VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT
Hon Members, Correction of Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 14th July, 2015.
[No correction was made to the Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 14th July, 2015.]
Hon Members, we have two editions of the Official Report for correction. We would start with that of Thursday, 9th July, 2015. Hon Member for Ho Central?
Mr Speaker, at column 2482 where my contribution was recorded - In the fifth paragraph, the second sentence was an emphatic statement and not a question. So the question mark can be removed and perhaps something else put there to correct it.
The second sentence? So, it is the second question mark?
Yes, it should be taken off.
Any other correction? [Pause.] Hon Members, in the absence of any other corrections, the Official Report of Thursday, 9th July, 2015, as corrected, is hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings. We now move to the Official Report of Friday, 10th July, 2015.
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, even though in the lobby this morning we decided that we should move on to Public Business, I hold a view now, that if the Hon Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development is here, we should take the Urgent Question. We do not need to print the Answer and so we can take that one. I have also taken note that we have the Hon Minister for Power in the House. [Pause.]Where is the Hon Minister for Power? We can start with the Urgent Question. Hon Members, Question time.We would start with the Urgent Question standing in the name of the Hon Member for Akwapim South.
MINISTRY OF LOCAL
GOVERNMENT AND RURAL
Mr Speaker, on 31st October, 2012, this House approved a Loan Agreement between the Government of Ghana and Exim Bank, USA and Standard Chartered Bank, Ghana for the amount of over US$663 million towards the construction of the Accra Sanitary Sewer and Storm Drainage Alleviation Project, the so-called Conti Project. Can the Hon Minister tell this House why the project has stalled, after the President had inaugurated the commence- ment of work in January, 2013, when the project would have commenced and what percentage of the works have been carried out so far?
Hon Member, before I admit the question, I want to find out from you, which Ministry is supposed to be the implementing Ministry, with regard to that loan facility you have mentioned in your Question.
Mr Speaker, indeed, three Ministries applied to this House for the loan. They are: Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Develop- ment and Ministry of Finance.
Yes, Hon Deputy Minister?
Mr Speaker, I would plead that the lead Ministry in that intervention was the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, and as such, I would be happy if that Ministry is summoned to answer the question.
Mr Speaker, for the records, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development is an integral part of this whole project. Indeed, all the works; storm drainage and everything fall under that Ministry. So, I am surprised that he is saying we should wait for the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing to come and answer this question. If he listened to the Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, he said that is the project -
Was the memorandum to this House signed by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development?
Mr Speaker, indeed, the memorandum has three signatories: Hon Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, the then Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, who was the leader; Hon Enoch Teye Mensah, the then Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, and Dr Kwabena Duffour, the Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning.
Hon Deputy Minister, it is a proper question for you to answer. If you would want to be given time to come and response, I would allow you. But it is a proper question. Once the Ministry was a signatory to the memorandum from the Executive to this House, the Ministry should know the status of that project. That is why before I allowed you to answer the question, I asked him first, and he mentioned the Ministry, and I went on again to find out those who signed the memorandum to the House and he mentioned the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development. Even though you were not there at the time, it is a going concern, and so it is a proper and fit question for you to answer.
Mr Speaker, in this situation, I would plead that we are given the opportunity to confer with our Colleague Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, in order to have the required answer to the benefit of this House.
Hon Member, your next question.
Mr Speaker, I would want to know whether you have given him any deadline to submit the response.
Let us see how it goes.
Mr Speaker, in the Hon Deputy Minister's Answer, he said they are carrying out demolition exercises in respect of unauthorised structures. Could he tell this House, the number of persons displaced as a result of the demolition exercise, and the efforts they have made to resettle such displaced persons?
Hon Member, if it is the number of persons that you are asking for, I would not admit it. But if it is the number of houses demolished, I would admit it.
Very well. Mr Speaker, you are saying that, if it is the number of persons, you would not admit the question? So, it is the number of unauthorised structures demolished and how the persons affected have been resettled.
Hon Deputy Minister, in your Answer, you referred to demolishing of unauthorised structures. Therefore, the question I am admitting is; how many unauthorised structures have you demolished, and not the number of persons?
Mr Speaker, with all due respect, I would say that the order was to all MMDAs. As such, as I stand here today, day-in-day-out, the MMDAs are carrying out exercises which would lead to the removal of such structures in waterways. I would not be able to tell today, that in a particular region or district, possibly, there is a demolition going on, on a building or structure on a waterway. So, I would not be able to tell how many houses have been pulled down in the country today. I would not be able to do so. This is because the exercise is ongoing and if the Hon Member would agree with me, and could conclusively say that we have now finished with the exercise of removing all structures in waterways, then I would be able to give this House the specific number of houses that have been pulled down. As I am talking to you now, the exercise is ongoing and I would not be able to give you specific figures on that.
Mr Speaker, I was trying to draw his attention to the fact that he said they had carried out certain exercises. So, I wanted to know specifically, what they had done and how they are resettling those who have been affected, especially those at Old Fadama, also known as Sodom and Gomorrah. Could he tell this House the number of structures demolished at Old Fadama and - [Interruption.]
Hon Member, the Hon Deputy Minister said that the process is still ongoing and if you have evidence to contradict that statement, then you can. If it is ongoing, it is only fair for him to come back at the appropriate time when the process is over to brief the House.
Very well. Mr Speaker, could the Hon Deputy Minister tell this House whether they have carried out an independent damage and needs assessment of the June 3 flooding in Accra, and if so, what are the findings of the assessment?
Mr Speaker, when the June 3 disaster happened, a Committee was put in place to analyse, evaluate, study and propose recommendations, et cetera to avoid that disaster. If the Hon Member is seeking to know what has come out of that Committee Report, I would ask him to exercise patience. When the Committee has finished with its work and the Report has been given to us, I would be in the position to give him a copy.
Your last supplementary question.
Mr Speaker, even though I am not really satisfied with the answer, I would go on to ask the Hon Deputy Minister another one. The World Bank and Government of Ghana undertook a scoping assessment
Your question again.
I am saying that the World Bank and Government of Ghana undertook a scoping assessment of the June 3 floods in Accra. Could the Hon Deputy Minister tell the House how far the agreements reached have been carried out?
Mr Speaker, I am aware that, that study of the World Bank is still being evaluated by various stakeholders under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation. I have attended two meetings at the World Bank Offices in Accra to evaluate that study, so that at the end of it all, various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) involved in finding the solution to the perennial flooding situation would take their responsibilities. A Ministerial Committee has also been put in place to further look into that Report and at the appropriate time, when we are through with it, this House would be briefed.
Mr Speaker, May I know from the Hon Deputy Minister , how the Ministry is collaborating with the Hydrological Services Department to prevent the flooding that is occurring?
Mr Speaker, the Hydrological Services Department is part of the agencies that are collaborating with the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Ministry of Local Govern-ment and Rural Development and the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation in the outlook of this study done by the World Bank. They are all part of the stakeholders I mentioned.
Mr Speaker, I have two or three very simple questions, but I do not think that you would allow me to do so.
What did you say?
Mr Speaker, I would leave that area. I want to find out from the Hon Deputy Minister, who is my very good Friend, whether these demolitions going on in Accra are planned demolitions or emergency demolitions.
Mr Speaker, I thought this House has indicated that we would require the Mayor of Accra to appear before the Committee of the Whole to discuss this particular issue. So, I would plead that the question be reserved so that when we move into the Committee of the Whole, this issue would be looked at.
Hon Deputy Minister, I have admitted the question so, respond to it. I am aware that the Mayor of Accra was here and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development -- We do not know whether the Mayor would be in today, so respond and after this, I would know how to manage the questions.
Mr Speaker, I believe that under the rules and various by- laws of the various MDAs, demolitions of any structure which is illegally or wrongly sited is carried on every day and every hour, when the engineers of the works department of the various Assemblies have certified so. As we are talking now, in the Manhyia South Constituency, the recent floods have necessitated the need to demolish certain unauthorised structures and I can assure the Hon Members of Parliament for Manhyia South and Tafo Pankrono that the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly is going to Mr Speaker, the answer is simple-- demolitions are carried out any time when structures are sited to be in waterways and are unauthorised.
Hon Member for Dormaa Central, ordinarily by the practice of the House, you know we allow one question but I would indulge you.
Thank you, very much, Mr Speaker. I would like to suggest to the Hon Deputy Minister - [Interruption.] I asked a question which he pleaded to leave for the Mayor and Mr Speaker directed him to answer. But the answer was not very satisfactory so, I would continue. I want to suggest to the Hon Deputy Minister that the demolition at -
Do you suggest or you are asking a question?
I would ask the question subsequently. I am laying a foundation, please Mr Speaker. If you look at what happened at Old Fadama, nobody would tell any other person that it was not planned. You could not just -
Hon Members, if you would want to limit it to Old Fadama, then that is a matter that the Committee of the Whole would be taking. But if it is of the nature of a general question, with regard to the question asked by the Hon Member for Akwapim South, I would admit it. However, if it is dealing with Old Fadama specifically, then the Committee of the Whole would be meeting.
Mr Speaker, I reserve my questions.
Mr Speaker, may I find out from the Hon Deputy Minister whether the Ministry has any sanctions in place for officials who sit idly to see unauthorised structures spring up in waterways?
Mr Speaker, I would want to thank the Hon Member for this question. Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, has indicated to our staff to take a serious view of these things. Indeed, it is a fact that some of our engineers close their eyes in issuing building permits for such structures.Sometimes, they even mark the structures but sit down unconcerned and allow those buildings to go on. We have taken note of all these inefficiencies in the system and we have taken steps to address them, and to implore the engineering department of the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to be up and doing, and avoid such situations. But, I would assure this House that, the Ministry and our Chief Executives are going to take very drastic actions against any staff of the Assembly who is responsible for that particular assignment, but closes his eye for the building to be built in the waterway.
Hon Members, I would take two more questions. Hon Member for Nsawam-Adoagyiri?
Mr Speaker, I am grateful.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minister, in his answer said that they have directed the MMDA's to help in the removal of unauthorised structures, as an attempt at controlling flood and also helping in clean up exercises. Now, we have seen and read Chief Executives, practically closing down shops and compelling Ghanaians to compulsorily take part in clean-up exercises. I wish to know from the Hon Minister, what is the legal basis for these attempts by Chief Executives to force Ghanaians to participate. I suppose it is to be -
Hon Member, your question is not admissible. Hon Member for Klottey Korle? Nii Armah Ashietey: Mr Speaker, it is common knowledge that whenever it rains heavily in and around the Akuapem hill, rainwater runs a distance to Accra. For some of the reasons that the Hon Minister gave, as the causes of floods, such as building unathorised structures on waterways, and choked drains, one can also ask that question; what are we doing to prevent the huge volumes of water running from the hills to Accra, which we have all identified as one of the causes for flooding? What measures is the Ministry putting in place to ensure that not all the rainwater runs to Accra?
Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development are collaborating to find out a lasting solution to this. One of the immediate steps to be taken is an aggressive and intensive dredging of some of our water channels like the Mukose, Lafa and Klottey, Odaw and the rest. These water channels act as the first recipients of the large volumes of water that come from the Akuapem hills. And once these water channels are desilted regularly, they would have the opportunity to collect large volumes of water and it would help reduce the amount of water that comes towards the Korley Klottey, Ashiedu Keteke and Ablekuma Central Districts of Accra.
Mr Speaker, I thought you mentioned Manhyia?
Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Minister said that an order had been sent out to the MMDAs, to demolish unauthorised structures. I would want to find out the form in which that order was sent. Was it written, or it was oral? If was written, would he kindly serve this House with a copy of it, so that this House can monitor what is going on in the various Assemblies?
