VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT
Hon Members, item numbered 2 on the Order Paper -- Correction of Votes and Proceedings and the Official Report. Hon Members, Correction of Votes and Proceedings dated Tuesday, 21st March, 2017. Yes, Hon Minority Chief Whip?
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, with the greatest of respect, may I take you to page 10 of the Votes and Proceedings? I have been struggling to catch your eye. Sorry, Mr Speaker. It was rather placed far away from it. That is why I did not see it, but it is on page 11. Thank you very much.
Thank you. Page 14, 15, 16…25 -- Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, I think there is a little correction on page 23. In attendance at the meeting of the Committee on Trade and Industry, Mr Robert Ahomka-Lindsay is captured as an Hon Member of Parliament, so, we need to correct that to Hon Deputy Minister- designate.
Page 24, 25 … 28. Hon Members, the Votes and Proceedings of 21st March, 2017 as corrected are hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.
Sorry, we have not finished with the Official Report. I am waiting if there could be some corrections. [Pause.] Hon Members, in the absence of any corrections, the Official Report of Thursday, 2nd March, 2017 is hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings. Item numbered 3 -- Questions
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources is in the House to answer the Question as filed by Hon Govers K. Agbodza.
There is a Question listed as item numbered 3 on the Order Paper, standing in the name of the Hon Member for Adaklu which seeks to ask the Hon Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, what steps the Ministry is taking to complete the Four Districts Water Project which is intended to benefit Adaklu District. I trust the Hon Minister is in the House.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS
MINISTRY OF SANITATION AND
Mr Speaker, I humbly wish to draw the attention of the House to a slight correction on the Question. The Question seeks to know the state of the project in four districts within the Adaklu area. However, the Water Supply Project under discussion is a Five-District Water Supply Scheme in four constituencies and not Four Districts Water Supply Projects as indicated in the Question. Mr Speaker, the water supply project is in three phases in the Volta Region. As I speak, Phases One and Two have been completed. The Phase One was started in 2011 and completed in 2013. While Phase Two began in 2013 and ended in 2014. Mr Speaker, under this Project, 1.1MGD water treatment plant has been completed at Mafi Adidome. Furthermore, an-85.37 kilometre transmission line had been completed. Additionally, eight high level water tanks of various sizes have been completed at Dadoboe, Kpedzeglo, Kutime, Kanikope, Manese Zongo, Mafi Kumasi, Avedo Bakpa and Bagalikope. Mr Speaker, the beneficiary districts are Adaklu Anyigbe, North Tongu, Central Tongu, Ho East and Ho West. It is estimated to serve a total population of about 150,000 inhabitants by the year 2030 in 397 communities when completed. Mr Speaker, Phase Three which involves the distribution networks was stalled as a result of lack of funds. The Ministry is much concerned about outstanding works as any further delay would deny our good people in the project area safe potable water. Mr Speaker, it is the intention of this Ministry to access funds from the Ghana Infrastructural Fund to complete the project. Another key step the Ministry would take is to have discussions with the Ministry of Finance to re-open negotiations with the original financiers of the project for the funding gap of 17 million euros. Mr Speaker, I wish to assure the House that work would begin on Phase Three as soon as funds are made available.
Thank you, Hon Minister. You may sit down in the meantime.
Mr Speaker, I would wish to make a few corrections in the Answer provided by the Hon Minister. As a matter of fact, we do not have Adaklu-Anyigbe District anymore; we have Agotime-Ziope and Adaklu. In the same way, Ho East does not exist as a
constituency anymore. We have Adaklu and Agotime-Ziope Constituencies. Mr Speaker, may I ask the Hon Minister what interim measures the Ministry intends to take to alleviate the suffering of the people, while we wait for the completion of the project.
Mr Speaker, in a situation like this, where it may take a very long time to get funds, the affected agency, which is the Community Water and Sanitation Agency, would drill some boreholes and install overhead tanks to supply water to the people until funds are acquired to undertake the project.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister said they were considering drilling boreholes and overhead tanks as interim measures. Is there any provision in the current Budget to carry out what the Hon Minister is proposing to undertake as an interim measure?
Mr Speaker, indeed, some funds have been allocated for the drilling of boreholes throughout the entire country. The priority districts would come from the affected agency, and I am sure this area is one of the areas that we have to consider.
Mr Speaker, I am satisfied with the Answer. Thank you.
Mr Speaker, I would want to find out from the Hon Minister whether the 17 million euros would suffice for the Third Phase or we need to vary the contract?
Mr Speaker, as we engage the Ministry of Finance on this project, we have to update the financiers that we are prepared and that would advise us on whether the funds are sufficient or not.
Mr Speaker, I would like to bring to the attention of the House that, my constituency is where the preliminary project was completed. But we also face the same distribution problem. As we speak, every week, I have to send some money for water tank services to be provided to some residents in my area. So, I humbly want to appeal to him that they should speed up work on the boreholes because my people are suffering and the measure I have put in place is not sustainable.
Hon Member, is that a Question or a Statement?
Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Hon Minister, how soon these things would be done, so that what I am doing would be mitigated a little.
Hon Minister, how soon, please?
Mr Speaker, as I speak, we are in discussions with the Ministry of Finance and they have not told us exactly when that could be concluded. But I am sure it would not take too long.
Hon Member, do you rise to ask a Question of the Hon Minister?
Yes, Mr Speaker.
You may continue.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. My constituency, Agotime-Ziope is part of the constituencies to benefit from the Phase Three project. As we speak, Kpetoe, the district capital, relies on the Tordzi River, which is controlled by the Community Water and Sanitation Agency and they cannot handle that project. This is because, Kpetoe has now overgrown the Community Water and Sanitation level. Mr Speaker, I would like to know what the Hon Minister is doing about district capitals that are larger than Community Water and Sanitation and would need Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) to take over? This is my first Question. The second Question is --
Hon Member, one at a time. Yes, Hon Minister?
Mr Speaker, this matter is one of policy. As I speak, the nation is growing. What used to be clear distinction between urban and rural areas is no more very clear; it is blurred. We are reassessing the situation in the entire country to demarcate the distinction between the urban and rural areas. Mr Speaker, if the information that comes out of the study shows that the Hon Colleague's constituency is no more a rural area, we would absorb it under GWCL.
Hon Member, you may continue with another Question, but one at a time.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. I would want to know -- Kpetoe and its surrounding areas, Agotime-Ziope in general, we have these Dahomeyan rocks, and drilling of boreholes have not been efficient in the past. As a result, the people are no longer interested in boreholes. When you go to drill boreholes, they would tell you they want a dam. It has been experimented in Ziope, where a dam has been constructed, pipelines laid and the water is treated for the people.
Hon Minister, are you considering that option also, if boreholes are not efficient?
Mr Speaker, yes, indeed, we are considering many options. Options such as surface water by way of tanks, dams and possibly, underground water reservoirs are all being understudied. At the appropriate time, we would advise ourselves on how best to tackle the Hon Colleague's constituency. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Yes, Hon Member?
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I would want to find out from the Hon Minister, how much has been allocated for the drilling of the boreholes across the country, and what will be the criteria for selection for the various communities?
Mr Speaker, the final figure for the drilling of boreholes has not been agreed upon between us and the Ministry of Finance. Indeed, we would meet the Committee on Works and Housing today and it is then that I would know how much is available for the drilling of the boreholes.
Mr Speaker, my final Question is an observation from my area; Kumbungu Constituency. The complaints by many of the communities that are connected to the GWCL are that, they are unable to pay for the cost of providing them with water, largely because these are very poor communities. Is there anything that the Ministry intends to do for such communities that have connection to GWCL but are finding it difficult to pay for the cost of water because of the incomes of these communities?
Mr Speaker, again, this is a policy issue bordering on subsidies. It is a very thorny issue and it is being discussed extensively, especially with the involvement of our development partners. If it so comes out that there should be some subsidies for such poor areas, then, yes, we would consider.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity. The Hon Minister could not have been in the House at a better time, given the fact that today is International World Water Day and we are told that millions of people live in the world without love but none lives without water. We all know that there are even projections that if we are not careful, the next World War would be fought on the basis of water. Mr Speaker, so, I would want to take the opportunity to find out from the Hon Minister if he is aware of the water crisis that has hit some parts of this country, especially the Tamale Metropolitan Area which has become consistent every year. Almost every year around this time, the Tamale Metropolis is hit with a water crisis. So, I would want to know if the Hon Minister is making any arrangements to attend to that problem.
Unfortunately, that one is off tangent. [Laughter.] Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, I am most grateful. Mr Speaker, my beloved district, North Tongu, is a beneficiary of this Five Districts Water Project. So, I would want to thank Hon Agbodza for bringing this issue up and to also thank the Hon Minister for attending upon the House. My first Question is to find out from the Hon Minister if he has any plan to visit the affected communities in the shortest possible time to ascertain what our people go through and the installations that have been made. This is because some of them have been left to the vagaries of the weather and when he comes back to continue with the Phase Three of the project, it may be more expensive because of the conditions under which these equipment have been left.
Mr Speaker, indeed, I do have plans to visit as many constituencies as possible, particularly areas where we have outstanding projects such as in many other parts of the country, I would have to visit them as soon as the budget estimate is approved for us to know exactly what we are going to do with the resources allocated to us.
