MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
Yes, HonMember for Old Tafo?
Mr Speaker, thediscussions we had earlier, before we didthe Chartered Institute of Taxation Bill,was to make sure that officials from Bankof Ghana and Ministry of Finance wouldbe available. This is because, this is a veryimportant Bill. And if the two institutionsare not here, I do not think we should takeit. The Hon Chairman is not there, I haveno difficulty, but I think, this Bill is soimportant that both the Bank of Ghana andMinistry of Finance ought to be here. This was why we deferred it the last time. I gotan assurance from the Hon Majority ChiefWhip that he was going to call them here. The Hon Deputy Minister was here buthe is gone now. I do not see the officialsof Bank of Ghana, and you want to moveon to this Bill. Mr Speaker, I can assureyou, there are fundamental things in thisBill that we should not be taking forgranted. It is only fair that if somethinghas changed, we are informed.
Yes, HonDeputy Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, we are nottaking it for granted. Officials from Bankof Ghana are here --[Interruptions]--they are at the back there.
Do we havethe officials from the Bank of Ghana here?Do we have them here? Can you pleasestand up so that we can see you?
And the Hon DeputyMinister is also in the House, just that heis not on the floor. He is around, so, theyare here -- [Pause.]
Very well. I am informed that, we have the ChiefManager, Banking Supervision here withus.
Mr Speaker, that is allright, he is a big man. But the HonMinister, the sponsor -- [Interruptions]is he around? He is not sitting behind youbut you say, he is around? Around where?In the air? He should be here. Mr Speaker, this Bill is fundamental, Iam serious. It is fundamental and they ought to be here. This is because thereare some issues that have already croppedup that might need --
I understandyou. Yes, can we hear from the Hon Memberfor Sekondi?
Mr Speaker,this Bill is before the House forconsideration. The sponsor may or maynot be here. It is for the House to decide.If the Hon Ranking Member feels stronglyabout this, I do not expect him to standup and complain. He should do what heconsiders proper by calling upon theHouse to defer the Bill. But this agitation, I do not evenunderstand it -- [Interruptions]-- if yousay that they are not here so you believewe cannot handle it, please say so andyou have my full support. But beatingabout the bush, I am not comfortable withit.
Let us hearfrom Hon Ranking Member.
Mr Speaker, my seniorHon Colleague said I am beating aboutthe bush. He should remember that, in thefirst instance, I made this request that bothparties ought to be here and that is whywe deferred it the first time. All I am asking is, having deferred itthe first time, how come we are in the samesituation now? Somebody is not beingresponsible. That is the issue --[Interruptions]-- we should defer it andcall the Hon Deputy Minister to come andsit here -- [Interruptions]-- but yousaid he was here.
Order!Order!! Hon Members, we haverepresentation from the Bank of Ghana. Isaw the Hon Deputy Minister here, but Ido not know if he has left completely. Yes, Hon Majority Chief Whip, tell ussomething.
Mr Speaker, we allattest to the fact that Hon Ato BaahForson was here. We do not need to say,one of our Hon Colleagues walked to theloo and other things on the floor. He ishere, his mobile phones are even here.He is coming back, so, please, I wouldwant to crave the indulgence of my HonColleagues to accept my assurance thatthe Hon Deputy Minister has not left theprecints of Parliament. He is still withinthe precints of Parliament. I met him and I asked him where hewas going at a time that we are aboutdoing the next Bill, and he said he wasjust dashing out but he would be back.So,please, let us start, he would join us verysoon.
Mr Speaker, the HonMajority Chief Whip, being an HonLeader of this House, I would concede tohis request and --
Yes, we takehis words.
He is a good HonMember.
Very well, Hon Members, we are on clause 9 ofthe Bill.
He says Hon Chairmanof the Committee and the Hon Memberare getting up --[Interruptions.]
HonMembers, there is no advertisedamendment to clause 9, so, I will put theQuestion. Clause 9 ordered to stand part of theBill. Yes, Majority Chief Whip?
Mr Speaker, we justwant to crave your indulgence and thatof the House, for a member of theCommittee to stand in for the Chairman ofthe Committee to take us through the Bill.