Mr Speaker, the Ministry has various forms of communicating with our MMDAs. We do some through wireless messages.We do so some specifically by writing, and in this particular instance,the order did not come straight from the Ministry alone.There was also an Executive order that, the Ministry of Local Government and Rura Develop- ment and the MMDAs must take steps to remove structures in waterways. And so, in furtherance of that, we had a meeting with the MMDAs and directed them to accordingly make sure that all structures which are impeding free flow of water in their respective MMDAs are removed. We did inform them that as much as possible, adequate notification should be served on the people to be affected.
Mr Speaker,was the Executive order written to them or it was just verbal from the Presidency? I guess it was from the Presidency. Would he confirm that? Mr Speaker, just tied to that, is there a time frame for the demolition?
Mr Speaker, I believe I stood here and said that demolition exercises are ongoing in the various MMDAs everyday and hour, if it is found convenient.
Mr Speaker, I am talking about unathourised structures on water- ways. We know the waterways that are in Accra and the various regional capitals. That is the question. I am asking; have they given the MMDAs a time frame to finish with the removal of the un- athourised structures ?
Mr Speaker, I believe my very good Brother and Friend would acknowledge that, day in and day out, structures are being put in place. At any point in time, when it is seen or observed or acknowledged or noticed that a structure has been put in a waterway, that structure would be pulled down.
Mr Speaker, in an answer to the question about the number of houses demolished so far, the Hon Deputy Minister said the process was ongoing and so, he would not be able to give the figures now. And in another answer to a question whether the demolition exercise is planned or ad hoc, he said it is planned. I just want to know from him if it is planned and it is ongoing, the number of houses that they have earmarked to demolish within the specified -
I did not hear him say that it was planned. He said that the MMDAs are the planning authorities and they are those who demolish and that it is an ongoing process. I did not hear him use the word “plan”.
Mr Speaker, I would want to know from him if it is ongoing, and if it is ongoing, then they must have an idea of the number of houses that they have earmarked for demolition. If the Hon Deputy Minister can let us know.
Hon Deputy Minister, do you have an idea?
Mr Speaker, I believe in my answer, I said that the Ministry had directed all MMDAs to take the necessary steps to remove unauthorised structures on waterways that impede the smooth flow of storm water to reduce the incidence of flooding. What it specifically means is that, the MMDAs, day in day out, will take steps to remove structures that are impeding the free flow of water.
Hon Members, we move on to the next Question. Hon Member for Akwapim South?
Mr Speaker, you said you will give the period within which the Hon Deputy Minister should submit the answer on the Conti Project. You said you will give him the deadline but you have not done so.
Hon Deputy Minister, how soon can you get in touch with the other sector Ministries involved in the Conti Project the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Water Resource, Works and Housing to provide the information to the House regarding the status of that facility?
Mr Speaker, I would, as much as possible, right from here, confer with the Minister at the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing. It would depend on them because in this particular exercise they are the lead Ministry.
I will want it to come from you. If you are not able to give us an idea, I will give you an idea when to bring it. That is why I want it to come from you first. Once the Ministry is a signatory to the memorandum that comes to Parliament
Mr Speaker, it would be difficult for me to stand here and say because I do not know the work schedule of the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing. I would have to confer with him.
I will give you 23rdJuly, 2015.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
Hon Members, the next Question is Question number 373, standing in the name of the Hon Member for Fanteakwa South The next is Question number 374, standing in the name of the Hon Member for Kwabre East.
Mr Speaker, I am around.
You have the floor.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
ORAL ANSWERS TO
MINISTRY OF LOCAL
GOVERNMENT AND RURAL
Mr Speaker, I would like to ask the Hon Deputy Minister to tell us the weekly or monthly revenue from Ehiamenkyene market.
Hon Deputy Minister, the Hon Member wants to know the weekly or monthly revenue from the market.
Mr Speaker, I would plead with my Hon Colleague to give me the opportunity to look for them. I would have to consult with the Assembly to know how much they derive from the market. My Hon Colleague would also agree with me that revenue from markets are not the same, they fluctuate in-between ordinary market days and certified market days. I would have to do the consultation in order to provide him with those figures.
Mr Speaker, I want to ask the Hon Deputy Minster, when the DDF allocation, which he stated in his Answer, that the projects would be funded from the 2012 DDF. I want to know when these funds would be released, in view of the fact that we are in 2015, and these provisions I can say, have been in the budget of the Assembly since 2012; especially, the one concerning the construction of the toilets.
Hon Deputy Minister, the Hon Member wants to know when the DDF money would be available.
Mr Speaker, I know that there are discussions ongoing, and as soon as possible, these funds would be released.
Hon Member, your last supplementary question.
Mr Speaker, the Ehiamenkyene market is not fenced and there is therefore, a lot of revenue leakage. I would want to know whether there are plans to also fence the market in order to protect the revenue of the Assembly.
Mr Speaker, I believe fencing is all part of the total renovation of the market. If indeed, my Hon Colleague has knowledge or any information to the fact that the fencing is not part of the general renovation, we would be happy to know and draw the
Hon Member, you have exhausted your three supplementary questions. I will move to Question 374. Hon Members, because of what happened yesterday with regards to Question time, we are taking both Questions of yesterday and today. It is normally one hour under our rules, and therefore constituency-specific Questions will only be limited to Hon Members in whose names the Questions stand. Otherwise, after one hour, I will ask that they print the rest of the Answers which I do not want to do. So, let us limit constituency Questions to Hon Members in whose names those Questions stand. Question 374 which stands in the name of the Hon Member for Kwabre East. Ahwia-Overseas, Ahwia-Anyinam, Fawade, and Asenua (Evacuation of Refuse Dumps) Q. 374. Mr Kofi Frimpong asked the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, when the refuse dumps at Ahwia-Overseas, Ahwia-Anyinam, Fawade, and Asenua would be evacuated to forestall an outbreak of cholera and related diseases in the area.
Mr Speaker, I know collection of these refuse heaps is dear to the heart of my very good Friend, Hon Kofi Frimpong. He is very much aware that, I have been there myself even in
Hon Deputy Minister, is that part of your Answer?
Mr Speaker, the Assembly is supported by the Ministry to evacuate the Ahwia-Overseas refuse dump, which has been in existence for over 25 years. About two thirds of this heap has been evacuated by Zoomlion Ghana Limited, and the exercise would be completed when funds are mobilised. The Ahwia-Anyinam refuse heap has been in existence for over 70 years; Fawade - over 55 years; and Asenua - over 35 years. The Assembly has budgeted for the evacuation of heaps of refuse dumps across the district, which includes Ahwia- Anyinam, Fawade and Asenua. The Assembly has evacuated the Ahwia- Zongo, parts of Ntonso and Aboaso refuse dumps. The slow pace of evacuation has been as a result of lack of funds. As soon as resources are mobilised, the other refuse heaps in question would be duly evacuated. In the short term, the Assembly, in collaboration with Zoomlion Ghana Limited, has been fumigating the refuse dumps periodically to forestall the outbreak of diseases. Mr Speaker, from time to time, the Ministry intervenes to compliment the efforts of the Assemblies, in evacuating refuse dumps in districts when resources are available. This exercise is undertaken in phases and the refuse dump at Kwadaso in the Ashanti Region was recently evacuated. The Ministry would not relent in its efforts at ensuring that all communities in the country are rid of filth, which also includes the evacuation of garbage heaps.
Mr Speaker, from his Answer, a lot of these refuse dumps have been in existence for well over 70 years, if that is true. I know it is not true because some of these areas are not as old as 70 years as he said. Moreover, there are some refuse dumps that were evacuated about ten years ago, and for that matter, they would not have been in existence for the past 25 years. My question is, what effort is the Hon Deputy Minister putting in place? This is because it is a matter of urgency and it is creating a lot of problems. It is a health hazard. What effort is he making to ensure that these refuse dumps are evacuated?
Mr Speaker, as I indicated, the Hon Member of Parliament would bear with us, that steps have been taken by the Assembly, with the support of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to evacuate some of the refuse dumps and heaps in his constituency. And we would continue to do so as when funds are mobilised.
Mr Speaker, this answer of some Ministers, that is, “as and when funds are made available” is quite unacceptable to me. When they needed to demolish structures, funds were made available to them. [Hear! Hear!] Why can they not make funds available to evacuate refuse that can create a lot of health havoc in my constituency; a 70 year old refuse? It is a dangerous scenario.
Hon Member, what is your question?
Mr Speaker, I would want the Hon Deputy Minister to tell me when the Hon Minister would precisely make funds available, as he made funds available to destroy some people's structures, to evacuate the refuse in my constituency. This is because it is causing a lot of havoc.
Mr Speaker, because of the passionate nature of Hon Frimpong's appeal, I can assure him that as soon as funds are made available his constituency would be one of the first places we would work in.
Mr Speaker, it may be recalled that, during their last campaign they said they were not going to make any deductions from the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF), and every money intended for the District Assemblies would go to them. It is because these moneys have not been released that is why our District Assemblies are not able to evacuate these refuse dumps that have become mountains in our constituencies. May I know, whether they would use that money that is being deducted to evacuate these refuse dumps in the constituency?
Mr Speaker, all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) have their own development agenda and they allocate resources to those programmes. Kwabre
Mr Speaker -
You have exhausted your three supplementary questions. Yes, Hon Minority Leader, your question? I want to move on to another Question.
Mr Speaker, the Minister in his Answer, indicated to us that, refuse heaps have been in existence for 25 years, 70 years, 55 years and 35 years. Mr Speaker, is it the case that these refuse dumping sites have been in existence for these periods, or the heaps have been in existence for 70, 55, 35 and 25 years? If it is the latter, which answer had he provided to us, I would wish that maybe he amends the former. But if it is the latter, would he admit that in that regard, there is a policy failure or a systemic failure to do the evacuation?
Mr Speaker, I would say that these refuse dumps have been in existence for these number of years. It would not be right for me to say the refuse or the dumps. If you look at Ahwia-Overseas, the refuse dump was at a location, over 40 years ago. It used to be an isolated location, but over the period, people have built closer to these refuse dumps and over the years, people thought that because of the population those refuse dumps would never So, I believe that all these Assemblies over the years, thought that the refuse heaps would not get to that level and that it would never get full, only for us to be hit as a people by this sheer upsurge in our population in certain areas like Ahwia, Meduma and all those places. As such, we are taking steps, not only to clear all the refuse at those dumps, but also to get the Assembles to also protect these refuse dumps, so that no further developments get into the areas in order to avoid the situation whereby the people living in that locality are besieged with flies, smoke and the bad odour that come from the refuse dumps.
Mr Speaker, the budget for an Assembly would relate to revenue and expenditure for a particular year. He indicates to us that, the Assembly has provided budget amounts and allocations for the evacuation of the heaps of refuse at Ahwia-Anyinam, Fawade, and Asenua in one breadth. In another breadth, he tells us that the evacuation is slow- paced because of lack of funds. Mr Speaker, when they did the budgeting, from where did they expect to have the funds to do the evacuations?
Mr Speaker, thank you very much for this. Sometimes, the Assemblies project that they would get this amount of revenue from Internally Generated Funds UGF, in order to undertake these exercises, but their projections are sometimes not met and they try to fall on the Ministry for support. These are the problems that confront them.But with the case of Kwabre East, the Assembly has done well. They have budgeted some amount of money to evacuate the refuse heap, but the sheer volume of refuse heaps they have in that district, the Assembly would not have the capacity to evacuate all. That is why the Ministry has taken the decision to come to their assistance in making sure that the refuse heaps are removed.
