Debates of 27 Mar 2017

MR SPEAKER
PRAYERS 10:40 a.m.

VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT 10:40 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Hon Members, item numbered 2 on the Order Paper -- Correction of Votes and Proceedings and the Official Report.
Hon Members, Correction of Votes and Proceedings dated Friday, 24th March,
2017.

Page 6, 7, 8 . . . 13 --

Hon Member?
Mr Kobena M. Woyome 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I actually rose when you mentioned page 11, but it appeared I did not catch your eye.
Mr Speaker, on page 11, the item numbered (c) cannot be the fact because on Friday, we examined the Annual Estimates of the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
Mr Speaker, as I speak, the draft Report had not even been submitted for us to meet and discuss and agree for the final Report to be ready.
So, the caption here should be withdrawn.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
The Table Office would look into it.
Page 13, 14, 15 … 32.

Hon Member?
Mr Ben A. Banda 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, on 22nd
March, 2017, the Committee --
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Hon Member, page?
Mr Banda 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, looking through the Votes and Proceedings -- we held a meeting with the Ministry of Justice and Attorney-General's Department --
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Hon Member, please, which page do you want to make a correction?
Mr Banda 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, starting from page 17 to 31, our meeting with the Ministry of Justice and Attorney- General's Department was not captured.
The notice was brought to the attention of the Clerks-at-the-Table. So, we thought the meeting would have been captured on Thursday; but same was not done.
Mr Speaker, looking through the Votes and Proceedings, I thought the meeting would have been captured today, but it has not been captured. Mr Speaker, I would want to bring same to the attention of the Clerks-at-the-Table.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
The Table Office would take note accordingly.
Mr Banda 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am most grateful.
rose
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Hon Member?
Mr Ntim 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to refer you to pages 8 and 21. I was in the House, and indeed, I chaired a meeting of a Committee of the House; but I have been marked absent. Meanwhile, on page 21, I have been admitted as having chaired the meeting of the Committee on Health.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Hon Member, noted.
Hon Members, the Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 24th March, 2017, as corrected are hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.
Correction of Official Report dated Wednesday, 8th March, 2017.
rose
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Mubarak 10:50 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
At column 2324, the commentary by the Hon Minority Leader seems to be truncated. It jumped from column 2324 to column 2405.
Could it be corrected accordingly?
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
In the absence of any further corrections, the Official Report of Wednesday, 8th March, 2017, is hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings. [Pause.]
Hon Members, we have visitors.
ANNOUNCEMENTS 10:50 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Members, I have the pleasure to introduce to you a 6-member delegation of Legislators from the House of Assembly of Katsina State of Nigeria, who are on a three (3) day study visit to Ghana.
They are here, among others, to meet and interact with members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, to share knowledge and learn best practices on the different approaches in handling issues of global and regional interests.
The visit is also intended to create the platform for networking between Hon Members with the aim of deepening relations between the two Legislatures.
The delegation comprises the following:
Hon Abdullahi Ibrahim Mahuta -- Leader of the delegation
Hon Tasi'u Musa Maigari -- Member
Hon Bello Abdu Danmusa -- Member
Hon Sirajo Sani -- Member
Hon Abubakar Sulaiman Tunas-- Member
Mr Abubakar Yusuf -- Secretary

Hon Members , on your behalf, I wish them fruitful deliberations and a pleasant stay in our country.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.


Hon Members, item numbered 4 -- Hon Majority Chief Whip?
Mr Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh 10:50 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, items numbered 4 (a) is not ready, so, we may move to item numbered 4 (b) (i) and b (ii)
PAPERS 10:50 a.m.

Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Where are we?
Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, item numbered 4 (c) -- Report of the Health Committee.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Majority Chief Whip, is it item numbered 4 (c)?
Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 10:50 a.m.
Yes, Mr Speaker. Item numbered 4 (c),
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
By the Chairman of the Committee --
Report of the Committee on Health on the Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Health for the year ending 31st December, 2017.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Which other item is ready, please?
Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, item numbered 4 (d) -- Report of the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman of the Committee is not available in the Chamber. The Vice Chairman of the Committee is present to lay the Paper.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Yes, Vice Chairman?
My Vice Chairman of the Committee (on behalf of the Chairman) --
Report of the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs on the Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Agriculture for the year ending 31st December, 2017.
Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Report on item numbered 4 (e) is not ready. We will move to item numbered 4 (f) on Special Budgets.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Majority Leader is the Chairman for the Special Budget Committee, but he is in a meeting.
Could we step it down until he arrives, so that we can move on to --
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Are the documents ready at all?
Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 10:50 a.m.
No, Mr Speaker; they are finalising the Report.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Please, proceed at your convenience.
Item numbered 4(g).
Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Committee is yet to meet. The referral was made on Friday. So, their Report is also not ready.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Then we shall proceed to item numbered 5.
Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, by your leave, we would want to take Motion numbered 10 on the Order Paper on page 6.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Member, item numbered 8?
Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it is rather item numbered 10, the Motion on the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Members, item numbered 10.
Yes, Hon Ministser for Gender, Children and Social Protection?
MOTIONS 11 a.m.

Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection (Ms Otiko Afisah Djaba) 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢255,481,323 for the services of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection for the year ending 31st December, 2017.
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Seth Kwame Acheampong) 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion, and in so doing, present your Committee's Report.
Introduction
The 2017 draft Budget Estimates of the Ministry for Gender, Children and Social Protection were referred to the joint Committee on Gender and Children and Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises for consideration and report, pursuant to Orders 140(4), 175 and 184(1) of the Standing Orders of the House.
This followed the presentation to Parliament of the 2017 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government, by the Minister for Finance (MoF), Hon Ken Ofori-Atta, in accordance with article 179 of the 1992 Constitution and Order 140 (2) of the Standing Orders of the House.
The Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon Otiko Afisa Djaba, with a technical team from the Ministry, its Departments and Agencies, as well as officers from the MoF, assisted the Committee during its deliberations.
Reference documents
1. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana;
ii. The Standing Orders of the House;
iii. The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2017 Financial Year;
iv. The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2016 Financial Year; and
v. Report of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection on
Chairman of the Committee (Mr Seth Kwame Acheampong) 11 a.m.


Financial

Expenditure trends

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection was allocated a total

budget of nine hundred and five million, two hundred and seventy four thousand, three hundred and fifty-seven Ghana cedis (GH¢905,274,357.00) for the 2016 financial year as a result of the Ghana School Feeding Programme Budget which was added to the Ministry's budget.

Table 1: Financial Performance for 2016 Excluding LEAP and School Feeding

SPACE FOR TABLE 1 - PAGE 6 - 11.00 A.M.

SPACE FOR TABLE 1 CONT. - PAGE 7 - 11.00 A.M.

Table 2: 2016 Financial Performance for Social Benefit (LEAP)

SPACE FOR TABLE 2 - PAGE 7 - 11.00 A.M.
Ms Laadi Ayii Ayamba (NDC -- Pusiga) 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to contribute to the Motion, and to recommend that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢255,481,323 for the services of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection for the year ending 31 st
December, 2017.
Mr Speaker, perusing the Report and having listened to the State of the Nation Address, it was realised at the Committee level that there are some disparities, especially when we come to the issue of School Feeding Programme.
Mr Speaker, with the School Feeding Programme, we have an allocation of GH¢ 200 million for this year 2017, while we have a deficit of over GH¢ 400 million. This goes to state that, this year, we have no allocation and we still have a deficit. This is because the GH¢ 200 million would pay half of the arrears while the actual job continues.
Mr Speaker, when it comes to the School Feeding Programme, my justification on the issue is that the Hon Minister for Finance should re-look at it, and this House should support the
Committee so that this money would be made available.
Mr Speaker, this is because there are individual women there cooking for the pupils with their own moneys, without support from any source. When it comes to the pupils, we all know that the School Feeding Programme helps. Enrolments become high, and the sensitivity of children to attend school also becomes high.
This is because children get to know that, at least, when they go to school, they would be able to have something for the day -- there would be a hot meal, and so they would like to go to school.
Mr Speaker, if the caterers are not being paid and we have arrears of GH¢400 million plus, then what do we expect them to use to do the cooking? It means that if they even compel themselves to do the job because they have been contracted, at the end of the day, they would cook whatever they think they could afford, and that would not be good enough for us.
Mr Speaker, I wish that you would use your good office to help the Committee, and for that matter the Ministry, so that we would be able to defray the arrears, in order to make sure that this well organised programme, which helps especially the rural children, is continued and done well.
Mr Speaker, the other issue that has come up, which we have discussed and this House needs to know about, is that, on the issue of Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), we should make sure that its disbursement is done very well in such a way that every single pesewa is given to the beneficiaries.
We should not have the issue where people who struggle there want their moneys, but for technical reasons, officers are not able to get to the communities.
Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, big as it is, does not have its own desk in the districts. There are no district officers. If even there are some, it would be at the regional level, and for that matter, there are no staff at the district level.
Mr Speaker, currently, the Ministry is using the Social Welfare officers, and that is quite a difficult one, because when it comes to the issue of getting the statistics of households or beneficiaries, they would have to depend on people, sometimes, even from Accra.
Mr Speaker, we could imagine a student coming from Accra and going to a place like Gambudugu in Pusiga to go and take statistics of someone, who should be supported. The person, in the first place, does not know Pusiga, and when that person gets to Pusiga, he may not have any knowledge of the terrain, let alone to travel to the communities to do assessments. So, it makes the work very difficult.
Mr Speaker, support should be given so that the Ministry would, at least, be able to get people in the various district offices to be able to do the work as expected of them.
Mr Speaker, in the Budget Statement, we have realised that the headquarters office of the Ministry, which is supposed to be in Accra, has been left out. We have discussed it, and I would want to reiterate that this issue should be taken seriously. This is because when we go to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, we realise that they only
Mr Yusif Sulemana (NDC -- Bole/ Bamboi) 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to add my voice to the Motion that an amount of GH¢255,481,323 be approved for the services of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection for the year ending 31st December, 2017.
In doing so Mr Speaker, I would want to make reference to the policy objectives of the Ministry, and with your permission I read item numbered 6 (vi):
“Safeguard the security, safety and protection of the rights of the vulnerable in the society especially the girl child and women;”
Mr Speaker, in 2014, the then Hon Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, presented a Statement on kayayei on the floor of this Parliament. The Statement was referred to the appropriate Committee. Subsequently, the Committee presented a detailed Report, and there were some recommendations in it.
Mr Speaker, I have struggled going through the Ministry's budget to find out whether it did something with respect to this kayayei menace. I have not been able to see a single budget line trying to implement or tackle the issue of kayayei in this country, and for that matter under the Ministry.
I would want to believe that, it is as a result of budget constraints, so I would want to add my voice to call on the Hon Minister for Finance, through your good office, to consider making provision for kayayei in the midyear budget review.
We all know the importance of tackling this kayayei menace. What I have seen in the Budget Statement is the removal of a levy. I see that as, more or less, an incentive to get more of our children from the north to move into the cities to engage in the kayayei business.
Under the previous Administration, Mr Speaker, some policies were put in place. For instance, the kayayei were given skills training in the areas of dressmaking, hairdressing and many other related skill programmes. Some were given sewing machines; others, seed capital; and some were reintegrated into their communities.
I thought that we should bring this to the fore of this House to as it were, call for additional funding, so that my Sister, the Hon Minister, can continue with this laudable programme.
Having said this Mr Speaker, I call on the House to approve the amount of money earmarked for the Ministry, so that it would be able to carry out its activities in the year 2017.
Mrs Mavis Hawa Koomson (NPP -- Awutu-Senya East) 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion for the approval of the allocation for the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.
Mr Speaker, as my Hon Colleague the Hon Ranking Member rightly mentioned, in the case of the School Feeding Programme, accumulated bills that have not been paid -- It is a very sad issue because this School Feeding Programme is a social intervention which is supposed to help children and encourage them, so that they can attend and learn well at school.
The previous Administration of former President Kufuor introduced this School Feeding Programme. The purpose for it was to help parents who cannot take care of their children in the morning before they go to their work places or market to sell, so that when the children go to school, they can have something to eat.
Meanwhile, at the end of the day, we realised that moneys allocated to this Ministry had not been given to them for the caterers to also give quality food to the children.
I would add my voice that this time round, those moneys should be given to them promptly so that the children can be catered for and they would have the interest to attend school.
It is not that they do not want to attend school, but Mr Speaker, for all we know, it may be because of hardship at home and
they cannot have something to take to school. They think that if they cannot have food at school, why not stay at home, and when somebody sends them or they run errands for other parents, they can have something to eat.
So the Hon Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection should do well to contact the Hon Minister for Finance so that these moneys would be given to her, so that she can run the School Feeding Programme effectively.
Thank you for the opportunity.
Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
The last contribution.
Mr Muhammed A. Gunu (NPP -- Savelugu) 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support and appeal to the House to approve the sum of GH¢255,481,323 for the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.
Mr Speaker, the Ministry continues to serve approximately 1.7 million pupils with one hot nutritious meal every school day. A total of 240,000 beneficiaries, out of approximately 1.7 million pupils enrolled unto the health insurance programme.
It is important that, considering all these, apart from the School Feeding Programme, and the health insurance programme too, the Ministry urgently needs financial support to be able to execute these programmes.
Mr Speaker, I therefore appeal to this Honourable House to approve this amount without delay.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Any comments before the Hon Minister winds up?
Ms Djaba 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I wish to thank this august House for its apt contributions. We are most grateful, and we would put all the issues concerning the school feeding and LEAP into consideration to ensure that the Ministry's mandate and its activities are achieved for the benefit of Mother Ghana.
I humbly thank you.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Thank you very much, Hon Minister.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved:
That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢255,481,323 for the services of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection for the year ending 31st
December, 2017.
Hon Members, item numbered 17, Hon Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture?
ANNUAL ESTIMATES, 2017
Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture
Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture (Mrs Catherine A. Afeku)(MP) 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢43,948,49 for the services of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture for the year ending 31st December 2017.
Mr Speaker, this House's consideration and approval of the Budget would enable the Ministry and its fourteen
implementation agencies to continue to carry out core programmes notably, Management and Administration, Tourism Products Development, Tourism Research and Marketing, Tourism Quality Assurance and Culture, Heritage Management as well as for the delivery of the Ministry's mandate.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Thank you very much, Hon Minister.
The Chairman of the Committee may second the Motion and in doing so present the Report of the Committee.
Chairman of the Committee (Ms Gifty Twum-Ampofo) 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion and wish that a sum of GH¢43, 948, 410.00 be approved, to ensure that the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture could perform all her mandates. In doing so, I present your Committee's Report.
Introduction
The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2017 financial year was presented to the House on Thursday, 2nd March, 2017, by the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta.
The Rt Hon Speaker referred the 2017 Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) to the Joint Committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism and Youth, Sports and Culture for consideration and report in accordance with article 179 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, and pursuant to Orders 140(4) and Orders 159 and 187 of the Standing Orders of the House.
In considering the Annual Budget Estimates, the Committee met with the Hon Minister for Tourism, Arts, and Culture,
Mrs Catherine Abelema Afeku and her technical team from the Ministry. The Committee is grateful to the Hon Minister and officials from the Ministry for their immense contributions.
Reference documents
The following documents served as reference guide during the Committee's deliberations:
i. 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana;
ii. Standing Orders of the House;
iii. MDAs 2016 Actuals;
iv. 2017 Budget Statement and Economic Policy; and
v. 2017 Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
Background
The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC)) is mandated to provide a “strong, stable policy environment for effective mainstreaming of Ghanaian culture into all aspects of national life and to ensure the emergence of a solid and vibrant creative economy to improve and advance the tourism industry.
The Ministry exists to create a conducive environment for sustainable growth and development to enable it contribute enormously to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), through effective and efficient use of appropriate policies, plans, programmes and projects. It is also to develop and sustain Public-Private- Partnership (PPP) with the Diaspora for resource mobilisation and investment.
The Ministry is to facilitate the interface between the government and its implementing bodies in tourism, culture and the creative arts industries as well as international civil society partners and groups.
It has oversight responsibility over fourteen (14) Agencies and subvented organisations namely;
i. Ghana Tourism Authority;
ii. Hotel Catering and Tourism Training Centre (HOTCATT);
iii. Ghana Tourism Development Company;
iv. National Commission on Culture;
v. Bureau of Ghana Languages;
vi. Ghana Museums and Monuments Board;
vii.National Theatre of Ghana;
viii. Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park;
ix. W.E.B. Dubois Memorial Centre;
x. National Symphony Orchestra;
xi. Ghana Dance Ensemble;
xii. Abibigromma Theatre Company;
xiii.National Folklore Board;
xiv.Pan African Writers Association.
Objectives
The objectives of the Ministry as derived from the National Medium-Term Development Policy (NMTDP) framework are as follows:-
  • [MS TWUM-AMPOFO Facilitate the establishment of the tourism satellite account; Produce tourism promotional materials (brochures, maps CDs fliers); Collect and Analyse tourism data. Tourism quality assurance Develop standards for new tourism enterprises (conference centers, SPAs, parks, health .Farms, off- shore catering establishments, tour guides) and tourist attractions; Print six thousand (6,000) copies of inspection schedules, summary sheets and application forms; Inspect and license five thousand five hundred (5,500) informal tourism plants and highway rest stops. Culture, Creative Arts and Heritage Development Organise Cultural exchange programmes for Creative artistes and officials; Organise training programmes on cloth wearing and traditional Dance; Organise Theatre for development performances in second cycle schools; Research into new dance forms to promote Ghanaian culture; Payment of subscription to international organisations; Conduct feasibility studies on Christiansborg Castle Cultural Enclave. Observations and Recommendations Marine Drive Project The Committee observed with satisfaction, that the Ministry would commence the Marine Drive Project targeted to generate revenue for the Ministry. The area which will be compulsorily acquired by government for the project will be from the Osu Christianborg Castle to the Arts Centre in Accra. It is the expectation of the Committee that the Osu Traditional Council and other beneficiaries of the Ga Traditional Council will be duly compensated after the acquisition. The project will transform the area into a tourism enclave to provide jobs for the youth in the area. Revenue leakages The Committee expressed concern about revenue leakages in connection with the manual system of operation at the various tourist sites. The Committee is urging the Ministry to procure an internet infrastructure to reduce human discretion in the collection of revenue. The Ministry, as a matter of urgency, should liaise with financial institutions to establish offices at the tourist sites to assist with revenue collection. Non-Payment of Subscriptions The Committee further observed that the Ministry has not been able to honour its international obligations due to the non-payment of its subscriptions which have been in arrears since 2013. It is important that the Ministry is provided with funds to meet these outstanding payments for subscriptions. The payment of these moneys will restore the relations with their counterparts internationally; and also enable personnel of the sector to participate in their annual meetings and conferences. National Theatre of Ghana The Committee also noted that the National Theatre of Ghana, which is responsible for the promotion of national culture has been put on industrial tariff system by the Electricity Company of Ghana. National Theatre therefore is made to pay huge bills to the Electricity Company of Ghana from the revenue it generates from its activities and this is hampering its operational activities. The Committee would like to recommend, that the Ministry liaises with the Ministry of Energy to have the tariff system of the National Theatre reviewed to suit its operations. It also came to the fore that the National Theatre building, which is about twenty- five years old, has developed several leakages and would have to undergo maintenance works. Allocations would also have to be made for periodic maintenance of the National Theatre building before the situation gets out of hand. Ghana National Dance Company The Committee also took note of some difficulties facing the Ghana Dance Company such as the lack of funds to purchase drums and vehicles for the Company to enable them undertake their regional assignments. It is recommended that the Company be provided with resources to meet logistical and transportation challenges so that they would take on board their outreach programmes. Model to transform the Ministry The Committee's attention was also drawn to the fact that the Ministry is currently preparing a model that will be able to attract investors; and a legislation to develop new approaches to improve the health, safety and security standards of the tourist sites in the country. The Committee recognises the need for such a model which is critical to transform the sector and an appropriate legislation to effectively manage the tourist sites in the country. Conclusion In conclusion, the Committee, having carefully examined the 2017 Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, recommends to the House to adopt its Report and approve the sum of forty-three million, nine hundred and forty-eight thousand, four hundred and nine Ghana cedis (GH¢43,948,409.00). Respectfully Submitted. Question proposed.
  • Mr Avedzi 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Motion has been moved and seconded and your directive says it is for the consideration of the House, but Mr Speaker, unfortunately, we do not have copies of the Report. I went round to check if Hon Members from my side of the House have copies, but they do not have even a single copy.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Hon Majority Chief Whip?
    Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I agree with the Hon Deputy Minority Leader. Few copies have been distributed but every Hon Member needs to get a copy before we can make a meaningful contribution to the debate. So Mr Speaker, if it could be stood down, while we take another Motion awaiting the distribution of the Report.
    Thank you Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Motion listed 12, item 12?
    ANNUAL ESTIMATES, 2017
    Ministry of Transport
    Minister for Transport (Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah) 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢443,921,709 for the services of the Ministry of Transport for the year ending 31st December 2017.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Thank you very much. Hon Chairman of the Committee to
    second the Motion and in so doing present the Report.
    Chairman of the Committee (Mr Kwabena Owusu-Aduomi) 11:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion and in so doing, present your Committee's Report.
    Introduction
    On Thursday, 2nd March, 2017, the Minister for Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori Atta,
    in fulfilment of article 179 of the 1992 Constitution, presented to the House the 2017 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government.
    In accordance with Standing Orders 140 (4) and 189 of the House, the budget Estimates of the Ministry of Transport was referred to the Committee on Roads and Transport for consideration and report.
    The Committee on Wednesday, 22nd
    March, 2017 met with the sector Minister, Hon Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, the Chief Director and heads of agencies of the sector Ministry, officials of Ministry of Finance and reports as follows:
    It should be noted that the programme- based budget for 2017 covers the Ministry of Transport Headquarters and the following agencies:
    Maritime and inland waterways
    (i) Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority,
    (ii) Ghana Maritime Authority,
    (iii)Ghana Shippers Authority,
    (iv) Regional Maritime University
    (RMU),
    (v) PSC Tema Shipyard,
    (vi) Volta Lake Transport Company Limited,
    Road transport services
    (i) Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA),
    (ii) National Road Safety Commission (NRSC),
    (iii) Metro Mass Transport Limited
    (MMT)
    (iv) Inter-City STC Coaches Limited
    (v) Government Technical Training Centre (GTTC),
    Reference documents
    The Committee made references to the following documents during the consideration of the Estimates;
    (i) The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana,
    (ii) The Standing Orders of Parliament,
    (iii)The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government for the 2017 financial year,
    (iv) The Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for 2016- 2018 Programme based Budget Estimates for 2017 for the Ministry of Transport; and
    (v) The Report of the Committee on the 2016 Estimates for the Ministry of Transport.
    Vision of the Ministry of Transport
    The vision of the Ministry of Transport is to create an integrated, modally complementary, cost effective, safe, secure, sustainable and seamless transportation system responsive to the needs of society, supporting growth and poverty reduction and capable of establishing Ghana as a transportation hub of West Africa.
    Mission and Policy Objectives Mission
    The Ministry's mission is to provide leadership and guidance for the development of the transport sector, through effective policy formulation, market regulation, asset management and service provision.
    Policy objectives
    The policy objectives of the Ministry as stated in the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA II) are as follows:
    (i) Establish Ghana as a transportation hub for the West African sub-region.
    (ii) Create and sustain an efficient transport system that meets the user needs.
    (iii)Integrate land use, transport planning, development planning and service provision.
    (iv) Create appropriate environment for private sector participation in the delivery of transport infrastructure.
    (v) develop and implement a comprehensive and integrated policy, governance and institutional frameworks,
    (vi) Ensure sustainable development in the transport sector; and
    (vii) Develop adequate human resource capacity and apply new technology.
    Achievements of the Ministry of Transport in the 2016 Fiscal Year
    Management and Administration
    A bus terminal was constructed at Adenta and a Maintenance Facility at Achimota is 53 per cent completed.
    Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Question proposed.
    Mr Kwame G. Agbodza (NDC -- Adaklu) 11:30 a.m.
    Thank you Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion numbered 12 on today's Order Paper, for this House to approve the sum of GH¢443, 921,709.00 for the Ministry of Transport.
    Just as has been said by the Hon Chairman, the Committee noted a few things that the Ministry told us. We have been told that for instance, the Metro Mass Transit and State Transport Corporation have seen improvement in the fleet of vehicles they have these days. We can all see that, and more are supposed to come on board which is aimed at providing affordable means of road transport to the Ghanaian public.
    Mr Speaker, on marine, we have also been told that the work on the Tema Port expansion project has commenced. That is in addition to the work that has already been done in Takoradi which has led to more vessels going in there. This means that more people are getting jobs and we are getting more value for that Port.
    We have also been told that as a result of the Tema Port project, the contractor is through with the corporate social responsibility, he is doing some expansion works around the Tema end of the Motorway which is very helpful. We pray that it continues and ends properly.
    Mr Speaker, we have been told about some inland port projects that are ongoing. The Hon Minister assured us that he would see to the completion of all these. Taking the New Patriotic Party's (NPP) Manifesto and the President's commitment to sowing the seed in this country, I have not seen anything in this Budget for the Ministry of Transport that tells me that any new seed is being planted.
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Order! Order!
    Mr Agbodza 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, why are you so excited? If all the President is coming to do is complete what former President Mahama has started, then what is new about this? What is the new seed that is being sown in this area?
    Dr Anthony A. Osei 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I need your guidance here. I thought that we had debated the principles of the Budget a long time ago and that this august House has approved it. Now, we are looking at the Estimates. If my Hon Good Friend would keep to the Estimates, it would help all of us.
    Mr Agbodza 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, may I remind my Hon Senior Colleague that this Report has got things about policy as well in it. If he wanted us to only debate the Estimates, he should have excluded the policy issues there. In any case, I think that I am entitled as a Ranking Member to tell you what I think about this Budget.
    I have no problem with it. I know the Hon Minister is capable and the President has got a vision to develop this country. I am only worried that this particular Budget does not tell me that there is going
    to be anything new. All we are going to see is what former President Mahama has started and some of them may not even be completed.
    I ask myself what is new in this Budget. There is absolutely nothing new in this Budget. I wish my Hon Good Friend the Minister well. We would cooperate and work with him to complete the projects that former President Mahama started.
    Thank you very much Mr Speaker.
    Mr Kwabena O. Darko-Mensah (NPP -- Takoradi) 11:30 a.m.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to add my voice to this debate.
    If you look at the Report of the Committee, on page 7, you would realise that the Ministry requested GH¢758,265,173.00 but were given GH¢443,921,709.00. The reason I got up is that every time they make such planned requests and they do not get them, it becomes very difficult for them to implement a lot of the major policies of State.
    We are all aware that as at the end of 2016, this country was broke. Naturally, I do not expect my Hon Colleague over there to insist that it is only former President Mahama's projects that are being done.
    Government is continuous, therefore we have been a responsible Government today to continue the projects of former President Mahama. The National Democratic Congress (NDC) should be thankful to the NPP. What we are doing to continue the projects of the old administration is in the right direction. According to chapter 6 of our Constitution, the Directive Principles of State Policy, there is nothing wrong with the NPP Government moving the agenda
    of the old Government forward to make sure that this country benefits from it.
    Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
    Hon Members, there is too much noise in the House.
    Mr Darko-Mensah 11:30 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Regional Maritime University is a university for the sub-region. It is a university that we need to equip to be able to train our young men and women. As we speak, they do not have a ship to train these young men and women.
    I believe that if the Hon Minister for Finance is coming back in June for the review, he should make some planning and arrangements to make sure that the need for a ship which I am told would cost US$12 million is provided for. This is so that the Regional Maritime University can train more young men and women who can be exported so that they can go out there, perform services and bring dollars into this country.
    Mr Speaker, with these few words, I would like to thank you for the audience and opportunity. I hope Hon Members would support this Budget for the Ministry.
    Mr James K. Avedzi (NDC -- Ketu North) 11:40 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    I just want to look at some fundamental errors we have, not exactly in the Report but in reference to the amount in the Budget Statement.
    The amount for Internally Generated Funds (IGF) is GH¢38,056,536.00. If you open to page 191 -- and I want the Hon
    Chairman of the Finance Committee and Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation to look at that -- Page 191, non-tax revenue for 2017 projection, there are three columns.
    There are Retention, Lodgment and Collection columns. If you take the first item, Retention is GH¢217,026, Lodgment is GH¢112,112,009 and Collection is
    GH¢105,017.
    Mr Speaker, Retention and Lodgment put together should constitute Collection. So if you are retaining GH¢217,020 and you are lodging, GH¢112,009 million, the Collection should be about GH¢329,035.

    So, there is an error in the Budget Statement.

    Mr Speaker, if we look at the amount for the Ministry of Transport under the “retention” column, it should be GH¢96,000,000.00 and not GH¢38,000,000.00. [Interruption] -- Why should it be the Ministry of Tourism? We are looking at the Ministry of Transport and not the Ministry of Tourism.

    Mr Speaker, the amount for the Ministry of Transport for retention which is at column one on page 192 of the Budget Statement should be GH¢96.6 million and not GH¢38,057,000.00 which is under “lodgment”.

    Mr Speaker, there is a fundamental error in the Budget Statement and if we go by that, we would not make any headway.

    Mr Speaker, I only want to draw the attention of the House to that error. [Interruption] -- They have seen it and they know what I talked about.
    rose
    Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Dr Akoto Osei?
    Dr A. A. Osei 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, my Good Friend has pointed out a trans-positional error that the Hon Minister for Finance has taken note of that. The last column should be the total and the components should be the “retention” and the “lodgment”. It is a trans-positional error which the Ministry of Finance has taken note of.
    Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Hon Members, we can go on with the basic as that administrative error is sorted out.
    rose
    Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Haruna Iddrisu 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, once the trans-positional error has been admitted and we are assured that it would be corrected accordingly, we can proceed for you to put the Question with regard to the Annual Estimates for the Ministry of Transport.
    Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Very well.
    Thank you very much.
    Any comments from Leadership on the debate?
    Question put and Motion agreed to
    Resolved:
    That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢443,921,709 for the services of the Ministry of Transport for the year ending 31st December 2017.
    Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Majority Chief Whip?
    Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, we may take item numbered 14 on the Order Paper.
    ANNUAL ESTIMATES, 2017
    Office of Government Machinery
    Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation (Dr Anthony Akoto Osei)(MP) 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢1,560,926,672 for the services of the Office of Government Machinery for the year ending 31st December 2017.
    Mr Speaker, I would say a few words now, and come back later after I have heard comments and discussions from Hon Members and comment further.
    Mr Speaker, it is important to know that this year, the budget for the Office of National Security is no longer under the Office of Government Machinery.
    Secondly, there are a couple of new things in the Office of Government Machinery that we have to take note of. The first is the initiative called Poverty Alleviation and that in itself has a large value of money attached to it.
    My Hon Colleagues on the other side of the aisle said that the budget of the Office of Government Machinery is so much that they have not seen anything like that before. They should take note that this is a new initiative called the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP) which alone would command a tag of over GH¢1billion. It is a new initiative and that is why that sum is so huge. If that is taken out, then the regular budget is considerably less.
    Mr Speaker, I would allow the Hon Chairman of the Committee to present the Committee's Report and I would wind up after I have heard contributions.
    Mr Speaker 11:40 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
    Chairman of the Finance Committee (Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah) 11:40 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion and in so doing, present your Committee's Report.
    The Annual Estimates for the Office of Government Machinery was laid in the House and referred to the Finance Committee for consideration and report, in accordance with article 179 of the Constitution and Standing Orders of the House. This follows the presentation of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government by the Minister for Finance, Hon Ken Ofori-Atta for the year ending 31st December 2017.
    The Committee met with the Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr. John Jinapor, the Chief Director, Mr Kizito Ballans and their technical team from the Office of Government Machinery and reports as follows:
    Reference documents
    1. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana;
    2. The Standing Orders of the House;
    3. The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government for the 2017 financial year
    Background
    Government Machinery embraces the constitutional view of the Office of the President as the seat of Government, those Organisations whose operations fall outside traditional areas of sectoral responsibilities, for which the Office of the President (Core Government Machinery) exists to provide administrative, managerial and technical services.
    The Office of Government Machinery comprises:
    i. Office of the President
    ii. Scholarships Secretariat
    iii. Ghana AIDS Commission
    iv. Commissions and Councils
    V. National Population Council
    vi. Ghana Investment Promotion Centre
    vii. Internal Audit Agency
    viii.Savannah Accelerated Develop- ment Authority
    ix. Microfinance and Small Loans Centre
    X. Office of the Administrator - General
    xi. Millennium Development Authority
    xii. Public Sector Reform Secretariat
    xiii.African Fund for bio fuels development
    xiv.State Enterprises Commission
    xv. Divestiture Implementation Committee.
    Goals and objectives
    The Office of Government Machinery exists to institutionalise open, transparent and accountable governance for the attainment of government's development agenda of improving the quality of life of Ghanaians. The Office of Government Machinery's policy objectives among others include:
    Chairman of the Finance Committee (Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah) 11:40 a.m.
    It would also develop and promulgate a comprehensive state vehicle fleet management policy. It would also develop a website, finalise draft organisational manual and prepare a Scheme of Service for the office.
    State Enterprises Commission
    The Commission plans to organise and sign performance contracts with forty- three (43) state owned enterprises. It would also conduct monitoring visits and prepare evaluation reports to all the state owned enterprises.
    The Commission would organise Corporate Governance workshops for the newly appointed Board Members and Chief Executives. It would also train its staff and integrate the database of all forty-three (43) state owned enterprises.
    Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA)
    SADA plans to establish a development office to aid in resource mobilisation and to oversee the implementation of the Authority's master plan in accordance with government priorities.
    SADA would plan aggressively to market the priority investment projects and to strengthen capacity for investment promotion and resolving problems on the ground.
    The Authority would roll out an e- ADAPP in collaboration with MoFA and others and pursue investments into strategic agriculture infrastructure.
    SADA hopes to secure support for the construction of its offices and expand its capacity to support the implementation of
    its master plan and the delivery of government priority projects.
    General observations
    Total Expenditure outturn for 2016
    The Committee observed from the Annual Estimates for 2016, that the total expenditure as at 31st December, 2016 stood at one billion, three hundred and six million, three hundred and twenty-five thousand and seventy-six Ghana cedis twenty-three pesewas (GH¢l,306,325,076.23) as against an approved budget of seven hundred and nineteen million, one hundred and eight thousand, nine hundred and eleven Ghana cedis (GH¢719,108,911).
    The technical team explained that the excess expenditure were in respect of a number of Agencies such as the National Security, Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) and Research Department which used to be under the Office of Government Machinery in 2016.
    As a result of policy changes, these Agencies are no longer under the OGM and therefore their Budgets are no longer part of the 2017 budget. The agencies would also account for their expenditure for 2016 under the Ministries that would supervise them. It was therefore prudent to take them out of the OGM in order avoid double counting.
    Programmes under the Office of Government Machinery
    The Committee was informed that out of the Budgetary allocation of one billion, five hundred and sixty million, nine hundred and twenty-six thousand, six hundred and seventy-two Ghana cedis (GH¢1,560,926,672) a total amount of one billion, eighty-two million, eight hundred and seventy-six thousand, six hundred and nine Ghana cedis (GH¢1,082,876,609) (representing 69.4%) has been allocated for capital expenditure.
    Out of this capital Expenditure allocation, a total amount of nine hundred and ninety-two million, eight hundred and
    seventy-six thousand, six hundred and ten Ghana cedis (GH¢992,876,610) has been specifically allocated to finance the unlisted Social Intervention Programmes:
    One District One Factory -- GH¢433,435,120
    Small Business Development -- GH¢104,786,513
    Agric Inputs -- GH¢ 66,682,326
    One Village One Dam -- GH¢ 89,723,825
    Water for all Projects -- GH¢ 44,561,913
    Sanitation Projects -- GH¢ 44,861,913
    Zongo Development Fund -- GH¢ 208,525,000
    Capital Expenditure for the Twenty-Two Agencies
    The Committee was informed that a total amount of ninety million Ghana de- dis (GH¢90, 000,000) has been allocated to all the twenty-two (22) cost centers under the OGM for their CAPEX. This amount represents the balance left after deducting the nine hundred and ninety- two million, eight hundred and seventy- six thousand, six hundred and ten Ghana cedis (GH¢992,876,610) for social intervention programmes from the Capital expenditure budget of one billion, eighty- two million, eight hundred and seventy- six thousand , six hundred and nine Ghana cedis (GH¢1,082,876,609).
    The Deputy Chief of Staff informed the Committee that in view of the quantum of the balance, the Office has directed that the entire amount be held at the Office of the Chief of Staff. Agencies that require assets may make an application to the Chief of Staff. He expressed the view that in this way, the utilisation of the money would be more beneficial to the office.
    Payment of critical items
    The committee was informed that a total amount of three hundred and eighty- eight million, four hundred and seventy eight thousand, five hundred and forty- five thousand Ghana cedis (GH¢388, 478,545.00) was allocated for Goods and Services under Government of Ghana (GoG) Funds.
    The Deputy Chief of staff indicated that the Office was faced with the payment of critical items. These were made up of outstanding scholarship payments and the Counterpart Funding for MCA Compact II. Provision has also been made for the new ministers under the office as well as other important commitments.
    The Committee was informed that in view of the critical nature of these items, a total amount of three hundred and twenty- six million, six hundred and eighty-six thousand, nine hundred and thirty-one Ghana cedis (GH¢326,686,931) was allocated from the Goods and Services vote for the items as follows:

    Scholarships -- GH¢203,533,267

    Counterpart Funding for -- GH¢ 20,000,000

    MCA Compact II New Ministers at the Presidency -- GH¢ 7,000,000

    Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme -- GH¢ 18,469,289

    One District One factory -- GH¢ 22,812,375

    Zongo Development Fund -- GH¢10,975,000

    National Entrepreneurship and Innovation programme -- GH¢43,900,000

    Total -- GH¢326,686,931
    Chairman of the Finance Committee (Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah) 11:40 a.m.
    The breakdown is as follows:
    Table 4 -- Scholarship Requirements up to 2017
    SPACE FOR TABLE 4, PAGE 18, 11.40 A.M
    Total budgetary allocation for 2017 amounted to two hundred and five million, forty-eight thousand, two hundred and sixty-seven Ghana cedis (GH¢205,
    048,267).
    It was explained that the arrears dates back two years ago and indicated that in view of the challenges that the students are in, a total amount of two hundred and three million, five hundred and thirty- three thousand, two hundred and sixty-seven Ghana cedis (GH¢203,533,267) from the allocation would be used to pay the arrears. This would, however, not be sufficient to finance the funding requirement of the Secretariat.
    Council of State
    The Committee observed that for 2017, a total amount of two million, four hundred seventy-eight thousand, eight hundred and twenty-five Ghana cedis (GH¢2, 478,825) has been allocated for Goods and Services.
    The technical team informed the Committee that this amount would be applied to complete the on-going construction of the Council of State building.
    Divestiture Implementation Committee
    (DIC)
    The Committee was informed that DIC has not been able to bring closure on the divestiture of State owned companies due to lack of funding. The DIC is also inundated with a number of lawsuits mainly from severance packages and land titles. Further, DIC is also faced with a number of challenges including loss of key staff, inadequate budgetary allocations, dwindling divestiture proceeds as well as logistic challenges.
    The Committee was informed that divestiture is one of Government's policies and that Government may undertake divestiture of any entity at any time.
    There was therefore the need to resource the DIC in order to undertake its mandate effectively.
    Microfinance and Small Loans Centre
    (MASLOC)
    For the year 2017, the MASLOC plans to undertake the following programme with loanable Funds:

    SPACE FOR TABLE, PAGE 19 - 11.40 A.M.
    Chairman of the Finance Committee (Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah) 11:50 a.m.
    The Committee was informed that some of the assets divested by DIC have not been fully paid. The Committee therefore recommends to DIC to ensure that payments are fully effected.
    The Committee recommends to the Office of the President and the Ministry of Finance to ensure the release of funds to pay DIC's outstanding severance to workers.

