Hon Members, Correctionof Votes and Proceedings. [No correction was made to the Votesand Proceedings of Wednesday, 13th July,2016.]
Mr Speaker, I would want to come underStanding Order 72, to say that, a numberof things happened last night that weneed to draw the attention of the Houseto. My Hon Colleague from TakoradiConstituency filed a Question that wassupposed to be answered on the CocoaProcessing Company (CPC) by the HonMinister for Finance. Unfortunately,yesterday, in the evening, we received aletter from the Ministry, stating somechallenges the Hon Minister wasconfronted with, and for that matter, hewould not be able to come to the Houseto answer the Question this morning. We made efforts to get to our HonColleague, but unfortunately, we couldnot get him. We only got him this morning.But sadly, we heard that the workers ofthe company who are in our Hon Mr Speaker, unfortunately, on their wayhere, they were involved in an accidentand we are told that about two of themhave already lost their lives. Mr Speaker, this is a very sad incident.So, we want to take the opportunity toempathise with my Hon Colleague and thefamilies of those who have lost their lives,and to apologise sincerely to my HonColleague for being unable to reach himbefore this unfortunate incidenthappened. We reassure him that theQuestion is being programmed to beanswered as soon as possible -- mostdefinitely, next week. We encourage him to be strong. Wealso empathise with him and the familiesof those who have lost their lives, andhope that such an incident may neverhappen again. Mr Speaker, this is the more reasonefforts should be made to get the CPCback onto its feet. So, we are reassuringour Hon Colleague that we would get thisQuestion answered, at least, if for nothing,but for the sake of those who have losttheir lives. Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
MrSpeaker, it is true that early this morning, Iwas called that there has been an accident.It was a military vehicle that crossed theircar when they were travelling to Accra.When the Question was advertised lastweek, it was all over the news. So,apparently, virtually all the stakeholders in the cocoa business contacted me, thatthey were very interested in the Questionto be asked, because, for them, the last28 months has been very difficult. To add to that, just over two years ago,22 of their members died because theyhave not been able to sustain their livesin terms of medical bills and otherpressures at home. Therefore, they feltthat coming to Accra to listen to theQuestion was very important.That couldalso give them the opportunity to meetthe Hon Minister responsible for cocoaaffairs, who is the Minister for Finance. They organised themselves, andyesterday, they called me that they wouldcome so we should try and make sure thatall the Members of Parliament in themetropolis were ready to receive themand make sure they could have a meetingwith the Minister for Finance afterwards.It is unfortunate and very sad, that thismorning we heard this bad news. One ofthem was my classmate at theBiochemistry Department at the KwameNkrumah University of Science andTechnology (KNUST); and he was theirLivelihood Empowerment Against Poverty(LEAP) Research Officer and an elderlyperson. As we speak, some of them are at EffiaNkwanta Hospital because the accidenthappened close to Elmina. Some of themare also at Interberton at Cape Coast.Therefore, from here, I would ask forpermission to go and see them at thehospital. Mr Speaker, this has happened and Ibelieve that we would use thisopportunity to extend our heartfeltcondolences to all the families who beenbereaved, and I believe that Parliamentwould support me so that we supportthese families who got into this issue. I also believe that, after 28 months, MrSpeaker -- You know that they also senta petition to you some time ago -- Wewould all come on board, so that this cocoaprocessing factory that has been shutdown for 28 months, like Hon Muntakasaid, would be resolved once and for all.This is because, if they had cocoa beanssupplied, I believe that all these issueswould not have come up for us to look at.I would be most grateful if the Question isreprogrammed for next week, so that wemove forward as a country. Mr Speaker, with these few words, Ithank you for the opportunity, and stillextend a hand of condolence.
Mr Speaker,my Hon Colleague drew my attention tothis sad and unfortunate incident thismorning. I was shocked. He mentioned itto me yesterday in the afternoon that thisQuestion was coming to Parliament andthe workers were so interested in theQuestion, that they had organisedthemselves to come to Parliament to listento the Question and have the opportunityto meet the Minister for Finance to resolvethat particular matter. So, I was shocked when I heard thatthis unfortunate incident had happened. Let me take this opportunity to sendmy sincerest condolence on behalf of theMinority to the bereaved families and askthem to take heart. It is unfortunate thatpeople are coming to resolve their lifeissues, issues about welfare and this hadhappened. Twenty-two of them were in the vehicleand two of them have lost their lives. Ialso sympathise with my Hon Colleaguewho was going to ask this Question ontheir behalf. It is the work of Parliament, and that iswhat we do every day. You fight for yourconstituents and unfortunately, this has
happened. Nothing would be morecomforting to these people, especially,those who lost their lives, if this factorywas re-opened. There is nothing thatwould be more comforting to them thanfor this matter to be resolved and thefactory re-opened for those who are leftbehind to get some bit of work to do after28 months. Mr Speaker, I believe that when theMinister for Finance comes next week, asmy Hon Colleague requested, and by yourkind indulgence -- if he comes, he shouldassure the workers that Cocoa Boardwould take steps to start supplying themwith beans, if for nothing, to the memoryof those who have lost their lives in thisstruggle to get their lives back. It isunfortunate. I remind the Executive, whichever partyis in power, that once a Question is put,especially one that is not urgent, theyshould do well to come to Parliament toanswer those Questions. This is because Parliament wouldnormally give the Executive two weeks toprepare for an Urgent Question. If it is notan Urgent Question, sometimes, it takesthree, four or even six months. And theday before, when you have preparedyourself and your members, constituentsand the Media have prepared themselves,then a letter is brought that they wouldnot be able to answer these Questions. If Hon Ministers find some difficultyin answering Questions, they should letHon Members know, at least, three cleardays before. Or when the BusinessStatement is read, the Hon Ministershould go through and let Hon Membersknow they do not have answers to thoseQuestions, so that they are notprogrammed on the Order Paper. Mr Speaker, with these few words, Iwould like to sympathise with my HonColleague and the bereaved families. Maythe Almighty God grant them eternal restuntil we meet again.
Mr Speaker, Ifelt so sad about what has happened whenI heard the news this morning. Isympathised with my Colleague Memberof Parliament and the bereaved families. Itis unfortunate that, a Member ofParliament has put a Question and hasduly informed his constituents to listenor come and listen to what would happen,and this has happened to them. It is not a good day for us, particularly,we on the Majority side. This is becausethat is our business. The BusinessCommittee had programmed the Question,but unfortunately, it did not happen aswe expected. We only pray that suchincidents should not continue and thatwe would see our Members of Parliamentto be dutiful towards their constituents,and as people who put Questions forMinisters to answer. We encourage them to continue to dothis, and we also encourage our Ministersthat they should also come and answerthe Questions, as and when they are calledupon to do so. We would not condonethese things but we would say that it isunfortunate that such a thing hashappened. Mr Speaker, I remember that in 1983,when Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO)was closed down, the workers sufferedand some died so they were expectingthat the Government of the day would re-open the factory for them. Luckily, VALCOwas re-opened for work to continue. Ihope that this factory also would soon beactivated and the workers would havetheir fill. Once again, we sympathise with thebereaved families, and we pray that suchthings would not happen again.
Hon Members, thismorning when I was briefed on thedevelopments, with regard to theQuestion, and the sad incident thatoccurred to those interested in theanswers to the Question, and were comingto listen to the response from the HonMinister for Finance, I did the necessaryconsultation with the Leadership of bothsides of the House who were with me inmy Lobby. Hon Members, I took the opportunityto speak with the Hon Minister forFinance, who is responsible for CocoaAffairs, who responds to Questions oncocoa matters in this House. Indeed, hetold me the Answers were ready and thathe wanted to answer the Questionshimself. He assured me that anytime nextweek that the Question would beprogrammed, he would come to the Houseto respond to it. So, the Business Committee mustensure that the Question is reprogrammedfor the Hon Minister for Finance to be inthe House on Monday or Tuesday torespond to the Question. Hon Members, for now, on my behalfand on behalf of the House, I would liketo extend our condolences to thebereaved families. And to those who areinjured, I can only wish them speedyrecovery at this time. For any future development, let us waitfor the Hon Minister for Finance to be inthe House next week to respond to theQuestion, so that we can take it from there. Hon Members, thank you very muchfor your indulgence.
Mr Speaker, I come underStanding Order 72. Mr Speaker, there is a publication inthe “Daily Graphic” of Thursday, 14thJuly, 2016, which has attributed some badmotive to one of my Hon Colleagues; MrOsei Bonsu Amoah, and I believe the HonDeputy Majority Leader. Mr Speaker, I do not intend this caseto go to the Privileges Committee. But Iwould want the facts of the matter to beestablished, so that the newspaper wouldseek to correct whatever wrong they haveput to the public. Mr Speaker, I would want to readportions of what has been written.
Hon Deputy MinorityLeader, you drew my attention to thepublication and I am happy you made thepoint that you are not pushing the matterto be referred to the Privileges Committee. Immediately you left my Lobby thismorning, the first thing that I did was todirect the Clerk to Parliament to invitethe representative of the “Daily Graphic”in this House, together with the Dean ofthe Press Corps and our Deputy Directorin-charge of Public Affairs, to my office. Iwould also get representatives from bothsides of the House and the Clerk toParliament to join me in my office. If thematter would be taken on the floor of theHouse, it would be taken. That is the step I have taken. The Clerkhas communicated that information tothem, to meet me in my office on thismatter. Indeed, if it is the same reporter whomisreported on happenings in this Housesome time ago, then this House wouldhave to take the proper decision. Already, the atmosphere is chargedwith regard to the conduct of the 2016general elections. And if people wouldwant to report on the proceedings ofParliament, they must do so correctly.
For now, I would like to hear from themand after that we would decide whetherto bring it back to the floor of the House,or they would do the honourable thing.
Mr Speaker, if we canproceed to item number 4 -- Presentationof Papers.
Hon Members, at theCommencement of Public Business --Presentation of Papers by the HonChairman of the joint Committee onFinance and Constitutional, Legal andParliamentary Affairs, on the PublicPrivate Partnership Bill, 2016.
Mr Speaker, we would takeitem numbered 9, on page 3 of the OrderPaper -- Motion -- which is the SecondReading of the Petroleum (Exploration andProduction) Bill, 2016. Mr Speaker, with your permission andthe indulgence of my Hon Colleagues, theHon Deputy Minister for Petroleum hasbeen authorised by the Hon Minister forPetroleum to come and take the Motionon his behalf.
Very well. Yes, the Hon Deputy Minister forPetroleum, on behalf of the Hon Ministerfor Petroleum?
