Debates of 24 Feb 2016

MR SPEAKER
PRAYERS 10:10 a.m.

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

Mr Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Hon Members, Correction of Votes and Proceedings.
Mr Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Alfred Kwame Agbesi: Mr Speaker, I rise on Standing Order 53 to seek your permission to alter the Business of the day as set out on the Order Paper to enable us take item number 6 on the Order Paper. That is the Report of the Appointments Committee on the Presidential Nominees.
Mr Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Hon Members, item number 6.
Hon Chairman of the Appointments Committee?
MOTIONS 10:10 a.m.

Chairman of the Committee (Mr Ebo Barton-Odro) 10:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Ebo Barton-Odro) 10:10 a.m.
assumed control. Notwithstanding, the Nominee said he was aware that SADA was undergoing restructuring to reposition itself to deliver on its mandate.
He disclosed that the Authority has been put under a new management and has been consulting various stakeholders in that regard. He stressed that SADA has learnt a lot from its past experience and believed it will perform better this time round.
In his view, the Guinea fowl module under SADA, is good but there is still the need to review the modules to achieve better results. He revealed that the Government had commenced processes to retrieve moneys that the Authority wrongfully paid to various entities.
He believed that the Authority will deliver on its mandate when it is fully repositioned. The Nominee further agreed with the suggestion that SADA did not act professionally when it failed to utilise the expertise of the Forestry Commission in the implementation of its tree planting project. He however, stated that the concept was good and SADA could have done better.
Initiatives to address poor sanitary practices
Asked how he intends to address poor sanitary practices such as open defecation being practised by some residents in the Upper East Region, the Hon Nominee insisted that open defecation was not a cultural practice in the region, but promised that he would do his best to bring that practice to an end, if approved.
He said that he would assist in sensitising the people on the harmful effects that open defecation has on their

lives to discourage the practice. He also stated that he would work through the Municipal and District Assemblies in the region to provide toilet facilities in communities and would also ensure that the residents provide toilet facilities in their homes.

Youth development strategies

Responding to a question on how he has helped as a Member of Parliament to harness the economic opportunities in the Bongo Constituency, the Hon Nominee indicated that he had to do a lot to improve upon the lives of the people. He disclosed that he has currently organised fifteen (15) women groups who are engaged in art and craft works including the promotion of “Bolga Basket”.

He also stated that he has supported youth groups in his constituency to undertake dry season farming. Apart from supplying the youth groups with water pumps, the Nominee said he has also bought cattle for the youth groups to assist them in ploughing their farmlands.

He said, if approved, he would introduce other interventions at various levels to ensure sharing of experiences among the groups and support their activities towards improving their welfare in the region.

Initiatives for the support of women in the region

The Nominee commended the members of the Sirugu Women Association (SWA) for implementing measures to put their products on the international market. He also disclosed that he has undertaken similar projects in his constituency, which promote the “Bolga Basket” produced by the women in the Bongo Constituency.

In the same vein, the Nominee stated that he would replicate the initiatives in the region and adopt other measures to improve the condition of women in the Upper East Region. He intends to do this by collaborating effectively with donor agencies in the region to establish growth centres.

He also promised to support the fifteen (15) women groups and other industrious and enthusiastic women in the region by sourcing funds from the Distr ict Assemblies Common Fund of the districts in the region. He further disclosed that he was building an Arts Centre in the Bongo Constituency to promote artistic works produced in the area.

Relationship between MPs and District Chief Executives

The Nominee was of the view that the conflict between Members of Parliament and Chief Executives of MMDAs is borne out of the lack of understanding of the different roles they play as development agents. He was of the view that Members of Parliament should be given autonomy over the releases of their share of the Common Fund as part of measures to address the issue.

He raised the concern that on situations where Members of Parliament were not informed of ongoing projects in their constituencies is not a good practice. This is because Members of Parliament are held directly accountable by the people. He, however, stated that he would work closely with all the stakeholders because he believed that they all work towards a common goal.

Composition of Regional Security Council

Relating to the composition and functions of the Regional Security

Council (REGSEC), the Hon nominee stated that the REGSEC is headed by the Regional Minister with its membership composed of the Deputy Regional Minister, DCEs, heads of the various security agencies.

He explained that the function of the REGSEC is to ensure peace and security in the region by working closely with the District Security Council.

Curbing smuggling at the Ghana/ Burkina Faso Border

On what he would put in place to curb smuggling at the Ghana/Burkina Faso border, the Nominee conceded that the issue was a major concern in the region. He attributed the increasing smuggling to the porous nature of the country's borders. He explained that the absence of a physical barrier allows people to enter the country so easily and thereby making it difficult to deal with the issue.

As a measure to curb the practice, the Nominee said he would support the security agencies to mount serious surveillance at the border and empower them to check the infiltration of certain groups of people from entering the country.

Revival of the Pwalugu Tomato Factory

The Nominee stated that past attempts to revamp the Pwalugu Tomato Factory faced several challenges. According to him, the situation was due to the inability of farmers to produce tomatoes throughout the year to feed the factory. He attributed this to the short rainy season experienced in the region.

If given the nod, he intends to learn from ongoing efforts to revive the factory and adopt new technologies to

ensure availability of raw materials at all times to enable the factory operate throughout the year.

Recommendation

The Committee by consensus recommends that the House approves the nomination of Hon Albert Abongo for appointment as Regional Minister for the Upper East Region.

Hon Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye-- Minister-designate for the Ministry of Youth and Sports

Background

Hon Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye was born on 11th June, 1965 in Accra, Ghana.

He had his primary education at All Saints International School at Adabraka, Accra. From there, he proceeded to the Rapid Preparatory School in Sunyani for his Middle School Education. He attended the Presbyterian Secondary School, Bechem in the Brong Ahafo Region for the Ordinary Level Certificate in 1983 and continued at Mfantsipim School, Cape Coast, where he obtained his Advanced Level Certificate in 1985.

He later attended the University of Ghana, where he graduated in 1989 with a Bachelor's Degree in English and Classics. Nii Lantey further attended the Ghana Institute of Journalism and graduated with a Diploma in Communications in 1997. He is currently undertaking a course in Law at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).

The Hon Nominee has participated in a number of training programmes including Sports Management and Promotion at the National Sports Council

and Basic Soccer Coaching. The Nominee was the Sports Captain of Sarbah Picot House, Mfantsipim (1984 - 1985) and also held the position of Sports Secretary at Mensah Sarbah Hall, Legon (1988 -

1989).

Further to this, he served as the General Secretary of the National Chapters Co-ordinating Committees (NCCCs) of Accra Hearts of Oak Sporting Club between 1987 and 1990.

The Hon Nominee is a retired footballer and has played as a professional footballer for Accra Hearts of Oak and Ebusua Dwarfs and is now the President of the Liberty Oldies.

The Nominee undertook his national service at Assin Fosu District from 1989 to 1990 and later was engaged as Sports Presenter and Commentator by the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation from 1990 to 2001. The Hon Nominee served as an Aide at the Office of the President, Accra, between 2009 and 2013.

Nii Lantey is currently the Member of Parliament for the Odododiodioo Constituency and a Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Develop- ment.

Responses to questions

The Nominee provided the following responses to questions posed to him:

Development of lesser-known sports

The Nominee stated that the country has failed in the past to take concrete steps to develop other sporting disciplines besides football. He stated that though the country had achieved laurels in the past in other sports like hockey, volleyball, table tennis and boxing, not much has been done to promote them.

He said what the country needs to do is not only to resurrect them but also to develop the sports to win international awards. He said he would brand sports as a product to attract both local and international sponsorship. According to him, sports is science and one needs a good knowledge base to make it work.

He emphasised that if sports is not developed, the outcome would not be right. In this regard, the Nominee assured the Committee that, if approved, he would be a Minister for Sports and not a Minister for only football.

View on the high attrition rate of Ministers for Youth and Sports

The Nominee agreed with the fact that the frequent changes of Ministers for the Ministry of Youth and Sports since 2013 does not augur well for sports development in the country. He expressed the view that if the Ministers are accorded much time, they would have acquired the needed experience to implement pro- grammes to develop the sector.

He, however, emphasised that it was the prerogative of the President to appoint and also relief Ministers of their post any time he deemed it appropriate.

Alleged role in preventing non-Gas from registering at Odododiodioo Consti- tuency

Commenting on his alleged role in preventing non-Gas from registering at the Odododiodioo Constituency during the 2012 voters registration exercise, the Nominee stated that what happened was completely misreported, and that he did not stop the registration of non-Gas in the constituency.

He maintained that he grew up in the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo Regions and is also married to a non-Ga and therefore, appreciates the sense of diversity.

Late start of the 2016 Premier League Season

On how he would get the 2016 League Season started if approved, the Nominee stated that he did not know the cause of the delay of the League Season; but he promised to seek more information on the underlying factors and thereafter hold constructive discussions with the various stakeholders in a bid to resolve the impasse.

He assured the Committee that he was positive about securing the unders- tanding of the aggrieved parties to ensure that the League commences.

