Hon Members, Correctionof Votes and Proceedings. [No correction was made to the Votesand Proceedings of Monday, 18th July,2016.]
Hon Members, Correctionof the Official Report of Tuesday, 5th July,2016. Any correction?
Mr Speaker,column 3014, the third paragraph of mysubmission, first line, insert “do” after“why”. Also, in the first line, instead of“is” it should be “in” -- “In that case,why do your people use …”
Any other correction? Hon Members, the Official Report ofTuesday, 5th July, 2016 as corrected ishereby adopted as the true record ofproceedings. At the Commencement of PublicBusiness.
Mr Speaker,at the Commencement of Public Business-- Presentation of Papers -- itemnumbered 4 on the Order Paper by theHon Minister for Finance. Mr Speaker, we would seek yourpermission for the Hon Deputy Ministerfor Finance to lay the Paper on behalf ofthe Hon Minister.
Mr Speaker, Ihave no objection to that.
Hon Members, itemnumber 4 on the Order Paper --Presentation of Papers by the DeputyMinister for Finance on behalf of theMinister for Finance.
the technicaluniversities, administrative provisions,financial provisions as well asmiscellaneous provisions. Mr Speaker, I beg to move.
Mr Speaker, I beg tosecond the Motion ably moved by the HonMinister for Education. Mr Speaker, in so doing, I wish topresent your Committee's Report. Introduction The Technical Universities Bill, 2016,was laid in Parliament on Tuesday, 7thJune, 2016. Pursuant to article 106 (4) and(5) of the 1992 Constitution and Order 140(4) and 186 of the Standing Orders of theHouse, the Rt Hon Speaker referred theBill to the Committee on Education forconsideration and report. During the consideration of the Bill, theCommittee was assisted by the two DeputyMinisters for Education, Hon AlexKyeremeh and Hon Samuel OkudzetoAblakwa, officials from the Ministry as wellas officers from the Attorney-General'sDepartment. The Committee is grateful fortheir support. Reference The Committee made reference to thefollowing documents during its deliberations: a. The 1992 Constitution of theRepublic of Ghana b. The Standing Orders of Parlia-ment c. The University of Ghana Act,2010 (Act 806).
Mr Speaker, item numbered6 on the Order Paper -- Second Readingof the Technical Universities Bill, 2016. Mr Speaker, I will again seek yourpermission for the Hon Deputy Ministerfor Education --
Hon Deputy MajorityLeader, if there are no controversiessurrounding item numbered 5, can we notjust take it off the Order Paper by movingfor the Third Reading?
Mr Speaker, we would wantto take item numbered 6 before we takeitem numbered 5 because I have beeninformed that there are some technicalissues that are to be cleaned up beforewe take it.
Hon Members, itemnumbered 6 -- Motion -- by the HonMinister for Education.
BILLS -- SECOND READING
Mr Speaker, Ibeg to move, that the TechnicalUniversities Bill, 2016, be now read aSecond time. Mr Speaker, the purpose of this Bill isto establish technical universities byconverting the qualified polytechnics totechnical universities in order to providehigher education in engineering, scienceand technology based disciplines,technical and vocational education andtraining, applied arts and relateddisciplines. Mr Speaker, it was in the 2013 State ofthe Nation Address, that the announce-ment was made and a lot of work has beendone to advance this policy and translateit into practical reality.
d. The University of Health andAllied Sciences Act, 2011 (Act828) e. The University of Energy andNatural Resources Act, 2011 (Act830) f. Report of the TechnicalCommittee on the Conversion ofthe Polytechnics in Ghana toTechnical Universities. Object of the Bill The Bill seeks to establish TechnicalUniversities by converting existingpolytechnics to Technical Universities toprovide higher education with emphasison science and technology orienteddisciplines, technical and vocationaleducation and training, as well as appliedarts and related disciplines. Content of the Bill The Bill comprises 40 clauses arrangedinto four main parts: Section 1 of the Bill (Clauses 1-4)covers the establishment of theTechnical Universities; Section 2 (clause 5 to 30) isdedicated to AdministrativeProvisions Section 3 of the Bill (clause 31-35)relates to financial Provisions Section 4 (Clauses 36 to 40) alsofocuses on Miscellaneous Provision. Observations and Recommendations Technical Universities, as highereducation learning institutions, would bededicated to the development of highlevel technical skills, with a clear route foracademic and professional progression ofgraduates from senior high schools,technical institutes and persons willingto upgrade their technical and businessskills. The Committee noted that, this willprovide opportunities for such categoryof students and others who hitherto, hadlimited opportunities to pursue highereducation in the Traditional Universities,to acquire degrees and other qualificationsrelating to their field of study. The Technical Universities concept willundoubtedly enhance the image of theconverted polytechnics as vocationally-oriented and industiy-focused universitiesand thus improve the attractiveness oftechnical and vocational education andtraining. However, it is imperative to institutemeasures to ensure that, TechnicalUniversities do not fall into the trap ofoffering pure academic programmes.Available statistic show that, over 60 percent of polytechnics students are enrolledin business and management programmes,in spite of the fact that, the majority ofprogrammes should relate to the field ofscience and technology. The Committee therefore urges theNational Council for Tertiary Education toensure that, Technical Universities stayfocused on their mandate of traininghighly skilled technical and vocationalhuman resource. Strong collaboration with industry ineducation delivery is one of the keyfeatures that distinguish TechnicalUniversities from the traditional ones. The Committee was happy to note thatthe Technical Universities concept isunderpinned by a strong linkage betweentechnical and vocational education andindustry to provide holistic technical andvocational education and training. In pursuit of this objective, it isconsidered essential that, academic staffof Technical Universities, in addition topossessing the relevant academicqualifications, have a rich professional or industry experience. This therefore callsfor the need for Technical Universities toprovide opportunities for academic staffto build their professional competences. The Committee further noted that thesuccess of the Technical UniversitiesConcept, to a large extent, depends on thequality and number of students that turnout from the Technical and Senior HighSecondary Schools. In the light of this,the Committee underscores the need tomake teaching and learning of technicaland science programmes more attractiveto students at the basic and secondarylevels to ensure a continuous supply ofstudents with technical and sciencebackgrounds to the TechnicalUniversities. It came to the attention of theCommittee that, for a polytechnic toqualify for conversion to a TechnicalUniversity, it has to meet a set of eligibilitycriteria aimed at raising its status to thelevel of public universities in the country.This set of criteria hinges on three keypillars namely: (i) institutional standing; (ii.) academic staff requirements; and (iii.) evidence of collaboration withindustry and employers in thedelivery of accredited programmes. The Committee noted that, the 6polytechnics (Accra Polytechnic, HoPolytechnic, Koforidua Polytechnic,Kumasi Polytechnic, Sunyani Polytechnicand Takoradi Polytechnic) earmarked forconversion to Technical Universities havemet the eligibility criteria. It came to theattention of the Committee that, thegovernment is committed to ensuring thatthe four remaining polytechnics areencouraged and supported to meet theconversion requirements. The issue of appropriate designationfor the Head of a Technical University came up strongly during the Committee'sdeliberations. The Committee was of theview that, since almost all heads oftraditional public universities are referredto as “Vice Chancellors,” it is appropriateto adopt the same title for the heads ofTechnical Universities. This, the Committee observed, wasfundamental to rebranding and improvingpublic image about Technical Universities,and putting them on a parity of esteemwith the traditional public universities. However, the Ministry strongly opinedthat, the title “Rector” should bemaintained as a mark of differentiationbetween Traditional Universities andTechnical Universities which have theirorientation largely grounded onvocational skills development and theapplication of science and technology. Inthis regard, it is important to maintain thenomenclature “Rector” to give TechnicalUniversities this unique identity. Conclusion The establishment of TechnicalUniversities will redirect the focus ofeducation more towards vocational skillsdevelopment and appliedscience andtechnology, which are very critical fornational development. TechnicalUniversities will provide the avenue forstudents or professionals with the desireto build their skills and competencies toobtain degrees and other qualifications indisciplines which are not offered in thetraditional universities. This willundoubtedly make the study of appliedscience and vocational education andtraining more attractive. In the light of this, the Committeerecommends that, the House adopts theReport of the Select Committee onEducation on the Technical UniversitiesBill, 2016. Respectfully submitted.
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Chairman of theCommittee, have you looked at page 12 ofthe Committee's Report which you justpresented? Page 12, the last page of theReport, is everything there correct?
Are you sure of that?
Mr Speaker,it should read:“polytechnics yet to be converted”.
Look at section 2 (1) ofthe Bill. You have submitted a Report onthe Bill. We have not reached that pointbut this is a record and that is what isgoing to be captured in the Hansard; thatis why I am asking you.
Mr Speaker, this is anamendment to the First Schedule.
Which section of the Billdeals with the First Schedule?
Section 23. [Pause.] Mr Speaker, that is section 1 (b).
You have section 2 (1)so it is wrong. Correct it and let me openthe floor. Everybody says it is incorrectso, correct it and let me open the floor.
Mr Speaker, it should besection 1 (b).
Are you amending thatpart of the Committee's Report? That isbecause it would be captured in theHansard.
Mr Speaker, I beg to amendwhat is quoted on page 12, part 2, section2 (1) to read as Section 1(b).
Just put section 1 there?
MrSpeaker, we cannot hear the HonMember. Hon Members have alsoidentified the same problem but we cannothear the correction he is making. Heshould speak up so that we know what hewants to be captured in the Hansard.
Mr Speaker, I beg to amendwhat appears on page 12 as part 2, section(1) to 20 to read section 1(b).
Hon Chairman of theCommittee, there is no section 1 (b) in theBill. So, just say section 1, then when weget to the Consideration Stage we wouldattend to it.It cannot be section 2. If youare not careful, this would go into theHansard and it would cost theCommittee's Report and it would notspeak well of the Committee.
Have you amended it?
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Hon Members, who is theHon Ranking Member? Yes, Hon Deputy Ranking Member onthe Committee on Education you have thefloor. Question proposed.
Mr Speaker, I begto support the Motion which seeks toconvert the polytechnics into TechnicalUniversities. This is because, it is going to cure thepsychological problem where a lot ofpeople believe that when one does notattend a university then one is not welleducated -- [Interruption.]
Order! Hon Members, what is happening thismorning?
Mr Speaker,again, it is going to help to increase thenumber of students in this country whoprefer to be in technical universities.However, if we are not careful,the qualitymay suffer in the sense that, the fewtechnical schools in this country are underresourced and they are even collapsing. If one goes to our secondary schools,a lot of them do not have adequate sciencelaboratories. As a result, our currentuniversities and even the KwameNkrumah University of Science andTechnology which is supposed to be atechnical university admits 61 per cent ofthe students in favour of Arts instead oftechnical and applied sciences. If one looks at the state of our currentuniversities, it is so clear that most of themare being downgraded. The University ofGhana, which is the only rankedUniversity in Africa, used to be seventhin Africa. As of today, it is ranked 12th.None of the universities in this countryare ranked apart from the University ofGhana which is ranked the 12th in Africa. Ifwe are not careful, these TechnicalUniversities that we are trying to createwould eventually become just like anyother ordinary university. Technical schools need to be resourcedso that they can be a feeder to theTechnical Universities that we are goingestablish. The technical schools that arealso in existence should be well resourced.Other than that, in the long run the qualityof our schools would be downgraded. We are also thinking of havingpartnership with Industries. At the timethat industries are also collapsing in thiscountry, there is the need for us to havepartnership with industries not only inthis country but also those that areabroad. In linking up with other technicaluniversities that are abroad, we may notonly have to consider the cost but link upwith the best that are in the world ratherthan only the German model. If one goes to Zurich, the maintechnical university, for example, hasproduced 20 Nobel Prize winnersincluding Einstein. As a result, there isthe need for us to join with such atechnical university in Zurich, Switzerlandso that we would get the best out of thesituation. Mr Speaker, with these few words, Isupport the establishment of theTechnical Universities.
