Correction of Votes andProceedings and the Official Report. [No correction was made to the Votesand Proceedings of Friday, 22nd July,2016.] [No correction was made to theOfficial Report of Wednesday 13th July,2016] Hon Members, the Votes andProceedings of Friday, 22nd July, 2016 ishereby adopted as the true record ofproceedings. Deputy Majority Leader (Mr AlfredKwame Agbesi): Mr Speaker, I rise onOrder 53 (2), to seek your leave to varythe order of Business for the day, toenable the Hon Minister for Finance takeitem numbered 6 on today's Order Paper,on the Supplementary Estimates for the2016 financial year.
Hon Members, the HonMinister for Finance is in the House onbehalf of His Excellency, the President torequest for the approval of Supple-mentary Estimates for the 2016 financialyear.
Hon Members, I willdefer the referral of the Estimates untilthe Hon Minister completes the movingof the Motion on the SupplementaryEstimates as provided in Order 140 (5). Hon Members, we now move to itemnumbered 6.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, thatthis Honourable House approves the sumof GH¢1,888,203,387.00 as SupplementaryEstimates for the 2016 financial year. Mr Speaker, in doing so, I wouldproceed by first presenting to this augustHouse, the review of the performance ofthe economy of Ghana for the 2015 and2016 financial years. Mr Speaker, on the authority of thePresident, His Excellency John DramaniMahama, the positive review, and inparticular, the need for SupplementaryEstimates, are necessitated by bothdomestic and global developments. Mr Speaker, again, on behalf of thePresident, I wish to express our profoundappreciation to this august House, foryour cooperation in the management ofthe economy. In particular, we wish toshow appreciation for the pursuit by theHouse of a very active legislative agendain the areas of fiscal, financial andmonetary management. No doubt, this hascontributed to a very clear turnaroundstory that now shines the nation's pathto a well-planned, bright and positiveprospects for the economy. Mr Speaker, despite a few lingeringproblems, we would demonstrate in thisstatement that, the context today is clearlydifferent from the challenges that madeHis Excellency President Mahama to callon fellow citizens to change course froman unsustainable path, at a time when Ipresented my first Budget on His Excellency's authority to this House inMarch, 2013. The specific aims of this review, andSupplementary Estimates, are to briefHon Members on the performance of theeconomy during the first five months of2016; and update the House on themacroeconomic performance, as well asthe Budget Estimates for the 2016 fiscalyear, and to request the House to approveSupplementary Estimates for the 2016fiscal year, and hence report on progresson major initiatives and programmes beingimplemented in various sectors of theeconomy, as contained in variousbudgets approved by this House. Mr Speaker, the update would highlightthe overall positive impact of thePresident's policies. It would show thatseveral daunting domestic and inter-national challenges did not hinder ourdetermination to change course. Moreimportantly, the strategic focus enabledus to pursue the very active infrastructureand development programmes that thePresident himself has been presenting inhis “Accounting to the People” visits. Mr Speaker, this is also the basis forthe turnaround, and the cause forpursuing a very robust growth agenda forthe near to medium-term. The launch ofour home-grown policies, which are nowpart of the International Monetary Fund(IMF) programme, were designed toachieve fiscal consolidation; addressshort-term vulnerabilities; reduce a highbudget deficit that has become harmful tothe private sector, as well as stabilise andreverse the rise in the post-HighlyIndebted Poor Countries (HIPC) publicdebt.
Mr Speaker, we can say confidentlythat we are on course to achieving thesegoals, through the management ofprudent, fiscal, financial, sectoral andmonetary policies. Provision of fiscal dataup to end of December, 2015 show thattotal revenue and grants were higher thanthe budget targets by five per cent. The overrun in total expenditures,including arrears narrowed to 2.1 per centabove targets. These performancesresulted in a cash budget deficit of 6.3 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP);much better than the budget target of 7.3per cent and 10.2 per cent in 2014. Mr Speaker, indeed, at 0.2 per cent ofGDP at the end of 2015, the primary budgetbalance that shows our ability to serviceloans for development, was a surplus forthe first time in over a decade. GDP alsogrew by 3.9 per cent at the end of 2015,better than the projected 3.5 per cent inthe Budget. Mr Speaker, it is getting better. With theeconomy growing by -- [Interruptions]--Mr Speaker, if I may repeat, it is gettingbetter with the economy growing by 4.9per cent in the first quarter of 2016compared to 4.5 per cent for the sameperiod in 2015. In spite of unanticipatedshortfalls in price and production of crudeoil, GDP growth is projected to end theyear at 4.5 per cent or better, as indicatedin the Budget. Mr Speaker, the nation's public debtlevel rose rapidly from a low 26 per centin 2006, with the steepest post-HIPCincrease of 31 per cent in 2007 toapproximately 72 per cent by the end of2015. We note that HIPC reduced the publicdebt from over 150 per cent; indeed, itmoved from about 180 per cent to 26 per
cent and created significant borrowingspace. That era ended with the increasein public debts above sustainable levelsas at 2013. We are proud to note that, for the firsttime since the declaration of HIPC, we wereable to slow down the rate of growth ofdebt accumulation between 2014 and 2015. Secondly, we are now able to reversecourse with a debt to Gross DomesticProduct (GDP) ratio, falling from 72 percent of GDP at the end of 2015, to 63 percent at the end of May 2016. Certainly, this is not the trajectory thatwould take the nation back to HIPC, assome have recently predicted. We wouldpersevere in bringing down the level ofour public debt. Mr Speaker, the budget deficit is alsonarrowing, as we raised more domesticrevenues and curtailed expenditureoverruns. Although the debt level isdeclining, we are able to continue the rapidexpansion of infrastructure throughprudent project management. The currency has been fairly stable andthe private sector confidence is bouncingback -- [Interruptions.] All these point to a sustainable turnaround, and gives very bright prospectsfor the economy. As promised when welaunched the home-grown policies, thistrend provides us with the opportunity toremove the temporary taxes, in particular,the fiscal stabilisation levy and thetemporary import duty that helpedreversed course in the near term. Mr Speaker, notwithstanding thesepositive developments, there have beena number of challenges in the domesticand global economic environment sincethe presentation of the 2016 Budget to in automatic increases in budgetallocation and expenditure. We would continue our focus oncompleting pipeline projects in all sectors;call for continuing prudence in spending;meet our obligations to contractors andsuppliers; and realign our statutory fundsto achieve our social intervention policiesand goals. Mr Speaker, against this background, Ihave come to this House to request forSupplementary Estimates in the amountstated earlier, in accordance with article179 (8) of the 1992 Constitution andStanding Order 143 of this House. Mr Speaker, permit me to touch on theperformance of the economy in moredetail. We wish to update the House withthe macro economic performance at theend of 2015. The 2016 Budget Statementthat was read on 15th November, 2015 wasbased on end-September 2015 perfor-mance, and projections of the end of theyear. For the second time, the Governmenthas produced and published the 2015Budget Performance Report on itswebsite, to provide this information indetail. Also, this presentation is asummary, and I entreat the HansardDepartment to take account of the fullversion of the Statement before the House. Mr Speaker, the end 2015 results anddevelopments to mid 2016 show that,the policies of the Government are ontrack and are gradually yielding thedesired results. As noted, GDP or national output grewby 3.9 per cent at the end of 2015, and by4.9 per cent for the first quarter of 2016. For the first quarter of 2016, industrydeclined by 1.1 per cent against a growthrate of 7.2 per cent in the same period in2015. This is mainly due to the challenges this august House in November 2015.These developments have affected theassumptions underlying the Budget. First, crude oil prices declined to a lowUS$28.00 per barrel in January 2016,compared to the US$53.06 per barrel usedin the Budget. Though the price has beenrising from March 2016, the range ofUS$45.00 to US$48.00 at the end of June2016 is still below the oil price projectionused in the 2016 Budget. Second, the defects in the turretbearing of the Floating, Production,Storage and Off-loading (FPSO) KwameNkrumah adversely affected crude oil andgas production for the first half of 2016. Third, despite the repairs made onthe broken West Africa Gas Pipeline,increased rebel and pirate activitiescontinue to adversely affect the supplyof gas to Ghana. This has a negativeeffect on power supply and consequently,the full recovery of the economy. These developments and the sluggishcommodity prices in general, will haveimplications for executing the 2016Budget. In particular, for the second yearrunning, the Government is compelled tocome to the House, as I am doing now, torevise the allocations made, in particular,to the Annual Budget Funding Amount. On a more positive note, however, theFPSO Professor Atta-Mills, docked inApril 2016, to signal another significantstep in our well laid out plan to changecourse for the future. Mr Speaker, we have already remindedMinistries, Departments and Agencies(MDAs) and Metropolitan, Municipal andDistrict Assemblies (MMDAs), that theSupplementary Budget would not result
I enumerated earlier, in particular, withrespect to the FPSO and the West AfricaGas Pipeline. However, the agriculture sector grewby 2.8 per cent, while the services sectorgrew by 8.8 per cent. This showsimprovements over the 1.7 per cent and2.5 per cent respectively, for the sameperiod in 2015. Inflation pressures remained high in2015, ending the year at 17.7 per cent. Itremains elevated due to the continuingpass through effects of the adjustmentsin utility prices and to a lesser extentpetroleum prices. On money and capital markets, theBank of Ghana has maintained themonetary policy rate at 26 per cent sinceNovember 2015, against mixed trends inthe money market. The cedi recoveredmuch of its lost value against the UnitedStates dollar (US dollar), between Januaryand April 2016, on account of tightmonetary policy and improved foreigncurrency flows. The cumulative rate of depreciationslowed to 0.02 per cent, and 2.7 per centagainst the US dollar and the eurorespectively; but it appreciated by 1.6 percent against the pound sterling. On average, the volatilities in theglobal commodity prices has led toadverse consequences for the economy.The deficits in the provisional tradebalance increase from January to April2016 was US$972.78 million as comparedto US$542.71 million for the same periodin 2015. Gross foreign assets increased by 66.26per cent, from US$5.9 billion, to nearlyUS$6 billion at the end of December 2015. This was sufficient to cover 3.3 monthsof imports, as at April 2016 as comparedto 3.4 months at the end of December 2015. Fiscal performance Task revenues amounted to 10.3 billion,and was 6.4 per cent below the budgettarget of GH¢11 billion. However, grantshave been broadly on target with thenegative deviation of 0.1 per cent. Theshort fall in tax revenue is mainly due tothe decline in commodity prices, notably,crude oil prices. In this regard, owing to low productionfrom the FPSO, there was only one crudeoil lifting by Ghana in May 2015, althoughthere were flows from an additional liftingmade in December 2016.The liftingproceeds from the 1.9 barrels, amountedto US$66.23 million. Additional petroleum revenuesamounted to GH¢20.92 million , comparedto a half year target of US$484.79 millionin the Budget Statement. Total expen-ditures, including arrears, amounted to17.6 billion against a target of GH¢18.4billion . Interest payments remain subdued,reflecting lower borrowing cost thananticipated. In January, expenditures werecontained to take account of the likelyshort falls in oil revenues, but there wereslight overruns of GH¢182.6 million on thewage bill. Mr Speaker, as indicated earlier,provisional data for January to May 2016,indicates that the cash fiscal deficit was2.5 per cent of GDP, as against a 2.2 percent target. This performance comparesto a budget deficit of 2.2 per cent of GDPduring the same period in 2015. House has also been assessing thesefinancing policies and other vital PFM,the issues under two Bills that are beforethe House -- the Consolidated PFM Billand the Bank of Ghana Amendment Bill. Mr Speaker, as noted earlier, the fastpace of accumulating public debt sincethe declaration of HIPC has started toslow down. The provisional data to endMay 2016, shows that the public debthas decreased, and at the end, it was from72 per cent at the end of 2015 to 63 percent at the end of May, 2016. The totalcomprises 26 per cent domestic debt and37 per cent forex debt, a mix that alsoshows the need for judicious balancebetween the two sources of raising funds. Mr Speaker, let us be clear on theprogress we are making. This is the firsttime -- [Interruptions.] This is the first time in our post HIPCera that we have slowed the rate ofgrowth of accumulating debts, asmeasured by the internationally accepteddebt to GDP ratio. Moreover, we have achieved this feat,against the background of enormouseconomic pressures, which resulted in thegrowth of GDP -- the denominator in theratio actually deepened for foursuccessive years. Mr Speaker, the point we are making isthat, regardless of challenges that areoften beyond our control, we keeptransforming the economy throughsuperior strategies and programmes. [Hear! Hear!] Despite this improvement, and in manycases, impressive performances, we arenot about to be complacent. The publicdebt to GDP ratio will continue to vary inline with factors such as new loans,disbursements, value of the Ghana cedi,and growth of output on GDP. The practical meaning of the annualdeclining deficit is that, Government isliving within its means, and therefore it isalso borrowing less from banks and thecapital markets, and putting less pressureon interest rates. This also makes morecredits or loans available to the privatesector to reduce the cost of doingbusiness and contribute to better growthin national output. Financing of the deficit Domestic financing of the deficit,including non-resident participation inour local bonds, amounted to GH¢4.3billion, while foreign financing resulted innet repayments of GH¢ 128.9 billion. Mr Speaker, the financing of the deficitis not in jeopardy, as had been reportedin some areas of the media. It is alsoimportant to note that, this is the firsttime in our country's history, that financingof the budget deficit, approved by thisaugust House, is not benefiting from anycredits or overdrafts from the Bank ofGhana till date. This is in consonance withthe zero financing policy. Mr Speaker, our ability to cope withoutthe Bank of Ghana financing coincideswith the major policy shift in fiscalmanagement. The exploration ofalternative sources of mobilising funds,including again, for the first time, the useof Ghana stock exchange to sell, re-finance and buy Government of Ghanathree-year bonds and five-year bonds.This is gradually replacing the traditionaluse of Bank of Ghana auctions which wecontinue to use for treasury and othershort-term bills. Mr Speaker, this is a significantdevelopment in the deepening of ourcapital markets. Mr Speaker, this august
However, our focus is clear. To makeour debt ratio sustainable and consistentwith “B” ratings in the capital markets, wewill continue with our smart borrowingprogrammes, in particular to increaseinfrastructural developments. Our new debt management strategiesinclude escrow and self-financingprogrammes, which to date, has seeninstitutions like the Ghana Ports andHarbours Authority, Airport Company,and lately, Metro Mass, being able to takeloans on their own balance sheets for thefirst time in many years. There will berestraint on borrowing through prudentquotas, notably, when GDP growthbecomes sluggish. Amortisation to minimise the bulletloans in our desktop.We will return to thissubject matter, more active domestic andexternal capital market engagements, forexample, to extend the tenure of our loansand use the sinking fund, which thisHouse put in place, to pay both principaland interest, not just the interest as hasbeen the practice, and improve the buyback policy we launched for marketablepublic debt instruments, to redeem ourdebt over the term of some loans, whenthey trade favourably on the capitalmarkets. In particular, we are improving debt andtreasury functions to make the public debtsustainable. In the last two bond issues, weachieved long term tenures or maturityperiods of 12 years and 15 years for thefirst time since we started issuing oursovereign bonds,thus stretching ourmaturity profile to 2030. This provides uswith a unique opportunity to implementour buy back policies in particular.
11. 55. a.m. Non-bank financial institutionsprogramme Mr Speaker, in recent times, non-bankfinancial institutions, and in particular,micro finance institutions have comeunder intense public scrutiny, includingscrutiny of this House. Often, they operate schemes that erodethe deposit base of micro finance, ruraland community banks by offeringcustomers very high and unsustainableinterest rates on their deposits. Besides the Bill in Parliament toregulate the practice, BoG plans to set upan apex institution for microfinanceinstitutions similar to the Apex Bank forrural banks. We are aware that the Bank of Ghana isworking on this proposal. Unclaimed access scheme The unclaimed access programme tobe launched soon is a programme formanaging the assets or funds that arepresumed to be abandoned, stranded andremain unclaimed by their owners.[Interruption.]The unclaimed funds arefor our constituents. The unclaimed funds include balanceson loss or dormant accounts with banksand other deposit-taking institutions,including dividends, bond interests,redemption proceeds, insurance premiumand pension entitlements, as it ispractised in even African countries likeKenya and La Cote d'Ivoire. Mr Speaker, under the programme,these funds would be transferred into anindependent Fund and managed effectivelytill they are re-united with their rightful The advanced and middle incomecountries, therefore, rely on these fundmanagers to raise long-term funds for thecapital budget, and many infrastructureprojects. Indeed, we are assessing the useof the GSE, to issue corporate bonds tosupport the ongoing energy sector State-owned Enterprises (SoEs) debtrestructuring programme. The Ghana Fixed Income Market Additionally, as part of measures toenhance secondary trading of all fixedincome securities, Government assisted inthe establishment of the Ghana FixedIncome Market, which is led by the BoG..The goal is to ensure greater efficiency,better and competitive pricing andincreased liquidity for bonds, includingGovernment bonds and the successfulimplementation of our buybackprogramme. Ghana Deposit Protection Scheme The Ghana Deposit Protections Act,seeks to establish a deposit protectionscheme to protect small depositors fromlosses incurred from the occurrence ofuninsured events. This initiative willdefinitely result in the development of asound and stable financial market inGhana, by boosting investor confidence.In fact, the comparison is the FederalDeposit Insurance Corporation in theUnited States of America (USA) not DKM. Mr Speaker, we are grateful to theHouse for passing this Bill last month,June 2016, to enable BoG establish theequivalence of the Deposit ProtectiveFund and Deposit Protection Corporation,to manage the scheme in the country, andin fact, protect small investors such asDKM. owner, in some cases, the next-of-kin, whomay not be aware of the existence of thefund after the owners die. [Uproar.] As practised in many advanced andmiddle income countries, the UnclaimedAssets Law will establish an Authoritywhich would proactively take measuresto manage these assets and also,proactively locate beneficiaries, or theirnext of kin for these funds, instead ofleaving them with the banking and otherfinancial institutions. In May, 2016, Cabinet approved aconcept note and action plan for theestablishment of the scheme. A task forcewas constituted and has consultedseveral stakeholders resulting in a draftUnclaimed Assets Bill. Currently, the Billis with the Attorney-General's Departmentfor final drafting. In due course, it wouldbe submitted to Cabinet and subsequently,laid before this House for consideration. Mr Speaker, we are convinced that,many of our constituents, who have lostfunds locked up in banks and otherinstitutions, will benefit from this Schemeimmensely. This is because the Authoritywould be charged with identifying themthrough addresses and other searchcriteria. Mr Speaker, I have already emphasisedthe points with strategies to manage ourdebt sustainably. These include on-lending and escrow arrangements whichwould cover commercial borrowing forMDAs as well as MMDAs. The shift fromsovereign guarantees to projectguarantees, including the use of the partialrates guarantee, which is what has madeit possible for the Sankofa FieldExploitation, particularly, by IPPs to comeon-stream. We are also pursuing interest rates andcommodity risk hedges. And as I said, wehave begun a buyback under the SinkingFund that was approved by the House. Mr Speaker, permit me to spend a littletime on this Scheme. We would recall that,the House approved the setting up of aSinking Fund in 2015, from funds thatbecome available above the cap on thePetroleum Revenue Management Act(PRMA) Stabilisation Fund. The purposeof the Fund is to periodically redeem ourexternal and domestic debts, especiallycurrent bullet bonds or loans. As at April,2016, an amount of about US$100 milionhad accumulated to the Sinking Fund. Under our Eurobond buybackprogramme, or repurchase of outstandingbond under favourable market conditions,the Government has used a portion of theSinking Fund to redeem US$30 million ofthe 2007 sovereign bond. We wouldcontinue incrementally, and this hastherefore, reduced the stock of that bondon the market to US$500 million, which isexpected to mature in October, 2017. Mr Speaker, the US$500 millionoutstanding on the 2017 bond is a matterwhich requires some consideration.Therefore, we propose the following; toraise funds from the capital marketsfavourably and use part to redeem, notincrease -- [Interruption] -- to redeemthe very bond that was issued in 2007. Mr Speaker, what we are doing isdevising a scheme that will make surethat we do not wait for ten years for ourbonds to mature and for us to re-financeit. [Hear! Hear!] Secondly, we propose to dedicate thebalance of the Sinking Fund as buffer in aprogramme to redeem the bond, shouldthe markets not be favourable in October,2017.
This is part of the plan to re-structuredomestic debt by extending the maturityprofile to allow for a more realistic buy-back of bullet stocks in our debt stocks.Already, the plan has seen yields on ourshort-term domestic debt, as well as ourexternal debts declining. [Hear! Hear!] Mr Speaker, the lesson for the nationis obvious. We must give full support tothe Government's Sinking Fund, buybackpolicy, debt servicing reserve andamortisation policies, to avoid thesituation where we face significant rollover risk in the future. This is a healthierway of financing development over asustainably long time on the capitalmarkets. It is practised by the Philippinesand other countries with superior rating. Accordingly, the Financial AdministrationActs (FAA), provisions on Sinking Fundare being enhanced in the proposedPublic Financial Management Bill that isbefore this House. Indeed, we need tochange course. Refinancing of energy sector -- SoE debt Mr Speaker, Government achievedanother debt restructuring goal byassisting Volta River Authority (VRA) andTema Oil Refinery (TOR) management toengage major commercial banks toimprove the terms for part of the debt onthe Authority's balance sheet. It alsoinvolves the first use of the Energy SectorLevy passed by this House to make theenergy and banking sectors more stable. The plan involved the restructuringand repayment of about GH¢2.2 billionover three to five years, with an upfrontpayment of GH¢250 million from the levy. Further, we want to boost this bufferby using part of the balance of theUS$235.5 million dollars of the remaining2015 bond, the one that was issued lastyear, for re-financing, which is whollydedicated for re-financing our debts. We also propose to increase the buffereven more by reviewing the cap on theStabilisation Fund to US$100 million, toenhance the flows into the Sinking Fund. In line with proposals approved by thisHouse, the excess amount over the capwould be transferred into the SinkingFund and Contingency Fund, with theportion remaining to increase theStabilisation Fund. Our short-term target with this strategyis the 2017 bond. But the medium-termfocus is to use the Sinking Fund tomanage our domestic and external debts,and as I said, pay them off rather thanwait for them to be re-financed. Given the risks posed by likelyunsuccessful rollover or buyback of the2000 bond, and further by a follow upevents in 2017, after the elections, theMinistry of Finance has recommendedthe extension of the 2016 bond issuanceadvisors to 2017, and assure investors ofour commitment to take off the bondswhen necessary. On the domestic debt instrument front,as at end of June, 2016, an amount ofUS$257.3 million or the equivalent of GH¢986 million of the 2015 bond was used topay down. In other words, re-purchaseour short-term domestic debt instrumentand extend their tenure in order that wecan apply the Sinking Fund moresuccessfully in re-paying them down.