Youth Development Initiatives

The Nominee said youth development is at the core of the work of the Ministry of Youth and Sports and so, he would work with the National Youth Authority, the Youth Training Centres and other allied institutions to create the necessary synergy to improve upon the conditions of the youth in this country.

He intends to collaborate with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to determine the possibility of raising funds through the District Assemblies towards implementing policies for youth development.

Sports as an emerging industry in Ghana

The Nominee said that he would take the development of sports in the country more seriously to make it an economic activity. He stated that he was aware of the steps being taken to expedite the passage of the National Sports Bill into
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Ebo Barton-Odro) 10:20 a.m.
Addressing the rise of motorbike theft in the region
The Nominee agreed to the suggestion that there was a rise in motorbike theft in the region. He said the situation was unfortunate and undesirable and required urgent security measures to address it. He said if the House considers him fit, he will lead the REGSEC to liaise with the security agencies in the region to address the situation.
Follow up on Audit issues
The Nominee informed the Committee that coming from civil society, he holds the view that the other side of governance is weak as the public sector does not often involve the citizenry. There was the need to make public officers accountable.
He said as the Regional Minister and head of the Regional Coordinating Council, he would put in place mechanisms to ensure that the Auditor-General's recommendations are implemented. In his view, it was the role of the Regional Minister to ensure the enforcement of the existing policies of government and other enabling laws.
He would, therefore, ensure the enforcements of the Auditor-General's Reports, especially those concerning the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in the region.
Relationship with Members of Parliament in the region
The Nominee explained to the Committee that his interest in Governance was to serve the people in the region. He was of the view that the current Members of Parliament also share similar interests.
As the Regional Minister, he would work with the Members of Parliament to ensure that the region benefits from a lot of developmental activities. He said each one has a role to play towards the development of the region.
Measures to address bureaucracy
The Nominee acknowledged the fact that bureaucracy in the public sector was real and could be very frustrating. One way of addressing such an issue is to ensure that people work timeously. He said he would ensure that staff of the Regional Coordinating Council work timeously in order to reduce the abuse of bureaucracy. He also said he would put in place performance indicators, appraisals and target settings, among others.
International Airport
The Nominee agreed to the suggestion that the region needs an International Airport. The Airport is central to the opening up of the region. He said Tamale is the hub of the North and its position is therefore, critical towards the develop- ment of the three regions. The International Airport would also facilitate movement and reduce accidents. He said he would support Government's efforts to upgrade the airport to an international airport.
Recommendation
The Committee by consensus recommends that the House approves the nomination of Mr Abubakari Abdulai for appointment as Regional Minister for the Northern Region.
General observation
The key observation made by the Committee is that, almost all the Nominees did not take their time to write their curriculum vitae. In the event, there were many gaps and sometimes overlaps and seeming conflict in the CVs submitted and
the Nominees were requested to re-submit their CVs. The indication is that, the Nominees were not diligent enough, yet the offices that they have been nominated to requires serious diligence.
The Committee accordingly urges the Nominees to exercise greater diligence in their respective endeavours if approved by the House.
Conclusion
The Committee has duly considered the nominations of His Excellency the President, for ministerial appointments in line with the 1992 Constitution and the Standing Orders of the House and recommends the Nominees to the House for approval. The seven (7) Nominees are as follows:
i) Hon Albert Abongo-- Regional Minister-designate for the Upper East Region
ii) Hon Edwin Nii Lantey Van- derpuye -- Minister-designate for the Ministry of Youth and Sports
iii) Hon Kweku Ricketts-Hagan -- Regional Minister-designate for the Central Region
iv) Mr John Alexander Ackon -- Regional Minister-designate for the Ashanti Region
v) Mr Prosper Douglas Kweku Bani --Minister-designate for the Ministry of the Interior
vi) Ms Mavis Ama Frimpong -- Regional Minister-designate for the Eastern Region
vii) Mr Abubakari Abdallah -- Regional Minister-designate for the Northern Region
Respectfully submitted.

Ranking Member of the Committee (Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu): Mr Speaker, I rise to second the Motion for the adoption of the Report. But if you would indulge me, I would reserve my own contribution subsequently by seconding the Motion.
Mr Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Hon Member, in view of the programme that the Leadership has in meeting the President's Committee on the Presidential emoluments for article 71 of the Standing Orders, the Leadership might leave the House a bit earlier, so, I thought that you would make your contribution now.
Even though, under the rules, you are entitled to do what you wanted to do, we may need your services sometime in the day. Do you still want to reserve your contribution?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:20 a.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Very well.
Question proposed.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah (NPP -- Sekondi) 10:20 a.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to this Motion that; the Report of the Appointments Committee be adopted.
Mr Speaker, in my view, this Report does not seem to be too controversial and I do not even expect it to be the last Report. This is because I am expecting that, there would be a photo-finish reshuffle -- [Laughter] -- This is because I experienced it. I was reappointed an Hon Minister six months before the general elections and I expect H.E. the President would certainly have to do that.
Mr Cletus A. Avoka (NDC — Zebilla) 10:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to support the Motion on the floor and humbly request my Hon Colleagues to approve of the Committee's Report for these nominees.
Mr Speaker, in doing so, I would want to make some few observations. The first one is to congratulate all the nominees, particularly, our Hon Colleagues who are from Parliament here and have been considered for this high office of Ministers.
Mr Speaker, I particularly take note of Hon Albert Abongo, who is going to be my Regional Minister, and to say that this is a gentleman who has done four terms in this Parliament. It is also recalled that, some few years back, Hon Albert Abongo was the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing and was later on part of the Cabinet or the Executive and has come back again.
Mr Speaker, Hon Albert Abongo's appointment and that of Hon Prosper Bani shows us or gives us a lot of lessons to learn. There have been people who when removed from office become disillusioned, demoralised and despondent. On the contrary, Hon Albert Abongo and Hon Bani, who were removed from their respective offices, remained very loyal and faithful and served the country to the best of their abilities. No wonder they are back to the Executive.
I think that this is a lesson for all of us to learn from; that if we occupy a particular position and we are taken out, it is not the end of life.We may be watched and may come back again, maybe, in a higher form or other forms to serve mother Ghana.
So, Mr Speaker, I commend the two of them for their humility, commitment and dedication to their duties that attracted H.E.the President, to appoint them again to these higher positions of Government.
Mr Speaker, the others are the Deputy Ministers who are being promoted from the deputy status to full Ministerial status
and one or two others who are coming from outside. I congratulate all of them.
Mr Speaker, in the case of Mr Prosper Bani, some people asked whether his present position is not a demotion because he was the Chief of Staff, coordinating Ministers of State and now he becomes a Minister and someone coordinates him, I think I was satisfied with his answer.
Mr Speaker, among other things, service to our country is not limited to one particular office. If one is removed from office ‘A' and given the capacity to work in office ‘B', his contribution is as important as his former office.
I recalled that there have been some people in other jurisdictions where Prime Ministers have become Cabinet Ministers, and have served the countries loyally. Mr Speaker, we have to learn or appreciate the humility of Hon Albert Abongo and Prosper Bani including several others in the past, take note of them and follow suit because they would help us and help develop our country as well.
Mr Speaker, in the case of my very good Friend, the Hon Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, I appreciate his appointment, because as a sports enthusiast, I share the ideals with him. He is coming at a time when the attrition rate at the Ministry is very high.
But I am very confident of his knowledge, experience and dexterity in that Ministry. I would want to plead that when the President swears him in, and he assumes responsibility fully, he should take note that sports is now business all over the world -- He has indicated that he is not going to be the Minister for
rose
Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Hon Member, do you have a point of order?
Mr I. K. Asiamah 10:30 a.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
What is your point of order?
Mr I. K. Asiamah 10:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, my point of order is the regional representation at the premiership division —- That is where my worry is, because it is about competition. I do not know what kind of formula he is suggesting to this House, so, if he could clarify his position. That is my worry.
Mr Speaker 10:30 a.m.
That is not a point of order.
Mr Avoka 10:30 a.m.
It is my opinion and it is my position. He may have a different position. That is not a point of order, with the greatest respect.
Mr Speaker, that is my prayer. It would keep the youth back there, it would develop sports in the region. And sports is entertainment, jobs, business and everything. I think that, this is a laudable thing that if he considers it would be very useful.
Mr Speaker, let me conclude by associating myself with some of the sentiments expressed by the Chairman of the Committee. In fact, the general observation of the Committee's Report, talked about the fact that some curriculum vitae (CVs) were not the best.
Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah has articulated on those issues so we do not need to belabour the point. I think that they are responsible people. All these are very tested people.
Mr Speaker, people have argued that, this is injury time, and those of us who have been following football and other sporting activities, know that even when a match is about 90 minutes into the game, during even the last five minutes, a fellow can come and turn over the match from defeat to victory.
Mr Speaker, I think that these are people who have been tried and tested; Hon Abongo, Prosper Bani and others are people who have been tried and tested. They have been brought in at this time, because, the President knows that there is a role they would play, that can support the development of the country.
We should appreciate that, appointing Ministers at this time is not just meant for political achievement or electoral victory. That is not the purpose. It is not just for winning elections. It is for developing this country. It is for serving a particular role that would help in the development of this country.
We should look at it in this perspective, and not the fact that because this is an
election year, if they appoint somebody then the President wants to improve his electoral fortunes et cetera. That is not the case.
Mr Speaker, I am still confident that, notwithstanding the prejudices, these are people who can support the development of Mother Ghana, so I commend and congratulate them.
Thank you.
Dr Anthony Akoto Osei (NPP -- Old Tafo) 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to contribute to this Motion for this House to adopt the Seventeenth Report of the Appointments Committee.
Mr Speaker, my senior Colleague has spoken about the issue of the Curriculum Vitae (CVs) and I support his call on that. It is very important that we accept the position that there is no doubt about the capacity of the individuals being approved.