Mr Speaker, I thank you forthe opportunity to support this Motionwhich seeks to establish TechnicalUniversities by converting ourpolytechnics into universities and forwhich reason we have this Bill here toaddress comprehensively. Mr Speaker, this is a very big step,alandmark in the history of education inthis country. By all standards, universitiesare very crucial for the development ofevery country,especially universities thatare targeted at specific areas of ourdevelopments. Mr Speaker, I read through the Reportand I have taken note of the fact thatpolytechnics are not, according to thisReport,regarded as part of ourconventional universities; they arecharacterised as not offering pureacademic programmes. Mr Speaker, I believe that what theuniversities are to do, are also academic. Ieven find it difficult to understand whatis “pure academic”and what is “not pureacademic”. Whether we are embarking on
universities that would address thechallenges of science and technology orwhether we are doing so in the humanitiesit is all about academic work. It is true that in some of the universities,the objective is much related to practicalapplication of work in our everydaylife,but I believe these universities arecoming to close a gap, an existing gap thathas been left gapping since independence,to address the huge manpowerrequirement and the technical andtechnological improvement of thiscountry. This is also necessary to pushfurther the frontiers of our development. Mr Speaker, there is a controversialissue that the Committee came across.There was the question of whether todescribe the head of the institution as a“Rector” or as a “Vice Chancellor”. I would want to say that, once we callthem universities and once there is a lawbacking and establishing them asuniversities, there should be no reasonwe should call them otherwise than “ViceChancellors”. These are universities anduniversities have their own charac-teristics. In Ghana, we know that our universitiesare research and teaching universities andif they can be seen as other universitiesand not second grade, the description ofa Vice Chancellor should be used tocharacterise the head of the institutions. Mr Speaker, I support the idea that theyshould be called Vice Chancellors.I alsoapplaud the Ministry for bringing up thisBill. I would call on our Hon Friends on bothsides to support it, because it is a verycrucial time in our lives when our attentionshould not just be on humanities but Mr Speaker, I thank you for theopportunity.
Mr Speaker, the concept of atechnical university and our desire toconvert our polytechnics to same is verylaudable. For some of us, it should not becouched in a language that looks like it isa rebranding issue. Mr Speaker, when I read paragraph 5.5of the report and what the Committee saysand that of the Ministry, I am disturbed. Mr Speaker, first of all, neither in theBill nor in the Report has anybody told uswhat a technical university is. What is it?We are not given that definition anywhere.We are just loosely using the word,“technical”. If what I heard the HonDeputy Ranking Member of the Committeesay is correct, that they went to Zürichand that, that Technical University therehas produced 20 Nobel Laureates, then Isubmit that in fact, that concept is evenhigher than the regular university, for themto be able to produce 20 Nobel Laureates.So we must be careful. Mr Speaker, it is obvious that theCommittee knows that we have a technicaluniversity when we rebrand from “Rector”to “Vice Chancellor”. That is so wrong;we would be deceiving the public. It is anoble concept and we should carefullyunderstand what we are doing. Mr Speaker, in fact, I envisage that if itis done properly, we would have to findresources to pay the calibre of people whowould go there. We are not going toemploy regular lecturers. These are highlycapable scientists with superior academicskills; and it is not only academic work; itis applied research. Mr Speaker, I submit to you that, thesharper professors in the normaluniversities are those in Applied Researchand they are inherently superiorlyqualified with lots of experience, not onlyin here but externally as well. So when webelieve that we are trying to do somethingnoble, we should take steps to make surethat it comes out that way. Nothing in the Bill or the report givesme that impression and it worries me,especially, when the Committee and theMinistry differ on the name — Do we thinkthat we have a Technical University whenwe call somebody a Vice Chancellor? Mr Speaker, if the term”Rector” is thewhat we want to use — It is not a regularUniversity and we must take steps todistinguish that. Mr Speaker, recently, I read aboutsome things that have been done inKumasi Polytechnic — very laudable. Thehead does not need to be called a ViceChancellor for him to pursue what he isdoing. If he is called a Rector and hisstudents are able to achieve such big feats,so be it. But we are pretending that — MrSpeaker, with your permission, I beg toread: “This Committee observed, wasfundamental to rebranding…” Mr Speaker, it is not rebranding forChrist sake. It is in the Report — “…rebranding and improving publicimage…” With respect to the Committee,the perception from the Report is not thebest. Maybe, they did not intend to do it,but I would want to submit that theconcept of a Technical University has notbeen well sold to us at all. It gives the impression that, they justcall a Polytechnic a University and theyare done with — The resources that weare going to need to re-educate the currentfaculty. In fact, we may want to deploypersonnel from Kwame NkrumahUniversity of Science and Technology(KNUST) to the place, especially, if we aregoing to call it a technical university. Mr Speaker, I believe the Hon DeputyRanking Member mentioned Einstein —Those of us who have thought inuniversities we are nowhere close toEinstein and so I expect quality when Ihear Einstein. It does not appear in theBill or any where in the Report. Mr Speaker, I am not scandalised butdisturbed; that the impression the Reportand the Bill give is that, we are justchanging names. We are not and it isunfortunate that that is the perception. Icould be wrong but that is myunderstanding of the Report and of theBill, especially, when they have not toldme what a technical university is. So, the impression I get is, let uschange the name from Polytechnic toUniversity and we would be free, whichis far from the truth. I believe that, as muchas I do not want to call for the standingdown of the Report, I believe theCommittee is not doing this House afavour in the presentation of this nobleconcept of technical university. So, I urgethem to stand it down and rewrite theReport so that, we can all feelstrengthened to support it. I thank you, Mr Speaker.
There is no need for anydefinition, because we do not need the definition to understand the Bill. What weneed is that, they have described whatthe technical university is supposed todo.
Mr Speaker, that is notcontained in there.
It is there. Look at theMemorandum of the Bill. What a technicaluniversity is supposed to do is there. Hon Member, please proceed.
Mr Speaker, it is notonly the Memorandum to the Bill, but ifwe look at page 4 of the Bill, which capturesthe aims of a technical university — Wedo not need to cast this in stone and ironfor us to know what are going to be theobjectives of our technical universitieswhich should be different from the currentuniversities that we have. Mr Speaker, there is the need for us inthis country to take off with thesetechnical universities as being proposedunder this Bill. We should make sure that,we do not go back, as my other HonColleagues have noted, to the situationwe currently have in our polytechnics,whereby, 60 per cent of the intakes to ourpolytechnics after the Arts and otherliberal Sciences. We need to go a stepfurther by ensuring —
Hon Member, are you amember of the Committee on Education.
Mr Speaker, yes.
Have you made provisionto curb that type of phenomenon?
Mr Speaker, yes. Wenoted that, there is the need to stronglygive support to the technical andvocational education. Much is being done the Committee and also on theMemorandum. Mr Speaker, the Bill, seeks to establishTechnical Universities by convertingexisting polytechnics -- This is what itsays under section 3.0 of the Report. Iwonder whether we really want to phaseout existing polytechnics and make themall Technical Universities because this iswhat is implied in this particular issue. First of all, we started with thepolytechnics as diploma awardinginstitutions and then we upgraded themto become degree awarding institutionsWe are now saying that we are phasingout these polytechnics to bring intechnical universities. I would just readpage 2 -- The object of the Bill: “The Bill seeks to establishTechnical Universities by convert-ing existing polytechnics toTechnical Universities”. Mr Speaker, so, it looks like this isthe beginning of the process. I would justwant to argue that, the polytechnicsdefinitely have a role in the provision ofmiddle management technical staff for ourindustries. It was said by the previouscontributors to the debate that, there isnot that linkage between polytechnics andindustry -- this is not true. Polytechnics and industry have beenworking for a very long time. Indeed,products of polytechnics during thecourse of their studies always go tovarious industries to work for short termperiods and this is a fact which is knownby all of us. Mr Speaker, however, if we are thinkingof developing higher technical skills withresearch capability, then I would supportthe establishment of such a Bill. In fact, it under the current Government to promotetechnical and vocational education, whichwould eventually be the starting point ofimproving the intake. Mr Speaker, for example, as of now, ourstudents from the technical schools candirectly enter the universities by way ofthe current structuring of the courseprogrammes that are being done in thetechnical schools. This was not the casepreviously. The most technical students could dowas to have education by installments --going from the technical schools to doadvanced levels and perhaps enter thepolytechnics. But as of today, it is possiblefor a technical student, after graduatingfrom the technical schools to enter thetechnical universities and even otheruniversities that have the provisions fortaking them. Mr Speaker, I would just want toencourage Hon Members not to look atonly the Report of the Committee but gobeyond that and look at the situation byway of -- at least, the Report togetherwith the Bill have been the starting pointso that we would be able to come out withthe support for this Bill and eventuallypass it into an Act, so that technicaleducation would be promoted in thiscountry. Thank you.
Hon Members, I wouldtake one from each side of the House andthen we would conclude the debate. Yes, Hon Member for Subin?
MrSpeaker, I thank you for the opportunityto make a few comments on the Report of
Mr Speaker, weare not phasing out polytechniceducation; we are rather upgradingpolytechnic education by removing thelimitations that they used to have. MrSpeaker, if you look at the nature ofstudents that we have, many a time, whenstudents complete --
Hon Member, I want youto address the issue. I think from theCommittee, there is a certain consensus.But points have been raised on the floorof the House, so let us be clear in ourminds. When the Hon Minister is windingup, I would ask her to wind up on some ofthem but I thought that the point made bythe Hon Member for Subin on the statusof the current polytechnics -- whenthese things are converted -- If you look at the First Schedule, wehave the polytechnics as they exist nowthere; which has been amended by theCommittee. This means that, it is thecurrent polytechnics that are beingconverted into technical Institutes.Sowhat happens to manpower developmentat the middle level? [Interruption.] Order! I want us to address this on the floorof the House so that, we know exactlywhat we are doing. I also have another point that I wouldwant the House to address, and that is onwhat we mean by “apply as relateddisciplines” as captured in the Reportshould be very careful so that we do notalso create a new set of university studentswho would go and do things that are nottechnically based -- we should guardagainst it.
Hon Member for CentralTongu?
Mr Speaker, it wouldbe erroneous for us on the floor of thisHouse to be looking at this Bill to bephasing out polytechnic education. Thisis because if you look at the Bill, underthe powers of technical education, theacademic programmes to be pursued areequally those programmes being pursuedin our current polytechnic institutions.[Interruption.] It is not a rebranding. It is just likeUniversity of Ghana, Legon. Mr Speaker, there are various programsthat are run there, but we would now wantto emphasise technical education underthe technical universities, shifting fromsome of the pseudo arts that are currentlypursued under the polytechnics by givingthem greater prominence in technicaleducation in relation to our currenttechnological needs for industry andother sectors of the economy. So, it is not phasing out polytechniceducation as a subject area of study, butthe programs --
Please, is it a point oforder or you are contributing? You have contributed already, please. Hon Member for Central Tongu, kindlytake your seat. You have made the point. Yes?
Mr Speaker, mypoint was that, we are upgrading theexisting polytechnics by giving them thecapacity to be able to train students intechnical and technology coursesincluding engineering.
Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me theopportunity. Mr Speaker, I think the Motion on thetable is a very sensitive one.[Interruption.] As a country, this is wherewe are now. We are talking of theestablishment of Technical universities,to train the needed human resourcemanpower that we need, in order to bridgethe gap between academia and industry. Mr Speaker, 18 years ago, thisinstitution that we are talking about --
Hon Member, I want youto address the issue raised by the HonMember for Subin whether we are phasing That is one of the reasons we have alot of graduate unemployment in thiscountry. This is because the learning isnot tailored to match industry. So, if weare trying to create a new system to matchindustry, it is important that we use theopportunity of this Bill to address thoseconcerns in this country.
Mr Speaker, weare talking of the middle level manpowerdevelopment that you are also talking of.Mr Speaker, even if you go to thetraditional universities, they still run thelower courses to train people to man themiddle level manpower resources. Mr Speaker, but here, we are talking oftechnical and engineering services. If youlook at the Memorandum of the Bill: “The purpose of the Bill is to establishTechnical Universities by conversionof qualified universities --” Mr Isaac K. Asiamah — rose --
Hon Member, do youhave a point of order?
Mr Speaker, yes. Mr Speaker, I would want to makereference to paragraph 2 of theMemorandum -- that His Excellency thePresident of the Republic of Ghana in hisState of the Nation Address announced,that the polytechnics would be convertedto Technical Universities. So thisunderlines what we are doing here. Mr Speaker, the concern is that, are wegoing to phase out the polytechnics? Weare now discussing the principles of theBill captured in the Memorandum. Thank you.
Mr Speaker, thisMotion which is being moved, is in theright direction, and I call on everybody inthis House to vote massively for theconversion of these polytechnics intoTechnical Universities. Mr Speaker, thank you very much forthe opportunity. [Hear! Hear!]
Hon Deputy MinorityWhip? Mr I. Awuah -- rose --
Hon Members, this is avery important Bill. When we started thedebate, the Hon Ranking Member of theCommittee was not in the House. Now thathe is here, it is fair that I relax the rules toallow us to hear from him, then I will hearfrom the Hon Minister for Employmentand Labour Relations and then, I will takethe Hon Deputy Minister for Education. I have opened opportunities for you. Yes, Hon Ranking Member of theCommittee? [Interruption.] Yes, let mehear from the Hon Ranking Member, I willcall him. review the Act to empower them to doresearch, higher degree programmes inthe polytechnics and so on, withoutnecessarily touching the main structureand vision that polytechnics weresupposed to serve, and without affectingtheir status. But as it is now, we see that we wouldwant to address this image problem theyhave by changing their structures andeverything to be like a university.University can be of various types. It canbe the traditional one that we know; it canbe like the Institute of Professional Studies(IPS) that we passed a Bill on some timeago; it can be like Massachusetts Instituteof Technology (MIT) that we know of. In all these things, we have some ofthem maintaining their old titles and othersalso changing completely to become whatwe know and have Vice Chancellorsbecause they are universities. But then,the basis for the change is that, if theyhad made their names already, they wouldlike to retain those names rather thanchange them, so that they would have tobuild their image all afresh. That is why despite the fact that theyare institutes, these institutions can stilldo what other universities do, and theironly empowerment is, as I said early on,their Acts that govern them empowersthem to go to whatever length they wouldwant to go. Now, coming back to Ghana, we haveadopted a different line of action by theintroduction of these technicaluniversities. We think that, we can changetheir names -- whatever is in the name, Ido not know, yet, we think that, byadopting the name technical university, itwould transform the institution in the waythat we probably envision. But if we takelessons from where we are coming from,we know that, polytechnics still do notsatisfy the vision that we would want tohave for our developmental agenda.
Mr Speaker, I would like to be briefbut to point out some challenging issueswhich we need to address, despite theintentions that we have in transformingthem into Technical Universities. We know that, in this country,polytechnics have had several challenges.Some of them I would quickly summariseas image deficiency among the group ofhigher institutions that they are part of. The second one is their attractivenessto high level skilled manpower in terms oflecturers, professors and so on to buildthis image in the first instance, and ofcourse, also to mount plausible higherdegree programmes that would berecognised and accepted by the higherintellectual community. The third challenge they have is alsothe status they form among the hierarchyof higher institutions in this country. Arethey below the traditional universitiesbecause their heads are not called ViceChancellors, or because that they cannotaward first degrees or run undergraduateprogrammes. But then, when one looks at thePolytechnics Bill now, they have thecapacity to run degree programmesprovided their internal structures aremature enough to launch thoseprogrammes; that is, if they have qualifiedlecturers, and good and plausible qualitydegree programmes to do so. Now, one would just consider whetherthey can run Masters' degree and so onand so forth. Well, that is anotherquestion. This is because, if that is reallythe challenge they face, one could havereally reviewed the Acts that govern thePolytechnics and not necessarilychanged the whole thing. We can then Mr Speaker, if we look at the firstparagraph of the principles surroundingthe Bill in the Memorandum, it says‘converting existing polytechnics intoTechnical Universities to provide highereducation in engineering, science andtechnology oriented courses'. Mr Speaker, all that we are saying isthat, in addition to the courses that arebeing run now, the National Council forTertiary Education (NCTE) would givethem the power to only pursue coursesthat are technologically and engineeringbased. Mr Speaker, now, as a country, we aretalking of establishment of factories allover. Where would we get the necessaryhuman resource to be working in thosefactories that we would establish? These are institutions that werepreviously known to be technical schools.When they were being converted fromtechnical schools to polytechnicinstitutions, a lot of people I know in thecountry were skeptical about how theywould do this. Now, the polytechnics are so wellestablished in such a way that, we aresaying, let us give them the opportunityto remove the limitations that are placedon people who pursue technical educationto be able to do Masters programs. Thatis the main reason these polytechnics arebeing converted. Mr Speaker, we know in this countrythat, in a class, the best students areselected to pursue secondary education,and go to the traditional universities. Ifwe want technical expertise to manufacturecars, and manufacture a lot of technicalappliances that we need, if the beststudents are pursuing traditional
Hon Member, conclude.
Mr Speaker, if we expectthem to have attachment programmes andworkshop experiences, I think theGovernment must have some incentivesfor industry to be attracted to do this moreoften. Otherwise, the industries themselveswould not easily open up to theseinstitutions, and we would continue tohave that handicap of the lack of industrialexperience or working closely withindustry still prevailing in the system. Mr Speaker, with these few words, Iconclude. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
MrSpeaker, thank you for the opportunity toassociate myself with the Motion ablymoved by the Hon Minister for Education,Prof. Naana Opoku-Agyemang, that theTechnical Universities' Bill, 2016 be nowread a Second time. Mr Speaker, in doing so, we are toappreciate that we should take this Billbeyond a change in name. We are toappreciate the policy informing therepositioning of the polytechnics torespond to employability in addressing thechallenge of unemployment. Mr Speaker, speaking on this matter asthe Hon Minister for Employment andLabour Relations, my former HonColleague at the Ministry, it is a truismthat there is growing unemployment in thecountry, which is a function of skillsmismatch or gap. Mr Speaker, in considering this Bill,what we should be asking ourselves is, towhat extent is it contributing to enhancethe employability of the Ghanaian? Towhat extent are we changing the focus andorientation of our polytechnics to focuson technically oriented and career-focusprogrammes and others, which assurethem of some employability? Mr Speaker, there has been an ongoingnational debate. Luckily for us, the HonMinister, who is herself a respectedprofessor -- It has always been thatuniversities dare to train to meet the needsof industry of commerce or to providegeneric academic training. For the universities, it is academictraining, but for the polytechnics, we mustinsist that, they must produce to meet theneeds of industry and commerce. That is
Hon Members, I willstrictly give you three minutes each. HonMember for Takoradi, you have threeminutes.
Mr Speaker, I believethat it is good news that we have thisopportunity to discuss the Polytechnicsituation in this country. Mr Speaker, the former Chief ExecutiveOfficer of Ghana Cocoa Board(COCOBOD) made mention that we haveto look at the issue of --
Please, Hon Member, heis the Hon Member for Subin. Addresshim as such.
Mr Speaker, HonMember for Subin. [Laughter.] Mr Speaker, this is a developmentalissue. If you care to know, even in Britain,polytechnics were introduced, introducedto challenge the industrial might of Franceat that time in the 50s. After Britain hadbeen able to go through theirindustrialisation, over time, they alsorealised that, they needed to upgrade theirpolytechnics into technical universities. Mr Speaker, in tourism; in our hotels,there is no way one can even employ acook without a proper polytechniccertificate. In fact, if it is the person --
Hon Member, conclude.
Mr Speaker,therefore, I believe that, this opportunityto look at this issue should be looked atvery well, especially, when it comes to theConsideration Stage. All the issues thathave come up should be in thereespecially, to guide the NationalAccreditation Board to make sure thatone; the intake should not be 70 per centhumanities and 30 per cent science ortechnology based issues. Two; they should be able to make surethat they find expressions in the law thatwe would be passing. Mr Speaker, last but not the least, whenthe polytechnics were created, we had anissue with pay disparity in the PublicService. I think that has been one of themajor difficulties that the polytechnicstudents have faced over the years. Thatis why top-ups have now become morelike a fashion than what people actuallyneed those degrees to work with. Mr Speaker, I believe that, now that weare viewing them as polytechnicuniversities, we will ensure that, studentsthat come from these polytechnicuniversities are never going to bediscriminated by the Public Service in theway they are paid, so that, they can growand continue to grow very well. Mr Speaker, thank you. And with thesefew words --Hear! Hear!
Hon Deputy Minister forEducation, then Hon Member for Bekwai. Deputy Minister for Education (MrSamuel Okudzeto Ablakwa)(MP): MrSpeaker, I am grateful for the opportunityto contribute to this Motion. Mr Speaker, the conversion of ourpolytechnics to technical universities isnot a policy that is unique to Ghana. It isa global concept; other nations havetaken this path, two decades and somefive decades ago. It is an idea whose time has come. Thereare academic, scientific criteria that ourpolytechnics will have to meet. With alldue respect, it is not just an issue ofnomenclature or name change or just merere-branding. It is a matter that requiresmeeting international standards. Mr Speaker, if we were just going aboutchanging names, it will not take us closeto four years wanting to just change aname from a polytechnic to a technicaluniversity. Mr Speaker, I want to refer to page 4 ofthe Committee's Report, item 5.4 whichoutlines the criteria. With your permission,I beg to read item 5.4: Dr A. A. Osei --rose --
Hon Member for OldTafo, is it on a point of order?
Mr Speaker, yes. UnlessI am reading a different Report. The HonMinister said that, it is not about changingnames but the Committee observed that itwas fundamental to rebranding andimproving public image. Is he challengingthe Committee by saying that it is wrong?[Interruption.] Is that his opinion?
Hon Member -- Order!Order! Hon Member for Old Tafo, you havemade your point on this matter.
Mr Speaker, I justwant to be clear about what he said.
On the Floor of theHouse, you can disagree, agree or modifythe Committee's position.
Mr Speaker, that is whyI would want him to be clear on that, hefundamentally disagrees with theCommittee as a sponsor of the Bill.
Mr Speaker, if the HonDr A. A. Osei had allowed me to concludemy remarks, I said it is not just mere namechange and I was going to page 4. If weread the Committee's Report in a whole,you would notice that we are not beingfair to the Committee.
“It came to the attention of theCommittee that for a polytechnic toqualify for conversion to a technicaluniversity, it has to meet a set ofeligibility criteria aimed at raising itsstatus to the level of publicuniversities in the country. This setof criteria hinges on three key pillarsnamely: (i) institutional standing (ii) academic staff requirements;and (iii) evidence of collaboration withindustry and employers in thedelivery of accreditedprogrammes.” Mr Speaker, this is in this sameCommittee's Report bulleted 5.4. So, tosay that the Committee has just talkedabout changing names and rebranding,and so, it has not carried seriousexercise -- Mr Speaker, I also want to refer you topage --
Hon Deputy Minister, dowe necessarily need a Vice Chancellor?Or we should retain the Rector? What isyour own view?
Mr Speaker, our view, ashas been expressed in the Committee'sReport, as promoters of the Bill is that, weshould maintain the title -- Rector.
In fact, that is thegravamen of his submission; that if wecould maintain the position of Rector andthen they would be able to deliver, thename change does not matter.
Mr Speaker, we do notbelieve that the name change reallymatters because even with our traditionaluniversities, it is not all the heads who areVice Chancellors. Ghana Institute ofManagement and Public Administration(GIMPA) still uses “Rector” and GhanaInstitute of Journalism (GIJ) is a full fledgeuniversity but it still uses “Rector” andso we are of the view that, to create thatdistinction -- This is because at thetertiary sector, there is also differentiationand diversification. Our Colleges of Education who are alsotertiary institutions use “Principal”. Thepolytechnics have been using “Rector”,most of the traditional universities useVice Chancellor and we think that it is goodto keep that unique identification -- Prof. Fobih -- rose --
Prof. Fobih, do you havea point of Order?
Mr Speaker, point ofOrder. Mr Speaker, as I said early on, some ofthe institutions that have retained theirold titles did so because they thought that
Well, we are just throwingin this; when we come to theConsideration Stage, the House wouldtake a decision on this matter. Yes, Hon Deputy Minister?
Mr Speaker, I also wantto refer Hon Members to the referencesof the Committee's Report on page 1. TheCommittee made reference to the followingdocuments during its deliberations; MrSpeaker, I refer to page 2 (f) Report of theTechnical Committee on the Conversionof the Polytechnics in Ghana to TechnicalUniversities. Mr Speaker, I have in my hand theReport of this Committee which is knownas the Dr Afeti Committee, which was theexpert panel that was put together to advisethe Ministry and make recommendation onthe road map; how we should proceedwith this conversion. Mr Speaker, in page6 of that Report, key characteristics of atechnical university are outlined and thatis what the Ministry is going by. MrSpeaker, if I am allowed to quote: “A review of the literature ontechnical universities in Africa(South Africa and Kenya), Europe(Germany and Denmark) and Asia(Japan and India) provided thebackdrop for defining the generalorientation and key characteristicsof a technical university. In general,technical universities: a) provide education and trainingfor the world of work:students are trained toacquire high level employableskills for wage or self-employment; b) have strong links with industryand business; c) support existing and emergingproductive sectors of theeconomy with technicalexpertise and R&D; d) are focused on practicalresearch activities, includingindustry and market-drivenjoint research projects ; e) offer programmes that arevocationally oriented orcareer focused …”
Hon Member for Dome-Kwabenya, do you have a point of order?What is your point of order?
Mr Speaker, I do have aproblem. I see Hon Okudzeto Ablakwareading from his IPad and I would want toknow the source of the document that heis reading from.
No! He said the Reportof the Technical --
Mr Speaker, respectfully, wehave a Committee Report in front of usbut he seeks to argue from a differentdocument and a different source. MrSpeaker, he should properly lay thosedocuments before the House.
Hon Member for Dome-Kwabenya, let us get the rules and thepractice of this House right. The HonMember referred to the Committee'sReport and drew the attention of the House to paragraph 2.1 (f) and asked thepermission of the Chair to quote from theexpert Report of the Technical Committeeon the Conversion of Polytechnics inGhana to Technical Universities. Nobodyobjected to it so I have allowed him toquote. He is only quoting and he has told usthe source, the Committee has referred toit and he has sought the permission ofthe House to quote from it. Nobodyobjected to it and it is allowed to refer todocuments, except that, he cannot spendtoo much time in quoting from adocument. But he is entitled under therules and practices of this House to quotefrom a document, especially so, when theCommittee has referred to that documentin their Report. Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
MrSpeaker, I believe that, to the extent thatthe reference would contribute toenlightening the House. I believe it isworth the while for him to do that. Exceptthat, in a previous occasion, the Chairinsisted that, if anybody quoted from anydocument, then, that document must belaid. That is where we are, but I agree thatthis would provide some illumination tothe House. I was listening to him and thatis good. Mr Speaker, but we should beconsistent.
The Chair is veryconsistent and I do not think that you areimpugning any improper motive to theChair. [Laughter.] This is a Report and the Ministry hasmade that Report available to theCommittee. Hon Members of theCommittee from both Sides of the Househave made reference to it in theirCommittee's Report. No Hon Member whohas seen that Committee's Report, hasraised an issue with what he is quoting.To that extent --
Mr Speaker,admittedly, I am enjoying what he isreading. I am listening to him, I want to beenlightened because I am not privy to thatdocument. Except Mr Speaker, in yourearlier life, you had insisted that,documents that are given to Committeesare not meant for the Committees alonebecause it is for the entire House to take adecision. In your earlier life, you hadinsisted.
Hon Minority Leader, Ihave never done anything of that nature.I do not want us to debate this matter.Hon Members, let us make progress.
Mr Speaker,respectfully, I would not go there. I wouldhold my horses.
It is good you are notgoing there.
But to saythat that has never been said by you inyour earlier life --
Which of my earlier lives? [Laughter.] I have a lot of lives.
In opposition or inGovernment or Majority or minority?
As a DeputyMinority Leader. If you may, I would bring the Hansard. I would not proceed further.
Let us not go there. Hon Deputy Minister, please.
Mr Speaker, “…( f) provide skills training at all levels:certificate, diploma, degree, andpostgraduate degree levels: g) are autonomous or semi-autonomous in theirgovernance and managementpractices; h) offer courses and programmescovering a wide range ofeconomic activities i) place emphasis on innovationand application of newtechnologies, including ICT; j) have well-trained facultyimbued with both academicand professional experience k) admit capable students intoscience and technologybased programmes l) possess top grade teaching andlearning facilities; m) engage in consultancy andcontract management activi-ties; n) encourage staff and studentmobility; and o) provide skills training from themiddle level to the highestlevel possible”. Mr Speaker, so, this is the definitionof a technical university which we arepursuing in Ghana.
You have one minutemore.
Mr Speaker, to alsorespond to some issues that have comeup including your request of the AppliedArts and related matters. Here, AppliedArts relates to programmes such asfashion design, cosmetology anddressmaking -- It is not the usualhumanities like political science, sociology-- The pure Arts programmes. I would also want to assure the Housethat, the concerns that have been raisedabout lower levels; the technical andvocational institutes -- we are payingattention to that. Under the Development of Skills forIndustry Project (DSIP), which is aUS$124 million African Development Bank(AfDB) supported initiative, we haveidentified a number of technical institutesthat we are retooling, re-equipping andproviding equipment for. These are theinstitutions that would feed the technicaluniversities. We are also investing in improving onthe facilities in all the ten polytechnics. Ifyou have observed, the President hasbeen inaugurating a number ofengineering blocks. Only last week, theTamale Polytechnic Engineering Blockwas inaugurated. The Takoradi Polytechnic engineeringblock has been inaugurated, the Sunyani now, we are converting them to a higherlevel. Mr Speaker, I am thinking back. I recallin 1984/85, I was a student leader. I believeit was in the other building. We came hereconverting existing schools to juniorsecondary schools. We talked. All kindsof examples were given. At that time, asstudent leaders we thought that there hasnot been sufficient investment in technicaltraining. Try as we did, the laws werepassed, the changes were made. Today,we all could attest whether there is anytechnical training going on in any of ourjunior secondary schools. That is where we are going again. Weare so happy to convert; change this tothat. But the polytechnic concept, if therewas something in that we wanted toachieve, like training people to work withtheir hands, have we achieved that? Whydid that fail? I have heard my Hon DeputyMinister say engineering blocks havebeen inaugurated. Yes, it is not in theblocks, it is what is in the blocks. Whatequipment have we put there to trainthem? I am a Member of the Committee onRoads and Transport. We have hadseveral interactions with the RegionalMaritime University. They train peoplewho are -- The market is available, butdo you know what? There is no vessel inwhich the technical part of the certificationwould be done, so they do not qualify forthe hundreds and thousands of jobsavailable. Every year, we meet them. It is the same problem. Will Govern-ment acquire a vessel for them so that theirtraining would be complete? In the eightyears that I have been a Member ofParliament, it has not been done. Andit preceded me. Polytechnic engineering Block has beeninaugurated, and we also have aprogramme with Amatrol Incorporated ofthe United States of America by which allthe laboratories are being reequipped.
So, the Dr Affetti Reportrecommended that Government wouldhave to quadruple how much we spendtraining a polytechnic student when wedo the conversion and we have agreed tothat. There is a lot of work going into thisconversion and it is not just an issue ofname change or rebranding. We alsowould want to give the assurance that,ultimately all ten polytechnics would beconverted to technical universities. Mr Speaker, I am grateful.
Hon Member for Bekwai?
Mr Speaker, I thank you verymuch for the opportunity. Mr Speaker, I am worried. I am worriedbecause we appear to be following thesame tradition; certificates -- Graduatecertificates we issue. With the existingpolytechnic, why have they not been ableto train people with their hands? I had an experience at the Driver andVehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), werecruited them and they had to be trainedafresh. Some of them could not identifyengine parts, even though they havecertificates as technician engineers. Onewould open the engine, and they couldnot identify the component parts, but theyhad certificates. This is the same way weare going. What we have failed to do well,
Hon Member, theflagbearer's statement was not made inthis House. Hon Member, please continue.
Mr Speaker, I regretvery much that the Hon Deputy Ministerhas not outgrown the politics of doingserious business. This is seriousbusiness. It affects me. My son is a visualarts student, and I see how much limitedhe is in his progress. After seniorsecondary school, the opportunitiesavailable to him are so limited that Iwonder where he would go from there.This is not a matter of politics. This is amatter which requires serious nationalthinking.
Hon Member, I have ruledhim out, so, please, do not go back to thatissue.
Mr Speaker, what weneed and is critical for all of us is that, weshould ensure that, technical educationis technical education and not certificate.I do not see the answer in the Bill, and Ipray that it should be rejected. I thank you.
Hon Members, I wouldtake one each; absolutely one each. Hon Deputy Minority Leader, if youwould speak, let me know, then I wouldcall the Hon Minister to wind up. Mr Awuah -- rose --
Hon Member, the time Icalled you, the Ranking Member was notin. The Hon Ranking Member has since come. He has spoken. I have given him allthe chance, and he has spoken. I havecalled the Hon Member for Takoradi. Icalled the Hon Member for Bekwai. Theexperts have spoken on this subject. I would give you two minutes to makeyour points.
Mr Speaker, I was waitingfor you to give Leadership the opportunityto make their contribution.
I would allow the HonMinority Leader to wind up for theMinority side. So, I would give you twominutes.
Thank you, Mr Speaker,for giving me the opportunity tocontribute to the Motion ably moved bythe Hon Minister for Education, that theTechnical Universities Bill, 2016 be read aSecond time. Mr Speaker, I wholly support theMotion that we are debating, but that isnot to say that, I do not have issues aboutthe Motion. The title, as I rightly said, isTechnical Universities Bill, 2016. But MrSpeaker, if I may refer to page 2, paragraph3.0, of the Committee's Report, the objectof the Bill, it reads: “The Bill seeks to establish TechnicalUniversities by converting existingpolytechnics to Technical Universitiesto provide higher education withemphasis on science and technologyoriented disciplines, technical andvocational education and training,as well as applied arts and relateddisciplines.” Mr Speaker, the title is TechnicalUniversities Bill, but the object is about conversion. So, my problem is, if we aredone with the conversion and tomorrowGovernment comes out with an idea ofestablishing a new fully-fledged technicaluniversity, are we going to come up witha new Bill to cater for that or this Bill wouldcater for that? This is because, the object as per theCommittee's Report is the conversion ofexisting polytechnics into technicaluniversities. I would want the HonMinister for Education, in her winding up,to address this issue. Mr Speaker, again, I am worried aboutthe issue of --
Hon Members, the LongTitle of the Bill addresses that concern.Have you read the long Title?
I would want to believe MrSpeaker is not participating in the Debate.[Laugher.] Mr Speaker, the other issue, which isof grave concern to me is the issue ofpolytechnics, which are going to beupgraded and those which are not goingto be upgraded. Mr Speaker, I agree that, the Ministryand the Committee came out with aconversion criterion that each polytechnicwould have to meet before it could beconverted into a technical university. Butquite worrying is the four polytechnicswhich did not qualify. I say so because, ifwe look at the four polytechnicsmentioned here, they are in the povertyendemic areas of this country. Mr Speaker, Bolgatanga Polytechnic,Cape Coast Polytechnic, TamalePolytechnic and Wa Polytechnic. In fact,per the Living Standard Survey released Mr Speaker, there is the GovernmentTechnical Training School, which alsofalls under that Ministry, where people aretrained to work on vehicles; body, partsand engines. It is there. It is practicallyempty because the equipment they needand the resources they need to trainpeople to work with their hands are notthere. Mr Speaker, now, are we going to startuniversities for people to go and learndressmaking at the universities? Whereis the basic training before people gothere? Is it in the junior high schools or inthe vocational schools? Mr Speaker, where are the investmentsin the vocational schools? There is one inmy constituency; Amoafo VocationalTraining Institute. I know there. It is underthe Ministry of Employment and LabourRelations. Let us go and see what is there.Those linkages are not there. If we are notcareful, we would end up in five to tenyears, come back and evaluate, and thesethings that we have observed today, wewould come back and speak to them as ifthey are new. In my opinion, what we need now isnot to convert them into universities, butinvesting in the existing ones to servethe purpose for which they were institutedand build on that. After all, polytechnicscould award degrees. Why do they haveto be called universities? Take anybody who has buildingtechnician certificate and give him a wallto build whether he could build it. This isthe kind of deficiency we must address.
Mr Speaker, I rise on apoint of order. I would want to find outfrom Hon Osei-Owusu whether he iscontradicting his flagbearer who says he
by the Ghana Statistical Service, these arepolytechnics which are located in povertyendemic areas and I was thinking that --
Not poverty endemicareas, poverty regions. This is becausethe report takes average. So use theregion.
Thank you for thecorrection, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, these are located inpoverty endemic regions. I want to believethat, it did not take one day for us to reachwhere we are. The whole thing started asa process. It was my view that, knowingvery well the good intention of convertingthese polytechnics into technicaluniversities, we could have assisted themto also have the ability to be able to qualifyto also be on stream. Today, we areconverting six. Who knows when the nextfour would come on board? Mr Speaker, added to that, especially,for those located in the three northernregions, we have said over and over againthat, there is a developmental gap betweenthe southern part of this country and thenorthern part. What are we doing tobridge or be able to bridge this gap? Iwould want to believe that, one of thesurest and one of the best ways to bridgethe gap of development is that ofeducation. If today we are leaving themout, when are they going to come onboard? Mr Speaker, this is a serious issue thatwe have to look at. Perhaps, we may notbe able to solve the problem now, but Iwant to urge the Ministry that, whateverit takes for us to be able to bring them onboard in the nearest possible future, wemay have to do it. Otherwise, yes we,may have converted the polytechnics into universities but it would serve the interestof only a few who are in the southern tapeof this country. Mr Speaker, I also want to re-echo thepoint which was earlier made by the issueof feeder institutions that would feedthese universities. Fortunately for me, Iwas brought up in a home where my fatherwas a technical school teacher. He wasthe Vice Principal of Sunyani TechnicalInstitute, which was later converted intoSunyani Polytechnic. In my experience, what happens is that,if two children should complete juniorhigh school in the same year and onedecides to go to senior high school andthe other one decides to go to a vocationalschool or a purely technical institute, theone that goes to senior secondary schoolwould eventually end up in the universityearlier than the other one who went to avocational school. This is because, with the vocationalschool, they would have to do sometechnical courses. Some of them do noteven offer English and Mathematics aspriority courses. So eventually, if theywant to enter universities, they are askedto write the West African Senior SchoolCertificate Exams (WASSCE), which seniorhigh schools do --
Hon Member, conclude.
Mr Speaker, my issue isthat, in correcting the top, what are wedoing at the bottom to make sure that thetop always gets the necessary studentsthat would feed it. We would have toconsider it. Otherwise, we would have theuniversities all right, but people who maynot have technical skills would be thepeople who would eventually be filling thevacancies over there. Mr Speaker, with this contribtion, as Isaid, I support the Motion on the floor. Thank you.
Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I thank youfor the opportunity to add my voice tothe debate on the floor relating to theestablishment of technical universities. Mr Speaker, I want to start from wherethe Hon Deputy Minority Whip ended inrespect of the issue he raised about howthe polytechnics are being, and indeedtechnical education, is being supportedat the basic level.
“The Government shall, within twoyears after Parliament first meetsafter the coming into force of thisConstitution, draw up a programmefor implementation within thefollowing ten years, for theprovision of free, compulsory anduniversal basic education.” Mr Speaker, so we have a time framefor the implementation of the FCUBE, thatis within twelve years after the cominginto force of this Constitution, this oughtto have been done. Now, the followingprovision, which is 38(3) takes it fromthere: “The State shall, subject to theavailability of resources, provide -- (a) equal and balanced access tosecondary and other appropriatepre-university education,equal access to university or equivalent education, withemphasis on science andtechnology; …”
“secondary education in itsdifferent forms, including technicaland vocational education, shall bemade generally available andaccessible to all by every appropriatemeans, and in particular, by theprogressive introduction of freeeducation;…” Mr Speaker, today we talk about theprogressive freeness of secondaryeducation. Unfortunately, we are leavingout technical and vocational education.To me, we are making vocational andtechnical education poor cousins ofgrammar schools, that is secondaryeducation. Mr Speaker, I think it is something thatshould engage the attention of theMinistry that is strengthening the base.This is because, it is very weak at the levelof vocational and technical education. Iftoday, we are going to elevatepolytechnics to offer degree courses intechnical education, how strong is thebase? We may ultimately have to lowerthe entry requirements. Mr Speaker, I saythis advisedly. I said, “You mayultimately”. One would agree with me that, whenwe started with the junior secondaryschool concept, because of the weaknessat the lower level, we had to lower thegrades and that is the point I am making,that, if we are not careful, because we haveabout abandoned that level, we mayultimately have to engage in that and itwill not work to the benefits of theproducts.
On a point oforder. Mr Speaker, under normalcircumstances, I would never rise on apoint of order against my Leader, but allhis examples are Nigeria, and I would liketo know whether he is a returnee --[Laughter]-- whether he ever taught inNigeria.
Mr Speaker,I have never seriously worked in Nigeria-- [Laughter.] Now it is as though we want to place thecart before the horse. I am not encouragedby that process at all, and I think it is avery distressing thing that we want toinflict upon ourselves. Let us attend to this, because as I saidearlier, even though I agree that the JuniorSecondary School (JSS) concept innatelyis better than the standard seveneducation, the former primary middleschool education- the base level was notset right. When at the time of itsimplementation we had a migration ofteachers from Ghana to Nigeria. Wedecided to just implement it withouthaving space to adequately train teachingstaff. So we have a lot of pupil teachers whohad to re-orientate themselves to beteaching in the new format that we hademployed. Which explained why in thefirst five years, the products that werechurned out by the system were certainlynot the best, attributable not to theconcept, but to the base. Mr Speaker, it is the same thing that isabout to repeat itself, and that is why Ishudder to think of what the products mayturn out to be with the initial steps thatwe may want to take, if we do notstrengthen the foundation before weproceed further. Mr Speaker, technical educationbasically is pivoted around mathematicsand physics, apart from the equipment.How are we strengthening the quality oflecturers there first? If we go there, thereis that weakness of the lecturers in thesefields, so we have to properly equip andresource the teaching staff before we dothis.
Hon Members, at theconclusion of the debate, I would put theQuestion. Question put and Motion agreed to. The Technical Universities Bill, 2016was accordingly read a Second time.
Hon Members, I mustadd at this point that, a number ofimportant points have been raised on thefloor of the House and indeed, this hasbeen one of our best debates in recenttimes, and I believe that, those points thathave been raised from both sides of theHouse, the Ministry and the Committeewould take note of them, so that at theConsiderations Stage, we can try to Mr Speaker, in those days, I washopping from Zimbabwe to Nigeria toprocure spare parts, bring them to Ghanaand so on, and Mr Speaker, indeed, in theconstruction of the harbour at Warri wherewe source our petroleum from, I was part ofthe group that went to do consultancy forthem. The construction -- [Interruption]-- as a consultant? Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is askingwhether I went there as a kayayo[Laughter.] -- Mr Speaker, at the timethat I was a consultant, he was using clothfor “collar” and playing “tumatu” atAboabo, and I do not want to believe thathe was carrying a box strapped on hisshoulder calling out “shoe shine, shoeshine” -- [Laughter] -- I would not wantto believe that, but I was a consultant atthe time. So, Mr Speaker, I would like to praythe Hon Minister that we should get ourbearings right before we step out in thisotherwise noble endeavour. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Hon Minister forEducation?
Mr Speaker,I would like to begin by thanking theaugust House for their fine contributionsto -- [Interruption.]
Hon Members, Order!
Mr Speaker,with your permission, I will begin again. Mr Speaker, I would like to thank thisaugust House for their fine contributionsto the Motion. We have noted their views,and we shall take them into consideration.
“Head of RegionalEconomic Planning”, so we needed tochange that. We also do not have“Regional Development Plans” we ratherhave: “Regional Integrated Plan” for theregions. So, these are the few amendments thatI would want to make, to be able to sanitisethe Bill. [Pause] --
Hon Members, anySeconder? Dr A. A. Osei --rose --
Yes, Hon Member for OldTafo?
Mr Speaker, I beg tosecond the Motion.
Hon Members, I will putthe Question, then after that, the FirstDeputy Speaker will take the Chair. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved accordingly.
MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
BILLS -- SECONDCONSIDERATION STAGE
HonChairman of the Committee? fashion out a Bill, that can withstand thetest of time. Hon Members, thank you very much. Mr First Deputy Speaker to take theChair.
Mr Speaker, we would take item numbered5 on the Order Paper -- Motion.[Interruption.] [Some Hon Members from the Majorityside of the House rose up to leave theChamber] --
Hon Members, what ishappening? Hon Majority Chief Whip, what ishappening in the Chamber from your sideof the House?
Mr Speaker, a numberof our Hon Colleagues rose up to visit thewashroom. [Uproar.]
Hon Members, for now,let us accept the explanation of the HonMajority Chief Whip. We are waiting forthem to return from the washroom.[Laughter.] Hon Members, item numbered 5 on theOrder Paper, Motion -- Land Use andSpatial Planning Bill, 2016 -- ThirdReading. [Interruption.] Hon Members, the Motion is by theHon Minister for Environment, Science,Technology and Innovation.
Mr Speaker, I comeunder Standing Order 131, to enable memove this Bill to the Second ConsiderationStage, in respect of clauses 26, 27, 47 and51.
Mr Speaker, theamendments for the Second ConsiderationStage are in my name not in the name ofthe Chairman.
Very well, Hon Majority Chief Whip, can you thendeal with your amendment with regard toclause 26? Clause 26 -- Membership of RegionalSpatial Planning Committee
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 26, subclause (1), paragraph(c), delete and insert the following: “the Head of the Regional PlanningCoordinating Unit.” Mr Speaker, in clause 26, the itemisedoffices, we do not have anything called“Head of Regional Economic PlanningUnit”. The proper rendition is “RegionalPlanning Coordinating Unit”. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 26 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 27 -- Functions of the RegionalSpatial Planning Committee
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 27, paragraph (a), lines 3 and4, delete “Regional Development Plan”and insert “Regional Integrated Plan” anddo same whenever the expression appearsin the Bill unless the context otherwiserequire. Mr Speaker, the reason is that, at theregional level, we do not have RegionalDevelopment Plan. What we have is thatthe districts have their districtdevelopment plans. After it has beenapproved by the National DevelopmentPlanning Commission (NDPC), they return it to the district and then submit it to theirvarious regions. So they put themtogether into integrated plan but notRegional Development Plan. That is theessence of the amendment.
Mr Speaker, I have noobjection to the intention behind theamendment. I am looking at the advertisedamendment and line 4 reads: “whereverthe expression appear”. I do not know if that is what should bethere. Is that the amendment he isproposing? Is it “wherever the expressionappears”? I just want to make sure thatthe Hansard captures it well. Maybe, theClerks-at-the-Table made a mistake.
Mr Speaker, I agree.It is “wherever the expression appears”.Mr Speaker, my expectation is that it isyou who would give this directionbecause the amendment is “RegionalIntegrated Plan” and you will give thatdirective that wherever it appears --
Mr Speaker,the Hon Member had a discussion withme on this. I agree with the proposal. WhatI was not too sure of is whether at thelevel of the district, we have the DistrictDevelopment Plan. In my view because we are consoli-dating or integrating the variousdevelopment plans from the districts, itrather should be referred to as the“Regional Integrated Development Plan”but he said to me that he feels that theterminology that we used in the NDPC Actis “Regional Integrated Plan”. If that is accurate, then of course, itshould remain. Otherwise, for reasons ofconsistency and capturing the sense, itrather ought to read “Regional IntegratedDevelopment Plan” but we should consultwhat we did in the Act. If that is so, thenof course, his suggestion may hold.
Rightly so, MrSpeaker, I am certain that, that is how it isin Act 480. Mr Speaker, you could givethe directive that, it should take therendition in the Act because I am verycertain that, that is the rendition in Act480.
HonMembers, as it is, I will put the Questionbut we will leave out that portion whichtalks about “wherever the expressionappears in the Bill unless the contextotherwise requires”. I say this because, I will give thedirective after the proposed amendmenthas been upheld. Then I will give adirective that “wherever the expressionappears in the Bill, unless the contextotherwise requires” should apply.Otherwise then you would have to lift thatinto the particular clause you areamending. Question put and amendment agreedto.
I direct that“wherever the expression appears in theBill unless the context otherwise requires”should apply. Clause 27 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 47 -- Preparation of Nationalor Sub-National Spatial DevelopmentFramework
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 47, subclause (5), line 2,delete all the words after “may” and insertthe following: “Where the President creates aspecial development zone pursuantto section 14 (1) of Act 480, theAuthority shall prepare a spatial development framework for thatzone.” Mr Speaker, in Act 480 and even in theConstitution, steps have been providedas to how a President creates an area intoa special zone. So, to be consistent, wefound it necessary to use the way it iscouched in the Constitution and thattranslated in Act 480 in creating thosespecial zones. That is why we wanted toamend it to be in line so that it would notbe different from what is there in theConstitution and Act 480.
Mr Speaker,“the President may create a specialdevelopment zone pursuant to section 14(1) of Act 480”. It seem that that alsoderives its source from the Constitutionin the Directive Principles of State Policy.So, I was trying to fish it out from wherewe have that provision which relates tothe equitable development in all theregions and indeed, all the districts of thiscountry. I believe that is where it derives itssource from. So, I tried to look at itwhether we cannot even add that to this.Unfortunately, I have not chanced uponit yet. If maybe it is appropriate, giventhis context, we could marry it to thisprovision -- the constitutionalimperative.
HonMajority Chief Whip, how do you respondto that?
Mr Speaker, my beliefis that, when we were doing Act 480, itwas couched in line with the Constitution.So, I want to believe that, if we are doingit, it would still be in line with theConstitution, instead of quoting the exactprovision within the Constitution. This isbecause it has been stated in Act 480, thatis why we want this one to be in the sameline so that they are not different. It would have been excellent if we couldimmediately identify the portion of theConstitution. But I want to believe it wouldbe a very lengthy one because it hasalready been stated in Act 480. I believewith this reference, we are indirectlygetting the rendition in the Constitution,even though we might not be able to layour hands straight on the Constitution.
Very well. Hon Members, I would then put theQuestion. Question put and amendment agreedto. Clause 47 as amended ordered to standpart of the Bill. Clause 51 -- Preparation of RegionalSpatial Development Framework
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 51, subclause (6), delete andinsert the following: “A Regional Spatial DevelopmentFramework,Sub-Regional SpatialDevelopment Framework, and Joint orMulti-Regional Spatial DevelopmentFramework shall be submitted forconsideration and approval by theNational Development PlanningCommission through the Authority”. Mr Speaker, the reason for this is that,the District Development Plans areapproved by the National DevelopmentPlanning Commission (NDPC), in line withthe National Development Policy and theGrowth Agenda at the NationalDevelopment Planning Policy. When thatis done, they take it back to their regions,for them to integrate them into theRegional Integrated Plan. The difference is that, whereas thedevelopment plan talk generally about somany other things, the spatial planning istalk about land use. So, if we do not marrythe two and we allow this Authority to doit separately from the NDPC, especially,at the regional level, the tendency is thatif we are not careful, they would be atcross purposes. With several consultations with thetechnical people, we agreed that, if it isdone through NDPC, they would ensurethat it is consistent with the DistrictDevelopment Plan, and for that matter, theRegional Integrated Plan. That is why weare proposing this amendment. Question put and amendment agreedto.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, subclause (7), delete. Mr Speaker, the original proposers,knowing very well that, the SpatialDevelopment Plan needed to beconsistent with the NDPC, made a caveat,such that, if this regional group approvesit, then NDPC could object. So, now thatwe have cured it and have allowed theNDPC to approve it, there is no need for apossible objection by NDPC, becausenow, they have approved it. So, weneeded to delete this subclause.
Mr Speaker,the other matter was that, it also soughtto create a role for the RegionalCoordinating Committees, who have norole to play in this. Consequential to theamendment done in clause 51, subclause(7) has to fall, because it now ousts thejurisdiction of the Regional Co-ordinatingCouncil in this matter of planning.
Mr Speaker, exactlyso. My explanation left that leg which headded. It is for the same reason we wantedto delete this. Question put and amendment agreedto.
HonMembers, this brings us to the end of theSecond Consideration Stage with regardto the Land Use and Spatial Planning Bill,2016.
Mr Speaker, we cannow take Motion numbered 5 on the OrderPaaper.
Very well. Hon Members, Motion numbered 5 onthe Order Paper by the Minister forEnvironment, Science, Technology andInnovation.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, That notwithstanding the provisionsof Standing Order 131 (1) which requirethat no Motion shall be debated until atleast twenty-four hours have elapsedbetween the date on which notice of theMotion is given and the date on whichthe Motion is moved, the Motion for theThird Reading of the Land Use and SpatialPlanning Bill, 2016, may be moved today.
Mr Speaker,he has to state the reason.
Mr Speaker, the reasonsare very well known to the Hon MinorityLeader.
Mr Speaker,he cited that the reasons are very wellknown to me. What is urgent about thisbeing done less than 24 hours? Indeed,it was less than five minutes after thecompletion of the Consideration Stage,what is the urgency? They are not knownto me, but he says they are known to me. Mr Speaker, with respect, the reasonsare not known to me.
Mr Speaker, the ConsiderationStage was concluded a while ago, andthere was ample time for other HonMembers who had issues to arrest theThird Reading for a Second ConsiderationStage and that has happened. Mr Speaker, with getting the sense ofthe House, I do not believe that therewould be any issues raised that wouldrequire that we go through anotherConsideration Stage. Mr Speaker, I believe the issuesregarding this Bill have been exhausted,and besides, this House has so manybusinesses to conduct. So, it in theinterest of the House that we clearoutstanding matters and have space tomove on to other Bills. Mr Speaker, with these very goodreasons well known to the Hon MinorityLeader, I therefore plead that we allow theabridgement of time, for us to take thisBill through the Third Reading today. processes as stipulated by the StandingOrders. So,he having submitted theapplication for the abridgement of theprocesses, he ought to have appliedhimself to Standing Order 3 and give usthe reasons. Mr Speaker, I do not want to furtherlitigate it, knowing that he found himselfin a labyrinth, cul-de-sac. So, we wouldwant to liberate him and then continue.
Very well. Yes, any seconder?
Mr Speaker, I begto second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to
BILLS -- THIRD READING
Hon SecondDeputy Speaker, to take the Chair.
Mr Speaker, we wouldtake item number 12; National DisasterManagement Organisation Bill, 2015.
HonMembers, item number 12 on the OrderPaper; the National Disaster ManagementOrganisation Bill, 2015, at theConsideration Stage.
Mr Speaker,I was very much surprised that my HonColleague, who is also my learned friend,is asserting that he gets the sense of thisHouse; trying to usurp your powers. Mr Speaker, I thought that you havethe power to gauge the sense of theHouse and determine a matter in one wayor the other. He should not short circuit the processuntil you have the good sense of theHouse and direct us accordingly.
HonMembers, I believe that, if we go by thehard and fast rule, we might be referringto Standing Order 119 for example, whichgives the Committee the power, if itconsiders it urgent, to go through thiskind of process. I believe having gone through all thevarious stages and this SecondConsideration Stage, having comebecause there were some furtherconsultations, especially with the NDPCpeople, I believe we can relax the rulesand let it go.
Mr Speaker,I am not really fixated on being overlytechnical.I just wanted him to do the rightthing, and he cited me as knowing what isintended to be done by him, which wasnot known to me. Mr Speaker, we have passed the stageof the determination of the urgency of theBill, because we have gone through the
Mr Speaker, theissue was thoroughly interrogated and Iknow of no law that this provision wouldinfringe upon. Besides, it is a key policydecision, so we pray — Mr Speaker, all the objections that wereraised did not point out to any specificlegislation that this provision wouldinfringe upon. So, in the absence of a clearcut provision in any law that thisprovision would infringe upon, we believethat the provision should be allowed tostand.
MrSpeaker, I believe a lot of the concernsraised about this provision are related tothe quantum that was being sought to betaken from the Common Fund for thepurposes of the National DisasterManagement Organisation (NADMO), inview of the fact that, the resourcesavailable to the District Assemblies, fortheir work currently are inadequate. If fordisaster management alone, we areseeking to set aside three per cent just forthose purposes — Mr Speaker, the concerns raised on thefloor of the House the last time this matterwas debated was that, the sponsoringMinistry should have a conversation withthe Hon Minister for Local Governmentand Rural Development to resolve thisissue before they present it back to theHouse. This is because, we are all of theopinion that, the Ministry of LocalGovernment and Rural Development andthe District Assemblies would have a lotto say about the manner in which this Bill Mr Speaker, what this Bill seeks to dois to get them to allocate resources toperform a function that they are alreadycharged with. It is nothing new. At that level, the District DisasterManagement Committee is chaired by theDistrict Chief Executive (DCE) and chairedby the Regional Minister at the regionallevel. And to say we are allocating moniesfor the District Assemblies to perform theirown functions, and that that allocation istoo much Mr Speaker, with the greatestrespect, is not made out?
Very well. Can we hear from the Hon Member forAbuakwa South?
Mr Speaker, we havenot given any mathematical basis for thisquantum and that is very sad in deed. Itis not any kind of voodoo calculation. Weshould know by now that if we shoulddeduct three per cent or what is due theAssembly for this purpose, how is thatgoing to impinge on development in theAssembly? How is it going to affect theoverall finances of the Assembly? Mr Speaker, until we run the numbers,we cannot accept such a situation. Theyshould run the numbers and say, in tryingto take three per cent, this is theopportunity cost to development. And bythat persuasion, we would be very clearin our minds that, this is a very laudablething that we should do. Mr Speaker, until we do that, there isno scientific basis as to why we shouldcream-off as much as three per cent.Already, as my Hon Colleague said, theAssemblies are cash-trapped. There is nodispute about it. We who are on the ground would beartestimony to the fact that, even moniesintended for the running of theAssemblies do not come as we expect, thenfor the sake of one institution, we try totake so much.
BILLS -- CONSIDERATIONSTAGE
HonMembers, I believe we have to deal withclause 38. Hon Chairman of the Committee, am Iright?
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove,clause 38, paragraph (c), line 2, after“Assembly” add “subject to the formulaapproved by Parliament in accordancewith article 252 of the Constitution.”
“ three per cent of the share of theDistrict Assemblies Common Fundfor each District Assembly subjectto the formula approved byParliament in accordance with article252 of the Constitution”.
HonMember, I remember that there was thisissue raised as to whether we had themandate to direct -- Hon Minority Leader, the point wasraised as to whether we have the powerto direct that this percentage of the amountof money be carved out for the Fund beingcreated. I thought the Committee would havethe opportunity to look at it, and convinceus as to whether we are on the right trackor not. seeks to take the monies, inadequate as itis, which they use for their purposes,nearly for one purpose. So, if some ofthe moneys reserved from the Fund needto come from the District Assemblies atall, then the quantum need to be lookedat. This is because, three per cent is a biton the high side.
Mr Speaker, once again,this is an issue that has been thoroughlyinterrogated. Mr Speaker, this Bill is the product ofParliament. The Hon Minister for LocalGovernment and Rural Development is amember of Cabinet. Cabinet approved ofthis Bill before we laid it. Mr Speaker, with the greatest respect,I believe it is out of place for us to come tothe House, only for Hon Members todirect that, we should go back and consultwith the Minister for Local Governmentand Rural Development. We have donethe consultations, the Bill was beforeCabinet, and Cabinet approved of it beforewe came here. Mr Speaker, they are talking aboutthree per cent, and that the quantum istoo much — that it would be problematicif three per cent is allocated for disastermanagement. Mr Speaker, with the greatest respect,that is precisely why this Bill comes inhandy. The existing law made provisionfor disaster management at thedecentralised level, where the DistrictAssemblies were supposed to play acritical role. But because we did not havea provision in the existing law whichrequired the District Assemblies to allocatefunds for disaster management, they alllooked up to the national office of theDisaster Management Organisation tomanage disasters whenever theyoccurred.
MrSpeaker, we are behaving as if theDistrict Assembly Common Fund was setup with no purpose. The DistrictAssemblies Common Fund, backed bylaw, was set up to seize 7.5 per cent ofnational revenues for the developmentof District Assemblies in the ruralcommunities — [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, as I speak, there is anattempt from the other side of this House,to bring here a Bill that would enable theDistrict Assemblies to borrow tosupplement their development effortsfrom the financial market.
HonMember, you know the rule aboutanticipation.
Mr Speaker, it isnot only anticipation. I have attended aworkshop, a Bill has been referred to acommittee in this House that discussedthat — including the Finance Minister.
It is stillanticipation.
Mr Speaker, fine.I take your word; whether it is anticipationor whatever it is like, it is an intention —
HonMember, if you say, “whether it isanticipation or whatever it is like”, thenyou are not taking my word. Mr Speaker, we do not disagree withwhat they intend to do, but they have notfurnished us with mathematical or anyscientific basis to accept such a quantum— three per cent of what is due them, andhow it would affect the development ofthe assembly is very important for ourconsumption.
MR SECOND DEPUTY SPEAKER
MrSpeaker, I obviously would agree that, thisissue of taking three per cent out of theDistrict Assemblies Common Fund fordisaster management is very crucial andimportant. Mr Speaker, it has been indicated that,there is the need to look at themathematical aspect of it, how much thequantum would be and all that. I do notthink that, if any issue of disaster occursin a particular district, the district wouldjust sit down and look on unconcerned,with the expectation that, moneys aregoing to come from the national kitty todeal with that situation. Mr Speaker, I believe that, that hasbeen the situation over the years, and thereason for which often times, whendisasters happen in our variousAssemblies or districts, we turn to haveserious challenges in dealing with suchdisasters. Mr Speaker, I strongly believe that, if itis a matter of development, dealing withdisaster management also finds space inthe development that we are talkingabout. This is because, if we say that, themonies that are sent to the Assembliesare so meagre, and if setting aside threeper cent of that amount is going to hamperdevelopment, then I beg to differ. Mr Speaker, if anything happens in theassembly, for instance in the KetaMunicipal Assembly, where houses havebeen blown off by a storm and all — If
Mr Speaker,I believe the Order relating to anticipationis tied to a specific time schedule. If a Billis in the works and it is not going to comehere, maybe in the foreseeable future,maybe one year or six months ahead— Then the issue could still be debatedon the floor. The anticipation is tied to aspecific time that one cannot anticipatebeyond a specified time. [Interruption.]
But wehave been told that, he has been to aworkshop so the Bill is on its way. Anyway, Hon Member for DormaaCentral, continue.
Mr Speaker, I canclearly indicate that, the monies that goto the District Assemblies are just notadequate for development, and my HonColleagues know this. When we go to ourconstituencies as Members of Parliament,we know the type of things communitiesare looking for which could have beendone with District Assemblies CommonFund, if these were adequate. Mr Speaker, the truth of this matter isthat, national revenues have beenearmarked to pay interest andamortisation on the several loans that wehave accumulated as a nation, so, thereis no other money from the centralGovernment's allocation to NADMO.Therefore, they look elsewhere to pickmonies that they should not havetouched to do anything at all. Mr Speaker, we represent people in thiscountry, and it would be sad for anybodyto begin to think that we are takingGhanaians for fools. Why do we want togo this way? [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, I would want to urge andencourage my Hon Colleagues, and tellthem that, this money is ‘a no-go area', sothey should not try to touch this moneyfor anything at all.
HonMember, you can say the same thing yousaid in another way.
Mr Speaker, Iwould like to withdraw that word. It isunfortunate I said that. I also apologisefor it. [Interruption] Mr Speaker, I wouldnot even go there. My sentiments havebeen understood and I think I would wantto end that area that way. [Interruption.]
I have withdrawnbut I have not finished with mycontribution. Mr Speaker, I tried to establish thepoint that, the seven and a half per centfor District Assemblies' Common Fundallocation was set up for a purpose, and itis backed by law. There is an indicationthat, the monies there are not evenadequate. Mr Speaker, again, three per cent ofseven and half per cent of nationalrevenues -- what would NADMO usethat money for? That was why my HonColleague tries to ask, what is thequantum of the amount that we are tryingto seed for NADMO. It is as if all we aredoing in this country for development isfighting disasters. I am really sad. Andwho sat somewhere to think that, threeper cent should go to NADMO? Whywould we not allocate some aspect?
Mr Speaker, the HonMember is misleading the House.Nowhere in the Bill is it said that, threeper cent of seven per cent of nationalrevenue will go into disaster management;that position is misleading.
Mr Speaker, myHon Colleague, the Deputy Minister -- Ihave also been a Deputy Minister before-- he is underestimating my thinking inmathematics, so I would want him to beaware that, some of us did complexnumbers, partial differentiation andserious calculus.
HonMember, what did you say some of youdid? [Laughter.]
And you did lawonly -- I am quoting. [Laughter]. So,when I am doing my calculation and hewants to challenge me --
HonMember, you said that some of you didwhat, while others did what?
Mr Speaker, hedid only law.
No, whatdid you do?
Mr Speaker, I would wantto draw the Hon Member's attention tothe fact that, law is very global in itsnature. In fact, I did legal accounting andI am aware that, he is an accountant.[Laughter] Mr Speaker, in addition to that,I did statistics and so, I am mathematicallyinclined -- I did not just read law. Law isvery global in its nature.
Mr Speaker, last week Iasked them that as policy makers theyshould tell us what they really want, andit is that same point the Hon Member forDormaa Central is making. Is it the threeper cent of seven and a half per cent, or itis three per cent of what goes to eachdistrict? [Interruption] This is because,ifGH¢300,000 goes to Nanumba NorthDistrict, and you are taking three per cent,it is totally different from the three per centof the global figure that comes here. I asked them and they have not toldus, so they should tell us what they arelooking for, because that is the cause ofall this. They should tell us what they arelooking for.
So youare asking if it is three per cent of 100 percent or three per cent of seven per cent?Is that your question?
Yes, Mr Speaker.[Interruption.]
Can youadvise us on what it is so that all HonMembers could be at the meeting of mindsto be.
Mr Speaker, the positionis that, we are seeking to take three percent of what goes to the DistrictAssemblies. So, in percentage terms,three per cent of 100 per cent of the moneysthat are paid to the District Assemblies,and not three per cent of seven per centof national revenue. The Bill is very clear,Mr Speaker.
If you aretaking three per cent of seven per cent,then it would mean that, what is left forthe District Assembly Common Fund isonly four per cent. That is the question Ialso asked.
Mr Speaker, Iwould want to take the House out of thismathematics and speak principles andsome logic.
Mr Speaker,‘principles and some logic'. Mr Speaker, what they are trying to do,as I have said, is not a good thing that weshould encourage at all.
HonMember, the mathematics is importantThere must be clarity in everybody's mindsince people have asked questions. Thisis because, if it is three per cent of sevenper cent -- and I heard the Hon MinorityLeader say that it is not the same and Iagree with him. If it is three per cent ofseven per cent, it is a completely differentball game from three per cent of 100 percent. I would want to understand what itmeans. If it is three per cent of seven percent, what it means is that, the seven percent that is supposed to go to the CommonFund would be left with four per cent. Iagree that I am not mathematically inclined,as I am only a lawyer.
Mr Speaker, themathematics is such that, if you take threeper cent of what goes into every districtassembly, and you aggregate, it becomessome big portion of the DistrictAssemblies Common Fund. Mr Speaker, there was a problem in thisHouse when the Finance Minister camehere and tried to --
Hon Member for DormaaCentral, seven per cent of the national cakeis taken and given to the DistrictAssemblies. That allocation that goes tothe District Assemblies, three per cent of that allocation is what we want. So, it isnot a question of three per cent of sevenand a half per cent. It is three per cent ofthe allocation, which is seven and a halfper cent that is spread, then the three percent of a 100 per cent.
Yes, HonOsei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu?
Mr Speaker,what is here is three per cent of the entireallocation to the District Assemblies.[Interruption.] -- I mean, if we aggregate. Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister for Youthand Sports may want to listen to me. Threeper cent of the allocation to each district.Is that all right? Now, if we aggregate, it isthree per cent of the entire allocation toall the districts. [Interruption.] It is the same. Mr Speaker, it shouldnot be read as three percent of seven anda half per cent. That one would reallytranslate to about 45 per cent or so, of theallocation. That is not it. However, Ibelieve the gravamen of what they aresaying is that, even the three per cent ofthe total is huge. Now, what is the amount? For instance,how much does it translate to in this year'sbudget in the total allocation? The amountthat we have dealt with in theAppropriation's Act for this year's budgetwas about GH¢50 billion. Seven and halfper cent is going to the DistrictAssemblies, and out of it, we have threeper cent. How much does it translate to? That is why we say that, maybe, theHon Minister would have helped us if hehad run the numbers to tell us that, out ofthe allocation for this year, three per centis so much, and that is what we are lookingat.
All right,Hon Majority Leader. Hon Member, youhave not finished -- [Interruption.] All right, Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, just on a moreserious issue for our consideration, andthe Hon First Deputy Speaker raised thatissue before he rose from the Chair. Can we as a House, legislate to take apercentage of the District AssembliesCommon Fund (DACF) for anotherpurpose outside the power given to us inthe Constitution? Mr Speaker, the Constitution is veryclear. Article 252 (1) establishes the DACF;article 252(2) states the purpose. Thepower given to the House is in article252(3) and that power with yourpermission, I read: “The moneys accruing to theDistrict Assemblies in the CommonFund shall be distributed among allthe District Assemblies on the basisof a formula approved by Parlia-ment.” That is where we come in. We approvea formula. Now, if the intention is for us to allocateportions of the monies that are sent to thedistrict assemblies to NADMO, then, weshould talk about including that in theformula that we approve, and notlegislating directly by taking the three percent. Mr Speaker, the three per cent wouldwork to quite a colossal amount. That is afact, and NADMO is not part of thedecentralised departments. It is now --
Hon Speaker, we wouldaccept the intervention by the HonMajority Leader, then we would come backbut we would want to continue with theConsideration Stage.
HonMembers, having regard to the state ofaffairs in the House, I direct that the HouseSits outside the prescribed period inaccordance with Standing Order 40 (3). I must say that I got a little carried awayby the argument, so, I missed it. It is aminute past two. Having regard to what the HonMajority Leader has said, and theferocious threat by the Hon MinorityLeader, it clearly indicates that we shouldstand it down. I think we should standthe Bill down and do something else. I amsure we have something else to do, afterthat we discuss it. It is not a very big deal. If we agree onthese matters, once we come here, wewould take it one afternoon. Let us stand it down, consult HonLeadership, and with the very good advicethey give, we take will it from there. Otherwise, we would open a floodgateand every Ministry would say that theywant a particular percentage. Before theAdministrator of the District AssembliesCommon Fund knows what is happening,he would have a zero per cent. So the National Disaster ManagementOrganisation Bill, 2015, is stood down.That brings us to the end of theConsideration Stage of that Bill for today.[Pause.] In any event, Mr Speaker, I would wantto believe that the passage of this Billcannot affect the allocation to the DistrictAssemblies this year. [Interruption] Itcannot, because the appropriations havebeen done already, which did not factorthis one into it. So, nobody should attempt-- If people have their eyes on preyingfrom that, they cannot. [Uproar.] I tell them, if people have their eyes onand they would want to prey on that, it isa no-go area. Mr Speaker, Hon Woyomeis signalling and agitated in his chair. Theycannot go there. But Mr Speaker, I guess we should getit right that, it is not about 45 per cent ofthe entire allocation. It is three per cent ofthe total allocation which is less than fiveper cent. But however that one is, it is stillsignificant an amount. How much does ittranslate to? Mr Speaker, this is because there areother competing demands. For instance,out of that total, we are required to makesome allocation to the disabled personsin the districts. They are never done, andI would want to believe that if we had theMinister for Finance here, he would resist.This is because, no Minister for Financewants any ring-fencing of any amount forany purpose. That is another matter, but Mr Speaker,I think we should get it right. If the HonMinister has any idea about what theanticipation is, even for next year, heshould tell us that, all right, it may translateinto and yield so much, and into the 216districts, that is if the allocation is sameacross board. But of course, we do knowthat, it is not across board. Some havehigher amounts than others. On theaverage, it may translate into so much. [Interruption] -- by the Constitution?No! I am not talking about decentralisedoffices. I am talking about whether it isone of the decentralised departmentsunder the District Assemblies.[Interruption.] Not yet! So, Mr Speaker,if we are minded to take some amount fromit, then we should talk about doing that inthe formula, and not directly as it is beingproposed. I am told that, there is a proposedamendment to that. Mr Speaker, the second point I raisedis the quantum. If you look at thedepartments under the district assemblies,and some of them very critical, and thereare proposals to even decentralise thehealth and education sectors, then we aretaking three per cent of their fund to onlyNADMO, I think, it has to bereconsidered. That is why it was stooddown for consultations to be done. Mr Speaker, the Hon Deputy Ministerfor the Interior said the issue has beeninterrogated. That is all. He has notdemonstrated how it has beeninterrogated. [Interruption.] No, Cabinetis advisory. It is not like the British Cabinetwhich has collective responsibility. Whatwe deal with here is executive presidency.The executive authority is in thePresident. That is why we would alwayshave most of them coming with executiveapproval. I sit in Cabinet and we are consulted,but the decision is taken by the executivePresident. [Interruption] As what? Thankyou, Sir. [Laughter.] Mr Speaker, again, I would want to urgethat this clause be stood down forreconsideration.
Mr Speaker, I cannotsee any arrangement that is so elastic andcould be subject to abuse more than thisParliament giving a blanket exemption fromthe payment of taxes. It is imperative that, if one wants a taxwaiver, it should be situation specific. Itshould be that this is a situation in which,given all the circumstances, the taxesshould be waived. Mr Speaker, immediately we open thedoor for a blanket exemption, all mannerof packaging would go through NADMO,and it would be at our blindsides. Parliament should not do that kind ofjob; it is too dangerous for us to do that.Mr Speaker, we would be shocked thatsomebody can even bring a Rolls Roycevia NADMO if we permit it. We shouldnot permit it.
Mr Speaker, I would liketo admit that, in the course of ourdeliberations, I was against it. Mr Speaker, but now they have beenable to convince me.
The HonChairman of the Committee wants clause44 to be deleted. I would want to put the Question.[Interruptions] - Why? It is because ofthe reason other Hon Members haveexpressed. He says he held the same viewand he has managed to convince otherHon Members that they should go alongwith it. Hon Woyome, were you on your feet?I saw you attempting to stand.
MrSpeaker, I would actually suggest that --Should it not be that the Hon Chairman isin agreement with the submission that theclause be deleted instead of the HonChairman, wanting that to be deleted? I discussed that with him. [Interruptions]-- I actually discussed with the HonChairman.
Did younot seek to catch my eye?
Mr Speaker, not really; Iconferred with the Hon Chairman to findout whether he was in agreement with thesuggestion.
I am sorrythen.
Mr Speaker, I wouldnot advocate that it should be entirelydeleted. Mr Speaker, I would go with the logicin the arguments raised by my good HonFriend for Abuakwa South. I think that, clearly, NADMO is in avery captive situation in which therewould be the need for some donations asmentioned by the Hon Deputy Minister.
HonMember, so what would you recommend?
Mr Speaker, I wouldrecommend that, it should be amended toindicate that there should be exemptionson taxes and duties when donations of acertain nature are made to NADMO.
HonMember, what is the nature of it?
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 44, after “levies”insert “ondonations”. There should be exemptions ondonations made to NADMO.
What theHon Atta Akyea is saying --
Mr Speaker, I agreewith Hon Atta Akyea.
HonMember, but your rendition opens thefloodgates for what he cautioned against. All right, let me put the Question onyour proposed amendment. Question put and amendmentnegatived. Mr Agbesi -- rose --
HonAgbesi, there was a proposed amendmentthat clause 44 should be deleted. That waswhat I wanted to put the Question on. Then the Hon Richard Quashigahproposed another amendment. So, I hadto put the Question on this first. Now that we have his amendment outof the way, we can come back to thedeletion. Hon Majority Leader, there are otherclauses that they want to take. What isyour view? Should we take them? All right, then let us continue. Debateis on continue is to clause 44.
Mr Speaker, I beg tomove, clause 44, delete, in clause 44, theorganisation is exempt from the paymentof taxes. Mr Speaker, in reality, it was not anadvertised amendment, but it was openedto debate. An Hon Member rose and westarted debating on it.
“The Organisation is exempt in thepayment of taxes, duties and levies”.
Iremember this clause; I think I waspresiding. We stood it down because HonMembers were wondering whether it waspossible to exempt an organisation frompaying taxes, duties and levies. Hon Leaders, what are your views onclause 44? NADMO does not want to pay tax,duties or levies.
Mr Speaker, one needs tolook at the functions NADMO performs.It is important to state that, NADMO reliesheavily on donor support. Mr Speaker, I would just give anexample. A few weeks ago, the InternationalCivil Defence Organisation (ICDO), ofwhich Ghana is a member, donated
HonMember, we are sorry; we have finishedit. When I put the Question, HonQuashigah voted late. He did not realisethe speed with which -- The Hon Chairman is proposing thatclause 44 be deleted. Hon Chairman, am I correct?
Mr Speaker, yes.
HonMinority Leader, I see you are shakingyour head.
Mr Speaker,I am not too sure, but of course, moneysthat are appropriated to the Organisationby Parliament may be exempted frompayment of taxes and duties. I know that,if individual organisations are contractedto perform certain functions on behalf ofNational Disaster Management Organisation(NADMO), they would be required to paytaxes. In that case, where does it go? I just want to know the import ofdeleting this; if we delete it, what does itamount to? Are they then required to paytaxes? I am looking at what constitutesthe sources of money to the Fund. That ismy difficulty. Otherwise, there are someareas like grants donations, eveninvestments. Mr Speaker, if we commit some amountsto investments, would they say they donot want to pay taxes? I disagree with that.Taxes may have to be paid on those ones.
HonMinority Leader, that is why the processof exemption goes through the Ministryof Finance or through Parliament. Thereis a process that is put down by law. So,the usual processes will take care of thisquestion. Question put and amendmentnegatived. Clause 44 is accordingly deleted.
Clause49? We have not finished clause 45, Ishould continue with clauses 45 and 46?We have not taken clause 45. Yes, clause 45? Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker,I am not too sure of what is meant by theprovision contained in clause 45 (1).
Clause 45(1). If I entrust a responsibility to a person,that person should be so charged. But nowwe are saying that: “The Chief Director of each Ministryor the Chief Executive of eachDepartment or Agency shall ensurethat the disaster management planis prepared…” Mr Speaker, who is responsible? Onewould be looking over his or hershoulders, perhaps thinking that the otherperson would be doing it. I think that weshould be zoning in on who takes ultimateresponsibility and not to say that;
You wantto suggest that the rules are relaxed oryou will come to the SecondConsideration Stage?
Mr Speaker,that is why I wanted some nominationfrom the Hon Deputy Minister. If indeed,it may not --
Let uscontinue from the clause 48.We are notgoing to finish this Bill today because wehave deferred clause 38. Let us continuefrom clause 48 while we confer with theHon Minister afterwards.When we arebringing back clause 38, we can relax therules and consider it. Hon Majority Leader, is it agreeable?
Mr Speaker, that isagreeable. This is because truly, there is aproblem with clause 45. They just usedthe terminology, Ministries, Departmentsand Agencies (MDAs). The Chief Directordeals with the Ministry's Disaster Plan.They are now using the term “ChiefExecutive of each Department”, but wehave heads of Departments and not ChiefExecutives. The Agencies, have differenttitles but we can use “head” for both. Mr Speaker, so, there is the need for--
Pruningwill have to be done. So, Hon Chairman,you will look at clauses 45 to 47 but wewill continue with clause 48. Clause 48 (1), Hon Chairman of theCommittee, I remember when there was aBill on Trade and they tried to bring inimmunity, it caused a little problem. Whatkind of immunity? Is it transitionalprovision or what? Mr Agalga-- rose -- “The Chief Director of each Ministryor the Chief Executive of eachDepartment or Agency shall ensurethat a disaster management plan isprepared…” Mr Speaker, I am not too sure of whatis intended by that provision.
I do notknow how else you want to put it. This isbecause the Minister shall ensure --When they say “shall ensure”, theultimate responsibility is yours unless --what jurisdiction would you havepreferred?
Mr Speaker,it just crossed my mind and I just chancedupon it. I have not really looked at the Billin its entirety, but we have eagle eyes andwe occasionally look at these things. TheHon Deputy Minister is here, if he couldbetter educate us on the need for it.Otherwise, I do not think it is tidy the wayit is in the Bill.
Mr Speaker, what theclause seeks to do is to ensure thatGovernment Agencies and Ministries andDepartments prepare and submit disastermanagement plans to the Secretariat --
HonMembers, the Votes and Proceedings ofFriday 15th July, 2016 showed that clauses45 to 47 had already been agreed to. TheVotes and Proceedings of Friday, 15th July,2016, showson page 17 that we havealready dealt with clauses 45 to 47.
Mr Speaker,respectfully, I did not know that becauseI was not here on Friday. If indeed, theHouse approved of it in this form, then Iwant to believe that there is somethingwrong with it.
Thank you, MrSpeaker. I also believe strongly that thisparticular clause would not serve theinterest of this nation at all. Like it wasmentioned, it would obviously lead tonegligence. So, in the process ofpreventing a disaster, if one creates abigger or deeper disaster and he says thathe or she is immune from causing anunnecessary harm to the society, I believethat would not sit well with us as a society. We know too well of instances wherepeople who had the privilege of doingthings, knowing too well that, their backswere covered by a certain law, actedrecklessly and needlessly. So, I wouldstrongly oppose this particular clause.
Mr Speaker, Iwould want to associate myself with myHon Colleagues but in so doing, I would
If that isthe case and it is a matter for any judge todecide then does it have to be in thestatute? If somebody is said to have beennegligent and the rules or law ofnegligence is clear, he goes to court andthe judge would consider whether he hasbeen negligent or not. Sometimes, policeofficers in the course of their duty shootsomebody -- There have been cases ofpolice Officers having been charged withmurder because somebody died undertheir watch. You would go to court and the ordinarycriminal law would be applied and if theperson is found guilty, he is guilty; if he isnot, then he goes home.
Mr Speaker, the point isthat there is no need to give immunity.When the act is committed and the law isapplied, then the judge before whom theperson is put would decide whether thereis a liability or otherwise. So, there is noneed to put this in the law.
That isas you used to do in your formerincarnation as a Judicial Officer. I would take Hon Gifty Kusi before Icome to the Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I wouldlike to ask the Hon Majority Leaderwhether if we are having an extendedSitting. I do not understand. This issuecame up last week and this week -- I donot understand. This is because nothinghas been arranged for extended Sitting. Iwould want to work anyway but -- If theywant us to work, we are prepared to workbut it looks as if they are not prepared forus to work. Mr Speaker, that is my concern. Lastweek, I stood here and said the samething.
Sorry,before you come in. Hon Member --
Mr Speaker, canthe Hon Minister explain why the officialsof NADMO want a blanket immunity fromany act committed or omitted in thedischarge of their duties? Even Actswhich would ordinarily attract somecriminal or other sanctions, I do notunderstand. There must be a rationale forit and we would be grateful if he couldexplain it to us so that we wouldunderstand why the provision is couchedthe way it is.
Mr Speaker, I thought thatthis provision is a standard provision inmany other similar legislations. Mr Speaker, NADMO is charged withdisaster prevention, disaster mitigationand climate change adaptation. Mr Speaker, in preventing disaster ormitigating it, if care is not taken and thisimmunity is not granted, what wouldhappen is that, when there is loss of life,somebody may say, the loss of life is as aresult of the omission of officers of theNADMO so they should be heldresponsible. That would be a diceysituation. Mr Speaker, it is important that, in thedischarge of their functions under this Act--We are not saying that if they act ultravires they should be granted immunity.We are saying that, when they act in thedischarge of a function under this Act,they should have the immunity. Actingunder this Act, would be threefold;disaster prevention, disaster mitigationand climate change adaptation.
Mr Speaker, thankyou for this opportunity. What about theissues of clear cut cases of negligence? Aman might be given a statutory function also want to draw our attention to theprovision of the word “omitted”. MrSpeaker, if one is acting under an Act, oneexpects that, everything would be in linewith the provisions of the Act and issuesof negligence and others may not come inif it is under the Act. Mr Speaker, I think the main problem isthat, if we say the person has acted orcommitted -- Then the omission does notcome in. So, if we remove the word“omission” since we are talking about actsunder the Act. Then I am sure it wouldHon Members. So, let us look at the word“omission”. why should there be anomission if they are still acting under theAct, This is because all their actionsshould be by the law.
Mr Speaker, I am temptedto agree with my Hon Colleague who justspoke. Mr Speaker, the words “for any actcommitted or omitted” -- We would needto read into these words, whether theomission or the commission was deliberateor it was done intentionally or negligently.We cannot just excuse it bluntly. Mr Speaker, the other day, I gave theexample of Police Officers who are senton duty; when they commit any act, thereis a service enquiry to find out whetherthey are liable. They are not just permittedto go. I think that, this clause 48 should notbe deleted. We need to take a second lookat it; whether we should just give immunityto officers or agents who, in the course ofperforming their duties, need to be heldliable or not. As my Hon Colleague said, itis a matter for any judge to see whetherthe act is punishable or not. I would not support this clause. appears to be a complete replica of thatprovision.
“No member of the ProvisionalDefence Council, ProvisionalNational Defence Council Secretary,or other appointees of theProvisional National DefenceCouncil shall be held liable eitherjointly or severally, for any act oromission …” I am happy the Hon Member, the HonDeputy Majority Leader emphasised onomission: “…or omission during theadministration of the ProvisionalNational Defence Council”. Mr Speaker, this is a complete replicaof that provision, Hon Deputy Ministerdo you want to delete it? Should I holdmy horses? Thank you very much.
Mr Speaker, in my opinion,it is about time we stood down thisprovision for reconsideration and calledit a day. This is because he is here talkingabout ouster clauses; there was ageneration of ouster clauses. We knowthe period, those who have studied law. Itis not just an initiative of that regime. It issomething that has been adopted,expanded and deepened. I am just saying that it is time for us totake the date and I beg to move, that thisHouse do adjourn till tomorrow at 10.00a.m.
Let usbring the Consideration Stage to an endfirst. Mr Bagbin; All right. I want to fast trackit.
All right,thank you. Hon Members, we would stand this Billdown till tomorrow. We have also stooddown clause 48. The Committee isreminded to do some winnowing. Pardon me, Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker,we also stood down clauses 45 to 47 forfurther consideration.
Mr Speaker, I think that wehad already informed the House that wewould be having Extended Sittings if itbecomes necessary; and today, it isnecessary for us to go beyond 2.00 p.m.So, it is an extended Sitting. [Pause.]
I thinkthat these are matters that would bediscussed outside. We could meet in thedivisional room and discuss it. Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu-- rose -- [Pause.]
I haverecognised you.
Mr Speaker,I also agree with the Hon Member forAbuakwa South that, we should have are-look at clause 48 (1) and possibly deleteit. Mr Speaker, clause 48 -- Theprofessionals in this country who arecharged to protect life for example, medicalofficers in the pursuit of their business, ifthey are negligent and their negligenceresults in the death or injury to personsthat they are supposed to attend to, theyare subject to prosecution. So, we cannot say that, if a disasterhas happened somewhere in the countryin any district, region or anywhere and inthe bids to resolve the matter, the officercommit an offence,we think that he shouldbe immuned. Mr Speaker, an albatross of a legislationor a law that continues to hang on theneck of this country finds expression inarticle 34 of the Transitional Provision. This
Yes,clauses 45 to 47 were agreed to. But wewould relax the rules so that we wouldreconsider them tomorrow. We wouldreconsider clause 48 as well; we stood itdown; and clause 38 would bereconsidered. Now, that brings us to the end of theConsideration Stage of the NationalDisaster Management Organisation Bill,2015 for today.