Hon Members, Correctionof the Votes and Proceedings. [No correction was made to the Votesand Proceedings of Wednesday, 3rdAugust, 2016.]
Hon Members, do wehave the Hon Chairman of the Committeeon Mines and Energy in the House? TheHon Minister too is not here.
I thought we could startwith the Petroleum (Exploration andPetroleum) Bill, 2016 but they are not in.So, what item do we take now?
Mr Speaker, the HonMinister for Environment, Science,Technology and Innovation is here; if wecan take item numbered 10 at page 6 ofthe Order Paper. [Pause.]
Mr Speaker, with yourpermission, I would want to apply for leave
to vary the order of business for the dayand take item numbered 10 on page 6 ofthe Order Paper.
Hon Chairman of theCommittee, item numbered 10 on the OrderPaper.
Mr Speaker, I begto move, that this Honourable Houseadopts the Report of the Committee onEnvironment, Science and Technology onthe Paris Agreement on Climate Change(December, 2015). Mr Speaker, in doing so, I present yourCommittee's Report. Introduction The Paris Agreement on ClimateChange (December, 2015) was laid inParliament on Monday, 4th July, 2016 bythe Hon Minister for Environment,Science, Technology and Innovation(MESTI), Mr Mahama Ayariga, inaccordance with article 75 of theConstitution and Order 185 of theStanding Orders of Parliament. TheAgreement was referred to the Committeeon Environment, Science and Technologyfor consideration and report to the House. Deliberations The Committee met on Tuesday, 19thJuly, 2016, to consider the Agreement. TheHon Minister and the technical personsfrom the Ministry were in attendance toassist the Committee in the deliberationsof the Agreement. The Committee isgrateful to the team from MESTI for theattendance. In considering the Agreement, theCommittee was guided by the followingdocuments: i. The 1992 Constitution of Ghana ii. The Standing Orders ofParliament Memorandum on the Ratificationof the Paris Agreement on theClimate Change (December,2015); and iii. Ghana's Intended NationallyDetermined Contribution(GH - INDC) and AccompanyingExplanatory note. Background In December, 2015, in Paris at the UnitedNations Climate Conference (COP21), allthe 195 member countries including Ghanaadopted the first-ever universal, legallybinding global climate agreement, whichbecame known as the Paris Agreement. The Agreement sets out a global actionplan to put the world on track to avoiddangerous climate change by limitingglobal warming to well below 2°C. The Paris Agreement re-enforces theUnited Nations Framework Convention onClimate Change (UNFCCC), which wassigned by the Parties to a landmarkagreement to combat climate change toaccelerate and also intensify the actionsand investments needed for a sustainablelow carbon future. The Paris Agreement again seeks tobring all nations into a common cause, toundertake ambitious efforts to combatclimate change and adapt to its effects,with enhanced support to assist developing countries to do so. In otherwords, the Paris Agreement seeks to charta new course in the global climate effortand is due to enter into force in 2020. As part of its obligations under theAgreement and mindful of its nationaldevelopment agenda that seeks toachieve the long-standing objective ofbecoming a fully-fledged middle-incomeeconomy, Ghana in 2015, out-doored itslong-term climate actions through itsIntended Nationally DeterminedContributions (INDCs) which containsthe country's ambitious efforts to build alow-carbon and climate resilient economy.This is also spelt out in the medium-termdevelopment agenda (Ghana SharedGrowth Development Agenda II - GSGDAII), the anticipated 40- year socio-economic transformational plan and theuniversal sustainable development goals. The Paris Agreement on ClimateChange Content of the Agreement i. Mitigation: Where partiescommunicate their first nationallydetermined contributions andsubmit its respective instrument ofratification or approval of the ParisAgreement. Parties to theAgreement are to come with real,measurable and long-term benefitsrelated to the mitigation of climatechange, specific scope of activities,verification and certification ofemission reductions resulting frommitigation activities by designatedoperation entities. ii. Adaptation: Develop modalitiesto recognise the adaptationefforts and to review in 2017 thework of adaptation-related institutional arrangements underthe Convention. The Green Climate Fund shallexpedite support for the leastdeveloped countries for theformulation of national adaptationplans to be consistent with theimplementation of country policies,projects and programmes. iii. Loss and damage associated withclimate change impacts: Toestablish a clearing house for risktransfer that serves as a repostingfor information on insurance andrisk transfer and implementcomprehensive risk managementstrategies and develop recom-mendations for integratedapproaches to avert, minimise andaddress displacement related tothe adverse impacts of climatechange. vi. Finance: Financial resourcesprovided to developing countriesshould enhance the implemen-tation of their policies, strategies,regulations and their climatechange action plans with respectto both mitigation andadaptation to contribute to theachievement of the purpose ofthe agreement. The agreement recognises theimportance of adequate andpredictable financial resourcesincluding results-based paymentfor the implementation of policyapproaches and positiveincentives for reducingemissions from deforestationand forest degradation and therole of conservation. Sustainable management offorests and enhancement offorest carbon stocks as well asalternative policy approachessuch as joint mitigation andadaptation approaches for theintegral and sustainablemanagement of forests. Encouraging the coordination ofsupport from public and privatebilateral and multilateral sourcessuch as the Green Climate Fund. The agreement decides that theGreen Climate Fund, the GlobalEnvironment Facility, the leastDeveloped Countries Fund, andthe Special Climate change fundshall serve the agreement. v. Technology development andtransfer: The agreement aims atstrengthening technology,research, development anddemonstration to undertakeupdating of technology needsassessment as well as theenhanced implementation oftheir results. vi. Capacity building: The agree-ment decides to build capacityaimed at addressing gaps andneeds, both current and emerg-ing in implementing capacitybuilding. The agreement also identifiesthe promotion and developmentand dissemination of tools andmethodologies for the implemen-tation of capacity-building,fostering global, regional,national and subnationalcooperation. Identifying andcollecting good practices,challenges, experiences, lessonslearned from work on capacity-building by bodies establishedunder the convention. Fostering dialogue, coordination, collabora-tion and coherence among relevantprocesses including exchanginginformation on capacity buildingactivities and strategies of bodiesestablished under the conversion. Parties to the agreement are toexplore ways of enhancing theimplementation of training,public awareness, publicparticipation and public accessto information to enhanceactions under the agreement. vi. Transparency of action andsupport: The agreement decidesto establish a capacity-buildinginitiative for transparency in orderto build institutional and technicalcapacity to enhance transparency.National institutional capacitieswill be strengthened to report ontransparency-related activities inline with national priorities. The agreement also requests theGlobal Environment Facility tomake arrangements to supportthe establishment and operationof the capacity-building initiativefor transparency as a priorityreporting related needs throughvoluntary contributions tosupport developing countries. Emphasis is placed on methodo-logies for reporting on financialinformation on support received,use of the support impact,estimated results, and informa-tion on the social and economicimpact of response measures. vii. Global stocktaker: The agree-ment requests an ad hocworking group to identify thesources of impact for the Global Stock taking and provideinformation on the overall effectof the nationally determinedcontribu-tions, the state ofadaptation efforts, supportreceived, experiences, prioritiesand mobilisation of resources. viii. Non-party stakeholders: Theagreement welcomes the effortsof all non- party stakeholders toaddress and respond to climatechange including those of civilsociety, the private sector,financial institutions, cities andother subnational authorities. It urges such stakeholders toscale up their efforts and supportto reduce emissions and buildresilience and decreasevulnerability to the adverseeffects of climate change anddemonstrate these efforts via theNon-State Actor Zone forClimate Action Platform. It also recognises the need tostrengthen knowledge, technologicalpractices and efforts of local communitiesand indigenous peoples related toaddressing and responding to climatechange and establish a platform for theexchange of experiences and sharing ofbest practices on mitigation andadaptation in a holistic and integratedmanner. The Paris Agreement opened forsignature on 22 April 2016 -- Earth Day -- at the UN Headquarters in New York.The agreement will enter into force 30days after 55 countries (that account forat least 55% of global emissions) havedeposited their instruments of ratification.
Under the agreement, governmentsagreed to: i. a long - term goal of keeping theincrease in global averagetemperature to well below 2°Cabove pre-industrial levels; ii. aim to limit the increase to 1.5°C,since this would significantlyreduce risks and the impacts ofclimate change; iii. the need for global emissions topeak as soon as possible,recognising that this will takelonger for developing countries; iv. undertake rapid reductionsthereafter in accordance with thebest available science. v. come together every 5 years toset more ambitious targets asrequired by science; vi. report to each other and thepublic on how well they aredoing to implement their targets; vii. track progress towards the long-term goal through a robusttransparency and accountabilitysystem; viii. strengthen societies' ability todeal with the impacts of climatechange; ix. provide continued and enhancedinternational support foradaptation to developingcountries. Financial Support The developed countries willcontinue to support climate actionto reduce emissions and buildresilience to climate change impactsin developing countries. Other countries are encouraged toprovide or continue to provide suchsupport voluntarily. Developed countries intend tocontinue their existing collectivegoals to mobilise USD 100 billionper year by 2020 through the GreenClimate Fund. The implementations of the actions areexpected to help attain low carbon climateresilience through effective adaptationand greenhouse gas (GHG) emissionreduction in the following priority sectors: Sustainable land use including foodsecurity; Climate proof infrastructure; Equitable social development; Sustainable mass transportation; Sustainable energy security; Sustainable forest management; and Alternative urban waste management. Observations The Committee made the followingobservations: i. By ratifying the Agreement,Ghana stands to benefit financialand technological assistanceavailable from institutionsestablished under the Convention and the ParisAgreement. ii. Ghana will continue to participatein the New Market Mechanisms(NMM) established by the ParisAgreement to assist developedcountries to achieve sustainabledevelopment through projectsundertaken by the developingCountries to assist them meettheir obligations under the ParisAgreement. iii. The Agreement is designed toassist developing countries suchas Ghana to adapt to the effectsof climate change. The ParisAgreement will thereforefacilitate the development andtransfer of environmentallysound technologies that canincrease the resilience ofdeveloping countries to theimpact of climate change. iv. Ghana can also access fundsfrom funding windows createdby the Paris Agreement, e.g.Adaptation Fund, Green ClimateFund and other funds pledgedby developed countries toaddress the impact of climatechange. It is worthy to note thatGhana is already putting in placethe necessary institutional andcapacity arrangements to ensurethat Ghana accesses theinternational climate funds. This is more important becauseGhana will need about US$22.24billion investments to meet the31 actions indicated in theIntended Nationally DetermineContribution (INDC) submittedin December, 2015, to theUNFCCC. v. It is also a unique opportunityto demonstrate that Ghana isfully committed to addressclimate change and makebusiness case for scaling upongoing measures andinitiatives, especially in areas ofthe economy that are vulnerableto the impact of climate change.Ghana can make a business caseas in the submitted INDCs to theUNFCCC for support. vi. The Paris Agreement alsoprovides opportunities to thePrivate Sector to contribute tonational development throughtechnological transfer and theprovision of clean energy. ThePrivate Sector will therefore beable to benefit from windows ofsupport emanating from theAgreement. vii.Furthermore, local institutionswill also benefit from capacitybuilding programmes andtechnical support created underthe Agreement to meet theincreasing challenges tosustainable development andimprove on environmentalquality. Recommendation and Conclusion The Committee has thoroughlyexamined the content of the ParisAgreement on Climate Change (December2015), in the light of its object and purposeand is of the view that the Agreement isconsistent with the Constitution and otherrelevant statutes of Ghana and will also beof immense benefit to the nation. The Committee accordingly recommendsto the House for adoption of the ParisAgreement on Climate Change (December2015). Respectfully submitted.
Mr Speaker, Ibeg to second the Motion ably moved bythe Hon Chairman of the Committee onEnvironment, Science and Technology. Mr Speaker, I have no difficulty inurging this House to adopt the ParisAgreement on Climate Change. MrSpeaker, issues of climate change are ofparamount importance now and I wouldeven want to advise that whatever we doas a nation, even in planning our cities,we dovetail issues of climate change intothem. We have to make sure that at leastwe make the cities adaptable to issues ofclimate change such that issues offlooding would not occur as they do everyyear. Besides that, Mr Speaker, our forestsare depleting at a very high rate, and as anation, we need not even be told to adoptthis Report before we start taking care ofsome of these things. I would want to urgeeverybody to support this particularMotion which has been moved. Question proposed.
Mr Speaker, I beg tosupport the Motion and to make a fewcomments. Mr Speaker, first of all as a nation, weare in agreement that climate change hasbecome a global concern and so Ghanahas to move to ensure that we respond tothis clarion call to control greenhouseemission, and for that matter temperaturerise. We cannot be wrong in that context. Mr Speaker, this is not the first of itskind. However, what is critical to me as anHon Member of this House is theintendment of this nation's contributionto ensure that we play our role in achieving the objectives of this all importantAgreement. Mr Speaker, again, capacity building isa matter of prime concern. We are awaredeveloped countries and other donoragencies have devoted some huge sumsof funds in our march towards ensuringthat this agreement sees the light of day.We need to look at our capacity as a nationin terms of building ability and base ofour human resource, to be able to accessthis funding equitably. Mr Speaker, talks and activities onclimate change should not only be limitedto board rooms; it should be extended tothe public. Public awareness is of primeimportance and we should make it ourdaily issue. It should not be seen as a matter thatis preserved for some technocrats,because just as the Hon Minority DeputyChief Whip said, issues of environmentalconservation have a direct interface. Wemay have to advert our minds to that andensure that the general public is educatedenough about this. Mr Speaker, in conclusion, if you lookinto the Agreement in the Report, the roleof the developed countries is critical inensuring that developing countries areable to fulfil their part of the bargain. Adeveloping country such as Ghana,should consistently call on developedcountries or developed jurisdictions tofulfil our part of the Agreement so thateventually, it does not become lopsided,where again, Ghana would be seen as adeveloping country and not treated fairlyas expected. Mr Speaker, transparency is important.As we seek to achieve the objectives ofthis Agreement, let us do things in atransparent manner. It is one of the corerequirements of the Agreement. Mr Speaker, with these few words, Isupport the Motion. Thank you for the opportunity.
Mr Speaker, thank you for theopportunity. The December 2015 ParisAgreement on Climate Change has beenhailed worldwide because of thecircumstances that surround the KyotoProtocol. Globally, this has been accepted andthe major players or polluters or emittersof greenhouse gases such as the UnitedStates of America (USA), China, India, andthe European Union (EU) have all hailedthis Agreement and accordingly appendedtheir signatures to the Agreement. Mr Speaker, in Paris, almost all the onehundred and ninety-five parties to thisconference led by the various Heads ofState or Heads of Government werepresent to see to it that this Agreementwas reached. Climate Change has becomea topical global issue because of its directeffect on the very existence of mankindon this planet. Indeed, this is the onlyplanet that we have, so any action thatwe need to take to preserve the planetEarth now for both the present generationand for the future generation is requiredglobally. In fact, climate change does not requirevisa from any country to get to adestination. Whether a country is situatedin the tropics or the temperate regions itwould experience the effect of climatechange. Mr Speaker, the signs of climatechange have proved that it is real andnot abstract. It is real; we are seeing themelting of ice, which is leading to sea level rise thereby wiping away some lands,especially in the Far East; we areexperiencing global warming, rise intemperatures and we are seeingunpredictability in terms of rainfallpatterns and intensity. These are mattersthat affect us directly, and Indeed, globalaction is required to address it. Mr Speaker, it has been proven thatclimate change is basically related toenergy production. About eighty per centincidence of climate change is related toenergy production. In energy production,production of power, we use fossil fuels,coal, crude or gas and in the processcertain greenhouse gases such as carbon(iv) oxide, methane and other gases areemitted or released into the atmosphere.If these gases are not controlled, theydirectly affect the Ozone layer and thatleads to climate change. Mr Speaker, that is the situation wehave on our hands. Back home in ourcountry, we are now making progress incrude oil production, which is also a majorsource of emission of greenhouse gases.So how do we as a country contribute toarrest this situation of climate change? Mr Speaker, technically, the Agreementrequires that globally, we limit temperaturerise to not more than two degrees Celsius(2oC). That is what the technicalagreement says. This means that allemissions from any part of the worldshould not be more than two degreesCelsius since they contribute totemperature rise globally. Now the question is, as a country, whatdo we stand to gain by ratifying thisAgreement? Mr Speaker, in Ghana theincidence of greenhouse gas emission isinsignificant. Nonetheless, the effects ofClimate Change is felt by us and othercountries in sub-Saharan Africa. Ourwater bodies are drying; we are witnessing
desertification. So, any action that isrequired to address this issue, we all haveto put our best foot forward the andensure that we save this planet. We have outlined some issues whichany nation that is a party to thisAgreement is required to contribute inaddressing the effects of thisphenomenon. This is termed theNationally Determined Contributions. Once we ratify this Agreement and it isdeposited in the United NationsFramework Convention on ClimateChange, as a nation we would be requiredto strictly go by the contributions that weintend to make to ensure that we addressthe issues of climate change. Ourcontributions would be in terms of energy,our biodiversity. Mr Speaker, on energy, I am aware thatthis House has passed the RenewableEnergy Act and that is fantastic. This isbecause we can use renewable energy toaddress the issue of climate change. So, Mr Speaker, we need to commendourselves. What we need to do is theinvestment that is required in the energysector and related sectors so that ournationally determined contributions canbe felt. Mr Speaker, in making it so, globally,out of --
Hon Member, wind up.
Mr Speaker, I wouldbe doing so. A fund is supposed to becreated with an amount of about onehundred billion dollars for countries toaccess annually. Between the periods2020 and 2030, we are going to experienceenergy transition globally. The energytransition would be from the traditional sources of energy production to therenewables. So as a country, we need toset our priorities in this regard. In terms of our contributions,according to the Ministry of Environment,Science, Technology and Innovation, anamount of US$22.6billion would berequired by the country in addressing ourclimate change issues for the period 2020to 2030. Mr Speaker, I have just provided thisinformation to the House so that we getto know the impact of the subject matterthat we are talking about. We would becalled upon to adopt this Report andconsequentially pass the Resolution toratify this Agreement. On this note, I thank you for theopportunity.
Hon Chairman of theCommittee, look at page 5 of yourCommittee's Report, the last paragraph.When did Ghana sign the agreement? Yousaid it was opened for signature on 22ndApril, 2016 at the UN Headquarters, butyou did not tell us in your Report whenGhana signed it. They have to sign beforeyou ratify. So, when did Ghana sign? HonChairman of the Committee, this is yourReport.
The Paris Agreementopened for signatures on 22nd April, 2016and Ghana signed on that day. MrSpeaker, look at page 5, it states and withyour permission I quote: “The Paris Agreement opened forsignature on 22nd April 2016 - EarthDay - at UN Headquarters in NewYork.”
Is it stated when Ghanasigned?
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Where is it?
It is not actually in theReport, they did not say when. But Ghanasigned on that day.
The Agreement must besigned before Parliament ratifies it; it is arequirement. That is why you have to stateit in your Report for the records.
All right. We would makethat amendment.
When did Ghana sign?
On that day.
Are you sure of that?Were you there? [Laughter.]
The Hon Minister wasthere.
Mr Speaker,Ghana --
That is the only question.I am not calling on you to debate thismatter. For the records, I just want you toconfirm that we signed.
Mr Speaker, Ghana signedthe Agreement on the 22nd of April thisyear.
Very well, you haveconfirmed it.
Mr Speaker, let meadd that the Hon Minister for ForeignAffairs and Regional Integration, HonHannah Tetteh signed the Agreement onbehalf of this country on 22nd April, 2016.
Hon Members, thatbrings us to the end of the debate. Question put and Motion agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg tosecond the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Mr Speaker, I begto move, that this Honourable Houseadopts the Report of the Committee onConstitutional, Legal and ParliamentaryAffairs on the Agreement between theRepublic of Ghana and the UnitedKingdom of Great Britain and NorthernIreland on the Transfer of SentencedPersons. In so doing, I present your Committee'sReport. Introduction The Agreement between the Republicof Ghana and the United Kingdom ofGreat Britain and Northern Ireland on theTransfer of Sentenced Persons waspresented to Parliament and read the firsttime on Tuesday, 17th May, 2016. In accordance with article 75 of theConstitution and Order 179 of theStanding Orders of the House, the Rt HonSpeaker referred the Agreement to theCommittee on Constitutional, Legal andParliamentary Affairs for considerationand report. The Committee met to deliberate on theReferral. In attendance were the HonAttoney-General, Minister for Justice,Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, andthe Deputy Attorney- General and DeputyMinister for Justice Dr Dominic AkuritingaAyine, Acting Solicitor- General, MrsHelen Ziwu and other Officials from theMinistry. The Committee is most gratefulto them for their assistance. Reference The Committee referred to thefollowing Documents during itsdeliberations. i. 1992 Constitution ii. Standing Orders of Parliament iii. Transfer of Convicted Person'sAct 2007 (Act 743) as amended iv. Convention on the Transfer ofSentenced Persons (1983) and v. Additional Protocol to theConvention on the Transfer ofSentenced Persons (1997). Background The issue of transfer of convictedpersons has become a topical issue ininternational human rights law, leading tothe emergence of internationalconventions on the transfer of convictedpersons. An example is the EuropeanUnion Convention on the Transfer ofSentenced Persons. The European Union Convention onthe Transfer of Sentenced Persons(Strasbourg, 21.11I.1983) affordedconvicted persons the opportunity ofserving their sentences in their homecountries. By the Convention, therepatriation of a sentenced person shouldnot only be in the interest of the stateparty concerned but also in the interestof the prisoner. The substance of the European UnionConvention on the Transfer of SentencedPersons was adopted by theCommonwealth Secretariat as a ModelLaw for Commonwealth countries. Since Ghana is a Member of theCommonwealth, the Transfer of ConvictedPersons Act, 2007 (Act 743) was enactedto govern the transfer of convicted persons between Ghana and otherCountries in tine with the Model Law ofthe Commonwealth. The Act provides thatthe consent of the convicted person hasto be sought before the transfer of thatconvicted person from or to Ghana. Section 4 of Act 743 spells out theconditions under which a convictedperson would be transferred from aSentencing State to an AdministeringState. The Act empowers Ghana to sign abilateral agreement with any country inrespect of the transfer of sentencedpersons. Following the enactment of theTransfer of Convicted Persons Act, 2007(Act 743), the Government of Ghanasigned a Bilateral Agreement betweenGhana and the United Kingdom (UK) inrespect of the transfer of sentencedpersons. Eight (8) years after the implementationof the Law, Ghana was compelled to amendthe Act in line with the Additional Protocolto the Convention on the Transfer ofSentenced Persons. The Amendment provided for somecircumstances under which the consentof a convicted person would not besought by the Sentencing State. Theamendment was therefore to waive theconsent of sentenced persons in certaincircumstances such as on a deportationorder or where the convicted personattempts to escape from lawful custody,prior to the end of serving the sentence. The amendment to Act 743necessitated the signing of a newAgreement between the Government ofGhana and UK to incorporate the changesthat had been made to the Act. TheAgreement was signed by the twoCountries on the 12th of November, 2015,hence the need for ratification of theAgreement by Parliament for it to comeinto force. Object of the Agreement The Agreement ultimately seeks towaive the consent of sentenced personsin certain circumstances including thefollowing: (a) where the convicted person triesto avoid incarceration by fleeingfrom the Sentencing State to theAdministering State prior to theconviction of that person. (b) where the convicted personescapes from lawful custody ofthe Sentencing State afterconviction but prior to theconvicted person serving the fullterm of the sentence. (c) where the sentence passed on aconvicted person or an adminis-trative decision consequential tothat sentence includes anexpulsion order or a deportationorder or any other measure as aresult of which that convictedperson is not allowed to remain inthe territory of the SentencingState. Observation As indicated earlier in this Report, theCommittee observed that the need forratification is as a result of the amendmentmade to Act 743 in respect of the waiverof the consent of the Prisoner to betransferred under certain circumstances. The Attorney-General informed theCommittee that in spite of the waiver, theAttorney- General still reserves the poweror right to give consent before the transferof a sentenced person would be effected. The Committee was also informed thatthe Government of UK is committed to itscontinuous assistance to Prison reformsin Ghana including the expansion and
refurbishment of Ghana's prison facilities,as part of the implementation of theAgreement. The Committee was further informedby the Attorney- General that extensiveconsultations were made with relevantbodies involved in the implementation ofprisoner transfer in the Country before theAgreement was signed. The Institutions consulted includedthe Ministries of Interior and ForeignAffairs & Regional Integration as well asthe Ghana Prisons Service. Theinstitutions would also be involved inproviding guidelines to facilitate theimplementation of the Agreement. Conclusion The Committee having scrutinised theAgreement is of the opinion that theimplementation of the Agreement wouldnot compromise the human rights ofsentenced persons. Ghana stands tobenefit from the Government of UK in thereform of its Prison system. The Committee therefore recommendsto the House to adopt its Report and ratifythe Agreement between the Republic ofGhana and the United Kingdom of GreatBritain and Northern Ireland on theTransfer of Sentenced Persons. Respectfully submitted.
Mr Speaker, Ibeg to second the Motion and in doingso, I wish to place on record that Ghana isa member of the Commonwealth countries,and following the InternationalConvention on Transfer of SentencedPersons, this House passed the Transferof Convicted Persons Act, 2007 (Act 743). Mr Speaker, following additionalprotocol, a section of the said Act hasbeen amended to take out the element of consent in certain limited circumstances.Based on the Act, Ghana had a bilateralagreement with the United Kingdom (UK),but with the amendment of the Act whichset out limited circumstances based onwhich the consent of a convicted personmay be waived, there was the need to havean Agreement. That is the Agreement under reference.Refusal to ratify this particular Agreementmight be seen as if we are avoiding theimplementation of our own law. Theratification of this Agreement is in line withthe amendment to the Transfer ofConvicted Persons Act, which we did in2015. On this note, I would urge the Houseto adopt the Committee's Reportaccordingly.
Hon Members, we havepassed the law so this should not be acontroversial matter. It is in pursuance of the law that thisHouse passed that. Hon Members, can I take onecontribution from each Side, then I wouldput the Question? Question put and Motion agreed to
Hon Members, itemnumber 9; Resolution - by the HonAttorney-General and Minister forJustice. Hon First Deputy Speaker to take theChair.
Mr Speaker, I begto second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Mr Speaker, if we can takeitem number 34.
Hon Deputy MajorityLeader, which item is that?
Mr Speaker, it is thePresidential (Transition) (Amendment)Bill, 2016.
Hon Members, we wouldbe rising soon, so why are we taking theSecond Reading of a Bill that we cannotpass? What would we really achieve bydoing the Second Reading of a Bill whichwe cannot pass through a SecondConsideration Stage? By the time we return from recess, wewould have forgotten the principles thatwe raised at the Second Reading. Unlessthere are some reasons for it.
Mr Speaker, the majorbusinesses that we have left are the Billsfor the Finance Committee. But they arein a meeting. So we would want to use thetime to clear this while we wait for them tojoin us so that we can take the Bills.
Item numbered 34 - bythe Hon Attorney-General and Ministerfor Justice.
BILLS -- SECOND READING
MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
Mr Speaker, I begto second the Motion which has beenmoved, and in doing so, I present yourCommittee's Report. Introduction The Presidential (Transition) (Amend-ment) Bill, 2016 was presented toParliament and read the first time onTuesday, 8th March, 2016. In accordancewith article 106 (4) and (5) of theConstitution and Order 179 of theStanding Orders of the House, the Rt. Hon Speaker referred the Bill to the Committeeon Constitutional, Legal and ParliamentaryAffairs for consideration and report. The Committee met to deliberate on theReferral. In attendance were the Attorney-General and Hon Minister for Justice, MrsMarietta Brew Appiah-Oppong andOfficials from the Legislative DraftingDivision of her Ministry. Reference The Committee referred to thefollowing Documents during itsdeliberations. i. 1992 Constitution; ii. Standing Orders of Parliament;and iii. Presidential (Transition) Act,2012 (Act 845). Background Until the enactment of the Presidential(Transition) Act, 2012 (Act 845), there wasno legal blue print that governed thetransition of political power in theCountry. Before the enactment of the Law,transitions in the Country had beencharacterised by administrative lapses,forced evictions and seizure of vehicleswhich left in their wake, acrimony, tension,ill-feeling and inter-party hostility. The Presidential (Transition) Act, 2012(Act 845), was enacted to establisharrangements for the political transfer ofadministration from an outgoingdemocratically-elected President to anincoming democratically-elected Presi-dent and to provide for related matters.The Law made provision for account- ability, institutional clarity and structuredtime for managing the transition processto avert the challenges experienced inprevious transitions. However, when Act 845 was firstimplemented, some challenges wereexperienced. Arguments were advancedto the effect that, even though Act 845makes provision in Section 1 for thetransfer of power to an incumbentPresident re-elected for a second term, itappears vague in some respects. In the case where an incumbent isre-elected, Act 845 simply states that thePresident shall designate members of theTransition Team. A limit was not set onthe size of the Transition Team.Furthermore, Act 845 did not makeprovisions for the tenure of office of theTransition Team. Sections 11 and 12 of Act 845 whichdeal with the issue of the swearing-in ofHon Members of Parliament and theelection of the Speaker two days beforethe inauguration of the President posed achallenge as to whether the inaugurationof Parliament two days before dissolution,was not in conflict with article 113 of theConstitution. Also, Act 845 provided for theappointment of an Administrator-Generalto be responsible for the management ofthe Executive estate, assets as well as thetransition process. However, it does notempower the Office of the Administrator-General to deal with possible breaches,hence the introduction of the Bill toelaborate on some of the provisions ofthe Act. Object of the Bill The Bill seeks to amend thePresidential (Transition) Act, 2012 (Act845) to deal with the lapses identified in
the Act by incorporating provisions thatwill ensure an effective and smoothpresidential transition in the Country. Observation The Committee observed that the Billin Clause 1 amends Section 1 of Act 845,by providing for the constitution of aTransition Team, within twenty-fourhours after the declaration of the resultsof the presidential election, in accordancewith article 63 of the Constitution. TheClause also makes provision for themembership of the Transition Team in asituation where the incumbent is electedas President as well as in a situation wherea new person is elected as President. The Bill in Clause 3 introduces a newSection 3A to provide for the tenure ofoffice of members of the Transition Team.The tenure is limited to “within six weeks”after the election of the President inaccordance with article 63 of theConstitution. The Committee was of the opinion thatthe period “six weeks” is short andtherefore has proposed an amendmentseeking to extend the period to “eightweeks” instead. The Committee also noted that Clause6 of the Bill amends Section 10 of the Acton the vacation of official residence byproviding the minimum and maximumperiod within which a person occupyingofficial residence is to vacate theresidence. The clause further empowers theAdministrator-General to evict a personin occupation of an official residence in asituation where the person ceases to holdoffice on the assumption of office of anewly elected President and that personrefuses to vacate the residence withinthree (3) months after ceasing to holdoffice. As indicated afore, Sections 11 and 12of Act 845 which deal with the issue ofswearing-in of Members of Parliament andthe election of the Speaker two daysbefore the inauguration of the Presidentposed a challenge because of theprovision in article 113 of the Constitution.Clause 7 of the Bill however, proposes“within twelve hours” instead of the “twodays” to abridge the time. The Committee considers the “twelvehours” more reasonable and urgesHonourable Members to support it. The Committee noted that the Ministerresponsible for Justice is given the powerunder Clause 8 of the Bill to makeRegulations for the effective implementationof the Act. The Regulations are to prescribethe form of handing over notes for effectiveimplementation of the Act. Conclusion The Presidential (Transition) Act, 2012(Act 845) was enacted as a legal blue printto guide Presidential transitions in theCountry and forestall confrontations thatmay be associated with transitions. However, it has been noted that thereare lapses in the Law which need to beaddressed in order to have smoothtransitions. It is the expectation of the Committeethat the passage of the Presidential(Transition) (Amendment) Bill, 2016 wouldallow for effective implementation of theLaw as a way of removing the lapsesexperienced in the implementation of theAct. The Committee recommends to theHouse to adopt the Report and pass theBill subject to the amendments proposedin the attachment. Respectfully submitted.
