Hon Members, Iapologise for the late start of proceedingsthis morning. I had to hold an impromptuemergency meeting with the Leadershipof the House in my office. That is thereason we are starting proceedings a bitlate today. Votes and Proceedings and theOfficial Report
Hon Members, Correctionof Votes and Proceedings. [No correction was made to the Votesand Proceedings of Wednesday, 29 June,2016.] [No correction was made to theOfficial Report of Tuesday, 21st June,2016.]
Hon Members, theBusiness Statement for the Eighth Week. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
To askthe Minister for Environment, Science,Technology and Innovation what plansthe Ministry has to stop the soil erosionand environmental degradation ofBortianor Weija Hill that continues to cause inconvenience and danger tomotorists on the Mallam - Winneba roadat Machigeni. Question -- *544. Ms Patricia Appiagyei (Asokwa):To ask the Minister for Health whenthe Ministry intends to completethe maternity block at the KumasiSouth Hospital in the AsokwaConstituency. Statements -- Presentation of Papers -- Report of the Committee on Lands andForestry on the Wildlife ResourcesManagement Bill, 2015. Consideration Stage of Bills -- Right to Information Bill, 2013.(Continuation of debate) Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions Bill, 2015.(Continuation of debate) Ghana International Trade CommissionBill, 2014. (Continuation of debate) Securities Industry Bill, 2015. (Continuation of debate) Hazardous and Electronic WasteControl and Management Bill, 2016 Ghana AIDS Commission Bill, 2015. Committee sittings. Wednesday, 6th July 2016 -- PUBLIC HOLIDAY (Eid ul-Fitr) --Thursday, 7th July 2016 Questions *545. Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh(Nsawam-Adoagyiri): To ask theMinister for Water Resources,Works and Housing what measuresare being put in place to preventfuture occurrence of water crisis inNsawam and its environs. Statements -- Consideration Stage of Bills Right to Information Bill, 2013. (Continuation of debate) Ghana International Trade CommissionBill, 2014. (Continuation of debate) Securities Industry Bill, 2015. (Continuation of debate) Ghana AIDS Commission Bill, 2015. Land Use and Spatial Planning Bill,2016. Committee sittings. Friday, 8th July 2016 Questions -- *535. Mr Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi(Asante Akim Central): To ask theMinister for Roads and Highwayswhat plans the Ministry has for themaintenance and refurbishment ofthe Odumase to Agyareago andOdumase to Kyekyewere roads. *536. Mr Samuel Ato Amoah (Twifo AttiMorkwa): To ask the Minister forRoads and Highways when theconstruction of the Twifo Prasobridge will commence. *537. Mr Matthew Nyindam (Kpandai):To ask the Minister for Roads andHighways when the constructionand gravelling of the Kpandai toSalaga road will commence. *538. Mr Richard Mawuli Quashigah(Keta): To ask the Minister forRoads and Highways when workson the 10 kilometres Havedzi toAfiadenyigba road, which hasstalled for some time now willresume. *539. Nana Amoakoh (Upper DenkyiraEast): To ask the Minister for Roadsand Highways when the Asikuma -Esaaso - Ayaase and Dunkwa -Twifo Praso roads, in the UpperDenkyira East Municipality, will betarred. *548. Mr Kwame Asafu-Adjei (Nsuta-Kwamang Beposo): To ask theMinister for Roads and Highwayswhen the following roads will berehabilitated: (i) Beposo - Wiwose(ii) Nsuta - Jumsah (iii) Birem -Balana - Maalu - Blackie -Sunkwaye. Statements -- Motions -- Third Reading of Bills -- Ghana International Trade CommissionBill, 2014. Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions Bill, 2015. Ghana Deposit Protection Bill, 2015. Consideration Stage of Bills -- Right to Information Bill, 2013.(Continuation of debate) Securities Industry Bill, 2015.(Continuation of debate) Ghana AIDS Commission Bill, 2015. Land Use and Spatial Planning Bill,2016. National Disaster ManagementOrganisation Bill, 2015. (Conti-nuation of debate) Committee sittings.
Any comments on theBusiness Statement?
Mr Speaker,exactly two weeks ago, in this House, Iasked your Committee an issue in respectof the Plant Breeders Bill. This Bill hasbeen on the shelf for almost two years.The litigants went to court and the casewas dismissed. I am wondering why tilldate we do not have the Plant BreedersBill on the Business Statement.
Mr Speaker, theconcern of my Hon Colleague is equallyour concern but you would remember that,during the deliberation on the PlantBreeders Bill, there were a lot ofmemoranda and complaints written to theHon Speaker on the issue. Mr Speakerauthorised that some discussions be heldand some understanding to be reachedbefore the Bill is re-introduced. Unfortunately, the Hon MajorityLeader is not around. I would not be ableto tell exactly some of the meetings thathave taken place and what has happened.But I can assure my Hon Colleague that,I would take this sentiment to the HonLeader, and if all those issues are resolved, [ ALHAJI MUNTAKA ] [ ALHAJI MUNTAKA ]
Where is the HonChairman of the Constitutional, Legal andParliamentary Affairs Committee? That isthe Committee handling that Bill.
Mr Speaker, myColleague, the Chairman, Hon Amoatey isnot in the Chamber.
Where is he? You are theHon Majority Chief Whip. You recommendpeople who want to take leave of absence.
Mr Speaker, I knowthat he is on a committee assignmentoutside the country. He was supposed tohave been back yesterday, but I havenot seen him this morning. So, I am notsure whether he is back.
That is theConstitutional, Legal and ParliamentaryAffairs Committee.
When you see the HonChairman of the Committee in the House,I want you to raise that matter. You know we make laws for the peopleof this country. So, when I received anumber of petitions and there were somany, I thought that the proper thing todo was to stay proceedings and refer themand concerns of the people we are makingthe laws for, to the Committee to engagethose who had submitted those petitions. I believe that, at the end of thoseconsiderations, they must come back tothe floor of the House to inform the House-- quite apart from what was referred toin terms of what was in court, which yousaid was dismissed -- to tell the Housewhether you have engaged the peopleand resolved the issues. That wouldpave the way for us to take a decision asa House, whether to proceed with theconsideration of the Plant Breeders Bill. I agree with the Hon Member whoraised the issue. We need to take a decisionon that matter, whether the House, in viewof those petitions, has looked at them andwhat the outcome is in order to paveway for us to decide in one way or theother whether we would proceed.
Mr Speaker, I assurethis House that I would personally followup, with both the Hon Majority Leaderand the Hon Chairman of the Committeeto get a determination on this, so that wewould be able to report to the House if weare continuing or otherwise. Thank you Mr Speaker.
Very well. Hon Member for Kwadaso?
Thank youMr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I rise for the second timein three weeks to inquire about the answerwhich was supposed to come to thisHouse concerning what is happening atthe Cocoa Processing Company in Tema. Mr Speaker, the last time I raised thisissue, you asked the Clerks to liaise withthe Business Committee to sort out the issue, but it is still not on the agenda fornext week. I wonder what has happened?
Mr Speaker,unfortunately, at the Business Committee,this issue was not discussed. It was notbefore the Committee. Mr Speaker, I would be grateful if myHon Colleague would remind the MinorityWhip, and some of our Hon Members, sothat it is taken up at the BusinessCommittee, then maybe, a determinationis made --
Hon Member, an HonMinister came to answer a Question andhe was supposed to provide someinformation to the House. If theinformation is ready now, you can makeit available to the Hon Member. If you cannot invite the Hon Minister,you can make it available to the HonMember. If the Hon Member is notsatisfied and wants to pursue the matterfurther, he can do so.
Mr Speaker, I canassure my Hon Colleague that I would getthat done. We would get the response forhim.
Thank you, MrSpeaker.
They should make theinformation available to the Hon Memberthrough my Office or through the Clerk'sOffice.
Mr Speaker, we wouldensure that.
Hon Member for OldTafo?
Mr Speaker, mayI know from the available Leader whenthe meeting of the joint Caucus that hasbeen deferred several times is going to be held, since it is not mentioned here? I thinkthere are issues that we need to confrontas soon as possible.
Mr Speaker, if weagree, we can schedule it for next week,Thursday. Mr Speaker, one of the major challengeswe had was that, it was programmed onthree occasions. Each time that it getshere, Hon Members are not available andthen it is postponed. So, if we arecommitted to it, we can reschedule it forThursday. This is because, on all thethree occasions that the BusinessCommittee scheduled it, when the timecame, there were no Hon Members to holdthe meeting.
Mr Speaker, it had beenthe practice that, when there are importantissues, we make time for them. Wednesdayis a holiday but we are starting onMonday. So, I suggest that we find a wayto programme it. We can suspend Sittingand come back on Monday or Tuesday.We can do it in-between.
Mr Speaker, for thisreason, I would want to crave yourindulgence and that of the House toamend the Business Statement, so that itwould capture it for Tuesday --
The Business Committeewould have to meet. This is because wehave already adopted the BusinessStatement . If you wanted to amend it,then you should have amended it beforeit was adopted. You cannot amend it here.It can only be done at the BusinessCommittee. Or you have the mandate toamend it?
Mr Speaker, thereason I was trying to do that on behalfof the Committee was that, the Committeeitself programmed it on three occasionsbecause the Business Committee thoughtit was important. Hon Members were not
available to take it. So, now that it hasbeen raised --
I would suggest that inyour next Business Committee meetingyou should programme it.
Mr Speaker, in thatcase, that would be after next week. Thisis because, that is the only time theBusiness Committee could schedule it.
MrSpeaker, I have a small problem.
Is it on the BusinessStatement?
Yes, it is on the BusinessStatement. The Electoral Commission, if theBusiness Committee could arrange, forthem to come and brief the Committee ofthe Whole on the processes towards the2016 Polls. Mr Speaker, as a member of the SpecialBudget Committee, there is a huge fundinggap -
Please, are you pre-empting what you want them to come andbrief you on?
No! I am just giving youthe reasons.
You have made therequest, so, let him respond.
Well, Mr Speaker, wewould take notice of it for the nextBusiness Committee meeting.
Hon Chief Whip, howsoon could you organise a programme forthe joint Caucus?
Mr Speaker, theBusiness Committee meets either onWednesdays or Thursdays. It wouldmean that, if we would have to take it tothe Business Committee meeting, it couldonly be after next week. But if we wouldhave to call for an emergency meeting --[Interruption] -- I do not think we couldform a quorum if we decide to go out now.This is because, when I look in theChamber, the members of the BusinessCommittee are not up to eight currently.
I would suggest that atthe next Business Committee meeting, youshould programme it and give sufficientnotice to Hon Members. So, if it isprogrammed again, and we do not havemembers to attend the joint Caucusmeeting, nobody would blame anybodyagain. We need sufficient notice, so thatthey would programme and be sure.
Well noted, MrSpeaker.
Hon Members, thatbrings us to the end of the considerationof the Business Statement for the EighthWeek. Business Statement for the Eighth weekaccordingly adopted. Question time -- Do we have the HonMinister for Roads and Highways here?
Hon Members, we havethe Hon Minister for Roads and Highwaysin the House to respond to Questions. We will start with Question number 520standing in the name of the Hon Memberfor Prestea-Huni Valley.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS
MINISTRY OF ROADS ANDHIGHWAYS
Mr Speaker, Background Mr Speaker, the main bridge over RiverAsesre which links Prestea and Himan isa 30.6m long steel bridge. It is located inthe Prestea Huni Valley District of theWestern Region. Current Programme The Ghana Highways Authority'sannual routine maintenance inspection ofthe bridge conducted in December, 2015,showed that the bridge is sound. However, the Bridges Division of theGHA will further inspect it in September,2016.
Mr Speaker, the plate onthe bridge has worn-out. So, betweennow and September, 2016, what will theMinistry do about it?
Mr Speaker, wewill send our engineers to look at thebridge once again, and see whatintervention can be done.
Mr Speaker, I would pleadwith the Hon Minister to shift theSeptember, 2016 deadline to somewhereearly next month, since the situation isvery serious, so, that we can preventany calamity. Thank you.
Hon Member, is it aquestion?
Mr Speaker, it is a plea.
Hon Minister, this oneis not my duty. But I will plead with you tosend people there as early as possible tofind out. This is because if it is sound, Ido not know what happened betweenDecember 2015 and now.
Mr Speaker,exactly so. In view of the informationprovided, I have indicated that we willsend people there to assess the bridgeand see what intervention can be done.
Mr Speaker, assoon as we leave here, we will take steps.
Very well -- Question numbered 521? Bridge over River Bonsa(Construction) Q* 521. Mr Francis Adu-Blay Koffieasked the Minister for Roads andHighways what plans the Ministry hadto construct a bridge over River Bonsa inPrestea/Huni Valley which linked Piesoand Attakrom.
