Debates of 19 Feb 2016

MR SPEAKER
PRAYERS 10:50 a.m.

VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT 10:50 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Members, Correc- tion of Votes and Proceedings.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
We would now move to item number 3 on the Order Paper -- Business Statement for the Sixth Week -- Chairman of the Business Committee, Hon Majority Leader?
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE 10:50 a.m.

Majority Leader/Chairman of the Business Committee (Mr Alban S. K. Bagbin) 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Committee met on Thursday, 18th February, 2016 and arranged Business of the House for the Fifth Week ending Friday, 26th February
2016.
Mr Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 56 (1), the Committee accordingly submits its report as follows:
Arrangement of Business
Question(s)
Mr Speaker, the Committee has programmed the following Ministers to respond to Questions asked of them during the week:
No. of Question(s)
i. Minister for Finance -- 1
ii. Minister for Power -- 6
iii. Minister for Roads and Highways -- 7
Total number of Questions -- 14
Mr Speaker, three (3) Ministers are expected to attend upon the House to respond to fourteen (14) Questions during the week.
Statements
Mr Speaker, pursuant to Order 70 (2), Ministers of State may be permitted to make Statements of Government policy. Mr Speaker may also admit Statements to be made in the House by Hon Members in accordance with Order 72.
Ministers to apprise the House
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister for Finance has been re-scheduled to apprise the House on Tuesday, 23rd February 2016, on the operations of Savings and Loans and Micro Finance Companies operating in the country, with particular reference to the following:
(i) DKM Diamond Microfinance
(ii) Little Drops Financial Services
(iii) God is Love Fun Club
(iv) Jaster Motors and Investment Company Ltd.
(v) Care for Humanity Fun Club
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing is also scheduled to apprise the House on Friday, 26th February, 2016, on the acute water crisis in the country, with particular reference to the state of affairs in Nsawam-Adoagyiri, Winneba, and other parts of the country.
Bills, Papers and Reports
Mr Speaker, Bills may be presented to the House for First Reading and those of urgent nature may be taken through the various stages in one day in accordance with Order 119. Papers and committee reports may also be presented to the House.
Motions and Resolutions
Mr Speaker, Motions may be debated and their consequential Resolutions, if any, taken during the week.
Message on the State of the Nation
Mr Speaker, H.E. the President of the Republic is expected to deliver a Message on the State of the Nation on Thursday, 25th February, 2016, in accordance with article 67 of the Constitution. Hon Members are accordingly entreated to attend upon the House punctually for the event.
Conclusion
Mr Speaker, in accordance with Standing Order 160 (2) and subject to Standing Order 53, the Committee submits
to this Honourable House the order in which the Business of the House shall be taken during the week.

Statements

Minister for Finance to apprise the House on the operations of Savings and Loans and Micro Finance Companies operating in the country with particular reference to the following:

DKM Diamond Microfinance

Little Drops Financial Services

God is Love Fun Club

Jaster Motors and Investment Company Ltd.

Care for Humanity Fun Club.

Questions --

*514.Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto (Kwadaso): To ask the Minister for Finance the tonnages of cocoa beans imported into Ghana by country of origin for each of the cocoa processing companies operating in the country during crop year 1st October, 2014, to 30th September, 2015.

Presentation of Papers --

(a) Report of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) on the Management of Petroleum Revenues for the period January to June 2014.

(b) Annual Report of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) on the Management of Petroleum Revenues for the year 2014.
Majority Leader/Chairman of the Business Committee (Mr Alban S. K. Bagbin) 10:50 a.m.
Presentation and First Reading of Bills --
(a) Development and Classification of Film Bill, 2016.
(b) Electronic Communications (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
Motions --
Second Reading of Bills --
Securities Industry Bill, 2015.
Ghana Deposit Protection Bill, 2015.
(b) Adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee on the Credit Facility Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Agence Française de Développement for an amount of thirty-seven mil lion and five hundred thousand euros (37, 500,000.00) to finance the Kumasi Roads and Drainage Extension Project.
Consequential Resolution
Consideration Stage of Bills --
Chartered Institute of Taxation Bill, 2014. (Continuation of debate)
National Disaster Management Organisation Bill, 2015.
Committee sittings.

Questions --

*457. Mr Emmanuel Aboagye Didieye (Afram Plains North): To ask the Minister for Power when the

following communities in the Afram Plains North Constituency will be connected to the National Grid: (i) Abotanso No. 1 & 2, (ii) Avatime, (iii) Bodua, (iv) Mafikope, (v) Seibea, (vi) Atiwulame, (vii) Katapilatornu, (viii) Anidzi, (ix) Kamalo, (x) Adukrom, (xi) Seiwua, (xii) Bebuso, (xiii) Agodeke, (xiv) Salefe, (xv) Kyemfre.

*464.Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh (Nsawam-Adoagyiri): To ask the Minister for Power what plans the Ministry has to connect the following communities and towns to the National Electricity Grid: (i) Panpanso, (ii) Akraman, (iii) Asante Kwaku, (iv) Afumkrom, (v) Bowkrom.

*470. Mr Augustine Collins Ntim (Offinso North): To ask the Minister for Power when the SHEP- 4 Project initiated in 2007 in the following communities in Offinso North Constituency will be completed and commissioned: (i) Nsenoa, (ii) Old and New Mireku, near Akomadan, (iii) Esoro-Dome, near Nkenkaasu (iv) Taekwaem, (v) Mankramso, (vi) Sewua Nfanti.

*471. Ms Freda Akosua O. Prempeh (Tano North): To ask the Minister for Power when Kwasoagya will be connected to the National Grid.

*472. Mr Alex K. Agyekum (Mpohor): To ask the Minister for Power when the following towns will be connected to the national grid: (i) Wassa Mampong, (ii) Edaa, (iii) Wiredukrom, (iv) Bomba, (v) Apraposo, (vi) Domeabra, (vii) Akotrom, (viii) K9.

