Debates of 7 Jan 2017

Mr Speaker 1:55 a.m.
Hon Members, I will now invite the Hon Leaders to assist me to receive the President-elect and the Vice President-elect.
Mr Speaker 1:55 a.m.
Your Excellency President-elect, Your Excellency Vice President-elect, Her Ladyship the Chief Justice, Parliament will not say the Prayer because it is just a continuation of what we did in the early hours of this morning. At this juncture, it is my pleasure to introduce and acknowledge the presence of a number of dignitaries.

Hon Members, on behalf of the House, I wish the visiting dignitaries a pleasant stay in our country.

Hon Members, we would move to item numbered 8 on the Order Paper and I respectfully invite Her Ladyship, the Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana to administer the Oath of Office to the Vice President-elect.

Oath of Allegiance and Oath of Office

The Vice President-elect, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, took and subscribed to the Oath of Allegiance and the Oath of Office. [Administered by Her
Mr Speaker 1:55 a.m.
Hon Members, I now invite Her Ladyship, the Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana to administer the Oath of Office to His Excellency, the President-elect, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Mr Speaker 1:55 a.m.
Hon Members, it is my pleasure to invite the President of the Republic of Ghana and Commander-in- Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo to deliver his Inaugural Address.

Mr Speaker 1:55 a.m.
President of the Republic of Ghana, on my own behalf and on behalf of the House, may I congratulate you for
the Address of excellence that you have delivered onto us. We are inspired and most grateful.
Mr Speaker 1:54 p.m.
On behalf of this Honourable House, I shall invite the Chairperson of the Heads of State of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and President of the Republic of Liberia, Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, to deliver a goodwill message on behalf of ECOWAS.

Remarks by the Chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
Chairperson of ECOWAS (Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf) 1:54 p.m.
His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana; Your Excellency Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President of the Republic of Ghana; H. E. Idriss Déby, Chairman of the African Union (AU), Mr Speaker and Hon Members of Parliament, Excellencies Heads of State and Governments here seated, Your Excellency the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Your Honour the Chief Justice and Associate Justices, members of the Diplomatic Corps, officials of Government, Your Excellency former President John Dramani Mahama, Your Excellency the former Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, traditional chiefs and elders, members of the prelates, members of the folk States, distinguished ECOWAS citizens of the great Republic of Ghana, Hon Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring you warmest greetings from the people of the Republic of Liberia.
It is with great pleasure that I stand here today on behalf of ECOWAS to convey very warm and fraternal

congratulations to the people of Ghana for once again, making the region proud. Today marks a historic day in the ECOWAS and Africa as a whole, as we witness another democratic transition in the Republic of Ghana. Today, we witness the completion of a democratic process of peaceful transfer of power from one Administration to another.

You Ghanaians make us proud. After hard fought campaigns, you have put differences aside and come together as one people to celebrate this victory. We must remember that this event is the fruit of many years of hard labour. Democracy is the fruit of the sacrifice of many generations and must not be taken for granted. I thank you, people of Ghana, for your political maturity and sense of patriotism in reaching this far.

We commend the professionalism and commitment of the independent Electoral Commission and all political parties for applying the needed restraint that paved the way for the peaceful conduct of the elections. The peaceful transition of power in accordance with the will of the people is a sacrosanct pillar of democracy. Where the people are free to speak, free to move and free to choose the destiny, there would always be peace. Where there is peace, every child gets the chance to grow his or her potential in an environment of tranquillity.

On behalf of the ECOWAS Heads of State and in my own name, we extend our greatest salutation to H.E. John Dramani Mahama for his leadership in organising a free, fair and transparent electoral process. Giving the people the freedom and the space to choose their own fate is the greatest act of leadership. We are proud of Ghana today, but this is not unexpected. Ghana has been the bastion

of democracy for many decades after years of turbulence.

John, as you leave the State House, please, remember and cherish the fact that you have many roles to play in the future, in Ghana, in Africa and in the world. We all need your creativity and talent. I am thankful for your cordial relation that you developed between our two countries in finding solutions to the burning problems of our nations and our sub-region. I thank you for demonstrating to all, that indeed, there is life after political power. I look forward to joining you in that track when I turn over to a new Administration in a year from now.