Mr Speaker,thebridge over River Bonsa is located on thePieso - Attakrom feeder road in thePrestea Huni Valley District of the WesternRegion. It is a log bridge with woodenplanks serving as the deck. A portion ofthe timber deck on one of the lanes isbroken. However, the other lane is in afair condition.
Future Programme In the short-term, (DFR) will carry outrepairs to improve on the condition of thebridge. In the long-term, the Department ofFeeder Roads (DFR) will undertakeengineering studies by the end of August2016 for the design of an appropriatebridge over the river for consideration inthe next DFR steel bridge programme.
Mr Speaker, in this one too,I would plead with the Hon Minister tospeed up. Recently, there was a heavy downpour,and a farmer and her two sons nearly losttheir lives on that bridge.
Question numbered 530-- Hon Member for Effiduase -Asokore?
MrSpeaker, the Hon Member for Effiduase-Asokore is bereaved and he has asked meto stand in for him.
He has asked somebodyfrom the Central Region to ask theQuestion?
That is it.
Very well, you have thefloor. [Laughter] Improvement of Roads (Effiduase-Asokore Constituency) Q* 530. Dr Stephen Nana Ato Arthur(on behalf of )(Mr Frank Boakye Agyen)asked the Minister for Roads andHighways when the roads in the EffiduaseAsokore Constituency, particularly thoselinking cocoa producing areas, would beimproved to facilitate easy vehicularmovement before the rains set in.
Mr Speaker, theEffiduase Asokore Constituency is partof the Sekyere East District of the AshantiRegion -- A. Feeder Roads Network Current Programme Routine maintenance works have beenprogrammed under the 2016 maintenancebudget for the following roads in theSekyere East District. Tenders have beenopened and evaluated. Contracts will beawarded by the end of July, 2016. EFFIDUASE - MOTOKRODUA -- 19.00 MOTOKRODUA - TETEKASO -- 4.50 BIMMAH - AKOKOASO - NAMMA -- 5.60 ASOKORE - AHINSAN -- 7.80 SENCHI - WORAMPONSO -- 13.50 TOTAL -- 50.40 Future Programme DFR will carry out engineering studieson the Senchi - Woramponso and theAsokore-Ahinsan roads in September2016, for upgrading to bituminous surface. b. Trunk Road Network The underlisted roads in the districthave bituminous and gravel surface. Effiduase - Agona (15.1km) Oyoko - Nsuta (17.19km) Juansa -Asokore-Effiduase (37.94km) The underlisted roads have bituminoussurface sections; Effiduase - Oyoko (3.05km) Oyoko -Kumawu (14.01km) Bonwire-Effiduase (11.81km) The bituminous surfaced roads in theconstituency are in a fair condition.They are being maintained under GhanaHighways Authority 2016 -- 2017maintenance programme. The 5 kilometre gravel surfaced sectionof the 15.1km Effiduase - Agona road hasbeen upgraded to a bituminous surface. The 26km gravel surfaced section ofthe 37.94 km Juansa - Effiduase road hasbeen awarded for upgrading works.
Mr Speaker, I believe theHon Minister knows the rainy season inGhana. The Question was, when will these
roads be improved to facilitate easyvehicular movement before the rains setin? According to the Hon Minister, tendershave been opened and contracts will beawarded by the end of July, 2016. Mr Speaker, when were the tendersopened, and what is the duration for thecompletion of those projects?
Mr Speaker, I amunable to give the exact date that thetenders were opened. But in procuringfor works, the Ministry of Roads andHighways goes through motions. We haveto apply to the Public ProcurementAuthority (PPA), and to the CentralTender Board. So, while we are to carry out the workas expeditiously as possible, we have towait for intervening third parties to giveus the clearance to go ahead and procure,and that might account for some of thedelays that come about as a result ofundertaking these works.
Mr Speaker, the HonMinister does not know when the tenderswere opened. He is only aware of whenthe contracts would be awarded. That isfine. The five kilometre gravel surface outof the 15.1 -- Effiduase Agona road hasbeen upgraded. When are we going to seethe remaining ten kilometre upgraded tobituminous surface?
Mr Speaker, weare doing them in phases, and the nextphase of the bituminous surface will bedone in 2017.
Very well. Hon Members, we would move on toQuestion 531 -- Hon Member for AssinNorth.
Mr Speaker,Hon Ambre is indisposed, and I am to askthe Question on his behalf.
Hon Member, what areyou doing? What did you say?[Laughter] --
Mr Speaker, he has askedme to ask the Question on his behalf.
Under whose authority?
Mr Speaker, on his ownauthority.
Hon Member, please, therules are very clear. If you want to ask the Question onbehalf of an Hon Member who is absent,please, make the proper application to theChair.
Mr Speaker, I would wantto seek your permission to --
Hon Member, it is notabout my permission. [Laughter] --
Mr Speaker, the HonMember has authorised me to ask theQuestion on his behalf, and in doing so, Iseek your permission to go ahead to doso.
Hon Member, please,proceed. Assin Akonfudi to Japan BridgeRoads(Commencement) Q*531. Mr Aquinas T. Quansah (onbehalf of )( Mr Samuel Ambre) asked theMinister for Roads and Highways whenthe construction of the road from AssinAkonfudi to Japan Bridge wouldcommence.
Mr Speaker,Assin Akonfudi to Japan Bridge formspart of the 20 kilometre road from AssinAkonfudi in the Central Region to ApoliNingo in the Eastern Region. It is a gravel road in a fair to poorcondition. Current Programme The DFR has commenced theprocurement process for the bituminoussurfacing of the road and expects toaward the contract by October, 2016.
Hon Member, yoursupplementary question.
Mr Speaker, I would liketo ask the Hon Minister if they can at least,maintain some portion of the road, beforethe major construction begins, since ithas become a death trap.
Mr Speaker, it isnormally not a practice to awardmaintenance contract, when we are goingto do major rehabilitation of the road. Buthaving spoken about the nature and itsdanger to road users, we would send ourengineers to go and see what inter-ventions could be done.
Question numbered 532-- Hon Member for Asante Akim Central?
Mr Speaker,the Hon Member is indisposed, and hasauthorised me to seek your permission toask the Question on his behalf.
Proceed. [Laughter.] Refurbishment of Patriensa Bridge *532. Mr Benito Owusu-Bio (on behalfof)(Mr Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi): askedthe Minister for Roads and Highwayswhen the bridge at Patriensa on theKonongo Agogo Road would berefurbished or maintained.
Mr Speaker -- Background Four (4) number culverts are located inPatriensa, on the Konongo Agogo roadin the Asante Akim Central District of theAsanti Region. Small scale mining operations atPatriensa have resulted in the frequentsiltation and blockage of these culverts.The culverts are overtopped whenever itrains. Current Programme The culverts were desilted under GHARoutine Maintenance Programme inOctober, 2015. Procurement process to select acontractor to construct additional pipeculverts of a bigger capacity and reseal10 kilometres of the road is in progress.
Mr Speaker, in the HonMinister's Answer, he said there was anongoing procurement process to select acontractor, and this had been since theyear 2015. For how long could we wait forthe selection of the contractor?
Mr Speaker, thetenders have been submitted to the CentralTender Review Board for concurrentapproval.
Mr Speaker, I craveyour indulgence again, to ask that the HonMinister should consider raising the levelof that particular portion of the road. Thisis because it looks like it is a bit submerged,and it is not only a culvert bridge whichwould help. Rather, if they could raise theheight of the road, at least, when it rains,it would not flood. It is not only thegalamsey people alone, but also thedesign is affecting the road.
Thank you verymuch for the information. Mr Speaker, that is why we are puttinga bigger culvert there. The existing culvertmight be dysfunctional but the biggerculvert will do the work for us.
Your last supplementaryquestion, if any. Hon Members, we move to the nextQuestion -- Question number 533. Konongo Town Roads(Bituminous Surfacing) Q*533. Mr Benito Owusu-Bio (onbehalf of)(Mr Kwame Anyimadu-Antwiasked the Minister for Roads andHighways when the Konongo town roadswould be given bituminous surfacing.
Mr Speaker -- Background Konongo town roads are in the AsanteAkim Central District of the AshantiRegion. In 2015, the Ministry executed workson the underlisted roads:
Mr Speaker, I wouldwant to ask the Hon Minister why in a bigtown like Konongo, only three kilometreshave been worked on and that is even onselected roads. Mr Speaker, Konongo hasmore than 30 kilometres of town roads,but only one kilometre each has beenworked on in terms of resurfacing.
Mr Speaker, intotal, we are working on eight kilometresof the Konongo town roads. Some of theroads in Konongo town have already beentarred. Those which need attention arethose that we are working on. But we aredoing them in phases. Hopefully, nextyear, we would go back to Konongo andadd to what we have already done.
Hon Members, Question534. Hon Members, I agreed this morningwith Leadership that the Questions wereconstituency specific, so we should limitthem to the Hon Members in whose namesthe Questions stand. Completion of Konongo Zongo-PraasoRoad Q*534. Mr Benito Owusu-Bio (onbehalf of )(Mr Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi)asked the Minister for Roads andHighways when the road from KonongoZongo to Praaso would be completed.
Mr Speaker -- Background The Konongo - Praaso Feeder road isa section of the 25.5kilometre Konongo -Dwease - Praaso - Dickson feeder road. Itis an inter district road, which connectsthe Kumasi - Accra highway at Konongoin the Asante Akim Central District andalso to the Juaso - Obogu - Ofoasehighway at Dickson in the Asante AkimSouth District. The section of the road from kilometre0 - 16 is a bituminous surfaced road in apoor condition. The remaining section upto Dickson (9.5km) was an earth road. Current Programme The entire road was awarded forbituminous surfacing as one contract asfollows: Kilometre m 0-16, which is anexisting bituminous surface in apoor condition is to be patched andresealed. Kilometre 16 - 25 which was an earthroad was to be upgraded from earthto bituminous surface. Bituminous surfacing of a 5.1kilometre section of the Agona-Effiduase road. The contractor has completed theupgrading of kilometre 16-25 tobituminous surface. The outstanding works is the patchingand resealing of the section with existingbituminous surface (km 0-16). Thecontract is scheduled to be completed inJanuary, 2017. The contractor is currently workingon the Agona - Effiduase road and willreturn to complete the Konongo-Dwease-Praaso section.
Mr Speaker, thebituminous surfacing of the 5.1 kilometresection of the Agona-Effiduase road isnowhere near the Asante Akim District. Ido not know where this particular portioncame in his Answer. This is because thatcannot be found on the road that theQuestion refers to. -- [Interruption] Thatis in Sekyere.
That is preciselyso. The kilometre 0-16, kilometre 16-25 andthe bituminous surfacing of the 5.1kilometres were given out as one package.That is why the information was provided.
Mr Speaker,would theHon Minister ask the contractor toquickly move on to kilometre 0-16, so thatit can be completed as quickly aspossible? Mr Speaker, I now know whythere is shortage of plantain on the market.This is because, this particular area has alot of plantain farms.
Ask your question.
Mr Speaker, when willthey complete the kilometre 0-16 so thatplantain -- amadaa can come to Accrafor us to eat? -- [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, thecontractor will immediately return to thekilometre 0-16 to complete that section ofthe road on the completion of work on theAgogo-Effiduase section. 11. 50 a. m.
Hon Minister, we thankyou for attending upon the House torespond to Questions from Hon Members. Hon Members, that brings us to theend of Question time. Hon Members, I have admitted oneshort Statement under Standing Order 71. Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I rise to pay thisshort tribute in memory of Hon NelsonYawo Avega Agbesi. This is a tribute in celebration of thelife of Hon Nelson Yawo Avega Agbesi,late of Wote, Volta Region. The late N.Y. Agbesi, popularly knownand called Efo Yawo, was born on 16thNovember, 1939, at Wote in AfadzatoDistrict of the Volta Region. His parents were Mr Patrick KosiAvega (late Mankrado Adzotsomor III) ofLiati Wote and Madam PhilomenaAkosuavi Masroh of Agu Akumawu,Republic of Togo (both deceased). He hadhis secondary education in MawuliSchool, Ho (1956-1961)where he obtainedthe O'level and A'Level Certificates. Efo Yawo (Hon Nelson Yawo Agbesi)proceeded to the University of Ghana(1961-1964) where he read Law andobtained B.A. Hons. In 1965 - 1966, heentered the Law School and obtainedLLB (Hons) and was called to the Bar inOctober 1966.