*503. Mr Frederick Opare-Ansah (Suhum): To ask the Minister for Power when the following towns in

the Suhum Municipality will be connected to the National Elec- tricity Grid: (i) Adidiso, (ii) Obomo- fodensua, (iii) Nkatekwan, (iv) Kromameng, (v) Gamameng, (vi) Traio, (vii) Trotor, (viii) Koransang, (ix) Teye Mensah.

Statements

Presentation of Papers --

(a) Report of the Finance Committee on the Banks and Specialised Deposit-taking Institutions Bill,

2015.

(b) Report of the Committee on Mines and Energy on the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Bill, 2014.

(d) Report of the Committee on Roads and Transport on the Maritime Pollution Bill, 2015.

Consideration Stage of Bills --

Chartered Institute of Taxation Bill, 2014. (Continuation of debate)

National Disaster Management Organisation Bill, 2015.

Ghana Export-Import Bank Bill, 2015

Committee sittings.
MESSAGE ON THE STATE OF THE 10:50 a.m.

NATION 10:50 a.m.

Mr Isaac K. Asiamah 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, there is this report of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that has been long standing. It was programmed last week. This time round, I have gone through the Business of the House and it does not find expression in the Business of the House.
Mr Speaker, it is about the Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the
Performance Audit Report of the Auditor- General on the construction of the Achimota-Ofankor Road.
Mr Speaker, since the beginning of this Meeting, it has always been appearing -- [Interruption.] Let me speak for my Chairman -- it is not going to be like that today. That is why I am asking why this Report has been sitting without being taken.That is my question, Mr Speaker.
Thank you.
Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I have a couple of issues, one concerns the Business Committee.
Mr Speaker, there is a lacuna in when Parliament advertises for Bills in stakeholder consultations. This is because I have driven to the Assembly Press for a Bill and they did not sell it. When it is just a Bill you cannot get a copy there. When Parliament also advertises and we do not put it on our website or maybe tell people where to get it, it becomes a problem.
Nowadays, when Parliament has become the easy brush for people to whip, you would find all sorts of Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs) criticising us that we have given a short time and they cannot even have access to the Bill. So, maybe, the Business Committee would ensure that when Parliament advertises for stakeholder input of the Bill, they also put that Bill on our website so that people can access the Bill.
Mr Speaker, the second issue I am raising has to do with formulae. We have four formulae that we are supposed to approve. We are ending the second month and I do not know how they are spending. That is the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF), the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), the Ghana Education Trust Fund and the programme
of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) must be approved before we rise. Not when His Excellency the President, has given us the State of the Nation, then these Bills come and we do not have enough time to scrutinise them.
So, I am pleading with Mr Speaker that he should urge the Business Committee to schedule these formulae to be laid so that we can have a critical look at them and also for our working relationship with the public to change so that they can have access to our documentations.
Thank you.
Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe you directed last week on the subject of the implementation of the Minister for Finance to address the House on the performance or the activities of microfinance institutions in the country.
Mr Speaker, five microfinance institutions were mentioned, but I drew the Chairman's attention to the fact that the institutions are more than five. Indeed, they are 15, and you directed that we give the Business Committee the list of all the microfinance institutions which I did. But today, the five institutions have been repeated leaving the other ten.
So, I would just want to urge you to direct them to include all the 15 microfinance institutions. Otherwise, the Minister's statement would be limited to only the five microfinance institutions mentioned here.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Yes, Hon Member for Ho Central?
Mr Benjamin K. Kpodo 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, at the commencement of this Meeting, you announced that we would be using
our workstations mainly for the records and the proceedings. You also said that limited copies of the Order Paper would be printed. But after a number of days using the consul, we found out that we encounter problems scrolling through items and I also noticed that the Order Papers that are printed are limited now that only a few people at the front row of both sides use them.
Mr Speaker, they are able to refer to documents and reports more easily than the larger number of us who are sitting at the back. [Interruption.] It is not that we are heavily challenged, but I think it is a --
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Member, let me just respond to this one.
It is not really a Business Committee issue. It is an administrative issue and you know that we agreed with the Clerk to Parliament thus when we discussed how many copies were to be printed, we agreed to print 100 copies. We used to print 400 and so we agreed to print 100 copies of the Order Paper.
But if I mention a page and you have problems, you should draw the House's attention to the fact that you are having problems.
Hon Member for Ho Central, you should just draw our attention to it. So, let us find out whether it is a problem with the consul in front of you or the problem is with your inability to use the facility so that we know how to address it.
We are determined. In fact, when I made the announcement at the beginning of this Session, I drew a lot of inspiration from the Hon Member for Ablekuma West. We need to start somewhere, otherwise we would never make progress.
If I mention a particular page and you have a problem, let us know. Then we would know whether it is peculiar to you as an individual or it is a general problem.
Mr Kpodo 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the problem is not peculiar to me, and please, I do not have a challenge with ICT.
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
We are discussing Business of the House, Hon Member for Ho Central.
Do you have any comment on the Business of the House?
Mr Kpodo 11 a.m.
I thought what I said is to enable us do business more properly. [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Member for Akwapim North?
Mr William Ofori Boafo 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, my issue is supplementary to what the Hon Member for Ho Central asked. [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Member, this is an administrative issue; let us concentrate --
Mr Boafo 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, my issue goes further than what he said, but I resumed my seat because you said we are on the Business of the House. But if you would allow me to continue --
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Member for Akwapim North, I would suggest that if it is related to the issue raised by the Hon Member for Ho Central, you see the Clerk to Parliament to address it, because it is more of an administrative issue.
We are discussing the Business of the House as presented by the Hon Majority Leader and Chairman of the Business Committee.
Hon Member for Nkoranza North?
Maj. Derek Oduro (retd): Mr Speaker, with reference to what Hon Prempeh said, on the availability of the Bill to the general
public, currently, we have the Interception of the Postal Packets and Telecom- munication Messages Bill, which has been referred to the Committee. Adverts have been placed in the newspapers and people are complaining that they do not have access to the Bill.
I do not know whether it is the responsibility of the Business Committee to make them available or any other agency or outfit in Parliament here. I would want to find out, Mr Speaker.
