Hon Members, Cor-rection of Votes and Proceedings andthe Official Report. [No correction was made to the Votesand Proceedings of Monday, 4th July,2016.] [No correction was made to theOfficial Report of Thursday, 23rd June,2016.]
Hon Members, Questiontime?
MrSpeaker, it has to do with a Question Iasked of the Minister for Financeconcerning the closure of the WestAfrican Mills (WAMCO) 1 and(WAMCO) 2 in Takoradi. Unfortunately,it has not been programmed even thoughit is an Urgent Question. It has been inthe House for over 28 months.
Well, the Question hasnot been advertised for today. And I donot know whether what you did is withinthe rules of the House. That is anothermatter. We will find out the status of theQuestion when it was filed, when it wassubmitted and when it got to my Office.Then if there is any response, I will dothat.
Hon Members, we have the HonMinister for Health. [Interruption] -- Very well. I have not called you to take the seatbut you are already seated there. Hon Members, we have the HonMinister for Environment, Science,Technology and Innovation in the Houseto respond to an Urgent Question fromthe Hon Member for Bortianor-NgleshieAmanfro. Is the Hon Member here? So, we move to the Hon Minister forHealth. Hon Member for Asokwa? Two Hon Members -- rose --
That in itself clearlyshows that -- When an Hon Member in whose namethe Question stands is not in the Houseand two Hon Members are on their feet, itsends a certain signal. Anyway, I will notgo there, as to which of you has beenauthorised -- [Laughter.] Hon Appiagyei, you have the floor.[Laughter.]
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS
MINISTRY OF HEALTH
Mr Speaker, the Ministry isaware of the fact that the Hon Member ofParliament started the construction of the maternity block project in 2014, withsupport from the Member of Parliament'sAllocation under the National HealthInsurance Authority (NHIA). Currently,the civil works is about 70 per centcomplete. The Ministry will undertake anassessment to ascertain the outstandingworks and estimate the cost forcompletion and subsequently consider itsinclusion in the 2017 Capital ExpenditureBudget of the Ministry.
Mr Speaker, I would liketo point out that it looks as if his Ministryis not very well abreast of what ishappening at the Kumasi South Hospital. A contractor was commissioned toconstruct a storey building for a maternityblock in 2005. That block has beenstanding still. Since 2009, no contractorhas showed up to continue with theproject. It is a storey building that has beenroofed; it was intended to be used as amaternity ward. That is exactly theQuestion I am asking at this point in time.The project is my personal initiative --to enhance --
Hon Member, yourquestion?
What I am trying to drawattention to is that the Answer is not --
Hon Member, theessence of the supplementary questionis to pursue the Hon Minister.
All right, Mr Speaker. May I know from the Hon Minister,when last his Ministry visited the KumasiSouth Hospital to assess their needs?
Mr Speaker, I am in adifficulty because the visit to the sitewould have been done by the Regional Directorate. It is such a specific Questionthat one would have to specifically inquireof the people there when that happened. What I can say to the Hon Member isthat there are other works within thathospital including some wards that haveto be built. They had initially beencaptured in a series of uncompletedprojects within the Ministry, of which afacility of US$300,000,000.00 (threehundred million United States dollars)wassought from General Capital Corporationto try and deal with all these uncompletedprojects within the country. Some of theworks within the Hon Member'sconstituency or that hospital were part ofthat project. It went to Cabinet; Cabinet approvalwas given. It came to Parliament;parliamentary approval was sought, andParliament requested that the Ministry ofFinance should do some more duediligence with regard to the source offunding. At this stage, other financiers are beingconsulted on the project in terms ofgetting funds to deal with a number ofuncompleted projects; we are aware ofitems needed within her constituency,specifically the hospital.
Mr Speaker, may I knowwhat specific needs are to be addressedunder this particular programme for theKumasi South Hospital?
I cannot go intospecifics. All I know is that anything thatwas uncompleted within the country or inthat particular constituency, would havebeen captured with the essence ofcompleting it. So, without going to the very specifics,once I know that it is captured, the viewwas that it was going to be dealt withunder that facility of US$300,000,000.00(three hundred million United Statesdollars).
Yes, your lastsupplementary question.
Mr Speaker, may I knowfrom the Hon Minister exactly when theMinistry is arranging to be on site tocontinue with the project?
Mr Speaker, over theyears in this country, there have been anumber of projects which have beenstarted and not reached completion stage. It was for this reason that they were allaggregated and the amount ofUS$300,000,000.00 (three hundred millionUnited States dollars) was reached to dealwith all of them. Once the funding issecured, as has been requested byParliament for due diligence to be doneacross board, we would be able to givetimelines. We cannot give timelines untilwe have actually secured the funding.
Hon Member for Tarkwa-Nsuaem?
Mr Speaker,thank you very much. In view of the fact that a lot of womenare going through hell in childbearing,would the Hon Minister assure us thatthis project would really be assigned andthe contractor would be asked to go onsite as soon as possible, so that womenwould be --
So, what is the question?
My question is theassurance that he is going to sendsomebody to ensure that this project --The way the Questions went, he has notbeen there and we are not sure when theproject is going to start. So, we need an assurance from him.Could he assure us?
Mr Speaker, under theSustainable Development Goals andunder the previous MillenniumDevelopment Goals (MDGs), child andmaternal mortality has been a big issue. Ithas always been the priority ofGovernment to prioritise issues withregard to infant, child and maternalmortality. That policy has not changed and itwould continue. Once the funding is madeavailable, we would prioritise in that areafirst before we look at any other issues,exactly the same way in which we aretrying to deal with the maternity block atthe Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.
Hon Minister, thank youfor attending upon the House to respondto Questions from Hon Members. Hon Members, that brings us to theend of Question time. Hon Minister for Health, you aredischarged.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I would like to plead withyou and crave the indulgence of my HonColleagues, if the Hon Member ofParliament for Bortianor could be giventhe opportunity. We just slipped past his Question whenhe entered. I am sure he himself wouldhave to apologise for coming in late and ifhe could be given permission to ask hisQuestion, since the Hon Minister forEnvironment, Science, Technology andInnovation is still available in the House. Mr Speaker, I am just pleading with youto give him that permission.
I thought after pleading,we would hear from the Hon Memberwhere he was when the Question wascalled.
In fact, Mr Speaker, Iadded that. I said the Hon Member wouldexplain where he was at the time theQuestion was due and he was not present.
MrSpeaker, I was preparing myself to cometo the Chamber. I was in the office --[Interruption] -- Mr Speaker, I would liketo apologise for coming in late.
You should thank theHon Majority Leader for that intervention.That is not good parliamentary practice. Hon Members, that is the essence ofthe Business Statement on Fridays, or thelast day of the week. It is to give notice toHon Members. If you look at Order 53 of the StandingOrders, Questions are one of the first itemsto be taken. So, if you have yourQuestions and you are in your office, youhave your Order Paper, Questions havebeen listed, you should know when to behere. But for the special intervention of theHon Majority Leader, I would not haveentertained you. I hope that you would not repeat it.
Thank you,Mr Speaker.
Hon Members, he hasalready apologised. Hon Minister for Environment,Science, Technology and Innovation? Hon Member, you have the floor.
ORAL ANSWERS TO URGENTQUESTIONS
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT,SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY ANDINNOVATION
Yes, Hon Minority Leader,are you up on a point of order?
Mr Speaker,I just listened to the Hon Member whofiled the Question and I would want tobelieve that in line four of that Question,the word there “course” is spelt c-a-u-s-eand not c-o-u-r-s-e. Mr Speaker, if that is what he meant,then he should have amended whatappeared on the Order Paper; but he wentthrough without giving any suchindication and I was really at a loss. Mr Speaker, if what I said is what hemeans, then it would be better if heamends it.
Hon Minority Leader,you are absolutely right. We do not have the original Questionhere for me to find out what he had put
Mr Speaker, I believe itis c-a-u-s-e.
Very well. Hon Minister?
Mr Speaker, the Heads ofthe Liaison Group Member Institutionstasked the Liaison Group for Mining inProduction Forest Reserves (comprisingof representatives from the followinginstitutions: Environmental ProtectionAgency, Minerals Commission, ForestryCommission, Forest Services Division,Water Resources Commission, Ministryof Lands and Natural Resources andGhana Chamber of Mines) to holisticallyassess the effects of anthropogenicactivities on the Weija Dam catchment andthe Water Treatment Facility andrecommend appropriate remedial actions4th December, 2014. In compliance with this directive, theLiaison Group conducted a number offield visits to the Weija Dam area, watertreatment plant, illegal quarry sites andtwo (2) catchment communities, namely,Torgakope and Ashalaja. The report on the field visits conductedby the Liaison Group was submitted tothe National Security Secretariat for theadoption and implementation of theNational Security Sub-Committee forLands and Natural Resources. The report concluded as follows: Extremely poor security controlsrendering the facilities easilyaccessible to unauthorisedpersons and potential terroristsin the wake of the current globalinsecurity. Active illegal quarrying activitieshave degraded the landscape andalso threaten the main powersupply line to the Dam. The main control panel of thespillway gates is unsecured as aresult of unauthorised thorough-fare by the general public, whichmakes the main control panelsusceptible to tempering andvandalism. The illegal quarry activities atthe Kasoa Tollbooth posedanger to the illegal minersthemselves and their children aswell as residents in the area. The illegal mining activities iscausing the destabilisation of theWeija Ridge and furthermorecausing serious erosion andrunoffs, which could lead toblockage of the section of theMallam - Kasoa Highway. The illegal quarrying at the WeijaRidge can induce landslides androck falls which could lead todestruction of property and lossof life. Inappropriate as well as illegalfishing methods in the DensuRiver at Ashalaja and the Lake atTorgakope have resulted in thedestruction of the spawning/breeding grounds of fishes andsubsequent reduction in annualfish stock in the Lake. Discharge of nutrient rich (i.e.nitrate) waste water into the lakeas well as extensive erosion andsediment transport from theriparian communities haveresulted in pollution andproliferation of algae in the Lake. Unregulated farming activities,which have given room forextensive removal of vegetationround the Weija sub-catchment. Inappropriate waste managementpractices including open defe-cation have resulted in seriousenvironmental, sanitation andhealth challenges within the subcatchment. The following were the recommendations: Need for stakeholder meetinginvolving the Department ofUrban Roads, Sonitra Limited(initially mined the area withoutproper decommissioning), GaSouth Municipal Assembly,Geological Survey Department,Minerals Commission andEnvironmental ProtectionAgency to discuss thechallenges highlighted. The entire Weija facility must bedeclared as a maximum securityzone hence appropriate securitymeasures must be immediatelyput in place to safeguard/protectsame. The illegal mining activitiesalong the ridge must be haltedimmediately and the illegalminers evicted from the area. Thequarry face must be stabilisedand rehabilitated through the introduction of appropriatebench heights, berms and slopeangles. Appropriate drainagesystem must be developed tominimise the impact of runoffs.Subsequently, the area must bedeclared as a restricted area andhence no anthropogenic activitiesmust be allowed. The Densu River Associationformed between the communitiesand GWCL must be revivedimmediately to help reduce thethreat posed by human activitiesin and around the Weija sub-catchment. Fishing within thereservoir/Lake must be regulatedunder the supervision ofFisheries Commission to helpimprove the quality of the waterin the reservoir, hence reducingthe excessive treatment cost. The Survey Department andTown and Country PlanningDepartment must be made tostop processing of documentswithin the sub catchment of theWeija Dam for prospective estatedevelopers. The Ga South MunicipalAssembly must as a matter ofurgency, put in place wastemanagement measures andstrictly enforce bye-laws onsanitation. Furthermore, theAssembly must enforce theLanduse Plan of the Weija Damsub-catchment. A tripartite MOU should bedeveloped and implemented bythe Forestry Commission, WaterResources Commission andGhana Water Company Limitedfor rehabilitation of the degradedsites.