Mr Speaker, I beg tosupport the Motion and in so doing, Iwould like to make a few observations. Mr Speaker, Act 845 came into force in2012. It has been realised that the Actwhich has been in operation for a whileseriously falls short in certain provisions. Mr Speaker, one of the serious defectsin relation to this Act which this Billintends to cure is that, where theincumbent President is re-elected, the Actdoes not make any provision for thenumber of members that should constitutethe transition team. Mr Speaker, this creates a situationwhere the incumbent President who has been re-elected to have the tendency toappoint members who may be too manyor too few. In a situation where thetransition team comprises members whoare too many, there is the tendency thatthe team would become too unwieldy andthere is the possibility of it not being ableto work effectively. Mr Speaker, the Bill intends to cure thisdefect so that when the incumbentPresident is re-elected, there is a limit withrespect to the number of persons that theincumbent President who is re-elected canappoint. There is the certainty and theteam would be in the position to work veryconveniently and effectively. Mr Speaker, another critical issue thatthe existing Act fails to address is thecapacity given to the Administrator-General to execute some of his or her work.The Administrator-General per this Bill isbeing given the capacity to evict allpersons who after the expiration of threemonths still continue to occupy officialresidence of the Government. Mr Speaker, the present Act, which isAct 845, fails to address that issue. We allknow that in every legal proceedings,capacity is very crucial. There arises achallenge in a situation where theAdministrator-General does not have thecapacity to institute legal proceedings toevict persons who occupy officialresidence beyond the three monthslimitation period. Mr Speaker, this Bill intends to curethe defects in relation to the inability ofthe Administrator-General to evictpersons who continue to occupy officialresidence in spite of the three monthslimitation period. Mr Speaker, another observation thatwe made had to do with the swearing in ofthe newly elected Member of Parliament.
HonMember, thank you very much. I will put the Question. This is anamendment Bill. Question put and Motion agreed to. The Presidential (Transition) (Amend-ment) Bill, 2016, was accordingly read aSecond time.
Mr Speaker, item number33 — page 16 — The Second Reading ofthe Public Holidays (Amendment) Bill,2016. Mr Speaker, my attention has beendrawn to the fact that —
Hon DeputyMajority Leader, do you want us to dealwith — The Petroleum (Exploration andProduction) Bill, 2016 at the ConsiderationStage?
Mr Speaker, yes — itemnumber 45.
Very well. Hon Members, item number 45 on theOrder Paper — The Petroleum (Explorationand Production) Bill, 2016 at theConsideration Stage. BILLS — CONSIDERATIONSTAGE Petroleum (Exploration andProduction) Bill, 2016
Very well. Hon Members, starting from clause 38 Clause 38 — Licence to install andoperate facilities for transportation,treatment and storage of petroleum.
Mr Speaker, Ibeg to move, clause 38, subclause (2),delete and insert the following: “A person shall not commenceinstallation and operation of a facilityif that person does not have a permitgranted by the Commission.” Mr Speaker, this is to allow not onlythe Commission but the variouscontractors, to come under that premit sothat any time at all one wants to installany of those facilities, the person would need a permit from the Commission. TheCommission can have the supervision andknow what exactly is happening. Question put and amendment agreedto. Papa Owusu-Ankomah — rose -- Mr Speaker, it is just that I believe Ihave no objection to the new clause,except that “A person shall not commenceinstallation and operation of a facility…”—what is a facility?
“A person shall not commence theoperation of a facility —” Mr Speaker, clause 38 (1) says; “Aperson shall not install or operate a facilityfor transportation, treatment or storagewithout a licence…” So, the ‘facility' refers to facility fortransportation, treatment or storage.Already, it says, “A person shall not installor operate a facility…” why do we thenneed to commence — and it says, “Aperson shall not commence theoperation”.
So MrSpeaker, presumably, in subclause (1), itreads, you “shall not install a facility”without a licence. So I really do notunderstand the import of the amendment.He is not adding any value.
Chairmanof the Committee, do you see the pointthe Hon Member made? The commence-ment of installation -- [Pause.] Yes, Hon Minister?
Mr Speaker, there is clearlya procedure for a licence for theinstallation and a licence for the operationof the facility.
Mr Speaker, ifyou read the headnote, it states; “Licence to install and operate facilitiesfor transportation, treatment and storageof petroleum”. So it is not supposed totalk about anything different. Andsubclause (1) says: “A person shall not install and oroperate ...” -- the amendment talks aboutcommencement of installation. If you donot have the licence to install, how canyou get the licence to commence?Therefore, what is the real intention of thisamendment? It has been a mischief?
HonMembers, it is just a question of choice ofwords.
I think the installationshould not be here. It is the “operation”,so I perfectly understand what the HonMember said Mr Speaker. We can furtherdelete the word in the amendment that wehave proposed to read as follows: “a person shall not commenceoperation of a facility if that persondoes not have a permit granted bythe Commission”.
HonMember, look at the original rendition,does it not fall on all fours with what youare now proposing? Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, yesterday, wehad a meeting with the EPA on this,because they brought some amendments.
Mr Speaker,you need a license to install or operate afacility. The clause 2 says: “A person shall not commence theoperation ...” They are now adding“installation” and “operation” and I donot understand what they are adding. Mr Speaker, if it is the EPA which isdemanding that it must issue thePetroleum Commission, already, you shallnot commence the operation of a facilityunless you have a permit granted by theCommission and you shall not install oroperate a facility without a license.
Mr Speaker, I think theamendment must be abandoned because,what the amendment seeks to address isaddressed in clause 2. So I think the pointthe Hon Member raised is correct.
Yes, HonMember for Pru East?
Mr Speaker, theoperator or whoever is installing thefacility, apart from the Minister's approval,must have a license or a permit from theCommission before the installation begins. The Petroleum Commission in grantinga permit, must also ensure that the practice-- Fortunately, I happened to have been the first Chief Executive -- The practiceis that, the Commission would require ofone a permit from EPA before theCommission issues the license.
If that is thecase, then we should state that it is a permitfrom EPA. Over here, it is talking aboutthe Commission. That is why it is notdifferent. If we are talking about the EPA,then let us say so --
HonMembers, let us go over it again. Do we,in the light of what has been raisedabandon the proposed amendment to letthe subclause 2 remain as it is or we needto still amend it? If so, what kind ofamendment are we talking about?
Mr Speaker, Istrongly believe that the amendment isnecessary. It is just like saying that oneneeds to get Parliamentary approval to dowhatever one would want to do, forexample, in terms of loans. But we all knowthat when we say ‘Parliamentaryapproval', it would definitely be laid andreferred to the Finance Committee. If wesay approval from the Finance Committee,you are cutting short the chain. Mr Speaker, when we say ‘theCommission', the Commission would notlisten to you until you have EPA approval.It is part of what they require to give youthe approval. So, if you say EPA, what issaid in the law is that, then the Commissionand other things that they have to do willbecome irrelevant. The Commission would never listen toyou as part of their requirements. So if wego to the actual Act of the Commission,we would see that they are mandatingthat they would have to talk to EPA. Mr Speaker, it is important that we leaveit the way it is. But when we want tosimplify it and make it look directly likeEPA, what would happen is that, people can use that, and if that happens aftergetting the EPA's approval, one would notneed to get any other approval or certificatefrom the Petroleum Commission. Mr Speaker, I think that the amendmentis necessary.
Mr Speaker, let me explainvividly what we were told. When the Planof Development (POD) is approved by theMinister, it indicates that the contractorcan go ahead with the design implicitly --that was how they explained it. In designing, one needs the design,construction, installation and operationand with these, the PetroleumCommission wants to be part of it. So,irrespective of the approval of the POD,Petroleum Commission would want toensure that the right thing is done,therefore the proposal for this.
Can we hearfrom the Hon Minister? -- I would cometo you, Hon Member.
Mr Speaker, it is very clear.There are two things -- I do not knowwhen that discussion took place. We needa license to install and we need a licenseto operate. The provisions are here and Ibelieve that that amendment is not needed,so we should leave it.
MrSpeaker, I agree with the Hon Ministerthat, the amendment is not necessary.Everything that is needed before theMinister which is in clause 38 (1) shouldinclude whatever EPA comments. So it isnot necessary and I think that we shouldgo by what is already in the original Bill.
HonChairman of the Committee, you haveheard the sentiments.
Mr Speaker, if youwould recollect, there was a petition fromEPA to Mr Speaker. This petition wasreferred to us by Mr Speaker and hedirected that we should meet with EPA toincorporate their concerns. Mr Speaker, that meeting was heldyesterday morning and it turned out thatEPA was still holding the 2014 Petroleum(Exploration & Production) Bill, - If youwould recollect, that one has beenwithdrawn and all the amendmentsincorporated into that of the 2016 Bill. They were not aware that a lot of theirconcerns had already been taken care ofin the 2016 Bill. With this particular one,the Petroleum Commission gave anexample as FPSO that they can also do,but as it stands now, it does not coverthem. So they would want to make surethat, if they want to do the type of job asFPSO, which is transportation andinstallation, they have to get a permit fromthem. That is where they are introducing -- Mr Speaker, if what is already there cancure, I have no problem abandoning it sothat we can move forward. But that wasthe reason which was given by thePetroleum Commission.
Yes, can wehear you, Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, I have aproblem with the rendition: “A person shall not commence theoperation…” It should be:
Yes, HonMinister, I would like to hear from you afterconferring with --
Mr Speaker, the only changewe are trying to make here is to say inclause 2 that, and I beg to quote: “A person shall not commence theoperation of a facility if that persondoes not have a permit granted bythe Commission.” I think we are trying to take out,“referred to in subsection 1”. The reasonis that, for example, there are companiesthat have already been given permit tobuild the FPSO. If we make reference tosubclause (1), it means that they do notneed a permit to operate. So, Mr Speaker, all we need to take outis, “referred to in subclause (1)” and therendition in subclause (2) would be: “A person shall not commence theoperation of a facility if that persondoes not have a permit granted bythe Commission.” That is what we would want.
HonMember, is this the new amendment youwant?
Yes, Mr Speaker.
HonChairman of the Committee, are you inagreement?
Mr Speaker, I think wecan accept that one. It makes it easier andtidier. So, the new rendition would read; “A person shall not commence theoperation of a facility if that persondoes not have a permit granted bythe Commission.” It is the same thing.
Very well. Hon Members -- [Interruption.] Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker,the “referred to” in subclause (1) is whatthe Hon Chairman of the Committee iscalling for its deletion. [Interruption.] Now, Mr Speaker, the example that hecited in respect of the FPSO, that is astorage facility. [Interruption.] It is astorage facility -- [Interruption.] So, they are there. The storage facilityis captured in subclause (1). So, if there isanother reason, he can explain becausethe storage facility that he refers to, iscaptured in subclause (1).
Mr Speaker, for example,there is a current issue at the PetroleumCommission with one of the operators. The operator is arguing that theirapproval is derived from the plan ofdevelopment because it has beenapproved, so they have the right to buildan FPSO and operate it. The Petroleum Commission said that,the fact that we have approved the planof development and they have built thefacility does not mean that they have allthe licence. We would still want to makesure, in consultation with other agenciesin Ghana, that they are operating thatfacility safely. So, we would still have togive the permit to operate that FPSO. So, the second clause tries to ensurethat the Petroleum Commission becomesvery relevant in the building operation ofthe facility, by making sure that they givethem permit.
Yes, HonMember for Sekondi?
Mr Speaker,the only difference between theamendment and the original is that, theyhave added “installation”. Mr Speaker, Ibeg to quote: “…shall not commence installationand operation…”
“A person shall not install or operatea facility without a licence grantedby the Minister.”
Now, theyare creating two stages. The Hon Ministergives that approval, then, subsequently,the Commission gives one the licence.
No! MrSpeaker, the Commission gives one thepermit to operate.
Very well.That is fine. So, there are two stages one has to gothrough. First, at the end of the Minister,and subsequently, the PetroleumCommission.
Mr Speaker, itis there in subclause (2). That is why I donot understand. If a person shall notcommence the installation and operation-- [Interruption.] -- Is that it?[Interruption.] Very well.
Yes, HonRanking Member of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, let us sayit is an overcure. What does it spoil? Itdoes not cause any commotion orconfusion. Mr Speaker, look at the first one. Thereis a specific reference to the Hon Minister.Then, we move on to the second one, andhere, we emphasise the Commission. So,we talk about admission of installationand operation. Mr Speaker, there is really not much init. I think we should make some progress.
Yes, HonMinority Leader?
Mr Speaker,what is missing in the subclause (2) arethe words, “installation and”. That is whathe has added in his amendment. They arejust two words, “installation and” insubclause (2). We do not need to delete “refer to insubclause (1)”. This is because thevarious aspects of transportation,treatment or storage are captured insubclause (1). All that we need to do is toinsert “installation and” in line (1), so thatit would read:
Yes, HonChairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, can theHon Minority Leader give us the correctrendition as he has just done?
It is the samething, please.
The reason is that, ifwe read the first one, we would always --[Interruption.]
Mr Speaker,why does he not wait for me to finish. I would agree with the Hon Chairmanof the Committee's amendment if theintention is that, after the Hon Ministerhas even given the licence to install, oneneeds a permit from the Commission tocommence installation. I would not havea problem if that is the intention. But it israther the convoluted way of deletingeverything and just adding “installation”.We just need to insert “installation”. Thatis the intention, please. [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, what the Committee saidis that, even after one has obtained alicence from the Minister to install, heneeds a permit to commence installation.That is all they are saying.
So, how canwe couch it in such a way that thisintention is captured?
Mr Speaker, itis the same thing but the only differenceis that, they have added ‘installation and'.I was not clear about the intention behindthe amendment. Mr Speaker, I now understand that,after the licence by the Hon Minister, oneneeds a permit from the Commission tocommence installation. That is all theywant to add to it. [Interruption.] Alhaji Muntaka -- rose --
Yes, can youmove your amendment?
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 38 (2), before “operation”,insert “installation and”. The new rendition will read: “A person shall not commence theinstallation and operation of afacility referred to in subsection”. Mr Joseph Y. Chireh -- rose--
Yes, HonMember for Wa West? Order! Order!
Mr Speaker, the first sub-clause says, we should get a licence toinstall. Now, the second one is aboutoperation. So, in my view, one needs alicence to start the installation process butfor one to operate, one needs a permit. Mr Speaker, therefore, if we want afurther amendment to this, [Interruption.]What is the licence for? It is to allow oneto install.
Mr Speaker,we have the Hon Minister and theCommission. The Hon Minister issues alicence to install. Now, what thisamendment seeks to do is to say that, evenafter one has received a licence from theHon Minister to install, one needs a permitfrom the Commission to commence one'sinstallation. That is what the Committeerecommends.
Mr Speaker, what is theproblem about the Committee's recommen-dation? We should vote on it. It is correct.
Mr Speaker, now,the clause 38 (2) should be: “A person shall not commenceinstallation and operation of afacility if that person does not have apermit granted by the Commission”.
HonChairman of the Committee, are you allright with that kind of rendition?
Mr Speaker, if youread the amendment which is beingproposed, it is the same. So, let us justaccept this amendment and move ahead. Mr Speaker, what we are doing, we willall come to the same point. So, I still standby the amendment as advertised so thatwe can move ahead. It is the same thingwe are all explaining.
Mr Speaker, you may putthe Question so that those who do notwant it, may reject it but those of us whosupport it, we would vote for it.
HonMembers, very well. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 38 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 39 -- Application to Install andOperate Facilities
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 39, subclause (1), lines 3 and4, delete “an environmental and socialimpact assessment” and insert “scoping”. Mr Speaker, at that level, we do notneed it because one would not have beenable to get the environmental assessmentbut one only needs a scoping plan andthat is enough for it to be accepted. MrSpeaker, it is when one goes beyond thispoint that one needs that but for this, atthe initial stage, one only needs a scopingplan.
HonMembers, very well. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 39, subclause (2), lines 3and 4, delete “and an environmental andsocial impact assessment” and insert“scoping”
Very well. Hon Members, it is consequential. Question put and amendment isagreed to. Clause 39 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 40 -- Conditions for grantingof a licence to install and operate facilities
Mr Speaker, it doesnot stand in my name, it stands in thename of the Hon (Dr) Donkor but I haveno problem accepting to move it.
Yes, HonMember, it is in your name.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 40, subclause (1), add the followingnew paragraph: “(d) decommissioning plan”. Mr Speaker, we are just going to add a(d) to subclause (1), that the requirementshould include a “decommissioning plan”. Mr Speaker, with installations, whetherthey are pipeline installations or FloatingProduction Storage and Offloading(FPSOs), it becomes an internationalpractice to have a decommissioning planright from the onset. For some of them,monies may even be set aside fordecommissioning, therefore, incorporatinga ‘decommissioning plan' at the beginningis consistent with international bestpractice.
Mr Speaker, Iam asking whether it is just like mining.He needs to explain it to us. I support theamendment. [Laughter.]
Very well. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 40 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 41 ordered to stand part of theBill. Clause 42 --Third party use oftransportation, treatment and storagefacilities.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 42, subclause (9), line 1,delete “may” and insert same after“Minister”. Mr Speaker, this is to make itcompulsory for the Commission to consultthe Hon Minister. So, if one says, ‘mayconsult the Minister', it means that thediscretion is given to the Commissionwhether they should do it or not. But theyhave to consult the Hon Minister so that“the Minister” comes before the “may”. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 42, subclause (10), line 2,delete “may” and insert same after“Minister”.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove,clause 42 -- subclause (10), line 2,delete “may” and insert same after“Minister”.
Mr Speaker,this is something enlightening. I know thatthe Commission is the body establishedto oversee the management while the HonMinister deals with the generalauthorisation. I would just want to knowthe rationale behind this amendment, that,even after the Hon Minister has completedhis job, when it comes to theimplementation, which supposedly is theresponsibility of a Commissioner, theCommission should consult the HonMinister. Probably, there must be a reason,if the Hon Minister could explain it to us.
Mr Speaker, it does not help,because if you look at the PetroleumCommission Act 821 -- the Functions ofthe Commission under paragraph (j) saysthat the Petroleum Commission: “shall advise the Minister onmatters related to petroleumactivities …” Clearly, the Petroleum Commission inthis function is the technical advisor tothe Hon Minister. So, it is important thatthey consult the Hon Minister in thatsense. Dr Donkor -- rose --
Yes, HonMember for Pru East?
Mr Speaker, installationsare major decisions. The Commission's rolemay sometimes change configurations andsince the Hon Minister has custody of theoverall policy, it is important that, the HonMinister is consulted. Mr Speaker, but theCommission is not only an advisor to theHon Minister. When it comes to ResourceManager, the Commission on its own isthe Resource Manager for the country.Thank you.
Very well. So, we would go ahead and put theQuestion with regard to the rest of theamendments concerning clause 42. Question put and amendments agreedto. Clause 42 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clauses 43 to 45 ordered to stand partof the Bill. Clause 46 -- Plugging and abandon-ment of well.
HonMember for Pru East?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 46, subclause (3), line 2, after“manner”, insert “consistent withinternational best practice and”. Mr Speaker, the rationale for this is that,sometimes national standards could belower than international best practice,because of fluidity of technology.Therefore, if we insert this clause, thenwe benchmark the responsibility ofoperators to the highest possiblestandards, where our national standardmay even be lower.
Mr Speaker, the amendmentcould be supported.
HonMinister, I did not hear you.
Mr Speaker, Ibelieve he said that the amendment isacceptable.
Very well. I would put the Question. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 46 ordered stand part of the Bill. Clauses 47-48 ordered to stand part ofthe Bill. Clause 49 -- Compliance
HonMember for Pru East?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 49, subclause (2), line 4, after “Act”,insert “and any other applicableenactments” Mr Speaker, this is because there are?
Mr Speaker, there isno problem with that. It is consistent withmost of the laws that we have passed.There may be new enactments, so, it is allright.
HonChairman of the committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 52, subclause (2), line1,before “sub-contractor” insert “or” andin line 2, delete “or the Corporation” Mr Speaker, this is to remove therestrictions on the data usage andtransparency. [Laughter.]
Very well. Hon Members, I would put theQuestion. Question put and amendment agreedto.
HonChairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I do nothave any other amendment with clause 52but I reject the amendment which hasbeen proposed and the Hon Member.
It stands inthe name of Hon Isaac Kwame Asiamah.Is he available?
No, Mr Speaker. Hehas abandoned it.
Yes, HonPapa Owusu-Ankomah?
Mr Speaker, I can explain it.
Mr Speaker, heis not available and so, if the Hon Ministercould explain it. Well, it is discretionary.The Hon Member seeks to make itmandatory and probably, there is a reasonwhy it is discretionary.
Mr Speaker, the HonMember wanted us to replace the word“may” with “shall”, making it compulsoryfor the Petroleum Commission to releasedata to GNPC. Mr Speaker, we think thatthe regulator must have the leverage toassess those requests before it is released.That is why the amendment should berejected. If we make it “shall”, then itmeans that at any time GNPC asks for datafrom the Petroleum Commission, it has tobe given. Mr Speaker, I believe that in practice,GNPC would always have access to data,but we must allow the regulator; theleverage, to assess all those requests. So,the word should be “may” and not “shall”.
Yes, HonRanking Member?
Mr Speaker, that isright. There was considerable debate onthis matter as to whether it should be“may” or “shall”. Mr Speaker, as the Minister explained,the GNPC wanted to have unfetteredaccess but we thought that since theCommission is in charge of it,why doesthe GNPC want unfettered access so that the Commission should have no controlat all? In any event, it is a nationalinstitution and we cannot foresee asituation where they would ever be deniedthe data. So we settled onthe “may”. Therefore we propose that theamendment be rejected.
Mr Speaker, Iagree with the Minister. After all, in respectof these things, the GNPC is also acompetitor. Why should they have theadvantage of all the data that othercompanies have had and deposit it withthe Corporation? It would be most unfair.
Very well.Hon Members, I get the sense of theHouse. I think that since the Hon Memberwho proposed the amendment is not hereto put the amendment across, so we ignoreit and move on. Clause 52 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clauses 53 to 65 ordered to stand partof the Bill. Clause 66 -- Sources of money for theFund
MrSpeaker, I beg to move, clause 66subclause (1), add the following newparagraph: “0.5 per cent of total turnover of oiland gas company proceeds”. Mr Speaker, the reason is that if wetake clause 64, it talks about Local ContentFund and the idea is to build up our localcompanies and the use of local content inthe country. Therefore, I feel that thesources of fund for the Local ContentFund is not enough. In fact, if we look at
Mr Speaker, we areonly looking for sources of funds and wehave 0.5 per cent of a turnover. I thoughtthat it was easier to calculate from theturnover than from the net profit. Whenthe net profit is used, we all know thatthere are issues with how these net profitsare calculated, especially, the expendituresof the companies. They try to build up huge expendituresjust to reduce a lot of their profit. But theidea is very good; we should build theFund and make sure that this Fund is bigenough to be used in helping more localcompanies to build up their capacities andbecome major international players.
Very well.Let us listen to the views of other HonMembers.
Mr Speaker, Iseriously oppose the amendment; theamendment is misplaced, he could talkabout the Petroleum Revenue Manage-ment Act if he wants to draw anythingfrom that.
Mr Speaker, in principle,I have nothing against trying to findmoney to support the Local ContentFund. I would have wished that my HonColleague would have given us an idea ofwhat he is talking about. Mr Speaker, 0.5per cent of turnover of oil and gas revenueis a huge sum. What is more important isthat, this is actually a tax on the companies. Mr Speaker, most of the companieshave signed some agreements that havegiven them a fiscal regime. We cannot gothrough the back door and impose a taxwithout negotiating with them. It is a goodidea. Perhaps, if we negotiate with them,they might be willing to pay that amountbut to tax them without any discussionwould be illegal. This is because they haveagreements on certain fiscal regimes. Theprinciple is good but we should find abetter way of doing it. The 0.5 per cent ofseveral billions is too huge. Mr Speaker, the Sankofa E/R Projectalone is about 7.4 billion, not to talk aboutall those in the pipeline. Mr Speaker, it isnot only illegal; we should completelyreject it. If he can come back with a betteramendment, fine.
HonMember for Takoradi, I want you toaddress the issue in Standing Order122(a), whether what you have proposedis not contrary to that provision.
Mr Speaker,Standing Order 122 (a) says: “The House shall not, unless theBill is introduced by a Minister or aMember on behalf of the President,proceed upon any Bill including anyamendment to a Bill that in theopinion of the person presidingmakes provision for any of thefollowing: (a) the imposition of taxation orthe alteration of taxationotherwise than by reduction;or (b) the imposition of a charge onthe Consolidated Fund orother public funds of Ghanaor the alteration of any suchcharge otherwise than byreduction; or (c) the payment, issue orwithdrawal from the Consoli-dated Fund or other publicfunds of Ghana of any moneynot charged on the Consoli-dated Fund or any increasein the amount of thatpayment, issue or withdrawal;or (d) the composition or remissionof any debt due to theGovernment of Ghana.”
Mr Speaker, infact, the proposed amendment hasnothing to do with the Consolidated Fund.This is because it is not even a tax, he istalking about turnover. A turnover does not go into theConsolidated Fund. It does not even seekthat a percentage of taxes collected beincreased. So this particular amendmentdoes not sin against the Constitution andthe Standing Orders in respect ofimposition by -- It is not to impose a taxor alter tax. It does not impose a chargeon the Consolidated Fund or any otherpublic fund. It does not seek to makepayment issue or withdraw from theConsolidated Fund. Mr Speaker, this Bill is introduced bythe Hon Minister. In that respect, it doesnot offend the Constitution and StandingOrders. Mr Speaker, it is also important for usnot to overstretch the definition of thisparticular article 108, because if we stretchthe interpretation, it would mean that,Parliament would have no powerwhatsoever to do anything. When westretch the definition, even a PrivateMember's Bill may impose a charge on theConsolidated Fund insofar as they wouldtry to get paper to print it. So it should be interpreted in thestrictest and narrowest sense so as not tounduly undermine the power ofParliament to make legislation and imposetax, unless it is clear that the amendmentseeks to impose a tax or it has a financialimplication. Mr Speaker, I urge you to interpret it inthe narrowest sense.
Mr Speaker, I am opposedto the amendment because if you look atthe clause, it states, “(a) contribution froma contractor as agreed in the petroleumagreement”. Why would anybody, after agreeing topay something -- Again, we have said aturnover -- In fact, this is even a biggertax and nobody pays tax like that. To paytax on a turnover? No, that is not the case.They pay 0.5 per cent of a turnover? No,that is the biggest tax that I could imagine. We have to be clear as to the sourcesof the Fund. I believe that this amendmentis not appropriate. We should votestrongly against it.
Mr Speaker, firstly, I didnot get the sense that the Hon Memberfor Sekondi supported it. Secondly, I amnot so sure whether or not this particularissue should call for your interpretationof the Standing Order. Mr Speaker, Ibelieve the point is that the amendmentproposed is a bad one and we shouldreject it.
Mr Speaker,I suppose the consideration in respect ofthis amendment is whether or not theimposition of the 0.5 per cent on totalturnover of oil and gas proceeds is in syncwith clause 66. The majority of contributors indicatethat the levy or tax is outrageous. Theprinciple is understood but the levy isoutrageous. However, as the Hon Member forSekondi has indicated, this proposal fromthe Hon Member does not in any wayoffend article 108 of the 1992 Constitutionor Order 122 of our Standing Orders.
That does notmean that I support it.
No, I am notsaying that you support it. You ended bysaying that you do not support theamendment. However, you believe thatthe amendment is well situated in our Standing Orders to the extent that the Billitself comes from the Presidency and it isshepherded in this House by a Minister,so, whatever amendment that is proposedto it, would not offend article 108. Any amendment proposed to it, to theextent that the Bill comes from thePresidency, would not be unfavourable orbreach article 108 of the Constitution. I believe that was the gravamen of thesubmission by the Hon Member forSekondi, and I agree with him that it doesnot offend article 108 in any way.
I do noteven want to go that far, but I get the senseof the House that Hon Members are notin support of this proposed amendment.
Mr Speaker, the principlethat my Hon Colleague wants to introducecould find a place but not here. That argument could be made in themodel petroleum agreement which wouldcome under clause 66 (a). It cannot be madein this Bill as stated, and therefore Ioppose the amendment. Question put and amendmentnegatived.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 66, subclause (2), line 3,delete “Minister responsible for Finance”and insert “Controller and Accountant-General”. Mr Speaker, these days, it is theController who authorises the opening ofaccounts, but he does not always do that.
Mr Speaker, he saysthese days it is the Controller who opensthe accounts. In some cases, it is the Controller; in other cases it is the HonMinister. So, if he could explain to us whyhe wants to choose the Controller in thiscase, we would understand.
In this case, we wereadvised by the Hon Minister for Financethat the Controller would open the accounton behalf of the nation. So, that is thebasis. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 66 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
Clause 67-- Management of the Fund
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 67, subclause (4), line 1,delete “Local Content Committee” andinsert “Commission”. Mr Speaker, if you go to themanagement of the Fund, the creation, thesource and the management, it is all doneby the Hon Minister and the Commission.It is when you get to the management thatit talks about the Minister and the LocalContent Committee. So, when you go down, it says that theLocal Content Committee may invest apart of the moneys of the Fund that itconsiders appropriate in the mannerapproved. This is not correct. The Committee thinks that it shouldrather be the Commission which shouldgive that approval and not the LocalContent Committee. The Local ContentCommittee is a sub-Committee of theCommission. We cannot bypass theCommission, and ask the sub-Committeeto invest.
MrSpeaker, in clause 66 (2), line 3, which wejust amended, we are saying that theController and Accountant-Generalshould approve of -- [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, in clause 67 (4), we aredeleting “the Local Content Committeecoming to the Commission,” but still referto the Minister. Why should we not amend“the Minister responsible for Finance”and replace it with the “Controller andAccountant-General”? [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, all Iurge the Hon Chairman to do, instead offrowning, is to explain further so that Iwould understand.
Very well. Yes, Hon Minister?
Mr Speaker, on the other onewith the Accountant General, it was tosimply open the account. [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, you shouldtake the vote on the amendment proposed.I think that is what we should do beforeanybody raises any issue.
Mr Speaker, Ithought that we dealt with the amendmentwhich said that the Local ContentCommittee should not have the power toinvest. Mr Speaker, indeed, the Local ContentCommittee is set up by the PetroleumCommission and together with theMinister, they administer the Fund. Thisexisting clause says that the Committeemay invest part of the moneys of the Fundthat is considered appropriate in themanner approved by the Minister responsible for petroleum in consultationwith the Minister responsible for Finance. On its own, the Local ContentCommittee, cannot set up, or invest intothat Fund. It must be with the approval ofthe Minister responsible for petroleumaffairs. If the Minister does not approveof it, then it cannot be done. Why wouldwe then want the Commission to beresponsible for this? The Commission is responsible for themanagement of the petroleum resources.We are dealing with a Fund that issupposed to promote local content; andit is done with the approval of the Minister.I do not see what is wrong with that.
Yes, HonRanking Member, can we hear you?
Mr Speaker, the pointthat is being made here is that there is thisCommission, which by the law that isenacted, has the function or the power toset up specific sub-committees. Mr Speaker, one of them is the LocalContent Committee. The point is that if itcomes to the investment, it will be unfairto suggest that the Committee, which is asub-section of the Commission itself,should be the one to take the ultimatedecision. We would rather bring in the parent,which is the Commission. So, instead ofgiving the Committee this largeresponsibility, we should give it to itsmother, the Petroleum Commission.Ultimately, of course, we have the Ministerresponsible for it, and the Minister forFinance playing a role in the subsequentwording. Specifically, the amendment is gearedtowards amending the original impression
HonMember for Sekondi, do you follow theargument?