Mr Ackon is coming to my region and I wish him well. Perhaps, the one I have the most sympathy with is Mr Prosper Bani, and that is for several reasons.

First of all, he would be coming at a very challenging time and period, where we all agree, there are security concerns all around the country and I sympathise with him in that respect. In my constituency as I speak now, there is a

curfew, which if not managed properly, could deteriorate. So, I would want to wish him well and that the good Lord gives him the energy and fortitude to be able to handle the situation. Not to talk about the Fulani situation, that of Bunkpurugu/ Yunyoo and all around the country.

Mr Speaker, I suspect that, having been a former Chief of Staff, I do not want to comment on whether it is an elevation or whatever. I wish to say that the skills that are required for the office of the Chief of Staff would be called for in this particular position because of the sensitivity of the area that he is going to. Having worked at the United Nations, I can only suggest that, the skills that he acquired there, would assist him to manoeuvre this rather dangerous terrain.

Mr Speaker, Ms Mavis Ama Frimpong we are told is quite capable and having served as a Deputy for quite some time, it would be natural for her to move there.

Yes, go to the Oberlin College website -- www.oberlin.edu. Go to the Administration block of the Achimota School and you would see it there as the sportsman of the year. Mr Speaker, the Hon Member who interrupted should know that -- Mr Welbeck's son -- His father was my Colleague in theAchimota Soccer Team. But Nii, I pray for you because that Ministry is very tricky.

My good Friend, Mr Wolanyo Agra was swept, my good Friend Mubarak was swept -- my good Friend here Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah was not swept -- [Laughter.] But Mr Speaker, it looks like an area that as much as we require further progress, it is also a very tricky spot. So,
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Hon Member for Ho West?
Mr Emmanuel K. Bedzrah (NDC -- Ho West) 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion that seeks to approve the President's nominees and to congratulate our Hon Colleagues who have been elevated, more especially, Hon Albert Abongo who sits always at my left hand side who would be heading towards the Upper East Region.
I will miss him a lot anyway and our good Friend, Hon Ricketts-Hagan as well as Hon Nii Lantey Vanderpuye.
Mr Speaker, Hon Abongo, we all know, is an Engineer by profession and almost all engineers do their work meticulously and I believe that when he gets to the Upper East Region, he would do his work as an Engineer who blends his engineering with politics. [Hear! Hear!] And every engineer in politics would do his work effectively.
I would want to advise him and also ask that the issue about Bawku that has been in the public domain and has been a security concern to all of us especially, in this election year, when he gets there, he would take it up and make sure that the people of Bawku become one family as we all know them to be.
The Bawku issue has been a thorny one for all of us and those of us who come from the South even think that Bawku should not be on the map of conflict but that they should rather live as brothers and sisters. So, Hon Albert Abongo, we congratulate you, but we would want you to do more work, more especially, as the President has reposed this confidence in you, you would bring to bear your experience as Engineer on that region.
Mr Speaker, Hon Nii Lantey Van- derpuye as we all know is a youth and most often than not, when they get to the Ministry, they tend to forget about the youthful part of the Ministry and always concentrate on the sports.
I would want to appeal to my good Friend, the Hon Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, that, when he gets to the Ministry, the youth part of the Ministry -- Policies for the youth and all activities that they need to carry on in this country, he would work assiduously to make sure that the youth are well taken care of in that Ministry.
He should not ignore the youth and concentrate only on sports. We all know him as an old footballer and for that matter a sports man. He should not go and concentrate on only football but the lesser sports as he stated in his response to some of the questions that he would market the lesser know sports and make sure that we all buy into it.
I would want to appeal to him, that the lesser known sports can also bring
revenue to this country. Therefore, he should concentrate on marketing the lesser sports as he has noted.
Mr Speaker, Mr Prosper Douglas Bani who in the recent past has been the Chief of Staff, I believe that by his good works, he has been recalled to continue what he started as the former Chief of Staff.
Mr Speaker, we are in an election year and the security of this nation is the concern of both local and international observers. Being the Minister for the Interior means that there is a lot more for him to do by making sure that during this election year, the security of the nation would be intact as he met it.
I believe that there are old former Ministers of State from that Ministry that he can confer with. He can also rely heavily on some of the experience of Hon Avoka who was there and other Colleagues who were former Ministers of State in the Ministry of the Interior.
We would wish that, after 2016, Ghana would continue to be the same united nation that we all know; no division and no confusion. He should not rely on only his experience but that he should also rely on our security services as well.
Mr Speaker, with these few words, I support the Motion.
Thank you.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Members, I have got the sense of the House.
I would take one from each side of the House, then I would move to Leadership, then put the Question.
I would take Hon Isaac Asiamah and then the Hon Minister for Employment and Labour Relations.
Mr Isaac K. Asiamah (NPP-- Atwima- Mponua) 10:50 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for allowing me to contribute to the Seventeenth Report of the Appointments Committee on H.E. the President's Nominations for Ministerial Appoint- ments.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Members, if there is no controversy about the Report, why do we not -- [Interruption] -- I have listened to four people so far apart from the Hon Chairman who moved the Motion and the Seconder. I have got the sense of the House.
Yes, you have the floor.
Mr I. K. Asiamah 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I have no problem with any of the nominees so far. Mine is about the issues that were raised. We hope and pray that, at this last hour, they would perform and perform well. As some have said, they are injury time Ministers. I hope that they perform well. They are my Friends and we wish them well.
Mr Speaker, the issues are of interesting nature. On page 8, for example; Composition of Regional Security Council. I think over the years, particularly, between 2004 and 2008, there was this fine arrangement that, in election years, the composition of the regional and district level security councils should be done in such a way that, elections would be conducted and be seen as being free, fair and of course, transparent.
Mr Speaker, we do not doubt the competence of some of these Hon Ministers or District Chief Executives (DCEs). It is only fair that in an election year, we allow only professionals in the security apparatus to handle only security matters.
It was done in 2004 and 2008 and that it is only fair that in an election year, we allow only professionals -- They are there

-- So that we take the politicians out of our security arrangements.

So, I would urge the President to ensure that, at least, this year, for example, Regional Ministers and DCEs be out of the security arrangements, so that all political players would be comfortable and safe and of course, by that the dealings would be better.

My special appeal to His Excellency the President is that, this is an election year, we expect that, that fine arrangement that was in place some years back should be replicated so that, political parties would feel comfortable working together.

Mr Speaker, the other issue is about sports. As we speak now, I ask this House and this country what the vision of Ghana sports is. What is the vision of our sports? We do not have a comprehensive law that deals with our sports. It is very sad that, as a country, so passionate about sports, we cannot boast of a very comprehensive law that deals with sports.

Mr Speaker, we made a comprehensive Sports Bill in 2007. That is what I alluded to. The process was in place and there was a Bill we came to meet. Where is that Bill now? I think it is something I would urge the incoming Minister to take on board so that, Ghana would have a very comprehensive Sports Bill that can

address all the issues confronting the Sports Industry.

Mr Speaker, there are many challenges. As somebody did indicate, sports should be seen as a business. In other democracies, the contribution of sports to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is so massive. Why can we not have a similar thing in this country? We have the talents and they abound all over the place.

Let us create jobs for our youth through sports. It is an industry in which we can create more jobs for the youth. So, we need to look at the Sports Bill and make sure that we bring it here.

Mr Speaker, again, one other issue I would quite share with the Hon Nominee for Youth and Sports is about making sure that, there is a welfare package for our retired sportsmen and women. I recall that, I read a Statement in this same House and I called on the President and indeed, the Government to ensure that, we have Sports Professionals Endowment Fund that would take care of the welfare of our sports professionals, both active and non- active. Both retired and of course, active ones must all be taken care of.

