Debates of 28 October 2015

MR SPEAKER

PRAYERS

VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, Correction of Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 27th October, 2015. Page 1…25 --

Speaker
Mr Daniel N. K. Titus-Glover

Mr Speaker, sorry to bring you back to page 5. I was present yesterday and unfortunately, my name was not captured.

Speaker
Mr Titus-Glover

The attendance.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

What is at page 5 that you are correcting?

Speaker
Mr Titus-Glover

Mr Speaker, the attendance. My name is not here.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

So, what are you correcting?

Speaker
Mr Titus-Glover

Mr Speaker, I would want my name to be inserted.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Absolutely.

Speaker
Mr Titus-Glover

Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Very well. Hon Members, the Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 27th October, 2015 as corrected be adopted as the true record of proceedings.

Speaker
Dr Anthony Akoto Osei

Mr Speaker, sorry to take you back. The Hon Member for Tema East made a correction that his name was not there. His name is there as ‘‘absent'' -- on page 8: “Titus-Glover, Daniel Nii Kwartei (Tema East)”.

Speaker
Mrs Gifty E. Kusi

That is what he said.

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

So, that was the correction he wanted to make.

Speaker
Mrs Kusi

That is what he said.

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

No! He said his name was not there.

Speaker
Mrs Kusi

His name is not in the Members' Present list.

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

And I am saying that his name is here as absent.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Yes! We have got the message. He said he was present but he did not see his name among those who were present, therefore, he wanted his name to be there.

Speaker
Dr A. A. Osei

Mr Speaker, I am just reminding him, that -- [Interruption.]

Speaker
Mr Speaker

When he said his name was not there, that is why I asked him what he was correcting.

Speaker
Mr Isaac Osei

rose

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Member for Subin?

Speaker
Mr Isaac Osei

Mr Speaker, in that case, he requires a deletion in the absent column and an insertion --[Interruption.]

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Absolutely. Table Office should take note. Hon Members, I have not admitted any Statement for today, so, we move straight to the Commencement of Public Business. Commencement of Public Business, Hon Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Alban S. K. Bagbin

Mr Speaker, we have a number of Papers to present to the House and we have the Hon Minister for Defence and the Hon Minister for Employment and Labour Relations to lay those reports on behalf of the Hon Minister of State, Public Sector Reforms and the Hon Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation. Mr Speaker, the two Hon Ministers are not present.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Very well. Hon Members, Presentation of Papers. We start with item number 4 (a); by the Hon Minister of State, Public Sector Reforms. Who is laying that Paper?

Speaker
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

rose

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, the Hon Majority Leader, doubling up as the Hon Member in-charge of Government Business has just informed us of the absence of the Hon Minister of State in-charge of Public Sector Reforms, for which reason, he is pleading that the House allows the Hon Minister for Employment and Labour Relations to lay the Paper on behalf of the Hon Minister of State in-charge of Public Sector Reforms. May we know the reason for his absence?

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Majority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, given the circumstances in which we are now -- [Laughter] -- After he transferred his disease to me -- He is not a home boy. [Laughter.] Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister of State in-charge of Public Sector Reforms was here yesterday and he did indicate to me that he might not be here today (he was not firm) because of some commitments at the Office of the President. So, I was expecting that he would show up but he has not. So, I do not have any firm reason apart from what he mentioned yesterday to me. I think he is caught up in that official assignment. That is why he is not here. But he is in town.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, on behalf of the Minister of State --

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

rose

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Minority Leader?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, what the Hon Majority Leader did was to inform this House and he has attempted to give a reason. Thereafter, he should seek the indulgence of the House, so that the Hon Minister does not have to rise in such haste. I know he is purposed to also go and see his backyard but he must -- Did I hear him say that we are safe?

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Is the Hon Majority Leader himself safe? Mr Speaker, I think the proper thing must be done. The indulgence of the House must be sought.

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, I formally apply for the indulgence of the House to allow the Hon Minister for Employment and Labour Relations to lay the Paper for and on behalf of the Hon Minister of State in-charge of Public Sector Reforms.

PAPERS

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Majority Leader or for that matter, the Hon Minority Leader, which committee will handle this document? Which committee should I refer this matter to?

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, the Committee in-charge of Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

But these are not State Enterprises matters. It is not a State Enterprise issue. It is a Charter. I might be tempted to refer it to either the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs or the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, then we need to do a joint Committee because it is dealing with the values and principles of public service and administration. That is the technical area. Mr Speaker, being a Charter, it has legal implications, definitely, but it is a technical area dealing with the principles and values of public service administration. So, we could add the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs but the other Committee should not be Foreign Affairs. They used Foreign Affairs as a conduit but not dealing with them. We need to add --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Majority Leader, my view is that we would like to find out whether these values that we are being invited to ratify as a House, are consistent with our national Constitution, for example, which is the fundamental law of the land. So, that brings in the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. It also deals with the Public Services. When you look at the African Charter aspect, that is when the foreign affairs come in. Then it deals with Public Service and Administration. So, I need your direction -- or we should just leave it to the Committee on Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, simpliciter?

