MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
HonMembers, Correction of Votes andProceedings. [No correction was made to the Votesand Proceedings of Wednesday, 16 thMarch, 2016.] Hon Members, we do not have anyOfficial Report to be corrected. An urgent Statement has beenadmitted and I would call upon the HonSecond Deputy Majority Whip.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, forgiving me this opportunity to make thisStatement on the ordeals of the poorcashew farmers in the Brong Ahafo,Northern, Upper East and Upper WestRegions of Ghana.
“The Ministry of Trade andIndustry with oversight respon-sibilities for trade regulations andcontrols under the Import andExport Law Act (503) section (13) of1995 as amended in 2000 has issuedthe following Administrativedirectives on the purchase andexport of raw cashew nuts. Henceforth, all traders andprocessers are to note that they areallowed to purchase raw cashewnuts during the main harvestingseason from January- June butexport of raw cashew nuts ispermitted only after 31 st Mayonwards. Any raw cashew nuts that arebrought to the ports or borders ofGhana for Export between 31stMarch and 31st May 2016 shall beconfiscated to the State. The public is hereby obliged to takenote and comply with this directive.” It has been noted with concern thatas much as 95 per cent of Ghana's totalproduction of cashew nuts, estimated at68,000MT, in its raw form, are sentoverseas for processing. Processing ofraw cashew nuts into cashew kernels inGhana increased from 4,250MT in 2009 to17600MT, but a very low figure of 2500MTin 2015. This implies that, the industry isoperating with just 5 per cent of itsinstalled capacity of 6890MT. Local processers are unable to obtainadequate supplies of raw materials forprocessing due to intensive competitionwith purchasers from traders at the farmgate. This situation is stifling theMinistry's objective of promoting valueaddition under the National ExportDevelopment Programme, that is, (NEDP)projected from 2016-2020, which seeks toincrease earnings from the Non-Traditional Exports (NTE) Sector. The survival of the Industry which isprocessing cashew in Ghana is on thebrink of collapse and will only survive onthe availability of adequate supply of rawcashew nuts for processing. Mr Speaker, this directive by theMinistry is very weak and illegal. It is illegal because the law that hasbeen quoted -- I have it here --[Interruption] -- I have the amendedversion too, which mandates that theMinister may by regulation or LegislativeInstrument --
Can youplease, read it out?
Mr Speaker, with yourpermission, I beg to quote the Export andImport Act, 1995, Act 503, section 13: “The Minister may, by legislativeinstrument, make regulations -- (a) restricting or prohibiting theexport or import of any goods;” Mr Speaker, no Legislative Instrumentor regulation has been laid in this House --
HonMember, you have indicated that from thedirective, there is a reference to anamended version in 2000 of this particularlaw. Does it affect it?
Mr Speaker, no! I havethat one here as well.
Can youread that one out?
Mr Speaker, section 13of Act 503, as amended -- the principalenactment by the substitution ofparagraph C, D and E and so, theparagraph A was not amended.
Mr Speaker, thisdirective by the Ministry is very weak andillegal. Under what law is the Ministrygoing to confiscate raw cashew nutswithout any due process? First, the cashew industry is a privatesector with a liberalised environment. This has attracted most of the youthinto cashew production due to high pricesand as a result of competition betweenlocal processing companies and theirforeign counterparts. Mr Speaker, if we want to protect thefew processing companies in the country,it must not be at the expense of the poorfarmers who constitute the majority.
Hon DeputyMinority Leader?
Thank you Mr Speaker, for theopportunity to contribute to the Statementread by the Hon Second Deputy MajorityWhip. Mr Speaker, it is extremely surprisingthat he, in Leadership, would make aStatement to attack an Hon Minister ofState [Interruptions.] -- of the Majority.This should not be encouraged. This is asign of pure confusion on their side. [Hear!Hear!]
HonMember, at this stage, we are notsupposed to generate debate. You mustmake your contribution to the Statement.
Mr Speaker, this is seriousbusiness. So, I would not generate debate.I am putting the facts together to developthe points in order to land on a softcushion. Mr Speaker, I think that this practiceshould never be encouraged. I say sobecause the Majority side have everychannel to solve this problem with theExecutive arm of Government, withoutnecessarily dragging Hon Members ofParliament into this issue. What is this Statement seeking toachieve? Is it to appease the farmers inthe Brong Ahafo Region or it is to fightfor the people there because it is anelection year?
HonMember, as you have already indicated,please, do not generate debate. We are here as an arm of Government.If we see the Executive doing what weconsider to be wrong and illegal, I thinkwe owe it a duty to bring it to the fore andtake the necessary steps to remedy thesituation.
Mr Speaker, I dulyunderstand the position and I support it.We would all fight for the ordinary peopleof Brong Ahafo Region and the poorfarmers. Mr Speaker, but I believe that, thatStatement should not be coming from him.[Interruptions] -- Mr Speaker, that is thepoint I am making--
HonMember, again, you are generating debate.I want you to contribute to the Statementhe has made. It does not matter who madeit; just contribute to the Statement, please.
Mr Speaker, I am makingmy preliminary comments to set the tonebefore I come to the meat of the matter. Mr Speaker, let us be fair to the peopleof the Brong Ahafo Region, the companiesand the Hon Minister. The Hon Minister has given a directivethat, they should not export raw cashewnuts between a certain period up to 31stMay, 2016. Mr Speaker, what are his reasons? It isto protect the 14 local companies that areprocessing cashew. This is because manypeople just export the raw cashew nutsoutside Ghana. Unfortunately for the people of theBrong Ahafo and the people who are alsoworking in these factories, only twofactories are working. This is because therest of the 12 companies do not get theraw cashew nuts. [Interruptions] Thereare 14 companies there but they do notget the raw cashew nuts. So, the Hon Minister thinks that thebest policy is to stop --
HonMember, because I did not want todescend into the arena of debate, I tookpains to ask the Hon Member to read therelevant portions of the law. From what he read, it does appear thatthe Hon Minister has the power, but hecan do it only through a LegislativeInstrument. So, this administrativedirective would not appear to be in linewith the provisions of the law.
Mr Speaker, I will come tothat aspect. I am just giving the reasonbehind what the Hon Minister did, whichis good from an observer's view. Mr Speaker, that was why I used thephrase that “there is pure confusion”. Itis not confusion on the part of theMajority side here, but on the part ofGovernment appointees --
HonMember, you are still dragging us into thedebate. That is what I want us to avoid. Hon Deputy Minority Leader, stopusing the word “confusion” and so on.This is because it would not help us.
Mr Speaker, the HonMember has made the Statement, and hebelieves that, the Hon Minister'sstatement is very weak and illegal. Itappears that he is right in making thatStatement. Mr Speaker, I would believe, as I havesaid earlier, the Hon Member, being an HonMember and Leader of the Majority Sidecould have a better route to solve thisproblem.
HonMember, you would admit that there areoptions opened to him and he is notbound.
Mr Speaker, I am alsocontributing to the Statement, and thereare options also given to me to contributeto the Statement and make my point.
Hon DeputyMinority Leader, could you please makeyour contribution to the Statement insteadof dragging us into a debate?
Mr Speaker, I support hispoint that the timing is wrong; most traderswho are pre-financed would suffer; thefarmers would suffer; that illegal directiveshould be reversed; the Governmentshould compensate the famers, if theyhave not done so; and the Governmentshould stop taking illegal decisions thatwould make our people suffer, particularly,the people of Brong Ahafo Region. I also support his view that there is apossibility of processers takingadvantage of the situation to enjoy amonopoly. So, there is a need for policymakers who are on the Majority side, tostudy alternative policies.
HonMember, please, avoid that line of debateas much as possible.
Mr Speaker, I believetoday you have -- I would leave it. Mr Speaker, I support that there is theneed for the policy makers to studyalternative policies of the cashew industrywhich would help the people. Mr Speaker, it is absolutely right thatwhen we bring in a policy like this -- thewhole idea is to support the companiesagainst the people. No politician, whetheron the Majority or Minority side, whorepresents the people, would support thecompanies. Though it is good -- theybring employment, but we would want tosupport our local industries. Mr Speaker, but there is a better wayof doing it than bringing a policy thatwould seek to suppress the farmers,monopolise the trade in cashewproduction and processing, and indirectlypunish the people we are helping. I support that. Mr Speaker, that is why when we are ingovernment and we are policy makers, weshould understand what we are doing. Wemust understand the system and theMinistry we are dealing with. Mr Speaker, this Statement has justcome to expose -- as the Hon Membersaid early on, policy makers need tounderstand the policies that they areputting in place and bring out alternativemeasures to help our people. If this isallowed to stand, it would be dangerousfor the farmers and it would not help them. Mr Speaker, I know, for example, myHon Colleague from the Brong AhafoRegion wrote a similar Statement, whichwas supposed to have been takenyesterday, on the same matter. Mr Speaker,but unfortunately, it was not. It is on thesame matter. Mr Speaker, I believe that if you wouldallow him, he could make copies to supportexactly what the Hon Second DeputyMajority Whip has said. It is as if theyplanned it.
HonMember, I would allow him to contribute.
All right. Thank you verymuch.
Mr Speaker, it tells youthat, this particular problem is a majorconcern. The leaders in that area and Ithink that, a call to ask the Hon Ministerto suspend that policy is in the rightdirection. Mr Speaker, as I said earlier, if you allowthe Hon Member to contribute copiouslyfrom his Statement and give him enoughtime --
Do not readfrom the whole Statement but make acontribution.
Mr Speaker, I did not sayhe is reading the whole Statement butcopiously from his Statement. Even if heis copiously reading from the Statement, Ibelieve it would go further.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me the opportunityto contribute to this Statement made bymy Hon Second Deputy Majority Whip. Mr Speaker, whereas we would wantto agree that, the purpose for this directivewas to ensure that all the 14 companiesinvolved in cashew nut production do notcollapse, we are of the view that, withoutthe farmers producing, there cannot beany cashew nut production in Ghana. So, if there is anybody to be defendedor covered by any policy, it should be forthe farmers rather than the 14 companiesthat we are seeking to cover. Mr Speaker, we are of the view that,the farmers are also in business for profitand if we are to ensure the survival ofcashew nut production in Ghana, weshould ensure that, the farm gate is alsoprotected. That is one of the reasons weshould protect the thousands of farmerswho are -- if we are even thinking aboutunemployment, I think it will be prudentfor us to ensure that, the farmers who arein their thousands are rather protectedand given all the necessary protectionthan the 14 companies who are in there. Mr Speaker, if the 14 companies wouldlike to -- more or less, we are in acompetitive world and nothing stops themfrom upping their prices and buying at thecompetitive price that other companies arebuying. I think it is a bit unfair for ourfarmers to be made to suffer for somethingthat they do not have any hand in. Mr Speaker, we have for this reason,been calling for a Cashew MarketingBoard but this does not seem to beaccepted by the powers that be. I think ifwe want to regulate the cashew market,then we need to establish a CashewMarketing Board so that, we could have a
Yes, HonDeputy Minority Leader, can you identifythe Hon Member who -- Very well.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity.
HonMember, do not be tempted to read thewhole of your Statement. You cansummarise it.
Mr Speaker, I know what isin there, so, I am not even going to touchit. Mr Speaker, when it comes to cashew,I believe Jaman South, which happens tobe my constituency or district is a bigplayer in that industry. In the year 2014, Jaman South alonecontributed over 10 per cent of thenational production; that is 7,000. In theyear 2005, our production level was at --
When yousay 7,000; 7,000 what?
7,000 metric tonnes.
In the year 2005, weproduced 1,250 metric tonnes and that isa jump of over 500 per cent. So, when itcomes to cashew nuts my constituency isa big player. Mr Speaker, prior to the year 1983,cocoa was the mainstay of Jaman Southbut in the same year, there was a huge fireoutbreak that destroyed all our cocoafarms. So, the people in the districtembarked on cashew nut cultivation. Now,cashew nut is the mainstay of that district. Mr Speaker, I had almost all the thingsthat my good Friend from Tain Constituency-- we are both from Tain Constituency.No! One is from Banda Constituency andthe other is from Tain Constituency. I agree wholeheartedly with theStatement that was read this morning. Ihope it is coming from their hearts but Iam telling you that, they are doing this --
HonMember, please, veer off the generationof debate.
All right. Mr Speaker, yesterday, I received about50 phone calls from their home districtcomplaining about the directives from theMinistry. This is because I am also partlyfrom Tain and they know it. So, I routedthis through the Minority Leadership andit was turned down but it is alright. Atleast, he has brought one that is going toaddress the whole situation. Mr Speaker, we are in agreement withwhat he said about the directive beingillegal, if it is illegal and it is coming fromthe Majority side, I believe what thepeople of Jaman South and Ghana as a whole are demanding is the withdrawalof the order that was given yesterday. Mr Speaker, when it comes to BrongAhafo Region, this year alone, almost allour net worth have been depleted by theDKM Diamond Microfinance and itscohorts. Now, the only thing left for the peopleof Jaman South and Brong Ahafo Regionin general, is the cashew production; andhere we are with the directive from the HonMinister, telling us that we could buy thenuts but they could not ship them untilthe end of May. If we look at the rationale behind thedirective, I think in some cases, I agreewith him but the timing is very wrong,especially, knowing very well that, almostall the -- about 50 to 60 per cent plus ofthe cashew nut produced in this countrycomes from the Brong Ahafo Region withalmost all their net worth taken away byDKM Diamond Microfinance due to thenegligence of the Bank of Ghana (BoG). Mr Speaker, with this directive, I do notthink we would help the good people ofBrong Ahafo, particularly, Jaman South.So, I wholeheartedly support theStatement that was delivered by my goodFriend from Banda Constituency.
Thank youvery much. Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, thank you for allowingme to contribute to the Statement on thefloor. Indeed, cashew nut production inGhana underwent a lot of transformationfrom the years 2000 to 2010 as a result of a project called the Cashew DevelopmentProject, implemented by the Ministry ofFood and Agriculture at that time. The main areas in which this projectwas implemented was the Brong Ahafoand parts of the Ashanti regions as wellas the lower parts of the Upper Westregions; the Bole area. Mr Speaker, this has raised theproduction of sheanuts over the years andwe are currently exporting about 150,000metric tonnes annually. At the end of thisproject, several issues arose and, the keyissue was that of sustainability. How dowe sustain the production of cashew nutsin the areas in which the project wasimplemented and this issue of qualitystandard became a priority? The Ministry has put in placemeasures to sustain the quality of cashewnuts being produced by the farmers in thisarea. We need to come out with friendlymeasures in order to sustain and improvethe production of cashew nuts in theseareas. This is because, we have ourneighbouring country, Ivory Coast,competing with Ghana for the export ofcashew nuts. If our measures are unfriendly to thefarmers, they are likely to export throughIvory Coast and that would rather helpIvory Coast instead of Ghana. So, it isimportant that we put in place measuresthat would encourage the farmers toproduce and meet quality standards,rather than discourage them. However, since this is a House ofrecord, I wish to say that, the Hon Ministerfor Food and Agriculture actually has theright to ban the transportation or exportof unwholesome cashew nuts. Whencashew nuts do not meet a certain qualitystandard for trade, then the Hon Ministerhas the right to do so. But in doing so, I
HonMember, I understand you perfectly. Whatabout the issue raised by the HonMember who made the Statement -- thathe should have gone by way of aLegislative Instrument instead of anadministrative action?
Mr Speaker, I think Iwould not like to dwell too much on that.I would have come by way of a Questionto the Hon Minister to explain why he didthat.
HonMember for Sekondi?
Mr Speaker, Iwas wondering whether this was a debate.This is because he raised a certain issueand you are asking the Hon Member tocomment on it -- it is a debate.
No! I amjust drawing his attention --[Interruption.] It is part of the Statement made by theHon Member.
All right. Thenwhen I am contributing, I would touch onthat.
I took painsto question the Hon Member who madethe Statement on that particular area thatdeals with the law. We are the lawmakersand that is where my interest lies.
Mr Speaker, in conclusion,I would like to urge the Ministry to comeup with friendly regulatory measures andother measures that would assist ourfarmers in the producing areas, to increaseproduction to generate foreign exchangefor the country and to make some incomefor themselves and their households. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. I rise to support the Statement madeby the Hon Majority Chief Whip. I comefrom Jaman North, one of the leadingproducers of cashew and I know that thereare three players in the industry: the localprocessors, the buyers and the farmers. The farmers are the most vulnerable.This is because, they maintain their ownfarms and clear the farms without anysupport. They do not have control overthe pricing of their own produce. Theprices are being dictated from elsewhereand the public choice of theory indicatesthat, when buyers or vulnerable customershave options or choices to make, theirliving standards are somehow enhanced. If we are not careful with the way weare moving, we would be led tomonopolistic tendencies where fewpeople would be dictating prices. Now,because of competition, the prices go upand down; GH¢4.00 or GH¢4.50. Andbecause of the distortion of what the HonMinister has said, the prices have beenreduced to GH¢2.00 and as I am speakingtoday, the telephone calls I have received- most of the companies have dismissedabout 750 workers since this policy wasannounced. So, as we speak, employment avenueis being closed down and like the HonMember said, Sampa is closer to theborder towns and if friendly measures arenot taken, I am afraid most of theseproducts would find their way into IvoryCoast. Most of the farmers have gone forbank loans, hoping that this year'sseason, they would be able to clear theirdebts and other issues. Now that these measures have comeand the prices have dropped to GH¢2.00or so, it means they cannot meet their loanobligations and this would affect themseriously. They would find themselvesgoing to court. Mr Speaker, I rise to support what theHon Leader has said and we shouldquickly draw the attention of the HonMinister that this policy is not friendly tothe farmers. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
HonSecond Deputy Speaker?
Mr Speaker, thank you very muchfor the opportunity to support the HonMember who read the Statement. Insupporting the Statement, I would just saythat, what has happened with the cashewindustry in the Brong Ahafo Region isrepresentative of one of the greatesttragedies that has affected our countrysince independence.
“ThePolitical History of West Africa”, that Iread some years ago. He talked about thecocoa industry in the then Gold Coast atthe turn of the 20th Century. It was saidthat the economy of the Gold Coast hadbeen affected because cocoa prices hadgone down. So, many years later; 59 years afterindependence, we have not been able tosupport one more crop to attain the statusof cocoa in our nation. Unfortunately,some of the policies, intentionally orunintentionally, rather threatens the veryexistence of the development of someother cash crops. We are blessed with abundant land,rainfall, sunshine -- there are crops in thiscountry that are the sole major cash cropsin other countries . For example, banana,cashew, and coffee -- but as a nation, wehave not been able to structure our affairsin such a way that, we can develop onemore crop. And when cashew is seekingto rear its head, unfortunately, policies byway of administrative directives arethreatening the very existence of it. We do not eat cocoa in its raw state,so, the question we must ask ourselves isthat; why have our farmers faithfullyplanted cocoa since the time of Tetteh
HonMember for Sekondi?
Thank you very much, MrSpeaker. This Statement also bristles withconstitutional niceties. Mr Speaker, constitutional nicetiesbecause the Executive has taken adecision. The directive by the HonMinister for Trade -- [Interruption.]
Can we havesome order please?
The directiveby the Hon Minister for Trade andIndustry is in the way of a decision takenby the Executive. As the Legislature, weare concerned about it and we want totake a decision that would remedy theseeming difficulties that some people arefacing in this country. Mr Speaker, having regard to thissituation, it is important that this Houseconveys its sentiments by way of adecision. We cannot take a decision basedon a Statement. We can just expressconcern, but having regard to the tenorof the comments on the Statement madeby the Hon Second Deputy Majority Whip,coupled with the Statement itself, I believethat it behoves this House to take adecision. I am urging Mr Speaker to assist theHouse by letting the Hon Second DeputyMajority Whip bring an urgent Motionwhich would generate a debate and thenwe would take a decision on it. This isbecause I have looked at some extracts ofthe Statements, and Mr Speaker, they arevery weighty. It is directives on the exportof raw cashew nuts by the Executive,which indeed is calling upon confiscation.It is far reaching. The only way we can let the Executivewithdraw this directive is by informing theExecutive that we as a House, have deepmisgivings about this directive and areexercising our powers under our StandingOrders to request the Hon Minister towithdraw the directive, failing whichprobably, certain consequences mayfollow, and that is what should have beendone. I thought that having regard to thecircumstances surrounding this, probablysome backdoor consultations could havebeen made, so that the Hon Minister inhis own interest withdraws it. Mr Speaker, how on earth in thisconstitutional regime, can an HonMinister, not by law, but by fiat -- it is soserious. It undermines the Constitution ofthis country and the law-making powersof this House. Mr Speaker, I am wondering whether itreally came from the Hon Minister. I havemy doubts, but it is important that --
HonMember, let us not generate debate.
But that iswhat it is. I have read some extracts, andwith your kind permission, it says, “The Ministry of Trade and Industrywith oversight responsibilities forTrade regulations and controls underthe Import and Export Law Act (503)Section (13) of 1995 as amended in2000 has issued the followingAdministrative directives on thepurchase and export…” Mr Speaker, how on earth can weregulate exports by administrativedirectives? Under which authority? Mr Speaker, I would not want to talktoo much, but I think that, if we could eveninvite the Hon Minister -- because weare rising tomorrow -- to come andexplain to the House how he exercisedthat power -- Mr Speaker, this is reminiscent ofunconstitutional military dictatorships.Unfortunately, the Hon Minister is mygood Friend, and he may have had thebest of intentions, but the way he hasgone about it makes a mockery of ourConstitution, and he ought to be broughtto order by the proper means, not bysaying, “oh, give the Statement to him”,the expressions of the sentiments of theHouse, no! The House should take a decision thathe should immediately reverse thatadministrative directive and resort to thelaw to give any directive. If it is byregulation, it would come here and we maydecide that it is unconstitutional. Mr Speaker, it is serious. It says, “Any raw cashew nuts that arebrought to the ports or borders ofGhana for export between 31stMarch and 31st May 2016 shall beconfiscated to the State.” Mr Speaker, how? Hon Leader of theHouse, how on earth? Directive?Confiscating people's property to theState? How? Mr Speaker, asem no ye dzen, to wit, itis a difficult matter. Thank you very much.
Thank youvery much. We would take the last contributionfrom Prof. Gyan-Baffour. I think I get thesense of the House, so, let us take the lastcontribution.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. I had a chance to be at the meetingwhere the Hon Minister for Trade andIndustry and his officials met with thesecashew farmers. The farmers were vehemently againstthis order, but the arrogance that camefrom that Ministry was such that I evengot angry when they said that they hadto find a way to process local rawmaterials, therefore they were going tocreate what they referred to as the exportwindow, that is, where a person could onlyexport during that period and could notexport anywhere else. Mr Speaker, they were trying tocompare that with the cocoa industry, butcocoa has a very structured marketingsystem. These cashew industries havebeen left to do things on their own. Theydo not have a marketing board. They donot have any of the structures that existin the Cocoa Marketing Board(COCOBOD), and now they come backand say that they are going to regulatethem.
Yes, HonDeputy Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I beg tocontribute to support this Statement.
Are you ona point of order?
On a point of order!Mr Speaker, I think our Standing Ordersdo not allow us to contribute on aStatement; it only allows us to comment.The Hon Deputy Majority Leader said hewants to contribute and that will make it adebate. So, if he could just comment andnot contribute, I would appreciate it.
HonMember, I believe it is a question ofsemantics. It is not a straight-jacket kindof thing. By making a comment, a personis contributing. Very well -- Hon Deputy MajorityLeader?
Mr Speaker, this Statementis to bring the plight of the cashew farmersin the regions that have been mentionedin view of the directive of the Hon Minister. Mr Speaker, the Statement is concernedabout the illegality of the decision of theHon Minister, the fact that by the directive,the properties of these farmers are to beconfiscated to the State without any dueprocess. I believe that the main concernis the use of the words “due process”. Mr Speaker, the Statement went furtherto state that there was no LegislativeInstrument (L. I.) to back the law that theHon Minister used. Mr Speaker, I believe that when weenacted the 1992 Constitution, wedeclared to ourselves in a preamble to itthat we would go by the rule of law, andthat the principle that all powers ofgovernment spring from the sovereign will of the people. So, any action that we take,we must be minded that it should be whatsprings from the will of the people. Ibelieve the Statement says that, thisdecision does not favour the interest ofthe people for whom and on whose behalfthe Hon Minister is acting. Mr Speaker, the Hon Member whomade the Statement said that this Houseshould take the position and tell the HonMinister that illegal action -- an actiontaken without the due process -- cannotbe countenanced in this system. Mr Speaker, I agree that what isnecessary is for us to let the Hon Ministerknow that we are in a different regime, onebacked by law, where power is exercisedand that power must be derived from thewill of the people. So, this order must of necessity bewithdrawn. This is because the peopleinvested money in the production of thecashew. They have put their lives into thisbusiness and for that reason, if any actionis taken which will deprive them of theirproperty, it is uncalled for. Mr Speaker, with these words, Isupport the Statement.
Very well,thank you. I would like to find out whether the HonMajority and Hon Minority Leaders wouldlike to make some comments about thisStatement. Yes, Hon Minority Leader? -- Very well. Yes, Hon Member for Dormaa Central?
