Debates of 9 Mar 2016

MR SPEAKER
PRAYERS

Mr Speaker
Hon Members, Correctionof Votes and Proceedings. [No correction was made to the Votesand Proceedings of Tuesday, 8th March,2016.]
Mr Speaker
Hon Members, we nowmove on to the Official Report of Friday,26th February, 2016. Any correction?
Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh
MrSpeaker, column 1421, paragraph 4, shouldread:
“.. leadership has to be proactive.He should not sit down and comeand announce the problems to us.” What we have there, Mr Speaker, is “Hedoes not sit down”. It should read --
Mr Speaker
It should be “should”and not “does”?
Mr Annoh-Dompreh
Yes, Mr Speaker. Again, column 1422, paragraph 6,should read: “I have stated” not “I havestarted”; “I have stated it.”
Mr Speaker
Very well. Any other correction? Hon Members, the Official Report ofFriday, 26th February, 2016, as correctedis hereby adopted as the true record ofproceedings. At the Commencement of PublicBusiness. Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Mr Alfred K. Agbesi
Mr Speaker, itemnumbered 4 (a) (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) and (v) anditem number 4 (b) are all ready to be laid. Mr Isaac K. Asiamah -- rose --
Mr Speaker
Yes, Hon Asiamah?
Mr I. K. Asiamah
Mr Speaker, as aCommittee, we have not finished with thePetroleum (Exploration and Production)Bill, 2014. We have not sat down to lookat the draft Report. Item numbered 4 (a) (ii) too, we havenot finished. We just sat on it yesterday.
Mr Speaker
Please, take your time.Are you saying you have not finishedwith any of the Reports in the itemnumbered 4 (a)?
Mr I. K. Asiamah
Mr Speaker, we havenot finished with item numbered 4 (a) (i)and (ii). We have not sat on all of them.We have met as a Committee but we needto go through the draft Report on thePetroleum Agreements (PAs) and we havenot done so. I have not seen the Reportyet. Not even a draft. Mr Speaker, please, ask the HonChairman if he even has a draft Report onthe three Petroleum Agreements. MrSpeaker, he does not have a copy himself.
Mr Speaker
Let me get the pictureright. Is it the case that you have gonethrough the process, except that you havenot seen the draft Report?
10. 55 a.m.
Mr I. K. Asiamah
Rightly so, MrSpeaker. We met yesterday on thecommercial Agreement. We have not seenany Report yet.
Mr Speaker
Hon Chairman of theCommittee?
Alhaji Amadu B. Sorogho
MrSpeaker, I wish the Hon Ranking Memberwere here. Yesterday, Hon Members whowere around went through the Report.Upon an agreement with the Hon RankingMember, Hon K. T. Hammond, we agreedthat we could lay the Paper today. Perhaps,it is true that Hon Asiamah was notavailable to look at the Reports when wewent tthrough them.
Mr Speaker
Have you signed theReport?
Alhaji Sorogho
Mr Speaker, I havesigned it.
Mr Speaker
Do you have a copy withyou?
Alhaji Sorogho
Mr Speaker, I have acopy of the Report which I would bediscussing with him.
Mr I. K. Asiamah
Mr Speaker, apartfrom the Petroleum (Exploration andProduction) Bill, 2014, which we have adraft Report -- even with that, theCommittee has not met to go through it.Apart from that, all others have --
Mr Speaker
Hon Members of theCommittee, can you sort the issues outand let the House know? [Pause.] Hon Deputy Majority Leader, whatabout the item numbered 4 (b)?
Mr Agbesi
Mr Speaker, the Hon ViceChairman of the Committee is ready to layit.
Mr Speaker
Please, is item number 4(b) ready to be laid?
Mr Agbesi
Yes, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, we seek your permissionfor the Hon Vice Chairman of theCommittee to lay it.
Mr Speaker
Is item number 4 (b)ready? Are all the items under item numbered4 (b) ready to be laid? Very well. Hon Members, Presentation of Papers.Item numbered 4 (b) by the Hon ViceChairman of the Committee?
PAPERS

Mr Speaker
Hon Members, we haveto be serious in this House. I asked thequestion several times whether this Paperwas ready. In the case of the Committeeon Mines and Energy, an Hon Membergot up to oppose it and I said they shouldgo and sort things out. With regard to thisone, I asked three times whether it wasready.
Dr A. A. Osei
Mr Speaker, the HonChairman got up but I do not think helooked at the issue; that is why he bowed.We have not met, he would confirm. Thatis why I got up. He just came in and he did not look atit. The first two Reports are ready; that isfor sure.
Mr Speaker
Hon Members, I posedthe question, “are all the Reports ready?”I posed the question three times. You arean Hon Member of the Committee. Hon Chairman of the Committee, let mehear from you first. Is it ready?
Mr Avedzi
Mr Speaker, item number4(b) (iii) with regard to the MillenniumChallenge Compact is not ready.
Mr Speaker
It is not what?
Mr Avedzi
It is not ready.
Mr Speaker
So, why did you bow?
Mr Avedzi
Mr Speaker, I bowedbecause somebody was doing thebusiness before I came in, so, I assumedthat those Reports that are ready havebeen communicated to the Leader.
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
MrSpeaker, I guess listing it on the OrderPaper was a matter of, maybe, anticipation.He anticipated that, perhaps, it would befinished. But now that both the HonChairman and the Hon Ranking Memberhave said that they have not even met toconsider it, what has been deemed to bedone now, must be undone. I do not know whether the HonChairman --
Mr Speaker
Hon Minority Leader,that is not my problem at all. However,when the Chair poses a question to theHouse and we have Hon Members of theCommittee there, they should guide theChair.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
Mr Speaker,with respect, the Hon Ranking Membergot up. When the question is posed tothe Committee, ordinarily, you wouldexpect the Chairman of the Committee torespond. And he --
Mr Speaker
In the case of theCommittee on Mines and Energy, it wasthe Hon Member, not even the HonRanking Member who got up to say thatthere is a problem with the Report. I know what the Hon Member for OldTafo did at the time I posed the question.
Dr A. A. Osei
Mr Speaker, I tried toguide the Hon Chairman but the HonDeputy Majority Leader --
Mr Speaker
Hon Members, we deferitem number 4 (b) (iii). Fortunately, I havenot called for distribution, so, we deferthe laying of item 4 (b) (iii). I have notdirected that it should be distributed. Hon Members, let us all be diligent onthe floor.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
Mr Speaker,with respect, and for the avoidance ofdoubt, once the Hon Chairman rose andbowed, you said, when it was --
Mr Speaker
Yes, he has arrested theprocess.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
Yes, I am justrequesting that we negate it by your firmpronouncement.
Mr Speaker
Yes, that is what I havedone. That is why I am saying that, weshall defer the laying of item number 4 (b)(iii). This is because after the bow, the HonRanking Member objected to it, and I didnot pronounce that it was for distribution.So, we have deferred the laying of itemnumber 4 (b) (iii).
Dr A. A. Osei
Mr Speaker, the HonChairman nodded. I do not think heintended to do it. He just shook his head.He was not laying the Paper; he shookhis head -- [Laughter.]
Mr Haruna Iddrisu
Mr Speaker, to befair to the Hon Chairman, it was more ofthe Hon Ranking Member in a haste tohand over to the Hon Chairman when hegot in while he was in the process of layingthose Papers on his behalf. So, the HonChairman would have to bow halfway towithdraw his earlier bow -- [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker
Hon Members, what itemare we taking next?
Mr Agbesi 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Right toInformation Bill -- We had a discussionand we agreed that, we should take it now.
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon Members, I wouldsuggest that we take one or two clauses,we defer them and then we move to -- This is because I want to start that Bill.It is a very important Bill. I would want tostart the process, so, if we could take oneor two clauses and then move on. Even if we decide to put asideeverything, we cannot finish within thisMeeting. So, we can start and see how itproceeds and then we suspend it andmove on to the Motion, item numbered 5on the Order Paper.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker,if I may, as you just said, even if we startedthis, given the importance and volume ofthe Bill, it is not likely that we could finishbefore we adjourn sine die. Certainly, given the concernsexpressed by the people of this country,we need to, at least, be seen to be actingon the Bill before us. However, we have just today toconclude the plenary debate of the Stateof the Nation Address. So, I thought thatcertainly, we should create enough spacefor it. We will bring it to a closure; we willbring the curtain down tomorrow and thenwe could start in earnest on Friday. I do not understand why it should besaid that we should start today and evenif we deal with one clause, we couldcontinue the following day. I do not seethe importance of that.
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader, Ishare your sentiments. I originally heldthe view that given the fact that theamendments alone to this Bill are about52 pages, at the next Meeting, we shouldtake this Bill through all the processes. Unfortunately, there is the need -- Ikeep on receiving communication fromvarious citizens of this country on thisBill. Let us start the process, see how itgoes and take one or two clauses. As I indicated in the Lobby thismorning, let us start, take one or twoclauses, then we move on to the debate. Iagree that once the Business Committeehas proposed to the House and the Househas agreed that we take the Motion in themorning and Bills in the afternoon, thatshould be it. But Hon Minority Leader, Iam just pleading that we take one or twoclauses, defer them, go to the Motion andthen take it up from there. The reason is, I want to start the firstclause. I want to start with that clause,so, let us see how the process goes beforeI leave the Chair.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker,I agree with the plea that you are puttingin. I would want to suggest that giventhe deference that we all have to the Chair,
we may be obliged to go along with it.The principle is that, the BusinessCommittee has met and taken a decisionunambiguously and succinctly stated inthe Business Committee's Report, that thedebate on the Motion to thank HisExellency the President for his Messageon the State of the Nation shall be takenin the mornings between 10.00 a. m. and2.00 p. m. If we are not careful, we would get to2.00 p. m. and somebody would rise andsay that we decided that we would curtailit at 2.00 p. m. That decision this Housetook has not been reversed. [Inter-ruption.] Who are reversing it? Thatdecision has not been reversed. As I said, it is because of the deferencethat we all accord the Chair that, maybe,we would agree. Except that I would wantto state that this should not have anyfurther procreation in this House. Once adecision is taken by the House, it shouldbe respected.
Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, weshall obey according to what --[Laughter.] So, item numbered 18, Rightto Information Bill, 2013.
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon Members, theposition of the Hon Minority Leader onthis matter is right. The BusinessCommittee programmes business andtakes a decision. The House adopted andendorsed it, that we should take theMotion in the mornings and take the Billin the afternoon. I entered this Chamber without evencarrying my copy of the Bill based on theunderstanding the House had reachedwith regard to the Business Committee'sproposal. If we want to change our views infuture, we should use the properprocedure by calling a BusinessCommittee meeting and then the Business
Mr Agbesi 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we move toitem numbered 5, the debate on the Stateof the Nation Address.
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon Member, I do nottake this type of confusion from the frontbench of those in charge of GovernmentBusiness. You know I do not take it.
Mr Agbesi 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I heard yousay that because the Hon Minority Leaderhas raised what was contained in theBusiness Statement -- With respect, I didnot even hear you say we would take afew clauses of --
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon Members, itemnumbered 18 on the Order Paper. The Right to Information Bill, 2013, atthe Consideration Stage.
BILLS -- CONSIDERATIONSTAGE 11:05 a.m.

Chairman of the Committee (MrMagnus K. Amoatey) 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I begto move, clause 1, delete “Governmentagency” and insert “Public institution”wherever it appears in the Bill. This is ageneral amendment and we proposed thatthe Bill is to affect public institutionsrather than government agencies.
Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
The amendment you readis not in the Order Paper.
Mr Amoatey 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am sorry. Iwithdraw the earlier amendment. Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 1,subclause (1) --
Mr A. A. Osei 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I noticedthat you wanted to preside as we startedbut for such an important Bill, the HonMinister and his Deputy are not here. Thisis important and I think that it shows adisdain for Parliament. It is not the best.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Member, you havemade a very important point but it isequally true that your own BusinessStatement said that you would take theBills in the afternoon. So, I agree with you;let us take steps to get in touch with theAttorney-General's office to assist theHouse in the consideration of the Bill.
Dr Matthew O. Prempeh 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker,I was going to plead that from thevoluminous nature of the amendments thathave been proposed, we should reprintthe Bill. This is because the changes theCommittee has made, reading through theReport, is so profound. That is very good.Hon Members would have to howevergather that in addition to the Bill. If wejust go this way, maybe, in two years, wewould still be following it clause by clause. So Mr Speaker, I plead with you to havea look at --
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Member, it is not assimple as that. That is why the earliersubmission by the Hon Member for OldTafo is in place. We might get anamendment and find out whether it isconsistent with the policy behind the Bill.If we have the Attorney-General here, wewill take the views of the Committee andthe Government, and the House will lookat them and take a decision.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.


So, let us move on this way, unlessthey are prepared to adopt theamendments. In that case, we canwithdraw, reprint and reintroduce it, wehave done it before in this House. That iswhen the Attorney-General is ready toadopt all the amendments which stand inthe name of the Committee.
Mr Amoatey 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 1, subclause (1), delete andinsert the following:
“(1) A person has the right toinformation, subject to qualifi-cations and laws that arenecessary in a democraticsociety.”
Dr Prempeh 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, would theChairman of the Committee explain,“..subject to qualifications and laws thatare necessary in a democratic society”? Can he give me an example of such alaw? If it is even found in the Constitutionand we put it in the law, we have tounderstand what we are writing or whatwe mean by that. We cannot just lift —we sometimes do that, but this is not self-explanatory and so if he could expatiateon it.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I mayhave to seek your leave to further amendthe proposal by the Chairman. Theunderstanding I had from the Chairman isthat, Government does not have onlyagencies. We have Ministries, Departmentsand Agencies, popularly referred to asMDAs. Therefore, he wants to substitute“Agency” for “Public Institution”.However, if we look at the originalprovision in clause 1 — and I can seekyour leave to propose a further
amendment to what the Chairmanproposed. Mr Speaker, maybe, clause 1 (1) shouldread —
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Minister, would youramendment add up or negate what ishere?
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it willadd up.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Very well. Let us listen to you.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I begto move that clause 1 (1) should read;
“A person shall have a right ofaccess to information or part of aninformation in the custody of anypublic institution in accordance witharticle 21 (1) (f) of the 1992Constitution of Ghana”. Mr Speaker, the person shall have theright of access to that information fromany public institution including Minis-tries, Departments and Agencies, orinformation in the possession of a publicofficial.
Mr Speaker, we would do so becausewe would be relying on the provisions ofarticle 21 (1), which states, and with yourindulgence, I beg to quote: “All persons shall have the right to —
(f) information, subject to suchqualifications and laws as arenecessary in a democraticsociety”. Mr Speaker, I have seen the practice inthis House, where we have made verbatimreference to constitutional provisions thatsupport many of this. This is an
improvement on his proposed amendment,but we are saying that, right of access toany information in the possession of anypublic institution shall be subject to theconstitutional provisions.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I want tounderstand what the Hon Minister hassaid. The Constitution is very clear. It says,
“…shall have the right to informa-tion”. My Hon Colleague seeks to amend itto say,
“...shall have the right to access...” The two are not the same. This says,“right to the information”. It is different ifwe would later want to add, “an access”.We cannot change a constitutionalprovision. It says, “right to information”.The Constitution does not say, “access”.It says, “to the information”. The two arenot the same. Mr Speaker, in seeking to add, I think itmay be taken from — [Interruption] — Ido not disagree with adding the MDAsand all of that, but trying to insert thewords, “access” and “right toinformation”, I submit, takes from theConstitution — [Pause.]
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker,as has already been explained, the rightto information and the right of access toinformation are two different things. It isjust like the right to education and theright of access to educational facilities,which are different and so we cannotequate the two. Mr Speaker, secondly, I thought that ifwe wanted to improve it — This is aconstitutional stipulation as provided forin article 21 (1) (f). So, we could just say, aperson has the right to information subjectto the Constitution. This is because whatmy Hon Colleague has just quoted iscontained in the Constitution.
It is article 21(1) (f) that the amendmentproposed by my Hon Colleague seeks toportray. So, that is the right toinformation. If we would want, “right toaccess”— that could be stated — becausethat is reflective in the headnote, “right ofaccess to official information”. That couldbe another provision which would beadded, but the two certainly are different.
Mr Speaker, so, I propose 11:15 a.m.
if we donot want the proposal that he hassubmitted to us, I would suggest that, ifwe add, “a person has the right toinformation, subject to the Constitution”then by way of the access, we would comewith another provision. The headnotecertainly would change to reflect —
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Members, if we lookat the amendment, they are just taking itdirectly from the Constitution. So, why dowe not repeat and subject it to theConstitution? We have done it before.Just restate what is there and subject it tothe Constitution.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, what I havefor the headnote is, “right of access toofficial information”. We are talking aboutright to information here, and so theheadnote would not even capture thisamendment correctly. It should be, “rightto information”. The headnote mustconsequentially be changed. That iswhere the difficulty is. If we accept theamendment by my Hon Colleague, thenwe have to go back and change —
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Yes, then we may haveto file the necessary amendment for theheadnote.
Dr Prempeh 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, two quickthings; since the headnote precedes theinformation behind it, if you would allow,let the Hon Member do this orally; we canagree and move on. We have left certainthings out, in quoting the Constitution. Ifwe quote article 21 (1) (f) and what is
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Members, is it notofficial information that we are talkingabout? So, is there anything wrong withit when it is qualified, or at the definitioncolumn, if it is not there, we define theinformation to mean, “formal or officialinformation”?
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, threeof my Hon Colleagues, including the HonMinority Leader have admonished me to“copy well”-- to quote the words of theHon Mathew Opoku Prempeh.
Mr Speaker, let me take you to article21 of the Constitution -- [Interruption]-- not clause (f). Mr Speaker, clause (f)does not stand alone and it cannot standalone. It is part of clause 21 (1) whichbegins with:
“All persons shall have the rightto --” Therefore, if you read clause (f) as ifyou did, it says: with your kind permissionI quote;
“All persons shall have the right toinformation, subject to suchqualifications and laws as arenecessary in a democratic society”. Mr Speaker, the amendment I soughtto make as an improvement on the HonChairman's amendment was to make thisright mandatory and to say that a personshall have the right to access officialinformation. Given your guidance now, MrSpeaker, we qualify “information” with“official”, -- of any public institution