Mr Speaker, since weare in the rainy season and this is anannual ritual, I would want to find out fromthe Hon Minister, how soon these short-term measures would be implemented.
Mr Speaker, the Ga WestMunicipal Assembly has proposed toexecute the short-term measures. TheEnvironmental Protection Agency (EPA)is constantly reminding them and tryingto get them. But it is all subject to theAssembly's resources. What the EPA does, is to drawattention to violations and to put pressureon the appropriate authority to takeremedial measures. The Assembly hasadmitted to failures in that regard and theywould take measures as soon as resourcesare made available.
Mr Speaker, since it isa short-term measure, I would want thespecific timeline that this problem wouldbe resolved in the short-term.
Mr Speaker, we havedrawn the attention of the Assembly andthe Assembly itself has seen the danger anytime it rains. They have given strongindications that they would take steps toimplement the short-term measures thatwe have drawn their attention to. Mr Speaker, ours is to continue to putpressure on them. The Hon Member, whois a member of the Assembly, may alsowant to assist us to put pressure on theAssembly to find resources andimplement the short-term measures thatwe have indicated -- [Interruption.] Mr Assiamah-- rose --
Yes, Hon Asiamah?
Mr Speaker,when you read the Question carefully, itis about the environmental degradationthat continues to cause inconvenienceand danger to motorists on the Mallam-Winneba Road. Mr Speaker, we are in the rainy season,and the Hon Member wants timelines, sothat the Hon Minister could give us thetimeframe within which it can be done, butthe Hon Minister also talks about theshort-term measures. The Hon Memberwants specific time. Mr Speaker, would the Hon Ministergive this House the specific time that thisproject would be done?
Mr Speaker, the way theMinistry of Environment, Science andTechnology and Innovation operates inrelation to its agency, the EPA, is that weare regulators. When we spot violations,we draw the attention of the institutionthat is responsible. We help with agreeingon a remedial measure, which is a technicalprescription, regarding what needs to bedone to remedy the situation. As I indicated, we have identified themeasures that need to be taken. First andforemost, we would need to deal with theslopes. We would need to compact theslopes and vegetate, so that when it rains,the water can run on the grass, instead ofwashing the loose soil. That is themeasure we need to put in place. Also, at the foot, we need to make surethat there is some excavation directing thewater to a particular culvert, which we haveidentified. That culvert is also blocked.So, they need to take the soil out of theblocked culvert. These are the measureswe have identified. We have identified theresponsible agency, which is the Ga WestMunicipal Assembly and they haveagreed that they would do it. So, in terms of timelines, I say that sincethe Hon Member is also a member of theAssembly, he would help the EPA to putmore pressure on the Assembly, to executeit within the shortest possible timeline. With the long-term measures, as wehave indicated, the Minerals Commissionhas also opted to assist. They haveidentified a contractor, who is working onthe designs. Once we get the designs, wewould take urgent steps to ensure thatthe contractor moves to site to deal withthe long-term measures.
Mr Speaker, Iwould want to know from the HonMinister whether his Ministry has anycollaboration with the Ministry of Roadsand Highways. This is because the pointin question is that, just after every rain,there is an amount of laterite and a pool ofwater that are collected on the road. Even as I speak, yesterday, I passedthere. There was some amount of sandheaped on one side of the road. If thatcollaboration is there and they canconstantly help --
Hon Minister, is thereany collaboration with the Ministry ofRoads and Highways?
Mr Speaker, reports havebeen provided to the Ghana HighwaysAuthority. In fact, the matter has gone ashigh as to the National Security. That iswhy in the Answer, I indicated that theNational Security's Sub-Committee onLands and Natural Resources is alsoinvolved in this matter. So, all the partiesare aware. As we indicated, we are looking at theparty with immediate responsibility andthat is the Ga West Municipal Assembly.They have to take urgent steps to addressthe immediate issues. The long-term willinvolve considerable investment and weknow that, that is beyond the capacity ofthe Municipal Assembly and that is whythe Minerals Committee has taken upresponsibility to assist with theimplementation of the long-term measures.
Mr Speaker, inthe Hon Minister 's Answer to theQuestion, he mentioned that theyintended growing grass along the slopesof the hills. Mr Speaker, we all know thatthe integrity of that hill has been affectedby the numerous constructions that areongoing on it. Mr Speaker, I would want to ask theHon Minister, when they are going tostop people from constructing on the hill,so that they go ahead and plant the grassor do the immediate processes which theyintend to do to stop it from disintegrating.
Mr Speaker, it is, indeed,the case that the place was initially minedby Sonitra Limited and the problem thatoccurred there was because thedecommissioning was not done properly.So, we have to go back to meet with allthe stakeholders, involving the De- It is also the case that many people arebuilding there, and all that affects theintegrity of the hill. So, we are trying toensure that the Assemblies ceasepermitting people to carry out constructionin that area. Furthermore, the people who areactually carrying out the mining activity-- We are in discussions with theNational Security which has sent somedetachment round the Weija Dam itself,to extend their surveillance andmonitoring activity to cover the hill also. This is because the mining activity alsoaffects the people who carry out themining. Their lives and the lives ofchildren who are often around the areaare all threatened. So, we have asked themilitary to extend the monitoring to coverthe hill and the area around the miningactivity.
Last question, HonMinority Leader.
MrSpeaker, the intensity of soil erosion iscertainly very much dependent on thecharacter of the soil structure at anyparticular place. What is the character ofthe soil structure at the place? Does theHon Minister know of this? This isbecause this certainly will feed into thepreparatory works that are required tocease the erosion.
Hon Minority Leader, doyou want us to go into geomorphologythis morning? [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker,the Hon Minister for Environment,Science, Technology and Innovation, inthis case, is required to be a generalistand he is supposed to know at least, therudiments of these things before he comesto stand here, so, he would not tell usstories.
Mr Speaker, the questionis about the character of the soil. I can tellyou that it is lateritic material --[Laughter]-- I am told by my experts whoare seated behind and who have gone tothe site and have seen the character ofthe soil there. Also, as I indicated, there is a technicalteam that is working on the design of howto deal with the issue. So, I believe thatGolder Associates (Ghana) Limited willcarry out a more indepth study of theseissues as the basis for designing aremedial measure. From the report that I received, the soilis lateritic material -- [Interruption]Laterite is the type of soil that is foundthere.
Mr Speaker,certainly, laterite is not the character ofthe soil structure but let us leave it there. Mr Speaker, while we are at this, somesand winning is still going on there andresidential facilities are also springing upin the adjoining lands even when we havesuch steep slopes. That poses severedanger to the residents and thoseengaged in the construction. The question relates only to danger tomotorists. It is even much more than that.It is not only to motorists but those ofthem who are doing the construction ontop of the hill. Does the Ministry haveany plan in conjunction with the LandsCommission and the Town and Country Planning Department to ensure thatconstruction there would be terraced andnot be dependent on just cutting the soilsand allowing construction to go on. Otherwise, that may impose seriousdanger in future to the residents. How areyou collaborating with the Town andCountry Planning Department and theLands Commission to prevent any futurecalamity in particular, given the fact that,it is also on the fore line and that anytrigger of volcanic eruption could lead toa national disaster?
Mr Speaker, that is verytrue and as part of the discussions takingplace at the National Security Sub-Committee level, they have agreed as oneof the recommendations asking the Townand Country Planning Department to stopprocessing building permits for the estatedevelopers in and around that entire area. Secondly, there has been an agreementto stop any mining activity in and aroundthat area. So, those measures have beenagreed on. The issue, of course, isenforcement. As we indicated, becauseNational Security has established a smallmilitary detachment to protect the Dam -- because there are activities around thatarea, which endanger the integrity of theDam that EPA, Geological SurveyDepartment and others are looking at. So,they have extended the National Securityfacility to also look at the hill and what ishappening there? I agree with the Hon Minority Leaderand we are taking steps to stop theprocessing of building permits. Unlesspeople are carrying out illegalconstruction without permit, we havestopped the process of issuing buildingpermits. 11. 00 a. m.
Hon Members, this bringsus to the end of Question time. Hon Minister, thank you very much forattending upon the House to respond toQuestions from Hon Members. At the Commence of Public Business.
Mr Speaker, if we can takeitem 12 on the Order Paper.
Item 6 -- Laying ofPapers? Are the Papers ready to be laid?
Mr Speaker, the Papers arenot ready to be laid. So, we want to moveto the Bill.
Are you sure the Papersare not ready?
The Hon Chairman of theCommittee has just informed me that thePapers are not ready.
I have a Report here fromthe Committee for item 6 (ii).
Mr Speaker, the HonChairman of the Committee has just hintedthat the Clerks to the Committee have notbrought the copies of --
Hon Member for Shama,are any of your Reports ready?
MrSpeaker, the Reports are ready, but MrEbenezer Djietror came to inform me thatthe Clerks-at-the-Table do not havethem. I called the Clerks to the Committee andthey told me that, they had already sentthem. Somehow, along the line, I do not knowwhere the Reports have got to. So, Ihave asked that we step it down and then--
I do not get you; I have acopy of one of the Reports here.
All right, Mr Speaker. From what Mr Djietror had come to seeme about, I thought --
No! Is there a problemin the Report?
Mr Speaker, no! There isno problem. We can lay it if you have it. I signed the Report and I thought thateverything had already been given out. Mr Speaker, the Report you have is acombination of the two referrals. This isbecause they deal with the same thing.So, it is not two Reports that have to be --
It is true. I have a copyof the Report and it is two-in-one. So, areyou going to bow two times?
No, Mr Speaker! It is acombined Report. So, I would bow onlyonce. [Laughter.]
Once it is two on the OrderPaper, you will bow twice. Is that clear?
Mr Speaker, I accept that.
Very well. Hon Members, presentation of Papersby the Hon Chairman of the Committee onFood, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs --Item 6 (b) (i)?
Yes, Hon MajorityLeader?