Mr Frederic Fritz Baffour 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, what the Hon Member is talking about has been rectified. We have extended the period for the submission of the memoranda for another two weeks.
Thank you.
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
The final comment on the Business of the House -- Hon Member
Mrs Ursula G. Ekuful 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I have two comments; one on the matter which has just been raised by the Hon Member for Ablekuma South.
The Bill was referred to the Committee on Defence and Interior but I believe that it is critical for the Committee on Communications to also be involved. Maybe, there should be a joint reference to the Committee on Communications so that we can also make an input of the consideration on that Bill.
Mr Speaker, the second matter is on the Presentation and First Reading of the Electronic Communications (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which is slated for Tuesday.
However, the Interconnect Clearing House (ICH) licence has already been granted and this Bill is the one which is seeking to give it legal backing.
rose
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Member for Kwadaso?
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I have gone through the Business Statement and I do not see any mention of the Urgent Question I have asked about the cocoa processing factory's shutdown in Tema.
I would want to find out what the decision is.
Mr Kwaku Agyeman Kwarteng 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I seek to add my voice to the point the Hon Member for Ablekuma West made about the Electronic Commu- nications (Amendment) Bill, 2016, slated to be laid on Tuesday.
Mr Speaker, it is obvious that so much has happened in connection with the ICH. It is such that, the Hon Minister comes to explain what has happened and the reasons those things happened before Parliament is being asked to make this amendment.
So, I would be grateful, Mr Speaker, if as the Hon Member suggested, we could invite the Hon Minister to do this for us.
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Bagbin 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Public Accounts Committee's Report that was referred to is slated for today. That is item number 9 on the Order Paper. So, it is already part of the Business of the House.
If there is anything left to be done in connection with that item, by our Standing Orders, we would simply roll it over to the next Business day. So, I believe that has been taken care of.
Mr Speaker, on the formulae, three of them; District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF), National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) and Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) are being processed and they would definitely come before the House before we rise.
We would be dealing with them anytime they come during the course of the week. By our Standing Orders, we can come with a supplementary Business Statement for the House. So, there is no problem with that.
Mr Speaker, I am not aware and my attention was not drawn to the fact that you did direct that the number of the microfinance companies be increased to 15. I did not know that it was a directive --
Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
I did not give that directive; it was raised, but I do not remember giving that specific directive, that it should be increased to 15.
Mr Bagbin 11:10 a.m.
Exactly! I was given a list of 15 names of microfinance companies by the Table Office and that influenced the Committee's decision to rephrase the issue to be addressed in the Statement by the Hon Minister, by saying, ‘operating in the country with particular reference' because these other five companies have come to the public notice and there have been some debate on them, and that was why we decided to focus on them.
Dr Owusu A. Akoto 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker?
Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon Member for Manhyia South? Hon Member for Kwadaso, I would call you.
Dr Prempeh 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the issue I raised with the Business Committee has not been answered. I said that Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the general public have started castigating Parliament for advertising Bills enquiring or requesting for stakeholder inputs and not advertising the Bills on our website which they do not have access to.
I personally went to the publishing house and I could not get a copy of the Bill to buy. So, when we invite people to bring in their inputs, how do they get the Bill to know what is in it?
Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Bagbin 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I responded to it, except that, it was not specific but I said this is not the business of the Business Committee. [Interruption.]
rose
Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon Member for Ablekuma West?
Mrs Ekuful 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Majority Leader did not address the other leg of my enquiry about the joint reference to the Committee on Defence and Interior and the Committee on Communications. This is with regard to the Interception of Postal Packets and Telecommunications Messages Bill, which the Hon Member for Ablekuma South alluded to.
Mr Speaker, it is also the subject of this intervention about us not advertising the Bills with the information to the public to submit memoranda.
On that particular Bill, the Committee on Communications was not part of the reference by Mr Speaker. The Committee on Communications can make significant input in the consideration of that Bill.
So, I wanted to know why and if that reference could be rectified.
Mr Bagbin 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, this is also not a matter for the Business Committee. It was a matter that was referred by Mr Speaker to a Committee of the House.
If her request is that, another Committee of the House should be added so that it could be joint, that is not for the Business Committee to determine.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Members, I look at the subject matter based upon which I make reference. On several occasions, on the floor of this House, where Hon Members think that another Committee should be added, immediately, an application is made, that we should add another Committee.
When I did that on that day, no application was made before me to
consider whether we should add another Committee to it; the records are there.
So, I do not know whether it is too late but that is a matter I would need to do further consultation on with the Leadership of the House. But we cannot do that on the floor of the House now. No application was made on that day when I referred it to the Defence and Interior Select Committee for consideration and report.
If the House thinks so, that is a different matter. I can do the necessary consultations and then inform the Hon Member for Ablekuma West who has raised the issue.
Hon Member for Kwadaso, there is a lapse; but I have been informed about your Question. They have informed the relevant Ministry about your Question, but I think there is some problem.
They have not brought it to the Business Committee and that is why they have not programmed it. That is the information I just got from the Clerk to Parliament. So, we would find a way to see whether we could find space for it because it is an Urgent Question.
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto 11:20 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Isaac K. Asiamah 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I think my submission was in two parts. One has been answered with regard to the fact that it has already been programmed; that is all right with me.
Mr Speaker, the key question is, why the delay in taking this Motion? It has been longstanding. That is my worry.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Members, I am aware of the challenges. The Hon Ranking Member of the Committee has raised certain issues and brought them to my

attention. I referred them to the Hon Chairman of the Business Committee that they should sort them out.