Thank you, Mr Speaker. I thank the Hon Minority Leaderfor yielding to give me the opportunity tocontribute and partially support my HonColleague from Banda who made thisStatement. Mr Speaker, I have been a little bitsaddened with this directive. My otherHon Colleagues have talked about issuesof the confiscation and all that.This is notthe first time the Ministry of Trade andIndustry is coming up with instructionsof such nature. Mr Speaker, importation of rice by roadthrough the borders has been stoppedwith a directive. I cannot rememberwhether there was any L.I. or anypermission from Parliament that gave theHon Minister that permission, but thedirective to stop rice transportation byroad through the borders is operating. We directed some time back thattextiles cannot be imported through Tema,but rather through Takoradi; with whatlegislation? I am very surprised that today,an Hon Member from the Majority Side isfighting the Cabinet Minister on thisdirective.
HonMember, I do not know whether you werehere in the early stages. I directed that weshould not --
Thank you, MrSpeaker, for drawing my attention to that. Mr Ahmed Ibrahim --rose --
Hon AhmedIbrahim, sit down and let me do the talkfor you. Mr Speaker, the cashew industry hasfaced a complex challenge in the BrongAhafo Region; by climate, vegetation andthe nature of the people there who are
HonMember, is it on a point of order?
From riceimportation, to DKM, DiamondMicrofinance and the rest.
HonMember, he has the floor, let us hear him.
Hon Sorogho, thisis a friendly missile.
It can never be afriendly missile. Mr Speaker, how can hesay that a policy taken by Government --the recommendation was made by ourCommittee, which you were a member, thatbecause 90 per cent rice imports over land,especially between Ghana and La Coted'Ivoire, came without taxes, so, every riceimport was directed to pass through eitherthe airport or the Takoradi Harbour. Mr Speaker, today, is he telling us thatbecause smuggling stopped, his peopleare not working? He is happy on this floortelling Ghanaians that because theGovernment took a directive to stop peoplefrom smuggling rice into Ghana -- yousupport it. Are you saying that you werepart of those people who were doing that?Mr Speaker, it is terrible.
HonMember, I asked you whether it was on apoint of order. I did not ask you to alsoenter into argument. Hon Member, begin to wind up.
Mr Speaker, youdrew my attention to the fact that ourcontributions should not generate debate.But I would like to use this opportunitythat has been created by my own HonFriend to respond to him. How do you tell us from Dormaa andBrong Ahafo that we are smugglers? Arewe smugglers? What have we beensmuggling? Rice from La Cote d'Ivoire toGhana? Is that what you would want totell us? So, we are smugglers! Thank youfor that. I would want this to be recordedin the Hansard.
Mr Speaker, I willcontinue.
Please,begin to wind up.
Mr Speaker, I willcontinue with the cashew matter --[Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, I wasmaking a very reasonable contribution onhow some of these challenges can beresolved, prior to the intervention and Iwould want to continue in that direction.I will soon finish. Mr Speaker, I was talking about a boardlike the Cocoa Marketing Board that wouldsee to marketing cashew nuts to stabiliseprices for the farmers for us to get goodincomes from our yields. Then I said thatthe impact could be very severe. Thenagain, the confiscation aspect of it -- Mr Speaker, the last thing I would wantto say is that, my Colleague Hon AhmedIbrahim from Banda,in the last paragraphof the Statement, urges the House to callon the Hon Minister for Trade andIndustry to suspend his directive.
HonMember, I hope you would be morepatriotic than that.
Mr Speaker, wecan export by filling IG forms to exportour crops. So, we shall export officiallyand we would not keep our crops forGovernment to come and confiscate. Wecould easily do that, and my HonColleague from Tain, as well as Banda andWenchi would join me in that respect.
HonMembers, I would like to hear from theLeadership, starting with the HonMinority Leader. Do you cede yourposition to the Hon Member for Dormaa?Do you still want to make a Statement? Very well.
Thank you, Mr Speaker,for the opportunity to make a briefcomment on the Statement made by theSecond Deputy Majority Whip. Mr Speaker, when I listened to portionsof the Statement by the Second DeputyMajority Whip, I got the impression thathe was indeed concerned about thedirectives emanating from the Ministry ofTrade and Industry relating to cashewnuts. Mr Speaker, clearly, this is a very strongStatement which is urging Parliament totake some steps. Mr Speaker, but as wedo know, if a Statement is brought to thisHouse and delivered, comments could bemade. They are not supposed to generatedebate and sometimes, depending on thegravity of the issue before us, Mr Speakermay direct that the Statement be servedon the relevant Ministry. Mr Speaker, unfortunately, when thatresort is applied, what is achieved is that,we seek to persuade the Ministry or theHon Minister. The Statement or thatdirective would only have a persuasiveinfluence. Mr Speaker, it is not enforceableon the Hon Minister. That is why the Hon Member forSekondi proposed to us that, perhaps, ifthe Hon Member had come before us witha Motion, that would be compelling thisHouse to take a particular decision or callon the Hon Minister or the Ministry totake a particular action. As it is now, it is difficult for us to seeour way clearly on the face of theStatement that has been made in theHouse. Where Mr Speaker directs that thevarious comments made by Hon Membersshould even be included and be servedon the Hon Minister, it is still persuasive.We are only persuading him to dosomething that he may not want to do. But if the Hon Member had come by aMotion and we had concluded anddecided on that, and served on him, then,immediate action would be required of theHon Minister. That is where we findourselves, which is why I agree with theHon Member for Sekondi that if he hadcome by a Motion, rather than a Statement,we would have served a better cause andpurpose. Having said so, Mr Speaker, I noticedfrom the account given by the HonMember who make the Statement, thatwhat is shot by the Hon Minister issupposed to be expressed between 31stMarch and 31stMay 2016. What it means is that, the Hon Ministeris not enforcing the confiscation now. Westill have about two weeks before the time.So Mr Speaker, we may perhaps, as aHouse, summon the Hon Minister andimpress upon him, flowing from thisStatement, to decline any further actionnot to enforce his own threats, because itis illegal. On the other hand, we may also urgeour Hon Colleague to come by a Motion,which could be taken tomorrow and thenwe serve on the Hon Minister to compelhim to take any further steps, failingwhich, Mr Speaker, I believe we could thenapply ourselves to article 82 of theConstitution, which is vote of censure. We could censure him if he refuses toobey what instructions that emanate fromthis House. We are not there yet. I believewe can apply ourselves to one or twoproposals. Either way, we summon himtomorrow and tell him that his resort isillegal and he must reverse it or as I amsaying, we can invite our Hon Colleagueto bring a Motion and serve on him directlytomorrow. Mr Speaker, as I said, fortunately, timeis still on our side. It is supposed to takeeffect from 31/3/ 2016. We have about twoweeks and if he does not apply himself tothat and the House deems it appropriate,then we could pass a vote of censure onhim and cause his impeachment and causethe President to send him on the path ofresignation. All that I am saying, we are not thereyet. Let us hope that, one of these tworesorts would appeal to him and he wouldrescind what steps he intends or he isthreatening to take. Mr Speaker, I thank you.
Thank youvery much. Can we hear from the HonMajority Leader?
Thank you very much. Mr Speaker, I would want to start mycomment by thanking the maker of theStatement, the Hon Member of Parliamentfor Banda Constituency and also theother Hon Members of Parliament fromBrong Ahafo Region, excluding HonAgyeman-Manu, who excluded himselfand thought that this was rather the HonMember attacking his Cabinet Minister. Mr Speaker, there is nothing wrong withan Hon Member of Parliament from theGovernment side drawing the attention ofan Hon Minister of State that, what hehas done, has no legal basis. Mr Speaker, I think that the HonMember should rather be commended. Weare moving away from those inhibitionsto seeing Parliament as an Arm ofGovernment that is brought in to checkexcesses of the Executive. And this is onetypical example of the excesses. The directive by the Hon Minister forTrade and Industry has no legal basis andin fact, even though he is my very goodFriend, he just acted as Don Quixote. MrSpeaker, it is --
HonMember, Don Quixote chasing windmills?Non-existent windmills? [Laughter.]
Yes, HonMember, is it a point of order?
Mr Speaker, itis a point of information. Probably, the HonMajority Leader is saying that, we shouldfirst show a yellow card before moving toa red card. [Hear! Hear!!]
Yes, HonMajority Leader?
Thank you, Mr Speaker. My good Friend Papa Owusu-Ankomahis very much interested in sports,particularly football, so, he is talking aboutyellow cards and red cards. I said caution,and now, he has interpreted caution tomean the yellow card. Mr Speaker, I think that is what we aredoing now and I believe that thecomments that have been made are allmade in good faith and that at the end ofthe day, you would give a directive, and Iam sure Leadership would assist theSpeakership to make sure that, this ratherillegal directive is taken off the face of thiscountry as soon as possible. So, I commend the maker of theStatement again and the other HonMembers of Parliament from Brong Ahafo,and as I said, save Hon Agyeman-Manu,who thought that if it is not withdrawn,they would prefer taking the cashew nutssomewhere. That is so unpatriotic. Mr Speaker, I thank you for theopportunity.
Thank youvery much. Hon Members, I think that havinglistened to this House, I would wish todirect that, the Leadership meets with MrSpeaker, who is now acting as thePresident before the close of day, so that we get the feedback before we adjourntoday, so that we know which way we aregoing. I so direct. Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, we may nowproceed to item number 4, which isPresentation of Papers.
Very well. Which of the Papers are ready forpresentation? Are they all ready? Hon Members, item number 4. At the commencement of PublicBusiness, Presentation of Papers. Item 4(a) by the Minister for Fisheries andAquaculture Development?
Mr Speaker, I cannot sightthe Hon Minister for Fisheries andAquaculture Development now. I wouldwant to plead and ask for your leave andthe indulgence of my Hon Colleagues forthe Hon Deputy Minister for Finance tolay this Paper for and on behalf of the HonMinister for Fisheries and AquacultureDevelopment.
Mr Speaker,the Hon Majority Leader is makingapplication for an Hon Deputy Ministerfor Finance. There are two Deputies, whois he talking about?
Very well. Hon Members, item numbered 4 (a) bythe Hon Deputy Minister for Finance onbehalf of the Hon Minister for Fisheriesand Aquaculture Development.
Yes, itemnumbered 4 (b) by the Chairman of theCommittee on Mines and Energy? By the Chairman of the Committee -- (i) Report of the Committee on Minesand Energy on the DevelopmentAgreement between theGovernment of the Republic ofGhana and Gold Fields GhanaLimited, Tarkwa. (ii) Report of the Committee on Minesand Energy on the DevelopmentAgreement between the Governmentof the Republic of Ghana andAbosso Goldfields Limited,Damang.
Item 4 (c);by the Chairman of the Committee of theWhole?
Sorry, Mr Speaker, we areyet to meet on item numbered 4 (c). So,that one is not ready. But item 4 (d), theChairman of the Public AccountsCommittee just stepped out -- HonAgyeman-Manu.
He is here.
He is in the wrong place;that is why I could not locate him.
Very well. Item number 4 (d) by the Chairman ofthe Public Accounts Committee. By the Chairman of the Committee -- (i) Report of the Public AccountsCommittee on the Report of theAuditor-General on the Accountsof District Assemblies for theyears ended 31st December 2010,2011 and 2012. (ii) Report of the Public AccountsCommittee on the Report of theAuditor-General on the Managementand Utilisation of the DistrictAssemblies' Common Fund (DACF)and Other Statutory Funds for theyears ended 31st December 2010,2011 and 2012. (iii) Report of the Public AccountsCommittee on the FinancialAudit Report of the Auditor-General on the Verification Studyof Multi-Donor BudgetarySupport Inflows (2010 - 2012). (iv) Report of the Public AccountsCommittee on the Comprehen-sive Audit Report of the Auditor-General on the Audit of UnifiedPetroleum Price Fund for theperiod 1st January 2010 to 31stDecember 2012. (v) Report of the Public AccountsCommittee on the PerformanceAudit Report of the Auditor-General on Phase One of theLand Administration Project(LAP-1).
Mr Speaker, if we couldtake item 5.
Itemnumbered 5 -- Presentation and FirstReading of Bills -- RevenueAdministration Bill, 2016 by the Ministerfor Finance?
Mr Speaker, the Ministerfor Finance is not present but he hasmandated the Hon Deputy Minister forFinance, Hon Ato Baah Forson to lay thisPaper for and on his behalf. I would like toseek your leave and the indulgence of myHon Colleagues to allow him to do so.
BILLS -- FIRST READING
Mr Speaker,we know there are two Deputy Ministersfor Finance. Probably, they might not haveany particular designation, but it mighthelp if administratively, they havedesignations for the Hon Majority Leaderto refer to them by those designations.This is so that we would know which ofthem is being invited to lay any Paper onbehalf of the Hon Minister, particularly,when the two of them are here. I know they are both Deputy Ministers.Probably, we could say Deputy Ministermale and Deputy Minister female, orDeputy Minister MP and Deputy Ministernon-MP. Probably, within the internalorganisation of the Ministry of Finance,they have schedules, so, he could assistus.
Mr Speaker, I was specific,I mentioned his name. He is the DeputyMinister for Finance and the other one isthe Deputy Minister responsible forEconomic Strategy. [Interruption.] Notplanning. That is the designation. You candisagree with that but that is it.
The HonSecond Deputy Speaker should holdhimself in readiness to take over the Chair.
While waiting for the HonSecond Deputy Speaker, we could justtake item 7. Accordingly, I repeat myapplication because it is just the Questionto be put. Item 7, Question to be put.
Mr Speaker,just for the education of Hon Membersherein present. Is policy equivalent tostrategy?
It is not?Hon Majority Leader, is that coming fromyou? Could you speak into themicrophone because I would want to hearfrom you?
HonMinority Leader, please, address the Chair.
Mr Speaker,Ministers are sworn into office to assistthe President in evolving policies, but theHon Majority Leader is talking abouteconomic strategies. Who formulates thepolicies then? That was what I wanted tofind out from him, yet he declined to speakinto the microphone.
Mr Speaker, my HonColleague is aware that policy is definitelythe global term for us politicians leadingthe country -- the policy to govern thecountry -- you make policies and the politicians lead that. So, one persondesignated as the Minister for a sectorand after the policy is formulated, by ourConstitution, it is H. E. the President --because Executive President -- Now, theMinisters lead those sectors to implementthe policies. In doing so, they also applyinstruments like strategies in theimplementation, and that is exactly whatthis whole thing is about.
Mr Speaker,indeed and in truth, if a Ministry is notcharged with the responsibility offormulating a policy for a particular sector,is it not strange to have that sectorimplementing strategies -- formulated bywhich Ministry? But, of course, in this eraof turbulence, anything goes and it isunderstood.
Mr Speaker, the Ministryof Finance also deals with some aspect ofeconomic management. But it is theeconomic planning that is taken awayConstitutionally, to the NationalDevelopment Planning Commission. Butyou cannot take away economicmanagement completely from Finance.
Very well,Hon Members. The Second DeputySpeaker to take the Chair.
Mr Speaker,according to the Web dictionary,“strategy” means,”an elaborate andsystematic plan of action”. I am helpingmy very good friend the Hon MajorityLeader.
MR SECOND DEPUTY SPEAKER
Mr Speaker,with respect, we are struggling to see thevalue addition to this debate but the HonMajority Leader admits that they are alsovalue additions. So, we rest the case.
HonMinority Leader, do you have anyobjection?
Mr Speaker, we would takeitem 8.
HonDeputy Minister for Finance?
Mr Speaker,I beg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Mr Speaker, if we can nowtake item 6, which is the Report of theAppointments Committee on H. E. thePresident's nominations for appointmentas Deputy Regional Ministers.
Yes, HonChairman of the Committee, item number6.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,that this House adopts the EighteenthReport of the Appointment's Committee on H.E. the President's nomination forappointments as Deputy RegionalMinisters. In doing so, I would present the Reportof the Committee. Introduction In the exercise of the powers conferredon the President by article 256 (2) of theConstitution, the President of the Republicof Ghana, His Excellency, John DramaniMahama nominated two (2) persons forappointment as Deputy RegionalMinisters and communicated same toParliament on 4th March, 2016, for theirprior approval. The nominations were subsequentlyreferred to the Appointments Committeeby the Rt. Hon Speaker for Considerationand Report pursuant to Order 172 of theStanding Orders of the House. The nominations are as follows: i) Mr Andrews Osei Okrah --Deputy Regional Minister-designate for the AshantiRegion. ii) Dr Robert Bella Kuganab-Lem --Deputy Regional Minister-Designate for the Upper EastRegion. Reference documents The Committee referred to thefollowing documents during itsdeliberations: i. The 1992 Constitution; ii. The Standing Orders ofParliament; and iii. The Curriculum Vitae of theNominees.
to 1996. He thereafter left to teach atTamale Nursing Training College for ayear, after which he left to pursue hisMaster's Degree Programme. On completion of his MastersProgramme, the nominee took anappointment as a Lecturer at theUniversity for Development Studies,Tamale where he doubled as the Head ofDepartment for the Community Health andAllied Health Sciences. As indicated above, the nomineereturned from his government-sponsoredPhD programme in 2008, and remained asa Lecturer and Head of Department at theCommunity Health and Allied HealthSciences of the University forDevelopment Studies. Responses to questions The nominee's appreciation of thepoverty levels in the Upper East Region In responding to his appreciation ofthe poverty levels among the people inthe Upper East Region and how heintends to assist the Regional Minister toimprove the wellbeing of the people, thenominee described the poverty situationin the Upper East Region as awful. He attributed the impoverishment ofthe people to erratic rainfall and thedepleted soil fertility which have renderedagriculture, the mainstay of the localeconomy, less productive andunprofitable. The nominee was of the view that giventhe hardworking spirit of the people in theregion and the abundant arable land, theprovision of more dug-out waters and theinstitution of sound agricultural practicescan improve soil fertility which wouldmake agriculture more productive andprofitable. He also advocated for tree planting tomitigate the impact of climate change andfor reversing desertification. He furtherpromised to assist the Regional Ministerto advocate for the extension ofGovernment's poverty interventions suchas LEAP to complement existing efforts. Proliferation of illegal possession ofsmall arms in the region In answering questions on what hewould do to assist the Regional Ministerto control illegal possession of small armsand weapons in the Region, the nomineeadvocated for tightening of bordercontrols and establishment of rewardsystems to encourage people to discloseinformation to the security agencies aboutpeople in possession of illegal weapons. He also pledged to assist the RegionalCoordinating Council to dialogue andsensitise the people on the dangersassociated with the possession of suchillegal arms. He said, if approved by theHouse, he would support the RegionalMinister to work with all stakeholders toensure that the threat and use of smallarms are controlled. The nominee's appreciation of the natureof his appointment On his appreciation of the nature ofthe Office to which he has beennominated, the nominee indicated thatthough most of his career life has beenconfined to academic work, he had beenfollowing political developments in thecountry and has also served in variouscapacities for NDC in the Upper EastRegion. He pledged to bring his richexperience and knowledge acquiredthrough research, especially in the areaof health and education to bear on thedevelopment of the Region. Maintenance of peace and security The Committee noted that the UpperEast Region, where the nominee is goingto serve is one of the security hot spotsin the country. On measures he intends toassist the Regional Minister with,particularly during the forthcominggeneral elections, the nominee told theCommittee about the on-going electionsecurity arrangements being instituted bythe Ghana Police Service, with the supportof the political parties to ensure peacefulelection in all parts of the country. He pledged to assist the RegionalMinister to work closely with the SecurityAgencies in the Region to ensure smoothand successful implementation of themeasures if approved by the House. The nominee's view on the performanceof the Savanna Accelerated DevelopmentAuthority (SADA) Responding to a question on his viewof what led to the poor performance ofthe SADA interventions, the nomineeindicated that such deliberateinterventions are necessary to close thedevelopment gap between the northernand the southern part of the country. He however expressed regret about theprevious performance of the SADA andwas hopeful that with the currentrestructuring of the governancearrangement, the programmes woulddeliver the expected outcomes to thepeople. Views on the implementation of one-timepremium under the NHIS Responding to a question on thefeasibility of the implementation of theone-time payment under the NationalHealth Insurance Scheme proposed by the National Democratic Congress as wellas current challenges confronting theInsurance Scheme, the Nominee indicatedthat the one-time premium was feasible,provided proper planning andmanagement systems are put in place. Some of the management system headvocated include blocking of theleakages of funds, provision of incentivesfor the service providers, cost controlmeasures such as capitation, and regularreview of the policy to keep abreast withthe emerging challenges. Reducing the incidence of maternalmortality The Committee noted that the UpperEast Region is one of the regions with thehighest maternal mortality rate. TheCommittee accordingly sought to knowsteps the Nominee would take to reversethe trend. The Nominee pledged to assisthis Minister to advocate for more CHPSCompounds and intensify sensitisationprogrammes on the prevention of maternalmortality. REGSEC and District Assemblyoperations The responses of the nominee toquestions relating to the operations of theRegional Security Council and theMMDAs were not adequate and theCommittee recommends to the nominee tobuild up his capacity in these areas uponapproval and appointment to Office. Recommendation The Committee by consensusrecommends that the House approves thenomination of Dr. Robert Bella Kuganab-Lem for appointment as Deputy RegionalMinister for the Upper East Region. Conclusion and General Recommendation The Committee has duly considered thenominations of His Excellency thePresident, for Deputy Regional Ministerialappointments in line with the 1992Constitution and the Standing Orders ofthe House and thus recommends thenominees to the House for approval. Thetwo (2) nominees are as follows: i. Mr Andrews Osei Okrah --Deputy Regional Minister-designate for the AshantiRegion. ii. Dr. Robert Bella Kuganab-Lem -- Deputy Regional Minister-designate for the Upper EastRegion. Respectfully submitted.
Thankyou very much.
Thank you, MrSpeaker, for the opportunity to supportthe Motion on the floor. Mr Speaker, the Committee met the twonominees, Mr Andrews Osei Okrah andDr Robert Bella Kuganab-Lem; DeputyRegional Minister designate for theAshanti and Upper East Regionsrespectively. Mr Speaker, as the Hon Chairman ofthe Committee said, the nominees largelycarried themselves well in terms ofcomposure and knowledge across thefield. The Committee was relativelysatisfied about responses to thequestions that were posed to them, particularly, on knowledge about theirregion and certain issues they are expectedto help address if they are given the nodto become Deputy Ministers by thisHouse and of course by H. E. thePresident. Some Hon Members of the Committeetried to tease their knowledge andunderstanding as to the work of a DeputyMinister. One of them need to get a fewunderstanding that, he has to deputise forhis Minister, he has to work closely withthe Minister to be able to achieve thedreams and objectives and principles setup by H. E. the President and theExecutive. Mr Speaker, I was largely impressed;and other members of the Committee, inparticular, were also impressed about theresponses to the Question on the AgogoFulani herdsmen. This is an issue whichis not just prevalent in the Ashanti Region.It is all over the country. It is in theNorthern, Eastern, and Brong AhafoRegions — almost everywhere. Some ofthe answers he gave with regard to thatwere a bit forthcoming and right in my view. Mr Speaker, the nominee also dwelt abit on youth unemployment in his region.He was very firm that he would assist theHon Minister to pursue that programmein confronting the mass youthunemployment in the region, which is anissue that we all believe is a major problemand a security threat. This is because, there is a saying byour elders that, the devil finds work forthe idle hands. If our young peoplecomplete tertiary institutions, theuniversities and polytechnics, even thejunior high schools — By the design ofour system, they have nothing doing,they have to find jobs for themselves. Mr Speaker, so I was impressed that hethought that this was one of the thingsthat he would push through the HonMinister to the Government to ensure thatthey address the issue. Mr Speaker, the nominee for theDeputy Ministerial position for the UpperEast Region is a candidate. Initially, hewas a bit evasive with information aboutthat particular issue, but he later came outto admit that yes, he is a candidate andthat he is also a politician and that he hada working experience in terms of politics. The Committee wanted to find outexactly what was his appreciation of thepoverty level in his region and how hewould contribute to alleviate the povertylevel of the people. We know that one ofthe regions that has serious povertyissues is the Upper East Region. In fact,apart from the Upper West, Northern andparts of the Central Regions, it is one ofthe poorest regions of Ghana. Mr Speaker, one thing he said which Iagree a hundred per cent with him, if not athousand per cent — if there is somethinglike that -- is the fact that the people arevery hardworking. Most of the people,especially our local farmers would wantto work from 6:00 a.m. in the morning to7:00 a.m. in the morning. They hardly rest,but because of thenature of the land and technology, theywork hard and get very little. That is anarea that we must all help, including him,as we advised him to assist his boss toget the Government to fashion outpolicies to assist our people. Mr Speaker, this is because it is nowno more about might. It used to be themightiest which eat the smallest,but rightnow, it is the smartest animals that eat theleast smart ones in the forest. Mr Speaker, it is true the people arehardworking, but we must help them touse their intellect, and technology toimbibe new ways of doing things so thatthey can bring themselves out of poverty.That is his focus. Having been a lecturer sometime past,he appeared to me as somebody whowanted to circumvent a few items insteadof facing them headon. I hope that hewould address issues in a morestraightforward manner than having toapproach them with the classroom view,where he has to let the students knoweverything. Mr Speaker, I believe they are goodmaterials. Though it is injury time now, Ihope that they would be able to contributetheir widow's mite to uplift the region andthat they would be able to do whateverassignment that they are given to the bestof their abilities. Mr Speaker, I support the HonChairman and urge that this Houseapproves of them. They should be giventhe opportunity to serve for the positionsthat they have been nominated.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support theMotion on the floor and to also urge theHouse to adopt the Report and approvethe nomination of these two DeputyMinisters. Mr Speaker, the two Deputy Ministerswere very composed and relaxed whenthey appeared before the committee andanswered the questions very intelligently,especially, the Deputy Ashanti RegionalMinister. One could see clearly that heunderstood the terrain in which he wasgoing. He appeared to have very goodknowledge about the region, the issuesand complexity of it all.