Mr Speaker, my final Question is to find out from the Hon Minister that in the last but one paragraph of his Answer to this House, he says that “Mr Speaker, it is the intention of this Ministry to access funds from the Ghana Infrastructural Fund to complete the project.” The Hon Minister continues to say that: “Another key step the Ministry would take is to have discussions with the Ministry of Finance to re- open negotiations with the original financiers of the project for the funding gap of 17 million euros.” Mr Speaker, so, the Hon Minister gives us hope in the first part of that paragraph that, they would access funding from the Ghana Infrastructural Fund. Mr Speaker, but the next sentence really lets us down -- the Hon Minister is to consider re- opening negotiations with the original financiers. Mr Speaker, just for clarity; should we have hope with the Ghana Infrastructural Fund, because we left some good money in that Fund which is enough to complete this project? So, could we have some assurance about the Ghana Infrastructural Fund proposal which is a more promising proposal that he has brought up? Mr Speaker, thank you.
Mr Speaker, indeed, it is our expectation that we get funds as quickly as we could lay our hands on and also at a least cost. If the approval is given, we would go for the Ghana Infrastructural Fund, but under the circumstances, negotiations have been far advanced with the original financiers. It is the only fiscal constraints imposed on the nation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Programme that has prevented us from accessing those funds to undertake the project. Since they had business interest and had some reasonable terms, if not for the IMF constraints, we would have accessed those funds. Mr Speaker, I believe that if there is anything that my Hon Colleague should be happy about, it is the double assurance from these two angles. It means that definitely funds would be accessed to do the project.
Mr Speaker, I wish to find out from the Hon Minister whether he is aware that Detodome-Tsate-Tongo-to-Dzemeni Water System that was installed two years ago has failed and as a result, the people are unable to be connected to the main pipe-borne water from the Kpeve head waters which serves Ho and its environs?
Mr Speaker, I am not aware and when I undertake the visit, I would apprise myself of the situation and have discussions with the Hon Member.
Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I saw in the Budget Statement for 2017 an allocation of GH¢216 million for the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources. I want to find out if an allocation had been made for this project and if it is included in that GH¢216 million.
That ends Question time. Hon Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, thank you very much for attending upon the House to answer these Questions. Hon Members, item numbered 4 -- Statements. There is a Statement on World Water Day, 22nd March, 2017, which stands in the name of the Hon Minister responsible for Sanitation and Water Resources. Hon Minister?
Mr Speaker, the United Nations (UN) has since 1993 designated 22nd of March every year as International World Water Day to focus global attention on the importance of water. All nation States are enjoined by this call, to devote the Day, as appropriate within their respective national contexts, to undertake activities related to the conservation and development of water resources. Each year, a different UN agency coordinates events surrounding World Water Day around the world, and a different aspect of water is chosen to reflect the many facets of freshwater resources. World Water Day 2017 is designed on water and wastewater, and the campaign, “Why waste water”, is about reducing and recycling wastewater. Globally, the bulk of all the wastewater from our homes, business places and industry, all flow back to nature without being treated or reused; thereby polluting the environment, and losing valuable nutrients and other recoverable materials. Indeed, wastewater management is seriously neglected, and wastewater therefore, is grossly undervalued as a potentially affordable and sustainable source of water and energy source. Mr Speaker, this is the theme within which the United Nations body wants us to celebrate this year's International Water Day. Mr Speaker, within our Ghanaian context today however, we are confronted with many challenges as we seek to marshal our national effort to attain the targeted goal of “Water for All”, which in its own, is another UN goal. Mr Speaker, although Ghana has been reported in international circles to have done remarkably well in the just-ended MDGs agenda with regard to water because we have been able to attain the set goal earlier than scheduled on our road to “Water for All” however, our journey still remains rocky and arduous. The issues are complex and inter-related as they are multi-faceted, involving all stakeholders; thus, making it incumbent on all Ghanaians to collaborate and play their respective roles to ensure that we overcome these issues. Mr Speaker, some of the water issues in the Ghanaian context, among others include the following: Inadequate water supply, invest- ment costs, affordability and sustainability the need for a thorough and deep understanding of issues of Climate Change and also how to adapt to various policy measures on attitudinal transformation for Ghana to assist the global effort in this regard the drying up of our river bodies and waterways, compounded by upstream activities such as diversion of rivers for farming et cetera; the widely known illegal mining activities called “galamsey” and its attendant pollution of our water bodies exacerbating the situation of access to water the depleting aquafiers or under- ground water sources as reported by hydrologists and our lack of capacity to adequately assess their state and design policies and embark on action plans to address that situation effectively; and issues of water quality and treatment costs to prevent contraction of associated waterborne diseases. Mr Speaker, previous governments have made strides in these areas but much still needs to be undertaken. In the vision of His Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, he has found the need to set up a dedicated Ministry to deal with this matter in a focused manner and I might add, Mr Speaker, that their Government is poised to tackle these issues effectively so as to bring results. Mr Speaker, on this year's theme designated by the UN, we need to see wastewater as a resource that should be reduced and reused, rather than leave it as a burden just to be disposed of. In our homes, we can reuse greywater on our gardens and plots. In our cities, we can treat and reuse wastewater for green spaces. In business and industry, we can treat and recycle discharge for things like cooling systems and irrigation. By exploiting this valuable resource, we will make the water cycle work better for every living thing. For example, exploiting wastewater in agriculture and aquaculture protects workers, farmers and consumers, promotes food security, health and wellbeing. And we will help achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 6 target to half the proportion of untreated wastewater and increase water recycling and safe reuse. For the celebration of 2017 World Water Day in Ghana, activities have been planned to draw the public's attention to the need for water to be carefully managed during every part of the water cycle: from fresh water abstraction, pre-treatment, distribution, use, collection and post- treatment, to the use of treated wastewater and its ultimate return to the environment. Mr Speaker, on the actual day, a durbar and flag hoisting ceremony at the Waste Water Recycling Plant site, Action Chapel on the Spintex Road, would climax the celebration. This would be preceded by radio and television talk shows, excursion of the Media to selected wastewater recycling plants and awards to schools which took part in a tree planting exercise. In Ghana, the occasion also presents us with an opportunity to take stock of our socioeconomic practices with respect to our waters and its importance to other
Thank you very much, Hon Minister. Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, let me first and foremost congratulate the Hon Minister for making the Statement. It could not have come at a better time, considering the fact that today, we celebrate World Water Day. Mr Speaker, if you look at this year's celebration, the theme is ‘Water and Waste Water'. This is indeed as a result of the fact that the attempt is to let the world concentrate on how one treats waste water and reuse, because clearly, contrary to the belief of a lot of people, water cannot be considered as an infinite resource. If we were to look at the research that has been done within Ghana, only about 7 per cent of waste water is retreated, therefore the Statement and for that matter the theme for this year could not have been more appropriate. Mr Speaker, it is important to also note that, while we talk about waste water, we need to know that the statistics available seem to alarm us as a country. Worldwide, it is said that about 1.8 billion people are exposed to drinking water that is contaminated with faecal matter, which has an effect in terms of causing diseases like polio, dysentery, cholera and so on. Mr Speaker, indeed if you look at the level of contamination in relation to human activities like galamsey and so on, it tells you very clearly that we are living at a time when things are very dangerous when it comes to issues of potable drinking water. Mr Speaker, but kindly permit me to use this day and the Statement the Hon Minister made to zoom in on a particular type of contamination that is affecting the people of Bongo Constituency, which is my constituency. If you look at the Bongo Constituency generally, it is a rural area and the sources of water are basically from boreholes, hand-dug wells and small town water systems. Unfortunately, if you look at the quality of water that comes from the ground water that we get, and you look at the fluoride content, if you want to assess it, based on what the World Health Organisation (WHO) says, it indicates that any level that is above 1.5 milligrams per litre is not wholesome for drinking. Mr Speaker, if you look at that of Bongo, the levels are as high as 3.37 milligrams per litre, and this is creating serious health problems, particularly for children. Because of the high fluoride content, we have a lot of children, especially those found in the development stage, suffering from a condition called dental fluorosis, where most of these children have tainted teeth, and this is creating a lot of problems for our people. Mr Speaker, in 1995, a study was conducted by the Ghana Health Service, and they indicated that 33 per cent of children of school going age in the district suffer from either dental fluorosis, skeletal fluorosis or non-skeletal fluorosis. The irony is that, the capital of Upper East, that is Bolgatanga, and its environs, get their water from a dam known as Vea dam. Mr Speaker, Vea dam is located in Bongo, in Vea. The treatment plant that supplies water to the Bolgatanga township and its environs is in Bongo, but the people of Bongo do not get water from the Ghana Water Company, which is processed in that same district. Mr Speaker, there have been calls made to the Ghana Water Company to see how they could at least make sure that, people benefit from potable water that is produced on their land. So, to the Hon Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources who shares a boundary with me in terms of constituency -- I would like to bring this to his attention while I commend him for the Statement he has made, that the very survival of our children particularly in Bongo, is hinged on this. Mr Speaker, unfortunately we have a lot of children who would move from Bongo to other schools outside the region, and because of the nature of their teeth, they are unable to even interact with their colleagues with confidence. This is affecting their academic performance, and
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I would congratulate the Hon Minister for that thought-provoking Statement. It is especially thought, provoking because of the danger we face as a world, not just as a country as far as the availability of water is concerned. Mr Speaker, for us in this part of the world, we are told by the institution that is responsible for managing water, that is the GWCL, that, we stand the risk of importing water for use in this country very soon, especially if our water bodies are not properly managed. Mr Speaker, the Water Research Institute with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) also agrees in part. Even though they do not seem to think that we have a problem with water resources, they however, agree that we have problems with potable water resources, and they are also projecting that by 2030 we may have a crises on our hands to deal with. Mr Speaker, when they speak of these, we may view those as just statistics and something very remote, but from Tamale, I would tell you that in the last ten years or so, almost at the beginning of every year, the metropolis and villages surrounding the metropolis are constantly hit with water crises. Mr Speaker, it has become so serious that, in some cases, schools have had to shut down as a result of the non- availability of water. Mr Speaker, only recently, I visited my constituency, and almost all the chiefs I interacted with, from Wuovoguma to Gbirima, Taha, Kulaa and Kpintaliga, the clarion call on me as a Member of Parliament from the chiefs was that they wanted their water problem addressed. Mr Speaker, the sad part of this is that these communities have dams but during this season, almost all the dams dry up, so we are not just talking about the non- availability of potable water, but even dirty water that we are told kills more people than any form of violence including war. It is not even available in some of these communities. Mr Speaker, on my last trip, I had to make sure that some tanks were constructed in some of these communities so I could liaise with the GWCL to at least extend tanker services to some of these communities that are not too far away from the metropolis. Mr Speaker, the sad part of this is that, after I constructed these tanks for the communities, I got information from the Water Company that their only movable water tanker has broken down, and so they do not have the GH¢6,000.00 that is required to fix the tanker for water to be delivered to sensitive parts and institutions in the metropolis. I know that they are responsible for sending water to the Tamale Teaching Hospital, where critical cases are attended to in seasons such as this. Mr Speaker, but as we speak, the tanker that they have and usually rely on has broken down and there is no water to serve the community. In my interactions with the Ghana Water Company, I realised that they require about 4,400 cubic metres of water a day, but even in the best of seasons, they are able to only produce 3,300 cubic metres. Mr Speaker, this cannot be allowed to continue. I believe that the Hon Minister should liaise with the appropriate authorities and ensure that we resolve this problem of water crises in the country, especially in the northern part of the country, in particular Tamale and its surrounding communities. This is because it has become so serious as we speak that even in some of these rural communities, pupils do not attend school anymore because they would have to travel long distances in search of water that they do not even find at the end of the day. Mr Speaker, I would want to congratulate the Hon Minister for making this Statement on World Water Day and urge him to work hard because he could be assured that we would all support in whatever way that we could, to provide potable water for our people. Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity.