Indeed, over the years, the Public Accounts Committee has worked by building consensus. We do not want anything of that nature, where on the floor of the House, there would be dis- agreements.

So, I referred the matter to the Hon Chairman of the Business Committee and indeed, the Hon Majority Leader, who is in charge of Government Business, to resolve with the Hon Chairman and the Hon Ranking Member on that Committee.

So, that is one of the reasons we have not taken that matter.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it does not really have to do with the Business Committee's programme presented, but it has to do with the general business of the House.
Mr Speaker, normally, we are given a draft of the calendar for the Session. This Session, as of now, we have not had that draft.
Mr Speaker, we are all aware that we have elections on 7th November, 2016. So, certainly -- [Interruption] -- plans are far advanced to make the necessary amendments to the relevant laws for us to have our elections on 7th November, 2016.
That being the case, for some of us who are exiting this House and, therefore, need to programme ourselves so that we are available, if we had an idea how long the Third Meeting would last before we break, it would enable us plan our exit efficaciously.
Unfortunately, contrary to our normal practice, we have not had that draft calendar as of now. I know that even though, technically, it is a matter for the Business Committee, they would also have to engage in some consultations.
So, I am just making the point so that the Hon Chairman of the Business Committee, who is the Leader of Government Business, would take the matter on advice and then give the indications.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
We have started the consultations but I would let the Hon Majority Leader respond to the issue you have raised.
Mr Bagbin 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, as you rightly stated, we are working on the issue because of the change in the proposed date for the election. Then, there are also some determinations to be done about the programme of the whole election calendar which would impact on our calendar. So, we managed to firm up only the First Meeting, which would end on 17th March,
2016.

Well, we do not need more than one month to campaign. The proposed date for election is 7th November, 2016. So, if we end on 7th October, 2016 and give one month for campaigns, that should be sufficient. Elections take only -- By the time -- [Interruption] -- I would come to your constituency. Well, that is on the lighter side.

The important thing is that we are still awaiting some determination --[Pause.] Mr

Speaker, this is usually not an issue that is debated and approved by the House. It is not. It is an issue that is always handled by the Leadership of the House.

As I said, we are working on it and we would soon come back to Hon Members with copies of the calendar of our Meetings for this year.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Majority Leader is alluding to some anticipated amendments in the calendar of -- Which may, perhaps, lead to a constitutional amendment.

So, Mr Speaker, it informs not only Parliament as an institution but Committees and also Hon Members are able to plan their own constituency activities and synchronise with the agenda of Parliament.

Mr Speaker, the other stakeholders who would be following the calendar and agenda of Parliament would also position themselves when it may become necessary to interface with Parliament and perhaps, the relevant Committees at which periods --

If we do not have it, certainly, it is a disability to the House and for the Leader of Government Business to indicate to us that because of some anticipations, three weeks into a new Meeting, they are not able to provide it.

I am not too sure that is convincing and persuasive enough. What is not right, is not right.

Mr Speaker may recollect that, before we adjourned the last Meeting, I raised this particular matter that, yes, I know that there may be some challenges. It is the Clerk's Office that is supposed to furnish us with this, but he does not work in a vacuum. He depends so much -- Lots of Business that we do in Parliament are Public Business; it ensues from the corridors of Government.

Mr Speaker, if we have a Leader of Government Business, he should be able to lead us in this and he cannot just say that because of an event that may be happening in November, they are not able to serve Parliament with this.

Mr Speaker, I am not convinced and persuaded by this at all. He was talking about an Hon Member who he said was engaged in some ‘love talk' with the Speaker when he himself is commu- nicating to the House as if he is in the confines of his room.

Mr Speaker, what is right ought to be done by the Leader of Government Business, if indeed, he is in charge of Government Business.
Mr Bagbin 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, what is not right, is not right and what is wrong, is wrong. The agenda of the House is ready, we met and approved the agenda of the House. The calendar is what we are talking about. Copies of the agenda are available at the Table Office.
I do not know whether they have served -- As for that -- This is because I received my copy -- [Interruption]-- Until you draw my attention, I will not know you have not received copies of the agenda; this is because I received a
Mr Bagbin 11:30 a.m.


copy of the agenda and I went through it. So, the Table Office is saying that they have not circulated it? They said they have circulated it, so, where have I gone wrong?

