Hon Members, Correctionof Votes and Proceedings and the OfficialReport. [No correction was made to the Votesand Proceedings of Thursday, 14th July,2016.] [No correction was made to theOfficial Report of Thursday, 30th June,2016.] Hon Members, the Business Statementfor the Tenth Week.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Mr Speaker, tothe Leadership of the Business Committee,we find ourselves, Hon Members ofParliament, in a very awkward position.Starting Monday, the ElectoralCommissioner is planning to do anexhibition of voters' register. Mr Speaker, as Hon Members ofParliament, I think that we are expected toplay some roles and the matter will begoing on for three weeks, and at the sametime, we are expected to be in the Houseto also do this other part of our job. Mr Speaker, I am wondering if theLeadership of the Business Committee hastaken this into consideration. Certainly, itwould not be wise for Hon Members todecide not to go at all, but at the sametime, we also recognise the urgency weare faced with in terms of passing Bills. I am wondering if they have taken thisinto consideration, to allow us to partiallyperform these two functions, both ofwhich are equally important to the welfareof our people and Ghana. Mr Speaker, secondly, I would want tothank the Business Committee for puttingon page 2 -- now that we are going tohave a joint caucus meeting, I hope thatyou will find a way to make sure that HonMembers are here, so that we can discussall the issues that ought to be on the table.
Hon Deputy MajorityLeader, do you want to respond or weshould take one or two other HonMembers before you respond?
Mr Speaker, we shouldlisten to their concerns first before Irespond.
Mr Speaker, Ifiled a Question, and I consider thatQuestion as urgent, but I do not knowwhether you consider it so. Mr Speaker, it is about what hasoccasioned the interruptions in electricitysupply recently, and what measures arebeing taken by the Hon Ministerresponsible for Power? I have filed thatQuestion and I am expecting --
Hon Member, did youfind out from the Clerks-at-the-Table whenyou filed the Question? This is because ifa Question is filed and it gets to me, it iseither admitted or not admitted. So, kindlyfind out from them and as of now, I donot know whether there is any Questionwith me. So, find out what the status isfrom the Clerks-at-the-Table. Unless it is transmitted to the Clerks-at-the-Table, they will not be in aposition to know whether it is with themor with the Speaker.
Mr Speaker, I raisedthe issue on the floor about two weeksago, and the First Deputy Speaker whowas presiding advised that I should comeproperly, and so, I did that accordingly.
Well, it becomes difficultfor the Business Committee to respondbut I will find out from the Clerks-at-the-Table where it has reached.
Mr Speaker,my first point is on a similar note as myHon Colleague. I filed a Question aboutthree months ago and I do not even knowwhere the Question is. Mr Speaker, more importantly,Monday, we had a --
Hon Members, if it isabout Questions -- we are talking aboutthe Business Committee. There is aprocedure, the Question is filed at theTable Office, it is processed, brought tothe Hon Speaker, the Hon Speaker workson the Question and then sends it back tothe Clerks-at-the-Table. They then refer itto the Business Committee for pro-gramming. You can always find out atany particular time where a particularQuestion is. Then based on thatinformation, if you are not clear then youcan deal with the matter.
Mr Speaker, my secondissue unfortunately has to do withimportant regulations you said theyshould appear -- Mr Speaker, I am particularly worriedabout one of them; the ElectronicCommunications (Amendment) Act onInterconnect Clearing House (ICH)Regulations. Mr Speaker, that was purportedly laidas far back as 22nd June, 2016 and nobodyhas seen a copy and I am worried. It was National Disaster ManagementOrganisation Bill, 2015.(Continuation of debate) Petroleum (Exploration andProduction) Bill, 2016. Committee sittings. Thursday, 21st July, 2016 Statements Motions -- Third Reading of Bills -- Ghana AIDS Commission Bill, 2015. National Disaster ManagementOrganisation Bill, 2015. Consideration Stage of Bills -- Right to Information Bill, 2013.(Continuation of debate) Real Estate Authority Bill, 2014. Constitution (Amendment) Bill,2016. Public Private Partnership Bill, 2016. Joint Caucus Meeting. Committee sittings. Friday, 22nd July, 2016 Statements Presentation of Papers -- Report of the Committee ofPrivileges on the Manual on Ethicsand Standards for Members ofParliament.
Hon Members, after Idirected that we should get thosedocuments by the close of day onThursday, the Hon Majority Chief Whipcame to plead with me, in my Lobby, thatwe should give them up to Monday. So,let us see what happens on Monday, andif they are not available, especially the onethat you are interested in -- There is aparticular one that you seem to beinterested in -- then the House could takea decision on that matter.
Mr Speaker, the onlyissue is that, by Monday, a few of themwould have matured and it is even moredangerous.
MrSpeaker, I am grateful for the opportunity. Mr Speaker, I am respectfully seekingyour direction -- It has been barely amonth that 21 innocent Ghanaians losttheir lives on the Volta Lake. This matterwas raised last week when the BusinessStatement was being considered, and Igot the impression that two Committee I am seeking your direction that, if inthe absence of that report, the sectorMinister could be programmed to comeand brief this House on measures beingput in place to up safety standards on theVolta Lake. Mr Agbesi -- rose --
Mr Speaker, the HonMember has drawn our attention to thereport that the two Committees mustpresent to the House. Unfortunately, wecould not immediately get in touch withthe two Hon Chairmen involved. I woulddo that immediately we leave here. Whenboth Chairmen are in, we would liaise withthem to know when the reports wouldcome. It is very urgent because 21 lives werelost, and we cannot just gloss over it. So,we would take serious action on it andprevail upon the two Committees to bringtheir reports as early as possible to theHouse. Concerning the exhibition of the voters'register as you have raised, yes, we arealso concerned because it involves all ofus. The issue is that we are torn betweenParliament and going to the consti-tuencies to work on the voters' register.We would want to appeal to Hon Membersthat, these are two important exercisesthat we have to perform and we are tornbetween the two. So, as far as possible, Hon Membersshould bear with us, be in the House
Let me hear from the HonMember for Pru East and then you.
Mr Speaker, the HonColleague asked for your direction on theissues of the Volta Lake disaster in which21 citizens lost their lives. I believe youwere quite busy and so we did not getyour direction. I would be most grateful ifyou could --
Mr Speaker, the HonDeputy Majority Leader said that weshould bear with them and come here inthe morning and go there in the evening.Mr Speaker, not everybody is --
Did he say that?
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Hon Deputy MajorityLeader, did you say that?
Mr Speaker, no I did notsay that. What I said was that HonMembers should bear with us because wehave these two important duties to performin Parliament and in our constituencies andso they should bear with us. It may benecessary that you may go to yourconstituency briefly and come back and-- [Laughter.]
Hon Members, I havegiven some indication to the Leadershipthat it should be planned in such a waythat Hon Members could go to theirconstituencies and at the same time wewould be able to plan our functions here.
Thank you,Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I posed a Question on abridge that is under construction in the
Hon Deputy MajorityLeader, the issue is touching on peoples'constitutional obligations. This isbecause if an Hon Member's name is notin the voters' register, he cannot even filehis nomination. So, they are asking thatthey go and check their names during theperiod and fortunately for us, it is not aone day event. So, I would suggest that Leadershipshould meet and plan the movement ofthe Hon Members of Parliament, so thatwe are able to hold the House togetherand also allow Hon Members to go to theirconstituencies, check their names and beable to come. I believe that through consultationsand discussions, we should find acommon ground in dealing with thismatter. This is because if your name isnot in the voters' register, you cannot fileyour nomination. So, we cannot say thatHon Members should not go and checktheir names, and at the same time, youalso have a duty in this Chamber, forwhich you are being paid by the taxpayer.So, please get in touch with the two sidesof the Leadership for it to be resolved.
Mr Speaker, we would dothat. I think it would not be difficult forus to do that before we even adjourntoday, so that Hon Members could knowwhat would happen. Mr Speaker, but there are some of uswho are not -- anyway -- Mr Speaker, we would do that.
They do call on usto make input in whatever they are doing.Whatever we do at Committees, weinvolve stakeholders --
Hon Members, you haveyour representatives on the Committee.Let the report be laid, it would be debatedhere on the floor. If there are problemsand we have to amend, we would amend.If we have to add, we would add, if wehave to delete, we would delete and if wehave to modify, then we would modify.
Mr Speaker, it is justthat sometimes, it becomes embarrassingwhen a Committee brings a report and it isrejected. That is why at least, our inputswould have been better at that stage, sothat when it comes here it would be quitemeatier. That is my concern because ifthey come here and we reject the entirereport it is not the best. So, seeking ourinputs would have been the mostpreferable approach. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Yes, Hon Member forAkuapim South -- last comment on theBusiness Committee.
Mr Speaker, this isreally not on the Business Statement, butyesterday, the Hon Deputy MinorityLeader drew your attention to a Report inthe Daily Graphic, and you said you wereasking the --
Can we deal with theBusiness Statement? If we finish with theBusiness Statement, we would deal withthe other subject matter on the Order Paper, Birim South and North areas. It is the onlybridge that links Birim South to BirimNorth, and it is broken down, closeddown and under repairs. Mr Speaker,drivers have gone to remove --
Hon Member, I havegiven some indication -- find out thestatus of the Question. You would findout whether the Question has been sentto the Ministry or whether the Questionis at the Table Office or whether it hasbeen sent to the Business Committee or itis at Mr Speaker's Office. The Table Office at any particular timewould let you know the status of anyparticular Question, or whether MrSpeaker has declined the Questionbecause it did not satisfy the rules. So, ifyou go to the Table Office, they would beable to tell you and when you know, thenyou could then know how to pursue thematter. This is because the BusinessCommittee cannot respond to theQuestion as of now. The last comment -- Hon Asiamah?
Thank you, MrSpeaker. Mr Speaker, I refer to page 2 of theBusiness Statement. Mr Speaker, item numbered 5 -- Friday,22nd July, 2016 -- Presentation of Papers-- Report of the Committee on Privilegeson the Manual on Ethics and Standardsfor Members of Parliament. Mr Speaker, as we know how aCommittee does its work, one would haveexpected them to, at least, involve us askey stakeholders. Now, we do not knowwhat they are going to report on. That ismy point. then, we would move to another subjectmatter. Hon Members, that brings us to theend of -- [Interruption.] No, I said the Hon Majority Chief Whipcame to see me in my lobby after youraised the matter in the course of the week,that they should give them up to Monday.So, let us wait till Monday, next week,then, I would allow you to raise it.
It is rightly so, MrSpeaker.
Mr Speaker, I did not hearthe Hon Leader mention the Minister forFinance's mid-year review, which isscheduled to come off on Friday, the 22ndof this Month. I do not know whether it isan oversight.
Hon Members haveraised a number of issues on the floor. Therules allow the Business Committee tomeet and bring us supplementaryBusiness Statement in the course of theweek. And given the fact of the exhibitionof the voters register, there should besome level of consultation on this matter,so that the Business Committee couldmeet and propose a date when HonMembers would be available. If the Hon Minister would want to do amid-year review on the floor of the House,it is his right. He could. But Hon Membersmight need to be informed. So, let theBusiness Committee meet and choose adate, in consultation with the Ministerfor Finance, for the mid-year review to bemade. Hon Members, the Business for theTenth Week ending Friday, 22nd July, 2016,accordingly adopted. Mr Nitiwul -- rose --
Yes, Hon Member forAkwapim South? All right, let me hear fromhim, then, I would hear from you.
Mr Speaker, I rise on Order73 (2), and with your permission, I read: “ In urgent circumstances suchcomplaints may, with Mr. Speaker'sprior permission, be made at a timeother than that appointed for it.”
“The following acts or conduct shallconstitute a breach of privilege orcontempt of Parliament. (h)publication of false, perverted,misleading, distorted, fabricatedor scandalous reports, books orlibels reflecting on the pro-ceedings in Parliament.” Mr Speaker, yesterday, I brought toyour attention a matter that was writtenby one, Mr Mark-Anthony Vinorkor, areporter of the Daily Graphic who is withus here, a friend of us in Parliament, sinceall the press corps members are our friendsin Parliament. I drew your attention to it,and said I did not want to report him tothe Committee of Privileges. I did notwant to seek your leave to do that. But I wanted the wrong, misleadingand distorted report that scandalisedParliament, and made us look like we had,behind the back door changed thecontents of a Constitutional Instrument(C.I.), when in fact what was laid wasdifferent, and made us a laughing stock inthe eyes of the public to be changed. Thatis all we wanted.