BILLS -- SECOND READING
Mr Speaker, thePetroleum (Exploration and Production)Bill, 2016, was laid in Parliament on Friday,3rd June, 2016, by the Hon Minister forPetroleum, Mr Emmanuel Armah-KofiBuah, in accordance with article 106 of the1992 Constitution. The Bill was subsequently referred tothe Select Committee on Mines andEnergy, by the Rt Hon Speaker, forconsideration and report pursuant toOrder 188 of the Standing Orders ofParliament. Deliberations The Committee met with the HonMinister for Petroleum, Mr EmmanuelArmah-Kofi Buah, and officials of theMinistry to consider the Bill. In attendance were officials of thePetroleum Commission and GhanaNational Petroleum Corporation (GNPC),to assist the Committee in itsdeliberations. The Committee is grateful to the HonMinister and the officials for theirattendance, and for providing valuableinputs to enrich its deliberations. Reference documents The Committee referred to the under-listed documents during its deliberations: i. The 1992 Constitution of theRepublic of Ghana ii. The Standing Orders of Parlia-ment iii. The Petroleum Commission Act,2011 (Act 821) iv. The Petroleum Revenue ManagementAct, 2011 (Act 815) v. The Ghana Maritime SecurityAct, 2004 (Act 675) vi. The Ghana Shipping Act, 2003(Act 645) vii. The Environmental ProtectionAgency Act, 1994 (Act 490) viii. The Ghana National PetroleumCorporation Act, 1983 (PNDCL64) ix. The Petroleum (Exploration andProduction) Act, 1984 (PNDCL84)
Mr Speaker, thank youfor the opportunity to speak to the Motionnumbered 9, on the Order Paper. In sodoing, I would want to make reference toStanding Order 116 and with yourpermission, I beg to quote: “Every Bill shall be accompanied byan explanatory memorandum settingout in detail the policy and principles of the Bill, the defects of the existinglaw, if any, the remedies proposedto deal with those defects and thenecessity for its introduction.” This is how I begin with mycontribution to this important Bill. Mr Speaker, as I did indicate, it is aboutcuring certain defects in the existinglegislation, particularly, PNDC Law 84. Weall know that, that law does not addressthe concerns and modern challenges ofthe industry, as we speak now — That iswhy we are coming out with a new lawthat would address those concerns. Mr Speaker, my worry is about theissue of transparency and accountabilityin the oil industry. It is very important,and that is one of the main reasons we aredealing with this very important Bill. Butthen, if we read clause 10, subclauses (3)and (4) of the Bill, it talks aboutintroducing competitive tendering in theprocess. Mr Speaker, immediately after clause10, subclause (3), subclause (4) negatesthis whole gain. It then goes on to saythat, the Minister, at his discretion, wouldnullify all the tendering processes. Did wego or come? That is my worry and that ofthe industry players. Mr Speaker, we met various think tanksand that area is a major concern for manyindustry players, which we need toaddress. The questions is, why would wego through this process? We go throughthe process, everything has been done,then a Minister issues a fiat to negate allthe processes that we have gone through. Mr Speaker, it is an area that we needto deal with, and that is something verycritical.
Mr Speaker, another issue that cameup is about data use. Some of us are ofthe view that, data is donated, as we know,by our number one oil company, that isGNPC. We are trying to position GNPC ina way that it can compete favourably withmajor international companies -- That isthe direction of GNPC as we speak now. We want them to become a major oilcompany like the Storoil of Norway andPetrobras of Brazil.These are majornational oil companies that are competingfavourably. We would want GNPC to, oneday, be like these companies, though wedo not want GNPC to be a monster. Butwe want GNPC to have all that it takes tocompete favourably. Mr Speaker, the issue of data iscaptured here, but they said that datashould be controlled and managed by theupstream industry regulator, that is thePetroleum Commission. That isunderstandable because, they are theregulator, but it then goes on to state inthe Bill that, they would at their ownwhims and caprices, decide at what timeto give the data to GNPC. Some of us are of the view that this isnot acceptable, because if we are notcareful, the Petroleum Commission woulddecide that they would not give the datato GNPC for their operations. That was anarea that became quite contentious. Webelieve that, GNPC should have anunimpeded access to the data so that, atany point in time, they can work with datathat they have generated themselves. Mr Speaker, I know that, my HonColleagues are here and they would alsospeak to it. We need to address thechallenges in the existing legislation. Inmy conclusion, the reason we haveintroduced this new Bill, as I said, is for transparency and accountability, and ofcourse, environmental safety concernsand standards. The latter has beenaddressed, but transparency and account-ability are still there to be dealt with well.That is why some of us are concerned thatwe need to deal with that one because, ifwe do not deal with it, it would negate allthe gains that we have chalked. Thank you. Mr Kobina T. Hammond-- rose --
Hon Members, if I callHon K. T. Hammond, I will move straightto Leadership. I should not be beggingHon Members to be on their feet to catchthe eye of the Speaker. We all know thepractice is that, when one contributes frommy left side, I call the next contributor frommy right side. Mr Mutawakilu Adam -- rose --
Mr Speaker, I rise to contributeto the Report and beg Hon Members toadopt the Report and the amendments. Mr Speaker, all the issues raised by myHon Colleague, Mr Isaac Asiamah, havebeen dealt with in details when we met asa Committee in respect of clause 10 (4).The request that it should be competitivedid not necessarily seem to negate clause10 (3). The issue is that, when petroleumagreements are being entered and thereare competitors, at the end of the day, theHon Minister might realise that, is not thebest option, therefore, can cancel it. Butthat does not mean that the Minister canhandpick people.
Hon Member, the clause10 (4) that Hon Asiamah referred to hasvested discretion in the Hon Minister tocancel the agreement. He did not indicatethe conditions and the circumstancesunder which it would be canceled. So, oneis given a discretion and under theConstitution, discretion must be fair andcandid. So, that is the point he is raising. Hesays that the Committee addresses thecircumstances under which that discretionwould be exercised.
Mr Speaker, in thediscussion, it was indicated clearly thatthe processes would be spelt out in theRegulation.
Is it in the amendment thatthe Committee has filed? I am asking you, since you said that ithas been decided by the Committee. Iwould want to know whether or not it is inthe amendment that the Committee hasfiled. This is because, he has raised theissue of transparency, so let us make surethat it has been addressed. Yes, Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, if youread clause 10 (3) carefully, and thenclause 10 (4), it says: “A petroleum agreement shall onlybe entered into after an open,transparent and competitive publictender process”. Then when you go to clause 10 (4), itsays that: “Despite subsection (3), theMinister may decide not to enterinto a petroleum agreement …” Mr Speaker, that is not to say that theMinister would cancel it.
What do you make of itif you say that you would have to openA, B, C, but at the end of the day, youdecide that you are not going to enter theagreement. The effect is that, you arevirtually stopping the process even after-- If you do not enter into the agreement,then what have you achieved? Chairmanof the Committee, that is the point the HonMember is raising. If you would have to do some morework there to make it more transparent,do it so that you do not give a blankcheque to the Minister. You may have todo that. I am raising this question because,when this Bill was first laid, you withdrewit and the reason you gave to the Housewas that, there were so many amendmentsso you would want to withdraw it. Go andaddress those concerns and incorporatethem into the Bill. So, I am even surprisedthat in spite of all these, there are issues.[Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, it waswithdrawn and then all the amendmentswhich we advertised were incorporated.But when we got back, there were newamendments. Mr Speaker, day-in-day-out --
Hon Member, you havethe floor.
Mr Speaker, so the issue wediscussed was, what can we do to ensurethat it is transparent, even if the HonMinister decides not to enter theagreement? One was the PetroleumCommission's role in the Hon Minister notdeciding to do it. The second one is making the reasonsfor the cancellation public, so that thepublic would have an idea why it has beencancelled and for that matter, we need torestart the whole thing. So, these were thequestions we put and they indicatedclearly that, when a decision is taken, thePetroleum Commission would play a role.It is not like the Hon Minister would justdecide --
Have you filedamendment in this regard? [Pause.] Yes, the Hon Member on the floor --You are on the floor so why are you --
Mr Speaker, yes. When wediscussed it, they said that this would bespelt out in the Regulations that wouldcome with it.
Hon Members, so, thepoint the Hon Member is raising is that,looking at the way it is captured now, ifwe keep it like that, it raises an issue. So,we would have to agree with him and seehow we address those issues that he israising. For example, if we can amend itunder the Consideration Stage and saythat in the Regulations, the minister woulddetermine the circumstances under whichit could be cancelled, when you areaddressing the issue.
Mr Speaker, the HonMember is a senior member of theCommittee. If anything at all, he could saythat he is introducing an amendment inthis direction.[Interruption.] Mr Speaker,nobody stops him from introducing anamendment. So, if he says that he doesnot agree to his own Report --
Hon Members, you knowwhy I have raised, and I will continue toraise it, as long as I am in this Chair. Do you remember that this Committeecame some time ago and brought anagreement for the House to approve. Therest of the story is known to all of you inthis House. These days, the boundariesof democracy continue to expand. Attimes, we approve legislations and otherorganisations write to me for a copy ofthe Report or the debate et cetera. So, when somebody raises an issue oftransparency, it is important for the Chairto find out whether those matters havebeen addressed. Otherwise, theimpression would be created that theissue of transparency had not beenaddressed. Have you filed an amendment to thateffect, that the Regulation would addressthe circumstances under which theMinister might decide not to enter intothe agreement?
Mr Speaker, we havetaken note, and since the Report is stillbefore you --
That is what you shouldhave done from the beginning, byconceding and say that we would addressit.
On a point of order.Mr Speaker, you know Isaac Asiamah verywell. You know the way I am frank andyou have always known me, even whenwe were -- Mr Speaker, several times that we meton this issue, I spoke and they know it. Itis all over. We met at the Committee leveljust last weekend at Lansdown Resort. Ispoke so loudly. They are aware and theminutes are there. I have not hidden thisfact from them.
Yes, please, you have thefloor.
Mr Speaker, in the new Bill,we realised that the fiscal regime hassignificantly improved. One of the issueswas the type of regime to use: is it pureproduction sharing or concession? Mr Speaker, we did an extensive workby engaging academics and civil societyorganisations, and we came to the realisation that, irrespective of the typeof regime we use, we would come to thesame results. Therefore, the Committeecame to a conclusion that we shouldmaintain the hybrid that is currently beingused. Mr Speaker, in so doing, I thank youvery much for the opportunity given meto contribute, and I urge Hon Members toadopt the Report as amended. Thank you.
Hon Ranking Member ofthe Mines and Energy Committee? Ranking Member of the Committee(Mr KobinaTahir Hammond): Mr Speaker,I rise to contribute to this Motion. Let us put it on record that there is somuch talk about this particular Bill, that itseems to be the most excellent piece oflegislation on earth. There is so much talkin the public, civil society, et cetera, aboutthe issues, or the procedures precedingthe introduction of this Bill in Parliament. Yes, Mr Speaker, this Bill has a few newdevelopments here and there, and opensup few things, but let there be no doubtthat, at the time the New Patriotic Party(NPP) Administration -- And in fact, tothis extent, at the time that PNDC -- I wasgoing through the process to see if therewas some hydrocarbons in our territorieswhich was inherited by the formerPresident Kufuor Administration, and inthe end, led to the discovery of oil inGhana, the system was not that bad. This whole thing is about opentransparency, and that this is about theonly legislation which seems to beintroducing openness into our structureis patently false.