So, Mr Speaker, the issue I referred to had to do with the Electoral Commission (EC) and the timetable of the EC is partly a matter of law and so, once that is firmed up, then we can firm up the Second and Third Meetings. But for the First Meeting, we have firmed that up and as I stated, it is ending on the 17th of March, 2016. So, Hon Members will do well to receive copies of the agenda of the Meetings.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, if indeed, as the Hon Majority Leader and Leader of Government Business is indicating that everything in the agenda is firmed up, he is proposing to us that the House intends to rise on the 17th of March, 2016. He is telling the House and yet what we have before us is 18th of March, 2016, so, he cannot tell us that it is firm --
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader, this proposal came from the Clerks-at-the- Table. After this proposal, consultations were made on it. So, they should have indicated it when they were distributing it. Yes, Business Statements.
Mr Samuel Atta Akyea 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I defer to you, with all respect, the issue of the Ofankor Road Report.
Mr Speaker, it seems in my view --
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Member, I do not want to anticipate that Motion on the floor but I have discussed this issue with the Hon Ranking Member and the Hon
Chairman of the Committee -- The Hon Majority Leader or so, yes. And I said they should resolve this matter and let me know. But be that as it may, I do not want us to raise those matters on the floor of the House now.
So, kindly see the Hon Majority Leader, he will brief you on this matter. I am ready to take the Motion if you want it to be taken.
Mr Atta Akyea 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I was addressing a point of principle, that no matter the views of the Hon Ranking Member, he could state a dissenting view when it comes for debate.
This is because dissent is permitted by this House and that is the essence of debate.
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
It is not as simple, the way you are looking at it. This is because he is the Majority spokesperson on the Committee and so it has implications and that is what we want to prevent. I do not have a problem if they list it on Tuesday. I do not have a problem at all.
Mr Atta Akyea 11:30 a.m.
Very well.
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
I do not go round to see what Committees do and so on. It is when they bring their Business, but when the Hon Ranking Member raised an issue which I believe will create problems on the floor, it is only fair to ask them to go and resolve their differences and bring them back to the House and that was the only role I played.
Mr Bagbin 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, rightly so.
The Hon Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee is here and the Hon Ranking Member is over there. We held a number of meetings and we resolved it; that was why we scheduled it for today. So, the Hon Chairman can confirm that and the Hon Ranking Member is also here, so, we have resolved the issue.
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Members, that brings us --
Yes, Hon Kofi Frimpong?
Mr Kofi Frimpong 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to know from you on Questions; how long does a Question stand in the Office of the Clerk for it to be answered? How many months does it take for a Question to be answered?
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Member, please, if you have a specific challenge, find out the status of the Question. You find the Question at a particular place. Find out where a particular Question is.
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of the Consideration of the Business Statement for the fifth week ending Friday, 26th February, 2016.
Business Statement accordingly adopted.
Hon Members, Question time.
Mr Bagbin 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to seek your leave for us to alter the order of Business for today, so that we could take item numbered 6.
Mr Bagbin 11:30 a.m.
Item numbered 6.
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Is it all the items under
6?
Mr Bagbin 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, items numbered 6 and 7 and then after that, we go to Questions. Then after Questions, we can take the Statements. But the item numbered 5 -- Statements should have been item numbered 4.
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Yes.
Mr Bagbin 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, but we will still take Questions before we get to Statements.
Mr Bagbin 11:40 a.m.
So, items numbered 5 and 6 first.
Mr Bagbin 11:40 a.m.
With your kind leave.
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Members, presentation of Papers.
PAPERS 11:40 a.m.

Mr Bagbin 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I have just been informed that the item numbered 6 (d) (i), (ii) and (iii) are not yet ready. So, we cannot lay them.
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Very well.
BILLS -- FIRST READING 11:40 a.m.

Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Members, Question time.
We would start with Question number 379 standing in the name of the Hon Member for Walewale.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS 11:40 a.m.

MINISTRY OF ROADS AND 11:40 a.m.

HIGHWAYS 11:40 a.m.

Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Minister?
Minister for Roads and Highways (Alhaji Inusah A. B. Fuseini) 11:40 a.m.
Background
Mr Speaker, the Walewale-Wungu feeder road is 8.5 kilometres long and engineered. The first 4.5 kilometres of the road is tarred, while the remaining 4.0 kilometres is gravelled. The gravelled
section of the road was awarded for tarring but was terminated due to non- performance of the contractor.
The road is located in the West Mamprusi District of the Northern Region.
Current programme
The road has been packaged for routine maintenance works under the DFR 2016 routine maintenance programme.
Future programme
The 4.0-kilometre gravel section is being re-packaged and will be procured for tarring by the last quarter of the year
2016.
Dr Bambangi 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to ask the Hon Minister when the contract was terminated for non- performance.
Alhaji Fuseini 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the exact date for the termination is not provided on my list. He was supposed to complete the work on 30th September, 2014 but since it had not been completed at that time, it was terminated.
Dr Bambangi 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to ask the Hon Minister why it has taken this long to be repackaged for procurement.
Alhaji Fuseini 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the contract was awarded in 2013 and terminated after 2014. The figures and estimates that were used have to be re- assessed because of the changing trends. That is why we are repackaging it. In the meantime, we would do routine maintenance on the road to be able to keep it motorable.
Dr Bambangi 11:40 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
I am grateful.
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Question number 380 -- Hon Member for Kwabre East.
Kwabre East Constituency (Improving Road Network in Meduma,
et cetera)
Q. 380. Mr Kofi Frimpong asked the Minister for Roads and Highways whether the Ministry had any plans to improve the road network in the new settlement areas of Meduma, Ahwiaa, Anyinam, and Overseas in the Kwabre East Constituency.
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Minister?
Background
Alhaji Fuseini 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, Meduma, Ahwiaa, Anyinam and Overseas are communities within the Kwabre East District of the Ashanti Region. They are located along the Kumasi -Mampong Highway. Due to the proximity of these towns to Kumasi, their development can be described as peri-urban with rapidly developing residential infrastructure as well as new layout for accesses.
The new accesses being created by developers are not part of the DFR road network.
Current programme
DFR will liaise with the District Assembly to undertake inventory of the roads to capture them in the database for consideration in the 2017 maintenance programme.
rose
Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Do you have a point of order?
Dr A. A. Osei 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, there is no town like “Ashiaa”. It is “Ahwiaa”.
Alhaji Fuseini 11:50 a.m.
Thank you for the correction.
Mr Frimpong 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, is the Hon Minister telling me that the road cannot be maintained until the 2017 Budget Statement? Every year, there is allocation for road maintenance and this road network has never been maintained by the Government. If we see a grader on it then it is at the cost of the Member of Parliament.
I would want to know from the Hon Minister whether there would not be any road maintenance until after 2017. Or does it mean that it is Nana Akufo-Addo who would come and undertake the road maintenance? I would want to know whether there cannot be any road maintenance until after 2017.
Alhaji Fuseini 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I thank the Hon Member of Parliament for maintaining the roads. The difficulty is that until the roads are captured in the database of the Department of Feeder Roads, they are strictly speaking, within the jurisdiction of the local authority of the area.
Mr Frimpong 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, if the District Assembly does not do it, does it mean that the Ministry of Roads and Highways, which has a supervisory role over the Department of Feeder Roads in the Distr ict Assembly, would not undertake any project or maintenance work on these roads?
Alhaji Fuseini 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we would do that. But we would, first of all, have to ascertain the state of the roads and that is why we are going to work with the District

Assembly to capture the roads in our database to be able to invest in them.
Mr Frimpong 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to know from my good Friend; all this while, why have these roads not been captured by his Ministry?