Mr Speaker, let us walk the talk and ensure that we act and act well. That is my contribution. For the Hon Nominees, I wish them well and I hope that by November 7, 2016, some of them would be handing over to some people on this side of the House. So, there would be handing over from that side to this side come November 7. That is what I just wish them.
Minister for Employment and Labour Relations (Mr Haruna Iddrisu)(MP) 10:50 a.m.
Thank you very much for the opportunity to associate myself with the Motion for the adoption of your Appointments Committee Report on His Excellency,
President Mahama's Nominations for Ministerial Appointments.
Mr Speaker, in doing so, I refer you to page 18 of the Committee's Report, in particular, delays in the completion of the Komenda Sugar Factory and to state that, I am aware that work is progressing very steadily on the Komenda Sugar Factory. What I do know is the connection of water, electricity and roads.
Accordingly, the President has instructed the sector Ministers to fast- track it so that, it is completed before schedule for it to be commissioned on or before April 30th, 2016.
Mr Speaker, in contributing to this Motion, I hold with me here, an international Newspaper, The New York Times, of February 16, 2016. There is an instructive comment by a very brilliant Senator in the US whose words I believe can guide our Appointments Committee into the future and with your indulgence, I would like to quote.
The Senator is Susan Collins of Maine and this is what she said about the Senate Committee on Evaluation for an Appointment and I quote, so that I can situate Ghana's Appointments Committee to appreciate this in future.
“Our role in the Senate is to evaluate the nominee's temperament, intellect, experience, integrity and respect for the Constitution and the rule of law.”
She said this in the statement. Mr Speaker, my understanding is that, this would be the role of our Appointments Committee as we ever examine article 78 or 256 of the Constitution, when we are looking at the President's nominations.
We should be interested in the nominee's temperaments, intellect, experience, integrity and respect for the Constitution and the rule of law.
Mr Speaker, in saying so, I would also like to suggest to the Appointments Committee that, sometimes, because this is a House of record, I know that appointment of Regional Ministers is not situated within the same realm of that of Ministers of State under the Constitution, therefore, it is important sometimes that reference is made to article 256 to make a clear distinction between appointments that fall under the decentralised regime and those that fall under article 78.
Mr Speaker, that leads me to the comment earlier made by Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah where he talks about Curriculum Vitae. With your indulgence, I quote article 78 and it says:
“Ministers of State shall be appointed by the President with the prior approval by Parliament…”
With prior approval, the Supreme Court of Ghana has had the opportunity to make a judicial pronouncement on as a shared responsibility. Therefore, for Parliament to be asking the nature of the Curriculum Vitae -- Parliament has a role in scrutinising those particular CVs.
Mr Speaker, we should also be guided by the Constitution even as we assess nominees from the President. We should be guided by the fact that article 94 does define who can or cannot be a Minister when it defines eligibility to be Members of Parliament. It says that, for one to be a Minister of State, one must qualify to be a Member of Parliament.
Therefore, there is elaborate constitutional guidance on who can be appointed and
Minister for Employment and Labour Relations (Mr Haruna Iddrisu)(MP) 10:50 a.m.
made a Minister. But it is for Parliament to understand that, we do have a shared responsibility in doing so.
Mr Speaker, when we have a tactical coach like H.E. President Mahama, who chooses to energise -- When you know injury time, in injury time those who are worried and concerned about injury time are those in defeat and not the one leading like President Mahama.

Mr Speaker, I am very certain that he has a very calm personality --

Mr Kwami Anyimadu-Antwi -- rose
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Do you have a point of order?
Yes, Hon Anyimadu-Antwi?
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague is misleading the House by saying that, to be an Hon Minister, one would need to be Member of Parliament. That is what he said.
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Minister, what did you say?
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker for the abundance of caution, I would, with your permission, quote article 94 (1) of the 1992 Constitution:
“Subject to the provisions of this article, a person shall not be qualified to be a Member of Parliament unless --”
Then it defines the criteria. To be an Hon Minister, one must meet these minimum criteria.
Mr Speaker, I am dealing with injury time, by their argument. A tactical coach energises his team at injury time.
Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh-- rose
-- 11 a.m.

Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
What is your point of order?
Dr Prempeh 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, on timeless occasions, you have asked us to keep to the script.
Mr Speaker, nowhere in the Report do we find injury time of Hon Ministers. Somebody's comment cannot be commented on.
Mr Speaker, what the Hon Minister for Employment and Labour Relations is trying to do is to bring through the back door, like you always say, an election propaganda.
Mr Speaker, I know that he has the election employment module. He should let that one be in his Ministry and let us continue with recommending these Hon Minsters for H.E. the President to appoint and not election employment module.
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Member, you know that once an Hon Member raises an issue on the Floor, another Hon Member is entitled to respond to that issue. I think that is precisely what the Hon Minister is doing. If an Hon Member expresses an opinion and another Hon Member on the Floor holds a contrary opinion or supports that opinion, he is entitled, in the rules of debate, to express an opinion on it.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I have also heard my Hon Colleague, Hon Isaac Asiamah, make reference to how professionals in the Security Services
policed the 2004 and 2008 election. He deliberately, conveniently and politically left out the election of 2012.
Mr Speaker, when the Ghana Police Service and the Ghana Armed Forces, are called upon, they remain professional security institutions. The Government would continue to use them appropriately not just for the peace and stability of the country, but to support the Electoral Commission to conduct free and fair elections.
Mr Speaker, when I said the President is energising, let me also commend our Hon Regional Minister, Limuna Mohammed Muniru, who is going to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
Mr Speaker, he has a daunting task. While I commend him, Mr Speaker, let me refer to the Chronicle Newspaper of today, 24th February, 2016 under the heading, “Agric is collapsing… World Bank warns Ghana”.
Mr I. K. Asiamah 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the point I made was that in 2004 and 2008, there was an arrangement which was communicated to all political parties that the Regional Security Council and District Security Council were going to be chaired by professional security personnel, and it happened.
Mr Speaker, but we need a communication from H.E. the President so that political players would be comfortable. I said that communication should come clear.
Also, it is not just about the communication, but the workings of it should be chaired by professionals. It happened in 2004 and 2008. That is what I
want H.E. the President to do so that all players would be comfortable and safe in this political environment.
There should be credible assurance from H.E. the President, that security agencies would be more professional in their dealings. It is not about what is written in the Constitution that they should be chaired -- It is a constitutional provision. But for fairness, we should insist that professionals should head Regional Security Councils and District Security Councils. That was the contribution I made.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, whatever it is, he ended at 2008 and there was a major election in 2012, which was policed.
Mr Speaker, he must help himself. The Regional Security Councils are chaired by Hon Regional Ministers and District Security Councils are chaired by District and Metropolitan Chief Executives. One cannot change the pattern today. What is important is for us to police the elections.
Mr Speaker, I was on the Hon Minister for Food and Agriculture and I would conclude with that. While commending Hon Limuna Muniru, to ask him to work very hard in redeeming what is described here as very worrying, Mr Speaker, with your permission, I beg to quote:
“The share of Ghana's agricultural sector towards the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is 1991 was about 65 per cent has now reduced by almost 50 percent down to 23 per cent in 2012, the World Bank has warned.”
Mr Speaker, it means that, for us to be self-sufficient in food production and for the President's agenda of reducing imports and self-sufficiency in food production, he has a key role to play.
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Minister, conclude.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, what is important is whether the person shares the vision of H.E. the President and would contribute to the success of that vision. I believe he does.
With these words, Mr Speaker, I associate myself with the Motion.
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Member for Pusiga and the Hon Member for Abuakwa South. I would give you some few minutes to contribute.
So, I would start with the Hon Member for Abuakwa South and the Hon Member for Pusiga.
Mr Samuel Atta Akyea (NPP-- Abuakwa South) 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, an issue which is very fundamental to the appointment of Hon Ministers is very constitutional. I would want us to stress that and avoid situations in which it is said that, when they get to the job, they would be able to do their best.
Mr Speaker, if we pay regard to article 76 (2), it provides, and with your kind permission, I would like to quote:
“The Cabinet shall assist the President in the determination of general policy of the Government.”
Mr Speaker, it means that if somebody is going to assist, then he should be competent. If somebody is going to assist in general policy, then he should have a proven record that he is not going to be a trial and error individual; more so when we are very close to the term of H.E. the President.
Mr Speaker, I always want to stress that when we play down on this constitutional provision and its import, it would hurt the Government in terms of the hands that are going to assist it in the running of the affairs of the State.
There is also another provision in the Constitution, which whenever we pose a question to nominees they cannot even come to terms with because it is hidden and very significant.
Mr Speaker, I am referring to the role of an Hon Deputy Regional Minister. There have been a lot of uncomfortable relationship between an Hon Regional Minister and his Hon Deputy Regional Minister all because, probably, Mr Speaker, and with respect, we have not appreciated article 256 (2). With your kind permission, I would like to quote:
“The President may, in consultation with the Minister of State for a region and with the prior approval of Parliament, appoint for the region a Deputy Minister or Deputy Ministers to perform such functions as the President may determine.”
Mr Speaker, there is always the dimension as to whether the Hon Deputy Minster is supposed to, excuse me to say, be answerable to the Hon Regional Minister or he should be answerable to the President.
We need some education with this constitutional provision. If not, there is a tendency for an Hon Regional Minister to lord it over an Hon Deputy Regional Minister when the Constitution is very express that the functions of the Hon Deputy Regional Minister should be determined by the President.
Mr Speaker, one other issue which came up when we were talking about injury time -- It is not a question of injury time, we are talking about Releases.
For instance, when we posed a question to Hon Prosper Douglas Bani as to whether he knew the monies allotted for the Ministry of the Interior and whether he has even seen the Appropriation Act, by passed this august House and apart from that, how much money was actually released for the purposes of carrying out his Ministerial functions, with due respect, he was dumb.
Mr Speaker, therefore, my main concern is that, sometimes, somebody might be very competent and might have had a good record to help the Government but as we see it now, the monies are in arrears, Hon Ministers are begging to have money from the Ministry of Finance to perform their work.
Then, it is not only injury time but where poverty abounds, one cannot function well and that is a very important -- So, we should critically look at it. Either we want the Ministries to function and the Ministry of Finance will release monies for them to do their work properly because one will have all the ideas in the world, but without the money dimension, one will not be able to do what they are supposed to do.
Mr Speaker, finally, I was very concerned about some of the Regional Ministers, especially where galamsey has become a kind of human savagery which is being inflicted on our people.
Mr Speaker, we have said time without number that,galamsey is not a witchcraft activity in which it is so nocturnal that people cannot see what the player is doing. Galamsey is an open activity. There are situations in which one will find huge machines being used to mess up the river bodies of the people in my constituency and in parts of the Eastern Region. The River Birim.
Mr Speaker, when we posed a question that 11 a.m.
”are we saying that there is governmental impotence in arresting those who brazenly will want to mess up our river bodies”. The answers that were forthcoming were not good. What should be done is that, we should not arrest those on the ground -- the pits.
There are serious financial gurus supporting them; those who can afford to buy the big machines should be arrested and prosecuted but we are very happy to say that, with the new law, the Hon Minister has the powers to confiscate some of these machines to abate this serious menace which is really hurting this country in terms of our river bodies.
Mr Speaker, I must also say that, Hon Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye was my hallmate in the Mensah Sarbah Hall. He was extremely eloquent but I am waiting to see whether he could match words with action -- What he says, he cannot bring it to fruition.
I think he has how many months? Eight months -- [Interruption] -- We will be marking the score to see whether my good Friend will be able to effect a modicum of