Hon Members, ordinarily,I would have called you, having heardfrom the Hon Deputy Minority Leader. Butwe have the Chairman of the SubsidiaryLegislation Committee. It is important tohear from him. Then, I would call the HonDeputy Majority Leader and any otherHon Member who would want to make acomment on this matter.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I regard myself as a friendof the media. In fact, I always avail myselfto the media. Unfortunately, the Daily Mr Speaker, your goodself agreed. Wecalled this Reporter. The Rt Hon Speaker,who is the third most important person inGhana, in addition to the Leadership ofthe Parliament, called this reporter to hisinner Chamber to advise him that the bestway was to withdraw what he had doneand put the facts correctly. That with thelaying of a C.I. and a LegislativeInstrument (L.I.), and the history of L.I.1983 behind us, when the Supreme Courthad to rule about the changes that wasmade, which were unconstitutional toensure that Parliament together with thesponsors of the L.I. or the CI, and inaddition to the Attorney-General andMinister for Justice and the Committee,consult and make all the changes beforeit is laid before Parliament. That was exactly what happened in thisparticular C.I. All the consultations weredone and when Parliament was satisfiedthat everything was all right, it was laidon Friday, gazetted copies printed for HonMembers and distributed on Monday. This Reporter claims that he has a copyof what was laid on Friday, and that thecontent, for some reason changed onMonday. Mr Speaker called him and weadvised him. For his demeanour, he didnot really show remorse as some peoplepointed out. We gave him the benefit ofthe doubt and Mr Speaker, what he haswritten here is worse than what waswritten yesterday. Mr Speaker, my personal view is that, Iwould not, unless Hon Members disagreewith me, dignify him by reporting him tothe Committee of Privileges. But I wouldinsist that he does not report in this Houseany longer and that the Marshall walkshim out of this House now. Graphic has published two stories andthe reporter has not even given me thecourtesy of asking me what has reallyhappened, and I am very surprised. Yesterday, there was a story about me.Today, there is another story, and heappears to be sure of his stories so muchthat probably, he does not even think heshould ask me about my version. I wouldwant the whole world to know that,sometimes it is good to learn and learnvery well. In the report, the first thing he said wasthat, at the time the C.I. was being laid, Iwas the only person who had a copy. Mr Speaker, it is not possible.Instruments are sent to the Table Office,they are laid, then gazetted and copiesare made for us. It is not possible for theChairman of a Committee to be the onlyperson who has a copy of an instrument. Secondly, he said that, as far as he isconcerned, there is nothing like pre-layingin Parliament. There again, he is wrong. Ifhe cares to know, or if he should even askthe Hon Attorney-General and Ministerfor Justice, she officially wrote to ourCommittee that they had sat down with asponsoring agency or Ministry. As partof the consultation process, this Ministryor agency should also come and consultus before she can give the go ahead forthe instrument to be laid. So, for anybody to say that there isnothing like pre-laying stage, it is verywrong. Indeed, it does not happen onlyin Ghana. If we check most of theCommonwealth countries, there is whatthey call the pre-laying stage. It is just forconsultation, and it is for a good reason.In the sense that as the Hon DeputyMinority Leader said the Supreme Court We would have to annul, reject or askthe sponsoring agency or ministry to takeit back. There is a history to it. So, for theHon Attorney-General and Minister forJustice, and the sponsoring agencies,they believe that to avert such a situation,they should always consult and theconsultation has been very useful. So, it is wrong for anybody to say thatthere is nothing like pre-laying, and thateven last Friday, the Hon Speaker did notsay that we were at the pre-laying stagewhen they were laying it. Mr Speaker could never have said it.There is no way the Speaker would saythat an Instrument is pre-laid, so it shouldbe referred to the relevant Committee. In all these Mr Speaker, I understandthe Rrorter is saying that he has a copyof what was laid on Friday and a copy ofwhat was distributed to us on Monday.Probably, he should be invited to producewhat was laid on Friday, which he saidwas changed on Monday, and then heshould tell us his source. This is becauseI have said that he has not even spokento me. He should tell us his source of thatdocument and then how he could concludethat the document had been changed onMonday. It is something that we need togo into, because it is a very serious matter,and his allegations are also very serious. We have been dragged into it. Thewhole Parliament has been dragged intoit, and it is very unfortunate that he couldnot even give me the courtesy ofspeaking to me, for me to probably tellhim how the system works.
Let me hear from the HonDeputy Majority Leader, because he hasbeen on his feet. Then I would call theHon Minister for Youth and Sports.
Mr Speaker, I agreeperfectly with my Colleague, the DeputyMinority Leader that, this is a very seriousmatter and we must treat it very seriously. Mr Speaker, yesterday, I received callsfrom people who want to know whetherwhen we lay Papers in this House, we latergo and change the contents and theyattributed it to the publication in the DailyGraphic. Mr Speaker, I got a copy and showed itto the Hon Deputy Minority Leader andwe were all concerned about what waswritten. Mr Speaker, I have here the Order Paperfor Friday, 8thJuly, 2016 and under itemnumbered 6; presentation of Papers. “The following Papers to be presented:
Hon Minister, whatwould be your reaction, given the fact thatwhen the Hon Deputy Minority Leaderraised this issue yesterday, and said itwas not claiming any privilege -- I informed the House that I havearranged a meeting with the gentleman,who published it and have invited theLeadership of both sides of the House tojoin me, so that we could have adiscussion on this matter, as part of nottrying to rush to deal with anybodywithout due process. The person actually apologised in myOffice. The Hon Deputy Minority Leader,the Deputy Majority Leader, the Clerk toParliament and the Deputy Director of But he has mentioned the Hon ViceChairman of our Committee, Hon Osei-Ameyaw. Unfortunately, he is not here,probably he could also speak to it. Mr Speaker, there should be abackground to this. I remember very wellthat when our Committee was consideringthese Regulations, that is at theconsultative stage --
Yes, so you would haveto clarify it, at the consultative stage, whenit was not the property of this House.
Yes, when it had notyet been laid. The Attorney-General'sOffice was present, and the ElectoralCommission sent their officials. When wewere discussing, I saw on the internet areport that the officers of the ElectoralCommission had been indemnified underthe proposed C.I. So, I said how couldany public officer be indemnified? I called the reporter, in this case, a JoyFM reporter, how he came by this story.He said he had not done any story to theeffect that officers had been indemnifiedin the proposed Regulations. Later on, myHon Vice Chairman was mentioned. WhenI asked him, he said he had not saidanything to that effect; that he had nottold anybody that some people could beindemnified. But all this was during the discussionstage. Indeed, when it comes toconsultation, Hon Members bring theirviews, they draw the attention of thesponsoring agency or Ministry to variousaspects that they should look at, so thatwhen the instrument comes here, wewould not tell them to withdraw it, or wewould not persuade two-thirds of HonMembers of Parliament to reject it basedon article 11 (7). on his behalf. I on that day, some HonMembers said they wanted copies, and Imade it clear that we could not get copieson the spot, because they needed togazette the Papers before it would bedistributed to us. Mr Speaker, on Monday, when I cameto work, I was made to go and sign for mycopy before I was given my copy, so whenthe publication said that the reporter hada copy, I was surprised. Mr Speaker, not only that. Hementioned the Hon Vice Chairman of theCommittee and the Hon Vice Chairmancame to me, and I told him that the copy Ihad signed for had a column on offences,so, it could not be possible because whatI laid on Friday had nothing on offences. Yet yesterday and today, this reportercontinues to write falsehood aboutproceedings in Parliament. Mr Speaker, as the Hon DeputyMinority Leader has said, Standing Order30 (h) is straight to the point, and I believehis action has fallen right into what isprovided in Order 30(h). Mr Speaker, I would agree with the HonDeputy Minority Leader, that if we shouldsummon him before the Committee ofPrivileges, we would be dignifying him.We would be making him popular. No!That should not be the case. Mr Speaker, we should all agree on theaction that must be taken, that we wouldnot have time to waste in sending him tothe Committee of Privileges. The thing isclear. He does not want to take advice, hedoes not want to learn of and know theproceedings and processes in this House,and therefore, he may not be fit to continueto be a reporter in this House.
Public Affairs were all there, when heapologised in my office. I can tell you that if the text messagethat he sent into the system was read toyou, your position might change. I agreealso that we must have it in mind to usethe due process. It is a very importantpoint you have raised.The reporter saidthat when the Leadership of the Parliamentof the Republic of Ghana invites him, hewill not come.Hon Members, I would justwant to get the sense of the House, sothat we know what to do.Hon Ministerfor Youth and Sports, have you finished?Please, you may conclude. Nii Lantey: Mr Speaker, I agree withyour point. Not to sound argumentative, I wouldsay that the text message is not beforethis House. We do not know about thetext message, but we have all read aboutthe publication in the newspapers -- Thatis evidential. The text message cannot bean evidence before us, but Leadership hasit -- [Interruption.] Some Hon Members-- rose -- Nii Lantey: The Leadership has it, butwe have not seen it. We are beingentreated to endorse an action that hasbeen -- So, Mr Speaker, I only plead that if theperson is before the Committee ofPrivileges, then members on theCommittee would see the text message,they would evaluate it and then be able tosanction any appropriate action thatwould be endorsed. -- [Interruptions.]
Mr Speaker,it appears from the statements of the twoLeaders present and your own statement that there is no dispute as to the facts ofthis matter. However, the text messagewhich suggests that if Leadership hadinvited the reporter, he would not havecome. Unlike my Hon Colleague, the HonMinister for Youth and Sports, I wouldbelieve it because it comes from theSpeaker and therefore, I would not put thatin doubt. That suggests that the option availableto us is to use the constitutional procedurefor dealing with people who disrespect,misrepresent or bring the House intodisrepute. Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy MinorityLeader suggested that we should ban theperson from reporting in the House. In myview, that is a punishment andpunishments can only come after dueprocess. So, I suggest that we should notrespond to Leadership, instead, theconstitutional process of contempt of theHouse should be evoked as quickly aspossible, so that if he would not respondto the contempt proceedings, then otherprocesses which the law mandates us touse, we could then put them into actionand let him bring himself before the law. Mr Speaker, if we are not careful, wewould encourage behaviours that aredisruptive of constitutional order and onesuch behaviour is the bravado that thisgentleman is exhibiting. So, I think that we should bring himback and use the constitutional order tolet him know that all of us, wherever wemay think we are, the law is above us all.
Mr Speaker, Ithink you have already given us someguidance and indications regarding howto proceed with this matter. Clearly, evenon the face of what we know already, we when the Hon Speaker said he hadevidence -- [Interruption.] I said I am not sure that he intendedthat, but that is the impression he gave.So, I would want to plead with him that--[Interruption] -- Mr Speaker, he saidthat the evidence is not before us. Whenthe Speaker of the House makes referenceto that point -- [Interruption.] Please, the Speaker, has seen theemail --
Hon Minister, you arecompletely out of order. You cannot juststand on your feet and shout across tothe other side. You cannot do that.
Mr Speaker, I do notthink that he intended to create thatimpression. But I would want to bring hisattention to it, so that it can be struck offthe records. This is because this is aHouse of record and an Hon Ministershould not be seen to be suggesting thatthe Speaker may be out of order.
Hon Minister, what isyour response? Nii Lantey: Mr Speaker, the issue ofevidence came from the Hon DeputyMinority Leader. He mentioned the textmessage and I reacted to the statementmade by the Hon Deputy Minority Leader.He proposed that the person should beejected from the House. My reaction wason the Hon Deputy Minority Leader'sstatement and not Mr Speaker's.
Hon Minister, I alsomentioned text message. In view of thefact that I also mentioned text message,what would be your reaction? could conclude that some conduct clearlyoffends some provisions of our StandingOrders and our Constitution. Mr Speaker, I think the opinions thatalready have been expressed, regardingthe fact that no matter how we may feelscandaliased, we should also be seenupholding due process. Mr Speaker, as you indicated, there areprocedures to follow when such matterscome up. So, let us go through suchprocedures. The reporter can say that hewould not attend a meeting that theLeadership of the House has invited himto. Mr Speaker, if we invited him to attenda meeting, strictly speaking, legally, hecould say that he would not come. But if the matter is referred toCommittee of Privileges and due processbegins, he cannot say that he would notcome. This is because if he says so, thenthere are legal processes to remedy hisrefusal to attend. So, no matter how offended we mayfeel, we should not adopt some of the veryradical measure that the Hon DeputyMinority Leader has called on us toembark on this morning. I can say that Mr Speaker, you havealready given indications, so we shouldjust allow you to proceed with thedirections that you have indicated, that itshould be adopted.