    Office of the President

    The Committee realised that most of the Agencies under the Office of the President used their Internally Generated Funds (IGF) without seeking authorisation from the Ministry of Finance.

    The Committee therefore recommends to the Chief of Staff to organise a seminar on the new Public Financial Management (PFM) law for all the Departments and Agencies under her jurisdiction.

    Conclusion

    The Committee after critically examining the 2017 Annual Estimates of the Office of Government Machinery recommends that the House approves the sum of (GH¢1,560,926,672 ) for the 2017 financial year.

    Respectfully submitted.

    Question proposed.
    Mr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson (NDC — Ajumako/Enyan/Essiam) 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to support the Motion that was moved by the Hon Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation and seconded by the Hon Chairman of the Finance Committee.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    Hon Members, order!
    Hon Members, we expect that at the time of such serious debates, Hon Members would seriously be attentive and then make relevant contributions when necessary.
    Hon Member, you may please continue.
    Mr Forson 11:50 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, looking at paragraph 20 of the Budget Statement, I was trying to compare, indeed, what the Hon Minister said in paragraph 20 to the Estimates.
    Mr Speaker, at the committee meeting, the Deputy Chief of Staff who represented the Chief of Staff at the committee meeting, indeed, the “One District One Factory”, the Zongo Development Fund, together with the key government priority
    Mr Forson 11:50 a.m.


    are those ones that the Government indeed has allocated an amount of

    GH¢992,876,609 .

    Mr Speaker, the Budget Statement was clear that, indeed, an amount of US$1 million would be allocated to each constituency. Clearly, if we are to take the end period exchange rate of Bank of Ghana — This is a public document and one can find it on the website of the Bank of Ghana. As at 31st December, 2016, the exchange rate was GH¢4.181 for US$1.

    Mr Speaker, if we are to multiply that by US$275 million, we would get in excess of GH¢1 billion. We were told that indeed, the only amount that had been allocated for the districts for this project is GH¢992,876,609. This amount falls short of the US$1 million per each constituency.

    Mr Speaker, apart from that, an impression was created that this budget would fund the One-District One- Factory programme —

    Dr A. A. Osei — On a point of order.

    Mr Speaker, I just want to bring the attention of my Hon Colleague to the fact that it cannot be true that only GH¢992,876,609 was allocated — If we look at page 178, he is talking about the amount only allocated for CAPEX. We would get over GH¢1 billion if we add Goods and Services. And so he should make sure that he states it correctly.

    Indeed, the amount allocated under CAPEX is GH¢992,876,609, but that is not the only thing there. There is Goods and Services — [Interruption] — It is GH¢992,876,609 for CAPEX and GH¢52,256,664 for Goods and Services.
    Mr Forson noon
    Mr Speaker, it is very interesting to hear from the Hon Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation that indeed, the US$1 million per each constituency would be used for the purposes of Goods and Services.
    Mr Speaker, we were told categorically that they are going to build One District One Factory —

    Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh — On a point of order.

    Mr Speaker, the Hon Member on the floor just said that, for all the government initiatives, only GH¢992,876,609 had been allocated, and that if even US$1 million per constituency was going to be envisaged, taking the end period Bank of Ghana rate, we would need more than we have allocated.

    The Hon Member for Old Tafo rises to say that he is looking at only the CAPEX aspect of the financing. He has not looked at Goods and Services, and he responds to say that he is not talking about Goods and Services.

    Mr Speaker, obviously, he has read something that he did not fully grasp and he is going on and he is being intransigent to change. The point of the matter is that, it is not only Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) that makes up Government funding. So the Hon Member should look at other areas as well. A loan agreement can be contracted during the year and the Hon Member would have to come and support it. So what is the Hon Ranking Member saying?
    Mr Speaker noon
    Hon Minister for Education, the Hon Ranking Member may hold strongly to his views without necessarily being intransigent. If you would kindly withdraw that and let us make progress.
    Dr Prempeh noon
    Mr Speaker, I withdraw it; but he was trying to -- [Interruption.]
    Mr Speaker noon
    Thank you very much.
    Hon Ranking Member, would you please continue?
    Mr Forson noon
    Mr Speaker, you would notice on page 12 that agricultural inputs can never be Capital Expenditure; it is Goods and Services. We would also notice in paragraph 2 on page 7 that clearly, an amount of GH¢992 million was the amount that the Ministry allocated to the Office of the Chief of Staff for the purposes of this function.
    Mr Speaker, that is why I am computing US$275 million equivalent in cedi terms. Even if I am charitable enough to use the end period exchange rate of GH¢4.181 or not, that indeed is far more than the amount we see here.
    Mr Speaker, my other concern is that, we should be very careful in centralising Government projects at the Office of the Chief of Staff. This country is spending huge amounts of money in training civil and public servants for the purposes of taking care of Government projects. Now that we are taking all these projects to the Office of the Chief of Staff for implementation, what would our Civil servants be doing?
    Mr Speaker, if we are to look at the capital expenditure at the Office of the Chief of Staff alone, it is more than all the infrastructure ministries put together. It is more than that of the Ministry of Roads and Highways, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Agriculture and many more including the economic ministries.
    It is for that reason that I would want to use this platform to caution against the centralised way of taking Government resources to the Office of the Chief of
    Nkrumah — rose
    Mr Speaker noon
    Hon Member?
    Mr Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah (NPP -- Ofoase/Ayirebi) noon
    Mr Speaker, I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the floor.
    Indeed, the Committee had the opportunity to engage with the Deputy Chief of Staff and detailed answers to many of the questions that were bedevilling our minds. For the purposes of our contribution, I would like to speak to just about three major issues.
    Mr Speaker, firstly, I would speak about Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) and in speaking to the subject of MASLOC, I would like to commend the new leadership of MASLOC for their commitment to refocus MASLOC and to ensure that it becomes a sustainable programme.
    While doing that, we would like to encourage MASLOC to ensure that as quickly as possible, they get an asset quality report which would ensure that the credit facilities they are offering and the things they are giving on credit are really recoverable over the years. We would also like to encourage them to pursue an enabling legislation to ensure that MASLOC operates within a properly structured legal regime to avoid future challenges to the centre.
    Mr Speaker, the next matter I would like to speak on is the Scholarships Secretariat. Over the years, we have ran a system where the Scholarships Secretariat had a lot of arrears; continues
    Mr Speaker noon
    Hon Fiifi Kwetey?
    Mr Fifi Franklin Fiavi Kwetey (NDC -- Ketu South) noon
    Mr Speaker, I also wish to support the Motion asking this House to approve the sum of GH¢1,560,926,672 for the 2017 financial year.
    Mr Speaker, in saying so, let me quickly point out that it is a bit disconcerting that we see a tendency towards centralisation when as a country, we should be moving
    more and more into trusting various organisations and institutions to be able to push forward the agenda for our country. This seeming distrust, if we are not careful, is going to lead to a situation where critical projects that this Government wants to undertake would not be realised.
    Mr Speaker, it is almost as though the President does not seem to have a lot of confidence in his own ministries, because I would have thought that if he has as many as 110 Ministers and their Deputies, the least he can do is to have as much confidence in them that they would be able to prosecute his agenda.
    To take away critical resources from these ministries, a Ministry that is supposed to be in charge of employment and industrialisation and you would want to have a “One-District One-Factory”. Then you take away critical resource and bring it to the centre where you are going to be in full charge of it. It simply shows that you do not have a lot of confidence in your own Ministers and that causes quite a lot of difficulty.
    The other issue has to do with the whole issue of distrust. Distrust because when you were on a campaign trip, you spoke to this country and created a clear impression that you wanted to bring “One-District One-Factory”. That is one promise and you wanted to ensure that for every constituency, US$I million dollars was made available.
    Now you take over power only to tell the country now that really, what you have is US$1 million for every constituency and out of that money, you are now going to have “One District “One-Factory”, “One-Village One-Dam” and all that. It amounts to really taking the country for a ride.
    We should not encourage this, going into the future. These are very important initiatives and if they could be achieved, the country clearly will be better served. But if you start already from a position where you are really not being very forthright with the people, clearly, it is going to create a difficulty.
    Mr Speaker, it is important to appreciate that the point raised earlier --
    Dr Prempeh — rose --
    Mr Speaker noon
    Yes, Hon Minister for Education?
    Dr Prempeh 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, two words -- mistrust and distrust. The Hon Member started by saying mistrust and distrust. He is now saying that we are not being forthright.
    Mr Speaker, I can say on the floor of this House that, nowhere in the NPP Manifesto did we say “One-District One- Factory” would be achieved in one Budget. Nowhere in the NPP Manifesto did we say US$1 million dollars would not be done. To say that we have deceived the people of Ghana is impugning ill motive.
    Mr Speaker, he should withdraw and apologise to the House for impugning ill motive -- [Uproar] -- [Hear! Hear!]
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Hon Member, deception necessarily implies ill motive. Would you withdraw and proceed?
    Mr Kwetey 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if it comes across that way, I withdraw that.
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Please proceed.
    Mr Kwetey 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the point needs to be stressed that it is important for us at every moment to try to be very forthright in everything we do. [Interruption.] -- That is the truth.
    Mr Kwetey 12:10 p.m.


    Yes, not being forthright is not an insult. It is simply the truth.

    Mr Speaker, if I could just make reference to the Budget Statement.
    Dr Prempeh 12:10 p.m.
    On a point of order.
    Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague who is speaking wants to draw some of us into an area he dare not lead us. In fact, if he heard the New Patriotic Party (NPP) right, the word we used during this debate is not the word he is trying to put in the mouth of the NPP.
    Mr Speaker, we said we would realign the GH¢1.6 billion capital budget to take care of our priorities. Where did we say we are even offering something new? We said there was abuse and misuse of the capital budget under their Government and we are going to prioritise and make sure that the GH¢1 million per constituency is funded out of the GH¢ 1.6 billion capital budget. Where did we say we are going to bring in new money?
    Mr Speaker, he should not dare paint us black and then go and execute us. Say what we said and criticise us and we would accept it.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Kwetey 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, let me just make direct reference to the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of 2017.
    Paragraph 20 of the Budget Statement reads, and with your permission, I quote:
    “Mr Speaker, the 2017 Budget will set in motion the following key policy priorities and flagship projects:
    establishment of the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Project (IPEP). Under this project, every constituency will be allocated the cedi equivalent of US$1 million to combat poverty and improve the lives of rural dwellers and deprived communities
    implementation of the “One District, One Factory” pro- gramme
    establishment of the Zongo Development Fund to support the provision of critical infrastructure and services

    restoration of teachers and nurses training allowances.”

    Mr Speaker, it is clear that from this Budget Statement, the Hon Minister clearly meant that these are different projects and programmes that are going to be undertaken. It is obvious.

    So, Mr Speaker, in concluding, let me say that, these initiatives are important.
    Dr Prempeh 12:10 p.m.
    On a point of order.
    Mr Speaker, I wonder which budget he is reading -- [Interruption.] -- Yes, we are all there.
    Some Hon Members 12:10 p.m.
    Read! Read! Read!
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Order!
    Dr Prempeh 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to read.

    “Mr Speaker, the 2017 Budget …”

    Mr Speaker, it is clear but for the understanding of the English Language, I read -- [Laughter.] Listen to the words.

    “Mr Speaker, the 2017 Budget will set in motion …”

    It will “set in motion”.

    Mr Speaker, Hon Fifi Kwetey appreciates the English Language better. What is there is that the 2017 Budget will set in motion the following key priorities and flagship projects -- [Hear! Hear!] Never is it said anywhere that we would complete the projects -- [Uproar.]
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Hon Fifi Kwetey, you have the privilege to continue and conclude -- [Laughter.]
    Mr Kwetey 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, my Hon good Friend has made a valiant effort, but it actually ended in futility. [Laughter.] This is because, in the first place we never said here that the US$1 million is meant to complete every project in one year. None of us said so.
    The point we are making is that, these are very important initiatives but, please, let us be totally forthright and comprehensive in doing so, so that the people could understand what it is we would want to achieve.
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Hon Dr Akoto Osei?
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am up to set in motion -- [Laughter.]
    Mr Speaker, I would want to thank my Hon Colleagues for their contribution. But let me remind them that -- [Interruption.] -- I am winding up.
    rose
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, would he want to speak? [Interruption.]
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Well, I called Hon Dr Akoto Osei, because he was on his feet -- [Interruption] -- I have already had two from each side. Let us wind up this debate. [Pause.]
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, he needs some clarification and I would want to remind him -- [Interruption.] -- On a point of order? [Interruption.]
    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    I believe the contributors are finished and the Hon Minister is winding up.
    If we do not take care, we would continue to and fro. Please, allow the Hon Minister to conclude and then we move on. Hon Members, please, we have a tall order today.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to remind my Hon Colleagues that the US$275 million is not new money. If we take last year's Budget Statement, Government projected about US$1.6 billion. What we are doing is taking US$275 million of that already existing capital expenditure from the Budget and take it down to the constituencies so that we have a bottom-up approach.
    In the past, what has happened is that, when these moneys went to various sectors -- for example, if we are constructing a road, we do not construct it because we want to. We do not construct a road for a purpose. So, the President is suggesting that he wants a bottom-up approach.
    My Hon Colleagues on the other side of the aisle should not worry. Every constituency will get US$1 million per year. -- [Hear! Hear!] What is going to happen is that we the MPs will have a say in what the priorities in our areas are. I am in an urban area and may not need agricultural inputs, but I may need water. So, the constituencies will decide.

    Hold on. The decision to do that would be taken at that level and the implementation might be done at the sectoral level. There is a difference. It is quite possible that if it were left to the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, they may not consider water in my constituency.

    But if my constituents believe that water is their priority, that decision would be taken and the Minister for Special Development Initiatives will be the supervising Minister. That is what is going to happen.

    So, my Hon Colleagues should be rest assured that every constituency would have access to this fund. Mr Speaker, one of the things that, as a nation, we would need to decide finally is that the work of the Divestiture Implementation Committee -- [Interruption] -- Mr Speaker, this Hon Member came in and he is disturbing the floor. [Laughter.]
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Order!
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe that very soon we should all come to the conclusion that we no longer need a Divestiture Implementation Committee; I believe that the best thing is to have an agency under the Ministry of Finance. They continue not to finish their work, they are under-staffed and not much is happening there. So, I believe that a policy decision needs to be made soon so that we could abandon that.
    Mr Speaker, one of the agencies that we all ought to pay attention to -- perhaps, my Hon Colleague Members of Parliament (MPs) -- is the Ghana AIDS Commission and the work they do. They attract a lot of donor funds and I would want to recommend that all Hon Members of Parliament should pay attention to what
    is done at the Ghana AIDS Commission. This is because the issue of AIDS is a matter for all of us to follow closely.
    Mr Speaker, finally, I believe that the issue about the Scholarships Secretariat is one that needs to be dealt with decisively. When we send our constituents abroad in particular and we hear that they are not being catered for very well, then it is not very good. We understood from the Committee that the arrears last year alone amounted to GH¢117 million and this is something that they are programming to pay. Mr Speaker, but we should all bear in mind that it is not a good thing to learn that our students are being kicked out.
    Mr Speaker, so, we have taken note of all the concerns of the contributors but I would want to assure the former Hon Deputy Minister that the issue about centralising supervision in the Presidency is a difference in emphasis. He would recall that they were centralising Sector Investment Programmes (SIP) in the Ministry of Finance.
    They were doing that for a reason, but this President thinks that these are promises he had made and so he wants people close to him to supervise it on his behalf. So it is a different methodology. We believe in decentralisation but certainly the Hon Minister for Special Development Initiatives would get close to the President and report on all these things.
    Mr Speaker, with these few words, I would urge all Hon Colleagues to support the Budget Estimates for the Office of Government Machinery for the year ending 31st December, 2017.
    Thank you.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Resolved
    That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢1,560. 926,672 for the services of the Office of Government Machinery for the year ending 31st December,
    2017.
    Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I crave your indulgence for us to go back to item numbered 4 (e), so that, the Paper on the Committee on Communications could be laid.
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Hon Member, do you mean item 4(e) -- “E” for “Edward”?
    Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, yes. Item numbered 4 (e) -- “E” for “Emmanuel”.
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Item numbered 4 (e) -- Hon Chairman of the Committee?
    PAPERS 12:20 p.m.

    Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, Motion numbered 17 on the Order Paper was stood down. The Report is ready and has been distributed and so if we could continue with the debate.
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    Hon Members, Motion numbered 17.
    I believe that we got to the point where we could now proceed with the debate.
    ANNUAL ESTIMATES, 2017
    Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture
  • [Continuation of debate from column 3921]
  • Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 12:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, exactly so. It was moved and the Motion was seconded by the Hon Vice Chairman of the Committee and so the debate ensues now.
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    That is so, Hon Members, the Report having been distributed, now it is for the consideration of the House.
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.


    Motion 17 has already been moved and seconded and the Report is available for Hon Members.

    Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover (NPP -- Tema East): Mr Speaker, thank you very much. I rise to support the Motion numbered 17 on the Order Paper that this Honourable House should approve the sum of -
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Member, please, we know the sum. So, put the arguments on.
    Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover: Mr Speaker, there are some few observations that I would want to share with this House -- that in 2016, the total budget allocation for this Ministry was GH¢38,918,393 and the total amount released was GH¢32,478,142.75 with a variance of about GH¢6.4 million.
    Mr Speaker, going forward in 2017, there is an increase according to the Budget Estimates from GH¢38,918,393 to GH¢43,948,409. Mr Speaker, what is important is that, the timely releases of these funds would enable the Ministry carry out its goods and services and for that matter we would be very gracious that this issue could be taken care of.
    Mr Speaker, between 2013 -- it is on record during the discussion at the Committee that, the Ministry is owing about €183,000 for their inability to pay for subscriptions. They are affiliated to international tourism organisations and if we are not careful, then, Ghana would be blacklisted if these moneys are not paid. So, there is the need for us to make sure that we settle these debts to enable the Ministry to carry out its activities.
    Mr Speaker, the issue about leakages in revenue generation is also key; because
    of the manual collection of these revenues in these tourist attractions, it has given the opportunity for people to do what they like with these revenues. At the Committee level, we were told that they were putting IT infrastructure in place to make sure that people would not hold our cash so that we would be able to track these moneys that come to these areas for proper and accountable use.

    Mr Speaker, going forward, let me add that the National Theatre, which is not far from here, has a peculiar problem. This is because, the National Theatre is having a tax regime that is taking most of their revenue generation. We are told that, they have been put under an industrial regime which is very expensive. Mr Speaker, after all the moneys that they collect, they are not profitable because they have been put under an industrial tax regime.

    So, an appeal has been made to the Committee that, we need to support them so that ECG could move them away from this industrial regime into areas that could fit the purpose of the National Theatre.

    Mr Speaker, I am very grateful that this plenary would support the Ministry of Tourism, and the amount that they have asked for would be given to them, that is GH¢43,948,409.00, to enable them carry out the activities in the Ministry.

    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Fiifi Fiavi Franklin Kwetey (NDC -- Ketu South) 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion asking this House to approve the sum of GH¢43,948,409.00 for the services of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture for the year ending 31st
    December, 2017.
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Leaders may make their contributions if any, and then, we would proceed.
    Mr Alex Kofi Agyekum (NPP-- Mpohor) 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the floor.
    Mr Alex Kofi Agyekum (NPP-- Mpohor) 12:30 p.m.


    Mr Speaker, I refer Hon Members to page 6.6 of the Report. The first paragraph is talking about safety and security standards.

    Mr Speaker, we are all aware of the disaster that happened just a few weeks ago, where some 18 students lost their lives. A Statement has been made on this, but going forward, the question is, whether as a country, we learn and take corrective actions whenever these disasters occur.

    Mr Speaker, tourism is one major sector that is capable of being on its own as a ministry if the right mix is found, but we just take delight in some district assemblies taking over these tourist sites, collecting few revenues here and there and then forgetting about the safety and security measures that should be put in place.

    Mr Speaker, we need to reorganise things and ensure that the whole security architecture of our various tourist sites are reviewed. We need to get security experts to go and do that review, and after, ensure that whatever is recommended is implemented.

    Mr Speaker, again if you go there, you would see that the infrastructure especially road network leading to those places is nothing to write home about. We are happy that the Ministry is planning to have a paradigm shift, and I have every confidence in the new Minister that, she would be able to implement what she has outlined to do.

    Mr Speaker, one critical thing is the situation where if a disaster occurs, we have press men, and sometimes some of our Ministers quickly rushing to the scene of the accident empty handed.

    Mr Speaker, at that same place, a few years ago, an accident occurred only for us to have a fanfare, a whole galaxy of ministers rushing to the place, only to find that common basic anesthetic materials for the patients were lacking at those hospitals.

    Mr Speaker, we understand that ambulance service to convey those victims was donated by a philanthropist, one Mr Azumah Banda, and since that time, that has been the only ambulance there.

    Mr Speaker, when the accident occurred, part of the recommendation was that, there was the need for them to rehabilitate that particular ambulance. As we speak, they do not have any of that ambulance service over there.

    Mr Speaker, the question is, as a country, are we interested in the safety of the people?

    Mr Speaker, so we are happy that now, there is a new policy outline that would ensure that -- we are not saying that these things should happen, but when they do occur, like all accidents, we expect an integrated approach in solving it. The Hon Minister cannot go without liaising with the Ministry of Health, and linking up with the District Director of Health.

    Mr Speaker, what exactly are the needs? What is the situation there, so that by the time you get there, you are moving along with logistics to save lives? I am happy that the Hon Minster for Tourism did that.

    Mr Speaker, sometimes you go and money to even buy --
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Member, conclude.
    Mr Agyekum 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker -- [Interruption] -- I thought somebody was up.
    Mr Speaker, I believe that going forward, there is the need for us to ensure that all the tourist sites and the people operating them obey the law that is put in place for safety and security.
    Mr Speaker, apart from that, we also need a complete overhaul. Once these measures, which have been outlined in the 2017 outlook of the Ministry are adhered to, Mr Speaker, we expect that the amount of money, which has been earmarked for the Ministry would be judiciously used and the policy objective would also be achieved.
    On this note, Mr Speaker, I urge my Hon Colleagues to adopt the Report of the Committee and to approve the amount of money being requested for the Ministry.
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Members, Leadership?
    Mr James Klutse Avedzi (NDC -- Ketu North) 12:30 p.m.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
    I would want to support the Motion for the House to approve the amount for the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
    Mr Speaker, there is a fundamental error, again, in the Budget Statement. I would want to call the attention of the House to it.
    Mr Speaker, on page 80 of the Budget Statement, paragraph 429, the heading 12:30 p.m.
    “Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts.” Mr Speaker, the Report that we are asked to approve has the
    heading, “Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.” So, which Ministry's Budget are we approving? Is it the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts?
    Mr Speaker, if we go to the column on amount on page 168, I tried to look on the table to see whether I can get the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture. Again, Mr Speaker, it is the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts which is captured.
    Mr Speaker, if we approve this without amending, we can be taken to court that we approved for a different Ministry. This was identified at the Committee level. I thought that the Report would have addressed it as one of the observations and the correction made in the Report. But the Report is also silent on that.
    So, Mr Speaker, that should be taken on board and correction made, so that we can actually approve the amount for the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, but not Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts. The Appropriation Act would capture the correct figure.
    Mr Speaker, if you look at the IGF, which is supposed to be realised in 2017, it is a total of GH¢10,376,509.00.
    In 2016, a budget of GH¢10.15 million was estimated for IGF, by December, 2016 only GH¢5.2 million was realised. If we consider that the IGF is being capped, where the Ministries will receive or retain only two-thirds of whatever they will generate, it is clear that the GH¢10,376,509.00 that is estimated in the Report can never be realised.
    If they retain 100 per cent, they budgeted for GH¢10.1 million and they realised only GH¢5.2 million. Now, they will retain only two-thirds, how can they realise GH¢10,376,509.00?
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Majority Leadership, any contribution?
    Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 12:30 p.m.
    No, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Hon Minister, you may conclude and in doing so, let us know for certain whether it is the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture or otherwise, so that the formal correction will be made right here.
    Mrs Afeku 12:30 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    I would want to use the opportunity to thank Hon Members, who have contributed graciously to support the Motion on the floor.
    Mr Speaker, as you rightfully said, the new designation of the Ministry is Tourism, Arts and Culture as captured on page 8 of the Order Paper.
    At the Committee level, it was brought to our attention by the Leadership on the
    other side of the House. We agreed that during the Appropriations, the necessary corrections would be made to effect the proper designation, so we approve the budget for the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
    Mr Speaker, going forward, I would also want to thank our Hon Members for supporting the pertinent issues raised, especially the retention of the IGF, where there are challenges in retaining all of it as per the Hyperion, the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) and the warrant issued by the Ministry in terms of the spending designations.
    Secondly, in light of the Kintampo crisis, there is an urgent need to realign our budgetary allocations to support safety measures and audit across the length and breadth of the nation of all tourist sites, and deepen collaboration with the MMDAs, so that a proper designated agency under the Ministry will come into the full control and management of tourist sites, so that the revenue sharing-stream will be properly aligned to support the maintenance culture, which we observed, is lacking at tourists sites.
    We are not praying for another calamity, but prevention is better than cure. So, we are grateful to the House bringing it to our attention.
    Mr Speaker, we take into consideration what our Hon Member for Ketu North mentioned about the national orientation and the emphasis on culture as a pivotal point in going forward, imbedding cultural studies and policies in all sectors to ensure that our future leaders support environmental, sanitation and habits -- attitudinal shifts -- that will bring about the citizenry that we look forward to in moving Ghana forward.
    With these few words, Mr Speaker, we urge the House to support our Motion in getting the approval of GH¢43,948,409.00 for the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
    Mr Speaker 12:30 p.m.
    Thank you very much, Hon Minister.
    Let the appropriate correction be entered and all references be recorded as Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, as the Hon Minister has stated.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Resolved:
    That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢43,948,409 for the services of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture for the year ending 31st December 2017.
    Mr Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Hon Majority Chief Whip?
    Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 12:50 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker --
    [Interruptions] --
    Mr Speaker, we may take Motion numbered 9 -- The Report on the Ministry of Aviation.
    Mr Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Hon Members, the Hon Second Deputy Speaker would take the Chair.
    [Interruptions] --
    Hon Majority Chief Whip, please, what item?
    Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 12:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, item numbered 9.
    Mr Speaker 12:50 p.m.
    Item 9 -- Motion.
    Hon Minister for Aviation?
    [Pause] --
    MR SECOND DEPUTY SPEAKER
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 12:51 p.m.
    Hon Members, I have been told that the House is now on item numbered 9.
    ANNUAL ESTIMATES, 2017
    Ministry of Aviation
    Minister for Aviation (Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah) 12:51 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢59,392,362 for the services of the Ministry of Aviation for the year ending 31st December, 2017.
    Chairman of the Committee (Mr Kwabena Owusu-Aduomi) 12:51 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion, and in so doing, present your Committee's Report.
    Introduction
    On Thursday, 2nd March, 2017, the Minister for Finance, Mr Ken Ofori Atta in fulfilment of article 179 of the 1992 Constitution presented to the House, the 2017 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government.
    In accordance with Standing Orders 140 (4) and 189 of the House, the Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Aviation were referred to the Committee for Roads and Transport for consideration and report.
    Chairman of the Committee (Mr Kwabena Owusu-Aduomi) 12:51 p.m.


    The Committee on Monday, 20th

    March, 2017 met with the sector Minister, Hon Cecilia Abena Dapaah, the Chief Planning Officer and heads of agencies of the sector Ministry and reports as follows:

    The Ministry of Aviation is a newly created Ministry and the 2017 budget estimates covers the main Ministry and two agencies namely:

    (i) Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) -- responsible for planning, developing, managing and maintaining all airports and aerodromes in Ghana, and

    (ii) Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) -- responsible for the regulation of the air transport industry in Ghana and provide navigation services within the Accra Flight Information Region

    (FIR).

    Reference documents

    The Committee made references to the following documents during the consideration of the Estimates:

    (i) The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana,

    (ii) The Standing Orders of Parliament,

    (iii)The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government for the 2017 financial year,

    (iv) The Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for 2016- 2018 Programme based budget Estimates for 2017 for the Ministry of Aviation; and

    (v) The Report of the Committee on the 2016 Estimates for the Ministry of Transport.

    Vision of the Ministry of Aviation

    The Vision of the Ministry of Aviation is to create an integrated, modally complementary, cost effective, safe, secure, sustainable and seamless transportation system responsive to the needs of society, supporting growth and poverty reduction and capable of establishing Ghana as a transportation hub of West Africa.

    Mission, core functions and policy objectives

    Mission

    The Ministry's Mission is to provide leadership and guidance for the development of the Transport Sector through effective policy formulation, market regulation, asset management and service provision.

    Core functions

    The core functions of the Aviation Ministry includes:

    (i) Policy formulation and co- ordination of the aviation sector,

    (ii) Sector governance (policy, finance, regulations, capacity building)

    (iii)Oversight responsibility for sector agencies,

    (iv)Sector performance management, monitoring, evaluation and reporting,

    (v) Sector development, promotion and enabling measures including research and public information,

    (vi) Co-ordinating and integrating sector plans and strategies, including integration with other sector ministries.

    In addition, the Ministry also grants approval for licensing of air transport operations and negotiates bilateral air services agreements with trading partners.

    Policy objectives

    The Policy Objectives of the Ministry as stated in the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA II) are as follows:

    (i) Establish Ghana as a transportation hub for the West African Sub-Region,

    (ii) Create a sustainable, accessible, affordable, reliable, effective, efficient, safe and secure transport system that meets the user needs,

    (iii)To develop and integrate land use, transport planning, development planning and service provision,

    (iv) To create appropriate environment for Private Sector Participation in the delivery of Transport Infrastructure,

    (v) To develop and implement a comprehensive and integrated policy, governance and Institutional Frameworks,

    (vi) Ensure sustainable development in the Transport Sector; and

    (vii) Develop adequate human resource capacity and apply new technology.

    Achievements in 2016 fiscal year

    Management and Administration

    The then Ministry of Transport completed feasibility studies for the establishment of a national Airline. The Transaction Advisor is awaiting approval from the Public Private Partnership (PPP) approval committee of the Ministry of Finance to request for proposal from prospective investors.

    Aviation Infrastructure Development and Management

    Phase 1 of the re-construction and extension of the runway at the Tamale Airport has been completed. The Cabinet, Parliamentary and Public Procurement Authority (PPA) approvals have been obtained for the Financial and Commercial agreements for the phase 2 of this Airport rehabilitation works. These works include the construction of a terminal building, reinforced concrete aprons, among others.

    The phase 1 of the Kumasi Airport which involved the strengthening of the runway, installation of Aeronautical Ground Lighting (AGL) system and Instrument Landing Systems were completed during the year under review.

    Again for phase 2 of the rehabilitation works, the Cabinet, Parliamentary and PPA approvals were obtained for Financial and Commercial agreements, and subsequently both have been signed. The works include construction of a terminal building, reinforced concrete aprons, among others.

    The KIA terminal 2 expansion and remodelling of arrival hall is 90 per cent completed.