Therefore, I have copied well, MrSpeaker.I am not wrong in suggesting that“All persons shall have the right” are theopening words of article 21 which ismandatory. Therefore, in considering this,I agree with the suggestion that theheadnote changes but we are creating aright of access to information and we sayit shall be mandatory, which is consistentwith the opening words of article 21.
Dr Prempeh 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, as put onthe Order Paper by the Committee, theamendment reads as follows:
“A person has the right toinformation, subject to qualificationsand laws that are necessary in ademocratic society.” The Constitution mentions,
“... information, subject to suchqualifications” -- The “such” has been omitted on theOrder Paper. And I am saying that even ifthey are to copy, we should copy well. Iam not talking of what Hon Iddrisu said. Iam talking of what the Committee said. Ifthey are to copy, they should copy well; Iwas not making reference to Hon HarunaIddrisu. I was making reference to theCommittee. So they should copy well inthe first instance. Mr Speaker, my second issue, whichthe Hon Minister for Employment andLabour Relations had not yet grasp is that,when we say right to access information,that word pre-qualifies it and it is different
from the right to information. One can havethe access but still be denied theinformation. The Constitution talks aboutthe information itself. The Hon Minority Leader said thatwhat the Hon Member said should beanother one of the rights. Mr Speaker,there are two different things and that iswhy we crave your direction that if theyare to copy article 21 (f) to clause 1 (f),they should copy it to --
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Hon Members, if youcopy from the Constitution, let us use thelanguage of the Constitution. There isnothing wrong with that and we havedone it before. It needs not be “allpersons”, we can use “a person” becausethe singular includes the plural --
Dr Prempeh 11:25 a.m.
The “such” did notappear.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Yes. Yes, Hon Member for Okaikoi Central?
Mr Patrick Yaw Boamah 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker,let me take you back to the interpretationclause, that is, clause 65. “Access” isdefined.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Yes, but the way theydefined it, we may have to do some workthere. I have looked at it and we may haveto -- I do not know whether the Committeehas filed an amendment to it.
Mr Boamah 11:25 a.m.
I drew your attention tothat because the way “access” wasdefined, and looking at the side note onarticle 21 (f) which reads “GeneralFundamental Freedoms” --[Pause] -- Iwould want Mr Speaker to be on the samepage with me.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Yes?
Mr Boamah 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker, my problemis with the definition of “access”as wellas the headnote and its interpretation thatthe Hon Member who moved theamendment seeks to put across. I do notthink it is consistent with the policy orthe reasoning behind the amendment.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Let me hear from the HonMinority Leader and then I will call you.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker,the title of this Bill is, “Right toInformation Bill”, not “Access”. But thetwo go in tangent. Once one establishesthe right to the information, one mustaccess it. So, if we want to combine thetwo, we could have “right to and accessof official information”.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Hon Member, insubstance, is it not the same thing?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker,the Constitution provides for the right toinformation. We must establish that,however, and then provide access to theright so accorded. If you look at theeducational right, it provides right toeducation and then access to educationalfacilities. So, we can look at that. We can marry the two to attain the sameend. We must establish that right in theAct first of all, and then go on to theaccess. So, the two can go together and Ibelieve that we would obtain the samepurpose.
Mr Speaker 11:25 a.m.
Hon Member for SalagaSouth, Wa West, Old Tafo and then theMinister for Environment, Science,Technology and Innovation.
Alhaji Ibrahim Dey Abubakari 11:25 a.m.
MrSpeaker, you see that the Hon MinorityLeader finds it difficult to explain the two?
Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh 11:25 a.m.
Mr Speaker,the Hon Minority Leader's position mixesup the two things, which is not right. First, we have the right to theinformation; for the access, it is theprocedure. The problem we have with thisBill is that, one can have the right, butthen how do we enact a law for the personto gain access? Access would first includethe information to be available -- wecategorise the information. How would anybody who wants theinformation access it? It is different fromthe right to information, so thesubsequent clauses would show how thatprocedure would give access to that right.We must first establish that the personhas the right to the information and that
should not be mixed up with the access tothe information, otherwise we would bebogged up.
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
So, the point being madeby the Hon Member for Wa West is thatas for the right to information, it is given. The Constitution has provided for itbut the procedure to access thatinformation is the subject matter of thisBill. That is the submission he is making.So, if you look at the original draft, youwould realise that, that is why theysubjected it to article 21 (f) and, therefore,used the word ‘access' because right tothe information is already in article 21 (f).What we need to do -- [Interruption] --Yes, Hon Member for Old Tafo?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker,just a small notification -- Mr Mahama Ayariga -- rose --
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Yes, let me hear you. Iwould come to you, Hon Minister.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker,if we go on this tangent, then it wouldmean that the title of the Bill shouldchange. Once we say that it is guaranteedby the Constitution, then it cannot beestablished by an Act.
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
No!
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:35 a.m.
That is it inthat event.
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader,that was why they made reference toarticle 21 (f) and then created the accessbecause the right to information isinherent -- it is in article 21 (f) and,therefore, the original Bill then used theword, ‘access'. The amendment is just
restating what is in the Constitutionwithout talking about “access”. There are two ways of doing it; youcan restate what is in the Constitution andthen have the access as the Hon MinorityLeader is suggesting or read the twotogether -- the right to information andthe right to access that information -- hasbeen captured in the Bill. We are getting somewhere. Mr Haruna Iddrisu -- rose --
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Hon Minister forEmployment and Labour Relations, youwould be the last to speak for now,because I have already called two otherHon Members. Hon Member for Old Tafoand then the Hon Minister forEnvironment, Science, Technology andInnovation.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, that waswhy we needed the Attorney-General andMinister for Justice here, but havingfollowed the discussion, it appears that ifwe quote properly or use the wordingexactly as in the Constitution, then wecould be making progress. I believe thatis understood, because, in reading theMemorandum, it is becoming clear -- itis assumed that article 21 (f) is a right. Now, how do you operationalise it?Therefore, clause 1 is providing accessand I know it would be in the rightorder --
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Yes, if you understand itin that context, we can make progress.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, once weuse the language in the Constitution, wecan make progress.
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Yes, Hon Minister forEnvironment, Science, Technology andInnovation?
Mr Ayariga 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I believethe position that the Hon Member forOld Tafo has indicated is indeed, theposition, because if you look at theMemorandum --
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Hon Member, is itdifferent from the position of the HonMember for Wa West?
Mr Ayariga 11:35 a.m.
No, Mr Speaker, it is notdifferent from his position.
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Is it the same position?
Mr Ayariga 11:35 a.m.
Yes. I was going to drawattention to the fact that the Memorandumto the Bill states it clearly that the right toinformation is guaranteed by theConstitution. So, this Bill is about how toaccess the information; a system forgathering the information, classifying itand making it accessible to those whoneed it is all that this Bill is dealing with.The Memorandum is very clear on thematter. So, Mr Speaker, we do not need torestate --
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
So, in that case, theoriginal rendition is far better, except whatthe Hon Member for Tamale Southindicated, that if we use the word“Government”, it becomes problematic,because there is a definition ofGovernment in the Constitution. Maybe,we might prefer ‘public institutions' orsomething of that nature. If we useGovernment, it has a certain constitutionalconnotation. [Pause.] Hon Minister for Defence?
Dr Kunbuor 11:35 a.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker?[Laughter.]
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
I saw you on your feetearlier. That was why I called you and Iknow you have also done some work onthis Bill.
Dr Kunbuor 11:35 a.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker. HonMember for Wa West had conveyed myconcerns --
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Very well.
Dr Kunbuor 11:35 a.m.
But, Mr Speaker, whenyou look at article 21 (f), all we needed todo is that because it is subject toqualifications, the right to informationcan be expressly put in the Act and thensubsequently subjected to thosequalifications. Then, the realisationprocesses of access and all those thingscould come because of the Supreme Courtruling, that a right cannot be implied. Ithas to be express and unambiguous.
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Yes, but if you subjectclause 1(1) to article 21 (f), is it not thesame as restating it?
Dr Kunbuor 11:35 a.m.
Precisely, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
The effect is the same.
Dr Kunbuor 11:35 a.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker. You canrestate the entire clause but it is becauseof the issue of the ‘access' that he wasraising, that I said it can followsubsequently. If you look at the HumanRights Acts, it is supposed to be acommission with functions on humanrights, but they have not tabulated all thehuman rights that it is to address. Theyhave only given human rights as one areawhich means in reference to chapter fiveof the Constitution.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the HonMinister for Employment and LabourRelations sought to offer an amendment.I believe the government agency isdefined. If you look at page 29, it is thereand I beg to quote:
“ ‘government agency' includes aMinistry, a government department,District Assembly…”
So, Mr Speaker, that amendment is notnecessary. I think we should stick to theoriginal one. That would capture thesentiments of what we are doing. Theoriginal one to me -- [Interruption] -- itis there. Mr Amoatey -- rose --
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Yes. Hon Chairman, theamendment stands in your name. So, youwould come back later on your amendmentso let me hear from the Hon Member forSekondi.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, Ibelieve that the provision in clause 1 isvery exhaustive. Particularly, when weconsider the interpretation given to“government agency” under clause 65, itsays and I beg to quote:
“…includes a Ministry, a govern-ment department, District Assemblyor a local authority, a statutory orany other body corporate orunincorporated, or a public office,funded in whole or in part frompublic funds or in which theGovernment has an interest, or holdsshares;” Mr Speaker, it is very exhaustive and Ibelieve that even with this definition, theParliament of Ghana is included.
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Hon Member, I am notsure Parliament is included but assumingit is, I would want you to look at thedefinition of “Government” in theConstitution. If the Constitution which isthe fundamental law has definedgovernment, can we offer anotherdefinition of government in a Bill which issubservient to the Constitution? That iswhat I would want the House to address. Where the Constitution has definedgovernment, can a Bill use a differentdefinition from that of the Constitutionwhich is the fundamental law?
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, Ibelieve in this Bill, it is talking ofgovernment agency and not evengovernment. However, for the avoidanceof doubt, when we are enacting laws, wewould want to do them in such a mannerthat would not lead to unnecessary legalcontroversies. So, we could adopt thedefinition of government and add on, exabudanti cautela. This is because it is not even defining“Government”, but an Agency ofGovernment. The argument has beenraised that if the Government is the bodyin which the Executive authority is vested,how could Parliament be an Agency ofGovernment? It is a legitimate question, and I believethat we can then formulate an amendmentthat would take cognisance of thisdefinition and interpretation of“Government” under the Constitution,but add all these institutions, public office,et cetera.
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Let me hear from the HonMinister and then I would call the HonMinority Leader.
Mr Ayariga 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the definitionof “Government” in the Bill also includespublic office. Both “Government” and“public office” are defined in theConstitution. While “Government” refersto the branch where Executive power isexercised, “public office” is much broader.It is any office that is paid through theConsolidated Fund. So, it would include the Rt HonSpeaker, Hon Members of Parliament andthe Clerk to Parliament. This is becausetheir emoluments are paid through theConsolidated Fund.
So, the definition of “Government” inthe Bill is exhaustive enough to captureevery other institution; the Executive, theLegislature and I also believe, perhaps,the Judiciary. This is because if theemoluments of the judges are paid fromthe Consolidated Fund, then they arepublic officers within the internments ofthe Constitution. So, the definition of “Government” inthe Bill is exhaustive enough to captureevery other institution of State; both theLegislature -- [Interruption] --Government Agency is defined in the Bill.
Mr Speaker, it says that and with yourpermission, I beg to quote 11:45 a.m.
“government agency includes aMinistry, a government department,District Assembly or local authority,a statutory or any other bodycorporate or unincorporated or apublic office…”
Mr Speaker, “public office” is definedin the Constitution, and I beg to quotefrom article 295 (1):
“…public office includes an officethe emoluments attached to whichare paid directly from theConsolidated Fund or directly outof moneys provided by Parliamentand an office in a public corporationestablished entirely out of publicfunds or moneys provided byParliament;…” Mr Speaker, so this is exhaustiveenough to capture every public institutionwithin our Constitution, and any otherlegislation that we establish creating apublic office.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker,the reference made by the Hon Ministeris defining “Government Agency” and not“Government”.
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
The Hon Minister, andthen the Hon Minority Leader.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, Ibelieve that in totality, we would enrichclause 1 of this Bill. Mr Speaker, three principles have beenwell articulated and established. Theprinciples are that in clause (1), we areestablishing and recognising that the rightto information is a fundamental humanright. The second principle is that, a personshall have the right to access officialinformation. The third is, from where? Mr Speaker, minded with the argumentsthat have been raised, maybe, we shoulduse “Government institution”. This isbecause “Government” is defined in theConstitution as any institution for whichExecutive authority is exercised. So, instead of “Agency” we substitute“institution”; I am sure that would becomprehensive enough to capture thethoughts as we have said. Mr Speaker, this is because, why theHon Chairman moved the Motion was
that, if we say a Government Agencywithout the reference that Hon PapaOwusu-Ankomah made, we would havebeen thinking of an Agency ofGovernment. So, what happens toMinistries and Departments? We would want a word, which wouldencompass every other institution thathas governmental control, so thattomorrow -- [Interruption] -- Abso-lutely; so, I think that we can substitute itwith “Government institution” to improvethe Hon Chairman's rendition. I thank you.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker,the compliment to article 21, and indeedChapter 5 of the Constitution, as far asthis issue is concerned, finds expressionin article 37 of the Constitution. MrSpeaker, with your permission, I beg toquote:
“The State shall endeavour tosecure and protect a social orderfounded on the ideals and principlesof freedom, equality, justice, probityand accountability as enshrined inChapter 5 of this Constitution; andin particular, the State shall directits policy towards ensuring thatevery citizen has equality of rights,obligations and opportunitiesbefore the law.”
Mr Speaker, article 37(2) is relevanthere, and I beg to quote 11:45 a.m.
“The State shall enact appropriatelaws to assure -- (a) the enjoyment of rights ofeffective participation in deve-lopment processes including therights of people to form their ownassociation free from stateinterference and to use them to
promote and protect the inte-rests in relation to developmentprocesses, rights of access toagencies and officials of theState necessary in order to realiseeffective participation indevelopment processes;…” Mr Speaker, so, here, we are talkingabout access to agencies and officials ofthe State. That is where the informationthat we are seeking would be lost. Article 37(2) is the necessarycompliment to Chapter 5 of theConstitution. In that case, perhaps, wemay borrow the words as have been usedin article 37(2) (a).
Dr Kunbuor 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I think thechallenge we have is to make sure thatthe integrity of the right is protected interms of the applicable areas. I was of the view that if we were to usea phrase like “State institutions”, thatwould have been broad enough to cutacross the arms of Government and otherinstitutions. That would make it easier toinclude the arms of Government and, atleast, we could be more comfortable withthat.
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Why not use “publicinstitution” and use the sameinterpretation in the Bill, and therefore, weare not caught by the specific definitionin the Constitution? Once the Hon Member for Sekondi haspointed it out, the definition itself is allencompassing. Except that we use theword “Government”, so that we avoid theuse of the phrase “Government Agency”. This is because if we look at clause 1(5) of the Bill, the phrase, “where an
agency” was used. If we are talking about“Agency”, it has a certain definition;Ministries, Departments and Agencies(MDAs). We want to avoid that confusionin the Bill. So, should we use “State” or“public institution”?
Dr Kunbuor 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, there havealways been a challenge with drawing theline between public and private. It is a verydifficult area and that is why ‘State' willbe more convenient. Now, with all thesepublic-private partnership initiatives, if wewere to ran into a problem, we will not beable to --
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
When we use the ‘Stateinstitutions', it covers everything that theState has an interest in.
Dr Kunbuor 11:45 a.m.
This is because the Stateseems to be the custodian of theinformation that people think the publichas a right to.
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Hon Members, it is beingsuggested that, for the avoidance ofdoubt, we should use ‘State institutions'. Yes, Hon Member for Old Tafo, thenthe Hon Minister for Environment,Science, Technology and Innovation.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, if we aregoing to use ‘State institutions' and makesure that in the definitions, all thoseinstitutions that the State has minorityinterest in is included, I am happy.
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
The Hon Second DeputySpeaker, then Hon Minister forEnvironment, Science, Technology andInnovation.
Mr Joe Ghartey 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, what isinteresting is that, when you look at theFinancial Administration Act, theresponsibilities given to institutionswhere the State has interest or directorswho represent the State on institutionswhere the State has an interest are givencertain obligations -- reportingobligations to the Ministry of Finance. Mr Speaker, the question is, when onesays, ‘State institutions', somebody mayargue that, an institution which the Statehas an interest in is not a State institution,they are two different things. Somebodymay argue that an institution where thereis private-public partnership and theydecide to incorporate a company forexample; that company cannot bedescribed as a State institution.
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Do you not agree withme, that it depends on the definition andfor purposes of this Bill, that we definethe ‘State institution'. Do you not thinkso, so long as that definition does notconflict with any definition in theConstitution?
Mr Ghartey 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I thought thatyou would hold your horses for a minute.This is because I was going to conclude,but the point I am making, it is importantthat we create a definition that takes intoaccount this point. Mr Speaker, we create a definition thatincludes what may normally be argued asnot a State institution because there is aprivate inclusion. This is because it isabout information involving the State, so,even if the State has a five per centinterest, the public has a right to thatinformation so far as the State has aninterest. Therefore, the definition we giveit must take that into account.
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Hon Chairman, let mehear from you at this point.
Mr Amoatey 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, sensing themood of the House, we intend to abandonour proposed amendment and adopt theoriginal text, subject to the amendmentswe are making.
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Very well. We are making progress. So, let me hearfrom two people; the Hon Minister forEnvironment, Science, Technology andInnovation and the Hon Member for OldTafo, then I will ask that the amendmentbe moved.
Mr Ayariga 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, since theobject is to capture all State institutions,and if we look at the Constitution, the workhas been made easier by the definition ofGovernment which is that; by whichExecutive authority is exercised, this willbe from the presidency, to ministerial toLocal Government authorities andagencies established thereunder. Then, we also have definition ofpublic office, which will capture almostevery other public officer. Why do we notsimply go by the rendition; “ informationunder the control of Government or publicofficer” then, we are covered. Mr Speaker, “Government” is alreadydefined by the Constitution, and “publicoffice” is also defined by the Constitution.There is no way one can escape eitherthe definition of ‘Government' or ‘publicoffice'. Whichever way, any public officerwill be captured. Government or a public officer, thatmakes it simple.This is because if we say‘State institution, then, we now have togo through the labour of defining a ‘Stateinstitution'. If we are adopting the existingdefinition in the Bill, then, really there isno difference.
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Hon Minister, the pointbeing made is that, if we use ‘Stateinstitution', it will take care of the publicoffice and all those things that you arementioning. What we want to avoid is the use of“Government” and even if we look at thedefinition column: “Government agency”,you will find out that, it includes publicfunds or in which the Government has aninterest, but when you say the State hasan interest, it becomes even clearer. Whenthe Government has an interest, is it theExecutive that has an interest?
Mr Ayariga 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, let us go backto the object of the Bill. The problem withaccess to information is not about theJudiciary, because their decisions arepublic and -- that is one arm ofGovernment. The problem with access toinformation is also not about Parliament,because our proceedings are public andour records are kept in the Hansard, so,the citizens have access to information.
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Hon Minister, I think thatis not absolutely correct. It includesParliament as well as the Judiciary.
Mr Ayariga 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, whicheverway, once we use the word ‘public office'as defined under the Constitution, we willcapture every officer of Parliament andevery officer of the Judiciary. This isbecause they are all occupying publicoffices within the definition of theConstitution.
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Hon Minister, we aremaking a law and you have an opportunityof making the provision clearer. This isbecause, if we say Government agency,to somebody it could mean that becausethere is the definition of Government inthe Constitution, it is an agency of theExecutive.
Indeed, when we use the Ministries,Departments and Agencies (MDAs),strictly speaking, we are referring to theExecutive. I think that is what we want toavoid as much as possible. So, if youcan make it clearer, then why do younot take advantage of making it clearer?
Mr Ayariga 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I have noobjection. I am saying that, if we say “Stateinstitutions”, we will have to define a“State institution”.
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
That is the point thathas been made. We could use the samedefinition and then make small changes.That is all.
Mr Ayariga 11:55 a.m.
We could use the samedefinition?
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Yes. We use almost thesame definition, except when Governmenthas an interest that we change that place.
Mr Ayariga 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, and we saywhere the “State has an interest”?
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Yes.
Mr Ayariga 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, very well.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, havingheard the former Attorney-General andyour good self, this was the amendment Iwas going to suggest that we use --[Interruption] -- former Attorney-General, Hon Joe Ghartey.
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Why?
Mr Ghartey 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we used tohave former Attorney-Generals here, so,if he refers to me, he should mention myname for the records.
Dr A. A. Osei 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, if it willplease the Hon Chairman, I believe if wego with “State institution”, we shouldamend, ”Government has an interest” to“State has an interest”, then all thesentiments would have been covered andwe could make progress.
Mr Speaker 12:05 p.m.
Hon Members, it is 12.00o'clock. I just want us to test the sense ofthe House on this Bill and one subclausehas taken us to three minutes after 12.00o'clock and it is important the DeputyAttorney-General is now in the House. Itis important we defer the Considerationto tomorrow so that, we could move tothe Motion. Hon Members, in view of thediscussion so far, Hon Chairman of theCommittee, you may have to file anamendment to capture the sense of theHouse with clause 1, subclause 1 of theBill to capture the sense of the House. The Hon Attorney-General and herdeputy will be in the House with theirpolicy position and then we can take itup from there tomorrow.
MrAmoatey 12:05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, very well.
Mr Speaker 12:05 p.m.
Very well. Hon Members, that brings us to theend of the Consideration Stage of the Rightto Information Bill, 2013 for today. Hon Members, we would move to Itemnumber 5 on the Order Paper. First Deputy Speaker to take the Chair. Hon Fritz Baffour -- Hon Member forAblekuma South and after him would beHon O. B. Amoah -- he is the first on theMinority list. You have 10 minutes.
MOTIONS 12:05 p.m.

  • [That this Honourable Housethanks H.E. the President for the
  • Mr Frederic F. Baffour (NDC --Ablekuma South) 12:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise tosupport the Motion to thank HisExcellency the President, on the State ofthe Nation Address which he ably made afew days ago. His delivery was a departure from thenorm, because he introduced a new aspectto the State of the Nation Address. Hehas introduced a new phrase into thepolitical ecology of this country --“evidenced based”. His Address wasupbeat and tainted with uncharacteristiccandour. His Excellency the President gave anAddress which was a masterful piece. Thetheme and the thrust of governmentpolicy is underscored by the statement:“putting people first” and that wasevident in the President's delivery. As amember of the Committee on Gender andChildren. I was very pleased when hementioned the social protection aspect ofhis government. The introduction of the Child andFamily Welfare Policy, the National GenderPolicy, the Social Protection Policy, Justicefor Children Policy and the School-Feeding Policy, all encapsulate what wemean by putting people first. He also said that disability is no bar toachievement and so he praised those whoare disabled in many ways, the most whohave made it to contribute fully to our
    society. That is evidenced by the fact thatwe have someone who is visually-challenged as an Hon Minister in thegovernment of the day. We have also seenthe magnificent occurrence of a disabledperson becoming a flagbearer of one ofthe leading political parties in this countrywhich is the enabling environment hisgovernment has created. The President also, in putting peoplefirst, did not forget those who areincarcerated in our prisons. He becamethe first sitting President to visit aGhanaian prison and in doing so,accelerated the programme for thedecongestion of our prisons and therehabilitation of the inmates. We have anew innovation; the establishment of acourt in the prisons to look at those whohave been on remand beyond the time thatwas necessary. There are plans also for new prisons inKumasi and Bolgatanga and these arethings that we should be very happyabout. With the other security forces,support has been given to the GhanaPolice Service, the Ghana Armed Forcesand the Ghana National Fire Service. The Ghana Police Service is beingsupported with housing units inCommunity III, Tema, which would go along way to alleviate the problemsassociated with the housing of oursecurity agencies. I would now go to Defence and Interior.We are retooling our security agenciesand for the first time we have a FormedPolice Unit (FPU), active in peacekeepingduties in South Sudan. I had the privilegeand honour to visit the FPU in SouthSudan and Mr Speaker, I can tell you thatthey are performing beyond the call ofduty. When you go to South Sudan and youtalk about the Ghanaian forces there; boththe army and the police, you can stick
    your chest out and say I am proud to be aGhanaian. Ghanaian forces are now inpeacekeeping operations, they aredownsising in Liberia, Cote d'Ivoire, Mali,DR Congo, South Sudan and Lebanon.And I can say that they are performingcreditably and we are looking at new waysof peacekeeping operations in which theWorld League System has come to thefore. Therefore, we can actually accrueinternally generated funds for the military. Mr Speaker, 2016 is an election yearand as a democrat, I do not believe that itshould be tension-filled, that is the normand that is the order of the day. The government of the day is preparingto ensure that the peace of this nation andstability is not disturbed by the tensionsthat arise from the election campaigns andthe election itself. So, the Government isdoing its best to ensure that thecapabilities of our security forces areenhanced towards that. I do not want to speak too much; a lothas been said but I must say that weshould thank His Excellency, for amagnificent work done and those whothink that his delivery was not magnificentare people who do not know anythingabout communications. On that note, I would like to thank HisExcellency once again. Mr Speaker, thankyou for giving me the opportunity.
  • [MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER IN THE CHAIR.]
  • Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:13 p.m.
    Thank youvery much. Hon Members, it is now the turn of HonO. B. Amoah.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:13 p.m.