Mr Speaker, I also want tosupport the Motion, and in doing so,make a few remarks. Mr Speaker, first of all, I would want tocommend the two gentlemen for theirappointments. If we look at the Report,the Deputy Minister designate for theAshanti Region is very well vexed withthe issues in the region. Mr Speaker, as of now my problem ishow he is going to assist the HonRegional Minister to work harder to solvethose challenges, especially, the smallscale mining operations. Mr Speaker, some of the small scalemining operations are legal, whereas wehave the galamsey which are not legal. Mr Speaker, what is happening in theregion is that, both the small scale miningoperations and galamsey operations aredone at a rate, which if we are not careful,would destroy all our environment andfarm lands at a time. The sad thing is that, they are nowmining in the forest reserves withimpudence and that is a very seriousissue. The Regional Security Council hasmade many efforts to stop them but theactivities of these miners are still ongoing.Therefore, my plea to the Deputy RegionalMinister Designate is to make himselfavailable to the Regional Minister and theRegional Coordinating Council, so that theknowledge that he has about all theseoperations would support and assist theRegional Minister to bring these activitiesdown. Mr Speaker, pollution of water bodiesand destruction of farmlands, especiallyin the districts where we have theseactivities going on has affected thelivelihoods of the people and it is a very In fact, whether this is injury time ornot seven months is a long time in politics.One can score two or three goals in injurytime --
Justyesterday, we watched the ChampionsLeague and I think two goals were scoredduring injury time. Baba Ahmed: So whether this is injurytime or not, the most important thing isthat they are coming in at the time theyare needed and I am very sure that theywould deliver to the expectation of theappointing agency which is the President,and the endorsement that we are going togive them in this House. Mr Speaker, I urge all my HonColleagues to endorse these two peopleand give them the opportunity to serveMother Ghana. Thank you.
HonDarko-Mensah and then we move on tothe Leaders.
Mr Speaker, thank youfor the opportunity to add my voice insupport of the Report of the AppointmentsCommittee. Mr Speaker, I have known Mr AndrewsOsei Okrah for over fifteen years now. Hetook over the presidency of the StudentRepresentative Council (SRC) after we hadleft the scene at the Kwame NkrumahUniversity of Science and Technology(KNUST). I also know him to haveinitiated the SRC Hostel Project. Mr Speaker, looking through hisresponses at the vetting, I believe thatthere are key issues that need to behighlighted. First and foremost, he is ayoung man and if you take a lot of theyoung men who have been into politics
Hon Samuel YawEdusei; he was my campaign managerwhen I was at KNUST.
Andwhat were you?
Then there issomebody like the Hon MohammedMuntaka who was also the campaignmanager for the two at that time. We haveother people like Mr Okrah himself whobecame the SRC President. Mr Speaker, there are key issues thathe mentioned and I believe that when hegets into the Ashanti Region, he wouldbe able to implement them. Recently, weare told that he published a book entitled“Transformational leadership: walking thetalk”. The first question that you wouldask yourself is that, at the ForestryDepartment -- we know for a fact thatGhana's forest reserves are beingdepleted. What happened? Are we goingto see the same thing continue in theAshanti Region? We have talked about rebrandingagriculture so that young people wouldbe interested and be part and parcel ofagriculture. What are we going to dodifferently? We have seen mechanismsthat did not go well in this country. Mr Speaker, we have also talked aboutgalamsey and alternative livelihood processes. After the initial surge in postingof military personnel into galamsey areasto stop them, we know for a fact thatgalamsey still continues to take place inthese areas. What has happened? Mr Speaker, if you talk about povertyin both the Ashanti and Upper Eastregions, we know that poverty is a majorscourge in this country and on ourconscience, so what are we going to dodifferently to make sure that poverty isdone away with? What sustainableprogrammes are we going to put in placein the Ashanti and the Upper East Regionsto make sure these things go away? Mr Speaker, we have had theopportunity in this country for a longperiod of time where educated young menand women continue to fail poor massesof this country, to the extent that, even apresidential candidate called MadamAkua Donkor, remarked that if educatedpeople have governed this country andwe still complain of problems, then she,who is uneducated, should be given theopportunity to do so. Mr Speaker, I believe that the povertysituation in the three northern regions isa major difficulty this country would haveto work on and eliminate.This is becauseif you look at all the statistics that we havein this country, the major chunk of whatbrings down our statistics is the povertylevels that we have in the three northernregions. I believe that as the Deputy RegionalMinister for the Upper East Region, heshould look at new ways of making surethe poverty is done away with. To what extent are we going to makesure that the Upper East Region can attractinvestments so that the place canimprove? These are the questions Ibelieve these two Deputy RegionalMinisters-designate would have to startlooking at and support their substantiveMinisters to be able to deliver on theirmandates. Mr Speaker, in the situation where thenominee for the Upper East Region saysthat he is not too conversant with the localgovernment systems or the systems thatwork to promote regional development, Ibelieve that it is time that he was schooledon that immediately when he gets theopportunity so he could understand howthese things work. That would enable himto properly support the Minister so thatthese regions can grow and make Ghana abetter place to live in. Mr Speaker, with these few words, Ibelieve that we should all support theirnominations for appointment. Thank you.
Mr Speaker, thankyou for the opportunity to add my voicein this regard. Having been presented as a personapproved by consensus by the Committeethat vetted him, there is little or no needto say anything about his nomination. Itis believed that the Committee exhaustedall that they needed to do about him andtherefore, came out to recommend him. Mr Speaker, I have few words ofcaution for him. He has written a book inwhich he mentions certain outstandingcharacters whose lifestyle, discipline,profession and whatever have inspiredhim. It is therefore, incumbent upon himto live up to expectation and thread thefootpath of those dignified personalities.I urge him to do just that. Mr Speaker, he is going to a region,with an emerging indiscipline among theyouth. As somebody who has had a lot of work experience and knowledge - In fact,he is a knowledgeable person. I think, heshould be able to stand political pressureand make sure that discipline, which isfading away among the youth in theRegion, is restored. No matter the status of the people hewould encounter, he should be able to calla spade a spade when the need arises. Heshould be able to caution those whowould want to soil the good name of theRegion. Mr Speaker, this is an election year andto be able to catch the eye of the Presidentfor the august position of a DeputyRegional Minister means a lot. While it ispossible there were political considera-tions, it is also possible that he ispresumed to be somebody who would beable to encourage the shifting of balancepolitically to the side of his party. I urgehim to stand firm. In recent past, certain persons in theregion who held positions misused thosepositions and toed the line of the partyno matter what was wrong about theevents they lent their support to. As an Hon Deputy Regional Minister,he is a statesman.
HonMember, if you say that there might havebeen political considerations and thenyou give an example of these politicalconsiderations to be a situation wherepeople misuse their positions, then youare equating politics with misuse ofpositions. They are two different things. This is a political appointment and notan administrative one. A Deputy RegionalMinister is a political appointee butpolitics is not dirty. Therefore, I agree withyou on the fact that the person is a politicalappointee but it does not mean that he
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Itis just a word of caution I am giving to mybrother, the incoming Deputy RegionalMinister. The temptation is there --
If theperson misuses his position, then he isnot acting politically. Misuse of office isdifferent from politics. Hon Akoto Osei, politics and misuseof office, are they the same?
Mr Speaker, they arenot at all.
HonMember, this is a House of record and youare a politician and a political actor. Youare a Member of Parliament and a seniorLawyer. Continue.
Mr Speaker, in actual fact,misuse of position politically is notsynonymous with one's personality andself-discipline, an understanding of whatis good for Ghana. He is a statesman, having beenappointed a Deputy Regional Minister forthe Region and he must act as such. Mr Speaker, here we are in the Regionconsidered to be one with the poorestroad network. In fact, in the President'sState of the Nation Address, H.E wasshort of words as he mentioned roads inAshanti Region which were being
I will putthe Question. Mr Agbesi --rose --
Wouldyou want to contribute?[Interruption.] Allright.
Mr Speaker, I would also addmy voice in urging Hon Members torecommend the appointment of thesegentlemen as Hon Deputy RegionalMinisters. Mr Speaker, one thing which surprisesme is the statement the nominee for theAshanti Region, the Deputy RegionalMinister-designate said at page 3 of 9 ofthe Report.
“Relating to the support he intendsto offer the Regional CoordinatingCouncil in executing the court orderto avert further escalation of theAgogo-Fulani Herdsmen crisis, the nominee said he has not read thecourt judgement and therefore, didnot have a full appreciation of thesituation.” Mr Speaker, I would want to believethat the Fulani crisis in the Ashanti Regionhas raged on for some time now. Eventhough, he admits he has not read thejudgement, I expected that somebody whois going to occupy that position wouldhave, at least, had an idea of what thesituation is in the Ashanti Region, so thatwhen he gets there he would know whatto do. To say that he did not have a fullappreciation of the situation is somethingthat beats my understanding. Fulani issues in the Ashanti Region hasbeen raging on for years now. Dr A. A. Osei -- rose --
On a point of order. MrSpeaker, the Nominee did not say he didnot have any idea. He said, he did nothave a full appreciation. That does notamount to not having any idea. I think itwas prudent on his part, not having readthe court order, to put it that way. There isnothing wrong with that. Mr Speaker, that is a statement ofhonour and he should be commendedrather than criticised. He said he did nothave a full appreciation. It does not meanhe does not have any idea at all.
Hon Akoto, that is yourappreciation. I said that the Fulani issuehas been raging on for some years now.Indeed, the Hon Member of Parliament forthe Agogo area had even spoken on thismatter when the Fulani issue came up. Mr Speaker, my issue it that --
Mr Speaker, I wonder ifmy Senior Colleague has a fullappreciation of the happenings in Agogo. Does he have a full appreciation of it?[Interruption.] -- If one is not on thespot, he can never have a full appreciation.Let us commend him for that statement ofhonour. To admit that he did not have all thefacts -- That is the kind of person weshould commend and not lambast.
Unfortunately, I am notbeing vetted for a Deputy AshantiRegional Minister. [Laughter.]For himwho is going to occupy that position inthe Ashanti Region, and it is my case -- Iam not saying that he should have a fullappreciation of the facts. Mr Speaker, I am not saying that he didnot have anything at all. From the Report,I can not say so; and I would want to granthim the excuse. Mr Speaker, the point is that he is goingto the Ashanti Region and he must be ontop of the issues in the Region. Mr Speaker, on the nominee for theposition of Deputy Minister for the UpperEast Region, again, he also answered aquestion, which the Report captured onpage 8 of 9, on research and DistrictAssembly operations. Mr Speaker, here again, for apersonality going to the Upper EastRegion as an Hon Deputy Minister, thesecurity council under the operations ofthe Metropolitan, Municipal and DistrictAssembly (MMDAs) -- These are thetwo areas where answers were notforthcoming and the Committee reportedon it.
Mr Speaker, unless Ihad a different Report, I think theCommittee's language was, “…were notadequate”. The Committee never said hewas not forthcoming. This is a House ofrecord. Mr Speaker, I would like the HonDeputy Majority Leader to know that I donot see anything about the nominee notbeing forthcoming. We have to be verycareful. The Committee said it was notadequate; they did not say he was notforthcoming with the answers. Mr Speaker, not being forthcoming isalmost saying that the Nominee was lying.So, please, we should be careful that wedo not lambast the nominee for somethingthat he has not done.
Thankyou. Hon Deputy Majority Leader, pleaseconclude.
Mr Speaker, in conclusion,by consensus, the Committee hasrecommended them for appointment. Ihope, as the Committee said, when theyget there, they would help the Hon Ministers, who would also bring them upto the level that is expected of them. Mr Speaker, I would agree with theCommittee that the House recommendsthem to be appointed as Hon DeputyRegional Ministers with the clause thatwhen they go, they would learn on thejob.
Thankyou. Hon Chairman of the Committee, wouldyou want to say something?
Mr Speaker, I donot want to. I would just want to thankHon Members for contributing to thedebate. As we indicated, we hope that wherethere are shortfalls, when they get intooffice, they would be able to learn fast. Mr Speaker, these are two very brilliantpeople and we have no doubt in our mindsthat they would be able to perform. Thank you. Question put and Motion agreed to.
HonMembers, it would not be out of place tocongratulate the two Hon DeputyMinisters and to wish them the best. Maythe good Lord himself guide and keepthem so that they succeed for Ghana. The Hon First Deputy Speaker to takethe Chair.
Mr Speaker, item numbered18 on page 8 of the Order Paper, which isa Motion -- The Report of theRepresentatives from the Parliament ofGhana to the 65th Session of the ExecutiveCommittee and the 37th Conference of theAfrican Parliamentary Union (APU).
Itemnumbered 18 on the Order Paper -- HonLeader of the Delegation? 65th Session of the ExecutiveCommittee and the 37th Conference ofthe African Parliamentary Union (APU)
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that thisHonourable House adopts the Report ofthe Representatives from the Parliamentof Ghana to the 65 th Session of theExecutive Committee and the 37 thConference of the African ParliamentaryUnion (APU) held in Rabat, Kingdom ofMorocco from 29 th October to 2ndNovember, 2014. Mr Speaker, in doing so, I present yourCommittee's Report. Introduction The African Parliamentary Union(APU) was established on the 13th ofFebruary, 1976, as a continental inter-parliamentary organisation. The purposeof its formation was among others, tobring together the parliamentaryinstitutions of all African States; and tocontribute to the promotion of peace,democracy, good governance, sustainabledevelopment and social progress on theContinent. For this purpose, it holds annualconferences and organises parliamentarymeetings with International Organisationsand Institutions. In furtherance of its Objectives, theAPU held the 65th Session of the ExecutiveCommittee and its 37th Conference inRabat, at the Parliament of the Kingdomof Morocco from 29th October to 2ndNovember, 2014. The Parliament of Ghanawas represented at the Conference by Hon Members and Staff of theParliamentary Service to discuss issuesconcerning the advancement of theContinent. This Report gives an account of whattranspired at the Conference and thecontribution of the delegation to theConference; the diverse roles played bythe Ghanaian delegation to ensureeffective participation of the country. Representatives from Ghana Ghana was among the twenty-three(23) member states which participated inthe Executive Committee session and theConference. The Representatives for theParliament of Ghana were: i. Hon Ebo Barton-Odro --First Deputy Speaker and Leader of the Delegation ii. Hon Abubakari Ibrahim Dey --Member of Parliament for Salaga iii. Hon Joseph S. Amankwanor --Member Parliament for LowerWest Akim iv. Hon (Mrs) Mavis HawaKoomson -- Member ofParliament for Awutu Senya East. v. Ms Peace Fiawoyife --Principal Assistant Clerk and Schedule Officer. vi. Mr John Sakpor --Special Officer/ Aide to MrSpeaker. The 65th Executive Committee Session (Official) Opening Session The meeting of the ExecutiveCommittee was officially opened on themorning of Wednesday, 29th October, 2014. It was graced by several dignitariesincluding the Speaker of the Chamber ofDeputies of Rwanda and Chairperson ofthe Executive Committee of APU; Speakerof the House of Representatives of theParliament of Morocco; Speaker of theHouse of Councilors of the Parliament ofMorocco; Secretary-General of theAfrican Parliamentary Union and someSpeakers and Deputy Speakers of variouscountries across Africa. The Ghanaiandelegation was also present at theOpening Ceremony. Welcome Address Welcoming the Hon Delegates, theSpeaker of the House of Councilors of theParliament of Morocco, Hon MohammedCheikh Biadillah thanked the delegates forhonouring their invitation to attend the65th Session of the Executive Committeeand the 37th Conference of the AfricanParliamentary Union in their country. He said the two main themes of theConference were “African countriesbuilding national capacities andpromoting international cooperation tocombat terrorism in all its forms” and“Achieving sustainable development inall its dimensions as a major goal forpeace, security and socioeconomicdevelopment in Africa”. He was hopeful that recommendationsof the Conference will make a positiveimpact on efforts to strengthen legislativeoversight and to consolidate growth inAfrica. Remarks and Keynote Address The Speaker of the Chamber ofDeputies of Rwanda and Chairperson ofthe Executive Committee of the APU, HonMrs Donatille Mukabalisa gave the keynote address. Hon Mukabalisa statedthat the Session of the ExecutiveCommittee which is held annually, offersthe APU the opportunity to review itsachievements; by examining theimplementation of decisions andrecommendations adopted in previousmeetings and adopting a workingprogramme as well as obtaining/sourcingfunding for programmes in the comingyear. Hon Mukabalisa also entreated thedelegates to show firm commitmenttowards the establishment of a strongerand a more representative Union; one thatwill bring unity among all nationalParliaments across Africa; and a Unionthat will be more visible and serve as adynamic tool for cooperation and inter-parliamentary dialogue. She also applauded the efforts beingmade by the Bureau of the ExecutiveCommittee and General Secretariat of theAPU to attract new members into theUnion and urged all to support them sothat Parliaments that are not yet membersof APU would join. She declared the 65thSession of the Executive Committee of theAfrican Parliamentary Union duly opened. Plenary discussions by Members of theExecutive Committee Issues discussed at the ExecutiveCommittee Session included: 1. Admissions and readmissionsof Member Parliaments; 2. Implementation of decisions andrecommendations of theConference; 3. Report of the Ad hoc Committeeon the revitalisation of the Union; 4. Consideration and adoption ofthe 2015 Annual WorkProgramme; 5. Consideration and adoption ofthe draft budget for the 2015financial year; 6. Consideration and adoption ofthe draft agenda for the 37 thConference; 7. Proposal to renew the mandateof the Secretary-General; 8. Draft Agenda of the 66th Sessionof the Executive Committee and 9. Date and venue of the 66 thSession of the ExecutiveCommittee. Proceedings of the 37th Conference (Official) Opening Session The 37th Conference of the AfricanParliamentary Union was officially openedon Saturday, 1st November, 2014. TheChairperson for the occasion was HonRachid El Alami, Speaker of the House ofRepresentatives of the Parliament ofMorocco. This Session was also gracedby very important personalities,particularly the Representatives of theDiplomatic Missions of African countries. Remarks by Chairperson of the ExecutiveCommittee In welcoming delegates to theConference, Hon Mrs. DonatilleMukabalisa, Speaker of the Chamber ofDeputies of Rwanda and Chairperson ofthe Executive Committee of the APUthanked the Parliament and the People ofMorocco for accepting to host the Conference. She indicated that themeeting in Rabat represented a significantstep in revitalizing the APU in the sensethat the Conference would lead to thesetting up of a New Executive Committeeto steer the affairs of the Union and thereview and adoption of a strategic plan ofaction. She bemoaned the damage caused bythe Ebola epidemic and the act of terrorismon the Continent and called for aconcerted effort on the part of membercountries to deal with the menace. HonMukabalisa was optimistic thatdiscussions and recommendations madeat the Conference would help addressthese issues of concern. Remarks by IPU Secretary-General The IPU Secretary-General, Mr MartinChungong, on his part, stated that theactivities of extremist groups such as BokoHaram threaten gains made in achievinggender equality and economic empower-ment of our women. He appealed tomember states to pool resources togetherto strengthen their respective nationalcapacities to fight terrorism in all its forms. He appealed to the APU to collaboratemore with the IPU in order to build on theircommonalities and develop synergies inthe service of the regional and globalparliamentary communities. Speaker of the House of Representativesof Morocco Addressing the Conference, HonRachid Talbi El Alami, Chairman of theConference and Speaker of the House ofRepresentatives of Morocco, welcomeddelegates to Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco.Hon Alami commented on the menace/threat of terrorism just as the earlierSpeakers had made and indicated that thespread of the geographical sphere of
In its declaration on the politicalsituation in Burkina Faso, the APUdeplored the dissolution of the Parliamentof Burkina Faso while expressingsolidarity with the people of the country.The Union called for political dialogue toensure a quick return to constitutional rulein the country. This declaration is attachedas per Appendix VI. Mandate of the Secretary-General The four-year mandate of Mr N'ZIKoffi, the Secretary-General of the Unionexpired at the time of the Conference. Hewas however, recommended by theExecutive Committee for approval atConference to serve another four-yearmandate as the Secretary-General. TheExecutive Committee's recommendationof Mr Koffi was unanimously endorsedby Conference. Upon endorsement of thedecision to extend his mandate, Mr Koffiexpressed his gratitude to delegates. Election of members of the ExecutiveCommittee (2014-2-16) In order to elect the Members of theExecutive Committee for the periodbetween 2014 and 2016, the membercountries were asked to submit names ofrepresentatives. Ghana submitted thenames of three (3) Hon. Members as thecountry's (Ghana's) representatives onthe Executive Committee which wasadopted by Conference. They are: 1. Hon Ibrahim Dey Abubakari 2. Hon Joseph S. Amankwanor 3. Hon Mavis Hawa Koomson Other Members of the differentdelegations who were elected andadopted by Conference as members of the Subsequent to this, the newly electedmembers of the Executive Committeeproceeded to elect the Chairperson of theExecutive Committee and other membersof the Bureau. The elected members areas follows: Chairperson: Hon Rachid TALBI EL ALAMI,Speaker of the House ofRepresentatives of the Kingdom ofMorocco (North Africa); Deputy Chairpersons: Hon Edna Madzongwe, Presidentof the Senate of Zimbabwe(Southern Africa); Hon Bamba Hamadou, Member ofthe National Assembly of Cameroun(Central Africa); Hon Zinzou Edmond, Member of theNational Assembly of Benin (WestAfrica) Rapporteur: Hon Ali Soubaneh Atteyeh,Member of the National Assemblyof Djibouti (East Africa) Date and venue of the 38th Conference It was announced that the 67th Sessionof the Executive Committee and 38thConference of the APU will be hosted byGuinea Bissau in November, 2015. Official closing of the Conference The Conference ended on Sunday, 2ndNovember, 2014, with a closing remark bythe President of the conference whoexpressed his endless gratitude to allparticipants for their efforts and devotion towards the conference. The vote ofthanks to His Majesty King MohammedVI and the authorities of Morocco wasgiven by Hon Brou Koffi Rene on behalfof all delegates. In his speech he expressedappreciation and heartfelt gratitude to HisMajesty for his support and interest inthe African Parliamentary Union, he alsothanked the Head of Government ofMorocco for gracing the opening sessionof the Conference with their presence andfinally commended the Parliament of theKingdom of Morocco for their excellentorganisation of the APU sessions. Conclusion and Recommendations The delegation hereby recommendsthat the APU should exercise moreauthority and influence at internationalmeetings of common interest, especiallyat the level of the United Nations and otherorganisations. The delegation also called for trainingsessions and joint meetings with theircounterparts elsewhere and entreatedAfrican Parliaments to address all theissues affecting the African continent. Respectfully submitted. SPACE FOR APPENDIXES: - PAGE 18 - 1.10P.M
SPACE FOR APPENDIX II- PAGE 23 - 1.10 P.M. SPACE FOR APPENDIX II CONT- PAGE 24 - 1.10 P.M.
SPACE FOR APPENDIX II CONT- PAGE 25 - 1.10 P.M. SPACE FOR APPENDIX III - PAGE 26 - 1.10 P.M.
SPACE FOR APPENDIX III CONT.- PAGE 27 - 1.10 P.M. SPACE FOR APPENDIX IV - PAGE 28 - 1.10 P.M.
MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
Thank youvery much. Yes, any seconder? You havethe floor.
Mr Speaker, thankyou. In seconding the Motion, I wouldlike to highlight a few issues concerningthe fight on poverty. Mr Speaker, we all know the role ofAfrican women in our homes. Women takecare of the family by providing them withall their needs to make sure that everymember is happy in the home. Mr Speaker, African women contributeto the growth of their country when giventhe opportunity. Dr James EmmanuelKwegyir Aggrey once said and I beg toquote: “If you educate a man, you educatean individual. If you educate awoman, you educate a wholenation”. Mr Speaker, I would also want to saythat when we empower a woman, weempower the economy. Mr Speaker, a country that empowersits women, empowers the economy, andfor that matter, its stakeholders shouldadopt a holistic approach towards theimplementation of empowerment ofwomen. That would help fight poverty andpromote the economy. Mr Speaker, with these few words, Ibeg to second the Motion. Question proposed.