    The construction of a new terminal building at KIA (terminal 3) to accommodate more passengers for arrival, immigration and baggage claims, is 30 per cent completed.
    Mr Kwame Govers Agbodza (NDC- - Adaklu) 12:51 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion numbered 9 on today's Order Paper, that this House approves the sum of GH¢ 59,392,362, for the year ending 31st
    December, 2017.
    Mr Speaker, I largely agree with the Hon Chairman of the Committee with regard to the Report, but I would want to make few observations.
    Mr Speaker, the aviation industry is one of the industries in this country that is growing, creating employment and improving our image as a country. Indeed, we are told that we are growing at a rate that, currently, we are able to annex businesses from neighbouring countries in terms of airline services. This would also impact on hotel services and other things.
    Mr Speaker, in 2013, this country took a decision to allow the Ghana Airport Company to take 100 per cent of their Internally Generated Fund (IGF). The result of this is that, we support the Ghana Airport Company to have the financial muscle to embark on some projects.
    Mr Speaker, this new move by the current Minister for Finance means that the Ghana Airport Company cannot do much as they would want to do. It would interest you to know that even the Ho Airport that is under construction now benefits from these resources that the Ghana Airport Company generates by themselves.
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    Hon Member, I can see your Hon Colleague on his feet.
    Is that the Hon Member for Obuasi West?
    Mr Kwarteng 1 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker, Obuasi West.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    Obuasi West?
    Mr Kwarteng 1 p.m.
    Obuasi West.
    Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague has just made a point that as a result of the capping, the GACL --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    Hon Member, why are you on your feet?
    Mr Kwarteng 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am on my feet because the Hon Member is misleading the House.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    Please, resume your seat. Can you continue?
    Mr Agbodza 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, to grow the aviation industry in this country, we were told by the President that the creation of some of the new ministries was intended to focus these Hon Ministers on specific areas to drive growth.
    Mr Speaker, my point is that, indeed, the Hon Minister responsible for this Ministry is a capable person that can do this but GH¢59 million is not capable of doing anything at all to drive the growth we expect in this sector.
    Mr Speaker, if we look at the Report, we would notice that the Ministry requested over GH¢200 million to carry out some of these projects. Strangely, Mr Speaker, at the Committee level, we were told that an allocation of more than GH¢52 million was made for a project which is the Tamale Airport phase 2.
    Mr Speaker, we have projects going on at Ho. At the Kotoka International Airport, the existing terminal building -- the Kumasi and other things. So the question is, what was the reason for mentioning only Tamale Airport in the budget? Does that mean that the other projects are not going to receive any funding?
    We were told they would receive funding. If they would receive funding, what was the reason for mentioning only Tamale Airport as having GH¢52 million allocated to it? Mr Speaker, unfortunately, the representatives of the Ministry of Finance there could not answer the question.
    Mr Speaker, we have had a situation in this country where we had only the Ministry of Transport, and historically, Mr Speaker, we have had Ministry of Aviation before under President Kufour and we were told that the Ghana Airways was in crisis; it owed so they created the Ministry of Aviation.
    Mr Speaker, what did we see? Ghana Airways those days had an aircraft. It was in the sky. By the time they finished the first phase of the Ministry of Aviation, Ghana Airways became a restaurant on the ground at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
    Mr Speaker, the reason I say this is that --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    Hon Member, please address the issue. Go back to the Estimates and stop debating the principles.
    Mr Agbodza 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in this Report, we were told of the reasons for the creation of the new Ministry and all I try to say is that the mere creation of a Ministry would not mean improved investment. This is because we have had that before.
    Under the NDC Government, we did not have a dedicated Ministry of Aviation, yet we had some of the largest investments in aviation. Mr Speaker, we had the existing terminal building refurbished; the KIA terminal 3 ongoing; Ho, Wa, Kumasi and Tamale Airports all under the Ministry of Transport.
    So if we create a new Ministry, I expect the President to give those resources to the new Hon Minister so that she can do well. But to do this and give the Hon Minister only GH¢59 million does not tell
    me that the President intends to, once again, do anything significant with the aviation industry in this country.
    Mr Speaker, may I end by saying, that I am very hopeful that when the President comes to this House again, maybe with the Mid-Year Review or the next budget, we would want to see more allocation to the Ministry of Aviation, so that we can do the things we needed to do.
    Mr Speaker, the last thing I would want to say is that in the year 2015 or thereabout, the domestic airline operators complained, and they even met the Committee on Roads and Transport in Parliament, that one of the reasons their businesses were going down was because of the cost of aviation fuel in this country.
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    Hon Member for Effutu?
    Please, we have so many Hon Members standing. What is the problem?
    Mr Afenyo-Markin 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Member on his feet, Hon Kwame Agbodza, submits that some funds have been allocated for “all sort of things”. I just want a clarification since we are guided by facts so that we know what exactly he refers to.
    He said GH¢59 million is a paltry sum but he notices that over GH¢120 million has been allocated to the Office of the Chief of Staff for “all sort of things”. I only want him to clarify “all sort of things” so that we would be guided accordingly, in accordance with our rules.
    Mr Agbodza 1 p.m.
    I was going to give him the list of --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    You know it is not Question time, so Hon Member, please, resume your seat.
    Hon Member, go on.
    Mr Agbodza 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the then government took the decision to reduce aviation fuel by 20 per cent. This country was hopeful that that should have led to the reduction of domestic airline tickets in this country. We never saw that passed on to the people of this country.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    Hon Member, look at the Estimates. We are debating it. Is that issue of any relevance to the Estimates?
    Mr Agbodza 1 p.m.
    Yes. I am driving home a point.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    Please, go on.
    Mr Agbodza 1 p.m.
    The Government took the decision to reduce the 17.5 per cent value added tax on the airline. It is a good thing; I do not have a problem. All I urge the Hon Member for Aviation is to ensure --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    The Government did not take the decision to reduce the 17.5 per cent. That is not the decision.
    Hon Minister, is that the decision of Government?
    Mr Agbodza 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the substantial point I am trying to make is that it is a good decision to remove the tax on them. But, Mr Speaker, for us not to
    wake up to realise that the same thing that happened to the previous Government when we reduced aviation fuel by 20 per cent but the consumers never got any benefit, we urge the Hon Minister for Aviation that when this tax is removed, we would want to see the impact of that on airline tickets, so that we would know that there is an impact on us.
    Though I might say that this is a tax that would benefit a few people in the country because majority of Ghanaians do not travel by air, I believe it is a good thing to do. Mr Speaker, I urge the Hon Minister for Aviation to ensure that the airline operators do the honourable thing by passing these savings to the consumers.
    Mr Speaker, the last point I would want to make is that, we have made significant gains in air traffic safety and other things. This House ratified some of the international Conventions that make our skies much safer. I hope that the rest of the things that are left for the Hon Minister to bring to the House, for us to pass so that domestic airlines in particular would benefit, should be brought as quickly as possible so that we can improve the investment in this sector.
    Mr Speaker, before I sit down, I believe when the Hon Minister gets the opportunity, we would want to be given the assurance that the capping that the Hon Minister for Finance has introduced would not directly impact on projects that are currently funded by the GACL through their Internally Generated Fund.
    This is because I am aware that they have already projected these earnings towards existing projects so that we can all be sure, especially Ho Airport, would not come to a standstill because somebody would say that the money for this has been put under the Hon Minister for Finance for reimbursement.
    Mr Speaker, on this note, I urge the House to support the Motion for the sum to be approved for the Ministry of Aviation.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    Hon Majority Chief Whip, what is the guidance? How many contributors from each side of the aisle?
    Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, two from each side after the --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    Inclusive?
    Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 1 p.m.
    Yes, inclusive of Leadership.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    Inclusive of Leadership and also of the mover and seconder?
    Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 1 p.m.
    No, it does not include the mover and seconder.
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    I would prefer those in the Committee to contribute. Are you in the Committee? All right.
    Mr Kwabena Darko-Mensah (NPP -- Takoradi) 1 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker,for the opportunity to add my voice to the Motion.
    Mr Speaker, a journey of a thousand miles starts with a first step. We know that this is a new Ministry, and therefore, the amount allocated to the Ministry, which is GH¢59, 392, 362.00, should be approved for the Ministry. However, in June or July, when the Review Budget comes to Parliament, additional resources could be made available to the Ministry.
    Mr Speaker, if we take the planned budget of the Ministry, it was supposed to be GH¢224, 258, 171.00. Unfortunately, we are all aware that as at December 2016, the Ghanaian kitty did not have so much. Therefore, this new Ministry and other ministries would never get whatever they want to implement their programmes and projects.
    Mr Speaker, if we take the vision of this country, it is to make Ghana an aviation hub, and therefore, naturally, we all expect to get more money to invest in the aviation industry so that Ghana can progress and improve upon our own economic circumstances. Unfortunately, as I said earlier, there was not enough as at the end of 2016.
    In fact, some people even described it as empty. So, Mr Speaker, I believe that what the Ministry has been given, they could only appeal to the Hon Minister for Finance to add on so that they would be able to do more for this country. We know we have a capable Government and they would generate more revenues to help this Ministry.
    Mr Speaker, one other area; if we look at the Report, page 9, paragraph 8.3.1, is the decoupling of the navigation services from the regulatory functions of the Civil Aviation Authority. When this happens, it means that we have to start looking for different sources of finance for the regulatory authority that would be created.
    This is because as for the navigational services, we know they charge for their services that they provide to the airline industry. Therefore, come June or July, when the Review Budget is brought in here, the Hon Minister for Finance would support this Ministry to support the aviation industry in turn.
    With these few words, Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to add my voice.
    Mr Fifi Frank F. Kwetey (NDC--Ketu South) 1 p.m.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I want to also contribute to the Motion which asks this House to approve the sum of GH¢59, 392, 362.00 for the services of the Ministry of Aviation for the year ending 31st December, 2017.
    Mr Speaker, I wish to signal that, having had the privilege to serve this country in that particular Ministry -- that time it was a broader Ministry -- I want to say that that obviously is a Ministry that holds a lot of capacity in terms of pushing forward the agenda of transformation.
    That is why it is worrying, the developments that, really, if we do not take care, we are likely to retard a lot of progress that, that Ministry clearly should make. The Hon Ranking Member has already emphasised the fact that if we are not careful, the IGF that is literally being put within the purview of the Hon Minister for Finance, who would now make the determination as to when he thinks the IGF should be made available to the particular Ministry, is going to be a problem.
    This is because a number of financiers and bankers are not going to believe the discretion of the Hon Minister for Finance and how the Hon Minister for Finance feels about the importance of particular sectors if they want to have an engagement with the Ghana Airport Company Limited and so on.
    I would want to emphasise that the Hon Minister, together with his Hon Colleagues, need to engage the Hon Minister for Finance seriously on this issue. This is because in this country, I would say, the aviation industry holds an important key. This is a country that
    clearly can become an aviation hub for the whole of West Africa. The same way we can become a seaport hub for the whole of West Africa. These two hold critical potentials for the country.
    The Ghana Airport Company Limited reached a stage where it was able to stand on its own feet, on its own balance sheet to be able to make appropriate financial decisions in terms of borrowing. That enabled the company to do quite a lot of things for our country, including the expansion work that is taking place at the Airport and even the coming in of a new terminal and other airport facilities. That should not be jeopardised.
    So, I really want to urge the Hon Minister to seriously engage and look at that whole provision again. Otherwise, going forward, it is going to be difficult. We cannot expect that the country would go back to borrowing fully on the basis of either Government guarantee or other promissory notes in order for jobs to be done. If the Ghana Airport Company is capable of standing on its feet, it must be encouraged.
    I also wish to urge that the facility that we approve for further work to be done at the Kumasi Airport in order to take it to an international level and also the Tamale Airport -- Those facilities need to be properly harnessed in order for us to be able to see the crystallisation of these two very important projects, so that the country would be able to see the benefits that the aviation sector holds.
    On that note, Mr Speaker, I wish to support the Motion.
    Mr Collins Owusu Amankwah (NPP- -Manhyia North) 1 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion that this Honourable House adopts and also approves —-
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    Sorry, Hon Member, are you Hon George Dukah?
    Mr Amankwah 1 p.m.
    No, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1 p.m.
    All right. Continue.
    Mr Amankwah 1 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker. I urge this House to approve the sum of GH¢59,392,362.00 for the services of the Ministry of Aviation for the year ending, 31st December, 2017.
    Mr Speaker, the Ministry's vision to establish Ghana as the transportation hub within the West Africa sub region is a serious business. I think it needs special attention.
    Mr Speaker, having gone through the Report, even though an expenditure allocation of GH¢59,392,362.00 representing 0.11 per cent of the national budget has been allocated to the Ministry of Aviation, we know that air transportation does not only shorten distance, it also facilitates social, economic, scientific and cultural exchanges.
    Mr Speaker, research has shown that over 54 per cent of the international tourists now travel by air. Therefore, there is a need to inject more resources so as to augment development within this particular industry.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to appeal to the Ministry of Finance that, per the Report, planned budget as against the approved ceiling by the Ministry of Finance with regard to asset, the Ministry planned for GH¢6,069,400.00 but the approved ceiling by the Ministry of Finance was only GH¢1,000, 000.00 with a variance percentage of 83.5 per cent.
    Mr Speaker, we can only improve the aviation industry by making sure that when it comes to aviation infrastructure development, it is capital intensive. Therefore, I only appeal to the Ministry of Finance to, as it were, assist the industry to grow, going forward.
    Mr Speaker, we know that the aviation industry, when well resourced, can generate a lot of jobs for our teeming unemployed youth. Aviation, with its associated economic activities, can help to provide more opportunities for a lot of people to secure jobs.
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:20 a.m.
    Hon Member, continue.
    Mr Amankwah 1:20 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    In conclusion -- [Laughter] -- I am appealing to -- [Interruption.]
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:20 a.m.
    Hon Members, he is concluding. Why are you on your feet?
    Mr Bedzrah 1:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, our Hon Colleague has just made a statement, but this is a House of record. He said the USA is the capital of the world. We have children around. He has to let the whole world know that indeed, the USA is the capital of the world. I do not know USA is the capital of the world.
    Mr Amankwah 1:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, if not USA, which country is the capital of the world? [Laughter.]
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:20 a.m.
    Hon Member, did you actually say that USA is the capital of the world? [Laughter.]
    Mr Amankwah 1:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, exactly so. This is a research work. [Interruption.]
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:20 a.m.
    Your evidence is that you did a research, which revealed that USA is the capital of the world.
    Mr Amankwah 1:20 a.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker. [Laughter.]
    I even challenged the research, but it was established that indeed USA is the capital of the world. Be it military might --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:20 a.m.
    Hon Member, who established this?
    Mr Amankwah 1:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am speaking to a particular subject. The subject under discussion is the aviation industry.
    When we get to USA, air travel is the dominant mode of transportation. [Interruption.] It is true.
    Under the research finding, it was established that when it comes to --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:20 a.m.
    Please, address the Chair.
    Mr Amankwah 1:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, respectfully, my Hon Colleagues on the other side are doing better in opposition than when they were in Government. So, they should allow me to make my point.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:20 a.m.
    Hon Member, please you need to do your research again as to the aviation capital of the world. I doubt that it is USA. So, you need to do your research again and come back. I would not tell you but do the research since you are a researcher.
    Mr Amankwah 1:20 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    As I have already said, I also challenged the findings as you have indicated. So, we share the same position on the report as to whether USA remains the aviation capital of the world.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:20 a.m.
    You have succeeded in drawing me into the debate.
    Please, conclude.
    Mr Amankwah 1:20 a.m.
    In conclusion, I would want to appeal to the Economic Regulation Agency of the Ghana Civil Aviation, in line with the NPP Government's Manifesto, to reduce the Value Added Tax (VAT) rate of 17.5 per cent to 3 per cent - Economic Regulation Agency of the Ghana Civil Aviation is the regulatory body.
    Therefore, we expect the airlines to take the reduction into consideration by making sure that air fares are reduced drastically.
    I am happy with the indefatigable Hon Minister for Aviation. I think that she would also work within her means to ensure that the proper thing is done for the aviation industry in Ghana.
    Mr Speaker --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:20 a.m.
    Hon Member, your time is up. Resume your seat.
    Mr Amankwah 1:20 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:20 a.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, I was guided as to the number of people who were to contribute.
    Once you are on your feet, maybe, there is some serious matter you want to bring to the attention of the House.
    I am told that was the understanding from Leadership.
    Mr Haruna Iddrisu 1:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, you probably may recognise any other Hon Member, but I thought that there are Hon Ministers on the other Side who are waiting for their Hon Colleagues to move their Motions.
    It appears that on aviation, I could make a comment and bring it to a closure for you to put the Question.
    If you are minded to accommodate more contributors, however, who am I to question your authority? Maybe, one more person, but I would cherish the opportunity to bring closure with some comments on their Budget Estimates.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:20 a.m.
    Hon Majority Chief Whip, what do you say to that?
    Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 1:20 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, you may put the Question.
    If the Hon Minority Leader wants to contribute, he may be allowed to do so.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:20 a.m.
    I recognise the Hon Minority Leader.
    Mr Haruna Iddrisu (NDC -- Tamale South) 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion
    for the approval of GH¢59,392,362.00 for the Ministry of Aviation for the 2017 financial year.
    I would like to refer to page 7 of your Committee's Report in order to note the variance. If the Ministry requested for GH¢224,258,171.00, but it was only given GH¢59,392,362.00, it means that the Ministry would not be able to undertake many of its activities.
    Mr Speaker, understandably, this is one of the new ministries created by the President, dedicated to aviation. This is captured in paragraph 6.1 of your Committee's Report. It is noted that it is a new ministry.
    My comment would be on just paragraphs 8.2.1 and 8.2.2. I would like to encourage the Hon Minister to think anew.

    In talking about expanded infrastructure for the Ministry of Aviation, what do we seek to do as a country?

    Mr Speaker, I would premise my argument on the Tamale International Airport and the expansion work at the Kumasi International Airport, which the Ministry and the Committee have in paragraph 82.1 and 82.2, so assured us that by the end of this year, work should be expected to get to 35 per cent.

    I believe that they can do better than the 35 per cent, given that it would be a continuation of an ongoing work.

    Mr Speaker, with the Tamale and Kumasi International Airports, in particular, I would want to encourage the Hon Minister to begin to think about setting up cold stores to support the operations of those ministries. The idea
    Mr Haruna Iddrisu (NDC -- Tamale South) 1:30 p.m.


    is that, with the expanded aviation activity that particularly, with the Ashanti, Eastern and Brong Ahafo Regional enclave, it is expected that there are lots of food products that can be exported abroad. So, what is needed within the Kumasi International Airport is to have a dedicated cold store so that these products could be stored. It takes between six and seven hours for these products to be in Europe, and that could provide new economic activities for that area.

    Mr Speaker, I would say same for the Tamale International Airport. If we look at Libga and Nasia, my view is that, we should think of expanded irrigation projects in that area to focus on horticultural crops, which can also be exported. Apart from the fact that it would support Hajj and pilgrim activities for the Muslims, it would also be used as an opportunity for -

    Mr Speaker, there is an unresolved issue between the Ghana Airports Company and the Meteorological Services Agency. I would encourage the Hon Minister to bring closure to that by finding a solution. It has to do with the distribution of some revenues, which affects their operation. Tomorrow, there could be an air disaster because they would not be able to project the weather and they would always rely on the international weather to be able to make predictions of the weather in Ghana.

    Mr Speaker, again, for the Kumasi and Tamale Airports, they cannot even read the dust level, which is also important for the landing of flights in those particular areas. If the formula is agreed between the Ministry and the two agencies, I should believe that the Meteorological Services Agency should be able to invest more in the expanded infrastructure. This means that even for Wa and Bolgatanga, and again --

    The Hon Minister should take interest and note that almost all the regions have began to have their share of the airport except Bolgatanga, and then improvement in Sunyani and the Eastern Region.

    Mr Speaker, sometimes, we narrow our minds into thinking that Eastern Region is too close to Accra and that there is no need for it to have an airport. No, tomorrow, any flight anywhere in the world may find it convenient to land in Kwahu maybe, for the purpose of tourism. Therefore, it should not be read that travel is just a narrow business within the Ghanaian population or the Ghanaian society. A plane from Saudi Arabia could land in Ho and that would allow for business.

    Mr Speaker, my final comment is, with the Tamale Airport, there is a difficulty with night travels, and we have been told some of the infrastructure for use have not been handed over so that flights can land at 8.00 p.m. or 9.00p.m. for purposes of business.

    I believe that many of our Hon Colleagues have travelled abroad. Anytime one is within Bolgatanga and Tamale, whether on British Airways or KLM, one is told the plane has 40 minutes to 52 minutes to land. This means that it would save travel time and also save the cost of travel if we are able to fix these two important airports very well and get those facilities improved.

    Mr Speaker, with these few words, I support the Motion, and trust that the Hon Minister would work out to resolve the urgent matter with the Meteorological Services Agency, and to also get work started on the second phase of both the Tamale and Kumasi International Airports.

    Mr Speaker, finally, since the Hon Minister herself would travel, Ghanaian travelers on terminals five and three on the British Airways have some difficulties and there has been a protest among our

    citizens where they should properly land, and the kind of services that the British Airways gives to travellers; particularly its first class and business class are not similar to what pertains to persons travelling to Nigeria and others.

    I would want the Hon Minister to engage the British Airways and know why we are treated that way.

    Mr Speaker, I thank you.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Is the Hon Minister for Finance in the House? Who is from the Ministry of Finance?
    There is an issue that has been raised in paragraph 10.2 of page 10 of the Committee's Report, and I wanted his reaction to that before I put the Question.
    The Committee has drawn our attention to an omission and I would want to see how it would be handled. Paragraph 10.2 on page 10 of the Committee's Report says and I beg to quote:
    “The Committee, therefore, recommends to the House to urge the Minister of Finance to take the needed steps to resolve this issue so that the Kumasi Airport project is not stalled”.
    I would want it to be put on record as to how the Ministry would handle that issue.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have personally discussed this matter with the Hon Minister for Finance. He has information on his desk.
    There is a loan agreement and a contract that was approved by this House.
    They were going through the value for money stage, but because of the Budget Statement, he could not get to it. Mr Speaker, but he has assured us that he would get back to it as quickly as possible.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Has the Hon Minister for Finance assured us that it would be captured in the Appropriation Act?
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, please, I cannot confirm that. I would take note of it and bring it to his attention.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Hon Minister for Aviation, I believe it is an issue you would take up and let us know of the outcome before we finally pass the Appropriation Act.
    Ms Dapaah 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, yes, I would do that.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Resolved:
    That this Honourable House approved the sum of GH¢59,392,362 for the services of the Ministry of Aviation for the year ending 31st December, 2017.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Majority Chief Whip?
    Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we may take item numbered 15 on the Order Paper.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Minister for Parliamentary Affairs?
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister for Parliamentary Affairs has some urgent matter outside the House and so, he asked me to do it on his behalf.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is an urgent matter which is related to this House.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
    Hon Member, you can continue.
    ANNUAL ESTIMATES, 2017
    National Labour Commission
    Dr Anthony Akoto Osei (on behalf of the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs) 1:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢2,863,532 for the services of the National Labour Commission for the year ending 31st December, 2017.
    Chairman of the Committee (Mr Kofi Okyere-Agyekum) 1:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion moved by the Minister, and in so doing, I present your Committee's Report.
    Introduction
    The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government for the 2017 financial year was presented to the House on Thursday, 2nd March, 2017 by the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, in accordance with article 179 of the 1992 Constitution.
    Pursuant to Standing Orders 140(4) and 184 of the House, the Rt Hon Speaker referred the Annual Budget Estimate of the National Labour Commission to the
    Committee on Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises for consideration and report.
    The Committee subsequently met with the Executive Secretary of the National Labour Commission, Mr Charles Bawadua and his team of officers on Tuesday 21st
    March, 2017, and considered the referral.
    The Committee expresses its appreciation to the Executive Secretary and his team for their support and co- operation. The Committee is equally grateful to officials from the Ministry of Finance who came to support the Committee's work.
    Reference documents
    During its deliberations on the budget estimates, the Committee made reference to the following documents:
    i. The 1992 Constitution of Ghana;
    ii. The Standing Orders of Parliament of Ghana;
    iii. The 2016 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana;
    iv. The 2016 Annual Budget Estimates of the National Labour Commission;
    v. The 2017 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana;
    vi. The 2017 Annual Budget Estimates of the National Labour Commission
    Mandate of the Commission
    The Commission exists to promote a peaceful and harmonious industrial
    relations environment borne out of the firm understanding of and committed compliance with the labour Laws by all stakeholders to make the Ghanaian economy competitive to attract investment.
    In pursuance of this mandate, the Commission performs the following functions, among others:
    i. Facilitate and settle industrial disputes in accordance with the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651).
    ii. Investigate labour related complaints, particularly unfair labour practices and take such steps as it considers necessary to forestall labour disputes.
    iii. Promote effective labour co- operation between labour and management.
    iv. Maintain a database of mediators and arbitrators to ensure speedy resolution of disputes.
    v. Enforce the decisions of the Commission in the High Court.
    vi. Promote and protect the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees.
    Performance for year 2016
    In 2016, the Commission was allocated an amount of GH¢2,203,811.00 for its programmes and activities. The allocation comprised an amount of GH¢1,188,386.00 for compensation and as GH¢1,015,425.00 for Goods and Services. The break down is provided in Table 1.
    Table 1. 2016 Allocation
    SPACE FOR TABLE 1 - PAGE 4 - 1.40 P.M.
    Chairman of the Committee (Mr Kofi Okyere-Agyekum) 1:40 p.m.


    The Table above indicates that as at September 2016, an amount of GH¢1,230,551.00 representing 55.8 per cent of the approved budget of GH¢2,203,811.00 had been expended. At the same time, 59.2 per cent of allocation for Goods and Services was released.

    The Committee was informed that the inadequate release (44% of the approved allocation) affected the implementation of

    key programmes and activities, necessitating the roll-over of some programmes to 2017. Also, there remains outstanding commitments in the form of allowances to staff.

    This notwithstanding, the Commission settled various industrial disputes through facilitation, mediation, voluntary arbitration, compulsory arbitration and summary settlement.

    Table 2 highlights the total number of cases received and their status

    Table 2 -- Status of cases received

    SPACE FOR TABLE 2 - PAGE 5 - 1.40 P.M.

    In 2016, the Commission received and paid an amount of GH843,160.46 to beneficiaries who were granted awards following settlement of dispute handled by the Commission.

    Allocation for year 2017

    For year 2017, the Commission has been allocated a sum of GH¢2,863,532.00 to execute its programmes and activities. The breakdown is captured in Table 3 below

    Table 3

    SPACE FOR TABLE 3 - PAGE 6 - 1.40 P.M.

    Outlook for 2017

    This year, the Commission will, among others, undertake the following:

    i. Public educational programmes on the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651) with the view to having many stakeholders informed of the provisions of the Act.

    ii. Promote the use of dialogue among the social partners in the management and/or handling of industrial relations to minimize labour agitations.

    iii. Promote the rights, responsibilities and duties of both employees and employers to ensure the protection of employment.

    iv. Encourage the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) system for effective resolution of industrial dispute.

    v. Strengthen the institutional capacity of the Commission to enable it effectively manage industrial disputes.

    Observations and recommendations

    2017 Budgetary Allocation

    The Committee noted that the Commission depends solely on government subvention to implement its programme. Therefore, any delay or non- release of funds to the Commission undermines its capacity to function effectively. Unfortunately, the Commission does not have the permission to charge for services it renders to the public and other social partners.

    The Committee advised the Commission to examine the Labour Act to see if within the confines of the law, it could be possible to raise some Internally Generated Funds (IGF) to support its operations.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
    Thank you, Hon Member.
    Question proposed.
    Dr Kwabena Donkor (NDC — Pru
    East): Mr Speaker, thank you for the
    opportunity to speak to the Motion.
    Mr Speaker, the National Labour
    Commission is one of those institutions
    that sits at the very center of industrial
    relations in this country. The Commission,
    ordinarily, should be clothed with enough
    resources and powers, so that it can
    execute its mandates.
    Mr Speaker, it is unfortunate that, for
    example, when the Commission goes to
    court to enforce its rulings, it has to pay
    filing and associated fees in the courts of
    this country. However, the Commission
    does not charge filing and associated fees
    when others come to it.
    I believe there should be a proper
    alignment of processes and procedures.
    This is because when we have gotten to
    that stage, as we were told, that the
    Commission is unwilling to go to court to
    enforce its decisions, then the country is
    at crossroads. Particularly, given the
    turmoil of labour disputes we have, if the
    Commission makes a ruling and it is
    unwilling -- not unable to go to court, to
    enforce its own decision, simply because
    of the fees that it would have to pay to enforce its decision, then we have a problem.
    Mr Speaker, I will urge this House, particularly the Hon Minister responsible for the Commission, to take this up and clothe the Commission with some powers to, at least, charge filing fees so that it can use same to go to the courts.
    Mr Speaker, with these few words, I support the Motion on the floor.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
    Hon Member, is it your submission that the Commission is able but unwilling to go to court to enforce its rulings?
    Dr Donkor 1:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we were briefed by the officers of the Commission, led by the Chief Executive, that even though the law gives them the ability to go to court to enforce its own rulings, on their own volution, they often do not go because they lack the means to go and pay the filing or associated fees at the courts. So for reasons of financial constraints they are unwilling to go to court even though they have the ability to do so.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:40 p.m.
    I see nobody on my right hand side. Am I to take it that I can put the Question?
    Mr Joseph Mensah (NPP — Kwesimintsim) Mr Speaker, I rise to associate myself with the Motion on the floor, that the budget should be approved for the National Labour Commission.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the problem with the Commission is that, apart from Accra, they do not even have offices in most of the regional capitals. As a result, when employees or sometimes even organisations go contrary to what they have in their collective bargain, with regard to respecting the tenets of the agreements, because they are far away from Accra, they do not come.
    This mostly creates a lot of problems for the Commission. At the end of the day, the Commission would have to go to court with cases that they themselves are not involved in or know nothing about.
    Mr Speaker, because of lack of personnel, the Commission does not even take part in collective bargain agreements, but they are called upon to resolve issues when there are infractions.
    Mr Speaker, I believe the National Labour Commission (NLC) should be resourced to have offices in the regional capitals and be able to take part in all constitutional binding agreements between labour organisations and their employers.
    Mr Speaker, with these few words, I support the Motion that the amount of GH¢2,863,532 should be approved for them.

    Mr Quashigah — rose --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Quashigah?
    Mr Richard Mawuli K. Quashigah (NDC -- Keta) 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion.
    Mr Speaker, it is true, as it has been mentioned earlier, that the NLC plays a very critical role in the forward march of our nation. It is evident that in the past, there have been several strike actions and labour disputes, and it is incumbent on Government to put in place the necessary mechanisms to ensure that these incidents are minimised. It is in that vein that it is crucial that the NLC be given the needed and adequate resources to perform its functions.
    Mr Speaker, last year, for example, there were several strike actions and various labour disputes. As a nation, we were able to resolve just about half of those situations. That obviously means that there is a deficit from 2016, which ought to be resolved in 2017 -- the reason for which releases of budgets on time is very crucial and important.
    Mr Speaker, the NLC would need to do a more vigorous work as in creating awareness about the labour laws that we have in this country. It is evident that lots of workers or labour organisations are even unaware of the laws that govern labour in this country. According to the Report, page 7 says that, and I beg to quote:
    “Limited public knowledge of the Labour Act, 2003 resulting in some players flouting the labour laws.”
    That ought not to be the case. It is the reason for which we often times have unnecessary labour contentions on our hands, which lead to some very vital aspects of the economy grinding to a halt in the end. Those who are not supposed to go on strike actions do so, and make demands for unreasonable increases in salaries and wages, which sometimes ought not to be.
    Mr Speaker, I would urge Government to timeously release resources to the NLC so that they can engage in an effective awareness creation. That is one of the
    cardinal activities that the NLC intends to do this year. If moneys are not released on time, Government would have more problems on its hands. I am not a prophet of doom, but I can assure this House that if these moneys are not released on time, we are going to have a lot more challenges than was ever witnessed.
    Mr Speaker, last year, the Fair Wages Commission was compelled by situations beyond it to make increases for some State entities and labour workers in this country. At the end of the day, we saw Government doling out more moneys than was budgeted for.
    If efforts are not made to resolve these issues and give the Commission the needed resources, we would pursue the same trajectory as was the case last year. We do not wish this country to run to a halt; we do not want medical doctors, nurses and teachers to go on strike.
    So, it is crucial and important that awareness is created about the labour laws, so that people will understand their remit as to what they can do as workers and what they cannot do. Other than that, we would be looking forward to a very lawless country, which ought not to be.
    Thank you for the opportunity, Mr Speaker.
    Dr A. A. Osei — rose --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    Hon Minister, I wanted to put the Question but once you are on your feet --
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have risen to conclude.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    Would you want to wind-up?
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:50 p.m.
    Yes, I would want to wind up, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    Please, go ahead.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you very much.
    Mr Speaker, I listened to my good Hon friend from Keta and I do not know whether he was threatening Government, but I agree with what he said.

    Mr Speaker, the table in the Report indicates that as of September 2016 -- this Government was not in power. An amount of GH¢1,230,551 representing 55.8 per cent of the approved budget had been expended -- That is not good.

    We do not intend to follow what they did, so I can assure him that to avoid threats, the Hon Minister for Finance would release moneys on time and his threats would not materialise.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    Hon Minister, his submission actually is at variance with what you are saying.
    The Hon Member's submission on that point was not captured by the Report because when you read page 3, there is no indication that the Commission spent more than what was budgeted for.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I did not say so.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    That was what the Hon Member stated; it is not borne by this Report.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.


    Your point is right because that is what the Report says. So you are actually not reacting to what he said, but you are telling him that you would not do what has been reported on page 3.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, he is my good Hon Friend. I did not want to say that I do not know where he was getting his numbers from -- I did not want to go there, but I was clear in my mind that what he said was not correct. He is my Hon Friend, so I did not want to attack him from that point -- That is the reason.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    I thought you were winding up.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the NLC, I agree, is in a very weird position -- [Interruption.]
    Mr Quashigah — rose —
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    Hon Member, just the mere mention of your name and you are on your feet.
    Mr Quashigah 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, he mentioned my name in the wrong context, and I thought --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    Hon Member, actually your name was mentioned on the floor of the House; I do not know which quarters you are talking about.
    Mr Quashigah 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I said “in the wrong context”.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    Context?
    Mr Quashigah 1:50 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister intended to correct figures that I mentioned, but I do not recall the exact figures he has referred to. I spoke extempore, touching on various salient points that relate to the forward march of the NLC, and nothing more than that.
    Mr Speaker, the reason why I find it a bit odd of the Hon Minister to make reference to “my Government”, is that I do not know which Government he was making reference to also.
    I would not pretend that I am saying anything that is not related to facts --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    Hon Member, I think you are completely out of order. It is just because he mentioned your name that I decided to listen to you, but what you are saying is not anything that deals with “point of order”.
    So please, allow him to wind-up.
    Dr A. A. Osei 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, there is a matter that this House may need to take up; the NLC finds itself in a very uncomfortable position. In trying to assert its independence --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    Hon Member, with your kind permission, if I may extend the time for Sitting because it is just 2 minutes to --
    I think it was extended by the Rt Hon Speaker --
    Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 1:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, no.
    You may have to do so.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 1:50 p.m.
    It was not?
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Hon Members, my clock says a minute to three -- [Interruption] -- Is this one wrong? That is what is on your console before you. It says a minute to three.
    So, it is not my clock. [Laughter.] Sitting is hereby extended.
    Dr A. A. Osei 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was saying that this House may need some time to consider the precarious situation of the National Labour Commission. In trying to assert their independence, they tried to stay away from the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, but they do not have an advocate in Cabinet.
    So, it is a very difficult position. I do not know whether it may be wise for them to be put under a Ministry and still act independently. But that is part of the problem they are facing. When they have a crisis, they do not know who to go to, and this House, at some point in time, may want to revisit this matter because their work, as the Hon Chairman of the Committee said, may need to help all of us understand the labour laws of Ghana. If they do not do well, we might have a crisis.
    Mr Speaker, with these few words, I urge Hon Colleagues to vote for the Motion that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢ 2,863,532 for the services of the National Labour Commission for the year ending 31st
    December, 2017.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Hon Members, at the conclusion of the debate, I will put the Question.
    Question put and Motion agreed to
    Resolved:
    That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢ 2,863,532 for the services of the National Labour Commission for the year ending 31st December, 2017.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Hon Majority Chief Whip?
    Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we would take item numbered 18.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Hon Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture?
    ANNUAL ESTIMATES, 2017
    Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture
    Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture (Mrs Elizabeth Afoley Quaye) 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢62,383,055 for the services of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture for the year ending 31st December, 2017.
    Mr Kwame Asafu-Adjei (NPP--Nsuta/ Kwamang/Beposo) 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion, and in doing so, present your Committee's Report.
    Introduction
    The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the year ending 31st December, 2017, was presented to Parliament, by the Minister for Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, on Thursday 2nd March, 2017, in accordance with article 179 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana and Standing Order 138.
    Pursuant to Standing Orders 140(4) and 176, Rt Hon Speaker referred the Estimates of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture to the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs for consideration and report to the House.
    Mr Kwame Asafu-Adjei (NPP--Nsuta/ Kwamang/Beposo) 2 p.m.


    Programme Performance for 2016

    Aquaculture Programme

    The Ministry facilitated the establishment of an additional fish feed mill at Asutsuare and also provided extension services to 1,400 aquaculture establishments throughout the country.