Excellencies Heads of State, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, when ECOWAS was found in about forty years ago, every one of the sixteen countries with very few exceptions was under military rule or one party system. Today, we can say that ECOWAS as a region is the lead in democratic transition. The majority of our leaders today reached power through the democratic process. We must ensure that there is no roll back.

We must ensure that this social dispensation is never lost. For, we cannot afford to go back to the days of military coup and social unrest. We are therefore, confident that our region is transitioning to a stable and a sure democratic culture as demonstrated by the peaceful elections and smooth transitions of power in Cape Verde, la Côte d'Ivoire, Nigeria, Benin, Niger and now again, Ghana.

As a region, ECOWAS has made great strives towards integration with one passport, a court, a Parliament and other institutions. This makes us the most integrated community at the regional level. We still face serious challenges when it comes to the free movement of people who travel by road because they

cannot afford air transport. We must ensure that ECOWAS would be truly borderless, and that a truck going from Lagos could reach Dakar without harassment and administrative bottle- necks that constraint trade among our countries. Total integration would only be possible when people could move, live and work freely in any part of ECOWAS.

This is a priority of our region as we work for the transformation under ECOWAS Vision 2020 and the evolution from ECOWAS of States to ECOWAS of people.

While recognising the relevance of all these programmes, we are particularly concerned about the political upheavals within our communities which might have implications for sustainable peace and economic development. All members of ECOWAS are concerned with the increasing incidence of terrorism as intensified in Mali and Burkina Faso.

We are encouraged by the recent victory of the Nigerian Government in the effort to remove the Boko Haram scourge. ECOWAS faces perhaps, the most difficult situation in The Gambia.

After accepting his loss in elections, President Jammeh reversed calls and questioned the results of the elections. He has submitted his grievances to the Supreme Court, which would start its review process on January 10th. ECOWAS is following the process and the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, H.E. Muhammadu Buhari, is leading the effort as ECOWAS' mediator.

We call on the people of The Gambia to follow the example of Ghana, and put the interest of the nation above all personal interests. ECOWAS stands by

the people of The Gambia and would exercise every effort to sustain peace and democracy. We stand by the people of The Gambia and we would want to assure them of our own wearing appearance that the principles of democracy in our entire region.

To you, H.E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo -Addo, we applaud your long-term work and commitment to peace and democracy. We have no doubt that you would strengthen those ideas and you would continue with the political actions that have made Ghana a great nation and an example for all of us.

We warmly welcome you all into the authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government and look forward to the experience and contribution that you would bring to our debates in efforts to integrate our countries further -- economically, socially and politically. Actors may change from time to time but the spirit of unity, peace and solidarity of ECOWAS remains always alive.

Mr President, you have assumed the leadership of this great country at a very difficult time when the world is experiencing sluggish growth, local marketing pressures, particularly, from developing countries -- weak global trade and diminishing capital inflows, terrorism, drugs and human trafficking piracy in the Gulf of Guinea and the impact of climate change.

We know that the stubborn spirit of optimism and hope with which you have reached this far would continue to inspire your action to keep the people of Ghana buoyant during your tenure.

Ghana has always been an active member of ECOWAS and we have no doubt that you would continue to assert Ghana's proactive participation in the activities of the community as we work towards the attainment of our goals. With

you as the newest member, we encourage Ghana's continual commitment to the co- programmes of the sub-regional body including the consolidation of sub- regional peace and security, the conclusion of negotiations and legal actions for the improvement of financial and economic stability in the community.

I would be looking forward to hosting you and your delegation in Monrovia during the 51st Ordinary Summit of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government to be convened in May, 2017.

President Akufo-Addo, once again, on behalf of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, we congratulate you, your Vice President and the gallant people of Ghana. Let the ancient Ghana stand, that stood more than a thousand years ago, be now the modern Ghana and a shining star. Let the light shine even brighter.

Let me conclude by thanking the people of Ghana, sister African countries and the international communities who turned up in their masses today, to celebrate this truly momentous occasion.

Long live Ghana, long live ECOWAS and long live Africa.

I thank you.
Mr Speaker 1:54 p.m.
Your Excellency, on behalf of the House, I would want to express my deepest appreciation for this excellent and most encouraging address.
Hon Members, I shall now invite the special guest of honour for this occasion, the President of the Republic of la Côte
d'Ivoire, H.E. Alhassan Ouatarra to deliver a special address.
Remarks by the President of la Cote d'Ivoire
President of la Cote d'Ivoire (H.E. Alassane Ouattara): Your Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana -- my dear brother, the First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, Your Excellency John Dramani Mahama -- my dear brother, former First Lady Lordina Mahama, Your Excellencies Heads of State, Hon Heads of Government, Your Excellency Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, Her Ladyship, the Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana, Hon Members of Parliament, Your Excellency the Chairperson of the African Union, Your Excellencies Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Your Excellency the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Your Excellencies, distinguished representa- tives of international organisations, distinguished guests, my dear brothers and sisters of Ghana, ladies and gentlemen, it is with a great pleasure that I rise to speak in this mythical square of your independence, full of symbols and history, not only for the people of Ghana but also for all who love peace and justice.
Indeed, the collective memory still remembers and will be remembered that it was here, in 1961 that His Excellency the late President Kwame Nkrumah, pioneer of the independence of Ghana and pan- Africanism, lit for the first time, the eternal flame sending to the Ghanaian people and Africa a message of hope for a united Africa, master of its own destiny.
Your Excellency, Nana Akufo-Addo - - my dear brother, Your Excellencies Heads of State, distinguished guests, this solemn occasion gives me the pleasant opportunity to express, on behalf of the
Ivorian people, the Government of la Cote d'Ivoire and myself, to President Nana Akufo-Addo, my infinite gratitude for the gracious invitation that he kindly extended to me to take part in this ceremony as a Special Guest of Honour.
This distinguished honour bestowed on me and from me to my country and my people, reflects the exceptional quality of the strong relationship forged by history and geography, which so happily exists between our two countries and our people.
Your Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana, Your Excellency Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, I would like to seize this opportunity to reiterate to both of you my warmest congratulations on your brilliant victory in the Presidential Election of December
7, 2016.
Through this act, the people of Ghana have expressed their trust and confidence in you and shown their support for your vision and ambition for Ghana. Your well known leadership, political commitment and love for Ghana and Africa will enable you to successfully make legitimate aspirations of the brotherly people of Ghana.
Your Excellency, my brother Nana Akufo-Addo, Your Excellencies Heads of State, distinguished guests, I would like to take this opportunity to pay due tribute to my brother, the outgoing President, President John Dramani Mahama and congratulate him on the remarkable work accomplished during his tenure as Head of State.
President John Dramani Mahama, as you leave your position as Head of State
of Ghana, I am very pleased to acknowledge the very good collaboration we had had and which had enabled us to make significant progress in streng- thening the economic and sociocultural corporation between our two countries.
I am particularly pleased for the work achieved together towards a consolida- tion of peace, security and integration in our sub-region as indicated shortly by our Chairperson of ECOWAS. In this regard, the people of ECOWAS will always be indebted to you for the important work you accomplished as President of ECOWAS during the period 2014/2015.
Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, the transparent and peaceful elections as well as the smooth handover of power we are witnessing today demonstrated by Ghana, has definitely opted for democracy and peace.
This election has undoubtedly contributed to reinforcing the positive image of West Africa and Africa to the world. I would therefore, like to solemnly reiterate my admiration and pride to President Akufo-Addo and John Dramani Mahama, both great Statesmen for their patriotism and through them to pair a vibrant image to the people of Ghana for the political maturity, sense of discipline and love for peace.
I humbly exhort the people of Ghana to preserve these important ideas which are the foundation for sustainable economic development. Indeed, without democracy, there is no peace and without peace, there is no sustainable economic progress.
Ghana, just like la Cote d'Ivoire, aspires to economic measures in the very near future. To meet this challenge and achieve a big score, Ghana needs a climate of peace and social cohesion. That is why I am
Mr Speaker 1:54 p.m.
Hon Members, order!
On behalf of Parliament, I extend our deep gratitude to His Excellency the President of the Republic of la Cote d'Ivoire for his wonderful message of goodwill.
Hon Members, it is time to invite some of our Special Guests, visiting Heads of State, to congratulate His Excellency the President. Charity begins at home and we shall start with their spouses.
If we have Her Excellency Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, Her Excellency Mrs Samira Bawumia and Mrs Alberta Oquaye here, they should please, proceed to congra- tulate His Excellency and we shall invite our distinguished guests accordingly.
Mr Speaker invited the following Heads of State and dignitaries to congratulate H.E. the President:
i. First Lady -- Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo
ii. Second Lady -- Mrs Samira Bawumia
iii. Spouse of Mr Speaker - Mrs Alberta Ocquaye
iv. H.E. The President of Cote d'Ivoire -- Mr Alassane Ouattara
v. H.E. The President of the Republic of Liberia and ECOWAS Chair -- Mrs Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
vi. H.E. The President of Equatorial Guinea -- Teodoro Mbasogo
vii.H.E. The President of the Republic of Chad -- Idriss Déby
viii. H.E. The President of Nigeria -- Muhammadu Buhari
ix. H.E. The President of Senegal --Macky Sall
x. H.E. The President of Togo -- Faure Gnassingbé
xi. H.E. The President of Sierra Leone -- Ernest Bai Koroma
xii. H.E. The President of Zambia -- Edgar Lungu
xiii.H.E. The President of Guinea -- Alpha Condé
xiv H.E. The President of Benin -- Patrice Talon
xv. H.E. The President of Mali -- Ibrahim Keïta
xvi. H.E. The Prime Minister of Ethiopia -- Hailemariam Desalegn
xvii. H.E. The President of Burkina Faso -- Christian Kaboré
xviii. H.E. The President of Gabon -- Ali Bongo
xix.H.E. The President of Central African Republic-- Faustin- ArchangeTouadéra
xx. H.E. The Vice President of Kenya -- William Ruto
xxi.H.E. The Prime Minister of Sahawri -- Taleb Omar
xxii. H.E. The Second Vice President of Iran -- Mohammad Shariatmadari
xxiii.H.E. The Vice President of Algeria -- Hamid Ansari
xxiv. H.E. The Vice President of Egypt -- Ibrahim Mara
xxvH.E. The Former President of Nigeria -- Olusegun Obasanjo
xxvi. Former United Nations Secretary-General -- Kofi Annan
xxvii. United Nations Under Secretary -- Mohammad Ibn Chambas
xxviii. Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Their Excellencies former Leaders of Ghana:
i. Former President Flt Lt. Jerry John Rawlings
ii. Former President John Agyekum Kufuor
iii. Former President John Dramani Mahama
Mr Speaker 1:54 p.m.
Hon Majority Leader, at this time, what is the indication?
Hon Majority Leader, you may proceed. I recognise you.
Majority Leader (Mr Osei, Kyei- Mensah-Bonsu) 1:54 p.m.
Mr Speaker, on behalf of the House, may I have the singular honour to congratulate His Excellency the President of the Republic, newly coronated, as well as His Excellency the Vice President, on the event of his own coronation and plead
with God that they would be able to deliver and carry this nation to a higher pedestal.
Mr Speaker, the Sitting of this House began in the early hours of this day at exactly twenty-five minutes after twelve midnight which travelled a long way. Certainly, the bones are tired and squeaky and the time reading exactly 1.00 o'clock after noon.
May I beg to move, that this House adjourns proceedings until Tuesday next week at 10.00 a.m.
Minority Leader (Mr Haruna Iddrisu) 1:54 p.m.
Mr Speaker, on behalf of the Minority Caucus and my own personal behalf, let me convey hearty congratulations to the President and the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana and Mr Speaker, to your goodself.
I beg to second the Motion for the adjournment, serving notice that next time, on or before one or five minutes after 12.00 o'clock, we would insist that the process continues for the swearing-in of whoever is the President-elect, in order to avoid a constitutional gap.
Question put and Motion agreed to.