Mr Speaker, Ifollow the argument but I do not agreewith it.
Very well. Hon Minister, I will let you be the lastperson to talk, but let us hear from theHon Members from Wa West and Pru East.
Mr Speaker, the issue weare raising here is that the Commission isresponsible for all the sub-committees;and the Local Content Committee is a subset of the Commission. Looking at themathematics, one will know that when youdraw a venn diagram, you may have othercircles in it. The Local Content Committee is withinthis venn diagram of the Commission.Therefore, why should we substitute theCommission for a lower level LocalContent Committee? That is why the amendment should besupported. It is important that thePetroleum Commission, which has theoverall perspective on how the Petroleummatters arise, be the one to decide on thesethings and not the Local ContentCommittee.If we do that, we would onlybe looking at the issue in a manner that istoo local.
Mr Speaker, if you look atthe Petroleum Commission Act 821, it is one of those few bodies whereCommission members are expected todeclare their assets, because of thesensitivity of petroleum issues. We have a situation where Boardsubcommittees can be populated by non-Board members, with only one or twoBoard members on the sub-committees.Are we then saying that we shouldentrust the bulk of the money to peoplewho have not sworn the oath of office orpeople who have not declared their assetsinstead of the Commission? As long as the Local Content Committeeremains one of the sub-committees of theBoard, that subcommittee must report tothe Board. So, the Board must takeresponsibility. It is in this light that Istrongly support the amendmentproposed by the Hon Chairman.
Mr Speaker, Iappreciate the point raised by the HonPapa Owusu-Ankomah in line with whatis written here, which says,”in a mannerapproved by the Minister…” TheMinister referred to here is the Ministerresponsible for Petroleum. He does so inconsultation with the Minister responsiblefor Finance. This says that the Local ContentCommittee will not just get up and invest.They can only do that on approval bythese two Ministries. Even then, it wouldbe taking away the Commission. That iswhy we would want the Commission,which is the technical or regulatory bodythat oversees them. The Local ContentCommittee is only a subcommittee of theCommission. Therefore, in order for us to havetransparency and for our funds to beprudently used, we should not just letthem be a part of it. I think that we shouldvote on it and allow it to stand.
Mr Speaker,clause 67(1) provides: “The Fund shall be administered bythe Minister and the Local ContentCommittee set up under section 8of the Petroleum Commission Act,2011 (Act 821).” We have this dual responsibility -- The Minister for Petroleum and theLocal Content Committee administer theFund. Mr Speaker, I do not know of any lawthat we have made, which when we talkabout investing surplus funds from theFund, would be in the hands of anotherbody other than the body charged withthe administration of the Fund. Let anybody show me any Act that wehave enacted in respect of the investmentof the Fund where, we leave it to anotherbody other than the body that is in chargeof the administration of the Fund. That ismy worry.
HonMinister, how do you respond to that?
Mr Speaker, the amendmentmust be abandoned. If you look at thecomposition of the Local ContentCommittee, the Minister; the Associationof Ghana Industries and others makenominations. This is outlined in thePetroleum Commission Act. They do not act alone; they will act inconsultation with the Minister and thePetroleum Commission has a member onthe Committee. I believe that the renditionas it is in the Bill should remain; so theamendment should be rejected.
Mr Speaker, I herebywithdraw the amendment so that therendition as captured in the Bill can stand. [Amendment accordingly withdrawnby leave of the House.]
Mr Speaker, there areplaces where we have already deleted“Local Content Committee” and replacedit with “Commission”. The Commission isthe body that swears an oath. TheCommittee can be populated by civilservants. The Commission has an ultimateresponsibility --
HonMember, the Hon Chairman of theCommittee says he has withdrawn thatproposed amendment. If you feel stronglyabout it, you can propose an amendment.We will put the Question.
Mr Speaker, I proposed anumber of amendments which includedthis one, but they prevailed on me thatsince the Hon Chairman had made a similaramendment, I had to stand minedown.Then,I will propose a new amendment.
Mr Speaker,I am sorry if you feel that I am draggingyou back. In the last four Bills that wehave passed into Acts, where such Fundshad been set up, Parliament had takenparticular interest in the management ofthe Fund, such that we had requested thatthe managers of such Funds should reportto Parliament on an annual basis so thatwe would know what they had been doingwith those Funds. Mr Speaker, I am not so worriedwhether it is the Hon Minister or the LocalContent Committee, or for that matter, theCommission that operates the Fund. MrSpeaker, one per cent of the funds wouldcome from contractors and sub-contractors and the people'srepresentatives must be aware of howsuch funds are used.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 69, subclause (1), line 1, delete“Committee” and insert “Commission”. Mr Speaker, the accounts of the LocalContent Committee would be kept by theCommission. As such, any audit of theaccount of the Local Content CommitteeFund must be submitted to theCommission and not the Committee itself.
Mr Speaker, why do wethen not leave it at the Committee? This isthe principle; it is the Commission thathas responsibility. The Local ContentCommittee cannot even have an account;it is the Commission's account. This is theprinciple that I argued previously. Whydo we not stand this amendment downand leave it to the Committee?
Mr Speaker, we have to notethat the Local Content Committee is justan adhoc committee. It is only the PetroleumCommission that has professionalaccountants who can manage the accounts. In terms of the decision to invest, theLocal Content Committee can do that.When we say that the account must beheld by the Commission, we are simplysaying that the professionals will keep theaccount. The control will be done by theLocal Content Committee in consultationwith the Minister.
Mr Speaker, did the HonChairman say that we should replace“Local Content Committee” with“Commission”?
Has he withdrawn theamendment?
He has notwithdrawn the amendment.
But that is where a problemis going to arise -- [Interruption.] Theprinciple is not right. I remember wepassed the Legislative Instrument onLocal Content long before this Bill wasintroduced here. We need to look at what powers wegave that Committee, whether it is aCommittee that operates on its own, or ithas its own account and administrativestructure. If it is going to operate as a committee,then I will support the amendment tochange this one to “Commission”. If theLocal Content Committee is just astanding committee of the Commission,we have to be very careful because thenthe issue that the former Hon Minister forPower raised is legitimate. The point is that, we should notelevate a committee to the level of aCommission which has been establishedby law. This is a subsidiary legislation andwe have to be sure that the powers wegave to that Local Content Committee areadministrative enough and they have theirown structure and can account to thepeople of Ghana appropriately. If not, Iwill support this one because of theimplication but I do not think that we gavethose powers to the Local ContentCommittee. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 69 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 70 to 81 ordered to stand partof the Bill. Clause 82 -- Impact assessment
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 82, subclause (1), line 2,delete “and social” and delete samewherever the phrase appears within“environmental and social impactassessment”. Mr Speaker, this is to bring it in linewith Act 490, that is the EPA Act and also-- [Interruption.] It includes social, cultural, political andeconomic issues. But the actual name isnow “the Environmental ImpactAssessment”; we no longer add the‘social'. So, it is just to be in line with thatAct.
I have a littleproblem. You are trying to make it fall inline with an existing system. But will it notbe appropriate if you restricted yourproposed amendment to the specificissues that you are raising and leave theexpression, ‘wherever it falls within…' sothat I give directions to that effect? Doyou understand me? I could givedirections to that effect but you can gothrough with the amendment; when it istaken, I will direct that wherever.
All right, Mr Speaker. Question put and amendment agreedto.
I direct thatwherever the phrase appears within theenvironmental and social impactassessment should be taken on board. Clause 82 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
HonMembers, we have a few clauses whichhave no advertised amendments; we willhave to take a look at clause 83. Clause 83 --Liability for pollutiondamage.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 83, subclause (2), line 1,delete “contractors” and insert“contractor” parties. Mr Speaker, it is a correction of agrammatical error. It is “contractor parties”and not “contractors' parties.”
Mr Speaker, weare proposing a new clause after clause82 but -- [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, Hon Darko-Mensah and Ihave proposed a new clause.
Can wecome back to it after going through thisexercise or you insist that we take it beforewe continue?
Mr Speaker, once it is anew clause, it should come at the end. Ifhe wanted it to come after clause 82, heshould have called it a subclause. Afterwe have considered and accepted it, thedraftspersons would know where to placeit. We have to finish all the clauses beforethe new clauses are considered.
Mr Speaker,you put the question on clause 82 asamended but I am just looking at clause82 (2), which provides that: “A strategic impact assessmentshall be undertaken before theopening of a new area under section7”. The “strategic impact assessment” isnot defined; what does it mean? We have“impact assessment” but this one, Wequalified it with “strategic”.
HonChairman of the Committee, what is thedifference?
Mr Speaker, I am yetto appreciate the question, I did not gethim.
HonMinority Leader, could you please goover the question?
Mr Speaker,throughout the Bill, they have been usingthe phrase “impact assessment”. For thefirst time, however, in clause 82(2), theyhave provided an additional word toqualify the “impact assessment”. Theyhave described it as a “strategic impactassessment”. And I am asking, what doesit mean? It is not defined so, they mayneed to define what they mean by“strategic impact assessment.”
Mr Speaker, we mayhave to define it. We know of the normalimpact assessment but this is strategic sowe have to define it.
We will goon but please take note of it and --
Yes, we will do that inthe next ten minutes.
Mr Speaker, theheadnote reads, “Impact Assessment”.Everybody understands impactassessment. The difficulty is that, mostof us do not know what a strategic impactassessment is. So, why do they not justsay, “an impact assessment” and then wecan move on? They get into areas that arenot necessary. An impact assessment isan impact assessment.
Let us hearfrom the Hon Ranking Member.
Mr Speaker, we cannottake that in isolation. This is because itmakes reference to section 7 so we maythen have to go to section 7 and look atwhat it states. If you look at section 7,you have it in subclause (3). That is wherethe strategic event takes place. --[Interruptions] The “strategic” is borrowed from hereand it is carried to that end. So, if there isa definition, then of course, we should bedealing with that here -- [Interruption.] Woko faa strategic no wo hen?
Thank you, MrSpeaker, for the opportunity to clarify that.When we were discussing this, we madea distinction between an ordinary impactassessment and a strategic impactassessment. And I will read the meaning: “A Strategic Impact Assesement(SIA) or Strategic EnvironmentalAssessment (SEA) is the assessmentof the wider environmental, social andeconomic impact of alternativeproposals at the beginning of aproject.” We asked questions and theunderstanding was that, this is wider inscope than the normal impact assessment.So, if something would be done --
Actually,what we need is a definition in the bodyof the Bill.
Mr Speaker, it would bedefined but we are talking about openingup a new area, especially, in the scenarioof on-shore development. So, I believe itwould be defined.
So, TableOffice, please take note so that we do notmiss it out. Hon Members, I am missingthe trend. Where are we now?[Interruption] We have taken clause 83,so we would move to clause 84. Clauses 84 to 94 ordered to stand partof the Bill.
Mr Speaker,I have something on clause 83. In the Bill I am holding, clause 83, aftersubclause 3(a) (b), you have some boldletters of certain words and they read; “are strictly liable for the damage.” I do not know what it means.
Mr Speaker, if you look atthe way it is, “(3) Where pollution damage occurs as aresult of petroleum activities conductedwithout proper authorization (a) the person who conducted thepetroleum activity; and (b) any other person who took partin the petroleum activity andwho knew or should haveknown that the activity wasconducted without properauthorisation, are strictly liable for the damage.” Then it is joining the main one.
So, it lookslike it is typographical error?
The Hon Minority Leaderis worried because it is in bold but that iswhere it should be.
HonMinority Leader, do you follow? He saidit is a typographical error. Very well. HonMembers, I direct the Table Office to takecare of it. Hon Members, at this stage, Iwould direct that we suspend theconsideration for a short while so that wecould take one Paper that has to be laid. Mr Hammond -- rose --
We wouldcome back to it, do not worry.
Mr Speaker, wewould be grateful if we could lay itemnumbered 1 on the Order PaperAddendum. Before that, I would like tocrave your indulgence and that of theHouse for the Minister for Foreign Affairsand Regional Integration to lay this Paperon behalf of the Minister for Finance.
Very well. Hon Members, Order Paper Addendum,at the commencement of Public Business;Presentation of Papers, by the Minister forFinance represented by the Minister forForeign Affairs and Regional Integration.
Mr Speaker, wewould go back to the Consideration Stage.
HonMembers, the Petroleum (Exploration andProduction) Bill, 2016 at the ConsiderationStage.
BILLS -- CONSIDERATIONSTAGE
Mr Speaker,clause 84 (3), under clause 84, we have
HonChairman of the Committee, how do youreact?
Mr Speaker, I see thepoint that the Hon Minority Leader ismaking. Please go back to clause 84 (3).Specifically, we said that, “(3) Where an event of force majeureresults in pollution damage…” He says that because pollution hasbeen specifically mentioned over there,when we go to subclause (3) (c), we shouldas well add “pollution” to qualify thedamage so that we would know exactlywhat we are talking about. We have noobjection.
Mr Speaker, theheadnote is compensation for “pollutiondamage”. So what the Hon MinorityLeader wants us to do is that, it must runthrough the various clauses. I wasthinking that because it has beenmentioned at the top, it was not necessaryagain. But if he insists that it must be putthere -- pollution damage -- We arealready talking about pollution damage.So when we say damage it refers to that.But if he wants us to put it there it doesnot spoil anything.
My onlyproblem is that we have dealt with italready.
We have dealt with itand gone, so we would leave it like that. Clause 95 -- Interpretation.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 95 --Interpretation of“indigenous Ghanaian company”paragraph (i), line 2, after “citizen” insert“of Ghana”. Mr Speaker, this is just for clarity byindicating the country of origin. So, “acitizen of Ghana”. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 95 -- Interpretation of“indigenous Ghanaian company”paragraph (ii), line 1, delete “wherepractical” and in line 3, delete “the” andfurther in line 4, at end, insert “and otherpositions”. Mr Speaker, the deletion of “wherepractical”, is to remove the discretion ondetermining which company qualifies. Ifwe say “where practical”, it means thatwe are bringing in some discretion. So wewould want to take that off as a result ofbeing a Ghanaian indigenous company.[Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, I amsorry to take you back to clause 84, eventhough you have put the Questionalready. Mr Speaker, in clause 84 (4), it isstated and with your permission, I beg toquote; “On the basis of the assessment,the Minister shall require the personliable for the pollution damage topay compensation”. Mr Speaker, I am seeking to know fromthe Hon Chairman of the Committee,whether it is the question of theestablishment of liability being given tothe Hon Minister or not.What are theyseeking to achieve with that clause?
HonChairman, did you follow the HonMember's question?
Mr Speaker, I do notbelieve we can go back to clause 84.
HonChairman, I know we cannot go back.TheHon Member is trying to find out if thereis some explanation.
Mr Speaker, I believewhat we have done so far cures hisconcerns. I would plead that the HonMember abandons that so that we canmake progress.
HonChairman, the Hon Member was askingfor clarification. That is all.
Mr Speaker, he cansee us for clarification. The Committeewould be available.
HonMembers, let us move on. Hon Member, we have gone past thatparticular clause and that is why I cannotdo much about it. But the Hon Chairman says you cansee them for further clarification.
Mr Speaker, Iwould always defer to you per our rules.But what I am seeking to know is aclarification. Of course, I know I can seethem --
HonMember, we have gone past it. So youcan get close to them and they wouldexplain to you.
Mr Speaker, thatis what he is proposing but I do not acceptit. Other Hon Members are equallyinterested.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 95 -- interpretation of “smalland medium enterprises”, line 4, delete“one million Ghana Cedis” and insert “theGhana Cedi equivalent of two millionUnited States Dollars”. Mr Speaker, with the work of a small-scale enterprise in the petroleum industry,the amount involved is so huge that if wejust put “one million Ghana Cedis”, it maynot even be able to buy a small equipmentand most of the industries cannot evenwork. So, after consultation, it was agreedthat this is a better amount. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker,I was proposing to you to subject thisquestion to the other issues that we raisedrelating to some other definitions orinterpretations that may have to beproferred like the “strategic --
Myattention has been drawn to the fact thatwe need to provide the definition for“strategic impact assessment”. So, I would not put the Question withregard to clause 95 as variously amendedstanding part of the Bill. So, after theinterpretation has been inserted, wewould put the Question. Clause 96 --Transitional provisions.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 96 -- add the following newsubclause: “(2) A licensee, contractor, sub-contractor, the Corporation andany other person engaged in apetroleum activity shall complywith the relevant provisions ofthis Act.” Mr Speaker, this is just to ensure thatthe execution of the provision except theStability Act of the existing PetroleumAgreement are in conformity with thecurrent enactment. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker,the original clause 96 provides, and withyour permission, I beg to quote; “Petroleum agreements entered intobefore the commencement of thisAct remain valid”. Mr Speaker, the “Petroleum Agreemententered into”, I believe relates toexploration and production. Are there anyPetroleum Agreements that go beyond the“exploration and production”? And ifthere are, would they also remain valid inthe context of this Act?
HonChairman, how do you respond to that?
Mr Speaker, if the HonMinority Leader reads carefully theinterpretation which we have just beengiven, it reads and with your permission,I beg to quote: “The interpretation is to ensure thatthe execution of provisions exceptthe stability...” Mr Speaker, that is where I believe theHon Minority Leader's beef is.Mr Speaker,you know the stability clauses are broughtto us here for us to -- and they differfrom mining company to mining companyand from country to country. That is whywe are saying that.”All others must” --so that it can be in conformity with theexisting enactment.
HonMinority Leader, are you satisfied with theexplanation?
Mr Speaker,my worry is how that one sits within thecontext of clause 96, when it says“Petroleum Agreement”. And that isuniversal. “Petroleum agreements entered intobefore the commencement of thisAct remain valid”. My thinking is that it is rather relatingto “exploration and production” but notany others beyond the ambit of explorationand production. And that is why he is relating to thestability agreements. They are notreally —
Mr Speaker, I am not verysure of what the Hon Minority Leaderwants to change.
Mr Speaker,I would want to enquire from themwhether there are any agreements outsideexploration and production agreements.Are there any other petroleum agree-ments outside these two, and if there are,would they apply clause 96 to say that isthe question I am asking?
Mr Speaker, the umbrellaagreement is the petroleum agreement. Wewould have plans of development andothers. These are all processes leading tothe discovery. But the major agreement isthe petroleum agreement. And so, itcovers everything when we use thepetroleum agreement.
Very well. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 96 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 97 — Repeal and savings.
Mr Speaker, there is anomission here. We agreed on somethingbut I think the Hon Chairman forgot andthe amendment is not there. Mr Speaker,if we look at clause 97 (2), there is what Ithought, a reference to the Sallahsituation, where something was supposedto have been done under a particular Actwhich created all the problems.
HonMembers, having regard to the state ofproceedings, I direct that we sit beyondthe stipulated time.
Mr Speaker, so whatwe thought we should have is, and I begMr Speaker to quote: “Despite the repeal of PNDCL 84,the Regulations, by-laws, notices,orders, directions, appointments orany act lawfully made or done underthe repealed enactment and in forceimmediately before the commence-ment of this Act shall remain valid.” Mr Speaker, rather, the other one whichhas; “…shall be considered to have beenmade or done under this Act…” Mr Speaker, we do not want that. Itshould end at, “…before the commence-ment of this Act shall remain valid.”
Mr Speaker, I believe theway it has been captured is the standardform. What it really means is that, all thethings done under PNDCL 84 will remainvalid. But we also have to make sure thatwe bring new Regulations. And anytimewe pass an Act and new Regulations arenot there, the Regulations proceed undera different Act and would continue to holduntil they are revoked. And we can onlyrevoke them when we make newRegulations. Mr Speaker, and so, that is why thatpart is necessary; that is, until revoked.We may not like any other thing, but, “untilrevoked” is important in this respect. TheRegulations that were under PNDCL 84would continue to be the ones that shouldapply. And so as quickly as possible, webring new Regulations and revoke them.
Mr Speaker, I have nodifficulty with that part of it. Before the,“until revoked”, we could say, “shallremain valid until revoked”. I have nodifficulty with that. The difficulty is, “shallbe considered to have been made or doneunder this Act . . .” — that is the difficulty.And so we can take that out and end it at,“shall remain valid until revoked”, whichwould be in consonance with —
Not only“revoked”, but also, “cancelled orterminated”.
Mr Speaker, we arecomfortable with those ones. It is just thebit that has to do with, “shall beconsidered to have been made or doneunder this Act...” That is all that we arenot happy with.
Mr Speaker, themeaning still remains the same. The effectis what we are looking for and it is still thesame. And so I would ask him to bring thecorrect rendition and I will support it sothat we can —
Mr Speaker, the correctrendition should be: “Despite the repeal of PNDCL 84,the Regulations, by-laws, notices,orders, directions, appointments orany act lawfully made or done underthe repealed enactment and in forceimmediately before the commence-ment of this Act shall remain in forceuntil revoked, cancelled orterminated”. Mr Speaker, the one to be deleted is;“be considered to have been made or doneunder this Act and shall” — and so thatbit is all gone.
So, let ushave the new rendition.
Mr Speaker, by whathe is saying, the new rendition would be: “Despite the repeal of PNDCL 84,the Regulations, by-laws, notices,orders, directions, appointments orany act lawfully made or done underthe repealed enactment and in forceimmediately before the commence-ment of this Act shall continue tohave effect until revoked, cancelledor terminated”. So, we are deleting; “be considered tohave been made or done under this Actand shall”
But you arestill using the “shall”.
Mr Speaker, the“shall” is repeated and so one goes off.
Mr Speaker,I may plead with the Committee to insert,“Rules” after “Regulations”. Article 11 (7)talks about, “Any Order, Rule orRegulation”. Mr Speaker, we have Regulations andOrders captured in the subsection. Andso we should just add “Rules” just for theavoidance of doubt. So, it would read: “Despite the repeal of PNDCL 84,the Regulations, Rules, by-laws,notices, orders, directions, appoint-ments or any act lawfully made ordone under the repealed enactmentand in force immediately before thecommencement of this Act shallcontinue to have effect untilrevoked, cancelled or terminated.”
Very well. Hon Members, I will put the Questionwith regard to the proposed amendmentand its further amendments. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 97 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
Mr Speaker, I wouldbe grateful if you could allow me to givethe interpretation of the word;“Corporation”. That is simple. The otherone is being done and would be with usin a jiffy. Mr Speaker, and so, “Corporation” means,“Ghana National Petroleum Corporation”. And so, wherever “corporation” appears, itmeans, “Ghana National PetroleumCorporation” — [Interruption.] Question put and amendment agreedto.
HonMembers, I think that we have doneenough for the day —
Mr Speaker, I was justwondering whether we would not look atthe clause 7 and go back to clause 84 (4)and see if we can resolve it. Mr Speaker, looking at it again doesnot seem to me that it is not a term of art.It is plain English Language and itprobably does not need a definition, if wego back to clause 7 where it reallyoriginates. Mr Speaker, but if you look at it, youare having a situation where the Ministeris preparing the report on an evaluationand which shall include strategicassessment -- strategy. He is strategically assessing what isthere and it would include the following;strategic assessment of the impact ofpetroleum activities on the localcommunities, the impact of petroleumactivities on the environment, trade,agriculture, fisheries, shipping, etcetera,and the strategic assessment ofpotential economic and social impact of -- It is very specific to that.
HonMember, I appreciate the urgency youattach to this but even if we go through it,we would still have to go and come backbecause there are several other clausesthat we are yet to deal with, like clause 10and so on. So, why do we not just takeour time, go and come back --
Mr Speaker, I was just goingto appeal that if you can take my newclause so that when we come back wewould only be dealing with the one that --
Take yourtime. We have just brought proceedingson this to an end for now. So, let us goand come back so that we can take yours.
Mr Speaker, we wouldbe grateful to briefly look at item number37 on page 17 of today's Order Paper --Development and Classification of FilmBill, 2016.
HonMembers, it is a Motion by the Ministerfor Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts.
BILLS --SECOND READING
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, thatthe Development and Classification ofFilm Bill, 2016 be now read a Second time. Mr Speaker, the purpose of this Bill isto revise the Cinematograph Act, 1961(Act 76), to provide for the machinery todeal with the production, distribution,exhibition and marketing of films and alsoto strengthen regulatory policies or rules. The Bill seeks to provide a legalframework for the development of acongenial environment in Ghana as a major film base for local production and also tomake Ghana a preferred location forinternational as well as co-productionsbetween Ghana and foreigners. Mr Speaker, the Ghanaian film industryis to feed Ghanaian televisions withGhanaian movies that are educative,informative and also portray the Ghanaianculture. The State, through the Ghana FilmIndustry Corporation funded theproduction of a number of films. Later, some private film producers bothGhanaians and foreigners also came alongand over time, Ghana became a preferredlocation for co-production betweenGhanaians and foreign film producers. Mr Speaker, deteriorating economicand political conditions in Ghana in thelate 1970s however led to a downwardtrend in the development of filmmaking inGhana. The Act now in force, Act 76, wasenacted over 52 years ago. That was atthe time when the exhibition of films wasnot very widespread and technology wasnot advanced. With the radical global changes in thenature of the film industry worldwide, withthe improvement in the technology of filmproduction and exhibition through the useof computer and the internet, it hasbecome necessary to re-enact a law tocater for the appropriate development ofthe industry in Ghana. Mr Speaker, this is also to regulate itsappropriate use to ensure that the filmindustry contributes positively to socio-cultural and overall national development,Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, Act 76 has alsobeen found to be grossly inadequate tocontrol the state of indecentpornographic, violent, morally andculturally unacceptable films beingexhibited on our screens in the publiccinemas. It is a well-noted fact that oursociety is vulnerable and many vices on our screen may negatively affect ouryouth and undermine the cultural identityof our nation. It is therefore necessary inthe public interest to protect the peopleof this country from exposure to thesefilms.
Mr Speaker, Ibeg to support the Motion and in sodoing present your Committee's Report. Introduction The Development and Classification ofFilm Bill, 2016, was read the first time on23rd February 2016. The Bill was initiallyreferred to the Committee on Trade,Industry and Tourism for considerationand Report. However, having regard to themandate of the Committee and the contentof the Bill, the referral to the Trade andIndustry Committee was withdrawn andsubsequently referred to the Committeeon Youth, Sports and Culture on 29th July2016. This is in accordance with article 106(4) and (5) of the 1992 Constitution andOrder 125 and 187 of the Standing Ordersof Parliament. During the consideration of the Bill, theHon Minister for Tourism, Culture andCreative Arts, Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, her Deputy, Hon Dzifa Gomashie,officials from the Ministry, and theAttorney-General's Department werepresent to assist the Committee. Also inattendance were representatives of thefollowing groups: a. Film Producers Association ofGhana (FIPAG) b. Creative Authors and Directors'Association of Ghana (CADAG) c. National Film and TelevisionInstitute (NAFTI) d. Ghana Actors'Guild (GAG) e. Audio-visual Rights Society ofGhana (ARSOG). The Committee is grateful for theirassistance. Reference The Committee made reference to thefollowing documents in the course of itsdeliberations: a. The 1992 Constitution of theRepublic of Ghana b. The Standing Orders of Parlia-ment c. The Cinematograph Act, 1961(Act 76) d. The Copyright Act, 2005 (Act690). Object of the Bill The purpose of the Bill is to revise theCinematograph Act, 1961 (Act 76) toprovide for the machinery to deal with theproduction, distribution, exhibition andmarketing of films and also strengthenregulatory policies or rules. Content of the Bill The Bill is divided into four (4) mainparts. Part 1, comprising clauses 1 to 9,provides for the establishment of theNational Film Authority. It spells out theobjects and functions of the Authority,membership and tenure of the GoverningBody, and related matters.
Part 2 encompasses clauses 10 to 28,and deals with Registration andLicensing. These include, among others,prohibition to hold film exhibition withoutlicense, application for license, revocationor suspension of license, classification offilms, distribution and marketing,exportation and importation of films,offences and penalties among others. Part 3 of the Bill made up of clauses 29to 34 establishes the Film DevelopmentFund. It outlines the objects of the Fund,eligibility criterion, financial commitments,guidelines or criterion for application andsources of money for the fund. Part 4 of the Bill, covering clauses 35to 41 relates to- administration, financialand miscellaneous matters. It makesprovision for the appointment of anExecutive Secretary and other staff of theAuthority, Accounts and audit, AnnualReports and other Reports, Regulations,Interpretation as well as Repeal andsavings. Observations and Recommendations The Committee acknowledges that allover the world, the film industry plays asignificant role in the socio economicdevelopment' of a country. The film industry serves as a vehiclefor projecting the culture and identity of anation and is also an important avenuefor job creation, especially for the youth. The Committee noted that the currentlegislation, the Cinematograph Act, 1961,passed 55 years ago has outlived itsrelevance, given the socio-cultural,economic and technological changes thathave since taken place. Due to the absence of an effectivelegal framework to promote thedevelopment of the film industry andregulate the activities of its operators, the nation has not been able to take fulladvantage of the potentially hugebenefits that the film industry stands tooffer. It is worth noting that in countriessuch as Nigeria and India, the film industrycontributes immensely to the GDP of therespective countries. It is believed that with the rightregulations in place, Ghana could alsomake great strides and gain significantlyfrom the film industry. It is against this background that theCommittee considers appropriate, theintroduction of the Development andClassification of Film Bill, 2016, with theview to providing a more relevantregulatory mechanism for an effective andvibrant film industry. It is no gainsaying that film is a majortool for cultural transmission the worldover. It is a medium for communicatingmoral values, beliefs and culture of apeople and also showcasing the ecologyof a country to promote tourism. The Committee however expressedconcern about the fact that in recent times,the country's positive cultural and moralvalues appear to have been adulteratedwith the spate of indecent, violent,pornographic, and morally-bankrupt filmsdisplayed on our television screens,video centres and public cinemas. The negative impact of thisdevelopment on the norms and values ofour society is a source of concern to all. Itis therefore imperative to reorient theGhanaian film industry to be moreinformative and educative withinacceptable Ghanaian socio-culturalboundaries. The Committee identified the influx offoreign films and the indiscriminateexhibition of such films on free-on-airtelevision during the day and at peakhours as a major source of concern for stakeholders in the film industry. It wasacknowledged that in many cases, thelanguage and general story line of suchfilms are not suitable for certain agegroups. This phenomenon also hasnegative effect on productivity as peoplespend productive hours watching thesefilms. The Committee was happy to note thatClause 19 of the Bill makes provision forfilm classification in relation to age groupsand the hours for airing such programmes. The Development and Classification ofthe Film Bill, 2016, when passed, wouldinject sanity into the film industry andprovide a congenial environment for itsdevelopment. An appropriate legalframework could promote standards andprofessionalism to attract the rightinvestments and collaboration withforeign partners. The Committee hereby recommendsthat the House approves its Report on theDevelopment and Classification of FilmBill, 2016. Respectfully submitted. Proposed amendments SPACE FOR AMENDMENTS - PAGES 9 & 10 - 2.10P.M.
Mr Speaker, I beg tosupport the Motion on the floor. Mr Speaker, this is a very importantlegislation being sponsored byGovernment. In my view, filmmakers havelost a lot of income in terms of production.It has also affected Government revenuein terms of what Government could havegenerated if filmmakers were properlymonitored to enable them pay theappropriate fees to the state. I also heard the Minister talk aboutpornographic materials. I would want tobelieve that when we start discussing thedetails of the Bill, very importantamendments would be put in place toensure that children are not exposed tosome of these online films and rather a lotmore of educational materials aresupported by the Ministry in terms of thesupport given to film makers. Mr Speaker, very often when youswitch on to our local television stations,you would find out new films and soapoperas on our screens.Common thesedays is what they call Kumkum Bhagya.We have moved from Indian filmsthrough to Chinese films to Nigerian filmsand lately Kumawood, that is the filmindustry or group in Kumasi, who puttogether very beautiful films. I believe itis a very laudable Bill that must besupported by all Hon Members in thisHouse. Thank you.
