Debates of 16 Dec 2015

MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
MOTION 1:24 p.m.

Minister for Finance) 1:24 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, thatnotwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 80(1) which require that no motion shall be debated until at least, forty-eight hours have elapsed between the date on which notice of the motion is given and the date on which the motion is moved, the Motion for the Second Reading of the Excise Duty (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2015 may be moved today.
Mr James K. Avedzi 1:24 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to
Resolved accordingly.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:24 p.m.
Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Bagbin 1:24 p.m.
Mr Speaker, item number
28.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:24 p.m.
Item number 28 on the Order Paper; Hon Deputy Minister for Finance?
BILLS -- SECOND READING 1:24 p.m.

Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 1:24 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to support the Motion and in doing so, I present your Committee's Report.
Introduction
The Excise Duty (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill. 2015 was presented to Parliament on behalf of the Hon Minister for Finance by the Hon. Deputy Minister for Finance and read for the first time on Friday, 27th November, 2015 and referred to the Finance Committee for consideration and report in accordance with article 174(1) of the 1992 Constitution and Order 169 of the Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
The Committee was assisted in its deliberations by the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance, Mr CassielAtoBaahForson, Commissioners form Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Attorneys from the Attorney-General's Department and officials from the Tax Policy Unit of the Ministry of Finance.
The Committee is grateful to the Hon. Deputy Minister, the Commissioners, Attorneys and the officials for the assistance.
Reference
The Committee referred to the following documents at its deliberations:
The 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
Excise Duty Act, 2014 (Act 878).
Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 1:24 p.m.
Background
As part of Government's policy to promote the use of local raw materials, a four band sliding scale excise duty was introduced to provide an incentive for brewery companies to use local raw materials for the production of beer and malt. Also to promote the manufacture of cider beer locally the government as a matter of policy imposed a zero percent excise duty on cider beer.
However, after three and four years respective implementation, government deems it necessary to reduce the bands from four to three and to impose excise duty on cider beer. The proposed amendment therefore is in line with the new government's policy.
Purpose of the Bill
The Bill seeks to amend the Excise Duty Act, 2014 (Act 878) to reduce the sliding scale excise duty in respect of malt and beer from four bands to three bands and to impose excise duty on cider beer.
Provisions of the Bill
The Bill has only one clause Bill which seeks to amend the First Schedule of Act 878 to provide three bands and correlative excise duty for beer and malt and also impose excise duty on cider beer.
Observations
Rationale for the imposition of Tax on Cider Beer
Explaining the rationale for the imposition of the tax, the Hon. Deputy
Minister for Finance informed the Committee that in its quest to promote the use of local raw materials for production, the Government in 2012 introduced a policy of zero tax rate on cider to provide incentive for brewery companies to manufacture cider beer locally.
The Policy which was intended to run for three years was extended for another one year. The Hon Deputy Minister indicated further that Government is now convinced that the implementation of this policy over the past four years has provided sufficient policysupport to the cider beer industry and that the industry could now compete effectively hence the imposition of the 171/2 per cent excise duty tax . The Hon Deputy Minister considered the 17 Vi per cent fair since the rate in the brewery industry is currently 47.5 per cent.
The Committee however, held the view that though the 17 Vi per cent excise duty tax may seem relatively low, the imposition of the tax has the potential of creating a major change in the cider beer industry. After a considerable discussion the Committee agreed to the 17 ‘A per cent tax rate.
Amendments
The Committee after careful deliberations proposed the following amendments to the Bill:
i. Clause 1 -- Amendment proposed--
a. subclause (a), replace the Table with the following Table:

SPACE FOR TABLE - PAGE 8 - 1.20 P.M.

b. subclause (b) replace the Table with the following Table

SPACE FOR TABLE - PAGE 9 - 1.20 P.M.

c. renumber second “(b)” as “c”

Conclusion

The Committee, upon a thorough examination of the Bill, recommends to the House toadopt its report and pass the Excise Duty (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2015 into law in accordance with Article 106 of the Constitution and Order 119 of the Standing Orders ofthe House.

Question put and Motion agreed to.

The Excise Duty (Amendment) (No.2) Bill, 2015 was accordingly read a Second time.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
Hon Majority Chief Whip?
AlhajiMuntaka 1:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, kindly take item number 21 on the Order Paper. [Pause]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
Hon Members, item number 21 on the Order Paper, which is a Motion by the Hon Minister for Finance. [Pause]
AlhajiMuntaka 1:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance is just at the corridor; he is being called to come in to take the Motion. [Pause]
Mr Speaker, permission was sought earlier for the Hon Deputy Minister to stand in for the Hon Minister.
Thank you very much.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
Item number21 on the Order Paper -- Motion by the Hon Minister for Finance.
Minister for Finance) 1:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 128(1) which require that when a bill has been read a Second time it shall pass through a Consideration Stage, which shall not be taken until at least, forty-eight hours have elapsed, the Consideration stage of the Customs (Amendment) Bill, 2015 may be taken today.
Mr James K. Avedzi 1:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
Hon Members, this is procedural, so, I will put the Question.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly
Alhaji Muntaka 1:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we will move to items 22 and 23 on the Order Paper.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
Hon Members, item number 23 on the Order Paper,Motion by the Hon Minister for Finance.
Alhaji Muntaka 1:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I said items numbered 22 and 23 on the Order Paper. So, let us take item 22 first.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
So, we will deal with item 22 now.
Hon Members, the Customs (Amendment) Bill, 2015 at the Consideration Stage.
BILLS -- CONSIDERATION 1:40 p.m.

STAGE 1:40 p.m.

Chairman of the Committee (Mr James K. Avedzi) 1:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, Long Title -- line 1, after “2015”insert “(Act 891)”
Mr Speaker, we are only inserting the Act number in the Long Title.
Question put and amendment agreed to.

The First Schedule ordered to stand part of the Bill.

The Second Schedule ordered to stand part of the Bill.

The Third Schedule ordered to stand to part of the Bill.

The Fourth Schedule ordered to stand part of the Bill.

The Fifth Schedule ordered to stand part of the Bill.

The Sixth Schedule ordered to stand part of the Bill.

The Seventh Schedule ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
Very well.
Hon Members, this brings us to the end of the Consideration Stage.
Yes, Hon Majority Chief Whip?
Alhaji Muntaka 1:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we would take items 23 and 24, so that we would go for a break and come back.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
Very well.
Item number23 by the Minister for Finance.
MOTIONS 1:40 p.m.

Minister for Finance) 1:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 128(1), which require that when a Bill has been read a Second time, it shall pass through a Consideration Stage, which shall not be taken until at least, forty-eight hours have elapsed, the Consideration Stage of the Value Added Tax (Amendment)(No. 2) Bill, 2015 may be taken today.
Mr James K.Avedzi 1:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Hon Members, item 24 --Value Added Tax (Amendment)(No.2) Bill,2015 -- At the Consideration Stage
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
This brings us to the end of the Consideration Stage
Hon Members, proceedings will be suspended.
Alhaji Muntaka 1:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we just realised that items 25 and 26, do not have amendments. So, if we could take them, so that we could go for the break and come back for those which have amendments.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
We will break and come back. Is that it?
Very well.
AlhajiMuntaka 1:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, if we could take items 25 and 26?
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
Hon Members, item 25 -- Motion by the Hon Minister for Finance.
MOTIONS 1:40 p.m.

Mr Avedzi 1:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Item numbered 26 -- IncomeTax (Amendment) Bill,2015 -- at the Consideration Stage
BILL -- CONSIDERATION STAGE 1:50 p.m.

Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Hon Members, this brings us to the end of the Consideration Stage.
Hon Majority Chief Whip?
Alhaji Muntaka 1:50 p.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, we can suspend Sitting and resume at 4.00 p.m.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Hon Members, I direct that Sitting be suspended until 4.00 p. m.
Thank you very much.
1.51 p.m. - Sitting suspended.
5.10 p.m. - Sitting resumed.
MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Yes, Hon Majority Chief Whip?
Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Munta- ka 1:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we are ready to take Motions captured as item numbers 1 and 2 on the Order Paper Addendum.
Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Very well. Hon Members, on the Order Paper Addendum, item 1 - Motion by the Minister for Defence.
ANNUAL ESTIMATES, 2016
Ministry of Defence
Minister for Defence (Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor) 1:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Hounourable House approves the sum of GH 760,959,724 for the services of the Ministryof Defence for the year ending 31st December 2016
Mr Speaker, this approval is being sought to undertake the core functions of the Ministry of Defence. Mr Speaker , you know that the security situations in Africa, are global and particularly within the context of the West African Region has changed dramatically.
While traditional training activities never anticipated as metric warfare, this has become the main issue today in our
defence reality. In that context, it is intended that our Armed Forces would be better equipped to prepare adequately to meet any eventuality.
Mr Speaker, we are also intensifying our peacekeeping operations as a true contributing country of the United Nations, and to make sure that Ghana, a pioneer in peacekeeping, takes advantage of almost all the benefits that are associated with it.
We also have a relatively ageing Armed Forces, and there are a number of initiatives to make sure that the standard for our Armed forces remains balanced. It is in this line that the approval is sought for this amount.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Thank you very much.
Question proposed.
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Fritz F. Baffour) 1:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion, and in doing so, I would to present the Committee's Report.
Introduction
The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2016 financial year was presented to Parliament by the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr Seth Emmanuel Terkper, on Friday 13th November, 2015, in accordance with Article 179(1) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
The draft budget estimates of the Ministry of Defence were accordingly referred to the Committee on Defence and Interior for consideration and report, pursuant to Orders 140(4) and 158 of the Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Fritz F. Baffour) 1:50 p.m.
SPACE FOR TABLE 1.0-PAGE 5-5.10 PM
Delay in the release of approved funds and the time lag between actual crediting of accounts led to losses especially where foreign exchange components were involved.
Despite the constraints, the MoD was able to live up to its task of defending our territorial boundaries and interests as well as:
Conducting aerial patrols;
Effectively monitored and controlled our maritime resources;
Provided improved security for the offshore oil and gas fields;
Contributed troops and equipment towards international peace keeping and building efforts;
Commissioned some Officer Cadets into the Ghana Armed Forces.
Conducted operational level training for some Staff Officers at junior and senior levels at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College (GAFCSC); and
Provided assistance to civil authority to maintain law and order across the country.
It continued work on the construction of a 500-bed capacity military hospital in Kumasi, which is about 35 per cent completed.
The Ministry continues to have close collaboration with other security agencies in Operations CALM LIFE, COW LEG, Halt and many others, in a bid to maintain internal law and order.
Outlook For 2016
The Ministry intends to step up its effectiveness and operational readiness for the continuous maintenance of

territorial peace and security.Thus, it will ensure that the current peaceful atmosphere in the country is maintained. This it aims to achievethrough proper maintenance of its assets and the general welfare of its personnel.

streaming initiatives. The amount allocated is GH¢187,890.

Research and Defence Cooperation

The research and defence cooperation sub-programme seeks to establish a well- resourced statistical database to support policy formulation. It will coordinate information relating to defence and security matters including MOUs and Defence Cooperation agreements.

It will undertake research into national, regional and international defence, peace and security issues. GH¢68,310 is allocated to this sub-programme.

Veterans Affairs

This Sub-programme seeks to promote the welfare of military veterans through the administration of medical, rehabilita- tion care and welfare schemes. An amount of GH¢1,334,968 has been allotted.

Programme 2: The Ghana Armed Forces

With an amount of GH¢754,371,801 the Ghana Armed Forces, comprising the General Headquarters, the Army, Navy and Air Force, will continue to defend the territorial integrity of Ghana by land, sea and air against internal and external aggression. It has six (6) Sub-Programmes which are:

General Headquarters (GHQ)

The General Headquarters exists to implement policies and programmes formulated by MOD, ensure adequate budgetary allocation for GAF and co-

ordinate, monitor and evaluate activities of various programmes under the GAF. It has a budget allocation of GH¢728,281,073.00.

Land Operations (GHANA ARMY)

This sub-programme with a budgetary allocation of GH¢670,000 looks at the command and control activities of the Ghana Armed Forces in safeguarding the territorial integrity of Ghana against external aggression and in assisting civil authorities in maintaining and/or restoring law and order.

Naval Operations (NAVY)

Under this sub-programme, the Ghana Navy will continue to serve as deterrence against any potential aggressor and protect the maritime resources through the enforcement of maritime laws in collaboration with other agencies within Ghana's maritime jurisdiction. An amount of GH¢766,500 is given.

Air Operations (AIR FORCE)

The Ghana Air Force aims at protecting and defending the territorial airspace of Ghana in support of national peace, stability and prosperity. With a budget of GH¢775,500 it will also provide air transport support to the Armed Forces and civil authorities.

Military Health Service

Healthcare in the Military is provided by the Ghana Armed Forces Medical Service (GAFMS) made up of the base hospital which is the 37 Military Hospital and seventeen (17) Medical Reception Stations (MRSs). Seventy per cent(70%)of GAFMS' clientele are civilians. The budget allocation is GH¢17,548,912.
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Fritz F. Baffour) 1:50 p.m.
Defence Advisors
The Defence Advisors are attached to the various High Commissions/Embassies to advice on Defence related issues and serve as liaison between host countries and GAF. An amount of GH¢6,329,816 stands allocated. Programme 3: Armed Forces Capacity Building
This Programme, With Gh¢776,162 Exists To Contribute to the development of regional and sub-regional capacity in the delivery of integrated peace support operations, and, enhancing regional and sub-regional capacity for conflict prevention. The Programme is delivered through MATS, GAFSC and KAIPTC.
This Programme has three (3) Sub- Programmes which are:
Military Academy and Training Schools
(MATS)
MATS, made up of fifteen schools which run specialist courses at Teshie, Burma Camp and Achiase, is responsible for the initial training of personnel enlisted for commission into Ghana Armed Forces and to provide continuous training for service personnel. It has a budgetary allocation of GH¢246,660.
Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College (GAFCSC)
GAFCSC will continue to offer quality Command Staff training at both tactical and operational levels, together with higher academic studies up to Post-
graduate level, to Officers of the GAF, sister security services and Public Servants. An amount of GH ¢479,492 is made available.
Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC)
Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) will contribute to the development of regional and sub- regional capacity in the delivery of integrated peace support operations and enhance sub/regional capacity for conflict management. GH¢50,010 is allocated.
To this end, the Ministry intends to continuously train the forces, ensure that medical care is accessible to them, procure clothing and protective gear, as well as essential stores, including ammunition. In ensuring the welfare of personnel, the Ministry needs adequate budget for feeding, medical insurances and the completion of ongoing housing projects.
Estimates For Fiscal Year 2016
To meet the programmes mentioned above, the Ministry of Defence has been granted a total sum of seven hundred and sixtymillion, nine hundred and fifty nine thousand, seven hundred and twenty four Ghana cedis (GH¢760,959,724.00) for the 2016 financial year. Out of the amount GH¢624,328,114 is GoG, GH¢15,598,380 is IGFs and GH¢ 121,033,230 is Development Partner Funds.
The Budgetary allocation as made to the three (3) main Programmes and fourteen (14) sub-programmes is shown in the table below:

SPACE FOR TABLES 3.0 & 3.1

- PAGE 11 - 5.10 P.M.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
Yes, Hon Member for Mpraeso?
Mr Seth K. Acheampong (NPP -- Mpraeso) 5:20 p.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
I am standing in for the Hon Ranking Member for Committee on Defence and Interior. I rise in support of theMotion numbered item 1 on the Order Paper Addendum for the approval of the sum of GH¢760,959,724.00 for the Ministry of Defence.
In support of the Motion, I would want to focus on table six on the Committee's Report, which talks about outstanding
commitments as at November, 2015. Mr Speaker, on this table, we have a lot of items listed, that if care is not taken, we would find ourselves in a very difficult situation. On the first row in the first column, we have outstanding assets where the construction project that is ongoing since the year 2013 lack a couple of items, and moneys being released to help the Ministry of Defence to complete the project.
Additionally, we want parachute straps. The difficulty of parachute straps is that these are gears that our men and officers in the military use for training and basically, when they do not have them, it brings their morale down.
Mr Speaker, one of it is overseas training, and in the military, going higher in rank is all by education and training. So, capacity building is something which is of great essence in the military and if we are owing in paying our partners overseas to assist us equip our men and officers in the military in capacity, then it is not good for our country.
Mr Speaker, equally, we are owing in food bills. It is so bad -- We still owe GH¢25 million since November, 2014 to date. It is so bad.
Mr Speaker, petroleum products -- GH¢33 million. Outstanding rent alone from 2013 to 2015 is over one million Ghana cedis. Drugs for the 37 Military Hospital, where every military person is taken care of, yet we are owing. We are owing in terms of their utilities -- electricity and water and even clothing.
Mr Speaker, looking at the table, one would realise that in one column we have dollar, in another, we have euro, and on another, we have pound sterling. Putting all together, the outstanding debt for the military is over GH¢216 million. Seriously, I pity the Hon Minister for Defence.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:20 p.m.
Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Ignatius B. Awuah 5:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we are looking at the estimates of the various ministries, but it is unfortunate that there is nobody from the Ministry of Finance here.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:20 p.m.
I can hardly hear you.
Mr Awuah 5:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am saying that we are looking at the estimates of the various ministries but unfortunately there is nobody from the Ministry of Finance. The Minister himself is not here either -- [Interruption]
Mr Speaker, I am raising this because there is a serious revelation that the Ministry of Defence is owing their partnersto the tune of well over GH¢216 million. I was thinking that perhaps, the Hon Minister for Finance would be here to give us an assurance. This is because here is the case the Hon Minister is requesting us to approve of GH¢760.9 million to them and then they owe GH¢260 million. So, eventually, what is going to be left would be around GH¢500 million. I just wanted the Hon Minister to let us know how this debt is going be taken care of in the course of the year.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:20 p.m.
Very well.
The Hon Deputy Minister is here, so I believe that should take care of the situation.
Mr Awuah 5:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, he is here but the second part of my question still stands. The Hon Minister would do us a good service if he would let us know what their plans are to redeem those debts, that is GH¢260 million that they owe -- whether they are going to use part of this amount to defray that debt or they would raise money from somewhere elsseto defray it.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:20 p.m.
Very well. At the appropriate time, I will ask the Hon Minster to wind up and then he would take care of the issue that you have raised.
Hon Members, I will like the Hon Minister for Defence to wind up and especially address the issue of the arrears being owed and how he is going to handle them as indicated by the Minority Chief Whip.
Dr Kunbuor 5:30 p.m.
Thank youMr Speaker, I am sure the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance is listening.
At the Committee hearing and even in the preparatory stage of the budget, arrangements were made that there would be situations in which extra budget resources sought to address some of the short falls. As we talk today, wehave submitted almost all the bills from the Ministry of Defence to the Ministry of Finance and we have asked them to try and address them as much as possible.
Mr Speaker, the real reason for this situation is that we do not know when we would have to commit ourselves to an expenditure.
When a security situation becomes manifest, we cannot wait for the Ministry of Finance to pass vouchers and then send them to the treasury. In fact, I am sure by the time one paper returns from the treasury the country would be overrun.
So, there are some exigencies, and I would entreat my Hon Colleagues that these should be treated a bit more urgent, so that at least, we could be a bit credit worthy, because we cannot refuse to feed our soldiers or clothe them, regardless of whatever the budgetary constraints are.
So, Mr Speaker, in the light of this, we would continue discussions with our colleagues in the Ministry of Finance to address them.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved:
That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢760,959,724 for the services of the Ministry of Defence for the year ending 31st December
2016.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:30 p.m.
Yes, Hon Majority Chief Whip?
Alhaji Muntaka 5:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, on the sameOrder PaperAddendum, we would just take item 2, that is for the Ministry of the Interior.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:30 p.m.
Very well.
Hon Members, item number 2 on the Order Paper Addendum.
ANNUAL ESTIMATES, 2016
Ministry of Interior
Minister for the Interior (Mr Mark Owen Woyongo) 5:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢1,370,488,656 for the services of the Ministry of Interior for the year ending 31st December 2016.
Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Interior is responsible for the internal security of this country, and there are 11 agencies under it which perform these duties.
I must say that despite the constraints, these agencies have made some modest gains in 2015. Let me take just a few of the agencies -- the Ghana Police Service.
The Ghana Police Service for example has expanded police visibility and accessibility to all regional capitals and selected urban areas and deployed 1,900 personnel to 186 newly created duty posts. It has also increased their involvement in traffic management and public engagement and expanded highway patrol through the establishment of 12 operational structures at major roads to fight armed robbery.
It has also created 309 police stations, 75 districts and 30 divisions across the country and strengthened the Marine Police unit by procuring 33 boats for the
Western, Greater Accra and Eastern Regions to secure our waters.
For the Ghana Prison Service, the service has completed a special court project under the Justice for All programme at the Nsawam Medium Security Prisons, resulting in the release of 132 remand prisoners. This, together with normal discharges, has reduced the overcrowding rate from 48.16 per cent to 44.4 per cent.
Mr Speaker, for next year, we intend to increase the housing stock at the Nsawam Prisons to further reduce the congestion in our prisons.
In respect of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and the Ghana Immigration Service, the Ministry has laid before this House, Bills, some of which are at the Consideration Stage.
The Bills under reference, when passed into law, would no doubt help the Ministry restructure the agencies to enable them discharge their mandates more effectively.
Mr Speaker, the Ministry is mindful of the year ahead being an election year and intends to work with all its agencies to ensure violent free presidential and parliamentary elections in the country, by maintaining law and order before, during and after the elections.
This calls for equipping the agencies under its purview to effectively forestall or in the event bring situations under control.
Mr Speaker, I would like to again move that the House approves the estimates for the efficient performance of the work of the Ministry.
Thank you.
Question proposed.
Mr Fritz Frederic Baffour (NDC-- Ablekuma South) 5:30 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion so ably moved by the Hon Minister for the Interior.
Introduction
The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government for the 2016 financial year was presented to Parliament by the Hon Minister of Finance and Economic Planning on Friday, 13th November, 2015 in accordance with article 179(1) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
The draft budget estimates of the Ministry of Interior were accordingly referred to the Committee on Defence and Interior for consideration and report, pursuant to Orders 140(4) and 158 of the Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
The Committee met with the Hon Minister for the Interior and Heads of Agencies under the Ministry, as well as officials of the Ministry of Finance, to thoroughly deliberate on the estimates for 2016, pertaining to the Ministry and its Agencies.
The Committee is grateful to the Hon Minister and officials who acknowledged its invitation and attended upon it.
Reference Documents
Your Committee referred to the following documents during its deliberations:
i. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana
ii. The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana
iii. The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government for the 2016 financial year.
Mission of the Ministry of the Interior
The Ministry of Interior seeks to ensure the maintenance of peace, internal security and stability for accelerated socioeconomic development.
The Ministry's mandate is implemented through the following agencies:
(a) Ghana Police Service (GP)
(b) Ghana Prisons Service (PS)
(c) Ghana National Fire Service
(GNFS)
(d) Ghana Immigration Service (GIS)
(e) National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO)
(f) Narcotics Control Boar (NA-
COB)
Additionally, the Ministry has oversight responsibility over the:
National Peace Council (NPC)
Migration Unit (MU)
Ghana Refugee Board (GRB)
National Commission on Small Arms
(NACSA)
Gaming Commission (GC).
Performance For 2015
For the year 2015, the Ministry of Interior, through its agencies among other things, maintained law and order, peace and stability. It sought to meet two (2) policy objectives of the Ghana Shared & Growth Development Agenda II (GSGDA

II) under Transparent and Accountable Governance. These are:

(i) Improve internal security for human safety and protection.

(ii) Reduce recidivism and promote effective re-integration of ex- convicts.

The Ministry organised sensitisation workshops for Private Security Orga- nisations (PSOs) on their regulation. It
Mr Fritz Frederic Baffour (NDC-- Ablekuma South) 5:30 p.m.
Out of the GH¢ 5,000,000.00 allocated to Ghana Police Service for Goods and Services will be used as follows:
(i) Interpol contribution -- GH¢200,000.00
(ii) Payment of residential accommodation -- GH¢3,800.00
(iii) Payment of office accommodation -- GH¢1,000,000.00

This indicates that the core activities involving crime management (the day to day running of the Service) has not been provided for.

Budget estimates for rent payments for 2016 stands at GH¢15,300,000.00.

No provision has been made for assets. This means that the 27 ongoing projects for residential and office accommodation will be halted.

The Ministry and its agencies will need an additional budget allocation to effectively run its affairs.

Ghana Police Service will require extra GH¢ 25,966,504.31 to meet its outstanding commitments.

Outstanding arrears are as follows:

Food ration -- 6,920,000.00

Vehicle maintenance -- 256,786.65

Medical bills -- 1,016,988.20

Utilities -- 12,885,409.89

Rent -- 3,559,858.44

Foreign travels -- 224,000.00

Indebtedness to POWEF -- 1,103,461.13

Total -- GH¢25,966,504.31

The Ghana National Fire Service will require additional funding of Gh¢178,996,722.50 to carry out the following activities:

Conduct public education and inspect public buildings.

Launch bushfire education in selected districts,

Acquire and install Local Area Network and communication equipment for 157 fire tenders,

Acquire rapid intervention vehicles for extrication services.

Install early warning systems in Ministries and Assemblies.

Conclusion

The Committee, after a careful examination of the draft estimates, is of the view that the level of budgetary allocation for the Ministry of Interior, unfortunately, remains far from adequate. If Ghana is to continue to enjoy accelerated socio- economic development and growth, it is important that we place premium on protection of human life and property.

It is, therefore, imperative that the budgetary allocation is reviewed with the urgency that it deserves to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Ministry and its agencies.

This notwithstanding, the Committee recommends to the House for approval, the total budgetary allocation of one billion, three hundred and seventy million, four hundred and eighty eight thousand, and six hundred and fifty six Ghana cedis (GH¢ 1,370,488,656.00)made to the Ministry of Interior for the financial year ending 31st December, 2016.

Respectfully submitted,
Mr Alex Agyekum 5:40 p.m.
Thank you Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion.
Mr Speaker, in doing so, let me refer the House to paragraph 6.2 of the Committee's Report, which is that election years are usually characterised by high levels of agitations and unrests.
Mr Speaker, it is not only during election years that we find these unrests, but is also so when cost of living and economic hardships propel people to almost take the law into their own hands.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:40 p.m.
Hon Members, can we have some order?
Hon Member, please, continue.
Mr Agyekum 5:40 p.m.
By their projection, Mr Speaker, they are supposed to have a numerical strength of about 40,000 but
there is nowhere in the Budget Statement, where this particular projection by the Ghana Police Service has been catered for. So, it means that even though we currently have 34,243 police personnel, we do not have any projection to recruit and for the past two years, there has not been any recruitment.
Mr Speaker, the Ghana Police Service must always have strategic planning, even consultancy services -- getting a consultant to look at the service in whole to provide a strategic plan towards the future, they could not afford that. So, that five-year plan that they had has expired without any strategic planning towards that. This was because no allocation was made for that.
Mr Speaker, I would move to the Ghana -- [Interruption] -- Mr Speaker, I would like to talk about the Ghana National Fire Service --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:40 p.m.
Can we please have some order?
Mr Agyekum 5:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, security issues are meant for all of us. So, when we are talking about security issues, we do not colour ourselves with party politics.
Mr Speaker, the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) must be adequately resourced to carry out their mandate.
Mr Speaker, you would agree with me that on the 3rd June, 2015, twin disaster of fire and flood claimed the lives of 123 Ghanaians, and so, we expected that the kind of things that the GNFS would need in terms of goods and services, would be provided.
When we met with the agencies, requirement for goods and services was about GH¢42,000,000.00 and the Government, in the year under review,
provided only GH¢9 million. The short fall in the requirement, Mr Speaker, is almost about GH¢33 million.
So, the issue is Mr Speaker, we are talking about providing security for the citizens of this country and we are doing so because we have a Government whose priority, we have been made to understand is pivoted on four main pillars.
The first of these pillars is putting people first, and in doing this, with 123 Ghanaians die in one day? The agency which has been mandated, Mr Speaker, to see to such emergency situations, which we are so insensitive to, instead of increasing the basic things that we are supposed to provide for them, we are rather reducing them.
Mr Speaker, I am talking about basic things like fuel to run the fire tenders and water hydrants. All these things are there but we are not getting them for the Service
-- 5:40 p.m.

Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:40 p.m.
Hon Member, could you just conclude?
Mr Agyekum 5:40 p.m.
Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I would like to say that even here in Parliament, the Job 600 that has been provided through the effort of Leadership, let us say that today, may God forbid, if there is a fire outbreak at the eleventh floor, there is something called the time-table ladder., which we do not even have one stationed here. So, how can even Hon Members of Parliament be evacuated.
Mr Speaker, in the whole country, we have five time table ladders. Two are in the Greater Accra Region, there is one in Accra and one in Tema. We do not want to look at the areas of assets and logistics to provide them.
Mr Speaker, I would talk about National Disaster Management Organisation
(NADMO) --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:50 p.m.
Hon Member, you said you were concluding.
Mr Agyekum 5:50 p.m.
Yes my last comment,Mr Speaker, is on NADMO.
Mr Speaker if we are not able to resource NADMO, we will continue to rely on the benevolence of people. Sometimes when you expect people to come to your aid when there is disaster and they fail to come, Mr Speaker, you would be found wanting.
We all saw what happened when thedisaster struck at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle. Mr Speaker, basic human body carriers -- victims were carried and dumped into trucks, yet when you are talking about these things, those who feel that all is well with them will heckle me and would not let me talk.
Mr Speaker, they are talking about “people first”. If they say “people first”, then when disaster strikes, Ghanaians must not be carried into trucks and dumped like refuse -- [Hear! Hear!] These are issues that are of critical importance to all of us and I believe. Hon Members of Parliament should look into this and take a cue from it. That is why that there is the need for us to adequately resource NADMO, so that in case of emergency, they can take care of us.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity and I would want to urge the Hon Minister, that these few words that I have said would be taken into consideration and increase the budgetary allocation.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:50 p.m.
Hon Members, I get excited when after a lengthy contribution, the Hon Member says “with these few words”. It is very interesting.
Anyway, Hon Members, the Motion has been moved and seconded.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved:
That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢1,370,488,656 for the services of the Ministry of Interior for the year ending 31st December,
2016.
Alhaji Muntaka 5:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker,we can take item 17 on the original Order Paper.
Mr Speaker, it was the Question that was left and fortunately, the officials of GNPC have just brought their work programme for 2016 for the Committee. They are reviewing 2015 into 2016. So, we thought that the Question on Motion 17 on the original Order Paper, would be put, so that --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:50 p.m.
Hon Members, item 17 on the original Order Paper.
Yes, Hon Deputy Minority Leader.
Mr Nitiwul 5:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, you gave an order. That order has not been followed through. As far as I am concerned, the Hon Minority Leader has not been contacted on any meeting. I have not been contacted on any meeting, neither has any member of the Minority Leadership been contacted on any meeting.
Mr Speaker, you specifically gave an order that because of the problems associated with GNPC, Leadership plus the Committees, the Hon Minister and the officials of GNPC should meet and resolve
it. Mr Speaker, we have not met. If they met, they excluded us.
AlhajiMuntaka 5:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, there has not been any meeting. I just thought that because the 2016 -- I am a member of the Committee of Mines and Energy and we are currently reviewing the programme for
2016.
In doing the review, we asked details of how they carried out their activities in 2015, which I thought had to flow when they had to report.
However, since the Hon Deputy Minority Leader is of the view that the instruction was that we should meet, Mr Speaker, we can stand that down and continue with item 4 on the Order Paper Addendum.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 5:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we have been hearing announcements that the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carol Service starts at 6:00 p.m. and it is about five minutes to 6:00 p.m. I was wondering when you would adjourn the House to enable us attend the Service.
I know some Hon Members may have to go and spruce up, particularly the ladies - put on face powder, foundation and so forth.[Interruption]You, my Hon Friend, would have to go for prayers before going there. So, if we could adjourn now --
AlhajiMuntaka 5:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the understanding we had was that, we were going to adjourn the House by 6:15 p.m. That is what we agreed. So, we are taking this as the last item.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:50 p.m.
Hon Members, item 4 on the Order Paper Addendum -- Motion by the Hon Minister for Petroleum.
ANNUAL ESTIMATES, 2016
Ministry of Petroleum
Minister for Petroleum (Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah) 5:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢40,298,331 for the services of the Ministry of Petroleum for the year ending 31st December, 2016.
Mr Speaker, this approval is being sought to undertake the core functions of the Ministry. A lot was achieved in the year 2015. They included oil production that increased to over 34 million barrels on average on a daily basis of about 107 barrels; the Tweneboa, Enyenra and Ntomme (TEN) project progressed and the FPSO J.E.A Mills was commissioned and is due to sail to Ghana.
Mr Speaker, the Gas Processing Plant at Atuabo was commissioned and is producing over 100 million standard cubic feet of gas a day, to power thermal plants in Aboadze.
Mr Speaker, a lot of work was also done on the Regulations, whether it is metering, data management and health and safety regulations. We also did a lot on the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinder distribution, which is helping rural communities.
Mr Speaker, the budget of the Ministry of Petroleum in 2016 would focus on the greater Jubilee Fuel field development to increase those fields to ensure that we have more oil for our country. The TEN project would be advanced and we expect oil production to start somewhere in the middle of the year 2016 and gas on the TEN in early 2017. The Sankofa project will also intensify in also 2016.
Mr Speaker, we would continue with the gas pricing development policy that
would lead into a Gas Bill. As we enter into gas era, the issue of gas becomes very critical.
Mr Speaker, obviously, we have expressed some concerns about the budget and the fact that capital expenditure, quite frankly, was not in place for some of the things we would want to do but we would continue to work with the Ministry of Finance to make sure that we can achieve policies and goals that have been set for the Ministry.
Mr Speaker, for these and other projects as captured in your Committee's Report, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢ 40,298,331 for the operations of the Ministry of Petroleum for the 2016 financial year.
Thank you Mr Speaker.
Question proposed
Chairman of the Committee (Alhaji Amadu B. Sorogho) 5:50 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion ably moved by the Hon Minister for Petroleum and in doing so, present your Committee's Report.
Introduction
The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2016 Fiscal Year was presented to Parliament by the Minister for Finance, Hon. Seth Terkper under the authority of His Excellency the President on Friday, 13th November, 2016 in accordance with article 179 of the 1992 Constitution.
Consequent to this, the Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Petroleum for the 2016 Fiscal Year were committed to the Committee on Mines and Energy for consideration and report pursuant to Orders 148 and 188 of the Standing Orders of the House.

Deliberations

The Committee met with the Minister for Petroleum, Hon Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buahand officials of the Ministry to consider the estimates. Officials of the Petroleum Commission and the Ministry of Finance were in attendance to assist in the deliberations.

The Committee is grateful to the Hon. Minister and the officials for their attendance and for clarifying issues raised at the meeting.

Reference Documents

The Committee referred to the under- listed documents during its deliberations:

i. The 1992 Constitution.

ii. The Standing Orders of Parlia- ment.

iii. The Petroleum Commission Act, 2011 (Act 821).

iv. The Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011 (Act 815).

v. The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Govern- ment of the Republic of Ghana for the 2016 Fiscal Year.

Mission of the Ministry

The mission of the Ministry of Petroleum is to sustain and optimize the exploration, development and utilisation of oil and gas endowments for the overall benefit of Ghanaians, through the initiation, formulation, coordination, monitoring and evaluation of innovative policies and programmes.

Strategic Objectives of the Ministry

In line with the above mission, the Ministry has committed itself to achieve the following strategic objectives under the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda II (GSGDAII):

i. Create an enabling environment for sustained exploration, deve- lopment and production of Ghana's oil and gas endowment;

ii. Ensure accelerated and integrated development of the oil and gas industry.

iii. Provide security for oil and gas installations and operation in the upstream, midstream and down- stream petroleum sectors.

iv. Promote value-added invest- ments in the oil and gas value chain.

v. Ensure adequate investment for physical and social infrastruc- ture in communities in the oil and gas production areas.

vi. Maximize local content in all aspects of the petroleum industry value chain.

vii.Ensure adequate availability of petroleum products in the Ghanaian market.

viii. Ensure the development of the needed human resource for the petroleum sector.

ix. Ensure transparency in the management of petroleum resources.

x. Mainstream gender into the oil and gas sector.

Composition of the Ministry

The Ministry of petroleum comprises the headquarters and the under-listed agencies:

i. The National Petroleum Authority

(NPA).

ii. The Petroleum Commission.

iii. The Tema Oil Refinery (TOR).

iv. The Ghana National Gas Company

(GNGC).

V. The Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST).

vi. The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).

vii.The Ghana Cylinder Manufac- turing Company (GCMC).

viii. The Ghana Oil Company Limited

(GOIL).

The 2016 Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry, however, relates to the headquarters of the Ministry of Petroleum and the Petroleum Commission.

Expenditure trends for the Ministry for the year 2015

Compensation for Employees

An amount of ten million, three hundred and thirty thousand and ninety- seven Ghana Cedis (GH¢10,330,097.00) was allocated to the erstwhile Ministry of Energy and Petroleum for compensation payment for the year 2015. The then beneficiaries included the Headquarters (GH¢, 462,189.00), the Energy Commission

(GH¢2,502,901.00) and the Petroleum Commission (GH¢6,914,340.00).

As at the end of September, 2015, the amount of one million, six hundred and six hundred and eight thousand, nine hundred and eighty-eight Ghana cedis, thirty-six pesewas (GH¢I,6O8,988.36) had been released to both the Ministry of Petroleum and the Ministry of Power for the compensation of employees.

However, the Compensation Vote approved for the Petroleum Commission could not be released to the Commission during the year.

Goods and Services

An amount of six hundred and sixty- seven thousand, five hundred and sixty- six Ghana cedis, fifty pesewas (GH¢667,566.50) was allocated to the Ministry of Petroleum for the year 2015.

As at the end of September, 2015, an amount of five hundred and sixty-seven thousand, five hundred and sixty-six Ghana cedis, fifty pesewas (GH¢567,566.50) of the Goods and Services Vote had been released to the Ministry.

Capital Expenditure

While an amount of two hundred and fifty thousand Ghana cedis (GH¢250, OOO.OO) was allocated to the Ministry of Petroleum for capital expenditure for the year 2015, the Ministry did not receive any funds under this Vote.

Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA)

Out of the seven million, five hundred thousand Ghana cedis (GH¢7,500,000.00) allocated to the Ministry of Petroleum under the ABFA for the Rural LPG Promotion Programme, the amount of two million, nine hundred and fifty-one
Chairman of the Committee (Alhaji Amadu B. Sorogho) 5:50 p.m.


thousand, eight hundred and eighteen Ghana Cedis, sixty-eight Pesewas (GH¢2,951,818.68) was released to the Ministry for that purpose.

Donor Support

In the 2015 Fiscal Year, the Ministry of Petroleum was allocated an amount of twenty-eight million, eight hundred and forty-three thousand, three hundred and sixty-five Ghana Cedis (GH¢28,843,365.00) as Development Partners Support. As at September, 2015, the amount of one hundred and thirty-six million, nine hundred and eight thousand, seven hundred and twelve Ghana Cedis, sixty- six Pesewas (GH¢136,908,712.66) had been released to the Ministry.

Key Achievements of the Ministry for

2015

Some of the key achievements of the Ministry for the year 2015 are as follows:

Jubilee Oil Production

Total oil production from the Jubilee fields as at September, 2015 stood at 27,668,675 barrels whilst the average daily oil production achieved during the year was 101,463 barrels of oil per day (bopb).

Completion of the Atuabo Gas Infrastructure Project

The Atuabo Gas Infrastructure Project was completed and commercial operations were commenced on 1st April, 2015. The plant is currently delivering about 100 mmscf to thermal plants at Aboadze for power generation. Current LPG production from the plant is about 11,855.10 tons per day.

Gas Transmission Project

The Ministry laid in Parliament a request for approval for the construction of a Reverse Flow pipeline to transmit gas from Atuabo through the West African Pipeline system to Tema.

Petroleum Development Activities

i. The Tweneboa-Enyenra-Ntomme (TEN) Project continued during the year. The project is expected to deliver about 60,000 bopd and 60 mmscf of gas daily. First Oil is expected in August 2016, while gas production is expected to commence in the third quarter of 2017. The construction of the FPSO for the Project was also completed and commissioned.

ii. The Commercial Agreements for the Sankofa-Gye-Nyame Project including Gas Sales Agreement, Heads of Agreements, Multi party Deed Agreement and Sovereign Guarantee were approved by Parliament within the year. Production of first oil is expected in 2017 and gas in 2018.

iii. The Greater Jubilee Full Field Development is on course to commence production in 2018.

iv. The Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Bill was finalized and laid before Parliament for passage.

v. In 2015, the Ministry of Petroleum continued the development of policy measures on Institutional, regulatory and commercial reforms in the natural gas sector, intended to improve the existing institutional and regulatory Frameworks for the natural gas

sector and streamline sector performance and effectiveness, for accelerated investment.

vi. A Gas Master Plan is being finalized for presentation to Cabinet.

Rural LPG Promotion

A total of 20,000 cylinders and cook stoves were distributed to 8 districts under the ongoing Rural LPG Promotion Programme (RLPGPP). The beneficiary districts were Jomoro, Nzema East, Ellembelle, Savelugu, Gushiegu, Saboba, Ho West and Nkwanta North.

Local Content in the Petroleum Sector

The Petroleum Commission carried out a number of activities in the implementation of the Local Content Regulations, 2012 (L.I 2204). These included baseline study and skills in gas analysis, database for Ghanaian professionals both local and foreign, framework for internship and Placement Programme; Annual local content plans and review of local content plans and performance reports.

To ensure efficient distribution and uniform pricing of petroleum products nationwide, the Zonalisation Policy was reviewed.

Liberalization of Petroleum Product Pricing

To address Government's indebted- ness to the Bulk Distribution Companies (BDCs) in respect of accumulated under- recoveries and forex losses, Cabinet approved the Petroleum Price Liberalisa- tion Policy in June, 2015 and it became operational in July, 2015.

Outlook of the Ministry for the year 2016

The Ministry plans to undertake the following activities during the year 2016:

Jubilee Field Development

Continue the Greater Jubilee Field Development to extend plateau production and bring discoveries surrounding the Jubilee field into production.

TEN Project

Subsea installations to pave way for first oil in the third quarter of 2016 will be pursued.

Sankofa-Gye-Nyame (SGN) Project

Install oil and gas infrastructure towards first oil in 2016 and gas in 2018.

Expansion of Gas Pipeline Capacity

A10 MW mainline compressor was installed on the Atuabo-Aboadze pipeline to increase the pipeline capacity from 135 mmscf to 405 mmscf.

Gas Pipeline Projects

The project to interconnect the Ghana Gas Pipeline with the West African Pipeline System to enable a reverse flow of gas from Takoradi to Tema will be pursued. Further to this, the Ministry intends to complete feasibility studies for the construction of a dedicated on-shore gas transmission pipeline of about 250 kilometres from Takoradi to Tema to evaluate gas from upcoming fields.

Petroleum Upstream Regulation

The petroleum upstream regulations on fiscal metering, data management and health, safety and environment will be finalised and forwarded to Parliament for their passage.
Chairman of the Committee (Alhaji Amadu B. Sorogho) 5:50 p.m.


2016 Annual Allocation to the Petroleum Commission

The Petroleum Commission was allocated an amount of twenty-three million, five hundred and twenty-three thousand, six hundred and eighty-nine

Ghana Cedis (GH¢23,523,689.00) for its service activities for the 2016 Fiscal Year. Besides this, the Petroleum Commission was neither allocated Compensation Vote nor Capital Expenditure Vote. The Table 2 below shows the breakdown of the allocation to the Petroleum Commission.

Table 2: Details of the Estimates for the Petroleum Commission for the 2016 Fiscal Year

SPACE FOR TABLE 2 - PAGE 16 - 5.50 P.M.

Observations

The Committee made the following observations during its deliberations:

Funding Challenges facing the Petroleum Commission

The Committee noted with grave concern that the difficulties regarding the funding of the Petroleum Commission still persist after four years of its establish- ment. It may be recalled that the Committee's Report on the 2015 Annual Estimates of the Ministry of Petroleum raised the concerns which led to allocation of six million, three hundred and sixty-six thousand and seven Ghana Cedis (GH¢6,366,007) for Compensation related expenses for the Petroleum Commission for the year 2015.

It was however , disturbing to note that the Petroleum Commission could not access the approved funds due to non- approval of Salary Scale for employees of the Commission. Under the circum- stances, the Commission had to fall on its IGF and other sources to meet this expenditure.

It was again observed that no allocation was made to the Petroleum commission for pay related expenses for the year 2015. Officials of the Ministry of Finance cited the same non approval of salary scale of the Commission as reason for the non-provision.

As a short term measure to avert possible difficulties in the ensuing year, the Hon. Minister for Petroleum informed the Committee that the Ministry has commenced discussion with the Ministry of Finance to seek a waiver to enable the Commission use part of its approved IGFs to pay salaries in 2016.

Inadequate Goods and Services Vote for the Headquarters of the Ministry

The Committee noted with grave concern that the Goods and Services Vote approved for the Headquarters of the Ministry of Petroleum is woefully inadequate. The meager amount of Six Hundred Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH¢600, 000.00) has been allocated to the Ministry of Petroleum (Headquarters) for the year

2016.

This is further worsened by the fact that no allocation was made to the Ministry under the ABFA to support policy formulation, monitoring and evaluation.

In view of the fact that the Ministry bears the responsibility to ensure that the targets for the petroleum revenue are met, the Committee considers the non- provision of funds under the ABFA as an anomaly which needs to be rectified.

Measures to improve Regulation of the Natural Gas Sector

The Committee again noted that the Ministry has programmed to undertake key activities in the year 2016 to implement reforms to harmonize activities in the natural gas sector. A number of activities have been lined up towards the preparation of a Gas Bill including the development a national Gas Policy and Gas Pricing Policy. These measures would assist in the development of a robust legal and institutional framework for the gas sector for the realisation of optimal benefits.

Consideration of the GNPC Budget

Regarding the consideration of the Budget of the GNPC for 2016, the Committee wishes to seek the permission of the House to consider same as part of the 2016 Work Programme of the GNPC.

This is to ensure the enforcement of section 7 (3) (b) of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011 (Act 815).

Conclusion and Recommendation

Having scrutinised the Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Petroleum for the 2016 Fiscal Year, the Committee is satisfied that, subject to the afore- mentioned concerns, the Ministry of Petroleum would be well resourced to perform its planned activities for the year

2016.

In this regard, the Committee wishes to recommend to the House to adopt its Report and to approve the sum of forty million, two hundred and ninety - eight thousand, three hundred and thirty-one Ghana Cedis (GH¢40,298,331.00) for the activities of the Ministry of Petroleum for the 2016 fiscal year.

Respectfully submitted.
Mr KobinaTahir Hammond (NPP-- Adansi Asokwa) 6 p.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, these modern days and times, it is very difficult to contribute to matters of this nature without some sort of due diligence. Of course, this is one that an issue can perfectly risk and contribute to.
The Ministry of Petroleum alone -- indeed, even when it was both Petroleum and Power, was never given enough money. For some strange reason, it was always left to the donor groups to fund the operations of this Ministry. So, as we see, for the GH¢ 40,298,331 that is allocated, the donors are to look for GH¢
Mr KobinaTahir Hammond (NPP-- Adansi Asokwa) 6 p.m.


The Drill Ship would not be able to fund it. This is because as I have indicated all over again --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6 p.m.
Hon Member, please address the Chair and ignore the side comments.
Mr Hammond 6 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I support the Motion but there is this specific matter of the Petroleum Commission. Mr Speaker, there has to be some directions from yourselves exactly what is to be done about this matter. It keeps recurring -- last year --[Interruptions]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6 p.m.
Hon Members, can we have some quiet?
Mr Hammond 6 p.m.
Mr Speaker, what we have in respect to the Petroleum Commission is simply some money for its goods and services -- GH¢ 23million for goods and services. Compensation is nil, capital expenditure is nil. Mr Speaker, they have repeated the difficulty they have with the Ministry of Finance.
Indeed, in the last budget, some GHµ 6million or so was allocated for their compensation. Somehow, they could not disburse it because of some difficulties within the system. Mr Speaker, let us resolve this once and for all. This is because, indeed, they are pressed to look for loans outside.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6 p.m.
Thank you very much.
Yes, Hon Member for Old Tafo?
Dr A. A. Osei (NPP-- Old Tafo) 6 p.m.
Mr Speaker, my good Friend and Hon Colleague, the Hon Ranking Member say there is a problem with the Petroleum Commission; but the nature of the problem, we have not been told.
However, Mr Speaker, as far as I know, I do not see a problem. The kind of money that is paid to the employees there, they are able to pay. They are able to build a house for US$7 million, yet he said they have a problem? Mr Speaker, that is precisely the problem. The capacity of the House to exercise our oversight responsibility agencies is the difficulty that the Hon Minister has.
We give GNPC GH¢40 million and we give the Hon Minister less. How is he going to supervise the GNPC? When he
goes on Business Class, somebody in that agency goes on First Class; then we say we do not know how to solve the problem. If he is the Minister, we must give him adequate money to oversight. We are leaving him for the agencies to feed him. That is what is happening.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6 p.m.
Hon Member, I expect that you would address the Chair.
Dr A. A. Osei 6 p.m.
Mr Speaker, GNPC is able to fund Black Stars and this House cannot find enough money to fund the Ministry. And some of my Hon Colleagues say they do not know? We are Parliament and we give money to GNPC -- [Interruption]
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6 p.m.
Hon Member, I have decided to ignore him because I have asked you to address the Chair and to ignore the asides.
Dr A. A. Osei 6 p.m.
Mr Speaker, he is the Hon Chief Whip.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6 p.m.
No! I have not recognised him. So, you go ahead and make your contribution.
Dr A. A. Osei 6 p.m.
He says there is a problem but I do not see a problem. The Petroleum Commission -- [Interruption]
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6 p.m.
Yes, Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
Mr Nitiwul 6 p.m.
Mr Speaker, just to supply more information to him.
When GNPC met the Committee -- I am sure the Chairman can confirm it -- they have in excess of US$100million sitting down in their books. Mr Speaker, that is what he is talking about, that GNPC has so much money and the Ministry is suffering and he says they should oversight them? How?
Dr A. A. Osei 6 p.m.
I thank the Hon Deputy Minority Leader.
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6 p.m.
Yes, Hon Majority Chief Whip, is it a point of order?
Alhaji Muntaka 6 p.m.
Mr Speaker, with the greatest respect, my Hon Colleague should move away from using some words. This is because they are unparliamentary. It connotes bad behaviour to say that the Hon Minister is sitting down and has to go through the backdoor. This is a House of record and we cannot allow that to be in our records.
That is why I said that if he wants to use appropr iate terminologies, he should use them but to say “through the backdoor” --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6 p.m.
Hon Member, Order! Order!!
AlhajiMuntaka 6 p.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minority Leader talked about the GNPC having over US$100million. Mr Speaker, those moneys are appropriated and allocated to them for exploration. It is not for the same function that the Hon Minister performs. The Hon Minister is playing oversight role but those agencies are given those moneys to implement those activities. So, what they do, is different.
They have to compare apple with apples;they cannot compare apples and oranges and shout that somebody is going through the backdoor. They should use the right terminology; if they think that the Ministry falls on the agency for some of their activities, they should say so.They should not say that they go through the backdoor.
Dr A. A. Osei 6 p.m.
Mr Speaker, It is through the backdoor because we have not appropriated directly. That is back- door.There is no amount; so, they go about saying: ”We are going on trip, can you fund us?” That is the definition of backdoor.
ration
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6 p.m.
Hon Member, the definition you have given, is speculative. Is it not?
Dr A. A. Osei 6 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it is not speculative.
Dr A. A. Osei 6 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I am worried that we have not given the Hon Minister proper power and we say we are the Parliament. I am very worried; the Hon Minister is my friend.
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6 p.m.
Are you up on a point of order against the person who has the floor?
Mr O.B. Amoah 6:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I just wanted to come in even before the Hon Member took the floor.
The Hon Chief Whip -- now, he is effecting the Hon Ranking Member - they are looking too worked up and passionate about this matter -- GNPC. The Hon Minister himself is here. So, they should tone down and address this matter. There appears to be too much heat and fire in this business. After all, we are in Parliament. We speak for ourselves and not institutions.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:10 p.m.
Hon Member, with all due respect, the Hon Member was up making a contribution and there was a point of order against him; but we have sorted that out. I thought we would have allowed him to land and then we go to the Hon Minister for some winding up.
Dr A.A. Osei 6:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I was talking about the Exploration Levy. I believe we would agree that is part of the money that is now going to the Ministry of Petroleum.
Mr Speaker, last year, I believe we gave GNPC about GH¢140 million. We established the Exploration Levy because there were no resources for exploration. Now, through the oil find, there is money for GNPC. We have still kept the
Exploration Levy. Who uses it? This House has not given it to anybody, but somebody uses it -- that is the Petroleum Commission. Then we cannot find money for the Ministry.
The Petroleum Commission builds a house. They borrow money to build an office for GH¢7 million or more. Is that not the case? [Interruptions] -- Did the Petroleum Commission not build their own office? We did not appropriate any money yet they say there is no money for wages. How did they get the money to put up a building worth GH¢7 million.In the meantime, we say the Ministry does not have money.
Mr Speaker, it is about time we allowed the Hon Minister to take charge of the agencies, and not just give money to them. That is when they think that the Hon Minister is at their beck and call. I think petroleum is a very legitimate and important thing -- oil and gas.
Last time, the Ministry of Petroleum came for us to approve a deal worth GH¢7.9 billion and we cannot even find GH¢50 million for him. Mr Speaker, our priorities are wrong. If we do not empower the Ministry, they cannot oversight. That is what is happening.
The National Petroleum Authority (NPA), GNPC, Ghana Gas Company Limited and Petroleum Commission are there. There are big budgets allocations for these agencies, but there is a small budget for the Ministry. Then we sit here in Parliament and pretend we are oversighting.
Please, Parliament should be bold; it should not approve this money but rather find more money for the Ministry, so that they can oversight these agencies. Otherwise, we keep making the Ministry look weak.
Mr Speaker, I ask Hon Members to reject the Motion and rather give them only GH¢40 million and find more money for the Ministry, so that they can properly --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:10 p.m.
Very well. Hon Member, your point is well made.
Can we hear from the Hon Member for Sekondi?
Hon Dr A.A. Osei, you have been on your feet for quite a long time.
Dr A.A. Osei 6:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, just the conclusion.
Mr Speaker, the difficulty we have with approving the work programme of GNPC is what I am relating to. In December, 2015, we sit here and purport to approve a budget for 2015 because it is GNPC. We would be committing a scandal if we do that. This is because, we do not resource the Ministry to oversight. I am giving a signal that we have to be very careful with the Motion numbered 17 on the Order Paper. [Interruptions] -- It is tied to the capacity of the Minister to oversight.
I thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:10 p.m.
Hon Member, we are dealing with the Committee's Report.
Hon Member for Sekondi?
Papa Owusu-Ankomah (NPP -- Sekondi) 6:10 p.m.
I thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, this is just some brief remarks apropos points made by the Hon Member for Old Tafo.
Mr Speaker, this is a governance issue. The Petroleum Commission is under the Executive. The Hon Minister is the representative of the President; he is actually his agent. So, while I appreciate the point made by my Hon Colleague, it shows a deficiency in governance.
Mr Speaker, it does not only relate to the petroleum sector. We also have other sectors where statutory bodies created seem to overshadow the Ministries.
In this House, I would not support the submission of my Hon Colleague that we should reject it. No! We should direct the Executive. [Interruption] -- We should because we appropriate. We cannot appropriate more than the Executive itself has said it needs for a Ministry, but it is a serious governance issue. So, we have executives of statutory corporations or companies at the Ministries seemingly unwilling to take directives from the Ministry.
It is something we should frown upon. This is because it is the political office that ought to give directions. For those of us who have been in government, we have been faced with these situations. We can find the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) in terms of dealing with education, not even taking directives from the Ministry or the Minister for Education. So, it is a very serious issue.
The Hon Minister for Petroleum himself should be up and doing. It is not the business of Parliament to weep more than the bereaved, but it is serious governance issue. This is because the resources belong to our country and we appropriate these resources.We must ensure that the resources are used appropriately and not fretted away on unnecessary things.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:10 p.m.
Thank you very much.
Hon Members, I will then ask the Hon Minister if he wants to wind up before I put the Question.
Mr Dominic Nitiwul (NPP-- Bimbilla) 6:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, just before the Hon Minister winds up, give me some two minutes.
Mr Speaker, I think we should take the issues that have been raised here serious. If we look at page 12 of the Committee's Report -- I am just looking at the detailed allocation to the headquarters of the Ministry of Petroleum for the 2016 fiscal year. Mr Speaker, there is GH¢1 million for compensation, which is normal. Goods and services -- GH¢600,000; Capital Expenditure -- nil; ABFA -- nil and donor -- 15 million. Mr Speaker, what it
means is that if the donors fail to bring money, that is the end of the Ministry. Meanwhile, this same Ministry is supposed to monitor the activities of the petroleum sector to bring about the ABFA and they get nothing for it. Then they are told to implement the FG Programme. What are they going to use to implement it? Is it part of the GH¢600,000? We say they should go and train capacity building for technical schools in oil - what will they do with it?
Mr Speaker, I think we should look at this budget properly. Some money should be found somewhere by this House and be given to this Ministry. It is really important.
Mr Speaker, I think the Minister for Finance is not here. It may have been important for us to hold on and let them find money and give to themfrom the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) and give to the Ministry before we pass this tomorrow. It is not good enough.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:20 p.m.
Very well.
I will call upon the Hon Minister to wind up. Please address these issues which have been raised.
Mr Buah 6:20 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I want to thank Hon Members for their contributions. They are well taken and noted.
Let me make it clear that the issue on the Exploration Levy is a very important one. I will came back shortly to this House on proposals on the way forward on the Exploration Levy.
Mr Speaker, on the point that was made about the allocations to the Ministry of Petroleum and the need to strengthen it, is a very important one. The Ministry of Finance is here; we have had a very heated engagements on the need to
strengthen the Ministry financially. However, that should not be taken to imply a weakness of the Ministry, or somehow, an abdication of the Ministry's oversight responsibility.
Mr Speaker, let me make it clear -- the Ministry does not have money but it is proudly going to perform its oversight functions and put all these agencies on notice, that they would be brought to book.We are going to assess that. Let me say that the Ministry of Petroleum is proudly going to ensure that that is done. We are not going to do that through the backdoor at all.
We are not going to bow in shame. We are going to work and make sure that these agencies understand that the Executive is their appointing authority and we would show them the door if they do not do the right things for the people of Ghana.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:20 p.m.
Hon Members, I believe that it is about time for us to bring proceedings to an end.
The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carrols night begins from 6:30 p.m. and we have just a few minutes to get ourselves ready to be part of it.
ADJOURNMENT 6:20 p.m.