Mr Speaker, I have nodifficulty but when he got up the first time,I thought he was the Hon Chairman. So, itis all right --
Very well, Hon Members, let us proceed. Clause10. Clause 10 -- Provisional approval.
Yes,Chairman of Committee?
MrSpeaker, I beg to move, clause 10,subclause (3), line 2, delete “(1)” and insert“(2)”. Mr Speaker, and this is because thereferral is actually the subclause (2) andnot subclause (1). Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 10 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 11 -- Invitation to public tosubscribe to shares.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 11, subclause (3), line 2, delete “notmore than” Mr Speaker, the new rendition wouldbe, an applicant who contravenessubsection (1) is liable to pay to the Bankof Ghana an administrative penalty of fivethousand penalty units. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 17, subclause (2), paragraph (a),line 2, delete “bank” and insert “banks”and further delete “institution” and insert“institutions” Mr Speaker, this is because we aretalking in the plural form and not in thesingular form. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 17 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 18 ordered to stand part of theBill Clause 19 -- Restrictions on commercial,agricultural or industrial activities andimmovable property.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 19, subclause (6), line 5, delete“not more than”.
“an additional penalty of twohundred penalty units” Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 19 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
Mr Speaker, I wasdrawing your attention to an importantmatter. The Hon Majority Chief Whip inhis application craved the indulgence ofthe House to enable the Hon Membermove the amendments, but he did not statethe underlying reasons. That was what Ihad wanted to draw your attention to --this is because he said “with theindulgence of the House”. He must statewhy he --
I wonderwhether you have been standing all thiswhile.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Yes, Mr Speaker. Ihad to sit to rest my feet at a point, but Ihave been able to catch your eye. Mr Speaker, he should give us thereasons for his application so that it goesinto the record.
Very well. When he is available, I would get himto respond. Meanwhile, let us move on. Clause 20 -- Powers regardingunauthorised deposit-taking business.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 20, subclause (3), paragraph (b),line 5, after “pending” delete”the” Mr Speaker, that is purely grammatical. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 20, subclause (3), paragraph (c),line 3, before “investigation” delete ”the” Mr Speaker, the new rendition wouldbe; “…pending investigation by theBank of Ghana under this section” Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 20 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 21 -- Repayment of moneys byunauthorised persons.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 21, subclause (1), paragraph (a),line 1, after “profits” delete”accruing tothat person” and insert “accrued” Mr Speaker, the new rendition wouldbe; “repay all the moneys obtained andprofits accrued”. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 21 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 22 ordered to stand part of theBill Clause 23 -- Use of the word “bank”12.05 p.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 23, subclause (7), line 2,delete”not more than” Mr Speaker, the new rendition wouldbe; “A person who contravenes thissection is liable to pay to the Bankof Ghana an administrative penaltyof one thousand five hundredpenalty units” Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 23 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 24 -- Display of license
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 24, subclause (2), line 3,delete “not more than”
“an administrative penalty of onethousand penalty units”. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 24 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 25 -- Places of business to belicensed
Yes,Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 25, add the following newsubclause:
“(4) In addition to the penaltyprescribed in sub-section (3), theBank of Ghana may suspend theoperations of the branch, agency,mobilisation centre, head officeor other operational or supportcentre of the bank or specialiseddeposit-taking institution invol-ved until the bank or specialiseddeposit-taking institution obtainsapproval from the Bank of Ghana.
I believe thesubclause enforces it. I will put the Question. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 25 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill Clauses 26 ordered to stand part of theBill. Clause 27 -- Change of CompanyRegulations and other instruments ofbanks or specialised deposit-takinginstitutions
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 27, subclause (3), line 3, delete“not more than”
“... penalty of two thousand fivehundred penalty units”.
HonMembers, I will put the Question. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 27 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 28 ordered to stand part of theBill. Clause 29 -- Capital adequacy andother capital requirements Yes, Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 29, subclause (6), line 5, delete“143” and insert “139” Mr Speaker, the reason is that, clause91 to clause 139 talks about control andregulations. Clauses 40 to 43 talk aboutmiscellaneous provisions. So, it was areferral error.