Speaker, that is the hybrid in this one. It isnot new. People are going on and on about notliking this -- A particular group ofindividuals are insisting that we shouldgo for only petroleum sharing. Theybrought this spurious argument and somevery dangerous documentation, insistingthat they were the only people who knowabout this arrangement, so we shouldadopt their position. There was a lot ofargument. In any event Mr Speaker, wewent round. If the House does not know,does the country not know? Mr Speaker, we have gone round halfof the world to make sure that there is aproper input into this Bill. So, we havethe hybrid agreement. We believe it hasserved us well. That is what is in all the oilagreements that we have had so far, andthat is what is in this Bill. Yes, of course, we talked abouttransparency because a few things seemto suggest that there is no transparency. Ihave said that, and I am at the risk ofrepeating myself, that nothing shoulddetract from the extent of the transparencythat guided us in our dealing with the oilcompanies, which led to the discovery ofoil. Mr Speaker, there has been thisbusiness about whether the Hon Ministerhas the right to do those things -- I seethat your good self has been interested init. This is the Second Reading. My Colleague, the Hon Chairmansometimes gets this thing wrong, that HonAsiamah is a member and so on. That isnot how it works. It is true that onoccasions that we have met, he and oneor two other Hon Colleagues have saidthat particular clause does not sit well withthem. This is because, if we said they have
Hon Member, conclude.
Mr Speaker, I amconcluding in a minute. We are wary aboutgiving them everything that they ask for.So, we are talking specifically about clause10 (14), which talks about how much ofthe resources of this country should beput at their disposal. Mr Speaker, if we look at it, there is thequestion of whether GNPC should havethe whole resources put in their name orhold it on behalf of the Republic. Therehave been so much argument. GNPC wantsit to be in their name; Government wantsthem to hold it on behalf of theGovernment. There is some disagreementthat can be resolved on the floor of thisHouse. Mr Speaker, we have decided that theState should have some interest in it. If inthe end there is some disagreement, wecan deal with that here; but passionsshould not rise. Mr Speaker, my final hull on this matteris that, we did well.The institutions thatwere there and the procedures that weadopted to discover oil in the country wereas transparent as now, enshrined in thisBill. Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
Hon Members, I wouldtake one more contribution and put theQuestion.
Mr Speaker, I justwant to clarify something. This is becauseif we fully read clause 10 (4), which theyare speaking about, from subclause (3), itsays: During the days that we had to gothrough the processes to get people todiscover oil in Ghana, same procedureswere gone through. About four to fivecompanies showed interest in a particularacreage. The bids were presented to therelevant authorities, and then to the HonMinister who then sent them back toGNPC. We went through the processes and inthe end, one company with the requisitefiscal, regulatory and all the abilities, wasselected. Mr Speaker, that seems to bewhat has now been translated into a Billof this nature. Mr Speaker, this talk all over the place,that during the time of the discovery, wedid not do much and that we gave ouracreage away; there was not muchtransparency; let us get that backgroundright, that it is patently untrue. We should give credit to those whowere in charge; our Government, thepeople at GNPC and those who took partin the processes. That was the situation. Mr Speaker, when we take thisparticular Bill and talk about the fiscalsand whether we should go petroleumsharing, the concessionary agreement orthe hybrid we have. A lot of things have happened in theinterim. Some people accosted us at Ada,with all sorts of insults. They seemed tosuggest that they are the only repositoryof knowledge on this energy matters inthis country. The system as it existed before this Billserved us well. It was decided that we havethe best of these two regimes; theconcessionary agreement and petroleumsharing agreement, and incorporate themto form what we call the hybrid. Mr to be open, transparent, et cetera, and thenat the clause 10 (4), they take back whatwe have given by the front door, then itmakes nonsense of the whole argument. Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister andthose who were involved in thediscussion made their points, and gavereasons that should be the case. Indeed,Mr Speaker, we specifically pointed towhat the Hon Member just raised; thequestion of the exercise of discretion asenshrined in the Constitution. It is a matterof legal principle. If the Hon Minister inthat exercise of discretion is getting itwrong -- Nobody said it should not be raisedon the floor. If in the end somebody feelsvery strongly that it is an offending matter,and they would want to amend it,everybody is free. They could bring anamendment, but it would be debatedagainst the background of what is in theConstitution, and why the Hon Ministerand those responsible indicated that itshould be the way that it has been crafted. We did not think it was such a hopelessprovision to be there. Mr Speaker, theyarticulated specific reasons. We coulddiscuss that when we come to theConsideration Stage, and if my HonColleagues would want to amend or not. Mr Speaker, in a nutshell, it is animprovement on what existed, but nobodyshould think that what was there, whichguided the discovery of oil in this countrywas that bad. Mr Speaker, I believe this is the lastpoint I really would want to make. Thereis this talk about GNPC being a world classcompany. Those of us who know thehistory of GNPC are very wary --
“As prescribed” bywhat?
Mr Speaker, by theRegulation.
Is the Regulation in thatclause?
Mr Speaker, yes, it isin the clause.
No, is it in that particularclause?
Mr Speaker, no. Whenwe go to clause 94 -- Authority to issueRegulations, guidelines and stipulateconditions, and I beg to quote: “The Minister may, by legislativeinstrument make Regulations toprescribe for the matters that arenecessary for carrying out or givingeffect to this Act.” Mr Speaker, by Regulation, it is alsothere.
Please, your HonRanking Member made the point thatthere are rules governing the exercise ofthe discretionary power. So, when we reach the ConsiderationStage, we would see whether clause 10(4) satisfies those requirements. I thought you were going to leave ithere, so that we can work on that clause.This is for us to pass a Bill which canwithstand the test of time. I do not see why we are dragging thisissue. If we vest somebody withdiscretionary powers, there are rulesgoverning that exercise, even under theConstitution. Does clause 10 (4) capture that verywell and clear? When we get to theConsideration Stage, where we makeamendments, we would address thoseconcerns.
I would take one morecontribution and put the Question. Hon Member for Pru East, you havefive minutes.
Mr Speaker, I happen to have beeninvolved in the initial drafting of this Bill,both as Hon Deputy Minister in chargeof oil and gas, and also as the ChiefExecutive of the Petroleum Commission. Mr Speaker, ultimately, the goodnessor otherwise of this legislation woulddepend on how this House handles thethorny issues. There is always a middleway out, which would inure to thiscountry. Mr Speaker, thank you for theopportunity.
The Hon Member forTarkwa-Nsuaem is the last to speak.
Mr Speaker, I am happy thateventually this Bill has come to Parliament.This is because I was there when westarted discussing it. [Interruption] --As an Hon Member of the Committee -- Mr Speaker, at paragraph 7.7, on page7 of the Report, it talks about local contentprovision. On page 8, it talks aboutprovision for environmental pollution. Mr Speaker, in this provision, it saysthat there is going to be a local contentfund to support medium --
Which clause are youreferring to?
Mr Speaker, I am talkingabout paragraph 7.7 on page 7 of theCommittee's Report.
Sorry; please proceed.
Mr Speaker, it says thatthere is going to be the establishment ofLocal Content Fund. The Committeeobserved that it would help small andmedium scale Ghanaian entities engagedin petroleum activities. Mr Speaker, I would want a situationwhere there should be a body which isresponsible, to ensure that not only theFund is there to help people, but whatever The issues raised today are not new;particularly, the limits of the discretionarypower of the Hon Minister. I believe whenwe were with our Norwegian advisers inNorway, this was always a fundamentalissue. Mr Speaker, I believe when we come tothe Consideration Stage, some of us mayhelp bring in an amendment. In most jurisdictions, the Hon Ministerhas that power. However, the way thepower is exercised -- if we go for acompetitive tender, which is notresponsive or the fiscal terms we get areless than what we expect, the State mustreserve the rights not to go ahead. Mr Speaker, but when that happens, Ibelieve with an appropriate amendment,the Hon Minister may have to informwhether Parliament or the appropriatebody, why that tender is not responsive,and why the Hon Minister is not signing.I believe we can cure this. Mr Speaker, there is also the issue ofwhether we should go for theconcessionary system or productionsharing. As the Hon Ranking Member alludedto, a number of Non-GovernmentalOrganisations (NGOs) have circulated somany materials in this House. None is without its own challenges.Today, Nigeria that went for productionsharing is suffering, because it has beenunable to contribute its equity inproduction sharing when equitycontribution is called. Therefore, the benefits that would haveaccrued to the State have not come. Theinternational oil companies have had tocarry the State on its back and sometimes,charge the State ridiculous interest rates.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,that this Honourable House adopts theReport of the Finance Committee on therequest for waiver of taxes, customsduties, Value Added Tax, National HealthInsurance Levy, destination inspectionfees, Export Development InvestmentFund and ECOWAS Levy, withholdingtaxes and other project related taxesamounting to US$152,028,066.00 on goodsand equipment imported or purchasedlocally for the Western Corridor GasInfrastructure Development (WCGIDP). Mr Speaker, in so doing, I present theCommittee's Report. Introduction The request for the waiver of importproject related taxes, including importduties and surcharges, import VAT, EDAIF,NHIL, ECOWAS Levy, destinationinspection fees, withholding tax liabilitieson local and foreign supplies and otherrelated impost on import of goods,equipment and services amounting to onehundred and fifty-two million, twenty-eightthousand and sixty-six United States dollars(US$152,028,066.00), on the WesternCorridor Gas Infrastructure DevelopmentProject (WCGIDP), was presented toParliament by the Hon Minister for FinanceMr Seth Emmanuel Terkper on Thursday,2nd October, 2014, in accordance witharticle 174 (2) of the 1992 Constitution. Mr Speaker referred the request to theFinance Committee for consideration and they say -- When they say local content,somebody is there overseeing the factthat the particular entity has the numberor percentage of the local people that wewant. Mr Speaker, but if nobody checks, theywould just give us anything, and say thatit is local content. People should be ableto give us the statistics of how many oftheir employees were employed from thelocal people. Mr Speaker, also, on issues regardingenvironmental pollution, we haveproblems where companies would leave-- especially those of us in those areaslike the mining areas, we suffer a lot. Mr Speaker, so, I think that when weget to the Consideration Stage, we wouldensure that the necessary amendmentsare made, so that this Bill would reallystand the test of time. Mr Speaker, with these few words, Ithank you for the opportunity.
Hon Members, thatbrings us to the end of the debate. Question put and Motion agreed to. Petroleum (Exploration and Production)Bill, 2016, was accordingly read a Secondtime.
Mr Speaker, we move toitem numbered 10, on page 3 of the OrderPaper.