    If he is not available, then we wouldgive the floor to Hon Owusu-Aduomi.
    Mr Ignatius B. Awuah 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, Ijust want to make a small intervention forHon O. B. Amoah. He is meeting adelegation of South Africans who are hereto have an interaction with our Parliament.So, we can skip him and move to the nextperson on the list. He would come lateron. Any time he comes, he can take histurn.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    HonOwusu-Aduomi?
    Mr Kwabena Owusu-Aduomi (NPP --Ejisu) 12:15 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for thehonour done me to contribute to theMotion on the floor. Mr Speaker, as you have advised, Iwould be making references to someexcerpts from the Statistical and AnalyticalReport prepared by the Ministry of Roadsand Highways, the Ministry of Transportand the Ghana Statistical Service. As aresult, I would send some copies to theTable to be given to you so that you cango along with me. I have also gone further to provide youwith the full document, in case you wouldneed to peruse some of the references thatI would make. Mr Speaker, His Excellency thePresident gave the exact increase in thenetwork size since January, 2009. That isthe 3,772 kilometres, having moved thenetwork from 66,291kilometres as of theend of December, 2008 to 71,063 kilometresas of the close of December, 2012.
    Mr Speaker, probably, His Excellencywould have been reluctant to tell the nationof this achievement if he had beeninformed of the achievements of previousGovernments by the New Patriotic Party(NPP) from January, 2001 to January 2009. Mr Speaker, I crave your indulgence tohave a look at the sheet of paper that Ihave marked as “1A” if you have it in frontof you. Mr Speaker, as of the end of the year2000, the total network size was 37,321kilometres, at the end of the year 2008,the network had increased to 67,291kilometres. When you go to sheet number1B and when you go to sheet number 1C,that would also give you the network sizeof 71,063 kilometres as of the end ofDecember, 2012. Mr Speaker, from these reports, fromthe year 2000 to the year 2008, there wasthe total increase of 29,970 kilometres,which is about 80 per cent of the networkthat Government met in January, 2001. Thisis a splendid performance. The feeder roads between December2000 and December 2008 --
    Mr Agbodza 12:15 p.m.
    On a point of order. MrSpeaker, I think my Colleague is goingback to dispute what the Minister forRoads and Highways explained to usyesterday. I hold in my hands the Hansard of 14thFebruary, 2008. I think that might be thelast State of the Nation Address by formerPresident Kufour. On the number of roadsdone, he starts by saying in column 595,and he lists the number of roads theresince 2001. It is not up to the number myHon Brother is calling. The Hon Minister for Roads andHighways explained yesterday that at acertain point in time, the Ministry decided
    to capture many roads that were not partof the road networks that were recognised.Out of that, about 30,000 kilometres wasredesignated. That never meant NPP builtthose roads. Simply because that is not what theperson who is supposed to build the roadstalked about. He talked about far lessnumbers. Former President Kufour wasthe one who was the President. He neversaid he built 30,000 kilometres of roads.And so where on earth is my HonColleague saying that they built 30,000?He must correct himself. NPP never buildover 30,000 kilometres of roads.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    Very well.Hon Member, could you furnish us yoursource?
    Mr Owusu-Aduomi 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, hedoes not understand what I am saying. Anetwork size increase of 29,970 kilometreswhich is about 30,000 kilometres does notmean that the NPP Government tarredthose roads. No! That is not the meaning. If he had listened to me as I moved on,he would realise that in Ghana, we havemost of our roads referred to as missinglinks. Some of them are not accessible.And these were roads which were openedup during the time of the NPPAdministration mostly in the hinterlands,in towns and cities.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    HonMember, please, what is your source?This is because he is quoting from theHansard.
    Mr Owusu-Aduomi 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I havegiven you a report that has been preparedby the Ministry of Roads and Highways.
    Mr Owusu-Aduomi 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, onyour advice, you said we should send itto the front desk.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    But youhave to lay it so that we take a look at itand satisfy ourselves.
    Mr Owusu-Aduomi 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it isthere. I have given it to the front desk.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    Have youlaid it?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    If you havenot, please, lay it for us to look at it andsatisfy ourselves. [Interruption.]
    Mr Owusu-Aduomi 12:15 p.m.
    I have given himcopies, it is there?[Pause.]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    Yes, HonMember, I believe you were referring tothe document you have numbered “1A”.
    Mr Owusu-Aduomi 12:15 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    Has it beenauthenticated?
    Mr Owusu-Aduomi 12:15 p.m.
    Authenticated? Mr Speaker, I have given you theoriginal copy.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    HonMember, the other documents you havepresented, have all been authenticated?I have no problem with them. But with theone you marked “1A”.
    Mr Owusu-Aduomi 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, with“1A”, I have given you the book. I havegiven you the original document for your
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    No! Whatis the title of the original book you aretalking about?
    Mr Owusu-Aduomi 12:15 p.m.
    It is “Statisticaland Analytical Report” prepared by theMinistry of Roads and Highways, theMinistry of Transport and the GhanaStatistical Service from 2000 --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    If you havethat one, do you need to have other ones,since you have the authenticated one? Use that, and refer to the relevant pageand we would be through. But to use thisone which is not authenticated, I do notthink -- But you have the authenticated onehere. Why do you not restrict yourself tothat one and refer to the relevant pages?
    MrOwusu-Aduomi 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thatis exactly what I have done. But I havemade it easier for you by making copiesout of them for you so that it becomeseasier for us to move on.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    HonMember, if you are saying that “1A” isborn out of the authenticated document Ihave before me, I would like us to restrictourselves to the authenticated one. I donot feel safe. Refer to the page and ifpossible the paragraphs, then we moveon, but not the one which is notauthenticated.
    Mr Owusu-Aduomi 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, allthat I have done is that, from theauthenticated report, in order to make iteasier for you --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    HonMember, if you look at the details --
    Mr Owusu-Aduomi 12:25 p.m.
    I have madecopies.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    HonMember, please, hold your breath. If you refer to the page number of theauthenticated one as against this “1A”,you are referring to, the page numbers aredifferent. And that gives me a problem.So, why do we not restrict ourselves tothe authenticated one? And you wouldnot have any problem. Just refer to thepage and the paragraphs, and then we goon.
    Mr Owusu-Aduomi 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, go tothe authenticated report --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    Yes, HonDeputy Minority Leader?
    Mr Dominic Nitiwul 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, inmy opinion, by our Standing Orders, HonMembers have the right to make notes andrefer to those notes. Every Member ofParliament has a right to make notes, andhe could refer to those notes. He cannotread those notes but he can refer to thosenotes. Mr Speaker,it is not very easy for anHon Member to be holding a fat book andopening while talking. It is difficult inhaving a debate. Like you said, he canrefer to the pages, but to let Parliament beat peace and have a peace of mind, hepresented the whole book to you beforehe even started the debate so that youcould be assured that what he is talkingabout is in that book. Unless we are doubting that the figureshe is churning out are not in that book; Ihave a problem. Otherwise, every Member
    has the right to make notes and refer tothose notes. And that is what he hasdone. That is why he keeps referring orrepeating that he is trying to make his workeasier.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    I have noproblem with that, except that if we aregoing that way, then I would prefer thatyou flag the relevant pages of theauthenticated one, which also makes yourwork easier. For example, 1(A) has page35 of 93, meanwhile with the authenticatedone, it is page 35 simpliciter. So how can I-- [Interruption.]
    Mr Owusu-Aduomi 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, youhave not looked at the correct one. Please,look at the 2000 to 2009 Report and youwould see sheet 1(A) there. I have givenyou many reports because of thereferences. Sheet 1(A) -- look at theAnalytical Report from 2000 to 2009 andyou would see this page 35 of 93 inside. Itis there.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    HonMember, I would like you to direct me tothe relevant pages you are referring to.The Clerk-at-the-Table is there, discuss itwith him and show him the relevant pagesand then we move. This is because I wouldhave thought that if you have thisauthenticated one, all you would do is torefer to the relevant pages of that one andthat is all. But if you have 1 (A), which you claimto be an extract from the authenticated oneand I see the numbering of pages in 1(A)to be 35 of 93, while the authenticatedone has 35 simpliciter, I do not see myway clear. [Pause.]
    Mr Owusu-Aduomi 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, Iwould like to continue.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    Let me hearfrom the Clerk-at-the-Table -- [Pause.] But again, the numbering of the pageis 35 of 93. Hon Member, you can now proceed.
    Mr Owusu-Aduomi 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker,network size is different from what hasbeen tagged. With network size, there areinaccessible roads and they are openedup. During the NPP Administration, about30,000 of such inaccessible roads wereopened up. Mr Speaker, feeder roads increased inthe network size by 18,195. From 23,999kmin 2000 to 42,194km. What was the result?The result was the increase in theproduction of commercial crops, food fordomestic consumption. Marketing of farmproduce became easier for the domesticfarmer and the desire to expand their farmsshot up. Mr Speaker, overall, the socioeconomicdevelopment of the local farmer improvedand impacted positively on agriculture. Mr Speaker, with the Department ofUrban Roads, today, what do we see?Cocoa, coffee and food-growing areasremain inaccessible because most of theseroads that were opened up during thatAdministration are not being maintained.And there are still more of theseinaccessible roads which we call missinglinks that are there and not opened up. Mr Speaker, Department of UrbanRoads had only 2,200 km of roads at theend of December, 2000 but at the end ofDecember, 2008, it increased to 12,400km-- an increase of 10,200km. What was theimportance of this? It paved way forconstruction and maintenance of roadsin our major towns and cities and thedistrict capitals.

    In most of these towns and cities,concrete lime drains were constructed toimprove the drainage systems in thetowns. Most of the towns were also tarredto reduce the menace of dust and improvethe aesthetic view of most of these townsand major cities.

    Mr Speaker, His Excellency thePresident spent time to mention projectsin his Address. A total of 202, countingfrom the 2016 State of the Nation Address,were named throughout. Different phraseswere used to describe their state: roadsare being executed; they are being workedon; being done; under construction; areon course; at various stages ofcompletion; and then the popular one, areongoing. Mr Speaker, in all these descriptions,projects that have been abandoned alsoformed part. This is because if a project isabandoned, the contract is not terminated,it is also ongoing or at the various stagesof completion and so on. Mr Speaker, it is not the tall list ofprojects awarded that matter. Whatmatters is the progress being made onthese projects to completion. That is whatis important. Mr Speaker, last year, February 2015,when the President delievered the Stateof the Nation Address, I checked from theagencies and 864 projects were ongoing.With the trunk roads, Ghana HighwayAuthority (GHA) had 156, Department ofFeeder Roads had 438, and Department ofUrban Roads, 270. Mr Speaker, as we speak today, theprojects are over 1,000. If one reads themonthly and quarterly reports of theseroad agencies, it would be realised thatmost of the projects are either abandonedor are moving at a very slow pace.
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    HonMember are you up on a Point of Order?
    Mr Agbodza 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I just needyour direction on this. Can we take it thatit is possible that President Kufuor cameto the House in 2008 and gave us statisticsabout what he has done, which is differentfrom what my Hon Colleague is reading.This is because he talks about numberswhich are completely different --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    HonMember, do you know what you coulddo? When it gets to your turn, you canalso table the Hansard and then we seethe way forward.
    Mr Owusu-Aduomi 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if timepermits me, I would.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    HonMember, your time is already up but Iwould give you two more minutes.
    Mr Owusu-Aduomi 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, theprojects have been abandoned and mostof them are moving at a very low pace. Iwould refer again to the sheets that I havemarked: 2(A), 2(B), and 2(C). This 2(A) isfrom the Report from 2000 to 2009, maybeit is in front of you.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    HonMember, I would prefer that we go the waywe have started. The authenticated oneis what I would want you to makereference to.
    Mr Owusu-Aduomi 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, referto page 47 of 93 of the Analytical Reportfor 2000 and 2009. It is a sheet I havemarked 2 (A) and also the AnalyticalReport, 2005 to 2010 -- a sheet I havemarked 2 (B). I have highlighted them.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    No, I do notwant you to make reference to sheets. Justrefer to the authenticated report, page, andthen we move on.
    Mr Owusu-Aduomi 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, Iunderstand. Page 41 of the Report, 2005to 2010. At the end of December, 2000,about 29 per cent of Ghana's road networksize of 37,321 were in good condition. Atthe end of December, 2008, about 42 percent of the nation's network that hasincreased to 67,291km were in goodcondition. Mr Speaker, as of December, 2015, anetwork size of 71,063, the percentage ofroads that were in good condition haddropped to 35 per cent. Mr Speaker, when I take you to roadsthat have been paved -- We go to thesame Analytical Report, page 29. In the year 2000, the total roads pavedas at the end of the year 2000 were 7,138kilometres. When you go to the AnalyticalReport, from 2005 to 2010, the roads thathad been tarred at the end of December2008 were 13,610 kilometres. So, duringthe eight years of the NPP, about 6,473kilometres of roads were tarred. Mr Speaker, from 2008 to December2014, which I have labelled as 3 (C) -- areport that I picked from the Ministry ofRoads and Highways, the total roadstarred to date is 15,690 kilometres. It meansfrom the year 2008 to the end of December2014, only 2,079 kilometres were tarred.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    HonMember, your time is up.
    Mr Owusu-Aduomi 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, itmeans that it is not the tall list that matters.What matters is the progress that we aremaking on the various projects.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker. Hear! Hear!
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Hon DeputyMinority Leader?
    Mr Nitiwul 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was justwondering whether you did not considerthe fact that the Hon Member had a verylong intervention period close to 5 minutes.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Hon DeputyMinority Leader, the Hon Member startedat 12.13 p.m. It is now 12.35 p.m. Insteadof 12.23 p.m., we have ended at 12.35 p.m.so I have given him a lot of latitude. Hon Members, the next to take the flooris Hon Dr Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan. Deputy Minister for Food andAgriculture (Dr Ahmed Y. Alhassan ):Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, forthe opportunity to contribute to theMotion to thank His Excellency thePresident, for delivering a very novel Stateof the Nation Address to the House. Mr Speaker, the President in hisAddress emphasised and made referencesto a lot of infrastructural development thathave affected and impacted on thecountry's economic development. He alsoemphasised the fact that our continuousreliance on cocoa alone as an export cropwas not good enough. Therefore, there was the need todiversify and broaden the base of exportcrops for the country. Hence the emphasison the development of coffee, oil palm andsheanut. Mr Speaker, the President also madereferences to infrastructural developmentthat affected health, water and roads. Ibelieve that these developments definitelywould affect agriculture.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    HonMember, are you up on a point of order?
    Mr Quaittoo 12:35 p.m.
    Yes please.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Can I hearyou?
    Mr Quaittoo 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I wonder ifthe Hon Member is giving us a new Stateof the Nation Address. All that he is sayingcannot be found in the State of the NationAddress. It is not there. Is he giving us anew account of what is happening in thecountry? I would want to know. He shouldshow the pages where we can identifythem. That is my point of order.
    Dr A. Y. Alhassan 12:45 p.m.
    Thank you verymuch, Mr Speaker, and for the distractionthat was unnecessary. Mr Speaker, the electronic extension isthe IT section that should affect thedelivery of messages to farmers on theirphones. As I speak to you now, MrSpeaker, the electronic extension facility,which is to transmit electronic -- Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto -- rose --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    Yes, HonMember?
    Dr Akoto 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, attentionshould be paid to the point raised by HonQuaittoo. We are talking about the Addressdelivered by the President to the nationon the state of this country. All that theHon Member for Mion is saying is notfound in the Address and he is not givingthe sources. I know you have been very particularabout sourcing. All these figures that heis throwing about are not in it. In any case,he is misleading this House. To say thatthis Government is developingirrigation -- The flagship of this Government from2009 for four years was about irrigationon the Accra Plains. Twelve thousandhectares and all that. What happened tothat? And now, he is talking about newthings. Not only that, the irrigation scheme isalready in place. I have heard here on thebalcony, somewhere on this premises;farmers from the Weija Irrigation Plantwhere the electricity bill has jumped fromGH¢ 1, 500 to GH¢ 30, 000.
    Dr Akoto 12:45 p.m.
    I am challenging the sourcesthat the Hon Deputy Minister is quoting.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    Very well. Hon Deputy Minister, please, respondto that point.
    Dr Akoto 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, you have beenvery particular about that, he should giveus proof.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    Yes, youhave made your point, please, resumeyour seat. Hon Deputy Minister, address theissue of the source of your information.
    Dr A. Y. Alhassan 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, Iwould have been surprised if the HonMember did not ask for the source of theinformation on a point of order. Mr Speaker, most of the information Iam giving are found in Policy andWorking Programme documents of theMinistry of Food and Agriculture --[Interruption.] Mr Speaker, I have the right as a HonMember of this House to give a detailedaccount of what the President would havesaid in the agricultural sector. And I hopehis reference to the Accra Plains IrrigationProject was in the State of the NationAddress. He should tell me if it is in theState of the Nation Address.
    Dr Akoto 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am preparedto debate the Hon Member of Parliamentfor Mion on this issue. That is why Ibrought in the Greater Accra IrrigationScheme. It was not mentioned and so, you
    cannot bring in things which were notmentioned in the State of the NationAddress. Mr Speaker, there are four projects thatthe President mentioned; coffee, cocoa,sheanut and shrimps. That is what I sawin the State of the Nation Address. Allthese irrigation schemes he is talkingabout are extraneous to the issue at stake.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    HonMember, it is true that we are debating theState of the Nation Address, does thatdeprive an Hon Member from referring tosomething which was not specificallystated in the State of the Nation Address?We have gone through this exercise forsome time. Quite a number of Hon Members havemade references to things which were notin the State of the Nation Address butwhich are quite relevant to the debate thatwe are carrying on.
    Dr Akoto 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am taking acue from you. I have listened to thedebate from the beginning till now andyou have asked for proof. My HonColleague, Mr Owusu-Aduomi talkedabout roads. He has worked in the roadsdepartment all his life. He is a professionalenginee r, you cha l lenged him toproduce --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    No, heproduced the document.
    Dr Akoto 12:45 p.m.
    Exactly. So, I am asking myHon Deputy Minister to produce the --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    But you arenow arguing that the Hon Member isreferring to items that are not containedin the State of the Nation Address. And Isaid that I do not think we are restrictedto the four corners of the State of theNation Address. Otherwise, we could not
    make references to some previous or otherdocuments which were not related to thisone.
    Dr Akoto 12:45 p.m.
    With all due respect, I donot have any problem with that approach.The only thing I am saying is that, oncehe veers off the issues raised in the Stateof the Nation Address, he should proofto us. He cannot just come and give usanother huge, propaganda speech hereand leave.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    Yes, HonDeputy Majority Leader?
    Mr Agbesi 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, both sides ofthe House agreed that we would allow thedebate to flow. As far as possible, pointsof order can be taken. But some of thesepoints of order amount to the HonMember who takes the point debating theissue. Mr Speaker has already directed that,if you are found in this situation, allowthe contribution, when you have yourchance, you will also come. So, please,Hon Members, let the debate flow. This is because my side of the Househas agreed that we would allow the debateto flow. The Hon Member on his feet nowis virtually debating the Speaker. How canyou debate the Speaker?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    Yes, HonDeputy Minority Whip?
    Mr Awuah 12:45 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, you set the standard atthe very beginning of this debate. Youindicated that anybody making astatement should allude to the source ofthat particular statement. And even that,not just the source, it should be anauthenticated source.
    This morning, we witnessed that in thecase of my Hon Colleague who argued onroads. So, if our Hon Colleague also wantsto make a case out of the State of theNation Address document, then he mustas well bring certified source from whichhe is quoting so that, at least, we can allhear him.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    Very well. If that is the argument, fine, I go alongwith it. But he changed his argument tosay that, it is not included in the State ofthe Nation Address. That is why I disagreewith him. But if you are asking for thesource of some information the HonDeputy Minister gave, fine, I am with you.[Interruptions.] Please, let us have some order. Yes, Hon Deputy Minister for Food andAgriculture, the source is being requestedfor, how do you react to that?
    Dr A. Y. Alhassan 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker --[Interruptions.]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    Please, lethim respond.
    Dr A. Y. Alhassan 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, mostparts of my presentation and informationare coming from two sources: one,Agriculture, Facts and Figures, 2014. Theyare published documents.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    Do youhave them here?
    Dr A. Y. Alhassan 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I donot have it here, I can give it to you later.I have an electronic copy.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    HonMember, no! We have not come there yet.But what we said is that, the rules have