General, to track all Government balancesheld in commercial banks and others. Weare introducing e-travel and e-fuel cardsto minimise the carrying of cash byofficials when they travel, particularlyoverseas and also introducing the e-fuelcards which have been piloted by somefilling stations to ensure control over theuse of fuel in the public sector. Mr Speaker, as is well known, wecompleted the Single Spine Salary Schemeand also upgraded the payroll andintroduced electronic salary voucherschemes as well as the e-slip schemeswhich enable public employees to nowcheck their statements electronically andalso enable the Controller andAccountant-General to ensure thatpayrolls are validated electronically by themanagement units. When we talk aboutmanagement units, we are talking aboutschools, hospitals and any institution thatis in the Budget. Mr Speaker, it is this scheme that isleading to the reduction in ghost namesbecause the head of the management unithas to validate the payroll and transmit itelectronically to the Controller andAccountant-General before wages,salaries and allowances are paid. We havejust completed a rationalisation throughnegotiations with categories II and IIIallowances, and we are in the process ofmigrating or interfacing the payroll ofmany subverted organisations which areon the Budget onto the Controller andAccountant-General's Integrated Payrolland Personnel Database (IPPD) schemes. We are implementing measures thatwould make it easier for the payment ofpensions through collaboration with theSocial Security and National InsuranceTrust (SSNIT). We have been aligning thestatutory fund expenditures with the Mr Speaker, the Dodowa DistrictHospital has been completed and it iscurrently receiving patients, while workon the Fomena, Kumawu and the AbetifiDistrict Hospitals are 60, 55 and 30 percent complete respectfully. Mr Speaker, progress is on-going oneight district hospitals located in KumasiSewua, Salaga, Tepa, Nsa kaw, TwifoPraso, Konongo and Atomic Junction.[Hear! Hear!] Mr Speaker, a total of 1,642 CommunityHealth and Planning Service Compounds(CHIPS) have been constrained acrossthe country. [Interruption.] In the spiritof ensuring effective service delivery,Government would pilot the newlycontracted University of Ghana and RidgeHospitals as centres of excellence, byallowing them to run on self-sustainingbasis without active private sector onparticipation under the Ministry of Health.This arrangement would ease the pressureon Government budget, while allowingthe facility to serve the needs of traininginstitutions. Mr Speaker, education. In fulfilmentof the promise to construct 200 communityday senior high schools, 123 new seniorhigh schools are being constructed acrossthe country. Many have reached advancedlevels of completion while, indeed, somehave been completed. Mr Speaker, during some of his“Accounting to the Peoples Tour”, hisExcellency the President has commissionednine of these wonderful edifices in the Central,Western, Volta, Ashanti, Brong Ahafo andEastern Regions. [Hear! Hear!] Many ofthese schools have improved facilities,modern school infrastructure; includingworkshops, dormitories, staff accommodationblocks and lecture theatres.
Hon Members, let uslisten to the Hon Minister for Finance. Thetime would come when we would belistening to ourselves. But for now, it isthe time for the Hon Minister to speak.
Mr Speaker, of particularrelevance is the University for Environmentand Sustainable Development Bill that waspassed by this august House. We wouldsoon commence actual construction workin Somanya in the Eastern Region and inother parts of the country. This is infulfillment of our vision to provide at least,one public university in all the 10 Regions. Mr Speaker, Government continues toimplement its fertilizer subsidy programmeto ensure food security. So far, 90,000metric tonnes have been distributed tofarmers. Work on a number of irrigationprojects are also progressing steadily.Over 231 hectares have been irrigated inPowasi in the Upper East Region, Atidzivein the Volta Region, Kpoglu Konokli inthe Eastern Region, Senebere in the UpperEast Region, Peyere in the Upper WestRegion and Doba also in the Upper WestRegion. Mr Speaker, in the fishing sector,major initiatives to provide the necessarylanding sites, fishing harbours cold storesand ice cramps in selected fishingcommunities are at various stages ofcompletion. Mr Speaker, in pursuit of ourcommitment to reduce social vulnerabilityand economic exclusion, the LivelihoodEmpowerment Against Poverty (LEAP)
currently covers 188 districts. As ofJune, 2016, the beneficiaries have reached147, 94 households. Data collection usingelectronic tablets was completed in 58districts and 125, 987 households havebeen enumerated. Mr Speaker, we also continue to makeprogress in the roads and bridges sector.Work is progressing steadily on majorroads such as the Ayanfuri-Asawinsoroad, Dodo Papase-Nkwanta road, Tarkwa-BogosorRoad, Agona Junction- Eluburoad, Anyaa-Pokuase road, the BurmaCamp-Giffard road which has reached 93per cent or 99.8 per cent completion, aswell as the flagship Kwame NkrumahInterchange Phase II project. Mr Speaker, over the last few years, wehave made significant investments in theprovision of potable water for our people.Major successes have been achieved andnational water coverage is expected toreach 85 per cent. Mr Speaker, we are making goodprogress in rural water projects, where atotal of 1,099 of the targeted 1,200 boreholeshave been drilled in the Central, Western,Northern, Upper East and Upper WestRegions. In the housing sector, Government isimplementing several projects, either onits own or in conjunction with the privatesector. These include; the continuing housingproject at Nyamedua Estates as well asthe Saglemi Phase II project. Mr Speaker, the 836 unit Keta seadefence housing project has seen 616 ofsuch houses completed. Mr Speaker, 368 unit security agencieshousing project at Tema New Town is on-going, following completion of 168 unitsat Tema Community 3 last year. Mr Speaker, SSNIT has taken over anumber of housing projects and work isprogressing very well at Sakumo-Klagon,as well as in other parts of the region. Mr Speaker, the petroleum sector isbeing integrated into the economy andcontributes about seven per cent to theGDP. Oil revenues contribute about threeper cent of total revenue and one per centto GDP. Among others, significantprogress has been made in the followingprojects; the two new oil fields, namely;the TEN field and the Sankofa-Gye Nyamefields, which are at various stages ofdevelopment. Mr Speaker, I am happy to report that,the first oil from the TEN field will likelyoccur in August this year, while theSankofa-Gye Nyame field is scheduled tostart production in 2017. Mr Speaker, the Atuabo Gas processingplant also continues to produce gas. It would be recalled that, HisExcellency, President John DramaniMahama, repeatedly assured Ghanaiansof the determination of his government tofix, rather than manage the powersituation. Consequently, under his ableleadership, the power sector hasbenefited from significant developmentsand invest-ments. Mr Speaker, some of the projectsinclude the Kpone Thermal Power Plant,the TICO power plants, the first half andphase II of the Asogli plant, the BXC solarplant, the Karpower and Ameri plants, andothers such as AKSA as well as theCenpower. Mr Speaker, in essence, the existinginstalled capacity of the country andcontinued injection from new powerplants is enough to meet current demand. Mr Speaker, in the last four years, 2,861communities have also been connectedto the national grid. This has pushedaccess to electricity in Ghana from about80 per cent to 82.3 per cent between 2015and June 2016. We retain our position as second insub-Saharan Africa to only South Africa.Despite these investments, we are not outof the woods yet due to challenges of fuelsecurity. The current power sectorbottlenecks emanates from the turretbearing challenges and the supply of gas,as I noted, from the West Africa Gaspipeline. These incidents have reduced theamount of gas supplied to power plantswhich run mainly on gas. Mr Speaker, in a bid to ease the currentchallenges, government is supporting thedelivery of 400 thousand barrels of lightcrude oil to feed stock, to enable the dualfuel plants that we have to produce morepower. In the near to medium-term, thecommencement of commercial operationsof the TEN projects in August 2016, andthe OCTP project in 2017, would boostthe supply of gas in the power sector. Thefirst gas for TEN and OCTP are expectedin 2017 and 2018 respectively. Mr Speaker, we also need to improvefinancial and operational management inthe energy sector, particularly in electricityprocessing and distribution. This is theessence of the support which is beingprovided to ECG under the MillenniumChallenge Account Compact II. Mr Speaker, the introduction of thederegulation of the downstream petroleummarkets in 2005, as part of the reforms tothe energy sector, has been given a majorboost. The automatic pricing formula thatwas used, was plagued with flaws leadingto government incurring, on average,about $400 million per annum and underrecoveries or subsidies, and US$200million on forex losses. By the first half of2015, it became obvious that the priceregulatory regime was unsustainable, andposed a huge drain on the fiscal andeconomic resources of the nation. Mr Speaker, it is important to note that,with the current liberalisation, we are oncourse, and have reduced long queues. Infact, queues at petrol stations havevanished. The subsidy that we used topay for petroleum products and utilityconsumption has gone down considerablyand subsumed in cross subsidy pro-grammes and above all, we are yet to seethe advent of forex loses under the newscheme. Mr Speaker, to this end, Governmenthas started a programme to support thepetroleum sector, and indeed, theimportation of light crude with strategicstocks. Mr Speaker, we are going to invest aportion of the Stabilisation Levy that waspassed by the House, and theInfrastructure Fund as I noted, in buildingmore fuel tanks and storing morepetroleum products as buffer, as it is donein countries as advanced as the UnitedStates of America (USA) and also in SouthAfrica. Mr Speaker, the massive investmentsin the energy, health, education and roadssectors are also continuing and they
continue to produce jobs. The Presidentrecently inaugurated the Komenda sugaractory to help create employment, andhas also inaugurated the Elmina fishfactory. Mr Speaker, in our effort to target theyouth and to provide them with decentjobs, the National Employment Policy waslaunched and Parliament also passed theYouth Employment Act. Towards theimplementation of the Act in 2016 Budget,Government undertook to engage a largenumber of youth; about hundredthousand in productive sectors. Mr Speaker, so far, about fortythousand out of the number have beenengaged in productive activities in sixsectors of the economy; Security,Community Teaching, Community Health,Youth in Afforestation, Youth in Appareland Sanitation modules. Mr Speaker, Government continues toformulate and implement the foreignpolicy of the country to ensure that Ghanaestablishes and sustains goodwill amongthe comity of nations. Under the ableleadership of His Excellency PresidentJohn Dramani Mahama, Ghana plays apivotal role in promoting sub-regional andcontinental harmony, and champions theresolution of crisis in the sub-region. Mr Speaker, our role in countries suchas La Cote d'Ivoire, Mali, Guinea, GuineaBissau, Sierra Leone, Liberia andelsewhere are well-known and recognised. Mr Speaker, it was in recognition of hisleadership that the President's term asPresident of the ECOWAS Council wasextended. It is also gratifying to know that HisExcellency President Mahama has beenappointed co-chair of the Group of SixteenEminent SDG Advocates to support theSecretary-General in his efforts to generatemomentum and commitment to achieve theSDGs by 2030. [Uproar.] Updates on the IMF programme. MrSpeaker, Ghana's economic programmewith the IMF is in its second year ofimplementation. Since the IMF ExecutiveDirector approved a three-year ExtendedCredit Facility (ECF) Programme in April,2015. The problem objective of restoringfiscal discipline, debt sustainability andmacro economic stability remain oncourse. Since they derive from the homegrown policies, they also have ownershipin the country. Mr Speaker, in addition to the firsttranche, support for the balance ofpayment that was disbursed after theapproval of the programme, Ghana has sofar had additional US$229.5 million,resulting from the second successfulreviews in September, 2015 and January2016. Mr Speaker, the third review missionto assess performance under the three-year Extended Credit Facility (ECF)Programme was held in May, 2016. As noted by the Mission in theirconcluding statement, implementation ofthe ECF programme, not withstandingheadwinds from low commodity prices,remains broadly satisfactory with most ofend of December 2015 performancecriterion met. Mr Speaker, the IMF is expected toapprove the review by end of August2016, after additional prior actions set bythe Fund are satisfied. It is important thatthese prior actions came after meeting theprogramme targets and were not part ofthe programme targets. Mr Speaker, using the methodologyprescribed under the Petroleum RevenueManagement Act (PRMA), the price ofUS$86 per barrel or even the revised priceof US$53 per barrel will not be met. Basedon the revised price of US$53 per barreland quantity of 38.73 medium barrels usedfor the 2016 Budget Statement, theestimated total petroleum receipts wasGH¢2 billion. Of this amount, one billionGhana cedis was allocated to the AnnualBudget Funding Amount (ABFA) tofinance critical capital projects. Mr Speaker, the crude oil price isestimated to average a wide range ofUS$40 and US$50 per barrel for 2016, lowerthan the average of US$53. Thesedevelopments would obviously affect theimplementation of the 2016 BudgetStatement and Economic Policy. Mr Speaker, on the authority of HisExcellency, President Mahama and inconsistence with section 7, subsections(2) and (3) of the PRMA, I would like torecommend to the House, a revision inthe benchmark revenue and its associatedexpenditures outlined in the 2016 BudgetStatement and Economic Policy. The purpose is to ensure theachievement of the micro-economicobjectives, prudent management and alsotransparency. Based on prevailing marketconditions and projections in the IMFWorld Economic Outlook, the Governmenthas adopted an average crude oil price of$45.35 per barrel for 2016. Of the revisedestimates for 2016 receipts, $524.5 millionwould be transferred to GNPC, US$262.9million to the Ghana Petroleum Funds(GPF) and US$613.5 million as ABFA forspecific projects. Mr Speaker, as a result of the revisionsmade to the Benchmark Oil Revenue andfiscal performance for the first five monthsof the year, the 2016 Revenue andExpenditure Estimates have been revisedto reflect these developments. Mr Speaker, the prior actions includepassage of the new Public FinancialManagement and Accountability (PFMA)Bill and the Bank of Ghana (Amendment)Act that are currently before this House. Mr Speaker, while Hon Members maybe aware of the House's procedures,permit me to use this opportunity toinform the public, and some incidentallyknowledgeable commentators that, theHouse has not yet taken any decision onthe provisions or clauses in these Bills.The Reports are even yet to be presentedto this House. Mr Speaker, significant progress hasbeen made in executing other prior actionsand in general, Parliament has beeninstrumental and supportive in themanagement of the programme. Mr Speaker, as I stated, the IMF Boardhas fixed a date for a Board meeting and itis important that we all allow the House todo its work, and also for other prioractions to be managed by the Government. Mr Speaker, since the approval of the2016 Budget Statement — [Inter-ruption]-- I am on the SupplementaryBudget, and I sought the permission ofthe Speaker. Mr Speaker, since the approval of the2016 Budget Statement and EconomicPolicy in December, 2015, there have beena number of developments of the globaland domestic economic environments. Asnoted earlier, and summarised below, thishas affected some to the assumptionsunderpinning the 2016 Budget Statementand Economic Policy. Crude oil prices fell to US$28 per barrelas noted earlier. We also noted the defectsin the Floating Production and StorageOffloading (FPSO), as well as on a morepositive note, the imposition of levies thathave resulted in an increase in revenues.
Mr Speaker, based on the crude oil priceassumption of U$45.35 per barrel, andrevised output of crude oil of 34.7 millionbarrels, total petroleum receipts for 2016is now estimated at GH¢1.4 billion, insteadof two billion Ghana cedis. The differenceof GH¢600 million is about 32 per centlower than the 2016 Budget target. Basedon the tax revenue performance in 2016,and the first five months of 2016, non-oiltax revenue is also estimated to be lowerthan the 2016 Budget target. Mr Speaker, it would be recalled thatthe House passed the Energy Sector LevyAct, 2015 (Act 899), hence the revenuefrom some of the levies and corres-sponding expenditures were not in the2016 Budget Estimates. To ensuretransparency and accountability for theproceeds from the levies, the associatedprojected revenues that traditionally gothrough the Consolidated Fund andspending, have been included in therevised fiscal fram work. Mr Speaker, in 2016, total revenue tobe generated from the Road Fund levy,Energy levy, the Price Stabilisation andRecovery levy, Public Lighting levy andNational Identification levy, as a result ofimplementation of the Energy Sector levyis estimated at GH¢1.09 billion. As a resultof the revisions to these receipts, totalrevenue and grants for 2016 fiscal yearhave been revised downwards byGH¢148.7 million from GH¢38 billion toGH¢37.9 billion. Revision to expenditures Mr Speaker, total expenditures andarrears clearance have been reviseddownwards from GH¢ 46.4 billion toGH¢46.3 billion, mainly on account of Consequently, Goods and Serviceshave been revised downwards by GH¢409million, from GH¢ 2.5 billion to GH¢ 2.1billion. Likewise, domestic finance capitalexpenditure has also been reviseddownwards by GH¢ 177 million from GH¢1.8 billion to GH¢ 1.6 billion. Mr Speaker, foreign finance capitalexpenditures have been reviseddownwards from GH¢4.9 billion toGH¢4.78 billion, on account of a changein exchange rate assumptions for theBudget statement. On the other hand,transfers to the GETFund have beenrevised upwards by GH¢60 billion toGH¢1.08 million on account of higherrevenues expected from VAT. Transfers to Road Fund is estimatedto increase by GH¢784.3 million onaccount of the increase in Road Fund levyas indicated in the Energy Sector LeviesAct (ESLA), 2015 (Act 899). Revised budget balance and financing Mr Speaker, on the basis of the revisedrevenue and estimates, the revised 2016Budget statement would result in anoverall budget deficit of GH¢8.4 billion,the same as the deficit figure in the originalBudget Statement. This would ensure thatthe pace of public debt accumulationremains as envisaged in the 2016 budget.The revised Budget deficit would befinanced, as usual, from foreign anddomestic sources in the amount of GH¢2.2 billion. Mr Speaker, net domestic financing ofthe 2016 deficit is now estimated atGH¢6.4 billion. The revisions to the fiscalframework would result in the requirement of
Hon Members, inaccordance with Standing Orders 143 and149, debate on the Motion shall standdeferred until the Business Committeedetermines the date for the considerationof the Supplementary Estimates. I direct that the SupplementaryEstimates stand committed to the FinanceCommittee for consideration and report,in accordance with Standing Order 140 (5). Thank you very much, Hon Members. Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker,having listened to this detailedSupplementary Budget Statement, wewould move back to the item --
Hon Deputy MajorityLeader, what item are we taking?
Mr Speaker, item numbered4 on the main Order Paper at page 2. an appropriation of GH¢ 51,998,055,121,against an amount of GH¢ 50,109,851,734.appropriated in the 2016 Budget Statement. Request for approval of SupplementaryEstimates Mr Speaker, as mentioned earlier in thispresentation, the aim of this SupplementaryEstimates is to seek Parliamentary approvalto commit additional resources outlined inthis Report to fund additional expendituresresulting from the revisions made to the2016 Budget Statement. In this regard, we are requestingapproval for a total amount of GH¢1,888,203,387.00 as SupplementaryEstimates for the 2016 financial year. Mr Speaker, in conclusion, we havemade progress in addressing theeconomic challenges and we are poisedto enter a brighter medium-term era for theeconomy. We have remained fosseddespite the turbulent waters as evidencedin significant progress that has been madein all initiatives and sectors of theeconomy. Mr Speaker, I beg to move that thisaugust House approves the 2016Supplementary Estimates, indicated inaccordance with article 179(8) of theConstitution and Standing Order 143 ofthe House. The Appropriation Billcovering this Supplementary Estimateswould be submitted to this august Housein accordance with article 179 (9) of theConstitution of the Republic of Ghana andStanding Order 144 of Parliament. Mr Speaker, I wish to assure thisaugust House, and the general public thatwe remain committed to our resolve toresist budget overruns and ensurefunding for a successful Elections, By the Chairman of the Committee -- (i) Report of the Committee onForeign Affairs on the Agreementrelating to the implementation ofPart XI of the United NationsConvention on the Law of the Seaof 10th December, 1982.
Item numbered (4) (b) (ii). By the Chairman of the Committee -- (ii) Report of the Committee onForeign Affairs on the Protocolon the Privileges and Immunitiesof the International SeabedAuthority.
Item numbered (4) (b) (iii).[Pause] Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, item numbered(4) (b) (iii) would be laid under the OrderPaper Addendum. It is properly capturedon the Order Paper Addendum as itemnumbered 1 (ii). So, we would lay it fromthere. [Pause.]
Hon Members, we wouldmove to the Order Paper Addendum. Item numbered 1 (ii) by the HonChairman of the Finance Committee? By the Chairman of the Committee -- Report of the Committee on ForeignAffairs on the African Charter onStatistics Adopted by the Assemblyof Heads of State and Governmentof the African Union at the TwelfthOrdinary Session of the Assembly,held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 4thFebruary, 2009.
On which matter?
Mr Speaker, I comeunder Standing Order 7, I believe, whichallows me --
Hon Second DeputySpeaker, what item on the Order Paper?
Mr Speaker, the item thathas caught my attention is item numbered4 (d).
Hon Second DeputySpeaker, it has not been laid. I tried to get in touch with the HonChairman of the Subsidiary LegislationCommittee, the Hon Member for AkwapimSouth, Hon O. B. Amoah. I was informedthat they would lay the Report tomorrow.That is the information supplied to me. Therefore, let us wait for him to lay theReport and then we can -- I learnt the Instrument would maturetomorrow.
Mr Speaker, that is why Ihave taken this unusual step out of turn.
Hon Second DeputySpeaker, let us -- Hon Member for Manhyia South?
MrSpeaker, the Instrument so mentionedmatures today, and it is effective tomorrow.The end of today marks the 21st day. Mr Speaker, maybe, you would haveto consult the Table Office.
Please, I was advised thismorning by the Table that the Instrumentwould mature tomorrow.
Hon Members, itemnumbered 4 on the Order Paper --Presentation of Papers. Item numbered 4 (a) on the Order Paperby the Hon Minister for Finance?
Hon Deputy MajorityLeader, is the item numbered 4 (b) (i) onthe Order Paper ready?
Mr Speaker, yes, it is ready.
Very well. Item numbered 4 (b) (i).