MrSpeaker, thank you very much for theopportunity to associate myself with theMotion. Mr Speaker, in doing so, let me referyou to the attached appendix. I noted that,the first appendix was titled and I beg toquote: Resolution on “African countriesbuilding national capacities andpromoting international cooperationto combat terrorism in all its forms”. Mr Speaker, I noted that, our attentionis on the appendix III which is a Resolutionon “Microfinance as a means of fightingpoverty and promoting economicempowerment of women in Africa”. Mr Speaker, if you would indulge meto just contribute to this debate with thelast paragraph of your Committee's Reportand I beg to quote; “The delegation also called fortraining sessions and joint meetingswith their counterparts elsewhereand entreated African Parliamentsto address all the issues affectingthe African Continent.” Mr Speaker, what are the issuesaffecting the African Continent? Povertywould necessarily be one if not at the headof it. Empowerment of women is also tiedto some cultural practices within theAfrican Continent which does not supportthe empowerment of women. So, when weare challenged by this body, we mustthrough policy and legislation be seen inan effort to confront the problem thataffect women. Mr Speaker, specific to microfinance, Iam particularly glad that almost all of usHon Members of Parliament here facechallenges in the extent to which we are able to assist our women by way of helpingthem to access credit in order to be ableto start businesses. The question we mustpose again however, is how have wethrough policy and legislation been ableto support women? Mr Speaker, I use my Tamale South ruralconstituency as an example. What thewomen are asking for is in the region ofGH¢1,000, or sometimes, at best,GH¢2,000. All of us, including my goodself, have survived on where our mothersused to store their money, tied at a cornerof their cloths. That money is what hasbeen able to support me to be here todayand I am sure the story is similar for manyothers. So, we should take the recommen-dations very seriously; all of us havesustained our education through thesupport of mothers who are women and Iam sure if we are able to help throughMicrofinance and Small Loans Centre(MASLOC) -- MASLOC may not beenough. How many rural women is MASLOCable to target and reach out to? Weprobably have to look at a morecomprehensive policy supported bylegislation which ensures that Ghanaianwomen who want to go into small andmedium enterprises do have our support. When we are distributing DistrictAssemblies Common Fund (DACF), towhat extent do rural women benefit fromit even though we target a section of ourrevenue to be able to do that? So, Iassociate myself with this Motion. Mr Speaker, finally, Africa too issuffering from an image problem and theAfrican press, including the Iiernationalpress must also be guided to stoppolluting the minds of people. Forinstance, Ghana is a fine, peaceful anddemocratic nation but you will still see them writing as if democracy has notworked or it cannot work here. We haveproved that it can work. Mr Speaker, finally, I am heart warmedby the fact that, some of the practices thatthe African Parliamentary Union (APU) isnot happy with is not akin to Ghana.Weare far from them. With these few words, Mr Speaker, Ithank you for the opportunity. Question put and Motion agreed to.
Mr Speaker, we have thisMaritime Pollution Bill, 2015 at theConsideration Stage. We intend to takesome clauses before we proceed further. Therefore, if we could take itemnumbered 31 on page 21 of the OrderPaper.
Itemnumbered what? Is it 31? Did you say 31?
Yes, Mr Speaker, 31.
Are yousure you are talking about page 29?[Pause.] Very well. Maritime Pollution Bill, 2015, at theConsideration Stage.
BILLS -- CONSIDERATIONSTAGE
HonChairman of the Committee, can you guideus? How far did we go the last time wedealt with it?
Mr Speaker,yesterday, we ended at clause 74 but wehave outstanding issues to clear. That is,clauses 2, 13 and 27 as advertised on theOrder Paper. So, if we could start fromclause 2.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 2, subclause (1), insert “theauthority is the regulatory body for thisAct”.
Very well. Hon Minister for Employment andLabour Relations?
Mr Speaker, thisis more elegant and better than what is inthe original Maritime Pollution Bill, 2015 --It reads and I beg to quote: “The Ghana Maritime Authority isthe regulatory authority for thisAct.” You have “Authority” repeat itself. So,there is no need to make reference to theGhana Maritime Authority because the“Authority” any where in this Bill or inthe Interpretation section, refers to theGhana Maritime Authority. Mr Speaker, my issue would be for theHon Chairman to give an explanation;would he want them to be the regulatorybody to this Act? Is that enough? Wesaid that beyond Regulation, there is arole of control and there is a role ofprevention which is captured in the LongTitle. Mr Speaker, let me refer you to the LongTitle, so that you would appreciate whywe said that -- if he says only ‘regulatorybody', we would need to travel a littlefurther.
“An ACT to provide for theprevention, regulation and controlof maritime pollution within theterritorial waters of Ghana…” It means that, the object of the Bill, asthe Hon Minority Leader sought topropose yesterday, and supported by HonDr Anthony Akoto Osei, was that, weprobably may have to introduce a newsubclause which would look at the object.This is because if you say “only regulation”,what then would be ‘control andprevention'? Who is responsible for that? I believe, and the Hon Chairman knowsthat, it is the same Authority which mustprevent and control. Unless they areusing regulatory in a manner which meansthat, control and prevention are allregulatory related. I thank you, Mr Speaker.
Thank youvery much. I will not like us to put the cart beforeour horse. Hon Chairman, you have notmoved your amendment, could you pleasedo that? We are not ignoring the contributionthat has been made by the Hon Ministerbut just move the amendment and then Ican put the Question.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I beg to move clause 2,subclause (1), delete “Ghana Maritime”and after “Regulatory” delete “Authority”and insert “body”. The new rendition is: “The Authorityis the regulatory body for this Act”. So, we have deleted “Ghana Maritime”and the “Authority”.
Very well. I think you should delete “Authority”after the word “regulatory” and then thatsettles it. Dr A. A. Osei -- rose --
HonMember for Old Tafo?
Mr Speaker, I think theHon Chairman needs to take into accountwhat the Hon Minister said. This isbecause, I agree with the Hon Minister.As he said, unless you are defining‘Regulation' to be ‘prevention and control'-- I have a difficulty. The head note wouldalso have to be dealt with. The current amendment he isproposing does not adequately addressthe issues for which we deferred clause 2.Maybe,e can step it down and continuewith the easier amendments and come backat the appropriate time --
If the HonChairman is ready we can take him on thisparticular amendment. Are you ready?Taking into account what was put acrossby the Hon Minister for Employment andLabour Relations. So that once and forall, we will capture the right rendition andthen move on.
Mr Speaker, we woulddefine ‘Regulation' properly to include‘prevention and control' at theInterpretation section.
Mr Speaker, there was arelated issue with the headnote and I amnot sure how -- So, does the headnote still remain“Regulatory Authority”?
Mr Speaker, thesedays, I am encouraged that there is a recentSupreme Court ruling and the other time Iwas challenged to quote it -- Which saysthat Parliamentary debate itself, unlikehistorically, today in Ghana, it is now aguide to Interpretation. So, once my Hon Colleague has raisedthis, we may refer this to the draftspersonsto improve it. This is because, the head-note must reflect the subject to which thatparticular provision is addressing. I so submit. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
In thatrespect, I so direct that the draftspersoncleans it up, so that all of it is captured. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 2 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Hon Chairman, I believe we have dealtwith the other clauses up to clause 13;have we not?
Mr Speaker, let us move toclause 74.
Should weskip clauses 13 and 27?
Yes! Let us skip and moveto clause 74.
Very well.Clause 74 then.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 74, subclause (1), line (6), delete“one” and insert “ten”. It would now read: “Where a ship, or the master, orowner of a ship fails to comply withany requirement of this Part,Schedules or any Regulations madeunder section 116, 124, 130, 165 and182, the master or owner and in thecase of ship the master and theowner commit an offence and areliable on summary conviction to afine of not less than five hundredpenalty units and not more than tenthousand penalty units or to a termof imprisonment of not more thanfour years or to both.” Thank you, Mr Speaker.
In effect,you are increasing it from one thousandto ten thousand. Mr Haruna Iddrisu-- rose --
Mr Speaker, if theHon Chairman can go further to explainwhether he is pretty sure that ten thousandpenalty units is equivalent to the fouryears which is accompanying the otherpart of it. Or he may have to be helped bythe Hon Deputy Attorney-General andMinister for Justice. But for consistency We can take it on that account.
Before I goto the Hon Chairman, the Hon Memberfor Old Tafo?
Mr Speaker, related tothat, I think we have been told that theminimum must also conform to someminimum custodial sentence and it iscurrently missing. So, you may want totake that into account also.
Mr Speaker, weare guided by the penalties and for tenthousand, the Hon Chairman must belooking at not more than five years. So, ifwe can substitute the four years for fiveyears then it sits with the amendment thathe has so carried. Thank you.
HonMembers, I think that it will be appropriateto direct that the drafts-persons take alook at this and make sure that we havethe right penalty unit commensurate withwhatever offence there is.
Mr Speaker, as well asthe custodial sentence.
That iscorrect. Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, does it meanthat in all the areas where we are to referto fines in terms of imprisonment, usingthe penalty units, we refer all those to --so, that we would not even be looking atit.
Mr Speaker, yesterday,we had a case of 300,000 penalty units.Does that correspond to a life sentence? Idoubt whether we have the equivalence --[Laughter.]
Yes,Chairman of the Committee, how do yourespond to that?
The draftspersons at theAttorney-General's Department have allthe penalty units and the imprisonmentdurations, so let us leave everything tothem to handle. Although they broughtsome documents, but it would be better ifwe allowed them to do this on our behalf.
Hon DeputyAttorney-General and Minister forJustice, it has been shifted to your camp.Do you have anything to say?
Mr Speaker, whathe said is right. Usually, there would bean equivalence in terms of custodialsentence. But I do not have thedocuments for the penalty units here. Soit is good to refer it to the drafters so thatthe equivalence would be ironed outneatly.
Thank you. We would refer it to the drafters to dealwith it appropriately. Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, clause 74,amendment proposed --
Have I putthe Question with regard to the proposedamendment, itemised as 31(iv) on theOrder Paper? Question put and amendment agreedto.
Clause74, item 31(v)
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 74, subclause (4), add the followingnew interpretation: “bilges” means the outer surface ofthe hull of a ship where the bottomof the ship curves to meet thevertical sides of the ship”
It is “ship”;S-H-I-P. Yes, Hon Members, Order! I would put the Question. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 74, subclause (4), interpretation of“oil tanker”, paragraph (b), line 1, after“substance”, insert “Tanker”.
Can you tellus the rationale behind this amendment?
Mr Speaker, we hadproblems with the interpretation of “oiltanker”. This is because Hon Members ofthe Committee were not so much abreastwith how the oil -- There is a differencebetween ‘oil taker' and a ‘tanker', but inthat section, we had oil tanker. It was justto clarify what they actually meant.
Yes, therewas an Hon Member up here.
Mr Speaker, wewere trying to explain the meaning of ‘oiltanker' in carrying substances. Werealised that, at paragraph (b), the noxiousliquid substance is not the problem. But itshould be the noxious liquid substancetanker'. It is because we were defining ‘oiltanker'. And if I could read, it says: “oil tanker” means a shipconstructed or adapted primarily tocarry oil in bulk in its cargo spacesand comprises among others” So, we were indicating the forms ofcarriers. It says: “(b) any Noxious Liquid SubstanceTanker as defined in Chapter Threeof this Part;”
Yes, HonMember for Old Tafo?
Mr Speaker, as much asI agree with them, the word “carrier” wouldbe better than “tanker”. The notion is that, we would wantsomething that is conveying something.But he would want to define “oil tanker”,and he brings “tanker” in there again. Itdoes not sound well. Instead of saying“liquid substance tanker”, they shouldsay “liquid substance carrier”. Then, itwould be consistent with what we didearlier. It is just like what is on paragraphs (a)and (c). We are using “carrier” for all therest. It would be consistent with their ownstyle to use “carrier” instead of “tanker”.
Mr Speaker, therefore,we would persuade the Hon Chairman toabandon the amendment and let “carrier”stay, since that is more holistic. Mr Speaker, for the street lawyer inGhana, when one says; “oil tanker”, itmight be referring to those lovely longtanks that are plying the routes. So, weshould accept “carrier” instead.
Yes, HonDeputy Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, the part weare looking at does not just refer to this. Ittalks about Part Three. The word “carrier”is not used in Part Three. They would wantit to be in conformity with what is beingaddressed in Part Three of the Act. Thatis where we are going to. If you look at the Part Three, they keptusing the word “tanker” all along insteadof the word “carrier”. If one is going touse the word “carrier”, he would not referto Part Three of this Part. Is that what heis proposing now? It says; “any Noxious LiquidSubstance”, and they would want to add“Tanker” as defined in chapter three ofthis Part. Then it continues. So, one has to first find out what is inChapter Three. By perusing, it tells me thatit is mostly the word “tanker”. Unless we remove that aspect--Otherwise, if we put in the word “carrier”and we do not amend the Part Three, andit is in variance with the word “carrier”,then, it becomes a problem.
Yes, HonChairman of the Committee, how do yourespond?
Mr Speaker, the definitionof ‘oil tanker' means a ship constructedor adapted primarily to carry oil in bulk inits cargo spaces and comprises amongothers, (a) a combination carrier. So, this is a standard rendition used inthe industry. So we should not attempt toredefine it.
Very well. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I mayhave to seek your leave since it is not anadvertised amendment. Before you put theQuestion on the whole of clause 74, inrespect of subclause 74(2), and I read: “(2) It is a defence for a personcharged under subsection (1) toshow that …” Mr Speaker, what does “to show that”mean? I am sure it means to lead evidence.Probably, that is what the intention shouldhave been. This is because, if one says,to show that all reasonable precautions',this is a contested matter because we aresaying the person would be defending hisactions. I do not know whether the HonChairman and the Hon Minister have anobjection, so maybe clause 74 (2) shouldread “It is a defence for a person chargedunder subsection (1) to lead evidence thatall reasonable precautions were taken andall due diligence was exercised to avoidthe commission of the offence”, unless“to show” is a term of art in law whichmeans leading evidence.
HonChairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, let us defer this-- [Interruption]
Mr Speaker, the HonMember was explaining something inclause 74, and I think the Hon MinorityLeader has brought our minds to it, if wecould go back. The reference to Part Three uses theword “tanker” all the way through, so, ifwe amend it to “carrier” then we may haveto change it to “carrier” in Part Three. Ifwe keep “tanker”, then the reference toPart Three would be consistent. It is referred to in Part Three, so, HonChairman, that earlier amendment of Part(b) to carrier, because you are referring toPart Three which uses “tanker”, thatamendment should be “tanker”, becauseit is used in Part Three throughout. He was proposing an amendment of“substance” to “tanker”, and I suggestedthat we keep it at carrier, and he agreed.Now, if we refer to Part Three, the “tanker”is used, so the amendment must hold. So, my amendment should beabandoned.
HonMember, you appear to be on all fours withthe amendment that has been carried. CanI hear from the Hon Chairman? How doyou respond to it?
Mr Speaker, that is exactlywhat we have done. It is “oil tanker”.
When I raised it, theHon Minister also supported it, and heagreed, but if he did not agree then all iswell.
Mr Speaker, it isdefined clearly in the regulation, so wehave actually read out the definition aswe have it in the Bill itself. So, we are using the word “tanker”.
Very well. Let us look at the proposal by the HonMinister with regard to clause 74 (2).
Mr Speaker, I havejust consulted the Hon Deputy Attorney-General and Deputy Minister for Justiceand he agrees that the term “show”should be maintained.
Very well,thank you very much. Clause 74 as variously amendedordered to stand part of the Bill.
HonChairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 83, subclause 4 --
Do Iunderstand that we have dealt with theintervening clauses after clause 74? Hon Members, having regard to thestate of proceedings, I direct thatproceedings go beyond the stipulatedtime as per Order 40 (3) of the StandingOrders. Hon Chairman, you were up.
I thought you would putthe Question on all the various clauses.
I have doneso up till clause 74, but I do not know ifwe are to do something to clause 75 downto clause 83.
No! Mr Speaker, there areno amendments.
Are thereno proposed amendments?
Not at all, Mr Speaker.
So wewould go through the process.
Mr Speaker, I ratherthought that because there are noproposed amendments we could just lumpthem together by mentioning the numbers,and then you would put the Question.Then we would go straight to clause 83.
That is right.That is exactly what I am going to do,except that, the last time I tried this, therewere so many interventions that I had tokeep going forward and coming backward. Clauses 75 to 82 ordered to stand partof the Bill. Clause 83 -- Procedures and arran-gement manual
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 83 subclause (4), line 2, delete “an”and insert “the”. Mr Speaker, the whole clause wouldread, “Where a Ghanaian ship which iscertified to carry category X, Y or Zsubstances contravenes subsection(1), an owner or master of the shipshall pay to the Authority theadministrative penalty of threehundred penalty units”. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 83 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 84 to 93 ordered to stand partof the Bill. Clause 94 -- Exceptions
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 94, subclause (1), line 2, after“contains” insert “such”. Mr Speaker, the new rendition is“Sections 84, 85, 89 and 91 do not applyto the discharge into the sea of a noxiousliquid substance or a mixture whichcontains such a substance” Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 94 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 95 and 96 ordered to stand partof the Bill. Clause 97 -- Notification to organisa-tion regarding reception facilities
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 97 -- Headnote, after “to” insert“the”
“Notification to the organisationregarding the reception facilities”. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 97 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 98 ordered to stand part of theBill. Clause 99 -- Cargo record book
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 99 subclause (6), line 3, delete“two” and insert “five”.
“An officer in charge of an operationreferred to in subsection (2) or (3)who fails to record the operation incontravention of subsection (5)shall pay to the Authority anadministrative penalty of fivehundred penalty units for each entrythat should have been recorded. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clauses 99 as amended ordered tostand part of the Bill. Clause 100 to 113 ordered to stand partof the Bill. Clause 114 -- Shipboard marinepollution emergency plan for noxiousliquid substances.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 114 -- subclause (5), line 3, delete“an” and insert “the”.
“Where a Ghanaian ship of onehundred and fifty gross tonnage ormore which is certified to carrynoxious liquid substances in bulkcontravenes subsection (1), theowner or master of the ship shallpay to the Authority anadministrative penalty of sixhundred penalty units.
Yes, HonMember for Sekondi?
Mr Speaker, Iwould want the Hon Minister to explainto me the rationale behind thisamendment. [Laughter.] -- [Pause.]
Very well, Hon Member, I will put the Question. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 114 as amended ordered tostand part of the Bill. Clause 115 -- Offences.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 115, subclause (1), line 5, delete“an administrative penalty” and insert “afine” and in line 6, delete “ten” and insert“one hundred”
“Where a ship or the owner ormaster of the ship, fails to complywith a requirement of this Chapter,a Schedule related to these sectionsor any Regulations made under thisChapter, the owner and the masterof the ship commit an offence andare liable on summary conviction toa fine of not less than five thousandpenalty units and not more than onehundred thousand penalty units orto a term of imprisonment of notmore than fifteen years or to both”.
Yes, HonDeputy Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, did he say tenthousand or one hundred --[Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, one hundredthousand penalty units. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 115 as amended ordered tostand part of the Bill. Clauses 116 -- 123 ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 124 -- Regulations
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 124, paragraph (d), line 4, delete“caused” and insert “carried”.
“…inspections to be made by theAuthority or a person authorised bythe Authority, of a ship to which thisChapter applies to ensurecompliance with the provisions onharmful substances carried by seain packaged form”. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 124 as amended ordered tostand part of the Bill. Clause 125 ordered to stand part of theBill. Clause 126 -- Offences.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 126, subclause (1), line 4, delete“ten” and insert “one hundred” The new rendition would be: “An owner, a master or an agent ofa ship that accepts goods forcarriage by sea in contravention ofsection 118 (1) (a) commits anoffence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less thanone thousand penalty units and notmore than one hundred thousandpenalty units or to a term ofimprisonment of not more than tenyears or to both”. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Do we haveany more amendments to clause 126?
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Which one?Item (xv)?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 126, subclause (2), line 4, delete“ten” and insert “one hundred”. The new rendition would be: “Subject to section 125 (2), a personwho jettisons harmful substancesin packaged form commits anoffence and is liable on summaryconviction to a fine of not less thanone thousand penalty units and notmore than one hundred thousandpenalty units and in addition shallpay the cost which may be incurredin connection with the recovery ofthat substance”. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 126, subclause (3), line 5, delete“ten” and insert “one hundred”.
“A person who fails to take themeasures for the regulation of thewashing of leakages overboard based on the physical, chemical andbiological properties of harmfulsubstances, commits an offence andis liable on summary conviction toa fine of not less than one hundredpenalty units and not more than onehundred thousand penalty units,unless that person can show thatcompliance with the measures willimpair the safety of the ship and thelives of the persons on board theship”.
Mr Speaker, if we justsay that one should pay a fine, is it anadministrative fine which is “one hundredthousand penalty units”? I ask thatbecause there is -- [Interruption] -- No!It depends on where the money is goingto. Are they talking of an administrativepenalty -- [Interruption] -- withoutcustodial sentence? All right. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker,clause 126 (2) provides: “Subject to section 125 (2), a personwho jettisons harmful substancesin packaged form commits anoffence …” What if the discharge is not inpackages; does the person not commit anoffence? Of course, on the ship, it may bein packaged form but in jettisoning, theymay decide to unpack it and release it intothe sea. It is still an offence. Why do wesay that it must be in packaged form toconstitute an offence?
Mr Speaker, Part Four isdedicated to offences relating to packagedform. If the Hon Minority Leader wouldlook at the other offences we have dealtwith in the Bill, one would notice that, theywere not in packaged form.
HonMinority Leader, are you all right withthat?
Mr Speaker,I drew his attention to the provisionsunder Part Three and I was trying to lookat where, if any, we have a similar provisionwhich will not be in packaged form. Thatis what I am trying to look at. But otherwise, I see that, it issupposed to be covered under Part Three.I am looking at where exactly it would exist.
Mr Speaker, for instance, thecontrol of discharge of oil is not underPart Three. I think that is under Part Two.So the Hon Minority Leader should lookat clause 58.
Mr Speaker,I have seen that but it is different from --For instance, when you come to PartThree, clause 23 is prohibition ofincineration and indeed, prohibition ofdumping of waste. It begins from clause19. I am trying to look at how it is captured,that is the issue of dumping in unpackagedform. These ones talk about export of wasteto other countries for dumping. I am tryingto look at “dumping at sea”, not to“another country.”
HonMembers, if this is going to take --
Mr Speaker, let me just givethe definition of “packaged form,” maybe,that would guide us. That is page 158. “Packaged form” means the formsof containment specified for harmfulsubstances in the InternationalMaritime Dangerous Goods Code” Thank you, Mr Speaker.
HonMembers, I can see that, Hon Membersare tired and there is the need for a shortbreak so that we come back and possibly,continue with what we are doing. I direct that Sitting be suspended. Thetime now is 2. 21 p. m, when do we comeback? 3. 21? One hour break? All right, Hon Members, we come backat 3.30 p. m. to continue with the process.Hon Members, this for now, brings us tothe end of the Consideration Stage fortoday, for this particular Bill. Hon Members, Sitting is accordinglysuspended until 3. 30 p.m. this afternoon. 2.23 p. m. -- Sitting suspended. 4.25 p.m. -- Sitting resumed
HonAgbesi, any indication?[Pause.]
Mr Speaker, item number9, is on the Subsidiary Legislation on thePublic Elections (Registration of Voters)Regulations, 2016. I am informed by theChairman of the Committee that this issueis to mature today, so, we need to take iturgently for the purposes of the comingelection and registration. So, Mr Speaker, with your permission,could we go to item 9?
Mr Speaker,they are not recommending that theregulations be annulled, so, after 21 days,it would automatically mature. But I knowthat the Administrator of the GETFundhas been here since 9 a. m. [Interruption.]He was here yesterday. [Interruptions.]He is saying that it is urgent and I amsaying that the Subsidiary LegislationReport is not urgent and is going to lapse,anyway. Mr Speaker, before Sitting wassuspended, I remember the First DeputySpeaker said that immediately we returned,we would take the GETFund Formula.[Pause]
HonAgbesi, what is the position? [Pause.]
We are all concerned aboutthe coming election, so, let us take thissmall Motion and move to the GETFundFormula. Mr Speaker, item 9.
HonMembers, do you have copies of theReport?
No, Mr Speaker.
Then wewill go to something else and then laterwe will come back to it. [Pause]
Item 9.Hon O. B. Amoah, you are the Chairmanof the Subsidiary Legislation Committee.But Hon O. B. Amoah, you can lay it afterwe have done the GETFund Formula?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,that this Honourable House adopts theReport of the Committee on SubsidiaryLegislation on the Public Elections(Registration of Voters) Regulations, 2016. Mr Speaker, in doing so, I would like topresent the Committee's Report. Introduction The Public Elections (Registration ofVoters) Regulations, 2016 (C.I. 91) was laidbefore Parliament on Friday, 12th February2016, in accordance with article 11(7) ofthe Constitution. Pursuant to Orders 77and 166 of the Standing Orders ofParliament, Rt. Hon Speaker referred theInstrument to the Committee on SubsidiaryLegislation for consideration and report. Reference documents The Committee referred to the under-listed documents during deliberations: i. The Constitution of theRepublic of Ghana ii. Standing Orders of theParliament of Ghana; iii. Electoral Commission Act, 1993(Act 451) iv. Public Elections (Registration ofVoters) Regulations, 2012 (C.I.72) Deliberations The Committee met with theChairperson of the Electoral Commission,Mrs Charlotte Osei and the two DeputyChairpersons of the Commission.Representatives of the National
and has access to the Regulations. TheElectoral Commission is required by theConstitution to educate the people on theelectoral process and its purpose. Conclusion The Committee has carefully examinedthe Public Elections (Registration ofVoters) Regulations, 2016 (C.I. 91) and isof the considered view that theConstitutional Instrument does notcontravene the provisions of theConstitution and Order 166 (3) of theStanding Orders of Parliament, whichserved as a reference guide to theCommittee. The Committee accordingly recommendsto the House that the Public Elections(Registration of Voters) Regulations, 2016(C.I. 91) should come into force at theexpiration of 21 sitting days as providedfor under Article 11(7) (C) of the 1992Constitution. Respectfully submitted.