Mr Speaker, I think itis obvious where we are going, but forthe avoidance of doubt, I would want myHon Colleague, the Hon Minister forYouth and Sports, to perhaps reconsiderthe statement he made. Maybe, he did not intend it that way,but it appears he was suggesting that
Nii Lantey: Mr Speaker, my reactionis simple. My intention was not to doubtthe integrity of the Chair. My intentionwas to react to the statement made by theHon Deputy Minority Leader. I sincerelyapologise if that statement --
Hon Minister, do thehonourable thing so that we can makeprogress. Nii Lantey: Mr Speaker, I sin- cerelywithdraw, if what -- [Interruption.] MrSpeaker, with respect to your Chair, I didnot mean --
Hon Members, let megive you the facts. We were all briefed ofthe text message this morning in myLobby. Both sides of the Leadership ofthe House were with me, if that is whatyou would want to hear. Nii Lantey: Mr Speaker, on that, Isincerely withdraw the statement I madein reference to the evidence.
Hon Members, let me getthe sense of the House clearly so thatwhatever directive I give, would beconsistent with the sense of the House.Ordinarily, under our rules, when a matteris raised, it is either privilege or not, we donot allow comments to be passed. The reason I opened the floor is that, Ithought that this House is trying to builda very good relationship with the media,so the best thing was to engage thereporter, with the Leadership of the House,and indeed, the Clerk to Parliament who isthe Head of the Parliamentary Service. Then we have a reporter who, even inspite of that, and as has been rightlypointed out by the Hon Chairman of theSubsidiary Legislation Committee and theHon Deputy Minority Leader and all HonMembers who spoke, went to do theworst. Can we keep that person in the Houseto be misreporting on this House? Thatis another matter. Should we suspend him?Is it possible to keep him to continue? Iwould want to get the sense of the House.I want two comments on this matter then Iwould give the necessary directives. This is a person who misreported andwe drew his attention to the fact that hehad misreported, and whether he coulddo the honourable thing of correctinghimself -- Yes, he did the worst thing.Do we keep him to continue to misreportthe House while we go into the matterusing due process?
Mr Speaker, I would wantto put on record how the Leadership ofthis august House has strived to preventthis reporter from coming to theCommittee of Privileges using back-ground channels, bringing him to yourgood Office and your Lobby, bringing theClerk to Parliament and Leadership tospeak to him. Everybody would havetaken advantage of that process,apologised and let sleeping dogs lie. This House cannot do anything elsethan to suspend the privileges he has inthis House pending the outcome of theCommittee of Privileges. We do not havea choice. If Leadership of the House,including your goodself, and the Clerkwould call any Member of Parliament (MP)into your Lobby to advise that Memberof Parliament, and that MP gets out of thatmeeting and goes to do the same thing oreven worse, you have no option than totake that MP or whosoever the person,who has privileges in this House, to theCommittee of Privileges. Mr Speaker, a lot has been said aboutnot being unconstitutional in our actions,and I think we should not even wastepublic time further on this matter.. Pleasegive the directions. This reporter reportsfor a media organisation and when you are referring, you should bring his bossesto the Committee of Privileges so that itbecomes a lesson for all Ghanaians. Whatthe Committee of Privileges and thisHouse would decide should come later.
Hon Members, do youknow the seriousness of this matter? Ihave tried as much as possible to guidethe role that Parliament has to play in theelectoral process cautiously. What isimplied is that, he would count his daysfrom Monday while this House wouldcount the 21 Sitting days from Friday. Assuming somebody goes to court justbefore the election to say that the basisof all the processes that we have gonethrough is wrong, and unconstitutionaland throws the whole of this country intototal mess, and into a constitutional crisis.It is important to get to the bottom of thismatter.
Mr Speaker, Iwould want to applaud the Leadership ofthis House under your Leadership for theinitial steps you took to settle this issueother than it going to the Committee ofPrivileges. I believe it is a step that Leadershipshould continue to take in future.Leadership should not be discouraged bythe outcome of this particular one. I believewe need to build a relationship with themedia, and it is a step in the right direction.Having said that, I would also want toappeal to Hon Members of this House todisregard the private text message. It isjust like the cockroach that claims that thegentleman killed it --
What about where thetext message is supported by actions --The nature of the reportage?
Mr Speaker, the gentleman'saction is akin to a cockroach that says thegentleman killed it because it was jealoushe made his woman scream more than him.So, we should disregard that. However, having said that, the normalprocess of this House is to refer suchissues to the Committee of Privileges.This is the citadel of democracy and thisHouse must also be the citadel oftolerance. We come from a country withvery diverse views but the only placewhere we can distil these diverse views isthe Committee of Privileges in terms ofthis particular behaviour. Mr Speaker, I would therefore, humblysuggest that we control our rightful angerat his behaviour and go through theprocesses so that this House is notaccused, that when it comes to issues ofthis House, we take one position but whenit comes Hon Members allegedlymisbehaving, we are silent. Mr Speaker, I humbly suggest that yourefer the issue in your good judgement tothe Committee of Privileges.
Mr Speaker, I referred toprovisions of our Standing Orders. If thereis any issue that any Hon Member of thisHouse feels strongly about, and hasevidence that somebody has done whatinfringes on our Standing Orders, there isnothing wrong with the Hon Memberbringing it to the floor. I initially said that I did not want todignify the actions of the gentlemen byreferring him to the Committee ofPrivileges. But it is very clear that themood of the House is that, we shouldwalk the gentleman through the dueprocess. The most important thing is not toallow him to report in this House, then wewould not have this kind of thing again.
So, you are going backto the earlier suggestion of the HonDeputy Minority Leader -- That was hisposition from the very beginning.
Mr Speaker,I think that somehow, you havesummarised the issue and are asking forviews again. So, what I think we shoulddo is that, the Hon Deputy MajorityLeader used our guide in Parliament andreferred to specific portions of thatdocument. Somebody else raised theissue of referral to the Committee ofPrivileges. I think that the two should go together.First, he was limiting it to getting him outof the House. But with the weight of theproblem that we all see, as you havesummarised, constitutional crisis andmisreporting, the first thing to do is toagree with the Hon Deputy MinorityLeader and still refer him to the Committeeof Privileges. This is because, all the issues wouldbe brought out there so that it wouldguide everybody else in what we do. Wedo not need to spend more time on thisbut just go ahead and do the two things. to this House should be suspendedforthwith and The Daily Graphic shouldreplace him with any other person. Hisaccreditation is suspended pending theoutcome of the Committee of Privileges. Hon Members, the Committee, if thereis no cooperation coming, should let usknow and we would invoke Standing Order105, which with your permmission let mequote: “If a person fails to appear beforethe House or a Committee asordered or when a person fails toproduce a document as ordered,except in so far as the production ofthe document is certified by eitherMr Speaker or the National SecurityCouncil as being injurious to publicinterest, or prejudicial to theSecurity of the State, Mr Speakershall have power to issue a warrantto arrest the person and bring himbefore the House or the Committee.Such warrant shall be executed by aPolice Officer.” So, if we invite him and he does notwant to appear before the Committee, youshould inform the House. Hon Members, let me give you thisinformation. Over the weekend, staff ofthe Assembly Press were working to makesure that everybody got this document. I set up a special team chaired by theFirst Deputy Speaker, after the Paper waslaid, so that they would produce enoughcopies for Hon Members. It was led bythe First Deputy Speaker, and includedthe Chairman of the Subsidiary LegislationCommittee and the Principal AssistantClerk in charge of the Table Office. I thengot the Electoral Commission and theAttorney-General's Office to be involvedin the process. But it is very clear that Hon Members aresaying that this is a House of law and wemake the laws. So, let us walk him throughthe process. At the end, when the Chairman of theCommittee brings the Report, I believe itwould be with a timeline since we haveless than two weeks, and are too busy todo this; by this time next week, the Reportshould be ready and this House wouldconsider it. Whatever the House wouldsay, that is it. It looks like that is the moodof the House.
Hon Members, I haveheard enough. Last comment please.
Mr Speaker, Ibeg to propose a slightly modified viewfor the consideration of the House. Myhumble view is premised on the fact thatwe are a House that is the citadel ofdemocracy. This House has led the wayin terms of protecting media freedom. We have been given creditinternationally for how we havesupported media freedom and all thefrontiers that we have expanded. MrSpeaker, the gentleman in questionfortunately works for a superior authority.He is just a reporter for The Daily Graphic.He does not own it. My proposal is that, the gentlemanshould be withdrawn and then hisemployers should be notified, so thatthey take action. This is because he hasbrought the image of The Daily Graphicinto disrepute. So, instead of referring himto the Committee of Privileges, mycappeal is that, in order not for ouractions to be misconstrued --[Interruption] -- I appreciate the anger
Mr Speaker,without prejudice to what the managementwould do with the reporter, that has gotnothing to do with this House. When wetalk about trying to denigrate this augustHouse, sometimes we take it lightly andpeople believe that in the name of pressfreedom, we should sort of romance thepress. That is not what it means. It meansthat the dignity of this House should neverbe toyed with for whatever reason. So, in the first instance, I am of the viewthat the order should come, that he shouldnot report anything relating to this Housepending the final outcome of him goingthrough the due process. It is verysignificant because you cannot disrespectus at one breath, and while you are beinginvestigated, we open the door for you tocome in here and do your reporting. So, it is extremely significant that aninterim order should be handed down tothe effect that this gentleman should neverreport anything concerning ourproceedings, pending the final deter-mination of what he has done. He should not report from this House,but if he should go outside this Houseand report, maybe, he would make mattersworse and then the punishment, if everit should come, would be enhanced. Thatis my humble view.
Hon Members, becauseI was involved in meeting this gentlemanyesterday, it would be better for theCommittee of Privileges to do its work. Ifind myself in a very difficult situation aspart of the team of Leadership that methim yesterday and advised him, and heapologised in my office. Now to be givingthe order. Let the Committee of the House,in charge of these matters handle thematter. I am therefore referring Mark-AnthonyVinorkor to the Committee of Privilegesto go into this matter. [Hear! Hear!]Meanwhile, I direct that his accreditation
Mr Speaker, I believe thatit would be for the interest of the public toclarify that the same media house can senda different person to come and cover --
Hon Member, I said so.
All right Mr Speaker, Idid not hear that [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, on a lighter note, I believewe would have to look at the provisionsregarding disorderly conducts [Laughter.]
Yes, Hon DeputyMajority Leader?
Mr Speaker, we wouldwant to seek your permission to vary theorder of Business for the day.
Hon Deputy MajorityLeader, we have Questions.
Yes, Mr Speaker.But wewould want to lay some Papers --
So, you would want tovary the order of Business?
Yes, Mr Speaker, and laysome Papers, as contained in itemnumbered 7. Then we would move toitem numbere 11, before we come to theQuestions.
Very well. Hon Members, these are not seriousmatters and they would not take muchtime to exhaust. We would move to item numbered 6-- Presentation of Papers. Hon Chairman of the Committee, is yourReport ready?
MrSpeaker, the Report is ready, but it is beingedited. So, it is not ready now.
Hon Members, we wouldmove to item numbered 7. The Itemnumbered 6 is deferred.
Mr Speaker, we would wantto seek permission for the Hon DeputyMinister for Finance to lay the Papers onbehalf of the Hon Minister for Finance.
Hon Members, itemnumbered 7 (a) -- Presentation and FirstReading of Bills, by the Hon DeputyMinister for Finance. Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, myattention has been drawn to itemnumbered 7(a), which has been referredto the Finance Committee. This deals withthe single window concept which alsoinvolves trade. So, it may be useful to get--
Hon Members, custommatters are for the Finance Committee.
Mr Speaker, this is“single window”.
Hon Members, I do notknow what is in the Bill. I have referred itto the Finance Committee. Yes, Hon Gyan- Baffour?
MrSpeaker, I believe it looks like the adverthere is a bit of a misnomer. It is about“single window” and that impacts oncustoms. So, I agree with the Hon Member.
Hon Member, are yousaying that the Finance Committee doesnot have the capacity to work on thisBill, unless the Trade and IndustryCommittee is added? I know the FinanceCommittee has the capacity to deal withthis Bill.
Mr Speaker, it isnot about the capability, but it is aboutthe substance involved here.
Hon Members, please, ifthe Finance Committee has challenges, itshould invite the Ministry of Trade andIndustry to appear before the FinanceCommittee to clarify any issue. Please ithas been referred. Question time.