Thank you,Mr Speaker. Looking at the business before ustoday, we propose that we take itemnumbered 12, which is just oneamendment. I am told it was discussed andthere were disagreements. They have nowagreed and re-submitted it. After taking that, we could go to theother items. [Pause.]
Hon Majority Leader, myattention has been drawn to the fact thatapart from this amendment, there are otheramendments, which are not on the OrderPaper. An Addendum Order Paper is beingprepared. We need to wait for theAddendum Order Paper, so that we cantake the amendments -- Item numbered12 on the Order Paper. We need to wait forthe Addendum Order Paper. Those who are bringing theamendments are within the rules. Myattention has just been drawn that I donot know -- Hon Majority Leader?
Thank you, Mr Speaker. They just drew my attention to theomission. In fact, I was querying them fornot drawing my attention earlier. Well, theytold me that it was left with only thisamendment and that is why I drew theattention of the House to it. Mr Speaker, in the case as we havenow, I think we could consider itemnumbered 13.
Why do we not take item15 for the Third Reading, while we waitfor the Order Paper Addendum?
Mr Speaker, we cannotdo item 15 without doing item 13.
I think we would have tofinish with item 13 before --
Oh, I see. You areabsolutely right. Hon Chairman of Finance Committee --item 13. I want Hon Members to look at therendition. It is better. We are making a law,and because the amendment is quite long,I prefer that, a new rendition should becaptured. I have directed that, what you showedto me yesterday, should be printed on theOrder Paper. This is so, that Hon Memberscan see the new rendition and they canthen comment on it before the Vote istaken. I learnt they are printing the OrderPaper Addendum 2 on item 13. So, as we wait for the Order PaperAddendum, Hon Majority Leader, whatitem should we take?
Mr Speaker, then we go toitem 11, which is a Second Reading of theLand Use and Spatial Planning Bill, 2016.
Very well. Hon Members, item 11 on the OrderPaper -- Minister for Environment,Science, Technology and Innovation, youhave the floor.
BILLS -- SECOND READING
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,that the Ghana International TradeCommission Bill, 2014 be now read theSecond time. Mr Speaker, the Bill seeks to revise andconsolidate the laws on land use andspatial planning in our country and toprovide for sustainable development ofland and human settlement through adecentralised planning system thatensures judicious use of land in order toimprove the quality of life, promote healthand safety in respect of humansettlements. It is to also regulate at the national,regional, district and local level -- spatialplanning and generally provide for spatialaspect of socioeconomic development. Mr Speaker, as we Sit now, there aredifferent pieces of legislation, which areall involved in regulating land use andspatial planning. Mr Speaker, these include the Townand Country Planning Ordinance, 1995(Cap 84); Town and Country Planning(Amendment) Act, 1960, (Act 33); theLocal Government Act, 1993, (Act 462);National Development Planning CommissionAct, 1994, (Act 479); National DevelopmentPlanning System Act, 1994; (Act 480) andthe National Building Regulations Act,1996. Mr Speaker, with these few words, Ibeg to move, that the Land Use andSpatial Planning Bill, 2016, be now read aSecond time. Question proposed.
Mr Speaker, I beg toassociate myself with the Motion movedby the Hon Minister. In so doing, I presentthe Committee's Report. Introduction The Land Use and Spatial Planning Bill,2016 was presented to Parliament and readthe First time on Thursday, 9th June, 2016.The Bill was subsequently referred to theCommittee on Environment, Science andTechnology for consideration and reportin accordance with article 75 of theConstitution and Order 185 of theStanding Orders of Parliament. Deliberations In considering the Bill, the Committeefirst requested memoranda from thegeneral public and interested groups andstakeholders. A meeting was held onTuesday, 21st June, 2016 to consider theBill. The Committee is very grateful to theHon Minister for Environment, Science,Technology and Innovations, Mr MahamaAyariga, the National Director, Mr L. Z.Dakurah and other officials of Town andCountry Planning Department (TCPD), aswell as representatives from the Attorney-General's Department. The Committee would also like toacknowledge the following institutionsand groups for their useful inputs in thedeliberations of the Bill: AB & David Law Consult Ghana Institute of Architects (GIA) Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) Ghana Institute of Planners (GIP) Licensed Surveyors Association ofGhana (LISAG) The general public. Reference documents The Committee had recourse to theunderlisted documents during thedeliberations: a. The 1992 Constitution b. The Standing Orders of Parliament; c. Local Government Act, 1993,(Act 462) d. Town and Country PlanningOrdinance 1945 (Cap 84) e. Town and Country Planning(Amendment) Act, 1960 (Act 33) f. National Building Regulations,1996 (L.I. 1630) g. National Development Planning(Systems) Act, 1994 (Act, 480). Background information Since the colonial era throughindependence, land use planning andmanagement in Ghana has been regulatedby various legal instruments, customarypractices and sometimes the determinationof the court systems on specific landadministration issues. Such ad hoc approach has led tomyriad of laws, some of which areredundant, obsolete and inconsistentwith current policy direction of the country and modern practices of land useand spatial planning standards. Currently, the operational laws whichregulate planning practices and functionsin the country are encompassed in variouslegislations including the Town andCountry Planning Ordinance 1945 (Cap84) of 1945, Town and Country Planning(Amendments) Act 1960, Town andCountry Planning Regulations, 1959, theLocal Government Act1993, (Act 462) andthe National Building Regulations (L.I.1630), 1996. The concurrent operation of theselegislations is cumbersome and confusingas each of the enactments has differentprocedures and mechanisms for thepreparation, approval and implementationof plans. While some of the institutionsestablished under these enactments endup duplicating the functions of oneanother, some processes have becomecostly to both the land owners and usersalike. Again, the significance of the Land Useand Spatial Planning Law should beviewed within the context of thedevelopment challenges or lapsesinherent in the weak institutional,technological and legal frameworkgoverning the operations of the Town andCountry Planning Department, which theAct seeks to address. The Bill when passed into an Act willstrengthen the institutional capacity of theTown and Country Planning Departmentto discharge its mandate effectively. It willalso contribute to a more sustainable andwell-functioning land administrationsystem that is fair, efficient, cost-effectiveand decentralised that will enhance landtenure security in the country. Lastly, theAct will also give a clearer direction to ensure compliance and enforcement ofdevelopment Regulations by the societyat large. Object of the Bill The Bill seeks to revise and consolidatethe laws on land use and spatial planning,provide for sustainable development ofland and human settlements through adecentralised planning system, ensurejudicious use of land in order to improvequality of life, promote health and safetyin respect of human settlements and toregulate national, regional, district andlocal spatial planning, and generally toprovide for spatial aspects of socio-economic development and for relatedmatters. Observations The Committee observed that theabsence of a comprehensive legalframework for land use and spatialplanning has led to multiplicity oflegislations conferring land use, planningand management functions to otherinstitutions other than the Town andCountry Planning Department (TCPD). The Land Use and Spatial Planning Billaims at consolidating, integrating andharmonising existing legislations into onecoherent law in support of the currentdecentralisation programme. The Committee again noted that the Billestablishes a Land Use and SpatialPlanning Authority (LUSPA) with theobject to promote inter-sectoralcollaboration for sustainable developmentof land and human settlements through adecentralised planning system. The Authority would also ensurejudicious use of land and enhance theattainment of Ghana's decentralisedprogramme and create an enabling regimefor MMDAs to properly perform the spatial planning and human settlementsmanagement functions. The Committee further observed that,development controls are largely violatedin the country as a result of the multiplicityof laws which makes implementation verydifficult. The law will therefore, enableplanning authorities at the different levelsof governance to control and directphysical development in an orderly andharmonious manner that will bring out theaesthetic beauty of our cities, towns andcommunities, eliminate the developmentof slums and ensure a safe environmentfor human living. The Committee noted that the Billmakes provision for the transformation ofthe Town Country Planning Development(TCPD) from a technical advisory bodyinto a proactive regulatory, mentoring,advisory and monitoring institution thatwould play a significant role in ensuringconformity and compliance with spatialplans, zoning regulations and planningstandards at the national, regional anddistrict levels. The Authority would be better placedto plan and ensure easy identification andadequate access to services through acomprehensive street naming andproperty addressing systems. That land use plans are basically aimedat ensuring optimum and judicious use ofland and other resources to avert thenuisance that conflict land use caused to theenvironment. Unregulated land developmentissues cause multitude of problems includinghaphazard development, neighbourhoodblight, automobile congestions andenvironmental degradation. The Bill when passed into an Act willenhance the quality of life through a consciously planned and adequateprovision of socioeconomic infrastructureand services, leisure and recreationalfacilities. The Committee observed that the highrate of none-adherence to developmentpermit Regulations among individuals anddevelopers could largely be attributed tolong delays in processing developmentpermit applications among others. Thisdelay do not only frustrate prospectivedevelopers, but also has significantimpact on development costs. The law will give a clear direction toshorten the process of approving permitapplication and thereby increase thewillingness of prospective developers toapply for permits prior to construction. Itwill also create a conducive investmentclimate that would attract a wide spectrumof investors and increase productivity. The Committee noted that inadequatefunding to the Town and CountryPlanning Department at all levels for thepreparation and implementation of landuse and spatial plans has been a majorcontributory factor to the haphazarddevelopment of our human settlements. Even though a significant proportionof the Internally Generated Funds (IGF)from the MMDAs is derived from land userelated activities such as developmentpermits, fines, property rates, et cetera,the Assemblies do not release part ofthese funds to the department for thepreparation of plans and other internaldepartmental operations. Similarly, the allocation of funds fromthe Central Government budgeting systemis characterised by inadequate anduntimely releases and this adverselyaffects the operation of the department.Meanwhile, the department has a highpotential to generate funds from its
internal operations and other sources tofinance its activities. The law will empower the emerginginstitution responsible for land use andspatial planning to generate funds fromits internal operations and other sourcesto discharge their responsibilities moreeffectively. This would gradually reducethe burden on the budget of CentralGovernment over time, with the ultimateaim of making the institution financiallysustainable. The Committee noted that theGoverning Board of the Authority is madeof representatives of the Ministry ofEnvironment, Science, Technology andInnovation, Ministry of LocalGovernment and Rural Development,Ministry of Lands and Natural Resourcesand the Ministry of Water Resources,Works and Housing, et cetera. However, in view of the inter-sectoralnature of the issues arising out of landuse in the country, other high rankingofficials from relevant departments andagencies are also included in constitutingthe seventeen (17) member GoverningBoard to create a body of real authority that can instill discipline in this sector ofthe economy. The Committee further observed thatthe growth in population coupled withrapid urbanisation has contributed to anupsurge for land and its subsequentdevelopment. The upsurge in the demandfor land had resulted in increases in theprices of land and real estate property inthe urban areas. This has led to increase in landlitigation resulting in very limited securityof tenure in land which weakens theconfidence of both local and foreigninvestors. The Act would promoteequitable spatial development, improveliving standards in the rural areas inparticular and reduce the rural-urban driftwhich has been the major contributoryfactor to rapid urbanisation in Ghana. Conclusion The Committee has carefully examinedthe provisions of the Bill in the light of itsobject and purpose and is of the view thatthey are consistent with the Constitutionand other relevant statutes andaccordingly recommends its passage bythe House. Respectfully submitted. SPACE FOR APPENDIX 1 - PAGE 10 - 11.10 A.M. Proposed Amendments to the Land Use and Spatial Planning Bill, 2016
Hon Members, Motionduly moved and it is for the considerationof the House.
