of the Statement has done a very good job on this International Day of Persons with Disabilities. I also believe that, going forward, this country would stand up for

our brothers and sisters who are disabled but not disabled.

Thank you very much.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
It is unfortunate we are hard pressed for time but I would want to direct that, the Leadership of this House takes up the issue of the moratorium period for compliance with the Rt Hon Speaker so that, we could draw attention of the various Ministries and Departments to this very important aspect of the law that we have passed, so that we are not found wanting when the time comes.
This is because, if there is no compliance, there is the likelihood that, there should be some punitive measures taken against defaulting Ministries and Departments. So I believe that with that, we should be able to address this particular issue.
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of Statements.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Bagbin 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to plead with the House for us to take a few items before plunging into the continuation of the debate on the Financial Policy of Government.
Mr Speaker, I would like to propose that we take item number 10. I have been informed that, the Motion was moved and seconded by the Vice Chairman but the debate was to commence and it did not. It is an item that needs some attention because some action is pending. The Executive cannot take some action because of the non-approval of this matter by Parliament so I would like us to take that before we could continue with the debate.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Very well. Item number 10 on the Order Paper.
MOTIONS 11:40 a.m.

Mr Kwabena O. Darko-Mensah (NPP -- Takoradi) 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to contribute to the Motion to adopt the Report of the Committee on Mines and Energy on the seven mining leases, namely: Adamus Resources Limited, Akanko Mining Limited, Central Ashanti Gold Limited, Newmont Golden Ridge Limited, Nevsun Resources Limited, Nsuta Gold Mining Limited and Xtra-Gold Mining Limited.
Mr Speaker, in looking at the leases and the Report from the Committee, one comes to realise that, even though the ounces of gold or minerals that are supposed to be produced are quoted here, we are not aware of how much Government is going to make in terms of revenue from each of these mining leases. I believe it would be a good idea for Ghanaians to know how much we make from today into the long-term.
This is because, some of the lease periods are 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, 24 years, 30 years. We need to know how much the country is actually going to make or gain from giving these leases out.
Mr Speaker, the Report also talks about local content aspiration. I believe that, the Ministry of Petroleum or the petroleum sector has shown the way. It is time that the mining sector also comes properly to this House with a legislation that would guide the local content position of this
country so that Ghanaians would not be seen to be begging to have an opportunity to participate in the mining area.
Mr Speaker, furthermore, in other jurisdictions like the Democratic Republic of Congo, when a mining lease is given to people, they are also obliged to cultivate a certain amount of grains or go into some form of agriculture. The idea is to use the mining as a growth pole; as a way to stimulate their economy in local areas. The mining companies are forced to cultivate a minimum of 500 hectares of grains for their country.
In so doing, they are also ensuring that, the mining companies do not pollute the land. It also helps the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of people in those communities in the country,more so, when these mining companies have huge amounts of resources to push around.
Mr Speaker, further to that, I believe that, it is also important that these mining companies in these local communities continue to be a major GDP multiplier. In so doing, it is time that we found a way so that there is some kind of synergy between the mining companies and local authorities; such that spatial development and spatial planning are done properly; so that they become a major source of tourism to these areas.
Mr Speaker, if people go to Dubai, it is because of the spatial planning and the development. Therefore, I believe that as a major contributor to the local economy, they should be part and parcel of the planning processes of this area and make sure that this area grows and flourishes.
Mr Speaker, with these few words, I believe that we need to approve this Report, more so when it has delayed and enable these companies to start work.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Thank you very much.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Bagbin 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, item 11; a consequential Resolution.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Very well.
Hon Members, item number 11 is a Resolution by the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources.
Mr Bagbin 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, with your permission and indulgence of my Hon Colleagues, you may allow the Hon Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources to move the Motion on the Resolution for and on behalf of the Minister.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Yes, Hon Minority Leader, leave is being sought for the Hon Deputy Minister to move the Resolution on behalf of the substantive Minister.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would like to know which Deputy Minister we are talking about.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Yes, Hon Deputy Minister?
RESOLUTIIONS 11:50 a.m.

Alhaji Amadu Bukari Sorogho 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Yes, Hon Majority Leader, I believe we are looking at item number 12.
Mr Bagbin 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, item number 12, another Resolution.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Very well.
Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources?
Mining Lease Agreement between the Government of Ghana and Akanko
Mining Limited (Akanko)
Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources (Mr Kwabena Mintah Akandoh on behalf of the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources): Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that
WHEREAS by the provisions of article 268 (1) of the Constitution, any transaction, contract or undertaking involving the grant of a right or concession by or on behalf of any person or body of persons howsoever described, for the exploitation of any mineral, water or other natural resource of Ghana made or entered into after the coming into force of the Constitution is made subject to ratification by Parliament.
IN PURSUANCE of the said article 268 (1) of the Constitution, the Government of Ghana has caused to be laid before Parliament through the Minister responsible for Lands and Natural Resources the Mining Lease Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Akanko Mining Limited (Akanko).
NOW THEREFORE, this House in accordance with the said article 268 (1) of the Constitution hereby resolve to ratify the said Mining Lease Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Akanko Mining Limited (Akanko).
Alhaji Sorogho 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Very well.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Yes, Hon Members, item numbered 13.
Mining Lease Agreement between the Government of Ghana and Central Ashanti Gold Limited (Ayanfuri and
Nanankwa)
Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources (Mr Kwabena Mintah Akandohon behalf of the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources): Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that
WHEREAS by the provisions of article 268 (1) of the Constitution, any transaction, contract or undertaking involving the grant of a right or concession by or on behalf of any person or body of persons howsoever described, for the exploitation of any mineral, water or other natural resource of Ghana made or entered into after the coming into force of the Constitution is made subject to ratification by Parliament.
IN PURSUANCE of the said article 268 (1) of the Constitution, the Government of Ghana has caused to be laid before Parliament through the Minister responsible for Lands and Natural Resources the Mining Lease Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Central Ashanti Gold Limited (Ayanfuri and Nanankwa).
NOW THEREFORE, this House in accordance with the said article 268 (1) of the Constitution hereby
Alhaji Sorogho 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly
Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
MrBagbin 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, item number
14.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Hon Members, item numbered 14, Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources?
Mining Lease Agreement between Government of Ghana and the Newmont Golden Ridge Limited (Akyem East and
Akyem West)
Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources (Mr Kwabena Mintah Akandoh on behalf of the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources): Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that
WHEREAS by the provisions of article 268 (1) of the Constitution, any transaction, contract or undertaking involving the grant of a right or concession by or on behalf of any person or body of persons howsoever described, for the exploitation of any mineral, water or other natural resource of Ghana made or entered into after the coming into force of the Constitution is made subject to ratification by Parliament.
IN PURSUANCE of the said article 268 (1) of the Constitution, the Government of Ghana has caused to be laid before Parliament through the Minister responsible for Lands and Natural Resources the Mining Lease Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Newmont Golden Ridge Limited (Akyem East and Akyem West).
NOW THEREFORE, this House in accordance with the said Article 268 (1) of the Constitution hereby resolve to ratify the said Mining Lease Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Newmont Golden Ridge Limited (Akyem East and Akyem West).
Alhaji Sorogho 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Very well.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
MrBagbin 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, item numbered
15.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Yes, Hon Deputy Minister?
Mining Lease Agreement between the Government of Ghana and Nevsun
Resources Limited (Kubi)
Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources (Mr Kwabena Mintah Akandoh on behalf of the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources): Mr Speaker, I beg, to move, that
WHEREAS by the provisions of article 268 (1) of the Constitution, any transaction, contract or undertaking involving the grant of a right or concession by or on behalf of any person or body of persons howsoever described, for the exploitation of any mineral, water or other natural resource of Ghana made or entered into after the coming into force of the Constitution is made subject to ratification by Parliament.
IN PURSUANCE of the said article 268 (1) of the Constitution, the Government of Ghana has caused to be laid before Parliament through the Minister responsible for Lands and Natural Resources the Mining Lease Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Nevsun Resources Limited (Kubi).
NOW THEREFORE, this House in accordance with the said article 268 (1) of the Constitution hereby resolve to ratify the said Mining Lease Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Nevsun Resources Limited (Kubi).
AlhajiSorogho 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
MrBagbin 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, item numbered
16.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Yes, Hon Deputy Minister?
Mining Lease Agreement between the Government of Ghana and the Nsuta
Gold Mining Limited (Nsuta)
Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources (Mr Kwabena Mintah Akandoh on behalf of the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources): Mr Speaker, I to move, that
WHEREAS by the provisions of article 268 (1) of the Constitution, any transaction, contract or undertaking involving the grant of a right or concession by or on behalf of any person or body of persons howsoever described, for the exploitation of any mineral, water or other natural resource of Ghana made or entered into after the coming into force of the Constitution is made subject to ratification by Parliament.
IN PURSUANCE of the said article 268 (1) of the Constitution, the Government of Ghana has caused to be laid before Parliament through the Minister responsible for Lands and Natural Resources the Mining Lease Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Nsuta Gold Mining Limited (Nsuta).
NOW THEREFORE, this House in accordance with the said Article 268 (1) of the Constitution hereby resolve to ratify the said Mining Lease Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Nsuta Gold Mining Limited (Nsuta).
AlhajiSorogho 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Mr Bagbin 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, item numbered 17.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Yes, Hon Deputy Minister?
Mining Lease Agreement between the Government of Ghana and Xtra-
Gold Mining Limited (Apapam)
Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources (Mr Kwabena Mintah Akandoh on behalf of the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources): Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that
WHEREAS by the provisions of article 268 (1) of the Constitution, any transaction, contract or undertaking involving the grant of a right or concession by or on behalf of any person or body of persons howsoever described, for the exploitation of any mineral, water or other natural resource of Ghana made or entered into after the coming into force of the Constitution is made subject to ratification by Parliament.
IN PURSUANCE of the said article 268 (1) of the Constitution, the Government of Ghana has caused to be laid before Parliament through the Minister responsible for Lands and Natural Resources the Mining Lease Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Xtra-Gold Mining Limited (Apapam).
NOW THEREFORE, this House in accordance with the said article 268 (1) of the Constitution hereby resolve to ratify the said Mining Lease Agreement between the Government of the Republic of
Ghana and Xtra-Gold Mining Limited (Apapam).
Alhaji Sorogho 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Bagbin 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, if we may now take item numbered 6 -- the Report of the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation on the Petroleum Commission (Fees and Charges) Instrument, 2015, at page two of the Order Paper.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Very well.
Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr O. B. Amoah 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am here.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Very well.
MOTIONS 11:50 a.m.

Chairman of the Committee (Mr O. B. Amoah) 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,
Introduction
The Petroleum Commission Authority (Fees and Charges) Regulations, 2015 (L.I 2221) was laid before Parliament on Thursday, 23rd July 2015 in accordance with article 11(7) of the Constitution. Pursuant to Orders 77 and 166 of the Standing Orders of Parliament, Mr Speaker referred the Instrument to the Subsidiary Legislation Committee for Consideration and report.
Reference Documents
The Committee referred to the under- listed documents during its deliberations:
i. The 1992 Constitution
ii. The Standing Orders of Parliament
iii. Petroleum Commission Act, 2011 (Act 821)
iv. Fees and Charges (Miscel- laneous Provisions) Act, 2009 (Act 793)
v. Fees and Charges (Amendment) Instrument, 2015 (L.S. 2216)
vi. Financial Administration Regula- tions, 2004 (L. 1.1802)
vii.Petroleum Commission Authority (Fees and Charges) Regulations, 2015 (L.l 2221)
Background Information
The Petroleum Commission was established in 2011 pursuant to Section 1 of the Petroleum Commission Act, 2011 (Act 821), Act 821 mandates the Commission to regulate and manage the utilisation of Petroleum resources and to co-ordinate policies in relation to them.
Pursuant to section 19 of Act 821, the Commission issued an Administrative Directive in 2012 for a fees regime. The Directive enjoins all companies operating in the upstream petroleum sub-sector to register and obtain a Petroleum Com- mission permit among others. This fees regime has enabled the Commission generate revenue to enable the Com- mission discharge its mandate effectively
and wean itself off government subvention since the Commission does not receive adequate financial support from Government to carry out its mandate.
Consequently, the purpose of the Petroleum Commission Authority (Fees and Charges) Regulations, 2015 (L. I. 2221) is to provide a legal framework for the collection and management of the fees and eliminate potential arbitrariness in the review of the fees.
Deliberation
The Committee met with Mr T. N. Ahwreng, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Petroleum Commission and a technical team from the Commission. Officials from Ministry of Finance, the Attorney- General's Department were also in attendance. The Committee is grateful to them for their attendance and input during the deliberations.
Observations
The Committee observed that, the fees regime introduced by the Petroleum Commission in 2012 by an Administrative Directive was not provided for under the Fees and Charges (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2009 (Act 793). Conse- quently, there is lack of clarity and transparency as well as potential arbitrary increases in the fees and charges.
The Committee further observed that, the Petroleum Commission Authority (Fees and Charges) Regulations, 2015 (L.I. 2221) is being introduced in compliance with Act 793 to provide clarity and transparency in the imposition of fees and charges by the Commission and to also obtain Parliamentary approval whenever the Commission seeks to impose other fees and charges.

The Committee noted that, pursuant to section 20 of the Financial Adminis- tration Regulations, 2004 (L. 1.1802), Ministry of Finance has granted approval for the Commission to submit the proposals specified in L.I. 2221 to Parliament for approval. The Committee further noted that, the revised fees would be annexed to the schedule of Fees and Charges (Amendment) Instrument, 2015 (L.l. 2216) if allowed by the House to come into force.

The Committee finally observed that, in accordance with Regulation 18 of the Financial Administration Regulations, 2004, the Commission is mandated to first lodge the retained Internally Generated Funds collected in gross into the Commission's Operational Bank Account designated by the Controller and Accountant-General before disburse- ments are made.

Recommendations

The Committee recommends that, the Petroleum Commission should review the fees and charges on an annual basis and in moderate terms as provided for in the Financial Administration Regulation, 2004, (L.l. 1802). This would help alleviate the unbearable burden placed on users of these services as a result of the astronomical increases in the fees and charges due to the cumulative effect of inflation over a long period of time.

The Committee further recommends that the Ministry of Finance should institute effective monitoring mechanisms to ensure that the Commission duly accounts for this Internally Generated Funds (IGF).

Conclusion

The Committee has carefully examined the Petroleum Commission Authority (Fees and Charges) Regulations, 2015 (L.l.