BILLS -- FIRST READING
Hon Members, itemnumbered 7 (b), by the Hon DeputyMinister for Finance? Income Tax (Amendment) (No.2) Bill,2016 An Act to amend the Income TaxAct, 2015 (Act) 896 and for relatedmatters. Presented by the Deputy Minister forFinance (Mr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson)(on behalf of the Minister for Finance).Read the First time; referred to theFinance Committee.
Hon Members, itemnumbered 11. Yes, Hon Deputy Minister for Finance?
BILLS -- THIRD READING
First Deputy Speaker totake the Chair.
Very well. Yes, Hon Member for Nsawam-Adoagyiri?
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS
MINISTRY OF ROADS ANDHIGHWAYS
[MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER IN THE CHAIR.]
Mr Speaker, the HonMinister for Roads and Highways is nothere, but he has authorised his HonDeputy Minister to come and answer theQuestions.
Hon Deputy MinorityLeader?
That is all right, MrSpeaker.
Question number 549;standing in the name of the Hon Memberfor Ayensuano? Where is the Hon Member forAyensuano?
MrSpeaker, I come on his authority to seekyour permission to ask the Question onhis behalf.
Hon Member, you do notseek my permission in these matters.You must have a certain capacity evenbefore --
Mr Speaker, it is true thatthe Hon Member informed me that hewould not be present in the House today,especially the first part of the morning.Even yesterday, it was the same matter. So, the Hon Member is right when hesays that the Hon Member for Ayensuanohas authorised him to seek yourindulgence to ask the Questions on hisbehalf.
But he must beauthorised first. Has he authorised youor he has authorised the Hon Member forNsawam Adoagyiri? opened on 27th April, 2016 and evaluationhas just been completed. The contract isexpected to be awarded in August, 2016. Future programme The road is programmed to beupgraded to bituminous surface under theDFR 2017 periodic maintenance pro-gramme, to be financed under the RoadFund.
Mr Speaker,rightly so. Mr Speaker, I appreciate the facts fromthe Answer of the Hon Deputy Ministerthat tenders were opened. Could the HonDeputy Minister tell the House what hascaused the seeming delay for tenders tobe opened? That road has been in a poorstate for a very long time. Is it a questionof funding?
Mr Speaker,there were contractual challenges thathave finally been resolved and theproject has been awarded. The hope isthat it would start in action by August2016.
Mr Speaker,could the Hon Deputy Minister assurethe good people of Ayensuano, if indeed,that road would be constructed?
HonMember, I believe that the Answer servesas an assurance. If they default, theGovernment Assurances Committee couldcall them to order.
Mr Speaker, thenby your leave, I would want to move tothe next Question.
Very well. Let me announce it then. Hon Members, the next Questionstands in the name of the same HonMember, Mr Samuel Ayeh-Paye ofAyensuano. Bridge Linking Onakwase to Kofipare (Construction) Q. 550. Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh(on behalf of Mr Samuel Ayeh-Paye)asked the Minister for Roads andHighways when the bridge on the riverAyensu linking Onakwase to Kofipare onthe Aduagyire - Coaltar - Owuram trunkRoad in the Ayensuano District would bereconstructed.
Mr Speaker, thebridge over River Ayensu on theAduagyiri - Coaltar - Owuram road is aconcrete bridge located about 1.3km fromKofipare in the Ayensuano District of theEastern Region. An inspection of the bridge in June,2016 revealed that a portion of the deckslab is broken and requires attention. Mr Speaker, a contractor has beeninstructed to fix the broken section of thedeck while the Department of FeederRoads await the advice of the bridgeengineers on the type of interventionrequired to be undertaken.
HonMember, any follow-up question?
Mr Speaker, yes.The latter part of the Answers of the HonDeputy Minister says that and I beg toquote: “A contractor has been instructedto fix the broken section of thedeck…” Mr Speaker, could the Hon DeputyMinister tell us who the contractor is andthe possible costing involved?
Very well. Maj. Derek Oduro (retd): Mr Speaker,I would want to find out from the HonDeputy Minister if he would accept thesuggestion that, anytime there is anyaward of contract, the Hon Member ofParliament in that constituency would bebrought into the picture? I would want toknow if that suggestion could be takenon board?
I believethis is a question meant for the substantiveMinister. If the substantive Minister werehere, it would be fair for him to answer aquestion like that. But he can commu-nicate the information to his Minister andsee how best it could be handled. Hon Members, we now move on to thenext Question, which stands in the nameof the Hon Member for Nabdam. Mr Mustapha Ussif — rose -- Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is notavailable but with your permission, he hasasked me to ask the Question on hisbehalf.
Very well. Please go ahead. Sakoti- Pelungu Road (Completion) Q. 551. Mr Mustapha Ussif (on behalfof Mr Boniface Gambila Adagbila) askedthe Minister for Roads and Highwayswhat steps were being taken to completethe Sakoti - Pelungu Road.
Mr Speaker, Meanwhile, routine maintenance wouldbe carried out on the road to keep itmotorable throughout the year.
HonMember, any further follow-up question?
Mr Speaker, I would like tofind out from the Hon Deputy Ministerwhen the contract was terminated?
Mr Speaker, thecontract as indicated has a lot of details.To be more specific and for the benefit ofdoubt, the contractor for this project isMessers Gamini Enterprise Limited. It wasawarded in March 15, 2007 andcommenced on the 23rd of August, 2007.Completion date was expected to beFebruary 23, 2009 but it was revised forcompletion on the 30th of September, 2010. Mr Speaker, because of the challengesthat were encountered, the contractorabandoned the site after partiallycompleting the surface. Based on thechallenges that were encountered, theunderstanding was that it should beterminated. Flipping through records inthe office, the information would requirespecific date to be communicated, and soI would come back and provide theappropriate date for the terminationaccordingly.
Mr Speaker, I did not get thetime the contract was terminated. That wasexactly what I asked for. The Hon Ministertells the House that the contract is goingto be repackaged and awarded in 2017. Iwould want to know when the contractwas terminated, so that I can ask my followup question.
Mr Speaker, I didcommunicate that I would come back witha specific date, because there have beenseries of communications regarding
Mr Speaker, thisbridge is critical and that was why we hadto take the appropriate action when it cameto our notice that it has challenges. Mr Speaker, I can come back with thespecifics, but I assure him that action isbeing taken and accordingly, it would beaccorded the right attention possibly.
HonMember, any further Question?
Mr Speaker, Iwould beg that the Hon Deputy Ministercomes clearer. This is because theQuestion sought to know who thecontractor is and the possible costinvolved. And from what I heard, I didnot hear any answers to this question.
HonMember, please take note of the originalQuestion itself. The request is for the HonMinister for Roads and Highways toindicate when the bridge on the riverAyensu linking those communities wouldbe reconstructed. He has given you the Answer. You arenow asking for further details, he says hedoes not immediately have them on hand,and that he would come back and furnishthe House with the requisite information,if we give him the chance. I believe it is only fair to him —
Mr Speaker, Iappreciate that, and that is fair. I wouldrespectfully wish to know from the HonDeputy Minister, what time, if he says,sometime — Reasonably, one week, twoweeks? Then I could get in touch with hisoutfit to get the requisite answer.
Mr Speaker, if it isallowed, I would encourage my HonColleague for us to meet immediately after Background The Sakoti-Pelungu road is located inthe Nabdam District in the Upper EastRegion, and it is a section of the 15.7kilometres Sakoti-Pelungu-Asonge road.It is a gravel road in fair to poor condition. Current programme The Sakoti-Pelungu feeder road wasawarded for upgrading to bituminoussurface in two (2) phases in the year 2007. The contract was expected to becompleted within 24 calendar months(February, 2009), but was later revised toSeptember, 2010. (i) Phase 1: Asonge - Perlungu (km 0.0- 7.5) The contractor executed the works upto sub-base level, and abandoned theproject due to delay in payment. All efforts to get the contractor backto site proved futile. The contract waseventually terminated and has beenrepackaged for award in 2017. Meanwhile, routine maintenancewould be carried out on the road to keepit motorable throughout the year. (ii) Phase 2: Pelungu - Sakoti (km7.5 -15.7) The contractor executed the works upto primer seal and abandoned the site dueto delay in payment. All efforts to get the contractor backto site proved futile. The contract waseventually terminated and has beenrepackaged for award in 2017.
Mr Speaker, I would wantthe Hon Deputy Minister to give thisHouse and the good people of Nabdam,the total assurance that the road is goingto be done, and the contract is going tobe awarded in 2017 - I want thatassurance.
HonMember, my concept of this is that, withthe answers he has provided and theOfficial Report, having captured thoseanswers, constitutes an assurance. TheGovernment Assurances Committee wouldtake them on if they fail to comply. Yes, Hon Member?
MrSpeaker, the Hon Deputy Minister in hisAnswer said “there were contractualdifficulties, and as a result they could notpay the contractor.” I just would want himto explain what he meant by “contractualdifficulties.”
Mr Speaker, in thereport that is before us, the delay inpayment was cited. Apart from delay inpayments, there were contractualchallenges resulting from lack ofperformance, supervision and manythings. That is why the departmentconsistently pursued him to restart thework but all attempts to get him provedfutile. That is why the contract wasterminated. Specifically, if the Hon Member wouldwant me to come with more details, I cando that. As much as we are all aware, thereare contracting challenges resulting fromperformance, supervision and manythings; and this is one of them. So, thedelay in payment is reported to be one ofthe issues, and there is a challenge to thecontractor. All attempts, even though there wasthis challenge, to locate the contractorto proceed with the work proved futile.That is why action had been taken toterminate the contract accordingly. contract has been terminated. The projectis critical and we cannot allow it to lie as itis. That is why we have committedourselves that we would ensure routinemaintenance on that road would be doneto allow the road to be used accordingly.
HonMember for Tarkwa-Nsuaem?
Mr Speaker,in an answer to a question before this, theHon Deputy Minister said that he wouldcome back to this House, specifically togive the Hon Member whatever he askedfor. I would want to find out; becausethis Question is in this Hon Member'sname, is he writing to him or he wouldwait till the Hon Member asks anotherQuestion before he comes back? I wouldwant to know.
Mr Speaker, much asI did not want to commit myself to engagemy Hon Colleague from AyensuanoConstituency that I would provide himwith these detail, even after here, I wouldnot hesitate to do same now, because heis calling for the specific date that thecontract was terminated. I would want tobe very specific on that one. It is not adifficulty. Mr Speaker, if it is permitted, I wouldwant to provide my Hon Colleague withthe information accordingly.
Mr Speaker,this contract was supposed to becompleted in 2009, but it was terminated. I would want to find out from the HonMinister why it has taken this long forthem to do the repackaging.
Mr Speaker, certainly,there are, contractual details that must behonoured. We need to take certain stepsbefore we can terminate a contract. notifications and so on, before thetermination was effected. I would providemy Hon Colleague with the detailsaccordingly.
Yes, HonMember, any further Questions? Hon Members, he has not exhaustedhis three supplementary questions. Yes?
Mr Speaker, I would want tofind out from the Hon Deputy Ministerwhat necessitated the delay in paymentbecause we expect that when a contractordoes his work and brings the certificate,Government should adhere and pay thecontractor to enable the contractor carryon the work. So, what necessitated thedelay in payment that resulted in thecontractor not executing the project?
Yes, HonDeputy Minister?
Mr Speaker, it isindicated in the report that there weredelayed payments resulting in construc-tural challenges. The details can beprovided, but as to any contract wherethere is the need to honour a project to bepaid, certain procedural measures are putin place. Therefore, because of these challenges,this contractor defaulted. Efforts to gethim back on track were unsuccessful. Thatis why the contract was terminated and itis being repackaged for re-award.
Very well. Hon Member, your last follow upquestion if any.
HonMembers, I would like to advise that theseQuestions are constituency specific. Asmuch as possible, I would want us torestrict ourselves to that.
Mr Speaker, but the answerhe provided cuts across all contracts. He raised the issue of delay inhonouring the certificate as one of themajor challenges to the contractor. Hefurther said that the contract had beenterminated. Of course, a contract has twosides, just like a coin; what is expected ofthe person who awarded the contract?And what is expected of the contractor?So, if they delayed in paying thecontractor and then they eventually goahead to terminate the contract, are theybeing fair to the contractor? This is because issues of supervisionand what have you, as the Hon DeputyMinister mentioned, are not theresponsibility of the contractor. I wouldwant the Hon Deputy Minister toconvince us more why the contract wasterminated.