Mr Speaker, I beg tosupport the Bill and to say that as afilmmaker myself, I know the restrictions that the present film scene and culturalenvironment has. So it is timely that wehave a Bill of this nature that if passedwould lay a framework for theenhancement of the film industry and theneeded necessary revenue that this sectorof Ghana's society can make for thecountry. We know the potency of Hollywoodand Nollywood. Ghana was far ahead ofNigeria when it came to filmmaking. In the1950s; we had the Ghana Film Unit andseveral films of very educational naturewere made. Mr Speaker, in the policy of Dr KwameNkrumah's development plan, theInformation Sector was to be pushed andaccelerated by the film industry. ThereforeI remember that every time they went tocinema, we saw the productions of theGhana Film Industry - productions locallymade. Mr Speaker, we have seen great filmmakers like Kwaw Ansah and EltonAmpaw on the scene. They worked hardbut that was not enough. We have seenthe invasion of foreign stereotypes in thiscountry, as the previous speaker said, fromthe South American continent, Nigeria,India and elsewhere. But we have theexpertise and the know-how to actuallyaccelerate beyond that. Therefore this Bill is very key to thecultural advancement of this country, andI would urge all Hon Members ofParliament to take part in the debate thatwould follow to ensure that the variousclauses cover every aspect. The film industry is a very importantpart of our social advancement.It coverseducation, health and every sector. Itsinvasive power if used to the fore wouldbe for the betterment of this nation. Mr Speaker, on that note, I would liketo say that this is a very important Billand should be supported.
Very well.Hon Baba Jamal? Baba Jamal Mohammed Ahmed(NDC--Akwatia): Thank you MrSpeaker, and I must express my happinessto see that this Bill has finally come tothis House. As we were working on theBill, it came to light that the Bill has beenin the corridors of power for over 25 years;a quarter of a century. So it is justappropriate that this Bill is passed by thisHouse. Mr Speaker, one aspect of the Bill thatI am very happy with is the classificationaspect, where the films would be properlyclassified; what to show on nationaltelevision; when to show it; and how tomanage the moral fabric of our society. Ithink that with the current development,a lot of things are going on in our filmindustry that need to be checked andregularised. From the work that has been done onthis Bill, it would serve that purpose andalso ensure that we are able to protect oursociety and culture, and especially ourchildren who are growing up. Mr Speaker, on this note, I would alsowant to support the Motion andencourage all Hon Members of the Houseto go for it.
Thank youvery much. The last contribution.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for theopportunity to support --
It looks likemore and more Hon Members areinterested. Well, the last two; you and then the HonW. O. Boafo.
Thank you, for theopportunity. Mr Speaker, this indeed is a veryimportant Bill. It is a Bill that necessarilywould go a long way if passed into an Actto really harmonise and sanitise the filmindustry in Ghana. It is true that for a long time the filmindustry in Ghana does not appear to bereally picking up the way it is expected,and it has been overtaken by Nigerian films,and of recent times, films from India andtelenovelas from Mexico. Gradually, we would observe that ourculture which obviously can be promotedeffectively through films is being run downand our young people are beginning toimbibe cultures that are very foreign to oursociety, to the extent that even telenovelasfrom Mexico and others would now betranslated in our local languages such thatthe local people are becoming more andmore interested in those one than the localfilms. Indeed, it becomes very important andpertinent that efforts are made, as it were,to streamline all these, the reason for whichI see the introduction of this Bill into thisHouse as very crucial. Mr Speaker, I hope and pray that, likewas earlier suggested, Hon Memberswould take serious interest in this particularBill and participate during theConsideration Stage, so that we can allcontribute to make it tighter and finer ifpossible, in order to really get the bestout of this for our society.
Yes, HonW. O. Boafo?
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for theopportunity to contribute to the debate. Mr Speaker, the Film industry hasserved Ghana in so many areas. It is aninstrument which we can use to promoteand also show some deficiencies in ourculture for improvement. It can alsoequally serve as ambassadors of ourculture by exporting some of our filmsoverseas to be shown in certain areas. Mr Speaker, I would also like to see asituation where it would emerge from theprivate sector, a body which would equallybe playing the role of National Films andTelevision Industry (NAFTI), which is apublic body, so that alongside, these twoinstitutions could be used to promote andupgrade the quality of films in the country. Mr Speaker, just as we have beenconsidering support for the variousinstitutions in our country, I wouldpropose that as part of our efforts tostrengthen our institutions, we shouldalso find ways and means of funding someof these bodies which are engaged in filmmaking. With financial support, I believethey would be in a position to improvetheir lot. Mr Speaker, lastly, I would like to see asituation where the Ministry of Tourism,Culture and Creative Arts would make deliberate and strenuous efforts to ensurethat some of these actors and actressesare given adequate training so as to be ofmuch more benefit to the society than it isnow. Thank you, Mr Speaker. Question put and Motion agreed to. The Development and Classification ofFilm Bill, 2016, accordingly read a Secondtime.
HonMembers, Sitting shall be suspended forone hour. I so direct. 2.28 p.m. -- Sitting suspended . 4.30 p.m. -- Sitting resumed.
HonDeputy Majority Leader, item numberedas what?
Mr Speaker, item numbered15 of page 8.
MR SECOND DEPUTY SPEAKER
Page 8,item numbered 15. Motions - HonChairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, that notwithstanding the provisionsof Standing Order 80 (1) which require thatno motion shall be debated until at leastforty-eight hours have elapsed betweenthe date on which notice of the motion isgiven and the date on which the motion ismoved, the motion for the adoption of theReport of the Finance Committee on the Credit Facility Agreement between theGovernment of the Republic of Ghana andSociete Generale Ghana Limited in theAmount of fifty million United StatesDollars (US$50,000,000), for InfrastructuralProjects at Ghana's Missions Abroad maybe moved today.
Mr Speaker, Ibeg to second the motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly Credit Facility Agreement betweenGoG and Societe-Generale Gh. Ltd forinfrastructural projects abroad
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, that this Honourable House adoptsthe Report of the Finance Committee onthe Credit Facility Agreement between theGovernment of the Republic of Ghana andSociete Generale Ghana Limited in theamount of fifty million United Statesdollars (US$50,000,000), for InfrastructuralProjects at Ghana's Missions Abroad. Mr Speaker, in so doing, I present yourCommittee's Report. Introduction The Credit Agreement between theGovernment of the Republic of Ghana andSociete General Ghana Limited in theamount of fifty million United States dollars(US$50,000,000.00) for InfrastructuralProjects at Ghana's Missions Abroad waspresented to the House on behalf of theHon Minister for Finance by the HonDeputy Minister for Finance, Mr CassielAto Baah Forson on Thursday, 28thJuly, 2016, in accordance with article 181 of the1992 Constitution. The Rt Hon Speaker referred therequest to the Finance Committee forconsideration and report in accordancewith Order 169 of the Standing Orders ofthe Parliament of Ghana. The Committee was assisted in itsdeliberations by the Hon Deputy Ministerfor Finance, Mr Cassiel Ato Baah Forsonand a technical team from the Ministry ofFinance. The Committee is grateful to theHon Minister, Deputy Minister and thetechnical team for the assistance. Reference The Committee referred to thefollowing additional documents during itsdeliberations: The 1992 Constitution of Ghana The Standing Orders of theParliament of Ghana; and Loans Act, 1970, (Act 335). Background Upon the attainment of independenceGhana embarked on a vigorous policy ofacquiring properties abroad for use by ourdiplomatic missions in prosecuting thecountry's foreign policy. The mode ofacquisition included outright purchase ofpremises, construction of premises onland either purchased by the governmentor offered to Ghana unconditionally or onreciprocal basis. Since then, successive regimes havemade incremental additions to the stockof diplomatic premises owned by theGovernment of Ghana. Despite all theseefforts, there still remains a huge deficit
Mr Speaker, thank youfor giving me the opportunity to secondthe Motion ably moved by the HonChairman of the Finance Committee. Mr Speaker, it is true that most of ourmissions abroad especially theinfrastructure that they use and wherethey operate from, are in bad state. Most of them do not befit the status ofGhana as a pioneer State in Africa andtherefore I support the move byGovernment to rehabilitate them, and insome other cases, purchase new propertyfor these missions abroad.
Thankyou very much.
Mr Speaker, --
I thoughtyou had finished.
Mr Speaker, in just windingup, I only want to plead with the Ministryto make sure that procurement processesfor the award of these contracts aretransparent.We also ask for value formoney audits in terms of the works thatare supposed to be done. Mr Speaker, on this note, I second theMotion. Question proposed Question put and Motion agreed to.
Itemnumbered 17 -- Hon Deputy Minister forFinance?
Mr Speaker, I begto move that, WHEREAS by the provisions ofarticle 181 of the Constitutionand sections 3 and 7 of theLoans Act, 1970 (Act 335), theterms and conditions of any loanraised by the Government of theRepublic of Ghana on behalf ofitself or any public institution orauthority shall not come intooperation unless the said termsand conditions have been laidbefore Parliament and approvedby a Resolution of Parliament; PURSUANT to the provisions ofthe said article 181 of theConstitution and sections 3 and7 of the Loans Act, 1970 (Act335), at the request of theGovernment of the RepublicGhana acting through theMinister responsible for Finance,there has been laid beforeParliament the terms andconditions of a Credit FacilityAgreement between theGovernment of the Republic ofGhana and Societe GeneraleGhana Limited in the amount offifty million United States dollars(US$50,000,000), for Infrastruc-tural Projects at Ghana'sMissions Abroad. THIS HONOURABLE HOUSEHEREBY RESOLVES ASFOLLOWS: IN ACCORDANCE with theprovisions of the said article 181of the Constitution and sections3 and 7 of the Loans Act, 1970(Act 335), this House approvesthe Credit Facility Agreement between the Government of theRepublic of Ghana and SocieteGenerale Ghana Limited in theamount of fifty million UnitedStates dollars (US$50,000,000) forInfrastructural Projects atGhana's Missions Abroad.
Mr Speaker, I rise tosupport the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly
Mr Speaker, item numbered18, page 10.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, that notwithstanding the provisionsof Standing Order 80 (1), which requirethat no motion shall be debated until atleast forty-eight hours have elapsedbetween the date on which notice of themotion is given and the date on which themotion is moved, the motion for theadoption of the Report of the FinanceCommittee on the Delcredere DucoireFacility Agreement between theGovernment of the Republic of Ghana andDeutsche Bank AG for an amount of up totwenty-two Million and fifty-onethousand, one hundred and eleven Euros(€22,051,111), for the completion andequipping of the Bekwai District Hospitalmay be moved today.
Mr Speaker, I beg to secondthe Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly. Delcredere Ducoire FacilityAgreeement between GoG andDeutsche Bank AG
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, that this Honourable House adoptsthe Report of the Finance Committee onthe Delcredere Ducoire FacilityAgreement between the Government ofthe Republic of Ghana and Deutsche BankAG for an amount of up to twenty-twomillion and fifty-one thousand, Onehundred and eleven Euros (€22,051,111),for the completion and equipping of theBekwai District Hospital.
Introduction The requests for approval of the twoFinancing Agreements were presented tothe House on behalf of the Hon Ministerfor Finance by the Hon Deputy Ministerfor Finance, Mr Cassiel Ato Baah Forsonon Thursday, 28th July, 2016 inaccordance with article 181 of the 1992Constitution. Mr Speaker referred the Agreements tothe Finance Committee for considerationand report in accordance with Order 169of the Standing Orders of the House. The Committee was assisted in itsdeliberations by the Hon Deputy Ministerfor Finance, Mr Cassiel Ato Baah Forsonand officials from the Ministry of Finance. The Committee is grateful to the HonDeputy Minister and the officials for theassistance. Reference The Committee referred to thefollowing additional documents during itsdeliberations: The 1992 Constitution of Ghana; The Standing Orders of theParliament of Ghana; and The Loans Act, 1970 (Act 335). Background The health of Ghanaians has beenimproving steadily since independence.In the last ten years, health statusindicators (including maternal health, childhealth, nutrition, coverage of clinicalservices, public health and reproductivehealth services) have all been stabilising.Non-communicable diseases, includingroad traffic accidents, are also becomingmajor causes of morbidity and mortalityin the country. The implementation of the NationalHealth Insurance Policy has led to anincrease in the Out-Patient per capita.Out-patient per capita increased from 0.40in 2005 to 0.79 in 2009 and hospitaladmission rates increased from 42.9 percent in 2008 to 48 per cent in 2009.However, there are currently 126 districtsin the country without district hospitals. The construction of the five newdistrict/general hospitals and onepolyclinic will significantly strengthen keyinterventions aimed at achieving theSustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs enjoins the country toachieve universal health coverage,financial risk protection, access to qualityessential health-care services and accessto safe, effective, quality and affordableessential medicines and vaccines for all. Objectives The objectives for carrying out thisproject are:
Mr Speaker, I beg to second theMotion and in doing so, I would like tosay that the Committee found that this isnot a new project. It is a project that hasbeen ongoing and the technical peopleadvised the Committee that this is what isrequired to be able to fully complete thework and to also make sure that it isequipped with the necessary equipmentto make it functional. Mr Speaker, we have no difficultyaccepting the financial terms of thecontract. So, I beg to second the Motion thatthe Committee's Report be adopted.
Thankyou. Question Proposed.
I thoughtI heard a loud “aye” and wondered whereit came from. I looked to my left and Iwondered whether it was coming from myHon Friend who knows the Constitutionvery well, epecially, somewhere withinarticle 100 to article 110. Hon Osei-Owusu,do we have the numbers to take adecision?
Mr Speaker,yes, we do. [Laughter.]
So, HonOsei-Owusu, you would agree with me thatunless somebody raises it, we presume thatwe have the numbers.
Mr Speaker, that isexactly so. [Laughter.]
All right.We have the numbers. Thank you. Mr Kofi Frimpong -- rose --
Hon KofiFrimpong, we have passed that stage. Question put and Motion agreed to.
HonMembers, item numbered 20.
Mr Speaker, I begto second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
HonDeputy Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I did not catchyour eye, but -- [Interruption.] Very well.
Mr Speaker, we should move to itemnumbered 21.
HonMembers, item numbered 21, please.
Mr Speaker, Ibeg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolving accordingly.
HonMembers, item numbered 22. Commercial Credit FacilityAgreement between GoG andDeutsche Bank AG Hon Chairman of the Committee (MrJames K. Avedzi): Mr Speaker, I beg tomove; that this Honourable House adoptsthe Report of the Finance Committee onthe Commercial Credit Facility Agreement between the Republic of Ghana andDeutsche Bank AG for an amount of fourmillion, three hundred and twentythousand, eight hundred and twenty-twoEuros and five cents (€4,320,822.05) forthe completion and equipping of theBekwai District Hospital. Mr Speaker, in doing so, I beg topresent your Committee's Report. Introduction The requests for approval of the twoFinancing Agreements were presented tothe House on behalf of the Hon Ministerfor Finance by the Hon Deputy Ministerfor Finance, Mr Cassiel Ato Baah Forsonon Thursday, 28th July, 2016 inaccordance with article 181 of the 1992Constitution. Mr Speaker referred the Agreements tothe Finance Committee for considerationand report in accordance with Order 169of the Standing Orders of the House. The Committee was assisted in itsdeliberations by the Hon Deputy Ministerfor Finance, Mr Cassiel Ato Baah Forsonand officials from the Ministry of Finance. The Committee is grateful to the HonDeputy Minister and the officials for theassistance. Reference The Committee referred to thefollowing additional documents during itsdeliberations: The 1992 Constitution of Ghana The Standing Orders of theParliament of Ghana; and The Loans Act, 1970 (Act 335). Background The health of Ghanaians has beenimproving steadily since independence.However, in the last ten years, healthstatus indicators (including maternalhealth, child health, nutrition, coverageof clinical services, public health andreproductive health services) have allbeen stabilising. Non-communicablediseases, including road traffic accidents,are also becoming major causes ofmorbidity and mortality in the country. The implementation of National HealthInsurance Policy has led to an increase inthe Out-Patient per capita. Out-patient percapita increased from 0.40 in 2005 to 0.79in 2009 and hospital admission ratesincreased from 42.9 per cent in 2008 to 48per cent in 2009. However, there arecurrently 126 districts in the countrywithout district hospitals. The construction of the five newdistrict/general hospitals and onepolyclinic will significantly strengthen keyinterventions aimed at achieving theSustainable Development Goal (SDGs).The SDGs enjoins the country to achieveuniversal health coverage, financial riskprotection, access to quality essentialhealth care services and access to safe,effective, quality and affordable essentialmedicines and vaccines for all. Objectives The objectives for carrying out thisproject are: To provide access to quality healthcare for the people of Ghana. To bridge the equity gap in accessto health care and ensuresustainable financing arrangementthat protects the poor; To improve the conditions of thestate of health facilities in Ghana; To improve access to qualitymaternal, child, neo natal andadolescent health and nutritionservices; To improve the operationalmanagement systems. Project description The major components of the Projectto be constructed include the following: A. Civil works, Mechanical & ElectricalWorks covering the followingfacilities; a. Out Patients Clinic (Ophth-almology, Dental clinic,Pharmacy, Laboratory); b. General Administration; c. Theaters; d. Adjunct Clinic Services(Diagnostics: Radiology/X-ray, ECG, Dental, Ultrasound); e. Accident and Emergency; f. In-patient Services - GeneralWards (medical and surgical); g. Maternity; h. Reproductive Child Health(RCH); i. Surgery; j. Central Sterile Development; k. Laundry; 1. Maintenance and Technicalservices;
Mr Speaker, Ibeg to second the Motion. Mr Speaker, I recall that in secondingthe earlier Motion, I said that the moneyswere meant for both completion andequipment. This portion of £4,320,822.05is the component which is meant for thecompletion of the Project.
Thankyou. Question put and Motion agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I rise to askmy Hon Leader whether he has a copy ofthe Report.
HonOsei-Owusu, do you have a copy?
Mr Speaker, I haveseen Hon Dr Akoto Osei's copy. So, I amall right. Thank you very much.
Mr Speaker, since hisquestion was directed to me -- If youwould allow me to --
Thankyou. What is the next item, please?
Mr Speaker, item numbered23 -- Resolution.
HonMember, item numbered 23 by the HonMinister for Finance.
Mr Speaker, I beg tosecond the Motion. Mr Alfred K. Agbesi -- rose --
Should Inot put the Question?
Mr Speaker, I was of theview that this Bekwai Hospital project forwhich we are passing this loan Agreement-- the Hon Member of Parliament forBekwai, while sitting down, he has beensmiling all the way. I believe that apartfrom smiling, he should have said wordsof congratulation to His Excellency the President, upon this job that is being donefor him and his constituents. Mr Speaker,but he has only been smiling. On behalfof the people of Bekwai I would want toadd that this is a big plus for HisExcellency. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, I think my HonColleague is completely out of order. Inthe sense that the Hon Deputy Ministerwas up and had actually moved theMotion for the Resolution to be adopted.I thought he was rather getting up tosecond that particular Motion, only tohear what he just said. Mr Speaker, this is not known in thepractice of this House and it should notbe tolerated. More especially, as an HonLeader, I think that he should be madeto -- Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Mr Speaker, item numbered39 on page 17 -- Income Tax (Amendment)(No. 2) Bill, 2016 at the Consideration Stage.
Is this thefirst time we are taking it?
That is so, Mr Speaker.
There areabout five amendments? So, we wouldfinish it next week -- Is it an instruction?
Mr Speaker, this is for thedetermination of the House but there areonly four amendments.
BILLS -- CONSIDERATIONSTAGE
I noticedthat Dr Kunbuor was not responding. Heis an expert in taxation. I was lookingclosely to see whether he would say “aye”or “noe”.
Mr Speaker,it is in order.
Actually,I am looking at you closely. Everything isunder control. It is all right. Clause 6 - Section 78 of Act 896amended
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 6- line 2, delete “subsections (3)and (4)” and insert “subsection (3) andsubsection (4)”. Mr Speaker, this is to ensure that therendition captures the reference beingmade for subsections (3) and (4), becauseit was not adequately captured in the Bill. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 6 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clauses 7 to 11 ordered to stand partof the Bill. Clause 12 -- Section 125 of Act 896amended
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 12 - paragraph (a), line 1, delete”has not”, and insert “does not have”.
“A resident individual who does nothave tax payable for the year undersection 11(a)”. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 12 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clauses 13 and 14 ordered to stand partof the Bill. Clause 15 -- First Schedule to Act 896amended
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 15 paragraph (b), first paragraphbelow table on page 5, delete. Mr Speaker, should I take the nextamendment, too?
Why areyou deleting it?
Mr Speaker, this is actuallyan error. It is not supposed to be here. Itwas wrongly captured here.
Do youmean the table? Are you deleting thetable?
Mr Speaker, we are deletingthe first paragraph below the table.
So, theparagraph that reads; “the above rateSchedule shall apply to agro business” isthe paragraph you are deleting?
The paragraph is (b), whichhas a table below it. The subparagraphbelow the table is the one we are deleting.It starts with “The above rates …”
That waswhat I asked you of. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 15, paragraph (c), delete. Mr Speaker, again, this is also an errorwhich does not apply in the Bill. So, weare completely deleting paragraph (c). Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 15 as variously amendedordered to stand part of the Bill. Clauses 16 and 17 ordered to stand partof the Bill. Long title ordered to stand part of theBill.
Thisbrings us to the end of the ConsiderationStage on the Income Tax (Amendment)(No. 2) Bill, 2016. Yes, Leader, next item?
Item number, 40.
HonMinister for Finance?
Mr Speaker, I beg tosecond the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Yes, itemnumbered 41?
BILLS -- THIRD READING
HonChairman, how long did it take us?
Mr Speaker, unfortunately,I did not time it.
You saidfive minutes. So, I wondered whether wemade your time. Yes, Hon Agbesi?
ThePetroleum and Exploration andProduction) Bill, 2016 at the ConsiderationStage. Where is it, please? Page? Sorry. The Customs (Amendment) Bill, 2016at the Consideration Stage.
BILLS -- CONSIDERATIONSTAGE
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause1 -- section 3A, delete and insert thefollowing: “3A. (1) There is established under thisAct, the National Single WindowSystem to allow persons involvedin trade and transport to lodgestandardised information anddocuments with a single entrypoint to fulfill all import, export,transit and other customs-relatedrequirements. (2) The National Single WindowSystem shall be managed by theAuthority. (3) For the effective management of theNational Single Window System, theNational Single Window Systemshall have the following: (a) the National Risk ManagementCommittee; and (b) the National Risk Manage-ment Team. (4) The Minister may, by legislativeinstrument, prescribe Rules for: (a) the management and pre-arrival processes for theNational Single WindowSystem; and (b) the Commissioner-General tocollect samples on behalf ofparticipating governmententities for purposes oftesting or analysis. (5) For purposes of this section,“participating government entities”include the following: (a) the Ministry of the Interior; (b) the Veterinary ServicesDepartment; (c) the National PetroleumAuthority; (d) the Food and Drugs Authority; (e) the Ghana StandardsAuthority; (f) the Narcotics Control Board; (g) the Animals ProductionDirectorate; (h) the Minerals Commission; (i) the Plant Protection andRegulatory Services Direc-torate; and (j) the Environmental ProtectionAgency.” Mr Speaker, section 3A is about a newsection to create a National Single WindowSystem and also establish the team orCommittee called the National Risk Management Committee and National RiskManagement Team. It specifies themembership of these Committees and theirfunctions. The Bill did not provide for themembership and the functions of theNational Risk Management Committee aswell as the National Risk ManagementTeam. So the new proposed amendment is forthe establishment of the National SingleWindow System as well as the NationalRisk Management Committee, NationalRisk Management Team and theirmembership and their functions. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 1, add the following new section: “National Risk Managementcommittee 3B. (1) The National Risk ManagementCommittee consists of representa-tives from: (a) the Ministry of Finance; (b) the Ministry of the Interior; (c) the Ministry of Health; (d) the Ministry of Transport; (e) the Ministry of Trade andIndustry; (f) the Ministry of Food andAgriculture; (g) the Environmental ProtectionAgency; (h) the Ghana Shippers Authority; (i) the National PetroleumAuthority; (j) the Ghana Revenue Authority; (k) the Food and Drugs Authority; (l) the Standards Authority; (m) the Narcotics Control Board; (n) the Minerals Commission; (o) the Ghana Ports andHarbours Authority; (p) the Ghana ImmigrationService; (q) the Ghana Export PromotionAuthority; (r) the Bank of Ghana; (s) the Ghana Maritime Authority; (t) the Ghana Airports CompanyLimited; (u) the National Security CouncilSecretariat; (v) the Ghana Association ofBankers; (w) the Ghana Police Service; and (x) any other institution that theMinister may include. (2) The National Risk ManagementCommittee shall: (a) formulate risk managementpolicies and procedures forthe operation of the NationalSingle Window system; (b) establish the reportingmechanisms to guaranteecontinuous feedback ofinformation to and from theNational Risk ManagementTeam; (c) develop a National RiskManagement Strategic Plan;and (d) supervise the work of theNational Risk ManagementTeam.” Mr Speaker, as I explained earlier, thisprovides for the Membership of theCommittee and the functions of theNational Risk Management Committee. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 1, add the following new section: “National Risk Management Team 3C. (1) The National Risk ManagementTeam consists of representativesfrom: (a) the Ministry of the Interior; (b) the Veterinary ServicesDepartment; (c) the National PetroleumAuthority; (d) the Ghana Revenue Authority; (e) the Food and DrugsAuthority; (f) the Standards Authority; (g) the Narcotics Control Board; (h) the Animals ProductionDirectorate; (i) the Minerals Commission; (j) the Plant Protection andRegulatory Services Direc-torate; (k) the Environmental ProtectionAgency; and (l) any other institution that theMinister may include. (2) The National Risk ManagementTeam shall: (a) be responsible for theimplementation of the NationalSingle Window risk managementpolicies and procedures; (b) promote a risk managementculture within the National SingleWindow System; (c) establish and maintain a nationalrisk register for the effectiveoperation of the National SingleWindow system; (d) institute systems with stakeholdersfor effective communication andexchange of risk information anddata; and (e) produce statistics for theinformation and decision -makingof the National Risk Manage-ment Committee.” Mr Speaker, again, it provides for themembership and functions. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 1 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 2 -- Section 17 of Act 891amended.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 2 subclause (1), insert followinghead note: “Report to be made by the master or agent of a conveyance”. Mr Speaker, this is an insertion thatcan reflect the intention of the clause by amaster or agent of a conveyance makinga report. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 2 -- subclause (1), line 3, delete“after” and insert “before”
“The master or agent of aconveyance, whether laden or inballast, shall, within a prescribedtime and in a prescribed manner,before arrival from outside thecountry, make a report of theconveyance and the stores and thecargo in the conveyance to theCommissioner-General.” Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 2 as variously amended orderedto stand part of the Bill. Clause 3 ordered to stand part of theBill. Clause 4 -- Section 50 of Act 891amended.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 4 -- delete Mr Speaker, because of the amendmentwe proposed at clause 2, where a masteror agent of a conveyance makes a reportbefore arrival from outside the country,the issue of pre-arrival does not ariseanymore. So we are deleting the clause 4entirely. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clauses 5 and 6 ordered to stand partof the Bill. The Long title ordered to stand part ofthe Bill.
Mr Speaker, item numbered47.
HonMinister for Finance? Sorry, HonMembers, that brings us to the end of theConsideration Stage of the CustomsAmendment Bill, 2016.
Mr Speaker, I beg to secondthe Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to.
HonMinister for Finance, item numbered 48.
BILLS -- THIRD READING
Mr Speaker, we could goback to item number 38.
Itemnumber38, Hon Minister for Sports?
Mr Speaker, Ibeg to move, that the Sports Bill, 2016 benow read a Second time.
MrSpeaker, I beg to second the Motion andin doing so --
Why?What is the problem?
Mr Speaker, this is theSecond Reading and we need to know theprinciples. At least, the Hon Ministershould let us know the principles we arenot privy to. Nii Lantey Vanderpuye: Mr Speaker,the purpose of this Bill is to establish theNational Sports Commission to providefor the development, promotion andmanagement of amateur and professionalsports and to enable the country tooperate its sports in line with internationallaws and practices.
Mr Speaker, Ibeg to second the Motion, and in doingso, I present the Committee's Report. Introduction The Sports Bill, 2016 was laid inParliament on Tuesday, 15th March 2016,and referred by the Mr Speaker to theCommittee on Youth, Sports and Culturefor consideration and report, pursuant toarticle 106 (4) and (5) of the 1992Constitution and Orders 125 and 187 ofthe Standing Orders of Parliament. The Committee had the benefit offurther clarification from the Hon Ministerfor Youth and Sports, Mr Edwin Nii LanteyVanderpuye, his Deputy Hon VincentOppong Asamoah and officials from theAttorney-General's Department. TheCommittee expresses its appreciation tothem for their assistance. Reference The Committee availed itself of thefollowing reference documents during itsdeliberations: a. The 1992 Constitution of theRepublic of Ghana; b. The Standing Orders of Parlia-ment; c. The Sports Decree, 1976(S.M.C.D 54); d. The Sports Regulations, 2011(L.I. 1988). Object of the Bill The Bill seeks to establish the NationalSports Commission to provide for thedevelopment, promotion and managementof amateur and professional sports andto enable the country operate its sportsin conformity with international laws andpractices. Content of the Bill Clauses 1 to 3 provide for theestablishment, objectives and functionsof the National Sports Commission. Clauses 4 to 10 deal with theestablishment of the governing body,tenure of Members and other relatedmatters. Clauses, 11, 12, 13 and 14 provide forthe appointment and functions of theDirector-General as well as other staff ofthe Commission. Clause 15 deals with the funds of theCommission, while clauses 16 to 17 dealwith Accounts and Audit, Annual Reportsand other Reports of the Commission. Clauses 18 to 20 make provision for theestablishment of a Public InterestCommittee. Clauses 21 to 28 cover the establish-ment, functions and tenure of Regionaland District Sports Committees. Clause 28 provides for Regulations,while clauses 30 and 31 deal withInterpretation and Repeal and Savings. Obervations and Recommendations The Committee noted that presently,there are inconsistencies in the sportslegislations in the country. Besides, thereis the need to ensure that theselegislations are consistent with inter-national laws and practices. The establishment of the NationalSports Commission to provide for thedevelopment, promotion and managementof sports will therefore, go a long way tostreamline the operations and activitiesof the sports industry and make it morecompetitive in the international arena.
SPACE FOR AMENDMENTS - PAGE12- 5.10 P.M.
Who isthe Hon Ranking Member? Hon W. O.Amoah, are you the Ranking Member? Allright. Question put and Motion agreed to. The Sports Bill 2016 was accordinglyread a Second time.
Mr Speaker, Presentationof Papers on the Order Paper Addendum2.
Item numbered 1.
All right,Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, with yourpermission, if we could go back to theoriginal Order Paper, item numbered 42 at page 18, that is, the SupplementaryAppropriation Bill, 2016.
Itemnumbered 42, Supplementary AppropriationBill, 2016 at the Consideration Stage. Rt Hon Speaker to take the Chair. [Pause.]
Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, with your kindpermission, we would take item numbered42 on today's Order Paper.
Hon Member, I thoughtthat we were taking item numbered 5 onthe Order Paper.
Mr Speaker, item numbered5. [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, item numbered 5 on page4 of today's Order Paper, is a Motion on theSupplementary Estimates, 2016, which wasmoved on Monday. [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, I have been informed thatthe debate is to continue.
We have not started. Are we still taking item numbered 5?
Mr Speaker, that is so. [Pause.]