Mr Speaker,you are bringing it to the attention ofplenary that the Motion has been movedand is now for the consideration of theHouse. The Motion has not been secondedyet.
At the Second Reading,you do not need to second the Motionand that is why I used the words, “theMotion has been duly moved”.
Yes, you do not need toand that is why I used the words “theMotion has been duly moved”.
Notnecessarily. Mr Speaker, but I thought thatin the previous dispensation, we agreedthat for purposes of consistency, weshould allow this to continue. I guess you referred to what a previousRt Hon Speaker told us in this House. Yourpredecessor --
Hon Members, on fewoccasions, when the Hon Chairmen ofCommittees got up to present Reports, Ireminded them that they did not need tosecond the Motion, but they kept ondoing so. So, I decided that I would not correctthem again. Therefore, when it comes tome, I do not say “Motion moved andseconded”, I say that “Motion dulymoved”. Then I open the floor for HonMembers. In fact, it was your former Hon DeputyMinority Leader who drew our attentionto that; the Hon Ambrose Dery. If Hon Members would want to refreshtheir memories, I refer to Standing Order81 that says: “Unless otherwise provided inthese Orders, every Motion unlessmade at the Second Reading orConsideration Stage of a Bill, mustbe seconded and if not seconded,shall not be debated or entered inthe Votes and Proceedings.” So, at the Second Reading andConsideration Stage, you do not need tosecond the Motion.
Mr Speaker, I beg tosupport the Motion on the floor with fewobservations. Mr Speaker, Accra, for example, hasbeen flooding and it is becoming aperennial issue because of the vegetationcover that has been taken off byindiscriminate buildings along the Aburimountain and scalp. The Hon Minister for WaterResources, Works and Housing was inthis House, and talked about all the sinksthat are supposed to hold water and theponds being taken over by indiscriminatebuildings. Mr Speaker, I would want theCommittee to take cognisance of this factthat all over the world, public spaces arepreserved. I was in the United Kingdom (UK)recently and with common lands that arepublic spaces, one needs a specific Actof Parliament even to change the use.London is now greener than Ghana; it isthe preservation of public spaces. How many public spaces are left inAccra? I hope that during the passage of thisBill, Hon Members would advert theirminds to how we should protect publicspaces outside District Assemblies so thatchanging and variations of public spacesbecome very difficult for technocrats tomanipulate heads of Assemblies. Mr Speaker, I support this Bill and I amlooking forward to the necessaryamendments to make it extremely difficultfor technical people to just vary land for public use and indiscriminately build onthese sites. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Yes, Hon Member for HoWest?
Mr Speaker, I thank you forthe opportunity to support the Motion forthe Second Reading of the Land Use andSpatial Planning Bill, 2016. Mr Speaker, the object of this Bill is toconsolidate all the laws that we havepertaining to land use and spatial planningin this country for sustainabledevelopment. One of the organisations that dealswith spatial planning in this country isthe Town and Country PlanningDepartment, which has moved fromdifferent Ministries. It is one institutionthat, I believe, of the 59 years of thiscountry, has moved from the Ministry ofEnvironment, Science, Technology andInnovation, Ministry of LocalGovernment and the Ministry of Worksand Housing -- Just one institution. Ifwe cannot have Town and CountryPlanning Department under one Ministry,then how can we plan? I believe because of that, this Act is tocure this issue of Town and CountryPlanning Department moving from oneMinistry to the other. Today, they are hereand tomorrow, they are somewhere else.How can they plan effectively? Mr Speaker, currently, we have greenareas that have been demarcated as landuse, but people have taken over and builthouses on even water ways. It is notbecause we do not have laws, we havelaws in this country; but theimplementation of the laws are not there. Today, we are giving authority to LandUse and Spatial Planning Institution. Arewe sure that this institution, when itcomes into fruition, would implement thelaw to the latter -- That we can have greenspaces, community spaces and peoplewould not build on waterways? Mr Speaker, I would want to encouragethe Town and Country PlanningDepartment under the Ministry ofEnvironment, Science, Technology andInnovation that this should be the laststop. We should not allow the Town andCountry Planning Department, which issupposed to be the nerve of spatialplanning and land use in this country, tobe toyed with just like that. Mr Speaker, with these few words, Ithank you.
Mr Speaker, I would like tosupport this Motion and the Report ablypresented by our Hon Chairman. Mr Speaker, I would like to impressupon the House the need to support theAuthority in the establishment of afunding for this special Bill. Mr Speaker, you would agree with methat the haphazard use of our land isbecause of non-compliance, non-observance and non-implementation ofour laws. As we present this Bill, I would likeHon Members to take high cognisance ofthe fact that we would need the financialresources to ensure the implementationof this particular Act. For this reason, I would like us to takea very critical look at the establishment of the Authority, and then the use of thefinancial needs required by that Authorityto be able to execute their dutiesaccordingly. Mr Speaker, with these few words, Ithank you for giving me this opportunity.
MrSpeaker, thank you very much for theopportunity to speak in support of theMotion ably moved by the Hon Ministerresponsible for Environment, Science,Technology and Innovation that the LandUse and Spatial Planning Bill, 2016 be reada Second time. Mr Speaker, in doing so, he rightlypointed out the mischief this Bill is seekingto correct; to ensure consolidation ofexisting laws on this subject, to providefor harmony, and in particular, to preparethe country for an ever growingpopulation. Also, how the country takesadvantage of its land resources in orderto prepare for an urbanised population. Mr Speaker, in doing so, I would wantto indicate strongly that in Ghana today,there are many areas, whether districts orcommunities, where children do not evenhave access to recreational grounds orplaying fields.Whether it is a dedicatedland meant for a football park, orsomething even meant for school childrenat school, they are encroached upon bythose purporting to want to sell or disposeof that particular land. Mr Speaker, we also, in approving thisBill, must remind the Hon Minister to workin a concerted effort with his colleagues,particularly the Accra MetropolitanAssembly (AMA) and others. Are we saying that as a country, wecannot find an amicable and lastingsolution to the perennial floods that occur in this part of the world? Every time it israining in Accra, we all run helter skelterto be able to ensure security as we gethome. The incident of open gutters is now athing of the past. I believe that acollaboration with the Ministry of Roadsand Highways -- Why must we haveopen drains in this country? It is not doneanywhere in the world again. Therefore,for planning and award of contracts, weneed to incorporate that in order toimprove upon it. Mr Speaker, in contributing, I know thatthe Authority has a Governing Board ofalmost 17 members. As significant as thatmay be, a 17-member Board -- Is it nottoo clumsy and too weighty that the HonMinister may want to look at? I know that we would have a bite of itwhen we come to the Consideration Stage. Mr Speaker, but in looking at the LongTitle of the Bill, I find it too verbose. Mr Speaker, with your indulgence, if Iam to quote it -- We certainly would haveto take a second look at the Long Title toreflect what we want to do. Mr Speaker, my final comment is on theestablishment of the Fund and the factthat we are seeking to retain 20 per cent ofInternally Generated Funds (IGFs) tosupport the operations of the Authority.Also, there is the need to have furtherconsultations with the Ministry ofFinance. Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I believethat as a country, all our departments andagencies must be seen working together;that there is a relationship between theconstruction of a road and the disposalof land.We need to take a critical nationalposition on the disposition of public lands. Today, as Minister responsible forEmployment and Labour Relations, I amchallenged with public sector housing.The bane of many public sector workersin this country, is where to have decentaccommodation at reasonable oraffordable cost. Mr Speaker, could we not dedicate someof these lands in terms of developingspace for public housing, which allowsus to develop as it is done in Turkey andmany parts of the world, where they havethose high-rise buildings which areaffordable for workers to occupy? So, theState in its planning, must have dedicatedlands, which are meant for thosepurposes. Mr Speaker, with these words, Iassociate myself with the Motion andlook forward to a further cleaning of it whenwe get to the Consideration Stage. I thank you, Mr Speaker.
Hon Members, I have gotthe sense of both sides of the House.So, let me please call the Hon DeputyMajority Leader and the Hon MinorityLeader.
Mr Speaker, I want to registermy satisfaction with the introduction ofthis Bill which, by the statement of theHon Minister, is to revise and consolidatelaws or the legal regime that is to guidethe use of lands in this country. Mr Speaker, unregulated land use,according to the Hon Minister, has led toa lot of problems in the country which hasled to unplanned development.Unplanned development can be attributedto the lack of supervision by the variousAgencies that are in charge.