Who isthe Hon Ranking Member? The Motion has been moved for us toadopt the Report. Will it not be seconded?
MrSpeaker, I beg to second the Motion. Mr Speaker, one would notice fromparagraph 3 that, the Instrument has adouble-edged sword. One is, one personis allowed to guarantee for five people,which is the Form One. Mr Speaker, there was contention asto whether the guarantee by one person or five people should be reduced to oneor two. Eventually, there was noconsensus so it was allowed to pass. Mr Speaker, my difficulty with thatprovision is that, the ElectoralCommission (EC) somehow, in thisInstrument wants to arrogate to itself thegrant of citizenship by guarantee of aForm. I believe that grant of citizenship is aConstitutional duty which should not bein the EC's domain. But if the EC is goingto get a form which is signed by twopeople whose names are in the register toallow them to be citizens of Ghana by wayof allowing them to register and thengiving them the Identification (ID) Card,then, I think five guarantees are too much. If that is to be accepted, I call on allHon Members of the House to look at thepenalty and the punishment provisionwhich give a punishment of two yearsimprisonment if one infringes upon theseprovisions. There are offences and penalties. Ifone breaches the provisions, one is to paya penalty of GH¢35,000 or goes to jail fortwo years or both. Mr Speaker, what I am proposing isthat, if the deterrent aspect of the C. I. 91is not taken up by all Hon Members ofParliament through our constituents bymaking sure that registering one's nameor one's entitlement to register must bedependent on the fact that the person is aGhanaian -- Just because we do not have ID cardsor the Government has not done his workwell so that Ghanaians do not have IDcards, and that we would want to create aloophole where those who not have IDcards can be granted the opportunity notto be disenfranchised, they come in
On a pointof order. Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleagueon the other Side is making reference tosome information they have. This is aHouse of record. So, if he is alluding tosome rumour that cannot be accepted onthe floor of this House, especially if it hasto do with a very sensitive matter as thegeneral elections of this country, he mustwithdraw honourably or he justifies whathe is saying with some proven document.Other than that, I think he is grossly outof order and he is misleading this House. Mr Speaker, especially, when he talksabout registration of contractors movingfrom Elubo to Aflao, I do not know whathe means by that. If he cannot justify thatstatement with any authentic evidence, heshould withdraw that as well. -- [Pause]--
Mr Speaker,all I am saying is that, it is incumbent onall Hon Members of Parliament and thewhole Ghanaian public to understand thatthe registration exercise that is going to come under C.I. 91 should not be takenlightly, and that the penalty and thepunishment clause or provisions tell allof us that, it is purposely for Ghanaiansand that if one is not a contractor and isnot going to bring a foreigner to come into register in Ghana, one does not have aproblem. But if one does so, and is caught, he orshe would be punished. We should letevery Ghanaian understand and all theforeigners who are within our border areasshould be made aware that, C.I. 91 is adifferent regime. We Ghanaians are serious, ourGovernment is serious, the ElectoralCommissioner is serious and Parliamen-tarians are serious about protecting ourborders. This is because for us to manage ourcountry well, for us to develop, we mustmake sure that our borders are sealed sothat we do not have infiltrators. I am not saying for any moment that,we would not get infiltrators, but we haveto minimise the infiltration. We have tobring it down so that if one commits theoffence, one would be arrested and jailed. We would want this to be circulated allover the country so that people would notcome and abuse our electoral process. Mr Speaker, with these few words, Isupport the Motion and I ask that we workon the punishment regime.
(NDC-- Keta): Mr Speaker, I beg to supportthe Motion. In doing so, I would want to commendthe Committee for the work they havedone so far.
I will takeone more from each side.
Mr Speaker, I believethat registration is the necessary first stepfor all elections, and therefore, passingthis particular C.I. 91 is very important. Mr Speaker, recently, the ElectoralCommissioner has been saying that theElectoral Commission is independent. Weknow they are independent. But the workthey do is supposed to be done by thelaws that we pass in this House. Mr Speaker, this C.I. 91 is so importantbecause the last election had a lot ofchallenges. And like my Hon Colleagueenumerated, this business of peopletrying to bring in illegal persons to register,is not proper. Mr Speaker, if we take section 8 of theC.I, it is clear that even registration officialswho are appointed by the ElectoralCommissioner (EC) are supposed to havetheir pictures and names pasted at theDistrict Electoral Offices. This would helppolitical parties to know those who aregoing to man their respective pollingstations. Mr Speaker, this House approvedGH¢1.2 billion for the ElectoralCommission (EC) and appropriatedGH¢850 million. It means that this electionis well funded and therefore, nobody isexpecting to have another tot-totregistration again in this country. Therefore, if the EC feels that it isindependent, it is independent to coverevery polling station of this country withthis registration that we are going to have.Otherwise, I believe that the good peopleof this country would have to rise up andtalk about it and stop them from doing thetot-tot registration in this country. Mr Speaker, the difficulties we tend tohave with our elections in this countryhas to do, mostly with identification. Weare today being told that Ghanaians do not have identification and therefore oneperson can support five people to register.If every Ghanaian is supporting fiveadditional persons, then it means that weare going to have multiples of five in ourregister than we have today. Mr Speaker, it means that, clearly, if weare not careful, people are going tomisuse this opportunity. That is why I alsosupport my Hon Colleague for saying that,the penalties should be used and peoplewho are found at fault with the law shouldbe punished and punished properly. Mr Speaker, with these words, I believethat we should all support this C.I. 91 tobe passed.
HonMembers, I will take a few more. This is amatter of national interest.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for givingme the opportunity to contribute to theMotion on the floor. Mr Speaker, it is good that we havelaws that would guide the forthcomingregistration exercise. But then, we shouldnot lose sight of the fact that there are alot of Ghanaians who are living across thevarious borders; from the North, to theSouth and from the East to the West. Mr Speaker, as I speak to you now, ifyou go to my constituency in the WesternRegion, there are Ashantis, Ewes, Krobos,who are farm labourers and are working inplantations in la Cote d'Ivoire. Thesepeople are not foreigners.
HonMember, people are saying Ivoirians butdo not mind them. I am also from theWestern Region — [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, maybe, they arenot aware. Mr Speaker, if somebody goes acrossthe border, it does not change the identityof the person as a Ghanaian. So, it issomething that is clear on the ground. Iwant to pray that we do not, excuse mylanguage, become hypocrites. But the reality on the ground is that,these are our brothers and sisters who areworking there and are prepared to comeinto the country any time and shouldtherefore, not be branded as Ivoirians orforeigners. They are Ghanaians who areworking for their day to day living.Therefore, it is incumbent on us asGhanaian citizens —[Interruption.]
On a point of order.Mr Speaker, with all due respect, I expectthe Hon Member to speak to the C. I. 91What he is saying is not what is in the C.I.This business of people crossing, andIvoirians et cetera is not in the C. I. 91The C.I has spelt out the grounds forregistration-- who qualifies to register,objections, challenges, offences andpenalties et cetera. These are the issues.But this business of people in the farmlands is not in the C.I. 91 Mr Speaker, he should please speak tothe C.I. 91. He should take the report orthe Instrument and speak to the C.I.
HonMember, thankfully, you do not takeinstructions from your Hon Colleaguefrom the other side. So continue.
Mr Speaker, thank you. Youare good. May you live forever. I amsurprised! I do not know whether my goodbrother, Hon O. B. listened to my HonColleague, Hon Darko-Mensah fromTakoradi.
On a point oforder. Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague justreferred to an Hon Member of Parliamentas O. B. What does he mean by O.B?
Mr Speaker, I am referring tomy good Brother, Hon O. B. Amoah fromAkuapem South — [Laughter.] Mr Speaker, on a more serious note, letus all come together and embrace thissystem that we are now going through sothat we can have a very credible registerthat after the elections, all of us will smile,and that nobody would have any chanceto complain about anything. Mr Speaker, I thank you for thisopportunity — [Hear! Hear!]
I willrecognise Hon Atta Akyea, but I will begrateful if I could receive some indicationfrom the Leaders. So many Hon Memberswant to contribute. Should I take two orthree? Hon E. T. Mensah wants tocontribute — I have recognised Hon Atta Akyea,then after him, Hon E. T. Mensah. Let metake two more Hon Members and then wecome to the Leadership. Yes, Hon Atta Akyea?
Mr Speaker, I amgrateful to you for this opportunity. Mr Speaker, my chief concern is that, ifcare is not taken, we are going to flout theConstitution by the sheer fact that anindividual who is a registered voter couldjust say, and just by mere saying, fiveother people should also be on the votersregister. We know by law that, accordingto article 42, if one is not a citizen of Ghana,one cannot be a voter let alone wield avoter's ID Card. Mr Speaker, with yourkind permission, I would like to quote: “Every citizen of Ghana of 18 yearsof age or above and of sound mindhas the right to vote and is entitledto be registered as a voter for thepurposes of public elections andreferenda”. So, Mr Speaker, by extension,immediately your name is lodged in thevoter's register and you have a voter'sregistration card, that qualifies you to bea citizen of Ghana. But that is not theintendment of the Constitution. MrSpeaker, if you pay regard to theprovisions on citizenship, it is a bitelaborate but I am tempted to quote itbecause of how it impinges on C.I. 91,Article 6 of the Constitution says, andwith your permission I quote: “(1) Every person who, on thecoming into force of thisConstitution, is a citizen ofGhana by law shall continue tobe a citizen of Ghana. (2) Subject to the provisions of thisConstitution, a person born in oroutside Ghana after the cominginto force of this Constitution,shall become a citizen of Ghanaat the date of his birth if either ofhis parents or grandparents is orwas a citizen of Ghana. (3) A child of not more than sevenyears of age found in Ghanawhose parents are not known shall be presumed to be a citizenof Ghana by birth. (4) A child of not more than sixteenyears of age neither of whoseparents is a citizen of Ghana whois adopted by a citizen of Ghanashall, by virtue of the adoption,be a citizen of Ghana”. So, Mr Speaker, the foundation ofcitizenship is not via the Regulations ofthe Electoral Commission. And if weshould say that somebody who has avoter 's registration card could justpinpoint five people and just by asubordinate regulation like C. I. 91 thatindividual holds a voter's registrationcard, it is going to conflict with the clearterms of article 6 of the Constitution andthis would be a very dangerous situationand a recipe for disaster, if care is nottaken. So, I am not too comfortable with thatprovision which says that one can swearand endorse five people for their namesto be registered. And by necessaryimplications, they would be deemed to becitizens of Ghana. This brings me to theserious dimension of such a situation.Somebody was offended when the name“Contractor” was used because itconnotes disrespect for the Constitution. Mr Speaker, we all know that any timethe laws are lax then their abuse becomesvery easy. Therefore, if we pay regard tothe penal regime of this C.I 91, I amtempted to say that, until a special courtis created by the Chief Justice and somejudges assigned for the sole purpose ofdealing with people who will fall foul ofC.I. 91, this document would be one ofthe most dangerous documents in therealm. This is because, people would not beafraid of the Law, they would abuse thelaw with impunity. I am tempted to believethat, some political parties who would bethe beneficiaries of those infractions andlawlessness would even come to the aidof such individuals, and we would bequestioning ourselves as to how weendorsed it. Mr Speaker, I will strongly but humblysuggest that some recommendationsshould be made to the Chief Justice --because we are very close to elections,we are about to register individuals andclean up the register, a special court shouldbe set up and education should bestepped up so that that henceforth,anybody who violates the law forwhatever reason would pay the penaltywhich is two years imprisonment. It would be a good case for the mediahouses to hear and put on the front pagesthat a chairman of a particularconstituency in Ghana has beensentenced to two years imprisonmentbecause --
In the EasternRegion.
Who is that saying inthe Eastern Region? Mr Speaker, youshould call the person to own up becausehe has mentioned my region. What is themeaning of this? The coward should ownup and apologise. [Laughter.] Mr Speaker, we should be a law abidingnation and the only way the law will workis when those who flout the law arepunished. If not, then impunity wouldreign supreme and we would be seen tobe promoting it. It has been said thatwherever you find impunity, it is just aretreat into chaos. Mr Speaker, I thank you for thiscontribution to the issue on the debate.[Hear! Hear!]
HonMajority Leader, there are two peoplestanding on the Majority side, so, I givethe power to you to decide who shouldspeak. [Pause.] The power is entirely inyour hands as I have transferred the powerto you today. The Hon Member cannotfurther delegate it because it is already adelegated power. [Laughter][Interruption.]
MrSpeaker, I rise to support the Report andto talk about the processes that one hasto go through to be registered. Mr Speaker, page 3 of the Report whichtalks about ‘qualification for registration'and that a person who applies forregistration as a voter shall provide asevidence of identification either apassport, Driver's Licence, a NationalIdentification Card or an existing voterregistration card. Mr Speaker, if we wantto go strictly by this mode of identification,we would deny majority of Ghanaians theright to register. Mr Speaker, let us ask ourselves howmany Ghanaians have passports in thiscountry? We are saying that, if onecomes from a constituency and does nothave; a passport, Driver's Licence or aNational Identification Card, one shouldbe denied registration and for that matterexercising his right to vote? Mr Speaker, Isupport the proposed recommendationthat a registered voter should be allowedto, guarantee for five people. If we do that,we would have most of our people wholive in the villages registered. I think that the EC has done very well,so, all of us must support this move that,if one does not have a passport, a driver's licence or a National Identification Card,that should not prevent one fromregistering to exercise one's franchise. I think that it is laudable and in thewisdom of the EC, this is the surest wayto ensure that majority of Ghanaians whohave attained 18 years and are willing toregister to exercise their franchise, do so. So, I totally disagree with anyone whoargues that, this contravenes the currentConstitution, and that the C.I. 91 is inferiorto it, so, we should look at it again,because, as a country. If we go by theprovision of these three documents as ameans of identification, we would end updisenfranchising most of our people --[Uproar!] Mr Speaker, so, for us --
Hon Ahi,you said we would end up in what?
HonMembers, Order! Order!
In order not to disenfranchiseour people, we should ensure that weallow registered people to guarantee forfive people who would want to beregistered. If we do that all Ghanaians --
Hon Ahi,resume your seat and let us have someorder before you -- Hon Members, Order! Order! --[LongPause.] Hon Members, let us have some order,please. Hon Ahi, continue.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, as I said earlier, in orderfor every Ghanaian citizen who is 18 yearsand above to be registered without beingrestricted to identification through theholding of passport, Driver's Licence andNational Identification Cards. If we do that, most of our people wholive in the villages would not vote. Forthat matter, I wholly support the proposalto allow a registered voter to guaranteefor five people who would want to register,so that Ghanaian voters who would wantto exercise their rights can have itguaranteed, so that they can also exercisetheir rights to vote. Mr Speaker, I do not agree withanybody who would say that because theC.I. 91 is a subsidiary to the Constitution,it is contradicting the Constitution andthat this provision should be looked atagain. I totally disagree. Mr Speaker, let usaccept this proposal, so that people wholive in the rural communities can beregistered and when it comes to voting,they can exercise their right to vote. I thank you, Mr Speaker. [Hear! Hear!]
I thankyou very much, Hon Ahi. I think we would now go to --[Interruption.] --There is one more on thisside. We would now go to the Leaders. Wehave finished. [Interruption.] At the timewe agreed on two each, we took Hon AttaAkyea and Hon Ahi. So, it is left with oneeach. Hon Member, one each and thenLeadership.
I thankyou, Mr Speaker. In relation to the last contribution, Idid not think that there would be muchheat in this room. after all, the provisionswhich Hon Ahi referred to were also inthe C.I. 72 anyway. It is just that it has notbeen tested in court and I believe that HonAtta Akyea was probably alluding to that. On the four methods of identifyingyourself as a Ghanaian for purposes ofregistration, I can see that three of them,on the face of it, are all citizenshipsensitive like the Passport, the NationalIdentification Card and perhaps, theVoter's Identification Card. But I am notcertain in my own mind whether a Driver'sLicence has space on it for citizenship. Ifit has, then it also qualifies. So, that is the only point I wanted tomake. The C.I. 72 contains the sameprovisions Hon Ahi referred to, and so ithas just been adopted for this C.I. 91. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
One morefrom the Majority Side. Hon Namoale, the last contributionbefore the Leaders. Nii Amasah Namoale (NDC--DadeKotopon): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I rise to support the Motion and to takethe side where Hon Atta Akyea raised aprovision in the Constitution vis-a-vis theidentification of the people. I think he may be right. But at the sametime, in getting a Passport, a Driver'sLicence and National Identification Cardas a Ghanaian -- When a baby is born,
Who would identify the baby who isbrought to the Births and Deaths Registryto collect its certificate as a Ghanaian? Itis the parents. When that baby is not givena birth certificate or not registered andgrows up to about 16, 17 and gets to 18years, and has not got any of theseidentifications, and the mother or fatheror any of the relatives go to the Birthsand Deaths centre or the Passport Officeto say, ‘this is my son or daughter', andthat ‘he or she is a Ghanaian', I think it istaken in good faith and the person isregistered as a Ghanaian. It also goes that, if I do not have aPassport because I do not want to travel;I do not have a Drivers Licence because Ilive in the rural area and I am not a driver;I do not have a National Identification Cardbecause I was not even aware that Ishould get one; and now I want to registerto vote and I go to the voter's registrationcentre, is it because of the provision inthe Constitution that this provision isgoing to contradict that they should notregister me? Mr Speaker, so far as I have somebodywho can identify me as a Ghanaian, asone's mother or father identifies him orher as a Ghanaian, it is the same thing.This is because the person doing theidentification must swear an oath or signsomething to show that if what he issaying is not right, then he submitshimself to the laws of the land. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Hon OseiKyei-Mensah-Bonsu, do you want tocontribute?
Mr Speaker, in rising tocontribute to the debate, I would just wantto make a few observations. The first relates to the over floggedmatter that the Hon Member, who justspoke, alluded to. That is in respect of theidentification or guaranteeing the identityof a potential voter. Mr Speaker, I am nottoo sure that what we are doing even sitswell with the Constitution. Mr Speaker, the Constitution providesin article 42 that, every citizen of Ghana of18 years of age or above and of soundmind has the right to vote, and is entitledto be registered as a voter for purposes ofpublic elections and referenda. Mr Speaker, so, guaranteeing for apotential registrant is not only in respectof the citizenship of that person, but he isalso vouching that the person is of soundmind. Could any ordinary person do that?The Constitution provides that, theperson must be a Ghanaian, who is 18years and above, and of sound mind. So,what would one be guaranteeing? Is theperson guaranteeing for the citizenship,or for the fact that he is above 18 years orfor the fact that he is of sound mind? Mr Speaker, it seems to me that we areglossing over that aspect. Could anyindividual guarantee that a person is ofsound mind? I do not see it. I think thatwe need to really look at that. Mr Speaker, the Law provides for theevidence of identification. Whatidentification are we talking about? Weare talking about identification ofcitizenship -- So, why would we not evensay that a person, who applies forregistration as a voter, shall provideevidence of citizenship. That is what article42 of the Constitution dwells on. Whatidentification are we talking about? One should identify himself as a citizen of thiscountry. So, I thought that some of theseprovisions do not really sit well with article42 of the Constitution. Mr Speaker, for anyHon Member to suggest that we shouldallow any person, because he hassucceeded in having his name on thevoters' register, to vouch for people thathe may not even know that they areGhanaians, they are of 18 years and above,and they are of sound mind -- Mr Speaker, I do not think it should liein the mouth of any person who registersto provide that guarantee. I do not thinkso at all. That is why I think we may needto have another look at this. Mr Speaker, if we are talking aboutproof of citizenship, and not anyidentification, why would we include aDriver's Licence? Does acquiring aDriver's Licence prove that a person is acitizen of Ghana? Not at all. For a Passport,one is required to prove that he is a citizenof Ghana. It is not so for a Driver's Licence.So, why should it include a Driver's Licenceas proof of citizenship? I do not get it. Mr Speaker, I just want to state that, Ihave fundamental difficulties with someof the provisions captured in theConstitutional Instrument (C.I.) and alsoimported into the Legislative Instrument. Mr Speaker, I believe that but for wantof time, this should be thrown back to theElectoral Commission (EC) for the properthing to be done. This is because, I donot think what we are doing is right at all. Why have we dropped the requirementor the need for the Health Insurance Card?It is because that is not proof ofcitizenship? That is why it has been struck out? Why do we maintain the Driver'sLicence? Does it prove citizenship? Mr Speaker, I am deeply worried aboutthese things. I believe that we shouldsend this back to the EC for the properthing to be done. Mr Speaker, I thank you.
Mr Speaker, I stand to supportthe Motion. And in doing so, I draw the attentionof the House to the fact that we have gonethrough a very tortuous journey. Therehad been a lot of consultations on thismatter, which included the political partieswe belong to and all stakeholders. It tooktime and diligence to get this thing crafted. Also, at the Committee level, they havedone a good job. I have gone through theReport and I agree with the Committee andthink that we should adopt the Report andapprove the passage of C.I. 91 Mr Speaker, the issue of citizenship hasgone beyond that of facts. It is a questionof law. Ghanaians resident in the UnitedKingdom (UK), United States of America(USA) and all over the world are, by thisprovision, entitled to register to vote. Thatis the constitutional provision. So, whether it is in La Cote d'Ivoire,Togo, Burkina Faso or USA, by thisprovision, they are entitled to register. Bythis provision and the Constitution, oncethey are citizens of Ghana, they are entitledto be registered. Mr Speaker, it is the process of gettingall Ghanaians captured that is thechallenge.
HonLeader, I have not recognised them. Oryou want to yield to them?
Mr Speaker, I was yieldingto them because I saw--
All right. Who would you yield to?
Mr Speaker, I recogniseHon Justice Joe Appiah first. [Laughter.]
Thank you, MrSpeaker. Mr Speaker, can the Hon MajorityLeader define the phrase “mediairrelevancies”? He should explain mediairrelevancies; we do not know the meaningof media irrelevancies.
HonMajority Leader, you made a good choice.
Mr Speaker, publicationsthat infringe upon the law. That is what Imeant by that phrase and so --[Interruption.]
Mr Speaker,the Hon Majority Leader should not putwords in my mouth. He heard him andwhat he said.
Mr Speaker, I think that itis a good law and we should let it pass byadopting the Report. Thank you.
HonMembers, I will put the Question. I think this matter is rather closed. Ihave to take it again, because, is it aquestion of how loud we shout or howmany people are shouting? My Friend Hon Joseph Bipoba Naabu,when it is a headcount, we will count HonNaabu twice because of the way he shoutsthe aye. [Laughter]-- I think I must befair. Question put and Motion agreed to.
I directthat the Table Office gives the Report andthe sentiments relating to theestablishment of courts, to the ChiefJustice. Hon Members, I intend to give a rulingbefore we continue.
Mr Speaker, as apoint of interest, indeed, when it comesto Subsidiary Legislation under article 11subclause 7 (c); it is negative resolutionthat it passes, unless two-thirds ofmembers of the House reject it. So, I wanted direction whether the ayesand no's can really solve it.
It hasbeen advertised as a Report of the Houseand the House has adopted the Report,so, if somebody wants to lead a charge tosatisfy the Constitutional provision, thenthe person should have filed a counterMotion or the person can file a Motion.When he files that Motion that we rejectthe Report and more than two-thirds rejectit, then it is relevant. I think this is a matter-- I will just answer it very quickly. Hon Members, the Hon Chairman ofthe Subsidiary Legislation Committee hasasked a very important question. Thequestion is, why have we used thisprocedure with regard to SubsidiaryLegislation? In doing so, he has referred us to theConstitution; article 11, subclause 7(c). Ibeg to quote: “Any Order, Rule or Regulationmade by a person or authorityunder a power conferred by thisConstitution or any other law shall-- (c) come into force at the expirationof twenty one sitting days afterbeing so laid unless Parliament,before the expiration of twenty-one days annuls the Order, Ruleor Regulation by the votes of notless than two-thirds of all themembers of Parliament. The Supreme Court has the occasionin a number of cases to discuss this matterand has shown the difference between thepower of Parliament with regard to Bills
Mr Speaker, we can onlythank you for your detailed ruling. Indoing that, it is also important that weremind ourselves, for the records, that anearlier Speaker ruled that a DeputySpeaker is a Deputy Speaker and not theSpeaker. By your own ruling, it means that, thatprecedent is binding. So, in spite of theeffort you have made, the research thatyou have done and the education youhave given us, your ruling is of doubtfullegal validity --[Laughter] -- Just on thebasis of lack of locus. This is because, even though you arepresiding as Speaker, a Deputy Speaker isa Deputy Speaker. So, we thank you verymuch. We are guided by your rulinganyway, and --
I thoughtthe Hon Bagbin would complete this.Well, we also thank God that MajorityLeaders are Majority Leaders and nothingmore. [Laughter.] I disagree with him. Butthe fact that I disagree with him is of noconsequence because if he listenedcarefully, I said I am strengthened by hisgoodself and the Hon Speaker. This is because I quoted the HonSpeaker as a precedent. He suggested tothe Speaker on that day that the Presidentdelivered the State of the Nation Addressand the Hon Speaker agreed. So, I saidthat it is the Hon Speaker's view that I amexpressing. I have given vent to the HonSpeaker's view. I agree with him and theHon Speaker. Yes, Hon Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu?