change in this Ministry where the attrition rate is not too pleasant.

Thank you, Mr Speaker, for this opportunity.
Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon Member for Pusiga, brief comments.
Ms Laadi Ayii Ayamba (NDC -- Pusiga) 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity.
Mr Speaker, I rise to contribute to the Motion. Let me first of all congratulate the Appointments Committee for a good job done and also the nominees.
Mr Speaker, my congratulations especially goes to my Regional Minister nominee -- Hon Albert Abongo, whom I believe will actually undertake all the activities, duties and jobs. I have known him for not less than 20 years and I know what he is worth.
Mr Speaker, the Upper East Region has a lot to be done; although one of the smallest regions in the country but Hon Abongo has always worked hard, he is down to earth, trustworthy and competent and has always worked with the people. I urge him to endeavour to put all his experiences together.
Mr Speaker, I also wish to urge him to support more women during his administration. I believe and know very well that he will be able to deliver. Congratulations especially to Hon Abongo.
Mr Speaker, let me also congratulate my female Colleague, Hon Ms Mavis Ama Frimpong, for being the only woman for now who has been nominated. She is a
hardworking person and I pray that she works hard to prove that she is a woman worth her salt. I also urge her to make sure that she works to ensure that at least, women are lifted to the highest level.
Mr Speaker, all eyes are watching her, we are fighting for positons for women and we wish that when all women are given the opportunity to serve, they would serve well by making sure that they prove beyond reasonable doubt and work better than their male counterparts so that we will continue to fight for more women. More grease to her elbows.
Mr Speaker, to Mr Bani, indeed, I do not have words that will qualify him, this is because, for someone who has been a Chief of Staff and has become an Hon Minister, I have heard people asking in certain quarters whether he will perform, coming from that high level down to an Hon Minister.
Mr Speaker, I do not believe that it is down, I believe that it is the job requirement. He has been asked to come and serve; he is competent, he has worked as a Chief of Staff and he will put all those expertise to work as an Hon Minister for the Interior.
Mr Speaker, we are always talking about the issue of security. Being at the top for some time, and now coming to work as an Hon Minister for the Interior, I know he is going to put one and one together and it is going to be super for all of us. So, I wish him the best.
Mr Speaker, let me congratulate Hon Vanderpuye. He is a sportsman -- Ministry for Youth and Sports. I wish to urge that, in his tenure of office, he should let us catch those sportsmen and women young. I wish to urge that, he should kindly start from the basic schools especially -- The basic schools need a lot of help.
Mr Speaker, sports is gradually dying off, in the sense that, what we see these
days is almost always football. What about the rest of the activities? We should be able to bring up all other activities and also the women.
Mr Speaker, they should be supported. We have watched with great concern that whenever it comes to the Black Stars or whoever, apart from the Black Queens, a lot of attention and support is given to them but when it comes to the Black Queens, it becomes a different story -- even support for them to travel becomes another issue.
Mr Speaker, what is happening? Once they are able to prove themselves, they should be given the support and this should be started from at least, our junior high school level and I think that will auger well for all of us.
Mr Speaker, I thank you very much. I wish them all the best and I hope in my conclusion that, they are going to operate open door policies and that, they will listen and whenever they are needed to attend to this House, they will be willing and forthcoming.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader and then Hon Majority Leader.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, may I yield to the Hon Ato Arthur, who is a member of the Committee. I would not make any inputs again.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader, it is your turn.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am giving an indication that I would want to yield my place to Hon Dr Ato Arthur. I would not contribute.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader, I would want you to speak because when you seconded the Motion, you informed the House with liberty that you reserve your right to contribute later and which the rules allow you to do and now it is your turn. As the Hon Ranking Member of the Committee, I would want to hear you.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, you have always agreed that anybody can change their mind. And indeed, yesterday, on a different platform, you changed your mind. Can I appeal to you?
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Very well.
Dr Ato Arthur, I am giving you three minutes because you are not the Hon Minority Leader.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, on this occasion, he is my linguist.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Dr Ato Arthur, you have three minutes.
Dr Stephen N. A. Arthur (NPP -- Komenda/Edina/Eguafo/Abrem) 11:20 a.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
First of all, I would want to congratulate all the nominees and in particular, the Hon Regional Ministers. As a former Regional Minister, one of the major challenges with our decentralisation has to do with the relationship between Hon Members of Parliament (MPs) and Metropolitan Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs).
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Members, those who would want to chat should leave the Chamber to do so. When they are done then they can come back and take their seats.
Dr Arthur 11:20 a.m.
This question was raised with all the Hon Regional Ministers. Mr Speaker, all of them agreed that such conflicts exist in their regions and it is important that it becomes a concern to Regional Ministers.
Mr Speaker, page 7 of the Report; Relationship between MPs and District Chief Executives -- If I may cite what the Hon Albert Abongo said -- That there is a conflict between MPs and District Chief Executives and we all need to be concerned. One of the reasons had to do with the lack of understanding of the different roles that they play as development agents.
I am of the view that Regional Ministers would be able to engage on a common platform; with MPs and MMDCEs, so that we would all understand the issues in their various Regions, rather than MMDCEs seeing MPs as enemies and MPs also at times seeing MMDCEs as enemies. If we do not do that, it would affect development in the various MMDAs and the Regions.
Mr Speaker, Hon Ricketts-Hagan is going to the Central Region, where I have been a Regional Minister before. There are a number of issues in the Region -- Whether he is an injury-time Minister or any kind of Minister, we wish him well. But Hon Ricketts-Hagan, the expansion of the Cape Coast Water Works is awaiting, Komenda Sugar Factory is awaiting and there are so many projects in the Region that have been delayed.
Finally, the Central Region Develop- ment Commission (CEDECOM) as the development organ of the Region has no legal backing as of today. So much funds go through CEDECOM, but I believe that with your eight months in office, we would be able to get all the actors together to ensure that CEDECOM, just like the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), gets a legal backing.
With this, Mr Speaker, I support the Motion.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Thank you very much, Hon Member.
Majority Leader (Mr Alban S.K. Bagbin) 11:20 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
I rise to support the Motion that we adopt the Seventeenth Report of the Appointments Committee, in supporting His Excellency to now proceed to appoint a number of our Colleagues as Hon Ministers of State.
Mr Speaker, I have boundless faith in the nominees who are being considered by us and I believe that the House would pass them unanimously for His Excellency the President to proceed to appoint them. I think it is important for us to look at the issue that was raised earlier regarding the constitutional position on Minister of State of a sector and then Regional Minister.
It is true that the provisions are different; article 78 and 79 deal with that and article 256 deals with the issue on Hon Regional Ministers.
Mr Speaker, the definitive article of the Constitution recognises that both -- That is where sometimes we have these problems -- a Regional Minister and a Deputy Regional Minister are Hon Ministers of State, unlike the case of a Minister of a sector and an Hon Deputy Minister of a sector.
An Hon Deputy Minister of a sector is not defined by the definition section as an Hon Minister of State -- That itself creates a problem. The definition refers to articles -- And the articles mentioned excludes article 79 which deals with the definition of a Deputy Minister of a sector. So, the Deputy Minister of a region feels he is also equally a Minister of State like his Regional Minister because of that definition.
I think it is something that we have to look at. Early on, it was said to be an oversight -- I do not know whether it was an oversight or it was deliberate. But we have to look at that.
rose
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Yes, Hon Member for Old Tafo?
Dr A. A. Osei 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I know my senior Colleague is a very good lawyer, but he is confusing me.
I am reading both articles 79 and 256. The same definition is for a Deputy Minister and a Deputy Regional Minister. None of them refers to -- The issue about one being a Minister of State does not arise.
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Member, the point being made is that, if you look at the
definition you are referring to, article 78 deals with Ministers and article 256 deals with both the Regional Minister and his Deputy. That is the point he is making.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:30 a.m.
That is my point; there is no distinction.
Mr Bagbin 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, since my good Friend wants clarification on article 78, it is the article dealing with Ministers of State and article 79 deals with appointment of Deputy Ministers of State.
Now, when one goes to Regional Ministers, which is captured in article 256, it deals with the appointment of both Regional Ministers and Deputy Regional Ministers.
When we go to the interpretation article of the Constitution, article 295 and the definition of a Minister, it says:
“Minister” means a Minister appointed under article 78 or 256 of this Constitution”.
Therefore, article 79 which deals with the appointment of Deputy Ministers is not included in that definition.
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Member for Old Tafo, are you clear now?
Dr A. A. Osei 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, what he is saying is different from what I am reading in terms of --
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
The point being made is, the definition in the interpretation column does not include article 79, which deals with Deputy Ministers of the sector. That is the point he is making.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, that is why I am not sure.
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Majority Leader, please, proceed.
Mr Bagbin 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, he is just doing this because he does not want to pay my fees. [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, I was talking about the process of appointing the Ministers, and I mentioned that the President has the power to appoint finally. The President also has the power to disappoint by unappointing.
That process is not open, transparent and inclusive. In the process to appoint, we are all given the opportunity to assess the competence, quality or otherwise of the nominees. But when they are being assessed to be disappointed, then that is not inclusive and not open.
Mr Speaker, in my opinion, it is for a good reason. The fact that some people have been disappointed does not mean that they are not good, they have not performed well or otherwise. It could be for the single purpose of political merit, and the leadership of every society is by politicians. That is something we cannot run away from.
Mr Speaker, the other issue we would have to look at is that we have different perceptions of what a Minister is and what a Minister is capable of doing. I think we should try to go beyond the basic skeletal articles of the Constitution to add some flesh by guiding the appointing authorities as regards what is required of a Minister or Deputy Minister of State so that our expectations, hopes and the rest are guided by what we have collectively agreed on.
This is because immediately somebody is nominated and not yet appointed, the
kind of pressure people put on these people and all of us is so huge that one would just have to succumb to that pressure. In my opinion, that is not good for the system. We have to move away from that.
Mr Speaker, as I said earlier, I have faith in the nominees because I know them and have worked with a lot of them. I know their capability and I am sure this was one of the very smart actions of His Excellency the President. It is a tactical change.
There is no injury time. There is no injury at all. There is the need to cement the defence and to sharpen the attack. [Hear! Hear!] That is exactly what His Excellency is doing. And so, I am sure my Hon Colleagues opposite are sitting on tenterhooks, but as my friend the Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah said, more is yet to come and we expect it earlier than later.
Mr Speaker, I support the Motion, and I am happy that this is unanimous and there is no controversy.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Members, I would put the Question.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Hon Members, on behalf of the House, I congratulate all of them.
Hon Second Deputy Speaker is to take the Chair.
Hon Majority Leader, in your absence an application was made in line with Standing Order 53 to vary the order of Business to take this Motion. So, what item are we taking.
Hon Members, we might have to adjourn early for them to come and take charge of the House because of tomorrow.
Mr Bagbin 11:30 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I was informed about your position in this matter; the fact that we are compelled to adjourn at 12.00 noon to give way for a rehearsal to be done for tomorrow's great event.
Mr Speaker, looking at the time now, we have less than 20 minutes. The Questions definitely would take more than 20 minutes.