Hon Members, itemnumbered 5 on the Order Paper -- Motion Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg to support theMotion moved by the Hon Minister forFinance, Mr Seth Emmanuel Terkper, thatthis Honourable House approves the sumof GH¢ 1,888,203,387.00 as SupplementaryEstimates for the 2016 financial year. Mr Speaker, this Motion was movedby the Hon Minister and the Estimateswere referred to the Committee on Financeby your goodself, for consideration andreport. Mr Speaker, in supporting the Motion,I would like to present your Committee'sReport. Introduction The review of the Budget andSupplementary Estimates of theGovernment of Ghana for the 2016financial year was presented to Parliamentby the Hon Minister for Finance, Mr SethEmmanuel Terkper on Monday, 25th July,2016 in accordance with article 179 (8) ofthe Constitution and Order 143 of theStanding Orders of the House. Mr Speaker referred the SupplementaryEstimates of Government for the 2016financial year to the Finance Committeefor consideration and report in accordancewith Order 169 of the Standing Orders ofthe House. Pursuant to the referral, the Committeemet with the Hon Minister for Finance anda team of technical staff from the Ministryof Finance and considered the referral. The Committee is grateful to the HonMinister and the technical team forattending upon it. References In examining the referral, the Committeereferred to the following additionaldocuments: 1. The 1992 Constitution of theRepublic of Ghana; 2. The Standing Orders of theParliament of Ghana; and 3. The Budget Statement andEconomic Policy of theGovernment of the Republic ofGhana for the 2016 financial year. Background Information The Minister for Finance in presentingthe Budget Statement and EconomicPolicy of the Government of Ghana for the2016 financial year indicated hispreparedness to appear before the Houseto seek approval for a SupplementaryBudget when the need arises. He furtherindicated that, the Government wasmonitoring developments in theinternational market especially regardingcommodity prices. Again, the Minister indicated hispreparedness to revise either the revenueor expenditure forecast or the scenariounderpinning such forecasts in responseto commodity price fluctuations. Following the approval of the BudgetStatement and Economic Policy of theGovernment, Ghana's economy hasexhibited signs of turnaround and brightprospect as evidenced by a number ofachievements. Prominent among these are: narrowingbudget deficit, declining debt levels, rapidexpansion of infrastructure throughprudent fiscal management, stablecurrency and bouncing private sectorconfidence in the economy. Notwithstanding these achievements,global and domestic developments haveaffected the assumptions underlying thebudget. Prominent among these pressuresare: i. crude oil prices decline to as lowas US$28 per barrel compared tothe US$53.03 used in the 2016Budget; ii. the defect in FPSO KwameNkrumah which affected crudeoil and gas production for mostpart of the first quarter of 2016making it impossible to producethe number of barrels projectedin the Budget; and iii. increased rebel and terroristattack that has affected thesupply of natural gas throughthe West Africa Gas Pipeline toGhana resulting in shortfall inpower supply with consequenceson economy development. These developments have affected thecountry's growth and output, domesticrevenue mobilisation efforts, as well as general economic activity. They have alsoundermined the availability of resourcesfor the implementation of key policydecisions outlined in the 2016 Budget. These developments necessitated therevision in some of the assumptionsunderlying the Budget and thepresentation of a supplementary estimateto review the economic targets and realignresources to ensure the country maintainsits pursuit 01 growth and macroeconomicstability and sustain fiscal discipline forthe rest of the year. In view of these developments,Government is seeking Parliamentaryapproval to spend an additionalGH¢1,888,203,387.00 to meet itsexpenditure and other obligations for the2016 financial year. Justification for the Estimates In the face of the challenges enumeratedabove, it has become necessary to makeadjustment to the provisions in the 2016Budget to accommodate the decliningrevenue as a result of a fall in crude oilprices, declining domestic revenue due toslowdown in economic activity as a resultof power supply shortages.
Table 1: 2016 revenue performance as at 31st May, 2016 SPACE FOR TABLE 1 - PAGE 5 - 5.20 P.M. 2016 Mid-year Expenditure Performance The Country by the end of May, 2016spent an amount of GH¢17,414.6 million asarrears clearance and actual expenditure forthe period. An amount of GH¢15,408.0 million representing 88.5 per cent ofprojected expenditure was actualexpenditure incurred for the period. Theactual expenditure is in respect of theunderlisted item in Table 2. Table 2: 2016 Expenditure Performances as at 31st May, 2016 SPACE FOR TABLE 2 - PAGE 6 - 5.20 P.M. 2016 Supplementary Estimates Following the presentation of the 2016Budget Estimates and Economic Policy ofthe Government, the Ghanaian economyhas experienced some shocks mainly as aresult of global and domesticdevelopments that have significantly affected the assumptions underlying theBudget, thereby casting doubt on theattainment of some of the revenueprojections in the Budget. Thesedevelopments have necessitated the needfor the Finance Minister to revise some ofthe projections in the Budget. The revisedestimates for the 2016 financial year areas follow: Table 3: 2016 Revised Revenue Estimates SPACE FOR TABLE 3 - PAGE 7 - 5.20 P.M. The projected decline in revenue alsonecessitated expenditure cuts andreallocated funds to some strategic areas.2016 expenditure projections were subsequently revised in anticipation ofprojected decrease in revenue. Summaryof the revised expenditure by cost centreis presented below:
Hon Ranking Member ofthe Committee?
Mr Speaker, thank you for givingme the opportunity to contribute to theMotion, that this Honourable Houseapproves the sum of GH¢ 1,888,203,389.00as Supplementary Estimates for the 2016financial year. Mr Speaker, in so doing, I would wantto make a few comments. Mr Speaker, when the Hon Ministerread the Budget Statement in the House, Ihad only one expectation. That he wasgoing to seek approval from this Houseto allow him to spend the levies that hehad collected, so that we could begin todeal with the energy problem. Mr Speaker, you would recall that, inDecember, 2015, this House approved theEnergy Sector Levies Act but we did notgive the Minister any authorisation to spend the money because theAppropriations Act had come into being.When we were told about the Supplemen-tary Budget, to me was an opportunityfor the Hon Minister to come and say heneeded the Supplementary Budget so hecould spend it on where he is supposedto do that. Unfortunately, it is not here. Now, ifwe consider our short-term problems inthe Energy Sector, unless the HonMinister plans to come back with a secondSupplementary Budget, he cannot spendthat money. In the meantime, there areproblems in the Energy Sector. If one reads the Budget carefully, theMinister suggested that, the Governmentwas negotiating with the banks and thatthey had paid GH¢250 million. I believe Idid not hear that he said that. I wouldrather pretend he said that they werenegotiating. This is because, he cannotspend something that he does not haveapproval for. So, I would want to advise the Ministryof Finance that, if they have to callParliament back to do the right thing, theyshould do so, otherwise, by ourConstitution, they cannot spend anymoney to deal with the Energy Sectorproblem. That opportunity has been lost. Mr Speaker, the second thing is that,he partially fulfilled part of thatconstitutional requirement. Surprisingly,the only part of the Energy Sector LeviesAct that he brought into the Budget forwhich we are debating is the Road Fund;l -- The additional GH¢780 million heasked us to give him approval to spend.That is proper, but that is not as seriousas the other one that is missed. I believe itis partial fulfilment. The next thing that he did, was toreview the Budget and give us a few forwhat has happened for the first six months.Mr Speaker, I have a lot to say, but I do not intend to say a lot, given the time thatwe are debating such an importantBudget. Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister or theHon Deputy Minister has already gonepublic to make some corrections in thisbudget. I refer to page 68 of theSupplementary Budget. He has publiclywritten a statement in the National Dailies. Mr Speaker, that relates to the fact that,Government is drawing down on itsdeposits as opposed to borrowing fromthe Central Bank. Mr Speaker, you would recall that, I hada hot debate with the Hon Deputy Ministerthat, as far as this table was concerned,when he puts the figure GH¢1,445,292,426as a positive number, it means borrowing;not drawing down. In that sense, the tablehe has presented to us is virtuallyincorrect. If it is true they are drawing down, itshould be negative. Mr Speaker, once hechanges the negatives, that financingtable would have to be changed. That isthe problem that we are debating, whichthey have not as yet corrected. Maybe,there is a correction coming and I hope tosee that. Mr Speaker, in the same page, page 68of the Budget Estimate, under the heading“Domestic (net)”, technically speaking,when we put in the positive number, itmeans that we are borrowing. If we areactually drawing down, then it should benegative. But once you change that negativenumber, that whole table would need tobe reconstructed. Unless of course theyare going to change it, we would havedifficulty in terms of approving a wrongBudget table. This is because, they have said that, they are drawing down. That isfine; I do not have a problem with that.My difficulty is that, what we would beapproving would be incorrect. Mr Speaker, I have made this known tothe people concerned. I do not know ifthey have taken the remedial measures. Itis not that I am springing upon them. Ihave told the Hon Minister and the twoHon Deputy Ministers that, I have adifficulty. Whiles we are at it, on that same page,the last column, the last number readsGH¢149,569,848,000. Mr Speaker, thatnumber is also incorrect. It should beGH¢162,527,848,302. I say this because, the revised Budgetfor non-oil GDP is GH¢162 million. Whenyou do the Supplementary Budget, itcannot revert back to the original Budget;it must be the same. So I do not knowwhat happened. That needs to becorrected. It is quite possible that, they have donethe correction because I told them so thatwe can move forward. Mr Speaker, if theyhave done it, I would not have anydifficulty. Mr Speaker, let me add yet anothercomment. If somebody were to ask uswhat we are doing in this Budget, weshould know. We are only doing twothings in terms of expenditure: we arespending GH¢2 billion to try to retire the2017 bond of approximately GH¢500million. That is one major expenditure. The second thing we are doing is;because of the excess revenues from theRoad Fund, we are asked to give approvalto spend it. If that is GH¢2 billion and theRoad Fund estimates is GH¢784 million,why does the Minister ask for GH¢1.88billion?
Hon Member, do youwant to contribute?
Mr Speaker, I wantedto second the Motion because the HonMember who just spoke said he was notable to second the Motion until answersare provided. That was what he said.
There is no issue ofsecondment even with him. Before I call Hon Assibey-Yeboah, HonChairman of Committee, I saw you on yourfeet.
Mr Speaker, I just want tocorrect the statement that the HonRanking Member just made. He talkedabout pension and said that, pensionwould go down. It is not pension butsocial security. So, he should makereference to the Estimates.
Mr Speaker, I apologise,it is supposed to be social security, whichis even worse.
Yes, Hon Member?
Thank you, Mr Speaker.In contributing to the Motion, I want todraw our attention to a few things. Firstly,the Hon Minister came here and painted avery rosy picture of the economy and Irecall that, Hon Members on the other aislewere happy at the Hon Minister'spresentation. As we speak now, the Hon Minister isin faraway London trying to issue the 2016Eurobond. The Eurobond issue has hit aroad block as we speak. The Hon Ministersaid that, the economy is in a good shapeand things are well. Ghana cannot issue aEurobond. As a matter of fact, the yield we will get is such that, should we goahead and issue the Eurobond, it wouldbe disastrous for the economy. All of thishas happened because we are not truthfulwith IMF. Mr Speaker, we went to negotiate withIMF, at that time, we agreed that, we weregoing to pass into law this issue of zerofinancing by the Central Bank. The Billthat came before us, had in it, zerofinancing. Hon Member on theGovernment Side said that, they weregoing to go against agreements made withIMF. So, on the Floor here and what has beenpassed at Bank of Ghana Amendment Bill,we have agreed that, we set a limit of fiveper cent. We went to IMF, sat down withthem and agreed that, we would pass intolaw, zero financing. We reneged on thatone. IMF is not happy. They think that, weare not serious with macro-stabilisation.The international markets are not happy,they think we are not serious. That is whywe cannot issue a Eurobond this year. Wehave issued Eurobonds in 2013, 2014 and2015 how come we cannot issue one thisyear? If we say that, the economy is incrisis here in Ghana -- Mr Gabriel K. Essilfie -- rose --
Hon Member for Shama,do you have a point of order?
Exactly, Mr Speaker. MrSpeaker, you had always ruled that,whatever we say in this House should befactual. Hon Asibey-Yeboah is makingconjectures that, IMF is not happy withus. How does he know that, IMF is nothappy with us? He has no fact so, hecannot use that for his debate. So, he should withdraw because he does nothave facts on that.
Mr Speaker, youwould recall that, Ghana entered into athree-year extended credit facilityprogramme with IMF in April, 2015. Justas they signed on, they made the firstdisbursement. In August, 2015, they madethe second disbursement and then inJanuary, 2016, they made the thirddisbursement. IMF numbers came to town in June,2016 and we met them. When they wereleaving, they told us that, by the end ofissue, they would take Ghana's issue tothe Board. Mr Speaker, that neverhappened. We were told at Committeethat, we had to pass the Public FinancialManagement Bill and the Bank of Ghana(Amendment) Bill so that at the end ofJuly, we could go to the Board but it hasnot happened. In the review, the Hon Minister saidthat, they were going to the Board onAugust, 29. They keep on shifting the goalposts. Initially, it was June, then it movedto July and now, it has gone to August.This tells me something is not happeningright and that is why they have notdisbursed the fourth tranche. Mr Speaker, as we speak—
Hon Member, you madea categorical statement and that is thepoint. What you said was that, becausethey keep on shifting the goal post, itmeans that, something is not right. Butbefore then, you made a categoricalstatement and that was what the HonMember for Shama asked for you tosubstantiate or withdraw it. If you want to withdraw it and put itthe way you have just put it, you can dothat so that, we make progress.
Mr Speaker, in myopinion, the IMF is not happy. As theykeep on shifting the goal posts, clearly, inmy opinion, they are not happy.
Hon Member, he is nowsaying that, it is his opinion.
Mr Speaker, Iwould not be surprised that, come August29, we are going to hear a different story.If IMF does not disburse, donor partnerswould not disburse, the World Bankwould not disburse and the AfricanDevelopment Bank would not disburse. Mr Speaker, as we speak now, ourcurrency is exchanging to the Dollar atGH¢ 3.95. If we are not careful and wecross over the magical GH¢4.0, Mr Speaker,then, we are in a crisis mood. Panic wouldset in. As we go into an election year, Ihave members asking me, should I changemy Cedis into Dollars or should I changemy Dollars into Cedis? These are criticalissues. Mr Speaker, we are back on theInternational Capital Market trying to raisemoney and that has hit a road block as Isaid earlier. Mr Speaker, all the micro indicators thatwere given when the Budget waspresented in November, were missed. MrSpeaker, GDP growth was 3.9 for 2015.When the Budget was presented inNovember, 2015, the Hon Minister saidthat, the economy had grown at 4.1 percent. He has revised it downward. Thiswould be three back-to-back years; 4.0 percent, 4.1 per cent and 3.9 per cent. Mr Speaker, we were growing at 8.4 percent in 2008 without oil. With oil, we aregrowing at 3.9 per cent yet we do not wantme to talk about it? Mr Speaker, what is happening toGhana? Our economy is gradually --[Interruption] --
Hon Members, we aredebating. If you are making too muchnoise and somebody makes a statement Iwould not hear and if you raise a point oforder, I cannot rule on it. The backgroundnoise is too much. If you want to converse,leave the Chamber and go and chat andwhen you are satisfied with yourself, youcome back. An Hon Member is on the Floor,if he makes a statement, how would youlisten and respond? Anyway, Hon Member, you have twominutes more.
Mr Speaker, if theeconomy is not growing as depicted inGDP numbers, then it means that we arenot creating jobs. Mr Speaker, unemploy-ment— Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu -- rose --
Yes, Hon MinorityLeader?
Mr Speaker,usually, if you want to guide us, as far ascontributions on various issues areconcerned, at the very outset, you giveus an indication, but not when the HonMember is making a submission and ismidstream, then from the Speakership, heis told that, in any event, he has twominutes. Mr Speaker, I do not know the time thatyou want to grant to Hon Members,speaking to this issue. If we may know,then, we would be advised accordingly.
Do you know how manyminutes he has been on the Floor?
Mr Speaker,I do not know because you did not giveany signal as to how many minutes aperson should speak.
Hon Members, when theHon Ranking Member was speaking, I didnot give him any time because he speaksfor the Minority on economic andfinancial matters. I never intervened. Igave him all the opportunity until hedecided that he was sitting down and didso. Hon Assibey-Yeboah you have twominutes more.
Very well. Mr Speaker, in 2015, again, the HonMinister said agriculture grew by 0.04 percent. Agriculture that grew at 7.1 per centin 2008, is now growing at 0.04 per cent. The manufacturing sector grew at -- Mr Franklin Fifi F. Kwetey -- rose --
Hon Member, do youhave a point of order? What is your pointof order?
Mr Speaker, this is a Houseof records and facts and it is importantthat the Hon Member gets his facts right.Agriculture in 2007, went down bynegative two per cent; the only time inthe history of Ghana -- [Interruption.]
Hon Members, order! Hon Member, when you rise on a pointof order, you do not argue. It means thatthe Hon Member on the Floor has made acertain statement that you are takingobjection to. What statement are youtaking objection to? Let me get it so that Ican be sure of your point of order.
Mr Speaker, I am objectingto what he said, that agriculture grew by0.04 per cent. He was in this House whenthe Hon Minister for Finance presentedthe Supplementary Budget. In thatstatement, the Minister for Finance clearlystated, by the final figures for the year2015, that agriculture grew by 2.4 per cent. He cannot come and repeat 0.04 percent which was a figure given at a timewhen we had not got the full facts. Withthe full facts available to this country andthis House, it is in his place to state whatthey are. Mr Speaker, he also stated earlier that,somehow, an economy that is growing by3.9 per cent is not generating jobs. That isnot a statement of economic facts. Aneconomy that is growing by 3.9 per centis actually a positive growth. The fact thatthe economy does not grow by 4.1 percent does not mean that, it is a negativegrowth. So, he should state his facts right.The fact is that, the economy of Ghanacontinues to grow. [Hear! Hear!]
Mr Speaker, do Istill have two minutes? Mr Speaker, manufacturing in 2013 was-0.5 per cent; 2014, -0.8 per cent and 2015,-2 per cent. How are they transforming theeconomy? Agriculture in low numbers andmanufacturing in negative numbers, andthey tell us that they are transforming theeconomy. Mr Speaker, in the Energy Sector, aswe speak, we are being railroaded intoapproving new power agreements.Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) owesGH¢3.7 billion. [Uproar!] Little wonderthat dumsor is back. Volta River Authority(VRA) owes almost GH¢1 billion. Ourfinancial sector is collapsing.
Hon Members, I wouldtake the two Hon Leaders, then the HonDeputy Minister for Finance would windup.
Mr Speaker, the Minister forFinance came to Parliament on Monday,25th July, 2016, to present to us the reviewof the Budget and Economic Policy ofGovernment and Supplementary Estimatesfor the 2016 financial year. Mr Speaker, a Supplementary Budgetis presented to Parliament whenever oneof two matters occur. The Constitutionprovides in article 179 (8) and with yourpermission, I beg to quote: “Where, in respect of a financialyear, it is found that the amount ofmoneys appropriated by theAppropriation Act for any purposeis insufficient or that a need hasarisen for expenditure for a purposefor which no sum of moneys hasbeen appropriated by that Act, asupplementary estimate showingthe sum of money required, shall belaid before Parliament for itsapproval.” Mr Speaker, so, we are talking aboutone or two incidents happening whichwould trigger the presentation ofSupplementary Estimates. Either it is foundout that the amount of moneysappropriated by the Appropriation Act for any purpose is insufficient or that no sumof moneys have been appropriated, but asudden need has arisen for such apurpose. So, in presenting SupplementaryEstimates, the Hon Minister for Financeis necessarily obligated by theConstitution to show cause for any oneof these matters. The Hon Minister failedwoefully to show us that the Supplemen-tary Estimates has been triggered by anyone of these matters. That has been veryusual with our Hon Minister for Finance,ever since he started presentingSupplementary Estimates. Mr Speaker, it should also not beconsidered that in any year, there is alwaysa need to present SupplementaryEstimates. The Budget of a Government is thework plan of that Government for one year.And if for any year midstream, you haveto present Supplementary Estimates, itwould suggest that you are incapable ofplanning. That is why the submission ofSupplementary Estimates is predicated oneither one of two events happening in theyear. It should not be considered asritualistic that every year the Hon Ministerfor Finance presents SupplementaryEstimates in the House. The Government and indeed the HonMinister indicated to us the strength andresilience of the economy that he issuperintending over. The NationalDemocratic Congress (NDC) Governmenttold this country that they were going toensure that for every year of theiradministration, they would ensure anaverage Gross Domestic Product (GDP)growth of at least eight per cent per annum. They also said that for the ensuing fouryears beginning from 2013, they weregoing to ensure a single digit rate of inflation. They said that, they were goingto ensure an overall budget deficit,equivalent to five per cent of GDP and forthose international reserves that wouldcover less than four months of imports. Mr Speaker, the average GDP growthrate of at least eight per cent has not beenachieved. Mr Speaker, the former Hon Ministerof State at the Ministry of Finance saidthat it was predicated on a base, all thingsbeing equal. They knew this before theygave the assurance that they were goingto ensure that the economy would begrown by eight per cent at least every year-- per annum. Mr Speaker, it is a crying shame that,four years on, they have not even managedto achieve an average of 50 per cent ofthe assurances that they gave this nation. If an Hon Minister was coming withSupplementary Estimates, he was goingto work his way to achieve theperformance of a growth rate of at leasteight per cent -- at least for this year.None of that is envisaged. Mr Speaker, it is a gargantuan failureof a Government that goes on promisingsprees and would not look back to seewhether or not it is attaining the promisesthat it gave. Mr Speaker, with a single digit rate ofinflation, today, inflation is hoveringaround 18.2 per cent. A Government thatpromised to ensure single digit inflationfor the entire duration of four years. And when the Hon Minister came withthe Supplementary Estimates, we thoughthe was going to reflect on his ownpromises and tell us that with this, they were going to approach this finaldestination. But there was nothing likethat. There is an overall budget deficitequivalent to five per cent of GDP -- theleast said about that the better. Gross international reserves that covernot less than four months of imports --the highest they have achieved is threemonths. Today we are in the region ofthree months. At least, they assured thecountry of four months. Mr Speaker, I see you smiling and Iknow that you are flashing back and tellingyourself; “alas, a Government that hasmisled this country”. I can tell that.
Hon Minority Leader,would you kindly leave me out of thisdebate?
Mr Speaker,I am striving to leave you out of it, exceptthat the smile on your face tells a lot, andI am with you that this nation has beenreduced to a laughing stock.
On a point of order.Mr Speaker, I am so surprised to hear theHon Minority Leader say that if onerevises one's figures due to circumstancesbeyond one's control, that means a totalfailure. Mr Speaker, even with names, there isa way by which they are changed. Onecan revise one's name and there areexamples here. Mr Speaker, when one realises that thecircumstances would not permit him or herto carry on to use the name he or shestarted with, one can use the affidavit tochange his or her name when one thinksthe circumstances are not working.
Mr Speaker,Parliament is a House of seriousness andwe engage in serious intellectual displays,arguments and debates and notgimmickry. Mr Speaker, the issue that I raised, thatthe Government promised that oureconomic policies and programmes wouldaim at the attainment of a per capita incomeof at least US$2,300 per year. Where arewe? Mr Speaker, in terms of job creationand industry, Government promised anintegrated petroleum industry based onbauxite. And in the last leg of the journey,we thought that flashing back, the HonMinister for Finance, when he came herewould relocate us on that path -- a petro-chemical industry based on salt andnatural gas. We are on the last leg and nothing -- afertilizer industry to give impetus to agrodevelopment. When the Hon Member forKoforidua stood up, he spoke to the factthat agriculture is not doing well -- oneof the issues that is contributing to thenon-performance of agriculture relates tofertilize; the procurement and supply ofit. Mr Speaker, it is one of the reasons.And one thought that if anybody rose tochallenge this, it would be an exercise inseriousness and not gimmickry. Mr Speaker, we were promised a saltbased chemical industry for caustic soda,an integrated iron and steel industry based on the iron ore deposits at Oppon Mansoin the Western Region. The last leg of theGovernment we thought would be relatedto these matters. Nii Lantey Vanderpuye: On a point oforder. Mr Speaker, the Hon MinorityLeader just referred to Hon Assibey-Yeboah as the Hon Member of Parliamentfor Koforidua. Mr Speaker, by our records, we do nothave any Constituency called“Koforidua”. And I am surprised the HonMinority Leader wants to change HonAssibey-Yeboah's Constituency. I wish the Hon Minority Leader wouldchange the constituency too, but the factis that, he has changed figures.
Mr Speaker,I assumed the Hon Member was going toallude to the figures that I have changed.[Interruption.] Changing the constituency amounts tochanging figures? Mr Speaker, if an Hon Minister wouldrefer to this as changing figures, then Godhelp him. I guess it does not merit my response. Mr Speaker, they told us that they weregoing to revive the Volta AluminumCompany (VALCO), and also said that theTextile Industries and Ventures weregoing to be revitalised and revamped,ceramic bricks and tile manufacturing,glass factories, steel mills et cetera. Mr Speaker, all these have nothappened and one thought that in the lastleg of the administration of thisGovernment, they were going to talk aboutthat. Mr Speaker, for agriculture, for whichthe former Hon Minister spoke about,they said they were going to expand therole of the National Service Scheme toensure proper food production and properfood security. Mr Speaker, early this year in thiscountry, we imported cassava andplantain from La Cote d'ivoire. Again, ifwe wanted to be realistic and practical,one would have thought that when theHon Minister came with the Supplemen-tary Estimates and a review of theperformance of the economy, he would befactual and relate to these matters. Hesprinted away from these facts. Mr Speaker, so there are many thingsthat we have not done. They indicated tous that by the end of their tenure, theywere going to refurbish and modernise theWestern Railway Line. As we speak today,they have not finished from Sekondi toKojokrom. Mr Speaker, they should not forget thatin the 2016 Budget Statement they camefor GH¢100 million to complete the rail trackfrom Sekondi to Kojokrom. They have noteven done that. What has happened tothe GH¢100 million that they came for torefurbish the rail track from Sekondi toKojokrom? Mr Speaker, they will answer to this atthe appropriate time. Mr Speaker, they said they were goingto rehabilitate the Accra-Tema andKumasi-Ejisu, Accra-Nsawam, Sekondi-Kwadwokrom — Mr Kwetey — On a point of order. Mr Speaker, the Hon Minority Leaderis not being factual. If he cares to know,for example, the progress of work that weare seeing on the Sekondi-Takoradirailway line -- At the moment, we arelooking at 86 per cent completion, and weshould have finished with all the thingsthat we started before October — [Hear!Hear!] — So, it is unfortunate for him tobe jumping into conclusions when he hasactually not taken time to apprise himselfof the facts. It is unfortunate.
Mr Speaker,the Hon Minister would inform himselfthat the Western Railway Line is not justfrom Sekondi to Takoradi — he does notknow this basic fact, and the Hon Ministeris telling me that I do not know this? Mr Speaker, the Western Railway Linestarts from Sekondi through Tarkwa,Dunkwa-Awaso to Kumasi. The WesternRailway Line is not just Sekondi toTakoradi, and he is telling us that that is86 per cent completed. Mr Speaker, I guess the Hon Ministeris in Accra but he hails from the VoltaRegion. He has not traversed that routeand so he does not know what he istalking about. Mr Kwetey — rose --
Mr Speaker,he is up again. I will yield to him if I mayhave to. But since you have not calledhim, I know that he is not going to —
Hon Minister, the HonMinority Leader made a statement andyou thought that he was misleading theHouse and therefore raised a point oforder and made the point that he was notbeing factual. He got up and statedotherwise. If it is on the same matter, Ithink that you have stated your point andhe has responded to it. But I will call you.What do you have to say?
Mr Speaker, the HonMinority Leader spoke expressly aboutthe Sekondi-Takoradi railway lines andthat was what I responded to. On the broader issue of the WesternRailway Line, if the Hon Minority Leadercares to know, I can inform him thatgovernment's policy has reached a stagewhere we in the next two weeks are goingto start a massive rehabilitation of thewhole Western Railway Lines. That is afact — [Uproar]. Mr Speaker, actually that would be thedifference between a government thatcares about infrastructure as opposed toanother that went collecting US$750million and could not even get the railwaylines done. Mr Speaker, in fact, they sold railwaylines for scrap in their time. We haveshown real commitment to infrastructureand so the difference is crystal clear —[Hear! Hear!]
On a point of order. Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister ismisleading the House. Mr Speaker, first and foremost, as wespeak, the National Democratic Congress(NDC) is selling scrap from the GhanaRailway Corporation. Secondly, theWestern Railway Line starts fromKojokrom to Kumasi with a branch atAwaso. Therefore the Sekondi to Tarkwarailway line is not part of the WesternRailway Line. Mr Speaker, as we speak, the NDC isselling scrap from the railway in Takoradi— [Uproar.]
Mr Speaker,I think it is worth restating what the HonMinister said that the policy is aboutcomplete — After four years, and threemonths before the General Election, it isnow that the policy has been completed, and it is intended to begin in the next twoweeks. Mr Speaker, I believe the people of thiscountry are listening and they know whomto take seriously. Mr Speaker, in any event, where is thatprovision? He said they intend to do thatproject that is the Western Railway Linein the next two weeks. Where is the budgetfor that? And he is a Minister —Peoplecan just jump anywhere and make wildpromises. It is not captured anywhere inany Budget Statement, and yet he getsup and says, they are going to begin theproject in the next two weeks. He shouldbe laughing at himself — [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, this is not platform talk.This is a House of records. He can saythat when he mounts the platform. Thereis no budget for that. He should notdeceive himself and the country. Mr Speaker, sometimes you tell us thatyou are responsible for maintaining lawand order, so when a Minister makes thatwild promise, you should tell him that heis out of Order. He is completely out of orderand he is bringing the House into chaos,causing serious riotous development in theHouse. He is completely out of order. Mr Speaker, one would have thoughtthat when the Hon Minister came here, hewas going to try to put things in order, atleast, to take us somewhere on thetrajectory that they sought to establishfor this country. We are still at groundzero. In other words, in my consideredopinion, all the efforts of the Hon Ministerwas much ado about nothing. The Supplementary Budget is notgoing to take us anywhere. We are stillstuck at ground zero. That is why thisnation is crying for a change and changeindeed is going to happen, not based on
Mr Speaker, I stand to supportthe Motion and in doing so, I thought myHon Colleagues understood what the HonMinister for Finance did in this House —[Interruption.] Mr Speaker, clearly, the Hon Ministercame to move a Motion and in doing sohe presented two things; he gave us areview of the performance of the economicpolicies of Government as a result of whichsome money has been generated. So he iscalling on us to approve that asSupplementary Estimates. It was notincluded in the 2016 Budget Statement thatwas approved by this House in November2015. That is what the Hon Minister came todo; clearly we do not approve a budgetreview. So if he is to request for approval,it is only the Supplementary Estimates thathe could ask for approval. That he has togive a review of the performance of theeconomy and that was what the HonMinister did. Dr A. A. Osei -- rose --
Hon Ranking Member, doyou have a point of order?
Mr Speaker, the HonMajority Leader is grossly misleading thisHouse. Mr Speaker, the constitutionalrequirement does not talk about “he hasmore money” -- no. With yourpermission, I would want to read. It says: “Where in respect of a financial year,it is found that the amount ofmoneys appropriated by theAppropriations Act for any purposeis insufficient or that a need hasarisen for expenditure for a purposefor which no sum of moneys havebeen appropriated . . .”.
Mr Speaker, I have not yetread the article; I have stated what theHon Minister came here to do and whatthe Hon Minister did. When we get to thearticle, I will show you the need for theexpenditure and where that money iscoming from. That is stated in what theHon Minister presented. Mr Speaker, clearly, the document wehave is titled “Review of the Budget andEconomic Policy of Government andSupplementary Estimates for the 2016Financial Year”. That is what the HonMinister came and presented to the House. Mr Speaker, I understood why therewas that broad smile on your face. Whensome people cannot even manage a partybut they claim to know how to manage acountry better than those managing thecountry, it is laughable -- [Hear! Hear!]So saying that one is incompetent is notwhat will make the person incompetent, itis the output. Mr Speaker, where we are it is clear thatthere is transformation and not justchange. [Hear! Hear!]