Mr Speaker, I didindicate that we made several attempts tolocate the contractor to proceed with thework, resulting from some challenges,that is, delays in payment. If you do notowe the contractor, maybe, because thecertificate may not have been honouredon time, and there was availability offunds to honour that, certainly, he wouldwant to ensure that it is continued. That is why all efforts to get thiscontractor to go to site to proceed withthe work proved futile, and we wentahead to terminate it. So, we do not owehim; we would have been grateful if hecame back to continue with the work.However, we could not locate him, so the
Mr Speaker, Background A series of link roads from Kaase toChirapatre have been identified to serveas a by-pass for the Kumasi Road andDrainage Extension Project to be fundedby the AFD. The roads, four kilometres in total, areall gravel roads in fair to poor conditionlocated in the Asokwa sub metropolitanarea of the Kumasi MetropolitanAssembly in the Ashanti Region. Current programme The Kaase-Kuwait-Dompoase-Chirapatre road has about 70 per cent ofits drainage component in place. The roadis to be rehabilitated into a singlecarriageway surface dressed road. Thiswill take traffic off the Ahinsan to theKumasi South Hospital duringconstruction. The Department of Urban Roads isawaiting approval from the PublicProcurement Authority to commence thebidding process to select a contractor forthe works.
Yes, HonMember, do you have any follow-upquestion?
Yes, Mr Speaker. I would like to ask the Hon Minister ifhe knows when the 70 per cent drainagework was completed.
Mr Speaker, thedrainage works is about 70 per centcomplete. That means they have all notbeen completed. But for now, 70 per centof the drainage in that area has beencompleted. the last sentence of his Answer, and I begto quote: “The Department of Urban Roadsis awaiting approval from the PublicProcurement Authority to com-mence the bidding process to selecta contractor for the works.” Is the Hon Deputy Minister saying thathe never made this statement?
Yes, HonDeputy Minister?
Mr Speaker, I readsame to you, that indeed, the Departmentof Urban Roads is awaiting approval fromthe Public Procurement Authority to beable to do that. Indeed, this is a contract which isselective in nature. We have the selectivetendering process. This is done.Therefore, it is about selective bidinggoing forward. That is what I said;selective bidding.
HonMembers, we move on to the nextQuestion which stands in the name of theHon Member for Tano North.
Mr Speaker, the HonMember for Tano North, Hon FredaAkosua Prempeh is in her constituency.Therefore, she has asked me to seek yourpermission to ask the Question on herbehalf.
Very well.Go ahead. Asuadei and Baffokrom roads(Construction of Bridge) *553. Mr Ignatius BaffourAwuah (onbehalf of Ms Freda Akosua O. Prempeh)asked the Minister for Roads andHighways when a bridge will beconstructed at Asuadei and Baffokrom. It is a contract and it has legalconsequences. So, before we go ahead toterminate, in line with the provisions inthe contract, we would want to make surethat we have met them all. That mightexplain why it has taken this long. Mr Speaker, this road is also under thecare of routine maintenance to ensure thatit is motorable. In 2017, it would be re-awarded.
Very well. Hon Members, the next Questionstands in the name of the Hon Memberfor Asokwa Constituency.
Mr Speaker,with the authority of the Hon Member --
I cannothear you.
I said, with the authority ofthe Hon Member, I ask this question onher behalf.
You do notjust need that person's authority. You askfor --
Your permission --
Very well.Go ahead. Kaase to ChirapatireJunction Road (Completion) *552. Mr Yaw Frimpong Addo (onbehalf of Ms Patricia Appiagyei) askedthe Minister for Roads and Highwayswhat plans the Ministry had to completethe seven (7) kilometre road from Kaaseto Chirapatre Junction in the AsokwaConstituency.
Mr Speaker, I asked thatquestion because I know that the 70 percent was done some years back. If theydid the 70 per cent, and the road is nowgoing for procurement processes and allthat, I would want the Hon DeputyMinister to assure the people of Asokwawhen this project, which is a veryimportant link road, would be done.
Mr Speaker, we areawaiting approval from the PublicProcurement Authority (PPA); it isconstitutional. As soon as we receiveapproval, we would proceed with theappropriate thing to do.
Mr Speaker, I just wouldwant the Hon Deputy Minister to explainwhat he just said. Mr Speaker, is the Hon Minister tellingus that, in awarding contracts, they haveto write to the PPA before they commencethe bidding process?
Mr Speaker, I havenot told you that in awarding contracts,one has to go to the PPA and whatever itis. But I have reported that 70 per cent ofthe drainage works in this area in totalhas been done. This is because there area lot of roads linking up to that portion. He asked me when it was done, and Isaid, it has not been completed and thatabout 30 per cent is yet to be done. Now, the road has to be fixed, havingdone all the drainage. That is what we areawaiting approval for from PPA. As soonas we get it, we would ensure that thecontract has been awarded.
Mr Speaker, I just wouldwant to refer the Hon Deputy Minister to
Mr Speraker, Background (i) Asuadei Bridge: Our investigation revealed that theonly water crossing point around Asuadeiis at the location of an existing steel bridgeover River Tano on the Yamfo - Ansinfeeder road. The bridge is located 11 km away fromYamfo. Recent inspection on the saidbridge indicates that it has no structuraldefects, and it is safe for use by bothvehicles and pedestrians. Our database does not indicate theexistence of any bridge at Asuadei. Wewill, however, welcome any furtherinformation to that effect to enable usaddress the concern raised. (ii) Baffokrom Bridge: The bridge is located along theSukuumu - Mankraho feeder road nearBaffokrom. Current programme The Department of Feeder Roads willsubmit estimates to the PPA for approvalfor the rehabilitation of the bridge in 2017.
HonMember, do you have any follow-upquestions?
Mr Speaker, the HonDeputy Minister, in his Answer alludedto a bridge, which is on the Yamfo-Ansinportion of the said road. Mr Speaker, that is not the specificbridge we are asking of. There is a bridgewithin the community itself. This Questionis in relation to that particular bridge. So, So, I would just want to plead with theHon Minister, to perhaps liaise with histechnical men, to go and look at what weare referring to, and later on come withthe correct Answer. Mr Speaker, if he would do that.
Very well; Ibelieve you are persuading him. Hon Deputy Minister, are you in aposition to do that, so that you sort outthis particular issue?
Mr Speaker, that iswhy I alluded in my presentation to mywish to have further information from theHon Member to allow us to specificallylocate that bridge. This is because on ourrecords, there is no such bridge. Thank you.
Very well. Hon Member, I would plead with youto communicate to with the Hon Memberwho tabled the Question. Any more questions?
Mr Speaker, there was asecond aspect to the Question that hadto do with the Baffokrom Bridge, whichthe Hon Deputy Minister answered. Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Ministerhas given assurance that the Departmentof Feeder Roads would submit estimatesto the PPA for approval for therehabilitation of the bridge in 2017. I have looked at all the Answersprovided by the Hon Deputy Minister fortoday's Questions. He seems to becommitting his Ministry for 2017. which still stands in the name of the HonMember for Tano North.
Mr Speaker, I would wantto believe that the same provision stands.
Yes. Construction of Roads(Adrobaa-Kootwe, Sukuumu-Mankranho-Baffokrom) *554. Mr Ignatius Baffuor Awuah (onbehalf of Ms Freda Akosua O. Prempeh)asked the Minister for Roads andHighways when the following roads wouldbe constructed: (i) Adrobaa-Kootwe; (ii) Sukuumu - Mankranho - Baffokrom.
Mr Speaker, Background i) Adrobaa - Kootwe The road is located in the Tano NorthDistrict in the Brong Ahafo Region and itis a section of the 24.7 km Adrobaa-Kootwe-Subriso-Chiraa feeder road. It isa gravel road in fair to poor condition. Current programme The road has been awarded three inlots for routine maintenance works underthe DFR 2016 routine maintenanceprogramme. The bidders are yet to signthe contract to commence the works. (ii) Sukuumu - Mankranho - Baffokrom Background The road is located in the Tano NorthDistrict in the Brong Ahafo Region and itis a section of the 24.8 km Subriso- Mr Speaker, I know that the BudgetStatement for 2017 is not out yet. Does hehave any idea of how much his Ministrywould receive for 2017, which is why hehas committed the Ministry so much?
Mr Speaker, wecertainly have to make provisions goingforward. For his Question, because it is aprioritised bridge and the situation iscritical, we need to provide hope. Underthe circumstance, the 2017 budgetarycycle is appropriate for that. Meanwhile, we would continue with theappropriate maintenance programme forroads or bridges. So, it is in 2017 that they would beprogrammed accordingly. Thank you.
Mr Speaker, fortunately forthe Hon Deputy Minister, we are runninga Medium-Term Expenditure Framework(MTEF) Budget, which gives us an ideaof what is going to happen within themedium term. Mr Speaker, I would just want the HonDeputy Minister to assure this House thatthis commitment he is making is containedin the MTEF Budget of the Ministry ofRoads and Highways.
Mr Speaker, specificto the Hon Member's Question, provisionwould be made for this project in the 2017Budget Statement. Thank you.
HonMembers, we have one more Question,
Mr Speaker, we can takeitem numbered 12 on page 4 of the OrderPaper -- National Disaster ManagementOrganisation Bill, 2015.
Very well. Hon Members, item numbered 12 onthe Order Paper -- the National DisasterManagement Organisation Bill, 2015 at theConsideration Stage. [Pause] Dr Prempeh -- rose --
Mr Speaker, I wanted toplead with the Hon Deputy MajorityLeader. There is only one clause or sooutstanding on the Land Use and SpatialPlanning Bill, 2016. So, if he could agreethat we complete it. I am pleading withhim, as the Hon Leader of GovernmentBusiness.
Hon DeputyMajority Leader?
Mr Speaker, which one ishe referring to?
Mr Speaker, itemnumbered 14 on the Order Paper.
Mr Speaker, very well. Sukuumu-Mankraho-Baffokrom-Chiraafeeder road. It is a gravel road in fair topoor condition. Current programme The road has been awarded in threelots for routine maintenance works underthe DFR 2016 routine maintenanceprogramme. The bidders are yet to signthe contract to commence the works.
Mr Speaker, the HonMinister says that, “The bidders are yetto sign the contract to commence theworks.” I would just want to know if thecontract has been awarded. This isbecause bidders would bid for a project,it would be opened and awarded beforecommencement. Mr Speaker, he said that the bidderswere yet to sign the contract to commencethe works. So, I would just want to knowfrom him, what stage of procurement havethey reached?
Mr Speaker, it is atthe stage for signing.
Mr Speaker, I just want toknow from the Hon Deputy Minster, whathe means by, “The bidders are yet to signthe contract…” Bidders do not signcontracts; it is awardees who signcontracts. So, what does he mean by“bidders are yet to sign the contract”?
Mr Speaker, I saidthat we are at the stage of signing thecontract. Thank you.
Mr Speaker, I am done.
It is item numbered 14, onpage 16 of the Order Paper. It is also at theConsideration Stage.
Very well. Hon Members, for now we will skip theNational Disaster Management Organi-sation Bill, 2015, and then move on tothe Land Use and Spatial Planning Bill,2016, at the Consideration Stage.
BILLS -- CONSIDERATIONSTAGE
Mr Speaker,yesterday, we considered this but weactually did a lot of consultations todayand we have agreed that we shouldcompletely stand it down. Mr Speaker, the reason is that, theseare details and we do not have to put theminto law. We consulted a number of peoplefrom the National Development PlanningCommission (NDPC) and the Ministry,and the Committee and we agreed that westand it down completely.
So, do Iunderstand you to be withdrawing theproposed amendment?
Mr Speaker, we arecompletely withdrawing it.
Very well. Leave granted for the withdrawal.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, the Schedule column headed“ENACTMENT”, delete “NationalBuilding Regulations, 1996 (L.I. 1630)”and also under column headed “HOWAFFECTED” delete “Regulations 4 and 8L.I. 1630 repealed”. Mr Speaker, the reason for thisamendment is actually to ensure thatwhen this law comes into force, it has tocome with some Regulations.If we repealthe existing law at this stage, it means thatthere is going to be a vacuum, and we donot want to create that vacuum. That iswhy we are coming out with thisamendment.
Mr Speaker, thisparticular sub-regulation 4 and 8 of theNational Building Regulations, 1996 (L.I.1630), had a direct bearing on the LandUse and Spatial Planning Bill. I rememberthat the consultant in one of the earlierdrafts was not present and they broughtit back here. So, if Mr Speaker would agree, maybe,the Hon Minister should read the -- It isnot the whole of National BuildingRegulations, 1996 (L.I. 1630) that we arerepealing. It is only two sub-regulationswhich have an effect on the Bill.That iswhy I said I do not know why we are doingthat; if the Hon Minister could explainwhy? It is only Regulations 4 and 8 of theNational Building Regulations, 1996 (L.I.1630), that I think we should delete it.