So Mr Speaker, may we take that item.
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Member, you have recommended one Statement to me to be made today. Are we taking that Statement or it will be after this Motion?
Mr Bagbin 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, if you are minded to admitting the Statement, then it would not be possible to take this Motion. I know that the Statement too is commemorative and it is today.
Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Very well.
If the Road Fund issue is not a contentious one. I have not really taken time to look at it. But if it is not one, then we could take that Motion and then take the Statement after that.
Hon Members, item number 14, Hon Minister for Roads and Highways.
MOTIONS 11:40 a.m.

Minister for Roads and Highways (Alhaji Inusah A. B. Fuseini) 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding 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 Road Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2016 may be moved today.
MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:42 a.m.
Hon Members, any seconder?
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Theophilus Tetteh Chaie) 11:42 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:42 a.m.
Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Bagbin 11:42 a.m.
Mr Speaker, item 15.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:42 a.m.
Very well.
Hon Minister for Roads and Highways?
BILLS -- SECOND READING 11:42 a.m.

Minister for Roads and Highways (Alhaji Inusah A. B. Fuseini) 11:42 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that the Road Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2016 be now read a Second time.
Question proposed.
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Theophilus T. Chaie) 11:42 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to second the Motion and in doing so, I present your Committee's Report.
Introduction
The Road Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2016 was presented to Parliament and read the First time on Friday, 19th February, 2016. In accordance with article 106 (4) and (5) of the Constitution and Order 189 of the Standing Orders of the House, Mr Speaker referred the Bill to the Committee on Roads and Transport for consideration and report.
During the consideration of the Bill, the Committee was assisted by the Minister for Roads and Highways, Hon lnusah A. B. Fuseini and the Road Fund Co- ordinator, Mr Francis Ahlidza.
Reference documents
In the course of the Committee's work, references were made to the following documents:
i. The 1992 Constitution of Ghana
ii. The Standing Orders of Parliament of Ghana and
iii. The Road Fund Act, 1997 (Act
536).
Background information
The Road Fund was set up under the Road Fund Act, 1997 (Act 536) to finance routine, periodic maintenance and rehabilitation of public roads in the country. The Fund is also charged with the responsibility to assist the Metropolitan, Municipal and District
Assemblies (MMDAs) in the exercise of their functions relevant to public roads under any enactment.
The sources of revenue as per the Establishment Act are: the petroleum or fuel levy, bridge, ferry and road tolls, vehicle licence and inspection fees, road user fees, international transit fees paid by foreign vehicles that uses our roads and such monies as the Minister for Finance in consultation with the Minister for Roads and Highways may determine with the approval of Parliament.
The implementation of the Road Fund Act, 1997 (Act 536) has ensured a steady flow of resources for road maintenance in the country, yet there is an appreciable funding gap for the maintenance of a vast section of the road network.
In order to safeguard the national road infrastructure valued over six billion United States dollars (US$ 6 billion), there is the need to re-position the Road Fund to overcome some legal and administrative deficiencies in its operation in order to fully implement its mandates.
Objective of the Bill
The objective of the Bill is to amend the Road Fund Act, 1997 (Act 536) to enable:
(i) The Fund assumes a corporate status and legitimately source additional funding for road maintenance; and
(ii) Empower the Minister for Roads and Highways to make Regula- tions for the effective imple- mentation of the objectives of the Road Fund Act.
Observations
The Committee notes the significant role road network plays in the socio- economic development of the country. Movement of people, goods and services in the country is mostly by road transport. This brings to the fore, the need to prioritise the sustained maintenance of such an important national asset.
Indeed, a well maintained road network:
i. Provides safe access to other sectors of the economy: health, education, agriculture, tourism among many others;
ii. Lessens vehicle operating cost as the regularity of vehicle repairs reduces;
iii. Reduces travel times thereby enhancing productivity;
iv. Facilitates transporting of farm produce to ready market centres in good time reducing post- harvest waste; and
iv. Enhances safe driving and ensures general road safety.
As earlier indicated in the Report, the implementation of the Road Fund Act, 1997 (Act 536) has enabled a steady flow of financial resources to be disbursed for road rehabilitation. But that achievement
notwithstanding, there are issues that relate to the backlog of roads that need rehabilitation vis-a-vis the funding gap and the indebtedness in the payment of rehabilitation works carried out by road contractors.
The problems cited in the preceding paragraph compelled the Road Fund in 2008 and 2010 to borrow from SSNIT to defray the overdue indebtedness to contractors. Indeed, the actions of resorting to borrowing from SSNIT were done with good intentions but unfortunately, lacked legality.
The Committee holds the view that, the Road Fund should be given the legitimacy in its operation by borrowing either on its own balance sheet or from banks/financial institutions to meet the maintenance needs of the ever growing road network in the country. Adequate road maintenance is a means of preserving a strategic national asset and an imperative for sustaining the national economy.
It is anticipated that the Road Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2016, when passed would enable the Road Fund to fairly operate with recourse to subscribing to some corporate ethical standards. Further, the Road Fund Board chaired by the Minister for Roads and Highways should be able to deal proactively with challenges arising from the management of the Funds when provided with regulatory power.
Recommendation and Conclusion
The Committee unanimously recommends to the House to approve its Report and pass the Road Fund
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:42 a.m.
Hon Ranking Member?
Mr Kwabena Owusu-Aduomi (NPP -- Ejisu) 11:42 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the revenues that have accrued to the Road Fund had been inadequate for the purpose it is supposed to serve. This is because of high demand for maintenance on our roads as the road network size increases. Also because of the clamour for upgrading and rehabilitation of our numerous gravel roads to bituminous surfacing.
Mr Speaker, since the year 2000 and even before, there has been a funding gap
which has been increasing annually. As of the end of the year 2015, the funding gap has been 55 per cent. Payments are always in arrears.
Mr Speaker, as of today, on our trunk roads, even payments are in arrears of over 19 months for routine maintenance works.
Mr Speaker, such situations compel the Road Fund to borrow from lending institutions. During the NPP-led Administration, Road Fund borrowed from Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to pay off all arrears that were in place. Also, in the NDC Administration of late President Mills, the Road Fund also borrowed from SSNIT to pay off arrears.
Mr Speaker, the Road Fund, according to advice of legal brains has been doing so without a coporate status or legal
backing. It is for this reason that this amendment is being sought to legalise the capacity of the Road Fund to do borrowing.
Mr Speaker, we are also seeking an amendment to enable the Road Fund sue and also be sued. This is because the collection of tolls have been privatised at some toll stations.
Targets that are set for these private companies, depending on the projected traffic, the traffic number and the composition of traffic normally result in the default of these private companies. But because the Road Fund does not have the status to sue, these matters are referred to the Attorney-General's Office for further action.
Mr Speaker, I wish to make it clear that the result of pursuing these cases have not been satisfactory. Therefore, we believe that if the House approves for the Road Fund to have the status to sue, then the Road Fund would pursue this action aggressively so that all monies that would be left with defaulters could be collected to enable the Road Fund have money.
Mr Speaker, it is on this status that we crave the indulgence of this House to have a look at this amendment and approve them so that the Road Fund would have this legal backing and would be able to do its work as required.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much for this opportunity to contribute to this Motion.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:42 a.m.
Thank you very much.
Yes, Hon Member for Takoradi and then Hon Member for Old Tafo.
Mr Kwabena O. Darko-Mensah (NPP -- Takoradi) 11:50 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity.
Mr Speaker, if we take the Bill that has been presented to us for the amendment, one key issue that I am very happy about is the power given to the Minister to make Regulations for the Act.
Mr Speaker, this is very important because the Road Fund Management Board needs Regulations to be able to manage the amount of money that are being sent there. Recently, we were able to approve an increase of about 600 per cent through the Fuel Levy for the Road Fund.