    To boost fingerling production, the Ministry rehabilitated three public harcheries at Ashaiman, Akosombo and Kona-Odumase.

    The Ministry also purchased five (5) vans and various aquaculture equipment for extension services. It again completed rehabilitation of three (3) public hatcheries at Ashaiman, Akosombo and Kona- Odumase to boost fingerling production.

    The Volta Lake was zoned to provide space for aquaculture

    Fisheries Resources Management Programme

    The Ministry recorded a total marine fish production of 94,627.07mt, as against a target of 329,358.42mt in 2016.

    Artisanal fishers were supported with 2,600 outboard motors to reduce time spent at sea.

    Two months closed season for Tuna vessels, and one month for industrial trawlers was introduced in collaboration with industry players.

    Canoe frame survey was conducted to establish the number of canoes in our waters. It was established that 11,583 canoes have been numbered.

    A stock assessment of Ghana's economic ecological zone was done, in collaboration with Fridtjof Nansen to establish the abundance of the biomass of fish stock in our waters. 89 per cent (9,893) of artisanal canoes in the marine envin ronment were embossed with numbers.

    Licenses for 136 vessels were renewed. They were comprised of 93 bottom trawlers, 40 tuna vessels and three carries.

    Monitoring, control and surveillance programme

    There were 107 observer missions on board industrial trawlers, leading to the prosecution of twelve (12) reported infractions.

    The Ministry again conducted 32 sea patrols which led to the arrest of 8 industrial trawlers, 150 canoes and seizure of 80 generators.

    There were quayside inspections on 99 vessels at Tema and Takoradi fishing habours and the purchase of 400 Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) beacons to extend electronic monitoring to semi-industrial fleet.

    Activities on board all Ghanaian flag fishing vessels were monitored daily.

    Aquatic Animal Health and Post-Harvest Management Programme

    The Ghana Aquatic Animal Health Policy was developed.

    The Ministry collaborated with relevant institutions to contain the outbreak of emerging fish diseases on the Volta Lake that nearly wiped out a number of aquaculture establishments.

    A fish laboratory was built in Accra and other laboratories in Kumasi and Koforidua were upgraded.

    Seventeen officers were trained in hazard analysis, critical, control points and sanitary inspection of fishing vessels.

    The Ministry piloted the introduction of improved fish processing facilities to 18 fish processing groups.

    Outlook for 2017

    For the 2017 fiscal year, the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture has been allocated an amount of sixty-two million,

    three hundred and eighty-three thousand and fifty-five Ghana cedis GH¢62, 383,055.00) for their earmarked activities.

    Out of the allocated amount, there would be a GOG allocation, of twelve million, four hundred and seventy thousand and fifty six cedis (GH¢12,470,056.00), IGF of fifteen million, eighty hundred and eighty- one thousand, seven hundred and fifty-eight Ghana cedis (GH¢15,881,758.00), ABFA of seventeen million, eight hundred and sixty two thousand, eight hundred and ninety- eight Ghana cedis (GH¢ 17,862,898.00) and donor contribution of sixteen million, one hundred and sixty-eight thousand, three hundred and forty-three (GHC

    16,168,343.00).

    Table 3: 2017 Budgetary Allocation

    SPACE FOR TABLE 3 - PAGE 10 - 2.00 P.M.
    Mr Kwame Asafu-Adjei (NPP--Nsuta/ Kwamang/Beposo) 2 p.m.


    GH¢6,315,826. It was explained that the increase is as a result of anticipated increase in salaries and recruitment of new staff. The Committee recommends that the Ministry should ensure that the allocated funds are used for the purpose for which they have been allocated.

    Capex allocation

    The Committee again realised, that allocation for Capital Expenditure for 2017 has decreased to GH¢ 33,516,572.00 from a 2016 allocation of GH¢34,454,911.00. It was indicated that the drop in the allocation is as a result of the completion of the Turnkey fish processing plant at Elmina and the level of construction at the Fisheries College, Anomabo. The Committee recommends that the Ministry should ensure that the project at Anomabo is completed within the year, because the project has been in the pipeline for too many years.

    Review of National Premix Fuel Distribution System

    The Committee noted that an amount of 124,138.97 has been allocated for the review of the pre-mix fuel distribution system. The Committee lauded the initiative, since it would bring sanity to bear on the current system of distribution and ensure that undesired practices are completely eliminated. The Committee recommends that the review should be done as soon as possible, to ensure that distribution of fuel is done in an acceptable peaceful and cordial atmosphere.

    Insurance for Fishers

    It was realised that the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture is currently running a pilot programme to insure

    fishers against disasters that happen at sea. The Ministry insures the fishers, while canoes and outboard motors are insured by owners. The National Insurance Commission chose Star Micro Insurance as the insurer and the current insurance premium for the fishers is GH¢ 1,000.00.

    The Committee lauds the Ministry for the initiative and urges it to consider an upward review of the insurance premium, since the benefits that would accrue to a fisher in case of a disaster may not be enough.

    Aquaculture Development Project

    To promote and develop aquaculture by increasing aquaculture production from 52,470mt to 60,000mt, an amount of US$85 million has been allocated. This would be done under the auspices of the West Africa Fisheries Project, and is expected to be led by the private sector. This notwithstanding, the Ministry is yet to hold an investment forum to persuade investors to buy into the programme. US$8 million has so far been used to facilitates research into the viability of the project under the West Africa Fisheries Project.

    The Committee recommends that the Ministry should ensure that adequate numbers of investors are sourced and encouraged to join the programme to ensure the desired growth in aquaculture production.

    Conclusion

    If the fisheries and aquaculture sectors of the economy are to grow and contribute appreciably to national development, then there is the need to adequately fund the Ministry of Fisheries and Aqualculture. In this regard, the Committee recommends for the adoption of its Report and approval of the sum of six two million three

    hundred and eighty three thousand and fifty five Ghana cedis (GH¢62,383,055.00) to support the activities of the Ministry of Aquaculture.

    Respectfully submitted
    Mr Sampson Ahi 2 p.m.
    On a point of order. Mr Speaker, thank you.
    For the records, I know that the Hon Chairman of the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs is Hon Kwaku Agyenim-Boateng and not the Hon Member who is currently presenting the Report. I do not know the capacity in which he is presenting the Report. [Uproar.] He did not tell us whether he is doing it on behalf of the Hon Chairman, or as a Member of the Committee, or as the Vice Chairman so that the records can capture him appropriately.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Hon Member, doubt on your authority has been raised. With what authority are you presenting the Report of the Committee and seconding the Motion?
    Mr Asafu-Adjei 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, respectfully, I am acting as the Vice Chairman of the Committee and he knows -- [Interruption]
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    Hon Majority Chief Whip, our attention has been drawn to something you have overlooked.
    Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 2 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Member for Nsuta-Kwamang Beposo is the Vice Chairman of the Committee. He is not acting but the substantive Vice Chairman of the Committee. Maybe, he sought to say he is the acting Chairman -- [Uproar.]
    Mr Speaker, he is the Vice Chairman of the Committee. The Hon Chairman of the Committee is Hon Kwaku Agyenim- Boateng. He is not available. So, he is presenting the Report on behalf of the Committee as Vice Chairman.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2 p.m.
    That is what Leadership should have done before he presented the Report. At least, you should have drawn the attention of the House that he is the Vice Chairman and he is doing so for and on behalf of the substantive Chairman, who unfortunately, is not present here.
    I believe it is that oversight that our attention is being drawn to. Thank you, Hon Sampson Ahi.
    Please continue, but you are not acting; you are the Vice Chairman.
    Mr Asafu-Adjei 2:10 p.m.
    I am the Vice Chairman -- [Hear! Hear!] I appreciate Hon Ahi's comments. [Interruption.]
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member? [Interruption.] There is one of your Hon Colleague's on his feet.
    Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I seek your guidance by referring you to Standing Order 210 (1) and I beg to read:
    “Any Member of a Committee may bring up a report for its consideration, and all such reports shall be fully entered ...”
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    Hon Member, I do not need to draw your attention to read the Standing Orders. Read the Standing Orders and you would see the basis for the practice where Leadership would have to draw the attention of the House, that one Hon Member is doing something on behalf of another Hon Member. Even when the Rt Hon Speaker is not seated here on any day, the Clerk to Parliament has to inform the House the reasons for the absence of the Speaker.
    Dr Assibey-Yeboah 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, respectfully, could you draw my attention to the Standing Order that you are referencing.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    If you insist then I would have to charge you for consultancy.
    Dr Assibey-Yeboah 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would duly pay.
    Question proposed
    Mr Eric Opoku (NDC -- Asunafo South) 2:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much. I am the Hon Ranking Member of the Committee -- [Laughter.] I just want to indicate that I am not the Hon Acting Ranking Member, but rather the substantive Hon Ranking Member.
    Mr Speaker, in 2016, the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture was allocated
    a little above GH¢52 million, and out of that amount, 65.5 per cent was for Capital Expenditure.
    This year, the Ministry is being given a little above GH¢62 million, and 53.7 per cent is for Capital Expenditure and this is a clear indication that Capital Expenditure is decreasing, while Consumption Expenditure is increasing.
    Mr Speaker, it is known that the multiplied effect of increased Capital Expenditure on the economy is higher than increase in Consumption Expenditure. Indeed, if we want to induce sustainable growth and generate sustainable jobs for the youth of our country, then we would have to increase Capital Expenditure, especially with respect to the fisheries sector.
    This is because as I speak, consumption of fish in Ghana is estimated at one million metric tonnes a year, but the production level is just close to 400,000 metric tonnes. Mr Speaker, what it means is that we have a gap of close to 600,000 metric tonnes and we would have to spend from US$300 million to US$400 million annually to be able to import enough fish to supplement local production in order to meet the demand of fish in this country.
    This clearly establishes the fact that in the fisheries sector in Ghana, we have limitless opportunities to increase production, create jobs and increase incomes of our farmers. For this reason, in 2013, the Government launched the Ghana National Aquaculture Development Plan, and the focus of that plan was to stimulate private sector participation in fish production, to be able to generate jobs and increase incomes for fisher folks.
    Mr Speaker, after some years of implementation, this programme has yielded some results. In 2014, aquaculture production was around 38,547 metric
    tonnes, in 2015 it went to 46,250 metric tonnes, in 2016 it went to 47,688 metric tonnes and in 2017 the Ministry is targeting 60,000 metric tonnes.
    It is an indication that if we are able to give them enough resources, then we could increase our production level, because the demand is already there. So, what we would need to do is to put in a lot of money to be able to generate the necessary growth that we all envisaged.
    Mr Speaker, it is also important to indicate that the Anomabo Fisheries College Project commenced last year, and enough allocation has been made this year for the completion of phase one of the project. The Government is committing GH¢14 million to enable us to complete phase one of that project. Mr Speaker, last year, about 25,000 fisher folks were insured by the Ministry in collaboration with the private sector. I believe it is a project that must be continued this year.
    Mr Speaker, we would also have to commend the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture for its excellent performance in respect of the Internally Generated Fund (IGF) in 2016. In 2016, the target was GH¢13,407.000 and at the end of the year, the actual was GH¢13,156,000.
    It means that they were very close to the target and it is an indication that the Ministry is doing very well in terms of its IGF, that is why 25.5 per cent of this year's allocation of GH¢62,383,055 is to come from IGF. So, in 2017, the Ministry is targeting close to GH¢16 million to be able to achieve all that they are doing.
    Mr Speaker, we have been talking about Ghana beyond aid, and surprisingly, 25.9 per cent of the entire allocation to the Ministry is to come from donors. If this
    money does not come, then it means that the Ministry cannot do anything. So, it is important that as we are talking about Ghana beyond aid, then we should commit ourselves and more resources to ensure that some of these important projects are achieved.
    Mr Speaker, on this note, I believe that the Ministry has been doing very well, we have scrutinised the actuals on what exactly the moneys would be used for, and I believe if they are given enough resources, they would have the opportunity to increase incomes, improve the lives of our fisherfolks and increase productivity.
    Mr Speaker, on this note, I support the Motion before the House.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:10 p.m.
    Hon Member?
    Mr William A. Quaittoo (NPP -- Akim Oda) 2:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you. I would like to add my voice to the Motion on the floor and to urge all Hon Members of this House to approve the amount allocated to Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Ranking Member of the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs did mention that about 65.5 per cent of the moneys allocated to the Ministry last year was for Capital Expenditure but he did not mention that out of the total allocation which was about GH¢52.7 million, only about 65 per cent of the amount was actually given to the Ministry, and because of this, many planned activities could not be done.
    Mr Speaker, out of the GH¢52.7 million that was allocated, much of the moneys were used in buying outboard motors for fishermen and that budget line was exceeded by over 50 per cent.
    Mr William A. Quaittoo (NPP -- Akim Oda) 2:20 p.m.


    Mr Speaker, however, the targeted production for marine fishing was about 329,300 metric tonnes. Out of this, only 294, 600 was achieved due to the fact that the total amount of money which was required was not given to them. However, much of this was allocated to buying outboard motors for fishermen.

    Mr Speaker, if you look at the total budget allocated for last year, compared to what has been allocated for this year, there is a whopping increase of about 18 per cent of the amount from last year, and I am hoping that this Government would live up to its word and provide this money to the Ministry, to enable it to carry out all the planned activities.

    Mr Speaker, Hon Eric Opoku said that about 1,500 fish farmers were insured last year. It is not true. The insurance activity is being planned, and it is yet to take place, and not that last year fishermen were insured. It is not here in this Report, and nothing was said about it.

    Mr Speaker, it is rather this year that an insurance company has been chosen, and that insurance company, Star Micro Insurance Company, is yet to work on that. No fish farmer has been insured.

    Mr Speaker, if you look at the total Capital Expenditure that has been allocated for this year, there is a reduction. It is so because the phase one of the Fisheries College is almost complete, and therefore, if we have only a small portion of it left to be done, then there is no point allocating more money for that particular area, and that is why we have a reduction in that budget line.

    Mr Speaker, I believe strongly that, with the outlined programme for 2017, if we are able to get the total budget

    allocated, the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture would propel the protein needs of this country to a very far degree.

    Mr Speaker, I would urge all of us to support and approve the budget of GH¢62,383,055 for the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture.
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Hon Member, you had your bite.
    Mr E. Opoku 2:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I got up earlier but I was unable to catch your eye.
    Mr Speaker, I wanted to correct an erroneous impression the Hon Member was --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Unfortunately, you did not catch my eye.
    Hon Members, we have a lot of work to do, so, make your submissions rather brief and straight to the point.
    Mr Ras Mubarak (NDC--Kumbungu) 2:20 p.m.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
    I rise under Order 48, and with your permission, I would read;
    “The presence of at least one-third of all the Members of Parliament besides the person presiding shall be necessary to constitute a quorum of the House”.
    Mr Speaker, I am afraid we do not have a quorum in the House.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Hon Member, even though I intend to give guidance to the issue raised earlier at the end of this debate, read Order 48 properly, and read it aloud.
    Mr Mubarak 2:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, Order 48 reads;
    “(1) The presence of at least one- third of all the Members of Parliament besides the person presiding shall be necessary to constitute a quorum of the House.
    (2) If at the time of sitting a Member takes notice or objection that there are present in the House, besides the person presiding, less than one-third of the number of all the Members of Parliament, and after an interval of ten minutes a quorum is not present, the person presiding shall adjourn the House without Question put until the next sitting day”.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Order 48 is dealing with the time we commence proceedings. At the time we come to sit, the issue of quorum is relevant there. The Order with respect to the current situation is not Order 48.
    Hon Members, debate may continue.
    Ms Sophia Karen Ackuaku (NDC-- Domeabra-Obom) 2:20 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    I rise to support the Motion on the floor. I am happy to hear that this year, the Ministry promises to create an estimated 750,000 additional direct job opportunities, particularly for the youth, and 1,200 indirect jobs for women fish processors and traders along the aquaculture chain.
    Mr Speaker, I am also happy that the Ministry would restore depleted marine fishers' resources. The two months closed season would be implemented in place of
    one month closed season for industrial trawlers.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Thank you, Hon Member.
    Before I put the Question, I would like to guide the House, as requested by Hon Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah.
    In seeking my guidance, the Hon Member referred me to Order 210. I would just read the relevant portion. If you look at the side notes of Order 210, it says; “Report from Committees other than Sessional”.
    Order 210(1) says;
    “Any Member of a Committee may bring up a report for its consideration, and all such reports shall be fully entered in the minutes of proceedings of the Committee. When all the reports have been brought up, the Chairman shall propose the reports in order until one is accepted as a basis for discussion…”
    So this is talking about the level of the Committee deliberations. The relevant one he referred to is Order 212 (3), which says;
    “The Chairman or Member of a Committee or any other Member may, after notice, move in the House that the report from the Committee be adopted”.
    The notice is the one that the attention of the House is drawn to that the Hon Chairman is not present and an Hon Member or Hon Vice Chairman would be presenting the Report for and on behalf of the Hon Chairman. It is this Order we use, 212 (3). That is the relevant Order.
    Dr Assibey-Yeboah 2:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you for the guidance.
    Mr Speaker, when it is said in the Standing Orders that “may after notice”, I am sure the reference here would be after the Rt Hon Speaker has called. So, it would be the Hon Chairman or any other Hon Member, after the Hon Speaker has given notice. This is because “notice” is not defined, and so I would think that “after notice” would be when the Table Office or the Rt Hon Speaker has called that item numbered 4, then the Hon Chairman or any Hon Member may present the Report. That is my interpretation.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    You know the proper thing to do. If you disagree with the Speaker on his ruling, it is also in the Standing Orders. The problem there is one of construction, but when you read the authorities, that is the basis of the Standing Order 212 (3). Please, if you would want to challenge my ruling, then you should do the proper thing. I would be more than glad.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Resolved:
    That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢62,383,055 for the services of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture for the year ending 31st December, 2017.
    Hon Majority Chief Whip?
    Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh 2:20 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker, we may proceed with item numbered 24 on Ministry of Works and Housing.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Hon Minister for Works and Housing?
    ANNUAL ESTIMATES, 2017
    Ministry of Works and Housing
    Minister for Works and Housing (Mr Samuel Atta Akyea) 2:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢108,887,543 for the services of the Ministry of Works and Housing for the year ending 31st December, 2017.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Any seconder?
    Chairman of the Committee (Nana Amoakoh) 2:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to second the Motion and in doing so, I present your Committee's Report.
    Introduction
    In accordance with article 179 of the Constitution, and Standing Order 140(4) of the Standing Orders of the House, the 2017 Annual Estimates of the Ministry of Works and Housing were referred to the Committee on Works and Housing. This followed the presentation of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government for the financial year ending 31st December, 2017, by the Hon Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, on Thursday, 2nd March, 2017.
    The Hon Minister for Works and Housing, Mr Samuel Atta-Akyea and a technical team from the Ministry assisted the Committee in its deliberations. Officers from the Ministry of Finance were also at the meetings and provided clarifications and explanations to the issues raised by the Committee.
    The Committee is grateful to the Hon Minister and his technical team, as well as the officers from the Ministry of Finance for the assistance.
    Reference
    The Committee referred to the following documents during its deliberations:
    a) The 1992 Constitution of Ghana
    b) The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana
    c) The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2016 Financial Year
    d) The 2016 Annual Estimates of the erstwhile Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing
    e) The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2017 Financial Year; and
    f) The 2017 Annual Estimates of the Ministry of Works and Housing.
    Vision of the Ministry of Works and Housing
    The Ministry is to become a pace setting Ministry for sustainable management of public infrastructure in the area of works and housing.
    Mission statement
    The Ministry exists to formulate and implement policies, plans and programmes for the sustainable provision of secure, decent and affordable housing; the management of public landed properties, coastal protection works, operational hydrology and storm water drainage system for the country.
    The Ministry intends to achieve these through:
    Providing and facilitating access to adequate, secure, decent and affordable shelter, flood control systems and drainage systems;
    Providing, maintaining and protecting public property and infrastructure; and
    Supporting creative and innovative ways in the production and use of local building materials.
    In furtherance of the above, the Ministry is committed to maintaining high standards of excellence, transparency, probity, accountability, integrity and competence.
    Sectorial policy objectives
    The key policy objectives the Ministry will apply over the medium term are:
    To enhance capacity to mitigate and reduce natural disasters, risks and vulnerability
    To increase resilience of coastal settlement and infrastructure
    To increase access to adequate, safe, secure and affordable shelter
    To improve and accelerate housing delivery in the rural areas
    To establish a framework to coordinate human settlements development
    To promote resilient urban infrastructure development, mainte- nance; and management.
    Chairman of the Committee (Nana Amoakoh) 2:20 p.m.


    Summary of key achievements in

    2016

    For the year 2016, Government through the erstwhile Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, was committed to increasing access to safe water and water-related sanitation facilities in the rural, peri-urban and urban areas, as well as undertaking other activities, including the construction of affordable housing units for the public and civil servants throughout the country.

    These include the security services, undertaking operational hydrology, coastal protection and storm water drainage improvement.

    The achievement in the water and sanitation sector has been reported by the newly created Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources. Major achievements for the works and housing sectors, which among others, constitute the revised mandate of the Ministry of Works and Housing during the year under review, include the following:

    Human Settlement Management Programme/Housing Sector

    A number of activities and projects under the above programme were undertaken during the year under review:

    Housing for the Security Agencies

    The first phase of 168 housing units was completed and handed over to the BNI. The second phase, which involves the construction of 368 housing units for the Ghana Navy is about 80 per cent complete, and when completed, will serve as the first Ghana Navy Barracks in the country.

    Further, 216 housing units out of the affordable housing units at Kpone were

    allocated to the Ghana Police Service for completion.

    Tema Development Corporation (TDC)

    In Tema, a 3.1-kilometre access road which also serves as a boundary between the Tema Acquisition Area (TAA) and the Prampram stool lands was completed.

    The Tema Development Corporation (TDC) embarked upon a programme at Site 3, Community 1, to fill in open spaces with 8-storey apartment blocks. This comprises 64 two-bedroom apartments in 4 x 8-storey blocks, complimented by two blocks of shops, expanded sewage, water and electricity distribution systems. The construction of the buildings and external works were also completed. It is worth noting that utility services will be connected to the site by March 2017.

    Tema Development Corporation (TDC) commenced the resettlement terrace houses project meant to resettle squatters who were displaced during construction of the road linking the Community 24 to the Accra-Tema Motorway. The first phase which is 65 per cent complete comprises of 28 apartments in seven blocks.

    In a related development, the TDC in its bid to meet the needs of its staff accommodation, commenced a staff housing project during the reporting period. The project which consists of 12 blocks, providing 36 apartments was completed.

    The TDC, as part of its corporate social responsibility intervention, is undertaking a comprehensive drainage improvement works at Adjei Kojo and providing basic infrastructural services to the area. The works which include 26 kilometres of covered drains, two major culverts and roads were 78 per cent complete during the reporting period.

    The Community 24 Extension Infrastructural Services Project which was completed in 2016 made available 600 fully-serviced plots on 154 acres of land.

    In April 2016, the TDC completed an eight (8) storey shops and offices complex at Community 2, to provide about 13,200 m3 net rentable commercial space. The facility comprises of two banking halls, four large stores, four floors of office space, a restaurant and a 300-seater conference hall. This has opened up economic and commercial activities in the enclave.

    An Information Communication Technology (ICT) upgrade project, aimed at computerising and integrating the Corporation's records and business processes was introduced within the period. It is instructive to indicate that, in 2016, 30 per cent of all property records and 60 per cent of the layout of the entire TAA were digitised with the installation of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software.

    Affordable Housing

    The stalled affordable housing projects at Borteyman, Greater Accra and Asokore- Mampong, Kumasi were handed over to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) for completion. The Borteyman project is currently about 95 per cent complete and expected to deliver a total of 1,478 housing units to house about 4,500 people.

    Modalities for allocation are ongoing and hope to be ready for occupation by the end of the first quarter of 2017. The Asokore-Mampong project is also made up of 1,030 housing units. Squatters have been cleared off the site and the contractors have mobilised to the site and work has resumed in earnest.

    Government is also engaging both local and foreign companies to access funds for the completion of the remaining 686 affordable housing units at Koforidua, Wa and Tamale. In addition, Government facilitated a loan amount of US$200 million from Credit Suisse for Messrs Contrutora OAS Ltd., to construct a total of 5,000 housing units at Saglemi - Old Ningo.

    The first phase which is made up 1,502 housing units is progressing and is about 75 per cent complete.

    Infrastructure Management Programme

    The Ministry continued various coastal protection construction works along the Aboadze (83%), Adjoa (Near Takoradi) (70%), New Takoradi (90%) and Nkontompo (80%) Sea Defence coastlines in the Western Region and Blekusu Coastline in the Volta Region. Works are currently ongoing and the contractors are at site working.

    The Ministry also commenced drainage improvement works to solve the perennial flooding and erosion problems affecting most communities at flood- prone areas and to mitigate the disaster risks associated with flooding in various parts of the country. The projects which are at various stages of completion include Akora River Drainage Project at Agona Swedru, construction of reinforcement concrete drains at Sakaman Lot 1 and construction of reinforced concrete drains at Goaso Lots 1 and 2.

    Public, Private Partnership in Housing

    In its quest to reduce the housing deficit, Government also created the enabling environment for the private sector to fully participate in the delivery of housing units. In furtherance of this, the Government partnered Messrs Sethi Realty Ltd, to construct 5,000 affordable housing units. The first phase, branded “Nyame Dua” Estate of 240 units has been completed and ready for occupation.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:20 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, your Committee should at least have assisted the Hon Minister for Finance. You are the custodian of the purse. You are just appealing to him, but you do not draw his attention to where he should get the money. It is our Constitutional duty to impose taxation.
    So, if even what is given to the Ministry is not sufficient to pay for its debts, and you do not aid the Hon Minister for Finance by just appealing to him and you go through all the Reports, then how do you expect him to get this money to help the Ministry? I believe it is part of our duty, as a House, to aid the Hon Minister for Finance in this direction. I am just drawing your attention to it.
    Question proposed
    Mr Sampson Ahi (NDC -- Bodi) 2:40 p.m.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to support the Motion to approve the Ministry's Estimates for 2017.
    Mr Speaker, I am worried, and my worry comes from the fact that looking at the allocations to the Ministry, as a country, we are heading towards problems, difficulties and challenges, particularly, in Accra and Tema.
    Mr Speaker, allocation to manage the drainage systems in Accra and Tema is only GH¢ 610,000. Recently, we heard the Hon Minister said that we would need US$700 million to be able to holistically address the drainage systems in Accra and Tema.
    Mr Speaker, now, the Government, and for that matter, the Ministry of Finance, only allocates GH¢ 610, 000. Why are we toying with our lives?
    Why would the Government want to toy with our lives? Are we waiting for the rains and when Accra is flooded, and people lose their lives, then we move cameras to the scene and then come out with diplomatic speeches?
    Mr Speaker, this is serious and if the Hon Minister himself, by his estimation, would use US$700 million and for that matter, Government allocates only GH¢610,000 then, the people living in Accra and Tema should prepare for worst things to happen when it rains.
    Mr Sampson Ahi (NDC -- Bodi) 2:40 p.m.


    Mr Speaker, I hope the Hon Minister for Finance would help the Hon Minister for Works and Housing to address this perennial problem of flooding in Accra, and I am happy that he is sitting just close to the Hon Minister for Works and Housing.

    Mr Speaker, we must take this concept very seriously. This has been with us for a long time. Even in 2016, we had a contract to do part of the drainage systems with over US$50 million. So, if you make provision to continue, and the only amount you could give is GH¢610,000, then I do not know whether the Ministry of Finance is indirectly telling the Ministry that they should not do anything about drainage systems in Accra, and for that matter, in the country.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:40 p.m.
    Hon Sampson Ahi, you are to address the Chair and not the Hon Minister for Finance.
    Mr Ahi 2:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much.
    I hope the Hon Minister for Finance is listening to me and he would take my advice on board because, as a country, we should be seen to be seriously addressing our drainage systems. We should not wait till Accra is flooded and we lose lives before we come out with adhoc solutions. So that explains my worry.
    Mr Speaker, if you look at coastal protection in the country, at the moment, we owe contractors over GH¢528 million and the allocation in the 2017 budget is GH¢76 million. I do not know what we are
    doing? Even those we owe, we cannot capture to pay them.
    As we speak, erosion affects a lot of our coastal dwellers which we need to address. I hope we divert our attention there and not only focus -- We do not think that coastal protection and drainage systems are very important but these are very important, so far as human beings live on this earth.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to end by asking the Hon Minister for Finance to actually take the Ministry of Works and Housing seriously so that next time, allocations to that Ministry would be something that we could work with, but this budget allocation is just to tell the Hon Minister that they should stop work. It is unfortunate.
    Mr Kwaku Asante-Boateng (NPP -- Asante Akim South) 2:40 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the floor.
    Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Works and Housing is a very important sector in our economy, but when you look at the 2016 budget allocation, like my Hon Colleague just mentioned, we were given only five per cent of the budget allocation. But when you separate the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources from the Ministry of Works and Housing, and you tabulate the figures, you would realise that the Ministry of Works and Housing was allocated only 1.39 per cent of the Budget Estimates for 2016.
    Ghana is a developing nation and if we say we are developing, Mr Speaker, what are we developing? We are developing infrastructure to pace with our environment and our population.
    Mr Speaker, you would also look at housing delivery in the country. We know that we have a housing deficit of 1.5 million, and population is not static. We continue
    to produce by giving birth and if you look at the rate of delivery per year, there is no way we are going to catch up. And the housing deficit by this development is going to grow wider and wider.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:50 p.m.
    Hon Member, are you referring to population growth or rate of delivery?
    Mr Asante-Boateng 2:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, population vis-à-vis housing delivery. That is what I am referring to.
    Mr Speaker, what I am trying to say is that, if we are going at this pace, there is no way our delivery would be able to catch up with the population and match the need for housing in this country.
    Mr Speaker, you would realise that the various institutions are making some efforts in housing delivery. In our statement, we made mention of 168,000 housing units which was completed and handed over to the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI). We also have 368 housing units for the Ghana Navy. Another 216 housing units at Kpone which have been allocated to the Ghana Police Service.
    But when you look at all these, the question I ask myself is, where are we going as a nation? This is because, there is no way this piecemeal development is going to catch up and we need to do something about the deficit that we currently have as a nation.
    Mr Speaker, in contributing to the Motion on the floor, I just want to add to what my Hon Ranking Member said, that the allocation to the Ministry is woefully
    inadequate and I believe that, come mid- year, the government would look at the Budget Estimate and add something more or something meaningful to it.
    Mr Speaker, before I end my contribution, I just want to revisit the flooding situation in Ghana as reiterated by the Hon Ranking Member. If we have such a Budget allocation, how are we going to solve these problems? There is no way we would be able to solve them. Infrastructure in the field of providing drainage services is very capital intensive and there is no way we can support this venture with this meagre allocation. So we have to be —
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:50 p.m.
    Hon Members, the House is hereby suspended.
    2.53 p.m. -- Sitting suspended.
    3.35 p.m. -- Sitting resumed.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:50 p.m.
    Hon Members, please resume your seats. Before the unfortunate interruption, we were considering item numbered 24 on page 9 of the Order Paper. One Hon Member was on his feet -- Are you Hon Kwaku Asante-Boateng, Member of Parliament for Asante Akim South? Continue.
    Mr Asante-Boateng 2:50 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker, in concluding, I would just want to say that subsequently, the allocation to the Ministry of Works and Housing should be increased.
    With these few words, I just would want to submit that we approve the amount of GH¢108,887,543.00 to the Ministry of Works and Housing.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Samuel Atta Akyea 2:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I just want to say a few words by way of winding up.
    rose
    Mr Akyea 2:50 p.m.
    No, we have finished.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:50 p.m.
    I was guided by Leadership as to the number of persons to contribute. Two from each side, that was the guidance I was given. [Interruption] Only Hon Ahi? No problem. I am prepared to preside till 12 midnight so you can contribute.
    Hon Minister, just hold your peace and give him a few minutes.
    Mr Kwame G. Agbodza (NDC -- Adaklu) 2:50 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion numbered 24, for this House to approve the sum of GH¢108,887,543.00 for the Ministry of Works and Housing.
    The Report talks about a few of the challenges facing some of the agencies under the Ministry. It is important to note that this Ministry would mainly deal with works on drainage related issues and housing.
    The Report tells us what the Ministry has been doing in 2016, including the completion of some of the projects that were started by the previous administration and the new ones that have been started. The Report also tells us about how the housing deficit in this country keeps increasing.
    Mr Speaker, if this Report is to be the basis for which we are approving this Budget, I do not think the effort made by this country so far at addressing a GH¢1.7 million housing unit problem, we are any closer to dealing with it.
    The previous Government did some work but all put together, it cannot be more than 10,000 housing units. So we are nowhere near dealing with the issue.
    What is also important to note is that, this Budget is just GH¢108,887,543.00 for a Ministry that is supposed to deal with all the drainage issues that Hon Ahi talked about -- all the housing issues. So it is quite surprising that while we allocate just GH¢108,887,543.00 to this Ministry - - we were told in the early part of the day, we are allocating about GH¢132 million to the Office of the President, just for Goods and Services.
    It would also interest you to know that yes, we understand that the Government's priority is to improve on development in the zongo areas. However, it is very difficult for me to understand how we would allocate about GH¢208 million to the Ministry responsible for Inner City and Zongo Devcelopment. Yet we need only GH¢108,887,543.00 for everything to do on drainage and housing in this country.
    It beats my imagination as to what we want to achieve with this. The zongos are important and the drainages at the zongos are also the responsibility of the Minister for Works and Housing. I think that there is a bit of mismatch in terms of exactly what we want to achieve with this Budget.
    I believe the only way to tackle the housing issue in this country cannot be what we are doing. Currently, Government acquires land, irrespective of the value of the land, procures some money, they go
    and build on it and then we debate how much the house should be sold at.
    Mr Speaker, that is not business, we cannot do that. We are told in this Report that a two-bedroom house that has been completed to be given out in terms of affordability is GH¢270,000.00 and one bedroom is GH¢175,000.00.
    According to this Report, Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) is being asked to revise the price down. On what basis are they being asked to revise the prices down? In other words, when we say affordability, we mean one can buy something for GH¢10.00 and sell it for GH¢8.00. That cannot be sustainable.
    In countries that housing issues have been effectively solved, they have a better way of dealing with it. We can have a situation where you have different methods of property acquisition. In other countries, the private sector and Government policy drive this. A house is not only a shelter but an investment. A house can be converted into capital and do many things in this country. Let us pay more attention to this.
    I think that the Hon Minister for Finance and Minister for Works and Housing should develop a method where maybe, our financial institutions would find a way of allowing investors to have a long term investment in this. This is because the good thing about a house is that it is difficult for it to get missing. It is an investment that would be there.
    Fortunately, a housing investment mostly appreciates in terms of value. The only way to do this is to, maybe, get in touch with professional bodies like the Ghana Institute of Architects, Ghana Institute of Engineers and Ghana Institute
    of Planners so that we have what we can call a sustainable way. This is so that together with the financial institutions, we can have a shot at addressing the housing problem in this country.
    Currently, if we say the previous Government has built 160 units somewhere, another is building 5000 somewhere -- in a 1000 years -- we cannot solve the housing problem based on this proposal. We need a more radical way of dealing with this issue.
    That is why I am very disappointed that the money made available to this particular Ministry at this current stage is not going to be able to give the Hon Minister the needed strength to deal with the challenges we have. This is because we all need his Ministry to perform to deal with the problems we have.
    Mr Speaker, in the circumstances, we can only hope that when the Hon Minister for Finance comes back to this House in the near future, we would make better allocation. If there is a window for a foreign investment in this country, the Ministry of Works and Housing would be considered to take on more investments in terms of donor funding, so that we can improve on the housing sector in this country.
    On this note, Mr Speaker, I urge my Hon Colleagues to support the approval of this amount for utilisation by the Ministry of Works and Housing. Thank you very much Mr Speaker.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:50 p.m.
    Minister for Works and Housing, do you still insist on winding up?
    Sorry, Hon Minority Leader?
    Minority Leader (Mr Haruna Iddrisu) 2:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if you would accommodate me, I would endeavour to be brief in associating myself with the Motion for the approval of GH¢108,887,543.00 for the programmes and activities of the Ministry of Works and Housing for its programmes for 2017.
    Even though I appreciate that Government has separated water and sanitation from this Ministry -- May I refer you to page 2 of your Committee's Report, where it is written, “2016 Annual Estimates of the erstwhile Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing”.
    I have been wondering whether there was an erstwhile Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing in 2016. It was a Ministry and accordingly was referred to as the Ministry for Water Resources, Works and Housing. Now, we have a new Ministry of Works and Housing. Hitherto Mr Speaker, it cannot be referred to as an erstwhile Ministry. It was a Ministry and that was its name.
    Mr Speaker, to come to the substantive issue, I would refer you to page 4, the paragraph on Housing for the Security Agencies. I would join the chorus that the Hon Minister for Finance, who is here, should give particular attention in making sure that he allocates more resources to the Ministry of Works and Housing. Especially, as he is mopping up money here and there, he should be able to increase this request. This is not what the Ministry for Works and Housing requires.
    Mr Speaker, the housing deficit, particularly for public sector workers, must engage the attention of the Minister.
    We are talking of making housing available only to officials of the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI). We have the same problem with the police, military,
    prison officers and with the key judicial officers of state who struggle for accommodation just in and around the Ministries area.
    Mr Speaker, the lack of shelter and housing undoubtedly affects produc- tivity. So, one would expect that the Hon Minister would be given budgetary allocation in order to increase the housing stock, particularly for public workers. This is because every now and then, the problem we all face is with persons who come to ask for assistance in order for them to pay their rents. This problem would be resolved if the Ministry is adequately resourced.
    I would use Bawa Barracks and Kamina Barracks in Tamale as examples. I referred to the Hon Minister for Defence to the fact that every day as I drive through the Bawa Barracks and Kamina Barracks, my heart bleeds when I look at the state of accommodation of the men and women in uniform in that particular area.
    There should be a deliberate effort by Government to deal collectively with the accommodation problem associated with all the security agencies and not just the
    BNI.
    I believe the Hon Minister deserves our support.
    Mr Speaker, finally, I would want to encourage the Hon Minister that to solve the housing problem, even as we make a good case for him, it is not to become dependent. The Public Private Partnership (PPP) is an area we should look at.
    I would borrow the words of the current Hon Minister for National Security -- what Ghanaians want is affordable housing -- “affordable” in the voice of Hon Kan Dapaah. When it is said that a house is worth US$50,000.00 or
    US$100,000.00, it cannot be affordable. We are talking of social housing which must be available for the ordinary Ghanaian in order that we would be seen to be doing it.
    Mr Speaker, I noted that on page 5 of the Committee's Report, reference was made to the stalled affordable housing project at Borteyman in the Greater Accra Region and Asokore Mampong in Kumasi. I know in Tamale around the Womale area, one of the housing projects was also abandoned.
    The Hon Minister should take interest because there is a vast piece of land and what is needed are adequate resources.

    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minster for Works and Housing, can dedicate himself to housing just around. Himself being a learned person -- why must Supreme Court Judges, Judges of the Court of Appeal and others suffer to have decent accommodation?

    Mr Speaker, what you yourself started at the Ministry of Works and Housing -- the Hon Minister needs more resources to be able to increase the portfolio of the infill development projects so that, that can be dedicated to our public and civil servants.

    Mr Speaker, with these comments, I support the Motion.
    Mr Akyea 2:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would do a very simple winding up.
    Mr Speaker, the problem from my perspective is not want of investors but how investor confidence can be secured in that, they would have return on their investments if it is looked at from every perspective. Therefore the very good document that was put together for PPP is very significant.
    It is clear that the state of the economy would not be able to generate all the moneys we would need and to finance all the programmes. That is the fact of the matter, and therefore if are we able to encourage the private sector to partner with the public sector and give them assurances that even if it is a Busch System where they would want to pre- finance projects, at the end of the day, they would not be shortchanged.
    Mr Speaker, if we can come out with that arrangement and give them the confidence, I can assure you that there is an army of investors who are knocking at our doors, that if we can give them some assurance that when and where they pre- finance all the projects, there would be return on their investments, it would relieve us tremendously.
    Mr Speaker, I am very much aware about the perennial flooding, which also requires that we set aside some good moneys to mitigate those effects. That is the interim arrangement and plans have been made to ensure that we desilt drains in good time to obviate any situation in which there would be flooding.
    Mr Speaker, it looks to me that the purse is scanty, but the goodwill is strong for some of the contractors to keep working until there is some improvement in our finances.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 2:50 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
    Ms Safo 2:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we can take item numbered 19 which is page 8 on the Order Paper.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:55 p.m.
    Hon Minister for Information, item numbered
    19.
    ANNUAL ESTIMATES, 2017
    Ministry of Information
    Minister for Information (Mr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid) 3:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢141,078,702 for the services of the Ministry of Information for the year ending 31st December 2017.
    Chairman of the Committee (Mr Ken Ohene Agyapong) 3:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion — [Interruption.]
    Mr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson 3:55 p.m.
    On a point of order.
    Mr Speaker, I thought the Hon Minister would speak a bit about the policy. This is because, just moving the Motion and talking about the amount is not good enough. I thought that, at least, he would speak about the policy direction of the Ministry.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:55 p.m.
    I believe it is just that the Hon Members want to hear your voice. That is what has been happening since morning. I do not know why in your particular case, they would want you to say something about your Ministry. Maybe, it is because of the number of Deputies too. So you can say a word and we can then move on.
    Ms Sarah Adwoa Safo 3:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe the Hon Minister had reserved that for the winding up —
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:55 p.m.
    I did not hear the Hon Minister say that.
    If you are saying it on his behalf, please say so.
    Ms Safo 3:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am doing so.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:55 p.m.
    Are you doing so?
    Ms Safo 3:55 p.m.
    Rightly so.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:55 p.m.
    All right.
    Then we will allow him. The Standing Orders clearly permits the Hon Minister to move the Motion and reserve the right to come back later.
    Mr Haruna Iddrisu 3:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, even though I am guided by your guidance — But if that is to stand, it would appear that we are trivialising a very important aspect of this Motion.
    In moving the Motion, I am sure that my Hon Colleague is just reminding the Hon Minister that, this is Parliament and not a Meet the Press forum — [Laughter] — Therefore, if he has policy issues that he intends to use our money for in the coming year, he should say so.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:55 p.m.
    The Hon Minister for Information appreciates the initiation. So, let us move on.
    Chairman of the Committee (Mr Ken Ohene Agyapong) 3:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion and in doing so, present the Report of your Committee.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon. Minister for Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, in accordance with article 179 of the 1992 Constitution, presented the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government for the 2017 Financial Year to the House on Thursday, 2nd March, 2017.
    Pursuant to Orders 140 (4) and 182 of the Standing Orders of the House, the Hon Speaker referred the Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Information to the Committee on Communications for consideration and report.
    The Committee thereafter met with the Hon Minister for Information, Alhaji Mustapha Abdul-Hamid and his technical team on Wednesday, 22nd March, 2017 and considered the referral.
    The Committee is grateful to the Hon Minister and his technical team for their co-operation.
    Reference documents
    The Committee was guided by the following reference documents during its deliberations:
    Chairman of the Committee (Mr Ken Ohene Agyapong) 3:55 p.m.


    i. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.

    ii. The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.

    iii. The Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Communications for the 2016 financial year.

    iv. The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2016 Financial Year.

    v. The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2017 Financial Year.

    Mission statement

    The Ministry of Information exists to facilitate free flow of adequate, timely and reliable information and feedback between government and its various publics for socio-economic empowerment and enhanced democratic citizenship.

    Implementing Departments and Agencies

    The following Agencies and Institutions are responsible for the implementation of the policies and programmes of the Ministry:

    a. Ghana News Agency (GNA.).

    b. Information Services Department

    (ISD).

    c. Ghana Broadcasting Corporation

    (GBC).

    d. Ghana Publishing Company Limited(GPCL).

    e. Graphic Communications Group Company Limited (GCGCL).

    f. New Times Corporation (NTC).

    Policy objectives

    The broad policy objectives of the Ministry in line with GSGDA II are to:

    i. Promote social accountability in the public policy cycle.

    ii. Mainstream development communication across the public sector.

    iii. Improve transparency and public access to information.

    iv. Enhance the capacity of the Media for sustainable development communication, accountability and press freedom.

    Performance for year 2016

    Between the years 2013 and 2016, the Ministry of Information was placed under the Ministry of Communications. For the 2016 financial year, a total amount of GH¢292,861,427.00 was allocated to the then Ministry of Communications to cater for both the Information and Com- munications Divisions of the Ministry.

    The Information Division of the Ministry of Communications was able to undertake the following activities among others in year 2016:

    It organised 9 Government for the People (G4P) Fora and 19 Meet- the- Press Series to inform the citizenry on government policies, programmes and projects.

    It undertook a nationwide public education campaign on year 2016 Budget Statement and Economic Policy. The campaign afforded citizens the opportunity to seek clarification on development plans contained in the Statement

    The Ghana Broadcating Corporation acquired the franchise and provided live telecast of CHAN 2016, the CAF Super Cup, the Olympic Games and the AFCON 2017 qualifiers, including the live telecast of the AFCON tournament itself.

    Ghana News Agency established a Centre for journalism and multimedia training. With the establishment of the training centre, GNA now provides in-service training to staff members to improve productivity.

    Budgetary allocation for year 2017

    A budgetary provision of one hundred and forty-one million, and seventy-eight thousand, seven hundred and two Ghana cedis (GH¢ 141,078,702.00) has been made for the Ministry of Information for the execution of its programmes and activities for year 2017. The breakdown is indicated in Table 1 below:

    Table 1 -- Breakdown of 2017 Budgetary Allocation by source of funding and expenditure item

    SPACE FOR Table 1 - PAGE 6 - 3.55 P.M.

    Observations and recommendations

    Main Ministry

    It would be recalled that the Ministry of Information was subsumed under the Ministry of Communication between 2013 and 2016. During this period, the Ministry's headquarters, which is an old building, did not receive the needed attention in terms of maintenance.

    At the moment, the roof is leaking, the floor tiles need to be replaced, the two lifts, which are out of order also needs to

    be fixed or replaced. The deplorable condition of the building calls for a complete renovation, which is estimated to cost GH¢4 million. However, only GH¢2 million was provided for rehabilitation works.

    The Committee was informed that the Ministry in its present state cannot boast of any asset. It has no furniture and office equipment such as computers, pho- tocopiers, and printers. Currently, out of six vehicles given to the Ministry, only two are serviceable. In view of the nature
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:55 p.m.
    Hon Member, please, do not conclude.
    Please, look at paragraph 8.3.4 of page 8 — the second part; where you said,
    “The Committee was informed that in 2016, GBC…”
    Look at the IGF —
    You stated that GBC projected an IGF of GH¢50,942,209.01 —
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:55 p.m.
    And out of that GH¢20,382,007.42, TV license fee alone was? Look at your figures.
    Mr Ken Agyapong 3:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, they projected GH¢20,382,007.42, which is 40 per cent of the total projection they made for the IGF. But they realised only GH¢968,915.14. So in effect, out of the GH¢50,942,209.01, GH¢20,382,007.42 was for TV licence. Unfortunately, they realised only — [Interruption.]
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:55 p.m.
    But both worked to 40 per cent. The GH¢20,339,314.18 represents 40 per cent. Then below it, GH¢20,382,007.42 also represents 40 per cent. Is that the case?
    Mr Ken Agyapong 3:55 p.m.
    No, it cannot be —
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 3:55 p.m.
    I am drawing your attention to it.
    What is the correction?
    Mr Ken Agyapong 4:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe in percentage terms, we might get about 40.2 per cent so we can round it up and say, 40 per cent. If it is above 40.5 per cent then we can say, 41 per cent.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:05 p.m.
    Hon Member, you may continue.
    Mr Ken Agyapong 4:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in conclusion, the Ministry of Information performs an important function of collecting and disseminating information on government policies and programmes and providing government with feedback
    on the views of the citizenry to inform policy actions and interventions. However, the Ministry's capacity to pursue this agenda effectively and efficiently depends on the extent to which government is able to resource and position it to be more competitive within today's technology-oriented information age.
    It is therefore, necessary for government to prioritise the operations of the Ministry within the governance framework and provide it with all the support that is required to enable it play its role as expected.
    The Committee hereby recommends that the House approves the sum of one hundred and forty-one million, and seventy-eight thousand, seven hundred and two Ghana cedis (GH¢141,078,702.00) for the services of the Ministry of Information for the financial year ending 31st December, 2017.
    Question proposed.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:05 p.m.
    Hon B. F. Alhassan?
    Alhaji Bashir Fuseini Alhassan (NDC -- Sagnarigu) 4:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to support the Motion.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to prefix my contribution with a very important saying that underlines the importance of the Ministries for Information and Communication.
    Mr Speaker, even if you are the most prolific medicine man whose healing prowess is universally acknowledged and acclaimed, you would still need publicity. [Laughter.] You still need your message of achievement to be trumpeted by someone for the rest of the community to buy into it. That is why they say that salt
    is not in a hurry to praise itself. If it is in the soup and you taste it, you would acknowledge it. [Laughter] That is why information management and control is very important.
    Mr Speaker, having acknowledged this, I would want to first and foremost recognise, like my Chairman said, that the Ministry was previously subsumed under the Ministry of Communications and has recently been liberated. When the Hon Minister for Information appeared before the Committee, he enumerated a litany of problems that afflicted the Ministry of Information, including the fact that they are struggling to come to terms with basic tools to work with.
    This is because I believe that in the process of the realignment of assets, they have not got the requisite level of assets that would empower them to deliver.
    Mr Speaker, that is the reason I am personally, and as part of this Committee very concerned that the requisite level of resources have not been made available in this Budget Statement to the Committee to work with. I do recognise that there is an appreciation in the amount given to the Ministry of Information for compensation.
    But if we look at Goods and Services, they have just about one-third of the amount that they need to be able to deliver this very crucial mandate, especially with agencies and departments such as the Information Services Department, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) and Ghana News Agency (GNA).
    Mr Speaker, so, when the house has fallen, you do not ask whether the roof is still standing; -- [Laughter] -- even the main Ministry has to contend with these

    Mr Speaker, I now move on to the GNA. Mr Speaker, GNA has a crucial role to play in the collection, analysation, dissemination and presentation of unbiased, truthful, credible and objective information. As somebody who has functioned in the print media, I recognised the overwhelming importance of the GNA.

    But unfortunately, notwithstanding the last few years, Government had undertaken the programme to try and reach through GNA to make it competitive. The process has not been kept apace as it should have been.

    Mr Speaker, it is important that the process to retool GNA is increased. I am particularly worried that even the little the GNA is trying to get to enhance its operations, by way of internally generated funds (IGF), the GNA has a zero retention of IGF in this particular Budget. I think that is a very serious issue.
    Alhaji Bashir Fuseini Alhassan (NDC -- Sagnarigu) 4:15 p.m.


    I am very happy that when the landlord is there to tell the eloquent story of the house, you do not ask the caretaker. [Laughter.] I am having the Hon Minister for Finance here, and he is going to take judicious notice of this issue of IGF.

    Mr Speaker, I noticed it within the overall policy of an aggressive onslaught to claw back IGF into Government chest. I think that that overzealous policy of trying to recoup IGF from many institutions must be looked out on a case by case basis. This is because the GNA is already reeling; if you cannot see God when you are lying flat on your back, what about when you are faced down? [Laughter.] Mr Speaker, GNA has that problem, and I would want to urge that this matter be looked at very seriously.

    Mr Speaker, when we come to GBC, it is a very important instrument for public policy dissemination in this country. It is one institution which has presence in every part of this country. So, because of its proximity to the good people of this country, it has the capacity to render service at the doorsteps of our people.

    Mr Speaker, also, through its instrument of public broadcasting, GBC has been able to provide very useful service to the good people of this country, particularly to Government, the public sector and to deprived and disadvantaged communities across our country. For that matter, it is important to retool GBC and ensure that it has the capacity to deliver. But unfortunately, this Budget does not provide the requisite level of resources for GBC.

    Mr Speaker, like my Chairman said, if we take even one single item like electricity arrears, GBC has GH¢18,000,000 as arrears. From the allocated amount for

    Goods and Services of GH¢11,000,000, if we were to even use the entire amount allocated, it cannot even pay for electricity.

    That is why it is important to look at other forms of empowering GBC.

    Unfortunately again, Mr Speaker, the spectre of IGF is here to haunt GBC. The IGF of GBC has been encumbered, and I believe it has been capped at 66 per cent. Unfortunately, Mr Speaker, at the time this Budget Statement was taken, GBC had budgeted without even knowing that its IGF had been capped, and so it was swimming in a river whose tide they did not know.

    Mr Speaker, I am happy again that the Hon Minister for Finance is here. GBC has rendered public service to the tune of over GH¢200 million. These are moneys it has not been able to collect; some from even public institutions, Government and other institutions over the years.

    It is important for us to recognise that institutions that are so financially handicapped but have the capacity to render such public services, we should be able to take the requisite steps to exempt them from some of these onslaughts on their IGFs.

    That is why I would support this Budget Estimates for the Hon Minister for Information on the proviso that we work hard to ensure that these institutions that are currently distressed do not, as it were, suffer more.

    Mr Speaker, I say this from the standpoint that GBC, over the years, had enjoyed 100 per cent retention of their IGF. Even with their 100 per cent retention, GBC had to struggle with its mission of ensuring that it provides efficient public

    broadcasting for the good people of this country.

    Mr Speaker, if one has been struggling to carry twigs and now they are adding logs onto it, I wonder how one can discharge one's job to the best of specification.

    So, I would want to join the Hon Chairman of the Committee to urge that the Hon Minister for Information sits with both GBC and GNA, so that they would come back to this House because it is clothed with the requisite power and authority to review fees and levies. There are some of the levies and charges of GBC and GNA which are completely outdated and need to conform to the current realities of our times.

    So, I would urge that the Hon Minister for Information liaises with the Hon Minister for Finance to come back to this House with the requisite level of amendments on fees for this House to look at and do the proper thing.

    Mr Speaker, I know that a man who roasts meat must not have a dry mouth. So, if the Hon Minister is able to ensure that the requisite amendments are made, this House would be willing to sympathise with these very important institutions.

    Mr Speaker, lastly, I know that the Information Services Department (ISD) is a very important and integral part of the Ministry of Information, which disseminates information across the country on Government's policies and programmes, gives feedback to Government, and also does a lot of public information on important announcements that affect the destiny of our people.

    Just like the previous ones, the quantum of resources made available to it to discharge its obligations are also grossly inadequate.

    So, I would want to also urge that we take steps to increase the level of resources to the ISD because there are thousands of workers there. If the quantum of resources left for them for Goods and Services are paltry, a lot of them would be sitting without work. So, we would be pretending to be paying them, and they would be pretending to be working.

    And in the words of former President Kufuor, I do not think that we would have been better served as a nation. That is why I would urge that more resources be made available to them.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:15 p.m.
    At the end of the debate, I will put the Question -- [Interruption.]
    Does the Hon Minister want to wind up?
    Mr Abdul-Hamid 4:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the approval of the Estimates for the Ministry of Information will enable it to undertake programmes that would deepen citizens' participation in our governance processes.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:15 p.m.
    Hon Minister, you are to wind up. So do not reopen the debate.
    Mr Abdul-Hamid 4:15 p.m.
    So, I am very grateful to this House for the interest generated in the Ministry of Information.
    I urge all Hon Members to support the Motion that I have moved, so that the Annual Budget Estimates for this Ministry would be approved by the House for the
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:15 p.m.
    At the conclusion of the debate, I will put the Question.
    Question put and Motion agreed to
    Resolved:
    That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢141,078,702 for the services of the Ministry of Information for the year ending 31st December, 2017.
    Ms Safo 4:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, respectfully, we can take item numbered 25 -- the Motion on the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources on page 9 of the Order Paper.
    Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources (Mr Joseph Kofi Adda) 4:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the sum of
    GH¢255,531,354 --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
    Hon Minister, at least, I would have to give you that opportunity --

    The person said to be in a hurry in this country was Dr Kwame Nkrumah. So, do not be in such a hurry.

    Motion numbered 25 -- Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources?

    ANNUAL ESTIMATES, 2017

    Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources
    Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources (Mr Joseph Kofi Adda) 4:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢255,531,354 for the services of the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources for the year ending 31 st
    December 2017.
    Question proposed.
    Chairman of the Committee (Nana Amoakoh) 4:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion, and in so doing, present your Report.
    Introduction
    The 2017 Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources were on Thursday 2nd March, 2017 referred to the Committee on Works and Housing for consideration and report in accordance with article 179 of the 1992 Constitution and Standing Orders 140(4) and 180. This followed the presentation of the Budget and Economic Policy Statement of the Government by the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta for the financial year ending 31st December 2017 on March 2nd, 2017.
    The Committee met with the Hon Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Mr Joseph Kofi Adda and his technical team and discussed the Estimates. An official of the Budget Unit of the Ministry of Finance also attended upon the Committee and assisted the meeting with further clarification on some of the items and figures in the Estimates.
    The Committee is grateful to the Hon Minister and the officials for the assistance.
    Reference
    The following served as reference documents during the Committee deliberations:
    a) The 1992 Constitution of Ghana
    b) The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana
    c) The Budget Statements and Economic Policies of the Government of Ghana for the 2016 and 2017 financial years
    d) The 2016 Annual Estimates of the erstwhile Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing: and
    e) The 2017 Annual Estimates for the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources.
    Background
    The Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources is one of the newly created Ministries carved out of the Ministries of Water Resources, Works and Housing (water supply & water resources management-CWSA, GWCL & WRC), Local Government and Rural Development (Environmental Health and Sanitation Directorate) and Health (Schools of Hygiene) with an Executive Instrument (EI28, 2017) issued by H.E., the President.
    Vision and mission
    The Ministry exists to ensure sustainable management of the nation's water resources, provide safe, adequate
    Chairman of the Committee (Nana Amoakoh) 4:25 p.m.
    Goal and objectives
    The goal of the Ministry is to contribute to improvement in the living standards of Ghanaians through increased access to and use of safe water, sanitation and hygiene practices and sustainable management of water resources.
    The Ministry therefore, has three broad sectorial goals in line with its mandate and these are:
    To ensure sustainable management of the country's water resources for increased access to safe, adequate and affordable water
    To ensure a sustainable and effective management of liquid and solid waste to reduce pollution of our water bodies as well as job and wealth creation and
    To promote behavioural change programme and increase access to safe hygiene practices among the populace.
    The following key policy objectives have been identified by the Ministry in pursuit of these goals:
    To ensure efficient management of water resources through Integrated Water Resources Management
    (IWRM)
    To accelerate the provision of adequate, safe and affordable water
    To adopt a sector- wide approach to water and environmental sanitation delivery

    To accelerate the provision of adequate, safe and affordable environmental sanitation facilities;

    To ensure the development and implementation of effective behaviour change using communication approaches as components of all water and sanitation programmes; and

    To ensure secure, adequate and sustainable financing for sector programmes and activities.

    Directorates under the Ministry

    The Ministry will work through the under-listed specialized departments and agencies:

    Ghana Water Company Ltd.

    Water Resources Commission

    Community Water and Sanitation Agency

    Environmental Health and Sanitation Directorate; and

    School of Hygiene

    2016 Performance

    Water and Sanitation Management Programme

    During the 2016 FY, the Ministry, through its agencies executed several water supply and sanitation projects in various urban areas. These included the Wa Water Supply Expansion Project, Kwahu Ridge, Konongo and Kumawu Water Supply Project, Urban Water Subsequent Year Investment Programme (SYIP), Cape Coast Water Supply Project, Essakyir Water Supply Project, Akim Oda, Akwatia and Winneba Water Supply Project and Greater Accra Metropolitan Assembly (GAMA) Water and Sanitation Project.

    Under the Wa Water Supply Expansion Project, construction works on water intake sources, water treatment plants, booster stations, elevated water tanks and the laying of the 35kilometres transmission pipeline were completed; and progress of works on the construction of distribution network/lines have advanced from 55 per cent in 2015 to 96 per cent in 2016.

    With respect to the Kwahu Ridge, Konongo and Kumawu Water Supply Project (popularly christened as 3Ks), the following were the status at the end of 2016. The projects have progressed from 82 per cent (2015) to 98 per cent in 2016
    Chairman of the Committee (Nana Amoakoh) 4:25 p.m.
    Rural Water Management Programme
    Under the Sustainable Rural Water and Sanitation Project (SRWSP), a GoG - World Bank funded rural water and sanitation project in six regions (Northern, Brong Ahafo, Western, Central, Upper East and Western regions); 41 out of 64 Small Town Water Systems were completed. A total of 1,135 boreholes were drilled in 2016 with 944 fitted with hand pumps and 450 institutional latrines completed.
    Phases 1 and 2 of the North and Central Tongu, Adaklu Districts and Ho Municipal Water Supply Scheme also known as the Five Districts Water Supply Scheme was implemented by STRABAG Ag. of Vienna Austria and the following were achieved: a)l. 1MGD water treatment plant was completed at Mafi Adidome; b) construction of 85.37km transmission lines; and c) 8 high level water tanks of various sizes at Dadoboe, Kpedzeglo, Kutime, Kanikope, Manese Zongo, Mafi Kumasi, Avedo-Bakpa and Bagalikope.
    The Government of Ghana received a grant from the Republic of China for the construction of 1,000 boreholes in six (6) regions: Upper East, Brong Ahafo, Western, Volta, Eastern and Northern Regions. The status of the implementation in 2016 was as follows:
    In the Volta Region, 148 boreholes drilled with 142 pumps tested
    Brong Ahafo -- 107 drilled with 40 pumps tested and fixed

    Upper East -- 151 drilled with 96 pumps tested and fixed

    Eastern -- 98 drilled, all fixed with tested pumps.

    Water Resources Management Programme

    In order to further ensure sustainable management of water resources, Water Resources Commission (WRC) successfully got Parliament to adopt the Dam Safety Regulations L.I. 2236 of 2016. The Regulation is to control and coordinate all relevant activities related to dam design, construction, operations, maintenance, and decommissioning.

    Meanwhile, the Disaster Risk Management Country Plan (DRMCP) Project a World Bank supported project was implemented in 2016. The project seeks to strengthen flood management in the White Volta Basin by building capacity at the national agencies responsible for flood management for improved climate resilience in Ghana.

    The socio-economic studies and communication strategy were completed and detailed flood risk maps were handed over to the 11 affected District Assemblies in the White Volta Basin for incorporation into their Development Plans. Four (4) technical staff from GMet, HSD, NADMO and WRC were trained in flood resilience.

    The target is the reduction in the impacts of hydrometeological hazards.

    An extension of the DRMCP project is the flood hazard assessment of the Oti River Basin Project which seeks to develop a flood forecasting model and early warning system for the Oti River Basin towards the effective management of floods in the Basin.The project started

    in 2016 and the relevant data has been collected for developing the flood forecasting model for the Oti River Basin. WRC assisted in the consultations with Volta Basin Authority (VBA) and Togo to establish a transboundary collaborative structure, which is the Project Steering Committee for flood management.

    The Implementation of Strategic Action Programme Priority Actions Project, another World Bank supported project through the Volta Basin Authority (VBA) to the riparian countries of the Volta Basin which seeks to provide protection and restoration of the riverbanks and degraded forests upstream of the Volta Lake in Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire was launched in February 2016.

    The 2016 work plan for implementation in the Black Volta Basin and Terms of Reference were developed and a Consultant was engaged to conduct preliminary and detailed feasibility studies of the area at Chache and Agbelikame including selected sites, areas to be covered, and mode of creation and management of the reforested area for practical interventions to begin.

    Summary of Budget Allocation and Performance in 2016

    The Water and Sanitation Sector during the year under review was allocated a total amount of three hundred and three million, four hundred and forty thousand, eight hundred and sixty-one Ghana cedis (GH¢303,440,861.00). The amount was allocated to the core expenditure items of the sector as follows:
    Chairman of the Committee (Nana Amoakoh) 4:25 p.m.


    However, as at 31st December, 2016, an amount of nine million, five hundred and fifty-nine thousand and fifty-five Ghana cedis, thirty-five pesewas (GH¢9,559,055.35) had been released.

    Outlook for 2017

    During the 2017 financial year the Ministry will mainly focus its expenditure on the implementation of the Water Management and the Sanitation Management Programmes.

    Water Management Programme

    The Ministry will intensify the development and management of buffers in degraded river basins. A Legislative Instrument for implementation will accordingly be pursued.

    Further, water extension projects in Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA), Kumasi and Cape Coast would be continued. The Kpong, Akim Oda and Ho water expansion projects, Tono Water Treatment project in Novrongo, and projects in Novrongo, Yendi and Damango will be undertaken, while the Wa project will be completed.

    Again, preparatory works for Sunyani and Techiman as well as the Sekondi- Takoradi water supply projects will be finalised while feasibility studies for the

    Sogakope-Lome Trans boundary water supply project will also be finalised.

    In addition, the Ministry will complete the ongoing 1,000 boreholes projects and also initiate the construction of at least 2,000 boreholes across the country as part of the drive to get closer to Government's goal of “Water for All” and the SDG Agenda number six.

    The Ministry will also facilitate the construction of dams for rural communities through ‘One Village, One Dam' initiative. The establishment of the Dam Safety Unit under the Water Resources Commission will aid in the rolling out of the initiative.

    The Ministry will revive and coordinate meetings of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Small Scale and Illegal Mining. Collaboration will be made with the Minerals Commission to regulate the activities of small-scale miners to ensure the protection of our water bodies.

    As part of these measures, efforts will be taken to set up permanent security posts at major water treatment plants such as Barekesse, Daboase and Owabi to ward off encroachment and also protect these sensitive national assets.

    Sanitation Management Programme

    The focus and mandate of the new Ministry will be to pursue a persistent and

    dedicated effort through a Comprehensive National Sanitation Strategy and Total Sanitation Campaign across the country to transform attitudes of the general public towards basic hygiene and environmental sanitation.

    In order to sustain the gains made through the promotion of environmental sanitation, logistical support and infrastructure development such as dedicated refuse collection systems, engineered landfill sites and sewerage treatment plants will be provided.

    The Ministry will also consolidate various policies and programmes into a comprehensive National Sanitation Programme and Action Plan that will facilitate the implementation of the Clean Ghana Campaign.

    As part of the measures to address the sanitation issue in a sustainable manner, the Ministry will introduce, as a first step, a policy framework to establish a National Sanitation Fund during the year.

    Further steps will also be undertaken to explore the establishment of a dedicated Environment and Sanitation Agency to more effectively deal with the sanitation situation in collaboration with the MMDAs.

    The Ministry will also provide appropriate uniform and identification for 4,500 Environmental Health Officers nationwide to ensure visibility and enforcement of environmental sanitation and basic hygiene bye-laws.

    The introduction of the Sanitation Module of the National Youth Employment Programme initiated under
    Chairman of the Committee (Nana Amoakoh) 4:25 p.m.


    delivery. Currently, urban water coverage stands at 76 per cent. This is a significant improvement from the initial 64 per cent in 2015. This means that about 24 per cent of the urban dwellers are yet to be covered.

    Though the Committee views the 76 per cent coverage in 2016 as commendable, it strongly believes that the 24 per cent of the population without access to water supply is unacceptable as it also affects their human rights.

    With regard to rural water, the coverage was given as about 76%. Meanwhile, the Committee learnt that a lot of boreholes have been drilled in the communities without heads fitted on them. Other water systems have been completed without a distribution network. The issue of broken down boreholes were also of concern to Hon Members. The Committee considers this as worrying since huge investments have been sunk in with the communities still without access to water supply.

    The Committee therefore urges the Ministry to ensure that all on-going projects are pursued and new ones undertaken to increase the coverage for universal access to be realised in the country. The Committee further urges the government and for that matter the Ministry of Finance to provide additional resources probably from the Contingency Fund to enable the Ministry to complete on-going, abandoned and broken down water system to enable the country achieve the Sustainable Development Goal of universal access.

    Non-payment of Financial Commitments

    The Committee was informed that Ghana has since 2014 defaulted in the payment of Annual Subscription fees to the Volta Basin Authority (VBA) and the

    African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW).A total amount of GH¢3, 727,065.75comprising GH¢3,186,763.28 (CFA432, 000,000.00) and GH¢540,302.47 (US$120,000.00) is being owed the VBA and AMCOW respectively.

    The Volta is a transboundary river, which is shared by six countries in West Africa - Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mali and Togo. The Volta basin covers 70 per cent of the land area of Ghana and 62 per cent of Burkina Faso. The VBA was therefore established in 2007 to basically manage the water resources of the Volta on holistic basis.

    Regarding the importance for Ghana to show more interest and pay her financial contribution for VBA activities, the Committee learnt that Ghana is the most downstream country in the Volta basin and its water resources are inextricably linked with upstream development. The VBA therefore provides an opportunity to ensure equitable and fair distribution of water resources in a future of rapid population and industrial growth coupled with climate change impacts and uncertainties.

    It was further noted that since Ghana pays about one-third of the total financial contribution, non-payment since 2014 has negatively affected the basic operations of the VBA including payment of office rent, electricity and salaries. This has also resulted in loss of interest in VBA of technical and financial partners.

    It is therefore obvious that should the non-payment of Ghana's financial contribution prevail, the above project could be delayed, and the country is unlikely to fully benefit from a number of current initiatives of the VBA. For instance, Ghana has since the
    Chairman of the Committee (Nana Amoakoh) 4:25 p.m.


    establishment of the VBA occupied the Executive Director position. VBA Council of Ministers have launched a recruitment process for an Executive Director and a Deputy and Ghanaian applicants may suffer sanctions, which are currently being advocated by some Member States due to Ghana's non-payment of its annual contributions.

    Again as an international river basin, each member country of the Volta Basin has to notify and seek a ‘no objection' from the other riparian states before the execution of any water project, especially water infrastructure (such as the Pwalugu Dam). So far, the required responses from the other riparian states in order for Ghana to realise her water infrastructure development agenda, is gradually receiving less attention, partly due to Ghana's non-payment of her financial contributions to the VBA.

    Regarding the arrears to the AMCOW, it was noted that the Council of Ministers (of water resources) meet every two years. Ghana is to host the meeting in 2018 and will assume the chairmanship of the Council for two years after the meeting. It will be quite embarrassing for the meeting to be held in Ghana if the financial contribution remains outstanding.

    Protection of water bodies from human activities

    The Committee noted that the unlawful and unacceptable human activities such as galamsey, sand winning and farming are increasingly destroying aquatic life of most of our water bodies and in some cases causing the drying up of the water bodies that serve as sources of water supply for the populace.

    It was also noted that as a result of this, most of these water sources have been polluted and as such treatment cost

    being incurred by the institutions responsible for the production of potable water has been increasing astronomically. This, the Committee noted has been a drain on the limited resources of these institutions. In addition, some of the sources of water supply have dried up and some of the treatment plants have been shut down. This explains why some parts of the country are currently experiencing water shortage.

    The Committee considers the situation as alarming and calls for institutional cooperation and collaboration in finding a permanent solution to the problem.

    The Hon Minister in response assured the Committee that an Inter-Ministerial committee comprising the Ministries of Lands and Natural Resources, Sanitation and Water Resources, Local Government and Rural Development, Chieftaincy and Culture and Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation has been set up by Cabinet to develop more sustainable programmes and activities to tackle the galamsey and other menace.

    The Committee lauds the initiative and hopes that all stakeholders would cooperate and provide the needed support in finding lasting solution to the menace.