Thank you very much, Hon Member.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, allow me to congratulate the Hon Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources. This morning, he has given us a comprehensive overview of the sector -- the fortuitous coincidence of Answering a Question and then delivering a Statement on World Water Day. We have no doubt that he would do well in that office. Mr Speaker, I would want to bring to the fore possible bold initiatives that we would need to look at in order not to only preserve our dwindling water resources, but also to enhance the quality of what we have. Mr Speaker, the first one is on public education on water use and its impacts. We take water for granted, yet it is the most important commodity in our lives as human beings. We are on a verge of a crisis and many of the people who use it only feel it in their lives but do not experience it and share the danger with others. I believe it is time that conscious effort is made to deal with public education issues about water. Mr Speaker, the second thing I would like to talk about is harvesting. We are drowned every year when it rains. That is water that is given to us for free. It is important that we now put in place hydrological systems and in this case, I would recommend cooperation between the Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation and the Ministry of Works and Housing in terms of their Hydrology Department, so that we begin to consciously construct man-made channels within our cities, where we could direct flows of water from rainfall, harvest same and process it for use. Even if it could not be drank, it could be used to water farms. Mr Speaker, the other harvesting opportunity that I would want to put to the fore is being spoken of behind closed doors, but it is important that it is exposed, which is, the need to harvest the millions of litres of water that flows into the sea from the River Volta through Sogakope and the Ada estuary. I would recommend to the Hon Minister that, it is not an impossible feet of engineering that some of that fresh water is returned to the system for our consumption. Mr Speaker, I would want to urge the Hon Minister --
Hon Member, please conclude.
Mr Speaker, I would want to urge the Hon Minister to support the Adentan Constituency through their local office, to distribute the water that appears to have arrived there but in bulk, to enable residents to be able to access the water through channels that would go through the streets in front of their homes. Mr Speaker, it is a major project and I believe that we have put together a technical team which would make proposals to the Ministry in due course, indeed, as soon as possible. Probably within the next two months, we hope that the Hon Minister would give us the support that this immense Project requires. Mr Speaker, Adentan has a very dense concentration of homes and it is very important that we are able to distribute the water effectively to as many homes as possible. Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity.
Enough female Hon Members do not rise and I am compelled to give the last chance to the same Hon Member.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Statement ably made by the Hon Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources. Mr Speaker, the issue of water as being the most important need for mankind and for all animals cannot be over- emphasised. When it comes to the use for water, the need for water and getting water for use, be it at any house or home, women and children are mostly affected. Mr Speaker, I believe that there is the need for us to take urgent measures to make sure that our water bodies especially, are well protected, catered for and that waste water is recycled and put back into the system for use. Mr Speaker, year in and year out, we discuss the issue of water when it comes to World Water Day, but I believe that enough is not being done to solve the problem. Fortunately, in the past administration, we had the desalination of water, which helped to serve the communities of Accra and it was very helpful. Mr Speaker, as of now, we have the issue of galamsey which dries up most of the rivers that our people depend on. Because of global warming, we sometimes do not have enough rains to especially fill our dams and our wells. Even the water table goes so low that some boreholes tend to dry up. There is the need for us to look ahead and think of what other measures to take. Mr Speaker, I would want to emphasise the issue of harvesting rain water, not only that which comes straight when it rains, but even when rivers overflow their banks, when there is so much water that, there are floods or people drown, we need to make good use of this water for both domestic and other uses. Mr Speaker, for instance, if you take the White Volta that cuts through my constituency to the Bawku side coming down to Zebilla, along that river belt, we have floods that come day in day out killing people and destroying property. Yet, the people there struggle to get water immediately after the raining season. Mr Speaker, in areas like Kulumgungu which is in my constituency, women have reported that immediately after the rains, they have to go to the river to fetch water. When even there is no water, they have to dig deep and some of them have dug up bones, hair and what have you, which they do not know where they come from, which is very bad. In this day and season, we should not have such problems. Mr Speaker, I would wish to urge the Hon Minister who has already elaborated so many ways or methods by which he
I am waiting for a female Hon Member on my right to contribute.
Mr Speaker, we have a lot of female Hon Members on your right, so, I get up to speak for them. Mr Speaker, I would like to commend the Hon Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources for the Statement he gave us - a thought provoking message he has given us this morning. Mr Speaker, I heard him talk about pollution of water bodies and this is what I would want to specifically comment on. Mr Speaker, galamsey operation is affecting water supply in the country. It affects our water bodies in a very serious
and threatening manner that we would have to take up seriously. I would entreat all of us to make it our business and responsibility to engage in our communities and look at this carefully because water bodies are polluted through our own activities and practices. Mr Speaker, I understand that a lot of people who otherwise should have been more responsible in addressing this matter are part of the whole process. Water bodies, especially around some corners in the Eastern Region are so polluted that, even when the GWCL tries to treat it, they are unable to treat it and the poor women have to fetch this -- we do not know whether it is mud or water, to take it home and try to treat it in the best way possible. It adds on to the suffering of women. We are not able to get adequate water and provide potable water to our communities. The emphasis is potable water; not just water -- quality water, so that our households would have good water. Mr Speaker, so, my emphasis is on our own activities; the activities that we do that pollute our water bodies. Hon Members of this honourable House could take on this challenge in our communities. Engage with people, educate them on better practices and of course, the galamsey processes -- we should engage them and ensure that they stop polluting our water bodies. Mr Speaker, women are calling on all of us to help them in this regard. They would want us to help them, so that when they put water on our table, we have no doubt that it is potable and that when we take it in, it is healthy and is going to keep us secured. Mr Speaker, with these few remarks, I say thank you, and I commend and congratulate the Hon Minister for the Statement on this World Water Day. Thank you.
Minority Leadership, any comment?
Mr Speaker, we have the Hon Deputy Ranking Member for the Committee at the back, so, we yield to him.
Mr Speaker, first of all, I would like to commend my Hon Colleague and Hon Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources for the Statement on World Water Day. I would like to make a few comments about maintenance. We have talked of water coverage every year. We talk of having made progress on water coverage. What we do not say is what we have lost during the year. In celebrating World Water Day, I would like to draw the attention of the House and also all citizens to the fact of maintenance. A lot of our dams are silted; the banks are damaged but more often than not, little resources are committed to dam safety and maintenance. It is the same thing when we come to the boreholes. We can count the number of boreholes that have been sunk all over the country, but little is said about those that do not function. We have them, but they do not function, which means that, based on them, if we calculate the amount of water that is available to the citizenry, we actually do not get the accurate figure. This is because, quite a significant number of the boreholes do not function. There again, I would like to draw attention to the question of pollution as citizens' involvement. We talk of pollution every day, but to what extent do we have programmes that are deliberately funded to involve our communities in ensuring that our water sources are not polluted? We often leave that to Government agencies which do not only lack the personnel, but also the finance. But if we involve the community directly in policing our water sources, we probably would have less pollution. Mr Speaker, I would also like to draw attention to the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) sector. The truth of the matter is that a lot of water that we drink in the rural areas is provided by the NGOs and other civil society organisations (CSOs). Their work is hardly drawn into account when we consider water coverage. We do not have accurate statistics on what they actually do. It is important that, the Hon Minister commissions some kind of research to find out what the NGOs are actually doing so far as water provision in the rural area is concerned. For example, when we go to where I come from, Chiana/Paga, we would notice that, they have sunk a number of boreholes but most of them are not actually functioning. This is because they sink them, but they expect that government would come in and tap them and provide the necessary equipment for them to be able to pump the water, but that does not happen. But if there is accurate collaboration between the Government and the NGOs sector, this would not happen. So, Mr Speaker, I would like to urge the Hon Minister to work closely with the NGOs so that, we would make serious advances in our water coverage. Mr Speaker, before I take my seat, I would like to draw attention to one fact, and that is the Tolon Dam. I understand the Hon Minister has included that in some of the things he wants to do this year. Particularly, this is a major source of drinking water for the surrounding constituencies, such as Navrongo, Chiana/Paga, Bolga and Bongo. It is my prayer that, it would be taken very seriously and funds would be found because it is one huge resource that has been neglected since the 1970s. If we could put money into the Tolon Dam, maintain it, desilt it, and put in place the necessary infrastructure, I am sure some of the water problems that Chiana/ Paga, Navrongo, Bongo and Bolga Builsa South face would be solved. Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity.