Look at them, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, have you seen them?

Those roads have been there because the area is an old town. I would want to know why these roads have not been captured in the database of the Ministry of Roads and Highways?
Alhaji Fuseini 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, admittedly, the town could be there for more than 50 years. However, capturing the roads and planning the town is a process. We would work with the Assembly to ensure that the layout of the roads within the area are captured in the Department of Feeder Roads' database for onward action to be taken.
Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Question number 381.
Mamponteng Town Road (Upgrading)
Q. 381. Mr Kofi Frimpong asked the Minister for Roads and Highways when the Mamponteng town roads, the district capital of Kwabre East, would be upgraded.
Background
Alhaji Fuseini 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Mam- pongteng Town Roads are located in the
Kwabre East District of the Ashanti Region. They are gravel roads in fair to poor condition.
The sprawling nature of the development of Kumasi has caught up with Mampongteng, necessitating the need to give the town a facelift, commensurate with its current level of development.
Although many access roads have been created by developers within and around the town, they need to be reviewed and captured in the road network database to inform the necessary intervention measures.
The Ministry, through the DFR, has constructed a tarred road between Mamponteng and Ahodwo to facilitate the movement of goods, services and people.
Current programme
GHA will liaise with the District Assembly to undertake detailed inventory of all the roads in the area to enable them carry out detailed engineering studies and designs in 2016 for implementation when works are procured.
Mr Frimpong 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to know from the Hon Minister when exactly the engineering studies and design would be completed.
Alhaji Fuseini 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the main study and design would be completed in 2016 to enable procurement works to progress within this year.
Mr Frimpong 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, is the Hon Minister assuring me, the whole House and the good people of Kwabre East that within this year, a detailed engineering studies would be carried out and that we shall see action in the constituency and the district capital?
Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Hon Member, the Answer he gave was with regard to the engineering works. You are adding “action”, which was not part of the Question. If you would want assurance, base it on what he has said. Please, rephrase your question.
Mr Frimpong 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am talking of action on the engineering work.
Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Very well. Hon Minister?
Alhaji Fuseini 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I assure my good Friend and the people of Mamponteng that action would be taken to commence engineering studies and design of the town roads within Mamponteng this year.
Mr Frimpong 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, my last question is, in the interim, when would Department of Feeder Roads start shaping the roads in Kwabre East District capital?
The roads are in such a bad state they do not befit the status of a district capital.
Alhaji Fuseini 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would direct the Department of Feeder Roads to go to that area and assess the nature of the roads for us to determine the necessary interventions or measures to undertake.
Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Question number 382 -- Hon Member for Atwima Mponua?
Bayerebon Junction to Bayerebon No. 2, et cetera Roads in the Atwima
Mponua District (Tarring)
Q. 382. Mr Isaac Kwame Asiamah asked the Minister for Roads and Highways when the following roads in the Atwima Mponua District would be tarred:
(i) Bayerebon Junction - Bayerebon No. 2;
(ii) Nyinahin Junction - Sereso Timpom;
(iii) Barniekrom - Afepaye.
(i) Bayerebon Junction-Bayerebon No. 2
Background
Alhaji Fuseini 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Bayerebon Junction-Bayerebon No. 2 is a 16.0 kilometres engineered road. It is a gravel road in poor condition and located in the Atwima Mponua District of Ashanti Region.
Current programme
The road has been packaged for routine maintenance works as part of the DFR 2016 maintenance programme to keep the road motorable.
Future programme
Detailed engineering studies and designs will be carried out by the end of the 3rd quarter of 2016 to identify the critical drainage structures that need to be improved to make the road accessible at all times.
(ii) Nyinahin Junction-Sereso Timpom
Background
The Nyinahin Junction-Sereso Timpom is a 23.0 kilometre gravelled road in fair to poor condition, located in the Atwima Mponua District of Ashanti Region.
Current programme
The road has been packaged for routine maintenance works as part of the DFR 2016 maintenance programme.
Alhaji Fuseini 11:50 a.m.


Future programme

Detailed engineering studies and designs will be carried out by the end of the 4th quarter of 2016 for the procurement of the installation of critical drainage structures that need to be improved to make the road accessible at all times.

(ii) Nyinahin Junction-Sereso Timpom

Background

The Nyinahin Junction-Sereso Timpom is a 23.0 kilometres gravelled road in fair to poor condition, located in the Atwima Mponua District of Ashanti Region.

Current programme

The road has been packaged for routine maintenance works as part of the DFR 2016 maintenance programme.

Future programme

Detailed engineering studies and designs will be carried out by the end of the 4th quarter of 2016 for the procurement of the installation of critical drainage structures that need to be improved to make the road accessible at all times.

(iii) Baniekrom-Afepaye

Background

The Baniekrom-Afepaye is a 26.0 kilometres gravelled road in fair to poor condition located in the Atwima Mponua District of the Ashanti Region.

Current programme

The road has been packaged for routine maintenance works as part of the DFR 2016 maintenance programme.

