Hon Members, Correctionof Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 2ndAugust, 2016. Page 1…page 42 --
Mr Speaker,I beg to take you back to item numbered 5on page 31 of the Order Paper. The company we are referring to is“Finance House” and not “FinancialHouse”. Mr Speaker, it should be correctedthroughout the document.
Very well. Pages 42…48.
Mr Speaker, I was here yesterday; but myname is not in the Votes and Proceedings.
Very well. Hon Members, the Votes andProceedings of Tuesday, 2nd August, 2016as corrected is hereby adopted as the truerecord of proceedings. Hon Members, Correction of theOfficial Report of Friday, 22nd July, 2016.
Mr Speaker, I riseon Standing Order 53 (2) to seek yourpermission to vary the Business of the dayin order to take item numbered 61, whichis on page 41 of the Order Paper.
I thought it is oneQuestion. Can we just dispose of it quickly?
Mr Speaker, we have triedto explain to the Hon Member that we wouldtake this item before the Question.
Let us just dispose of thisQuestion. Hon Members, Question time. Is the Hon Minister for Finance in theHouse?
Mr Speaker, the HonDeputy Minister for Finance is in theHouse with authority from the HonMinister to answer the Question on hisbehalf. Mr Speaker, we seek your permissionfor the Hon Deputy Minister to answerthe Question.
MrSpeaker, I do not have any objection tothat.
Very well. Hon Members, I will limit the Questionto only the Hon Member in whose namethe Question stands. This is because wehave a lot of Business to transact today. I am taking it in respect of thearrangement and nature of Business in theHouse.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS
MINISTRY OF FINANCE
Mr Speaker, thefundamental question was not answered.I asked him when the company was goingto be re-opened? This just explains theshareholding of the company, otherwise,it limits my questions that I have to ask asfollow up.
Mr Speaker, it would bedifficult for me to mention when exactlythe company would be re-opened. This isdue to the fact that, the Board of thecompanies have agreed to appoint anofficial liquidator to liquidate the assetsof the company and its liabilities. Mr Speaker, until that time comes, it isgoing to be very difficult to announceexactly when the company will be re-opened.
Mr Speaker, withinthe last two years, 10 per cent of the staffof the company have died and that makesit 25. Before the company closed --
Hon Member, please, goahead and ask your question. This isbecause, the Answer given by the HonDeputy Minister in terms of officialliquidation -- Please, go ahead and askthe question.
Mr Speaker, thatis why I am giving the background. Mr Speaker, I would want to ask theHon Deputy Minister what plans theyhave put in place, as a shareholder, toimmediately pay workers' entitlements sothat more of them do not die.
Mr Speaker, Government'sintention is obviously to accept theposition of the Board and management ofthe company that will liquidate thecompany. Mr Speaker, at that point, the assetsand liabilities of the company will beproperly valuated and the workers'entitlements paid out of that. Mr Speaker, I can assure this Housethat at the time the official liquidator wouldbe appointed, part of the work of theofficial liquidator would include lookingat the assets and liabilities and paying offthe entitlement of the workers. Mr Speaker, again, it is the intention ofthe Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) toget out of the Agreement, and wherepossible, appoint a strategic investor. Ibelieve if that is done, some or all of thestaff will be asked to stay. If they are askedto stay, then it is a continuation ofemployment.
Your last supplementaryquestion.
Mr Speaker, theHon Deputy Minister mentioned that thecompany is for liquidation. Recently, whenthe majority shareholder tried to liquidatethe company, COCOBOD advertised in theDaily Graphic that, they have not askedthem to liquidate the company. So, wheredo we put the issue of liquidation vis-à-vis the advertisement by COCOBOD thatthey do not support the liquidation?
Mr Speaker, subsequentto that publication, the Board of Directorsof West African Mills Company(WAMCO), including that of COCOBOD,agreed that the official liquidation shouldproceed. So, I can confirm that theGovernment of Ghana has agreed to theliquidation process.
Hon Members, thatbrings us to the end of Question time. Hon Deputy Minister, we thank youvery much. Hon Members, you should take notethat COCOBOD is a minority shareholderin the company and that means a lot interms of influence and responsibility ofGovernment in all these matters. If youlook at the Companies Code of thiscountry, that will guide you. The shares are 40 percentage forminority shareholders. So, Hon Members,that brings us to the end of Question time.
Mr Speaker, we can nowtake item numbered 61 on page 41 of theOrder Paper.
Hon Members, PublicFinancial Management Bill, 2016 at theConsideration Stage.
BILLS -- CONSIDERATIONSTAGE
Mr Speaker, I begto move, clause 13, subclause (2),paragraph (c), lines 1 and 2, delete “whencalculated without petroleum revenues”.
(c) “ensuring that the fiscal balanceis maintained at a sustainablelevel over the medium term;” Mr Speaker, in ensuring the fiscalbalance, the Committee is of the view thatthere is no need to consider “petroleum”or “petroleum revenue”.What the HonMinister is supposed to do in this case isto ensure that, there is a fiscal balanceand this is maintained over a medium-termperiod. Mr Speaker, we propose the deletionof “when calculated without petroleumrevenue”. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 13, add the following newsubclause: “(5) For purpose of this section,“public agency” means an entityestablished by government butnot part of a governmentdepartment which has beengiven responsibility to performa public function, is accountable to government, has some degreeof autonomy from governmentand which the government;holds the primary power ofappointment.” [Pause] --
Have you seen the semi-colon there?
Yes, Mr Speaker, I haveseen it. I believe that it is a typographicalerror. The semi-colon (;) after“government” -- the last line should bedeleted.
Let me find out forclarification before I put the Question --Are we saying that, for purposes of thissection “public agency” does not includethe covered entities?
Mr Speaker, exactly so. Itdoes not include covered entities --[Interruption.] Mr Speaker, for the purposes of thissection, a “public agency” is defined thisway and for that matter, it is not consideredas a covered entity.
If the government has thepower of appointment, could you give usan example of the kind of institution thatyou are thinking about? For purposes ofthis section.
Mr Speaker, an example isthe Ghana Oil Company Limited (GOIL). Itwas initially established by governmentand the government decided to diversepart of its shares. Eventually, governmentlost control of appointment because itbecame a listed company. So, it no longerbecame a public agency.
Hon Member, but it sayshere that where “government holds theprimary power of appointment.”
Mr Speaker, it is like the Ghana GasCompany. My worry is when we say “somedegree”, it becomes very subjective. Whatdo we mean by “some degree”? It is eitherautonomous or not autonomous. Mr Speaker, I would want to believethat the example of companies like theGhana Gas Company -- It is fully ownedby the State. The power of appointmentis still by the government.
The example that yougave about GOIL -- Does the Governmentof Ghana hold shares in GOIL?
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, Ido not know but it says that, “isaccountable to government”. Forinstance, the Ghana Commercial Bank andState Insurance Company, are theyaccountable to Government? This is because it says: “For purpose of this section,“public agency” means an entityestablished by government but notpart of a government departmentwhich has been given responsibilityto perform a public function, isaccountable to government, …” Mr Speaker, so is GOIL accountable togovernment?
So, GOILcannot be an example and the GhanaCommercial Bank cannot be an exampleeither.
It also says: “… and which the governmentholds the primary power ofappointment.”
Appointmentis the shareholders --
We have Board ofDirectors and Shareholders so we haveto look at this definition again.
Mr Speaker,precisely what sort of agency are wethinking of in clause 13?
Listening to the HonDeputy Minister for Finance, he spokeabout organisations ‘where the govern-ment has some interest. So, if it is someminority shareholding you must say so.You must say that where government hassome shares in any company' -- Yes,government has invested money in thatarea and we want a certain minimum levelof accountability -- Yes, like the one wejust answered a Question on. In my view, this rendition does notcapture the sense and it does not explainexactly what we want to do.
Mr Speaker, I used theGOIL example to illustrate that the wayGOIL is presently composed, it would notqualify as a public agency. The way GOILwas structured in the past would qualify. Mr Speaker, an example is the GhanaGas Company, Ghana National PetroleumCompany (GNPC) or Ghana WaterCompany; at present, these are publicagencies and that is what we are trying toemphasise here.
I thought that, in thecourse of considering this Bill, we havegiven responsibility to the Board ofDirectors. So, if government has powers over the Board of Directors, thengovernment exercises control over thoseBoard of Directors. I do not know whatyou want to--
MrSpeaker, I am holding the Bill and I am lookingfor the word “public agency”, where it hasbeen used in that section. I found out that ithas only been used in clause 13, subclause4 (a) -- “the roles and responsibilities of apublic agency and a public officer ...” MrSpeaker, when you read clause 13 properly,it talks about covered entities. And MrSpeaker, I beg to read clause 13 (1) (a): “The following general principles offiscal management apply for theeffective implementation of this Act; (a) the Principal Account Holder andthe Principal Spending Officer ofa covered entity …” So, the gravamen of the clause is fiscalresponsibility of covered entities. “publicagency” that was stated in the subclause(4) (a) really talks about covered entities.This is because, in the main part of clause13, “public agency” is not mentionedanywhere -- I mean subclauses (1) and(2), and even (3). It does not talk aboutpublic agency. Mr Speaker, the first time“public agency” is used is in subclause(4) (a). Mr Speaker, we should change theword “public agency” to mean “coveredentity”. This is because (1), (2) and (3)talk about fiscal responsibility or fiscalstrategy in covered entities.
I believe that would be abetter way to go -- as suggested by theHon Member for Manhyia South. So, wecould deal with ‘covered entities' in termsof those type of special organisationswhere government has interests. We would have to get a special clauseto deal with it, but as it is now, we aredealing with the covered entities.That isthe focus of this whole Bill. If you want tobring us something that we have aninterest in, then we may have to get aspecial clause to deal with thosecategories.
Mr Speaker, actually thisnew subclause is a definition of “publicagency”. As pointed out by the HonMember, we could delete the “publicagency” in subclause 4 (a) and replace itwith the “covered entity”. Then we coulddrop this amendment.
Then we would drop thisamendment and if you would want to makea special provision to those types oforganisations, you could then bring a newamendment to stand alone.
Mr Speaker, there is aprovision for corporations which couldcover --
Absolutely. So, please,move the amendment and let me put theQuestion.
Mr Speaker, Iam not too sure whether in the context inwhich “public agency” is used, it isintended to be a covered entity. I think itis more of a public corporation. For instance, Ghana Gas CompanyLimited was not established by an Act ofParliament, but it was established withpublic funds. So, in the context of theConstitution, Ghana Gas CompanyLimited is a public corporation. Mr Speaker, I just need to understandthe intention of the sponsors of the Bill.Which type of institution were theythinking about? That is it, because GhanaGas Company Limited was not set up by an Act of Parliament, but it was set up bypublic funds. In that respect, by theConstitution, it is a public corporation. Ido not know whether it is that type ofentity that -- And it is not a covered entity.According to the definition of coveredentity, Ghana Gas Company Limited forinstance is not a covered entity.
Where it is now,we aretold that it is a subsidiary of GhanaNational petroleum Company (GNPC),which is covered by an Act.
Was it bypublic proclamation or by the CompaniesCode?
It was by the CompaniesCode.
GNPC is notgoverned by the Companies Code. It is apublic corporation.
But that does not meanthey cannot.
I agree. So, Iam asking; how could Ghana Gas CompanyLimited be a subsidiary of GNPC? It mustbe by law.
Hon Member, I know thatwe have created public bodies like theGhana International Airlines without anAct of Parliament. So, there is precedence.
That is what Iam saying. But I am also saying that theGhana Gas Company Limited --
Were you the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice at thetime?
Mr Speaker, asAttorney-General and Minister forJustice, I was the principal advisor to the
President. If I offered an advice, was it byforce that it should be taken? If youunderstand it that way, you do not have aproblem. But I was not the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice at the time. Mr Speaker, you gave an example that,the Ghana Gas Company Limited is asubsidiary of GNPC. Probably it would bein the Regulations of Ghana Gas CompanyLimited. I do not know, but the Ghana GasCompany Limited was established bypublic funds.
Hon Member for Sekondi,do you agree that we should do theamendment? I believe with the point madeby the Hon Member for Manhyia South,if we look at the headnote and clause 13in its entirety, it applies to coverd entities.All of a sudden, we are offering adefinition which does not deal with thecovered entities. Automatically, there is aproblem. So, we need to deal with that and theissue of those types of organisations thatthe Hon Deputy Finance Minister spokeabout. We would hear from you andothers who would want to speak.
Mr Speaker, fiscalpolicy principles should be applicable toall those defined as ‘covered entities'. Inthere, we have autonomous bodies. Whatdo we mean by autonomous bodies? It isalready in there as an autonomous body.So, I do not know why we need to defineautonomous bodies.
That is a very interestingpoint, but what do you mean byautonomous bodies? Let us move theamendment for covered entities. After thatwe would find out how we are going totreat those categories. If they areautonomous bodies, or even if it is not defined, we could define it to include themat the interpretation column.
Mr Speaker, the intentionhere was for us to have a cover for Stateinstitutions like public corporations andState-owned enterprises whose actions ordecisions might impact on the fiscal in theform of a contingent liability. Mr Speaker, I agree with the amendmentproposed by Hon Prempeh since clause76 deals with borrowing by local governmentauthorities, public corporations and Stateenterprises. Mr Speaker, I propose that wecarry the amendment.
Hon Chairman, withdrawyour amendment and move theamendment proposed by the HonMember. [Amendment withdrawn by leave ofthe House.]
Mr Speaker, I beg topropose a new amendment that, clause 13(4) (a), line 1, delete “public agency” andinsert “covered entity”. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Hon Deputy Minister forFinance, if you like or maybe, you are notsure of the word autonomous, you coulddefine “autonomous” to include those -- Absolutely. Clause 13 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
Clause 17 --
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 17, opening phrase, delete “The”and insert “Subject to Article 76 (2) of theConstitution”.
“Subject to article 76 (2) of theConstitution, Cabinet shall, adhereto the targets set out in the FiscalStrategy Document,”
Why do you not just say;“Subject to article 76” without thesubclause (2), and just mention article 76?
Mr Speaker, it is exactly so.It is accordingly amended. Mr William Ofori Boafo -- rose --
Is it a new amendment orwould affect the Question I am about toput, Hon Member for Akwapim North? Hon Members, I have just beeninformed that, because of the power tripthat delayed our Sitting earlier in the day,some of the microphones have beenaffected. They are working on them.
Mr Speaker, I do not see theeffect of article 76 on the role of theCabinet, in this particular case, the FiscalStrategic Document. I do not see how itcircumscribes Cabinet's role. This isbecause Cabinet's composition includethe President.
We should put --
Mr Speaker, the compositionof Cabinet includes the President and theVice President. I do not see how thisparticular provision would circumscribethe role of --
Hon Member forSekondi?
Mr Speaker,Cabinet can effectively work without thePresident. In the absence of the President,he can let the Vice President preside overmeetings and in certain extreme cases,even a Minister for a period may chair aCabinet meeting. The Executive power is vested in thePresident. To subject this particular clauseto article 76 and emphasise that indischarging its role, Cabinet would assistthe President in the general policyformulation of the country as is providedfor in article --
In other words, they donot want a situation where Cabinet wouldprevent the President when he decides totake certain decisions.
Mr Speaker, in my view, it isa provision for intra checks and balances.
Hon Member forAkwapim North, before I call on the HonMember for Wa West, I want to find outfrom you, if we put this provision therewould it do any harm to the Bill or to theclause in question? I do not think so.
Mr Speaker,subjecting it to article 76 (2) is appropriatebecause the way it is couched justemphasises the role that Cabinet is to play.So, somebody suggested that we shouldsay article 76 generally, but it is 76 (2) thatis more applicable. In that case, it defineswhat a Cabinet should do. In this particular case, where we saidthat they would give the advice is basedon that. So, it is appropriate and I do notsee how it would conflict with anything.It should be supported. The Chairman'snew amendment is supported. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 17 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 18 -- Fiscal Strategy Documentto bind Government.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 18, delete. Mr Speaker, the Committee is of theview that, having a clause to bindgovernment for the Strategy Document isnot appropriate. That the clause, whichsays: “The Fiscal Strategy Document asapproved by Cabinet is binding onGovernment subject to section 19” is notappropriate. Mr Speaker, in any case, the law is madeto be complied with and for that matter,any section of the law definitely bindsGovernment. So, there is no need to havestated it here. So, we propose the deletionof the clause. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 20 -- Salary negotiations forpublic sector.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 20, subclause (1), paragraph (a),line 3, delete “31st” of May of thepreceding” and insert “end of April of thecurrent financial”.
“salary and other compensationnegotiations in respect of the publicsector for the ensuing year are completed not later than end of Aprilof the current year”. Mr Speaker, the Committee is of theview that, salary negotiations need to becompleted early to allow the Governmentto adequately plan for the budgetpreparation for the year. So, the referencemade to 31st May of the preceding year isnot accurate. It should be the current andit should be completed by April of thecurrent year.
Do you legislate onnegotiations? I want to know because, Idid not handle this part of the Bill. Do youlegislate on time frame for negotiations?What if it breaks down and you are notable to negotiate by that date?
Mr Speaker, that was thepoint the Hon Minister for Employmentand Labour Relations raised and heenvisaged that, we have to be realistic.Our practice has gone on and currentlythey have not closed.He said that hewould have preferred at least, the end ofJune. This is because, the reality is that,every time, it goes into July and August.Now, we are moving it from 31st May andbringing it closer. I know that, that is whatthe finance people want. Mr Speaker, but as you said, can theyab initio say that it has to be finished byend of April? Should we put it in the law?Have we agreed with the TripartiteCommittee? Do we have a memorandumthat says we would conclude by that date?If we are going to state it here and wehave not consulted the other members ofthe Tripartite Committee to seek theirendorsement that all the three groups saythat they would finish by the end of April,then we can put it into law. But if we aregoing to do it single handedly like Isuspect we will -- Mr Speaker, last week, the Hon Ministerfor Employment and Labour Relationsargued extensively against the 31st Mayand he wanted us to take it to July. So, Iagreed to why they want closure veryearly for the numbers but it should besomething that is agreed on in theTripartite Committee before we put it here.
Mr Speaker,unfortunately for me, I am not privy totripartite negotiations and processes.However, we are dealing with PublicFinancial Management, and Governmenthas said that, there must be a guideline. Parliament has enacted that, there mustbe a deadline. It is therefore theresponsibility of those who are negotiatingon behalf of Government to ensure that,by that date, they conclude. And I am surethat, all those who are negotiating withGovernment would also be guided by thelaw. Mr Speaker, there have been occasionswhere these matters had draged on andon, and it is not good for public financing.There had been instances where the HonMember for Old Tafo had attended anegotiation and nearly caused a criseswhen I was Minister for Education,because he thought we were delaying. Hemade a statement and people decided thatthey were going to walk out. I was introuble. I am saying that, if they know that thereis a deadline, they would appreciate theurgency. While I agree with stakeholderconsultations, we must presume thatstakeholder consultations has alreadybeen done, and Mr Speaker, I can assureyou, for those with labour, even if there isa law, they would not care. After all, they have been going on strike. The law is there,and they are still negotiating. At least, this is a deadline that wewould all aspire to, and it would helppublic financial management.
Let me hear from the HonDeputy Minister for Finance why theybrought in 31st May.
Mr Speaker, the intentionhere is that, you would notice that, inclause 15, it reads; ”the Minister shall not later thanend of April of each final year,prepare and submit to Cabinet forapproval a Fiscal Strategy Docu-ment.” The Fiscal Strategy Document wouldhave to have an input on how muchGovernment is going to spend as long ascompensation is concerned. It is for that reason that we have herethat by the end of April, we would have tofinish negotiating the salaries, but if weare not able to finish, the clause 20 (2)says; and with your permission, I read: “where salaries and other compensationnegotiations in respect of the publicsector are not completed by the 31stof May of the current fiscal year,the Fiscal Strategy Documentprepared for the ensuing fiscal yearshall state an expected negotiatedaggregate of public sector salariesand compensation for the ensuingyear based on the negotiated publicsector salaries and compensationfor the preceding fiscal year”. So, Mr Speaker, the issue has beenaddressed with the two, and I believe weshould carry the amendment.
MrSpeaker, to give comfort to the wholediscussion, the negotiation for the next yeardoes not necessarily have to start from thecurrent year. It could start earlier so thatthey finish in the current year by April.
Mr Speaker, the Committee'sproposed amendment is actually to correctthe inconsistency that we have, becauseclause 15 talks about the Ministersubmitting the Fiscal Strategy Documentby the end of April, and compensation ispart of the Fiscal Strategy Document.Thatwas why we said that the completion ofnegotiation should also be done by April,so that the Minister can incorporate it intothe document.
Mr Speaker, I rise tosupport the amendment. The impression should not be giventhat, the policy document is personal.This is Government policy, so if theMinister for Employment is part ofGovernment and they have taken adecision at Cabinet, we expect him tocomply. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 20, subclause (2), line 2, delete “31stof May” and insert “end of April”. It is consequential to the other one. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 20 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 50 -- Investment of balanceson the Consolidated Fund.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 50, delete and insert the following: “The Minister may; (a) authorise the Controller andAccountant General to investany sum standing to thecredit of the ConsolidatedFund with; i. the Bank of Ghana, or ii. an approved financial institution, or (b) invest any sum standing tocredit of the ConsolidatedFund, in an instrument thatthe Minister considersappropriate, and subject tonotice not exceeding twelvemonths.”
Mr Speaker, I support theamendment, but I would like to furtheramend the subclause, paragraph (b). Yesterday, in proposing a similaramendment to the Bank of Ghana Bill, weadded “but not in Government securities”,so I further propose that in line 3, we add“other than Government securities”.
Please, I am not gettingyour amendment. If it is paragraph (b),which line?
Mr Speaker, third line, after“appropriate”, we add “other thanGovernment securities”.
What do you mean by“subject to that notice of twelvemonths”? Hon Deputy Minister?
Mr Speaker, the intentionhere is that, the investment should notexceed one financial year. Mr Speaker, the reason is that, by theend of the financial year theappropriations end, and new appropria-tions would trigger in. That is why wehave introduced the phrase: “subject tonotice not exceeding twelve months.”
Hon Member, I do notget it. At times when I do not get it, I findit difficult to put the Question. Myproblem is with the concluding part. Dr A. A. Osei -- rose --
Yes, Hon RankingMember of the Finance Committee?
Mr Speaker, I wouldwant to offer an amendment. In paragraph (b), it says: “…invest any sum standing to thecredit of the Consolidated Fund, inthe term instrument not exceedingtwelve months that the Ministerconsiders appropriate.” Mr Speaker, after this, then hisamendment comes. The key phrase is “Inthe term instrument not exceeding twelvemonths.”
Is it the investmentperiod we are talking about?
Yes, Mr Speaker.
If it is the investmentperiod then why do you put “notice”there?
Mr Speaker, we wouldprobably have to delete the “notice”, butit is also to say that if we are to limitourselves to time investment, then --
Whom are they givingthe notice to?
Mr Speaker, because he isauthorising the Controller andAccountant-General, the notice is to goto the Controller and Accountant-General. Mr Speaker, we can however delete theword “notice”, anyway.
Very well. Let me get it, taking into account theview of the Ranking Member of theFinance Committee. I would want to getthat rendition well before I call on the HonMember for Manhyia South. Hon Chairman of the Committee, HonDeputy Finance Minister and HonRanking Member, please, let me get yourpositions clear before I call on any otherperson, so that we would know exactlywhat the amendment we are debating isabout. Hon Ranking Member, this is becauseyou have made further amendments, andyou have suggested that we should re-arrange it, but now the Hon DeputyMinister for Finance says we shoulddelete the “notice”. So, let me get it veryclear.
Mr Speaker, I think theintention of the clause is that, theinvestment of any credit balance standingon the Consolidated Fund can be made,but cannot be made into Governmentowned securities -- it should not runbeyond the fiscal year.
Clerks-at -the-Table, letme get the rendition. Whiles we wait for your rendition, Iwould like to hear from the Hon Memberfor Manhyia South.
Mr Speaker, I lookedthrough the Bill, and I found out that theyhave not defined “governmentsecurities”, which is the new term theyhave introduced. They would have todefine it in the Interpretations column ifthey have used that term. Secondly, like the Hon Chairman said,the Hon Member for Old Tafo, in bringingthe twelve months -- I was going to saythat since we do not want to go outsidethe Appropriation year, whateverinvestments we do should end by the endof that Appropriation year. Mr Speaker, it has to come as a thirdclause, so that it makes it neater. This isbecause, if we do not do the changes thathave been said, and we bring a third clausethat any investment must be within anappropriation year, it would cure those things, so that it does not become asconfusing as the Hon Speaker, says.
Hon Members, what I amgetting so far is that, paragraph (b) shouldread as follows with the greatest respect: “Invest any sum standing to thecredit of the Consolidated Fund, inan instrument other thangovernment securities that theMinister considers appropriate,within the current fiscal year.”
Mr Speaker, whatthe Hon Minister is trying to say is that,the Instrument should mature before theend of the fiscal year, but not that theInstrument should not exceed twelvemonths. This is because, if one does it inDecember and we have this clause, thenit would go beyond that period. So, it isthe maturity that we are actually lookingat. We should amend it to ensure that, thematurity date does not go beyond thatfiscal year. That is all it needs to take.
Hon Deputy Minister forFinance?
Mr Speaker, yes, theintention is to make sure the maturity doesnot go beyond the fiscal year. What weare making reference to are temporalsurpluses, and they are for the purposesof liquidity management. So, what weintend to do here is that, it should notexceed a fiscal year. Mr Speaker, to address the HonMember for Manhyia, Matthew OpokuPrempeh's concern, since we used “anInstrument” we can now put it as; “otherthan government Instrument”, so that wewould not have to define “securities”.This is because, there are otherInstruments other than government Instruments, and I believe that would curethe mischief. [Pause] --
Hon Deputy Minister forFinance, do you agree to the suggestionthat we should have a separate sub clauseto deal with this? If you do I can put theQuestion on that one. The Hon Member for Manhyia Southor the Hon Ranking Member to move thatseparate amendment?
Yes, Mr Speaker. Since we are deleting the “notice”, itwould be better if we create subclause (c). Mr Speaker, while you put the Questionwe can draft the sub clause (c) andpropose it.
Hon Chairman of theCommittee, you have not given me yourrendition, but I am trying to see whether Ihave got the sense of the House.
Mr Speaker, this is not theHon Chairman's amendment. I am not theone to give the rendition.
What I have got so far isparagraph (b): “… invest any sum standing to thecredit of the Consolidated Fund, inan instrument other thangovernment instruments that theMinister considers appropriate”. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Hon Member forManhyia South, you are to propose thenew paragraph (c).
Mr Speaker, I proposethat paragraph (c) be read as: “the Instrument must mature withinthat fiscal year.”
The Instrument referredto in paragraphs (a) and (b) -- Please,move the amendment again.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, “The Instrument referred to inparagraphs (a) and (b) must matureby the end of the fiscal year.”
Mr Speaker, I believe thatif we make it; “the maturity date of the Instrumentreferred to should not go beyondthe current fiscal year.”
You have to say that “theInstrument referred to must mature by theend of the fiscal year.” The maturity dateshould be within the fiscal year.
Is it “by the end” or“beyond”?
Mr Speaker, it cannot gobeyond because, the maturity date couldbe -- “the end of the fiscal year” shouldbe the last point. So that maturity couldbe earlier than the end of the fiscal year orcould match exactly by the end of the fiscalyear. It must not go beyond the fiscal year.
MrSpeaker, I would not have thought thatthis should take up our time. It is aboutthe same thing. It should mature by aspecific date. It means that it cannot gobeyond that time but it could mature anytime before the date that he proposed MrSpeaker, it is about the same --
“The investment referredto in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this sectionmust mature by the end” -- We can evenput a date -- “31st December” -- but it is“by the end of the current fiscal year”.
Mr Speaker, if the fiscalyear ends on 31st December and there ismaturity date of 30th November, what doesit mean?
All that we want is that itshould be within the fiscal year. Let ususe the word “within” -- “within the fiscalyear”. That includes 31st December. Question put and amendment agreedto.
MrSpeaker, I am just looking at theamendment and the further amendment.Mr Speaker, the reason --
Hon Minority Leader, donot use what you see on the Order Paper.What is on the Order Paper paragraph (b)is not what we have agreed on.
Mr Speaker,it is not paragraph (b).
I am talkingabout paragraph (a). Mr Speaker, my worry is, in this law,we deal with public funds. At variousplaces we use different terminologies.Here we look at the Consolidated Fundand my worry is why we restrict ourselvesto the Consolidated Fund when in otherareas we deal with the Public Funds?
Hon Members, I will putthe Question because there is noamendment before me.
Mr Speaker, from whatthe Hon Minority Leader said, it would bevery good to adapt the ConsolidatedFund, but there are other public funds.
Hon Members, it is notevery public fund that is under the controlof the Bank of Ghana and Controller andAccountant-General.
I agree to that, but thosethat are, what do we say about those otherpublic funds that are not necessarilystatutory funds? The Hon Minister forFinance regularly sends letters to clearbalances even from local governmententities.
Mr Speaker, the othercomponent of the public funds areusually either statutory or contingency.The Minister does not have control overthe contingency and the other publicfunds are statutory, so this is the onlyleeway.
Mr Speaker, apart fromthat, in those public institutions that wehave even put in the law -- like theNational Health Insurance -- that theyshould invest any such moneys forincome bearing, the law already coversthem in that case. So, you cannot nowsay no to what they do. Question put and agreed to Clause 50 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
Mr Speaker, before theHon Chairman moves the amendmentMotion, I believe we should try to extractarticle 178 and change the language thatmakes it confusing. My suggestion is that, if we want totalk about spending from the ConsolidatedFund, we should stick to that and not tryto change the wording. This ‘warrant'business here can be confusing. I suggestthe Hon Chairman looks at the languageunder article 178 and let us stay with that.It is safer -- [Pause.]
Hon Ranking Member, Iwould want to listen to you again.
Mr Speaker, the ‘headnote' says, ‘Spending from the ConsolidatedFund'. If we look at what is in the Bill, theytried to mimic article 178. The Committeein trying to do same, has introduced aphrase like ‘authority of a warrant', et ceterra that does not fully capture the intentof article 178 (1). [Interruptions.] It says ‘except on the authority of awarrant issued by the Minister'. That isnot constitutional. Where is it comingfrom?
Mr Speaker, Itried to understand the point made by theHon Member for Old Tafo. Does it meanthat the provision in article 178 (1) isexhaustive? I say this because theamendment says which I quote with yourpermission: “For which no disbursementprocedure has been provided for inthe Constitution.” Presumably, apart from that procedurestated in the Constitution there can be noother procedure. [Interruption.] Yes, and I am asking, is it exhaustive? Iam not an economist. Probably the HonDeputy Minister for Finance can help us. Mr Speaker, it says by rules orregulations by an Act of Parliament. Dowe have comprehensive rules and regulations in an existing enactment? Evenif we have, this one could also becomplementary. So, it says that you cando it where there is no provision in theConstitution but only by a warrant.
Before I call any otherperson, I want to hear from the HonDeputy Minister for Finance. What typeof disbursement procedure are we talkingabout where we think that it has not beenprovided for in the Constitution or in anyother law? What are the possible areas?
Mr Speaker, the intentionhere is for us to ensure that thosedisbursements made out of theConsolidated Fund are normallyprocessed with a warrant. Mr Speaker, occasionally you wouldhave some sort of disbursement thatcomes out of the Consolidated Fund inthe course of the year that, maybe, youhave not budgeted for it appropriately andso, you would still have to come out in aform of a warrant to process them. Mr Speaker, an example is where wehave anticipated within the budgetprocess, to spend GH¢1,000,000 for thepurposes of paying for statutoryobligations like debt. Currently, we do not process debtrepayment using the warrant system. Wethink that going forward, we should usethe warrant system to process debt. It isfor that reason that, this amendment isproposed.
Let me ask again, what isthe difference between clause 52 (1) andthe amendment? What is it about theclause 52 (1) that we seek to delete andreplace with this one? Clause 52 (1) in myview says, whenever we want to spend,the warrant issued by the Minister to theController and Accountant-General -- The amendment says that if there is nodisbursement procedure, we do the same
thing. So, what is the difference betweenthe two? I want you to tell me thedifference, I do not see the differencebetween the two. So, anytime we spend,is it by the Minister and the Controllerand Accountant-General by warrant. Now you are also saying that if thereis no procedure in the Constitution, youwould do the same thing. You are doingthe same thing so why are you deletingit? I do not get it.
Mr Speaker, Ihave been holding consultations outsidethis Chamber, and apparently, what theclause seeks to do is to codify the existingpractice. And as we said, ealier I believeclause 52 as provided for in the Bill isexhaustive enough. [Interruptions.] Clause 52 is not exhaustive but ratherthe amendment is exhaustive? All right?
Hon Member for WaWest?
Mr Speaker, you know westood down this clause because of thedisagreement. So, now that the HonChairman is here, has he done anyconsultation to assure us that we are allwith him? Before the Hon Chairman couldeven explain his role in this matter, we hadstarted the debate. What is important is that, he shouldtell us. Was there any consultation anddid he come to any agreement? I say thisis because, was to be reflected. We stooddown this particular clause because assoon as he introduced it, there was thisdebate as to what it meant. So, I expect him to tell us whether hehas made progress in terms of getting aneater one or something that is acceptable but he is not saying that. He did not alsotell us anything about his amendment.
Mr Speaker, you called theclause, I did not even move the clauseand it was hijacked. I did not even movethe clause then debate started. So, HonMember, please, do not blame me.
But it is his Hon RankingMember who raised the issue. [Laughter.] Please, move the amendment.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 52, subclause (1), delete and insertthe following: “(1) Subject to Article 178 of the 1992Constitution, an expenditureshall not be made out of theConsolidated Fund for which nodisbursement procedure havebeen provided for in theConstitution except on theauthority of a warrant issued bythe Minister to the Controller andAccountant-General.” Mr Speaker, what we are actuallydeleting or adding is subjecting this toarticle 178 of the Constitution. Article 178of the Constitution talks aboutdisbursement procedure from theConsolidated Fund. Now, we are subjecting it to this bysaying that ‘where there is nodisbursement procedure made in theConstitution, then whatever money isgoing out of the Consolidated Fund canonly be done through a warrant issuedby the Minister. Now, there are some statutory fundsthat we know are issued by a warrant.
Please, we are talkingabout clause 52 (1), which you said weshould delete.
Mr Speaker, I madereference to the statutory funds becausesome of them have a disbursementprocedure indicated in the law governingthem. Considering the National HealthInsurance Levy, when collection is madeby the Ghana Revenue Authority, theMinister for Finance has specific dates toensure that, transfer is made to theauthority.
And can he not issuewarrant?
He issues warrants. But forthose ones there are specific disburse-ment procedures provided for it. But thereare some general ones for which nospecific procedure has been provided.
Hon Members, I wantyou to look at clause 52 (1) and look at theamendment and tell me the difference. Thisis because, so far on the floor of theHouse, I have not seen the difference.
Mr Speaker, whatclause 52 (1) seeks to say is that, if thereis a procedure use warrant. If there is noprocedure still, use warrant. So, if it says‘use warrant for everything', what is theproblem?
Hon Member for WaWest and then the Hon Member forManhyia South?
Mr Speaker, the Committeehas proposed this amendment, but in myview let us oppose it and maintain what isin the Bill. This is because, the only thingthey tried to indicate was to subject it tothe Constitution. The Constitution is there, and wewould always quote it when we wouldwant to do things. But more importantly,the Hon Deputy Minister also talkedabout payments of some monies or someloans that did not go through with thewarrants. I think that we should reject theamendment and retain what is in the Bill.
Mr Speaker, Iam a member of the Committee, but I mustconfess that, when it got to this part, Iwas not there. But we have had thisgeneral idea that we should simplifyprovisions in enactments. I presume thatthat must have been the reason. This isbecause, if we subject something to theConstitution, we are certain you cannoterr. That must have been the reason forthe purpose of simplicity. However, I believe that if we keep thisas is provided in the Bill, it would not bein conflict with any provision of theConstitution, particularly, the article 178that we seek to subject it to.
In any case, whether wesubject it or not, the Constitution takesprecedence.
But sometimesfor the avoidance of doubt. There arelitigants in this country and in this House.
Hon Member for Sekondi,I do not have a problem at all. If you justsubject it and use the same language inthe original Bill, fine. So subject it, thenyou use what is in the Bill. [Interruption.]I do not know who ‘IGP' is.
The HonMinority Leader. He is the chief arresterin this House.
Have you changed yourhat? [Laughter.] Hon Member, move the amendmentand let me put the Question. I think that
there is compromise now. Subject it toarticle 178, then I put the Question.
Mr Speaker, if the HonChairman would agree, we would say“subject to…”
Hon Chairman, withdrawyour amendment.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,subclause (1), delete and insert thefollowing: “(1) Subject to article 178 of the 1992Constitution.” Mr Speaker, that is all.
As the opening phrasefor what is in the Bill?
Yes Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker,that simplifies it. Just subjecting it to article178. Just like clause 49 preceding it, wehave that “subject to article 181” and weshould be consistent if we want to use acapital letter for the “a” in “article”. Inclause 49, the article is small letter “a”.We should be consistent and it should bea capital letter. Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman shouldexplain to us what injury would be causedif he deletes these words “for which nodisbursement procedures have beenprovided for in the Constitution”. If hecould convince us on the use of thatphrase.
He has no explanation.Let us make progress.
Mr Speaker,let us hear from him.
He has nothing to say,otherwise he would have been on his feet.
Mr Speaker,when we talked about this, he got up tosay that he had not even moved theamendment and then you had to take usback. So let us hear from him formally.
Mr Speaker, I haveabandoned the amendment. I will notmove it again. [Laughter.]
Hon Members, I wouldput the Question on the amendmentstanding in the name of the Hon Memberfor Wa West? Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, if you aresubjecting it to article 178, then we do notneed subclause (2).
We are just repeating it.No problem.
We are trying to repeatwhat is under article 178; AppropriationsAct, et cetera. Clause 52 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 58 -- Approval of Parliamenton terms and conditions of governmentborrowings
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 58, subclause 2, line 3, delete “termsand conditions on”. The new rendition would read; “(2) For the purpose of subsection(1), Parliament may, from time totime, by resolution, approvestandard terms and conditions for government borrowingsincluding the following.” So, the second “terms and conditions”in line 3 is deleted.
They are talking aboutdifferent things. Clause 58 (1) is ‘termsand conditions' and the other one talksabout standard terms and conditions.[Pause.] Hon Chairman, move the amendmentagain.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 58, subclause (2), line 3, delete“terms and conditions on”. The new rendition reads, “(2) For the purpose of subsection(1), Parliament may, from time totime, by resolution, approvestandard terms and conditionsfor government borrowingsincluding the following:”
Mr Speaker, there is areason why this has reappeared. LastThursday when this debate came up thequestion was whether we needed thewhole of subclause (2). Personally, I donot think that we need it but if we do, HonW. O. Boafo asked a question --[Interruption.] Are you bullying me now? Mr Speaker, we have left out morethings and they agreed that we can eveninclude more things. Most interestingly,the opening phrase says that; “For the purpose of subsection (1),Parliament may, from time to time,by resolution…” Mr Speaker, what does that mean? Itonly means that when the agreement comes, all these would be part of theagreement that, we would agree to byresolution. If it is not that, then it meansParliament should have these terms andresolve that any loan that comes shouldhave these terms. Where in Parliament isthat going to come from?
Mr Speaker, we shouldhave rather removed the phrase “standardterms and conditions” and left this otherone. This is because, in this Parliament,we deal with standard terms andconditions. Every loan agreement thatcomes here, comes with differentconditions. So, if we do not want the repetition, weshould talk about removing “standardterms and conditions”. I do not know ifwe have ‘standard terms and conditions'in this House or we used to have that inapproving loans. Rather, it is, terms andconditions that we find in the documentwhich finally is in the Resolution. If theydo not have any reason we should not dothat. Unless somebody can convince methat we use standard terms and conditionshere.
Mr Speaker,every time, loans are brought to us forapproval in accordance with theConstitution. What clause 58 (2) seeks to do is to letParliament, if it so desires, by a Resolutionstate that, when a loan is brought toParliament for approval it must includethose items. That is all. So, when the Government is going toengage in any negotiation and Parliamenthas passed a Resolution concerning it,this becomes its checklist. That is all. Itdoes not compel Parliament to set outstandards and conditions. No!
This is just to give us the opportunity,if we so desire to give standard termswhich Government must comply withbefore it brings the loan to Parliament.
Hon Members, there aretwo views. One view is that, we should delete theentire clause 58 (2); And the other view isthe amendment standing in the name ofthe Hon Chairman, and for that matter theCommittee --
Mr Speaker, thereason these loans are brought here is forus to consider the terms and conditions. The “terms and conditions” in thissense is the structure of the loan and notwhether it is good or bad. I believe what clause 58 (2) seeks to dois to go beyond that,where the Committees,other than the Finance Committee, getsinvolved. If that is the case, we need togo back and take off some of the thingsthat are under the “terms and conditions”as envisaged by the Constitution and addthem as additional requirement that wehave to do in the House. That is what theyactually seek to do. When the Finance Committee comesin, they usually give us the structure ofthe terms and conditions; for example, theinterest and all that. Those are the termsand conditions. The other issues relating to the projectand all that are what clause 53 (2) seeks todo. Therefore that has to be looked at veryclosely.
Hon Member, you havehad some experience at the Ministry ofFinance. What is meant by “standard terms and condition”, which is differentfrom what we have in clause 58 (1)?
Mr Speaker, I donot see any “standard terms andconditions”. Maybe what we have to dois that, if it is concessional it has to be bythis; if it is not concessional then we donot have any specific terms under whichthese things are approved.
Mr Speaker,I believe that the opening paragraph ofclause 58 (2) is a reconstruct of article 181(4).
“An Act of Parliament enacted inaccordance with clause (3) of thisarticle shall provide -- (a) that the terms and conditionsof a loan shall be laid beforeParliament and shall not comeinto operation unless theyhave been approved by aresolution of Parliament”. Mr Speaker, it is just a rehash of article181 (4), which speaks about the “termsand conditions” that must be approvedby Parliament. The list that we have is to provide uswith the signpost; the checklist aboutwhat to consider in the terms andconditions relating to the loan. Mr Speaker, earlier, when we dealt withclause 57, I suggested that we should usethe word “loan” in place of “borrowings”.I believe we adopted same. So, coming down, the headnote ofclause 58 is to read: “Approval of Parliament of loans…” That is what we agreed on. Mr Speaker, I believe the checklistshould be there. I also believe we shouldalso delete the words “standard” in thesecond line, “terms and conditions” isrepeated in line 3. I guess we would behome and dry.
Hon Members, I see thisclause as “signpost”; guidelines for thosewho are going for the facility. Is that notit? They are more or less guidelines. But has it been properly captured inthis form? This is because, if it is not aguideline for those who are borrowing,when they come to the House could wealso look at it and see whether thoseguidelines have been fulfilled? That is theway I see this provision.
Mr Speaker, first, I wouldwant to agree with my good Hon Friend.The word “standard” should go.
He said that we do notneed the clause 58 (2) at all.
No! Mr Speaker, itcannot be. He did not say that. Mr Speaker, what has happened in thepast is that, the Finance Committee hasonly talked about five or six things whenwe tried to operationalise article 181 (4). The law said that this is a minimumchecklist, including the amendment byHon Boafo which we accepted. He addedthe words “collateral” and “force majeure”. I believe it is good for the House tohave a checklist so that anybody goingto look for a loan, would go by that. Letus also take notice because it says; “including”. So, it is a minimum set ofitems that Parliament ought to beinterested in looking at. That is what clause58 (2) says, and it should be there. If it isnot, Parliament would not have the basesneeded.
Hon Members, in myview, what you are talking about are notthe terms and conditions; they arestandards to guide them. It is measuredup to that standard.
Mr Speaker, they arenot”standards”. They are “terms andconditions” of the loan. An interest rateis a term of condition of the loan. Mr Speaker, they are “terms andconditions” as implied in article 181 (4).
Hon Member, with whatwe have, Parliament would come with theResolution. In coming out with thischecklist, if I should use your word;thereis no loan before us. It is then to guidethose who would go and borrow. Whenthey bring the loan, then we would seewhether those who have gone for the loanare guided by this checklist. It issomething like a standing instruction tothe Government. That is why thestandard --
Mr Speaker, withrespect, it is not “standard”. I would givean example.
Let me hear from the HonMember for Sekondi.
Mr Speaker,we have had this debate on this floor forsome time. For instance, I do not anticipatedebate, but we have a Report of theFinance Committee on Credit FacilityAgreement, et cetera — Terms and
Mr Speaker, thesubclause (2) says that, (2) For the purpose of subsection(1), Parliament may, from time totime, by resolution, approvegovernment's borrowings basedon the following: Mr Speaker, then all the listwould follow. But once we start saying;“terms and conditions” — [Interruption.]This is because we are talking about thenature of the facility, who is giving theloan et cetera. That makes it clearer sothat we do not confuse it with the termsand conditions as we haveoperationalised in this House.
Hon Members, I havelistened carefully to all of you. I believethat the clause should remain as it is inthe Bill. They used, “approved standardterms and conditions” initially, then theycame back to the “terms and conditions”that must be included in the facility.
Mr Speaker, thedifficulty is that, we have not defined“standard terms”.
Yes, but that becomes thestandard anytime we approve theResolution.
Mr Speaker, it says,“approve standard terms”.
Yes. Hon Members, clause 67 — [Pause.] Hon Members, clause 67 —Questionto be put.
Mr Speaker,yes. Please, put the Question.
Mr Speaker,the Question is for the amendment onclause 67 to stand part of the Bill.
Was there anamendment?
Yes, Mr Speaker.
And what isthe amendment?
The headnote is,“government debt”.
“Status ofgovernment debt”? But we have agreed on that already?
Mr Speaker, there wasan amendment.
We haveagreed to that amendment already.[Pause] Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 67 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
Mr Speaker,with clause 101, it is not that the Question Conditions of the facility; loan amount;interest rate; grace period; repaymentperiod; processing fee; facility fee, etcetera. Mr Speaker, this is carved out of anAgreement. Mr Speaker, this House itself looks atthe Agreement line by line when we attendthe committee meeting and we can saythat, we do not agree with a particular line,so, if they are going for the loan, theyshould not include such a line. Mr Speaker, all that this clause seeksto do is to say that Parliament may fromtime to time list terms and conditions whichwould include the following — That listis not even exhaustive. Mr Speaker, if Parliament has not byResolution given any standard terms andconditions, the clause 2 may notapply.That is all. Except that, the time hascome for Parliament to be proactive. Mr Speaker, for instance the parties toa loan; is it a term? Mr Speaker, would wesay that the parties to a loan is a term?Can we approve a Facility without evenknowing the parties? This is just anopportunity that we are offeringourselves at a later date to let those whowould bring facilities under article 181have as a checklist. Mr Speaker, we know that, we have noteven done the modifications.
Mr Speaker, Ibelieve that what Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah has said is perfectly correct. Theproblem is that, we have operationalised“terms and conditions” over the years tomean only those that he has been referringto.
Hon Members, subclause(2) talks about a guideline or checklist thatwe issue from this House to thegovernment on our standards, so if thegovernment brings a loan and they mustmeet them, they should not even think ofbringing it at all if they do not meet thestandards. That is why the use of the word,“standard” is important. This is thestandard of the Parliament of Ghana andone must meet them when bringing a Billto this House.
Mr Speaker, yes, but weused the word, “including”. It is notexhaustive. Unless we say that —
So, we can add — Thatis why they say, “from time to time”.Wecould use that opportunity of adding orsubtracting because, they said, ‘from timeto time' and we can modify it.
Mr Speaker, if we sayso, then the second “terms andconditions” should not be there.
Very well. So, let us agree to that, because, theother one is really a standard of Parliamentthat we must meet.
Mr Speaker, that is fine.
Hon Chairman of theCommittee, have you moved youramendment?
Mr Speaker, yes, he has. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 58 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
Mr Speaker, I hope thatthe earlier amendments that we did are partof it.
Hon Members, the onlyissue remaining was the penalties --[Interruption.] That was the issue. Idirected for further consultations to bedone on this matter. Admittedly, I think the Table Officewas in a difficulty because there was nospecific amendment filed on this matter. Itwas an issue raised from the Chair. I hearthat there is going to be an amendment.[Pause.] We are on “Offences and penalties.”
Mr Speaker, clause 101 (1): “(b) refuses or fails to produce orsubmit any information requiredunder this Act,” (c) issues a local purchase order outsidethe Ghana Integrated FinancialManagement Information Systemor any other electronic platform inuse by Government, (g) misuses or permits the misuse ofany Government property whichresults in a loss of publicrevenue,” Mr Speaker, I propose that we deleteparagraphs (b), (c) and (g) and move themto clause 103.
Take your time, please. What are we deleting -- clause 101?
Mr Speaker, paragraphs(b), (c) and (g).
If we delete them thenhow do we treat them?
Mr Speaker, we are sendingthem to clause 103, under ‘Penalties forcontravention under this Act'.
If it is one of relocation,can I issue a drafting instruction becausewe are not deleting it completely from theBill.
Mr Speaker, yes. You canaccordingly direct so.
So, we move clause 101(1) paragraphs (b), (c) and (g) from clause101 to clause 103; is that what you aresaying?
Mr Speaker, clause 101 (1)subclauses (b), (c) and (g) to be moved toclause 103.
But have you looked atthe headnote of clause 103?
Yes, Mr Speaker. Early on,the head note under clause 103 waschanged to ‘Penalty of contravention ofthis Act'.
Hon Members, I am notgoing to put the Question. It is one ofrelocation from a section of the Bill thatthe House has taken a decision on toanother section of the Bill. So, it is adrafting issue and I duly direct that thedraftsperson should take note accordingly. I do not think lowering the minimumsentence in any way detracts from thegravity of the offences in the law. Mycounter proposal is that the minimumsentence should be set at six months andthe maximum at five years.
Mr Speaker, inprinciple, I am always against settingminimums because it deprives a judgefrom going even below the minimum. So,where you set the minimum too high, Ithink that it does not enable the judge toexercise his discretion properly where heneeds to do so. I would go for threemonths.
Hon Members, there arerules governing sentencing and in anycase, if a party is aggrieved about thesentence, they can always appeal.
Mr Speaker, aminimum sentence in Ghana is “cautionedand discharged” It is a conviction andthat is the minimum sentence.
Hon Member forAblekuma West, are you proposing sixmonths minimum against a five-yearmaximum?
Hon Members, the upperlimit of the amendment moved by the HonDeputy Minister is five years. However, ithas been changed to six years. So, I would put the Question on theamendment of the Hon Member forAblekuma West. Hon Members, I am sorry to say that ifany of you had experience in the practiceof criminal law, your attitude towards someof these matters would have beendifferent. It is not that we are deleting thoseparagraphs completely from the Bill. Weare moving them from one clause toanother. The House has taken a decisionthat those clauses should be part of theBill. It is only a matter of relocation and Iso direct. Now, we are on the remaining penalties.
Mr Speaker, after subclause(j), it says and I quote with yourpermission: “commits an offence and is liableon summary conviction to a term ofimprisonment of not less than fiveyears and not more than ten years....” Mr Speaker, the new rendition wouldbe “commits an offence and is liable onsummary conviction to a term ofimprisonment of not less than two yearsand not more than five years”.
I prefer the ten years. Iwill like it to be from six months minimumto ten years maximum. Anyway, why do you not make it oneyear, Hon Deputy Minister for Finance?
Mr Speaker, we felt thatlooking at some of the offences, sixmonths, may be too lenient for a minimumsentence so we thought of a minimumsentence of two years.
MrSpeaker, the minimum sentence, if it is setat six months, it does not mean that all thesentences that they would be subjectedto would be six months. It is just aminimum sentence and it means it cannotgo beneath six months and it can also notgo beyond a certain higher threshold.
The draftspersonsshould adjust the penalty unitsaccordingly. Clause 101 as amended ordered tostand part of the Bill.
Hon Deputy Minister,you said something about clause 103.
Mr Speaker, I moved earlierthat clause 103, subclause (1), line 9,delete “two years” and insert “six months”and delete “five years” and insert “twoyears”. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 103 as amended ordered tostand part of the Bill.
Mr Speaker, with clause106, the issue was about fiscal impactanalysis to accompany legislationproposals. We have debated it at length. If thereare no further contributions, you can putthe Question.
Mr Speaker, the HonDeputy Minister was supposed to consultyou to see if you had a better rendition ofthis. He was supposed to report to us afterthe consultation. He has not said anything. That wasour agreement. [Interruptions.] placement of personnel in certainestablishments were raised, which hadfinancial consequences. Mr Speaker, I believe that, when wetalk about fiscal analysis, it would alsoenable us, as a House, while the matter isbeing --
We agreed to that. The issue is whether it should be “anylegislation”? This is because, for example, if theElectoral Commission brings anInstrument to the House for the purposesof fixing a date for presidential elections,should there be --
Mr Speaker,certainly. Mr Speaker, if we fix a date, it may havefinancial implications. This is because,there are deadlines to be met. Mr Speaker, if there is no financial orfiscal impact, the Bill or legislation wouldsay so, that “This has no fiscal impact”.That is all.
Mr Speaker, I originallysupported the further amendment by theHon Chairman to say “a Bill” or “any Bill”. Mr Speaker, but because of theConstitutional bodies that we have, whichhave the authority to bring Instruments,particularly, the conditions of service ofsome institutions which had seriousimplications on the Budget, I think thatwe should still maintain “legislation” inthis case “legislation” talks about a Bill orRegulations that is to be brought to theHouse. In any case, there can be otherconsequential orders in terms of the hugesums of moneys that are involved, etcetera. Hon Members, I would put theQuestion on the amendment for “sixmonths to five years”. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Hon Members, are wedone with clause 101?
Mr Speaker, yes, clause101 is done; but it has a consequentialeffect on clause 103. [Interruptions] -- Itis on the penalties as well.
Hon Members, I directthe draftspersons to adjust the penaltyunits accordingly. Hon Deputy Minister for Finance, doyou get the point I am making? Every custodial sentence has acorresponding penalty unit. What about clause 103?
Mr Speaker, clause 103 (1),line 9, where we have “…two years andnot more than five years” -- Mr Speaker, clause 103 deals withpenalties for contravention of this Act.
Please, let us go clauseby clause. We have not finished withclause 101. Once we have done “the two years”,we have “not less than two years and notmore than five years” there.
Mr Speaker,they are trying to draw you into thedebate.
Mr Speaker,we said we were going to consult inrespect of that. How we would go aboutthe consultation is our own business. Wedo not consult the Rt Hon Speaker beforetaking a decision. This is because the Rt Hon Speaker isnot an Hon Member of this House; he is areferee.
Hon Chairman of theCommittee, have you done the necessaryconsultation? [Pause.]
Mr Speaker, I would liketo hear from him. We had a discussion.
Hon Members, again letme ask; the words there are, “anylegislation”. Is it really “any legislation”or “any Bill”?
Mr Speaker, maybe, we canamend the word “legislation” to mean“Bill or Regulations”.
Mr Speaker, we can changethe “legislation” to “any Bill that is beingsubmitted to the House must beaccompanied by fiscal impact analysis.” “Regulation” is to effect --
The Regulation itself isderived from the Bill. So they would havedone it at the stage of the Bill. They wouldhave done the fiscal impact analysis atthe stage of the Bill before the Regulationcomes.
Mr Speaker,there have been Bills brought to thisHouse that dealt with remuneration andcompensation in the Regulations where
Mr Speaker, I raised thequestion and I am glad that the debatehas gotten to this point. I think for mostcountries, it is almost like a requirement. As my Hon Senior Colleague said,when we went to New York State, everyplace we went, they told us of the fiscalimpact. Hon Minister, the fact that one is askedto demonstrate the fiscal impact does notmean that it would be rejected. This isbecause the Electoral Commission (EC)must hold elections. So, if the impactwould cost GH¢1 billion, we must pay forit. There is nothing here that says thatbecause it affects revenue, we must rejectit. Mr Speaker, it just says, let us see theobligations -- We must plan for it. So, Iwant to urge Hon Members that,once wehave understood that, all of us need to bedisciplined --
Well, you know that thereare some Instruments that are only forinformation purposes. That is why I posedthe Question.
Mr Speaker,it is like Parliament being invited by MrSpeaker to commence Sitting; the information is sent out, but does it havefinancial or fiscal impact? I do not know.[Interruption.] Oyiwa. Mr Speaker, that is not --
I will wait for the fiscalfinancial impact analysis to be added tothe Instrument before I summon theHouse.
Mr Speaker,it is for informational purposes, and whereit is information, it is not in the nature ofLegislation. The courts have decided thatit should not be in the nature oflegislation. Mr Speaker, legislation is somethingthat requires the House to take a decisionfor it to have the effect of law. Mr Speaker, we do not have to lay itfor 21 Sitting days. [Pause] -- Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 106 ordered to stand part of theBill.
Clause 107? Hon Members, I was supposed to putthe Question on the clause because allthe Questions on the amendments toclause 107 have been put and carried bythe House.
Mr Speaker, I wonder ifthat is -- this is because there was anissue of subjecting clause 107 in particularto clause 76 (2) as we did previously. Mr Speaker, the reason, though, theHon Minister for Employment and LabourRelations who championed that is nothere but I totally supported it. that is whyI am bringing it back. I propose that wesubject the clause 107 to clause 76 (2).
Mr Speaker, it will beextremely difficult for us to legislate this.Indeed, ideally, every Hon Minister whomakes an Instrument must first send it toCabinet. However, if we look at some of theissues listed under clause 107, they areroutine things and the Cabinet membersalready operate within that regime. So, ifwe say every one of them, as he said --No. Mr Speaker, the argument of the HonMinister for Employment and LabourRelations was a completely differentmatter. So, in this particular case, wecannot ask the Hon Minister to get allCabinet members to agree or to beconsulted. Mr Speaker, if we want to change thelegislative procedure, let us do so.Otherwise, an Hon Minister should be ableto bring -- but more importantly forsubsidiary legislation, because it detailsout how it is going to affect people, wecannot bring a subsidiary legislationwithout consulting the stakeholders. It isa requirement. Question put and amendment agreedto Clause 107 ordered to stand part of theBill.
Mr Speaker,thank you for the opportunity. Mr Speaker, I have looked at clause 107(1) (c) and article 177 of the 1992Constitution. Mr Speaker, clause 107 (1) (c) reads; “The Minister may, by legislativeinstrument, --”
If it is against theConstitution and it is brought here, it willnot stand? Do you want it to be deleted?
Mr Speaker, that is so.
Move for the deletion.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 107 (1) (c), delete “in view of thefact that it is in conflict with article 177 ofthe 1992 Constitution.” Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 107 (1) (c) accordingly deletedfrom the Bill.
Hon Members, any otheramendment?
Mr Speaker, I begto propose that clause 107 be madesubject to article 76 (2) of the Constitution.
Hon Members, let me putthe Question on the clause. Clause 107 as amended ordered tostand part of the Bill.
Mr Speaker,there is only one amendment. Whenpeople make comments -- [Interruption.]
Please, do not worryyourself. Take your seat. Hon Members, clause 108 -- are yousure that you have defined all the thingsthat ought to be defined? Otherwise, Iwould put the Question and if you goback -- you would come through theSecond Consideration stage.
Mr Speaker, there wereissues about “Public Service” and -- Ihave not seen those definitions. In fact,even today --
“Public Officer” -- wesaid that there is a definition in theInterpretation Act so we should take itfrom the Interpretation Act and put in theBill.
Mr Speaker, and today,the Hon Member talked about “publicagency” and you asked him to look at itand come back. I have not seen it. “Public Service” -- it is not consistentwith the Constitution.
Hon Chairman,otherwise, I would put the Question andthen you would have to go through aSecond Consideration Stage.
Mr Speaker, what is left isabout the definition of “Public Service”but we would want you to direct that itshould conform to Public Service --
I direct that we shouldlift “Public Service” from the Constitution.And I direct that we should lift the “PublicOfficer” from the Interpretation Act.
Mr Speaker, exactly so.
Hon Members, yesterdaywe treated the “Public Officer” and I putthe Question and it was carried. It is the“Public Service” that we did not treat. Idirect that it should be lifted from theConstitution. Hon Members, I would put theQuestion on clause 108. Clause 108 as amended ordered tostand part of the Bill. The Schedule as amended ordered tostand part of the Bill. The Long Title ordered to stand partof the Bill. Hon Members, that brings us to theend of the Consideration Stage of thePublic Financial Management Bill, 2016. Hon Members, yesterday you mayrecall that we devoted a lot of time on theissue of the Hon Minister having the soleauthority in certain areas of the Bill. Therewas a submission that on Friday therewere previous amendments, but based onthe decision of the House, I direct thatthe sole authority should reflect in thoseareas. This is because we want to giveresponsibility. I so direct -- before we takefurther steps on the Bill. I have given the directives to theClerks-at-the-Table and I thought that itshould be captured in the Hansard so thatit would not appear as if it is the Clerks-at-the-Table who suo moto tried to tamperwith the Bill.
Mr Speaker, Iagree with you and I noticed that yourchief advisor is standing beside youbecause there has been an occasion whenthe House has taken him on. So MrSpeaker, that one would not be his fault.
Hon Members, itemnumbered 62 at page 44 on the Order Paper. Deputy Minister for Finance?
Mr Speaker, when youwere mentioning it, they were supposedto define what they mean by “FiscalImpact Assessment” -- clause 106.
You are out of order.
The Regulations youdefined --
Hon Members, theSchedule. Hon Members, yesterday, we amendedit and there was also the view whether weshould have the Schedule at all. Are wekeeping the Schedule?
Mr Speaker, before youput the Question on the Schedule, theHon Chairman of the Committee onFinance came to move the Schedule (g) to(p) and brought the words “Relevantheadnotes”. Mr Speaker, you also asked whether itis the term that any ordinary personwould understand and they respondedthat no, it is a technical term. So we saidthat they should define the “Relevantheadnotes”. Mr Speaker, that was theunderstanding before you left the Chair.Then the Hon Deputy Minister --
No! He said that therewas no need to define it.
Mr Speaker, I wouldshow you why there was the need -- The Hon Deputy Minister got up tosay that we should let accountants alsoearn money. Then you got even more irateand said that they should define it.
Hon Members, I wouldput the Question. to move, that notwithstanding theprovisions of Standing Order 131(1) whichrequire that when a Bill has passedthrough the Consideration Stage, theThird Reading thereof shall not be takenuntil at least twenty-four hours haveelapsed, the Motion for the Third Readingof the Public Financial Management Bill,2016 may be moved today.
Mr Speaker, I beg tosecond the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to.
Item numbered 63 on theOrder Paper, page 44.
BILLS -- THIRD READING
Hon Members, I refer youto Standing Order 40 (3) and direct thathaving regards to the state of Business,we Sit outside the prescribed period. Hon Members, what is the sense of theHouse? Do we continue or suspendSitting for one hour? No, please, let me put the Question onthe Stepping Stone Economic PartnershipAgreement.
Mr Speaker, it is itemnumbered 9, pages 4 and 5 of today'sOrder Paper.
Where is the HonMinister?
Mr Speaker, he washere with his Deputies, but he just steppedout.
Yes, what is the item?
Mr Speaker, it is itemnumbered 9 of today's Order Paper, pages4 and 5.
Hon Members, itemnumbered 9 on the Order Paper. I wouldput the Question.
Mr Speaker, weare required to have more than one andhalf of all the Hon Members of Parliament.I do not know if we do have the requisitenumbers. So, I seek your direction.
Hon Members, we have.
We have. You wereseeking --
Mr Speaker, we would wantto take item numbered 24 on page 13 of theOrder Paper.
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 joint Committee on Financeand Mines and Energy on:
MrSpeaker, I beg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Mr Speaker, item numbered25.
HonMembers, item numbered 25 of the OrderPaper.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, that this Honourable House adoptsthe Report of the joint Committee onFinance and Mines and Energy on: (i) The Put/Call Option Agreementamong the Government of theRepublic of Ghana, the ElectricityCompany of Ghana Limited,Endeavour EPL Holdings Co-operatie, U.A., Sage PetroleumLimited, GE Ghana EnergyInvestments I B.V., Quantum GasTerminal Limited and Early PowerLimited in respect of a 400 MWCombined Cycle Gas Turbine PowerPlant in Tema by Early Power Limited; (ii) The Put/Call Option DirectAgreement among the Governmentof the Republic of Ghana, theElectricity Company of GhanaLimited, Early Power Limited,Quantum Gas Terminal Limited, SagePetroleum Limited, Endeavour EPLHoldings Co-operatie, U.A., and GEGhana Energy Investments I B.V. inrespect of a 400 MW CombinedCycle Gas Turbine Power Plantin Tema by Early Power Limited;and (iii)The Report of the Committee onMines and Energy on the BridgePower Purchase Agreementbetween the Electricity Companyof Ghana Limited and Early PowerLimited in respect of a 400 MWCombined Cycle Gas TurbinePower Plant in Tema by EarlyPower Limited.
This resulted in an increase in the plantcapacity to 400 MW at a cost of US$953.4million. The breakdown of the project costis provided in Table 1. He also stated that the modification ledto the improvement of the plant efficiency from 38 per cent to 50 per cent and reducedthe plant's fuel consumption per unit ofelectricity generated by an estimated rateof 31.6 per cent which translates to asaving of about US$17 million per annumin fuel cost. He further stated that themodification made provision for alternativefuel in addition to the primary fuel. Table 1: Breakdown of Project Cost Explanation for the Project Cost During the discussion, the Ministry ofPower and officials from ECG explained tothe Committee that, the project cost ofUS$953.4 million was only a notional figurewhich represented the maximum potentialcost limit. The actual capital cost of the projectwas to be calculated by reference toclause 8.11 of the Power PurchaseAgreement which stipulates under“Agreed Financial Model”, that in relationto project completion, the Agreed FinancialModel shall be reflective of the actualproject cost, including the actual amountsof debt, shareholder contribution and otheramounts which make up the project cost. These updated Financial Model shallbe agreed by the Buyer, ECG. TheCommittee was informed that at the stageof Project completion, the notional initialfigure of US$953.4 milion, will have norelevance in the calculation of the cost. Financing arrangements for the Project Regarding the financing for the project,the Committee was informed that theproject will first be financed with onlyequity from GE Ghana Energy InvestmentI.B.V, Endeavour EPL HoldingsCoorperatie, U.A. and Sage Petroleum andlater refinanced using the capital structureof 70:30, being 70 per cent debt and 30 percent equity from the open market. As arequirement, the project refinancing shall On the social impact of the project, theCommittee was informed that the socialimpact initiatives were being evaluated toeffectively support communities within theTema enclave. The areas of interest includesupport to schools and skills developmentfor the youth and in particular women inthe catchment area of the project. Environmental Impacts of the Project Regarding measures to mitigateenvironmental impacts of the project inaccordance with the EnvironmentalProtection Agency Act, 1994 (Act 490), theCommittee was informed that the fullEnvironmental and Social ImpactAssessment (ESIA) has been carried out. A number of other studies had beencompleted including an additional baselinestudies (including water supply pipelinewalkover, terrestrial ecology), ImpactAssessment and Mitigation Design andEnvironmental and Social ManagementPlan (ESMP) and the PreliminaryEnvironmental Report (PER). Conclusion and Recommendation The Committee, having duly scrutinisedthe Agreements, is of the considered viewthat the execution of the project willcontribute significantly to the Govern-ment's objective of increasing thecountry's installed generation capacity to 5,000 MW to meet the increasing demandfor power. It therefore, recommends to the Houseto adopt this Report and to approve theunder-listed Agreements in accordancewith article 181 (5) of the Constitution: i. Put/Call Option Agreementamong the Government of theRepublic of Ghana, the ElectricityCompany of Ghana Limited,Endeavour EPL Holdings Co-operatie, U.A., Sage PetroleumLimited, GE Ghana EnergyInvestments I.B.V., Quantum GasTerminal Limited and Early PowerLimited in respect of a 400 MWCombined Cycle Gas TurbinePower Plant in Tema by EarlyPower Limited; ii. Put/Call Option Direct Agreementamong the Government of theRepublic of Ghana, The ElectricityCompany of Ghana Limited, EarlyPower Limited, Quantum GasTerminal Limited, Sage PetroleumLimited, Endeavour EPL HoldingsCo-operatie, U.A., and GE GhanaEnergy Investments I.B.V. inrespect of a 400 MW CombinedCycle Gas Turbine Power Plant inTema by Early Power Limited. Respectfully submitted.
Mr Speaker, I beg tosecond the Motion and in doing so, refer topage 5 of 9 of the Report -- The Put/Call OptionAgreement (PCOA). Mr Speaker, this is a project of 400 MWcombined cycle. Originally, it was 344. 138 simplecycle and 206 combined cycle. This PCOA is farbetter than what it used to be -- The GovernmentConsent and Support Agreement (GCSA). Theadvantage of this Agreement is that it reducesGovernment guarantee against ECG's default. Italso enables Government, if there is a defaultnot to call for the shares or the investor wants tohave the Put option. Mr Speaker, the area that for me is quiteadvantageous is the fuel security in bothLPG and LLG, either the natural gas or the
Mr Speaker,I suppose that once the Hon DeputyMinister in charge of the Sector hasspoken, one ordinarily would not have togo behind the curtain. I am just making afew remarks because I was not here at thevery outset. When the Hon Deputy Minister madethe point that the Media should beconcerned with factual reportage, I believethat is what ought to be done, but I believein this age it is easy for anyone to go ontothe internet and google to see the cost ofprocurement of plants that generateelectric power. Mr Speaker, we are in an emergencysituation. That is what is abnormal aboutwhere we find ourselves, otherwise it istaken for granted that generating electricpower is between 1 megawatt and 50megawatts. On the average, it is aboutGH¢1 million per 1 megawatt. Mr Speaker, it is taken as a given, andone could go to the internet and sourcefor this, but as of now, we are in anemergency situation. Indeed, if we gobeyond 50 megawatts there is a pricereduction. Anybody could go on theinternet and source for this information. I noticed the Hon Deputy Minister isshaking his head profusely.You are alsoshaking your head --
HonMinority Leader, please, address the Chair.
Mr Speaker,the Hon Ranking Member and the HonChairman, with respect, are in league asfar as this matter is concerned --[Laughter] -- So, if they are shaking theirheads, only God knows when the headshaking would stop. Mr Speaker, we are being very factualabout this.
Mr Speaker, the headshaking is going on because when it comesto not English, not linguistics, not pocketlaw but the pure energy technical matters,we beg our Hon Leader to be slightly --[Laughter.]
Mr Speaker,I take the plea from the Hon RankingMember on board, except to register thepoint that, anybody could tread this pathand google, the information is there. It isno secret. The information is there foranybody to source. So, I do not know whythis should call for the shaking of heads.The information is out there, and as Ispeak, anybody could source thatinformation. But I reckon and appreciate the factthat, we are in an emergency; in abnormal times. If we have to procure such facilities,they would come with additional cost andprice. The price may go up. Mr Speaker, I noticed the Hon DeputySpeaker is up. I would yield. Could he comeon? I would yield to him. Let me yield tohim, because we are dealing with facts.
HonMembers, if I do not allow you, you cannotspeak. Very well, Hon Deputy Minister?
Mr Speaker, I believe theHon Deputy Minority Leader probablymisunderstood my point. What I said was that, it is out there thatParliament is approving a US$953 millionProject, which is inaccurate. That is what Iam referring to. The impression out thereis that, we have brought a project andParliament is approving this amount, butthe Report says that, the Project is cuppedat US$647million, so let no one go out thereand create the impression that, Parliamentdid not do a good job and that Parliamentapproved a US$953 million project costinstead of a US$647 million. That was myintervention.
Mr Speaker,I do not in any way doubt what the HonDeputy Minister has said, and indeed Iwould not even say that it was theCommittee that sought to create thatimpression. It is not the Committee. Ibelieve it is the initial documentation thatcame before the Committee. So, let nobody heap the blame on theCommittee. It is their own initialdocumentation which sought to createthat impression, and it was not until theCommittee probed further that, it came tothe fore that the cost involved was US$647million and not US$953 million. This is 12.5USCents/kWh. This meansthat, it is quite competitive. Mr Speaker, the last one is GoGmaximum liability in case of Governmentgoing for the call option. It is capped atdebt outstanding, which is projected as70 per cent of the overall project cost thattranslates to US$667 million compared tothe US$953 million. So, Mr Speaker, I respectfully call onHon Members of this august House tosupport this Motion. Thank you, Mr Speaker. Question proposed. Deputy Minister for Power (Mr JohnA. Jinapor): Mr Speaker, I beg to contributeto the Motion and to encourage HonMembers to adopt same. Mr Speaker, with your permission, letme express the Ministry's appreciation toboth Committees for a very detailed workdone. This Put/Call Option Agreement wentthrough a very detailed discussion. Wewent into all the matters with the Committeeand exhausted almost all the concerns thatwere raised. This Project would not only make poweravailable, but would enable us to diversifyour power mix. Mr Speaker, this Project also comeswith an entire fuel infrastructure, includinga jet which would not only help the powersector, but also the petroleum sub-sector.So this is a Project that is all-encompassingand would surely be of benefit to thecountry.
Mr Speaker, thank you for theopportunity to support this Motion. Mr Speaker, if you look at page 8 of theReport in particular, paragraph eg. 8.7, thisis what the Committee observed, withrespect to expected economic and socialimpacts of the project.
“An estimated 450 direct jobs wouldbe created during the projectconstruction, and about 100permanent jobs will be createdduring the 25-year term of the PPA.The project is also expected toenhance the standard of living ofGhanaians through the provision ofreliable power supply to supportindustrial development, especiallysmaller and medium enterprises” Mr Speaker, it is a good idea that wewould want to add on to our generationcapacity. But we know as a fact that theElectricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has
Mr Speaker, thesecond thing which is very important isthat, the Hon Member does not seem toknow that the ECG is also beingrestructured. If we would recall, the HonMember said that we were only thinkingabout generation, but ECG's problem is notbeing tackled. Mr Speaker, that is completely not true.We will recall that, ECG under Compact IIis being restructured, to the point that, aswe talk now, a lot of interest has beenshown in where private participation iscoming in, so that ECG could be re-structured to make it more efficient. So, he should not have to say that theimpression is being created that we are onlyinterested in generation.That is not true.
very well. Hon Member, please, continue.
Mr Speaker, Iwould want the Hon Member to payparticular attention to Standing Order 92,in our rules' book. If he would want to beon a point of order to interrupt me, then heshould ground same on facts. Mr Speaker, Standing Order 92 is clearon what an Hon Member can do when heis up to interrupt. Mr Speaker, we have been concentratingon generation, but there is also anotherimportant matter which deserves ourattention, which is ECG's obsoleteequipment. They have been talking aboutit. I do not say that we should not discussit, but I say that ECG publicly talks aboutits equipment. We do not know whether efforts arebeing made in that direction. Recently, we Mr Speaker, even that, I said for therecords that generating 400 megawattsshould ordinarily cost us US$400 million,but it would certainly --
On a pointof order. Mr Speaker, your Committee wasgiven a task. The Committee went roundand did its work. This is not the first timethat we are approving such a facility, andin all of them, if he says that it is aroundUS$1million, I am saying that it is not true.We could google and then anybody at allcould just say anything that this is what itwould cost, but go in there and requestthat you want to do it. Mr Speaker, there is nowhere that wecan get it. It is now between US$1.5 millionand US$2 million averagely, but of coursewhat he said, with other costs it could goup. Mr Speaker, this is a House of records,for it to be stated here that the Committeedid not do its work well, and that theCommittee agreed on something which --[Interruption] -- That is why I say it isnot correct.
Let us havesome order.
Mr Speaker,I suppose the Hon Chairman of theCommittee was not listening. I neverheaped the blame on the Committee.Rather, I sought to exonerate theCommittee. Mr Speaker, I insist that, in the sector,the rule of the thump is one million per onemegawatt. That is the rule of the thumb.Emergency procurements come with otherconsiderations. That is the issue I raised.Procuring it is the rule of the thump in theindustry, and I have said it to every one of publicly stated its own problems withrespect to obsolete equipment'. Mr Speaker, the generation of thispower is being done by a third party, andECG is to tap it and distribute it. So myconcern is that, if ECG is unable to put itshouse in order to enable it to efficientlytransmit or distribute this power then itwould result in no effect. So, it is important that once Govern-ment commits to this Agreement, ECG isequally encouraged to, as a matter ofurgency, come out with its plan of replacingobsolete equipment. Mr Speaker, that argument seem to havebeen lost in the public discussions so far.We are talking about adding on and addingon, without looking at the distributionalloses. They talk about losing 30 to 40 percent of power. Others also say it is 20 to 30per cent of power. The figures are notconsistent -- Alhaji Sorogho-- rose --
HonMember, are you up on a point of order?
Mr Speaker, I rise on apoint of order. Mr Speaker, can the Hon Member tellus his source telling us that Ghana is losingbetween 30 to 40 per cent of power? Mr Speaker, secondly, for now it isaround 20 per cent, and 20 per cent isallowable. [Interruption]
HonMembers, Order! Only one person is allowed on the floor.
Thank youvery much. Hon Members, I was about to put theQuestion, but I would allow one more HonMember to contribute.
Mr Speaker, I would have lovedthat we compared our total requirementswith the capacity we have today and justifywhy we still do not have regular andconsistent power, then we would be ableto tell whether we need to invest further ingeneration, or to provide resources toensure regular and stable power. Mr Speaker, at this stage it is importantthat we raise these questions because inthe end it prioritises the use of ourresources. How much do we need toprovide stable power? How come we donot have stable power when we have morethan enough capacity to generate it? Mr Speaker, these questions are notasked and no answers are offered here. Ifwe have enough power, enough generationcapacity and we are bringing on moregeneration capacity, yet, we cannot powerthem, what are we doing to ourselves andthe country? Mr Speaker, I have had backroomdiscussions with some of my HonColleagues who suggested that, this is abetter deal. It may be so. Indeed if it is,and it was going to replace a worse deal,then it may not have raised any issue. It was going to replace some commitment wealready made, which is not good enoughwith a better one; Ghana would have beenthe better for it. But this is not the case. We are going to add on, put the goodwine on the bad wine. I do not know whatmixture we are going to get. I believe thatthe critical thing is for Ghanaians to beassured of regular and stable power supply.In my view Mr Speaker, this does not addany kilowatt hour to my power. Question put and Motion agreed to.
HonMembers, we move on to item numbered26 on the Order Paper -- Resolution. I believe that Hon Members are awarethat this Resolution covers two of the items.
Mr Speaker, we seek yourpermission and the indulgence of my HonColleagues for the Hon Deputy Ministerto take the Resolution on behalf of theMinister for Finance.
Mr Speaker,we have no problem. Just that I heard the Hon Majority ChiefWhip indicate that, there are twoResolutions. If there are two Resolutionswe require two numbers; double the numberthat is required for one Resolution.[Laughter.] Mr Speaker, we require doublethe number that is required for oneResolution. Deputy Minister for Finance (MrsMona H. Kabuki Quartey): Mr Speaker, Irise to move the Resolutions captured asitems numbered 26 and 27 on pages 15, 16and 17 of today's Order Paper.
Mr Speaker,with respect, if the Hon Deputy Ministercould --
Take one ata time?
That is whatis required to be done.
Very well,let us take it one at a time.
Mr Speaker, I rise tomove the Resolution captured as itemnumbered 26 on page 15 of today's OrderPaper. I so move.
Mr Speaker, I beg tosecond the Motion.
Mr Speaker,I really do not appreciate the import ofwhat the Hon Deputy Minister hasdone.[Interruption.] It is not the lengthydiscussion. I am just talking about whatshe did. If I heard her, she said “I rise tomove the Resolution captured as itemnumbered 26 on page 15. I so move”. Mr Speaker, that is what she said and Ido not know the import of it.
She praysthat we adopt the Resolution.
Mr Speaker,can she repeat that after you?
Mr Speaker, I beg tosecond the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Hon DeputyMajority Leader, I believe we move on toitem numbered 27 on the Order Paper.
Mr Speaker, the nextResolution is item numbered 27. Put/Call Direct Agreement
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove that, WHEREAS by the provisions ofarticle 181 of the Constitutionand section 10 of the Loans Act,1970 (Act 335), the terms andconditions of any guarantee bythe Government of Ghana onbehalf of any public institutionor authority 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 of theConstitution and section 10 ofthe Loans Act, (Act 335) at the request of the Government ofGhana acting through theMinister responsible for Finance,there has been laid beforeParliament the terms andconditions of a Put/Call OptionDirect Agreement among theGovernment of the Republic ofGhana, the Electricity Companyof Ghana Limited, Early PowerLimited, Quantum Gas TerminalLimited, Sage Petroleum Limited,Endeavor EPL Holdings Co-operatie, U.A. and GE GhanaEnergy Investments I B.V. inrespect of a 400 MW CombinedCycle Gas Turbine Power Plantin Tema by Early Power Limited. THIS HONOURABLE HOUSEHEREBY RESOLVES ASFOLLOWS: IN ACCORDANCE with theprovisions of the said article 181of the Constitution and section 10of the Loans Act, 1970 (Act 335)this House approves the Put/CallOption Direct Agreement amongthe Government of the Republicof Ghana, the Electricity Companyof Ghana Limited, Early PowerLimited, Quantum Gas TerminalLimited, Sage Petroleum Limited,Endeavour EPL Holdings Co-operatie, U.A. and GE Ghana EnergyInvestments I B.V. in respect of a400 MW Combined Cycle GasTurbine Power Plant in Tema byEarly Power Limited.
Mr Speaker, I rise tosecond the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Mr Speaker, there are somePapers on the main Order Paper to be laid.They are; items numbered 5 (a) (i) to (vi)and 5 (b) which are ready to be laid.
HonMembers -- Presentation of Papers --item numbered 5 (a) (i) to (vi) by theChairman of the Committee.
Itemnumbered 1 (a), by the Hon Minister forFinance? By the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance(Mrs Mona H. K.Quartey) (on behalf ofthe Hon Minister for Finance)— (a) Request for Sovereign Guaranteefor the Construction of theTakoradi 4 Thermal Power Plant(T4) at Aboadze by the VoltaRiver Authority. Referred to the Committee on Finance.
Mr Speaker, we again askfor permission for the Hon DeputyMinister for Trade and Industry to lay thePaper on behalf of the Hon Minister forTrade and Industry, as in 1 (b).
HonMembers, item numbered 1 (b) on theOrder Paper by the Hon Minister for Tradeand Industry, represented by the HonDeputy Minister for Trade and Industry? By the Hon Deputy Minister for Trade andIndustry (Mr Murtala MohammedIbrahim)(on behalf of the Hon Ministerfor Trade and Industry)— (b) World Trade Organisation (WTO)Trade Facilitation Agreement(TFA). Referred to the Committee on Trade,Industry and Tourism.
Mr Speaker, item numbered22 on page 12 of the main Order Paper.[Interruption.]
HonMembers, item numbered 22 on the OrderPaper -- Motions -- by the Hon Chairmanof the Finance Committee? [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,that this Honourable House adopts theReport of the Finance Committee on theIndemnity Agreement among theGovernment of the Republic of Ghana andthe International Development Associa-tion (IDA) and the International Bank forReconstruction and Development (IBRD)in support of a US$500 million World BankIDA Guarantee and a US$200 millionWorld Bank IBRD Guarantee for theDevelopment of the Sankofa Gye NyameOil and Gas Project. Mr Speaker, in so doing, I present yourCommittee's Report, Introduction The Request for Indemnity AgreementsBetween the Government of the Republic ofGhana and the International DevelopmentAssociation (IDA) and the InternationalBank for Reconstruction and Develop-ment (IBRD) in support of a five hundredmillion United States dollars (US$500.000,000) World Bank IDA Guaranteeand a two hundred million United Statesdollars (US$ 200.000,000) World BankIBRD Guarantee for the Development ofthe Sankofa Gye Nyame Oil and GasProject was presented to the House bythe Hon Minister for Finance, Mr SethEmmanuel Terkper on Monday, 25th July2016,in accordance with Article 181(5) ofthe 1992 Constitution. Mr Speaker referred the request to theFinance Committee for consideration andreport in accordance with Order 169 of theStanding Orders of the House. Deliberations 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 Deputy Minister for Finance andofficials for the assistance. 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 Indemnity Agreementbetween the Republic of Ghanaand International DevelopmentAssociation iv. The Indemnity Agreementbetween the Republic of Ghanaand International Bank forReconstruction and Develop-ment in connection with theGuarantee Agreement Betweenthe Bank and GNPC for theimplementation of the GyeNyame Sankofa Gas Project v. Guarantee Support Agreementbetween GNPC and ENI GhanaExploration and production Ltd,and Vitol Upstream Ghana Ltd inSupport of the Gas salesAgreement in respect of theSankofa Gas Project vi. Reimbursement and CreditAgreement amongst GNPC (as for an amount of up to twenty-two million and fifty-onethousand, one hundred andeleven euros (€22,051,111) for thecompletion and equipping of theBekwai District Hospital. (iv) Report of the Finance Committeeon the Commercial Credit FacilityAgreement between theRepublic of Ghana and DeutscheBank AG for an amount of fourmillion, three hundred andtwenty thousand, eight hundredand twenty-two euros and fivecents (€4,320,822.05) for thecompletion and equipping of theBekwai District Hospital. (v) Report of the Finance Committeeon the Compania Espafiola DeSeguros De Credito a LaExportacion (CESCE) SupportedBuyer Credit Facility Agreementbetween the Government of theRepublic of Ghana and HSBCBank Plc, United Kingdom for anamount of up to twenty-twomillion United States dollars(US$22,000,000.00) for theimplementation of the ObetsebiLamptey Interchange Project andRelated Works (Phase I). (vi) Report of the Finance Committeeon the Commercial Credit FacilityAgreement between theGovernment of the Republic ofGhana and HSBC Bank Plc,United Kingdom for an amountof up to seventeen million, twohundred thousand United Statesdollars (US$17,200,000.00) for theimplementation of the ObetsebiLamptey Interchange Project andRelated Works (Phase I).
Key Agreements and highlights of Terms The highlights of the terms ofagreements include the following: Guarantee Support Agreement (GSA) The Guarantee Support Agreement(GSA) is entered into between GNPC andthe Private Gas Suppliers under whichGNPC the Obligor agreed, among otherthings, to procure the issuance of a $500million LC in connection with certainpayment obligations under the Gas SalesAgreement. It sets out the procedures and timingfor the Private Gas Suppliers to makewithdrawals under the LC. In particular,the Private Gas Suppliers shall be entitledto make a draw under the LC if GNPC failsto make payment in full on payment duedate for gas purchased. The drawing bythe Private Gas Suppliers shall be limitedto outstanding payments. Letter of Credit (LC) The LC is entered into between GNPCas Obligor, HSBC France as LC AgentBank and the LC Banks, to guarantee thepayment obligations of GNPC forpurchases. ENI and Vitol being the privategas suppliers are the beneficiaries. The reimburse IDA for any amount it paysunder the Guarantee Agreement togetherwith interest at the annual rate determinedby IDA. IBRD Indemnity Agreement The Form of Indemnity Agreement isbetween the Republic of Ghana as membercountry represented by the Minister forFinance and International Bank ofReconstruction and Development (IBRD). In consideration of IBRD providing upto three guarantees to financiers of thePrivate Gas Suppliers on terms andconditions substantially similar to thosein the Guarantee Agreement provided byIDA to the LC Banks. The Member Country irrevocably andunconditionally agrees to reimburse IBRDfor any amount it pays under the IBRDGuarantee Agreements together withinterest at the annual rate determined byIBRD. Observations Justification for the request The Committee noted that, as part ofthe security arrangements supportingGNPC's payment obligations under theGas Sales Agreement (GSA) with thePrivate Gas Suppliers, Eni GhanaExploration and Production Ltd. And VitolUpstream Ghana Ltd., executing the WorldBank guarantees remains the final keydeliverable under the security package. The security package also includes theMulti-Party Deed, Trust and Escrow Deed,Deed of Sovereign Guarantee andCalculation Deed, all of which wereapproved by Parliament in July 2015. The Committee further noted that TheIDA and IBRD PRGs in the aggregateamount of US$700 million which wereapproved by the Executive Directors of obligator) and HSBC France (asLC Agent Bank) and HSB Franceand Standard Chartered BankLondon Branch as original LCBank vii.Guarantee Agreement betweenthe International DevelopmentAssociation (AS Guarantor) andHSBC France (as LC Agent Bank)and HSBC France and StandardChartered Bank London Branchas original LC Bank viii. Standby Letter of Credit byHSBC France and StandardChartered Bank London Branch ix. Cooperation Agreement betweenInternational DevelopmentAssociation and GNPC. Background The Sankofa gas project is Ghana'sfirst gas-to-power project with thecapacity to supply 180 million standardcubic feet of natural gas to power plants,enough to generate up to 1,100 megawattsof electricity and contribute significantlyto meeting Ghana's energy security. Per the national Gas Master Plan,Government has prioritised electricitygeneration from domestic gas. Also, thePetroleum Agreement signed betweenGovernment, GNPC and the Offshore CapeThree Points (OCTP) partners, requiresthe Private Gas Suppliers to negotiate aGas Sales Agreement and associatedsecurity package with GNPC for domesticgas sales to the local market. In line with Government's commitmentto provide the necessary financial securityto enable the development of the gasdiscoveries made, GNPC initiated acompetitive tender process to raise a LC has maximum initial amount of US$500million with a term of 15 years. Each LC Bank will be liable for US$250million in respect of the US$500 millionface value of the LC, however, the LCamount may be permanently reducedsubject to certain conditions. In the event that GNPC fails to pay forgas purchased, the beneficiaries maydemand a drawdown on the LC, and anydrawn amount is converted into a loan toGNPC to repay over a 12 month period. Reimbursement and Credit Agreement The Reimbursement and CreditAgreement (RCA) is entered into amongGNPC, HSBC France as LC Agent Bankand the LC Banks. This Agreementgoverns GNPC's repayment of the loanfrom the LC Banks occasioned by adrawdown by the beneficiaries under theLC. IDA Guarantee and Indemnity Agreement The IDA Guarantee Agreement isentered into among IDA as Guarantor,HSBC France as LC Agent Bank and theLC Banks. Under the Agreement, theGuarantor has agreed to guarantee to theLC Banks, the repayment by GNPC (theObligor) of up to US$500 million inreimbursement of GNPC;s repaymentobligations in respect of loans to GNPCarising from drawings under the LC pluscertain accrued interest. The Indemnity Agreement is betweenthe Republic of Ghana as member countryrepresented by the Minister for Financeand IDA, where in consideration of IDAproviding a Guarantee on the terms andconditions set out in the IDA GuaranteeAgreement, the Member Countryirrevocably and unconditionally agrees to the World Bank on July 29, 2015 are acondition for the effectiveness of GSA.Under the articles of agreement of IBRDand IDA's policy, the member country inwhose territory the project is located, mustfully guarantee the repayment of theprincipal and the payment of interest andother charges under IDA and IBRD PRGs.The request therefore, is to fulfillGovernment obligations under theagreement. Mechanisms for payments by GNPC The Committee noted that, the primarysources of payment by GNPC under theAgreements are the proceeds from the saleof purchased gas, as well as GNPC's shareof the net carried and participating interest(Net CAPI) from Jubilee, TEN and SankofaGye Nyame. The Hon Deputy Minister stressedthat, Government has committed toensuring payment by the ElectricityCompany of Ghana (ECG) and through thevalue chain to the Private Gas Suppliers,as well as ceding GNPC's share ofpetroleum revenues as provided for underPRMA. Government has also committed tomeeting any short fall from these twosources where it approves a NET CAPIallocation to GNPC that is lower than themaximum permitted percentage. Further, any amounts drawn under LCwould be converted into a loan to berepaid by GNPC over a 12-month period,in accordance with the terms of theReimbursement and Credit Agreement(RCA) between GNPC (Obligor), HSBCFrance as LC Agent Bank and LC Bank. Conclusion The Committee has examined theAgreement and recommends to the House to adopt its Report and approve byResolution the Request for approval ofIndemnity Agreements between theGovernment of the Republic of Ghana andthe International Development Association(IDA) and the International Bank forReconstruction and Development (IBRD)in Support of a five hundred million UnitedStates dollars (US$500,000, 000) WorldBank IDA Guarantee and a two hundredmillion United States dollars (US$ 200.000,000) World Bank IBRD Guarantee for theDevelopment of the Sankofa Gye NyameOil and Gas Project in accordance witharticle 181 (5) of the Constitution andOrder 169 of the Standing Orders of theParliament of Ghana. Respectfully Submitted.
Mr Speaker, not too long ago, Parliamentapproved the main Agreement betweenGNPC and Partners for this OffshoreAgreement. Therefore, this is a consequentialaction that Parliament needs to take. The mainAgreement has been approved; but toclose the deal, this Indemnity Agreementmust also be approved. With these few words, I urge that weadopt the Report of the Committee. Question proposed. Question put and amendment agreedto.
HonMembers, we move on to the Resolution.
Mr Speaker, we shallfollow it with the Resolution, itemnumbered 23.
HonMembers, item numbered 23?
Mr Speaker, I beg to secondthe Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
HonMajority Chief Whip?
Mr Speaker, we cannow take item numbered 55, that is, theTechnical Universities Bill, 2016 on page28 of today's main Order Paper.
HonMembers, item numbered 55 -- TechnicalUniversities Bill, 2016 at the ConsiderationStage.
Mr Speaker, when theHon Majority Chief Whip and pro-termLeader requested your goodself to permitus to take this item, I thought he wouldrequest you to excuse the Hon Minister
Mr Speaker, hitherto,the system has been that, when an HonMinister is genuinely out of the system,we find representatives, and subject toyour leave, somebody else could take theirplace. Mr Speaker, in the case of thisparticular Hon Minister, our under-standing is that, she is in town. TheProfessor is in town, possibly at MontieFM now, signing petitions to force thePresident to pardon the detainees.
HonMember, you are out of order.
Thank you very much,Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker,you would notice that there had beenconsiderable calm in the House until wegot to the Technical Universities Bill, 2016which unfortunately finds itself on page28. Mr Speaker, you know that page 28 isill-fated.
HonMinority Leader, you are completely outof order. [Laughter.] Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 34, subclause (2), lines 3 and 4,delete “Auditor-General” and insert“Annual Account”.
So, that hasbeen dealt with already?
Yes, Mr Speaker. Clause 38 -- Dispute settlement
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 38, subclause (7), paragraph (c),delete.
What isyour reason for the deletion?
The Acting Chairmanperforms the functions of the Chairman,so, there is no need to have any specialfunctions for him. This is because, if he isrepresenting the Chairman, he should nothave any different functions. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 38 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 40 -- Interpretation
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 40, interpretation of “Convocation”,line 3, delete “or the Academic Board”. The new rendition would read asfollows: “‘Convocation' means the PrincipalOfficers of a technical universityand all other senior members of thattechnical university appointed bythe Council”. So, “or the Academic Board” isirrelevant there. It should be “the Council”.The Academic Board has nothing to dowith the Convocation. Question put and amendment agreedto. for Education who happens not to findherself here when we are do such animportant legislation, but goes aroundsigning “Montie Three” things. Mr Speaker, where is the Hon Ministerfor Education? [Interruption.] Let hercome to the House when she does, wewould continue. The Hon Majority ChiefWhip did not ask permission for the DeputyMinister to stand in for her. [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, my HonColleague would remember that, right fromthe beginning, we have been dealing withthis Bill together with the Hon DeputyMinisters. The known deputies areMembers of Parliament and they havebeen assisting us to go through the Bill.They have been supportive throughout.
Very well. I hope that the Chairman of theCommittee is available. Chairman of theCommittee, could you refresh ourmemories. Where are we?
Very well.Hon Members, clause 34.
BILLS -- CONSIDERATIONSTAGE
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 34, subclause (2), lines 3 and
What is therationale behind it, if you could help us?
The Report, as specifiedinclause 34, should cover the operations,admissions, sources and use of funds,challenges, significant events and majorpolicies of the Technical University. Allthese would incur some expenditure whichis normally captured in the annual accountof the institution. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 34 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
Mr Speaker,we should be concerned about the use ofthe indefinite article and also the definitearticle preceding “Council”. This isbecause at some places, it is “a Council”and at other places, it is “the Council”. In clause 34, it is “the Council”. Weshould be consistent because at variousplaces we say “a Council” and otherplaces, it is “the Council”. But this is a Technical Universities Billso it is generic. It is supposed to apply toall the Technical Universities. If we wantto use “the Council”, we should beconsistent in its application throughout.We cannot pick and choose. At certainplaces, it is “a Council”; and at others, itis “the Council”.
Mr Speaker, the HonMinority Leader raised this point and ithas been corrected. It is supposed to beconsequential.
HonChairman, I did not hear your explanation.
The Hon Minority Leaderraised this same point and it was agreedthat it should be “the Council”.
Mr Speaker, I believethere is a typographical error or it is just amistake. We have a repetition ofsubclauses (4) and (5).
HonChairman, what do we do about that?
Mr Speaker, we expectthe draftspersons to take care of that.
Very well. I would put the Question and after thatI would direct the draftspersons. Question put and amendment agreedto
HonMembers, I direct that the draftspersonsclean up the numbering of the subclausesin clause 41. Clause 41 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. First Schedule -- Technical Universities
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, First Schedule, add the following: Part 2 (Section 2 (1))Polytechnics to be converted: 1. Bolgatanga Polytechnic; 2. Cape Coast Polytechnic; 3. Tamale Polytechnic; and 4. Wa Polytechnic. Mr Speaker, these are four out of theten polytechnics in the country that areyet to be converted. It is simply becausethey have not yet met the criteria statedin the Second Schedule.
Yes, HonMember for Wa West?
Mr Speaker, if we look atthe Section 2 of the Second Schedule, it isabout polytechnics that are yet to beconverted. If we look at the title, it is“Polytechnics to be converted”. There is a reference there; that is thereference we should look at. What is inSection 2 (1) for us is the problem. I donot know whether the amendment wascarried for the Section 2 (1) to say, “theseother universites”. In the Committee discussion, we saidthat, there should be a subclause thatsays that when they meet, the criteriawould be converted. They are in Section2. I do not know whether that wascaptured in the Committee's Report.
Mr Speaker, Iwould like to question the essence of thisclause. What does it actually mean? Theseare polytechnics and just listing them inthis Schedule does not provide anyautomaticity for conversion. The next Government can decide to dowith these polytechnics anything that hechooses. But putting them here gives theassumption that yes, these polytechnicswould be converted sooner or later. Whodecides that? Who knows when theywould be converted? I do not believe there is any need tobring them in here. Mr Speaker, they are polytechnics andwhenever a government choses to convertthem or do anything that it deems fit withthem, it would so do. I do not see anyneed for putting them here. Clause 40 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
HonMembers, we have to deal with clauses35, 36, 37 and 39 which have no advertisedamendments. Clauses 35, 36, 37 and 39 ordered tostand part of the Bill. Clause 41 -- Transitional provisions
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 41, second occurrence ofsubclause (5), line 1, delete “be guided inits operation by” and insert “in itsoperations enter into partnership with”.
“A Technical University shall enterinto partnership with an accrediteduniversity in the country or abroadrelevant to the mission of a technicaluniversity for a period of five yearsor as may be determined by theNational Council for TertiaryEducation” Mr Speaker, we decided to drop theword “guided”, which is more of affiliationand insert the word “partnership”. This isbecause the word “partnership” is moreconvenient to any university than amentorship or an affiliation wheresomething has to be paid.
Very well. Hon Chairman, before I put theQuestion, why do we have twosubclauses (5)? Is there any reason wehave subclause (5) appearing twice withdifferent contents?
Mr Speaker, if the reasongiven by the Hon Chairman is forproposing this amendment, then weshould wholeheartedly reject it. Mr Speaker, the head note of the FirstSchedule (Section 1) is “TechnicalUniversities”. It is not “polytechnics inthe country”. So, how can they put it there when theSecond Schedule has set-up the criteriaof how they could qualify? If they wantto name polytechnics in the country, theyshould create a Schedule and name it. Butthe head note in the First Schedule is“Technical Universities”. The four he mentioned, none of themis a Technical University. So, they shouldeither create another Schedule for themor leave it.
Mr Speaker,Section 1 of the First Schedule is“Technical Universities”. So, there couldbe a Section 2, which then would relateto, let us say, “prospective TechnicalUniversities”, or “potential TechnicalUniversities”. This is because, we haveSection 1 under the First Schedule andthere is no Section 2. So, they could create a Section 2 underthe First Schedule and then we would have“prospective Technical Universities”.Then they would list those ones.
HonChairman of the Committee, do you followthe point?
Yes, Mr Speaker.
So, how doyou respond to that? Mr Chireh -- rose --
HonMembers, I see it differently. I think thatthis amendment should probably comeunder the Second Schedule, which dealswith Polytechnics and their conversions.These ones are yet to be converted andthe criteria for conversion are provided inthe Second Schedule. If an institution satisfies these criteria,then it qualifies to be upgraded. I thoughtprobably this amendment should comeunder the Second Schedule. Hon Members, the First Schedule dealswith the Polytechnics which have becometechnical universities. The SecondSchedule talks about conversion. So if wecould bring it there. Hon Chairman of the Committee, whatdo you say? Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor — rose --
Mr Speaker —
Sorry, I willcome to you.
Mr Speaker, I believe thatthere is even a more fundamental problemwith the Schedule. This is because, I do not believe thosethat have been classified as technicaluniversities are actually technicaluniversities in law now; whether there isany legislation whatsoever covering,creating and establishing them astechnical universities — [Interruption.] So, it is this Bill that will eventuallymake them technical universities,otherwise, we do not legally have anytechnical university that has beenconverted by law. That is the other aspect. Mr Speaker, when we are doing theSchedules, we must put them in a separateSchedule in terms of the ones that thisBill would make technical universities. Thesecond category would be the triggertechnical universities when somepreconditions occur — [Interruption] —Mr Speaker, I have looked at it. Thereferences between the Schedules and theSections that create this do not tally.
Mr Speaker,the concern of the Hon Minister forDefence is catered for in clause 1 (1). Itsays: Mr Speaker, clause 1 (1) says, once wedo this and it is assented to by thePresident, they are established. That iswhy it is stated: “The institutions specified in theFirst Schedule are established astechnical universities”. Mr Speaker, the other ones are cateredfor in clause 2, but those are the existingPolytechnics. It is envisaged that,additional technical universities could beestablished in future. Those ones are notcatered for by this. Mr Speaker, if we had gone back toclause 2, the amendment proposed by theHon Chairman before dealing with theSchedule, this thing would have beensolved. Unfortunately we did not go back.So, with respect, if we could go back todeal with the proposed amendment, Ibelieve we would be home and dry. I guess
Mr Speaker, I believe theHon Minority Leader has already movedthat Motion in the sense that, thisSchedule is Part 2 of Schedule 2 and notSchedule 1. Mr Speaker, he has already moved it. Ibelieve that it is appropriate that this belabelled as Part 2 of Schedule 2 and notthe First Schedule.
HonChairman, if you are in agreement with us,I would put the Question to the proposedamendment and its further amendments— all right? Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu — rose -- Mr Speaker, I said that it should ratherbe; Section 2 of the First Schedule. Itcannot be the Second Schedule, where wehave Institutional requirements, Academicstaff requirements and Collaboration withindustry. It rather should be —
Why doyou say so?
Mr Speaker,because the clause 1 establishes thetechnical universities. All ten (10) of thesePolytechnics are supposed to be there.For the time being, there are only six thatqualify, so, they are established. Now welist the others that have the potential ofbeing uplifted in the Section 2 — This isbecause, the description is in Sections —It is not Part 1. It is Section 1 and that iswhy I say that, it should be Section 2. Mr Speaker, the Section 2, thenprovides the list of those existingPolytechnics that could be uplifted infuture and made technical universities aswell. So, they would be captured in theSection 2 of the First Schedule and notthe Second Schedule. we would know where to situate thoseones.
I think Iagree with you. Hon Chairman of the Committee, whatdo you say?
Mr Speaker, I believe if wereally went back to clause 2, we shouldnot have had this problem. So, with yourpermission, we would go back to clause2.
Very well. Hon Members, clause 2 then.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 2, delete and insert the following: “A polytechnic listed in Part 2 ofthe First Schedule that intends tobe converted to a technicaluniversity and meets the require-ments set out in the SecondSchedule, its Council shall apply inwriting to the Minister through theNational Council on TertiaryEducation”.
HonChairman, do you not think it would beadvisable for us to look at where weshould place it, whether at the FirstSchedule or the Second Schedule, that isthe conversion. It is in the SecondSchedule that we have made provision forthe upgrading. Assuming this Bill comes into force,the First Schedule deals with those whichwould have metamorphosed into technicaluniversities. Do you see the point I ammaking?
Mr Speaker, fundamentally,we should ask the question; is it automaticqualification or there is a criteria? There isa criteria so these cannot be underSchedule 1.
All right. Hon Members, can we leave that to thedraftspersons to locate it appropriately. Iwill put the Question and then give a rider. Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu — rose -- Mr Speaker, just a minor thing. Iindicated that, if it should be located inthe First Schedule, it should rather read;Section 2. If it is the Second Schedule,then it should also read; Section. This isbecause they are “Sections” and not“Parts”.
Very well. Question put and amendment agreedto.
HonMembers, I direct that the draftspersonslocate this amendment at its appropriateSection or column — The Table Officewould ensure that it is carried out. Hon Chairman of the Committee, we arethrough with clause 2. Is that right?
Mr Speaker, yes, please.
So, I canput the Question with regard to -- Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu — rose --
“A technical university that may beestablished after the coming intoforce of this Act and which is not covered by the Act shall meet therequirements set out in the SecondSchedule”. Mr Speaker, the reason for this is that,in future, after these 10 Polytechnics itmay become necessary to establish othertechnical universities. Once it becomesnecessary for such technical universitiesto be established, they may have tocomply.
Very well. I think it would help to solve thesituation of having your hands tiedbecause you might need more ten at the --
Yes, HonRanking Member?
Mr Speaker, if there is aset criterion to be met, then until you havemet them, you are not called a technicaluniversity -- It is a prior condition. So ifit says, “shall meet”, the conditions foryou meeting are that you meet the criteria.
But now aswe are doing it, it looks as if we arerestricting it to the four polytechnics left.As of now, we are thinking of the fourpolytechnics but in the future, we mighthave more polytechnics in the districtsand you may want to elevate them totechnical university status. The namewould not be there. This is rather open.
Mr Speaker, the criterionfor Technical University is the same.Whether it is ten or twenty polytechnics,if you meet the criterion you qualify, youdo not have to list them. Mr Speaker, there are technicalinstitutes like Accra Technical Institute(ATI), Kumasi Technical Institute (KTI)and Takoradi Technical Institute (TTI)which will also qualify to become technicaluniversities. Why do you not list them?Actually, they are even closer to technicaluniversities than even the polytechnics. So, why do we not list them? That waswhy I said that if we are listing, then wecould just have added one fifth clausethat “any other institution that qualifiesto become a technical institute” so thatthe Hon Minority Leader's amendment isnot really necessary. We have created in the Schedule forfuture expansion else what the HonMinority Leader is saying is very relevantbecause we have listed four. But we couldhave added a fifth one to say, “any otherinstitution that qualifies to be a technicaluniversity.
HonChairman of the Committee, how do yourespond to that”?
Mr Speaker, to cure theproblem that he is thinking of can besolved by having what the Hon MinorityLeader proposed. That takes care of thefuture of all institutions that intend tobecome technical universities. MrSpeaker, it is as clear as that: “Technical universities that may beestablished after the coming intoforce of this Act and which is notcovered by the Act shall meet therequirement set out is Schedule 2”. So, whether it is Takoradi TechnicalInstitute (TTI) or Kumasi TechnicalInstitute (KTI), if it is able to cater fordegree programmes, then it would be onthe way to becoming a technicaluniversity.
As mattersstand now, we have listed the four whichare left but what happens in the future?
In the future, the onlyway you can become a technicaluniversity is, if you meet the criterion. So,if we say; “that may be established”, itdoes not make sense again becausewithout meeting the criterion, you cannotjust establish it.
But then, itcan also be argued that, it is only thesefour polytechnics who when they qualifycan be elevated and that is why theirnames specifically appear here.
It says that, to becomea technical university, this is a set ofcriterion whether you exist now or in thefuture -- That is what it means.
In thatcase, why list the four polytechnics?
I would ask the samequestion as I do not know why we haveto list the four.
With thisamendment being proposed, it would putit beyond doubt that it is not only inrespect of the four but any otherinstitution which satisfies the criterion infuture can also be elevated.
Mr Speaker, my problemis that first of all, a technical universitythat may be established - And I say thatyou cannot establish it without meetingthe criterion. So, there is no issue aboutits establishment until you meet thecriterion. How can you establish it if youhave not met the criterion?
Mr Speaker, the reason Iopposed the Chairman's amendment wasthe reason here -- All that the amendment seeks to do isthat if there is an existing technicalinstitute or a new facility to be establishedas a technical university, it should meetthis said criterion --
Mr Speaker, if that istrue, then this amendment is funda-mentally against the Bill. It is a majorpolicy decision because, the intent is toconvert the current ten polytechnics -- Thenwe are making a major policy decision whichI think is fundamental.
HonMembers, let us take a second look at thememorandum. It says: “The purpose of the Bill is toestablish technical universities bythe conversion of qualifiedpolytechnics into technicaluniversities”. So, you mean that, the qualificationcould go on and on.
Mr Speaker, it says“qualified polytechnics”, it did not sayqualified technical institutes.
No! But thetechnical institutes can move up to thepolytechnics, then subsequently, to atechnical university.
Mr Speaker, if that is thecase, then you do not need this.
Just like hesaid earlier, a clinic can develop into apolyclinic and then to a district hospital.
Mr Speaker, if that is thecase, then we do not need the amendmentbecause to the extent that they arepolytechnics and they meet the criterion,they can become a technical university.
Yes, HonMember for Wa West?
Mr Speaker, the purposeof this Bill, as we all know is to convertthe existing polytechnics to technicaluniversities. [Interruption.] The issue isthat, they are ten polytechnics, six havequalified and they are automatically bythis Bill made universities. At the Committee level, the discussionwas, should we have brought separateBills establishing each of the sixUniversities already and, therefore, waituntil anytime one of the four qualifies, thenwe bring another Bill to Parliament? For the purposes of saving public timeand our own resources, it was decidedthat, it should be by conversion. So, thefirst thing was to make sure that thosethat have qualified are converted. Apart from that, we also know thatanybody who now wants to establish atechnical university, has to look at thecriterion that the existing ones qualifiedwith, in order to establish it. They do notneed to move from technical institute tothat level. They should just start as anyuniversity starts. [Interruption.] Yes, in fact, almost all the universitieswe are establishing now are specialiseduniversities. We would say it is onenvironment, energy, health and so on.So, when one wants to start a technicaluniversity, he must meet the criterion andstart off from the beginning. It would not be converted. A Bill hasto be brought to Parliament to be passedas we do with all the other universities'Bills. But this conversion is once and forall. So, the Part II of the Second Scheduleis to just say that, the day they say theyhave qualified, automatically -- they aretechnical universities. That is the intentof this Bill.
All right.Hon Minority Leader, can you go overyour proposed amendment?
Mr Speaker,before I come to that, apart from thememorandum, just to draw attention to theLong Title which provides and I beg toquote: “An ACT to provide for theestablishment of technical universities;to provide for the conversion ofpolytechnics to technical universitiesand to provide for related matters.” This means that, apart from thisconversion, there could be room for theestablishment of other technicaluniversities. So, Mr Speaker, the amendment nowis: “A technical university that may beestablished after the coming intoforce of this Act and which is notcovered by the Act [Indeed the fourothers are covered by the Act] shallmeet the requirements set out in theSecond Schedule”. Mr Speaker, that is the amendmentproposed.
Yes, HonMember for Old Tafo?
Mr Speaker, if I heardthe Hon Minority Leader, if we follow theBill, the process is that it must be aqualified polytechnic to be converted.
Mr Speaker, let me askthe Chairman, how do you qualify tobecome a technical university by this law?You have to meet some criterion --Simple. So the problem is in thememorandum, I am told. But you havelimited it to the ten only.
But then we as aParliament are thinking of the future andthat is why we have created this windowfor any other institution that wants tobecome one.
Mr Speaker,I think the issue is this and the relevanceof the amendment is predicated on thecontent of the memorandum. Thememorandum provides: “The purpose of this Bill is toestablish technical universities bythe conversion of qualifiedpolytechnics into technicaluniversities”. If you look at the second paragraph, itsays that the President in his State of theNation Address in 2013 announced , thatpolytechnics would be converted totechnical universities -- So, that is thepurpose of this Bill, to convert existingpolytechnics to technical universities.
But what of a situationwhere a technical institute gets upgradedto a polytechnic and then finally wants tobecome a technical university?
Mr Speaker,if you listened to the Minister, he said thatit is not intended to establish any otherpolytechnics from now on -- That waswhat he said in this House. And that iswhy it is necessary there are existingtechnical institutes which could beconverted into technical universitiessubsequently, some could be started fromthe scratch.
Yes, HonMinority Leader? I will come to you, Hon Member.
Mr Speaker,just to help him. In the original Bill, apart from the sixthat were listed earlier, with the four others,the two which have now been amended,the provision was and I beg to quote: “A polytechnic shall meet therequirement set out in the SecondSchedule to qualify for conversionto a technical university.” That was why I said, that when weprobed further, the Hon Minister said itwas not intended to establish anypolytechnic again. She said so on the floorof the House. But I am saying that shehas some allergy to the words, “shall meetthe requirements” and that is why I amdrawing his attention to it.
Mr Speaker, this is thereason it is important for the Hon Ministerto be here. [Uproar.] This is a major --
HonMember, you have the Floor.
Mr Speaker, indeed,the Long Title provides that, for theconversion of polytechnics to technicaluniversities, but it does not say that allthe ten polytechnics are to be converted. It says ‘polytechnics' but does not makeany mention of specific the polytechnics.So, any of polytechnics which qualifiescurrently are to be converted. Any of these polytechnics which do not qualify are notto be converted. So, there is no need tomention them here. Nobody knows whenthese polytechnics would even qualify.
But HonMembers, the Hon Minority Leader'samendment makes it open because, thosethat have been captured by the Bill as wellas any others that would comesubsequently --
Mr Speaker, the onlyproblem with the Hon Minority Leader'samendment is that, it is seek to cure amischief of the policy makers. Mr Speaker, the key part of thememorandum that he read was said that,he interpreted that, any polytechnic thatcomes into being should qualify tobecome a technical university through thecriterion set here.
“A polytechnic is required to meetthe criteria set out in the SecondSchedule”. As the Hon Member for Old Tafo issaying, thinking that what the HonMinister for Education came to say hereis, probably, platform talk. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 2 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 3 -- Aims of a technicaluniversity
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 3, subclause (1), line 4, after“disciplines” insert “as the Council of that Technical University may, in consultationwith the National Council for Tertiary,Education determine”. Mr Speaker, this is to ensure that, theNCTE has a say in whatever programmebeing introduced in any of theuniversities. This is to ensure that, all thesetechnical universities do go by themandate that they are supposed to follow. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 3 -- subclause (1), paragraph (d),line 3, after “the” insert “design and”.
“(d) develop strong linkages andcollaboration with relevant industries,businesses, professional bodies andtechnical experts in the design anddelivery of programmes.” Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 3, subclause (1), paragraph (f), line1, after “for” insert “technical andprofessional”.
What wouldthe final rendition be?
Mr Speaker, the newrendition would read: “(f) provide opportunities fortechnical and professional skillsdevelopment, applied researchand publication of researchfindings”.
Mr Speaker, what is“professional skills development”? Couldhe give us an example? [Pause.] That is the intent of this Bill.[Interruption.] Yes, he said qualified --[Interruption.] For this Bill. Hold on. It is in the memorandum.[Interruption.]That is the problem. Thememorandum has, “qualified”. The LongTitle does not.
When weget there, we can take care of it.
Mr Speaker, myunderstanding is that it becomes aqualified polytechnic to be converted.Currently, six are qualified. So, they are allright. Now, it is the intendment to qualifythe other four and any other institutionthat becomes qualified. Mr Speaker, the qualification of atechnical university, in my view andaccording to the memorandum, it must bequalified. But the criterion is set out in theSecond Schedule. So, I am saying that,we do not need an amendment. The criterion determines whether onemakes it or not. So, we cannot say it shallmeet. It is a prior condition.
But if itdoes not meet, you cannot become.
So, Mr Speaker, what isthe big deal?
What isyour problem?
Mr Speaker, my problemis that, we do not need that because, untilone has met the criterion, one cannot evenapply.
Unless, ofcourse, the Committee is interested in it.If not, we might as well abandon it.
Mr Speaker, we do not needit because what he has asked for is cateredfor in clause 3 (1) (d) of the Bill.
Very well. In that case, it is abandoned.
Mr Speaker, it is notnecessary.
HonMembers, we have another amendment toclause 3, which stands in the names ofHon Emmanuel Kwasi Bedzrah, HonEbenezer Okletey Terlabi and Hon KwameGovers Agbodza. Are they here?
Mr Speaker, there is oneamendment before that.
Very well. Let us deal with that one by the HonChairman of the Committee before wemove on.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 3, subclause (2), line 2, delete“departments, faculties” and insert“faculties, institutes, departments”.
Very well;it is a question of arrangement. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Yes, the lastamendment to clause 3.
Mr Speaker, Ibeg to move, clause 3, add the followingnew subclause: This is because, it may be establishedwith four Bachelor of Technical DegreeProgramme; but if it develops a fifth one,which was not core when it wasestablished, it should be allowed to dothat. What they do not want is a technicaluniversity becoming a grammar university.That is what they do not want, but that isnot what is reflected in the amendment.
“A technical university shall notdeviate from technical courses”. That would be more acceptable.
Now this isbecoming more interesting. Hon Prof. Fobih?
Mr Speaker,the addition of clause 3 (3) is notnecessary; it is superfluous. Mr Speaker, this is because clause 3(1) (e) takes adequate care of that. If wecombine that with clause 3 (1): “The aims of the technicaluniversities are to provide highereducation in engineering, scienceand technology based disciplines,technical and vocational educationand training, and applied arts. . .” So, these are specific disciplines thatthe technical university is supposed totake care of. Clause 3 (1) (e), which I said when wecombine with clause (1) takes care of thenew clause, and with your permission, Ibeg to quote: “(e) offer programmes and courseswithin the mandate of a technicaluniversity”.
HonChairman of the Committee, he is askingwhat you mean by “professional skillsdevelopment”. Hon Member for Wa West?
Mr Speaker, we know themeaning of “skills” and “professional”.So, it is a skill developed by a professional. Mr Speaker, if one is an electricalengineer, one is professionally trained,but one has to develop the skills.[Laughter.]
Very well. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 3, subclause (1), add the followingnew paragraph -- Dr A. A. Osei -- rose --
HonMember for Old Tafo?
Mr Speaker, he is notthe proposer of that amendment. It is inthe name of Hon Benson Tongo Baba, butthe Hon Chairman got-up.
All right; sorry. [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, we wouldwant to see why he wants to propose this.
Is the HonMember here?
Mr Speaker, then weabandon it. “(3) A technical university shall notdeviate from the core technicalcourses for which it is established”. Mr Speaker, it was clear during earlierdiscussions that Hon Members wereconcerned about the fact that institutionsestablished for specialised courses endup deviating from their main purpose forwhich they were established. Mr Speaker, to make sure that they donot, we must guide them in the Act.
Mr Speaker, what he issaying is not what is on the Order Paper. They do not want a technical universityto deviate from the courses that a technicaluniversity runs and not for causes forwhich it was established.
“. . . a technical university shall: (b)offer a minimum of fourBachelor of Technology degreeprogrammes in science andtechnology based disciplines”. Mr Speaker, what about if it develops afifth one, which was not part of the corecourses for which it was established? The amendment written on the OrderPaper says: “(3) A technical university shall notdeviate from the core technicalcourses for which it is established.” Mr Speaker, their reason is that itshould remain technical courses. Theyshould say that; but it is not what is onthe Order Paper.
“(3) A technical university shall notdeviate from the core technicalcourses for which it is established”. Mr Speaker, it is even faulty. This isbecause a technical university is notestablished to run programmes in coretechnical subjects only, but in vocational,applied arts as well as engineering andother disciplines. Mr Speaker, I think it is unnecessary.
Let us hearfrom the Hon Member who proposed theamendment.
Mr Speaker, we are threeHon Members.
Very well,but let us hear him.
Mr Speaker, I think wewould want to step this particularamendment down partly based on whatProf. Dominic Fobih has just said. Mr Speaker, if you read clause 3 (e), Ithink it adequately takes care of it. So, Iwould plead with my Hon Colleagues forus to drop the amendment.
Mr Speaker, I beg them towithdraw their amendments because theproblem we have is the fact that all theuniversities have deviated from what theywere to do and they have started doingother income generating courses. Mr Speaker, so, currently, we do nothave a programme that qualifies these tobe and in fact, once we are converting, they have more than 60 per cent of theirstudent intake to be in the liberal arts. So,there is no core programme as such thatyou would say they should not deviatefrom. Mr Speaker, what we should be lookingfor is the Government policy, that will driveit but not to legislate it. This is because, ifwe legislate it, it will require us to definethe core technical courses but as Prof.Fobih indicated, they are listed in the aimsand objectives. Mr Speaker, so, if we see that they aredeviating from the aims and objectives ofthe university, like all other universitieshave done, it is always a window ofopportunity for people, but I think thatwe should not legislate this as it is now.We are just converting Polytechnics intoTechnical Universities.
Very well. I think the Hon Members whoproposed the amendments havewithdrawn their proposed amendments.So, it ends there. Dr Prempeh -- rose--
Yes, whatis it?
Mr Speaker, they havewithdrawn but let us read clause 3 (e). Ithought we were even going to delete thatone.
“offer programmes and courseswithin the mandate of a technicaluniversity; and”. Mr Speaker, like the Hon Member forWa West just said. We have to be verycareful. If we read it, it says; “offerprogrammes and courses within themandate of a technical university; and”. Mr Speaker, we have not listed
From whatthe Hon (Professor) said, this issue hasbeen well-catered for under this Bill, so,we do not need to go any further. Theproposed amendment has beenwithdrawn. So, Hon Members, let us makeprogress. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 3 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
Mr Speaker, please, we gotto clause 5 the other day and it wasdebated but then the Question was notput.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 5, subclause (1), add the followingnew paragraphs: “(o) one representative of the GhanaEmployers, Association; (p) one representative of theAssociation of Principals ofTechnical Institutes”. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 5 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 8, subclause (2), line 1, after“Council”, insert “other than the ViceChancellor”. Mr Speaker, the Committee felt that thisamendment is not necessary because there is no reason a Vice Chancellorshould be absent on three occasions,then it might be that, he has abdicated hisposition.
So, let ushave the final rendition. How will it readlike?
Mr Speaker, we are --
Mr Speaker, yes.
Very well. Hon Members, the proposed amend-ment is withdrawn, therefore, we probablyhave to come back to the Schedules. So, Hon Members, with the withdrawalof this proposed amendment to clause 8,we would take clause 24. [Amendment withdrawn by leave ofthe House.]
Clause 24, we had noproblem with it, only an Hon Colleagueinsisted that, Graduate StudentsAssociation of the Ghana (GRASAG)should be included -- But we felt that itis not necessary. Mr Speaker, GRASAG forms part of thestudent body, therefore, whatever theStudents Representative Council (SRC) isdoing, they are part of it and it coversthem. This is because, GRASAG takescare of the Council. So --
Are yousaying that you are no longer interestedin the proposed amendment?
Mr Speaker, we are nolonger --
So, you arewithdrawing that?
Mr Speaker, we withdrawthat.
Very well. [Amendment withdrawn by leave ofthe House.] Clause 34? We have taken all those.Thank you very much. So, we take the Long Title. [Pause] -- Hon Members, I think we will have totake the Question on the First Scheduleand its proposed amendment thereto. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,First Schedule, add the following: Part 2(Section 2 (1))Polytechnics to be converted: 1. Bolgatanga Polytechnic; 2. Cape Coast Polytechnic; 3. Tamale Polytechnic; and 4.Wa Polytechnic. Question put and agreed to The First Schedule as amendedordered to stand part of the Bill.
Order!Order! The Second Schedule ordered to standpart of the Bill. The Third Schedule ordered to standpart of the Bill. The Long Title ordered to stand partof the Bill.
HonMembers, this brings us to the end of theConsideration Stage of the TechnicalUniversities Bill, 2016 for now. Yes, Hon Majority Chief Whip?
Mr Speaker, we wouldbe grateful if you would take Motionsnumbered 10, 11, 12 and 13. They are theMotions that have to do with thehospitals.
Very well. Hon Members, we would move to itemnumbered 10 on the Order Paper. It isMotion by the Hon Chairman of theCommittee.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove that, this Honourable House adoptsthe Report of the Committee on Health onthe Commercial Agreement between theGovernment of the Republic of Ghana andVamed Engineering GmbH KG & Co. ofAustria for the design, construction,equipping and furnishing of five (5) newDistrict/General Hospitals in Somanya, Buipe, Sawla-Tuna-Kalba, Wheta, Tolonand one (1) Polyclinic in Bamboi. Mr Speaker, in doing so, I present yourCommittee's Report. Introduction The Commercial Agreement for theConstruction of Five (5) District Hospitalsin Somanya, Buipe, Sawla-Tuna-Kalba,Wheta, Tolon and One Polyclinic atBamboi was laid in the House on Monday25th July, 2016 and referred to theCommittee on Health for considerationand report. The Committee met the DeputyMinister for Health, Hon. Victor Bampohand the technical team from the Ministryof Health to discuss the CommercialAgreement. Background Since independence, the Health Sectorhas made progress in promoting effectiveclinical service delivery and that hastranslated into the very observableimprovements in the health of thecitizenry. Transiting from the globally endorsedMillennium Development Goals (MDGs)Government continues to also have theobligation under the SustainableDevelopment Goals especially withrespect to SGD-3.8 (to achieve UniversalHealth Coverage). There is therefore, the need forGovernment to provide the necessaryhealth infrastructure to deliver the neededhealth care to the citizenry. The construction of the 5 newpolyclinics will significantly strengthen key interventions aimed at achievingSGD-3.8 which includes ensuring financialrisk protection, access to quality essentialhealthcare services and access to safe,effective quality and affordable essentialmedicines and vaccines for all. It is in this direction that, Governmentof Ghana secured a Financing Agreementcomprising an Export Credit Facility of€77,935,500 and a Commercial CreditFacility of €12,000,000 for the constructionof five District Hospitals and a Polyclinic.The Districts are Somanya, Buipe, Sawla-Tuna-Kalba, Wheta and Tolon. Thepolyclinic is to be sited at Bamboi. The Financing Agreement wasapproved by the House on 18th March,2016 in accordance with article 180 (5). TheCommercial Agreement for theconstruction of the five district hospitalsand a polyclinic was submitted to theHouse and referred to the Committee onHealth for consideration and report. The Committee subsequently reportsas follows. Project description The major components of the projectsinclude: Civil works, Mechanical and ElectricalWorks covering the following facilities: a. Out Patients Clinic (Ophthal-mology, Dental clinic,Pharmacy, Laboratory); b. General Administration; c. Theatres; d. Adjunct Clinical Services(Diagnostics: Radiology/-ray,ECG, Dental, Ultrasound);
The Committee was informed that thedescription was a documentation error andthat the proposal was to construct fourdistrict hospitals. Therefore, after carefulreview, the Ministry revised andrenegotiated the project leading to theconstruction of five District Hospitals anda polyclinic instead. These five districthospitals and a polyclinic constitutedwhat was approved by the House duringthe consideration of the loan Agreement. Scope of the Project The Committee observed that theprovisions of employer's requirements The technical team of the Ministry ofHealth explained that, these were the initialnumbers contained in the Draft Agreement.However after further consideration fromthe Ministry, the figures were revised tofive 80-bed district hospitals in the fivecommunities and one 30-bed Polyclinic inBamboi. The Bed capacities of theHospitals were therefore revised in theAgreement and captured in Table I below: SPACE FOR TABLE 1 - PAGE 7 - 5.55 P.M. Service infrastructure The Committee noted that under theemployer's requirements, scope andtechnical criteria, require the contractorto provide the needed electricity, water,gas and other services. These includesavailability of access roads, power andwater from the mains within one (1)kilometre to the sites. The technical team assured theCommittee that steps would be taken toensure that these services are put on sites.They indicated that access to healthcenters had been a challenge in previousconstructions. This project wouldhowever take into consideration thefunding requirements and the Ministrywould ensure that these conditions areupheld. Cost of the Project The Committee observed that theFinancing Agreement for the five districthospitals and a Polyclinic approved bythe House amounted to €89,935,500(which is made up of an Export CreditAgreement of €77,935,500 and aCommercial Credit of €12,000,000). The technical team explained that theFinancing Agreement of €89,935,500 ismade up of the cost of the Project of€80,000,000 and Financing Cost of€9,935,500. Value for Money audit The Committee observed that, the Valuefor Money audit relating to CommercialAgreement for the construction of theDistrict Hospitals did not come with thecontract Agreement.The technical team however informed the Committee that theMinistry had submitted all relateddocumentation to Crown Agents for theVfM assessments. Unfortunately, as atthe time of appearing before theCommittee, the Report was not ready. TheCommittee was however, assured of theReport, when it becomes ready, it wouldbe forwarded to the House. Trend analysis of the Project The Committee enquired from theMinistry whether in the absence of VfM,the country is getting a good deal in thisCommercial Agreement. The technical team explained that justlike the Contract Agreement for theconstruction of ten polyclinics, which wasbrought before the august House, theMinistry also conducted a trend analysison the project with similar District projects(see Table I - Trend analysis/PriceComparism of Similar Projects). SPACE FOR TABLE 1 - PAGE 8 - 5.55 P.M.
Anyseconder? Ranking Member of the Committee(Dr Richard W. Anane): Mr Speaker, I begto second the Motion and in so doingmake a few comments and observations. Mr Speaker, the amount that wassourced for this project is £77,935,500Export Credit Facility and £12 MillionCommercial Credit Facility for theconstruction of these five hospitals. The
Could wehave some order, please?
Mr Speaker, from ourobservations and enquiries, we wereinformed that, out of the total amount ofmonies sourced for, £80 Million is what isgoing to be used for the constructionproper. The remaining amount was part ofthe financing of the Credit Facility itself. Mr Speaker, what we found was that,initially, about 340 beds were going to beconstructed. Out of this number offacilities. We asked for the definition ofwhat a district hospital or a hospital was,and so many other interventions weremade. It was finally agreed and theCommittee was assured that, the attentionof the contractor was drawn to thesedefinitions. Therefore, instead of a totalof 340 beds to be constructed out of thesefacilities, we are now going to get 430beds. Therefore, part of the number, whereasoriginally, the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba, Whetaand the Tolon facilities were going to beconstructed as 50-bed capacity hospitals,they are now going to be 80-bed capacityhospitals in tune with what the otherswere. It is only the Bamboi Polyclinic,which is a Polyclinic, therefore does notqualify to be a district hospital, whichwould be a 30-bed Polyclinic. Mr Speaker,that is why we have variation of 90 extrabeds from our deliberations. Mr Speaker, as I said earlier, thetechnical team explained that thefinancing agreement -- the total of£89,935,500 -- was going to be made upof the cost for the construction of £80million whereas the financing cost was the extra £9, 935,500. We also asked for valuefor money and we were informed that thevalue for money audit was being followedby the crown agents. Mr Speaker, but the Committee, overthe time, had also been looking at valuefor the projects that are entrusted on usand we have come to the conclusion that,in addition to value for money, we believethat, we can assure ourselves of value andcompetitiveness, if we look for trendanalysis. That is the cost of projects overthe period done by particular contractors. Therefore, the Committee asked for atrend analysis for similar projects over theperiod of time and we were convinced thatwhen you look at the cost per unit floor,whereas in 2001, the cost per unit floor forsimilar projects done by this contractorcost US$2,857, in 2008, similar facilitiescost US$2,777. In 2012, facilities which areof similar range cost the nation US$2,801per unit floor and in 2013, some sevendistrict hospitals which were alsoconstructed nationwide costs the nationUS$2,808 per unit floors. Mr Speaker, for this particular project,based on the original that is 340-bed totalconstruction, we were going to get it atUS$2,666 per unit floor. This was quitecompetitive compared to the others butbecause of the increase we asked for; weare now going to have 430 beds. So, weexpect that, per unit floor is going to beeven much lower. So, Mr Speaker, we felt that, and thisshowed that, the cost per unit was goingdown with our looking into it, especially,looking at it from the trend analysis. Thiswas what convinced the Committee andtherefore, enabled the Committee to boldlydecide that this is a competitive projectand we therefore could call on the Houseto support it.
Thank youvery much. Question proposed. Mr Darko-Mensah -- rose --
Yes, HonMember for Takoradi?
Thank you for the opportunity, MrSpeaker. Mr Speaker, when the two HonMembers made their comments; they werevery clear with what they were lookingfor and the value for money issues. MrSpeaker, if you take the value for moneyand the trend analysis into consideration,you would come to one conclusion andthat is all the value for money has beenbased on projects that have been done inGhana. Secondly, there is only one companydoing the value for money audit, that is,Crown AgentsGhana Limited. However, Mr Speaker, we also have theInstitute for Quantity Surveyors that alsoperform value for money audit. I believethat, in future, going forward, we have tolook at the possibility of giving this job totwo different companies to do the valuefor money audit, so that, we are sure thatwhen they do their analysis, we could gofurther and compare to see what we aremaking.
On a point of order. MrSpeaker, he is talking about somethingthat should be done. Yesterday, in thisHouse, the Hon Deputy Minister forFinance gave that information that hesought to suggest that we do. The HonDeputy Minister told us that, they soughtCabinet approval and they had beengiven the permission to look beyondCrown Agent Ghana Limited. So, it hasbeen done.
Mr Speaker, whatI said was that, instead of giving that jobto one person on a project, we should lookat giving it to about two or three auditingcompanies so that, the two could do it,and we could see where we could makesome savings. Mr Speaker, if you take the savings thatwas made on this one, it was onlyUS$160,000.00. I believe if other people,not only in Ghana had looked at it, theycould compare and come out with somecompetitive figures we could choose from. Mr Speaker, I also believe that inapplying the US$160,000.00, we shouldlook for projects that could be quantified.This is because, when they talk aboutlights, they have already been programmedin the original cost. Therefore, I am lookingat the situation where the savings theymake would be applied. Maybe, if it is onboreholes, we could quantify them andsay we are doing ten boreholes with thisor so with that. But if they apply it on thesame thing that has already been coveredin the contract, I believe it is not a goodidea and we might have to look at it anothertime. With these few words, Mr Speaker, Ithank you for the opportunity.
HonMinority Leader? [Interruption.] Order!Let us hear from the Hon Minority Leader.
Mr Speaker,I just inquired from the Hon RankingMember the total cost of the project. Hesaid it was €80 million. I see in the secondparagraph of page 3 that Governmentsecured a financing agreement of€77,935,500.00 and a commercial credit of€12,000,000.00. So, I wonder what the totalis.
Yes, HonRanking Member?
Mr Speaker, in mypresentation, I made it clear that, the totalquantum of money sourced for was€89,935,500. That was the total quantumof money as per the Loan Agreement.However, for the construction of theproject, we are going to use €80,000,000.00.The remaining €935,500 is the financingcost. So, at the end of the day, it is stillpart of the cost of the credit insurance forsourcing for the facility. [Interruption.] So, we are using €80,000,000.00 for theconstruction of the five hospitals and theone polyclinic. Indeed, of the five hospitals, the Buipe Hospital is also goingto be fitted with an accident centrebecause it is on a highway.
Very well. Question put and Motion agreed to.
Yes, HonMembers, we would move on to theResolution, item numbered 11 on theOrder Paper by the Minister for Health.
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 Health, there hasbeen laid before Parliament theterms and conditions of a
He hasmoved for the adoption of the Resolution.
Mr Speaker, I beg tosecond the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Yes, HonMajority Chief Whip? In the meantime, theHon Second Deputy Speaker to take theChair.
Mr Speaker, we wouldtake item numbered 12 on the Order Paper.
Itemnumbered 12 on the Order Paper. It is aMotion by the Chairman of theCommittee. Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I begto move, that this Honourable Houseadopts the Report of the Committee onHealth on the Commercial Agreementbetween the Government of the Republicof Ghana and Vamed Engineering GmbHKG & Co. of Austria for the design,construction, equipping and furnishing offive (5) Polyclinics in the Greater AccraRegion (Phase IV) to be located inAdentan, Ashaiman, Bortianor, Odumanand Sege. Mr Speaker, I present the Report ofyour Committee. Introduction The Commercial Agreement for theconstruction of five (5) Polyclinics in theGreater Accra Region was laid in theHouse on Monday, 25th July, 2016 andreferred to the Committee on Health forconsideration and report. The Committee met the DeputyMinister for Health, Hon Victor Bampohand the technical team from the Ministryof Health to discuss the CommercialAgreement. Background The Health Sector has made progressin promoting effective health servicedelivery during our journey fromIndependence and these have reflectedin the improvement in the health of thecitizenry. Client expectations haveincreasingly been met and generally,within the last decade, it has becomeevident that, health status indicators onmaternal health, child health, includingreproductive health services havestabilised. In line with efforts to achieve theobjectives of the Ghana Shared growthand Development Agenda, Government isalso committed to: Bridge equity gaps in access tohealth care and nutrition servicesand ensure sustainable financingarrangements that protect the poor. Strengthen governance andimprove the efficiency andeffectiveness of the health system. Improve access to quality maternal,neonatal, child and adolescenthealth services. Intensify prevention and control ofcommunicable and non-communi-cable diseases and promote healthylifestyles. Improve institutional care, includingMental Health Service Delivery. In order to achieve these objectives,there is the need for the provision ofgeographical access to health servicesthroughout the country. The Greater Accra Region, thebeneficiary of these 5 polyclinics have witnessed the fastest population growthin recent times and the current health careinfrastructure in the region gradually, isbeing overrun by the population. Accra, the nation's capital has a highpopulation growth rate and the people areincreasingly finding it difficult to accesshealth care. The sites chosen for the proposedhealth facilities have huge provisionalgaps. With the current National HealthInsurance Scheme, it has become evidentthat, health facilities should align with thegrowing number of people dependent onthe scheme, who should have easy accessto health facilities. It is in line with this objective thatGovernment entered into an Agreementwith the Unicredit Bank of Austria for 13.5million Euros to finance the constructionand equipping of five polyclinics in theGreater Accra Region. This financing agreement was broughtto Parliament. It was passed on 29th June,2016. The House was informed that, theobjects of the project were: To provide access to quality healthcare to the people of the proposedsites to supply and install equipmentafter completion of civil works; and To provide training for the medicalstaff and technicians to operate thefacilities efficiently upon completion. In accordance with article 180 (5), theCommercial Agreement for theconstruction and equipping of five (5)polyclinics in the Greater Region wassubmitted to Parliament for approval. It is
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MR SECOND DEPUTY SPEAKER
DrAnane? Ranking Member of the Committee(Dr Richard W. Anane): Mr Speaker, I riseto support the Motion, and in so doing,make a few observations. Mr Speaker, it was noted that these fivepolyclinics should be sited in the GreaterAccra Region. One of the major reasonsis that, the population is fast increasingtherefore, there is the need for healthfacilities to be provided for them. Mr Speaker, while I support this, Iwould want to call on the Hon Ministerfor Health to know that, the biggest andmost populous region is the AshantiRegion, but it is the least served by wayof health facilities. Therefore, the HonMinister must make sure that, he quickensthe pace of making sure that the Motionson health facilities, Ashanti Region, arealso passed through Cabinet to the House.This is because, I do know that they areworking on them but I want them to bedone as quickly as possible. Mr Speaker, the amount that wassourced for the five polyclinics is €13.5million. The Financing Agreement wasbrought to Parliament and passed on the29th of June, this year. Mr Speaker, the Committee wasinformed about the benefits, which, as weall know, is the ease of accessgeographically for health facilities by thepeople of the Greater Accra Region. TheCommittee also wanted to know about the fact that, value for money audit must havebeen done. This was presented by thetechnical team to the Committee. Mr Speaker, however, the Committeeon Health still thinks that, there seems tobe so much by way of only one companyhaving to always do the value for moneyanalysis. The Committee now thinks that,we must also use other means of knowingwhether there was any competitiveness.So, Mr Speaker, it can be seen in the workthat we are doing; we are now talkingabout a trend analysis. It is an alternativeto assure ourselves that whatever wehave been presented with is competitive. Mr Speaker, we asked for a trendanalysis, and that was done over a period;from 2008 to 2016. We have found thatper unit cost of the Project wascompetitive in the sense that, the 2008Project gave a unit cost of €1,762.24 persquare meter. That for 2010 was €1,708.78per square meter. For 2012, it was €1,852.25per square meter. In 2016, the tenpolyclinics cost us €2,274.93 per squaremeter, which was what was approved bythe Crown Agents Ghana Limited as costeffective. Mr Speaker, we are happy to announcethat, for the five polyclinics, the cost perunit area is €1,928.57; quite below the€2,274.93 for the ten polyclinics. So wewere able to convince ourselves that, wewere getting some measure ofcompetitiveness by what we have beendoing. Mr Speaker, because we are thatconvinced, we do not hesitate torecommend this for the House to approveof it. Thank you, Mr Speaker. Question proposed.
On a point of order. MrSpeaker, I want to thank the Hon MinorityLeader but then, to urge him as a Memberof the Parliamentary Service Board, tomake sure that funds are made available.This is because our Committees are readyto do that. In our attempt to do that, thatwas why we went in for a trend analysis.So we wish that, the Hon Minority Leader,in collaboration with the Hon MajorityLeader would quickly find some sourceof funding which we can all apply to dothis kind of value for money analysis. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker,it may interest the Committee to know that,such an amount has been set aside forthat purpose. They are not sourcing forit. Let him go and check. [Interruption.]Yes, some amount has been set aside forthis purpose, but the Committees are notapplying for it. The Finance Committee and in particular the Health and TransportCommittees are not applying for the funds.So, he should not tell me that we have todo that. Perhaps, I must admit that, whatwe have may not be adequate, but at least,a beginning has been made over the pastfive years. Mr Speaker, they have not beenapplying for the funds. Mr Speaker, the other thing that I wouldwant to talk about is the cost per squarearea. The Hon Ranking Member hasindicated to us the cost for the fivefacilities that we just approved. That isthe construction of the five districthospitals in Somanya, Buipe, Sawla-Tuna-Kalba, Wheta, Tolon and one polyclinicat Bamboi. Mr Speaker, comparing the price of theBamboi Polyclinic to this one, somedifference would be noticed. We aretalking about polyclinics. There should bea standard. That is why I think that --[Interruption] -- I am talking about astandard. Almost all the five facilities thatwe are talking about are about the sameprice, but if it is compared with thepolyclinic at Bamboi -- [Interruption] -- Let us do a comparison and ensure thatstandards are maintained. If the prices come down, we would makesome savings; but at what cost,ultimately? Is it the case that we do nothave the full compliments of theequipment in these new facilities? That ismy worry. If indeed they are at the samelevel and we are making such savings,then, that would be good. But if indeed,the reason is that, the Bamboi one wouldbe better stocked, then it may not be good.In particular, since it is the same companythat is doing the construction of thesefacilities, we may have to look at thepolyclinics. I have made a serious application tothe Ministry for the construction of apolyclinic in my constituency. When itcomes, I would want the polyclinic atSuame to be at the same level as thepolyclinic at Bamboi.
Mr Speaker, I heard astrange insertion into the Report; someHon Members are using this Report toclaim polyclinics for their variousconstituencies. I thought during thediscussion of the financial aspect, wetalked about a place like Ashaiman, a veryheavily populated area being given apolyclinic. It was not even good enough. So, if the Hon Minority Leader needssomething in one of his areas -- I believehe needs a hospital. He should not becanvassing for a clinic, Community Health(Based) Planning Services (CHPS)compound and those things. We do nothave places for those things here.
Mr Speaker,I should be eternally grateful to the HonMember for Manhyia South, himself amedical officer. He should know betterthan me in this field. Of course, given a population of over220,000 in the Suame Constituency,perhaps we are more than qualified for ahospital. In the meantime, as it is said, “a quarterloaf is still better than none”. That is whyI started with a polyclinic. But if indeedthe Hon Minister could cause a hospitalto be sited at Suame, all the better for us. Mr Speaker, on that note, I support theMotion.
Mr Speaker, in themeantime, I invite him to come and sharethe hospital I have in Tafo. That is not aproblem.
It is too closeto the cemetery.
He says it is too closeto the cemetery; he is afraid to die.[Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, I would just like toadd my voice in commending theCommittee for going beyond the technicalreport from the Executive and taking stepsto verify what is contained in the Report.By so doing, they have achieved someresults for us. The interim measure is what the HonMinority Leader spoke about --consultancy. It is important that we havein-house technical support in thesematters and that is what Parliament isworking towards. It is also important for me to clarify, asa former Minister for Health, that, there isa range, when we talk about primary healthcare; when we talk about district hospitals;when we look at polyclinics. When we look at Bamboi and where itis located, I do not know of the nearestdistrict hospital. The one at Sawla itselfcannot be said to be a district hospital. Itis not up to the status of a district hospital.Bamboi is located at the junction betweenthe Brong Ahafo Region and the NorthernRegion, and then we have the Black Voltapassing through it. So, it has some peculiarities. It has someenvironment that we need to put animproved system there. But it does notqualify to be a district capital, so, they areputting this specialised polyclinic there.That should be the reason. Suame is in the city of Kumasi.[Interruption.]
Do I not know Suame?Suame is in the city of Bawku. [Laughter.]Now they accept. [Laughter.] I was part of the establishment of theSuame Magazine as the legal advisor toGRATIS. That time it was Technical, notGRATIS. We transformed it to GRATIS.At that time too, some Hon Members werenot born. [Laughter.] Mr Speaker, I believe that this is a goodjob and we should commend and supportthe Committee and strengthen them to domore.
Mr Speaker,to set the record straight, Suame Magazinewas born in 1959, before the Hon MajorityLeader was born, so, he could not havecontributed to establishing SuameMagazine. GRATIS came in later.
Mr Speaker, the HonMinority Leader does not know my age.He is a young man, so, he thinks that Iwas born after 1959. I was born longbefore that time. Question put and Motion agreed to.
Mr Speaker, wewould take the Resolution, item numbered13, on the Order Paper
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 Health, there hasbeen laid before Parliament, theterms and conditions of aCommercial Agreement betweenthe Government of the Republicof Ghana and Vamed EngineeringGmbH KG & Co. of Austria forthe design, construction,equipping and furnishing of five(5) Polyclinics in the GreaterAccra Region (Phase IV) to belocated in Adentan, Ashiaman,Bortianor, Oduman and Sege. THIS HONOURABLE HOUSEHEREBY RESOLVE AS FOLLOWS: IN ACCORDANCE with theprovisions of the said article181(5) of the Constitution thisHouse approves the CommercialAgreement between the Govern-ment of the Republic of Ghanaand Vamed Engineering GmbHKG & Co. of Austria for thedesign, construction, equippingand furnishing of five (5)Polyclinics in the Greater AccraRegion (Phase IV) to be located in Adentan, Ashiaman, Bortianor,Oduman and Sege.
Mr Speaker, I begto second the Resolution as moved bythe Hon Minister. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Mr Speaker, wewould take item numbered 56 page 31 ontoday's Order Paper, , Petroleum(Exploration & Production) Bill, 2016.
Mr Speaker, I would liketo ask the Hon Majority Chief Whip; itemnumbered 7 has been on the Order Paperfor long, when are we doing it? It has beenpending for a long time.
BILLS -- CONSIDERATIONSTAGE
HonAsiamah, the first amendment is in yourname. Look at the Order Paper, page 31.
Mr Speaker,when we started the debate I madereference to Standing Order 116 of ourrules of engagement that talks about thefact that any Bill that is to be introducedhere must have a memorandum spelling indetail the defects of the system in that Billand the remedies it proposes to curethose defects. Mr Speaker, the essence of thePetroleum (Exploration and Production) Bill, 2016 is to introduce transparency andaccountability in the oil industry and thatmakes this Bill unique. The uniquenessof this Bill is in the fact that, it is beingfine-tuned to address modern concernsin the industry. Mr Speaker, if I say modern concerns,globally --
HonEnnin, you are a Member of theCommittee? You are the Hon Deputy RankingMember, is that not so? I just wanted toinform you that, we are doing the Petroleum(Exploration and Production) Bill, 2016. I wanted to draw your attention to thefact that, the Bill we are considering isfrom the Committee on Mines and Energy,of which you are the Hon Deputy RankingMember. I am aware of your expertise, soI just wanted to draw your attention to it.
Thank you, MrSpeaker. [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, as I said,this Bill is to address modern concerns inthe oil industry. The focus is ontransparency and accountability. Mr Speaker, clause 10 of the Bill talksabout introducing an open, transparentand competitive public tendering process. Clause 4 negates this gain that we aremaking. The following clause indicatesthat, despite sub section 3, the HonMinister may decide not to enter into anagreement after the tender process asprescribed.
Mr Speaker, I rise tooppose the amendment on the bases that,for every tender, there is usually, for verygood reasons, an opening for the tenderto be set aside when circumstances sowarrant. Mr Speaker, at this point, no contracthas been awarded. It is only the tenderingprocess. It is important to know that,information may become available at thepoint of the conclusion of the tender,which might not be available at thebeginning of the tender. It is true that, due diligence ought tobe done; but who says due diligence willalways unearth every single thing aboutan entity? It is possible that even thecompany that is most responsive to thetender can go bankrupt or the mothercompany can also go bankrupt before thewhole process is consumed. Therefore, an opening becomesnecessary. By the Hon Minister settingaside the tender, he does not have thepower to re-award the contract. The whole tender process must start again. However,where the Hon Minister sets aside atender, the reasons for the Hon Ministerexercising this power should be publishedin the Gazette. That is where myamendment comes in. We must not closethe door. For very good reasons, it maybecome necessary for the State not to gothrough with a tender.
HonMember, I would let a few more peoplecontribute, then I will tell you my idea. Hon Dr Kwabena Donkor, pleasefinish.
So, Mr Speaker, withclause 10(4), the amendment proposed --
We havenot come to the amendment yet.
Mr Speaker, theamendment proposed on clause 10 (ii) onthe Order Paper will cure the concernsthat the Hon Asiamah has expressed. Mr Speaker, on that basis, I recommendthat we turn down the amendment.
HonMember for Asante Akim Central?
Thankyou, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, if one should go throughthe Bill from clause 10 (1), it talks about anagreement that could be made betweenthe Government of Ghana and otherparties. The clause (3) that was introduced bymy Hon Colleague is a very importantclause which says, and if I may quote: “A petroleum agreement shall onlybe entered into after an open,transparent and competitive publictender process.” Mr Speaker, this is a very good clauseand it actually shows the transparency,which is ensured. Immediately after thisclause, which we say is not good andshould be deleted, despite subsection 3,a discretion is given to the Hon Ministerto do what he likes, after an open,competitive and transparent tenderprocess. I do not think that, it is a goodclause which should find place in the Bill.It must be deleted.
I preferthat the Hon Minister would have the lastbite of the cherry. So, Hon Vice Chairman and HonChairman of the Committee, what is yourview? Everybody will speak on thisclause.
Mr Speaker, I rise toreject this and I ask all Hon Members tovote against the proposed amendmentbeing introduced by my Hon Colleague. Mr Speaker, this is not the first time weare debating on it. The last time, we spenta lot of time to debate this very issue. Mr Speaker, what is the Hon Membertalking about? He says that because itshould be open and transparent -- Whenit is sealed, nobody should -- It has beenopen and transparent. But the HonMember forgets that, clause 10(3) says: “A petroleum agreement shall onlybe entered into after an open,transparent and competitive publictender process.” Mr Speaker, it is a process. It has notbeen awarded, but it is a process. Clause 10(4) then goes on to say: “Despite subsection (3), the Ministermay decide not to enter into apetroleum agreement after the tenderprocess as prescribed”.
“asprescribed”. It means that the Hon Ministerdoes not have his own way, so, he gets upand says he is not going to -- That isnumber one. Mr Speaker, number two, after this hashappened, the Hon Minister has no powerwhatsoever to say he is re-awarding it toanother person. Number three, we are saying that, tocure what the Hon Member said, we decide-- When I say that “we decide”, it meansthe leadership, including the Hon RankingMember, decided that we would introducethat: “ subject to article 296 of theConstitution, which deals withdiscretionary powers…” Mr Speaker, we all know that, there canbe a time when one goes through theprocess but realises that it is to do withmoney laundering. One may not be awareuntil he is prompted that, it was throughmoney laundering. Mr Speaker, even with drug dealing, onemay not know, but at the end of the day, itcomes up to national security matters. Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu -- rose --
HonMember, what is your point of order?
Mr Speaker, my pointof order is on the statement which has beenmade by the Hon Chairman of theCommittee that on a particular issue, he andthe Hon Ranking Member decided --[Interruption.]
What is leadership?Is it the four out of the 18 or moreMembers? If they took any decision and decidedto bring it by the four of them before thisHouse, that is not coming from theCommittee.
HonOsei-Owusu, even though I agree withyour position that, a decision ofLeadership is not a decision of theCommittee, this is not a decision ofLeadership. This is because, they havenot advertised any amendment. They saidthat they agreed to oppose it. I can say that I agreed with anothermember -- So, you are correct. Leadershipis never the Committee of the House butyou can agree to oppose it, so, let himcontinue. I will recognise you. Let us take our time. This is a veryimportant clause. I will recogniseeverybody.
Mr Speaker, becauseof the concerns of the Hon Member, healso sat down and in consultation withthe sponsors of this Bill, decided that ifwe introduced a new amendment thattakes care of his concerns, that can helpand so, we said that --
On a point of order.Mr Speaker, I have been clear andconcise on this point. At every meeting, Ihave opposed this one.
He said“sponsors of the Bill”. You are not thesponsor of the Bill.
He made referenceto me. I have always opposed this one. Ifit came from you, that is fine.
HonAsiamah, he did not say “the sponsoredof the amendment”; what I heard was “thesponsor of the Bill”.
Mr Speaker, to be ableto cure his concerns, we decided -- WhenI say “we”, at least, the Leadership -- Itis not something which has beenadvertised. Mr Speaker, as we speak now, any HonMember can introduce any amendmentuntil the Consideration Stage is over. Isaid that the Leadership in consultationwith the sponsors of the Bill -- That iswhat I said. We decided that we wouldattempt to answer some of his concernsby bringing in “subject to” so thatwhoever that Hon Minister is, will onlyexercise that power --
On a point of order. MrSpeaker, the Hon Chairman has made astatement here that, it was in consultationwith the Leadership. I am a DeputyRanking Member, yet, I have not beencalled to such a meeting. [Hear! Hear!]
Mr Speaker, as theHon Chairman of the Committee, I wouldnot want to stand here and say that, whilewe were meeting, Hon Ennin was in SouthAfrica doing business. [Hear! Hear!]
Do you want usto expose you?
HonSorogho, just continue.
Mr Speaker, that iscured. I would want to allay his fears thatit is not everything that -- because it istransparent and competent, you would beable to unearth. Mr Speaker, here again, I also object tothe amendment proposed by --
We havenot got there yet. Hon Members, let us be a little briefand please do not repeat what someonehas already said.
Mr Speaker, any tenderprocess can legally be stopped at any timeuntil a contract is awarded. Truthfully, wedo not need this subclause. The dangerin this subclause is that, we have said insubclause (3) that: “A petroleum agreement shall onlybe entered into after an open,transparent and competitive tenderprocess.” After we have said that, we cannot goback to subclause (4). Alhaji Abubakari -- rose --
HonMember, are you up on a point of order? Isaw you get up.
Mr Speaker, Iwanted to know; if something is open andtransparent, does it mean it has not gotany problem at all? I need your guidanceon that.
HonMembers, what we would do is verysimple. We are all guided by that littlebook. It is smaller than a hymn book andit is called the Standing Orders. When onegets up, one should raise a point of order,one should assist me by showing mewhere one is coming from. It is as simpleas that. So, just start by saying that you arerising on a point of order, under StandingOrder 5 or 30, then, you read it. Whenyou finish reading it and you come to theconclusion that, it does not apply to you,then you sit down again. After you havefinished reading it, you do your ownruling. If it applies, then you continue. Thisis because we are going to finish this Billtoday but if we are not careful, we willnever leave here.
Mr Speaker, inherently,until a tender process has been finishedand awarded, it can be truncated at anytime even when it goes to the CentralTender Board before the final signature.So, when you say that it shall enter into ifwe subject it to after an open process --subclause (4) that the Minister may cancelit at any time, it is a bit problematic[Interruption.] We might notunderstand, but it is problematic. As it stands, the Minister gave noreason for the cancellation. That was whyI said probably an improvement of that iswhat may be the one Dr Kwabena Donkorproposed. If they enter into a tender process andthe Minister just truncates it, it will endup in arbitrations; it will end up in court.Once the agreement is entered into andthey cancel it without reasons, it will endup in court. Mr Speaker, on that note, we shouldsupport the Hon Member for Atwima-Mponua's amendment that we shouldtotally, delete subclause (3).
HonPrempeh, I must confess that you havemade very interesting comments but it cutsboth ways.
It is true; it cuts bothways.
Mr Speaker,if you read closely the clauses incontention; clauses 10(2), 10(3) and 10(4),you would find it very difficult to reconcilethe two clauses. This is becausesubclause (3) says that: “A petroleum agreement shall…” And my emphasis is on the word‘shall'. It makes it mandatory after thetender process has gone through for thePetroleum Agreement to be entered into.So, once the tender process has beentransparent and competitive, there is noother option than for the PetroleumAgreement to be executed. That is the intendment of clause 10 (3).But subclause (4) appears to derogatefrom subclause (3) by giving a discretionto the Hon Minister in spite of themandatory nature of subclause (3) to saythat, the Minister may decide not to enterinto the said Agreement. Mr Speaker, I am of the humble opinionthat, subclauses (3) and (4) do not jell atall. You cannot reconcile suclause (3) withsubclause (4). So, subclause (4) ought tobe deleted. This is because, subclause (4)completely contradicts subclause (3). Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, the operativeword here is “prescribed”. As I speak now,there are current Regulations that wouldguide the Minister's action. The Ministeris going to be guided by Regulations, thatis what this clause is saying. But Mr Speaker, the reason this isimportant is that, we are not doing thetender for somebody to build or to go andconstruct some. This is a hugeinvestment, new information after thetender might surface that would be at thedetection of the Minister, showing asubstantial change in the standings of thewinning company. Mr Speaker, under those circumstances,the Regulation would guide the Minister.There are a lot of examples; there arenational security considerations thatwould guide the Hon Minister in theregulations not to basically, implement thepetroleum agreement. That is what thisclause is saying. Mr Speaker, it is important because ithas happened in real life where we havenegotiated an Agreement and thefinancials and the technical capacities thathave been presented by the company wasno longer the case because the companyhas gone bankrupt. Are we going to awarda block for this company to sit on aresource for seven years doing nothing?
HonMinister, can you help me? You said that,‘prescribed' that is in the Regulations inclause 94, but I have not seen anythingthere that refers to it. Hon Patrick Boamah --
Thank you,Mr Speaker —
Sorry.Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, we havedeliberated on this clause. I recall that thelast time, we spent over one hour and MrSpeaker, I did support that, there was theneed for clause 10 (4) to be there. We onlyneed to insert ‘unstated reasons'. And Igave a practical example of what happened when I was at the Ministry of WaterResources, Works and Housing. And Ithought that, that resolved the issue. I propose that, the clause should read,
HonMajority Leader, I do not disagree withyou at all. Hon Members, Order! Order!! When I was the Attorney-General, wewere buying vehicles for the lawyers. Theyhad agreed on a price, I think US$24,000per vehicle. The day they were supposedto sign the contract, I saw in thenewspapers that, another Ministry wasbuying the same vehicle for US$19,000. So, I told my Chief Directors that, ifwe sign this contract, people would saythat, you and I have embezzled money. But the problem is, the Minister alonesitting down -- If I were the Minister, Iwould not even want that power. This isbecause, as you said earlier, tomorrow,you would be told that, you exercised thatpower arbitrarily. So, if it was prescribed by Regulations,the question is the question that Hon O.B. Amoah always asks, the Regulationssometimes, never come or it takes one yearto come. We are talking about oil and weknow this industry and the massivecorruption that could engulf it. We haveabsolute confidence in the Minister buttomorrow, we do not know who would bethere and we do not know what the personcan do. So, is it not dangerous to have aMinister who, after he has gone througha process, the people who went throughthat open and transparent process, canthemselves cancel it? What Hon Dr Prempeh too said is that,even after the process, you are notcompelled to enter into an Agreement. Ifthere are reasons like National Securityconsiderations as you are saying, likemoney laundering, et cetera, I think thatwe are not far from each other. We willdefer it, we can meet and agree onsomething. We do not want subclause (4)to take away subclause (3) completely. Hon Asiamah, I believe that yourconcern is that, after an open transparentprocess, a Minister should just not be ableto just cancel it. Is that not your concern?
Mr Speaker, myconcern is the respect for the procurementlaw that we have passed as Parliament.
But thisis not through the procurement process.Even under the Procurement Law, as HonDr Prempeh has said, contracts can becancelled.
That is the processthat I am talking about.
Let usdefer it. This is because we would end uparguing over the same thing again.
Mr Speaker, I amconcerned about the fact that, there is asuggestion that, Leadership put theirheads together and came up with someideas about how to amend that. MrSpeaker, it is so far away from the truth. The point is that, on the occasion whenthis matter came to be debated sovigorously, the Rt Hon Speaker himselfwas sitting in the Chair, and as the HonMajority Leader has just indicated, heactually got up to make the point that hejust repeated. Mr Speaker, it was on that occasionthat, I suggested that, that subclausecould be amended in respect of article 296.This was done on the floor here. We didnot do it at the coffee bar or anywhere.The discussion was held here. Mr Speaker, I maintain what I said thelast time, and I also accept what the HonMajority Leader has said but I am opposedfundamentally to what the Hon Memberfor Atwima-Mponua said. The clause is there for very importantreasons and not there for the HonMinister for Power or even the President.That is very important. What an excellentexperience the Hon Majority Leader wentthrough. At the point when it had gonethrough the open tender and everyprocess, he came belatedly to see that ifhe had signed, they were going to be indifficulty. That is the point. Mr Speaker, it has been said and I amreiterating it. The fact that the Ministertruncates the process does not mean that,he is going to hand it over to his boyfriendor girlfriend. No, it goes back into thesystem. So, we are saying that, if there is adifficulty in that clause, two matters. TheHon Majority Leader said that, we couldprescribe reasons for reasons stated. Weare saying that, article 296 of theConstitution is not for cosmetic purposes.It is so crucial. The Constitution says that,anybody given the discretionary power,exercises it according to the dictatesstipulated in article 296 of the Constitution.It says that one should not be capricious-- big time industry. What are the courtsdoing? If one is not happy, one can go tothe courts. So, let us make this subject tothat. Mr Speaker, there is something else Ihave just spotted. There seems to be someconcern about subclause (4). This isbecause, you would see that, subclause(3) uses the word “shall”. I would becomfortable if the word “shall” insubclause (3) could now become “may”.[Interruption.] He says no, it shouldremain “shall”. If it remains “shall”, I amconcerned with subclause (4). Mr Speaker, subclause (4) is as we havediscussed. I support the Hon MajorityLeader and Hon Kwabena Donkor. It isimportant. I am prepared to say that, it isthere as a term of Act. It is that importantand we should leave it there. That is whatI intend to say on this matter, of course,subject to the almighty clause 296 of theConstitution. I submit that we reject HonAsiamah's amendment.
HonAsiamah, are you agreeable to the fore-stated reasons?
Mr Speaker, I wouldwant us to have a deeper understandingof subclause (3). It is a process, so, theprocess also involves what Hon DrPrempeh said. Unless they want us to takeaway subclause (3) in its entirety. But ifwe should maintain clause (3), it involvesthat process of making sure that all theseconcerns are taken care of by the Nationalsecurity -- that is the process. You areaddressing all the conditions which arespelt out in the process. That is my understanding of theprocess. So, why do we then put theprocess there? The process has gonethrough, you award the contract and comeback and say no. When we say process,it involves all these pre-conditions,conditions and concerns, special security-- whatever it is, should be part of thethorough process.
HonMember, Hon Asiamah proposes that wedelete subclause (4) -- [Interruptions.] Hon Members, I defer clause 10 (4). Clause 10 (14), Hon Kwabena Donkor?
Mr Speaker, I crave yourindulgence to take a second look at clause10 (4), standing in my name.
I deferthat as well.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 10, subclause (14), paragraph (a),line 1, delete “on behalf of the Republic”and insert the following: “shall hold an initial participatingcarried interest of at least fifteen percent for exploration anddevelopment.”
Mr Speaker, it is veryunfortunate that, I have noticed that theHon Deputy Minister for Finance is nothere because this matter appears to be aserious one, but I cannot see him now. He said he was opposing subclause(4) because it is unconstitutional. And Ithought he would be here to explain to uswhy it is unconstitutional. Apparently, it is a serious matter buthe has disappeared.
I wouldtake this one, and he can come at theSecond Consideration Stage because heis not here.
Mr Speaker, he wouldbe travelling and that is my worry.
HonMember, so, what do we do?
Mr Speaker, he madesome argument that -- if we look at thePetroleum Revenue Management Act andlook at this, there is some issue ofunconstitutionality and we have to becareful in these matters.
All right.Let me take this proposed amendment. Iwould go to the next one. I am taking the amendment advertisedas roman (iii). [Interruption.] Hon Members, let us pay attentionbecause this is a very important Bill. If weengage in side conversations, thingswould pass and I would not come back toit. Hon Kwabena Donkor has moved theamendment advertised as Roman numeral(iii), and that is what we are considering.If anybody has a contribution --
HonMember, we would delete one “shall”.
Mr Speaker, in the midstof the discussion and the bit of noise atthe background, the import of this mayhave been lost on our Hon Colleagues. Mr Speaker, let us take a minute toexplain it so that we know what we arevoting on. Mr Speaker, what my Hon Colleague;Dr Donkor asked to be amended is that,instead of GNPC holding our oil resourceson behalf of the whole nation, we shoulddelete that and say that, GNPC should --
HonMember, do you support him or you areagainst him?
Mr Speaker, I am tryingto. I am not quite --
HonMembers, when you get up, you just tellus whether you support the amendmentor you oppose it. There is a proposedamendment -- we are not engaging in justany exercise. So, when you get up, justsupport or oppose it so that we wouldfollow you. Hon Member, or, you are just educatingus?
Mr Speaker, I was tryingto explain.
No,please. It is either you support or opposeit. Just education for the sake of education-- if you oppose or support it, you tell uswhy.
Mr Speaker, Ioppose it. This is because in changingthe words and putting it as “thecorporation shall”, without putting it therethat they are holding those shares onbehalf of the country are two differentthings. The difference is that, what he isproposing is, the company is a separatecompany on its own and that it is beingrun as a company. But what is here meansthat, they are holding the fifteen per centon behalf of the country. So that, if anothertime the company itself wants to hold iton its own, it can also be arranged. But as far as this Bill is concerned, weshould make sure they hold it on behalfof the country. Therefore, what is in the Bill shouldstay and not what he is proposing.
Mr Speaker, I rise tosupport the amendment. From the beginning, we were allapprehensive of this very amendment. Butthe explanation has always been that, ifwe leave it the way it is, the Governmentis not going to benefit from it directly,neither would GNPC use it to be able tobenefit the way it wants. So, upon further consultation, it wasagreed that yes, GNPC is a StateInstitution and that it belongs to theGovernment under PNDC Law 64. So,whatever GNPC owns is also for theGovernment. So, it was agreed that, on that basis,GNPC can hold the 15 per cent not onbehalf of the Government but hold it as itis. Mr Speaker, this has been accepted andthat is why I rise to support theamendment.
Mr Speaker, I rise tooppose the amendment.
“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, if we take his amendment,they would not hold it on behalf of theRepublic. That phrase “on behalf of theRepublic” is a Constitutional matter andought to be there. His amendment makes it “GNPC” standon its own which is dangerous. TheConstitution is very clear. How can we dothat? It said “on behalf of the Republic”.Why are we shying away from that? Thereis a reason and we know that. We shouldnot allow that to happen. TheConstitution is very clear -- “on behalfof the Republic” should be put there sothat there is no ambiguity.
Mr Speaker, my Hon SeniorColleague brought in the constitutionalinterpretation. It is very important for us to understand that, the moment we take adecision to extract it, it is not vested inthe President. This is because, this isabout Petroleum Agreement and themoment we take a decision, we partner,therefore it is not vested in the President. In its natural state; underground, it isvested on behalf of the people with thePresident. But the moment a decision istaken to sign any Petroleum Agreement,then the rules play, therefore at that stagewe do not say it belongs to the President.This is because other companies make it.An example is the Jubilee Field, we earned13.5 per cent. What about the remainingpercentage? It goes to an International OilCompany. That is why in petroleum, the momenta decision is taken to award a block, thatprivilege is no more there.
Mr Speaker, for what theHon Member is saying, what other mineraldoes not fall into the same category ofargument?
Mr Speaker, myunderstanding is that, GNPC itself, is apublic entity. It is 100 per cent owned bythe State. The President appoints, whetherthe Chief Executive of Board Members onbehalf of all of us. So, whatever GNPC does, they do it onbehalf of the Government. This is becauseit is 100 per cent owned by the State. Mr Speaker, that was why for example,we were able to promulgate a law in thisHouse to say that, every year, theirprogramme of activity would have to beapproved by this House. Mr Speaker, if they were not fully and100 per cent owned by the State, we couldnot have done that.
Mr Speaker, I believe that,we should understand the decision. If weare guided by the fact that we want GNPC to grow and to leverage the resource toour advantage, then GNPC should holdour stake in the oil, and not the cruderesource underground which is vested inthe President. But as soon as we startexploration of it, the resource changes —ownership or equity stake becomes thesubject matter here. Mr Speaker, the subject matter we aretalking about is the ownership right;whether it should still be held in the nameof Government of Ghana (GoG)or in thename of GNPC. Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague earliertalked about — [Interruption] — He hadtried distinguishing —
HonMember, we are not discussing theprinciples any longer at this stage. Thereis a proposed amendment, do you supportor oppose it? [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, I amendedthe amendment to get Government ofGhana holding the stake. I oppose theamendment with explanation, whichexplanation I am giving — [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, I support the amendment— [Laughter.] Mr Speaker, I support the amendment.I want GNPC to hold the interest of Ghana,and I can explain why I want GNPC to dothat. This is because, we can maximise ourstake in the oil when GNPC holds it onour behalf. Mr Speaker, what happens when thegovernment of Ghana holds it is that, wecannot leverage it — we cannot takeadvantage of it. But with the stake on thebalance sheet of GNPC, we would be ableto use GNPC to even rake in more revenue,develop a national oil company that has a clout out there and to compete withothers. We would not have any advantagewhen the Government of Ghana holds thestake in its own right. Mr Speaker, that is my position. Mr Buah — rose --
HonMembers, I want to take the Hon Ministerbefore I take the Hon Majority Leader.
Thank you, Mr Speaker —
HonMajority Leader, the Hon Minister hasyielded to you.
Mr Speaker, I support theamendment. On behalf of the Republic inthis clause is, an introduction. It is a newphrase in the legal jargon of the PetroleumAgreements. Mr Speaker, we know that, as of nowthat carried interest is in the possessionof GNPC and things have been going onwell — [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, this introduction is basedon the erroneous impression, and that iswhy Hon Joseph Cudjoe was trying toexplain. But it is when it is in its naturalstate that the resource is vested in thePresident. And the constitutionalprovision is clear on that. There is goodreason why they specified it.
“Every mineral in its natural statein, under or upon any land in Ghana,rivers, streams, water coursesthroughout Ghana, the exclusiveeconomic zone and any area covered 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.” That is the natural state. Mr Speaker, it moves away from thenatural state once we start the exploration.Now, GNPC is for the people of Ghana,so, when we introduce a phrase like this,it is like we are dealing with a differentcompany which is not the property of theRepublic of Ghana. Mr Speaker, so, I support that weshould delete that phrase ‘on behalf ofthe Republic'. The Hon Deputy FinanceMinister is not here, but I am sure if hewere here, he would have dropped hisproposed amendment — [Interruption.] Mr Darko-Mensah — rose --
HonMember, you have already made yourpoint — Hon Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, you have spoken already, haveyou not?
Mr Speaker, inorder not to err, I have came up — in caseyou may need me to refer. Mr Speaker, in the submission of theHon Majority Leader, he said that, ‘for andon behalf of the Republic' is a mereintroduction — New introduction — Mr Speaker, I want to draw theattention of the Hon Majority Leader tothe fact that, this is in the Constitutionand so it is not new. Mr Speaker, the question is — [Pause]— Now, if indeed, as it so exists in theAct, there is no problem with it, why dowe want to amend the Bill before us? Mr Speaker, we are trying to amend theBill in order to take away, “on behalf ofthe Republic” and we have good reasons.Recently, when my Brother went to theSupreme Court on the Karl power matter,the Supreme Court was very clear that, tothe extent that as a House, we haveenacted a law giving certain autonomy toGNPC, we have indirectly ousted ourjurisdiction on GNPC on certain activities,so, we cannot come back and claim article181. Mr Speaker, we may disagree with thecourt but it offers us an opportunity now,not to enact any law that would oust ourjurisdiction as a House. And I think thatis what we are trying to do by insistingthat there is -- [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, not too long ago, the HonMajority Leader talked about recklessheckling; I am being recklessly heckled. Mr Speaker, what we are insisting isthat, what we have in the Constitution,article 257(6), must be respected. Weshould not do anything that would oustthe mandate of this House. So that, ifsomebody takes the matter up tomorrow,a court of law would say that, Parliamentknew of the Constitutional provision butdecided to ignore and give powers to abody through an enactment and our handsmay be tied. So, it is an opportunity for us. If wewant to live to what is in the Constitution,let us do so rather than support thisamendment which would not do anythinggood for the good people of Ghana. Iaccordingly hold that this amendmentundermines the expressed provisions inour Constitution and same must berejected by this House. Thank you.
Mr Speaker, I believe thereis a fundamental misunderstanding. TheConstitution vests all resources, such aspetroleum, in the President on behalf ofthe State. But what we are talking of hereis the rights to the reserves -- thatdistinction must be made. Mr Speaker, GNPC is in partnershipwith other players. These players go tothe market when there is a cold cash anduse their rights to the reserve to borrowat a cheap rate. GNPC cannot do the same;it does not have the right to the reserves.And it is for this reason that we talk aboutreverting the rights to the reserve toGNPC whereas the Constitutionalprovision still stays. To cure the fear ofGNPC becoming a monster, there is anamendment that, any borrowing by GNPCshould be approved by this House whichis the amendment in section 15.
So, HonDonkor, on the proposal of the amendment-- just for the records. These days, whatwe say here can be used for purpose ofinterpretation at the court. Is it yourintention that you oust the jurisdiction ofParliament in matters affecting GNPC?
Hon DrDonkor, I am saying that, because underthe Interpretation Act, what we say herecan be used for the purpose ofinterpretation at the law court, is it yourintention, in moving this amendment, tooust the jurisdiction of Parliament inmatters affecting GNPC?
Mr Speaker, if you do nottake this amendment in isolation, youwould come to clause 10 (15) --
Answerthe question. Is it your intention? Yes orno, then you explain.
Why is itnot your intention, explain?
Mr Speaker, in clause 10(15), I am bringing an amendment toreinforce the powers of this House overthis subject matter.
Yes, HonMinority Leader?
Mr Speaker,I think that first of all, it must be pointedout to the mover of the amendment,whatever the motive for that amendmentis, that the Petroleum RevenueManagement Act expressly forbidscollateralisation of our reserves. So, if thatis the intention, then it is wrong ab initio. Secondly, I am surprised the people talkabout the fact that, the rights of thecountry relate only to the mineral in itsnatural state. Mr Speaker, that is also notcorrect. I believe article 269 of theConstitution would lend credence to this.I am talking about the Natural ResourcesCommission and article 269 provides: “Subject to the provisions of thisConstitution, Parliament shall, by orunder an Act of Parliament, providefor the establishment, within sixmonths after Parliament first meetsafter the coming into force of thisConstitution, of a Minerals Commis-sion, a Forestry Commission,Fisheries Commission and suchother Commissions as Parliamentmay determine, which shall beresponsi-le for the regulation andmanagement of the utilisation of thenatural resources concerned and the co-ordination of the policies inrelation to them”. It cannot be said that, we are dealingwith only the natural resources in theirnatural state. Mr Speaker, this should tellanybody -- the Petroleum Commissionfinds expression here. It was created fromarticle 269 (1) of the Constitution if we careto know. So it is not only the fact that it isthe natural state of the mineral that shouldconcern us. We should be concernedequally with the regulation andmanagement of the utilisation of the naturalresources --
On a point of order. MrSpeaker, my point of order is that, my HonColleague, the Minority Leader ismisleading the House. That issue wasraised in connection with article 257 (6)which I think was quoted by Hon AkotoOsei. So we tried to distinguish that. Thatarticle is only talking about the minerals intheir natural state. That was why we used that but this oneis talks about the ConstitutionalCommissions established in article 269 ofthe Constitution and that is not GNPC.What the Commission talks about overthere is a different thing. So I would wantthe Hon Minority Leader to distinguishbetween the two and not confuse the two.
Mr Speaker, Iam not confusing the two, I am rathershedding light on our understanding of theConstitution. Mr Speaker, I am not confusing the twoat all, and I am relating it in particular towhat my Colleague who I guess is the de-facto Vice Chairman of the Committee, theHon Member for Damongo. He made astrong assertion that, the Constitutionprovides that, we should only be concernedwith minerals in their natural state.
Mr Speaker,I do not know his status, and that waswhy I said that -- Mr Speaker, I understand he is the ViceChairman, properly so recognised, that,the point he made was so tangential tothe issue at stake. Mr Speaker, I just would want us toknow that, we are not relating only to orconcerned with the affairs relating tominerals in their natural state -- no. TheConstitution provides for us to beconcerned with the management andutilisation of the natural resourcesconcerned and the coordination ofpolicies relating to same. So, maybe, weshould understand that. Mr Speaker, article 269(2) also providesthat, and with your permission, I beg toquote: “Notwithstanding article 268 of thisConstitution, Parliament may, uponthe recommendation of any of theCommissions established by virtueof clause (1) of this article, and uponsuch conditions as Parliament mayprescribe, authorise any otheragency of government to approvethe grant of rights, concessions orcontracts in respect of theexploitation of any mineral, water orother natural resource of Ghana.” So, Mr Speaker, the point being madeis that we are not only concerned with theminerals in their natural state. That pointshould be re-emphasised. Mr Speaker, it is for that reason that, ifindeed, we all understand that GNPC is anational oil company and whatever theydo, they do on behalf of the country, thenwhy should anybody run away from thefact that they should be holding theinterest on behalf of the country? Even if it is superfluous, it does notderogate from their functions. They do soon behalf of the Republic. They hold theinterest on behalf of the Republic. So, whyshould we delete it just to allow them tocollateralise the reserves? That isdangerous. [Interruption.] That is what the Hon Dr Donkor justsaid. He said that, we should permit themto use the reserves as collateral. MrSpeaker, that is dangerous. In fact, forthese reasons, I do oppose the motive forthe amendment. This is because themotive is dangerous. [Interruption.] The motive feeds into the amendmentso the amendment should be opposed.
Mr Speaker, let me try to helphere. I think we are not talking about thebooked reserves. We are talking aboutparticipating and additional interests.Clearly, that is what the amendment isabout. So, I would want to make sure thatwe understand. Mr Speaker, what GNPC is simplysaying, for example, is that in the JubileeField, the carried and participating interestis 13 per cent. That interest is what we aretalking about. Already, the Petroleum RevenueManagement Act has clearly laid outwhere the revenue would go when crudeoil is sold; the State's share and all that isin place. The interest would be left for theGNPC to hold it for the State.
Mr Speaker, he isgrossly misleading the House. The HonMember moved for the amendment, hehas stated the reasons. [Interruption.]No, but he is the Hon Member who moved the amendment. He is not moving theamendment. He can move his ownamendment. We have to listen to himbecause he is moving the amendment.
HonMember, he is supporting the amendment,but for different reasons. When Judges sit, they can arrive at thesame conclusion but would have differentreasons. So, he is supporting theamendment, but he is telling us hisreasons. Hon Members, as you can see, Iappreciate what everybody has said. So,continue.
So, Mr Speaker, I think thatwe are talking about the carried and theadditional interests. That is what GNPC istalks about. Mr Speaker, the partners across boarduse the same additional and carriedinterests in raising funds for cash crops,and GNPC would have to have the sameopportunity. If we do not allow this to happen, thenit means that the State will have to alwaysprovide that backing for GNPC to do that.That is what we are talking about.
Mr Speaker, Ithought that the matter was simple andstraightforward. But, after listening to HonKwabena Donkor, I am awake and I findthat he is actually talking about reserves. GNPC cannot have reserves. Indeed,Mr Speaker, my fear is even confirmed bythe proposed clause 15 -- [Interruption]-- Well, we have not got there, so, howcan he withdraw it? [Laughter.] What it suggests is that GNPC canborrow on Ghana's reserves, yet, it doesnot want to be said to be holding that onbehalf of the Republic. Mr Speaker, the point should be madeclear that, any interest that GNPC holds,it holds that for and on behalf of the peopleof Ghana because, it is the companynominated by the President. GNPC holdsthat interest on the President's behalf. Forthat matter, GNPC represents the peopleof Ghana. Therefore, to remove “on behalfof the Republic” from this amendmentwould rather make GNPC appear as anordinary corporate body, not subject tothe rules of constitutional oversight. If we are not careful, very soon, theywould say they are floating shares on theinternational market and then we wouldlose our sovereign right over them. MrSpeaker, that clause, “on behalf of theRepublic” is important. What is it that GNPC cannot do withthat clause, “on behalf of the Republic”in there? How is that a fetter on its right todo business? Nobody has told us howthat would be a fetter on its right to dobusiness. So far, it has been doingbusiness with that. It has not been provedto us here that it has been a constraint forwhich reason we must remove it. Mr Speaker, I think this amendment isnot necessary and the clause shouldremain as it is. I thank you, Mr Speaker.
HonMembers, I think this also has thrown upa number of questions. For example, when we look at theconstitutional provision, it says it is thePresident. So, if one is being veryformalistic, one could argue that insteadof the “Republic”, it should be “on behalfof the President”.
Yes, you wereto put the Question.
Mr Speaker, we did it andyou were to put the Question.
Clause 30 -- [Interruption.] Clause 31 -- Production programmeand permits
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 31, subclause (10), line 1, before“may” insert “in consultation with theMinister”. Mr Speaker, the modification of long-term production schedule hasramifications on the medium-termproduction profile of the country. TheCommission, as a technical and advisorybody, says it would have the technicalskills to do that, but this must be done inconsultation with the political leadershiprepresented by the Hon Minister. This is why I introduce that clause, thatthe Commission should do that inconsultation with the Hon Minister.
Mr Speaker, this amendmentwould be accepted but let me say that it isvery unlikely that the Commission would prescribe the Regulation as providedwithout consultation with the HonMinister. Having said that, I believe theamendment would be accepted. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 31 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 32 -- Utilisation of associatednatural gas
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 32, add the following newsubclause: “(2) This section applies to theCorporation where it undertakespetroleum activities undersection 11(1).” Mr Speaker, the rationale is that, thecorporation can also go into exploration.Any time at all it takes up that role, then ithas to satisfy all conditions that acontractor also does. Mr Speaker, it is a straightforwardthing.
I think itis reasonable. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 32 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 33 ordered to stand part of theBill. Clause 34 -- Co-ordination ofpetroleum activities and unitisation
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 34, subclause (5), line 3, at end,insert “and such conditions, ifsignificantly different from the conditionsof the adjoining contract area, shall beratified by Parliament”. Mr Speaker, I am introducing thisbecause, with “unitisation”, especially,when there are two different blocks withtwo different terms, the occasion may arisethat, part of the terms of the unitised areawould be different from what wasoriginally approved by Parliament. Mr Speaker, if this change issignificant, then, apart from the approvalof the Hon Minister, it should also beratified by Parliament.
Mr Speaker, I amsorry, this amendment cannot besupported. Mr Speaker, if he says that “… and suchconditions, if significantly different fromthe conditions of the adjoining contractarea…”, who would indicate that it is“significantly different from the adjoiningarea”? Mr Speaker, we debated this a lot andwe came to the conclusion that, we haveto leave it as it is. The amendment is notnecessary. This is because, it would beextremely difficult and there would beanother issue of discretion. Mr Speaker, if we are running away from“discretion” but we want to exact, if weallow this to stand, it can also lead toproblems. Mr Speaker, I am opposed to thatamendment.
Mr Speaker, I beg tosupport the amendment. Mr Speaker, insofar as the HonChairman -- [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, I take serious offence tothat statement.
Therewas no statement said into themicrophone. There is no statement on therecord. So, continue.
Mr Speaker, we aregiving that power to the Commission andthe Hon Minister. Parliament ratified a petroleumAgreement based upon certain terms andconditions. Just because two adjoiningblocks are given to two different people,it is flowing into -- The Hon Minister and the Commissionthink that things should change, but thepermission and the approval should onlystay with them. It just makes sense that itcomes to Parliament for the change. Thisis because if it stays with them, then a lotof things can happen. Mr Speaker, just within this Meetingof Parliament, we have passed a petroleumAgreement which was part of a JubileeField that was relinquished. Mr Speaker, because it was a new groupthat came, it came back to Parliament forratification. We could have said that, sincewe were doing it on the same terms as theJubilee Field, the Hon Minister could doso.
Mr Speaker, I take thestatement that my Hon Colleague justmade seriously. He should withdraw that statement sothat we can move on.
Mr Speaker, it was onthe lighter side. I withdraw any badmotive. Mr Speaker, but the point is that --
It is notthe second bite of the cherry. You have withdrawn; thank you.
Mr Speaker, I havewithdrawn; but I have not finished. Iwould conclude. Mr Speaker, if two independentadjoining blocks are -- [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, this is an amendment thatwe should all support for the sake ofMother Ghana and the betterment of thiscountry. We should not allow theCommission and the Hon Minister theunfettered powers they want.
Mr Speaker, it should be veryclear that, if we talk about circumstancesthat require fiscal changes, we come toParliament. Mr Speaker, we are talking aboutcircumstances where there is no othercontractor. Unitisation is what we aretalking about. The contractor we aretalking about here is GNPC. Mr Speaker, Regulations that are to beprescribed would deal with those issues.If they are fiscal issues, they come toParliament; but that is not what we aretalking about here. So, this amendment does not apply.
Mr Speaker, Isupport the amendment. Mr Speaker, the reason is that if thereis an adjoining area, where the data showsthat it is significant, it should come toParliament for ratification. So, I support the former Hon Minister'samendment.
Mr Speaker, I amopposed to the amendment. I supportwhat the Hon Minister said. Mr Speaker, the individual companieswould already have been in thisParliament and we would have dealt orcompleted with them, then, it comes to theultimate question of unitisation. It is not always that this comes about.When it comes to unitisation, we are notgoing to deal with the specific companies,their rights, et cetera. Mr Speaker, it is the conditions and theRegulations that the Hon Minister at thetime decides that he is going to stipulatefor the purpose of making sure that thereis unitisation. It does not affect any rightthat needs to come back to Parliament.
HonHammond, maybe, the problem that youand other Hon Members are giving to thisHouse is that, you are not explainingyourselves well enough. You are assuming that every HonMember understands the word“unitisation”. You get up and throw yourhands about to explain because you wereat the sector for eight years. So, if you can explain it -- I have heardHon Members who are seated behindasking what “unitisation” means. If youexplain it properly, you may find that moreHon Members might support you.
Mr Speaker, I am sograteful to you. Mr Speaker, that is why I getdisappointed when -- Hon Dr A. A. Oseitalks about financial matters, I sit down,look at him and admire him. This isbecause, I know what he has done thereand what he is talking about. When I tried to talk about it, I heardother suggestions. So, I got theimpression that, every Hon Member
HonMinority Leader, do you have a point oforder?
Mr Speaker,there are two strands to this. One aspectof the unitisation involves two contractareas. The other strand is where we haveone contract area adjoining to a non-contracted area. [Interruption.]
“Where an accumulation ofpetroleum extends beyond theboundaries of one contract area intoone or more other contract areas…”
“Where two or more accumulationsof petroleum are in proximity to oneanother but are
Mr Speaker, there is areason for that, and that is why --
Can I finish?I have the floor. Do not butt in like that.[Laughter.] Mr Speaker, I think that the momentyou have a contract area jutting into a non-contract area and the two are put together,that Agreement should be subject toratification by Parliament. It should notbe that the conditions should besignificantly different. That qualificationshould not even exist. Mr Speaker, once a contract area jutsinto a non-contract area, we have a new arrangement altogether and it shouldcome to Parliament for ratification.
Mr Speaker, the pointthat the Hon Majority Leader has made isprecisely the reason Dr Donkor'sargument must be rejected. Mr Speaker, let us look at clause 34(4). The pit of the matter is in clause 34 (4)where it says that: “Where an accumulation ofpetroleum extends beyond theboundaries of a contract area intoan area not covered by a petroleumagreement or an authorisationunder section 11 (1), the Ministrymay authorise the Corporation toenter into a contract for thedevelopment and production of theaccumulation of petroleum, andrequire the accumulation ofpetroleum to be developed as asingle unit.” Mr Speaker, it goes on to say that;
Mr Speaker, theprovision is not dealing with blocks butit deals with exploitation of the resource.Unitisation is the maximisation of theexploitation of the resources and it is notthe blocks. Mr Speaker, when contracts are given,Petroleum agreements are signed anddiscoveries are made. The discoveries aresuch that, it is in the national interest tomaximise the exploitation of the resourceto reduce cost then the Hon Minister maydirect that the discoveries so made withinthe contract areas be unitised, instead ofallowing the discoveries to be exploitedas individual units, raising the cost andreducing the gains to the country. Mr Speaker, this is not about the fiscalregime; it is about the exploitation of theresource and that is how we need tounderstand it.
HonMinister, so, a contract area is an area inwhich an agreement has been entered into.
Mr Speaker, andsigned.
ThatAgreement has already been ratified byParliament. But this one also talks aboutnon-contract areas. So, a non-contract area is an areawhere there is no contract. Am I correct?
Mr Speaker, yes.
Parlia-ment has not ratified anything. So, such athing, should it come to Parliament or not?I want you to advert your mind to that. Sorry, there are two situations; youhave addressed the first situation.
Mr Speaker, what we aresaying is that, that --
Mr Speaker, in thatcircumstance, where that discovery goesbeyond the approved area, it is for theState; Ghana. Who is representing Ghana?The GNPC. So, the State might say“GNPC, that discovery is not part of thecontract so, represent Ghana and claimthat oil.”
If GNPCby itself, decides that it is going to gointo exploration and it is looking for ablock, will that Agreement be subject toParliamentary approval? So, when there is a new contract area,do you not think that, as regards the newcontract area, the bar should not just begiven to the Hon Minister?
Mr Speaker, exactlywhat you have said. When that happens,then you would go back to clause 11 (1).Let us go to clause 11 (1) of the Bill whichsubjects it to Parliamentary ratification. Mr Speaker, it is a simple andstraightforward thing. When thathappens, it means that in referring toclause 11 (1), they would needParliamentary ratification. Mr Speaker, so, it is a straightforwardthing. Per clause 11 (2), when that triggers,then they would have to go back to clause11(2) where Parliament has to approve. Mr Speaker, I do not see any problemthere at all.
Mr Speaker, whatthe Hon Chairman of the Committee saidis a different issue altogether. At that time,the incumbent area is going to be takenby GNPC. Hon (Dr) Donkor spoke aboutunitisation area but it is not under contractor Parliamentary approval. That is whathe wants to be brought to Parliament forratification.
Mr Speaker, it is possiblethat you have one contract area that hasprobably run 15 to 16 years of its 20 or 25year tenure. Then a new contract areacomes up in the course of variousexploration activities and, they find outthat a reservoir flows in between the two. The reservoir flows between two ormore contract areas, so there is a need forunitisation for it to be traded. Fortunatelyor unfortunately, they might not haveexplored. Mr Speaker, this is one of thescenarios. In the case of this scenario, ifthe fiscal terms are significantly different,then, apart from the approval of the HonMinister, it should come to Parliament. Mr Speaker, the challenge is thedefinition of “significant”.
Hon DrKwabena Donkor, this morning when I waswatching proceedings on the closedcircuit television, I heard the Rt HonSpeaker say that if he does notunderstand the clause, or if he does notknow what you are doing, then he finds itdifficult to put the Question. I totally agree with him because rightnow, I do not understand what you aredoing. You moved an amendment and thereason you gave, when other peoplespoke, they have crossed papers with youeven if they support your amendment. This is because if it is subject to clause11 (2), then what is the purpose of thisamendment? If every authorisation by theHon Minister is subject under clause 11(2), to approval by Parliament, then whatis the purpose of the amendment? If every authorisation by the HonMinister is subject to approval byParliament then your amendment rather --By saying that, ‘where it is significantly'-- It means you are rather saying that, ifit is not significant, then Parliament mustnot approve.
Mr Speaker, clause 11refers to when GNPC undertakesexploration activities on its own.
Hon DrKwabena Donkor, continue yourdiscussion with your Hon Colleagues. I understand what you are saying, butthe sense of the House is that becauseParliament, under the Constitution, has thepower to ratify Petroleum Agreements, ifin the event that it occurs, it is in the natureof a Petroleum Agreement, then it needsparliamentary ratification. If two Agreements have beenapproved by Parliament, and the partieswant to cooperate for some purpose, thenthey do not need to come to Parliament.But if it involves an area that has not beensubjected to parliamentary approval, thenit is another ball game altogether. Then ithas to come to Parliament. So, your introduction of “significantlydifferent” and so on -- I do not understandit, so I find it difficult to put the Question. On that note, I would defer it.[Interruption.] Should I not defer it? Question put and amendmentnegatived.
Mr Speaker, becausewe are trying to manage time for theBusiness for today, we would be gratefulif we bring proceedings on theseamendments to an end, so that we couldtake the others -- [Interruption.] So, Mr Speaker, we would be grateful ifwe end proceedings on the ConsiderationStage that we would have the opportunityto do other urgent Business.
HonMembers, before I bring the ConsiderationStage to an end, I have two morefunctions to perform. The first one is thatI have to put the Question on clause 34because the proposed amendment was notcarried. Clause 34 ordered to stand part of theBill.
Mr Speaker, unlesssomething comes up, there are noadvertised amendments, so, if you couldgo up to clause 40 and stop. Clauses 35 and 36 ordered to stand partof the Bill. Clause 37 -- Measurement of petroleumobtained Dr Prempeh -- rose --
Mr Speaker, I wanted todraw the Hon Minister's attention to thisvery important and sensitive clause. Thisis about the measurement of the petroleumobtained. I know the problem Ghana hadon the Floating Production StorageOffloading (FPSO). We do not have torepeat it. Mr Speaker, in a petroleum contract,the key to being underpaid is whocontrols the measuring machine. If we giveit to the contractor for him to tell us howmuch he has taken, even though clause 2talks about agreeing with a standardsAgency, it is not enough. Mr Speaker, I came across it becausehe came to lay a Legislative Instrument afew days ago. I was looking for theenabling enactment, which I find here. Even though we are dealing withclause 37, I will come to it if we pass theSecond Consideration Stage. The measuring can never be left to thecontractors. If a contractor says heproduces 100,000 barrels a day, it is thisthat tells us --
Mr Speaker, I think the issueof measurement is very crucial. I havetaken the trouble to go through a veryextensive Regulation on measurements. Iam happy that work is completed and it isbefore this House. It can deal with theseissues. I would urge my Hon Colleague toparticipate in the Committee's work. Ifthere are issues, he can raise them. We have done a very important workon the measurement. The L.I. is laid in thisHouse.
Shouldwe stop at this stage?
Mr Speaker, yes.This is because, we have amendments --
Can weput the Question on clause 37? Then wewould stop at this stage. I also noticed that there is an OrderPaper Addendum, which has some items. Before I come to the end of theConsideration Stage, Hon Members, youwould recall that there was an amendmenton clause 10 (4), on which we did not cometo a conclusion. I put the Question, butwe did not come to a decision.
Mr Speaker, beforewe move to the Motions, we would begrateful to lay item numbered 5 (b) on themain Order Paper.
Itemnumbered 5 (b) by the Hon Chairman ofthe Committee.
Mr Speaker, OrderPaper Addendum 2 -- we would want tokindly take the Third Reading of theTechnical Universities Bill, 2016. There are two items there on the OrderPaper Addendum 2.
HonMembers, item numbered 1 on Order PaperAddendum 2 -- Hon Minister forEducation?
Mr Speaker, withyour indulgence and that of the House,we would be grateful for the Hon DeputyMinister for Education, who has satthroughout the Consideration Stage, totake these on behalf of the Minister forEducation.
Minority,do you have any objection? Hon DeputyMinority Whip, do you have anyobjection? Leadership of the Minority, doyou have any objection to that?
Mr Speaker, I just wouldwant my Hon Colleague to let us knowthe whereabouts of the substantiveMinister.
Dr AkotoOsei, do you know her whereabouts?
She has finishedsigning petitions. With that one, we know.She has finished signing petitions andnow she is talking. [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, Ibeg to move, that notwithstanding theprovisions of Standing Order 131(1) whichrequire that when a Bill has passedthrough the Consideration Stage, theThird Reading thereof shall not be takenuntil at least twenty-four hours haveelapsed, the Motion for the Third Readingof the Technical Universities Bill, 2016may be moved today.
Whoshall second the Motion?
Mr Speaker, Ibeg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
BILLS -- THIRD READING
Mr Speaker, wewould be grateful to take items number ed28 and 29 on pages 17 and 18 on today'smain Order Paper.
Itemnumbered 28, Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, that notwithstanding the provisionsof Standing Order 80 (1), which require that 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 whichthe Motion is moved, the Motion for theadoption of the report of the FinanceCommittee, on the Compania Espafiola DeSeguros De Credito a La Exportacion(CESCE) Supported Buyer Credit FacilityAgreement between the Government ofthe Republic of Ghana and HSBC BankPlc, United Kingdom for an amount of upto twenty-two million United Statesdollars (US$22,000,000.00) for theimplementation of the Obetsebi LampteyInterchange Project and related works(Phase I) may be moved today.
Mr Speaker, Ibeg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Itemnumbered 29, Chairman of the Committee? Report on the CESCE SupportedBuyer Credit Facility Agreementbetween GoG and HSBC Bank Plc,United Kingdom
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, that this Honourable House adoptsthe Report of the Finance Committee onthe Compania Espafiola De Seguros DeCredito a La Exportacion (CESCE)Supported Buyer Credit FacilityAgreement between the Government ofthe Republic of Ghana and HSBC BankPlc, United Kingdom for an amount of upto twenty-two million United Statesdollars (US$22,000,000.00) for theimplementation of the Obetsebi LampteyInterchange project and related works(Phase I).
Mr Speaker, I present the Report ofyour Committee. Introduction The Supported Buyer Credit FacilityAgreement between the Government ofthe Republic of Ghana and HSBC BankPlc, United Kingdom for an amount of upto twenty-two million, United Statesdollars (US$22,000,000.00) for theimplementation of the Obetsebi LampteyInterchange Project and Related Works(Phase I) and Commercial Credit FacilityAgreement between the Government ofthe Republic of Ghana and HSBC BankPlc, United Kingdom for an amount ofseventeen million and two hundredthousand United States dollars(US$17,200,000.00) for the implementationof the Obetsebi Lamptey InterchangeProject and Related Works (Phase I) werepresented to the House by the HonDeputy Minister for Finance Mr CassielAto Baah Forson on behalf of the Ministerfor Finance on Monday, 1stAugust, 2016in accordance with articles 181 and 174(2) of the 1992 Constitution. Mr Speaker referred the requests to theFinance Committee for consideration andreport in accordance with Order 169 of theStanding Orders of the Parliament ofGhana. The Committee was assisted in itsdeliberations by the Hon Deputy Ministerfor Finance, Mr Cassiel Ato Baah Forsonand officials from the Ministry of Financeand hereby submits this Report. The Committee is grateful to the HonDeputy Minister and officials of theMinistry of Finance for attending upon it. Reference The Committee referred to thefollowing documents at its deliberations: i. The 1992 Constitution of Ghana ii. The Standing Orders of theParliament of Ghana; and iii. The Loans Act 1970 (Act335). Background The Obetsebi-Lamptey Circleroundabout, which has the monument ofthe late Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey getsflooded during the rainy season due tothe convergence of some drainagechannels including the Kaneshie,Awudome and Mataheko streams allpassing through that Circle. The drainage structures which werebuilt along these rivers have blockagesdue to inadequate culvert sizes, poorinterconnections between the variousstreams and unlined sections of thestreams. These blockages contribute tothe perennial flooding of the Obetsebi-Lamptey Circle. A traffic survey conducted on the RingRoad indicated that the Road is a minorroad, whilst the Kaneshie-Mallam-Graphic Road, which has been selectedfor public transport improvement, formsthe major road. Traffic volume on theWinneba Road is 50,000 vehicles per dayand the current traffic on the Graphic Roadis about 40,000 vehicles per day. The Construction of the KwameNkrumah Interchange Ring Road Flyoverwill significantly improve traffic flow onthe Ring Road West towards theObetsebi-Lamptey Circle. The current roundabout at theObetsebi-Lamptey Circle has become aninterruption on the road. It is in this regardthat, Parliament is being requested toapprove the above loan Agreements tofacilitate the construction of Obetsebi- Lamptey Interchange, which isconsidered paramount in addressing thispotential threat. Components of the Project The project implementation consists ofconstruction of the following: Construction of a three tierinterchange at the current Obetsebi-Lamptey Circle; Graphic Road Flyover, to gradeseparate traffic on the Kaneshie-Mallam Road towards the GraphicRoad, with provision for BRT lanesin future; Construction of the Kaneshieflyover to grade separate the leftturn traffic from Kaneshie towardsthe Kwame Nkrumah Circle; Widening of the Nii Teiko Din Streetfrom the Pramprom Junction to theAwudome Road into a two lane dualcarriageway and Widening of theAwudome Road into a two lane dualcarriageway. Terms of the Facility The total credit for the project is thirty-nine million and two hundred thousandUnited States dollars (US$39,200,000.00)and comprised of Buyer 's CreditAgreement in the amount ofUS$22,000,000 a tied-in commercial facilityin the amount of US$17,200,000. The termsof the facilities are as follows: The CESCE Buyer's Credit Facility Agreement: Loan Amount -- up to US$22,000,000 (included in the facility amount is 11.87 per cent CESCE premium flat of the facility amount) Interest rate -- 6M Libor + 2 per cent p.a Tenor -- 12 years Grace Period -- 2 years Repayment period -- 10 years Commitment fee -- 0.80 per cent p.a Structuring fee -- 1.75 per cent flat Arrangement fee -- US$185,000 flat The HSBC Tied Commercial Facility Agreement: Loan Amount -- US$17,200,000 (included in the facility amount is 8 per cent risksmitigation fee flat of the facility amount)
Mr Speaker, I beg to second theMotion, and in so doing, remind ourselvesthat the Obetsebi-Lamptey InterchangeProject, if it is not completed, we shall notbe relieved of the heavy traffic around thearea. I believe the first part was not fundedby this type of credit facility. I believeGovernment borrowed some money fromthe World Bank, but that area is becomingproblematic. With the terms of conditions, there isan insurance. The entire project wouldcost US$35 million, but you would see thatthe entire project costs US$39.2 million inthe Report. Part of the reason is thefollowing: for an export credit type of loan,there is an insurance of 11.87 per cent,which is automatic. Mr Speaker, the commercial part,however, has a risk premium, which isbased on the assessment of the risk thatis imposed on our country. This is whyyou see the six-month libor + 4.95 per centper annum. I suspect that, without theexport credit part, the commercial partwould have been more expensive. So, MrSpeaker, I urge Hon Members to supportit. Mr Speaker, I would want to put it onrecord that, we need to commend theMinistry of Finance. For the first time thatI can recall, both the loan and thecommercial agreement were laid in theHouse at the same time, so our Colleaguescould look at the Commercial Agreement.That is very commendable; that is the waywe should be going. I thank you.