Thank you very much. Majority Leadership?
Mr Speaker, respectfully, Leadership would yield to Hon Vincent Odotei.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I beg to commend the Hon Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources for this excellent exposition on World Water Day. Mr Speaker, I think that the benefits of clean, potable water cannot be over- emphasised. We need water for several things. Just last week, on World Kidney Day, my Hon Colleague Member of
Thank you very much, Hon Member. Hon Minister, we thank you for the Statement, which has indeed, been quite thought-provoking. Thank you very much. This brings us to the end of Statements At the Commencement of Public Business. Hon Deputy Majority Leader, may we know which items are ready, so that we will proceed quickly?
Very well. Mr Speaker. The following Papers are ready to be presented to the House; item numbered 5 (b) (ii) and (iv) on the Order Paper. Mr Speaker, 5 (b) (ii) reads, “Report of the Committee on Roads and Transport on the Annual --
Hon Member, you do not need to read it.
Item numbered 5 (b) (ii) is the first on my list which is ready?
Very well, Mr Speaker, exactly so. And 5 (b) (iv) --
No, I want to go step by step.
Is item numbered 5 (b) (ii) on the Order Paper ready? It is the Report of the Committee on Roads and Transport on the Annual Budget Estimates for the Ministry of Roads and Highways for the year ending 31 st December, 2017. Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman of the Committee is not here; he is at the Committee meeting. A member of the Committee would take it on his behalf. I thank you Mr Speaker.
Which Hon Member, please? If you would state the name of the Hon Member who would present it.
The Hon Member for Ayensuano, Hon Samuel Ayeh-Paye.
Mr Speaker, item numbered 5 (b) (iv) is also ready to be laid and it would be taken by the same Hon Member on behalf of the Chairman of the Committee.
“D” as in dog?
Mr Speaker, item numbered 5 (b) (iv) on the Order Paper is the Report of the Committee on Roads and Transport on the Annual Budget --
I have got it.
Very well, Mr Speaker.
Report of the Committee on Roads and Transport on the Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Aviation for the year ending 31 st December, 2017. By Mr Samuel Ayeh-Paye (on behalf of the Chairman of the Committee) -- (iv) Report of the Committee on Roads and Transport on the Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Aviation for the year ending 31st December, 2017.
Mr Speaker, item numbered 5 (d) (i) on the Order Paper which is the Report of the Committee on Finance on the Annual Budget Estimates of the Office of the Head of the Civil Service for the year ending 31st December, 2017. The Chairman is here.
Let us be clear on this. Hon Deputy Majority Leader, just read the number to me.
Mr Speaker, it is item numbered 5 (d) (i) on the Order Paper.
“D” for David and “i” for Israel.
Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, I am the Hon Ranking Member of the Committee, but I have not seen the Report, so, I do not know what they are laying. At least, we have to look at the Report. I have not seen the Report that the Hon Chairman wants to lay. We would like to see the Report.
Hon Deputy Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, the indication we had earlier from the Hon Chairman was that, he had conferred and the Report was ready. So, this is a surprise to us. In that vein --
It appears the indication has not materialised.
Mr Speaker, we would step that one down and take item numbered 5 (d) (ii).
Shall we move to the next one? That cannot be taken.
So, we would step that one down, Mr Speaker.
The next being? Which one is ready, Hon Deputy Majority Leader? It is quite clear the two sides had a clear understanding that once the Report is in the hands of both sides of the isle, then we can make progress. So, if there is any Report, which is to become an issue between the two sides, let us avoid them and be clear on the way forward. Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I would like to assure you that we take, just as you do, the matter of the Budget and Estimates seriously. I know, for instance, yesterday, you personally took it up, but the Hon Deputy Majority Leader cannot do pick and choose in terms of the Presentation of Papers. For instance, Mr Speaker, the Annual Budget Estimates of the Audit Service, Parliament and the Judicial Service; these are very important institutions. I know the efforts you make to get the appropriate response from the President, particularly, in respect to Parliament. Hon Members want to see whether budgetary provision has been made for Research Assistants. If it does not come early, we would not be able to interrogate it. Today is the 22nd of March, and we would rise on the 30th of March, but we still do not have the referral from the President for this important institution. I trust that she would engage and let us have those Estimates for the Judicial Service, Parliament and the Audit Service appropriately laid. Those that Leadership needs to confer, we would urge Chairmen and Ranking Members, to work diligently on the Reports, finalise them for laying and stop coming here to disagree on whether it is ready. I share the position of Mr Speaker. Thank you.
Hon Minority Leader, definitely, we can move ahead, forward and backward as we have always done in this House. One thing is certain and I agree with the Hon Minority Leader, that items numbered 5 (a) (ii) and (iii) are very crucial. They are so crucial that even before you move away from them, at least the House must be told something. So, Hon Deputy Majority Leader, what is happening?
Thank you, Mr Speaker. As earlier said by the Hon Minority Leader, these are very relevant Papers that ought to be properly laid before this House. We want to assure this House that, for these Papers, the communication would have to come from the Office of the President to Mr Speaker. We assure the House that we would ensure that these Papers are laid as soon as possible. If I am permitted, I would --
In that connection, I direct that the Office of the Chief of Staff be informed immediately by the Hon Deputy Majority Leader, that Parliament is waiting to do its job.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. We would follow your direction accordingly.
So, in our pick and choose system now, where do we go?
Mr Speaker, in our pick and choose system as supported by Order 53 (2) of our Standing Orders, I would crave your indulgence that we lay the Paper numbered 5 (r) on the Order Paper. It is the Report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs on the Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the year ending 31st December, 2017. The Chairman is here.
Item numbered 5 (r), on the Order Paper -- Report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs on the Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the year ending 31st December, 2017. Chairman of the Committee? By the Chairman of the Committee -- Report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs on the Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the year ending 31st December, 2017.
Mr Speaker, respectfully, if we could take item numbered 6 -- Motion for the approval of the amount for the Local Government Service.
Item numbered 6 on the Order Paper -- Hon Minister for Local Government and Rural Development?
[Resumption of debate from 21/3/ 17]
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this honourable House approves the sum of GH¢506,611,252 for the services of the Local Government Service for the year ending 31st December, 2017. Mr Speaker, the office of the Head of Local Government Service exists to support Local Government to deliver value for money services through the mobilisation, harmonisation and utilisation of qualified human capacity and human resources to promote local and national developments. Mr Speaker, the activities include, finance, general administration, human resource management, development and ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory frame work of government. [HAJIA MAHAMA] [MS APPIAGYEI] Mr Speaker, the Local Government Services will also continue to set up departments, especially decentralised departments, in the districts which include the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs). They will work to review quarterly internal audits and also develop scheme, of services. This year, they planned to develop a new scheme of service to review the conditions of service for the local government staffs. They also planned to undertake human resource planning in the service and assess the capacity needs of all staff of the Local Government Service, including the office, the Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs) and the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and provide appropriate training based on the capacity development needs that they proposed. Mr Speaker, on Capital Expenditure (CAPEX), they planned to construct an office complex for the office of the Head of Local Government Service and to secure some office and logistics for their work as well as continue the monitoring and evaluation of their activities. Mr Speaker, this budget request includes the RCCs and all the MMDAs in terms of wages and salaries and also for goods and services. Mr Speaker, the composite budget of the MMDAs is included in the Local Government Service Bill. Thank you, Mr Speaker. Question proposed.
Thank you very much, Hon Minister, especially for your brevity. Hon Members, the Hon Chairman of the Committee, in seconding the Motion would present the Committee's Report.