Hon Deputy Minister, you started by rendering an apology to the House. On behalf of the House, we have accepted the apology, but that conduct of the Ministry towards this House should be the first and last. I hope it would not happen again. It is our prayer that, what happened yesterday would not happen again, especially when the three of you are Hon Members of the House. Hon Members, we have the Hon Minister for Power also in the House to respond to Questions from Hon Members. Hon Members, I want to remind the House that under our rules, ordinarily, we devote one hour to Question time. We have done 50 minutes already. This is because of the interest shown by Hon Members regarding the Urgent Question. So, constituency-specific Questions, as I said earlier, would be limited. Otherwise, after the expiration of the one hour I would direct that they print the rest of the Answers in our records. Hon Member, you have the floor.
MINISTRY OF POWER
Hon Members, before we continue, I want to interrupt. I have just received Communication from the Office of the President.
SPACE FOR PAGE
Mr Speaker, when he talked of value for money and other statutory processes, exactly what did he mean?
Mr Speaker, the statutory requirements include the approval of the facility by this House.
Mr Speaker, could he assure the people of my constituency, when exactly the project would commence because we are already in July, in the third quarter of 2015?
Mr Speaker, this House is the master of its own rules and therefore, all I can do, is to bring the document to this House. Until this House, in its own good time, approves the facility, I cannot give any assurances based on time schedules that I do not control. But I can assure the Hon Member that the Ghanaian State is determined to achieve universal access by 2020. Therefore, the Ghanaian State would do its utmost to ensure that his area is connected to the national grid.
Your last supplementary question - [Interruption] - Very well.
Mr Speaker, you just read some Communication to us. [Interruption.] You just read some Communication from the President to the House.
In the Order of Business of the House, usually after Prayers, if there are no Oaths and no Addresses by the President, the next thing to do is to pass on to us the Communication from the President's office.
You are right.
I would want to know whether this Communication has just been thrust on you or it came earlier? If it did, why have you decided to sandwich it in between the Questions to the Hon Minister for Power?
Hon Member, I got the Communication in my office at 11.20 a.m. and I read it immediately it got to me here. Due to the Order of Business, I thought that I must read it. I made that point very clear, that I have just received a Communication from the President. If you go to the Hansard, you would see it. I have just received it and I thought I should communicate it to the House.
Mr Speaker, it is worth noting that, it touched your office at 11.20 a.m. and within ten minutes it was, with lightening haste, brought to you.
I was orally informed yesterday in the afternoon that the Communication from the President would be coming; but I have just received it.
Mr Speaker, the President shall not travel unless or until we have this Communication. Could we know whether he has left the jurisdiction?
Hon Minority Leader, we can discuss those constitutional issues later, so let us proceed with Question time. I have communicated the matter to you and I do not want to make a ruling on that matter as of now. But we would discuss it further. Hon Members, Question number 443 standing in the name of the Hon Member for Wa East. Loggu Sagu/Binten/Saawubelee/ Kulum/Kataa (Extension of Electricity Supply) *443. Mr Ameen Salifu asked the Minister for Power when electricity supply from the National Grid would be extended to the following communities: (i) Loggu Sagu (ii) Binteng (iii) Saawubelee (iv) Kulun (v) Kataa.
Hon Member, are you the Hon Member of Parliament for the Wa East Constituency?
Mr Speaker, yes.
Mr Speaker, I would
Question number 443, standing in the name of the Hon Member for Wa East.
Mr Speaker, Kataa has been earmarked to benefit from the upcoming SHEP-5 project in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions. Procurement of materials is underway and installation works are envisaged to commence in the last quarter of this year. Loggu Sagu, Binteng, Saawubelee and Kulun communities, do not form part of any of the on-going projects currently being executed by the Ministry. The communities would be considered when the next phase of electrification projects are being designed.
Mr Speaker, it seems these communities are not considered at all in the extension of electricity. When I was personally [Interruption.]
Hon Member, what is your question? [Pause.]
Mr Speaker, each of these communities has more than 1,500 people but they have been left out for some time now and the communities surrounding them have all been connected to the national grid. There are quite a number of problems we are facing as a result of this and if they could be connected as soon as possible, I think that would be good.
Hon Minister for Power, did you get the question? If you have the question you could come and answer it. Have you got it, very well?
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member would also have to take into cognisance that, this country currently has passed only 78 per cent coverage. We cannot, at this time cover the rest of the country at a go; it is a process. Therefore, if some communities in his constituency are not covered as of today, it does not mean these communities would not be covered in the future. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Hon Member, do you have a point of order?
Mr Speaker, yes. We are in this House, but we do not know which question was asked and then the Hon Minister has answered something, as if we are not part of the House. We would want to know the question, so that we can follow the proceedings.
Hon Member, very well. You should have raised the issue as to the fact that you had not heard the question asked by the Hon Member for Wa East.
Mr Speaker, I got up but I did not catch your eye. So, we would want to know the question. The Hon Member for Wa East asked a question, which we did not get, but the Hon Minister gave an answer. [Interruptions.] - He is not the only one in the House.
Very well. Hon Member for Wa East, your next supplementary question.
Mr Speaker, how soon would this process take place?
Hon Members, we would move to Question number 452.
Mr Speaker, I would want to state that, the Question has already been answered by the Hon Deputy Minister for Power and I am satisfied with the Answer; so we can move on. It has been captured in the Hansard of Thursday, 28th May, 2015.
Very well, the Table Office should take note. Question number 460. Mbanaa/Kantankani/ Kyekyenkura/Dwenewoho (Connection to National Electricity Grid ) *460. Mr Mohammed Salisu Bamba asked the Minister for Power why the following communities have not been connected to the National Electricity Grid even though wiring had been completed since 2012: (i) Mbanaa (ii) Kantankani (iii) Kyenkyenkura (iv) Dwenewoho.
Mr Speaker, Mbanaa, Kantankani, Kyenkyenkura and Dwene- woho form part of communities which benefited from a project executed by Eltel Network Corporation, under a €10 million facility from BNP Paribas of Finland. Eighty-Three (83) communities were earmarked to benefit under the project; fifty-one (51) in the Ashanti Region and 32 in the Eastern Region. After the completion of the project, and prior to the energisation of the High Voltage (HV) network at Mbanaa, Kantankani, Kyenkyenkura and Dwene- woho communities, defects were noticed by the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo). The Ministry has released the materials required for installation in order to correct the defects to pave way for the energization of the communities. It is anticipated that, the HV networks will be corrected and the communities will enjoy electricity supply before the end of the fourth (4th) quarter of 2015.
Mr Speaker, could the Hon Minister tell us, at what point the Ministry realised that there was a defect in the work?
Mr Speaker, the Ministry noticed it before the energisation stage.
Hon Member, your last supplementary question.
Mr Speaker, I think I have two more supplementary questions. Last week, I visited those communities and sincerely speaking, the poles and the wires were all on the ground. That is why I am asking him when he did realise that there was a defect, and what kind of materials did he release for the correction of the defect?
Mr Speaker, as stated, some works have been done but the communities have not been connected. Power has not been passed through the networks. That is to say the networks have not been energised. As immediately as the defects are corrected, which we would do before the end of the year, the network would be energised and the communities would benefit from the power supply.
Question number 462. Hon Member for Offinso South? Agogo and Asuboi (Connecttion to the National Electricity Grid) Q. 462. Mr Ben Abdallah Banda asked the Minister for Power when the following communities would be connected to the National Electricity Grid: (i) Agogo, near Kwapanin, (ii) Asuboi, near Kwapanin.
Mr Speaker,Agogo and Asuboi communities form part of the Ministry's on-going SHEP-4 project. The High Voltage (HV) works are ninety per cent complete at Agogo and sixty per cent complete at Asuboi. It is to be noted that 134 no. Low Voltage (LV) poles are required for Agogo; and 270 no. LV poles for Asuboi. 64 no. LV and 70 no. LV poles have been provided respectively by the communities, as required under the SHEP. The Ministry is making arrangements to supply the rest of the poles and other electrical materials required to complete the works. It is anticipated that the works would be completed by the end of the 4th quarter of 2015.
Mr Speaker, it is worthy of note that, about four years ago, I asked the same Question and the then Minister for Energy, gave a similar Answer but since then nothing has been done about it. May I respectfully find out from the Hon Minister, what the seeming difficulty is about the procurement of the electrical materials needed to complete, especially the Agogo project?
Mr Speaker, the difficulty is with budgetary constraints and therefore, there is the belief that, before the end of this year, out of the Appropriation made by this House to the Ministry, and subject to the release of funds by the Ministry of Finance, we would have enough materials to complete the project.
Mr Speaker, it appears to me that the Answer given by the Hon Minister, that works may be completed by the end of the fourth quarter of this year is not certain. Hon Minister, what arrangements - because you said that works may be completed by the end of the fourth quarter of this year what arrangements have the Ministry made to ensure that these electrical materials, and the poles you mentioned in your Answer, could be procured in order that the project could be successfully completed?
Mr Speaker, the Ministry, subject to budgetary releases, procures materials in bulk for various projects. His community forms part of a bigger procurement plan, and subject to the availability of funds, and also arising out of the need for the Ministry to prioritise, whatever materials that are purchased are assigned to specific projects.
Mr Speaker, it is worthy of note that, since 2008 or 2009, the contractor working on this project has not stepped on site. Can the Hon Minister give this Honourable House the name of the contractor working on the project?
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member has just brought this information to my notice. My officials would find out from the contractor why he has not been on site, if the assertion is factual.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister has alluded to prioritisation by his Ministry and he has also bemoaned the lack of funds which often delay projects. Mr Speaker, if I may ask the Hon Minister, how does it arise that, in such areas where there is no electricity, whenever and wherever there are by- elections, budgetary constraints do not become an impediment in the supply of electricity to such areas.
Mr Speaker, to the best of my knowledge And we have just emerged from one by-election No new electricity was extended to that vonstituency during the by-election.
Mr Speaker, however, I am also aware that during the last Odododiodioo by-election, streets were suddenly electrified and I would check from our records where the Ministry got the money to do that.
Hon Minister, we thank you very much for attending upon the House to respond to Questions from Hon Members. At the commencement of Public Business. Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, if we could take Motion number 11, it is a consequential Motion. After that we would handle Motion number 12.
Item number 11.
Items 11 and 12.
Very well. Hon Members, item number 11 on the Order Paper -Motion by the Chairman of the Committee.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that not withstanding the provisions of Standing Order 80 (1), which require that no Motion shall be debated until at least, forty-eight hours have elapsed, between the date on which notice of the Motion is given, and the date on which the Motion is moved, the Motion for the adoption of the Report of the Committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism on the seven (7) Conventions. The Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (Paris, 20th October 2005); i. the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (Paris, 17th October 2005); ii The Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage (Paris, 2nd November 2001); iii. The UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegal Exported Cultural Objects (Rome, 24th June 1995); iv. The Protection of Procedures o f P h o n o g r a m s a g a i n s t unauthorised Duplication of their Phonograms (Geneva, 29th October 1971); v. the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import , Expor t and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (Paris, 14th November 1970); and vi. the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict with Regulation for the Execution of the Convention (The Hague, 14th May 1954); may be moved today.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Item number 12, Hon Chairman of the Committee? Ratification of Seven (7) UNESCO Conventions
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism on the Seven (7) Conventions . Introduction The domestic ratification of the seven (7) Conventions of UNESCO on Culture Development was laid in Parliament on 18th November, 2014. The Rt Hon Speaker referred the Conventions to the Committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism for consideration and report, pursuant to article 75 of the 1992 Constitution and Order 159 of the Standing Orders of the House. Acknowledgement The Deputy Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Hon Abla Dzifa Gomashie, the Vice-chair of the Ghana Culture Forum (GCF), the technical team from the Ministry and the National Commission on Culture and officials of UNESCO were in attendance to assist the Committee in its deliberations on the Conventions. The Committee is grateful to them for their inputs. Reference Documents In its deliberations, the Committee availed itself of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, the Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana and the seven UNESCO Conventions. Background UNESCO was created in 1945, with the understanding that, World peace can be achieved, not only through political and economic agreement, but that peace must be established on humanity's moral and intellectual solidarity. It operates on four pillars and these are: Mobilising for education so that every child, boy or girl, has access to quality education as a funda- mental human right; Building inter-cultural under- standing, through protection for heritage and support for cultural diversity. World heritage sites of universal value were created to aid the process; Pursuing scientific co-operation such as early warning systems for Tsunamis or trans-boundary water management agreement, to streng- thening ties between nations and societies; and Protecting freedom of expression as an essential condition for democracy, development and human rights. Ghana joined UNESCO on the 11th of April, 1958 and has since played significant roles in the affairs of the organisation. This is further buttressed by the fact that Ghana's Ambassador to Paris is a permanent Delegate to UNESCO. The creation of a formal organisation to protect the world's cultural and natural heritage began in 1965, when the Johnson Administration of the United States of America, hosted a conference for the creation of a “World Heritage Trust”. This led to the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, which was passed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 1972, and the creation of the World Heritage Committee in 1976. Since the creation of the World Heritage Committee, a number of UNESCO Conventions have not been ratified by the Government of Ghana, (with the exception of the Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, (1972), and this unfortunately, has delayed development assistance in various areas. The Conventions that have not been ratified by Government of Ghana are the following: i. Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (Paris, 17th October, 2003); ii. Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (Paris, 20th October, 2005); iii. Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict with Regula- tion for the Execution of the Convention (The Hague, 14th May, 1954); iv. Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import , Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (Paris, 14th November, 1970); v. Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage (Paris, 2nd November, 2001); vi. Convention for the Protection of Procedures of Phonograms against unauthorised Duplication of their Phonograms (Geneva, 29th October, 1971; vii. UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegal Exported Cultural Objects (Rome, 24th June, 1995). The ratification of the seven Conventions is a requirement of member States who have acceded to the Conventions. In view of this, UNESCO strongly encourages its member States to consider joining its international conventions for the protection of cultural heritage in its different forms, so that legal protection of cultural heritage is strengthened at the national level and developed uniformly at the international level, among State Parties. Summary of the Seven (7) UNESCO Conventions Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, Paris 17th October, 2003. Intangible cultural heritage refers to the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills as well as objects, artifacts and cultural spaces associated with common groups and individuals as part of their cultural heritage. This heritage is transmitted from generation to generation, and in most cases, is recreated in response to environmental changes. This provides the community with a sense of belonging- ness, identity and continuity. The Intangible cultural heritage is manifested in the following domains: i. Oral tradition and expressions such as our folklore, story-telling sections, including language as a vehicle for intangible cultural
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. I do not have much to say about this. It is a routine thing and I would urge the House to support it. Question put and Motion agreed to. M r S p e a k e r : C o n s e q u e n t i a l Resolutions.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that WHEREAS by the provisions of article 75 of the Constitution, any treaty, Agreement, or Convention executed by or under the authority of the President in the name of Ghana, is made subject to ratification either by an Act of Parliament, or by a resolution of Parliament, supported by the votes of more than one-half of all the Members of Parliament. IN ACCORDANCE with the said article 75 of the Constitution, the President has caused to be laid before Parliament, through the Minister responsible for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (Paris, 20th October, 2005) on 18th November 2014. N O W T H E R E F O R E , t h i s Honourable House hereby resolves to ratify the said Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (Paris, 20th October 2005).
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Resolution. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly
Hon Majority Leader, has the Report been distributed
That is so, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, my worry is -
Hon Members, what happened is that, the Report has been distributed and it is one Report with a
Very well. Hon Members, if you have not brought your Report, you have a genuine concern Hon Members, I have my Report here. It is a different matter that can be discussed but the Reports have been distributed and I have my copy. It is one Report with several Conventions. Item number 16, consequential Resolution. Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (Paris, 17th October, 2005)
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that WHEREAS by the provisions of article 75 of the Constitution any Treaty, Agreement, or Convention executed by or under the authority of the President in the name of Ghana, is made subject to rati- fication either by an Act of Parliament or by a resolution of Parliament, supported by the votes of more than one-half of all the Members of Parliament. IN ACCORDANCE with the said article 75 of the Constitution, the President has caused to be laid before Parliament, through the Minister responsible for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (Paris, 17th October, 2005) on 18th November, 2014. N O W T H E R E F O R E , t h i s Honourable House hereby resolves to ratify the said Convention for the Safe-guarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (Paris, 17th October, 2005).
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Normally, the Resolution moved is seconded by the Hon Chairman of the Committee.
Mr Speaker, she said Resolution number 16 but there is no such Resolution. [Uproar.]
Hon Members, let us have some order. Hon Minister, what did you say?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move Resolution numbered 16. [Uproar]
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Item number 17.
MR SECOND DEPUTY SPEAKER
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the pro- visions of Standing Order 80 (1), which require that no Motion shall be debated until at least forty-eight hours have elapsed, between the date on which notice of the Motion is given, and the date on which the Motion is moved, the Motion for the adoption of the Report of the Committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism on the Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage (Paris, 2nd November, 2001) may be moved today.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman had moved for the suspension of relevant provisions in the rules or procedure. He was required to state the reason for the proposed suspension but he had not done so. So, he should tell us why he did that? [Interruptions.]
Mr Speaker, that is provided for by our Orders; Order 3(2). Why did he make such a proposal to us?
Hon Majority Leader, do you have something to add to that or you agree?
Mr Speaker, I definitely listened to him and I believe that he is right in requesting for the reasons for the suspension of the Standing Orders. They need to tell us why we are suspending the Standing Orders. I know but it has to come from them.
Thank you. Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, several Conventions have been outstanding for a long time, and my observation over time is that, these Conventions were normally ratified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration. But now, it seems that, particularly with this Ministry, it has been created and they have taken charge of these outstanding Conventions to ratify them. These have been outstanding since 2005, and that is why if we have to enjoy the benefits under these Conventions, then we have to endeavour to ratify them as soon as practicable. This is why we are doing them in a kind of rush, so to speak. This is my opinion.
Mr Speaker, what would happen to this country if the Orders are not suspended within 48 hours?
Hon Minority Leader, could you speak up a little? You said what would happen in this country if what happens?
Mr Speaker, he tells us that they have been outstanding since 2005. I do not know when they entered our jurisdiction, but I am asking him. Because of his call for us to suspend the relevant Orders; what would happen to this country if we did not do this within 48 hours which is why he is calling for the suspension of the Orders?
Mr Speaker, eventually, we would have come to the omnibus benefits thereof. There are certain benefits that, if we do not do this as soon as yesterday, we would lose in the future. Mr Speaker, already we have lost a lot technical assistance, consultancies, grants
Mr Speaker, we are not coming to the end of this Session next week. We are coming to the end of the Meeting next week.
Mr Speaker, I thank him very much for the correction. I am in level 100, so he might as well tutor me in some of these things. But I think in the final analysis, it comes to the same point, that we would have come to an end of something. [Laughter]
Hon Minority Leader, is it possible to use the word “session” as a descriptive word rather than as a noun? Say “we are coming to the end of this session” as an adjective - or it is not possible, having regard that it is described in our rules?
Mr Speaker, a “session” is defined in our rules.
So, it is not possible?
So, it is not possible.
Thank you. Then we would move on. Hon Ranking Member?
Mr Speaker, I thought there was another personal reason we had to do it today, that was the perception that I got when I saw it on the Order Paper. Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister is in a mourning cloth, and we know very well the reason she is in that cloth. She has to go to Techiman tomorrow, and that is why we thought we should do it early enough for her to have the free time to go. I am sure she has not informed the House about what is going on, but certainly, a lot of us know why she is in that cloth. So, the urgency is also partly because of her concern. She wanted to be here herself. So Mr Speaker, it is not only because of what the Hon Chairman said, but also a personal reason behind the whole issue.
Thank you. I thought the Hon Chairman would have said that - instead of the Chairman saying that - yes, did I make a mistake somewhere?
Mr Speaker, I think some error is being made. The reasons my Hon Colleague gave are very important, and the House ought to be informed, because the person involved is a former Minister to give us an opportunity to do the right thing. Former Deputy Leader of the House and I think that whoever has not informed this House, we should know that, so that we do the proper thing. It would not be fair to the former Deputy Leader of this House for us to let this slip by. The Hon Majority Leader is unaware, I know. But somebody should do it -
Whose child is now an Hon Member of the House.
To add to it, whose child is now our Hon Colleague, an Hon Member of the House. So, it makes it more serious if we are not informed formally. Yes, maybe, we have been informed. Hon Majority Leader, have you been informed?
Mr Speaker, I just heard it, and in fact, it is from my good Professor, and so, I had to crosscheck from them, and they just confirmed it to me. I am told that it has been three weeks now, and it is in the public domain. But maybe, I was out of the country. I never heard it at all. I know the family is making the preparations to formally inform the House. That is what I have been told now. He is a very personal senior, very close in practice, and in this House. He was my Hon Deputy for four years. I know the family very well. I knew her from childhood. It is a personal matter to me.
You knew your Hon Colleague from childhood?
You were a Leader when she was a child.
He was Deputy Minority Leader. He was my Deputy. I was the Minority Leader and he was the Deputy Minority Leader, and so he was my Deputy.
Hon Majority Leader, you said your Deputy Leader?
Not my Deputy Leader.
You knew your deputy's -
I was Minority Leader. He was Deputy Minority Leader, and I knew the Hon Minister from childhood.
When she was a child?
So, when she was a child, you were a Leader and she has come to meet you - [Laughter.] Anyway, just for the record, because we have been speaking. If somebody takes the Hansard in two years' time, we have not mentioned a name. We have been speaking in parables and you have had many deputies, because you have been a Leader for as long as I can remember. So, please, could you mention the name just for the record? Who are we talking about? Hon Prof. Gyan-Baffour, could you mention the name of the person we are talking about? Or Hon Muntaka, just for the record.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, it is very unfortunate. I should have mentioned it to the Hon
Thank you. I think we should proceed. Hon Chairman of the Committee, when they asked you the reason we should suspend the Standing Orders, you said, in your personal view You were talking personally. I thought this was the Report of the Committee. The Question has already been put. I thought this was the Report of the Committee; it was not personal. You said personal and you went on to give reasons. But anyway, that is just by the side. Hon Chairman of the Committee, we have come to the main Resolutions. Have we not? Where are we?item 19?
Mr Speaker, regrettably I do not have my copy of the Report here, but I remember perusing it. What I expected was that all these Conventions The Constitution says that we should domesticate them when we ratify them. Mr Speaker, there appears to be no recommendations contained in the Report suggesting how we would domesticate them. So in the end, when we ratify them, then what? They are not part of the municipal laws of the country if we do not domestic them and make them part of the laws of our land. So, I think that the Report should look at those areas and beyond, ratifying them and make sure that they become part of the laws of the land. Mr Speaker, I think that, that deficiency must be looked at again.
Hon Osei-Owusu, you are referring to article 75, I believe?
Yes, Mr Speaker.
It says, 75(2) “A treaty, agreement or convention executed by or under the authority of the President shall be subject to ratification by - (a) Act of Parliament; or (b) a resolution of Parliament supported by the votes of more than one-half of all the members of Parlia- ment.” It does not say “and” it says “or”.
Yes, Mr Speaker. After the ratification then what? Has it become part of the laws of the land? Papa Owusu-Ankomah - rose
Yes, Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah?
Mr Speaker, when we ratify an Agreement by law, we have consented to it and we are bound by those terms. To that extent, it is part of the laws of the country. Except that, if there is no specific Act, that particular Treaty gets lost in the tracks. So, it is always best to get an Act of Parliament to incorporate it, particularly, when we have existing laws relating to the subject matter.
A very important intervention. Is this your last Convention?
No, Mr Speaker.
There is one more?
There are two more, Mr Speaker.
For today? All right.When we get to the last one, please, remind me that we are on the last one. Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage (Paris 2nd November, 2001)
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that: WHEREAS by the provisions of article 75 of the Constitution any Treaty, Agreement, or convention executed by or under the authority of the President in the name of Ghana, is made subject to ratification either by an Act of Parliament or by a resolution of Parliament, supported by the votes of more than one-half of all the Members of Parliament. IN ACCORDANCE with the said article 75 of the Constitution, the President has caused to be laid before Parliament, through the Minister responsible for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts the Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage (Paris, 2nd November, 2001) on 18th November, 2014. N O W T H E R E F O R E , t h i s Honourable House hereby resolves to ratify the said Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage (Paris, 2nd November, 2001).
Are you not moving Resolution numbered 19?
Mr Speaker, item 19.
I asked if you are not moving Resolution numbered 19. [Laughter.] Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Mr Speaker, if we want to approve something, we need
I think it is contained in the Report.
Yes, Hon Joseph Osei-Owusu?
Mr Speaker, while I have no problem that this House would ratify a Convention so agreed elsewhere, we in this House ought to be sure of what we are ratifying. Mr Speaker, with all due respect, what is Underwater Cultural Heritage that we are protecting?[Interruption.] I do not know which water. Is it the streams or the sea or the Volta Lake or Lake Bosomtwi? Mr Speaker, I think it is important that, we as Hon Members of this House, are better briefed. It is a pity, as have been said already, that by the time we get the Report, if you do get it at all and the time the matter comes to the floor, we may be lucky if you find it in your records, in the boot of your car or at the backseat of your car. But when we get here, I think it would be appropriate Mr Speaker, that at least, those of us who would vote on the matter should have some knowledge, a fair idea. This is because I have been in this country for a while. I do not know any Underwater
Hon Akoto Osei, do you have a point of order?
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, while I agree with my Hon Colleague and good Friend, at the time that we were moving for that particular Motion, he did not raise that objection; we have gone past that. I believe we are on the next one which is procedural. So, I would plead with the Chairman of the Committee The next one is on the UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects (Rome, 24thJune, 1995) He should say something about it.
Mr Speaker, does Dr A. A. Osei know what we are talking about?[Laughter.] The Underwater Cultural Heritage thing, can he help us, please?
Mr Speaker, I have read the Report; it is in the Report.
I have read pages 4 and 5 of the Report and before I took the Chair, the Rt Hon Speaker made the point that - Do you have the Report, if you do not have it, it is bad news. As far as Underwater Cultural Heritage is concerned, it is very clear. There are one or two of them in the Report. I would not mind getting more information. But as for the “Underwater”, it is the clearest of them all. So, Hon Joseph Osei-Owusu, your point is well taken but perhaps, you chose a wrong example. This is because the “underwater” is very clear: “Underwater Cultural Heritage refers to all traces of human existence…” It is on pages 4 and 5 of the Report.
Yes, Hon Asiamah?
Mr Speaker, in view of what has happened right now, it is obvious that Hon Members do not have copies of the Report and also, we do not understand exactly what we are talking about. I would plead that this Honourable House defers this very important document - [Interruption] - So that we get to understand and appreciate it better, so that we can do a better job for this country. Mr Speaker, as an Hon Member of this House, I am a lawmaker and I am entitled to understand whatever I am approving or otherwise. So, please, I am pleading that we suspend the Motions and its consequential Resolutions, so that we can take it at some other time. That is my special request to this august House. We do not need to rush this very important thing. Hon Members must go and digest the document, so that we can do better scrutiny. Thank you. Alhaj i Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka: Mr Speaker, with the greatest respect to my Hon Colleague, Mr I. K. Asiamah, we need to make progress. Mr Speaker, the Treaty itself was laid in this House and distributed to every Hon Member. Every one of us was given the actual document through our pigeon- holes. Mr Speaker, when the Report was ready, all of us were given copies of it. We all know the challenges that we have. This is because we do not have offices and the documents are so bulky, sometimes, when we get here and we look through our books or documents, to see which one we need to have and whether we have it in our documents Despite that challenge, Mr Speaker, earlier, the Hon Minority Leader requested why the urgency to even suspend the Standing Orders. Unfortunately, Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague was not in the Chamber. Mr Speaker, I think that in fairness to the rest of us who were here when those explanations were given, I would call my Hon Colleague Hon Asiamah should allow us to be able to make progress, so that if he needs some information, then he could come across or request and some of us would extend them to him. But to say that we should stand them down when all these documentation have been given to us earlier and the Report has been circulated. If tomorrow, we come here and Hon Asiamah has all his documents, another Hon Member who may not be here today, would come tomorrow and when he sees it, would also plead for the suspension of the programme. Mr Speaker, as I mentioned early on, because of the challenges around both the Convention and the late Hon Minister, we would be grateful to Hon
Asiamah, if he would allow us to make progress.
Hon Members, I have so much confidence in Hon Asiamah and I am very happy that he is the one who has raised the issue. This is because I know that with this Report, he can even look at it within about two or three minutes. So, if he does not have his here, then the Clerks-at-the-Table should make a copy available to him. Hon Asiamah should be given a copy. -- [Laughter] -- Hon Asiamah, this document is child's play in your hands. I know the seriousness you attach to your job. So, please, look at it while we make progress.
Mr Speaker, the reason I raised this germane issue is that, I have been able to support this very important Motion. The Chairman of the Youth and Sports Committee, knows that we had very important issues to raise initially. I would have kept quiet but we supported it because this should have been a joint referral. Mr Speaker, but - [Interruption] - No! Please, this should have been a joint referral, it never came to - This is because when we talk of culture -Culture involves -- But our Committee was ignored and we kept quiet. [Interruption.]
Hon Members, let us have some Order.
Now, at least, if we ask for a little time for us to digest this document, then we are not asking for too much.
Hon Asiamah, I could not agree with you more. In fact, I am so happy that you are not asking for too much. So, since you are asking for very little, I would give you what you are asking for. As we continue, Hon Asiamah, as I said, I have so much confidence in your ability. I am sure you yourself - I have more confidence in you than you might have in yourself. Hon Asiamah, this document is child's play for you. I remember there was a Bill that was before your Committee - Even the Chieftaincy and so on - We have great confidence in your ability to scrutinise this thing. So, I am sure that as two or three Hon Members speak, you would be able to make very useful contribution. Yes, Ranking Member?
Mr Speaker, I would only plead with my Hon Colleague, Hon Asiamah. I think I agree with him perfectly well, that it could have been a joint referral.Unfortunately, that was not done. For the reason we try to do it today, we have already given the reason. If we defer it, then it may mean that we may not even ratify it until we come to the next Meeting. But more importantly, this is just one Report, part of it has already been - The Motion has been moved and has been agreed upon in the House. We are in the middle of the stream, so I would beg him that, he should not actually stop us from what we are doing. So, Mr Speaker, I would urge Hon Asiamah, to allow us to go ahead and continue.
Thank you very much.
Mr Speaker, I thought we had an agreement that he would do us a favour and explain a little, in this case, what are illegally exported cultural items? [Laughter]
Mr Speaker, he did not do it, and we have come to a compromise.
Hon Dr A. A. Osei, I agree with you - What has really happened is that because they have only one Report for all these Conventions, the Committee's explanation on each of the Conventions is rather - Is a summary. When you look at it, we have nine pages. I do not know how many Conventions we have. But I do not want to pass any judgement on the Committee, so to speak. If I had my way, next time, if there are several Conventions, each one should have a Report.
Mr Speaker, the Chairman has disappeared. [Laughter] Mr Speaker, I made an appeal -
Hon Dr A. A. Osei, why would the Chairman not disappear? I am not surprised that he has disappeared.
Mr Speaker, I made an appeal to the Hon Chairman to talk about this -
The Hon Chairman has moved a simple Motion -
Mr Speaker, then he quickly went out without any explanations. He is not fair to this House. So, maybe, the Hon Majority Chief Whip could tell us - [Laughter.]
I would assume that it was not said. But Hon Dr Akoto Osei, if you harass the Chairman so much, then why would he not disappear? He has even kept long in the House. He should have disappeared earlier. Anyway, I hear that somebody has taken over. UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects (Rome 24th June, 1995) Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts (Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu- Agyare) Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that WHEREAS by the provisions of article 75 of the Constitution, any treaty, Agreement, or Convention executed by or under the Authority of the President in the name of Ghana, is made subject to ratifi- cation either by an Act of Parliament or by a Resolution of Parliament, supported by the votes of more than one-half of all the Members of Parliament. IN ACCORDANCE with the said article 75 of the Constitution, the President has caused to be laid before Parliament through the Minister responsible for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, the UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects (Rome, 24th June, 1995) on 18th November, 2014. N O W T H E R E F O R E , t h i s Honourable House hereby resolves to ratify the said UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects (Rome, 24th June, 1995).
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Who are you? [Laughter]What is your name?
Mr Speaker, I am the Vice Chairman.
Mr Speaker, the Motion - item number 22, cannot be by the Chairman.
No, it was moved by the Hon Minister.
Mr Speaker, but who is he? We do not know. [Laughter] Mr Speaker, at least, the Hon Majority Chief Whip should have explained to this House where the Hon Chairman went to. [Interruptions] - Mr Speaker, it is not fair to us. My people were looking for an explanation from the Chairman
Thank you. I have received communication on where the Chairman was. So, Chairman, welcome back. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly. Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms, Geneva 29th October, 1971
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that, WHEREAS by the provisions of article 75 of the Constitution any Treaty, Agreement, or Convention executed by or under the authority of the President in the name of Ghana is made subject to ratification either by an Act of Parliament, or by a resolution of Parliament, supported by the votes of more than one-half of all the Members of Parliament. IN ACCORDANCE with the said article 75 of the Constitution, the President has caused to be laid before Parliament through the Minister responsible for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, the Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms against Unauthorised Duplication of their Phonograms (Geneva, 29th October, 1971) on 18th November, 2014. N O W T H E R E F O R E , t h i s Honourable House hereby resolves to ratify the said Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms against Unauthorised Duplication of their Phonograms (Geneva, 29th October, 1971).
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly. Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property - Paris 14th November, 1970
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that WHEREAS by the provisions of article 75 of the Constitution any Treaty, Agreement, or Convention executed by or under the authority of the President in the name of Ghana, is made subject to ratification either by an Act of Parliament or by a resolution of Parliament, supported by the votes of more than one-half of all the Members of Parliament. IN ACCORDANCE with the said article 75 of the Constitution, the President has caused to be laid before Parliament through the Minister responsible for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (Paris, 14th November 1970) on 18th November 2014. N O W T H E R E F O R E , t h i s Honourable House hereby resolves to ratify the said Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (Paris, 14th November 1970).
Mr Speaker, I beg second the Motion.
Are we doing item number 28? What are we doing please? Item number 28, there is no Motion, it is a Resolution.
Mr Speaker, it is the Resolution that the Hon Minister moved and it is being seconded.
So, it is a Resolution and not a Motion?
It is a Motion for the adoption of the Resolution.
The Hon Minister has moved the Motion for the adoption of the Resolution and the Chairman has seconded it.
Thank you. Hon Minority Leader is looking at me. Hon Minority Leader, we are on item number 28, the Hon Minister moved for the Resolution to be adopted. Hon Minority Leader, what is your position?
Mr Speaker, I guess we all understand the mood the Hon Minister is in
We all understand the mood the Hon Minister is in so, maybe, we would just allow her. Otherwise - She just said that “I am moving for item as listed 28” and the Chairman in seconding the Motion also said, “I am seconding the adoption of the Report.” Mr Speaker, the two cannot be right but judging from the mood of the Hon Minister, maybe, you have to allow that - [Laughter]-There is a degree of incorrectness in what the two of them had done. Mr Speaker, unless she wants to go and amend what she said earlier.
Hon Minority Leader, we are very happy for you being so gracious, by stating that having regard to the mood and so on. Substantially, we understand what is going on. So, I will put the Question. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Chairman of Committee? Before we continue, Hon Members, when you look at the Report, item number 6.2 talks about legal requirement. I think Hon Joe Osei-Owusu raised it earlier. When we finish moving the Motions, I will come back to item number 6.2 on the Report. Hon Agbesi, I am just giving you notice, so that we could discuss and see whether this is the correct position, and whether we have to make consequential orders. So, as they are going on, those who are interested, especially, Hon Agbesi, Hon Joe Osei-Owusu, Hon Papa Owusu- Ankomah and Hon Isaac Osei Item number 6.2, Deputy Chairman of the Committee, continue to move the Motions. Look at item 6.2, read it and I will invite you to tell me whether it is the correct position or we have to look at it.
Mr Speaker, it is becoming very prevalent these days, where you see cultural properties in various countries being destroyed and I think that is the reason the awareness and consciousness of the Government came into being. Though it was a Convention as maybe, the Chairman or someone close to my age, it had not been adopted, but now it is becoming very common, especially, in West Africa, that is why we are trying to bring the Convention to the House. Mr Speaker, I agree with the fact that we should domesticate this Convention, because an armed conflict may be between two groups in the country and then there would be destruction. At that point, if there is no local law that is available, it may be very difficult to prosecute. So, we need to find a way to come here with an Act of Parliament that could actually enforce this Convention.
Mr Speaker, I rise on Standing Order 109 (1) and also article 75 (2) (b) of the Constitution, that is about the Execution of Treaties.
Could you read it, please. Start with the Standing Orders, please.
Standing Order 109 (1). “No Question for decision in the House shall be proposed for determination unless there are present in the House not less than one-half of all Members of the House…” When you come to article 75 (2) (b), we are talking about a resolution of Parliament supported by the votes of more than one-half of all the members of Parliament. Considering the numbers that we have here, and the fact that we are considering treaties, we are less than one-half of Members so, we cannot take this very important international treaty. It is constitutionally untenable and affronts Standing Order 109 (1).
Mr Speaker, I was just talking to the Chairperson of the Committee on Mines and Energy because my Hon Colleague Deputy had just left. There are a number of committee meetings and my Hon Colleague knows that. They were in the Chamber and we all agreed that when it is necessary, like we always do, they would join us. I would like to plead with my Hon Colleagues to carry on while we call all the committees to close. Currently, the Privileges Committee, Mines and Energy Committee, Education Commit tee and Publ ic Accounts Committee are meeting. When you put these Committees together, you have more than a hundred Hon Members out there and I think that, if my Hon Colleague
Mr Speaker, is the Majority Chief Whip telling us that those in the Committees are busily participating in the work on the floor? The Constitution and the Standing Orders are clear,and it says that the Members must be present. The Hon Member is only raising a concern which is very legitimate and I do not think that the framers of the Constitution did not know how Parliament would operate. Indeed, the Constitutional Assembly itself had committees, and when they sat in plenary, they sometimes had some committees sittings. So, they knew what they meant. This is an international treaty as the Hon Member has said, and we need a minimum of about 138 of us to take this decision. I do not think we are even up to 60 in this room and we are committing the whole country of Ghana to such major decisions. What is so urgent about these treaties that we cannot defer taking them until we have better representation?
Mr Speaker, Hon Isaac Asiamah is a senior Member of the Committee of Mines and Energy. We were just together and he beckoned me that ‘Chairman, I would be back soon. I did not know that he came here to raise an issue. In fact, I am shocked, because his seat and documents are there and we did not allow anybody to sit on his seat, because he told me that he would be coming soon. So, I am surprised that he could leave me and come. Several Committees are meeting -
So, what are you doing here? Did you come to call him to go back?
No; I have a Paper to lay, and the understanding with Mr Speaker in the morning was that,when it was time, they would call me to come and lay it and go back. So, I would have called him, so that together, we would go and continue and finish.
Mr Speaker, I can understand the concerns raised by Hon Asiamah. But I think we should advert our minds to what was said by the Majority Chief Whip and permit the Report to be adopted, then wait to have more people, when we are discussing the Resolution, which is the subject matter of the point that he raised. I believe that, we could go on with the adoption of the Report and then when it comes to the Resolution, we could see how to resolve the matter which has been raised.
Mr Speaker, I believe that, much as the intervention of the Majority Chief Whip makes a lot of sense, it is constitutional that in adopting resolutions, we require the participation of at least, one-half of all Hon Members in this Chamber. Even in respect of Motions, to the extent that, they ultimately involve the putting of a Question and a decision has been made, you require one-half to be in this House. But I appreciate the point that has been made by the Hon Majority Chief Whip and I am unappreciative of the point that was made by Hon Sorogho because, I do not know the import of what he wanted to make, because it clearly offends our rules of procedure. Perhaps, we could imagine that we have the numbers and that the numbers may be with us in spirit, otherwise, it will be difficult to continue. I would like to imagine that, we have more than one- half. [Interruptions] You insist that we are more than one-half? If you insist there would be a headcount. [Laughter] I am imagining that we have the numbers but if you insist Hon Sorogho, then we would have a head-count.
Hon Minority Leader, I would like to join you in your imagination, and agree with you that we would operate by presumption that we have more than one-half. But as you said, if people insist, then, we would have a headcount. Now, there is no insistence from any quarters, so we would proceed.
Hon Asiamah, your name was mentioned.
My name was mentioned by Hon Sorogho.
He was inviting you to -
First of all, I went to protest the meeting that was being held and he knows it. I would not talk about the grounds of my protest, but he knows I protested. So, that is established. I wanted to raise the point that, I did not attend the meeting because of the protest I raised before the Chairman of the Mines and Energy Committee, on grounds that I would not disclose here and he knows it. So, he should not raise that matter here. That meeting,in my view, should not have taken place, I protested and he knows it. Mr Chairman, you know I protested? So, that is the point.
Mr Speaker, I was just going to remind my Hon Colleague that, the Hon Minority Leader has spoken on this matter, so, we should proceed.
Hon Isaac Osei, I will come to you. Did you want to contribute on item number 30? But you supported the Motion. I am sorry. I pointed out paragraph 6.2 to you, and so, I thought that you wanted to speak.And you remember I mentioned your name in respect to paragraph 6.2, that I would recognise you for paragraph 6.2, and so, I thought - I am very sorry.
Mr Speaker, I think we would move to the Resolution, which is item 31.
Item number 31? Yes, Hon Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts? Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that WHEREAS by the provisions of article 75 of the Constitution, any Treaty, Agreement, or Convention executed by or under the authority of the President, in the name of Ghana, is made subject to ratification either by an Act of Parliament or by a resolution of Parliament, supported by the votes of more than one-half of all the Members of Parliament. IN ACCORDANCE with the said article 75 of the Constitution, the President has caused to be laid before Parliament through the Minister responsible for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, the Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict with Regulation for the Execution of the Convention (The Hague, 14th May, 1954) on 18th November, 2014. N O W T H E R E F O R E , t h i s Honourable House hereby resolves to ratify the said Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict with Regulation for the Execution of the Convention (The Hague, 14th May, 1954).
Chairman of Committee, do you second the Motion?
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved Accordingly.
Hon Osei-Owusu, paragraph 6.2 on the Report, please? I have recognised you and this is because, you raised the issue of -
Mr Speaker, the issue of reducing the Resolutions into our municipal laws - [Interruptions.]
Please, the Hon Minority Leader was not here. Hon Minority Leader, page 7 of the Report, if you have a copy. The question was raised that, we must transform all these Conventions and so on into Acts of Parliament, to domesticate them so to speak. But the Committee has observed
Mr Speaker, the gravamen of the issue that was raised by the Hon Osei-Owusu is in crafting legislations. Some of them are situated in the context of conventions or protocols and the memorandum that precedes that Bill, would have to relate to that but this is usually not done.So, we are all left in quandary as to what it is that we are doing. These things ought to be taken into consideration and what I heard the Hon Chairman and Minister move, in respect of the Regulation for the execution of the Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. We are dealing with the Regulation to enforce that Convention. When he got up, he was dealing with the Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. The examples that he provided relate to the Convention. The Regulation itself which is dealing with the enforcement of the Convention, we are not too sure what is contained in it.
We are not sure where it is contained in the Ghanaian law.
Mr Speaker, I just want to make a general comment that, considering the age of some of these Conventions, it is possible that there are other Conventions that Ghana has signed up to, which we have not by resolution, adopted in this House. I would urge the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and the Attorney-General's Department to take a look at all these Conventions which we have accepted at international fora, and try to internalise them within our laws, by bringing them to this House for passage by resolutions. Many of our Hon Members here, were not born in 1954 when the last Convention that we just passed, were in existence and today, they are being called upon to adopt this resolution. I think we should be able to do this timeously in the future. If we get a list of all these Conventions and Protocols which we have not internalised into our domestic laws.
Yes, Hon Yieleh Chireh? We have finished on - We are just considering this part of the Report.
Mr Speaker, to add to what my Colleague, the Hon Isaac Osei said. First of all, we have to make sure that we get all these Protocols that we have asked our representatives to sign on our behalf, properly ratified by this House. If it is done and there is still a further requirement to domesticate whatever it is, in our laws to make them enforceable in Ghana, we do so. We have so many of them loosely hanging about in many areas. But, it is because, there is one central Ministry responsible for this and that is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration. So, each Ministry should be encouraged to go and fish out all the Protocols that they have, which would benefit them. If you ask the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration to bring them on their own, they have so many things to attend to. They have so many meetings to attend. They would not do so. I am happy that the Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts has taken this lead, and I would urge her to go and fish for more, so that she can bring them for ratification. You have to motivate the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration to be able to do this, and you need to collaborate with them. I am urging that almost all the Ministries that have similar situations should do so. They should not wait and say that it is the duty of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration; they went and ratifed it and asked the Ambassador to sign it. No, it is our duty to as a country to ratify all the protocol that we have entered into. Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity.
Mr Speaker, I observed that the Committee took note of the need to domesticate some of the Conventions. But they argued that, the existing laws take care of practically every one of the Conventions. I would like to know for example, what existing law protects the intellectual property owners of the intricate kente designs? They have mentioned them, it is one of the Conventions. What laws are there to protect them? There is another one that talks about protecting cultural heritage, not exporting artifacts and so on. I would like to know what would happen to me if my grandmother's intricate cultural heritage, which has fallen into my possession or ownership, if I export them what law would I have breached? I think we need to be sure that indeed, the existing laws take care of all these issues that the Conventions we have ratified cover. Otherwise, we may be falling short of covering all the areas. I am not sure that we have sufficient and adequate laws covering all the Conventions. What we should look at, is to take each of the Conventions we have adopted and pitch them against the existing laws, point out what deficiencies if any. If they fall in line with the existing laws, then, we would be satisfied. But as it is, I for example am not sure I would have breached any rule if I took my grandmother's artifact and sent it to la Cote d'Ivoire to sell, or for example, the most recent beautiful Kente designs, I take a photo of them at Bonwire, and took them to Cote d'Ivoire and they weaved it for me would I have breached any laws of the country? These are the concerns that I was raising and I wish that the Committee, working with the Ministry would point out and probably assist the House, by coming out with policies and new laws that would take care of all the designs. Mr Speaker, I noticed that my Friend, the Hon Minister is panicking. She should not worry. We will support her. I will attend her father's funeral, but let us make sure that we respect the Constitution. So, she should please be patient, as we whip more Hon Members in. Once we get the numbers, we would pass them so that she can have peace to go and mourn her father.
I thought we had already passed the Resolution, but Hon Members we have passed the Resolution.
Mr Speaker, did we overlook the Constitution and pass the Resolution?
I was acting on the advice of Leadership -- Hon Members Order! I have already put the Question. Hon Members, let us please have some order. When the question was raised by the Hon Member about the constitutional provision, a discussion ensued in which the Hon Minority Leader indicated that, if you were not going to insist, then, he was also not going to insist on a headcount. Then the Hon Deputy Majority Leader, added his voice to that of the Hon Minority Leader and said that, he had withdrawn any insistence. I think the insistence was coming from Hon Amadu Sorogho, and it was withdrawn. So, we have already put the Question. Hon Members, when the question of quorum was raised, my view had been that there was an assumption that, there was a quorum unless we have done a headcount.
Mr Speaker, so far as
I am taken a little aback, because I thought that when the point was made, that the Committee on Mines and Energy, the Commitee on Privileges, Committee on Education, and the Public Accounts Committee were meeting, we are aware of the matters that were raised and so let us make progress. Hon Members, paragraph 6.2 which can be found on pages 7 and 8 of the Report that has been adopted, indicates among other things that, there is no evidence that there is a cause to revise or draft a new legislation when Ghana ratifies these Conventions. That is the view of the Committee, and following the advice of the Committee, or having adopted the Report of the Committee, we have ratified the Conventions. But subsequent to that, Hon Members have raised concerns whether this is the true position or fact. I therefore direct that, even though we have ratified the Conventions, the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, in consultation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, confirm the accuracy or otherwise of the observation; the Observation by the Committee on pages 7 and 8 of the Report. The reason is that, if the Attorney- General and Minister for Justice examines it and sees that the Committee was wrong, the Minister would then be in the position to bring laws to the House in conformity with article 75 2(b). I assume that the Committee did not seek professional advice from the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice. Hon Chai rman , d id you seek professional advice from the Attorney- General and Minister for Justice?
Mr Speaker, the Deputy Attorney-General and Deputy Minister for Justice is a member of our Committee.
Hon Chairman, did he give his professional advice?
We did not seek professional advice.
I believe this does not ramify our ratification.
Mr Speaker, no! It does not. We would seek clarification on the matter.
Yes, I have directed that you seek clarification on the matter and report accordingly. The Clerks will follow [Pause.] I have been advised that, I should withdraw that direction and refer the matter to Leadership to discuss with the Committee and the relevant Ministries.
Mr Speaker, item number 4 on the Order Paper Addendum 2. Mr Speaker, I am advised that we should start from item number 1 on the Addendum Order Paper 2.
Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion as the Chairman has already given the reasons. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly. Terms of a Receivables- backed Trade Finance Facility between COCOBOD, et cetera - 2015/2016 Crop Season Chairman of Committee (Mr James Klutse Avedzi): Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Finance Committee on the Terms of a Receivables-backed Trade Finance Facility, between Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and a Consortium of Banks and Financial Institutions, with the Government of the Republic of Ghana as Guarantor, for an amount of US$1,800, 000,000.00 for the purchase of cocoa beans in Ghana for the 2015/2016 crop season. Mr Speaker, in doing so, I present your Committee's Report. Introduction The two requests were respectively presented to the House by the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr Emmanuel Seth Terkper. on Wednesday, 8th July, 2015 in accordance with article 181 of the 1992 Constitution. Mr Speaker referred the respective requests to the Finance Committee for consideration and report in accordance with Order 169 of the Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana. Pursuant to the referral, the Committee met with the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr Emmanuel Seth Terkper, Hon Deputy Minister for Finance, Mr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board, Dr Stephen K. Opuni and officials from the Ministry of Finance and Ghana Cocoa Board and considered the referral. The Committee is grateful to the Hon Minister and his Deputy, the Chief Executive officer and officials from the Ministry and Ghana Cocoa Board for attending upon it. Reference The Committee referred to the following additional documents during its deliberations: The 1992 Constitution of Ghana The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana; Ghana Cocoa Board Act, 1984 (PNDCL 81) and the
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion and to say a few words and leave my Hon Colleague on the other Committee, who was also present, to also say some few words because it is quite relevant. Mr Speaker, f i rs t , we know that, the amount being borrowed is US$1,800,000,000.00 and part of the reason, though it is not stated, is to later on help stabilise our currency, since COCOBOD would give all the proceeds to SPACE FOR PAGES 6,7 &8 SPACE FOR PAGES 6,7 &8 CONT.
Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the floor. Yes, I guess that we are all concerned about the production level, particularly for this year and for the ensuing year. This year, we went to the loans market to look for two billion dollars but we ended up getting 1.7 billion dollars and in doing so, we pledged to go to the market with about 950,000 metric tonnes. There are questions whether we would be able to produce this quantity or not. But again, when we raised this question in this House, the Hon Minister assured us that we only collateralised about 625,000 metric tonnes and we are in the process of being able to settle the loan when we invited COCOBOD and the Ministry on this particular loan of US$1,800,000,000.00. Again, the production has been targeted at 900,000 metric tonnes. The CEO of COCOBOD and his able staff convinced us that, they were able to do at least the 900,000 metric tonnes, because the nature
SPACE FOR GRAPH - PAGE
Thank you. I would put the Question - Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, the issue of the amounts that are required for the purchases of cocoa each year was resurrected in the House last week. The projection for last year was supposed to be 950,000 metric tonnes. It was later on revised downwards to 850,000. Sub-sequently, we are informed that actual purchases amounted to 654,000 metric tonnes. But the issue that was raised was, first, what happens between the estimated purchases, for which the loan was secured and the actuals that were produced and purchased? Mr Speaker, that is something that we must contend with. The second issue is, if indeed, last year we suffered this flump from 950,000 to 654,000, meaning that there was a deficit of over 33 per cent decrease in the projection, what then informs us that it would climb from that level to be able to purchase 900,000 metric tonnes this year? That is the first thing. Mr Speaker, the second thing is, earlier, even though amounts had been spent on the construction or reshaping of cocoa roads, the amounts that had been applied have come from the margins. But lately, we are witnessing a new scenario, where loans are procured to construct cocoa roads and then they are adjusted onto the amounts required for the purchases of the cocoa produce. Mr Speaker, that appears a bit worrying. Because, in my view, it should not be the COCOBOD that should be contracting loans for the construction of cocoa roads. As I said, originally, they used the margins to do that. So, today, if they are to fall on their own strength; in other words, having the amounts required to purchase cocoa beans with the amount required to construct cocoa roads, in that case, beforehand, we should know the roads to be constructed and the length of roads that would be constructed in a year, which requires certain amounts to do that. Otherwise, they cannot be done in vacuum as they are doing. For this year, they are projecting to use US$150 million, and we do not know the
roads that they are applying the facility on. Mr Speaker, before we contract loans to construct roads, we should know the roads the amounts would be applied on and we should know the length of those roads. That would help us to calculate the amounts required per kilometre. That would help us to determine whether we are going to have value for money or not. I believe the Hon Deputy Ministers for Finance here present agree with me - [Interruption.] I see them nodding their heads and I believe they agree with me. It is not proper. Mr Speaker, I would plead with them to come with better particulars on this. If we have to approve of it today, subsequent to that, let us know. Mr Speaker, I think we should also be emphatic where to apply the facility. From now on, it should never happen that we go for amounts to construct cocoa roads and we apply those facilities at Adentan. Do we grow cocoa at Adentan? - [Interruption] - No! I am saying that from now on, it should not happen -- [Interruption.]
Hon Akoto Osei, do you have a point of order?
No! Mr Speaker, point of information.
Do you have a point of order against your leader?
No! Mr Speaker, it is a point of information.
But he did not yield to you.
Mr Speaker, from Adentan, you can go to Mampong where there is cocoa - [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, I believe my Hon Colleague really wants to send us somewhere or to another planet to justify the application of this, but clearly as a House, I think we should come to some determination on this; that moneys for cocoa roads should be applied in cocoa growing areas. Mr Speaker, you would remember, the Hon Minister for Roads and Highways came here and assured us - [Interruption] - cocoa roads. Mr Speaker, the Hon Majority Leader is asking whether we apply moneys from gold only on gold roads. Now, there is galamsey in his backyard. So, we can apply moneys from gold in his village. But Mr Speaker, it is something that we should take into consideration.
Hon Majority Leader, do you want to raise a point of order?
Mr Speaker, yes, as a point of information. It is important for us to remind Hon Members that the first cocoa tree was in Osu, Accra. That is where cocoa started growing and so the cocoa roads are there too -- [Laughter.] -- Osu, by Tetteh Quarshie. That is where we had the first cocoa tree and from there, it was shared through - [Interruption.] Even now - We would try as much as possible to implement the principle but it should not just be that it must only be cocoa growing areas because they are moving. If they started from Osu and they are now at Akuapem, from Akuapem to Ashanti and from Ashanti, it could get to other areas too. And I do not want us to apply gold proceeds on only gold producing areas. That is the point that I am raising now.
Thank you. Yes?
Mr Speaker, I believe the Hon Majority Leader knows that cocoa roads have been defined by COCOBOD in the syndication of the loan - [Interruption.] They defined it and that is what I am referring to. They cannot go for a loan ostensibly to apply in cocoa growing areas and turn around to say that the first cocoa tree was planted at Osu, so they would want to bring it there. He cannot justify it that way. Mr Speaker, the last matter that I would want to raise is in respect of the amount of moneys that they have been raising for the purchase of cocoa. We are informed that once the facility is procured, it is not used in a single tranche for the purchase of the produce. It is recycled and averagely, they are able to recycle it two and a half times. That being the case, it would mean that if they are even producing 900,000 metric tonnes, they do not need monies to purchase 450,000 metric tonnes, because the produce does not come at one and the same time. They do the purchasing incrementally. So, over the season and in the season, they recycle it. They do so for at least two and a half times. Mr Speaker, in that case, why do they, in syndicating the loan, look at the value of the projection and secure the loan based on that? What is the certification? So, Mr Speaker, I believe that as a House, we may have to also delve further into whether it is indeed necessary.
Mr Speaker, I think what COCOBOD is projecting to buy during the crop season is 900,000 metric tonnes, but the quantity that would be collateralised would be 660,000 metric tonnes. So, even though what they are projecting to buy is 900,000 metric tonnes, they are not going for a loan that would buy same. So, I would just want to buttress the point the Hon Minority Leader is making, that they are not actually going for a loan that would buy the 900,000 metric tonnes, but only 660,000 metric tonnes.
Mr Speaker, it does not respond adequately to the recycling of the money for at least two and a half times. If it is 900,000 metric tonnes and it is two and a half times, it does not even respond to that. So, that is the first thing. Mr Speaker, the other point is what to do about the application of the amount, of which the collateralisation is in respect of 660,000 metric tonnes. What is the projected price per metric tonne? They would have to provide some indication because if it is for 660,000 metric tonnes, and they require a certain amount, they would project to purchase at a certain price. So, if he says to me that it is not required, I do not know about that. He should feed that information to this House.
Mr Speaker, in
Mr Speaker, much as I support the request and urge all of us to adopt this Report, I would want to know to what extent the Ministry has factored local processing into this, because considering the number of processing companies here, even if you take one of them, say Barry Callebaut Ghana Limited, you are talking of about 120,000 tonnes. To what extent has this been factored into this whole business that we are doing, because COCOBOD would still need to give the processors cocoa?
I think the Hon Minority Leader asked a question and I did not know whether it was properly answered. Let us look at it before we come to Hon Osei's question. The question was, do we need the entire sum? Or the sum is recycled, so we need less than the entire sum? I heard the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance talk about the actuals. He multiplied the projected 660,000 metric tonnes by the amount per tonne and he came to US$1.8 billion. He said that there was another 1.1 per cent and some other fee; he added it and he came to US$1.98 billion. But the Hon Minority Leader is saying that we do not need the full figure. What we need is two and a half - it is even less than that because the amount rolls over. So, perhaps, even if it is two per cent, maybe, we would need only half that amount, because we would buy it and then it would come back,we roll over and buy it another time. So, I thought that was what you were going to address, but I did not hear you do so. Unless you would address it later on. Hon Majority Leader, am I correct? I was waiting for that to be addressed. I thought the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance was going to address that. Hon Majority Leader, do you get the sense of the discourse going on?
Yes, Mr Speaker, I think the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance tried to explain the situation. If we are going for the projected 900,000 metric tonnes at US$3,000 per metric tonne, that would definitely take the figure to over US$2 billion. This is because, after that, we would have the 1.1 per cent top up. But because it is 660,000 metric tonnes, if we multiply it by the US$3,000, that takes us to US$1.8 billion plus the 1.1 per top up, then that takes us to US$1.98 billion. That is the explanation. Mr Speaker, but for cashflow purposes, they would need to make this projection. That is why this figure is given. The Hon Minority Leader has raised some key issues, particularly, the issue of the roads. This is because, if we are approving an amount in which there are some roads, we should know which roads. So, we could get the Hon Minister and COCOBOD to come to this House and lay bare the cards for us to all see. But it is good to try as much as possible, to have a dependable source of financing to construct roads for cocoa areas because of the cost of trans- portation and the impact it would have on the competitiveness of our pricing. The former Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOB, Hon Isaac Osei, has also raised a very key issue, which I believe the Ministry would be responding to. So, I think that we are on course.
Hon Minority Leader, you have not finished.
Mr Speaker, there have been several points of information and order in my intervention, but I would conclude. The leg that I was going to conclude on has already been raised by the Hon Member for Subin in respect of the local purchases. Mr Speaker, earlier, the arrangement had been that, the local industries, including Cocoa Processing Company, (CPC) would be fed with the lean crop season produces. Unfortunately, they are not getting them and they are compelled to buy the beans produced from the major crop season which is what they feed on. The combined strength of the industries is around 150,000 metric tonnes, that is what they are giving them. The least they supply them is about 150 metric tonnes and sometimes it goes as high as 250,000 metric tonnes. So, if one subtracts that from this, not-withstanding the cash flow issue that they are relating to, would one still require that amount? In any event, the Minister accepts that it is not 2.5, but two times that they do the cycling, which I may even challenge because, really, it is about 2.3 times close to 2.5 and we cannot say that it is just two times. But having said so, if one makes these deductions, one would certainly realise that we do not need those amounts that we have been giving to them and that is why I am saying that, from now on, better and further details should be provided to us. Clearly, it is for a lesser purchase, the 660,000 that they are talking about and the 654,000 that we had last year, close to 200 went to the local market, which meant that only about 354,000 was exported. Do we need that amount? I would want us to be very candid with ourselves. I am not imputing any motives, but we need to scrutinise these figures, plus the matter that was raised relating to roads and so on. Mr Speaker, let us be more scrutinuous than we have done if we want to have value for money and also ensure that, we do not overburden ourselves with these loans. It is good to have them to purchase the produces. Last year for instance, I know for a fact that, even after the approval, it took a while and for about three months, cocoa that was purchased could not be paid for, and even after we had approved of this and it had come, what was happening? Mr Speaker, we should caution that
these things should not happen again. Once we have it approved and the amounts come, they bounce into the accounts of the Bank of Ghana, we should be timeous in paying the farmers. Two months to three months of purchases and we are not paying, we allow some of these local shylocks to capitalise the plight of the farmers and milk them dry. Today, the average cocoa farmer over one year, produces just a little beneath seven bags of cocoa and that is supposed to take care of himself and his entire family.That is the average production for the whole year. Of course, we are talking about what would have to go to the labourer, that is one-third of it. Mr Speaker, so we should be very candid with ourselves, we want to improve the lot of farmers. Times were, when one entered any place and found the most beautiful of mansions, it belonged to a cocoa farmer. Today, nobody can do that, so we should be careful what we are doing. Thank you very much for this space granted me.
Thank you. Hon Members, having regard to the state of Business in the House, I direct that Sitting be held outside the prescribed period, in accordance with Standing Order 40 (3). Yes, Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I strongly support the call for openness for scrutiny, oversight and emphasis on local participation. I think that , we would try to programme a Business for COCOBOD together with the Ministry, to come before us in a Committee of the Whole, to go through these details together. I think the call is in good faith and I support it. But I would allow the Ministry to try to expatiate on some of the issues that have been raised so that they could clarify the doubts on the minds of Hon Members.
Mr Speaker, in winding up, I would wish to thank the Hon Minority Leader in particular, for the concerns he raised. Mr Speaker, though I agree that with the issue of cocoa roads, we should have brought the details to Parliament, obviously for the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs to look at. Mr Speaker, it is also important for us to know that, currently, due to the bad nature of roads that the hauliers are plying on to buy cocoa, COCOBOD is paying about 30 per cent of the margins on top of those using the bad roads. We are of the view that, if we fixed those roads, those 30 per cent markups that we give to cocoa hauliers, we would be able to save that. Mr Speaker, in future, we would be coming to the House with details of the cocoa roads that the COCOBOD is actually undertaking. If I may take you to the Committee Report, on page 5, you would notice that at the Committee level, we provided the details on the total utilisation of last year's syndication loan. Mr Speaker, we did provide the actual proceeds of the amount that is actually going to other operational cost elements and how much was used in buying the cocoa. On the issue of the estimation, I remember the matter came up strongly at the Committee, COCOBOD together with the Ministry of Finance did explain that in detail. We gave all assurances to the Committee that, we agreed that the cycle, if one looks at it this year, we have not been able to buy as much as projected. But we were of the view that, we would be able to do that going forward, based on the projections that we have received from COCOBOD. Also, based on the projection that we had from the external projectors, we believe that, we would be able to buy up to 900,000 metric tonnes. Mr Speaker, again on the issue of how much is going to the local producers, it was agreed that, we reserve 20 per cent of the total projected sales to local producers and in doing that, we assume that 20 per cent of the 900,000 metric tonnes would be going to the local producers or those who used the cocoa. Mr Speaker, we strongly believe that the total amount of 660,000 metric tonnes as collateralised, would be able to service that with the proceeds that we would get from COCOBOD.
Mr Speaker, we have worked past 2.00 o'clock and -
I have done that already.
Mr Speaker, I thank the Hon Minister for his explanations. I see that local processors are to be allocated 20 per cent which would be about 180,000 metric tonnes. This means that, with an installed capacity of almost 500,000 metric tonnes, even if one spreads it among the five leading processors, it would mean that the processors are unable to produce at their capacity, or the Ministry or COCOBOD would have to give them permission to import cocoa to feed their factories or else they cannot keep their staff and produce at about 30 per cent of their capacities. I do not know whether this is a policy which Government would be considering. This is because they certainly need to bring in more cocoa beans to feed their processing plants, else they simply cannot operate profitably.
I think as the Hon Majority Leader said, there are very critical issues that have been raised and a Committee of the Whole would meet the Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD as well as the Minister for Finance for further discussions on these issues. The Hon Deputy Minister is not the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) so, perhaps it is possible that he may not be in a position to answer some of these questions into detail. Hon Deputy Minister, I am saying that the Hon Majority Leader suggested that a Committee of the Whole should meet the CEO of COCOBOD and the Ministry of Finance, to answer some of these questions that have been asked; firstly, about whether there is enough to supply the local producers and secondly, about the cocoa roads, on the policy of transparency, we must know where they are. I think on that basis, we would reserve some of these issues for that meeting. The Hon Majority Leader would programme it into the Business of the House. So, I would put the Question.
Mr Speaker, before you put the Question, I would want to remind the Hon Deputy Minister that it is so important that the meeting must come on before we rise, so that Hon Members can be assured of the issue of the local production.
You said it is so important that?
I think the Hon Deputy Minister understands that - [Interruption] - Some of the issues raised, to assure Hon Members, because we would be moving to the next cocoa season and when we rise we would not come back again.
Hon Deputy Minister? Pardon me. All right. So, I think the Hon Deputy Minister would take this suggestion on board. Question put and Motion agreed to. Yes, item number? Alhaj i Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka: Mr Speaker, we have to finish with the Addendum. So, we move to item number 3 on the Addendum 2.
Item 3 on the Addendum 2? Hon Deputy Minister?
THIS HONOURABLE HOUSE
H E R E B Y R E S O LV E A S
Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion to adopt the Resolution. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Mr Speaker, we would take item number 4.
Item number 4. Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move that, notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 80 (1), which require that no Motion shall be debated until at least forty-eight hours have elapsed, between the date on which notice of the Motion is given and the date on which the Motion is moved, the Motion for the adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee on the Request for waiver of stamp duty amounting to US$18,000,000.00 on an Offshore Syndicated Receivables-Backed Trade Finance Facility of US$1,800,000,000.00 for cocoa purchases by Ghana Cocoa Board for the year 2015/2016 crop season, may be moved today.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to.
Mr Speaker, item number 5.
Item number 5. Hon Chairman of the Committee? Waiver of Stamp Duty on Purchases of COCOBOD for 2015/2016 Crop Season
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Finance Committee on the Request for waiver of stamp duty amounting to US$18,000,000.00 on an Offshore Syndicated Receivables-Backed Trade Finance Facility of US$1,800,000,000.00 for cocoa purchases by Ghana Cocoa Board for the year 2015/2016 crop season. Mr Speaker, the Report of the Committee has already been presented. I so move.
Hon Ranking Member?
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. This is consequential to the loan that we have just passed so I urge Hon Members to adopt it. Question put and Motion agreed to.
Mr Speaker, we would take item number 6 - The Resolution.
Hon Deputy Minister?
Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion for the adoption of the Resolution.
The Motion is moved and seconded. I would put the Question. Question put and Motion agreed to.
Mr Speaker, before we go to the Committee of the Whole, I would want to crave your indulgence so that we go back to the Order Paper for the day and then get some Papers laid before we move to Committee of the Whole.
Mr Speaker, item 7 on the original Order Paper.
Item 7 (a)?
Hon Muntaka, should we go to 7 (b)?
Rightly so, Mr Speaker.
7 (b) (i). Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, he has stepped out so we should just leave the rest.
The Hon Chairman of the Finance Committee has stepped out we should leave those ones and move to Committee of the Whole.
Mr Speaker, obviously, when we move to Committee of the Whole we would have to come back before we can adjourn. So, since he is just laying papers, we can do that, because the officials have been waiting for long and it is important that we move to the Committee of the Whole.
Hon Members, I direct that the House Sits in Committee to consider some urgent matters. 5.24 p.m. - Sitting resumed.
MR SECOND DEPUTY SPEAKER
Hon Majority Leader, I think there is nothing else so, we can adjourn. I was going to adjourn, but for the record, I was just wondering why the Hon Majority Leader and Hon Minority Leader are not adorned in their beautiful head gear or hats, which they wear with their traditional clothes, or whether the two of them have a reason, maybe, they could share it with us. Is it an indication of good things to come or bad tidings? We would like to understand what is happening. Hon Majori ty Leader, what is happening? Or you do not want to comment. It is 5.00 o'clock.
Mr Speaker, occasionally, one has to exhibit the beauty of the architecture in one's bodily constitution - [Laughter.]
He said occasionally, one has to exhibit the beauty of the architecture of one's head. I think you would agree with him.
The House was adjourned at 5:27 p.m. till Thursday, 16th July, 2015 at 10.00 a.m.
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