Future programme

Detailed engineering studies and designs will be carried out by the end of the 4th quarter of 2016 to identify the critical drainage structures that need to be improved to make the road accessible at times.
Mr I. K. Asiamah noon
Mr Speaker, in all the Answers that the Hon Minister has provided, there is the operative word “gravelled”.
Would the Hon Minister explain the meaning of “gravelled” and give a description of what a gravelled road is?
Alhaji Fuseini noon
Mr Speaker, gravelling is gravelling; laterite.
Mr I. K. Asiamah noon
Mr Speaker, sometimes we expect our Hon Ministersfair look at them. This is because what he is referring to as gravelled roads do not exist. We do not have them there. They are earth road; “mfuturo”, to wit, dust. That is it. There is nothing like gravelled road that he referred to.
Mr Speaker, please he should pay a visit to the constituencies and have a look at these road networks. We do not have those gravelled roads he talked about. They are “mfutukwan”; dusty roads. When it rains the people cannot go anywhere.
Mr Speaker noon
What is your question?
Mr I. K. Asiamah noon
Mr Speaker, he has not answered my question, because what he is describing does not exist in my constituency. Those gravelled roads do not exist in my constituency.
Mr Speaker noon
So, what is your question?
Mr I. K. Asiamah noon
My question is that he should come again and provide the right Answers.
Mr Speaker noon
That is not a question. Hon Member, you could ask questions to get the Hon Minister to answer--
Mr I. K. Asiamah noon
Mr Speaker, when would he upgrade the earth roads to graveled roads?
Alhaji Fuseini noon
Mr Speaker, they are gravelled roads. They are not tarred roads, but they are gravelled roads.
Mr I. K. Asiamah noon
Mr Speaker, the question was, when is he going to do the upgrading? I have told him as a Member of Parliament that we do not have those gravelled roads that he referred to and that is why I asked him to go and inspect those roads.
Mr Speaker, when exactly? He should give us specific dates that the upgrading would be done.The people cannot move; that is my worry.
Alhaji Fuseini noon
Mr Speaker, we will work on the road after we have done the detailed engineering studies and design.
Mr I. K. Asiamah noon
Mr Speaker, when would the detailed engineering studies be done?
Mr Speaker noon
That is your last supplementary Question. It is even the fourth one.
Alhaji Fuseini noon
I have provided the dates for the various roads.Indeed, in the third and fourth quarters of 2016, detailed engineering studies and designs would be done on all the roads that he has asked me to answer for.
Achiase to Amangoase, Kwanfinfin to Saakrom Roads et cetera in the
Atwima Mponua District (Tarring)
Q. 383. Mr Isaac Kwame Asiamah asked the Minister for Roads and Highways when the following roads in the Atwima Mponua District would be tarred:
(i) Achiase -Amangoase (ii) Kwanfinfin- Saakrom (iii) Serebuoso -Abasua (iv) Mpasatia -Abompe (v) Tanodumase - Anansu.
(i) Achiase-Amangoase
Background
Alhaji Fuseini noon
Mr Speaker, the Achiase-Amangoase road is an 18.0 kilometre gravelled road located in the Atwima Mponua District of the Ashanti Region.
(ii) Kwanfinfin-Saakrom
Background
The Kwanfinfin-Saakrom road is a 23.6 kilometre engineered gravelled road located in the Atwima Mponua District of the Ashanti Region.
(iii) Serebuosoo-Abasua
Background
The Serebuoso-Abasua feeder road is a 12.2 kilometre gravelled road located in the Atwima Mponua District of the Ashanti Region.
(iv) Mpasatia-Abompe
Background
The Mpasatia-Abompe feeder road is a 16.5 kilometre engineered gravelled road located in the Atwima Mponua District of the Ashanti Region.
Current programme
The road has been packaged for routine maintenance works as part of the DFR 2016 maintenance programme.
Future programme
Detailed engineering studies and designs will be carried out by the end of the Second quarter of 2016, to identify the critical drainage structures that need to be improved to make the road accessible at all times.
Alhaji Fuseini noon


(v) Tanodumase-Anansu

Background

The Tanodumase-Anansu road is a 23.0 kilometre gravelled road located in the Atwima Mponua District of the Ashanti Region.

Current programme

All the above listed roads have been packaged for routine maintenance works as part of the DFR 2016 maintenance programme.