Mr Speaker, I rise to second the Motion ably presented by the Hon Minister for Local Government and Rural Development and in so doing, I present your Committee's Report. Introduction The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2017 Financial Year was presented to Parliament on Thursday, 2nd March, 2017 by the Minister for Finance, Hon Ken Ofori-Atta, in accordance with article 179 of the 1992 Constitution. The Rt Hon Speaker referred the Draft Budget Estimates of the Office of the Head of Local Government Service to the Committee on Local Government and Rural Development for consideration and report to the House, pursuant to Orders 140(4) and 181 of the Standing Orders of Parliament. Deliberations The Committee met on Friday 17th March, 2017 and considered the Draft Estimates of the Service. Present at the meeting were the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hon Hajia Alima Mahama, the Head of the Local Government Service, Dr Callistus Mahama and officials of the Service including the respective Regional Coordinating Directors. The Committee is grateful to the Minister, the Head of the Service and the team of officials for their inputs and clarifications. Reference materials The Committee was guided by the following documents during its deliberations: i. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana; ii. The Standing Orders of Parliament; iii. The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of the Republic of Ghana for the 2016 Financial Year; iv. The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of the Republic of Ghana for the 2017 Financial Year. Mission of the Service The Mission of the Service is to support local governments to deliver value for money services through the mobilisation, harmonisation and utilisation of qualified human capacity and material resources to promote local and national development. Policy objectives The policy objectives of the Service are as follows: Ensure effective implementation of the decentralisation policy and programmes Strengthen policy formulation, development planning and M&E processes for equitable and balanced spatial and socio- economic development Improve availability of quality data for policy formulation, analysis and decision-making Improve the institutional capacity for effective human capital development, and Enhance labour productivity across all sectors. Core functions of the Service The core functions of the Local Government Service are to: Provide technical assistance to RCCs and MMDAs to enable them to effectively perform their functions; Conduct organisational and job analysis for RCCs and MMDAs; Conduct management audits for RCCs and MMDAs in order to improve the overall management of the service; Design and co-ordinate manage- ment systems and processes for RCCs and MMDAs; Assist the RCCs and MMDAs in the performance of their functions under Local Governance Act, 201 6 (Act 936) and any other enactment. Review of performance for 2016 Financial performance for 2016 A total amount of GH¢441,835,122.00 was approved for the Service for the 2016 Financial Year out of which GH¢337, 759,146.00 was released leaving a balance of GH¢104,075,976.00. The amount released represents about 76 per cent of the approved amount. The breakdown of the expenditure is presented in the table below:
Table 3: Breakdown of Allocation by Programme SPACE FOR Table 3 --PAGE 8, 11.50 A.M Source: The Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2017 Financial Year Observations and recommendations Inadequate personnel at MMDAs The Committee noted that the Sub- Structures of the Local Governance system comprising the Unit Committees, Zonal, Area and Town Councils lacked the requisite personnel for effective service delivery at the local level and this has hampered effective decentralisation. The staff strength of the newly created Assemblies is particularly precarious. The Committee noted that the Ministry of Finance (MoF) had placed an embargo on new recruitments into the Public Service, except in respect of replacement. It however, came to the attention of the Committee that, the Ministry was not complying with its replacement policy. The Committee, for instance, was informed that the Service had submitted to MoF in 2015, a list of officers and officials who had retired or separated from the Service and required replacement but the Ministry was yet to grant clearance for their replacement. As part of efforts to address the staff challenges, the Service commenced a staff rationalisation exercise, which would ensure the redeployment of staff from one Assembly to another or from a particular Directorate to another, where the services of such staff would be most needed. The Service has also incorporated into the performance contracts of Coordinating Directors of all the MMDAs, a requirement for them to ensure that, there are personnel at all the levels of the Units and Directorates. The Committee urges MoF to comply with its own replacement policy and grant the Service the requisite clearance to enable them replace staff who have retired or separated from the Service. Performance Agreements/Contracts The Committee was informed that Coordinating Directors of the RCCs, MMDAs, and Directors at the Head of Local Government Service sign performance contracts with the Regional Ministers, Chief Executives and the Head of Service respectively. While the Committee was happy that in 2016 all the Directors signed the performance contract, its impact on performance was not reported. The Service indicated that, an assessment conducted last year showed significant improvements in the performance of officials over the previous years. They however acknowledged that, the improvement was more at the higher levels of authority than at the lower levels. The Service attributed the poor performance at the lower level to lack of proper supervision of lower level staff by their immediate superiors. The Committee urges the Service to ensure that, the agreements are implemented to the letter and apply sanctions where officers fall below the performance benchmarks. Revenue generation The Committee noted that, the MMDAs, depend mostly on Government subvention for their activities, rather than mobilising revenues internally. To support MMDAs generate revenue, the Committee was informed that, the Service has made it a condition as part of the performance contract of Directors to assist the Assemblies to generate about 30 per cent of revenue internally. The Service has also formulated a framework for revenue generation. The Committee was informed that, what is required is for the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to issue guidelines and directives on revenue generation to the MMDAs. The Committee recommends that, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development take steps to develop and issue the guidelines on revenue mobilisation to the Assemblies to enhance revenue mobilisation. Dwindling donor support The Committee noted that, donor support for the Local Government Service is projected to decline in 2017. The Service indicated that, most of the donors have either wound up or are about winding up on their support for most of the programmes currently being implemented by the Service. They noted that the support from the European Union has come to an end whiles that of DANIDA is ending in 2018. The Committee recommends to the Service and the Ministry of Finance to look for alternative sources of funding to support the programmes when donor funding of the projects come to an end. Conclusion The Committee, having thoroughly examined the Draft Budget Estimates of the Local Government Service for the 2017 financial year, and upon satisfying itself with the explanations and clarifications from the Service, recommends to the House to adopt its Report and approve the sum of five hundred and six million, six hundred and eleven thousand, two hundred and fifty-two Ghana cedis (GH¢506,611,252.00), to enable the Service implement its planned programmes and projects for the ensuing year, 2017. Respectfully submitted.
MR FIRST DEPUTY SPEAKER
Hon Member, continue.
Mr Speaker, with your indulgence, I would like to make a correction on page 6 of the Report —
I called Hon Alhaji Pelpuo.
Mr Speaker, I would want to enquire from the Hon Member if he is the Ranking Member of the Committee whose Report is under discussion. We are discussing the Estimates for the Local Government Service.
If I were guided by Leadership, I would go by it. The practice from yesterday was that, I would allow three contributors from each side of the Isle after the Hon Chairman had seconded the Motion. Hon Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo has been recognised. I do not know who the Ranking Member is. If he or she is there, I would recognise him or her later. Let Hon Pelpuo continue. I will give the opportunity to the Hon Deputy Ranking Member thereafter.
Mr Speaker, I do not seem to be going contrary to your direction or ruling. But the same way that it had been the practice of this House, when Papers are being laid and even Chairmen are not available, their Vice Chairmen and other members of the Committee could do so on their behalf. But the status quo seem to be changing from what took place yesterday. So, if it is changing, then we would require that the other side of the House play to the tune that they have already set. Which is that, after the Hon Minister moves the Motion, it is seconded by the Chair, and the Chairperson for that committee is the Hon Member for Asokwa, who has seconded the Motion. So, we expect that the Ranking Member, and if he is not there — I see Hon Benjamin Komla Kpodo, who is the Deputy Ranking Member do so, so that we follow the same tune that they set for us yesterday.
I am surprised that you are talking about tunes. This is because I have seen today, a non- Chairman or non-Vice Chairman lay a Paper on behalf of a Committee. So, I wonder which precedence we are now talking about. But let us continue. Let Hon Pelpuo have his response. I will come to the Majority Side after that, and I would then recognise the Hon Deputy Ranking Member.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion that is meant to allocate as estimated, an amount of money to the Local Government Service on the 2017 Annual Budget to help support them to reflect their mission and vision, and to ensure that local government administration runs well in this country. Mr Speaker, I do so with the recognition that, local governance and decentralisations are very crucial in the overall governance of our country. In particular, the ten regional administrations or coordinating councils, which are key and front liners when it comes to organising to ensure peace, development and translation of government policy at the doorsteps of the various regions. Mr Speaker, I noticed in the Report that, there is an increase of a little over 14 per cent in the allocation from 2016, and this is good news to the Ministry. The reason being that, if a local government administration is starved, the danger is that the country would have a problem. This is because, security challenges would be posed, and regional administration which allows for increase monitoring and evaluation of projects and translation of policy would also be affected. So, I believe that this allocation is very crucial and important, and I would want to support the Motion and I hope that the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development would indeed, ensure the true functioning of decentralisation as captured in the Report in one of the pages I noticed. Mr Speaker, this is because if we ensure effective decentralisation of resources, local people would be able to ensure that they function well. This is because they understand their terrain and development needs and they would be able to determine what they want through the Assemblies and local authorities below the Assemblies. Mr Speaker, with these few words, I support the Motion but sorry for any inconvenience.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion and to talk about the problem of revenue generation which has afflicted all our Assemblies. Mr Speaker, the Service, as we are told, is making efforts to improve upon performance at the local level. The issue that we have with the decentralised units over the years, have been overreliance on the Central Government by way of releases and grants for their own performance. Mr Speaker, the performance of some of the District Assemblies is so abysmal that, we sometimes do not understand what is happening in these Assemblies. Mr Speaker, the last time we had an engagement with the officials of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, a place like Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) which, to some of us, has all the resources and whatever it takes to be able to generate revenue, performed abysmally in terms of revenue performance — We were told it was about 33 per cent, when they have all the properties, et cetera, that they can get money from. So, we expect that the Service would look at that particular area and improve upon that performance at the Assembly level. Mr Speaker, again, the units that are supposed to complement the decen- tralisation efforts, particularly those at the grassroots — the lower levels; the zonal councils, the unit committees — they do not have the staff to be able to pursue the development agenda at that level. So, efforts must be made to ensure that these units are adequately staffed. Sometimes, we send staff members to these Assemblies, and they stop at the Assembly level. When we go to the
All right. I would recognise the Hon Deputy Ranking Member, but I would want to charge the Committee to look into the accounting for the Internally Generated Funds (IGF). It is not the case that they do not collect the money; it is the case that the moneys they collect do not come to the Assemblies. All of us, as Hon Members of Parliament, know what they do with the moneys on Fridays -- we all know. So, let us be bold and tackle up the -- because the District Assembly Common Fund comes, they use the IGF as their personal thing to facilitate everything other than working for the communities. Yes, Hon Deputy Ranking Member?