Career From 1966 to 1989, Hon Nelson Agbesipractised as a Lawyer in the followingChambers: 1966 - 1969 - He was a junior LegalPractitioner in Messrs LynesQuarshie Idun & Co. 1969 - 1979 - Senjor Partner, AmeyiChambers, Accra. November 1982 - rejoined AmeyiChambers (after short leave). March 15, 1989- he establishedAfadjoto Chambers, Accra. Political Career Hon Nelson Yawo Avega Agbesientered active political life in June, 1979when he was elected Member ofParliament for the East Dayi Constituencyduring the Third Republic. In December, 1979, he was appointedMinister for the Volta Region - VoltaRegional Minister, a role he played to thesatisfaction of all Voltarians. Efo Yawo was appointed Minister forAgriculture in December, 1980. Whenthe Third Republican Government wasoverthrown, he was detained inprotective custody in Nsawam MediumPrisons by the PNDC Government. However, he was cleared by theNational Investigations Committee of anycrime whatsoever against the State andreleased unconditionally from protectivecustody. Other Activities Efo Yawo was the past DistrictGovernor of the Lions Club, a foundingfather of the Old Mawuli Students Union After 47 1/2 years of successfulmarriage to his wife NAYRAKLU, whomhe left behind, he had seven (7) childrenand nine (9) grandchildren. Hon NelsonAgbesi had been feeling unwell since2013, and he passed on on 11th May, 2016.Hon Nelson Yawo Avega Agbesi isremembered as a man of justice whodefended and stood for the defenceless.He was principled and stood for what hebelieved in. The entire Ghana Bar Association willmiss him dearly; the Parliament of Ghanawill remember his contributions; the entireAfadzato District and the Volta Region saygood bye with a heavy heart and the wholecountry recognises the role he playedduring the Third Republic. Fare thee well. May The Good Lord receive you intoHis Bosom. He de Nyuie R.I.P
Hon Members, I will takeonly one comment and it comes from theHon Deputy Minority Leader.
Mr Speaker, this is anoccasion that we need to mourn thedemise of a human being. Mr Speaker, if you look at the lifehistory of Hon Nelson Yawo AvegaAgbesi, you would rather want tocelebrate the legacies he has left behind; the works he has done over the years, andthe landmarks that he has clearly shown.And I believe his family and all of us asGhanaians, would be very proud of him. Mr Speaker, it is not all those whoattained seventy years before they leftthis earth would have an opportunity tohave a tribute paid to them in Parliament.But he deserves this tribute, being one ofthe pioneers or even the brain child behindthe creation of Hohoe District in thosedays and even the Afajato District asrecently as two or three years ago. Mr Speaker, to be one of the pioneerlawyers to have trained in the GhanaSchool of Law, is no mean achievement.And to have been one of the active legalbrains and politicians to have shaped thisnation, is still no mean achievement. Mr Speaker, I decided to go throughhis Curriculum Vitae (CV) and looking atthe Statement, it was very clear that thisis a man who would fight for hisconvictions, who would fight for what hebelieves in and who would not relent. Hewould not relent because when hisGovernment was overthrown and he wasput in detention for one year, he did notgive up. In fact, my Hon Colleague who madethe Statement knows him very well. Hehad to defend people in front of him at theTribunal where he was the TribunalChairman and he was the defence lawyerfor many people and he did not wantthem to suffer the fate that he sufferedbehind bars at Nsawam. So, I believe we must celebrate thisprincipled man and try to learn from whatmade him a man of steel, what made himto believe that this is the earth where hecan leave with a landmark. He has really done it because today, we are celebratinghim. He has fought for his people; he hasfought for Ghana, and even those of uswho never had the opportunity tophysically know him, but glancing throughwhat he did, one would be proud and feelthat one also wants to follow thefootsteps of this man. -- [Hear! Hear!!] Mr Speaker, it reminds us as Membersof Parliament, that we must fight. And inthe event that tomorrow we are not there,people would be compelled to do for uswhat we are doing for him today. It isimportant that Parliament as a bodybegins to look at the former Members ofParliament (MPs), what they are doing andbe interested in their work and what theydo after leaving Parliament. If it is to set up a parliamentary instituteto train people on the workings ofParliament and name it after all thesedistinguished people, so be it. But it isimportant that we do these things asquickly as possible and use them as anopportunity to know what our Colleaguesare doing when they leave Parliament. Mr Speaker, I do not want to talk a lot,but I can say that, he has lived a fulfilledand distinguished life and a life that all ofus would want to emulate -- at least, Iwant to emulate. So, I wish him farewell;we all wish him farewell and we hope thatthe Good Lord would position him at Hisright hand side. May his soul rest inperfect peace.
Hon Members, we haveto move to Public Business. So, very briefHon Minister, then the Second DeputySpeaker.
Mr Speaker,just a few words to associate myself withthe Statement made on the floor of theHouse and to express my condolences tothe bereaved family.
Mr Speaker, I recall my learnedsenior who had been called to practicebefore the courts above when I startedpractising. As a young man, he was avery nice senior at the Bar. We knew theseniors who were nice and those whowere a little strict; let me put it that way.Mr Agbesi was somebody who wouldalways teach you, even if you were incourt against him. When you made amistake, he would correct you during thecase. After the case, he would call youand tell you the mistake you made andhow you should have done it. He was full of anecdotes, poetry andanalogies that he took from folklore. So,listening to him every time was interesting.But fin my view, the most important parthe played in my life was when as arelatively young man, I came into politics.He gave me one piece of advice. He called me and said, once he was the VoltaRegional Minister, he was nice to thepeople there and his subordinates, andwhen he was no longer the RegionalMinister, they were still nice to him. So,he asked me to remember that political lifewas not permanent. Now that I had comein as a young man, I should be nice topeople. And the test of whether you havebeen nice to people is not when you arestill in office. When you are in office, theywould be nice to you. The test is whenyou are out of office. Mr Speaker, it was a good piece ofadvice and one that I still bear in mindand may the good Lord guide all of us, sothat when we leave office, we would stillcontinue to enjoy the love that the peoplehave for us when we were in office. With these few words, Mr Speaker,thank you for giving me this opportunityto pay tribute to my senior at the Bar, MrNelson Y. A. Agbesi, who has been calledto practise, as the lawyers say, in theHeavens above.
Hon Members, let usobserve a minute's silence in his memory. [A minute's silence was observed.]
May his soul and thesouls of the departed rest in perfectpeace. Amen! Hon Members, at the commencementof Public Business. Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, item numbered6 on page 3 of the Order Paper, theInterception of Postal Packets andTelecommunication Messages Bill, 2016to be laid by the Minister for the Interior. Mr Speaker, I would ask permissionthat the Deputy Minister for the Interiortakes item number 6.
Hon Deputy MajorityLeader, I am not getting what you aretrying to do. Are you calling the DeputyMinister to hold the fort for thesubstantive Minister? Is that theapplication you are making first?
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Hon Deputy MinorityLeader?
Mr Speaker, I waswondering -- has this Bill not been laidbefore? Are you withdrawing it?
Whether he wouldwithdraw it, the Minister for the Interioris the one whose name is there. He ismaking an application for him to hold thefort for his substantive Minister.
I understand. I wanted tounderstand the issue.
When that is done, thenwe would ask him what business he wouldwant to transact on behalf of thesubstantive Minister.
Mr Speaker, before I evenaccept, it is for him to tell me the businessthey want to transact before I --
He mentioned itemnumber 6. So, let us agree first. Whetherthere would be a withdrawal --
Mr Speaker, I would nothave a problem with the Hon DeputyMinister who is a Member of Parliamentand our Hon Colleague standing in forthe Minister.
So, let us listen to himfirst, then if you have a problem, youcan raise any query you want to. Yes, Hon Deputy Minister for theInterior, on behalf of the Minister forthe Interior? Deputy Minister for the Interior (MrJames Agalga)(on behalf of the Ministerfor the Interior): Mr Speaker, I humblywish to, on behalf of my Minister,withdraw the Interception of PostalPackets and TelecommunicationMessages Bill, 2015, which was laid on 3rdFebruary, 2015. I wish to seek your leaveto withdraw it. Mr Speaker, the withdrawal isnecessitated by very compelling reasons.After the Committee on Defence and theInterior met to deliberate upon the Bill, anumber of critical issues were raised. Wealso took into consideration variousmemoranda submitted to the Committeeand we think that it is imperative for us towithdraw the Bill accordingly. Mr Speaker, I respectfully submit.
Hon Members, theapplication is for the withdrawal of theBill that was laid in the House on the 3rdFebruary, 2016. So, the Bill is withdrawnand the referral to -- Papa Owusu-Ankomah -- rose --
Yes, Hon Member forSekondi?
Mr Speaker,with your leave, I would wish to refer theHouse to Standing Order 132, and withyour premising, I beg to read in extensor. “Either before the commencementof public business or at thecommencement of any stage of aBill . . .” Mr Speaker, we have already had theFirst Reading and we are now conductingPublic Business. The Hon Deputy Minister, is totallyout of order. This is because he is makingthe application after commencement ofPublic Business.
Hon Member for Sekondi,what Public Business have we taken?
Mr Speaker,you announced that, “we are nowcommencing Public Business”. I lookedat the Order Paper; -- and it isPresentation and First Reading of Bills --Interception of Postal Packets andTelecommunication Messages Bill, 2016. Mr Speaker, we were at the stage ofPublic Business and you duly announcedthat. Mr Speaker, you did not say, “beforewe commence Public Business -- Yousaid “at the commencement of PublicBusiness - Hon Deputy Majority Leader”?
“Presentationand First Reading of Bills.” The Bill hadalready been presented and it is beforethe Committee. There is a good reasonfor the Standing Order to say that. “Either before the commencementof public business or at thecommencement of any stage…” Mr Speaker, for instance, if it had beenbefore the Second Reading, then the HonDeputy Minister could have applied towithdraw it. Mr Speaker, I do not know whether theLeadership bench of the Minority wasmade aware of this. This is because theyseem to be at a loss what is happening. Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minister,is completely out of order. He has failedto comply with our Standing Orders andhis application should be dismissed inlimine. Mr Speaker, unfortunately, before Icould be recognised, you commenced tomake a statement. I did not hear the statement you made, so, I do not think itis on record.
Hon Members, I will nottake further submissions on this point.This is a very straightforward point. Nobusiness had been taken after I hadannounced “at the commencement ofPublic Business.” Hon Member, I would have indeed,sustained your submission if we hadtaken any Public Business before theHon Deputy Minister for the Interior hadmade the application. I would have ruledhim out of order. But we had not takenany public business. No Public Businesshas been taken this morning and it isbefore the taking of the Public Businessthat the Hon Deputy Minister for theInterior is making the application to dothe withdrawal.
Thank you MrSpeaker. I do not intend to challenge your rulingbut I know that it would be part of therulings of Mr Speaker, which are due tobe published -- They have beenoutstanding for about eight years.
When I leave this Chair,I will see which Rt Hon Speaker willcome and overrule this order that I ammaking today. Hon Members, if we had taken anyPublic Business before the application, Iwould have sustained the applicationmade by the Hon Member for Sekondi. Hon Members, the application hasbeen made for the withdrawal of theInterception of Postal Packets andTelecommunication Messages Bill, 2015,which was laid in the House on 3 rdFebruary, 2016. It is accordinglywithdrawn and the referral that I made onthat same day to the Committee onDefence and Interior is accordinglywithdrawn. This means that there is now nothing before the Committee on Defenceand Interior and that Bill that was laid onthe 3rd February, 2016 is no longer beforethe House. That will pave the way for theCommencement of Public Business[Laughter] -- then for the taking of itemnumbered 6 on the Order Paper. Hon Members, item numbered 6 on theOrder Paper -- Presentation and FirstReading of Bills. Yes, Hon Deputy Minister for theInterior?
BILLS -- FIRST READING
Yes, Hon DeputyMajority Leader?
Mr Speaker, we would takeitem numbered 10, which is on page 4 ofthe Order Paper.
Is the Report on Motion11 ready?
Yes, Mr Speaker, the Reportis ready.
Hon Member for OldTafo, has it been distributed?
Mr Speaker, at least, Ihave a copy. I saw the Clerks distributingthem.
Very well. Hon Members, item numbered 10 onthe Order Paper. Suspension of Standing Order 80(1)
Mr Speaker, I begto move, that notwithstanding theprovisions of Standing Order 80(1), whichrequire that no Motion shall be debateduntil at least, forty-eight hours haveelapsed between the date on which noticeof the Motion is given and the date onwhich the Motion is moved, the Motionfor the adoption of the Report of theFinance Committee on the Credit FacilityAgreement between the Government ofthe Republic of Ghana and CAL Bank foran amount of eighty million United Statesdollars (US$80,000,000.00) for theprocurement of smart prepaid metres andaccessories for the Electricity Companyof Ghana (ECG) Limited may be movedtoday.
Mr Speaker, I beg tosecond the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Hon Members, itemnumber 11.
