Hon Members, Correctionof Votes and Proceedings and the OfficialReport. [No correction was made to the Votesand Proceedings of Friday, 24th June,2016.] [No correction was made to theOfficial Report of Thursday, 16th June,2016.]
At the commencement ofPublic Business, Hon Deputy MajorityLeader?
Mr Speaker, itemnumbered 4 (a), (b) and (c) (i) (ii) on theOrder Paper are ready to be laid! I havejust been informed that item numbered 4(c) is not ready.
Are items numbered 4(a) and (b) ready?
Yes, they are ready.
Mr Speaker, with yourpermission, I would like to lay the Paperon behalf of the Majority Leader.
Mr Speaker, item numbered5 on the Order Paper. The Hon Attorney-General and Minister for Justice is here. Mr Speaker, I beg to seek yourpermission and the indulgence of my HonColleagues for the Hon Deputy Attorney-General and Deputy Minister for Justiceto lay the Constitution (Amendment) Bill,2016 on behalf of the Attorney-General andMinister for Justice. Mr Dominic B.A. Nitiwul — rose -- Mr Speaker, this is a very important Bill— Where is the Attorney-General andMinister for Justice herself?[Interruption.]
MrSpeaker, the Hon Attorney-General andMinister for Justice is attending a meetingin London in respect of the Ghana-Coted'Ivoire arbitration.
Hon Members, when theAttorney-General and Minister for Justicewas in the House last Friday, she informedme that she would be away on the Ghana-Ivory Coast border issue and that shewould be back in the jurisdiction byWednesday. She did inform me.
Mr Speaker, fair enough.But Hon Alfred Agbesi is the actingLeader of Government Business now andso, he should have explained and not theHon Deputy Minister —
Hon Members, before Icall the Hon Deputy Attorney-General andDeputy Minister for Justice to present theBill on behalf of the Hon Attorney-Generaland Minister for Justice, for the records, Iwould like to make a statement regardingthe procedure for this type of Bill. Hon Members, the constitutionalprocedure that governs this type of Bill islaid down in chapter 25, article 291 of the1992 Constitution of Ghana. In terms of the notice of theAmendment Bill, the Bill is required to bepublished twice in the gazette, with thesecond publication being made, at least,three months after the first and ten dayshave passed after the second publicationbefore its introduction in Parliament. Hon Members, I have done thenecessary checks and this requirement ofnotice has been complied with and thenecessary time limits have been fulfilled.The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2016was first gazetted on 9th March, 2016 and same was given a second gazettenotification three months later on 15th June,2016 per the requirements of article 291,clause (1), subclause (a) of the 1992Constitution of Ghana. Hon Members, 10 days have passedafter the second publication. It has nowmatured for Presentation and FirstReading in Parliament. BILLS — FIRST READING Constitutional (Amendment) Bill, 2016 An Act to amend article 112 of theConstitution to provide for the datefor Parliamentary Elections. Presented by the Deputy Attorney-General and Deputy Minister for Justice(Dr Dominic Akuritinga Ayine)(on behalfof the Attorney-General and Minister forJustice). Read the First time; referred tothe Council of State.
Hon Members, again, perthe requirements of our Constitution,upon the First Reading of the Bill, the RtHon Speaker is required to refer the Bill tothe Council of State for consideration andadvice to the House. The Council ofState shall render advice on the Bill within30 days after receiving it. I believe that iswhere we are now. Therefore, at this stage, the Bill,having been read for the First time, it ismy responsibility in terms of theConstitution, to refer the Bill to theCouncil of State for consideration andadvice and ask the Council of State torender the advice within 30 days afterreceiving it. Bill referred to the Council of State.
Mr Speaker,the Bill having been duly laid, I just wantto enquire when Hon Members would begiven copies.
Mr Speaker,this Bill is so important, that is why I ammaking the enquiry; when would HonMembers have their copies of the Bill.
Hon Members, the normalrules of the House, in terms of Papers arethat, the Paper is made available to HonMembers once it is introduced. But wecannot proceed further until we receivethe advice from the Council of State.
Mr Speaker,sorry, if I may sound like a broken record,except that, sometimes, Bills come and ittakes some time before Hon Members getcopies, that is why I am making thatenquiry on the floor.
Hon Member, that is thereason this morning, I have taken thesteps to go through the constitutionalprocedure as laid in chapter 25 of theConstitution. Those were the questions Iasked the Table Office this morning. Thisis because, this is a very important Billwhich deals with the amendment of thefundamental law of the land, so, copiesshould be made available to Hon Membershere and now.
Mr Speaker,thank you very much.
I had my copy thismorning. Hon Members, we would proceedfurther when we receive the advice fromthe Council of State.
Mr Speaker, my attentionhas been drawn to item numbered 11 onthe Order Paper — I am told that it isstraightforward.
Has the Report beendistributed to Hon Members? Dr Anthony A. Osei — rose -- Mr Speaker, this is the first time theacting Leader of Government Business isreferring us to an item and adds, “it isstraightforward”. Mr Speaker, he is anticipating the workof the House and I think it is not proper.
I agree entirely with you.Hon Member, if in your opinion it isstraightforward, you can speak foryourself and not for the House
Mr Speaker, the HonChairman of the Committee informedme that, this item is not controversial atall and that we should move on. That waswhy I used that word —
Hon Deputy MajorityLeader —
Mr Speaker, I withdraw theword.
Hon Members, itemnumbered 11 on the Order Paper --Motion.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, that this Honourable House adoptsthe Report of the Finance Committee onthe Export Credit Agreement between theGovernment of the Republic of Ghana andUnicredit Bank Austria, AG for an amount of thirteen million, five hundred thousandeuros (€13,500,000.00) for the financing ofthe Construction and Equipping of 5Polyclinics in the Greater Accra Region(Phase IV). Mr Speaker, in so doing, I present yourCommittee's Report. Introduction The request for approval of the ExportCredit Agreement between the Governmentof the Republic of Ghana and UnicreditBank Austria, A.G for an amount of thirteenmillion, five hundred thousand euros(€13,500,000.00) for the financing of theConstruction and Equipping of five (5)Polyclinics in the Greater-Accra Region(Phase IV) was presented to the Houseon behalf of the Hon. Minister for Financeby the Hon Deputy Minister for Finance,Mr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson onWednesday, 1st June, 2016 in accordancewith article 181 of the 1992 Constitution. Mr Speaker referred the request to theFinance Committee for consideration andreport in accordance with Order 169 of theStanding Orders of the House. The Committee was assisted in itsdeliberations by the Hon DeputyMinisters for Finance and Health, MrCassiel Ato Baah Forson and Dr VictorBampoe and other officials from theMinistries of Finance and Health. The Committee is grateful to theDeputy Ministers and officials from thetwo Ministries for the assistance. Reference The following served as additionalreference documents during theCommittee's deliberations: The 1992 Constitution of Ghana; The Standing Orders of theParliament of Ghana; and The Loans Act, 1970 (Act 335). Background The health of Ghanaians has improvedsteadily since independence. However, inthe last ten years, health status indicators(including maternal health, child health,nutrition, coverage of clinical services,public health and reproductive healthservices) have all been stabilising. Non-communicable diseases, including roadtraffic accidents, are also becoming majorcauses of morbidity and mortality in thecountry. The Health Sector has made someprogress in meeting client expectationsand promoting effective clinical servicesdelivery. In line with the set objectives ofthe Ghana Share Growth and Develop-ment Agenda (GSGDA), the broadobjectives in the Health Sector are to: Bridge equity gaps in access tohealth care and nutrition servicesand ensure sustainable financingarrangements that protect the poor; Strengthen governance and improveefficiency and effectiveness of thehealth system; Improve access to quality healthcare and control of communicableand non- communicable diseasesand promote healthy lifestyles; Improve institutional care, includingMental Health Service Delivery The construction of the five (5)polyclinics will therefore, strengthen keyinterventions aimed at achieving the
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).The SDGs enjoin the country to achieveuniversal health coverage, financial riskprotection, access to quality essentialhealthcare services and access to safe,effective, quality and affordable essentialmedicines and vaccines for all. Objectives The objective for carrying out theseprojects are: To provide access to quality health-care to the people of the proposedsites; Project description The major components of the projectinclude: A. Civil works covering the following: SPACE FOR PAGE 4 - 11.05 A.M. SPACE FOR PAGE 4 CONT. - 11.05A.M. B. Installation of medical equipment The project will supply and install therequisite equipment needed to carry outthe services expected to be performed asstated above. C. Training There is a training component of whichmedical staff and other medicaltechnicians/engineers of the Ghana HealthService/Ministry of Health would betrained under the project, both locally andabroad. Terms and conditions of the Facility Below is the summary of the loanfacility: Loan amount -- € 13,500,000.00 Grace period -- 4 years Repayment period --17 years Maturity period -- 21 years Interest rate -- 0 per cent p.a. Commitment fee -- 0.25 per cent p.a.on the amount undrawn under the Loan Facility Management fee -- 0.5 per cent flat Insurance Margin -- 0.90 per cent p.a. Handling Fee OeKB -- EUR 1,440.00 Grant Element -- 37.08 per cent. Observations Terms and conditions of the Facility The Committee noted that the Facilityis a standard export credit facility with aGrant Element of 37.08 per cent. It has agrace period of 4 years, 17 years repaymentperiod, a tenor of 21 years and a 0 per cent
interest rate. The Hon Deputy Ministerfor Finance indicated that, the fundingand the terms satisfy Government ofGhana's conditions for export creditfinancing. Justification for the selection of GreaterAccra Region Justifying the choice of Greater AccraRegion as a beneficiary for the facilities,the Hon Deputy Minister for Healthstated that the choice of the region stemsfrom the fact that the current health careinfrastructure in the region is not able tocater for the rapidly increasing populationdue to urbanisation. The Hon Deputy Minister added thatdue to the absence of health facilities atthe proposed sites, there exist hugeservice provision gap. This situation, according to the HonDeputy Minister poses a greater dangersince people would have to travel longdistances to access healthcare, especially,with the operation of health insurance.Again, with Government policy to providefree antenatal delivery services, it isexpected that existing health care facilitieswill be flooded with patients which re-enforces the need to set up these facilitieswithin these deprived areas. Expected benefits The Hon Deputy Minister for Healthindicated that the benefits expected uponsuccessful completion of the projectinclude the provision of quality healthcareto the people of Adentan, Ashaiman,Bortianor, Oduman and Sege and theirenvirons. The project also has thepotential of creating about 500 direct jobs(both skilled and unskilled) to the teemingunemployed youth. Conclusion and recommendation The Committee having regard to therapidly increasing population and lack of access to quality healthcare in the GreaterAccra Region appreciates the need toprovide these health facilities to makeavailable quality health care to the peoplein the selected communities. The Committee therefore, recommendsto the House to adopt its Report andapprove by Resolution the Export CreditAgreement between the Government ofthe Republic of Ghana and Unicredit BankAustria, A.G for an amount of thirteenmillion, five hundred thousand euros(€13,500,000.00) for the financing of theconstruction and equipping of five (5)polyclinics in the Greater Accra Region(Phase IV) in accordance with article 181of the Constitution, Order 171(1) of theStanding Orders of Parliament and section7 of the Loans Act, 1970 (Act 335).
MrSpeaker, I beg to second the Motion andin doing so, clarify the statement madeby the Acting Leader of GovernmentBusiness. What he meant to say --
He has withdrawn thestatement.
Mr Speaker, first, let medeal with the substance of what theCommittee has been asked to do and thenI will go to something that might becontroversial. If you look at the terms and conditionsof the loan, certainly, contracting a loanat 0 per cent interest rate for health, clearly,is not controversial. The maturity periodof 21 years long-term is certainly notcontroversial. If anything is controversial, it might bethe 0.5 per cent of the facility being themanagement fee. In essence, this is aconcessional loan and as the Committee'sReport indicates, it is 37 per cent. Mr Speaker, I think this is the secondor third set of loans for polyclinics thatwe have contracted. By coincidence, theyare in areas that happen to be theConstituencies of certain Hon Membersof Parliament. The first one related to my HonChairman's Constituency. This onehappens to go to Ashaiman, which bycoincidence, happens to be the Consti-tuency of the current Acting Leader. Whatwe wonder is if the selection criterion issuch that it is being reserved for certainLeaders of the House.
Hon Ranking Member,you know that under our rules, it is out oforder to impute improper motives.
I am not imputingmotives. I said by coincidence, theseplaces happen to be -- So, we tried to askthe Hon Minister for Health. Unfortunately,he is not here.
Mr Speaker, the HonRanking Member made a statementattributing Adentan to me. He said ithappens to be the Hon Chairman's place.I live in Adenta, Mr Speaker --
He made the point thatthe first one or one of them is the HonChairman's place.
It is not this one; it isthe first loan we contracted.
The first name here isAdenta. [Interruption.]
Hon Members, let ushave order in the Chamber.
Mr Speaker, maybe, theHon Chairman was not listening. I saidthe first loan we contracted. [Inter-ruption.]
I did not refer to thisloan -- The previous one. Is that the factor not? Can you confirm? Was the firstloan we procured related to yourConstituency?
Mr Speaker, I do not knowthe first loan he is talking about. We passseveral loans here.
Hon Chairman, the HonMember says that there have been a seriesof loans on this matter and one of themrelates to the Hon Chairman of the FinanceCommittee's Constituency. That is thestatement he has made. He is eithercorrect or not. Mr Speaker, I did not say that, that waswhat the Hon Chairman requested, I said,by coincidence. And we had wanted theHon Minister for Health --
Mr Speaker, we hadwanted the Hon Minister for Health, whois not here, to give the House a full criterionso that no doubts would come --
You are the Hon RankingMember on this Committee, youconsidered this matter when Mr Speakerreferred it to you. Did you not ask thosequestions? That is why the Chair alwaysrefers, so that by the time you come tothe floor of the House, you are clear inyour mind. I would not have any problemif a non-member of the Committee raisedthese issues.
Mr Speaker, that wasmy point. I had wanted the Committee toreflect the Hon Minister's statement butit is not there and that is my difficulty.That would have cleared these doubts.
Hon Deputy MajorityLeader?
Mr Speaker, I thank you forthe opportunity. I would start by sayingthat the Ministry of Health and Ministryof Finance have finally recognised that,the places which have been lacking healthfacilities should be given a health facility. Mr Speaker, today, I am so delightedthat, we are called upon to approve thisMotion for the construction ofpolyclinics for Ashaiman, Adentan andSege. I am so delighted, so delighted in the sense that, since 2004 that I enteredParliament, I have all along made a casefor a health facility for Ashaiman but allalong, it has not been given. If today, the construction of polyclinicis being considered for the people ofAshaiman Constituency and Hon DrAkoto Osei says it is a coincidence --Hon Dr Akoto Osei's constituency hadso much dollars for the construction ofthe Kumasi Central Market and he didnot see anything wrong with it.
Hon Member for OldTafo?
Mr Speaker, normally,when your Acting Leader for GovernmentBusiness speaks, you do not want toremind him of facts. But the KumasiCentral Market is not in my constituency-- [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, as the Leader of theHouse, I expect him to know theconstituencies. It is in the SubinConstituency. And if he does know, I amfrom Old Tafo and there is no marketthere which costs US$97 million. Mr Speaker, please, there are childrenhere, let us speak to the facts so that theyknow the difference between aconstituency and a region. I wasreferring to the Ashaiman Constituency.Now, of course, Mr Speaker, the Adentanone is part of Madina Constituency.[Interruptions.] He is aware.
Mr Speaker, constituentsfrom Old Tafo would benefit from themarket in Kumasi. His constituents wouldbenefit. Mr Speaker, all said and done,the unique people of Ashaiman are sograteful --
Hon Deputy Majority Leader, I will advise you not to pursue that path. Please, proceed.
Mr Speaker, I would want to say that, the people of Sege, which is on the Accra-Aflao Road, having been considered in this matter, all others along that route would also benefit so that, if there is any problem, they do not need to travel all the way to Tema or to Ada. We are grateful again because Ashaiman which is being considered now, has a very great population, yet health facilities are lacking. Today, we are grateful to the Hon Minister, and to the Government for recognising Ashaiman once in its tenure. Hon Chairman, I thank you very much and I thank the Hon Ministers for bringing this Motion. Thank you, Mr Speaker. Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh (NPP -- Manhyia South): Thank you, Mr Speaker. Considering that -- Mr Speaker, which part is that?
I have advised him.
Mr Speaker, I want to be clear, which part? So that I do not pursue. It is true, Mr Speaker. I totally agree with you. This is a national project -- The five areas listed are part and parcelof the constituencies of Ghana. So, if they deserve it, they should be given. Mr Speaker, I rise on this point because the Hon Chairman of the Finance Committee may not know that polyclinics close at 2.00 p.m. So,what happens after 2.00 p.m.? Mr Speaker, Ashaiman deserves a hospital --
Mr Speaker, that is what I know.
Do they still close at 2.00 p.m.?
Mr Speaker, they close at 2.00 p.m. That is their rule. Polyclinics do not even have lie-in patients for more than two days.
Hon Member for Prampram, is it on a point of order?
On a point oforder. Mr Speaker, I think the Governmentdecided to give the polyclinic becauseAshaiman is close to the General Hospitalin Tema, which is being expanded. It isvery close, just two kilometres away. So,it is appropriate.
Mr Speaker, I thank theHon Member for Prampram. I would notlike to go there but I wish he could havelistened to his nephew in good stead. Mr Speaker, Ashaiman needs a generalhospital. Why so? Sege, which the HonDeputy Majority Leader says is on theAccra-Aflao Highway, needs a generalhospital because of accidents. It needsan ultra modern accident and emergencycentre. Mr Speaker, Sege does not need apolyclinic; Sege needs a hospital. MrSpeaker, why do I say so? Polyclinicsare feeders for general hospi tals.Polyclinics -- Mr Bright E. K. Demordzi-- rose --
Do you have a point oforder? What is your point of order?
Mr Speaker, Sege is veryclose to Sogakope and we have SogakopeDistrict Hospital on the same way. AndAda has a district hospital. So, it is not only Sege Polyclinic, othercorridors --
Hon Member, do youknow the area very well?
Yes, Mr Speaker.
I thought you were goingto mention Bator Hospital which is evencloser.
Mr Speaker, I have notfinished. We have Sogakope, Ada andBator on the same lane.
Mr Speaker, on a moreserious note, if I take what my Hon Friendsaid and add it to what the Hon DeputyMajority Leader said, maybe, they do notneed polyclinics. The Hon DeputyMajority Leader said Ashaiman is closeto Tema General Hospital.
Hon Member, it is theHon Member for Prampram who made thatpoint.
Mr Speaker, it wouldhave even been worse if the Hon Memberfor Prampram had made that point. He ismy uncle, so, I would let it rest.[Laughter.] Mr Speaker, the Hon Member who saidBator and Ada, please -- if Bator andAda are close to Sege, why did they giveSege a polyclinic? Why did they not takeit to a further place? Mr Speaker, what I said was that, weshould give due to where it belongs.These hospitals on trunk roads needgeneral hospitals with a 24-hour accidentand emergency service to prevent deathsfrom road traffic accidents -- It is notedin Ghana that, it is one of the highestkillers. Mr Speaker, on a further point,countless times have we said in thisHouse that, such loan agreements
Hon Member, thatbrings us to the end of the debate. Some Hon Members -- rose --
Hon Members, I have gotthe sense of the House. If I had heard an opposing voice onthis matter, I would have allowed more HonMembers to contribute so that the Housetakes a decision, but there is nodisagreement with regard to the loan. HonMembers have raised concerns and Ibelieve those who introduced this loaninto the House have taken note of it. Hon Chairman of the Committee, doyou want to wind up? I would want to putthe Question.
No, Mr Speaker. Question put and Motion agreed to
Hon Members, itemnumbered 12 on the Order Paper --Resolution.
Mr Speaker, unfortunately,the Hon Minister for Finance has steppedout, so, we would ask permission for theHon Deputy Minister for Finance who isin the House to take item numbered 12.
Hon Deputy MinorityWhip, an application has been made forthe Hon Deputy Minister for Finance tomove the consequential Resolution onbehalf of the substantive Hon Ministerfor Finance. Do you have any objection?
MrSpeaker, I have no objection.
Very well. Yes, Hon Deputy Minister for Finance,on behalf of the Hon Minister forFinance? RESOLUTIONS Export Credit Agreement betweenGoG and Unicredit BankAustria, AG Deputy Minister for Finance (MrCassiel Ato Baah Forson) (on behalf ofthe Minister for Finance): Mr Speaker, Ibeg to move, that WHEREAS of article 181 of theConstitution and sections 3 and 7of the Loans Act, 1970 (Act 335),the terms and conditions of anyloan raised by the Government ofthe Republic of Ghana on behalf ofitself or any public institution orauthority shall not come intooperation unless the said terms and
THIS HO-NOURABLE HOUSE HEREBY
Mr Speaker, I second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, we would take item number 19, which is on page 9 on the Order Paper.
Hon Members, item number 19 on the Order Paper -- Motion. Yes, Hon Deputy Minister for Finance?
BILLS -- THIRD READING
BILLS -- CONSIDERATION
Hon Members, the First Deputy Speaker takes the Chair at this stage.
[MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER IN THE CHAIR.]
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 3, paragraph (c), sub-paragraph (xx), delete “and”. Mr Speaker, we seek to create or add another sub-paragraph and for that matter, we should delete the “and” at the end of sub-paragraph xx. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 3, paragraph (c), sub-paragraph (xx), delete “agents” and insert “represen- tatives”. captured as Roman numeral (sub- paragraph) xx but it should be rather sub- paragraph xxi.
“The representatives of the persons specified in sub-paragraph (i) to (xx)”. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 3, add the following new sub- paragraph: “(xxii) any other institution in the securities industry; and”.
Hon Members, I think it is straightforward. Question put and amendment agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 3, paragraph (j), delete “section 279 of”
“perform the functions referred to in the Company's Act 1963 (Act 179)” Mr Speaker, the mention of thesection is not relevant in thiscontext. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 3, paragraph (l), line 2, after“issuers;” insert “and”.
HonChairman of the Committee, give us thefinal rendition.
Mr Speaker, the finalrendition would read: “authorise and regulate the issuingof securities in Ghana by foreignissuers and”.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 3, paragraph (m), delete.
“perform other functions specifiedunder this Act; and”. So, after sub-paragraph (l), we followwith sub-paragraph (n). The Committee proposes the deletionof subparagraph (m).
Can you tellus why you are deleting that paragraph?
Mr Speaker, we are deletingthat paragraph because of what we did early on under paragraph (c) which isunder Roman number xxi: “any other institution in the securityindustry”.
Very well. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 3 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 4 -- Governing body of theCommission
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 4, sub-clause (1), paragraph (d),after “representative” insert “each”.
“one representative each from thefollowing”
Very well. Hon Members, I will put the Question. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 4, subclause (1), paragraph (f), sub-paragraph (i), lines 1 and 2, delete “eithera Justice of the Superior Court ofJudicature or” and in line 3, after“Judicature” insert “nominated by theGeneral Legal Council”.
“a lawyer qualified to be appointeda Justice of the Superior Court ofJudicature nominated by theGeneral Legal Council”.
Very well. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 4, subclause (1), paragraph (f), sub-paragraph (ii), after “accountant” insert“nominated by the Institute of CharteredAccountants, Ghana” Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 4, subclause (1), paragraph (f), sub-paragraph (iii), after “researcher” insert“in a relevant field”.
“an academic researcher in arelevant field”. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 4 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 5 -- Tenure of office
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 5, subclause (4), line 3, after“Board” delete “without sufficientcause”.
“A member of the Board other thana Director-General and two DeputyDirectors-General, who is absentthree consecutive meetings of theBoard ceases to be a member of theBoard.”
Mr Speaker, the Committee is of theview that, it would be difficult to explain“without sufficient cause”. If oneabsents himself three consecutive times,how does one determine that -- Once one absents himself from themeeting on three occasions, it issufficient enough for them to --
HonChairman, do you not think any humanright issue would arise therefrom?
Mr Speaker, the Committeeis of the view that if one continuouslyabsents himself from the meetings andgives reasons all the time -- When I amalways giving reasons, I become a habitualabsentee, but because I give reasons andthose reasons are sufficient enough, Iwould still be a member of the Board. So, Mr Speaker, to prevent thatoccurrence, once one absents himselffrom the meetings for three times, he ceasesto be a member of the Board.
Mr Speaker, first, I do notunderstand the deletion of the Director-General and the two Deputies. Thesepeople hold their position on the Boardby virtue of being Directors-General andDeputy Directors-General. It is ex-officioand that is why they would exempt them. Whether they are absent for ten timesor not, they cannot -- unless we sackthem. The only way is to remove themfrom their positions then they cease tobe members of the Board. [Interruption.] From the Order Paper, where he talksabout, delete line 3, after “Board” andinsert… That really would not fly. This isbecause he must distinguish betweenthose who hold positions on the Boardby virtue of being officers in particularplaces. Unless he explains that clearly, itis not the right thing to do.
Let us hearfrom the Hon Chairman, after that the HonRanking Member.
Mr Speaker, I do not followthe Hon Member for Wa West very well.This is because this clause affects theother Board members and not only theDirector-General and the two deputyDirectors-General. It says that a memberof the Board, other than the Director-General and the two deputy Directors-General, who absents himself from threeconsecutive meetings of the Board,ceases to be a member. So, it does notaffect the Director-General and hisdeputies.
Mr Speaker, this makes thecase clearer in my view. However, todelete “without sufficient cause” is notright. This is because, sometimes, therewould be reasons why somebody wouldbe absent. Do we just want to punish the personbecause he is absent? No! He must explain why he is absent. Ifthat is not satisfactory, that is where wewould go ahead to say he is no longer amember. But to say that just because hehas been absent three times --[Interruption] -- What if on eachoccasion, he has a good reason? Whywould you say he should not offer it? I think we should not delete it butleave it there.
Mr Speaker, it is truethat the Committee came to thisconclusion, but I would want to appeal tothe Hon Chairman and the Hon Ministerfor Finance that, we should abandon it,so that we give people on the Board anopportunity to, at least, explain. If we leave it the way we haveproposed, then, it is too rigid. So, I justwould want to plead with the Hon Chairman that though at that time thatwas what the Committee thought, weshould abandon this particularamendment.
HonMembers, I believe it would be in breachof the audi alteram partem rule and youcould easily be sent to court for that kindof thing. So, Chairman of the Committee,why do we not abandon it?
Mr Speaker, the proposedamendment is accordingly abandoned.
Thank youvery much. [Amendment withdrawn by leave ofthe House.]
Yes,Chairman of the Committee, you have afurther amendment to clause 5.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 5, subclause (5), line 1, before“letter” insert “a”.
“The President may by a letteraddressed to a member, revoke theappointment of that member”. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 5 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 6 -- Meetings of the Board
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 6, subclause (3), line 1, delete“five” and insert “seven” and in lines 2and 3, delete “or a greater numberdetermined by the Board in respect of animportant matter”. Mr Speaker, the new rendition wouldbe --
HonMember, before you come up with the newrendition, can you give us the rationalebehind this proposed amendment?
Mr Speaker, we areincreasing the quorum of the meeting fromfive to seven. Once we increase it fromfive to seven, which shall include theDirector-General, or in his absence, adeputy Director-General, it would besufficient enough to transact business ofthe meeting. Leaving the option for determining agreater number is of no use here. That iswhy we are deleting the phrase that states“or a greater number determined by theBoard in respect of an important matter”. What is the important matter?
Very well, Inow understand you. Can you give us the new renditionthen?
Mr Speaker, the newrendition is as follows: “The quorum at a meeting is sevenmembers of the Board and shallinclude the Director-General or inthe absence of the Director-General,a Deputy Director-General.”
Mr Speaker,this is not really to contribute, but I justwant to know the number of the Board.We are raising it from five to seven; whatis the number? That would help usdetermine --
Mr Speaker, I am not quitesure about the number, but I believe, it isabout the number eleven. We candetermine it under the membership of theBoard which is made up of the following:a Chairperson, the Director-General --
Let us lookat clause 4.
That is clause 4; aChairperson, the Director-General, twoDeputy Directors-General -- That makesit four. One representative each from thefollowing: the Bank of Ghana, making itfive; the Ministry of Finance, six; theRegistrar-General or its representative,seven; and four other persons, making iteleven.
So, we havethe number.
Mr Speaker, even thoughthey said four other persons including --they listed only three. [Interruption.] Yes.So, there must be something wrong. If youlook at clause 4 (1) (f) of the Bill, you wouldsee numbers (i), (ii) and (iii), but they aresupposed to be four.
HonChairman of the Committee, how do youreply to that? The introductory part of clause 4 (1)(f) says that: “(f) four other persons including…” Then three persons are listed instead offour.
Mr Speaker, we have listed: “(i) …a lawyer qualified to beappointed by a Justice of theSuperior Court of Judicature; (ii) a chartered accountantnominated by the ICA; and
Can we takea further look at it?
Mr Speaker, we can take alook at it and come back to it. This isbecause it is supposed to be four persons,to make it eleven members of the Board. Mr Speaker, we said “four otherpersons including…” these threepersons. So, there is a fourth person.
Why do wenot try to be as specific as possible? “Fourother persons including …” So, there isroom for one more. Who determines who that personshould be?
Mr Speaker, all of them aregoing to be appointed by the President.So, we could say the fourth person in thiscategory is appointed by the President. Mr Speaker, this is because theintention was to have four personsappointed by the President, who mustconsider these three institutions inmaking the appointments. Theappointment of the fourth person is open.
So, you areleaving the appointment of the fourthperson to the discretion of the President. Is that what you are saying?
Mr Speaker, unfortunatelythe argument the Hon Chairman is makingcannot hold. When they say “…four otherpersons…” they should list and identifythe nominating bodies. Mr Speaker, but I know that in thisHouse, we are very gender sensitive. So,normally we would say, “One woman tobe appointed”. So, I believe the other person must bedesignated. We should guide thePresident. Otherwise, we cannot leave itopen. This is because in the sameparagraph, we are indicating how thosepeople would be -- So, let us be generous to the women.
HonMembers, we would have to come back toit later. This is because we have alreadydealt with it. It was when the Hon Minority Leaderwanted to find out the full composition ofthe Board membership that we had tocome back to it and we have discoveredthis problem. Let us deal with what is before us now,finish with it and, if we need to, come backand take a look at it. Otherwise, we haveto look at it in a Second ConsiderationStage to see if it would work. Dr A. A. Osei -- rose --
Mr Speaker, at this stage,we have relaxed the rules. So, for us to leave it indefinitely, let usgo back and resolve the problem in clause4. If we do so, then we would know thenumber we are talking about and thequorum. Since we have not travelled far, we canrevisit that; other than that, we wait to doit in the Second Consideration Stage.
HonRanking Member, you were up.
Mr Speaker, first, I wouldwant to defer to the Hon Chairman andthen come back to it.
Mr Speaker, subclause (3)says and with your permission I beg toquote: “The President shall in makingappointments under section (1)(f)consider gender balance and haveregard to the expertise, knowledgeand experience of the persons inmatters relating to security andinvestment”. Mr Speaker, so, the gender issue thatthe Hon Yieleh Chireh talked about istaken care of or provided for undersubclause (3). The President would takethat into consideration when doingappointments.
Now, we stillhave the same problem. How do wedetermine who the fourth person shouldbe?
Mr Speaker, if it pleasesthe Hon Chairman, I would want to offeran amendment. Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 4 (1)(f) (ii), delete “and” Mr Speaker, it has already beenamended. To make room for the fourthperson, the “and” must come down. So, Iwould want to delete it there. Mr Speaker, do you get what I amsaying?
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, substantive amendment, clause 4(1) (iv), insert “a woman appointed by thePresident”. “(iv) and a woman appointed by thePresident” [Interruptions.] Mr Speaker, “and a woman”.
Mr Speaker, the issue theHon Chairman was referring to insubclause (3) is generally talking aboutthe three persons to be appointed, whichhas been listed. Mr Speaker, it means that if we want alawyer, we must look at the qualificationand the gender. If we come to theChartered Accountant, we would look atthat to balance it. It does not address -- Mr Speaker, so, I agree with hisamendment that we should say, “(iv) awoman with the relevant experience”.That would be the fourth category of thefour people that would -- [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, it is advantageous for allof them to be women. Indeed, we aregender sensitive.
Mr Speaker, thequalification is not necessary. This isbecause it is taken care of by subclause(3) where the President is required to takecertain things into consideration when heis making the appointment. So, theaddition of “relevant experience” is notnecessary. Mr Speaker, if we are exhausting thefour persons, then the opening sentenceunder paragraph (f) should be:
HonMember, pardon me?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,paragraph (f), the opening sentence, delete“including” and insert “comprising”. This is because, we are exhausting thelist.
Very well;it makes more sense. Hon Members, but the fourth proposalthat the Hon A. A. Osei is making, do weneed to use the expression “woman” sinceit has been taken care of in clause 3 thatthere should be gender balance?
Mr Speaker, yes,because the others are to be nominatedby some groups. I do not know if it wouldautomatically happen. They may not besubject to that. So, they could nominateall men and the President would not haveany choice.
HonMember, but it is the President who hasthe final say.
Mr Speaker, that is interms of appointments. Assuming theynominate only men, he does not have achoice.
He canrefuse to push them through.
Mr Speaker, and thenthey come back to nominate men. So, this guarantees that, at least, oneof them would be a woman.
Mr Speaker, I think thatthe point that has been made is verystrong. We know that the Presidency orwhoever is going to appoint this Boardwould ask the Institute of CharteredAccountants -- Ghana to nominatepeople. They would also nominate, notbased on what they have read in the law.Itis the President, who is to appoint people,that has to take that into consideration. Mr Speaker, if we want a woman to beincluded, that is normally the tradition inthis House; we should say, “at least onewoman”. Mr Speaker, but this time, we are justsaying “a woman” because of the way theclause has been put -- “one woman withthe relevant experience”. Then we wouldhave the four people there. Some of my Hon Colleagues argued thatwhat if they nominate only women fromall the institutions that are to nominate,and I say that is fine. That is becausewomen have been left out for a long timein many things. So if they become themajority there, it is far better.
Well, HonMembers, yes?
Mr Speaker,I believe we should qualify whonominates the woman. Ultimately, they areall going to be appointed by the Presidentbut in this case, we are requesting that,that woman must be nominated by thePresidency, and further on appointed bythe President. That is a woman nominatedby the President.
Mr Speaker, if we do that,then it means that we have to go back toclause 4 (1) (a) “a chairperson;” It is leftblank. In that case, he or she would also be nominated and appointed by thePresident. We did not say, ‘a chairpersonnominated by the President'. No! So, letus leave “a woman” also. Mr Speaker, this is because, both aregoing to be nominated and appointed bythe President. So, if one says “a womannominated by the President”, then whenwe come to the (a), A Chairperson mustalso be nominated by the President.
HonChairman, I do not follow the point youhave made.
Mr Speaker, my point isthat, the Hon Minority Leader said thaton the fourth person, which is a woman,we should add “nominated by thePresident”. My point is that, if we do thatthen we have to do same for (a) achairperson. We did not indicate who nominates thatchairperson and the assumption here isthat he or she would be nominated by thePresident. So, if the woman we are addingunder (f), we should continue by saying,“nominated by the President”, then the(a), who is the chairperson, we should dosame and say “nominated by thePresident”. That is my point.
Mr Speaker, I think that isnot a major issue [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker has called me.
I called theHon Member for Wa West. Are you stillon the floor? Have you not completedyour submission?
Mr Speaker, I hope I caughtyour eye. If we are going by the proposalthat we should add “nominated by the President”, then the academic researchertoo we have to make the same provision.It is not necessary. Mr Speaker, this is because themembers of the Statutory board areappointed by the President. So, it is notnecessary to say -- it is a Presidentialdiscretion. We should leave it.
Weunderstand that all of them are eventuallyappointed by the President but there is aprocedure. In spite of all those ones,except this last one we are including. With regard to all those ones, a certainBody or Institution is given the power tonominate. For the President to considerappointing such a person -- In the fourthone, (f) we are trying to include somebodyelse.That is what we are working at andthat is where we have a little bit of aproblem.
Mr Speaker, I think thepoint we made and they have alsosuggested is that, “nominated by thePresident”, could be any genderinstitution, the Ministry or whatever. Mr Speaker, we do not sometimes putdown all these points because they areadministrative. That is why it says,‘chairperson'. So, if we say ‘one woman',obviously, the one who is going to do theproposal for the composition of thisBoard will consider and get theappropriate lady to do this. If we want toadd “nominated by the President”, thereshould not be any problem about it. Weshould do so clearly, but he also said weshould go back and say “chairpersonnominated by the President”. Mr Speaker, indeed, the real practice isthat, it is not the President who mustnominate; it is a process. It is the Ministryor the Agency that would propose thenames and they would send them to thePresidency. The Presidency, if it has to
Mr Speaker, in practice,what we have been doing is that, if wewant some organisation to nominate, wesay so. If it is the President, we do not dothat, particularly in the case of thechairperson and others. This is because,he does the appointment and when weare not specific, then it is up to him. Ashe says, in reality, he is going to seek someadvice from somebody but we do not putit in the law.
Mr Speaker, if we say ‘awoman', it means that there is noorganisation which is to bring the womanor make recommendations. So, if we leaveit like that, it means we are giving thechance to the President to take anywoman to be on the Board. So, thePresident will then have --
With therelevant experience.
Mr Speaker, yes, with therelevant experience. So, we leave it like that without saying “nominated by thePresident”. No! It is not necessary.Once we leave it like that, it is assumedthat, it is the President who is going tolook at the women and select one with therequisite qualifications on to the Board.
Mr Speaker,I thought what I suggested was for theavoidance of doubt.Of course, we have atemplate that we have been using. I guessthat can provide us with some usefulguidance. Mr Speaker, just to cite an example ofthe Ghana Geological Survey AuthorityBill, 2015 which is before us and which weare considering. Clause 5 is on theGoverning body of the Authority. 1) The governing body of the Authorityis a Board consisting of a) a chairperson; Mr Speaker, that is usually how it isstated, then they enumerate some otherpersons. Then (e) provides; (e) one representative, preferably awoman nominated by thePresident of the Republic; Mr Speaker, that is the template,‘nominated by the President'. There is adistinction between the ‘nomination' andthe ‘appointment'. We have just gonethrough that last week, so I am surprisedthat people would say that we have notbeen doing that. Mr Speaker, we just did the GhanaGeological Survey Authority Bill last week.I said it is just for the avoidance of doubt.However, let the template guide us andthen I guess we would not have to litigatethis matter.
Mr Speaker, I follow whatthe Hon Minority Leader has said, but ifwe go to the academic researcher in arelevant field, clause 4 (1) (f) (iii). It is alsoleft like that. Who nominates that persontoo? It is left open and it is the Presidentwho would do that. It is left open and itdid not say, “nominated by the President”. ‘A chairperson' is also left just likethat. He or she will be nominated by thePresident. This is because, the othermembership are nominated by variousbodies and those are clear. Those that aregoing to be nominated by the Presidentare left open. So, if we should go by what he said,the academic researcher in a relevant field,we should say, ‘he or she should benominated by the President'. We wouldsay nominated by the President, the bestthing is to leave it open and we know theyare going to be nominated by thePresident. That is the point. Mr Speaker, we agree with him. Thatis the point we raised. Once we do that,we would have to go back to the“chairman” and the “academic researcher”and do the same. Every day, we improveupon what we do, so if we did that in theprevious one, we cannot do --
HonMembers, this one has taken us some timeand that, is why I suggested early onthat, we should take it at the SecondConsideration Stage when the Committeewould have had time to thoroughlyexamine this particular issue so, that wedo not have any gaps. Dr A. A. Osei -- rose --
Mr Speaker, perhaps, ifwe amend it to “a woman nominated bythe Hon Minister” then we separate thenomination of the President and hisappointments -- nominated by the HonMinister. Mr Speaker, this is because inreality that is how it is going to happen-- it is the Hon Sector Minister who isgoing to nominate. If we want to put “nominate” there justto follow what we did last week, then wewould be consistent. Mr Speaker, we havealso done some Bills that we did not say“nominated by the President” eventhough we implied it. So, as a group, wewould need to adopt one form and make itgo forward. This is because, it does notreally matter in principle.
Yes, HonMember for Dome/Kwabenya?
Thank you, MrSpeaker. I think that for purposes of consistency,I tend to agree with the Hon MinorityLeader that we should add “as nominatedby the President”. If just last week in aBill, we have done so, then I do not seehow -- [Interruption] -- and the weekbefore. I am told that, we did not do that.Thismeans that, this House is not beingconsistent. We should be certain in ourminds what exactly we would want to putthere and what import or meaning we needto put to it. We cannot be going back and forth; atone point we think that it is implied thatbecause the President would have toappoint -- but the Hon Ministernominates and then he has to choose fromthe list, that is submitted to him. At one point, we would want to makeit express, but Mr Speaker, I think thatfrom where you Sit, you have the powersto direct where it should go.
HonMember, you appear to be strengtheningmy arms because I think we would needto take our time and look at thisthoroughly. We are in a hurry to get itover and done with but I do not thinkthat it would be in our best interest to doso. We are aware that in certain instances,we have not used the expression“nominated by the President” and we onlyimplied it; let us go through it properlyand take a firm decision. With theassistance of the draftersperson, I believethat if we should do it that way, we couldtake it at the Second Consideration Stage. Hon Members, I therefore, direct thatwe defer further consideration of thisparticular clause 4 for the Committee totake a second look at it with the adviceof the draftsperson in play. We would thenknow how to go about it, especially sobecause we would need to be consistentin our approach towards this kind ofissue. So, Hon Chairman of the Committee, Idirect that we defer further considerationof clause 4. We would have loved tohandle it right now, but it does not looklike we could do that. Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, with regard toclause 6, I have moved an amendmentalready, so, I would move the secondone. Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 6,subclause (4), line 2, after “Board” insert“other than the Director-General or theDeputy Directors-General”.
“The chairperson shall preside atmeetings of the Board and in theabsence of the chairperson, amember of the Board other than theDirector-General or the DeputyDirectors-General elected by themembers present from among theirnumber shall preside.”
Very well. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 6 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clauses 7 and 8 ordered to stand partof the Bill. Clause 9 -- Allowances. Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 9, line 2, after “paid” delete “the”.
“Members of the Board andmembers of a committee of theBoard shall be paid allowancesapproved by the Minister.” Mr Chireh -- rose --
Mr Speaker, “Members of the Board andmembers of the committee shall bepaid the allowances approved bythe Minister.” Mr Speaker, I think that it shouldremain, because they cannot be paid anyother allowance except the one by theMinister. That is the meaning.[Interruption] -- In other cases, if theHon Minister is not the Hon Minister forFinance, then we would say “inconsultation with the Hon Minister forFinance” to do that. The “the” specifiesthe approval by the Hon Minister. That isa definite article.
Yes, HonChairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, the Committeewas of the view that because at this time,the allowances to be paid to the membersof the Board and the committee are notdetermined yet and have not beenapproved by the Minister, the membersof the Board and members of thecommittee of the Boards shall be paidallowances approved by the Minister. Papa Owusu-Ankomah-- rose --
Yes, HonMember for Sekondi?
Mr Speaker,indeed, removing “the” does not changethe meaning of the sentence. It makes theclause more elegant. That is all. It is forpurposes of elegance. They shall be paidallowances approved by the Minister. Wedo not say “the allowances approved bythe Minister”.
Yes, HonMember for Wa West?
Mr Speaker, the law is notabout elegance only; it is also -- Whenwe say allowances, it is not just allowances but allowances approved bythe Hon Minister. That is why “theallowances approved by the Minister”makes it -- What allowances? The oneapproved by the Minister. That is why itis “the” -- If you remove “the” and sayallowances -- I do not think the draftspersons didnot consider the grammar. They alsoconsidered the grammar and the elegancebut they think that this definite articlerefers to the approval process by theMinister.
Mr Speaker, itis English; “the” cannot refer to approvalby the Minister. It could only refer to the“allowances”. In terms of grammar, the“the” is not necessary. Unless the Hon Member has stated thatremoving “the” changes the meaning ofthe clause as intended by the HonMember who proposed the Bill. Then, Iwould understand it.
Yes, HonMinority Leader?
Mr Speaker,again, if we are looking for consistency,in the one that we did just last week, whichreads: “Members of the Board andmembers of a committee of theBoard shall be paid the allowancesby the Minister in consultation withthe Minister responsible forfinance.” I do not know whether in this case wehave “in consultation with the Ministerfor Finance”. We are referring to thosewho would be paid allowances, not anyallowances, but those allowances
approved by the Minister. That is thereason for including the definite article“the”. It is not for the purposes of elegance.It is for purposes of grammaticalexactitude. [Laughter.] Mr Speaker,people should understand that.
Yes, HonMember for Sekondi?
Mr Speaker,fortunately, in terms of drafting, floweryEnglish is not part. So, I do not think itwas for the purposes of grammaticalexactitude. [Laughter.] Meaning that,removing the definite article makes thegrammar inexact. He has notdemonstrated it. Mr Speaker, we are talking aboutallowances. What allowances shall bepaid? It is allowances approved by theMinister. That is all. It means if anallowance is not approved by theMinister, it cannot be paid.
Yes, HonMember for Wa West?
Mr Speaker, why theCommittee's argument is not sound in myopinion is that, the draftspersons put“the” there. The “the” as he is claimingwould not change anything if we leave it.So, why do we belabour to deletesomething that does not changeanything? When the problem is not there,you do not fix it, as the American wouldsay “I ain't fix something that is notwrong, you know”. [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker,why add articles that are not necessary. Itis grammatically wrong. That is the viewof the Committee, because this is an amendment proposed by the Chairman onbehalf of the Committee. So, Mr Speaker, I urge you to put theQuestion.
Very well. Before I put the Question, let us lookat it a bit closer. By the proposedamendment, we are deleting the article“the”. Is that right? So, what we would have would read: “Members of the Board andmembers of a committee of theBoard shall be paid allowancesapproved by the Minister.” The contrary view is that we shouldnot delete the word “the”. We should letit remain so that it reads as it originallypertains in the Bill. May I ask, whatdifference does it make, “the” and no“the”? Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Speaker,it makes quite a difference. When “the” isthere, it refers to specificity. That is, weare talking about something exact andspecific, which may even have some legalconnotation. But when we leave “the” out,it is general. “The” means that it has beenapproved by the Minister. So, we are looking at them, but there isa difference between adding “the” andremoving “the”. So, if you asked thequestion, this is what I can say.
Mr Speaker, Ido not want to be talking too much onthis matter, unless of course, it is the viewthat when a person deletes “the”, it meansthey could be paid some other allowancesin addition to that which is approved bythe Minister, unless of course that goesto change the meaning.
It does notappear that is the contortion of the otherside of the story. Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker,the other dimension is; if a person saysmember of the Board and members of acommittee of the Board shall be paidallowances approved by the Minister, itcould be that, allowances could be paideven before the Minister approves it, forsubsequent approval by the Minister.Allowances must be paid, and they mustbe approved before they are paid by theMinister; prior approval. Mr Speaker, the use of the definitearticle “the” means it must be approvedbefore it is paid. That is one meaning of it.[Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, in myopinion, to make progress, we have beenusing what is in the Bill, and perhaps youmight want to direct that the draftspersonsdecide which one is better so that wecould move on. This is because I amlooking at some other Bills that we alsojust did. On that part, the word “the” isalways there. So, you might want to direct that thisone is a drafting issue, then we couldmove on. This is because it is notsubstantive.
But thequestion is, an amendment has beenproposed. Is the amendment beingabandoned?
Mr Speaker, I amsuggesting this because of the prolongeddebate. Since it is only a drafting issue,we should not spend time on it, but moveon. The draftspersons would know that.
Very well. Hon Chairman, I think we would go thatway and leave it with the draftspersons.
Mr Speaker, to satisfy myHon Minority Leader, I beg to withdrawthe amendment.
HonMember, in that case, I would put theQuestion with regard to clause 8 standingpart of the Bill. [Amendment withdrawn by leave ofthe House.] Clause 9 ordered to stand part of theBill. Clause 10 - 14 -- [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, clause 14 (2),provides that monies received on behalfof the Commission shall be deposited tothe credit of the Commission in a bankapproved by the Commission.
HonMember, let us go step by step. Let meput the Question with regards to clause10 to 13. After that, we would deal withclause 14 for you to bring up the issue. Clauses 10 to 13 ordered to stand partof the Bill. Clause 14 -- Funds of the Commission.
Yes, clause14, Hon W. O. Boafo?
Mr Speaker, I was referringto clause 14 (2), where approval foropening an account in the name of astatutory corporation is subject to theapproval of the Commission.
Mr Speaker, in my opinion, under publicfinance arrangements, it is the Ministerwho approves the name and the bank fora statutory corporation.
Yes, HonRanking Member?
Mr Speaker, I supportthe proposal being put on the table by mysenior Colleague. This is because,Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC) is a State institution and I think byFinancial Administration Regulations(FAR), it is either the Controller andAccountant-General or the Minister. Inthis case, I think it should be the Minister.So, I support his proposal. I think we missed it. Just like GhanaInstitute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF).GIFF accounts must be approved by theMinister and not the Commission. It is aState institution and the FAR rules mustapply. I think in this case, it should be theMinister not the Controller and Accountant-General.
Yes,Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I actually didnot follow the argument of the seniorMember. Is he referring to clause 14 (2)?What is the issue there?
Mr Speaker, I was referringto the provisions of the FinancialAdministration Act. Unless we want tochange the system by this particular --[Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, I follow theargument now. So we would only add “bythe Minister”.
Are we adidem?
Yes, Mr Speaker. We shouldadd “by the Minister”.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 14, subclause (2), line 3,delete commission and insert Minister. Wehave to delete “Commission” and insert“Minister”. That is the amendment in thethird line. This is because there is noproposal right now except the thirdline.We delete “Commission” and insert“Minister”.
I would putthe Question. Hon Members, do we close? Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 14 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill.
On a pointof order. Mr Speaker, it is just a minormatter and we have been talking aboutconsistency. Mr Speaker, this is the first time I amseeing this construction for clause 10. “The Minister may give directivesof a general nature to the Board onmatters of policy relating to thecapital market and the Board shallgive effect to the directives.” I said that this is the first time I amseeing this. I do not know whether it isthe new definition. This is becausethroughout, all that we do is that we say,“the Board after receiving the directiveshall comply”. I know it is about the samemeaning but this is the first time I amseeing this. Are we for consistency, maintaining how we would beconstructing it or we leave it at this eventhough I know and I admit that the value,indeed, is the same.
Mr Speaker, the Committeethinks that clause 10 actually conveyedthe intent that the Minister givesdirectives to the Board, and the Board shallensure that, that directive given by theMinister is complied with. That has beenadequately conveyed by the sentencehere. So, we do not have to look at usinga constant word as we have been usingall the time, to comply with. That that has been adequately takencare of here. That was why we did notpropose any amendment to this particularclause. We think that, what they wantedto convey has been adequately conveyedhere.
Mr Speaker, I think theChairman has not answered the question.“Shall give effect” is different from sayingthat “you shall comply”. The Chairmanshould explain --
What is thedifference there, Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, if we say “yougive directive” and I am giving effect towhat I have been told, it falls short ofsaying that “you must comply”.Complying is total, but in giving effect,one can leave some room and say that hehas given effect to it.
You canonly comply by giving effect.
Mr Speaker, there is stillsome room if we are giving effect.
Mr Speaker, how canone give effect partially? That is notgiving effect. Giving effect is total. So, itis the same thing as compliance.[Interruption] Yes, I am very sure. Givingeffect cannot be partial. This is because,if it is partial, then, effect has not beengiven. The only reason I think the sponsorschose this language is that, in the industrynormally, the word “comply” seems tooharsh so they hide behind “giving effect”.But it is the same thing. One cannot giveeffect partially. He would have failed.
HonMinority Leader, you do not appear to besatisfied.
Mr Speaker,I am dissatisfied with the second leg ofthe explanation by the Ranking Member. Mr Speaker, compliance is strictadherence to whatever directive is given.If we say that we are giving effect, todayin Ghana, we know what is going on. Anorder was given by the Supreme Court.The Electoral Commission (EC) said theywere complying in their own under-standing --
HonMember, I do not want us to go into thatrealm, please. [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker,but we relate to truth and I thought thisHouse is a House of truth. Anyway, butthe issue is truthfulness --[Interruption.]Mr Speaker, if the Hon Member --
He does nothave the floor. You have the floor.
Mr Speaker,I do not know if he would speak into themicrophone for us all to hear him. I think these are interesting ideas that he isgenerating if he could speak to themicrophone. I yield to him, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, he talkedabout House of truth, but you know thatthere is no one truth in thisHouse.[Laughter] and everybody, basedon the evidence that he has gathered,would say that he is speaking the truth.So, it cannot be the House of truth. Wesay it is the House of records. If I claim something is true today, theothers have the opportunity of finding outwhether what I said is backed byevidence. So, I would not want him togo in that direction, particularly, talkingabout giving effect to some ruling. Thosethings are dangerous.
Mr Speaker,on no single matter can we establish morethan one truth. In that case, the recordwould be a record of truthfulness.
HonMember, do you know why I am a littleworried when talking about truth now? Iremember some time past, when thequestion of truth came up in the SupremeCourt, it was described as a term of art.But let us look at the issue you are raisingwith regard to clause 10 and see if we needto take a look at it.
Mr Speaker, I think thatthe Minority Leader agrees that, the wayit is put is acceptable. It was not advertisedfor anything. I think it is all right. Whatthe Ranking Member said is that, onceeffect is given, it cannot be partial. Andso compliance with a directive is a similarthing.
Mr Speaker,I would just like to draw our attention tothe inconsistency in the construction. Forthe first time, as I said, I have noticed thatwe are using a different phraseology thanwhat otherwise has been the normalusage. That is why I brought it back forconsideration in my own words. If indeed, that is, going by the issueraised by the Hon Ranking Member, thatit was deliberately constructed to preventa situation where people may construe itto mean an ‘instruction' or an‘interference', then perhaps one may takeit like that, even though I believe that weneed to be consistent. Indeed, if we want to respond or talkto a particular issue, then it should be thesame language that we apply. But if ashe says, it was carefully chosen to avoida situation where people may construe itto mean interference, then so be it.
Mr Speaker, I think that justas you ruled on an earlier clause, theimport or the meaning of ‘ten', as it standsnow, against what the Hon MinorityLeader read out, the import is basicallythe same. But Mr Speaker, having been astudent of legislative drafting before, Ibelieve that we have to be consistent. I am pleading that we leave it to thedraftspersons, since they were the samedrafting team from the Attorney-General'sDepartment that drafted that earlier lawreferred to by the Hon Minority Leader.They should tell us which one they wantto stick to, so that we do not seem to begoing back and forth; one day, we usethis language -- That leaves room for multiplicity ofinterpretations, and I do not think that itis good in drafting. We have to beconsistent as a House, so, let us leave itto the draftspersons, and then they wouldhave to decide which one brings out themeaning clearer and we would stick to itevery time. Mr Speaker, they have to advise theHouse on which one we are sticking to.Whether it is harsh or not, in the practiceor otherwise, if it fits in other Bills as thedrafting standard, it should fit in the othersas well. I am of the view that, they shouldadvise the House on which way to goso that we would be consistent. Anybodywho picks our Bills from one time to theother, would see that consistency, andthere would be no variation ofinterpretation at one point because weused a different language.
Mr Speaker, when myjunior Colleague got up, I thought shewas going to say she had finished theDrafting School. She said she was astudent of Drafting, [Interruption]--Astudent and she has completed. But ifshe was just a student then she was stillin the process. Mr Speaker, if I may suggestsomething, especially when we have takendecisions and it is not really a majorfundamental change, we should take note at the Second Consideration Stage. Thatwould help us move a bit forward, ratherthan open up a debate, especially, if itis not of major change. We could take note,and during the Second ConsiderationStage, we would go back. It would help usmove a bit forward. Otherwise, we wouldspend more time on the non-substantivematters.
Thank youvery much. Actually, I was minded to do that, so Iwould direct that the draftspersons lookat it. For the purposes of consistency, iftheir decision is that we come back to it,then at the Second Consideration Stagewe can look at it. Otherwise, we have putthe Question already, it has been agreedto, so we can move forward. But this isonly a rider, so that it would save us thetrouble. Hon Members, we now move on toclause 15. Clause 15 -- Levies payable to theCommission
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 15, subclause (3), line 1, delete“shall” and insert “may”.
HonMember, could you resume your seat? Ican see Hon Boafo up. What is it, HonMember?
Mr Speaker, I was trying toseek your guidance before we move toclause 15.
Could youuse the microphone, because, we canhardly hear you.
Mr Speaker, I was trying toseek your guidance before we move toclause 15. This is because, I am a bitworried by the clause 15, which purportsto impose a tax by this Act, but there is noindication as to the level of taxation andwe are ceding our right of taxation to theCommission. There is no way that theCommission would come back to thisHouse for parliamentary scrutiny.
I believe there is adifference between a tax and a levy. He istalking about tax, and I read “by this Act,a levy”. I am not reading a tax, unless hisdefinition of ‘taxes' and ‘levies' are thesame. They are certainly different. This House may impose levies onpetroleum, but a tax is different. Ourconstitutional right, I believe, relates toarticle 174. It says: no taxation”. It did notsay: “no levies or charges”, unless he isequating the two to be the same, but thetwo are fundamentally different. A levy is not a tax. It is not acomponent of a tax. A tax is a tax. Whenwe legislate and we want a tax, we say it isa tax of this amount --
So, HonMember, what is the difference between alevy and a tax?
Mr Speaker, a levy, inmy view -- when we impose a tax, it hascertain connotations. It is almost likeeverybody is subject to that in a certainsense, but levies could be imposed by avariety of institutions, includingGovernment. The Energy Commission cannotimpose a tax. Only Governments imposetaxes all over, at the same time butGovernments and other institutions canimpose levies. There is a fundamental difference. That is why Governmentshave the power to tax us, but not aninstitution. It is not the same thing. We could ask an institution to levy us.Institutions cannot tax us. That is, in myview, the fundamental difference.
Mr Speaker, in addition towhat the Hon Ranking Member said, leviesare imposed on services received. If aperson receives a service like the personis given a licence and the person is madeto pay a certain amount, that is a levy. Taxation or tax is paid on incomeearned, so that is a fundamental differencebetween a tax and a levy. A person isreceiving some services, for that matter,the person is asked to pay a certainamount. Also, the issue here is that, if by thislaw Parliament is imposing a levy, even ifit is described as a tax, it is Parliament thatis doing it.
MrSpeaker, in this sense, the levy is like afee. You are given a licence and you pay afee. That is what pertains here, and that iscompletely different from a tax.
Very well. Hon Boafo? -- I think he is busyelsewhere. After listening to other Hon Members'views with regard to the point that youraised, would you want to stick to it?
Mr Speaker, I respect theiropinion. But I do not have anything herewhich will connect me to the Internet. Ifthey have it, they can google to seewhether there is a difference or not -- Thedefinition of a tax --
Mr Speaker, Iam just trying to get the differencebetween tax and levy. I know the bottomline is that, whether it is tax or levy moneyis going to be exacted from whoever thelevy will be collected from. I tried to check the difference betweenlevy and tax and what I came across wasthat, “levy” means ‘to impose a tax or afine'. It means that “levy” is the broadersense; it includes tax. That is the way Iunderstand it. So, I do not see thedifference between levy and tax. It is amatter of semantics --
HonMember, you are as lay as I am. Let uslisten to the experts.
Mr Speaker, in theHon Member's progressive dictionarydefinition, he said a levy could be a tax ora fine. Is he suggesting that a fine is a tax?A fine cannot be a tax. Levy in this case isa fee. A person is acquiring a license andhe or she is being asked to pay a certainfee which is connoted as a levy. Thatcannot be a tax.
Very well. Hon Members, let us make someprogress. We will move on to the nextclause. We were dealing with the last proposedamendment to clause 15.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 15, subclause (3), line 1, delete“shall” and insert “may”.
“The Commission may, in consultationwith licensees calculate the levypayable under subsection (2)”. Mr Speaker, the Committee is of theview that, the Commission should begiven the discretion in order to do that inconsultation with the licensee or not.Giving a definite instruction that theyshould, at all cost, consult the licenseewill make the work of the Commissiondifficult. So, we are changing “shall” to“may”. That they may do that inconsultation with the licensee. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, there are othertwo amendments under clause 15.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 15, subclause (5), line 1, delete“may” and insert “shall”
“The Commission shall issuedirectives, guidelines or circulars onthe imposition of the levy payableto the Commission”. We are proposing this amendment sothat the Commission shall, at all cost, issuethe directives and the guidelines in orderfor the licensee to know the amountpayable to the Commission. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, clause 15 --
HonChairman, please, hold on. I can see HonMembers up. Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker,I really try to follow the import of what theHon Chairman did in clause 15 (5). With your permission, I beg to quote: “The Commission may issuedirectives, guidelines or circulars onthe imposition of the levy to theCommission”. And he says that it should rather read,“The Commission shall issue directives.”[Interruption]-- Yes, why is that?
They aresubstituting “shall” for “may”.
Mr Speaker,I am asking why he did that.
All right.Can you tell us why?
Mr Speaker, we want it tobe mandatory for the Commission to issuethe directive and the guidelines to thelicensee for them to know ahead of timethe composition of the levy they will pay.If it is not made mandatory, theCommission can come at any time withoutthe knowledge of the licensee on howmuch they will pay, and they can decidenot to show the composition of the levyto the licensee. But by this one, we are saying that it iscompulsory for the Commission to issuethe directives, guideline and circulars onthe composition of the levies payable tothe Commission by the licensee. So, it ismandatory that they issue the guidelinesto the licensee, showing the compositionof the levy.
Mr Speaker, theSecurities Exchange Commission (SEC) isa regulator. If we do not make it transparentin its decision, it can create problems forthe market players. If they go and imposea levy and they keep it to themselves, how are we supposed to work with it? Ifregulators are not asked to be transparent,they may decide not to be. That is whywe are making it mandatory that, oncethey are imposing it, then the directivesand guidelines should be known byeverybody and that is why we arechanging it to “shall” not “may”.
Very well. Do you want to comment further?
Mr Speaker,I appreciate the issue but the use of theword “may” refers to the imposition of thelevies that they are not compelled toimpose levies. If they impose the levies,they must come by directives, guidelinesor circulars. I believe that is the intendment of thisnew amendment that the Hon Chairman isproposing, that the Commission, in theimposition of levies payable to it, shallissue directives, guidelines or circulars.That is, when they come to doing that,they shall do so through directives,guidelines or circulars. I believe that iswhat they mean by that. But in the original construction, whatwas meant was that, the Commission mayimpose levies. But if they want to do that,they may have to come by directives,guidelines or circulars. The new amendmentdoes not make it very clear.
HonMinority Leader, if I understand what theyare saying, they are trying to bring in thiselement of compulsion. That they comeout with directives, guidelines andcirculars as to what is to be paid to theCommission when such transactions arebeing carried out. [Pause.] Yes, Hon Boafo, you were also up.Were you up on the same issue?
Mr Speaker, I want tocomment on subclause (1). After he has finished with clause 15, Iwill come up with my observation onsubclause (1). [Interruptions] -- MrSpeaker, can I go ahead?
No! Let usfinish with what we are dealing with now,and then we would come to yours. Hon Minority Leader, I hope you areclear now?
Mr Speaker,admittedly, not exactly so, but we can goon. I will not insist. Mr Speaker, the issue really relates tothe issuance of the compulsion in theresort to directives. It is when theCommission decides to impose a levy. So,when they do not impose a levy, there isno obligation to issue directives. Thatwas why I said that, maybe, theconstruction is what is creating theproblem. But if the principle is understood, andI guess -- This is because, from now on,we have agreed that, in interpreting anyAct, the debate in the Consideration Stageshall factor. Perhaps, we may leave it atthat. It is a matter of understanding. Butthis indeed is the purport of the deletionof the word: “may”, in line 1 and theinsertion of the word “shall”.
Very well. Let us go to Hon Boafo now. Hon Boafo, you raised an issue withregard to subclause (1).
Mr Speaker, undersubclause (1), the provision is that thelevy is being imposed by this Act. Butfrom subclause (5), it appears that it is not “by” but rather “under” this Act,because it is going to be done by theCommission. So, the levy is being imposedunder this Act, but not by the Act. The Commission would rather issueguidelines and directives --
Chairmanof the Committee, how would you respondto that proposal?
Mr Speaker, I do notbelieve that it would cause any harm, so,we would substitute “by” with “under”.
Very well. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,clause 15, subclause (6), line 3, at end,add the following: “and the Commission may arrangewith the Pensions Regulator for partof the fees payable to the PensionsRegulator on such funds”
“The Commission may exempt thepayment of the levy underparagraph (c) of subsection (5) inrespect of funds under a pensionscheme registered under theNational Pensions Act, 2008 (Act766)”.
“The Commission may arrange withthe Pensions Regulator for the partof the fees payable to the PensionsRegulator of such funds”. Mr Speaker, as explained, it is like theFunds under the National Pensions Actof 2008, (Act 766) are going to beexempted, and for that matter, the
Mr Speaker, respectfully,we would want to stop here and go to theother ones.
Very well. Hon Members, in that case, this bringsus to the close of Consideration Stage forthe Securities Industry Bill, 2015 for today.-- [Pause.]
Mr Speaker, itemnumbered 9 on the Order Paper.
HonMembers, item numbered 9 on the OrderPaper -- Motion by the Chairman of theCommittee on Environment Science andTechnology?
Mr Speaker, I begto move, that this Honourable Houseadopts the Report of the Committee onEnvironment, Science and Technology onthe Host Country Agreement between theGovernment of the Republic of Ghana and the West Africa Science Centre on ClimateChange and Adapted Land Use. Mr Speaker, in so doing, I beg to presentyour Committee's Report on thisAgreement. Introduction The Host Country Agreement betweenthe Government of Ghana and West AfricaCentre on Climate Change and AdaptedLand Use was laid in Parliament onTuesday, 17th May, 2016 by the HonMinister for Environment, Science,Technology and Innovation, Mr MahamaAyariga. In accordance with article 75 of theConstitution and Order 185 of theStanding Orders of Parliament, theAgreement was referred to the Committeeon Environment, Science and Technologyfor consideration and report. Deliberations The Committee met on Tuesday, 7thJune, 2016 to consider the Bill. The HonMinister for Environment, Science,Technology and Innovations, Mr MahamaAyariga and the technical persons fromthe Ministry were in attendance to assistthe Committee in the deliberations of theAgreement. The Committee is grateful tothem for their attendance. The Committee was guided by thefollowing documents: i. The 1992 Constitution of Ghana ii. The Standing Orders of Parliament iii. Constitution of the West AfricanScience Service Centre onClimate Change and AdaptedLand Use (WASCAL) iv. The Host Country Agreementbetween the Government of Ghana and West Africa ScienceCentre on Climate Change andAdapted Land Use. Background West African Science Centre onClimate Change and Adapted Land Use(WASCAL), is a large-scale research-focused climate service centre establishedby ECOWAS member countries with thesupport of the German Federal Ministryof Education and Research (BMBF), andmandated to help tackle the challenges ofclimate change in West Africa byinforming the public about the records andtrends in climate. The overall objective of WASCAL isto identify resilient and adaptive land usesystems and develop measures toconserve or restore functional ecosystemsthat support sustainable humandevelopment, while preserving the naturalresource base for future generations. This objective is achieved through: i. Strengthening the research,analytical infrastructure andcapacity related to climatechange in West Africa andpooling or sharing the expertiseof the ten West African countriesand Germany. ii. Conducting regional research andcapacity-developing programmes toimprove the use of land resourcesthrough better technologies, policies,institutions and management. iii. Providing advisory services onadaptation measures to stakeholdersfrom all sectors of the society. In doing this, WASCAL is organisedround three principal components: Climate Service: to collect, integrateand analyse data and generatepolicy advice from this data; Research: to seek ways and meansto generate resilience in culturallandscapes; Capacity Building: to strengthenhuman capacity through partner-ships with universities in the region. Objective of the Host Country Agreement The Agreement (WASCAL) seeks toregularise mutually beneficial relationshipwith the Government of the Republic ofGhana, through a legal arrangement in theform of a Host Country Agreement toenable Ghana become the headquartersof WASCAL. The Agreement also aims at conferringa legal status and personality as well asprivileges and immunities on the beneficialrelationship in accordance with the lawsof Ghana, to facilitate the efficient andeffective discharge of WASCALoperations. However, it is important tonote that, the immunities and privilegesthat would be accorded are primarily forfunctional purposes. The Contents of the Host Agreement: The Agreement provides for thefollowing reliefs: Definitions; Privileges, Immunities and Controlof WASCAL and its Assets; Communication and Transport; Laws of Ghana; Access;
Mr Speaker, I beg to secondthe Motion for the adoption of the Reportof the Committee on Environment,Science and Technology regarding theAgreement that would permit the WestAfrica Science and Climate ChangeInstitute and Adapted Land Use to beestablished in Ghana. The Centre is supposed to undertakescientific research into climate changeeffect and impact and it is thereforewelcome. If the headquarters isestablished here, we notice that, bothtemporary and permanent job creationshall be secured by this country. Mr Speaker, as we know, climate changeeffect requires that there is continuousresearch. Its impact on agriculturerequires that, there is continuous researchso that we can adapt or mitigate the effectof climate change. In my view, if thisInstitute is to be established in mycountry, it is a welcome news. Therefore,there is the need for this House to adoptthe Report and for the consequentialResolution to be taken. Mr Speaker, we need resilience in ourclimate change measures; we need toensure that the country is well preparedfor disaster management. So any initiativethat looks at research into some of thesenatural occurrences is welcome. To havethe headquarters of West Africa ScienceCentre on Climate Change and AdaptedLand Use headquarters to be located here,Mr Speaker, we all have to embrace it. There are 10 countries within the WestAfrican sub-region that are participatingin the setting up of this establishment andthe imposition on our country would bethe requirement to pay our subscriptionto the Centre for its effective and efficientrunning. The benefit that would accrueto us as a nation, Mr Speaker, in myopinion, is enormous. It is on this basisthat I would support the Motion that thisHouse adopt this Report for theconsequential Resolution to be taken. Question put and Motion agreed to.
Mr Speaker, item numbered10 on the Order Paper -- Resolution.
HonMembers, item numbered 10 on the OrderPaper -- Resolution by the Minister forEnvironment, Science, Technology andInnovation.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,that WHEREAS by the provisions ofarticle 75 of the Constitution, anytreaty, agreement, or conventionexecuted by or under theAuthority of the President in thename of Ghana is made subjectto ratification either by an Act ofParliament or by a resolution ofParliament supported by thevotes of more than one-half ofall the Members of Parliament. IN ACCORDANCE with the saidarticle 75 of the Constitution,the President has caused to belaid before Parliament through theMinister responsible for Environment,Science, Technology and Innovationthe Host Country Agreementbetween the Government of theRepublic of Ghana and the WestAfrica Science Centre on ClimateChange and Adapted Land Useon 17th May, 2016. NOW THEREFORE, this HonourableHouse hereby resolves to ratifythe said Host Country Agree-ment between the Government ofthe Republic of Ghana and theWest Africa Science Centre onClimate Change and AdaptedLand Use.
Mr Speaker, Ibeg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
Mr Speaker, itemnumbered 20 on page 9 of the Order Paper.
HonMembers, item numbered 20 -- Motionby the Minister for Environment, Science,Technology and Innovation.
BILLS -- SECOND READING
Mr Speaker, I beg to move,that the Hazardous and Electronic WasteControl and Management Bill, 2016 be nowread a Second time. Mr Speaker, in moving this Motion, Iwould like to refer this Honourable Houseto the memorandum to the Bill which statesclearly the principles and the purpose ofthe Bill. Mr Speaker, this country ratified theBasel Convention on the Control andTransboundary Movement of HazardousWaste and we also signed the RotterdamConvention on Prior Informed ConsentProcedure for certain hazardous chemicalsand pesticides in international trade andsigned the Stockholm Convention onPersistent Organic Pollutant. Mr Speaker, all these Internationalagreements seek to prevent the exportfrom mostly developed countries todeveloping countries of hazardous wastein whatever form they may be. Due to the levels of industrialisationtaking place in those countries and theenormous investment required inmanaging hazardous waste, they oftenfind easy ways of exporting the waste todeveloping countries where thosecountries do not have adequateRegulations to manage those wasteproducts. These Conventions were tehreforeentered into with of view to protectingdeveloping countries and setting in place,certain procedures and protocols thatmust be complied with before you movehazardous waste across boundaries. Countries are required to domesticatethese international Agreements. One ofthe things this Bill seeks to do is todomesticate these three major internationalAgreements in relation to the movementand management of hazardous waste. The second thing that the Bill seeks todo is to also deal with the issue ofelectronic waste. Electronic waste also hasin it some contents that are hazardous innature. What we now see now in ourcountry and in most developing countriesis that, developed countries after usingelectronic waste, do not usually invest inmanaging them through recyclingsystems, et cetera. They end up exporting the waste todeveloping countries under the guise ofused electronic goods but in effect, theyare really waste. If we look at the import of electronicequipment into this country, we wouldfind out that about 70 per cent ofelectronic equipment that get into thiscounty labelled as used goods, by thetime one really probes in, you wouldfind out that close to 30 or 40 per cent ofthat is actually waste that they seek toexport into our country and to leave uswith the trouble and burden of managingthat waste. What this Bill seeks to do is to set outdetailed protocols on the shipment ofelectronic waste or goods either used orwhatever into our country, and setRegulations for us to be able to assessand determine whether we want to acceptthose goods or not. If people are bringingin those goods, whose responsibility is itto pay for us to be able to recycle the waste
at the end of the life of these electronicgoods? These are the issues that the Billseeks to do. It also seeks to set up a Fund so thatthe levies and others that would be takenby the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA), in administering this Bill, would beput in a Fund for investment in theinfrastructure for the management ofthese electrical and electronic wastes inthe country. Mr Speaker, as you are aware, how tomanage electrical and electronic waste hasbecome a big issue. If one just looks atAgbogbloshie, which is not very far fromus an see the danger posed to publichealth by people wh are managingelectrical and electronic waste in aninformal way without the requisite skillsand without adequate Regulation in termsof how this should be managed, one woudsee that, there is indeed a danger thatneeds to be averted by having in place aproper legislation and systems that wouldenable us manage the waste. Mr Speaker, with these few words, Imove, that, this House reads for a Secondtime, the Hazardous and Electronic WasteControl Management Bill, 2016. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, I begto associate myself with the Motionmoved by the Hon Minister. In so doing,I present the Report of the Committee. Introduction The Hazardous and Electronic WasteControl and Management Bill, 2016, was presented to Parliament and Read the Firsttime on Tuesday, 7th June, 2016. Inaccordance with article 75 of theConstitution and Order 185 of theStanding Orders of Parliament, the Bill wasreferred to the Committee on En-vironment, Science and Technology byRt. Hon Speaker for consideration andreport to the House. Deliberation In considering the Bill, the Committeefirst requested for memoranda from thegeneral public and had stakeholderengagement to solicit their inputs. TheCommittee met on Thursday, 9th June,2016 and deliberated on the Bill. The Committee is grateful to the HonMinister for Environment, Science,Technology and Innovation, Mr MahamaAyariga, Mr Daniel Amlalo, the ExecutiveDirector of EPA and the technical teamfrom Environmental Protection Agency(EPA), the representatives from theMinistry of Justice and AttorneyGeneral's Department as well as theEnvironmental Service ProvidersAssociation (ESPA) for their assistanceand inputs during the deliberations. Reference documents The Committee had recourse to theunder-listed documents during thedeliberations: a. The 1992 Constitution b. The Standing Orders of Parliament c. The Environmental ProtectionAgency Act, 1994 (Act 490) d. The Basel Convention on TheControl of TransboundaryMovements of HazardousWastes and their Disposal e. Memorandum from theEnvironmental Service ProvidersAssociation (ESPA); Background information Hazardous waste generally refers towaste with properties that make itpotentially dangerous or harmful to humanhealth or the environment. Hazardouswastes can be liquids, solids or gaseswhich cannot be treated or disposed ofby common means like other types ofwaste. The management of hazardous wasteshas been on the international environ-mental agenda from the early 1980s, whenit was first included as one of the threepriority areas in the United NationsEnvironment Programme's (UNEP),Montevideo Programme on EnvironmentalLaw in 1981. According to UNEP, more than 400million tons of hazardous wastes isestimated to be produced globallyannually of which about 1 per cent isshipped across international boundaries,due to the increasing cost of treatinghazardous wastes in industrialisedcountries, to unsuspecting countries thatdo not have adequate regulations onwastes management. However, following the awakening ofenvironmental awareness and correspondingtightening of environmental regulations inthe industrialised world in the 1970s and1980s, coupled with the discovery in Africaand other parts of the developing world ofdeposits of toxic wastes imported fromabroad which led to increasing publicresistance to the disposal of hazardouswastes, the “Basel Convention on theControl of Transboundary Movements ofHazardous Wastes and their Disposal”, often referred to as “The BaselConvention” was adopted in 22nd March,1989 (at Basel Switzerland) and enteredinto force in 2nd May, 1992. The Basel Convention is aninternational treaty, designed to placeobligation on member countries to controland reduce the amount of hazardouswastes generated, and specifically toprevent or minimise transfer of hazardouswaste from developed to less developedcountries (LDCs). Again, the Convention obligescountries to ensure that, adequatedisposal facilities are available to preventunsound disposal of hazardous waste andto punish offenders of illegal traffic ofhazardous and other wastes. TheConvention also seeks to assist andprotect the less developed countries fromillegal dumping of hazardous wastes. Globally, discarded electrical andelectronic equipment such as computers,mobile phones, refrigerators andtelevision sets, end-of-life vehicles, usedautomobile tyres containing new andcomplex hazardous substances that areclassified among the fastest growingwaste challenges in both developed anddeveloping world with estimated five toten percent (5-10%) increase in globalelectronic waste (e-waste) annually. In Ghana, according to EnvironmentalProtection Agency (EPA), containersshipped into the country from developedcountries under the false label of “second-hand goods” filled with old broken-downcomputers, monitors, mobile phones aredumped in Agbogbloshie, which isbelieved to be Africa's Biggest E-wasteDump site. According to Ghana e-Waste CountryAssessment (March 2011), out of the215,000 tons of electrical and electronic
This will also ensure that harmfulelements associated with the hazardousand other wastes products are capturedand processed safely, thereby preservingcritical ecological components such as,soil, groundwater, flora and fauna. The establishment of the plant willagain enable Ghana develop a market forthe hazardous and electrical and electronicwastes in the West African Sub-Regionwhich will bring income in the form ofrevenues from the recycled materials andother by-products. The Committee observed that theinformal nature of the Waste Electrical andElectronic Equipment (WEEE) RecyclingSector do not allow the true value of itscontributions to reflect in the nationalGDP. Nevertheless, based on the data ontotal number of people employed in therefurbishing and WEEE recycling sectorand their average incomes, the sector wasestimated to contribute between US$105268 million indirectly to the nationaleconomy. (Source: Ghana E-WasteCountry Assessment, 2011). The programme is therefore envisagedto generate an estimated amount of 100million USD on average annually to theFund through the Ministry of Environment,Science, Technology and Innovation. The Committee noted that, in the Bill,clauses 23 to 27 provides for theestablishment of an Electronic WasteRecycling Fund. The object of the Fund is to provide funds to support themanagement of e-waste on human healthand the environment. The sources of the Fund includemoneys approved by Parliament, fees andcharges levied by the Agency in respectof items specified under the Fifth Scheduleand any other moneys due the Agencyfrom the services rendered or any othermoneys approved by the Minister forFinance. Again, the Fund would be managedby an Administrator to ensure properdisbursement. Finally, the Committee observed thatwaste management is a very capitalintensive project, therefore, it needs alot of capital injection to commence. Lackor inadequate funding would be a majorhindrance in starting and maintaining thewaste-recycling programme. Therefore,with this initiative, the Ministry is assuredof reliable funds from innovative ways ofaccessing an advance recycle levies in allmajor exporting countries and channelthem into a sustainable recyclingprogramme. Conclusion The Committee has carefully examinedthe provisions of the Bill in the light of itsobject and purpose and is of the view thatthey are consistent with the Constitutionand other relevant statutes andaccordingly recommends its passage bythe House. Respectfully submitted.
SPACE FOR APPENDIX I -PAGE 12 - 1.25 P.M.
APPENDIX 1: Amendment Proposed SPACE FOR APPENDIX ICONT. - PAGE 13 - 1.25 p.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. I want to contribute to the Motionregarding the Report on the Hazardousand Electronic Waste Control andManagement Bill, 2016. Mr Speaker, every law is seen to be atool for development. The process inlegislating this Bill to become a law seeksto control and manage hazardous,electrical and electronic wastes in ourcountry. Mr Speaker, waste in general, in myview, is seen to be an integral part ofnature. That is why every one of us heregenerates waste every day. There are different forms of waste. So,we as individuals, generate liquid wasteevery day. There is also the solid waste. Mr Speaker, but in this context, we arelooking at hazardous waste, which couldbe chemical, biological, electrical or evenmechanical in nature. We have medicalwaste from our hospitals. As a country, the control andmanagement of these wastes becomes aproblem for us. If we go to the Korle-Bu TeachingHospital or even the district hospitals inthis country, how do they dispose of thebiological or medical waste? Mr Speaker,so this Bill will look at the control andmanagement of all these wastes. Mr Speaker, again, the Bill looks athazardous waste that we can also exportfrom our country to other countries; notnecessarily our country as a destinationfor hazardous waste from developedcountries. But we can also exporthazardous waste from our country to anyother part of the world. Mr Speaker, it is on that basis thatthe part one of this Bill, which deals withhazardous waste, is hinged upon theinternational Basel Convention. As a country, we are a party to theBasel Convention, which deals with howto control and manage transboundarymovement of hazardous waste. So, in Ghana, hazardous waste canpass through our land and find itsdestination in Burkina Faso, Ivory Coastor in Mali. But there must be a legalframework where we can regulate, controland manage how to transit all these wastesso that it does not affect humanity andthe echo-system that we have in thiscountry. Mr Speaker, as the Hon Ministerindicated, the Bill also would allow for theestablishment of a fund. The fund wouldlook at the collection of electrical andelectronic waste, how we can pay for that,how we can process it, how we can collectall the electrical and electronic waste andeven export them to a country like theNetherlands where there is a processingplant for it to be processed into othergoods. Mr Speaker, if we talk about hazardouswaste, it can also serve as a raw base forthe production of other goods andservices in the whole world. So, it mustnot be seen that it is such a material whichis dangerous to mankind. But once it ishandled and managed well, it can beprocessed into other useful products orgoods. Mr Speaker, the establishment of thefund as I indicated, would support howwe can collect, transport and manage justlike we have the Common Fund; we usepart of it in the control and managementof our solid waste -- We have Zoomlionwhich is undertaking solid waste management for us. We are aware that inour various constituencies and districts,we use part of our Common Fund for thepayment of all these services. Mr Speaker, so electrical and electronicwaste is also crucial for us. The HonMinister sited Agbogbloshie as anexample, but it is not only that area. Alongthe pylons of East Legon, one wouldnotice how our brothers and sisters forthe purposes of their livelihood burn someof these electrical and electronic items justto obtain some components they can sellto make some money. So, if there is a legal framework thatprivate entities can undertake business,then all these people can be brought onboard to do collection to transport theseto assembling or processing plants --That would be useful. Mr Speaker, it is on this note that theReport that has been submitted by ourCommittee must be adopted for theconsideration of the Bill. Question put and Motion agreed to. The Hazardous and Electronic WasteControl and Management Bill, 2016 wasread a Second time.
Mr Speaker, we would wantto move to the Ghana International TradeCommission Bill, 2014 at the ConsiderationStage. It is item 24 captured on page 11 onthe Order Paper.
Very well. Hon Members, the Ghana InternationalTrade Commission Bill, 2014 at theConsideration Stage. Hon Chairman of the Committee, canyou please, assist us?
BILLS -- CONSIDERATION STAGE
Mr Speaker, theNew Clause has been stepped down. So, Iwould crave your indulgence to movedirectly to clause 17. Mr Speaker, I beg to move, clause 17,paragraph (d), delete “donations, giftsand” Mr Speaker, the Committee proposedthat “donations, gifts and” be deleted andthat we would only have “grants” as theonly source of donation.
HonChairman, can you tell us the rationalebehind this deletion?
Mr Speaker, the rationalewas that, “donations” and “gifts” maylead the members of the Commission tocompromise their duties. Then “grants”given by multilateral, bilateral andGovernment Agency to the Commission-- That was perceived as not being in asituation for the Commission tocompromise.
So, by theamendment you are seeking, it would beleft with only “grant”. Is that it?
Yes, Mr Speaker. Question put and amendment agreedto
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 17, paragraph (e), delete
HonChairman, can you tell us why you aredeleting this: (e) any other moneys that areapproved by the Ministerresponsible for Finance”.
Mr Speaker, the rationaleis that, it is only Parliament that approvesfunds.
Very well. Mr Haruna Iddrisu-- rose --
HonMinister, are you not clear in your mind?
Mr Speaker, Iknow that Parliament approves, but theclause 17 (e) says, and with yourpermission I beg to quote: (e) any other moneys that areapproved by the Ministerresponsible for Finance”. Mr Speaker, assuming that there is anexigency to which the Hon Ministerapplies to the Hon Minister for Financefor him to vie some expenditure in makingan allocation, is the Hon Chairman sayingat that time, the Committee would not bein need?
Mr Speaker,that is not an approval by the HonMinister for Finance. When one is talkingabout virement, you vie within yourbudget. The Hon Minister cannot add tothe budget that has been approved. So,this does not really apply to virement. Virement relates to the expenditure withinthe budget of the Commission.
HonMember, so, do I understand you to besaying that it is Parliament that approves?
Yes, MrSpeaker. It is Parliament that approves allexpenditure. The Hon Minister cannotapprove by addition. Assuming it is evencontingency as a lying item in the budget-- It is Parliament that has approved theglobal budget from which the HonMinister is directing certain --
Mr Speaker, I dorecognise and respect the power ofParliament as the one which approves thepurse and Government expendituregenerally. For instance, if the Commissiontakes fees and charges and along the line,they would want to use some of the feesand charges, they would refer to the HonMinister for Finance. Mr Speaker, I believe this is to take careof that aspect of related expenditure whereParliament may have given the approvalbut along the line, the Commission mayrequire some support to which -- Mr Speaker, I ordinarily will yield andlet you put the Question but we arelooking at the situation where we do notwant this Commission to be impeded inthe performance of its function withdifficulties of finance and others. I do notknow what Internally Generated Fund(IGF) regime would govern thisCommission. But in many of our legislations, wehave always given the power to theMinister for Finance for certain approvals. Mr Speaker, with that comment, I have nofurther objection to you putting theQuestion. But to make a distinctionbetween Parliament's approval per budgetprocess and appropriation process andthe power is always vested in the Ministerfor Finance as the spending officer ofGovernment.
Can he gobeyond what Parliament has approved?
No! The Ministerfor Finance can not go beyond whatParliament has approved. For instance,Parliament may have approved a budgetof GH¢200 million but, maybe, with theconstraints of the economy, the Ministerfor Finance can only spend GH¢100million even though Parliament gave himthe approval for GH¢200 million. Of the GH¢100 million, he has decidedthat because this Commission is soimportant, he wants to give them GH¢1million instead of what he probably hadeven requested Parliament to approve forthem. It requires some approval but I haveno further objection. Mr Speaker, maybe I would abandonmy case.
Yes, HonMember for Sekondi and after that, theChairman of the Committee.
Mr Speaker,probably, what the Hon Minister forEmployment and Labour Relations issaying maybe happening but that isunconstitutional. In fact, we let the Minister for Financearrogate to himself certain powers whichconstitutionally, he does not have. Whenwe talk about fees and charges, it is cateredfor in clause 17 (b). If the Hon Ministerwould look at it. Of course, you may put it there but it does not lie within theMinister's power to give more money toan Agency than has been approved byParliament. It is something that we havebeen fighting about for all these years,that they should refer it to Parliament. Mr Speaker, so we have now seen thelight and we would want to improve uponcertain things so that we do not think thatthe Minister has powers - We will alsoprotect the Minister for Finance. This isbecause, there may come a time that hemay be compelled to pay certain moneys. Mr Speaker, just yesterday, there wassomething like that appeared in thePublic Accounts Committee (PAC) sitting.If you have this clause, you are preventingthe Minister from being led to trespass--Not to be let into temptation.
“Lead usnot into temptation”. [Laughter.] Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I think evenIGFs are inclusive in the budget which isnormally approved by Parliament. So, ifthey would want to use IGF, it is withinthe authority of the Commission and ithas been already approved. Mr Speaker, I think I would crave yourindulgence to -- [Inaudible.]
Very well. Question put and amendment agreedto. Mr First Deputy Speaker: Yes,Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 17, add the following newsubclause:
“(2) The Commission shall seekapproval in writing from theMinister responsible for Financebefore investing the funds of theCommission in safe securities”.
Very well. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 17 as variously amendedordered to stand part of the Bill. Clause 18 -- Bank account
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 18, lines 2 and 3, delete“Minister responsible for Finance” andinsert “Controller and Accountant-General”.
“the moneys for the Commissionshall be paid into a bank accountopened for that purpose with theapproval of the Controller andAccountant-General”.
Very well. Hon Members, I will put the Question. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 18 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 19 ordered to stand part of theBill. Clause 20 -- Mr Haruna Iddrisu— rose --
Sorry. Yes, Hon Minister for Employment andLabour Relations?
Mr Speaker, inrespect of clause 19 (2), even though youhave well noted that there is no advertisedamendment, Mr Speaker, if you read clause19 (2) it says: “... the Commission shall transferthat amount to the ConsolidatedFund unless the Minister forFinance, in consultation with theMinister, otherwise authorises”. Mr Speaker, this is the same principlewhich I would call the Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah's principle. So what is the“Minister for Finance” doing here in thisclause if a few minutes ago, you said thathe should be denied that mandate, in fact,he should not be clothed with authorityto make those determinations? The Constitution provides for theConsolidated Fund so why are we goingto refer to the Minister for Finance? If theydeduct their expenses, the money will bepaid into ‘the Consolidated Fund' so let itbe there. Then we would have to deletethe rest of the words: “... unless the Minister for Finance,in consultation with the Minister,otherwise authorises”. If it is his principle, I would want towalk further on his leg. He was right andhe voted and won. The same principle isapplicable here. If we want the Ministerfor Finance to be in charge, let him be incharge. If we would want to reduce thepowers of the Minister for Finance, let itbe so. We cannot in one breath say hecannot do this and then in another breath,an example of which is clause 19 (2) -- Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague, PapaOwusu-Ankomah is looking at it. I would encourage him -- “Expenses of theCommission”; once there is excess money,it should be paid into the ConsolidatedFund. So it should end there. So, the restof the words read: “unless the Minister for Finance, inconsultation with the Minister,otherwise authorises”. What would they be authorising? Dothey have Parliament's mandate toauthorise what to do? I would wantfurther education on the subject.
Mr Speaker, Ido not know whether the Hon Minister istalking about clause 18 or not.
No! He istalking about clause 19, subclause 2.
Mr Speaker, ittalks about cost and expenses. Itpresupposes that what is left is within thebudget of the Commission. This isbecause it talks about costs and expenses-- “Expenses of the Commission”. The Commission has a certain budget.The Commission may spend less than thebudget allocation because its expenses donot amount to the moneys that have beenset aside for the budget. All that it says is that, if there is anyexcess after these expenses, it should bepaid into the Consolidated Funds, unlessthe Minister for Finance, in consultationwith the Minister for Trade and Industrydirects otherwise, but it is within thebudget. [Interruption.] It is within the budget. That is what itmeans. Mr Speaker, for instance, it could bethat an amount of GH¢1 million has beenapproved for the activities of theCommission in a year. After the expenses,they may be left with about GHµ200,000.00. They do not have anyactivities as of that moment to expend thatmoney on. The Minister for Finance, inconsultation with the Minister for Tradeand Industry, could then decide thatinstead of paying it into the ConsolidatedFund, they should pay it into their account. There would be nothing wrong withthat because, it is within their budgetedexpenditure and that would not becontrary to the Financial AdministrationRegulations (FAR) or the Constitution.That is my understanding.
Very well. Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, the provisionhere is consistent with the provisions inthe Financial Administration Act. Itappears that this particular Bill took intoaccount the provisions in the FinancialAdministration Act when makingprovisions for the public financearrangements. So, I do not believe it is anew thing at all.
Very well. I think that the point is well made. I was going to refer you to article 176of the Constitution which has provisionswhich show that, yes, these moneys gointo the Consolidated Fund, but there areexceptions when there is an Act ofParliament which directs that it goes intoa particular account. So, that is possible. So, Hon Members, I will therefore, putthe Question with regard to clause 18.
Have we not done that? Clause 18 asamended standing part of the Bill.
We did allthat before this issue was raised, have wenot? Very well. Clause 20 -- Accounts and audit
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 20, subclause (1), lines 1and 2, delete “in relation to them”.
What wouldthe final rendition be?
The reason for theproposed amendment is for the purposesof clarity.
HonMembers, I direct that having regard tothe state of proceedings, this House Sitsbeyond the stipulated time. Yes, Hon Chairman of the Committee? Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 20 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 21 ordered to stand part of theBill. Clause 22 -- Imposition of specialimport measures
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 22, subclause (2), paragraph(b), line 1, delete “its own initiative” andinsert “the initiative of the Commission”.
Very well.I think it is straightforward. I will putthe Question. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Yes,Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, subclause 5, line 1, delete “itspowers” and insert “the powers of theCommission”.
HonChairman, which one are you dealing withnow?
Mr Speaker, clause 22.
Mr Speaker, subclause5; item (ix) on the Order Paper.
Why areyou skipping item (vii)? [Interruption.]Pardon? [Interruption.] Eight. Yes. So, you were referring to subclause3.
Mr Speaker, sorry.
Yes, HonMember, what are you up on your feetfor?
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, subclause 3 --
HonMember, hold your breath. Yes?
Mr Speaker, you havebeen straining to even get Hon Membersto call for the vote. You were evendistressed that you asked whether weshould close for the day. Mr Speaker, it has been monotonous.It has been only the Chairman --Considering the time, we do not have thenumbers to vote, so -- [Interruption.]Only what? [Interruption.] [An HonMember: Tell the Hon Speaker and let himagree.] Mr Speaker, we do not have thenumbers and it is already 2.00 p.m. So, Iwould plead with you, since they cannotshout, maybe, we all need to go on a breakand come back, so, if you could pause forus -- Mr Speaker, article 104 does not giveus the chance to take further decisions. Icannot even follow him. I do not know where the Hon Ministerfor Employment and Labour Relations justcame from. He is supposed to be doingAzumi. Mr Speaker, I am pleading with you.You have shouted enough. Please, whipyour Members to come but article 104 does not give opportunity to continue takingdecisions. They would have to help you.You have been lamenting for the last onehour. Thank you.
HonMember, why do you not cry your owncry? [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, I am beingmy Brother's keeper.
Anyway. Yes, Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I would pleadwith my Hon Colleagues to let us takesome few clauses and -- [Interruption.]No! Just some few clauses. We are pleading with you to bear withus and take some few clauses.
HonMembers, at this point in time, this wouldbring us to the end of the ConsiderationStage as far as the Ghana InternationalTrade Commission Bill, 2014 is concerned. [Pause.]