Mr Speaker, if you willrecall, during the debate, an issue wasraised regarding permits, and theargument was made in this Houseyesterday that there was no remedy if apermit was not approved,but we showedthat there was a remedy, and one couldapply for review. The issue was raisedagain that there was no timeline for theconsideration of permits. Mr Speaker, you remember that yourgood self tried to refer to other provisions.So, the argument was made that there wasno timeline for mandatory considerationof permits in the Land Use and SpatialPlanning Bill. Indeed, we noticed that there was notimeline, but I drew attention to theexistence of a timeline in the “NationalBuilding Regulations, 1996 (L.I. 1630)”;which is three months. Hon Members drewattention to the fact that we had indeedrecommended the repeal of the clause inthe Regulations which sets the threemonths timeline. Whereupon we realised that there wasthe need to save that clause to retain thethree-month period for the considerationof a permit, and your good selfrecommended -- though you do notparticipate in debates -- that the threemonths were adequate. Mr Speaker, that is the basis on whichwe are saving these clauses -- the onethat we debated yesterday has to do withthe time period within which the permit isto be considered. (1) Mr Speaker,let me read Regulation 8(1) and it says that; “Where a person submits anapplication for a building permitthe District Planning Authorityshall notify him within 7 days of Mr Speaker, that is the basis formoving that this repeal should take place.
Thank youvery much. Do you want to respond?
Mr Speaker, I think I amconvinced. I am just worried if theinterpretation means that military orsecurity building should not have abuilding permit which in itself has issuesof occupational health and safety. I amnot sure that is the intent, but if that istheir intention, then it is very worrying. This is because barracks are dottedeverywhere and they should conform tothe building regulations. Maybe, weshould think about it when we bring theLegislative Instrument (L.I) and considerhow we can craft something to suit them. Mr Speaker, I am happy for it to bewithdrawn.
Very well. Question put and amendment agreedto. The Schedule as amended ordered tostand part of the Bill. The Long Title ordered to stand partof the Bill.
HonMembers, this brings us to the end ofConsideration Stage for today, for theLand Use and Spatial Planning Bill, 2016. Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, we would goback to item number 12 -- the National
HonMembers, item numbered 12 at page 4 ofthe Order Paper -- National DisasterManagement Organisation Bill, 2015, atthe Consideration Stage.
BILLS -- CONSIDERATIONSTAGE
“(1) A Regional Disaster Manage-ment Committee shall meetduring a disaster in the region oras and when it considersappropriate for the dispatch ofbusiness at a time and placedetermined by the chairperson. (2) A District Management Committeeshall meet during a disaster in thedistrict or as and when itconsiders appropriate for thedispatch of business at a timeand place determined by thechairperson. (3) A Regional Disaster Manage-ment Committee and a DistrictManagement Committee shalleach meet at least once in everythree months.”
HonMembers, I remember that we debated thisissue and some concerns were raised byHon Members. Hon Deputy Minister? Hon Minister for the Interior (MrJames Agalga): Mr Speaker, an issue wasraised in relation to quorum and so wehave now decided to incorporate anadditional subclause which caters for thequorum.
“The quorum for a meeting of theRegional and District DisasterManagement Committee is morethan one-half of the total member-ship in each case.”
Has thatbeen advertised?
Mr Speaker, no. That hasnot been advertised but that is theproposed inclusion I wish to make. Dr Prempeh -- rose --
Mr Speaker, I am a bitworried, Why all these prescriptions,instead of what was intended in the Bill?The reason is that if in a disaster time, ameeting is called and we still need thequorum then I do not know what we areforming the Disaster ManagementCommittee for. When a disaster occurs and we haveto call all these agencies to come for ameeting before we do something, then itis a bit worrying. We now seek to say thatif three or four members attend -- Wewould be in an emergency situation andif we are to say that unless we get four or five members -- We should act. Maybe,we should rather say that in an emergencysituation, everybody should be presentand if one cannot go then therepresentative should be. Mr Speaker, asking for a quorum in anemergency situation -- you could justimagine. When a disaster has occurred andyou have called for a meeting and thequorum is five -- If the Ghana NationalFire Service and the Ghana NationalAmbulance Service do not attend, thenwhat is going to happen? We should notgive room for that situation. I do not know whether this quorum thathe is suggesting happens in ordinarytimes or disaster times. This is because Ido not think that we should talk aboutmembership and quorum before we meetduring a disaster.
Yes, howdo you respond? Mr William O. Boafo -- rose --
Yes, HonW. O. Boafo?
Mr Speaker, I quiteappreciate the point raised by the HonMember for Manhyia South, and to addthat, even in the absence of formalprovision for quorum, I believe theInterpretation Act makes provision forhow quorum should be determined whenit is not provided in any enactment. I donot have a copy here, maybe, the TableOffice could help us with that provision.That is more flexible and that may fall inline with what the Hon Member forManhyia South has said.
Yes, HonDeputy Minority Leader? I think we would have to take all thisinto consideration; the issue of theurgency of the situation. Therefore, if thequorum is fixed too high, it might not bepossible for the Committee to meet.
Mr Speaker, I agree withthe submissions of the Hon DeputyMinority Leader. Mr Speaker, in the circumstances, Ifurther propose that we have an additionalsubclause to cater for emergencysituations, and to deal with the issues ofquorum. Maybe, in situations where thereis an emergency, we may want to dispensewith the quorum all together. So, in principle, I would want to craveyour indulgence that in order to save time,we refer the issue to the AttorneyGeneral's Department, to assist us with anew subclause to cater for the concernsraised by the Hon Deputy MinorityLeader.
In that casethen we would put the Question and therider would follow -- Mr Agbesi -- rose --
Mr Speaker, if you put theQuestion, then it means that we agree tothe amendment, or we do not agree. MrSpeaker, the Hon Deputy Minister saysthat we should step that one down --[Interruption.]
No, that isnot what he said. He said that we should leave that issueof the emergency situation to thedraftspersons as far as quorum isconcerned, so that we do not tie the handsof the Committee that much when it comesto emergency situations.
Mr Speaker, I understandwhat the Hon Member for Manhyia Southsaid, but it would also not be right if wewere to leave clause 28 -- Meetings ofRegional and District DisasterManagement Committees -- withoutlooking at the issue of quorum. We shouldlegislate completely how many memberswould form a quorum. I agree with them on the way they havecouched it, that for the meeting of boththe Regional and the District, they shouldbe more than one-half. I agree with that. Mr Speaker, I also think that we shouldlook at what he has said, that in the caseof emergency or state of emergency, whenthere is a disaster -- how do we treat theissue of quorum? We could discuss that,so that we may have two separate clauses.This is because in normal Bills, when thereis a meeting, we would usually mentionthe issue of quorum. Mr Speaker, in the case of NationalDisaster Management Organisation(NADMO), when there is an emergencyor the President has declared a state ofemergency and there is a huge floodsweeping across a region -- I do not wantto use a particular region -- and theywould have to meet, do we have to waitfor everybody to come before we take adecision? That is why I would agree withhim. We should have the standard meetingswhere we would have the quorum -- weshould not leave it like that. We shouldhave the standard and normal meetings,where they would have the quorum but inthe event of a disaster or state ofemergency -- we should separate thoseissues. I believe we should go that way.
Yes, HonDeputy Minister, how do you respond?
No. Whathe said was that, we would want asituation where a new clause wouldindicate that, in an emergency situation,the quorum issue would not apply. So, thedraftpersons would know how to couchit.
Mr Speaker, if you givethat instruction to the Clerks-at-the-tableoffice, after we vote they could draft it,that the quorum does not apply toemergency situations.
Yes, that isright.
So, Mr Speaker, therewould be a new subclause that would statethat, when there is an emergency, the issueof quorum does not apply. Then, we leaveit to the draftpersons to make sure that --
In that case, you couldput the Question.
Precisely.Hon Members, I would then put theQuestion. Question put and amendment agreedto.
I furtherdirect that we leave it with thedraftpersons to couch a furthersubclause, which would make it possiblefor the Disaster Management Committeesto meet in emergency situations, withoutthe issue of quorum being applied. Allright? Hon Members, having done that, Iwould put the Question with regard toclause 28 as amended standing part of theBill. Clause 28 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
Very well.Hon Members, I would put the Question. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I would wantus to consider a further amendment. Thereare not many Hon Members in the House.It is probably late in the afternoon. Mr Speaker, taking three per cent ofthe share of the District Assemblies'Common Fund is a bit huge. Even if wecalculate what the total House gets, it isnot anywhere near that. I would plead withyou, that this three per cent needs seriousconsultation with the Committee on LocalGovernment and Rural Development onhow they arrived at the three per cent. Mr Speaker, the House is seriouslydepleted of minds, and I do not want tocall for any decision. I am pleading withyou that three per cent of the DistrictAssemblies' Common Fund -- I am notsure the Hon Deputy Minister can evenjustify it. With the three per cent, I wouldwant a serious interaction why we should-- I know that whatever we say wouldhave to come from the District AssembliesCommon Fund, as enacted. But with thethree per cent as we have put here, I amrather worried, and I would say even thereserved fund is two per cent.
Yes, HonDeputy Minister?
Mr Speaker, this issue hascome up time without number, but I wouldsay that we had broad consultations withthe Ministry of Local Government andRural Development on this issue. Mr Speaker, disaster management is acritical area of our national endeavour, andso we must begin to place a lot of premiumon disaster management. We cannot run
Mr Speaker, that means theCommittee would have to come back onthe issue of emergency situation for us todetermine --
I do notthink I got that impression from what hesaid. We all agree that, in natural situationsthere should be a quorum, but when itcomes to emergency, we could be silenton the issue of quorum, and the drafterscould draft something to that effect as anadditional subclause to take care of that,instead of going and coming back. Hon Deputy Minister, what is your --
Mr Speaker, that is theposition I took, that we actually capturedthe concerns raised by the Hon DeputyMinority Leader by including a newsubclause to cater for the dispensationon quorum in relation to emergencysituations.
Would we approve it?
Yes. We would approve itand refer it to the draftpersons.
Yes, HonDeputy Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, what wouldhelp us is for the Hon Deputy Minister orthe Hon Chairman of the Committee topropose an amendment that would have anew subclause, which would read likethis. Once we agree on it, we could refer itto the draftpersons that they shouldsmoothen it. But if we just leave it the way it is, andsay they should go and draft it, it meansthey would have to come back.
HonChairman, have we dealt with clause 29and do we move straight to clause 34?
Yes, Mr Speaker, we arethrough with clause 29, 30, 31, 32 and 33.So, we are at clause 34.
Very well.Clause 34 then. Clause 34 -- State of emergency withrespect to a district.
Yes, HonChairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 34, opening phrase, line 1, delete“resolutions” and insert “a resolution”. Mr Speaker, the rationale behind thisrendition is for purposes of clarity.
HonMembers, I would put the Question. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clauses 34 as amended ordered tostand part of the Bill. Clause 35 - 37 ordered to stand part ofthe Bill. Clause 38, Sources of money for theFund
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 38 -- paragraph (c), line 2, after“Assembly” add “subject to the formulaapproved by Parliament in accordancewith article 252 of the Constitution”. that they can explain to us exactly what itmeans. We know that whatever enters theHansard, when they are interpreting thelaw, they use that as part of it. So, letthem explain. Then we would knowexactly what is going on.
Mr Speaker, I even have adifficulty as to whether as a House, wehave the power to legislate that a certainportion of the District AssembliesCommon Fund be given to an agency,because the Constitution gives Parliamentthe right to approve of a formula on anannual basis, how the moneys allocatedto the Common Fund should beapportioned to the districts. So, Mr Speaker, I would like to believethat, if there is a strong case that somemoneys should be given to an agency,perhaps that should be addressed on anannual basis when we are looking at theformula. This issue should be brought up.But to legislate that a portion of theCommon Fund be given to an agency, Ihave my doubts whether we have theright to do that.