Mr Speaker, I begto move, that this Honourable Houseadopts the Report of the FinanceCommittee on the Credit FacilityAgreement between the Government ofthe Republic of Ghana and CAL Bank foran amount of eighty million United Statesdollars (US$80,000,000.00) for theprocurement of smart prepaid metres andaccessories for the Electricity Companyof Ghana (ECG) Limited. The Credit Facility Agreement betweenthe Government of the Republic of Ghanaand CAL Bank for an amount of eightymillion United States dollars (US$80,000,000.00), for the procurement of smartprepaid metres and accessories for theElectricity Company of Ghana (ECG)Limited was presented to the House bythe Hon Deputy Minister for Finance,Mr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson, on behalfof the Minister for Finance on Tuesday,21st June 2016, in accordance with article181 of the 1992 Constitution. Mr Speaker referred the request to theFinance Committee for consideration andreport in accordance with Order 169 of theStanding Orders of the House. Delibrations The Committee was assisted in itsdeliberations by the Hon Deputy Ministerfor Finance, Mr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson,and officials from the Ministry of Financeand the Electricity Company of Ghana andconsidered the referral. The Committee is grateful to the Hon Deputy Minister andofficials for attending upon it. Reference The Committee referred to thefollowing additional documents during itsdeliberations: i. The 1992 Constitution of theRepublic of Ghana ii. The Standing Orders of theParliament of Ghana iii. The Loans Act 1970 (Act 335). Background The electricity sector has beenconfronted with numerous challenges inthe recent past years mainly as a result ofshortfall in power generation. This hasadversely affected economic activity andthe general living condition of Ghanaiansover the period. The Government ofGhana, in an effort to address thechallenges facing the power sector, issupporting the sector institutions throughheavy investments to improve powergeneration, transmission and distribution. The latest generation projects thatreceived Government support include the110MW TICO Expansion, the 350 MWCenpower, the 190MW Amandi, the360MW Jacobsen, the 250MW Ameriprojects, the emergency power bargeamongst others. Transmission networkimprovements projects were alsoundertaken to improve power transmissionacross the country. The Electricity Company of Ghana(ECG) Limited and the Northern ElectricityDistribution Company (NEDCO) were alsosupported in several areas to bring aboutimprovement in the power distributionsystem. For the nation to derive the maximum benefit from these interventions,there is the need to improve collectionefficiency in the National DistributionCompany, Electricity Company of Ghana(ECG). ECG is, however, confronted withsystem inefficiency with its adverse effecton the revenue collection potentials of thecompany. There is the need to improvethe financial sustainability of ECGthrough improved revenue collection andsystem losses reduction. The intervention will also improvenetwork system reliability throughrehabilitation, expansion, upgrade as wellas network re-enforcement to make ECGmore responsive to quality customerservice delivery. In view of these, the Government ,acting through the Ministry of Financeand the Ministry of Power, intends tosupport the ECG with the sum of eightymillion United States dollars (US$80 The availability of reliable and efficientpower supply plays a significant role inthe socioeconomic development of everycountry. As part of the Government'sefforts to improve efficiency in the powervalue chain and solve problemsassociated with the billing system, theGovernment of Ghana intends to supportthe procurement pre-paid metres for ECG.This will help achieve increase cash flowfor ECG, reduce commercial losses, andeliminate indebtedness of MMDAs. Financing Terms The project is to be financed with acommercial loan from CAL Bank Limited,in the amount of US$80,000,000.00 for theprocurement of pre-paid metres forinstallation in ECG's distribution network.The terms of the facility are as follows: Facility amount -- US$80,000,000.00 Interest Rate -- 6 Months Libor + 7.5% per annum Grace period -- 1 year Repayment period -- 5 years Maturity -- 6 years Commitment Fee -- 1.00 per cent per annum on the undisbursed amount Participation Fee -- 0.50 per cent flat of facility amount Arrangement Fee -- 1.0 per cent flat of facility amount Security -- Explicit Government Guarantee
Mr Speaker, I rise to support theMotion, that this House adopts theReport of the Committee. Mr Speaker, the Electricity Companyof Ghana (ECG) has lately been in the newsfor all kinds of reasons. In fact, I wouldwant to remind Hon Members that, today is 30th June, 2016. We are expecting ourelectricity bills to be reduced tomorrowas was pronounced by the President. Mr Speaker, the problem however, isthat, in Ghana, now, the only body thatcan reduce bills is Public UtilityRegulatory Commission (PURC), eitherthrough the adjustment of the exchangerate or Parliament, through a reduction intaxes. Mr Speaker, as we speak, there is noBill before us to reduce taxes --
Hon Member, would youplease, address the Motion before us?
Mr Speaker, it is related— I support the Motion because I believewe should do so. I am stating that we areputting so much pressure on them,including trying to reduce our electricityBills which is not likely to happen becausewe have not taken the steps to do that. Therefore, we should support anyaction that would help ECG recovermoneys to pay off its debts. Mr Speaker, I would not spend toomuch time on the terms of the loan, exceptto say that, if we accept the words of theHon Minister - It is unfortunate that onlyone of about 28 local banks could makeus this offer of Libor +7.5% per annum(p.a.); That is very expensive — only oneand that happens to be a Ghanaian loanbank. Unfortunately, even the foreignbanks could not give us as a result of ourcurrent credit rating. But it is high. Givingthe nature of the action which is thelikelihood to collect more revenue, wehave to bite the bullet. Mr Speaker, we have been told thatthere are about 900,000 metres in thesystem. About 700,000 to ECG and thebalance to NED. Clearly, if we have more
Hon Member, for therecords, would you help the House to tellus the source of your information?
Mr Speaker, it waspresented to us at the Committee level andwe made copies available this morning.
Mr Speaker, in order forECG to be able to liquidate this debtpartially, this House has passed theEnergy Sector Levies Bill — if we look atthat, as of now, some moneys are beingcollected but the Government does notyet have the authority to use those fundsbecause, Parliament has not givenapproval yet. We passed it in lateDecember after the Budget. So for now,what is ECG going to rely on to pay thisGH¢3,751,757? We can only go to look atits Trade and other receivables. Mr Speaker, as of March, private peopleowe ECG about GH¢1 billion. Ministries,Departments and Agencies (MDAs) andGhana Water Company Limited owe ECGabout GH¢600 million, totalling aboutGH¢1.6 billion. Mr Speaker, the Government by law, issupposed to pay lifeline Ghana to ECG asof March -- about 317 million cedis butit has not been paid yet. That was why itis a receivable. Mr Speaker, when we passed theenergy sector levies, we also made someprovision for street light levy, whichamounted to approximately GH¢500million. Mr Speaker, in effect, the totalreceivables of ECG amounts to GH¢2.5billion, which means that if all theseinstitutions were to clear their debts, thereis no way ECG can make the payment. Infact, the gap as you see is almost GH¢1.4billion. So, there is need for ECG to getadditional revenues to liquidate this debtand then be on a path that is moresustainable. Mr Speaker, these debts do not onlyaffect these companies; it affects theentire financial system. As of today, if wedo not find a way to meet these liabilities,most of the banks would be almostbankrupt. VRA alone owes the banks overone billion Ghana cedis because ECGowes it almost one billion. That is whyeven though it is expensive, some of usthink that we should get this. Mr Speaker, all these would go towaste if we do not put in systems to makesure that this accumulation stops. Thisis because if after all the work that we do,the accumulation continues, then we havenot helped ECG. Mr Speaker, we know ECG isundergoing some form of privatisation.We are informed that about 60 companiesreplied to the request for proposals butas we speak, only about three companiesare left because of this situation that we find ourselves. I say so because, if aprivate sector person asked to come andinherit GH¢3.75 billion, they wouldwonder who is going to pay. So, it isvery important that we proceed with this.More importantly, the Ministry of Financein particular, should ensure that thisenergy service taxes that we imposed arere-fenced, so that they are used only toliquidate the debt. This is because ifthey are not, then it would be a wasteof Parliament's time. Mr Speaker, with these reasons, Iurge Parliament to adopt the Report. Mr Speaker, we are borrowing US¢80dollars from a local bank. As of now, wedo not know who the suppliers are. MrSpeaker, this House should put its footon the ground and urge ECG andGovernment to take a bold position andallow local companies to benefit from localborrowing. Mr Speaker, the foreign banks wouldnot give us the 80 million U.S dollars butwe need to generate employment locally.So, though the Government has notdecided who is going to supply it, weshould know. If I had my choice, I wouldsuggest that we should make it conditionon who is going to supply, whether theyare local or foreign. This is because theforeigners did not want to give us the loan. We would want to generateemployment. So, it is very importantbecause if we are going to borrow US¢80from CAL Bank, then turn around andgive it to somebody to import from China,how is that going to help Government? Mr Speaker, I think that the situationof ECG is very serious. Soon, we would be asked to take decisions to, as it were,allow Government to spend the moneyscollected to pay these debts. We need toadopt this Report to assist ECG, so thatall of us would be able to sleep well,knowing that this type of continuousaccumulation of debt, together with highutility bills comes to a halt. Mr Speaker, with these few words, Ithank you. Question Proposed.
Hon Member for Pru Eastthen Hon Member for New Juabeng South.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support theMotion for a number of reasons. Mr Speaker, ECG as both Memberswho contributed to the Motion havealluded to, needs major injection of cash.ECGs cash flow is challenged in terms ofits liabilities or its commitments. MrSpeaker, because this is a House ofrecord, I would want to correct a certainimpression about Government owingECG, especially, the MMDAs. While I was a Minister, I raised thisissue with the Ministry of Finance and itthreatened that if we did not stop makingthis argument, the offset -- ECG had someliabilities -- loans it had contracted in thepast that it was supposed to pay butbecause of the nature of how challengedit was with cash flow, Government hadhad to pay some of these liabilities onbehalf of ECG. Therefore, the Ministry of Finance hasalways insisted that, we present abalanced report. If we continuously harpthis to the general public that MMDAs orGovernment owes but we do not tell thewhole story but only one side of it, weare harming the Ghana State.
Mr Speaker, this loan isbeing sourced for the procurement ofsmart pre-paid metres and accessories forECG. In total, they are going to purchaseabout 60,000 pre-paid metres andaccessories. Ordinarily, Mr Speaker, I would haveopposed this loan. If we look at thereceivables that ECG Limited expects,households and businesses alone owethem about GH¢ 1 billion, and thenMMDAs and Ghana Water CompanyLimited, about GH¢ 620,000.00 --
Hon Member, that pointhas been made. Under our rules, there is arule against repetition. That point hassufficiently been made by the HonMember for Old Tafo. [Interruption.] Please proceed.
Mr Speaker, I amonly buttressing his point. Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul -- rose --
Mr Speaker, I would pleadthat --
Hon Deputy MinorityLeader, you know --
Mr Speaker, I know but Iam stating that we can vary our rules.
When the Hon RankingMember of the Committee was speaking, Iallowed him all the time he needed becausehe speaks for the Minority. So, when anyother Hon Member is trying to -- I amonly drawing his attention that he can make quick references to it but he cannotcontinue repeating that point. I am notstopping him. That is all.
Mr Speaker, apartfrom the indebtedness to ECG, we alsoknow of illegal connections. Last time,they gave a report that, in three years,they had identified about 10,000 illegalconnections. I questioned why in three years theycould identify only 10,000 illegalconnections in Ghana. We have also been told about“political metres” and there are about69,000 in the system. So, if we are taking aloan to procure 60,000 prepaid metres, thenordinarily, I would have opposed it. Butthese pre-paid metres are going toMMDAs. Now, MMDAs have budgetaryallocations, yet they do not pay theirelectricity bills -- [Interruption.] Mr Joseph Y. Chireh --rose --
Do you have a point oforder?
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, the Hon Member who ison his feet mentioned “political metres”.As far as I am aware, there is no metrecalled “political metre”, unless he has --[Laughter.] He said it and this is a House in whichwe must use correct English, particularlywhen young people are here. If they hearthis and they go and repeat it -- do wehave metres that are political? [Laughter.]
Hon Member for NewJuaben South, what do you mean by“political metres”?
Mr Speaker,“political metres” are metres shared bypoliticians. [Laughter.]
Have you shared somebefore?
Mr Speaker, no!
Have you ever sharedmetres?
No, Mr Speaker.
How do the politiciansget the metres?
Mr Speaker, theDistrict and Municipal Chief Executivesget these metres from ECG Limited andthen, they go round their communitiessharing them.
Well. I asked thisbecause throughout my 20 years as aMember of Parliament, I never sharedmetres. So, anyway --
Mr Speaker, sincethese metres are going to MMDAs whohave piled mountainous debts, I think weshould support it,but insist that theseactually go to MMDAs and not as we haveseen previously. Mr Speaker, when the Hon Member forPru East was speaking to the Motion, hekept on mentioning that ECG Limitedowes Government. At the Committee level, the HonMinister himself said that ECG Limitedowes Government only GH¢ 137 million.So, this issue about ECG Limited alsoowing Government is not totally correct. With these few words, Mr Speaker, Iwould want to support the Motion for theprocurement of these metres. Thank you.