Mr Speaker, I thank you forthe opportunity to also add my voice insupporting the Motion for a SecondReading of the Land Use and SpatialPlanning Bill, 2016. Mr Speaker, on the question ofconsistency that I raised at the very onsetrelating to whether, Motion so movedshould be seconded, Mr Speaker, I referto Standing Order 78(g), and with yourpermission, I beg to read: “Unless any Order otherwiseprovides, notice shall be given ofany motion which it is proposed tomake, except the following- (g) a Motion for the ThirdReading of a Bill;” is being fashioned by the NationalDevelopment Planning Commission(NDPC), would it not be better to situatethis? This is because it is an essentialingredient in our national developmentagenda. Would it not be better to locate itwithin the ambit of the NDPC? That isanother matter that, perhaps, we cansubsequently apply our minds to. Mr Speaker, but it is regrettable thattoday, parcels of land that are earmarkedfor residential purposes and which wouldusually include some social infrastructurelike markets, police stations, schools,health facilities, educational facilitiesamong others -- Ultimately, the areas thatare zoned for these structures becometaken over by residential facilities at thesay-so of the person who, perhaps, is incontrol of that parcel of land. Mr Speaker, usually, there would bethat collaboration with the LandsCommission to rezone the place. And anarea that would accommodate thousandsof people would then not have a school, ahealth facility, a market, a police station.And if you ask, they would tell you thatthe place has been rezoned, so, whatparcel of land that is earmarked forputting up an educational facility wouldno longer exist? A market facility would no longer exist;a health facility would no longer exist; apost office would no longer exist; eventhe provision of sanitary facilities wouldno longer exist. What kind of residentialfacilities are we providing for ourselves? Mr Speaker, in many of these zones,including private estate developers, goto the parcel of lands they are developing,and with respect, Mr Speaker, we arecreating for ourselves 21 st Centurysquatter settlements. And I believe thatinto the second half of this Century, we Local Government and DistrictCouncils are supposed to take theinitiative to plan for land users anddevelopers to follow. Mr Speaker, but theywait until people move into areas, do theirown planning and development, and theylater come to say that it is not inaccordance with the planning scheme thatthey developed. Mr Speaker, I would want to urge thevarious local authorities that, it is theirduty to make sure that any newdevelopment or settlement that comes up,they move into that area, plan it for ouruse before they come in. Most of thetimes, they wait until the people takeresidence, and they come and say, removeor demolish. These are not acts which weshould encourage. Mr Speaker, but if this law is in use, Ibelieve that it is going to guide all of us,and these unregulated activities would bea thing of the past. Mr Speaker, I have one particular issuewith those who are planning developmentalong the Accra-Tema Motorway. This issupposed to be an area with well planneddevelopment. But what do we see on theMotorway? The Tema DevelopmentCorporation (TDC), the Minister for LocalGovernment and Rural Development andthe district authorities just allow buildingsclose to the Motorway. I believe that weshould take a second look at this becauseit is so dangerous for road users,particularly vehicular users. Mr Speaker, I believe that areas thathave been set aside for community use asmy Hon Colleague said, for instance,playing fields and green belts, are nowplaces where people live. Cemeteries --particularly, if one goes to TemaCommunity 9, which has a cemetery, it hasbeen turned into a residential area. These Mr Speaker, what it means is that, aMotion for the Third Reading of a Billshould not come under notice. That is theunderstanding, and yet, item number 10on the Order Paper for today is a Motion: “That the Ghana InternationalTrade Commission Bill, 2014, benow read the Third time.” Mr Speaker, that is why I said that weshould be consistent. If we agree that itshould be seconded or notice should notbe given, then it should be so. We cannotpick and choose. Mr Speaker, having said that, theMotion that has been moved by the HonMinister relates to the structuring of landuse in the country. Of course, when weprovide effective structures, then we areplanning to achieve a nationaldevelopment goal. Mr Speaker, it is said, and it has becomeaxiomatic that, where there is no planning,it is an admission of planning to fail. So,it is important that even though it is a bitlate, we are now coming by way of tryingto synchronise and consolidate all thevarious pieces of legislation relating toland use and spatial planning. Mr Speaker, the point has been madeabout how the Town and CountryPlanning, an institution that is supposedto be at the centre of our planning, hasbecome very rudderless. At a point in time, it was under theMinistry of Lands and Forestry and thenthe Ministry of Local Government andRural Development. Then today, this Billis being shepherded by the Minister forEnvironment, Science, Technology andInnovation. Mr Speaker, others are even arguingthat given where we want to go in termsof our national development which now
Hon Members, at theconclusion of the debate, I will put theQuestion. Question put and Motion agreed to. The Land Use and Spatial Planning Bill,2016, accordingly read a Second time.
Hon Majority Leader, Iwould want to take item number 4 on theOrder Paper Addendum so that I can givethe Chair to the Hon First Deputy Speaker.
Mr Speaker, that is the itemwe are just looking at and the HonMinority Leader is drawing my attentionto the earlier agreement this morning. Ithink we can get that through togetherwith Item number 1 on the Order PaperAddendum 2.
So, we should --
I agree that you start withit --
Very well, thank you. Hon Members, Banks and SpecialisedDeposit-taking Institutions Bill, 2015, atthe Consideration Stage. [Pause.]
BILLS -- CONSIDERATIONSTAGE
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, on the Order Paper Addendum 2,page 3, I would like to amend theamendment proposed. Clause 141 --delete and insert the following: “Review of decision of Bank ofGhana on official administration,liquidation and receivership byarbitration (1) Where a person is aggrievedby a decision of the Bank ofGhana in respect of issues inparagraphs (a) to (d) of thissubsection and that persondesires redress of suchgrievances, that person shallresort to arbitration under therules of the AlternativeDispute Resolution Centreestablished under AlternativeDispute Resolution Act, 2010(Act 798).
Hon Member, are youamending the headnote too?
Mr Speaker, exactly so.
So, let us take theheadnote first, then, you move what youhave just moved so that I can put theQuestion on the headnote first.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 141, delete and insert the following: “Review of decision of Bank ofGhana on official administration,liquidation and receivership byarbitration Question put and amendment agreedto
Yes, Hon Chairman of theCommittee?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 141, insert the following: (1) Where a person is aggrieved by adecision of the Bank of Ghana inrespect of issues in paragraphs (a)to (d) of this subsection and thatperson desires redress of suchgrievances, that person shall resortto arbitration under the rules of theAlternative Dispute ResolutionCentre established under theAlternative Dispute Resolution Act,2010 (Act 798). (a) matters under sections 107 to122 or sections 123 to 139; (b) withdrawal of the registrationof a financial holding company (c) that which involves therevocation of licence of a bankor specialised deposit-takinginstitutions or; (d) that which involves an actionunder sections 102 to 106 andwhere the Bank of Ghanadetermines that there is aserious risk to the financialstability or of material loss tothat bank or specialiseddeposit taking institution orfinancial holding company. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 141 as amended ordered tostand part of the Bill.
Clause 142 on the originalOrder Paper.
Mr Speaker,I am sorry I have been away for a while.So, I guess some water, definitely, mighthave passed under the bridge. But Ibelieve before I left, the discourse was tothe effect that one cannot force people toresort to arbitration. Now, by what we have done, are wenot going back to force people who,perhaps, would want to seek redress afteran action has been taken by the Bank ofGhana to necessarily go the route ofarbitration?
Hon Member, yes, thatis why this clause was deferred, and for along time, for a lot of consultations. Atthe end of the consultation, we thoughtthat for now, that is the way to proceed. Indeed, that is why this morning a lotof those compulsion elements in theamendments were removed, but becauseof the nature of the business also, weneed to be very careful. Indeed, if youwatch closely, in the earlier amendments,for example, they were trying to imposequalification on us, but we said section12 of the Alternative Dispute Resolution(ADR) Act should take care of thatprovision. It is not only that. This morning, welooked at section 58 of the ADR Act. Wesaid that once a person says that he isproceeding under the ADR Act, it shouldbe section 58 which deals with thechallenge of the award. So, that voluntary element of thepeople bringing their own arbitratorswould still be held intact. Some fewminutes ago, we were talking aboutconsistency. We looked at otherlegislations also, and we realised that thereis a provision of that nature and wethought that we should go this way. This is because, if we are also notcareful, we may create unnecessarylitigation around, and the Bank of Ghanamight end up being virtually impotent andmight not be able to effectively supervisethe institution that we are seeking toregulate. So, even in spite of the consultationsand all those things, what I intend doingis that, we would not take the ThirdReading today, so that Hon Members cango back and look at the amendment and ifthey have any concern, they can raise it. I have put the Question on that one,so, we would move on. Please, we move on to the originalOrder Paper. [Interruption.] Hon Members, we have put theQuestion. We are not doing the ThirdReading today. Any Hon Member who hasa concern can use the rules for us to -- I have some challenges. That is why Ihave deferred it. So, we have made someprogress, and so, let us have it and whenwe come to the Third Reading stage, anyHon Member who has some concernsshould raise it and then, we can take it. We are making laws that can withstandthe test of time and we need to be verycareful. I have been very cautious withthis particular provision. Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee? Hon Members, we go back to theoriginal Order Paper clause 142; Clause 142 -- Review of decisions bycourt or through arbitration;
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 142, headnote, delete “by courtor”. Mr Speaker, the new rendition would read; “Review of decision througharbitration” Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 142, line 1, delete “a court or” andinsert “an” and in line 3, delete “court or”.
“With respect to an arbitrationproceeding against the Bank ofGhana, a member of the decisionmaking body, a staff of the Bank ofGhana, an agent of the Bank ofGhana, the Arbitration Panel inreaching a decision may examine…”
So, what is the rationalebehind the amendment? Can you explainit?
Mr Speaker, the rationalebehind the amendment is to restrict thereview of decision through arbitration tothe Arbitration Act but not to include thereview of decision of a court. That is whywe are amending to delete “court” ascaptured in the clause.
Mr Speaker, the HonChairman should look at the amendmentthat you have queried. He is deleting a“court or” and inserting ‘court or'. So, ineffect, he is only deleting “a” from whatis printed. What is there, he says weshould delete “a court or” and insert an-- [Interruption.]
Do you get the point thatthey are making? I want to get yourresponse before I call the Hon MajorityLeader.
Mr Speaker, I think thatmaybe he is looking at the amendment tothe main clause but not the headnote. Theinsertion of “an” is in respect of the mainclause. So, one will read it; “With respect to an arbitrationproceedings”. That is why we are deleting “a courtor” and inserting “an” but if he shouldtake it --
So, you want to limit it toarbitration proceedings and not the courtproceedings?
Mr Speaker, exactly so.
Mr Speaker, I was justtrying to clarify the issue but I think theHon Chairman has explained itsufficiently. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 142 as amended ordered tostand part of the Bill
Hon Members, the FirstDeputy Speaker to take the Chair and thatbrings us to the end -- The Long Title-- I thought you had taken the Long Title.
Mr Speaker,again, because I have been away a bit, Iam not too sure of what amendments. Iam going backwards and we are dealingwith official administration, liquidationand receivership and in clause 137 wherewe dealt with receivership, we said toourselves that --
Hon Minority Leader,at this stage, I will suggest that you givea note on these issues through the Clerks-at-the-Table, we will look at them beforewe do the Third Reading -- the issuesthat you are raising. We will look at thembefore we do the Third Reading and wewill do the necessary consultations.
Mr Speaker,very well. This is for reasons of avoidingconflicts in what we might have done andwhere we have placed some -- and weallow a person to institute a civil action toclaim damages and restitution and thenwe are saying that we should delete“court”. When we come to clause 141 --I am saying that I have been away, so, Ido not know what you did in those areas,otherwise, we may ran into someproblems.
The Long Title. [Pause.] Hon Members, I want to put theQuestion on the Long Title. If you look atthe Long Title, I have delayed a bit butthere is no mention of banks, and Ithought that even though with theemphasis on deposit-taking, we could finda way of putting the banks there, but Iwill put the Question, maybe, at the ThirdReading, and if we want to do some workon it we can. The Long Title ordered to stand partof the Bill.
Hon Members, thatbrings us to the end of the ConsiderationStage of the Banks and SpecialisedDeposit-taking Institutions Bill, 2015. Mr First Deputy Speaker to take theChair. Are we taking the Hazardous andElectronic Waste Control andManagement Bill, 2016? You mentioned itearlier.
Mr Speaker, that is so.
Very well. Hon Members, the Hazardous andElectronic Waste Control and Manage-ment Bill, 2016, at the Consideration Stage. Mr First Deputy Speaker takes theChair at this stage.
MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
HonMembers, if my memory serves me right,yesterday, at a point in time, the Committeewithdrew certain proposed amendmentsto the Bill. Now, it looks like the Committeehas decided to reintroduce thoseproposed amendments which werewithdrawn. So, this is where we are. We are starting with the original OrderPaper, page 4, item numbered 12 --Hazardous and Electronic Waste Controland Management Bill, 2016, at theConsideration Stage. We would start withthe New Clause. New Clause -- Reporting to Parliament.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
“Annual Report 31. (1) The Administrator shallsubmit to the Minister as soonas practicable but not more thansix months after the end of eachfinancial year a report dealing
Very well. Hon Members, I think that there is thatunderstanding.
Mr Speaker, I am told thatthis is a proposal that has received somegeneral consensus. This provision is notalien to the House and there is a way ofcouching it and I do not know why thereis a difference this time. Dealing with annual reports and theprocess of reporting to the Ministry andthe Ministry to Parliament has beencaptured severally in many of our Bills andlaws. Mr Speaker, usually this is how wecapture it, and I would want to draw theattention of the Hon Chairman of theCommittee and the Hon Minister to notethat the phrase “as soon as practicable”is not part of our legal terminology. Whatwe usually say is “within”. “The Administrator shall submit tothe Minister within six months at theend of each financial year a report…”That captures --
HonChairman of the Committee, do you agreewith him so that we could reframe thatportion?
Mr Speaker, I beg to furtherpropose an amendment that “The Administrator shall submit tothe Minister within six months at theend of each financial year a report…”
Very well. Hon Members, I think that with this,there is a further amendment to theproposed amendment. Hon Chairman ofthe Committee, are you on all fours withus?
Mr Speaker, I think weare in agreement. Thank you.
Very well. Question put and amendment agreedto. New Clause (31) as further amendedordered to stand part of the Bill.
HonMembers, we would move to Order PaperAddendum 2 and we would start with theNew Clause advertised as (i). New Clause (i) -- Reporting toParliament.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,New Clause , add the following new clauseafter clause 28: “Reporting to Parliament 29. The Administrator shall submitto Parliament, within threemonths after the passage of theAppropriation Act, a report onthe usage of the Fund.
Mr Speaker, if the HonChairman of the Committee could tell uswhy “after the passage of theAppropriation Act”? The reason I amasking is that, for example, if we pass theAppropriation Act in December, what doyou expect them to report on? We wouldnow be approving the Fund in Decemberand they would not have used it. So, what are you asking them toreport? If we approve it in March, whatare you asking them to report on? Whydo you think that it has to be after thepassage of the Appropriation Act? Whatis the rationale?
Mr Speaker, basically, weare looking at the financial year and weare also looking at the fact that it is a fundand it follows other funds that are handledby the Appropriation Act.
Mr Speaker, that is whyI am wondering: at the end of the year thesector Minister, by legislation, usuallybrings an annual report to Parliament,having seen the Auditor-General'sReport, all of them. And it is not after theAppropriation Act. It is just that at theend of every year -- by six months somereports must come here. So, that is a norm. I do not know whywe chose to go this road. [Interruption.] -- That is the annual report. The HonMinister should submit the annual reportso that it is incorporated. Why is the reportof the fund different? It has to be auditedproperly, and the Minister's annual reportwould include --
HonMember, could you propose a furtheramendment to that one?
Mr Speaker, I asked thatin case they had a rationale, but I thoughtwe should look at the previous legislationsand follow suit. I do not have one here,but maybe, I could find one and comeback.
Very well. Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, I agree withthe Hon Member for Old Tafo. I have gotseveral of them here. When we look atsome of these funds that the Parliamentof Ghana has created, the language is notvery different. The Ghana Education TrustFund (GETFund), the District AssembliesCommon Fund (DACF), whereappropriations and formula are done. But the construction here is that, afterthe Appropriation Act, the amount ofmoney that has accrued to the Fund, thedisbursement has been specified tocertain things, and we would ask theAdministrator of this particular Fund toreport to Parliament how much is beinggiven the Fund and what is going to eachsector as has been disbursed by the law? So, after -- [Interruption] -- Yes, itcomes. It comes to Parliament directly,even the National Health Insurance Fund(NHIF) and the GETFund. That is thereason we wanted them to come toParliament before the year begins toenable us find out how they are going to
Yes, but Iwould want us to chart a way forward. Yes, Hon Minister?
Mr Speaker, I think thatis the essence. The idea is that, in the Bill,the allocations have been clearlyspecified. But we want a mechanism toenable Parliament to know exactly whatthe plan for the year is in relation to thedisbursement. So, we want a sort ofaccountability before they spend, and notafter they have spent. So, that was the idea behind couchingthis clause and putting it not long afterthe Appropriations Act, so that theywould appear before the House andpresent to them not for approval butreporting on what they would intend touse the funds for.
Yes, HonMember for Old Tafo?
Parliament would giveapproval to what they would want tospend it on. We know that. But we wouldwant them to account usually for howthey spent it. And that is why he wasreferring to the District AssembliesCommon Fund (DACF). This is becausewe approved the formula. It is not up tothem -- They might come with a plan, andwe could change it. That would be the approval whichwould be embedded in the AppropriationsAct. We would want to make sure thatthey have accounted for it after the endof the fiscal year, which is normal with allfunds. That is a report to Parliament onhow they are going to use it.
HonMember, I think that we had a similarproblem with the Ghana NationalPetroleum Corporation (GNPC). One mustbring his formula for expenditure to us forapproval, and at the end of it all, he wouldrender an account. So, it is two-fold. Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker,it is to assist us. I have not been part ofcrafting this provision, but myunderstanding of it is that it is to assistthis House to be able to monitor and trackthe use of the funds. It is just like as yousaid, the case for the GNPC. Even in the Petroleum RevenueManagement Act, we insisted that, afterthe Appropriation Bill, the Hon Ministershould come and let us know the areasthat he would want to apply them, exceptthat there have been breaches of this.But it is to allow for greater transparencyand accountability on the part of fundmanagers. That is my understanding ofwhat is intended.
Mr Speaker, the HonMinority Leader is right. There are a lot ofthings that we are not saying. The idea isthat, usually, when there is a fund like thatwe have the Ministry of Finance takingthe fund and not releasing it to theagency to implement what it has beenmandated to implement. We have a similar situation where wehave a Plastics Levy which the Ministryof Finance ought to release for us tomanage plastic waste. Mr Speaker, as wespeak, we have never seen the funds toenable us manage plastic waste. So, the Committee believes that if thereis a reporting obligation before the yearruns its full course, the Ministry of Financewould be triggered, knowing that theAdministration has to come to Parliamentwith a report. It would trigger someresponse from the Ministry of Finance tomake sure that they release the funds tothe Administrator before the Administratorcomes to Parliament to report. So, this is the thinking behind thecouching of this provision that requiresthat the Administrator comes toParliament. Before he comes, of course,the Hon Minister for Finance would knowthat the Administrator is coming to reporton the financing of this activity and mightbe moved to make the funds available.
Iunderstand it, but could we get therendition couched in such a manner as tocapture what you said in this proposedamendment?
Mr Speaker, perhaps,just like we captured in the PetroleumRevenue Management Act, “the budgetof the Fund shall be approved byParliament each year.” That is how we putit in the Petroleum Revenue ManagementAct. So, one is obligated to come to seekapproval. That is what we would want. If the budget has to be approved, ithas to be brought to Parliament so thatwe could approve it in the formula like theDACF would be done, and not after. Thatway, they would be forced to bring it likethe DACF and the rest, if it is beingapproved by us. It is not the global sum but the details. That was how we capturedthe GNPC. If I understand what he said,they would want prior approval byParliament and not just reporting. Is thatnot it?
Yes, couldwe hear from you, Hon Member forManhyia South?
Mr Speaker, for thePetroleum Revenue Management Act, thisis the wording: “…be reviewed every three yearsby Parliament, but Parliament shallin each year approve the programmeof activities”. It is the programme of activity and notthe budget. Why? It is because thebudget has already been approved. We wanted to bring them back for usto even agree with them on theirprogramme of activities on which theappropriation has been done. So, it issimilar to what we are saying that whenwe come to the appropriation, we knowthat the Fund has accumulated an amountof money, say, one hundred million Ghanacedis. Before they start to use the GH¢100million for the year, they should come andreport to us how they are going to use it. Mr Speaker, the reason we did not say“Parliament approval” is in this specificBill, when you go to disbursement, whichis not in the GETFund or the DACF, wehave given certain percentages going tocertain areas. But they should come andshow us how they are going to do it. As the Hon Minister said, the HonMinister for Finance knows thisParliament is going to look at thedisbursement for the year and would haveto release the money. So, that is what weare going to do. It is exactly so.
Now, itappears as though -- Yes, Hon MajorityLeader?
Mr Speaker, the programmeof activities has already been capturedunder the new clause, which we havestated clearly. “At the end of each financial year, areport dealing generally with theactivities and operations of theFund…”. From the presentation, it looks like itconcerns releases into the Fund. So,Parliament wants to keep an eye becausethis is a very critical area. We want to getthe Ministry of Finance to release fundsinto the Fund and get the organisation toimplement it. Mr Speaker, I propose that we do nottalk about a report on the usage.[Interruption.] But we are talking abouta report on receipts of money into theFund. That is what they are concernedabout. They want to see that within threemonths, after we have passed theAppropriation Act, moneys are actuallyreleased by the Ministry of Finance intothe Fund. This is because, looking atclause 31, which we just passed, it says: “The Administrator shall submit tothe Minister as soon as practicablebut not more than six months afterthe end of each financial year, areport dealing generally with theactivities and operations of the Fundduring the year to which the reportrelates.” Mr Speaker, that is not releases. Thatis dealing with the activities for the year. Mr Speaker, the Appropriation Act isusually passed at the end of the year. Thatis the practice now. So, it starts operatingon 1st January. They are saying that bythe end of March, a report should cometo this House. And what would be theessence of that report? It is just for theHouse to see whether the Ministry hasstarted putting money into the Fund.[Interruption.] I am proposing to amend the “usage”because at that time, practically, he was atthe Ministry of Finance. In January andFebruary, moneys trickle in and most ofthe time, Government borrows to paysalaries and wages while waiting formoney. At the end of March, they getsome money and releases start in April,May and June. That is the timeGovernment releases money to agenciesto work. Mr Speaker, so, if they want to ratherget the Ministry to, at least, focus onthis critical area so that anytime moneyscome in in connection with this, they arereleased to the Fund, they shouldspecifically say so. This is because, at thattime, there would be no usage of any fund.In fact, there would be no fund to be used.Between those three months, there is nomoney there to be used. They should not.
So, howdo we amend it?
Mr Speaker, I am talkingabout a report on the receipts of moneyinto the Fund. That one, we are sure thatthe Ministry is complying and releasingwhatever small money is coming into theFund and then we keep track of it. Thatis what they want to -- But as for this, Ido not see “usage”. There would be nomoney anywhere to be used at that time.It would still be trickling in.