This means that we are also going to get the opportunity to be able to maintain more roads. This is because over the last few years, the funding amount for road maintenance in this country was just about 30 per cent. That meant that every year, as the network grew, naturally, the burden on Government to fund this maintenance was also very huge.
Mr Speaker, this means that the Road Fund would be able to make Regulations that would go a long way and even to make sure that at the local level, maintenance of roads in this country could be done.
I am very happy that the Act gives the Road Fund the responsibility to assist Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in the exercise of their functions relevant to public roads under any enactment.
Mr Speaker, clearly, it shows that the Road Fund in bringing this Bill to this House for amendment is very key and I believe that Hon Members of this House should approve and then work on this Bill
Dr Anthony Akoto Osei (NPP-- Old Tafo) 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I looked at the Report of the Committee and the memorandum, and there are a few issues that I need to be educated on.
First, if the object is to allow the Road Fund to be able to have access to more money, I would say that we have just increased the Road Fund levy from GH¢0.07p to GH¢0.40p. It is a significant increase, so, that does not limit its capacity to raise resources, but if that is the reason, then maybe, we need to explain, because now it has much more money than it had.
Mr Speaker, the second issue relates to the fact that it is being converted into a body corporate with perpetual succession. The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Fund is a fund like the Road Fund, a statutory fund, but it does not have the Minister for Health chairing it. The Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) is a fund, but the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development is not chairing it. We have failed in this amendment to consider that fact.
The Minister for Roads and Highways cannot seek to be Chair of this body corporate. It is not normal, so the proposal for amendment should think about a Second Consideration and have the President appoint the Chairperson, not the Minister, otherwise it would be problematic.
Mr Speaker, the Committee's Report is very interesting on item 5.4, and with your permission, I would like to read:
“The problems cited in the preceding paragraph compelled the Road Fund in 2008 and 2010 to borrow from SSNIT to defray the overdue indebtedness to contractors.
Indeed, the actions of resorting to borrowing from SSNIT were done with good intentions but unfortunately, lacked legality”.
I think they should tell us why it lacked legality. I suspect that what they are saying is that the loan agreement was not brought to Parliament in both cases. Now they are asking us to allow the Minister, the Road Fund, in consultation with the Minister for Finance, to borrow. The Minister for Finance cannot do that on his own. They are confusing the illegality they are seeking to cure.
Mr Speaker, Parliament must approve it, so why are they limiting it to the Minister? So, any Minister for Finance can say, “today I want to give you permission to borrow GH¢2 billion”, and Parliament does not know about it? If they are curing that deficiency, they should make it through.
The Minister should come here. He is raising a loan on behalf of a public institution so that we approve of it. Then that old deficit would be gone.
Mr Speaker, I thought we should consider that so that when we go into the Consideration Stage, we may introduce further amendments. I think that if we do that, then I would see the picture -- was why I said I have some issues, that there are things that must be cured before we can complete the work. But all in all, I think that it is proper that these amendments are being introduced to streamline the administrative efficiency of the Road Fund.
Thank you.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Thank you.
I would like the Hon Minister to respond, but not now.
Now, Hon Member for Bekwai, then Hon Member for Sekondi, then I come to the Hon Minister.
Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu (NPP-- Bekwai) 11:50 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
It is very interesting that the Hon Member for Old Tafo raises the issue of legality of the previous loans and borrowing on the Fund's own balance sheet.
Mr Speaker, at the Committee level, we were guided by the previous rulings of the courts on this matter and I am glad that the matter has resurfaced here. Probably, the legality, as pronounced by the court, may not be the desirable end.
Even though the courts have ruled that some agencies can borrow on their own balance sheet without reference to Parliament, making those actions legal, it may not be the ultimate end because as the holders of the purse, we should not permit any agency which is ultimately a public agency to borrow at the blind side of this House.
So, I support the position that when it comes to the Consideration Stage, we should review that position we took and bring into the Act the parliamentary approval for borrowing.
Mr Speaker, subject to this, I urge the House to support the Motion.
Thank you very much.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah (NPP-- Sekondi) 11:50 a.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to this debate.
From the Report, it seems that the only mischief that this amendment seeks to cure
is to convert the Road Fund into a corporate entity; presumably that is what Government seeks to do.
Mr Speaker, as Parliament, we should also consider whether having regard to our financial practices as a country, it is advisable to let a corporate body which is not doing business and generating income to be able to borrow.
The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GHAPOHA) is a statutory body, but it is set-up for business. Is the Road Fund set-up for business? No, it is a fund like the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF), GETFund and National Health Insurance Authority
(NHIA).
Is it that all agencies or bodies akin to these ones I have mentioned have the power to borrow independently of Parliament? That is problematic, because ultimately the liability rests on the people of this country, because these Funds are wholly-owned and they are not generating income, they are not providing any service for which they charge income.
Mr Speaker, the road toll is a tax which this House imposes. It cannot be a source of revenue. As a matter of principle, where a body can borrow on its own balance sheet, it should be income generating, that is it. But we cannot say that the road toll is income generating. What do they do? They just sit down, Parliament levies, and they collect.
Mr Speaker, what input do they put into their work to generate income? Nothing, they just sit down. So, if the whole purpose of this is to let them do that then I beg to differ. If the Fund needs money they should come to Parliament. They should come to Parliament for Parliament through Government to get the money for them. After all, a lot has been done by some of these bodies; Electricity Company
Mr First Deputy Speaker noon
Thank you very much. It looks like this is generating a lot of interest.
Hon Minister, I would like you to hold on a little. Let us hear from the Hon Majority Leader and then the Hon Chairman of the Finance Committee.
Majority Leader (Mr Alban S. K. Bagbin (NDC) noon
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
I agree on some of the points that have just been dilated upon by the Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah, but I disagree with him on the issue of principle.
Mr Speaker, if the Road Fund does not exist in the eyes of the law, how can they come to us to approve loans for them? They must first be incorporated as a persona to be recognised by law for them to be able to come to us to request a facility.
Mr Speaker, in principle, what we are doing is correct. Where I agree with him is, yes, it must be clearly stated that they can go for a facility with the approval of Parliament. I think that was implicit, but now they want it to be explicit. I support that; there is no problem with that.
Mr Speaker, the other issue I support is the fact that the chairmanship of the Road Fund should not be by the Hon Minister. I think that we should allow the President to appoint the Chairman --
Papa Owusu-Ankomah noon
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, the Hon Member made a point that the Road Fund lacks legal status. I know that -- Is there no Road Fund Act? Is it not the Act that sets up the Board, et cetera?
So, to say that there is no legal status to the Act, may not be correct.
Mr First Deputy Speaker noon
Yes. We are looking at Act 536 which we are seeking to amend.
Hon Majority Leader, he is referring to the fact that there is an Act in existence, which by this Bill, we are seeking to amend. So, to say that it does not have a legal entity, will not completely represent the true situation.
Mr Bagbin noon
Mr Speaker, I did not say “legal entity”, I said, “a personality”. I am not talking about statutory organisation, no. We are incorporating it, so that it can on its own take these actions and actions could also be taken against it. That is what I am saying.
As it is now, if a person goes to sue the Road Fund and goes to court, there will be nothing before that person. It would rather be another person who has to come
-- [Interruption] -- The Government, yes. That was what I said.
Mr Speaker, the other point is that, Parliament, as constituted and operated, does not generate funds, but does that mean that we cannot borrow? It does not mean that before we have the power to borrow, legally, we must generate funds. I disagree with the Hon Member on that one.
I think that we should allow them to borrow and that is what this whole thing is about. The experience has shown that it is being done anyway without the legal backing and we are trying to give the legal backing to it. This is not done by one regime; all the regimes have done that. This is because there is a crying need for that gap to be closed.
Mr Speaker, I support the Motion and I believe the principles are well laid out. I would want to commend the Hon Ranking Member of the Committee, who added a perspective which is not in the Report. In fact, he gave us data and argued out very well for those of us who are not Members of the Committee to be better educated on the Bill before us.
I commend him highly. I would want his name on record, Hon Owusu-Aduomi -- [Interruption] -- I would not know his constituency -- [Interruption] -- it is not possible for the Leader to know all the other 274 Hon Members and their Constituencies. So, I commend the Hon Member.
Mr First Deputy Speaker noon
Unless the Hon Chairman of the Finance Committee still wants to make a contribution --
Hon Minister, you have the Floor.
Alhaji Fuseini noon
Mr Speaker, this is certainly not an attempt to circumvent Parliament. By the existing law, the Road Fund has obligation to report to
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 12:10 p.m.
On a point of order.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister is probably saying that the Road Fund committed an illegal act. [Interruption]-- No! He cannot take a loan without resorting to Parliament. But he said that he took some and he has to repay them.
Alhaji Fuseini 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I will not regale in any illegality. I am seeking to do what ought to be done. What the Road Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2016 is trying to do is what ought to be done. That when we see the need to pay off the debt of our contractors and we approach Social Security and National Investment Trust (SSNIT), we must have the power to do so.
Mr Speaker, we did so because we knew that Parliament had approved some
moneys to come into the Road Fund, so SSNIT looked at the cash flow and was able to give us the resources. That is a source that we have identified.
Mr Speaker, to be able to continue on this tangent, we must do it properly. That is why we have come before you, that when there is the need to take resources from SSNIT to pay off debts, it might involve a lot of time to come before Parliament to go through the Motions.
But SSNIT might decide that they are giving us these moneys because these contractors are Ghanaian citizens and their businesses are crashing because of non- payment.
So we have prepared over a period of six months' collection to give you the bulk sum to pay off the contractors so that you can repay us. To be able to append my signature to such a contract, Mr Speaker, Parliament ought to clothe me with the capacity to do that. That is what we ask of you.
Mr Speaker, I agree that it might be problematic for the Hon Minister to also be the Chairman and I am not opposed to any amendment to remove him. In fact, that also insulates the Hon Minister from potential actions as Minister. Mr Speaker, what we are doing today is just following the course of ensuring that we do things properly in the future.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Thank you very much.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
The Road Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2016 was duly read a Second time.
Mr Bagbin 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I plead your pleasure and that of the House to the effect that at 12.00 noon due to the rehearsals
that will take place in the Chamber of Parliament, we do take an early adjournment.
Mr Speaker, I would have to make an urgent announcement before moving the Motion. Hon Members and the general public should be properly informed -- [Interruption.] It is part of the Business of the House.
Mr Speaker, it is an announcement that I would have to make before moving the Motion because I would want this to be carried by the media to inform the whole country that towards tomorrow's event, where His Excellency the President would deliver a Message on the State of the Nation to us and the whole country, we have put in place some security arrangements.
It is important that we inform Ghanaians in general, not only Members of Parliament.
Mr Speaker, the first is that, cars would be parked at the main car park. However, Hon Members would be allowed to be dropped off in front of the staff entrance. Hon Members of Parliament would not be permitted to be dropped off after the Armed Forces parade has been formed at 9.00 a.m. This means that Hon Members should be in before 9.00 a.m.
Secondly, the eastern gate near the cemetery would be permanently closed for the event. In fact, it will remain closed forever. The eastern gate -- [Interruption.] Yes, not only for tomorrow. After that, it would be closed forever. It is a security measure. Hon Members are advised to use the western gate near the Kofi Annan ICT Centre or the main entrance from the Accra International Conference Centre.
Thirdly, the door leading to the tunnel or Chamber from Job 600 would be locked at 9.30 a.m. Hon Members, are therefore, respectfully advised to strictly adhere to the time because those who report late will not have access to the Chamber Block through the tunnel.
Fourthly, no guest of Hon Members will be allowed access to the coffee shop, cafeteria tomorrow during and immediately after the event.
Fifthly, every Hon Member is strongly advised to put on the ID card to avoid embarrassment at the various security points before entering the Chamber Block.
Sixthly, Hon Members are requested to be seated latest by 9.30 a.m.
The Chief Justice and her team would be seated by 9.45 a.m. and Hon Members are respectfully entreated to rise when the Chief Justice's Scale of Justice is led into the Chamber.
Security personnel would be stationed at appropriate places to ensure the safety of Hon Members and the public.
Lastly, invitation is limited to only Hon Members and special guests. Anybody without invitation will not have access to the Chamber Block or the Chamber, the public gallery or any of the precincts that are considered to be security demanding.
Mr Speaker, this is just a short announcement. As we discussed, we will follow-up with other security measures that we agreed upon at our meeting.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that the House do adjourn till tomorrow at 9.00 a.m. that we would all be seated to await the arrival of His Excellency the President.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, in seconding the Motion for adjournment, I just want to register the point that, indeed, I would have wished that these announcements had been made after adjournment, than the way they were announced to Hon Members.
Proceedings in this House are supposed to be captured in the Votes and Proceedings. I am wondering how this announcement is going to find space in the Votes and Proceedings. I admit the relevance of the announcement, except that I thought that the forum was improper. It was not supposed to be part of the transaction of our regular Business.
But having said that, Mr Speaker, you have also given an indication that Mr Speaker has admitted a Statement, which was to have been made today. Unfortunately, there is no time for it, so, maybe, it may be done, I do not know when. This is because tomorrow certainly, it may not be taken.
Mr Speaker, before we come to that, I gave an indication that if this House, from now on is going to admit such controversial Statements, the House then should be prepared for a disturbance of the hornet's nest. This is because certainly, somebody is emerging as a person with the penchant to stir controversy in this House.
Mr Speaker, we will deal with it appropriately --
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Hon Minority Leader, with all due respect, the Statement has not been made and so Hon Members, do not know the content. So, I do not think that it is appropriate to allow you to comment on a Statement which is yet to be made.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I have not commented on a Statement, I have made a general observation.
Mr Speaker, I second the Motion for adjournment.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Very well.
Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Bagbin 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, there is a reference to the Votes and Proceedings. The Votes and Proceedings as we all know, deals with attendance and decisions. That is what is noted in the Votes and Proceedings. It is not only the debates and others that are captured in the Votes and Proceedings.It is all about the official --[Interruptions.]
It is there. Mr Speaker, with your kind permission, I read Standing Order 34 (1),
“The minutes of the proceedings of Parliament called Votes and Proceedings shall be a record of the attendance of Members at each Sitting and all decisions of Parliament and shall be kept by the Clerk. The Votes and Proceedings shall be printed and shall be the journal of the House”.
rose
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Yes, Hon Member for Secondi?
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 12:10 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not understand why the Hon Majority Leader considers the statement made by the Hon Minority Leader to be referring to the announcement that he made. That is not so.
Mr Speaker r ightly said that the Statement has not been made on the floor of the House.
Mr Speaker as for the Hon Majority Leader's announcement, I do not know. In terms of our Order of Business, which part this covers, presumably, the best could be a Statement. He should have
sought your leave to make a Statement. But to say that it is a formal announcement and so forth, I do not know.
But I am sure we are all co-operating so that we have a smooth Business tomorrow. I just want to make the point that, I have known the Hon Majority Leader for many years. He is not one who stirs controversy.
Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Very well.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
ADJOURNMENT 12:10 p.m.

  • The House was accordingly adjourned at 12.25 p.m. till Thursday, 25th February, 2016 at 9.00 a.m.