The Hon First DeputySpeaker to take the Chair. Hon Members, item numbered 10 onthe Order Paper -- Motion -- by the HonChairman of the Finance Committee. report, in accordance with Order 169 of theStanding Orders of the Parliament ofGhana. Deliberations The Committee met and considered therequest with the assistance of the HonDeputy Minister for Finance, Mrs MonaQuartey, and officials from the Ministryof Finance, Ghana Revenue Authority(GRA) and the Ghana Gas CompanyLimited. The Committee expresses its gratitudeto the Hon Deputy Minister and officialsfor the assistance. ReferenceThe Committee referred to thefollowing additional documents at itsdeliberations: i. The 1992 Constitution of Ghana; ii. The Standing Orders of theParliament of Ghana; iii. Engineering, Construction,Procurement and CommissioningAgreement between GhanaNational Gas Company Limited(as Owner) and Sinopec Interna-tional Petroleum Service Corpora-tion (as contractor) for theWestern Corridor Gas Infrastruc-ture Project. Background Following the discovery of oil incommercial quantities in the Jubilee fieldin 2007, a number of oil and gas fieldslocated in close proximity to the Jubileefield have also been discovered. Analysisconducted on the Jubilee field haveestablished that the oil contains highvolumes of natural gas (referred to as associated gas), with gas to oil-ratio (GOR)of between 1,000 and 1,200 scf/stb1. At the time of commissioning, theJubilee Field was producing at an averageof about 80,000 bbls of oil and 90 MM scfof associated gas per day. Aside, 10 MMscf which was used to power the FPSO,the remaining 68MM scfs was flared. Thiswas because there was no readily availablegas infrastructure to transport andprocess the gas for consumption. Almostall the produced natural gas was flareduntil re-injection into the reservoir beganon 27th April 2011. It was however, realised that reinjectionafter 18 months will negatively affect thereservoir and flaring would makeoperations unsafe on the FPSO and reduceoil production. Against this backdrop, the governmentin July, 2011, set up Ghana National GasCompany (GNGC) to develop a nationalnetwork of gas pipelines, treatment andstorage facilities as well as to carrycommercial activities related to the safe andreliable operation of gas infrastructure. To execute its mandate, GNGC signedan Engineering, Procurement, Constructionand Commissioning (EPCC) Agreementwith Sinopec International ServiceCorporation of China, to implement theWestern Corridor Gas InfrastructureDevelopment Project. Under the requirement of article 174 (2)of the 1992 Constitution, parliamentaryapproval is a pre-requisite to issuing anytax exemptions and the request is thus toensure the enforceability and validity ofthe EPCC contract document, and makethe project executable. Approval of the loan agreement It would be recalled that, theGovernment of the Republic of Ghana
represented by the then Ministry ofFinance and Economic Planning, enteredinto a Master Facility Agreement (MFA) withthe China Development Bank Corporation,for an amount of US$3,000,000,000.00 toundertake various infrastructure projects inthe country. The Agreement was approved byParliament on 26th August, 2011 and wassigned on the 16th December, 2011 and anAddendum to the MFA also approved on21st February, 2012, by the House. Thewestern corridor gas infrastructureproject, as a subsidiary agreement, wasapproved by the House forms part of theCDB facility. Required waiver To ensure that government does notincur additional cost on the project, andin line with the EPC contract, the GhanaNational Gas Company, through theMinistry of Finance, is seeking a waiverof import project related taxes, includingimport VAT, EDAIF, NHIL, ECOWAS Levy,destination inspection fees, withholdingtax liabilities on local and foreign supplies,and other related impost on import ofgoods, equipment and services on thewestern corridor gas Infrastructureproject. The Ghana Revenue Authority hasassessed the applicable taxes, duties andlevies on equipment, materials and othergeneral items required for the executionof the project, and for which exemptionsare being requested, and have arrived at atotal tax liability of up to one hundred andfifty- two million, twenty-eight thousandand sixty-six United States dollars(US$152,028,066.00). Observation The Committee having carefullyscrutinised the request made thefollowing observations: Legal basis for the waiver The Committee noted that granting ofthe tax exemptions by the government isan obligation under the EPCC contract,signed between GNGC and SinopecInternational Service Corporation(contractor), under which GNGC under-took as part of its obligations, to amongothers, be responsible for and pay anyand all taxes with respect to the agreementand to reimburse the contractor for alltaxes imposed on the contractor by thegovernment or any government authority. The exemptions are therefore to fulfillGovernment's commitment under article9.5 of the contract, and thus facilitate thework of Sinopec and ensured a timelycommissioning of early gas infrastructureand avert further gas flaring. Assessment of tax liabilities and thewaiver required The Committee noted that the GhanaRevenue Authority, upon thoroughassessment, recommended the waiver oftax liability amounting to one hundred andfifty-two million, twenty-eight thousandand sixty-six United States dollars(US$152,028,066.00), on materials andequipment, including other related taxesfor the Western Corridor Gas Infrastruc-ture Project, with total CIF value ofUS$438,715,758. The breakdown of the taxliabilities into the various tax componentsis as follows:
SPACE FOR TABLE TAX CATEGORY - PAGE 5 - 11.50P.M. The Committee noted that, the requiredwaiver constitute about 34.65 per cent ofthe CIF value of the goods and servicesevaluated. The Committee was alsoinformed that, import duty so far paid atthe port by Ghana Gas amounts toGH¢262,554.57. The Committee urges the GhanaRevenue Authority to intensify itssurveillance to ensure that the appropriatetaxes are paid, when the equipment are tobe disposed-of or used for other purposesfor which this waiver does not cover. Approval of the EPCC contractAgreement The Committee noted that the EPCCcontract Agreement from which the taxwaiver request is being made is aninternational business or economictransaction that requires parliamentaryapproval in line with article 181 (5) of the 1992 Constitution. The Agreementhowever, was not presented to the Housefor approval. The Committee, however, was informedthat granting of the waiver is one of theconditions precedent to final disburse-ment to the contractor; and CDB isholding back disbursement to thecontractor pending parliamentaryapproval of the tax. Currently, an amountof US$705,435,925.00 of the US$850,000,-000.00 has been drawn down. The Committee further noted that,under article 9, section 9.5 of the EPCCAgreement, the contract price and allpayments made to the contractor or asubcontractor shall be exempted from allforms of taxes. Furthermore, article 7.13 imposes theresponsibility on GNGC to obtain all taxexemptions in respect of customs duties, NHIL, VAT, withholding taxes and allproject related taxes on behalf of thecontractor. The Committee is of the viewthat, refusal to grant the waiver couldcreate legal problems for GNGC, andpossibly, resulting in legal action againstthe State. The Committee has stronglyrecommended to the Ministry of Financeto ensure that the Ministry of Petroleumpresents the EPCC Agreement as early aspracticable to Parliament. The Committeealso recommends to the House to directthe Ministry of Petroleum to present theEPCC Agreement to Parliament. Conclusion and recommendation Having regard to the fact that theproject has already been executed and thegranting of the waiver was a conditionprecedent, and an obligation under thecontract, failure of which constitute abreach on the part of Government, theCommittee recommends to the House toadopt its Report and approve byResolution, the request for the waiver ofimport project related taxes, includingimport duties and surcharges, import VAT,EDAIF, NHIL, ECOWAS levy, destinationinspection fees, withholding tax liabilitieson local and foreign supplies, and otherrelated impost on import of goods,equipment and services, amounting to onehundred and fifty-two million, twenty- eightthousand and sixty-six United States dollars(US$152,028,066.00), on the WesternCorridor Gas Infrastructure DevelopmentProject (WCGIDP), in accordance witharticle 174 (2) of the 1992 Constitution,and Order 169 of the Standing Orders ofthe Parliament of Ghana, subject to thepresentation of the EPCC contractAgreement to Parliament. Respectfully submitted.
[MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER IN THE CHAIR.]
Very well.Any seconder?
Mr Speaker, thank youfor giving me the opportunity to secondthe Motion, which was ably made by myHon Colleague, the Hon Chairman of theFinance Committee. Mr Speaker, the Motion is seeking forthe approval of a tax waiver to the tune ofUS$152,028,066.00 for the implementationof the western corridor gas infrastructuredevelopment project. Mr Speaker, before I proceed, I justwant to refer to page 5 of the Committee'sReport, the last paragraph there. It reads; “The Committee noted that theEPCC Contract Agreement fromwhich the tax waiver request isbeing made is an internationalbusiness or economic transactionthat requires Parliamentary approvalin line with article 181 (5) of the 1992Constitution. The Agreementhowever, was not presented to theHouse for approval.” Mr Speaker, I would want to recall thatthe Hon Ranking Member of the FinanceCommittee -- Hon (Dr) A. A. Osei has onseveral occasions on the floor of thisHouse, demanded that this Agreement bebrought to this House for the considera-tion of the Committee on Mines andEnergy, and an eventual consideration bythe entire House. But for almost two yearsthat he made that call, that particularcontract has not come to the floor of thisHouse. Today, we are being called upon toapprove a waiver which is in connectionwith this same contract which this Househas not approved of. Mr Speaker, I however take consolationin the fact that, the Committee continuedfurther to assure that this contract wouldcome to this House for the perusal of theHouse. On the strength of the commit-ment given by the Committee, I, therefore,urge the House to go ahead to approvethis waiver which is being requested forby the Hon Chairman of the Committee. Mr Speaker, the total sum ofUS$152,028,066.00, is 34.7 per cent of theCIF value of US$438 million. To me, this ison a higher side. This is because, if for acontract which is costing the nationUS$438 million, a tax waiver to the tune of34.7 per cent is being granted, thenperhaps we may have to look at some ofthese things that we grant very well. Mr Speaker, this is because many times,we do grant some of these tax waiverswithout looking at the implications ofthese things that we do. Left to me alone,this waiver in money terms can be perhapsGovernment of Ghana's (GoG) shares inthe project itself. Mr Speaker, This is because if theywere to pay this, it would have increasedthe cost of the project, and by not payingthis, the cost of the project has beenunderstated. But I believe that inaccounting, it is wise to state the true valueof the project. This should be added andperhaps noted as the GoG's contributionto the project. In that case, we would bestating the true value of the project and atthe same time, everybody will note thecontribution that GoG has made inbringing up that particular --
HonMember, are you up on a point of order?
Mr Speaker, yes, ona point of order. I think I heard my HonLeader say that this Agreement did notcome to the House. Though I am not aMember of the Committee, but on readingthe Report at page 3, item numbered 4, itis clearly stated there that; “The Agreement was approved byParliament on 26th August, 2011 andwas signed on the 16th December,2011…” Mr Speaker, so, I do not know whetherit is a different thing from what he said,that the Agreement did not come to theHouse.
Mr Speaker, perhaps itwould have been better for my HonColleague not to have even made thatcomment at all. If he indeed listened tome, I made reference to the Engineering,Procurement, Construction andCommissioning (EPCC) Agreement, andnot the Agreement for the loan itself. So,he is talking about a different thingaltogether. Mr Speaker, I would also want to pleadwith the Committee, even though I am amember, that when waivers come beforeus, perhaps there are some items that wemay have to look at very well. This isbecause, for instance, they are exemptedfrom destination inspection fees. I wouldnot say that these are taxes per se,because these are fees for services whichare rendered for the inspection of theitems which are imported.
Personally, I think that if they weregoing to be exempted from any otherthing, at least, for services which arerendered at the port, they should be ableto pay for them. Mr Speaker, on this note, I would wantto urge the House to approve of thiswaiver. Thank you. Question proposed.