Mr Speaker,for starters, I disagree with whathappened that day. Even though the timewas a minute or two after 2.00 o'clock, theHouse was not entirely in the hands ofthe Hon Speaker. Mr Speaker, the same Erskine Maywould vindicate my position. I disagreewith you on this ruling that you havegiven, I am about to -- Mr Speaker, I would not add anything.I disagree with you violently, but I bow toyour ruling.
Mr Speaker, I believe myHon Colleague wanted to say that hedisagrees with you vehemently and notviolently. He cannot disagree with youviolently.
HonBagbin, even though he said “violently”,his violence was without violence. Yourswas violent.
Do you mean my firstresponse to your ruling was violent?
Yes, itwas violent.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. May we now proceed to lay somePapers as stated on the Order PaperAddendum, and then handle item 33 onthe GETFund. Order Paper Addendum item 1,Presentation of Papers.
HonAfenyo-Markin, do you have somethingto say? You have been getting up evennow and then.
Mr Speaker, Iwanted a clarification on a point earliermade by the Hon Majority Leader. Mr Speaker, if you refer to our StandingOrders, at page 6, we have “Mr Speakeris defined to include a Member presidingat a Sitting”. Mr Speaker, you might recall,somewhere in June, I made an applicationat the time the Hon First Deputy Speakerwas in the Chair. That application was withrespect to the KarPower Agreement,where I held the view that it ought to cometo Parliament for approval. Later on, when Mr Speaker himself wasin the Chair, I repeated the application.Theposition Mr Speaker took was that,whatever had been previously said, thedirection given by the Hon First DeputySpeaker was binding on the Chair. So, Ionly wanted a clarification, because at the time, I had not had the benefit of a rulingof this House that a Deputy Speaker --
HonAfenyo-Markin, it is not a ruling. It is hisview. Do not let us litigate the issue toofar. Last three weeks, when we had theState of the Nation Address, somebodysought to tender in an electronic material. The Hon First Deputy Speaker was inthe Chair. What he said was that, herecollect that the Hon Second DeputySpeaker ruled on the matter but he couldforget what he said, therefore, he waswaiting for him. That is his view. Do not let us litigate itfurther. The Standing Orders are clear. Letus continue. Hon Majority Leader, what item?
Mr Speaker, I said, OrderPaper Addendum, item 1, presentation ofPapers.
Item 1(a) (ii).
HonDeputy Minister for Finance, are we doingup till item number 1(a) (iv)? All right. By Mr Cassiel Ato Forson (on behalfof the Minister for Finance) -- (ii) Request for Waiver of ImportDuties, Import VAT and NHIL,ECOWAS Levy, EDIF, InspectionFees, Withholding tax, Corporateand Income Taxes other relatedtaxes amounting to seven million,five hundred and thirty-fourthousand, six hundred andseventy-nine United States dollars(US$7,534,679.00) for the offshorecomponent and three million, fivehundred and seventy-twothousand, five hundred and sixty-eight Ghana cedis and twentypesewas (GH¢3,572,568.20) for theonshore/local component relatingto project materials and equipmentas well as services to be procureddomestically or imported for usein the implementation of theAgreement between the Government of the Republic ofGhana and the Government ofthe Republic of Korea actingthrough the Export-Import Bankof Korea to finance theimplementation of the Wa WaterSupply System Develop-mentProject. (iii) Credit Facility Agreementbetween the Government of theRepublic of Ghana and theIndustrial and Commercial Bankof China Limited (ICBC) for anamount of ninety million, fourhundred and seventy-twothousand, three hundred andeighty-five United States dollars(US$90,472,385.00) for Financingand the Supply and Erection ofElectrical Materials andEquipment for the Electrificationof 1,033 Communities in theAshanti, Brong Ahafo, Eastern,Volta and Western Regions,Phase I. Referred to on Finance Committee.
Mr Speaker, item 1(a) (iv)is a Commercial Agreement from theMinistry of Power. Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister forFinance is the same Minister overseeingthe Ministry of Power, therefore, I wouldlike to seek your leave and the indulgenceof my Hon Colleagues to allow the HonDeputy Minister for Finance to do so forand on behalf of the Hon Minister forFinance, who is responsible for theMinistry of Power.
HonMinister for Finance? By Mr Cassiel Ato Forson (on behalf ofthe Minister for Finance) -- (iv) Commercial Agreement betweenthe Government of the Republicof Ghana and China InternationalWater and Electric Corporationfor the Supply and Erection ofElectrical Materials andEquipment for the Electrificationof 1,033 Communities in theAshanti, Brong Ahafo, Eastern,Volta and Western Regions,Phase I Referred to the Committee on Minesand Energy.
Mr Speaker, if we may nowtake item numbered 33 at page 28 of theOrder Paper, which is the Committee ofthe Whole.
Are wegoing to clear the Chamber or we aregoing to -- So that we make that orderbefore?
Mr Speaker, we wouldfollow the usual Motions by suspendingSitting, then we would constitute theHouse into the Committee of the Whole.After that, we would resume Sitting.
HonMembers, the House is suspended andwill reconvene after the Committee of theWhole. 6.00 p.m. -- Sitting suspended. 7.40 p.m. -- Sitting resumed.
HonMajority Leader, what item number are wetaking?
Mr Speaker, my attentionhas been drawn to the fact that item 1 (b)on the Order Paper Addendum is readyfor laying. In fact, we should have laid itwith the earlier ones, but my attention wasnot drawn to it. So, if we could lay thatbefore we proceed.
Item 1 (b)-- Hon Chairman of the Committee.
Mr Speaker, if we couldtake item numbered 25 on page 10 of theOrder Paper. We have done some discussions andwinnowing of the proposed amendmentsthere. So, I believe that Hon Memberswould stick to the understanding thatsome of them may be withdrawn. It is justa few proposed amendments that wouldbe taken. That is the ElectronicCommunications (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
HonMembers, the Electronic Communications(Amendment) Bill, 2016 at the Considera-tion Stage.
BILLS -- CONSIDERATIONSTAGE
Clause 1,amendment proposed in item 25 (i) on theOrder Paper in the name of Hon AlexanderKwamina Afenyo-Markin. [Pause.]
Mr Speaker, earlier, myHon Junior Colleague told me that he waswithdrawing his amendments. [Interruption.]He told me specifically.
HonMember, I did not know that in Parliament,we have Hon Junior Colleagues.
Mr Speaker, inParliament, he is my junior.
HonMember, but the Standing Orders do notrecognise that. He is an Hon Member; thatis it. Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah, does theStanding Orders recognise the term “HonJunior Colleague”?
Mr Speaker,no, but it is gradually becoming aconvention; “Hon Senior Colleague” or“Hon Junior Colleague”. So, we wouldtake it like that. [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, I am fairly an Hon SeniorColleague. [Laughter.]
So, theamendment advertised as item 25 (i) onthe Order Paper is accordingly withdrawn. [Amendment withdrawn by leave ofthe House.]
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove clause 1 paragraph (a) (1), line 3,delete “the Interconnect” and insert “aninterconnect”. Mr Speaker, the purpose of thisproposed amendment is to create theenvironment to enable the NationalCommunication Authority (NCA) tolicense more than one InterconnectClearing House (ICH) when the needarises. Mr Speaker, I have also seen that thereis a proposed amendment by HonFrederick Opare-Ansah, which is in thesame line, except that we would need tofurther amend that one to suit what wewould want to do. Mr Speaker, so if that is the acceptedposition of the House, I would drop myproposed amendment. When we come tothe amendment of Hon Opare-Ansah, Iwould further amend that and then wewould take it.
Mr Speaker, I would wantto support my Hon Chairman, so that HonOpare-Ansah can modify his amendment.He captures it a bit better than ours.
All right,the amendment proposed at item 25 (ii) onthe Order Paper is hereby withdrawn. [Amendment withdrawn by leave ofthe House.]
MrSpeaker, I beg to move clause 1 paragraph(a) (1), lines 3 and 4, delete “theInterconnect Clearing House” and insert“any of the Interconnect Clearing Houseslicensed by the Authority.” The new rendition would therefore,read paragraph (a) (1), lines 3 and 4, delete“the Interconnect Clearing house” andinsert the “Interconnect Clearinghouseslicensed by the Authority”.
I thoughtthe two of you had merged youramendments, you should have spokenwith one voice.
Mr Speaker, you wouldlisten to the new rendition then --
I will putthe Question.
Mr Speaker, the newrendition is that, we delete “InterconnectClearing House” and insert “anyInterconnect Clearing House”. In that case,we would not create more than one at a go.
What Iunderstand by what you have said is that,it gives the possibility and it is just alicensing procedure. Any InterconnectClearing House licensed by the Authority.So, the Authority can license 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,10 -- That is how I understand it. They say I should put the Question.Hon Members, what is happening? ShouldI not put the Question?
Mr Speaker, I think thatwas the understanding of theconsultation. The rendition should be“any Interconnect Clearing Houselicensed by the Authority”. That is whatis being proposed.
I will putthe Question. I can see that Hon Opare-Ansah agrees and has no objection to it.So, I would put the Question. I should take a decision whether it isaye or nay? I am but an Hon SecondDeputy Speaker, so, how can I take adecision? Question put and Amendment agreedto.
This is adecision but I cannot rule so you arealways -- I cannot rule you out of order?Hon Bagbin, I have ruled you out of order.[Laughter.] Clause 1 (iv)?
Mr Speaker, theeffect of the amendment we just adoptedcovers what I seek to achieve under thisone. So, I seek to abandon this one.
So, it iswithdrawn. Your application to withdrawis granted and withdrawn. [Amendment withdrawn by leave ofthe House.]
Mr Speaker, I begto move, clause 1 --Add the followingnew paragraphs: “(c) by the substitution ofsubsection (6) of: (6) (i) The Authority shall promptlydecide an interconnectiondispute referred to it within 14days after the referral. (ii) Where a network operator fails tocomply with an interconnectionrequest and the Authority satisfiesitself that there is no reasonable technical or financial grounds fornon-compliance, the Authority shallrequest that network operator tomandatorily connect to anInterconnect Clearing House andprovide interconnect capacitythrough that Interconnect ClearingHouse and the network operatorshall comply within thirty days”. Mr Speaker, if you read thememorandum that accompanied the Bill,the Government in implementing thisparticular solution seeks a way by whichit would in a mandatory manner ensurethat when there is some dispute or whenthe situation arises there is a new entrantto the market and operators that existtoday try to frustrate the interconnectionof the new entrant. This provision would seek to give theAuthority room to force the existingoperators to mandatorily provide forcapacity to the new entrant or any otherexisting operator that is even looking forexpansion to mandatorily interconnect. So, the first part seeks to give themroom to resolve any disputes that mayarise as a result and the second part givesthe Authority the power to enforce aninterconnect through the clearing house.
Mr Speaker --
Is this theCommunications Committee or theFinance Committee?
It is a joint Committee.
Who isthe Hon Chairman of the CommunicationsCommittee?
Mr Speaker, I oppose theamendment. My opposition is based onexisting provisions already in Act 775. Mr Speaker, Act 775, section 84 talksabout dispute resolution which isadequately covered to resolve anydispute that may arise. Mr Speaker, again, if we go to section97 of Act 775, under regulations and I begto quote: (1) “The Minister may on advice of theAuthority by legislative instrumentmake regulations generally to giveeffects to the provisions of this Actand shall in particular, makeRegulations in relation to; (c) “interconnection which maycontain, among others, thematters to be covered in everyinterconnection agreement.” Mr Speaker, we already have adequateprovisions in the Act so, I oppose theamendment.
MrSpeaker, the Bill intends to repeal thesection 20, subsections 3 to 7 of the Act.It was one of the points I raised. There are certain parts of the Act thatif we repeal now -- [Interruption] -- Wesay we are going to wait for theRegulation, one of the things the Ministryof Communications said was that, theywanted the thing set-up immediately.Therefore, if we repeal the Act and say weare going to wait for the Regulation whichhe quoted -- In the original Bill, they said theyrepealed subsections 3 to 7. That is whatthey said. In sections 3 to 7, if we look atsections 6, of Act 775. Mr Speaker, I begto quote: “The Authority shall promptlydecide an interconnection disputereferred to it between fourteen daysafter the referral. We do not need to delete this sectionas the Bill intends to do. When somethinghappens, the Interconnect Clearing Houseis a network operator, who is going tointerconnect other network operators. So,if they have a problem tomorrow and werepeal this pending the Regulation whichwould take up to some time in June beforeit matures, what happens? I agree that Regulations would be madebut this particular one, the section 6 ofthe Act alone, if you repeal it, it is goingto have a problem. This is because if theyinterconnect tomorrow and there is adispute, what would they do? Meanwhile,there is already a dispute ResolutionCommittee that has been set up. So, this one can be allowed to stay andother Regulations that would feed into thesmooth running of the InterconnectClearing House should be allowed. Thisparticular one should be allowed to stay.
HonDeputy Minister for Communications?
Mr Speaker, I thank youvery much for the opportunity. As the HonChairman of the Finance Committeeindicated, we discussed this amendmentand came to the conclusion that, we haveenough laws that already exist forresolving disputes. Apart from Act 775, section 84 (a), (b)and (c), there is also Act 769, subsection3, that talks about dispute resolution aswell as Act 769 clause 3 (k) (4) that alsotalks about dispute resolution in respect of interconnection. Mr Speaker, with yourpermission, I beg to read -- Functions ofthe Authority -- (3) (k) states that: “to investigate and resolvedisputes … and (iv) in respect of theinterconnection sharing facilitiesand utility installations;” So, in our opinion, there are alreadyenough existing laws for resolvingdisputes in respect of interconnection. Wedo not intend to add additional clauses toalready existing laws to resolve disputes.
Let mejust ask a question of the Hon Memberwho proposed the amendment.Subsection 6 (i), seems to be a disputeresolution clause. The position I hear fromHon Members is that, it has beensufficiently catered for. If you couldaddress that, perhaps --
Mr Speaker, if youlook at the proposed Bill; 1 (b) talks aboutthe repeal of subsections 3 to 7 of theparent Act and the clause for disputeresolution is one of those clauses to berepealed. So, I only tried to help byreinserting the portion that would helpthem through dispute resolution toenforce mandatory interconnection. Ifthey are not happy with it, however, I amhappy to drop it. So, I apply to withdrawit, Mr Speaker.
HonOpare-Ansah, I think everybody isinterested in dispute resolution.
Mr Speaker, I applyto withdraw it.
HonOpare-Ansah has applied to withdraw it.The application is granted. Theamendment has been withdrawn. [Amendment withdrawn by leave ofthe House.]
Item (vi)advertised in the name of Hon Opare-Ansah?
Mr Speaker, I begto withdraw this one too. [Amendment withdrawn by leave ofthe House.]
Item (vii)standing in the name of Hon KwakuKwarteng. Hon Kwarteng, please, do not read theproposed amendment. Just explain it.
Mr Speaker, Ibeg to move, clause 1, Add the followingnew paragraphs: “Section 20 of Act 775 amended The Electronic Communications Act,2008 (Act 775) referred to in this Act asthe principal enactment is amended insection 20 by the insertion of; “(9) The revenues due the State fromcommunications service taxpayable on the services of everyInterconnect Clearing Houseshall be monitored and verified bythe monitoring mechanismestablished in the Communica-tions Service Tax (Amendment)Act, 2013. “(10) The interconnect servicesprovided by an InterconnectClearing House to private serviceproviders shall be paid for solelyby those private serviceproviders that use the services ofthat Interconnect ClearingHouse.” Mr Speaker, I rise to canvass supportfor (vii). As you indicated, I would makesome quick remarks. I am proposing an amendment in section20 of the principal enactment. My reasonsare that at the moment, given theamendments we have made already, weare going to have a re-created room for thecreation of multiple ICHs. Per theCommunications Services Tax (Amendment)Act, 2013, all value addition servicesincluding interconnections are subject toCommunications Services Tax (CST). At the moment, network operators;MTN, Airtel and the others are all payingCommunications Services Tax on theinterconnect services they provide foreach other. If you go to the Memorandum,it states that the Interconnect ClearingHouse would also be doing some revenuemonitoring and the monitoring that wouldlead to revenue assurance and all that. The issue then arises; who polices thepoliceman? If the ICH would play a role inrevenue assurance, that is why, for theavoidance of doubt, I think it is importantthat we clearly state the services thatwould be delivered by any InterconnectClearing House. It would be subject to aCST and the provisions in the CST(Amendment) Act that govern monitoringand revenue assurance would apply tothem as well. These are my reasons for thisamendment, Mr Speaker.
HonRanking Member for the FinanceCommittee?
Mr Speaker, I listenedto my Hon Colleague and I would want toplead with him if he could withdraw thisamendment. This is because there isanother one that is more potent than theone he is proffering now. The
Mr Speaker, I agree. Infact, I would also want to step down the(10). Mr Speaker, I beg to withdraw the (9) --I support the fact that a later amendmentcould take care of the issues I raised here.
HonMembers, I am creating a window ofopportunity and the Standing Orders areclear. I will decide what it is. Those whowill want to withdraw should do so. Thereis no point for us to mention it and thenyou will say you are withdrawing. I am creating a window of opportunityand I will hold my horses for two minutes,if you will want to withdraw then withdrawnow. If you advertise it and you withdrawthen I will not be too happy with you --[Interruption] -- You let us mention thenumber and then you move youramendment, argue beautifully, somebodygets up and within two seconds, youwithdraw. What is that? The time is 8.07p.m. Hon Afenyo-Markin, are youwithdrawing?
Mr Speaker, untilyou face stiff opposition, you may not bein a position to know the potency of theopposition. So, Hon Kwarteng, ably moved andwhen --
HonAfenyo-Markin, you just came in. Beforeyou came in, there had been similarwithdrawal. There was even one -- I donot want to mention names. I evensupported the amendment. Before I knewwhat was happening, the proposer hadleft me in the cold; it was one of disputeresolution. He had been withdrawn. So,anybody who wants to withdraw shoulddo so. Which clause are we on now? Is it itemnumbered 25 (viii) on the Order Paper?Hon O. B. Amoah, are you going towithdraw?
Mr Speaker, I wouldonly withdraw based on superiorargument.
“Section 20 of Act 775 amended The Electronic Communications Act,2008 (Act 775) referred to in this Act asthe principal enactment is amended insection 20 by the insertion of; “(1) A Network operator or serviceprovider shall within six monthsafter the coming into force of thisAct connect to an InterconnectClearing House for the purposeof establishing and maintaininginterconnection with any newservice provider or routing interconnect traffic to any newservice providers. “(2) A Network operator or serviceprovider which possesses an existingpeer-to-peer interconnection shall beentitled to maintain this directinterconnection with existing serviceproviders for the purpose of routingits interconnect traffic. (3) A Network operator or serviceprovider who contravenessubsection (1) commits anoffence and is liable on summaryconviction to a fine of twothousand penalty units per day.” Mr Speaker, that is my proposedamendment to section 20 of Act 775. Theidea behind the amendment is the fact thatthe network operator should have a periodwithin which he should connect to theclearing house. There should be adeadline for connecting to the clearinghouse. We cannot leave it wide open byjust saying we are setting up a clearinghouse without providing the period withinwhich such an operator should connectto the clearing house. I propose six months within which suchconnection should happen. That is theparagraph 1 of my proposed amendment. The proposed paragraph 2, talks aboutthe fact that, until the operation starts,the peer-to-peer connection should run,unless of course, there is enoughjustification why a peer-to-peerconnection could not run in the clearinghouse, especially when they are stillsettling. The paragraph 3 is about penalty andoffence, that is, if one does not connectbased on the period within which he issupposed to connect, the offence for such failure or infraction has been specifiedhere. Mr Speaker, I am not too concernedabout the kind of penalty we put in butmy proposal is, of course, for the 2,000penalty units per day. If it is too onerous,we could find a way out of it. This is anarrangement that we could make.
Mr Speaker, I would humblyask the Hon Member to withdraw theproposed amendment. The Committeealso recognised the fact that there is aneed for transition. We have adequatelycovered the period as proposed in thetransition period; the Committee hasproposed that under a new subclause,that within six months, theinterconnection through the ICH shouldbe done by the mobile network operators. Mr Speaker, again, he talked aboutsanctions. We have also covered that oneadequately in clause 2 of the Bill. TheCommittee has also proposed someamendment which we shall take under item25 (ix) on the Order Paper. So, if the HonMember could withdraw his amendment,his concerns would be addressed by theCommittee's proposed amendment.
Mr Speaker, this is anarea the House should consider carefully.I totally agree with the Hon Chairman ofthe Finance Committee, where he saysone of the amendments seeks to createone month transition period. Mr Speaker, when we pass this Bill andit is assented to by the President into anAct, it takes immediate effect. With the sixmonths window that we have given, wehave already in the amendment disabledthe peer-to-peer connection.
Let melisten to Hon Yieleh Chireh. Then, I wouldcome to you.
Mr Speaker, thetransitional provision takes effect onlyafter the law has come into force. The lawcomes into force the day it is assented to,then the transitional provisions startrunning. That is why it is advisable forhim to withdraw what he has proposed.
HonYieleh Chireh, the transitional provisionis for what period?
It is six months.
And so ifwe already have transitional provisions --
The Committee has alreadyprovided for transitional provisions whichcater for what he would want to do. Thereis no reason he would amend the samesection when it has already been clarified. What my Hon Colleague the HonPrempey said --
I think HonO. B. Amoah has a message for us.
Mr Speaker, in thefirst place, there is nobody known as HonPrempey. He is Matthew Opoku Prempeh. The Hon Chairman of the Committee istrying to convince us that what I haveput together is similar to what he hasproposed. I do not think they are the same.So, we should come to a certainagreement. As I see it now, the transitionalprovisions say that we should migratewithin a certain time.
In themeantime, one either migrates or does notmigrate. Yes, if they say one should migratewithin six months means that, in themeantime, he is either migrated or not, so,we are migrating. One has a six-monthwindow. Hon Members, please the communicationexperts are talking peer-to-peerconnection. I am a simple person. Whenthe Government passes a law and saysthat all car licenses should be yellow andblue and he gives us six months it meansthat within the six months, I have thechance to change my licence. Therefore, Ihave a six-month window. That is the wayI understand it, but I stand corrected. Yes, Hon Opare-Ansah?
Mr Speaker, I thinkthe Hon Chairman of the Committee isright. There is a certain interconnectionregime today and we are legislating tochange that into a new regime. We aretrying to provide for a transitional period.Until the expiration of the transitionalperiod, the status quo remains. Therefore, until the operators havemigrated onto the ICH, the expectation isthat the peer-to-peer connection they havewould remain in operation.
What isyour advice?
My advice is thatthey yield to the position of the Committeeso that we could take the Committee'sadvice.
Mr Speaker, Isupport it.
Sorry,Hon O. B. Amoah has a message for us.
Mr Speaker, I wouldyield to the Committee and withdraw theproposed amendment. [Amendment withdrawn by leave ofthe House.]
It was asif I was a prophet. That is why I said thosewho want to withdraw --
Mr Speaker,he yielded to superior argument, that iswhat he says -- [Laughter.]
Hisargument too was strong.
Yes, but notsuperior to this one.
In fact, Isupport him. If I had the opportunity tovote I would have voted for him. Anyway, the amendment is accordinglywithdrawn. [Amendment withdrawn by leave ofthe House.] Clause 1 as variously amended orderedto stand part of the Bill. Clause 2 -- section 73, A inserted.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 2, section 73A, delete and insertthe following: “73A. (1) A network operator shallcomply with the directivesestablished by the Authority to: (a) prevent; (b) detect; and (c) disconnect the use of the subscriber identity moduleor the user identity module of that networkoperator, for terminating an internationalcall on any network in Ghana as a localcall: (2) A network operator who fails tocomply with subsection (1),commits an offence and is liableto pay to the Authority anadministrative penalty of twothousand penalty units per dayfor each subscriber identitymodule or user identity moduleused in terminating aninternational call as a local call”. Mr Speaker, clause 2 of the Bill saysthat anyone who uses the subscriberidentity module or the SIM to terminatean international call as a local call commitsan offence and it is punishable. The Committee is of the view that weshould have a better rendition, first of all,to create the offence and also prescribethe punishment. That is what theCommittee has proposed in clause 2 ascaptured in (ix).
Mr Speaker,I was just looking at which conjunct touse, whether it is --
HonMinority Leader, I cannot hear you.
Mr Speaker,I said I was looking at which conjunct touse, whether it should be “and” or “or”,but I think that in this case “and” is good.That is for (a), (b) and (c) listed. That iswhat I was looking at, but I think it is rightwith the “and”.
HonMinority Leader, what is the difference inmeaning, just for --
Mr Speaker,in this case, it is “and” and not “or”.
Mr Speaker, I agree withthe Hon Minority Leader, that we add“or”.
He says“and” and you say “or”. The original was“or”.
It should be “and/or”. Mr Chireh-- rose --
HonYieleh Chireh, I have recognised you.
Mr Speaker, if it is aboutto prevent, detect and disconnect, theseare separate activities. If in creating an offence we lump them together as “and”,it connotes that we have to prove that allthe three have been committed. We cantake one, however, if we put the “or”. That means if the person fails toprevent, or fails to detect, or fails todisconnect -- If we want to prove all atonce before they constitute the offence,that is when normally we put the word“and”. If that is the intention, then it isfine.