Mr Speaker,my understanding is that, in theAppropriation Act, we would have agreedon the share amount to be allocated. Now,this one is coming after clause 28. Clause28 is on the areas to apply the money. Inclause 29, this new addition is telling usthe details of this application. Mr Speaker, for instance, (e) says; andwith your permission I beg to quote: “five per cent of the funds shall beallocated for research anddevelopment in electrical andelectronic waste management;” Mr Speaker, in the share, that amountwould have been stated but what exactlyit is going to be applied on would not beknown. Then (f): “three and a half per cent of thefunds which shall be used formonitoring and activities by theAgency;” Mr Speaker, I do not know why thatone is in italics. [Interruption] -- Has itbeen amended? Then we have (h): “0.5 per cent for the administrativeexpenses of the Fund.” Mr Speaker, we should know. It couldbe a very large sum. We do not even knowthe numerical strength of theadministrators of the Fund. Then we have0.5 per cent. We need to know how it isgoing to be applied for purposes oftransparency and accountability. So, weknow that we have value for the moneysthat are going to be allocated to the Fund.That is why it is a sequel to clause 28. Mr Speaker, that is my understanding.It is like, as you said, relating it to thePetroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA). It is approved but they need tocome to us with the details of theapplication. I understand it that way. So,it is not just about receipts, because withreceipts, I agree with the Majority Leaderthat at that time, we would not haveanything to report on anyway. It is aboutthe details of the application.
Mr Speaker, I supportthe Minority Leader. I think the HonMinister is talking about receipts; it ismore than receipts. The formula in clause28 is set but exactly what is being done isnot known. That is why his mention ofthe programme of activities is important. I think the Majority Leader is alsoraising another issue which, if we want tocure that deficit, we can add by lookingat what is in the District AssembliesCommon Fund (DACF) or the NationalHealth Insurance Authority (NHIA) Law.In the DACF, we said that it should bereleased in quarterly instalment. In theNHIA, by month. We can use thatlanguage to cure his concern. He can use that language to cure hisconcern. His first concern is theprogramme but he has raised anotherissue of release. Then I think we can lookat the DACF or the NHIA law to cure thefirst part and the PRMA law to cure thecontent of the programme of activities.
HonMembers, would it be possible for us todefer this for the Committee? Let us notbe in too much of a hurry. I know we areanxious to complete this exercise but atthe same time, we should tread cautiously.
Mr Speaker, thisparticular law, as the Hon Minority Leadersaid, has already given a disbursement inclause 28. When we come to clause 29,our intention is really not only on the
“The Administrator shall submit toParliament within three months afterthe passage of the AppropriationAct, a report on the receipts ofmoneys into the Fund andprogramme of activities of the Fundfor the year.”
How do westand with this proposed amendment?
Mr Speaker, I think hisrendition is accepted. This is because it ispart of the laws that have already beenpassed by this House.
Mr Speaker, the partdealing with receipts does not really makemuch sense after the passage of the Act.It does not address the issue that the HonMajority Leader brought up. We can take“receipts” in his amendment and first put“programme of activities”. I think theyalso want to know if the Ministry isreleasing on time. What my HonColleague has, does not address what wehave done in the NHIA.
In the amendment, there is anotherprovision that says that, in one month,they must be lodged at the National HealthInsurance Authority (NHIA) Value AddedTax (VAT) money.
Clause 52 says; “The Minister responsible forfinance shall within 30 days after thecollection of the levy cause the levyto be paid directly into the Fund andfurnish the Minister after that”. So, we could retain the programme ofactivities and come with the (b) a monthafter.
HonMembers, so, do we go back? Sometimes,we are in a hurry to get things done, but itcould be dangerous. Let us just take ourtime. I get the proposal made by the HonMember for Manhyia South. It is perfect,but let us take our time and couch it, andthen we would come back home and dry. Hon Chairman of the Committee?
I think I accept what yousaid. We need to sit down and look at itand come out with a clear rendition.
Mr Speaker,I am wondering how many proposals arecoming to this floor that the HonChairman is accepting. At any criticaljuncture, the Hon Chairman is acceptinga proposal, so, where is the Hon Chairmantaking us?
HonMembers, I direct that we defer furtherconsideration of this particular proposed amendment, the new clause, so that theCommittee would come out with -- [Pause.] Hon Members, the direction is to theeffect that further consideration of romanitem number (i) under the Order PaperAddendum 2 is being deferred. [Deferred by leave of the House.] New Clause -- Accounts and Audit
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,New Clause, add the following newClause: “Accounts and Audit. 30 (1) The Administrator shall keepin respect of the Fund books ofaccounts and proper records inrelation to them in the formapproved by the AuditorGeneral. (2) The books of account shall beaudited by the Auditor-Generalwithin three months after the endof each financial year. (3) In addition to the annual audit,technical audits shall beconducted on selective basis bythe Auditor-General.” This is in accordance with the FinancialAdministration Act and other establishedpractices of the country.
HonMembers, in the absence of any comments-- yes, Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, there is anintroduction of something that I am not familiar with, in clause 30 (1), “in relationto them”, that phrase. Mr Speaker, I propose furtheramendment to that one to say, “The Administrator shall keep inrespect of the Fund, books ofaccounts and proper records in aform approved by the Auditor-General”. So, we do not have “in relation tothem.” So, it would read: “the Administrator shall keep inrespect of the Fund, books ofaccounts and proper records in aform approved by the Auditor-General.”
I think thatcleans it up.
Mr Speaker,if you saw my body language, I was alsogoing to relate to the same thing, but wehave adopted a standard constructionwhich ensues directly from theConstitution. I do not know whether it isthe same thing that the Hon MajorityLeader read. I suppose we should informourselves by that, and while we acceptthe principle, we could go on the path thathas been the standard practice. Along the line, there were variationsand we decided then to apply thelanguage borne out of the Constitution,and I am just looking for it. I suppose it isthe same thing that the Hon MajorityLeader is reading. If that is so, let us keepto that.
Whichportion of the Constitution are youreferring to?
Mr Speaker,article 187 (4); “The public accounts of Ghana andof all other persons or authoritiesreferred to in clause (2) of this articleshall be kept in such form as theAuditor-General shall approve”.
Mr Speaker, when theHon Minority Leader and the HonMajority Leader agree, probably, nobodyshould question it, but I have beenlooking at this so-called standard, and Ihave in my hand the FinancialAdministration Act and about 10 laws thatwe have passed. Mr Speaker, there is not a single format.I have them all here. I have the MillenniumDevelopment Authority Act, theUniversity of Ghana Act, the HealthInstitutions and Facilities Act, the Bio-Safety Act, Youth Employment AgencyAct --
So, youwant to say that we have not beenconsistent?
Yes, Mr Speaker. I would start with the YouthEmployment Agency Act. It is called“Accounts and Audit”; “The Board shall keep books ofaccounts and proper records inrelation to the accounts in the formapproved by the Auditor-General.” That is the first one. The second one: “The Board shall within threemonths after the end of the financialyear submit the accounts of theAgency to the Auditor-General forAudit” -- [Interruption] -- The first one?Would you like another one? I am going to one that came very --Mr Speaker, Petroleum RevenueManagement Act -- [Interruption] --That is bullying by the Leadership. Mr Speaker, they have annual audit; “The Bank of Ghana shall not laterthan three months after the end ofits financial year submit to theAuditor-General the financialstatement and relevant documentsof the Petroleum funds for Audit.” Let me pick a different Bill -- HealthInstitutions Facilities Act --
HonMember, I do not blame you. You are nota lawyer, otherwise, you would haveflagged all these things and then --[Interruption] -- It takes you too longto --
Mr Speaker, you havejoined your Leadership to bully me.
They are intimidatinghim. They are bullying him -- [Laughter.]
Accounts and Audit,Health Facilities Act, 2011; Mr Speaker,with your permission, I beg to quote: “The Board shall keep books ofaccounts and proper records inrelation to them in the formapproved by the Auditor-General”. And he just said he does not like thephrase “in relation to them” --
In relationto them?
Mr Speaker, “in relationto them”. It is there. Mr Speaker, when you read theFinancial Administration Act, it is the samething -- “in relation to”. So, I plead thatthis should not hold us back.
Mr Speaker, I think thatthe cleaning up done by the Leader is verysimple and straightforward and we couldadopt that, even though I could add moreexamples to what the Hon Prempeh hascited. I am holding a number of legislationshere. I have the AIDS Commission Act,that also provides that: “The Commission shall keep booksof accounts and proper records inrelation to them in the formapproved by the Auditor-General.”[Laughter.] Mr Speaker, it is the exact rendition thatwe have in this Bill. I think that thecleaning up done by the Hon MajorityLeader is an excellent one and we do nothave any objection to it.
Mr Speaker, I amsurprised at the Hon Minister. He agrees that we have to beconsistent, but he appears to beintimidated by the Leadership, so, he says:“even though it is not consistent, I agree”.He should not be intimidated. Parliamentshould be consistent and that is how heshould make his own argument.
HonMember, we realised that we have not beenconsistent, but in the same vein, we needto give it a rendition which we findacceptable for now. Probably, we would go by what theHon Majority Leader has proposed.
Mr Speaker, by ourperformance,”in relation to” is leading; inall probability, most of them have “inrelation to”. We should appear to beconsistent; that way, it does not harm usin any way. Otherwise, somebody who reads it ten years back would ask; whathappened? What forced this new change? I think that it does not affect anything.We should keep: “in relation to” and itwould be all right.
Mr Speaker,I think before we got to this standardrendition, the original construction hadbeen: “The Administrator shall keepproper books of accounts andrecords.” Mr Speaker, that is how we constructthat sentence. I remember we said no, itcould not be “proper books”, but it shouldbe “books of accounts,” and we talkedabout proper records. We borrowed from the Constitution:“approval required by the Auditor-General”. That is why I said that thepractice is to have -- There is a templateand I am not sure that anybody woulddispute that -- “the approval by theAuditor-General,” and the fact that thereis the need to keep books of accounts andproper records. Mr Speaker, these are at the heart ofthat construction -- “Keeping books ofaccounts and proper records”. The “inrelation to them” refers to “the books”.These accounts and proper records, referto “the books of the Fund”. If we would need to change it, I am nottoo particular about that, but I think thatwhat is important in the construction is:“the need for the books of accounts andproper records” and the “to be kept in theform approved by the Auditor-General”,as the Constitution stipulates.
Mr Speaker, let meemphasise the point just raised by the HonMinority Leader. This is because, whenwe talk about “books of accounts andproper records”, the only authority thatcan certify that one's book of accounts
But HonMajority Leader, what happens to whatwe have done in the past with regard to“in relation to them?”
Mr Speaker,if you look at “in relation to them”, justmeans those records or books that arerelevant. Article 187 (3) provides: “For the purposes of clause (2) ofthis article, the Auditor-General orany person authorised or appointedfor the purpose by the Auditor-General shall have access to allbooks, records, returns and otherdocuments relating or relevant tothose accounts.” The “in relation to”, is about those thatrelate, or are relevant. I think that iswhere we borrowed that constructionfrom.