Very well. Hon Chairman of the Committee, Ibelieve that we would have to deferfurther Consideration of this particularclause so that we could take into accountthese concerns raised by Hon Members,then, at the end of the day, we would comeout with something which is acceptableto all Hon Members. Hon Members, the Hon SecondDeputy Speaker to take over the Chair. Clause 39 -- Donations to theorganisation away from the fact that three per centmight appear to be colossal. But if weconsider the nature of work the NationalDisaster Management Organisation(NADMO) is supposed to carry out, wewould understand why the establishmentof the Fund is very necessary in the firstplace. The three per cent we are looking at isnot even enough, and that it is why ifyou look at the sources of funding, wehave even inserted a provision whichentitles the Organisation to draw from theContingency Fund, in addition to the threeper cent of the District AssembliesCommon Fund and other sources. If wereduce the figure, I believe it wouldadversely affect the work of theOrganisation.
Mr Speaker, the HonDeputy Minister still does not get mypoint. What has been NADMO's budgetlast year? What is the total sum? Mr Speaker, if NADMO is thatstretched, which we believe it is, and wefight to find sources of fund for NADMO,probably, we should start looking at theGhana Infrastructural Adjustment Fund,that is thinking about how to go andinvest its money, not the DistrictAssemblies Common Fund that we knowhas problems. It is already shortfall, andalready, 30 per cent of that sum is takenby the Government for its priority projects.Mr Speaker, the districts are crying, totake three per cent is huge. On this note, Mr Speaker, I am sorry tosay I would not take what the Hon DeputyMinister said, that consultations havebeen done. Where is the documentary
Iunderstand you. Please resume your seat.
Mr Speaker, I would likethe Hon Chairman or the Hon DeputyMinister to explain something to me. Three per cent of the share of theDistrict Assemblies Common Fund foreach district. What is the meaning of thatstatement? Does it mean that the moneythat has been allocated to the district, wetake three per cent, or it is three per centof the entire Common Fund that isallocated to the district? Mr Speaker, because what is allocatedto the district is 7.5 per cent of the tax thathas been collected for the period. If welook at the 2016 Budget, whatever taxesthat have been collected for the period,we take 7.5 per cent and allocate it to thedistrict assembly. Is that what we are talking about, thatwe are going to take three per cent ofwhat has been allocated to NanumbaNorth District Assembly, which is mydistrict assembly, we would take three percent out of it? That is what I want -- [Interruptions.]-- it is not the same. I would tell you whyit is not the same -- [Interruption] --please, it is not the same.
Order!Order! Let us listen to him.
It is not the same becausewith the formula that has been brought toParliament, the Government takes a certainpercentage before it is shared to the districtassemblies. Some are allocated to Hon Members ofParliament before they are shared to thedistrict assemblies, that is why I am askingthat which one are we talking about, so
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 39 -- delete and insert thefollowing: “39. A person may, with the writtenapproval of the Minister, donate (a) goods and other equipmentto the Organisation; and (b) money, which is notdesignated for the Fund, tothe Organisation for aspecific purpose or functionof the Organisation”.
Mr Speaker, part (b) isvery interesting. We have created a fundto pool resources for NADMO. Somebodycomes to donate money, and we say thatmoney should not go to the Fund? Mr Speaker, what are we intending todo? I just do not understand it. Actually(b) is totally out of place. With (a), onecan donate goods and other equipmentto the organisation, but the Fund needsmoney, so (a) can go to the organisation,(b) has to go to the Fund. If somebody is giving NADMOGH¢20 million, and we say it would notgo to the --
Mr Speaker, we are onclause 39. The original Bill says; “A personmay, with the written approval of theMinister, donate goods and otherequipment to the Organisation”. It is talking about --
We have decided towithdraw that clause.
All the --
No, the first one wouldremain-- we are talking about (b); “Aperson may, with the written approval ofthe Minister, donate goods and otherequipment to the Organisation”. Then wewould drop; “money, which is notdesignated for the Fund to theOrganisation for a specific purpose orfunction of the Organisation”.
Mr Speaker, I agree thatthey have, but if it is so, then what is inthe Bill should stay. He should withdrawhis amendment.
Are youprepared to withdraw the wholeamendment?
Yes, we are withdrawingthe whole amendment. The original clause39 in the Bill would remain as it is. So, Mr Speaker, I propose that wewithdraw the amendment in clause 39,and stay with the original Bill; “A personmay, with the written approval of theMinister, donate goods and otherequipment to the Organisation”. [Amendment withdrawn by leave ofthe House.] Clause 39 ordered to stand part of theBill. Clause 40 -- Management of the Fund
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 40, subclause (1), paragraph (d),line 2, after “management” add “andutilisation”. The rationale is to provide for theappropriate procedures to refer toutilisation as well as management.
Doesmanagement not include utilisation?
MrSpeaker, if the Hon Chairman could explainto us the difference between ‘manage-ment' and ‘utilisation' it would assist usto know exactly what they intend to do,what mischief is intended to be cured bythis proposed amendment. This isbecause, in my opinion, management of afund would include procedures forutilisation of the finances accruing to theFund. It is part of the processes of managinga fund, to decide how the finances of thefund would be utilised. So, , so I believethis would be a bit of tautology orstretching it. So, if they could explainexactly what they intend with thisamendment it would help.
Mr Speaker, the inclusionof the word: “utilisation”, is for purposesof clarity. However, if the view is that theinclusion of that word is superfluous, thenwe are ready to concede and withdraw.
Thankyou. It is accordingly withdrawn --
Mr Speaker, I thoughtthat they should have rather substitutedthe word “management” with“utilisation”. I will tell you why.
“The Council is responsible for themanagement of the Fund and for thatpurpose shall…” I thought that it would have read that“in (d)” for that purpose shall: “(d) ensure accountability of theFund by defining appropriateprocedures for its utilisation;…” Mr Speaker, that is what I thoughtwould have been done. This is becausealready, we have said that they areresponsible for management, and toensure proper management, and theutilisation which they seek, we shouldgive procedures for the utilisation of themoney.
That isan interesting suggestion, if I may say.Hon Minister, what is your response?
Mr Speaker, the point isthat, for ‘management' to be defined toinclude ‘utilisation', if the definition of‘management' within that context wouldinclude ‘utilisation', then the use of theword “management” is comprehensiveenough, and would make up for the word“utilisation.”
But if welook at clause 40 (d), it mentions“management” again. Clause 40 (1) (d) says shall: “(d) ensure accountability of theFund by defining appropriateprocedures for its manage-ment;…” In clause 40, it says that managementis possible. So, he suggested that insteadof management in clause 40 (1) (d), weshould say: “appropriate procedures forits utilisation.” That is his suggestion. Some Hon Members -- rose -- [Pause] -- capture -- that the Council is responsiblefor the management of the fund, and forthat purpose, they talk about definingappropriate procedures. It is the procedures that they wouldwant to capture here. For what? Not forthe money, but for the utilisation of theFunds. That is what I am talking about.Disbursement is totally different fromlooking for the appropriate procedures forit. In clause 40 (e), it reads: “Provide aformula for the disbursement of moneysfrom the Fund;”
Mr Speaker, I thinkthat the use of the expression:“appropriate procedures”, is what is moreimportant here, and it only tries to indicatewhat the appropriate procedures shouldbe targeted at, and that is “management”.
So,should we leave it as it is?
Mr Speaker, we should leaveit as it is. (Maj) Derek Oduro (retd): Mr Speaker,I support the proposal by the RankingMember, that we should maintain it,because clause 40 gives the responsibilityof the management of the Fund to theCouncil. It is not out of place when we say theprocedures for managing the accountshould be given to the Council. So, I donot think there is anything wrong withthat. It is only for clarity, as we have allsaid.
I wouldwant to hear the Hon Nana (Dr) AtoArthur on this matter.
Mr Speaker, Itotally agree with -- [Laughter.] I therefore associate myself witheverything that the Hon W. O. Boafo hassaid.
I wouldnot ask you what he said though.
Mr Speaker, before yourule on what has happened, what I seecannot be proper. Mr Speaker, we are dealing with a veryimportant Bill, and the whole of the frontbench of the Majority side of the Househas disappeared. The one that was herejust picked his things and is gone. So, I do not see why we should be here.[Interruption.] Mr Speaker, this cannot be right.
Mr Speaker, he intimatedto me that he would be back to join usshortly. [Interruption.] My Hon Colleague never gave theimpression that he was leaving for good.
HonMembers, with regards to the state ofBusiness of the House, I direct that theHouse Sits outside the prescribed period,under Standing Order 40 (3). Hon Members, I have noticed what hasbeen raised by the Hon Nitiwul, and myposition is that -- To tell you the truth, my firstimpression when I walked in was that, Iwondered the correctness of the HonDeputy Minister and the Hon Chairmanof the Committee sitting on the Leadershipbench. I thought if a Minister's Bill was beingconsidered, he or she must sit on thesecond bench. Just now, you are also theLeader. The reason one sits on the secondbench is that, as Leader or whoever isacting as Leader, if it is not your Bill, youcan sit there. Sometimes, I call on whoever is actingas Leader to act as a kind of voice for areason. Sometimes when the Hon Ministersays something, then I call on the person. Now, you are occupying bothpositions. You are the first person on theLeadership bench, so you are the availableLeader of the Majority. At the same time,you are an Hon Deputy Minister, but youare the Minister responsible forshepherding the Bill. Then the Deputy Leader in the Housefor the Majority is Hon Fritz Baffour, whois also wearing a double hat as a Chairmanof the Committee. The two of you havetoo much power; you can throw us hereand there. If we are not careful, we will not--
One manthousand! So, you can even go back and let yourHon Colleague come forward. That isbetter. Invite an Hon Member to comeforward and you should take a step backso that, that Hon Member can be yourlawyer. Right now, you are a lawyer inyour own court. [Pause.] Hon Deputy Minister, this is not tosuggest that you cannot be the Leader.However, since it is your Bill, it would bebetter if somebody else --
Mr Speaker, I have taken acue.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
HonMember, I set a trap for you, but you didnot fall into the trap. I wanted you to speak without beingrecognised, because I have seen thatsince I assumed the Chair, about threepeople have spoken without beingrecognised. So, I wanted you to fall intothe trap.
Mr Speaker, “management”is the right word. When we go two clauses further inclause 41, we have talked aboutdisbursement from the fund, and that isthe utilisation. Mr Speaker, I can understand why theybrought all these subclauses, but it couldhave been easier if they had said that theFund would be managed in pursuance ofthe object of the Fund, so that those whomanage it would do so in the pursuanceof the object of the Fund. It would havebeen simpler and neater, so that all thedecisions they take -- this is becausethey are a Council, and they should beallowed. Mr Speaker, I think that it would answerthat the utilisation is the disbursement.This is because we cannot come back hereand have “management and utilisation,”then we go and disburse, but we shouldhave further amendment in thedisbursement. Thank you.
Mr Speaker, the mostimportant phrase under the clause 40(d)is: “appropriate procedures”. That is whatthey are actually looking for, it is the mostimportant phrase they would want to
HonMembers, we would proceed for a littlewhile. I implore the House. There are someHon Members who would want to take acertain step. I plead with them. Those whohave ears, let them hear. There are a few clauses that are notcontentious. For example, clause 41 to 49are not contentious so we would take afew -- [Interruption.] You havesomething to do with clause 41. After this,we would take one Paper. Hon Chairman, where should we end?Let us continue. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 40 as amend ordered to standpart of the Bill.
Anotherreason we should continue for a while isthat, we are servants of the public. I cansee a school has just arrived. I am surethey travelled from far away to observeparliamentary proceedings. It would be agreat disappointment for them if we riseimmediately they came in. They are stillcoming in, so we would Sit for a shortwhile. Clause 41 -- Disbursement from theFund
Mr Speaker, there is noadvertised amendment but the House, inthe last few days, has come out with abetter rendition for such approvals. Wehave done it for at least, three Fundsduring this Meeting. Mr Speaker, the original intent that thisdisbursement is approved by Parliament-- [Interruption.] That was why I saidthat, we have three Funds that have beenapproved. The manner in which it hasbeen written is not clear. Mr Speaker, if it is to be approved byParliament, when and how would they beapproved? We have used the benefit ofthe Ghana Education Trust Fund(GETFund), the District Assemblies,Common Fund formula, the NationalHealth Insurance formula, the Hazardousand Electronic Waste Control andManagement Bill, 2016 formula, and theLand Use and Spatial Planning Bill, 2016formula. Mr Speaker, it is a formula we can adoptif you so direct the Table Office, and I willread it. It reads: “The Council shall --”
Whereare you reading from please?
I am making anamendment. From the Votes andProceedings of Thursday, 14th July, 2016,under the heading “Reporting toParliament” on pages 18 and 19. It reads: “The Council shall submit toParliament, within three months afterthe passage of the AppropriationAct, a formula to be approved byParliament.” That is the exact phrase of theGETFund. If you so agree, the others willfollow.