    governed us over the period of thisdebate, you must have the source withyou and then we would be home and dry. It is just like what the Hon Member whocontributed just before you, we insistedthat he provided us with thedocumentation, he did so and we were allright with that. Mr Ayariga -- rose--
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    Yes, HonMinister for Environment, Science andTechnology and Innovation?
    Mr Ayariga 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, my under-standing yesterday was that, when HonMinisters are contributing and it relatesto their sectors, they themselves are theauthority on their assertion. This isbecause they are actually involved in theimplementation of those policies andprogrammes. So, if an Hon Minister makesa statement and you say the Hon Ministermust produce a document --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    HonMinister, what is sauce for the goose issauce for the gander. I remember that Hon OkudzetoAblakwa, as the Hon Deputy Ministerfor Education, while on his feet, madereference to a fact just a day back, thatthe West African Examinations Council(WAEC) has congratulated Ghana for thethird time running for topping theexamination and objection was raised andI said, once it is something that has justoccurred and he is in the Ministry, we takehis words. When Hon Dr Akoto Osei raised theissue, I said, for example, coming from hisconstituency, if he had some informationrelating to his constituency, we need not
    insist on documentation. It is in the samevein that we refer a Deputy Minister or anHon Minister for a particular Ministry sothat we could make some progress. Yes, Hon Member?
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, undernormal circumstances, I would agree withthe Hon Minister for Environment,Science, Technology and Innovation, butgiven the fact that, on Sunday, there wastalk about a ‘President Kenyatta ofGhana', you cannot necessarily assumethat an Hon Minister is an authoritydistorting the historical facts of Ghana. So, we cannot assume everything --[Interruption.] It is a fact, so, we have to be careful,and we cannot assume everything.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    Yes, afterthat the Hon Minister.
    Mr Awuah 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have adifficulty with this ruling. This is becauseeven the State of the Nation Address itselfhas some mistakes in them. Yesterday, Ipointed out that, a road christened KadeTown Road is said to have been done inBrong Ahafo. Meanwhile, there is no suchroad in Brong Ahafo. So, if somebody had quoted from thisand you assumed that it is right becauseit is coming from the book, it is wrong. Asit is, whoever, whether the person is aMinister, must authenticate his source ofthe information.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    Very well.Point well taken. Hon Minister, if you do not have thedocument here, you cannot rely on it.
    Dr A. Y. Alhassan 12:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I havethe right to make an application, that Ipresent the Annual Report of the Ministryof Food and Agriculture; Facts andFigures, 2014 after my submission. Iwould also present the WorkingProgramme and Projects of the Ministryof Food and Agriculture at a later timeafter my presentation.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    How soonafter your presentation? This is becauseif you do not provide your document atthe right time, we would direct that thesubmissions made in respect of thosedocuments be expunged. That is why Iwant to be sure about the time after yourpresentation when you can make itavailable.
    Dr A. Y. Alhassan 12:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that isup to you to tell me.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    You areproducing the document. How much timedo you need?
    Dr A. Y. Alhassan 12:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker,because of my working programme, Iwould present it on Monday.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    Monday?That is too far off. If you could produce itbefore we adjourn today, I would be allright with it. Then I would give a riderthat your failure to provide it before weadjourn would amount to the submissionin respect of those documents beingexpunged.
    Dr A. Y. Alhassan 12:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am ata loss here because copious reference toa historical document in 2008 up to 2014by an Hon Member who spoke shortlybefore me -- and the issue was that therewas a conflict between what he presentedand what H. E. former President Kufuorpresented on the same subject in this veryChamber.
    It is interesting that I am being deniedthe right of analysis of a sector that Icontribute to; the Ministry of Food andAgriculture.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    I am notdenying you that opportunity. I am onlyproviding a rider that if by a certain timeframe, you have not produced it, then thepresumption is that your submission withregard to the contents of thosedocuments be expunged.
    Dr A. Y. Alhassan 12:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thepoint I am making is that we are beingdenied an opportunity to analyse a sectorthat we are in charge of? The issue iswhether what I am saying is a fact or not;that is what I think but not about its source.And I have given the source that it isAgriculture Facts and Figures, 2014 andthe Working Programme and Progress ofthe Ministry of Food and Agriculturewhich are public documents. [Inter-ruption.]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    HonMembers, let us have some order. The Rt Hon Speaker ruled at thebeginning of this debate that it is eitherthe original, the certified true copy or theHansard and that is what we have beengoing by to date. So, the fact of you beinga Deputy Minister in the Ministrynotwithstanding, the warning wassounded. So, as you come along, come with therelevant documents. You have not doneso and I am giving you a little latitude. If you could make it available beforewe adjourn, it would be all right, then wecrosscheck and see that it is alright. Ifnot, it would be expunged.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 12:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, Ido not intend challenging your ruling butwe have all been here from the beginningof the debate. It appears we have a lot of
    Mr Ayariga 12:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, he is readingan electronic version; he has it on hisiPad. Under the Electronic TransactionsAct of 2008, section 5, it is goodcommunication for him to request for theClerk's email address so that he couldimmediately forward it to the Clerk. So,since he has an electronic version, by theElectronic Transactions Act, 2008, he can-- Mr Speaker, it says in section 5 that,
    “Except as provided in this Act,where a law provides that informa-tion or any other matter shall be inwriting, typewritten or in printedform, the requirement shall bedeemed to have been satisfied if theinformation or matter is: (a) rendered or made available inan electronic form…”
    If he presents us an electronic versionof whatever he is reading, that satisfies.
    So, Mr Speaker, he can present itimmediately so that he would be permittedto keep referring to the document andimmediately after his submissions, makea copy available to the Clerk and thatwould have satisfied the requirements ofproducing the source.
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 12:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, ifthe Hon Minister by his submission, ischallenging Mr Speaker's ruling, heshould come by way of a Motion. Please,let us advance Business in this House.We would find a way to resolve this matter.We are not in a transaction. Are we in atransaction? Is the Hon Member testifyingin court? What sort of business is this?The Deputy Majority Leader shouldcontrol his troops.
    Mr Agbesi 12:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we have totake this House forward. We should notthink that because the issue involvesMajority or Minority, we should vary therules. Mr Speaker, you made a ruling andboth sides of the House must agree.Whether it is electronic, handwritten or acopy, we must go by your direction. Asmy Hon Colleague advised, Leadershipwould have to meet Speakership for us tohave a common ground for the debate toflow. I would want to advise both sides,please, if you take objection that it shouldnot be handwritten, if your side of theHouse is also doing the same, thelikelihood is that this side of the Housewould also take objection. In order toavoid all these, let us abide by MrSpeaker's direction. Until Leadership meets Speakership,let us go by what has been said. I agreethat whatever it is, in order that therewould be no confusion, let us go byoriginal, Hansard or certified true copyas you have directed, until otherwise therule or order is varied.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
    Very well. Hon Members, if you would remember,when the Hon Minister for Foreign Affairsand Regional Integration was given thefloor, she asked for direction with regardto electronic evidence and I indicated thatif my memory served me right, on oneoccasion, the Second Deputy Speaker wasin the Chair. This matter came up and I do notremember the kind of ruling he gave, so,I would not want to commit myself to giveany ruling on this issue which might runcontrary to what he gave. Now, we need to probably have recordsof previous rulings so that it would guideus. But as matters stand, I think we wouldhave to move forward as a House, bylooking at the amendments we have orintend to effect in the Standing Orders sothat we can capture this electronicinformation and then we would all be atpeace with each other. But for now, I do not see my way clearin giving any kind of ruling in thisdirection.
    Mr Ayariga 1:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, you areguided by an Act of Parliament whichrecognises electronic communications.In this House, efforts have been made toencourage electronic commu- nications.As we speak, we are no longer given theOrder Paper. We are given the electronicversion of it. Mr Speaker, if we are debating in thisHouse and I seek to make reference to theOrder Paper on a day that you have notgiven us a hard copy of the OrderPaper, I would be compelled to refer to anelectronic version of the Order Paperwhich has been communicated to me bythis House.
    So, clearly, electronic communicationis becoming an integral part of the waythat this House communicates. Mr Speaker, so, if an Hon Member isdebating and says what he is debating isbased on a publication and he or she hasan electronic version of that publication,once you are sure of the integrity of thatelectronic version of that communication,we should give him or her a time periodwithin which to deliver it to the Clerk.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
    Do youknow what I would say in reaction to that?Just like Hon Owusu-Aduomi did, hefurnished the Table\ Office with thedocuments. You can also furnish theClerks-at-the-Table with the informationregarding the website, et cetera, so thatthey can crosscheck even before you takeyour turn to be sure that what you aresaying is reflected in the information yougave to them, otherwise, we would notmake any progress.
    Mr Nitiwul 1:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would urgethat we allow the Hon Member to makeprogress so that we would continue. Mr Speaker, it is obvious to everybodythat the ruling given to Hon Members iscreating problems. As has beensuggested, Leadership should meettomorrow with the Rt Hon Speaker andwe would look at it. But as we stand todayand by the angle we are going, we are justgoing against what the Rt Hon Speakersaid. If one thinks that is what he or shewants to do, the person should bring aMotion and we debate that Motion. Otherwise, I would advise that the HonMember should continue, subject to yourdirection — You said it would beexpunged if he cannot get it by close ofthe day. He can make the point, but byclose of the day, if he believes that he
    Mr Ayariga 1:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the reason Iintervened was that there is a history.You asked the Hon Member whether hecould deliver the document within areasonable time and he said Monday. Andyou said Monday is too far. You thenasked him if he indeed said he had anelectronic version and he said yes and thatwas what he was reading from. Mr Speaker, I am saying that, our ownAct recognises electronic versions ofcommunication. So, instead of waiting tillMonday, he could deliver the electronicversion immediately after this to whoeverhas been directed by the Rt Hon Speaker— [Interruption.]
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 1:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker,we ought to make progress. This debatethat the Hon Minister is raising is takingus back. He should respect your ruling,not try to change it by debating you, andas we go along, I am sure we would find away to resolve this matter by tomorrow. Mr Speaker, we have electronic version.Everybody has an electronic version butour Standing Orders do not provide forelectronic version of documents. So,when an Hon Member refers to anElectronic Transactions Act, I can saythat we are not engaged in a transaction.But we have to make progress in thisHouse, and the way the Hon Minister isgoing does not enable us to makeprogress.
    The Hon Minister for Environment,Science, Technology and Innovation, notthe Hon Deputy Minister for Food andAgriculture in charge of Crops.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
    Very well. Hon Members, I believe we havedebated this issue long enough. What Iwould direct, as already indicated is forthe Hon Member to make thedocumentation available to us by the timewe adjourn. But I could amend that to goas far back as tomorrow. This is because of how much time hewould need to get it to us. But there is arider, that if we are not able to get it bymidday tomorrow, he should consider thesubmissions made expunged. In the meantime, let us move on to savetime. Hon Deputy Minister, you have thefloor. We have already spent a lot of timeand so I will give you three more minutes. I am saying all this in the expectationthat Leadership would confer with the RtHon Speaker to resolve this issue. That iswhy I have given the Hon DeputyMinister up to midday tomorrow.
    Mr Nitiwul 1:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is fairenough. We should let the debate flow. Itis a novelty you have introduced — It iscreating problems. We should meet theRt Hon Speaker and resolve it so that wedo not have a problem. He should do that. He can even bring it after tomorrow.After all, the same rule would apply tosomebody from my side of the House andso, I do not really have a problem.
    Mr Speaker, but my Hon Colleague herehas a serious issue he is raising becausesomebody used a word that he feels verystrongly about.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
    HonMember, you do not have the floor.
    Mr Nitiwul 1:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, he said thatthe Hon Deputy Minister used a verystrong word on him. He feels veryoffended and he wants him to withdrawthat word. So maybe, if you could givehim the opportunity —
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
    What wordwas that?
    Mr Nitiwul 1:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I did not hearit and so —
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
    HonMember, what word was that?
    Mr Quaittoo 1:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, he said thatmy point of order was unnecessary. Thatwas the first statement he made after —
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
    That what?
    Mr Quaittoo 1:05 p.m.
    That he is sorry for myunnecessary interjection and the pointsthat I have raised from the debate, arethey necessary? He should please withdraw thatstatement. I am offended.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
    Hold yourbreath. Hon Deputy Minister, did you makeany such statement?
    Dr A. Y. Alhassan 1:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, yes, Idid. And I withdraw if he is offended bythat.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
    Very well. Thank you very much for withdrawing. Please, proceed with your submission.As I said, you have three more minutes.
    Dr A. Y. Alhassan 1:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I wasjust making a point that we need someserious investment in infrastructure toback our production. I was at the point ofextending service delivery to farmers andI was indicating that this subject is soserious that if we build infrastructure andwe are not transmitting knowledge tothose who are going to use theinfrastructure to deliver tangibles, clearly,that effort would be in vain. Therefore, as I speak to you now, theelectronic extension services beingdelivered by Information and Commu-nication Technology (ICT) in the Ministryof Food and Agriculture would reallyhave 50,000 farmers subscribing andessential messages delivered to them viatheir handsets. Mr Speaker, indeed, the 2016 fertilizersubsidy programme is going to make useof this platform to deliver subsidisedfertilizer to farmers. Mr Speaker, this Government, led byHis Excellency, President John DramaniMahama indicated that it was almostcriminal, with respect to how much ricewe were importing into the country, andtherefore, a systematic programme wasdesigned to ensure that we restrictimports of rice and at the same time, expandlocal production of rice. Mr Speaker, from a production level of238,000 metric tonnes in 2011, it had goneup to 417,000 metric tonnes by 2014 andthis is about 50 per cent of the consump-tion requirement for rice for our country,clearly, indicating an expansion of localrice production within the country.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
    HonMember, is it on a point of order?
    Dr Akoto 1:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we are facingthe same problem again. The Hon Deputy Minister is quotingfrom sources which are not available toyou, Mr Speaker. I have great difficultybecause ISOKO or whatever he is talkingabout, I do not know them. I have neverheard of them and I am sure my HonColleagues in this House have never heardof them. So, it is incumbent upon him toprovide the evidence.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:05 p.m.
    HonMember, I have given a ruling that he hasup to 12.00 noon tomorrow to producethe evidence. If he does not, hissubmissions with regard to the contentof those documents would be expunged.
    Dr Akoto 1:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thought it wasonly for the facts and figures from theMinistry of Food and Agriculture that yougave that ruling. He has introduced a newelement of another publication -- It is different from the publication youasked him to provide by 12.00 noontomorrow. He has hopped on to anotherdocument, which you are not aware of.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    Yes, HonMember, is it a different document youare referring to now?
    Dr A. Y. Alhassan 1:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I ammaking reference to a company thatdedicates itself to providing --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    No! No! Thequestion I am putting to you is whetherthe information you are now churning outcomes from the same document I havedirected that you produce by noontomorrow.
    Dr A. Y. Alhassan 1:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, no!
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    Is it adifferent document?
    Dr A. Y. Alhassan 1:15 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    In that case,do you have that document here?
    Dr A. Y. Alhassan 1:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I canmake reference to my source.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    Very well. So, it applies to this as well. If bynoon tomorrow, we do not have it -- In any case, what is the source?
    Dr A. Y. Alhassan 1:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thesource is the International Food PolicyResearch Institute (IFPRI) Report thatquoted ISOKO as a reliable communityprice company that is doing well --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    Very well. Can we have that tomorrow?
    Dr A. Y. Alhassan 1:15 p.m.
    Yes, I can give itout.
    Dr A. Y. Alhassan 1:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker,according to this Institution, the price ofimported rice on the Ghanaian market hasdropped in the last three weeks by 20 percent. Therefore, locally produced rice hasdropped by five per cent. Indeed, the sameReport indicates that the price of maize inAshanti Region, Kumasi, in particular, hasgone down by three per cent even thoughit has risen in Takoradi and Bawku. Mr Speaker, the picture I am trying topaint is that there are challenges --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    HonMember, you have one more minute to go.
    Dr A. Y. Alhassan 1:15 p.m.
    Thank you. Mr Speaker, the picture I am trying topaint is that there are challenges withrespect to the weather and this canimpeach on our food security but thesituation is not as bad as speculatorswant us to believe. Mr Speaker, I would just want to saythat since 2008, soya bean production inthis country has almost doubled. Yam hasgone up by --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    HonMember, your time is up.
    Dr A. Y. Alhassan 1:15 p.m.
    Thank you, MrSpeaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    Yes, HonMembers, it is now the turn of HonAmeyaw-Cheremeh.
    Mr Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh 1:15 p.m.
    MrSpeaker, thank you. I would want to crave your indulgenceto take Hon Patrick Boamah out of turn.He has a commitment outside the Chamberand I think within the next 15 minutes, hehas to be there. If you would agree withme, then I would come in later.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    Are youceding --
    Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 1:15 p.m.
    He is alsodebating today but it is just to take himout of turn.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    Very well.
    Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 1:15 p.m.
    I am verygrateful, Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    Very well. What is the name, Hon Member?
    Mr Patrick Boamah 1:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker,Patrick Boamah, Member for OkaikoiCentral.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    Very well. You have the floor.
    Mr Patrick Yaw Boamah (NPP --Okaikoi Central) 1:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank youfor the opportunity to contribute to theMotion on the State of the NationAddress delivered by the President ofGhana. Mr Speaker, this year, the World Bankhas released its latest Report on doingbusiness in Ghana and some parts of theworld. The World Bank has displayed thison its website, www.doingbusiness.com.Ghana has slipped again from 112 to 114thon the log. Mr Speaker, I say this because doingbusiness in Ghana has become verydifficult to the extent that, for the firsttime in many years, shops aroundOkaishie, Abossey Okai, Adum and otherplaces were closed down because of hightaxes which have been imposed onimporters in this country. Mr Speaker, most items attract between10 per cent and 20 per cent taxes onwhat --
    Mr Govers Kwame Agbodza 1:15 p.m.
    MrSpeaker, just for your guidance. The Hon Member quoted from awebsite, so, I would want to ask if he isgoing to be able to provide hard copies ofthat document as well.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    Well, asdirected early on, they would have tomake it available to the Table Office by12.00 noon tomorrow.
    Mr Agbodza 1:15 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Boamah 1:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, bicycles andmotorcycles attract about 20 per cent taxon importation. This is creating a lot ofdistress among the business communityand it is affecting their quest to evencreate employment for the teamingunemployed youth. Mr Speaker, if you look at page 99 ofthe President's State of the NationAddress, there is a decision by theExecutive Committee of the African Union(AU) to allow Africans to come into Ghanaor part of the AU Community and staywithin 30 days without a visa or withoutresident permit. They would be given entry visas uponarrival. Mr Speaker, it is commendable butmy view is that, is the Immigration Serviceof Ghana up to this task of receiving somany people from the continent, puttingin place the surveillance mechanisms onsome of the people who would be affordedthis opportunity to come into this countryto embark on any business activity, perthe recommendations of the ExecutiveCommittee of the AU? Mr Speaker, last year, the President toldthis House that the country investedUS$35 million in the Komenda SugarFactory to help create employment for theyouth in the Central Region and beyond.
    Looking at the Address this year, I didnot find anywhere in the Address thatgave a report on the status of the factoryand also the plantation that has been putin place to feed the factory that is beingbuilt in Komenda. I find it a bit strange, because this is aserious investment about which I believethe good people of Ghana would haveloved to hear from the President, the statusof the factory and the extent of anyplantations, if any, to help alleviate theplight of the good people of Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem and beyond. Mr Speaker, the fourth issue that Iwould touch on is the maritime disputebetween Ghana and la Cote d'Ivoire. MrSpeaker, this is a serious issue before aninternational tribunal which has an effecton Ghana's oil exploration. I would have thought that thePresident would have made a seriouscomment on it, to at least, enlightenGhanaians and also bring to light whatour chances were and whether Ghana wasputting in place the right strategy toensure that the exploration programmecontinues and that investments whichhave been made by companies out there,were going to be protected. Nothing inthe President's Address touched on thisserious issue which affects petroleumexploration. Mr Speaker, gleaning through thePresident's Address, I also did not seeanything on the much talked about GhanaAirways. I do not know if what we hearabout the World Bank's decision not toallow Government to set up aninternational airline was the reason for itsomission from the State of the NationAddress. Mr Speaker, another important andtopical issue that has engaged Ghanaiansis the Postal Packets Bill, which I term the“Bedroom Bill”. When passed, it would
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    Thank youvery much. Hon Members, it is now theturn of Hon Kwame Agbodza.
    Mr Govers Kwame Agbodza (NDC--Adaklu) 1:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you for theopportunity to contribute to the Motionto thank the President for presenting theState of the Nation Address, 2016. Mr Speaker, I listened to the Presidentcarefully and I am elated to note that he issomebody we can trust.
    To start with, he came to this Houselast year, at the time that we were allapprehensive about the effect of thepower outages. He said that he wasworried about it and he made acommitment to this House and to thecountry that he would deal with the issue;he would fix it. Mr Speaker, I was happy that when heturned up here, he had fixed it. I knowthat everybody in this room is a testimonyto the fact that we did not wake up to anannouncement directing us to look intothe daily newspapers to check when ourlight would go off or come on. So, thePresident did very well. Mr Speaker, if you read the State of theNation Address by former PresidentKufuor which he delivered on the 14th ofFebruary, 2008, in the Hansard, column597, he acknowledged the fact that --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    HonMember, give us the date of the Hansard.
    Mr Agbodza 1:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, 14th February,2008. President Kufuor acknowledged thefact that during his term of office, he hadchallenges with the supply of sustainablepower in this country. He said he had putin place certain things to deal with theimmediate causes. Today, President Mahama has dealtwith the medium-term and proceeded tothe long-term of our power situations inthis country. It means that thosecompanies that had challenges withpower and employed people can now goback and reschedule so that we can createjobs for our people in this country. Mr Speaker, on education, thePresident gave us a lot of data. MrSpeaker, to be honest, I did a bit ofcomparison with what President Kufuor
    Mr Agbodza 1:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, to somepeople, this means nothing but if you comefrom communities like mine, the provisionof a sandal for somebody to go to school,the provision of uniforms to somebody inthe village the provision and of a schoolblock are significant. That is why he talksabout things that matter to the people ofthis country and I commend him for that. When he came to what he did with theuniversities, Mr Speaker, I remember howmany times I needed to argue with someof my Hon Colleagues when the Presidentsaid we were establishing two newuniversities and people did notunderstand the reasons for theestablishment. Today, the fact that we are creatingmore opportunities and expandinginfrastructure in health means and we
    needed the people to be trained to manthese facilities -- When the University of Health andAllied Sciences (UHAS), as we speak, hasthe ability to train more physicians, Ibelieve it is the right thing to do and thatis the reason I believe that this President,unlike his predecessor, has done better. Mr Speaker, I must say that I am notaware that any President in our history,within a period of three years, hasinvested this quantum of money thatPresident Mahama has invested in ourhealthcare system. It is close to two billionGhana cedis in three years and not evenPresident Nkrumah did that in our history. This is remarkable and it wouldtranslate to about 6,000 hospital beds bythe end of 2018. Mr Speaker, what it meansis that even my village would have ahealthcare facility that is fit for its purpose.It also means that many new hospitals --For instance, I have people talking aboutthe Children's Ward at the Korle-BuTeaching Hospital -- Mr Speaker, the factis that the Children's Ward at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital has got two brandnew paediatric theatres. They have beenrefurbished. Mr Speaker, before President Mahamabecame the President, it was more like aparking lot because things were justdumped there. It was not functional. Thisis what we call the transformationalleadership that the President is giving us. Mr Speaker, let me go to aviation. It isvery pathetic. If we turn to the State ofthe Nation Address delivered by formerPresident Kufuor -- Mr Nitiwul -- rose --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:15 p.m.
    Yes, HonMember, is it on a point of order?
    Mr Nitiwul 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not knowwhether you have allowed the debate toflow because the Hon Member has beenon his feet for a long time. If that is thestance you have taken, I do not have aproblem but he has been trying to catchyour eye for a long time.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
    He failed tocatch my eye -- [Laughter.]
    Mr Nitiwul 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have notifiedyou.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
    Very well. Hon Member, do you have a point oforder?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in myHon Colleague's submission, he tried todo some comparative analysis and hegrounded same on the State of the NationAddress delivered by former PresidentKufuor in 2008 and a recent one byPresident Mahama. His contention is thatin former President Kufuor's State of theNation Address, he did not make mentionof any data. He did not provide anyevidence of any work done by hisGovernment as compared to this one. Mr Speaker, it is a matter of record andI do challenge him on what he has saidbecause it is very misleading that for theeight years, former President Kufuor wasin office and in his very last State of theNation Address, he did not provide anydata --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
    HonMember, if I remember correctly, he referredto a particular State of the Nation Addressby His Excellency former PresidentKufuor, which is captured in the Hansardof 14th February, 2008. He did not make a
    general or sweeping statement. He madereference to a particular State of the NationAddress.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, yes,that is the essence of my argument. Hecannot say that; he has to provideevidence that in 2008 -- Those were thethings that he tried to compare; he said in2008, H. E. former President Kufuor, inthe State of the Nation Address, did notprovide any data or evidence of any workdone. Mr Speaker, that is a very serious one.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
    HonMember, no! He has made reference to acopy of the Hansard. If you think youwould want to challenge what he has saidto the effect that it is not what is containedin that Hansard, you can also respond toit. Hon Member, but I do not think it wouldbe a proper point of order. It isargumentative. You may share a differentopinion, but when it gets to your turn,you can use whatever information youhave to challenge what he has said. He ismaking a comparative analysis. Hon Member, please, proceed. Yourtime is up, but I would give you one moreminute.
    Mr Agbodza 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would directmy Hon Colleague to column 592 of the14 th February, 2008 Hansard, whichcontains the State of the Nation Address.In fact, H.E. former President Kufuorbasically said that prevention is betterthan cure. That was his understating. Mr Speaker, on the last matter, whichis aviation, it is shocking that the entireeight years that H.E. former PresidentKufuor was in power was summarised in62 words about aviation. He said almostnothing.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
    HonMember, why did you not continue the 62words that you were talking about.
    Mr Agbodza 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the 62 wordsthat H.E. former President Kufuor said, interms of what he presided over in aviationfor eight years, is located in column 596of the 14th February, 2008 Hansard. It isentitled “Aviation”. Those 62 words iswhat he used to describe what he did.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do nothave any difficulty if we want to debateH.E. former President Kufuor's State of theNation Address. If that is what he wantsto do, he should tell us. Mr Speaker, we are talking about theState of the Nation Address by H.E.President Mahama, which was delivereda few weeks ago, but he is saying H.E.President Kufuor used 62 words. Mr Speaker, what is the relevance?There is no relevance. Let us deal withthe State of the Nation Address, 2016;otherwise, it would not flow.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
    HonMember, I believe that you can make acomparison; nothing stops you, providedthat you are guided by records. If he hasthe Hansard, which captured thatparticular State of the Nation Address --
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do nothave any difficulty, but I am saying thatwe should look at the Motion on the OrderPaper. The debate is about the State ofthe Nation Address, which was delivered
    by H. E. President John Mahama, and notH. E. former President John Kufuor.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
    HonMember, unless you would want toindicate that all the debate must be aboutthe State of the Nation Address by H.E.President John Mahama and one cannotveer off and make reference to anyprevious State of the Nation Address,which one has an authentic copy to relyon --
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think heis running away from H.E. PresidentMahama's experience.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
    Well, thatis his choice. Hon Member, your time is up.
    Mr Agbodza 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, this is justto conclude. I needed to do that for us to see howfar we have transformed the aviationindustry from where H.E. former PresidentKufuor left it in 62 words and where wehave brought it.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
    HonMember, your time is up; please, resumeyour seat. Hon Members, the next person to takethe floor is Hon Moses Anim. Is he inthe Chamber? Yes, you have the floor.
    Mr Moses Anim (NPP-- Trobu) 1:35 p.m.
    MrSpeaker, H.E. the President started whathe called the evidence-based State of theNation Address on education andhighlighted some achievements in theareas of access and quality. Mr Speaker, whatever we put intoeducation must produce quality teachingand learning outcomes. As a result, Iwould also want to give out some
    information as to how learning outcomeshave declined. Mr Speaker, I hold here the GhanaEducation Service 2016 budget presentedto the Select Committee on Education. MrSpeaker, on page 9 --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
    HonMember, have you laid it before the Clerks-at-the-Table?
    Mr Anim 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is here; Iwould refer to some information. Afterthat, I would lay it.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
    HonMember, let us see it first. Let us see if it isin order, before you can make reference tothe contents. Hon Members, I like the example ofHon Owusu-Aduomi; he made hisreference available to the Clerks-at-the-Table ahead of time. Hon Member, let the Clerks-at-the-Table inspect it and let us see -- Hon Members, I believe that we all needto go the same way, so that we save time.
    Mr Nitiwul 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thought thatyou gave a bit of a leeway so that we canlet the debate flow. It is good to askwhether he has it immediately, but youeven gave another Hon Member up totomorrow. So, you could give someleeway for Hon Members to make theirsubmissions.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:35 p.m.
    Very well. Hon Member, if you submit it by noontomorrow and it does not qualify by therules that we are using, consider thesubmissions you made with regard to thecontents expunged; but you could goahead.
    The Hon Second Deputy Speaker totake over the Chair.
    Mr Anim 1:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you verymuch. Mr Speaker, after my presentation, Iwould submit the document.
    MR SECOND DEPUTY SPEAKER
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:41 p.m.
    HonMembers, who is on the floor?
    Mr Anim 1:41 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, on page 9 ofthe document I just referred to, we havehighlights of 2015 deliverables. MrSpeaker, early grades mathematicsassessment, the mean percentage correctfor 2013 and 2015 -- Mr Speaker, addition,for level two, in 2013, we achieved 21.4per cent; and in 2015, it reduced to 19.6per cent. Mr Speaker, under subtraction,level 2, in 2013, we had 11.8 per cent, butin 2015, we had 9.7 per cent. Mr Speaker, if we move on to page 12where we have 2015 achievements at thekindergarten level, core subjects, whichinclude the English and Mathematicsworkbook, under pupil to textbook ratio,the normal situation is that it is supposedto be one pupil to two textbooks. This isbecause we are talking about English andMathematics workbooks. Mr Speaker, in2015, it was one is to 0.2 ratio. One pupil isto zero point two core textbook. Mr Speaker, when we move to 2015achievements, under central administration,inspection, monitoring and evaluation isa key activity and programme in trying toimpact quality teaching and learningoutcomes. Percentage of schoolsinspected was 67.
    Mr Anim 1:41 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, what it means is that, wehave about 31 per cent schools that werenot inspected, monitored and evaluated.It impacts negatively on the performanceof teaching and learning outcomes. Mr Speaker, when we look at the samecolumn, time on task, which is the numberof hours teachers spend on their corebusiness of teaching, there was 60 percent for 2015. What it means is that, 40per cent was not for the core subject ofteaching. As a result, it negatively impactson education. Mr Speaker, when you come to primaryachievement, it is the same record, verylow in terms of number of schoolsinspected. When we look at thepercentage of trained teachers, it is 75 percent. This means that at the primaryschool we still have about 25 per cent ofteachers who are not trained. It negativelyimpacts on performance. Mr Speaker, when you look at the pupilto textbook ratio at the primary school,the core subjects which are English,Mathematics and Science are supposedto be one (1) pupil to three (3) textbooks.We have one(1) pupil to 2.8 textbooks. Alot is not achieved in that direction. Mr Speaker, when you come to schoolinspection, it is 70 per cent. It is the samething for the Junior High Schools (JHS)so we have a problem. Mr Speaker, enrollment at the SeniorHigh Schools (SHS) in 2015 fell from 46.2per cent to 45.6 per cent. The target for2016 is 47 per cent. It means that, we areonly going to achieve 1.4 percentagedifference, but the President spoke aboutexpected large enrollment and we knowthat these figures formed the basis for thebudgeting for the Ministry of Education.