I think heis right; it should be “or”. Hon Chairman, have you agreed to the“or”? Let us have you on record. This is aHouse of record.
Mr Speaker, the renditionwould read -- we would delete “and” andinsert “or”. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 2 -- Add the following newparagraph: “Section 73A of Act 775 amended The Electronic Communications Act,2008 (Act 775) referred to in this Act asthe principal enactment is amended by theinsertion of a new subsection (3) aftersubsection (2) of section 73A: “(3) A person who uses a subscriberidentity module or user identitymodule for terminating aninternational call on any networkin Ghana as a local call, commitsan offence and is liable onsummary conviction to a fine oftwo thousand penalty units perday for each subscriber identitymodule or user identity module used in terminating theinternational call as a local call”. Mr Speaker, what we have just done inthe amendment we just approved is to getthe telecommunications service providersto help prevent SIM box fraud, so we aresaying they should help prevent, detectand disconnect calls that are fraudulent. What we have not done is to create anoffence for those who commit the actthemselves, because people commitwrongs with SIM cards. They use thenetwork of the telecommunicationsservice providers. We have created anoffence and a punishment for a networkservice provider who is not vigilantenough. The question which inspires thisamendment is, what about the person whohas bought the facilities for committingthis offence? What we seek to do by this amendmentis to create an offence for the person whilegetting the telecommunication operatorsto help prevent --
HonKwarteng, help us. The process of thisillegal activity involves how manydifferent actors?
First, it involves peoplewho buy SIM boxes.
We havecatered for them.
We have not. Theycommit the actual offence. They transmitcalls through the --
HonChairman -- Are you listening? I asked aquestion about the whole basis for the proposed amendment and he is arguingthat there is a certain group of peoplewithin the illegal activity whom we havenot catered for. For example, if you steal and you goand sell the goods, the person who stoleas well as the person who bought thestolen goods can all be guilty of anoffence. So, he is explaining to us who is notbeing punished in the whole illegal event.
Mr Speaker, what I amsaying is that those who commit the actualSIM box fraud route their calls throughthe internet and then they terminate themusing the local networks, so, you see thecall as a local call. What we sought to do in the previousamendment was to say that the networkoperator must take steps to help the Statefight this kind of crime. The question I am asking is, if we askthe network operators to help fight andwe create an offence and a punishment, ifthey do not do that, what about the peoplewho commit the act? So, what we seek to do by thisamendment is to create an offence forthose who actually use the networkprovider's facility to commit the fraud,create an offence and create a punishmentfor the actual SIM box fraud. That is what we seek to do by thisamendment.
HonAfenyo-Markin? Sorry, let me recognise Hon YielehChireh and then I would come to you.
Mr Speaker, as much as Iam concerned about dealing with thosewho are involved in the commission ofthe offence, I think that currently, peopleare investigated or dealt with under somelaw. Is there no law for the people to beinvestigated and prosecuted? There mustbe a law. If we want to duplicate, we mayhave a problem. If there is no law and theHon Member is now proposing it,however, then I do not know.
Chairmanof the Committee, Hon Yieleh Chireh hasmade a very important point. In this country, we read in thenewspapers of people being arrested,prosecuted and so on. Is there no existinglaw? Why are we creating a new law? Isthe existing law not sufficient? What isthe thought behind this?
Mr Speaker, I would wantto yield to the Hon Deputy Minister torespond.
HonKwarteng, have you finished?
Mr Speaker, I wouldwant to react to Hon Yieleh Chireh. I am the Deputy Ranking Member forthe Committee on Communications. Anytime we met the telecommunicationsservice providers and questioned themabout the weaknesses in their systemsthat allow these offenders to do SIM boxfraud, they have raised a point about theabsence of a law to prosecute. They also talked about the difficultythe law enforcement agencies have beenexperiencing in prosecuting some SIM box fraudsters. If there existed any law, I amsure we would not have found it necessaryto do the amendment we did previously.Mr Speaker, there is no law. They havebeen trying. Of course, tax evasion and all that areprior provisions we could use if we donot have a specific law and that is whathas happened. If we have the opportunity,I think we should create the offence andcreate a punishment for it and it will befine.
Mr Speaker, we have alaw on subscriber registration of SIMcards. It say a person cannot use a SIMcard unless it is registered. There is a lawthat takes care of that. What we are trying to do is to usethe SIM card to terminate internationalcalls --
To do anillegal activity -- Which is to terminateinternational calls.
Yes, Mr Speaker; exactly. We feel we should take opportunity ofthis amendment.
According to the Hon Member, he seeksto assist you. This is because the personwho has the SIM card and uses it for theillegal activity is not punished. It is thenetwork operator who is punished. The Hon Member said this amendmentwill also punish the individual who usethe network operator for that purpose. Is it correct?
Mr Speaker, it is verycorrect. We agree with this intent. We justwanted to modify it a bit. The HonChairman has made some input. So weagree.
HonChairman, let me hear from you.
Mr Speaker, the HonMember states the punishment as “theoffender is liable on summary convictionto a fine. We would want to further amendit to an administrative penalty payable tothe Authority.
Mr Speaker,we are doing very well. I have looked atthe time and it is twenty minutes to 9.00o'clock. I would want to have anindication from the Leadership when wewill close today and when we will come toParliament tomorrow for the FinanceCommittee to have a meeting at 9.00o'clock in the morning. Yaa bre!
Mr Speaker, if weagree that there should be sanctions forthis offence, probably we should be ableto leave it to the draftspersons to get usthe right rendition. I do not think we should agree to theadministrative fine. If we look at the Act,section 73 -- Offence of Act 775, thepenalty is as follows: “Commits an offence and is liableon summary conviction to a fine ofnot more than three thousandpenalty units or to a term ofimprisonment of not more than fiveyear or to both.” This is the penalty for the offencesunder the Electronic Communications(Amendment) Bill, 2016. So, we can justmarry it with what we are proposing and that will make it very neat and reasonable.I do not think administrative fine can helpat all. We should go to the Act and look atthat provision and see how we can marryit with what we have proposed. Thecorresponding penalty units or terms ofimprisonment or both. That is what theAct says and I think we should stick tothat.
HonChairman of the Committee -- Havinglistened to Hon O. B. Amoah and the HonDeputy Minister, the two of them are atthe meeting of minds. You will all agreethat there is wrong that has to be punished.Is it asking too much from the two of you?You have about four experts there -- Youcan put your heads together while wecontinue. We will come back. Should I put the Question?
Mr Speaker, can I addthis before you put the Question?
Have youagreed, Hon Chairman? I heard you move an amendment.
Mr Speaker, I thought yousaid that we should put our headstogether and come up with something. The Hon Member said you want to putthe Question and I am saying that youwill not do that now; it will be after we putour heads together.
You willagree; just put your heads together.
Mr Speaker,since you have already dealt with theamendment proposed by the HonChairman of the Committee, that is itemnumbered (ix) on page 13 of the OrderPaper, I would seek your clarification on
Mr Speaker, there is anomission. We will add “and serviceprovider” so that it is consistent with whatwe have in the law.
Mr Speaker,that is in respect of item numbered ix.
HonMinority Leader, sometimes, you speakloudly, but sometimes, we can hardly hearyou. You can put on your microphone at theother side. Are you tired?
Mr Speaker,we are all exhausted. [Laughter.]
Sometimes, I can hear you loud and clear.
Mr Speaker,it is in respect of the one that we justagreed to. With your permission, I beg toread: “A network operator shall complywith the directives established bythe Authority…” As the Hon Chairman read out: “To prevent; detect and disconnect”
Mr Speaker,the first line, numbered (ix) --
We haveput that Question already.
Yes, we haveomitted something. It should read: “A network operator or serviceprovider…”
HonMinority Leader, if we have already putthat Question, should this not be at theSecond Consideration Stage? Or can wesay we are relaxing the rules?
MrSpeaker, I am making an appeal to relaxthe rules to --
Should Irelax the rules?
Yes. To makethat insertion, then you can go on.
I shouldrelax the rules. Did you hear yourself well?To tell you the truth, I am not too clear onrelaxing of rules. If the House believes thatit can be done, I would do it for you. At 9o'clock, anything goes -- [Laughter.] Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah, theQuestion has been put and now the HonMinority Leader is urging me to relax therules and come back while there is aSecond Consideration Stage.
Mr Speaker,there is limit to human endurance.
I agreebut I want your last view on the matter.We have put the Question on the clause1, can I relax the rules?
Mr Speaker,the rules are in your bosom. You can doentirely everything that pleases you toadvance the course of this House.
Eventhough I am a Deputy Speaker?
You are theSpeaker; we address you as “Mr Speaker”when you are sitting in the Chair.
I am aSpeaker what? You have a Latin term youuse -- pro tem --[Laughter]-- I am theavailable Speaker. Thank you very much. I will be makingsome few orders here and there. HonMembers, put your heads together. Hon Bagbin, can I have your advice? Ihave put the Question but the HonMinority Leader is asking me to relax therules. What is your view? Should I go tothe Second Consideration Stage? I wouldwant to be sure of what I am doing.
Mr Speaker, theConsideration Stage is said to be aninformal stage so you can vary, amend orrelax the rules to allow a proper renditionof the provisions of the Bill.
HonMinority Leader, take it again then we willput the Question for the second time. Weare going back to clause 2 -- theamendment in (ix).
Mr Speaker,I beg to move, Clause 2, section 73A,delete and insert the following: “73A. (1) A network operator or serviceprovider shall comply with thedirectives established by theAuthority to: (a) prevent; (b) detect; and (c) disconnect; the use of the subscriber identity moduleor the user identity module of that networkoperator, for terminating an internationalcall on any network in Ghana as a localcall: (2) A network operator or serviceprovider who fails to comply withsubsection (1), commits anoffence and is liable to pay tothe Authority an administrativepenalty of two thousand penaltyunits per day for each subscriberidentity module or user identitymodule used in terminating aninternational call as a local call.” Question put and amendment agreedto. Mr Quashigah --rose --
HonQuashigah, I do not see your nameanywhere. Are you getting up to proposean amendment?
No! I just want tosupport --
Whatpoint is that?
Mr Speaker, youwere urging the Hon Chairman andproponents of the amendment in (x) to tryto put their heads together and come upwith something. Mr Speaker, I would wantto apply so that we take my amendment in(xi).
Whichone is that?
HonChairman, let me ask you a question. Arewe going to finish today? Is that your aim?
Mr Speaker, I hope so.
There isno problem. Hon Chairman, please, addthis and put your heads together. HonOpare-Ansah's proposed amendment isin line with the previous one.
Mr Speaker, there is a lawin one of the telecommunications Actsthat says that, if one is under age,somebody could register a SIM card onhis behalf. So, when they are going toconsider, let them consider that aspect thelaw permits. That is all that I am saying.
HonPrempeh, as they put their heads together,if you are not included-- [Laughter]--Then there should not be -- I will notrecognise any such meeting if you are notincluded. This is a very importantCommittee. Item (xii) -- Hon Chairman of theCommittee?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 3 -- Interpretation of “InterconnectClearing House”, delete and insert thefollowing: “‘Interconnect Clearing House'means a centralised interconnectionsystem”. Mr Speaker, the definition has alreadybeen given for “interconnection system”in Act 775. Therefore, the “InterconnectionClearing House” is defined as “acentralised interconnection system”. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 3 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
Item (xiii)-- Hon Opare-Ansah?
Mr Speaker, I begto move, New Clause -- Add the followingnew clause: “The Electronic CommunicationsAct, 2008 (Act 775) referred to inthis Act as the principal enactmentis amended by the insertion of; Scope of License of InterconnectClearing House Services An Interconnect Clearing Houseshall provide the services specifiedin the license granted by theAuthority except that, anInterconnect Clearing House shallnot; (a) provide tax revenue assuranceservices; and (b) be responsible to account for taxrevenue to Government”. Mr Speaker, this House, in the year2013, approved an amendment to theCommunications Service Tax. The veryfirst paragraph of the explanatorymemorandum that accompanied the Billstates: “The object of the Bill is to clarifythe scope and coverage of the taxand to explicitly includeinterconnection services within thetax base”. Mr Speaker, what happened after thepassage of that Bill was that, the provisionof interconnection services was broughtunder the ambit of the CommunicationsService Tax Act to be taxed. Mr Speaker, what my amendment seeksto do, therefore, is to say that since weare now legislating the establishment of aclearing house, which we have justdefined by the last amendment weapproved, intepretated by the HonChairman of the Committee to mean acentralised interconnection system. Itmeans then that, all the services that thisclearing house would be providing wouldbe subject to the tax this House amendedin the year 2013 to be charged oninterconnection services. Mr Speaker, it therefore, stands toreason that, a regulator, monitor or areferee cannot regulate, monitor or refereeitself. The Interconnect Clearing House(ICH), whether the services are paid forby Government, end users or TelecomService Network Operators, they will begetting some revenue for providing theservices of interconnection. And thatservice by law, will be subject to tax. Mr Speaker, all my amendment seeksto do is to say that, since that entity willbe paying communications service tax, itshould not be given the additional dutyof monitoring to ensure that revenueaccruing to Government under thecommunications service tax is received.This is because that entity itself, fallsunder that particular -- So, thisamendment is to prohibit the entity from becoming a player and a monitoring entityat the same time. Mr Speaker, this is the amendment Iwish to propose.
Mr Speaker, generally, I donot oppose the proposed amendment bymy Hon Colleague. This is because weknow that, in the first place, the ICHfunction is going to be performed by acompany duly registered in Ghanatherefore, it is subject to corporate incometax that would be determined by the GhanaRevenue Authority (GRA). Again, if they are also going to payinterconnecting rate, then they alsocannot be doing the monitoringthemselves. Again, the CommunicationsService Tax makes that provision as a dutyof the GRA for revenue purposes tomonitor, in order to collect the appropriaterevenue for Government. So, if the amendment is seeking to saythat, the scope of the license of the ICHservices should not include or beresponsible to account for tax revenue toGovernment also provide tax revenueassurance services, what I am not too clearabout, is what the Hon Member means bysaying provide tax revenue assuranceservices? If he says that, an ICH shall providethe services specified in the licencegranted by the Authority except that, anICH shall not provide tax revenueassurance service, what does he mean bythat? If that is made clear, we will knowwhether we should support it. But I fullysupport the (b) should not be responsibleto account for tax revenue to Government.
Mr Speaker, Act 864,which was ultimately the product of the2013 Amendment of the CommunicationsService Tax, indicated that, the HonMinister for Finance, in collaboration withHon Minister for Communications willestablish a monitoring mechanism forensuring that, all the taxes that -- this isre-phrased but the effect is that, they willhave a mechanism to monitor the taxesthat are supposed to accrue to Governmentunder that Act. So, all that this amendment seeks to doand Mr Speaker, the sense of it and theneed for it, are contained in theMemorandum where you would get anidea of how Government is thinking asfar as the establishment of the ICH isconcerned in the page (v) of theaccompanying memorandum to the Billunder consideration. In the first paragraph, the last threelines, Mr Speaker, if you would allow meto quote. It says that: “The mandatory interconnection willsave Government the current course ofinvesting and operating revenueassurances systems on national andinternational interconnect traffic”. So, it is clear that, Government isthinking of utilising the ICH which is tobe established by this law to serve it forthe purposes of revenue assurance. So,all I am seeking to do is to say that, indeed,the ICH would provide that commonplatform which was envisaged under Act864. However, the entity that will beoperating and providing the ICH services should not be the same entity that willutilise that common platform to providefor revenue assurance on behalf ofGovernment. So, yes, you provide ICHinfrastructure, it does provide thecommon platform and Government,through other entities, would be able toutilise that same platform to give it thenecessary revenue assurance that itneeds. That is the sense of what I try topropose.
Mr Speaker, if the servicesthat are being provided by the ICH - thedata and the traffic flow, the informationprovided will be adequate enough for theunit that is responsible for the revenueadministration and is satisfied that, theycan use that one to determine theirrevenue, what is wrong with that? The system is not saying that, GRAshould depend solely on that data todetermine the tax revenue. No, the systemis not saying that. So, if GRA looks at thedata and they think that, they need toappoint somebody to verify the data theyare getting, they can go ahead and do it.And that is under the CST.
I willrecognise Hon Joe Baidoe-Ansah.
Thank you, MrSpeaker. I think they are saying the samething. What he is saying --
For therecord, what who is saying?
Both of them aresaying the same thing. What Hon Opare-Ansah is saying, which Hon Avedzi isalso emphasising is that, the ICH must notbe the same institution that should bemonitoring revenue. Hon Avedzi agrees to that and saysthat, that function is for GRA. So, theyare talking about the same thing. So, GRAcould decide to do it themselves by goingfor the data or GRA could give to anotherentity. Mr Speaker, that was the reason MrSpeaker decided to make it a jointCommittee by adding the Committee onFinance. The only reason why they arepart of it is the revenue part of it. So, whatwe are saying is that, the revenue part ofit is the work of the GRA.
Mr Speaker, thank youvery much. I just want to explain the process. AsHon Opare-Ansah indicated, the mandateis that, there should be a common platform,a platform that is available for the regulatorto determine our traffic, and a platform thatis also available for other State institutionsto pick information that they may needfor purposes of executing their mandate. So, the Interconnect Clearing Housein our opinion, would be gathering somedata and information, part of which theNational Communications Authority(NCA) would use to tell all of us that thetraffic coming into this country is so much.Also, part of which other State institutionsmay use. What we have indicated is that, theInterconnect Clearing House is notresponsible for accounting forGovernment tax revenue. That is theresponsibility of GRA and the Ministry ofFinance and it is not a responsibility that During the public forum, it came outclearly that, that is not an area that we aregoing into, but, the Interconnect ClearingHouse would provide some informationthat could assist in verifying whether thetaxes being paid by the mobile networkoperators are the numbers that theyshould pay.
So, is itthe same?
Nothing stops GRA andthe Ministry of Finance from furtherverifying that information. Yes, it is clear,and that is all we are saying. That is whythe Hon Chairman is indicating --
Hon PapaOwusu-Ankomah? I would come back toyou Hon Minister. You have more thanone --
Mr Speaker, Ithought that since the Hon DeputyMinister is the sponsor, probably, hewould have the last word. But, experiencehas shown that, there has been a lot ofproblems when legislation leaves a doubt.So, where we have an opportunitythrough legislation to make things clear,as the Hon Deputy Minister said early on,I believe it would be proper that we do so. The amendment proposed by the HonMember for Suhum, Hon Opare-Ansah, isthe same thing that the Hon DeputyMinister has proposed. Whatever theInterconnect Clearing House is going todo, that is not revenue and that is not whatit is supposed to do. That is what I believethis amendment seeks to do. This is
Mr Speaker, I rise tosupport the proposed amendment. I havetold my Hon Colleagues, the Chairman ofthe joint Committee, that is the Chairmanof the Finance Committee and the HonDeputy Minister that we should not leaveanything to doubt and we should also notleave a gap when we are legislating,following experiences we have gonethrough. We talk about responsibility. Is it partof the responsibility of an InterconnectClearing House to deal with revenueassurances? No! So, once theresponsibility is to create a commonplatform to clear interconnectivity -- thatis it. A common platform to clearinterconnectivity of service providers andthat is what it is created for. Tax revenue in particular and allrevenue, is the responsibility of the GRA, an agency under the Ministry of Finance.So, they cannot share that responsibilitywith an Interconnect Clearing House. We have seen from experience that,because of some interpretations given bysome people of the law, they are temptedto give revenue assurances in thelicences. It is so stated in the provisionallicence that has been issued to Afriwave.So, to clear doubt, we want to exempt it inthe law because, we have the opportunityto clarify the law and that is why there isthis proposal. Do not leave it to doubt and do notallow any person to come in future andsay they could do that just because ofthe credibility of the data and informationthat platform provides. We are all aware that the GRA wouldnot only be depending on theInterconnect Clearing House for data andinformation, but also from the serviceproviders. So, we cannot give thatresponsibility to the Interconnect ClearingHouse.That is why it is couched this way.
HonMinister, I think you should throw in thetowel. Hon Chairman, we would take it. Itreminds me of the problems that used tooccur between the Food and Drugs Boardand Ghana Standards Board. When thereare agencies and you do not define themcarefully, then you run into all kinds ofproblems. Question put and Motion agreed to.
Mr Speaker, Ibelieve quite sincerely that this is the mostappropriate time to adjourn the House. Weare tired, ya bre. [Laughter.] It is past 9.00o'clock. I have been asking the Leadershipand you heard me, but I think that it didnot strike you; the question I asked earlierwas about an indication of the time we aregoing to adjourn. Mr Speaker, when you sit in the Chair,it seems you people are sent by somehardworking spirit, you never get tired.But for some of us, we are tired.
HonMajority Leader, you heard the plea.
Mr Speaker, I actuallyempathise with my Hon Colleagues. Thisis because we have all been here sincemorning. I agree there is a level toendurance. I was only pleading that, if wecould take, instead of continuing with theConsideration Stage, some short Motion-- [Interruption] -- It would not breakany bone and it would also not hurt anyflesh. It is just procedural Motions like items12 and 13. We could just take them. TheReports are ready and they are notcontentious. So, we can take thembecause we are rising tomorrow and wehave some work to do. If we do not dothat, tomorrow, we would close very late,later than what we are experiencing today. So, I am pleading for us to go up to 10.00 p.m.
Mr Speaker,as the Hon Majority Leader himself canattest to, all of us are very much exhausted.But if perchance there is any energy leftin us, then I cannot understand why wecannot continue and finish with this Bill.In that case, why should he introduceanother thing? Let us finish with this. If he has any energy left in him, weshould complete this and know that we have finished with it instead of himintroducing another foreign matter --[Interruption] -- I know the Hon Ministerhas been here, but the Hon DeputyMinister has also been here all these while.I know he is senior to him anyway. Butthen, let us finish this. If we have any energy, then let us useabout 10 minutes or so to finish with thisone and then when we have dealt with it --Hon Chairman, I guess the others may notbe contentious. [Pause.]
Yes, HonIsaac Osei?
Mr Speaker, it isobvious that, the Hon Leaders cannotagree. But Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah isknown in this House for making veryuseful contributions. Just before the HonMajority Leader spoke, he made anotheruseful contribution which I agree with. Iam sure most of the people in this Housealso agree with. It is very late and it israining outside. Or we can go.
HonMember, it is not raining inside.
Mr Speaker, I agree. Butpeople are just tired and I think if it is timefor us to go, we should go. Mr Speaker, what Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah said is very important.
HonMajority Leader, what is your pleasure.
Mr Speaker, I get the senseof the House. The proposers of theamendments have indicated that, theyintend withdrawing all the proposedamendments except one -- the“Transitional provisions”. So, we wouldhave to continue and complete this.
Weshould stay inside -- It is safer inside.
Yes, Mr Speaker. It is saferhere than in the rain. So, we can continuewith Business. I am assuring the HonMinority Leader that, I still have energyleft. I trust him; he has some energy. So, let us finish the ConsiderationStage of the Bill, then we would go to thenext item.
HonMembers, this is the Leader ofGovernment Business. But practice tellsus -- We have been in this House for awhile. Some of these works if we do notdo them today, we would do themtomorrow. So, let us try and do a little morework today. Perhaps tomorrow, what wecan do is that, we would not actually takea break. Those who would want to go and havetheir lunch can go and those who wouldremain to continue would continue. Hon Members, let us continue. This isbecause, if we come back, it would bewaiting for us. We cannot run away fromthe work. What clause are we on please? We justfinished number xii. We are on numberxiv. Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,New clause -- Add the following newclause: “The Electronic CommunicationsAct, 2008 (Act 775) referred to inthis Act as the principal enactmentis amended by the insertion of: Transitional provisions” 4. (1) A network operator or serviceprovider shall within six monthsafter the coming into force of thisAct, connect and route its trafficto other operators through anInterconnect Clearing Housedetermined by the Authority. (2) A network operator or serviceprovider that contravenessubsection (1), commits anoffence and is liable to pay tothe Authority an administrativepenalty of ninety thousandpenalty units; and in the case ofa continuing offence to a furtheradministrative penalty of twothousand penalty units per day”.
HonMembers, has anybody got any commenton that? Question put and amendment agreedto.
Yes, HonOpare-Ansah, number xv.
Mr Speaker, I wouldlike to withdraw my amendment.
All right.Amendment accordingly withdrawn. [Amendment withdrawn by leave ofthe House.]
Yes, HonO. B. Amoah, number xvi.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, New Clause -- Add the followingnew clause: “Section 97 of Act 775 amended The Electronic Communications Act,2008 (Act 775) referred to in this Act asthe principal enactment is amended by theinsertion of: “3. The Minister shall on the adviceof the Authority by legislativeinstrument make Regulations onthe operations of an InterconnectClearing house within six monthsof the coming into force of theElectronic Communications(Amendment) Act, 2016. “4. The Regulations shall includethe guidelines and standardsestablished by the Authority tofacilitate the operations of anInterconnect Clearing House.” Mr Speaker, the -- [Interruption] --Iam not withdrawing. I cannot withdraw.How can I withdraw? Mr Speaker, the amendment Bill issaying that; “Sections are being repealed to bereplaced by Regulation”. I am saying that: “The Regulation should come inwithin six months of approving this”. -- [Interruption] -- Why should Iwithdraw? Without “Regulations”, theAct would not be complete.