Mr Speaker, before I make mysubmissions, I would seek your guidanceon the very Order under which the HonChairman moved his application for leave. That is Standing Order 81. I have read thesaid provisions. Since we are alwaysguided by our own rules, if your guidanceis sought for clarification, it would be veryhelpful moving forward. So, Mr Speaker, with your leave, I begto read Order 80 (1). It provides: “(1) Except as provided in paragraph(2) of this Order, no Motion shallbe debated until at least forty-eight hours have elapsed (thisperiod not including days onwhich the House does not Sitafter notice as prescribed inOrder 78) (Notices of Motions)has been given.” Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman soughtyour leave, and in seeking your leaveunder item numbered 28, he said that; “… notwithstanding the provisionsof Standing Order 80(1), whichrequires that no motion …” So, in trying to set aside Order 80 (1),which other Order did he root hisapplication on, under the circumstance? He said “notwithstanding StandingOrder 80 (1)”. Standing Order 80 (1);provides for notice, and so in setting asideOrder 80 (1), certainly, there should beanother Order which would enable him tocome to you and seek leave. Since youare the one who interprets the rules, I couldonly come to you for guidance so that myfuture conducts would be accordinglyguided on this matter.
Do younot have any substantive comment on thematter itself?
Mr Speaker, thisis a preliminary matter.
This isbecause, you should know from ourpractice that I let Business go on anddecide, read and give a ruling if necessary.So, if you have a substantive matter, sayit. I would put the Question. At theappropriate time, I would give a ruling.Yes, say it, do you have a substantivematter?
Mr Speaker, I havebeen advised that, the matter before theHouse is not contentious and I believe insame. So I would rest my case. Except thatyour ruling on this application would bemuch appreciated.
Mr Speaker, I amsurprised by my younger Colleague; heis a Member of the Committee and he saysthat he has “been advised”. As aCommittee Member, who advised him? Heshould exercise his rights as a CommitteeMember. He should know whether it iscontentious or not. He should not allowanyone here to advise him. That isunacceptable. Otherwise, how is he goingto grow? Question put and Motion agreed to.
Mr Speaker, we wouldbe grateful to take items numbered 31, 32and 33 on pages 19 and 20 of the OrderPaper.
Mr Speaker, I begto move, that notwithstanding theprovisions of Standing Order 80 (1) whichrequire that no Motion shall be debateduntil at least forty-eight hours haveelapsed between the date on which noticeof the Motion is given and the date onwhich the Motion is moved, the Motionfor the adoption of the Report of theFinance Committee on the CommercialCredit Facility Agreement between theGovernment of the Republic of Ghana andHSBC Bank Plc, United Kingdom for anamount of up to seventeen million, twohundred thousand United States dollars(US$17,200,000.00) for the implementationof the Obetsebi-Lamptey InterchangeProject and Related Works (Phase I) maybe moved today.
Mr Speaker, I beg tosecond the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly. Report of the Finance Committee onthe Commercial Credit FacilityAgreement between GoG and HSBCBank Plc.
Mr Speaker, I begto move, that this Honourable Houseadopts the Report of the FinanceCommittee on the Commercial CreditFacility Agreement between theGovernment of the Republic of Ghana andHSBC Bank Plc, United Kingdom for anamount of up to seventeen million, twohundred thousand United States dollars(US$17,200,000.00) for the implementationof the Obetsebi-Lamptey InterchangeProject and Related Works (Phase I). Mr Speaker, I beg to present theCommittee's Report. Introduction The Supported Buyer's Credit FacilityAgreement between the Government ofthe Republic of Ghana and HSBC BankPlc, United Kingdom for an amount of upto twenty-two million, United Statesdollars (US$22,000,000.00)for theimplementation of the Obetsebi-LampteyInterchange Project and Related Works(Phase I) and Commercial Credit FacilityAgreement between the Government ofthe Republic of Ghana and HSBCBank Plc,United Kingdom for an amount of seventeenmillion and two hundred thousand UnitedStates dollars (US$17,200,000.00) for theimplementation of the Obetsebi-LampteyInterchange Project and Related Works(Phase I) were presented to the House bythe Hon Deputy Minister for Finance MrCassiel Ato Baah Forson on behalf of theMinister for Finance on Monday,lstAugust, 2016 in accordance with article181 and 174(2) of the 1992 Constitution. Mr Speaker referred the requests to theFinance Committee for consideration andreport in accordance with Order 169 of theStanding Orders of the Parliament ofGhana.
Mr Speaker, in my earliersubmission, I spoke about the sameReport. So I urge Hon Members to adoptthe Report. Question put and Motion agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to secondthe Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to.
Mr Speaker, we wouldbe grateful to take items numbered 37, 38and 39 on pages 22 and 23.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, Thatnotwithstanding 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 taxes, andother related taxes, amounting to the cediequivalent of forty-four million, twenty-eight thousand, three hundred and threeUnited States dollars and twenty cents(US$44,028,303.20), relating to projectmaterials and equipment to be procuredunder the commercial contract among theGovernment of the Republic of Ghana,Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, andContracta Engenharia Ltda. in respect ofthe Kumasi Central Market redevelopmentproject may be moved today.
Mr Speaker, withrespect, the Hon Deputy Minister forFinance moved a Motion but I did not getit clearly. So, I seek your guidance.
But I gotit clearly.
Mr Speaker, forour sake, it happened the last time whenyou asked that it should be repeated.[Interruption.] I saw the Hon MajorityLeader draw her attention to the verymatter I am raising on how the Resolutionwas moved.
Mr Speaker,this is a House of rules and my HonColleague rose on a point of order. I donot know under which provision he didso. We must be guided by the rules ofthis House so that the business of thisHouse goes on smoothly. Thank you, Mr Speaker. [Hear! Hear!]
HonBoamah, thank you very much. I made apoint earlier and I thank you for remindingme. Hon Members, when you rise, bearmed. I do not want to embarrassanybody.
Mr Speaker, I beg tosecond the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Report of the Finance Committee onthe Request for Waiver of ImportDuties, Import VAT, et cetera.
Mr Speaker, I begto move, that this Honourable Houseadopts the Report of the FinanceCommittee on the Request for waiver ofimport duties, import VAT and NHIL,ECOWAS levy, EDIF, inspection fees,withholding taxes and other related taxesamounting to the cedi equivalent of forty-four million, twenty-eight thousand, threehundred and three United States dollarsand twenty cents (US$44,028,303.20),relating to project materials andequipment to be procured under thecommercial contract among theGovernment of the Republic of Ghana,Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, andContracta Engenharia Ltda. in respect ofthe Kumasi Central Market Redevelop-ment Project. Mr Speaker, I wish to present theCommittee's Report. Introduction The Request for the waiver of ImportDuties, Import VAT and NHIL, ECOWASlevy, EDAIF, Inspection Fees,Withholding Taxes, and other relatedtaxes amounting to the cedi equivalent offorty-four million, twenty-eight thousand,three hundred and three United Statesdollars and twenty cents (US$44,028,303.20),relating to project materials and equipmentto be procured under Commercial Contractbetween the government of the Republic ofGhana, Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly andContracta Engenharia Ltda. in respect ofthe Kumasi Central Market RedevelopmentProject was presented to Parliament by theHon Deputy Minister for Finance, MrCassiel Ato Baah Forson, on behalf of theHon Minister for Finance on Tuesday,26th July, 2016, in accordance with article174 (2) 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. Deliberation The Committee met and considered therequest with the assistance of the HonDeputy Minister for Finance, Mr CassielAto Baah Forson and officials from theMinistry of Finance. The Committee expresses its gratitudeto the Hon Deputy Minister and officialsfor attending upon it. 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. Commercial Contract betweenthe government of the Republicof Ghana, Kumasi MetropolitanAssembly and ContractaEngenharia Ltd in respect of theKumasi Central Market Redeve-lopment Project; iv. On-Lending Agreement betweenthe Government of the Republicof Ghana (represented by theMinistry of Finance), and KumasiMetropolitan Assembly (KMA),relating to the US$172,512,500.00credit Facility Agreement for theFinancing of the Phase 1 of theKumasi Central Market and itsAssocia ted Infras tructureRedevelopment Project. Background The Kumasi Central Market is one ofthe largest markets in West Africa and thesecond largest in the whole of Africa, withhundreds of thousands of users on dailybasis. The Market is a major contributorto the total revenue of the KumasiMetropolitan Assembly with a significantpercentage of the cities' populationinvolved in commercial activities in theMarket. The market is however characterisedby high density, congestion, unplanneddevelopment and lack of properinfrastructure. As a result, the market hasexperienced several fire outbreaks thathave invariably destroyed the financiallives of most of the traders with itsattendant danger to lives of thousands ofthe market users. The Kumasi Metropolitan Assemblytherefore with the support of aUS$172,512,500.00 credit facility from theDutch Bank, engaged the services ofContracta Engenharia Ltda. to reconstructthe market to reduce congestion andenhance easy mobility in and around theMarket. The project will also redevelop themain roads around the market to easetraffic and thereby create better conditionsfor all the surrounding areas and alsoallow commercial activities to thrivethereby leading to maximum revenuegeneration and job creation. In compliance with the terms of thecontract Agreement and to help KMAcomplete the project at reasonable costto make it more affordable to most marketwomen, the Ministry of Local Governmentand Rural Development wish to requestfor a waiver of all taxes related to theimport of equipment for the implemen-tation of the project to allow for the timelycompletion of the project. Approval of the Loan Agreements The Government of the Republic ofGhana represented by the then Ministryof Finance and Economic Planningentered into an Export Credit Agreementbetween the Government of the Republicof Ghana and Deutsche Bank S. A - BancoAlemao, Sao Paulo (as Arranger),Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas(as agent, and security agent) and itsaffiliates supported by SeguradoBrasileira De Credito A Exportacao (SBCE)and the Brazilian Official EqualisationProgramme (PROEX) for an amount of Onehundred and thirty-five million, fivehundred and twelve thousand, fivehundred United States dollars(US$135,512,500.00), being part supportfor tranche 1 of a total amount ofUS$259,425,000.00, to finance the KumasiCentral Market Redevelopment Project.
To facilitate the timely completion ofthe project, the Government of theRepublic of Ghana through the KumasiMetropolitan Assembly entered into aCommercial Contract with ContractaEngenharia Ltda. in respect of the KumasiMarket Redevelopment Project. The two Agreements were presentedto Parliament and at its twenty-fourthSitting of the Second Meeting held onFriday, 18th July, 2014, Parliamentapproved by Resolution, the credit facilityand the commercial contract to pave wayfor the commencement of the project. Required waiver To ensure the timely completion of theproject and that the KMA does not incuradditional cost on the project as a resultof payment of taxes by the Contractor, andin line with the Contract Agreement, theMinistry of Local Government and RuralDevelopment through the Ministry ofFinance is seeking a waiver of import andother project related taxes including importVAT, EDAIF, NHIL, ECOWAS Levy,destination inspection fees, withholdingtax liabilities equipment and materialsprocured for the Kumasi MarketRedevelopment Project. The Ghana Revenue Authority hasassessed the applicable taxes, duties andlevies on equipment and materialsrequired for the execution of the project.A tax exemption of up to forty-four million,twenty-eight thousand, three hundredand three United States dollars andtwenty cents (US$44,028,303.20), istherefore being requested for thesuccessful execution of the project. Observations The Committee having carefullyscrutinised the request, made thefollowing observations: Assessment of tax liabilities and thewaiver required The Committee noted that, theCustoms Division of the GRA uponrequest from the Ministry, and based onthe invoices submitted, has assessed theapplicable taxes, duties and levies onequipment and materials required for thesuccessful execution of the project andhas accordingly recommended a total taxliability of the cedi equivalent of fifty-fivemillion, thirty-five thousand, threehundred and seventy-nine United Statesdollars (US$55,035,379) for whichexemption should be granted. The Committee, however, noted that,the total tax exemption being requestedfor by the Ministry amounts to the cediequivalent of forty-four million, twenty-eight thousand, three hundred and threeUnited States dollars and twenty cents(US$44,028,303.20). The Hon Deputy Minister explainedthat the Ministry of Finance as part of itsdue diligence and upon a thoroughassessment of the request, disallowedsome of the items for which the exemptionhas been requested. The Ministry therefore recommendedthe approval of a waiver of up to the cediequivalent of forty-four million, twenty-eightthousand, three hundred and three UnitedStates dollars and twenty cents(US$44,028,303.20), on core project materialsand equipment required for the execution ofthe project. Justification for the Request Stressing on the need for the waiver,the Hon Deputy Minister indicated that,to facilitate speedy execution of the projectby Contracta Engenharia Ltda, essentialequipment and materials for which dutiesare applicable are being imported. TheHon Deputy Minister added that, theimported equipment and materials which form part of the essential items requiredfor the successful implementation of theproject are being imported solely for theredevelopment of the Kumasi CentralMarket. In this regard, customs duties andother related taxes arising out of theimportation of these essential equipmentand materials are colossal and require theintervention of Government by way ofexemption of the applicable taxes. The Hon Deputy Minister explainedthat, this will limit the transfer of the taxes/charges at the port to the KumasiMetropolitan Assembly as indicated in thecontract Agreement approved byParliament. In the contract Agreement itis indicated that any such taxes shall beon account of KMA. According to the Deputy Minister, oneof the pragmatic ways of supportingKMA/MLGRD to complete the Project ata reasonable cost and time is to grant taxexemptions to clear these vital equipmentand essential materials. Additionally, itwould avoid a situation where the costincurred would be passed on to the tradersthus making the stores rather expensive. The Committee reiterates its call to theMinistry of Finance and the GhanaRevenue Authority, to intensify itssurveillance to ensure that, the appropriatetaxes are paid when the equipment are tobe disposed-off or used for other purposesfor which this waiver does not cover. Conclusion and Recommendation The Committee after its deliberations, isof the view that the project is a self-financing one, capable of generatingrevenue to repay the credit facility. Again, the requirement to extend taxincentives to the contractor forms part of the Commercial Agreement alreadyapproved by the House. The Committee therefore recommendsto the House to adopts its report andapprove by resolution, the Request for thewaiver of Import Duties, Import VAT andNHIL, ECOWAS levy, EDAIF, InspectionFees, Withholding Taxes, and other relatedtaxes amounting to the cedi equivalent offorty- four million, twenty-eight thousand,three hundred and three United Statesdollars and Twenty cents (US$44,028,-303.20) relating to project materials andequipment to be procured underCommercial Contract between thegovernment of the Republic of Ghana,Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly andContracta Engenharia Ltda. in respect ofthe Kumasi Central Market Redevelop-ment Project in accordance with article 174(2) of the 1992 Constitution and Order 169of the Standing Orders of the Parliamentof Ghana Respectfully submitted.
MrSpeaker, I beg to second the Motion andin so doing, I would want to put on recordthat, this market is in Kumasi and it is partof my region. So, there are no issues ofconflict of interest. [Interruption.] MrSpeaker, it is in the Ashanti Region.
I believethat was said on the lighter side.
Yes, Mr Speaker. Thepart we need to look at here also is that,the Ministry starts policy units and in myview, it is doing something that helpsGovernment. Even though the assess-ment is done by the Ghana RevenueAuthority (GRA), when the Tax PolicyUnit is not comfortable with the amount,they go back to re-negotiate. In this case, they saved Governmentabout 20 per cent. The original assessmentby GRA was about US$55 million, but they
Itemnumbered 39 on the Order Paper.
Mr Speaker, I begto second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Mr Speaker, we wouldtake items numbered 18 and 19 on pages 9and 10 on today's Order Paper.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, that this Honourable House adoptsthe report of the Finance Committee onthe loan agreement between theGovernment of the Republic of Ghana andthe African Development Fund (ADF) foran amount not exceeding the equivalentof thirty-five million units of accounts(UA35,000,000 [equivalent to US$49.00million] to support the Public FinancialManagement and Private SectorCompetitiveness Support Programme -Phase II (PFMPSCSP). Mr Speaker, in so doing, I present yourCommittee's Report. Introduction The Loan Agreement between theGovernment of the Republic of Ghana andthe African Development Fund for anamount not exceeding thirty-five millionUnits of Accounts (UA35,000,000.00)[Equivalent to US$49.00 Million] tosupport the Public Financial Managementand Private Sector Competitiveness SupportProgramme -- Phase II (PFMPSCSP) waspresented to the House by the HonMinister for Finance, Mr Seth EmmanuelTerkper on Monday, 25th July 2016, inaccordance with article 181 of the 1992Constitution. Mr Speaker referred the request to theFinance Committee for consideration andreport in accordance with Order 169 of theStanding Orders of the House.
Deliberations The Committee was assisted in itsdeliberations by the Hon Minister forFinance, Mr Seth Emmanuel Terkper andofficials from the Ministry of Finance. TheCommittee is grateful to the Hon Ministerand officials for attending upon it. Reference The Committee referred to thefollowing additional documents during itsdeliberations: i. The 1992 Constitution of theRepublic of Ghana; ii. The Standing Orders of theParliament of Ghana; and iii. The Loans Act 1970 (Act 335) Background Ghana's economy has been exposedto serious fiscal risk and debt distresssince 2012 as a result of falling commodityprices on the world market, especially, thedrastic fall in the price of crude oil andcocoa. There was therefore the need tocreate fiscal space for the government toimplement fiscal consolidation programmesthrough public financial managementreforms. In this regard, the African DevelopmentFund, as part of its budget supportprogramme, approved a US$ 100-millionloan facility to support Ghana's PublicFinancial Management and Private SectorCompetitiveness Programme for 2015 and2016 financial years. The programme aims at strengtheningfiscal consolidation, deepening the publicfinancial management reforms, and improving the efficiency and competitivenessof the economy. The Public Financial Management andPrivate Sector Competitiveness SupportProgramme Phase II (PFMPSCSPII) is theAfrican Development Bank's (AfDB)budget support to GoG for 2016. Thepolicy measures focuses on supportingfiscal consolidation policy action, PublicFinancial Management (PFM) reforms andelectricity sector reforms. As such, the direct beneficiaries of the2016 support are Ghana's key publicinstitutions responsible for PFM andinstitutions responsible for the delivery ofenergy. The implementation of PMMPSCSP II isexpected to build on the achievement ofPFMPSCSP I that have contributed tokeep fiscal consolidation on track. It willalso complement the IMF Extended CreditFacility (ECF) for Ghana and the WorldBank's Development Policy Credit (DPC). Justification for the Request The availability of reliable and efficientpower supply and credit to private sectorplays a significant role in the socio-economic development of every country.As explained earlier, the Ghanaianeconomy has suffered some shocks,largely associated with decliningcommodity prices. The budget support operation istherefore in response to the continueddecline of the Ghanaian economy, causedby a weak macroeconomic environmentand a series of exogenous shocks. Budgetsupport has become extremely necessaryto help restore macroeconomic stabilityand ensure predictability and availabilityof financial resources for nationaldevelopment. Project objective The overall goal of the PFMPSCSP isto support the Government's Medium-term Development Agenda of building a strongfoundation for inclusive and self-relianteconomic growth. Consistent with thisgoal, the operational objective of the 2016programme is to further strengthen fiscal consolidation and PFM reforms in orderto restore macroeconomic stability, andenhance private sector-led competi-tiveness through improved access toelectricity and SMEs' access to finance.
Terms and conditions of the Facility The financing terms of the credit facility are summarised below: Facility Amount -- US$35,000,000.00 Interest Rate -- 1 per cent per annum; Service Charge -- 0.75 per cent per annum on principal amount of Loan disbursed and outstandingfrom time to time; Commitment Fee -- 0.5 per cent per annum on the undisbursed portion of the Loan; Grace Period -- 5 years; Repayment Period -- 25 years (exclusive of grace period); Project description The African Development Fundfunded PFMPSCSP is to be implementedas part of the Fund's budget support forthe 2015 and 2016 financial year. Theprogramme is divided into two components. Component 1 is targeted at strengtheninggovernment fiscal consolidation efforts.Prominent activities implanted under thefirst component include; the extension ofself-assessment beyond Large Tax Offices(LTOs) to all Medium Tax Offices (MTOs)and the deployment of the Total RevenueIntegrated Processing System (TRIPS) to12 pilot offices, before a nationwide roll-out to all the 66 tax offices. Thesemeasures have expanded the tax base andimproved revenue collection in 2015. The programme also supported (asprior action) the Payroll Audit to clean up the payroll database, improve the integrityof payroll, and reduce its fiscal risk to thebudget; and supported (as prior action)the approval of the Medium-Term DebtStrategy (MTDS) to enhance debtmanagement and sustainability. PFMPSCSPII will continue to support governmentconsolidation efforts to further deepen fiscaladjustment. Despite the significant reduction in thefiscal deficit, further fiscal consolidation isstill required given the high level of publicdebt and cost of borrowing on bothdomestic and international capital markets.To this end, Government is implementingmeasures to extend the GIFMIS coverageto the management of Internally GeneratedFunds (IGFs), and to further minimise fiscalrisks on the budget with the implementationof the Payroll and Human Relation (HR)Audit recommendations, and integratingPayroll with GIFMIS financials. Observations Financing terms The Committee noted that the Facilityis a standard African Development Fund(ADF) with a standard AfDB terms andconditions. It has an interest rate of 1 percent per annum, a grace period of 5 yearsand a repayment period of 25 years. Project cost and disbursement The Committee noted that, the facilityforms part of the overall ADF's budgetsupport to the government of Ghana. Theoverall budget support operation isUA75million with the first phaseamounting to UA40 million (US$56.80)being disbursed to Government inDecember, 2015. The Committee furthernoted that, the facility, which constitutesthe second and final phase, would bedisbursed when the loan enters into force. Prior actions for disbursement The Committee was informed that, thecountry has met all the prior actionsrequired for disbursement of the loan. Theactions include, the implementation of Common External Tariff (CET), theintegration of payroll with GIFMISfinancials, the issuance of HumanResource Audit Report for at least four(4) regions, the issuance of the ContractManagement Manual, development ofstrategy to address the financialchallenges of the Energy Sector StateOwned Enterprises and listing of eight (8)SMEs on Alternative Stock Exchange,(GAX). Explaining further, it was indicated thatthe passage of the Energy Sector LevyAct (ESLA) has helped raise funds toaddress some of the challenges facing thesector. It was particularly stated forexample that, as part of the strategy torelieve the energy sector and state ownedenterprises from distress and make themfinancially viable, plans have been put inplace to use proceeds from the ESLA assecurity to raise funding from the capitalmarket to pay off the legacy debt of theseenergy sector state owned enterprisesincluding the Volta River Authority andthe Electricity Company of Ghana Limited. The following SMEs were also cited asthose that have been listed on theAlternative Stock Exchange since theestablishment of GAX:
Mr Speaker, I begto second the Motion. Mr Speaker, this is simply, with all thefancy name and heading, a budget support programme for the Government. It is aprogramme support that they arepreparing themselves for the Board tomeet in October. We are rising, that is whythey are doing it now. It is notcontroversial. Question put and Motion agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg tosecond the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Mr Speaker, wewould take items numbered 20 and 21 ontoday's Order Paper, page 11.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, that this Honourable House adoptsthe report of the Finance Committee on theFinancing Agreement between theGovernment of the Republic of Ghana andthe International Development Association(IDA) for an amount equivalent to tenmillion, eight hundred thousand SpecialDrawing Rights (SDR 10,800,000) [US$15.00million equivalent] to finance the EconomicManagement Strengthening Project. Mr Speaker, in so doing, I present yourCommittee's Report. Introduction The Financing Agreement the Govern-ment of the Republic of Ghana and theInternational Development Association(IDA) for an amount of ten million, eighthundred thousand Special Drawing Rights(SDR10, 800,000.00) [US$15.00 millionEquivalent] to Finance the EconomicManagement Strengthening Project waspresented to the House by the HonMinister for Finance, Mr Seth EmmanuelTerkper, on Monday, 25th July 2016, inaccordance with article 181 of the 1992 Constitution. Mr Speaker referred therequest to the Finance Committee forconsideration and report in accordancewith Order 169 of the Standing Orders ofthe House. Deliberations The Committee was assisted in itsdeliberations by the Hon Minister forFinance, Mr Seth Emmanuel Terkper, andofficials from the Ministry of Finance. TheCommittee is grateful to the Hon Ministerand officials for attending upon it. Reference The Committee referred to thefollowing additional documents during 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 The Ghanaian economy grewprogressively over the last two decadesand peaked in 2011 with 14 per cent growthrate. However, the economy since 2012 hasfaced significant macroeconomicchallenges that slowed down growth to alow of 3.9 per cent in 2015. The slowergrowth was accompanied by substantialfiscal and current account deficits,growing debt, rising inflation, and sharpcurrency depreciation. These challenges have been attributedto inadequate fiscal and monetary policiesand exacerbated by the energy sector andexternal shocks. To address thesechallenges, Ghana has embarked on astabilisation programme which is currently being supported by theInternational Monetarv Fund (IMF). TheWorld Bank and other developmentpartners. The stabilisation programme includesa structural reform agenda to ensure that,the gains from fiscal consolidation will besustained over the medium-term. A widerange of reforms including measuresexpand domestic resource mobilisationimprove effectiveness and efficiency ofpublic spending and better managementof public debt are being implemented. The World Bank in June 2015,approved a US$150 million DevelopmentPolicy Operation (DPO) for theMacroeconomic Stability for Competitive-ness (MSC). The MSC has two primarypillars: (i) Strengthen institutions for morepredictable fiscal outcomes, and (ii)Enhance the productivity ofpublic spending. Under these pillars, the DPOspecifically focuses on efficiency of publicspending, the governance reform of SOEsand regulator; and debt managementstrategy, to reduce the liquidity andrefinancing risks. The proposed Ghana EconomicManagement Strengthening (GEMS)Technical Assistance Project willcomplement the DPO and support GoGduring the implementation of three specificreforms outlined in the DPO, whichinclude: debt management, publicinvestment management, and SOEgovernance reform. It will also strengthendomestic resource mobilisation efforts. Justification for the Request Ghana's economy is confronted withsome constraints resulting in perennialmacroeconomic slippages and economicinstability. Prominent among these are theinability of State institutions to effectively
Financing Terms The facility is an IDA facility with the following terms and conditions: Facility Amount -- US$15,000,000.00 Interest Rate -- 1.25 per cent per annum Service Charge -- 0.75per cent per annum on the withdrawn credit balance Commitment Charge -- 0.5 per cent per annum on the unwithdrawn balance Grace Period -- 5 years Repayment Period -- 20 years (exclusive of grace period) Observation Rational for the Facility Officials from the Ministry of Financeexplained to the Committee that, theGovernment is expecting an amount ofUS$75 million from the World Bank asbudget support in 2016. The supporthowever, is based on the implementationof some key reforms including improvedrevenue generation, public debtmanagement, improving public investmentand improved governance structure ofState-owned enterprises. Implementation of these reformsrequire substantial financial investmentand technical support. The GhanaEconomic Management Strengthening(GEMS) Technical Assistance Project istherefore aimed at providing funding toaccelerate the implementation of the reforms needed as condition precedent tothe disburse-ment of the World Bank'sbudget support. Benefits of the Facility The Committee noted that, the facilityis a concessionary loan with favourableterms and conditions. Implementation ofthe project is expected to improve taxrevenue mobilisation and higher voluntarytax compliance by taxpayers; increased taxrevenues from Ghanaians living abroad,improved debt and treasury managementthus ensuring that cash is available tomeet Governments obligations and toenhance transparency and accountabilitywith the publication of public debtinformation. The project will also lead to animprovement in the contribution of publicinvestment to growth and economicdevelopment in Ghana; and enhance SOE performance and service delivery,preserve and increase the value of thenation's assets through improvedtransparency and accountability in theuse of public resources. Conclusion and Recommendation The Committee having carefullyexamined the referral is of the view thatthe Ghana Economic ManagementStrengthening (GEMS) TechnicalAssistance Project will help improvepublic debt management, public invest-ment management, and the governancestructure in SOEs thereby improvingdomestic resource mobilisation efforts. The Committee therefore, recommendsto the House to adopt its report andapprove by resolution, the FinancingAgreement between the Government ofthe Republic of Ghana and theInternational Development Association(IDA) for an amount of ten million, eighthundred thousand Special Drawing Rights(SDR 10,800,000.00) [US$15.00 millionEquivalent], to Finance the EconomicManagement Strengthening Project inaccordance with article 181 of theConstitution, section 7 of the Loans Actand Order 169 of the Standing Orders ofthe Parliament of Ghana. Respectfully submitted.
Mr Speaker, I rise tosecond the Motion, and to suggest that,this is an Instrument meant to help cleanup the mess at the Volta River Authority(VRA) and Electricity Company of Ghana(ECG), so that they can becomecompetitive. So, I would urge HonMembers to support the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to.
Mr Speaker, we haveto thank Hon Members sincerely for theendurance and patience to have stayedall this while to do our work. We are verygrateful for the support. Mr Speaker, at this juncture, we arecompletely in your hands.