    Mr Speaker, when we come to thetertiary institution, the staff strength hasdropped by 4.4 per cent. I hold here theNational Council for Tertiary EducationBudget for 2016, and it has dropped by4.4 per cent. They are only waiting forclearance form the Ministry of Finance toget these loopholes filled. What it meansis that, it also affects quality of our tertiaryinstitutions. Mr Speaker,we have a policy for thetertiary institutions in terms of the Sciencesand the Humanities ratio; it is supposedto be 60 per cent for Science and 40 percent for the Humanities. In our universities, we rather have thereverse. It is 40 per cent for the Scienceand 60 per cent for the Humanities. Thisaffects our science and technologydevelopment and there is no work beingdone to enhance it. Mr Speaker, when we come to thePolytechnics, it is 31 per cent to 69 percent in favour of the Humanities. Also atthe Technical institutions, that is thePolytechnics --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:41 p.m.
    HonMember, you have three more minutes.
    Mr Anim 1:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, when you cometo specialised teaching institutions, theseare institutions that are supposed toproduce more science and technicalpeople to encourage our students tomove into those areas. When youconsider those institutions, it is rather21 per cent to 79 per cent in favour of theHumanities. So, what is being done toimprove that since this is a key policy? Mr Speaker, at the tertiary institution,Government still has an outstandingsalary arrears of GH¢30.5 million for 2014.
    That creates a problem and I hope wecould solve that problem so that we couldavoid the temptation of strikes in order tomaintain and improve on our time on task. Mr Speaker, why is this happening? Itis because all these problems come fromthe direction that the budget for goodsand services for our institutions havebeen dwindling, and these are areas wherewe see activities and programmes thatchurn out quality learning outcomes. Mr Speaker, when you look at thefigures from 2006 to 2015, it increased from13 million to 18 million by 2008.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:45 p.m.
    HonMember, you will be saying your lastsentence.
    MrAnim 1:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you verymuch. Just to show that there is a decline inour budget in terms of goods and servicesand that is the area that affects qualityteaching and learning outcomes. This isbecause these are areas that are supposedto fund activities and programmes that willchurn quality teaching and learningoutcomes. Mr Speaker, we really want to producebalanced individuals; individuals whohave the skills and knowledge, so that atthe end of the day they will be sofunctional and productive. If we do notachieve quality teaching and learningoutcomes, we will never reach there.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:45 p.m.
    Thankyou. [Hear! Hear!] Hon Ahmed Ibrahim, Hon Member ofParliament for Banda.
    Mr Ahmed Ibrahim (NDC -- Banda) 1:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much forgiving me the opportunity.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    You saidto whom much has been --
    Mr A. Ibrahim 1:55 p.m.
    To whom much isgiven, much is expected. And theperformance of our Judiciary --[Interruption.]
    Mr Speaker, I am a “Legonite”. I was amember of Legon Hall, University ofGhana, Legon and our motto is: “To whommuch is given, much is expected.” Iattended the premier hall and I havequoted from that.
    Mr Speaker, all that I am saying can befound on page 92 of the 2016 State of theNation Address, and with yourpermission, I beg to quote:
    “With the commissioning of bothJob 600 and the Courts Complex,we can all rest assured that all[these] three arms of Governmenthave now been properly accommo-dated to carry out our work. But letus always remember that it is saidthat,”to whom much is given, muchis expected.” Our people expectmuch from us.” Mr Afenyo-Markin-- rose --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    HonAfenyo-Markin, do you have a point ofOrder? Please, I do not intend to becharitable with points of order; do youhave a point of order?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, withthe greatest respect, I have beenfollowing the Hon Member on the otherside and he said he would quote from page92. He started with the quotation asfollows:
    “With the commissioning of theboth Job 600 and the Court Complex,we can all rest assured that all these…”
    What is stated there is not “all these”,it is “all the”. That is what I wanted todraw his attention to. He said he wasquo t ing and so unless I have adifferent --
    Mr A. Ibrahim 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, he is right.It is “all the three arms of Government …”He is a beneficiary of that and I know hepractices in some of these courts. To continue, when he is elegantlydressed and he is practising at that court,I can confidently rest assured that my HonFriend is well protected. The old structurewas, more or less, like a death trap andthat is why I said that it was the wish of allsuccessive governments that Ghana'sJudiciary was properly housed. Therefore, if they intended to do thatand President Mahama has done it andcommissioned it, we should be able to saythat where they were taking us to, he hastaken us there. On education -- in 1998 I had theopportunity to be enrolled in theUniversity of Ghana. By then we had onlythree public universities in this country.Enrolment was not that --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    HonMember, you went to the University ofGhana in 1998?
    Mr A. Ibrahim 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, 1998.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    Where isthe evidence?
    Mr A. Ibrahim 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I completedin 2001 and that is the evidence. If you go to the University of Ghanarecords, you would know that the 1998-99 academic year -- Ahmed Ibrahim was
    enrolled as a Level 200 student in theUniversity of Ghana. That is the evidence.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    If you donot bring it here then you cannot -- youhave to bring the document before youcan run with it. Dr A. A. Osei-- rose --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    HonAkoto Osei?
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:55 p.m.
    In line with the ruling ofthe First Deputy Speaker, if by noontomorrow he can produce the certifiedcopy of the document, I believe wewould be alright. That is the ruling thathas been given.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    HonAkoto Osei, I said it on a lighter side butnow you have taken it to anotherlevel.Very soon, if you mention your nameas Hon Akoto Osei, I would ask to seeyour birth certificate.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the FirstDeputy Speaker ruled before you took theChair.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    I wasSitting here. I did not --
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:55 p.m.
    After you left, herepeated it twice. Today, before you camein, he asked two people to submit thedocuments to substantiate their asser-tions by 12.00 noon tomorrow, or thosesubmissions would be deemed to beexpunged.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    I suspectthat evidence involving yourself -- atleast, we would have to give you somebenefit of the doubt. If you get up andsay “I have two children”, I would notask you to bring their birth certificates.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:55 p.m.
    This is what we allthought, but where the ruling has gonewe are in a -- Hon Ministers mustjustify that they are credible as HonMinisters --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    Theruling was in respect of when an HonMember referred to certain documents --I must tell you that if you refer to matterswhich are notorious, for example, if yousay that the courts are situated on the 28thFebruary Road, I would not ask you toprovide evidence because it is a notoriousfact. But if it is not notorious, then I wouldask you to --
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, documentsthat are given to Committee Members --we have been told that we have to writeto the Clerk to the Committee and theMinistry to get certified copies. As HonMembers of Parliament, that is the point.As an Hon Member of Parliament, aCommittee gives me a document --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    I havenot been asked to rule on that, so, let usproceed.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we havesettled it, that the Leadership is supposedto meet with the Speakership so that wecan move forward.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    Let mesay two things. First of all, if there is aruling and you disagree with the ruling,there is a method by which you canchallenge it --
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, theconclusion was that, the Leadership wouldmeet with the Speakership for the wayforward.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    So, HonAkoto Osei, if the Leaders have not metwith the Speakers yet then my hands aretied. I do not want to come and rock theboat, so I would stick to the former ruling.
    What I said about Hon Ahmed Ibrahimwas said in jest. I believe that he was inthe University of Ghana. Hon AhmedIbrahim, please continue.
    Mr A. Ibrahim 1:55 p.m.
    Thank you, MrSpeaker. I am most grateful for calling meto proceed.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    HonMembers, having regard to the state ofaffairs, I direct that the Sitting of the Housebe held outside the prescribed hours inaccordance with Standing Order 40 (3). Hon Ibrahim, you may continue. Youhave been interrupted so much -- Youhave spoken for only three minutes. So, Iwould give you seven more minutes.
    Mr A. Ibrahim 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in thosedays, the problem of Ghana's educationwas how to fund tertiary education. In1998 and 1999, the population of theUniversity was not even up to 40,000 forthe whole country. This was because, inthose days, one needed to stay in thehouse for two years before gettingadmission into the universities. This was compounded when there weredemonstrations and there was a two-yearbacklog of students waiting for others tocomplete before admissions would beissue. This led to the introduction of “costsharing” in 1998, 1999 and 2000. When the idea of “cost sharing” wasintroduced by former President Rawlings'Administration in 1999 and 2000, that wasat the centre of the political campaign inthe 2000 general elections. Most of us hadto go on demonstrations which werelabelled as the Mobrowa struggle. Mr Speaker, I remember that one daywe were given four hours to vacate theUniversity of Ghana campus else we wereall going to be arrested by the securityforces. By then the Hon Minister for
    Education was Hon Ekwow Spio-Garbrah-- and we said we could not accept a two-year backlog of students who were waitingto enter the universities. University access must be given toalmost everybody and the best way is thatthere must not be any quota -- We haveto open it up through “cost sharing”;government would pay small and thestudents would also pay a token. This wasthe centre of the controversy.Through theMobrowa struggles and all others,whatever one party said they would notdo, the other party said they would do it. I remember that I was part of those whodemonstrated against the cost sharingconcept, which was the main reason whyeventually there was a change ofGovernment. I read the manifesto of theopposition party at that time and I was sohappy that funding of tertiary educationwas regarded as the most importantinvestment, and therefore, must be giventhe needed attention it deserved. Thatalone --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    HonAhmed Ibrahim, what is happening?
    Mr A. Ibrahim 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, what Isaid was that, in those days, the manifestoof the NPP was like a handbook to someof us. And we went and saw that the NPPGovernment would fully regard tertiaryeducation in Ghana as a vital socialinvestment and honour its funding withdeserving commitment. This aloneconvinced me at that time. We assistedand changed the Government. Mr Speaker, in the year 2001, schoolfees were increased instead of beingabolished. The enrolment Mr Ekwow Spio-

    Mr Speaker, we saw the sense in theabolishment of the free education and theintroduction of the cost sharing.
    Mr M. Ussif 1:55 p.m.
    On a point of order. MrSpeaker, we are debating the President'sState of the Nation Address. The Memberof Parliament is debating the NPPManifesto of 2009. We are debating thePresident's State of the Nation Address;we are not debating Manifesto.
    Mr A. Ibrahim 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we aresaying this to guide ourselves. We haveChapter 6 of Ghana's Constitution whichis on the Directive Principles of StatePolicy. What is good for the State is whatmust be pursued. I said that I was part ofthose who made good use of thiscommitment by a political party by offeringan alternative to cost sharing --[Interruption.]
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    I haverecognised Hon Nitiwul.
    Mr Nitiwul 1:55 p.m.
    On a point of order. MrSpeaker, in my opinion, the Hon Membershould be guided in his choice of words.This is because it would come back to bitehim. Last year, the President stood whereMr Speaker is championing freeeducation. He claimed that he was goingto offer free education. The Hon Memberis here chastising free education.[Interruption.] The man was here lastyear championing free education. Thisyear -- he even put it in the Budget. Andhe is running down that same principle offree education. I would want him to tell uswhere he really stands.
    Mr A. Ibrahim 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the pointis, we have come back to where we were18 years ago. A whole decade has passed.We are entering the second decade. Theyoung ones are not privy to those facts.We must know what is good for Ghana. I am saying this because what we spokeagainst, when the universities were onlythree, now with the introduction of thatpolicy in the year 1998, even thoughsomebody paid a price, it increased publicuniversities from three to eleven currentlyas I am talking. Enrolment has more thandoubled. So, those who were behind thebar had access with the introduction ofcost sharing. Mr Speaker, I am saying this becausewhen you come to page 16 of the State ofthe Nation Address, which was presentedin this House --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    I hopeyou are gathering your thoughts toconclude?
    Mr A. Ibrahim 1:55 p.m.
    Precisely, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker, the President said in thesecond paragraph 1:55 p.m.
    “Mr Speaker, the abolition of thequota system for enrolment incolleges of education has increasedadmissions by 63 per cent.”
    Mr Speaker, now everybody hasaccepted university education. We arenow reaping the benefit. The challenge isnow on colleges of education. Mr Speaker, the debate now is, afterabolishing the quota system through theelimination of allowances, it has increasedenrolment in colleges of education by 63per cent. If in the year 2000, a promise was giventhat cost sharing should not beentertained, when we come we wouldincrease it --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    HonAhmed, thank you. All right, finish your sentence. The wayyou are charged.
    Mr A. Ibrahim 1:55 p.m.
    Thank you, MrSpeaker. Mr Speaker, as a nation we must acceptthat having seen the benefit of costsharing and having seen that no politicalparty was able to abolish it, it thereforemeans that no political party would beable to abolish the quota system. We mustmake sure that, that is where we are, andthe way to sustain it is to ensure that everyGhanaian has access to tertiary education. One party would say when I come, Iwould not do it, but when it comes thenthey begin to do it. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:55 p.m.
    Thankyou very much. Hon Members, that was Hon AhmedIbrahim in full flight. Hon Moses Nyindam?
    Leadership, I have been informed thatwe are taking the last two contributions,one from this side and one from the otherside.
    Mr Matthew Nyindam (NPP --Kpandai) 1:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you for thisopportunity. Mr Speaker, the name is “MatthewNyindam”. Ghana is not a poor country. Ghanaiansare hardworking people; it is leadershipthat is making Ghanaians poorer andpoorer. This is often said by Nana AddoDankwa Akufo-Addo. [Hear! Hear!] Mr Speaker, Zenabu Sumaila, the pigfarmer who was paraded in this Galleryattests to the fact that Ghanaians arehardworking people. Mr Speaker, it is onlybad leadership that is making us poorerand poorer. Mr Speaker, we were told by thePresident that Zenabu is a beneficiary ofLivelihood Empowerment Against Poverty(LEAP). The President, when he was inopposition, ridiculed LEAP. He describedLEAP as a Government that is lackingideas. But thanks to God, the rejectedstone has become the chief cornerstoneof the building. Mr Speaker, today, the NDC Governmentproposed one of the biggest socialinterventions in the country. Theypromised to bridge the gap between theNorth and the South and they proposedthe Savannah Accelerated DevelopmentAuthority (SADA). In the eight years of the NDCGovernment, I took the President's Stateof the Nation Address, I read from onecover to the other, I have never, and I am
    Mr Agbodza 2:15 p.m.
    On a point of order. MrSpeaker, my Hon Colleague said “weinvested” and he mentioned some figures,which he ended up qualifying as dubious. Mr Speaker, could he providedocuments showing that investment andwhat the moneys have been invested in?Otherwise, I would plead that thosestatements are withdrawn. This is becausehe made an emphatic statement that theywere invested.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:15 p.m.
    Hon KofiFrimpong?
    Mr Kofi Frimpong 2:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in thisHouse, we stand on points of order andwe order our Hon Colleagues to withdrawbased on things contrary to the StandingOrders. May he quote the Standing Orderwhich he has contravened that warrantshis call for him to withdraw the statementthat he has made?
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:15 p.m.
    HonAfenyo-Markin, did you want to saysomething?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, withrespect to investment, I was going to saythat it is a matter of record that in the 2013Budget, certain figures were captured,that the Government had invested GH¢33million in tree planting, GH¢15 million inthe production of guinea fowl project outof a total of GH¢200 million whichGovernment sourced from the commercialmarket through the issuance of bonds. So, if my good Friend is trying to re-echo that in his submission, that
    Government invested certain amounts inguinea fowl and tree planting, I know itis part of the 2013 Budget.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:15 p.m.
    I think --
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2:15 p.m.
    No! Mr Speaker, Iam not going there. That is for him toargue. I am looking at the figures but tothe qualification, it is a matter for him todeal with. I am saying that it is a matter ofrecord that certain investment whichGovernment considered had not gone welland has same issued a public directivethat same be refunded by Asongtabagroup -- That is a matter of public record.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:15 p.m.
    I believehis concern is the description of theinvestment. If you state the investment,people could make up their mind to knowwhether it is dubious or not. So, justwithdraw the “dubious”.
    Mr Nyindam 2:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if my HonColleague is not comfortable that I saidthe GH¢52 million that was paid to MrWoyome would have created over 4,000jobs -- Mr Speaker, the GH¢25 million thatwent to ICT training and mobile phonerepairs would have created over 2,000jobs. Even the GH¢3.6 million that we usedin painting the Presidents' picture on thebuses would have created over 200 jobs. Mr Speaker, this is about leadershipand priority. If we had invested all thesemonies, like the GH¢10 million, we wouldhave created over 9,800 jobs. The youthwalking and parading on the streets wouldhave been doing something meaningfulfor themselves. Mr Speaker, as I end, I want to say thatthe problem of the youth in Ghana is notabout human resource, not even about the
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:15 p.m.
    Thankyou also for concluding within tenminutes, even though there wereinterruptions and a point of order.
    Mr Kobena M. Woyome (NDC --South Tongu) 2:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, once again,my name is Woyome. Thank you, Mr Speaker, for theopportunity to add my voice to HisExcellency the President's Message on theState of the Nation in fulfilment of article67 of the country's Constitution. Mr Speaker, the sports sector has seena lot of successes in the face of globalfinancial challenges that had some heavytoll on the economy of the country. Mr Speaker, the country's seniornational team, the Black Stars, last year,placed second in the African Cup ofNations tournament held in EquatorialGuinea and also the Black Satellites placedthird in the Orange African U - 20 Cup ofNations tournament, which was held inSenegal. Mr Speaker, the country's athletes alsoparticipated in the All-African Games inCongo, Brazzaville and they did so well.The women's national team did very wellby giving us the highest award. Mr Speaker, while we thank thePresident for the commitment toimplementing the findings and recommen-dations of the World Cup Commission, a
    new boxing gymnasium and sportscomplex is being built near the KorleLagoon, which would support andfacilitate the training of amateurs andprofessionals in and around Bukom andalso enhance the boxing profession as wesaw in the era of Zoom Zoom AzumahNelson and Ike Quartey. Mr Speaker, the President made itknown in his delivery that he would bringto Parliament, the Sports Bill to be passedinto law. The Bill seeks to create a nationalsports commission to provide for thedevelopment, promotion and managementof amateur and professional sports andto enable the country operate in its oddsin conformity with international laws andpractices. Mr Speaker, His Excellency thePresident spoke about the completion ofthe Cape Coast Sports Stadium and it isawaiting commissioning. Mr Speaker, may I use this opportunityto dispel the notion that the counterpartfund from Government for the Cape CoastStadium project had not been paid, hence,the non-completion of the stadium whichwas made here on the floor by one of ourHon Colleagues. That is totally wrong. Itmust be jettisoned from our bloodstream. Mr Speaker, we are told in page 32 ofthe State of the Nation Address,paragraph 3, that the sports stadium isready for commissioning, which impliesthat the issue of counterpart funding doesnot even arise. Mr Speaker, with reference to page 20,paragraph 2 of the State of the NationAddress, His Excellency the Presidentneeds to be applauded because he madea very wonderful call to return physicaleducation or sports to the schoolcurriculum which is a very good move.

