“A Minister shall not take more than three weeks to respond to a question from the House.”
Mr Speaker, even though we respect your mandate and authority on this matter, before the House went on recess, I would want to believe that knowing same, many Questions were filed, which received your diligent attention, and were appropriately referred to Hon Ministers to respond to them.
Mr Speaker, it has been more than three weeks, so, we expect the Hon Leader of Government Business and Majority Leader to ensure that the Ministers are responsive to this House, and show respect to this House by coming within time. This is because some of the Questions are time bound and have essence with time in their response to them.
Mr Speaker, the other one is to note that the Hon Majority Leader has properly conveyed to this House, the composition of a Technical Committee to work on the Standing Orders.
Mr Speaker, we should support it to bring closure to the matter. I note your personal determination to reform this House, and for this Parliament to be more responsive, we could only do so if we have an improved Standing Orders, which guides your own vision and the vision of the House.
We, therefore, expect that the revised Committee would begin work in earnest and bring this matter to a closure, so that
the Committees would be looked at much more thoroughly.
Mr Speaker, I would also want to remind the Hon Majority Leader that, some of the Ministers now sit in Committees, which engender conflicts by way of what they say. That itself, must necessitate some re- composing of the Committees, in order that those that have not been given Executive notice, can have their Legislative notice properly to play their part.
Mr Speaker, I would also support the view which was guided by your Welcome Remarks to all Hon Members for coming back to this House, and again, on the ongoing renovation work, which compels us under Standing Order 40 (2) to ordinarily Sit at 10.00 o'clock in the forenoon.
Mr Speaker, under the circumstance and given the exigencies of the ongoing work, which has to do with the refitting of the roof which was blown off by the wind, it would appear that we would have to support you, so that this House would convene at 12.00 in the afternoon and probably adjourn at your pleasure, subject to the availability of Business. We should by consensus support you, that we no longer can start Sitting at 10.00 a.m. in order that, we get the work going.
Mr Speaker, we would also want to demonstrate to the country that at your guidance, we are prepared to Sit even up to 10.00 p. m. or 11.00 p. m., provided there is Business to be done.
Mr Speaker, finally, in concluding, I would want to remind the Hon Majority Leader and the missed out Ministers that, when this House was about adjourning, they had some details on the outstanding Funds, which are now referred to as the capped Funds.
Mr Speaker, whether it is a capped Common Fund, capped NHIS Fund or capped GETFund, the parent Acts of those legislations provide the time period for Parliament to scrutinise and give approval to them. So, it is not just a matter of pleasure of a Minister when they come to Parliament to report for Parliament's approval of the Common Fund.
Mr Speaker, in respect of many of them, their respective legal frameworks provide that, it should be one month after the Budget, or three months after the Budget. We are long out of time, and it is important that the formulas are brought, so that we know that in their stress regime of capped resources, we know how the dedicated funds would be used.
Mr Speaker, I so submit, thank you.