FIRST READING OF BILLS --
MINISTERS OF STATE
DEPUTY REGIONAL MINISTERS
OFFICERS AND OFFICIALS OF PARLIAMENT
OFFICE OF THE MAJORITY LEADER
OFFICE OF THE MINORITY LEADER
ALPHABETICAL LIST OF MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT
SUMMARY OF PARLIAMENTARY SEATS
PARLIAMENTARY SERVICE BOARD MEMBERS
OFFICERS OF PARLIAMENTARY SERVICE
CLERK TO PARLIAMENT
DEPARTMENT OF RESEARCH
DEPARTMENT OF LIBRARY
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
AUDIO VISUAL UNIT
PARLIAMENTARY RELATIONS AND PROTOCOL
DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
PARLIAMENTARY RESOURCE CENTRE
DEPARTMENT OF THE MARSHAL
DEPARTMENT OF DEVELOPMENT
IN THE THIRD MEETING OF THE THIRD SESSION OF THE
SIXTH PARLIAMENT OF THE FOURTH REPUBLIC OF GHANA
TWENTY-THIRD YEAR OF THE FOURTH REPUBLIC
PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC
COMMUNICATION FROM THE
Hon Members, let me welcome you back from the recess to the Third Meeting of the Third Session of the Sixth Parliament of the Fourth Republic. I do hope that you were able to rest sufficiently as well as hold fruitful surgeries in your respective constituencies. It is my prayer that the Almighty God extends his unmerited favour towards this House during this Meeting. Hon Members, as you well know, this Meeting is going to be a very busy one. Th is Honourable House would be required to, among other important parliamentary businesses, consider the 2016 Budget and Financial Policy of Government as well as the Appropriations Bill. Having regard to the paucity of time at our disposal, I would entreat Hon Members to attend upon the business of the House with punctuality and seriousness both at plenary and in committee, to facilitate expedi tious considerat ion of pro- grammed business. Hon Members are aware that in recent times, the House has been at the receiving end of uncomplimentary public remarks, which have the potential of impairing the image of Parliament. It is unfortunate that these comments are coming in at a time when Parliament has rather opened its doors to the public, to be even more responsive to the needs of the citizenry. Although Hon Members may be disappointed at the current state of affairs, I will appeal to you to consider these developments as an invitation to undertake some introspection regarding the effectiveness of your engagement with the public and other stakeholders, to prevent or minimise such attacks on the House in future. SPACE FOR COMMUNICATION - PAGE 1 -11.30 A.M. Again, Hon Members would recall that pursuant to the adoption of the Code of Ethics for the House, the House tasked the Committee of Privileges to draft an operational manual on ethics and standards to guide its implemen- tation. I am informed that work on the drafting of the manual has commenced and a draft document on the exercise is before the Committee for review prior to i ts submission to the House for consideration and adoption. I entreat the Chair and members of the Committee of Privileges to expedite action on the completion of the manual and submit its report without any further delay. I have already authorised the Clerk to Parliament to make available to the Committee, the resources necessary to expeditiously complete the task. Hon Members, during the recess, I received the report of the technical committee appointed to undertake the preparatory work towards the review of the Standing Orders of the House. I take this opportunity to thank Hon Members of the technical committee for the several hours they put in to generate proposals for the review. I also take the liberty to express the sincere gratitude of this House to STAR-Ghana for their generous sponsorship of the work of the technical committee. A meeting of the Standing Orders Committee will soon be convened to give consideration to proposals for the review and amendment of some of the rules of this House and the appropriate report submitted to the House for consideration and adoption. Hon Members, I strongly believe that the adoption of these two documents -- the Code of Conduct and the operational manual, will go a long way to guide the conduct of Hon Members and the entire House in the performance of their duties.
Hon Members, as I earlier informed you about the said establishment of the Office of Scrutiny, I would want to inform you that by the end of this year, the Office of Scrutiny would be fully operationalised. The essence of the Office of Scrutiny is to provide an independent expect advice to assist the House and its committees in the performance of its functions. Hon Members, the Parliamentary Service Board, at its last meeting, also approved the establishment of the Parliamentary Training Institute to facilitate the professional and leadership development of Hon Members and staff of the House. We have gone further to appoint a Steering Committee, made up of some Hon Members of the House to develop the curriculum for the Institute. Some of the members of the Steering Committee are: 1. Hon Ebo Barton-Odro -- Chairman 2. Hon Mathias Asoma Puozaa -- Member 3. Hon Bernice Adiko Heloo -- Member 4. Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah-- Member 5. Hon Dominic K. Fobih -- Member 6. Mr Emmanuel Anyimadu-- Member 7. Mr Rashid Dramani -- Member 8. Nana Rex Owusu-Ansah -- Member We have also appointed one or two staff members, who will give secretarial support to the Committee. Hon Members, as you are aware, some Hon Members of this Honourable House, specifically those from the National Democratic Congress Caucus, will soon contest primaries for election as parliamentary candidates for the 2016 General Elections. I wish each Hon Member of Parliament who is a candidate, well in the contest. I do hope that the holding of the primaries would not negatively affect attendance in the House. Hon Members, it is also my pleasure to inform you that as part of the efforts of Leadership of the House to properly secure this place, you may have noticed upon entering from the western gate, that a police station has been fully opened there. Upon discussions with His Excellency the President, that building has been released to us for a fully furnished police station and we have stationed policemen there. We are most grateful to His Excellency President John Mahama for that. Hon Members, I am happy to inform the House that at long last, after such a long and enduring wait, the refurbished Job 600 building is ready for occupation by Hon Members. The scheduled plan for occupation of the building is being followed and Hon Members will be accordingly briefed by their Leaders. I am glad that Hon Members will now have the facilities they require to effectively discharge their constitutional mandate. I urge Hon Members to ensure that the facilities in their respective offices are protected and their office staff follow laid down procedures for the use of the equipment and gadgets that have been installed. Hon Members, it is also my pleasure to inform you that the Parliament of Ghana will be hosting this year's Speakers Conference of the African Region -- Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Speakers and Presiding Officers Conference, starting from the 1st of November and ends on 6th of November, 2015. Hon Members, finally, I regret to bring to your notice the sad demise of our Colleague, the Hon Member for Amenfi West Constituency -- Mr John Gyetuah. This sad event occurred during the recess at the 37 Military Hospital. I humbly request all Hon Members to be upstanding to observe a one minute silence in honour of our departed Colleague.
May His Soul Rest in Perfect Peace. Hon Members, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, I have directed the Clerk to Parliament to notify the Electoral Commission of this sad occurrence in compliance with section 3 (5) of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana (Amendment) 1996, Act 527. On this note, I once again, welcome all Hon Members back to the House and I wish all of you a successful Meeting.
VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT
Hon Members, we move to item number 2 on the Order Paper, Correction of Votes and Proceedings and the Official Report. Page 1, 2, 3, … 22, -- Mr Isaac K. Asiamah — rose --
Yes, Hon Isaac Asiamah?
Mr Speaker, I am sorry to take you back -- page 9 -- item number 9 “The Hon Member for Atwima Nwabiagya, Mr Isaac Kwame Asiamah made a statement in which he paid tribute in the memory of Sir Cecil Jones Attuquayefio, a former player, Administrator and Coach who died on 10th May, 2015 in Accra.” It is “The Hon Member for Atwima Mponua.” Thank you.
Very well. Page 23, 24, 25 … 30 -- Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu— rose
Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, in respect of the correction that the Hon Member for Atwima-Mponua drew your attention to, the person for whom the tribute was paid --
What page are you referring to?
Page 9 -- . . . was known as Cecil Jones Attuquayefio, a former player, Administrator and Coach. Mr Speaker, I do know that some people used to call him “Sir” but that was not official. This is a House of records; once you write that he was a “Sir”, then we must admit that perhaps, he was properly knighted as a “Sir.” Or some formal procedure was adopted to bestow the title “Sir” --
So the “Sir” is either put in inverted commas or deleted completely.
We put it in inverted commas.
Mr Speaker, so, if we have to include it, then we have to put the “Sir” in inverted commas.
Yes, Hon Minister for Employment and Labour Relations?
Mr Speaker, if the Hon Minority Leader would have no objection, as much as one agrees with him that there was no official conferment of “Sir”, in practice, he was generally and affectionately referred to as “Sir”. Therefore, we can affectionately refer to him as “Sir” for purposes of the records.
Table Office to take note. Hon Members, the Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 24th July, 2015 as corrected, be adopted as the true record of proceedings. Hon Members, we have a number of Official Reports for correction. Do you have the Official Reports here? [Interruption] -- Very well.
[No correction was made to the Official Report of Thursday, 16th July, 2015.]
Hon Member for Old Tafo?
Mr Speaker, the first paragraph of column 3097; I do not know but -- the whole of line 6 has been reversed. It should read; “In May and June, when we waited till the US dollar went to the Ghana cedi equivalent of GH¢4.5 . . .” “….till the US dollar went to Ghana cedi equivalent GH¢4.5.” That should be the proper rendition.
Any other correction? Hon Members, in the absence of any further corrections, the Official Report of Tuesday, 21st July, 2015 as corrected be adopted as the true record of proceedings.
[No correction was made to the Official Report of Wednesday, 22nd July, 2015.]
[No correction was made to the Official Report of Thursday, 23rd July, 2015.]
Mr Speaker, I thought we could also take the Official Report of Friday, 24th July, just that we can close the matter.
I do not have a copy of 24th July here. So, we can defer it.
All right. [Pause.]
Well, we will defer it to tomorrow. Thank you very much. Hon Members, Business Statement for the First Week. Chairman of the Business Committee; Hon Majority Leader?
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I stand on behalf of the Business Committee to present the Business Statement for the First Week of the Third Meeting of the Sixth Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana. Mr Speaker, the Committee met today, Tuesday, 27th October 2015 and arranged Business of the House for the First Week of the Meeting. Mr Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 56 (1), the Committee accordingly submits its Report as follows: Arrangement of Business Question(s) Mr Speaker, considering the constraint of commencing the Third Meeting and the Committee's meeting today, the Business Committee has not programmed Ministers of State to respond to Questions for the week under consideration. Hon Ministers would be programmed during the subsequent week to respond to Questions. That would be shown on the Order Paper. Statements Mr Speaker, pursuant to Order 70 (2), Ministers of State may be permitted to make Statements of Government policy. Your goodself may also admit Statements to be made in the House by Hon Members in accordance with Order 72. Bills, Papers and Reports Mr Speaker, Bills may be presented to the House for First Reading and those of urgent nature may be taken through the various stages in one day in accordance with Order 119. Papers and committee reports may also be presented to the House. Motions and Resolutions Mr Speaker, Motions may be debated and their consequential Resolutions, if any, taken during the week. Mr Speaker, the Business Committee welcomes all Hon Members back from the recess. It is hoped that Members have returned invigorated for the short, but exacting Meeting ahead of us. We hope that in spite of the stress of constituency work, Hon Members would have had their minds refreshed to be able to focus on parliamentary business and exact themselves to be able to do a lot of the work that was uncompleted in the last Meeting, particularly the Budget Statement that will be presented in the cause of next month. Conclusion Mr Speaker, in accordance with Standing Order 160 (2) and subject to Standing Order 53, the Committee submits to this Honourable House, the order in which the business of the House shall be taken during the week. Statements Presentation of Papers -- (a) Interconnection of the Ghana Gas Transmission System with
the West African Gas Pipeline to enable Reverse Flow of Gas from Aboadze to Tema. (b) Protocol between the Republic of Ghana and the Swiss Confederation amending the Convention of 23rd July 2008 between the Republic of Ghana and the Swiss Confederation for the Avoidance of Double Taxation with Respect to Taxes on Income, on Capital and on Capital Gains and its Protocol. (c) Local Government (Sub- Metropolitan District Councils of Metropolitan Assemblies) (Esta- blishment, Composition and Functions) Instrument, 2015. Presentation and First Reading of Bills -- Narcotics Control Commission Bill, 2015. Motions -- (a) Adoption of the Report of the 2015 Extraordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament by Representatives from the Parliament of Ghana to the ECOWAS Parliament, Nigeria, Abuja from 2nd to 7th February 2015. (b) Adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee on the Reconciliation Report on the Petroleum Holding Fund for the year 2013. (c) Adoption of the Report of the Special Budget Committee on the Annual Report of the Commission on Human Rights and Admini- strative Justice (CHRAJ) for the year, 2011. Consideration Stage of Bills -- Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Bill, 2014. (Continuation of debate) Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2015. (Continuation of debate) Committee sittings. Statements -- Motions -- (a) Adoption of the Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Performance Audit Report of the Auditor General on the Regulation of Residential Homes for Children (Orphanages) by the Department of Social Welfare (DSW). (b) Adoption of the Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Report of the Auditor-General on the Management of Petroleum Funds for the period May 2011 to December 2012. Consideration Stage of Bills -- Minerals Development Fund Bill, 2014. Immigration Service Bill, 2015 Committee sittings. Statements -- Motions -- (a) Adoption of the Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Performance Audit Report of the Auditor-General on the GETFund-Funded Infrastructural Projects in public tertiary institutions. (b) Adoption of the Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Performance Audit Report of the Auditor-General on the Ministry of Food and Agricul- ture's Support to farmers to increase food crop production. (c) Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Performance Audit Report of the Auditor- General on the construction of the Achimota -Ofankor road project. Consideration Stage of Bills -- Intestate Succession Bill, 2013. (Continuation of debate) Right to Information Bill, 2013. Committee sittings. Statements-- Motion-- Third Reading of Bills-- Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Bill, 2014. Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2015. Consideration Stage of Bills -- Intestate Succession Bill, 2013. (Continuation of debate) Right to Information Bill, 2013. Committee sittings.
Hon Members, any comments on the Business Statement? Hon Minority Leader, you have the floor.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, with your permission. Mr Speaker, the first two comments relate to the titling of, and Mr Speaker, I beg to quote: “(c) Local Government (Sub-Metro Councils of Metropolitan Assemblies) (Establishment, Composition and Functions) Instrument, 2015.” Fortunately, we have the Hon Minister for Local Government and Rural Development here with us. He is the one shepherding the Instrument. Would he tell us the proper title of the Instruments? Does it talk about the Local Government Sub-Metro Councils or the Sub-Metropolitan District Councils of Metropolitan Assemblies? It is a very confusing title.
Hon Minority Leader, the Business Statement has been presented, and you are a senior Hon Member of the business Committee. All issues about the Business arranged is for the Hon Chairman. Now, you are inviting the Hon Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, who is not responsible for arranging the business of the House to comment on it.
Mr Speaker, I thought that since the Hon Minister is here, he would help us to clear the air on this. It does not have to travel one or two weeks to the Committee before we are clear in our minds what we are doing. Since he is here, he could assist us.
Hon Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, do you want to help the Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, indeed, he should help the House and not the Hon Minority Leader.
Mr Speaker, I thought that Hon Ministers were asked to respond to Questions. In this particular situation, as you rightly indicated, it is the Business Statement which is being considered. I am surprised that my Hon Friend from Suame would invite me.
Hon Minister, I have made my ruling, that it is for the Hon Chairman of the Business Committee; but if you have the capacity to assist him, you can do so.
Mr Speaker, I did not get that.
I am saying that you are not bound; it is the Hon Chairman of the Business Committee who is in charge of the business of the House. He presented the Business Statement and he should take the questions. Hon Minister, but if you want to assist in respect of the issue raised by the Hon Minority Leader -- because you are in the House, you should do so; but it is not binding on you.
Thank you very much. In that case, Mr Speaker, I would just want to clear the doubt. The title is right. What seems to be a challenge to the Hon Minority Leader should not be an issue at all.
Very well; it is the right title.
Mr Speaker, it is the right title. In particular, I would want to refer the Hon Minority Leader to section 15 (1) of the Local Government Act. He would find that this title is right. I thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
Hon Minority Leader, you know that we are not doing this business. It is only the business that has been arranged for the First Week of this Meeting. So, when the Report comes, then we would have a full blown debate on the matter, including the issue you raised with regard to the title.
Mr Speaker, what the Hon Minister has done is to draw our attention to the status quo. As regards whether the status quo is right, he is not venturing there.So, we would leave it at that. I was really drawing his attention to the propriety of that construction but he is drawing our attention to the status quo. We would leave it at that for the time being.
Mr Speaker, the other issue that I raised at the Committee, which I would want the House to take note of, is in respect of the business slated for Wednesday, which is tomorrow. It is item ii (b), and with your permssion, I beg to quote: “(b) Adoption of the Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Report of the Auditor-General on the Management of Petroleum Funds for the period May, 2011 to December 2012.” Mr Speaker, it does appear that there is a backlog of work relating to the petroleum funds. I think that we should not be content at all in dealing with the funds management for just the period between May, 2011 and December, 2012. Mr Speaker, I am taking a cue from an earlier ruling, that you gave in respect of work that is being done by the Public Accounts Committee. It is that, business that is being transacted by the Committee, if they are not able to bring it to a closure but carry it into the next Parliament, they would have to start anew. Mr Speaker, we would want to urge the Committee to deal expeditiously with the other reports before them in respect of this issue because we need to consider these matters as early as possible. Mr Speaker, I am saying so because, quite recently, we heard about the location of some funds reported on by the Public Interest and Accountability Committee in the neighbourhood of about GH¢60 million that cannot be located. I think that the Committee should be encouraged to work expeditiously, considering the fact that we would be disabled to deal with very serious matters getting into the Third Meeting of next year. So, I would just want us to urge the Committee to at least, create some space for them to work expeditiously on this. I related to this matter through the Hon Chairman of the Business Committee at the Committee meeting. I would want us, as a House, to adopt that position in order for the Committee to be able to work timeously on this report and submit their report to us.
Mr Speaker, the Committee considered the issues raised by the Hon Minority Leader and we agreed that in arranging the business of the House, we would find space for the reports of the Public Accounts Committee and that of the Government Assurances Committee. We would want them to lead us as a House, to be able to efficiently and effectively perform our oversight responsibility. These are very critical Committees. We pray that we give them enough space to operate. So, that would be taken on board as we arrange the business of the House. The other one the Hon Minister has responded to it, but he raised it early on. I drew the attention of the Hon Minister and I am happy that he went beyond just listening, to look at the law, and that is what is captured as the title of the Instrument that has been laid in the House. So, during the course of the consideration of the Instrument, they could discuss with the sector to see whether there would be some improve- ment to be made to that title. That is a legal issue that we would all look at. Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity.
Hon Members, when you are managing the House, you should give me an early signal. When you do not do it and I call your Leaders -- Hon Chairman of the Business Committee has concluded and you are now getting up, it creates a problem how I should manage the House. However, I will recognise one of you.
Mr Speaker, I noticed from the business of the week that there is no provision for Committee of the Whole meeting, even though there are serious housekeeping issues that would necessarily affect the business of the House in the coming week.
Hon Member, please, we are talking about Business Statement. Hon Member for Bekwai, --
It has not been programmed.
We are talking about Business Statements presented for the First Week.
Yes and it is a very --[Interruption]
The Leadership has informed me that there would be a meeting after the adjournment of the House. So, there should not be any problem.
Since it is not programmed, they may decide not to. But we want it to be here, so that if you accept that it should be part of the programme, then we could hold our Leaders to it.
Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, there is no item before the Business Committee to be considered by the Committee of the Whole. What they are rumouring about is not Committee of the Whole, it is for other structures. -- [Laughter.]
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of the consideration of the Business Statement for the First Week of the Third Meeting. Business Statement of the first meeting is accordingly adopted. Hon Members, I have admitted one Statement. Hon Majority Leader, are we taking the Statement before we move to laying of Papers? Very well. Hon Members, I have admitted one Statement for this morning, standing in the name of the Hon Member for Subin. Hon Member, you have the floor.
Mr Speaker, I thank you. Three scores and ten years ago, last Saturday, October, 24th, the United Nations became fully operational when its Charter was ratified by the United States, United Kingdom, China, France and the Soviet Union as well as a majority of the other 46 countries which had initially signed the Charter. The International Court of Justice was also established by the Charter. Mr Speaker, the name “United Nations” was first used by United States (US) President Franklin Delano Roosevelt during the Second World War when on New Year's Day in 1942, the allies who were fighting the Axis Alliance of Germany, Italy, Japan and their affiliates, decided to continue fighting together until victory was attained. In the preamble to the Charter, the United Nations expresses its determina- tion: i) to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war; ii) to reaffirm faith in human rights and in the dignity of the human person; iii) to establish conditions for justice and respect for international law and obligations; and iv) to promote social advancement and improved living standards in freedom Mr Speaker, the basic purposes of the United Nations as enshrined in the principles underlying the Charter may be encapsulated as; the maintenance of peace and security; the development of fr iendly relations among nations and the affirmation of self-determination and equal rights for all peoples; the use of international cooperation to resolve economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems, and especially, promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, irrespective of race, sex, creed or language, and as a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in attaining common goals. Mr Speaker, these principles of the United Nations (UN) are what our country Ghana signed up to when we joined the UN on March 8, 1957, barely two days after attaining independence. Ghanaian leaders have, since 1960, used the platform of the General Assembly and principles of the UN to articulate their views and Ghana's position on national, regional and international affairs. On September 23,1960, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's First President speaking at the General Assembly condemned the colonialists and imperialists who still held colonies in a period of 20th Century enlightenment. He made scathing remarks about Portugal's atrocious behaviour in her African colonies, France in her war against Algeria and Belgium for her intrigues in newly independent Congo. Mr Speaker, Nkrumah admonished the UN for its role in the Congo, especially its use or misuse of Ghanaian troops under UN command and its failure to support the legitimate Government of Congo with Kasavubu as President and Patrice Lumumba as Prime Minister. Nkrumah called for permanent seats for Africa and Asia on the Security Council and the admission of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations. President Nkrumah demanded that the UN lived up to its responsibilities in South West Africa and the Union of South Africa, stating poignantly, “possession of colonies is now quite incompatible with membership of the United Nations.” Mr Speaker, in September 2000, 149 Heads of State and Government met in New York for the 55th Anniversary of the UN and participated in the Millennium Summit. Ghana's delegation was led by President Jerry John Rawlings. The outcome was the unanimously adopted Millennium Declaration. The Declaration affirmed the principles of the United Nations and its Charter and established eight (8) millennium development goals, which had clearly defined objectives for extreme hunger and poverty, universal primary education, gender, child mortality, maternal health, HIV/AIDS and malaria, environmental sustainability and global partnership.
I MO, IMF, UNESCO,WHO, IFAD, WBG
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement ably made by the Hon Member for Subin, who happens to be the Hon Ranking Member for the Committee on Foreign Affairs. Before I continue, I would want to congratulate the United Nations on the attainment of 70 years. This is because 70 years in the lifespan of a human being, marks the end of his life. The Bible has indicated that we have 70 years and if you have the strength - 80 years at most. But I believe that for an institution like the United Nations, this should be a point of maturity where we should begin to progress and develop, so that we are able to achieve the object for which it has been established. I would want to state that at least, as far as the objects for which it has been established are concerned, such as the attainment of world peace, respect for human beings, justice and then respect for international laws, I think the United Nations has done very well so far. But like any human institution, there are challenges which it has to go through. I would want to say that the United Nations has done several things, such as giving platforms to institutions and Heads of State to be able to articulate their views and positions on world affairs -- so that on such occasions, they are able to share views and opinions and to take a cue from other countries, which have gone through some challenges. I would also want to say that through its peacekeeping missions, the United Nations has played a very crucial role in the affairs of men -- otherwise, we would have gone through another world war. I think that we cannot say that the United Nations has no challenges. Indeed, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, of blessed memory, had to admonish the United Nations about its role in the Congo; because the United Nations failed to
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of Statements. We will now move to the Commence- ment of Public Business. Presentation of Papers -- Item number 5 on the Order Paper. Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister for Local Government and Rural Development has just stepped out but his Hon Deputy is available. I just want to seek the permission of my Hon Colleagues and your indulgence for him to lay the Paper for and on behalf of the Hon Minister for Local Government and Rural Development.