    This is because apart from the healthbenefits that the students are likely to gain,it will also provide an opportunity for thestudents to gain possible admission intothe national sporting associations anddefinitely, get to compete nationally andinternationally in various events asopportunities arise. That is a very goodcall and we all must applaud that move. On the youth front, Mr Speaker, withreference to page 31 of the State of theNation Address, permit me to quoteparagraphs 2, 3 and 4 which tell of somemajor achievements in the youth frontamong many.

    “Mr Speaker, to ensure the smoothimplementation of the NationalYouth Policy, in January 2015, Ilaunched the National Youth PolicyImplementation Plan. The Planprovides an accelerated frameworkwith specific timelines for theadoption of programmes andactivities in the policy document. The country's Youth Leadershipand Skills Training Institute traineda total of 1,646 youth under aVocational and Skills Trainingprogramme. Mr Speaker, the Youth EmploymentAct, 2015 has been passed to createa solid foundation upon which theYouth Employment Agency can bestructured and run. Recruitmentunder the Youth EmploymentAgency (YEA) has also started andit is targeted to recruit 100,000 youngpeople over the next 12 months infive different modules. Mr Speaker, the Youth EnterpriseSupport (YES) initiative madesignificant progress in the year

    under review. A total of 2,048applications were received inresponse to its first call, and 107individuals were selected forfinancial and technical support. Outof the 107 beneficiaries, 81 wereearmarked to receive financialsupport and 26 to receive technicalsupport.” These are evidence to show that HisExcellency the President and theGovernment have not left the issue ofyouth development to the background. Mr Speaker, may I use this opportunityto also lend support to His Excellency thePresident's Address which was evidence-based and support with practical, and ofcourse, tangible examples of some of theachievements. In my constituency, in the educationalsector, we have seen over the period, amassive infrastructure development at thekindergarten, primary, junior high schooland senior high school levels. Currently,if you go to the four SHSs that are locatedin my constituency, South Tongu --When you go to Sogakope SHS, DabalaSHTS, St Catherine Girls SHS andComboni Technical --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:25 p.m.
    HonMember, you have two more minutes.
    Mr Woyome 2:25 p.m.
    You would notice someevidence of what this Government isdoing by way of improving on the lot ofstudents and education in general all overthe country. These are all evidence. There are more to talk about in thepower sector. As a result of the RuralElectrification Project, we have seenmassive influx of businesses like weldingand car body straightening activitiesspringing up all over every nook andcranny of the district. As a result, we have seen real estatedevelopment all over, taking advantage of
    the congenial atmosphere provided by themassive infrastructure injection in thedistrict. The road sector has seen some and Iam sure we would soon see a major road,Agave-Apedoma road, that His Excellencythe President has promised to get done. In all, Mr Speaker, I can say for a factthat, the State of the Nation Address hasreally brought to the fore a wonderfulpicture that we would all have to applaudHis Excellency the President forachieving. Thank you, Mr Speaker, for theopportunity.
    Mr Alexander K. Afenyo-Markin (NPP-- Effutu) 2:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you forthe opportunity to add my voice to theMotion on the floor. In fact, I haveenjoyed the contributions by my HonColleagues so far and I am happy thattoday, I have the opportunity to expressmy own views.
    Mr Speaker, in my submission, I shallrely on the following 2:25 p.m.
    the BudgetStatement of 2016 Financial Year, inparticular, paragraph 394; the OfficialReport of Friday, 26th February, 2016; anarticle by Ghana News Agency (GNA)titled “Curse in the name of galemsey”,published on April 14, 2013; a citifmonlinereport dated 24th July, 2015 -- an articletitled “River Pra Contains Cancer CausingChemicals” by the Ghana Water CompanyLimited. I shall also rely on articles 257 and 181(1) of the 1992 Constitution and the Stateof the Nation Address itself.
    Mr Speaker, I argue as follows 2:25 p.m.
    Thatthe Government in the youth --[Interruption.]
    rose
    Alhaji Muntaka 2:25 p.m.
    On a point of order.Mr Speaker, we are debating the State ofthe Nation Address. For relevance, theHon Member is supposed to debate theState of the Nation Address. All thesenumerous documents that he hasmentioned that he is going to rely on --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:25 p.m.
    Did yousay bogus?
    Alhaji Muntaka 2:25 p.m.
    No! I did not saybogus. I said all these documents that heis claiming he is going to rely on are notknown to us. Mr Speaker, he shouldrestrict himself to the State of the NationAddress so that he can make progress.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:25 p.m.
    Do notlet us put the cart before the horse. Weare all alert. He has alerted us about whathe wants to rely on. When we get to thatpoint, we would see whether it is relevantor not. Hon Afenyo-Markin?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, Ibegin my contribution with the YouthEnterprise Support (YES) initiative whichMr President talked about and samecaptured on page 31 of the State of theNation Address. Mr Speaker, on the said Report, thePresident told us that a number of youthhave been given loans to enable them startbusinesses and have also receivedtechnical support. But I must say thatthese supposed loans given out to certainindividuals to support their businessesneed parliamentary approval inaccordance with the Constitution. Mr Speaker, article 181 (1) is very clear.With your leave, Mr Speaker, I would liketo quote.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:35 p.m.
    HonMember, you have two more minutes.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2:35 p.m.
    Very well. Mr Speaker, in effect, I contend that,the President, although he delivered amessage on the State of the Nation, samewas far from the reality and I will not bepart of the praise-singers. I will not thankthe President because the people ofWinneba, Effutu do not have sufficientwater to drink. They do not have potablewater. Yet, the President says he is makinginvestment in that area. The people of Winneba do not havejobs, the people are not expanding theirbusinesses and that is the reality. Thefarmers in Winneba are not getting thesupport from the Government. Thefishermen in Winneba are not getting thepre-mix fuel and when they go to the sea
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:35 p.m.
    HonAfenyo-Markin, item number 5 on theOrder Paper, this is what you got up tospeak to.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, Iguess so.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:35 p.m.
    Whatdoes item number 5 say?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, withthe greatest respect, I may want to refer.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:35 p.m.
    It is onpage 3.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, doyou mean item number 5?
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:35 p.m.
    Yes, itemnumber 5.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2:35 p.m.
    That thisHonourable House thanks H. E. thePresident for the Message on the State ofthe Nation Address which he delivered toParliament on Thursday, 25th February,2016.
    Yes, Mr Speaker, with the greatestrespect, the Motion is to thank thePresident.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:35 p.m.
    And youwill not thank him?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2:35 p.m.
    But Mr Speaker,the one who moved it is thanking thePresident. And Mr Speaker, the Motionitself is attracting opposing views as tohow the one who moved it, Hon MahamaAyariga, in his view, is thanking thePresident merely for meeting aconstitutional obligation.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:35 p.m.
    And theone who seconded it?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, theseconder --
    Dr A. A. Osei 2:35 p.m.
    On a point of order. TheMotion did not say that the Hon Ministerwas thanking H. E. the President. It saysthat this Honourable House, and not anindividual Motion. If he does not want tobe part of the House of which he is anesteemed Hon Member, so be it. But thisis the nature of our Standing Orders andit is the House that is thanking him.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, Iwould like to acknowledge with gratitudeH.E. the President's response to aconstitutional obligation. But byacknowledging same with gratitude, it isimportant for me to express my views onhow my people in Efutu feel. It is not inany way disrespecting H. E. the President,far be that my intention. I am saying that I am not doing praisesinging but thanking H. E. the President,at least, for attending to us, but expressingmy views on the problems that confrontus as a people.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:45 p.m.
    I raisedthis point only because you ended bysaying that you would not thank thePresident but I appreciate what you justsaid. Thank you very much. That brings us to the end of ourcontributions to the Motion on the Stateof the Nation Address delivered by H. E.the President on Thursday, 25th February,2016, for today. Hon Majority Chief Whip, could youassist us?
    Alhaji Muntaka 2:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we havesome Papers to lay and I have asked thatthey get the Hon Chairperson. The HonMinister is also to take item 6. He has beenhere a while so I have asked that they getthe Hon Chairman who is to second andpresent the Committee's Report. So whilewe do this, I crave your indulgence andthat of the House, for us to take itemnumber 15; that is, to continue with theChartered Institute of Taxation Bill, 2014.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:45 p.m.
    HonMuntaka, the Hon Chairperson and HonDeputy Chairperson are not here so howcan we continue? You know that thisChartered Institute of Taxation Bill, thereis a lot of input from the Hon Chairman,so how can we continue without them?
    Alhaji Muntaka 2:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the HonChairperson and Hon Vice Chairperson arehere for the Chartered Institute of TaxationBill 2014. I was referring to the Papers tobe laid and the Motion that the HonMinister was waiting to move. It has to beseconded by the Hon Chairman and thenhe would present the Committee's Report.So, I have asked that they should get him. As we wait for him to come in to takethat business, we can carry on with theChartered Institute of Taxation Bill. Thank you, Mr Speaker.,
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:45 p.m.
    HonMuntaka, I would be relying on yourformer statement and education to me,through the Clerks-at-the-Table, when wewould conclude with proceedings today. The Chartered Institute of TaxationBill, 2014 at the Consideration Stage.Clause 12. It was deferred yesterday.Chairman of the Committee?
    BILLS -- CONSIDERATIONSTAGE 2:45 p.m.

    Chairman of the Committee (MrMathias A. Puozaa) 2:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg tomove --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:45 p.m.
    HonChairman, I do not believe that we wouldend today, so, I would defer clause 12.
    Mr Puozaa 2:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we are veryready.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 12add the following new subclause 2:45 p.m.
    “(2) A firm shall not practice as achartered tax practicing firm ortax practicing firm unless it islicensed by the Institute.”
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:45 p.m.
    HonChairman, I recall that yesterday, someHon Colleagues were saying that the firmshould be registered and not licensed.And you have come back with the --
    Mr Puozaa 2:45 p.m.
    I am just reading it over tobring the suggestion that you submittedyesterday.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:45 p.m.
    HonChairman, with respect to you, I am goingto defer this clause. Let us continue withthe ones that have no -- I remember thatyesterday, Hon Members were saying thatyou register the firm but license themembers. I remember Hon Prempeh wasgiving examples on his profession and Ialso gave examples. Hon Dr Akoto Osei also gave his viewsand so on. If we open it again, it wouldbecome an hornet's nest. Let us defer itand make progress. We are not endingtoday and I advise that somehow, youcome into agreement with the HonMembers.
    Dr A. A. Osei 2:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, yesterday,when this was discussed, unfortunately,I was not here so I am surprised thatreference is being made to my objection. Iwas not physically in the Chamber,however, I have difficulty with it so I agreewith you. So, we should defer this partbecause there is a difference betweenlicensing and registering. Some of us would begin to even raisequestions on the capacity of the peopleat the Institute to issue a licence. This isbecause I know PricewaterhouseCoopers(PwC) and others are practising. They didnot go to the Institute to get licences, sothis language is troublesome and I am notsurprised that my Colleague HonMembers were raising issues.
    Mr Peter Nortsu-Kotoe 2:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker,this issue was raised yesterday and anumber of questions were asked. Wediscovered that as a firm, you only needto register and do not need a licence fromthe Institute to operate. So, when weconsulted the proponents of the Bill, theyalso understood that we can only licensea practitioner but for the firm, they shouldonly register. They do not need to do anydouble licensing.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:45 p.m.
    So itwould read?
    Mr Nortsu-Kotoe 2:45 p.m.
    So, it would read,clause 12 add the following newsubclause:
    “(2) A firm shall not practice as achartered tax practicing firm or taxpracticing firm unless it is registeredby the Institute.” Question put and amendment agreedto.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:45 p.m.
    I wouldput the Question on clause 12. Hon Prempeh, you walked in oneminute too late because I have just putthe Question and declared the results onclause 12 -- the licensing and theregistration, where you expressed verystrong views yesterday. I mentioned yourname that I wanted to defer it but I did notknow your whereabouts. What we agreedto is that the firm would be registered andnot licensed. It is the individual thatwould be licensed and I do not think thatyou would have an objection to that. Iwant to pre-empt a Second ConsiderationStage.
    Dr Matthew O. Prempeh 2:45 p.m.
    Not at all MrSpeaker. Even if I were here, I would havesaid we should take out licensing of firmsfrom the remit totally. Anyway, once it isgone, I do not think that it should be undertheir purview to register a firm. In the health field, we have set up aseparate body that should licensehospitals, mental clinics, midwifery centresand others, totally different from theCouncils that look after the human beings.
    So, if I were here, I would have evengone further to the right -- Clause 12 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:45 p.m.
    HonMembers, are you tired? I did not hear“aye” from even the Hon Chairman andhis Deputy Chairman. I heard very soft“ayes”. There has to be strength in your“aye”. The Hon Chairman, the DeputyChairman and Committee Members, eachsaid a very soft “aye”. I want to beconfident that you are all participating. Clause 13 ordered to stand part of theBill. Clause 14 — Categorisation ofmembers.
    Mr Puozaa 2:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 14, Headnote, delete and insert“Membership” Mr Speaker, so that the heading shouldbe, “Membership”, and not “Categorisationof members”. Question put and amendment agreedto.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:45 p.m.
    Clause 14— Chairman of the Committee?
    Dr Prempeh 2:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the HonChairman should explain to the Housewhy he used the word, “categorisation”.This is because, when we read the originalBill, it says that there are two types ofmembership; there is an ordinary memberand a fellow. So, that is why it is called,
    Mr Puozaa 2:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is thevery reason we have just put Membership.This is because, the Membership of theInstitution comprises several categoriesof members. And so we feel that the bestfor this heading should just be,“Membership”. Then as we are going tosee, we are subsequently going to list themone after the other. So, it is just all rightfor the beginning.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:45 p.m.
    HonChairman, you can move item (iii) on page5. You can move that amendment. Haveyou done that already? You have movedthe amendment advertised as item (ii) onpage 5 of the Order Paper and I have putthe Question. The next one is item (iii) onpage 5. Move that amendment.
    Mr Puozaa 2:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 14, lines 1 and 2, delete “ordinarymembers and fellows” and insert “thefollowing:
    (a) Honorary fellows; (b) fellows; (c) Ordinary members; and (d) Associate members.”
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:45 p.m.
    Clause15.
    Dr Prempeh 2:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was goingthrough with my Hon Senior Colleaguehere. Mr Speaker, per the categorisationenumerated here, there is no need to bringthe word, “Ordinary” before “Members”.It becomes “honorary fellows”, “fellows”,“members” and “Associate members”when we pass it into an Act. We did notsay “associate ordinary members”. I ampleading with you, if we could agree tolet us make —[Interruption.]
    Mr Puozaa 2:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we accept thatwhen we delete “ordinary members” afterall, they are all members. We should justremove the word, “ordinary” — delete“ordinary” and leave, “members” and“associate members”
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:55 p.m.
    Eventhough, under the rules, you should havecome under the Second ConsiderationStage, I am invoking the long arm of whathas been known as the flexibility rule, toask the Hon Chairman to move hisamendment again so that I would put theQuestion.
    Mr Puozaa 2:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 14, lines 1 and 2, delete “ordinarymembers and fellows” and insert thefollowing:
    (a) Honorary fellows; (b) fellows; (c) members; and (d) Associate members.”
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:55 p.m.
    I will putthe Question.
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 2:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, a littleclarification. In other bodies, we haveassociate members and student members.Is it the case that in this one, associatemembers would include student members,
    or students would not be admitted asmembers at all? This is because, in all otherprofessions, we have student members —associate members for those who havejust graduated and subsequently, thosewho practise over a number of yearsbecome full members. Mr Speaker, so, is it that in this case,the associates would include studentmembers, or there would be no room forstudent members at all?
    Mr Puozaa 2:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, one is not amember of any association until theperson qualifies.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:55 p.m.
    HonChairman, there are quite a number of — Ithink even the Chartered Institute ofAccountants even have studentmembers. And there are advantages inhaving their students being members.This is because, first of all, they can paydues, and you start imparting certain rulesand discipline in them just at that stage.
    Dr Prempeh 2:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, runningthrough the proposed amendment that arecoming, with clause 16, et cetera, theyhave tried to define a fellow, who anhonorary fellow is but I have not seen theone for who a member and an associatemember is. In certain legislations, whenone is enrolled in a school as a studentmember, the person is called an associatemember like the Hon Member was tryingto say. Mr Speaker, so, if they do not haveany specific definition for an associatemember that we have just voted on, thenwe would go to interpretation and makethe student members the associatemembers till they qualify. That is why Iwas asking the Chairman — [Pause.]
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:55 p.m.
    HonMembers, there is no interpretation of whoan associate member is in theInterpretation clause.
    The Interpretation clause is very bare. Yes, Hon Prempeh?
    Dr Prempeh 2:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in theCollege of Surgeons and Physicians Bill,we have associate members and members.And a member is somebody who has gonethrough the Institute or the College andpassed all his examinations; he thenbecomes a member of the College. Those in training are called associatemembers. So, if they do not have adefinition as of now, we would define itwhen we do the Interpretation. But like Isaid, if you have a copy of the College ofSurgeons and Physicians Act, it becomeseasier for us to do.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:55 p.m.
    I wouldwant us to note that we are going to defineit at the Interpretation clause. Sometimes,by the time they reach that stage, I maynot be presiding and some of the HonMembers present now may not be hereby then and so I would want you, the HonChairman and the Hon Vice Chairman tonote. I would also want the Hon MajorityChief Whip as well as the Hon DeputyMinority Leader to also note that we aregoing to propose amendments in theInterpretation section which is clause 35,which will define “associate members”.So, let me direct that it becomes part ofthe Votes and Proceedings. I direct that you consider the definitionof the associate member in theInterpretation clause. I am directing so thatwe all remember that as agreed, we wouldlook at the student members and seewhether we can accommodate them withinthe definition of associate member.
    So, I would put the Question on clause14. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 14 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
    Alhaji Muntaka 2:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, asmentioned earlier, the Hon Minister whowas to assist in taking item number 6 hasbeen in the House since morning and nowthat the Hon Chairperson is here, wewould want to crave your indulgence tolay the Papers and then take that item afterwhich we would come back to theConsideration Stage, so that the Ministercan go back to the office.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:55 p.m.
    Thatbrings us to the end of the ConsiderationStage for now. Yes, Hon Majority Chief Whip?
    Alhaji Muntaka 2:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, can wekindly take item 4 -- laying of Papers. Weare laying all the Papers there, from Item 4(a) (i) to (v) which represents the whole ofitem 4 (a). Some of the items under clause4 (b) are not ready so we will go to 4 (a)and then we take item number 6. Thank you.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:55 p.m.
    So, havewe not commenced Public Business?[Pause.] All right. Item number 4 -- Chairman of theCommittee.
    PAPERS 2:55 p.m.