Very well. Yes, Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, thank you verymuch. I believe this House has to take thecomment of the Committee very seriously;the last sentence of the first paragraph onpage six -- Mr Speaker, I beg to read: “The Committee also recommendsto the House to direct the Ministryof Petroleum to present the EPCCAgreement to Parliament.” I want to highlight the word “direct”.Mr Speaker, the Supreme Court hasalready ruled on article 185 matters. Forthis project to be finished and handed overto Ghana without the EPCC Agreement,which is the contract Agreement comingto Parliament, and critically looked at bythe Committee on Mines and Energy, itwould create problems for us one day, ifthese matters were to go to court. This contract Agreement -- HonMembers have individually asked the HonMinister to bring it to Parliament -- Theonly reason Hon Members of Parliament,at that time, approved the loan wasbecause of the urgency of the matter. Wewere reinjecting gas into the wells andwasting precious money and resourcesand we were getting less oil. Mr Speaker, because of that HonMembers decided that they could bringthe contract Agreement later. Mr Speaker,but up until now, the Agreement thas notcome. Now, this is the finishing touchesof the works and the company has drawndown US$705,435,925.00 out ofUS$850,000,000.00 and they are lookingfor -- So, they have basically withdrawn andless than US$100 million left in the kitty.So, if I were to match the funds with thework done, I would say that they may havecompleted over 80 per cent of the job andstill the Agreement is not here. So, if theCommittee is now recommending that theHouse should direct -- I wish either theHon Minister or his deputy were here, andit looks like none of them is here -- forthem to take the direction of theCommittee. This is because, if this is approved, itmeans that the House has directed or MrSpeaker may specifically direct that theHon Minister brings that contractAgreement here, so that the right thing isdone. Mr Speaker, because it is in theinterest of this nation, that it is done. If itis not done and this matter goes to courtone day, it would be declaredunconstitutional. The Supreme Court hasalready ruled on it and we have no choice. I am surprised that up till now, the HonMinister has not found it prudent to bringit to the House. Mr Speaker, this may passbecause of the same urgency which wehave attached to it, and because of thesame reasons we may have approved theloan. This is because our hands are tied andwe need to make sure that we help withwhat is happening at the fields, but at thesame time, we are caught with theExecutive who have not done their part ofthe deal by bringing it to Parliament.
Mr Speaker, at theCommittee, we insisted. In fact, they evengave us some excerpts of the Agreementwhich border on the waiver. So, we hadthe opportunity of looking at thosesections of the Agreement. But officiallythe Agreement has not been laid in theHouse. They gave the assurance that theywould bring the Agreement to the Houseand that is why the Committee went aheadand made that recommendation, that theHon Minister for Petroleum should bemade to bring that Agreement to theHouse. So, they gave us the assurance atthe Committee level.
Yes, HonDeputy Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, it is noted thatour Hon Friends on the other side of theHouse are not opposed to this Motion,subject to the fact that they expressedreservations on the unavailability of theAgreement in the House. Mr Speaker, if you look at the firstparagraph of page 6 of the Report, withyour permission I beg to read: “The Committee is of the view that,refusal to grant the waiver couldcreate legal problems for GNGC andpossibly resulting in legal actionagainst the State.” Mr Speaker, it is upon this basis thatthe Committee has come to the House tosay that the Committee has stronglyrecommended to the Ministry of Financeto ensure that the Ministry of Petroleumpresents the EPCC Agreement, as earlyas practicable, to Parliament. Indeed, HonMembers on the other side of the Housealso expressed the view that theAgreement should come to the House. Mr Speaker, like I said, I rose to saythat we should take that statement verystrongly and direct the Hon Minister toensure that the Agreement is brought sothat at least, the House could apprise itselfbefore the work is finished. It is not in ourinterest to allow the project to becompleted before that contract documentis brought. It should have been broughtas part of the first items, for us to look atbefore the work would even start. Mr Speaker, but I believe that HonMembers here know how important thatproject is to Ghana, and that is why theyallowed the loan to be processed andapproved. Here we are, two years downthe line, we are almost completing theproject and the document has not cometo Parliament. We have not looked at itand it is against the Constitution - theSupreme Court has ruled. Mr Speaker, I would make an appeal toyou to direct that this aspect is adheredto and the Hon Minister could bring it toParliament with a timeline, so that thisParliament does not rise on the 6th ofJanuary, 2017 without looking at thisprovision. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Thank youvery much. Before the Hon Deputy Majority Leadermakes his comments, I would want to findout from the Hon Chairman of theCommittee -- the issue concerning article184 (5) of the Constitution; despite thedraw down and everything -- I wish theHon Minister or his deputy were here --could we be assured that the Agreementwould be brought to Parliament forapproval?
Mr Speaker, we also agree strongly thatwe need the Agreement in the House, andas the views have been expressed, wewould do our best to impress upon theHon Ministers to make sure that theprovision is abided by, so that we are notfound wanting with regard to article 185(4). Mr Speaker, having said so, we all knowthe importance of the many infrastructurethat were going to be constructed for thiscountry under that Agreement when theloan was granted to this country. On thatbasis, the need for us not to incur anyfurther expense, by way of not ratifyingor for that matter, approving this waiver,is very urgent for us to so do. This is because, as the Committeefound out, the more we delay in grantingthis waiver, the more the possibility of legalaction against the State would come andit is we ourselves that would sayjudgment debt. We do not want more ofthose things. Mr Speaker, it is on this basis that Iwould urge all of us to approve this waiver,so that the business called for under theAgreement could be executed with thestrong assurance from the Committee, andfrom the Hon Ministers, that as early aspossible, or practicable, the Agreementwould be in this House. Mr Speaker, I support the Motion.
Yes, HonMember for Wenchi?
Mr Speaker, I have just twofundamental issues with this Motion. First of all, we might recall that whenwe were voting for the waiver of the cocoasyndicated loan, it was agreed thatwhenever we state the waiver, we shouldactually relate it to the whole amountinvolved, in that case, whether it was threebillion Ghana cedis or two billion Ghanacedis. When we look at this Motion, ittalks about the waiver, and does not talkabout the amount involved; the CostInsurance and Freight (CIF) value of theitems that we are waiving taxes on. So, what I would urge is that, theseMotions should always reflect this, sothat we could relate the actual waiver tothe amount. We agreed that it was goingto be part of the Motion. Mr Speaker, inmy opinion, we would have to go back tothat, and make sure the Motion includesthat. Mr Speaker, the more important issueis that, the Hon Member referred to thefact that this waiver is about 40 per centof the CIF value of the items involved.This goes to the core of the reasons wecannot generate enough revenue in thecountry. It is so high that people try toavoid the payment of these taxes. Therefore, the Hon Minister for Financeis not here, but we should be able to thinkthrough these things properly. Highertaxes do not necessarily lead to higherrevenue. So, they should really tamperwith these things and lower the tax rates,so that they could bring in more revenue.Otherwise, when we increase tax rate sohigh, what people do is that they avoidthe payment. When you go to the harbour, youwould know very well that they avoidpaying the taxes because they are toohigh. Instead of paying taxes, they are incollusion with officials to reduce it. AndGovernment loses revenue because ofthat.
Mr Speaker, I haveno objection to that.
Very well,Hon Minister?
Very well.Hon Members, I will put the Question,after that I would give a rider by way ofdirecting. Hon Members, the Motion has beenmoved and seconded, the House hasconsidered it and I shall put the Question. Question put and Motion agreed to.
HonMembers, I further direct that Engineering,Procurement, Construction and Commis-sioning (EPCC) Agreement between theMinistry of Petroleum and the party to theAgreement be presented to this House asearly as practicable. So, with thatcondition, we would move on. Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, the resolutioncontained in item 11 on page 4.
Do we havethe Hon Minister for Finance or hisDeputy in the Chamber?
Mr Speaker, we would seekyour permission and the indulgence of myHon Colleagues for the Minister forEnvironment, Science, Technology andInnovation, to take the Resolution onbehalf of the Hon Minister.
Parliament by statute to waivesuch taxes, customs duties, ValueAdded Tax, National HealthInsurance levy, destinationinspection fees, Export Develop-ment Investment Fund andECOWAS levy, withholdingtaxes and other project relatedtaxes amounting to US$152,028,-066.00 on goods and equipmentimported or purchased locally forthe Western Corridor GasInfrastructure Development(WCGIDP).
Yes, HonMembers, any seconder?
Mr Speaker, I rise tosecond the Motion moved by the HonMinister. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Yes, HonDeputy Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, we wouldmove to item 14 on page 17 of the OrderPaper for today. The Land Use and SpatialPlanning Bill, 2016, at the ConsiderationStage.
Very well. Hon Members, item 14 on the OrderPaper -- Land Use and Spatial PlanningBill, 2016 at the Consideration Stage.
BILLS -- CONSIDERATIONSTAGE
HonChairman of the Committee, I believe weare starting from clause 90. Is that right? existing laws and Regulationsapplicable to the collection ofcustom duties and other taxes onthe importation of goods intoGhana, the Minister for Financemay exempt any statutory corpora-tion, institution or individual fromthe payment of duties and taxesotherwise payable under the saidlaws and Regulations or waive orvary the requirement of suchstatutory corporation, institutionor individual to pay such dutiesand taxes; In accordance with the provi-sions of the Constitution and atthe request of the Governmentof Ghana acting through theMinister responsible for Finance,there has been laid beforeParliament a request by theMinister for Finance for the priorapproval of Parliament theexercise by him of his powerunder the Laws and Regulationsrelating to the waiver of taxes,customs duties, Value AddedTax, National Health InsuranceLevy, destination inspectionfees, Export DevelopmentInvestment Fund and ECOWASlevy, withholding taxes and otherproject related taxes amountingto US$152,028,066.00 on goodsand equipment imported orpurchased locally for theWestern Corridor Gas Infrastruc-ture Development (WCGIDP). NOW THEREFORE, thisHonourable House herebyapproves the exercise by theMinister responsible for Financeof the power granted to him by
Mr Speaker, wewould defer and come back to it. So, wewould use the Addendum Order Paper.
No! Wewould come to the Addendum Order Paperlater. But let us deal with clause 90 first.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 90, add the following newsubclause: “(5) Each District Assembly shalllodge, with Parliament, a copy ofa zoning and re-zoning schemewhich affects a public space.”
HonMembers, I remember there was somelengthy debate about this particular issue.With this new rendition, are we all right? Yes, Hon Minister?
Mr Speaker, wehave no objection to the new rendition.
Very well. Hon Members, I would put theQuestion. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 90 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
Clause 92,yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee? Clause 92, Application for change ofuse or request for re-zoning
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 92 add the following newsubclause: “(4) Without limiting subsection (3),the change of use or re-zoningof a public space shall be subjectto approval by Parliament”.
Very well.Hon Members, I would put the Question.
MrSpeaker, I am not sure. There is asubclause (4) already there. Is it a newone replacing that or this is subclause (5)?
It is a new one.
So, it should besubclause (5) or (4), because there is asubclause (4) there.
Yes, the subclause (4)becomes (5).
Very well, Hon Members, I think we would go toClause 91 before we come to clause 92. Clause 91 ordered to stand part of theBill. Clause 92 -- Application for Changeof use or request for re-zoning
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 92, add the following newsubclause: “(4) Without limiting subsection (3),the change of use or re-zoningof a public space shall be subjectto approval by Parliament”.
Mr Speaker, I thought theHon Chairman of the Committee wasgoing to tell us the rationale behind theprovision, that subject to the approval byParliament -- Why Parliament shouldapprove a change in the re-zoning ofpublic space. Why should Parliamentapprove that? I think the Hon Chairman of theCommittee should give us the basis forthat, because we said it yesterday. Thebusiness of Parliament is basically lawmaking. Now, we are going to askParliament to approve re-zoning of the useof public space, and there should be areason.
HonChairman of the Committee? [Pause]--Hon Minister, would you like to respond?