Mr Speaker, I hear some HonColleagues talk about “Ford Expedition”.But it is in the same light as the MercedesBenz S 500. I am surprised that HonMembers of Parliament would think that aPresident of their country would acceptFord Expedition. It is a shame. Mr Speaker, paragraph 258 -- Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu -- rose --
Yes, Hon MinorityLeader?
Mr Speaker,now that the Hon Majority Leader isintroducing a matter relating to FordExpedition, I thought that we haddiscussed the need to move a Motion onthis matter. As the Speaker, you have beenoffering some advice, and if the HonMajority Leader is minded for this to bedone, we are ever ready to discuss thatMotion. The Motion is still pending --
Hon Minority Leader, wehave been having some discussions onthis matter so let us leave it and debatethe Motion before us.
I thoughtyou would drive him on the right path butbecause you left him, I came out with this.
It applies to all HonMembers of the House. People were usingthe words, “incompetent”, “change”.Meanwhile, this Motion is not about“change”. For now, let us focus on theMotion before us --
Ford! Ford! It isabout Ford. Let us focus on the Motion before us.
Mr Speaker, let me assureour Hon Colleagues on the Opposite Sidethat those of us on this Side are also everready at any time and on any day to debatewhatever Motion is accepted for thisHouse to debate. We are forever ready.[Interruption.] Mr Speaker, at paragraph 258, the HonMinister clearly gave us the picture ofwhy there was a need for theSupplementary Estimates to be approvedby this House. Mr Speaker, he said and Iquote with your permission: “You may recall that in December2015, this august House passed theEnergy Sector Levies Act, 2015 (Act899). I wish to note that therevenues to be generated from theincrease in the Road Fund Levy andthe Energy Fund Levy that werepassed as well as the correspondingexpenditures from these levies werenot factored into the 2016 BudgetEstimates. To ensure transparencyand accountability from theproceeds of these levies, theassociated projected revenuesexpended have been included in therevised fiscal framework”. Dr A. A. Osei-- rose --
Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, this isprecisely the point. That is incorrect. Theonly part in the fiscal Table is the RoadFund, not the part to the Energy FundLevy. That is my point. So if the HonMajority Leader repeats that he is like theHon Minister, misleading this House. It isnot in the fiscal table -- he cannot showit. So please, it is not contained in the fiscaltable.
Mr Speaker, after I quoteda paragraph verbatim, I am told that it isnot there. I just read paragraph 258 --[Interruption] -- That is what I read.[Interruption] “Revised fiscal framework”-- That is in paragraph 258. It is theframework and not table. [Uproar.] Mr Speaker, I am surprised that my verygood friend is doing this. I listened to himand noted down some of his points. I amresponding to them and he would not evenlisten to me.
“In 2016, total revenue to begenerated from the Road Fund levyand the Energy Fund levy as a resultof the implementation of the EnergySector Levies Act, 2015, Act 899 isGH¢ 1,092,700,000.00.” Mr Speaker, that is stated. [Interruption.]What is wrong? [Interruption.] Am I quotingwrongly? [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, he should read it to thehearing of everybody.
Hon Majority Leader, youhave quoted correctly, so continue.[Laughter.] This is because I read theparagraph with you and you have quotedcorrectly. So, please, continue.
Mr Speaker, that isparagraph 259. So, Mr Speaker, yes, I donot know where the Hon Minister erredby coming before the House to show --
Hon Ranking Member ofthe Finance Committee, you have thefloor. Are you on a point of order?
Yes, Mr Speaker. Hequoted correctly but that is where the HonMinister is wrong. [Uproar.] This isbecause it is not true. [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, he has quoted somethingwritten by somebody. He is my seniorbrother and I am telling him it is inaccurate.That is all.
Hon Ranking Member ofthe Committee on Finance and HonMember for Old Tafo, when an HonMember quotes correctly from a documentbefore the House he cannot be out ofOrder. If you think the Hon Minister is wrong,it is for you to produce evidence as towhy he is wrong. I remember in yoursubmission, you tried to make thosepoints. But for now, he is quoting correctlyfrom the document.
Mr Speaker, I am told thatthe opinion of Hon Akoto Osei is correctand that of the Hon Minister for Financeis wrong; that I am out of order forquoting the Minister for Finance'sopinion. [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, that was why he stood up.One can stand up only on points of order.[Interruption.] But that is also a point oforder. Point of information is also a formof a point of order. Mr Speaker, he shouldread the Standing Orders. [Laughter.] Mr Speaker, we are told that theeconomy was growing at eight per centwithout oil, and that today with oil, we aregrowing at a lesser rate. What we had fromHeavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC)is far more than what we have so fargenerated from the oil revenue.Everybody knows that. [Interruption.]Yes! So, there is a difference. Mr Speaker, our Friends are aware thatfor eight years, not a single regionalhospital was constructed by them. Theyare aware that for eight years, not a singlesenior high school was built by them.[Hear! Hear!] They are aware that foreight years, not a single university wasopened by them. They are aware that foreight years, this country was in watercrisis. [Uproar.] Today, all these are things of the past[Hear! Hear!] And yet --
Hon Member forTakoradi?
On a point ofOrder. Mr Speaker, the Hon MajorityLeader is misleading this House. Mr Speaker, under former PresidentKufuor, the School of Mines became theUniversity of Mines and Technology(UmaT). Mr Speaker, under PresidentKufuor, the Shama Secondary School wasrebuilt as the Shama Remodel SecondarySchool. So it is not factual that we did notbuild any secondary school or any newuniversity. Mr Speaker, the University of Healthand Allied Sciences was built from aninfrastructure that existed. The Universityof Energy and Natural Resources wasbuilt from an infrastructure that alreadyexisted. Therefore, I put it to him that he ismisleading this House and he has towithdraw what he said.
Mr Speaker, can our Friendstell us as a fact the number of teachinghospitals that we have constructed withinthis period? [Interruption] -- In eight years,which one have they constructed?[Uproar.]
Mr Speaker, I wouldhave thought that the Hon MajorityLeader would probably have read theState of the Nation Address delivered inthis House in about February or March,2001. If he had read it, my Hon Colleaguewould not be making these assertions. MrSpeaker, on that occasion we were toldabout the true State of the Nation that theNPP inherited from the previousgovernment. Mr Speaker, that was why there wasno water, no light, no petrol, no food andwe had to run to Nigeria in search of thenecessities of life. [Uproar.]
Order! Hon K. T. Hammond, you are a seniorMember of this House. If you would wantto raise a point of order, go straight to it.What is your point of order?
Mr Speaker, my pointof Order was that he was misleading thisHouse by not telling us about the trueState of the Nation in 2001 and rathergoing on the tangent that he was going.
Mr Speaker, we neededto discover oil before we get money todo the secondary schools he is talkingabout --
Mr Speaker, a wholeMinistry for Ports, Harbours and RailwaysTransport was created. Loans wereapproved by this House for that Ministry. Mr Speaker, for eight years, our HonColleagues on the opposite side, struggledto construct the railway between Tema andAccra. In eight years, it could not becompleted. Today, they are talking aboutwhat is going on at the Western railwayline. Mr Speaker, so, clearly, the Hon Ministersaid at page 61 that the revisions that hehas made have led to some increase --because of the Act we passed. Mr Speaker, I stated at paragraph 271 ofthe Report, and with your permission, I begto quote: “Mr Speaker, the revisions abovewill result in a requirement of anappropriation of GH¢ 51,998,055,121against an amount of GH¢50,109,851,734 appropriated in the2016 Budget.” Mr Speaker, so he had to make a requestto this House, which he has stated inparagraph 272, and that request is asfollow:, “Mr Speaker, as mentioned earlier inthis presentation, the aim of thisSupplementary Estimate is to seekParliamentary approval to commitadditional resources outlined in thisreport to fund additionalexpenditures resulting from therevisions made to the 2016 Budget.In this regards, we are requestingapproval for an amount ofGH¢1,888,203,387 as SupplementaryEstimates for the 2016 financial year.” Mr Speaker, this is what the HonMinister came to do, and this is what theMotion is about. I would want to call on allHon Members to support the Motion.[Hear! Hear!] Mr Speaker, I urge all my HonColleagues, and all well-meaningGhanaians to support this Supplementary Budget. This is because it is in the interestof Ghana for that to be done. Mr Speaker, I am happy that the HonRanking Member for the FinanceCommittee stated these figures andsupported the Hon Minister, but only saidthat he wanted an explanation in one areafor him to support the Motion. Mr Speaker, what the Hon Minister didin appendices 1, 3, 4 and 5, was to givedetailed figures. [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, this is a point that he candebate with the Hon Minister for Finance.I am looking at what is in the Report, andI would want -- [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, an Hon Member cannotturn his back to the Speaker. That is notallowed in the House. [Uproar.] One doesnot sit with his or her backing facing theSpeaker. Please, that is part ofparliamentary practice. [Uproar.] That iswhy you are in this turmoil. Mr Speaker, so, I support the Motion.
Hon Deputy Minister forFinance, do you want to say anything byway of winding up? -- Otherwise, I willput -- [Uproar.] Dr A. A. Osei -- rose --
Hon Member, let me hearfrom you before I put the Question. Youwere on your feet when the Hon MajorityLeader was about to conclude.
Mr Speaker, yes. I thinkthe Hon Majority Leader said, “all well-meaning Ghanaians”. It is very importantthat an Hon Majority Leader in the Housedoes not impugn motives. Mr Speaker, we are debating a Budgetand to suggest that only “well-meaningGhanaians” means that if you are againstit you are not a well-meaning Ghanaian.
Hon Members, I want toput the Question. The only issue leftbefore me now is to find out whether theissue you are raising affects the figure. Ifthe total figure that we are going toapprove is wrong, we can -- but if thefigure itself is right, then -- At the end ofthe day, it is the figure that we areapproving. That sum is the subject matterof the Motion. Hon Members, I will putthe Question now. Hon Members, in parliamentarypractice when the front bench winds up,we do not take further points, except thatthere is a serious issue of an error on theface of the record. This one dealing withfigures, if the figure is correct, I will putthe Question. There could be subsequent actions asregards other matters that have beenraised on the floor of the House. Question put and Motion agreed to.
The House herebyapproves the sum of GH¢1,888,203,387.00as Supplementary Estimates for the 2016financial year. Hon Majority Leader, are we taking itemnumbered 6 on the original Order Paper?
Item numbered 6.
Mr Speaker, item numbered6 -- it is left with the Question to be put.
Mr Speaker, from thedebate, I believe that there is anoutstanding issue to be resolved withrespect to one nominee. I beg to proposethat we put the Question on the othertwo nominees so that we could resolvethe outstanding issues on the thirdperson later. Mr Speaker, this is the sense that Igathered from the discussions.
Very well. Hon Members, in view of that andlistening -- Hon Members, I would put theQuestion, subject to further consultations on the nominee designate for the HonDeputy Minister for Local Governmentand Rural Development. Hon Members,we have the Hon Leader of GovernmentBusiness, and this item is GovernmentBusiness. The nominations are from theGovernment; the President of this country,and the person in charge of Governmentbusiness is the Hon Majority Leader. So Iam putting the Question subject to furtherconsultations. Hon Members, you may recall that, lastFriday we deferred the Question beingput, so that further consultations couldbe made. My understanding is that, theconsultations have not concluded that iswhy I would want to put the Question onthe other two nominees. Hon Majority Leader, am I correct?
Mr Speaker, yes. You areright. Question put and Motion agreed to.
Accordingly, the Househas approved Mr Emmanuel Bombande,as the Hon Deputy Minister designate forthe Ministry of Foreign Affairs andRegional Integration. The House has alsoapproved Mr Joseph Tetteh Angmor, asthe Deputy Minister designate for theEastern Region. On behalf of the House and indeed, onmy own behalf, I congratulate them. Hon Majority Leader, kindly concludethe consultations and let us know. Hon Members, we would take itemnumbered 49 -- Companies Amendment)Bill, 2016 -- at the Consideration Stage.There is one clause.
BILLS -- CONSIDERATIONSTAGE
Hon Members, let ushave order in the Chamber. Hon Chairman, you have moved theamendment -- debate to continue. Hon Members, my attention has beendrawn to Act 874 -- Anti-MoneyLaundering (Amendment) Act of 2014. Thedefinition in that Act is the same as whatwe have -- [Interruptions] -- HonMembers, let us have Order! Hon Members, the definition that wehave for “politically exposed person” isthe same as what we have in theamendment. I would put the Question.
Mr Speaker, bear withme. This is because I have looked all overfor my copy. Since yesterday I havecarried it with me and now I cannot find it.So I would have to speak from my memory-- what I have in my head. Mr Speaker, looking at it and referringback to the parent law itself, there was anissue as to where exactly the reference to“politically exposed persons” was. I wentback and realised that it had first beenintroduced in the amendment Bill. I thinkit is in clause 3, where there is a suggestionthat in the returns to the Registrar-
It is in that clause,which I think is clause 3 that reference isfirst made of the “politically-exposedpersons”, and it is said that in return, theremust be an indication as to who thatperson is before we go to clause 9, whichthen tries to define it. Mr Speaker, my point is; looking at theoriginal one, there is no reference to“politically-exposed individual”. What isa politically exposed individual doing inthis clause as proposed in this amendmentBill?
Well, that is a veryimportant point, if that is true. Theargument he is making is that nowhere inthe Bill did we make reference to“politically-exposed persons”, and so whyare we defining it?
Mr Speaker, the idea ofintroducing “politically-exposed persons”stems from clause 2 of the Bill. Clause 2 ofthe Bill specifically introduces that thereis the need for the Registrar of Companiesto register not only members of thecompany but also beneficial owners,which is an innovation to the registrationprocess. We are registering beneficialowners. Mr Speaker, why is there the need forthe registration of beneficial owners? Ithas now been realised that a lot of peopleregister interest in companies, but they usepeople as the frontmen, either relatives --
Hon Chairman of theCommittee, the fundamental question waswhether the term “politically-exposedpersons” has been used in any clause ofthe Bill. That was the question he wasposing. When you use it you would haveto define it. That is the point he is raising. Yes, Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, atpage 3 of the Bill, clause 1 (b), quotingsection (3) it is stated and with yourpermission, I beg to quote: “(3) The return shall; (a) Identify the members ofbeneficial owners who arepolitically exposed persons;and (b) Be signed by two directorsand the secretary of thecompany.” So, they are defining that phrase,“politically exposed persons”. It is there.
Hon Member, they haveresponded to your issue.
Mr Speaker, I did saythat I saw it in three or something. I haveseen that. But I am saying that, in theparent Act, there is no reference to the“politically-exposed persons”.
No, this is an amendmentBill.
It is an amendment Billentirely, but Mr Speaker, what I amsuggesting now is; what is the need forthe term “politically-exposed persons”?
Hon K. T. Hammond, wehave passed there. This clause is now partof the Bill. They are defining the term“politically-exposed persons”, and thedefinition is the same as the one in theAnti-Money Laundering (Amendment)Act, 2014 (Act 874). Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 9 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu -- rose --
The Long title? Yes, areyou up on the long title?
Mr Speaker,I got up before you called the long title. Iwanted some clarification in respect of thedefinition of “politically-exposed persons”. Mr Speaker, (a) (ii) indicates senior,political government judicial or militaryofficial. Why leave out other securityofficers like the police and limit it to onlymilitary officials? Why is it only themilitary?
It is not exhaustive. So itis including prominent publicfunctionaries.
Mr Speaker,the reason is; if we mention militaryofficials, why leave the police and othersecurity --?
This definition was liftedfrom the Anti Money Laundering(Amendment) Act, 2014 and put thereverbatim. The Question is whether weshould have two different definitions; onespecifically for the Companies (Amendment)Bill, 2016 and the other for the Anti MoneyLaundering (Amendment) Act, 2014. I have put the Question already. Whatwe could do is, if you feel strongly aboutit, we might want to do a SecondConsideration Stage, as the rules allow. Long title ordered to stand part of theBill. Question put and motion agreed to.
Hon Majority Leader, doyou want us to pass the Companies(Amendment) Bill? There is no provision on the OrderPaper for Third reading.
Mr Speaker, we would dothat tomorrow. The Third Reading of theCompanies (Amendment) Bill would bedone tomorrow. It is not provided for. Wehave --
Are we taking any otheritem for today?
That is so, Mr Speaker.
Mr First Deputy Speakerto take the Chair. Hon Members, if we are adjourningtomorrow, we would want to do it as earlyas possible. So we would only come forthe concluding remarks and theadjournment, so that we do not waste toomuch time. So if there is any importantitem to be taken, let us take it, today.
Mr Speaker, item number42, Supplementary Appropriation Bill, 2016.
BILLS -- CONSIDERATIONSTAGE
I beg to move,clause 1 -- line 6, delete “XXXth day ofXXX, 2015" and insert “24th day of July,2015”. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 1 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 2 -- Commencement.
I beg to move,clause 2-- delete “XXXth day of XXX,2015" and insert “24th day of July, 2015”. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 2 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
Mr Speaker, I beg to secondthe Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to.
Item number44 the Order Paper. Motion by the HonMinister for Finance.
BILLS -- THIRD READING
Mr Speaker, item numbered24.
HonMembers, item numbered 24 on the OrderPaper, by the Hon Chairman of the FinanceCommittee.
Mr Speaker, I am notsure why the Hon Leader said we shoulddo that one, because we do not have theReports.
Mr Speaker, I have a listhere from the Hon Chairman of the FinanceCommittee, and that is what I am using.As to those that are ready and those thatare not ready, if the Report is not ready,we would take item number 6.
Mr Speaker, I notice thatwhile Papers are being distributed, theother side of the House is getting it, butwe are not. The usher is distributing thePapers there, but nobody is doing samehere. It has been happening all day andyesterday. When they distribute Papers they donot give us any, why? Are we not HonMembers of Parliament?
HonMajority Leader, which item did you referto, item number 6?
Item 6 on Order PaperAddendum 2.
Very well,Hon Members, item numbered 6 on theOrder Paper Addendum 2, Motion by theHon Chairman of the Committee.
Mr Speaker, I begto move, that notwith-standing theprovisions of Standing Order 80 (1) whichrequire that no motion shall be debateduntil at least forty-eight hours haveelapsed between the date on which noticeof the motion is given and the date onwhich the motion is moved, the motionfor the adoption of the Report of theFinance Committee on the ConcessionalLoan Facility Agreement between theGovernment of the Republic of Ghana andthe Kuwait Fund for Arab EconomicDevelopment for an amount of sevenmillion Kuwaiti Dinars (KD7.0 million)[equivalent of US$24.0 million], to financethe Expansion and Development oftwenty-six (26) Existing Senior HighSchools may be moved today.
Mr Speaker, I beg tosecond the motion. Question put and amendment agreedto.
HonMembers, item numbered 7 on the orderPaper Addendum 2, Motion by HonChairman of the Committee. Concessional Loan FacilityAgreement between GoG and theKuwait Fund for Arab EconomicDevelopment
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,that this Honourable House adopts theReport of the Finance Committee on theConcessional Loan Facility Agreementbetween the Government of the Republicof Ghana and the Kuwait Fund for ArabEconomic Development for an amount ofseven million Kuwaiti Dinars (KD7.0million) [equivalent of US$24.0 million] tofinance the Expansion and Developmentof twenty-six (26) Existing Senior HighSchools. Mr Speaker, in so doing, I present yourCommittee's Report. Introduction The Concessional Loan FacilityAgreement between the Government ofthe Republic of Ghana and the KuwaitFund for Arab Economic Development foran amount of seven million Kuwaiti Dinars(KD7.0 million) [equivalent of US$24.0million], to finance the Expansion andDevelopment of Twenty-six (26) ExistingSenior High Schools was presented to theHouse by the Hon Deputy Minister forFinance, Mr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson, on behalf of the Hon Minister for Finance onTuesday, 2nd August, 2016 in accordancewith article 181 of the 1992 Constitution. The Hon Second Deputy Speakerreferred the request to the FinanceCommittee for consideration and report inaccordance with Order 169 of the StandingOrders of the Parliament of Ghana. The Committee was assisted in itsdeliberations by the Hon Deputy Ministerof Finance, Mrs Mona K. Quartey andofficials from the Ministries of Financeand Education. The Committee is gratefulto the Hon. Deputy Minister and officialsfor the assistance. Reference The Committee referred to thefollowing additional documents during itsdeliberations: The 1992 Constitution of Ghana; The Standing Orders of theParliament of Ghana; and Loans Act, 1970, (Act 335). Background One of the main rationale for theeducational reforms in Ghana is toincrease equitable access at all levels ofeducation as enshrined in the EducationSector Plan (ESP) 2010- 2020. Since theimplementation of the new educationalreforms in 1990, enrolments haveincreased at the basic level resulting in a corresponding increase in demand forplaces in Senior High Schools (SHSs). Asa result, pressure is growing on thecapacity of the existing institutions to meetthe increasing demand. This demand has been fueled to a largerextent by increasing population and highcompletion rate at the Junior High Schoollevel. Whilst less than half a millionstudents were enrolled in SHS in 2009,today, more than 800,000 students areenrolled. This represents one third of therelevant age population (37% GrossEnrolment Rate, GER). While this rate putsGhana among the top countries in theSub-Saharan Africa, the country still lagsbehinds other lower middle incomecountries with comparable GDP per capitain Asia or Latin America. Furthermore, the quality of SHSprogrammes shows large disparitiesbetween the best 100 schools and the restof the schools. While the top schoolsproduce the bulk of students enteringtertiary educational institutions thoseenrolled in majority of deprived secondcycle institutions do not progress beyondthe secondary level. There is therefore the need to upgradefacilities and expand capacity in existingsecond cycle institutions to accommodatethe increasing number and reduce thedisparities in pre- tertiary education. It isagainst this background that the Ministryof Finance is seeking Parliamentaryapproval to access a concessional facilityfrom the Kuwaiti Fund to undertakeexpansion work in some twenty-six (26)Senior High Schools. Interest rate -- l per cent p.a. Administrative Charge -- 0.5 per cent Grace period -- 5 year Repayment period -- 20 years Loan Period -- 25 years Grant Element -- 39.98 per cent [ MR AVEDZI ] [MR AVEDZI] Terms and conditions of the Facility The terms and condition of the loan facility are as follows: Loan Amount -- KD7.0 million (US$24.0 million); Project description The proceeds of the facility will beapplied to undertake expansion andredevelopment work in twenty-six (26)existing Senior High Schools. The scopeof work include the rehabilitation andconstruction of new classroom blocks,new educational facilities and additionalstudent's dormitories. The facility will also be applied to thesupply and installation of educationalfurniture, equipment and tools for all thenew buildings and facilities in the selectedschools. Observations Justification and expected benefits The Committee noted that the projectforms part of Government's plans toincrease access and improve the qualityof Senior Secondary Education to meetthe growing demand for studentenrollment in underserved areas in theCountry. Further, the Project is aligned with thepriorities of Ghana's Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA), whichemphasizes the expansion of schools atall levels within the context of the humancapital development priorities and alsoseeks to resolve key developmentchallenges of expansion at the secondarylevel in the country. Regarding the expected benefits, it wasindicated that the project wouldapproximately benefit 6,000 new studentsin secondary education programmes,school teachers, head teachers and otherbeneficiaries. Facility terms The Committee noted that the loan is aconcessional one with standard terms andconditions. It has a 25-year tenor, 1per centinterest rate, a grace period of five-yearsand a grant element of 39.98 per cent. The detailed financing plan bycomponents is shown below in KuwaitDinars and in US dollars: SPACE FOR TABLE - PAGES 6 & 7- 7.20 P.M.
Mr Speaker, I beg tosecond the Motion, but to note that forthe records none of the three HonMinisters for Education did come to theCommittee, and it is not very good. TheHon Majority Leader should know. Here we are, working late. It wasbrought to us as an emergency, we sat,waited, and not one Minister fromEducation came to explain. Mr Speaker, there were some policyissues that we needed to address. This isa loan for upgrading existing senior highschools, a very worthy cause, but theCommittee needed to know what thecriteria were for choosing those schools. Mr Speaker, my former high school waschosen, that is Achimota Senior HighSchool, but Mr Speaker, Achimota is wellendowed, so I could not speak therebecause it was Achimota. But my HonColleagues had legitimate questions to askthe Hon Ministers, and they were notthere. Mr Speaker, it is very worrisome.Parliament needs to be treated seriously.The technical people wanted to answer, itis a policy matter -- [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, my HonColleague Hon Akoto Osei has raised avery important issue, and I would like toplead with you to stand this Motion down.We need them to be available to provideinformation on it. So Mr Speaker, we could move on toanother item.
So HonMajority Leader, which of the items on theOrder Paper do we deal with?
Mr Speaker, item number9 on Order Paper Addendum 2.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,that notwithstanding the provisions ofStanding Order 80 (1) which require thatno Motion shall be debated until at leastforty-eight hours have elapsed betweenthe date on which notice of the Motion isgiven and the date on which the Motionis moved, the Motion for the adoption ofthe Report of the Finance Committee onthe Request for waiver of Import Duties,Import VAT and NHIL, ECOWAS Levy,EDIF, Inspection Fees, Withholding Taxesand other related taxes and impostsamounting to the Cedi equivalent oftwenty million, three hundred and seventythousand, nine hundred and forty-fiveUnited States dollars (US$20,370,945),relating to procurement of projectmaterials and equipment includingapproved services, to be procureddomestically or imported for use in theimplementation of the project AgreementBetween the Ghana Ports and HarboursAuthority (GPHA) and the CanadianCommercial Corporation (CCC) for thedesign and construction of the RaphealUnity Kumedzro Terminal Ghana Ltd.(Unity Terminal, Kpone) may be movedtoday.
Mr Speaker, I beg tosecond the Motion. Question put and motion agreed to.
Yes, HonMajority Leader?
Mr Speaker, we shouldmove on to item numbered 10 on the OrderPaper Addendum.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,that this Honourable House adopts theReport of the Finance Committee on theRequest for waiver of Import Duties,Import VAT and NHIL, ECOWAS Levy,EDIF, Inspection Fees, Withholding Taxesand other related taxes and importsamounting to the Cedi equivalent oftwenty million, three hundred and seventythousand, nine hundred and forty-fiveUnited States Dollars (US$20,370,945),relating to the procurement of projectmaterials and equipment includingapproved services, to be procureddomestically or imported for use in theimplementation of the project Agreementbetween the Ghana Ports and HarboursAuthority (GPHA) and the CanadianCommercial Corporation (CCC) for thedesign and construction of the RaphealUnity Kumedzro Terminal Ghana Ltd.(Unity Terminal, Kpone). Mr Speaker, by so doing, I present yourCommittee's Report. Introduction The Request for waiver of ImportDuties, Import VAT and NHIL, ECOWASLevy, EDIF, Inspection Fees, WithholdingTaxes and other related taxes and impostsamounting to the cedi equivalent oftwenty million, three hundred and seventythousand, nine hundred and forty-fiveUnited States dollars and twenty cents(US$20,370,945), relating to the procurementof project materials and equipment includingapproved services, to be procureddomestically or imported for use in the implementation of the project Agreementbetween the Ghana Ports and HaboursAuthority (GPHA) and the CanadianCommercial Corporation (CCC) for thedesign and construction of the RaphealUnity Kumedzro Terminal Ghana Ltd.(Unity Terminal, Kpone), was presentedto Parliament on behalf of the Hon.Minister for Finance by the Hon DeputyMinister for Finance, Mr Cassiel Ato BaahForson on behalf of the Hon Minister forFinance on Tuesday, 2nd August, 2016 inaccordance with Article 174 (2) of the 1992Constitution. The Hon Second Deputy Speakerreferred the request to the FinanceCommittee for consideration and report inaccordance with Order 169 of the StandingOrders of the Parliament of Ghana. Deliberations The Committee met and considered therequest with the assistance of the HonDeputy Minister for Finance, Mrs. MonaK. Quartey, and the Director-General ofGhana Ports and Habours Authority(GPHA), Mr. Richard Anamoo and officialsfrom the Ministry of Finance, GPHA andGhana Revenue Authority. The Committee is grateful to the HonDeputy Minister and officials for theassistance. Reference The Committee referred to thefollowing additional documents at itsdeliberations: i. The 1992 Constitution of Ghana; ii. The Standing Orders of theParliament of Ghana; iii. Project Agreement between theGhana Ports and HaboursAuthority (GPHA) and the Canadian Commercial Corporation(CCC) for the design andconstruction of the Rapheal UnityKumedzro Terminal Ghana Ltd.(Unity Terminal, Kpone). Background The current state of the Tema Portwhich has been developed in phases since1964 has attained its maximum operationalcapacity. Evidence available indicates thatby 2008, the port had exceeded its 500,000Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit (TEUs)target expected for 2010. With the growing economic trends andincreasing volume of commodities (exportand imports) expanding the capacity of Tema Port in order to prevent the foreseencongestion has urgently becomenecessary. To this end, GPHA on July, 2015,entered into an agreement with CCC todevelop the Unity container Terminal tomeet the growing port and cargo handlinginfrastructure needs and to promote anddevelop a safe, efficient and reliableimportation infrastructure and free upLand for the expansion of the Tema Port. The facilities The proposed facility will be an InlandContainer Depot generally replacing theservices of the Golden Jubilee Terminalincluding the Korean spare partsoperations commonly referenced as Korea.The key design parameters are assummarised in the table below: SPACE FOR TABLES - PAGE 4 - 7.30 P.M. SPACE FOR TABLE - PAGE 5 - 7.30 P.M. agreement for the development of theProject for that amount without aGovernment of Ghana SovereignGuarantee. The interest rate is 2. 75 per cent USD+6 month LIBOR with a 20 equal semi-annual payment Schedule. Obligation of GPHA and Justification The Committee noted that the creditfacility is backed by the Canadiangovernment and all the proceeds of thecredit facility are to be expanded on theexecution of the project excluding thepayment of Ghanaian local taxes andcustom duties. It was explained that sincethe credit facility is offered to GPHA andfor that matter Ghana without the needfor any sovereign guarantee, local taxesand duties of Ghana required to be paidwill have to be borne by GPHA. GPHA considers this to be a heavyburden on its finances and therefore willrequire Government assistance in the formof a waiver. Further, though the GPHA strives tooperate along sound economic andcommercial principles, in reality GPHArenders several services to the Statewithout a charge or the enjoyment of anyform of tax holiday. The services beingrendered include handling and rentcharges to the various security agenciesincluding the Army and the Police,Government schools and universities,Ministries such as Ministry of Agricultureand Ministry of Education, Ministry ofHealth in the importation of drugs andmedical equipment, etc. Again, the Project will create a largerbusiness capacity for the Ghana RevenueAuthority (GRA) to be able to earn morecustom duties and taxes from the inspection and clearance of the cargothrough the expanded terminal, withoutthe GRA investing in the infrastructure. Assessment of tax liabilities and thewaiver required The Committee noted that the CustomsDivision of GRA upon request from theMinistry and based on the master listssubmitted, has assessed the waiver oftaxes including Custom Duties, VAT andother related taxes. The assessment relatesto certified materials, equipment andservices, to be procured domestically andimported for use in the implementation ofthe Project. Conclusion and Recommendation The Committee after its deliberationsrecommends to the House to adopt itsReport and approve by Resolution,Request for waiver of Import Duties,Import VAT and NHIL, ECOWAS Levy,EDIF, Inspection Fees, Withholding Taxesand other related taxes and impostsamounting to the cedi equivalent oftwenty million, three hundred and seventythousand, nine hundred and forty-fiveUnited States dollarsand twenty cents(US$20,370,945) relating to theprocurement of project materials andequipment including approved services,to be procured domestically or importedfor use in the implementation of theproject Agreement between the GhanaPorts and Habours Authority (GPHA) andthe Canadian Commercial Corporation(CCC) for the design and construction ofthe Rapheal Unity Kumedzro TerminalGhana Ltd. (Unity Terminal, Kpone) inaccordance with article 174 (2) of the 1992Constitution and Order 169 of theStanding Orders of the Parliament ofGhana. Respectfully submitted.