Yes, Hon Minority Leader? Very well. Hon Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, on behalf of the Hon Minister for Local Government and Rural Development. Item number 5 (a).
Item number 5 (b)?
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister for Petroleum is out of the country on official business, but we have the Hon Deputy Minister for Petroleum available to lay the Paper on behalf of the Hon Minister. I am seeking the indulgence of my Hon Colleagues and your kind permission for the Hon Deputy Minister to lay the Paper on behalf of the Minister for Petroleum.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, that is all right. By the Deputy Minister for Petroleum (Mr Benjamin Dagadu)(on behalf of the Minister for Petroleum) -- Interconnection of the Ghana Gas Transmission System with the West African Gas Pipeline to enable Reverse Flow of Gas from Aboadze to Tema. Referred to the Committee on Mines and Energy.
Item 5 (c)?
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister for Finance is out of the country on official business. We have the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance, who is ready to lay the Paper on behalf of the Hon Minister for Finance. So, I would seek the indulgence of my Hon Colleagues for him to do so. By Deputy Minister for Finance (Mr Cassiel A. B. Forson) (on behalf of the Minister for Finance) -- Protocol between the Republic of Ghana and the Swiss Confederation amending the Convention of 23rd July, 2008 between the Republic of Ghana and the Swiss Confederation for the avoidance of double taxation with respect to taxes on income, on capital and on capital gains and its protocol. Referred to the Finance Committee.
Item number 6, Hon Majority Leader, is it ready?
That is so, Mr Speaker. The Narcotics Control Commission Bill, 2015 is ready. The Hon Minister in charge is also out of the country, but we have the Hon Minister of State at the Presidency, in the person of Hon Alhassan Azong to lay that Bill on behalf of the Hon Minister for the Interior.
BILLS -- FIRST READING
Item number 7?
Mr Speaker, on item number 7, we are crosschecking the records. This is because we have the information that it was moved, but the Table Office is saying otherwise. So, we are trying to crosscheck to see whether it was moved. On item number 8, I am told by the Hon Chairman of the Committee that the Committee is not ready to move it today.
Are they ready?
Mr Speaker, the Report is ready, but the Committee is not ready to move item number 8.
So, items 7 and 8 are deferred?
What about item number 9?
Mr Speaker, item number 9, which is a Report from the Special Budget Committee, the Chairman of that Committee is my goodself, but I was away and Hon (Prof.) Gyan Baffour acted on my behalf. I cannot locate him on the floor of the House and so, we would have to take that one too tomorrow.
Hon Members, item number 9 accordingly deferred.
Mr Speaker, on the rest of the items on page 3, which are items 10 and 11, a few issues were raised and they are still under consideration. We have not received the feedback from the Committees and so, I would plead with you to have that also postponed to tomorrow.
Very well. I will urge that you resolve those matters as early as possible because once the Budget Statement is presented, we might not have enough time to look at any of the Bills before us. Hon Majority Leader, direction?
Mr Speaker, the House would at this time, subject to your direction, recommend that we adjourn till tomorrow. We have other matters to discuss with Hon Members. Since today is the first day, we have to come together to firm up a few issues, so that we can move and complete the business of the Meeting. This is a very short Meeting and we need to bond together to do some work. So, with your permission, I beg to move, that this House adjourns till tomorrow at 10.00 o'clock in the forenoon, when we shall reconvene to continue with the business of the House.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to.
The House was accordingly adjourned at 12.38 p.m. till Wednesday, 28th October, 2015 at 10.00 a.m.