So, the objective is to create additionalobstacles to the practice of just changingthe use of public spaces without regardto the initial plan that necessitated theestablishment of those public spaces. So, Mr Speaker, I think it would createsome additional burden for Parliament, butit would depend on what procedureParliament decides to adopt. Parliament could adopt a verysimplistic approach to the approval, whichwould not be burdensome, such as, theHon Minister brings a list of 100 or 200areas that they have reviewed, and theythink that it is all right for the district to re-zone the area. But then also, when theybring the list, the relevant Hon Membersof Parliament would have looked at it, andif they think that they have no problem,they do not raise any objections in theHouse, it could pass within a few minutes. So, Mr Speaker, I think that it is all right.
Very well,Hon Deputy Majority Leader, how do yourespond? You raised the issue. I wouldlike your response to what he said beforeI come to --
Mr Speaker, theHon Member here would like to expatiateon what the Hon Minister said, before theHon Deputy Majority Leader takes thefloor.
Very well.Hon Member, you have the floor.
Mr Speaker, inmy view, it is important that we make itvery difficult, and not easy, for publicspaces in this country to be re-zoned afterthey have been earmarked as publicspaces. Mr Speaker, we have to be careful.As we sit here, most public spaces thathave been zoned for schools and other do is to request or to make a law, that anyplace referred to as a public space -- greenbelts, forest reserves - such placesshould never be re-zoned. There shouldbe a law that such places should never bere-zoned. Mr Speaker, if it is so, nobody at theAssembly or at the planning or local levelwould go and re-zone an area which ismeant for public space to be used. Whenever Hon Members of Parliamentare members of the District Assemblies,when issues like this have to come beforethe Assembly, we expect the HonMembers to be at the Assembly and puttheir cases across. It is not the case that amatter should come to Parliament beforethey make their cases. Mr Speaker, these are my reservationsfor which I said that planning should bedone at the local level. That is what thelocal authorities must do, but re-zoningshould not be done. I am calling for a lawto ban such activities of re-zoning. Places which are meant for public space-- green belts and forest reserves, as ithas been so declared -- should never bere-zoned for residential purposes.
HonMember, I do not think that they are onlythinking of residential purposes. If you talk about a law preventing re-zoning, and the circumstances are suchthat it would be in the interest of thenation, that a particular area be re-zoned,and good reasons are given, then I do notsee why we should not --
Mr Speaker, are wereferring to re-zoning of a public space,which my Hon Colleague has referred to
Mr Speaker, this matterwas debated extensively yesterday, andafter that we had some discussions. The idea is that each time a zoningtakes place, and there is an understandingin the zone that a particular area is a publicspace, the zoning process is normallyundertaken at the local level, and aresolution is passed by the assembly tothat effect. The problem is that, very often,somehow, they manage to go throughsome processes and re-zone areas left outfor use as public spaces. They distort theplans of districts and municipalities andcreate problems that have implications forhealth, human settlement, and so on. So, as a national strategy to preservepublic spaces, if we leave the matter atthe local level where the problem has beencreated, it would not be solved. Thesuggestion is that we should insist on aparliamentary approval for the re-zoningof areas that have already been zoned. So, the initial zoning is done at the locallevel, but when we agree from our spatialdevelopment framework that this area isbeing preserved for public spaces, peoplecannot, on their own, just come andchange it. Some supervision needs to takeplace. The expectation is that, if we insist onparliamentary approval, a process wouldemerge, where the Ministry ofEnvironment, Science, Technology andInnovation would have a registry of allareas that have been set out as publicspaces, so that when they try to changeuse in their districts, the requirement ofseeking parliamentary approval wouldcompel them to notify the Minister, whowould then take a second look at theirproposal. If there is an agreement, then itis brought to Parliament for considerationand approval. uses in our own interest, the previousowners are trying to reclaim them. Mr Speaker, they are doing this basedon the fact that, they know if the placehas been zoned for a school and they getit back, it is going to be easy for them toget it re-zoned as residential for them tosell. But if right from the word go, theyknow that the process would not be thateasy, to the extent that it is not going tolie solely upon the local authority, buteven to the extent of them coming forparliamentary approval, then they wouldthink twice before they do that. Mr Speaker, we are aware of the threaton Achimota school lands. FromAchimota, who knows, they may come toAccra Girls Senior High School. They maygo to Labone Senior High School and fromthere, they would come to ParliamentHouse. Mr Speaker, we have to make it difficultfor them, and I do not see any harm inthem coming to Parliament for approval. Thank you.
Hon DeputyMajority Leader, I am sure you have heardenough.
Yes Mr Speaker. I still havemy reservations.
What is it?
Mr Speaker, who says thatif Parliament must give its approval forsuch a re-zoning exercise, the problem wehave now would still not be there? Mr Speaker, planning is a special areafor some trained people. If an area is zonedas public space, what I am expecting us to
MrSpeaker, I think it is important that if somepublic spaces have to be re-zoned, thenthe people have to come back toParliament. We all agree that sometimes, in takingthose spaces, it comes by compulsoryacquisition. Government takes lands thatbelong to stools or families, and in caseslike that, the Government does not paythe full amount to those families.Sometimes, it is a matter of drinks andcowries. Should it happen that Governmentwould want to change that use tosomething else, that the family or othersdo not consider as compulsory, such asresidential property, when they may nowwant to sell to make their own money, Ithink that they should come back toParliament, for Parliament to takeappropriate steps to make sure that suchfamilies are in fact, compensated. A case in point, is my case of AdjeiKojo, which has been all over the place.What Government or Kwame Nkrumah'sGovernment took those lands for, andwhat they tried to re-zone it for again, wasto allow others, instead of farm lands, touse them for residential homes. Whenthey started selling, it became a matter ofcontention; and the families decided totake it back. So, if an area has been zoned as apublic space, either for environmentalpurposes or for schools or anything thatmakes it usable under compulsoryacquisition, with those ones, if they would have to be re-zoned, then it should not beby the planning authorities. It should beby them, but with the approval ofParliament. In times like that, there would be HonMembers of Parliament here, who wouldspeak on behalf of the same stools andfamilies. If the Hon Members say that itshould be in the Assembly, then I wouldsay that the Assembly sits whenParliament is also sitting. We have dayswhen we Sit here, so we cannot go to theAssemblies and make these arguments. I think it needs to come to Parliament,so we should not allow that to be done.When the Hon Member said that a lawshould be made to say never, I do not thinkthat one is also right. If we look at the population that wehave now, and what we had at the timethat those things were put aside, it haschanged. The uses have changed, we needenergy and a lot of things in the countryright now. When we look at Atoabo and all thoseplaces, assuming that they had all beenset aside, and now Government wouldwant it for something else, or want torelease them to the Chiefs, then I thinkthat they should come back to Parliament,and make sure this is done properly, sothat all sides, or stakeholders are takencare of properly. I think that should be theproper thing.
Thank youvery much. Hon W. O. Boafo, and then Hon Seidu.
Mr Speaker, the HonDeputy Majority Leader, referred to thefact that we should make a law forever.But basically, he knows very well that noParliament can bind its successive Parliament. Our laws are not like the lawsof the Medes and Persians, which do notchange. Our laws are always subject tothe dynamics of society. I believe that ten years to come, thingswould change in Ghana, to the extent thatthere would be the need for us to re-consider certain areas, which had beenzoned for particular purposes. Mr Speaker, the Hon Member also wentto the extent of saying that, when it comesto Parliament, we may not have theexpertise to deal with the issue. MrSpeaker, with the greatest respect, we arenot here as experts, we are here asrepresentatives of our people. We do notcome possessing expertise for ourqualification to be Honorable Members ofParliament. So, whatever affects the interest of ourpeople, we are in a better position to holdbrief for them. So, I think thatParliamentary approval is necessary,because when it comes before us, wewould be in a position to do the necessaryconsultation with the stakeholdersinvolved. After all, our representation inParliament is not only confined to areas,but also to group interest, and we woulddo these consultations, in order to protectthe interest of our people. Mr Speaker, I would just refer to thearea that is a border to my constituency.When one is approaching the Aburi hills,one could see that previously, about fiveto ten years ago, it was very green, butnow, if one approaches the Aburi hills,towards the Peduase Lodge, one can seethat the whole place has changed, and ithas affected the drainage system andeverything in Accra. Mr Speaker, that is why it is necessarythat if any area is being re-zoned, then wemust be in a position to discuss it, debateit, and protect the interest of our people.
Mr Speaker, fornow, the law allows the Department ofTown and Country Planning to re-zone,and in the administration and managementof lands, one cannot be sacrosanct, andinsist that there should not be flexibility.This is because the consumptive use ofland would always change, and when itcomes to that level, we would need to lookat the parameters and the characters, andsee what to do. For now, if we say that nobody shoulddo any zoning, then it is like we are tyingour hands, even when the consumptiveuse of that land had changed. Mr Speaker, for now, you would alsorealise that the type of development wehave in this country, the Town andCountry Planning and Lands Commission,are more or less the ones engaged in landadministration and management. If we look at the Bill on discussion, itgives a lot of authority to the NationalDevelopment Planning Authority, andthey are professionals who have beencharged with the responsibility of lookingat issues before decisions are taken. Mr Speaker, you would also notice that,the impunity with which land ownersoften go about development in thiscountry is not the best. An Hon Colleaguetalked about compensation. There arecases where Government had paidcompensation, and yet land owners hadgone to encroach on the land. Currently, we have two clear examples.Land that was acquired for the GhanaHighway Authority and Council forScientific and Industrial Research, were
encroached upon and given to privatedevelopers, even when they knew thatGhana had legally acquired these lands,and had given them to these twoimportant institutions. I think we should support the Bill andmake sure that the planning authority iswell resourced and given the necessarymandate to be able to discharge its workeffectively. Mr Speaker, again, all the issues,concerns and fears that we are raising,could be addressed when the LegislativeInstrument (LI.) is made, arising out of theapproval of the parent Act. That wouldset all the Regulations governing theadministration and management of lands,and for that matter, the spatial use of land. So, we should allow the current statusto stay, that yes, we have a body thatwould regulate it and when it comes tore-zoning, then there are always goodreasons a particular piece of land wouldhave to be re-zoned -- Perhaps for verygood purposes. So, we should not restrictthem by saying that we should not allowthat to happen. Again, I do not see why Parliamentshould get itself involved in some of thesethings. We have professional bodies andinstitutions that work in the publicinterest, and I think that they know whatto do and the Regulations would be thereto guide their operations. So, it is just notnecessary to ask that if an area is to be re-zoned, then they should come back toParliament. Currently, if we look at the Achimotaschool lands and the Achimota forest, wehave a department such as GeologicalSurvey, and they need space to install theirequipment and these are heavy equipment, used to monitor earth tremorsand earthquakes. Currently, they do not have space inAccra, so they have been looking for theopportunity for an allocation of a piece ofland within the forest reserve to do thisthing. Are we going to say that looking atthe very importance of monitoring earthtremors and earthquakes, we shouldignore their request? Again, if you also look at the forestsand what they are supposed to do, youfind it difficult to just say go and do it. So,these are things that we need to take intoconsideration. There is currently another problem onAdenta lands. Many years ago, thoseareas -- We had Very High Frequency(VHF) installations to guide the flight ofplanes when they were landing at theKotoka International Airport. Today, withmodern technology, the use of that stationhas changed. Therefore, it has becomenecessary to look at the constructive useof that land, and it is being re-zoned forsomething else. I know that workers of Ghana CivilAviation Authority have been up in armswhy the status of that particular piece ofland that used to belong to them haschanged. Fortunately, some of us have madeenquiries and we have realised that it isreservation of 132 acres out of the lot thatwere reserved for the use of GCAA. So,there is just no need for that type ofdemonstration and noise people made.This is because reservation had beenmade, it is more than enough to take careof whatever new installations that theyhave. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, there is aremedy for it but it does not fall directlyunder this clause. I will look for thatspecific clause and as we discuss, I willbring it up.