Hon Members, thatbrings us to the end -- Mr Nitiwul -- rose --
Do you want tocontribute?
No, Mr Speaker. I cededmy place to Hon Afenyo-Markin. I gavean indication that I would speak but Iceded it to Hon Afenyo-Markin. So, youcould allow him, please?
Hon Member, you knowthat you cannot impose a Member onthe Speaker to contribute. Yes, Hon Member for Effutu, twominutes. [Laughter.] [Interruption.]Ihave started counting. Two minutes! You have the floor.
Mr Speaker, I am grateful forthis opportunity. But for the purposes of the record, Iwould want Ghanaians to know that thisHouse never approved the privatisationof ECG Limited. There was no item thatever came before this House. This isbecause it has been said out there --
Hon Member, is that theMotion before this House?
Mr Speaker, I amjust laying a foundation.
Please, you are out oforder. Relevance, please.
The Chair observes anyHon Member of this House, therefore,when the Chair is reluctant to call an HonMember, it is because he knows that thatHon Member is likely to disruptproceedings on the floor of the House.[Laughter.] But I respect your DeputyLeader. Hon Members, there is a Motion beforeus. The Motion has nothing to do withthe privatisation or otherwise of ECGLimited, yet, your first submission isabout the privatisation of ECG Limited. Then you would have to quote theportion of the Report. Please, which page of the Report, HonMember for Effutu? [Interruption.] Which part of the Report?
Mr Speaker, withthe greatest respect, I would respond toyour question.
Please, we are debatingthis Report. Hon Members, we are debating thisReport, therefore, you are entitled toquote, question and raise issues aboutany statement.
Mr Speaker, at theCommittee hearing -- Papa Owusu-Ankomah -- rose --
Please, on this occasion,it is the Hon Member for Effutu. I know you are a member of the FinanceCommittee. Which part of the Report?
Mr Speaker, youmay check paragraph 7.1; “Rationale forthe Credit Facility”. [Pause.] Mr Speaker, may I proceed? Mr Speaker, the entire paragraph --The rationale underlying this entireAgreement --
Please, you made aspecific statement about the privatisationof ECG. You said that it is in the Report. Where is “the privatisation of ECG”used in the Report? Please, would you abandon thatcourse?
Mr Speaker, Iwould justify same. Mr Speaker, with the greatest respect,the Committee noted that -- Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor -- rose --
Hon Minister forDefence, your point of order.
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, I think this is anappropriate case for a point of order. Thisis because, we all assume that there wasexpress mention of “privatisation”. Mr Speaker, if the Hon Member istalking of a context in terms of rationale;his would be different from mine. So, he should specifically answeryour question and then he can make allthe other ex cathedra statements that hewants to make.
Hon Member for Effutu,you made a specific statement and I raisedthe issue of relevance. You said that it was in the Report.What is there is a “private investor”. WhatI have seen is a “private investor”.
Mr Speaker, may Iread for you?
Mr Speaker, paragraph 7.1on page 4 of the Committee's Report isthere for every Hon Member to read -- toprivatise portions of ECG. Mr Speaker, I do not want you and theHon Member to have a banter. I just thinkthat we should leave it at that place. This is because it is very clear, and withyour permission, I beg to quote: “…Ghana had entered intoagreement with the MillenniumChallenge Corporation to privatisepart of the operations of theElectricity Company of Ghana (ECG)under a 25 year concessionagreement.” Mr Speaker, if the Hon Member madea statement and referred to it, that was thecontext within which he made thatstatement. Mr Speaker, but you are right. I just think that we can make progresswith this.
Hon Members, what isthe Motion before us? The Motion beforeus is to adopt the Committee's Report. I agree that you can quote any portionof the Committee's Report to makesubmissions; but in so doing, you mustquote properly. I have not heard any Hon Member, withregard to the Report, saying that ECG hasbeen privatised, for the Hon Member forEffutu to say that this House has notprivatised ECG. Hon Member for Effutu, you made acategorical statement.
Mr Speaker, if youhave found my earlier expressiondispleasing, I withdraw it. Mr Speaker, but to put it on record, thisReport, and I beg to quote paragraph 7.1,which reads: “The Committee noted that, Ghanahad entered into agreement with theMillennium Challenge Corporationto privatize part of the operationsof the Electricity Company of Ghana(ECG) under a 25 year concessionagreement.” Mr Speaker, all I would want to say isthat, contrary to the perception out therethat this House has approved theprivatisation of ECG, we have notapproved the privatisation of ECG. Mr Speaker, moving forward from there,I hold the view that, taking a loan for thispurpose is in the right direction. This is tothe extent that, it is going to lead to thereduction of debts and it is going to helpthe Metropolitan, Municipal and DistrictAssemblies (MMDAs) to run ratherefficiently and to do away with all thelosses that are incurred when people leavetheir gadgets unchecked and same incurcost to the Government. Mr Speaker, it is important that giventhe fact that a local bank is providing thefacility, all those local companies whichhave the capacity and the means toprovide or supply these metres, musthave equal opportunities. Mr Speaker, at the deliberation, someof these companies came up -- GhanaElectrometer, Alpha Ventures Limited,MDH Power Limited and IntelligenceMetering Systems. Mr Speaker, at least,these were some of the companies thatwe came to know, that they have thecapacity.
Hon Chairman of theCommittee, do you want to wind up?[Pause.] Question put and Motion agreed to.
Hon Members, theconsequential Resolution.
Mr Speaker, I wouldwant to crave your indulgence and thatof the House for the Hon Deputy Ministerfor Finance to do this on behalf of theHon Minister for Finance.
Hon Deputy Minister?
Mr Speaker, I beg tosecond the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved Accordingly.
Mr Speaker, we wouldtake item numbered 13 on page 5 of theOrder Paper.
Hon Members, is theReport ready?
Mr Speaker, yes; itwas distributed yesterday.
Very well. Hon Members, item numbered 13 onthe Order Paper -- Hon Chairman of theCommittee?
Mr Speaker, Ibeg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Hon Members, itemnumber 14 on the Order Paper. Term Facility Agreement betweenGovernment of Ghana and DeutscheBank S. A. - Banco Alemao etc. for theFinancing of Tranche 2 of Phase I of theTurnkey Construction
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, that this Honourable House adoptsthe Report of the Finance Committee onthe Term Facility Agreement between theGovernment of the Republic of Ghana andDeutsche Bank S.A. - Banco Alemão, SaoPaulo and Deutsche Bank, AG, Dubai(DIFC) Branch (as Mandated LeadArrangers) and Deutsche Bank AG, New York Branch (as Agent and OriginalLender) for an amount of ninety-sevenmillion, four hundred and fifty ThousandUnited States dollars (US$97,450,000.00)for the Financing of Tranche 2 of Phase Iof the Turnkey Construction andRedevelopment of the Kumasi CentralMarket and Associated Infrastructure. Mr Speaker, I present your Committee'sReport. Introduction The request for approval of the TermFacility Agreement between theGovernment of the Republic of Ghana andDeutche Bank S.A. - Banco Alemao, SaoPaulo and Deutche Bank AG, Dubai(DIFC) Branch (as Mandated LeadArrangers) and Deutche Bank AG, NewYork Branch (as Agent and originalLender) or an Amount of ninety-sevenmillion, four hundred and fifty thousandUnited States dollars (US$97,450,000.00)for the Financing of Tranche 2 of Phase Iof the Turnkey Construction andRedevelopment of the Kumasi CentralMarket and Associated Infrastructure)was presented to the House on behalf ofthe Hon Minister for Finance by the HonDeputy Minister for Finance, Mr CassielAto Baah Forson on Tuesday, 21st June,2016 in accordance with article 181 of the1992 Constitution. Mr Speaker referred the request to theFinance Committee for consideration andreport in accordance with Order 169 of theStanding Orders of the House. The Hon Minister for LocalGovernment and Rural Development,Alhaji Collins Dauda, Hon Deputy
The Committee is grateful to the HonMinister, the Deputy Minister, Metro-politan Chief Executive and the technicalteam for the assistance. Reference The following served as additionalreference documents during the Com-mittee deliberations: The 1992 Constitution of Ghana The Standing Orders of theParliament of Ghana The Loans Act, 1970 (Act 335) Background Parliament may recall that Cabinet andParliament on 14th and 21st July, 2014respectively, approved the CommercialContract for Phase 1 of the “Modernisa-tion of Kumasi Central Market and KejetiaInfrastructure project for an amount oftwo hundred and fifty nine million, fourhundred and twenty-five- thousandUnited States dollars (US$259,425,000.00). Approval was also given for thefinancing of first part of Phase I of theCommercial Contract in the amount of onehundred and seventy-two million, five hundredand twelve thousand, five hundred UnitedStates dollars (US$172,512,500.00). This request in the amount of ninety-seven million, four hundred and fiftythousand US dollars (US$97,450,000.00)is needed for the financing of the secondpart of the Phase 1 of the project.
Scope of Works for Phase 1 The first phase of the project involvesthe provision of several infrastructure inthe project neighbourhood. These includeroad works, transport system, water,power distribution, drainage systems,sewer collection and disposal, andcommunity facilities such as health centre,day care centre, police station, firedetection and combat system and clinic.The major components of the projectinclude: General infrastructure a. Road and transport b. Drainage system c. Energy distribution d. Sewer collection e. Water supply f. Projects and studies g. Social programmes h. Demolition and transport Market Infrastructure a. Parking lot b. Transport terminal c. Aerial walkways d. Community facilities (partial) Market Construction a. Technical areas b. Stalls and circulation c. Metallic roofing Terms and Conditions of the Facility The financing terms of the loan facility is summarised below: Facility amount -- US$97,450,000.00 Grace period -- 1 year Repayment -- 4 years Tenor -- 5 years Interest rate -- Libor + 5.50 per cent per annum Commitment fee -- 1.25 per cent per annum Arrangement fee -- 1.50 per cent flat Structuring fee -- 0.50 per cent flat Risk management -- 2.00 per cent per annum. Observations Terms and conditions of the Facility The Committee noted that though theFacility for the financing of the first partof Phase I was a standard export creditfacility, the financing of the second partwhich is being provided by DeutscheBank and other financial institutions is acommercial facility. It was explained thatdue to economic challenges beingexperience by the lending countriesparticularly, Brazil, it was difficult to get aGovernment to Government facility whichis ordinarily cheaper. It was however,added that the facility is relativelycompetitive considering the terms of theother available facilities considered by theMinistry. Status report of Phase 1 financing Given the status report of the project,the Hon Minister for Local Governmentand Rural Development informed theCommittee that the redevelopment of theCentral Market has been on-going withthe following as the update of worksdone. The social work, technical services,tenant registration, site survey and geo-reference have been completed. Works onvarious market infrastructure such asdrainage, sewage, backfill, rock fill of theground floor and roof installation havecommenced in earnest. The contractor has also completedworks at the “Race course” which wouldtemporarily accommodate traders whoused to operate at the Kejetia terminal.About 340 persons (of whom 305 workdirectly on site activities) are engaged inthe various construction activities.Additional hands would be employedwhen the workload increases (as indicatedin the work schedule) in the future. Regarding the completion date the HonMinister indicated that, part of the shopswould be ready for occupancy by the endof October, 2016 with the entire projectbeing completed by December, 2017. Inall, a total of eight thousand (8,000) shopsare expected to be built upon completionof the Phase I. The price per shop ishowever, yet to be determined. The Loan Amount and the actual amountrequired for the completion of theTranche II The Committee noted that though theloan amount to which approval is beingsought is ninety-seven million, fourhundred and fifty thousand United Statesdollars (US$97,450,000.00) the actualamount required for the completion ofworks under the Phase I is eighty-sixmillion, nine hundred and twelvethousand, five hundred United Statesdollars (US$86,912,500.00). That is the total project cost of twohundred and fifty-nine million, fourhundred and twenty-five thousand UnitedStates dollars (US$259,425,000.00) less part1 financing amount of one hundred andseventy-two million, five hundred andtwelve thousand, five hundred Unitedstates dollars (US$172,512,500.00). Thedifference of an amount of US$10,537,500.00, the Committee was informed isto cater for insurance premium on the firstloan facility of US$172,512,500.00 approvedby Parliament. Subsidiary (on-lending) agreementbetween Government and KumasiMetropolitan Assembly (KMA) The Committee was informed that theMinistry of Finance on behalf ofGovernment will amend the on-lendingagreement signed with MetropolitanAssembly on 22nd September, 2014, toaccommodate the additional amount. Theamended agreement will subsequently bepresented to Parliament for approval.
Mr Speaker, the first facilitywas US$172,512,500.00, which includes aninsurance of about US$10,537,500.00. Ifwe take that US$10,537,500.00 from theUS$172,512,500.00, we would get a figure,and if we subtract that figure from theUS$259,425,000.00, which is a contractamount, we will arrive at the US$96. But ifwe do not subtract the US$10,537,500.00from the US$172,512,500.00, then we willbe talking about the US$86,912,500.00 asthe amount needed to complete theproject.
Mr Speaker, that iswhere the confusion is. The first part is aBrazilian Export-Import Guarantee and thetotal amount of US$172,512,500.00 hasbeen disbursed. The US$162million andUS$10,537,500.00 goes to the insuranceagency finito. Mr Speaker, the contract ofUS$259,425,000.00, we need US$97,450,000.00to complete it, so that the impression is notgiven that only US$86,912,500.00 isneeded. I think that is the clarification Iam seeking, so that we are clear in ourminds. Mr Speaker, fortunately, we have theengineer and the Mayor himself there,so, the explanation as to where they areand given the information we were given,it appears that once this loan is disbursedby October, 2016, I think the first phasewould be completed. Mr Speaker, those of us who are HonMembers of Parliament from Kumasi,we are under severe pressure to provideinformation on the status of the project.So, we want more information on theproject. We think that the informationappears -- Mr Speaker, the only problem is thatGovernment has run into the additionalpremium which we are paying for goingcommercial. The risk management fee oftwo per cent is quite high but it is as aresult of the situation we find ourselvesin. So, the banks have priced this thingand the sooner we got back our creditrating and so on, the cheaper the riskmanagement fee would get to. Given thechoice that the situation occurring in Brazilis such that it is difficult for theGovernment to get another exportguarantee; they have had to gocommercial to procure this facility tocomplete the project. Mr Speaker, otherwise, I urge HonMembers to support the Motion. Question Proposed. Dr Matthew O. Prempeh --rose --
You have to be on yourfeet to catch the Speaker's -- Please.
Mr Speaker, I beg to support the Motion that Parliamentpasses this Loan Agreement. I wouldwant to bring to the attention of theHouse, that there are some issuesemanating around this constructionproject, that the Executive arm ofGovernment should take serious. Mr Speaker, now in Kumasi, people aremaking all sorts of allegations againstGovernment officials and whoever theycan sight as collecting moneys on behalfof the contractors or the executors of theproject with no basis. Mr Speaker, on page 5, paragraph 3,the last sentence; “price per shop ishowever, yet to be determined.” Mr Speaker, there are nearly 21,000applications that have gone. There areabout 8,000 shops that are going to bebuilt and there is a resettlement of thosewho were in Kejetia, as part of the phase Iand part one of the Central Market to berelocated in the empty stores after theKejetia resettlement. How could thereeven be an entertainment of applicationsto 21,000 when the project has notfinished? Mr Speaker, that is creating animpression --
Where did you getyour figure of 21,000 from?
Mr Speaker, they toldthe Committee.
I am only asking youwhere you got your figure from. Areyou a member of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I was a friendto the Committee and I am still a friend.[Interruption] -- Who says I was notthere?
Mr Speaker, the HonMember was not at the Committee meetingso, he cannot claim to be a friend of theCommittee.
But he said he was afriend of the Committee.
Mr Speaker, at that meeting,he was not there.
Yes, Hon Member?
I thank the Rt HonSpeaker, that the Hon Chairman did notget up to dispute my 21,000 applications. Mr Speaker, if the project has not beenfinished even in the first phase and thereare 21,000 applications, it creates theimpression that whatever is going on inKumasi, somebody wants to takesomebody's money. That is why I said thatthere were issues surrounding thiscontract, which must be managed well. The Hon Majority Chief Whip issuffering a serious backlash in hisconstituency because of these allega-tions. So, the executors of the projectshould let the public in Kumasi know thatthe stores are not yet for assignment. Untilthey finish with the construction ofphase one, nobody should pay anymoneys to anybody, so that we wouldhave peace in Kumasi. We do not haveto wait for these rumours to turn intodemonstrations and for demonstrations toturn into chaos before we act. We should act expeditiously. Everybodyshould support this loan because, it wouldhelp Hon Muntaka's constituency, and itwould help everybody. [Interruption] --Mr Speaker, Kejetia is part of my consti- tuency and so, everybody shouldsupport it. Question put and Motion agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to secondthe Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Yes, Hon Majority ChiefWhip?
Thank you verymuch, Mr Speaker --
Mr First Deputy Speakerto take the Chair.
Mr Speaker, we wouldtake the Ghana Deposit Protection Bill,2015. We were left with a few clauses --
Mr Speaker, itemnumbered 22 on page 26 of the OrderPaper. We were left with some few clauses.
Hon Members, I havehad some discussion with the HonMember for Sekondi about clause 141. So,if he is here, he would help to resolve -- There are only two clauses, then wecould lay this matter to rest. It has beenon the Order Paper for some time. First Deputy Speaker to take the Chair.
MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
Yes, HonMajority Chief Whip?
Thank you, MrSpeaker. Mr Speaker, Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah has stepped out and I know hewould be back because his things arethere. So, while we wait for him, we wouldtake item numbered 22, that is the GhanaDeposit Protection Bill, 2015 and it is onpage 26 of the Order Paper. We are leftwith some few clauses.
HonMembers, item numbered 22 on the OrderPaper -- Ghana Deposit Protection Bill,2015 at the Consideration Stage.
BILLS -- CONSIDERATION STAGE
HonMembers, I believe we are at clause 13. Isthat right? Chairman of the Committee (MrJames K. Avedzi) Mr Speaker, we had adiscussion on clause 13, so, I would wantto propose a further amendment.
Very well.Go ahead. Clause 13 -- Reserve Fund
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,that clause 13, subclause (1) delete andinsert the following: “(1) The Corporation shall establishand operate a Reserve Fund intowhich the Corporation shalltransfer its operational results.” Mr Speaker, what we have on the OrderPaper, we are breaking the insertion inclause 13 into two and we would send onepart into Interpretation. Therefore, thereplacement is what I would read now andthat is from line (1) to line (3) and we wouldstop at “results”. But before “results”, wewould insert after “transfer” “itsoperational”. So, the new rendition would read: Mr Speaker, with the rest, when we getto the Interpretation column, we wouldthen define “operational results” and therest of the words here would define that.When we get there, I would do that aswell.
So, for now,you are ending at the word “results”?
Mr Speaker, I am ending atthe word “results” but before “results”we would insert “its operational”. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 13, subclause (2), paragraph(b), delete. Mr Speaker, in view of what we haveexplained, we do not need to have thosesubclauses.
Very well. So, now, we are talking aboutparagraph (b) of subclause (2)? Very well. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 13 subclause (2), paragraph (c),delete. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 13, subclause (3), delete. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 13 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
HonMembers, I have been instructed that wewould have to move on to clause 21. Isthat right, Hon Chairman of theCommittee?
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Very well.In that case, we will move on to clause21 then. Clause 21 -- Coverage Limits
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 21, subclause (9), delete. Mr Speaker, the debate is to continueon clause 21, subclause (9), which is beingdeleted. The issue was raised by the Hon PapaOwusu Ankomah in terms of the use ofthe Legislative Instrument to amend thesubstantive Act. But here, we are deletingit. So, I believe it is in order. That is whywe are deleting the subclause (9). It meanswe could carry on with the amendments.
HonMember for Sekondi, can I hear from you?
Mr Speaker, Isupport the amendment becausesubclause (9) seeks to give power to --so that by Legislative Instrument,substantive part of the Act could be amended. I believe that is wrong, and it issomething that we should discourage inthis House. If the Corporation believesthat they have to revise the coverage limit,they should come by a substantiveamendment to the Act. This is because in clause 8, they aregiven the power to do so, and they couldcome by an amendment to do so. That iswhy I am supporting this amendment bythe Hon Chairman of the Committee.
Yes, HonRanking Member of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, furthermore,I believe this House has taken a decisionon this matter so this should beconsequential. We already took a decisionon an earlier date.
Very well. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Subclause(9) of clause 21 is accordingly deleted. Clause 21 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
HonMembers, clause 55. Clause 55 -- Interpretation
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 55, “interpretation of initialpremium”, line 1, delete “one-time” andinsert “one-off”
What is therationale behind this?
Mr Speaker, the issue aboutpayment of premium is that, the initialpremium is a one-off premium and not one-time premium. It is a one-off premium thatwould be paid by the banks or specialdeposit-taking institutions. It is not “one-time”.
Mr Speaker, Isupport this amendment. In fact, theexpression “one-time” is very dangerous.And “one-off” explains it better. This isbecause it is the same as -- Mr Speaker, you would recall thatduring your childhood, you had “onceand no more”. As for using “one-time”, aperson might get himself into problems.We all know of statements made about“one-time” and the bad luck it has broughtto some people. So I support theamendment.
HonMembers, I would put the Question. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, the next one isa repetition, so I would skip it and go toitem 22 (viii).
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 55, add the following newinterpretation: “next friend” means a person whoacts on behalf of another personwho has no legal capacity to act onhis or her own behalf under this Act” So, Mr Speaker, we changed the “not”to “no”.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 55 add the following newinterpretation: “Main asset” includes coreassets such as cash, Treasury Bills and 1. 30 p.m. other short-term investments of Fund Aand B other than investment for otheroperational purposes”.
Very well. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 55, interpretation of “probleminstitution” delete “problem institution”and insert “distressed financialinstitution”. Mr Speaker, the interpretation is thesame. The other portion is the referencemade to the Banks and SpecialisedDeposit-Taking Institutions Act, that weshould delete “Act 2015 (Act …) but rathermake reference to the new definition, whichwould read: “Distressed financial institution”means an institution that is subjectto remedial measures, promptcorrective measures involvingAdministration or Receivership asspecified in the relevant law relatingto Banks and Special Deposit-Taking Institutions”.
HonChairman, I am at a loss. I thought youwere dealing with “xi”.
Mr Speaker, let me finishwith that one then I come back to the newamendment.
Mr Speaker, the lastpart of his amendment is consequential.We have taken care of it earlier. So we donot need to go and -- Otherwise, we mayuse a word here that may not be how itwas decided. So Mr Speaker, if you couldgive directives that wherever those things appear, we should replace them. That way,we would be safe.
If Iunderstand you rightly, you are asking usto delete “problem institution” and in itsplace, insert “distress financialinstitution”. Is that right?
Mr Speaker, Isupport the amendment in principle but Ithink the formulation is wrong. We delete“problem” and insert “distress financial”.This whole idea of deleting the entirewords and substituting new words withsome or the tail end having that sameword, I do not think is proper. So the amendment should be delete“problem” and insert “distressedfinancial”. I even have a problem with“delete” and “insert”. It should be“substitute”. That is the properexpression. I do not know how he wouldinterpret it in Ewe.
HonChairman, do you follow the point he ismaking?
Mr Speaker, it is the stylebeing used. Whether we delete “problem”and substitute it with “distressedfinancial” or we just say delete “probleminstitution” and substitute with“distressed financial institution”. It is amatter of style. It makes it simpler to followthan his style. So he should bear with me. Question put amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 55 -- add the following newinterpretation: “reconstruction” means a completeoverhaul of the capital of adistressed company to save thecompany from liquidation and to enable the company to continue asa growing concern by removal ofthe burden of immediate debt,attraction of additional capital andcreation of a viable financialstructure.” Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 55, add the following newinterpretation: “scheme of arrangement” meansany change in the rights andliabilities of members, debentureholders or creditors of debentureholders and creditors or in theRegulations of a company”. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 55, Interpretation of “smalldepositor”, line 1, delete “to be a smalldepositor”.
“Small depositor” means a personwho has a level of accountdetermined by the Board.” Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 55, interpretation of “supervisoryinstructions”, line 2 to 4, delete “basedon adopted examination methodologiesand include risk rating of the bank orspecialised deposit-taking institution;and”.
“Supervisory instructions” meansthe outcome of an assessment of abank or specialised deposit-takinginstitution”.
Mr Speaker, the HonChairman should be adding a newinterpretation of clause 55 before you putthe Question.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 55 -- add the following newinterpretation: “Operational result means balanceavailable to the corporation afterpaying for recurrent expenditure ofthe corporation and satisfying anyprovision determined by the Boardin respect of depreciation of assetsand other contingencies. Mr Speaker, I would make it availableto the Table Office.
Very well. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 55 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 56 -- Transitional provisions
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 56 subclause (2), line 3, delete “13”and insert “14”. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 56 subclause (3), paragraph (a),delete and insert “distressed financialinstitution”. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 56 subclause (5), line 4, delete “six”and insert “twelve”.
Can youexplain why you are doing this?
Mr Speaker, the six monthshere is considered to be short, so, we areincreasing it to one year. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 56, subclause (6), line 3, after “shall”insert “undertake a mandatory merger oramalgamation with stronger institutionsor”
“A bank or specialised deposit-taking institution that does notcomply with the standards requiredunder this Act by the time specifiedin subsection (5) shall undertake amandatory merger or amalgamationwith stronger institution or beclosed down by the Bank ofGhana”.
Mr Speaker,instead of “stronger institutions”, itshould be “a stronger institution”, so thatit would read. “a bank or specialiseddeposit-taking institution that does notcomply with the standards required underthis Act by the time specified in subsection5 shall undertake a mandatory merger oramalgamation with a stronger institution.”
But theyhave used the plural here with regard tothe word “institutions”. So what do wedo?
“with astronger institution”.
Are youmerging with just one institution or youhave the right to merge --
It could bemore. If we say “stronger institutions”,then probably it cannot merge with one,but the singular would include the pluralin this context.
Mr Speaker, yes, that iscorrect. I agree to the proposedamendment by the Hon Member.
Very well. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 56, subclause (7), line 1, delete “Aninsured bank or specialised deposit-takinginstitution” and insert “A member of theScheme”. That is, a member of the scheme shallpay the required initial premium. If it is abank or specialised deposit-takinginstitution and it is not a member of thescheme it might not be asked to pay thepremium, so a member of the schemereplaces an insured bank or specialiseddeposit-taking institution. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 56 -- subclause (8), line 1, delete“(1)” and insert “(7)” and in line 2, “(15)”and insert”(16)”. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 56 -- subclause (9), delete Mr Speaker, the Committee did notthink that it is proper for the Governor to be acting on behalf or until the Board isappointed. So, we are proposing acomplete deletion of subclause 9. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 56 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. The Long Title ordered to stand partof the Bill.
HonMembers, this brings us to the end of theConsideration of the Ghana DepositProtection Bill, 2015 for now. The Hon Second Deputy Speaker totake over. Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, we haveagreed to take item 20 on page 9 of theOrder Paper.
Very well. Hon Members, the Ghana InternationalTrade Commission Bill, 2014 at theConsideration Stage. The Hon Second Deputy Speaker totake the Chair. Very well. Hon Chairman of the Committee, couldyou guide us? Did we get to clause 37?
BILLS -- CONSIDERATION STAGE
MrSpeaker, I beg to move, clause 37 -subclause (5), line 2, delete”take the formof mediation, arbitration” and insert thefollowing: “may be by procedures under theAlternative Dispute Resolution Act,2010 (Act 798)”. Yesterday, we were concerned aboutwhether to apply procedures or to gostraight into adopting the alternativedispute resolution, but here we see thatwe could apply the procedures.
Myunderstanding of this whole thing is that,when it comes to Alternative DisputeResolution (ADR), there is no compulsion.It is voluntary. So, probably, we need tolook at it, so that we do not make amistake of making it compulsory whileunder the Act itself it is not compulsory. Yes, Hon Minister?
MrSpeaker, the point is this. When we lookat the object clause of the Bill, it provides,among other things, the functions of theCommission, includes settling --disputesthe object clause, clause 3 (1) (h): “settle disputes between importersand the customs division of theGhana Revenue Authority inrespect of the Classification andvaluation of products that areimported.” In other words, they have a functionthat allows them under certaincircumstances -- Of course, it means thatboth the Ghana Revenue Authority andthe importer must want to present theirdispute for settlement to the GhanaInternational Trade Commission. The import of clause 37 (5) and theamendment we are trying to introduce isthat, when such a matter is brought before the International Trade Commission inorder to have it settled through mediationor arbitration, we should refer specificallyto the Alternative Dispute Resolution Act(ADR) and its procedures as theprocedures that the Commission wouldadopt in dealing with this matter. That is the import of this amendmentthat we want to have considered by theHouse.
Very well.In that light, I am on all fours with you.So, I will put the Question -- Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
I understand.- I do notknow whether you settled this matter withthe Rt Hon Speaker, because theunderstanding was, arbitration isvoluntary. We cannot compel somebodyto go there. So, if that aspect wassettled then we can go ahead, becausethat is what the concern was.
That is whyshe is saying that the import of this is toensure that when it comes to that kind ofissue we would comply with theprocedures in the Alternative DisputeResolution Act. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 37-- subclause (6), delete Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 37 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 38 -- Interim order ofCommission.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 38, subclause (1), lines 1and 2, delete “the value of the productsfor custom purposes” and insert “adispute under clause 36”. So the new rendition would read: “the Commission may before thedetermination of a dispute underclause 36 make an interim order inrelation to…”
Mr Speaker, I would wanta further amendment to replace “clause”with “section”. So, the rendition will be: “The Commission may, before thedetermination of a dispute make aninterim order in relation to a disputeunder section 36”. The reason is that once you say so,you are referring to section 36, which,when you are making amendments, mustrefer to “section” and not “clause”.
HonChairman of the Committee, how do yourespond to that?
Mr Speaker, 36 is a clause.
It is a section.
Mr Speaker, we agree.
You haveno objection to that?
We have no objection.
Very well. Hon Members, in that case, I will putthe Question with regard to the proposedamendment and its further amendment. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Yes, HonChairman of the Committee. The Second Deputy Speaker to takethe Chair.
MR SECOND DEPUTY SPEAKER
Yes, HonChairman, clause 38.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 38, subclause (1), paragraph(a), line 2, delete “the value of the productsfor custom purposes” and insert“dispute”. The new rendition will read: “The Commission may…”
I amwaiting for you to read the new rendition. Have you read the new rendition?
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Have youread the full sentence? [Pause.] So, take the next one as well. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, the way theyhave said it, it will not make a lot of sense.This is because, it will read: “The Commission may, before thedetermination of a dispute undersection 36, make an interim order inrelation to…” Is that what you are looking at?
No! It is the next one.
Mr Speaker, we are dealingwith clause 38 (1) (a), and the amendmentthat we are proposing will be as follows:
No, Mr Speaker.
Just ofthe dispute?
So, we will take away: “…the value of the products forcustoms purposes”. So, we will just say, “…the determinationof the dispute.”
HonDeputy Minority Leader, I think therendition being suggested is correct. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 38 subclause (1), paragraph(c), line 2, delete “value of the products”and insert “dispute” Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 38 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 39 -- Decision of theCommission
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 39 headnote, delete “Decision” andinsert “Notices and Decisions” Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 39 subclause (2), line 3, after“Commission”, insert “and state thereasons for the decision”. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 39 subclause (4), line 1, after“decision”, insert “and the decision of theCommission” Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 39 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 40 to 44 ordered to stand partof the Bill. Clause 45 -- Cease and desist order.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 45subclause (1), line 1, delete “ofproducts” Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 45 subclause (3), line 1, delete “inwriting notify the importer of its intention”and insert the following: “notify theimporter in writing of the intention of theCommission”. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 45 as amended ordered to standpart of the bill.
HonMembers, in view of the state of Businessin the House, I direct that the House Sits beyond the prescribed period, inaccordance with Standing Order 40 (3) Clause 46 -- Immunity of members ofthe Commission.
Did I hear“immunity”? An immunity clause in a Bill? [Pause.] Hon Members, let us make furtherconsultations on this. An immunity clause in a Bill? So, isthere a law that makes some Ghanaiansabove the law? Members of Parliament are not abovethe law. The immunity clauses are thosethat are provided in the transitionalprovision and also the ones that dealswith the Executive. In fact, some argue that even the VicePresident is not covered by theConstitutional provision and then thissprings up?
Mr Speaker, I appreciateyour concerns, but I think we should lookat what the intendment of this provisionis supposed to be. The idea is that, for members of theCommission, who are sitting and takingdecisions in respect of matters that wouldhave significant financial implications,especially, whether we were talking aboutimposing additional duties, as a result ofa finding that products have beendumped on our market, or as a result of adecision on valuation and classification,which may result in higher duties payablethan would otherwise be the case, whatwe would want to do, is to protect themembers of the Commission, who have taken a decision, based on the facts beforethem from now being pursued by animporter, either through criminal or civilproceedings, because they have incurredsome financial loss. I think that the intendment is not meantto, as it were, create a situation, wherethey would not take legal responsibilityfor the decision. But if they have taken adecision in good faith, based on theinformation made available to them, itwould be a considerable nuisance, if theyare then taken on subsequently, by animporter. If there is an action, the action is to bebrought against the Commission and notany of its members.
Yourexplanation is reasonable, but let us finda way of couching the reasonableexplanation into legal language, andreplace this clause. This is because, for instance, if I takecriminal liability, how can we oust thejurisdiction of the article 88 office holder-- The Attorney-General and Minister forJustice from commencing a criminal actionagainst a member of the Commission? Touch Wood, a member of theCommission commits a criminal act, if theperformer, for example, takes a bribe, it is acriminal act. Even if you say “civil”, eventhough my instincts are against it, I amsure that with your powers of persuasionin advocacy, you may lead me either tothe promise land or would lead me astray,but you would lead me all the same. But criminal? I refuse to go. You cannotconvince me. Yes, Lawyer?
Mr Speaker, I am not aLawyer, but the proposal to consider alsois to indemnify --
Let yourHon Minister speak.
Mr Speaker, I would takeguidance from the Chair, and therefore,say that we meant to state that a memberof the Commission shall enjoy immunityfrom civil liability.
But thatwas a red herring I threw.
Mr Speaker, no; it is not.
I wantedyou to couch that heading --
I understand where you arecoming from, and I can also understandyour concerns about criminal liability,because criminal action is taken by theState, and as you pointed out, it is in asituation where perhaps, they are accusedof having done something. There is reasonable evidence tosupport a prosecution. How can we, asHon Members of Parliament, oust thejurisdiction of the court in thosecircumstances? But you also understoodthe intendment of what I was trying toput across what this section wants to do. What this section wants to do, is toprevent frivolous prosecutions, beingbrought against members of theCommission, for performing theirprofessional functions.
Peopleharassing them to a situation that theyare afraid of their own shadows. Theycannot take decisions because they cameto serve the public interest and now, they would always be in court for their personalcapacity. So, that is what you would want us toget. I am on all fours with you, but I wouldwant to suggest, if you do not mind --because even if we complete it today, wewould not take the Third Reading today.So, bearing that in mind, where is theRanking Member? I would ask the Deputy MinorityLeader -- I hear that he is doingsomething somewhere else. Hon Adwoa Safo, are you a member ofthe Trade Committee? But I would ask the Deputy MinorityLeader to bring it to the attention of theRanking Member, and I would plead withthe Hon Minister and the Chairman, thatwe have finished everything, butreconsider this a little. We have reached the stage where wehave agreed that, as far as criminal liabilityis concerned, we cannot oust thejurisdiction of the court, not the powersof the Attorney -General that create it. The Attorney-General and Minister forJustice would be able to proceed -- infact, even the Judges who have immunity,once that procedure is gone through andtheir immunity is taken away, theAttorney-General can prosecute, if hedecides to do so. Hon Minister, let us couch it in amanner that your intention, which is alsomy intention and the intention of theHouse, is clear. People cannot harassthem, but it does not also seem as if theycan do whatever they would want to doat the same time. Hon Minister, are you rememberingyour days as a Judge or as a Chairman of--
Mr Speaker, I was goingto ask the Chairman of the Committee, whythere was that provision. This is becauseeven the police, if they do their lawfulduty in curtailing any violence or securitymatters, and there is an action, they faceservice enquiry to determine theircriminality. Maybe, they have a cause why thatclause was brought in. Otherwise, in allsystems, criminal liability is always there.So, they have a reason they are trying totake this one away. When the police is sent on lawful duty,and something happens, they are askedto go and face civil prosecution. So, Iwould like to know why it is that way,otherwise, I am tempted to go with MrSpeaker.
Before Iask them to answer, I saw an Hon Memberon her feet.
MrSpeaker, I am adverting your mind to thefact that, it is past 2.00 p.m., so, I wouldlike to know whether there is going to bean extended Sitting.
I havedone that. Thank you very much, Hon Member.
Mr Speaker, we would takea cue from the Chair, and request that thisprovision be stood down. We wouldconsult and come up with a betterformation.
Thankyou very much, Hon Minister. It is a pleasure doing business withyou. You would take a cue from the Chair-- It is a pleasure. So, we would stand down clause 46. Clause 47 -- Collaboration withAuthorities
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 47, subclause (1), line 3,delete “its functions” and insert “thefunctions of the Commission”.
Hon SethAcheampong, is there anything youwanted to say?
No, Mr Speaker. I was just trying to sit down when Icaught your eye.
But youwere on your feet for quite some time. Ithought you wanted to catch my eye. We are on clause 47 -- Is that your seat?