    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:55 p.m.
    TheReport is duly laid. Item number 4 (a) (ii) -- Chairman ofthe Committee.
    By the Chairman of the Committee -- (ii) Report of the Committee onMines and Energy on theCommercial Contract betweenthe Government of the Republicof Ghana and China HunanConstruction Engineering GroupCorporation for an amount ofUS$92,000,000.00 (ninety-twomillion United States dollars) inrespect of the supply and erectionof electrical materials andequipment for the electrificationof 556 communities in the Eastern,Volta and Northern Regions,Phase I.
    Dr A. A. Osei — rose --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:55 p.m.
    Yes, DrA. A. Osei?
    Dr A. A. Osei 2:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, you knowthat per our Standing Orders, once theyare laid they are distributed. But they arenot ready. [Interruption] -- Have youseen a signed copy? The Hon Muntakamay have seen a draft but has he seen asigned copy? When it is laid, we have toget it so that we can read. They shouldnot wait for us to come the following day-- they are rushing it here --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:05 p.m.
    ThePaper is duly laid and I direct that it shouldbe distributed immediately.
    Dr A. A. Osei 3:05 p.m.
    Thank you. [Interruption] Mr Speaker has directed thedistribution of the Report.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:05 p.m.
    Itemnumber 4 (a) (iii) -- Chairman of theCommittee.
    By the Chairman of the Committee -- (iii)Report of the Committee onMines and Energy on thePetroleum Agreement by andamong the Government of theRepublic of Ghana, Ghana NationalPetroleum Corporation, GNPCExploration and ProductionCompany Limited, ENI GhanaExploration and ProductionLimited, Vitol Upstream TanoLimited and WoodfieldsUpstream Limited in respect ofthe conduct of exploration andproduction operations in theCape Three Points Block 4Offshore Ghana.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:05 p.m.
    ThePaper is dully laid. Item number 4 (a) (iv) -- Chairman ofthe Committee.
    By the Chairman of the Committee -- (iv) Report of the Committee onMines and Energy on thePetroleum Agreement by andamong the Government of theRepublic of Ghana, GhanaNational Petroleum Corporation,Swiss African Oil CompanyLimited and Pet Volta InvestmentsLimited in respect of the conduct
    of exploration and productionoperations in the Onshore/Offshore Keta Delta Block of theRepublic of Ghana.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:05 p.m.
    ThePaper is duly laid. Item number 4 (a) (v) -- Chairman ofthe Committee. By the Chairman of the Committee --
    (v) Report of the Committee onMines and Energy on thePetroleum Agreement by andamong the Government of theRepublic of Ghana, GhanaNational Petroleum Corporation,GNPC Exploration and ProductionCompany Limited and SpringfieldExploration and ProductionLimited in respect of the conductof exploration and productionoperations in the West CapeThree Points Block 2 OffshoreGhana.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:05 p.m.
    ThePaper is duly laid. Hon Majority Chief Whip?
    Alhaji Muntaka 3:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, itemnumber 6?
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:05 p.m.
    Itemnumber 6 -- Hon Minister for Petroleum. Alahji Muntaka: Mr Speaker, the HonMinister for Petroleum had been heresince morning but he had to rush to ameeting at 2.00 o'clock.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to crave yourindulgence and that of the House for theHon Deputy Minister to stand in for theHon Minister for Petroleum who had torush for a meeting at 2.00 o'clock.[Interruption.] Mr Speaker, he was here in the morningto take this item but because we weredebating the State of the Nation Address-- [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Ministeris a very capable person and with adequatebriefing and information. We would cravethe indulgence of the House and that ofyours for him to stand in for the HonMinister to take this item. Thank you very much.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:05 p.m.
    HonNitiwul?
    Mr Nitiwul 3:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, ordinarily,we do not like to object to the DeputyMinisters coming to the House torepresent their substantive Ministers. ButI was just wondering whether it is anurgent matter such that the Hon Ministerhimself could not come and explain. Thatis what I would want them to explain to usbecause it is not of urgent nature and ifthe Hon Minister were here to explain tous the reason there are amendments to it,it could assist us. Be it as it may, we would get there whenwe reach the Consideration Stage but onlywhen he can assure us that the HonMinister himself would be here during theConsideration stage to seriously help theHouse.
    Dr A. A. Osei 3:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I wasbringing the Hon Majority Chief Whip'sattention to a major issue in the Reportwhich I think needs backroom discussionbefore they bring it up. It is not a simplematter.
    Alhaji Muntaka 3:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believethat the Committee Members are here andlike I said, the Hon Deputy Minister is avery experienced person. When we get tothe debate of the Report, I am veryoptimistic that the issues would beexplained. Mr Speaker, if at that level, we thinkthat the Report could be stood down forthe Hon Minister to further come, wecould do that but let us first give theopportunity to the Committee and the HonDeputy Minister to address the issues. Ifwe think it is not adequate, then, we maystand it down but I am very confident thatthey are capable of addressing some ofthe issues when the opportunity comesfor it to be explained. So, I would be grateful if my HonColleague, Dr Akoto Osei would allow theHon Deputy Minister to move it and thenthe debate could ensue for the issues tobe raised and we listen to the explanationsthey may give.
    Dr A. A. Osei 3:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, he said theCommittee Members are here. I look at myback and I have seen only one Committee
    Member on this side. It is a major thingthat -- [Interruption] - Where are they?But they were not here. So, if he says the Committee Membersare here -- they are supposed to speakfor us on this important matter. That iswhy I was raising it -- [Interruption] --who is there? There is one CommitteeMember on our side and he does not evenknow what we are discussing. So, wewould need to consult with them to makesure --[Pause]
    Alhaji Muntaka 3:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, whereasI agree with my Hon Colleague'sconcerns, the Hon Members of theEnergy Committee in the Chambercurrently, form more than the quorate wewould need to conduct Business --[Interruption] -- No, I am talking aboutthe Committee. I said the Hon Members of theCommittee currently in the Chamber aremore than the quorate number to conductthe Business at the Committee. So, I amvery optimistic that we have enough HonMembers of the Committee in the Chamberto assist us when it becomes verynecessary.
    Dr A. A. Osei 3:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I just askedan Hon Member of the Committee and hesaid he was not even aware that this issuewas coming up. [Interruption] That iswhat he said. We would have to defer toour spokespersons to advise us but hejust indicated that -- He is here and canspeak for himself.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:05 p.m.
    HonEnnin?
    Mr Edward M. Ennin 3:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker,thank you very much. I just got a copy ofthe Report and I do not think theCommittee has sat on it -- [Interruption]
    Alhaji Muntaka 3:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, with thegreatest of respect, this particular item hasbeen on the Order Paper since last week.Mr Speaker, we have so much Businessthat is pending and I believe that HonMembers should help so that --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:15 p.m.
    Thankyou. Item 6; Hon Deputy Minister forPetroleum?
    BILLS -- SECOND READING 3:15 p.m.

    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:15 p.m.
    HonChairman of the Committee? Question proposed.
    Chairman of the Committee (AlhajiAmadu B. Sorogho) 3:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise tosupport the Motion ably moved by theHon Deputy Minister for Petroleum. In sodoing, I would want to present yourCommittee's Report.
    Introduction The National Petroleum Authority(Amendment) Bill, 2015, was laid inParliament by the Hon Minister forPetroleum, Mr Emmanuel Armah-KofiBuah on 2nd February, 2016, in accordancewith article 106 of the Constitution. The amendment Bill was subsequentlyreferred to the Select Committee on Minesand Energy by Mr Speaker for conside-ration and report, pursuant to Orders 156and 188 of the Standing Orders of theHouse.
    Chairman of the Committee (AlhajiAmadu B. Sorogho) 3:25 p.m.
    Deliberations
    The Select Committee met with the HonMinister for Petroleum, Mr EmmanuelArmah-Kofi Buah and officials of theMinistry to consider the Bill. In attendancewere officials of the National PetroleumAuthority (NPA) to assist the Committeein its deliberations. The Committee expressed gratitude tothe Hon Minister and the officials forproviding clarifications on matters raisedat the meeting
    Reference Documents The Committee referred to the under-listed documents in its deliberations:
    i. The 1992 Constitution of theRepublic of Ghana; ii. The Standing Orders of Parliament;and iii. The National Petroleum AuthorityAct, 2005 (Act 691).
    Background Information The Government of Ghana adoptedFull Deregulation Policy in 2005 to halt itscontinuous intervention in the pricing ofpetroleum products in the country. ThePolicy was also meant to ensure full costrecovery and uniformity in pricing ofpetroleum products by allowing themarket to determine prices. For the purpose of facilitating theimplementation of the policy, the NationalPetroleum Authority Act, 2005 (Act 691)was passed in the year 2005, to establishthe National Petroleum Authority (NPA)to provide the framework for the regulationof the petroleum deregulated market.
    Among the key mandate of the NPA underthe Act is to determine prices of petroleumproducts in the country through theapplication of the prescribed petroleumformula. However, with the commencement ofthe implementation of the priceliberalisation under the deregulationpolicy, the NPA has ceased to determineprices of petroleum prices. Currently,petroleum service providers determine theindicative maximum ex-refinery and ex-pump prices in the country. The newdispensation has therefore confined therole of the NPA to the monitoring of theapplication of the formula. It therefore became necessary toamend the National Petroleum AuthorityAct, 2005 (Act 691), to align it with the fullprice liberalisation regime and to alsoredefine the role of the NPA in that regard.
    Object of the Bill The object of the Bill is to amend theNational Petroleum Authority Act, 2005(Act 691) to extend its application to coverthe implementation of the full priceliberalisation regime with respect to thepricing petroleum products, in line withthe deregulation policy approved byCabinet in 2005.
    Summary of Provisions The Bill contains four Clauses andprovides for the following: Clause 1 amends section 2 of theNational Petroleum Authority Act, 2005(Act 691) to reflect the change in the roleof the NPA. Clauses 2 and 3 also seek to redefine“Ministry” and “liquefied petroleum gasdistributor”.
    Clause 4 further amends theinterpretation section to reflect whatcurrently pertains in the sector. Observations
    The Committee made the followingobservations during its deliberations: NPA's new role in the determination ofpetroleum prices
    The Committee noted that the passageof the Bill will change the role of the NPAin the determination of prices of petroleumproducts in the country. Under the fullprice liberalisation regime, NPA's new rolewill be to monitor the calculation ofpetroleum prices by service providers,through the application of the prescribedformula set out in the National PetroleumAuthority (Prescribed Petroleum PricingFormula) Regulations, 2012 (L.I 2186). To ensure the effective discharge ofits new functions, the NPA intends tocollate the prices set by the serviceproviders and publish them innewspapers for the attention of thegeneral public. The Committee believesthat such a provision would affordconsumers the opportunity to compareprices offered by Oil MarketingCompanies (OMCs), and therebyengender competition in the pricing ofpetroleum products for the benefit ofconsumers.
    Stabilisation margin The Committee also noted that the Billseeks to expand the components of theprescribed petroleum pricing formula setout in Act 691 to include a stabilisationmargin. The Committee was informed byOfficials of the NPA that the amendmentis intended to provide for the mitigation
    of hikes in petroleum prices to protectconsumers. The Committee, however, objectedtothe amendment on the ground thatmatters relating to the stabilisation ofpetroleum prices does not lie within themandate of the NPA, but rather the dutyof the Government, acting through theMinistry of Finance to adopt appropriatestrategies to address high petroleumprices. The Committee accordinglyproposes an amendment in this regard.
    Proposed amendments i. Clause 1 --Amendment proposed --line 2, after “national circulation”add “and at the website of theAuthority”. ii. Clause 3 -- Amendment proposed-- line 1, delete, “liquid” and insert“liquefied”. iii. Clause 4 -- Amendment proposed --paragraph (a) (i), line 2, delete“Liquid petroleum gas distributor”and insert “LPG distributor” anddelete “liquid” and insert“liquefied” wherever it appears inthe paragraph. iv. Clause 4 -- Amendment proposed --delete paragraph (a) (iv). v. Clause 4 -- Amendment proposed-- delete paragraph (b).
    Conclusion and recommendation The Committee has carefully examinedthe Amendment Bill in line with theConstitution and the National PetroleumAuthority, 2005 (Act 691) and believesthat the passage of the Bill will providethe legal regime necessary for theimplementation of full deregulation policyto competitive pricing of petroleumproducts in the country.

    The Committee therefore recommendsto the House to adopt its Report and topass the National Petroleum Authority(Amendment) Bill, 2015, in accordancewith article 106 of the Constitution andthe Standing Orders of the House. Respectfully submitted.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:25 p.m.
    Thankyou. Hon Members, before I recognise HonK. T. Hammond, let me just draw ourattention to Standing Order 81. It is notevery Motion that is seconded. There aretwo types of Motions that are notseconded; the Second Reading and theConsideration Stages of Bills. So, under Standing Order 81, thisMotion should not have been seconded.It should have been moved by the HonDeputy Minister and supported by theHon Chairman.
    Mr Kobina Tahir Hammond (NPP--Adansi Asokwa) 3:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am not sosure. Mr Speaker, this is supposed to be theCommittee's Report. The Hon DeputyMinister moved the Motion and then, ofcourse, the Hon Chairman presented theReport. Mr Speaker, which one did you sayshould not have been supported? Is it thatthe Hon Deputy Minister's Motion shouldnot have been supported by the HonChairman? I am not clear.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:25 p.m.
    StandingOrder 81 says, and I quote:
    “Unless otherwise provided in thisOrders, every Motion unless made
    at the Second Reading or Consi-deration Stage of a Bill, must beseconded, and if is not secondedshall not be debated or entered inthe Votes and Proceedings.” So, the reading of Standing Order 81reveals that there are two types ofMotions that are not seconded; one is atthe Second Reading and the other is atthe Consideration Stage of a Bill. So, you know that at the ConsiderationStage, for example, when a clause ismentioned and then the Hon Chairman ofthe Committee proposes an amendment,we do not ask for an Hon Member tosecond. In the same way, at the Second ReadingStage, the Hon Minister moves theMotion and the Hon Chairman of theCommittee presents the Report. In doingso, he associates himself and recommendsor urges the rest of the House to supportthe Motion that has been moved by theHon Minister.
    Mr Hammond 3:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, as eruditeas ever, I rise not to support, but tocontribute to the Motion moved by theHon Deputy Minister. Mr Speaker, the amendment is in order;but the problem I have with my HonColleagues on the Majority side of theHouse is that, they really have very scantrespect for legal principles and the law. Mr Speaker, let not anybody in thecountry boast that they have broughtabout the deregulation in the petroleumsector. Mr Speaker, in 2005, under the NewPatriotic Party (NPP) Administration ofHis Excellency former President AgyekumKufuor, when I was the Hon DeputyMinister at the Ministry of Energy andnot Petroleum, and my Hon Colleaguehere, Hon Dr A. A. Osei, was at the
    Ministry of Finance, we worked on thisproject. We decided that at any point intime, we would have to free the systemand make sure that market forces operateto some extent. Mr Speaker, to what extent--
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:25 p.m.
    Hon K.T. Hammond --
    Mr Hammond 3:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, yourmicrophone is off. [Pause.]
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:25 p.m.
    Thankyou; my microphone is back. Hon Hammond, you may continue.
    Mr Hammond 3:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, what I wassaying was that, at a point in time, thedecision was made during theAdministration of H. E. former PresidentKufuor, that there might be the need toallow the market forces to operate as fullyas they possibly could. Mr Speaker, but that was not to give ahand to free capitalist operations like wehave in the developed countries. Wethought we had not quite reached there. There had been a contract between thepeople of Ghana and the Government ofGhana; we were to look after them. MrSpeaker, we were not to put so much ontheir plates to the extent that we wouldhave the Animal Farm situation, wheresome people would have pot bellies,others would be tightening their belts andpeople would be dying slowly. Mr Speaker, it was in that view that theNPA Act came into effect in 2005.Responsibility was given to the NPA, MrMoses Asaga's outfit, to monitor prices
    and the formula, see the trend ofinternational petroleum prices, take acommercial decision and see how wewould operate the system in the country. Mr Speaker, it came to a point that thisGovernment -- my Hon Colleagues onthe other dide decided that they weregoing to do what they call the absolutelyfree capitalist oriented markets in thecountry and in the process, to tax thehuman beings in this country until thefluid in their system became very dry; taxthis, tax that, the last one we had was theEnergy Sector Act, which taxed a, b, c andso on. Mr Speaker, the scandalous thingabout what my Hon Colleagues on theother side did was that, knowing verywell that, the operations of the NationalPetroleum Authority (NPA) was on thebackdrop of an Act, which mandated theNPA to regulate, decided and set theprices. What they did on the quiet was tosimply ask the Bulk DistributionCompanies (BDCs) and the Oil MarketingCompanies' (OMCs) to have free range todo whatever they wanted. Mr Speaker, at a point in time, I actuallyhad a Motion but it was not filed but mylawyers prepared the Motion to go tocourt to challenge the validity of whatthey were doing, because it was breachedthe existing Act. The existing Act whichwas mandated to give authority, not tothe BDCs nor the Oil MarketingCompanies, but to the Authority whichis subvented by the Government, throughthe NPA to look after these matters,allowed them to do whatever theywanted. Mr Speaker, indeed, it was they whoset the price and Hon Moses Asaga andhis outfit just sat down and looked atthese guys to make the system -- to theextent that they would debate me bysaying they did not make the system.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:35 p.m.
    HonHammond, I want to remind you ofStanding Order 127 (1). I beg to quote:
    “On a motion being made that a Billbe now read a Second Time, a fulldebate shall arise on the principleof the Bill on the basis of theexplanatory memorandum and thereport from the Committee.” So, as you debate the point, I will begrateful if you would be making referencesto the Report of the Committee or to theexplanatory memorandum.
    Mr Hammond 3:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that wasthe point I just made, that they have nowarrived at Damascus and that there is theneed to now amend the parent Act. So, inamending the Parent Act, it seems quiteclearly that the offending one. That is theone you will see under the summary ofprovisions; that is the specific provisionsthat enabled the NPA to specificallyundertake the functions that I havealluded to. These are now, by theamendment, being transferred to theOMCs.
    Mr Speaker, of course, the legal regimeis now in order. Whether the politicalregime is also in order or not, it is anentirely different ball game, I leave that tothe good people of Ghana. Come, 7thDecember or 7th November, I have not beenso sure. Mr Speaker, I have been trying to findout, and I entreat you to allow me, younormally experience these things. Is it 7thDecember or 7th November? I thought it is7th December but they are going on that, itis 7TH December though, and the HonMinority Leader is not here to explain thisthing to me so, come 7th December or 7THNovember, one way or the other, onemonth or the other, the people of Ghanawill speak. If that is what they want; tax here andtax everywhere, I leave it to the goodpeople of Ghana. Mr Speaker, for now, this document isin order and I am happy to support it, tothe extent that, the proper thing has beendone by way of setting the legalparameters in place for the operation ofthe OMCs and BDCs. Mr Speaker, in ending, I will also pleadwith the Government to pay them becausethey have been collecting the taxes andthey have been complaining that all thepromises of payment have notmaterialised; they have not been paid onecent.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:35 p.m.
    Thankyou Hon K. T. Hammond. Hon Isaac Osei?
    Mr Isaac Osei (NPP -- Subin) 3:35 p.m.
    MrSpeaker, I listened carefully to the HonMember who last spoke, but I dare saythat if social democrats have now becomecapitalists, there is nothing wrong withthat. They should join the company, webelieve in the free markets and in this
    particular regulation, I think, theCommittee has done the right thing.
    Mr Speaker, if you consider page 1, item4 which says that, the Governmentadopted, et cetera. The second sentenceis a bit incongruous. It says:
    “The Policy was also meant toensure full cost recovery anduniformity in pricing of petroleumproducts by allowing the marketsto determine prices”. Mr Speaker, you cannot allow themarket to determine prices and at the sametime have uniformity. So, I will urge theCommittee to look carefully at it andperhaps re-word it somehow. Mr Speaker, I wish to also congratulatethe Select Committee on Mines andEnergy on the objection that they raisedabout the attempted usurpation of workof the Ministry of Finance, with respectto the stabilisation of petroleum prices.The Committee is right to reject that andthese are really the two things that Iwanted to talk about. Mr Speaker, finally, I believe, it isimportant that the NPA concentrate onits core duty of providing adequateinformation for consumers to make aninformed decision as to which OMC tobuy from. If they have decided that they are goingto publish the prices of all the OilMarketing Companies, it is good.Consumers can decide whether theywould want to buy from “A” or “B”. I support the Motion and I urge HonMembers to approve the Report.
    Mr Kwabena O. Darko-Mensah (NPP-- Takoradi) 3:45 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.

    My attention has been drawn toparagraph 7.2 of the Report and MrSpeaker, with your permission, I beg toread from the fifth line: “The Committee however objectedto the amendment on the groundthat matters relating to thestabilisation of petroleum pricesdoes not lie within the mandate ofthe NPA but rather the duty ofGovernment acting through theMinistry of Finance to adoptappropriate strategies to addresshigh petroleum prices.”