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the allocation to the Local Government Service of an amount of GH¢506,611,252. Mr Speaker, I would want us to look at page 173 of the 2017 Budget Statement. The amount to be appropriated is GH¢506,611,252; this slightly varies by only GH¢1.00 from the amount reported in our Report. This is a result of rounding up errors and we draw the attention of the Ministry of Finance to do the adjustment so that the Appropriation Act would not be misaligned. It is very important to do that as even GH¢1.00 matters in accounting. Mr Speaker, in the past two years, we reverted the Regional Coordinating Council's Budget and Expenditure Returns to the Ministry of Local Government, and we asked them in the first year to bring detailed expenditure returns from the various Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs). But it appeared they were taken unawares or invited in a rush, so they did not do it. They rather consulted with the head of the Local Government Service to provide the document. This year, that was again not done as requested of them. Again, we had to ask the RCCs to submit their detailed returns to the head of Local Government Service. I do not believe this is the right way to present themselves before the Committee, and we urge that this should cease. Indeed, it is required of Hon Regional Ministers to come with their coordinating directors, lay the details of the approved budget and how they expended it, and explain the request they are putting in for the new amount. Mr Speaker, but for the second year running, this has not been properly done, and we would have to request and insist on that, so that we can properly monitor and account for their expenditures. Mr Speaker, there was a discussion on the recruitment of new staff to replace retired ones. It is true that there is a general policy that when staff retire, they need to be replaced by new recruitments. But the Public Financial Management (PFM) Act stipulates that even in doing that, we should seek financial clearance from the Ministry of Finance. So, it is not just automatic that when people retire, the head of the service or the Hon Minister should just appoint; they have to apply. It would be left to the Ministry of Finance to determine whether that position has sufficient financial coverage to get a new person in place. Sometimes, we should constantly do staff audit to find out whether it is absolutely necessary to replace a staff member who has retired. It is not just automatic that because Kojo is gone, we should bring Ama to replace him. So, it is necessary for us to comply with the PFM Law. Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister has noted that we have dwindling donor funds, such that this year, we expect to appropriate only GH¢19,223,833 as donor funds. The reason is that, most of the projects are fizzling out. So, at the Committee level, we charged the Hon Minister to initiate moves and programmes that can be picked up by development partners, so that more funds can be brought in to enhance activities of the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs). Mr Speaker, GH¢2 million was allocated to the entire Local Government Service for per capita expenditure. For a Service that spends over GH¢472 million for compensation and about GH¢24 million on goods and services, we believe that GH¢2 million is woefully inadequate. More especially when we recognise that the Service is putting up a new office building. So, we believe that there should be something done about this. If not now, in the next allocations, more funds should be released to enable the Service accomplish the construction of its new offices. Mr Speaker, we need to have a paradigm shift in this country on how we look at our heads of Constitutional and Statutory Services. Something happened which I think we have to pay very important attention to. The Head of the Local Government Service is appointed under Section 62 of the Local Governance Act, 2016 (936). This is in line with article 191 (a) and (b), and article 193 of the Constitution. Mr Speaker, we have the Local Government Service Head. Even before someone is officially appointed to replace him, in accordance with these laws, another person is already walking on the corridors of the Service that he has been asked to come and take over from the current Head of Service. Mr Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh — rose
Yes, Hon Member?
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member is totally out of order. The issue that he raised is unrelated to the subject matter, and he should not be allowed to continue on that tangent. Thank you.
Mr Speaker, I believe this issue is very relevant because, we are talking about the entire management of the Local Government Service.
Hon Member, are you challenging my ruling? [Laughter.] You know the appropriate rule to apply if you would want to challenge my ruling. Otherwise, please comply.
Mr Speaker, I am guided by your directive, but I only tried to explain that -- [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, whatever the case, I believe we should protect the staff of the Local Government Service. I linked it up because I was talking about the replacement of staff, and I hope I did not deviate so much. But I am guided by your directive. Mr Speaker, I believe that, to ensure supervision of the MMDAs is properly carried out, the releases to the Local Government Service, particularly, should be on time. This is because, when we delay actions in the 216 MMDAs all across the country, we hurt the local areas more than the centre. So, even if we have problems about centralised units, let us give sufficient attention to those matters which have to do with our local areas. This is because, those are really where development activities are felt by the entire citizenry of the country. Mr Speaker, on this note, I wish to support the Motion for the allocation of an amount of GH¢506,611,252 for the Local Government Service for its activities for the year ending 31st December, 2017. I thank you.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the floor for the approval of an amount of GH¢506,611,252 for the Local Government Service. Mr Speaker, at the Committee level, several observations were made during the interaction with the Local Government Service. One of the observations made was the performance agreement that the Local Government Service have been signing with their staff. We believe that, this is a novelty. It allows the unit to assess the performance of the staff at the various MMDAs. Gone are the days where there were no performance related contract with staff at the district level, and they were left to do their own thing. But here is a new policy which allows the Local Government Service to evaluate the performance of both top to bottom level staff of the various MMDAs. We also observed that, the donor support for their budget has reduced significantly, compared to 2016. We strived to find out why there was such a huge reduction. We were told that most of the programmes sponsored by these donors are coming to an end. As a result, there is not enough donor funding to support some of the activities in 2017. We believe that this is a worrying situation. We made a recommendation to the Ministry that, they should take steps to ensure that they sit down and work with the Ministry of Finance to find alternative source of funding to support the programmes lined up by the Local Government Service. Mr Speaker, we also realised that the Local Government Service has developed a framework to assist the various MMDAs in terms of revenue mobilisation. I was happy when you raised the issue. We raised it at the Committee level. We told the Ministry that we believe the issue is not about the mobilisation of the revenue, but the utilisation of it. Most of them, after collecting the revenue, use it for operational expenditure. We believe such revenues should be used for the full benefit of the Assembly. They could use it to, maybe, support some capital expenditure programmes which would also help the Assembly because, mainly, they depend solely on the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF), and when it is not forthcoming, instead of them using the little Internally Generated Fund (IGF) that they have to also support infrastructure development, like you rightly said, on Fridays, they tend to use it for other things. We told the Hon Minister that those were the issues he would have to look at because, the little that we have, we have to take good care of it. It would not put pressure on the Assemblies, if Government releases are not forthcoming. If they have that and they are able to manage it well, it would also help. We also realised through the deliberations that the substructures of the local governance system, which are the Unit Committees, Zonal Areas and Town Councils, lack the requisite experiences in terms of how to support the activities of the local government at the district level. So, Mr Speaker, these were the issues that came up. We went further to find out why these issues. We were told that because of the Government policy of placing an embargo on new recruitments, it has affected the recruitment of experienced people to man these positions, which we believe, going forward, we need to look at some of these issues to make sure we resolve and get the requisite skills to -- So, Mr Speaker, with these few words, I would want to encourage Hon Members to support the approval of this amount for the Local Government Service, so that they would be able to execute their planned programmes successfully. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity. I rise to support the Motion on the floor of the House that, the amount allocated for the Ministry is approved. However, I have some suggestions to make as a former District Chief Executive of an Assembly, specifically Afadzato South District Assembly. As Government pays revenue collec- tors -- I am talking about this because of what the Hon Minister for Local Government and Rural Development said. That the collection of IGF was abysmal in some of the Assemblies.
Mr Speaker, what is the duty of the revenue collectors? They are supposed to go to the field and collect money for the assembly; but because they are paid or they are on regular salary, whether they go or not, they would take their monthly salaries. So, it is difficult to supervise them, and when we do everything, they would not do the job well. Secondly, we also end up having people who collect revenue for the
Hon Member, were you a former Municipal Chief Executive (MCE)?
Mr Speaker, yes.
And you believe that it is not true that --
Where I am come from --
If you would let me finish. [Laughter.] I know for a fact that what is accounted for, would be used for official purposes, but what is not accounted for is a lot more than what is accounted for; many Hon Members of Parliament know and could attest to that. It is what is not accounted for, which is my issue. That is moneys collected but not accounted for, such that it does not go into their official record to do what it is supposed to do. The evidence abounds -- The Auditor- General's Report and so on. We should all focus on working to make sure that, we maximise revenue for the Assembly and not for ourselves. I am prepared to stand for that any day. I can justify what I said, and I believe that it is important that we accept things that are not right and make it a policy to right them for the benefit of the country. Your observation is well noted, and I take it that your Assembly did very well with IGF. I would take an interest and look at your Assembly to see how well you did in that respect. Thank you. One more contribution here, and then we would bring it to a close. Deputy Minister for Employment and Labour Relations (Mr Bright Wireko Brobby)(MP): Mr Speaker, I am most grateful. I also rise to support the Motion moved for the approval of the Budget Estimates for the LGS and in doing so, I would like to discuss about two or three issues that are of importance and go to the root of why we should support them to get that Budget Estimates. Mr Speaker, just some two minutes ago, you discussed the fact that, IGF is not used judiciously. Rightly so, if we look at the Report that we are speaking to at the moment, it says that, they are going to build the capacities of the supporting staff to understand Act 936, which was passed last year, to enable them to generate the revenue. We all hope that, when capacities are built, it is expected that they would do what is expected for us to generate revenue. That is why I believe that inasmuch as they would want to build the capacities of all the LGS staff by taking them through Act 936, which encompasses all the work that is done at the local level, it is something that we must all support. This is one area which I am happy, that once their Budget Estimates are approved, they would take a look at. Mr Speaker, another area is the fact that the LGS want to review the Conditions of Service of its staff. For any government machinery to work effectively and with peace, the remuneration of LGS staff and so on must be so secured, so that strikes, agitation and so on do not come. I am happy that the LGS staff secretariat is proposing that they would review all these conditions, and therefore, most of the resultant agitations may not even appear as it were. Another area where I believe it is important that we support them to have their Budget Estimates approved, is the review of their capacity needs. Most of the time, people design training and they go for the training, which is not relevant to the work that they go to do. Mr Speaker, they propose that they would first, do a capacity needs assessment, and this is relevant. This is because once that is done, it is the only way they would know which areas the LGS staff need capacity, and which areas they need to hammer during training sessions. Most Hon Members of Parliament would attest to the fact that when we go to the Assemblies, the calibre of the personnel there and the attitude they show do not represent people working in the Public Service. If they are burnt on doing this at this point in time, as captured in their Budget Estimates, and they are asking us to approve same, in my capacity as a single person and probably an Hon Member of the Committee on Local Government and Rural Development, I would wish to urge the House for us to fully support them to have this Budget Estimates approved. Mr Speaker, with these few words, I support the Motion that is laid before us. Thank you.
Mr Speaker, I rise to contribute to the Motion, and talk about paragraph 5.3 of the Report, which talks about Revenue Generation of the MMDAs. Mr Speaker, we know that the MMDAs almost always, depend on the District Assemblies Common Fund for their development projects. In fact, the purpose of that Fund is for development. For the running of their offices, they depend on the IGF, which they generate from the market facility they have within the District. Mr Speaker, on the IGF they collect, and what you indicated earlier -- that most of these collections do not end up in the Assembly, but rather in the pockets of the revenue collectors -- some Hon Members have also indicated what should be done. Instead of them being on salary, they should be commission officers; so that whatever they make depends on the revenue they take to the Assembly. Mr Speaker, the fees that they collect are fixed by the Assembly members. We call it fee-fixing resolution. That is what they depend on, or what they use to collect the fees from the markets and, most of the time, our market tolls. Mr Speaker, if we ask the Assemblies to collect more revenue through their fee- fixing resolution -- through their market tolls -- for people who use the market facilities -- these are by-laws made by the local Assemblies to collect these fees. Mr Speaker, if we would use Parliament to nullify the fee-fixing resolutions, then they would not achieve their goal of raising the revenue. Mr Speaker, I make reference to the kayayei issue. When the Assembly passed a resolution to ask the kayayei to pay GH¢0.50 a day for using the market facility and we use Parliament to nullify that law, how do we expect the Assemblies to make revenue from the law they passed? Mr Speaker, I believe that it would be at the disadvantage of the local authorities if we use Parliament to nullify the laws that they pass to make their revenue. So, we should consider that policy direction by Government. We should allow the Assemblies to operate. This is because, that is where power is. They determine their own fees based on what the Assembly members pass at the by- law level. So that whatever we ask them -- this is because I saw that they are tasked to generate about 30 per cent more revenue. If we ask them not to collect revenue through tolls, then how do they
Hon Member, 30 per cent of what?
Mr Speaker, 30 per cent of the outturn of the 2016 revenue. In 2017, the revenue should be 30 per cent more of what they have generated in 2016.
And what is the percentage of the Kayayei toll of the 30 per cent?
Mr Speaker, the Kayayei toll is part of that 30 per cent we are asking them to do. So, if we remove the Kayayei toll, then they might not get the 30 per cent.
Mr Speaker, I do not know how much it will --
I believe that was what you said.
Mr Speaker, I have not done that computation. Mr Speaker, my only worry is that we should not use Parliament to nullify the decisions or the laws that are passed by the local authorities. If we do that, they might not generate the revenue that they plan. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Hon Majority Chief Whip?
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute the Motion to approve the stated sum for the Local Government Service for the year ending 31st December, 2017. Mr Speaker, the Local Government Service plays a critical role in our decentralisation effort. It is in charge of the administrative decentralisation aspect of the overall decentralisation programme of Ghana. Over the years, they have worked hard to improve service delivery, and I believe that they need to be supported, so that they can live up to their mandate. Mr Speaker, that notwithstanding, the Service is bedeviled with a number of challenges. One of them is what the Committee has identified to be that the Service does not have adequate personnel to work in the various District Assemblies. Mr Speaker, for now, the policy is that they cannot recruit unless there is a vacancy for them to replace. Your Committee observed that in 2015, although a number of vacancies were identified and effort was made to replace the people who had retired or had left the Service, they did not get the green light to recruit people to replace them. This further deepens the inadequacy crisis that the Service faces. We would want to urge the Ministry of Finance to support the Local Government Service to enable it have the complement of staff to work for local government in Ghana. Mr Speaker, as you rightly observed, revenue generation or mobilisation in our local governance is not the best. That is not to say that, the potential does not exist for our Municipalities to mobilise or generate funds; the potential is there, but it is because the Assemblies are under assess properties, there are leakages, which have not been blocked by leadership of the various Assemblies; or maybe, somebody is not doing his work well. In some jurisdictions, IGFs constitute about 85 to 95 per cent of revenue of the Municipalities; but the reverse is our case. In our case, it is about 10 per cent to 15 per cent, or maximum 25 per cent. The rest comes from the centre. When there is that imbalance, it does not help or promote the work of local governance. So, we would use this opportunity to urge the leadership or management of the various District Assemblies to look at innovative ways to help mobilise resources to support the works they do. So, that if transfers from the centre delay, they do not have to fold their arms and wait until the District Assemblies Common Fund or other resources come from the centre. Mr Speaker, donor support is another area that the Local Government Service seems to cry about. They had support from Danish International Development
Did the Hon Minister want to conclude?
Rightly so, Mr Speaker. She wanted to wind-up.
The Question has been put already. Sorry, it is too late.
Very well; thank you, Mr Speaker. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved: That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢506, 611,252 for the services of the Local Government Service for the year ending 31st December 2017.
Mr Speaker, we could take Item numbered 9 on the Order Paper which is the Motion to approve the sum for the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs for the year ending 31st December 2017. The Hon Minister is in the House as well as the Hon Chairman of the Committee.
Very well. Hon Members, we would move to Motion numbered 9 -- Hon Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs. ANNUAL ESTIMATES, 2017 Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢34,328,798 for the services of the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs for the year ending 31st December 2017. Mr Speaker, in January 2017, His Excellency the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, re-designated the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs to the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, which has given the Ministry additional responsibility to supervise religious activities in the country. The Ministry would, therefore, not interfere in religious activities but rather, promote inter-faith consensus. Mr Speaker, in 2016, the Ministry was provided with budgetary allocation of GH¢20,145,103 comprising GH¢19,809,891 as compensation for the staff and allowances for paramount chiefs and queenmothers with only GH¢335,212 for goods and services. There was no allocation for Capex in 2016. Mr Speaker, with the 2016 budgetary allocation, the Ministry was able to do the following; organised two capacity building workshops for all Registrars of Houses of Chiefs in Koforidua and Takoradi and also ran training programmes for all Assistant Regional Registrars of the Ministry. A joint committee of the Ministry and the Attorney-General's Department finalised work on 11 draft legislative instruments on line of succession to stools and skins and submitted to Parliament for consideration and approval. The Ministry also inaugurated three Traditional Councils to enable them adjudicate judicial cases in their traditional areas. With the support of United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the Ministry organised consultative meetings on Justice for Children's Policy for the National House of Chiefs and Queen mothers in the Volta, Western and Brong Ahafo Regions to solicit the views of traditional authorities on the policy which aims at improving access to justice for children by adhering to standards, values and beliefs of the formal and community justice system. The Ministry empowered the judicial committees of the Houses of Chiefs to meet frequently to dispose cases pending before them. Mr Speaker, this year, the Ministry would intensify its activities and operations to meet the aspirations of the President of Ghana, and key among them are; to continue to support the judicial committees of the various Houses of Chiefs and Traditional Councils; to dispose of numerous chieftaincy cases pending before them, inaugurate more Traditional Councils which were captured in the L.I. 1946 of 2008; to further enhance adjudication of chieftaincy cases at the lower levels; recruit legal counsel and appropriate staff for the Regional Houses of Chiefs and the Traditional Councils; to complete the office complex of the National House of Chiefs and Upper West Regional House of Chiefs; to manage and promote inter-faith activities; continue to train staff of the Ministry and promote advocacy programmes with traditional authorities and other stakeholders. Mr Speaker, in view of the foregoing and the expanded scope of work of the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, I pray to this august House to consider and approve the 2017 fiscal year's budgetary allocation of GH¢34, 328,798 to enable it implement its programmes and activities. Mr Speaker, thank you.
Hon Chairman of the Committee? Question proposed.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion ably moved by the Hon Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs. Introduction The Draft Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs for 2017 was referred to the Select Committee on, Youth, Sports and Culture
Yes, Hon Woyome?
Yes, Hon Member?
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the Motion for the approval of an amount of GH¢34,328,798 for the Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs Ministry. Mr Speaker, if you look at the table in the Report, in 2016, the Ministry budgeted for an amount of GH¢335,212, but they were given only GH¢44,164.46 with a variance of GH¢ 291,047.54. This meant that, the Ministry was very dormant last year, because if it budgeted for GH¢335,212 and only GH¢44,164.46 was given to the Ministry, how do we expect such a Ministry to function? Mr Speaker, I am very happy that this year, we would approve an amount of GH¢2 million to the Ministry, and in approving this amount, I expect the Ministry to work harder than the previous year. They have been given more, so more is expected of them, and I would plead with the Hon Minister and his staff at the Ministry that since such an amount has been given to them, compared to last year, we expect more from them. Mr Speaker, again, an amount of GH¢29,332,798 has been allocated for compensation to the Ministry. I am happy to hear that they would recruit more counsel to deal with disputes at various districts and regions. Mr Speaker, what I would expect from the Ministry, is for them to be proactive in terms of settling conflicts and issues that arise from various districts and regions. This is because if we wait for the conflicts to escalate, quenching them would be more difficult than dealing with the smoke. So, I would plead with the Ministry to deal with conflicts before they escalate for us to have less problems in the country. Mr Speaker, I support the approval of the sum to be given to the Ministry to implement its projects and programmes. Thank you Mr Speaker.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion. Mr Speaker, the realigned Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs is a very important Ministry because, its activities would necessarily impact on the social nerve of our society, the reason for which I would even imagine that the GH¢34,328,798 which is a third higher than what was previously allocated to the previous Ministry is not enough. Mr Speaker, the mandate and scope of this new aligned Ministry has really expanded. It is no longer within the domain of chieftaincy alone, but it has gone beyond chieftaincy to look at Christian, Islamic and other religious affairs. Which would mean that, resolving of disputes would escalate. It would no longer resolve chieftaincy issues alone, but issues that we have within the Christendom as well as Islam, the reason for which I would even imagine that, the Hajj Board would now be a subset of this new Ministry. Mr Speaker, going through the Report, I realised that it still focuses only on chieftaincy, and I ask myself, what about Christian related matters and issues? What about Islamic related issues? That is why it appears to me that this Report is incomplete.
Are they the only two religions in the country, Christianity and Islam? Who would regulate Nogokpo and Ayanta in Bekwai?
Mr Speaker, it is assumed that when I mention Christian and Islam, other religious bodies have been covered, including the famous Nogokpo that you mentioned, and some other shrines in your constituency and in mine. Mr Speaker, this Report appears incomplete, because when we go through it, the core functions or the activities that it intends to cover in the year 2017 are all chieftaincy related, and I ask myself, are there no plans for resolving of disputes between traditional authorities and
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the Floor of the House for the approval of the Budget for the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs. Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs has an expanded mandate at the moment. They would now take care of the religious aspects of our lives as a country. I know that as part of their planned activities for 2017, they look at facilitating pilgrimage activities by the religious bodies, but it is unfortunate that it was not captured in the Report. They have a planned programme to take care of the religious aspect of their mandate. Mr Speaker, looking at the Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) Budget that was allocated to the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs last year, with your indulgence, we refer to table number 2 of the Report, it actually indicates that there was no CAPEX Budget allocated to the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs in 2016. They had nothing. No releases were given to them. This year 2017, they are being given GH¢3 million for their CAPEX activities. Mr Speaker, I am particularly happy that they have got this allocation because it is one of the Ministries that is not very visible. People do not know much about the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs and their activities. Sometimes, when a Ministry has its own head office, it gives them some visibility and image. Mr Speaker, therefore with this GH¢3 million that is being allocated, they have a plan to acquire a plot of land that would house their headquarters. That would also move them away from the Ministry with which they take accommodation. I believe that would help them to work on their visibility and image. Mr Speaker, when we had our Committee session with them it became very clear that they had issues with human resource retention. The attrition rate was very high, so we deliberated on that matter and various strategies were advanced to them for adoption. I would urge the Hon Minister and his team to look at those strategies that were discussed and implement them. Mr Speaker, retaining critical staff is very important for any Ministry and once we invest so much by way of capacity building, training and retraining over a period of time and give their people exposure, it is incumbent upon the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs to come out with the various strategies that they would be able to implement to keep their staff. Mr Speaker, paying them good salaries is not enough, but there are other things that are very important. Welfare issues have to be looked at, medical issues have to be looked at as well as giving them opportunities to grow -- progression, is also very important. Once those things are done, I believe that they would be able to keep their critical staff for the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs to grow and serve mother Ghana very well. Mr Speaker, with these few words, I would like to support the Motion for the approval of GH¢34,328,798 to the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, for them to discharge their mandate for 2017. Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to support the Motion on the floor of the House and to add that I realise from the 2016 activities of the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs that they organised seminars and workshops for the registrars of the National House of Chiefs itself and those of the Regional House of Chiefs. Mr Speaker, you are a seasoned Lawyer. Most of the cases that emanate from the Judicial Council of the Regional House of Chiefs to the Judicial Council of the National House of Chiefs emanate from the Judicial Council of the traditional areas. So, it is important that the Registrars of the traditional councils are also trained so that, from the inception, when the cases come before them at the judicial committees of the traditional councils, they are well equipped to handle those cases and report on them appropriately, so that in the event that they go on appeal to the region, to the national and as it may be, to the Supreme Court, they would have done a good work from the word go. Mr Speaker, from this year's Budget, I see that, there is no allocation for Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) --
Hon Member, GH¢3 million has been allocated for assets.
Very well. Mr Speaker, but from the activities that they have lined up, for instance, with the entry of the names of about eight hundred chiefs and other persons on the National Register, they may require much more than that, so, even though I am in support of the approval of the Budget for their activities for the year, I would entreat the Central Government to make more allocations so that -- Mr Speaker, for instance, in my Constituency in South Dayi where we have four traditional areas -- we have Kpalime traditional area, and I would want the Hon Minister to listen to me carefully because it is an issue in my Constituency.
There is nobody on the Majority side to contribute, so, I would recognise the Hon Dr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije.
Mr Speaker, I rise to contribute to the Motion that this House approves the budget allocation of GH¢ 34,328,798 for the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs. Mr Speaker, I believe that, we would all agree that this budget is way too low. Given the fact that we all talked about the chieftaincy conflicts in our constituencies and the impact of that at our various Constituencies and on national development. Mr Speaker, we also have traditional councils in this country throughout our Constituencies that have no facilities to operate -- nothing good to write home about. Mr Speaker, we also have major conflicts on the ground on land issues and this Ministry has to put its foot down to make sure that the judicial systems in the traditional councils are very effective. The absence of their operations on the ground spell out serious situations for other Ministries like the Ministry of the Interior which comes to the police level
Do the Leaders on the Majority side want to make a contribution? Otherwise-- [Pause.] Very well, Hon Deputy Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I would want to make some corrections in the Report. If we leave it this way, it would not be good. On page 3, paragraph 6.0, the figure for “Compensation” should read “GH¢29,328,798.00”. It is captured wrongly so let us correct it. Again, on page 5, below ,“Table 2 (iii)”, “Increased wage bill”. In line 4, the amount should read “GH¢29,328,798.00” and not “GH¢29,328,079.00”. That is also very important. Mr Speaker but let me just make a few comments. This is a Ministry whose Hon Minister is from my constituency. He is not only from my constituency but he is the one who contested me three times and I defeated him three times. [Laughter.] So, Mr Speaker, if I do not make any comment and advocate for more budget for him, it would not be fair. I look at the allocation that, about 6.7 per cent of the compensation amount is for goods and services which is very small. You are going to pay salary of GH¢29 million and you allocate only GH¢2 million for the running of the Ministry. It is not adequate at all so if there is an opportunity for a mid-year review and there is a supplementary budget, I advocate that, we have more allocation for the Ministry, so that they could carry on their planned activities. The Report should have helped us more. If the GH¢29 million allocation for compensation is broken down, what portion of that goes into administration and the allowances for the chiefs. We do not know what portion of this GH¢29 million would be paid to the staff of the core Ministry at the head office and what portion would go into the payment of allowances for the chiefs. So, it does not help. When we look at it, it is as if this entire money is going to only administration, so next time, the Report should segregate and let us know what percentage goes to administration and what percentage would go to the chiefs that would be paid allowances. Mr Speaker, I believe that as of now, we would advocate the approval of GH¢34,328,798.00 but if there is an opportunity during the year, the amount should be increased for goods and services for the Ministry. I thank you, Mr Speaker.
Would the Hon Minister wind up?
Thank you, Mr Speaker. I am very happy that this budgetary allocation has been accepted by all. I have also taken notice of the discussions herein, and actually, the Ministry asked for over GH¢54 million, but here we have a little over GH¢34 million. So, I pray that in the mid-year review, we would come up with a Supplementary Budget which I pray Mr Speaker, that more money would be given to this Ministry, to be more effective than it is now. We have also taken note of the work that is supposed to be done on the religious bodies. We would do some financial engineering to be able to cater for the Religious bodies. As to the amount for compensation, the details are also available which at the appropriate time, would be sent through the Hon Chairman. So, I thank you very much for this approval. I thank you, Mr Speaker. Question put and Motion agreed to. Resolved: That this Honourable House approves the sum of GH¢34,328,798 for the services of the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs for the year ending 31st December 2017.
Hon Majority Leader?
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. As we have varied the business for the day, I would seek your leave per Standing Order 53 (2) to come back and lay a few Papers in the House. Mr Speaker, this Paper is numbered on the Order Paper as 5 (k). It is the Report of the Committee on Environment, Science and Technology on the Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation for the year ending 31st December, 2017. Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman is here to lay it. I thank you.
Hon Chairman of the Committee?
Mr Speaker, respectfully, we would again move item 5 (p) (ii) on the Order Paper. It is the Report of the Committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism on the Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Trade and Industry for the year ending 31st December, 2017. Mr Speaker, the Hon Chairman of the Committee is here to do so. Thank you.
Hon Chairman of Committee? By Chairman of Committee — Report of the Committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism on the Annual Budget Estimates of the Ministry of Trade and Industry for the year ending 31st December, 2017.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to.
The House was accordingly adjourned at 1.46 p.m. till Thursday, 23rd December, 2017, at 10.00 a.m. in the forenoon.