Very well. I will put the Question. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 29 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill Clauses 30 and 31 ordered to stand partof the Bill. Clause 32 -- Notifying non-compliancewith capital requirements
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 32, subclause (2), line 4, delete “notmore than” So that line will read: “... penalty of one thousand penaltyunits”.
Very well. I will put the Question. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 32 as amended, ordered tostand part of the Bill. Clause 33 -- Penalty for non-compliance with capital requirements.
Yes,Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 33, subclause (2), line 4, delete “notmore than”
Very well. I will put the Question. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 33 as amended,ordered to standpart of the Bill. Hon Members, we would have to giveourselves a bit of time for this so that wecan move on to the Right to InformationBill, 2013 and do a bit of it. So, I propose that, when we get toclause 39, we can break there and continuefrom clause 40 the next time. Hon Members, are we in agreement?
Mr Speaker, I was goingto suggest that we go to clause 41 sincethey are not controversial. Thank you.
[Laughter.]Very well. Let us see what happens. Clause 34 -- Reserve Fund
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 34, subclause (3), line 3, delete”notmore than”
Very well. Hon Members, I will put the Question. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 34 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 35 -- Restrictions ondeclaration and payment of dividend
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 35, subsclause (3), lines 4 and 5,delete”not more than”
Very well. I will put the Question. Question put and amendment agreedto. Yes, Chairman of the Committee, we arestill on clause 35.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 35, subclause (5), line 3, delete“not more than”
Very well. Hon Members, I will put the Question. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 35 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 36 -- Liquidity Requirements
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 36, subclause (6), lines 4 and 5,delete “which exists on that day” and“insert” for each day that the deficiencypersists.
Yes, that isa better rendition. I will put the Question. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 36 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clauses 37 and 38 ordered to stand partof the Bill. Clause 39 -- Notification of non-compliance with minimum liquidityrequirements
Yes, HonChairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 39. subclause (2), line 3, delete “notmore than”.
Very well. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Yes, HonChairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 40, subclause (3), line 5, delete “notmore than”
Very well. It is straightforward. I would put theQuestion. Question put and amendment agreedto
Yes,Chairman of the Committee, clause 40again?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 40, subclause (4), line 4, delete “notless than”.
What isyour rationale?
Mr Speaker, this isbecause, we felt that the amount shouldbe fixed and that we should not be givenroom for the, ‘not more than' and ‘not lessthan'. So, we wanted it to be fixed andalso, to more or less agree with therenditions we have been using just now.
Very well. Iwill put the Question. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Yes,Chairman of the Committee, clause 40?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 40, subclause (6), line 6, delete“which exists on that day” and insert “foreach day that the deficiency persists”.
Very well. I will put the Question. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 40 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 41 -- Maintenance of Net OpenPosition.
Very well. We were dealing with clause 41. Is thatright? Have I not put the Question?[Interruption.] Yes, the Motion istherefore carried. I will put the Question with regard toclause 41 as amended standing part of theBill. Question put -- [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, we havefinished clause 40 but an amendment hasnot been proposed on clause 41 yet.
Theamendment has not been proposed.
Very well. Then, please, you have the floor. Orhave I not put the Question? Question put and amendment agreedto .
Mr Speaker, you are puttingthe Question on clause 40. We are yet togo to clause 41.
We havefinished with clause 40.
Yes, we are going to clause41.
I have putthe Question with regard to clause 40 asvariously amended standing part of theBill. I put that Question. Clause 40 asamended ordered to stand part of the Bill. I have put the Question with regard tothe amendment proposed to clause 41.[Interruption.] Are you sure? Well, for the avoidance of doubt, Iwould repeat it even if I have already doneit. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Sorry, Mr Speaker, we areyet to propose the amendment for clause41.
Very well.Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 41, subclause (4), line 4, delete“which exists on that day”. So, we are going to stop at,‘deficiency'. So, it would read: “A bank which fails to comply withthis section shall, in addition to anyother penalty to which the bank isliable, pay in respect of each dayduring which the deficiency exists,an amount calculated as one halfper mille of the deficiency.”
Very well. I will put the Question. Question put and amendment agreedto Clause 41 as amended ordered tostand part of the Bill. Clauses 42 and 43 ordered to standpart of the Bill.
HonMembers, do you not agree with me thatthis is a convenient point to bringproceedings on this Bill to an end? Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, the Right toInformation Bill, 2013 cannot go on in viewof the absence of the Hon Chairman andthe Hon Deputy Attorney-General andDeputy Minister for Justice who has alsoleft the Chamber for another meeting. So, Mr Speaker, we could continue withthis one.
Very well. If that is the pleasure of the House,we would continue. Clause 44 -- Application for registration
Yes,Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 44, subclause (2), paragraph (c),subparagraph (v), line 1, delete “reports”and insert “report”.
Very well. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 44, subclause (4), paragraph (b),line 1, before “key” delete “the” and after“personnel” delete “is” and insert “are”.
How wouldthe rendition read?
Mr Speaker, the newrendition would be: “(b) key management personnel arefit and proper…”
Very well. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 44 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clauses 45 to 52 ordered to stand partof the Bill. Clause 53 -- Consideration of application.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 53,subclause (2), line 4, delete “51”and insert “52”.
Very well;it is consequential. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 53 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 54 -- Review of applicationsfor approval of sale of businesses,mergers, amalgamations or recon-structions
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 54, subclause (6), delete and insertthe following: “An acquisition of shares of a bankor specialised deposit-takinginstitution in connection with atakeover, merger or amalgamation ofa bank or specialised deposit-takinginstitution shall meet the require-ment of this Act before applying fora review and approval of suchtakeover, merger or amalgamationunder the Securities Industry Act,1993 (PNDCL 333)”.
Mr Speaker, this is afundamental change, and it would beuseful if the Hon Chairman explains it tous. This is because, it is not a trivialchange. [Interruption] Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman hasmoved the amendment and he says Ishould explain.
HonChairman, we need some explanation. Wewant the rationale behind it. Does itstrengthen it? What does it do?
Mr Speaker, I believe weare making a law, and because the originalrendition did not bring out the wholesubstance of what is needed to becaptured, the Committee felt that this wasa better rendition which gives the wholeessence of what that particular clause wastrying to do. That is why we -- [Interrup-tion] -- It is self-explanatory.
Mr Speaker, I believewhat the Hon Chairman meant to say, andhe can correct me if I am wrong, was that,this new rendition says that, one cannotgo to the Securities ExchangeCommission (SEC) until the bank hasgiven one approval. Mr Speaker, before, it was not clear andthat is why I say it is fundamental.
I am surehis response would be, “precisely so”.[Laughter]
Mr Speaker, for those ofus who are -- thank God I am not aneconomist or a finance -- I still do notunderstand. Mr Speaker, he should give us practicalexamples so that we can understand andfollow. What is this? How is it going toapply to Home Finance Company (HFC)Bank or Merchant Bank? We would want to know because wedo not understand. It is only in the exaltedatmosphere.
Mr Speaker, typically,when shares are being acquired, oneneeds the approval of the SEC, which isthe Regulator in that industry. This new Bank of Ghana Act is sayingthat, one should seek their approvalbefore one goes there. In the past, we didnot have to do that. I do not know who is floating sharesin Merchant Bank. Maybe, the HonPrempeh knows. He should educate usfurther.
I think theexplanation is good enough. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker,all along, we have been deleting “notmore than” in order to be specific aboutthe penalties. Although it is not advertised in clause57, it is there in subclause (4), line 3. Thatis what I wanted to draw your attentionto, so that we can delete it before you putthe Question.
Very well. I get the point you are making. In thatcase, do we go back to clause 57 althoughwe have already put the Question? Ibelieve we can go back to it and put theQuestion again. You will have to move theproposed amendment then; we are themakers of our own rules.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 57, subclause (4), line 3, delete “notmore than” Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 57 as amended ordered to standpart of the bill. Clause 58 -- Disqualification of adirector and key management personnel.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 58, subclause (1), paragraph (g),line 1, delete “is not resident in the countryand “after “prior” insert “written”
“…does not have the written priorapproval of the Bank of Ghana; or”
Mr Speaker, this is alsoanother major amendment and I wish theHon Chairman will educate us on this. TheCommittee itself did not change it. Thiswas after some consultations, theindustry brought our attention to this.This is because what is in the Bill meantthat if one is resident outside the country,one could never become the director of abank. Mr Speaker, a lot of the banks areforeign owned so, we were excluding allthe major shareholders from beingdirectors. I think after the Bank of Ghanahad some consultations with the industry,they suggested that we amended this. So,most of the Committee members may noteven be aware, but I think it is importantthat --
Thank youvery much for the explanation.