The Hon Second DeputySpeaker to take the Chair.
Mr Speaker, item numbered5 on the main Order Paper.
Yes, but let me find out;is item numbered 1 (i) on the Order PaperAddendum ready?
Mr Speaker, yes, I aminformed it is ready?
Hon Ranking Member, isit ready?
Hon Members, OrderPaper Addendum, item numbered 1 (i). By the Chairman of the Committee -- Report of the Finance Committee onthe Public Financial ManagementBill, 2016.
Hon Deputy MajorityLeader, which item are we taking?
Mr Speaker, we should goto item numbered 5 on the main OrderPaper -- Presentation and First Readingof Bills.
Hon Second DeputySpeaker, you were supposed to take theChair.
Mr Speaker, I cannotbe a judge in my own court.
Do you want to make asubmission?
Mr Speaker, yes.
Mr Speaker, the courtshave said quite clearly that our role insubsidiary legislation is simply to eitherannul it by a two-thirds majority or to justsee it pass through the House after 21days. Mr Speaker, we have not set outdetailed practice in dealing with this matter,especially, since after the Supreme Courtcame to that decision. Mr Speaker, before the Supreme Courtcame to that decision, these Bills wouldcome before the House, they would go tothe Committee and a Report wouldsubsequently be brought. Mr Speaker, in this particular Bill, it waslaid before the House on the 22nd June,2016, so it would come into effecttomorrow. The L.I. itself was madeavailable to Hon Members last week. Ifwe are getting the Report tomorrow, whichis the day it comes into effect, how canwe decide whether we want to annul theL.I. or not? We cannot. Mr Speaker, so, if we look at the spiritand letter of the Constitution, the intentof those who framed the Constitution wasnot merely that it be laid and simply begiven to a Committee of the House, whichCommittee does not form even one-tenthof the Membership of the House, more orless, two-thirds.
Mr Speaker,thank you. Mr Speaker, one would need to beguided, whether in the history of thisHouse, an Instrument has been annulledby two-thirds majority. It has neverhappened. I am just asking that we shouldbe guided by the traditions of the House.As for the day that the Instrument matures-- It is also going to pass with theeffluxion of time, when Parliament rises -- We have had so many of them. Mr Speaker, so, we should not assumea bigger burden than the circumstancesimposed on us. Unless there are veryserious constitutional and statutoryconflicts with this, it would be difficult tostart advocating that there is a possibilityof an annulment now. Mr Speaker, so, by tomorrow, if itmatures, it will still be consistent withpractice, that it is either adopted by theHouse or it becomes law with the effluxionof time.
Let me hear from the HonMember for Sekondi, then the HonMinority Leader.
Mr Speaker, astatement was made by the Hon Memberfor Esikadu/Ketan, the Hon SecondDeputy Speaker that the L.I. was madeavailable to Hon Members last week.Presumably, at the time that the L.I., waslaid, there were insufficient copies beforethe Clerk-at-the-Table. Mr Speaker, that is also verydangerous, what we have come to call“kangaroo laying”. This is because thereare weighty matters in that L.I. matters thathave to be dealt with by substantivelegislation.
Mr Speaker, no; the 21Sitting days is today.
Hon Deputy MajorityLeader, when would the Instrumentmature? [Pause.]
Mr Speaker, we arecrosschecking from the Office of the Clerkto Parliament to know the date.
Mr Speaker, it was laidon the 21st Sitting day of this Meeting,and today, is the 41st Sitting day. The 21Sitting days ends today.
Hon Members, I havebeen advised by the Clerks-at-the-Tablethat it will come into force tomorrow.
Mr Speaker, we findourselves in a curious situation, whichdoes not change, whether it is cominginto force today or tomorrow. The provision of the Constitution isquite clear. More specifically, article 11 (7)is quite clear to our role as Parliament inthe coming into force of Orders, Rules andRegulations -- Subsidiary Legislation. Mr Speaker, indeed, the Supreme Courthas put this issue beyond doubt in thetwo cases. I would not quote extenso, butif I may just mention the cases. Mr Speaker, the Supreme Court hassaid --
Hon Second DeputySpeaker, you know what you are doing. The opportunity I am giving you is avery rare one because you are my HonDeputy. I would want you to quickly makethe point before you take the Chair. I have to listen to you and this is whyI am giving you the chance. It is a veryrare opportunity. Mr Speaker, the intent and spirit wasthat, all the Hon Members of the Housemust have 21 days to study, look at it andarrive at a decision. If it is not 21 days orless than that -- Mr Speaker, how can we make adecision when we are receiving it on thelast day? So, this is a unique situationand we look to the Speaker to give usdirections.
Hon Second DeputySpeaker, what I would do -- Indeed, whenI tried to find out from the Hon Chairmanof the Committee when the Report wouldbe ready, and he mentioned tomorrow, Idid not know that the L.I. matures today. I have been told that the L.I. will comeinto effect tomorrow. Now that I know, Inow direct the Committee to go and bringa Report today. This is because it wouldbe difficult for us to argue when there isno Report before us. It would be aprecedent that we cannot sustain. You have a very genuine concern,because the Report must come for us toexpress our views and take a decision. So,I direct that Hon Members of theCommittee must bring their Report.When the Report is ready, I would takeover the Chair from the Hon SecondDeputy Speaker so that he can make hissubmission.
Mr Speaker, thank youvery much.
By so doing, our act willbe consistent with the rules of the Houseand at the same time, we can offer you theopportunity to express your opinion. Yes, let me hear from the Hon Ministerfor Defence and the Hon Member forSekondi on this matter.
Mr Speaker,I believe the Hon Minister responsible forDefence spoke to the issue with the bestof intentions. As a former Hon MajorityLeader and a former Hon Chairman of theCommittee on Subsidiary Legislation, Ibelieve he was only drawing attention to
Hon Members, I havegiven a directive from the Chair that letthe Committee bring their Report today,then the opportunity would be offered forus to express our opinion on the matter.
Mr Speaker, Ibelieve that the Committee, with the bestof intentions cannot submit the Reporttoday. If according to our StandingOrders, that L.I. must not be allowed topass by effluxion of time, Parliament maynot be undertaking its Constitutional duty. Mr Speaker, I would want to appeal toyou to give us time, irrespective ofwhether the Report is ready or not, forHon Members to debate the matter. If theL.I. was distributed to Hon Members justlast week, then presumably, the Committeehad it only last week.This is a matter thatwe ought to take very serious notice of,particularly, when the House is going torise sine die. Mr Speaker, I would want you to askthe Clerks-at-the-Table whether they hadsufficient copies of the L.I. at the time thatit was laid. It is something that I knowhappened. I would not even want to raisethis Standing Order by a very substantivematter.
Hon Member for Sekondi,when you were on official assignmentoutside the jurisdiction, the Hon Memberfor Manhyia South, to the best of myknowledge,raised this matter on twooccasions. On one occasion, he was supportedby the Hon Member for Tarkwa-Nsuaem,that the document had been laid but hadnot been made available to Hon Members.I gave a directive from the Chair that theyshould make the document available toHon Members. what ought to be done. Mr Speaker, indeedand in truth, the Instrument that we havebefore us is fraught with certain technicaldifficulties. Indeed, it is statutory, what todo with it, it is unfortunate that we findourselves in this situation. Mr Speaker, I would want to plead withHon Colleagues that we should wait untilthe appointed time. As you said - thisevening. It is important for the House todebate it and take a decision on that,because there appears to be someinconsistency and we must be careful asa House on what we do. Unfortunatethough, we are being told that after layingit, it took a while for the Instrument to beavailed to Hon Members. I must honestlyadmit that I saw a copy of it just lastThursday --
Tuesday! I am relatingto myself.
Mr Speaker,I saw --
I gave you a copy in myLobby on Tuesday and that was the day Ialso saw it.
Mr Speaker,I am relating to myself and not theSpeakership. Mr Speaker, be that as it may, as aHouse, we must be very dispassionateabout it, and I agree with you, MrSpeaker, that we should wait until wehave the Report. Whatever it is, beforewe adjourn today, we must come to somedetermination on that matter. Mr Speaker, I agree with you.
Hon Members, I haveordered that the Subsidiary Legislation Committee chaired by Hon O. B. Amoah,must move out of the Chamber and bringthe Report on the item numbered 4 (d) onthe Order Paper. I so direct. Second Deputy Speaker to take thechair.
Mr Speaker, we could takeitem numbered 5 -- Presentation and FirstReading of Bills by the Hon Minister forFinance.
Hon Deputy MajorityLeader, is this a priority Motion? Thereare some matters that we need to takebefore we adjourn, is it one of them?
Mr Speaker, this morning,I had instructions from the Hon MajorityLeader that this Paper should be laid, andthat is why I called item numbered 5.
I am not saying that wewould not take it, but because we have anumber of Bills and items before us, thatis why I am asking you. You are in chargeof Government Business, and if you thinkthat it is a priority based on your schemeof issues, I would call the item to be taken.I would call it so that whoever would movethe Motion would do that. It is a verysimple question that I am asking those incharge of Government Business, on thefloor.
Mr Speaker, we wanted tolay this one before we go further for thoseMotions to be taken. Mr Speaker, item numbered 5.
Mr Speaker, having doneso, we could go to item numbered 4 onthe Order Paper Addendum.
Itemnumbered 4 on the Order PaperAddendum -- Hon Chairman of theCommittee?
BILLS -- FIRST READING
Hon Deputy MajorityLeader, you have confused me. We havetwo Order Papers and so, when youmentioned item numbered 5 withoutqualifying it --
Mr Speaker, sorry. Item numbered 5 on the main OrderPaper.
Very well. Second Deputy Speaker to take theChair.
[MR SECOND DEPUTY SPEAKER IN THE CHAIR.]
HonMembers, Order! Order! Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, we have takenitem numbered 5 on the main Order Paperand we are going to item numbered 4 onthe Order Paper Addendum.
Itemnumbered 4 on what? Hon Members, Order! Order! move, that notwithstanding the provisionsof Standing Order 80 (1) which require thatno Motion shall be debated until at leastforty-eight hours have elapsed betweenthe date on which notice of the Motionis given and the date on which the Motionis moved, the Motion for the adoption ofthe Report of the Finance Committee onthe African Charter on Statistics adoptedby the Assembly of Heads of State andGovernment of the African Union at thetwelfth Ordinary Session of theAssembly, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,4th February 2009 may be moved today.
Mr Speaker, I riseto second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to.
Mr Speaker, now, we couldmove to item numbered 5 on the OrderPaper Addendum.
All right,item numbered 5, Hon Chairman of theCommittee? Adoption of the Report on theAfrican Charter on Statistics Adoptedat the Twelfth Ordinary Session of theAU Assembly
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, that this Honourable House adoptsthe Report of the Finance Committee onthe African Charter on Statistics adoptedby the Assembly of Heads of State andGovernment of the African Union at theTwelfth Ordinary Session of the Assembly,held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 4thFebruary 2009.
Part II (Final provisions - articles 12 -17). In these articles, provision is madefor the highlights of safeguardclauses, interpretation, signature,ratification and accession, entryinto force, amendments, revisionand depository of the charter. Observations Rational for the adoption of the AfricanCharter In view of the fact that statisticalinformation is considered worldwide as avital tool for decision-making, particularlypolicy makers, as well as economic andsocial players, the adoption of the AfricanCharter seeks to strengthen coordinationof statistical activities and collaborationbetween statistical data providers,producers and users on the Africancontinent. Ratification of the Charter The Acting Government Statisticianinformed the Committee that article 16 ofthe African Charter on statistics stipulatesthat, the Charter shall enter into force Statistics holds several benefits for Ghana,including providing comparable data foreffective evidence-based policy decision-making towards the quest to eradicatepoverty and crime, ensuring improvedquality and comparable statistics requiredto monitor the economic and socialintegration processes on the continent. Furthermore, the ratification willensure that all national statistics officesadhere to the fundamental principles ofproduction, storage, management,dissemination and use of statisticsinformation. The Charter will also serve as areference framework for Africanstatisticians, by serving as a professionalcode of ethics and international bestpractices that will promote a culture ofevidence-based policy formulation,monitoring and evaluation, and improvetechnical cooperation statistical mattersamong member States. Conclusion and recommendation The Committee, having carefullyexamined the referral, is convinced thatthe ratification of the African Charter onStatistics will benefit Ghana towards theacceleration of Africa's integration process,as well as facilitate comprehensiveimplementation of growth and develop-ment programmes that will help combatpoverty, based on clear evidence with thesupport of a robust statistical data system. The Committee therefore recommendsto the House to adopt its Report andapprove by resolution, the request for theratification of African Charter on Statisticsadopted by the Assembly of Heads ofState and Government of the AfricanUnion, at the Twelfth Ordinary Sessionof the Assembly, held in Addis Ababa,Ethiopia, on 4th February 2009, inaccordance with article 75(2) of the 2000, the shared vision on the Treatyestablishing the African EconomicCommunity, which was adopted in Abuja,Nigeria, in 1991. The Treaty was aimed atpromoting economic, social, cultural andself-sustained development, as well as theintegration of African economies. This was in view of the backdrop thatAfrican Union member States, for a longtime, have operated on disparate levels,as far as the compilation, use anddissemination of statistical information isconcerned. In an effort to produce aharmonised platform for nationalstatistical agencies to operate, the AfricanUnion (AU) developed unified guidelinesfor use by member states. The policy guidelines of the AfricanUnion are geared towards the accelerationof Africa's integration and combatpoverty based on clear evidence. Ittherefore requires a robust statistical datasystem with the capacity to providereliable, accurate, timely and an all-inclusive harmonised statisticalinformation on the African continent. Pursuant to the above, the Governmentof Ghana signed the African Charter onStatistics after it was adopted by theTwelfth Ordinary Session of the Assemblyheld in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 4thFebruary 2009, with the aim of putting inplace a common legal framework forstatistics development, integration andsustainability on the African continent. Provisions of the Charter The African Charter is divided into twoparts as follows: Part I (General provisions) has fivechapters comprising 11 articles as follows: thirty (30) days after the deposit of theinstrument of ratification by 15 memberStates. She indicated, however, that asof 15th July 2016, 17 member States haveratified the Charter and Ghana is seekingto ratify the Charter also in conformitywith the United Nations FundamentalPrinciples of Official Statistics whichguides the operations of the nationalstatistics offices. Stake holder consultations The Committee was informed thatduring the process to have the Charterratified, the GSS has consulted withrelevant Ministries and stakeholders suchas the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, andRegional Integration, Finance and Justiceand Attorney General's Department. The Acting Statistician explained thatall these bodies have supported therecommendation option to ratify theAfrican Charter on Statistics in order toimprove upon the collection of data,compilation, analysing and disseminationof statistical information within theAfrican continent, so as to provide moreaccurate, reliable, relevant and timely datafor planning and decision making. Financial obligation to Government The Committee noted that apart fromthe implementation of the communicationplan that would be funded by theGovernment of Ghana, and DevelopmentPartners through the Ghana StatisticsDevelopment Project (GSDP), there will beno other financial commitments on the partof Government. Ghana Statistics Servicewill however, provide the relevant humanresource for the task. Benefits to be derived The Committee noted that theratification of the African Charter on Constitution, and Order 169 of theStanding Orders of the Parliament ofGhana. Respectfully submitted. Ranking Member of the Committee(Dr Anthony Akoto Osei): Mr Speaker,my senior Colleague asked me why weare working on this non-controversialReport. I just advised him that I do notdictate when Reports come, but I am infavour of it being done, since it isharmless. We are fulfilling something thatother countries have done. In fact, we were told the Report wasfirst referred to the Committee on ForeignAffairs. They had gone to Ada to meetand prepare a report. Then, the FinanceCommittee met upstairs in conferenceroom 6 to also prepare the same report.Clearly, somebody must be worried thatthe sooner we adopted the Report, thebetter. So, it is very harmless, my seniorColleague. The adoption of a Charter onStatistics --
On a point ofOrder. Mr Speaker, it really has to do withour procedures. Mr Speaker, if a Paper has been laidand referred to a Committee of the House,how could the same Paper at a later datebe referred to another Committee? Unlessthere is something on record to show thatthe referral to that Committee had beenwithdrawn. Mr Speaker, from what the HonRanking Member has told us -- he said,“we were told”. If we were told, before weproceed, the records must show that theReport was properly referred to the Committee on Finance and the Committeeon Finance therefore has locus to laythe Report before the House. Mr Speaker, I guess before wecontinue, it might help if the Clerks-at-the-Table would advise you on the matter.
Mr Speaker, if he hadallowed me to land, this matter would havebeen explained. I said we were told.Subsequently,the Clerk informed the HonChairman of the Finance Committee thatit was only referred to the Committee onFinance. That was what the Clerk hadtold the Hon Chairman of the Committee. So, officially, the Finance Committeehas locus in presenting the Report to thisaugust House. That is the answer to hisquestion.
On apoint of order. Mr Speaker, first of all, Iwould want to correct an impression beingcreated that the Committee on ForeignAffairs went to Ada to consider thatReport alone. In fact, we consideredseveral reports, including that one. Thatis the impression I would want to correct.
So, HonChairman of the Committee on ForeignAffairs, was the Report referred to you?
Mr Speaker, that was theimpression I had. [Laughter.]
So, howwere you considering it? Yes?
Mr Speaker, my goodfriend should not get me wrong. Thereference to Ada was not meant in anegative way. I understand that the
Commitee on Foreign Affairs were doingother things. But it still remains a mysteryhow his Committee said that it was referredto them. Mr Speaker, I have no problem if theyhad looked at it. This is because thesubject matter does not really get intostatistics. It is a protocol matter. So, Ihave no problem at all, and I do not needto say that they went to do some harm atAqua Safari. Mr Speaker, as I said, it is a protocolmatter, so there is no objection to that.But I think that as my Hon Chairman said,statistical information is very crucial tothe development of a nation. For thatreason, I urge Hon Members to adopt theReport of the Committee on the ratificationof the African Charter on Statistics, whichwould help our Governments improve ontheir process of integration andimplementation of growth and develop-ment. Mr Speaker, with those few words, Ithank you. Question proposed.
Ministerfor Foreign Affairs and RegionalIntegration?
Mr Speaker, I rise tosupport the Motion requesting thisHouse to ratify the African Charter onStatistics. Mr Speaker, the whole point of thisparticular piece of legislation, whichhopefully we would proceed todomesticate into our own national laws isto ensure that at the continental level, wego through the same processes ofpreparing our statistics. This is especiallynecessary, given the kind of things thatwe want to proceed on going forward. Mr Speaker, we have also set ourselvesa deadline of 2017 to establish acontinental free trade area. There arenegotiations that are currently in processto achieve that. We are talking aboutestablishing at some point in time, anAfrican economic community. All ofthese things require most importantly,credible, reliable, financial and statisticalinformation. So, this is to create the platform thatwe are all doing things in the same way,that when it comes to reporting on thesematters, we all know that basically, we areon the same page and we are doing thesame things. As the Hon Ranking Member and theHon Chairman said, this really is not acontroversial matter, and I am hoping thatafter I have finished, we might not debateit in extenso and the House would goalong with the recommendations made bythe Hon Chairman and the Hon RankingMember, to ensure that it is ratified today. Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. Question put and Motion agreed to.
Mr Speaker, we seek yourpermission for the Hon Deputy Ministerfor Finance to take the Resolutioncontained in item numbered 6 on behalfof the Minister.
Itemnumbered 6 on the Order PaperAddendum.
TheNational Disaster Management OrganisationBill, 2015 at the Consideration Stage.
BILLS -- CONSIDERATIONSTAGE
Mr Speaker, on clause 38, weconsulted the Majority and the Minority,and we are sticking to the amendment. Theoriginal amendment was: “after “Assem-bly” add “subject to the formula approvedby Parliament in accordance with article252 of the Constitution.”
“moneys allocated to the Organisationfrom the District Assemblies CommonFund by Parliament in accordance witharticle 252 of the Constitution.” Mr Speaker, we would like thatamendment to stand and in doing so, Iwould like to also refer Hon Members toclause 55, where concerns were raised byHon Members that the Fund shouldremain at the community level. So,looking at clause 55 (a), we are going toamend that too we allocated for disastermanagement at community level. I believethat resolves the problem as the moneyremains within the district. Mr Speaker, when we go to clause 45,it is a consequential amendment. So, wewould be grateful if the Question is puton this.
HonAkoto Osei? would happen if that particular district didnot have a disaster? What would happento the money? And that is addressed inclause 55, in the consequentialamendment, where it says: “(4A) The proposal for the formulasubmitted to Parliament” which we are going to make anamendment there. But for: “(a) to be allocated for disastermanagement at communitylevel, and (b) form part of the NationalDisaster Management Fund.” So, I believe the objections that wereraised have been addressed.
Should Iput the Question? Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 38 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
Clause45? -- [Pause.] Clause 45 to 47 ordered to stand partof the Bill.
Mr Speaker,I believe clause 48 (1) provides that; “(1) An authorised officer, agent orvolunteer of the Organisation isnot liable for any act committedor omitted in the discharge of aduty under this Act.” Mr Speaker, I believe -- WHEREAS by the provisions ofarticle 75 of the Constitution anytreaty, agreement, or conventionexecuted by or under the authorityof the President in the name ofGhana is made subject to ratificationeither by an Act of Parliament or bya resolution of Parliament supportedby the votes of more than one-halfof all the Members of Parliament. In Accordnance with the saidArticle 75 of the Constitution, thePresident has caused to be laidbefore Parliament through theMinister responsible for Finance theAfrican Charter on Statisticsadopted by the Assembly of Headsof State and Government of theAfrican Union at the TwelfthOrdinary Session of the Assembly,held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 4thFebruary 2009 on 18th May 2016. NOW THEREFORE, this HonourableHouse hereby resolves to ratify thesaid African Charter on StatisticsAdopted by the Assembly of Headsof State and Government of theAfrican Union at the TwelfthOrdinary Session of the Assembly,held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 4thFebruary, 2009.
Mr Speaker, I rise tosecond the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Mr Speaker, item numbered12, the National Disaster ManagementOrganisation Bill, 2015 on page 5 of the OrderPaper.
Mr Speaker, I did nothear my Hon Chairman clearly. I thoughtwe were dealing with the amendmentadvertised. He appears to further amendit.
No! Myunderstanding was that, he sought tojustify or explain the amendment. He didnot further amend it.
What we are looking atis the advertised amendment. Is that it?
HonChairman, is it only the advertisedamendment we are looking at?
HonChairman, I know you have an imposingvoice, but you have to speak into themicrophone so that you would becaptured. Clause 38 -- Sources of money for thefund.
Mr Speaker, my apologies. Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 38,paragraph (c), line 2, after “Assembly”add “subject to the formula approved byParliament in accordance with article 252of the Constitution”. Mr Speaker, Hon Members roseagainst the three per cent of the share andwe came out with a new rendition to clause38(c). It is money allocated to theOrganisation from the District AssembliesCommon Fund by Parliament inaccordance with article 252 of theConstitution. The objection raised wasthat, the way the rendition was, what
I am sorry. Mr Speaker,we decided to delete clause 48,“Immunity”, and just say “compensationfor officers, agents and volunteers of theorganisation”, and also delete subclause(1), which states; “An authorised officer, agent orvolunteer of the Organisation is notliable for any act committed oromitted in the discharge of a dutyunder this Act.” Subclause (2) becomes subclause (1), “The Organisation shall paycompensation to a person, adependant or next of kin of a personwhose death, bodily injury ordisability is as a result of theperformance of a function underthis Act.” So, that was the amendment that weproposed.
Theamendment is that we delete clause 48 (1). Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 48 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
Mr Speaker, wehave an amendment to introduce.
So, whydid you not advertise it? You had thewhole weekend. Continue, anyway.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Clause 55 -- Consequential amendment
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,that in view of the amendment to clause38, I now propose that under clause 4 (a)of the District Assemblies' Common FundAct which has been reproduced under theconsequential amendment, be amended as follows; we delete three per cent, in line 3of subsection 4 (a) and insert “anallocation”. That would be in conformity with theamendment in Clause 38 (c).
Mr Speaker appearsto agree with him, because if we specifythe three per cent and the formulae doessomething else, we would be in trouble,so I believe an allocation is in conformity.
Mr Speaker,I believe with the amendment we wouldhave to get that construction right,because he says to us that we shoulddelete “shall indicate that three percent” --
Anallocation of the share. We delete fromthat three per cent.
Yes, I amsaying that the amendment would alterthat construction, and the linkage betweenthe preamble and (a) would be missing. Ifwe could look at it again, it does not flowfrom it at all.
You donot disagree with it in principle.
Not inprinciple. I am just saying it does not flow.
All right,so, the draftsperson would take care ofthat. The import of the amendment is toreplace “three per cent” with “anallocation”.
The import of theamendment is to say that three per centshould go to the National DisasterManagement Organisation (NADMO). for the Interior was addressing you, hewas just rubbing his head with his palm. Iwas wondering, if he does not have thecourage to address you. I was wonderingwhy he was making an application andwas doing that, since I know him. He is a very competent person and itwas as if he was scared, so, I was tryingto catch your attention to entreat him toapproach you with courage, so that yougrant his prayer. That was all I wanted toput across. It was as if he was unsure ofhis application.
HonDeputy Minister, would you like to saysomething?
Mr Speaker, I rubbed mypalms on my head as a gesture whichmirrors humility. In my culture andtradition, if a person is addressing anelderly person and he rubs his palmagainst his hair or his head, it is a gestureof humility.
HonMember, thank you very much. I have nodoubt in my mind that you haveabundance of courage and also humility.
Mr Speaker, with yourpermission, if we could take item 14,Technical Universities Bill, 2016 at theConsideration Stage.
Item 14,the Technical Universities Bill, 2016 at theConsideration Stage. But the HonChairman is not here? Sorry, you used tosit at that side so I thought that you werenot available.
The Hon Deputy Ministerfor Education is here.
As itstands now, it says three per cent. Theimport of the amendment is to say; “anallocation as determined by the formulaedetermined by Parliament”. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 55 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. The Long Title ordered to stand partof the Bill.
HonMembers, this brings us to the end of theConsideration Stage of the NationalDisaster Management Organisation Bill,2015. Hon Deputy Majority Leader, we haveended the Consideration Stage. Mr Agalga --rose --
Did youwant to say something? You wanted tosay thank you?
I wanted to say thank you,and to move a Motion for an abridgmentof the time so that --
Youwould have to seek permission from yourLeader.
Very well, Mr Speaker. [Pause.]
HonMember for Effutu?
MrSpeaker, when the Hon Deputy Minister Technical Universities Bill, 2016 Clause 1 -- Establishment of technicaluniversities
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 1, headnote, delete “technicaluniversities” and insert “TechnicalUniversities” and do same whereverapplicable in the Bill and unless the contextotherwise, requires. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 1 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 2 -- Requirements for conversionof a polytechnic to a technical university
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 2, add the following newsubclause: “(2) A polytechnic specified in part2 of the First Schedule, shall meetthe requirements set out in theSecond Schedule for conversionto a Technical University.” Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu -- rose --
Yes, HonMinority Leader?
Mr Speaker,the first provision, section 1, providesthat: “The institutions specified in theFirst Schedule are established astechnical universities.”
HonMembers, I plead with you to get hold ofyour Bills. This is because we have passedthat stage, but I will go back to it. But to tell you the truth and shame thedevil, I was looking for a Bill, when itwas being passed. In fact, I also have aproblem with even the proposedamendment. This is because with the first technicaluniversities, the proposed amendmentwas that, every time we see “technicaluniversities”, we make it capital “T” andcapital “U”, like a noun. But the first useof the word “technical universities”, wasnot a noun. Hon Minority Leader, please, have alook at it. Is it correct that we shouldchange each one of them to capital “T”and capital “U”? I do not know. Do you agree with it?
Mr Speaker,by the amendment proposed by the HonChairman, it says in the headnote thatwe should capitalise the “T” and the “U”.It then comes to the body, clause 1 (1),which says: “The institutions specified in theFirst Schedule are established astechnical universities.” Mr Speaker, because we are dealingwith the qualification, this is not a noun,so it cannot be capitalised as if there is aninstitution called “technical universities.”So, I disagree with that construction.
Youdescribe what you intend to do. If youlook at --
The first oneis descriptive
Mr Speaker, the Committeefelt that it was right by saying “TechnicalUniversities” as corporate body. In otherwords, they have become institutions,and an institution is a proper noun - Forinstance, the University of Ghana, orKwame Nkrumah University of Scienceand Technology. These, I believe are proper nouns, andfor that matter --
HonChairman, not to cut you short, there arevarious technical universities. There is notone technical university. When you lookat the First Schedule, there is the AccraTechnical University and the Ho TechnicalUniversity. So, there are various technicaluniversities. The question then is; is it adescriptive word? And is it the same asthe analogy you gave, like in the case ofthe University of Ghana? Hon Members, having regard to thestate of affairs, I direct that the House Sits,beyond the prescribed period, inaccordance with the Standing Order 40 (3). Chairman of the Committee, there aremore than one technical universities, so,is it --Can you do that? Hon Minority Leader, could you assistus?
Mr Speaker,I believe that the headnote should remainas it is. If we are particularising --Describing one technical university, thenwe can capitalise the “T” and the “U”.Here, it is descriptive and it is not beingused as a noun. I am talking about thequalifier, so, it is adjectival and not a noun.
HonMembers, I think that we would leave it tothe draftsperson. He would have thebenefits of our comments. I am prepared to take other views. Mr Nortsu-Kotoe-- rose --
Yes, HonVice Chairman?
Mr Speaker, we tookour inspiration from the other universities,like that of the University of Ghana,University of Health and Allied Sciences(UHAS) and others. If you look at thearrangement of sections, for example,principal officers of the university --
But thereis a fundamental difference. This is thefirst Bill that deals with more than oneuniversity. University of Ghana is oneuniversity, University for DevelopmentStudies (UDS) is also one university. Allthe other Bills dealt with one university,but this one deals with five universities.AmI wrong? I stand corrected --
Mr Speaker, we had theColleges of Education Bill also which cameto this House which we passed. There areabout 36 or 37 colleges of education thatwe passed in one Bill.
I do notthink we should spend so much time inthe last week of a Meeting whether itshould be “Technical University” or“technical university”. We wouldproceed. Hon Chairman, would you agree thatthe draftsperson should look at it?
Exactly so. We plead thatyou let the draftspersons take care of that.They would know whether it is right.
So, inspite of the proposed amendment havingbeen approved by the House, this Househas authorised the Speaker to direct thatthe draftspersons should look at theproposed amendment in clause 1, whento use “Technical” and “University” whenit comes to the words “technical” and“university”. Clause 2 -- Requirements for conversionof a polytechnic to a technical university
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 2, add the following newsubclause: “(2) A polytechnic specified in part2 of the First Schedule, shall meetthe requirements set out in theSecond Schedule for conversionto a Technical University.” Mr Speaker, in the First Schedule, wehave a list of polytechnics that have metthe requirement for the conversion. Theseare six polytechnics, meanwhile, we have10 polytechnics. The Committee felt that it was better toput them under Part 2. When we gothrough the Bill, we would see that thereare criteria laid down for them to graduateto that level in order to be accepted as universities. If you would be patientenough to get to the next clause, we wouldsee that.
Part 2 isa proposed amendment which can befound on page 15 of the Order Paper. Youhave mentioned four polytechnics. Yousaid that those four polytechnics are intransit. They can be upgraded to technicaluniversities if they satisfy the conditions;as and when they satisfy the conditions.Is that what you are saying?
Mr Speaker,my worry is the construction we haveadopted in clause 1 (1), which from thevery outset establishes the universitiesspecified in the First Schedule as technicaluniversities. Then clause 2 provides: “A polytechnic shall meet therequirements set out in the SecondSchedule to qualify for conversionto a technical university.” When in clause 1 (1), from the veryoutset immediately this Bill is approvedand assented to by the President, itbecomes law and clause 1 (1) provides thatthese listed polytechnics are auto-matically deemed as technicaluniversities. Then clause 2 says that: “A polytechnic shall meet therequirements set out in the SecondSchedule to qualify for conversionto a technical university.” Then clause 1 (1) says ab initio, thatit is a technical university. That is why Iam saying that we should qualify clause2. It would now be clause 2 (1) “despite soand so ...” That is how it should be done.Otherwise,clause 2 would be in conflictwith clause 1 (1).
Mr Speaker, we agreebut --
Mr Speaker,I believe the whole purpose of the Bill isto create technical universities, and thenprovide the conditions under which futurepolytechnics can qualify to becometechnical universities. So, I do not thinkthat this proposed amendment isnecessary. If the four polytechnics are not eligiblenow to become technical universities, Iwould propose that this amendment isdropped, so that if they get theprerequisites to become technicaluniversities, then they can apply to theCouncil for Tertiary Education as providedunder the next proposed amendment. The next proposed amendment listsdown how a future polytechnic can applyto become a technical university. I believethat would be more straightforward. Thisis because, as soon as they qualify tobecome universities, then it means thatthis part of Part 2 of the Schedule lapses.What is the use?
Mr Speaker, I agree withthe Hon Minority Leader's additionalamendment to the initial amendment. That,we can have clause 2 as clause 2 (1) whichwould give a window to thosepolytechnics that have not beenconverted now. I believe that the initial proposal ofGovernment is to convert all the 10polytechnics to technical universities,but it is because they did not meet thecriteria, that the four have been left out. Let us create a window of opportunityfor them in the Bill, so that when theymeet the criteria, they would also become technical universities. So, I tend to agreewith the Hon Minority Leader's proposalthan the other one.
HonMinority Leader, can I get your renditionplease.
Mr Speaker,the issue I raised is simple. I said, clause 1(1) provides: “The institutions specified in theFirst Schedule are established astechnical universities.”
I agreewith you but what is your rendition?
My renditionis that when you, go to clause 2 it says: “A polytechnic shall meet therequirement set out in the SecondSchedule to qualify for conversionto a technical university.” --
Everybodyagrees with you but all we want is --
They shouldqualify it to say: “Despite clause 1 (1), a polytechnicshall meet the requirements set outin the Second Schedule to qualifyfor conversion to a technicaluniversity.”
We havethe import. The draftsperson would put itin the technical language.
Mr Speaker,unfortunately, I do not have the Bill beforeme but clause 1 establishes somepolytechnics as technical universities. As a Committee, we are introducing asubclause to say that a polytechnic listedin the Second Schedule shall qualify to
I think weshould agree with the Hon Member forSekondi. Hon Boafo?
Mr Speaker, what I saidearly on was that, clause 1 deals withestablishing certain polytechnics astechnical universities. The purpose ofclause 2 is to make provision for the future.If any polytechnic should qualify as atechnical university, then, they shouldapply to the Council as provided underthe next proposed amendment. So, why the need for this new onebeing placed under part II of theschedule? Leave them alone, when theyobtain all the requisites to become atechnical university, they can apply to theCouncil for Tertiary Institutions andbecome universities. Why now, whenthey are not qualified, then prospectively,you qualify them?
HonChairman of the Committee, why now?
Mr Speaker, we still go bythe position of the Hon Minority Leader,which has been modified by the Hon PapaOwusu-Ankomah, who is a member of theCommittee.
I have theresponsibility of putting the Question. So,I want to know which Question I amputting. I will put Hon Boafo's Question.That was the latest amendment. HonBoafo is suggesting that -- Hon Boafo,are you proposing an amendment or youare just contributing?
Mr Speaker, I propose that,unfortunately, I do not have a copy of theBill, I am only relying on the Order Paper.And I propose that the Hon Chairmanshould be advised to drop his proposedamendment.
Then youare not proposing an amendment.
In view of subclause (3),which is being proposed, he should dropwhat we are dealing with now.
Mr Speaker,we should also not lose sight of the factthat, this particular Bill has generated alot of interests. It is not normal for aninstitution, by legislative fiat to beconverted into a technical university. If itwas the intention of the proposers of thisBill to just let every institution apply tobecome a technical university, that wouldbe different. But we have in existence somepolytechnics, and some by legislative fiatare being converted into technicaluniversities. What this subclause seeks to do is toassure those that have not yet beenconverted to know that, within the law,provision is being made. So, I would agreewith Hon W. O. Boafo. But when we come
Mr Speaker, the advocacymade by the former Leader of the Housewith such reach experience, I want to yieldto that, and then plead with the HonChairman to drop the proposedamendment and modify (iii) in terms ofthe proposal which has come out fromHon Papa Owusu-Ankomah. Mr Speaker, when you are on your feetand you are making such changes, youdo not know where they would land. So,maybe, the draftsperson, having got thesense of our thinking, would mould it insuch a way as to be more professional.
I want toknow what the sense of the House is. Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah?
Mr Speaker, Ibelieve if I understand what the HonMember for Akwapim North is saying,then, probably, we should mergesubclauses (2) and (3) into one so thatthe Hon Chairman drops subclause (2)and say: “The Council of a polytechnicspecified in part two of the FirstSchedule that intends to beconverted into a technical universityshall apply to a Minister through theNational Council for TertiaryEducation.” Probably, this is because already, weare setting out the requirements in theSecond Schedule. So, instead ofsubclause (2), we merge subclauses (2)and (3) to say: “The Council of a polytechnicspecified in part two of the FirstSchedule that intends to beconverted into a technical universityshall apply in writing to the Ministerthrough the National Council forTertiary Education.” to subclause (3), the Council of apolytechnic specified in part II that intendsto be converted into a technical university,shall apply in writing. And that would notreally violate any rule of drafting. It wouldrather enrich the Bill. I agree with Hon Boafo, but when itcomes to subclause (3), probably, I wouldsuggest that he would then propose anamendment to that being proposed by theCommittee, so that it would read: “The Council of a polytechnicspecified in part two of the FirstSchedule that intends to beconverted into a technical universityshall apply in writing…” And it would correct any anomaly. So,I would rather suggest that he supportsthis amendment, which is a progressiveone. Mr Speaker, we do not even envisagea situation where new polytechnics aregoing to be established. That is the policybehind. Read the Memo. This Governmentis totally abandoning polytechnics asinstitutions for learning --[Interruption.] So, that is it. It is converting theexisting polytechnics. There is apolytechnic law, and I do not know ofany private polytechnic that has everbeen established and with this law, I donot see how any private polytechnicwould be established. What we may findis; some private technical institutionsbeing converted into polytechnics toenable them to become universities at alater date. So, I am urging Hon Boafo, my verysenior Colleague, who was called to theBar before many Hon Members of thisHouse were born, including some whoare sitting very close to me, to supportthis amendment.
Mr Speaker, Iintended to comment on Hon Boafo'scontribution that, perhaps, we drop thewhole of clause 2. I would suggest thatmaybe, we have a look at that sectionagain. As we said, Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah, a renowned member of theCommittee was away and now that he isback, we would consider it. As he said, we should, maybe, reframepart of the section. But to expunge itcompletely, I do not think that would solvethe problem. This is because a whole lotis entailed in clause 2.
On thatnote, I think I would stand down furtherconsideration of clauses 2 and 3. This isbecause, as we talked about clause 2, wealso considered clause 3. We would go toclause 4; I have stood down clauses 2 and3.
Mr Speaker,I have heard you. First, I propose anamendment to clause 2. I must admit thatI misread clause 2, which occasioned myproposed amendment. I had not realisedthat clause 1 (1) refers to the First Scheduleand part 2 refers to a Second Schedule. That is why I said we should begin it with“despite”. With that cobweb removed, Iappreciate the issue raised by Hon Boafo,except to propose -- Mr Speaker, nowthat you are standing it down, except topropose for consideration, if we are to goby part 2 of the First Schedule, we wouldthen have to look at clause 1 (1) again. This is because clause 1 (1) provides;”The institutions specified in the FirstSchedule are established…” All theinstitutions specified in the First Scheduleand part 1 and part 2 constitute part of thesame Schedule. So, you would rather saypart 1 of the First Schedule, “theinstitutions specified in part 1 of the FirstSchedule are established as TechnicalUniversities”. If they are going to consider mergingclauses 2 and 3 here, using the same FirstSchedule as the platform for extension,that distinguishes between those to becarried on straight away and the --
HonMinority Leader, I have stood it down.
Precisely, MrSpeaker. I am just saying that they shoulddraw their attention to clause 1 becausewe have gone past it.
But wecan come back.
It is forconsideration by the Committee.
Thankyou very much. I will not allow furthercomment. I have stood it down. I havestood down clauses 2 and 3. Clause 4 -- Powers of a technicaluniversity
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 4, subclause (1), paragraph (a), line1, after “degrees” insert “includinghonorary degrees”. This is because that is one of the dutiesof the Council. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Thedraftsperson should consider whetherhonorary degrees should come undercertificates or somewhere else. This isbecause degrees, diplomas and certificatesare all earned and honorary degrees areawarded. If I was drafting, I would not put“honorary degrees” after “degrees”. Iwould say, “award degrees, diplomas,certificates”, honorary degrees and otherqualifications”. But let the draftspersondecide.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 4, subclause (1), paragraph (b),subparagraph (iii), line 2, delete “TertiaryExaminations” and insert “Professionaland Technician Examinations” Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 4 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 5 -- Council of a TechnicalUniversity
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 5, subclause (1), paragraph (b),delete “Rector” and insert “ViceChancellor” and do same whereverapplicable in the Bill, unless the contextotherwise requires.
Why areyou proposing that?
To go by the Committee'sReport, the Committee was of the view thatsince the object of the Bill is to upgradePolytechnics to Universities, it is in statusand every other field, they should goalong with --
What isthe difference between a “Rector” and “aVice Chancellor”?
Mr Speaker, this took usalmost part of the whole day duringdeliberations. The concern from the otherside was that -- I do not know whether toput this in quote -- that with thetraditional universities, the ViceChancellors were vehemently opposed tothese Technical Universities' heads beingcalled “Vice Chancellors.” We took a stand, but we found out thatthe pressure was for them to be called“Rectors”. I do not know how it came backto -- It was a bone of contention and ithas been hotly debated, for us to arriveat that point. Left to the Committee, thatis what we suggested, that they shouldbe called “Vice Chancellors”. So, it is forthe consideration of the House.
Mr Speaker, the only problem with theamendment, before I make my contribution,is where they said “do same whereverapplicable” but went ahead to say “unlessthe context otherwise requires”. I do notknow what that means, whether that isgoing to be -- that cannot be another --It should be something that comes fromthe Speaker. Mr Speaker, we are in Ghana and wehave some terminology or nomenclaturethat we associate with some things. InGhana, we say “the Marshal”; in otherParliaments they call them “Sergeant-at-Arms”. In Ghana, when you are the headof a secondary school, we either call youa “headmaster” or “headmistress”. If youare head of a teacher training college, youare called a principal --
In othercountries, what do they call them?
Mr Speaker, that iswhy I said “in our country.”
HonMuntaka, you said in Ghana, when it is asecond cycle institution, they call you“headmaster”.
Mr Speaker, some callthem “directors” or “college principals”,but in Ghana, we call them “headmasters”or “headmistresses”. When you are at theteacher training institute or nursingtraining institute, they call you “principal”.When you come to the polytechnics, theycall them “Rectors”. But when you cometo universities in Ghana, we call them” ViceChancellors”. Mr Speaker, for example, when theUniversity for Development Studies wasestablished, automatically, it was given aVice Chancellor. When the Institute ofProfessional Studies was turned intoUniversity of Professional Studies,immediately, its head became a ViceChancellor. Mr Speaker, I do not see why others --[Interruption.] GIMPA is Ghana Instituteof Management and Public Administration;we have not decided to call it a university.We have only given it an accreditation toenable it award degrees [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, if they could allow me tofinish with my contribution, they can alsohave their bite. Some Hon Members -- rose --
HonMembers, I have seen all those on theirfeet. I would recognise all of you.
Mr Speaker, if we askfor one of the reasons we would want tocure the challenge that the polytechnicshave, it is because our compatriot citizenswho go through the polytechnics andhave technical skills claim that, becausethe highest they can attain in thepolytechnic is Higher National Diploma(HND), after they have excelled and wouldwant to further their education, they wouldhave to go to the traditional universities.We would wish to keep the technicalaspect of it. Mr Speaker, with all due respect, if wedare maintain the “Rector,” there wouldbe an inferior feeling in that institution. Mr Speaker, you remember when wedid the Immigration Bill in this House, thehead of the Ghana Immigration Servicesaid that, all around the world and evenin the country, the heads of institutionsthat are similar to his are either called“Director-General” or “Comptroller-General”. So, when they are called“Directors”, anytime they go for meetingsthey would be looked down upon. Mr Speaker, we cannot say that this isa trivial issue. It is a major issue. Once wehave chosen to upgrade it from apolytechnic to a Technical University, Iwould want to beg my Hon Colleagues--People would want to give reasons itshould not be, but please, for us to beable to get the best materials, to work there-- I heard an argument where people saidthat there are no professors at thepolytechnics. It is not true. Mr Speaker, I am from Kumasi and atthe Kumasi Polytechnic, they have notless than four professors. Some would saythey are Associate Professors but I cansay -- One Professor Akilagkpa Sawyerrbecame the Vice Chancellor of theUniversity of -- [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, again, talking about titles,with the Council, we do not have aChancellor. So, if we have not made anyroom for a Chancellor, then we cannot havethe Vice Chancellor. Mr Speaker, talking about Rector, aRector is the head of an institution whichcould be a university, a polytechnic or asecondary school. When one goes to Sunyani, the headof the St James Secondary School is aRector because it is a secondary schooland a seminary. So, being a Rector or a ViceChancellor is a matter of terminology. Theybasically mean the same thing. If we would want to call them ViceChancellors and earn them reputationthen it is a different thing all together; it isnot about respect. This is becauserespect would be earned from what theinstitute or university is going to put up. Mr Speaker, my maximum worry isabout a challenge we seem to always havein the country, where those who attendthe technical schools do not have astraight path to the university. There isno point here. If we are not careful, thetraditional secondary schools who are notgood with the use of their hands are alsogoing to fill the technical universities. The question is, if they adhere to thetraining for technology and for prac-ticability, then what is the work of our ownKwame Nkrumah University of Scienceand Technology (KNUST)? So, we should make it a point to get away for our traditional technical schools--
Mr Speaker, the HonMember should know that the backbenchers should wait for the frontbenchers to speak first. [Laughter.] Mr Speaker, the Hon Minority Leader,has even corrected me that in KumasiPolytechnic there are 30 professors. Thatis why I said “more than four”.
HonMember, you said that when somebodybecame Vice Chancellor -- who?
Mr Speaker,Professor Akilagkpa Sawyerr was anAssociate Professor at the University ofGhana.
HonMember, I am even adding to what yousaid. Ex President Mills of blessedmemory, when he became a President, wasan Associate Professor.
Mr Speaker, even thetraditional universities at one time or theother, have had Vice Chancellors whowere Associate Professors. Mr Speaker, with these comments, Iwould like to urge my Hon Colleagues tosupport the Hon Chairman of theCommittee, so that we make sure we givethem the proper title and description sothat they would also have the urge to leadthat institution.
Mr Speaker,considering what we are discussing, wedo not have the entry requirement forthose who seek vocational and technicaleducation. This means that the samesenior high school candidates are goingto compete for technical education. We are talking about practical work andwe should give preference to those whoare attending the technical and vocationalschools. But there is no point here, talkingabout their starting point.
HonMember, I will not recognise any point oforder, but I will let everybody speak. Weare just at the Consideration Stage. If weallow pointd of order, et cetera — Ihave noticed that you stood up and so Iwill recognise you. You should notexercise any fears whatsoever.
Mr Speaker, I believethat for the sake of consistency, asunderscored by my Hon Colleague, weshould allow the title, Vice Chancellor tobe given to the heads of polytechnics.
Mr Speaker, there isalso this issue that we need to — Eyesen? — [Laughter.] Let me put moreemphasis because it is important.
HonMember, what does “eye” mean? Youspoke into the microphone.
Mr Speaker, it isindeed important that, for the sake of —
HonMember, you are supposed to interpretwhen you speak vernacular in the House.You spoke vernacular into themicrophone. What do you mean?
Mr Speaker, let meapologise.
HonMember, I thought the front benchersrather make space for the back benchersto speak.
Mr Speaker, it is justunfortunate that the Hon Colleague --she would be pardoned because she is anew Hon Member. If we look at clause 14 of the Bill, itsays that; “A Technical University shall havea Chancellor…” Therefore, if she reads the Bill carefullyshe would realise that there is a“Chancellor”. She is pardoned; sheshould read the Bill and check.
Mr Speaker, Ithank you.
HonMember, I believe you are a Professor, amI right?
No, Mr Speaker. Ihave not reached that yet. Mr Speaker, I would like to associatemyself with the sentiments expressed byHon Muntaka. I would like to encourage my HonColleagues to, at least, just allow us to,for the heads of polytechnics, change thecharacterisation into “Vice Chancellors.” I believe it is important that we call them“Vice Chancellors.” Someone may ask,what is actually in a name? In our societya name is very important. Why do thelawyers call themselves “learnedcolleagues”? It is just in the name and it isimportant. Mr Speaker, there is a lot in a name andif we would want our people to enjoy thelatitude of having a very good name, thenit is important that we call them “ViceChancellors”.
No, donot apologise. That is your language. Justexplain it.
Mr Speaker, “eye“means “it is all right.”
And yousaid it is not all right and that you wouldwant to make your point? Excellent butplease continue.
Mr Speaker, it isimportant for us to prevent thediscrimination that these polytechnicshave suffered so much. Mr Speaker, if we look at even thestudents who enter the polytechnics, theyare discriminated against in terms of jobplacement. There is also this aspect thatwe need to take cognisance of — Eventhe lecturers who lecture in thepolytechnics are discriminated against forthe mere fact that they are polytechniclecturers. These are some of the issuesthat we should address because they areall very important. Mr Speaker, it is important for us toconvert these polytechnics intouniversities, and by doing so, also raisetheir status or image according to theheads, the same accolades as ViceChancellors. Why are these traditionaluniversities against the name being givento the polytechnics?
Thankyou very much, Hon Member.
MrSpeaker, I believe that we must look at thisvery carefully. We are talking about thenomenclature.These universities aresupposed to be unique. It is not businessas usual. We have had problems duringthe Second Reading. There were issues about theuniversities deviating from their core —[Interruption] — This issue aboutbusiness as usual — That is what pertains;it is what this would lead to. If we do nottake care, after we have passed this Bill,tomorrow, Kumasi Technical Universitywould come and tell us that they want toestablish a Law Faculty and an EnglishDepartment. The next time, it would be a HistoryDepartment because they would be doingsome history of engineering — [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, it is not just the name. Itreminds us of something. The name shouldremind them of their core mandate —[Interruption] — Mr Speaker, if the“Rector” does not mean anything, thenthe “Vice Chancellor” does not also meananything — [Interruption.] — We cantake the Oxford Dictionary and look atthe definition of a Rector and that of aVice Chancellor. They are alladministrators. Mr Speaker, what I am saying is that —
You arefacing a barrage of opposition all aroundyou — [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, yes, but Ibelieve that at the end of the day, theywould understand what I am saying.
I wantedto save you from them but you are astrong man.
Mr Speaker, what I amtrying to put across is that, we want theseinstitutions to be unique in name and incharacter. Therefore, what is important isto attract the right staff at the right placeto run courses.
Otherwise, Kwame Nkrumah University ofScience and Technology (KNUST) is alsoa technical university. It is the onlyuniversity that has an engineering facultyand all sciences. And so, I believe thatto differentiate —
HonJoseph Osei-Owusu, University ofGhana, Legon, now has an engineeringfaculty.
Mr Speaker, sincewhen?
TheCentral University College also has anengineering faculty.
Mr Speaker, that isright. But we do not call them technicaluniversities. We did not call themtechnical universities when they added afaculties of engineering, et cetera. Ibelieve what is critical is to insist on thisbeing different, totally identifiable andseparate from the others. As it has already been said, theRector of GIMPA is a Rector — GIMPAis a fully fledged university —[Interruption] — The law was passedhere in this House — [Interruption] —Mr Speaker, it awards degrees; I obtaineda Masters degree from GIMPA —
HonMembers, it is very serious if we cannotagree whether GIMPA is an institute ora university, having regard to the factthat — Hon Members, let us hear the HonMember out.
Mr Speaker, the ACTof GIMPA was passed in this House, andthat is why they can award Mastersdegree; but the head is called a Rector. Itdoes not derogate from the respect thatthe head of the school exercises. Mr Speaker, I believe that we shoulddifferentiate this from the otheruniversities and that is why we call themtechnical universities. It is programmedto correct where the polytechnics havefailed. We should not make it business asusual, as suggested by my Hon Colleagueand make them Vice Chancellors, and losesight --They would want to move fromKumasi Technical University to go andhead KNUST.
HonMembers, before I recognise the next HonMember, let us bear in mind that theMassachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT) is an Institute but a university. TheImperial College in the United Kingdom iscalled a college but it is a university. Hon Members, I would want torecognise the Hon Minister for Roads andHighways. Before I do that, I want theview of Hon Joseph Bipoba Naabu —[Laughter.]
MrSpeaker, in listening to the argument —very persuasive. But everything goes byits name. In law, we term it, noscitur asociis; things take their colour from theirsurroundings. The difficulty is that we are talkingabout technical Universities; it is not the‘Technical' we are qualifying, but the‘University'. The ‘Technical' is the focusof the university but the institution is auniversity. The danger is that, when yousay “a Rector”, you are introducingdifferentiation. Are we saying that any person whobecomes a Rector in the TechnicalUniversity is not entitled to the same privileges and opportunities as the ViceChancellor? So, if you do not want thatambiguity -- Mr Speaker, today, we might overlookthe unintended consequences of chang-ing the Rector - we might overlook it. MrSpeaker, but in real practice, if we say thatthe head of a technical university is aRector, then we have said that the head ofa polytechnic is a Rector. Mr Speaker, wehave said it here that the head of apolytechnic is a Rector and we are nowsaying that the head of the TechnicalUniversity should be a rector. Are we then saying that the head ofthat Technical University would be equalto the head of a polytechnic? If we are notsaying that, we must maintainconsistency, which demands that we callthem Vice Chancellors.That is why Isupport the amendment. Tomorrow, theywould know that this Parliament intendedthe heads of the technical universities tobe treated equally like the heads of otherestablished universities. Thank you.
Mr Speaker,indeed, this amendment would be inconformity with the Bill and titlespertaining within the Commonwealth. Mr Speaker, the Rector and the ViceChancellor, really, are the same. However,every country has its own traditions. Inthe United States of America, we do nothave chancellor of a university; we havePresident of a university. If you go toLatin America, they even have Pro-Chancellor, but in the Commonwealthtradition, you would have a Chancellorwho is a non-resident honorary--
Aceremonial head. Mr Speaker, on the issue of theadministrators, it is not about confidencebut about having a unique character sothat, at least, the name itself would remindthem of their core business.That is thereason I believe that we must maintain the“Rector” and not go for “ViceChancellor”, so that we would not endup with the same mistakes that we madein the past.
Mr Speaker,I tried to look for the definition of a Rectorand this is what I found in the OxfordDictionary. It says; “In Britain, the headof certain universities, colleges orschools”. Mr Speaker, what is in a ViceChancellor? It is practically the same. Whydid we not call them universities buttechnical universities? It is because wewant to distinguish them from the othertraditional universities. Indeed, whetherthey would be respected or not, is not inthe name, but what they do. If they plan,manage and organise the schools suchthat their products become the productsof choice for industries and all otherpeople, and stand out, they will berespected. Mr Speaker, I would give an example ofAshesi University — Industry peoplecome and say they want products fromAshesi University. I have an example ofmy own niece. They said they wanted aproduct from Ashesi University, we tookher over and she has been working forthe past three years. It is what output they give that woulddetermine the kind of respect they have.We want to differentiate these universitiesfrom other universities, and that is whywe call them, “technical universities”.
Mr Speaker, so you would see that thefour people were --
Yes, Mr Speaker; so,if you delete one of them, that means youwould be going further to make a deletionwithin these four people. If it is aboutaddition, whereby we would want to addanother person, I think that for you to getan odd number, you could have added“two” instead of “one person”. This is because the Councils cansometimes have very large numbers andtraditionally, it is not bad for a council tohave a large number. So, if that is theonly reason, just like the Chairman of theCommittee said -- To make room for someadditions, I believe that it is better to addtwo, so that at least all those fourcategories could have a representation.
Mr Speaker, I wouldlike to support the amendment because ifyou look at the need for a gender balance,I believe that it can manifest itself inclause 5 (ii), (iii) and (iv).That is why --
But whythe amendment? What is the thinkingbehind it?
The thinking behindit is to have fewer members so thatdiscussions can flow and members canpropound proper arguments.
A ceremonialhead of a university and the ChiefExecutive is described as a Vice Chancellor.In this Bill, we have elected to go theCommonwealth way by having achancellor. So, if you have a Chancellor,the Executive head --
I mustput the Question. Hon Members, before I declare thevotes, we have been told by Papa Owusu-Ankomah that abstention is not allowedunder our rules. I have noticed my HonFriend abstain, I would not want tomention his name. He knows what I amtalking about. I will put the Question again to see ifmy Hon Friend who abstained would -- Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 5, subclause (1), paragraph (c),delete “four” and insert “three”.
Why,Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, we would wantto create room for people outside theuniversity to be part of the Council, andso, we are bringing in the GhanaEmployers Association as part of theCouncil, which hitherto was out.
Mr Speaker, I wouldbe very grateful if we could providefurther and better particulars. Mr Speaker, if you look at the Bill, youwould see that the four people are beingtargeted at some specifics namely;
Mr Speaker,the idea is not to have fewer members,because if you look at clause 5 (xiii), it isactually adding to, which will make it onemore. If you look at clause 5 (xii) delete“one representative” and insert “tworepresentatives”. So, it is rather adding. However, tobe substituting the number “four” with“three”, they are adding “GhanaEmployers Association” as a group andthen “Association of Principals ofTechnical Institutes”.
This isbecause the intention is to add otherrecognised groups and they are reducingthis one --
Yes. That iswhy they are reducing this number.
What wehave here is only on four personsappointed by the President, we think thatone is not important, even though youhave set out the categories.
Mr Speaker, one otherthing we might have forgotten is that, oneindividual can have all these qualities. Awoman can have scientific qualification,expertise in management and finance andso on, so, one individual can take care ofthat --
Why didyou not say one person then?
Mr Speaker, just to add tothe numbers.
Couldyou have said one person with thisargument of yours? Yes, Hon Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu. Wouldyou want to come to his rescue?
Mr Speaker,I have just three issues on the qualificationin clause 5 (1) (c), relating to competence.The first one is scientific qualification orprofessional experience; the second isexpertise in management, and the third isexpertise in skills development. We aretalking about these three and the personwho may have these may either be a manor a woman. Mr Speaker, in the original, the numbercomes to 17. But with the new proposalfrom the Committee, we would have anineteen-member committee. So, it is notreally deleting but adding on, except theywould want to know where to add on. So,the number really would bloat from 17 to19, and not remain at 17, or perhaps, alesser number which would be 16.Ultimately, it is proposed to have a 19-member body.
Mr Speaker,in considering membership to councilsand associations, normally, the higher thenumber, the more unworthy it becomes. I do not know whether clause 5(c) isimportant at all. This is because if weconsider the rationale behind it and thetype of people that this particular clauseseeks -- If we look at the other categoriesof people who would have to constitutethe Council, they come from specificbodies and professional backgrounds. Ifit is a question of gender, can we not geteither male or female or whatever we arelooking at? But we are talking about female -- allthe other categories can bring about eithera male or a female. If we are talking aboutpeople with either management or financebackground, we can get it from any of theother associations that would contributemembers to constitute the Council. So, Ido not see the very relevance of clause5(c).
Mr Speaker,just a minor concern. What we have justdealt with -- you have put the Questionon clause 5(1) (c), and it provides asamended by the Committee, three personsappointed by the President, taking intoconsideration -- and a criteria has beenlisted. Mr Speaker, that is in respect of clause5 (1) (c).
Now, if wecome to clause 5 (2) and with yourpermission I quote: “The Chairperson and othermembers of the Council shall beappointed by the President…” So, in respect of clause 5 (1) (c), are thepeople going to be doubly appointed bythe President? They must be nominatedby the President before they areappointed.
Onecannot be nominated and appointed bythe same person.
ThePresident cannot doubly appoint one.
I do notthink one can be nominated by thePresident, and be the same person whoturns out to appoint him. It is a continuousprocess. We are then being too fussy.
Mr Speaker,with respect, I am not being fussy.
I did notsay ‘you'. I did not personalise it. I said“we” are being fussy.
Mr Speaker,with respect, I am not sure that we arebeing fussy. We are saying that these persons,having been appointed by the President,shall be appointed by the President again.So, that is the situation that I want us toget clear and address our minds to that.
Yes.[Pause.] All the people who come from thevarious bodies are nominated by thepeople and appointed by the President. Where the President is asked to bringforward people, if I can use that loosely,are we saying they are nominated by thePresident? [Interruption.] Should we saythat?
Mr Speaker, Iperfectly agree with what you are saying.How can one person nominate and thenappoint again? But the appointments, asit has been said in clause 5(2), is inaccordance with the Constitution. Butthen, if we look at all the others, they arenominated by specific groups. Originally, they are four and now, it hasbrought down to three, and that has tobe nominated by the President before theteam would be complete, and then theappointment would follow. So, I agree, but if we look at what wehave been doing with almost all the Bills,I think we have kept this kind of style.Whether it is the best -- but all we try todo is that --
HonYieleh Chireh, can we have the benefit ofyour expertise? [Laughter.] No, we want the --
So, Mr Speaker, Ibelieve it is in line with the way wehave couched it. But to say that they are“appointed and then appointed,” I thinkthat is even worse than, the “nominateand appoint”. So, I would suggest thatthat “appointed” should be changed to“nominated” to be consistent with whatwe have been doing.
Mr Speaker, in myopinion, the President is the appointingauthority, and once he appoints somebody,that person is appointed. So, whether he nominates or appoints,once the people are nominated, they areappointed. So, I see nothing wrong with the useof the word, “appointed”. This is becauseonce the President mentions the namesof these people, he appoints them. Hewould never change them, except acircumstance may arise, which maywarrant their change. So, I do not see anything wrong withthe use of the word, “appointed”. This isbecause, once the President nominatesthem, they are appointed.
There isa process of appointment, which involvesswearing in, et cetera. It is a little differentfrom being nominated.
Mr Speaker, Idisagree with my Hon Colleague. “Appointment” and “nomination” arenot synonymous. Mr Speaker, I can giveyou an example. Even at the DistrictAssembly level, the President nominatesthe Chief Executive, but until he isconfirmed -- It is not an appointment.
Whatyou are saying is true, but we may notalso get it. We may or may not get it. So,this is “for-the-avoidance-of-doubtclause.” But if you feel strongly aboutwhat you are saying, then you canpropose an amendment; after which Iwould put the Question. If you do not feelstrongly, then I would continue.
Mr Speaker, what Iam trying to put across is that, I wantclause 5(c) to be completely eliminated.
Yes, Ihave understood you, but I am sayingthat, you can put it across as a comment.Then, I would not put a Question on it.People have listened to you. When theyare voting, they would take that intoaccount, because I have even started thevoting process. Or you can decide thatyou would want to propose anamendment.
All right, MrSpeaker, thank you. I have taken a cuefrom you.
It is justa comment.
Mr Speaker, I begto move, clause 5 (c), delete. Question put and amendmentnegatived.
I will putthe Question on the advertisedamendment for clause 5 (1) (c), delete“four” and insert “three”. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 5, subclause (1), paragraph (h),line 1, delete “one representative” andinsert “two representatives” and in line 2,
HonMember, the only question I would begrateful if you could answer -- The analogy you are making is notexactly the same. This is because twodifferent bodies have the power. One hasthe power to nominate the Chief Executiveof the District Assembly, and the otherhas the power to confirm. In this case, thesame person who is nominating, so tospeak, is the same person who isappointing. There are two categories of membersof the Council. One category is nominatedby different persons representingworkers, alumni, students and graduatestudents. After all those people arenominated, the President appoints themin accordance with article 70 of theConstitution. We have given the President power tonominate four people by himself. So,should we say, “four people nominatedby the President and appointed by him”?
Mr Speaker, I have inmy hand the University of Energy andNatural Resources Act, 2011 (Act 830).
Whatdoes it say?
Mr Speaker, when werefer to the University Council, which isalso coincidentally in section 5, it says: “(1) The governing body of theUniversity is a Council consisting; (a) a chairperson nominated by thePresident, (b) the Vice-Chancellor, (c) four persons nominated by thePresident”. Mr Speaker, so that is the style we havebeen using.
So,should we use “nominated”?
Mr Speaker, it is thebest. That is how we have been doing it,before we say “appointed” at the tail end.
Mr Speaker,I brought this up because earlier, that wasthe style until we got to a stage - I think Ibrought this matter up, and as a Housewe decided that we should use“nomination”. Since then, we have beenusing “nomination”. So, occasionally, we have this --
HonKyei-Mensah-Bonsu, if that is the case,why did you not just say it? It is 3.15 p.m.
Mr Speaker,the reason is, we crafted one Act, but Iwas not here. I came back to see that wehad gone back to the old ways; thePresident appointing. First, we should be consistent. Underarticle 70, whenever the President mustappoint, it must be in consultation with abody -- The Council of State. In this case, the President would notbe doing that at the first level.
He wouldjust be nominating. So, he would send thenames to the Council of State, so to speak.
HonKyei-Mensah-Bonsu, may I remind youthat it is 3.15 p.m. We are within the timeof extended Sitting, and I encourage you numbered 14 (xii). Hon Muntaka, have wetaken item 14 (xii)?
Mr Speaker, we havetaken item numbered 14 (xii), but you didnot put the Question when the HonMinority Leader drew your attention. So, we are now on putting theQuestion. Question put and amendment agreedto. Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu -- rose --
I pleadwith Hon Members that if we do not payattention, and rise at the time that theproposed amendment is being considered,we would find ourselves going up anddown. This is because after we have put theQuestion, it is difficult to come back.
Mr Speaker,first, there is this matter involving theSubsidiary Legislation Committee, whichshould compel us to come back even ifwe suspend the Sitting. Mr Speaker, back to clause 5, I recollectthat in the earlier Bills, we have not justleft the door open. For instance, if it isone representative of the National Councilfor Tertiary Education, we can have a verycapricious President who would not resortto the Council, but nominate somebodyand appoint the person, maybe throughthe Hon Minister. So, just like we have done from clause5 (i), (j), (k), (l), (m), (n), the representativesare elected by the Associations. So, wecan just close the door by saying: “(d) one representative from theNational Council for TertiaryEducation elected by the Councilfor Tertiary Education”. that, if you have the benefit of someknowledge, as has been our practice, wewill not hesitate to agree with you.
Mr Speaker,so to cut a long story short, I propose afurther amendment to that of theCommittee. Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 5,paragraph (c), line 1, delete “appointed”and insert “nominated”.
“(c) three persons nominated by thePresident…”
HonChairman, I believe you would not havean objection.
Mr Speaker, there is noproblem; we agree to that. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker,consequentially, and indeed, we shouldhave started with clause 5(1) (a). If we did,it would have been consequential in whatwe just did in clause 5 (1) (c). So, perhaps, I should now say thatthere should be a consequentialamendment to clause 5 (1) (a). Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,the amendment numbered 14 (xiii) on theOrder Paper --
HonChairman, we have not taken the item (d) one representative from theCouncil for Vocational andTechnical Education andtraining elected by theirCouncil.” Mr Speaker, so we close the door onthat. We do not have to leave it open.Otherwise, we could have somebody whowould do some somersaulting and do hisown thing. If we agree, then we can leave it to thedraftpersons so that they would do that.
HonMinority Leader and Hon Chairman of theCommittee, I am guiding the House at theConsideration Stage. Help me to do so. This is because we are goingbackwards and forward. We have put the Question on thatamendment, what should we do now?Should I re-open the matter, relax therules?
Mr Speaker, becausewe are still on clause 5 --
I haverelaxed it for you. I am not in a hurry.
Mr Speaker, like theHon Minority Leader rightly said, youcould direct the draftspersons ensure thatall those nominees are elected.
I lookedat it and my first thinking was, can we put‘nominated' at the beginning in clause 5(1), so that it covers all, but then it wasclumsy. So, the draftsperson should take
Mr Speaker, with theexception of the one by the Presidentwhich is nominated, all the others shouldbe elected. So, for example, there is oneby the National Council for TertiaryEducation. So, it is (d), (e), (f), (g). Thoseones should be elected like the others.
HonMuntaka, look at clause 5 (1) (f): “one representative of theAssociation of Ghana Industries; (g) “one representative elected bythe Conference of the Heads ofAssisted Senior SecondarySchools”; Is it not the case that when the makersof the Bill wanted an election, they statedan election and when they did not, theydid not state it? Why should we changeall to election?
Mr Speaker, it is justlike what the Hon Minority Leader issaying. We have debated this on the floorsome time ago, and we thought that weneeded to take the element of abuse. Thisis because it is a Council, and we shouldnot leave it to the Chairperson of theCouncil to be picking and choosing, andusing it as a tool to manipulate theCouncil. But if it is going to be election,then it would be transparent. That waswhen we all opted that it is better electedthan nominated. Mr Speaker, this is because when onesays nominated, it could be open toabuse. of picking people, but we are saying thatthey must elect. It did not say select, itsaid they must elect. Mr Speaker, how else can they elect,except it goes through some form ofelections. I am opposed to that. If we donot want them to do it, we should not letthem do it. The word “chosen” is fine, butwe do not have to say ‘elect' because thenthey must go through elections. If theperson is chosen, and they do elections,fine. If they decide to appoint, we shouldleave it up to them. Mr Speaker, these are very respectableassociations and we can depend on theirjudgement to pick the right people. Butif we say they must go through anelection, I am completely opposed to it.
Mr Speaker, it might beimportant for us to look at it closely. Thosethat are being elected belong toassociations, but for institutions like theNational Council for Tertiary Education(NCTE), we are only appointing arepresentative from there. So, they do not need to elect -- orchoose or anything - but I do not seehow we can ask NCTE or the NationalAccreditation Board (NAB) to electsomebody to represent them. They aresmall bodies. Mr Speaker, I do not think that wouldbe the right thing.
Mr Speaker,Hon Chairman --
HonIsaac Osei, before the --
Mr Speaker, I tend toagree with the Chair and the Hon (Dr)Akoto Osei that for these three; NCTE,Council for Technical and VocationalEducation and Training and theAssociation of Ghana Industries --
So, Ihave to put the Question. This is becauseit is a fundamental change, it is not just adramatical change that -- you arefundamentally saying that every person,as indicated in (d), one representative ofthe National Council for TertiaryEducation should be elected. So, whydo you not specifically propose anamendment to clause 5 (1) (d)?
Mr Speaker, it startswith clause 5 (1) (d), and the amendmentproposed is, delete, “of” and in itsplace, insert “ elected by”. So, the rendition will now be: “one representative elected by theNational Council for TechnicalEducation”;
Mr Speaker, I worryabout giving associations the room toselect somebody than imposing themethod of selection on them.
Mr Speaker, the methodof selection. Election is a method that weare imposing on them. Supposing they donot want to elect. We have to think aboutit carefully. Then it means that they haveto -- Mr Speaker, we want them to selectwhether it is appointment or election, leaveit up to them, but now we are saying thatthey should elect. So, they must holdelections. Selection does not meanelection? Mr Speaker, so, we are asking them todo elections to -- select and to elect aredifferent. Selection is what we want themto do, but now it says elect. We wantthem to elect? Why? We are now beingdictatorial; they have their own processes Mr Speaker, I think the framers of thisBill had it in mind that there must besomebody from amongst the GoverningBodies of these institutions to report backto the Governing Bodies. Mr Speaker, with respect to the others,well, I think they can be elected, but withthese ones, there must have been a goodreason. I think it is possible because ofthe liaison between the individuals soselected and the reporting requirements.I think that is why it has been put thisway. Mr Speaker, I support the originalrendition in the Bill.
Mr Speaker,I think what we want to guard against isthe situation where the appointingauthority could go behind the NCTE, forinstance, and just pick somebody torepresent the Council on the GoverningBody. [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, let us look at clause 5 (2); “The chairperson and othermembers of the Council shall beappointed by the President inaccordance with article 70 of theConstitution…” Mr Speaker, in all this, we are guidedby the experiences that this nation wentthrough in the First Republic. Where wehad such provisions and the Presidentwould usually enter into the domain ofthe association and say; well, the personis only a member of the association, andthen appoint the person for them. Wewant to move away from this.
HonKyei-Mensah-Bonsu, your point, if Iunderstand it properly is that, the personshould be chosen by the Association.
Mr Speaker,that is the issue.
Whetherby consensus or election, you do notmind. Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu; Mr Speaker,I do not mind. The person should bechosen by the Association. But thelanguage that we have always used is“election”; “elected by the Association”,but our attention is being drawn to adistinction in the process of choosingwhoever could represent one body, but itdoes not need to be by election. Mr Speaker, I thought that --
Whatabout if we say;”one representative of theNCTE nominated by the Council”. Themanner in which they arrive at thatnomination can either be by election orselection.
Mr Speaker, we can takean example from other Bills, where we say“one representative from the Ministry ofFinance”.
What heis saying is that, when we just say “onerepresentative from the Ministry of Landsand Natural Resources” we should bearin mind that we make laws thinking aboutthe worst, not about the best. SomePresident can say.” the Hon Chairman ofthe Committee is for the Ministry ofLands and Natural Resources, so I amappointing him. So, a President can enter into aninstitution and make the appointment andthere would be nothing legally wrong, soto speak.
All he wants is that, there is arepresentative from the Ministry of Landand Natural Resources, for example,nominated by the Ministry of Lands andNatural Resources. So, what they aresaying is that, looking at clause 5 (1) (g),it says:”one representative of the NationalCouncil for Tertiary Education.” The argument that is being made bysome Hon Members is that, the Presidentor the appointing authority, could, onthe basis of this, himself, without evenreference to the National Council forTertiary Education, appoint onerepresentative. I have seen Joe Ghartey, Ilike him, and so, I am appointing him --he is for the National Council for TertiaryEducation. And somebody made the point that,the person must be elected and we werecorrected that selection and election aretwo different things. So, all they want isone representative of the National Councilfor Tertiary Education, chosen ornominated by the National Council. Thatis what they want. Mr Isaac Osei -- rose --
Yes, HonIsaac Osei?
Mr Speaker, so, if thePresident is the appointing authority,what prevents him from bypassinganybody so elected? What prevents him?He has the authority to do so.
HonKyei-Mensah-Bonsu, are you listening?
Mr Speaker, I am sayingthat, the argument is not that strongbecause the President could do what hewants,if this is what we are saying.
HonMember, but we do not want the Presidentto do what he wants.
Mr Speaker, we do not wanthim to go that way.
What dowe do?
So, we want the variousCouncils to select their own people. Alhaji Amadu B. Sorogho -- rose --
Mr Speaker, we aretalking about institutional representation,and so we must have a way not to allow itto hang, such that somebody somewherecould appoint anybody within theinstitution, and the person would still bequalified under what we are now doing.So, we could say, “nominated by theinstitution”. Mr Speaker, I would even gofurther to suggest that we just do not givethat green light, because the person mustbe of a certain level or standard in termsof education. So, most of the Bills that we have done,we said not below the rank of a director.So, we would go to the equivalent in theeducational sector and we must be ableto say that, so that we just do not appointanybody from anywhere. So, “appointedby the institution not below the rank of”and then it becomes very clear and thenwe cannot go anywhere -- No, if there is no rank then that is adifferent thing but directorship and others-- [Interruption]
“Nominated”. Let us use “nominated”.
Mr Speaker, we wouldwant to end proceedings on theConsideration Stage of this Bill, for nowand then we suspend Sitting for 30minutes.
Let meend the Consideration Stage first. This brings us to the end of theConsideration Stage of the TechnicalUniversities Bill, 2016. Hon Members, we have gone a littletoo slow for my liking today, and so Iwould urge all Hon Members to assist sothat we go faster tomorrow. I am notdiscouraging Hon Members fromcontributing but let us just try to be a littlefaster.
Mr Speaker, lookingat the nature of business, we think that itwould be good to suspend the House for30 minutes and return, so that we couldgo and re-fuel and be able to return andproceed.
Howlong are we suspending?
Mr Speaker, for 30minutes and when we return, we wouldhope to go up to around 5.30 p.m. or 6:30p.m. Thank you.
HonMembers, the House is suspended for 30minutes. We shall reconvene at eightminutes past 4.00 p.m. Thank you very much. 3.42 p.m. -- Sitting suspended. 5.20 p.m. -- Sitting resumed.
Yes, Hon Majority ChiefWhip?
Mr Speaker, we crave your indulgence andthat of the House to go to the Order PaperAddendum 2. We would just want to laythese two Papers then, we would moveto item numbered 4(d) on today's mainOrder Paper.
Have you discussed itwith your Leadership of the opposite?
Rightly so, MrSpeaker.
We even wanted theHon Minister for Roads and Highways todo that on behalf of the Hon Minister forHealth.
Where is the Minister forHealth?
Mr Speaker, in facthe was in a meeting. He promised to gethere by now. Unfortunately, he told usthere is too much traffic, and I do not thinkit is worth for us to continue waiting. Heis on his way here. I am sure before weadjourn he would be here.
Mr Speaker,this is a matter of principle. It isGovernment's Business. The Majority
Yes, “nominated” andnot “appointed”. “Nominated by theinstitute not below the rank of a certainlevel”. I do not know the level, but youshould know.
HonMembers, I believe we have the sense ofthe House but it is dragging on, and sowe would not finish this today. We wouldstand it down and I am sure you would beable to come up with something tomorrow,which would be acceptable to all. The sense of the House is that, weshould craft it in such a way that thePresident cannot intervene in theprocess. I believe that is important,especially when one Hon Member saidthat the President could do everything,but we do not let the President doeverything.
Mr Speaker, when I saidso, I believe that it was only subject toarticle 70, where he has to consult theCouncil of State. I believe this is what itsays. So, he could practically doanything subject to --
I believeyou said it in order to point to us thereality on the ground.
It is a real problem. Iunderstand it is an issue -- the pointraised by the Hon Minority Leader. Mr Speaker, but the other side of thecoin is that, electing representatives doesnot really compel the President to appoint.The President's sole authority could onlybe exercised in accordance with article 70,which means that he has to consult theCouncil of State. That is all. It saysconsultation.
All right.Thank you. Mr Speaker, I am proposing quitestrongly that we defer it. When the HonMinister comes, whatever time he comes,and whatever Business we are doing wewould complete it and he would lay them.In the next time, he would not just beurging Leadership to lay this out of turn. They determine the Business. We donot determine the Business. The Paperwas just distributed. The Hon Chief Whipought to be fair to us, we the HonMembers of this House, and even to theHon Members on the Government'sbench.
Mr Speaker,fortunately, the Hon Minister is very closeso, we would start with other Business.[Interruption.] I said the Hon Minister is just here. Hejust told me he is about walking in. So, wecan start with other Business. When hecomes, he would lay them.
Mr Speaker, we wouldtake item number 4 (d).
Have they laid the Paper?
No, Mr Speaker. Itwould be laid, and the Standing Order 80(1) suspended for us to --
Item numbered 8, HonChairman of the Committee? Adoption of the Report on theElectronic Communications(Interconnect Clearinghouse Service)Regulations, 2016
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,that this Honourable House adopts the Reportof the Committee on Subsidiary Legislationon the Electronic Communications(Interconnect Clearinghouse Service)Regulations, 2016. Introduction The Electronic Communications(Interconnect Clearinghouse Service)Regulations, 2016 (L.I. 2234) was laidbefore Parliament on Wednesday, 22ndJune, 2016, in accordance with article 11(7) of the Constitution. Pursuant to Orders77 and 166 of the Standing Orders ofParliament, Mr Speaker referred theinstrument to the Committee on SubsidiaryLegislation for consideration and report. Reference documents The Committee made reference to theunderlisted documents during thedeliberations: i. Constitution of the Republic ofGhana; ii. Standing Orders of theParliament of Ghana; iii. Electronic Communications Act,2008 (Act 775); iv. Electronic Communication(Interconnect ClearinghouseService) Regulations, 2016 (L.I.2234); Background The Electronic Communications(Amendment) Act, 2016, Act 910 waspassed on 23rd March, 2016, byParliament to amend the ElectronicCommunications Act, 2008 (Act 775), toprovide for Clearinghouse Servicesthrough an Interconnect Clearinghouseand for other related matters. The scope of licence of InterconnectClearinghouse Service does not includetax revenue assurance and accounting fortax revenue to the government. AnInterconnect Clearinghouse is defined in Act910, 2016, as “a centralised InterconnectionSystem”. It is further provided in the ElectronicCommunications (Amendment) Act, 2016,that “6 (1) that a network operator orservice provider shall, within six monthsafter the coming into force of this Act,connect and route its traffic to otheroperators through an InterconnectClearinghouse determined by theAuthority”. It is an offence to contravene section6 (1), and the Authority shall impose anadministrative penalty prescribed by Act910. Observations The Committee observed that: The Electronic Communications(Interconnect Clearinghouse Services)Regulations, 2016 (L.I. 2234) is madepursuant to section 97 of the ElectronicCommunications Act, 2008 (Act 775). The Legislative Instrument 2234 hasprovisions on the purpose of theRegulations, responsibilities of anInterconnect Clearinghouse, res- ponsibilities of a connecting entityand Interconnection. The Regulations also has provi-sions on offences and penalties,right of appeal and transition period. There are elaborate provisions onprocedure for establishing Interconnectionwith an Interconnect Clearinghouse. The Electronic Communications(Interconnect Clearinghouse Service)Regulations, 2016 L.I. 2234 providesthat: i. A connecting entity that hasestablished interconnectionbefore the coming into forceof the regulations shall notpay a service charge untilJanuary, 2018. ii. A connecting entity shall notincrease its call charges forpurposes of routing a callthrough an InterconnectClearinghouse until January2018. iii. The National CommunicationsAuthority shall pay aninterconnect clearinghousewith monies that the Authoritycollects on behalf of Govern-ment for the use of theAuthority under subsection(9) of section 25 A of the Act. It is further observed that theAuthority in proposing to freezeinterconnection and servicecharges until January, 2018, willprotect the service providers andconsumers from any increase untilJanuary 2018 which begins on thefirst day. Any other date in Januarywill be to the benefit of theconsumer.
Mr Speaker, I amreliably informed that this Paper wasdistributed before the House wassuspended. So, we would want to takeitems numbered 7 and 8.
Hon Members, itemnumbered 7.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, that not withstanding theprovisions of Standing Order 80 (1), whichrequire that no Motion shall be debateduntil at least forty-eight hours haveelapsed between the date on which noticeof the Motion is given, and the date onwhich the Motion is moved, the Motion forthe adoption of the Report of the Committeeon Subsidiary Legislation on the ElectronicCommunications (Interconnect ClearinghouseService) Regulations, 2016, may be movedtoday.
Any seconder? Yes, HonMember for Wa West?
Mr Speaker, I beg to second theMotion.
Conclusion The Committee has carefully examined theElectronic Communications (InterconnectClearinghouse Service) Regulations, 2016,(L.I. 2234) and is of the considered view thatthe Constitutional Instrument does notcontravene the provisions of the Constitutionand Order 166 (3) of the Standing Orders ofParliament, which served as a reference guideto the Committee. The Committee accordingly recommendsto the House that the Electronic Com-munications (Interconnect ClearinghouseService) Regulations, 2016 (L.1.2234) shouldcome into force at the expiration of twenty-one Sitting days, as provided for underarticle 11 (7) of the 1992 Constitution. Respectfully submitted.
Any seconder to theMotion?
Mr Speaker, I rise tosecond the Motion. Mr Speaker, there is not much to besaid beside the recommendations of yourCommittee. To the extent that theRegulations provide for a settlement oftransactions between the interconnectingentities and the Electronic CommunicationsInterconnecting Clearinghouse Services,this provide the platform for the settlementof transactions between the two entities. Mr Speaker, I do not have much to sayabout it and I therefore recommend theadoption of your Committee's Report tothe House. Alhaji Muntaka -- rose --
Is it a contribution youwant to make?
No, Mr Speaker. Iwanted to make an application. Earlier weagreed that our Hon Colleague --andsince he is just here if we could --[Interruption] -- Mr Speaker, since he ishere --
Hon Member for Sekondi,you raised the issue and I think that youhave a point. You made the point that,given the fact that this item was taken outof turn, it is important for the Hon Ministerto show and attach importance to it bybeing present in the House. Now, the HonMinister is in and the Majority Chief Whipis pleading that we take it now.
Mr Speaker,when we finish with our Business, we cancome to his. Question proposed.
Hon Member forSekondi? [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, ifyou would permit me, I may speak --
Is that your hat?
Thank you, MrSpeaker. [Laughter] The space here is notbig enough. I am sorry. Mr Speaker, it is not for nothing thatthe Constitution provides that the Housecan annul an instrument. This is becausewe delegate our legislative power toMinisters and other authorities to makelaws based on legislations that we haveenacted. Mr Speaker, in the wisdom of thisHouse, there is a checklist provided inOrder 166 (3). It is very lengthy so I wouldexpect that the Committee on SubsidiaryLegislation, at any time that it considers ference' of ‘Interconnect Clearing-house' means a centralisedinterconnection system.” Mr Speaker, this Regulations alsoseeks to define the same thing in itsinterpretation section, number 18: “‘Interconnect Clearinghouse'means a centralised networkconnected to other networks orservice provider.” Mr Speaker, the wording is different.This is because, if the intention was notto amend it, why define it again? It isdefined in the parent Act as amended,and they did not even comment on it forthe House to determine whether theamendment was meaningless or not. Thepoint is that, if the Regulations did notintend to amend the definition, why thendid they redefine it? It definitely makessomething different. Mr Speaker, looking at the transitionalprovisions of the Regulations, 19 (1) and(2), the Hon Chairman, in his submissionstated that, the Board Chairman came tothe Committee and explained that whenthey say “interconnect regime”, it meansservice charges. I beg to violentlydisagree. This is because, looking at thewording of the LI itself, it cannot be.
“Until the Authority determines theservice charge due …” Mr Speaker, I cannot hear from thebackground but it is distracting me. Mr Speaker, if that was what was meant,why did they not repeat it in (2)? It nowsays implementation of the netinterconnect regime means “servicecharge”. How is that possible, MrSpeaker? subsidiary legislation, shall refer to thischecklist and state whether it is inaccordance with the checklist. Mr Speaker, unfortunately, even in theReport of the Committee, with all duerespect --
They have mentionedOrder 166 (3) in their Report.
Mr Speaker, Iam going to refer to it and certainparticulars. Mr Speaker, the parent Act definesinterconnect system. This LegislativeInstrument (L.I.) also gives a definitionwhich is different from that of the parentAct. The Electronic Communication(Amendment) Act, 2016, section 5 --
Hon Members, we havea number of legislations on this matter. Itis important to define the parent Act tomean the original Act which was passedin 2008, that is the Act 775, which wasfurther amended by Act 786 and Act 910.
Mr Speaker,Act 910 --
You should mention theparticular Act that you are referring to sothat we would all be on the same page.
Mr Speaker, Irefer to Electronic Communications(Amendment) Act, 2016, Act 910, section(5): “The principal enactment isamended in section 101 by theinsertion of after ‘harmful inter-
“As soon as sufficient copies of aPaper for distribution to Membershave been received in the Office ofthe Clerk notice of the presentationof that Paper…” It pre-supposes that until the Papersare ready for distribution, they cannot belaid. Mr Speaker, I dare say that until aPaper purportedly described as anInstrument is gazetted and numbered, itcannot be properly laid before this House.This is because if it has no number, it isnot gazetted, so, how can we annul it? It is not the effluxion of the time thatcrystalises the Bill, or the Instrument intoan enactment that is numbered. It mustcome already numbered, and I say thisbecause we must have 21 Sitting days. In effect, Mr Speaker --
Let me get that pointclearly; are you saying that article 11states that it must be laid and gazettedthe same day? So, you are saying that itshould be gazetted before it is laid. Is thatwhat you are saying? I would like to getthat point very clearly.
Mr Speaker,“be laid before Parliament”; “be publishedin the gazette on the day it is laid beforeParliament”. Either it is contemporaneousor it is immediately thereafter. Immediatelyit is laid before Parliament, it is publishedin the gazette. So, if it is laid before Parliament,presumably the number should comeimmediately, and the Instrumentdistributed.
And it has to bedistributed within a reasonable time --
That veryday --
And you are saying itshould be immediately.
Yes, that veryday. The Constitution is clear about this.
Please, one is aconstitutional provision; the other is ourStanding Orders.
Mr Speaker,Order 77, and I beg to quote “(a) shall be laid before Parliament (b) shall be published in the Gazetteon the day when they are solaid”. It is the same provision. When you readthem together, particularly --
So, let me find out fromyou. When it is laid here, it is sent forgazetting and they have to give it anumber; then it is brought backimmediately for distribution.
That is so.
What happens if there isa technical difficulty at the AssemblyPress that we do not have control over?
Mr Speaker, itis not what is within our control. It is theobligation of the author of the Instrument.It is the business of the Executive. That isnot the business of Parliament. I dare saythat, if on that day it is not numbered,then it would have lapsed and they wouldhave to re-lay it. That is myunderstanding.
What about if it isnumbered the same day but they do notbring the copies to the House?
Mr Speaker,that is why we have to --
When it is laid, no. Inthis instance you should not soundhypothetical. I have looked at thedocument. It was laid in this House onthe 22nd of June. It was gazetted on thesame day, the 22nd of June, but it was notbrought to the House on that day. Indeed, the Hon Member for ManhyiaSouth raised that matter of the Instrumentnot having been distributed. At least, Iremember two occasions when I was inthis Chair, that he raised this matter. Whathappens?
Mr Speaker, Idare say that it is the responsibility of theExecutive, and it is deemed not to havebeen complied with, because we have hadinstances in this House where we deal with “kangaroo laying” among ourselves,where a document is laid which istechnically not ready because we do nothave enough copies. It is a term of artwithin Parliament, “kangaroo”. Mr Speaker, it is not for nothing thatthe Constitution says 21 Sitting days. Onthat day you referred the document to theSubsidiary Legislation Committee, thatdocument was not ready for referral,because they could not have a copy. We have provisions of the Regulationbeing in conflict with the Act. TheChairman of the Board comes to give aninterpretation which we as a House, aresupposed to accept. Mr Speaker, probably if we had enoughtime, we could have consulted sometechnical experts to give us that definition.I am grateful and I am sure that this Houseis grateful that you insisted on the Reportbeing laid for the purposes of debate. Mr Speaker, you would recall thatduring the debate on this amendment,there were various controversies, let mesay issues, not controversies. We triedas much as possible to have a consensus. We should not have Regulations thatseem to be creating doubts about to themeaning and intendment of the AmendedAct, or that which seeks to undermine itsefficacy, which I dare say is what thisRegulation seeks to do. So, I would urge this House to rejectthis Report of the Subsidiary LegislationCommittee, recommending to the Housethat the Electronic CommunicationsRegulations should come into force, andthen we can vote to annul theRegulations. I know it is always not easy.
It is time for us to convey a message tothose whom we have delegated legislativepower, so that they do not play hankypunky. Why should we define somethingwhich is already in the parent Act, andsay that it means the same thing? If we know that the definition isdifferent, then it would be irresponsibleon our part to allow this thing to pass,only for us to say that the parent Actsupersedes the Regulation. It means thatit is not in accordance with our StandingOrders -- It is in conflict with the statute.I would read --
Hon Member, I thoughtthat you have made your point.
No, MrSpeaker. The Hon Chairman made somecomments, and I would want to sayspecifically -- Mr Speaker, I wish you could grant methe liberty. I am grateful for thisopportunity you have given me.
“After each Order, Rule orRegulation is laid before the House,the Committee shall, in particular,consider: (a) whether it is in accordancewith the general objects of theConstitution or that Actpursuant to which it is made; (b) whether it contains anymatter which in the opinion
Hon Members, the pointthat I would want to address, listening tothe Hon Member for Sekondi, is that wehave a parent legislation, an Act ofParliament, and we are delegating ourfunction to the Ministry to come out witha subsidiary legislation. We would want to know whether wecan have a definition in the Regulationthat conflicts with what is in the parentAct. In this case, the parent Act is Act910. That is the gravamen of hissubmission. I would want the House toaddress me on this matter. Is there nobody from the Majorityside? No -- before I come to Leadership, Iwould want to get the sense of the House;otherwise, I would move straight toLeadership. Alhaji Inusah Abdulai B. Fuseni --rose --
Yes, Hon Member?
MrSpeaker, this is trite learning that even byarticle 11 of the Constitution of the Republicof Ghana, the hierarchy of laws has beenestablished -- The Constitution, Acts ofParliament, Legislative Instruments,Executive Instruments -- So, it has beenestablished. It also clearly means that a LegislativeInstrument is subordinate to an Act ofParliament, but it also constitutes the lawsof the Republic of Ghana. Indeed, if thereis a definition in a Legislative Instrumentthat is not consistent with the Parent Act,then that definition cannot stand on itsown. This is because it is an inferiorlegislation, one cannot use an inferiorlegislation to amend a principal legislation. It means that if the definition providedin the L.I. is not inconsistent, that is tosay, that if the L.I. simply repeats thedefinition in the Act of Parliament, thenthere is no difficulty at all. It means that itis for the abundance of caution, that thesubordinate legislation repeats thelegislation in the parent Act -- It is notany problem in constitutional law orpractice. So, we have to check whether thesubordinate legislation's definition isinconsistent with the principal legislation.I have not heard my senior Hon Colleaguesay that this definition is inconsistent --
Hon Minister, he gavean example of the parent Act -- Act 910,which says interconnect clearinghousemeans a centralised interconnectionsystem. The Legislative Instrumentdefines it as a centralised network,connected to other networks or serviceproviders. So, that is the --
Mr Speaker, that makesthe definition different. I am struggling to understand that thedefinition --
Hon Member, with thisargument, you would have to prepare before you -- You would have to look atthe two legislations; the one that has beendefined in the parent Act, and using yourwords, the inferior legislation. Then youcan decide whether it is in conflict or it isnot in conflict with the parent Act. As you rightly pointed out, the parentAct takes precedence over the LegislativeInstrument. You need to look at it. So, Iwould suggest that you look at the twoand make your submission, so that it doesnot make it hypothetical. You are to relateit to the information before us.
Mr Speaker, I actuallydo not see any inconsistency, but it isimportant that I take your advice. I was actually stating the generalprinciples, and in stating the generalprinciples, you have advised that I lookat the specifics of the words in theLegislative Instrument and the parent Act. Mr Speaker, I take your advice; I wouldlook at them before I come back. Dr A. A. Osei -- rose --
Hon Member for OldTafo?
MrSpeaker, I would want to thank my seniorHon Colleague here, for articulating someof the arguments I have been discussingwith him -- That is perfect. So, I only havea minor issue. I drew the attention of theHon Chairman to it. Maybe, he forgot. Mr Speaker, I have a difficulty with theparagraph 4 of the Report -- The lastbullet point. I have a difficulty with thefirst sentence: “It is further observed thatthe Authority, in proposing to freezeinterconnection and service charges...”
Hon Chairman, wouldyou want to respond now?
Mr Speaker, it isbecause we spoke about it and I said thatthe sentence is very clear. It talks aboutservice charges and not interconnection.The wording here says that the lawproposes to freeze interconnection.
To be very honest, if thatis the impression he is creating, it can lenditself to that interpretation. When I read itat first, that is the impression I got.
But I even went onto say that, that is not what is in the law. Icould not have stated what is in the lawhere. I explained to him that, it is notwhat the law says about freezinginterconnection. It talks about servicecharges. I said that it came about when the mainAct was being amended and the issue washow we were going to protect consumers?How are you assuring us that, indeed,when the ICH comes, it would not be afurther charge on consumers? This is toaddress that issue. When the Hon Member asked me, I saidit was in respect of charges, notinterconnection because that is not in thelaw -- [Interruption.] It is interconnectioncharge.
Mr Speaker, I reallywish that there was no such controversyaround this Regulation. Be that as it may,Mr Speaker, I am not a lawyer, but I knowwhat normally happens is that, if wepass an Act and it seems not to be veryclear in terms of its consistency with theConstitution, the Constitution overridesit. Therefore, there is no fatality. In the same way, it is my belief thatwhen we have a Regulation that is inferiorto an Act, when it comes to interpretationand there is inconsistency, the Act wouldoverride it. Mr Speaker, I am happy that, at least,the Hon Chairman of the Committee is alawyer. The Hon Ranking Member is alawyer and they insist that there are noinconsistencies. Mr Speaker, it is my view that therecannot be any fatality with regard to thisRegulation if it passes. The fact of thematter is that, when it comes to anybodytaking it to court, then the Act wouldoverride the Regulation. It cannot be thatthe Regulation would override the Act; itcannot be. This is because the Regulationis an inferior law to the Act. Therefore, Ido not really see why we have thisdifficulty. If you look at the interpretation thathad been read, both in the Act and in theRegulation, honestly, as I said, I am not alawyer so you may excuse my ignorance.But in the sentence that was read, I donot see any inconsistency. I do not seethe inconsistency in the definition,whether in the Regulation or the Act. But if you think there areinconsistencies, I believe when itbecomes critical, the Act would overridethe Regulation. Therefore, there is noneed for that.
Hon Member for OldTafo, are you on a point of order?
Yes. Mr Speaker, I hopehe did not say what I heard, that if lawyerscome and give us a definition, whether itis right or wrong, we should accept it. Ihope that is not what he said. Mr Speaker, let me remind him of thisone -- The next interconnect regime. Youheard the Hon Chairman say it. The BoardChairman gave a definition and as alegislator, you are saying we shouldaccept it whether it is right or wrong? Hesaid that, on the basis of what the BoardChairman said, we should take it to mean“service charge”. Are you willing to takeit? Please I hope that is not what you said. You need to clarify that because yousaid once they have said it, we shouldnot argue with them. The Board Chairman,the sponsor defines for you, that theregime means “service charge” and areyou willing to accept it? Insha Allah --[Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, my HonColleague should pay attention and listento me. I said that if we look at thecontroversy about whether there isinconsistency or not, it is argued bylawyers. Those who claim there areinconsistencies and those who said thereare no inconsistencies are all lawyers. I said that because they are all lawyers,it gives me some hope, that it is an issuefor interpretation. If it is so, then I saideven this House, when we pass an Actand it happens to be inconsistent with theConstitution, which one overrides? I amvery certain it is the Constitution thatoverrides. In the same way, if a Regulation whichis inferior -- Mr Alexander A. Afenyo-Markin --rose --
Do you have a point oforder?
Rightly so, MrSpeaker. First of all, the Hon MajorityChief Whip has conceded that he is not alawyer but he has expressed a view whichif we do not intervene, perhaps, it mightmislead the House. On the basis of that, Mr Speaker, letme draw his attention to that. At least, wehave an opportunity to point out aninconsistency. It is our duty to cure samerather than wait for an interpretation. Theargument that, in an Act where there isany inconsistency, the Constitution,which is the parent law would supersedeor would have an overriding effect -- Yes,that is the argument. Similarly, you juxtapose same when youtalk about an Act of Parliament, and asubsidiary legislation. However, on thisoccasion, there is a clear departure. Shouldwe overlook it and say that there wouldbe an opportunity for interpretation so wewould leave it for a court to decide? Wehave the mandate to decide here and now. Mr Speaker, I therefore, humbly begthat the Hon Majority Chief Whip shouldunderstand the position of the law in thecontext I have so provided, so that wecure this and not leave it for any othercourt to interpret. I am grateful for theopportunity.
Mr Speaker, with alldue respect, I do not believe there isanything to cure. It is my personalconviction that this is right --[Interruption.] Mr Speaker, it is my conviction thatwhat the Committee did was right. MrSpeaker, I would want to urge HonMembers of this House to support theCommittee. This House is as strong as itsCommittees. Mr Speaker, we should remember thatthis very important issue was referred toyour Committee. The Committee, after itscareful deliberation, thinks that this isconsistent. Mr Speaker, I agree with them becausethe argument that has been raised withregard to the issue of the House rejectingtheir Report or recommendation is notconvincing. I am very convinced by whatthe Committee has done --[Interruption.] You can have your view. My view is that, the Committee wasright and I support it. I would want to urgeHon Members of both sides of theHouse to go with the Committee. This is aCommittee of the House which isentrusted, and they have made their point.There is no mistake anywhere. Listen tothe interpretation by both sides of theHouse. Once the Committee had made itsrecommendation, it is my hope that I amgoing to hear convincing arguments abouthow inconsistent the Regulation is. I amyet to hear any strong argument to supportthat we should reject this, and for thatmatter annul this Regulation. I have not heard that and because ofthat, Mr Speaker, I am of the view that weneed to support the Committee and adoptthis Report so that this Regulation wouldpass tomorrow. 6. 10 p.m.
Mr Speaker,thank God I am not a lawyer. Mr Speaker,as the Hon Majority Chief Whip said, ifthe lawyers are confused, is hecomfortable? I have never heard thatargument, that lawyers are accurate. So,he is very comfortable. Mr Speaker,how can we be comfortable? Mr Speaker, I have raised this issue fora few weeks now, and I hope when thisdebate ends, that position of the NationalAssembly Press, situated in the bosomof Government might be something weshould think about. Mr Speaker, the Assembly Pressbelonged to Parliament, it was a part andparcel of Parliament. So, when theExecutive laid a Paper and Parliamentaccepted, it was Parliament's press,which is the Assembly Press thatgazetted it. That was why it was called AssemblyPress. It was the National Assembly'sPress. That is why now, the question isput, whether we should lay and go andcome, or come and go and lay and come? Mr Speaker, it is high time as executivesof Parliament, we started looking at a pressthat would allow Government to submitdocuments and be gazetted appropriately.This is the only Parliament where thesethings are happening. Everywhere thishappens, the press that does thisgazetting belongs to the NationalParliament. So, this is food for thought. This is because when I rose andbrought to the attention of this House,the lack of these Papers in the House, it that regime. If anything, we are not goingto wait until 2018 for the next interconnectregime by which the parent Act brings theICH into force on 24th of next month. There is some confusion. Today, I washappy to have spoken to more lawyers inmy life in one day. I spoke to the HonAttorney-General and Minister forJustice, she gave one interpretation; shegave another interpretation and I offeredanother interpretation and she said, “I cansee your confusion”. But if somebody cansee my confusion, if the L.I. that issupposed to guide implementation isgoing to result in confusion, then, it meansthat anybody can do what he likes. That is why I think that it is not whatthe Hon Majority Chief Whip is talkingabout. The whole idea, that we would puttransitional provisions in Regulations, isworrying. I wanted to find examples fromthe Hon Chairman, which otherRegulations have transitional provisionsand I have not found any. Maybe, withmore experienced hands at the TableOffice, they can show us the L.I.s withtransitional provisions. Mr Speaker, I would plead with the HonMajority Leader of the House and Leaderof Government Business, to hear from himwhy this legislation should not bewithdrawn. Maybe, it is too difficult for itto be annulled. The Hon Majority ChiefWhip says, because lawyers are confused,we should let lawyers make money in thecourt. I do not believe that. Mr Speaker, this House would be seento be derelict of its duties if we have seensomething wrong with this Regulationand we do not do the right thing. Thereare only two things that we can do; askthe Government to withdraw, through theLeader of Government Business or annulit as a House. was borne out of a conviction of thehistory of the amendment. It is not onlythe “until 2018 Interconnection Regime”that worries me. Mr Speaker, that phraseis repeated so often in this LegislativeInstrument (L.I.) and with your permission,I beg to quote: “Until the implementation of the nextInterconnect Regime in January,2018”. Mr Speaker, what does that phrasemean? Mr Speaker, in the old Act, (Act775), section 20 (1) (a) was amended. Thatwhole section was about interconnect,and it gave what it meant by interconnectand the principles and the guidance forinterconnection. When they came toamend section 20 (a) (1), they deleted allthe other sections and said they wouldcome to the Regulations to issue guidancefor the interconnect regime. The Hon Chairman of the SubsidiaryLegislation Committee rose and asked “ifyou do not bring the Regulations, can webring the Interconnect Clearinghouse(ICH)? “They said, no. So, we all waitedpatiently for the Regulations. Mr Speaker, I am beginning to believethat, that whole phrase is what is causingthe most confusion. This is because we aremoving from peer-to-peer interconnectionto an Interconnect Clearinghouse. These aretwo regimes. So, today, when I was briefedthat “Interconnect Regime” means“service charge”, it was worrying. Iwanted the Hon Chairman to include thatdefinition in the Report, so that the Housecould consider it. Mr Speaker, what about the thoughtthat since we are moving from peer-to-peerto ICH, and the parent Act says that theICH should come into force by 24th March,this Regulation was supposed to support
Hon Members, when Ileft the Chair, I had further consultations.I consulted to find out when the documentwould actually mature. I found out that, itwas laid and gazetted on the 22nd of June,2016. That was the 21st Sitting of thisHouse for this Meeting and today is the41st Sitting. In between the period, we had a numberof holidays and weekends and we do notcount the first day because it says “aftertwenty-one Sitting days”. So, we startcounting from the 23rd Sitting day. The 21Sitting days would mature tomorrow, so,today is the 20th Sitting day after it hadbeen laid, and tomorrow would be the 21stSitting day. I thought that before I left the Chair,we were all in doubt whether today isactually the maturity date or it is tomorrow,and I thought that I have to make thispoint for the records. Yes, Hon Second Deputy Speaker?
Mr Speaker, by 12midnight tomorrow, this would becomepart of the laws of Ghana, unless weannul it or it is withdrawn. Mr Speaker, it is not for nothing thatthe framers of the Constitution said thatthese Orders, Rules and Regulationsshould be laid for 21 Sitting days beforethey come into force. It was to afford thepeople through their representatives --Those of us sitting here, the opportunityto look at the Order, Rule and Regulation and decide whether we want to annul it orperhaps, urge that it is withdrawn. I havebeen advised that this House has annulleda subsidiary legislation once. Mr Speaker, that is the letter of theConstitution, but our acts should notcontradict the spirit of the Constitution.Even by listening to the eloquent HonMembers arguing forcefully on bothsides -- Hon Muntaka, the Hon Memberfor Sekondi and others -- One comes tothe conclusion that the framers of theConstitution knew what they were doingwhen they said 21 Sitting days. They did not intend that on the duskof the Legislative Instrument coming intoeffect, it would be presented to the Houseand the House would be, as it were, heldunder arrest to come to a conclusion oneway or the other. Mr Speaker, this is not a Bill that wecan do a Second Consideration on,neither is it an enactment that what wesay here can be used to interpret it. I havelooked at section 10 of the InterpretationAct and it says that the proceedings hereare used to interpret enactments; Acts ofParliament. The Supreme Court has shown anarrow remit and the best thing for us tohave done was to use the formulaproposed by the now legendary B. J. daRocha of blessed memory, when he said,do not change the wording, repeat it. If the Constitution says one thing andyou are bringing it into enactment, repeatit. Indeed, if they had repeated thedefinition mutatis mutandis verbatim,there would have been no debate aboutthis issue. You asked a question, MrSpeaker, and the question you asked was,what if it is not distributed immediatelythereafter? That question was notanswered. Mr Speaker, I would argue that if it isnot distributed immediately thereafter,even though de jure it has been laid, defacto, it has not been laid. It has been laidin law, but it has not been laid in factbecause it must be given to us and wemust take custody of it. The SubsidiaryLegislation Committee, with the greatestrespect to them, are not two-thirds ofParliament, their job is advisory. Mr Speaker, we should make noapologies for continuing to develop ourlaw and the Constitution. Indeed, it usedto be the case that, when L.I.s came beforethis House, we used to treat them like Billsto Parliament. We have passed that stageand now we have a pre-laying stage whereconsultation takes place. There is no problem with us goingfurther to say that reasonable time cannotmean a day before. Even if we say that weare going to say, that it must be given tous within a reasonable time, and we aresaying that as reasonable people, weknow the constraints, and the nationalAssembly Press is no longer with us -- Mr Speaker, by any stretch of theimagination, by any stretch of thechancellor's foot as we used to say inequity, that reasonable time cannot be aday before it comes into effect. How canwe take a decision on such a technicalissue, when people are telling us that theywere given certain definitions by Chairmenand so on and are moving the rest of usalong, as if we do not know what ishappening. It is not even a legal matter, I would tellHon Muntaka. This is a highly technicalarea of communication. The definitions that are being providedare definitions in communication, and ifthe definition was repeated verbatim, wewould have no problem agreeing with it.If the definitions were repeated verbatim,then we may have said that we may gloss Mr Speaker, insofar as there isconfusion that has raised -- Anotherconfusion is that, the forth transitionalprovision seeks to arrogate itself to pay ICHmonies from the Electronic CommunicationsAct which has to do with monitoring ofincoming international traffic. That has todo with subsection (a) of section 259 ofthe Act, which Act they did not even state--[Interruption]-- Is it Act 910 or Act864, or Act 775?
You have to state it sothat it is explicit. Which subsection of259 (a)?
Mr Speaker, eventually,when I found the subsection 259 (a), ittalked about dealing with incominginternational traffic and how the moniesshould be used, and who should beaccounted to for those monies used, thatis the Minister for Finance.
theNational Communications Authority(NCA) has the power to use monies thathave accrued to itself. Why has the NCAmentioned subsection 25 (a) when yougo to subsection 25 (a), would you seethe Minister for Finance mentionedsomewhere? Is it to bypass that? Thiswhole controversy; is it to bypass theauthority of accountability to the Ministerfor Finance? Mr Speaker, there is a lot more thanone controversy and that confuses a lotof people, and we need to exercise ourminds in this House. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Hon Second DeputySpeaker?