    Transfer of all Sanitation funds, programmes and projects

    The Committee noted with concern the uncoordinated execution of sanitation and hygiene programmes and activities by several MDAs. This state of affairs has made it difficult to achieve significant impact and focus in the environmental sanitation and hygiene sub-sector; with the strategic focus of the government not being clear to sector players. Emanating
    Mr Sampson Ahi (NDC -- Bodi) 4:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much.
    I rise to support the Motion to approve the Budget Estimates for the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources for 2017.
    Mr Speaker, we all know the importance of water, and all efforts must be made to ensure that our people get access and affordable water.
    There is one trending problem in the water sector which all of us must endeavour to address. It has to do with the pollution of water resources in our country.
    Mr Speaker, human activities such as mining in our river bodies, farming along our river bodies, sometimes even building houses 100 metres into the river bodies and dumping of waste in our river bodies are depleting our water resources, which serve as the source of raw water for our consumption. All of us must endeavour to address this problem; opinion leaders, chiefs and all Ghanaians.
    Mr Speaker, in 2016, we embarked on five district water projects to supply water to North and South Tongu Districts, Adaklu District and Ho Municipal Assembly. The first and second phases have been completed, and we are left with the third phase where we seek to lay pipes for water to be sent to the homes of people. Mr Speaker, I urge the Ministry to take this project forward, so that the third phase component could be executed.
    Mr Speaker, in the last Parliament, we had US$35 million to do the Damongo Water Project. It had Cabinet approval, and it was brought to the previous Parliament, but because of lack of time, we were not able to take it through. It is still on the drawing board, so I would want to urge the Ministry to ensure that the
    Damongo Water Project is brought back to this House for consideration and approval.
    Mr Speaker, if we look at both urban and rural water coverage, we still have some Ghanaians who do not have access to potable water. This is because if we have covered 76 per cent in both rural and urban areas, then it means that about 24 per cent of our people do not have water to drink.
    That is why I am happy that the Ministry, in 2017, is hoping to do 2,000 boreholes. So, I would urge the Ministry of Finance to release funding to the Ministry, so that they could undertake this important project.
    Mr Speaker, lastly, sanitation is something that we should take seriously as a country. When we were young, every Thursday, we had District Sanitation Inspectors who came around in our communities, and we called them samansaman. This brought about good sanitation in our communities. Every Wednesday evening, we could see mothers cleaning compounds and sweeping.
    It has been captured that the Ministry would want to re-introduce this aspect of sanitation in our country. I would only urge the Ministry that it would help us if they bring back the sanitation activities in our country. This is because no matter what we do, if sanitation is not at the grassroots, then we cannot do much. It is in this vein that I support this move.
    Mr Speaker, so, I would want to urge my Hon Colleagues to support the Budget Estimates of the Ministry, so that in 2017, they could undertake all the projects that they have earmarked to do.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
    Hon Leadership, I need your guidance. How many Motions are we to take? This is because I do not intend to sit beyond 5 O'clock.
    Ms Safo 4:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we have about five Motions to take, so we would be guided by the Chair; but we would humbly suggest that if we reduce the numbers, we would go quicker.
    So, as Mr Speaker pleases.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
    So, I will need your guidance on the number of contributors on each Motion.
    Ms Safo 4:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that two contributors on each side of the House is fair.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:25 p.m.
    I usually do not want to interrupt Hon Members when they are on the floor, so if we could take one contribution from each Side, I think that it would be sufficient.
    Ms Safo 4:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, rightly so.
    Mr Avedzi 4:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I agree with the Hon Deputy Majority Leader that we have two from each side of the House. This is because when the Hon Chairman moves the Motion, the Hon Ranking Member would second it, it goes back to the Majority side and then end here. This is so that the Hon Minister can wind up, and then we take the Question.
    So, two each, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:35 p.m.
    I would reduce the time per Hon Member to two minutes.
    I would like Hon Members of the Committee to contribute.
    The Hon Gentleman infront of me.
    Mr Muhammed Abdul-Samed Gunu (NPP -- Savelugu) 4:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, my name is Hon Abdul-Samed Muhammed Gunu, a Member of the Committee on Water and Sanitation.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much for granting me the permission to contribute to the Motion.
    Water is very essential, and water is life. For that matter, I would take this opportunity to appeal to the House to approve the Budget Estimates of GH¢255,531,354 for the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources to enable it execute its projects.
    Mr Speaker, currently as we speak, there is water shortage throughout the country, most especially in the Northern Region, particularly in my constituency, Savelugu --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:35 p.m.
    Hon Member, what did you say? There is water shortage throughout the country?
    Mr Gunu 4:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, some parts of the country -- [Laughter.]
    Mr Speaker, I would appeal to the Hon Minister, if these Estimates are approved, he should fast track the water situation so as to help, particularly, the second cycle institutions.
    As we speak now, Pong-Tamale Senior High School is likely to close down as a result of the water shortage.
    On this note, I would end here and urge all my Hon Colleagues to join hands in approving this Budget Estimates.
    Thank you very much.
    Mr Rudolf Nsorwinne Amenga-Etego (NDC -- Chiana/Paga) 4:35 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.

    I rise to support the Motion, and in doing so, I have few observations that would be useful in helping the Ministry to stand on its feet.

    Mr Speaker, we all know that we want to increase water coverage, but sometimes our efforts are negated by the fact that as we work, we find ourselves digging boreholes and creating dams, and we do not follow up with repairs and maintenance. So as we add to, we subtract at the same time.

    Mr Speaker, with the current arrangement, the District Assemblies are left to take care of repairs and maintenance, and it is clear from the Committee's hearing that this is very problematic.

    I would wish to draw the attention of the Hon Minister that we would need a special budget line to take care of repairs and maintenance, and that would help us to retain whatever we achieve; or else, we would move forward one step, and take two steps backwards.

    Mr Speaker, we should also pay attention to the negative outcomes that are likely to accompany our “One Village, One Dam” project. Some of the outcomes would include the possible increase in malaria. This is because if we increase surface dams and dug-outs, we should also expect that we would create breeding places for mosquitoes.

    Mr Speaker, are there contingency measures accompanying this Budget Estimates to ensure that there is periodic aerial spraying? Are we working with the Ministry of Health to look at the possible negative health outcomes?

    Mr Speaker, I would also draw our attention to what I see as the Central
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:35 p.m.
    Hon Member, you have few seconds left. Please, conclude.
    Mr Amenga-Etego 4:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am drawing the attention of the House to the fact that we have about GH¢179 million over allocated to Government Machinery for water for all projects, sanitation projects and ‘One village, One dam'. If you go to the main Budget Statement we have only GH¢28 million allocated to the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources for capital expenditure.
    Mr Speaker, I find this a bit of a contradiction, because this money should squarely be going to the Hon Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources. If we appoint an Hon Minister, we must have confidence in that Hon Minister to deliver. There is no need giving so little to the Ministry and keeping so much at Central Government level. These are some of the revelations I must make.
    Mr Speaker, before I take my seat, we need a regulatory framework for design and maintenance of dams. We do not have one, so it is important that we look at a Legislative Instrument to regulate the design and maintenance of dams. It is very important, and also for influence.
    Mr Speaker, people discharge into our water bodies and there is no regulation.
    It is important that the Hon Minister takes a look at the possibility of a Legislative Instrument on those two issues.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Resolved:
    That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢255,531,354 for the services of the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources for the year ending 31st December, 2017.
    Ms Safo 4:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, we can move on to item numbered 11 - the estimates of the Ministry of National Security, on page 6 of the Order Paper.

    ANNUAL ESTIMATES, 2017

    Ministry of National Security
    Minister for National Security (Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah) 4:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢325,878,659 for the services of the Ministry of National Security for the year ending 31st December,
    2017.
    Question proposed.
    Mr Kwame Seth Acheampong 4:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion ably moved by the Hon Minister, and in so doing, I present the Report of your Committee.
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:45 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
    Mr Avedzi 4:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Member seconding the Motion is the Hon Chairman for the Gender, Children and Social Protection Committee.
    I do not know in what capacity he seconds the Motion. So, he could introduce himself.
    Ms Safo 4:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Member, Hon Seth Acheampong, is the Hon Vice Chairman of the Committee, and I believe that he is doing so in his capacity as the Hon Vice Chairman of the Committee.
    So, Hon Deputy Minority Leader, he is the Hon Vice Chairman, and he is taking that Motion on behalf of the Hon Chairman.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:45 a.m.
    Hon Members, this is very important, not just because of our Standing Orders, but for the records. The Hansard would have captured Hon Derek Oduro because he is the Hon Chairman of the Committee.
    So, it is important that the attention of the House be drawn to this, and that is why the Standing Orders talked about it “on notice”.
    Mr S. K. Acheampong 4:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I seek your leave to take the secondment, since I am the Hon Vice Chairman. The Hon Chairman is on a mandatory travel on behalf of the Committee to the Westminster Parliament, and as a result of that, as the Hon Vice Chairman, I step in to second the Motion on his behalf.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:45 a.m.
    Hon Member, your Leaders have already done that, so you should continue.
    Vice Chairman of the Committee (Mr Seth Kwame Acheampong)(on behalf of the Chairman): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion, and in so doing, present your Committee's Report.
    Introduction
    Further to the presentation of the 2017 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government by the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, on Thursday 2nd March, 2017 and a subsequent Motion for its adoption, the Rt. Hon Speaker, Prof. Michael Aaron Oquaye, pursuant to Orders 140(4) and 158 of the Standing Orders, referred the Annual Estimates for the Fiscal year 2017 of the Ministry of National Security to the Committee on Defence and Interior for consideration and report.
    Committee sitting
    The Committee met on Wednesday, 22nd March, 2017 to consider the Estimates of the Ministry. Those who assisted the Committee in this endeavor were the Minister for the Interior on behalf of the Minister of National Security, the National Security Coordinator and his technical team as well as officials from the Ministry of Finance.
    The Committee is grateful to the Minister for the Interior, the Coordinator and all the officials for their extensive cooperation in this regard.
    Reference documents
    The following documents were used as reference guide during the Committee's deliberations:
    a. The 1992 Constitution of Ghana
    b. The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana
    c. The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2016 financial year.
    d. The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the
    Government of Ghana for the December 2017 financial year.
    e. The Draft Annual Estimates of the Ministry of National Security for the 2017 financial year.
    Background of the Ministry of National Security
    The Ministry of National Security by Executive Instrument (January, 2017) and in line with Sections 11 and 13 of the Civil Service Act, 1993 (PNDCL 327) and section 17(1) and (2) of Act 526, Security and Intelligence Agencies Act, 1996, is mandated to initiate and formulate policies to ensure the effective and efficient management of security issues as well as coordinate and evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the performance of the security and intelligence sector, as well as present a report on the Intelligence agencies to Parliament.
    The Ministry has oversight responsibility for five (5) cost centres comprising five Agencies. Namely:
    a. Ministry of National Security (Management and Admini- stration)
    b. Bureau of National Investigation
    c. Bureau of National Communi- cation
    d. National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS); and
    e. The Research Department
    The Management and Administration programme offers all of the cross-cutting services essential for programmes and sub-programmes to succeed in accomplishing their objectives. Hence, the Management and Administration programmes are usually responsible for services that are undertaken to set the Ministry's policy direction.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:45 a.m.
    Outlook for 2017
    The Ministry comprises of four agencies and intends to embark on the following activities for 2017:
    i. Initiate and formulate policies to ensure the effective and efficient management of security issues
    ii. Coordinate and evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the performance of the security and intelligence agencies
    iii. Prevention of espionage, drug trafficking and organised crime through security monitoring and investigations.
    iv. Construction of the BNI Academy at Koforidua and construction of Regional offices at Wa and Bolga, Divisional Office of Sefwi Wiawso, rehabilitation of residential accommodation at Aflao, Kumasi, Kanda in Accra and purchase of equipment.
    v. Enhance the communication network stations in four (4) regions, that is, Takoradi, Kumasi, Wa and Hohoe, to improve response time to network problems and maintenance work on cell sites across the country.
    vi. Protect and improve Ghana's foreign interests
    vii.The Research Department's MTDP are expected to enable it achieve the highest standard of professional delivery of its security and intelligence operations in diverse areas including security for the Oil and Gas Installations of Ghana, the Cocoa Sector, Special Operations relating to, Emerging Economic and Political Intelligence considerations and other areas of intelligence interest to Ghana.
    Total Allocation for the year 2017
    The Ministry had been allocated an amount of (GH$325,878,659) for its

    activities earmarked for the 2017 Financial year. Out of the amount provided, GH¢ 231,715,659) will be for Compensation, (GH¢80,500,000) for Goods and Services and (13,663,000.00) for Non-Financial Assets. The spending focus over the medium term would be on:
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:45 a.m.


    Conclusion

    In view of the upsurge of cyber-crimes, the Ministry constantly conducts research and forensic investigations to be abreast of perpetrators and this has resulted in the increase in the budgetary allocations of the Ministry.

    The Committee therefore recommends the sum of three hundred and twenty - five million, eight hundred and seventy eight thousand, six hundred and fifty nine Ghana cedis (GH¢325,878,659) be approved for the Ministry of National Security for its activities for the 2017 financial year.

    Respectfully submitted.
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:45 a.m.
    Hon Member, which Committee are you the Hon Ranking Member for?
    Mr Agbodza 4:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am the Hon Ranking Member for the Roads and Transport Committee.
    Mr Avedzi 4:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Ranking Member and the Hon Deputy Ranking Member are both not in the Chamber.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:45 a.m.
    He is also the Hon Ranking Member for Water Resources, Works and Housing Committee.
    Mr Avedzi 4:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Ranking Member and the Hon Deputy Ranking Member for the Committee on Defence are both not in the Chamber.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:45 a.m.
    Hon Member, you may go on.
    Mr Govers Kwame Agbodza (NDC-- Adaklu) 4:45 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to speak to the Motion currently on the floor of Parliament.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Vice Chairman of the Committee has already told us some of the challenges, and the plans of National Security for this country.
    The fact is that if there is peace in this country today, it is largely the reason that the men and women who represent us in this outfit, have been doing a very good job. It is important for us to give them all the necessary support, so that we could continue to enjoy the peace we have in this country.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Vice Chairman talked about a very important part of the emerging trends of insecurity in the world these days. We are all aware of the continuous debate about how a country possibly interfered with the outcome of the elections in the United States of America.
    We are hopeful that our National Security outfit would have the necessary resources, so that they could have the ability to counter any of these things, and make us a safer country than we are now.
    Mr Speaker, indeed, it is true that the amount of money that they originally requested has not been given to them, but I know that they are a group of people who work under very challenging conditions already, and they would continue to do with the little that has been given to them.
    Mr Speaker, I would urge all my Hon Colleagues of this House to support the Ministry of National Security, to approve their Budget Estimates, so that they can continue to do whatever it takes to protect all of us.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity.
    Mr Alexander K. Afenyo-Markin (NPP -- Effutu) 4:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to add my voice to the Motion on the floor.
    Mr Speaker, in my brief submission, I would like to associate myself with paragraphs 7.0 and 7.1 of the Report of your Committee.
    Mr Speaker, it is important to note that, with these observations, certain bodies that have the mandate to assist the Ministry must be under their direct supervision; but this is not the case.
    Mr Speaker, for the past five years, we have been talking about the need for a re- alignment of some Agencies to enable the National Security undertake its full mandate.
    Mr Speaker, an example of this is the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC). When FIC was first established, it was a unit under the Bank of Ghana. Hence, it was under the supervision of the Ministry of Finance.
    Mr Speaker, since the enactment of Act 749, we have still had FIC under the Ministry of Finance. If we are talking about modern trends in crime and cyber security, then that is the body that monitors the activities of individuals engaged in this, and see to the freezing of funds that go into their accounts.
    Mr Speaker, therefore, it is important that we quickly take steps to bring them under the supervision of National Security, so that they are able to do their work well.
    Mr Speaker, with these few comments, I would like to urge my Hon Colleagues to support this Motion to enable the Ministry undertake its work as required by law.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you.
    Mr Christian Corletey Otuteye (NDC -- Sege) 4:55 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to add my voice to the Motion on the floor.
    Mr Speaker, as an Hon Member of the Committee, at our Committee meetings, we discovered a lot of challenges or some difficulties ahead of the Committee, which they would meet.
    Mr Speaker, since they are a very new Ministry, we need to support them in terms of infrastructure; which is to say their assets, and also some of the security measures which they would take within and around our international boundaries.
    Mr Speaker, for us to continue to enjoy the kind of security we enjoy now, definitely, we need to really re-enforce the operations of National Security.
    The budget they have currently, I noticed that it might not really take them through. So, if there would be a midyear review, I would plead with the House to readjust the budget in order to take them through the year successfully because they are a very new Ministry and most of the things are lacking.
    For instance, when we asked where they would have their offices, and Ministry and all others, they are really not there so if the budget is reviewed upwards during the midyear, that would really support the Committee.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:55 p.m.
    Hon Chairman of the Committee, throughout your Report, you have mentioned Ministry of National Security in 2015 and 2016. I wonder whether there was a Ministry of National Security in 2015 and 2016 or it was a secretariat.
    Mr S. K. Acheampong 4:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I take responsibility for that and I would take a cue from you that we amend those dates to read 2017. We do not have anything like that.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:55 p.m.
    So the Report is amended accordingly. It was a Secretariat; not a Ministry.
    Mr S. K. Acheampong 4:55 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker, it is from the secretariat. I presided so I take responsibility.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:55 p.m.
    I have directed that the Report be amended accordingly.
    Report accordingly amended.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:55 p.m.
    Hon Minister for National Security, do you want to wind up?
    Mr Kan-Dapaah 4:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is a source of encouragement that the House is so supportive of the work that we do at the Ministry of National Security.
    Mr Speaker, the world is confronted with significant security challenges, it is important that as a country, we should be in the position to respond to these challenges. The knowledge that Hon Members of the House do appreciate the importance of the work that we do is appreciated and we would want to thank Hon Members for the support that they have shown this evening.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Resolved:
    That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢325,878,695 for the services of the Ministry of National Security for the year ending 31st December 2017.
    Ms Safo 4:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we can take item numbered 23 on page 9 of the Order Paper -- the estimates of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:55 p.m.
    Item numbered 23 -- Minister for Lands and Natural Resources.
    ANNUAL ESTIMATES 2017
    Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources
    Minister for Lands and Natural Resources (Mr Peter John Amewu) 4:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢347,563,393 for the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources for the year ending 31st December, 2017.
    Mr Speaker, the Ministry intends to undertake services including improvement in land administration --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:55 p.m.
    Hon Minister, we have the Report.
    Chairman of the Committee (Mr Benito Owusu-Bio) 4:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion and in so doing, I present your Committee's Report.
    Introduction
    The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2017 Financial Year was presented to Parliament on Thursday, 2nd March, 2017 by the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta in accordance with article 179 (1) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana. The budget estimates of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources were subsequently referred to the Committee on Lands and Forestry, and Mines and Energy for consideration and report pursuant to Orders (140)(4), 177 and
    188.
    During the consideration of the Estimates on Wednesday, 22nd March, 2017, the Committee met with the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon John Peter Amewu and other officials of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, and schedule officers from the Ministry of Finance.
    The Committee is grateful to the Hon Minister and his team as well as the schedule officers of the Ministry of Finance for their assistance.
    Reference documents
    The Committee made reference to the following documents during its deliberations:
    i. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
    ii. The Standing Orders of Parliament.
    iii. The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2016 fiscal year.
    iv. The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2017 fiscal year.
    v. The Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for 2017- 2019 and the draft annual budget estimates of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources for the 2017 fiscal year.
    Agencies under the Ministry
    There are three (3) sub- sectors under the Ministry, namely: Lands, Forestry and Mines. The Lands sub- sector is managed by two (2) agencies, the Lands Commission (LC) and the Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands (OASL). The Forestry sub -sector is also managed by the Forestry Commission (FC). The Mines sub-sector is managed by three (3) agencies -- the Minerals Commission (MC), the Geological Survey Department (GSD) and the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC).
    Mission statement of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources
    The Ministry exists to ensure the sustainable management and utilisation of Ghana's lands, forests, wildlife and mineral resources for the country's socio- economic growth and development. The Ministry is required to pursue this mandate through:
    i. Efficient formulation, implemen- tation, coordination, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes;
    Chairman of the Committee (Mr Benito Owusu-Bio) 4:55 p.m.


    ii. Efficient and equitable land delivery

    iii. Promotion of sustainable forest and wildlife resource manage- ment and utilisation; and

    iv. Efficient management of mineral resources to catalyse sus- tainable development and facilitation of the promotion of effective inter-agency and cross sectoral linkages;

    Objectives of the Ministry

    The Mission of the Ministry will be realised through the pursuit of the under- listed objectives:

    i. Promote sustainable use and extraction of mineral resources

    ii. Enhance natural resources management through community participation

    iii. Strengthen institutional and regulatory frameworks for sustainable natural resource management

    iv. Strengthen and develop local level capacity to participate in the management and gover- nance of natural resources

    v. Ensure the restoration of degraded natural resources

    vi. Reduce the loss of biodiversity

    vii.Reverse forest and land degradation

    viii. Promote appropriate land use and management practices

    ix. Maintain and enhance the protected areas

    x. Facilitate the sustainable use and management of natural resources that support the development of rural communities and liveli- hoods;

    xi. Streamline spatial and land use planning systems;

    xii. Strengthen the human and institutional capacities for effective land use planning and management.

    The Ministry's performance for 2016

    The Ministry undertook the following activities in 2016.

    Mineral resource development and management programme

    In 2016, the Ministry developed minerals and mining policies to promote diversification to lesser-known minerals (Examples: iron ore, salt and limestone) and linkages between the mining sector and other sectors of the economy.

    Also Ghana Geological Survey Authority Act 2016 (Act 928) was passed by Parliament to enhance new mineral discoveries throughout the country and to diversify the country's mineral resource base.

    The Ministry also initiated the development of a fully-fledged computerised mining cadastral system to ensure accountability and compliance in the management of mineral rights to boost investment.

    Under the Alternative Livelihood Programme (ALP), 12,000 and 23,000 acres of oil palm plantations were established

    at the Prestea Huni Valley and Ayanfuri- Dunkwa area in the Western and Central Regions respectively, to mitigate the socio-economic impact of mining on host communities.

    Land administration and management programme

    The Lands Commission established and operationalised five Client Service Access Units (CSAUs), in Bolgatanga, Tamale, Sekondi, Koforidua, and Accra to provide ‘one-stop-shop' land service delivery. The units will also serve as front offices of the Land Title Registration Division.

    In 2016, two new land administration district offices were also established in Bibiani and Tarkwa in the Western Region to ease pressure on the regional offices.

    The Ministry, through the Land Administration Project (LAP2), developed the Ghana Enterprise Land Information System (GELIS), to transform the manual records into a digital format in order to improve on land title registration and assure security of tenure for land owners.

    The Ministry, through the Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands also

    established 30 new Customary Land Secretariats (CLSs), to improve land management and administration at the customary level, under the Land Administration Project.

    Forest and wildlife development and management programme

    As part of this programme, an estimated 185,971 m3 of timber and tertiary wood products were exported to Europe, Asia and African markets out of an annual target of 225,000 m3. The Ministry engaged the private sector in forest fringe communities to plant 5,028 hectres of degraded forest reserves under a Private Public Partnership (PPP) arrangement.

    In addition, a Rapid Response Unit established by the Ministry destroyed 104 illegal farms, galamsey huts, 155 Chagfarn mining machines and seized 14 gold detector machines used for illegal mining activities in forest reserves.

    Budget performance for 2016

    The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources was allocated, GH¢293, 846,645.OO for its activities in the 2016 fiscal year. Tables 1, 2 and 3 show the Ministry's budget performance in 2016 with respect to GoG, IGF and Donor funding.

    Budget Performance-Expenditure (GOG) 2016

    SPACE FOR TABLE 1, PAGE 10, 4.55 P.M
    Chairman of the Committee (Mr Benito Owusu-Bio) 4:55 p.m.


    Source: Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources

    Table 3: 2016 Budget Performance-Expenditure (Donor)

    SPACE FOR TABLE 3, PAGE 12, 4.55 P.M

    Source: Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources

    Table 4: Revenue Performance 2016

    SPACE FOR TABLE 4, PAGE 12, 4.55 P.M

    Source: Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources

    The Ministry's outlook for 2017

    For the year 2017, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources will undertake the following activities, among others:

    Mineral resource development and management programme

    In 2017, the Ministry will facilitate the approval and implementation of the Minerals and Mining Policy of Ghana to promote diversification to lesser-known minerals, and linkages between the mining sector and other sectors of the economy. This is expected to increase local content participation, among others.

    Also, the development of a fully- fledged computerised mining cadastral system would be completed in 2017. This would allow investors to apply for mineral rights online, and conduct cartographic searches in district offices.

    Land administration and management programme

    Under this programme, new land administration district offices would be
    Alhaji Collins Dauda (NDC -- Asutifi south) 4:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I rise to support the Motion on the floor of the House and to buttress a point that has been made by the Hon Chairman of the Committee when he raised a few issues relating to the Observations, in particular, the capping of some of the Internally Generated Fund (IGF) of some of the agencies.
    Mr Speaker, one of the agencies which had been marked for capping, if allowed to go through, can raise constitutional issues as the Report indicates. Mr Speaker, article 267 (2) (b), if I may read with your permission. Article 267 (2) reads as follows and I beg to quote:
    “There shall be established the Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands which shall be responsible for —
    (a)the establishment of a stool land account for each stool into which shall be paid all rents, dues, royalties, revenues or other payments whether in the nature of income or capital from the stool lands;
    (b) the collection of all such rents, dues, royalties, revenues or other payments whether in the nature of income or capital, and to account for them to the beneficiaries specified in clause (6) of this article…”
    Mr Speaker, clause (6) says as follows and with your permission I quote 4:55 p.m.
    “Ten per cent of the revenue accruing from stool lands shall be paid to the office of the Administrator of Stool Lands to cover administrative expenses; and the remaining revenue shall be disbursed in the following proportions—
    (a) twenty-five per cent to the stool through the traditional authority for the maintenance of the stool in keeping with its status;
    (b) twenty per cent to the traditional authority; and
    (c) fifty-five per cent to the District Assembly, within the area of authority of which the stool lands are situated.”
    Mr Speaker, in view of these clear constitutional provisions, any attempt to cap these revenues may raise constitutional issues. And I am aware that the Committee on Finance, in looking at the Capping Bill, has made recommendations for the saving of the IGF of the Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands. I take
    this opportunity to call on Hon Members to support that amendment when it is made by the Committee on Finance.
    Mr Speaker, the second issue I would want to touch on has to do with a very topical issue in this country. In this House, I am sure that not less than five Hon Members have made Statements relating to Galamsey operations. We all know the effects of Galamsey activities on the environment, our water bodies and on the human being. Therefore there is the need for all of us to support in addressing this menace.
    Mr Speaker, but the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources is the Ministry that has the responsibility over this activity. In fact, I have a lot of sympathy for the Hon Minister for Lands and Natural Resources. This is because he happens to be the person who has to deal with galamsey operators, chainsaw operators and land guards. These are very critical and very hard characters such that if you are in charge of, you would have a problem.
    But Mr Speaker, if you look at the budget allocations, there is no special allocation made for this very topical issue which is described as a threat to National Security in this country. In fact, the only way that the Ministry can address these concerns is probably to rely on the Goods and Services.
    Mr Speaker, for the 2017 budget, this is where we stand in terms of Goods and Services and I refer to page 11 of your Committee's Report.
    You would find that the Goods and Services for GoG is only GHc6, 652, 881.00 and IGF is GHc60, 730, 293.00. The two together is only GHc67, 383, 174. Clearly inadequate to be able to deal with these galamsey issues. Therefore, I will urge that
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:55 p.m.
    Hon Member, just a minute, your Hon Colleague is behind you on a point of Order. Akpeteshie -- [Laughter.]
    Mr Agbodza 4:55 p.m.
    On a point of Order.
    Mr Speaker, I thought akpeteshie is an indigenous liquor. The name even shows that it could not have come from anywhere else. So, I am not sure if he said ‘introduced'. I want to know the source, where it came from and when it was introduced if he can help us.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:55 p.m.
    It is the use of the word ‘introduced'.
    Alhaji Dauda 4:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I mean when the brewing of akpeteshie started in Ghana.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:55 p.m.
    When was that?
    Alhaji Dauda 4:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I cannot give you the date but I can check -- [Laughter]-- I know you are meticulous and you might want me to give you the
    accurate date. Unfortunately, I cannot provide it here and now. But the history of it is that, when it was first brewed, Government attempted to stop it with the combined forces of the Police and the Military, but it did not work until they were recognised and organised.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:55 p.m.
    What is the source of your information?
    Alhaji Dauda 4:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if you want the source, I would provide it. It is historical.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 4:55 p.m.
    Just draw our attention so that we can all go and read it.
    Alhaji Dauda 5:15 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is historical, if you are interested—
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:15 a.m.
    Oral history?
    Alhaji Dauda 5:15 a.m.
    Yes. Mr Speaker, if you are interested, you would get to know it.
    Mr Speaker, it is the same with other issues like “Banker-to-Banker” and chainsaw operations. The strategy that we have always relied upon have failed us. Therefore my view is that, even though it is a menace, we need to recognise galamsey operation and organise them so that we can use them to solve the problems of galamsey. That way, I am very positive we can make a headway with addressing challenges posed by galamsey operators.
    Mr Speaker, with these few words, I would urge my Hon Colleagues to support this important Motion so that the Ministry can proceed to address the concerns of Hon Members of this House.
    Thank you very much.
    Ms Freda A. O. Prempeh (NPP -- Tano North) 5:15 a.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the Motion that this House approves the sum of GH¢347,563,393.00 for the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.
    In doing so, I would like to draw your attention to paragraphs 9.4, 9.5 and 9.6 of the Committee's Report. Illegal mining is not just becoming a national security issue, it is becoming a nuisance.
    Mr Speaker, illegal mining is affecting our water bodies, contaminating our water and very soon, if we are not careful we would start importing water from neighbouring countries. We would not even wait for the 20 years that is being envisaged.
    We all have to put in our maximum effort to ensure that illegal miners or galamsey operators are cracked down. At the Committee level, I was happy to note that the Ministry is putting systems and structures in place to ensure that all efforts are put together to mitigate this incidence of illegal mining around the area.
    Mr Speaker, I have the same problem in my constituency. The Tano River dried up recently and in Sunyani and its environs, we did not have water. If we keep allowing these people to contaminate our water --
    Young people, especially Junior High School (JHS) students are dropping out of school. The young girls are getting themselves pregnant because these old men lure them to nearby corners and give them money and they find themselves -- That is the reason, as a Committee, we are urging this House to approve the Ministry's budget so that they have adequate resources to fight against illegal mining in our respective constituencies.
    Mr Speaker, I was also particularly surprised to hear from the Hon Minister that the device at the Central Seismological Observatory at Achimota is operating on a prepaid metre. This is a device that is used to monitor disasters as huge as earthquakes. If it is operating on a prepaid metre, then we are all sitting on a time bomb.
    So, this House is urging the Government to ensure that the operations of the seismic equipment is provided with free uninterrupted electricity to the site so that -- We are talking about natural disasters and an earthquake is a serious one. We urge the Government to step in and provide free electricity to the operation of this device so that we would not be sitting on a time bomb.
    Mr Speaker, on this note, I thank you for the opportunity and I urge this House to approve the budget of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:15 a.m.
    Hon Member for Damongo, I give you only two minutes.
    Mr Mutawakilu Adam (NDC -- Damongo) 5:15 a.m.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion.
    I would like to narrow my contribution to the Geological Survey Authority. It has played a significant role in the discovery of mineral deposits, be it gold or diamonds. It has also provided geoscientific advice in the construction of major projects in this country such as the Akosombo, Bui and Kpong Dams and Tema Motorway.
    However, of late, the budgetary allocation to the Geological Survey Authority has been so insufficient. Last year in the last Parliament, we passed the Geological Survey Authority Bill to make
    Mr Mutawakilu Adam (NDC -- Damongo) 5:15 a.m.


    it semi autonomous. In order to resource it, we passed the Minerals Development Fund, 2016, Act 912.

    With your permission, let me read section 21. It says that;

    “eight per cent of the mineral royalty payment made to the Ghana Revenue Authority shall be allocated to the Ghana Geological Survey Authority and that at least 40 per cent of the 5 per cent component allocated to the research and training shall also be allocated to the Geological Survey Authority.”

    Mr Speaker, the Geological Survey Authority submitted a budget of GH¢26,398,785.96. What has been approved is GH¢4,194,588.00. Out of this GH¢4,194,588.00, GH¢3,694,588.00 is for compensation of employees. So only GH¢500,000 is given for Goods and Services.

    What is surprising is that no money is allocated in respect to the Mineral Development Fund (MDF). Even though the MDF stipulates that some percentage of the Mineral Development should be allocated, nothing has been provided. The Committee thinks that the Ministry of Finance should relook at it and align it.

    This is because there are so many activities that are to be carried out by the Geological Survey Department. They need certain equipment to identify industrial materials as well as base materials for Ghana to be able to take advantage of the rich natural resources we have.

    For example, they do not have what we call x-ray fluorescents that would enable them to identify other materials. Also, they need what we call atomic absorption spectrometre and other heavy equipment to enable them undertake their activities.

    So, I would want to urge the Hon Minister for Finance to relook at it. Even though we know he is capping it, he should get something for them, some significant amount of money. We know from the meeting, about GH¢82,174,665.00 is expected for the year 2017.

    We urge the Hon Minister to relook at it and see how he would be able to help the Geological Survey Authority to stand on their feet.