    Clearly, it shows that all the high pricesof petroleum products in this country, isthe responsibility of this Government.Therefore, most of the time when they holdthe debate and tell us that it is the NPAwhich determines the price, they are alllies to the Ghanaian public. I believe it is time we made this veryclear to the good people of this countryto understand that the high prices ofpetroleum products on the market isbecause Government has been adding alot of taxes to the prices of petroleum inthis country. Alhaji Sorogho -- rose --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:45 p.m.
    HonAmadu Bukari Sorogho, do you have apoint of order?
    Alhaji Sorogho 3:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, ordinarily,I would not get up, especially, as we aredebating a Report which I have signed.However, for my Hon Colleague to get upand say that all the Government says arelies -- Those are strong words; they areunparliamentary and cannot be used onthe floor of this House -- “lies”.
    Mr Speaker, he has to withdraw that.It is not something that we mustencourage in this House at all. It is totallywrong and unacceptable and I wouldplead that my Hon Colleague withdrawsthat strong word. It is bad.
    Mr Darko-Mensah 3:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if hefeels that the word “lies” is strong then,maybe, I can use the word “falsehood”. Iam not sure if he is comfortable with thatbut it comes back to the same idea. Mr Speaker, the fact of the matter isthat Ghanaians are suffering and it is veryimportant that the Government of theday --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:45 p.m.
    So, HonDarko-Mensah, you would use whatword?
    Mr Darko-Mensah 3:45 p.m.
    I withdraw the firstone and in its place I use the word“falsehood”.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:45 p.m.
    What isthe first one?
    Mr Darko-Mensah 3:45 p.m.
    Lies. All right, I would use another term --“misleading”. They are misleading thepublic by telling us that it is the NPA thatdetermines prices in this country --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:45 p.m.
    HonDarko-Mensah, I believe in court, youdo not say that the witness was lying. Youwould say that the witness was not beinga witness of truth. It is double legged -- Ihave been reminded that we are not in thecourtroom but one of your HonColleagues has advised that perhaps theword “misleading” is more parliamentary. Hon Darko-Mensah, continue.
    Mr Darko-Mensah 3:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, Ibelieve it is time the Government ownedup and told the good people of thiscountry that they have packed thepetroleum prices with a lot of taxes. The prices of a lot of the petroleumproducts that are bought by our fisherfolks seem to also be on the high side.This is because most of the time, there isa huge cartel that control those petroleumproducts. Therefore, the prices at whichthey that are supposed to be sold tofishermen in this country turns out to behigher than what government evenrecommends. As I have said in other fora and here, itis time we introduced a voucher systemfor our fisher folk, so that based on theamount of fuel they buy they can getthese voucher to reduce the amount.They can use that to support the fishingindustry. With these few words, Mr Speaker, Iwould like to thank you for theopportunity to add my voice.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:45 p.m.
    HonAkoto Osei?
    Dr A. A. Osei (NPP -- Old Tafo) 3:45 p.m.
    MrSpeaker, I would want to refer you to page2 of 4 of the Committee's Report. I needyour guidance. As a Parliament, we shouldbe taking ourselves serious. Mr Speaker,with your permission, I beg to read thesubstantive first paragraph:
    “However, with the commencementof the implementation of the priceliberalisation under the DeregulationPolicy, the NPA has ceased …” Mr Speaker, the NPA is guided by alaw which was passed by this House. Weare now trying to amend that Act and theCommittee says that the “NPA hasceased”. They are condoning an illegality.
    It cannot be true. They are implementinga policy, for which we need to amend anAct and they say it has ceased. How canit cease? As far as this House isconcerned, the current Act is whatprevails.
    Alhaji Sorogho 3:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, what DrAkoto Osei said is right. I believe it isthe printer's devil -- but it was “willcease”. So, I should have made thatcorrection -- He is 100 per cent right --“will cease on the implementation …”
    Dr A. A. Osei 3:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that iswhere the problem is. As a House, whenwe go through this pain and pass a Billinto an Act and an institution like NPAsits somewhere, in their plush offices andopenly violates the law and we just sitand watch them, are we that toothless?We should not spend time -- It is almost4.00 o'clock and we are going through thisprocess to pass an Act. This is open; they did not even hide itand Parliament chooses to just sit and tellthem to go on and break the law. What isthe role of Parliament, Mr Speaker? Weneed some guidance. If all we can do is topass an Act when we know that they areopenly violating it and we just tell them to-- Come and amend it. There should besanctions for that institution. All thosepeople who have violated that Act, wemust find a way to sanction them.Otherwise, who is going to respectParliament? Mr Speaker, this is very serious andwe should take ourselves seriously. It isnot fun to stay here till 4.00 o'clock andpass an Act, knowing that it does notmatter and people would just blatantlyviolate it and they know we cannot doanything. Is that really truth? Leadership andSpeakership should guide us properlybecause for some of us, if that is the
    Dr A. A. Osei 3:45 p.m.


    reality, then we should not be expected tobe here -- [Interruption] -- Yes. Passan Act, someone violates it and I sit thereand -- As the President said,”the Bankof Ghana is responsible but I cannot firethem”. Are we going to say the samething? Mr A. Ibrahim -- rose --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:45 p.m.
    Yes, HonMember for Banda?
    Mr A. Ibrahim 3:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think oursis to pass the Act, as my Hon Colleaguehas said. As for the interpretation andimplementation, Leadership andSpeakership are not responsible for that.
    Dr A. A. Osei 3:45 p.m.
    As an institution, therewas a reason we put NPA in charge ofcertain crises. That is for an intent. NPAcomes out and says that; “We do not careabout you and we would do what wewant” -- That is the essence of what I amsaying. We would sit here and say “Allright, come and amend it, it is all right withus”. We should reject this because ifeverybody believes that GNPC -- Wepass an Act that they should not go andrent, but they go and rent and then wesay it is all right. We are jokers -- Excusemy language. We have to take ourselvesseriously. Leadership and Speakership shouldfind a way to bring us -- So that we wouldknow we are doing our work. When peopledo not take us serious, we are not happy;this is one reason. Institutions like the NPA and GNPCthink, as for Parliament, this is how we

    We should not hide it. I know why theyfelt they had to do it. If you read theInternational Monetary Fund (IMF)programme, they have promised they aregoing to do that by a certain date. That iswhere we must show how we can bite.Going to promise the IMF but violatingour Act cannot be what we do. What isright must be right. The IMF must notdictate to us. Mr Speaker, I strongly urge that wehave a meeting on this matter so that wecan take ourselves seriously. Mr Speaker, n paragraph 7.2 I believemy Hon Colleague has spoken about it.The Government, however, is in a conduit.The recent high increases in the energytariffs and tax poses a bit of a problem forthe Government. I agree the NPA shouldnot bother itself by trying to put somethingthere that they would not account toanybody. They can hide some marginthere and keep it. The Committeedisagrees with them. I like it, but what isgoing to happen now? Taxes are so high; even if petroleumprices go to US$29, we are still not goingto get anything. Government must beginto re-evaluate the Energy Tax Act.Otherwise, when it reverses and comes toUS$100 per barrel, the people of Ghanaare really going to suffer. Unless theGovernment tells us that -- The Minister for Employment andLabour Relations told the Trade UnionCongress that they are not going to reviewthe energy taxes. He actually made acategorical statement. And so we wouldwait to see. When it turns round andcomes to US$100.00, we would see if theycan make the same statement. The peopleof Ghana are suffering. It is not the best.
    Dr Matthew O. Prempeh (NPP --Manhyia South) 3:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would wantto bring to the attention of the Committeethat going through their Report and theirproposed amendments -- That is in theReport. Mr Speaker, I am holding the originalNational Petroleum Act, 2005 (Act 691).They have quoted that. I am not able tosituate what they have said in the Act.Maybe, when the Hon Chairman windsup, he would share with us specificallywhich part of this Act is to be amendedby the Bill.
    Mr Speaker, I would give an exampleat paragraph 6.0 and with you permission,I read 3:45 p.m.
    “Summary of Provisions. The Bill contains four clauses andprovides the following:
    “6.1 clause 1 amends the Section 2of the National PetroleumAuthority Act, 2005 (Act 691) toreflect change in the role of theNPA”. That is what is stated in the Report. Section 2 of the Bill is on Objects andFunctions of the Authority. Mr Speaker,
    when you go to the proposed amendmentsin paragraph 8.0 and with your permission,I read: “i Clause 1-- Amendment proposed-- Line 2, after “nationalcirculation” add “and at thewebsite of the Authority”.”
    Mr Speaker, it just does not add up.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:45 p.m.
    HonMember, at this stage, we are debating theprinciples with reference to the Report andthe Explanatory Memorandum. When we debate the principles wewould know whether the principles behindthe Memorandum must identify the defectin the existing Law, the mischief that itseeks to remedy. That should be at theback of our minds as we debate. When it comes to whether the actualprovisions are situated properly within theLaw, that would be advertised, and at theConsideration Stage, you could raise someof these points.
    Dr Prempeh 3:45 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker, the problem I have is that,when somebody takes the Report from theCommittee and reads it, it should have afoundation. When a statement is put inthe Report, it should be factually correct.When we say clause 1 amends section 2,as captured in paragraph 6.0 of yourReport and Mr Speaker, with yourpermission, I beg to read:
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:45 p.m.
    I amlistening to you.
    Dr Prempeh 3:45 p.m.
    The clause 1 of the Billamends section 2 of the NationalPetroleum Authority Act to reflect thechange in the role of the NPA. Theprovision in the proposed amendment isto add “national circulation”. Mr Speaker, it does not change the roleof NPA in anyway. That is why they do not understandme. With their Report, where they haveput paragraph 6.1 -- [Interruption.] I am not taking the amendment till weget there.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:45 p.m.
    Whatyou are saying, if I understand you, iswhat the Report says they intend to do isnot what it does.
    Dr Prempeh 3:45 p.m.
    It cannot be. Even withthe proposed amendment that has beenbrought --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:45 p.m.
    I wouldwant the Hon Chairman to respond to this. It has been argued that in your Report,you said that the amendment changes orseeks to change the role of NPA. In paragraph 6.0 I beg to read:
    “The Bill contains four clauses andprovides for the following: 6.1 clause 1 amends the Section 2 ofthe National Petroleum AuthorityAct, 2005 (Act 691) to reflectchange in the role of the NPA.”
    When you look at clause 1, how doesit change the role of NPA? You only added“national circulation” and after that,add“and at the website of the Authority”. It is about publishing the price. Howdoes it change the role? Hon K. T. Hammond, would you assistus?
    Mr Hammond 3:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was aboutto help with it. My Hon Colleague justsuggested something which I think he isgoing to take on board. I am not surewhether he is reading it the way we readit. We are looking at the original Act andlooking at the Bill which seeks to amendthe Act. The section 2 of the original Act isamended by the clause 1 of this Bill. It isthe subclause (m) specifically that we aredealing with. Then Mr Speaker, you go on to whathe is talking about -- [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, if it is on the clause 1, ourunderstanding, as I tried to explain to HonMember is that, in the whole of thatsection, there is subclause (m), which --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:45 p.m.
    HonHammond, what was the original role ofthe National Petroleum Authority (NPA)as provided in the 2005 Act?
    Mr Hammond 3:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if you askme for institutional memory, I would tellyou. The whole concept of NPA wassimply to make sure we first have aninstitution which is responsible. Weoriginally had the National PetroleumTender Board. That had not been properlylegalised --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:55 p.m.
    HonHammond, I heard you said in yoursubmission that the role or the duty ofthe NPA was to, as it were, deregulateprices. To use your words, you said thatthis lot did not agree with you at the time.You are saying that we have gone the fullcircle and now we have come to thesituation.where we have all agreed to thederegulation. So how has the role changed? It wasderegulation in the beginning, deregu-lation in the middle and it is deregulationnow. The alpha and omega seem to be thesame.
    Mr Hammond 3:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I must notbe misquoted. I have not entirely endorsedwhat they are doing in terms of the --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:55 p.m.
    It doesnot matter whether you have endorsed it.I am saying that the present role is toderegulate. So how has the role changed?
    Mr Hammond 3:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the originalrole was to deregulate, but to some extentleft it at that. They have now decided togo the full caboodle and then do the entirecapitalist deregulation. That is fine. If youask me what has changed here, it was forNPA to set the pricing. It was for them todo the publication in the gazette. It was for them to monitor the systemand do the necessary reporting. What hasnow happened is that NPA is complaining.To allow full deregulation to take place,one could now have them (NPA) sit there
    and decide on the sealing. Henceforth,they allow Bulk Distributing Companies(BDCs) and the oil marketing companiesto set their own pricing. So what they --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:55 p.m.
    HonHammond, I am looking at the Report,Background Information, 4.0:
    “The Government of Ghana adoptedFull Deregulation Policy in 2005…”
    Mr Hammond 3:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that iscompletely wrong. That is how they put itbut it is not the fact. Government of Ghanadid not adopt full deregulation in 2005.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:55 p.m.
    Hold on,5.0 says that:
    “The object of the Bill is to amendthe National Petroleum AuthorityAct, 2005 (Act 691) to extend itsapplication to cover the imple-mentation of the full price liberationregime …” What is the difference between fullderegulation and full price liberalisation?
    Mr Hammond 3:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it issemantics.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:55 p.m.
    The HonMember said the role has not changed. Ifthe role has not changed, then the Reportwhich says the role has changed is wrong.
    Mr Hammond 3:55 p.m.
    No, Mr Speaker,something has changed. There is aspecific function that NPA was supposedto perform. That was --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:55 p.m.
    HonHammond, there is a Report, which is theReport of the Committee you belongto.You are an Hon Ranking Member of thatCommittee and Hon Members are nowquestioning and saying that the Reportof the Committee suggests that there hasbeen a change.
    Mr Hammond 3:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is whatI do not understand. To those who readit, which is the offending bit? Which onetells them what? Is it the full deregulationphrase?
    Mr Hammond 3:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, he hasalready told you that the devil has got itsway of printing. Maybe, it is the devil'sprinter that caused the error but there wasno full deregulation at the time. They arenow actually streaming into fullderegulation. So that could be corrected.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:55 p.m.
    HonPrempeh?
    Dr Prempeh 3:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, maybe, Ihave to take my time and explain to theHon Chairman and the Hon RankingMember. Maybe, the Hon RankingMember is defending what he heard at theCommittee and not what is in the Report. Mr Speaker, his Report -- [Inter-ruption] -- Now he has distanced himselffrom the Chairman's Report. So I wouldgo to the Chairman -- [Interruption] Hesaid it is not from the Committee's Report.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:55 p.m.
    It is theReport of Mr Speaker's Committee. It isthe method of speaking. Every Committeeis the Committee of the Speaker and theCommittee of the House. “Mr Speaker” isused to represent the House. We must
    understand the Report. Mr Speaker hasall Committees. So continue.
    Dr Prempeh 3:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I wouldnever argue against your point becauseyou sit in the Chair. Our Standing Ordersmake it the House's Committee.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:55 p.m.
    Are yousuggesting that if I was not sitting in theChair, you would argue against my point?
    Dr Prempeh 3:55 p.m.
    No, Mr Speaker. I wantto continue and draw the Committee'sattention --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:55 p.m.
    Otherwise, I would stop recognising you.
    Dr Prempeh 3:55 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker, I knowthat you have that power. So, I sidecompletely with you. Insofar as you sit, itis the Speaker's Committee. You havedisregarded the Standing Orders.[Laughter.] Mr Speaker, the Committee needs toamend its Report in 6.1. At 6.2, theCommittee needs to amend that statementas well. It is simply because if I read,”clause 1 amends section 2" and I amholding the clause, which only amendsone subclause -- Is that tantamountamending section 2? Mr Speaker, it might be flippant but itis so germane. The whole of section 2 ofthe parent Act seeks to define the objectsand functions of the authority.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:55 p.m.
    HonAgbesi?
    Mr Agbesi 3:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we need tolook at what happens at the SecondReading of a Bill. What my HonColleagues are doing departs from theprinciples and shine in the SecondReading of a Bill.
    Mr Hammond 3:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, again, myHon Colleague is not reading the sectionin its entirety. We are not itemisingeverything, we said it is by way ofsummary. Look at the rubric, summary ofprovisions. Then it goes on. He has leftout the critical part, that is the subclause(n) to reflect the change in the role of theNPA. Mr Speaker, subclause (m) is part ofthe section 2, which is to be amended. Itsays that clause 1 seeks to amend thesection 2 of the original Act to reflect thenew changes that the NPA would nownot set the prices that we are talking aboutto reflect the change in the role. That isthe summary. I do not see why that createsso much difficulty.
    Dr A. A. Osei 3:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the HonRanking Member also told us that theCommittee is incorrect in what they hadstated in 4.0: “The Government of Ghanaadopted Full Deregulation…” As aCommittee Member, he said it is wrong.So what is the role of the NPA? He saidthat, if one reads the Report, he getsconfused. That is why he suggested that, in thatcase, they should step it down, go andlook at the Report and properly tell uswhat they want. This is because, as anHon Ranking Member, he said that theCommittee is wrong. The Hon Chairmanhas read the Committee's Report so weare confused. I do not know where he was.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:55 p.m.
    Hon OseiKyei-Mensah-Bonsu?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 3:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker,for the avoidance of doubt, we must putthe debate at the Second Reading of anyBill in context.
    Mr Speaker, article 106 (6) of theConstitution provides and I beg to read 3:55 p.m.
    “The Report of the committee,together with the explanatorymemorandum to the bill, shall formthe basis for a full debate on the billfor its passage, with our withoutamendments, or its rejection, byParliament.” A Bill is debated, not during theConsideration Stage, but the SecondReading, which is the stage we are in now. For the Hon Deputy Majority Leaderto suggest that he is referring to the Reportand that is not part of the considerationat this stage, Mr Speaker, he is completelyout of order. His submission is not in syncwith the Constitution. The Constitution provides that at thisstage, we combine the Committee's Reportwith the Memorandum to the Bill.Thatforms the basis of the debate. I guess hewould take a cue.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:55 p.m.
    HonDeputy Majority Leader?
    Mr Agbesi 3:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, based uponthe constitutional provisions -- [Pause.]
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:55 p.m.
    HonMembers, you have a Report which HonMembers are not against but have risento support. What is happening is that wehave been shown contradictions in theReport. We have been shown quite clearlythat the conclusions in the Report do notsupport some of the earlier statements. What is the way forward, Hon PapaOwusu-Ankomah? We have the Reportof a Committee. The Committee has said,for example that:
    “the purpose of this Bill is to changethe role of NPA.”
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 3:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker,the Report is for the consideration of theHouse. So if it is contradictory, itsconclusion would have to be determinedby Hon Members of the House by puttingit to vote as to whether in the light of allthese inconsistencies -- However, the Hon Chairman of theCommittee, in the light of the issues thathave been raised may, with the leave ofthe Chair, and the support of the House,amend the Report to remove theinconsistencies or to reconcile theinconsistences. Then we may moveforward. If he does not do that, the matter is forthe consideration of the House. TheHouse may reject or accept it. If heconsiders the issues raised to be verygermane -- Particularly, I noticed that theHon Ranking Member also seems to beraising these issues. Probably, with theleave of Mr Speaker, we may deferconsideration and then probably make thenecessary corrections or whatever andthen come back to the House.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:55 p.m.
    That iswhat I am tempted to do. Hopefully, theworld would not come to an end today;so I am tempted, between today andtomorrow, to give you enough space forhim to reconcile it.
    I saw the Hon Chairman writingfuriously. I would give you one bite of thecherry. If what you say does not convinceus immediately, then we would defer thisso that you take your time and amend itand come back tomorrow. We can just stepit down and tomorrow we would take thevote and then do it the second time. Thisis just the Second Reading.
    Alhaji Sorogho 3:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I takenote of the comments which have beenmade. I would beg to seek your leave tobe allowed to amend paragraph 4.0. Thisis because that is where the problemstarted. Instead of “The Government of Ghanastarted the deregulation policy in 2005 …”That was exactly what the intention was.It should be:
    “… the deregulation process startedin 2005 to halt the continuousintervention in the pricing policy ofthe petroleum products in thecountry.” Mr Speaker, I would seek your leave, ifit is allowed, to amend that portion.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:55 p.m.
    Leavegranted. Portion duly amended. Whatabout paragraph 6.1 on page 2?
    Alhaji Sorogho 3:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, forparagraph 6.1, I perfectly agree becauseStanding Orders 126 and 127 talk about theMemorandum accompanying the Bill andthe Report itself. Clause 1 of theMemorandum that accompanied the Billon the first page reads:
    “Clause 1 of the Bill amends Section2 of the National PetroleumAuthority Act, 2000 to reflect thechange of the role of the NPA underthe liberalised price regime.” That is what was lifted. I do not thinkthere is any big problem on that.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:05 p.m.
    Thankyou, Hon Chairman. Hon Prempeh?
    Dr Prempeh 4:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I hope thatthe Hon Chairman would go further andamend paragraph 6.1.:
    “Clause 1 of the Bill amends Section2 (2) (m) of the Bill” That it is clear. So if he could go aheadand --
    Alhaji Sorogho 4:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, since youhave granted the leave, I would want togo ahead and amend that too, to reflectwhat Hon Prempeh has just said.
    Mr Chireh 4:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, you indicatedclearly that with the kind of problems wehave, we should not put the vote todayso that they can correct the Report. Dueto what is going on now, however, an HonMember argued that the amendment itselfis not appropriate. The Report said something else.Looking at the whole situation, I believeit is a better thing not to put theQuestion. Tomorrow morning, we wouldhave fresh minds to consider the Report.There seems to be some misunderstandinghere and there.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:05 p.m.
    I amminded to listen to the wise counsel ofHon Yieleh Chireh. That is what I amminded to do. This is a very simple matter; you typedit out nicely and tomorrow, you bringyour amended Report. This is the lastcontribution; after Hon Dr Prempeh, wewould call on the Leadership and thatwould bring us to the end of the debate.
    Hon Members have spoken at lengthalready.
    Mr Hammond 4:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, you arelooking at me, what do we do? How do wepresent the amendment? Would it bepresented as amended Report or theReport as debated?
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:05 p.m.
    TheReport as amended. You would presentclearly the amendments in the Report. Hon Hammond, what is the urgencybetween today and tomorrow?
    Mr Hammond 4:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, myquestion is, what form is it going to take?That is what I asked.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:05 p.m.
    I believethat the form that it is going to take is thesame as that which it would have takentoday. Today, you would have indicatedwhat portions you are amending. That iswhat you would have done. Tomorrow when we come, the Reportwould be there, you would seek the leaveof Speaker to amend. You would amend itin the following terms. It is accepted. So,what you would have is a Report whichhas been amended --
    Mr Hammond 4:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if youwould put this on the record, left to mealone, this thing would be done next yearor so. This is because they are notinterested, anyway. They have beenperpetuating an illegality up till now, solet them continue with the illegality untilthy kingdom come. I do not really mind very much aboutthis. I am just trying to find a nice way ofgoing about it. That is why I actuallysought your indulgence but it is due tothe interest that I have in it.
    Dr Prempeh 4:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thought Iwould have quickly run through thechanges so that he notes them down andwould not have to call a meeting tomorrowmorning. This is because I was about tofinish and run away. Mr Speaker, paragraph 6. 2, clauses 2and 3 also seek to define Ministry andliquefied petroleum gas. Actually, the Bill--
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:05 p.m.
    Thankyou, Hon Prempeh. You have shown that,apart from the two that you havementioned, there are other ones. I wouldplead with you to meet with the HonChairman afterwards, and then assist theHouse in pointing out the proposedamendments so that we can take the matterforward. Further consideration of item numbered6 on the Order Paper is deferred totomorrow. Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader, dowe have any other matter?
    Mr Agbesi 4:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, having saidso and the Hon Chairman of the Committeehaving taken a cue from your direction,and time having been far spent, we wouldleave the House in your hands.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:05 p.m.
    Thankyou. Hon Minority Leader, do you want tosay something?
    4.5 p.m.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker,this idea of insisting that after 2.00 o'clock,the House is entirely in the hands of theMr Speaker, I disagree.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:05 p.m.
    I havemade that point before, so, I would notlet you make it again.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:05 p.m.
    Have youmade it before?
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:05 p.m.
    I havemade it before. I said it is a fiction. It is amanner of speaking. If I say that, weshould go to item number 20, would wego to item number 20? We would not. If it is after 2. 00 o'clock, is it the Speakerwho would decide the Business to bedone? No! So, the House is not entirelyin the hands of the Speaker. For purposes of adjournment, however,it is the Speaker who adjourns after 2.00o'clock. That is the convention I came tomeet. Hon Minority Leader, unless you wantto show us something, otherwise --
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 4:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker,even after 2.00 o'clock, an Hon Membercan move for adjournment. That is why Iam saying that, it is not entirely in thehands of the Speaker or the personpresiding.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:05 p.m.
    Iremember I made the point that, it is afiction. All right, if it is in my hands, then can Isay we would not adjourn, that we shouldcontinue? Can I mention an item number?If I can, then it is not entirely in my hands.
    Before 2.00 o'clock, Mr Speaker cannotadjourn; he has to confer with Leadership.After 2.00 o'clock, I would adjourn withoutconferring with Leadership. While the Hon Minority Leader issearching the Standing Orders feverishly,unless I am shown something thatconvinces me, I declare the House

    Thank you very much.
    ADJOURNMENT 4:05 p.m.