Mr Speaker, inabout six hours, barring this L.I. beingwithdrawn or being annulled, it would
Mr Speaker,I believe that the Speakers who havespoken before me have offeredreasonable grounds for us to have asecond look at this. Already, I saw the HonMinister for Roads and Highways, whowas the first to attempt some defence ofthe proposal from the Committee. But loand behold, now, we see how he is beingtreated by some two Hon Members. Itappears he ventured into the fray ratherunprepared. Mr Speaker, it seems there are threemain issues before us. One relates to thelaying of the document, and what issueshave ensued, whether what was done 20days ago was indeed laying. This is tothe extent that, after bowing, thedocument could not be availed to us untillast week. The other matter also relates to thedefinition of the introduction of the term“interconnect regime” which is not in theparent Act or the amendment Act. The useof “interconnect regime”, finds expressiononly in the L.I. and is not contained ineither the parent Act or amendment Act. the presentation of that Papermay be placed on the OrderPaper, and as soon as Mr Speakerannounces “Papers for Presen-tation” the Paper shall be deemedto have been laid on the Table”. Mr Speaker, except that the Instrumentcomes under a different -- as providedfor in the Constitution. But even there,Standing Order 75 (3) would hold. This isbecause Standing Order 75 (3) says,without exception and with yourpermission, I beg to quote: (2) “Every Paper presented to theHouse shall be recorded as sopresented in the Votes andProceedings of the Sitting atwhich it is presented”. Mr Speaker, what this means is that,because the gazetting is supposed to bedone the same day, the House should beseized of the document and takepossession of that Paper and in this case,the Instrument. It was not done. Mr Speaker, that is an obvious breachof Standing Order 75 (3). This is becausethat same day, the Table Office ought tohave been seized and be presented withthe document. And yet it was not done. Mr Speaker, it cannot be construed thatthis Paper was properly laid in this House,to the extent that the Table Office was notserved with copies after the bowing whichwas symbolically done. Mr Speaker, that exercise that wasconducted on that day is in violent breachof Standing Order 75 (3). Mr Speaker, the definition, we havealready been told, and I have alsoreiterated the point about the introductionof a new terminology “InterconnectRegime”. over it for today, this violent breach ofthe Constitution and the rights of thepeople by not affording the people theopportunity to decide whether they wantto support this or not. I would urge the Hon Majority Leader,respectfully, that we should use this asan example, he should withdraw it. I wouldurge the House, if he does not withdrawit -- [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, I havejust been reminded that he did not lay it,so he cannot withdraw it. He is the Leaderof Government Business. Mr Speaker, the next suggestion I amabout to make is a very difficultsuggestion, I know. But I also know thatit was Lord Denning who said that thelaw is made up of bold spirits and timoroussouls, and I am convinced beyondreasonable doubt, that you belong to thecategory of bold spirits. So, Mr Speaker,then we can say in this House that --[Interruption] -- Even though theLegislative Instrument (L. I.) has been laidin law it has not been laid in fact, the 21days are not up. Mr Speaker, the other last but not ratherlame suggestion that I would make isthat, we take note of this fact. TheStanding Orders attempted to deal withSubsidiary Legislation in Standing Order77 and so on. But clearly, what is here isnot sufficient. If you look at StandingOrder 6, it says: “In all cases not provided for inthese Orders, Mr Speaker shallmake provisions as he deems fit.” I see that in the nature of practicedirectives by the courts -- That is how Isee it -- Like the Supreme Court givespractice directives. Mr Speaker, the issue is whether theinferior Act, which the subsidiary legislation,can introduce new phraseologies notcontained in the Parent Act? Mr Speaker,my thinking is that it cannot be done. Mr Speaker, the third matter relates tothe transition period, where it is providedthat we shall have a six months' transitionperiod. This one appears to be talkingabout the period from now to 2018. Thereare three main issues that should beconfronting us. Mr Speaker, relating to the first one,we have seen a lot of articulation and wehave been told that as provided for bythe Constitution in article 11 (7), when theInstrument is introduced in the House, itmust be published or gazetted on the sameday. Mr Speaker, you are drawing ourattention that it was gazetted on the sameday. If indeed it was, how come that thisHouse did not get to see the documentmore than 10 days after the purportedlaying of the document in the House?That certainly cannot be justified and theHouse would not be seized of thedocument. Mr Speaker, indeed, Standing Order 74provides, and with your permission, I begto quote: “A Paper may be presented to theHouse only by Mr Speaker, theChairman of a Committee, a Memberor a Minister”. Mr Speaker, Standing Order 75 thenprovides, and with your permission, Ibeg to quote: (1) “As soon as sufficient copies ofa Paper for distribution toMembers have been received inthe Office of the Clerk notice of
On a point of order.Mr Speaker, when the Hon MinorityLeader said that the Paper has not been inthis House for 21 Sitting days, I disagreewith him. Mr Speaker, sometime last week, thisissue came up and you gave a ruling whichwe complied with. We are masters of ourown rules and the Hon Minority Leader isrepeating --
Hon Majority ChiefWhip, you remember that when the HonMember for Manhyia South raised theissue regarding the unavailability of theInstrument, you made some undertakingand gave some explanation of a technicalnature, that Assembly Press where --So, the point being made is, the Paper thatwas laid on the 22nd June, 2016, was notavailable to Hon Members up to last week. That is the point, and it should not beencouraged at all, if I should speak fromthe Chair. I do not want to take part in the debate,but that should not be encouraged.
Rightly so, MrSpeaker. But the Hon Minority Leaderkept repeating when we have gone pastthat stage. He keeps repeating and theHansard is capturing it as though we areall accepting that it has not been in theHouse for 21 Sitting days.
Hon Majority ChiefWhip, the Hon Minority Leader, normally,when he is the last person to speak for hisside, tries to wind-up and summarises thepoint that has been raised by his side. Heis winding up the debate for his side, sothere are points that have been made, thatby way of emphasis, he might want toraise again.
Mr Speaker,I believe the point is being made that thePaper, even though was laid in the Housewas not presented to the House. Is theHon Majority Chief Whip disputing thisfact? available to Hon Members so that theycould study it and make an informedcontribution on the floor of the House, sothat the dignity of this House is upheld? Hon Members, the Paper was laid andit was not distributed in good time becausethey had to send it to Assembly Press tobe gazetted, and it delayed there. Theygazetted it and, gave numbers to it. Itdelayed there until Hon Members had toagitate on the floor of the House thatthey had not seen the Paper. Hon Members, if we do not discouragethis practice, what it would mean is that,because we do not have the power ofamendment, somebody could decide to laya Paper and use technical reasons to blockthe distribution of that Paper and the 21Sitting days would elapse, and Parliamentwhich is delegated with legislative powersand authority to make subsidiarylegislation might not be in the position tolook at it to see whether it is consistentwith the parent Act or the Constitution. So, Hon Members, when a Paper islaid, let us make sure that we get them ingood time. I would not support aprecedence where a Paper is laid and ittakes about one month before HonMembers get that Paper. This Houseshould not encourage that at all.
Mr Speaker, I agreeentirely with you that the internalprocesses of this House must not operateto prevent Hon Members of Parliamentfrom getting Papers duly laid. But the issueis that, should the internal processes ofthis House override the requirements ofthe law?
Hon Minister, what doyou mean by the internal processes? Mr Speaker, I do not see the point onwhich he rose. It is a matter of fact. Unlessmaybe, he would like to swim against thetide. We are all lamenting on this and herises up to say that he disagrees with me.If he disagrees with me, is he doing thaton the facts or on the premise that what Isaid was not true?
On a point of order.Mr Speaker, indeed, the Hon MinorityLeader, appears to be reading the law thatrequires the 21 Sitting days rule --Matters which are not in the law. Mr Speaker, I was waiting for anopportunity to contribute to the debate,but I had to rise because you have givenan indication that the Hon MinorityLeader may be summing up on behalf ofhis side.
Hon Member, please, getthe rules right. This is a debate. You areentitled to speak once, except in mattersof clarification.
Mr Speaker, it isclarification. Mr Speaker, article 11 (7) makes itabundantly clear and with yourpermission, I beg to quote: “Any Order…
Hon Members, let memake this point clear. We should be verycareful when we make statements thatundermine the authority of this House. Hon Members, let me make this pointvery clear; there is no confusion at allabout article 11. There is no problem atall. The problem is, after a Paper has beenlaid, how long should it take to be made
Mr Speaker, just to saythat, as a House, we have to give effect tothe laws of this land in ways that wouldensure that the House works and does soefficiently.
Hon Minority Leader,please, proceed.
Mr Speaker,thank you very much for liberating mefrom this intervention which, with respect,I was struggling to see its value addition. Mr Speaker, the Hon Member shouldknow that laying a document in the Houseis, availing the document to the House.He should not talk about internalprocesses. If one lays it, he or she mustpresent it to the House. And so, when itis purportedly laid and there are no copiesin the House — There were no copies here— [Uproar.] Mr Speaker, so the Hon Minister wasnot even following the trend of thediscourse. He just intervened forpurposes of intervention. Mr Speaker, the point being made isthat, there are difficulties. We have relatedto three issues; the laying of thedocument, the introduction of a newterminology, the definition of interconnectregion which is in conflict with thedefinition in the parent Act, and the factrelating to the transitional arrangement.There are three major issues which thisInstrument introduces, which are notcontained in the parent Act. Mr Speaker, I submit that if we shouldpass this Instrument in this current form,then Parliament would be reduced to alaughing stock. Anybody could go tocourt on this and we shall be reduced to alaughing stock when we have seen theserumbled strips, and we think that we Mr Speaker, I noticed that when theycame to the conclusion, and with yourpermission, I beg to read: “The Committee has carefully examinedthe Electronic Communications(Interconnect Clearing house Service)Regulations, 2016 (L.I. 2234) and is ofthe considered view that theConstitutional Instrument does notcontravene the provisions of theConstitution and Order 166 (3) of theStanding Orders of Parliament, whichserved as a reference guide to theCommittee.” Mr Speaker, I thought that, havingmentioned the Constitution, the nextpoint of call certainly should be thestatute. Is it in conflict with the statute?Unfortunately, the Committee did noteven mention it in the parent Act.
The Committee mademention of Standing Order 166 (3) in theirReport. They said that they looked at itand that it is in consonance. That is theview of the Committee.
Mr. Speaker,I am talking about the Act, because theConstitution has also mentioned inStanding Order 166 (3). Why then did theymention the Constitution?
When they mentionedOrder 166 (3), they meant that all thematters that ought to be considered infinding out whether to recommend it tothe House or not, have been done, andthat is what they are telling the House.
Mr Speaker,the point I am making is, Order 166 (3) citesthe Constitution. Why did they mentionthe Constitution? I am saying that theyought to have mentioned it in the contextof the Act, and their attention would havebeen drawn to the conflict between theinstrument and the Act.
Mr Speaker, the internalprocesses are that, when the Paper is laidand gazetted, it must be distributed, butdistribution is an internal process. This isbecause, the law in article 11(7) does nottalk about distribution. Time begins to runwhen the Paper —
Hon Member, you haveto read that article with the procedure ofthis House, and that is why some HonMembers were referring to Order 75 of theStanding Orders. Hon Members, the same Constitutionsays that we pass Standing Orders toregulate the procedure of the House. Andso we have passed there. I do not want usto go there because it would not beencouraged. The Paper was laid, sent forgazetting, they would gazette and give ita number and that document was notbrought here and we are being told thatthey had challenges. Hon Members, let me say this, that itis a genuine concern that the twoConstitutional Instruments for the electionwe got in good time was because I had toset-up a team, chaired by my First Deputyto sit on Assembly Press, and we had toincur cost to make sure that we got copies.So, that is the process, but how we assistAssembly Press to get the documents forus in good time is what we should beaddressing, and that is the point the HonMember for Manhyia South made, thatwe find a way of trying to resolve it. Andso we have passed there.
Mr Speaker, we havepassed there and I agree with you on that.I also agree with you that we have to workto ensure that the internal processes ofthis House, that is the procedures thatwe have established by conversion andpractice, are adhered to. Mr Speaker, I would not want to pursuethis matter further. should close our eyes over this? I do notsee the reason for this, which is why Iproposed that the better arrangement — Irealised that it is difficult to save the faceof the sponsoring Ministry and indeed,the Hon Minister, which is why we areproposing that the Hon Minister shouldperhaps find a way to come under somerationalisation to withdraw it. Mr Speaker, this is because, annullingit would not even send the right signal tothat Ministry, which is why we felt thatthe better arrangement was for him to havewithdrawn, using the fact that, maybe, wehad technical difficulties the day it waslaid, et cetera and the fact that Parliamenthas to adjourn, maybe, on Friday. Mr Speaker, I do not see this, and I amsurprised that Hon Colleagues aremounting a stoic defence of whatotherwise should not be defended. Mr Speaker, you are in the Chair, and Iknow that you would offer good guidanceto the House. If, in the wisdom of theHon Colleagues on the other side is thatwe should do it, well. If it is done, itwould represent the wisdom or decisionof the collective. But I would dare toindicate that this is a wrong step that weare taking and if people want to go there,so be it. We would bless them in that effort.It is certainly not good for the image ofthis House. [Pause.] Mr Speaker, the Hon Member forSekondi drew our attention to whatinformation the Subsidiary LegislationCommittee was supposed to provide tous. Our Standing Orders provide in Order166 what they should be considering, andStanding Order 166 (3) provides that, theyshould be advising us whether theInstrument is in accordance with thegeneral objects of the Constitution or theActs pursuant to which it is made.
Mr Speaker, I stand to contributeto the debate and in doing so, I am fullyaware that by the provisions of theConstitution, article 11 (7), we do not havetwo-thirds of the Members of Parliamentto be able to annul the instrument; I amaware of that. Mr Speaker, I have gone through theStanding Orders, particularly, Order 166and I have also gone through the Act asamended. There are even more grave areasthat Hon Members have not touched on,in connection with the Instrument, and ifwe had the numbers, the proper thingwould have been to call for the annulmentof the Instrument. I would proceed topinpoint those areas which I believeeluded the Committee. Mr Speaker, it has been made very clearthat the Instrument emanates from an Actof Parliament, and the powers that aregiven to the authority and in this case,the Minister, are powers that have beengiven by us in the parent Act. Mr Speaker, going through the L.I. 2234and particularly looking at Regulation 3of L.I. 2234, with your permission, I beg toread: “General duties of an InterconnectClearinghouse “A connecting entity shall connectto an Interconnect Clearinghousefor a) monitoring of traffic volumes”. So, it has gone beyond inter-connectivity. b) transit of traffic. That has also gone beyondinterconnectivity. And you would want usto give this through a Regulation. Mr Speaker, it is a serious matter. Again, I would want to emphasise theissue of transitional provisions. Theparent Act has transitional provisions andit gave six months. The Regulation isgiving more than a year. [Interruption.]Please, it is not only service charges. Mr Speaker, that is a serious matter, andthe transitional provisions in theRegulations are so nebulous, subject tovarious interpretations. Mr Speaker, apart from what HonPrempeh referred to, when we use theterm, “January 2018”, we are dealing withcalculation of either fees, charges,penalties or whatever, and there must bespecific dates. Are we dealing with 1st or30th January? It is not clear. At least, others havetalked about the regime, but again, whenwe look at Regulation 19 (4) it states andwith your permission, I beg to quote: “Until January, 2018, the Authorityshall remunerate an InterconnectClearing House engaged ininterconnection, with moneys thatthe Authority collects on behalf ofGovernment for the use of theAuthority...” Mr Speaker, I insist that what theCommittee has submitted to us, I wouldnot want to say that it is a disservice, butI think that it is not comprehensiveenough, and if they had extended theirview to the parent Act and done a verycareful analysis of what is contained inthe parent Act, they would have advisedus differently than the advice andrecommendation they are proffering to us. Mr Speaker, but perhaps, given the factthat they did not see the document ontime, and they had to retreat today onyour instructions to go and consider theRegulations and bring it to us, is mostunusual. I believe that we should becautious and very circumspect about thisand not rush to approve of this. It woulddo a disservice to the image of this Houseif we approve of these Regulations inthis current form. Thank you.
Hon Members, before Igive the Floor to the Hon Majority Leader,I would want to correct an impression thatwas created on the floor of the House bythe Hon Minister for Roads andHighways. The Hon Minister spoke tocreate the impression that the internalprocesses that would lead to thedistribution is in the full control of thisHouse. Hon Members, the Assembly Press isunder the Ministry of Communications,so I have been told. Go and tell yourColleague Minister to pay the electricitybill of the Assembly Press, so that theycan connect them to the national grid sothat they can work. Indeed, they arerunning on generator and when we wereprinting -- Hon Members, it is importantto put these things in perspective. 3. An Interconnect Clearinghouseshall a) maintain the capacity toconnect and route nationaland international trafficirrespective of protocol ortechnology”; Mr Speaker, what I know is that theInterconnect Clearinghouse deals withinterconnectivity. When I use the serviceof MTN and I want to reach somebodyusing the service of Vodafone, then wepass it through Interconnect Clearing-house. When I use the services of MTNand I am connecting somebody usingMTN, I do not pass through InterconnectClearinghouse; so there is a difference. So, the duty of this InterconnectClearinghouse cannot be to take the two.It must be dealing with only thoseinvolved in interconnectivity. So, this Regulation should have beentalking about ‘An Interconnect Clearinghouseshall maintain the capacity to connect androute interconnect national andinternational traffic.' It is only theinterconnect ones that the clearinghousemaintain the capacity to connect, and notall traffic. It is a serious matter.
“monitor traffic volumes of eachservice provider and networkoperator” which meant that even the traffic volumesthat are not interconnected, they are tomonitor them. I think that the Committeeshould have seen this. They did not andso here we are unable to do our workproperly. And this law would come intoforce by the effluxion of time. Mr Speaker, when you go toRegulation 9, you have the same problemthere. Mr Speaker, what does “remunerate”here mean? [Interruption.] Pay what? Is itallowance, service charge, administrativecost or operational cost? What isremunerate? This is alien to the Legislation. Has itbeen interpreted? [Interruption.] It hasnot. Mr Speaker, here we are. We do not havetwo-thirds. [Pause.] They wound want towithdraw, it is not here. [Interruption] -- Clearly, interconnection has also beendefined. That was why I interpreted theprovision that way. It has been defined atpage 16 of Act 775. What does it meanwhen one says interconnection?
“Interconnection” means thelinking of public electroniccommunications networks andservices to allow the users of onepublic electronic communicationservice to communicate with usersof another public electroniccommunication service.” That is why I read it to mean that, if I amcalling MTN, Interconnect Clearinghousedoes not come in. [Interruption.] Yes, thatis peer-to-peer connection. It is intra andso Interconnect Clearinghouse does notcome in. That is why when we look at thevolumes, the Interconnect Clearinghousewould only be taking about 30 per centof the traffic volumes in this country.Seventy per cent are outside that. Now, the Regulations are trying to ropethat 70 per cent into the general duties ofthe Interconnect Clearinghouse. Mr Speaker, definitely, it is far beyondtheir remit. [Interruption.] I amconstrained but the records wouldvindicate us because when one goes through the laws of Ghana, this is one ofthe laws that we are mandated to pass.Article 11(1) (c) talks about it, and I beg toquote: “The laws of Ghana shall comprise -- (c) any Orders, Rules andRegulations made by any personor authority under a powerconferred by this Constitution”. So, Mr Speaker, it is part of the laws ofGhana, and we have that authority. Thisone ends here. It would not go to HisExcellency, the President, for his assentwhere he can return it to us, for us torelook at it . Immediately after tomorrow,it becomes law and it is a bad one. We areto be blamed and not any other person. Mr Speaker, I think that we areconstrained, unless we decide that we donot conclude the debate, extend it totomorrow where the House would haveall its numbers for us to do the right thing. Mr Speaker, these are my submissions. Thank you.
Hon Members, thatbrings us to the end of the debate. I wouldrefer Hon Members to Standing Order 109-- Yes?
Mr Speaker, Ibelieve the Hon Majority Leader hasraised serious fundamental issues relatingto whether the matters being dealt withby this Regulations ought to be properlydealt with by an Act. I was hoping that you would invite theHon Minister for Communications tocome and respond to these things for thebenefit of the House, unless he is notavailable. That is all. Hon Majority Leader, you are in chargeof Government Business and you mightwant to do further consultations on thismatter, so that we know what to dotomorrow. The decision on this matter standsdeferred till tomorrow. Hon Majority Leader, what item are wetaking?
Mr Speaker, we have OrderPaper Addendum 2 -- Presentation ofPapers. The following Papers are to bepresented by the Hon Minister for Health. He is present; he has been here forsome time now.
Order Paper Addendum2 -- Presentation of Papers by the HonMinister for Health.
Hon Members, myinformation is that, the Hon Minister forCommunications is not within thejurisdiction. Hon Members, I refer you to StandingOrder 109 (1): “No Question for decision in theHouse shall be proposed fordetermination unless there arepresent in the House not less thanone-half of all the Members of theHouse, and, except otherwiseprovided in the Constitution, theQuestion proposed shall bedetermined by the majority of thevotes of the Members present andvoting.” Hon Members, I have listened carefullyto everybody. There is no ad idem on thismatter on the floor of the House. It isvery clear that if we ignore this provisionof the Standing Order, which itselfemanates from the Constitution, theHouse would be in difficulty. In fact, I have asked the Clerks-at-the-Table to give me the number of HonMembers in the Chamber. The figure theygave me some few minutes ago is about78. That is; 48 from the Majority side and30 from the Minority side. That gave me78. Therefore, I am unable to propose theQuestion for today. But Hon Membersmust bear in mind that we have one dayto take a decision on this matter. Very important points have been raisedon the floor of the House, and it is forthe House to take a decision one way orthe other. It is on that basis that I deferthe votes or decision on this matter totomorrow; I am enjoined by article 104 ofthe Constitution not to propose theQuestion at all.
Polyclinics in the Greater-AccraRegion (Phase IV) to be locatedin Adentan, Ashaiman, Bortianor,Oduman and Sege. Referred to the Committee on Health.
Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, if we couldtake item number 15 on the Order Paper.[Interruption.] Mr Speaker, I am doing my best for usto reduce the pressure on the last day.
Mr Speaker, we should takeone or two clauses and then we continuetomorrow. [Interruption.] If the boys abre, what about the men?
-- Now we have it.[Laughter.] Hon Majority Leader, what is the senseof the House?
Mr Speaker, the boys arenot as strong as the men. So, the boyshave told me that “boys abre”. Mr Speaker, I have taken a cue fromthat; we are entirely in your hands.
Very well. Hon Members, the House is adjournedtill tomorrow at 10.00 o'clock in theforenoon. Thank you very much.