    Thank you very much.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:25 a.m.
    Hon Minister for Finance, they have raised three critical issues. What do you say to that?
    The first one is on the request by the Administrator of Stool lands to vary from assets. Since we have not yet passed the Appropriation Act, is there something that can be done to prevent them from varying? They are passing their request through this House.
    The second one is the case of the Geological Survey Authority. Your attention has been drawn to the constitutional provisions. The third is on the seismic equipment which needs 24 hour electricity supply.
    I know that the Electricity Company of Ghana would have to come in if they could not give it to them and you would have to now provide the money. What do you say to that before I put the Question?
    Mr Ofori-Atta 5:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, with regard to the Office of the Stool Lands, we recognised that it was a constitutional provision and like the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF), it would not be touched. With regard to Geological
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:25 a.m.
    Why, Hon Member? Is the Hon Minister out of order? Why are you on your feet?
    Dr Assibey-Yeboah 5:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am on my own feet --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:25 a.m.
    Hon Member, the question is, why are you on your feet? If I did not know you were standing on your own feet I would not have used that phrase. [Laughter] -- I asked why you are on your feet.
    Dr Assibey-Yeboah 5:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is because you asked me if the Hon Minister for Finance was out of order.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:25 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Member. That was a different issue. Being out of order and being on your feet are different things all together.
    Dr Assibey-Yeboah 5:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I had wanted to speak further to the 24 hour electricity supply to the Siesmic --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:25 a.m.
    Hon Member, are you now the Hon Minister for Finance? This is because what you say cannot bind him. He is here and he has responded to it. You are on a frolic of your own.
    Dr Assibey-Yeboah 5:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thought the Hon Minister for Finance would say that now dumsor is over and 24-hour electricity supply can be assured.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:25 a.m.
    Hon Member, it is an issue of cost and not reliability.
    Dr Assibey-Yeboah 5:25 a.m.
    Very well, Mr Speaker.
    Question put and Motion agreed to
    Resolved:
    That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢347,563,393 for the services of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources for the year ending 31st December
    2017.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:25 a.m.
    I recognise the presence of the Hon Majority Leader. Do you have any direction?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 5:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, while I was away, the Hon Deputy Majority Leader was in charge. Even though I am here, I am applying myself to other things, so, she should continue to be in charge.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:25 a.m.
    Hon Majority Leader, the proper thing was to get that from you. I cannot ignore your leadership and then call upon your deputy. So that was why I had to recognise you first, and this you know.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 5:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, please, I know. But the authority now is momentary abeyance.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:25 a.m.
    Is your authority in momentary abeyance?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 5:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is in “momentary abeyance”.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:25 a.m.
    Hon Majority Leader, then I do not recognise your presence in the House.
    Hon Deputy Majority Leader, do you have any direction?
    Ms Safo 5:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, if we could take item numbered 16 on page 7 on the Order Paper.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:25 a.m.
    Item numbered 16 by the Hon Minister for Education.
    ANNUAL ESTIMATES, 2017
    Ministry of Education
    Minister for Education (Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh)(MP) 5:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢8,330,099,829, for the services of the Ministry of Education for the year ending 31st December 2017.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:25 a.m.
    Any seconder?
    Chairman of the Committee (Mr Stevens Siaka) 5:25 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to second the Motion and in so doing, present your Committee's Report.
    Introduction
    The Hon Minister for Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, presented the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government for the 2017 Financial Year to Parliament on Thursday, 2nd March, 2017. This was in fulfilment of article 179 of the 1992 Constitution.
    Pursuant to Order 140 (4) and 186 of the Standing Orders of the House, the Rt.
    Hon Speaker referred the Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Education to the Committee on Education for consideration and report.
    The Committee met on Tuesday, 21st March and Wednesday, 22nd March, 2017 and considered the referral. Present at the Committee's Sittings were the Hon Minister for Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the Chief Director of the Ministry of Education, Mr. Enoch H. Cobbinah, Heads of Departments and Agencies of the Ministry of Education, and officials of the Ministry of Finance.
    The Committee expresses its appreciation to the Hon Minister and his technical team for their co-operation.
    Reference documents
    The Committee made reference to the following documents during its deliberations:
    i. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
    ii. The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
    iii. The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2017 Financial Year.
    iv. The Report of the Committee on Education on the 2016 Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Education.
    Mandate of the Ministry of Education
    The mandate of the Ministry of Education is to provide equitable access
    and quality education to all Ghanaians to make them functional citizens in order to contribute to the growth and development of the country.
    Implementing Departments and Agencies
    The policies and programmes of the Ministry are implemented by the underlisted Departments and Agencies, among others:
    i. Ghana Education Service (GES).
    ii. National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE).
    iii. Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET).
    iv. National Service Scheme (NSS).
    v. The West African Examinations Council (WAEC).
    vi. Ghana Library Authority (GhLA).
    vii.Ghana Book Development Council (GBDC.)
    viii. Centre for Distance Learning and Open Schooling (CENDLOS).
    ix. Non-Formal Education Division
    (NFED).
    x. National Inspectorate Board
    (NIB).
    xi. Ghana National Commission for
    UNESCO.
    xii. National Teaching Council
    (NTC).
    xiii.National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA).
    Policy objectives
    The policy objectives of the Ministry of Education in line with the Ghana Shared Growth Development Agenda II (GSGDA II) are as follows:
    a. Increase inclusive and equitable access to and participation in education at all levels.
    b. Improve teaching and learning of science, mathematics and technology at all levels.
    c. Improve management of education service delivery.
    d. Improve the quality of teaching and learning at all levels.
    e. Ensure provision of life skills training and management for managing personal hygiene, fire safety, environment, sanitation and climate change.
    Performance in 2016 financial year
    Financial performance
    For the year 2016, a total amount of GH¢6,532,352,028.00 was approved for the Ministry of Education to undertake its programmes and activities. As at December 2016, an amount of GH¢6,845,694,489.00 had been expended by the Ministry thus representing 104.8 per cent of the approved amount. The details are shown in Tables 1 and 2.
    Chairman of the Committee (Mr Stevens Siaka) 5:25 a.m.
    from a minimum of GH¢650 to GH¢1,000 and a maximum of GH¢1,600 to GH¢2,000 with effect from the 2016/2017 academic year.
    The Technical Universities Act, 2016 (Act 922) was passed to give legal effect to the policy on conversion of Polytechnics to Technical Universities.
    Outlook for year 2017
    For year 2017, the Ministry of Education will undertake the following among others:
    Review the Basic Level Curriculum to focus on the four R's (Reading, Writing, Arithmetic and Recreation) to include life skills and creative skills.
    Collaborate with development partners, the private sector and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) operating in the education sector to commence the construction of kindergartens to ensure that all four and five year olds are provided with kindergarten places.
    Provide for the payment of 70 per cent of BECE registration fees for 467,692 registered public and private candidates will be made.
    Procure and distribute 250,000 pieces of school uniforms and 40,000 pieces of school sandals to pupils in selected deprived communities.
    Commence the implementation of free secondary education in
    September, starting with the first year students entering into Public Senior High Schools when the 2017/ 18 academic year starts.
    Strengthen collaboration with Africa Institute of Mathematics and Science for the establishment of Science and Mathematics Centre of Excellence.
    Fully restore the payment of allowances to 43,570 teacher trainees in the 43 public Colleges of Education from September 2017.
    Intensify efforts to reach many in the very complex area of special needs to include children who are autistic, and those who will learn differently from the majority of learners.
    Align over 200 public TVAET institutions under the Ministry of Education to provide policy direction in the development of skills for industries in the country.
    Commence the preparatory works for the building of the State of the Art TVAET Institutions.
    Budgetary allocation for year 2017
    For year 2017, the Ministry of Education has been allocated an amount of eight billion, three hundred and thirty million, ninety-nine thousand, eight hundred and twenty-nine cedis (GH¢ 8,330,099,829.00). The breakdown of the allocation by Source of Funding and Expenditure Item; Programme; and to the Cost Centres are shown in Tables 3, 4 and
    5.
    Table 3
    Breakdown of 2017 Budgetary Allocation by Source of Funding and Expenditure Item
    SPACE FOR Table 3 - PAGE 10 - 5.25P.M.
    Table 4
    Breakdown of 2017 Budgetary Allocation by Programme
    SPACE FOR Table 4 - PAGE 11 - 5.25P.M.

    Table 5

    Breakdown of 2017 Budgetary Allocation to Cost Centres

    SPACE FOR Table 5 - PAGE 11 - 5.25 P.M.
    Chairman of the Committee (Mr Stevens Siaka) 5:25 a.m.


    the budgetary needs of NCTE are addressed, especially its Compensation component.

    ii. NCTE's critical challenges

    The Committee noted that apart from inadequate funding, the Council is confronted with challenges such as weak linkage with industries for practical training; limited opportunities for science and technology- oriented programmes as a result of inadequate teachers, laboratories, equipment and consu- mables; and the slow rate of improving infrastructural facilities.

    It came to the attention of the Committee that during discussions on the 2016 Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry, NCTE lamented the above- mentioned challenges. The Committee was therefore surprised to hear of the same challenges during this year's deliberations. This situation gives an indication that efforts are not being made to address the challenges.

    The Committee is of the considered view that this state of affairs does not augur well for the attainment of operational targets. The Committee therefore urges the sector Minister to put measures in place to address the challenges confronting NCTE.

    Centre for National Distance Learning and Open Schooling (CENDLOS)

    i. Budgetary allocation

    CENDLOS exists to harmonise and regulate Open and Distance Learning (ODL) in the country, package education and training for delivery through ODL using ICT tools, support, coordinate and offer advice on ODL, operate Open

    School System of education in the country and provide training in ODL delivery and also assist institutions especially Polytechnics and Colleges of Education to adopt dual-mode delivery.

    For the year 2017, the Centre has been provided with a total sum of GH¢284,443.00 comprising an amount of GH¢127,883.00 for Compensation and GH¢ 156,560.00 for Goods and Services.

    In year 2017, the Centre intends to train 275 SHS core subjects an ICT teachers from Secondary Education Improvement Project (SEIP) beneficiary schools in the use of the iCapmpusgh portal, iBox and eContent; install 55 iBoxes with eContent in 55 SEIP beneficiary schools nationwide; procure one (1) mobile service van for servicing iBoxes; procure and install 125 solar power equipment in SEIP beneficiary schools; among others.

    The Committee was happy to note that the Centre is taking steps to create a platform whereby all students, irrespective of location, can gain access to all SHS core subjects. The Centre would also ensure that students across the country gain access to standardised subject content without the use of internet facilities but through the iBox device currently being installed in SEIP beneficiary schools.

    The Committee acknowledges the successes achieved by CENDLOS so far. It therefore recommends that the Ministry of Finance should make timely releases of funds to the Centre to enable it complete the installation of iBoxes in SEIP beneficiary schools on time.

    National Service Scheme (NSS)

    i. 2017 Budgetary allocation

    A total amount of GH¢355,871,639.87 has been provided for the programme and activities of the Scheme in year 2017. The

    amount is made up of a GoG allocation of GH¢352,098,294.87 and an IGF component of GH¢3,773,345.00.

    Out of the total allocation, GH¢352,048,294.87 is for the payment of compensation, GH¢3,587,511.00 for Goods and Services, and GH¢235,834.00 for Capital Expenditure.

    The Committee observed that in year 2017, NSS will utilise its funds for the following activities, among others:

    Refurbishment and repair of NSS farm structures and equipment.

    Reclamation and institutionalisation of ownership of NSS farmlands.

    Clearing and preparation of NSS farmlands.

    Planting for food and jobs project.

    The Committee urges the Scheme to utilise its budgetary allocation judiciously in the implementation of its planned programmes and activities for the year.

    ii. National Service postings

    The Committee observed that the refusal by personnel to accept posting to some deprived communities across the country remain a challenge to the Scheme. The situation leads to oversupply of service persons in the urban areas, thus depriving the rural communities of the needed number of service personnel.

    According to officials of the Scheme, measures are being put in place to mitigate the problem. For instance, the Scheme is currently engaging the National Health Insurance Authority to reduce health insurance premium by 50 per cent for

    personnel who accept postings to deprived areas across the country. Other stakeholders are also being engaged to determine the support they could offer personnel posted to deprived areas, as a source of motivation.

    The Committee strongly urges the NSS to intensify its public education on the Scheme and the need for personnel to accept postings irrespective of the placement. The Committee further urges the Scheme to reward personnel who accept posting to deprived areas.

    West African Examinations Council

    (WAEC)

    i. Approved budget for year 2017

    For year 2017, WAEC (National) has been allocated a total sum of GH¢33,664,643.49 for its activities. This is made up of an amount of GH¢8,997,735.49 for the compensation of its employees and GH¢24,666,9O8.OO for Goods and Services.

    ii. 2017 BECE Examination Fee

    The Committee observed that the approved fee for year 2017 BECE examination is GH¢70.00 per candidate, representing an increase of 11.1 per cent of year 2016 approved fee.

    Officials of WAEC informed the Committee that Government will subsidise the fee to be paid by each candidate with an amount of GH¢49.00, representing 70% of the examination fee for year 2017. Thus, each candidate will pay an amount of

    GH¢21.00.

    iii. Examination malpractices

    The Committee noted with concern, the cancellation of examination papers almost every year due to examination malpractices. Candidates including the visually impaired who have in most cases
    Chairman of the Committee (Mr Stevens Siaka) 5:25 a.m.


    The Committee therefore urges COTVET to ensure judicious use of its allocated fund to achieve its planned programme of activities.

    ii. Rebranding of TVAET System

    The Committee underscored the contributions of the TVAET system to national development. Unfortunately, TVAET is considered by many as the last resort in education when all efforts to enter tertiary institution prove futile.

    The Committee was therefore happy to note that COTVET intends to sensitise the citizenry on the importance of the TVAET system in its quest to rebrand TVAET in year 2017.

    The Committee urges the Council to ensure that TVAET is rebranded to attract more people. The Council should also aim at improving the quality of TVAET by re- orienting and improving the TVAET system so that it prepares the citizenry effectively, especially the youth, for wage and self-employment in all sectors of the economy and also meet the demands of industries in the country.

    Conclusion

    Undoubtedly, education plays a significant role in the socio-economic development of every nation. Thus, it is necessary to adequately resource the Ministry of Education to enable it achieve its mandate.

    Unfortunately, out of the total sum of GH¢8,330,099,829.00 to the Ministry for year 2017, only GH¢1,353,311,449.00 constituting 16.2 per cent is for Goods and Services. By implication, if the allocation for Goods and Services is not released timeously, the Ministry would find it difficult to smoothly run its operations.

    It is also insightful to note that although an amount of GH¢6,544,053,537.00 representing 78.6 per cent of the total allocation is earmarked for Compensation, the Committee noted that allocation to almost all the Departments and Agencies of the Ministry fell short of their required amounts.

    The Committee therefore urges the Ministry of Finance to ensure that the Ministry of Education is adequately resourced to enable it perform its functions effectively.

    In the light of the above, the Committee recommends to the House to adopt its Report and approve the sum of eight billion, three hundred and thirty million, ninety-nine thousand, eight hundred and twenty- nine Ghana cedis (GH¢8, 330,099,829.00) for the programmes and activities of the Ministry of Education for the 2017 Financial Year.

    Respectfully submitted.

    Question proposed
    Mr Peter Nortsu-Kotoe (NDC -- Akatsi North) 5:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion that this House approves the estimates for the Ministry of Education and its agencies for the 2017 fiscal year.
    Mr Speaker, the Minisry submitted a budgetary provision of over GH¢10.3 billion for its operations.
    Mr Speaker, but the Ministry of Finance granted only GH¢8,330,099,829.00, leaving a shortfall of GH¢2.9 billion. This shortfall is seriously going to affect the operations of the Ministry in a number of areas, especially with regard to the Free SHS expansion.
    Mr Speaker, we are told that the Free SHS would take place in September and that it is only for the 2017/2018 entrants. We feel this is discriminatory. And so, a cut in this budgetary allocation is going to affect its implementation, especially those who are going to boarding houses.
    We are told that it is not going to be a wholesale admission to boarding houses and that there is going to be some criteria that would have to be followed.
    Mr Speaker, members of the committee feel that, that would not be appropriate. This is because everybody should be given the opportunity to decide to be either a day student or a boarder. And that is very important.
    Mr Speaker, our appeal to the Hon Minister for Finance is that, in his review of the Budget Statement, he should make more money available for the Ministry of Education to implement the project fully.
    Mr Speaker, then again with the training allowance, we were told that the allowances of the students in colleges of education, would be channelled through the Students Loan Trust. We find this uncomfortable. This is because, this is not a loan facility that is going to be granted to the students.
    It is already an allowance, and as such, it should go through the Controller and Accountant General processes, so that it would properly be accounted for, once they are not going to refund this money on the completion of their courses.
    Mr Speaker, in the Budget Statement also, we discovered that there is inadequate provision for the continuation of work on the number of E-Blocks that are ongoing. If care is not taken and we abandon these projects, the cost overrun in the years to come would be too much
    for the country to bear. So we are appealing that we take a look at the Capital Expenditure of the Ministry very seriously. There is a drastic cut in the Capital Expenditure allocation for 2017 and if this is not done, then these efforts of giving more access to education would not be realised.
    Mr Speaker, one area in the Ministry of Education that is suffering much is the Ghana Library Authority. We discovered that over the years, they have requested for staff employment. They have not received any warrant or financial approval to recruit staff. So they are heavily understaffed. They are not able to man the libraries across the country.
    Our appeal to the Ministry of Finance is to grant warrant to the Ministry of Education to enable Ghana Library Authority employ more staff to man our libraries that are scattered all over the country.
    Mr Speaker, we realised that Government's attempt to hurry in putting a number of policies in place is good, but we also want to caution that some of these things should be done in stages other than making sure that we put all things into motion at the same time. That may affect the development of education in the country.
    Mr Moses Anim (NPP — Trobu) 5:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to support the Motion on the floor and I urge Hon Members to also support same.
    Mr Speaker, there is a tremendous increase of the Ministry of Education's budget allocation in relation to 2016. There is an increase of about GH¢1,787,747,801
    Mr Augustine Tawiah (NDC — Bia West) 5:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we have looked very carefully at the policies and the budgetary allocations before us and we all agree that the Education sector is the only place where, either in the city, town, village or every hamlet in Ghana, there is a presence of a school.
    And so, one would see that the things that they have put in the budget, are very careful policies to ensure that they address the critical issues of education in terms of access, quality and equity. Some of these things are addressed through the Free Senior High School programme. Even
    at the lower level, one is given shoes, food, books, uniforms and just about everything, so that the educational experience of every child in Ghana could be possible.
    Mr Speaker, we also recognise that teachers, regardless of where they are trained, are sent throughout the country. We have talked about offices and housing for them in the rural areas. But all of these go to inform the fact, whether they are children or adults, education affects everybody.
    The efforts being made to ensure that the policies are realistic, the critical issues are done in a manner where we can account for it and there is value for money in the process; and to a large extent, some of these are addressed.
    Mr Speaker, an area of concern is higher education as presented in the budget proposal. We recognised that the National Council for Tertiary Education requested an amount of GH¢3.6 billion but they were only allocated GH¢1,954,191,601.00, representing a shortfall of 46.6 per cent.
    We know that the major things in the basic schools emanate from the universities, where in the first place, teachers are trained; we also need libraries for the universities, colleges of education. We need technology and very often, we have to update these services.
    So, if the universities, that become the driving force for change in the education sector trickles down to the lower level, and cannot be allocated the realistic amount that they need to ensure that effective work is done, then we recognise that there is some difficulty ahead in this budget cycle.
    This could create problems in terms of maintenance of structures, and for all of us here who are witnessing, student
    counselling services in our universities, colleges and other institutions that the Government is subventing --
    Mr Speaker, so it appears that this shortfall could actually affect the overall quality and processes of the institutions. But as I began saying, there appears to be realistic efforts to ensure that these things are done right. So, notwithstanding any shortfalls that we see here, I support that the budget allocation as presented be approved.
    Mr Speaker, hopefully, the Minister for Education and his management team would work very hard to ensure that the gaps within the system are addressed and would go a long way to ensure quality, equity and access for all those in the educational experience.
    Mr Speaker, with these few words, I rest my case and ask this Honourable House to approve the budget.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:45 p.m.
    Hon Minister for Education, do you want to wind up?
    Dr Prempeh 5:45 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:45 p.m.
    Very well.
    Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh 5:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to first of all thank Hon Members for their insightful contributions and assure my Hon Colleagues that the Free SHS Policy is never discriminatory.
    Mr Speaker, the Free SHS Policy as would be implemented is to level the field. For over 60 years, Ghana has in one way or the other enjoyed Free SHS Policy in
    certain parts of the country. This is to create a levelled playing field so that for everybody who has the talent and would not be able to afford education because of financial difficulties, that problem does not become a stumbling block. So it is never discriminatory.
    Mr Speaker, enough budgetary allocation has been made --
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:45 p.m.
    Hon Minister for Education, is that the objective of the Free SHS Policy?
    Dr Prempeh 5:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am answering a specific question that has been raised by the Hon Ranking Member.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:45 p.m.
    What is that question?
    Dr Prempeh 5:45 p.m.
    The Free SHS Policy that is being done is discriminatory -- That was what the Hon Ranking Member said.
    Mr Speaker, it is not true that we are going to be selective in applying boarding facilities. Boarding facilities have never been available for every secondary school child in this country. We are not changing the mode of application for going into a boarding school. It is the same procedure that is being maintained.
    Mr Speaker, training allowance that is being administered on behalf of the Government of Ghana by the Student Loan Trust does not make it bad. It is still the Controller and Accountant-General's Department that would make the moneys available for every tertiary student in the training college to access same.
    It is an allowance that students would use their particulars to access and there is nothing different. We are just changing the administrative mechanism.
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 5:45 p.m.
    Hon Members, the Hon First Deputy Speaker to take the Chair.
    MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:50 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 5:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I guess the House could now take the Motion captured as item 22 on page 9 of today's Order Paper.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:50 p.m.
    Motion 22 -- Hon Minister for Finance?
    ANNUAL ESTIMATES, 2017
    Ghana Revenue Authority
    Minister for Finance (Mr Ken Ofori- Atta) 5:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, before moving the Motion, I wish to amend the estimate for the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) by adding GH¢200 million so the new amount would read GH¢753,645,920.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢753,645,920 for the services of the Ghana Revenue Authority for the year ending 31st December 2017.
    Chairman of the Committee (Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah) 5:50 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion and to present the Committee's Report.
    Mr Speaker, I would also amend sections of the Report to reflect the increase in the allocation to GRA as the Minister for Finance just amended.
    Mr Avedzi — rose —
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:55 p.m.
    I see the Hon Deputy Minority Leader on his feet.
    Mr Avedzi 5:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman of the Committee said that wherever we see the amount of GH¢ 553 million, it should read GH¢ 753 million. Which means that Table 2 on page 3, if we change the figure under compensation for employees, it means that all the allocations would go to compensation for employees, Goods and services will be nil and non- current assets would also be nil.
    If that is what the Hon Chairman of the Committee is saying, he should let us know, or else, he should tell us the breakdown of the total amount.
    Dr Assibey-Yeboah 5:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, as a matter of fact, allocations to GRA are not distributed into Compensation for employees, Goods and Services and Capital Expenditure (capex). They do the allocation themselves.

    Mr Speaker, Table 2, yaamutu.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:55 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Haruna Iddrisu 5:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman of the Committee, having associated himself with the young friends he has in Nima is overstretching his yaamutu to every page of this document. So, Table 2, yaamutu -- [Laughter.]
    Dr Assibey-Yeboah 5:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, how GRA operates is as follows: in their agreement with Government, they can retain up to three per cent of revenue collected. So for 2016, you would see that moneys that went to them was actually three per cent of the total revenue that they collected.
    But the law says up to three per cent. So, this year, Government restricted them initially to 1.59 per cent. Then we raised the matter up with the Hon Minister at Committee, that the allocation to GRA was insufficient. So, today, the Hon Minister
    for Finance came back, and because this is a listening government, they decided to raise the allocation to GRA by GH¢200 million. So that is the basis for this.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:55 p.m.
    Very well, proceed with the support of the Motion.
    Dr Assibey-Yeboah 5:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, if we go to the Budget Statement, you would see Appendix 3C under 2017, there is a line item under other expenditure: Re- allocation to priority programmes. The Minister had GH¢ 348 million sitting there. So, he has taken GH¢ 200 million and given it to GRA. So, this is where the GH¢ 200 million is coming from.
    Mr Speaker, if I could present your Committee's Report.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 5:55 p.m.
    Please, do so.
    Dr Assibey-Yeboah 5:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, having taken into account the changes made, I present your Committee's Report.
    Introduction
    The Annual Estimates for the Ghana Revenue Authority was laid in the House and referred to the Finance Committee for consideration and report, in accordance with article 179 of the Constitution and Standing Orders of the House. This follows the presentation of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government by the Minister for Finance, Hon Ken Ofori-Atta, for the year ending 31st December 2017.
    The Committee met with the Chief Director, Mr Patrick Nomo, the three Commissioners of the Ghana Revenue Authority, officials from the Ministry of Finance and technical team from the Ghana Revenue Authority and reports as follows:
    Dr Assibey-Yeboah 5:55 p.m.


    2017 Annual Estimates for the Ghana Revenue Authority

    For the year 2017, the Authority proposed a budget of nine hundred and sixty three million, seventy thousand, six hundred and fifty Ghana cedis, and, twenty nine pesewas (GH¢963, 070,650.29), to finance its proposed programmes and activities for the year.

    The Ministry of Finance, however, gave the Authority a budget ceiling amounting to seven hundred and fifty- three million, six hundred and forty-five thousand, nine hundred and twenty Ghana cedis (GH¢753,645 920).

    Outlook for 2017

    The 2017 expenditure budget for GRA is expected to be driven by the programmes and projects that have been planned to enhance operations and thereby improve revenue mobilisation for the year.

    The Authority intends to:

    Recruit three hundred and fifty (350) additional staff in various grades in 2017 to fill positions created through retirements, death, resignation, et cetera

    Embark on massive tax education to improve voluntary compliance

    Pay allowances in accordance with the collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) approved in 2016; as well as the Conditions of service for Management

    Widen the tax net through identification and registration of new and eligible tax payers using the GIS device.

    The GRA intends to operationalise the electronic point of sale device within the year.

    General observations

    Over-Expenditure

    The Committee observed that total expenditure recorded for 2016 amounted

    to eight hundred and seventeen million, seven hundred and forty thousand, and four hundred and thirty-six Ghana cedis

    (GH¢ 817,740,436).

    This amount was higher by forty-one million, nine hundred and forty five thousand, seven hundred and sixty six Ghana cedis (GH¢ 41,945,766), than the budgeted amount of seven hundred and seventy-five million seven hundred and ninety four thousand, nine hundred and seventy Ghana cedis (GH¢775,794,970).

    The technical team explained that the variance was as a result of expenditure payments made in 2016 which were in respect of 2015, even though the expenditure was incurred in 2015.

    Revenue measures

    The Committee observed that the provisional revenue target for 2017 is GH¢34, 792.26 million, .as against actual collection of GH¢27, 780.84 million for 2016. This represents a growth rate of 25.24 per cent.

    The technical team informed the Committee that in order to realign this revenue target, the Authority would be implementing a number of revenue mobilisation measures. These include:

    Streamlining the existing tax exemption regime

    Undertaking special tax audits on entities such as the Free Zones companies and warehouses

    Transfer pricing audits

    Plugging existing loopholes

    Undertaking payroll audits

    Broaden the tax base, and

    Operationalising the electronic point of sale devices.

    The Authority has also set up a special taskforce at the ports to augment efforts to monitor declarations and payment of import duties.

    The Committee was made aware that apart from these measures, the Authority expects improvement in corporate tax collections as a result of the improvement in the energy supply and improved oil receipts. It was explained that last year both receipts from corporate taxes and oil fell due to the challenges that the sectors experienced.

    Retention amount

    The Committee noted that under Act 791, the GRA could retain up to three per cent of the revenues collected annually. Since its establishment in 2009, the Authority's retention has hovered around two (2) to three (3) per cent of total revenue collected.

    The technical team explained that the revenue retained is applied to the payment of emoluments and other operational activities of the Authority. The Authority's operational activities for 2017 was therefore expected to be financed from the retention which was estimated at a total amount of nine hundred and -sixty three million, seventy thousand, six hundred and fifty Ghana cedis and-twenty nine pesewas (GH¢963, 070,650.29).

    The Committee observed that an amount of seven hundred and fifty-three million, six hundred and forty-five thousand, nine hundred and twenty Ghana cedis (GH¢753,645,920), has been earmarked to the Ghana Revenue Authority.

    It was further indicated that, the ceiling can barely cover staff remuneration which amounts to five hundred and fifty nine million, five hundred and twenty nine thousand, six hundred and sixty seven Ghana cedis and ninety four pesewas

    (GH¢559,529,667.94).

    No provision was also made for Goods and Services as well as non current assets which amounts to four hundred and three million, five hundred and forty thousand, eight hundred and thirty two Ghana cedis six pesewas (GH¢403,540,832.06)

    Recommendations

    Retention amount

    The Committee noted that the revenue target of GH¢34, 792.26 million was very ambitious and would require a lot of effort from the Authority to attain the target. However, the non-provision for Goods and Services as well as non-current assets would impact negatively on their operations.

    The Committee therefore recommends to the House to urge the Ministry of Finance to provide the necessary allocations to the Authority to ensure that they are able to undertake their operations and achieve the stated revenue target.

    Conclusion

    The Committee, after critically examining the 2017 Annual Estimates of the Ghana Revenue Authority, recommends that the House approves the sum of seven hundred and fifty three million, six hundred and forty five thousand nine hundred and twenty Ghana cedis (GH¢753,645,920), for the 2017 financial year.

    Respectfully submitted.
    Mr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson (NDC-- Ajumako/Enyan/Essiam) 5:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion and in doing so, let me take this opportunity to congratulate the Hon Minister for Finance, for at least, listening to the Committee by adjusting the allocation going to the GRA.
    Mr Speaker, previously, GRA would not have had any amount for the purposes of goods and services. You would notice that in the Budget Statement, GRA is supposed to collect revenue in excess of GH¢ 34 billion, which represents about 16.9 per cent of Gross Domestic Product
    (GDP).
    Mr Speaker, inasmuch as we recognise that this is quite a hectic task on GRA, indeed, they would need some resources to be able to do that. At the Committee meeting, we interrogated the assumptions, looking at how they would arrive at the numbers of the targets being given to them by the Ministry of Finance. We got to understand that indeed, they would have to work really hard to achieve that.
    I am happy that today, the Hon Minister for Finance has come before this House, to increase the allocation by GH¢200 million. This still falls short of what they actually retained last year. So, it would still require some amount of resources -- Mr Speaker, GH¢ 200 million is good, but I do not believe it is good enough, looking at the work that they would have to do.
    So, Mr Speaker, I would want to use this opportunity to urge the Hon Minister for Finance to still work with GRA and look at how they can fund it to be able to collect tax revenue of about 16.9 per cent of GDP.
    Mr Speaker, it is really big and it would require some sort of funding from central Government to GRA to be able to do that.
    Dr Assibey-Yeboah 5:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, GH¢ 348 million that was allocated to other priority programmes was for purposes like this -- [Interruption.]
    Additionally, when we get to other Government obligations, there is GH¢411 million in the contingency votes. So, there is already an amount sitting in the contingency votes. Apart from that, there is money sitting in general government services. The Hon Minister for Finance knows what he is doing -- [Interruption.] Exactly.
    Mr Speaker, so, the Minister for Finance has found it wise to move GH¢200 million from other priority programmes to GRA. Now, GRA is the agency that collects revenue on behalf of government; it is the hen that lays the golden eggs. So, giving GH¢200 million to GRA is not throwing money away at all. This is priority. So, I do not see any qualms here.
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:05 p.m.
    Hon Deputy Minority Leader, are you raising an issue? Otherwise, I am giving the opportunity to an Hon Member on the Majority side -- Hon Member for Effutu.
    Mr Alexander K. Afenyo-Markin (NPP -- Effutu) 6:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to speak to the Motion on the floor. I am very happy that the Hon Minister for Finance has finally taken a decision to respond positively to the issue raised with respect to GRA and what would motivate them.
    Mr Speaker, in doing all these, it is expected that GRA would help government by way of collecting more taxes from people who are supposed to pay. But one of the ways that GRA could adopt to ensure this is to make sure that its offices are closer to commercial centres or areas where they could get more people when it comes to tax collection.
    Mr Speaker, over the past few years, we have been talking about it in this House, but in spite of all the assurances by GRA, we did not see an increase in the number of regional or district offices that were established for that purpose and an example is Winneba. Winneba is a major commercial town and we do not have a tax or GRA office.
    We were given all the assurances that there would be a GRA office in Winneba; people would have to go all the way to Swedru. Mr Speaker, there is no GRA office in Apam as well, and a lot of commercial activities go on in Apam.
    So, I would want to take this opportunity to encourage GRA to take advantage, and make sure that where they
    need to establish offices, they would do so. If they say that somebody should come and pay tax and the person is supposed to drive from Apam to Swedru before they could--
    Mr Speaker, I do not know of your constituency and I do not know of other areas -- Mr Speaker, I am being told by my former boss that, point well made.
    Mr Speaker, I believe GRA would listen to these concerns, particularly the issue of Winneba, so that immediately after this approval, some efforts would be made. In case they need to rent offices, the office of the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) would make available appropriate means to get them an office and same applies to Apam.
    Mr Speaker, on that score, I thank you so much and I believe that Hon Members would support this Report. Thank you so much.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:05 p.m.
    If GRA has money for offices then, they should do well to build a new one at Bekwai. Where their office is, is very dangerous and I have refused to visit their office - such a rickety old building that they operate from. Maybe the Hon Minister would want to consider to give them money to build a new one. Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
    Mr James K. Avedzi (NDC -- Ketu North) 6:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you.
    Mr Speaker, I looked at the financial performance of GRA in 2016, and I tried to compare what happened in 2016 -- their actuals with what they have budgeted for in 2017.
    For compensation for employees, GRA spent about GH¢463 million and for Goods
    and Services, they spent GH¢227.6 million and for non-assets or Capex, they spent GH¢85 million, giving a total of GH¢775.79 million.
    Mr Speaker, with this expenditure, GRA was able to collect revenue of around GH¢25.7 billion. For 2017, the target for GRA is about 33 per cent of what happened in 2016. Which means that they are supposed to collect about GH¢34 billion.
    Mr Speaker, look at the amount that has been allocated to GRA in order to increase their collection by 33 per cent -- a total of GH¢553 million. It baffles me what went into the decision to allocate GH¢553 million while their budget allocation for --
    Dr A. A. Osei 6:05 p.m.
    On a point of order. Mr Speaker, I just want to remind my Hon Colleague that an amendment has been made by the Hon Chairman, but you are talking as if no amendment has been made. These are facts. He just made the amendment, but you are using the GH¢553 million which he has just amended.
    Mr Avedzi 6:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I do not know why my Hon Colleague is so jittery about what I am saying.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:05 p.m.
    Hon Deputy Minority Leader, what it means is that, the figures you are speaking to right now do not exist. They are not part of the Report and so, it may not be helpful to us by making that your reference point.
    Mr Avedzi 6:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would go by your direction and I would not mention GH¢553 million again.
    Mr Speaker, the total budgeted amount for compensation for employees for 2017 by GRA is GH¢559 million. That is for Compensation alone. Now that we have a total amount of GH¢753 million for GRA, if you take out the GH¢559 million, you
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:05 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, do you have any objection to anything that he is saying?
    Dr Assibey-Yeboah 6:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, rightly so. Our Standing Orders provide that, we would not draw the Speaker into -- clearly, he is trying to draw you into the debate.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:05 p.m.
    Hon Chairman, I put myself in the debate by suggesting that the Bekwai office is rickety, and which is indeed rickety. [Laughter.] So, I would forgive him, but I put myself in there for him to comment.
    Dr A. A. Osei 6:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, are you saying that you have joined the debate against the Standing Orders of the House? I just want to know.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:05 p.m.
    Hon Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation, I have not recognised you, so the records would not reflect that you made any comment.
    Hon Majority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 6:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, you never contributed. You provided the relevant guidance.
    Mr Avedzi 6:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much. Mr Speaker, as I was saying, the request by the Hon Member for Effutu for a tax office to be built in Winneba would not happen because, this amount cannot do it. They cannot do it because, the figures are there and it is clear -- [Interruption.]
    Mr Speaker, on a serious note, the Hon Minister for Finance should do something about the allocation for GRA. It is very important. They are going to bring in the revenue. If we starve them, they would not get the revenue.
    So, let us ensure that we would provide them the needed resources in order to bring in the revenue. If not, the GH¢34 billion that we want GRA to bring, they cannot bring it, and that would affect what the Hon Minister wants to achieve in terms of the budget deficit.
    Mr Speaker, I said it earlier, when we were debating the policies, that the best they can do for 2017 would be 10 per cent deficit, and I stand by that.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation (Dr Anthony Akoto Osei)(MP) 6:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I associate myself with the comments of the Hon Deputy Minority Leader. We all know that GRA must be resourced well.
    For that reason, when the Hon Minister came to the Committee and the matter was brought to his attention, he immediately took the first step to add GH¢200 million. I am quite convinced that before the year ends, the Hon Minster would do further -- so, I have no doubt in my mind.
    Mr Speaker, the fact that he immediately recognised that and has taken corrective measures tells us that he is very sensitive to our concerns. Those who know that the Hon Minister is a listening Minister should appreciate what he is doing, and I am sure before the end of the year, we would see that the GRA office in the First Deputy Speaker's constituency would be improved. Even though the First Deputy Speaker was providing information to us, the Hon Minister has said it very clearly.
    rose
    Mr Second Deputy Speaker 6:15 p.m.
    Hon Member for Tamale Central, are you contributing?
    Alhaji Fuseini 6:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I know that my good Friend and brother is the Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation. I do not know whether that includes talking for the Hon Minister, when the Hon Minister himself is present.
    Mr Speaker, the Minister is here. Is he the spokesperson?
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:15 p.m.
    So, you are interjecting in accordance with which Order?
    Alhaji Fuseini 6:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, indeed, these are very germane questions --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:15 p.m.
    Germane in accordance with which rule?
    Alhaji Fuseini 6:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in accordance with Order 93 (2).
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:15 p.m.
    Hon Member, you are out of order.
    Dr A. A. Osei 6:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, my good Friend knows I am an esteemed Member of the Finance Committee, so I am reporting on what happened at the Committee; information that he does not have.
    Mr Speaker, so, I am only contributing in my capacity as a Member of the Finance Committee, and this is what happened at the Committee; an inside information that would help the House to appreciate the work of the Committee.
    Mr Speaker, with those few words, I thank you.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:15 p.m.
    Hon Kpodo?
    Mr Benjamin Komla Kpodo 6:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you for the --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:15 p.m.
    Hon Kpodo, I am advised that you are aware that there is an agreement not to admit more than two contributors, so we have exhausted that.
    Would the Hon Minister want to wind up?
    Mr Ofori-Atta 6:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would take this opportunity to commend the august House for considering and recommending the GRA's budget for approval.
    Mr Speaker, as we have heard, GRA is key to mobilising the needed revenue for the 2017 fiscal year. Bold revenue measures are being implemented in 2017 to support the Government's fiscal sustainability drive.
    Mr Speaker, it is for this reason that, in spite of the capping policy, additional resources have been provided in response to Hon Members' request for GRA to meet its core needs to optimise revenue collection.
    Mr Speaker, we would monitor the use of GRA's budget to ensure that the objectives of the Authority are met. We also note Hon Members' concerns about our offices around the districts, and we would encourage them to improve them.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Resolved:
    That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢753,645,920 for the services of the Ghana Revenue Authority for the year ending 31st December, 2017.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 6:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, Motion captured as item numbered 13, which is on page 7 of today's Order Paper.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:15 p.m.
    Very well.
    ANNUAL ESTIMATES 6:15 p.m.