Mr Speaker, I want us asa House, to think through these things.When one goes to a country very closeto Ghana, if one is not a citizen of thatcountry, one cannot be a ManagingDirector (MD) or a Director of a bank.
Mr Speaker, GhanaInternational Bank (GIB) is in the UnitedKingdom (UK), the MD is Ghanaian andthe Board of Directors are all Ghanaians.So, it cannot be the case.
Mr Speaker, I have notfinished. I was just listening to him.
Mr Speaker, it is hightime we protected our financial industry.What is the financial holding of the GIBin the UK? Mr Speaker, when one comes here,apart from the Bank of Ghana (BoG), andthe Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB), all theDirectors and MDs are foreigners and thatis what we are saying we should draw ourattention to. If the BoG is going to exercisethat option, it should exercise it in favourof Ghanaians.
But at thesame time, we have to look at the elementof reciprocity.
Mr Speaker, reciprocity.Ghana has not grown its banks and GIB isa notable exception. How many Ghanaianbanks have ventured operating outsidethis country? Mr Speaker, I am talking aboutprotecting some positions for Ghanaians,that is what I am saying.
Well, itsounds really good but -- yes, HonChairman of the Committee, how do yourespond to the proposal that he hasbrought? Yes, Hon Deputy Minister for Finance?
Mr Speaker, ideally, I wouldhave gone with Hon (Dr) Prempeh --reserving certain businesses forGhanaians but practically, it cannothappen. Mr Speaker, this issue was very muchdiscussed with the industry. The CentralBank discussed this with the GhanaBankers Association (GBA). Theunderstanding is that, if we are to agreewith what is in the original Bill, then, itmeans that foreign banks like the StandardChartered Bank, Barclays Bank, AccessBank, we may end up excluding their current Chief Executive Officers (CEOs)as being part of the managing directors ornon-executive directors of their boards. Mr Speaker, for that reason, we agreedthat we will then make a change toaccommodate the existing banks which arealready foreign banks. That was theunderstanding that we established.
Mr Speaker, I just wantto draw the Hon Deputy Minister'sattention to a fact that, even the UK thatwe are talking about, before we can eventake directors to Ghana International Bank,they would have to approve. Mr Speaker, the law in Europe, onecannot even offer a job to somebody if heor she is in Britain and the person is firstof all, not a British citizen or secondly, anEuropean. Why are they doing that? Toprotect -- they are using the immigrationlaws to protect foreign companiesbringing people into the country to giveemployment to -- unless on a specialcircumstance, which one has to qualifyon the immigration law before one evencomes. So, yes, we might want to do that, butI am saying, out of abundance of caution,if one goes to the GBA now, an MD of abank was telling me that, Ghanaians arenot there. That is why not long ago, anMD of a foreign bank was sent out of thecountry, because they had receiveddeposits of fake currency into their vaults. Mr Speaker, I am cautioning this Houseto be more Ghanaian. We should say thatif a Ghanaian is more qualified for thatposition, he or she should be the first. Iam telling you, Mr Speaker, that we will belaughing at the wrong side of our mouths.
Mr Speaker, I believe weare all patriotic Ghanaians and in anyinstance where we find the most qualifiedGhanaians, we should make sure they getthere, but we have to back our words withaction. We go ahead and license all theseforeign companies but if we want foreigndirect investments, then we say that,“bring your money; you cannot becomea Director”. It is senseless. Mr Speaker, so, they can kick them out.Fine. Then we do not have any foreign --But once we give them the licence andthey have their cash, we do not have achoice and we cannot exclude them. Thatis what this Bill is saying; it says do notexclude them. Mr Speaker, earlier, the old renditionsaid they can come here but can neverbecome an Executive Director. That iseven a violation of their human rights. Youwant my money but you do not want me. Mr Speaker, I agree with him and I knowin certain situations, and for the sake ofbanks, we cannot mention their names.The BoG has had to go very hard oncertain individuals from certain banks andI had no difficulty with that. But I thinkthis amendment is only right and weshould adopt that -- One does not asksomebody to bring US$100,000,000 hereand then say, he or she cannot be aDirector. You like their money --
Mr Speaker, Ialways talk about policy. Everything mustbe done within a policy context. We havean investment code and we have not evenrevised it. His Excellency the President is alwaysgoing out of the country seeking foreigninvestment. Mr Speaker, money is there. Those withmoney could go anywhere. So, if onewould want to make his country a goodinvestment destination, it should bereflected in his laws. In the UnitedKingdom, one cannot go for training, andif he is a student, he can never get a jobbecause he is neither a British norEuropean Union citizen. What he is saying is true. However,they have exceptions when it comes toChinese investments. So, it depends onus and what we seek to achieve. If webelieve, as the Hon Member is saying, thatwe should restrict directorship toGhanaians, what is the financial weight ofthe Ghanaian? The banks are not evenprepared to consolidate. They are small,local banks. So, I agree with him, but this should bein a proper policy context. The law makingshould also not be in isolation. That isthe point I am making and I would wantthe Hon Minister to let me know in termsof the policy context. That is what islacking in this Government and I alwayscomplain. [Interruption.] That is true. I am saying that, if that is what theGovernment wants and it is within abroader policy context, it is fine. Mr Speaker, we must be persuaded bysuperior argument. However, I would justsay that in terms of the banks, they shouldthen be increasing the capital base andeven this should not be done in isolation.These are the things we should do tocreate stronger local banks. One cannot create stronger local banksby saying foreigners should not bedirectors. Is that creating stronger banks?It is not a proper starting point. It is anegative starting point.
Yes, HonMajority Chief Whip?
Mr Speaker, Istrongly support the amendment.Sometimes I wonder the way we allassume. Would we remain poor? We arenot also thinking that a Ghanaian couldbe that rich and could establish acompany somewhere and therefore, wewould want to determine that a Ghanaiancould go to Nigeria, Morocco, London,America or Brazil to become a chiefexecutive? Mr Speaker, all round the world, thephenomenon is that, when shareholdersmeet, they decide who should be the headof their institutions. And they would nottake it kindly to just put anybody theresimply because some law says that onceone operates here, it could only be such aperson. When one does that, the investorwould say the world is a very big place,he quickly would shut down and collecthis capital out of the country. Mr Speaker, let us look at the other sideof it. We always look at it as if Ghanaiansare incapable of growing something tobecome bigger than even Ghana? We arein a competitive world. The Ghanaian whowould want to be a Chief Executive shouldbe able to be up to the task. There aremany Ghanaians who are serving otherbanks in other countries across Africa. MyColleague, Hon Akoto Osei just whisperedto me that Paa Kwesi Nduom is a ChiefExecutive in America. Mr Speaker, with the greatest ofrespect, please, let us allow thisamendment to stay. Like my Colleagueearlier said, one cannot like my money andwould not want me to benefit from certainrights. I would want to disagree with HonPapa Owusu-Ankomah, when he says itlacks policy direction. When you look at the explanatorymemorandum that accompanied the Bill,which is supposed to explain the policy, itis very clear, unless he could point to me within the explanatory memorandum whereit says that they do not want foreignersto be Chief Executives, and therefore, weare amending that policy. Mr Speaker, let us limit the argumentto what we have on the Order Paper,whether we are for or against theamendment. But I agree completely thatwe need to scrape this amendment andallow only Ghanaians. That is a veryarchaic way of thinking. This is because,if we were talking about any other thing, aChief Executive requires certain amountof knowledge, and the shareholders haveto protect their shares.
Mr Speaker, Isaid it must be within a broader policycontext of our investment policy. I did notsay this lacked policy direction. So, heshould not misquote me.
Mr Speaker, I agree withthe Hon Majority Chief Whip, but there isa slight problem. He did not hear me whenI was talking. I said, originally, the policywas as it is. It is only when the industrypeople -- It means it is not resident. Thatwas what came to the Committee. Later, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) had ameeting with the stakeholders and theyrealised it would not be good to keep it asit is. This was after, when the HonChairman met BoG and the stakeholdersto agree that it would not be good to haveit as it is. So, it was missed at some stageand BoG is seeking to correct it. That iswhy we should adopt it. As he said, it is true, Papa KwesiNduom recently, as close as last week,purchased shares in an American financecompany, which was advertised all overCable News Network (CNN). There are few
HonMembers, I would take two morecontributions and then I would put theQuestion. We have had enough debateon this issue. Yes, Hon Deputy Minister for Finance.
Mr Speaker, I think thisHouse would have to support thisamendment. This is based on the principleof who owns the company and the rightsof the shareholder. For instance, if I am ashareholder and I own a company, I alsohave the right to appoint someone who Ican trust to be a good custodian of myassets. Mr Speaker, for that matter, I think it isimportant that we support it. If forinstance, we are to say that today, wehave attracted Foreign Direct Investment(FDI) into the country, and we are sayingthat whoever is bringing his or her moneyinto this country does not have the rightof an ordinary shareholder, we would bemaking a big mistake. Therefore, FDI may not be able to comeinto the country. Mr Speaker, we should also understandthat we live in a competitive world. So, ifwe fail to come out with laws that wouldattract investment, we would end upstarving the country of the needed FDIthat would propel the country into growth. Mr Speaker, this is an afterthought, butit is important that we actually legislate itas such. I would ideally be nationalist tosupport a Ghanaian citizen to have it. Mr Speaker, the reality is that, if we areto go this way, these companies or bankshave already been given licences basedon the understanding that they couldappoint their own directors. If we areobviously to change this, then it meansthat the condition under which we grantedtheir licences has changed and therefore,these banks may even sue or withdrawfrom the country, which may be verydangerous for us. So, I am only urging this House thatwe should be careful in legislatingsomething that would not support thecourse of the country. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Yes, HonMember? [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, I amnot sure why you are laughing. But somepoint has been made on this floor and Ithink I owe it to the House to make thatcorrection so that it does not go on record. Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleagueoriginally said that if one went to schoolin England and wanted to be employed,there are difficulties attended upon that.My other Colleague seems to suggest thatwhat he said was wrong and that if onegoes to school in Britain and finishes, hewould be employed and all that. [Interruption] -- Well, Mr Speaker, hesaid he did not say that and gave a specificexample. Mr Speaker, the rules, regulations andthe laws are very complicated. It must notgo on record that this Parliament made astatement that if a Ghanaian goes toEngland, it is easy to obtain employment.
Did he makeany such blanket statement?
Mr Speaker, that is whathe said. He said what Papa Owusu-Ankomah said was not correct and that itwas easy. [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, the reasonthey are fighting to leave the EuropeanUnion (EU) is simply of employmentsituations. That the little or the fewavenues available are being taken bymembers of the other countries -- Britainis now fighting. Nobody should bedeluded into thinking that it remains theland of roses and milk -- The way it waswhen some of us had the privilege to bethere. It is not the case. One would have to belong to a specificcategory allowed by the law. That is whatHon Papa Owusu-Ankomah was talkingabout. We should be careful about that.We should not enact a law using thatgeneral statement made by HonColleagues as a basis for an enactment.We would be digging ourselves into apigeon whole.
HonMembers, we could go on ad infinitumbut I believe that we get the general senseof the House. So, I am minded to put theQuestion -- I spoke about two lastcontributions -- Very well, you have the floor. Be as briefas possible.
Mr Speaker, thismatter is so sensitive, looking at the divideand the emotions relating to howimportant it is for Ghanaian businesses tobe reserved for Ghanaians. I think thenumbers here are not sufficient and inaccordance with article 104 and ourStanding Order 109, I invite the House andMr Speaker to rule whether we have thenumbers to take a decision on this matter. Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I am raising an objectionthat we do not have the numbers to take adecision on this issue.