Mr Speaker, I beg tosecond the Motion. [Interruption]
Mr Speaker, I wouldsimply say that in my view, this is a goodproject and the tax waiver is needed. Thebenefits do not necessarily accrue to theGhana Ports and Harbours Authority(GPHA). It may also accrue to Governmentbecause once the volume of traffic, theMinistry of Finance would be able togenerate more revenue. So, the Tax Waiver will bring benefitsto both GPHA, and to the Government.So, I support it and urge Hon Members todo same. Question put and Motion agreed to.
HonMembers, item numbered 11 on the OrderPaper Addendum -- Resolution by theHon Minister for Finance.
Mr Speaker, I beg to secondthe Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Yes, HonMajority Leader?
Mr Speaker, item numbered12 on the Order Paper Addendum.
HonMembers, item numbered 12 on the OrderPaper Addendum 2 -- Motion -- by theHon Chairman of the Finance Committee.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,that notwithstanding the provisions ofStanding Order 80 (1) which require thatno Motion shall be debated until at leastforty-eight hours have elapsed between thedate on which notice of the Motion is givenand the date on which the Motion ismoved, the Motion for the adoption of theReport of the Finance Committee on theRequest for Waiver of Import Duties,Import VAT and NHIL, ECOWAS Levy,EDIF, Inspection Fees, Withholding Taxesand other applicable imposts amountingto six million, nine hundred thousand Ghanacedis (GH¢6,900,000) on the procurementof project related materials, both onshoreand offshore in respect of the Expansionof the Sekondi Fishing Harbour Facilities--Project for Fisheries Promotion atSekondi--under a Government of GhanaContract with Japan InternationalCooperative Agency (JICA) under aJapanese Grant Agreement No. 136100 maybe moved today.
Mr Speaker, I beg tosecond the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to.
HonMembers, item numbered 13 - on the OrderPaper Addendum 2, Motion by theChairman of the Committee. Request for Waiver of Taxes,including Customs Duties, Import VATet cetera for Sekondi Fishing HarbourExpansion
Mr Speaker, I begto move, that this Honourable adopts theReport of the Finance Committee on theRequest for Waiver of Import Duties,Import VAT and NHIL, ECOWAS Levy,EDIF, Inspection Fees, Withholding Taxesand other application imposts amountingto six million, nine hundred thousandGhana cedis (GH¢6,900,000) on theprocurement of project related materials,both onshore and offshore in respect ofthe Expansion of the Sekondi FishingHarbour Facilities-- Project for FisheriesPromotion at Sekondi under a Govern-ment of Ghana Contract with JapanInternational Co-operative Agency (JICA)under a Japanese Grant Agreement No.136100. Mr Speaker, in so doing, I present yourCommittee's Report. Introduction The Request for Waiver of taxesincluding Custom Duties, Import VAT andNHIL, ECOWAS Levy, EDIF, InspectionFees, Withholding Taxes and otherapplicable imposts amounting to sixmillion, nine hundred thousand Ghanacedis, (GHC6,900,000.00) relating to theprocurement of project related materials, both onshore and offshore in respect ofthe Expansion of the Sekondi FishingHarbour Facility -- Project for FisheriesPromotion at Sekondi -- Under aGovernment of Ghana Contract with JapanInternational Development CooperativeAgency (JICA) under a Japanese GrantAgreement No. 136100 was presented toParliament by the Hon. Deputy Ministerof Finance Mrs Mona K. Quartey on behalfof the Hon. Minister for Finance onThursday, 4th August, 2016 in accordancewith article 174 (2) of the 1992Constitution. The Mr Speaker referred the request tothe Finance Committee for considerationand report in accordance with Order 169of the Standing Orders of the Parliamentof Ghana. Deliberations The Committee met and considered therequest with the assistance of the Hon.Deputy Minister for Finance, Mrs. MonaK. Quartey. The Committee expresses itsgratitude to the Hon. Deputy Minister forFinance the assistance. Reference The Committee referred to thefollowing additional documents at itsdeliberations: i. The 1992 Constitution of Ghana; ii. The Standing Orders of theParliament of Ghana; and iii. The Grant Agreement betweenthe Government of the Republicof Ghana and Japan InternationalCo-operation for the Project forFisheries Promotion in Sekondi. Background Sekondi-Takoradi, is the WesternRegion's largest city and industrial andcommercial centre with a population ofover 450,000 inhabitants. According to the 2010 Population and Housing Census,about 75 per cent of the city's populationare engaged in agriculture, forestry andfishery. The Fishing sector is the key driverof economic activity in Sekondi-TakoradiMetropolis providing employment andlivelihood to majority of the inhabitantsof the city. Sekondi Fishing Harbour therefore,offers an economic anchor to the manystakeholders engaged in the fishingindustry and offers socio-economicopportunities to the inhabitants ofSekondi and its environs. In an effort toimprove economic activity and reducepoverty, the Government, through theGhana Port and Harbour Authority(GPHA), is implementing a project toexpand the Sekondi Fishing Harbour aspart of the Fisheries Promotion Project. To this end, the Government secured a GrantAid of two billion, one hundred and sixty-ninemillion Japanese yen (J¥2,169,000,000.00), theequivalent of nearly sixty-five million, ninehundred and fifty thousand Ghana cedis(GH¢65,950,000) to upgrade facilities at theSekondi Fishing Harbour. As part of conditions of the GrantAgreement, the grant amount cannot beapplied to the payment of local or importtaxes either imposed or in force in Ghana.There is therefore, the need to exempt theimplementation of the project from all taxesto allow for the smooth implementation ofthe project. Project description The works include the following, insummary: i. Development of a new wharf of150-meters length and additionalberthing space for fishingvessels; ii. Expansion of the administrationbuilding, including training inmulti-stakeholder consultationsfor such communities; iii. Development of additionalcapacity for ice-making plants tomeet up to 30 metric tonnes perday; iv. Expansion and modification ofthe fish market shed and netstorage areas; v. Consolidation of fuel storageand dispensing depots andincreased safety of the handlingof fuels within the cluster; and vi. Re-construction of access roadto the canoe and landing beach,west of the Sekondi FishingHarbour. All utilities related to the works --lighting, water supply, sewage collectionsystems, et cetera , would also bedeveloped under the project to be fundedby the Grant Aid. Observations The Committee, having carefullyscrutinized the request made the followingobservations: Justification for the request The Committee noted that, article 10(1) (d) of the Grant Agreement expresslystates that, “the Government of theRepublic of Ghana shall take thenecessary measures to ensure thatcustoms duties, internal taxes and otherfiscal levies which may be imposed in theRepublic of Ghana with respect to thepurchase of the products and the servicesreferred to in article 3 be exempted'.
Mr Speaker, I beg tosecond the Motion. Mr Speaker, this is a grant for whichwe are giving a tax waiver. It is a grant ofabout GH¢65 million that the Japanese aregiving us, and in return, we are giving atax waiver of about GH¢ 6.9 million. I think that, it is a worthy thing. Grantscome here for information. It has beenhanging for a long time, but since it islikely to improve the fortunes of my HonSenior Colleagues and their Constituents,I urge that, Hon Members support theMotion. Question put and Motion agreed to.
HonMembers, Resolution numbered 14 on theOrder Paper Addendum 2, by the HonMinister for Finance.
Mr Speaker, I beg to secondthe Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Mr Speaker, we may takeitem numbered 12, on the original OrderPaper -- Motion, by the Hon Chairman ofthe Committee.
HonMembers, item numbered 12 on theoriginal Order Paper, Motion, by the HonChairman of the Committee.
Mr Speaker, Ibeg to move, that notwithstanding theprovisions of Standing Order 80 (1) whichrequire that no Motion shall be debateduntil at least forty-eight hours have elapsed between the date on which noticeof the Motion is given and the date onwhich the Motion is moved, the motionfor the adoption of the Report of theCommittee on Roads and Transport on theCommercial Contract Agreement betweenthe Government of the Republic of Ghanaand Quieroz Galvao Construcciones SL,Spain for an amount of thirty-five millionUnited States dollars ((US$35,000,000.00)for the implementation of the ObetsebiLamptey Interchange Project and RelatedWorks (Phase I) may be moved today.
Anyseconder? Ranking Member of the Committee(Mr Kwabena Owusu-Aduomi): MrSpeaker, I beg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to.
HonMembers, item numbered 13, on theoriginal Order Paper, by the Chairman ofthe Committee on Roads and Transports. Commercial Contract Agreementbetween GoG and Quieroz GalvaoConstrucciones
Mr Speaker, Ibeg to move, that this Honourable Houseadopts the Report of the Committee onRoads and Transport on the CommercialContract Agreement between theGovernment of the Republic of Ghana andQuieroz Galvao Construcciones SL, Spainfor an amount of thirty-five million UnitedStates dollars (US$35,000,000.00) for theimplementation of the Obetsebi LampteyInterchange Project and Related Works(Phase I).
Mr Speaker, where isthe Report? You see, it cannot be at the bosom ofthe Hon Chairman and the Hon RankingMember. We do not have any. Even at theside of the Hon Chairman of the committee,they do not have. Not just on our side ofthe House. It has not been distributed.
HonMembers, has the Report been distributedamong you?
Mr Speaker, it wasdistributed yesterday.
Some HonMembers are complaining that they donot have copies. Yes, Hon Majority Chief Whip?
Mr Speaker, yesterday,if you would remember, it was not you; itwas the Hon Second Deputy Speaker, theywere in two parts -- The Finance and theCommercial Agreement. After we took the Financial Agreement,they even wanted to take the CommercialAgreement but we said it was late. It wasdistributed yesterday. If they say they donot have it immediately -- It wasdistributed yesterday. Mr Speaker, this is mine. If he wants it,he can come for it. This is because it wasdistributed yesterday, that is why it hasto be done. He said just search for it. Hewill see that it was distributed yesterday-- [Interruption.]
By so doing, Mr Speaker,I would like to present the Committee'sReport.
We havestill not resolved the problem ofdistribution.
Mr Speaker, theyhave agreed that we should go ahead. Wewanted to do the Third Reading of theCompanies (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
Shall weproceed. Yes All right Hon Chairman ofthe Finance Committee. Vice Chairman of the Committee (MrKwame Governs Agbodza) (on behalf ofthe Chairman of the Committee): MrSpeaker, I beg to present your Committee'sReport. Introduction The Commercial Contract Agreementbetween the Government of the Republicof Ghana (represented by the Ministry ofRoads and Highways) and MessrsQueiroz Galvao Construcciones S.L.U.,Calle Augustin Betancourt, 25 Planta 1a,Chamberi, Madrid, Spain (acting throughits branch in Ghana) for the design andconstruction of the Obetsebi LampteyInterchange Project and ancillary works(Phase I) was laid in Parliament onMonday 1st August, 2016 by the HonDeputy Minister for Finance, Mr CassielAto Baah Forson on behalf of the Ministerfor Finance. In accordance with article 181 (5) of the1992 Constitution and Order 189 of theStanding Orders of the House, MrSpeaker referred the Commercial ContractAgreement to the Select Committee onRoads and Transport for considerationand report. During the consideration of theAgreement, the Committee was assistedby the Hon Minister for Roads andHighways, Hon Alhaji Inusah A.B.
Mr Speaker, there aretwo issues I am interested in and I thoughtI should add my voice to. If we look atparagraph 9.2 of the Report, it talks aboutthe Value for Money Audit and the use ofan indigenous entity, the Ghana Instituteof Surveyors. Mr Speaker, I believe that,it is a good idea that we are moving awayfrom other foreign surveyors and valuefor money auditors. Mr Speaker, unfortunately, if you takethe Report, all the road projects that wereconsidered were Ghana bridge projectsand I believe that in future, we might haveto look at other projects outside thecountry so that when we are doing thevalue for money audit and thecomparisons, we would be in a firmposition to speak our minds on the issuesand then see that in reality, Ghana iscompetitive in developing these bridges. Mr Speaker, the other issue I would liketo mention has to do with what theCommittee mentioned in paragraph 9.8 ofthe Report. That we have seen the likes ofthese interchanges all over the countrybut in future, the country and the Ministryof Roads and Transport would have tolook at the third capital city of Takoradi,mainly intercessions and round-aboutslike the Paa Grant and the Kwame NkrumahCircle roundabout that need overheads aswell as the Apremdo traffic light. Mr Speaker, there is too much trafficcongestions at these roundabouts and itis time that we moved some of theseprojects to these communities so that theyalso benefit. With these few words Mr Speaker, Ibelieve that we need to support theMotion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Hon Members, Resolution numbered14 on the Order Paper by the Hon Ministerfor Roads and Highways?
Mr Speaker,I beg to move that, WHEREAS by the provisions ofarticle 181 (5) of the Constitutionthe terms and conditions of anyinternational business oreconomic transaction to whichthe Government of Ghana is aparty shall not come intooperation unless the said termsand conditions have been laidbefore Parliament and approvedby Parliament by a Resolutionsupported by the votes of amajority of all Members ofParliament; PURSUANT to the provisions ofthe said Article 181 (5) of theConstitution, and at the requestof the Government of Ghanaacting through the Ministerresponsible for Finance, therehas been laid before Parliamentthe terms and conditions of aCommercial Contract Agreementbetween the Government of theRepublic of Ghana and QuierozGalvao Construcciones SL,Spain for an amount of Thirty-Five Million United StatesDollars ((US$35,000,000.00), forthe implementation of theObetsebi Lamptey InterchangeProject and Related Works(Phase I). THIS HONOURABLE HOUSEHEREBY RESOLVE AS FOLLOWS: IN ACCORDANCE with theprovisions of the said article 181(5) of the Constitution thisHouse approves the CommercialContract Agreement between theGovernment of the Republic ofGhana and Quieroz GalvaoConstrucciones SL, Spain, for anamount of thirty-five million UnitedStates dollars ((US$35,000,000.00),for the implementation of theObetsebi Lamptey InterchangeProject and Related Works(Phase I).
Mr Speaker, I beg tosecond the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Mr Speaker, item numbered45 on the Order Paper.
HonMembers, item number 45 on the originalOrder Paper. The Petroleum (Explorationand Production) Bill, 2016 at theConsideration Stage. Hon Chairman of Committee, can yourefresh our memory? Are we starting withclause 10?
BILLS -- CONSIDEERATIONSTAGE
Mr Speaker, the twoamendments stand in the name of Hon Isaac Asiamah. Yesterday, we debated itand we were to put the Question.
Is HonAsiamah in the Chamber?
Mr Speaker, he is nothere.Dr A. A. Osei: Mr Speaker, yesterdaythe Question for Hon Asiamah'samendment was put and it was lost so Ido not know why it has been advertised.[Interruptions.] I am talking about Hon Asiamah's. TheQuestion was put on that one and he lostit.
In that case,can we look at the other proposedamendments in the name of Dr KwabenaDonkor? Is the Hon Member in theChamber?
Mr Speaker, there wassome winnowing so there is acompromised proposed amendment whichis on the Order Paper Addendum.
Is itAddendum 1 or 2?
Page 1, item numbered 2on the Order Paper Addendum.
Yes, HonMember, can we take the proposedamendment?
Mr Speaker, I beg to movethe amendment in clause 10 subclause(14) -- Dr A. A. Osei -- rose --
Mr Speaker, we aredoing subclause 4 but he is going tosubclause 14.
Mr Speaker, sorry, myOrder Paper has no subclause 4.
If he has not abandonedit, then he should tell us.
HonMember, the understanding is that, he isabandoning his proposed amendment onthe original Order Paper and taking up thisamendment under the Order PaperAddendum.
Mr Speaker, theQuestion has to be put on subclause 4.This is because, he is moving on toanother amendment under clause 10,which would be clause 10 (15). We haveclause 10 (14) and clause 10 (15) which heis adding. So if he is abandoning hisamendment to subclause 4, then theQuestion has to be put on subclause 4before we move on to the rest.
Very well, Ithink you are right.
Mr Speaker, I will still standby the earlier amendment to subclause 4.With your permission, let me go to clause10.
Do you stillstand by your earlier amendment?
Mr Speaker, yes.
Have you notabandoned subclause 4?
I have not abandoned myproposed amendment.
HonMember, the point raised by the HonRanking Member is to the effect that, ifyou have abandoned the earlier amendment to subclause 4, then we needto put the Question with regard to thatone, then we can move on to whateveryou want to deal with.
Mr Speaker, going tosubclause 14 was my mistake. I have notabandoned the amendment in subclause4, so I still stand by that amendment. Mr Speaker, I beg to move subclause4, insert (a); despite subsection 3, theMinister may decide not to enter into apetroleum agreement after the tenderprocess is prescribed. But we can introduce a (b) which wouldsays, “Where the Minister exercises thisoption, the Minister must publishin the gazette reasons for this actionwithin thirty days.”
Let me listento the Hon Member for Old Tafo then Iwill come back to you.
Mr Speaker, tell me if Iam wrong, but I thought we concludedand even the Hon Minority Leadersuggested that, that clause in theconsensus was either for stated reasonsor it is sufficient. This amendment hasbeen abandoned long time ago. So I donot know why we are going back. Mr Speaker, maybe, you should put theQuestion so that we can move on. If wekeep repeating ourselves, it will not helpus — [Interruption.]
HonMembers, I believe that, the only solutionis to put the Question. Originally, Ithought the Hon Majority Leader saidthere was a compromise and so on. Question put and amendmentnegatived.
Mr Speaker, I abandonedthe next one.
I cannothear you.
Mr Speaker, he said thathe is withdrawing the next proposedamendment.
Mr Speaker, it is not hisamendment, how can he withdraw it?[Interruption.] Mr Speaker, we must do thingsproperly here. The advertised amendmentis by Hon W. O. Boafo. How can he getup to withdraw it? [Interruptions.]
HonMembers, let us have some order. I am incharge, so, I call whoever wants topropose an amendment and the persontakes it. The Hon Member cannot dictateto me. The next one in line happens to be inthe name of Hon W.O. Boafo.
Mr Speaker,to bring the subclause 4 back, I think theconsensus that was evolved yesterday onit was that, the subclause 4 should read, “Despite subsection 3, the Ministermay for a stated reason, decide notenter into a petroleum agreementafter the…”
HonMember, I put the Question and it wasrejected.
Mr Speaker,you put the Question on Dr KwabenaDonkor's amendment. But yesterday therewas a consensus on a compromise. Thecompromise was that, it should be that the Hon Minister's decision not to enterinto a protocol agreement should be for astated reason.
Mr Speaker, we debated thismatter and we stated that in the currentform, it is stated that it would beprescribed. We are working on the Regulations toguide the circumstances that the HonMinister could really exercise -- In fact, itis already in the Bill, so that is how weended it. The Regulations would guide theHon Minister's decision.
As prescribed,it relates to the tender process as stated. Itdoes not relate to the reason.[Interruptions.]
Mr Speaker, no!
What is the“no” in that?
Mr Speaker, if myLeader wants that, he could propose thatas an amendment so that we can vote onit and move on.
Precisely.You could propose an amendment to takecare of the concern you are raising.
Mr Speaker, the HonMinority Leader is simply reminding usthat yesterday -- [Interruption]Yesterday, I moved it and it was accepted.That was the consensus.
So, was theQuestion put and agreed to? Was theQuestion put?
The Question was not putbecause he was still on his, but there wasa consensus. This is because, a numberof Hon members raised other proposals,then, when I suggested the phrase “onstated reasons”, so that it would not belike we were referring to article 296 of theConstitution, “exercise of discretion --They should state reasons he rejectsrefuses or fails to enter the argument.
In that case,could we have your rendition by way ofthe proposed amendment so that we couldput the Question and move forward?
Mr Speaker, I would repeatwhat I said yesterday. Mr Speaker, I beg to move, Subclause(4), delete and insert the following; “(4) (a) Despite subsection (3), theMinister may on stated reasons,decide not to enter into apetroleum agreement after thetender process as prescribed.” Question put and amendment agreedto.
HonMembers, we now move on to the nextamendment which stands in the name ofHon W. O. Boafo.
Mr Speaker, myunderstanding is that, the whole of clause10 was debated, except subclauses (4) and(14) which were stood down for specificarguments. We had debated and we gotto the point where it was difficult to takethose two decisions. Mr Speaker, we are now being takenback to the same subclauses (5), (6) and(7). We are going to re-debate those ones.I am not sure that is the way to go. HonMembers were in the House when thesematters were debated. They did not raiseany objections. It comes to Questions tobe put on subclauses (4) and (14) and wenow have a plethora of our amendmentsto the term.
Mr Speaker, before the HonMember comes in, I have engaged HonBoafo and explained and assured him thatall the concerns he had on subclauses (5), (6), (7) and (8) are all being addressed inthe Regulations that we are working on.He is satisfied with that and I think that isall he wanted to say.
Hon W. O.Boafo, how do you respond?
Mr Speaker, I do notunderstand why Hon K. T. Hammondwanted to arrest my proposedamendment. He did not know what I wasabout to say. The Hon Minister is right. He engagedme together with some other members ofthe Committee and explained that, theanticipated abuse would be taken care ofin the Regulations which would bebrought to the House very soon. So I amnot in the position to pursue the proposedamendments.
So, are youabandoning those proposed amend-ments? Is that right?
Yes, Mr Speaker.
HonMembers, I would then have to put theQuestion. We have one more standing inthe name of Hon Dr Kwabena Donkorwhich is item number viii.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 10 -- subclause (14), paragraph(b), line 1, delete “on behalf of theRepublic” and insert the following: “shall hold an initial participatingcarried interest of at least fifteenpercent for exploration anddevelopment”.
What is therationale behind this proposed amend-ment?
Mr Speaker, again, thereis a problem with this. This took us twoand a half hours yesterday. Mr Speakergot to the point where he just arrested theputting of the Question. We finished withit. He was just about to put the Questionwhen it was decided that it should be stooddown to be put today. This matter wasdebated for two and a half hours. When it says “debate to continue”, Ithink it is to put the Question and not thedebate itself. We cannot go through thatfor another two and a half hours.
Mr Speaker, it is truethat we debated it but we were asked togo back and fine tune it. Mr Speaker, I support the amendmentproposed by Hon Dr Kwabena Donkor.The reasons are that, Ghana NationalPetroleum Corporation (GNPC) isequipped to be able to play the role of aninternational oil marketing and explorationcompany and be able to do all the work;like the way others come to explore ourshores, we want GNPC to do that. Mr Speaker, just leaving it “to hold onbehalf of GNPC” means that, they cannotuse that. It is not fully in their hands, so itwas a way of building GNPC to alsobecome a national aggregate and a verybig company that could also go onto theinternational market. Secondly, GNPC can also, [Interruption]Here, we are not even talking about cash. Itis the right to the reserve, so the 15 percent initial carried interest of the reserve.We debated on it and agreed that it couldgo.
Mr Speaker, this wasthe matter that the Rt Hon Speaker whowas in the Chair was uncomfortable with.This is because, it had some constitu-tional issues. [Interruption] No, please,it was spoken.
Mr Speaker wasuncomfortable because some constitutionalmatters were raised. I recalled the HonMajority Leader spoke, the Hon MinorityLeader related two articles in theConstitution and Hon Speaker was veryuncomfortable. It is not a trivial matter; it isnot for anybody to say that we concluded. We have not resolved the constitu-tional issues and that was why on thismatter Hon Speaker stood it down. Youcould call him and check. They are seriousconstitutional matters. Mr Speaker, it was article 257 (6); and Ithink that the other one was article 269. Article 257 (6) was one of the issues.And Mr Speaker himself was not verycomfortable with that.
HonMinister, how do you respond to the pointraised by the Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, what we aretrying to do is to simply remove the word“Republic”. This is because, we arediscussing this in the context ofcommercial transactions and getting the“sovereign” out. Every time GNPC hasgone to the bank, it is about the discussionof the cash interest for the “Republic”. Sothe issue is that the “sovereign” wouldhave to come in. We are simply trying to avoid that.This is the same way that the othercompanies that are partners with GNPCgo about it. So we are just putting GNPCon the same path with their own partnerslike Tullow, Cosmos and others. If theycarry participating interest, GNPC cannotborrow without the approval of the HonMinister for Finance. Mr Speaker, here, we are simply talkingabout the interest and allowing the“sovereign” to be taken out in terms ofthose discussions; those commercialtransactions.
Mr Speaker, that ismisinforming the House. GNPC cannotborrow without the authority ofParliament. Mr Speaker, they tried to borrowUS$700 million -- they went to court andthe court said that in that contextParliament has no role to play. So wecannot control them.
Mr Speaker, as my HonColleague said, yesterday, we debatedthis exhaustively. Mr Speaker, what we are talking abouthere is not the “reserves”. The “reserves”belong to the “sovereign”. We are talkingabout “right”; commercial right, partici-pating right to a contract area and puttingGNPC at par with other partners in thecontract area. Yesterday there was a misrepresen-tation which probably, originated from theway I presented the issue; we were talkingabout the “reserves”. The “reserves” belong to the sovereignrepresented by the President. That is notwhat we are talking about. We are talkingabout “right to the contract area”. If this amendment is carried -- Forexample, presently, GNPC is in contractwith other partners on the Jubilee Field.When there is a cash call, the otherpartners can go to the market on the basisof their rights to reserves, a portion ofreserves in the contract area and raisemoney. GNPC cannot. So, we would want to create an equalplaying field for GNPC and all the others. Mr Speaker, depending on drafting, wecan address the constitutional issue. TheHon Majority Leader suggested somelanguage yesterday that would addressit.
Mr Speaker, he saidthat we are not talking about “reserves”.Then he goes on to make a statement thatthe other companies can use their“reserves” -- [Interruption] -- Pleasehe said that. Maybe, he misspoke. Nobody isconfused about “reserves”. But he hasjust said that “the other companies canborrow on their reserves”. We are nottalking about “reserves” [Interruption].That is what he said, but I know that isnot what he meant. It is not “reserves”,but he said it.
HonMinister, how do we address theconstitutional issue raised?
Mr Speaker, there areenough safeguards. First of all we are not talking about the“reserves” at all. Mr Speaker, it is also important to knowthat the Petroleum Revenue ManagementAct has really laid out the mechanism forhow revenue would be shared. The GNPC cannot touch whateverproceeds are made. It would come back tothe Petroleum Holding Fund and theirportion, as approved by Parliament, iswhat would be given to them. We are simply discussing commercialinterest and how GNPC can leverage onthe carried interest. We are saying thatthe word “Republic” would simply bringthe “sovereign” in and make it difficultfor GNPC to leverage on the carried
interest with the lower interest rate. If wetake it off, then this is gone away. It issimply being strategic to allow the nationaloil companies to be in a positon to havethe same advantages like the othercompanies. So we are simply taking the“sovereign” out to allow GNPC to use thatlimited right for commercial advantage.That is all.
Mr Speaker, the difficultyhere is that, as of now, the “on behalf of” isthere. This is because, he would not wantto amend it [Interruption.] It has beenproposed in the Bill but he cannot tell usthat GNPC cannot do what they wouldwant to do now. Mr Speaker, for the past three years,we have come here and seen that GNPChas had surpluses. Every year, they arenot able to spend their money. Mr Speaker, they have recently goneto the World Bank to borrow money onthe current situation. So, what are theytalking about? They are acting as thoughthis would change their fortunes.
HonMajority Leader, it was stated by one ofthe contributors that, you proposed someform of amendment yesterday -- if I heardit right, which would take care of thissituation. Can you assist us? Papa Owusu-Ankomah -- rose --
Mr Speaker, Iwonder. This is because, this is a Bill which is being sponsored by the Ministryresponsible for Petroleum affairs. The clause as it exists, is in conformitywith the Constitution. This is because thecorporation does not hold it on its own. Itowns it on behalf of the Republic. So I donot really see anything wrong with it.
10 (14) “A petroleum agreement shallcontain a term that the Corporationshall (a) hold on behalf of the Republic,an initial participating carriedinterest…” Mr Speaker, that is the currentsituation. If it is believed that there is amischief which this amendment seeks toremedy, it should be explained to us. I donot understand it; in what, way does aterm in an agreement that says the GNPCholds a 15 per cent initial participatingcarried interest, on behalf of the Republiclimits GNPC? But that is the fact. That iswhat it says. Assuming, and even admitting, thatthis could limit the power of GNPC to takeloans or whatever, why not? That is whywe are here; that is why Parliament exists. It is not for nothing that we areentrusted with the oversight overagencies and public corporations set upwith public funds. I just do notunderstand.
Mr Speaker, I would justrefer us to clause 3 of the Bill, which is“Title to petroleum”. Mr Speaker, with your permission, I begto quote; “Petroleum existing in its natural statein, under or upon any land in Ghana,rivers, streams, water coursesthroughout Ghana, the exclusiveeconomic zone and any area coveredby the territorial sea or continentalshelf, is the property of the Republicof Ghana and is vested in thePresident on behalf of and in trustfor the people of Ghana”. Mr Speaker, this is to reinforce it interms of the reserves. It is for the peopleof Ghana. What we are talking about isthe rights. So it does not take away the —The right is in respect of giving them theleverage in negotiating for a loan. This isbecause it goes a long way to influenceeven the interest that would be charge. At the same time, the PetroleumRevenue Management Act still operates.Whatever revenue is raised from the oilgoes through the normal process so it isjust the right to use the participatinginterest for leverage. PETRONAS andNigeria National Oil Company currentlyhave the right to use the participatinginterest to be able to gain some leveragein terms of getting some funds.
Mr Speaker, the proposedamendment by Hon Dr Kwabena Donkortalks about the carried and participatinginterest; there is a history to this. Mr Speaker, the law establishing theGhana National Petroleum Corporation(1983), at section (2) gave the Corporationthe power to do some things, includingengaging in petroleum operations eitheralone or in association with others. Mr Speaker, then in 1984, there was anamendment to the PNDCL 64, and that isPNDCL 84; section (2) which says, and Ibeg to quote: “No person other than the GhanaNational Petroleum Corporationestablished under the GhanaNational Petroleum CorporationLaw, 1983 (P.N.D.C.L 64), in this Lawreferred to as “the Corporation”,shall engage in the exploration,development and production ofpetroleum except in accordancewith the terms of a petroleumagreement entered into between thatperson, the Republic and theCorporation, pursuant tosubsection (4) of section 5 of thislaw or any other authority grantedor recognised under this law.” Mr Speaker, that is where this camefrom. In the Agreement, I have a samplewhere, under the scope -24 and what iscaptured there -- which I beg to quotethat; “GNPC shall have a ten per cent(10%) Initial Interest in all PetroleumOperations under this Agreement.With respect to all Exploration andDevelopment Operations, GNPC'sInitial Interest shall be a CarriedInterest. With respect to allProduction Operations GNPC'sInitial Interest shall be a paidinterest. Mr Speaker, based on this, we had thePetroleum Revenue Management(Amendment) Act, 2015, defining “Carriedand participating interest”. The definitionthere is, and I beg to quote: “Revenue due from the direct orindirect participation of theRepublic in petroleum operations,including the carried and participa-ting interest, shall be paid into thePetroleum Holding Fund.”
Mr Speaker, so what we are dealing withhere is about the carried and participatinginterests and not the ownership of theresource. Mr Speaker, this carried andparticipating interest, has been expatiatedin the Bill that we are dealing with. Thereare always three parties; and I beg to readagain for the elucidation of my HonColleagues: “Revenue due from the direct orindirect participation of the Republicin petroleum operations, includingthe carried and participating interest,shall be paid into the PetroleumHolding Fund.” That is where the money would go. Itwould not go to GNPC. [Interruption] —Mr Speaker, it goes into the Fund.