Mr Speaker, to add towhat Hon Boafo just said, I also have aproblem. My problem is where a permitthat has been sought for is unduly delayedthrough no fault of the developer, whathappens?
Mr Speaker, there is aclause which deals with such issues; Icannot locate it immediately.
HonMembers, let us stand down theconsideration of clause 114 and deal withthe rest so that we give the Hon Chairmantime to look for the clause he is talkingabout, and we will revisit it. Would thatbe all right? Clause 115 to 119 ordered to stand partof the Bill.
Table Office,please, flag clause 114 so, we come backto it. Clause 120 -- Unauthorised develop-ment of right of space of community
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 120, line 4, delete “or interfereswith the use of that” and insert thefollowing: “as defined in an enactment relatingto the environment or interferes withthe use of a public right of”. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 120 as amended ordered tostand part of the Bill. Clause 92 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 93 -- Change of use or zoningby District Assemblies
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 93, paragraph (a), lines 3 and 4,delete “in respect of the re-zoning”. This is a formulation issue, so, wewould want to do the correction. We justdelete “in respect of re-zoning”. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 93, paragraph (b), delete “the publicthrough” and insert “in respect of the re-zoning, make a publication in a newspaperof national circulation”. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 93 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 94 to 113 ordered to stand partof the Bill. Clause 114 -- Revocation of develop-ment permit or imposition of additionalconditions
Mr Speaker, my mainconcern under clause 114 is with respectto what happens to a person whosebuilding permit is rejected. There is noremedy provided for that person underclause 114. Maybe, the Hon Chairman mayhave some good reason for that.
HonChairman of the Committee, how do yourespond?
HonMembers, there is a new clause. Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,new clause, add the following new clause: “Disbursement of the Fund The Fund shall solely be disbursedfor the achievement of the objectspecified under the Act”.
HonChairman, I think it would be better for usto complete the other considerations afterwhich we would come to the new clausesso that it would be neater for us. Hon Members, in that case, do wemove to the Order Paper Addendum?
Mr Speaker, let us runthrough from clause 120 to the end andthen we come to the new clauses.
HonMembers, we therefore, move on to theclause numbered 121. Clause 121 to 199 ordered to stand partof the Bill.
HonMembers, we can now move to the newclauses -- The Schedules first? Hon Members, we move to theSchedules. Mr Ayariga -- rose --
Mr Speaker, Hon Boaforaised an issue regarding clause 114, forwhich reason you decided to set it asideso that we would proceed to the otherclauses. I have drawn his attention toclause 167 which provides a right toreview. It entitles anybody whoseapplication for permit has been rejected,either wholly or in part, to seek a review.The whole elaborate procedure has beenset out for the exercise of that function. So, I have drawn his attention to thefact that there is a remedy for anyonewhose application for a permit underclause 114 has not been granted. I thinkhe is satisfied, but he is not in the Chambernow.
Did youdiscuss it with him?
I read it to him.
Very well. What about the issue raised by the HonMember, concerning the delay? Is thereany remedy?
Mr Speaker, the right toreview says that: “A person may lodge a complaint,make an appeal or seek a reviewunder this Act if that person: (a) has suffered or is likely tosuffer…” So, if there is a delay or you think thatit would cause you to likely suffer, youcan make a complaint and seek a review.
HonMember, you have heard the response. than a request for a review of aprevious decision in respect of acomplaint, shall immediatelysuspend any decisions andinvestigate the complaint. (2) The Authority may make rules toregulate complaints and reviewsand the rules shall be consistentwith the laws that regulateadministrative procedures. Do you think that takes care of yourconcern?
Mr Speaker, I think thathe is talking about a clause that setstimelines within which applications forpermits should be considered, andprocessed to avoid the practise wherepeople put in applications for permits andit never gets acted on, and then they startbuilding and disregard local governmentauthorities. That has been dealt with under theNational Building Regulations of 1996, L.I.1630. If you go to L. I. 1630, Regulation 8says: (1) Where a person submits anapplication for a building permit,the District Planning Authorityshall notify him within 7 days ofthe receipt of the application andshall within a period of 3 monthsthereafter notify the applicantwhether the application isgranted or refused.” So, this is in an existing Regulation,but the Bill that we are dealing with dealsgenerally with land use and spatialplanning. Under it, there would beRegulations to be passed. If the HonMember thinks that the three months' timeline which is already in the NationalBuilding Regulations is unacceptable,
Mr Speaker, I still havea problem with that. Already, there is adelay and it is based on that delay thatthe person is affected. Now, the person isat the same time going to appeal to thesame person because of this delay. Theperson who is supposed to act is notacting, and due to this, the developer isbeing affected.
So, whatdo you suggest?
Mr Speaker, I suggestthat we put in there that when a developerapplies for a planning permit, there shouldbe no delay, where that delay should notbe more than two months.
HonMember, would that be enough? Whatremedy would accrue to the applicant forthe building permit? That is what I aminterested in. If you think that it is beingunduly delayed, you must have a way ofseeking redress.
Mr Speaker, Iunderstand what you are saying, but Ithink it is important that we set a limit,beyond which the authorities would notgo. For instance, I am applying for abuilding permit to put up a building, and Ihave sent all documentation to them. Atleast, the Authority must make sure thatwithin a certain specified time, my permitmust be responded to and agreed upon. Ishould have the permit. It is important.We should say, maybe two or threemonths, other than that, people wouldcarry on building without permits.
HonMember, can we take a look at clause 168(1) and (2)? Clause 168 says that: (1) Except in the case of anemergency, a District Assemblythat receives a complaint other then we can review the period downwards.But there is an existing legislation thatdeals with the time frame within whichpermits must be --
Mr Speaker, theparticular L.I. 1630, Regulation 8, that heis talking about, has been repealed by thislaw that we are enacting. So, once this Billis passed, what he is saying would nolonger exist.
HonMinister, if that is the case, why do wenot ensure that the Regulations under thisparticular Act reintroduces that bit of it.
That is why I am sayingthat when the Act is passed, Regulationswould be enacted and when we get to thatstage, if he thinks that the time frameshould be reviewed downwards, or if asat now, he thinks that we should maintainthe existing time frame, we could introducean amendment requiring that we saveRegulation 8 of L.I. 1630, so that wemaintain the three months' timeline. Perhaps, it is even necessary to reducethe time frame to less than three months.But if he thinks that we should save ituntil there is a substantive Regulationreviewing the time, and then reducing theperiod, we can save it pending the passageof that new Regulation.
Very well. Hon Member, I do not know what yourresponse is. But I believe that the threemonths period is ideal. I know theprocesses they go through to havemeetings of the Committee that deals withit. So, three months would appear to bequite reasonable. We could also look at the possibilityof when we get to the Schedule, proposing an amendment which could save thatparticular clause of that L.I., so that wewould be home and dry. I do not know ifyou agree with me. Very well. Hon Members, I believe you have theOrder Paper Addendum with you. It alsodeals with the same Bill that we areconsidering. If you look at the Order PaperAddendum, for example, we have clauses4 and 5. In the original Order Paper, wealso have part of clause 5, forconsideration. So, we could be doing themtogether [Pause.] Hon Members, I am sorry. I am tryingto locate where it is in the original OrderPaper. If you look at page 17 of the OrderPaper, under the Land Use and SpatialPlanning Bill, 2016, we have clause 5appearing three times and it appears oncein the Order Paper Addendum. So, we cantake them together and move on to theother clauses indicated in the Order PaperAddendum. So, let us start with clause 4 on theOrder Paper Addendum. Clause 4 -- Functions of the Authority
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 4, paragraph (a), at beginning,insert “in support of the NationalDevelopment Planning Commission”. Mr Speaker, we looked at the NationalDevelopment Planning Commission Act,and we realised that this responsibility hasbeen given to the NDPC. So, the Authorityhas to support the NDPC. That is why weare inserting that clause.
HonChairman, is it at the beginning of thatparticular clause?
Yes, Mr Speaker.
HonChairman, can you read out the newrendition?
Mr Speaker, the newrendition would be: (a)”perform the spatial land use andhuman settlements planningfunctions in support of thenational development planningsystem established under theNational Development PlanningCommission Act, 1994 (Act 479)and the National DevelopmentPlanning System Act, 1994 (Act480)”. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 4 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 5 -- Board of the Authority
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 5, subclause (1), paragraph (g),delete and insert the following: “a representative of the NationalDevelopment Planning Commissionnot below the rank of a Director”. Mr Speaker, we are doing this becausewe would want to have some consistency.If we look at the “membership”, they areall not to be below the rank of a director.But when we come to paragraph (g), wewould find the Director-General of theNational Development Planning Commis-sion. So, we would want to follow someconsistency. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Yes, HonChairman, we are now looking at the OrderPaper Addendum. Hon Chairman, the first clause 5 youdealt with, was it from the original OrderPaper? [Interruption.] We would move to the main OrderPaper now and look at clause 5 itemsnumbered i, ii and iii.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 5, subclause (1), paragraph (j),delete “from” and insert “nominated by”.
“One person nominated by theGhana Institute of Planners”. Question put and amendment agreedto
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 5, subclause (1), paragraph (k),delete and insert the following: “three persons who are from thebuilt environment professionals inthe private sector, at least one ofwhom is a woman, representing theGhana Institute of Architects, GhanaInstitution of Engineers and theGhana Institution of Surveyors”. Mr Speaker, we are introducing thisamendment as a result of the fact that thebuilt environment professionals have tobe involved in the whole process, so thatthey can bring to bear their skills andprofessionalism. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, we did it somefew minutes ago.
Has it beendone?
Mr Speaker, yes.
Very well. Clause 5 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
HonChairman of the Committee, we can nowmove on to —
Mr Speaker, we can moveon to item (iii) on the Order PaperAddendum — Clause 42. Clause 42 - Creation of joint DistrictPlanning Entities by RegionalCoordinating Council Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 42,subclause (1), at beginning, insert “Wherethe President creates a Joint DevelopmentPlanning Area”.
What is therationale behind this?
Mr Speaker, the JointDevelopment Planning Area deals withthe hominisation of the socioeconomic,as well as the planning and the settlementof issues. So, in setting up a JointDevelopment Planning Area, it is to dealwith the entire integrated nature of thespatial planning. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 42 , add the following newsubclause: “In setting up the Joint or MultiDistrict Spatial Planning Committee,the Regional Co-ordinating Councilshall take into account theprovisions of the National Development Planning (System)Act, 1994 (Act 480) and any otherlegislation for the time being inforce”. Mr Speaker, we are proposing thisamendment to make sure that this isholistic. Also there should be co-ordination with other statutes and lawsso that there are no contradictions as weexperienced some time back, with a seriesof laws and statutes which contradictedeach other. That might actually weakenthe planning process. That is why we aretaking this into consideration. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 42 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 51 -- Preparation of RegionalSpatial Development Framework.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 51, subclause (6), delete and insertthe following: “A draft Regional Spatial Develop-ment Framework, draft sub-RegionalSpatial Development Frameworkand draft joint or multi RegionalSpatial Development Frameworkshall be submitted for considerationand approval by the NationalDevelopment Planning Commissionthrough the Authority”. Mr Speaker, the reason for thisamendment —
I think it isclear.