Mr Speaker, mysuggestion is that, we stand this particularclause down and make progress --
Can I hearfrom the Hon Majority Chief Whip andthen the Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, mysuggestion is that, we would stand thisclause down for further consultation andmake progress.
Mr Speaker, it is the samesuggestion I wanted to make. It looks likethere are emotions to this particular clause.So, we should stand it down and then wecan make progress.
Very well.Thank you very much. Hon Members, it is accordingly stooddown. Can we look at clause 59 then?
Mr Speaker, before wego to clause 59, there is a minorconsequential amendment in clause 58 (4).It is consequential, so, let us take it beforewe come back. That is subclause (4),line 2, delete “not more than”.
Very well. When we get there, we would deal withit. Clause 59 -- Disclosure of interest
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 59, subclause (1), paragraph (b),line 2, delete “and” and insert “or”. Question put and amendment agreedto.
I would putthe Question with regard to clause 59 asamended standing part of the Bill. Some Hon Members -- rose --
HonMembers, let us make sure we do not treada very dangerous path. Otherwise, a lotof our work would be stifled.
Mr Speaker, this isdangerous. That is why.
I thoughtwe had a problem with clause 58, so, Isaid let us stand it down or defer it. Andthat is what we have done so that we canmake progress.
Mr Speaker, I wasdrawing your attention to what the HonMember for Bekwai said, that the numbersare not there. So, if they are not there, I donot know how we could take a decision--
We havenot taken counts. Yes, Hon Member for Sekondi?
Mr Speaker,we can debate for the next two hours without taking a decision, then it wouldbe left for the Question to be put. So, whenwe come tomorrow, first thing, you put allthe Questions on the amendments. Thatis all. [Laughter.] No! We would be making a lot ofprogress because the debate has ended. Debate has ended and it is left with theQuestion to be put. Other than that, wewill come tomorrow and continue thedebate ad infinitum.
Very well --Yes, Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, the HonMember called you to make a ruling onthe numbers -- But we agreed that weshould step down that particular clauseand make progress. His reason for tryingto find out whether we had enoughnumbers was that, he thought it was verycontentious. We have all agreed that we should stepthat particular clause down and makeprogress, because we have a lot on ourtable. [Interruption.] I am not talking ofthe clause, but other ones that are there,so that we can make progress with thoseones, and the House can continue to dobusiness. As it stands now, the House hasnot been counted to see whether we havethe numbers or not. So, we can assumewe have the numbers and make progress.
Yes, HonDeputy Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, can you gowith the suggestion brought by the HonPapa Owusu-Ankomah that we shouldcontinue with Business and debate?
Yes, HonMember for Effutu?
Mr Speaker, I amreminding you that the Hon MajorityChief Whip has returned to the Chamber.You would recall an earlier applicationwas made on the issue of the Hon Memberfor -- What is your constituency?[Laughter.] Mr Speaker, the “America Man” --[Interruption] -- Hon Essilfie made anapplication and did not give the reasonfor it. You advised that he needs to comeback to make the necessary application,so that we make progress, but he was notin the Chamber. Since, he has come, I amreminding you of that. Two, Mr Speaker, in his earliersubmissions, he said Dr Papa KwesiNduom is the Chief Executive Officer ofan American Bank. I am not too sure ofthat position. Could he clarify that? Thank you.
I did nothear any such statement. What I heardwas, Dr Nduom had purchased shares ina company outside of Ghana in the UnitedStates of America (USA). Hon Members, if we have any problem,I can direct that we adjourn. I can get theHon Deputy Majority Leader to move theMotion. [Pause.] Hon Member, as far as his position isconcerned, once he is a member of theCommittee, he can stand in for theChairman. These are Motions of theCommittee, not of the Chairman per se.So, if the Chairman is not available, amember of the Committee can stand in andmove the Motions. [Interruption.] Order!Order! Hon Members, I direct that we bringproceedings as far as this Bill is concernedto a close for the day. [Pause.] Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader, weare in your hands.
Mr Speaker, Ibeg to move that the House adjourns tilltomorrow at 10.00 o'clock in the forenoon.
Mr Speaker,I beg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to.