HonMajority Leader, I want to be clear in mymind about the distinction between the‘reserves' and the ‘participating rights'you talk about.
Mr Speaker, simpleanalogy; a house could be owned bysomebody and rented by another. The onerenting it too has interest, but that interestdoes not amount to owning the house[Interruption.]
Mr Speaker,the position of GNPC is not analogous tothat of a tenant. GNPC is nothing withoutthe Republic. Whatever GNPC does is intrust for the Republic. That is the correctposition of the law. Mr Speaker, I am talking about theConstitution.
Yes, it isbecause this Constitutional provision hasbeen raised that I want to see thedistinction between the reserves and theright to revenue from the reserve. Am Iright?
Mr Speaker, yes. With the analogy I gave, if he wants afurther analogy on the use of the house.Using the house for business, for example— we are not using it for collateral. Mr Speaker, let us please go to theConstitution. Article 257 (6) says, and Ibeg to quote: “Every mineral in its natural statein, under or upon any land in Ghana,rivers, streams, water coursesthroughout Ghana, the exclusiveeconomic zone and any areacovered by the territorial sea orcontinental shelf is the property ofthe Republic of Ghana and shall bevested in the President on behalfof, and in trust for the people ofGhana.” Mr Speaker, that is not doubted at all.It is not in GNPC — natural state — it isclear. Mr Speaker, they quoted article 268 —
On a point oforder. Mr Speaker, we are told this matter, wasdebated yesterday. I believe we haveheard enough today, If you could put theQuestion so that we would move on if theHouse agrees. We cannot continue withthis debate ad infinitum. So I urgeg youto put the Question.
Mr Speaker, Ibelieve that a lot of us still want to beeducated. We have been told that when itcomes to revenue, there is Regulationtherefore, we should give GNPC theopportunity to own the carried interest of15 per cent. Mr Speaker, what we have not beentold is, if we give them that opportunityand they want to use it for the leveragingthey are talking about, to what extentwould Ghana or Parliament have incontrolling their ability to incur liabilityunto the State? This is because, everyliability that GNPC would get into becauseof their ability to leverage on that 15 percent is a contingent liability for Ghana. So, to what extent do we control ormanage that? That becomes a conditionprecedent for us to grant them what theyare looking for. Mr Speaker, otherwise, we could givethem the opportunity but we know whathad happened to GNPC before. We knowhow GNPC got Ghana into a mess and ittook a whole new Administration to turnit around. Mr Speaker, so we have to be carefulwith whatever we are doing. I believe thatif they can give us those guarantees, theareas we can use in mitigating any liabilitythey bring unto Ghana,then we can startlooking at issues from there.
Mr Speaker, yes, I agreethat this thing was argued yesterday inextenso. My Hon Colleague standingthere also contributed effectively. Today,we have not opened a debate; we areresponding and they say we should stopgiving our response because theyreopened it and they have confusedpeople so we have to explain. That is why Mr Speaker, that is the reason he gaveand that is why there is a proposedamendment in the Order Paper Addendum,clause 10 (15) to deal with what he hasraised. Which says and with yourpermission I quote: “Any borrowing exceeding the Cediequivalent of thirty million UnitedStates Dollars for the purpose ofexploration, development andproduction shall be approved byParliament and shall be inconsonance with the PetroleumRevenue Management Act.” Mr Speaker, that has been proposed.
HonMembers, I think we have gone on for quitesome time. I will put the Question --
Mr Speaker,with respect, the Hon Majority Leadercame to offer further explanations.Infairness, it is only one person who hasspoken for the flipside of the argument.Mr Speaker, if you have allowed this, Ithink that it is important to situate this inthe proper context. Mr Speaker,the Hon Member forDamongo and Dr Kwabena Donkor andthe Hon Majority Leader have spoken. Soin fairness, if you may listen to just oneother person.
HonMembers, both sides of the House haveparticipated in the debate.
Mr Speaker,I appreciate that. I am talking about thenumbers but if you may -- Mr Speaker, the Memorandum of thisBill and the amendment proffered by theHon Dr Kwabena Donkor indicate that itis a major amendment. Mr Speaker, theMemorandum dealing with clause 10 doesnot offer any reason to contradict the factthat the holding shall be for and on behalfof the Republic. GNPC is not anautonomous body that can hold any rightto itself. It does so on behalf ofGovernment and indeed on behalf of theState. Mr Speaker, it explains the reason theythemselves have to be stocked andrestocked on yearly basis by the State. Ifthey are on their own, then they shouldenable us to sever that relations and notbe funded by the State. They are fundedby the State because their operations aresupposed to be on behalf of the State. SoI am surprised that anybody should saythat the holding of the initial participatingcurrent interest is on behalf of GNPC itselfand not on behalf of the State. Mr Speaker, what the Hon MajorityLeader read should indicate to him and allothers that indeed, they do so on behalfof the State. That is why I asked him to doit again. It is clear, in that position, thatthey do so on behalf of the State.
Very well. Hon Member, so far so good. Question put and amendment agreedto.
HonMembers, we move on. Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee,have you exhausted the clauses?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 10 -- add the following new sub-clause: “(15) Any borrowing exceeding thecedi equivalent of thirty millionUnited State dollars for the purposeof exploration, development andproduction shall be approved byParliament and shall be inconsonance with the PetroleumRevenue Management Act.”
Mr Speaker, I thinkwe have already spoken about it and itcan go through so it can cure whateverfears they might have. Question put and amendment agreedto.
HonMembers, I will put the Question withregard to clause 10 as variouslyamended -- Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker,on page 20 of the original Order Paper,item numbered (ix) the proposed anamendment by the Hon Dr KwabenaDonkor. He should inform us if he wouldmove the amendment or not.
Yes, HonDr Kwabena Donkor, are you abandoningthe amendment?
Mr Speaker, it waswithdrawn yesterday and that was why Ibrought in the new amendment.
Very well. Clause 10 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
HonMembers, we move on to clause 16 --there is a proposed amendment by HonBenito Owusu-Bio. Is he in the Chamber? [Pause.] Very well. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 16 ordered to stand part of theBill.
HonMembers, clause 17 -- debate to continue
Mr Speaker, wedebated on all of them. It was for us to putthe Question but for lack of quorum wedecided to --
Very well. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 17 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 20 --
Clause 20,again, it was debated and so I will put theQuestion. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 20 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 27 --
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 27, subclause (3), line 3,delete “social impact assessment”. Mr Speaker, it is a scoping report. Asof that time, we had not yet done the socialimpact. So, it is just the scoping reportwhich is necessary for that level ofdevelopment.
Very well. Iwill put the Question. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 27 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
I will putthe Question with regard to clause 30. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 30 as amended, ordered tostand part of the Bill.
HonChairman of the Committee, clause 38?
Mr Speaker, thatbrings us to the end of the amendmentsproposed, except a new clause which isbeing proposed by the Hon MustaphaUssif and Hon Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah.
That is theone to be dealt with. Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, I begto move, new clause, add the followingafter Clause 69: “Where oil and gas is discovered incommercial quantities, 10 per centof the revenues generated from theresource from a region shall be givento that region for development.” Mr Speaker, we propose this clausebecause, we all know that, this country isblessed with a lot of mineral resources likegold. We are also blessed with cocoa andtimber. Mr Speaker, every year, for more than100 years, we have been mining gold. Yet,today, when we go to the communitieswhere we mine these gold, it is so sad thatmost of the livelihoods of these peopleliving in these communities have beentaken and there is no economic activitiesgoing on. So, we propose this clause to take careof that situation where the ten per centwould be used to set up industries foreconomic activities to take place afterthose resources have depleted. Mr Speaker, this clause is even moreimportant because, we all know that, in2008, the then running mate of the NDCmade a definite promise to the people ofthe Western Region that, now that Godhas blessed us with oil resources, if NDCgets the opportunity to govern thiscountry, 10 per cent of the oil revenuewould be dedicated to the people of thatregion.
HonMember, why do you not concentrate onyour argument and leave this --[Interruption.] Hon Members, order! Order! Hon Member, give us reasons youthink your amendment should be carried-- [Interruptions.] Order! Order! Yes, Hon Member, youhave the floor.
Mr Speaker, we have a greatopportunity today. We are making a lawfor the oil resources that God has blessedthis country with, and I am appealing tothis august House that we should respectthe President of the Republic, JohnDramani Mahama's proposal he made in2008 when he was campaigning in theWestern Region, to dedicate ten per centof the oil revenue to the Region whereany discovery would be made. Mr Speaker, it is important --
HonMember, you are not doing yourself anygood. You can make your sound argumentwithout reference to these things.
Mr Speaker, the Volta basinis being explored and the GNPC have evenstarted environmental impact assessment,and there is seismic data being collected. In future, we would be discovering oilin my Constituency, Yagaba/Kubori,where the White Volta passes. I wouldwant this opportunity to be taken, so thatwe can also take advantage of theresources. Thank you very much. [Hear! Hear!]
Very well. Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee,how do you respond?
Mr Speaker, I believe,in my youthful exuberance, we all did thesame thing. My brother said, in 2008, whenJohn Mahama was the President. MrSpeaker, John Mahama was not thePresident in 2008. That aside, Mr Speaker, the amendmentthat he proposed is totally unacceptable.It does not even belong to where he wantsus to put the amendment. This is resource management. It is notrevenue management. Mr Speaker, if hewants revenue for his area, he knowswhere to place it. When we were doingthe Petroleum Revenue Management Act,he should have argued for that. But whenwe talk about resources and he gets up, itis completely not in place. It is notnecessary and we must just reject it.
Yes, HonRanking Member of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I rise tosupport the amendment proposed --[Uproar!]
Order!Order! Yes, you have the floor.
Mr Speaker, I amsurprised that, that particular amendmentdid not actually occupy a pride of place inthis Bill. I would have thought that, itwould have been somewhere near clause1, 2 or something. Mr Speaker, when we take the NDCManifesto, the President and the party arecommitted to giving 10 per cent of the oilrevenue to the people of the WesternRegion where the deposits are located. MrSpeaker, we come to it and they arerunning away. I support the Motion for amendmentin its all ramification: 10 per cent to theWestern Region. If the Hon Chairman ofthe committee (Hon Sorogho) says that itdoes not belong there, let us look forwhere it belongs and take it there. But Isupport the Motion for now.
Yes, HonMember for Pru East?
Mr Speaker, I sincerelybelieve this amendment is totallymisplaced -- [Uproar] -- and it shouldnot be on this floor. Mr Speaker, Ghana is a unitary Stateand we have operated as such. Here, asthe Hon Chairman of the Committee said,we are dealing with resource management. This law seeks to deal with resourcemanagement and not revenue manage-ment. Mr Speaker, would we say thepeople of the Volta and Eastern Regionsmust have ten per cent of the revenue fromthe Volta Dam? [Uproar!] Is that what we are saying? Are wegoing that far? Mr Speaker, I believe that, thisamendment should be turned down and Iwould encourage the Hon Member, if heis so persuaded, to go for amendment tothe Petroleum Revenue Management Act,if it ever comes to this floor to place hisamendment there. Thank you.
Mr Speaker, Isupport the amendment that has beenmoved. It is very important that wesupport it. Mr Speaker, resource management isrevenue management. Resources aremoney, therefore, this amendment belongshere. Mr Speaker, this country has deve-loped like kwashiorkor. This country hasalways been “Accra for all”. It is onlyAccra that is getting all the resources. Itis time that we understand that we needto ensure that a lot of the resources thatare discovered in other parts of thecountry, we tend part of these resources.
Thank youvery much. Hon Members, I have heard enough. Iwill put the question. Question put and Motion negatived.
Mr Speaker,is it a --
Mr Speaker,is the determination of the Chair not torecognise the Hon Minority Leader whenhe gets up? This is because I got upbefore you put the Question.
I hadproceeded to put the Question. We havehad enough debate on this issue so, Ithought we should put the Question. I had started putting the Question when yourose up. So, for me, the Question has beenput.
Mr Speaker,for the records, I got up before you putthe Question.
Mr Speaker,I did get up before you put the Question,for the records and if you did notrecognise me, say so. But to say that, youput the Question before I got up isincorrect.
HonMember, I have always respected theLeadership but the Question had to beput. We have had enough debate, theQuestion had to be put and the Noes hadit.
Mr Speaker,that comes without doubt and I am notchallenging the verdict. I am onlyindicating and stating for the records that,I got up before you put the Question. Thatis all I want to do for the records.
What youare saying is --
Mr Speaker,I got up before you put the Question butthat you have already put the Question, Iam not challenging it.
HonMember, some facts are clear. I put theQuestion, it has been responded to. Now,if for any reason you rose up and I did notrecognize you, I will give you theopportunity to say what you wanted tosay, otherwise, we move on. Very well. So, let us make progress,Hon Members. The Long Title ordered to stand partof the Bill.
HonMembers, this brings us to the end of theConsideration Stage for the Petroleum(Exploration & Production) Bill, 2016. Hon Deputy Majority Leader, if we havemore issues to deal with, I would like theSecond Deputy Speaker to take the Chairotherwise --
Mr Speaker, --
Mr Speaker,the Hon Majority Leader indicated that,we would adjourn by 9 o'clock. That iswhat he told me because I was anxious toknow when. Mr Speaker, we would plead that, theHon First Deputy Speaker sits in the Chairtill 9 o'clock, then, the House would beadjourned.
Mr Speaker, we willbe doing Motion -- we do agree that --
I cannothear you. Order! Order!
Mr Speaker, we doagree that we do not intend to stretch farbeyond 9 o'clock but we have Motion 24on the original Order Paper to take. It is anon-controversial one. [Interruption.] We will take Motion 24 on the mainOrder Paper.
Very well. Motion numbered 24 on the OrderPaper by the Hon Chairman of the FinanceCommittee.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, that notwithstanding the provisionsof Standing Order 80(1) which require thatno Motion shall be debated until at leastforty-eight hours have elapsed betweenthe date on which notice of the Motion isgiven and the date on which the Motionis moved, the Motion for the adoption ofthe Report of the Finance Committee onthe Request for Sovereign Guarantee forthe Construction of the Takoradi 4Thermal Power Plant (T4) at Aboadze bythe Volta River Authority may be movedtoday.
Mr Speaker, I beg tosecond the motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Itemnumbered 25 on the original Order Paper-- Motion by the Hon Chairman of theCommittee. Sovereign Guarantee for theConstruction of the Takoradi 4Thermal Power Plant (T4)
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, that this Honourable House adoptsthe Report of the Finance Committee onthe Request for Sovereign Guarantee forthe Construction of the Takoradi 4Thermal Power Plant (T4) at Aboadze bythe Volta River Authority. Introduction The Request for approval of SovereignGuarantee for the Construction of the
Takoradi 4 Thermal Power Plant (T4) atAboadze by the Volta River Authority waspresented to the House by the HonDeputy Minister for Finance, Mrs. MonaK. Quartey on behalf of the Minister forFinance, on Wednesday, 3rd August 2016,in accordance with article 181(5) of the1992 Constitution. Mr Speaker referred the request to theFinance Committee for consideration andreport in accordance with Order 169 of theStanding Orders of the House. Deliberation The Committee was assisted in itsdeliberations by the Deputy Ministers forFinance and Power, Mrs Mona K. Quarteyand Mr John Jinapor, Chief ExecutiveOfficer of the Volta River Authority (VRA),Mr Kirk Koffi and officials from the twoMinistries VRA. The Committee is grateful to the HonDeputy Ministers and the officials forattending upon it. Reference The Committee referred to thefollowing additional documents at itsdeliberations: i. The 1992 Constitution of theRepublic of Ghana; ii. The Standing Orders of theParliament of Ghana; and iii. The Loans Act 1970 ( Act 335) Background Subsequent to the promulgation of amajor amendment to the Volta River Authority (VRA) Act in 2005 in theframework of the Ghana GovernmentPower Sector Reforms, the VRA's mandatehas basically been limited to generation ofelectricity. The Authority, in line with its mandateundertook an international competitivebidding process, in respect of the 186MWTakoradi 4 Thermal Power Project (T4Project) for the procurement of anEngineering, Procurement and Construc-tion (EPC) Contractor. The instructions tothe bidders in the bidding documentrequired bidders to offer financial supportfor the project by way of Export CreditAgencies (ECA) funding. The Volta River Authority's CentralTender Review Board granted approval toVRA to negotiate with the recommendedbidder, Tecnicas Reunidas S.A (TR) ofSpain (CTRB). Following successfulnegotiations, the Central Tender ReviewBoard (CTRB) approved the award of thecontract for an amount of (US$207,793,573.43) plus a contingency of (US$31,169,036.01) As part of the arrangements to financethe T4 project, Government of Ghana isrequired to grant a Sovereign Guaranteewithout which the Export Credit Agencies(ECAs) remain unable to continue with theapproval process. The Project The scope of the T4 project involvesthe construction of a 186MW combined-cycle plant, made up of one (1) GeneralElectric (GE) 9E gas turbine + one 60MWsteam turbine, to be built adjacent to theexisting T3 plant at Aboadze. It is to benoted that some of the works to be doneunder this project were done during theconstruction of the T3 plant. Theseinclude: Earth works and site preparation; Part of switchyard foundationworks; Fuel supply infrastructure; Water treatment plant, water storagetanks and other industrial services(station air compressors, etc.). Furthermore, the existing control roomof the T3 plant was designed toaccommodate the T4 equipment. The T4 Project is to be completedwithin twenty months for the gas turbinein simple cycle (COD - 1) and thirty (30)months for complete plant in combinedcycle (COD - 2) after financial closure. Justification In line with Government objective ofensuring that there is enough reservemargin in the power Generation, theconstruction of T4 Project is critical tothe National generation expansion planwill serve to provide some required reservemargin as well as mitigating anygeneration shortfalls in the medium termand to improve reliability of supply andalso for export within the West Africa Sub-region. Furthermore, it will contribute towardsthe controlling of the water levels of thehydro plants, by increasing theproportion of thermal generation in thecountry. The Thermal plant 4 when completedwill have a tri-fuel configuration thatenables it to operate on natural gas, lightcrude oil and diesel if the need arises andis expected to take gas from the JubileeExpansion and the TEN Projects. Observation Rationale for the request and measuresfor repayment The Committee was informed that thefinancing of the T4 project has beenpredicated on a Sovereign Guarantee tobe provided by the Government of Ghanabecause without it the Export CreditAgencies (ECAs) are unable to continuewith their approval process. However, toensure that this does not place unduefinancial pressure on the Government, theMinistry of Finance has put in thenecessary measures to ensure the smoothrepayment. It was indicated that one of suchmeasures is the establishment of anescrow account by the VRA with areputable bank acceptable to the MoF,with the MoF as a signatory to theaccounts for the sole purpose ofharnessing all VRA receivables from T4project towards the repayment of VRA'sdirect and indirect repayment obligationsunder any financing arrangement withany of the relevant ECAs. Other measures were outlined asfollows: The VRA shall be the primaryobligor for any of its paymentobligations under any financingarrangement with any of the ECAs The sovereign guarantee shall besubordinates to the escrow accountand shall only be valid to coverregulated price differential defaultsin payment by VRA of its repaymentobligations under any financingarrangement with any of theRelevant ECAs The sovereign guarantee is subjectto the establishment and main-tenance by VRA of the escrow
account and shall be issued at theappropriate time for the benefit ofonly the Relevant ECAs that enterinto a binding contractual financingarrangement with VRA for the T4project. Conclusion and Recommendation The Committee has examined thereferral and recommends to the House toadopt its report and approve byresolution the Request for approval ofSovereign Guarantee for the Constructionof the Takoradi 4 Thermal Power Plant (T4)at Aboadze by the Volta River Authorityin accordance with article 181 (5) of theConstitution, and Order 169 of theStanding Order. Respectfully submitted.
MrSpeaker, I beg to second the Motion andin so doing, make a few comments. Mr Speaker, earlier when we weredebating the Budget, I suggested that, theVolta River Authority (VRA) is not in goodshape and there is the need to quickly dealwith the balance sheet problem. Mr Speaker, the VRA on its own is nowcompeting with the Public PrivatePartnership (PPPs) and that in my view,appears to be the reason the Governmentis willing to use this model to give them aSovereign Guarantee. Mr Speaker, it appears the Governmentis moving away from the consentagreement for the Public PrivatePartnership (PPPs) but its own baby, VRAto enable it do well, it is willing to give it aSovereign Guarantee. Mr Speaker, what is happening is that,with this Sovereign Guarantee, if all goesthrough, the VRA should be able todeliver 186MW at a total cost of US$238million thereabout. Mr Speaker, that is US$1.27 million perMW. Now, the question I ask is, if we cando this for the VRA and they can produceat 10 cents at this price, why do we go toAmeri and Karpower. It does not makesense. That is my concern. Mr Speaker, I am in support of theMotion but there is a prior condition; weshould quickly move to deal with theirbalance sheet and I think that they wouldbe able to do better. This is because, theyproduce at least 50 to 55 per cent of thecapacity. Mr Speaker, it appears that Karpower;US$1 billion, Ameri; US$600 million -- andwe are not willing to go and help our ownbaby. So, I suggest that, if this model couldwork --because all the Public PrivatePartnership (PPPs); Cenet, Jacobson,Amandi -- they are all either USS$1.8million or US$1.9 millionat the minimum permegawatt. So, if our own Volta RiverAuthority (VRA) could do US$1.2 million,does it make economic sense to go for theseexpensive ones? Mr Speaker, I rest my case.
Mr Speaker, I rise tooppose this Motion. It is about time the Government andVRA came to a serious realisation that,they cannot take the country's financesfor granted. Mr Speaker, about two yearsago, this House approved for this nationto have a T3 at Aboadze. At the time theNew Patriotic Party (NPP) was leavingpower, about US$186 million had beencommitted to that project. Mr Speaker, on the assumption ofpower by the current Government, theHon Minister for Finance came to thisHouse and asked for an additional -- Ibelieve, about US$86 million for that project. In the end, a whopping amountof US$246 million was put into a T3 projectby VRA at Aboadze. Mr Speaker, two weeks down the line,the project collapsed. The plant brokedown. As I speak to you, two years downthe line, that plant has not worked and ithas not produced one kilowatt of power.It is sitting there. Mr Speaker, this afternoon, all the newsstations were -- there is agitation at VRAabout that particular plant. This isbecause, apparently, something is goingon by stealth to get Ameri to take the reinsof that particular project and of course,without reference to anybody in thisHouse. There is massive bloodshed going onand insanity has broken out there. MrSpeaker, on the back of that we are askedto do a T4. It is no different from the T3except that, we are told that the figure is --what is the figure? We will get to that.This is the difficulty. Mr Speaker, you read it and it says thatthis particular plant would fire on naturalgas, light crude and diesel. They are notgoing to use diesel, it is not possible.Nobody has that money to get this plantto run on diesel. It would use either lightcrude or natural gas. We do not haveenough gas; we certainly have over 3,000and close to 4,000 installed capacity inthe system yet see what is happening.
Mr Speaker, on a pointof order. I heard the former Hon Deputy Ministerfor Energy say clearly that, as he speaksnow, there is bloodshed at VRA. I heardhim distinctly clear but that is factuallyincorrect. Mr Speaker, this is a House of record - let no one read that today, 4thAugust, 2016, we reported in this Housethat, there was bloodshed at VRA.
Hon K. T.Hammond, can you substantiate that?
Mr Speaker, HonMembers should allow certain amount offigurative language. This is floweryfigurative language, so if they do notunderstand -- munsua borofo na mabondodo. Eye a moha me dodo. Monte borofona -- [Interruption.]
Order! HonMember, could you please just withdrawthat --
Do you want me towithdraw it? Mr Speaker, I will take out thebloodshed and of course, the insanity isthere. Madness is going on. They aregoing bonkers. Mr Speaker, rightly so,what is that? Let GH¢ 245 million go downthe drain? 132 megawatts --
HonMember, are you prepared to withdrawthat portion of your submission?
Mr Speaker, I havewithdrawn it; I have done it already --long time ago. I have withdrawn that. That is my difficulty with this. Again Mr Speaker, on the SovereignGuarantee, I do not understand why theyare doing the U-turn. Just yesterday, wewere told that, sovereign guarantee is nolonger good for the country; they saidthey would do what is called --[Interruption.] What is the no for?
Mr Speaker, I rise on apoint of order. My Hon Colleague, HonK. T. Hammond is misleading the House.Mr Speaker, he rightly referred to a T3
which was inherited. I happen to havebeen a Deputy Minister at the Ministry ofEnergy then. For the first time, an untestedset of turbines modified in Canada wereprocured. Those turbines have neverworked. I just want to put that on record.
Order!Order! Question put and Motion agreed to.
Item numbered 26 on theoriginal Order Paper.
HonMembers, item 26 on the original OrderPaper -- Resolution by the Minister forFinance.
Mr Speaker, I begto second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Order Paper Addendum 2,item 2.
HonMembers, Order Paper Addendum 2, item2 -- by the Minister for Petroleum.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move thatnotwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 131(1) which require thatwhen a Bill has passed through theConsideration Stage, the third readingthereof shall not be taken until at leasttwenty-four hours have elapsed, themotion for the third reading of thePetroleum (Exploration and Production)Bill, 2016 may be moved today.
Mr Speaker, I rise tosecond the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Mr Speaker, anapplication has been made seeking to setaside Standing Order 131 (1). Mr Speaker,the mover of the said Motion did not giveany explanation for seeking to set asidethe Standing Orders of this House. Mr Speaker, this is a House of recordsand all along, the discussion has beenthat we must respect our rules. Mr Speaker,if the Hon Minister seeks to set aside ourStanding Orders, he must convince thisHouse and tell us why. Other than thatMr Speaker, it is difficult for us toappreciate why he wants to rush this Billthrough. We have good reasons forproviding --
HonMinister, can you assign reasons?
Mr Speaker, this Bill hadbeen in this House for over eight years.We have gone through all the clauses. Itis clear that, tomorrow, we would rise.Considering all of that, it is good to askthat we move the amendment.
Very well.Hon Members, I would put the Question. Question put and Motion agreed to.
BILLS -- THIRD READING
Order Paper Addendum 3. Mr Speaker, with your kind permission,if the Hon Minister for Foreign Affairs andRegional Integration would move thisMotion for and on behalf of the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice?
Which ofthe items on that Order Paper are youdealing with? Is it item (1) or (2)? Item numbered 1, on the Order Paperby the Hon Minister for Foreign Affairsand Regional Integration, on behalf of theAttorney-General and Minister forJustice.
Mr Speaker, this wasstood down by the Rt Hon Speaker. Beforehe rose, he stood this matter down. Thiswas because, we raised the issue of a“politically exposed persons”, and he saidwe should have a look at it and possiblysort it out tomorrow. Mr Speaker, if it is decided that it wouldnot be done, I intend to go by standingOrder 130, and ask for a SecondConsideration Stage on clause 3 and theamendment. So, it is not a straight forwardmatter.
Very well. Hon Members, what happened, by myinstructions, are that the issues wereraised all right, and they were referred tothe Committee to go and consider andcome back. But at this stage, we aredealing with the abridgement of time. It iswhen we come to the second Motion forthe Third Reading that this issue couldbe raised, and we could consider a SecondConsideration Stage.
Mr Speaker, this matterwas not referred to the Committee at all.The Rt. Hon Speaker referred to an earlierdefinition of the same phrase in an Act, Ibelieve, it is the Anti-Money LaunderingAct, and he said it was the same definition. He raised the issue that, since thephrase had not been used in the Bill, whyshould we provide a definition. I drew hisattention to the fact that, it had been usedin the Bill, and he conceded. But someHon Members raised an issue about thegenerality of some of the terminologiesused, but they were not referred. The Rt. Hon Speaker said that was thedefinition we have accepted already. Whatwas stood down was the Third Readingbecause I was asked to mention the ThirdReading, which was not on the OrderPaper. So, they prepared an Order PaperAddendum 3, which is what I am referringto now.
Very well. Yes, Hon Member for Sekondi?
Mr Speaker, Iconfirm what the Hon Majority Leaderhas said. On the Order Paper, no provisionhad been made for the Third Reading. So,Mr Speaker inquired from the HonMajority Leader whether it was not goingto the Third Reading. So, in order toconform to the Standing Orders, hebrought this Addendum. That one I canconfirm because I was here at the time.
Mr Speaker, I begto second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Now, HonMembers, we would move on to itemnumbered 2 on the Order Paper Addendum3, by the Hon Minister for Foreign Affairsand Regional Integration on behalf of theAttorney-General and Minister forJustice.
Mr Speaker, it isbecause of this that I said I refer toStanding Order 130 and call for a SecondConsideration Stage of clause 9 (1) and(3) of the Bill. Mr Speaker, I have taken the trouble toread the relevant sections of the old Act,which is being amended. One does notfind any reference to “Politically ExposedPersons” (PEP). Then, when we come tothe amendment proposed, of course, it is stated there, but what it says is that, beforea return is made to the Registrar-General,specific individuals would have to beidentified as members or owners of thecompany. And these individuals must bethose who are politically exposed. Mr Speaker, the issue is; what is therelevance of this particular clause, notforgetting the fact of its arbitrariness andunfairness? Why is it that, certain peopleare tagged as PEPs and are to go, by thedefinition, with their family members,friends and associates? What hasactuated this particular paragraph (a) ofthe clause? Mr Speaker, I submit that it does notdo any good for the Companies(Amendment) Act, 2016, and it does notdo anything good for us, as a nation. Ofcourse, everybody is interested in makingsure that, money laundering, corruptionand everything are controlled to theextent that, the institution or the authorityor the strength of the sovereignty of thecountry can contain. But, Mr Speaker, arbitrariness like thisdoes not help to identify members orbeneficial owners who are politicallyexposed. What is worse is that, if we gothrough the definition, we would thenknow who these people are. Mr Speaker, my understanding is that,the Bill has been -- So, those are now thePolitically Exposed Persons (PEPs) are:Head of State, Head of government, seniorpolitical, government, judiciary official,senior military officer -- How is themilitary officer a politically exposedperson? A person who has been inexecutive or foreign -- Mr Speaker, what about the Inspector-General of Police? What about the VicePresident? 9. 20 p.m.
HonMember, I do not understand what isgoing on. Are you moving a Motion?Order! Order! Has the Motion beenadvertised?
Mr Speaker, underStanding Order 130, before a ThirdReading, any Hon Member could call for-- So, I do not need to advertise it.
All right. Iam all right with you, but you would needto move the Motion and get it secondedbefore you come out this way to put acrossyour --
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clauses 1(3) (a) and clause 9 of theBill as advertised on page 29 of the OrderPaper be deleted. [Interruption] -- I havedone that already.
Order!Order! Hon Member, I thought you wouldmove the Motion to the effect that,particular clauses in the Bill be takenthrough the Second Consideration Stage.After that, we would know where we areheading to.
Mr Speaker, thank you. I beg to move, that under StandingOrder 130, clause 1(3) (a) and clause 9 betaken through a Second ConsiderationStage.
Anyseconder? Yes, Hon Majority Leader? He is havingproblems with how to couch the Motion.
Mr Speaker, there is noclause 1(3) in the Companies (Amendment)Bill, 2016. I think he was struggling to referto clause 1(b) on page 3 of the Bill.
Hon K. T.Hammond, do you concede so that wecould get your Motion properly amended?Then, we would move on.
Mr Speaker, which oneam I supposed to concede to? If you havea copy of the Bill, look at what is goingon. On page 2, we have clause (1) of theBill. Then, go to page 3, you would seewe have (b), “the substitution forsubsection (3) of”. So, there is a newsubsection (3). What is the Hon MajorityLeader talking about? I am asking forthat to go through --
HonMember, do not concern yourself with thesubclauses; just mention the main clausesin respect of which you would want theSecond Consideration Stage to be taken.
Mr Speaker, clauses 1and 9.
Very well. Any seconder?
MrSpeaker, I beg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion negatived.
BILLS -- THIRD READING
Mr Speaker, we are entirelyin your hands.