Hon O.B. Amoah, there is an amendment that Icall the Hon Amoah amendment which --
Mr Speaker that isthe “Transition period”.
No,please listen to me. This provision thatyou are urging on us deals with“Regulations” -- This is not the first time.You have done it in previous Bills and theHouse has agreed with you. What I am asking is, what is the timeperiod? Is it six months or one year?
Mr Speaker, thechallenge is that, until they bring theRegulations, they cannot operate. So, Iam even helping them to bring it within ashorter period. If we make it a year, theycannot operate without the Regulations. The memorandum to the Bill is sayingthat; “The Bill also repeals subsections(3) to (7) of section 20…” So, until you bring in the Regulations,how are you going to operate? I amhelping them by saying that; “Within six months, bring theRegulations”. Indeed, I understand that theRegulations are even ready.
Mr Speaker, my HonChairman for the Subsidiary LegislationCommittee is looking for work for himselfnow -- [Laughter] --He should say so.Otherwise, the repealed sections ofSection 20 have to do with “peer” - “peer”.And the ‘peer' -- ‘peer' is not the - thatis why they were repealed. But to say that if within six month theydo not bring or pass the Regulations -- Itis a procedural matter. There has to beconsultation. He knows how to bringRegulations to this House. One cannotbring the Regulations without involvingall stakeholders. We would wish that theybring these things as early as possible.
HonYieleh Chireh, Hon O. B. Amoah has amessage for us.
Mr Speaker, I wouldjust refer to the Memorandum and then,move on from there. It says, and I beg to quote: “The Bill also repeals --
Hon O.B. Amoah, is that the message?
Yes, Mr Speaker. Thatis the message.
No,we agree with you. But I thought youwere --
Mr Speaker, themessage would come just after the --
No, yougive the message.
Mr Speaker, just toclarify what he said because it is goinginto the Hansard.
Mr Speaker, I beg toquote: “The Bill also repeals subsections(3) to (7) of section 20 of Act 775because these provisions togetherwith other new provisions will be part of the proposed InterconnectClearing house Regulations”. Mr Speaker, so it will not operatewithout it. Mr Speaker, I am alright with it, if theynow think that they need more time andthat it should be within twelve months.
Thankyou. That is the message. Did you hearthe message? Hon O. B. Amoah says hehas agreed to the twelve months. So theproposed amendment — it is notwithdrawn. Hon O. B. Amoah, it is within twelvemonths?
Mr Speaker, withintwelve months.
HonDeputy Minister, you would doRegulations within twelve months. Wouldyou not?
Mr Speaker, yes. Therewould definitely be Regulations. But Iwant to say that, even in the absence ofthat now, as we are saying there must be,there are enough powers in section (97)of Act 775 for NCA to advise the Ministeron issues of guidelines and Regulations.But there would be Regulations comingto this House for approval.
HonDeputy Minister, I think the thinkingbehind it is that, we have passed laws inthis House, where we have said that therewould be Regulations but the Regulationswere never made. So this House has takena certain informal position that, they givea time limit. Mr O. B. Amoah — rose --
Hon O.B. Amoah, do you have a new message orthe old one?
Mr Speaker, I thinkthe twelve months is all right. Indeed, I was referring to the ParentAct and there is no provision forInterconnect Clearing House.
Mr Speaker, this Billwas laid in this House on 23rd February,2016, that was last week Tuesday. It is nowalmost 9:30 p.m.; just some nine days afterit was laid and we are busily concludingits Consideration Stage. It is clear howserious the proponents of the Bill are inensuring that, the Bill becomes law andthe accompanying regulation laid in thisHouse. Mr Speaker, I really do not think thatthis House needs to legislate the periodwithin which they have the Regulations. Ido not think it is necessary.
Hon O.B. Amoah, a new message? Question put and amendmentnegatived.
HonMembers, New clause advertised as (xvii).
Mr Speaker, there isa proposed amendment that, section 97(3) be deleted from the Principalenactment.
“Despite the Statutory InstrumentAct 1959, the penalty forcontravention of the Regulationshall be a fine of not more than 2,000penalty units.” Mr Speaker, as we speak, we do nothave any Statutory Instrument Act, 1959.Indeed, the Interpretation Act hasrepealed that Act. I was just drawing ourattention to it and to delete it because it isno more relevant — Section 52 of theInterpretation Act repeals the StatutoryInstrument Act 1959. So we should justdelete it from the principal enactment.
HonChairman, we are told it has been deletedby the Interpretation Act — section 52.He said we should delete it as pent. Doyou have any problem? The Hon Member says that we shouldadd this new clause. Do you have anyproblem with that?
Mr Speaker, section 52 ofthe Interpretation Act, 2009, (Act 792)says and I beg to quote: “The Interpretation Act: 1960 (CA4) as amended by, a) The Interpretation AmendmentLaw 1982, PNDC Law 12. b) The Interpretation AmendmentAct, 1961 (Act 92); and c) The Interpretation AmendmentAct, 1962 (Act 146) and theStatutory Instrument Act (No. 52of 1959). The Acts of theParliament of Act 1960 (CA 7) andthe Fines and Penalty Units Act,2000 ( Act 572) are repealed” Mr Speaker that is it. And so that Acthas been repealed.
Do youtherefore agree with the proposedamendment?
Mr Speaker, that is so. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Hon O.B. Amoah, we thank you very much forbringing this to our attention. Hon Members, item (xviii).
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,Long Title -- line 2, delete “theInterconnect” and insert “an interconnect”. Mr Speaker, this is consequential tothe amendment we passed in clause 1.
Mr Speaker, it is notconsequential. This is because we used,“any”. I agree — even though it meansthe same. But when he says it isconsequential then it means that we keptthe “an” it is not consequential but this iscorrect. Question put and amendment agreedto. Long Title ordered to stand part of theBill.
HonMembers, you were supposed to put yourheads together. Will you report back?[Pause.]
Mr Speaker, I want to onceagain appeal to Hon Members so that wecan take items numbered 12 and 13. Theyare very short.
HonMajority Leader, we can completely finishthis if we tarry for two minutes; we finishthe Consideration Stage, go to the Motion,do the Third Reading before we go to —Or we should do the other two while wewait? We will suspend the ConsiderationStage and do your Motions. They willthen put their heads together and we willcontinue and finish when they come back. Hon Members, we will suspend theConsideration Stage of the ElectronicCommunication (Amendment) Bill, 2016. That brings us to the end of theConsideration Stage of the ElectronicCommunication (Amendment) Bill, 2016for now.
Mr Speaker, item numbered12 on the Order Paper.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,that notwithstanding the provisions ofStanding Order 80 (1) which require thatno Motion shall be debated until at leastforty-eight hours have elapsed betweenthe date on which notice of the Motion isgiven and the date on which the motion ismoved, the motion for the adoption of theReport of the Committee on Mines andEnergy on the Development Agreementbetween the Government of the Republicof Ghana and Gold Fields Ghana Limited,Tarkwa may be moved today.
Mr Speaker, I begto second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to.
Item 13 --Chairman of the Committee. Development Agreement between theGovernment of Ghana and Gold FieldsGhana Limited, Tarkwa
Mr Speaker, Ibeg to move, that this Honourable Houseadopts the Report of the Committee onMines and Energy on the DevelopmentAgreement between the Government ofthe Republic of Ghana and Gold FieldsGhana Limited, Tarkwa. Introduction The Hon Minister for Lands andNatural Resources, Nii Osah Mills laid two(2) Development Agreements inParliament on the 16th of March, 2016 forratification in accordance with article 268(1) of the 1992 Constitution and Section49 of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006(Act 703). The Agreements are: i. The Development Agreementbetween the Republic of Ghanaand Gold Fields Ghana Limited,Tarkwa ii. The Development Agreementbetween the Republic of Ghanaand Abosso Goldfields Limited,Damang. The Development Agreements weresubsequently referred to the Committeeon Mines and Energy for considerationand report pursuant to Order 188 of theStanding Orders of the House. Deliberations The Committee met with the HonMinister for Lands and Natural Resources,Nii Osah Mills and his Deputy, HonKwabena Mintah Akandoh and officialsfrom the Ministry to consider the Agreements. Officials of the MineralsCommission were in attendance to assistthe Committee in its deliberations. The Committee is grateful to the HonMinister and his Deputy and the officialsfor their attendance and for providingclarifications to issues raised at themeeting. Reference documents The Committee referred to the under-listed documents during its deliberations: i. The 1992 Constitution ii. The Standing Orders ofParliament iii. The Income Tax Act, 2015 (Act896) iv. The Minerals and Mining Ad,2006 (Act 703) v. The Minerals and Mining(Amendment) Act, 2010 (Act794) vi. The Environmental ProtectionAgency Act, 1994 (Act 490) vii. The Environmental ImpactAssessment Regulations, 1999(L.I. 1652) viii. The Minerals and Mining(Health, Safety and Technical)Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2182) ix. The Tarkwa and Damang MiningLeases Background Information The Government of Ghana in reversingthe general stagnation in the miningindustry in the early 1970s introduced a
fifty million United States dollars(USS550,000,000.00) for the Damang Mine. These investments are to ensure thestrategic vision to produce one millionounces (approximately 40 per centincrease on current annual production)within the next 3 years. The investmentsis expected to increase current productionto One million ounces per year. This willgo a long way to make the projects viableand also create more jobs despite theserious economic challenges facing thesector. Contributions of Gold Fields to theEconomy of Ghana The Officials of the Ministry informedthe Committee that the Gold Fields GhanaLimited has demonstrated a goodcorporate responsibility since thecommencement of its operations in thecountry. The Company has since 1993 paidover One Billion United States Dollars(US$1,000,000,000.00) to the Governmentof Ghana by way of corporate incometaxes, royalties and dividends. For instance, in 2015, the Companypaid an amount of three hundred and ninemillion United States dollars(US$309,000,000.00) in direct taxes andone hundred and thirty five million UnitedStates dollars (US$135,000,000.00) inindirect taxes, bringing its contribution totax revenue to four hundred and forty-fourmillion United States dollars(US$444,000,000.00). This makes GoldFields the second largest tax payer inGhana after Ghana Commercial Bank for2015. With regard to employment, theCompany is among the largest privatesector employers in Ghana and employsabout 6,100 people. About 99 per cent ofthe Company's employees are Ghanaians Apart from these, the Company hasestablished a Foundation to serve as thefunding vehicle for socioeconomicdevelopment for stakeholder communities.The Foundation is funded by the Tarkwaand Damang Mines and the Companypays US$100 per every ounce of goldproduced and additional 1 per cent of thecompany's pre-tax profit. The Foundatiorinvested over thirty million United Statesdollars (US$30million) in communitydevelopment projects. Current economic difficulties facingmining companies The Committee found that theratification of the DevelopmentAgreements would enhance the fiscalincentives provided for under the law toenable the company continue to operatein the face of falling gold prices. The Development Agreements willprotect the Company's investmentsagainst unpredictability and uncertaintyin the planning and operations of theCompany, external market pressures, suchas low gold prices (that is from approximately$1,900/oz in 2011 to the current price levelof $4200/oz) and high costs of inputsrequired for the mining operations suchas fuel, utilities and equipment. Officials of the Ministry of Lands andNatural Resources informed the Committeethat due to these economic challenges theCompany is compelled to consider layingoff over 600 of its staff, if no interventioncomes from Government. Incidents of the State's Free CarriedInterest The Committee noted that theAgreements contain provisions tosafeguard the realisation of revenue fromthe State's participating interest in the two Mines. The Development Agreementswould ensure that the State realises thefull incidents of its shareholding in thetwo (2) Companies including the right tosell the shares, board representation andparticipation in General Board Meetings. The Government shall also receive 10per cent of any dividend paid to theshareholders of the companies(equivalent to a 10 per cent share ofdeclared dividends). The State will fromJanuary, 2017 receive a guaranteed annualpayment equivalent to 5 per cent of profitafter tax in the year in which dividend isnot declared, as an advance against thepayment of future dividends. Payment of local taxes The Committee further noted that theDevelopment Agreements provide for thepayment of all local taxes and levies asmay be imposed by District Assembliesincluding property tax. Such taxes shallhowever not impose disproportionateburden on the Company as compared toother persons in the same category,including persons engaged in explorationor mining operations in Ghana. Upfront arrangements for the projects The Committee was informed that theGoldfields Ghana Limited has undertakento construct a 33 km road between Tarkwaand Damang at the estimated cost ofFifteen million United States dollars(US$15,o00,000.00) as part of the upfrontarrangements for the project. The roadwhen constructed would ease traffic andenhance economic benefits to thesurrounding communities. Payment of capital gains tax It was also noted that the DevelopmentAgreements provide for the payment ofcapital gain taxes. The Company shall pay capital gains tax in accordance with thegeneral law arising with respect to theconveyance or transfer of any mineralsright realised. Where the Company or itsaffiliates maintain at least 25 per cent ofcontrolling shares, no capital gains taxshall apply because it shall be seen as re-organisation of the Company and sharetransfer shall only be between theCompany and its affiliates. Negotiation of the Agreements The Committee was informed that theDevelopment Agreements were negotiatedby a Tripartite Committee constituted byGovernment to negotiate the terms withGold Fields Ghana Limited and AbossoGoldfields Limited. The Committeecomprised representatives of the Ministryof Lands and Natural Resources, Ministryof Finance and the Attorney General'sDepartment Ministry of Justice. Provisions regarding termination of theAgreements The Committee noted that theDevelopment Agreements providecomprehensive provisions regarding thetermination of the Agreement by theparties. The Company may terminate theAgreements upon the given of specifiednotice to the State. On the other hand, the State mayterminate the Agreements under groundsagreed in the Tarkwa and Damang MiningLeases. Disputes in respect of thetermination shall be resolved byarbitration, non-binding mediation orconciliation. Review of the Agreements Finally, the Committee noted that theDevelopment Agreements provide fortheir review by the parties in event ofsignificant changes in the economicconditions in the industry. Upon theestablishment that there have been
MrSpeaker, I beg to second the Motion andby doing that, I would like to make a fewremarks and some observations.
It shouldbe short.
It is very short, MrSpeaker. Mr Speaker, just to advert the mind ofthe House to the fact that theDevelopment Agreement as presentedgives some incentives which appear to bevery sweetened. But this is to ensure thatthe gold mining industry is sustained. Theconditions that prevailed in the past sofar as Newmont Ghana was concernedwere looked at critically and we believethat the terms that have been given in heremakes this one worthwhile considering bythe House. Thank you. Question put and Motion agreed to.
Item 13is duly approved by the House. Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, we take theConsequential Resolution.
Item 14 --Minister for Lands and Natural Resources.
Mr Speaker,for the correction of the record, I beg tomove, WHEREAS by the provisions ofarticle 268 (1) of the Constitution,any transaction, contract orundertaking involving the grantof a right or concession by or onbehalf of any person or body ofpersons howsoever described, for the exploitation of anymineral, water or other naturalresource, of Ghana made orentered into after the coming intoforce of the Constitution is madesubject to ratification byParliament. BY THE PROVISIONS of section43 (1) of the Minerals and MiningAct, 2006 (Act 703), where amineral right is for mining orexploitation, the Governmentshall acquire a ten per cent freecarried interest in the rights andobligations of the mineraloperations in respect of whichfinancial contribution shall notbe paid by Government. BY THE PROVISIONS ofsections 49 (1) and (3) of theMinerals and Mining Act, 2006(Act 703), the Minister on the adviceof the Minerals Commission mayenter into a development agreementunder a mining lease with aperson where the proposedinvestment by the person willexceed five hundred millionUnited States Dollars and thedevelopment agreement shall besubject to ratification byParliament. IN PURSUANCE of the saidarticle 268 (1) of the Constitutionand the provisions of theMinerals and Mining Act, 2006(Act 703), the Government ofGhana has caused to be laidbefore Parliament through theMinister responsible for Landsand Natural Resources theDevelopment Agreement betweenthe Government of the Republicof Ghana and Gold fields GhanaLimited, Tarkwa. NOW THEREFORE, this Housein accordance with the saidarticle 268 (1) of the Constitutionand the provisions of theMinerals and Mining Act, 2006(Act 703) hereby resolves toratify the said DevelopmentAgreement between theGovernment of the Republic ofGhana and Gold- fields GhanaLimited, Tarkwa.
Chairmanof the Committee, I guess you would nowwant to support the Resolution.
Mr Speaker, I rise tosupport the Motion.
I will putthe Question. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
[Interruption] The Hon Alhaji Soroghodid not second it, he rather supported it. One of the rules of equity is that equitylooks at substance and not at form. So hemeant that he was seconding it. That ishow I understood it and I have beenstrengthened by Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah who says that the rules are inmy bosom. [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, as we all knowthat a good lawyer is the one who knowshis law, but the best lawyer is the one whoknows the judge. So, Motion number 15.
Just forthe record, when he says a lawyer whoknows the judge, he does not mean thathe knows the judge in a bad way. What itmeans is that there are some judges whowould allow you to speak for a long time
No, I have to clarify that when he saysa good lawyer is the person who knowsthe judge, he means it in a positive way.For non-lawyers, when a lawyer says thatyou must know your judge, he means thatyou must know the kind of person youare appearing before. [Interruption.] I amthe judge, there is only one judge in theChamber now and that is the personpresiding. So he must know me, otherwise,I will rule him out of order. [Laughter]
Mr Speaker, Ibeg to move, that notwithstanding theprovisions of Standing Order 80 (1) whichrequire that no Motion shall be debateduntil at least forty-eight hours haveelapsed between the date on which noticeof the Motion is given and the date onwhich the motion is moved, the Motionfor the adoption of the Report of theCommittee on Mines and Energy on theDevelopment Agreement between theGovernment of the Republic of Ghana andAbosso Goldfields Limited, Damang maybe moved today.
But theserious thing is that we were told that weare doing items 12 and 13, but we are nowat item 15 and we seem to be going on. Who seconds the Motion, please?
MrSpeaker, I beg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Development Agreement between theGovernment of Ghana (GoG) and AbossoGoldfields Limited, Damang
MrSpeaker, I beg to move, that thisHonourable House adopts the Report ofthe Committee on Mines and Energy onthe Development Agreement between theGovernment of the Republic of Ghana andAbosso Goldfields Limited, Damang. Mr Speaker, by so doing, I wish topresent your Committee's Report. Introduction The Hon Minister for Lands andNatural Resources, Nii Osah Mills laid two(2) Development Agreements inParliament on the 16th of March, 2016 forratification in accordance with article 268(1) of the 1992 Constitution and Section49 of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006(Act 703). The Agreements are: i. The Development Agreementbetween the Republic of Ghanaand Gold fields Ghana Limited,Tarkwa; and ii. The Development Agreementbetween the Republic of Ghanaand Abosso Goldfields Limited,Damang. The Development Agreements weresubsequently referred to the Committeeon Mines and Energy for considerationand report pursuant to Order 188 of theStanding Orders of the House. Deliberations The Committee met with the HonMinister for Lands and Natural Resources,Nii Osah Mills and his Deputy, Hon Kwabena Mintah Akandoh and Officialsof the Ministry to consider theAgreements. Officials of the MineralsCommission were in attendance to assistthe Committee in its deliberations. The Committee is grateful to the HonMinister and his Deputy and the Officialsfor their attendance and for providingclarifications to issues raised at themeeting. Reference documents The Committee referred to the under-listed documents during its deliberations: i. The 1992 Constitution ii. The Standing Orders ofParliament iii. The Income Tax Act, 2015 (Act896) iv. The Minerals and Mining Ad,2006 (Act 703) v. The Minerals and Mining(Amendment) Act, 2010 (Act794) vi. The Environmental ProtectionAgency Act, 1994 (Act 490) vii. The Environmental ImpactAssessment Regulations, 1999(L.I. 1652) viii. The Minerals and Mining(Health, Safety and Technical)Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2182) ix. The Tarkwa and Damang MiningLeases Background Information The Government of Ghana in reversingthe general stagnation in the miningindustry in the early 1970s introduced anumber of policy measures includingdivesting State-owned mining companies.As part of the measures, Gold FieldsLimited bought the Damang Mine whichis now known as Abosso Gold FieldsLimited from Ranger Minerals of Australiain 2002. Gold Fields Ghana Limited (GFGL) andAbosso Goldfields Limited (AGL) are,therefore, the holders of two of miningleases in Tarkwa and Damangrespectively in the Wassa West Districtof the Western Region of Ghana. Goldfields Limited of South Africa holds 90 percent majority shares in both GFGL an AGLand the Government of Ghana holds theremaining ten (10) percent of the issuedshares in each of the companies. In furtherance of section 49 of Act 703which allows the State to enter intoDevelopment Agreements with holders ofMining Leases having proposedinvestments exceeding US$500 millioncommenced discussions with Gold FieldsGhana Limited in 2004 to negotiateDevelopment Agreements in respect ofthe Tarkwa and Damang Mines. The terms of the DevelopmentAgreements under consideration werenegotiated along the terms of the RevisedInvestment Agreement between theGovernment and Newmont Ghana GoldLimited which was ratified by the Housein December, 2015. The Development Agreement inrespect of the Tarkwa Mine replaces the2003 Investment Agreement. Parties to the Agreement The parties to the DevelopmentAgreements are the Republic of Ghana andGold Fields Ghana Limited. 5.2 Gold Fields
Mr Speaker, I beg tosupport the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to.
Mr Speaker,I beg to move, that WHEREAS by the provisions ofarticle 268 (1) of the Constitution,any transaction, contract orundertaking involving the grantof a right or concession by or onbehalf of any person or body ofpersons howsoever described,for the exploitation of anymineral, water or other naturalresource of Ghana made orentered into after the coming intoforce of the Constitution is madesubject to ratification byParliament. BY THE PROVISIONS of section43 (1) of the Minerals and MiningAct, 2006 (Act 703), where a mineral right is for mining orexploitation, the Governmentshall acquire a ten per cent freecarried interest in the rights andobligations of the mineraloperations in respect of whichfinancial contribution shall notbe paid by Government. BY THE PROVISIONS ofsections 49 (1) and (3) of theMinerals and Mining Act, 2006(Act 703), the Minister on the adviceof the Minerals Commission mayenter into a developmentagreement under a mining leasewith a person where theproposed investment by theperson will exceed five hundredmillion United States dollars andthe development agreement shallbe subject to ratification byParliament. IN PURSUANCE of the saidArticle 268 (1) of the Constitutionand the provisions of theMinerals and Mining Act, 2006(Act 703), the Government ofGhana has caused to be laidbefore Parliament through theMinister responsible for Landsand Natural Resources theDevelopment Agreement betweenthe Government of the Republicof Ghana and Abosso GoldfieldsLimited, Damang. NOW THEREFORE, this Housein accordance with the saidarticle 268 (1) of the Constitutionand the provisions of theMinerals and Mining Act, 2006(Act 703) hereby resolve to ratifythe said DevelopmentAgreement between theGovernment of the Republic ofGhana and Abosso GoldfieldsLimited, Damang.
Mr Speaker, I beg tosecond the Motion.
This isprocedural and consequential. Question put and Motion agreed to.
Mr Speaker, Ithink that it is proper to thank you inparticular and my Hon Colleagues for thepatience, understanding, co-operationand the endurance. Mr Speaker, since the remainingproposed amendments to the ElectronicCommunications (Amendment) Bill, 2016are still being discussed, I think it is notproper for us to wait on them. I believe wecan take a break, so that by tomorrow, theywill have resolved all the outstandingissues, and then, we could add that totomorrow's Business. So, Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that thisHouse do adjourn till tomorrow at 10o'clock in the forenoon, when we shallmeet to continue with the Business of theHouse.
Thankyou, Hon Majority Leader. Hon Members --[Interruption] --Pardon? Do you have something to add?
Mr Speaker,I thought you had an announcement tomake before the Motion.
Yes! Hon Members, this morning, Thursday,17 March, 2016, a Statement captioned,“The Ordeals of Poor Cashew Farmers inthe Brong Ahafo, and the Three Regionsin the North”, was made by Hon AhmedIbrahim, Member of Parliament for Banda. The Statement raised pertinent issuesincluding the absence of a law to back thedirective issued by the Minister for Tradeand Industry. In view of the potentialnegative impact of the directive, I directthat the proceedings on the Statement andthe Statement be immediately transcribedand forwarded to the Hon Minister for hisattention and immediate action. Hon Members, the Hon MajorityLeader has moved for the House to beadjourned. Unfortunately, I will not callupon the Hon Minority Leader to secondthe Motion. The reason is very simple. StandingOrder 98 states as follows: “Mr Speaker, shall be responsiblefor the observance of order in theHouse and of the rules of debateand his decision upon any point oforder shall not be open to appealand shall not be reviewed by theHouse, except upon a substantiveMotion made after notice.” Hon Members, Standing Order 7,describes “Speaker' or “Mr Speaker” as aMember presiding at a Sitting. Indeed,when I made the ruling, I did not evenmake it in my capacity as Deputy Speaker.I made it in my capacity as the personpresiding at the Sitting. My position has not changed and it isthe practice that, after 2.00 o'clock, whenSitting has been extended, it is the personpresiding who adjourns the House. I, accordingly, direct that the House beadjourned to tomorrow 10.00 o'clock inthe forenoon. [Uproar] Thank you.