Mr Speaker, thetruth is that, I had wanted to meet withthe Hon Chairman for the FinanceCommittee in the Division Room. Thatwas why I stood up. I am very sorry. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 47, subclause (3), paragraph(b), delete and insert the following: “(b) assign any of the officers oremployees of the Governmentdepartment or agency to assist theCommission in the performance ofthe functions of the Commission.”
Is thisright? “assign any of the officers of employees of the Government department”.Which Government department? Whenyou say “the Government department”, areyou referring to a particular Governmentdepartment or you are talking aboutGovernment or its departments andagencies? Is the English correct? When Isay “the Government department”, I mustbe referring to a specific Governmentdepartment. What Government departmentare you referring to?
Mr Speaker, I am inclinedto go along with you because thisquestion of the article “the” --
Now,you are agreeing with me too much.
We have had a debatehere on the use of the article and the --
Do notworry. I direct that the draftsperson looksat it.
I would prefer “Govern-ment department” not “the Governmentdepartment”.
With “theGovernment Department”, I wonderedwhether you were talking about aparticular Government department.
Mr Speaker, if you refer tothe whole of clause 47 (3), the list startsfrom the beginning. It says: “For the purposes of subsection (1),a Government department oragency shall on request made bythe Commission . . .” So, we are referring to a particularGovernment department to which theCommission has made the request.
Thankyou very much. When you read it together, then youfind “the Government department” whichhas made that request. So, it is “theGovernment Department” which made therequest without saying “which made therequest”. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 47 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 48 -- Disclosure of confidentialinformation.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 48, subclause (6), delete.
Why areyou deleting it?
This is for the purposeof clarity. It is easier to locate the definitionin the clause on interpretation.
So, if welook there, we would take it there. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 48 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 49 ordered to stand part of theBill. Clause 50 -- Publication of notices
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 50, headnote, after “of”insert “decisions and”. It would read “Publication of decisionsand notices.”
Whyshould it read that? You said it shouldread “Publication of decisions andnotices”? Why should it read like that?
The Commission willpublish the notices but that should alsoinclude the decisions.
Mr Speaker, hewants to amend the headnote by adding“decisions and” after “of”. So, the newrendition will be: “Publication of decisionsand notices.”
Mr Speaker, unless I amgetting it wrong, in respect of the headnote, if we are to insert “decisions” after“of” as “Papa” has already said -- MrSpeaker, if you read --
The Hon Member forSekondi. I am sorry, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, if you read the details ofthe clause itself, it does not talk aboutdecisions. So, I find it difficult why weare adding “decisions” to the headnote.It reads: “Where the Commission is requiredto publish a notice under this Actor the Regulations, the Commissionshall publish the notice in theGazette” [Interruption] The subsequentamendment? Very well.
HonAdwoa Safo, what provision in theStanding Orders deals with how we shouldaddress our Hon Colleagues? Can youhelp us? It is just for the education of allof us. I will put the Question while youlook for the provision. You will read it tous soon. Do not relent on your effort. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 50, line 1, after “notice”insert “or decision” and in line 2, after“notice” insert “or the decision”. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 50 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
HonAdwoa Safo, I am waiting for you to tellus. Mr Nitiwul -- rose --
HonNitiwul, are you her lawyer?
No, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, once the Hon Memberdoes not take offence to a name given tohim, I believe that you would gloss overit.
I wantedall of us, including myself to be educatedbut if you say that I should gloss over it,who am I to disagree with you? The Hon Member for Sekondi thinksthere is a serious matter; it should not beglossed over. He is looking at his StandingOrders.
Mr Speaker,indeed, the Standing Orders state howHon Members should be addressed. Itsays that the Hon Member should beaddressed by the expression, “HonMember for” or “Hon Minister for”. The only reason being that, it makes itimpersonal. The likelihood of referring toHon Members by names may tend to makestatements made with reference to HonMembers be considered somehowpersonal. I believe there is a good reasonfor it. I know that over time, we haveglossed over it.
“Hon Papa”That was how Rt Hon Bamford-Addo --she -- and at times, I had to correct her.
HonMember for Sekondi, what is the correctname? Is it not “Papa”?
I know that—Mr Speaker, this is for purposes of recordand not for you.
My name is“Papa Owusu-Ankomah.”
Thankyou very much. Yes, Hon Adwoa Safo?
Thank you Mr Speaker. I have taken a cue from your goodselfand from the Hon Member for Sekondi.You are asking for the Standing Orders?
It is Order 86 in the StandingOrders, specifically Order 86 (3).
Thankyou very much.
So, I would always be guidedaccordingly.
And allof us as well. Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee,clause 51? It is item numbered xvi. Am Icorrect?
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 51, subclause (1), paragraph(b), line 2, delete “fails” and insert“refuses”.
So, itreads: “A person refuses…” fails andrefuses? Anyway, I will not argue withit. I will just put the Question. I find it alittle curious. Hon Minister, because theInterpretation Act says that what we dohere can be used in the courts, I want toask you, for the record, tell us whatmotivated you to take away “fails” andinsert “refuses”. What is the difference?
Mr Speaker, I cannot speakon this matter for the Committee. This isan amendment proposed by theCommittee. But I would suggest on thecontrary, that the wording, as containedin the draft Bill remains. This is because itprovides for all situations; where there hasbeen a deliberate act, or on the other hand,where there has been an omission.
Mr Speaker, theCommittee deliberated extensively on thisparticular matter and concluded that, tofail is not necessarily deliberate, but torefuse is clear design to omission.
Now,regardless of what wording you use there,the court will take evidence and find outwhether the person had a mens-rea apartfrom the act. So, I do not know -- Hon Minister are you -- because if itis a counter amendment to thisamendment, then I have to put yourQuestion first. Are you proposing anamendment or you want to leave it?
Mr Speaker, Ibelieve, probably, they wanted to makethe offence more of an offence with a mens-rea. This is because when you say “fails”irrespective of the reason you failed, it isan offence. That is an offence of strictliability. Probably, that might haveinfluenced the Committee in proposing thisamendment. In that respect, I believe that I supportthe Committee. “Fails” is so strict.Somebody may have forgotten -- asubordinate may have forgotten toprovide the information and then itattracts criminal sanction.
Let ususe “refuse”.
Yes, MrSpeaker. “Refuses” connotes an elementof deliberateness.
“fails”does not necessarily connote an elementof deliberateness?
No! Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 51, subclause (2),paragraph (a), line 3, delete “its functions”and insert “the functions of theCommission.” Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 51 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
Clause52? Clause 52 -- Regulations
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 52, line 1, delete “Board” and insert“Commission”. “The Minister may in consultationwith the Commission.” Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 52 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
Is it thesame as the one before?
Mr Speaker, it is the same.
Clause53? Clause 53 - Modification.
Just toask, the matters contained in clause 52,the “Minister can do by regulation” is notcontained in the Act. If it is contained inthe Act, by the ruling of Mr Speaker, itcannot be there. The matters that concernsafeguard measures, countervailingduties, anti-dumping duties, tariffpetitions, investigation and Commission,are any of them contained in the Act? But let us consider these; this isbecause if they are contained in the Actand by Regulations, we can do that, thenwe may have the effect of seeking toamend the Act through the backdoor. Butlet us continue. Clause 53 ordered to stand part of theBill.
Clause54? Clause 54 -- Interpretation
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 54, interpretation of the“dumping” delete and insert the following: “dumping” means the introductionof a product into the commerce ofanother country at less than itsnormal product value in theordinary course of trade, for the likeproduct when destined forconsumption in the exportingcounty.” Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 54, add the following newinterpretation: “business information protectionorder” means an order by theCommission to the recipient ofconfidential information to restrainthe recipient from disclosure of theconfidential information.”
That isthe one you deleted early on.
Yes, Mr Speaker. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 54, add the following newinterpretation: “Minister” means the Ministerresponsible for Trade”.
I justhave one question. Every otherinterpretation, apart from “Minister”, wasstarted with a small letter but “dispute”with, a capital letter. Is there a reason forthat? Like “dumping”, small letter.
Mr Speaker, we amendthat to small letters. It would beconsequential.
All right.So, I direct that the draftsperson actsaccordingly. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 54, add the following newinterpretation: “Minister” means the Ministerresponsible for Trade.” Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 54 -- add the following newinterpretation: “serious injury” means a significantoverall impairment in the positionof a domestic firm;”
Mr Speaker, Iam wondering, “overall impairment”, is itin respect of financial or competitiveposition? “Impairment” is vague; it mustrelate to something. If you say;“impairment of a domestic firm”, in whataspect is a domestic firm impaired? So, Ithink that this may relate to thecompetitive position or something.
That isbecause you do not want, within thedefinition, something that is not clear. Dowe want to stand that down, so that welook at it again?
Mr Speaker, we wouldstand it down.
Mr Speaker, Ipropose that, the amendment be furtheramended by inserting on the second line,between “the” and “position”, the word“competitive”. So, it would read,“impairment in the competitive positionof a domestic firm”.
In that case, it would bequite comprehensive and would take careof financial and even qualitative aspectsof the product. So, we would adopt thisamendment.
Mr Speaker, the truth of thematter is that, this particular section islifted from article 4 of the World TradeOrganisation (WTO) Agreement -- thesafeguard measures. There are severalothers following sections which providethe greater definition that the HonMember for Sekondi is raising. So, Iwonder whether we should take the article-- It is quite cumbersome to add all ofthat to the definition section.
HonMinister, a Bill that we did on aviation,they practically lifted the relevantinternational provisions as part of the Billwhich made it simpler. Let me ask the Clerk-at-the-Table, what Bill was that? [Pause.]We did another one on maritime andanother on aviation, which sort of comein the same -- They had provisions andthey wanted to domesticate as it were,certain things that they had agreed upon. You know the position of theConstitution that talks about domestication.Intellectual property for English speakingAfrican countries, the African RegionalIntellectual Property Organisation(ARIPO) Act, it is the same thing. So,sometimes it is better if you lift what youagreed on and attach it as a schedule. This is because when I look at theintendment, you are asking me to now goand rely on WTO which is not part ofGhanaian law strictosensu. Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah, in yourexperience, have you come across such?
Mr Speaker, Iagree with you. If we could probably stand this downand proceed, bearing in mind the pointthat you have made, so that theCommittee, together with the technicalexperts at the Ministry, could then bringa proposal, which would include thisparticular definition as found in WTO rules.If the Hon Minister too has it, I am sureshe can make a proposal.
HonMinister, should we step it down?
Mr Speaker, I think that weshould actually keep the phrasing that wassuggested as the amendment; but weshould lift the rest of article 4, whichprovides greater clarity and also add tothe Bill. Mr Speaker, this is because it dealswith it in a more detail and we wouldhave our laws in Ghana.
Then itenriches the Bill. So, I would step down furtherconsideration of clause 54 as well.
Mr Speaker, what we aresuggesting is that the amendment asproposed by the Hon Chairman shouldprevail. This is because as I said, we arelifting that from article 4 of the WTOAgreement, then we go further to lift therest of the definitions in article 4 into theCommission Bill.
I agreewith you, but I am of the view that,because the definitions in article 4 areassumed comprehensive, it would bebetter to advertise it rather than to justsay it orally. There is no hard and fast rule regardingall amendments, but the practice has beenthat, if it is not too complicated anamendment -- A one sentence or comma-- Then we allow the oral amendment. Hon Member, but sometimes, it isbetter to advertise it so that the Hon W.O. Boafo can have a look at it.I mentionedhis name because I know he is veryparticular when it comes to theConsideration Stage of Bills. All other HonMembers who are particular can have alook at it, so that they can contribute. So,I would prefer that, instead of evencontinuing, we just step down clause 54and consider this on Monday.
Mr Speaker, now that I amreading article 4 in more detail, what I haverealised is that, we have actuallyincorporated the definitions in article 4,including the definition section. So, thisis an additional definition which thereforecomplements the definitions as containedin article 4 of the Agreement. Mr Speaker, I would seek guidance fromthe Chair.
HonMinister, you have the book and I haveno doubt that you are telling us what is inthe document that you hold. But I thinkeverybody would be more comfortable ifit is advertised and then we look at it. Withsuch an advertisement, the Hon Chairmancan quickly bring his Committee around.We want to proceed very fast andcomplete this Bill as fast as possible. So, in one of the Committee rooms, letyour Committee quickly look at what isnot there and bring it next week as furtheramendments. [Pause] For our recollection, we have stooddown two clauses -- Clause 46, whichdeals with immunity and clause 54. Hon Members, thank you very much. I wish you a happy Republic Day andenjoy the Holiday. Let us come backstrengthened on Monday. Hon Deputy Majority Leader, are wecoming back on Monday or Tuesday.
Mr Speaker, we are comingback on Monday.