Mr Speaker, we agree thatthe proposed amendment be carried.
Mr Speaker, the reasonthe two consequential ones were put wasfor the Minister for Finance to indicate tothe Minister for the Interior or theMinister responsible for NADMO theamount of monies that he has collectedon behalf of that Fund which is also -- Itis in your own interest. (3) The Minister responsible forFinance shall present toParliament every threemonths a report of paymentof moneys into the Fund.”
Mr Speaker, we do not havea problem with this proposal at all. Itenhances the accountability measuresthat we all want, that this House to haveoversight on.
HonDeputy Minister, I was fairly confidentthat you would come to that conclusion. Ithought you would thank me for myconfidence in you.
Mr Speaker, I am grateful.
Mr Speaker, the time is past2.00 p.m. and on the Business Statementthat was read last Friday, it is supposedto be extended Sitting and we know whatgoes with extended Sitting. We have noidea, yesterday it happened and today too,it is happening. I want the Majority sideof the House to tell us whether it isextended Sitting or not. This is because Ido not understand. We all know what extended Sittingis,but nothing has been said or is beingdone. Today again, it is past 2.00 o'clockand we are working. I do not mind thework, but if it is extended Sitting, theyshould let us know. I do not understandwhat is happening in this House. Thank you. Hajia Mary S. Boforo: Mr Speaker, myHon Colleague is a member of theBusiness Committee and is aware ofwhatever happens there. We have notbeen told what to do during this extendedSitting. Next week, we would try to plantowards it.
What Isuggest -- I do not think the Hon DeputyMinister has a problem with that becausethe intention of the original Bill is that,Parliament shall exercise oversight whichis in line with our constitutional dictate.What we have done to previous Bills isthat, we have set out in all detail, theprocedure for the exercise of thatoversight. I know that you are anHonourable man so you will not be againstit. What I would suggest to HonPrempeh is that, he should read into therecord what is there, just for the purposeof record. Hon Member, read what youfind on pages 18 and 19 in extenso.
Mr Speaker, the reason Ihave paraphrased it is that, the ‘Board' inrespect of NADMO is called “Council”.
Read inextenso substituting it. Read all theclauses.
Mr Speaker, it reads: “Parliamentary approval: (1) “The Council shall submit toParliament, within threemonths after the passage ofthe Appropriation Act, aformula for the approval offunds of the Board.” (2) The Minister responsible forFinance shall within thirtydays after the collection offunds to be paid directly intothe Fund and furnish theMinister responsible forNADMO with evidence of thepayment.
HonMembers, I have so much confidence inthe Leadership of this House, and I thinkthat they have heard the sentimentsexpressed and would act accordingly. Isee that the Second Deputy MinorityWhip is rolling his chair up and down. Doyou want to say something?
Mr Speaker, Hon HajiaBoforo just said thatc per the programmeof the Business Committee, we were notsupposed to have extended Sitting today,and that, if anything at all, it would startnext week. By our normal workings, weadjourn at 2.00 o'clock, so, if we are notprogrammed to have an extended Sitting,and it is already 2.00 ‘o clock, I would justplead that we do the honourable thing byadjourning. Hajia Boforo: Mr Speaker, I did notmention that today would not be extendedSitting. Surely, there is extended Sittingbut we have not programmed anything forHon Members. I know what goes withextended Sittings but we have not doneit. Maybe, next week, we would do it.
HonMembers, I would hear Hon Nitiwul onthe matter, after that, I would go back tothe Bill. We have ways of communicatingand I think we should use those channelsof communication.
Mr Speaker, I thought thatthe Second Deputy Minority Whip wouldtake a cue from what you said, when yougave an indication on what we were goingto do even though it was past 2.00 o'clock.But it looks like the way things have goneand the way the mood of this House is, Iwould urge that we put the Question on what he has said and you re-evaluate thedirection you gave so that we can leave. Maj. Oduro (retd) -- rose --
Hon Maj.Oduro (retd), do you want to contradictyour leader? Maj. Oduro (retd): No. Mr Speaker. Ijust want to plead with Hon Members ofthis House that, we are left with a fewclauses to complete --
Are youthe Ranking Member? Maj. Oduro (retd): I am the DeputyRanking Member.
Are thestudents in the gallery from yourconstituency? I ask because you have an interest thatis above the call of duty. But I agree withyou. Let us continue for a very short whileand at least, finish one page then we leave.It is always neater, if we finish a page inthe Order Paper, then the next day, westart from a new page. So, we put the Question that, theproposed amendment to clause 41 shouldstand part of the Bill. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 41 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
Mr Speaker, I would likeyou to direct the Table Office to rearrangeit so that it becomes neater.
I directthe draftsperson to rearrange clause 41,having regard to the proposed amend-ment put by Hon Matthew Prempeh to Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 41 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clauses 42 and 43 ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 44 -- Exemption from taxes,duties and levies
Mr Speaker, in my shorttime in Parliament, this is the firstorganisation that we are putting in theirlaw, exemptions of payment of taxes andduties. It is a whole parliamentary thingthat we are trying to put in this light. In allfairness, clause 44 should be deleted.
I woulddefer it. I will not allow a debate on it butdefer it so that we continue. But HonMinister, think about it.
Maybe he would deleteit and we would move forward.
Unlessyou agree to the deletion.
Mr Speaker, we can defer itand deal with it for the last time when wereconvene.
HonMembers, there are no advertisedamendments to clause 45 to 47. I havedeferred clause 44. We have dealt withclause 44. So, I would take clause 45 to47. Hon Agyarko, we are told by Hon PapaOwusu-Ankomah that abstention is notpart of our rules. I am just reminding you. ensure consistency with other Acts suchas the Act dealing with the GETFund,which has similar provisions. Thedraftspersons should also use the Votesand Proceedings of Thursday, 14th July,2016, pages 18 and 19 as a reference.
Mr Speaker, I wantedto make an observation that the proposalby the Hon Member for Manhyia South isnot to amend clause 41, but to add newclauses. So, it is for the draftsperson to-- because it is going to have a new headnote.
It is inreference to clause 41 (1). He is amendingclause 41 (1). Am I right?
Mr Speaker, you are rightand the reason I asked for --
I thoughtyou said 100 per cent, but you did notsay that into the microphone.
Some people are notgood at numbers. The reason I said thatwas TO allow the draftspersons to makethe necessary changes -- The head notewhich I agree with Hon W. O. Boafo on -- I started by saying that, the headnoteshould be “Parliamentary a pproval anddisbursement from the Fund” to cater forwhat you said.
HonNitiwul, your books are here so you cango and come. [Laughter.] If we areabandoned by all the Leaders, then westart feeling lonely.
Mr Speaker, I am notactually going out but when nature calls,sometimes you have to. You have givenus an indication that when we get to theend of the page, we would stop. So, I amcomfortable with it.
MrSpeaker, I am present.
HonMember, we are advised by Hon PapaOwusu-Ankomah that our rules do notallow for abstention when we take a vote.
Mr Speaker, I ampositively part of the “ayes”.
I wouldwant to see you respond positively. Clause 45 to 47 ordered to stand partof the Bill.
HonMembers, I have been advised that westarted from clause 34 by mistake. This isbecause we did not put the Question onclauses 32 and 33. Let us look at clauses 32 and 33 veryquickly because they have no advertisedamendments.
Mr Speaker, from clause31 to 34, I do not really think that after wehave given NADMO all these functionsand objects, after His Excellency (H.E.)the President has been given the powerto declare a disaster in any part of thecountry, we would need these clauses. Ifthey still insist -- This is because districtdisaster, regional disaster -- Mr Speaker, I remember very well that,when we were debating clause 31, theissue came about -- even the issuanceof Executive Instruments (E.Is) orLegislative Instruments (L.Is), whether itwas important. The Hon Majority Leader and HonMinority Leader quoted elsewhere thatthey said the H.E. the President woulddeclare a state of emergency with the E.I.and then the Hon Regional Minister would also come with another E.I. It wasa whole confused state and I believe theHon Deputy Minister took it in good faith. I do not know why he intends tocontinue on this path -- “a districtdisaster”. What is coming called “districtdisaster”? I do not know whether thedistrict has suffered a disaster in itscontiguous areas or within its boundariesalone or -- What do we mean by that? I thought maybe, they would go andconsult again, instead of letting us gothrough it.
HonMember, I will defer it because you madesome interesting points. Where there is a disaster, you wouldwant the State to be able to move and moveits resources fast. So, you do not want aduplicity of powers -- the Presidentwould have to declare, a Regional Ministerand a District Chief Executive -- At the same time when you look atclauses 31, 32 et cetera the E.I. by theRegional Minister is for the utilisation. So,you are not the effect. It was in cold storage and I wasadvised to bring it back. If that does notcarry favour, I believe we would put it backin cold storage so that on Monday, whenwe are in a better position, we can discussit. Even though I have deferred, I wouldtake a comment from the Hon DeputyMinister.
Mr Speaker, I believe that,what we debated in detail was whether itwas appropriate for us to continue tohave the clause 31 (d) as part of clause 31.This is because, clause 31 (d), talks aboutthe matters referred to in subsections 4(b) and 4 (b) (xvi) of section 29; understate of emergency. We concede that most of the issuesraised in section 29 (4) (b), 4 (b) (xvi) areexactly the same issues raised in clause31 (a), (b) and (c). That was the consensusreached. Mr Speaker, if we look at the whole ofclause 31, it deals with a state ofemergency but clause 32 is not in relationto a state of emergency. The sense clause 32 captures is thedecentralised form we would want theNADMO to have. So, when there is nostate of emergency, NADMO, which issupposed to be charged with theresponsibility of performing three tasksnamely; one, disaster risk reduction, two,disaster prevention and three, climatechange adaptation and its mitigationmeasures, can be dealt with in adecentralised manner. That is precisely the reason we havethe National Disaster ManagementCommittee at the very top. At the regionallevel, we have a replication of what is atthe national level in the form of theRegional Disaster Management Committeeand at the district level too, there is theDistrict Disaster Management Committees. What that seeks to achieve is to havea decentralised organisation which canmobilise even at the grass roots level todeal with disasters. Mr Speaker, if we delete thoseprovisions, we would miss a very criticalpoint. And one of the objects of this Billis to underscore the decentralisedcharacter of the organisation. So, let usnot be confused with the two issues, stateof emergency and the decentralised formthat we would want the Organisation tohave.
Mr Speaker, I recollect that,the Rt Hon Speaker, who was thenpresiding directed that, under clause 31,subcluases (c) and (d), should be deletedand subclauses (a) and (b) retained. Thisis because subclauses (a) and (b) havealready been taken care of under clause29. I believe the Rt Hon Speaker dealt withthat. It was not left in the cold. Hespecifically gave the directive, but I donot know whether that was missed out ofthe Votes and Proceedings.
HonMembers, if you look at the Votes andProceedings of Wednesday, 13th July,2016, it indicates the decisions we took. I would defer clauses 32 and 33, so thatwe would deal with it on Monday. The decisions you took in respect ofclause 31 is on page 10 of the Votes andProceedings of Wednesday, 13th July,2016.
Mr Speaker, I would wantto bring to the attention of the HonDeputy Minister that, when a clause isdeferred, there is the need to consult. Mr Speaker, it was not deferred invacuum. It was deferred precisely becauseof the arrangements that came about whenwe were doing the clause 31. Mr Speaker, no matter what we talkabout, decentralising the activities andoperations of the National DisasterManagement Organisation (NADMO)sub-districts, it follow from a nationalcharacter. When we are taking three percent from every district, it was not goinginto a district fund. It was coming tonational. Why did we not say we should create a fund for the districts and for thatmatter, the regions?
Thankyou very much. Mr Agalga — rose --
HonMember, do you want to say something?
Mr Speaker, yes. I wouldwant to draw the attention of my HonColleague to the fact that, yes, even thefund has been decentralised. Mr Speaker, I will point it out to him inour own quiet time — [Laughter.]
HonMembers, on that note, that brings us tothe end of the Consideration Stage of theNational Disaster Management OrganisationBill, 2015 for today. Hajia Boforo: Mr Speaker, there is anOrder Paper Addendum. Unfortunately,the Hon Chairman is not available and so, I would plead that the Hon Vice Chairmanlays the Paper on his behalf.
HonMembers, Order Paper Addendum —Presentation of Papers.
All right. Hon Dominic B. A. Nitiwul, you sawthe sentiments of your Hon Colleagues.