HonMembers, we must arrive at a definitedecision. Looking at what we have done in thepast and looking at what rendition wehave here, do we let it stay, or do we goby the Hon Majority Leader's proposal?
Mr Speaker, we areconstantly looking for perfection. Wecannot sacrifice perfection on the altar ofconsistency. If what we have been doingconsistently is not in tune with therendition in our Constitution and forsimplicity if you look at the rendition bythe Hon Minority Leader, grammatically,it is simple and straightforward. So, I thinkthat it is all right.
Mr Speaker, the HonDeputy Attorney-General and DeputyMinister for Justice happens to be here.They are in charge of drafting. It appears they have probably chosenthis style, not exactly using the languagein the -- Maybe, he can explain to us, ifusing the “in relation to them”, was foremphasis -- For the avoidance of doubt. Is that the case why your people usethe “in relation to them”. Maybe, he canadvise us, so, we know. Otherwise, whydid they not leave it at what theConstitution said?
Mr Speaker, it is very clear. When we talk about access, thatphrase: “in relation to”, becomes relevant.We are talking about access to the books,to the records and those kinds of things.So, we are talking about what relates towhat we are looking for. With this, we are talking about a form.I would not want to use the word:“mislead”, but it looks like we got caughtup, and we have been using that phrasefor some years -- For about ten years. If we talk about just the form, then weshould not be talking about the “in relationto” again. This is because we are talkingabout the books of accounts and properrecords in a form approved by -- So, itshould not be “in relation to them” again. In relation to what?
In relation to properrecords; only that and nothing else. Thatis what this says. The relation refers to the books ofaccounts and proper records only andnothing else, for emphasis.
Mr Speaker, in simple cleardrafting, the use of words like “them”,creates problems of interpretation.
HonMembers, is it possible to put theQuestion and then direct thedraftspersons?
Yes. Should I go over myproposal again?
Can we hearfrom the Deputy Attorney-General andDeputy Minister for Justice?
Mr Speaker, Ido not know why the Hon Dr Akoto Oseiinvited my opinion in this matter. MrSpeaker, we need to be as close aspossible to the language of theConstitution. I agree with the HonMajority Leader as well as the HonMinority Leader that we must, as much aspossible, stay close to the constitutionallanguage. If the statutory law is supposed toamplify the language of the Constitution,it must do it in such a way that it does notbring about confusion and also introduceambiguity into the language of theConstitution. Having said that, Mr Speaker, the pointabout consistency is also something thatwe should take seriously as a House. Thisis because if we draft statutes and theprovisions keep changing, thensometimes, meanings can be read intothem in a manner that detracts from whatParliament intended. So, I will argue forconsistency in the use of language.
Mr Speaker, it looks as ifafter listening to all the Leaders, the bestexample we have got as a House so far,the Ghana Infrastructure Investment FundAct, 2014, section 28 -- Accounts andAudit: “The Board shall keep books ofaccount and proper records of theFund in the form approved by theAuditor-General.” It is just as the Hon Majority Leadersaid. We can adopt that one if you orderso and it will settle it. That is the best andit is in conformity with the FinancialAdministration Act. Mr Speaker, if youallow, we can adopt this from the TableOffice.
Yes, HonMinority Leader. After that I will put theQuestion. Then when the decision istaken, we will leave it with thedraftspersons.
Mr Speaker,I agree with this new proposal. It conformsto the thinking that you have espoused. Also, I support with another reason.Mr Speaker, I detest this invasion of thephrase “in respect of”. Mr Speaker, thisinvasion should be resisted. So, forpurposes of cutting out the invasion ofthat phrase, “in respect of”, I agree. Idoubly agree with this new one. Question put and amendment agreedto.
HonMembers, we have deferred the earliernew clause for further consideration bythe Committee. So, this brings us to theend of Consideration Stage of theHazardous and Electronic Waste Control and Management Bill, 2016 for today. Atthe next adjourned date, we would look atwhatever proposal will come up.
Mr Speaker,there are two other “in respect of” -- Isaid I detest “in respect of”. When youlook at page 2, there are two others. I donot know whether we could not quicklytake them. It relates to what we are doing.
HonMinority Leader, the Chairman wentthrough it all and when we were about toput the Question, this issue was raisedby the Hon Majority Leader but what youhave on the next page goes together withwhat is on the first page. [Pause.]
Mr Speaker,what I have here is after the new clause 30(2) and 30 (3) which are constitutional. Thenext point of call is Parliament and that isleft out. That is what I want to ask.
HonMembers, the Chairman of the Committeetook us through the various subclausesof this new clause 30 together. Then anissue was raised with regard to subclause(1) and that has generated this debate allthis while. Having put the Question, thatends it. In any case, Hon Minority Leader,it does not completely shut the door. This brings us to the end of theConsideration Stage of the Hazardousand Electronic Waste Control andManagement Bill, 2016. [Pause.]
Mr Speaker, I just cravedthe indulgence of my Hon Colleagues andwith your kind permission for us to takeitem 10 which deals with the Third Readingof the Ghana International TradeCommission Bill, 2014. The Hon DeputyMinister is here.
HonMembers, item 10 on the main Order Paper-- Motion by the Minister for Trade andIndustry.
Mr Speaker, I agree thatthe Hon Majority Leader has asked theHon Deputy Minister to stand in place ofthe Hon Minister. Mr Speaker, I would want it to go onrecord that for the first time, probablysince I came to Parliament, it happens thatfrom the Consideration Stage till now, theHon Minister for Trade and Industrynever appeared.
I do notthink you are completely right. HonMember, the Hon Minister is on leave andanother Hon Minister, the Hon Ministerfor Foreign Affairs and RegionalIntegration is acting for him. She has beenhere a number of occasions. So, it wouldnot be completely correct for you to saythat.
Mr Speaker, you aretotally right. I am saying the Hon Ministerfor Trade and Industry as we know, isnot the person acting. Throughout theConsideration Stage of this Bill --
The HonMinister is on leave.
Mr Speaker, in relationto what the Hon Majority Leader asked, Iam informed that there is an agreement toadjourn at 1.00 o'clock. That notwith-standing, it is all right if this will help --
HonMembers, item number 10 on the originalOrder Paper? The Hon Deputy Minister for Tradeand Industry is to stand in for thesubstantive Minister. Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker,before you assumed the Chair, we weretalking about consistency. Indeed, thisitem has been listed as item number 10.Notice has been given and yet ourStanding Orders provide that, for a ThirdReading, notice is not required.
“Unless any Order otherwiseprovides, notice shall be given ofany Motion which it is proposed tomake, except the following -- (g) a Motion for the ThirdReading of a Bill.” Mr Speaker, for the record, this Motionought not to have been advertised.
Yes, let ushear from the Hon Majority Leader.
Mr Speaker, what the HonMinority Leader stated is what is in theStanding Orders. I am told this morning,Mr Speaker, together with the HonMinority Leader drew the attention of theHouse to some variance in practice. MrSpeaker, we have gone this route before.The reason why they have to itemise themis that the House would have to know theagenda of the day. So, even though, it amounts to notice,it is proper that, the House gets theinformation that this Bill will go through aprocess, which is the Third Reading sothat Hon Members may have some issuesto raise. The practice is actually at variancewith the Standing Orders but it is for agood reason. I recall during the time of Hon J. H.Owusu-Acheampong and Hon J. H.Mensah, this matter was raised and wesaid it is important that the House be givensome information on the Business of the day. I think that is what is happening; thepractice is different from what we have inthe Standing Orders.
HonMembers, let us look at Standing Order131 (1): “A Bill having passed through theConsideration Stage, the ThirdReading shall not be taken until atleast twenty-four hours haveelapsed (this period not includingdays on which the House does notSit)”. So, have we not complied with it?
We have done that. ButMr Speaker, they are reading thepublication of an item of Third Readingas notice. It amounts to notice; but thereshould not be a notice.This means the HonMinister can just get-up and say, “Let ustake this Bill through the Third Reading”. It is important that the House gets toknow what business is before the Houseand what business would be transactedin a day. That is why the practice is abit different from the Standing Orders, andit is for a good purpose.
Yes, HonMinority Leader?
Mr Speaker,I do not disagree. By our statutes, this isnot really required. I said so because inthe morning, when I raised issues aboutseconding the Motion that had beensubmitted by the Hon Minister, I was toldthat, it was not required at theConsideration Stage for that to be done.That is the practice. The Presiding Officer said; “Look atthe Standing Orders”; and I said; “Iagree”. But look at the Standing Orders;they provide that, the Third Reading doesnot need a Motion to provide notice. We
In that case,let us still move on. Hon Deputy Minister on behalf of thesubstantive Minister.
BILLS -- THIRD READING
HonMajority Leader, we are in your hands.
Mr Speaker, I would liketo thank Hon Members for their enduranceand hard work. For several weeks now,Hon Members have been very committedto the work of the nation and if nobodywould commend us, it is important wecommend ourselves. Mr Speaker, I want it to be on recordthat the House has performed very well,Sitting long hours under strenuousconditions and has passed so manylegislations. So, we should applaud ourefforts. It is with this that I thank all HonMembers for the patience, attention andthe diligence that they have shown ingoing through all these Bills. I know thatthe good Lord would bless us even beforewe die.
Thank youvery much, Hon Majority Leader. Couldyou follow it up with the Motion foradjournment?
Mr Speaker, Ibeg to move that, we adjourn till Thursday,when we shall reconvene at the right timeto transact the Business of the House.
MrSpeaker, the Motion is inconclusive. TheHon Majority Leader said that we shouldadjourn till Thursday. Which of theThursdays? We are not too sure aboutwhich of the Thursdays. Mr Speaker, what else could I say thanto also follow the path that has been laidby the Hon Majority Leader when he saidthat Parliament has done extremely well?Yes, indeed, it is Chinua Achebe who inhis Things Fall Apart spoke about thelizard that fell from the giant iroko tree andsaid that if nobody applauds its effortsfrom falling from that height, then it wouldcommend itself. That is why the lizard, upon falling fromheights, would nod its head in profuseagreement to its efforts, if nobody elserecognises the herculean feat that it haschalked from falling from such greatheights. So, even though I was not here lastweek, I guess the Hon Majority Leaderwould be right in commending the effortsof Hon Members of Parliament. Weindicated to ourselves that we would beSitting on Mondays which are not normalSitting days to do national duties. I amtold that yesterday, dutifully, HonMembers obliged and attended to the callof the House and transacted seriousBusiness. Mr Speaker, I would join the HonMajority Leader in acknowledging thetremendous work that Hon Members havebeen doing over the past few weeks. Weexpect that they would follow same untilthe House adjourns, hopefully, on the 29thof July, 2016. On that note, I would second theMotion moved by the Hon MajorityLeader for adjournment.
Thank youvery much. Hon Members, it has been moved andseconded that this House be adjournedtill Thursday, 7th July, 2016, at 10.00 o'clockin the forenoon. Question put and Motion agreed to.