2221) and is of the considered view that the Regulations do not contravene the provisions of the Constitution and Order 166 (3) of the Standing Orders of Parliament and the Petroleum Commission Act, 2011 (Act 821), which served as a reference guide to the Committee. The Committee accordingly recommends to the House that the Petroleum Commission Authority (Fees and Charges) Regula- tions, 2015 (L.L 2221) should come into force at the expiration of twenty-one Sitting days as provided for under Article 11(7) (C) of the 1992 Constitution.

Respectfully submitted.
Mr First Deputy Speaker noon
Thank you very much.

Minister for Petroleum (Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah) (MP) Mr Speaker, I rise to second the Motion, and in doing so, I would want to emphasise the importance of the role of the Petroleum Commis- sioners and how important the Petroleum Commission's fee and charges would help enhance the work of the Commission.

Mr Speaker, ultimately, the role of the Petroleum Commission is to basically ensure that all of the cost in upstream sector by the oil companies are really monitored and also to ensure that ultimately revenue that would accrue to the State is actually the right one.

The Petroleum Commission is critically important in that regard, whether it is in data management, size make, review of work programmes and issue of local content to ensure that Ghanaians are in the forefront of the industry.

It is the Petroleum Commission's role to do that. They can only do that if they are better resourced. That is why I rise to
Mr First Deputy Speaker noon
Thank you very much.
Questions proposed.
Mr Kwame Okyere Darko-Mensah (NPP -- Takoradi) noon
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity.
Mr Speaker, if we take Observation 5.0 noon
“The Committee observed that the fees regime introduced by the Petroleum Commission in 2012 by the Administrative Directive was not provided for under the Fees and Charges. (Miscellaneous Provi- sions) Act, 2009 (Act 793). Conse- quently, there is lack of clarity and transparency as well as potential arbitrary increases in the fees and charges”
Mr Speaker, my problem is that, if you look at the charges as they stand currently, they are on the high side. I believe that even though we have done this to provide certainty in the industry, the Petroleum Commission, especially, for the Ghanaian indigenous companies, should provide a certain payment mechanism so that more Ghanaians can participate in the industry.
Otherwise, we would have a situation where only foreigners would be par- ticipating and Ghanaians would have the difficulty, or, we would have Ghanaians participating only as front men and not as real corporate organisations trying to partake in the oil and gas industry.
Mr Speaker, even though we have asked them to come every year, I believe that, with these high charges, at least, next year, they should not bring increases so that more Ghanaian can participate. As we speak, production programme in the oil and gas field is not active. Only a few companies are exploring and producing currently. Therefore, in view of the fact that other West African countries are also exploring and producing oil, it would be a great disservice to this country if we continue to increase our charges to allow the competition to take them away from this country.
With these few words, Mr Speaker, I believe that we need to pass this, so that they can provide certainty to the business community when it comes to oil and gas.
Mr First Deputy Speaker noon
Thank you very much.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Mr First Deputy Speaker noon
Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Bagbin noon
Mr Speaker, item number
7.
Mr First Deputy Speaker noon
Very well -- Item number 7; by the Chairman of the Committee?
MOTIONS noon

Chairman of the Committee (Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah) noon
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that, this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation on the National Petroleum Authority (Prescribed Petroleum Pricing Formula) (Amendment) Regulations, 2015.
Introduction
The National Petroleum Authority (Prescribed Petroleum Pricing Formula) (Amendment) Regulations, 2015 (L.I. 2222) was laid before Parliament on Thursday, 23rd July, 2015 in accordance with article 11(7) of the Constitution.
Pursuant to Orders 77 and 166 of the Standing Orders of Parliament, Mr Speaker referred the Instrument to the Subsidiary Legislation committee for Consideration and report.
Reference documents
The Committee referred to the under- listed documents during its deliberations:
i. The 1992 Constitution
ii. The Standing Orders of Par- liament
iii. National Petroleum Authority Act, 2005 (Act 691)
iv. National Petroleum Authority (Prescribed Petroleum Pricing Formula) Regulations, 2012 (L.I.
2186)
v. National Petroleum Authority (Prescribed Petroleum Pricing Formula) (Amendment) Regulations, 2015 (L.l. 2222)
Background information
The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) was established in accordance with section 1 of the National Petroleum Authority Act, 2005 (Act 691). The Authority was established to regulate, oversee and monitor activities in the petroleum downstream industry and where applicable, do so in pursuance of the prescribed petroleum formula.
The Authority also manages the deregulated petroleum downstream industry, which commenced sometime in September 1996. The object of the deregulated policy was to remove government control from the pricing of services in the petroleum industry among others.
Some major targets instituted to achieve the stated objective were the removal of restrictions on the esta- blishment and operation of facilities, the removal of restrictions on the importation of crude oil and petroleum products as well as price decontrol.
In achieving the set deregulation targets, Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) in 1996 assumed the responsibility for crude oil and finished products procurement and importation. There has also been an application of a transparent automatic petroleum pricing formula for cost recovery.
A key component of the deregulation policy, which is price deregulation or price decontrol, is yet to be achieved. The implication of this milestone is that, government still holds absolute control over petroleum product prices and continues to subsidize prices of petroleum products.
Deliberation
The Committee met with Mr Moses Asaga, Chief Executive Officer, National Petroleum Authority and a technical team from the Authority. Officials from Hon Attorney General's Department were also in attendance. The Committee is grateful to them for their attendance and input during the deliberations.
Observations
The Committee observed that, the Ministry of Petroleum seeks to amend the existing Regulations, that is, the National
Petroleum Authority (Prescribed Petroleum Pricing Formula) Regulations, 2012 (L.l. 2186) in various respects. One of the proposed amendments is in respect of Sub-Regulation 1 (c) of L.I. 2186 to ensure that ex-pump prices of Petroleum Products from each Oil Marketing Company and LPG Marketing Company are the same at their respective retail outlets throughout the country.
The Committee further observed that, there is an assumption that, under price deregulation, Petroleum Service Providers (PSPs) will set their own prices which will be the same throughout the country for that particular company, subject to the statutory price ceilings. The proposed amendment in L.l. 2222 clarifies this assumption.
The Committee noted that, Sub Regulation 2(b) (ix) in respect of foreign exchange losses is deleted, in view of the fact that, foreign exchange losses will no longer be relevant under deregulation. The Committee also noted that Sub Regulation 6 (a) seeks to introduce a formula agreed on between relevant Petroleum Service Providers, the National Petroleum Authority, Bank of Ghana and Ministry of Finance for the estimated exchange rate “within a pricing window”. Sub Regulation 9(h) further introduces “Recovery Margin” which is explained as a margin incorporated into the build up of petroleum prices to manage the impact of international prices on social petroleum products.
The Committee observed that, social petroleum products are premix fuel for fishing and residual fuel to power the boilers in breweries and textile manufacturing companies among others. The Committee also observed that there are outstanding issues regarding Petroleum Pricing Formula including the margins and the major issues of Unified
Petroleum Price Fund (UPPF) which is the margin built into the retail price of the product.
The Committee noted that, even though there are policy issues which should be addressed by the appropriate Committees, the introduction of extra margins which are not found in the parent Act, National Petroleum Act, 2005 (Act 691), in petroleum pricing, raises the issue of whether the proposed amendment can introduce substantial factors for petroleum pricing outside the parent Act.
The Committee again noted that, with respect to the publication of the prescribed petroleum pricing formula, the National Petroleum Authority is mandated to publish the prescribed petroleum pricing formula or any subsequent review of the formula only in the Gazette, newspapers of national circulation, radio and television in accordance with section 57 of the National Petroleum Authority Act, 2005 (Act 691).
Conclusion
The Committee has carefully examined the National Petroleum Authority (Prescribed Petroleum Pricing Formula) (Amendment) Regulations, 2015 (L.l. 2222) and is of the considered view that, the Regulations do not contravene the provisions of the Constitution, Order 166 (3) of the Standing Orders of Parliament and the National Petroleum Authority Act, 2005 (Act 691) which served as a reference guide to the Committee.
The Committee accordingly re- commends to the House that the National Petroleum Authority (Prescribed Petroleum Pricing Formula) (Amendment) Regulations, 2015 (L.l. 2222) should come into force at the expiration of twenty- one Sitting days as provided for, under article 11(7) (C) of the 1992 Constitution.
Respectfully submitted.
MrEmmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah (MP) noon
Mr Speaker, I rise to second the Motion on the amendment of the Petroleum Product Price, L.I. 2186.
Mr Speaker, I would want to thank the Committee for the thorough work done and to emphasise how important the deregulation is. As the Hon Chairman rightly stated, once we implement the price deregulation, there was the need to make changes in this L.I. to ensure that, this National Petroleum Authority (NPA) continues to play its role.
Mr Speaker, let me emphasise that, a very important point was made by the Chairman which was the recovery margin that he talked about. Mr Speaker, this is important because, in the deregulation environment, we, as a Government, have still emphasised the need to continue to subsidise premix and Intermediate Fuel Oil
(IFO).
Mr Speaker, as you know, the cross subsidy levy was intended to do that. As we speak, that is obsolete-- we urge the Hon Minister for Finance to bring the proposal to delete it from the L.I. It is important that, as with the authority given to the NPA in section 80 (1), which states that, Mr Speaker, with your permission, I quote:
“The Authority may by Legislative Instrument make regulations to:
(a) prescribe the criteria and determinance for the formu- lation by the Board of the prescribed petroleum formula;
(b) prescribe, modify and review the prescribed petroleum pricing formula.”
I think it is within the authority of the NPA to do that. This would strengthen the efforts we are making to ensure that, nn the deregulation of the pricing really takes strong shape.
Mr Speaker, I would urge Hon Members to support this Motion and approve the amendment of L.I. 2186.
Question proposed.
Mr Kwame Okyere Darko-Mensah (NPP -- Takoradi) 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, as you realised in the Committee's Report on the recovery margin, which the Hon Minister tried to explain with the power of the committee on Subsidiary Legislation on the matter--
Mr Speaker, nobody would have spoken about this matter if it had not been that, even the areas that the recovery margins cover, it has also become a problem.
They are talking about premix fuel and we know most of our fishermen are struggling to get it in the first place. When they get it, there is always a cartel that has been controlling it, therefore, increasing the price of premix to our fisher folk.
Clearly, even though there is a recovery margin that has gone in there, I believe that, going forward, we would have to look for a new way of getting that amount of money distributed to fishermen so that they can benefit from it.
For instance, I am looking at a voucher system for fisher folks that they can use and based on the amount of fuel they buy, they can get that recovery for themselves.
So far, all the premix are going but they are going to middlemen before they sell to the fisher folks. Therefore, they are not getting the benefit of this contribution that Ghanaians pay to reduce the cost of fuel for our fisher folks.
With these few words, Mr Speaker, I believe that we need to pass it through to provide the certainty.
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto (NPP -- Kwadaso) 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to add my voice to that of my Hon Colleague from Takoradi.
We all know what is happening to premix fuel. The fishermen are not getting the benefit of the subsidy. We know it. They are complaining all along the coast from Keta to Axim.
All kinds of management changes have been brought about in order to ensure that fishermen benefit from the subsidy but we are still not getting it. I just wonder whether there should be another way of supplying the premix fuel to fishermen without necessarily having a blanket subsidy which is going to individuals who are exploiting the market and so on.
We definitely need to take a fundamental look. With this opportunity, I felt that, they were going to have a fresh look at the issue of how to get premix fuel to some of the poorest workers in this country who are the canoe fishermen along the coast.
Mr Speaker, I do not think the work of this Committee would be complete without considering, fundamentally, a new approach to helping fishermen. We know that the marine fishery landings have collapsed.
Ten years ago, they were doing nearly 300,000 metric tonnes. Mr Speaker, now they hardly do 30,000 metric tonnes. I do not think that this whole thing about crop subsidy will solve the problem.
Mr Speaker, we need to look at the fundamentals. I am glad that the Hon Minister himself is here. I also see the Hon Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development.
We need to put our heads together to get to the bottom of this issue. Otherwise, we are only kidding ourselves. People are sitting on the margins and making huge profits and exploiting the fishermen. Mr Speaker, we need to have a serious look at the management of the recovery margin.
Mr Buah 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to welcome all the comments made by Hon Members. Mr Speaker, you know the history of the management of premix.We continue to devise strategies to make it more transparent.
All these ideas are good. We would continue to engage Hon Members and the new ideas that were proposed -- we would try to make sure that - ultimately, the purpose is to support the fishermen. They are very important to this economy and we would make sure that the work of fishing in this country is properly enhanced.
Mr Speaker, under the L.I. and the guidelines that have been developed, the management of the recovery margin would involve a whole lot of people including the Ministry of Finance and not only the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) -- We are talking and we are engaging Parliament to find a way to make sure that we can have representation in the management of these margins and how it is disbursed to make sure it is more transparent.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Hon Members, I will put the Question.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Hon Members, there is communication from the Office of the President.
SPACE FOR ANNOUNCEMENTS - COMMUNICATION FROM THE PRESIDENT - 12:10 p.m.

Mr Bagbin 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the House should further indulge us to consider item 9 before we continue with the debate on the Financial Policy. Item number 9 is also very critical.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Hon Member, item number 9, Motion; by the Hon Chairman of the Committee on Mines and Energy?
MOTIONS 12:10 p.m.

Chairman of the Committee (Alhaji Amadu B. Sorogho) 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,that this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Committee on Mines and Energy on the 2015 Programme of Activities of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).
Introduction
The Programme of Activities of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) for the year 2015 was laid in Parliament on 12th June, 2015, by the Hon. Minister for Petroleum, Mr. Emmanuel Kofi Armah-Buah in accordance with Section 7 (3) (b) of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011 (Act 815).
Subsequently,the Paper was referred by the Rt. Hon. Speaker to the Select Committee on Mines and Energy for consideration and report pursuant to Order188 of the Standing Orders of Parliament.
Deliberations
The Committee met with the Deputy Minister for Petroleum, Hon Benjamin Dagadu and Officials of the Ministry to discuss the Programme of Activities.
Officials of GNPC led by the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Alex Mould also attended the meeting to assist the Committee in its deliberations.
The Committee is grateful to the Hon. Deputy Minister and the Officials for their attendance and for providing clarifications on issues raised by the Committee during deliberations on the Referral.
Reference Documents
The Committee referred to the following documents during its deliberations:
i. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana;
ii. The Standing Orders of Par- liament;
iii. The Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011 (Act 815);
iv. The Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act, 1984 (PNDCL 84); and
v. The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation Act, 1983 (PNDCL
64).
Background Information
The GNPC was established in 1984, through the passage of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation Act, 1983 (PNDCL 64) to undertake exploration, development, production and disposal of petroleum in the country.
Since its establishment, the Corpora- tion has pursued its objectives by engaging in petroleum activities either independently or in association with other petroleum exploration and production companies.
SPACE FOR BREAKDOWN - 12:10 p.m.

Minister for Petroleum (Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion and in doing so, I would like to thank the Committee for a thorough work done and to emphasise how important the work programme of GNPC is. As one goes go over GNPC's work programme and what it entails, it is very clear that the national oil company has a responsibility to continue to ensure that the upstream sector is vibrant, and to continue to partner with very capable oil companies to ensure that our oil and gas industry expands, so that our country would have the needed revenue.
We could look at what was expected as revenue to really understand the role of GNPC. Last year, it was projected that the country was to get US$900 million. Because of the low crude prices, it was reduced to about US$500 million and that should tell us how important the work of GNPC is in terms of the revenue to the state.
If one looks at the work programme, it tells one that, there is a lot ahead of us in terms of the industry. GNPC's work would focus on the new development in Tweneboa, Enyenra and Ntomme (TEN), on the ENI Offshore Cape Three Points (OCTP) Project, the Jubilee Full Fields Development and work on the Voltarian Basin which is very crucial for our future.
If we look at these, the amount involved and the work that has been done, it is very clear that we must continue to support the national oil company to discharge its duties.
Having said that, I urge Hon Members to support the Motion.
Question proposed.
Mr Kwabena O. Darko-Mensah (NPP -- Takoradi) 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, you would realise that this Report is for the 2015 work programme of GNPC and we are already in December. Clearly, it shows that our oversight function has a little bit of a problem. This Report should have come in January so that we would have discussed it, agreed and disagree on issues that we feel are problematic.
Mr Speaker, you take the work of the Voltarian Basin for instance. We know that in areas in the Western Region like Sekyere in the Mpohor Daboase Constituency -- there are areas that they could also look at. So if they had brought the Report earlier, we could have told them about it.
Secondly, they are talking about the construction of a new headoffice complex of GNPC. I heard that this office complex is going to be built in Accra but I disagree. This is because, I know that the oil and gas industry, as has been mentioned in the shared growth document, was to make the Western and Central Regions the focus of the Western Corridor Development Authority.
The whole idea was to develop these two regions around the oil and gas industry and tourism. Therefore, if they are going to put the headquarters in Accra, then clearly, we are continuing to create a Ghana that has grown like Kwashiorkor where Accra is the only place growing and the rest of the regions are not.
Mr Speaker, I believe that, the headquarters should be sited in the Western Region, because that is the only way it can operate as a multiplier and growth enhancing -- engine of the Western Region. In other jurisdictions like Norway, their national oil company STATOIL, is not in Oslo but in Stavanger
and I believe that these are some of the good examples that we could learn and implement in this country. Therefore I find paragraph 9.1 in the Report unfortunate and I believe that they need to stop it. More so, when we know that they have not started, they better find a place. If it is only land that they need in the Western Region, we can provide it.
Secondly, I believe that, if we take a company like Ghana Gas Company, they should be sited in Atuabo, nothing should stop us from siting it there. Therefore, I find the siting of the new headquarters for GNPC in Accra very absurd, more so when we want to use it to grow the Region and Ghana.
Mr Alfred K. Agbesi (NDC -- Ashaiman) 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to support and urge Hon Members to support this Motion. The Report states in paragraph 9.2, the “Construction of New Head Office Complex.” It is good that a corporation like this gets a new and befitting head office complex. My only worry is that, the estimated amount of US$16 million in my view, is a bit too much and in an area like this, we should be moderate in our expenditure.
I also looked at paragraph 9.4 which is Work on the Volatarian Basin. The Committee by this Report informs us that, the Voltarian Basin, in the bid to promote the area and to attract the needed investment -- Mr Speaker, this issue of investment in the Voltarian Basin has been on the drawing board, particularly, the people of the Volta Region have always been looking forward to something that would come their way.
It is my view that, the corporation should do what it can to attract investors in the area, particularly to find something in the basin for the benefit of the people
of the area. I would want to ask the Ministry, particularly, the Hon Minister, why all this time the speculation has been that there has always been a find in the Voltarian Basin? This has not been confirmed and people, particularly those from that area are anxious.
It is my wish that, the Hon Minister would either confirm that there is a find or otherwise, so that the people of the Voltarian Basin could also have their fair share.
Alhaji Sorogho 12:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not know if the Deputy Majority Leader took his time to read the Report. I am saying this because, if he reads paragraph 9.4 which is work on the Voltarian Basin; if he goes deep, it states that a lot of work is now being earmarked for that area. It is not for nothing that this has been done. It means that, there is something there and that is why if he reads, it says that the type of holes which were to be drilled have been enlarged so that it could take care of the volumes. So, definitely, a lot of work would be going on there.
With regard to the construction of the head office complex as the Hon Member said, it is true that a lot of the oil activities are within the Western Region. However Mr Speaker, you also know very well that the office as is being contemplated, is not only to house the oil complex. It is well noted that other annexes have to be sent there and workshops would have to be opened there. Already, as you would recall, the people of the Western Region are saying that, with the influx of these companies, life and the standard of living there has become expensive and that they cannot cope with it.
Mr Speaker, I know that he loves his people but I think that we should also come together to help them. Definitely, more offices would be opened there, workshops are being opened there and so we agree that it must be near. This is
Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah (NPP -- Akuapem South) 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to contribute to the Motion on the floor and I would like to dwell on paragraph 9.2, regarding the construction of the new head office complex. I agree with the Deputy Majority Leader that US$16 million for the construction of an office complex for GNPC in Accra needs further clarification. I wish the Committee would have attached a special report on the cost of the construction of the head office which is now estimated at US$16 million.
We are not even sure whether they may go beyond $16 million. We should not be surprised if they come with variations and tell us that, instead of US$16 million, they are now hitting US$20 million or more. I expect that the Committee would request that they should have certain details about this complex. I do not know whether they are expecting us to approve so that they start spending the US$16 million.
This matter has come before this House before. Indeed, GNPC was asked to provide further and better particulars. I do not know whether the Committee had such information but they did not put it here.
Then there is this issue at paragraph 9 (3), where we see that the corporation has commenced processes to acquire the
Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, as I look at the Committee's Report, I ask myself whether the fault is from Parliament or from GNPC.
Mr Speaker, today is 3rd December, 2015, and we are approving the programme of activities of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) for the year 2015. We have less than a month for this year to end.
The Hon Minister laid the Report according to law in June, half year. Meanwhile, the Report we are looking at is in November.
Mr Speaker, I think we must stress that GNPC's activities are undertaken and approved by Parliament as prescribed by law before they can even do anything.
Mr Speaker, we are talking about people who are spending in excess of US$1 billion. Let me read paragraph 8, -- financial requirements for the year 2015 activities. I believe that this has been done
-- 12:30 p.m.

rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Hon Minister, I will give you the opportunity to respond. Is it on a point of order?
Very well.
Mr Nitiwul 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, let me read. “In its 2015 annual Budget Estimates, the GNPC projected a budget of US$1,136.63 million, which is about GH¢1.1 billion.” It is the largest single budgeted item other than our national Budget that this House is to approve, and we are approving it now.
Mr Speaker, we cannot continue like this. Wherever the fault is coming from, we cannot continue like this. It is as if we are rubber stamping their activities.
They say they have to spend on capacity building, they have not even stated the amount. They need money to do this and that, and the year is gone. They have spent the money, and now they say we should approve this. How are we going to approve it? Who gave them the authority to spend?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Very well, Hon Deputy Minority leader. I would like to hear from the Hon Minister himself.
As far as this issue is concerned, I was minded to raise it myself that this Report is coming so late in the year, how do we ensure that there is compliance?
Hon Minister, please let us hear you.
Mr Buah 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I was trying very hard not to bring this matter up, because it would quite frankly expose our own working weakness in Parliament, but this is the reality, and this is what happened.
Mr Speaker, GNPC's Report was brought on time, in January 2015. It was referred to the Energy Committee. If you would recall, the Mines and Energy Committee did not bring the Report to this House to lay it, so I came here to answer a Question, and Hon Akoto Osei raised the issue that the Report had not been presented to the House.
Mr Speaker, at that point, the Rt Hon Speaker requested that, the Committee on Mines and Energy work on the Report and bring it back to this House. That explains why that delay. The Report was then brought back to this House and was laid in June. That explains the gap.
Mr I. K. Asiamah 12:30 p.m.
That was the second laying.
Mr Buah 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I can speak on authority that, the error was not GNPC's, but as we deepen this process, you would remember this reporting process was brought as a result of the passing of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA). So, I am hoping that, we can strengthen and make sure this process of reporting is unique.
As I speak to you, GNPC's report on 2016 works programme is already ready. That was what happened last year, and it happened because the Committee on Finance felt so strongly that, they would want to be part of the Committee reviewing the GNPC's report. The Mines and Energy Committee did not think that, so there were some issues that resulted in those delays.
The Rt Hon Speaker then referred the matter, and that explains why we had that history. I think I have clarified that. I know that this House is very effective, and we would try to make sure we correct the process. [Interruption.] -- Mr Speaker, once I have the floor let me speak to the issue about offices in the operational areas, which in my opinion, is very important. I am happy to say that, this House in passing the Petroleum Commission Act had asked that an operating headquarters be established in the Western Region.
As I speak, that building is already in place and it is operating, and I am happy to announce that, this morning, Hertz came to announce that the beach which was one of the discoveries that were being appraised is now declared commercial.
Mr Speaker, that should tell us that, we are making progress in the upstream sector and as we expand the oil industry, we will continue to really look at how we

expand these institutions to make sure that they are operational areas.

Mr Speaker, I also want to talk about the headquarters of GNPC and to ask Hon Members to look at it in the context of a national oil company that must be in the position to have a facility that will house all these oil companies that are coming around, to make sure that they can operate — the national oil company is in partnership with these companies.

How do they position themselves to make sure that they are leveraging their positions as really the face of Ghana in the upstream sector? So, as we talk about these matters, we must look at it in that context.

Mr Speaker, I am also happy to say that we welcome all the contributions in terms of transparency; and looking into how the GNPC facility that would be built would be done in a way that is transparent, cost effective, that would really be something that we will all support and make sure that the people of Ghana are very sure that GNPC spends every cedi effectively in the building that they have proposed.

Mr Speaker, having said that, I urge Hon Members to support and approve this report.
Mr Nitiwul 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, because the Hon Member kept rising up, you gave him the chance to just explain that portion whilst I did not finish, so he actually got up on a point of order. If he will listen to me, he can respond when I finish. Now that he has responded, he would have to respond again when I finish.
Mr Speaker, that cannot be true. It may be true that they might have brought a programme to Parliament in January, but this is a House of record. In paragraph 1 on page 1 number11, of the Report which with your permission I beg to quote:
“The Programme of Activities of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) for the year 2015, was laid in Parliament on 12th June, 2015, by the Hon Minister for Petroleum, Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah.”
Mr Speaker, as far as we are concerned, this House was aware of this programme only on the 12th of June, 2015. Whatever they do with the Committee by the wayside or by the background is not our concern.
Mr Speaker, if one wants this House to take custody of any programme, he or she lays it in the House, the Speaker will refer it to the Committee so if one is secretly dealing with the Committee, we know that is not our concern here.
Mr Speaker, as far as we are concerned, this document came to this House on the 12th June, 2015 and that must be the correct thing. I am saying that it is not the fault of this House so GNPC and the Hon Minister must make sure that we do that the next time. This is because we are rubberstamping it.
Mr Speaker, trust me, it will be a rubberstamp in the newspapers tomorrow if we approve of this — I am telling you. You watch what will happen in the news.
Mr Speaker, secondly, it cannot be true that the headquarters is going to house —we cannot use the fact that it is going to be a technological hub and the fact that it is going to be used for this.
Mr Speaker, the complex of the headquarters may not include what he is talking about and I will explain why. Let us go to page 10 of 11 of the Report; Capital Projects. Headquarters building, $16.00 million, Research and Technology Centre, $26 million. How can he then turn
around and say that because they are going to have research and the like, that is why it is US$16 million.
Mr Speaker, the Research and Technology Centre alone is costing US$26 million which is different from the headquarters. The Hon Minister needs to explain to us otherwise, the Committee should explain to us the nitty-gritty of this.
Mr Speaker, there will be a problem if we approve this because — let us take the breakdown of each of them; Headquarters building, US$16 million, Acquisition of land and Construction, $580,000, Research and Technology Centre, uS$26.66 million, other works on landed property, US$3.56 million. We do not even know what this is. What is, “other works on landed property?” We do not know what it is and the Hon Minister says it is expensive because the headquarters is going to have technology et cetera—yes, but Research and Technology Centre alone is US$26.66 million.
Mr Speaker, if there are other explanations why the headquarters alone is costing US$16million, they should give but it should have nothing to do with technological advancement and research because that alone is US$26 million and even that, I think we should find out what exactly is going into the $26 million.
Mr Speaker, we should also find out whether that money has been spent or not because this is the end of the year. It is possible that the projects have all started and now they say we should rubberstamp. I think that this is wrong.
Mr Speaker, if we remember, GNPC was supposed to rent out offices and we do not know whether they have violated Parliament or not. We also need to know whether they are still in their old building or they have decided to go and rent it. We
Mr Nitiwul 12:30 p.m.


need to know all these. So the Hon Chairman of the Committee should please explain all these things to us otherwise, how does he expect us to approve this? We appreciate the difficulty they have but they should please explain these things to us so that we can know — where is the Research and Technology Centre sited? Have they started? Where is the headquarters sited? —Obviously, in Accra here —
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader, your point is well made.
Hon Members, at this stage, I would want to direct that we defer putting the Question and I advise that the Leadership of the House meet with the Committee members to resolve these details.
Hon Members, let us defer putting the Question to a further date so that Leadership and Members of the Committee together with the Hon Minister for Petroleum can meet and discuss it further. I think that is the best way to go.
Mr Agbesi 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if we can move to item number 5—[Pause.]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Very well.
Where did we end yesterday and where do we start from?
Mr Agbesi 12:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker we start from the Majority side please.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:30 p.m.
Very well. We will start from my right side.
Hon Members, it is the turn of Hon Sampson Ahi to take the floor.
MOTIONS 12:30 p.m.

Mr Ahi 12:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we took US$23 million to expand Mampong Water Supply System and this has added 1.8 million gallons on a daily basis. This is to provide water to 72,000 people living in Mampong and its environs. Because of this US$23 million facility, President Mahama has enabled people living in Mampong, Beposo, Nsuta, Krobo Darmang, Daaho, Bosofour, Besease, Kyeremfaso and its environs in Asante Mampong to all benefit from this $23 million dollar facility.
[Hear! Hear!] Is it wrong to provide water to the people of Mampong?
Mr Ahi 12:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we took €7.9 million to provide water for five towns in the Eastern Region. The communities that benefitted from this €7.9 million facility include Asafo, Apedwa, Nkronso, Osenase, Kibi, where Nana Akuffo Addo comes from, Anyinam and Kwabeng. This is a loan facility and it has provided water to all these communities. Mr Speaker, is it wrong to take a €7.9 million loan facility to provide water for Asafo, Apedwa, Nkronso, Osenase and the people of Kibi?
Some Hon Members 12:50 p.m.
No!
Mr Ahi 12:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we took €20 million and provided water for Essakyir communities. This has --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
Hon Member, you have four more minutes.
Mr Ahi 12:50 p.m.
Oooh, Mr Speaker! [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, this has provided 144,000 gallons of water to the following communities: Gomoa, Maim, Apam, Antseadze, Ekumfi, and so on and so forth.
Mr Speaker, the point I am making is that, there is nothing wrong with borrowing. But there is something wrong if you borrow and you use it to pay salaries, then that is your problem. But if you borrow money just like the President Mahama Government did to address important needs of Ghanaians like we are doing, I think that we should rather be applauded than crucifying the Government.
Mr Speaker, I can go on and on. We took €16 million to rehabilitate the Kpong Pumping Station. We took €41 million to provide the Accra Tema Metropolitan
Some Hon Members 12:50 p.m.
More! More!
Mr Ahi 12:50 p.m.
Did you say more?
Mr Speaker, I would want to say that we also took US$164 million to provide water for the people of Akim Oda, Akwatia
and Winneba. So the Akim Oda Community, AkimManso, Attiankama, Nkwanta, Aboabo, Batabi, Akwatia, Bawdua, Topreman, Bamenase, GCD, Camp, Asubone, Camp No. 4, Anweaso and Mmoframfadwen.
These are communities to benefit from the US$164 million loan the Government has taken. [Hear! Hear!] Are they saying that these communities do not need water? Are the Hon Members on the Minority Side saying that because of our debt stalk, we should not borrow to provide water for these communities?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
Hon Deputy Minister, your time is up.
Mr Ahi 12:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe that Ghanaians should have patience for His Excellency, President Mahama. He is in to address their social needs and would borrow wisely -- we would borrow not to use it to pay salaries like it happened in 2008. But we would borrow to provide water for Ghanaians.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
Hon Members, it is now the turn of Hon Owusu-Aduomi.
Mr Kwabena Owusu-Aduomi (NPP -- Ejisu) 12:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Budget Statement for 2016.
Mr Speaker, I would limit myself to the Roads and Highways Sector of the policy, and references would be made from Statistical and Analytical Report prepared by the Ministry of Roads and Highways, Ministry of Transport and the Ghana Statistical Service and other reports from the Ministry of Roads and Highways.

Mr Speaker, most of the country's roads continue to be in poor surface condition.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
Hon Member, are you seeking to lay some documents?
Mr Owusu-Aduomi 12:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I said I would be making some references from this document.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
What is that document?
Mr Owusu-Aduomi 12:50 p.m.
That document is the Statistical and Analytical Report that is prepared by the Ministry of Roads and Highways, the Ministry of Transport and the Ghana Statistical Service and other reports from the Ministry of Roads and Highways.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
Do you want to lay it?
Mr Owusu-Aduomi 12:50 p.m.
Yes, I would want to lay it so that the Table Office--
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
Very well.
Mr Owusu-Aduomi 12:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the country used --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:50 p.m.
Hon Member, you do not just say you would want to lay it and it ends there. You know the procedure. [Interruption.]
Yes, Hon Minister for Employment and Labour Relations?
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 12:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if he can just add the year of publication because we are meticulously following him and we would want that he lays it.But for the records, the publication of which year and by who?
Thank you.
Mr Owusu-Aduomi 12:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the year 2000 to 2010.
Mr Speaker, our roads continue to be in poor surface condition and motorists travel --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
Hon Members, I have told you time and again; if you intend to rely on a particular document, even before it gets to your time, do us the favour of making copies for us so that we would not be overtaken by events.

Table Office, can you please help him?
Mr Owusu-Aduomi 1 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would be making references from this document and I will lay it with the Tables Office --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
You need to lay it first, so that we can be sure that the quotations you are making are accurate, please. -- [Interruption.]
Mr Nitiwul 1 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe the procedure we have adopted is that he would lay it -- because that is what we
Mr Nitiwul 1 p.m.


Yes, he would lay it, but give him access to use it. When he finishes, then the House would get access to everything but once he has laid it, you cannot take it away.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
Laying it means he is laying the whole document. Is he referring to certain portions of the document? If so, he should state so, so that we would know that we are limiting ourselves to say page 100 or page 20, otherwise, it is bulky and making photocopies for us --
Mr Owusu-Aduomi 1 p.m.
Definitely, Mr Speaker, it is not the whole Report that I would be referring to. There are certain portions of this Report that I would refer to, that is why I named the Report.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
Yes, which are the portions?
Mr Owusu-Aduomi 1 p.m.
The portions on the road conditions survey; paved roads of the nation and other reports --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
Hon Member, could you help us with the numbers of the pages so that we can make photocopies? [Uproar.]
Otherwise, Hon Member, I would be hard put to allowing you to make those statements when we do not have the pages before us.
This is my problem, that is why I advised early on that, normally, you
would want to make copies available to the Table Office well ahead of time, then we would save ourselves this trouble.
I would want to be fair to you so that you can make your points but we should also have the opportunity of going through.
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Whip?
Mr A. Ibrahim 1 p.m.
Thank you Mr Speaker. Yesterday, when the Hon Chairman for the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs was about to make reference to the Maputo Report, even my Hon Colleague on the other Side of the House did not permit him to make it. He said he should bring it for Mr Speaker, to verify and lay it. Maybe, after making references to it, it may turn out to be inaccurate.
So, today, I think we should go by the advice that was given by the Minority bench yesterday. The document should be given to you; it should be laid.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
Hon Members, may I bring a suggestion? We can hold on with this presentation, take another Hon Member on the Minority while we go through the process of sorting this out. Then, we would come back to him so that he would have the opportunity to make the points that he wants to make with regard to the document that he wants to rely on.
Will that be all right?
Mr Nitiwul 1 p.m.
Mr Speaker, that is the suggestion the Chair has made. But just to correct the impression he created. It is not like that. The Hon Member actually used the document. We drew his attention
halfway that he should come and lay it. He did lay it and we allowed him to use it after which we made copies of it.
This is because you looked at it and you were satisfied that it was a genuine document, we asked him to use it. Otherwise, what is the point? If the person does not make reference to it, then there is no point laying. It is only when the person has made reference, then, the House must have it so that it is captured in the Hansard. That is what we did yesterday.
You would look at it; we are sure that it is a genuine document. Then the Hon Member makes comments from it. After that the House would make copies and keep them. If he would not make comments from it, then, there is no need for him to lay it. That is what we did yesterday for him.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
Very well. So, can we give the Floor to Hon Okyere Darko-Mensah while we sort out Hon Owusu-Aduomi's issue? After Hon Okyere Darko-Mensah, we would come back to him so that he would have the opportunity.
Yes, Hon Okyere Darko-Mensah?
Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah (NPP--Takoradi) 1 p.m.
I thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to indulge the House on the Budget Statement for 2016.
Mr Speaker, this Budget Statement is the last one of the NDC and it was termed the New NDC.
Right after the nomination of President Mahama in 2008 as the running mate for the late President, Prof. Mills, the NDC said that that, team was the New NDC. But if you check the records of this team and the team before them, that is the first NDC, you would see that the value is the same.
Mr Speaker, on paragraph 10 of the Budget Statement, the Hon Minister for Finance says Government priorities are as follows; putting people first, building a strong and resilient economy, expanding infrastructure, ensuring transparent and accountable government.
Transparency and accountability are not enough if there is no honesty. In 2009, when the late President Mills signed a contract with the IMF to borrow one billion dollars to support the economy, the NDC Government failed to tell this country that jobs would be frozen in the public sector, and that over half a million Ghanaians would go back into poverty. That was dishonesty; we were not told.
Mr Speaker, recently, we have also had the situation where the cost of developing the Atuabo Gas Infrastructure, we are told, was one billion dollars, yet the accounting that was sent to the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission was US$1.5 billion. The question one asks is; where is the honesty in the transparency and accountability.
Mr Speaker, clearly, it shows us that, this NDC Government which has presented this last Budget Statement is worse than even the first NDC.
In the aviation sector, the Government talks about completing the Tamale Airport next year. Unfortunately, this project was hinged on the Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) Project therefore, agricultural exports is the major reason the Tamale Airport is being built.
Unfortunately, if you take agricultural policy, there is nowhere in this document which mentioned that they are rallying around our farmers and investments in the agricultural sector, such that when this project is built in 2016, it would not be a white elephant.
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
Hon Minister, is it on a point of order? [Interruption] -- Very well.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, ordinarily out of respect, I should not interfere with the thought and delivery of my Hon Colleague but I am compelled to as he is violently misleading this House when he said President Mahama was inaugurated in 2008.[Interruption] -- In his first paragraph; go to the Hansard Department to produce it. He said when President Mahama came in 2008 -- [Interruption] -- That is statistically and politically incorrect.
Mr Speaker, the second is just what he said about the Tamale Airport and it being linked to SADA. He is violently out of order again. The Tamale Airport would be completed next year on a loan facility from the Brazilian Government and not even anchored on Consolidated Fund but on the Ghana Airport Company, borrowing on the strength of their own balance sheet.
What is important is that, if the Tamale Airport is completed, farmers and exporters from that part of the world would take advantage to produce for export abroad. He should be guided.
Therefore, when he referred to the concept of SADA, I do not know whether it is the institution. So, he should be guided by the fact that, the airport is one of the most significant things that has open up northern Ghana to the export market of the world.
I thank you.
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Hon Member, are you up on a point of order?
Mr David Oppon-Kusi 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, in this House, we understand it when an Hon Member says another Hon Member is misleading the House. However, what is the meaning of “an Hon Member is violently misleading the House”? Mr Speaker, I need to be guided.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Hon Member, are you taking a point of order against the Hon Member who has the Floor or against the Hon Member who took a point of order?
Mr Oppon-Kusi 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it is against the Hon Member who took the point of order. This is because we need to understand what he was saying. He said it twice that he was “violently misleading the House”. What is the meaning of that?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
He was only qualifying it.
Hon Member, please, proceed.
Mr Darko-Mensah 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe the Hon Minister is even misleading the House the more.
Mr Speaker, as part of the aviation programme as stated in the Budget Statement, it was to develop the Ho and the Wa aerodromes. The whole idea is to improve on domestic travel through our airports.
Unfortunately, Mr Speaker, in June this year, the Government introduced a 17.5 per cent interest tax on Airplane tickets in this country. This has led to the reduction in passenger throughput through our airports. If we take the Tamale airport, the drop is 24 per cent; in Kumasi, it is 18 per
cent; and in Takoradi, it is 17 per cent. Clearly, it shows that, while the Government is giving something with the right hand, it is taking it away with the left hand. This is not a good policy and I believe we should ensure the growth of the airline industry. The Government needs to withdraw the 17.5 per cent tax on the plane tickets.
Mr Speaker, they also mentioned that there is a National Carrier Agenda in this country. Mr Speaker, we are also aware that, the World Bank has refused to support this agenda. Therefore, I find it very difficult to understand that, while development partners, who have been a major component or credit worthiness part of the International Monitory Fund (IMF) bailout is backing away from this agenda, the Hon Minister and the Government want to push this national airline agenda.
Mr Speaker, I believe that, it is time they brought the whole document to this House so that we can debate it. This is because we believe that the World Bank and the IMF are not supporting it because they still believe it is not sustainable and profitable.
Therefore, if they feel that we have to just waste money to create a new national carrier and they do not want to debate it, but just do it for us to create - I believe it is very important that we bring that subject matter to this House for a major debate.
Mr Speaker, Ghana has been losing a lot when it comes to transit trade. Between 2008 and 2014, there has been a 34 per cent reduction in transit trade in this country. The major issue confronting it has to do with the axle load.
Mr Speaker, as a policy, I do believe that it is time Ghana selected some few
roads in this country and upgrade them so that we do not lose the competition to our neighbouring Francophone countries.
Mr Speaker, I believe that there is a major job cut that has been affected with this reduction in transit trade. In fact, when it comes to Sekondi-Takoradi, there is a major job cut at the harbour.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Hon Member, you have five more minutes to go.
Mr Darko-Mensah 1:10 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
I believe that a major policy change -
- 1:10 p.m.

rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Hon Minister, is it a point of order?
Alhaji I. Fuseini 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, yes, it is a point of order.
Mr Speaker, I heard the Hon Member say that we have lost some trade as a result of the axle load regime that we are implementing in this country.
Mr Speaker, the axle load regime is pursuant to a Treaty under the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). All countries in the ECOWAS sub-region are mandated by law to implement that. There is no evidence whatsoever that Ghana has lost trade as a result of the implementation of the axle load regime.
Mr Speaker, the implementation of the axle load regime is intended to protect our roads. We invest a lot of money in constructing the roads and when goods are carried beyond the allowable capacity, then the roads are destroyed. That is why all West African countries are implemen- ting the axle load regime.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Very well.
Mr Darko-Mensah 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe the Hon Member was not listening. That was why I insisted that as a policy, we need to upgrade certain roads in this country so that they can move these cargoes across. This is because we have lost trade.
If one looks at the Shippers Review, it is there that we have lost trade. So, I do not see why he has a problem with what I have said. He should have listened. [Interruptions] -- It is on page 12 of the Shippers Review, 2015. I would table it when I finish.
Mr Speaker, the other issue has to do with rail transport. If one takes the other Budget Statements that we have discussed in this House, I have made it clear that the Government does not seem to have the energy in ensuring that the western railway line is established or rehabilitated.
Mr Speaker, I am not too sure whether those tracking manganese and bauxite on our roads with huge axle loads should be allowed to continue on this path, moreso when the Government is not showing any interest in developing the Western Railway Line.
Mr Speaker, the Western Railway Line affects a lot of people in the Western Region and Ghana, moreso railway workers. Their salaries continue to be low because there are no tracks for them to use.
Mr Speaker, we are told that the Western Railway Line would cost approximately US$600 million. Recently, this figure has been changed to one billion dollars. I believe that after borrowing so much in this country, the Western Railway Line should have been a major project the Government should have used the money for.
Mr Speaker, if we take the Budget Statement, the Government says that, now they are going to source funding from the ECOWAS Community Development Project.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Hon Member, your time is up; but I would give you one more minute.
Mr Darko-Mensah 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, this clearly shows us that from 2009 to 2016, the Western Region should forget about a new railway line for the western corridor.
With these few words, Mr Speaker, I thank you.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Thank you very much.
Hon Members, it is now the turn of Hon Tetteh Chaie.
Mr Theophilus Tetteh Chaie (NDC-- Ablekuma Central) 1:10 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity given me to contribute to item number 5 on the Order Paper, which is a Motion.
In doing so, Mr Speaker, I would like to draw the attention of the good people of this country to the reasons it is very prudent for His Excellency, President John Dramani Mahama expands the infrastruc- tural base of this country.
As a country, for a very long time, our developmental agenda has been for short- term measures. As our economy and population are expanding, there is the
need to match the population and the economic growth with infrastructural development. That is the mark of good leadership, and that is what His Excellency the President --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Hon Member, is it on a point of order?
Mr Justice Joe Appiah 1:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague is just saying that our developments are short term measures.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:10 p.m.
Hon Member, I believe you disagree with him. You would have your turn to make your presentation and you can address the issue thereby.
Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Chaie 1:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you once again for the opportunity. I just have to ignore my Hon Colleague.
Mr Speaker, as a country, what we need to match our current spate of economic development is a medium to long-term measure and that is what His Excellency, John Dramani Mahama seeks to do and that is what he is currently doing.
Mr Speaker, no wonder, in his recent tour of the various regions -- Changing Lives tour, we all saw the massive support
the good people of this country have given to His Excellency the President because of the good infrastructural projects that are changing lives and giving the good people of this country employment.
Mr Speaker, at the time my Hon Colleagues left office, the total road network of this country was about 29,000 km. [Interruption]-- As at now, it is about 71,000 km, three times the number.
Mr Henry Quartey 1:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, with the greatest of respect, my Hon Colleague is misleading the House and the country. We are aware that, currently there is a ban on employment so he should tell us whether infrastructural development can create employment in this country.
Mr Chaie 1:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am really surprised and that is what I seek to do. I would let you -- He is currently, saying that, he does not know what is happening to the debt that we have taken on as a country and that is what I seek to do.
That is why I would want to come to the road sector and let him know what we have approved in this House, certain road projects and how much those road projects cost so that, the good people of this country, would know how much we have used within the roads and transport sector and that is exactly what I seek to do.
Mr Speaker, I would like to take some of the road networks and look at how much we spent on those road networks. If we take the Dansoman Highway --
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
Hon Member, I did not think that even that point of order was in place but I allowed you. If you want to disagree with him you would have the opportunity by all means.
Yes, Hon Member, please proceed.
Mr Chaie 1:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Dansoman Highway and I would like my Hon Colleagues to take pen and paper and add the figures and deduct it from the debts. The Dansoman Highway which currently the good people of Dansoman and its environs, of which the Hon Justice Joe Appiah, and myself are all enjoying cost GH¢4.76 million and as I talk now, that project is duly completed.
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
Hon Joe Appiah, are you up because your name was mentioned?
Mr Appiah 1:20 p.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
My good friend, Hon Chairman of the Roads and Transport Committee just mentioned my name. Incidentally, I am not around Dansoman area but Mr Speaker, what we are saying is that, is there value for money?
An Hon Member 1:20 p.m.
There is.
Mr Appiah 1:20 p.m.
This is what we are all talking about in this country. So, there is no value for money --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
Hon Member, --
Mr Appiah 1:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, so whatever he is saying about the Dansoman road, there is no value for money?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
Hon Member, that can constitute your argument but if you say that, because he stated that you are also benefitting from that road network, if you say that it is not true, fine.
An Hon Member 1:20 p.m.
He has been using that road.
Mr Appiah 1:20 p.m.
I have been passing there. [Laughter]-- But there is no value for money?
Mr Chaie 1:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we have the Ho-Adidome Road and Adaklu Road, Xelekpe-Abuadi road, the kilometres is about 67.0 to 79.8 km. That is the second point and the cost is GH¢ 22.389 million. [[Interruption.]
Then we have emergency works for the upgrading of the Adidome Road. That one is GH¢16.674 million.
An Hon Member 1:20 p.m.
How many kilo- metres?
Mr Chaie 1:20 p.m.
It is 37.2 kilometres.
The Fufulso-Sawla Road, we have two components; the dollar and cedi components. GH¢34.663 million and $26.676 million. We have the Tetteh Quarshie-Mamfe Road.
An Hon Member 1:20 p.m.
Source?
Mr Chaie 1:20 p.m.
This is from the Ministry of Roads and Highways. I have copies here to be laid.
Some Hon Members 1:20 p.m.
Lay it. [Laughter]- - Continue.
Mr Chaie 1:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, these are authentic documents. We have the Tetteh Quarshie-Madina Road [Interruption.]
An Hon Member 1:20 p.m.
Are you the Clerk?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
Let us go through that process. [Interruption]
rose
Mr Chaie 1:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it is a deliberate attempt just to derail my thoughts. You have the Eastern Corridor Roads, we took an amount of GH¢105 million to do the construction. These are all part of the debts and these are benefitting commu- nities that are deprived in this country.
Are you saying it is not prudent for the Government to support these deprived communities in this country?
Mr Speaker, let us come to transport. Today, we are re-surfacing most of the st r eets i n the Metropol is of th is country --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
Hon Member, the question is being raised as to how authentic the document is.
Mr Chaie 1:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am the Hon Chairman for the Committee.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
That is neither here nor there.
Mr Chaie 1:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, this document I hold is from the Research Department of the Ministry of Roads and Highways.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
Hon Member, let us have something which would show that, it is from that particular Ministry.
Mr Chaie 1:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I requested for and that was the document that they produced to be given to me. That is why I have laid it. This is because, if it is not authentic, I would not lay it.
Mr Nitiwul 1:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, there is a reason you would usually have to lay something for Mr Speaker to satisfy himself.
Mr Speaker, there is nothing on this Paper which shows that it is authentic. It has no source, there is nothing. In fact, anybody could have done this and come.
He cannot be quoting from this because there is nothing that shows it is from the Ministry. There is no authority and we cannot accept this.
If he is quoting from a document, there is absolutely nothing, it should have a source.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
Yes, Hon Member, how do you respond to that?
Mr Chaie 1:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, these are road networks that I wanted to have figures on. This is because our Hon Colleagues have stated that, the debt that we have accrued as a Government has not been used judiciously.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:20 p.m.
I have no problem with that. You are trying to counteract that assertion but what we are saying is that, the document you are relying on should be a document which shows on the face of it that it is from a particular Ministry or Department, therefore, it is authentic enough.
But a mere sheet of paper with figures quoted thereon, would not suffice.
Mr Woyome 1:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, to lend some understanding to this, I believe the Hon Ministers are here to authenticate the-- [Interruption]
Of course, the policy being that, it would be known by the Hon Minister. Both the Deputy Minister and Substantive Minister are here so they can authenticate that and tell all of us whether it is coming from their Ministry or not.
Mr Chaie 1:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, to avoid any controversy, I would withdraw this document.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
Very well. You are free to withdraw.
So, it also means that whatever quotations you made should be deleted.
Mr Chaie 1:30 p.m.
In terms of figures.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
Yes.
I direct that those figures that he quoted be deleted from the records.
Mr Chaie 1:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the resurfacing of streets in the Accra metropolis -- We came to this House and an amount of US$40 million was approved. Today, as I speak to you -- [Interruption.]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
Please, let us have some order.
Hon Member, we do not want to introduce statements made on political platforms in this House. Would you please, withdraw that portion?
Mr Chaie 1:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, with due respect I withdraw. Now, let me move on -- On the construction of the Kasoa Interchange -- [Interruption] -- It is deliberate. I would want Ghanaians to know what we have used the resources for --
Some Hon Members 1:30 p.m.
No, we cannot move on. We are going to sleep! All of us. We are all going to sleep!!
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
Order! Order!!
Mr Chaie 1:30 p.m.
I have withdrawn the statement. What is your problem?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Mr Agbesi 1:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to say that this matter -- [Interruptions]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
Can we have some order, please? Everybody should resume his or her seat.
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, let us hear you.
Mr Agbesi 1:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it is being handled at the Leadership level and it is unfortunate that an Hon Member has referred to it and it is very unfortunate that it has reached this level. I would want to apologise to all Hon Members and say that, once the Speaker has directed that Leadership should take this matter up, it is being handled at that highest level and Hon Members would be informed accordingly.
It is very unfortunate that the matter has come back to the floor through this means. I am sorry and I have to apologise on behalf of the Hon Member. We are sorry.
Mr Nitiwul 1:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it is because the Hon Deputy Majority Leader is apologising profusely that is why I am short for words. But I would still say a few things -- We are very angry with what he said. Mr Speaker, the Report by the Committee on Mines and Energy that we just approved -- We would need to test majority. I will raise quorum issue and all that we did today we should strike it out. This is very insulting.
There are 29 of them sitting here who are supposed to approve the Budget Statement. This is a Budget Statement for Government, how many Hon Members are here? Only 29 of them are here yet you sit down and insult us that the President says we have been sleeping.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader, I believe the Hon Deputy Majority Leader has played a very gentlemanly role and I would plead with this Honourable House that we take his word for it and let matters lie --
Mr Osei B. Amoah 1:30 p.m.
He should apologise.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
He has done so. And the Hon Deputy Majority Leader has also done so. So, I think we should let matters rest at this point in time.
Mr Chaie 1:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, once again I apologise for that comment. Let us move on.
Mr Speaker, the Kasoa interchange --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
You have five minutes more -- He is the Hon Chairman of the Committee.
Mr Chaie 1:30 p.m.
An amount of US$170 million is being used for the construction of this project which the people of Kasoa, in the Central Region and the Western Region are all going to benefit. It is going to reduce travel time, it is going to enhance economic development and it is going to create employment for the good people of this country. Are we saying it is not worth this project? I do not think that is the case.
Mr Speaker, the construction of the Ring Road Flyover is also on course. This project is also specifically designed to improve transportation in the Metropolis, to reduce transportation time, to enhance productivity and all these will inure to the benefit of the good people of this country. Are we saying these projects are not relevant? They are very relevant.
Mr Speaker, as I speak to you now, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is in operation. An amount of US$110,733.416 was brought to this House and we approved it. What
is the essence of this project? To enhance transportation in the Metropolis and to reduce the cost of transportation of the ordinary Ghanaian. Are we telling the people of this country that this project is not worth it? Is that what we are telling Ghanaians? So, be calculating the figures.
Mr Speaker, on Metro Mass Transit -- an amount of US$40 million was also secured through the approval of Parliament to enable Metro Mass Transit acquire fleet of buses to enhance transportation, especially, in our rural areas. The buses are there now -- I am not misleading the House.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
Hon Member, begin to wind-up.
Mr Chaie 1:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the projects are so many. If you look at the construction of the international airport at Tamale, an amount of US$100 million was approved by this House to support aviation in this country. Are we saying that those projects are not necessary? Mr Speaker, as I speak to you now, my Hon Colleagues on the other side of the House are now benefitting from travels in the night, especially, to Kumasi airport.
They travel at night and huge amount of investments was made by His Excellency the President --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
Hon Member, please, conclude.
Mr Chaie 1:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the projects are enormous and all these projects are to enhance transportation in this country and I believe my Hon Colleagues should stop that politics of just misinforming the public.
The people of this country are wide awake and that is why anywhere the President visits, the chiefs and people of the various communities are in support of these programmes and activities.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
Hon Members, we now revert to Hon Owusu- Aduomi.
Mr Kwabena Owusu-Aduomi (NPP -- Ejisu) 1:30 p.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
I would want the House to take note that, when the New Patriotic party (NPP) was leaving power in the year 2008, our roads network was 67,291 kilometres. Even in the year 2000, our roads network was 37,321kilometres. So, what the Hon Chairman said that it is 29,000 is never true.
Mr Speaker, yes, it is true that, now, the road network is 71,063km, so since the NPP left power the network has increased by only about 4,000km. When the NPP was in power for eight years the network increased by over 30,000 --
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
Hon Member, is it a point of order?
Mr Woyome 1:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am interested in knowing the source of the figures he just churned out.
Mr Owusu-Aduomi 1:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if you read this analytical Report that I talk of, all those figures are there.
Mr Speaker, despite all these huge amounts that the Hon Chairman has indicated that the Government is putting in on our roads, the fact still remains that our roads continue to be in poor state since January, 2009.
Road condition survey conducted by the Ministry and its agencies recently is to the large extent the performance of the Government in the road sector in terms of maintenance and development.

Mr Speaker, the Road Condition Survey shows very astonishing results for the 2015 fiscal year. The latest results put together by the Research, Statistics And Information Management Department of the Ministry indicates that, only about 35 per cent of our roads are in good condition out of a network of about 71,063 km.

Mr Speaker, at the end of the year 2008 when the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was handing over power to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Government, about 42 per cent of our network --
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
Hon Member, is it on a point of order?
Mr Chaie 1:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, he quoted some figures, and I do not know the source. [Interruption] -- Exactly, this is because, he is misleading the House. Where is he quoting those figures from?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
Yes, Hon Member, where are those figures from?
Mr Owusu-Aduomi 1:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the figure I gave you that it was the Road Condition Survey, duplicates have been made to the Table Office.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
Which page are you referring to?
Mr Owusu-Aduomi 1:40 p.m.
It is on the sheet from the Ministry of Roads and Highways.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
Which page?
Mr Owusu-Aduomi 1:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, It is among the sheet which has been given to the Table Office.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
You cannot just say, ‘it is among the sheets.' You should be very specific.
Mr Owusu-Aduomi 1:40 p.m.
It is among the sheets given to the Table Office.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
Which of the sheets? You should be fair with us. Which of the sheets are you referring to?
Mr Owusu-Aduomi 1:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am referring to 2015 Road Condition Survey, which has been submitted to the Table Office.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
All those sheets you gave us have their pages numbered, that is why I would want you to help us: quote the page number, let us look at it and satisfy ourselves. That is all.
Mr Owusu-Aduomi 1:40 p.m.
It is there with them. I gave it to them, and they made duplicates and so, it is not back to me. Aha! Some are here.
All right, it is here: 2015 National Road Condition Mix, the percentage of roads that are in good condition, 34.89 per cent; those in fair condition, 32.4 per cent and those in poor condition, 32.37 per cent. Mr Speaker, these are the realities on the ground, despite all those huge amounts which have been put there.
Mr Speaker, it is important to also note that, when the NPP took power in the year 2000, only 29 per cent of our roads were in good condition. They took it to 42 per cent. So, the NPP with its good policies did very well. During the year 2015, except for the Department of Urban Roads, the per- formance on our trunk roads and feeder roads, in terms of maintenance was very poor.
Mr Speaker, paragraph 495 of page 96 of the 2015 Budget 1:40 p.m.
on the trunk roads, the planned work was 17,877 km when one puts routine maintenance together on what was achieved. And paragraphs 568
and 569 of page 109 of the 2016 Budget was 7,246 km. When one works it out, the performance is 41 per cent on our trunk roads for maintenance. For urban roads, planned work was 9,140 km, and 8,350 km making 91 per cent was achieved, which was very good.
Mr Speaker, on feeder roads which constitute about 60 per cent of our network, they planned to work on 23,500 km of roads but what was achieved was only 7,797 km, indicating a performance of 33 per cent. Mr Speaker, maintenance performance on our feeder roads is very worrying. This is because, the feeder roads contains more than 60 per cent of our road network. Even the planned kilometres was about 55.7 per cent, so when one works it out, the performance on the entire network --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
Hon Member, are you on a point of order?
Mr George Kofi Arthur 1:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, may I beg that Members have copies of what the Hon Member is reading? It seems he is reading from where we do not have access to.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
He has made copies available to us, and that is what we are working with.
Mr Owusu-Aduomi 1:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the 33 per cent that was achieved from the planned work is worth only 18 per cent of work done on the entire network of our feeder roads, which is 42,180 km. So, overall, for the whole nation, the planned activity which was worked on was 23,393 km from the pages I have indicated in the Budget, and when one strikes it over the 71,000km and the 63,000 km, maintenance performance is 33per cent.
Therefore, Government assertion at paragraph 568 on page 109 of the 2016 Budget, that it maintained its focus on routine and periodic maintenance
Alhaji I. A. B. Fuseini 1:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I have been following the submission of the Hon Ranking Member for the Committee on Roads and Transport with keen attention. He has been giving figures. What he has failed to say to this House is that, those figures represent performance from January to September. The Budget was read in November, but they could not give us the figure to the end of the year.
Mr Speaker, if he continues along that trajectory, he would be creating the impression in the minds of the people that, this represent the performance of the sector for the entire year. But Mr Speaker, it stands to reasoning logically that, we have not even ended the year, so, that cannot represent the performance of the road sector for the whole year.
Mr Owusu-Aduomi 1:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I agree with him that it is up to September, because, that is what is provided in the Budget. But the whole of the year 2015, not even a pesewa has been paid for work done on routine and periodic maintenance. Even work done in the year 2014 --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
Where is your evidence? Hon Member, where is your evidence?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
No, it is not a matter of him knowing. Where is your evidence? Hon Member, please, this is a House of record. If you are saying that work done has not been paid for, you must have your evidence. If not, just withdraw that portion of your submission and let us move on.
Mr Owusu-Aduomi 1:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, payment is in arrears of 19 months. I would want the Hon Minister to confirm.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
Please, let me have your evidence.
Mr Owusu-Aduomi 1:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, he knows.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
I am not going to him, I am asking you.
Mr Owusu-Aduomi 1:40 p.m.
All right, Mr Speaker, let us delete that portion from it.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
Please, withdraw that portion of the statement.
Mr Owusu-Aduomi 1:40 p.m.
I have withdrawn it, but what I would want him to understand is that, the work done as of September, 2015 is not going to be much different from work that would be done at the end of the year. This is because payment has not been done.
Mr Speaker, yes, the Government might be doing well on development of major roads as were enumerated by the Hon Chairman, but what is the total kilometric of the project? They do not even add up to about three per cent of the entire road network.
I have severally advised on the floor of this House, that Mr Speaker, development of roads should be in tandem with routine and periodic maintenance. Otherwise, Mr Speaker, we would lose all our roads.
Mr Speaker, inadequate funding, especially on road maintenance activities has been one major cause of these poor surface conditions that we have on our roads.
Mr Speaker, what worsens the situation is the delay by the Government in paying for work done. What I said earlier, you said there is no evidence so I would not go there again. But the annual funding gap on our road maintenance, when we follow the Hon Minister and the Ghana Road Fund in their various workshops -- Is widening and is between 50 and 55 per cent of the total cost of maintenance.
This is very worrying and this is what I would want the Hon Minister for Finance to take note of, so that, something is done about it.
Mr Speaker, it is almost important that government intervenes and takes steps to increase revenue to the Road Fund.
Mr Speaker, as of the end of October, 2015, government owed contractors whose projects had been paid under the Road Fund, GH¢329 million. I have this as a copy also in front of you. This is the situation. And if in routine maintenance, such an amount is owed, which contractor would be very confident to go to site and work to improve and maintain our roads?
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Yes, Hon Minister?
Alhaji Fuseini 1:50 p.m.
On a point of order Mr Speaker, I am reluctant because I know my Hon Colleague is a diligent Member of the Committee on Roads and Transport. He has greatly assisted not only the Ministry but also the Road Fund. So I am very reluctant in rising to raise a point of order.
But just on the 10th of November, 2015, I spoke to the Ghanaian public in a Press briefing and presented exactly the amount of money owed local contractors by the Road Fund.
The figure is not what my good Friend and Hon Colleague mentioned. He should come again. I know that he can get the source but it is always better to take it from source in order to make Ghanaians appreciate the enormity of the task that is facing us.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Owusu-Aduomi 1:50 p.m.
Very well, Mr Speaker. I have made a copy and I am sure you have a copy of it. It is from the Ghana Road Fund Secretariat. It is a printout and if you go through it, you would realise that, payment as of 31st October was GH¢271.267 million. Outstanding undeb- tedness as of 31st October,2015 was GH¢329,017,449.74 million; it is here.
Mr Speaker,I took it from Ghana Road Fund Secretariat not even a week ago --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Hon Minister, I would have preferred that you would also quote a figure to counteract what he is saying but in the absence of the --
Mr Awuah 1:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I just want to refer Hon Members to the table on page 193 of the Budget Statement. The Hon Minister for Finance is projecting an end of year road arrears of GH¢322 million. The fact that he said that there is a huge road arrears is being confirmed by the figure stated in the Budget itself. So, I do not see why the Hon Minister is not agreeing with my Hon Colleague on this topic.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Yes, Hon Minister?
Alhaji Fuseini 1:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, what he has just said buttresses the point we have made. The Hon Minister for Finance projected earlier an amount of GH¢329 million. The figure he mentioned is already more than GH¢329 million. So it confirms exactly what I am saying that, especially, by next week, the Road Fund would be paying GH¢21 million to contractors. His submission does not take account of that.
Mr Darko-Mensah 1:50 p.m.
He said October.
Alhaji Fuseini 1:50 p.m.
This House is a House of procedure. It is not a market place.
Mr Speaker, what I am saying is that --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
I get the point you are making that it is not the end of the year and payments are being made so by the end of the year, the difference would show.
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Yes, Hon Deputy Whip?
Mr Awuah 1:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I think the Hon Minister was not listening to my Hon Colleague. I say so because, he specifically stated that, the figure he was quoting was as of the end of October. Of course, between October and December ending, so much can happen. That is why I was trying to bring our attention to the fact that the Hon Minister is projecting an end year figure of GH¢322 million. So my Hon Colleague is right in quoting the figures as of October ending.
If the Hon Minister is thinking of any other figure at the end of the year, perhaps that one is a different thing all together. But he cannot, in anyway, challenge the figures being quoted by my Hon Colleague.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Very well. As matters stand now, while Hon Owusu- Aduomi is talking about figures as of the end of October, Hon Fuseini is also talking about payments which would be made subsequent to that, therefore, reduce the figures. Are we on the same page? Let us make some progress.
Mr Owusu-Aduomi 1:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, from checks that I made from the Ministry of Roads and Highways on projects funded from the Consolidated Fund, which I have given you a very detailed report on, the Government of Ghana owes GH¢359.5 million as of the end of November, 2015.
Mr Speaker, putting the two together, Government is owing contractors GH¢688.5 million --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
I thought you were talking about the end of October; now you are talking about the end of November. Which is which?
Mr Owusu-Aduomi 1:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, this is different. That of the end of October is from the Road Fund and the one on the end of November is from the Consolidated Fund. Two separate payments are made by the Government:projects from the Consolidated Fund and projects from the Road Fund. I am saying that the figure that I have given from the Consolidated Fund is up to the end of November.
Mr Speaker, the Government now owes contractors GH¢688.5 million.
Mr Speaker, last year, it was a good policy of the Government to pay all road arrears by the close of 2015. That is the reason provision for GH¢322.3 million, referring to last year's Budget, Appendix 3 (c), page 168, was made.
Mr Speaker, the document that I have given you, as of the end of September, 2015, GH¢ 313.5 million, which amounts to about 97 per cent of this amount has been utilised.
Mr Speaker, my fear is that, there is no provision in the 2016 Budget for road arrears clearance and the way things are moving, definitely there would be arrears at the end of December, 2015.
Mr Speaker, the policy of clearing road arrears seems defeated. This is because --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Hon Member, your time is up but I would give you two more minutes.
Mr Owusu-Aduomi 1:50 p.m.
It is up?
Mr Speaker, 20 minutes but there were a lot of interruptions.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Yes, 20 minutes. It is up but I would give you two more minutes.
Mr Owusu-Aduomi 1:50 p.m.
Two more minutes?
Mr Owusu-Aduomi 2 p.m.
Mr Speaker, this purpose has been defeated because it should have been followed by limiting awards of new contracts in 2015 but this was not done.
Mr Speaker, the problem is that, while the Ministry of Finance tries to mop up the water on the floor, the President spills water behind him by hopping from one region to the other all the time, naming new projects and awarding new ones.
Mr Speaker, that is the reason the road construction industry has been weakened, because of the arrears they owe contractors.
Mr Speaker, huge sums of money seem to have been paid by the Ministry of Finance. The shortfall associated with these payments is done and the Consolidated Fund is paid to a small section of the contractors whose total kilometrage is not even up to two per cent.
What is important for the Ministry of Finance to do is to ensure that, the Road Fund is well resourced. Government should put up steps and strategies that would increase revenue generation for the Ghana Road Fund.
This is because, most of the contractors who do routine maintenance, periodic maintenance, upgrading of roads, are paid under the Road Fund and it does not matter how much the contractors are paid from the Consolidated Fund, our roads would continue to be in poor conditions if we do not --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
Hon Member, unfortunately, your time is up.
Mr Owusu-Aduomi 2 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity, but despite all these huge amounts that are being paid the management of our resources have not been done well.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
Thank you very much.
Hon Members, having regard to the state of proceedings, I direct that we sit beyond the stipulated time.
The next person to take the Floor would be Hon Kwame Agbodza.
Mr Governs Kwame Agbodza (NDC-- Adaklu) 2 p.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion.
Mr Speaker, I must say that, this Budget sets out to explain how Govern- ment is trying to consolidate the gains made in changing lives and transforming Ghana.
Mr Speaker, before I go on, my Hon Colleague who just spoke is a senior engineer. He knows a lot about road construction, but he put out some figures that I would just like to put them in context.
He would understand that, if within the period that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was in Government, the length of road was about 29,000 kilometres as he said, and they were doing 42 per cent of that in terms of maintenance. It would be reasonable to anybody that if a person has a road network of over 71,000 kilometres and the person does 35 per cent in maintenance, one can understand the size of work we have done.
Secondly, it is probably the case that, we are building better roads so the cost of maintenance has come down. Perhaps, as an engineer, if he goes back into his archives, he would probably realise that, they did a poorer job in terms of the quality of roads they built when they were in government.
Mr Speaker, I hear a lot of people talk about how we take a lot of loans and they do not understand what we use it for. That we need to curb borrowing. I understand, we should be able to match our borrowing with the things that matter to Ghanaians.
Mr Speaker, even in the roads sector, I said earlier, 71,000 kilometres or more is remarkable, but we have not even stopped. There are much more important things to do.
As I speak to you, the lives of we the people who have to cross the Volta River to the Eastern Region and the Volta Region were made quite difficult recently because we built a bridge which was over 56 years old and nobody bothered to maintain it. I am talking about the Adomi Bridge.
Mr Speaker, as I speak, hopefully, God willing, by the close of the year Adomi Bridge would be given a new lease of life because we have invested a lot of money to bring it back to life. They should tell me this is not a worthy investment that we needed to do. Should we just have said that the Bridge should collapse because we are afraid of taking on more debt? Mr Speaker, No! We need to transform lives, we need to change Ghana; this is a worthwhile investment.
Mr Speaker, in aviation, some of my Hon Colleagues have already spoken about that. When it came to the turn of my Hon Colleagues on the Minority Side to do something about aviation, all they did was to sell Ghana Airways and sell its assets. What are we doing now?
If we go to Kotoka International Airport, we can see a huge investment going on to make that airport reflect what we would want the world to see -- A very progressive country.
We are aware that, the Hon Minority Leader is not here, but he is probably capable of leaving Parliament late these days and then going to Kumasi in the evening to meet his constituents, because Kumasi Airport can now take flights in the night.
Mr Speaker, this is what we call transforming Ghana, it is a worthwhile investment and my Hon Colleagues do understand that it is good. However, because of politics they cannot say it openly.
Of course, talking about Tamale Airport, it is a very good investment. Indeed, I was surprised when recently, some of my Hon Colleagues from the other Side -- Not in this room -- said that “what is the use of the Ho Airport?” They should just
go and read the business case. They would realise that it is a good investment.
Mr Nitiwul 2 p.m.
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, nobody on this Side of the House has ever said “what is the use of the Ho Airport”? No Member of Parliament (MP), the 122 MP's on our Side has ever made that statement. He should please, withdraw that statement because it is very offensive to us. Nobody said that, please. That ‘what is the use of the Ho Airport'? In this House? Please.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
Hon Member, can you respond to that?
Mr Agbodza 2 p.m.
Mr Speaker, yes, exactly. I am very happy he has committed himself.
I said people from the other Side, but not in this room. Maybe, if we replay what I said and indeed, I can mention the name; Mr Hadzideh, one of Nana Akuffo Addo's aides said that openly on Metro Television. I could quote the day and everything.
So, I did not say anybody on their Side in this room. I said “who are not in this room”. The record can say that.
Mr Speaker, I am not the kind of politician --
Mr Nitiwul 2 p.m.
I think the rules of debate are very clear in this House. If he is mentioning people's names and accusing them and they are not here to defend themselves, and he has no proof of it either, then he should please ,withdraw it; the people are not here. That is what we have always said here.
They are not here to defend themselves and he is accusing somebody. He should please, withdraw it.
Mr Agbodza 2 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I was directly responding to the fact that he said I said somebody in this room and I said I never said that.
I withdraw the mention of the name of my good Friend Mr Hadzideh who is an aide to somebody.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
He is not a Member of Parliament. He is not here to defend himself, so please, withdraw.
Mr Agbodza 2 p.m.
Fine, I do not have a problem with withdrawing that.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
Very well, let us make progress.
MrKofi Brako 2 p.m.
Withdraw it.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
He has withdrawn it.
Mr Agbodza 2 p.m.
This Government is doing something that Ghanaians need to notice and commend. For our history, it is this Government that is investing about US$2 billion in transforming the health care sector.
Mr Speaker, not even Dr Kwame Nkrumah or anybody has invested this quantum of money at a particular time in our health care.
Mr Speaker, this money --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
Hon Member, you have four more minutes.
MrAgbodza 2 p.m.
Thank you very much.
Mr Speaker, I am saying that, for instance, while we are talking about tangible things, things that can transform this country when we invest in healthcare, yesterday, I heard somebody -- They say I should not mention names -- Who is an apprentice to somebody --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
Hon Member, do not go that way, please. Just make your submission.
Mr Agbodza 2 p.m.
The person actually goes touting an achievement as building a classroom block at Berekum Nursing Training School, as an achievement of a government that ruled this country for eight years? In health care? It is an abysmal performance.
We are talking about US$2 billion, and the result is across the country; teaching hospitals, medical schools, regional hospitals, and so on and so forth.
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
Hon Member, are you up on a point of order?
Mr Agbodza 2 p.m.
Where is their record in investment in health care? Abysmal performance --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
Hon Member, please, hold your breath.
Are you up on a point of order?
Mr Osei-Mensah 2 p.m.
Mr Speaker, yes please.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
What is it?
Mr Osei-Mensah 2 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the issues our Side has raised with the Kumasi Airport is an amount of about US$29 million that was used just to work on the runway, meanwhile the Ho Airport is going to cost about US$25 million. Only a runway for US$29 million when the whole of Ho Airport is for US$25 million?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
Hon Member, that was not what I heard him talk about.
Mr Osei-Mensah 2 p.m.
That was what we questioned --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
Please resume your seat. That was not what I heard him talk about.
Mr Osei-Mensah 2 p.m.
Nobody has said we are against the Ho Airport, it is the amount they spent on the Kumasi Airport runway. Nobody has said anything against the Ho Airport, so it was false, incorrect --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
Very well, that point was raised by the Hon Deputy Minority Leader and it has been dealt with.
Hon Member, please, proceed.
MrAgbodza 2 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I stopped when it was four minutes, so I will continue.
Mr Speaker, that is the whole point I am trying to make. I belong to the Com- mittee --
Mr Awuah 2:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague is enumerating the Govern- ment's effort in the Health Sector, but he is on record to have said that, the Ridge Hospital, in terms of cost per square metre is the most expensive hospital in the whole world. So, he should address that as well.
Mr Agbodza 2:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, can my good Senior Colleague tell me where I made that statement. Did I make that statement on the Floor of Parliament? As long as there is no record of it, I can say that I never made that statement, Mr Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
Very well. Proceed.
Mr Agbodza 2:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, to my other Senior Colleague--
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
Hon Members, let us have as few interruptions as possible.
MrAgbodza 2:10 p.m.
When he talked about the runway, the breakdown of the figures for the Kumasi Airport was given to us. Let us ask Hon Owusu-Aduomi or anybody whether they have any problems about it. If they have problems about it, they should let Ghanaians know. So, do not hide under -- In any case, the Ho one is an aerodrome. I wish they did a better job when they were in government but they did nothing. They kept us in the dark.
In Kumasi, we put lights there so that we can travel in the night. Perhaps, the Hon Minority Leader, he has already taken the night flight to Kumasi because that is possible these days.
Mr Speaker, on Energy, I still trust my President when he said that, very soon he will deal with the issue about power outages. I believe, Mr Speaker, we shall overcome. By the end of this year, with God on our side, the issue about the inconsistent power supply would be dealt with.
Mr Speaker, let us come home here. When the President talks about changing lives and transforming Ghana --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
Your time is up.
Mr Agbodza 2:10 p.m.
He has transformed this Chamber, Mr Speaker.
For the first time, I can work up till 10.00 p.m. because my Hon Colleagues and I can go to our offices. Mr Speaker, they should tell me that investment is not worth it. Can anybody tell me here that the investment to convert Job 600 into --
Mr Agbodza 2:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would like to conclude by saying, that the President is doing a good job and I would urge my Hon Colleagues to support this Budget and let politics and good --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
Very well, thank you.
Hon Members, the next Hon Member to take the floor is Hon David Oppon-Kusi.
Mr David Oppon-Kusi (NPP -- Ofoase/ Ayirebi) 2:10 p.m.
Thank you Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Budget Statement.
Mr Speaker, I have done a thorough analyses of some paragraphs of this Budget Statement, particularly, the one to do with the water and housing sectors. I have also made some comparisons with previous Budget Statements, particularly, those of 2013, 2014 and 2015. It leaves me in no doubt that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Government does not take the works of this once very powerful Ministry very serious.
Mr Speaker, water and housing are basic needs. In fact, they are human rights issues. We may be able to go round the country and do our businesses with dum sor. But nobody can sleep outside and nobody can do without potable drinking water.
Mr Speaker, time and again, the allocation to this Ministry has been decreasing over the years.
In 2013, we had GH¢598 million allocated to the Ministry. In 2014, it came down to GH¢531 million and in 2015, it further came down to GH¢463 million. This year, it is GH¢374 million.
Before I go on, Mr Speaker, let me refer Hon Members to page 109, paragraph 566 of the 2016 Budget Statement. With your permission, Mr Speaker, I beg to quote:
“For the implementation of the above programmes and activities, an amount of GH¢1,418,584,338.00 has been allocated. Out of this, GH¢129, 322,964.00 is GoG, GH¢3,973,131.00 is IGF and GH¢241,485,516.00 is from Develop- ment Partners.”
Mr Speaker, this baffles me. This is because when I put these figures together, I only get GH¢374,781,611.00. Originally, I thought it was a typographical error. When this document was changed, the same figure came back. I do not know where these figures are coming from. It is misleading us. The figure is GH¢1,000,400.00, when they have only allocated GH¢374,781,611.00 for the Sector.
Mr Speaker, this Budget devoted only three paragraphs for the housing sector and that is very worrying.
Since the debacle of STX, this Government seems to have vacated its responsibility for providing housing or what we call affordable housing for its people. Year in year out, the focus on housing has been diminishing. This is borne out of the figures that I have given out.What is more worrying is that, these allocations, even when GH¢598 million was given at the end of the year --
We would see it very soon when we come to Annual Budget Estimates -- Less than 50 per cent of the moneys are released for the actual works. When it comes to expenditure on investment, sometimes, it is almost nil.
Mr Speaker, over the years, these Budget Statements have been touting 5,000 housing units. As I said, since the
debacle of 250,000 phantom units that were never built, 5,000 units since 2009 have never been completed.
Mr Speaker, this Government inherited nearly 5,000 housing units in various stages of completion and they decided not to complete them. Recently, we have seen in the Budget Statement some attempts at trying to complete them. It means that, over the seven-year period, not a single housing unit has been delivered to the public in terms of affordable housing units.
Meanwhile, in our documents, we claim that we have a deficit of about 1.7 million housing units. If we look at the National Development Planning Commission document, it means that as a nation, we should be building about 170,000 housing units annually. This is not to consider the fact that the population is still growing.
Ghanaians are forced to live in substandard accommodation. No effort is being made to solve this housing deficit.
Mr Speaker, if I look at paragraph 563, where it talks about human settlement and development programme, Mr Speaker, I beg to quote:
“Phase II of the construction of 368 housing unit for the security services in ongoing.”
This has been so for the past three years.
“The current work rate on the project of about 38 per cent…”
We are in 2015, we have only one year for this Government to end its eight-year mandate and we have only 38 per cent of work done. It continue to say that:
“….is expected to be completed in
2016.”
Mr Speaker, if you look at the trend, next year, we would come here and we would probably be at 40 per cent.
Mr Speaker, it continues to say 2:10 p.m.
“In addition, construction of 5,000 Affordable Housing Units at Saglemi-Ningo Prampram is progressing.”
This sentence is a repetition of one in the last year's Budget Statement.
“Works on the Phase I of the project consisting of 1,502 housing unit commenced and will be completed in 2016.”
This is an admission of the fact that ever since, not a single unit has been produced under this Government.
Mr Speaker, it surprises me why an important Ministry such as Water Resources, Works and Housing has been sidelined by this Government through budgetary allocation or non-allocation for their works --
Mr Cassiel A. B. Forson 2:10 p.m.
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, the Hon Colleague is grossly misleading this House.
Mr Oppon-Kusi 2:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, early on, I said that, the Government inherited nearly 5,000 housing units from the previous government. What this Government
Mr Ahi 2:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague is just misleading the House. When they were in Government, they did not even complete one house in this country.
They started the affordable housing that he is referring to in 2006 and they were to complete them by June 2008. By the time they were leaving office, some of the buildings were still at the foundation stage. So he cannot stand here and say that we have not done --
Like my Hon Colleague said, last year, we handed over a number of completed houses to the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) in Tema. He went there. We have taken them there. He was there and he knows it.
If they did not build one house in eight years, why is he blaming the Government which is doing a lot to reduce the housing deficit?[Interruption.] Were you not there yourself? Did you not see them?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
Hon Member, please, proceed.
Mr Oppon-Kusi 2:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I referred to paragraph 563. This is the debate we are having. It reads:

“Mr Speaker, phase II of the construction of 368 housing units for the security services is ongoing. The current work rate of the project is 38 per cent”.

I did not say it. This is what is in the Budget.

Mr Speaker, I can come back to the other issue. I said that those units that were handed over by the previous Government have now been handed over to entities like Tema Development Corporation (TDC), State Housing Corporation (SHC) and Social Security and National Trust (SSNIT). They cease to be products of the Government. These are private entities so to speak - They are for profit making.

Mr Speaker, the problem is that, if you have a housing deficit of 1.7 million units and we intend to solve it, is this the way to go about it? Currently, even the so- called units that are going to be affordable, looking at the prices that --

TDC is still a profit-making organi- sation and they will sell it to those who can afford it. These houses cease to be affordable. The Government has not been able to produce even one unit of affordable housing for the general public.
Mr Sampson Ahi 2:20 p.m.
On a point of order Mr Speaker, just to let my Hon Colleague know that TDC is not a private entity. It is a Government agency under the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing.
It is also not true that we have not even completed one of the housing projects that were initiated under President Kuffuor's Government. In fact, we have handed over five blocks which gave us 72-units to SHC. They have completed and they are being sold today.

Mr Speaker, the Hon Member also said that because we said 32 per cent of the second phase of the 368 housing units is ongoing -- It means that the first phase has been completed and handed over. After the first phase, we have moved on to the second phase. He should not distort the facts.
Mr Awuah 2:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not know whether my Hon Colleague is raising a point of order or he is debating.
As you rightly ruled earlier on, their Side will have the opportunity to debate again. So if he has to make a statement, perhaps he can defer and then whoever is speaking, he can give his information to. What he is giving is not a point of order, Mr Speaker. He is making a statement.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
Actually,it looks like raising an issue of a point of correction. The Hon Member said nothing had been done and he is trying to carry across the fact that some work has been, some houses have been completed and handed over.
Hon Member, I do not think we should go back to this issue. Please, continue.
Mr Oppon-Kusi 2:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if the Hon Deputy Minister claims 72 housing units have been delivered, I will concede to that.
Mr Speaker, this is a Government that started by touting around that they were going to provide 250,000 housing units
through STX. Seven years down the line, it can tell us that it has only delivered 72 housing units.
Even private organisations have delivered more in that period. Mr Speaker, he has confirmed that out of the 250,000 housing units promised Ghanaians, they have delivered 72 housing units.
Mr Speaker, let me come back to the issue of housing and policy. We know that over the years, in this country, housing has been provided through the private sector. Government can only provide part of the housing deficit, especially for the public servant. What Government needs to do is to encourage the private sector by putting in policies that would help the private sector to deliver.
Over the years, while we are giving tax exemptions to foreign companies to come and build, our local companies, Ghana Real Estate and Development Agency (GREDA) and others which needed Government support have not been given those support.
Mr Speaker, quietly, under this Government, the private housing delivery system is dying and it cannot be replaced by a Government that promises 250,000 housing units and gives us 72 housing units over a seven year period. What I am asking the Hon Minister to do is to go back to the basics.
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
Hon Members, if we go on this way, we will not make any progress. I thought we had put this to rest. Hon Deputy Minister, what is it?
Mr Ahi 2:20 p.m.
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, for my Hon Colleague to say that Government is granting tax exemption to foreign companies is misleading. There is
Mr Oppon-Kusi 2:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, he is the Hon Deputy Minister. He has every right to make a statement to that effect.
I am in the construction industry myself. I am a building industry professional and I can tell you the hurdles that private companies would have to go through to compete with foreign companies who are given blanket tax exemption to come in.
They come in and they have lands given to them by Government, they are guaranteed so that they can come in and be sure that they will make profit. This is against a local housing industry that has to compete for even land acquisition, land registration and fight with other people. We are not making our local housing industry competitive.
Mr Speaker, as a policy, we should go back to the basics. We should make sure that our local housing industry is strengthened so that they can deliver. If we do that, Mr Speaker, we would not need any STX to come in and then promise us 250,000 phantom houses.
This is because, all the materials are here; we have the expertise here, what we need to do is to encourage them. Meanwhile all the policies in place are
such that, the local housing industry cannot benefit from the Budget.
Mr Speaker, you ask yourself, what is in this Budget that tells us that we are going to support our local housing industry? Over the years, I tried to find this in the Budget; it is not there.
Mr Speaker, let me refer to paragraph 565. It is very interesting. It reads 2:20 p.m.
“In 2016, the Department of Rural Housing will commence the construction of 100 housing units for rural and peri-urban households using improved locally -- manu- factured building materials”.
I am going to add that to the 72 housing units. They will commence but they have not commenced yet. Every year in the Budget, this statement is there. We have not seen the delivery of even one housing unit, be it urban or peri-urban.
Mr Speaker, my point is that, this document must be able to propel the industry. We are paying lip- service to our housing and water sectors. I am sure an Hon Member will speak on the water sector. These are fundamental requirements of livelihood. These are human right issues yet, year in year out, we allocate lesser amounts to them.
Mr Speaker, if you go to the Ministry itself -- The Hon Deputy Minister is here - Even those allocations are not released. We have very little there to support local industries.
We are not engaging them; we are not giving them tax incentives. The local industry is dying and they have been crying out. They have met the Committee several times but nothing has been done about it.
Mr Speaker, the Deputy Ministers for Finance and Water Resources, Works and Housing are here. I am surprised the substantive Ministers are not here. These are serious issues. They should take these issues very seriously and stop paying lip- service to the housing industry.
In conclusion, Mr Speaker, the NDC Government has done very little for our housing industry, either in terms of providing us with housing units or supporting the private sector which has constantly been giving us our housing units.
Our cities and towns were not built by foreign firms but by indigenous firms and private individuals. So we need to encourage private individuals by getting them land banks and giving them access to land and the kind of tax reliefs given to foreign companies so that they could help. Otherwise, the gap of 1.7 million units would become two million very soon.
Minister for Roads and Highways (Alhaji Inusah H. B. Fuseini (MP) 2:30 p.m.
Thank you Mr Speaker for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the Floor of the House and to urge Hon Members, to continue to support the Government's Budget so that we could continue to deliver the Better Ghana Agenda.