Future programme

Detailed engineering studies and designs will be carried out on these roads by the end of the third quarter of 2016 to identify the critical drainage structures that need to be improved to make the road accessible at all times.
Mr I. K Asiamah noon
Mr Speaker, I would just like the Hon Minister to refer to his notes, because there is no specific Answer to the Questions on the Achiase- Amangoase road and the Kwanfinfin- Saakrom road. If he could just let me know, because when I looked through the Order Paper it seems no Answer has been provided to those ones. Could he cross- check?
The Serebuoso-Abasua Road, he said something about it -- Even the Serebuoso road nothing has been said about that, but the Mpasatia-Abompe road he has said something about it. He also said something about the Tanodumase road, but those two roads, nothing has been said about them; so I would like to know what is happening to these two roads.
Alhaji Fuseini noon
Mr Speaker, all the roads are equally circumstanced and we have provided for all of them under the
detailed engineering studies as well as the routine maintenance that would be carried out on the roads.
Mr I. K Asiamah noon
Mr Speaker, I am aware that in 2008, for example, the Achiase-Amangoase toad was awarded on contract. I am told that as I speak now, some work is being done but there is no Answer provided to that effect. That is the point.
Mr Speaker noon
Hon Minister, the point he is raising is that there is no Answer provided on some of the roads. Is that not the point you are making?
Is it the case that you provided it and the Clerks-at-the-Table did not make the information available?
Alhaji Fuseini noon
Mr Speaker, I am reading from the primary source document, I do not think that it is a mistake from Parliament. I think that the roads have all been dealt with as equal. I am not aware of any contract awarded.
Mr Speaker noon
Hon Member, which of the roads are you talking about?
Mr I. K Asiamah noon
The Achiase- Mangoase road. That road was being taken care of by the Ministry of Roads and Highways. That stretch of road is not being done by the Department of Feeder Roads.
It is substantial information I am providing to him, so he could cross- check? My concern is for the contractor to speed up the work on it.
He could crosscheck and later make the information available to me, if that can be done.
Mr Speaker, my other issue is that he keeps on referring to gravelled roads. If he claims they are gravelled roads then I
am telling him that they have lost their gravelled cover, so they should be re- gravelled.
Alhaji Fuseini noon
That is exactly so. When gravel is put on the road, after vehicles traverse the road for some time the gravel is lost.That is why we are going to do routine maintenance on those roads.
Mr Speaker noon
Hon Member for Kwabre East?
Mr Frimpong noon
Mr Speaker, today has been my day because a lot of my Questions have appeared on the Order Paper.
Overhead Pedestrian Bridges on the Madina-Adentan Highway
(Construction)
Q.384. Mr Kofi Frimpong asked the Minister for Roads and Highways when the construction of the overhead pedestrian bridges on the Madina- Adentan Highways would be completed to ensure the safety of pedestrians.
Background
Alhaji Fuseini noon
Mr Speaker, Madina- Adenta-Pantang road is located in the Madina and Adenta Municipalities in the Greater Accra Region.
The project commenced on 29th July 2009, with initial funding from the Saudi Fund, BADEA and Government of Ghana. The project is currently funded wholly by the Government of Ghana.
Current programme
The contractor is progressing with the installation of the safety features on the
road. Road line markings and road signs have been provided. Additionally, street lights and traffic lights with pedestrian phase have been installed to ensure that pedestrians and the aged are able to cross the road safely.
Identified issues with the phasing of the traffic lights are being addressed for rectification.
The outstanding works include the construction of ramps and stairs to complete the footbridges. These are expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2016.
Mr Frimpong 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to know from the Hon Minister why the delay? Is it because it is now funded by the Government of Ghana and not the Saudi Government? Is that the reason it has delayed unduly? A project that was started in 2009 has not yet been completed and people are knocked down here and there.
Alhaji Fuseini 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, it is not exactly so. It is just the delay in payment that has caused the project to delay a little.
Mr Frimpong 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not want to dwell on that. Mr Speaker, why is there a delay in payment? Is it because the project was not budgeted for? If the support comes from donor partners, there is funding; but when the Government of Ghana takes over, there is no funding.
Mr Speaker, I would like to go ahead and ask my question. The Hon Minister has done very well by telling us about the works that are ongoing on the road; I can see that.
Mr Speaker, however, that is not enough to prevent the occasional knock- down. There are about --
Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
What is your question, Hon Kofi Frimpong?
Mr Frimpong 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, my question will come -- Eei! Hecklers! [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, my question is, the main project that could stop the occasional knock-downs, that is, the overhead bridges are still not attended to. The project has --
Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Hon Member, you are breaching the rules of the House. You are not supposed to make arguments of statements.
Mr Frimpong 12:10 p.m.
All right.
Alhaji Fuseini 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we are talking about the Madina-Adentan- Pantang Road.
The footbridges have outstanding works, that is, the speed ramps and the stairs. It means that the structure and substructures have been done -- [Interruption] -- Yes, the outstanding works; ramps and stairs. So, what we are going to do is the concrete bridges.What the Hon Member has seen are the steel bridges at HIPC Junction and Shiashie.
What we are going to complete are the concrete bridges that were erected on the Madina-Adentan-Pantang Road.
Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Hon Members, Question numbered 388. [Pause.]
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of Question Time.
Hon Minister, thank you for responding to Questions from Hon Members.
Hon Chairman of the Appointments Committee, the Hon First Deputy Speaker, your Motion is slated for today -- Item numbered 8 on the Order Paper. Are you ready to take it?
Mr Ebo Barton-Odro 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, we are carrying out some consultations and I believe that before long, we would have concluded so that we can finally take it possibly on Tuesday.
Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Very well.
Hon Members, before we proceed, I would want to inform the House that I remain committed to the use of Questions to scrutinise the Executive and keep them on their toes while keeping our people informed on important issues. There is, however, the need to draw a delicate balance between these two and the sub judice rule under Standing Order 93 (1) which provides that:
“Reference shall not be made to any matter on which judicial decision is pending in such a way as may, in the opinion of Mr Speaker, prejudice the interest of the parties to the action.”
Hon Members, may I recap what made me take the decision for us to tackle this matter at a Closed Sitting. I believe sincerely that Leadership entails a lot. Therefore, when I received series of questions from Hon Members in connection with the two ex-detainees from Guantanamo Bay, I informed the two Leaders -- the Hon Majority and Minority Leaders of this House that, I have had consultations with the Hon Minister for
Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration so that the House would be briefed by the Hon Minister.
Hon Members, the subject that we are about to go into Closed Sitting for briefing is pending before the court; I have been told it is before the highest court of the land. Our own Standing Orders 44 (1) provides:
“Mr Speaker may in consultation with the House and having regard to public interest order the House to move into Closed Sitting to discuss a particular subject or for the remainder of the Sitting.”
The House agreed to this procedure in principle when the Business Statement was adopted last Friday.
In my mind, this does not constitute the House pandering to another arm of Government. After all, on reflection, the true meaning of the principle of separation of powers is one of complementarity.
After a thorough reflection, I exercised the authority to invite the Hon Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration to brief this House on a subject about which a lot has been said and speculated already by the public. I thought that we must chart a path in
dealing with national affairs while carrying out our constitutional functions.
Hon Members, I must say that this approach is neither unique nor a novelty. Our own rules and other considerations that I have stated a short while ago, allow us as a House, to adopt these measures depending on the exigencies of the time and the nature of the subject matter.
I believe that this approach, for now, offers Hon Members better opportunity to seek clarification on any issue which would otherwise not be available during Question time.
It is on that basis that I direct now, that this House move into a Closed Sitting.
In accordance with Standing Order 44 (2), I hereby direct that the Galleries and side L323obbies be cleared and all strangers take leave of us now.
Furthermore, pursuant to Standing Order 44 (3) and (4), the Clerk is instructed to ensure that proper record of this proceedings is kept for institutional memory.
12.20 p.m. -- Sitting suspended.
4.08 p.m. -- Sitting resumed.
ADJOURNMENT 12:10 p.m.