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

No! Let us add the Committee on Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises, because they need to look at the issues of the values and principles.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Very well. Referred to the joint Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Foreign Affairs and Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises. By the Minister for Defence (Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor) (on behalf of the Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation) -- Host Country Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the Centre for Agricul- ture and Bioscience International (CABI) Regarding the Establish- ment of a Sub-Regional Office of CAB International in Ghana.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Majority Leader, which Committee would handle this matter?

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, I think it should go to the joint Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Very well. Referred to the joint Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs. By the Majority Leader and Leader of the House. National Media Commission (Content Standards) Regulations, 2015. Referred to the Subsidiary Legislation Committee.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Item number 5, Motion -- [Pause.]

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, we could take another item.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

So, are we deferring item number 5?

Speaker
Mr B agbin

I a m get t i n g a n indication --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Majority Leader, as the one in-charge of Government Business, you need to guide the Chair. I know the circumstances of the time. So, which of the items are we taking? If not, let me know. If none of them is ready, let me know -- or if they are ready and the Chairmen or the people who are supposed to move them are not there too, let us know, then we would know what to do as a House.

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman of the Finance Committee is not yet in the House. I am being told he is around and they would like us to take another item. But looking at the other items, the Acting Chairman for the Special Budget Committee, together with some Hon Members of the Committee are on official assignment outside the country, so, he is not yet back. Then the Public Accounts Committee, the Report is ready but the Chairman is not present. So, Mr Speaker, in the circumstances --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

That is, items 7 and 8.

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Items 6, 7 and 8, yes.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

What about item 9?

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, yesterday, I did indicate that there were some issues that are still left to be resolved and they have not yet been done and so, we could not go with the Consideration of the Minerals and Mining Amendment Bill, the same for the Minerals Development Fund Bill and that was why I was trying to seek your permission -- and, at least, my Hon Colleagues for us to take a date till tomorrow. We should adjourn till tomorrow. Mr Speaker, what we intend to do if you would kindly give us an adjournment, is to go and do the winnowing. We have a lot of amendments filed in respect of the Minerals Development Fund Bill and so, the informal winnowing committee would have to go through those amendments.

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

I am sure that is where we could apply our efforts and time and then by tomorrow, we would allow the Chairmen of the Public Accounts and Finance Committees to move the Motions that are on the Order Paper.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Are you moving the Motion or you have moved it?

Speaker
Mr A. S. K. Bagbin

Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that -- [Interruption] -- Mr Speaker, in the circumstances, I beg to move, that this House adjourns till tomorrow at 10.00 in the forenoon, where we shall reconvene -- [Interruption]-- we have business.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, the Hon Majority Leader is the one in-charge of Government Business. He is moving a Motion. Hon Members, the procedure is that the Hon Majority Leader is moving a Motion, let us listen to it and then after that, it has to be seconded and the House would have to take a decision. It is only after the Motion has been moved that the floor can be opened for Hon Members to pass any comments. If there is no Motion, there is no business before us. Hon Majority Leader, move your Motion.

Speaker
Mr Bagbin

Mr Speaker, once again, I beg to move, that this House do adjourn till tomorrow at 10.00 in the forenoon, when we shall reconvene to continue with the business of the House. But I did indicate that the winnowing committee will be meeting to continue with the winnowing of the Minerals Development Fund Bill, 2014.

Speaker
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, as you have observed --

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Let us have order in the Chamber. Order! Order!

Speaker
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mr Speaker, the Hon Majority Leader is the Leader of Government Business. So, if he says that we have to adjourn, those of them who are not in-charge of Government Business, to say that they disagree, I do not understand. Mr Speaker, if he says that there is nothing before us and we cannot continue, so, we should adjourn, we should support it, for which reason, Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion for adjournment. Accordingly, and to repeat, I beg to second the Motion for adjournment.

Speaker
Mr Speaker

Hon Members, I will put the Question. But before I put the Question, I will want the Leaders to make the necessary arrangements -- I have called the House, so that we could come and transact business -- so that we could see how to proceed in the face of the challenges, and we know the challenges. I made an allusion to it yesterday, that because of the primaries of the Majority side, whether that would not affect the business of the House. We should not deceive ourselves; we are confronted with serious challenges during this Meeting. So, I will want us to find ways and means of trying to put things together. I will not open this matter to debate, with the greatest respect. I will let the Leadership -- the senior Members of the House, like the Hon Member for Sekondi and the former Leader of the House -- bring their expertise to assist the House in the face of the challenges, so that from tomorrow onward, some of the challenges we are facing today would not recur. Hon Members, I know your concerns -- and they are legitimate. But we could resolve some of these things behind the scenes. Question put and Motion agreed to.

ADJOURNMENT

The House was accordingly adjourned at 11.42 a.m. till Thursday, 29th October, 2015 at 10.00 a.m.