On the 22nd of December, 2015, at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) junction, we would be opening up a foot bridge for use by the public. We are doing all these because Government believes that the way to serve the people is to meet the people's felt needs at the right time.The felt needs of the people are getting good roads, good foot bridges, protecting them and ensuring that their lives are safe from reckless drivers.

Mr Speaker, I have heard many figures being bundled around. I have even heard that by the close of the year, the debt standing against the Road Fund would be in the region of GH¢329 million. What that figure failed to mention is that GH¢251 million of the GH¢329 million which is projected to be the debt standing at the Road Fund at the close of the year would be debt that was carried from previous years. That shows that this Government has prudently managed the Road Fund.

When you look at the difference between the amount of money that stood as debt against the Road Fund as against the debt accrued at the close of the year, you can only come to one conclusion; this Road Fund has been managed in such a way that we have continued to repair the roads, continued on periodic main- tenance, continued to develop roads through the Consolidated Fund and we would continue doing same to deliver the Better Ghana Agenda.

Mr Speaker, so far, from the beginning of the year to date, GH¢240.81 million has been disbursed to contractors from the Road Fund. That shows the enormous strides that have been made to contain contractors and to meet their needs at the time after executing the Project.

An amount of GH¢10 million from the Road Fund has been given to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) and National Road Safety Commission to
Mr Kwabena Owusu-Aduomi 2:30 p.m.
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, the Ghana Road Fund does not generate revenue up to GH¢1 billion. I heard the Hon Minister mention about GH¢200 billion paid. If it is million, he is right but not billion. He said billion.
Alhaji Fuseini 2:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we are yet to reach the billion target and I am working closely with him at the Committee level to ensure that we are able to generate a billion cedis. We have now got to 200 million and we are working closely with him to generate a billion so that, we could continue to repair our roads.
I believe in what he has said, that if we do not have enough money to construct

roads, conventional wisdom and tried learning clearly shows that we will continue to maintain the investment that we have made so far and that is why we are working to ensure that that is done.

Mr Speaker, I do not know whether Hon Members for Sekondi-Takoradi have visited Sekondi-Takoradi of late. We can say that since the city was christened the twin city, the level of investment in the roads sector that has gone into Sekondi- Takoradi is clearly unprecedented. We have done and completed 20 kilometres of road asphalt overlay in Sekondi- Takoradi. We have moved on to the second phase of asphalting 25 kilometres of those roads and there is a third phase for that.

When all the roads in Sekondi-Takoradi are asphalted, we would have completed 70 kilometres of asphalt overlay within the city --
Mr Oppon-Kusi 2:30 p.m.
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister, a very good friend of mine, is misleading the House. Under the Urban Transport Project (UTP) which I worked on, roads in Sekondi- Takoradi were asphalted. We tell the truth to the public. What is currently being done is that, after a number of years, you just overlay what was existing. It is not that it had never been done before. It was under the UTP, that the first asphalting was done.
So if you go in, after all these years' deterioration and you are asphalting it, it is just maintenance. Do not give the impression that it had never been asphalted, that it is unprecedented and that they have never seen asphalted roads before. It is never true.
Alhaji Fuseini 2:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, he just confirmed what I said. I am not aware of a UTP project that did asphalt overlay in Sekondi-Takoradi. The asphalt overlays - I used asphalt overlays because the
asphalt overlays that are being done in Sekondi-Takoradi are done over bituminous surface roads and not asphalt roads that are already in existence. My good Friend knows that the Kansaworodo road was never asphalted. That bypass is being constructed for Sekondi-Takoradi.
Mr Speaker, a trip to Kumasi would clearly reveal what the NDC Government under His Excellency John Dramani Mahama is doing in Kumasi. Never mind that for the first time in the history of this country, we have got two international airports that are functional; Accra and Kumasi. [Hear! Hear!] The one in Kumasi was brought into being by the NDC Government.
For the first time in the history of this country, an aircraft landed in Kumasi when night had fallen and that was made possible because of the heavy investment made on the Kumasi Inter- national Airport. Kumasi is benefitting from asphalt overlays on some of their critical roads.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:30 p.m.
One more minute.
Alhaji Fuseini 2:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I have just taken off. All these roads across --
Mr O. B. Amoah 2:30 p.m.
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, I thought that it was agreed that Hon Ministers and Leadership would get 20 minutes.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:40 p.m.
That was not the understanding I had.I thought we spoke about Hon Chairmen and Hon Ranking Members. All along I have been giving Hon Ministers ten minutes.
Very well.
Yes, Hon Minister?
Alhaji Fuseini 2:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, what has been done under His Excellency John Dramani Mahama and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Government in the road sector needs serious commendation.
Mr Speaker, a trip to the Fofrotu- Suala road, would reveal the vision of this Government; when road traverses communities along a corridor, the community must feel the full impact of the road.
Mr Speaker, that is why when one is traversing that road from Fofrotu-Suala, you would not only see a first class road; you would see schools, clinics, markets and social amenities that go to benefit the community.
Mr Speaker, one might say that, that is in the Northern Region, but go to the Awoshie-Pokuase enclave.Apart from the road being a first class road, a lot of social amenities; schools, markets, hospitals, are built along the corridor.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:40 p.m.
Hon Member, your time is up.
Alhaji Fuseini 2:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, that vision is being pursued by a Government who has an agenda and the agenda is a better Ghana agenda. -- [Hear! Hear!]
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:40 p.m.
Hon Members, we have the last Member to make his contribution;he is in the person of Hon Joe Appiah.
Mr Justice Joe Appiah (NPP -- Ablekuma North) 2:40 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to support the Budget Statement and the Economic Policy.
Mr Ahmed Ibrahim 2:40 p.m.
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, Hon Joe Appiah is an Hon Member of the House Committee and he was always on JOB 600; he was the first occupant. I expected him to even begin his contribution from there.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:40 p.m.
Hon Member, you are out of order.
Mr J.J. Appiah 2:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we are speaking on Water Resources, Works and Housing so I do not understand why he is talking about JOB 600.
Mr Speaker, no Government since independence has had the amount of resources from tax revenue, cocoa exports, gold exports, oil revenue, loans as the NDC administration between 2009 and 2015 yet Ghanaians are thirsty. Ghanaians are very thirsty, we do not have water to drink.
Mr Speaker, under the eight years of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Govern- ment, 2001 to 2008, taxes, loans in exports amounted to only GH¢20 billion. The Ex- President Mills /Mahama administration has collected GH¢200 billion.
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:40 p.m.
Yes, Hon Deputy Minister?
Mr Vanderpuye 2:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, The Hon Member just said that, in spite of all these monies, Ghanaians are thirsty.
Mr Speaker, I would want to draw his attention to the fact that, as of today, Ghana is the only country in Sub-Saharan Africa, which has been able to achieve the Millennium Development Goal target of 70 per cent access to potable, safe drinking water. Close to about 80 per cent of the Ghanaian population now have access to potable drinking water. So, he cannot say Ghanaians are thirsty.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:40 p.m.
Yes, Hon Member, please continue.
Mr J.J. Appiah 2:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the legendary Bob Marley once said, and I beg to quote:
“In the abundance of water, the fool is thirsty”
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:40 p.m.
Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Ahmed Ibrahim 2:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, this is a very serious statement. If he says Ghanaians are thirsty and continues to say that, in the abundance of water the fool is thirsty, by implication, he has said that Ghanaians are fools. I tell the Hon Colleague to withdraw it. -- [Uproar.]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:40 p.m.
Hon Member, in the second -- Please, let us have some order.
In the second segment of his presentation, he quoted Bob Marley, unless the quotation is wrong, I do not see what the fuss is.
Mr Ahmed Ibrahim 2:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, he categorically said that Ghanaians are thirsty before he went on to say that, “in the abundance of water, fools are thirsty”. So, Mr Speaker, once he has confirmed that Ghanaians are thirsty and given the inference from Bob Marley, by implication, he means Ghanaians are fools and they are thirsty.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:40 p.m.
Hon Members,if I understand the discourse, when he made the statement that Ghanaians are thirsty, he was counteracted by the Hon Deputy Minister for Local Government who indicated that Ghana has reached 70 per cent of the Millennium Goal which defeats the assertion that he was making. So, if he goes on to say that Bob Marley says “in the abundance of water, fools are thirsty”, I do not think it relates directly to this one.
Yes, Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
Mr Nitiwul 2:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if we allow this practice to go on, where Hon Members interpret what other Hon Members say, it would be very dangerous. By this practice, the Hon Member can actually incite people and we would have problems when we step outside.
The Hon Member has made a statement. If he feels that, that statemtent is -- take him on that statement. Do not interpret what he has said.
Mr Speaker, he never said that Ghanaians are fools. He should interpret it. The Hon Member on the other side is the one saying that Ghanaians are fools. He never said that.
Mr Speaker, if we allow Hon Members to interprete the words of other Hon Members and put up statements that say this is what he or she means, there will be
Mr Nitiwul 2:50 p.m.


disaster in this House and it will not help us.

Mr Speaker, the Hon Member said that Ghanaians are thirsty and in response to what he had said, he quoted the late Bob Marley. If one thinks that it is not true, he or she should tell him that it is not true and that he should withdraw it because Bob Marley did not say that. But if Bob Marley said it — He should not interpret him because he is not in his mind—that is what the Hon Member on the other side thinks, which is not what the Hon Member said or thought . If we allow people to interpret others by saying, this is what he thinks, there will be disaster in this House.
Alhaji Fuseini 2:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, in fact, I take serious exception to the logic of the Hon Member. That is logical reasoning. That is logic.
Mr Speaker, he had earlier said that, Ghanaians are thirsty, and that the late Bob Marley said, “in the abundance of water, the fool is thirsty” — Therefore, Ghanaians are fools—[Uproar]— That is logical reasoning. That is what we did in school — [Uproar]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:50 p.m.
Order! Oder!
Hon Members, can we take it up from this angle? Bob Marley's quotation in effect is to say that, in the midst of water, one would be a fool to be thirsty. Therefore, if Ghana is in the midst of water, it is only fools who will be thirsty. Since Ghanaians are not thirsty, from what the Hon Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development said, one cannot conclude that Ghanaians are fools.
We are going into the realm of logic
Alhaji Fuseini 2:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I will take it from there. As said by the late Bob Marley, ‘in the abundance of water, fools are thirsty'. If one is a Ghanaian and there is abundance of water and one is thirsty, then he or she is a fool — [Laughter]—That is logical reasoning. That is the only deduction. Maybe my Hon Member does not understand logical reasoning.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:50 p.m.
Hon Members, I do not want us to drag this point beyond this limit.
Alhaji Fuseini 2:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, he should withdraw and apologise to Ghanaians. That is deductive reasoning.
Mr Nitiwul 2:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, that was why I said it is dangerous to interpret some body's thought. That is why we do not interpret other people's thoughts in this House. I can say that Ghanaians are thirsty but he may say that no, there is 70 per cent safe and good drinking water for Ghanaians.
In quoting the late Bob Marley, I can also interpret what the Hon Member, Justice Joe Appiah said from my point of view that Ghanaians are not fools to see good drinking water and be thirsty. In the midst of water if one is thirsty then the person is a fool. Ghanaians are not fools to see good drinking water and remain thirsty. So there is no water because if there was water, they would drink it.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:50 p.m.
Order! Order!
Hon Deputy Minority Leader, I direct that we bring proceedings as far as this issue of drinking water and folly is concerned, to an end.
Hon Member, your time is up but I will give you two more minutes.
Mr Joe Appiah 2:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if Government had used even one-tenth of the revenue generated and the other huge loans for the water sector, it would have given us good drinking water. If the government's 20,000 borehole projects was to be achieved, it would have helped to alleviate the plight of the young men and women who travel several kilometres to look for water without success.
Mr Speaker, the promises by this Administration cannot be allowed anymore. The 2016 election will determine the bright future of this country and I am very optimistic that, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is going to win this election hands down, to bring out policies that can create work and good drinking water.
Mr Speaker, in conclusion, we need hard work, unity, no complacency, to win this election.
Mr Speaker —
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:50 p.m.
Hon Member, you keep repeating yourself. Your time is up.
Mr J. Appiah 2:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we ask that the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing comes —
Mr First Deputy Speaker 2:50 p.m.
Hon Member, your time is up — [Hear! Hear!]
Hon Members, this brings us to the end of the debate on the Government's Financial Policy, 2016.
Hon Members, I direct that this House be adjourned till Monday, 7th December, 2015, at 10:00 in the forenoon.
ADJOURNMENT 2:50 p.m.

  • The House was adjourned at 2:56 p.m. till Monday, 7th December, 2015 at 10:00 a.m.