    Minister for Finance (Mr Ken Ofori- Atta) 6:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this
    Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢573,251,781 for the services of the Ministry of Finance for the year ending 31st December, 2017.
    Chairman of the Committee (Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah) 6:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion, and in so doing, present the Committee's Report.
    Introduction
    The 2017 annual Budget Estimates for the Ministry of Finance was laid in the House on Thursday, 2nd March, 2017, and referred to the Finance Committee for consideration and report, in accordance with article 179 of the Constitution and order 140 (4) of the Standing Orders of the House.
    This followed the presentation of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government for the 2017 Financial Year by the Minister for Finance, Hon Ken Ofori-Atta.
    The Chief Director and other officials from the Ministry of Finance attended upon and assisted the Committee in its deliberations on the estimates.
    The Committee expresses its gratitude to the Chief Director and the officials from the Ministry of Finance for attending upon the Committee.
    Reference documents
    In considering the Estimates, the Committee referred to, and was guided by the following documents:
    i. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana
    ii. Standing Orders of the House
    iii. The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the
    Government of Ghana for the 2017 Financial Year
    iv. Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921)
    Background
    The Ministry of Finance exists to ensure macro-economic stability for the promotion of sustainable growth and development of Ghana and her people through:
    The formulation and implemen- tation of sound financial, fiscal and monetary policies.
    The efficient mobilisation, allocation and management of financial resources
    Establishing and disseminating performance-oriented guidelines and accurate user-friendly financial management information system
    Creating an enabling environment for investment.
    In furtherance of the foregoing, the Ministry is committed to the pursuit of excellence, transparency, probity and accountability in the management of financial resources.
    Objectives and functions
    The goal of the Ministry is to ensure efficient and effective management of the economy towards the attainment of upper middle income status and poverty reduction.
    Pursuant to the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA II), the Ministry is pursuing nine (9) policy
    objectives that are relevant to its functions.
    These are to:
    i. Ensure price and exchange rate stability
    ii. Deepen the capital market
    iii. Improve access to the capital market
    iv. Improve fiscal revenue mobilisation and management
    v. Improve public expenditure management
    vi. Improve capacity for effective public sector debt management
    vii.Develop a financial sector which is more efficient and responsive to private sector needs
    viii. Enhance production and management of statistical information and
    ix. Improve availability of quality data for policy formulation, analysis and decision-making
    The core functions of the Ministry include the following:
    Mobilisation of external and internal resources
    Allocation of resources to all sectors of the economy
    Ensuring sustainability of public debt
    Preparation and implementation of the annual budget and economic
    Chairman of the Committee (Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah) 6:15 p.m.
    SPACE FOR COMPENSATION - PAGE 11 - 6.15 P.M.

    SPACE FOR CONTROLLER & ACCOUNTANT

    GENERAL'S DEPT - PAGE 12 - 6.15 P.M.
    SPACE FOR PUBLIC PROCUREMENT 6:15 p.m.

    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:15 p.m.
    Hon Ranking Member?
    Mr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson 6:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would defer to the Hon Deputy Ranking Member.
    Mr Alex Adomako-Mensah (NDC -- Sekyere Afram Plains) 6:25 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    I rise to support the Motion and to ask Hon Members to support me to approve the sum of GH¢573,251,781 for the services of the Ministry of Finance for the year ending 31st December, 2017.
    Mr Speaker, it is observed that as at 31st December, 2016, the Ministry of Finance, as a sector, had budgeted GH¢ 196.3 million for Compensation for employees. Actually, they had GH¢ 191.7 for actuals.
    Mr Speaker, for Goods and Services, they budgeted GH¢ 1.3 million and the actual one was GH¢ 7.5 million. For the Capital Expenditure (CAPEX), they budgeted zero per cent.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:25 p.m.
    Hon Member for Effutu?
    Mr Alexander K. Afenyo-Markin (NPP -- Effutu) 6:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to comment on this Motion.
    Mr Speaker, for the sake of time, I would only limit myself to paragraph 7.6 of the Report.
    Mr Speaker, I note that your Committee, in its Report, says that in the year 2015, the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) froze only ten accounts. I am not too sure of this figure, but because I was not at the Committee's hearings, I would not be able to ascertain how they came by this figure.
    Mr Speaker, that notwithstanding, I believe that since this is a House of record and we would want accuracy, maybe the Hon Finance Committee Chairman may advise us, whether this figure is really ten.
    Mr Speaker, that is very important, so that we would proceed, but generally, we are in support of this Motion, except that this matter should be addressed.
    Thank you Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:25 p.m.
    Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
    Mr Avedzi 6:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I just glanced through the figures, and I see some discrepancy. I would want a clarification from the Hon Chairman of the Committee. This is on page 173 of the Budget document.
    The Ministry of Finance is item numbered 10. The GoG allocation is GH¢ 215, 177, 88; and that is correct and it is captured in the Report. The Goods and Services in the Budget document is GH¢ 266,978,652, but what is captured here is GH¢ 265,078. I would want a clarification from the Hon Chairman of the Committee. The total is correct, but why is that figure different?
    Mr Speaker, the Budget captures GH¢ 266,978,652, but the Report captures GH¢
    265, 078, 652.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:25 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Chairman, can you explain the discrepancy?
    Dr Assibey-Yeboah 6:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think I would need some time to reconcile it.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:25 p.m.
    So, in the meantime, should we stand down the Motion?
    Dr Assibey-Yeboah 6:25 p.m.
    No, Mr Speaker, we should allow the debate to continue.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:25 p.m.
    We should allow the debate to continue. Should we change the rules now?
    Dr Assibey-Yeboah 6:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the bulk sum to the Ministry of Finance is correct, so there is no discrepancy about what is being approved now. What is being approved is exactly what is in the Budget. He has gone into the Budget and picked one figure, which he says does not tally with what is in the Report.
    That is why I would want to take my time to reconcile, but the bulk sum that we are approving for the Ministry is just as it is in the Budget.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:25 p.m.
    Very well, then we would continue.
    Yes, Hon Kpodo?
    Mr Benjamin Komla Kpodo (NDC -- Ho Central) 6:35 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker, I rise to contribute to the Motion which is requesting this Honourable House to approve the allocation for the Ministry of Finance.
    Mr Speaker, we note that under the Ministry of Finance, there are quite a number of departments, agencies and units, and these include the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), the Institute of Accountancy Training, and the Controller and Accountant General's Department.
    Mr Speaker, I know that the PPA has its own means of generating revenue, but this is not captured here. I do not know whether it is considered infinitesimal, but I believe that we need to address that concern.
    Mr Speaker, in the past year, we questioned the continued existence of the Institute of Accountancy Training. We know that it is a unit that re-trains
    rose
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:35 p.m.
    Hon Minister?
    Mr Kpodo 6:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe that --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:35 p.m.
    Hon Kpodo, I have given the floor to the Hon Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation.
    Dr A. A. Osei 6:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we are considering the Estimates of the Ministry of Finance. There is nothing here about divestiture receipts, so, I do not know what the Hon Member is talking about.
    This is the budget of the Ministry of Finance. It has nothing to do with divestiture receipts. If we talk about GH¢1.8 billion, the budget is far less than that. So, how is it related? Mr Speaker, please, let us go on with what is here.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:35 p.m.
    Hon Kpodo, wind up.
    Mr Kpodo 6:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe my Hon Colleague is losing sight of the fact that the GH¢1.8 billion is part of the GH¢34.7 billion, which the Ministry of Finance is going to manage. The duty of the Ministry of Finance is to mobilise revenue -- [Interruption.] Yes, but GRA is part of the --
    Mr Speaker, I can quote from page 43 of the Budget Statement --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:35 p.m.
    Hon Member, conclude.
    Mr Kpodo 6:35 p.m.
    With your permission, I quote.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:35 p.m.
    No. If you are not quoting from the Report which is before us -- We have finished debating the Budget Statement and the principles. Now, we are on the Report, so kindly speak to it. You have had more than five minutes so conclude.
    Mr Kpodo 6:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, this Report is about the Ministry of Finance which prepared the budget, and they are going to manage it, so we have to point these things out to the staff of the Ministry --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:35 p.m.
    I have given the floor to the Hon Majority Leader.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 6:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, clearly our Hon Colleague is engaged in a very tedious and repetitive argument. He cannot say that because the Ministry of Finance manages the finances of all the sectors, when we come to debate the Estimates of the Ministry of Finance, he should bring in that of Parliament, the Electoral Commission and the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation because they are going to manage the funds.
    Mr Speaker, that would be overstretching the argument, and I am happy that you tried to bring him home. He should be relevant to the issue at stake and he should please spare us this unnecessary journey that he has embarked on.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:45 a.m.
    Hon Member, please wind up and restrict yourself to the Report. I have already ruled that we have finished the debate on the Budget Statement. Restrict yourself to the Report.
    Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I want to remind the Ministry of Finance that they said they were going to do these things and they have stated it in the Budget, my reference to the Budget is not illegitimate. And so, I am just reminding them. But all in all, I support the Motion that the Ministry of Finance be allocated the corrected amount for its operations during the 2017 financial year.
    I thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:45 a.m.
    Would the Hon Minister want to wind up?
    Mr Ofori-Atta 6:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I wish to thank this Honourable House for considering the Budget of the Ministry of Finance and providing favourable recommendations and advice for the Ministry's Budget and it being approved.
    Mr Speaker, the Ministry thus recognises its enormous role and responsibility in managing the economy prudently and implementing our revenue measures, expenditures and financing measures towards meeting our fiscal and debt sustainability goal in particular and our macroeconomic objectives in general.
    Mr Speaker, the Ministry pledges to efficiently and effectively implement its programmes and activities as part of measures to achieve our overall national development objectives and also to serve as an example for other MDAs to emulate.
    Mr Speaker, we are poised to implement innovative financing in financial management strategies to ensure that our limited budgetary resources go a very long way to deliver what we have pledged for the year 2017.

    Question put and Motion agreed to.

    Resolved:

    That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢573,251,781 for the services of the Ministry of Finance for the year ending 31st December, 2017.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:45 a.m.
    Hon Majority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 6:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, item numbered 5, Motion on page 4.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:45 a.m.
    Very well, Hon Minister for Finance?
    MOTIONS 6:45 a.m.

    Minister for Finance (Mr Ken Ofori- Atta) 6:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 128(1), which require that when a Bill has been read a second time, it shall pass through a consideration stage which shall not be taken until at least forty- eight hours have elapsed, the Consideration stage of the Earmarked Funds Capping and Realignment Bill, 2017, may be taken today.
    Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah 6:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    Resolved accordingly.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:45 a.m.
    Earmarked Funds and Realignment Bill, 2017 at Consideration Stage.
    BILLS -- CONSIDERATION STAGE 6:45 a.m.

    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:45 a.m.
    Hon Members, amendment proposed is in Addendum Order Paper.
    Yes, Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
    Mr Avedzi 6:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minority Leader has asked me to move the amendment in his name. So, I would want to move the amendment on his behalf.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:45 a.m.
    You may move your proposed amendment now.
    Mr Avedzi (on behalf of Mr Haruna Idrrisu) 6:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 1 -- subclause (1), line 1, delete “Fund and Internally Generated Fund” and insert “Funds”
    Mr Speaker, the new rendition would read 6:45 a.m.
    “This Act applies to any earmarked Funds provided for in an enactment.”
    Mr Speaker, the purpose of this proposed amendment is to completely delete the Internally Generated Funds (IGF) as part of the Funds to be capped.
    This is because it is very important to note that a number of agencies would be affected and these agencies would have difficulty in getting funds to run their
    organisations, and for that matter, it would not be good to add the IGF as part of the earmarked fund that would be capped.
    So, our humble request is that the Hon Minister for Finance should not allow the IGF to be part of the earmarked fund that should be capped. That is the proposed amendment by the Hon Minority Leader.
    Mr Forson 6:45 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thought the Hon Deputy Minority Leader would say we are deleting it because earmarked fund is already defined to include IGF. This is because under the interpretation, “Earmarked Fund” is defined to include IGF, so if we delete IGF, it means the same thing because it is already defined under the interpretations.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:55 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
    Dr Assibey-Yeboah 6:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am opposed to the amendment. I think IGF, if we go to the Schedule of the Bill, it is a lined item as Earmarked Fund. So, just as the Hon Ranking Member said, if we were deleting it to say that IGF is an earmarked fund and so, it would be moot to have it here, then I would come along with him. But to delete it entirely under the guise that IGF is not an earmarked fund, I am opposed to that one.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:55 a.m.
    Hon Chairman, what difference would it make? The explanation he offered may not be apt for the purpose, but would the amendment not achieve the same thing?
    This is because there is a definition of “Earmarked Funds” to include IGF. So, if you put it in the Bill, you would have said the same thing. You would have repeated the same thing, which is defined as including that in the Bill.
    Dr Assibey-Yeboah 6:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, they have proposed other amendments, and if you look at the other amendments in the Order Paper Addendum, they are getting on a path of taking out IGFs entirely. That is what he seeks to do.
    If that is the intention, then I am opposed to it. This is so that from the word go, we would want to include IGF to make it clear that IGF is an Earmarked Fund and would be part of the Bill.
    Mr Avedzi 6:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the object of the Bill, if you would permit me to read, clause 2:
    “The objects of this Act are to
    (a)free up public resources by placing a cap on the Earmarked Funds specified in the Schedule to ensure that tax revenue encumbered by those Funds as a result of allocations is twenty-five percent of tax revenue . . . ”
    The object of the Bill is tax revenue encumbered. IGF is not tax revenue. That is why we are saying that delete IGF completely because the target of the Bill is targeting tax revenue encumbered. IGF is not a tax revenue that is encumbered.
    Mr Opare-Ansah 6:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I wanted to further amend the proposal by the Hon Deputy Minority Leader by deleting “any” before “Fund” and “Internally Generated Funds” and inserting “Funds”. The rendition would now be “This Act applies to Earmarked Funds.”
    That is, delete “any” together with what he proposed. It would read “This Act applies to Earmarked Funds”
    When we go to the interpretation, “Earmarked Fund” is already defined to include IGF in the Schedule, so there is no point adding it here.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:55 a.m.
    That was the argument I made, so that if you took this amendment standing alone, it would not defeat anything.
    However, the other ones you have objections to, you take them as you get there.
    Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 6:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that we should get our bearings right. If this has to be supported, it has to be supported against the reason of it by the Hon Ranking Member, and not the Deputy Minority Leader. This is because I am looking at what trap the sponsors want to set. We see their bare faces in the Schedule. It must be stressed that it is for the reason of harmonising the Bill, that this is being supported.
    Mr Speaker, whatever implement they are sharpening would remain blunt. The reason for supporting the amendment is that apart from the fact that “Earmarked Funds” have been defined, if we should include the IGFs, then everywhere we bump into “Earmarked Funds”, you have to include “and Internally Generated Funds” or “or Internally Generated Funds”. That would be very clumsy.
    Once the Earmarked Funds have been defined, we go alongside it. It is for that reason that I would want to support it. I guess the rest of us, including the Hon Ranking Member, would want to support it. If it is to ambush it, they would know when we get there that it would be a blunt sword.
    Mr Chireh 6:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the way this amendment is, I have also heard a few of my Hon Colleagues saying that “Earmarked Funds” has been defined to include IGF. I do not know whether I am holding the same document.
    If it is specified in the Schedule, that is where the problem is with this Bill. First of all, if we talk about Earmarked Funds and then add IGF, as the Hon Majority Leader said, we know definitely that the Earmarked Funds are fed by revenue that is generated. In the case of IGF, people are paying for services.
    An Hon Member 6:55 a.m.
    Is that not revenue?
    Mr Chireh 6:55 a.m.
    No, that is not tax.
    What I would have called for, if we would agree, is for us to have a winnowing session in which we all understand what we are doing. This is because what we are doing here now, if we see the amendments that have been filed, there are problems in terms of arrangements.
    If we want “Earmarked Funds” to be separate, if we look at that Schedule, there are problems with it. The Schedule has ‘Earmarked Funds” with a heading, “Grants to other Government Units” and then “Other Earmarked Funds” -- That is why I am saying that it is important.
    This is a major Bill that we are passing, and once it is so, we should not confuse the terminology. If we say that because “Earmarked Funds” is in the Schedule, so we do not mention it in the main section and the purpose, and we include it only in the Schedule, the law would not be read that way.
    If we look at what we are doing in the Schedule, we are indicating which sections are talking about the Schedule. Those sections that are talking about the Schedule, means that --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:55 a.m.
    Hon Member for Wa West, are you speaking to the amendment tabled already?
    Mr Chireh 6:55 a.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker. That is my point. If we take the amendment as proposed now, which Hon Members are saying it is already defined, the fact that it is included in the Schedule does not mean that it has been defined; no.
    Dr Assibey-Yeboah 6:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, having listened to good counsel, I want to withdraw my opposition to the proposed amendment, so that we can carry it.
    I would also like to remind the Hon Member for Wa West that there is an amendment on the floor. So, he either supports or opposes it, so that we can make progress.
    I have withdrawn my opposition to the amendment, so now I support it as modified.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:55 a.m.
    Was the proposed amendment seconded?
    Mr Forson 6:55 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I did not second it.
    What I was trying to say is that if the --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 6:55 a.m.
    I would ask for a secondment of the Motion before --
    Are we seconding the Motion? If we do not, we cannot discuss it further.
    Mr Opare-Ansah 7:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, this is an amendment at the Consideration Stage, so it does not need to be seconded.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 7:05 p.m.
    Hon Members, I believe we are ad idem that the amendment would be taken as it is. [Interruption.]
    I would want to be sure about the modification.
    Mr Opare-Ansah 7:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the modification was that the original amendment, which stood in the name of the Hon Minority Leader,was to delete the words “Earmarked Fund” and “Internally Generated Fund”, and then be replaced with the word “Funds”.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to further amend so that the deletion would include the word “any”. So, we should delete the word “any” in the block of words to be deleted.
    This is so that the new rendition would be:
    “This Act applies to Earmarked Funds”.
    Mr Speaker, please, I would want to know if that is clear.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 7:05 p.m.
    The satisfaction of the proposer of the amendment.
    Mr Iddrisu 7:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we would want this Act to apply to “Earmarked Funds”.
    Indeed, when the Hon Minister for Finance submitted the Budget Statement, he used the words interchangeably. In some instances, he conveniently used the words “Statutory Funds”, and in other instances he used the words “Earmarked Funds”. Whether he would want to provide a definition for the words “Statutory” and “Earmarked” differently, it would be proved when we get to the Interpretation.
    Mr Speaker, even though ideally, we would have thought the Hon Minister for Finance would not encumber IGF, we can understand the dynamics of budgeting. So this one would be for a start; as we proceed on --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 7:05 p.m.
    Hon Members, so, the new rendition would be:
    “This Act applies to Earmarked Funds”.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 7:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the definition of “Earmarked Funds” provides, and with your permission, I beg to quote:
    “Earmarked Fund” means the aggregate of all dedicated fixed portions of revenue that are by the Constitution or an Act of Parliament set aside and allocated to the Earmarked Funds specified in the Schedule;”
    Mr Speaker, already, that leg is covered. So, we do not need it at the end. So we could delete the words, “provided for in an enactment”. It further complements what we have.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 7:05 p.m.
    Hon Members, so the new rendition would be:
    “This Act applies to Earmark Funds”
    Simplicita .
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 7:05 p.m.
    Absolutely, Mr Speaker.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 7:05 p.m.
    Hon Members, item numbered (ii), which also stands in the name of Hon Haruna Iddrisu.
    Mr Avedzi (on behalf of Mr Haruna Iddrisu) 7:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, subclause (2), lines 1 and 2, delete “or an Internally Generated Fund”
    Mr Speaker, the new rendition would read 7:05 p.m.
    “Where a provision in an enactment relating to an Earmarked Fund is inconsistent or conflicts with the provision of this Act, this Act shall, except as otherwise provided in subsection (5) of section 3, prevail”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 7:05 p.m.
    Hon Deputy Minority Leader, the proposer of the amendment is here.
    He was absent earlier, and you sought leave to move it on his behalf.
    I would want to know why you still moved the amendment. The Hon Minority Leader has not made any application.
    Mr Haruna Iddrisu 7:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, indeed, as you came into the Chamber, I wondered the speed with which you got here before me. This is because I was with you at the Appointments Committee.
    I just came down with a weight of, and I thought that the Hon Deputy Minority Leader, unless you had doubts, had my support to move the amendments on my behalf.
    Mr Speaker, there have been some further engagements. If you would allow the Hon Ato Forson, I would probably re- think some aspects of it and even come with further amendment to it.
    Mr Speaker, on the same clause 1 (2), I would want to seek a further amendment, which would be:
    “Where a provision in an enactment relating to an Earmarked Fund or an Internally Generated Fund is inconsistent or conflicts with a
    provision of this Act, this Act shall prevail”.
    Mr Speaker, but I would want Hon Ato Forson to advise me, and I would come back to it by giving you notice.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 7:05 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, I would want to understand you. You have proposed that we suspend the amendment with regard to item numbered (ii) in the Addendum Order Paper. Is that the proposal?
    Mr Forson 7:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I tried to discuss with the Hon Minority Leader to humbly abandon his amendment.
    Mr Speaker, the reason is that, if we look at page 191 of the Budget Statement under “IGF retention”, it would be noticed that the Budget Estimate had already made provision for the capping.
    However, this House has already approved some of the Estimates. So, if the Hon Minority Leader's amendments are successful, then we would end up throwing the Budget Statement overboard.
    Mr Speaker, it is for that reason that I pleaded with the Hon Minority Leader to drop his amendment, so that we could make some progress.
    Most importantly, we debated the issue last Friday, and had approval for the Second Reading. So, it meant that, possibly, all the principles have been approved already; so for that reason, this is consequential -- if we could be allowed to move on.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 7:05 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, does that apply to all the proposed amendments, or it applies to only this one?
    Mr Haruna Iddrisu 7:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would follow the rule that it would be applicable to what is currently at the Consideration Stage.
    I am guided by the Hon Ranking Member and the Hon Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation. Mr Speaker, but even as I am persuaded, may I also persuade the Hon Minister for Finance that health institutions and educational institutions, even as he proceeds to target IGF, would be assured that their activities and operations would not suffer unnecessarily to the detriment of the running of the economy.
    Mr Speaker, with that assurance, I am minded to abandon the first amendment, but insist to you with notice that clause 1 (2) should read:
    “Where a provision in an enactment relating to an Earmarked Fund or an Internally Generated Fund is inconsistent or conflicts with a provision of this Act, this Act shall prevail”.
    Mr Speaker, this is neater and more elegant than to say that reference would be made only to subsection (5) of section 3 of this particular Act.
    Other than that, if we go to the parent Act of the Fees and Charges, we would probably want to reference a specific section in it, which would be affected by this. That is what I think.
    Mr Speaker, so the amendment as was moved on my behalf by the Hon Deputy Minority Leader is accordingly abandoned in respect of clause 1 subclause (2).
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 7:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thought the Hon Minority Leader said that we should further delete, “except as otherwise provided in subsection (5) of this section of section 3, prevail.”
    Mr Speaker, I believe that phraseology is not even needed. This is because that subsection is part of the Act. So, we would be home and dry if we said:
    “Where a provision in an enactment relating to an Earmarked Fund, or an Internally Generated Fund is inconsistent or conflicts with a provision of this Act, this Act shall prevail.”
    It is as simple as that. This is because “subsection (5) of section 3” of this Act is part of this Act. So, we do not need that intervening phraseology.
    Alhaji Fuseini 7:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to support the amendment, and also to say that what the provision seeks to do is to create a supremacy of the Act against other Acts either or to come later.
    Mr Speaker, so, we cannot create supremacy of a legislation and in another vein, limit the ambit of the legislation.
    Mr Speaker, secondly, in fact, I have carefully looked at the section that is supposed to be exempted from clause 1 subclause (2). It has nothing to do with an Act of Parliament or one that was brought before Parliament.
    So, the amendment is right — The provision, “except as otherwise provided by subsection (5) of section 3”, has no place at where it is.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 7:15 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader, can you give us the new rendition?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 7:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 1, subclause (2) line 3, delete “except as otherwise provided in subsection (5) of section 3”.
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Clause 1 as variously amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Clause 2 — Objects
    Mr Haruna Iddrisu 7:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, paragraph (a), line 1, delete “free up public resources by placing a cap” and insert “to cap”
    Mr Speaker, when we take the Long Title, we realise that the object of this Act is to place a cap on Earmarked Funds specified in the Schedule. If we want to walk the road of freeing up public resources, the question is which resources are we freeing up? Our intention is to provide a ceiling, which was communicated to us at 25 per cent of it, and not more of the Earmarked Funds.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 7:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, since the Long Title uses “provide”, I guess we could use “provide” in place of “place”. But because “to” has been used in the preambuler, we just delete the “to” that is also supplied. So, we would have, “the objects of this Bill are to “provide” in place of “placing”. So, we delete the “free up public resources” and delete “placing as well” to read; “provide a cap on the Earmarked Funds specified in the Schedule”.
    Mr Speaker, I guess the second and third lines would also need to be cleaned up. But let us please finish with this first line and then we would deal with the second and third lines.
    So, it would read:
    “The objects of this Act are to
    (a) provide a cap on the Earmarked Funds…”
    Then we would deal with the second and third lines.
    Alhaji Fuseini 7:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to provide a further amendment to the amendment suggested by the Hon Majority Leader; and to make it consistent with what is in the Long Title by deleting “on” and inserting “for” to read:
    “The objects of this Act are to
    (a) provide a cap for Earmarked Funds…”
    Mr Chireh 7:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in the Consideration of the Bill, if we substantially change the main part of the Bill, then we are likely to change the Long Title. So, the rendition now, for to cap, I believe is the correct thing to do. There was an earlier amendment also in relation to the resources. The reasons which made the amendment for budgetary revenue were — [Interruption.]
    Mr Speaker, the reasons were that if we say “resources”, it is at large. We can only put that in the Memorandum, but what we have not yet agreed on is total revenue or budget revenue.
    Why are we capping? We are capping because we want to free some budget revenue or total revenue. I do not know where the thing is. The cap is in the budget. So we need to be clear about it before we agree on this.
    Mr Haruna Iddrisu 7:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, probably, I should allow you to exhaust it. Mr Speaker, but I think we should examine clause 2 (a) -- “cap on” -- even in the budget which we are approving. We are capping Earmarked Funds, and so we are putting the ceiling on Earmarked Funds.

    So, I would persuade my Hon Colleague, Hon Alhaji Fuseini, so that he abandons his amendment.

    Thank you.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 7:25 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member for Tamale Central?
    Alhaji Fuseini 7:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thought that “Earmarked Funds” was a creature, and then we would want to cap it. So, we provide a cap “for” the creature.
    Some Hon Members 7:25 p.m.
    No! [Interruption]
    Alhaji Fuseini 7:25 p.m.
    Hon Members, we are in Parliament, so, let me debate.
    Mr Speaker, I have been further emboldened by the Report of the Committee. Paragraph 4.0 of the Report of the Committee says:
    “The object of Bill is to provide a cap for Earmarked Funds to ensure that the total Earmarked Funds for each financial year is equivalent to twenty-five per cent (25%) of tax revenue and to provide further related matters”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 7:25 p.m.
    Hon Member for Suhum?
    Mr Frederick Opare-Ansah 7:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, indeed, if the Committee had found something wrong with the expression, we would have proffered an amendment to it.
    Mr Speaker, so, the fact that the Committee did not seek to amend it does not mean that it is right. This is coming under a different sponsor to try to correct us. Once Committees bring our reports to the floor of the House, it is for the House
    to decide to adopt it in its entirety, or to seek further amendments based on recommendations that we make and discussions that ensue on the floor. So the arguments being made by quoting portions of the Committee's Report are neither here nor there.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 7:25 p.m.
    Hon Yieleh Chireh?
    Mr Chireh 7:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that the argument of my Hon Friend and Hon Brother is not correct.
    Mr Speaker, if we look at the grammar involved in this, it is not a baseball cap that we wear. If we look at the definition -- to put a cap on is to limit. Therefore, we can ‘cap on' or ‘cap something' because we are putting a cap on it. So I do not think that his argument is sound in terms of this. In grammar, it is to cap.
    Alhaji Fuseini 7:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am abandoning it not on the basis of grammar, but on the basis of received wisdom. This is because I have seen “cap for” spread in many places of the Bill, except to say that the Report of the Committee is not sacrosanct. That is why when your Committee finishes its work, it brings the Report to the House, and Hon Members would then debate the Report. This is because Mr Speaker knows that his Committee's Report cannot be sacrosanct.
    Thank you.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 7:25 p.m.
    The new rendition is:
    “(2) the objects of this Act are to
    (a) provide a cap on the Earmarked Funds…”
    Question put and amendment agreed to.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 7:25 p.m.
    Hon Members, is there any further amendment to clause 2 (a)? [Pause.]
    There is a proposed amendment -- who is moving it?
    Hon Majority Leader, are you moving a proposed further amendment to clause 2 (a)?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 7:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we have finished with just line 1, and I guess there are other amendments proposed for line 1. Mr Speaker, but because you put the Question on line 1, item numbered (iv) cannot find space again. [Interruption.] [Pause.] -- I am saying that this amendment can no longer be proposed.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to propose further amendment for clause (2) (a), and that was why I said that we have dealt with just the first line.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that after the Funds, that is, “The objects of this Act are to provide a cap on the Earmarked Funds specified in the Schedule to ensure that the total sum of tax revenue encumbered by the Earmarked Funds as a result of allocation to them will not exceed twenty-five per cent of total tax revenue”. That is how it should read, Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 7:25 p.m.
    Let me follow you, Hon Majority Leader.
    Hon Majority Leader, are you providing an insertion after “that”?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 7:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am providing an insertion after “that” in line 2.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 7:25 p.m.
    The insertion is, “the total sum of”; that is in line 2.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 7:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in line 3, I am also calling for the deletion of the word “those” in line three, and insert “the Earmarked”. It would read:
    “The objects of this Act are to (a) provide a cap on the Earmarked Funds specified in the Schedule to ensure that the total sum of tax revenue encumbered by the Earmarked Funds as a result of allocation to them do not exceed twenty-five per cent of total tax revenue”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 7:35 p.m.
    Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
    Mr Avedzi 7:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to move a further amendment to the amendment proposed by the Hon Majority Leader.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move that, “tax” should be deleted completely from line 2.
    So that it would read, “the total sum of revenue encumbered”, and not “tax revenue encumbered”. This is because the Schedule provided included non-tax revenue. So if the object here is saying “tax revenue encumbered”, then we are defeating that; so we should delete “tax”.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 7:35 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Dr A. A. Osei 7:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to agree with the Hon Deputy Minority Leader but the word I would have wanted to use was, ‘total revenue as defined in the Act', and then we would be alright. [Interruption.] It is not ‘total sum' but ‘total revenue'.
    This is because, ‘total revenue' is already defined in the Bill.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 7:35 p.m.
    Very well.
    Hon Members, let me be clear that I understand the amendments you have done.
    Now, in line 2, we would have:
    “specified in the Schedule to ensure that total revenue…”

    Hon Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation, I want your attention. I would want to be sure of what you have proposed.
    Dr A. A. Osei 7:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe we are in agreement.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 7:35 p.m.
    There are other Hon Members on their feet but I would want to be sure I understand you before we get there. If I get you right, the new rendition will be:
    “The objects of the Act are to
    (a) provide a cap on the Earmarked Funds specified in the Schedule to ensure that total revenue encumbered by the Earmarked Funds as a result of the allocation is twenty-five per cent of tax revenue;”
    Is that right? [Interruption] It is not of ‘tax revenue' but of ‘total revenue'.
    Is it “total revenue” or “tax revenue”?
    Dr Assibey-Yeboah 7:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in the first instance, it is total revenue because IGF which is part of the Bill is non-tax revenue. So, by bringing total revenue here, we are then saying that IGF which is non-tax revenue is part.
    In the second instance, it is tax revenue because it is just a benchmark. They could have used anything here. They are saying that it would be a benchmark. It could have been 10 per cent of total revenue. It is just a benchmark. So, in the second instance, it has to stay as tax revenue. [Interruption.] Yes, because we have defined that one.
    Mr Avedzi 7:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, there are two ‘tax revenue' in the clause 2 (a). We are changing the first one to ‘total revenue'. With the second instance, the ‘tax revenue' should remain as a benchmark. [Interruption.]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 7:35 p.m.
    So, the second ‘tax revenue' in line 4 should stay. [Interruption.] Very well.
    Hon Yieleh Chireh?
    Mr Chireh 7:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, when I look at the amendments proposed in today's Order Paper, the Committee intends not to define, ‘total revenue' under clause 7. [Interruption.] No, it says delete the definition of total revenue.
    So, unless we would not want to delete it, in which case we would agree and keep it here -- [Interruption.] Look at the Order Paper. I am telling you about the Order Paper. [Pause]
    Mr Forson 7:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in view of the issues being raised, I suggest that we go for winnowing so that the Winnowing Committee can meet early tomorrow morning before we come to plenary around 10 o'clock so that we can take it as the first thing.
    Mr Speaker, the issues being raised are coming from the dinosaurs of the House -- the Hon Majority and Minority Leader -- it is important that we sit with them and then thrash the issues out.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 7:35 p.m.
    So let us conclude on clause 2 (a) and (b) and come back.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 7:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I believe we are ad idem on the amendment as further amended. This is because, as we have been told, the 25 per cent provides the benchmark.
    Indeed, the very first paragraph of the Memorandum provides for that, that it should be the measure. It is for that reason that this Bill is being introduced in the first place and, indeed, it is anchored in the Long Title which provides that this is being done in order to ensure that the Earmarked Funds do not exceed 25 per cent of tax revenue. So, that is the measure.
    Mr Speaker, I believe we are ad idem on it and you can put the Question on clause 2 (a). I guess when we are through with clause 2 (b), we can then resort to the vehicle of further winnowing this evening and then, tomorrow, we can take it.
    Mr Haruna Iddrisu 7:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, one can appreciate that this Bill is a sine qua non to the 2017 Budget Statement and its successful implementation. But I would agree with you as you have guided that probably, we should finish with clause 2. Then, you can put the Question on it. Then the Winnowing Committee will do a thorough work so that tomorrow when we come, we can move with some speed.
    Mr Speaker, while we are at it, you can just imagine clause 2 (b) and just to guide why we need winnowing. With your permission I quote:
    “(b) empower the Minister, in consultation with the relevant sector Minister, to review the enactments under which the Earmarked Funds specified in the
    Schedule are established, and to make a determination as to whether or not a particular Earmarked Fund has outlived its usefulness and should cease to exist.”
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 7:35 p.m.
    Now that we are ad idem on clause 2 (a), shall we put --
    Mr Haruna Iddrisu 7:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, you can understand that my brain is tired now and same for many others. That is why we should end at clause 2.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 7:45 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, let me be clear as to the rendition we have agreed upon. The final rendition is that:
    “The objects of the Act are to
    (a) provide a cap on the Earmarked Funds specified in the Schedule to ensure that total revenue encumbered by the Earmarked Funds as a result of the allocation is twenty-five per cent of tax revenue…”
    All right, I will put the Question.
    Question put and amendment agreed to
    Clause 2 (a) as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 7:45 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader, I think that this is a good point to bring a close --

    2 (b) is problematic and it requires some further review.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 7:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that we could rest the consideration here and then have a quick winnowing either this evening -- [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, the necessary motivation would be provided to the Hon Chairman of the Committee. I know his heart desires and so the necessary motivation would be provided to him.
    Mr Speaker, I believe that if we have about 30 minutes to one hour on it, we would be able to finish. So, we could take an adjournment today and then we would go and do the cleaning up and do it tomorrow. The winnowing to continue.