Mr Speaker, I believe weneed to closely look at this issue a littlemore. My attention was drawn to it thismorning, and I believe we should look atit a little —
Do youwant it to be stood down?
I believe so.
Very well. I direct that it be stood down for theCommittee to take a second look at it. Hon Members, we now come back tothe original Order Paper to look at the NewClauses. New Clause — Disbursement of theFund
Mr Speaker, please, are wedealing with the Addendum Order Paperor the original Order Paper?
Table-Office, which one did you read? Theoriginal Order Paper? So, we would go to the original OrderPaper before we come to the Order PaperAddendum.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,new clause, add the following new clause: “Disbursement of the Fund The Fund shall solely be disbursedfor the achievement of the objectspecified under the Act”.
HonChairman, which one are you dealing withright now? I am at a lost.
Mr Speaker, itemnumbered (ix) of page 18 of the Order Paper— [Pause.]
Mr Speaker, ifwe go back to clause 22, subclause (2), itreads, and with your permission, I beg toquote:
HonChairman, I would want to find out --Have we dealt with clause 5, itemnumbered (i) in the original Order Paper?Or you are abandoning it?
Yes, Mr Speaker, we aredeleting it.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 5, subclause (1), paragraph (h),delete
What isyour reason for the deletion?
Mr Speaker, the reason isthat Local Government Service isrepresented already. Yesterday, wedebated it and agreed that it should bedeleted.
So, theQuestion was put and the Ayes had it. So,the debate is to continue. Hon Members, do you have anyviews? Otherwise, I would put theQuestion. Question put and amendment agreedto.
HonMembers, there is a last one to be dealtwith.
Mr Speaker, we have donethat already, which is also on the OrderPaper Addendum.
HonChairman, I believe you are referring toclause 5, paragraph (k), item numbered (iii)on the original Order Paper.
TheChairman says that he has no objection ifone of them is deleted, because theyappear to be talking about the same thing.So, if it is the view of the House that weretain the clause 22 (1) and abandon thenew clause, we could do so. Yes, Hon Gyan-Baffour?
MrSpeaker, I think that would be a better wayof doing it. This is because, with this newclause, the draftspersons would actuallyposition it just after clause 22. So, if youtalk about “it shall not be used for thispurpose” and then the next clausebecomes “disburse-ment of the fund”, itbecomes redundant. So, I think we shouldavoid that.
Yes, HonChairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I seek yourleave to withdraw that amendment.
“The Minister responsible forFinance shall within thirty days afterthe collection of the ‘Fund' …'” We would replace “levy” with “Fund”.
I believewhat you have here is --
It is actually “levy” undersubclause (2), but I think what we tried todo over here is actually to borrow therendition we had under the Hazardousand Electronic Waste Control andManagement Bill, 2016.
Very well. Mr W. O. Boafo — rose --
Hon W. O.Boafo?
Mr Speaker, undersubclause (1) of the new clause, the lastline -- I just would want to find out fromthe Chairman whether the “year”occurring in the last line is the precedingyear or any other year?
I think when we wereworking on the Hazardous and ElectronicWaste Control and Management Bill, 2016,we looked at this and debated it. It wasagreed by this House that we come outwith this rendition which we incorporatedin the Hazardous and Electronic WasteControl and Management Act. So, for consistency sake, we haveactually -- We do not need to reinventthe wheel when we have it already in oneof the Acts. That is why we maintainedthis same position.
Mr Speaker, I see someambiguity: “The Fund shall only be used forthe purposes specified under theAct and shall not be used for theday to day administration of theAuthority”. Mr Speaker, I do not know how thisrhymes in with the new clause that isproposed.
Mr Speaker, we are justputting emphasis on it that; it should beused specifically for the object.
HonMember, are you satisfied with theexplanation given by the Hon Chairman? Hon Chairman, could you go over theexplanation you gave early on?
Mr Speaker, I said, it is forthe sake of emphasis. We are emphasisingthe point. Though it is already in the Bill,as Hon Benjamin K. Kpodo referred to andwith your permission, I beg to quote: “The Fund shall only be used forthe purposes specified under theAct and shall not be used for theday to day administration of theAuthority”. Mr Speaker, it is clear over there, but ifHon Members feel strongly that it isalready in there and that it should bewithdrawn, maybe, it can be withdrawn.
Mr Speaker, the last bit ofwhat the Hon Chairman said, if we look atthe rendition, I believe that if we leave itas already captured in clause 22, it is alittle more tidier.
“The Fund shall solely be disbursedfor the achievement of the objectspecified under the Act”. [Amendment withdrawn by leave ofthe House.] New Clause -- Parliamentary approval
Mr Speaker, I think thisissue has also been raised under the OrderPaper Addendum, so, I seek your leave towithdraw the new clause on theparliamentary approval on the OrderPaper. [Amendment withdrawn by leave ofthe House.] New clause -- Reporting to Parliament
Chairmanof the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,new clause, add the following new clause: “Reporting to Parliament (1) The Board shall submit toParliament, within three monthsafter the passage of the Appro-priation Act, a Report on theprogramme of activities of theFund for the year. (2) The Minister responsible forFinance shall within thirty daysafter the collection of the levycause the levy to be paid directlyinto the Fund and furnish the Ministerresponsible for Environment, Science,Technology and Innovation withevidence of the payment. (3) The Minister responsible forFinance shall present toParliament every three months aReport on the payment ofmoneys into the Fund”.
Very well. Question put and amendment agreedto. New Clause -- Accounts and Audit
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,new clause, add the following new clause: “Accounts and Audit” Mr Speaker, I would want to make someamendments to subclause (1). Instead of“The Administrator”, delete “Administrator”and insert “the Fund ManagementCommittee.” So, it would read: “The Fund Management Committeeshall keep books of accounts andproper records of the Fund in a formapproved by the Auditor-General. (2) The books of account shallbe audited by the Auditor-General within three monthsafter the end of each financialyear. (3) In addition to the annualaudit, technical audits shallbe conducted on selectivebasis by the Auditor-General.”
Mr Speaker, first of all, theChairman said “the Fund ManagementCommittee”, I think it should be theresponsibility of the Board of the Authority to keep the proper books ofaccounts. This is because the Committeeis working under the Board. That is myfirst concern. Mr Speaker, the second point is that,the proper order is the books shall be keptand reports prepared within three monthsand submitted to the Auditor-General forauditing within the next three months. Thatis why if we go to clause 17, we would seethat subclause (2) states and with yourpermission, I beg to quote: “The Authority shall, submit theaccount to the Auditor-General foraudit within three months after theend of the financial year.” The clause 17(3) says the Auditor-General shall, not later than six months --That is the three months in addition tothe first three months -- do the auditingbefore reporting on it. Mr Speaker, amendment proposed onthe Addendum Order Paper suggests that,within three months, the Auditor-Generalshould complete the audit of the accounts.That is not the procedure. It is within thefirst three months that the Board orwhoever is responsible for preparing theaccounts, would do so and submit sameto the Auditor-General, who would alsodo the auditing within the next threemonths. That is why the renditions inclause 17 (2) and (3) of the original Bill arein place and should rather be maintained.
Very well. Chairman of the Committee, it looks likein your attempt to lift what is contained insome other Bill into this one, there appearsto be some form of duplication. So, how do you respond to the issueraised by the Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, I will take hisissue on the administrator first. We canreplace the ‘administrator' with ‘Authority'as he sought to amend.
HonChairman, do not forget that we have putthe Question on clause 17, and it has beenagreed to. That is it. So, is it the case that you are preparedto withdraw your proposed amendment,so that clause 17 takes care of thesituation? If not, then we would have totow another line of possibly deferring itfor further consideration by theCommittee. What do you say? Otherwise, Hon Minister, what is yourresponse?
Mr Speaker, clearly, in thisinstance, we have already approved of arendition that, if we were to insert this, itwould, in my opinion, create problems interms of how we would read the clausewhen it is finally passed. Unless, thedraftspersons would go and reconcile thisnew rendition with the old one, which wehave already approved, because we havevoted on this clause, and I think theyshould drop the clause so that we canmake progress.
Yes, HonKpodo, let us hear you. [Interruption.] Yes?
Mr Speaker, I seek yourleave to actually withdraw these newclauses so that we can --
Very well. Hon Members, leave granted. [Amendment withdrawn by leave ofthe House.] “… a report on the programme ofactivities of the Fund for the year.” Mr Speaker, is it a projected activity ora past activity? If we have adopted this rendition inthe previous enactment, and we are nowmaking another enactment, and we feelthat by making the correction here, itwould correct any ambiguity, I think weare entitled to do so. When it comes tothe interpretation of that particular Bill,they will use this Bill to explain theintentions of Parliament.
Chairmanof the Committee, there is a problem here;the Appropriation Bill is done in the yearbefore the implementation of whatevercomes. And we are saying that, threemonths after the Appropriation Bill, meansit is eating into the ensuing year. Can webe clear in our minds what we are referringto about the activities? I think that is wherethe problem is. Yes, Hon Gyan-Baffour?
Mr Speaker, I donot think there is anything wrong withthis. The Appropriation Bill comes inNovember, that is, a month before the yearthat it applies to. What he is saying hereis that, it is actually in relation to thatAppropriation Bill, and so, it is the year inwhich the Appropriation Bill takes effect;that is what he is referring to here. So, if itis ‘the ensuing year', it may even createmore confusion. [Laughter.]
Yes, W. O.Boafo, how do you respond to thatexplanation?
Mr Speaker, when it comesto matters like this, normally, I yield to the
Mr Speaker, item numbered12.
It looks likeI get the sense --
Mr Speaker, I haveexplained to my Hon Colleagues, and theyseem to have agreed with me, for us totake this Bill for only 30 minutes, then weadjourn the House.
Yes, HonDeputy Minority Whip?
Mr Speaker, he tried toconvince me, but I must confess, thenumbers here are also not encouragingfor Business to continue. So, Mr Speaker,if I had my own way, I would plead thatwe bring today's proceedings to an endand perhaps, continue tomorrow.
Very well. Hon Members, in the light of the issueraised, I direct that we bring proceedingsto a close.
Yes, HonDeputy Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, we agreed toallot some time to this Bill and go to theNational Disaster Management OrganisationBill, 2015. I believe this is the appropriate time tostop on this one and go to the other.
HonMembers, this brings us to the end of theConsideration Stage for today, as far asthe Land Use and Spatial Planning Bill,2016 is concerned. Hon Members, the Second DeputySpeaker is to take the Chair. Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, item numbered12 on page 5 of the Order Paper for today;National Disaster Management Organisa-tion Bill, 2015.
HonMembers, having regard to the time, Idirect that proceedings go beyond thestipulated time by our Standing Orders. Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader?